IT’S LETTER THAT KILLETH, NOT KNOWLEDGE
To the glory of God, we are to boast in the fact that we know God: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 9:24).
Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus seems to have shown that unguarded pursuit of knowledge is a vaulting ambition that can cause degeneration unto damnation. Truly, anything done with passion so intense that life isn’t valued but traded is lust and evil. Knowledge may be dangerous. Really? Knowledge is never dangerous but the “what” of it may be dangerous. That is, the knowledge of ‘evil’ may be bad because there may be the tendency to practice it. It may be good if someone decides to tackle that evil with the knowledge of it that has been acquired. In that sense, what is done with knowledge rather than knowledge itself is the good or the bad.
Nevertheless, innocence or ignorance can be said to make someone less prone to temptation. Really? Yes, it really can. For example, one who knows nothing about gambling can hardly gamble. Anyway, that person may gamble and not know that he or she is actually gambling. So, innocence or ignorance can also make someone very highly gullible and prone to temptation and in fact, highly fallible and prone to victimization. For instance, while an innocent person may not suffer from the passionate call for pre-marital sex (despite the fact that such feelings may be natural at the stage of maturing into adulthood) he or she can easily fall for deceptions or tricks of those who aren’t innocent no more. So, if to know is bad, to ‘not know’ is worse.
Now, in order not to portray merry-go-round on knowledge let us quickly say that there seems to be a caveat against seeking for more knowledge. This is predicated upon a Yoruba proverb, “beti o ba gbo yingin inu kii baje” which means “if the ears hear no bits of hearsay the mind bears no grudge. Truly, many conflicts had culminated from rumours. The issue is at this point, necessarily considered in the Biblical concept of ‘letter killeth’
Let us check different versions of 2Corinthians 3:6 below:
Who hath made us able to be servants of a new agreement; not of the letter but of the Spirit: for the letter gives death, but the Spirit gives life. BBE
Who has also qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, which is not written but spiritual, because the written text brings death, but the Spirit gives life. ISV
Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. KJV
NHEB, WEB and NET use the word ‘letter’ where ISV uses ‘written text’ and EasyEnglish uses ‘rules’ instead of letter.
Many people have now become so complacent with inherited doctrines that they despise revelations that operate per dispensations. Many doctrines in the Old Testament aren’t well understood so they (priests and leaders, especially the high priest) fulfilled the prophecies unknowingly by Judging Him (Christ) guilty. Father in heaven declared, “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 declarative God was by showing that he will reject anyone who rejects knowledge. His rejection of such people is actually what makes them perish. It’s said with assurance. It’s just the way it is- people perish for lack of knowledge. Though the Biblical wisest man (apart from Wisdom Himself) said all toils and feats are vanity, including knowledge:
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18).
It must be known that though he said ‘he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow he never encouraged ignorance but declaimed it. In fact, in the Book of Proverbs, he spoke against foolishness and ignorance in many places. The truth must be known that Solomon’s conclusion that all is vanity is predicated upon the fact that nothing can make any man escape death. The sorrow here, therefore, isn’t in the knowledge but in fact that the wise will die and part with all the achievements of his or her wisdom.
Since the consumption of the Forbidden fruit- of KNOWLEDGE of good and evil- annulling the era of innocence of man- every man is afterward born with the knowledge of good and evil. Both will manifest per time and both will conflict at times. Jesus said that the servant who knows the will and do it not will be beaten more but the servant who doesn’t know the will of the father and does not do it will be beaten less. So, ignorance is truly never a defence.
The Apostle Paul said that letter killeth. Many had taken that to mean that knowledge killeth. If that were the case what then did Paul mean in Ephesians 1:16-19?
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Let us also check Ephesians 3:2-4
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Paul was so concerned with Knowledge that he had to disregard all other things for the Excellency of KNOWLEDGE of Christ and then he always want to know more of the power of Christ’s resurrection. Let us check this truth in Philippians 3:8-10 below:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
That is why the Apostle Paul told his son in Christ, Timotheus to study to show himself approved, to be diligent and to take care of himself and his books. He understood the truth of the prophecy that “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)”. Paul knew that ‘shall’ implied the future at the time of giving the prophecy long before he was born and he understood that in his own time “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Chorinthians 4:6)”.
So, his time was the time of the beginning of the fulfilment of that prophecy in Habakkuk. For that reason he made efforts to know more. To prove that he is concerned about studying we must not that he commended the Bereans for being diligent to check the scriptures for the confirmation of the truth they heard.
The point we are making here is that faith cometh by hearing and hearing the word of God. So we must hear and listen to word of God. We must read the scriptures. But the Scriptures are complete yet too mysterious to be understood without explanatory inspirational Spirit-made Epistles of Paul. His letters became necessary that prophecies and their fulfilment may be well understood and that prophecies yet to be fulfilled may be adequately anticipated. In the same way, today, many ministers of God are being inspired by the Holy Spirit of God to write explanatory, inspirational Spirit-made Books about the Gospel. In fact, Paul’s letters that explained many things of the Old Testament are themselves being well explained by Spirit-led ministers of God today. I must confess that reading Smith Wigglesworth, Kenneth Hagin, Watchman Nee, Charles Spurgeon and many others of past generations; listening to Katherine Kulmahn, Watchman Nee, Spurgeon and many others of past generations; reading and listening to very many fathers and Spirit led teachers of the present cannot be overemphasised in terms of how helpful that has been to me and certain brothers. In fact, these teachers will make someone read the Bible more, understand more and dare for more of Him. No wonder a singer sang a song: the more I know You the more I want to know You, Jesus, more of you. One doesn’t graduate in the school of faith until one’s departure is at hand.
Let us describe the letters as ‘cramming’ and Knowledge as ‘explanation’ or the ‘letters as the formula and knowledge as the application of the formula to make solutions to problems. The formula in itself cannot solve any problem except that it is a guide to solving the problem. So, the formula must be understood beyond its letters or numbers.
The people who cram letters were the ones who would kill Jesus Christ for Sabbath violation even when he told them He is the Lord of the Sabbath. The truth is they couldn’t see the application of the formula; they only got the formula glued and rigid into their head. For example, how can the priest remember it has been said that he will ride on a colt and still hate him. Another example is Peter in his trance rejecting the dish brought from the master telling him to kill and eat. He never know that eat no unclean things does not mean eat no ‘cleansed unclean thing’. Paul new the word can be used to wash the church clean. Peter feared the men of letters when he acted in hypocrisy as Paul challenged him on the issue of eating with the uncircumcised.
Any religion that is fanatically on letters is a custom practice without understanding of the custom itself or the essence of such custom. When Paul was living on the letters, he persecuted the Church, he thought he was serving God but he was persecuting god’s people. He learnt that letters really killeth because it is a worship attempt tending to please one’s God but only to grief that God being worshipped.
To see knowdge as evil is dangerous, it’s bas. That is dangerous to faith Faustus’ soul be damned! Oh, he sought help from demons! Secular knowledge isn’t unnecessary since we live in a secular world. If Jesus asked Peter from whom the government collect tax and Peter answered that it’s from the alien then it means Jesus and Peter have knowledge about the government activities. To live in this world spiritually we cannot but know the wiles or tricks of the Devil as Paul said. We must be more established in the knowledge of Elohim- of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost- in several aspects in perpetual increasing revelations- increasing our love for Him and for His non-burdensome laws.
Finally, Peter said, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge (1 Peter 1:5). The essence of this paper must be clearly understood. We must not be discouraged from seeking to know more of God the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost; listening to God’s messages through his ministers and confirming them in the scriptures; reading books more and praying more. I know that in this paper, we see in the ending that secular knowledge isn’t forbidden, so in the academy one must also be diligent to know well. Many people are afraid of strange doctrines that must be of end times sign and so they closed the door of receiving more revelations from God. But here I come to challenge us to read the scriptures, attend solemn assemblies, attend studies, read holy books, and pray to know more of him.
HERE IS A HYMN ABOUT NOWING MORE OF HIM. I LOVE IT.
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.
More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.
More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.
For Questions, contact: +2348181910017, +2348034368501, +2349095432362, +2348138991423, +2348078331943 and +2348171493220;