For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. Luke 6:43-44
I recently saw on facebook where a Christian friend of mine posted a quote from T D Jakes. It takes very little research or discernment to know that T D Jakes is not theologically sound. He is a "Jesus-only" Pentacostal. Yet, this friend of mine sees him as worthy of quoting. I guess she found a fig among the thorns.
I have another Christian friend, a Baptist preacher, who too often posts quotes from Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey, who believes financial peace comes from wealth. A man with a 13,000 square foot house with an 18 head shower. He may not be a prosperity preacher of the likes of Kenneth Copeland, but his preoccupation with the gathering of wealth is most unGodly. Dave Ramsey also recently stated he has no moral objection to gambling. He thinks it is unwise, but not sin. Through his subtlty, he leads many astray.
So, I must ask, why do Christians insist on gathering figs from among the thorns. Have we not learned that a corrupt tree can not bring forth good fruit?
"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" James 3:11
Certainly, much of Ramsey's advise is good and wise, but the fruit of following this man will always be corrupt. Eight ounces of fresh apple juice and one ounce of poison is still 100% poison.
I have heard Christians, even pastors, claim that they can "eat the meat and spit out the bones." But that is not spiritual discernment. Spiritual discernment says that sooner or later, you might just choke on a bone.
The apostle, Paul, instructed the Christians in Rome, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Romans 16:17,18
If a man holds a doctrine contrary to the truth of the Bible, we are not to eat their meat and spit out the bones, we are to mark and avoid them.
Sadly, we as Christians are often too quick to overlook error. We are forgiving and hope the best of everyone. We will make excuses for false teachers rather than reproving them. We will look at the good someone does and overlook the bad. We see the compassion of a Mother Teresa ignore the false doctrine she helped to spread. We hear fo someone getting saved at a Billy Graham meeting and ignore that he has sent thousands of supposed new converts back into the hands of the Roman apostate church.
We need to heed Paul's instruction. We need to mark and avoid the Dave Ramseys, T D Jakes, Kenneth Copelands, and other false teachers. "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
Many of you will read this article and feel that I am being judgemental and self-righteous. "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." 1 Corinthians 2:15. I will stand with Paul, Jesus, and the Bible in declaring that we cannot gather figs from thorns.
That "sweet water" you drink from the bitter well will have terrible consequences. You might spit out the bones of the Devil's stew, but will your children choke on those very bones? What fellowship hath the Lord's church with Belial?
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." 2 Peter 2:1-3
Let us seek out and follow after truth, not decieving and decieved men.
Dennis Regling is an evangelist and author. He is available for revival meetings and he and his wife also do children's ministry programs. He places no fees on ministry.
For more info, go to Piedmont Christian Ministries or Win The Children