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KNOWING

GOD

I know enough about eternal life to know it is something I desire. I know enough about the Kingdom of God to know that is somewhere I want to live forever. I know that eternal life means no more death or sickness and I know that the Kingdom of God will be a place of unequaled peace and beauty on the earth. Naturally I want to know more than I know now about eternal life and the kingdom of God. If it is anything like what I imagine it to be, I am thrilled at the prospect.

God and his Son are portrayed in the Bible as being two separate individuals, persons, as I see it; who I am looking forward to see. A lot of people have; but we have not seen Jesus. We anticipate his return to the earth so we might see him in all his glory. (I Peter 1:8) No one has seen God; (I John 4:12) but we know the pure in heart will see him. (Matthew 5:8) With these points in the back of our minds, let me point you to this saying of Jesus:
  • John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The first thing I notice about this saying is how it is framed in importance: “This is life eternal.” Now; let me ask, if I may, how important do you think it is to know God and his Son Jesus? According to Jesus, eternal life is dependent on this knowledge. Eternal life is dependent on knowing God and his Son Jesus. I would think that ranks it at the top of things I need to know.

KNOWING JESUS

Inasmuch and I have not seen Jesus and cannot see God at this time; how then can I know or get to know them? Naturally, prayer is a very personal way to get acquainted with God and that is in perfect order, wouldn’t you say? Paul wrote about “having the mind of Christ”. Just what would you suppose that to mean?
  • For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)
The simplest way for me to have “the mind of Christ” is to “think like Christ”.  How might one get the mind of Christ? It seems to me that one would need to immerse himself/herself in the writings about and words of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Revelation would be a good start. Would you expect Jesus to add to those words for you if you never spend time immersed in those clear words he has spoken already?
  • My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27 (KJV)
  • The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63 (NASB)
  • We know, from the Word, that Jesus was born through a miraculous conception. Luke 1:35
  • We know that his name was to be, Jesus. Matthew 1:21 We know that he is the exact imprint of God's very being. (express image of his person..KJV) Hebrews 1:3
  • We have a record of his powerful ministry: where he healed the sick; raised the dead; and preached the gospel of the kingdom everywhere he went.
  • We know that he was able to do these things because “God was with him”. Acts 10:38
  • We know that he was determined to do his Father’s will. John 4:34
  • We know that he ministered to the multitudes and had compassion on them. Matthew 9:36
  • We know that he learned obedience. Hebrews 5:8
  • We know that he was just like his Father. John 14:9
  • We know from the records, that he was crucified on a cross; laid in a tomb; was resurrected on the third day from the dead and ascended into heaven where took his seat at his Father’s right hand. I Corinthians 15:3-4.
  • We know that, as our high priest, he has compassion on us. Hebrews 5:2
  • We know from the witness of two men, who were apparently angels, that he will return to the earth in the clouds of heaven as he was taken away. Acts 1:11
These are only a few of the many things we have learned about him because we are students of the Word. If all the books had been written about him that should be written, all the things that he did; the world could not contain them. (John 21:25) wouldn’t it have been great to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear him talk; to listen to his teaching? Peter, recognizing the tremendous privilege he had in seeing and having spent time with Jesus, said:
  • Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1 Peter 1:8 (KJV)

ONLY TRUE GOD

The first part of the equation which our eternal life rests upon is to know God.
  • John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The first thing that should be noted in this verse is that it is a prayer made to God by Jesus his Son. He did this often.
  • But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16 (NASB)
The person/being to whom he prayed, he called God. In other places he called him “my  God”.
  • John 20: 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Who is God? Has anyone ever seen him? What is he like? Will we ever get to see his face? Does he have a name? Is He real? Do you know him? Is He a part of your life? Are you a part of His? Can you picture God at all? Is he your God? Do you feel like He is your Father? Do you feel like He is your creator?

God created us in his image, so we must look something like God. Genesis 1:27 Notice how this is brought out in the creation narrative, so we can get the sense of what that means. [Adam begat a son, Seth, in his own image according to his likeness]; similarly, God created man in his image according to his likeness.
  • This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Gen 5:1-3 (NASB)
Again, it is imperative, if we want to know God, to pray and to seek His face. I Chronicles 16:11 We cannot live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; Matthew 4:4 so we must become familiar with what He has already said. According to that Word, what do we know about him?

You might be surprised to know that God has a mouth. Matthew 4:4

God is referred to in a very personal way when Isaiah referred to “God himself”. Isaiah 45:18

At the proper time God himself will dwell with men. Revelation 21:3

The angel Gabriel could actually stand in God’s presence. Luke 1:18 Jesus is currently in the presence of God. Heb. 9:24

Jesus can stand at the right hand of God, Acts 7:54 and can sit at God’s right hand. Romans 8:34

God even has fingers. Exodus 31:18

The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, his ears are open unto their prayers: the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. I Peter 3:12

God even has eyelids. Psalms 11:4

God’s servants will one day see his face. Revelation 21:4

God has a name. Matthew 6:9
  • The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: (this is my name for ever), and this is my memorial unto all generations. Exodus 3:15 (KJV)
Who is God to you? Is He real? Do you know Him? We need to see God as God and to revere and to worship Him in a very real way. God needs to be real to us. We can see Him today; but only by faith and faith comes by hearing which comes from the word of the Lord. Romans 10:17 We need to see him today as Moses did when he forsook Egypt, by faith.
  • Heb. 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Getting to know God has been and continues to be a very important issue with God and with His Son. God gets excited when his creation gives a high priority to understanding and knowing him. Then they can become aware that he exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth.
  • Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the Lord. Jer 9:23-24 (NASB)
It should be noted that even though we should and can know God today, it is only in part. It is not yet complete.
  • 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 13:12 (KJV)
God made it very plain that no man could see his face in live. Exodus 33:20 Jesus made it very plain that the pure in heart would see God. Matthew 5:8 Some things can be understood about God by observing his creation. Much can be learned by observing his orderliness and being mindful of his great power. Much can be gained by “considering the heavens, the work of God’s fingers, The moon and the stars, which he ordained”; Psalms 8:3 To deny God’ existence is the plague of modern man as was his proclivity from the very beginning. “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer,” Romans 1:28 (NASB)

 
  • That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:19-21 (NASB)

WHEN PEOPLE

DON’T KNOW GOD?

God called Moses in a miraculous way. He also called Aaron to meet with Moses in the wilderness. Under the LORD God’s instructions; Moses and Aaron went into Egypt and demanded that Pharaoh “let my people go.” Exodus 4:27, 5:1 His response seems to be a logical response:
  • "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord. Ex 5:2 (NASB)
PHARAOH

Pharaoh’s problem was twofold. This twofold problem has plagued humanity from the beginning. “Who is the Lord?” and “I do not know the Lord.” That is a sure fire path to destruction. If you were to follow the future events in the life of Pharaoh, you will understand what I mean.  Exodus 14:28 If there is someone we ought to know, it would be our creator.
 
ISRAEL

You know the story. The Israelites by the power of the LORD GOD found their way into the land of promise. After the deaths of Moses and Joshua, the next generation, “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10 (NASB) As a result, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and forsook the LORD God of their fathers. The anger of the LORD was hot against Israel and consequences were severe. This was a result of “not know the LORD”.
 
ELI’S SONS
Eli was a great prophet of God. He must have known God. However, for some reason his sons did not carry on the tradition. “The sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.” I Samuel 2:12 As a result, Eli charged them with “Making the LORD’S people to transgress". You know how it works; “If the prophet’s sons can get by with sin, why shouldn’t we?” They were actively involved in the temple work. What was wrong? Why didn’t they know God? Do you suppose that Eli was busy with the Lord’s work and did not observe the lack of training they were receiving?
 
SOLOMON

David exhorted his son Solomon to “know the God of his father and to serve him with a perfect heart.” I Chronicles 28:9 It is evident from the Scriptures that Solomon did not follow the counsel of his father David. Following his fall we have no record of Solomon changing his life. How sad!
  • For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 1 Kings 11:4 (NASB)
  • Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. 1 Kings 11:6 (NASB)
  • Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. 1 Kings 11:9-10 (NASB)

TO KNOW GOD

To know God is to experience His forgiveness. This clearly is brought out by the prophet Jeremiah. (See below) The transfer of the quality of forgiveness must occur and will occur when we begin to know God. The writer of Hebrews in the NT wrote about this “new covenant” and referenced this scripture in Jeremiah. Hebrews 8:8-13 Jesus understood this when he taught the disciples to pray. According to this model prayer, God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others must to be realized. Matthew 6:12.
  • "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NASB)

PAPER TIGER

  • Before you knew God personally, you were enslaved to so-called gods that had nothing of the divine about them. 9 But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers? Gal 4:8-9 (MSG)
When we say “know God” something needs clarification which Paul makes plain. Any god which is not “the real God” is nothing more than a “paper tiger”. It may look and act like a tiger but in reality is only made of paper. That seems interesting to me. I have read much material about the Trinity God. I find it to be but a “paper tiger”. This god might look real by its definition but is not authentic for it only appears on paper. The “One God of Israel” is genuine. Many millions have subjected themselves to a god which is only a “paper tiger”. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Deuteronomy 6:4.

At the beginning of this commentary I quoted from Jesus prayer:
  • John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Careful attention must be made—and it is linked to eternal life—to Him who is the “only true God”. All throughout history there has been no small supply of gods. Gods have been worshiped which were made of stone, of wood, of wood overlaid with gold or silver, gods in the sky, and gods in the earth, and gods under the earth. If there is (and truly there is) a true and real God; how do you suppose He feels about his creation bowing down to that which is truly not God? I’ll tell you how he feels, “He don’t like it a little bit.” He didn’t like it when Israel did it; he didn’t like it when the early church did it; and he don’t like it when we do it either. Remember the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:4 and “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Verse 5  It appears from the impression given by those words, written with the “finger of God,” that God is very displeased when his creation worships anyone or any thing other than him. Deuteronomy 9:10 What difference do you suppose there is in a god made of stone or wood and a god contained only in the creeds of men, written in pen and ink? We can talk about how we make gods out of our money, our jobs or a million other things; but you and I know that “the finger of God” was not addressing those things, either in Exodus 20 or in Deuteronomy. God was addressing religious false worship.
  • Some people say, quite rightly, that idols have no actual existence, that there's nothing to them, that there is no God other than our one God, 5 that no matter how many of these so-called gods are named and worshiped they still don't add up to anything but a tall story. 6 They say—again, quite rightly—that there is only one God the Father, that everything comes from him, and that he wants us to live for him. Also, they say that there is only one Master—Jesus the Messiah—and that everything is for his sake, including us. Yes. It's true. 1 Cor 8:4-6 (MSG)

GOD YOUR GOD

I really like the MSG translation of that Corinthian passage. “There is no God other than our one God.” I invite you to own that statement about God. Don’t leave it unclaimed on the pages of the Bible. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19 (KJV) When we say that there is no God other than our one God, we are claiming for ourselves, God as our God. God wants us to be connected to him. He wants to be our God.

Moses said: “The Lord our God is one Lord:” Deut. 6:4 A God we must love with all our heart, soul and might; A God we need to talk to our children about when sitting at home; to speak of while walking by the way; to make sure that our family remembers when we lie down or rise up. 
  • David said that the LORD was his rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, high tower, and saviour. David said I cried to my God. 2 Sam. 22:2-7.
  • Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 6:9 He recognized God as his Father and our Father; which makes him our brother. Hebrews 2:11
  • Paul wrote about “God our Father” to the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Thessalonians, Timothy and Philemon.
We must connect with God in our lives and with his Son Jesus. How can that connection come about? Jesus’ instructions on the surface might seem complicated, but as we look deeper we will find it is not. Ask the Lord Jesus to help you to try those instructions on, fitting them to your needs:
  • Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. 28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matt 11:27-30 (MSG)
Hopefully this essay on Knowing God and His Son will prove to move you in that direction. Don’t be satisfied with simply collecting facts. Dig deep into what you know about them. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” “Walk with Jesus and observe how he did it.” Observe with clarity the words we have which both Jesus and His Father said. Are you “burned out on religion?” Get to know God and His Son and recover your life.”