Watch Out!

Watch Out! Rabbui Michael Weiner

Matthew 7:15-20 Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit, but the rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.

Yeshua starts this piece of his “Big Sermon” with a warning, “Watch out!” Would He waste his words, or do we really need to “watch out?” I vote that we take His words (all of them) to heart. But there is another question to be addressed here. Why would we be warned to watch out for false prophets unless there are real ones?

Being prophetic (aka moving in the prophetic) is not fortune telling. The Bible calls that “soothsaying,” and warns us against that too, even as far back as the Torah itself. Leviticus 20:6 The soul that turns to mediums or to soothsayers, prostituting himself with them, I will set My face against that soul and will cut him off from among his people.

Please understand what I’m saying here. We are warned against false prophets BECAUSE there are real ones. And how do we tell the difference? Right here, Yeshua tells us twice, “You will recognize them by their fruit.” Yeshua doesn’t say, “You will recognize them by their accuracy.” In several places the Bible lets us know that false prophets can and will be accurate.

Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen.

What does “good fruit” look like? Galatians 5:2-23 But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – against such things there is no law. We “grace filled” believers tend toward making excuses for a lack of fruit. However; we are warned in Scripture … Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

The saying goes, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. The Bible puts it this way. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, to keep away from every brother who behaves irresponsibly and not according to the tradition they received from us. But wait, there’s more … 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Keep company with those who follow Yeshua and you will become more like Him.

Finally, authority is very important. Yeshua was always being asked, “By whose authority are You ministering?” When a prophetic utterance is given, it must be judged. Never accept an unconfirmed word. This also goes all the way back to the Torah, testimony can only be established by a minimum of 2 witnesses. 2 Corinthians 15:1b By the testimony of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Let’s commit to be a community that watches out for false prophets.