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Difference Believing and Knowing

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by dc87, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. dc87

    dc87 Member

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    John 17:3

    This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

    Matthew 7:23

    Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

    John 3:3
    Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God"

    John 6:29

    Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent"

    John 3:16

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    -----------------

    This a huge (not small) inconsistency I have always had a problem (or misunderstanding) with during my journey.

    As far as the English language goes - "believing" is COMPLETELY different than "knowing". For example... the devil "believes" Jesus is the son of God. He does not know Him as his saviour however. I believe dinosaurs existed. I do not know any however.

    However the Bible says you must "believe" in Jesus to be the son of God to be saved, and then in another says something completely different... that you must "know" Him. Two completely different things. And then to add to it... it says you must be "born again"... meaning you must be a completely different/changed person.

    So thats 3 requirements all apparently independent from each other because they are announced in 3 completely different locations of text.

    So what is it? Do you have to meet all three? If so then these statements by Jesus are incomplete are they not? For example, whoever believes Jesus is the son of God may not necessarily be a transformed person or even know Jesus personally at all - and therefore not saved as is asserted.
     
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  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Professor X's on vacation; so guess who's subbing? Supporter

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    Hi dc87,

    While I understand the frustration that can come in attempting to understand the epistemic statements in the Bible (or in the New Testament in this case), I'm not really seeing a problem here.

    Take John 3:3 and John 3:16, for instance. Both of these are statements that belong together within an interwoven passage which focuses on Jesus' teaching of Nicodemus. So, these two verses, hermeneutically considered, should be seen as connoting one another since they are both interwoven in the overall message about 'believing, knowing, becoming' that Jesus gives. They're not at odds, rather they're just different aspects of a related and ongoing process of epistemic and moral growth in the mind of the potential disciple.

    The other verses you've mentioned could be addressed in similar ways. Does this help?

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
  3. xianghua

    xianghua Well-Known Member

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    we actually know that god exist, as you can see here:

    the self replicating watch argument
     
  4. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Believing and knowing come together in a certain invaluable piece of instruction from Christ our Lord --

    Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 7:7-12 - New International Version

    You will notice that in this I've included verse 12, which though at not first apparent, I think is a key part of being in the right place to do verse 7 and get the result of verse 8. (If you want more on why that is, here's one reason to think that and there are more than one: Bible Gateway passage: Acts 10:34-35 - New International Version).

    But there is one more thing I feel we need when we want to really take in the incredible gift of Matthew ch 7, v7-12, and that's the rest of the chapter, and really all of the gospel, reading with a true listening, because you are hearing the direct words of Christ Himself, and His words to us in the gospels are in a special category that is so amazing:

    "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

    So, a great gift is to read through gospels with a really listening attitude, so that His words to you enter your heart.

    Finally, in time, I realized I could do what He said to us is the "greatest commandment", and when I did, then love overwhelmed me, and when you do, then you will know.
     
  5. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    The nonbeliever needs "faith" (to believe) in a benevolent Creator. This takes very little effort and is something the lowliest mature adult on earth can do and thus is an humbling activity. That humility is need to accept pure charity and you must accept God's charity as charity so humility is needed.
    Once the person becomes a believer and demonstrates that belief (like accepting baptism) than that person is given the indwelling Holy Spirit, which provides knowledge of God's existence, so now his/her faith can grow past just acknowledging God's existence.
     
  6. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    To believe something is not to just mentally affirmed that it is true because as you recognized, even the demons believe mentally affirm that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross. So it doesn't help someone to tell them just that they need to believe in Jesus without also telling them what they need to believe about him and what that means for how we should live our lives. The best example of what it means to believe is Abraham, who believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham didn't simply affirm that God's promise that through Isaac his offspring will be reckoned, but he acted upon his belief in that promise to the point where he did not hesitate to offer Isaac, reasoning that God would raise him from the dead in order to keep His promise (Hebrews 11:17-19). We can't believe that Jesus is Lord while refusing to submit to him as Lord, so our beliefs must translate to a willingness to take action, and as James (2:26). So believing as the demons do that it is historical that Jesus rose from the dead has no significance if it is not matched with an understanding of what that means for how we should live our lives and a willingness to submit.

    Part of having a correct believe Jesus is that he gave himself on the cross because he loves us and desires to have an intimate relationship with us (Titus 2:14 (a treasured possession is a term of endearment that a husband has for his wife)), which means that we must know him. When the Bible says that Adam knew Eve, it again speaking about having an intimate relationship with her. If we love God, then we will obey His teachings (John 14:23-24), so submitting to God's commands is part of growing in that relationship, as well as spending time in prayer because it is rather difficult to have an intimate relationship without communication. According to Ephesians 2:10, we are new creations in Christ for the purpose of doing good works, so again submitting to God's commands for how to do good works is the purpose for which we are born again, so these concepts are all interconnected. It's more like looking a the top, front, and side-view of an object than looking at three different objects.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  7. PeaceJoyLove

    PeaceJoyLove Well-Known Member

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    The process taking place within/journey of our soul to know begins with faith/belief that He is, which is not the same as knowing. Our faith causes us to seek to find Him.
    But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    As we seek in faith (believe the promises are true and possible to be our reality) to possess the truth, HE begins to reveal Himself within us, causing us to come to KNOW as fully as we have always been known...as a son (not something one thinks, but knows beyond a shadow) ...
    1 Corinthians 13:12

    Matthew 7 - “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."
     
  8. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is not really true. The devil KNOWS Jesus is the Son of God because the devil was a resident of heaven and KNOWS who God is.

    About the second statement, the devil does not know Jesus as Savior and never will.The devil is not human and our Savior is the Savior of His human children, not fallen angels.

    Satan is never offered salvation and never will be. His goose is cooked, so to speak.
     
  9. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jesus told His disciples that if they have seen Him, they have seen the Father because Christ is an exact dulplicate of God's perfection, God Himself.

    To 'know' God is to know who God is, His attributes, His Truth, spiritual revelation, not that we "know" that there IS a God.

    I think you may be barking up the incorrect tree with how you are interpreting this.
     
  10. PeaceJoyLove

    PeaceJoyLove Well-Known Member

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    And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    ADDENDUM:
    1 Corinthians 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
     
  11. dc87

    dc87 Member

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    I think I have been confused by hearing people say all my life "I know Jesus!"... I know God but have never had some sort of revelation that I am talking to Jesus. God in my point of view is the unexplainable being that created this and me. Sometimes rarely, I get feelings of a profound spiritual presence. All my life I've spent trying to descern whether this feeling is just simple human emotion (like an imaginary childhood friend) or an actual spiritual presence.

    In this way I say I know God but not necessarily Jesus because everyone talks about how Jesus is so distinct. That you cannot mistake Him for some general god or allah or buddah etc. They say when you know Jesus you KNOW its Jesus and no one else.

    I guess my question is... has anyone here that knows Jesus had to come to that assertion/realization strictly by a reasoned mental basis, and not from an emotional/spiritual identifical (that 99% of believers I know seem to spout is the only way you can know you are saved)?
     
  12. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Yes (me and some portion more than just a few percent I think). I was agnostic, and decided to test Jesus of Nazareth's 'ideas', as I thought of his instructions.

    How well would "love your neighbor as yourself" work? I wanted to see.

    I tested with random neighbors see what would happen.

    It worked great, far better than I thought possible, gaining me good new friends from both next door neighbors. I was impressed, and got it -- this idea is not just ok, but works perfectly.

    This guy Jesus was wise I thought, like Emerson or Lao Tzu I thought.

    So, after a few years, I decided to test His most radical instruction, the "love your enemy".

    I thought it was just an idealistic moment for Him maybe, to say that. Hopeful, optimistic. Probably wouldn't work that well, or only work for a bit while you pour effort into it, like only a reflection from the other person, temporary.

    Probably not realistic or that functional, I thought.

    But I decided to really test, give it a real try. I had a person in my twice a week dance group that had always treated me with contempt. He didn't like me around. I didn't like him around.

    For years.

    We really disliked each other.

    So in my heart, first, I forgave him some, imagined him a good at heart person that was just very wounded.

    I reimagined him. It was effortful.

    Then I gathered some actual sympathy for him in my heart, by imagining him to be much like myself. It was effortful.

    I decided if he humiliated me, I'd be okay, with all the new friends and love I had been accumulating.

    Then, somewhat prepared, I did it for a few seconds, was actually friendly. He was cool at that first time, but definitely less smooth talking that moment than usual. Next time I had less but tried, and he really looked at me, and seemed to melt a bit, stiffly acted a little friendly. Next time it was him doing the friendliness (and I didn't have much gas left in my tank for him).

    A years long enemy became really a warm friend. He continued to be warm even when I was so so. I was....floored. I was...shocked.

    Really. From an enemy, a real friend. I live in a different party of the country but my heart would be glad to see him!

    If I saw him today, we would both smile, and walk to each other, and it would be warm, I know.

    See? I started to think: what if maybe Jesus got everything right....

    In time I finally did Matthew chapter 7, verses 7-12. (read and see)

    That's how I sought and found the Lord (or He did this for me, aiding me). It's like the prodigal. If you seek with all of your heart (like Jer 29:13-14), from a place of real repentance, He will come to meet you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  13. Noxot

    Noxot tohu and bohu Supporter

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    belief eventually turns into knowing. anything that someone accepts as true, even if they don't directly admit to it, is what they are like in spirit. for instance if you fundamentally believe (consciously or subconsciously) that the material reality is the ultimate reality then you by this assumption already reject God in some ways due to how the other world we exist in, the spirit, operates. however each person is a complex composition and so it is hard to calculate exactly what each person is.

    it is imo a huge disadvantage for people to belittle the importance of their own spirit which is subjective in nature due to it being a person. atheist world views greatly diminish the realm of spirit because they conform to what is obvious - the object reality that we as animals exist in, which is a fallen reality that went from a better to a worse condition... which means the mere acceptance of this universe alone is to conform to an inferior spirit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  14. dc87

    dc87 Member

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    Then whats all this talk about "He will give you the strength" "you cant do this on your own" "saved by belief not by works"... "ye must be born again".... Thats all I hear yet you seemed to have done all this on your own out of your own free will, all while still remaining the same person (you dont seem to have started out transformed as they say you must be). Salvation and the Spirit is taught to be a dramatic instant change and not gradual as you have described.... what say you?
     
  15. dc87

    dc87 Member

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    What method do you use to determine the difference between an emotional/mental feeling verse a real spiritual feeling? Its easy to mistake what you think is God talking to you verse a emotional imaginary voice is it not?
     
  16. PeaceJoyLove

    PeaceJoyLove Well-Known Member

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    When one truly comes to "know" as fully as we have always been known, there is no confusion or wondering/wandering...The spirit of Christ dwells in us, though there also be the seed of man. One dies and the other comes full to LIFE eternal. It is the son who brings us to the Father. Christ, the firstborn among many brethren. We are as son as surely as He...when we can 'see' it. It is that which is being revealed within...
    Yes, there is a profound, spiritual presence within...being renewed/reconciled (back) to the father.

    All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
     
  17. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of His Creation! Supporter

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    Well, there are endless notions people have, but the good source to know the truths that matter is to read with true listening to Christ's words in the 4 gospel accounts. He spoke these words that we would listen and take them in, and He said in several ways that if we listen we will be helped greatly. Since this is the most crucial thing of all, we can do it first, as the first priority, and that's the only real way to follow Him -- to listen to His words and put them into practice.

    All the doctrines and ways of wording people have are then only very secondary. Often they can be worded in ways that don't work well, and sometimes can have errors. None of that matters much if we would follow Him. We are to be followers of Christ, not of men.
     
  18. Hieronymus

    Hieronymus Russian bot

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    Can be boasting, can be an effort to convince themselves and / or others, can be neuro linguistic programming.
    It can be true too, i guess.
     
  19. Hieronymus

    Hieronymus Russian bot

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    When we look at the summarizing verse John 3:16 we see that it's the belief that counts.
    This is not just believing, this is having faith, putting your trust in God.
    Feelings and emotions don't have that much to do with it.
    It's a matter of leaving your fate up to God, trusting in God that everything will be good eventually, because He is the only One who can make things right, make things new, both in heaven and on earth, both for you as an individual and for all of creation.
    But this is not always easy either.
    However, there are no alternatives, so best to stick with God.
     
  20. Noxot

    Noxot tohu and bohu Supporter

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    what is the difference for the pure and if God transcends everything we could ever think or grasp, not to mention that we are promised to become his living temples.

    kataphatically we know him through our own being and the experience of the higher qualities of reality. so you can know God in all the better aspects of people as well which include any imaginary voices, which might not be so imaginary after all due to the strange nature of reality.

    Jas 1:16-18 (YLT)
    Be not led astray, my brethren beloved; every good giving, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, with whom is no variation, or shadow of turning; having counselled, He did beget us with a word of truth, for our being a certain first-fruit of His creatures.
     
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