How then distinguish them?
(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)
You may know a sheep from a swine, when both have fallen into the same mire—and are, in fact, so bemired, that neither by coat nor color can the one be distinguished from the other.
How then distinguish them? Nothing more easy!
The sheep—a type of the godly—strives and struggles to get out of the muck.
But the swine, in circumstances agreeable to its nature, wallows in the filth.
"What the true proverb says has happened to them: The dog returns to its own vomit, and the swine, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire." 2 Peter 2:22
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire! Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." Matthew 7:16-20