Friday, February 15, 2008

You "Will" Know Them

Matthew 7:15-20 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."

Today's Christian television is for the most part broadcasting nothing more than false teachers 24/7, with a few exceptions. But to say this is often viewed as being judgemental, people to often come to the conclusion that discerning truth from error and judging others is one in the same. But it is not for we are commanded to not "cast our pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6), but how can we do that if we don't know who the pigs are? We are also told that we will know them (wolves in sheeps clothing) by their fruits. It's interesting that the word used for the pharase "you shall know" in the King James Version is the greek word "epiginōskō" which means to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, to know well or to recognise by sight, hearing, of certain signs, to perceive who a person is, so it's not as if you might know who they are but as Christians you "will" know who these wolves are. So what is the standard fruit by which we are to discern true teachers of God and false ones? The two quotes below are amazing statements of Godly men from the past who I think so clearly describe every false teacher on TV today as having a low view of God and too high a view of man.

"The sum of the whole is, that ordinarily, and generally speaking, as men are, so are the doctrines they preach, and by them they may be known, and judged to be what they are. Christ here, and in the preceding verses, is speaking not of men of bad lives and conversations, who take upon them to teach others; for there is not so much reason to caution good men against these; they are easily detected, and generally discarded; but of men that put on sheep's clothing, who pretended to much holiness of life and conversation, and strictness of religion; and under that disguise delivered out the most corrupt and unwholesome doctrines; which tended greatly to depreciate him and his grace, and to do damage to the souls of men." —John Gill (1697–1771)

"It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to dishonor God and to flatter man." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

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