I never knew you!

Maran Yeshua said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'L-RD, L-RD,' will enter Ha Olam Haba, but those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that Day, many will say to me,`L-RD, L-RD! Didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we expel demons in your name? Didn't we perform many miracles in your name?' Then I will tell them to their faces,`I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!' ~ Matityahu 7:21-23

The Greek word that is translated in verse 23 as "lawlessness" is anomia - which is basically, "no law", but not simply. This word, like many Greek words, has an unspoken depth. It is sometimes translated as "iniquity" or "unrighteousness", but is best defined as: the condition of being without law - either because one is ignorant of the law, is guilty of violating the law, or possibly, even holds contempt for the law.

This passage has always astounded me, but not nearly as much as peoples' reaction to it. The tendency of many to overlook what is being said can be likened to attempting to gaze past an enormous mountain while standing at its base. Yeshua speaks an extremely challenging message here. He speaks of someone who is actively pursuing the things of G-d. This person cries out, "L-RD, L-RD!" - the repetition implies emphasis and is used by Yeshua to illustrate sincerity on the part of this person - one who also prophesies, casts out demons, and performs other miraculous works in His name. This is not a casual believer being described, and notice that Yeshua doesn't take issue with their statement. He doesn't deny that this person has accomplished many miraculous works. He simply says, very boldly and to this person's face, that He never knew them and that they must get away from Him. He says that they have worked as if He never gave them any law. Apparently, "lawlessness" is the only blemish on this believer's accomplished record. This is, perhaps, one of the most sobering passages in all of scripture, in my opinion. We would do (more than) well to pour over it, (really) pray about it, and examine our hearts (and actions) concerning it.

Where do we stand? What do we do with the Torah of Yeshua - the commandments of HaShem? Do we make the will of HaShem our highest priority? Does He know you?

“Oh, how I love Your Torah; It is my meditation all the day.
You, through Your commandments, have made me me wiser than my enemies...
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:97-98, 105


  1. Shalom Luke,

    Man, i have read this verse over and over again thinking about the same issues you are, and i also have come to the conclusion that this is a very very important statement by our Master! When remembered that those writings and speaking were Jews who come from a Torah background, we then can understand the meaning of "Lawlessness" in this passage. "Depart from Me, you who work Torahlessness" (you do not obey G-d's Righteous Instructions/Will/Torah).

    “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2.18

    Good deeds are works of the Torah, but many fail to realize this most important fact, and the opposite (evil deeds) would be works of Lawlessness/Torahlessness. There is so much more but you understand.


  2. I'm with you, Rey. Can a fruit tree bring forth thorns? I'll be exploring this a bit more next post.

  3. This post–and you two’s conversation–has been a blessing. May God give each of us the hearts to want Him, ears to listen and hear Him speaking to us, and spirits to obey. The Word says that the beloved Holy Spirit is POWER and TRUTH. So our desperation and expectation for God’s hand to be at work doing God-sized things in our families, in our communities, in our cities should be on 10! Christ fulfilled the law as only God can. We couldn’t do it before Jesus came, can’t do it since. He imparted the Holy Spirit who lives in us and speaks to us, changes us, leads us to be radical, unordinary lovers of everyone around us...as opposed to the imposing, insensitive, hurtful, condemning approach most “normal” people expect from the Church.

    I was a part of a black, “hebrew israelite”-ish, messianic church movement from 1998-2002 that forced the keeping of *some* old testament laws. It took the leader saying that he stood between members and heaven…and God speaking to me through a Christian stranger about Jesus giving us direct access to God and the Holy Spirit making us holy…to wake up and leave. (My mom still is still wrapped in that circle.) This has hit close to home. Any time jewish coverts would attempt to impose torah-ritual on the believing gentiles, the apostles without fail ruled against bringing the Old Covanant forms into the New. Was someone a jew? don’t try to talk them out of torah-observance, show them Jesus. was someone a gentile? don’t try to saddle them with torah-ritual, show them Jesus.

    The Church does so much and emphasizes so much that isn’t Biblical. Have you seen Francis Chan speaking on book “Erasing Hell?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v?=qnrJVTSYLr8 I saw this in July and it addresses this with respect to how we weigh God’s word vs. trusting our interpretations. (Note: I do not believe “hell” should ever be used as a recruitment device or conversion tool…and think it’s screwed up that for centuries, millenia, Christians have used it as one. God communicates (paraphrased): “I made you, I love you, I want you. I want you to have total joy. You won’t always understand how I work. I know you can’t do this alone. I can and will provide all that you need emotionally, physically, spiritually, all that you need to love Me and to be patient, loving, forgiving, selfless to others.” This should be the only reason for becoming a Christian. God just happens to let us know what the future is for folks who reject Him–but FEAR isn’t supposed to be the REASON someone chooses to have a relationship with God. The people I’ve heard preaching “be afraid of hell,” to me, have little to no grasp of the actual beauty and value of having an intimate relationship with the Absolute Power and Creator of Everything.

  4. Shalom H.Brown,

    Thanks for providing a bit of background as to how you arrived at your present understanding. While you had the rare experience of witnessing things firsthand, rather than operating on preconceived ideas or stereotypes, it’s very unfortunate that you found yourself involved in such a misguided community. However, just because that community may have espoused ideas that you think are similar to what I’ve stated above, doesn’t mean that you’ve perceived my stance correctly or that anyone who speaks of adherence to Torah through Yeshua is as ill-informed as, say, a member of a “Black Hebrew-Israelite” sect. Following that poor logic, anyone that merely spoke of “Jesus” could easily be likened to a Mormon, “Jehovah’s Witness” or Catholic – which I’m sure you’d agree would be a gross distortion and unfair representation/association for many Christians. Thankfully, G-d orchestrated your release from the ignorance of that group, but if the end result is that discussions of the merit of Torah in the lives of disciples of Yeshua “hit close to home”, which I’m assuming means they bring back bad memories for you, then you may have missed the lesson G-d was teaching you in that experience – with all due respect. A more apt analysis could be the dangers of taking the Word of G-d and re-purposing it to fit our own erroneous ideas, views and desires – such as when that gentleman said that he stood between people and heaven.

    To clarify my point, I’m not advocating adding any “works” or similar notions to the salvation that has been freely provided for us through Yeshua. I'm not advocating putting “Torah-ritual” on anyone, either. I’m simply advocating being salt, being light, being a disciple of my Master, Yeshua. To be a “disciple” is to discipline yourself to emulate the life and “walk” of your master. Simply put, we’re commanded to do so.

  5. H.Brown's comment of "Christ fulfilled the law as only God can. We couldn’t do it before Jesus came, can’t do it since." testifies of that prevalent and false view taught in churches that "fulfill" means put an end to. I can't think of a more ignorantly held view when the verse they pull it from explains itself. Of course if you only read the first line and walk away you can come up with all kinds of wrong stuff. But if you read the whole thing you walk away with something else.

    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [Matt 5:17-19]

  6. Right on, Kris. Thanks for that. That is, somehow, both one of the most quoted and overlooked scriptures in the entire book. It's incredible how many folks have the smallest fragment of it, a misunderstood sliver, embedded in their minds, but are absolutely blown away when you read them the whole passage. It's right there in black and white.

    Are the uber-prevalent and tragic misinterpretations of Yeshua's teachings an accident, you think? Or is this all by design? Is it unthinkable that HaShem could be testing his Creation?

  7. "And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to everyone according to his work." Revelation 22:12

  8. Thanks, Serge.

    "Behold, the L-RD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, "Behold, your salvation comes; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him." ~ Yeshayahu 62:11

  9. Good morning from France,
    And thank you Luke for this short reminder.

    I wanted to bring some light on the comments above about the word "hell", which has been erroneously used over the centuries to portray a false nature of G.od.
    The Hebrew never speaks of "hell", but the word "sheol" is used, meaning a waiting place for the dead...
    In the time of Augustine (Roman Catholic), the Hebrew word "sheol" was translated with the Latin word "infieri", meaning the lower parts of the earth. Later this was changed into "infierno", meaning hell and which is mentioned in Dante's writings also, but has absolutely NOTHING to do with what the Scriptures write.
    Ultimately, many, many different translations of the Scriptures have translated this word "sheol" by "infierno" or hell, misleading many preachers, would-be believers, into taking a "fire insurance" (= come to Christ, or else...) rather than approach a Loving G.od who just says to each person : "Child, just come home"!
    With love in Yashua HaMaschiah

    1. Bonjour, Anne!

      Thanks so much for your comment. That's certainly an interesting concept, isn't it? Seeing what I have concerning so many other inaccurate ideas that have crept their way (or been purposefully inserted) into scripture over the centuries, I'd certainly think it's worth exploring a bit. Thanks again for sharing it with us - and please make yourself at home here. I'd love to read your ideas on other posts, as well.

      B'ahava ~ Luke

  10. Who was Jesus talking about in Matthew 7:21-23? This doesn't apply to the Church. It applies as a warning to all mankind, all who would stand before him to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    1. If you really think that “all mankind” are prophesying, casting out demons and working miracles in Yeshua’s name, the world you live in is much more righteous than my own. Since that is clearly not the case, Yeshua must be referencing a different group of people. Where might we find “many” people who operate in the work of G-d, but who live as if He has given them no Law? Where might we find a large group of people who appear to work miracles, who even accomplish many great things in Yeshua's name but who, apparently, don't actually do the will of His Father?

      I fully understand that this is a very challenging question. That's why I asked it.

    2. So you're saying that we are supposed to be teaching new Christians the commandments? Is that right?

    3. No, only those who want to be called "great in the Kingdom of Heaven" should be teaching the commandments. If you're fine with being called "least in the Kingdom", continue doing what I assume you're currently doing.

      And those are Yeshua's words, not mine. (Matthew 5:19)