Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the 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.
Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Have you ever thought about the fruit you are producing in your Christian walk? Your Character is it like Christ?
What are YOU doing with your life, do you show forth good fruit that glorifies God? Is your mind on the things of the Lord or the things of the world and the cares of this life?
It is true that many Christians today live and look so much like the world you cannot tell them apart, and no wonder that here in America when you mention church and Christianity people do not want to listen. And when you want to tell them about Jesus they look at you in unbelief.
It is unbelief to them because they do not see Jesus enough in us.
They do not see the fruit of Christ character in us.
Christians are to be the light set upon a hill for all to see, we are to bring light to where ever we are, and show forth the character of Christ. What would He be doing if He walked among us on earth today?
He would be healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering those bound by demonic spirits and adding souls to the kingdom, but He lives and moves and has His being in us, and we are His vessels to do all that he would do if He walked among us today.
If we are not growing fruit we are back sliding. That is a hard statement but it is fact.
The church as a whole is apostate, of course there are some believers that are walking as Christ called us to walk as true disciples but sadly that is not the majority.
The church for the most part is not producing fruit, it is producing $$$$ for all the CD's and books and conferences, tithes, but it isn't producing the fruit of righteousness and holiness that the Lord is looking for in us.
Psychology is very prevalent in the church today in every denomination, and some of the biggest names are teaching psychology though you won't hear the word psychology but it is what is being taught.
Psychology is popular, because Christians do not want to follow the handbook of life, the bible, they want it easy so they don't have to repent of sin or even call it sin.
But psychology might make you feel good about your "self" but it never produces fruit, because it is it is humanistic , rather then Spiritual and the only way to produce fruit is abiding in the vine, and clinging to the tree. (the cross)
It is in living by the word of God, loving God and His word, becoming one with the Lord, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6 says we are to have died to self and live unto God, but the new teachings are about making self feel good.
The Pastors/Teachers fruit they are producing will be known by what they produce in those they teach as well. Because they are accountable to help you bear fruit by what they teach.
Is your Pastor bearing fruit through what he is teaching you? Are you the fruit of his labors?
The word says that if a tree doesn't bear fruit it will be cut down and thrown in to the fire. How plain can that be.
So what happens to those who do not bear fruit? Jesus cursed the fig tree because it didn't bear fruit. Matthew 21:18-20.
This is clearly understood by those with an ear to hear. But for those who have been given a watered down doctrine and tickled ears, they will not hear this, nor see the truth.
You see if the Pastor is not preaching a message that has been anointed of the holy spirit, if it is not coming from the Holy Spirit who is our true teacher, but it is being taught of the intellect it will bring no conviction of sin.
The word going forth should be bearing the fruit of repentance in your life. Are you seeing your sins, your weaknesses and confess them to the Lord and really desire to walk in holiness, do you hate sin or are you just made to feel good about yourself?
Jesus didn't come to make us feel good about ourselves, he came to convict of sin and to show us the right way, and that is His way to eternal life.
What I want to talk about is the fruit of righteousness, holiness and how we glorify God by our behavior. What does the Lord God see?
The parable of the sower is a very good example to show you what the Lord is showing us here.
Much seed can be sown (Matt 13) but little of it ever reaches maturity and produces fruit of a crop.
You can take a packet of seeds and sow them in the garden, if the soil is hard, and hasn't been tilled properly it isn't going to produce much fruit crop, and it will not even take root, and the seed will lay there on the surface and the birds of the air will come and snatch it up, and some because it is not planted deep enough, and when it begins to come up the sun will cause it to wilt and dry.
I think we have to look at the type of seed, is it seed that produces thorns and briars? Or is it seed that produces 100 fold crop, sixty fold, or 30 fold.
Some seed is sown among weeds and the weeds if they are not pulled up by the roots, will choke out the life of the plant.
But we know if the ground is prepared properly, the weeds removed, the seeds if watered and given fertilizer will yield a crop, some hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty.
The Lord is showing me that though many of you have sat under Pastors and teachers, and yet many of you are not yielding fruit, the fruit of righteousness and holiness, that which glorifies God.
Think about it, do you have the character of Christ?
It does take the Holy Spirit time to bring this about in our life but we have to be willing vessels, and we can see our fruit by how much we are enmeshed in to the world, our having fun, getting those things we want but do not need.
Or do we yearn to spend time with the Lord, studying the word praying, worshipping and praising the Lord or spend time in fellowship with other believers.
This reveals we are changing, bearing fruit unto righteousness, it shows our not being the same as we once was..
It might be that the Pastor or teacher is giving you the wrong seed, so that it only produces brambles and weeds that will choke the good seed.
It might be a doctrine of the world, it might be that he gives a good word but the devil comes and snatches it away because you haven't been renewing your mind with the word of God. It might be that you just do not understand
The Lord is our teacher and he will open up our understanding if we will just give ourselves over to Him, and ask Him to help us to understand. Hungry to learn, hungry for wisdom and understanding. but often due to our slovenliness the devil comes and snatches what we have, so we no longer have understanding of the true word of God.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
And he answered and said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
My brothers and sisters, we are in the last days, and to whom much is given much is required of us.
The Lord has given us the mysteries of the kingdom, but they are only available to those who search them out, and to seek God for them.
When we eagerly search them out in the word of God, He see's our hunger, and he gives us much, and we shall have abundance of wisdom, revelation and understanding.
Nothing is hid from those who love God, and are willing to seek for the jewels, the little pearls of wisdom and truth.
But those who have not, it shall be taken away. In the coming days it will not be worldliness that is important to our salvation it is Knowing Christ and having Him know us. The word says we shall be known by our fruit, so I think it is a good time to examine our fruit, to be fruit inspectors, to make sure we are producing good fruit unto righteousness.
So it might be that because you have not sought the Lord and His word and that you are satisfied with a smooth word and never use your bible to search out truth, and because you have not sought to understand and to receive more, the Lord has given you little.
So now you are not getting truth that will help you to produce much fruit. it all comes from walking in the Spirit it is not of the flesh and so it takes much time in the spirit, that is why we must abide in him, stay closely to Him, almost where we can listen to His heart beat.
And truth comes from the spirit as we meditate on God's word.
You see truth is good seed, it isn't corrupted, it isn't old doctrines and traditions of men, it is the incorruptible word of God, it is of the spirit not the intellect.
Jesus gave everything in parables because he knew that those who were not His own would not understand, but he gave everything in parables to His disciples because He knew that they had been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom.
And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:
The Lord tells us what the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 means.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he that was sown by the way side.
And he that was sown upon the rocky places, this is he that heareth the word, and straightway with joy receiveth it;
yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; and when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway he stumbleth.
And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; who verily beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
So many today are blind, their eyes do not see their ears to not hear, because their heart has grown cold.
I believe that is because they are not hearing a word from the Lord, but from man. God speaks to us through the word, and through our spirits by the Holy Spirit, but the word of God must come from the Holy Spirit and not the intellect because the peoples eyes will close and their hearts will wax hard.
The word of God is alive, it isn't dead words on page, telling stories and jokes to wake people up and get them interested is not needed in the Spirit.
They sit on the edge of their seats when they hear a word spoken from the Spirit of God. For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word is alive because it is of the spirit of God, it is God, so when a teaching comes forth we know when we hear it whether it is from man or God.
In order to fully understand truth it requires you to be a truth seeker not just take any word to be so, as so much today that is coming forth is preparing you for a one world religion and the anti Christ.
It is secular cloaked in a Christian view, it is humanistic and often is self seeking, it has taken away the blood and the cross.
We are not to just take what is given and accept it as truth, we are to seek truth from the word and from the Holy Spirit He will teach us all things.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.
It is very possible that your church is full of tares, it might even be that you are a tare, only God knows.
The enemy came along and planted the false grain in the church, it looks and even acts like a Christian it might go to church every week, and it might even be behind the pulpit, but it is a tare, and it is planted by the enemy to distract you and true Christians from the truth.
These tares talk and appear to act like a true Christian but they are false, in some cases they are even the devils advocate, they are tares not true brethren and are seeking only their own.
Living how they choose behind closed doors.
Many are teaching false doctrines. Not true brothers and sisters but seeking their own.
The Lord is allowing them to be among the true believer until the time of the harvest when He shall separate the wheat from the tares, and those who are false will be gathered up and bundled and burned.
But the true follower of Christ His true disciples shall be gathered into the barn and will be welcomed into the kingdom.
The Lord has shown that there will be only a remnant a small number of true believers and followers of Christ, because narrow is the way that leads to life and few that be that find it. He who has ears to hear let Him hear. So many have chosen the easy way but it is wide and it leads to destruction.
Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are;
Mat 13:24 Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field:
but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.
But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
And the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it tares?
And he said unto them, An enemy hath done this. And the servants say unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he saith, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them.
I want you to notice what happens to the tares, they of course have not produced fruit because they are only tares. False grain.
Let us examine what fruit we are to produce, the character of Christ and measure where we might be.
does not envy;
does not parade itself;
does not get 'puffed up';
does not behave rudely;
is not provoked;
does not think evilly, nor rejoice in sin;
rejoices in the truth;
bears all things;
believes all things;
hopes all things;
endures all things.
of good report;
of any virtue;
worthy of praise.
bear with one another;
forgive one another;
let the peace of God rule their hearts;
have the Word live in them;
teach and admonish one another;
sing with grace in their hearts.
And then let us look at what it is to die to self below. I am adding this even though some of you have received this already but we can see how "Self can seriously get in the way of our producing fruit. this is a good indication that we are not bearing fruit when we are so sensitive to "self"
Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?
The Lord will KNOW US BY OUR FRUITS
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Having spent decades in the state of Oregon, (in case you are international, that is in the USA), I've spent literally years around orchards. Apple trees, peach and pear trees and it was there that I noticed that there were seasons when those trees produced nothing at all. So, to say that if a believer is not producing fruit then they are backsliding is neither true in the Word, nor is it true in the natural world. Jesus didn't curse the tree because it had no fruit, no, He cursed it because it was not the season for figs and yet this tree had the appearance of bearing fruit. I realize you mean well, but learn to give your brothers and sisters the time to grow that you yourself have had, otherwise your article comes across as if "criticism" is a fruit of the spirit. There are ways to say the same thing, but in such a way as to "exhort them to good works." Which, is there for you to see in your own bible. Be blessed as you continue to grow in grace; which is all any of us have.