MM00078 I never knew you
Mentoring Manna: I never knew you!
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them; ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” This declaration of Christ has caused many questions to arise in the hearts of believers. How is it possible for a person to do great things, even signs and wonders in Christ’s name, and yet not really be known of by the Lord?
Prior to this saying, Jesus had warned his disciples of false prophets who would come to them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus stated that they would know these false ministers by their fruits. In this context, Jesus asserts that these imposters will be judged on the basis of their fruits, not on the basis of their anointing. Unfortunately many believers today assume that the anointing is the validation for one being considered a true man or woman of God. However, someone may claim to know God and may even walk in His anointing with great signs and wonders, but this does not make them or their ministry approved before God. We fail to realize that our standing with God is not based on our profession of knowing Jesus but on His profession of knowing us! This “knowing” speaks of an intimate relationship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Many mistake the work of God for a relationship with God. Consider Caiaphas, who was high priest in the days of Jesus. He was an enemy of Christ, but remarkably he rightly prophesied of the death of Christ. He prophesied this not of himself but under the anointing of the high priest’s office. Consider again these imposters to whom Christ speaks. They prophesied, cast out demons, and did many wonders in His name! That list of accomplishments seemed enough to validate anyone’s ministry! Jesus did not deny that these works took place, but neither did He approve of those who did them. We recognize here the possibility that someone can do great wonders in the name of Jesus and yet still be on their way to hell. That is an awesome thing to consider!
The problem comes when we do not distinguish between the anointing and the fruit. When someone operates under the Lord’s anointing, they are not operating in their own spirit or power but under the Spirit and power of God. The anointing is not that person but Jesus at work. The real person is known after the anointing lifts! The real person is the one his family knows at home. The real person is the one his buddies know at work. The real person is the one that God knows in secret. The real person is known according to his fruits or character.
Unfortunately many people are so dazzled by signs and wonders that they fail to consider the fruit. They unconsciously assume that signs and wonders are the evidence of true men and women of God. They fail to consider if the person truly knows Christ and walks under His lordship. They fail to test their message against the Scriptures. They fail to consider if the person’s life is lived with integrity and self-control. They fail to consider the way they treat their family, their employees, and the waiter at the restaurant. They fail to consider the topics and nature of their conversations. They fail to consider if they are living under true submission to their husband and church leadership. They fail to consider if they are upright in their motives, attitude, and behavior.
Unfortunately some become self-deceived by believing that as long as they feel the anointing, as long as signs and wonders occur, as long as they keep drawing a crowd, and as long as the money keeps coming in, that they must be walking in the favor and approval of God. So what if they are really in it for themselves? So what if they hide unrepentant sin---they are the “man or woman of God!” No wonder many will be surprised when they stand before God naked and stripped of the anointing. They will discover too late that all will be judged---not on the basis of the anointing, but on the basis of the fruit of their motives, attitude, behavior, and deeds.
Application: When we stand before God, it will not matter that we claim to know Christ. It will not matter how many mighty works we have done in His name. The issue will be, does He know me? How does He know you and me? It is through a living relationship with the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Be assured that God knows who belong to Him. It is evidenced by the fruit of our lives and will be known on that Day.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, help me to discern between anointing and fruit. Help me never to confuse the anointing I see on my life or on the lives of others to be a sign of Your favor or approval. Help me to bear fruit that gives testimony to the fact that I have a true relationship with You, my Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”