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How can you spot a false prophet?

 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

            A bad tree, sick at its roots or being eaten on the inside by a parasite, will produce bad fruit.  A good tree, healthy through and through, will produce good fruit.  The same is true for people.

            You can spot a false prophet by their fruit.  What does that mean?  Good fruit means good things come out of that person—love, mercy, compassion, honesty, sacrifice.  Bad fruit means bad things come out of that person—jealousy, revenge, hurt, restrictions, punishment.  If you replace the word “prophet” for “minister” or “preacher” or “pastor,” the application still works.