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Summary: This is a study on the Sermon on the Mount. This is the 14th sermon in the series.

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Sermon on the Mount

Pt 14

Beware of False Prophets

Matthew 7:15-20

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. [NKJV]

OPENING REMARKS

I. Deception

No one likes to be deceived.

No one likes being taken advantage of.

No one likes being conned!

1. It does not matter whether it is our personal lives (family & friends), our public lives (work, politics, etc.), or our spiritual lives (religious beliefs).

2. Because we do not like to be deceived most of us will become knowledgeable of the many situations we may be involved in order that we may know what is going on.

3. However and unfortunately, this is not as true concerning our spiritual lives. When dealing with religious matters most of us are trusting individuals. We find it easy to trust those who speak on behalf of God. Our thoughts are: Surely, when someone speaks on the behalf of God – They Must Be Telling the Truth!

II. Unfortunately | Telling the Truth | that is not the case w/deceivers.

Beginning with

. Book of Genesis (Ch. 3 – The serpent was more cunning …)

. OT – Deuteronomy 13:1-5 [see below]; Isaiah 30:9-10; Jeremiah Chs. 5-23, etc.)

. NT era (Acts 20:28-31a [see below]; Romans 16:17-20; Galatians 1:6-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-14; 2 Peter 2:1-17 [see below]; Jude vv. 4-10 – called false prophets/teachers)

. Today (Jesus Seminar Group; Name It & Claim It; Liberal Denominations/Prominent Churches – denying the Word of God) theses present themselves as the messengers of God – yet their message has been found not to be totally truthful – just enough mixture of truth and error to sound plausible to the average hearer.

1. Moses warned against:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5

If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, [2] and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods--which you have not known--and let us serve them, [3] you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams … that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God … to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

2. Paul warned against:

Acts 20:28-31a

Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch[.]


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