One’s fruit cannot be based on just one standard or should I say, one person’s perspective of what is good fruit. Why?
This is dangerous because when these individuals misrepresent the One True Living God in some way. Whether this is done purposely or not, we the people often time refuse to deal with their failure (or sin) based on Biblical protocols or principles. (Compare to Matthew 18:15-17). As a result, we the people become enablers and give birth to corrupt leaders. Because when we allow leaders to make mistakes without holding them accountable, too often, that one mistake manifests in that leader and takes root. And as that root strengthens, grows, and expands, more corrupted behavior begins to exhibit in that leader's behavior and nature. Until it gives birth to such men like the prophet Hananiah.
The removal of hananiah the prophet
Now, in this situation, we only need to know one thing about Hananiah the prophet. And it is what the LORD God had Prophet Jeremiah to speak concerning Hananiah. Jeremiah said to Hananiah, “Listen now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15).
Hananiah the prophet had become so corrupted that he spoke false prophecy to God’s people. He spoke lies and the people choose to believe the words of Hananiah instead of what Jeremiah, God’s prophet was speaking.
Despite the failures of the people to judge righteously between the prophet Hananiah and the Prophet Jeremiah. God still is a righteous God, and He judged between Jeremiah and Hananiah righteously. As a result, God had Jeremiah say to Hananiah, “… thus says the LORD, behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. THIS YEAR you are going to die….” (Jeremiah 28:16)
Why such a harsh judgment? Jeremiah explains why in that same verse. “… Because you have counseled rebellion against the LORD” (Jeremiah 28:16).
Rebellion. Hananiah the prophet was preaching and teaching rebellion. Hananiah the prophet was declaring the opposite of God’s plan and direction for His people. At that time, God instructs His people that He was allowing them (the nation of Israel – God’s people) to go into captivity (slavery) by the Babylonians because of the people (God’s people) unrepentant spirit and acts of rebellion against God. So, through God’s prophet, like Jeremiah, He instructed them to tell His people to submit (surrender) to the Babylonians. (Compare to Amos 3:7; Jeremiah chapters 25 and 27). But prophets like Hananiah were proclaiming the opposite of what God was actually saying. THIS IS REBELLION! AKA, A SIN.
A rebellion, or should I say, unrepentant rebellion deserves such a harsh judgment as stated by God’s prophet Jeremiah at Jeremiah 28:16 – “… THIS YEAR you are going to die….” Hananiah NEVER REPENTED for his misrepresentation of God’s direction for His people. Hananiah kept preaching his own opinion instead of what God actually was saying. So, God passed judgment on Hananiah through His prophet Jeremiah. Therefore, what Jeremiah declared concerning the prophet Hananiah, was fulfilled that year. “… Hananiah, the prophet died on the same year in the 7th month” (Jeremiah 28:17).
We all need to heed the counsel and insight provided here in Jeremiah chapter 28. For the Bible is written for us as a warning, insight to what can happen to us if we preach and teach the opposite of what God is actually saying and declaring. Here, the insight given at Jeremiah chapter 28 is a clear indication that there is nothing new under the sun, for God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be forever. (Compare to 1 Corinthians 10:11-12; Ecclesiastes 1:9; Hebrews 13:7-9).
The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).