- Matthew 7:15-20
Matthew 7:15 - 20 (KJV)
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
- There are three Greek words translated “beware,” all of which stress watchfulness and potential danger. In a world under the control of Satan, there are many of his devices that can deceive and undermine our faith.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
- Matthew 7 warns us against false prophets who appear to be true prophets (or teachers, or pastors) but whose apparent spiritual teachings are undermine biblical truth. John warns that “many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1), and Jesus said they “shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11).
Jesus also warned that His followers should “beware of...the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:12). These groups operate in hypocrisy, legalism and overall skepticism of God’s Word. They distort true biblical faith. As true believers, we are to be like the be like the Bereans. They were more noble-minded. Acts 17:11
Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
- Finally, Peter says, “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17). Peter is referring to those Christians who have distorted the Scriptures in order to seek be accepted by current world viewpoints. (2 Peter 3:3-6, 16).