Tricky, tricky, tricky!
It got me to thinking and I realized something about deception.
I was looking at a website the other day and began reading through their material; very well done – very convincing.
Scripture was used to back up their thoughts and doctrine.
Then it hit me how out-of-context the scripture and statements were.
The doctrinal statement made subtle mistakes.
They make claim to speak honestly about the scripture but I recognized error in what was said.
Jesus said, “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.” Matt 24:23-25
While the group did not maintain that one of them was Messiah or point to someone else, their teachings do maintain to speak for the Messiah, in a Biblical way, but the teaching is far left of anything I would teach or have heard taught.
I believe that Jesus can also be referring to this method of “here is Messiah – there is Messiah”. It’s teaching from the word of God as the authority of God but at the same time it is anti-God.
It is a great sign and wonder performed by words that sounds fresh, new, and wonderful. It draws the unsuspecting, unknowing reader into a false sense of Godly security.
As Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matt 7:15-20
They look harmless; they sound harmless but are ravenous and dangerous.
Do you know what a grape looks like? Do you know what a thorn bush looks like?
This is what the teaching of false prophets favor.
You can identify them by their fruit.
However you must know what good fruit looks like in order to identify bad fruit.
Good fruit comes from reading the true word of God.
It comes from prayer and discernment. It comes from living a pleasing life before the Father. That can only be done through Jesus.
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Col 1:6
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Gal 5:22-23