"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are
ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…" ~ Matthew 7:15-20
Many, including myself, have said we will know them by their fruits… however, we must be careful that we do not judge another as Jesus warns in the beginning of the Chapter. If we look at this Scripture in context, we can see that Jesus isn’t calling us to be "fruit inspectors" by pointing our finger at the outward behavior of others and quickly drawing a conclusion of what we see. But, instead, I purpose that Jesus isn’t refering to the fruit cannot be an outward behavior because the outward appearance of these false prophets are very righteous and appealing. For Jesus says that they come looking like sheep on the outside. Jesus is warning us, "Watch out! Do not let their behavior fool you. Just because they are doing good works and acting like believers, does not necessarily mean they are."
So, if the fruit is NOT their behavior (love, peace, joy, etc…) then, what is it?
In Matthew 12:33 Jesus says, "… a tree is known by its fruit." In the following verses, Jesus explains what the fruit is…."out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasures brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:34-36.
There you have it!
Fruit that we will know them by is what they say, not what they do! So when Jesus says, "You will know them by their fruits" what He was saying is that false prophets are exposed by what they say, not what they do. They may look like sheep, but when you hear them howling then you will know they are wolves.
What would howling be? Howling can be back biting, slanderous words of another, defacing another Christian, by not preaching the "good news", etc…