Lesson 2 of 14
The need for knowledge for faith is the corner stone of faith. This is why Jesus identified Himself as truth (John 14:6) and why the apostles of Jesus identified Him as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Because knowledge is so important for faith, we know that Satan will fight against it. One of the things that Satan often says is that faith should not be complicated with knowledge, it should be made simple by focusing on love and our feelings for God and learning how to love one another to make this world a better place.
But simple faith is not about taking away the need for knowledge, for if we do that, then we throw away the key to the true liberty God wants us to have. Simple Faith means having the knowledge you need to reflect Christ rather than yourself.
When we say “reflect” we mean that when God looks at us He wants to see His Son in us. To determine this, God looks at what's going on in the soul. Do we work with an earthly knowledge (the record of false knowledge), which reflects our own earthly ambitions to have a worldly peace that will free us from earthly contradictions and thus upsets our rest, or do we labor with the knowledge from above (the record of Christ), which works the peace of Jesus Christ, surpasses all understanding, and is not disturbed by the issues of this world?
Always remember: When knowledge reflects yourself it reflects the record of your own soul, it is severed from the covenant and is powerless to save you.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1). Let’s talk a bit about “substance” to be sure we understand what God is getting at. When God talks about substance He is first emphasizing “contents”. Knowledge holds the contents (substance) faith needs to work with to be pleasing to God. Think of how food is the contents of your refrigerator and how the food is meant to give substance to your body when you eat it.
If your refrigerator is empty that means you do not have substance for your body. Or, if there is nothing but junk food in the refrigerator, then your body does not have the right kind of food (substance) to maintain good health. Knowledge is like a refrigerator. It contains the truth you need to sustain your faith. We are talking specifically about the 12 Elements of the Gospel, the knowledge that carries the likeness of Christ. This is the record of Christ.
Each Element must carry the same meaning for us as it does for God. Each Element must retain the likeness of Christ exactly as God designed it. This is why truth is called wholesome doctrine. It contains all the ingredients (Elements) necessary for healthy growth to take place.
If we now related that to the current condition of the church where we see over 30,000 different Christian denominations, all claiming different truths, we can see that when apostles are not teaching the church, the knowledge the church embraces does not contain the right substance for faith. The church is operating with an empty refrigerator, or a refrigerator that is full of junk food, or worse yet, a refrigerated filled with spoiled, rotten food (false knowledge). We can then understand that if the contents of truth is this corrupt knowledge then we do not have the right substance for faith to live and be productive.
The Substance of the Soul is Dependent on the Substance of Knowledge
The mind functions with knowledge. Our thinking processes is spiritual labor. The soul is always laboring with knowledge of some kind. When the mind stops, you are dead. The substance in your soul is conditional. It all depends on the substance of knowledge that your mind works with. The substance of the knowledge of this world is inspired by the spirit of this world and leaves the soul dead to God.
A young man in his mid 20’s recently asked, “Why is it that I feel dead? I feel dead in myself. I have no feelings of life in me." False knowledge will not produce the substance of life in you. So, all the knowledge of the world this young man was using was actually numbing his emotions. We can be sure that being of that age he found a lot of things to pour his emotions into, but it all left him feeling empty inside and dead towards God.
The knowledge of this world is like a corpse—it is dead. There is no substance in the knowledge of the world that we can use to reciprocate to God, whereas in the knowledge of God, the substance is there, and it reciprocates. The knowledge of God produces faith, and faith is a reciprocator—it responds. A corpse does not respond.
Satan promises fulfillment with his knowledge. He promises that his knowledge will bring life and that you will feel full and complete and whole and abounding in hope, but it can only deliver temporal fulfillment. The soul knows its Maker and will never be satisfied with anything less than God Himself.
The knowledge of this world cannot produce the substance of Christ—it cannot produce Christ. The knowledge of this world cannot leave any substance in the heart for faith. And this is why the heart feels empty and void of life. This is why many people ask, “Why is it that I feel dead in myself? I have no feelings of life within me.”
On the other hand, the knowledge God gives will produce a substance because it was designed that way. By His divine power we reciprocate His likeness. This is what the soul craves and why Paul wrote:
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
When your faith is about goals you do not achieve, your faith is complicated because your faith has been put on a false journey towards elusive promises, rather than focused on the covenant of Jesus Christ and His reality.
When your faith is about goals you do not achieve, your faith is further complicated by questions of doubt. You doubt yourself, you doubt God, you doubt your faith. You battle against doubt, but never win. You strive to come to a place of peace, but the peace is not lasting. After each endeavor you feel empty. Your faith is complicated by frustration and anger because you seem to be reading things in the Bible about a spiritual walk that you are not experiencing.
Always remember: God’s plan for church government begins with apostles. They are the master builders. Jesus gave the apostles the blueprint of truth to lay the foundation of truth in the heart of the believer. That is what we experience when we are in covenant with God, that His knowledge sets us free from the lie of Satan which kept us bound in darkness. And it is this living knowledge which brings healing to the soul so that is why truth is the ointment that heals the soul.