This is Part Two of our teaching series on “The Importance of Firsthand Information”. If you are catching this publication for the first time, I strongly suggest you first read Part One HERE to be familiar with our foundational premise. As mentioned in the last publication, we will now focus on some of the benefits that come with making the foundation of our walk with the Lord with firsthand information (personal revelation). Let’s dive in!
Benefit #1: Firsthand Information Prevents Doubt
Staying true to our context, firsthand information can be defined as experiential knowledge. It is only revelation if it is obtained directly from Holy Spirit. It suggests having a direct (or personal) experience with the Word and/or the Spirit of God. On the other hand, secondhand information is a combination of thoughts, opinions, information, or even facts that have been passed down to us by others.
The belief systems of the world are mostly based on secondhand information. But faith in Christ Jesus isn’t so, because it offers mankind a direct and personal access to The Father of all creation. That is why life in Christ was never purposed to become another lifeless, elementary belief system (teaching for another day). Religions and belief systems are dead works because they are merely inventions of men. Life in Christ Jesus is sustained by experiential knowledge of the word and power of God! In Jesus’ own words: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)
Error is a state of departure from the truth. And doubt is the main reason for departing from truth. Doubt creeps in when we are not solidly anchored in the truth. Let me rephrase that: doubt overcomes us when the truth we profess (or believe in) has not (yet) been experienced on a personal level. We may read, hear, or profess a truth, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is firmly established in us. It is knowledge of the truth that has the power to set us free, not truth by itself. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32).
The word “know” used here in the Greek language speaks of a type of knowledge grounded in personal experience. It refers to knowledge obtained by proximity to the thing known. Here is where it gets juicy. Jesus being a Jew, was referring to a well-known Jewish euphemism for the deepest form of intimacy between a man and a woman. “Adam knew his wife; and she conceived...” (Genesis 4:1) In other words, Jesus meant that freedom results from having intimate contact with the truth or the Spirit of truth. Furthermore, He was implying that some of us easily doubt and depart from the truth because we do not have (or have not had) intimacy with the Word or the power of God. Wow! Our souls must fuse (blend to form one entity) with the Spirit of Truth to truly experience freedom from the lies of the enemy.
Doubt is a precursor to death. To that effect, relying on secondhand information can be deadly. Have you ever wondered why Satan did not attempt to deceive Adam? It is much easier to talk someone out of a belief, while it is almost impossible to be talked out of an experience. That is why. During their frequent walks in the garden, God and Adam communed with each other and communicated directly. And it was during one of those moments of intimate fellowship (or proximity if you will) that God said to Adam: “you may freely eat from every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Because Adam had heard this command through a direct experience in the presence of God, there was no chance for the enemy to plant a seed of doubt in his mind. On the other hand, Eve had received this instruction secondhand from Adam. How do we know? Let’s examine her interaction with the serpent more closely.
Satan asked Eve: “Did God really say, ‘you are not to eat from any tree in the garden?’” Firstly, Eve did not detect the subtle distortion the enemy injected in this question. If she had, she would have rebuked him right away. Instead she responded: “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 3:2-3)
God only said not to eat of the tree, but Eve added that they were not to touch it. God never said not to touch the tree, only to not eat of it. You see, her version of God’s command was slightly different than what God had said to Adam. Eve erred because she likely did not get it straight from the Source, therefore she was more susceptible to deception. If the serpent tried this trickery with Adam it would not have succeeded because Adam knew the truth beyond any doubt, having experienced the instruction firsthand from the mouth of God.
Eve’s doubt revealed that she had not experienced the truth of this command on a personal level. Perhaps if Satan had said: “Did Adam really say…”, she could have detected the lie. But by asking “Did God really say…”, she doubted because she did not definitively know what God had said. She was not present when God spoke to Adam, so there was cause to pause. Satan had her right where he wanted: in doubt and in error. Did I say that relying on secondhand information can be deadly? What resulted from this encounter between Satan and Eve was the immediate death of mankind, spiritually. Then, physical death ensued.
Living by faith requires that we primarily depend on the Lord for direction, instruction, correction, and encouragement. I submit to you that areas of doubt still exist in our lives because we have not (yet) had an intimate experience (personal revelation) of the Word or the power of God in those areas. We are called to be joined with the Lord and become one spirit with Him, and He never doubts. (1 Corinthians 6:17) The more this truth becomes our reality, the less susceptible we will be to doubt, deception, and ultimately death.
Next week, we will explore another benefit of pursuing personal revelation. Until then let us:
- Take time to invite Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal areas of doubt in our hearts.
- Meditate on what the Word of God says concerning those things.
- Resolve to experience His truth and power in those areas.
As we continually meditate and hide the word of God in our hearts, the Spirit of truth will evict the lies of the enemy and we will instead have a sound mind. “Father let us intimately experience Your Word and Your power in all areas of our lives. May our hearts and minds be in common union with You. May doubt be eradicated from our midst. In the name of Jesus, Amen.