"EXACT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD."

Jesus once said to his disciples, "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven." What, then, did Peter lack when he stepped out upon the troubled waves of the Sea of Galilee that he failed to walk upon the water? Why, after his impulsive declaration, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death," did he fail so ingloriously in the hour of trial? How different from Peter's behavior at the trial of Jesus was his conduct a few weeks later, when he stood up in the presence of the multitude and spoke the word of God with boldness. Surely some wonderful knowledge had been revealed to him which had transformed the cowering craven into a fearless champion of his Master's cause! With characteristic enthusiasm, Paul declares, in his epistle to the Philippians, that he counted all things as nothing when compared to the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." In several instances he uses the Greek word epignosis, which, according to the best authority, should be rendered exact knowledge. In Colossians we read, "So that their hearts may be comforted, being closely united in love and in all the wealth of the full assurance of the understanding in order to an exact knowledge of the secret of God; in which are stored all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Wilson's Translation)

The only science worthy of the name is exact knowledge capable of demonstration. It therefore appears that Paul pointed the Colossians to the Science of God, or divine Science. The remark of Jesus to the lawyers, "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered," makes it clear that the Hebrew prophets, poets, and teachers knew something of this "secret of God." Was it not the perfect law which David declared "more to be desired than much fine gold," and in the 1st Psalm to be the delight of the godly man, on which he meditates "day and night"? which Solomon declares to be the "fountain of life"? We catch faint echoes of this healing truth from remotest antiquity, and it was the mission of Jesus to restore to the world the "key of David." He committed the healing truth to his disciples, who prized it above all things; but again those who would make merchandise of the sacred things of God took it away and hid it in a mountain of rubbish. For two thousand years learned doctors have added to this mountain of theological disputations and vain sophistries, bringing us down to the nineteenth century. They then solemnly sent forth the dictum that, in the light of modern science, there probably never was a key, or, if a key ever existed, the world had progressed beyond the necessity for its use. Thus the "wise and prudent" ruthlessly shut the door of hope in the faces of those to whom Jesus brought the "good tidings"—the poor, the sick, the broken-hearted, and the captive.

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WORDS AND WORKS
August 22, 1908
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