Tag Archives: obedience

Homily: False Prophets

sheep-wolf-shadowMatthew 7:15-2315 Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit. 21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’”

Thoughts on Today’s Homily
False prophets:

  1. False prophets exist
  2. False prophets are disguised as followers of Christ (sheep OUTWARDLY)
  3. False prophets are vicious, ferocious wolves (INWARDLY) that mislead, misguide (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Recognizing false prophets:

  1. We recognize false prophets by their fruit
  2. Outward actions reveal the inward reality
  3. Good fruit = SHEEP
  4. Bad fruit = WOLVES

False prophets will face judgment (cut down thrown into the fire) and will be fully exposed for what they are before the judgment seat of Christ (19). From this premise of judging false prophets by their fruit, Jesus extends this line of thinking to those in general: despite the miraculous acts done in the NAME of Christ (i.e.  prophecy, exorcism, miracles), one’s who do not do the will of the Father (importance of loving obedience) do not KNOW Christ and will be cast away as lawbreakers.

A Vision of Jesus

“I, John, your brother and the one who shares with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying: ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches– to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.’ I turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, and when I did so, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt around his chest. His head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His face shone like the sun shining at full strength. When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!'” (Revelation 1:9-18)

Son of Man
Son of Man

I recently read Revelation and was struck by the responses of John: the One whom he had followed for three years, who was referenced as the “disciple Jesus loved” (John 13:25), who saw the glory of God in Christ on a mountain (Luke 9:28-36), who was entrusted with the care of Mary at the crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:25-27), who saw and recognized the resurrected Jesus (John 21:1-8), who proclaimed the risen Christ as a witness (1 John 1:1-3), who endured persecution/suffering for Christ (Revelation 1:9)…

When faced with the One whom he had followed, loved, proclaimed, and suffered for, his response was to fall down at the feet of Christ as though he was dead. Undeniable, unrestrainable fear coursed through his body, gripping him. John knew Jesus; he’d slept in the same homes, walked the same roads, fished in the same boats, was especially loved by Jesus, yet, when in the presence of the glorified Christ, he fell down in fear; what majesty, power, glory… The Son of Man responded with a revelation of his identity and the instructions, “Do not be afraid”.

At the end of the book of Revelation, John has a similar response to the angel who had shown him all the things written in the book (Revelation 22:8-9). He threw himself down at the feet of the angel to worship. How misdirected, misconstrued, or so it would seem. After meditating on this response, and processing through the amazing revelatory visions John had be shown by this angel, it would seem a natural response. The angel, however, responded to John, “Do not do this! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. Worship God!”

May we grasp the whole nature of our God and Saviour and respond appropriately in worship and obedience…