Matthew 7 21-23 What is Jesus talking about?


21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

How can people drive out demons or perform miracles apart from the will of the Father? Neither you, me, or a random person on the street can invoke the name of Jesus to accomplish these things as though it were a magic spell. What group of people is Christ addressing?


Because it is required more than to merely pronounce oneself Christian.
Think about it “I” could drive our demons in the name of Jesus. But WHO is actually doing the work?
Me or Jesus. If I just used my mouth to “do the will of the Father” how can that count towards my salvation?

If instead I follow Jesus’s commandments, Love GOD above all and feed/clothe the poor, forgive my enemies. Those are my works that thanks to Jesus mercy can be counted for the greater glory of God, and hopefully merit my salvation.

This is what He means in that verse, at least my humble understanding of it.


He is addressing those who make a show of piety, but have not converted their hearts to him.

God can do what he wants, and if he wants to do a miracle using these people, he can. Don’t forget, there is a person on the receiving end of the miracle, and it is by his will they receive it. They have the faith to be healed. The people performing it are just his instruments.


I’m not buying either of these responses. How can a person act as an agent of God, compelling demons to leave a person in accordance with God’s will, yet simultaneously be acting apart from God’s will?

Similarly, while God can do anything, what reason do we have to think that he will perform miracles through flim-flam men? Christ said “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” Not “he who believes in me and also some guys whom I never knew.”

If miracles can be done apart from God, how can we trust that any saintly canonization is valid?


Ah wait, you are conflating here. Miracles from Saints are people who are no longer living are needed as proof for the canonization process. Also they need to have conducted an exemplary Christian life.

Someone can cast out demons by using Jesus’s name and therefore His authority over them, that does not mean that he himself leads a truly christian life, he could in fact be a sinner. God can allow this to happen as He pleases.
The demons obeyed Jesus’s authority NOT the sinner that had none.

However if our “works” are done following the will of our Father Jesus promised us they would be accounted for.
You see works by themselves are worthless.
However IF they are joined with our Faith in Jesus and our love of our Father then they become miracles in themselves.


I am not making the claim that a sinner or a virtuous person have any authority in their own right to drive out demons.

I am saying that it is absurd to suggest that a person could think they were doing the will of God, for God to in fact work through them, and then to be told that God never knew them.

Supposing that is true, of what use is our faculty of reason? Consider your own life. You think you are living for God, and you see the changes he has made in your life, whether those changes are as dramatic as expelling demons and working miracles or not. At the end of your life, will Christ claim that he never knew you? Will you have every reason to think that you have a strong relationship with Christ right up until he sends you to hell?

Also, when Christ uses the word miracle here, is he using it in the same sense that you are? I can join my efforts to the will of the Father by offering up the suffering of a skipped breakfast for the intentions of Pope Francis. Is that a miracle?


D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 21. Here Jesus Christ shews, that it is not sufficient to believe in him and hear his words, but that in order to salvation, we must join works with faith; for in this shall we be examined at the last day. (Menochius) — Without faith they could not cry out, Lord, Lord. (Romans x.) But the strongest faith without the works of justice, will not be available to salvation. (1 Corinthians xiii.) (Bristow) — Many who have the Lord continually in their mouths, but care little about putting on the Lord, or penetrating themselves with his true spirit, will find their presumption, and the false consciences they have made to themselves, wofully disappointed. (Haydock)

Ver. 22. Have not we prophesied in thy name? The gift of prophecy, and of doing miracles, may sometimes be granted to bad men, as to Caiphas, and Balaam. (Witham) — Under the name of prophets, the Hebrews comprised not only such as predicted future events, but also in general all such as gave themselves out for inspired, or who undertook teaching and interpreting the holy Scriptures; and here by prophesying is understood, in a general acceptation, all public functions, predicting futurity, expounding Scripture, instructing the people, preaching, &c. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 23. So as to approve and reward your works. Here he shews that even prophecy and miracles will not save us without good works. (Menochius) — How much less will faith, unassisted by good works, preserve us from condemnation. (Haydock) — The gift of miracles is bestowed on men not for their own good, but for the advantage of others. We must not then be surprised if men, who had indeed faith in Christ, but whose lives did not correspond with their faith, should be honoured with these extraordinary gifts, since the Almighty sometimes employs as his instruments in working similar wonders, men destitute both of faith and virtue. Balaam, void of faith and probity, still by the will of God, prophesied for the advantage of others. To Pharao and Nabuchodonosor were revealed future events of the greatest moment; and the wicked Judas himself cast out devils. Therefore St. Paul said, “if I had all faith so as to remove mountains, and if I knew all mysteries, and was possessed of all wisdom, but had not charity, I am nothing.” (St. Chrysostom, Hom. xv.)


Thank you for posting that commentary, Thistle. I don’t think it addresses my questions, but I appreciate it all the same.


My understanding is that it separates the Sacraments (and in the case of exorcism, the sacramentals) from the man. This is because it is Jesus who performs of the miracle (and Sacraments are true, everyday miracles) whether Baptism (which includes in itself, in some forms, a lesser exorcism), Communion, or any other. Most priests are good people, but there are and have been some who clearly are not, as the newspapers love to tell us. The Grace transmitted through the Sacrament is still valid, even if the person transmitting it is reprehensible, and could wind up in Hell.

If you think about what Christ said, we all as Catholics acknowledge this, as the miracle of the Sacrament of Baptism is recognized as valid even if done by a non-believer (as with a non-Christian or atheist nurse who can perform a valid baptism if a baby is about to die.) A baptism performed by Judas would have been valid. A baptism performed in an emergency by Jeffery Dahmer, to use a ridiculous example, would still be valid. That does not mean the person performing the Sacrament is saved.

This validity is possible because Christ is the true minister of the Sacrament: Christ is the one who truly baptizes, whether it is Peter or Paul or Judas who baptizes (cf. Augustine, Treatise on the Gospel of John VI, 1,7; cf. CCC n. 1127). The Council of Trent, confirming this tradition, defined that Baptism administered by heretics in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does is true Baptism (cf. DH 1617).

One could also look at it as a rebuke to those who believe in the doctrine of “Once saved, always saved,” although I obviously lack the authority to interpret Christ’s teachings.


If a person is sinful in nature, then they would not be able to confront or cast out demons, the demons would sense this about the person and use it against them, so it would never work.

This is a strange verse.


=Binary;11340617]21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

How can people drive out demons or perform miracles apart from the will of the Father? Neither you, me, or a random person on the street can invoke the name of Jesus to accomplish these things as though it were a magic spell. What group of people is Christ addressing?

IT’S scarry :eek:


True God is only ONE

Therefore logically God’s Faith can be [and is] also only One

Christ founded only One Church with one Faith and protects ONLY that One Church and Faith.

Romans 1:25 Jesus speaking “Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen”

Acts 20: 28-30 Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, [singular] which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Douay Rheims Bible

John.15: 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you”

John.10: 16 “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd”

Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [means 1 chruch] and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,[SINGULAR =1,000+ years B4- prostantism started] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Jn. 17:14-20 " I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [With Gods very Power and authority]** And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.** [20] **And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; **"

And there is a great deal more I could show in evidence.:thumbsup:

God Bless you,


Jesus is attacking false prophets. He started his attack on false prophets a few verses back.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

There were many false prophets in Jesus time who did works in the name of God but they were not faithful to God’s law. People were amazed and followed these men but ultimately they were led astray. That is the literal meaning of the text. Many spiritual meanings flow from the literal meaning.

You might want to read the first part of chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles. Verse 1 points out true prophets and verse 6 points out a false prophet. Also see



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