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"Sermon on the Mount" (Bloch)
Me on that
did we not
and in Your
and in Your
miracles?' (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and
done many mighty works in Your name?
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done many wonderful works?
NLT: On judgment day many will tell me, `Lord, Lord, we
prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed
many miracles in your name. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: In 'that day' many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord,
didn't we preach in your name, didn't we cast out devils in your name,
and do many great things in your name?'
Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did
we not in your Name prophesy, and in your Name cast out demons, and in
your Name perform many miracles which demonstrated the power of God? (Eerdmans)
Young's: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, lord, have we
not in thy name prophesied? and in thy name cast out demons? and in
thy name done many mighty things?
J N Darby
J Ligon Duncan
Explore the Bible
A C Gaebelein
F B Hole
Jamieson, F. B
S Lewis Johnson
J Vernon McGee
H A Meyer
G C Morgan
Net Bible Notes
A W Pink
A W Pink
A W Pink
A T Robertson
A T Robertson
J C Ryle
J C Ryle
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
Today in the Word
Matthew 7:21-23 Those Jesus Never
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:21-23 The
Biblical illustrator; Anecdotes, etc...
Matthew 7:21-23 Commentary
Matthew 7:21-23 Not Everyone Gets to Go to
Matthew 7:13-27 Either Or
Matthew 7:13-23 The Five Most
Horrible Things In The Bible
Matthew 7 Commentary
The Narrow Door -
7:13-27 Fatal Failures of Religion
7:15-23 False Prophets;
7:24-29 Two Ways Contrasted
Matthew 7:13-29 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
The Gospel of Matthew an Exposition
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:21-23 Close, But No
Comments on the Gospel of Matthew
Matthew sermon Notes
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:13-29 Two Ways,
Two Trees, Two Houses
7 Commentary -
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:13-27: Foundations of Grace,
Matthew 7:13-27: Two Paths, One Way
Matthew 7:15-20: Beware of False Prophets
Matthew 7:15-20: Beware of False Prophets
Matthew 7:21-23: Empty Words
Matthew 7:21-27: Saved or Self-Deceived,
Matthew 7:21-27: Unmasking Christmas
Matthew 7:21-23: Empty Words and Empty
Matthew 7:24-29: Empty Hearts
Matthew 7:13-29: The Way to Heaven - Study
Guide (see dropdown)
Matthew 7:24-26 The
Matthew 7:28-29 The
Christ of the Sermon on the Mount
Audios - Thru the
7:21-23 Lord, Lord!
Matthew 7:21-27: Profession Tested; Mt
7:21-27 Profession Tested; Mt
Matthew 7:21-23 What is
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Word
Pictures in the New Testament
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:21-23 The Nature and Importance
of True Religion
Matthew Sermon Notes;
Study Guide for Sermon on the
Matthew 7 Speaker's
Matthew 7 Commentary
Matthew 7:21-23, 11- The Disowned
Matthew 7:21-23, 11- The Disowned (Sermon
Matthew 7 Greek Word
Matthew 7 Is Israel
Cast Off Forever?
Matthew 7 Doing the
Will of the Father
Matthew 7:1-6; Matthew 7:13-23;
Inductive Study on Sermon on the
Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform
polloi erousin (3PFAI)
moi en ekeine te hemera, Kurie kurie, ou to so onomati epropheteusamen,
(1PAAI) kai to so onomati daimonia exebalomen (1PAAI), kai to so onomati
dunameis pollas epoiesamen (1PAAI)?
Mt 7:21; 24:36; Isaiah 2:11,17;
Malachi 3:17,18; Luke 10:12; 1Thessalonians 5:4; 2Thessalonians 1:10;
2Timothy 1:12,18; 4:8) (Did we Mt 10:5, 6, 7, 8; Nu 24:4; 31:8; 1Ki
22:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20; Je 23:13-32; Lk
13:26; Jn 11:51; Acts 19:13, 14, 15; 1Co 13:1,2; He 6:4, 5,
Artwork related to
"Jug not that ye be not jugged"
Artwork related to Mt 7:3-5:
The Speck and the Beam
Artwork related to Mt 7:7-11:
Pray, and It Shall Be Given
Artwork related to Mt 7:7-11:
Artwork related to Mt 7:12:
Love for Enemies
Artwork related to Mt 7:13,14:
The Two Ways
Artwork related to Mt 7:15-23:
A Tree and Its Fruit
Artwork related to Mt 7:24-27:
The Wise and Foolish Builder
Related Resource: George
Whitfield's classic sermon
The Almost Christian
Many (polus) speaks of
a large multitude. Here
Jesus presents us with a stark contrast to the "few...who find"
eternal life by entering the small gate and the narrow way (Mt 7:14-note).
Will say (3004)
(lego) means to speak
or talk, with an apparent focus upon content of what is said. Notice
that Jesus does give them a chance to speak even though He already knows
That day - This is the
specific future day known as the day of judgment specifically the judgment of unbelievers
which Scripture teaches will occur at the Great White Throne (see
Re 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15 -
reign of Christ. (See also related
Births, Deaths, and Resurrections.)
That day will be a tragic and fateful day of separation forever
from the presence of God (cp 2Th 1:9) for those who internal evil
character is revealed by their outward evil conduct.
Constable has an interesting
comment noting that...
Jesus claimed to be the
eschatological Judge. This was one of Messiah’s functions. That day
is the day Jesus will judge false professors. It is almost a technical
term for the messianic age (cf. Isa. 2:11, 17; 4:2; 10:20; Jer. 49:22;
Zech. 14:6, 20, 21). (Matthew)
As an aside among the many
judgments mentioned in Scripture, seven are invested with special
(1) the judgment of the believer's
sins in the cross of Christ (Jn 12:31)
(2) the believer's self-judgment (1Co
(3) the judgment of the believer's
works (2Co 5:10)
(4) the judgment of the individual
Gentiles at the return of Christ to the earth (Mt 25:32);
(5) the judgment of Israel at the
return of Christ to the earth (Ezek 20:34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40)
(6) the judgment of angels after the
1000 years (Jude 1:6)
(7) here, the judgment of the wicked
dead with which the history of the present earth ends. (Rev 20:11, 12,
13, 14, 15) (C I Scofield)
Pastor Alan Carr gives some
statistics on how "heavenly minded" America is in his sermon (Not
Everyone Gets to Go to Heaven)
You might not think it, but our world
is very heavenly minded. That is a strange statement considering just
how wretched and wicked our world is, but in a recent CNN poll, it was
discovered that 81% of the people asked believed in a literal heaven
where people lived with God after death. 81%! 61% of those polled said
that they believed they would go to Heaven immediately when they died.
Another 88% believed that they would see departed family and friends
when they arrived in Heaven.
I find these numbers astonishing in light of the wickedness that fills
our society, don't you? Of course, there is another side to this story.
Of all those polled, 6% believed Heaven could be reached by doing good
works. Another 57% believed that Heaven was available to all who place
their faith in God and did good works and 34% believed that Heaven was
for those who had faith in God alone. Now, here is where a problem
begins to be seen. A full 63% of those who responded believed they were
going to Heaven, but they cited the wrong reason for getting there. The
other 34%, who believed that Heaven came to those who placed their faith
in God (Ed: Without specifically placing their faith in God's
Substitutionary Atoning Sacrificial Lamb, Christ Jesus - Jn 1:29, Acts
4:12, 16:31, Ro 10:9,10-note
- belief in God is NOT sufficient for salvation. Neither is salvation
like a "Life Insurance Policy" but is more accurately a "(New) Life
Policy"! 2Co 5:17-note,
may be just as wrong as those who believe salvation comes as a result of
works (Ed: Which Paul clearly refutes in Ep 2:8,9-note,
Jas 2:10 Ro 3:20-note,
Gal 2:16 2Ti 1:9-note,
(kurios related to the adjective kuros - might, strong,
supremacy, authoritative) describes one having absolute legal power and
thus the one who is master or possessor. It is the one who has absolute
ownership. The kurios has control over his possessions.
Jesus is referred to some ten times as Savior and some
700 times as Lord. Supreme in Authority. Kurios
translates Jehovah (LORD in OT) in
When the two titles are mentioned together, Lord always
Is He your kurios, your Lord,
your Master, your Owner, your Possessor?
In summary, kurios signifies
sovereign power and absolute authority. The primary idea is Jesus is the
One in possession of all power and authority over those who are truly
His possession. Paul in his description of genuine believers asks the
saints at Corinth...
Or do you not know that your body is
a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and
that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a
price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1Co 6:19,20)
Paul's point is that every genuine
believer has been purchased (and redeemed) by the precious blood of the
Lamb and now is rightfully the sole possession of the Lamb of God, Who
is Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who were never born again
called Him Lord but still lived like they belonged to themselves. In
other words, they were the "lord" of their life, as shown by their
conduct and lifestyle. Their actions of their life belied the
affirmation of their lips.
I love Paul's description in
Titus describing Jesus as the Possessor (cp Lord - "Absolute Possessor")
of blood bought believers for He...
gave Himself for us, that He might
redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for
His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:14-note)
translates the Greek noun
periousios, which speaks of property
owned as a rich and distinctive possession. The KJV translates it as
peculiar people. Here the word is used figuratively to refer God's
redeemed people as His costly possession and a distinctive
treasure. It speaks of that which is choice, chosen, being beyond usual,
special (one's own) peculiar, costly, select. The
translation of Ex 19:5
periousios- you shall be My own
possession, referring in that context to Israel (cp Dt 7:6; 14:2 Isa
43:21; Mal 3:17). Unfortunately, she forgot and forsook (for the most
part - see for exception) her Husband (Is 54:5, Je 31:32, Ho 2:19).
Spurgeon makes some piercing
comments regarding that day writing that...
He used no other word to describe
that memorable period because that terse, brief expression suggests so
much,-”in that day,”-that terrible day,- that last great
day,-that day for which all other days were made, -that day by which all
other days must be measured and judged. I pray, dear friends, that we
may, each one of us, begin to set in the light of “that day”
the things that we most prize. The riches upon which you have set your
heart, how will their value be reckoned “in that day,” and how
much of comfort will they afford you then? As for the way in which you
have been spending your wealth, will that be such as you will remember “in
that day” with satisfaction and comfort? Value your broad acres and
your noble mansions, or your more moderate possessions, according to
this gauge’ of their real worth,-how will they be valued “in that
day”? And as to the pursuits which you so eagerly follow, and which
now appear so important to you that they engross the whole of your
thoughts, and arouse all your faculties and energies, are they worthy of
all this effort? Will they seem to be so “in that day”?
What is the chief object of your
life? Will you think as much of it “in that day” as you do now?
Will you then count yourself wise to have so earnestly pursued it? You
fancy that you can defend it now, but will you be able to defend it
then, when all things of earth and time will have melted into
nothingness? You value the esteem in which you are held among men, and
you do rightly, for “a good name is better than precious ointment;”
but are you really worthy of the good name that has been given to you?
Is that favorable judgment of your fellow-creatures the verdict of
infallible truth? Will you be as highly honored “in that day”
as you are now? Will as much credit be given to you for honesty and
virtue then as is given to you now? Is there no tinsel, no veneer, no
deception, no counterfeit coin about you? O my brethren, who among us
can submit his position amid his fellowmen to such a test as this
without the most solemn questioning and searching of heart!
You young men are, perhaps, rejoicing
in your youth, and letting your heart take full liberty in the enjoyment
of earthly pleasure. God forbid that I should deprive you of any real
pleasure; but let me ask, concerning those enjoyments, how will they
appear “in that day”? Will they bear serious reflection even
now? Then, how are they likely to endure the more sober judgment that
will be exercised then? “In that day,” when the glare of this
world’s lamps shall have died out, and the glitter of its pomp shall for
over have passed into the eternal darkness, how will your pleasures look
then? Especially, if you have sold yourself for those pleasures,-if you
have bartered your peace of mind for them,-if you have disobeyed your
God in order that you might enjoy them, how will they then appear when,
at the end of the feast, the cost of it has to be met, and you have to
give in your last account?
It is truly wise for a man to be
familiar with his last hours; it is well for him often to rehearse that
grand act when he must gather up his feet in the bed, and die, his
father’s God to meet; and it is wiser still for him to overleap the
chasm which divides us from the realities of eternity, and, by the force
of faith rather than by imagination, picture himself standing in that
mighty throng of the risen dead, from every part of land and sea,-the
innumerable population of this great globe,-every eye turned in one
direction, all looking to Him Who shall sit upon the great white throne,
that Christ Who was once crucified in weakness, but who shall come in
power and great glory, appointed Judge of all mankind. I know that I am
inviting you to think of something that you do not wish to have brought
to your mind. The world plucks you by the sleeve, and says, “Come
away;” but I would fain detain you, for a little while, as the ancient
mariner held the wedding guest, yet not to tell you a quaint story of
far-off seas and strange adventures there, but solemnly to talk to you
about your immortal soul, and to stir you up to see to its future
destiny, lest Christ should come, and you should be as unprepared for
His coming as the men in the days of Noah were for the flood which swept
them all away.
Well, then, as everything is to be regarded as it will appear “in
that day,” we will try to judge our profession of religion by that
test, for it will mainly be to those who think themselves Christ’s
people that I shall speak, and I pray that a strong North wind may blow
through us; and if there be any chaff in this great heap, may it be
speedily discovered, and be driven out from amidst the wheat! (Matthew
7:21-23 The Disowned)
It should be understand that if one
reads the Scriptures in their normal, literal sense, there are several judgments
encompassed by "that day".
In Mt 25:31-46 we read of the
judgment of the "sheep and goats" which will occur after the
Great Tribulation, at the time Jesus returns to establish His
Kingdom (See study of
Millennium 3). At the beginning of His reign on "that day" He will separate
unbelieving Gentiles ("goats") from believing Gentiles ("sheep") to
determine who will be allowed into His Messianic Kingdom on earth. These
Gentile believers will have survived the Great Tribulation and thus will
populate earth in their natural bodies (in contrast to believers who
will had died and already been given their glorified bodies and who will
actually reign with Christ in His kingdom).
At the end of this 1000 years, there
will be another "that day" generally referred to as the Great
White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-14-notes), at which all other
non-believers of all ages will be judged and condemned to the Lake of
Fire. Apparently at that time unbelievers, still being deceived, will
attempt to remind the Lord Jesus (the Judge, cf 2Ti 4:1-note) of their
incredible spiritual feats while on earth.
Did we not - This phrase in
expects "an affirmative answer and thus pictures both the self-conceit and the
self-deception of the persons Jesus describes. “Surely we have
prophesied, etc." (Vincent)
(propheteuo from pró = before or forth + phemí =
tell) means literally to tell forth and can mean to speak forth God's
message, not necessarily referring to speaking of future events. In other contexts
to prophesy means to speak under inspiration and foretell future events.
In this context the meaning could be either sense, although if the
latter, it would imply that they were prophesying falsely in His name,
because the canon of revelation is complete. The only legitimate
prophesying in this age is to speak forth God's Word.
Propheteuo - 28x in 27v - Mt
7:22; 11:13; 15:7; 26:68; Mk. 7:6; 14:65; Lk 1:67; 22:64; Jn. 11:51;
Acts 2:17, 18; 19:6; 21:9; 1Co. 11:4, 5; 13:9; 14:1, 3, 4, 5, 24, 31,
39; 1Pe 1:10; Jude 1:14; Rev. 10:11; 11:3
Henry Morris in fact feels that...
There are actually prophets and miracle workers who--perhaps sincerely,
perhaps not--profess to be Christians but instead are unsaved, deluded
and even enabled to do "wonderful works" by Satan in order to lead
people to follow a false Christ.
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
The Disciple's Study Bible rightly remarks
Miraculous powers do not give
proof of authentic faith. Many in the first century claimed miraculous
powers. Like the magicians at Pharaoh's court (Ex 7:11), they sometimes
succeeded. The claim here is centered around "in your name.'' False
disciples gain public acclaim for themselves. The source of their
success is not easily explained. Their lack of faith is clearly evident.
They do not act in accordance with God's will. Love for self, not for
others, dominates their lives. Jesus claims as His own only humble,
obedient servants. See Acts 19:13, 14, 15, 16.
In Your name - This phrase is
repeated three times. All that these individuals did, they did
ostensibly in the Name of Jesus, acting as if they were His legitimate
representatives! They spoke the correct "religious
dialect". They carried out the correct religious activities and
ostensibly did so for the "right reasons". And yet they were veritable
evangelical impostors and church charlatans, for their hearts had never
been changed by grace through faith.
Someone's "name" in Scripture stood for their character, the very
essence of who they were (see Eerdman's note below). These fakers
claimed to be Jesus' representatives who had His authority and thus the
association of Jesus' name would have lent some degree of credibility to
the prophecy, the casting out of demons or the miracles. As an aside,
Jesus did not correct their assertion that they had performed these
deeds. Irregardless whether they actually did perform these deeds did
not determine their fate. It was their heart of evil which continually
practiced evil deeds which identified them as unregenerate and
determined their eternal destiny in the lake of fire.
Eerdman's Dictionary comments on the concept of name in
When Shakespeare asserted that “a rose by any other name would smell as
sweet” (Romeo and Juliet II.ii.43) he was emphatically not expressing an
idea that had any warrant in the biblical world — or anywhere else in
the ancient Near East. In the ancient world generally, a name was not
merely a convenient collocation of sounds by which a person, place, or
thing could be identified; rather, a name expressed something of the
very essence of that which was being named. Hence, to know the name was
to know something of the fundamental traits, nature, or destiny of that
to which the name belonged. (Freedman, D. N., Myers, A. C., & Beck, A.
B.. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (944). Grand Rapids, Mich.: W. B.
See related topic -
Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower:
Spurgeon writes that...
they used the name, which is dear to
the disciples of Christ, but they did not possess the nature of
disciples. They used Christ’s name, for they said to Him, “Have we
prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy
name done many wonderful works?” They knew Christ’s name, but they had
not His nature. They quoted His name, but they never copied His example.
They had never come to Him, and trusted and loved Him. They knew His
name, but they did not know Him; and He knew their names, but He did not
know them. There was no communion -- no intimate intercourse between
When they say “We prophesied in
Your Name,” etc, notice that Jesus does not deny their claims of
seemingly sensational supernatural activities! This suggests that
miracles may be wrought through professing believers which should serve
to remind us all that in the final analysis, miracles do not provide a
valid assessment of one's heart condition!
Moses had long before warned
about those who prophesy falsely...
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams
arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the
wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go
after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' 3 you
shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams;
for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD
your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall follow
the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments,
listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 "But that prophet or
that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled
rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of
Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the
way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge
the evil from among you. (Dt 13:1-5)
Jesus warned that in the time
false Christs and false prophets will
arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if
possible, even the elect. (Mt 24:24)
Spurgeon makes an interesting
observation that Jesus states the false professors...
prophesied, but they did
not pray. Prayer is a vital evidence of Christianity, but prophecy is
A thousand sermons would not prove a man to be a Christian, but one
genuine prayer would. It is easy enough to speak to men, but quite
another thing, from our inmost soul, to speak into the ear of God. They
failed in that point; and, therefore, their failure was fatal.
Cast out demons - This action
was practiced during the ministry of Jesus (cp Mt 4:24; 8:16, 31; 9:33,
34; 12:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; 17:18) and of the twelve disciples (see
below) as well as in the early Church (e.g., Acts 5:16; 16:18; 19:12).
Jesus gave authority to His
disciples including the unregenerate Judas Iscariot to cast out
And having summoned His twelve
disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them
out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 2 Now
the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is
called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the
tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the
Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. 5 These twelve
Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying...
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely
give. (Mt 10:1-5, 8)
Dr Luke records both successful and
unsuccessful exorcisms encounters related to the Name of Jesus...
And it happened that as we (Paul and
Silas in Philippi) were going to the place of prayer, a certain
slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her
masters much profit by fortunetelling. Following after Paul and us, she
kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High
God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." (Ed:
Notice that her theology was quite orthodox! Interesting!) And she
continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and
turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus
Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.
(Paul in Ephesus) Some of the Jewish
exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those
who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I
adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14 And seven sons of one
Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 And the evil spirit
answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul,
but who are you?" 16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit,
leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that
they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known
to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon
them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. (Acts
Scofield has the following
summary on demons:
(1) Demons are spirits (Mt 12:43,45),
Satan's emissaries (Mt 12:26,27), and so numerous as to make Satan's
power practically ubiquitous (Mk 5:9).
(2) They are capable of entering and
controlling both men and beasts (Mk 5:2, 5,11 - 13), and earnestly seek
embodiment, without which, apparently, they are powerless for evil (Mt
12:43, 44; Mark 5:10, 11, 12).
(3) Demon influence and demon
possession are discriminated in the NT Instances of the latter are Mt
4:24; 8:16,28,33; 9:32; 12:22; Mk 1:32; 5:15, 16,18; Luke 8:36; Acts
(4) Demons are unclean, sullen,
violent and malicious (Mt 8:28; 9:33; 10:1; 12:43; Mk 1:23; 5:3 - 5;
9:17,20; Lk 6:18; 9:39).
(5) They know Jesus Christ as Most
High God and recognize His supreme authority (Mt 8:31, 32; Mk 1:23,24;
Acts 19:15; Jas 2:19).
(6) They know their eternal fate to
be one of torment (Mt 8:29; Lk 8:31).
(7) They inflict physical maladies
(Mt 12:22; 17:15, 16, 17, 18; Lk 13:16). However, mental disease is to
be distinguished from the disorder of mind due to demonic control.
(8) Demon influence may manifest
itself in religious asceticism (1Ti 4:1, 2, 3), degenerating into
(9) The sign of demon influence in
religion is departure from the faith, i.e. the body of revealed truth in
the Scriptures (1Ti 4:1).
(10) The demons maintain a conflict
with Christians who would be spiritual (Ep 6:12; 1Ti 4:1, 2, 3). The
Christian's resources are prayer and bodily control (Mt 17:21), "the
full armor of God" (Eph 6:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18).
(11) All unbelievers are open to
demon possession (Ep 2:2).
(12) Exorcism in the name of Jesus
Christ (Acts 16:18) was practiced for demon possession. A
(13) One of the awful features of the
apocalyptic judgments in which this age will end is an emergence of
demons out of the abyss (Re 9:1-11,20).
Performed many miracles - Note
their miraculous works were not few but many and again
Jesus does not dispute their claim to fame! How many people in our day
are ready to fall for miracles and follow miracle workers.
from dunamai = to be able, to have power) power especially
achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the
power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for
functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability),
the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Dunamis can be
used of any kind of extraordinary power, in this case of miraculous
D A Carson
The false claimants have prophesied
in Jesus' Name and by that Name exorcised demons and performed miracles.
There is no reason to judge their claims false; their claims are not
false but insufficient. Significantly the miracles Jesus specifies
were all done by His disciples during His ministry (cf. Mt 10:1, 2, 3, 4)
(Ed note: Remember this included Judas Iscariot who would betray
Him and clearly was a non-believer!) (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
Note that it is not
spectacular public works of ministry but the "poor in spirit" private acts of righteousness that reveal
the authenticity (or lack of) a person's relationship with Jesus (Mt
As Spurgeon explains...
they attended to marvels, but not to
essentials. They neglected the important things, which should have been
done in secret; they did much that could be seen in public, but they
failed in the plainer, simpler things that nobody saw. Let me just say
to you, brothers and sisters, that herein lies a great part of our
<> the risk of getting a
religious character without having a renewed heart,
<> doing religious actions
without really being born again,
<> learning the brogue of the
New Jerusalem without having been born as a citizen of the heavenly
<> becoming fluent talkers,
and earnest workers, but not having confessed sin, or repented of it, or
laid hold on Jesus Christ by living faith.
I do beseech you, young professors,
to covet most of all secret holiness (see
<> the holiness that does not
wish to be seen,
<> plain, honest dealing with
God in private,
<> much secret prayer and
meditation upon the Word,
<> in brief, a life of true
consecration to God.
You may prophesy if God calls you to
do so. Perhaps you will cast out devils, I hope you may; and in Christ’s
name you may do many wonderful works; but, first of all, “ye must be
born again.” You must become as little children to sit at the feet of
Jesus, and to learn of him. You must be obedient to His commands, and
yield yourselves up to Him, or else you will be fatally mistaken,
whatever profession you may make. (The
William MacDonald adds
From these verses we learn that not
all miracles are of divine origin and that not all miracle workers are
divinely accredited. A miracle simply means that a supernatural power is
at work. That power may be divine or satanic. Satan may empower his
workers to cast out demons temporarily, in order to create the illusion
that the miracle is divine. He is not dividing his kingdom against
itself in such a case, but is plotting an even worse invasion of demons
in the future. (MacDonald
& Farstad -- Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
The fact that Jesus never knew
the false professors is not taught only in this passage but is seen in a
number of Scriptures which illustrates how close to
spiritual reality one may come and yet fail to be genuinely saved. One
of the most bizarre OT examples is the prophet
and in the NT we see the tragic saga of
(see also below re Judas Iscariot).
John describes professors
whose "true colors" became known during their lifetime writing that...
They went out from us, but they were
not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained
with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they
all are not of us. (1 John 2:19) (Comment: They once
professed to believe in Christ but later renounced
the faith and began to manifest
the spirit of antichrist. Their failure to continue in the faith proved
they never had true saving faith in Christ. Genuine believers, although
they may stumble and backslide, inevitably will continue in the faith
until the end of their life -- they will persevere if they are true
The writer of Hebrews affirms
this doctrine of perseverance of the saints (see
For we have become partakers of
Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the
end (See note
Are there any Biblical examples of
those who cast out demons, etc, but who were unquestionably unbelievers?
In Matthew 10 we read that after naming the 12 disciples, they were sent
And having summoned His twelve
disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them
out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is
called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the
tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and
the one who betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing
them, saying, "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter
any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house
of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven
is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the
lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give.
It follows that Judas Iscariot,
clearly an unbeliever, may have prophesied, cast out demons, and
performed miracles, including healing the sick, raising dead and
cleansing of lepers, but ultimately proved to be a "bad tree" because he
did not do the will of the Father but instead continually practiced
lawlessness. Mere professed devotion to Christ as
"Lord, Lord" is but another Judas kiss!
Spurgeon makes the distinction
that these professors...
were not silenced by men. They
prophesied in Christ’s name, yet nobody said to them, “You shall not
prophesy again, for you are living such inconsistent lives that we will
not listen to you.” This does not appear to have happened with any one
of these people. The man who went about casting out devils was not
stopped, but he kept on doing so, and he declared even to Christ that he
had done it, and done it continually.
Their tongues belied their hands.
They said, “Lord, Lord,” but they did not do the will of the Lord. They
were very glib of tongue when they took to prophesying, but the message
never came out of their hearts. They never did the things they told
others to do; they were earnest to exhort, but not diligent to set a
good example to their hearers. They cast out devils; but, at the same
time, they did not themselves escape from the power of the devil by
giving up sin, and following after righteousness. They failed in the
matter of practical holiness. They had not the grace of God in their
souls, displaying itself in their ordinary, everyday actions. They could
talk; they could sing; they could prophesy; but they were not obedient
to the divine commands, and they did not walk in the ways of God. (The
Spurgeon adds that these
clung to their false hopes right to
the end. They did not really know of the deception themselves. “What!”
you ay, “did they never think that they were deceived?” Perhaps they
did, now and then; but they always said to themselves. “We must not get
into a doubting frame of mind. This looking within, and searching our
hearts, will not do it will disturb and distress us.” So they went on
daubing themselves with untempered mortar. They were as wrong as wrong
could be, yet everybody treated them as though they were right, so they
thought at last that they were right. For a man may, in time, make
himself believe what he knows to be a lie. I have heard persons tell
stories about themselves which had not any foundation in fact; but they
have told them so often that I am sure they believe at last that they
are really speaking the truth; though, if they would only think
seriously, they would perceive that their tale is all invention. A man
may go in and out among Christians, join in their prayers, and praises,
and communions, and preach their gospel or hear it, till, at last,
without any reason for his belief, be may persuade himself that it is
all right. He may even pass through the portals of death undeceived. The
righteous are often troubled when they come to die; but it is with these
self-deceived people as the psalmist says, “There are no bands in their
death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men;
neither are they plagued like other men.” Take heed, I beseech you, of
self-deception. I say it first to myself, and next to you, lest, not
until “that day” should we hear the Lord Jesus say to us, “I never knew
you,” and lest, even “in that day,” we should say to him, “Lord, Lord,”
and begin to argue that we were all right’, and Christ should put an end
to it all by saying, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (The
J C Ryle warns that...
The time is fast coming when nothing
but authenticity will stand the fire. Authentic repentance towards
God--authentic faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ--authentic holiness
of heart and life--these, these are the things which will alone stand
the judgment at the last day. (Practical Religion)
John MacArthur notes that the
unbeliever's claims of prophesying, casting out demons and miracles can
be explained in one of three ways...
(1) It may be that they were
allowed to do those amazing works by God’s power. God put words in
Balaam’s mouth, even though that prophet was false and wicked (Nu
23:5). King Saul, after he became apostate had the “Spirit of God
[come] upon him mightily, so that he prophesied” (1Sa 10:10). The
wicked high priest Caiaphas unwittingly and unintentionally “prophesied
that Jesus was going to die for the nation” (John 11:51).
(2) A second possibility is that
those amazing acts were accomplished by Satan’s power. Jesus
predicted that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will
show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the
elect” (Matt. 24:24). The unbelieving sons of Sceva, for example,
were Jewish exorcists, who made their living casting out demons (Acts
19:13-14). Mark 9:38-40 tells of someone outside the apostles casting
out demons. Paul promises false signs in the last days, lying wonders of
Satan (2 Thes 2:8-10). Acts 8:11 describes the work of a satanic
sorcerer. Today there are miracle workers, healers, and exorcists who
claim to work for Jesus Christ but are satanic deceivers.
(3) A third possibility is that some of the claims were simply false.
The prophecies, exorcisms, and miracles were fake and contrived. No
doubt all three will be represented.
Matthew 1-7 Macarthur New Testament Commentary
Chicago: Moody Press)
Hebert Lockyer (in his
fascinating work entitled
Last Words of Saints and Sinners) gives us an
example of a man who in essence said "Lord, Lord" but his life clearly
Casanova, renowned for his
self-indulgence, ended his life in self-deception. On his death bed at
the age of 73, he said "I have lived as a philosopher and
die as a Christian." (Wrong!)
to them, 'I
FROM ME, YOU WHO
Amplified: And then
I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from
Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
Bible - Lockman)
KJV: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
NLT: But I will reply, `I never knew you. Go away; the things
you did were unauthorized.' (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Then I shall tell them plainly, 'I have never known
you. Go away from me, you have worked on the side of evil!'"
To follow Christ's teaching means the only real security.
Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: And then I will declare in a public announcement
to them, I never came to know you experientially. Be going away from
me, you who are working the lawlessness. (Eerdmans)
Young's: and then I will acknowledge to them, that -- I never
knew you, depart from me ye who are working lawlessness.
And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you;
FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS:
kai tote homologeso (1SFAI)
autois oti Oudepote ethnon (1SAAI) humas; apochoreite (2PPAM) ap' hemou
oi ergazomenoi (PMPMPV) ten anomian: (Never Mt 25:12; John 10:14,27, 28, 29, 30; 2Timothy 2:19) (Depart
Mt 25:41; Ps 5:5; 6:8; Luke 13:25,27; Re 22:15)
Then (tote) means at that
time. Then is an adverb of time and often serves as a marker of
subsequent time. In other words, then is often used to introduce
what follows in sequence. Remember that whenever you encounter a then
in Scripture, pause for a moment (slow down) and ask the simple
question, "What time is it?" or "When is then?" or "What is the sequence
of events being explained?" or "What follows then?". As you begin
to practice reading the Scriptures with this interrogative mindset (see
interrogate with the 5W'S & H
expressions of time),
you will find yourself being rewarded with "nuggets of gold", precious
insights that otherwise you would have just passed over with a
superficial, "I've got to read through the Bible in a year" mentality.
As you read through the Scriptures in a year, you might consider keeping
a simple journal in which you record some of the "nuggets" your Teacher,
the Spirit (cp Jn 14:26), illuminates for you as you take time to read
Spurgeon warns all those who
might be deceived by "spiritual deeds" of whatever kind that...
If Christ does not know us, it
matters not what we do. Even if we work miracles, if we astound the
world with our abilities, it is all nothing if Christ does not know us.
Now, I think there are many here who can humbly but confidently say,
“He knows me.” He knows some of us, if by nothing else, by our
constantly begging of Him. We have been at Him day and night in our
necessities, pleading for His bounty, His mercy, His company; and He
cannot say He does not know us. He knows a great deal about us, even
through our prayers, if by no other way.
(homologeo from homoú = together with + légo = say)
means literally to say the same or agree in one's statement with
another. Homologeo is to publicly acknowledge a fact often reference to
bad behavior. In the present context homologeo means to make an emphatic
declaration. Homologeo is used elsewhere of open confession of
Christ before men (Mt 10:32; Ro 10:9); of John’s public declaration that
he was not the Christ (Jn 1:20); of Herod’s promise to Salome in the
presence of his guests (Mt 14:7).
There are 26 uses of homologeo
in the NT - Mt 7:23; 10:32; 14:7; Lk 12:8; Jn 1:20; 9:22; 12:42; Ac
7:17; 23:8; 24:14; Ro 10:9, 10; 1Ti 6:12; Titus 1:16; He 11:13; 13:15;
1Jn 1:9; 2:23; 4:2, 3, 15; 2Jn. 1:7; Re 3:5
I never knew you - As
There is more thunder in those four
words than you ever heard in the most terrible tempest that has rolled
over your heads. There is no stamp of the foot or fire-glance of the eye
to accompany them; they are spoken calmly and deliberately, yet they are
terrible and overwhelming: “I never knew you."
(oudepote from oude = not even + pote = at any
time) means not even at a time or never at all did I know you! The
point is they were not "once saved" persons who then fell into sin and thereby
"lost" their salvation. They simply were never at any time
saved. Genuine salvation
cannot be lost!
There are 16 uses of oudepote
in the NT - Mt 7:23; 9:33; 21:16, 42; 26:33; Mk. 2:12, 25; Lk. 15:29;
Jn. 7:46; Acts 10:14; 11:8; 14:8; 1 Co. 13:8; Heb. 10:1, 11
The words of an engraving from the
cathedral of Lubeck, Germany, echo Jesus' sobering declaration...
Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to
You call Me master and obey Me not,
You call Me light and see Me not,
You call Me the way and walk Me not,
You call Me life and live Me not,
You call Me wise and follow Me not,
You call Me fair and love Me not,
You call Me rich and ask Me not,
You call Me eternal and seek Me not,
If I condemn thee, blame Me not.
Spurgeon writes that Jesus
will not express Himself either...
passionately or angrily, but in
stern, sad, solemn tones he said,
"I never knew you."
"But we used Thy Name, good Lord."
"I know you did, but I never knew you, and you never truly knew Me."
I can almost imagine someone turning
around in that day and saying to some Christians who used to sit in that
"You knew me."
"Yes," they will reply, "we knew you, but that is of no avail, for the
Master did not know you."
I can picture some of you crying out
to your minister,
"Pastor, did not you know us? Surely
you recollect what we used to do."
What can he reply?
"Ah, yes, sorrowfully do I own that I
know you, but I cannot help you. It is only Christ's knowing you that
can be of any avail to you."
(ginosko) describes knowledge that one gains through direct
personal involvement or experience. Here clearly Jesus uses ginosko
not so much to describe His understanding but His relationship
(actually lack of) with these evildoers. It is therefore not surprising
that ginosko is sometimes used in the NT to describe intimate
relationship, even speaking occasionally of marital intimacy
between a man and woman (cf Bride and Bridegroom, Re 19:7, 8, 9 -see notes
9). In other words a husband
knowing his wife was a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse (Mt
Jesus is fully God, fully omniscient
and thus He obviously knew their identity (their heart). What Jesus is saying in
"I was never at any time acquainted
with you (never had an experiential knowledge of or with you implying that you
never experienced Me, never had fellowship or communion with Me.)"!
Luke records a similar charge
by Jesus for evildoers to depart...
And someone said to Him, "Lord, are
there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive
to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter
and will not be able. 25 "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts
the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying,
'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not
know where you are from.' 26 "Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and
drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets'; 27 and He will
say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you are from;
FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.'
28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God,
but yourselves being cast out. 29 "And they will come from east and
west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the
kingdom of God. 30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some
are first who will be last." (Lk 13:23-30)
John in the context of his
description of the state of eternal bliss (heaven), has a brief
description of the horrible fate of all evildoers of all times writing
Outside are the dogs and the
sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters,
and everyone who loves (present
lying. (Re 22:15-note)
Comment: Take careful note of
the fact that the tenses of the action verbs loves and
practices is , which clearly indicates that these actions
characterize the lifestyle of these individuals. We have all told a lie
(even if just a little "white lie"!), but John is not talking about
these occasional "blips" on the radar screen (that identifies intruders
called "sins"), but about one's continual, unrepentant practice of
loving lying! Compare this description with Jesus' words practice
Spurgeon notes that...
it does not appear that Christ
himself openly disowned these people during their lifetime. He held his
tongue concerning them until “that day.” There they were, preaching,
teaching a Sunday-school class, distributing the bread and wine at the
communion, going about among their fellow-members, actively engaged in
Christian service, and everybody saying of them, “What good people they
are! “Yet the Lord Jesus Christ knew that they were not; why, then, did
he not, in his righteous wrath, at once expose them? He did not, for
such is his gentleness that he will bear long-even with a Judas; so he
let these hypocrites alone throughout their whole lives, and they died
“in the odor of sanctity,” and somebody preached a funeral sermon upon
them, and wrote their memoir, and it was only at the last great day that
the imposture was discovered, and then, for the first time, Christ said
publicly to them, “I never knew you." (The
Note that Jesus is not describing
people who were once saved and then lost their salvation. They
were never saved (oudepote = never, not at any time). The Bible does not teach one
can lose their salvation contrary to what many of, for example, the
Arminian persuasion falsely teach. There are many
passages that support the
fact that once you are genuinely saved (emphasis on "genuine"), you are
eternally secure. Take for example, Jesus' own words on this subject in
John 10 in which He declared...
My sheep (whose sheep? Who is the
compare the idea of "Lord" or kurios) hear My voice, and I know (ginosko - experientially know) them,
and they follow (literally walk the same way after) Me and I give
eternal (How long?) life to them, and they
(Jesus uses the strongest Greek
expression possible - the double negative [ou me] meaning
absolutely never, not ever! He could not have been any more clear!)
perish (apollumi = destruction, not annihilation - Apollumi refers to
that which is ruined and no longer usable for its originally intended
purpose!); and no one
(Again Jesus chooses the strongest Greek negative to leave no "wiggle"
room for those who would say He did not teach eternal security!) shall
= snatch like a wolf comes into a flock of sheep and suddenly seizes and
catches away a little lambkin. Jesus' words are meant to comfort every
lamb who is truly His. He will lose none!) them out of My hand. My
Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and
(For the third time Jesus uses not the Greek word for "relative
negation" but absolute negation - Literally "but absolutely not one", no
one, nothing, none at all; not even one, not the least! Jesus could not
have been more clear, beloved!) is able (dunamai = speaks of the
inherent ability to carry out some task - in this case no one at all has
the capacity to pull off the heist of a truly saved soul!) to snatch (harpazo
again - Jesus' repetition shuts the door on the possibility that a true
believer could ever be lost! Safe in the Father and safe in the Son. If
you have the Spirit's assurance that you are a true believer, then you
can sleep well every night of your life!) them out of the Father's hand.
I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30)
C H Spurgeon dissects the
identity of the throng to whom Jesus makes the declaration "I never knew
Well, first, they were persons who
made an open profession. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” They called
Christ “Lord”; so they virtually declared that they were His
disciples. They said this plainly, as though they were not at all
ashamed of it, and were, indeed, even proud of it. They said it twice
over, zealously, frequently, “Lord, Lord.” They said it as
if the saying of it were so sweet to them that they could not say it
often enough. They said it in all sorts of company; they sometimes said
it when wiser men would not have said it.
We know many persons who have never
made any profession of being Christ’s followers. They that are without,
God judgeth; but let those who are within, those who have come into the
fellowship of the church, and have said, “Lord, Lord,” judge
themselves, lest they should be deceived into a false security. It is
not every one who has been called by the name of Christ whom He will own
“in that day.” There has been many a loud profession that will
count for nothing in that heart-searching time.
O my brethren, I am speaking to
myself as I speak to every member of this church, and every member of
any other Christian church, and I beseech you to see to it that you have
something more than a mere profession, for these condemned ones had made
an open profession of religion, yet Christ will say to them, “I never
Note, next, that they had undertaken
religious service, and that of a high class, for Christ says of them, “Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name?” They had not served in any mean capacity, for they had
prophesied or preached in the name of Christ. This is one of the things
to which false professors are very prone; they love to take the chief
place’s in the synagogue. There is many a true servant of Christ who
prefers to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, while many a
hypocrite, who would not keep the door on any account, would very
cheerfully occupy the prophet’s chair, and prophesy in Christ’s name.
Ah, my brethren! this thought comes
home to those of us who hold any office in the church, and especially to
those of us who are preachers of the gospel.
If preaching could save a man, Judas
would not have been damned. If prophesying could save a man, Balaam
would not have been a castaway.
We may preach with the tongues of men
and of angels; yet, if we have not love, it profiteth us nothing. We may
be even leaders of the church in the noblest and, highest enterprises;
and yet, for all that, Christ may say to us, at the last, “I never
“But, Lord, the world blazed with my
fame!” “I never knew you.”
“I gathered thousands round about
me.” “I never knew you.”
“Wherever I went, they flocked to
listen to my words.” “I never knew you.”
Some of you may say, “Lord, I was a
deacon of the church,” or, “I was an elder. I was accustomed to visit
the sick, and to speak to enquirers. Everybody in the church knew me,
and I was held in high repute;” yet he may say, “I never knew you. I am
an utter stranger to you. Your name was never familiar to me. I never
knew you; depart from me.”
This truth comes close home, and it
ought to come close home, to every one of us who has ever professed to
be engaged in Christ’s service.
These people, too, had obtained
remarkable success, for they went on to say, “Have we not, in thy
name, cast out devils?” It is grand success to cast out devils, and
hey might well rejoice in it. But, dear friends, if you and I should be
able to cast devils out of others, yet the devil should not be cast out
of ourselves, we shall be in a woeful plight at the last.
If you knew a man who had the power
to cast out a devil, you would probably say to yourself, “I wish I were
as sure of salvation as he is. Did I not see Satan, as lightning, fall
from heaven while he spake in the name of the Lord?” Suppose that did
happen, it would not prove that his name was written in the Lamb’s Book
of life. Rejoice in your success, my dear friend, as I may rejoice in
mine; but let us both rejoice with trembling; for, although we may have
brought ten thousand souls to Christ, yet, after all, we may never have
come to Him ourselves; and if so, He will say to us, at the last, “I
never knew you.”
And, once more, these people were not
merely professors, and doers of great works, and very successful, but
they were exceedingly zealous, and were noted for their practical
energy, for they said, “Have we not, in thy name, done many wonderful
works?” They had done many works in Christ’s name. They were busy
night and day; they had a great many irons in the fire. They seemed as
if they could never do too much, and what they did was really very
wonderful; in fact, they did not like to do anything unless it was
wonderful. A great part of the charm of it to them was that people
wondered at them, and it kept them diligently at their work because they
were so much wondered at. Yet is it possible that a wonderful life
should, after all, be a lost life,-that a doer of many wonderful works
should, at the last, be found wanting? Can it be? Yes, for so the Lord
Jesus puts it in our text; and, therefore, I invite each professed
believer here, however highly favored he may have been in his Master’s
service, to put away from him everything that might tend to false
security, and to ask himself, “Shall I, in that last great day of
account, be proved to be right?”
I can imagine what some of you have
been saying to yourselves while I have been speaking; you have said,
“Well, I am not a professor of religion; I am not a prophesier; I never
thought of attempting to cast out devils; I never did any wonderful
works;” and you have comforted yourselves with the thought that my
message did not concern you. But immediately after my text there is
something that relates to you: “Whosoever heareth these sayings of
mine.” (see note
Now, you are, at least, all hearers;
and if the gospel that you hear shall be so perfectly pure that it may
be truly called the sayings of Christ, yet remember that there are
multitudes of hearers who, through not being doers of the Word, will
find at last that Christ never knew them.
“But, Lord, I always sat in my seat;
I was never absent from the services, I used to be there whenever the
doors were opened. I was there as regularly a the minister himself.”
Yes, that may all be true; yet the
Lord Jesus will not know you unless your heart has truly known Him. If
you remain without repentance, and without faith (Ed
note: Notice Spurgeon sees repentance as an integral aspect
of genuine salvation - cp Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 11:20, 21, 12:41, see esp
Mk 1:15, 6:12, Lk 10:13, 11:32, 13:3, 5, see esp Lk 15:7, 10, 16:30), you may go
to the house of prayer till you totter on your staff, and you may never
once have been an inattentive hearer; but, unless faith comes to you by
the hearing of the Word (Ro 10:17-note),
and that faith makes you a doer of it, verily, verily, I say unto you,
when the winds shall blow, and the floods shall rise, and the rain shall
descend, your house shall be proved to have been founded on the sand,
and shall be swept away forever (see note
So take our text with that which goes before it, and that which follows
after it, and you will find that there is something here for every one
of you. These people went a long way in religion, but they did not go
far enough. (For full text see
7:21-23 The Disowned)
Here's a hymn I doubt we'll hear in the Sunday morning worship
I NEVER KNEW YOU
By Elizabeth Needham
When the King in His beauty shall come to His throne,
And around Him are gathered His loved ones, His own;
There be some who will knock at His fair palace door,
To be answered within, “There is mercy no more.”
“I have never known you,
I have never known you,
I have never, I have never,
I have never known you.”
They had known whence He came, and the grace which He brought;
In their presence He healed, in their streets He had taught;
They had mentioned His Name and their friendship professed;
But they never believed, for of them He confessed:
Now the righteous are reigning with Abraham there;
But for these is appointed an endless despair;
It is vain that they call: He once knocked at their gate,
But they welcomed Him not; so now this is their fate:
O sinner, give heed to this story of gloom,
For the hour is fast nearing that fixes your doom;
Will you still reject mercy? still harden your heart?
Oh, then, what will you do as the King cries, “Depart!”
DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS - Note that these
words are in all caps in the NAS, which is used in that translation to
identify a specific quotation from the Old Testament. As an aside it is
notable that the majority of the OT quotes are not taken from the
Masoretic Hebrew text but from the Greek translation known as the
Septuagint (LXX). So from what
OT passage is Jesus quoting? The answer is Psalm 6:8 which reads
Psalm 6:8 Depart from me, all you who do iniquity, For the LORD has
heard the voice of my weeping.
(apochoreo from apó = from, a marker of dissociation +
choréo = to go from a place, give space) means to move away from a
with emphasis upon separation and possible lack of concern for what has
been left. To depart in the sense of desert or abandon (as in Ac 13:13).
Jesus uses the
the commanded separation is forever.
There are only 3 uses of apochoreo
in the NT...
Matthew 7:23 "And then I will declare
to them, 'I never knew you;
depart from Me, you who
Luke 9:39 and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and
it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth, and as it
mauls him, it (demonic spirit) scarcely leaves him.
Acts 13:13 Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and
came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John left them and returned to
Moulton records a secular
In the interesting census return
reference is made to "the son of a man who had acquired the Alexandrian
citizenship and had returned to his own country,” who consequently was
to be reckoned as Alexandrian."
At the time of the judgment of the
"sheep and the goats" (see above) the King and Judge will declare...
to those on His left, 'Depart from
Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the
devil and his angels (Mt 25:41)
Comment: Is is noteworthy that Hell was not
for men but for the devil and his angels. However, men by failing to
enter by the small gate and narrow way through Christ
alone by faith alone, leave God no alternative except to send them into
this place of eternal separation and torment.
What happened to these people after
that sentence was pronounced upon them by Christ? It was that “nameless
woe” of which we sang a little while ago. There is no name that can ever
fully describe your state of woe if Christ does not know you, and says
that he never did know you. If you have no acquaintance with the
Redeemer-if in his loving heart there is no recognition of you,-if he
says, “I never knew you,” ah, then! woe! woe! Woe thousand times, woe
without hope for you; for, to be unknown of him is to be devoid of hope
for ever and forever.
Practice (2038) (ergazomai
from érgon = work) means to work out, engage in an activity involving
considerable expenditure of effort. It was used to describe one toiling
energetically and diligently in the vineyard. Jesus is not saying that
they occasionally (present tense
= habitual activity, their lifestyle) fall into sins (which can be the experience of genuine believers) but
that they continually work exerting great effort and
diligence in order to violate the law! Sadly their end justifies their
used 41 times in the NT - Mt 7:23; 21:28; 25:16; 26:10; Mk 14:6; Lk
13:14; Jn. 3:21; 5:17; 6:27, 28, 30; 9:4; Ac 10:35; 13:41; 18:3; Ro
2:10; 4:4, 5; 13:10; 1Co 4:12; 9:6, 13; 16:10; 2 Co. 7:10; Ga 6:10;
Ep 4:28; Col 3:23; 1Th 2:9; 4:11; 2Th 3:8, 10, 11, 12, He
11:33; Jas 1:20; 2:9; 2Jn 1:8; 3Jn 1:5; Re 18:17 and is
translated accomplish(1), accomplished(1), accomplishing(1), achieve(1),
committing(1), do(2),does(3), doing(2), done(3), make a living(1),
perform(5), performed(1), performing(1), practice(1), produces(1),
traded(1),work(13), working(7), works(1), wrought(1).
Practice lawlessness - They
reject God's law (and thus ultimately reject His Word and thus God
Himself!) in favor of their own self centered,
driven desires and will
for their life. They act as if there were no divine Torah (Law).
Character is satisfactorily tested by the "fruit" of obedience (cp 1Sa
Paul explains it this way...
the mind set on the
is death...because the
mind set on the
is hostile toward God;
for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not
even able to do so. (Ro 8:6, 7-notes)
In other words they won't obey God
because they can't obey God. Their "uncircumcised", unconverted,
unregenerate, unrepentant, hard hearts do not give them the power or
ability to even be able to obey God.
Adam Clarke writes that...
The sense of this verse seems to be
this: No person, by merely acknowledging my authority, believing in the
Divinity of my nature, professing faith in the perfection of my
righteousness, and infinite merit of my atonement, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven-shall have any part with God in glory; but he who
doeth the will of my Father-he who gets the bad tree rooted up, the good
tree planted, and continues to bring forth fruit to the glory and praise
of God. There is a good saying among the rabbins on this subject. "A man
should be as vigorous as a panther, as swift as an eagle, as fleet as a
stag, and as strong as a lion, to do the will of his Creator."
Lawlessness (458) (anomia
from a = without + nomos = law) is a noun which describes in
a literal sense that which is contrary to the law. As often used in the
NT, anomia can be described as living
as though one's own ideas are superior to God's. Lawlessness says, "God
may demand it but I don't prefer it." Lawlessness says, "God may promise
it but I don't want it." Lawlessness replaces God's law with my contrary
desires. I become a law to myself. Lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to make laws and govern
A profession of Christ and a
continual practice of
lawlessness as one's lifestyle are simply not compatible. As Jesus stated
earlier a good tree (a regenerate heart, a new creature in Christ) cannot
continually bear that sort of fruit (as one's virtual lifestyle)! Note that Jesus is not teaching
sinless perfection, for He knows that in this body of physical flesh, genuine
believers will sin because of the moral/ethical
that evil disposition inherited from Adam and integrally part of our
mortal bodies until we are glorified. So occasional sins or even falling
to pattern of sin for a period of time is not what Jesus means by practice
lawlessness. He is speaking here of the practice of sins as their
"natural" state. They live to commit sin. They have never had a genuine
change of heart in regard to sin. They still enjoy their sin. When a true believer sins,
they are smitten and grieved over their sin and eventually will (or
should) confess their sin
and seek to turn from the sin that grieved their Father's
heart. Genuine believers press onward and upward, albeit imperfectly, in the general direction of
Christlikeness enabled by a Spirit energized desire for godliness, righteousness
and holy things, such as His Word, prayer, fellowship with other
believers, etc. Absence of these characteristics should cause one to
examine themselves (see 2Co 13:5).
Anomia is used 15 times in the
NT - Mt 7:23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:12; Ro 4:7; 6:19; 2Co. 6:14; 2Th 2:3, 7;
Titus 2:14; He 1:9; 10:17; 1Jn 3:4. There are over 200 uses of anomia
in the Septuagint.
Paul made a
similar statement writing...
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of
God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and,
"Let everyone who (present tense
= continually) names the name of the Lord
abstain (aorist imperative
- Do this now! Don't delay! Conveys urgency!)
2 Timothy 2:19
Sitting in church does not make you a
Christian any more than sitting in a garage does not make you a car!
Unless of course you are a car sitting in a garage!
Billy Graham made the soul
sobering statement that...
No man can be said to be truly
converted to Christ who has not bent his will to Christ. He may give
intellectual assent to the claims of Christ and may have had emotional
religious experiences; however, he is not truly converted until he has
surrendered his will to Christ as Lord, Savior, and Master.
The danger of self deception -
Kent Hughes tells the following story of a lawless man who continued his
lawless ways after "conversion"...
Those of us who grew up in the
fifties are quite familiar with the name Mickey Cohen because he was the
most flamboyant criminal of the day. Perhaps some of us even remember
Cohen’s becoming a “Christian.”
At the height of his career Cohen was
persuaded to attend an evangelistic service at which he showed an
interest in Christianity. Hearing of this, and realizing what a great
influence a converted Mickey Cohen could have for Christ, many prominent
Christian leaders began visiting him in an effort to convince him to
accept Christ. Late one night, after repeatedly being encouraged to open
the door of his life on the basis of Re 3:20
(“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and
opens the door, I will come in…,” NASB), Cohen did so.
Hopes ran high among his believing acquaintances. But with the passing
of time, no one could detect any change in Cohen’s life. Finally they
confronted him with the fact that being a Christian meant he would have
to give up his friends and his profession. The logic of his response was
this: there are “Christian football players, Christian cowboys,
Christian politicians; why not a Christian gangster?”
Mickey certainly was not one of the Lord’s converts!...every experienced
Christian knows that the authenticity of a conversion will be revealed
in time and life. As a pastor, I may witness a moving conversion. But
the convert’s life will reveal the ultimate reality. I have seen
spectacular conversions fizzle and even produce enemies of the
gospel—apostates. I have seen other conversions, both dramatic and
quiet, mature into deep Christian commitment. (Hughes,
R. K. Hebrews: An Anchor for the Soul. Volume 1. Crossway Books;
Volume 2 or
Soap And Salvation - We see a strange paradox in our world
today. While there seems to be a religious awakening, there also seems
to be an increase in wickedness. It just doesn't add up.
A skeptic sneeringly said, "The gospel has lost its power. While
thousands profess Christ, nothing much is happening as a result." But
it's not the fault of the gospel. It's because people make a profession
but have no possession. It's not enough to acknowledge the truth of the
gospel and say, "Lord, Lord" (Lk. 6:46). Our lives must be transformed.
A preacher was walking down a street when he met the owner of a company
that made soap. As they talked, the soap maker said, "The gospel you
preach can't be very good for there are still a lot of wicked people."
The preacher noticed a child nearby making mud pies. The tot was smeared
with dirt from head to toe. The preacher said to his friend, "Your soap
can't be very good, for there is still a lot of dirt in the world." The
man responded, "Well, it cleanses only when a person uses it."
"Exactly!" said the preacher.
Is your faith real--not merely a profession, but heartfelt trust in
Do you have a relationship with
Jesus that has changed your life? -- M. R. De Haan, M.D. (founder of
RBC Ministries) (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
I've reckoned myself to be dead unto
And risen with Christ, and now He lives within;
The "life more abundant" He gives unto me,
This overflow life gives me full victory! --Kirk
Your Christianity isn't worth much
if it doesn't change your character.
Above The Crowd - When the
steeple of a local church caught fire after being struck by lightning,
firefighters had a difficult time putting out the blaze. The crew had to
haul heavy hoses up three flights of stairs to save the structure, which
was described as tall, windowless, and empty.
I know some people who fit the description of that steeple. They are
"tall" in the sense that they set themselves above others. They are
"windowless" in that they never let anyone see inside. And they are
"empty" because they never allow anything to get inside.
Whenever we set ourselves above and apart from others, we become
spiritual firetraps, and one small spark can ignite a devastating blaze.
Pride is particularly dangerous because Satan disguises it as good and
makes us think we don't need God. Pride keeps many "good" people from
entering heaven. And some who accomplish great miracles in Jesus' name
will one day hear Him say, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23). But others
who humble themselves are "the greatest in the kingdom of heaven"
We have the opportunity to learn the truth that Satan does not want us
to believe: True godliness is achieved not by elevating ourselves but by
lowering ourselves. —Julie Ackerman Link
God often uses lowly things
His purpose to fulfill,
Because it takes a humble heart
To carry out His will. —D. De Haan
Those who know God will be humble;
those who know themselves cannot be proud.
Spurgeon in his notes on
Matthew 7:21-23 related to his sermon The Disowned writes...
ONE of the best tests of everything
is how it will appear in the moment of death, in the morning of
resurrection, and at the day of judgment. Our Lord gives us a picture of
persons as they will appear "in that day."
Riches, honors, pleasures, successes, self-congratulations, etc., should
all be set in the light of "that day."
This test should especially be applied to all religious professions and
exercises; for "that day" will try these things as with fire.
The persons here depicted in judgment-light were not gross and open
sinners; but externally they were excellent.
I. THEY WENT A LONG WAY IN RELIGION.
1. They made an open profession. They
said, "Lord, Lord."
2. They undertook Christian service, and that of a high class: they
habitually prophesied and worked miracles.
3. They had obtained remarkable success.
Devils had owned their power.
4. They were noted for their
They had done many wonders: they were
active in many ways.
They had done wonders. Astonished everybody.
5. They were diligently orthodox.
They did everything in the name of
Christ. The words "Thy name" are mentioned three times.
II. THEY KEPT IT UP A LONG WHILE.
1. They were not silenced by men.
No one discovered their falsehood, or
detected their inconsistency.
2. They were not openly disowned by
the Lord himself during life.
3. They were not made a laughing-stock by being left to use the holy
name without result (Acts 19:13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Devils were cast out.
4. They expected to enter the Kingdom, and they clung to that false hope
to the last. They dared to say, "Lord, Lord," to Christ himself, at the
III. THEY WERE FATALLY MISTAKEN.
1. Their tongue was belied by their
hand They said, "Lord, Lord," but did not do the will of the Father.
2. They used the name which is named
by disciples, but did not possess the nature of obedient servants (Luke
3. They prophesied, but did not pray.
4. They cast out devils, but the
devil was not cast out of them.
5. They attended to marvels, but not
6. They wrought wonders, but were
also workers of iniquity.
IV. THEY FOUND IT OUT IN A
They had the information from the
mouth of him whom they called Lord.
Here let us carefully notice:
1. The solemnity of what he said. "I
never knew you. " He had been omitted from their religion. What an
2. The terror of what it implied:
they must depart from all hope, and continue for ever to depart.
3. The awful truth of what he said.
They were utter strangers to his heart. He had not chosen them, nor
communed with them, nor approved them, nor cared for them.
4. The solemn fixedness of what he
said. His sentence would never be recalled, altered, or ended. It stood,
"depart from me."
Brethren, the Lord cannot say to some
of us that he does not know us, for he has often heard our voices, and
answered our requests.
He has known us—
In repentance, seeking mercy, and
In gratitude, blessing his gracious name.
In adversity, looking for his aid, and enjoying it.
In reproach, owning his cause under ridicule.
In difficulty, seeking help and safety under his wing.
In love, enjoying happy fellowship with him.
In these and many other ways he knows us.
Professors, does Jesus know you? The
church knows you, the school knows you, the world knows you; does Jesus
Come unto him, ye strangers, and find eternal life in him
In many simple works God is more seen
than in wonderful works. The Pharisee at heaven's gate says, "Lord, I
have done many wonderful works in thy name"; but, alas, has he ever made
the Lord's name wonderful? —T. T. Lynch
Pollok describes the hypocritical professor as—
The man that stole the livery of
To serve the devil in.
I knew you well enough for "black
sheep," or, rather, for reprobate goats: I knew you for hirelings and
hypocrites, but I never knew you with a special knowledge of love,
delight, and complacency. I never acknowledged, approved, and accepted
of your persons and performances (Ps 1:6-note; Ro 11:2-note). —John Trapp
Not "I once knew you, but cannot own you now;" but "I never knew you; as
real penitents, suppliants for pardon, humble believers, true
followers." —E. R. Conder
Note our Lord's open confession before men and angels, and specially to
the men themselves: "I never knew you." I knew about you; I knew that
you professed great things; but you had no acquaintance with me; and
whatever you knew about me, you did not know me. I was not of your
company, and did not know you. Had he once known them, he would not have
Those who accept his invitation, "Come unto me," shall never hear him
say, "Depart from me." Workers of iniquity may now come to the Savior
for mercy; but if they set up a hope of their own, and ignore the
Savior, he will bid them depart to endure the rigors of his justice. Is
it not striking that preachers, casters-out of devils, and doers of
wonders, may yet be workers of iniquity? They may work miracles in
Christ's name, and yet have neither part nor lot in him. —C. H. S.
"Depart from me,"—a fearful sentence, a terrible separation. "From me,"
said Christ, that made myself man for your sakes, that offered my blood
for your redemption. "From me," that invited you to mercy, and you would
not accept it. "From me," that purchased a kingdom of glory for such as
believed on me, and have resolved to honor their heads with crowns of
eternal joy. "Depart from me:" from my friendship, my fellowship, my
paradise, my presence, my heaven. —Thomas Adams
Spurgeon concludes his
exposition on Jesus' sobering words with this plea...
Judge ye, dear friends, whether ye
know Christ or not, and whether Christ knows you; and, as you judge
yourselves, whatever your verdict may be, take this last word of advice;
whether he knows you or not, come to him; trust in him; rest in him. I
felt, as I was thinking over this subject, “Well, perhaps my Lord does
not know me;” so I made sure that he should, for I sought him there and
then; and I exhort you to do the same. If you fear whether you do know
him, trust him this very moment. Then, if you have made a mistake
hitherto, and have not really known him, you will begin to know him now;
and if you have known him, you will blessedly renew your acquaintance
with him, and the question that has troubled you will disappear, and you
will say, “Yes, Lord, blessed be thy name, I do know thee, and thou
knowest me, and thou wilt know me for ever and ever.” May the Lord give
each one of us this blessing, for Jesus sake! Amen
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