5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 1 Timothy 1:5-11 (NASB) (Read verses 8-11 on the site)
Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post. What is the aim of the charge of a true discipler? It is to produce the good fruit of love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. That is the good fruit of a genuine prophet of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, our Lord Himself told us in His Sermon on the Mount how to discern whether a prophet was false or not.
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB)
First, we are to beware of false prophets. This is said in such a way by our Lord that He makes it clear that we will be able to know the difference between a false prophet and one who is a good prophet. The false prophets come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. This tells us that their appearance will be that of a proper shepherd. They will look the role. They will probably be dynamic and well spoken. However, our Lord says that even so, inwardly they are ravenous wolves. How are we to discern their disingenuousness? He tells us that we will recognize them by their fruits. Good and proper prophets of the Word of God bear good fruit, but these false prophets bear bad fruit. What does this mean? Look again at 1 Timothy 1:5-11 (above)….