Fairly self explanatory. Obviously not looking for doctrinal answers, just textual evidence to support / refute this question.

"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 in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’"


3 Answers 3


It would seem from the passage in question that calling on the name of Jesus is all that is needed in order to perform great miracles. According to Matthew, the 'false prophets' were able to perform miracles (variously translated as 'wonderful works' or 'deeds of power') and exorcise demons merely by calling on the name of Jesus, even though they were not true Christians and did not believe in Christ.

Ulrich Luz (Studies in Matthew, pages 128-9) says that Matthew "presupposes in the community charismatic activity of which the Evangelist is evidently critical. But he is himself - at least as far as his basically positive attitude to miracles is concerned - not all that far from the charismatics he is attacking." This is to say that at the time the Gospel was written there must have been people, whom the Evangelist regarded as not true Christians, who claimed to perform miracles in the name of Jesus. Matthew does not dispute that the miracles were real, but insists they were able to perform these miracles merely by using Jesus' name, but without his divine authority.


Logically, if X implies Y, it is not necessarily true that not X implies not Y. For example: (a) Birds can eat; (b) I am not a bird; (c) therefore I cannot eat. The preceding is clearly fallacious (fallacy of the inverse). The fact that some can do miracles in Jesus' name does not logically imply that it is not possible to do miracles without invoking Jesus name.

  • Thank you for the comment. A more logically sound way to ask the question then would probably be "Is it possible to perform exorcisms or miracles solely by invoking Jesus' name?" that way it is not limiting in nature. Thank you for the clarification. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 22:07
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    I normally don't comment on answers to questions I have also answered, but is this answer "Based on Matt 7:21-23" as required by the question? Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 5:39

It seems that in the case of those who weren't followers of Jesus and his Apostles and who were able to repel and expel demons from people possessed by them did it with a real faith in Jesus even when they didn't follow him(Mark 9:38). This blind faith in a God we don't even know or follow is exemplified by Lucas in his account of Paul's visit to Athens (Acts 7:23). If we have real faith in Jesus even when we don't know him, his Church or his apostles and saints we can be certain that our words and miracles come from Him. There are many Christians today that are not part of the real Church and Doctrine but they are able to do good things in the name of Jesus. Jesus commands us not to stop them! God know their heart and if they are true God will perform miracles through them too!

But Jesus seems to indicate that some are just charlatans with no real faith in Him but looking to enrich themselves with the name of Jesus and using Jesus's name for their own selfish purposes(Mathews 7:21). God sometimes allows them to perform miracles in the Name of Jesus but it looks like they get more grandiose and more deceptive as their ability to perform miracles in the name of Jesus is given to them. God sees our hearts and our real intentions!

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