In Matthew 7:12- 14, Jesus gave us the golden rule: do to others what you want others to do to us and be kind to others if you want others to be kind to us. Jesus explained that He is the only way to God and the gate to salvation. After this, He warned us against false prophets.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
Jesus warned us to watch out for false prophets who peddle false doctrines to lead people astray. They masquerade as sheep in wolf’s clothing to deceive people with heretic teachings. They misused the gospel for personal enrichment and financial gains. False prophets were plentiful in the first-century world and even today.
We can detect false teachers by inspecting their fruits. A good tree produces good fruit. A bad tree produces bad fruit. Examine every teacher for the fruit of the spirits. Genuine teachers will have the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
This passage is very relevant to us today because there are so many false teachers today masquerading as sheep among wolves.
Do not believe everything you hear or read. Countercheck everything you hear or read with the scriptures. Learn the Bible and be biblically literate. This is the best safeguard against heresy.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the revelation of truth. We pray for the nourishment and strengthening of our souls. We pray for maturity in faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.