and My Father is the vinedresser.”
John 15: 1
If Jesus said that He is the True Vine, then it means that there are false vines to which you can become attached. How can you tell when someone is a false vine?
“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?” – Matthew 7: 15, 16
- Their motives are to satisfy themselves rather than serving the people of God. Listen carefully to the words of the preacher. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
“…there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.” – 2 Peter 2: 1-3
- Do they claim to be the only ones to have a certain revelation that you will miss out on if you don’t buy their book or cd, or support their ministry?
- Do they promise that you will be blessed, or your problems will be prayed for and solved….once you send them a “love offering” of no less than $xyz.
- Do they insist that people come to the altar for healing or a prophesy with an offering in their hand? Often they determine what the offering amount is, and keep lowering it until they ensure that everyone has given. The ones who have the least to give usually get a “God bless you” while the ones who gave thousands of dollars are attended to more.
- Do they focus on getting their book or cd on the bestseller list?
“They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.” – 2 Peter 2: 19
- Humility is a key characteristic of any true teacher.
- Beware of those who boast about what material possessions they have acquired. God is not impressed with planes, boats, luxury cars and estates.
- Do you see a lot of worldly influence in the ministry?
Whenever you read or listen to a messenger who claims to come from God, ask the Holy Spirit to show you if that person is connected to the True Vine or if they themselves are a weed.