MemberAugust 16, 2020 at 7:53 am
The words uttered by our Messiah in Matthew 7:21-23 carry a terribly ominous warning for all those who confess faith in Him, but yet continue to live in violation of the Law of the Covenant.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In the excerpt above, Messiah prophesies His own end-times rejection of those who claim to know Him as Lord and Saviour, but yet fail to do the will of the Father (and thereby continue to live in iniquity). These words of warning should capture the attention of all who profess to know and be known by Messiah, not least for the following key reasons:
1. They make it abundantly clear that there is more required of us in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than simply confessing faith in Messiah and calling on His name. (This does not contradict the core principle that justification comes by faith in Messiah alone, but simply indicates that obedience to the will of the Father—by which we avoid working iniquity—is an additional requirement for our ultimate salvation);
2. They tell us that those who will be rejected by Messiah in this way will be fully convinced (albeit mistakenly) that they are in covenant relationship with Him when they are not. This immediately rules out atheists, agnostics and those following non-Christian religious traditions. The individuals in view here are undoubtedly those practicing Bible-based traditions in some way,
albeit deficiently and ultimately ineffectually;
3. They furthermore tell us that even those who prophesy, cast out devils and do “wonderful works” (supposedly) in Messiah’s name will fall into this accursed category. This of course makes it clear that it is possible for one to perform such acts while in fact not carrying out the will of the Father, and while not being in relationship with Messiah and the Father to begin with; and finally
4. They tell us that there will be “many” in the end who will be doomed to this unfortunate fate.
Now, seeing that it is ‘working iniquity’ which ultimately disqualify many from entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, the task of understanding the fullness of what is meant by this term assumes paramount importance. To uncover its true meaning, we first note that the word “iniquity” found at the end of Matthew 7:23 is translated from the Greek noun “anomia” [=Strong’s G458]. The main lexical definitions of this word are given below:
1. By Strong’s Concordance as “lawlessness”, “iniquity”, “disobedience”, and “sin”;
2. By Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: (a) “the condition of one without law — either because [one is] ignorant of it, or because [one is] violating it”; and (b) “contempt and violation of law”, “iniquity”, and “wickedness”; and
3. By Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as “illegality”, “violation of law”, “wickedness”, “iniquity”, “[transgression of] the law”, and “unrighteousness”.
Considering that “iniquity”/”anomia” is alternatively defined as “lawlessness”, “the condition of one without law“, “contempt and violation of law” and “transgression of the law“, our next task then becomes deciphering what specific law is in view when we encounter this word throughout the New Testament. To help us with this task, we will next examine the meaning of the root word from which “anomia” itself is derived. That word is the Greek adjective, “anomos” [=Strong’s G459], which is defined as follows:
1. By Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: (a) “destitute of (the Mosaic) law“; and (b) “departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked”; and
2. By Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as “not subject to (the Jewish) law“, and as “without law, lawless, transgressor, unlawful, wicked”.
From the definitions above, we have our first indication that “iniquity”/”anomia” is defined in respect of the Law of the Covenant (or Towrah), pointing specifically to the state of being in violation of its precepts. This idea is reinforced by an examination of yet another derivative of “anomos”: the adverb “anomōs” [=Strong’s G460], which, not surprisingly, is similarly defined as shown below:
1. By Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as “without the law”, “without a knowledge of the law”, and “to sin in ignorance of the Mosaic law“; and
2. By Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as “lawlessly”, “not amenable to (the Jewish) law“, and “without law”.
Examining the collection of lexical definitions above, we can now confirm that “anomia” [=Strong’s G458] and its related forms are all direct references to the Law of the Covenant, and are employed specifically in order to indicate lawlessness in the sense of disobedience to, or violation of, the precepts of the Law. The clearest illustration of this proper understanding of “anomia” in the KJV is found in 1 John 3:4 below, where it is translated into, and defined precisely as, “transgression of the Law”:
1 John 3:4
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law [Strong’s G458].
(In 1 John 3:4 above the Greek word “anomia” [=Strong’s G458] is rendered “transgression of the Law”. This is indeed precisely what “iniquity” is.)
Considering all of the preceding discussion and analysis, we can safely conclude that the law in view whenever we encounter the word “iniquity”/”anomia” throughout the gospels and epistles is indeed the Law of the Covenant (for example, see Matthew 13:41; Matthew 23:28; Matthew 24:12; Romans 4:7; Romans 6:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:9; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17). Wherefore according to Matthew 7:21-23, the “iniquity” that will disqualify “many” from entry into the Kingdom at the end of the age is in fact transgression of the Law of the Covenant. With this proper understanding of “iniquity”/”anomia” in mind, Matthew 7:23 can now alternatively be read—and should be understood—as follows:
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work [transgression of the Law of the Covenant].
(What we clearly see above is that those who will be cast away by the Messiah at the end of the age are those who transgress the Law of the Covenant. This realisation of course has serious implications for how we as believing Israelites live.)
The idea that those who transgress the Law will be cast away by Messiah at the end of the age is further reinforced by another key instance of “anomia” in Matthew 13:41-43 below. Here we learn that those who “do iniquity” will be removed from the Kingdom and cast into the furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (cf. Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 21:8):
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity [=Strong’s G458]; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The imagery of the exclusion and damnation of law-breakers pictured above finds a powerful countervailing portrait in the words found in Revelation 22:14 below. That is to say, whereas Messiah prophesies in Matthew 13:41-43 that those who transgress the Law will be cast out of the Kingdom in the great harvest of the earth (cf. Revelation 14:15-20), Revelation 22:14 reveals that it is those who keep the commandments of the Law who will be granted the right to enter the gates of New Jerusalem. These ideas are of course complementary:
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the
To sum up, seeing that Messiah will declare that He “never knew” those ‘workers of iniquity’ who nonetheless call on His name, it is evidently possible for one to wholeheartedly believe himself to be in covenant relationship with Him when he is not—all because of a lack of understanding of the endurance of the Law and the requirement to follow its precepts. Therefore, despite the prevailing Christian notion that the Law was abolished by Messiah’s sacrifice, we know that all those who confess faith in Him but continue to walk in disobedience in fact never come into relationship with Him and the Father in the first place! (Recall 1 John 2:3-6 above.) Perhaps more than any other, this realisation is the most important takeaway from Matthew 7:21-23, particularly for those of us raised in the Christian tradition with its predominant culture of lawless abandon.
In the end, there is simply more required of us in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than lip service alone (Isaiah 29:13). We are not just to hear the words of the Law, but are to faithfully heed the prohibitions and perform the righteous acts articulated therein (Matthew 7:24; Romans 2:13; James 1:21-22,25). Let us therefore not walk foolishly as ‘forgetful hearers’ (James 1:25), condemning ourselves to indignation and fiery judgement; but let us rather be as the wise man who built his house on the sure foundation, walking as Messiah walked, in loving obedience to the commandments of the Law (1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 5:2-3; John 14:15).
To Israel with love,
MemberAugust 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm
I agree that those who Jesus will turn away are workers of iniquity. They were Christians who got saved did “ Christian works” but did not have a relationship with Jesus therefore he did not know them. Never had an intimate relationship with him. They worked for God and did things for God but never got to know him, to hear his voice, to walk with the Holy Spirit, to allow God through his spirit to change them. They practiced sin and was deceived by it thinking because they did many “works” they were ok with God and they were not. If they knew God and had a relationship with him they would be convicted of their sin but it seems these people thought they knew god but practiced sin.
MemberAugust 17, 2020 at 6:28 pm
Thank you for your reply, Sister. I have two simple and direct questions for you:
1) What is iniquity?
2) What is sin?
What the Christian Church has taught many of us is to define these terms nebulously; however, they both have very concrete definitions if we pay close attention to what the Scriptures have to say. Once we understand “iniquity” and “sin” the way our Mashiyach and His disciples did, it will become obvious that we are to walk in obedience to the Law. After all, one cannot have (or claim to have) a relationship with Yahushua (Jesus) without walking in obedience to the Law (1 John 2:3-6).
Hope this helps.
MemberAugust 21, 2020 at 3:41 pm
Hello! I have a question that I’ve been wondering for a while now. Actually I have a few questions to ask if you don’t mind answering them. I’m very curious.
1. What does it mean when the Bible says those who teach people not to follow the law will be called least in the kingdom of heaven ? Doesn’t this mean that they will still make it to heaven even though they themselves haven’t followed the Torah and teach others not to do so.
2. Will many people go to hell who don’t follow the Torah ? What if they sincerely have a relationship with the Lord but haven’t received this information that the law is not done away with?and just don’t know? I see many people who seem to have a relationship with the Lord and they receive all these powerful dreams and revelations in the word but they don’t believe we should follow Torah or any of that stuff.
MemberAugust 22, 2020 at 11:51 am
Hi, India Lin. I appreciate your comment and your curiosity. I don’t mind doing my best to answer your questions at all. I hope you’ll take the time to read through my responses. I’d also be happy to answer any follow-up questions you might have. I’ll start with Question 2 as I think it’ll be easier to follow my answers that way.
Will many people go to hell who don’t follow the Torah?
I think the best place to begin is by addressing the word “Hell” because of all the ambiguity and confusion surrounding the term. The Bible talks about two separate places that are commonly referred to as “Hell”: (1) she’owl (Strong’s H7585), also called the grave, which is the place where the souls of the dead reside while awaiting resurrection and judgement; and (2) the lake of fire, also called the lake of fire and brimstone, where the damned will be cast to effect the second death. It is my understanding is that both the righteous and the wicked go to she’owl when they die (see the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31; also see Psalm 49:15; Psalm 16:10; Ecclesiastes 9:9-10). To the question as to if many Towrah-breakers will be cast into the lake of fire, my answer is yes. The Messiah tells us in Matthew 13:41-43 that those who offend and work iniquity will be cast into a furnace of fire, which I believe is the same lake of fire mentioned in the Great White Throne Judgement mentioned Revelation 20:11-15. (By the way, the “iniquity” in Matthew 13:41-43 is the same “iniquity” in Matthew 7:23: transgression of the Towrah.) Similarly, in Revelation 20:12 we learn that the Messiah will judge every man according to his works, and that those whose names are not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. This should be understood in light of Romans 2:12-13, where we learn that both Jews and Gentiles will be judged according to the Towrah. In other words, the judgement in Revelation 20:12 will be based on the Towrah, which defines Yah’s righteousness. We also learn in Romans 2:6-11 that those who are found wanting in this judgement will receive indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish.
What if they sincerely have a relationship with the Lord but haven’t received this information that the law is not done away with? and just don’t know?
This is a very interesting and a very reasonable question, but I have to take issue with the premise based on what was shared in the study above. According to Scripture, one cannot have a sincere relationship with the Father and the Son and live in violation of the Law. This is because the Law itself encodes the character and morality of Yahueh, and He gave it to our people so that we would reflect Him in following it, the same way the Messiah reflected the Father in perfectly keeping the Law (Hebrews 4:15; cf. John 10:30). Therefore, in the example of Matthew 7:21-23 — which is the main focus of the study — the Messiah doesn’t just command the workers of iniquity to depart from Him; but He also declares that He “never knew” them. (Note that He doesn’t say I don’t know you; but rather I never knew you—a much more emphatic statement if you ask me.) In this example, the fact that they are workers of iniquity/lawbreakers is proof positive that He never knew them. Similarly, the Apostle Yahuchanan in 1 John 2:3-6 establishes the very same idea, albeit from the opposite perspective, when he declares, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar”. Ergo, in the same way that the Messiah does not know lawbreakers, lawbreakers do not know Him. Again, we see that sincere relationship is inextricably linked to obedience. A third example that shows the connection between knowing the Most High and walking in obedience is the prophecy of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-33 (cf. Hebrews 8:8-11). Here, the Prophet declares that, at this time, we will not have to teach each other the Law because we will all “know” Him (see Jeremiah 31:24 and Hebrews 8:11); and the reason why we will <i style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>know Him is because the Law will be engraved onto our hearts. In other words, it is through knowing (and keeping) the Law that we know the Most High.
Now, having said all that, there is a real question about those who have never heard anything about the Laws of the Most High, and I believe Scripture gives us some clear insight into how things work in such cases. In Romans 2:14 the Apostle Sha’ul (Paul) talks about “the Gentiles, which have not the law“. What is clear, however, is that these people do not flout the Law because they were never taught it; to the contrary, they “do by nature the things contained in the law“, and in so doing “shew the work of the law written in their hearts” (Romans 2:14-15). There are examples of this kind of thing happening today, where you find Israelite Christians who have eaten pork chops and bacon their entire lives all of a sudden developing an aversion to swine’s flesh, even before they learn that they should avoid this unclean meat on account of the Law. This is an example of the Law being activated in someone who wasn’t taught it. Further insight into how those without the Law should relate to it can be gleaned from Acts 15:20-21. Here, we learn that Gentiles who turn to Yah should “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood” (vv. 20), and that they should go to the Synagogues in their cities on the Sabbath day and learn the Towrah (vv. 21), so they can follow it. This is a blueprint for how those of us awakening today should operate. It is not enough for us to know we’re Israelites; that knowledge needs to be reflected in how we live, and that starts by learning and keeping His Law.
Finally, I’d like to draw a clear distinction between Israelites in some far-off country who have genuinely never heard of the Towrah, and Israelite Christians who either ignore those many places in Scripture that teach us that we ought to follow the Law, or who ignore or disregard the counsel of those who teach them about the importance of obedience. I myself have shared the message of the importance of obedience with quite a few Israelite Christians. Some have listened and some have not; but I don’t think that those in the latter category will be able to use the excuse that they never heard the truth on this matter. If you feel convicted that you should walk in obedience to the Law, then begin the task of studying it so you can do so; not to save yourself (that is the work of the Messiah), but because you love Him, wish to follow Him, and with to please Him with your life.
I see many people who seem to have a relationship with the Lord and they receive all these powerful dreams and revelations in the word but they don’t believe we should follow Torah or any of that stuff.
I too have encountered people who have experienced and done some pretty amazing things while walking in disobedience. It would at first seem obvious that someone who professes to know the Messiah and performs wonderful works in His name must have a great relationship with Him; however, Messiah Himself tells us in Matthew 7:21-23 that many of these miracle-workers will be cast away from Him at the end. Why? Because He does not know them! Do not be deceived, Sister. Just because someone claims to the know the Messiah, and performs miracles (supposedly) in His name, does not mean that they know Him. Scripture tells us what the evidence of knowing and loving the Messiah is, and that is a life of faith coupled with obedience to His Law (James 2:17-22; 1 John 2:3-6; John 14:15; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 1:6; Revelation 14:12). To speak from personal experience, I used to think I had a relationship with the Messiah when I was a Christian; but what I have now is nothing compared to what I thought I had before.
What does it mean when the Bible says those who teach people not to follow the law will be called least in the kingdom of heaven? Doesn’t this mean that they will still make it to heaven even though they themselves haven’t followed the Torah and teach others not to do so.
We must first of all remember that there are two Kingdoms to come, including: (1) the Millennial Kingdom, where the Messiah will reign with His Saints for 1,000 years (see Revelation 20:1-4); and (2) the Eternal Kingdom (see Revelation 21). What is clear from the corpus of Scripture is that there will be a system of hierarchy in each. This reflects the current pattern here on earth and in heaven where there is a hierarchy among men, and a hierarchy among angels. A good illustration of this kind of hierarchy in the Kingdom to come is Ezekiel 44:10-16. It is my understanding that this is a prophecy of events yet future, and in it we learn that the Priests who remained obedient to the Most High will be rewarded by being allowed to come near to Him and Minister to Him; whereas the Priests that went astray will perform more menial tasks, and will not be permitted to approach near unto the Most High. Again, this is a good practical illustration of what the Messiah is talking about in Matthew 5:19. I believe this pattern/system of hierarchy will manifest itself in many different ways. Of course, the natural conclusion here is that there will be some repentant transgressors in the Kingdom; but the key point is that they will not occupy a privileged position. Our ultimate goal should be to live a life that is pleasing to our Elohim, and that means walking in obedience and teaching and helping others to do the same.
Hope this all helps. Feel free to follow-up if you have more questions or want me to clarify anything. Shalowm.
MemberSeptember 6, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Yet another STRONG Bible study from our Brother @BroEliyahu .
We need to look at these things, Israel. We must study to show ourselves approved.
MemberSeptember 7, 2020 at 1:22 am
Thank you for your kind words, Brother @YorubaOfYahudah / Yemi. Unfortunately, many of our people are still caught up in certain Christian doctrines, even though they are now aware of who we are. They fail to consider that the same people who told them they don’t have to keep the Law are the ones who told them Jesus was white and that they’re descended from Ham. Eurocentric Christianity has told us many, many lies, and some of those lies are a little tougher to see through that other. My hope is that these articles help provide clarity; I am happy they have done so for you, Brother.
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