In Matthew 24 a warning from Jesus cautions that we need to be aware of the fact that there will be false prophets in the last days; even false Christs:
"If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ" or, "He is there", do not believe it; for false Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible. There; I have forewarned you. If, then, they say to you, "Look, he is in the desert", do not go there; "Look, he is in some hiding place", do not believe it; because the coming of the son of Man will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing far into the west." (Mat. 24:23-27).
Jesus ended this warning with the observation that we will often find these false prophets within the body of the Church itself, hiding, like evil pharisees behind a cloak of respectability and often wrapped in ecclesiastical garments.
"Wherever the body is, there also will the vultures gather." (Mat.24:28).
The "body" Jesus was referring to was His own the 'Body of Christ'. The Old Testament made this same statement another way: "Where goods abound, parasites abound." (Ecc.5:10). The Body of Christ is the 'goods', the vultures are the parasites. We will always find them together so caution is a constant.
Since there are those who will try to make null and void the word of God for the sake of their traditions, we must always listen to what we are hearing. Especially the red flags. Murder, hatred, war, greed, adultry, fornication, perjury, theft, slander, predjudice, fighting, hypocrisy, faithlessness, wicked intentions, etc. are all things that come from the heart and, according to Christ, are the evils that make a man unclean.
The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and, since they come from the heart, they reveal the inner spirit that gave them birth. That is why Jesus said:
"Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits. (Mat.7:15-20).
Paul said that the best way we have to escape the influence of errant teachers is to "Keep to what is written." (1 Cor.4:6). This means, 'stick to the red letters'. As long as what Jesus taught in the beginning (the four Gospels of the New Testament) is alive in us, no false prophet, however powerful, can mislead us.
What matters most to God is that we be humble and holy in all things.
"'With what gifts shall I come into the Lord's presence and bow down before God on high? Shall I come with holocausts, with calves one year old? Will he be pleased with rams by the thousand, with libations of oil in torrents? Must I give my first-born for what I have done wrong, the fruit of my body for my own sin?''What is good has been explained to you, man; this is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:6-8).
"It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord', who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mat.7:21).
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