FP: Fruit of a False Prophet part 1

Fruit of a False Prophet and his Handling of the Word of God

Fruit of a False Prophet Word of God
by Pastor David Cox

Summary: This study will investigate what the fruit (life and ministry) of a false prophet. Part 1 of this series is simply an introduction, and begins by contrasting a man of God’s fruit (piety and holiness) with the false prophet’s fruit (sin, not doing God’s will).

The Fruit of a False Prophet Word of God

Introduction.

Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.

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God has given us the pattern of following godly men, in the pattern of their faith. This is why the Bible has so many biblical biographies of men of God. These examples impress us with patterns which many times we follow “naturally” (more easily because we contemplate and meditate on their lives). It is very important to understand that in a real sense, our testimony and the spiritual example of our lives impress, guide, and lead other people. There is nothing wrong with this, and Hebrews 13:7 commands this, with the understanding that we are to do this when our leaders are godly men, not hypocrites. We are to “consider the end of their conversation”, or what is the end fruit of all their life’s efforts, work, and spirit.

Likewise we see the Bible propose that a false prophet can be discerned (for reasons of rejecting, denouncing,  and separating from him) by his fruit.

Matt 7:15-27 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 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 which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

What this passage of Scripture teaches us is first of all, each man and minister will produce something (an end result) of his life and ministry. We can examine this fruit and determine what kind of person he is by his fruit.

Christ readily admits that false prophets will blend in with the brethren to become “one of us”. Just because a person is in our church does not make him a true believer. This is extended even to ministers of the Gospel.  These men that Christ refers to are people who have “validated” their ministry before the church and the brethren via an identification with God (“Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?). They have exercised spiritual authority in commanding demons (demons will obey a false prophet in order to validate their comrade in arms). And they have done miracles (which again is by the power of demons to deceive and trap men under their spiritual domination).

But Christ deliniates a spiritual principle that God gives us to discern and avoid these deceptive ones. The principle is that what you are determines what you produce spiritually. “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.” Those “trees” which don’t produce good fruit are destroyed in hell (these false prophets). This leads Christ to declare the principle clearly, …

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mat 7:20)

Coupled with the quality or type of fruits they produce is the guideline that identification as a minister of God is not a reliable thing for us to discern ministers with, rather, a clear and forceful adherence to the will of God the Father.

This is the only clear guiding principle that is always faithful. A true minister of God will have an addiction to the will of God. He will live, breath, swim in, and be saturated with the will of God, and he can never get enough of it. A false prophet will only give lip service to the will of God, and he will obey the will of God up unto the point that he establishes himself and gains the confidence of the people of God, and then he will abandon it parcially or totally if he can get away with it.

Contaminated and half-hearted work of God

Jesus refers to these ministers as people who are active and involved in the work of God. They are pagans, and they are inactive ministers. They do things, great and mighty things in the name of God, but they detach themselves from God’s will, and do what they determine “as their best judgment.” Jesus says that they “work iniquity” because all work done for God, in God’s name, but not in the will of God, how, when, where, etc that God wants, is a work of iniquity no matter how “good” it may seem.

Jesus ends this section with a comparison. If we examine the fruit of a minister to see its character and disposition in light of the will of God (which is the standard by which we judge everything), we will be like the man who built his house on a rock. This person’s life withstood all the evil times that were thrown at it, and standing, it continued to stand.

Others will encounter great personal and ministry disasters, because “great will be the fall of it” because it was not established firmly on the rock.

The fundamentalist position

Even though many people “despise” Fundamental Christians, many fun of them every way they can, here Jesus presents the case of Fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalist Christianity can be defined as a Christianity based on solely on the authority of the Word of God, avoiding all alternative methods and goals of ministry. Many Fundamentalist Christian ministers and churches don’t fit that definition of Christ. This is essential Christianity, in that without the “essential” or the “Fundamental”, you have nothing, not even salvation.

Talk is cheap, and obedience to God in an extremely literal and minute way (everything has to be considered under God’s Word) is difficult. But this is what true Christianity is.

Satan’s mark on Satan’s work

Moreover Jesus is teaching us that Satan and his ministers cannot “minister” or work without leaving their mark on what they do. If we could only recognize this mark of Satan’s work, it would prevent us from getting involved in it in the first place.

What is the mark of Satan? Very simply, it is the mark of a will that is not God’s will. Satan’s mark is that he does what he thinks best without searching, meditating, submitting, and doing God’s will. He simply deides and acts. There is no serious searching of God’s will in the matters of life and ministry, much less submission.

This “other will” is not always seen as in a bad light. Many times it seems better than God’s very will. But it is not God’s will, and that is what is the mark of Satan. Even if a person does God’s will, but he has not personally established it from God’s Word as God’s will, it is still marked as a willfulness of the individual which God condemns. We can define sin as anything that is outside of God’s will.

Equally here is an attitude of arrogance and haughtiness that is involved in the very essence of willfulness against God.

Satan’s objective.

We have to understand what is Satan’s primary objective. It is not direct Satan worship, making a statue or image of Satan and bowing down and worshipping it. Satan’s strategy is very singular. All he is trying to do is t get people to do what seems best to them. He wants every person to use their own judgment, and not to look to God as the Judge and supreme authority in their lives, but rather what they deem as best. This is the “god” of Satan, and this is his “religion”, and many a preacher in the pulpit has this same god of Satan.

The False Prophet’s handling of the Word of God

A true minister of God has a deeply seated fear of teaching or doing something outside of the will of God. But since the false prophet has an inner repulsion towards the will and word of God (no real fear nor reverence for God), his handling of both is to pervert, twist, overthrow (say the exact opposite of what it says), and to deny as false everything in the Bible he can get away with. He also is very astute at using alternatives instead of the will of God and the Word of God.

All of this gives us an “end product” of not knowing the real will of God, because we are constantly in confusion in doubt about what the false prophet says about the Bible and God’s will.

There is an inviolable link between true doctrine and godly conduct. One will bring the other. The two have to live and dwell together.  What’s more, no Christian can truly obey God “blindly”. I say blindly because he MUST know the word of God in order to obey the will of God. The two are alo linked together. His daily conduct and all of his beliefs are rooted in a defense from the Scriptures.

1Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

The biblical and obedient Christian always has his defenses (biblical reasons) for why he does what he does, how he does it. He bases his life and ministry on the rock of God’s will and word. The false prophet has a different foundation, that of shifting and moving quicksand. He changes his foundation as it “suits him” because he has the satanic idol of his own will and good pleasure as what dictates in his own life.

All of this rejection and perversion (twisting) of God’s word and will has an end product, and when you see what it produces (its fruit), you can recognize that it is not of God, it is not good.

“Do what I say, not what I do.”

1Pet 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.

A very simple test based on Christ’s principle can be applied to any minister of the gospel, and you will clearly see the principle in action. Take whatever the preacher, minister, pastor, etc says and does. If everybody in his church was exactly like the pastor, would his church work and be a godly and pleasant place? For example, the pastor preaches he is the authority and everybody should unilaterally obey him in every point. If everybody was this way, would the church work? Obviously not. If the pastor doesn’t go on evangelism but sends the rest out, if everybody followed his example to be exactly like him, would the church function? Would it grow? No.

Christ’s system works, and it works well. When we realize that the “biblical style of leadership” is that the leaders must be a living example of all the spiritual principles they preach and teach, and they must preach and teach the spiritual principles which they live by, we see a system that any newcomer can evaluate and see the blessings of obeying God in this Christian lifestyle by simply observing the leaders. It is possible to live a godly life. Why do I know this? Because I see people (the pastor and leaders of the church) every Sunday actually living that godly life before me. Respect and imitation are generated by the respect the congregation has for them.

A false prophet always has to work a double system. There is one set of rules for the members, and a hidden set of rules for the pastor. The false prophet will teach strongly against adultery while he is secretly doing it. This is the advantage he wants from “his system” and his manipulation of the brethren.

The fruit of a godly minister is piety and holiness.

Gal 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

God specifically commands us to “try the spirits” to see if they are of God. The teaching that John gives us here is simply that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” This speaks of Jesus humility and meekness. He was great and glorious, but Christ set that glory aside for a while in order to come as a humble man, a meek and mild servant of God.

This attitude of humility instead of arrogance and haughtiness is the first “fruit of his life.” After seeing all that boasting and proud posturing, and all that feeding a great big ego, of self-pride, we see a fruit or end which is not like Christ’s humility and meekness.

Matt 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Prov 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.

This fruit then is shown by the words of his mouth. Basically we speak things that are not in our heart. With time, our word will reveal the state of our heart with God. The actions and words of the person establish WHAT HE IS SPIRITUALLY. Give it time, and you will see what he is by his speech and by his actions.

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