|Matthew 7:13-23 |
13 Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction,6 and there are many who go in that way.
14 Because narrow is the gate and compressed is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it.7 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Few will be saved because of their love of life." He who loves his life shall lose it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. John 12:25]
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.8 [ — self-appointed ministers posing as authorized by Christ who solicit your money and Lord it over you. Christendom's ministers are the false prophets Jesus warns about. Deceiving billions, they promise heaven to anyone who believes, ignoring salvation's stated exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions. When you see how Christendom is nothing but Babylon, you will be both sad and angry: Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination, 'Hear the word of the LORD,' Because they have seduced my people saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace... you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad, and have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not return from his wicked way, by (falsely) promising him life. Eze 13:2,10,22.]
16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. ["Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit." Mat 12:33. From the Word of the Lord within: "A tree that is holy is a good one."]
19 Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.9 [To do the will of God, you must stop fulfilling your own desires; you cannot do the things you wish. To know the will of the Father, you must hear Him teach you with commands tailored to your life's circumstances. To hear Him you must wait in humble silence while listening and watching; then you must obey what He commands you to do. The first commands you hear will require your repentance. That is the beginning of doing His will. You must progress until you are totally led by Him: only thinking the thoughts He provides, only speaking the words He tells you to speak, and only doing what He commands; then your words and deeds show the love of God to the world and bring glory to God.]
22 Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?' [You can call Him Lord; you can call Him Master; but so did Judas. Calling Jesus Lord does not make Him your Lord. He is your Lord only if He has freed you from all sin, if he has destroyed your carnal mind, if He has purified you, and if He supplies all your words to speak, all your thoughts, and all your actions to be done. If you are still sinning, you are a slave to sin, John 8:34; and if you are sinning, Jesus cannot be your Lord because you cannot serve two masters. Every man is judged by their words and works, including those who claim to be Christians; God shows partiality to no man. Because they are still sinning when they die, Jesus will reject many people who think they are Christians and call him Lord; including even those who had prophesied, cast out demons, and performed many wonderful works in his name. Of course Jesus knows everyone, everywhere, including the fact that these people were still sinning when they died; his denial is a denial of knowing them and a denial of any part in their prophesying, casting out demons, and wonderful works, which they claimed to be done "in his name." To be in his name, a person has to be free of sin, in union with Him, and sitting in heaven with Him; they were not, as he plainly states below.]
23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity'10 [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]. [Unless cleansed by the Lord's Spirit that destroys sin within man, every man's heart starts filled with evil, filled with sin, defiled, and disqualified for heaven. All defiled men are banned from heaven. This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within a man and defile him. Mark 7:21-23. And in no way shall there enter into it [heaven] anything that is defiled...Rev 21:27. The Lord is warning those who think they are Christians and still sin: 1) he doesn't know you, and 2) he will cast you into outer darkness, banned from heaven at judgment. The Lord only knows those who hear his voice and follow him. John 10:27. To follow Him is to obey what you hear Him command you to do; to hear, you must sit, think on his name, and then wait in humble silence while listening and watching. From the word of the Lord within: "Everyone is expecting Jesus to be their excuse. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. No man is promoted or excused that repeats sin. Only a heart that is purged of sin is acceptable to God. All men are without excuse; if I were silent, they would have an excuse. All men have heard the call to repent. People must stand the price for their very brazen behavior." Those anonymous calls all men have heard to turn from evil, which if ignored, will be their judge, John 12:47-48; at their death every word will be played back, heard, and remembered to their great shame and sorrow.]
10 Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?' And then I will declare to them, I never knew you Depart from me, you workers of iniquity! Because they are still sinning when they die, Jesus will reject many people who think they are Christians and call him Lord; including even those who had prophesied, driven out demons, and performed many wonderful works in his name. They did not obey him: Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46. Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. If we are a slave to sin, he can't be our Lord. We cannot serve two masters. Mat 6:24, Luke 16:13. Jesus said these so-called-Christians with great faith to perform miracles will be rejected because they were still sinning; they had not crucified the sinful nature on the cross, which is necessary to belong to Christ Jesus. Gal 5:24. Paul tells us about those who claim to know God, but deny him by their sinful lives: They profess that they know God; but they deny him by what they do, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work, Tit 1:16; (good works are those that God directs a pure man to perform). You can call him Lord, you can call him Master, but so did Judas, even kissing Him. It is not what you say that makes Jesus your Lord or Master, but your deeds — your obedience to his teachings and commands. By your deeds you either acknowledge him or deny him as your Lord and Master. If you sin, you effectively deny him as your Lord and Master. A Lord or Master rules His servant, and Jesus does not rule over commission of sin. Until you are free of sin, He is not your Lord or Master. You are the slaves of him whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16.
Their works were wonderful only in their opinion, not in the Lord's. Why not? Because they were not works the Lord ordered them to do; they were not according to the Father's will; their works were initiated by their own will, which are dead works. And what they did was not "in the name of Jesus;" to do anything "in the name of Jesus" means you are in union with Him, totally freed from sin, translated into the kingdom, and sitting with Him in heaven. From the Word of the Lord within: "He who is in my name is part of my body."
The Lord is warning those who think they are Christians and still sin: 1) he doesn't know you, and 2) he will cast you into outer darkness, banned from heaven at judgment. The Lord only knows those who hear his voice and follow him. John 10:27. To hear, you must dedicate yourself to silent listening to hear his voice, and then you must obey. If you listen and obey the word of God in your heart, your soul is purified by obedience to the truth, 1 Peter 1:22; and your heart is purified by faith that obeys. Acts 15:9. Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her — to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his word." Luke 10:39-42. Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3. Christendom tells their members they can remain in sin and enter heaven when they die, but this is a lie and shows Christendom is Babylon; come out of her my people.
The Lord never knew them because they had not been listening to his voice and not following his commands, and so were not part of the truth: Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. John 18:37. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 If you don't hear his voice and follow him, he doesn't know you. And if he doesn't know you, he will shut the door, refusing to open it, saying "I tell you, I do not know you or where you come from" and at judgment he will say to you "depart from me you who work iniquity, for I have never known you." Mat 25:11-12, Luke 13:24-27, Mat 7:21-23.
John says: by this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. The only way you can keep his commands is to listen to his voice, hear, and obey — until the sinful nature within you has been crucified. For you cannot love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, until you have been given a new heart and mind by the love of God, received from Him over time, as you abide in his Word and Light, with obedience.
There are many "Christian" healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, and loud and raucous services; but you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc. Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, or preach the gospel of prosperity, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
And in Revelation, we are told the spirits of demons would be working miracles. Rev 16:14; and the demons work miracles through men who put on a great show of being religious.
Smith Wigglesworth of several years ago, (still highly praised by the Pentecostals), had a faith healing ministry where he slugged people in the stomach to heal them, saying he was slugging the devil in them, not them; one man he slugged so hard that he died, but of course the minister then raised him from the dead; you will know them by their fruits, and violence is not a fruit of the spirit, but gentleness is. A current televangelist, who is widely acclaimed and praised by the leadership of the Pentecostal movement, heals by slugging people, kicking people, and slamming people on the forehead, as he staggers around like a drunk shouting his message.
William Branham was a preacher who performed great miracles, died in a car crash in 1967, still has many dedicated followers today, and has been greatly lauded by Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders like Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, and Benny Hinn — all because of his ability to perform miracles. Branham had many prophecies, received from angels, including that the United States would be destroyed and Jesus would return in 1977. Branham was misogynistic, teaching a very negative message about women in general, while claiming that Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which resulted in the birth of Cain and that Cain’s descendents are reprobates, the scientists, and educated people of today. His doctrine is totally false for:
Yet, because Branham had so many miracle healings across the world, some of followers visit his grave every Easter, expecting him to be resurrected.
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
There is a web page, How to Identify a Blind Guide or False Prophet, devoted to the doctrines of false prophets/blind guide preachers vs. true prophets/ministers to help you distinguish a true preacher/teacher from a false preacher/teacher.