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God is Love…[1] is John’s revelation of God to us. Not that God loves us, but God is Love, not that God has love, but God is Love.

In the same passage, John also wrote: But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.[2] God’s love is, was and always will be perfect as He is Perfect. As such, God never had fear, nor did God ever stop being Love nor extending love to us. How does God do this?

With men and women, we all try to understand the one and ones we love. For us, love comes first then comes the understanding, but God loves the ones He understands. For God stretched out the Heavens by His understanding,[3] an understanding He already had before He said, “Let there be light.”[4] Not a single atom was created by God without understanding, whereas men, just like their forefathers Adam and Eve, have always done things without the understanding first. Without understanding why God commanded them not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they did eat of it, but God already understood what the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would do to Adam and Eve, and what a test of obedience it would be to them. As such, when Adam and Eve sinned, it was no surprise to God, because God understood it before it happened.

The beginning of the understanding of God begins with this first step that God not only knows, but also understands everything that has happened, will happen and is happening. As such, God’s omnipotence is not only in His knowledge, but also in His understanding. That is why understanding is supreme, and Proverbs tells us: Though it costs you all you have, get understanding.[5] Only the Creator can have pre-existent understanding and pre-event understanding, but all creatures can only have retrospective understanding. Since there is no God before God, or another beside Him as He said, “You are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one,”[6] then there is no one else to equal His understanding. Because the understanding of God pre-exists the event or word spoken, and our understanding follows the event or word, God is always ahead of us and has always gone before us. Now, this is part of our task as His witnesses, that not only Jesus Christ’s words and testimony are true as we testify with the Holy Spirit, but that as His witnesses, we are to “know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.”[7]

Out of that witnessing, which follows our confession of faith in Him, we come to that eternal life of knowing Him so that out of the knowing, we can believe even more in Him until we finally understand Him, and when we understand Him, we will know what makes God not only Eternal and Immortal, but Divine. To partake in His divine nature as Peter wrote in his letter,[8] is what God has given us all power to do, and we are to come to that place of understanding to use that understanding to understand God and then to be like Him—gods who have pre-existent understanding and knowledge of all that is about to be thought, said and done as a result of our act of creation.

God has challenged, “When I act, who can reverse it?”[9] The only way to reverse an action precisely is if one has perfect understanding of the event before the event occurs. As such, we are ultimately to be witnesses of God who can testify and say that God had foreknowledge and fore-understanding of all things. Arriving at this point in our enlightenment when we realise that God had and has foreknowledge and fore-understanding, we can see that Jesus has been training us and equipping us with the same foreknowledge and understanding through His parables and His prophetic warnings of the things to come.

The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God permits us to understand them, and in that understanding we would begin to think, speak and act, not just by faith nor by knowledge, but with understanding.

The prophecies He gave the disciples concerning the time of the end[10] were to tell us what is coming, as was the Book of the Revelation that He gave John. The Holy Spirit tells us what is yet to come as well as what He has heard, so that firstly, we would understand when what He told us comes to pass, and then with more training and teaching, we would be able to view what is yet to come, not with anticipation or fear, but with understanding.

The Holy Spirit would neither tell us what is yet to come, nor what He has heard from the Father and the Son if He did not want us to understand as well as to know what is to happen. If you only know what is about to happen, but do not understand, then like many people, your love for God can grow cold. However, if you understand what is about to happen and its purpose and function and the fruit that it will bear, then your love can remain hot and not wane, even when the event is not pleasant. Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”[11] This happens because many expect God to intervene to prevent disasters, to prevent sin, for evil to reduce, and to stop suffering before it happens. They forget, that is, if they had known in the first place that God did not prevent Adam from eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God could have spoken out to Adam as He did to Abraham,[12] or sent another angel with a drawn sword as He did to Balaam[13] to stop Adam, but God did not. The increase of disasters, earthquakes, famines, pestilences and wars that have come and are increasing will dishearten those who had not prepared themselves with understanding of God in the first place, and as wickedness arises out of these events, so will their hearts grow cold. However, God can and will only do what you do not expect Him to do, if you did not know and understand Him in the first place. Amos wrote: Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.[14] And anyone who holds to the testimony of Jesus Christ has the Spirit of Prophecy, and everyone who declares, “Jesus is coming soon,” will be proved a true prophet of God in that declaration. Thus, all who listen to Jesus, who hear His words, who understand them, accept them, retain them and persevere with them, will yield the crop, 30, 60, 100 fold, of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Anyone who obeys the Father’s command to “Listen to Him,”[15] and allows the words of Jesus to abide in them, tending to them to bring forth fruit, will never find God doing something they did not expect, but only finding God doing more, much more than they expect because He is generous.

But those who do not listen to Jesus, do not hear His word, much less attempt to understand them, accept them, retain or persevere with them, will never come to understand the Lord, and what knowledge they have of the Lord will be lost until they only have what they believe of the Lord, only to find that God will do contrary to what they believe.

Jesus said, “Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’.” But even His disciples did not understand what He had said, for they asked Him, to which He replied, “Are you so dull? Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’.)[16] The Holy Spirit added the last line to make it all the more clearer to us, the readers, so that we can see and understand that the disciples did not retain this word, nor persevere with it, otherwise they would have refuted the recommendations of a man, who up until John 7:5 had not professed faith in Jesus Christ, when he stood up and said, “Brothers, listen to me… It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.”[17] Had they retained the word of the Lord, they would have seen that James’ recommendations went against the teachings of Christ concerning food and blood, and was not as strict as Christ’s on sexual immorality.[18] More than that, if they had heard, understood and retained the word of the Lord, they would not have asked Him, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?”[19] For Jesus never once mentioned the Kingdom of Israel, but spoke only of the Kingdoms of God and of Heaven.

If they had retained His words and persevered in bringing in the Kingdom of God with retained miraculous power, then they would have seen through the Scriptures James used: “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild and I will restore it.”[20] It was James’ way of laying claim to the throne of David in the absence of Jesus Christ; for after all, James the Younger is the true son of Joseph, Son of David and of Mary, a descendant of Aaron in the flesh. However, they did not understand, nor did they persevere, and by Acts 21, they had turned the church in Jerusalem into an institution that was as zealous for the restoration of the rites of temple worship as they were for Jesus, if not more so. So zealous were they not to offend the Jews who were zealous for the Law, that even Paul succumbed to their persuasion, proving the truth of Jesus’ words, “And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’”[21]

Failing to understand which Kingdom Jesus had come to establish caused them to go on a course that was never intended. In order to permit the Jerusalem church from successfully restoring the kingdom of Israel through James, Jerusalem was sacked in 70 AD, as Jesus prophesied. Two thousand years later, we have the benefit of hindsight, which is really no benefit, but a curse. If we do not take up the foresight, the foreknowledge and the understanding that God tried to give us through Jesus His Son, when He told us to “Listen to Him,” and when Jesus told us all that is written first, and now in acquiring the ability as a church that listens to the Holy Spirit because we can recognise His voice to prepare for what is to come, so that God will not do something we did not expect but much more than we hoped, because He is generous.

Jesus told His disciples of the signs of the end of the age, and He said, “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”[22] The signs that are coming are merely to remind us that Jesus is coming soon. And if anyone who understands this, busies themselves in preparing for His arrival and making all things ready as the Holy Spirit gives them ability to, then they will never be caught unawares, nor will they be distracted by the cares of the world, the anxiety (worries) of life, the deceitfulness of wealth, nor the pleasures or riches, [23] but will use all of them also as part of the preparations for the Lord’s return.

Thus, God gives us understanding, but not as men acquire understanding with hindsight. God gives us understanding with forewarning and foreknowledge, if only we begin to realise He is God, besides Him there is no other, and that He understands what He is thinking and saying and doing before He does them. As men, which we are, hindsight has value only if it leads us to see the need for God’s foresight, foreknowledge and understanding, otherwise it becomes a platform from which we accuse those who went before us, and so find ourselves bearing the weight of their sins with no relief.

Thus, the truth that is the word of God through Jesus Christ sanctifies us and sets us apart as holy, because it leads those who hear it, understand it, accept it, retain it and persevere with it the threefold harvests of 30, 60 and 100 fold of wisdom, knowledge, and above all else, understanding. Understanding with which we may understand God and understanding with which we may buy from Jesus the gold refined in the fire, which is true riches[24] – Jesus’ understanding of God. With understanding, we can move from the eternal life into the divine life and so participate in the divine nature. We can come to the place where we understand what we think, say and do, before we think, say and do them, just like the Lord does. At that place, we see God in His magnificence, not a god who is trying to understand those he loves, but God who loves those He understands, even though their hearts are wicked and beyond understanding. We see God in the full magnificence of His grace, and the Book of His Grace will open for those whose eyes are healed by the salve that Jesus offers[25] to behold and ponder yet another question of our God. If perfect love drives out all fear—then what does perfect understanding do?

Be in pursuit not only of excellence or perfection as Paul has admonished you to do, and also in pursuit not only of the qualities that Peter recommended in 2 Peter 1:5-7, so as to make your election and calling sure, but pursue understanding, for it will anchor you in the House of God and make you one of its pillars forever. AMEN

For faith makes you an adventurer,

Knowledge makes you a witness,

Wisdom, a teacher,

But understanding makes you a creator.


 

[1] 1 John 4:16

[2] 1 John 4:18

[3] Jeremiah 10:12

[4] Genesis 1:3

[5] Proverbs 4:7

[6] Isaiah 44:8

[7] Isaiah 43:10

[8] 2 Peter 1:4

[9] Isaiah 43:13

[10] Matthew 24:4-30; Mark 13:5-30

[11] Matthew 24:12

[12] Genesis 22:10-12

[13] Numbers 22:22-35

[14] Amos 3:7

[15] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[16] Mark 7:14-19

[17] Acts 15:13,19-20

[18] Matthew 5:28

[19] Acts 1:6

[20] Acts 15:16 (Amos 9:11)

[21] Luke 5:39

[22] Matthew 24:43-44

[23] Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:18-19

[24] Revelation 3:18

[25] Revelation 3:18

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