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Opinions of Sunday, 15 November 2020

Columnist: Isaac Asare Poku

The agric test

Kofi had been sick and away from school for 2 weeks. On his first day of return, he reported a bit late.

Assembly was over and the students had all matched to their classrooms. He headed for his class, the Form 1 block, and he was greeted with deafening silence at the entrance of the class. When he peeped through the window, he saw his mates busily doing a class test. He entered quietly and got seated.

"Welcome Kofi," his teacher said, "We just started. Fetch your exercise book and join your friends."

Sir Kakpo was one stern teacher who wouldn't take sickness as an excuse for one not to study while at home. Keeping this in mind, Kofi knew that he had no option than to do the work, whichever means. Staring at the question on the board, he reached out for his workbook with shivering hands.

The question was: "Describe in detail the difference between a banana plant and a plantain plant."

Unfortunately, Kofi could not ask his mates to give him an update of what was taught in his absence. In this matter, one could understand Kofi because he was sick but he should have at least done that for only the Agric Subject, knowing very well the nature of Sir Kakpo. Here he was, writing a test on a lesson he never read.

Kofi wiped his sweaty brow and hands. He then gazed at the question again and started thinking deeply. He tried to recall the image of the banana plant and that of the plantain which he saw when he visited his grandfather's farm a year ago.

When he did, both images looked very similar that he couldn't remember any notable difference between them. Following this futile attempt, he sat down helplessly.

"Ten minutes more," Mr. Kakpo announced. When Kofi heard that, he became very anxious. He knew the last thing Mr. Kakpo would tolerate was to see a blank answer sheet. Therefore, he heightened his thought processes and decided to write just anything that came to mind before the time was up.

During this mental struggle, he remembered that one difference he noticed between the two similar plants was their produce.

But how was he to express them on paper? He thought within himself. He began by writing the title: "Difference Between a Banana Plant and a Plantain Plant." Then he continued, "The banana and the plantain plants can be differentiated by their fruits. When you want to see the difference between these plants, you would have to be patient for them to grow and bear fruits. When they yield their fruits, you pluck and taste them. If it is sweet, it is from a banana plant, but if it isn't, then it from a plantain plant."

After writing this, he sighed with great relief. Not long, their teacher asked them to stop and submit their work. Kofi and his colleagues have presented their work and they are waiting to receive their results. But before Mr. Kakpo marks for us to see whether Kofi's answer was right or not, what do you think about his submission?

For me, I think Kofi may not be academically right but he is rationally and practically correct. And his answer brings to mind a whole lot of valuable lessons for the worshipper of God.

To be sure, the Christian can discern a genuine preacher or 'prophet' from a bad one by using Kofi's clue: their fruits; yes, their fruits. When you are confused about the kind of spiritual instructor you are dealing with, just check his fruits. The kind of fruits he bears in speech and conduct can reveal to you who he is. That is exactly what Jesus said during his popular sermon on the Mount. Therein he said,

“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. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit" (Matthew 7:15?-?18, NASB).

Amid the presence of many false prophets, the novice or immature believer is sometimes confused by their cunning and well-crafted duplicity. More to this muddiness is the popular misguided and captive assertions of "Judge not" and "Do not touch my anointed one." Hence, this frightens some infantile Christians from taking a firm stance even when it is evident that they are being deceived.

However, the above text quoted from Christ's message reveals otherwise. God wants his children to know those who dishonestly use his name and flee from them.

It is that simple. You only have to look at what they do and say; then you determine for yourself in the light of God's word whether they are true or not. If for instance, the Bible says that, "When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:22). And it happens that a so-called prophet predicts the winner of an election and it does not come to pass, there are no two ways about the fact that he is a LIAR and not from God. In this, God said we are not to be afraid of him.

It is unfortunate how some biased people stand in the mire of these unscrupulous men and discredit Christianity in totality. I would have sided with such ones if the Bible never foretold the emergence of fake people who would pretentiously put on Christ's tag and sway many unguarded people away from the truth (Acts 20:30; 1 Tim. 4:1, 2). They remorselessly do this because of their stomach (Phil. 3:19). Please don't be blinded by these deviants and know for sure that someone's unfaithfulness is not an excuse for your outright denial of Christ.

Meanwhile, those frantically following these false prophets due to whatever reasons best known to them should wise up. They should not think they would be spared when God pours his wrath on their leaders. Remember: "... if a person who is blind guides another who is blind, both will fall into a pit" (Matthew 15:14). So such fellows should repent and run for their lives.

We are not too sure what marks Kofi would get in his test; however, his answer points to mental liberating Biblical quotes for followers of false prophets. After knowing the fruit of a false prophet, never be afraid to dissociate yourself from him. If you wish to detect the difference clearer, get one of the recommended textbook, The Bible. Read for yourself to know the truth and the truth shall set you free!

Enjoy the Grace of God!

Amen!

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