Knowledge – BT11
The huge difference between knowing scripture and seeing God
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We’ve seen that the OT prophets who communicated directly with God did so through eido mentally ‘seeing’ perception/knowledge, something integral to the New Covenant promise now for every Christian (a), as realized by the Holy Spirit’s grace-gift of prophecy, even by visions and dreams (b), especially occurring during routine, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, proseuche conversational-prayer. This ‘seeing’ isn’t reading a bible verse so many times that when you close your eyes, you can still “see” them in your mind’s eye. That is called “creative imagery or visualization” – a standard humanistic tool for improving memory, but also used a lot in New Age circles. Like visualization, sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ rational learning can also include horao “observing/perceiving-knowing/discerning” or skopeo “fixing your attention on something” or theoreo “beholding something with particular interest” or noeo “observing, pondering, or considering with the nous mind.” All of these rational, cognitive processes are important to acquire gnosis info-knowledge about something or someone. That’s what the Jewish scribes and Pharisees were experts at – scriptural knowledge about God! Bible students are like sports fans – they can quote you all the statistics about someone without ever personally knowing the people! <Notes> a) Jeremiah 31:34, b) Acts 2:17-18.
The Jewish bible-expert scribes even changed their commandment to “Love God with all their “inner man” (a) or “heart” (b) . . . soul . . . strength” from Deuteronomy 6:5 as Jesus quoted it back to the scribes to answer their trick questions (c) – Jesus never taught the OT commandments! They snuck in “all your mind (d)” at the end. Maybe this got tagged on the more modern Greek versions, because although “in OT Hebrew physiology, the heart was considered the seat of the mind,” the Greeks wanted to somehow distinguish the heart from the mind – see Identity (e). Look how the Jewish scribe rephrased what Jesus had said from using the word dianoia (d), which did include thinking and feeling, changing it to sunesis, which only included rational ‘connect-the-dots’ thinking: “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said…love with all your sunesis mental ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding” (f)! These book-worms zeroed in on what mattered most to them, but that’s not the narrow focus Jesus was talking about at all! It’s not about the head-knowledge but heartfelt experience! <Notes> a) Hebrew: lebab, b) Greek: kardia, c) Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27, d) dianoia: as a faculty for deep thinking, imagination, feeling, and desiring, e) Philippians 4:7; Revelation 2:23, f) Mark 11:33.
However Jesus said, “their eyes are closed, lest they eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know with their eyes and/coupled akouo hear/listen-to-understand with their ears and/coupled biyn/sunesis connect-the-dots to understand with their lebab/kardia inner-man/heart and turn-back/return/revert/repent and I would heal them” (a). As a Jew Jesus, “seeing, hearing, and understanding” are all internal processes, and He isn’t really distinguishing them as the Greeks would like to. <Notes> a) Matthew 13:15; John 12:40 citing Isaiah 6:10; cf. Acts 28:27.
Paul also knows it takes more than sunesis ‘connect-to-dots’ rational understanding, so he proseuchomai conversationally-prayed for Christians to “have the eyes of their hearts enlightened so that you may eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance, what is the immeasurable greatness of His enabling-power toward us who have trusting-relying-faith” (a). You can study this verse until you are blue in the face and never really get it until God shows it to your heart! 1 John 5:20 says, “We have already eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know, with ongoing results, that the Son of God is ongoingly coming (as the Holy Spirit) and/coupled has already given, with ongoing results, us a dianoia mind (b) that we may/might experientially, relationally ginosko know Him who is The Truth, and/coupled we are in The Truth, in His Son Jesus Christ, this is the True God and zoe genuine-life everlasting.” That’s the dianoia mind or sunesis understanding a Christian is to have – directly from Jesus, not indirectly through more scripture like the Jews approached God! <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:18-19, b) as a faculty for deep thinking, imagination, feeling, and desiring.
So much of Christian teaching has encouraged rational, cognitive learning and expanding bible study to now include what they erroneously call, “New Testament scripture,” though graphe was never applied to NT writings until a Catholic theologian Tertullian 175 years after Christ died in 208 AD started to teach this, despite opposition by other well-known Church Fathers – another false teaching by the Catholic Church! But Jesus had this to say about the bible experts of His day: “You actually eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know neither the scriptures (a) nor the enabling-power of God” (b) and “I experientially, relationally ginosko have known that you do not have the unconditional-love of God within you” (c). Furthermore, Paul said, “They have a zeal for God, but not down-from/according-to genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge” (d), and includes them in “the world [that] did not experientially, relationally ginosko know God thru-the-realizing-channel-of wisdom” (e). <Notes> a) John 20:9, b) Mark 12:24, c) John 5:42, d) Romans 10:2, e) 1 Corinthians 1:21.
Bible students, like myself, have a lot of accumulated sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding and gnosis info-knowledge – see Bible Info, but because the “wisedom and understanding” of this world, even of the religions of the Jews and Greeks, led them nowhere, the NT writers rarely use either of these 2 words positively. Instead they stress that we must be more than a fanatical fan, collecting information about God to better understand Him and His will. Jesus said in John 10:14-15, “I am the Good Shepherd. I actually, ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know Mine [sheep] and/coupled Mine [sheep] actually, ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know Me, just as the Father experientially, relationally ginosko knows Me and/coupled experientially, relationally ginosko know the Father.” Jesus and the Father aren’t reading books about each other!
Sure Jesus taught if they akouo “hear/listen-to-understand the logos message of the Kingdom but don’t ongoingly sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand it [by the heart], the evil one (devil, Satan) comes and snatches what was sown in his heart” (a). Throughout the NT, we see that NOT understanding [by the heart] Christ’s words and actions resulted in: bewilderment, astonishment, confusion, terror, denial, or hardening of hearts. However, the “connecting of the dots” has to go deeper than just the head and it’s certainly got to stick: Only those “ongoingly holding fast/retaining the logos message in an honest/sincere and good/useful heart” will “bear fruit with patient endurance” (b). In many way, the greatest distance between 2 points is between the head and the heart – I know it is for me! <Notes> a) Matthew 13:19, b) Luke 8:11-15.