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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen

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Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen

Excellent word on those who spend hours researching theology than knowing God by a man of God whom I know Zac Poonen
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It is much easier to know the Bible than it is to know God - because you don’t have to pay a price to know the Bible; all you have to do is study. You can be immoral in your personal life and impure in your thought life, and still know the Bible very well. You can be a well-known preacher and yet be a great lover of money at the same time. But, you can’t know God and be immoral in your life. You can’t know God and be a lover of money. That’s impossible! And that’s why most preachers take the easier path of knowing the Bible rather than knowing God.

I want to ask you: Are you happy with just knowing the Bible or is there a desperate hunger in your hearts to know the Lord? The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:8-10 that his greatest longing was to know the Lord better. He considered everything else as rubbish compared to knowing the Lord. Paul gave up all his pearls for this pearl of great price. The secret of Paul’s ministry is to be found not in the years that he spent studying the Bible at Gamaliel’s seminary, but in his personal knowledge of the Lord.

"Eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ personally" (John 17:3). We have perhaps defined eternal life as living eternally in heaven. But that was not how Jesus defined it. Eternal life has nothing to do with going to heaven or escaping hell. It has to do with knowing the Lord. To know God intimately and personally has been the passion of my life and the burden of my heart. I know that my ministry can have Divine authority only as I know God personally. And so, in all of our churches, I have sought to lead people to a knowledge of God Himself.

There is more Bible knowledge today than ever before in history. For nearly 1500 years after the day of Pentecost, there were no printed Bibles available anywhere. Only in the last two centuries have Bibles been so freely available. Today, we have so many versions and concordances and study-helps. But do you think all this increased Bible knowledge has produced holier Christians? No. If Bible knowledge could produce holiness, we should be having the godliest people in history living today. But we don’t. Satan himself would have been holy if Bible knowledge could produce holiness - for no one knows the Bible as well as he does. We have so many seminaries today teaching the Bible to thousands of students. But, are the godliest people in the world today found in those seminaries? No. Many seminary graduates today are worse than the heathen.

Some years ago, I met a seminary graduate from one of India’s top evangelical seminaries, who had stood first in his graduating class. He told me that after three years in that seminary, his spiritual condition was worse than when he first joined it. What then did that seminary teach him? It had taught him facts about the Bible and about Christianity. Satan himself could have graduated as first in the class, from such a seminary.

What was the use of that young man learning Hermeneutics, and what the "higher critics" had said, and what the root-meanings of Greek words were, if he hadn’t overcome anger, bitterness, lustful thoughts and the love of money? With his newly-acquired certificate, he would soon become a pastor of a church. But, what would he teach the people in his church, whose biggest problems would be moral and not theological? He wouldn’t be able to help them at all, in any of those areas. This is how God’s work around the world is being destroyed.

Only if you know God yourself, will you be able to lead your flock to know Him. If you have victory over sin in your own life, you’ll be able to lead your flock also to victory over sin. Then they too will be equipped to go out and serve the Lord - with authority and power. Do you think the devil is impressed by anyone’s Bible knowledge or degree-certificates? Not at all. Satan fears only holy, humble men and women who know God.

May God help us to lead our younger brothers and sisters to know God.


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Sreeram

 2011/11/5 9:19Profile









 Re: The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen

"Only if you know God yourself, will you be able to lead your flock to know Him."

The crisis of the age, and every age...........brother Frank

 2011/11/5 9:43
flameoffire
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Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re: The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen

I just started a series on this topic on Bible Deism and Knowing Jesus my blog. This is a very pertinent thought right now I may quote the article in upcoming posts. Thanks.


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Jonathan

 2011/11/5 9:55Profile









 Re:

Whatever fills the heart floods the mouth. Listen and hear what a man talks about. The man that genuinly knows Jesus will almost always be talking about Him. Religious men talk about issues, and typically issues that divide, and they do that because they are speaking about what they know.

If they knew Jesus, their hearts would be filled with Him and their mouths would be flooded by words that talk of their grand passion. You will know a man by His works for sure, but you will also know a man by HIs words. Someone who is obsessed with sports only ever talks about sports. Another man may be obsessed by politics and that is what he continually speaks about. He can only really relate to others of like passion. The religious man will speak about issues, and will only be able to relate to others who are like-minded. They will congratualte each other and commend each other. Yet the man who " knows ," Jesus will talk about that knowing and want others to know Him too.

Beware of the man who is identified by issues, watch for the man who is identified by Jesus ......... brother Frank

 2011/11/5 10:38
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Amen Frank. Out of the heart, the mouth speaketh, and as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Therefore, keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.


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Paul Frederick West

 2011/11/5 10:44Profile
live4jc
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Joined: 2008/10/2
Posts: 203


 Re:


Amen, brothers and sisters.
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"

Phillipians 3:10

In Jesus,
John

 2011/11/5 15:26Profile









 Re:

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Eternal life is knowing Jesus. Better to know Jesus than to know about Him. Better, when we speak, to speak of what we know rather than to speak on issues that we know about. And this is life in Christ, knowing Him, all life flows from that. Those who know Jesus and speak of whom they know,speak life. Those who know about Jesus, speak of issues that do not flow from the heart but from that which can be seen, the outer issues, that bring condemnation.

Both seem virtuous, one is life, the other is sensual wisdom, meaning wisdom that does not come from God......brother Frank

 2011/11/5 15:31
lylewise
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Joined: 2009/2/20
Posts: 494
Celina, Texas

 Re: The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen

"Paul gave up all his pearls for this pearl of great price", but even this great truth has become grounds for debate when men see themselves the pearl!

So much effort, I have witnessed in my lifetime, within the church to gain knowledge that attends the head but never enters the heart. It is so catastrophic when we approach the Throne standing, or at the least with our sandals on. Thank God for men like brother Zac and all men who would prostrate themselves before our Holy
God. This is a wonderful post that should help us discern the day.

 2011/11/5 17:14Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1977


 Re: The Difference between Knowing God and Knowing the Bible - Zac Poonen


There certainly is a difference between knowing God and knowing the Bible. Satan is the primary example of this.

But just in case some are led to believe that knowing God and knowing the Bible are opposites,I post the following as a disclaimer.

None ought to get the impression that it is an either/or thing here. Either you know God or you know the Bible. God is not being set up against the Bible.

Not that any of the other posters would entertain such a notion, but I note this rather, for the many readers passing through who may not frequent this site.

The following quote from the article may be misleading to some, and so I'd give a word of caution.

"But, you can’t know God and be immoral in your life...That’s impossible!"

Lest we be guilty and fall into the sin of the pharisees and self-righteous, may we all put down our stones and confess we are lawbreakers even as mature christians.

Matthew 5:27,28 You have heard that it was said to the ancients: "Do not commit adultery." (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18)
But I say to you, Everyone looking at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

None will deny:

David knew God
Jacob knew God
Samson knew God
______ knew God

Thanks be to God alone for His grace
Thanks be to God alone for the victory

For all who know God, do not despair,

For the righteous falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked stumble into disaster. (Proverbs 24:16)

Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:164)

I end with a quote:

"Search the Scriptures," said the Lord Jesus, and then He added, "for. . .they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). They testify of Him as the only Saviour for perishing sinners, as the only Mediator between God and men, as the only one through whom the Father can be approached. They testify to the wondrous perfections of His person, the varied glories of His offices, the sufficiency of His finished work. Apart from the Scriptures, He cannot be known. In them alone He is revealed. When the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto His people, in thus making them known to the soul He uses naught but what is written. While it is true that Christ is the key to the Scriptures, it is equally true that only in the Scriptures do we have an opening-up of the "mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3:4). AWP

Who then can be saved? Then he[Jesus]said, The things which are impossible with men, are possible with God.(Luke 18:26,27)

 2011/11/6 7:13Profile









 Re:


Joh 5:39-40 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Just a slightly different meaning that the quote put forward Savannah, dont you think? Jesus is asking us to search the Scriptures and see if you can find life apart from coming to Him, knowing Him, encountering Him. He is making the exact opposite point that you are trying to make. Thank the Lord for context. We do not get to take half a sentence that we like and leave out the other half. I would just ask you Savannah, have you ever, in your time here on SI, ran into someone who would make the claim that they knew Jesus, loved Him with all of their hearts but said that the Scriptures were not important and that you did not have to read them? It the same old tired argument that always comes up whenever anyone talks about the importance and the difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Him. As Jesus said, you will not find life in knowing the Scriptures apart from knowing Him. Its in the person of Jesus that we find life, and the Scriptures testify to that and this is wisdom.........brother Frank

edited after second thought.

 2011/11/6 10:50





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