Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Two Types of Fruit According to Walter Martin

A few months ago, I had the honor of meeting and hearing Dr. Paul Martin discuss spiritual abuse, making this distinction about exactly how we recognize false prophets, teachers and spiritual con-artists. As I noted in this previous post, the Word of God does not focus on the evaluation of teachings or doctrine when identifying "wolves in sheep's clothing." We should identify them primarily through their works and their fruit:

Of the 210 verses that refer to false prophets, priests, elders and Pharisees, here is a summary of their content:
  • 99 verses (47%) concern Behavior
  • 66 verses (31%) concern Fruit
  • 24 verses (12%) concern Motives
  • 21 verses (10%) concern Doctrine

There are a great many great resources to be found on the Spiritwatch website, thanks to many graduates from Lee College (NOW University -- where about half of my fathers in the faith studied, particularly my own mentor, Pastor Michael P. Hanks). It's a great place to visit and learn, particularly if you have interest in the false teachings of Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship. I was also quite excited to find this audio of Dr. Walter Martin on the Lee College website. He agrees with Paul Martin on the subject of fruit regarding how to identify a false teacher in his discussion of Matthew Chapter 24.

Walter Martin in "Rise of the Cults," a 1979 lecture at Lee College Chapel:

“You will be able to identify them by their fruits...”

Be careful, there are two kinds of fruit: there is the fruit of the life lived and the fruit of the doctrine taught. The Pharisees taught purity of doctrine, but Jesus said that they were whitewashed sepluchres. If you have pure doctrine and a corrupt life, you are condemned for it. If you have a pure life and a corrupt doctrine, you are condemned for it.

Because salvation does not come from the efforts of purity but by the gift of God...

But according to Christ, it is possible to look, act and sound like a believer and not be one.”

4 things that they do (deceiving even the elect):
1. They can say “Lord,” but they don’t mean “Savior.”
2. They can say that they speak for God and are prophesying in His Name.
3. They can even use the Name of Jesus to cast out demons.
4. They can use the Name of Jesus to work miracles.

And their sin is, having used the Name of Christ for their own purposes, they themselves have not believed.