THE FALSE FRUIT FROM WOLVES IN SHEEP'S
JANUARY 16, 2011, am
Matthew 16:21-28 Complete
Apostles' Bible (21) From that time Jesus began to show to
His disciples that He must go off to Jerusalem, and suffer many things
from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to
be raised the third day. (22) And taking Him aside, Peter
began to rebuke Him, saying, "God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall
by no means happen to You!" (23) But He turned and said to
Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block unto Me,
because you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of
men." (24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone
desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life
shall lose it, but whoever loses his life on account of Me shall find
it. (26) For what is a man profited if he gains the whole
world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give as an exchange
for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man is going to come in
the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will render to
each according to his works. (28) Assuredly I say to you,
there are some standing here who will by no means taste death till they
see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
MKJV Were they ashamed when they had done an abomination? No,
they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush; therefore they
shall fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they
shall be cast down, says Jehovah. (13) I will utterly
consume them, says Jehovah; there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor
figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I
have given them, those who pass over them.
Many see the grave warning Jesus gave to us to make sure we deny
ourselves and take up our crosses and BE SHEEP, or else he will say I
NEVER KNEW YOU, and not allow us to enter the KINGDOM.
- So people
have called me from Washington State and talked to me on the phone here
and in homes really wanting to know what it means to TAKE UP OUR CROSS
AND DENY OURSELVES.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples”—By this we know
that the following words which the Lord Jesus utters are spoken to His
disciples and not to outsiders. If disciples, then they are saved ones.
Let us therefore keep in mind that the words which follow are directed
at saved saints, not unsaved sinners.
“If any man
would come after me”—That is, if any man among the saved
would follow the Lord. The man is a saved disciple who wishes
especially to follow the Lord. “Follow me” gives the clue
to the conditions which are thereafter set forth.
deny himself”—Denying the self means disregarding
one’s self or renouncing one’s privileges. To deny oneself
denotes a setting aside of the self in seeking the mind of God, so that
in all things he may not follow his own mind nor be self-centered. Only
such kind of people can follow the Lord. This is of course
self-evident, for how can anyone follow the Lord if he follows after
“And take up
his cross, and follow me”—This is even deeper than denying
the self. For self-denying is only the disregarding of self whereas
taking up the cross is obeying God. To take up the cross means to
accept whatever God has decided for the person and to be willing to
suffer according to the will of God. By denying self and taking up the
cross we may truly follow the Lord.
(From the book THE SALVATION OF THE
SOUL, by Watchman Nee.)
So you can be saved and NOT FOLLOW THE LORD.
- Is that not what
we have been preaching about?
- Taking up the
cross is more than self denial.
- It is suffering
for things the will of God leads into.
- V. 25 - The
Greek for LOSING “LIFE” is LOSING SOUL.
Matt 16 (25) For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it,
but whoever loses his life on account of Me shall find it.
LOSING HIS LIFE is literally LOSING HIS SOUL FOR JESUS’ SAKE.
- Refusing to lose
our lives for his sake is refusing to lose our souls.
- What do we think
of when we say LOSE YOUR SOUL?
- We think of
going to hell or the lake of fire.
- That is not the
case here at all.
- LOSING YOUR SOUL
is what people are unwilling to do and are therefore unwilling to serve
- It is not
willing to suffer SOME KIND OF LOSS for the will of God to occur.
Some ministries may be life threatening.
1 Corinthians 15:30-32
Complete Apostles' Bible (30) And why are we also in danger
every hour? (31) I affirm, by my boasting in you which I
have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (32) If, in the
manner of men, I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what is the benefit to
me? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we
Paul realized he could die every day he got up to preach, so he said he
- That was threat
of physical death he was talking about.
- Saving your soul
(LIFE) instead of denying your soul (LIFE) is refusing to suffer for
the will of God.
- God said
we’d eventually lose our souls eternally.
- We will lose
whatever we delight in for good, one day.
- It is losing the
pleasures that our soul enjoys.
- Let go of the
world and all it can satisfy you with, and God will later give you such
overwhelming pleasure beyond what you ever lost.
- So refusing to
lose our souls means to refuse to let go of all that the world gives us
in desires and pleasures.
Most people think of LOSING THEIR SOULS to mean going to hell.
- Read it like
that and see the error:
Matthew 16:25 Complete
Apostles' Bible (25) For whoever desires to save his life
shall go to hell, but whoever GOES TO HELL on account of Me shall find
It makes no sense.
- God does not
want us to go to hell on his account in order to be saved!
- LOSING THE SOUL
has to mean something else.
- It is talking
about LOSING SELF by the denying yourself PLEASURES that you get from
the world and all its sin.
- We know that WE
MIGHT CHOOSE PLEASURE instead of God’s will, and SOOTHE OUR
SOULS, by sitting home and satisfying your flesh with something else
instead of CHURCH.
- Or doing what
Peter did when Jesus was incarcerated and taken into the high
priest’s palace by denying he ever knew Jesus and cursing when a
little girl said he was one of the disciples.
You can gain the whole world (all its pleasures it has to give) and
lose your soul later…. Lose ALL that gave you pleasure.
Jesus spoke of COMING IN HIS KINGDOM when he finished speaking about
losing your soul.
Matt 16 (27) For the
Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels,
and then He will render to each according to his works.
John 15:1-5 Complete
Apostles' Bible (1) "I am the true vine, and My Father is
the vinedresser. (2) Every branch in Me which does not bear
fruit He takes away; and every branch which bears fruit He prunes, so
that it may bear more fruit. (3) You are already clean
because of the word which I have spoken to you. (4) Abide
in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit on its own,
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in
Me. (5) I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides
in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do
Notice that Jesus says HE IS THE TRUE VINE.
- This implies a
false on exists.
- Like the tree of
life and its counterfeit competition, the tree of the knowledge of good
- And the sense of
HUMILITY is noted.
- Without Him we
can do nothing.
This is so important.
- This is where
self denial comes into play.
- People wonder
what self denial is and what is taking up their crosses.
SELF is the element satan appealed to way back in the Garden.
Genesis 3:1-6 MKJV
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which
Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Is it so that God has
said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2)
And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees
of the garden. (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in
the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it,
neither shall you touch it, lest you die. (4) And the
serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, (5)
for God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be
opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil. (6)
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was
pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took
of its fruit, and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he
Satan knows that we are nothing without God.
- Imagine what God
would do through mankind if Adam ate the fruit of LIFE!
- Satan shuddered
at the thought.
- He had to plug
man up with something else to ensure God not indwell Adam.
- The fruit of
Life would somehow cause the LIFE OF GOD TO DWELL IN ADAM.
- And God would
empower man to dominate the world with the calling God gave to Him.
Since we are nothing without God, then the devil’s ploy to get us
to be like gods ourselves would ensure we REMAIN NOTHING!
- God will be
unable to indwell us and live through us in the manner in which he
wants to if SELF is taking HIS PLACE.
denying self is going to remove the largest hindering factor of
God’s will being accomplished through us.
The devil tries anything he can to keep SELF a means of hindrance
against God’s will, beyond just this tact he used in the
forbidden fruit in Adam’s day.
- If we can get so
focused on ourselves, we will take up all the resources with which we
can seek God and allow His Spirit to work through us that we will end
up powerless people.
- So “Look
out for number one” becomes a mantra for mankind.
- The devil will
send persecution in order to take our attention away from God focus.
- Threatening self
is the most successful means of distracting us from the will of God.
- Satan appealed
to man’s SELF in the Garden to stop him from getting God’s
- And he continues
to appeal to our SELF in distracting us today by threatening that SELF.
- Every time he
sees you start to get hold of God, he will send persecutions and attack
- God knows this.
- That is the
reason Jesus told us to take our crosses.
- Deny the very
thing satan tries to get you to focus upon, and his persecutions cannot
Matthew 7:12-21 Complete
Apostles' Bible (12) Therefore, whatever you want men to do
to you, thus also you do to them, for this is the Law and the
Prophets. (13) "Enter in through the narrow gate; because
wide is the gate, and broad is the way which leads to destruction, and
many are those who enter in through it. (14) How narrow the
gate, and confined the way which leads to life, and there are few who
find it! (15) "But 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 grape
clusters from thorns, or figs from thistles? (17) Thus
every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces evil
fruit. (18) A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can
a rotten tree produce good fruit. (19) Every tree not
producing good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
(20) Consequently, by their fruits you shall know them.
(21) "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in
Notice the WAY OF LIFE and DEATH – like two trees…
Cherubims and flaming sword guarded the Way of the tree of Life.
- So if the
forbidden tree caused death, than there is a WAY OF THE TREE OF DEATH.
- A WAY LEADS TO
- FIGS and
- Fig tree in
Garden because Adam clothed self with fig leaves.
- THORNS were part
of the curse when Adam sinned.
Satan knows that appealing to your SELF is what so successfully worked
when he tempted mankind and saw us thrown out of the Garden.
- Satan wants you
OUT OF THE KINGDOM, TOO.
- He knows that IN
THE KINGDOM YOU ARE KINGS.
- HIS WOLVES in
sheep’s clothing are like ministers offering a COUNTERFEIT
MESSAGE with FALSE FRUIT.
- Satan knows
religion can be very SELF FOCUSED and SELF CENTRED, and make people
HOLIER THAN THOU so that they are abusing the bible to exalt themselves
and disallow God from using them.
Jesus is actually saying we cannot be the KINGS that satan is
threatened by and that can destroy satan, if we do not deny self.
- He knows that
satan will appeal to that self to STOP us from getting into this place
- He said the only
way we are going to get into the place where we can wreak havoc on the
devil’s kingdom is to deny the very thing the devil will appeal
to when he sees you walking towards KINGDOM ENTRANCE.
- It is going to
take more than calling Jesus LORD.
- You can call Him
Lord and still be so full of self that the devil can easily distract
you from your mandate.
- You can eve
perform miracles in your name.
- But the KINGDOM
is more than a place of miracles.
- IT IS A PLACE
WHERE PEOPLE ARE POWERFULLY BEING INDWELT BY GOD SO AS TO DESTROY THE
WORKS OF THE DEVIL.
Satan does not mind you having a few fireworks of miracles and never
really stomp the devil’s kingdom down.
- We actually
enhance the devil’s kingdom, because it is a spirit of exalting
self to be like God!
In our attempts to see SELF elevated, the devil knows that we will
COVER UP FAULTS AND SINS.
- It’s a
wicked self pride that does not allow us to ADMIT wrong, and when we
refuse to admit wrong, how can we get right with God?
- And sin hinders
God from working in our lives.
King Saul become so possessed of SELF that when God was actually using
David who was humble and knew he needed God, Saul became jealous.
- Rather than
forget about who was getting attention, and realizing GOD WAS
VANQUISHING ENEMIES, Saul was so concerned about himself that he felt
threatened by David.
- And this so
hindered the will of God.
Satan always worked like this.
- Satan sees Cain
and Abel, and tempts Cain to offer futility for a sacrifice, and get
jealous at Abel.
- Cain made the
issue about HIMSELF and how Abel was one-upping him.
- Rather than
realize God needs a sacrifice for sin in order to see the hindrance of
sin removed so God can use these people to deal with wickedness that
Adam let take over the world, the devil god Cain distracted from this
great purpose onto the stupid nothingness of SELF PRIDE.
Cain could have repented and got hold of things and offered the right
sacrifice and saw sin dealt with, too.
- How much power
would the people have and see the works of the devil put down?
- But no, Cain was
too interested in himself rather than the GREATER GOOD.
So Jesus told us we will face persecutions and suffer tribulations
because there is a devil out there who does not want to be vanquished.
- And he will have
people talk about you and insult you and mar your reputation.
- But all the
while you have to realize that you need to deny the urge to defend self
and to fight for self, and to make sure self has a good reputation,
because if the devil can get you all hung up on yourself, he will
succeed in distracting you from the GREATER GOOD OF DESTROYING THE
KINGDOM OF HELL IN THIS WORLD.
The days of Christians slain in the arenas with lions may be far from
us in Canada, but the same thing goes on in a smaller scale in each of
- You are attacked
by vicious gossip and lies.
- The devil even
uses Christians to twist you and offend you and get you all caught up
in SELF to distract your mind.
That is why Jesus said we have to take up our crosses and deny
ourselves, or else the devil will work so much with our SELF and
manipulate us to finally do HIS WILL.
twist and get you so warped all out of SELF PRESERVATION that you will
be so far from accomplishing the will of God that he is left unharmed.
Deny your self.
SELF wants to be God.
- Let self die.
- Let the thing
that devil appeals to in order to distract you be of no great concern
in that sense, so that his appeals are useless!
- Every day pray
for humble forgiveness, and to remain humble.
- Keep that flesh
and SELF down.
It craves attention.
It LOVES applause, and
some of that is healthy and good.
But to crave it so
much and to be so self centred that it hinders God is something anyone
can easily fall prey to.
God does not get the
focus and attention and FAITH needed when we are so concerned over
Turn the other cheek.
- Know that
concern over being insulted and becoming upset with it so that we
insult back is actually reinforcing the SELF-IS-GOD hindrance that
ruins our opportunity for God to work through us into the dark world
- Know t when we
turn the other cheek, we are not letting the devil succeed in appealing
to the distraction away from God that he can find in having us worship
ourselves too much.
- Know that you
are letting God have free course and maintaining that in your life.
- Keeping the
pipeline open for Him.
- Not clogging it
with self interest that causes valuable attention and faith to allow
Him to work.
- He needs that
attention and faith and avenue in us.
False prophets hand out that same SELF APPEALING fruit to people to
- Since the
forbidden fruit got man focused on SELF and getting him to do so in a
VERY RELIGIOUS looking manner, all the while knowing it actually BLOCKS
the life of God from working inside us, WOLVES IN SHEEP’S
CLOTHING preach a message of SELF WORKS.
- It makes you
proud of your self.
- Do not do this,
or do not do that, gets you focused on SELF EFFORT.
- And SELF is
going to be uplifted in your heart once you start appealing to SELF
- And soon there
are going to be a pack of wolves who are so self focused, that God is
not able to use them to offer life to anyone else.
devil’s work is left unhindered.
If you seek YOUR will, you will not seek His WILL.
- His will can
wreak havoc on hell.
- But we are
distracted from that and the devil is therefore left unhindered.
- When we get the
mind of the Lord due to disregarding what OUR minds would like, we then
are vessels whom God can powerfully use and truly see KINGDOM of God in