Ginosko – which is most often translated as “know” or “known” is a word that means so much more than that. This word implies a certain type of knowing that is best explained in several English words. In English the best way to translate it would probably be to personally, intimately, and experientially know something. As you can see, it doesn’t really just mean to know about something, but to have known it through personal experience. In light of this, Ginosko could have times where it should not be translated to know at all but rather to experience, but most of the time it indicates the knowledge that comes from experiencing something in an intimate or personal way. In this way it does exhibit times where it would occupy part of what we call love. There are places in the New Testament (Mathew 1:25) and the Septuagint where this word is used in ways that implies physical intimacy. One can see that this doesn’t mean to have head knowledge or understand something, but to know something through intimate experience.
Oida – is another word that most translators also translate as to “know” in our English Bibles. However, this word means something altogether different from Ginosko’s personal or experiential knowledge; instead Oida means to “understand” something through observation. With this in mind it could probably be better understood as scientific knowledge, things that are able to be known scientifically through observation and therefore could be translated as “observe” or “understand” — to signify the type of knowing represented in the word
Apostle Paul Focuses on Experiential Knowledge
Having said this, another way to distinguish ginosko from oida is that ginosko is relational, i.e. knowing something because of an experience that allows you to intimately and personally know it. Meanwhile oida has nothing to do with relationship but a knowledge about something through observation. The important thing to understand is that it is ginosko knowledge (relational , personal, intimate, experiential knowledge) that Paul is constantly praying that we grow in throughout his letters. When we are exhorted throughout the New Testament to know God, it is not Oida that is used (we aren’t called to understand God) but instead much more we are called to Ginosko Him (to experience Him in an personal and intimate way). Amazingly this means we are not called to observe Him and know things about Him but instead to experience Him personally and intimately. Oh what an amazing God He is! How far beyond our understanding (Oida) and yet he wants us to know and experience Him in a personal and intimate way!
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief – Romans 4:20
It was a marvellous promise that this childless pair should have a child, and become progenitors of a great nation, so that the stars of the heavenly vault and the sand-grains on the ocean-shore should not be more numerous. And it was enough to stagger any man to be told of it. But Abraham staggered not. How was this?
It did not arise from ignoring the difficulties that obstructed its realization.–He might have done so. Whenever the natural obstacles arose in his mind, he might have ignored them. But this, according to the R. V. rendering of the previous verse, was not Abraham’s policy. He quietly and deliberately considered the enormous difficulties that lay in the path of the Divine purpose, and in spite of them “he staggered not.”
But his unstaggering faith arose from his great thoughts of Him who had promised.–He kept saying to himself, He is able, He is able. He knew that God would not have said what He could not perform. He knew that the God of nature was Lord of the nature He had made. He knew that no word of the Almighty could be destitute of power. He fed his faith by cherishing lofty and profound thoughts of God’s infinite resources. There rang in his heart the assurance, I am El Shaddai.
It is remarkable that, throughout Abraham’s life, God was continually giving new glimpses into His own glorious nature. With every temptation, call to obedience, or demand for sacrifice, a new and deeper revelation was entwined. This fed his faith, and gave it unstaggering strength. Child of God, feed thy faith on Promise. For every look at your difficulties, take ten at what thy God is.
Psalm 86:5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
We are blinded by sin, and cannot believe that God is ready to forgive. We think that we must induce Him to forgive, by tears, promises of amendment, religious observances. There is in every heart such difficulty in understanding the unwearying patience and ever-yearning love of our Heavenly Father.
Oh, clasp this word to your heart! Say it over and over again — “Ready to forgive, ready to forgive!” At any moment of the sad history of the prodigal, had he returned, he would have found his old father as ready to forgive as on the day, too long delayed, when he did return. The only pity was that he had not come long before.
You have fallen a hundred times, and are ashamed to come to God again; it seems too much to expect that He will receive you again. But He will, for He is ready to forgive. You feel that your sin is aggravated, because you knew so much better; but it makes no difference to Him, He is as ready to forgive you now, as when first you came.
You are disposed to wait a little, till your sin has become more remote, till passion has subsided, till the inscription has faded from the wall; but you might as well go at once, God is as ready to forgive at this moment as at any future time. You are wounding Him greatly by doubting Him. He is ready, waiting, eager to forgive.
You have only to call upon Him, and you would discover the plenteousness of His mercy. How ready Jesus ever was to forgive sinners, herein revealing God’s heart!
“O Love, Thou deep eternal tide, How dear are men to Thee!The Father’s heart in opened wide By Jesus’ blood to me.”
Psalm 85:10 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
THIS has been fitly called “the bridal of the earth and sky.” Mercy is the love that finds its reason in itself, its measure in helplessness and ill-desert. But in God it is always blended with Truth. God must be faithful to His covenant relations, to His Son, to Himself, and to the law which He has instituted.
Any display of mercy must be consistent with truth. These are heavenly twins. Where you meet one you will be sure of the other.Jesus was full of grace and truth. The love He brings is consistent with the highest considerations; and by His death it is so arranged that God acts consistently with His holy law in loving and saving the meanest and weakest believer.
Righteousness has for her twin sister Peace. “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isaiah 32:17)The King of Righteousness is after that the King of Peace. If you want peace, you must be right with God; and if you would be right with God, you must come to Jesus and become united to Him, who is made unto us the righteousness of God. At the cross these two kissed. The righteousness of God was satisfied, and the peace of man secured.
What a wondrous cross is that on which the Prince of Glory died! The question was — How could God be just, and yet justify the ungodly? How could He uphold the majesty of the moral law, and yet take sinners to His heart? But the answer came clear and satisfying, when the Maker of man took on Himself our sin and gave justice its due. Now see that perfect blending of the Divine attributes, and that God is “just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26)
Oh that truth might spring up as the response and echo of our hearts!
Psalm 100:3 “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
THE sense of God’s proprietorship is the true basis of our consecration. We must realize His rights over us before we can freely give Him His due. Those rights are manifold in their sweet reasonableness; but among them all, that of creation is one of the chief.
God has a right to us because He has made us. He made us, as the potter fashions the clay, for a distinct purpose; and surely He has a right to use the vessels of His workmanship for the purpose for which He has designed them.
He made us, as the builder erects a house for the purpose of inhabiting it; and surely He has a right to occupy every distinct room, and go to and fro in it as He may please. He made us, as the hand of the weaver makes some textile fabric for wearing; and surely He must not be debarred from the free and unquestioned disposal of that on which He has expended anxiety and time.
We are Christ’s by creation, by purchase (redemption), by toils and tears, by the gift of the Father. The Good Shepherd owns us, though we do not always acknowledge His ownership, or repay His pains and wounds on our behalf.
Look up into His face and say, “I am thine by a myriad ties, and am bound to Thee for evermore. Lead me where Thou wilt; guide me whither Thou choosest; count me as one of thy people; feed me on thy pasture-lands; make as much of me as Thou canst, this side of heaven; number me with thy saints in glory everlasting.”
“With bowed heads and open hearts,” says Dr. Westcott, “may we offer ourselves. We can do no more, and we dare do no less.”
Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
HOW God suits Himself to our need! In darkness, He is a Sun; in the sultry noon, a Shield; in our earthly pilgrimage He gives grace; when the morning of heaven breaks, He will give glory.
He suits Himself to every varying circumstance in our life. He becomes what the exigency of each moment requires. And as the psalmist well says, He withholds no good thing from them that walk uprightly.
Learn the art of extracting from God the special form of help of which you stand in need. The Sun is the source of light and life. With impartial beneficence He scatters His sunbeams on palace and cottage, mountain summit and lowland valley. He is ever pouring out His beams. It is our part only to stand in them, or to open casement or door. God is shining, dear heart. Get out of yourself, and let your shivering frame be warmed by the sunshine of His untiring love.
A Shield may be the shadow of a great rock in the scorching desert, or the canopy of a gourd’s growth (as in the case of Jonah). Put God between yourself and the sirocco (hot wind) of temptation. Is the noon with its burning heat too much for you? Take shelter in the Lord God. The heat shall not smite you by day, nor the frost by night.
Do you need Grace? He is full of it. His grace is sufficient. With both hands He will give and give again; only practise the habit of taking. Grace is the bud of which Glory is the flower. If He has given this, He will not withhold that. If you knew the gift of God, you would be sure that the germ of Glory is within you, waiting only for the summer of Eternity to come into perfect beauty.
From the book “Forgiving Others: A Key To Inner Healing”
A lady came to our clinic. She had a problem and wanted to be prayed for. She spoke to me a little.
I immediately discerned that she had another problem which was more serious than the one she was presenting to me. I asked her if she was bitter against anyone. She waited for a while and then told me, “Yes, I am bitter against my former husband. He treated me very badly and finally divorced me and made no provisions for me and the two children we had together. I hate him.” Another woman said, “I am bitter against my husband because he brought another woman and pays more attention to her than to me.” Another said, “I am bitter against my mother-in-law. She helped to turn my husbands’ heart against me.” A graduate told me, “I hate one girl with my total force. She preferred another man to me and put me to public shame. Each time I think of her, anger wells up in me and I long for revenge.” Another man said, “My boss stood in my way and so I was not promoted. I am waiting for the day when I shall hear of his death and then I shall celebrate.” Another man said, “This government threw me out of my job and shut me up in a cell. While I was in prison, I lost everything. I am waiting for the day that it shall be toppled and may it be soon. I would like it to be a bloody takeover and may whoever takes over be a ruthless destroyer who would spare no one. Then I shall be happy.”
All these statements come from people who are bitter. They were probably wronged by someone and they kept the wrong in their hearts and nourished it. They bear a grudge against someone or some group of people. They have not forgiven those who wronged them. They would like the people concerned to be punished for the evil they did to them.
An unforgiving spirit is one of the greatest liabilities that anyone can afford to have. An unforgiving spirit will destroy its owner in two major ways: it will lead to spiritual death and it may lead to physical death in the long run.
The Bible says,
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).
“So also my heavenly Father will do to everyone of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).
The Word of God is plain on the matter: those who do not forgive those who wrong them will themselves not be forgiven by the Lord. They may confess their sins to Him but, as there is someone whom they will not forgive, they will not be forgiven by the Lord. So, a person can forgive and then be forgiven or he can be unforgiving and have his sins retained against him by the Lord. If the Lord does not forgive anyone, that one is lost. This means that the one who has chosen not to forgive has also chosen to perish. Those who do not forgive are harbouring sin in their hearts and, as such, the Lord cannot hear them. Dear saint, this should make you see that forgiving those who have hurt you is not an optional affair. It is basic to spiritual life.
In this matter of forgiving those who have hurt you, it is not a matter that depends upon the fact that they have seen their wrong, repented of it and come to you for forgiveness. The forgiveness that the Bible here talks of, depends on you and not on those who have wronged you. It is the type of forgiveness that was manifested on the cross by the Lord when He prayed for His unrepentant crucifiers, saying,
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
To a certain extent, they knew what they were doing. At another level, they did not know what they were doing; for the god of this world had blinded their eyes. So, the Lord did not wait for them to repent and ask for pardon. He forgave them when there was no indication that they intended to repent. All believers are called to forgive in the same spirit.
The Bible demands that forgiveness be from the heart. It is not just words. I once read the story of two people who had quarrelled. Their relationship was broken for years. None of them did anything to restore the relationship. One day, one of the two men fell sick and felt that he could die. He sent for the other man and asked that they should make peace. The other man agreed and they shook hands as a symbol that their quarrel was over. No sooner had they removed their hands from each other’s grasp than the man who was sick said, “This reconciliation does not stand, if I do not die.” He was prepared to act out a reconciliation, but the forgiveness that the Lord wants must be deep and thorough and from the heart. Since not forgiving is a sin, the act of bearing a grudge or being unforgiving must be confessed to the Lord as a sin, and cleansing sought.
Then confession might have to be made to the person against whom the sin was committed. When this sin is being confessed to man, there should be no attempt to justify it. It is not a matter of going to someone and saying to him, “You did this and that against me. You were wrong, but I forgive you.” It is a matter of going to someone with a broken and contrite heart and falling before him and saying to him, “I sinned against God and against you by harbouring an unforgiving attitude towards you. It is all my fault. I am guilty. Please forgive me.”
Those who are repentant of the sin of having an unforgiving heart will not try to justify themselves. They will not even tell the person what led to the sin. They will confess it thoroughly. The reason why they would not expose the wrong that was done against them is that they see clearly that, regardless of whatever wrong was done to them, they have no justification, whatsoever, to be unforgiving. The truly repentant do not justify their sin in any way. They do nothing to palliate the wrong that they have done. They see themselves as having sinned, even if the other party is ninety-nine percent at fault.
The repentant put things right at once. They forgive immediately, even if they do not feel like it. They will forgive and carry out acts that befit forgiveness, regardless of how they feel. They move with their wills and thus cause their emotions to follow.
When a person forgives, he releases healing power. He is the first beneficiary from the healing power that is released by his forgiving someone. While there was the barrier between him and another person, part of his being was as if imprisoned. With the act of forgiveness, life flows anew into all of his being and the wounds that were caused by his sin of not forgiving, receive a healing touch.
An unforgiving spirit may lead to physical death. When a person meets someone against whom he holds a grudge, he gets disquieted from within. His body secretes substances that are toxic and harmful to his health. His blood pressure may rise. The initial hurt that was caused by the act that led to unforgiveness deepens and the wound expands. He becomes restless and his peace is gone. Things worsen as the one whom he has not forgiven prospers. He may say many evil things against the person and wish him a lot of evil in his thoughts. The unforgiven party knows nothing about the thoughts and the words that are harboured or spoken against him, and so is unaffected by them. However, the one who is bitter is actually firing bullets against himself with every negative thought, wish or desire. He is, finally, the sufferer both in the spiritual and physical realm.
We can sum this up by saying that a person with an unforgiving heart is doing terrible harm to himself at all levels. He should repent of this sin, confess it, forsake it and carry out restitution. He will receive inner healing for himself. He will also minister inner healing to the one he has forgiven; for, by opening himself up to loving the person and being loved by him, he blesses him.
Two things need to be observed: first, fasting needs to be an act of glad obedience to the direction of the Lord; second, God unfailingly honors the sacrificial discipline involved in fasting.
O. Hallesby has written: “The purpose of fasting is to loosen to some degree the ties which bind us to the world of material things and our surroundings as a whole, in order that we may concentrate all our spiritual powers upon the unseen and eternal things.”
I agree completely. I’ve been practising fastingin recent times, and intend to make it a discipline. In the most difficult and desperate situations, when it seems there is no way out – and your prayers are not being heard, and you are struggling for days – then the only way out is to ‘Fast and Pray!’. The enemy is cast out by fasting and prayer, Mark 9.29.
In two experiences in recent times, I gained the victory through Fasting. The first experience was quite intense and frightening; I was helped by Andrew Murray. I carried three books of his to America. I fasted two and half days, skipping every meal, and taking only liquids. In a wonderful way, God gave victory. [Andrew Murray himself was helped by Johann Christoph Blumhardt (Mottlingen Revival)].
The second experience – the one I’m going through now – God has (already) given the victory. The war against the evil one has reached a peak. The first battle is won, but the war with the enemy is raging still. God gave victory through His Word; how vivid and how powerful His word came to me and my wife during the trial of October 15, 2020. I had been preparing for about 10 days, and I was fasting in between (a 24 hour fast). (My wife couldn’t fast, being diabetic.) But on the night of October 15 she too fasted. It was a tremendous experience. The Holy Spirit took us through His Word: Psalm 72, Psalm 71, Psalm 118, Psalm 116, Isaiah 54, Jeremiah 31 and many other portions of Scripture. The devil tried to plant doubts and anxieties in our hearts, and tried to divert our attention to the physical circumstances; but the Holy Spirit had gripped our hearts and again and again we were led to the Word. We opened the Scriptures at the prompting of the Divine Spirit, and read them with a new light and new power. The Word was both a weapon of defence and also a weapon of aggression. The four hours we went through, it felt like we were going through a terrible storm on a boisterous sea. But the Lord was saying, ‘Have faith!’. Luke 8.24, 25. ‘Look unto Me!’ In effect, He was saying, ‘Where is your faith? Believe that I am the Almighty, the Omnipotent One. You are involved in a spiritual battle, and I will carry you through! I am your El Shaddai, Emmanuel and Ebenezer God!’
The enemy is still counter-attacking, but our defence is i. the Word of God. And ii. fasting. And iii. prayer. Just these three. (Besides, of course, a clear conscience and a determination to glorify Christ in this situation!)
Why is fasting so important? As Hallesby says: ‘That we may concentrate all our spiritual powers upon the unseen and eternal things’…by taking our eyes away from the visible, the temporal and the physical things. We walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor 5.7. Faith comes from God’s infallible Word, the Word that speaks to us clearly through the voice of the Holy Spirit. God is faithful and true. He honours the determination to seek Him with a whole heart, Jeremiah 29.13. Giving up food (one or two meals in a day) is almost nothing, when we compare this little sacrifice with the eternal reward that awaits us! And not only the future reward, but we will ‘see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’; yes, here on earth, in multiplied spiritual and material blessings. The spiritual is most important; but God, knowing how frail we are, rewards us with material blessings, too – so long as we don’t hold on to them, but keep sharing them with poor and needy children of God. Christ’s character, ‘Christ fully formed in us’ – that’s the goal! Gal 4.19
I hope you understand what is being written now, so hurriedly on a Sony Vaio laptop with the wifi button not functioning. So I have to type and also hold the wifi button in place so as to send out this post to the Internet.
Love and prayers! (And pray for me! Every prayer counts!)
His mother Hannah made him a little coat. 1 Sam. 2.19.
What happy work it was! Those nimble fingers flew along the seams, because love inspired them. All her woman’s art and wit were put into the garment, her one idea and ambition being to make something which should be not only useful, but becoming. Not mothers only, but fathers, are always making little coats for their children, which they wear Iong years after a material fabric would have become worn out. How many men and women are wearing today the coats which their parents cut out and made for them long years ago!
Habits are the vesture of the soul. The Apostle bade his converts put off the old man, “which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts,” and to put on the new man, “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”; to put off anger, wrath, and malice, whilst they put on mercy, humility, and meekness. What words could better establish the fact that habits are (as the name indicates) the clothing of the inner life! Where and how are habits formed? Not in the mid-passage of life, but at its dawn; not in great crises, but in daily circumstances; not in life’s arena, but in the home, amid the surroundings of earliest childhood. Oh that the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness may ever be exhibited before those with whom we daily come in contact!
By their behaviour to each other and to their children; by the ordering of the home-life; by their actions, more than by their words; by the way in which they speak, and spend their leisure hours, and pray — men and women are making the little coats which, for better or worse, their children wear ever after, and perhaps pass down to after generations.