Depart From Me, I Never Knew You: Known In the Earth but Unrecognized In Heaven

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage begins with the forty-ninth verse of the twelfth chapter and continues through to the seventeenth verse of the seventeenth chapter. “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:49-43). “And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how it is that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite” (Luke 12:54-59). “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled wither sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose e that these Galilaean were sinners above all the Gaileaens, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, u -on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I till you, nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake alt his parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found non. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and fin none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down” (Luke 13:1-9). “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrites, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:10-17). When you come to this particular passage of Scripture you will find language that was similar to that which the apostle Matthew wrote and recorded in his gospel narrative. If you begin reading with and from the forty-ninth verse of this chapter you will find Jesus making a striking statement—one which I am sure took a lot of men and women by surprise. It would be on this particular occasion the Lord would declare that He came to send fire upon the earth—something that is absolutely incredible and astounding when you take the time to read and consider it. We know the words and ministry of the John the Baptist how he declared there was one coming after him who was mightier than he and whose whose latchet of his sandals he was not worthy unloose. John the Baptist would indeed declare unto his audience that there was one coming after him who was mightier than he who would indeed baptizes with the Holy Ghost—and not only with the Holy Ghost but also with fire. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His coming to not only baptize with the Holy Ghost but also with fire. Within this passage of Scripture we find Jesus Himself declaring that He did not come to bring peace upon the earth but rather He came to send fire upon the earth instead. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would also ask what would He do if that fire was already kindled upon the earth. Thus that which the Lord Jesus would declare and speak unto His disciples and the people on this particular occasion was that He did indeed come to send fire upon the earth and suggested that it was already kindled upon the earth. Not only this but Jesus would also go on to declare that He had a baptism to be baptized with and how he was straitened until it be accomplished. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to consider it for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth of the divine purpose, assignment and mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how the Lord Jesus not only described how He came to send fire upon the earth but also how He came to bring division within and upon it. In the forty-ninth verse of this chapter you will find Jesus declaring how He came to send fire upon the earth and would then ask what He would do if it were already kindled upon the earth. This would immediately be followed by His emphatically declaring that he had a baptism which He would be baptized with and how He was straitened until it be accomplished in the earth. What the Lord speaks and declares immediately following this is just as provocative as the words which He spoke concerning sending fire upon the earth for the Lord would go on to ask those who would hear and listen to His words whether or not He came to bring peace upon the earth. This question would be one which would be rhetorical in nature for He did not expect nor did He desire an answer given unto Him by His disciples nor anyone who heard the words He spoke. The Lord Jesus would ask those who heard the sound of His voice if they supposed that He came to bring peace upon the earth. Immediately following this the Lord would go on to declare that he did not come to bring peace upon the earth but division and would then go on to describe what that division would indeed look like. The Lord Jesus would describe how there would be five in one house divided as there would be three against two and two against three. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also describe how the father would be divided against the son and the son against the father. Moreover the Lord Jesus would also describe how the mother would be divided against the daughter and the daughter would be divided against the mother. As if this weren’t enough Jesus would also describe how the mother in law would be divided against the daughter in law and how the daughter in law would be divided against the mother in law. I am absolutely convinced that in order to truly understand the words which we find in this passage of Scripture it is necessary to return unto the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It is in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the first account of these words which were indeed spoken by the person of the Lord Jesus Christ when He had ordained and appointed His twelve disciples and sent them out as apostles with authority and power over unclean spirits, over sickness, over disease, over death, over leprosy and the like. There in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we encounter and are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus sending forth His twelve disciples as apostles into the midst of the earth as those who would be ambassadors and apostles for the kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus would indeed send forth His disciples into the cities, towns and villages present within the region of Judaea and Galilee as they would be given authority to preach the gospel of the kingdom, to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead and to drive out unclean spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words it’s that Jesus didn’t merely send His disciples out with power and authority over sickness, over unclean spirits, over leprosy and over death but Jesus also sent His disciples out knowing, recognizing and understanding what discipleship would indeed look like. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew beginning to read with and from the first verse: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The First, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbeaus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Matthew 10:1-4). “These twelve Jesus ent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if if be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha, in the day of judgment than for that city” (Matthew 10:5-15). “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver thou up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come” (Matthew 10:16-23). “The disciples is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:24-33). “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loveth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39). “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:40-42). We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter and are brought face to face with the incredible truth of the troubles, the trials, the tribulations and the struggles the disciples would face as ambassadors for the kingdom of the living God in the midst of the earth. The Lord Jesus would declare how He sent the disciples out as sheep in the midst of wolves and then instructed them to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Immediately following this the Lord would warn and charge them to beware of men for they would be those who delivered them up to the councils and would scourge them in their synagogues. Moreover the Lord Jesus would go on to describe how they would be brought before governors and kings for His name’s sake for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. When, however, they were delivered up they were to take no thought how or what they would speak for it would be given them in that same hour what they would speak. Jesus would go on to declare that it was not them which spoke but it would be the Spirit of their Father which spoke within them. What’s more is that as you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that Jesus would go on to describe how the brother would deliver up the brother to death and the father the child while the children would rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. As if this weren’t enough Jesus would go on to declare how they would be hated of all men for His name’s sake before declaring unto them that whosoever endured to the end would be saved. I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to recognize and pay attention to the words presented in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the mark of discipleship for those whom Jesus would send forth into the midst of the earth. We would be incredibly naïve to think and believe for a single moment that these words apply solely unto the disciples whom Jesus would personally send out into the midst of the cities, towns and villages among the lost sheep of the house of Israel. There would be those who would think and believe that these words apply to the disciples alone and that they have absolutely no weight or meaning unto us as His disciples and followers in this generation. The truth of the matter, however, is that this simply is not the case for what we find in this passage of Scripture is a truly wonderful and powerful declaration concerning those whom Jesus would send forth as disciples. Jesus would charge them to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves for He sent them forth as sheep in the midst of wolves—something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think and consider that although Jesus would give His disciples power and authority over unclean spirits to cast them out and over all manner of sickness and disease He would also send them forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly important this is for this concept of wolves would indeed be found in earlier on in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the seventh chapter of this New Testament gospel and the words which Jesus spoke during His famous Sermon on the Mount: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:13-23). “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27). How absolutely incredible are the words which we find in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ warning unto the disciples and those who would follow Him of false prophets. Jesus would declare and describe how they ought to beware of false prophets which would come unto them in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they were ravening wolves. Moreover Jesus would go on to describe unto them how they would know these false prophets by their fruits—something we ought to recognize and pay close attention to. Oh I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found here for Jesus didn’t declare how they would be known by their words, nor by their works but by their fruit. Pause and consider how absolutely incredible these words truly are for when Jesus spoke of and described the false prophets which would be present during those days he didn’t declare how they would be known by their words nor even by their works but by their fruits. The Lord knew and understood that it would be the fruit of one’s life that would indeed reveal and declare everything which needed to be known and discovered concerning them. There is indeed a great and powerful need to know and understand the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for when the Lord Jesus spoke of false prophets He not only described them as wolves who would come in sheep’s clothing but also how they were ravening wolves. IN addition to this the Lord Jesus would also declare unto His disciples how they would indeed know them by their fruits for it would be their fruits and not their words nor their works they would be known. If there is one thing which we must needs recognize and pay close attention to when reading these words it’s how the Lord Jesus would go on to issue a striking and challenging declaration which I have to be honest and say how it puts the fear of God in me. The Lord Jesus would first declare that a a good tree brings forth good fruit while a corrupt and evil tree brings forth corrupt and evil fruit. Jesus would go on to describe how a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit and how an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. These declarations and words would immediately be followed once more by the Lord’s declaration that it would be by ones fruit they would be known—thus signifying and suggesting that the single greatest test and mark of one’s allegiance, devotion and commitment would be the fruit which was present within their hearts and lives. Oh we must needs recognize and understand these words for in verses fifteen through twenty we find the Lord Jesus speaking of fruit and how it is by our fruit that we are and will be known by those before and all around us. It would be fruit and not words and works which would truly mark and reveal whether or not we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and believers in the sight and presence of the living God. Oh that which makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you begin reading with and from the twenty-first verse of this chapter for Jesus would go on to describe how not every man who says unto him “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for earlier on at the beginning of this Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus would describe how unless our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees we would not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now we find the Lord Jesus declaring that not every who professes and proclaims “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom of heaven. These words which would declare that not every one who professes and confesses “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom of heaven are incredibly unique and powerful when you consider them for Jesus would go on to declare that those who would enter into the kingdom of heaven would be those who did the will of His Father which was in heaven. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the words which the Lord Jesus as they emphatically demonstrate and declare that not every one who says “Lord, Lord” will enter into the kingdom of heaven. What’s more is that Jesus would go on to describe that not even works can and will secure one’s place in the kingdom of heaven and access to the Father. It wasn’t enough for the Lord Jesus to declare that not every one who says unto Him “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the will of His Father which is in heaven. What follows this is the Lord Jesus going on to declare how many would say to Him 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?” Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for that which these individuals would appeal to would be the works which they wrought and performed in the midst of the earth rather than the fruits which they ought to have had within their hearts, within their spirits and within their lives. It was Jesus who would declare that it would be by one’s fruits they would be known and we must needs recognize and understand that this is just as true in heaven as it is in the earth. Jesus declared and described how we would be known in the earth by our fruits and yet I would dare say that we must needs understand that this same true directly applies to heaven itself. Those who would come before the Lord Jesus would appeal to their works as a sign of being known in heaven and yet Jesus would not only profess and declare how He never knew them but would also go on to declare that they were indeed workers of iniquity. Oh this is something which warrants strong and careful consideration for there are countless men and women who think and feel they are and can be known in heaven for their works and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. The more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth that these individuals would not only profess and proclaim “Lord, Lord” but they would also appeal to the works which they wrought in the earth. Jesus would declare concerning these individuals that there would be many who would come to Him in that day, saying, “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.” Oh please don’t miss the incredible significance and importance of those final words for it wouldn’t be enough for them to appeal to to prophesying in the name of Jesus nor even cast out devils in the name of Jesus. That which we find and read in this passage is an account of men and women who will stand before the Lord Jesus and speak of and appeal to many wonderful works which they had wrought in the earth. These individuals thought they would be known by their works and they believed they should be known by such works and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. You will notice within this passage of Scripture that when Jesus spoke of false prophets being known by their fruits He would also speak of them as wolves who would come in sheep’s clothing. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the truth of men and women who thought they would and even thought they could be known by their works and yet Jesus declared they would be known by their fruits. This truth surrounding men and women thinking and believing they would be known by their works rather than by their fruits is something we must needs pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the reality within our own hearts and lives. We as the saints of God and as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs recognize that we can never and will never be known for our works which we perform in the midst of the earth. There would be those who would like to think and believe that they can and will somehow be known by their works and yet Jesus Himself would declare that it would be by one’s fruits they would be known. When Jesus spoke these words of being known by one’s fruits He was indeed speaking of that which was present in the midst of the earth and how men can and will know and discern others based on the fruit that is either present or absent within their hearts and lives. The truth of the matter, however, is that while men and women would like to be known for their works the reality of it is that we are known and defined by the fruit that is either present or absent from our lives. Oh how many “ministries” and “ministers” within this generation are known by their “works” and are not known by their “fruit”—whether the absence of fruit or the presence of fruit? How many men and women within this generation are known by their “works” and there is absolutely no mention nor is there any discussion of fruit within their lives. Permit me to ask you concerning yourself and whether or not you are and will be known by the fruit that is either evident or absent from your life. Are you one who deliberately and intentionally focuses on establishing works within your heart and live. Or are you one who seeks to cultivate fruit within your heart and spirit? Oh there are countless men and women who are deceived and will continue to be deceived—even up to that point when they stand before the Lord Jesus Christ—for they think they are known and should be known by the works which they perform in the midst of the earth. It was the Lord Jesus who would declare that it is by our fruits we are known and it would be later in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we encounter His words declaring unto His disciples that He called and ordained them to bear and bring forth much fruit. Not only this but in the parable of the sower and the seed Jesus spoke of that seed which fell on good soil and brought forth a harvest of fruit—some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold and some an hundred-fold. This is something we must not miss and lose sight of when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for while it is true we would like to be known—both in the earth as well as in heaven—by the works which we perform in the midst of the earth the truth of the matter is that Jesus never promised we would be known by our works. Jesus promised and emphatically declared that we would be known by our fruits for it is the fruit we bear—or the lack thereof—within our lives that can and will truly cause us to be known. Not only this but there is a great need to recognize and understand that this concept of our being known by our fruits not only applies to that which is present here upon the earth among. Men but also in heaven itself. You will notice the Lord emphatically declares that many would come to Him in that day professing “Lord, Lord” and goes on to declare that not every one who says “Lord, Lord” would enter into the kingdom of heaven. There would be a number of men and women who would appear to the works which they wrought in the midst of the earth and yet the Lord Jesus would not only refer to them as workers of iniquity but would also declare that he never knew them. Oh please don’t miss the incredible significance of what is found here in this passage of Scripture for it would have been one thing for Jesus to declare unto these individuals that He didn’t know them. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the Scripture is that the language it uses is not accidental nor is it coincidental. When Jesus was delivering this Sermon on the Mount He would not declare unto these individuals that He didn’t know them but rather He declared unto them that He NEVER knew them. Pause and consider how drastically and dramatically different this truly is for there is something to be said about Jesus declaring that He didn’t know those who stood before Him professing “Lord, Lord” and declaring unto those who stood before Him “I never knew you.” The one speaks of knowledge in the present tense while the other not only speaks of knowledge in the present tense but also knowledge in the past tense. What makes these words so incredibly tragic and alarming when you take the time to think about it is when you consider that even while these individuals were prophesying in the name of Jesus, and even when these individuals were casting out devils in His name and even when they were doing many wonderful works the Lord Jesus did not know nor did He ever know them. Pause and consider what is found in this passages of Scripture for Jesus declared that it would be by our fruits we would be known and would speak unto these individuals who thought they would and could be known by their works that He never knew them. These individuals thought they would and could be known by their works and yet Jesus declared unto them how and that He never knew them. What we must recognize and understand concerning this is that Jesus’ statement concerning His never knowing them speaks to the truth of the absence of fruit within their lives. Oh it was indeed true they had works present within their lives and yet the truth of the matter is that while they might have indeed had works present in their lives they were sorely lacking and missing fruit. I read the words present in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding these individuals who thought and believed that they would be known by their works. What a complete and utter shock and surprise they would find when they stood before Jesus thinking they were and would be known by their works and yet Jesus would declare that He never knew them. The question we must needs ask ourselves is both how and why Jesus could and would not know them. How is it possible that these individuals could prophesy in His name, and cast out devils in His name and do many wonderful works in His name and yet He never knew them? The truth of the matter is that they thought and believed they would be known by their works within the earth and yet Jesus declared that men would be known by their fruits. What is true in the physical and natural sense here upon the earth is also true in the spiritual sense as well for men and women in the heavenly realms. There are men and women who are striving in and with many wonderful works in the earth thinking that it is by their fruits they are and will be known and yet the truth of the matter is that Jesus declared that it would be by their fruits they would be known. Oh permit me to say that if you are known by fruits here upon the earth it is very possible you can and will be known by fruit in heaven. I am incredibly challenged with and by the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with the tremendous reality of men and women who think they are and should be known by their works and yet they are given to much works absent any evidence and proof of fruit.

Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the following passages of Scripture found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints as well as the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the churches which were in Galatians. What’s more is I also invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John beginning with the first verse:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus it eh Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bit and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious ness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revel kings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:13-26).

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:1-10).

It is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with two distinct works and manifestations of the Spirit. In the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints we read of the gifts of the Spirit which might very well be understood as the works of the Spirit and that which the Holy Spirit enables men and women to accomplish and fulfil in the midst of the earth. Within the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints you can and will be brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding that which the Holy Spirit works within the hearts and lives of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and the body of Christ in the midst of the earth. The apostle Paul writes concerning the Spirit which works in us and thus enables us to profess and confess the name of Jesus and to profess Him as Lord. It is by and through the Spirit we are enabled to confess and profess the name of Jesus upon our lips and it is by the selfsame Spirit we are enabled to move and operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for when we consider the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within our lives we must recognize that there are two distinct demonstrations and works wrought within us. On the one hand is the reality written about in the first epistle of the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints concerning the gifts of the Spirit while on the other hand is the reality written about in the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Galatian churches concerning the fruit of the Spirit. With this being said there would be those who would like to be known by the gifts of the Spirit while caring absolutely nothing for the fruit of the Spirit. There would be those who would like to be completely and utterly consumed with the gifts of the Spirit and doing rather than with the fruit of the Spirit which deals with being. Oh there is a great need for us to recognize and truly consider this for I would dare say that we ought to never pursue the gifts of the Spirit absent the fruit of the Spirit. Furthermore I would dare say that the gifts of the Spirit manifested and evidenced in our lives can never and will never rise above the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit within our lives.

I read the words found in these passages of Scripture and consider them in direct relationship to the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples and am brought face to face with the wonderful reality that it is not only by our fruits we are known but it is also by our fruits men shall and will know that we are disciples. It was the Lord Jesus who distinctively declared that He has chosen us that we might bear much fruit in our hearts and lives—and not only that we might bear much fruit but also that we might be known by our fruits. It is by our fruits that we are indeed known both in the earth as well as in heaven by the Father and by the eternal and only begotten Son who is seated at the right hand of the Father. It was the Lord Jesus who declared that it is by our fruits that men will know that we are His disciples and we must logically deduce and conclude that if men can and shall know we are disciples of the Lord Jesus by the fruit evidenced and wrought within our hearts and lives then we can and will be known in heaven as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ by the fruit we bear. I fully recognize and realize that this might come as a complete and utter shock to those who are reading these words and yet the truth of the matter is that we as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs pay close attention to this manifestation and reality within our lives. We dare not and must not be those who simply pursue a life of works and a life of gifts absent and apart from the fruit of the Spirit for it is by our fruit we are indeed and are in fact known.

In the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the Lord Jesus speaking of false prophets who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing and declaring that we shall know them by their fruits. Not once but twice within this same section of the seventh chapter we find the Lord referencing being known by fruits—something which is incredibly unique when you consider what is found in that very same chapter. It is in that same chapter we find Jesus speaking of and referencing men and women who think they should be and who desire to be known by works which they produce and engage themselves in while upon this earth. There are those who would even stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ professing and confessing Him as Lord and speaking o the many wonderful works they wrought in His name and yet He would not only refer to them as workers of iniquity but He would also declare that He never knew them. Oh I continue to be challenged with and by this particular truth for it would have been one thing for the Lord Jesus to declare unto these who professed and confessed Him as Lord that He didn’t know them. The truth of the matter, however, is that Jesus didn’t declare unto those who professed and confessed works side by side with Lord that He didn’t know them but that He never knew them. Please don’t miss how incredibly important this truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the undeniable reality that even while these individuals were casting out devils in His name, and even while these individuals were prophesying in His name and even while these individuals were doing many wonderful works in His name they were not known by the Lord Jesus in heaven. Stop for a moment and consider how utterly and completely tragic this is to pursue a life of works in this life and to think and believe that you can, will and should be known by those works and yet you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and are not only referred to as a worker of iniquity but also hear that He never knew you.

The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am drawn into and captivated by the reality of those who think and believe that they ought to and should be known for and by their works here upon the earth. Such individuals devote and commit their entire lives to works and good deeds in this life thinking they can and will be known by such manifestation and demonstrations. The truth of the matter, however, is that this simply is not the case for Jesus clearly declares that not only are we known in the earth by our fruits but we are also known in heaven by our fruits. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and pay close attention to when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture it’s that although the disciples were given power and authority over unclean spirits, over all manner of sickness and disease, and while they were given power to cleanse the lepers and raise the dead this was not how they would be known nor for what they would be known by. The Lord Jesus would indeed send forth His disciples into the midst of the earth as sheep in the midst of wolves and instructed them to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. What we must needs understand concerning this is that while Jesus did indeed send forth the disciples into the midst of the earth as sheep in the midst of wolves engaging themselves in the work of the kingdom they were not to be known by their works. The disciples whom the Lord Jesus sent forth into the midst of the earth would indeed be given power and authority to engage in the works of the kingdom and yet Jesus declared that it would be by their fruits they would be known as His disciples. Jesus made it perfectly and abundantly clear unto His disciples that they would not be known by their works but by their fruits—and not only by their fruits but also by their love one for another. Oh if you want to truly know and understand how and what you should be known for—both in the earth as well as in heaven—it is by your fruits and by how you love others. The first and greatest commandment is truly to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength while the second commandment is likened unto it—namely to love our neighbor as ourselves. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by James beginning with the first verse:

“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that we are the the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:1-13).

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them< Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profs? Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26).

Please don’t miss the tremendous importance of what is presented within this chapter for not only does James address the sin of partiality and favoritism in the house of God as a manifestation of judgment but he also describes how faith without works is dead. It would be very easy to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and focus solely on works as the underlying issue and that which James is truly speaking of. If there is one thing we must needs recognize is that everything James writes about is faith in the person of the living God and loving one’s neighbor as themselves. When you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you must not allow yourself to become consumed with works as the starting point for works has never been nor will it ever be the starting point within our lives. As you read the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will notice that faith has always been and will always be the starting point as well as the main focal point for our lives. What’s more is that when we read the words found in this passage of Scripture we must needs acknowledge and understand that at the very heart of everything James writes is not works and the importance of works above all but rather faith. That which James is writing of suggests and reveals that faith is indeed the starting point and is indeed the focal point, however, faith must needs demonstration, activation and manifestation in the midst of one’s life. This is something that men and women must recognize and pay attention to within their hearts and lives for there is something to be said about faith as the starting point and together working with love in the hearts of men and women.

I read the words found in the second chapter of the epistle written by James and I am absolutely captivated with the incredible truth surrounding the language he used. I have already stated how there would be those who would choose to begin with works and believe that works is the starting point, however, I cannot state enough that works is not the main and underlying focal point of his message. Within this chapter we find faith as the starting point and how works is indeed the outworking of the faith that is present within one’s heart. What’s more is that this holds an entirely different meaning when you consider the words which Jesus Himself used and spoke concerning those who would speak of the wonderful works which they did—even those works which they did in His name. There would be those who would speak of works which they did in His name and how they prophesied and cast out devils and yet not only would Jesus describe them as workers of iniquity but He would also declare unto them that He never knew them. Pause and consider how incredibly tragic those words truly are for within the we men and women who believed themselves to be pleasing before and in the sight of the living God by and through their works and yet Jesus declares unto them they were workers of iniquity. Oh this causes me to inquire and wonder within my own heart and mind how many men and women among us within this generation are performing many works—even many wonderful works—in the name of the Lord Jesus and yet what they are is nothing more than workers of iniquity. Oh there is something to be seen and understood within this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter the absolutely wonderful reality of those who have been called to be bearers of fruit rather than performers of works. There is a mighty and powerful need in this generation for men and women to recognize they have been called to be bearers and producers of fruit within their hearts and lives above any works which they think they are able to perform—even which they perform in the name of the Lord Jesus.

That which Jesus spoke unto His disciples suggests the incredible possibility to do many wonderful works—even many wonderful works in His name—and yet be entirely and altogether unknown in heaven. Oh this individuals were aware of the name of Jesus and undoubtedly did their works under the auspice and banner of that name and yet the one to whom the name belonged did not know them. These individuals were even such who stood before Him professing and confessing Him to be Lord and knew all the right lingo and language and yet Jesus declared unto them how He never knew them. Imagine performing many wonderful works in the name of the Lord Jesus—healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, and the like—and yet not only be referred to as a worker of iniquity but also learning that the Lord Jesus never knew you. Stop for a moment and consider the tremendous and incredible truth that there are countless men and women among us within this generation who are engaging themselves in many works that they might be known for and by their works and yet not only are their works not known in heaven but neither are they known by the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. Jesus would speak of and refer to these particular individuals who stood before Him professing “Lord, Lord” as workers of iniquity and declared that He never knew them. This declaration of never knowing the Lord Jesus would indeed suggest that even in the midst of and in spite of all the works they engaged themselves in the Lord Jesus never knew them or who they were. Oh they might very well have known of Jesus and might even known about Jesus yet Jesus never knew them—a statement that deliberately and intentionally speaks of relationship. What’s more is that Jesus would go on to declare that only those who do the will of the Father in heaven would be those who enter in heaven—something that draws a clear and dividing line between the works many might perform in the earth and the actual will of the Father. What a truly astonishing thing it is to think how we can be engaged in many works in the earth and yet we not only do not know the will of the Father but neither do we do the will of the Father.

When I return to the words presented in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke I am compelled with the language used beginning with the eighth verse. Beginning with this verse we find Jesus declaring unto His disciples that whosoever would confess Him before men it would be those individuals who would be confessed before the angels of God. Conversely, however, Jesus would go on to declare that those who would deny Him before men would be denied before the angels of God. These words must be carefully considered—particularly in reference to that which our Lord spoke and is recorded in the seventh chapter of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew. It would be in the seventh chapter of this gospel we find Jesus declaring unto those who professed Him as Lord when standing before Him and appealed to the many wonderful works they did in His name while on the earth and yet Jesus would declare unto them that He never knew them. I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if these individuals might very well have engaged themselves in many wonderful works here upon the earth and yet even in the midst of and in spite of that they never truly nor never fully confessed and professed Jesus as Lord. It was Jesus Himself who declared that those who confessed Him before men upon the earth would be those whom He confessed before the angels in heaven which lends a totally different perspective to His words spoken unto those whom He would state He never knew. I would dare say those who hear the words “I never knew you” are also and will also be those whom the Lord Jesus had not confessed before the angels in heaven nor before His Father who was in heaven. I am completely and utterly fascinated with the idea of Jesus actually declaring unto those who would stand before Him in His presence that He never knew them while also in another place speaking of denying before the angels in heaven those who denied Him on the earth. Oh if these is one thing we must needs recognize it’s that confession of the Son in the earth directly correlates and corresponds to being known in heaven—and not only being known in heaven but also being confessed before the angels in heaven and the Father who is seated upon the throne.

I read the words which are present here on this particular subject and I am absolutely captivated with the idea that we as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be those who recognize the need for us to be a people of fruit—and not only a people of fruit but a people who bear and bring forth much fruit. We have been deliberately and intentionally chosen by the person of the living God to not only be holy and blameless in His sight but also that we might bear and bring forth fruit. It is incredibly necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to this for when we think about our role and relationship as disciples we must acknowledge the need to be those who are known in heaven and those who are confessed by the Son in the presence and company of the holy angels. What’s more is that we must needs be those who deliver ourselves and are delivered from all anxiety, all doubt, all stress, all worry, all fear and all doubt regarding the daily needs of our lives. It was the Lord Jesus who instructed His disciples as well as us who are reading these words that we are to take no thought for our life what we shall eat, nor for the body or what we shall put on for life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment. The Lord Jesus would then go on to declare that if we are not able to do that thin which is the least then why would we think we can and should take thought for the rest. Jesus would emphatically declare unto His disciples that they ought not to seek what they would eat, or what they would drink nor be of a doubtful mind. All of these things—drink, meat, clothing, and the like—the nations of the world seek after and yet the Father knows that we have need of all these things. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves is where our faith truly is—faith in the person, the promise and the provision of the eternal and living God. That which we as the disciples of God must needs do is seek first the kingdom of God—and His righteousness—and all these things shall be added unto us. It was Jesus who instructed us to fear not for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom before providing additional instruction given unto the disciples.

If you continue reading the words found in the twelfth chapter of this gospel you will find Jesus speaking unto his disciples and followers instructing them to sell what they had and to give alms. Moreover Jesus would also speak unto them and instruct them to provide themselves bags which wax not old that they might have a treasure in the heavens which fail not and where no thief approaches nor moth corrupts. Jesus would declare unto those to whom He was speaking that where our treasure is there would our heart be also thus suggesting that there is a vast difference between that which we value here in the earth as things which are of the earth and that which we value in heaven and those things which are in heaven. Jesus would continue to instruct His disciples to let their loins be girded about and their lights burning and arm themselves as those likened unto men that wait for their lord when he returns from the wedding. What’s more is Jesus would go on to pronounce blessing upon those servants whom when the lord comes finds them watching—and not only watching but also praying and enduring. Scripture makes it very clear that we do not know at what hour the Lord can and will return and come again and yet we must be those who are not only found watching and waiting but also praying and enduring. What we must needs understand when reading the words presented in these passages of Scripture is that we must needs be those who are found faithful in this generation—and not only faithful but also faithful unto the end. Perhaps one of the greatest things we must needs ask ourselves is not only whether or not we are those who are found watching and waiting but also whether or not we are those who are found faithful and enduring. Within this generation—particularly and especially since we are closer to the coming of the Lord Jesus than ever before—there is a need for the disciples of the Lord Jesus to be those who are found watching and waiting and not slumbering as the disciples were in the garden. Not only this but the disciples of the Lord Jesus must be those who like the five wise virgins not only had their lamps but also had oil in reserve that their lamps might be ready for them to meat the bridegroom when he comes forth from his chamber. There is a great need within the hearts and lives of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to be those who found watching and waiting, faithful and enduring and ready and praying for that time when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to those who walked before Him and with Him as His disciples and followers.

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to draw and call your attention to the incredible truth which Jesus referred to as being a faithful and wise steward. If you continue reading the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus speaking of that faithful and wise steward whom the lord would make ruler over his household and give unto them their portion of meat in due season. Jesus would speak of that servant who is found faithful in that time waiting for the coming of the bridegroom and pronouncing and proclaiming them as being blessed. With this being said, however, the Lord would also present a contrast in those who would be and are present upon the earth—namely those servants who speak of the delay of the coming of the Lord and begin to act in a hostile manner towards others. The Lord also presents the adverse and contrast servant who not only is found beating others but also living a life of ease, comfort and convenience in eating, drinking, being drunken and being merry. Unto this servant the lord can and will come on a day when he is not looking for nor expecting the master to return and will cut him in sumner and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. Moreover the Lord also speaks of that servant which knew and knows the will of the lord and prepare not himself nor did according to his will and did those things worthy of stripes. Jesus would emphatically reveal that unto whom much is given it will be unto those of whom much will be required. The underlying question we must needs ask ourselves when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is whether or not we know the will of the Master and the Lord and whether we are those who move and operate in that holy fear, reverence and honor of the Master. Are we those who are found ready and praying, watching and waiting, faithful and enduring that we might come out to meet the bridegroom when He comes forth from His chamber to bring us together with him unto the marriage supper?

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