"When the wise is instructed he receiveth knowledge."Prov. 21:11.
In this age of advancement investigation and proofs, truth and falsehood, light and darkness are engaged in a hand to hand struggle for supremacy; old theories, old creeds, and refuse of the dark ages, are being weighed and found wanting. Truth also is being assailed, twisted and distorted by the enemy of all truth and those whom he has only too well succeeded in blinding; therefore, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." The struggle is a vital one; none should be indifferent; and especially those who claim to be soldiers of Christ should not be unarmed, for we war not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places, therefore take the whole armor of God"The sword of the Spirit," "the shield of faith," "having your loins girt about with truth," by which only can we "fight the good fight of faith," "Till we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God....So that being truthful [R493 : page 4] in love we may grow up in all things into him who is the Head, the Anointed One" (Eph. 4:13,15). While foolsthose who act foolishly, wickedlylove not the truth, hate knowledge, the wise love the truth and seek it diligently. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
To know God we must gain knowledge of him, and knowledge is assured belief, enlightenment, acquaintance with or understanding of God, his plans and purposes as revealed in Christ, for it hath pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, therefore he could say, "I am the way [to the Father] and the truth [relating to him] and the life" [from him], "the light of men." Jno. 1:4. "No man cometh unto the Father but by me; if ye had known [understood] me ye would have known [understood] my Father also." John 14:6,7. "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you....I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:14,15. If he is not making known his plans to us we cannot be his friends, "for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth." "But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." 1 Cor. 2:10. And "if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his." "And his sheep hear his voice [obey his word] and follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger will they not follow...they know not the voice [word] of strangers." Many who profess to follow him are being led by the "voice of strangers," words of men, and abide in darkness, but "the path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth [with knowledge of God] more and more unto the perfect day." These take heed unto the sure word of prophecy, as a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn. 2 Pet. 1:19.
Christ is become unto us who have received him, all things"Wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:30. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge, however small, and the putting forth of determined effort to find more, and the maintaining of the teachable spirit that will receive instruction in God's way; for, "If thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding, if thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as hid treasure, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Prov. 2:3-5. Many who lift up their voicepray for knowledgedo not seek it as "hid treasure," therefore they do not find it.
To know God we must know his Son. He is the word, the mouth-piece or declaration of the Father. "He hath declared him," manifested his name, his power and character. He that receiveth him, receiveth him that sent him, and "this is life eternal." Jno. 17:3. And as Christ reveals the Father, the written word reveals him, and we, "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image" or likeness to his character; and when born of the Spiritborn from the deadlikeness to his person, for "we shall be like him."
But "though I understand all mysteries and all knowledge,...and have not love, I am nothing:" (1 Cor. 13:2), "for he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love." 1 John 14:8. We cannot know God without loving him and those who bear his likeness, for we "are taught of God to love one another." "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk as He walked." (1 John 2:4,6). And verily he pleased not himself, but delighted in doing the Father's will. Knowing that it was the Father's will that he should give his humanity a "ransom for all." "He was obedient unto death, the death of the cross." Phil. 2:8. For "without shedding of blood is no remission." ..."So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." (Heb. 9:22-28). And because of this willing obedience to the Father's will he could say, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again [in resurrection he took it on a higher planea spiritual]....I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment (or authority to say this) have I received of my Father." (John 10:17,18).
Since we are to be co-heirs and partakers with him, members of the body of the anointed when we shall be united to him (for no virgin, 2 Cor. 11:2, is a member of the body of her espoused husband until united to him in marriagethen the twain become one flesh) we should also be sharers in his sufferings, and show the same willing obedience that he did, for "he is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him"continue in his wordin his teachingsin the truth. "And the truth shall make you free" from deceptions of men, who are deceiving and being deceived; and from the snares of the world, "For the fruit of the Spirit is in ALL, goodness and righteousness and truth" (Eph. 5:9). Truth is the mirror in which we beholdrecognizeunderstand God, and we are sanctified through it. "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." [R493 : page 5] (John 17:17). But if we take one-sided views we do not behold the image of the glorious God; but are suffering ourselves to "be turned out of the way."
"God our Saviour will have all men to be saved [from the Adamic fall] and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4). In no other way but by the reception of the truth when testified to them can the world be saved. Conscience cannot save them, for Paul was chief of sinners "in all good conscience," nor can the deeds of the law, for "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight." But when the living and the dead will be brought to a knowledge of God "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day," (the millennial day) and the prophecy will be fulfilled, "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of the isles be glad....His lightnings [truth] enlighten the world...the heavens [heavenly rulersthe saints] declare his righteousness and all the people see his glory" (Psa. 97:1-4).