“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know then by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a 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 a fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20, KJV).
Jesus warns the churches that not everyone who professes Christ is a true believer. These “false/fake” teachers, preachers, evangelists, laity and so forth who outwardly appear to be “godly” really are “inwardly... ravening wolves” who can at times, be identified by their “fruits.” The fruit of these “false/fake” people will be found in their unwholesomeness. They will manifest themselves in one of five different ways.
1) They will be professing followers of Christ whose loyalty is more toward teachers of philosophies, ideologies and famous personalities than to the Word of God. They worship humanity, God’s created beings, rather than the Creator of humanity. (Romans 1:25)
2) They will be more concerned with their own desires than with the glory and honor of God. Their belief system/worldview will be more self-centered rather than Christ-centered. (2 Timothy 4:3)
3) They will accept human reasoning and understandings even when those reasoning and understandings contradict the Word of God. (1 Timothy 1:4)
4) They will seek their own religious/spiritual journey’s for truth and accept what they want to believe as final authority in validating what is true to them rather than grounding themselves in the whole counsel of God’s Word. (1 Corinthians 1: 18-21)
5) They will refuse the teachings of scripture and seek those who teach salvation with the “broad way” of inclusiveness that involves in what the Bible clearly calls sin. They will twist the truth of Scripture for their own personal gain. (Galatians 1:8-10)
Mark 13:22 says, “For false Christ and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
These will be people that you respect. These will be people that you like. These will be people that you love. They will be your co-workers, your friends, and even your family members. Yet God’s gift of grace does not annul human responsibility or action. To escape the deceit of “false/fake” men and women of God, the believer must be totally committed to the truth and righteousness that is revealed in God’s Word. One must not consider personal success or personal human reasoning as a standard by which to judge one’s relationship to Christ. God does not endorse any unrighteous teachers of philosophies, ideologies, or famous personalities of the gospel, but He will endorse biblical truth and those who accept it in faith.