Better Not to Have Known

There’s great responsibility involved in how we respond to truth; God’s very concerned about how we receive truth and what we do with it; He holds us accountable.

God’s wrath is revealed from Heaven against all who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Ro 1:18), who have the truth but turn from it and don’t obey it. It’s worse to disobey the truth once it’s revealed than to disobey in ignorance.

In other words, we’re better off not to have known the way of righteousness than to turn away from the holy commandments given to us (2Pe 2:21) There’s mercy when we sin in ignorance (1Ti 1:13), but no mercy for presumptuous sin. (He 10:26-27)

And it’s not just the truth we actually know, but it’s all truth which we have the opportunity to know, which we could know if we love the truth and pursue it. (2Pe 3:5) This is how all will be judged. (Ro 1:20-21)

So, we should consider carefully the example of our Lord Jesus, how He was very selective in who He revealed truth to, and when. He deliberately hid the truth from those who were superficial in their interest, speaking vaguely in parables and riddles. (Mt 13:13-15) His pattern was to reveal Himself only to those who were seeking truth, and He often required significant obedience before giving them much revelation at all.* He didn’t cast His pearls before swine, and encourages us likewise. (Mt 7:6)

This isn’t cruel or unloving, to be careful with truth, thoughtful in who we speak to, strategic in what we tell them and when. It’s the most loving thing to do with those who hate the light, which is most people. (Jn 3:19-20) If we shine bright lights into the eyes of the wicked, they won’t respond well; it just reveals their hatred of the light and makes them more culpable. Then they get angry with us. Not good for anyone.

There’s Hell to pay, literally, for missing Christ, so we might reason that it doesn’t matter much if people don’t respond well and are more guilty as a result of our witness; perhaps we should just shove everything we know at them and hope for the best: they might get some of it. Yet we must remember that there are levels in Hell (Mt 11:22) as well as in Heaven; it’s not one-size-fits-all. (Mt 5:19) Spray and pray isn’t the example of Christ or of Paul (Ac 17:31), and we should soberly consider this.

We must also think carefully and soberly about ourselves, those of us who have found Christ and are following Him the best we know how: are we living in such a way that honors what we know, that gives it the heart, flesh and bone it deserves? Do we buy the truth, and sell it not? (Pr 23:23) counting it more precious than the trinkets of this world? Does our joy in God reflect His majesty? Does our love for others reflect His? Are we walking worthy of God? (1Th 2:12)

Is there anything we can do today that might move us closer to God? Anything at all that might align us more fully with His Way? Let’s ask God to show us the next step (Php 3:15), and then do this. Let us draw near to God, and work out our deliverance from the coldness and lifelessness of dead religion with fear and trembling (Php 2:12), for our God is austere, a consuming fire. (He 12:29) He has chosen us to obedience (1Pe 1:2), and is able to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jud 24)

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5 thoughts on “Better Not to Have Known”

  1. For example, the man born blind (Jn 9), whom Christ healed by smearing mud on his eyes and to whom He directly revealed His Divinity, was first told to go wash the mud off his face, without even being healed.

    This is no small task for a blind man, and it doesn’t make much sense; he needs to obey blindly, trust in Christ without knowing very much about Him.

    Once he is healed however, this man is faced with even more of a challenge: what to say about Christ when demanded of the Pharisees about the details of his healing. When commanded to turn from Christ, by what appeared to be the most knowledgeable and holy men of his day, he must respectfully defy them, walk away from them, and be excommunicated from the synagogue — and therefore effectively from Jewish culture and life — knowing only the sound of Christ’s voice and the fact of His healing. This he does, as one earnestly pursing truth at any cost.

    This man leaves his trial, reduced again to begging for his livelihood, and it’s only then that Christ seeks him out and finds him, revealing Himself explicitly to him as the Son of God. (Jn 9:35-37)

    As far as we know, this may be the only person Christ sought out during His earthly ministry in order to explicitly and clearly reveal His divinity. It is likely no coincidence that he also appears to be one of the most earnest in pursuing truth.

    1. Was Yeshua’s healing ministry performed to fulfill prophecy?Certainly the creators power revealed broke through the walls of unbelief. Amazing. We in this time have faith without such bold evidence is miraculous. Is it because of the testimony from the Bible? In part yes maybe also our expanded base of knowledge of the creation? Most certainly the outpouring of the Spirit of truth. Another deep dive for sure!
      Let us celebrate that Yeshua died in the flesh to restore our relationship with the Creator. He also shed light on the corruption and made clear the law and it’s intent. Torah is a light and a path. Mysterious to those in the dark and revelation to the chosen. Much to unpack. Peace !

      1. Hi Eric! Thanks for the comment. I am reminded of the scripture: “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Jn 12:37-38)

        I’ve been wondering if miracles would help my faith at all; I use to think so, but not so sure any more. The evidence for God/Yeshua and the nature of the divine work is overwhelming, only my own blindness/hardness can explain any remaining unbelief. I am thinking we need grace, transformed hearts, not miracles. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (Jn 20:29)

  2. Truth I think has an interesting synonym, light. Their similarities are voluminous. As matter of fact, the entire Bible speaks of them as equals. You can neither touch, smell, see, nor taste either. You can however observe the evidence of both. We can only see light as it is reflected off of the material universe. I find this fascinating. This quality of invisibility yet earthly appearance reminds us of our mortality and vulnerability. This observation alone brings my mind straight to Yeshua. The absence of light is akin to absence of truth. We perish without either. Torah is our light. Other peoples who know not Yahweh create their own guides complete with teachers, the Illuminated ones. Lucifer is the light bearer lord of them all whether they know it or not. This belt of truth is the first foundational equipment of which all hangs upon. Without it there is nothing to believe in, or hope for and our faith would be in vain. All of us are called to be light bearers. Is it not interesting the battle for our very souls are waged by Lucifer and Yeshua, both worshiped as truth and light. This battle is truly epic. I don’t have time to write all that comes to mind now. Thanks for the discussion. Peace!

    1. Yes! Well said! Truth and Light are indeed used almost interchangeably in scripture.

      “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1Jn 1)

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