Mat 7:22 – 23 says:
Many will say to Me in that day, Master, Master, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many works of power? And then I will declare to them, from everlasting, I never knew you; “depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” (Psa. 6:8)
To many, this is probably one of the scariest verses in the Bible. It leaves in question the ultimate salvation of us all. After all, those who are quoted in the verse claim Yeshua is their Lord. Notice, they prophesied, cast out demons and did many works of power yet Yeshua claims he never even knew them. There is a very clear indication of the crowd He is speaking about here and it involves the word lawlessness, most often translated iniquity. The Greek word is Anomia:
From G459; illegality, that is, violationoflaw or (generally) wickedness: – iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.
Notice the indication that their problem was they were transgressors of “the “law”? Which “law” is he speaking of here? Notice the reference to G459 and it’s relationship to anomia? Let’s take a look at G459:
From G1 (as a negative particle) and G3551; lawless, that is, (negatively) notsubjectto (the Jewish) law; (by implication a Gentile), or (positively) wicked: – without law, lawless, transgressor, unlawful, wicked.
We’re beginning to see a pattern here, lawlessness is equated to breaking the “Jewish” law. Let’s look a little deeper and check out the reference of G3551:
From a primary word νέμω nemō (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle): – law.
Now we get to the bottom of this whole thing!! The root word of “anomia” is “nomos”!! What Yeshua is referring to as works of iniquity or lawlessness is breaking the Torah!! The Mosaic Law, wrongly called the “Jewish” Law!! This makes sense as Yeshua said those who teach to obey the Torah will be great in the Kingdom of God, those who teach to break them will be the least (Matt 5:19). Also notice in the above definition the connection of the law of Moses and the Gospel! They cannot be separated. Maybe this is why Yeshua taught His disciples to do what is read in Moses’s seat (the words of Moses) in Matt 23:1-7 but be careful and beware of the traditions of men (which are a heavy burden on people). Yeshua taught several times about rejecting the traditions of men that many teach as doctrine (Mark 7th chapter). In the early church the council at Jerusalem even taught the new Gentile believers to follow the Torah when they quoted parts of it in Acts 15:18-21. The Apostle James expected believers to learn Moses being taught every Sabbath in the synagogue and reject the traditions of men as referred to in Acts 15:10.
But wait!! Didn’t Yeshua say those who follow after Him will have signs following? Shouldn’t we be looking for signs? He did, after, all say signs will confirm the preaching of the gospel. Mark 16:15-20 says:
And He said to them, Going into all the world, preach the good news to all the creation. The one believing and being baptized will be saved. And the one not believing will be condemned. And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: they will cast out demons in My name; they will speak new languages; they will take up snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will be healed. Then indeed, after speaking to them, the Master Yahshua was taken up into Heaven, and sat off the right of YAHWEH. (Psa. 110:1) And they went out and preached in all places. And our Master was helping them and establishing their words by the signs that they were doing.
Notice at the end of this passage the Master was helping them? Notice they were told to preach the good news first? What is the good news? To put it quite simply, through the redemptive work of Yeshua on the cross we can experience adoption into YHVH’s family as His adopted children and covenant people living according to His instruction. We are no longer shut out of the covenants and promises of YHVH to His people!! That, indeed, is GOOD NEWS!! We can be blessed by living according to the Torah and receive it’s promises through the salvation offered through Yeshua. We no longer fall under the curse of the Torah!! It was this good news Yeshua preached before His death and resurrection and what he told His disciples to preach as well. The preaching of the good news was always accompanied by miraculous signs (see Matt 4:23, 9:35, Mark 16:15-19, Luke 7:22, 8:1-3, Luke 9:6, 20:1-8) .
So we see according to the Bible, the manifestation of miraculous signs following the preaching of the gospel confirms His word. Do miracles, in themselves, qualify us as His people? Let’s look a little further….
Yeshua Himself said an evil and adulterous generation seek after signs (Matt. 12:39). In Acts chapter 8, Simon the sorcerer did many miracles, believed and was baptized but was in no way a child of The Most High as indicated by Peter in verse 21. Peter told him to repent but there is no indication in the scriptures he actually did so. The text says he told Peter to intercede on his behalf but, then again, no indication in the text that Peter actually did as he was told.
We also see in Egypt the magicians doing miraculous things, even the same things as Moses did to a point. They could not replicate the plague of lice and any of the following miracles. There again, signs can be deceiving. In Deut 13:1-5 it clearly states that anyone doing miracles but teaching against the Torah (leading them astray to false gods) is to be stoned as they are a false prophet.
In Revelations 13:11-15 it says the beast will be able to do great miracles and even have power over YHVH’s people for a while. Signs alone will lead you astray!! They can be a confirmation of the message, but in themselves, not a qualifier that we are His. There must be, coupled with the signs, the preaching of YHVH’s Word for the true identity of the messenger (in Yeshua) to be revealed.
It’s this lack of proclaiming the “Good News” that leads me to what is “not” said in the opening passage. Notice the ones saying “Master, Master” did “not” say :
“Master, because you have by grace redeemed us, we have loved you with all our heart, our soul, our mind and as your instruction for us, kept your commandments, we had no other gods before you (1st commandment), we did not bring in to your worship images from other gods (2nd commandment) because you do kindness to the thousands who love you and keep your commandments. We did not in vain place your name upon them, worship you in their ways or teach our traditions as your words(3rd commandment) because you said you will not leave unpunished, those who do. We did not forget, but loved, remembered and kept your Sabbath as the special time it is You prescribed to meet with us(4th commandment), we took care of our parents in their old age (5th commandment), we did not murder (6th commandment), we did not commit adultery (7th commandment), we did not steal (8th commandment), we did not say false things against our neighbor (9th commandment) and did not covet our neighbors possessions (10th commandment).
Being adopted into the Family of YHVH has it’s benefits but it does require living by our Fathers house rules to please Him. Yeshua said in John 14:10-17:
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words which I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves. Indeed, I tell you truly, the one believing into Me, the works which I do, that one shall do also, and greater than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you may ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will petition the Father, and He will give you another one which will end the curse, that He may remain with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you.
Notice the connection of Yeshua’s words being those of the Father, the works He does are from the Father and the litmus test of whether you love Him, or not, is in keeping His commandments?
What are His commandments? Well Yeshua just said that His words were the Father’s words. What commandments did the Father give? Those written in the Torah of which Yeshua said he did NOT come to abolish but bring into fulfillment. What’s the fulfillment of the Torah? Us being grafted into the commonwealth of Israel through redemption purchased by Yeshua’s blood (see Jeremiah 31:31-40) and living in covenant with YHVH with His Torah written on (and burning in) our hearts by YHVH Himself!!
So we see the completion of the picture with those who keep the commandments and have the faith of Yeshua (2 Corinthians the 6th chapter, Rev. 14:9-13 for just a few references to “the connection”). Trying to divorce YHVH’s instructions (the Torah) from the message is like divorcing His people from Him. As such He cannot allow you into His bridegroom chamber unless you are honestly one of His, intent on being obedient to Him out of Love for Him and not some sense of dutiful bondage (many don’t know the difference).
The real questions is, Are we wanting to be children of obedience , blessing and freedom entering into His rest or children of disobedience, cursing and bondage and be rejected in the last day with Him (Yeshua) not even claiming to know who they are even though they identify Him as their Lord.
Put another way, Yeshua did NOT say, “Depart from Me, you keepers of the Commandments!”
Baruch haba beshem YHVH!