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Be a Fruit Inspector!
In this command, we are told that we can recognize false prophets by their fruits, but what should we be looking for? First, a fruit inspector must determine if a message is true by comparing it to the standard of God’s Word. The Bereans were expert fruit inspectors because they searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things that the Apostle Paul taught were actually true. (See Acts 17:10–11.)
Another factor we should look for is the result of the teaching in the life of the one giving it and in the lives of those following it. Peter explains that false teachers “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed . . . . Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls” (II Peter 2:10, 14).