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Dr. Ed Young - How to Know

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    Dr. Ed Young - How to Know

A word about my situation: I-27, 28 years ago, I had a blocked lat. Artery-lateral, anterior, descending artery to your heart, about 98%. And I had angina, all the symptoms which I denied for a long time. And , til' I had the Popeye arms, and I said, "Time-out! This is serious..." So I went some 27, 28 years ago and they did an angioplasty, which is simply a balloon that pushes all the crud you see on television every time you turn it on, to the side. And so, I, I did super for all these years; but heredity, my good cholesterol, the bottom, the HDL, it's always been abnormally low.

And, so I've done everything-taken every kind of medicine with a wonderful cardiologist, who's a part of our church. I've taken everything you've seen advertised on television, ten times over, and I've not, not been able to take it. And so, therefore, the ratio, though my bad cholesterol was not high by any other standards; the ratio was poor. And so uh, as I was working out months ago now, I began to feel a heaviness in my chest one time, and next time, day, I wouldn't. I mentioned it to my cardiologist. He went down and ran all the checks, and he discovered that four arteries going to my heart were 90% blocked.

Now remember, I ran three miles and got on the operating table with no pain. So don't be deceived-say, "Boy, I can do this and do that. I don't have any problem" because I was in reasonably good shape, I think you know, and uh, so! They went in and did a triple bypass and I'm thankful that I've recovered. I have more energy, more zip! I've got back into reasonably good shape, running hills and little bit of swimming, and I can't quite press 400 pounds twenty times, but I'm working on it! So, I'm probably healthier than I've been for twenty-plus years! So I'm thankful to God for that and for the surgical process! Jo Beth told somebody, I shouldn't tell you this: Said, "You'd better not go to church Sunday! He hadn't preached for over three months, and he'll probably preach for three hours! So, that's not true! Relax"!

People ask, "Spiritually, what about this"? Well, you know, I was praying. Uh, as I seek to daily, and I will have to tell you, I did not pray for myself. I didn't pray for healing. I asked God to be with the doctors, and I just did what I try to do every day. I said, "Lord, I just surrender to You". You've heard me say that. "I'm Your property. I surrender"! And God said to me as clearly as I'm speaking to you, "I've gotcha"! So I told Jo Beth, I said, this was the night before the surgery. I said, "You know, God spoke to me just clearly", and He said, "I've gotcha"! And I said, "You know, that's terrific"! Then next morning, I got up to go preparation for the surgery. Then I thought, "God, do You have me here, or have me there"? And He didn't tell me! No, He didn't tell me. Really didn't.

And I said, "I've asked a stupid question. It doesn't make any difference as long as He's got you". Right? It doesn't make any difference! And, I don't have a lot of spooky voices, lightening flashing stuff! You know that, I share with you. But I know that He said, "I've gotcha"! Uh, that brought me right to the study of I John. Little Book of I John really is all about John teaching those who are Christians to understand that we, if we are in Christ and Christ is in us, whatever, "I've gotcha"! That's what I John is about. It's about knowing. It's about knowing that you know. You don't think, you don't hope, you don't doubt; you just know.

In fact, in I John, the word "know", K.N.O.W. is mentioned thirty-eight times! "I know-I know, we know" all the way through the little Book. And it's a wonderful Book. It was written by the Apostle John, the Apostle Jesus loved. He also wrote G-John. That's the Gospel of John. And he wrote these three little-they're really not letters; they're more words of exhortation. As the mountain preacher said, "One-eyed, two-eyed, and three-eyed John". Also, he wrote the Book of Revelation. He wrote this Book; he was in his 80's. He was perhaps the last living Apostle, and he was in Ephesus. It was prior to him being exiled to Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. And as an older man, he was speaking to the church as a whole, generally to the church. He was reminding them of exactly who Jesus was and the essentials of their faith.

And he was standing up and saying, "Jesus was totally Man, and totally God" because that was an issue. Was He just a ghost, or was He just human? Uh, but he reminds them, and it's just a wonderful study of Christology as to Who Jesus is. Jesus' human name, "Christ", Arabic word for "Messiah". So you say, "Jesus Christ", you are already proclaiming that He is indeed the promised Messiah, which is God with flesh on in time and in space. And this is the thrust of I John, a tremendous, a tremendous study! Now, how would you like to know the outline of I John, and I can guarantee you'll remember it for the rest of your life?

Would everybody stand to your feet? Everybody stand up! By the way, I hate to go to church or anywhere and they make me stand when I was just getting comfortable! So I apologize! I identify with you. But I want you to remember the outline of I John, because we're going to walk right through it in these months to come. Now here's the outline you can remember: Chapter 1 of I John, Verse 1 through Chapter 2, Verse 21; it tells us that God is light. Would you say that with me and follow it with this gesture? "God is light"! Let's do it again! Everybody! It's not too hard! Here we go! Everybody! I'm going to wait til everybody... "God is light"! One more time! "God is light"!

First two Chapters. Chapter 3 of I John, Verse 1, all the we, all the way through Chapter 4, Verse 29, it says, "God is love". Look at this together! "God is love". Everybody! "God is love"! Okay. Then the 5th Chapter is says, "God is life". Say it with me! God is life! See the heart beating? That's big! "God is life"! Now, look how you can remember that outline. Look, let's just do the gestures without the words. You remember what the first two Chapters are. God is? God is? The loving arms of Jesus wrapped around you saying, "I've gotcha"! See? And God is? So let's just do the gestures without a word now! You've got the whole outline in gestures! Here we go! Okay!

Now, I want us to read the Scripture together, the first four Verses. It'll be on the screen, so you have The New American Standard with you. You can read it in your Bibles. Let's read this together if we can! Open your Bibles, I John, first four Verses. Here we go, together! Okay? "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands concerning the Word of life; and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and testify, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us". Verse 3: "What we have seen and heard, we proclaim to you also so that you too, may have fellowship with us, and indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. These things we write so that our joy may be made complete".

Listen! It's terrific! The first four Verses that we read together, one, two, three, four summarize and tell us where we're going in the study of I John. Just those four Verses! It's like an introduction. By the way, I'm going to give you a big, fifty-dollar word! A lot of us know five-dollar words, ten-dol... I'm gonna give you a fifty-dollar word! Look at it! It's "epistemology"! Whew! Somebody at work just says something-he says, ask 'em, "You know what epistemology is"? "Oh....." Epistemology is simply, you know, all the big words, by the way, that doctors, and lawyers, and professional people, theologians use, they're really little words. They just want to sound erudite and educated by using big words. This is one we need to know! Epistemology is the study of how do you know that you know?

When you say, "I know..." Well, how do you know that you know? That's the question! But also, there are two primary kinds of knowing. The first is objective knowing, and let's look at this. Objective knowing means that "Man, I know I have experienced it"! This is Verse 1 of I John, Chapter 1. The Apostle, talking about his three years with intimate contact with Jesus, he said, "Three times, I listen, I saw Him. Twice" he said, "I listened". And once, he said, "I touched..." Other words, he's saying with historical, personal experience and evidence that involved his senses that "I know". You, you can't debate with that!

Now, what does this mean? It means when you put all the senses together-your hearing, your seeing, your smelling, your tasting, and your touching and you come to a conclusion that you have experienced all of this sensually; you come and say, "I know this! I know this"! Because all of your senses have come together! This is exactly and precisely the objective kind of knowledge that the Apostle John is telling us here in Verse 1. He says, "I have seen..." He says it three times. He says, "Once I have gazed..." He said, "I have listened..." He says it twice. He says, "I have touched". And he could have said, you know, "I have smelled, and I have tasted because all the senses are involved together".

Does anybody want to argue with the Apostle John about who Jesus was, and what He was about as God in fleshed (in the flesh) on this earth? That is objective evidence! This is how you know, one way, objective evidence. There's another way you know. And it is called "subjective evidence". This is, this is Verse 2. It says, "Was manifested to us..." When I told you that God spoke to me and said, "I've gotcha", you'd say, "Well, that's what he thinks. That was his opinion..." You know, I didn't expect God to say anything! I just said, "Lord, I surrender"! I didn't say, "Speak to me"! Or huh.... I've tried that a lot of times, haven't you? He just said, "I've gotcha"!

Now that's subjective. That's my experience! I know that's true! I don't have any doubt! I've, I've got more confidence in that than I'm standing on this platform! God said, "I've gotcha"! But that's subjective, see? That's open, open for debate. And I want you to see something in our Scripture. I want you to see these, three phrases that are here. This is fabulous! Look at Verse 1. It says, John is saying, "We have seen Him with our own eyes..." We have seen! Look at Verse 2. He says, "Have seen..." Verse 3, he says, "Have seen..." Now, there is a Greek word used there, "Horao, Horao", is the Greek word for "to see". The Greeks had many different words for seeing. Many different words...

Now, you don't have time to do it and it'll be on your screen. Go to John, Chapter 20, and you have the Resurrection appearance. Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and sees that Jesus is not there. She runs back and tells Peter and John, "They've taken Him away! They've done something away with our Lord"! And Peter and John run to the tomb! In time of death, when you're sitting around, if you can do something or have to do something, it helps, doesn't it? You know, we, we want to do something. So they ran to the tomb, and John, being younger than Peter and not as fat as Peter, and he hadn't had as much St. Peter's fish and hush puppies, and John outran Peter to the tomb. This is John, 20. And John gets there, and there's a word in the Greek used that John "saw" into the tomb.

John saw. And the word for "saw" there, it's like I would say, "I see this congregation". It's a general observation word for seeing in the Greek. I saw, I see. Now, Peter, when he gets there-Hah, hah, hah! Out of breath, pushes John to one side and goes into the tomb, and he used the word-he said, "And Peter saw...." He uses another Greek word for "see" that means "He saw individual things..." Just like I would say, "I see that screen. I see that light. I see that duck. I see individuals. I see the carpet. See, I'm seeing individual things..." That's what the word Peter. He looked in the tomb and saw the cocoon was there the cloth wasn't unrolled, the headband.... He saw the Je... He just saw that; but he saw individual things. The word for individual...

And then, the third time, it says, "John saw and believed..." and that's our word, "Horao", the same word used three times that John uses in Chapter 1. It means he "saw" with understanding and he believed, and he saw that Jesus had indeed been risen from the dead by the Father. And see, that's when you can say, theologically, and actually in experience; that's when John became a full-grown Christian! He saw with belief, and he saw with understanding, and that's the word that's used here. "Have seen, have seen, have seen..." Isn't that terrific? But that's subjective.

See, that's what John experienced. That, that is a subjective way of knowing. So there's many ways of knowing. We talked about that. There is objective knowing, and there is subjective knowing, and we see the subjective knowing that John experienced there in John, Chapter 20; but it's knowing with understanding and with belief. A different word for seeing is knowing. Now, got to ask the question, "What do we need to know"? We say, "I know". What is this we need to know? I want to show you four "what's", this little new pronoun that's there. Look at Verse 1-"what" Middle of Verse 1, "what". Further in Verse 1, "what". See it there? Another in Verse 1. "What". Look down in, in Verse 3. "What". What is the "what's"? What do we need to know? What is what? Somebody ask you, "What did your pastor speak on Sunday"? "What is what"! Say, "Boy, that must have been great"!

What is what? This is what we need to know! What is that what? It tells us here. The Word of God, eternity, etc... That "what" is the Person of Jesus, who He was, God with flesh on, Messiah. The Person. It tells us the words of Jesus, what He taught. That's a part of the "what". And it tells us also, not only the works of Jesus, but it tells us the words of Jesus and the Person of Jesus, what He taught, and what He did! The works! Crucifixion, Resurrection, what He did, miracles. You see, that is the "what"! So what do we need to know? We need to know those things! The Person, Who Jesus is; the words of Jesus, what He taught; and the works of Jesus, what He did as it involves personally you, and personally me.

Now here's the bigggg question! Why do we need to know? Why? Two words involved. First word, you see it there, is the word "fellowship". So we have fellowship with one another and with the Father, and with the Son. Fellowship! Big, big word! How do I know I'm a Christian? How do I know? How do you know that God has you, and God has me? How do we know this? It's because of fellowship. Put it like this: When you pray, after you say, "Lord, help me! Lord, forgive me! Lord, give me. Lord, give me wisdom..."

After all of that, are there moments when you feel like God is counseling you when you pray? Are there moments when God is instructing you? Are there moments when God is leading you to pray about someone else specifically? Are here moments when you know He is visiting you, and instructing you, and helping you, and encouraging you, and pointing thing outs to you in your...? If so, you have fellowship with Him, and that is one way that we know. See? And the other word is "joy". You, that's why we need to know, is because of joy! What is joy? This is joy! I can't have joy when most of the family of Christ doesn't have joy! You know, I, say, "Boy, I've got to go in for a triple bypass! Hah! I'm just so joyful! My brother has died! I'm just joyful..." No, no, no!

This kind of joy is there, whether it's surgery, whether it's death, whether it's victory, whether it's defeat, whether it's suffering, whether, whatever it is, this complete joy is there, independent of whatever is going on in your life, or in my life! It flows up! It falls down! It is solid! It is not capricious; it is there! That's the complete joy that we have when we know that we know that He's got us, and we've got Him! Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman, last century, in New York for several decades, a leader, says that when he was in Harvard, he signed up and took a course in calculus. How many of you have had a course in calculus?

Lift your hand! Whew! Heh, heh! It's heavy! He said he was in count-he had a professor who was mean, ornery, vain, loved to embarrass you! Tough! Impersonal! The opposite of what you want any teacher to have; this professor had it, but brilliant! One day in class, toward the end of the semester, he gave all the class a problem in calculus. He said, "Take this problem home and come back in the morning with an answer, able to work this problem. And if you get the problem right, I will raise you a letter grade"! Boy, that's big, isn't it? For most of us, we'd go from a "D" to a "C". Some, from an "F" to a "D". I mean, I know how that works!

And so, Beecher went home. He said, "Man, I worked on that problem! I got by myself! I worked, worked, worked"! He said, "I worked all the first part of the night". He said, "About quarter to two, I got it"! You know that feeling? I got it? He said, "I worked it". Said, "I knew I had it. I had it right"! Next morning, went to class.

He said, "Professor looked over there and said, 'All right!' Uh, he said, 'Bob, you come up here! Work the problem on the board.' So this guy got up. He works his problem on the board, and you know calculus, he goes through, and they had slide-rules in those days, not computers-different. And he worked it away. And he got through and had the answer, and the prof said, 'It's wrong! Sit down!' Said, 'You! You come up! Alice, come up!' She goes up. She works on the board... Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da.... Got through, and he said, 'It's wrong! Sit down!' Said, 'Okay, you go up!' Called on somebody else! So, 'Bill, you go up!' Bill goes up. He begins to work the problem just exactly the way Beecher had worked the problem. He was seated out there. And he goes all the way through it, and he gets the same answer Beecher did! Ah! When he gets through, the prof said, 'You're wrong! Sit down!' So Beecher lifts his hand. He says, 'Dr.? I think he worked it correctly.' He said, 'Who do you think you are, Beecher?' He said, 'Look. Check the textbook out. You see whose name is on that textbook? I wrote that.' He said, 'I have the chair of mathematics here at, advance mathematics at Harvard University, and you're gonna refute me? He's wrong!' Beecher said, 'Well, I don't...' He said, 'Well, you come up and work the problem!' So Beecher worked the problem exactly like Bill did before him. Exactly the same answer. And the professor said, 'You're wrong!' He said, 'I don't mean any disrespect. I don't want to...huh, but, I just, I, I know I'm right!' He said, 'You know you're right?' He said, 'Do you know how many degrees I have? You know, I've lectured around the world on every kind of math, particularly calculus, and you're telling me that you know you're right, and I'm wrong? I have never had a student as arrogant, as pompous as you are! I can't even imagine being someone like you! Your answer is wrong! You need to admit and see that it's wrong!' Beecher dropped his head. The prof said, 'All right! Do you understand you're wrong?' He said, 'No sir. I'm right.' And then the professor said, 'He's right.' And the class explodes! They go bazooka! 'Oh, the way you treated these, those other kids! How wrong! What are you trying to do? Indoctrinate a man?' They just tied in that professor, and they lacerated him! 'Man, it's inconceivable! We're reporting you to the dean! I've never seen anybody act in, as a teacher in my life!' And they just take off and rip him up! He just stands there. Finally, he says, 'Time out! Time out.' He said, 'I did this to teach you something.' He said, 'Young men and young women, when you get out in the world, there will be some things that you can say, 'I know'. He said, 'A lot of people who are smarter, richer, more experienced, older, that has a string of degrees and experience-they will try to put you down, and they will try to submerge you and say you're wrong, you're wrong! You don't know!' And he said, 'In the world, I'm trying to teach you today, when you say, 'I know' that you are sure that you know!'"

I know God said to me, "I've gotcha"! Do you know?
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