“I never knew you.” These terrible words of the Lord Jesus will ring out as some famous preachers are cast into hell. '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 6:21-23 I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity (evil).
Who are these people? Jesus told us the ones to watch out for. What do they do? 'Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord”…' They speak as if they know the Lord personally. But He does not know them. They act like they belong to Him, but they do not. They use the right words, the right jargon, they know our language, they talk Bible talk. They talk the talk, but they cannot walk the walk because they are not really Christians at all. They have never been born again (born spiritually by trusting in Jesus).
They may talk about the Holy Spirit from morning until night, but they do not have the Holy Spirit inside themselves. They will say, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied … cast out devils … done many wonderful works?' They are going around claiming to work wonders, miracles, in the name of Jesus, but they do not even know Him.
Who are the people today who are claiming to work miracles? Beware of those who claim to work many miracles in Jesus' holy name. A Christian doctor in England set himself a task, to find out the truth behind claims of healing miracles. He wrote to some of the big names, some of the famous people who claim to work miracles of healing and who claim to prophesy in God’s Name.
He asked for the names of three people who had been healed so he could verify the cases. These names were a long time in coming and when he finally got some names and investigated the so-called healings, he could find none. No healings. All hype. Smoke and mirrors. Wishful thinking.
Don’t get me wrong. God does heal people today. He is sovereign, but He does not share His glory with another. These 'miracle workers' get a lot of glory from the crowds who come to their meetings and fill their buckets with cash. The point is that one of the clues Jesus gave us to unmask the false leaders was to do with miracles. If someone today is claiming they have done many mighty miracles, or could do some at their next service, have your divine antennae out.
Don’t be gullible. God expects us to test everything and to be discerning. A person who was really entrusted by God with doing some miracle would never boast about it - never. And if a real miracle happened, the person who performed it would not want any glory for himself. He would give the glory to Jesus. And he would not mind having it tested. Jesus always told people to go and show themselves to the priests to verify that they were really healed.
Today's 'miracle workers,' on the other hand, are not too keen on being tested. Most of them probably know in their hearts that they would not stand up to scrutiny. So they condemn anyone who wants to examine critically what they teach and what they do. They say: 'Don't judge or you will be judged.' And they add: 'Don't touch God's anointed!' (meaning themselves). I was taken in by this and became quite disillusioned with much of what goes under the name of Christianity, but which I now know is not real biblical Christianity.
There are five Greek words for judging, not just one like there is in English. The New Testament is written in Greek and when you learn the Greek words, you realise that there are different kinds of judging in the Bible.
One kind of judging we are forbidden to do is to judge hypocritically, judging others for what we ourselves are doing. For example, if you are stealing and you then begin to publically condemn someone else for theft, you are in trouble with God, big time.
You are judging hypocritically and you are going to be judged. God will see to it that you are exposed as a hypocrite because you have judged someone for something of which you yourself are guilty. Do not judge hypocritically, or you will surely be judged! Another kind of judging we cannot do is to damn someone to Hell. Jesus is the judge. He has the keys of hell and of death, not us. But there are other kinds of judging which we are commanded to do. We are commanded to review objectively and think analytically about things going on in the church.
God expects us to use our brains. He is not happy when we are duped by a false teacher. There are no rewards for gullibility. God is truth, and He wants people who love the truth and who are not easily fooled and taken in by charlatans. If you attend religious meetings where someone claims to have a special power, earnestly ask God to show you the truth about them.
Be a Berean (Paul commended the noble Bereans for checking out everything he preached in the scriptures). Many Christians today have been so badly taught that even when they try to search the scriptures, they remain confused.
Get a good Bible commentary like William Macdonald’s 'Believer’s Bible Commentary,' which clearly explains the truth behind scriptures that are twisted by today’s ‘miracle men.’ Those deceivers take scripture out of context and use it in ways the Lord never intended. Most believers today have never had a good grounding. They really need a good basic course in the Bible.
The best one I know of is Dr J Vernon McGee's 'Through The Bible', a course which takes you right through the entire Bible. It is on the web at www.ttb.org It is also on Transworld Radio which you can also get on Sky TV's radio channel number 0138. It's time to get serious, and get some serious knowledge so that you can recognise those whom Dr McGee calls the 'religious rascals' - the miracle men who are out to fleece you.