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Knowing the Word

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by Allan Walker, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Allan Walker

    Allan Walker Member Supporter


    How we come to a knowledge of the truth through the imperfect vehicle of human language is, as I see it, one of the great revelations of Paul’s teachings. I would like to share with you a few thoughts on this subject.

    Languages are a means by which we human beings are able to communicate ideas from the mind of one person to the mind of another. An idea exists in one person’s mind who translates it into words and transfers it to someone else who forms the words into an idea, hopefully similar to the original idea, which then lodges in the recipient’s mind. Whether this is a request to order a cup of coffee or a dissertation on a profound philosophical issue the basic process is the same.

    Human languages, however, are notoriously inefficient and unreliable means of transferring ideas and concepts. Anyone who has given a set of directions to two people at the same time and seen them produce entirely different results knows what this means. But on the whole, as long as we handle the words carefully, they don’t do too bad a job and they are all we have anyway.

    Biblical languages are no exception to this rule. They have had the unenviable task of conveying to the human mind the concepts of redemption which existed from before the foundation of the world in the mind of an infinite God. There is not, and never has been, biblical text in any language which conveys to the human race the totality of our redemption in Christ as it exists in the mind of God. No human language could possibly be up to this task and the human intellect could not contain it anyway. I do not believe that the Bible tries to do this.

    Rather, I believe that God has ordained that his truth should be received within the human spirit as revelation imparted by the Holy Spirit. This revelation will never contradict the written Word of God but it will take us far beyond into a personal relationship with the Lord which will empower and direct our lives. While what is revealed to our spirit will ultimately impact upon our intellect, that is we will understand what it is the Holy Spirit has revealed to us, it never works the other way around. In other words a purely intellectual understanding of the written Word of God will never produce spiritual revelation.

    However, as it is written:
    “What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
    and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—
    these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9‑10, NIV)

    This, then, is the crux of the issue, because by approaching the Word solely through the power of the intellect we can know something about Jesus but we cannot know Jesus. The written word gives us guidelines, it sets boundaries, it helps us communicate what we know of the Lord to others and it encourages us to seek what is within. It is something that we need to revere, study and love. But it is not the goal, it is a means to the end.

    I once heard an analogy drawn between the Bible and the “curtain” (veil) of the temple which separated the holy of holies from the rest of the sanctuary. The curtain was beautiful to behold with its intricate weaving and its deep symbolism. But it was only an introduction to the presence of God whose glory resided behind the curtain and inside the most holy place. If the High Priest had spent all his time examining the curtain, admiring it beauty and trying to understand its symbolism he would never have entered into the presence of God.

    So it is with the written Word of God. It is indeed something that is beautiful to behold and infinitely profound in its meaning, but if we expend all our effort on examining the intricate pattern of its words and trying to decipher its symbolism we will miss the glory of what is waiting for us beyond. It is to the reality of a personal relationship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ within the “holy of holies” to which the Holy Spirit is calling us. It is this relationship that is beyond the telling and far beyond mere words.

    We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3, NIV)

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  2. Tone

    Tone "Whenever Thou humblest me, Thou makest me great." Supporter

    United States
    Yeah, it's kind of like our words here on the CF. We are revealing ourselves to those who read them, but they are far from being the totality of who we are as whole persons.

    Of course, our words here are no comparison to the truth contained in His Words expressed to us, no matter how candid we may be.
  3. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

    "is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63
  4. honey badger

    honey badger i am

    United Kingdom
    Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus:

    "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Who will instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

    the price to enter in beyond the veil is our soul .... our perception afforded to us by our flesh being this veil ...