Summary: Focusing on the importance of understanding properly the three cardinal Christian doctrines...by proper analysis of three Greek words used in New Testament "Oidate", "Ginosko" and "Epiginosko", which all have been translated as only "know" in English !!!
KNOWING ABOUT “KNOWING”!!!
Now this kind of title is bound to raise a few eyebrows much like the title “Prophesying about Prophecies” would do. Can we really prophesy about say Tribulation related prophecies contained in Rev 6-19 of the Bible? Yes, by simply prophesying with conviction that they would all come true! Similarly can we come to “know” more about the word “Know” as used in the Scripture? The answer is a resounding yes!!!
Boom! This subject assumes paramount significance especially in the wake of grim words Jesus has reserved to employ for some misguided Charismatic “servants” of God at the time of reckoning which would cause tumultuous shock to them…‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt 7:23).
What??? An omniscient God (Pro 15:11/Heb 4:13) “not” knowing about some of His own professing Servants? Does it not go against all Canons’ of Spiritual logic based on the truthful Canon (Psa 119:142/160)? For an answer, let us aim to understand the meaning of the word “Know” in original Greek text. Incidentally for the English word “Know” there are three Greek words each describing the higher level of intimacy and knowledge of the Subject concerned. Two of which, I would like to focus upon immediately, with the best (exposition of the third word) of course being reserved for the last!!!
Firstly the Greek Word “Oidate” used for instance in John 7:28 (You know where I was born…) as also in Matt 20:22/24:42 conveys merely “superficial knowledge” akin to the English equivalent of "I see what you are saying." By contrast another Greek word “Ginosko” which is what is attributed to our Lord in the key scripture portion-Matt 7:23- means “knowing through personal experience”. This is also used in other Scripture portions like Luke 1:34, John 8:32, 10:14…
Now we are closer to nailing the truth as it were behind the truth in Matt 7:23.What the good Lord is actually saying is this…between that genre of His professing Servants and Him, there was never any “oneness of mind”. In other words, their priorities whilst purportedly doing Ministry in His Name influenced probably by self-seeking lust for fame, wealth or pleasures were never His. In short, they NEVER KNEW Him well enough to align their priorities with His despite His many efforts to correct them, so much so, He had to abandon them to their errant ways. Dear Friends, the biggest punishment on this of Eternity ironically is not a chastisement bringing in its wake indescribable agony (a La Jonah in Sheol experience -Jonah 2) but the one when the Lord gives up a misguided soul to its own self-gratification ways…sad to say…even when “those ways” mean service ostensibly done selflessly in His Name (Rom 1:28). In case, if you are now you going through a painful disciplining process, Praise God for it for it means He is not willing to give up on you (Heb 12:5-11).
While on the subject, how about applying this paramount “knowing about knowing” concept to each of the three cardinal Christian Doctrines beginning with…
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”- John 17:3
Well, the Christian life begins as it were by experientially knowing God and Jesus Christ (here too for “know” the Greek word “Ginosko” is used in the original text) which means being quickened from spiritual death by the receipt of life-giving God's Spirit (Rom 8:2). Until that Spirit is known and received as an earnest of the soul's inheritance, there can be no saving knowledge of God and Christ (Romans 8:9). Doesn’t the ever truthful Scripture attest this truth in another place…"Hereby we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He hath given us his Spirit" (1 John 4:13).
This new birth experience is bound to generate oodles of respect and love in the Saved for the Saviour (Luke 7:47). If Success in the Book of Thomas Edison is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, then let it be said that major component of the “all odds surmounting love” (I Cor 13:7) in the forgiven one is respect for the Forgiver. Respect in essence is the core belief that my Divine Deliverer from sin is good all the time. Period (Thanks Don Moen)!!!
For instance, did the Jews in the Wilderness who missed out on the Promised Land really “know” Him? Obviously “NO” since one can easily discern from their frequent rebellious outbursts (Exo 16:3/17:3/Numbers 11:4-6/14:3) that from far from loving Him, they did not even respect Him in the first place!!! True knowledge of the Saviour would lead to respect in one’s heart culminating in love-laced obedience at all times to ONE who gave His all at the Cross to “buy” our pardon (2 Cor 5:21).