God's Truth In Love

Fruit or Vegetable Series ~ Part Three – Misappropriation

In Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on October 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In the series introduction, we explored examples of misappropriation of something in order to create an inaccurate understanding, example, belief, façade, etc. To ones horror, this happens with the Holy Scriptures of God as well. People misuse or take Scripture passages out of context distorting their meaning, changing their meaning, or adding to [stretching] their meaning beyond original intent.

Now that said let me explain something about Scripture and the meanings of words or phrases in Scripture. Read this careful and do not take my comments here out of context.

Scripture, the Holy Bible, is the LITERAL Word of God. Within it, we find literal events with a spiritually figurative meaning. Meaning, it has spiritual application for us today even though the principles, guidelines, and events one is reading about happened and/or were written down so many years ago. Very often when you look up a word or phrase from the Bible in the Hebrew [OT] or even more often in the Greek [NT] Language, within the definition will be a notation that the word or phrase has both “literal” and “figurative” meaning, literal and figurative, not or figurative – this equals literal and spiritual application/meaning.

Keeping that in mind, we shall proceed.

“Fruit”- spiritual fruit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit involve the entirety of a person not a single aspect of their life, lifestyle, character, demeanor, etc. Therefore, when reading and study on the subject of “fruit” in the Scriptures one must examine the overall context of what is being taught.

The following two teachings Jesus taught about bearing fruit is a good example of how Scripture has been stretched by individuals in order to put too much or all the focus on one type of fruit. These particular Scriptures have more to do with lifestyle, service, and doctrinal fruit than they do trait fruit, as found in Galatians chapter five.

Please note underlining.

Matthew 7:15–21 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

False and True Teaching

Luke 6:43–45 [Gospels harmony]

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Luke 6:39–45 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind

Matt. 7:3–5, 16–18 [Gospels Harmony]

39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Though many individuals attempt to apply these two teaching of Jesus primarily to trait fruit which is listed in Galatians, these particular passages have more to do with lifestyle, service, and doctrinal fruit than they do trait fruit, as change in life direction, not simply change in character, is the primary focus of surrounding teachings.

Therefore, Jesus is instructing them to look at the “fruit” of those who will come in His Name claiming to be His Followers. They are false prophets if they are teaching another Jesus, strange doctrine or distorted doctrine that does not line up with the overall Truth of Scripture. Their fruit, their teaching, will be bad – a distortion of Scripture. This is ramped in the religious community today. Between the inclusion teaching, the motivational/positive thinking teaching, extremely distorted word of faith teaching, prosperity teaching, God manipulation teaching, etc. many, once true Believers have been lead into the spiritual ditch where spiritually they are starving to death and dying. People are starving because they are living off low-grade morsels of food instead of real spiritually nutritious food.

That said, a side note here. People are getting what they wanted. They had/have itching ears – as Scripture said they would – and they no longer desired the Truth of the Word of God they want/wanted to feel good so greedy religious leaders out of a love for money – as Scripture warned against a leader becoming – greedy religious leaders gave the people what they wanted. False teaching is a product of bad doctrinal fruit. Whereas, lack of a specific fruit of the Spirit does not disqualify a person for service or ministry the manifestation of the wrong fruit/works doctrinally in the form of false teaching can and should. We are to flee false teachers and teachings.

When people say they know Christ, yet they continue in their same pre-Christ lifestyle year after year and with no desire to serve the Lord Jesus in any capacity whatsoever they are displaying bad lifestyle and service fruit. In Acts 19:11-20 we see the people of Ephesus steeped in occultism, black magic, witchcraft, etc. turn to Jesus and immediately burn all their books [v.19] and begin to service the Lord.

A progressive change in lifestyle and priorities is evidence of good fruit and a true commitment to Christ. That said, please note some people will cling to one particular area of sin or selfish behavior for years before they completely release it to the Lord Jesus but if someone is clinging to all their past behavior and progressing spiritually almost none at all then there is a problem.

In the area of service, spiritual leaders should be warned against over investing in the above-described type of person. There responsibility before God is to see to it they invest their time wisely, in those who want to and show evidence of spiritual growth and change. Moreover, service is another area where all Believers should be bearing good fruit. Paul certainly desired to bear fruit.

Romans 1:13 (NKJV)

Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Both spiritual leaders and Believers should exhibit some form of good fruit. If a Believer claims to be a Believer but has zero interest in seeing the Kingdom of God grow in some manner, in some form, to some degree, then, again, something is wrong because they are exhibiting bad fruit.

This should bring a more balanced view to lifestyle, service, and doctrinal fruit versus trait fruit, which we will cover in future parts of this series.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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