Summary: If the enemy is going to decieve us he will more than likely do it through a false prophet.
We have come today to the final sermon in our parables from Nature. Our Text for today is found in Matthew 7:15-20
“Watch out for 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 thorn bushes 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.”
In this parable we see Jesus using illustrations from nature in order to help us to recognize a false prophet.
We have probably all seen road signs warning us to watch out for falling rocks or to watch out for deer crossing the road. These road signs are put there to warn us of the dangers that are around us.
Jesus begins this parable by putting up a road sign, a road sign that is telling us to watch out for False Prophets.
Here is why it is so important to watch out for false prophets.
If the Enemy is going to deceive you and me He is more than likely going to do it through means of a false prophet. He is going to deceive us through someone who claims to speak for God but really isn’t.
Before we go any further can we have 100% agreement on this;
If the Enemy is going to deceive you and me He is more than likely going to do it through means of a false prophet.
1. Definition of a false prophet
In Hebrews 1:1-2 we are told God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.
In the past God spoke to His people through prophets like Abraham, Moses, Samuel ,Elijah, Isaiah, David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and in the last days He has spoken to us through the greatest prophet of all; Jesus!
And the enemy always tries to duplicate what God does
A false prophet is someone who claims to speak for God but really isn’t.
Notice the first thing Jesus says about these false prophets
He says “Watch out for false prophets who come to you…”
I’m sure no one here would go looking for false prophets. But the reality is according to Jesus; false prophets go looking for us.
We don’t have to come to them- They come to us!
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
They come to you! They know where you live.
Now in the time of Jesus False Prophets would come to someone in person.
They would physically show up at their home or place of work or even their place of worship
But in our day False prophets have easier ways through which they come to us
They can come to us through the different media outlets
Radio, TV, Music, Movies, Internet sites…newspapers, magazines…
False prophets can come to us through the educational system, the legal system, the political system.
Watch out for false prophets because they are coming for you!
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
The second thing that Jesus says about false prophets is that they come to you in disguise.
They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are
They come to you not just in any disguise. They come to you in the perfect disguise.
What is the perfect disguise? The perfect disguise is one that never looks like a disguise. The perfect disguise is one where you can’t tell the fake from the real.
The better the disguise the better chance they have of deceiving you and me.
Now Jesus tells us in advance what they disguise themselves to look like
They come to you in sheep’s clothing
They have disguised themselves to look like someone who has come to help you, someone who comes pretending to be kind and gentle.
..But inwardly they are ravenous wolves
So they are not really about coming and helping you. Instead they are all about coming and hurting you.
Notice Jesus compares false prophets to thorn bushes and thistles.
Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles
In what circumstances do thorn bushes and thistles hurt us?