I’ve had numerous brethren tell me that the “by their fruits” standard of Matthew 7:20 is not to be applied today. That’s a classic example of a right divider degenerating into a WRONG divider. The “by their fruits” principle of Matthew 7:20 is not only true in Matthew AND in the church age; it’s true ALL THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD! Please observe . . .
Matthew 7:18-20: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.”
Genesis 1:11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding SEED, and the FRUIT tree yielding FRUIT after his kind, whose SEED is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
Proverbs 12:12: “The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the ROOT of the righteous yieldeth FRUIT.”
Isaiah 27:6: “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take ROOT: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with FRUIT.”
Matthew 3:7-10: ““But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore FRUITS MEET FOR REPENTANCE: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth GOOD FRUIT is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
Mark 4:7-8: “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded NO FRUIT. And other fell on GOOD GROUND, and DID YIELD FRUIT that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”
Luke 13:6-9: “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and SOUGHT FRUIT thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come SEEKING FRUIT on this fig tree, and find none: CUT IT DOWN; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it BEAR FRUIT, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt CUT IT DOWN.”
Acts 26:19-20: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.”
II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”
Galatians 5:22-24: “But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. FOR we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Colossians 1:3-6: ““We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and BRINGETH FORTH FRUIT, as it doth ALSO IN YOU, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and knew the grace of God in truth.”
I Thesalonians 1:2-3, 9: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITH, and LABOUR OF LOVE, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father . . . ye turned to God FROM IDOLS TO SERVE the living and true God.”
Titus 1:16: “They PROFESS that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE.”
It’s really not that hard, if you’ll just stick with the Book. SEED produces FRUIT. If you’ve been born of God’s SEED (I Pet. 1:23), you will produce God’s FRUIT. Simple. Leave it to the fundamental brethren to chop the principle to pieces and make the whole thing more confusing than a Chinese fire drill.
HOW DEEP THE QUAGMIRE??
William Andrew Dillard
The quagmire of world problems deepens and thickens. Imbalance of international trade clamors for a world currency to prevent one country cheating on another through currency manipulation. Political unrest and distress of nations grows in a continuing web of complications. Religious embracement of humanism, and systematic rejection of true Christianity increases with tremendous speed. Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britian during WWII spoke of world problems as he neared the end of his active career, “Our problems are beyond us.” It is reported that Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary of the United Nations, said, “I see no hope for permanent world peace. We have tried so hard, and we have failed so miserably.” So where is it all to end? What is next? Someone must have the answer to those problems that are said to be beyond us. Truly, someone will, at least in appearance.
Often, the future is most accurately predicted by consulting the past. A good place to look at this point is the book of Daniel. As that ancient man of God was shown in symbols the unfolding of the empires of the world and the scope of the ages, he viewed great and terrible beasts arising out of the sea. He saw a lion, depicting Babylon, the first, great world empire; a bear, depicting the Medo-Persian empire; then he was shown a leopard with wings, depicting the Grecian empire. Next he saw a diverse type of beast that depicted the Roman empire. These were also verified in the image of a man with head of gold, chest of silver, thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of a mixture of iron and clay, depicting the weakness of latter day governments. The common denominator of the beasts (a prophetic term for government) is that they arose out of the sea (a prophetic term for the masses of humanity).
Satan, the god of this world influences the godless minds of men to manipulate governments, economics, and religion, the great powers that shape their history, to bring the world to a quagmire so deep, so thick, that his final move at global domination will produce the “promising” Antichrist. That son of perdition will be welcomed by the masses of humanity, and installed in power. What follows will be the darkest hour for men on earth. His solutions will be welcomed initially, then when well entrenched in power, all hell will break loose. Remember he is called Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek. In English those names mean “the destroyer, havoc maker.” Global destruction is his delight, and such is the apex of his career.
If our problems were beyond us in the days of Churchill, how much farther are they beyond us now! Surely, the quagmire thickens. I would not want to be on this globe without being a Christian. But, all this does not bring disillusionment or fear to the knowledgeable Believer no, not al all. This simply means eternal joy is just ahead for those who know the Lord Jesus Christ. We can join the beloved apostle John, writer of Revelation, in saying, “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!”
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