Originally Posted by ampaterry
There is an image in my mind from my youth that will never depart, although the details of it have become sketchy with time. In the house of one of our relatives, there sat in the middle of the dining room table a bowl of the most delicious looking fruit! Apples, oranges, grapes and bananas. The image is very clear in my mind, and I know it was VERY long ago, because the surface of the dining room table was eye level with me when I stood on tip-toe and grasped the edge of it.
On several of our visits, I asked if I could have one of those delicious pieces of fruit, but was always refused. There was always some explanation of why, but it never became part of my understanding. Finally, after my request was repeated for the umpteenth time, I was asked which one I would like. I pointed to one of the perfect yellow bananas, and it was taken from the bowl and handed to me. I worked for some time trying to remove the peeling, and failing this I just bit into the end of it. It was hard, and the taste told me this was no banana, so I spit it out - I can remember several adults laughing as I spit out the end of the wax banana.
I came to the very correct conclusion that, no matter what these items looked like, they were NOT fruit. Even if the fakes had later been exchanged for real fruit, I would have declined to eat them. In my mind this bowl contained foul tasting items, no matter what they looked like.
Over the years, I have frequently thought of this story. We find people of this sort even in our own churches, looking extremely like what they should be, yet having no real substance to them. If, even accidentally, one happens to taste of their nature, the falsity of the images will be revealed.
The Word of God speaks of people like this, and how we should avoid being taken in by their appearance:
2 Timothy 3:5-7 (KJV); "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
You cannot judge the fruit by the appearance, the book by itís cover, nor the person by what they seem to be.
I will talk to you again tomorrow - and may God RICHLY bless you.