Tag: Fruit

Prophesies About False Prophets

Jesus foretold and warned that in the last days many false teachers, false christs and false prophets will rise and will deceive many? It is important in our walk with Jesus, that we do not become deceived.

Matthew 24:11 NKJV
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

When Jesus spoke to us about the last days and the signs of the end of the times, one of the signs that He mentioned was the fact that “MANY false prophets will rise up and deceive MANY”. Therefore, a time is coming where MANY people will be deceived by MANY false prophets who will obviously be operating under demonic authority.

However, why would multitudes of people be so easily deceived by a multitude of false prophets? What is it about these false prophets that would make them so influential so as to deceive many people? Why is it that so many people will fail to discern a true prophet / teacher from a false prophet / teacher?

Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.

Jesus clearly warns us that false christs and false prophets will perform or “show GREAT signs and wonders to deceive, if possible even the elect”. Even Jesus acknowledges that these signs and wonders that these prophets will perform will be GREAT – in other words, for those who will be deceived, the signs and wonders of these false prophets will be too irresistible to ignore such that the deceived will be tempted to follow them.
However, “the elect” will not be deceived.
Jesus also tells us “See, I have told you beforehand”. The Lord is therefore warning us in advance that MANY of these false prophets and false christs definitely will come or RISE and that they will deceive MANY people by their GREAT signs and wonders.

Matthew 7:15-16 NKJV
“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 thorn-bushes or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
“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. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Jesus clearly warns us that not everybody who looks like a Christian, talks like a Christian, acts like a Christian will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that false prophets will wear sheep’s clothing. In other words, they will be disguised as Christ’s sheep but yet they are wolves who seek to prey on the sheep in order to devour or mislead the sheep.
Jesus clearly states that these hypocrites will claim to have “prophesied” in Jesus’ name, “cast out demons” and “done MANY WONDERS” in His name. I believe that Jesus is talking about false prophets and other hypocrites who disguise themselves as children of God but yet their intent is to deceive people.

How Will The False Prophets Deceive?

  1. By performing signs and wonders through which the source of these signs and wonders is demonic.
  2. By disguising themselves as sheep but yet they are wolves.
  3. By teaching a false doctrine that subtly causes disobedience from God and God’s teachings whilst enriching themselves
  4. By deceptive words and charismatic behavior meant to put the focus on them and their false miracles rather than on Jesus.

2 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Relationship with God
Jesus knows those people who belong to Him. In verse 23, Jesus says “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
When Jesus says “I never KNEW you”, the Lord here is clearly talking about relationship. Jesus has a personal and genuine relationship with His people. He knows His own people or His sheep and His sheep follow Him.

John 10:27-29 NKJV
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

So the most important steps to not being deceived by the many false prophets and false christs that have entered the world is through the following;

  1. You must be genuinely born again. (John 3:3)
  2. Have a strong, rooted and genuine relationship with God in Christ Jesus and to walk in obedience to Him. (John 15:1-17)
  3. Walk in the Holy Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25)
  4. Pray for and allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as the gift of discernment to operate in your daily life (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
  5. Meditate on the word of God day and night. Do not just rely on what you are taught by another person – but also study prayerfully the word of God on your own and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you one-on-one. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
  6. Talk to God about all your issues. He knows everything. Learn to listen to His voice. Often we pray to God – however we never take the time to listen to Him or to hear Him when He speaks.(Matthew 6:8-18)
  7. The word of God is the standard by which we live by. Whatever spiritual things that you hear or are taught, learn to test and interpret what you are taught according to the word of God. (Psalm 119)
  8. Test the spirits. (1 John 4:1)

Identifying False Prophets – (Part 2)

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
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. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

As we continue this article from Part 1, please remember that Jesus said that a false prophet / teacher will look like a Christian but however you will be able to recognize a false prophet by the fruits they bear.
Don’t be deceived, a false prophet will do good things such as give to charity, help the poor etc – however – the basis upon how you recognize a false prophet is upon the word of God and whether what they teach exalts and glorifies God and NOT themselves and their “radical” teachings which appear to be godly but rather they have been distorted. Remember that even the Satan himself quoted the Bible in order to get Jesus to sin when he was tempting Jesus while He was fasting.

Matthew 7:15-16 NKJV
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.

 

Their fruits refers to their lifestyle, their character, their attitude about God & His word, and the negative effects their false doctrine has on their followers.
Therefore to recognize a false prophet / teacher, you need to look out for the following:

  • THEY PREACH FOR MONEY & MATERIALISM – There is nothing wrong at all with having money or possessions. Also there is nothing wrong with preaching about prosperity – God indeed wants us to be prosperous. However, the problem is that false prophets / teacher focus MOSTLY on money and materialism MORE than any other issue. Also no matter what subject or topic they preach about, it will always end up about money and materialism. Prosperity is NOT only linked to having money or materials. In Genesis 39:2 Joseph was a prosperous or successful man – yet he was a slave of a Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2-3 – The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand). Joseph was prosperous and successful even as a slave in an Egyptians house. Even the Egyptian master – though he had material wealth, noticed and realized that God was with Joseph – even though physically as a slave – Joseph owned nothing or very little of material wealth. Jesus taught that we should beware of covetousness and materialism but rather seeking God’s righteousness and God’s ways is more important than seeking after material wealth and that material wealth only lasts for as as long as we are alive. Luke 12:15 (And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.). As a Christian you are made to feel that if you are not wealthy, if you do not have certain material possessions, then God is somehow not with you and that perhaps you are not praying correctly or that your sins are preventing you from acquiring enormous money. However Jesus taught that we should focus on laying our treasure in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and that our focus should be on God’s provision which He give as the right time. (Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.)  and (Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also)
  • THEY SHOW ARROGANCE, PRIDE & REJECT THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST – Let’s be clear, please don’t be deceived – a false prophet / teacher will talk about Jesus; they will mention Jesus’ name as they teach – but it DOES NOT mean that they are genuine and not false. (Jesus said : “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.- Matthew 7:21 NKJV) and that on the day of judgement, Jesus will totally reject some false prophets / people who have claimed to have prophesied and cast out demons in His name (Matthew 7:22,23).
  • THEY ADOPT A CELEBRITY LIFESTYLE – False prophets / teachers however do not operate in Godly authority nor do they speak for God. They will take on more of a celebrity status or lifestyle where because of fame, they expect to be adored and “worshipped” by people. They would rather draw people to themselves and their doctrine – rather than to point people towards Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a prophet who prepared the way for the coming of Christ – and as Jesus became more popular, John’s disciples questioned him as to why Jesus was suddenly becoming more popular than John himself. John in humility said to his own disciples that his job as a prophet was to point people to Jesus and that he (John) must decrease, while Jesus increases (John 3:30 NKJV – He must increase, but I must decrease.). John the Baptist as a prophet of the Lord was not interested in drawing people to himself and to his doctrine, but rather he was more interested that the name of Jesus be magnified and glorified above himself by speaking the unadulterated word of God.
  • THEY SELDOM TEACH / PREACH AGAINST SIN – False prophets / teachers seldom preach about having a good and godly character in Christ Jesus. They will focus on subjects that are “politically correct” and subjects or issues that do not “provoke” or “offend” people or their followers. In some churches today, homosexuality, promiscuous sex, abortion and all sorts of sin is now subtly tolerated, accepted and ignored and never preached about. Jesus was not afraid to confront the issue of sin – even if it meant that people were going to dislike Him or even kill Him. God does not tolerate sin – which is why Jesus died for us. God wants us to take Jesus’ example in teaching regarding the issue of sin and living a godly life and not be afraid of the worldly / sinful opinions of others. (2 Timothy 3:12-15 NKJV – Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.)

However, false prophets / teachers will for example make you believe that somehow God is not with you, or God has left you, or that there is something wrong with you if you have not acquired or if you are not seeking after various sums of money or materials. Rather than helping you to seek after God – a false prophet / teacher will put MORE EMPHASIS that you should seek after money and material wealth. Jesus taught the following “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

TODAY. Remember that it is important for you have a personal relationship with God, and for you to know God’s word and allow the Spirit of God to reveal and teach you through God’s word.

SELF-CONTROL – Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit … self-control.

Self-control is an important quality that should be part of the character of any human being. The Greek word for self-control is “egkrateia”, which means having command or “mastery over” , or possession of, “one’s own behavior.”
Without self-control, people give in to all sorts of temptations from the devil and become easily led to act more out of feeling and emotion rather than to act according to the word of God.

The Holy Spirit is able to teach us and help us to have self-control is our daily lives. Sometimes we need to control our anger; our attitude; our thoughts; our emotions and our actions on a daily basis.
We must understand that we are responsible for our own actions.

2 Timothy 3:1-6
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Paul writes that in the last days people will be “without self-control”. Clearly a person who does not have self-control is a person who does not submit to rules and to the authority of God. For without self-control, chaos reigns in the life of a person.

The self-control that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit has the following attributes

  1. This kind of self-control comes from the Holy Spirit and is dependent on the Spirit of God
  2. This kind of self-control recognizes that God is in authority and submits to the will and word of God
  3. This kind of self-control has actions and reactions that glorify God. It is not self-centred.
  4. This kind of self-control does not only rely on emotions and feelings alone.
  5. This kind of self-control allows the Holy Spirit to control every area of a person’s life from the mental, spiritual to their physical state.

2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

Clearly for a person to grow spiritually, one of the virtues that a person must have is self-control. Many great men have fallen because they lacked self-control. Perhaps they committed adultery or they could not control their temper.

TODAY. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you to exercise self-control.

GENTLENESS – Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 AMP
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is Gentleness (meekness, humility)

Gentleness in the Greek, “prautes”, commonly known as meekness or humility is a virtue of God. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is available in our lives through the Holy Spirit.

Gentleness is not about being a “soft” person whom people can push around, bully and exploit.

 

The fruit of Gentleness means the following:

  1. You are submissive and obedient to the will of God
  2. You are meek and humble. Therefore you are not governed by pride in your attitude towards life and towards other people.
  3. You have a balanced and modest opinion of yourself. You see yourself through God’s eyes. You do not see yourself as being “better” than somebody else.
  4. You are always conscious that God must be glorified in all that you do. You are not boastful, but you realize that every good thing in your life is because of God and not because of your own effort alone.

Titus 3:1-2 NKJV
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

Paul writes that we are to show “ALL humility to ALL men”. Gentleness / Humility is therefore is an important attribute to have in our relationships. It is very easy in our different interactions with people to be very boastful and conceited. Therefore whenever we are not humble, we give room to pride, which will then lead us to have a wrong and ungodly opinion of ourselves and of others.
1 Peter 5:5 says “…and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore put on humility as a virtue wherever you go and with whomever you interact with.
Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and remind you and instill in you the virtue of gentleness / humility.

Philippians 2:8-9
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

Even Jesus humbled Himself. While He was in human form, He had great power, great authority, great influence and yet He showed great humility in His relationships and in the way He behaved.
God wants us to show humility even when we have power and authority. God wants us to use our influence and authority to His glory and to submit to His will.

TODAY. Show gentleness; show humility.

 

FAITHFULNESS – Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness

How committed are you to what you believe in? Are you steadfast and firm in the word of God?
Are you committed your relationships?

Faithfulness requires that we be committed. It is part of God’s quality and character and the Lord desires that His children be committed and faithful to Him and to His word.

2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Even when we don’t have faith in God or in His word, God will always remain faithful to His teachings and to His principles. Whatever God promises do to – He WILL do it. God does not change. His word does not return to Him void.
However, being faithful and committed is not always easy. Nevertheless God desires that we be faithful.

Therefore what are some of the attributes of one who walks in faithfulness to the things of God?

  1. Recognize that it’s not all about you. Realize that you serve a higher purpose and a higher Being than just yourself. Therefore when you make a decision to follow God, be committed to God. (Matthew 16:24-25 : Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me”)
  2. God must be the author of your life and of your faith. You must also fix your eyes on the Lord (Hebrews 12:2 : Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
  3. We must know who our rewarder is. When we keep the faith or remain faithful, God is the one who rewards us ultimately. Not man. (Hebrews 11:6 : But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him).
  4. You must always realize that God is faithful to keep His promises. (Hebrews 11:11-12 : By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.)
  5. Be faithful even in the LITTLE things. (Matthew 25:21 : His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord”)
  6. Be faithful with other people’s property. (Luke 16:10-12 : He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?) 
  7. Be led by the Holy Spirit, because faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit.

TODAY. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you to continually be faithful.