the BLIND that did not know

It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.”

The origin of the above quote is unknown, being attributed by most to Mark Twain. Regardless of who came up with this quote, God teaches this principle in His divine word, and is being exemplified in peoples lives continually. What does this quote mean?

It means that there are some that are so confident in what they know, but do not know that what they know is false.

In other words, folks act on erroneous information as if it’s accurate. This gets them into trouble. They’re BLIND to the truth, believing a lie. (cf. 2Thess 2:10-12)

Samson is a clear example of this principle of being BLIND. “And she said, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he knew not that Jehovah was departed from him

(Judges 16:20) (ASV) [emph mine seb].

What we learn from this passage, and others I’ll show you, is that it’s possible to know for certain a lie is true. Samson KNEW that the Lord was with him, but DID NOT KNOW that the Lord had departed from him.

To say it another way, it’s possible to be separated from God and not know (feel) it. Feelings are no evidence of salvation.

Here are 5 more examples from scripture of those that DID NOT KNOW the Lord was not with them, they’re BLIND.

BALAAM (Num 22:34). As Balaam went with Balak’s men against the will of God, he did not know that the Angel of the Lord stood in the way to slay him. But his donkey did. Upon seeing the Angel of the Lord Balaam said, “I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” Lesson from Balaam; it’s possible to be headed toward death and not know it.

LAODICEA (Rev 3:17). In the letter to the church of the Laodiceans Jesus says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Lesson from the Laodiceans; It’s possible to be successful, content, and feel secure and not know that you’re actually not secure at all.

ISRAEL (Num 14:41-44). After God denies them entry into the promised land for their disobedience, they make an attempt to go in. Moments earlier it would have been a good idea, but God had already given a new command. Moses even warns them saying, “Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.” Lesson from the children of Israel; It’s possible to want to do what you think is “good,” be warned against it, ignore the command of God and lose.

NONE of God’s counsel (Prov 1:28-33). “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.” What is the lesson from this Proverb? We fail to be with God, even though we call on His name, when we ignore His instructions. This helps us understand Matthew 7:21-29.

DOOMED for Destruction. (2Thess 1:8-9); “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” People who claim to be agnostic or atheistic will not have “I didn’t know” as an excuse. God has revealed Himself and the gospel of His Son to all, but not all believe and obey (cf. Acts 14:17; 17:23-31). Lesson from this passage; Saying “I didn’t know” will be no excuse.

It’s possible to not know the Lord has departed from you.

How are we to KNOW if God is with us? How CAN we KNOW and have assurance of salvation? We have to read His revealed word, make an examination of what it says to do and obey it (James 1:22). The Apostle John wrote; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:13; 1:1-2; cf. John 20:31; Eph 3:3-4; 2Tim 3:15-17)

— spencer

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ that assembles in Borger Texas.

Is God Speaking to you? pt 2

LAST WEEK’S article began the discussion about the problems with a personal revelation from God today. These articles are a response to those who believe, feel or otherwise think that God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit is communicating with them SEPARATE & APART from God’s written word.

In the previous article, we discussed the first 2 problems. FIRST, it’s error and is contrary to God’s word about His own revelation. TWO, is the problem of AUTHENTICITY. How are we (or you) to know that this feeling inside of you is coming from God.

Allow me to clarify something. I do believe that God is communicating with mankind, but that the communication is through His divine, preserved written word, as was shown in the last article.

The next two problems are; REVIEWABILITY & ACCESS.

The THIRD problem with a personal revelation is REVIEW:

If Personal revelation is true, then why are there over 30,000 different “Christian” denominations? How would we become unified except by some standard upon which we all could review? I’m unable to STUDY your statements because of 3 problems;

First, It’s all in your head. Have you noticed that not everyone is hearing these voices? You might say that it’s a problem of “faith”, and you’d be right. But Romans 10:17 says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. This means that it is YOUR faith that has trouble. For we have faith because of God’s written word. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;” If this “revelation” is in your head, how are we to know what God said? Furthermore, how am I to REVIEW the information? Oh, I know a way; IT COULD BE WRITTEN DOWN. Which is what God did in the first place.

Second, there’s the problem of memory. A person’s recollection of conversations is very poor. A study revealed that you remember approximately 20 percent of what you hear, 30 percent of what you see and 50 percent of what you hear and see together. Here’s a question; How much can you recall when you have at your fingertips the entire revelation of God? Answer: All of it, because you can look through God’s word continually.

Third, human communication is difficult, even under the best of conditions. But with all the communication methods available, the only one that allows for a continual REVIEW of God’s word is when it is written. A WRITTEN WORD IS REVIEWABLE BY EVERYONE.

This is what happened in 2Kings 22-23. The book of the Law was found in the temple. It was read to King Josiah (22:10), then it was read to the people, both small and great (23:2) and they could obey it. Today, we can read God’s word and understand the mystery of Christ. This is what made the Berean’s honorable. They searched the scriptures daily [Acts 17:11].

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).” Eph 3:3-4

The FOURTH problem with a personal revelation is ACCESS:

Are you going to come over to my house at 3am to let me study God’s word? What if I’m out of cell range? What about the different languages of the world? These difficulties were solved by God when He directed the inspired writers of His word to WRITE IT DOWN. 1 Corinthians 14 demonstrates the difficulties that come from oral communication. One man said to me, “you can verify what I’m saying by comparing it to the Bible.” If I must go verify it with the written word anyway, why do I need you?

What does the bible say about ACCESS to His word?

I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 1Thess 5:27

And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed2Thess 3:14

For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 2Cor 1:13

Well over 100x in the New Testament, both Jesus and His Apostles refer to the written word. We could continue with more scriptures to drive the point home, but these are sufficient. The question of “WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHURCHES” now has its answer. We’re not all speaking the same thing, and the best way to become unified is when we all go back to the written Bible of God.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” [1Corinthians 1:10]