Christ is the light and knowledge that set us free

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (Matthew 7:15-20).

The fruit of the false prophet isn’t blatant, evil, black lies. The empty fruit of their lips is merely a lack of truth in what they teach. It seems to me that we’ve been looking for the wrong fruit in order to identify false leaders. Before I saw what this Scripture was saying, I thought I was to discern a false prophet by their visible, ugly fruit. The fact is it’s very easy to discern outright lies about God. It’s not the blatant or the conspicuous which indicates the fruit of the false prophets within the Church.

Why would we need discernment for something obvious? Discernment is needed for something more subtle — to pierce through and expose the abundance of words which sound spiritual but are void of the Gospel of Christ. We need to discern preaching in which the truth is mysteriously missing.

Laziness in the Church has become the real enemy of discernment. People get involved in false manifestations because they want a shortcut to freedom without taking the time to steadfastly continue in the Word of God.

We are being seduced into instant gratification of the flesh. We’re no longer living in a long-term covenant relationship with Christ.

Our marriage to Him is no longer a two-way relationship but a one-way, selfish convenience. We have been led away from the essence of the new covenant.

Our understanding of faith in God is being twisted into a "candyman" mentality. The sweet sensation of healing has become our goal instead of seeking to know the Healer. When we keep going in this direction, we open up to false signs and wonders because we remain caught in the sense realm instead of developing the faith of the inner man by feeding on the Word.

We’ve become lovers of self instead of lovers of God; therefore, we follow anyone who will fluff us up. But, if any preacher challenges us for more commitment, we scream "condemnation."

Our discernment needs to be developed beyond the realm of our feelings. True discernment comes through the knowledge of God and His Word. It does not come through soulish sensations. If we think discernment is based on our feelings, we will remain trapped in the flesh.