Rabbi Schneider - Acknowledging God vs Knowing God
After Paul reveals these deep mysteries about being chosen in Messiah in eternity, before the foundation of the world, he then prays for us beginning in verse number 17 that the Father would open our heart and our eyes through wisdom and revelation by the Holy Spirit to comprehend these mysteries. And that's what we're going to talk about today. But before we do, I want to make one final comment about something that was in Paul's heart in relationship, beloved, to you and I, Jew and Gentile, becoming one, becoming brothers in Messiah Jesus.
You see, before Yeshua came, beloved, there was no communion between Jewish people and Gentile people. The Israelites were separated from all the other peoples of the world, and they were the only ones that had revelation about who the one God was. But remember, the Father predicted and he prophesied to Abraham, he said Abraham, in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. And the seed that the Father was referring to when he made that promise to Abraham, beloved, is Jesus. And so now that Jesus has come, beloved, the blessing of Abraham has come upon the Gentiles as well, that now the Jewish people aren't the only people that know God, but rather, Jew and Gentile, beloved, have been brought into relationship with God through Messiah Jesus, Jew and Gentile have become one in Messiah.
Now, I know that for some of you that are listening right now, this information that I'm sharing with you may not seem that stimulating, but you have to understand once again the heart and the mind of Paul when he wrote the book of Ephesians. This was big news for the Jews of Paul's day, because up until this point they had no fellowship with Gentiles. In fact, they thought Gentiles were unclean. Remember the story in the book of Acts when Peter went to sleep on the roof as they were preparing a meal, and he fell asleep and fell into a trance. And in the trance he saw a sheet being lowered, and all types of unkosher animals were on the sheet. And he heard a voice saying Peter, take, kill and eat.
And remember Peter said Lord, I've never eaten anything unholy or unclean. And then he woke up. And the Scripture says while he was pondering what that could have meant, somebody knocked on the door, and it was a messenger of the Gentile Cornelius. And Cornelius again was a Gentile, and then Peter understood the meaning of the vision, that he wasn't to consider Cornelius, a Gentile, as unclean, but was to go and share the Gospel with him. So now beloved, God has brought Gentiles into communion with him even as he revealed himself originally to just the Jewish people.
And so with that introduction to the concept, I'm going to read now Ephesians chapter 1, verse 12 and 13. Remember, this was a big deal to Paul. So in verse number 12, Paul says, to the end, we're looking at 1:12. To the end we who were the first hope in Messiah should be able to be to the praise of his glory. So he says now us, he said we who are the first to hope in Messiah, it's to the praise of his glory. Who was he speaking to when he said we who were the first to hope in Messiah? Who were the first to hope in Messiah? They were the Jewish people, right? They were the Israelites. Because remember, Jesus said I've come only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And the first church was all Jewish. It wasn't until Peter's vision on the roof that I just spoke of that people began to understand that now God was bringing Gentiles in.
So again we're talking about this mystery now that's revealed in Ephesians that Jew and Gentile have become brothers from another mother, okay, in Messiah Jesus, adopted as sons, common partakers, beloved, of the kingdom and of all the riches of God. Now look what he says in the 13th verse. He just got done saying that we who were the first to hope in Messiah are to the praise of his glory, speaking to the Jewish people. Now in verse 13 he says this, in him, in Messiah Yeshua, you also. Who was he speaking to when he said you also? He was speaking to the Gentiles. So he says in him you also after listening to the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, having also believed, were sealed in the Holy Spirit. Jew and Gentile now sealed in the Holy Spirit of God. Paul picks this up in the second chapter of Ephesians verse number 15 where he calls Jew and Gentile now, get this, one in Messiah. He says Jew and Gentile are now, listen now, one new man.
See, this was a big deal to Paul. He spoke about it in Ephesians chapter 1. Now he speaks about it in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 13 through 15. He's not done yet. He speaks about it again, beloved, in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 6. Listen to verse 6 of Ephesians 3. Paul says, to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua, in Christ Jesus through the Gospel of which I was made a minister. So this is an awesome thing, beloved, that you and I, Jew and Gentile, are one in Messiah, that we rejoice together. Praise the name of the Lord. With that being said, I'm going to launch forward now, beloved, and pick up where I left off last week, and we're going to be talking about the mystery, beloved, that Jesus is in us and the hope of our calling that we're going, beloved, to a heavenly kingdom, bless the name of the Lord.
So Father Yahweh, Father God, right now we just want to tell you that we bless you, and we want to tell you, Father, how thankful we are, Father God, that you chose to love us and that you chose us to be your sons in Messiah Jesus before the foundation of the world. Father, we bless you and thank you today. Now, open our heart, Father God, open the eyes of our heart to understand and to grasp these realities, how much you love us and of your glory and the riches of it that lives in us now as your sons.
And so I'm going to read in the book of Ephesians chapter 1 verse 17. Hear the Word of God, Yedeed. Paul was praying, and he prays this, that the God of Yeshua HaMashiach, that the God of our Lord Jesus, the Father of glory, may give, listen now, to you. Paul's saying I'm praying that the Father will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. So the first thing that Paul was praying for is he's praying that the Father would give you and...pirit, that's the Holy Spirit, of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. So the first thing that Sha'ul, that's his Hebrew name, that Paul prays for, beloved, is that you and I, get this, would know God.
Now, you might be thinking, well, I know God. But let me ask you this question, Yedeed, beloved one. Do you know God, or do you know about God? There's a big difference. And many of us know about God, but we don't know God. We can do go to difference verses in the Bible, we can quote different portions of Scripture, and we have our doctrine right, we know about God, but do we know him? Paul prays that the Father would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know him. When he says I pray that the Father of glory, I pray that God would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the type of knowledge he's talking about, beloved, it's not book knowledge, listen, it's real intimate acquaintance. It's a difference between reading in a book about fire versus putting your hand over a fire and actually getting burned. There's a big difference between reading about fire and being able to quote its properties and temperatures versus actually being burned by it and experiencing it.
So Father, right now we ask you to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know you. We want to know you, Father God. Father, we say like the person of old recorded in the Gospels that said sir, I wish to see Jesus. Father, I pray that you will introduce us to Jesus in a brand-new way, Father God, that we will encounter you, Father, and that we'll encounter your Son, Father God, having known that we've met you. Father, that we'll have a firsthand experience with you, that Father, that which we know about you would become, Father, an intimate experience, that it would move from our head to our heart. So we pray that you'll give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation, Father, in the knowledge of God according to the prayer, Father, that your apostle asked you.
Look what else the apostle prays for as we continue this prayer in the 18th verse. Hear the Word of God. He says I pray that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened so that you might know what is the hope of his calling. So now Paul's praying for the hope of the calling. First he prayed that we would know God. He says I pray that the Father would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. Number one he asks that we would know God, that God would introduce himself to us by his Spirit. Now he's praying that we would understand the hope of our calling, that we would understand our destiny and our future, because hope is always connected to something in the future. So now Paul is causing us to reach out to get a grip on the fact that we're going to heaven and what that means. And lastly, he prays, beloved, that we would understand the riches of God's glory that's inside us.
So listen exactly what he says, Ephesians 1:18. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you might know what is the hope of his calling and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Now, when he speaks about this prayer being answered, he says that it's going to be answered by the Spirit, listen now, through the form of wisdom and revelation. So he starts out in verse number 17 that the Father would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know these things. Wisdom Biblically is sanctified information, godly information, that comes to our mind that is then orchestrated in our mind by the Holy Spirit so that we know how to apply it in any given situation. So wisdom is connected with information. That's why the book of Proverbs is called wisdom literature. And so all through the book of Proverbs we hear, hear my instruction, my son, and become wise.
Over and over again we find in Proverbs that by understanding the texts that are being written there, that by gaining the knowledge that is contained in the book of Proverbs, we've become wise. And so wisdom is associated with information that then the Holy Spirit teaches us how to apply to any given situation. That's wisdom. But Paul says not only that we would know God through wisdom, but he also prays that we would know God through revelation. And so once again he says I pray that the God of Yeshua HaMashiach, of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, might give to you a spirit, listen now, of wisdom and revelation. Wisdom pertains to the mind, it pertains to information. Revelation, beloved, pertains to a mystery that is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit that comes to us in the form of divine intuition.
And so for example, remember Yeshua, Jesus said to Peter, who do they say that I am? And Kephas, Peter, said well, some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah. Yeshua said to him, but who do you say that I am? And remember, Kephas said back, Peter said back to Yeshua, you are the Messiah, you are the Son of the living God. In other words, Peter was able to perceive who Jesus really was. And remember what Yeshua said to him after Peter made that statement. Yeshua said to him, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, flesh and blood didn't reveal it, he said but my Father who is in heaven. In other words, Kephas, Peter, was able to know Jesus was, beloved, listen now, through revelation. And then Yeshua went on to say, and upon this rock I will build my church. And so the church is built, beloved, on the rock of revelation. In other words, we can only know God as God reveals himself to us. And when he reveals himself to us, we know, and the Lord builds on that. That's why Jesus said no one knows the Father but the Son. And no one knows the Son but the Father. And whoever we choose, listen now, to reveal ourself to.
Another point in Scripture, Yeshua said I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou did reveal these things. Once again that word reveal. Reveal these things to the babes but did hide them from the wise and prudent. And so we need, beloved, to become humbly dependent on the Holy Spirit for revelation. We can't find God with our minds. If we're going to find the Lord, beloved, we're going to have to find him, inside the in the heart, and this comes through revelation.
I remember, beloved, years ago, and some of you have heard this story. I tell it in my book, Awakening to Messiah. If you don't have my book Awakening to Messiah, I encourage you to go to our web site or call the 800 number and order it. In this particular incident in my life, I was going through a real season of repentance. And I was sitting in a chair one day having a cup of tea. The tea had replaced the cigarettes that I'd been smoking. It was one of the things that the Lord led me to give up. And as I was going through this experience of repentance and sanctification in my life, suddenly, beloved, as I was sitting in this chair, I wasn't expecting this to happen, but suddenly as I was sitting in this chair, the Holy Spirit appeared above my head as visibly as I'm looking at you right now. I couldn't see it with my eyes because he was above my head. But it was as if I did see him with my eyes. I mean it was that real.
And he was alive, and he was moving in motion. And he manifested himself, beloved, above my head in all the colors of a rainbow. He was just twirling around my head, spiritual life in motion, similarly to what the apostles experienced in Acts chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit came above their heads, but in Acts 2 it was a tongue of fire. In my experience, it was the Holy Spirit, all the colors of a rainbow. And we know that God is light, and a rainbow is all the colors of light through a prism. So anyways, we see the rainbow around God's throne in the book of revelation and Isaiah. So at any rate, the Holy Spirit above my head, I couldn't have stopped the experience from happening, neither could I have made it happen. It just happened. Totally bam, suddenly, it was happening. And all of a sudden, beloved, the Holy Spirit that manifested himself above my head, he came through my head and took ahold of my inner man, my heart, and then he spoke to me inside. He didn't speak in my head. He spoke in my heart. And he said to me, I am a servant. And it was over.
But the point is, beloved, when the Lord revealed himself to me, it wasn't in my head. It was in my heart. And so I just want to encourage you to become humble before the Holy Spirit and recognize that if he doesn't reveal it to you, you won't know it. And as we submit ourself to the Holy Spirit and become dependent on him, beloved, we're going to grow in revelation. Remember, Yeshua said I go away, and I'm going to send you the Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and he's going to reveal to you and speak to you concerning me. So Holy Spirit, we want to walk humbly before you, God, and we want to depend on you for revelation and for wisdom in Yeshua's name, amen and amen and amen and amen. Hallelujah and amen. And so this prayer that Paul's praying he says is going to be answered through the Holy Spirit's ministry to us in the form of wisdom and revelation.
I want to continue on. Verse number 18, Ephesians 1, I pray that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened that you might know what is the hope of his calling and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. So Paul wants us to understand the hope of our calling, that we're going to heaven, and he wants us to understand what's inside us. So let's think first of all about the hope, hallelujah, beloved, of our calling. Do you know it's amazing to me that there are so many Christian people, they say I believe I'm going to heaven, but have you ever heard a statement like this? You think about the average person's life that is 40, 50, 60, 70 years old, think about, I mean, I know I'm exaggerating a bit, but I'm making a point.
Think about the average person's life. Is it that exciting? Is every day in our lives on this earth so exciting that we just can't wait to experience all the new adventures that every 24-hour period is going to bring, or is life many times a bit like get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, get in your car, drive to work, come back home, make your dinner, watch the news, watch an hour and a half of TV, go to bed. Next morning, wake up, have your coffee, go to work, get to work, come back home, watch the news, make your dinner, watch television, and get in bed. Next day, you wake up, you have your coffee, you go to work, you go to work, you come back home, you watch the news, you eat your dinner, watch television for an hour and a half, then you go to bed. And on and on and on it goes. And yet you talk to people that call themselves believers, and this is pretty much their life, and you talk to them about going to heaven, and they say well, I want to go to heaven, but not yet.
And I'm thinking, you don't get it. I mean, how could you say such a thing? I mean, look at your life. You get up in the morning, make your coffee, go to work, come back home, make your dinner, watch the news, go to bed. Next day, come home, you watch the news, you make your dinner, you go to bed, and you're saying you want to go to heaven but not yet? You don't understand it. You see, Paul says I pray that you would know the hope of your calling. Beloved, we've got a destiny. We've got a future. We're going to heaven. The Bible says there's a treasure reserved for us in heaven indescribable, undefiled, reserved in heaven for you. Jesus said I go and prepare a place for you. In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would not have told you so.
Beloved, we have a heavenly calling. We've been blessed with heavenly places. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard the things that the Father has prepared for those that love him. We have a hope, beloved, we have a future. We're not like those in this world that life begins to die at whatever age and hope begins to diminish. We have a hope, beloved. It's a sure thing. When the word hope is used in Scripture, it's referred to the assurance of a sure destiny. I want you to know, beloved, keep on hanging onto Jesus, keep on loving him, keep on following him. You're going to his heaven.