Through The New Testament #13 — Test Of A Prophet
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matt. 7:15,16)
Jesus provides here a test by which to determine whether someone claiming to be a prophet (or messenger for God) is genuine or not. Every ministry produces fruit and over time it can be clearly seen what the intentions of the person really are.
Jesus Himself had a ministry that produced fruit. A sincere person that wanted to know if Jesus was really sent by God needed only to follow Him around. If they did, they would see the suffering healed, the dead risen, sinners returning to God and so much more.
This test of authenticity however takes time since fruit just don’t grow over night.
Several years back a friend of mine called and told me that someone in their church had had a vision and was told by God that the city they lived in would be destroyed. The person had been a sincere and faithful Christian up to that point and now they were going from church to church preaching that people should leave the city while there was still time.
Even though there were many red flags with this story that people should have picked up on, this particular test of authenticity would have been sufficient to settle the matter. If God wants us to test His messengers by their fruit He would not ask us to trust such a person before there is sufficient time for fruit to develop. He would not ask His people to make major life decisions, like abandoning everything and moving to a new area, without first giving sufficient evidence that this message was indeed coming from Him.
If God were to ever send someone to His people with a life-altering message such as this, He would send someone whom, over time, had provided plenty of evidence that God had called them to such an important role.
Originally published at mikemanea.com.