On Knowing God


Let God arise,

Let His enemies be scattered;

Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.

As smoke is driven away,

So drive them away;

As wax melts before the fire,

So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad;

Let them rejoice before God;

Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;

Extol Him who rides on the clouds,

By His name Yah,

And rejoice before Him.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.

God sets the solitary in families;

He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;

But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (Psalms 68:1-6)


Existential Aspects of Knowing God

The truth about God is made known to us in life in two ways: (a) through head knowledge and (b) through direct experience. The first form of knowledge is linear and sequential. The second is existential, intuitive, visionary truth. This every day process of learning and experiencing should be obvious but for some of us it is not when it comes to knowing God. We would know nothing about God if He had chosen to remain secret or unknowable!

What is Revelation from God? http://www.ldolphin.org/reveln.html

Doctrine handed to us by rote from a drill sergeant or an autocratic preacher turns many people off. Visions and hallucinations and opinions, on the other hand, may not help either. In fact, dreams and visions are notoriously unreliable.

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7)

God gives us truth in increments we can assimilate and He confirms our good choices—with affirmation and peace of mind, when we trust Him and act in faith. In this way, He is able to lead us out of chaos into harmony with Him, into contentment and inner peace. Grace, mercy, love, peace of mind are intangibles of great value to us. All of life is orchestrated by God moment by moment, day by day, epoch by epoch. There are no accidents in the universe! (http://www.ldolphin.org/disasters.html)

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7)

Only a few percent of the people on earth know the Bible or even own one. Persons who have a Biblical world-view these days are few. Does that mean that only Baptists are “saved?” I don’t think so! Some preachers insist that one must hear “the gospel,” believe in Jesus, be baptised, and associate with those of like persuasion to be “saved.” Those who follow “sound doctrine” are thought to be kosher. The heterodox in the church down the street are thought to be outside the camp. Sound-doctrine believers are urged to get Bibles to hearten lands. We send out missionaries and evangelists to the four corners of the planet to rescue the perishing. All of the this is partially true! But there is more to life than alignment with conservative mainline doctrine.


“How beautiful upon the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of good things,

Who proclaims salvation,

Who says to Zion,

‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7)


In many third world countries today individuals will see Jesus in a dream or vision and respond to His love. Their lives are often changed then and there, but they dare not speak out. They constitute a special class of “secret believers” waiting for more from Jesus. Visiting evangelists visiting their homelands meet them all the time. Millions of people with little actual knowledge of God cry out to Him in times of need. Are they ignored because the don’t know Chapter and Verse? God, who is outside of tine has “all the time in the world” to consider and respond to urgent cries for help which stream into His presence every second. A good many people take God seriously when they lose a job, or a loved-one dies, or a serious illness overtakes. How many come to know God at the end of life?

In the “educated world,” many revolt against the perceived hypocrisy of professing Christians gathered in established churches. Some prefer being separatists or adopt heterodox views and will not join the traditionalist fray. Liberals shun conservatives and so on. The end result is fragmentation between seekers and true believers alike. True believers in Jesus on both sides of a camp tend to throw stones at one another and thus are not effective in the service of Jesus.

“Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:7-8)

This discord among us runs contrary to the call of Jesus who prayed for unity in spite of diversity. In no way is the importance of sound doctrine diminished.

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

This is a faithful saying: 'For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself.' Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer...” (2 Timothy 2:1-17)


Jesus Christ is called both the Word of God (Logos) and the Wisdom of God (Sophia) in the Bible—to highlight the completeness of God’s nature and being. In relating to God we will find Him to be a Master Teacher but also an intimate Friend and Lover. We must know Jesus as He really is since our lives depend on our being aligned with Him. Logos is a masculine noun and Logos is feminine. Jesus as the Last Adam comes complete with a new Eve. The first man, Adam was charged with naming all the animals before Eve was on the scene. Eve not have been taken out of Adam for many months or years after God created Adam/Eve. As appointed ruler over earth, Adam received instruction on governing and managing all areas of life on earth. Eve was companion and helper assigned important tasks complementary to Adam. Since that beginning for our race we all have come into the world carrying half of our genetic inheritance from our mothers and half from our fathers. No man is “all Adam” and no woman is “all Eve.” (Made in the Image of God)

Ignorance is not Bliss. Wrong answers can be fatal.


Jesus went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:22-30)

Love as defined in the Bible is enough for us to live by. If I am in tune with First Corinthians 13 I will do well with loving God ad loving my beighnor as myself.in the long term.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Lop-Sided Christians

Two extremes in life should be obvious. We have all met persons who are all head knowledge but short on experience. Whole persons are balanced. Godly persons are humble and balanced between mind and emotions. The book of Proverbs shows us that God speaks to us through fatherly channels as as through feminine channels.

Life is full of paradoxical situations where there may be no clear answers. We might or might not have signs indicating a fork in the road. Sometimes we have no clues about which path we should chose when we come to a fork in the road. Do we flip a coin or can trust Jesus to the end that we can look back and see that our choice wad right? Our obedience to instruction may well violate our conscience. Or perhaps we have a seared or damaged conscience? We may make bad choices out of ignorance or lack of information. Growing up usually involves risk taking. “No pain, no gain.” Failing to act in some situations can be wrong, but not always.

We often do not know our own motives or the motives of others. God knows everything but He can be inscrutable as a Person. We can’t expect Him answer our demands but it is safe to tell God how we feel. Fear is powerful in us. The heart of man is deceitful. We are lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Slavish obedience to drill instructors or disciplinarians is not always wise in some situations. In the world we are obligated to follow stop signs, taxes, government (Romans 13).

Knowing the Bible well is very important! It is easy to be wrong because of ignorance. Discipline is necessarily if we are to grow up to adulthood. The Exchanged Life (Galatian 2:20) requires surrendering to the indwelling Christ one step at a time. “Trust and Obey, There is no Other Way.” The enemy is a nasty liar, deceiver and killer. Experience is not necessarily the best teacher.

What is faith?

Hebrews Chapter 11 tells us that faith is trusting in what God declares to be true and acting on that revealed evidence.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible...”

Trusting God and acting according to what one does know about God is essential.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Jesus is our Leader and we are to follow Him one step at a time, one day at a time. We are in company with those who have preceded us. Lone Ranger Christianity is not a good idea.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

There are many false ways in the world and much deception. Therefore those seeking to know God must persist until they know Jesus personally. He is alive today and running the entire universe. Remaining on the fringes is very dangerous.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Progressive self-disclosure by God in History

Truth not acted upon is lost. Truth acted upon brings more truth. The written Biblical record encompasses about 1500 years during which time the writers show that God makes Himself increasingly known with the passage of time from Creation to the Second Advent. God reveals Himself progressively in the lives of those who walk with Him.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life....Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8)

Revelation in Nature

There is evidence of Design and of a Designer everywhere in nature and in ourselves. This is Paul’s starting thesis in Romans Chapter One. We are all without excuse. Psalm 19 is a reminder that the entire creation, though damaged, reveals the work of an intelligent Creator:

All of us are Without Excuse

“For the wrath (ὀργή orgē) of God is revealed (ἀποκαλύπτω apokalyptō) from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness (ἀσέβεια asebeia kai adikia) of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest (φανερός phaneros) in them, for God has shown (φανερόω phaneroō) it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (ἀναπολόγητος anapologētos) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25)


Finally, it is important to consider existential Christians (such as Soren Kierkegaard) who appear to be guided by instinct or intuition but who do not act on their instincts without checks and balances. “We are too easily deceived...”


From Wikipedia:

Christian existentialism...is a theo-philosophical movement which takes an existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855).

The existential approach to Christian theology has a long and diverse history including Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal and Maritain. Some Existentialists, like Nietzsche, proclaimed that "God is dead" and that the concept of God is obsolete. Others, like Kierkegaard, were intensely religious, even if they did not feel able to justify it. The important factor for Existentialists is the freedom of choice to believe or not to believe. Christian existentialism relies on Kierkegaard's understanding of Christianity. Kierkegaard argued that the universe is fundamentally paradoxical, and that its greatest paradox is the transcendent union of God and humans in the person of Jesus Christ. He also posited having a personal relationship with God that supersedes all prescribed moralities, social structures and communal norms, since he asserted that following social conventions is essentially a personal aesthetic choice made by individuals.

Kierkegaard proposed that each person must make independent choices, which then constitute his existence. Each person suffers from the anguish of indecision (whether knowingly or unknowingly) until he commits to a particular choice about the way to live. Kierkegaard also proposed three rubrics with which to understand the conditions that issue from distinct life choices: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious

One of the major premises of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails calling the masses back to a more genuine form of Christianity. This form is often identified with some notion of Early Christianity, which mostly existed during the first three centuries after Christ's crucifixion. Beginning with the Edict of Milan, which was issued by Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 313, Christianity enjoyed a level of popularity among Romans and later among other Europeans. And yet Kierkegaard asserted that by the 19th century, the ultimate meaning of New Testament Christianity (love, cf. agape, mercy and loving-kindness) had become perverted, and Christianity had deviated considerably from its original threefold message of grace, humility, and love.

Another major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism involves Kierkegaard's conception of God and Love. For the most part, Kierkegaard equates God with Love. Thus, when a person engages in the act of loving, he is in effect achieving an aspect of the divine. Kierkegaard also viewed the individual as a necessary synthesis of both finite and infinite elements. Therefore, when an individual does not come to a full realization of his infinite side, he is said to be in despair. For many contemporary Christian theologians, the notion of despair can be viewed as sin. However, to Kierkegaard, a man sinned when he was exposed to this idea of despair and chose a path other than one in accordance with God's will.

A final major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails the systematic undoing of evilacts. Kierkegaard asserted that once an action had been completed, it should be evaluated in the face of God, for holding oneself up to divine scrutiny was the only way to judge one's actions. Because actions constitute the manner in which something is deemed good or bad, one must be constantly conscious of the potential consequences of his actions. Kierkegaard believed that the choice for goodness ultimately came down to each individual. Yet Kierkegaard also foresaw the potential limiting of choices for individuals who fell into despair.

The Bible: Christian Existentialism often refers to what it calls the indirect style of Christ's teachings, which it considers to be a distinctive and important aspect of his ministry. Christ's point, it says, is often left unsaid in any particular parable or saying, to permit each individual to confront the truth on his own.This is particularly evident in (but is certainly not limited to) his parables; for example in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 18:21-3. (Romans 1:18-25)A good example of indirect communication in the Old Testament is the story of David and Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

An existential reading of the Bible demands that the reader recognize that he is an existing subject, studying the words that God communicates to him personally. This is in contrast to looking at a collection of "truths" which are outside and unrelated to the reader. Such a reader is not obligated to follow the commandments as if an external agent is forcing them upon him, but as though they are inside him and guiding him internally. This is the task Kierkegaard takes up when he asks: "Who has the more difficult task: the teacher who lectures on earnest things a meteor's distance from everyday life, or the learner who should put it to use?" Existentially speaking, the Bible doesn't become an authority in a person's life until he permits the Bible to be his personal authority.


“Who is like you?

Pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,

Because He delights in mercy.

He will again have compassion on us,

And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

You will give truth to Jacob

And mercy to Abraham,

Which You have sworn to our fathers

From days of old.” (Micah 7:18-20)



December 29, 2018.