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DEPART from Me!

Sober words from Jesus!


DEPART FROM ME!

by Don Robson


     As the signs of the Lord's coming to earth are ever present
with us in these last days of the Christian dispensation, we
Christians should be applying ourselves to repentance and
cleansing our spirits, in preparation to greet the Lord. In
thinking about this personally, I am horrified at the prospect of
Jesus saying to me, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
(Matt 7:23). Chapter 7 of Matthew concludes the sermon on the
mount which covers the following; your Father in heaven shall
give good things to them that ask him, the golden rule, be
ware of false prophets and know a tree by its fruits. Then comes
the important verses 21-23, "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 cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many
wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew
you; depart from me ye that work iniquity." I would like you to
consider with me the message we may take from these verses.

     First, Jesus shows that the prime requirement to enter the
kingdom is to do the will of the Father which is in heaven. I
understand that we are all sinners, and need the Saviour's mercy
to enter but I believe that Jesus is addressing Himself to those
who willfully ignore the Lord's law, continually violating its
precepts: for example, in Matthew 23:9, Jesus says, "And call no
man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is
in heaven." We are aware, that in some of our churches, the
priest is referred to by the laity as 'father'. Of course, it is
appropriate to call your biological parent, 'father', as the law
commands us to honour our father and mother. But this treat-
ment of the priests is in absolute contradiction of Jesus'
command leading me to the thought that another designation should
be devised.

     Some will ask the Lord for consideration for prophesying in
His name. The Bible is very clear that you know a prophet of the
Lord because his prophecies come true, or come to pass as
prophesied. There is a good example of this in 2 Chronicles
chapter 18 where Jehosophat and Ahab form an alliance to invade
Syria. Ahab had 400 prophets that all advised him to invade and
the Lord would deliver the Syrians into his hand. But Jehosophat
wanted to hear from a prophet of the Lord, so Ahab brought
Micaiah, while complaining that he never brought good news. At
first he agreed with the 400 prophets but Ahab knew he was lying
and requested the truth because he knew that Micaiah never agreed
with his army of prophets. So Micaiah told him Israel would be
scattered and Ahab threw him in prison until he, Ahab, returned
in peace. In verse 27, Micaiah says, "If thou certainly return in
peace, THEN HATH NOT THE LORD SPOKEN BY ME." Well, Ahab fell in
battle and did not return, so Micaiah's prophesy was verified and
the 400 prophets were proven to be false and their priestly
blessing, as the two kings went to war, was useless since it did
not come from God. In modern times, we can find similar stories
such as the powerful Spanish armada sailing to invade and conquer
Britain with the blessing of the clergy. History tells us that
that blessing turned into a curse. Those who engage in prophecy
know who they are, and unless guided by the Spirit of Truth, will
be among those rejected from the kingdom by the Lord.

     Now, casting out devils is interesting in that the Roman
Catholic church is addressing this issue in an aggressive manner
The Vatican's chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, recently
announced to news agencies that hundreds of priests would be
trained to, "fight the devil head on." Here again, I am sure that
the exorcists' work is not objectionable to Jesus but they call
themselves, 'father', a no, no! But I believe there is more to
their problem in that the clergy has led their followers from the
Apostolic teachings introducing man-made concepts like,
transubstantiation, Immaculate conception of Mary, and purgatory.
None of these have foundations in Scripture, which reminds us of
Jesus' question, "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall
He really find THE FAITH on the earth? (Luke 18:8) (The Panin
translation adds the direct article where the King James does
not). In I John 2:7, "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto
you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The
old commandment is the word which you have heard from the
beginning " Plainly, John is urging his readers to follow the
Apostolic teaching, which passed on to us THE FAITH that was
taught by Jesus.

     The many wonderful works are documented carefully by the
church. As I understand it, the wonderful works, especially
healing, require three documented miracles which allows the
church to award the status of, 'saint' Now the laity of the
church prays to these saints. In the first paragraph of this
essay Jesus tells His congregation that the Father shall give
good things to them that ask Him. We are encouraged to pray to
the Father in Jesus' name. The saints of the church are not
demigods with the power to grant requests. That power resides
with the Father. Jesus emphasized this when He insisted His good
works were done by the Father and without the Father He could do
nothing! It is very clear that Jesus is not telling those
Christians to depart because they did wonderful works in His
name; rather, it is because they have worked iniquity.

     In my dictionary, 'iniquity', is described as a grievous
offence. Even though good works were accomplished by the people
under review, they are condemned by iniquity, grievous offences.
     In my opinion, these offences fall into two categories:

     First, there is the willful ignorance of God's law and
on-going breach of those laws. Remember that Christ told us that
He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to
fulfill. He also said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." I
believe the second grievous offence is the 'removal' of power
from the Father. Saints could do nothing without the Father when
they were alive, certainly not when they are dead and sleeping in
the grave with the fathers. Again, Jesus explained that He could
do nothing without the Father, so we must attribute power, glory
and majesty to the Ancient of days and not assign it to others.
God showed what was expected of us in the commandments. In Exodus
20: 2-6, "I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of
the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no
other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven
image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that
is in earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them; for I thy God AM A
JEALOUS GOD, visiting the INIQUITY of the fathers upon the
children unto the third and fourth generation of those that hate
me; And showing mercy unto them that love me, AND KEEP MY
COMMANDMENTS."

     In my opinion, a lot of Christians are complacent because
they have professed belief in Jesus, expecting everlasting life
as a reward. But in examining this troublesome text, I think it
is clear that we must be trying first to keep the Lord's
commandments above everything and anything else. Recall how
Mathew chapter 7 ends. Jesus compares the persons that follow His
advice to a person building his house on a rock, enabling it to
withstand the winds and floods. On the other hand, those who do
not heed His advice, are compared to builders on sand where the
winds and the floods destroyed the house and great was the
destruction of that house. Fellow Christians, this is the time to
forsake our wicked ways and be reconciled to Christ, so on His
return, we do not hear, "I never knew you; depart from Me ye that
work iniquity."

                           ....................

Taken from "Thy Kingdom Come" - August 2008 - a publication of The
Association of Covenant People, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.

Entered on this Website August 2008


 
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