BEWARE OF SOUND-LOOKING TREES WITH POISONOUS FRUIT
📖2 Kgs 22:8-13, 23:1-3; Ps 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40 (R.v.33a); Matt 7:15-20
My dear, while every sound tree bears good fruit” (Matt 7:17), it is indisputable that some deceptively-looking sound trees can be seen in the midst of really sound trees. Those are what Jesus described as false prophets who are wolves in sheep clothing.
Jesus used the sermon on the mount (Matt 5:1 – 7:27) to expose the demands of the Kingdom of God to his disciples. The demand is beyond mere affiliation to the Law. It is rather a call to love – love lives above the law.
Jesus knew that the enemy comes at night to plant weeds among the good seeds (Matt 13:24-26). So, at the concluding parts of that long Sermon on the Mount, he began to warn his listeners against the ploys of the devil (the thief) who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10).
This enemy is sure to try to teach them different sermons from what Jesus had taught. Jesus warns them not to expect that the agents of this thief would come in the form of fierce wolves but in the form of gentle lambs (Matt 7:15).
The agents of this deceptive enemy abound in greater proportion today. They try to deceive the children of God with signs and wonders. St John calls them the Antichrists (1 John 2:18-23) because they plan to lead the children of God astray (1 John 2:26), and so warns us to test every spirit before believing in them (cf. 1 John 4:1-6).
Note that the true prophets would try to lead the flock back to God when they go astray as Hilkiah did (cf. 2 Kgs 22:8ff), whereas the false prophets would do the opposite. We need to open our eyes so as not to follow the false prophets into doom.
May these spirits of deception depart from us so that we may not miss our steps in our journey towards the Kingdom of God. Amen.
Have a Spirit-led day. Peace be with you.