The Spirit of Truth tells us to add knowledge to virtue in order to be partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4). But which knowledge? Knowledge of what exactly? There are many knowledges.
Christ commands us to “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” He also commands us to “Resist not the evil” and “Turn the other cheek,” and “Love your enemies,” and “Bless them that curse you,” and “Pray for them that despitefully use you,” and “Do good to them that hate you” (Matt. 5:38-48). We are not to just observe Christ doing these things. We are to obey them. But we don’t know how to do the impossible. There must be a hidden knowledge about how to do this.
We know that we cannot obey the above commands by using our own strength. It must be His Spirit working in us that brings us to perfection. “Perfection” in the Greek means “maturity.” To grow spiritually to full maturity takes knowledge.
Knowledge from the Garden
The first mention of “knowledge” is in Genesis, which contains the seeds of all knowledge. It speaks of a knowledge of good and evil. Knowing the source of both good and evil helps us grow to the maturity that God has for us.
Yahweh said, “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil” (Isa. 45:8). Since He has created both good and evil for His purposes and pleasure, then we must believe that He is the originator and instigator of both good and evil in our lives. He has prescribed a certain amount of “good” for our lives and a certain amount of “bad” for us to deal with. Remember Christ saying, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”? We like the “good,” but loathe the “evil.”
It is like growing a seed in a garden. Rain is good, and a certain amount of rain is needed. But the ground needs a certain amount of manure to build the soil, to nourish the seed. Good rain is not enough. The seed needs a proper portion of composted manure to bring the seed to full, healthy maturity. To mature, we need the “evil” as well as the “good.”
Believing this knowledge is paramount in understanding how the Gardener works. We must believe that God is sovereign and in total control of both the good and the evil that comes our way. Then we will be able to “love our enemies.” How? By knowing that certain troubles are appointed unto us to develop His divine nature in our hearts. We can begin to “resist not the evil.” How? By knowing that God sanctions a daily amount of evil for us to overcome, thereby growing stronger. To be like Him, we need someone to forgive. It is difficult to do with a whole heart. But that is what He requires for His children. And we are to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. But rejoice because you are partaking of Christ’s sufferings” (I Pet. 4:12). When we believe that all power is of God, then that person persecuting us has received power from God. “All things are of God.”
Christ realized that all of the suffering inflicted upon Him by the haters was ordained by the Father. So when He says, “Resist not the evil,” He is telling us that the evil is from the Father. When we understand that the Father doles out doses of evil for us to overcome, then we will know Him on a more intimate level. In fact, knowing this enables us to ask, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
“The ability to perceive God in all things is required before He can transfer any power to you. You must come to understand that every good and every evil thing is the result of His will” (G. Russell, SonPlacing, p. 109). Evil is used and comes from God’s wisdom and is “used to accomplish His pleasure.”
Virtue is moral strength. And we are to add “knowledge” to that—the knowledge that God uses both good and evil to accomplish His will. Just ask Pharaoh. God says to him: “I raised you up…that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore, God has mercy (good) on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens (evil) whom He wants to harden” (Rom. 9:17-18). God showered “good” on the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. He also hardened Pharaoh’s heart crashing down disaster upon him and his kingdom (evil). Why? God did this “to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory—even us.”
What mercy He has bestowed upon us! He brought evil destruction upon Egypt so that His story would be told throughout the ages, so that we would know about His love and devotion for us, the objects of His mercy!
Kenneth Wayne Hancock [Be sure to subscribe, like, and order my books which are free with free shipping found here: Ordering My Free Books in Paperback | Immortality Road (wordpress.com)