VII.B.3.a The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead



Article 3 –   Knowledge

Section (a) – The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead

By Daniel Irving

i.    Mercy’s Revelation for the Repentant Wicked

ii.   Celebrating Repentance

iii.   Righteousness, Peace, & Joy Ministered to those Awakened to His Kingdom

iv.   The Knowledge High Above the Earth that is the Mind of God

v.  Feeding upon the Knowledge of God Following Repentance

Lamps & Virgins 04

Section (a)

The Knowledge Vital for those Awakened from the Dead

i.  Mercy’s Revelation for the Repentant Wicked

The prodigal son took leave from his father’s home and squandered his father’s resources. He should have expected his father’s wrath upon his return.  Oddly, we read:Prodigal 01

And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.             Luke 15:20

The father’s response revealed his heart.  God’s response when we return to Him at the Holy Spirit’s call reveals the heart of God.  Thus the prophecy of Isaiah exhorts:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:                                                                                      Is. 55:6

This prophecy communicates what are the first stirrings of the kingdom of God in the human soul, whether it be in; 1) the call to our first coming to Christ and initiation into the works of the Holy Spirit, or 2) the call to repentance from dead works to serve the living God, or 3) the final call to lay down this life for the coming age.  But if we return to the Living God, this involves a forsaking of our ways that did not prosper, and so God’s Word continues:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,  for he will abundantly pardon.                                Is. 55:7

The Hebrew word translated “forsake”[1] can mean either to “leave” (in its common meaning) or “forsake” as having intent to abandon.[2]  This calls to mind the Lord’s words to the prophet Ezekiel:[3]

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed for then he will die.                 Ez. 18:24

On the other hand:

Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed, and practices justice & righteousness, he will save his life.  Because he considered & turned away from al his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  But the house of Israel says, “The way of the Lord is not right.”  Are My ways not right, O house of Israel?  Is it not your ways that are not right?                                                                                     Ez. 18:27-28

Why would the house of Israel object to these pronouncements of God as “not right?”  God declares that the “righteous man” who begins to do evil shall perish, but the “wicked man” who repents and begins to do good shall live.  How should this be objectionable?Pharisee & Publican

There is irony in Israel’s objection.  Israel presumptuously identifies with the “righteous,” when Israel should identify with the wicked. They hold to a wrong designation.  As they do not apprehend themselves “wicked” they cannot identify with the “wicked man” so as to repent.   Therefore they protest that the “wicked man” should not be forgiven his transgressions.  Yet, in the mercy of God, they do occupy the role of the “wicked man;” the very one of whom God declares He shall demonstrate His mercy.  What they must do is to turn from their ways.  What they must do is to repent.

ii.  Celebrating Repentance

God’s great delight is to grant His pardon and His mercy to us.  Recall the Lord’s words:Sheep Storm

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”                                                                                     Luke 12:32

Do we gain the sense that it is even God’s desire to sanctify His people?  For we have an almost emphatic refrain in the prophets towards the wicked man of whom God says, “Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.” [4]   Our sanctification is expressly stated to be God’s will.

 For this is the will of God; your sanctification.                                                                                      I Thess. 4:3

Therefore, why should God not celebrate when the sinner turns towards Him with his/her whole heart?  For He has given His only begotten Son in sacrifice in order to accomplish this very purpose!  God compares Himself with the rejoicing of a woman restored of her lost coin:Found Coin 01

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle,  and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?  And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.  Likewise, I say unto you,  there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.                                                                                     Luke 15:8-10

And therefore it was necessary that the Father of that returning prodigal to likewise hold a celebration for the purpose of rejoicing over the return of what was lost.  Recall that father’s words to the elder son:

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead,  and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.            Luke 15:32

The KJV translation is a bit misleading, as the Greek word translated “was meet” is deh-on’,[5] which means “must.”  We find the word used elsewhere in such verses as:

Mat 17:10  “. . Elias must first come”

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

II Cor 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .

While the word is sometimes translated “should” or “ought”, it is the universal word translated  “must” in the KJV.  Therefore the statement of the father is “WE MUST MAKE MERRY, AND BE GLAD.”  Why is this?  Why does God consider it a necessity to rejoice and to kill the fatted calf upon the sinner’s repentance from the heart?  The parable itself states the reason!  The father explains why it is necessary to kill the fattened calf.  He tells the other son . . .Wedding Feast 02

thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.                                                                                     Luke 15:32

There has been a resurrection!  The Feast of First Fruits must be celebrated.  For Christ died that we might be raised again in Him.  And as a symbol of that death given the sinner (that his dead soul might be raised into newness of life) it is necessary that something be killed and its life ministered to him that would live again.  Christ’s work upon the Cross finds its fulfillment in our repentance.  God’s work is proven effectual in our repentance.  The Cross of Jesus Christ gave glory to the Father.  The heart’s closure with the Cross at repentance glorifies God again as He is able to manifest His holy image through the soul’s apprehension of the glory of Jesus Christ.

iii.   Righteousness, Peace, & Joy Ministered to those Awakened to His Kingdom

The father of the prodigal informs his elder son, “WE MUST MAKE MERRY, AND BE GLAD . . . ”  The younger brother has come from a place of Death into a place of Life:

for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.                                                                                     Luke 15:32

His eyes are open and he is aware.  The sinner has been awakened to his condition and now faces his eternal damnation unless an atonement can be found.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.  If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, “Deliver him from going down to the pit:   I have found a ransom.           Job 33:22-24Prodigal 04

Even while the prodigal son was among the pigs, God’s Spirit was with him, speaking as heaven’s messenger, knocking on the door of his heart, ready to reveal to him the righteousness of God, ready to disclose to him the mercy of a ransom paid.  The great value of this ransom could not be felt until first was felt the prospect of “going down into the pit.”  This is the Holy Spirit’s work; to effectuate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by bringing men down this path in order that God may reveal Himself in power upon the soul.  And the effect?

His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy:   for he will render unto man his righteousness.      Job 33:25-26

Beholding the face of God in the knowledge of sin’s forgiven amidst the ruin of our own works, the man is able to enter upon a new journey of growth into the image of Christ. He truly commences upon the Way of Holiness.[6]  This is the beginning of effectual Sanctification expressed by David when he prayed:

As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with the likeness.              Ps. 17:15

The meaning is clearly that by having access to the face of Christ, ie. by seeing Christ with the eyes of our heart, through the agency of His Spirit giving life to ours, we ourselves are conformed to that perfect image of God.  The Lord says to Philip:

“Have I been so long with you, & yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Fatherhow do you say, “Show us the Father?”                                                                                    John 14:9

God will reveal His Son to our heart.  When he does, there shall be a doing away of Sin as the fruit of true repentance before God:

He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right,  and it profited me not;  He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.      Job 33:27-28 

The object of God’s sacrifice is the repentant heart.  His mercy resides at the place of the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Repentance is the fruit of His Son’s labors.  Therefore heaven rejoices when the sinner repents from the heart.  Wedding Feast 01Only now can God reveal His kingdom to the hearts of men.  God Himself rejoices over the repentance of His elect.  They have acknowledged their wicked ways.  They have sensed the ruin of following after their own mind guided by the spirit of this world.  They have died with Christ.  God may now raise them up into an everlasting habitation for the soul whose food is the righteousness, peace and joy of a hope that has tasted death and yet lives. They have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer they that live, but Christ liveth in them.[7]

iv.  The Knowledge High Above Earth that is the Mind of God

Why would God do such a thing as to sacrifice Himself for the ransom of the transgressor?  This is knowledge that is high above the natural:Bright Cloud 1

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,  and my thoughts than your thoughts.     Is. 55:8-9

This prophecy is often misunderstood as an allusion to an intellectual superiority of God above men.  This is not the meaning.   Rather this relates to the transcendency of spiritual things over things material.  Should one equip the natural mind with all the learning possible, there would remain an infinite gap between the things of God’s Spirit and things natural.  John writes:

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.                                                                                      John 1:5

In fact, those that walk in darkness, do not even understand the spiritual principles that govern their own behavior: 

The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.                                                                                      Prov. 4:19

Those that walk according to their natural senses, have no comprehension of things spiritual.  Therefore neither can they comprehend the things of Christ:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.            John 1:10

Yet there are those among men, to whom it is given to know God through Christ.  God’s Spirit gives life to our spirit so that “Deep calleth unto deep.”[8]  Only that which is spirit can know the things of the Spirit.  Lacking access to spiritual things, none can have a meaningful comprehension of the things of Christ.  These are appropriated by the Spirit of God.  To presume upon doing so causes stumbling in terms of discernment.  Thus Jesus told those who initially followed Him:

“Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothingThe words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not.”                                  John 6:61-64

The natural mind can only operate in unbelief. It has no access to the knowledge of God.  But God will give us of the mind of His Son that we may come to know Him.  How does God give us of the mind of His Son?  Through the Holy Spirit, Who will bring us into the conviction of our sins and establish us in a way that is above us, even infinitely so!

v.  Feeding upon the Knowledge of God Following Repentance

Like that woman finding her coin, so does the shepherd celebrate when finding his lost sheep:

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,  more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.                     Luke 15:4-7 

In the prophecy of Ezekiel we read of the day God seeks out those that strayed away from Him:

  For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  Sheep 05And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.   I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.  I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.        Ez. 34:11-15

Zephaniah prophesies of this same day:

  I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.  The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;  neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down,  and none shall make them afraid.                       Zeph. 3:12

Through this spiritual feeding we become recipients of a knowledge leading into the pathways of righteousness.  We commence upon the path of sanctification by His Spirit whom He ministers to those obedient in Christ.  Even the very ability to come to Christ in the first instant occurred via knowledge communicated to our spirit via the Father.  Therefore we are “taught of God” even the spiritual knowledge to come to our true teacher.[9]

No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws himand I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God.’   Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”     John 6:45

This teaching of God is not optional for those awakened to the reality of sin and spiritual things; it is essential.  If we would know the presence of God, we would know a consuming fire impossible to approach outside from the atonement of Christ and the dwelling within Him; His feeding us upon Himself as the Knowledge of God; the bread from heaven.  At such times we are made sensible to the wretchedness of our condition, we must be comforted within the spiritual knowledge of a ransom paid, a sufficiency supplied, and a hope reaching beyond the grave. We must have the communion of “Him that justifieth the ungodly.[10]

[1] H5800  ‛âzab  aw-zab’  A primitive root; to loosen, that is, relinquish, permit, etc.: – commit self, fail, forsake, fortify, help, leave (destitute, off), refuse, X surely.

[2] See commentary on Daniel 11:30  so he will . . .  show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

[3] See commentary on Ezekiel 18 discussing God’s reasoning with His people concerning His ways.

[4] Isaiah 27:5

[5] G1163  dei  die, deh-on’  Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν deon which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding): – behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need (-ful), ought, should.

[6] Isaiah 35:8

[7] Galatians 2:20

[8] Psalm 42:7  “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of they waterspouts; all they waves & thy billows are gone over me.”

[9] Matthew 23:8  “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”

[10] Romans 4:5


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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