Matthew 7:17-20. “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
The apple looks good from the outside, doesn’t it? Often, we don’t realize how corrupt it is until we take a bite or two. What an apt illustration Jesus uses to help us understand that not everyone who claims to be “good fruit” is telling the truth! Sometimes it takes us a long time to realize we’ve just eaten half of a worm. The question is, once we recognize we’re eating corrupt fruit, will we throw it away or will we keep on eating it because “there are parts of it that are good.”
Jesus’ warning against false spirits and false teachers during the coming Church Age is very strong. It is repeated by Paul in Acts 20:29-31: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
Remember, Satan’s only cause is to destroy what God loves. His attacks on the Church today are ceaseless; he attacks from the inside and the outside. It has never been more important than it is today for all of us to be students of the Word, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, knowing what God’s Word says.
We need to be fruit inspectors. We need to recognize good fruit and evil fruit, and refuse to partake of the evil. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize a false teacher, because in the beginning of their so-called ministry, they may speak truth. Don’t forget that Satan knows God’s Word pretty well! It is often after some time has passed that the true nature of these false teachers becomes apparent, and by that time they have become popular with some and are very difficult to dislodge.
Jesus says that the corrupt trees will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Their ultimate end is sure, and there will be no second chances. Those who deny the inspiration of the Bible; those who refuse the divinity of Jesus and claim Him as nothing more than a wise teacher; those who scoff at teaching doctrine in our churches, grounding people in the truths of the faith; those who claim to have new knowledge that no one else, since the beginning of time, has ever seen; these are all false teachers who would turn us away from the task of knowing God’s Word.
Don’t forget that these false teachers come looking like sheep, meek and even kind and good in the way they live their lives. Sometimes I despair at being told that So and So, who is openly against the doctrines of the faith, must be a Christian because he’s so nice.
In a world of blatant Godlessness and immorality, being NICE seems to be enough. What a mess we’re in.
Satan was nice to Eve.