Mark Twain once said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.”  Although it is often the case, this statement is a far cry from what Jesus said about knowing the truth.  He said that it would set us free!  Paul struggled in Romans chapter seven with what he called the law of sin and death.  He closed the chapter by pathetically asking if there was any hope that he could be free from this law and the sin associated with it.  Seeing himself as a wretched man who could not do good or refrain from doing evil, he longed to be delivered from his body of death.  Suddenly, chapter eight brings a breath of fresh air as he proclaims triumphantly that he now had victory because he had learned the truth of living and walking in the spirit.  Truth had set him free; but, prior to this point, lack of truth or misinterpreted truth had handed him over to be tormented by the law of sin and death.  Imagine how the devil must have bellowed out his diabolical, hideous laughter as Paul strove so hard and failed so miserably in chapter seven.  In Satan’s twisted mind, it must have seemed very humorous to watch this great man struggle blindly to get out of the maze.


On another note of humor, we can get a glimpse of how funny we humans appear when we don’t get the facts straight and we misunderstand or totally miss the truth.  There was a little-old-lady schoolteacher from London who was looking for a room in Switzerland.  She asked the local village schoolmaster to help her.  A place he showed her seemed to suit her, so she returned to England for her luggage; however, she remembered that she had not noticed a bathroom – or as some Brits call it, a “water closet.”  She wrote the schoolmaster and asked him whether there was a W.C. in or near the house.  The schoolmaster, who did not know the British expression, was puzzled by the term “W.C.,” never dreaming that she was talking about a bathroom.  He finally sought the parish priest’s advice, who concluded that W.C. must mean “wayside chapel.”  The lady received the following letter a few days later.

“Dear Madam:  The W.C. is located nine miles from the house, in the heart of a beautiful grove of trees.  It seats three hundred people at one time and is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday of each week.  Some people like to take their lunch and make a day of it.  On Thursdays, there is organ accompaniment.  Acoustics are very good and the slightest sound can be heard by everyone.  It may interest you to know that my daughter met her husband at the W.C.  We are now in the process of taking donations to be used to purchase plush seats.  We feel that this is a long-overdue need, since the present seats have holes in them.  My wife hasn’t been able to attend regularly.  It has been six months since she last went.  Naturally it pains her very much not to come more often.  I will close with the desire to accommodate in every possible way and will be happy to save you a seat down front near the door.  Hope to see you soon.”

It is very important for us to have the proper information. Misinformation or lack of information can be a very destructive force in our lives.  My mother was from a very large family, and almost all of the eleven adult siblings lived in the same area.  When I was a small lad, it was a family tradition that every Sunday afternoon we would all visit at my grandmother’s farm.  By mid-afternoon, there might be a gathering of fifty or more people including my uncles, aunts, and cousins.  The women would all go off and do their “women thing,” and the men would all go out and sit under the pecan tree to talk.  It was underneath that pecan tree one Sunday afternoon that my Uncle John referred to someone who had “gone down for the third time.”  I asked what he meant, and he explained that if a drowning swimmer goes under the water for the third time, he will drown and will not come up again.  My Uncle Herman confirmed that that’s the way it is.  These were two men with military backgrounds, so they must have known what they were talking about.  In addition to this important information, I had also heard from my schoolteacher that you should wait two hours after a meal before going swimming – otherwise, you would get the cramps which would cause you to drown.

One summer afternoon not long after I had obtained these two valuable pieces of information, some of the cousins, aunts, and uncles joined my parents, my sister, and me on a trip to a place called Broadway Creek.  At that time, I didn’t know the scripture that the “broad way” leads to destruction.  Had I known that fact too, what awaited me would have been an even more petrifying experience.  At this swimming hole, the water ran over some smooth rocks to make a little waterfall that emptied into a nice big swimming area.  After our picnic lunch, all the cousins went diving into the swimming hole.  I went in very reluctantly because I had just eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I knew that I should not get in the water for two full hours lest I would get the cramps – whatever they were – and die.  Fearfully, I slid across this little rock-slide down into a pool of water.  When I stood up, the water was just above my nose.  I stood on my tiptoes and stuck my head out of the water as far as I could and cried for help.  The rocks were slippery, and I slipped down off my tiptoes.  The water went above my nose for the second time before I could pull myself up on my tiptoes again and yell, “Help!”  On my third time up, I was absolutely petrified.  I was going to die for sure!  The cramps were getting me!  And this was my third time down under the water!  This was goodbye to the world!  My daddy was on the shore yelling, “Just walk out of the water.”  I couldn’t imagine it!  There I was drowning, and he was talking foolishness!  Finally, my sister grabbed my hand and pulled me forward.  Sure enough, when I took a couple of steps, my head was above the water.  Misinformation had put me under a tremendous bondage.

The Bible tells us that we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free.  On the other hand, if we don’t know the truth, the misinformation or the lack of information that we have can bring us under tremendous bondage.  We have to be so very careful that our lives – spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally – are not destroyed by wrong information or lack of information.

A lady was pregnant with a much‑wanted pregnancy; however, when she failed to feel the heartbeat, she decided that the baby had died.  She became so distressed that she jumped from a railroad tower in an attempt to kill herself.  When the doctors did an emergency Cesarean section, they found a healthy, strong baby inside the mother’s mangled body.  Because of lack of information, she had been thrown into a state of panic, and she killed herself.  Ironically, the baby she thought was dead miraculously survived.

Much of America was thrown into a panic on Halloween Eve of 1938 when Orson Wells read H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds over the American Radio Network.  Written in 1898 as if a news commentator were giving the account of an invasion by Martians, the story had cutaways to different sites where the Martians had landed.  Thinking that what was being broadcast over the radio was an actual account of the daily news rather than a theater production, many people who were listening to CBS Mercury Theater on that evening were so frightened that some committed suicide in the panic.  Misinformation led those people to make a drastic and terrible decision and led them to a destructive place in their lives – all over a simple radio drama.

Ronald Reagan was one of the leading actors in Hollywood at the time of the 1964 filming of the movie The Best Man.  When the talent agents picked him as the actor they wanted to cast in the role of the President of the United States, the United Artist executive refused to give him the part because he didn’t think that the actor looked like a President.  I can imagine how the casting director must have felt twenty years later when Mr. Reagan stepped into the Oval Office!  Sometimes, things are quite different from what we might think.

Every year in America, there are 25,700 automobile fatalities, 11,000 deaths by falls, 8,300 deaths of pedestrians, 5,600 deaths by drowning, 4,800 deaths by fire, 4,400 deaths by motorcycles, 4,000 deaths by poisoning, 3,600 deaths by inhaling food or another object, 1,800 by guns, 1,200 by bicycles, 888 by electrocution, 300 by motor scooter and motor bikes, 130 by farm tractors, 91 by lightning, 48 by hornet, bee, and wasp stings, 30 on commercial buses, 8 by venomous snake, lizard, and spider bites, and 7 by fireworks.  We are all aware that we can be killed in an automobile accident, but how many times do you think about that as opposed to being killed by fireworks?  Around fireworks, we are overly cautious and give our children such extreme warnings that they often develop a fear of them.  Yet, how many times each day do we throw the kids in the car without the slightest anxiety?  The thought of an accident doesn’t even enter our minds.  We have a strange mentality about some things.  Some people are deathly afraid of snakes, but they don’t act that way toward their cars.  When I worked in Yosemite National Park, I learned that more people were actually injured by deer than by bears.  Their instincts taught them to fear bears, but they somehow failed to see deer as wild animals that could also attack and inflict serious injury.  Many times, we have wrong or distorted information in our minds, but it is important for us to begin to think straight and understand things correctly.

Many times, the operators of ministry prayer lines get calls from people asking for “traveling mercies” as they drive across the country.  The problem is that our chances of being injured or killed in an automobile accident are greatly multiplied within twenty-five miles of our homes.  Statistically, you are much safer traveling cross-country than driving in your own town.  However, no one ever calls for prayer for safety to drive to the grocery store.

Although the chances of being killed in an airplane are 0.046 per every hundred million passenger miles, while the chances of being killed by an automobile are forty-one per hundred million passenger miles – almost a thousand times greater – fear of flying is fairly common.  Many people are petrified of roller coasters, yet the chances of being killed on a roller coaster are one in six million.  Of course, we could stay home where it’s safe.  Actually, our chances of being hurt at home are almost seven times greater than our chances of being hurt at work.  Many people prefer organized sports to outside activities, such as exploring or hiking or digging around in caves.  They don’t like to get out in the woods because they are afraid of snakes or being hurt in a fall.  But the likelihood of an injury per hour of activity is far greater in playing football than in wild, white-water rafting through the wilderness of America.

My point is this: misinformation can bring fear, destruction, or danger into our lives.  The wise man of the Old Testament put it this way, Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Solomon 2:15)  Little bits of misinformation can be very dangerous to us.  The devil is a murderer, and he accomplishes his destructive purposes through the means of being a liar.

 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

 Many times, he distracts us from the real danger by drawing our attention to supposed dangers – mere mirages and decoys – allowing the real danger to be able to attack us.



The Bible lists a number of different things about which we need to be careful that we are not ignorant.  Being ignorant does not mean being stupid, it simply means “uninformed.”  A person can be a very brilliant man, but he may be ignorant of certain facts or have the wrong facts; therefore, he may make wrong decisions.  On the other hand, a person may have a very low IQ; but if he has the right information, he can make the right decisions.  In Romans 10:3, Paul talks about one of those areas of ignorance.

 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

The Pharisees and Jewish leaders were very zealous for what they thought they understood about the law.  For example, the Law told them not to “take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”  They became so zealous that they refused to even speak the Lord’s name.  Even in reading the scripture, if the word Yahweh was written into the text, they refused to read it aloud.  They would substitute Adonai in its place.  They were ignorant of the true righteousness of God; a righteousness that God, through the vicarious death of Jesus, has imputed unto us.  Jesus is the only person who has ever kept the total law.  In keeping the total law, He was able to earn the total inheritance of God.  By taking that for Himself, He was able to share it with His bride.  Thus by becoming the bride of Christ, we become joint heirs with Him of the righteousness of God.  Paul tells us that these Jewish leaders were ignorant.  They were under the misinformation that they had to earn their salvation.  They were very zealous in going about it, but they were ignorant of the true principle of what the righteousness of God is.  They were doing everything they possibly could, but still missed the mark.  Their problem was not in their effort, but in their ignorance.

In the 1929 Rose Bowl, Roy Riegels picked up a fumbled ball and began running for the goal line and made a sixty-nine-yard run.  He was finally tackled just before he made the goal – by a member of his own team.  He had been racing toward the wrong goal line!  When he grabbed the pass, he was only thirty yards away from making a goal if he had only run in the right direction!  He put every ounce of energy he had into running sixty-nine yards in the wrong direction!

If you and I want to do better than the Pharisees, we need to make sure that we are not ignorant of the righteousness of God.  We need to understand exactly what righteousness is.  Righteousness is being born again as a new creature in Christ Jesus with minds that are renewed so that we are no longer conformed to this world but transformed to a new world.  We have to know and be sure that we are not ignorant, uninformed, or misinformed about the righteousness of God.  Otherwise, our lives are just as pointless as Wrong-Way Riegels’ sixty-nine-yard run.

We must also not be ignorant of the fact that God has a plan for the Jews and the Gentiles.

 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (Romans 11:25)

 Some Gentiles have had a very bad reaction to the Jewish people.  The Nazis had an intense hatred toward the Jewish people.  They called them “Christ killers” – hatred which culminated in the Holocaust.  But God said He had a plan that the Gentiles, having received the righteousness of God, would be implanted into the Jews’ spiritual heritage and that when the fruit began to produce on the grafted-in olive tree, jealousy would cause the Jews to come back to God.  Paul goes on to say that if the natural branch was pruned off, much more could happen to the grafted-in branch.  He tells us not to be wise in our own conceit and forget that the purpose we are grafted in is so we can draw the Jewish people back.

Jonah became angry because God brought salvation to the people of Ninevah.  He was happy preaching God’s judgment that, in forty days, destruction would come.  But when the entire city repented and God didn’t destroy them, the prophet went to the top of the mountain overlooking the city and pouted.  He didn’t want those people to respond to the message of salvation.  We, as Gentiles, must be very cautious that when the table is turned, we don’t have a closed heart to the Jew as well.  Our purpose in being grafted in is to cause the Jew to be brought back again through jealousy.

 Another area in which it is dangerous to be ignorant is in the spiritual gifts. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (I Corinthians 12:1)

In the King James Version, the word “gifts” is in italics; this means that the word was not written in the original Greek.  The actual verse says, Now concerning spirituals (or spiritual things), brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  Paul is not only talking about spiritual gifts; in this chapter he is talking about the gifts, the administrations, and the operations.  The gift is the anointing of God, the impartation of divine ability, the endowment of supernatural power.  The administration is the person who has these gifts flowing through him.  The operation is the love that Paul talks about in chapter thirteen.  Love is the spiritual manifestation of the personality, character, and nature of God; it is the God-quality through which those gifts are able to operate.  God wants us to recognize that we are not to live in this world in the ability of our flesh.  Paul, in his own life, had a difficulty with this.  He tells us in Romans chapter seven how he tried to live as a spiritual man through only his human ability.  But in Romans eight, he describes the victory that came into his life when he was no longer ignorant of spiritual things.

We also must be cautious that we are not ignorant of the devices of Satan.  We must know his tricks and his traps and his schemes.

 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:11)

 In the old Western movies, there was always a gunfight between the good guys in the white hats and the bad guys wearing black hats.  There was one trick that the man in the white hat always used.  When he was totally surrounded by the bad guys, he would pick up a stone and toss it.  It would hit the water barrel, and all the bad guys – thinking that the good guy was hiding at the water barrel – would shoot the water barrel.  While they were looking that way, he would pick up another rock and toss it in a different direction.  It would hit the sagebrush.  While the bad guys were focused toward the sagebrush, he would take another rock and toss it in an opposite direction, hitting the side of the barn.  He would use that same technique of tossing rocks until all the bad guys had depleted their supply of bullets in their six-shooters.  Then he would stand up – with his six-shooter still full of bullets – and arrest the whole bunch of them and march them off to jail.

 The devil does that to us if we are not alert to his devices.  He will have us blasting all our artillery in the wrong direction. When there is difficulty in our homes, we start shooting at our wives or our kids – when we really should be shooting at the devil.  If we are not aware of his devices, we will expend all of our energy attacking those around us.  When all of our strength is gone, then the devil will move in and overcome us.  As we have already learned, he will take us captive at his will!

We need to understand that the devil will not just suddenly overcome us while we are simply minding our own business.  The story of Judas explains to us very carefully that he was a man who was full of greed.  His covetousness took root in him when he actually stole money out of the treasury.  After he dipped into the till, greed increased itself to the point that he betrayed Jesus for money.  Greed led to robbery, and robbery led to treason.  It was only after these several phases that Satan was able to enter him.  Just as with Judas, there are steps and progressions that will lead us to destruction.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:15)

We could echo Paul’s question: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

Therefore, we must not yield ourselves to sin.  We have to be aware of Satan’s devices or else we may begin to yield ourselves step by step, little by little, and he will begin to entwine and entangle us.  For example, you could take a piece of thread and wrap it around your hand, then break it.  If you wrap it around twice, it will be harder to break.  If you wrap it around three times, it will be harder.  Eventually, you can wrap it around enough times that your hand is actually immobilized by simple sewing thread.  That’s the way the devil works.  Little by little, step by step – if you sin enough times, it will become a habit and then a controlling spirit until, finally, it becomes a possession in your life.  We all learned in elementary school about boiling a frog to death.  If you take a frog and put it on the stove in a pot filled with room-temperature water, he will be happily swimming around and won’t try to jump out of the pan.  As the water in the pan very slowly begins to warm up, the change in temperature is so slight that the frog doesn’t even notice because he’s having such a good time swimming around in his big pot.  Eventually, he will be boiled alive without even knowing that he was in danger.

I once knew a girl who was actually quite homely and a little bit below par on her intelligence level.  One day, she met a man who told her how beautiful she was.  Because no one had ever told her that she was attractive, she had a need for someone to say that to her.  Even if she knew inside herself that he was lying, she wanted to hear it.  She began to listen to him.  He finally got her inside his house and offered her a drink.  Soon she was drunk.  Just like the frog, she didn’t notice as he began to turn up the heat.  Before she knew it, he had taken a whole roll of nude photographs of her.  She was vulnerable because she didn’t recognize that he was seducing her.  The devil is a seducer, and we need to be aware of his seductive devices!

Those in the Thessalonian church were ignorant concerning the promise of the resurrection and the promise of the rapture.

 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13)

They were concerned because some of the brethren had died.  Their mindset was that Jesus must be coming back very soon because He had made a statement that some of those with Him would not die until they saw Him in His glory. (Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27)  The Thessalonian church misunderstood what Jesus was talking about and thought that the Second Coming was just around the corner.  When they saw their loved ones dying, they thought that they had either missed the Second Coming or that Jesus had canceled it.  They questioned if those who had died were not going to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven.  The living Christians were very confused and upset.  Our lives can also be that way, unless we are totally aware and informed that this life is only the dressing room for the real life to come.  We have to realize the promise of the resurrection: that physical death is not the end of life.  When we see our loved ones die, we must realize that they have gone on to their reward.  It is a time for us to take encouragement in the Word of God and be stirred to go on for the future and for the Kingdom of God.

 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (II Peter 3:8)

I was at the gravesite of an infant who died a few hours after birth.  The father and the mother – both Christians – were greatly upset and tormented.  It was a traumatic time for them, and I wanted to somehow comfort this beautiful young couple.  I didn’t know what to say to them; but the Lord spoke to me, “To me, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.”  Even though in our time frame the baby only lived a few hours, in God’s perspective it was as a thousand years.  When God fulfills His plan and His purpose, His time schedule doesn’t have to match with ours.  To understand how God is working in our lives, we have to get out of our perspective and get into God’s perspective.

The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt.  At the end of four hundred years, the scriptures say, And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (Exodus 2:24), so He sent Moses to deliver them.  Just as God hadn’t forgotten the Israelites in Egypt, He hasn’t forgotten us; it is just that His timetable and our timetable aren’t necessarily the same.  Sometimes, He can do things immediately that we think He should have worked over a long period of time.  Other times, He may drag something out for a long time because He has His plan.

The lame man who sat at the Gate Beautiful had been there all his life.  For certain, Jesus had come out of the temple many, many times and had seen the man reach up to Him asking for alms.  Maybe the beggar had even heard the stories about Jesus’ healing people and thought, “What about me, have you forgotten me?  When will my time come?”  But God had a better timetable; when Peter and John ministered to him a few months later, five thousand people were saved in one day because of this one man’s testimony.  If Jesus had personally healed the beggar, he would have just been one more convert.  But God’s plan was to reach an entire city. God’s timetable has to be superimposed above ours, and we have to be sure that we rest in confidence and that we are not ignorant of the fact that even though it seems as if it is taking God a long time, He knows what He is doing and He is in control.  It may seem like a thousand years to us, but to God it is only one day.  He knows how to deliver.  An old adage states it this way, “The wheels of God may turn very slowly, but they grind very fine.”  God may seem to be slow, but He is never late.  He is always on time.

In the last days, there will be people who are willfully ignorant.  Willingly ignorant means that they do not want to “confuse the argument with the facts.”

 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (II Peter 3:5-7)

 Peter said that in the last days people will be willfully ignorant of three specific things.  One of them is that the world was made.  There is more scientific evidence proving that the earth came into being instantaneously than evidence for “evolving” over billions of years.  One of the ways that scientists calculate the age of the earth is by the lead and uranium content.  When uranium goes through radioactive decay, it produces lead. Through the scientific calculation of counting the half-lives of the radioactive material, they can calculate, from the amount of lead that exists today, how many years uranium has been going through radioactive decay to produce the present amount.  When evolutionists do that, they theorize that the earth is many billions of years old.  If some of the lead today was lead to start with, rather than uranium that became lead, then their calculations are totally off.

 When uranium goes through radioactive decay, it not only produces lead; it also produces helium.  Even though helium is the second lightest element on the periodic chart, it does not escape the earth’s atmosphere.  Through the same method of counting half-lives that is used with lead, we can do the calculations based on the amount of helium in the world today.  The fascinating truth that comes when we do the calculation this way is that we find it is impossible for the earth to have existed more than ten thousand years.  Using the same formula or equation, we can come to the conclusion that the earth is billions of years old – or is only a few thousand years old!  When scientists want to prove a point, they choose which figures to believe.  Willfully ignorant, they push the helium theory aside and ignore it.

Peter also warned that, in the last days, people will become willfully ignorant of the flood that occurred in Noah’s days.  There is scientific evidence in every continent of the earth that there was a universal, catastrophic flood – but the evolutionists refuse to believe it.

Thirdly, in the last days people will be willfully ignorant that the world is preserved for judgment.  I find it absolutely astounding that we can be engulfed in the incurable plague of AIDS when one very simple cure is available: living right!  If you don’t take drugs and you don’t have illicit sex, there will be no AIDS problem in the world.  The killer would die out in one generation if people would just live righteously.  When the AIDS epidemic struck, Dr. Koop, the U.S. Surgeon General, said that the only cure was for people to live monogamous lives and quit taking drugs.  He gave us the Bible answer, but he lost his job because of his stance.  Instead of following some simple principles, we are spending billions of dollars trying to develop a cure; the condom business is making millions of dollars, and our schools are educating our children about “safe sex.”  Men are willfully ignorant; they want to keep on sinning as if there is no judgment. They just won’t face the consequences.

In the Body of Christ, we need to be very cautious that we are not ignorant in terms of what we don’t know and also not willfully ignorant in terms of what we know improperly.  The Bible tells us that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free.  We must learn the truth, know the truth, get the truth inside of us, and live by the truth.  If we won’t have a fullness of the truth, we will be full of error, and what we don’t know will hurt us.  However, the truth God has given us will advance us on our way to maturity in Christ.


 Perception and Knowledge

The way we think is the determining factor between victory and defeat.  The Bible says not to concentrate on bad reports.  Unfortunately, the natural inclination is to think on the bad side; but God tells us to think on the good side.

 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Adam and Eve were having a wonderful life in the Garden of Eden.  Before they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they lived in the Dispensation of Innocence.  They only knew good.  They knew only the godly side of things.  They didn’t know evil.  When Satan appeared in the form of a serpent, they didn’t recognize him because they had known only good and were not aware that they needed to be cautious of any potential evil.  When Satan told them they could be like God and have all knowledge, they wanted to be all-knowing.  Unfortunately, they had no idea what it would mean to have all knowledge; once they ate of that tree, they knew both good and evil.  That act of transgression threw man into the Dispensation of Conscience.  This dispensation lasted from the time that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit until the time of the Flood.  At the Flood, God ended the Dispensation of Conscience.  The Bible tells us that God came down to visit the human race and found that the thoughts and intents of their hearts were evil continually.  Man had degenerated to the point that he did not even make a place for the good knowledge he had once known.  The heart monopolized with evil thoughts became the constant characterization of the human race.

 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? (Jeremiah 4:14)

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4)

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (Matthew 15:19)

We are just like Adam and Eve standing in front of that tree.  We have the option: are we going to know good or are we going to know evil?  Are we going to think the thoughts of God or are we going to think the thoughts of the devil?  When we think the thoughts of God, we are aligning ourselves with our spirit man, which brings life and peace.  When we don’t think the thoughts of God, we begin to align ourselves with the physical man, which brings death.

Paul tells us that we can rejoice while we are facing tribulations if we know something.

 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (Romans 5:3-5)

We don’t have to look at the tribulation or troubles that come into our lives in a negative sense.  The natural perspective of trouble is that it is going to hurt us.  But Paul tells us that if we have the knowledge of good in contrast to the knowledge of evil, we can actually rejoice when a problem comes.  Too many Christians fail when a problem or temptation comes because they react negatively instead of rejoicing.  Notice that Paul gives us a clue as to how the victorious attitude is to be obtained – the Holy Ghost.  It is not our natural abilities, but the Holy Spirit abiding in us, that makes the difference.

Joseph experienced some of the most dramatic setbacks in all of history.  He went through every possible difficulty a man can experience: he was thrown into a pit by his brothers, he was sold as a slave, he was carted off to a foreign land, he was banished to prison, and he was forgotten for two years.  It seemed that each time he was about to climb up out of the pit, somebody would step on his fingers, and down he would slide into the pit again.  In spite of all that, Joseph kept a good attitude.  Years later, when his brothers came to him and repented, he told them that, what they had meant for evil, God had intended for good.  Joseph was determined to know the good side rather than the bad side of each event.  His brothers looked on the bad side; when they saw that Joseph was prime minister over Egypt, they didn’t immediately rejoice and think how wonderful it was that he had been spared and promoted.  The only thing on their minds was how Joseph was going to get back at them.  They remembered their guilt.  They thought only on the negative side.  Even when Joseph gave them houses, property, and wealth, they thought that Joseph had done it to make them defenseless and vulnerable so that when their father died, he could execute them all.  They had a negative report, and they thought about it.  Joseph, on the other hand, had a positive report and looked at all the difficulties of his life in this positive light.

We can easily get a negative report into our minds and think on the fruit of the knowledge of evil.  But Paul tells us that thinking on good things will give us consolation and we will know that there is a good report at the end of the suffering.

 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.  (II Corinthians 1:7)

When we have trouble, disease, sin, family problems, or other hurtful situations, we can go around moaning and groaning and living in self‑pity.  We can act according to the old man by getting even with everyone who has hurt us.    Or we can live and move according to the fruit of the knowledge of good.  James says that we can count it joy if we know something.

 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:2-3)

 The problems that confront our lives can actually bring us to the place where we are perfect and entire, lacking nothing. (James 1:4)  This is the result of having the knowledge of good and responding according to that knowledge.  We can know that, if we respond correctly, the trial that is here will make us perfect and entire.  With that awareness, we can be happy that although somebody has injured us, we know the end result will be our becoming a better person – in fact, a perfect one.  When we remember that the word “perfect” means mature, we can celebrate that we have been brought one step closer to the full stature of Christ.

What we know makes all the difference in the world.  Joseph was able to go through the pit, the slavery, the prison, and being forgotten because he knew that God was in control over his life.  The end result of Joseph’s trials was the saving of the entire human family from starvation.  The book of Hebrews confirms the same principle.

For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (Hebrews 10:34)

 The individuals referred to here were under a serious attack.  All their property and belongings were being confiscated and pillaged because the religious community in which they lived hated their Christian faith. But they did not moan and groan; instead, they took the persecution joyfully, because they knew that this earth was not their home and that something far better awaited them.

We can resist the devil if we know something; but if we do not know something, we can’t resist.  Knowledge is the key.  We have to know our victory and our authority.

 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (I Peter 5:9)

 In Romans 6, Paul tells us that the key to our victory is to know what it means to be dead to sin and alive to Christ.  Our whole key to victory over sin is what we know.

 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. (Romans 6:3, 5)

This is a very powerful chapter, telling us how to take authority over our old sinful nature by crucifying it; a new life has the power to overcome the old nature.  In verse eleven, Paul says that the key to victory is reckoning ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  The word “reckon” means to make a determination, to calculate, to think things through, and to come to a decision about a matter.  We, as Christians, need to learn how to reckon our decisions – to make a calculation and to come to an answer about what we are going to be and what we are going to do.  Paul tells us to make a determination that the old man is dead to sin and that we are alive unto God.  If we continue to live in sin, then we haven’t reckoned ourselves dead to it.  On the other hand, we can make an unwavering decision to live the new life in Christ and mature into the fullness of His image.  Just like a pickle is a cucumber that has been baptized in vinegar until it’s molecular structure has been changed, we need to allow the baptism into Christ’s death take its full effect upon our lives so that we have an actual change on the very molecular level of our spiritual lives.


The Renewed Mind

In the Greek, Mark 2:22 reads: And no man putteth new wine (in reference to time) into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine (in reference to time) must be put into new (in terms of quality) bottles.  In II Corinthians 5:17, we learn that we are new creatures in Christ.  The old has passed, away and all things have become new.  The Greek terminology used by Paul here indicates that we are new creatures in reference to quality; we are not new creatures in reference to time.

To illustrate the difference between the two Greek words for “new,” let’s take an imaginary bicycle ride from my former home in Indiana to my present home in Colorado – a trip of around fifteen hundred miles.  The bike I owned when I lived in Indiana was one step short of an antique; I bought it used in the early 1980s, so there is no way to guess just how old this relic really was.  It did not have any gears to shift for easier peddling; its tires were not the slender, friction-efficient ones used on modern bikes; it was a plain, old-timey, one-speed bike that had been spray-painted yellow.  Because of its color and vintage, my wife nicknamed it “The Yellow Submarine” after an old Beatles’ song.  Imagine that, bright and early one morning, I start out on my antiquated yellow bicycle.  By the end of the day, I have collapsed on the side of the road when a kindly Good Samaritan stops by to see what the matter is.  After I tell him my plan to peddle to the Rockies, he responds that I’ll never make it on “that old bike.”  After a night’s rest, I’m alive with the revelation that I must do something about “that old bike,” so I peddle to the closest sporting goods store parking lot, circle behind the building and heave “The Yellow Submarine” into the dumpster.  Then I walk inside and purchase the newest, sleekest, most efficient bicycle on the market and set out again for my destination some fifteen hundred miles ahead.  By the end of this second day, I find myself again exhausted on the side of the road.  When another Good Samaritan stops to inquire about my condition, I repeat to him the story of my proposed bicycle journey.  His response is the same as last night’s helper – that I’ll never make it on “that old bike.”  When I protest that this is not an old bike, that it has only been on the asphalt this one day, and that it is the latest in bicycle technology; he reiterates that I’ll never make it on “that old bike” and drives away.  Finally, I realize that my problem is not that my bike is old in terms of time – it’s old in terms of the quality of transportation.  To get to Colorado, I need some updated form of transportation: an automobile or, better yet, an airplane.  When we are in Christ, we are new creatures – as radically different from our old man as a jet airplane is from my old “Yellow Submarine.”

But Jesus said the wine that goes into us is new in reference to time, not quality.  That explains to us what Jesus meant when He told us that He had not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it and that, if we keep His new commandment, we will automatically fulfill all the law and the prophets.  Love is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.  Jesus did not come to give us a new (in terms of quality) law.  It is new in terms of time.  The Old Covenant was old in reference to time.  The New Covenant is new in reference to time.  God has not changed His laws; there is nothing that is of a new nature in the New Covenant.  Even though we live in the dispensation of grace, grace was also evident in the Old Testament.  For example, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8)  We live by faith in the New Covenant, but so did the Old Covenant believers.  Abraham was saved by faith. (Genesis 15:6)  He was saved some seventeen hundred years before the Law, when he was still uncircumcised.  The scriptures confirm that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness.  Abraham and Noah had faith and grace in their dispensations.  We can see that grace and faith are not anything new in terms of quality; it is just, that in the New Covenant, they are manifest as new in terms of time.  The new wine (in terms of time) is in new (in terms of quality) vessels: you and me.  Jesus said that we cannot take the new-time things and put them in old-quality vessels; you must have a new-quality vessel.  You and I have to be totally renewed and regenerated in our thinking, in our understanding, and in our personality.  We still live by principles of the old Law, but we don’t serve it in the letter of the Law or in the oldness of the nature; rather, we serve it in the newness of the spirit.

 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:6)

 What are some of the things that help us to live as a new creature – a new vessel containing the truth of the Old Testament but serving in a new dispensation and in a new nature?  Some of them are described for us as the “armor of God.”

 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:14-17)

The first piece of our weaponry is the girdle of truth about our loins.  The power to be victorious Christians who are living in the newness of life must come from knowing what God has told us and thinking on the right thoughts.  The girdle was the belt that could be pulled tightly around the wearer to strengthen himself.  Today, we have power belts for people who lift heavy objects in their work.  This girdle takes the pressure off of certain body parts so that the worker will not get a hernia or pull a disk out of place.  Paul told us to put on this power belt of truth so that we can protect ourselves.  We can lift things that we would have never attempted to lift before because, now, we have this powerful truth.  When we looked at a temptation before, we would never have thought that we could lift it.  Once we know the truth and pull on that power belt, we can push that difficulty out of the way and can keep going.

The last item, which Paul lists in our spiritual armor, is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  (Ephesians 6:17)  As we have already noted, Paul uses the Greek word rhema – meaning the specific individual message – in this sentence.  Paul tells us that we have to take the precise word of God concerning each situation as we go into spiritual conflict.  In hand‑to‑hand combat, there are times we need a dagger and times we need a long sword.  If we are fencing, we need a long sword; if we are in face-to-face combat, we need a dagger.  We can’t use a dagger when we need a sword.  We need the individual weapon that fits the particular circumstance.

We have to be totally equipped and totally convinced about the Word for every situation.  This cannot be a superficial acquaintance; it must be a thorough knowledge of God’s specific Word for this exact event.  James does not say, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into divers temptations wishing or hoping…”  He says, knowing.  There is a difference between knowing and just wishing or hoping.

Most Christians really have more of the mindset of the world than the mindset of God.  They have more of the fruit of the knowledge of evil, than the fruit of the knowledge of good.  If a doctor says, “You have cancer,” immediately their thoughts say, “Hospitalization, insurance, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, death!”  Their thought process is in the knowledge of evil.  They may add on some thoughts like, “I hope Jesus will heal me.  Jesus promised that no weapon formed against me would prosper.  Jesus promised that He is the God who heals all my diseases.”  They think of the Word of God only on a surface level.  Their initial reaction is “hospitalization,” and then they mouth off a superficial scriptural incantation.  They don’t really believe it; they just mumble it out more as a ritual.

Let me ask you a simple question, “Would we build a beautiful new house and only sit in the driveway?”  Of course not!  God is at least as smart as we are.  Since He went to the expense to provide healing, salvation, and all the other blessings recorded in our inheritance, He is certainly going to make it possible for us to take advantage of these provisions. (Romans 5:10)  Remember the leper in Matthew chapter eight who said that Jesus could heal him if He simply would do so.  Jesus’ immediate response was that He was willing.  And that is still His response to us today!  Perhaps we need to pray as did the father of the possessed boy, Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

Hebrews didn’t tell us that we could count it joy when we saw the plundering of our goods if we think that we have a better reward in heaven.  James didn’t tell us that we can count it joy when we fall into temptation if we hope that patience will produce a perfect (or mature) and complete man.  Paul didn’t tell us in Romans that we could glory in our tribulation if we wish that we would be perfect (or mature) and entire, wanting nothing.  It is a matter of knowing.  It is a matter of being regenerated to the point that this knowledge is genuinely a part of our very being.  Our faith is not just superficial if we know that God is going to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  We have to be so totally equipped with the total armament of God that we can grab the necessary instrument at any specific point of time and ensure our victory.

On a campout with a friend who had served as a green beret, I was warned, “Whatever you do, don’t startle him in the middle of the night because he has been conditioned to wake up fighting.  It is an immediate reflex reaction with him.”  Unfortunately, most Christians aren’t that way.  We don’t want to fight our enemy because we really have in us more of the fruit of the knowledge of evil than the fruit of the knowledge of good.  We need to be totally regenerated to the point that our weapons naturally flow out of us.  Our first reaction should be God’s rhema attack for each individual situation.

In Titus chapter two, Paul admonishes Titus to speak the things that become sound doctrine.  When Paul talks about sound doctrine, we would think that immediately he would begin talking about sinlessness, prosperity, healing, and other items that have to do with doctrinal teachings.  However, Paul says that if we are speaking things that are of sound doctrine, then there is a certain way we are going to live.  We will live sober lives, serious lives, temperate lives, and lives that are full of faith, charity, and patience.

If we don’t speak things of sound doctrine, then our lives are not going to be that way.  Our lives will be spiritual roller coasters – every time something good happens, we are going to be high; every time something bad happens, we are going to be down.  If we speak the things that are of sound doctrine (the true revelation of God) and if we have the rhema of God that is right for every individual circumstance and every attack that the enemy brings, then we are tearing down the enemy’s strongholds all the time and we are bringing our thoughts into captivity under the submission of Christ and we are taking captive those thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.  If we are speaking things that are sound doctrine, then we have lives that are very pleasant and beyond reproach.  The way we live is actually determined by the way we speak.  The way we speak advances us to another level of achievement in our process of maturing into the full stature of Jesus Christ.


Fourth Dimensional Mentality

Several years ago, a reclusive Russian mathematician, Grigori Perelman, startled the scientific world by claiming to have solved one of the most famous and intractable problems in mathematics, called the Poincaré conjecture.  He then disappeared back into St. Petersburg.  Seven years later, he failed to show up to receive a prestigious Fields Medal from the International Mathematical Union in Madrid when he was named the winner of the million-dollar prize for solving the problem by the Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The mathematical problem that this recluse scholar had solved was formulated in 1904 by the French mathematician Henri Poincaré and is fundamental to achieving an understanding of three-dimensional shapes.  The simplest of these shapes is the three-dimensional sphere.  It is contained in four-dimensional space, and is defined as the set of points at a fixed distance from a given point, just as the two-dimensional sphere (skin of an orange or surface of the earth) is defined as the set of points in three-dimensional space at a fixed distance from a given point (the center).  Short of this complicated mathematical formulation, it is impossible for humans to comprehend anything beyond the dimensional reality in which we live our physical lives.

In the beginning of the twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul tells us that there is a way to prove or demonstrate or manifest the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God in our lives.  He said that it was through presenting our bodies on the altar of God as living sacrifices.  Such a presentation of ourselves, Paul says, will result in being transformed from the pattern of this world into a radically different nature – our born-again nature that is our spirit man.  He says that this transformation occurs in the area of our minds or souls.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

 The term here for “renewed” means to be made new in quality – remember the “Yellow Submarine.”  In other words, our minds and our way of thinking must take on a totally different quality and nature from the way that everyone else thinks and from the way we used to think.  This is what I call “fourth dimensional mentality.”

 We live in a three-dimensional world – width, height, and depth.  But in Ephesians 3:18-19, Paul tells us there are four dimensions to the love of God – the width, the height, the depth, and the length.

 [That you] may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

 Our human ability is limited to knowing things in only three dimensions, but to know the love of God goes beyond our natural ability of knowledge.  Paul says that he wants us to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.  He is asking us to know something that goes beyond the ability to be known.  The word “know” is the Greek word ginosko meaning “to experience.”  When you have experienced the love of God and are intimately acquainted with it, this experience goes far beyond your mental knowledge; it is within your experiential knowledge.  Paul is talking about having the fullness of God in your life.

When Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, the Jewish leader replied, “How can I, being a grown man, get back into my mother’s womb?”  Jesus said, “That which is born of the spirit is spirit and that which is born of the flesh is flesh.”  Nicodemus wanted to think in his fleshly dimension.  Jesus said that he had to get out of his fleshly concept and get into the spirit man.  Only the spirit man would have no problem going back through the recreating cycle.

In John chapter four, Jesus met with the Samaritan woman at the well.  Jesus told her, “If you knew who it was who was talking to you, you would ask him for living water so you would not thirst again.”  She replied, “How are you going to give me water when you don’t have a bucket to draw it up from this ninety-foot deep well?”  Here again He was offering her something in the spiritual arena, and she was responding in the natural realm.  As their conversation progressed, it became unquestionably clear that the woman was thinking on the physical three-dimensional plain. Jesus was trying to bring her to the spiritual fourth dimension when she asked about which physical place people should go to worship and He told her that God was looking for those who would worship in spirit and truth.  A few minutes later, when the disciples returned with Jesus’ lunch, He was no longer hungry.  He said, I am satisfied.  I have meat you know not of.  To satisfy me is to do the work of the Father and to finish it.  He had satisfied His spirit man by ministering to that Samaritan woman, but the disciples were still living and thinking in the physical dimension.  There was a confrontation of different types of knowledge – three-dimensional and four-dimensional knowledge, the knowledge that passes being naturally known.

Jesus offered Nicodemus new birth, and he immediately responded with three-dimensional knowledge: “How can I, a man of my size, re-enter my mother’s womb?”  He was only thinking about height, depth, and width.  The woman at the well, immediately thought, “Rope, bucket, pitcher.”  Her thinking was in height, width, and depth; whereas, Jesus was offering height, width, depth, and breadth.  He was operating in four dimensions while she wanted to think in three.  When the disciples returned, they were thinking about natural food, but Jesus told them that doing the Father’s work satisfied Him; they were in a three-dimensional world and He was offering four-dimensional knowledge.

When five thousand men plus their wives and their children had been listening to Jesus without eating for three days, Jesus told the twelve disciples to feed them.  Philip, who likely had asked Judas how much money was in the bag, responded in the three-dimensional mindset by saying, “Even two hundred pennies won’t feed all these people.”  Before we go on, we have to calculate how much money Philip was talking about.  From Jesus’ parable about the workers in the field, we learned that an average wage for a day of hard labor was one penny. (Matthew 20:2)  This fact will help us to calculate that he was talking about almost ten months’ wages – and that was pre-tax!  But Jesus showed him that even as small a lunch as five loaves and two fish would do the job when the three-dimensional limits were taken off.  In fact, He even arranged for twelve baskets of fragments to be left over to make sure that His point was clear.  Later when they set out across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus cautioned them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.  The disciples responded with concern that they had not packed bread for the journey.  Jesus was amazed that – even though they had just seen how He miraculously fed the multitude – their minds were not renewed.  They still couldn’t get out of their three-dimensional thinking.

I often give my students an assignment to demonstrate that they are trapped in a three-dimensional world, while God is calling them to live in His supernatural fourth-dimension.  I tell the students that they are to count to a certain number; but before I announce the goal, I tell them that each student will have a special way of counting:


The first person is to count by ones – 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5;

The second student counts by twos – 2, 4, 6, 8;

The third, by fives – 5, 10, 15, 20, 25;

The fourth, by tens – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50;

The fifth, by hundreds – 100, 200, 300, 400, 500.


By this time, the first student is getting nervous about his assignment.  His eyes really get big when I tell the next student to count by thousands; and he is really sweating by the time I assign someone to count by millions.  Of course, they all are awe-struck when I proclaim that their target is infinity.  Suddenly, the task is all the same – whether counting by ones or millions.  They may not learn much mathematics in this little exercise, but they are all confronted with the challenge to grab hold of (or rather be grabbed hold of by) God’s fourth-dimensional knowledge.  In Ephesians, Paul says that our key to moving into knowledge that supersedes human physical ability is that renewed-mind knowledge; knowledge that comes from the “new creation,” the born-again man.  It is this kind of transcending fourth-dimensional knowledge that will cause us to mature into the stature of our Lord.


Transcending Knowledge

Knowledge is an amazing concept.  It seems so permanent to us, yet knowledge really is temporary and changeable.  There was a time when everyone knew that the earth was flat – there was no question.  It was an “established fact” that if you sailed too far, you’d sail right off the edge of the world and die.  There was a time when physicians kept leaches for sucking out a patient’s blood because they knew that man’s health problems were in his “bad” blood.  These ideas used to be unquestionable truths, published in the scientific journals.  Today we look at them and chuckle; we know they are totally archaic and false.  The greatest “scientific breakthroughs” of previous generations are now just old wives’ tales.  Every year, new science textbooks are published because the information from last year’s textbook is out of date.  Encyclopedias are published on a yearly basis because previous knowledge is incomplete or worse, obsolete.  In fact, most encyclopedia companies have simply stopped publishing hardbound books in favor of web-based versions that can be updated instantly.  Daniel prophesied that this would happen when he said in chapter twelve, verse four, that knowledge would increase in the last days.  It is estimated that, at the present rate, scientific information is doubling every two years.  That means the information a college student learned during his first year of study will be outdated by his third year in school.

However, there is a higher kind of knowledge that does not have an expiration date.  It is unquestionably true, and it will go on forever.  If men do not know God, they don’t have this important kind of knowledge.

 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (John 16:3)

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (I Corinthians 1:21)

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (I Corinthians 2:11)

 The spirit of man is the only thing that discerns what is inside that man.  The Spirit of God inside us is the only one who discerns what God is saying and doing in us.  If we do not have the Spirit of God in us, we will never see that fourth dimensional world.  This is the experiential born-again knowledge that we must have.  To those in the world who don’t know God, the preaching of the gospel is foolishness.  The world that is thinking in three dimensions cannot comprehend the fourth dimension.

The kingdom of God is like an iceberg with one-eighth sticking up above the water and seven-eighths below the surface.  We can see that it is there, but we can’t comprehend what it really is.  This is exactly how an unregenerate man – without the Spirit of God – responds to fourth-dimensional truth.  Only the Spirit of God can bring a man to recognize (in his inward part) the spiritual things God is trying to reveal.

The devil and his minions can only see in the three-dimensional world.  Had they known God’s plan, which was prophesied as far back as the third chapter of Genesis, they never would have crucified Jesus.  The fourth dimension was hidden from them.  They could not see that through Jesus’ death, all of mankind would be redeemed from the curse of death.  They saw the tip of the iceberg, but – just like the Titanic – were devastated by the unseen dimension.

 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (I Corinthians 2:8)

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. (Romans 1:28)

 In the garden, man had a four-dimensional world. He could see the godly perspective in life.  But he gave up that ability when he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  In the fourth dimensional world, Adam and Eve could not notice their nakedness.  They were not looking at their physical selves; they were looking into the fourth dimension through their fellowship with God.  When their knowledge was reduced to the three-dimensional world, they saw their physical bodies and realized for the first time that they were naked.

Elisha’s servant experienced this fourth-dimensional knowledge when the prophet prayed that his eyes would be opened to see into the spiritual realm, and to witness the angelic host surrounding and protecting them. (II Kings 6:17)  Paul entered into this realm of knowledge on the road to Damascus when he conversed with the risen Lord, though his companions saw nothing. (Acts 9:7)  John, on the island of Patmos – told us plainly that he was in the spirit (the fourth dimension); he was certainly in this realm of knowledge when he looked to see the voice he heard – not the person speaking, but the voice itself. (Revelation 1:12)  This spiritual knowledge is our only nutrient for maturing into the stature of Christ.


Relationship Knowledge

Knowledge is not just the accumulation of facts.  Knowledge is also a kind of relationship.  Genesis says that Adam “knew” his wife and she bore him sons.  In fact, every time that we have ginosko knowledge, it is experiential knowledge in a relationship that produces birth; something is always birthed.  Adam and Eve’s intimate fellowship produced the birth of sons.  When we have this intimate fellowship with God, it produces the birth of faith, love, and other qualities of God.  Ginosko is relationship.  This is not just a matter of mentally knowing God; it is a matter of loving God.  Love puts us into a knowledge of Him.  Our transformation will not come through knowing about God, but through genuinely and personally knowing Him.  On numerous occasions, I had the opportunity to spend personal prayer time with Dr. Lester Sumrall.  Although he was facing the challenges of funding and managing a multi-million-dollar ministry that totally encompassed the globe, his constant prayer was, “Lord, I want to know You.”  He understood that in knowing God, he could tap into all the resources that belong to Him.

 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. (I Corinthians 8:3)

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (Galatians 4:9)

 Our knowledge of God is not a one-way relationship; it is true fellowship.  You can study something merely academically and acquire extensive knowledge, without relationship.  For example, you can be a student of the President of the United States.  You may follow every speech he makes and analyze his behavior.  You could write a biography about him without ever having met or seen him personally.  But this is not ginosko knowledge.  God is not offering us knowledge about Himself.  He is offering us a relationship in which we not only know Him, but He knows us.  The knowledge that leads us to this fourth dimension is not just academic; it goes beyond knowing, it is supernatural relationship.

 Pharaoh knew God.  Through Moses, God proved Himself to Pharaoh.  Although Pharaoh recognized that Moses’ God was the Almighty, he did not come into relationship with Him as did Moses.  For Moses, it was not just a matter of knowing; rather, it was a matter of fellowship and relationship.

Nebuchadnezzar knew that the God Daniel served was God alone.  He had seen the things that God did for Daniel.  He even wrote a decree to his entire kingdom that they should all worship the God of Daniel because He is such a great God. (Daniel 4:1-27)  But Nebuchadnezzar was so proud of the kingdom he had built that God judged him and made him live like an animal for seven years. (Daniel 4:28-37)  He knew about God, but he did not have fellowship with Him.  On the other hand, Daniel had a relationship with – not just mental knowledge of – God.

The Samaritans worshiped in their own model of the Jerusalem Temple on Mt. Gerizim.  Jesus told them that they didn’t know whom they were worshiping, but they continued to worship.  They had no intimacy in their worship.  Jesus offered them more; He offered them intimate worship, in spirit and in truth.

 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. (John 4:22)

The Greeks on Mars Hill erected an altar to the unknown God, but they didn’t even go to the effort to find out who He was or how to approach Him.  They hoped that dead, dry religion would satisfy God.  They thought that just putting up a marker was enough.  They didn’t realize that God was calling for a knowledge that is comprehensive and intimate.

 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. (Acts 17:23)

Fourth-dimensional knowledge is not progressive.  Sometimes, we think that knowledge goes from one stage to another, but true knowledge does not.  We may progress in our understanding, but our fourth-dimensional knowledge is totally thorough from the moment of our new birth, even though our understanding of this knowledge may increase.

In his first epistle, John addressed four groups of people.  He wrote to ones he called infants:  I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (I John 2:13)  Then he progressed beyond that to talk to those who are children: I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. (I John 2:13)  Next, he wrote to the strong, young men: I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. (I John 2:14)  Finally, he came to the mature old men: I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. (I John 2:14) Here we see something that looks like a progression: infants, children, young men, old men.  They may progress in their understanding of who they are and what they are doing, but they have not progressed in their knowledge.  The ones who had progressed to the mature old men had exactly the same knowledge as the ones who were addressed as mere infants.  The infants knew God and the old men knew God. They may have progressed in their understanding of the person of God, but they had not progressed in their knowledge of Him.

There is also authority in our prayers because of what we know.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (I John 5:14-15)

 When we know that He hears us, then we can have confidence.  If we are just bumbling around in our prayers, hoping that God is listening, we aren’t going to really expect anything to happen.  But if we begin to pray according to the will of God and we know that God is listening, then we have the confidence that He will answer.  The knowledge that we are in fellowship and intimacy with Him causes us to have authority in our prayers.

This fourth-dimensional knowledge also gives us authority in terms of having victory over sin.

 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  (I John 5:18)

 It is not that we hope or wish, but we possess the truth: there is a fourth-dimensional knowledge that we are born of God and we don’t have to sin.  If we do sin, it is other than what God has provided for us.  John said that the one who is born of God keeps himself.  He protects himself with the shield of faith and calls the faith shield around himself so that every fiery dart of the wicked one falls useless at his feet.

John says that we can know – not just hope – that the evil one cannot touch us if we are born of God.  Most of the church hasn’t awakened to this yet.  Most of the church thinks that we are still subjects of the devil.  People ask, “Would you pray for me?  The devil’s been telling me all week long…”  When I hear that, I think, “What are you doing listening to the devil?  If you are smart enough to know that it is the devil talking to you, why bother to listen, because he is nothing but a liar!”  When we turn on the television and find that there is something on the screen that we don’t want to hear, we just flip the channel or turn the whole thing off.  If we are smart enough to do that in the physical realm, why can’t we do the same thing in the spirit realm?  We need to have our minds renewed with the knowledge of God: the evil one cannot touch us if we resist him.  Our knowledge of God is the truth that sets us free. (John 8:31-32)  When that knowledge is put to the test, we are actually strengthened rather than injured. (Luke 4:1, 4:14; James 1:2-4)

Acts 19:15 tells the story of the seven sons of Sceva who ganged up on one man in an attempt to cast the devil out of him.  They thought that they had some authority through the name of a person – Paul, whom they didn’t even know.  They said, “By the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches,” but they did not know the men behind the names.  The devils responded, “We know Paul and we know Jesus, but who are you?”  The sons of Sceva were total non-entities to the devil.  This is a great spiritual lesson: if we aren’t full of God, the devil doesn’t even take notice of who we are.  The only time the devil starts paying attention to us is when we get serious about the God of the kingdom.

It is also true that if we are not full of God, Jesus does not know us either.  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  (Matthew 7:23)  Even though we may cast out devils or prophesy in His name, if we are not born of God, Jesus will turn to His Father and say, “I don’t know that one.”  Therefore, if we want to be a person who is known and recognized in the spiritual realm, we must get ourselves full of God.  Then we will be recognized; the devils will recognize who we are, and so will God and His angels.

 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (II Timothy 2:19)

Our knowledge will only come to its final fulfillment and perfection in heaven.  Knowing God is like knowing ourselves.  That knowledge has to come from our spirit man.  No human can know God other than through a born-again spirit.  Our unregenerate human hearts are deceivers; they will not let us know God.  The human only knows himself through the Spirit of God.  Our un-renewed man will tell us that we are okay, that we are good guys, and that everybody likes us.  The only way we are going to know our own hearts is through the Spirit of God.  The devil is a deceiver and he will blind our minds from the truth about ourselves and about God.

 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. (I Corinthians 13:12)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:4)

Our hearts will try to deceive us about knowing God.  The only way our inner man is brought into the true light is through the Spirit of God.  He is God’s revealer inside the human heart.

 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Proverbs 20:27)

Through the spirit man, which comes alive at the new birth, God reveals the truth.  Jesus Himself testified that we can only know God through the Holy Spirit.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. (John 15:26)

 Knowing God will totally change our perspective on everything that we think about.

 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:12-16)

 Renewing our perspective is an important element for maturing into the full stature of Jesus Christ.  Even though our spirit may already be new, we need to continually work the reality of this renewal into the soulical dimension of our personality.

 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

If we don’t deliberately focus on the positive renewal of the mind, we will inevitably slip into degeneration.  Remember that, when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they came into the knowledge of both good and evil.  The end result of the decline that began that day is recorded in Genesis 6:5, And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  The race fell from having pure innocence to knowing only evil.  Therefore, we must deliberately renew our thoughts so that we can move counter to the carnal flow and have pure and good thoughts. (Titus 1:15)  We must train our minds to focus on God’s provision rather than missed payments, late charges, and bankruptcy; on healing rather than doctors, hospitals, and graveyards; on household salvation rather than divorce, estrangement, and rebellious children.

God has given us spiritual power to take control over all negative thoughts and evil ideas that reside in our thinking.

 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

We can see an example of how this process works by looking at the conquest of Jerusalem by David.  The Jebusites boasted that the city was so secure that its guards were the blind and the lame men. (II Samuel 5:6)  Its natural position made it virtually invincible; therefore, it was unnecessary to position the able-bodied soldiers there.  These strong warriors were used elsewhere, while the rejects defended the city.  The city actually defended itself since it was built on the top of high cliffs with deep ravines surrounding it.  When an attack would come, all these handicapped soldiers had to do was to simply push boulders over the edge of the cliff upon the approaching forces – they did not need to be marksmen or skilled warriors.  David outfoxed the Jebusites by sending some men up the water duct to take the city from the inside.  After David took the city, Jerusalem then became his stronghold.  From the city of Jerusalem, we learn a lesson concerning strongholds: their power is in their natural position; you don’t have to have a strong warrior inside a stronghold to be able to protect it because the stronghold itself is its own protection.  The devil doesn’t have to be strong.  If he is able to fill our minds and hearts with lame ideas and blind assumptions, he can easily defend the strongholds of our lives.  God has given us the necessary armament, and we must take full advantage of all that He has provided.

 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Aggressively acknowledging the truths of God’s Word will change how we think about everything affecting our lives:

 Divine rewards – Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:11)


Divine joy – The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:8)


Godly wisdom – The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)


Physical health and healing – And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. (Exodus 15:26)


Supernatural prosperity – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8)


Long life – My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (Proverbs 3:1-2)


Unlimited blessing – And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.  Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)


It’s for us if we appropriate it.

 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)

Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father. (I Kings 6:12)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel,  according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. (I Kings 8:56)


We just need to develop a WORD mentality toward the Word of God.

“W” represents worshipfully (with open spirit).  We must turn to the Word of God with a different attitude than when reading the newspaper.  We can set the stage with music and prayer in a quiet place so that our spirit is more in tune.

 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (Psalm 56:4)

In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. (Psalm 56:10)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)


“O” stands for orderly (a daily regimented reading).  Perhaps this will involve following a schedule that takes you through the Bible in a year, or perhaps making a specific study of selected topics.  It may likely include outlining, research, running cross-references, and doing word studies.


 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)


“R” speaks of regular and repeated study rather than a hit-and-miss approach.

 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130)

Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. (Psalm 119:148)

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)


“D” signifies directionally (following what it says).

 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16)

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1)

I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. (II John 1:4)

The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. (III John 1:1)

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. (III John 1:5-7)

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. (III John 1:9-10)


 Victorious Knowledge

The renewed mind is ready for spiritual warfare because it can take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and use it in every area of life as a weapon against the enemy.  However, many people think that the key to warfare is simply reciting the Word of God.  The truth is that the Word of God is only powerful when we know the God of the Word.  People can quote scripture right and left, but if they don’t have the God of the Word inside them, that Word is not alive.


It is not enough just to know the words, we must know the Spirit.  We must have relationship.  We must have experience.  We must have the mind of the Lord.

 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (II Timothy 1:12)

 Our victory is not just a matter of knowing truths or ideas or scriptures.  Our victory is in the fourth-dimensional knowledge, which is not the knowledge about God or about spiritual things but is the knowledge of the Spirit – experiencing the Spirit and having God Himself inside of us.

Sometimes, we like to have everything written down in nice little formulas: “Twelve Truths for Troubled Times,” “Ten Tips for Triumph Through Trial,” “Seven Steps to Salvation,” “Six Scriptures to Save Your Sanity,” “Five Steps to Peace With God,” and “The Four Spiritual Laws.”  But the thing that makes it all work is being filled with God and having the mind of the Spirit.  When we know God, we know Jehovah Shammah (the God Who is There).  The very fact that He is there makes the difference.  Certainly, we like to hear messages on Jehovah Jireh (God our Provider) and Jehovah Rapha (God our Healer).  But He is not just a help, He is present with us in trouble to deliver us.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)

Notice the progression that Paul described in this passage: from experiencing the peace of God to experiencing the God of peace.  This is the goal of the Christian life – to progress from knowing about God and experiencing His benefits to actually knowing Him and living in His presence.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3)

And the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (Ezekiel 48:35)

 It may not seem as spectacular as Jehovah Rapha or Jehovah Jireh, but there is solid confidence in knowing that God is with us.  If God isn’t present, then how can He heal you?  If God isn’t present, how can He provide for you?  I’ll guarantee you that having that fourth man show up in the fiery furnace made a world of difference for the three Hebrew children!

All of us have what we call our personal space; a little bit of space that is ours and ours alone.  We don’t want people standing so close that they are in our faces.  There are only certain people such as our mates and our kids whom we invite into our personal space.  We like a little distance between ourselves and our personal acquaintances; professional relationships are kept somewhat further away, and strangers are kept at even further distances.  But the Bible says that God is very present.  He invades even closer than our personal space.  He lives inside us.  God is as close as our very breath.  He is called the Ruwach, the Breath of God.  He breathed into Adam, and Adam became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)  After His resurrection, Jesus breathed on the eleven, and they were born again. (John 20:22)

In Ezekiel chapter eight, God invited the prophet into the temple.  Through the Spirit, He took him behind the closed doors and showed him the priests inside worshiping snakes.  At that point, the Shekinah presence of God departed from the temple because He was unwanted.  In Ezekiel forty-eight, after the people repented, God came back into their presence and announced Himself by the name: Jehovah Shammah – I am the God who is present with you again.  If we want that fourth-dimensional knowledge, the knowledge of God that surpasses human knowledge and cannot be comprehended in our own human dimension, the only way that we are going to have Jehovah Shammah with us is that we come to the place that we want to live lives which invite Him not only to be there to help, but to be there to watch and to scrutinize our every thought and action.  We must live lives that lay everything naked and open before Him so that He can see who we are, what we are doing, and that we have nothing to hide from Him.  They that know God sin not.

To know the truth and yet to not be overwhelmed with the sense of worship of Him who is the Truth is not really to know the truth after all.  True theology becomes, then, an exercise in devotion.  To really know God means that we live a life of devotion and worship before Him.  It was once said that the adventure of serving Christ holds a dim candle to the adventure of knowing Christ.  Just the intimacy of knowing Him is the true adventure of life; it is moving into an adventure that goes beyond knowledge.