‘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. . . ‘  (Matthew 7:15-16)

(Fame and fortune are not fruits of the Spirit of God!!)

Many people believe that if a person, who says they are a Christian, is rich and famous, that is the mark of God’s approval and blessing. While it is true that God may bless some people with wealth, riches and honor, the devil sometimes does the same.

‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’ (Matthew 4:8-9)

But Jesus repeatedly warned us of the effect that riches can have on us:

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matthew 6:24)

‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’

(Mark 10:25)

‘And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.’ (Mark 4:19)

King Solomon warned us too:

‘ . . . give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? . . . ‘ (Proverbs 30:8-9)

The devil knows the intoxicating effect of riches. Just as a drug dealer may give out free samples, knowing the person who samples may become addicted, so Satan also knows that money is often a snare. It is the bait that he has used to ensnare the souls of many men.

SPIRITUAL FRUITS are intangible things that result from either doing the will of God, or doing according to our own will.

‘I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5)

Good fruit is the result of the Holy Spirit living in us.

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance . . . ‘ (Galatians 5:22-23)

The fruit of living according to our own will and sinful nature are

‘ . . . Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like . . . ‘ (Galatians 5:19-21)

These are the fruits that people will produce. If a man calls himself a prophet, we will know whether or not he is a false prophet by the fruit that is manifest in his life. Which fruit has he produced: ‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance’ or ‘Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,’ etc.?

‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ (John 7:24)

‘And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.’ (Luke 16:14-15)

We must judge as God judges, according to His word, not according to what is esteemed by men.

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