The Word of Life

Known BY or Known OF....the difference between Life and Death

MATT. 7:21 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. 22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me,ye that work iniquity.


PSALM 139: 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.



Friends, the scriptures above make a couple of very clear distinctions.  First; they distinguish those who work God's will with God's recognition, knowledge, and blessing from those just working with God's name. Second; they distinguish those who are known BY God from those who are known OF God.  These two concepts and groups of people could not be more divergent.  They could not be more different, and they could not be less known.


To be known by God means simply being HUMAN.  As in Psalm 139 above, we find that God knows us from the moment of our inception.  Frankly, he knew us before then in thought and implanted that thought into flesh, making us a living soul!  But in conception there is no recognition beyond the knowledge of you and your existence.  Being known by God is to be as any one of the six billion people on this planet today.  There is no distinguishing mark, feature, or character that would identify you to God beyond that of His hand on your creation.  In other words - there is nothing special in being known by God, other than the miracle of your birth itself.  Many people are in this cagtegory.  In fact, all are at first. 


The writer goes on to say "Though I make my bed in hell, lo, thou art there."  So, you are known by God even when you do not know him yourself.  But the key to God and his recognition lies not in being known BY Him, but rather being known OF Him.  Being known of God means that something has occurred and continues to occur in you that draws God's attention and awareness.  In fact, something has happened within all who are known of God that puts an indelible recognition mark in their soul.  It truly is the difference between life and death.  

Of course, we know that obeying Acts 2:38 puts that mark on us first!  We are taught by Paul in his epistles that we are made sons of God through baptism and His name is planted on our souls for recognition whereby we can cry "Abba, Father!"  But let's go deeper.  Let's delve into the aspects of someone who, after they have performed all the works they are called to perform in the name of Jesus as our subjects in Matt 7 did,  become known OF God and allowed into the Kingdom.


PSALM 15: 1Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.  Whoever does these things will never be shaken.


The writer is asking the same question that we are.  "Who shall dwell in your sacred tent?"  Who's going to make it in, Lord?  Then he lays out a series of answers.  All these answers require work.  They require sacrifice and present challenges to those who wish to dwell with God.  Being known BY God vs being known OF God is going to be the demarcation line for all who wish to see Jesus in the final day!  


Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

2 TIM 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.…

Without making light of it, I have the strong impression throughout the New Testament that God was telling us something about ourselves.  Being known requires more than just doing "good" things.  It requires more than the knowledge that Jesus can heal the sick, or that using the name of Jesus will put devils to flight!  You must depart from iniquity!  You must purge yourself of the fragile, fuel-like, and temporary vessels that have little honor.  These vessels are filled with lust, self-pity, arrogance, anger and all the works of the flesh!  He requires unadulterated vessels, who are striving to become pure and honorable.  Being baptized in Jesus name does NOT assure you of a place at the table of His wedding supper!  


1 JOHN 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

GAL 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

It is not enough to have a FORM of godliness.  It is not enough to know the scriptures.  Like as in Romans 8:12-14 we must being to set back the temporal.  Sitting around thinking about God does not make you spiritual.  You must begin to do what your flesh does NOT want to do! To be known of God (to be one of his children) means applying the law!  You must be a doer and not a hearer only.    …James 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. It is so critical that you understand that being known OF God is so much more important than just working the works.  While works are critically important - while works set you apart from the world - the MOTIVE of your works is the key!


Luke 11:42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.


It is not in all the "great" things you do.  Eventually great works take on a life of their own.  You begin doing things out of habit, routine, and training.  Whole churches are built around them and the purity and challenge of service is lost in them!  FAITH PLUS WORKS means that you work when the means are not readily apparent.  This combination means that you perform your feats because you understand why you are doing them and for whom.  Creation was an act of sacrifice as much as an act of love.  Jesus knew from the beginning that we would let him down; that we would destroy his creation, yet he loved us enough to sacrifice for us!  Love was his motive.  Love and sacrifice go hand-in-hand, and only then can your works be coupled with faith in a way that gets God's attention and more importantly, his recognition.


Do God's will.  Do it especially when the body does not want to.  Love those who hate you.  Do good to those who despitefully use you.  Reach out to the lost with the intent to just tell them of Jesus.  Learn to let go of works that you think will make you look good, or get a good response!  Do things that no man knows about.  Do alms in secret just for the love of the God for whom you work.  Then you will know beyond a shadow of doubt that God not only knows ABOUT you - but that you are truly known OF Him, and you are one of his sons and daughters in truth.


In Love,


Elders Mark and Dana  Neddeau