Wrong Verses Right Series

The Wrong Verses Right Series focuses on scriptures that Christians often misinterpret. This series exposes the false interpretation by revealing the wrong context that is commonly used and then explaining the right context of how the scripture should be properly interpreted.

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Wrong Verses Right: Matthew 7:16 KJV

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? ~Matthew 7:16 KJV

Wrong Interpretation:

Many Christians think Jesus was merely talking about the “fruit of the Spirit,” which tends to get reduced to whether they feel another Christian is being a nice person.

Right Interpretation:

First, yes, it is true that the fruit of the Spirit matters. However, “ye shall know them by their fruits” is more about thorns among the fruit they gather: “… Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?”

1. Jesus compares the hypocrite to corrupt fruit.

[42] Either how canst thou say to thy brother, “Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. [43] For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. [44] 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. [45] 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. ~Luke 6:42-45 KJV

Therefore, a person can be nice all day long, but if they live in hypocrisy by saying, but not doing, or if their mouth speaks ungodly things then they are gathering corrupt fruit.

2. Jesus makes other references to thorns regarding people who are worldly.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful. ~Matthew 13:22 KJV

Notice that their love for the world overrides God’s word. They choose carnality over godliness.

3. We are reminded that if we have truly been born again and have tasted the good Word and know the power of God, but fall away, we bear thorns and are rejected:

[4] For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, [5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, [6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. [7] For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: [8] But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.~Hebrews 6:4-8 KJV

Cursed are those who fall away from the Lord and the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Overall, this scripture is not asking “Are they nice?” This scripture is asking the questions:

  • Are they hypocrites?
  • Are they worldly?
  • Have they fallen away from the narrow road?

This is the thorny evidence that they have gathered.

Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).
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“Wrong Verses Right: Matthew 7:16 KJV.” AWS Magazine Online. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 Mar. 2017. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://awomansaved.com/wrong-verses-right-matthew-7-16-kjv-ye-shall-know-them-by-their-fruits>.
“Wrong Verses Right: Matthew 7:16 KJV.” AWS Magazine Online. March 1, 2017. Accessed September 13, 2015. https://awomansaved.com/wrong-verses-right-matthew-7-16-kjv-ye-shall-know-them-by-their-fruits.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2017, March 1). Wrong Verses Right: Matthew 7:16 KJV. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://awomansaved.com/wrong-verses-right-matthew-7-16-kjv-ye-shall-know-them-by-their-fruits.

Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor