Who are “workers of iniquity” and what is their fate?

Matthew 7:21–23, What is the will of the Father? In verse 21, Yeshua makes reference to “the will of the Father.” In Hebraic thought, to what is he referring here? What is “the will of the Father”? Keep in mind that when Yeshua gave this teaching the only Scriptures in existence were the writings of the Tanakh, and the first five books of Moses in the Bible, were the central teaching document for the Jewish people—the nation of Israel. Therefore, we would be expected to find “the will of the Father” to be revealed in the Word (or Oracles) of Elohim originating from heaven and delivered to man. The will of the Father was revealed at Mount Sinai and was the reference point of all the Hebrew prophets who were constantly charging the people of Israel to return to the ancient paths of YHVH’s Torah (Jer 6:16, 19; 18:15). As we see in Psalm 40:8, the will of Elohim is nothing more than delighting in obeying the Torah from one’s heart—something this psalm prophesies the coming Messiah would do. 

Yeshua, the Living Word or Torah (instruction, precepts, teachings) of Elohim, came to set Torah on a firm foundation (the whole point of the Sermon on the Mount, as we have seen) by rescuing it from the hands of the hypocritical, greedy, arrogant and self-righteous religionists of his day. Yeshua said in John 7:16 that his doctrine or teaching was not his own, but that of his Father in heaven and that those who do the will of the Father will recognize that his doctrine or teaching is from the Father (verse 17).

In John 7:19, Yeshua asks the Pharisees: “Did not Moses give you the Torah, and yet none of you keep [do, perform] the Torah?” What is the summation of what Yeshua is saying here? He is telling the people that he came to do the will of his Father, to bring to them the oracles or doctrine of the Father as given at Mount Sinai (called the Mosaic Covenant), and that these words are not his and that, basically, he is simply a messenger transmitting his Father’s words to the people—the very words of Moses, which he accuses the people of not keeping or obeying.

This was the message of Yeshua to the people in his day. Is this not a relevant message to the Christian church of our day, which teaches that the Torah-law of Moses is of little nor no relevance to Believers? The idea that Yeshua came to abrogate the Torah-law of Moses is difficult to comprehend in light of such Scriptures as John 14:15, a direct quote from Exodus 20:6, where Yeshua equates himself with YHVH who spoke at Mount Sinai. (See also 1 Cor 10:4.) Do you comprehend the full impact of this? Yeshua, whom the Christians call Jesus Christ, is the very one who spoke out from Mount Sinai and the one who gave the Torah-law and led the Children of Israel through the Wilderness. It is this Torah-law that Yeshua came to uphold and restore as we have seen by our study on the Sermon on the Mount.

We see that many religionists will claim to be followers of Yeshua, but what separates the true followers from the counterfeit ones is whether they are doing the will of YHVH or not. Many will be prophesying in Yeshua’s name, casting out devils and doing many miraculous works in his name, but this is not the proof that they are his. What is the proof? He says in verse 23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

What is the meaning of the word “iniquity” (in verse 23)? It is the Greek word anomia (Strong’s G458) meaning “unrighteousness” or “lawlessness.” Righteousness by biblical definition is “adherence to the Torah-commandments of YHVH” (Ps 119:172). When the Jewish writers of the Testimony of Yeshua (NT) use the word “law” it is almost always a reference to the Torah. In Hebrew thought then (and now), there was no other law except the Law of Moses. This “law” or Torah came from Elohim through the “Angel” or more properly the Messenger from heaven who gave the Torah to Moses, and who was none other than the pre-incarnate Yeshua (Acts 7:37–38). So the word “iniquity” or “lawlessness,” as used in our verse could quite simply be understood to mean “Torahlessness.” In fact, Torahlessness would be an apt translation of the Greek word anomia, which is behind the word iniquity or lawlessness (depending on the English translation). Quite clearly, in Matthew 7:21-23, Yeshua is speaking to those who claim or profess to be his followers, who claim or profess his name, claim his miraculous power, claim to speak by his authority and even claim, no doubt, to love him, but in reality they fail to love him (according to the biblical definition of love) by obeying his word or Torah-commandments ( John 14:15). In other words, they are sinners, walking in sinfulness, for John defines sin in his epistle as “the transgression of the Torah-law of Elohim” (1 John 3:4). Of these same people, in the day of judgment, Yeshua will say, “Depart from me, you that work [do] Torahlessness, I never knew you.” Yeshua will not accept these people on the basis of their verbal professions or claims, nor will he accept them on the basis of their prophetic or miracle-working abilities. Yeshua, the Living Torah of Elohim made flesh, will accept them only on the basis of their obedience to and orientation toward the Torah-law of Elohim.

Is Yeshua here abrogating or nullifying the Torah-law given to Moses or is he reaffirming it to his followers? The language of this scripture is very clear to those who have ears to hear and to those who are truth-seekers. He is loudly and clearly validating the Torah and its relevance upon the lives of his disciples or followers!

Matthew 7:21, Not everyone. Yeshua said “not everyone”; he didn’t say “no one.” Some who say “Lord, Lord…” and who cast out demons, prophecy and do wonderful works in the name of Yeshua will enter the kingdom of heaven. The issue here isn’t the words or the works, but whether all was being done according to the will of Elohim or the will of the world, flesh or the devil. 

Matthew 7:23, Knew. The word “knew” in Matt 7:23 is the Koine Greek word ginosko meaning “to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel; to become known; to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of; to understand; to know.” The equivalent Hebrew word is yadah meaning the same thing. According to The TDNT, the Jewish translators of the LXX used either the Greek words ginoksein (the root of ginosko) and eidenai for the Heberew verb yadah. The Hebrew yadah was sometimes a Hebraism for “knowing one’s wife in a sexually intimate way (e.g. Gen 4:17, 25; Gen 38:26; Judg 19:25; 1 Kgs 1:4). In each of the four references previously listed verses where yadah refers to sexual intercourse, the Greek word ginosko is used in each case. We find this Hebraism again in Matthew 1:25 in reference to Joseph, who, the Gospel states, didn’t “know” (ginosko) Mary, his wife, before Yeshua was born. So, depending on the context of the scriptural passage in which it is found, the Hebrew word yadah and the Greek word ginosko can refer to sexual intercourse. However, in Matthew 7:23, there is nothing in the passage to suggest that Yeshua is alluding to this Hebraism. Moreover, Yeshua will not “know” his bride in an intimate spiritual way until after his second coming when he “marries” his spiritual bride (the saints) and the wedding supper of the Lamb has occurred. This, obviously, hasn’t happened yet.

Depart from me. There’s no indication in Yeshua’s words here that he will cast these people into the lake of fire. Simply, the implication, if combined with Yeshua’s words in Matt 5:19, these people will have a lower reward in the kingdom of heaven—a dwelling place that is further away from Yeshua. The Scriptures are clear: One’s level of obedience to YHVH’s Torah-instructions that is, the less a sinner one is, the greater will one’s heavenly rewards be. In verse 24, Yeshua says that one must not only hear but also do or obey his words.

Luke 13:27, Workers. Gr. ergates meaning “worker, one who works for hire” or figuratively, a minister, Bible teacher.

Iniquity. Gr. adikia meaning “unrighteousness” or by biblical definition, Torahlessness (see Ps 119:172).


8 thoughts on “Who are “workers of iniquity” and what is their fate?

  1. Don’t you just love it when Xtians say the law was for the Jews and its been done away with? Do they not know Yeshua is a Jew? I say if you’re anti-Semitic you’re antichrist!

  2. I’m very interested in this. I’m a Christian, I have fallen away from god and recently repented. I’m trying to find the clarity I need.The lawlessness comment u made makes sense. I’m confused on some things. He said he came to fulfill the law. If the law of Moses is still valid, then why would he save the sinner from being stoned? Why allow the work on the sabbath? Why go against an eye for an eye. Why say turn the other cheek? Pls respond I am genuinely in a real spiritual war right now. I need help.

    • I answer all of these questions in my videos and teaching articles the Torah-law which you can access at

    • https://www.hoshanarabbah.org
    • . If you are a Truth seeker, you will watch my videos (see my YouTube playlist on the Torah) or read the articles on our website, and the answers will come to you. Suffice it to say, the conventional explanations that the church gives to explain away the Torah are all lies and twisting of Scripture. I wish I could take the time to answer all of your questions, but I can’t. Too many people have the same questions and it would take all day to keep answering them all over and over again, which is why I have made the answers to them available for free on our our website. Onward and upward as you search out the Truth YHVH blesses you with his understanding!

  3. From my understanding of the conversation it’s doing it continually on the iniquity subject and sin is actually iniquity.we try to stay away as much as we can from practicing sin.the best way to do that is repentance and opening ur heart to Jesus Christ…other than that,it won’t be possible..the book of the law Wich is the five books of Moses define it,but praise God He came and made it easier for us.two commandments,love the Lord thy God with all your heart,soul,mind and strength and love thy neighbor like you would love your self…just like that God bless …

    • We repent of our works. Our filthy rags and our iniquity have no standing before a perfect Judge. Before we trust in Jesus’s righteousness over our own we are working all things from a position of guilt deserving of punishment. Working iniquity is to continue in guilt; it is to continue washing your own filthy rags by our own efforts, it is to deny Jesus’s righteousness for your own, it is to reject the pardon of Jesus’s blood, it to reject the Work of God (See Psalm 69:26-29), walking in guilt is walking in lawlessness because we are instructed to believe on the one whom God has sent; we are instructed to believe on Jesus as it is the work of God. We are instructed to have the peace of God rule in our hearts.

      Faith in Jesus without works is unprofitable but salvation is sure; faith with works is profitable for eternal rewards. Works without faith in Jesus’s righteousness is working iniquity.

      • Faith in Yeshua is much more than mental ascent (based on the Greek word for faith which is pistis). It is a matter of believing in him and then being faithful to him by and obeying his will. This is the meaning of the Hebrew word for faith which is emunah. When the gospel writers were writing, they were using the Hebrew word for faith which is emunah, and which is etymologically related the the Hebrew word for truth which is emet, which in turn is related to the Hebrew amein or amen which means truthfully and is said by Christians after they pray. Now if people who say amen would just live up to YHVH’s Torah-Word of Truth from Genesis to Revelation, the church would be a better place because it would be built on a foundation of the whole Truth. I just said a lot in these few sentences for those who have the ears to hear and the heart to understand, and everything I said stands solidly on the Word that is immutable. Selah.

  4. The will of the Father is John 6:39-40. Those who reject this will be trying to clean their own filthy rags for eternity. Mixed up doctrine, Mixed up covenants, Mixed up testaments are heresy and leading people into self righteousness, leading people into further iniquity. Leading pharisees who already think they are on the narrowest path into a further hypocritical one. The Way Jesus has prepared is not with hypocrisy and it is not self righteous.

    • The will of the Father is to do the will of the Father including believing on his Son and loving by keeping his commandments which define righteousness and holiness without which no one will see the Father.

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