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    THEIR FRUITS

    There is another rule that should be examined in this connection, found in the words of our Saviour in His discourse upon the mount. Says he: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 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 can not 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.” Matthew 7:15-20.SGL 35.1

    If there were to be no true prophets through the Gospel age, it would have been a much shorter way to dispose of the subject to say, Beware of prophets. Instead, there is set before us the characteristics of true and false prophets, the kind of fruit being the strongest proof of the character of the prophet. As to the fruit of the true prophet, Paul says, in his letter to the Ephesians, that these gifts have been given for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Chapter 4:12-13.SGL 35.2

    In the light of this rule, the true gift of prophecy will point the sinner to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. Then it would follow him up, and call him to a higher standard of Christian life and action, exhort to purity and holiness, abase the proud, and lift up the weak and desponding. As the instruction from said gift is received it would cause one to fear that he had not followed Christ as closely as he ought, cause him to search his heart more thoroughly, to read the Word of God more studiously, to pray more, to be less worldly, and more devoted to God, to be more strict in his daily life, in his walk and conversation, in fact, lead him to the Word of God instead of from it. It would plainly, yet kindly, reprove sin, rebuke wickedness, and expose wrongs and hypocrisies.SGL 36.1

    The gifts, and especially the gift of prophecy, have a part to act in bringing the church into “unity” and harmony. “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” In fact, the gathering of a people from the confused elements of earth, and the various nations of the world, to move forward as one, is one of the best evidences of a genuine work of the Lord.SGL 36.2

    The true gift of prophecy will not give any revelation to take the place of the Scriptures; yet, while it may shed light on the Scriptures, leading the people into the “unity of the faith,” its great work will be that of counsel, and instructions how to live, act, and move in these last days of peril.SGL 37.1

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