The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus’ words regarding false prophets/teachers. We are told in chapter 7 verses 16-20 that we will know them by their fruit. Bad trees cannot produce good fruit, and good trees cannot produce bad fruit.
In summary, the brief article points to three main tests:
1) What does this teacher say about Jesus?
- Do they confirm that Jesus is “the Christ”, and the “Son of the Living God” as Peter does in Matthew 15:16
2) Does this teacher preach the gospel?
- Do they correctly portray the message as described in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 regarding Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection?
3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord?
- Or do they exhibit non-Christlike attributes such as pride, greed, and rebellion mentioned in Jude 11?
“Only by being thoroughly familiar with the truth will we be able to recognize a counterfeit.”