This week we look at the Pillar of Wisdom called “Understanding”.
Proverbs 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
Here Wisdom tells us that she is UNDERSTANDING and in Proverbs 8:8-9 she says that all of her words are upright; there is nothing misleading or deceptive in them. She further says that they are plain to those who understand, and they make sense to those who are seeking after knowledge [the knowledge of God].
Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Understanding is not only about having knowledge of a certain thing, but it is also about recognizing and clearly grasping the deep meaning of things and how the knowledge is to be put to proper use.
What does it mean to have true understanding? The kind that makes us wise?
The Hebrew word used in Proverbs 8:14 for “understanding” is binah (Strong’s # 998). The definition is: knowledge, meaning, perfectly, understanding, wisdom. See HEBREW biyn (Strong’s # 995) (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
The Hebrew word “biyn”can be translated as “to understand” but more often is translated as “to discern” (Strong’s #995). The definition of biyn then is: attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern, eloquent, feel, A primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e.(generally) understand — attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern, eloquent, feel, inform, instruct, have intelligence, know, look well to, mark, perceive, be prudent, regard, (can) skill(-full), teach, think, (cause, make to, get, give, have) understand(-ing), view, (deal) wise(-ly, man). (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
Biyn is associated with the Hebrew substantive beyn , which means “interval” and, when used as a preposition, “between.” Thus, the basic meaning of biyn is to separate, to distinguish. Godly discernment is perceptive insight with the ability to judge between the godly and the ungodly. (Bakers Evangelical Dictionary)
There is “understanding” and then there is “discernment”; they are closely related yet have slightly different meanings.
As we hear and study God’s Word we gain the knowledge of God. Then comes UNDERSTANDING of that knowledge. When we understand that knowledge, we can then use the understanding to DISCERN between what is right and what is wrong.
Therefore “understanding” is the full and proper comprehension of knowledge; while “discernment” is the ability to perceive if a thing is in alignment or not to that knowledge, i.e. if we have a full knowledge and understanding of God’s commandments and we are faced with either good or evil; we are able to discern the difference based on the understanding we have of the knowledge of what God says is right and wrong. Understanding is the wisdom to perceive, to have insight, to fully grasp spiritual things, which then brings the capacity to discern between what is godly and what is not.
In other words, understanding means to comprehend, master, to gain a proficiency in something, to fully grasp and know the subject, which then gives an insight to discern the good from the bad, the spiritually clean from the unclean; and therefore to have the skills necessary to separate out those things that are ungodly out of our lives.
Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
Understanding of the spiritual things of God is a gift that comes from God.
Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Paul uses the metaphor of a baby who can only handle milk and is unable to digest (or process “strong meat”). Even though these people had been in the faith for a long time, for some reason they had stagnated and were not growing in the understanding of the deeper things of God and how to apply them when it came to distinguishing between good and evil.
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Paul uses the term “exercise” meaning, that just like muscles that are exercised to grow stronger, we need to exercise our senses by diligent study, prayer, meditating, occasional fasting; and then when we do come up against those things that oppose God and His righteousness, we can instantly recognize that they are evil because we have a good understanding of the real thing and can instantly recognize the things that differ.
As we practice internalizing the Word of God and rejecting evil and we work at ridding ourselves of those things that are contrary to God’s Word, the more we overcome our own carnal nature and the more we will understand the nature of God.
And the opposite is true too, for if we know certain things are wrong or ungodly yet still tolerate them or compromise, we lose any understanding of godliness and the nature of God.
The more we internalize the nature of God and grow in the understanding of the Word of God by turning away from evil, the more sensitive we become to the things of God and the easier it becomes to discern evil and to teachings that do not conform to sound doctrine.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
A lukewarm lack of zeal to live by every Word of God results in the loss of understanding of godliness – which comes only through living by every Word of God – bringing an inability to discern between good and evil.
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Knowledge and then a good UNDERSTANDING of God, comes through sincere repentance, the Gift of God’s Holy Spirit and then a diligent study of the Word of God and application of every Word of God in our lives; destroying the old natural carnality and replacing it with the holiness of godliness.
Biblical Discernment is the ability to properly judge certain situations or people according to God’s moral standards based on an accurate understanding of God and the Word of God.
The proper UNDERSTANDING of God’s Word is the foundation of Godly Discernment, which is correct and just judgment between good and evil and the making of sound decisions about the virtues, qualities, or character of whatever needs judging. An individual that can discern properly, especially in spiritual and moral matters, is considered to be perceptive and of good judgment based on sound knowledge.
Those whose focus is on UNDERSTANDING the things of God can “see” things that those who do not have God’s Spirit have no clue of whatsoever. The Holy Spirit supernaturally imparts understanding to those who seek God and are striving to live by His whole Word.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
As was mentioned in Hebrews 5:13-14 a believer who has matured beyond using just the milk of the Word and has grown in knowledge in the Word of God, is able to discern both good and evil. A spiritually mature person who is empowered by the Spirit of God, is able to understand the Scriptures which in turn teaches him the difference between good and evil; and between truth and error.
The people in Berea who heard Paul’s message, eagerly received it, but they were wise in that they compared what he was teaching to the Scriptures to discern if his message was, or was not, in alignment with the teachings of God in His Word. This is admonishment for all of God’s people no matter who is giving a message to prove all things.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The apostle John says that we are not to just automatically believe every spirit, but we must test everyone, especially those who have influence over us like our leaders and teachers, whether he is of God or is of a deceptive spirit. How can we test others if we do not have any knowledge or understanding ourselves?
Testing all things (1 Thessalonians 5:22) is a form of discernment – based on a right understanding and knowledge of godliness – that all God’s people are admonished to diligently seek by learning and living by every Word of God.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
As a believer grows and matures in the knowledge and understanding of God and the Word of God; his ability to distinguish [discern] the difference between what is of God and what isn’t, also develops and increases.
The more we focus upon the whole Word of God, the more we grow in knowledge and understanding of godliness and the better we become at discerning right and wrong, good and evil.
God wants us to grow in knowledge and mature in it throughout our entire lifetime, to become perfect [complete] attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Paul prayed this for the brethren in Philippi, that their love toward God and that God’s Word would increase and extend to its fullest in the brethren; that they would grow in the knowledge and understanding of God which would then lead to acute insight and comprehensive spiritual discernment.
Paul teaches us that by discerning the holy from the profane and then choosing what is most holy, the believer is filled with the fruits of righteousness; the kind of righteousness that really comes by God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment [understanding]; 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
It is by the knowledge and understanding of God and every Word of God that we learn to discern – to distinguish between right and wrong – and to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It is by intense and thought-provoking study into the Word of God and by the mighty power of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within those whom God has called out and are the faithful, that they are able to perceive when things are not genuinely of God.
Understanding is a gift from God but we obtain that understanding by seeking it, asking for it and immersing ourselves into the study of God’s Word and applying what we have learned to the experiences of life (Matthew 25:14-30).
In Luke 11, right after teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus admonishes them that they must ask, seek, and knock for certain things that they need in life and in verse 13 He reveals that He is talking about asking God for His Holy Spirit.
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Here, David asks for UNDERSTANDING of God’s laws that he might keep them.
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
The Holy Spirit is the enlightening power that enables God’s children to understand and to discern the spiritual things of God. We all need godly discernment and wisdom to guide us through life and also to help us to discern truth from error; right from wrong; and lightness from darkness.
This present evil world is full of darkness and the power of God’s Spirit is an illuminating force that provides us with understanding and discernment if we are following after all of His commandments, ordinances, statutes, and precepts. It is this gift of God that lights up the right path that we are to walk on.
The commandments, statutes, precepts, judgments and ordinances contained in God’s Word are an expression of the righteousness of God and they give understanding of godliness and the way of life eternal. All of God’s Word can be described as a lamp that lights up the way He wants us to live:
Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Jesus Christ is our light and in Him is no darkness; if we are diligently seeking to live as He lived, we too have light.
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Solomon Asks For A Understanding Heart
Just after Solomon became the king of Israel, God appeared to him in dream and asked him: “What would you like me to give you?” Solomon knew that he was young and inexperienced and he recognized his need for God’s wisdom in order that he might rule over such a great people. Solomon asked for an understanding heart for he realized the importance of having the wisdom to be able to discern and to be able to judge God’s people rightly.
1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 3:7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 3:8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
Solomon asked God for an understanding heart in order to rule over (judge) God’s people and to be able to discern between good and evil. When he asked for this kind of wisdom this showed that Solomon already had a degree of understanding to even know to ask for this. I wonder how many of us would have asked for this particular gift out of all the thousands of things we could choose to have given to us if we were given the chance to ask God for any one thing we might desire.
Biblical understanding is the ability to see through a spiritual lens which gives us the ability to understand spiritual concepts but also to be able to discern people, things, and situations clearly and intelligently from a biblical perspective. It seems that Solomon had enough spiritual insight even at that young age to know exactly what to ask for.
By giving Solomon a chance to ask what he would of God, God tested Solomon at the very beginning of his reign to see what he would ask for; the thing that he would ask for revealed to God just where Solomon’s priorities were and what was truly in his heart. When Solomon asked for an understanding heart; the thing pleased the Lord.
God then listed some of the things that Solomon could have asked for in lieu of wisdom. Solomon did not ask for the things that most men might have desired above all else, therefore Solomon’s answer was a sign to God that his heart was in the right place for being the kind of king that would be a JUST and WISE ruler over the children of Israel.
God then rewarded Solomon with all those things that he did not ask for; riches, honor, and long life. But God added the caveat that all these things would be his if he would walk in all of God’s ways and keep all of His commandments.
1 Kings 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 3:11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 3:12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 3:13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.
In the very next verse after this appearing of God in a dream, Solomon was given his first assignment in using his gift of understanding and discernment to rightly judge between two women who were disputing over the rightful motherhood of the child that was living. Both women had given birth but one of the children had died leaving only one child alive and both mothers claimed the live child as her own. They came before the king to judge as to who should be given the living son. Solomon was able to perceive that the one who would want the child’s life spared, even if it meant losing him to the other woman, was the rightful mother; so he tested them both by threatening to divide the child in half.
Kings 3:16 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. 3:17 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.
Solomon exercised an understanding heart in this very difficult case and the news of this spread throughout the country. This incident and the wisdom he exhibited in determining who the rightful mother of the child was, gained him the reputation of being a king that would exercise wise judgment and discernment over the people of Israel. This was at the very beginning of his reign whereas he was able to earn the respect and fear [admiration] of his people as their king.
1 Kings 3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
God says He calls the weak and the foolish therefore we begin our journey to the Promised Land lacking in wisdom and we must learn the righteousness of God and how to judge correctly.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
King Solomon is an example for those called to be kings and priests, we all need to ask God for an understanding and discerning heart.
The Philosophy of Men Versus the Wisdom of God
The world is full of men and women who spend years in schools and universities pursuing their degrees and doctorates. They fill their minds with knowledge and become very expert in their field of study. They exude the wisdom and the intellectualism that is in the world which is the philosophy of men. These people may have all kinds of Phd’s and other impressive titles attached to their name; and because of their titles, our culture tends to put them on a pedestal and thinks of them as the elite amongst us.
Society looks up to these people as the ones that have all knowledge and think of them as smarter than others, men and women who are capable of leading others because of their intelligence and their fancy titles.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with going to school and becoming educated and this is not meant to put down anyone who has a degree or doctorate. The problem comes when God is left out of the education process and the knowledge that one attains is void of what God has to say about how mankind should conduct his life.
It is human knowledge that leaves God out of the equation; knowledge that is totally ignorant of God’s plan and purpose for humanity. This kind of knowledge not only leaves God out of the picture, but it also mocks and scorns the idea of a Sovereign God who has the key to TRUE knowledge and understanding and has the right to tell humans what they should believe and how they should live.
The culture we live is filled with “knowledge” coming from many different points of view and different classifications of modern day thinkers. The ideas and opinions are spouted out everywhere coming from those who call themselves conservatives, liberals, socialists, communists, theologians, politicians, scientists, philosophers, nationalists, globalists, etc. etc.
Without incorporating the truth of God in their philosophies and their knowledge, none of these so-called “enlightened ones” have any wisdom; and their understanding is darkened. Paul describes the problem in a nutshell:
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
We have had almost 6,000 years of men doing things their own way and thinking up their own thoughts as to how to live and how to govern according to their own understanding of things. But history and experience shows the results of such knowledge as Paul so succinctly observes:
Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known: 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
The Wisdom of God is at odds with the world’s philosophy which is the basis for how carnal men think and behave and which drives our society around us, not only in our modern times, but has since the time of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God.
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The philosophy of men and their highly prized secular intellectualism pervades every aspect of our society and governance over it. But our culture reaps what it sows and the effects of this kind of worldly knowledge is not solving our problems, nor is it in any form fixing the world; as we all see, the world is getting worse and all the intellectualism of highly educated men is not able to even begin to address the mess that we are in. They cannot even see that they are the cause of the mess, because they have left God out and none seek the understanding that comes from Him alone. Again, we quote Hosea:
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
How do we discern the difference between the true understanding that comes from the wisdom of God and worldly wisdom that comes from the imaginations of men? We come to understanding through the power of God’s Holy Spirit given to those who obey Him, and then by immersing ourselves in the Word of God on a daily basis. God promises to give wisdom to those who seek it and who then put it into practice. Understanding comes when we diligently seek it, we must ask God for it, and we must make a conscious decision to make time to seek it with all of our hearts and as top priority before all else.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
The Holy Spirit Empowers Understanding
The Holy Spirit is the power that emanates from God; it is not a person, not a god nor a part of the Elohim and it is not part of a “trinity.” The Bible’s definition is that the Holy Spirit is the power and mind of God. To have the Spirit of God is what empowers us to understand the spiritual things of God. It is through the gift of God’s Spirit that we can know and understand His great plan and purpose for all of humanity and the way of salvation and how to attain to eternal life.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Roman 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
How do we receive the Holy Spirit? First God has to call us and draw us to Him.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
God the Father does this by allowing us to receive or to hear the Word and the message of the Gospel. If we hear the Word and if we respond positively to it (Matthew 13:18-23), God will begin to miraculously work on our minds, opening them to see that we are sinners and that we have been living in sin and are in need of repenting. We will sorrow over that fact and seek to be forgiven by God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If we have properly repented and have asked God to forgive us and want to commit our lives to follow Him, then God commands us to be baptized and to have hands laid on us to receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
But it is only if we are sincerely seeking the knowledge of God and seeking after His righteousness and sincerely repent of all sin that we can ask Him for His Holy Spirit. The Scriptures tell us that it is to those who demonstrate by their attitude and conduct (by bringing forth fruits of repentance), who meet the conditions that qualify them for the asking and receiving of God’s Spirit.
No one that is living apart from God’s Word has any of the power of God’s Holy Spirit working within him. If you see or hear of any man or woman who claims to have God’s Holy Spirit and the power it imparts but is not living by every Word of God nor teaching it to others, you can be assured that he or she is not of God; they are false teachers and we are to run from them and not even bid them “God speed”.
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
The Holy Spirit is the mind and essence of the divine nature, and through it God carries out His purpose and will. It empowers a person’s mind to comprehend spiritual things, leading them to conversion on an ever more deepening level.
God’s Spirit imparts wisdom and understanding to our minds and it teaches those He has called out all the things that they need to understand in order to live a life pleasing to Him. Only those who obey God are given the Holy His Spirit (Acts 5:32). This principle is repeated throughout God’s Word. It is the keeping of God’s laws that unleash the power of the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to enlighten our eyes into understanding the deep things of God.
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
Proverbs 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Thus all of God’s commandments and statutes are the expression of the righteousness of God and when we are keeping them we will be granted understanding.
Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Job asked the question, “Where shall wisdom or understanding be found?”
Job 28:12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
The answer to the question is given at the end of his rather long discourse:
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
In combination with departing from evil, understanding also results from meditation [deep thought] on God’s divine precepts and all of His commandments:
Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
The apostle Paul affirms that understanding is made possible through the revelation by the the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Because the carnal mind is at enmity to the laws and ways of God, the natural man has no real clue of why certain things may be happening in his life or in the world. He does not recognize that there are spiritual cause and effect principles at work so he lacks the wisdom to choose wisely and then wonders why his life is such a mess.
The things of God are just so much foolishness to him for he has no discernment of what is right and what is wrong, what is the true reality of God and what is falsehood. Carnal men and women cannot comprehend with their own human reason, intelligence, or even with their numerous educational degrees the truth of God apart from the Holy Spirit!
Only by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, are we enabled to understand the spiritual things of God. By divine revelation through the help of the Spirit, our minds are opened to the mysteries of the Bible and God’s Words of Truth, allowing us to discern what is truly important for living; to know right from wrong, knowing the way to salvation, and God’s ultimate PLAN for mankind.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know [understand] the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ
If we have God’s Spirit working in us, and we are not squelching it in any way, we will be growing in the understanding of God’s truth, The Holy Spirit of God imparts supernatural insight into the things of God and we can then understand His overall plan and purpose that He is working out with mankind here on earth and how He is producing children that will live forever with Him in His kingdom.
One way we obey God is to keep His Sabbaths and His Holy Days. His Holy Spirit then enables us to see the significance of their meaning to His plan of salvation. As we go about to observe them and learning what each symbolizes in His overall Plan, we come to an even deeper understanding of what God is doing with those He has called, and also what He is going to do for those He will call in the future.
The Holy Spirit makes this possible and opens our minds to be able to understand things that the world cannot understand at this time. The world refuses to see the significance of keeping God’s Sabbaths and His festivals and all the other laws of God.
It is in the doing that we receive more of God’s Spirit and by doing all of God’s commandments we receive even more understanding; and that understanding will help us to keep God’s law even more fully, teaching us the way to live.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace; 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Psalm 119:17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
The natural man cannot comprehend with his own human reason, intelligence, or even by his scholarship the whole truth of God apart from the Holy Spirit. Only by the intervention of the Holy Spirit are we called to understand the spiritual things of God; and by divine revelation, through the help of the Holy Spirit which opens our minds to the mysteries of the Bible and God’s Words of truth, allowing us to discern what is truly important for living and for knowing the way to salvation.
If we are being made into the image of our Lord and Savoir, then what is being said about Him in these verses can apply to us if we are allowing God to mold us into that image: “from glory to glory.”
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
All who have ever lived inherited mortal life through Adam, but God gives His Spirit to bestow eternal life on His faithful and obedient children. It is a gift from our Father to those He calls and to those who choose to become His children. We are not born with it, we cannot earn it or transfer it to another; it can only come to us by the Father after we repent, are baptized, receive the Spirit by the laying on of hands, and if we then commit to obey Him for the rest of our lives. If we were to receive a million dollars, a billion, or even a trillion as a gift, it would in no way even come close to this precious gift that comes from our Holy Father.
Millennial Kingdom ~ Understanding Will Blanket the Earth
The Scriptures teach us that those who are being called and who have repented, and are overcoming and faithful are called the Firstfruits. They will be raised up in the Resurrection of the just to eternal life.
They are the ones who have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit during this present evil age and are able to understand the deep mysteries of God. But the opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit and eternal life will be given to everyone that survives the coming Tribulation and all those living in the Millennial Kingdom; then all those who will be raised up during the latter harvest of mankind as depicted in the fall Feast, the Feast of In-gathering or Tabernacles. At that time all of mankind will be given understanding that God is real, and that there is no other! and that we must embrace all of His ways in order to have eternal life with Him as a member of His Family.
Since Adam and Eve most of mankind has rejected God’s commandments and His way of life, God has not made available to mankind on a grand scale the gift of His Spirit and spiritual salvation. Humanity has not been given understanding on a massive scale. Christ called and offered His Spirit to a select few in the Old Testament and then began to do a much bigger work starting with the disciples on the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D. We, as part of the Ekklesia have been given the gift of knowledge and understanding of God’s way of life.
In the Millennial Kingdom, God will give this opportunity to all and then all the others who have lived and died during this present 6,000 years of man who never knew God (or those who only knew false gods, including a false Jesus) will have the veil taken away from their eyes and they too will begin to experience the awesome supernatural power that the called-out have been privy to after conversion in their life times.
What a wonderful time that will be when all peoples, in all nations throughout the whole earth, are empowered by the Holy Spirit to know and understand the whole Plan of God and what it is like to walk in true righteousness and holiness.
The Scriptures give us a beautiful glimpse into what it is going to be like when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh and the whole earth comes to the full knowledge of what God and His purpose is all about.
Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Ezekiel 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 39:26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 39:28 Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that man can even begin to understand God’s Plan of Salvation. When we understand what a miraculous thing that has taken place in our minds when we receive the Holy Spirit and how it gives us understanding that we never had before, it fills us with unspeakable gratitude and great hope for the future and even for those who are not being called at this time.
Now is the Time to Seek Understanding
It is so easy to pursue all kinds of other activities, pleasures, entertainment; things that are transitory and time-wasters; time is quickly taken up that could have been used to seek the things that really do matter.
As we approach the Passover season let us take the time to seek to be filled more and more with this gift of understanding from the Father. If we have the love of the truth then we will be shielded from the deceptions that are coming upon this world.
We are going to need to be filled with the wisdom of God to face the coming great deceptions and the trials that are going to befall the nations of Israel and that will effect the whole world. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit, which leads us into all truth and helps us to discern the deceptions in the world that will enable us to comprehend the words that were given to Daniel, but the understanding of those words were closed up until the time of the end.
We are rapidly approaching that time of the end as God is opening these words to many who are turning from the false traditions and misunderstanding taught to us by misguided elders and leaders and because we did not fully prove all things when we first came into the church.
In Daniel 12:10 we are told that: “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly:and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand”.
We can only have this understanding if we are obeying all of God’s commandments and are not counted as those who do wickedly. It is those who have God’s Holy Spirit that will understand the things that are now being opened to His Ekklesia. This is a time to take advantage of all that He is teaching us and to seek Him now with all of our hearts while we still have time to do so.
Matthew 25 is the parable of the 10 virgins with a message to God’s people to be filling our lamps with oil which is an allegory of the Holy Spirit, while we still have the opportunity to buy and fill ourselves up with God’s Word and to have His Spirit in abundance.
Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
As we see the day approaching, now is the time to be redeeming that time and to use it to seek all that our Father would have for us, including the wisdom to know what is of Him and what is not of Him.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ephesus 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
God’s Word is to be used as a sword to be applied whenever we need God’s guidance and to circumvent false lies and teachings that come at us on a daily basis.
When we give ourselves wholly to God’s Word it will give us the wisdom we need to guide us and also to help teach others. If we will study and write God’s Word into our hearts, certain Scriptures will come to surface just when we need them in any given situation.
We all need to be able to distinguish between what is righteous and what is evil and then choose what is good. Every called-out child of God must seek to have discernment and as he or she matures in the faith, the ability to discern ought to be growing.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
All of God’s laws reveal the righteousness of God. Without the keeping of those laws our understanding of the wisdom of God becomes very limited and we lose the ability to discern what is sin which is the case that we see all around us in this world.
Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
To have the ability to understand the mind and precepts of God involves the cognitive and the spiritual working in combination with the keeping of every Word of God. While men must diligently study and seek God’s wisdom, the ultimate ability to understand comes from God, it is a gift. The final measure of understanding then is dependent upon our obedience to God and all of His ways.
What is the opposite of spiritual discernment and understanding? It is spiritual blindness! Because they lack the understanding of God, the people of the world are spiritually blind and that blindness has entered the Ekklesia so that we can no longer discern the truth of God’s Word from the false traditions of men that have been upheld for years now.
We can go to Revelation 3 to find out what Jesus has to say about the predominate attitude and condition that would permeate the body of Christ in the end times. It is an attitude: that we as a people have all the understanding we need and therefore do not have to work to grow in grace and knowledge.
Because of a lack of a love for God’s truth and to be willing to dig for it and to keep learning and growing in understanding of it, seeking after it as if we were digging for the richest gold; members of the Ekklesia are in danger of losing more and more understanding in the spiritual things of God unless we all repent.
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus told John to write that the Laodiceans would be spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. The remedy for this condition? It is to BUY gold tried in the fire that we might be RICH; to BUY white raiment; and to ANOINT our eyes with EYE SALVE that we might “see”.
The remedy for the Ekklesia’s condition in our day too is: that we are to first buy gold tried in the fire the precious truth of God and the spiritual things of God. The imagery of “buying” recalls the invitation in Isaiah 55:1-2 to buy (or labor for) “wine” and “milk” that are freely given to us by God if we seek them.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Wine and milk are metaphors for the richness of God’s Word, things that satisfy our hunger and thirst for the knowledge of God and for His righteousness; also wine and milk can be thought of as things that revive our spirit and nourish our body,
Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 9:3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 9:4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Solomon says that if we want understanding we must feast on the spiritual food that God supplies through His Word pictured by a table that is laid out with the richest of food and drink.
Other Scriptures that talk about buying the “gold” (valuable things) of God are in Proverbs 23:23 and Matthew 25:9.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
To BUY or to LABOR for the things of God, including wisdom, instruction, understanding, and God’s precious OIL which is figurative of God’s Holy Spirit, will truly make us RICH in the spiritual treasures of God and will put us on the path to eternal life and we will inherit all things with Christ. These are things that are more valuable than all the physical gold and money in the world and they cannot be bought with any amount of gold or money.
In Revelation 3 the second thing that the church of Laodicea is to BUY is white raiment, which means we are to seek to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ which is the keeping of every Word of God.
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
The third thing is to anoint our eyes with salve which simply means to repent of our lukewarm attitude and then zealously draw close to God. The more we seek Him and seek to obey Him, the more He will pour out His Spirit upon us. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are healed of our spiritual blindness. The eye salve that we are to anoint our eyes with [in order that we may see our need to repent of our lukewarmness] is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.
What does it take to be healed of our spiritual blindness, to open our eyes to see and to understand the Word of God?.
We are to REPENT of our spiritual blindness and repent of our lukewarmness and become zealous for the ways of God. Spiritual sight [understanding and discernment] will also protect us from false teachers that seek to draw us after them and their false religion, thereby stealing our faith and our crowns.
Proverbs 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 2:14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 2:15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 3:13 He that hath an ear [understanding], let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
We are living in very evil times when deception and spiritual blindness are at an all time high; we see it getting worse every day in the societies around us. Deception and blindness has also crept into the midst of the Ekklesia.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
This verse says that in the end times, deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons will cause some of the called-out to lose their understanding of God’s truth and they will turn from their faith.
Deception and blindness entered the assemblies starting in the days of the apostles and have been carried over through the ages right up to these very last days; and this is what Jesus is addressing in his messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.
In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul says that in the latter days there will be a falling away [from the faith]. For those of us who have been in the Ekklesia for many years, we have witnessed much apostasy in the Ekklesia in our modern times. The gift of discernment is vital in identifying false spirits and false doctrines. Discernment makes it possible to see them for what they are and then turn away from them.
Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you [deceive you] through philosophy and vain deceit, [to follow after] after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [vain worldliness] of the world, and [cause us to turn from Christ and deceive us into turning away from zeal to follow the whole Word of God] not after Christ.
If we love the truth we will prove all things by the whole Word of God before we accept them; and we will put the things proven by God’s Word into practice in our lives.
If we just leave our salvation up to our church leaders and pastors and follow men without proving the things they teach us; or if we know that they are promoting things that are not according to God’s teachings but we follow after them anyway; we show by our actions that we do not love the truth.
The whole world is lacking in understanding the things of God and therefore lacks discernment because they refuse to worship and to look to the true God and live by every Word of God in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. We must seek for and pray for God to give us godly understanding, and then we must separate ourselves from all that is contrary to the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
We are to seek wisdom, understanding, and discernment as if our life depended on it, for our spiritual state and even our eternal lives depend on our understanding of God and what He requires of us in living holy and righteous lives.
The more we obey God and keep His truth and His righteous commandments, the more understanding (and discernment) God will give to us. If we become negligent and start to drift from keeping God’s commandments, the understanding we do have will become clouded.
Just like Solomon, we are to ask for an understanding heart and discernment “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”
If we use our time now in this lifetime to seek the GOLD tried in the fire, WHITE RAIMENT which is the righteousness of Christ, and the anointing Oil of God’s Holy Spirit that heals us from our spiritual blindness (remaining faithful to the end) then God will give us riches and honor and long life just as He promised to Solomon; but for His Called-Out who are becoming the children of God, it will be spiritual riches, spiritual honor and eternal life with Him in His Kingdom.
As far as “so great a people”; someday God is going to raise up billions of people all in their own courses and He will need a trained, skillful team of compassionate kings and rulers with understanding hearts and the ability to discern between right and wrong; and to be filled with the knowledge of God in order to teach all nations.
We need to be developing discernment now in the little things, that we may be able to discern and judge in the greater things when it comes time to help and teach humanity the way to salvation and how to become members of the Family of God.
David was Solomon’s father but also he was his teacher and instructed him as a youth; this is what David taught him (which is also directed to God’s spiritual children) about the importance of seeking to have an understanding heart and the rewards it would bring.
Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 4:3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 4:6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 4:8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 4:9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 4:12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 4:13 Take fast hold of [godly] instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. 4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 4:15 Avoid it, pass not by it [do not approach near to evil], turn from it, and pass [run away from evil] away.
Here is the conclusion of the message given to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3 which is very encouraging to those who heed God’s warnings and REPENT of being lukewarm. There are rewards and blessings for those who HEAR [understand], repent, and then commit to grow in the grace and knowledge of our God.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear [DISCERN] what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
If we are abiding in Christ, striving to live by His every Word, and following Christ in obedience to God whethersoever He goes, He will protect us from becoming lukewarm.
Pray for understanding, Brethren, pray for God to pour out more of His gift of understanding to the whole Body of Christ at this time.
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
David says that the law of God is right and the Word of God is truth and that they can make the foolish wise, [they enlighten the eyes of those who were once foolish making them wise]. He also says that all of the judgments of God are to be desired more than the finest gold and sweetest of honey.
We have within our hands (if we are reading the Bible right now) or within our reach, the one Book that is able to give us the understanding that the world so desperately needs. It is a wonderful, marvelous gift given to God’s children to understand the deep mysteries of life which are elusive to the rest of mankind including the most brilliant of minds.
Within the depths of God’s Word is the most valuable prize that any man could ask for. To be given understanding into the mysteries of the Kingdom and the Word of God is a most precious opportunity and privilege. Throughout eons of time men have searched for the truth and could not find it because they were looking in the wrong places.
But now, Brethren, in our day we have been given access to the riches and treasures of the Kingdom if we will value them and seek them more than the temporal physical pleasures that this world has to offer.
God’s message through Solomon is for His children to seek out His kind of wisdom, to buy it with our lives, our time, and all of our energy and then never let it go! If we do that, our Father in heaven will greatly rejoice even now; and then for all eternity, and we will rejoice right along with Him.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. 23:24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
Proverbs 19:8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
Do not be deceived by the many philosophers and their deceitful teachings that claim to have all understanding or knowledge; who promise happiness by other means than obeying our heavenly Father.
The carnal heart naturally longs for security, love, and comfort and Satan knows this. He sends all kinds of intellectuals into the world who offer shortcuts to procuring these things with their ingenious man-made methods, self-improvement books, doctrines of men rather than teaching the sound doctrines of God.
Deceitful men everywhere prey upon human’s fleshly desires for physical pleasures and material wealth. The very things they teach take us even further away from the blessings of God and we must guard against and avoid these false teachers and philosophers at all costs and not allow them to sway our understanding which can happen if we are not wary.
The most valuable thing in this world is the knowledge of God and to be able to understand all of His precepts.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
At the end of his Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon says that the conclusion of the matter [of all that he was teaching throughout the book] is to, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.“
The fear of God is one of the Pillars of Wisdom and it works in tandem with all the other pillars including Understanding. If we fear God and keep His commandments God will give us the gift of understanding of His truth which will keep us on the right path.
Every day we need to seek for and ask God for more of His wisdom. If we will do this then there is great reward for God has a fabulous future planned for those who love Him and who seek to understand so as to live in all His ways.
2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.