Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Jesus words recorded here in Matthew never rang more true than they do in our world today. Jesus is speaking about the false teachers and false prophets who will inevitably come, claiming to know the things of God and the way to heaven. And Jesus is warning us to beware their teachings and test everything by the word of God and the fruits that they bear. Remembering that false teachers will present themselves as true shepherds. Often times wishing to pervert the Gospel message they will present themselves as the nicest people we will ever meet. As Christians, we are to test the spirits as John told us in chapter four of his gospel. Why? Because many false prophets have come into the world. Often times a false prophet will promote broad, non-Biblical viewpoints which are popular among the secular world.
Telling us what we want to hear, playing on our emotions rather than the truth of God’s word. They will most often attack the divinity and the person of Jesus, the infallibility of God’s word and salvation by grace, through faith alone in Christ alone. They will often play on our emotions and feelings, because they know that’s where we are most vulnerable. They will tell us what we want to hear in order to convince us their words are true. Many false teachers and false prophets will gladly use the Christian name calling themselves Christians. But they deny the person and deity of Jesus. However, we must never forget to test all teachers by the fruits they bear, the word of God and who they claim Jesus is. The first question we should always ask is, who do they claim Jesus to be? If they do not claim Jesus to be God in the flesh, both fully God and fully human, the second Person of the Trinity, run and do not look back.