Matthew 7:15-20 A TREE AND ITS FRUIT
Jesus continues teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. False prophets are people who tell you what they think you want to hear or tell you some story made up to fit what they do not understand. False teachers about God's Word are in today's world and it is easy to fall for what sounds good (sheep's clothing). Some may sound religious, but their heart is motivated by riches, fame, self-glorification, and power (ravenous wolves). A sheep appears weak, innocent, and gentle so deceiving the underlying wolf that is strong, morally wrong, and wildly cruel. These false prophets and teachers are ones that lead us down the easy road to destruction referenced in the previous verses.
How do we discern a false teacher from a teacher of the truth? How do we test leaders? We will recognize them by their fruits. Just as thorn bushes do not bring forth grapes and thistles do not bring forth figs, false teachers do not bring forth humility and godly manners of living.
Our "fruit" is the harvest of "who I am." Am I "healthy" with the Holy Spirit or am I "diseased" with worldly concerns. To stay healthy, I need to stay rooted in Christ for without faith, I will be cut down away from everlasting life in heaven. Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."