It is most safe to say that there are far more things that we do not (and I might add cannot) know than those which we do. Being the finite creatures that we are, our knowledge is limited to those things which GOD is pleased to show us. Even as Moses said, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)
The ability of men to know anything is very limited and can only manifest itself as events and revelations are unfolded before them. Many men would imagine that the “knowledge” of GOD is limited in this same fashion when they consider that HIS foreknowledge is mere “prescience” or the ability to know things before they occur. This is most commonly demonstrated in the popular teaching that HIS election of a people is best described as HIS mere ability to know ahead of time who would choose HIM and who would not; and then basing HIS choice of them on HIS knowledge (ahead of it actually occurring) of their choice of HIM.
This is a ridiculous assessment of the knowledge of the “High and Lofty ONE who inhabiteth eternity,”; imagining HIM who declares “the end from the beginning” to be as limited in acquiring actual knowledge as the men of HIS own creation. They presume that HE only possesses the ability to foresee the future, much like Madam Ruby or any other two bit fortune teller.
GOD knows all things because HE is the ONE who creates and declares all things to come to pass according to HIS purpose. There is nothing that HE does not know because there is nothing that can occur apart from HIS divine, predestined purpose. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-11) “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3)
So HE does not merely “foresee” what will inevitably occur, but HE causes all things to occur according to HIS sovereign will. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa 45:5-7) “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” (Isa 45:12)
The true and living GOD is HE who inhabits eternity. Some view eternity as a mere extension of time, (or an era of pre-time) yet that place where GOD dwells (eternity) transcends time and nothing that is created (finite) can dwell therein. This is exactly what Paul wrote to Timothy in describing HIM, as that ONE “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.” (1Tim 6:16) “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.” (2Pet 3:8)
So, there is no comparison that can be made between that which the LORD “knows” and that which man “knows”. GOD is the SOURCE of all knowledge; we are but ignorant and quite hopeless creatures until HE is pleased to enlighten us. With that in mind it seems quite odd that men could become “puffed up” by the things which they have been given to know, as if the things which they know have been discovered by their own ability or effort. Yet Paul warned the Corinthians of that very danger which arises out of the sinfulness of man’s flesh. “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1Cor 8:1-2)
Nothing is more common than those who think they “know” something and seek to lord it over others, boasting in their discoveries or establishing their “knowledge” as the standard by which truth can be known. There is but ONE STANDARD of knowledge and it is HE who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Apart from a revelation conferred by the HOLY GHOST upon a man, to “know” HIM, a man ultimately is ignorant of TRUTH. If the LORD has by that same HOLY GHOST conferred upon a man to know CHRIST JESUS the LORD, then that man is not without the knowledge of the HOLY.ONE”
As long as there are men upon the earth there will be counterfeit “knowledge” which has its source in the imaginations of men rather than in the revelation of a merciful and gracious GOD who is pleased to lead HIS people into all truth. There will be false apostles, false doctrines, and false gospels. Men may seek to defend the truth as it has been delivered to them but it is impossible that any should receive their sayings apart from the work of GOD to open the minds and hearts of HIS elect to receive HIS truth and worship the LORD in SPIRIT and TRUTH.
Deception abounds in every age yet it pleases the LORD to increase that deception from time to time, even as Paul said, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thes 2:10-12) This age in which we live is most surely described here.
O that it might be truly said by each one of us “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2Cor 2:14-17) HE alone can give this knowledge.
1 Say, Christian, wouldst thou thrive
In knowledge of thy Lord?
Against no Scripture ever strive,
But tremble at his word.
2 Revere the sacred page;
To injure any part
Betrays, with blind and feeble rage,
A hard and haughty heart.
3 If aught there dark appear,
Bewail thy want of sight;
No imperfection can be there,
For all God’s words are right.
4 The Scriptures and the Lord
Bear one tremendous name;
The written and the incarnate Word
In all things are the same.