Ye Shall Know Them By Their Fruits

by David J. Stewart | January 2017

Matthew 7:16-20, “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 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.

       I was listening yesterday to some YouTube video sermons by heretical Evangelist Paul Washer. One is titled, “Are You Really A Christian?” In this 9:48 minute sermon clip, Mr. Washer errantly teaches that unless a person hates their sins, feeling a deep sense of remorse and guilt over their sins, they haven't repented and cannot be saved. That simply is not true. All that God requires to be saved is to admit that you are a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. You must see your need. No one has ever been saved who didn't admit being a sinner. You've got to know what you're being saved from. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

Paul Washer errantly says you have to “hate your sins” to be saved. Albeit, hating one's sins is a matter of growing in grace as a born-again believer, a matter of sanctification, and not a requirement to receive the free gift of God, which is eternal life. John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Paul Washer is a dangerous false teacher. The most deadly deception is the HALF-TRUTH, because in part it can be defended with incontestable logic.

Pastor Tim Conway's False Gospel

The following garbage theology is some really dangerous teaching. Evangelist Paul Washer's sidekick, Pastor Tim Conway, of the Grace Community Church in San Antonio, Texas, heretically teaches...

When you look at all the different pictures of Judgment Day, what differentiates those who are saved from those who are lost—on Judgment Day—is the life they lived, and how it was so drastically different from the life of those who didn't have it. That's always what it is! It's never just a—It's never just a—“Did you claim to believe in Jesus?” “Well, 'Yes I did.'” “Ok, you're in!” It's never that. It's, “What did, what did all your confessions of Christ actually yield in your life? Do they show that Christ was with you?”

SOURCE: Pastor Tim Conway, sermon quote;

Whoa! WHAT HERESY!!! Mr. Conway teaches that the determining factor on Judgment Day of who is saved or not, will be THE LIFE THEY LIVED!!! That is Seventh-day Adventist false doctrine. That is exactly what Miss Ellen G. White foolishly taught.

Are Paul Washer and Tim Conway Seventh Day Adventists? They're in agreement doctrinally. As with Lordship Salvationists, Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) deceitfully profess to believe in salvation by grace through faith; but then horribly contradict themselves in their writings, by adding discipleship (serving Christ) to salvation (sonship). Here are some great quotes differentiating between salvation and discipleship.

Here is what Jan Paulsen (President of the General Conference of SDA's) errantly teaches...

Faith is not simply looking at a distant, historical Jesus. Rather, it is responding to His invitation to “follow me.” That is how I become a disciple. It is by accepting the obligation to live a life of discipleship that faith becomes obedience. Surely this is what Mrs. White meant when she wrote that the faith that leads to salvation “is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. . . . The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour” (ibid., p. 347). “To have faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes” (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 112).


In the same sermon, Paul Washer said he told a young woman that to be saved, she must, Continue crying out to God until He saves you!!! My friend, that is a lie of the Devil. Mr. Washer is teaching works for salvation. No one has to beg for a gift!!! On the Day of Pentecost, there were 3,000 souls saved!!! How did those 3,000 people get saved? They “gladly received his word” (Acts 2:41). That is, they BELIEVED the Gospel message that Peter preached. Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? When you hear the Gospel [Good News] preached, all you have to do is BELIEVE that Good News and you are saved immediately and forever!!!

Multitudes of Baptist preachers have been caught up into the satanic deception, that says a person cannot be saved unless they change their own life (which they errantly understand to mean repentance). That's not how salvation and the Christian life works. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that changes a believer's life, and not manmade repentance.

Paul Washer: Caught Between Grace And Works

Paul Washer does say some great things. The following quote is wonderful. If he taught this everywhere he went, and didn't embellish the Gospel, Mr. Washer would be a great evangelist. Right now Paul Washer is a popular evangelist, but he is a reprobate false prophet. Albeit, this particular quote is excellent and doctrinally correct...

Repentance is simply giving up, to stop fighting against God, and to stop attempting to gain your own salvation through your own works, to literally give up and fall upon Christ. That is salvation! So that you say, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling!”

SOURCE: Paul Washer, sermon quote, Are You Really A Christian?;

I like that quote. However, in another video, Paul Washer expresses his disdain for the doctrine of Eternal Security. According to Mr. Washer, anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, but continues living in deliberate gross immorality (aka, sowing their wild oats), is not saved. Washer is a dangerous false teacher. In this video titled, “Paul Washer: Assurance Of Salvation,” he shoots down the idea of getting saved at one time in the past, and instead teaches that a true Christian is always believing, always trusting and always repenting. This heresy in Calvinism is called the Perseverance of the Saints. In other words, if you are saved, you WILL persevere to the end.

Therefore, according to Paul Washer's bad theology, any professed “Christian” who indulges in greed, envy, pride, gossip, sexual immorality, drunkenness, lying, stealing, or other sins never had eternal life to begin with. This is a flawed and dangerous unbiblical mindset that Paul Washer is teaching. The Holy Bible teaches that forgiveness of sins is a gift. Jesus doesn't forgive sins. That is correct! Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins. Eternal life is without works (Romans 4:5-6).



The main basis for Paul Washer's theological argument is the phrase from Matthew 7:16a, “YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.” . . .

Matthew 7:16-20, “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 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.”

According to Mr. Washer, those “fruits” refer to keeping all of God's commandments. Washer says we are not saved by the fruits; but rather, the “fruits” evidence that we are saved. I agree with the latter statement, but not the first! “Fruits” do evidence that we are saved, but what exactly are the “fruits” of a born-again Christian? The Lord said you don't gather grapes from a thorn bush, and you don't gather figs from thistles. Here are some Google images of what thistles look like. They are thorny leaves. Ouch!

Like many false prophets, Paul Washer cherry picks this verse of Scripture, and builds an entire doctrine on it, ignoring the context of the remaining passage and the Bible as a whole. Verse 21 is the key Scripture in this passage:

Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

And please read verses 22 and 23:

Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

To fully grasp this passage of Scripture, consider that Matthew chapter 7 is part of Jesus', The Beatitudes, sermon on the mount. Most Bible students never realize this fact. The Lord spoke these words of warning to likely several thousand of people in Matthew 7. Matthew 8:1, “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.” It very well could have been a great multitude of 5,000 or more people. The famous preacher, George Whitefield (1714-1770), preached with such intensity that it was measured at 90 decibels. The international standard for “loud” is 70 decibels. We learn from Acts 2:41 that 3,000 souls were saved at Pentecost. And in Acts 4:4 another 5,000 men were added to the Church. Jesus warned this great multitude that many religious people will be denied entrance into Heaven. The Lord will say to multitudes of religious workers in eternity... “I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.”

Let's also examine some of the Lord's words from Matthew chapter 6:

Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

In the preceding Scripture, “HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” can only refer to the imputed righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Keep this truth in mind as you consider Matthew 7:16a, “YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.”

Also, let's consider some of the Lord's words from Matthew chapter 5:

Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

So we see clearly that the Lord is contrasting the outward self-righteousness of unsaved religious people (like the Pharisees); verses the imputed righteousness of God, which every born-again believer has, by faith alone in Jesus Christ. THE END

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised)”
—Hebrews 10:23

“Nobody can love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!) | Recent Articles | Divided By Truth

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