The Knowledge of The Holy

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
  (Prov. 9:10)

Of all the components that make up the Gospel and faith in God, none are more important than the virtue of divine understanding. I would like to take a little time here to explain my reason for saying this. Firstly we know that this glorious gospel is all about the wonder of God's great love for us. And we need look no further than the words of Jesus to sum up the entire faith of Christ: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Mat. 22:37-40). And the new testament scriptures are replete with the commandment of God for believers in Christ to love one another (Jn. 15:12; Rom. 13:8; I Thess. 4:9; I Jn. 3:23; etc.). The Apostle Paul takes the commandment of loving one another even a step further, admonishing us that unless we demonstrate God's love toward one another, our service to God is in vain, regardless of spiritual gifts exercised, or good deeds done (I Cor. 13:1-3).

There Is An Understanding To God's Love

We are straightly informed by the Scriptures that God's love is first imparted unto us by the reception of the holy Ghost in our lives, which is to say when we are baptized with the holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5). But when we are newly born of the Spirit of God, we have very little understanding of what we've received, even though we are overwhelmed with the feeling of this beautiful love from heaven. Our whole calling is all about learning what the love of God really is, and walking therein. You see, the Spirit of God IS the love of God, because the Spirit is the divine nature of God; AND GOD IS LOVE!! (I Jn. 4:8).

The first and foremost thing that we must understand about the love of God is that God's love is HOLY. God's love is not like this world's love. His love is to do whatever it takes for us, in order that we might be purged entirely from sin, so that we might be saved in  the end. Because of a lack of knowledge of this aspect of God's love, many fail to see and benefit from the trials of their faith, as well as from the chastening of the Lord. The Bible plainly states that God disciplines and chastens those whom He LOVES! (Prov. 3:11,12; Rev. 3:19). The lack of this understanding also turns people away from the fear of God, which our text scripture proclaims to be the beginning of wisdom.  Anywhere in the Bible that we see references to wisdom, knowledge, understanding and the like; it is always referring to understanding the will, or love of God; because as we have seen established by the Scriptures, the will of God is divine love. In Romans 8:14 we are told, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The only place that God's Spirit leads anyone, is into loving God and man with God's love. And we are told repeatedly in the new testament scriptures that we as believers must learn to be taught by the Spirit of God, and also that God's Spirit teaches us how to love one another (Jn. 1:26; Jn. 16:13; I Cor. 2:11; I Jn. 2:27; I Thess. 4:9). So being taught by the Spirit means getting understanding about the love of God.

So it becomes evident that if we don't grow in the knowledge of God, then we will lose our way and go astray of the capacity to love with His love. This is what happened to Israel, as was proclaimed by the prophet Hosea: "
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: (Hos. 4:6). When we lack understanding of divine truth we become separated from God and from one another, which is contrary to our calling, as well as to our well being (Jn. 17:21, 22; I Cor. 1:10). Our collective understanding of God's love is the only thing that can keep us in one mind and one accord, which is the only way that God can truly be glorified among us (Rom. 15:5,6). In recognizing the holiness of God's love, we have to realize that we cannot walk in the love of God and be under dominion to sin at the same time (Rom. 13:9-14; Gal. 5:14-16). So many of God's people today have been taught that we are "just sinners saved by grace." This kind of teaching leads away from the holy love of God and promotes the allowance of sinful habits, attitudes and the like in our lives. It also contaminates our spirits contrarily to the holy experience that we've had with the Lord, meaning the baptism of the Spirit. This in turn squashes the love and joy of the Lord out of our lives, and we become unfruitful of the virtues of godliness.

Preserving The Love of God

Let's look at a really potent passage from the book of  Proverbs that show us something about remaining in the love of God after we've received it: "Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee" (Prov. 4:5-9). My goodness! What a mouthful! By now I'm sure you're seeing the pattern here. If we attain unto understanding, we can't afford to lose it; because if we do, we will be calling something else the love of God that is not the love of God; and calling the real love of God something other than what it is (Isa. 5:20; Mat. 12:22-24). But as the above passage states, if we acquire understanding and keep it, we will be preserved, meaning in the love of God. And as we also see in the above passage, if we exalt (put high priority on) understanding, it will promote us, and bring to us a crown of glory; both of which things are without question referring to eternal salvation (Rom. 8:18; II Tim. 4:8).

With these things in mind, let's hear the following words of Jesus regarding the end time: "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Mat. 24:10-13). Many will be offended and betray one another because they will already be divided from one another in spirit through a lack of understanding. Many will be deceived by false prophets because they will have already learned to misunderstand the truth of God because of a lack of understanding of the real truth of God. And the love of many will wax cold because they will not have learned to preserve the love of God, and be kept in the love of God, through true divine understanding. This is why the Apostle Paul made the following statement to Timothy: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (I Tim. 4:16).

How To Get Understanding

Many people in the body of Christ today can't even stand to hear the word "doctrine," and many are irritated by the two simple words, "the truth." That tells me that many people have been wrongly influenced to devalue the reality of understanding divine truth. In fact, many people are not able to be taught much of anything by anyone, because they haven't allowed themselves to be led into enough humility to let themselves be instructed. This condition is totally contrary to the teaching of God's Spirit, as the following passages from Proverbs tells us: "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:" ... (and) "Take fast hold of instruction (the willingness to be taught); let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life" (Prov. 1:5; Prov. 4:13). The scriptures are repetitive in showing us that  if we can't receive instruction or correction from someone else, then we have no chance of understanding the love of God, or of being saved in  the end (Prov. 1:7; Prov. 3:7; Prov. 5:11-13; Prov. 9:8; Prov. 10:17; Prov. 12:1; Prov. 15:32; etc.). So it is truly evident that we must be able to receive instruction and correction in order to attain unto understanding.

Next we must understand that if we expect to receive revelation knowledge from God through the Spirit, we are certainly going to have to walk in the Spirit and overcome the things of the sinful nature (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5-10; Eph. 4:17-19; Psm. 11:10; etc.). We simply cannot walk in darkness (sin) and see the light (truth) at the same time (Prov. 4:19; I Jn. 1:5-7; etc.). Jesus made it clear that those who are drawn to the truth are those who are inclined to do good, and those who resist the truth are those who do evil (Jn. 3:19-21). Jesus also made it clear that it will take keeping an honest and good heart to continue to learn of the true word of God. And an honest and good heart always confesses and repents of sin if it is guilty thereof (I Jn. 1:8-10).

And it is certain that we must ask God in faith for understanding in order to receive it (James 1:5-7). Again let's go to the Proverbs for an explicit explanation of this point: "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Prov. 2:3-6). We see from this powerful passage that when we ask God for understanding, it cannot be a passive or casual asking. Jesus assured us on a number of occasions that if we expect to get answers from God, we often times are going to have to do much persevering in faith (Lk. 11:5-10; Lk. 18:1-8). And we also see from this passage that through humility and honesty of heart, we must get our ear up to God's mouth, because understanding comes from the mouth of God, and not just from reading words. This is what Jesus was referring to when He repeatedly said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." But it also is certain that we must make diligent study of the Scriptures, which the Apostle Paul said, "are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim.3:15).

We Can Be Wise Or We Can Be Foolish

So in conclusion I believe it is evident that we can choose to either understand the way to go in and be wise, or we can misunderstand the way to go in, and thereby go astray of the narrow way, which is the love of God. Jesus said that His sheep would know His voice, and that they would not follow after the voices of strangers (Jn. 10:4,5,14). That voice is the still small voice of the Spirit of God, and the true sheep of God are those who realize that they must acquire and keep divine understanding, and abide therein in order to be saved (I J. 2:27). And God's sheep also understand the severity of failing to do so, as the following proverb so graphically states: "The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead" (Prov. 21:16). The parable of the ten virgins, which is about the body of Christ in the end time, clearly shows that the wise virgins were the ones who made it to the marriage supper of the Lamb; whereas the foolish were the ones who fell short, even though they continued in their misguided effort to get there till the end (Mat. 25: 1-12). They lacked understanding of the way to go in, and thereby labored in vain; thus fulfilling the following words of Jesus: " Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Lk. 13:24). And to confirm this point, Daniel 12:10, also speaking of the end time, states the following: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." And in these things we see the reason for the admonition in Proverbs 4:7, which I will repeat: "Wisdom is the principal (chief) thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding." Amen and amen!

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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