Matthew 7:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 You will [a]know them by their fruits. [b]Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Be trying to find from the context what exactly the fruits are,but i have failed

Are they:

1) External works


2) Doctrine

3 Answers 3


15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.

Them = false prophets

Fruits = that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result work, act, deed

The immediate context does not give the definition of what these 'fruits' will be. We do know that "know them" specifically refers to false prophets. This verse does not mean this is a way in which one would identify 'true' believers as many have taught the last 100 years. So how does one identify a false prophets? I believe the OT has a few clues.

Deut. 13:1-4 “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, 2 and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ 3 do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. 4 You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him.

Deut. 18:22 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

  • Welcome to the site :) Relevant verses from the OT. +1 Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 23:03

Here are some examples of good and bad actions and doctrine fruitage:-

NWT Galatians 5:19-26 "Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.

25 If we are living by spirit, let us also go on walking orderly by spirit. 26 Let us not become egotistical, stirring up competition with one another, envying one another."

NWT 1 Peter 4:3 "For the time that has passed by is sufficient for you to have done the will of the nations when you carried on in acts of brazen conduct, unbridled passions, overdrinking, wild parties, drinking bouts, and lawless idolatries."

NWT James 3:17-18 "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace."

NWT Titus 1:5-9 "I left you in Crete so that you would correct the things that were defective and make appointments of elders in city after city, as I instructed you: 6 if there is any man free from accusation, a husband of one wife, having believing children who are not accused of debauchery or rebelliousness. 7 For as God’s steward, an overseer must be free from accusation, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy of dishonest gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of goodness, sound in mind, righteous, loyal, self-controlled, 9 holding firmly to the faithful word as respects his art of teaching, so that he may be able both to encourage by the teaching that is wholesome and to reprove those who contradict."

NWT James 4:1-3 "What is the source of the wars and fights among you? Do they not originate from your fleshly desires that carry on a conflict within you? 2 You desire, and yet you do not have. You go on murdering and coveting, and yet you are not able to obtain. You go on fighting and waging war. You do not have because of your not asking. 3 When you do ask, you do not receive because you are asking for a wrong purpose, so that you may spend it on your fleshly desires."

NWT 2 Peter 2:1-3 "However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their brazen conduct, and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, they will greedily exploit you with counterfeit words. But their judgment, decided long ago, is not moving slowly, and their destruction is not sleeping."

Both are works of doctrine or ones theology. Example; "a just war" doctrine will produce vile works!

  • That is a nice selection of relevant verses, +1. So would you say "works" or "doctrine" or what? Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 22:21
  • @Rumiator Both are works of doctrine or ones theology. Example; "a just war" doctrine will produce vile works!
    – user26950
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 22:24
  • Please add that to your answer. Comments often "go away. But I think the question would be one or the other because the fruit I should think is different from the root, no?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 22:57
  • @ Ruminator OK?
    – user26950
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 23:00
  • "Example; "a just war" doctrine will produce vile works!" What does the just war have about it that produces bad fruits? You realize just war teaches that one's country has a right to defend itself against foreign countries and such, right? They don't bear the sword in vain... Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 23:02

The fruits of the false prophets are the blasphemous promises of the many forms of the doctrines of prosperity, power and passion that is so popular in these times.

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