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TWO KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE
A. Introduction: One of the most important things you can know is that there are two kinds of knowledge -- sense knowledge and revelation knowledge.
1. Sense knowledge is the information which comes to us through our five physical senses.
2. Revelation knowledge is the information which God has revealed to us in the Bible.
3. Sense knowledge is limited. It cannot tell us about anything beyond what we see, hear, taste, smell, or feel.
a. There is a realm beyond what we can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel -- an invisible realm. Col 1:16; II Cor 4:18
b. Through the new birth we become part of the unseen, invisible kingdom of God. Col 1:13
c. If we did not have revelation knowledge (the Bible), we would not know, could not know, all that has happened to us through being born again.
4. It is vital that we get our picture of reality from revelation knowledge (the Bible).
a. What we see does not take into account the unseen facts of the kingdom to which we now belong.
b. All that we see is temporary and subject to change.
c. All of our help, provision, and power in this life comes from the unseen realm. Eph 1:3; Matt 6:33
5. The seen realm is the work of the unseen God who spoke creation into existence with His word.
Col 1:15; I Tim 1:17; Heb 11:3
a. The unseen created the seen, will outlast the seen, and can change the seen.
b. Not seen doesn't mean not realm. It means invisible, immaterial, spiritual.
6. Most of us are dominated by sense knowledge, but don't know it.
a. To be dominated by sense knowledge means that in the events of life you agree with, side in with, speak out, what you see and feel. You put more stock in what you see and feel than what revelation knowledge (God's word) says.
b. If you talk like this (or any related statements), you are dominated by sense knowledge -- at least in some areas.
1. I believe the Bible -- every word of it from Genesis to Revelation -- but, how am I going to pay these bills?
2. I know what the Bible says about that, but you don't understand how I feel.
3. I know all those things. I know what the Bible says, but it's just not working for me.
7. It takes time and effort to get beyond being dominated by your senses. I Cor 3:3
a. Before you were a Christian you had no access to unseen information and you lived by the dictates of your flesh and unrenewed mind. I Cor 2:14; Eph 2:3
b. That pattern is not instantly broken by the new birth. We must renew our minds with unseen information from the Bible by studying and doing God's word. Rom 12:1,2
8. In this lesson, we want to continue to emphasize the value and reality of unseen information, of unseen facts, and the importance of learning to live by that information.
a. We want to do this by looking at the central event or aspect of Christianity -- the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
b. If the only information we had about the death and resurrection of Christ was sense knowledge (what could be seen) it wouldn't be enough to enable us to live victoriously in this life. It might not even be enough to save us.
c. That sounds shocking, but as this lesson proceeds, you'll see what is meant by those statements. And, you'll see the importance of revelation knowledge in our lives.
B. Let's begin by reading an historical account of the crucifixion (death, burial, and resurrection) of Jesus. Mark 16:20-37; 42-47; 16:1-6
1. We just read what anyone who was actually present at these events would have seen, heard, felt, etc. (sense knowledge). The other three gospels each describe these basic facts with some additional details.
a. What does any of what could be seen have to do with our lives, our destiny?
b. If all the information you had about this event was sense knowledge information, you would not know why it happened, what it accomplished, or what its value was or is to the people who saw it or to us.
c. Jesus would simply be a martyr killed by an angry mob who came back to life. That is not enough information to save you.
2. But, revelation knowledge (the information given to us in the Bible about unseen realities) tells us that all kinds of extremely important things were going on in the unseen realm when Jesus was crucified -- things which have provided us with salvation from our sins and with eternal life.
a. Isa 53:4-6,10--While Jesus hung on the Cross, God laid our sins and sicknesses on Him.
1. This was done to Jesus' spirit -- the unseen part of Him, not His body.
2. How do we know that? The reactions of the eye witnesses -- no one mentioned Him begin made a sacrifice for sin. They were crying and mourning what happened to Him.
Luke 23:27,28; Mark 16:10,11
b. Isa 53:10,11--His soul (the unseen part of Him) was made an offering for sin. He travailed in soul. Travail = toil; wearing effort; worry of body or mind; misery; pain; sorrow). Jesus experienced spiritual (unseen) suffering as well as physical suffering in His crucifixion.
c. Isa 53:5--He took the punishment due to us to bring us peace with God.
d. II Cor 5:21--On the Cross, Jesus was made sin. He became what we were and was separated from the Father. Mark 15:34
e. Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20--Jesus not only went to the Cross for us, He went to the Cross as us. We were united with Him in His death. When He died, we died.
f. When His body died and He left it, Jesus went to hell to suffer for us as us. Acts 2:24-32; Isa 53:11
g. Eph 2:5,6--When Jesus was raised from the dead, restored to life and relationship with the Father, we were, too.
3. Keep in mind, none of these things could be seen with the eyes as the disciples witnessed the crucifixion.
a. If we did not have the information given to us in the Bible (revelation knowledge), we would not know any of the things listed above.
b. Yet, they are real. They really happened. And, the potential is there for these things to have a tremendous impact on every human being.
4. What happened in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus goes into effect for us and in us when we are born again. If we could learn to walk in the light of it, we'd live as supermen.
a. The same life that was given back to Jesus when He was raised from the dead came into our spirits when we were born again and is in us now.
b. We have been raised up with Jesus beyond the touch of sin and sickness. Sin and sickness have lost the right to dominate us.
c. We have already defeated the devil through Christ and we are more than conquerors through Him. Satan has lost his dominion over us.
5. But, we cannot see or feel these things, and our natural tendency as human beings is to reject things we cannot see or feel.
a. When any sense information is presented to us which challenges or contradicts those unseen facts, we automatically gravitate to the testimony of our senses.
b. It takes time for unseen realities to really dawn on us. Just hearing something once or twice is rarely enough time for it to truly register on us, to become part of our consciousness.
C. Let's look at some examples of this in the disciples, the people who walked with Jesus and witnessed His crucifixion.
1. Jesus told His disciples a number of times that He was going to the Cross before He went. Look at how sense knowledge dominated people responded to the words of Jesus.
a. Matt 16:21-23--Peter said: I won't let you do it! Note, Peter had just received revelation knowledge on another matter. v13-17
b. Matt 17:9--Yes, we've got it Lord. Now, let us ask a theological question. v10-13 (Mal 4:5,6)
Note, they had just been permitted to briefly see the unseen realm. v1-8
c. Matt 17:22,23--They were very sorry about what Jesus was telling them.
d. Jesus told them what was going to happen to Him a number of times where their responses are not recorded for us. Matt 20:17-19; 26:2
e. Matt 26:30-35--Peter said: The others may get scared and leave you, Lord, but I never will. v56
2. In the Gospel of John we get more details about the things Jesus said to the disciples at the Passover dinner before He went to the Cross. John 13:1-3
a. John 13,14,15,16,17--These chapters record many of the words spoken and describe many of the activities at the Last Supper.
b. Consider just a few of the things Jesus said to His disciples--13:36-38; 14:1,2,12,16-21,27-29; 16:1-7,13-16,19,20,26-28,32,33; 17:14-16,20-26
3. At the Last Supper, not only did Jesus tell His followers He was leaving, He told them where He was going, as well as some facts about what was going to happen as a result. He told them about unseen realties.
4. Despite all of this information, none of it really registered on the disciples when they were faced with sense knowledge which did not support what Jesus said. John 20:9
5. In fairness to the disciples, we need to make the point that they were not born again yet, so they were limited in what they could grasp about unseen, spiritual realities. I Cor 2:14; John 3:3
a. But, they had the capacity to believe the scriptures and Jesus rebuked them for not doing so.
b. Once they were born again (John 20:22), Jesus opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures. Luke 24:44-48
c. He told them what they were to go out and do for Him. Mark 16:14-18
d. For the next forty days after the resurrection, Jesus taught the disciples about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:1-3
e. Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven. And, ten days after that, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. Remember, He is the Spirit of Truth who guides into all truth. Acts 2:1-4
6. Although it took awhile, the disciples eventually got it. Revelation knowledge became more real to them than what they could see, and they went out and turned the world upside down. Acts 17:6
D. Conclusion: What is the point of studying this, of talking about all this?
1. First, we want to encourage ourselves and to exhort ourselves.
a. It takes time and effort to overcome our human tendency to walk by what we see and feel.
b. But it can be overcome. The disciples are proof of that.
2. Second, we want to emphasize the importance of unseen information and of learning to live by it.
a. The heart of what Jesus did for us on the Cross was unseen -- yet real.
b. The new birth and the new creation is unseen but real.
c. If we don't learn to deal with the conflicts between what we feel (sense knowledge) and what God says in the Bible (revelation knowledge), we won't be, do, or have in this life all that God intends.
3. Third, we are told to live by unseen realities and focus our attention on them, so we must take time to study them. II Cor 5:7; I John 5:4
a. Heb 11:27--Moses endured by seeing Him who is invisible.
b. II Cor 4:18--Focusing on unseen realities lightens the load of this life.
4. If you will set your heart to go over and over these unseen realities -- then do it.
a. Take time to meditate on (mutter = think and say) unseen realities.
b. Ask the Lord to open the scriptures to you. Eph 1:16-20
5. Sooner or later, these unseen realities will dawn on you and revolutionize your life. John 8:31,32
a. You are what God says you are -- whether you see it or feel it or not.
b. You have what God says you have -- whether you see it or feel it or not.
c. You can do what God says you can do -- whether you see it or feel it or not.