ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD
As we come close to the end of another cycle of loosely following what we have called our discipline of intercession, we take regard for three matters. FIRST, we will review the Scripture for this month’s guide in our intercession. See this scripture: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing...—Colossians 1:9,10a.
SECOND, we’ll take regard for four matters gained from Daniel’s vision of the little horn, a symbol of the anti- Christ as he sets out to overthrow the saints of the Most High. It’s very important that we hold tight regard as to what his intentions are for overthrowing us. THIRD, we’ll recall what Paul laid out as the activities of the “spiritual warfare” into which we enter as children of the Kingdom.
Before we go into any of this, however, let us recall how Peter quoted the Prophet Joel in his first message to the Church, recorded in Acts 2:17—And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
Being seventy-five years old does, I think, qualify me as being in the class of old men, and ready to dream dreams relative to the last days. A former college mate of mine called me early one recent morning to tell me of a dream he had involving me and the responsibility that had been laid on the two of us. Over fifty years ago he and I had spent hours at a time waiting before the Lord with strong desire to hear His voice and know His will. We remembered praying all night out in the pasture on my father’s farm. It was a night of praying that seemed to bring no response from the Lord.
Recently, the Lord has been keeping alive in my spirit a passage from Revelation chapter 5. 7 And he (one of Heaven’s elders) came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints (Those prayers that seemed to go unheeded are guarded in those golden vials.). 9 And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (of human destiny), and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred (out of every tribe, every family, every group bonded by filial love), and tongue (every language), and people (every culture group), and nation...
Principles of this have remained with me, almost daily in my thoughts. The prayers that have seemed unanswered are contained, as it were, in those golden vials full of odors ready to be presented before the Lamb. It is Jesus, the Lamb of God Who alone has the right to open the seals upon the Book of Human Destiny. But, know this, the redemption He has accomplished reaches to every family, of every culture, of every language, of every nation.
This keeps alive before me the part of the commission laid upon us here. Even while undergoing trials, that commission remains.
While I’m more inclined toward receiving revelation from the Scriptures, we must remain aware that the Lord will speak to us in other ways also. There are some things the Scriptures will not make known to us, such as exact times we are to make moves to avoid ambushments from the enemy, or to know whether or not we should be joined with certain others in the purposes of the Lord.
If we do not keep our hearts in tune with the written Word of God, if we allow senseless and carnal imaginations to work their way into our spirits. If we participate in activities with those who are not walking with the Lord, if we feed on emotional trash that titillates the soul but does not edify the spirit, we cannot expect to hear from the Lord in prophetic words that are accurate and pure. We who are becoming old can begin to expect dreams inspired by the Holy Spirit. We who are young can expect visions that will prove valuable to us as the Day of the Lord draws close.
This month our praying follows Colossians 1:10—That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God...
Maybe because of what is going on in my own spirit, or maybe because of what the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me, the deepest conviction resting on me presently is that we need—oh, how much we need it—an increase in our knowledge of God. The word used in the Original of the above verse for knowledge is from the Greek epiginósko. We need some more discussion regarding this.
We’ve covered this before, but we can profit by a fresh and, hopefully, concise new understanding about certain words in the Greek New Testament translated “knowledge.” In Paul’s writings there are several prominently used Greek words that carry the meaning of knowledge, but all with different emphases. It is not possible to discover all of these in the translations. They are often confused one with another. We can see them easily, however, in the Greek text.
THE MOST COMMONLY USED NEW TESTAMENT WORD FOR “KNOWLEDGE” is built upon the Greek word, ginośko; the word from which we gain our English word “to know.” It is a simple kind of knowing that means acquired knowledge. It is gained by different methods of learning, whether it be through a teacher’s instruction, through one’s own study and reading, or by the experiences of life.
It impressed me that Paul used ginośko in Romans 6:6. Its use in this passage seems to indicate that he came upon this knowledge through the instruction of other Scripture. But the understanding opened to him through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was a truth that had been concealed, perhaps from eternity, but was opened in due time to become one of the most awesome statements of knowledge in all of Scripture. See it: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The above word knowing is from the Present Active Participle of the Verb ginośko. It’s when we see into this depth that we conclude it was knowledge Paul gained through learning. But there was more to it than that. It was a knowledge that remained with him through whatever came into his life. Passing it on to us, it becomes a knowledge we can also hold through whatever comes into our lives. It is recorded now for us to learn from Paul so we can know what he knew. Today, we know it, if for no other reason than that we see it in Scripture and choose to believe what we see.
With this as the foundation for our knowledge, we can add what Paul knew to what we know. And here is what we now know: Our old man—that is, the part in us that gave us our identification with the man Adam—is crucified with Christ Jesus. Holding this knowledge with a firm grip works to set us free from the bondage to the sin Adam released upon us. He got his sin from the serpent who hopes to find that same sin at work in us when he appears on the earth as the anti-Christ.
The above is but an example of Paul’s use of the word ginośko. Throughout his Epistles he used it over forty times. We’ll see more of this in our “prayer-starter” book.
This use in Romans 6:6 sets for us one of the most important points of knowledge any person in the whole world might ever gain. It emphasizes for us how valuable acquired knowledge can become in the life of a believer, especially knowledge that is acquired from God’s Word.
The word eído is another kind of knowing. The way Paul used it in the example below, means a great deal to me. It can to you also. Paul’s use of the Perfect Tense form of the Verb eído is significant but, he used it with a Present Tense meaning. This meant what happened in the past remained as a finished work till the present. Thus, what he knew was a settled matter. He said, And we know (with a certainty that carries with it the test of time) that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Again, let’s say it: the words we know are from the Greek oída, the Perfect Tense form of the Verb eído carrying with it a Present Tense meaning. Being a perfect form emphasizes, that the process by which the knowledge has been gained has become so settled that it is not to be contested or denied.
The way Paul said we know revealed that what he had been through, what he had seen, and what he had learned through all he had gone through had brought him to a point of knowing that what he was testifying was so firm in his heart and mind no one could succeed in convincing him otherwise. It was settled with him as an absolute. And so it can be with us.
THERE IS ANOTHER WORD, TRANSLATED KNOWLEDGE with a rather unusual sense in one of Paul’s most significant passages. It reveals to us the source of the understanding that was his in the commission given to him. We find this in the awesome passage opening Ephesians 3. This is by no means a simple reading, but it is full of significant insight about Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Take note of the word suńesis in verse 4. It defines knowledge that comes to a person who is able to put matters together, like the convergence of streams that flow together to become one river.
See here these opening verses of Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles (on behalf of you people of the nations), 2 if ye have heard of the dispensation (the apostolic stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward (which God has graciously entrusted to me for your benefit): 3 how that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 whereby, when ye read, ye may understand (comprehend) my knowledge (Gr. suńesis, my insight, my intelligence, my understanding) in the mystery of Christ) 5 which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit; 6 that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs (heirs together), and of the same body (in the body together), and partakers (partners together) of His promise in Christ by the Gospel: 7 whereof I was made a minister (Gr. diákonos, a humble servant), according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power (given to me by the energetic force of His enabling power).
This leads us now to the word epiginośko, meaning full knowledge about a matter. It is the word that occurs in the Colossians passage from which we gain our prayer for this month. In this passage, and in other places where Paul used it, I believe it often would best be interpreted as “to acknowledge.” I’ve explained before in previous writings the difference between “knowledge” and “acknowledge.” Knowledge might be illustrated by this: “There is someone at the door.” Acknowledge, by this: “Let me open the door and invite you in.”
See again the prayer we take from Paul in Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge (epigńosis, acknowledgment) of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that ye might •walk worthy of the Lord •unto all pleasing, •being fruitful in every good work, and •increasing in the knowledge (epigńosis, acknowledgment) of God... It is from verse 10 that we gain our inspiration for this month’s praying.
We are holding ourselves and those we care about before the Lord because:
IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WE DISCUSSED IN THE OPENING PARAGRAPH of the above section, we see that our acknowledgment of God will mean opening the door of our heart to Him at all times—in fact, it means leaving it open to Him in every situation of life, in every relationship we have with others, in every motivation we have while in every action we perform through every day. This leaves no time for shutting God out of our thoughts, our pleasures, our leisure or any activity in which we might engage. We are learning to acknowledge Him at all times.
These are not ordinary times. Those forces Paul named in Ephesians 6:12—•the principalities, •the powers, •the rulers of the darkness of this world, •the spiritual wickedness in high places—never cease in their search for an opening whereby they may gain access into our affairs. They work in clandestine ways with the intention of wearing us down till they have disabled us from being any threat at all to their evil intention to stop the spread of God’s Kingdom in us, or in the earth.
For a glimpse into what a Prophet revealed about our conflict at the end of this age, and about our triumph, let us see this brief outline from Daniel 7.
But see here the end of the matter as Daniel 7 continues—26 But the judgment shall sit (saints will maintain their place of dominion with Christ), and they (the saints of the Most High) shall take away his dominion (they will over throw the short-lived rule of the anti-Christ), to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the Kingdom and Dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole Heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High (the Lord God), whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter.
Those who value their relationship with Christ Jesus will inherit the Kingdom with Him. Be sure to join us with this month’s “prayer-starters” as we study Daily Walk Month.
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,
and increasing in the knowledge of God;
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