Miracles and Casting out Demons? Not Impressed.

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matthew 7:22–23 (LEB)

How can this be? People casting out demons and performing miracles are not even known to Yeshua, the Son of the living God? This should cause alarm bells to sound for the evangelical denominations in Christianity.

I was raised in the Pentecostal church, so I understand how much emphasis is placed on these sorts of gifts. Are they really “gifts” though? One thinking they are at the top of their game in Christianity are going to be shot down and not allowed into the kingdom, even after performing these great acts.

This week’s inspiration comes from Twitter once again. “Christian Twitter” can get nasty sometimes. This person was targeting a certain individual, telling that person they should be performing miracles and casting out demons, where Yeshua clearly tells us that may not even matter. The point is not to further the Twitter drama, but this idea that “signs and wonders” are more important than warning people to repent may not be good advice. We shouldn’t be attacking each other like this. Everyone has different callings and talents.

Ezekiel 3:17–21 (LEB)

17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, then you must warn them from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘Surely you will die,’ and you do not warn him and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person will die because of his guilt, and from your hand I will seek his blood. 19 And you, if you do warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness and from his wicked way, on account of his guilt he will die, and you yourself will have saved your life. 20 And when the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, and I place a stumbling block before him, he will die, for you did not warn him. Because of his sin he will die, and his righteousness that he did will not be remembered, and his blood I shall seek from your hand. 21 And if you warn him, the righteous, not to sin, and the righteous does not sin, surely he will live, for he heeded a warning. And you will have saved your life.”

Ezekiel was told to go to the dispersed of the House of Israel. Ezekiel 3:11 (LEB) “And come, go to the exiles, to the children of your people, and you must speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh!’ whether they listen or whether they fail to listen.” The Northern kingdom of Israel is still in the dispersion. James writes to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. Who is really back in the land?

James 1:1 (LEB)

1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. Greetings!

When Ezekiel is called and taken to the exiles, it is a similar mission as Yeshua and the apostles.

Matthew 15:24 (LEB)

24 But he answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

It is true that the Apostles performed signs and wonders, but they also kept the commandments of God, upbraided people for sin and told them to repent. Simon the magician was a good example of this. He thought the gifts of the Holy Spirit were for sale. It is similar to the question asked of faith healers: “Why not go to a children’s hospital and heal everyone there?”. It is a legitimate question. I can think of one of these types of ministries when I was younger, going to their meetings and actually knowing people who were healed. Yet, thirty years later they admit they were fraudulent and scamming money. Hopefully this leader has repented. The point is that signs and wonders do not trump lawlessness, which is breaking the commandments of God.

Acts 8:18–25 (LEB)

18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 19 saying, “Give to me also this power, so that whomever I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit!” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver be destroyed along with you, because you thought you could acquire the gift of God by means of money! 21 You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and ask the Lord if perhaps the intent of your heart may be forgiven you!” 23 For I see you are in a state of bitter envy and bound by unrighteousness.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said will come upon me.” 25 So when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they turned back toward Jerusalem, and were proclaiming the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.

Yeshua indicates doing great miracles, prophesying and casting out demons by the authority of His name does not give one an automatic ticket to the Kingdom of God. Add to this list any other great things someone thinks they are doing, such as never missing a meeting at their religious institution, never consuming alcohol, tobacco, etc. These things pale in comparison to prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles, yet people hang their salvation on them.

Matthew 7:21–23 (LEB)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Lawlessness is the opposite of doing the will of the Father. The will of the Father was given audibly to the twelve tribes of Israel at Mount Herob by the “words”, now referred to as the ten commandments. When the people could not bare the thunder, fire, smoke and lightning of Yahuah speaking to them directly, He gave Moses the rest of the instructions of His will to tell the people, and told them there would be another like Moses who would teach the people in the future. This was referring to Yeshua. Here is the list of the twelve tribes that the Word was given to:

Numbers 1:1–16 (LEB)

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, in the tent of assembly, on the first of the month, in the second year after they came out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of the entire community of the Israelites according to their clans and their families, according to the number of names, every male individually from twenty years old and above, everyone in Israel who is able to go to war. You and Aaron must muster them for their wars. A man from each tribe will be with you, each man the head of his family. And these are the names of the men who will assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon. 10 From the descendants of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 11 From Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni; 12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai; 13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Ocran; 14 from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel; 15 and from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.” 16 These are the ones summoned from the community, the leaders of their ancestors’ tribes; they are the heads of Israel’s clans.

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi; descendants Moses and Aaron the Levitical priests
  4. Judah; descendants David, Messiah and southern kingdom. The “Jews”
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Joseph; descendants Ephraim and Manasseh often referring to the whole of the northern kingdom
  8. Benjamin; the apostle Paul
  9. Dan
  10. Asher
  11. Gad
  12. Naphtali

These tribes were all scattered to the remote parts of the world for not doing the Father’s will. However, prophecy states throughout scripture that they will start doing the Father’s will again and be gathered in the future. Here is the Father’s will, in part, that He spoke to His people in an audible voice:

Exodus 20:2–21 (LEB)

“I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves. “There shall be for you no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations of those hating me, and showing loyal love to thousands of generations of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, because Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name. “Remember the day of the Sabbath, to consecrate it. Six days you will work, and you will do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God; you will not do any work—you or your son or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your animal, or your alien who is in your gates—11 because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and on the seventh day he rested. Therefore Yahweh blessed the seventh day and consecrated it. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days can be long on the land that Yahweh your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not testify against your neighbor with a false witness. 17 “You shall not covet the house of your neighbor; you will not covet the wife of your neighbor or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that is your neighbor’s.”18 And all the people were seeing the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the ram’s horn and the mountain smoking, and the people saw, and they trembled, and they stood at a distance. 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will listen, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that his fear will be before you so that you do not sin.” 21 And the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the very thick cloud where God was.

The only signs and wonders here were performed by the Creator speaking to His people telling them what His will is for them to do. Their scattering for disobedience to His will seeded the whole Earth, which means anyone reading this is likely a descendant of one of these tribes genetically. What if you are not a direct descendant and want to be part of His people doing His will? Yahuah made provisions for this.

Numbers 15:15–16 (LEB)

15 For the assembly, there will be one decree for you and for the alien who dwells among you; it is an eternal decree for all your generations. You as well as the alien will be before Yahweh. 16 There will be one law and one stipulation for you and for the alien dwelling among you.’ ”

Paul puts this in “New Testament” terms for us.

Galatians 3:23–29 (LEB)

23 But before faith came, we were detained under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 So then, the law became our guardian until Christ, in order that we could be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.

Many like to use the words of Paul to teach people that they no longer need to do the will of the Father. Some will use these verses in Galatians saying the law imprisoned us and was just a guardian and now it is “nailed to the cross”. The law did imprison us before Christ because we were all guilty of breaking it with no hope of redemption, but does that empower us to intentionally break the law now? That is, intentionally snub our noses at the will of the Father? Should we be shamelessly profaning His Sabbaths, eating what He told us not to eat, and engaging ourselves in sexual immorality or idolatry? When you are under a guardian do you disregard what you were taught by the guardian when you become of age? Maybe if everyone knew what Paul was referring to here with this term “guardian”, it would be clearer. “Guardian” or “tutor” is Strong’s G4084.

παιδεύω G4084 (paideuō), bring up, instruct, train, educate; παιδεία G4082 (paideia), upbringing, training, instruction, discipline; παιδευτής G4083 (paideutēs), instructor, teacher; παιδαγωγός G4080 (paidagōgos), custodian, guide, the man, usually a slave, whose task it was to conduct boys and youths to and from school and superintend their conduct generally.

CL The underlying root is pais, → child, boy. paideuō thus lit. means to be together with a child (the verbal ending ō-eu denotes a state); hence, to bring up, educate, instruct, teach, accustom. Derived from this is the noun paideia, which is found as early as the 6th cent. B.C. in the sense of education, and which connotes the process of education, development of culture, which the Sophists of the 5th cent. declared to be the chief aim of their work. Later the word was extended to cover adult education as well, and used generally of scientific training. Other derivatives are paidagōgos, one in charge of boys, custodian, tutor (usually referring to slaves), and paideutēs, teacher, educator.

D. Fürst, “Παιδεύω,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 775.

The Creator’s instruction are given for us to know how to live a successful life on Earth.

1 Timothy 1:8–11 (LEB)

But we know that the law is good, if anyone makes use of it lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not given for a righteous person but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and totally worldly, for the one who kills his father and the one who kills his mother, for murderers, 10 sexually immoral people, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God that I was entrusted with.

The law is for the law breakers; therefore, those who do the will of the Father have no need to be concerned with the law because they will not be found breaking it. Paul assumes you have learned the will of the Father and have been tutored by His word, understanding the greater concepts of the law and living in the Spirit. This does not mean we are to ignore the law or continually, purposefully break God’s laws because we think it is for the “Jews” due to ignorance of scripture. “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!

Paul teaches Timothy how to “be trained in righteousness”. It is studying the scriptures, which at that time were the Torah, writings and prophets. Today we call this collection of writings the “Old Testament”, as if it is old and not still applicable to our lives. This is part of the great deception.

2 Timothy 3:12–17 (LEB)

12 And indeed, all those who want to live in a godly manner in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil people and imposters will progress to the worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you continue in the things which you have learned and are convinced of, because you know from whom you learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the holy writings that are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, 17 in order that the person of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Please do not rely on your signs and wonders for a mark of being a child of God. Do not listen to fables and deceivers trying to tell us Yahuah doesn’t care about His instructions anymore. They are deluded. Cast out demons, prophesy, heal the sick in His name, but most importantly, do the will of the Father: justice, mercy, taking care of the orphans and widows, honoring His special days, such as Sabbaths, fleeing from the idolatry of the nations. No one wants to hear. “I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!”, then be thrown into the lake of fire. It is one thing to know Yeshua, but it is another thing to be known by Yeshua.

John 12:47–50 (LEB)

47 And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I will not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has one who judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So the things that I say, just as the Father said to me, thus I say.”

Repent and believe the gospel!

Photo by Pedro Lima on Unsplash

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