THAT I MAY KNOW HIM (Part 1)
By John C. Carpenter
 
The apostles Paul and Timotheus wrote the saints in Philippi, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Php 3:1-11). In verse 10 above, the word know is translated from the Greek word ginosko, which means to be aware of, feel presence of, have knowledge of, be resolved, or understand. What do the Holy Scriptures say about knowing God?
 
I WILL GIVE THEM AN HEART TO KNOW ME
 
The scriptures, old and new, have much to say about knowing God. First of all, we must realize that God wants believers to know Him; and He has even given them the ability and desire to know Him. God, through Jeremiah, says I will give them an heart [ability, will, intellect, understanding, wisdom] to know [acknowledge, observe, have relationship with] me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart (Jer 24:7). But we must also understand that believers in Christ are destined, intended, or betrothed, to know God; God said, I will betroth [engage for matrimony, prepare] thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know [acknowledge, observe, see, recognize, receive instruction from, befriend, be taught about] the LORD (Hos 2:19-20). God clearly says, For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings (Hos 6:6); I will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). In fact, our failure to know God, as with Israel, is often related to our pride and idolatry (Hosea 5:4-5).
 
Explaining that all who believe in God are called to know Him, God said through Isaiah, Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour (Isa 43:10-11). God's clear will is that we all know Him and have eternal life, for He said, Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish (Mat 18:14). Jesus Christ directly linked faith in Christ and knowledge of God to salvation from God's wrath when He explained,And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him [Christ, the Son of God] should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him [and comes to a knowledge of God] should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:14-17). The psalmist prays, ...God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations (Psa 67:1-2). Moses desired to know God when he prayed, Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest (Exo 33:13-14). In fact, Moses wanted to know God so greatly that he told God If [I cannot know thee and] thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence (Exo 33:15). The apostle Paul regarded nothing greater than knowing God when he wrote, But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Php 3:7-8). If knowing God was a priority for Moses and Paul, knowing God should be our priority as well.
 
YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD
 
In the old testament, God the Father originally linked Israel's knowing God with their deliverance and salvation. God instructed Moses, Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD (Exo 6:8). Although these verses are found in the old testament, they are also a type and shadow of new testament salvation offered to those who come to God through faith in Christ. God later solidifies and confirms this relationship when He says, And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God (Exo 29:45-46). God will deliver His people, He will redeem His people, and He will dwell among His children, and they shall know that He is God and Lord.
 
God's great desire, intent, and purpose in life is that we all would know Him. Look how God explained His special relationship to Israel, and to us: (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else (Deu 4:31-39). God later added, Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him [and know Him] and keep his commandments to a thousand generations (Deu 7:9). In fact, God's desire is that the whole world know Him. In the story of David facing Goliath, we read, the Philistine [Goliath] came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (1 Sam 17:41-46). Knowing it was essential for Israel [and us] to know God, Elijah, the prophet, came near to God the Father and prayed, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again (1 Kings 18:36-37).
 
David deeply desired that his son, Solomon, know and serve the Lord: Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever (1 Chron 28:9). Not knowing God can cause error in our thinking and faith. Jesus chastened some Jewish church leaders that because they did not know God or His power, they were therefore living in error: Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither [God nor] the power of God? (Mar 12:24). A devout man named Ananias revealed that it is God and His will that determines whether we shall know God or not. Ananias told Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know [God the Father and] his will, and see that Just One [Jesus Christ], and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth [the speaking of the Holy Spirit]. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard (Act 22:14-15).
 
The apostle Paul explained one way we can come to know God. Paul taught Roman believers that if we want to believe in and know God, we should take a close look at creation: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even [specifically] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God [only superficially], they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things (Rom 1:18-23). The psalmist so appropriately encourages and instructs us, Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (Psa 100:1-5). Holy scriptures make it abundantly clear that God the Father wants each individual to know Him, to be aware of Him, to experience His presence and working in our lives, and to understand Him and His ways.
 
THEY SHALL ALL KNOW ME
 
We must ask, though, how do we go about knowing God? First of all, in order to know God, we must simply come to Him and have faith in Him, for without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb 11:6). In order to truly know God, we must also be able and willing to give God all the glory, simply because He is God. God spoke through Jeremiah, Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jer 9:23-24). Our knowledge and understanding of God must not be simply a head knowledge, but must be established in our hearts. Jeremiah continued, But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jer 31:33-34). To know God, one must also come to a knowledge and understanding of the truth, that is, that Jesus is the Son of the living God, the Christ and Messiah (Matt 16:16-20, John 1:41, John 20:31). The apostle Paul added in his letter to Timothy, God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1Tim 2:4-6). To know God also means to know His ways. The psalmist, David, explains, He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy (Psa 103:7-8). In fact, in the book of Hebrews, we read that not knowing God's ways causes us to live in error: Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways (Heb 3:10, Psalms 95:10).
 
THEN SHALL WE KNOW, IF WE FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD
 
God the Father certainly wants us to know Him, but we must also understand and accept the idea that our knowledge and understanding of God is not a one time thing, not instantaneous. Our knowledge of God is developmental, incremental and progressive. Our knowledge of Him grows [or should be growing] every day. No one at any point in time in this life ever comes to a complete and instantaneous knowledge and understanding of God. Paul wrote Corinthian believers, Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth (Hos 6:1-3). Regarding their ever increasing knowledge of God, Paul wrote the Ephesian church that he ceased not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may [increasingly] give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:16-18). Likewise, Paul addressed the Colossian church, For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be [increasingly] filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col 1:9). However, Habakkuk prophesied that one day everyone shall know the Lord, For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14). Paul also explains to Corinthian believers [and to us] that none of us now completely see and understand God for who and what He is, but that one day we will: For we know [God] in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Cor 13:9-12). The apostle John explained that believers know God and are in Him when he concluded,we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even [specifically]in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (1 John 5:20). The apostle Peter adds that we are to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever (2 Pet 3:18).
 
YE SHALL SEEK ME, AND FIND ME, WHEN YE SHALL SEARCH
FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART
 
Knowing God is not an easy task; it takes significant effort on our part. Scriptures also teach us that in order to know God, the first step is to receive and believe the word of the gospel. After Jesus told His disciples the parable of the sower, look what the scriptures tell us happened next: And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him [to explain to them] the parable [of the sower]. And he said unto them, Unto you [who have accepted the seed of the gospel] it is given to know the mystery [secrets, the hidden, things not normally understood] of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without [the faith and the kingdom], all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them (Mar 4:10-12). God reveals the hidden things of the kingdom to those who believe, but speaks in symbolic parables to those who do not. Job explains the difficulty of truly knowing God, His glory, and His ways. Job says, Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him? Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity? Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold. Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle? Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea. For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance. With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt. The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour (Job 36:22-33). Speaking through Jeremiah, God explains how we can know God the Father: For I [God] know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me [and know me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jer 29:11-13). We must seek Him with our whole heart, which takes significant effort on our part. We should heed the words of God spoken through Isaiah: Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God (Isa 58:1-2). We should seek God daily, delight in approaching Him, and delight in learning His ways. If we want to truly know God, we should humbly ask God to give us a desire to know Him. As God explained through Jeremiah, For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart (Jer 24:6-7). When we seek God with the intention of knowing Him, God will be with us and be our God: And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even [specifically] the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD (Eze 34:25-31). In order to fully know God, prayer is necessary. The apostle Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus that they would know God the Father: That He [God the Fahther] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height [of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the operation of the Holy Spirit]; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Eph 3:16-19). Many in the contemporary Christian church are consumed with worldliness, and do not truly know God. The apostle James not only warns the twelve scattered Jewish tribes [and us] about the dangers of worldliness in those who profess faith in Christ, but gives us excellent advice on how to know God and have a proper relationship with Him. James wrote Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace untothe humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge (James 4:4-11). Knowing God requires denying worldliness, being humble, submission to God, resisting the devil, striving to have clean hands and pure hearts, and understanding that we shall experience affliction. These things are a struggle for the Christian, but the final outcome is that God the Father shall lift us up to eternal life.
 
If we want to know God, we should not be concerned for worldly things, that is, what we will eat or drink, or what clothing we will wear, But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure [for you to know Him and] to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:31-32). Set your heart and your soul to seek [find and know] the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD (1 Chron 22:19). Paul advised, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Col 3:1), and to Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Col 3:2). We should desire and pray that the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ (2 Thes 3:5). If we truly desire to know God, we must seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:6-9). As David instructed his son, Solomon, ...know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever(1 Chron 28:9). If we would know and live in God, our heavenly Father requires that we give up our own lives and will, and live according to the will of God: He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Mat 10:38-39). God the Father wants each and every one of us to know Him and have eternal life: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise [of salvation], as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come [to know Him and] to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Our efforts to know God must be significant, but our efforts are not unrewarded. When we honestly and completely seek to know God with our whole hearts and minds, He rewards us with many things, including salvation and eternal life, because this is His will.
 
BENEFITS OF KNOWING GOD
 
Knowing God also has tremendous benefits. So, what are some of the benefits of knowing God. The scriptures describe many, but for brevity, I will list just a few. First of all, those who know God the Father can boldly approach and access Him. Referring to God, the apostle Peter teaches that we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him (Eph 3:12). We are also adopted into and became sons in the family of God: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13), and are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus(Gal 3:26). When we know God, we are also indwelt by Christ. Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that he [God the Father] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love (Eph 3:16-17). Another benefit of knowing God is that we can have peace. Christ taught His disciples that, because of Christ, ye [the disciples and all believers] might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Scriptures also teach us that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1), as well as the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Php 4:7). Paul specifically prayed for the believers in Rome that the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13). We can also have God's blessings when we know Him. David, the psalmist, prayed Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (Psa 40: 4-:5). When we trust Him, God's provision is plenteous: He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat [accepted and anointed by God] (Pro 28:25). Isaiah said, When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain (Isa 57:13). Jeremiah adds, Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit (Jer 17:7-8).
 
When we know God, we can also have access to His power and empowering. Jesus explained to some of His disciples that they would do greater works than Christ when He told them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:12-14). Jesus, Himself, teaches that ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Act 1:8).
 
Those who know God also can have His guidance (Psalm 143:8, Prov 3:5-6, John 12:36). God will also intercede for those who know Him. Jesus said He prays for them also which shall believe on me through their word (John 17:20), and he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeinghe ever liveth to make intercession for them (Heb 7:25). Those who know God also can have His protection. David prayerfully encourages us, Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psa 62:8). I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Psa 91:2), for whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe (Pro 29:25). As the apostle John instructs us, when we know God, His presence dwells in us: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1 John 4:15). Holy scriptures also teach us that God the Father loves those who believe in Him and know Him (1 John 2:5, 1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:9). God also proved His grace to those who know Him. As Paul explains:Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Rom 5:1-2). Joy is available to those who know God. Jesus teaches us, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11), as well asnow come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves (Joh 17:13). Paul also refers to the joy of God when he wrote Roman believers Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:13). The apostle Peter referred to a joy unspeakable and full of glory(1 Peter 1:8) when speaking about those who know God. Those who know God also have the greatest gift of all; eternal life through forgiveness and remission of sin. Peter taught that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Act 10:43). Paul also refers to the benefits of remission of sin, forgiveness, and justification available to the believer who knows Christ when he instructs us, Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses (Act 13:38-39). Paul likewise taught that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), but that believers are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom 3:24-25).
 
Those who know God shall overcome Satan and his attempted destruction of us: And they [who believe in Christ and know God] overcame him [satan]by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Rev 12:11). They who know God shall eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Rev 2:7), shall not be hurt of the second death(Rev 2:11), shall eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it (Rev 2:17). He who knows God shall also be given power over the nations (Rev 2:26) and the morning star (Rev 2:28). Christ says, the same [the overcomer who knows God] shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels (Rev 3:5) and will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name (Rev 3:12).
 
To all of these eternal benefits, Christ adds, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Rev 3:21). Having faith in Christ and knowing God is directly related to salvation from God's judgment of our sin, resulting in eternal life. Look how Paul put it: Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ [and we all who know and believe in Him] be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain (1 Cor 15:12-14).
 
Those who know God also have one other key advantage. They have the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit indwelling and residing within them. Paul wrote the church in Ephesus that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Eph 1:12-14). Paul also taught the believers in Galatia Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we [who are saved and know God] might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:13-14). Jesus verified the fact that those who know Christ shall receive the Holy Spirit when He said, He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water [the Holy Spirit] (John 7:38). Jesus also told Philip, I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:16-17). Another benefit of knowing God is that we can have access to His strength. Scriptures instruct us that the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits [serve God] (Dan 11:32). But, when we feel small and weak, we should not fear, for as the psalmist wrote, knowing God is our confidence and strength: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still [stop fearing and struggling, and cling to God], and know [acknowledge, observe, recognize, understand, watch] that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah (Psa 46:1-11).
 
IN FLAMING FIRE TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD
 
When we know God, there are certainly benefits. However, not knowing God carries with it not only earthly consequences but eternal consequences as well. Those who do not know God shall suffer eternal separation from God, as well as eternal punishment, suffering and fiery torment. As Paul taught believers in Thesalonica, We [Paul and his fellow apostles] are bound to thank God always for you [the church in Thesalonica], brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2 Thes 1:3-9). Paul warned his fellow apostle, Titus, about false ministers, who, because of their obvious fruit, did not truly know God: For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate [unapproved, unacceptable, rejected, worthless] (Titus 1:10-16).  AMEN.


Note: This article is continued in THAT I MAY KNOW HIM (Part 2)!






 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"And they shall
teach no more
every man his neighbour, and
every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me, from
the least of them
 unto the greatest
of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their
iniquity, and I
will remember
their sin no
more"
(Jer 31:34)



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