Ye shall know them 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. Mt. 7:16-18
People are complex. You may have been around someone for many years and still not really know them at all because people will show you what they want you to see. There are many sides to a person because we are spirit, soul and body. Some of us are finding out that we really did not know past presidents as their lives were later disclosed. The recent documentary of Abraham Lincoln told us a lot about him that perhaps we never knew. He suffered a lot of loss of people he loved and races he ran. His attention as a husband also seemed somewhat lacking as he pursued law and politics. He was not necessarily sold on the idea of setting slaves free either. It was the hot button issue of the day and he made a logical decision. He certainly was not stating that slaves should be in equal standing with white people the way we have determined today. The narrator of the story explained that it was not something envisioned by the people of that day. Perhaps not, but the bible in that day surely had envisioned and taught it.
Look at politics, a very visible example! There are certainly a lot of politicians that are surprising us every day. Some have come right out and exposed their evil dispositions to us. They will change their opinions, loyalties and decisions about like their wardrobes. Many have one face and opinion for friends and then another for the public. Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Every once in a while someone will let something slip and we are surprised at that side of them but there is probably more there.
Jesus gave us wise counsel. He said you can know them by their fruits. He used the parable of trees to teach us about the nature of people.
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. 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. Mt. 7:15-18
Life is more complicated than just deciding whether a person is good or evil, but that is a good starting place. Once we discern that, we know what we are dealing with. Jesus tells us to love everyone; they are made in the image of God, but He also warned us to be wise. Apostle Paul taught: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord…(1Th 5:12)”. In the crucial times like we live in today, it is a good thing to know the nature of a person and some people in public are shocking us to no end as their true selves emerge. There are many people who have learned to be silent in times of distress so as to not disclose themselves; but Jesus also declared that at harvest time, maturity will reveal all fruit and it must manifest what kind it is.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Mt. 13:30
Harvest time reveals what sort of fruit people are as the Lord sends judgment upon the earth. Those that are wise will observe and learn from what is being revealed so as not to be deceived any further. Remember He gave us warning:
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. Mt. 7:15-16
These are lessons God taught His children so they would not be deceived because wolves walk all around us in deception and seek to devour God’s sheep. The devil has caught some of God’s sheep unprepared. We see the results today of many people that have been deceived by false prophets and their lives turned upside down or destroyed because of believing lies told by the liar (Satan). God gave His children wisdom in the Word of God; so if we are still deceived, the fault is ours. While many accuse that Jesus told us not to judge as stated in Mt. 7:1; Jesus does compel us to “judge” or use discernment like in Joh 7:24 (Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment).
More important than discerning that which is evil is to know the fruit of the righteous which is first of all love and it blossoms into many fragrances.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23
Jesus has compelled all mankind to come unto Him so that He can make us into disciples of love, where we will learn to bring forth fruit and be pleasing to the Father. When we are disciples for the Father, we can first of all be pleasing to Him but also our life is purified so that we are real through and through. There is no longer fear of showing a bad side because Jesus has perfected the fruit. He is that Fruit living inside of us. None of us are perfect in ourselves but we can be perfected or matured to be more like the Lord. Now, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1:8-9)”. In our best day we, like Paul, will profess that we are not perfect; but have been changed and walk in a closer relationship with God.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php 3:12-14
One mystery of the faith is that Jesus has come looking for fruit. What kind of fruit will He find and what kind are you?
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Joh 13:35
(This ministry will move forward into more of the teachings Jesus taught and has given me understanding to expound. I hope you will continue to follow and hear some of those teachings as I change my format and website to bring more spiritual insight.)