October 31, 2021
Little Apple of Death
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 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. Not everyone 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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
We have a problem in the world today, it’s a problem that has been around for centuries and that’s the problem of people professing with their mouths what they don’t believe in their hearts.
For example, let’s say a wife that in her heart doesn’t really love her husband but when he professes his love to her by saying “I love you” she will in return reply to him “I love you too” and maybe in some small way, she believes that she really does, I can bet you that there will be a day when the truth of what is in her heart will be brought to bear and that which she has professed with her lips will no longer be believable because her actions will speak otherwise and her true feelings will become obvious.
The years of saying and doing the things that a woman who truly loves her husband does will fall away and the true feelings of her heart will stand in its place, this usually happens when the desire for someone different is greater than the charade she hides in her heart, or when severe adversity strikes like maybe illness or financial difficulties.
It happens when the profession of that love is no longer deemed by her to be in her best interest and therefore the profession of that love will cease.
And when that happens all of the things that she has done through the years that made the people around her believe that she truly loved her husband will be shown for what they were, lies.
This is what Jesus is saying in the opening scripture, that lip service and the actions that prop up that lip service will not be enough, eventually what is in your heart will be made visible and the truth will come out.
Now we may look at the part of this scripture that says “you will know them by their fruit” and it may seem like it is contradicting itself because if someone does the actions of a true prophet or follower, or in the case of my scenario the loving wife, isn’t that proof that you they are true followers and her a loving wife because we can “see” the fruit that they produced, in the scripture it says “did we not cast out demons in your name?” “Did we not do many wonderful things in your name?” and Jesus still rejects them?
In parts of southern Florida, the Caribbean, and south and Central America there is a tree called the Manchineel tree that produces a fruit that looks just like a crab apple but if eaten can be fatal, people that have taken a bite of this imposter fruit have had swelling, burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and chest, making it difficult to breathe and sometimes had internal bleeding. The Spanish conquistadores nick named this fruit “the little apple of death”. So, see not all fruit is as it seems.
With this in mind some people may question the scripture that says “be ye doers of the word and not hearers only” James 1:22 saying that they do the things that Jesus call us to do, they do for others, they give to charities, they go to church, but even in that scripture it goes on to warn “Deceiving your own selves”, and when we do the things Christ has called us to do but do them in with the wrong spirit or with the wrong motivation then we are deceiving ourselves.
2 Corinthians 9:7
As every man purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or out of compulsion; for God loveth the cheerful giver.
Are we doing what we are called to do with the right heart?
So, what does it all mean? Why did Jesus say He never knew those people, and how did they cast out demons if they weren’t true believers?
Let me answer the last question first.
Under whose authority are demons cast out, the person casting them out or Christ?
What about the faith of those seeking the casting out of the demon, does that come into play in any way?
Let’s look at the father in Mark 9:24 who asked Jesus to cast the demon out of his son Jesus asked him “Do you believe” and the man replied “I believe but help my unbelief” The father was saying that he did believe that Jesus could do it but he also knew that if there was any doubt in his heart, he wanted Jesus to help him to cast those doubts out of him as well.
Scripture said that Jesus didn’t do many miracles in his hometown because of their unbelief Matthew 13:58 so we know that not only is it with the authority of Christ that things happen but also the faith of those that ask.
When people do the things that we are called to do, as Christians, under whose authority are we doing them, and are we doing them in faith, or are we doing them to fulfill a purpose for ourselves?
When we love another, is it because of love or the love of what we get in return? When we do for others are we doing it for because we HAVE to, because if we want to be called a Christian that’s what is expected of us or do we do it because that’s what is truly in our heart to do?
When a husband truly loves a wife and vise, versa do they do the things they do to make the other happy in order to show them the love they have for the other or do they do it as a quid pro quo “you scratch my back I will scratch yours”
Because if we love others only so that we can receive love than is that really love, did Jesus say “Do unto others so they will do unto you” or did he say “do unto other as you would have others do unto you” see there is a difference, in one scenario something is being done so that you may receive, the other is doing so that the other will receive that which you would wish to receive, that’s why Jesus said “Love others as you love yourself” because whether we believe it or not we love ourselves greatly.
If we fail to allow God to change our heart because in our heart we cling to some selfish desire or prideful thing or belief, then in the Day of Judgment Jesus will look at us and dismiss us as ones he never knew.
When we follow Christ, when we call ourselves Christians, we are presenting our hearts to the Lord and when we present them, we better make sure that the treasures that we hold in them are the treasures that he would approve of and not cast away.
Yes, believe in the scripture of John 3:16, yes believe that Jesus came to save us from our sins, yes do the things that Jesus has instructed us to do, but above all else do them with the love of Christ in your heart, do them for the benefit of his church in your heart, do it with the compassion, forgiveness, and understanding that he has done them.
As a Christian, we must make sure that whatever it is that we seek to do we do it with the intention that what it is we are doing will in some way Glorify God.
If we go back to the opening scripture the opening line warns us to beware of false Prophets that are wolves in sheep’s clothing, but what we don’t understand is that sometimes we ourselves can be the false prophets in sheep’s clothing, because somewhere along the way our worship and our intensions became more about us and less about Christ. Somewhere along the way it became more about glorifying our legacy and less about our glorifying the cause of Christ.
Ask yourself this today, are you seeking to Glorify God, is the treasure in your heart what God treasures, are your actions those of a true follower or have you allowed self to become the focus of your intentions?
Could I tell from your social media page that you are a Christian, could I tell from the language you use that you are a Christian, could I tell from your home life that you are a Christian, could I tell from your prayer life that you are a Christian, if I had the power of God to see your true heart would I see that you are a Christian?
What kind of fruit are you bearing?