Bible Ballistics: The Proof Is In? Or Is It Out? Vol. 5 #25

What does proof have to do with our Christian life? We are called throughout the scripture to live in a way that our faith is a testimony to the world. Jesus told us himself that those who are his will be evident by their ‘character’. Although he compares it to fruit, Jesus is talking about ‘character’ or ’nature’.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”   Matthew 7:15-23

A lengthy passage, but one well worth our attention. Let’s consider the message together:

Beware of “false prophets”—

Those who say “baa baa” but in truth are wolves—

They can be recognized by their fruit—

 A tree always produces based on it’s nature—

 There are ‘evil’ trees and ‘good’ trees—

 An evil tree is ‘evil’ by it’s ‘nature’

A good tree is good by ‘nature’—

Those who are Christ’s have a ‘new nature’:

Therefore

if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Galatians 6:14-15

God saves us where we are but HE doesn’t leave us there! When we are ‘born again’ by God’s Spirit (see John 1:10-14), we receive the Holy Spirit of God–who then dwells within us—the New Covenant that Christ purchased at Calvary, consummated at His resurrection, and sent at Pentecost.

Back to Matthew 7, Jesus continues by telling us that there are many who ‘claim’ to know Him, serve Him and represent Him, yet Jesus warns us that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” really belongs to Him. He also tells us that some of them won’t be revealed until the judgment day. But we are to try the spirits and the people who claim to know Jesus and speak for and with HIS Spirit, as John tells us.

1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit,

but try the spirits whether they are of God:

because many false prophets are gone out

into the world.

How are we to do that? By following Paul’s directions in 2 Timothy:

Study

to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman

that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings:

for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

                                           2 Timothy 2:15-16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect,

thoroughly furnished

unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We must study God’s Word to know how to be what God wants us to be.   To ‘rightly’ divide the Word of God—in contrast to those who ‘wrongly’ divide God’s Word—the false teachers and preacher/prophets. We must study the Word to avoid being misled by the ‘false prophets’. There have always been false teachers, there still are and there will be until Jesus comes to rule and reign on this earth. Are you standing? Are you falling for the false? Are you able to recognize the false because you know the truth? The only way that we can recognize the false is to truly KNOW the real thing. We must yield ourselves to God and let him work HIS work in our hearts and lives—to let the proof of His presence be displayed to the world around us; whether in season or out of season.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service

And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.

For I say,

through the grace given unto me,

to every man that is among you,

not to think of himself more highly

than he ought to think;

but to think soberly,

according as God

hath dealt to every man

the measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3

God desires all of me. He will conform each of us to His image, if and when we really present ourselves to Him continually, to do HIS work within and through us. Then our lives willprove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” to the world!!! Then we can:

Let your light so shine before men,

that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

So, what is the proof? Is it in the “pudding”(originally, the proof of the pudding is in the eating)? Is proof out of style? NO!!! The proof is our reflection of the light within us. And if the light isn’t within, there will be no reflection. So, what will we do? I pray that you will commit with me to be faithful witnesses for our Lord. If you don’t know Him, call on Him. If you do know Him, then commit to be faithful and to take the charge that Paul gives to Timothy and to us:

I charge thee therefore before God,

and the Lord Jesus Christ,

who shall judge the quick and the dead

at his appearing and his kingdom;

Preach the word;

be instant in season,

out of season;

reprove,

rebuke,

exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;

but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,

having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,

and shall be turned unto fables.

But watch thou in all things,

endure afflictions,

do the work of an evangelist,

make full proof of thy ministry.” 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Speak God’s truth–whether they listen or not! Preach (share the Gospel) in season and out! We are to be the proof of God’s power at work in HIS own. What does your life prove to the world? To your family? To your other loved ones? God knows—and He’ll tell you if you’ll but ask Him. (See Mt. 7:7-8)