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Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time – Odd Year of the Feast

Posté par diaconos le 11 septembre 2021

Bible Verses about False Prophets

False Prophets in the Bible

The Bible tells us to beware of false prophets who would lead us astray from God’s will and plan for our lives. Scripture says to « test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. » (1 John 4:1) To best recognize false prophets, we should diligently study the Bible and guard our hearts and mind against following anyone other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Let us focus our faith and attention on the true messiah and obey His teachings for the blessing of eternal life !

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# The Parable of the Tree and its Fruit (also called the Trees and their Fruit[citation needed]) is a parable of Jesus which appears in two similar passages in the New Testament, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel and the Sermon on the Plain in Luke’s Gospel. From Matthew 7:15–20 (KJV): « Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit. 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 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. » From Luke 6:43–45 (KJV): « For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil : for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. »
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In contrast, the Fruit of the Spirit is holy and will be evident in the life of a true prophet. In Matthew’s Gospel the context relates to testing a prophet. In Luke’s Gospel the connection is less obvious. Scottish minister William Robertson Nicoll suggests that « the thread is probably to be found in the word ὑποκριτά, hypokrita, applied to one who by his censoriousness claims to be saintly, yet in reality is a greater sinner than those he blames ». The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians : « But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. »
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The fruit is contrasted with the works of the flesh which immediately precede it in this chapter. The Catholic Church follows the Latin Vulgate version of Galatians in recognizing twelve fruits : charity (caritas), joy (gaudium), peace (pax), patience (patientia), benignity (benignitas), goodness (bonitas), longanimity (longanimitas), mildness (mansuetudo), faith (fides), modesty (modestia), continency (continentia), and chastity (castitas). This tradition was defended by Thomas Aquinas in his work Summa Theologica, and reinforced in numerous Catholic catechisms, including the Baltimore Catechism, the Penny Catechism, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Aquinas pointed out that numbered among the fruits of the Holy Spirit are certain virtues, such as charity, meekness, faith, chastity, and kindness.[5] Augustine defined virtue as « a good habit consonant with our nature. »
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 # The Antichrist is a common figure in Christian and Islamic eschatology, but in a different sense. It appears in the epistles of John and in Paul of Tarsus’ Second Epistle to the Thessalonians in varying forms, but has its origins in the notion of the ‘anti-messiah’ already present in Judaism. The term sometimes designates an individual – often monstrous -, sometimes a group or a collective figure. This figure of an evil impostor who tries to replace Jesus Christ has fed numerous speculations and interpretations since the first developments of Christianity through patristic literature, which have been enriched over the centuries, situating the intervention of the Antichrist during the last trials preceding the end of the world.

In Islam, various prophetic traditions (hadiths) depict al-Dajjâl (‘the Imposter’) – the equivalent of the Antichrist – whose coming is a defining point of Muslim eschatology. He appears at the end of time and is to be eliminated by the Prophet Îsâ (Jesus) on his return. There are many traditions on this subject and they vary according to denominations and commentators4. Numerous characters, personalities and even entities have been assimilated to the Antichrist over the centuries and up to the present day, mainly in eschatological and millenarian contexts or episodes.

The term ‘antichrist’ does not appear in the basic Christian texts that form the basis of Christian teaching on the end times: it does not appear in the Book of Daniel, nor in the Gospel according to Matthew in Jesus’ discussion of the signs ‘of the end of the world’ (who never uses the term during his ministry), nor in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, nor in John’s Apocalypse. The Man of Sin, the Man of Unrighteousness, the Lawless Man or the Godless One has thus been given different names over time, sometimes referring to an individual, sometimes to a group or to a collective figure. The most influential text concerning the construction of the antichrist figure – the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians3 – does not know him by this name.

The words antichrist and antichrists in the Jerusalem Bible appear only five times in the Bible, in two of the three epistles of John. During the Wars of Religion, both Catholics and Protestants used the number of the Beast to accuse each other of embodying the Antichrist. A certain Petrus Bungus, a Catholic, tried to prove that 666 was synonymous with Luther according to the Latin numeral alphabet: LVTHERNVC = 30 + 200 + 100 + 8 + 5 + 80 + 40 + 200 + 3 = 66636. In the opposite direction, the Reformed equated the Pope, i.e. the ‘Vicar of the Son of God’ (Vicarius Filii Dei), with the number of the Beast, according to the following calculation VICarIUs fILII DeI = 5 + 1 + 100 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 50 + 1 + 500 + 1 = 66636.

From the Gospel of Luke

43 A good tree does not bear rotten fruit; neither does a rotten tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its fruit: figs are not gathered from thorns; neither are grapes gathered from brambles. 45 The good man gets the good out of the treasure of his heart, which is good; and the evil man gets the evil out of his heart, which is evil: for what the mouth says is what overflows from the heart.

46 And why do you call to me, saying, ‘Lord! Lord! » and do not do what I say? 47 Whoever comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you who he is like. 48 He is like one who builds a house. He dug very deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the torrent rushed at that house, but it could not shake it because it was well built.

49 But the one who listened and did not act is like the one who built his house on the ground, without foundations. The flood rushed in, and immediately it collapsed; the destruction of that house was complete. (Lk 6:43-49)

Every tree is known by its products

Each tree can be recognised by its own fruit. Jesus said: « Out of the heart proceed the sources of life, that is, good or evil. The words and, in general, all the actions we perform, proceed from the heart. Here this thought is linked to the warning given to the man who presumes to teach his brother. In Matthew the same sentence is found, but applied to men who abused the word to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. There are many of these short, penetrating sentences that Jesus uttered on more than one occasion.

« But why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I say ?  Here Jesus insists on this severe rebuke and cites examples of how one can incur this terrible responsibility. He has only these solemn words: Everyone who comes to me and hears. The responsibility for the effects of the divine word fell on each of His hearers. What authority there is in this thought! How aware Jesus was that his words were the words of God himself !

  On the slopes surrounding the Lake of Genezareth there are hillsides where a shallow layer of earth (Luke) or sand (Matthew) covers the rock. The prudent man digs through this loose soil and even digs deep down to the rock (Godet)

Woe to him who stops at the surface! The elements that threatened this house were, according to Luke, a flood, forming a torrent coming down from the mountains. Matthew was more complete and more picturesque: « It is the rain that falls, the torrents that overflow, the winds that blow and rush upon this house. All this could not even shake it, because it was well built. The unwise man builds on the ground (Luke); Matthew, more expressive: on the sand.

  One lost soul, just one, is a great ruin in the eyes of God. This is the solemn thought with which Jesus leaves his listeners as he concludes this discourse. Each of them, on hearing this last word, hears, as it were, the crash of this collapsing edifice and must say to himself: This disaster will be mine, if I am inconsistent or hypocritical. (Godet)

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Father James’ : klick here to red the paper →    Charity Begins at Home

◊ The antichrist : : klick here to red the paper →  New Testament

  Homily of Brother James McCarthy for Saturday 11 September, 2021

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