I’ve had numerous brethren tell me that the “by their fruits” standard of Matthew 7:20 is not to be applied today. That’s a classic example of a right divider degenerating into a WRONG divider. The “by their fruits” principle of Matthew 7:20 is not only true in Matthew AND in the church age; it’s true ALL THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD! Please observe . . .
Matthew 7:18-20: “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.”
Genesis 1:11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding SEED, and the FRUIT tree yielding FRUIT after his kind, whose SEED is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
Proverbs 12:12: “The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the ROOT of the righteous yieldeth FRUIT.”
Isaiah 27:6: “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take ROOT: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with FRUIT.”
Matthew 3:7-10: ““But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore FRUITS MEET FOR REPENTANCE: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 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.”
Mark 4:7-8: “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded NO FRUIT. And other fell on GOOD GROUND, and DID YIELD FRUIT that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”
Luke 13:6-9: “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and SOUGHT FRUIT thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come SEEKING FRUIT on this fig tree, and find none: CUT IT DOWN; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it BEAR FRUIT, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt CUT IT DOWN.”
Acts 26:19-20: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.”
II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”
Galatians 5:22-24: “But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. FOR we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Colossians 1:3-6: ““We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and BRINGETH FORTH FRUIT, as it doth ALSO IN YOU, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and knew the grace of God in truth.”
I Thesalonians 1:2-3, 9: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITH, and LABOUR OF LOVE, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father . . . ye turned to God FROM IDOLS TO SERVE the living and true God.”
Titus 1:16: “They PROFESS that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE.”
It’s really not that hard, if you’ll just stick with the Book. SEED produces FRUIT. If you’ve been born of God’s SEED (I Pet. 1:23), you will produce God’s FRUIT. Simple. Leave it to the fundamental brethren to chop the principle to pieces and make the whole thing more confusing than a Chinese fire drill.