They Are Known By Their Fruit
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Mat 3:10
In this verse John begins the proclamation of judgment, and the call to repentance, and the coming Messiah. He begins the work, and paves the way by laying bare the hearts of man. The commentary below opens this verse for us:
"Laying the axe at the root of a tree is intended to denote that the tree is to be cut down. It was not merely to be trimmed, or to be cut about the limbs, but the very tree itself was to be struck. That is, a searching, trying kind of preaching has been commenced. A kingdom of justice is to be set up. Principles and conduct are to be investigated. No art, no dissimulation, will be successful: People are to be tried by their lives, not by birth or profession. They who are not found to bear this test are to be rejected. The very root shall feel the blow, and the fruitless tree shall fall. This is a beautiful and very striking figure of speech, and a very direct threatening of future wrath. John regarded them as making a fair and promising profession, as trees in blossom do. But he told them, also, that they should bear fruit as well as flowers. Their professions of repentance were not enough. They should show, by a holy life, that their profession was genuine." Albert Barnes
The Axe Lying At the Root
What is Meant by This
I. The kind of fruit which God requires from us-“good fruit.”
II. The means which God employs to render us productive of this kind of fruit, and which show how reasonable it is that He should expect it from us.
1. God has endowed you with a capacity to produce this kind of fruit.
2. In order to enable you to bring forth good fruit, God has supplied you with the gospel of His Son, which contains the means, motives, and influences of fruitfulness.
3. God has visited you with various dispensations of providence, and with various convictions of conscience.
III. The continued unfruitfulness of some persons, notwithstanding all the means which the God of mercy has employed.
1. Some of these unfruitful persons are sensual and profane.
2. Some are intellectual, moral, and amiable. These can be the pillars of society-always doing good in the community, well-liked; but uncommitted in real faith in Christ, when tested, they will deny Jesus to keep their "good name" to those they want to impress.
3. Some are professors of the gospel. These are the false teachers, and Pharisees, Jesus called them white-washed tombs.
IV. The axe which is lying at the root of such unfruitful persons. Many get the mistaken idea that because long spans of time go on, with no judgment-that it never will happen. But, Johns meaning to this statement was really this:
1. The axe which is lying at your root reminds you of the patience and long-suffering of God.
2. It reminds you of the critical circumstances in which you are placed.
3. It has sometimes admonished you of its being there.
V. The awful condition to which such unfruitful persons are doomed.
1. The nature of this condition is indescribably terrible: “He is hewn down.” The certainty that this condition will be incurred: “He is hewn,” etc. (J. Alexander.)
A fruitless fig-tree was afterward made by our Lord the representative of the whole Jewish nation (Luk_13:6), but here John declares a universal law. What does not bear good fruit shall finally be destroyed.
Cast into the fire. When the tree is not fruitful, or bears useless fruit, it is fit for nothing but to be burned.
Now, moving on further, we get more insight into this verse, as Jesus expands on it.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them. Mat 7:16-20
In the Sermon On the Mount, Jesus speaks of the analogy between the trees fruit, in the true state of false teachers, but these verses also define the life of somebody claiming to be a Christian. We can break his words down to get deeper understanding.
Points brought out in the verses above:
The fact asserted in this verse is, that a tree is known, not by its leaves, or bark, or form, but by its fruit. The application to the argument is this: “You are to judge of man’s being in league with Satan by his works. If my doctrines and works be properly the works of Satan, then I am corrupt; if not, then your charge is blasphemy. So, on the other hand, if, notwithstanding your professions, your works are the works of the devil, and your doctrines are such as he would teach, it would prove respecting you that which you charge on me.” In this indirect but powerful manner he advances to the charge against them, which he urges in the following verses.
The works will resemble the heart: nothing good can proceed from an evil spirit; no good fruit can proceed from a corrupt heart. Before the heart of man can produce any good, it must be renewed and influenced by the Spirit of God.
These corresponding verses sum up the teachings of Jesus on good an bad fruit; what they are, and what will happen to them.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Whatever we may face in life, Jesus has been there before us. He understands and knows what we deal with, He's endured every kind of suffering and temptation, and has won over every attack of the devil and has won. He will see us through to victory, we need to follow in His steps.
A Message of Wisdom and Encouragement for God's People
The days we are living in are the most perilous in history. People are losing hope, some have gone through so much, they've ended their own lives, other's are going through great tribulations and persecutions, not knowing what to do. The last three years, has brought untold suffering to many. The message from the bishop in the video below, has much wisdom, and answers that make sense for us, and much encouragement. You may find help, and be blessed by what he has to say.
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The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: