Home » Tuesday: Then Shall We Know    


Tuesday: Then Shall We Know — 21 Comments

  1. Have you ever watched those TV quiz programs where people answer essentially trivia questions in rapid succession in order to win a heap of money. I don't usually watch them but some of my relatives do and enjoy the challenge of saying the correct answer before the competitors do. Such quizzes require a massive amount of knowledge over a wide range of fields, and the ability to press the button with the answer very quickly. But what use is such knowledge other than performing in a TV quiz show, or a local church trivia night?

    Such knowledge is often very shallow. For instance, is it really that important to know who the Prime Minister of Australia was in 1876? (There wasn't any, by the way. Australia wasn't federated until 1901.)

    And, that is why we need to ask ourselves whether the point of education is just to acquire knowledge? Granted, today's study is only looking at one aspect of spiritual education, but is heaven the place where we are going to have all the blank spaces in our knowledge filled out? Certainly, we have questions that cannot be answered now but having obtained the answer, what then?

    I like to remind myself that I taught a lot of knowledge in my days as a teacher, but I used to remind my students that much of what I taught was wrong, and that hopefully I would give them a framework to continue to learn, discarding what they found as no longer relevant and applying what they had learned to new situations as they developed.

    Which leads me to the point I want to make about this lesson today. Sometimes we think of heaven/the new earth as somewhat static. Sin has been overcome, and there will be no more problems to solve. I prefer a more dynamic view of heaven where we will enjoy acquiring new knowledge and applying it. I think that heaven is a place of renewal. We won't be just mining the mother-lode of knowledge, but building it.

    Isaiah paints a picture that is worth considering:

    And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

    They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

    They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

    And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

    The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. Isa 65:21-25 KJV

    Maybe heaven is better described as growing experience rather than garnering knowledge.

      • You are right. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love.
        We rest our confidence in Him, because we know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13. I do believe Paul was also talking about a thing called entire surrender of our will to God's will, living by the Word of God.
        We will have peace and joy, if we exercise our faith in the only One who can save us. If you prefer the One who can make us make it, if we are willing to be made willing. Yes we keep asking for Him to make us make it.
        Ask and ye shall receive(make it).Matthew 7:7. John 16:14.

  2. Our brains are finite (having limits or bounds). Our brains will always be finite in that they had a beginning. In geometry terms it's like a ray, a half-infinite line, having a starting point and then going on forever. This is pretty awesome symbolism...we are rays coming from the "Son". Or as the children's song says, "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam".

    Because of this, I imagine there will always be things we don't understand or can't quite grasp. Any knowledge God withholds from us would not be good for us to know (Ps 84:11). He doesn’t burden us with knowledge too great for us. Just as He didn't explain to Adam and Eve what evil was when he said to stay away from the tree. I like how Moses calls those the "secret things" that "belong to the Lord our God" Deut. 29:29.

    Other texts about the capacity of our human brains: Isaiah 45:9-12; Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 9:20; Job 38

    Having said this, it seems the Bible does encourage us dialoging with God (Jeremiah 29:12-13). God calls David "a man after His own heart" and David certainly asked God lots of questions in the Psalms. Jesus even graced the Pharisees' trick questions with answers (Luke 20:20-40). In these 2 gospel stories, Jesus shows us that being citizens of Heaven is different than being citizens of Earth. Paying taxes here is nothing like giving God what is due Him. Marrying here is nothing like the intimacy in heaven. These stories also demonstrate that the basis of many of our questions arise from our fallen state (doubt, playing "gotcha" with God, mistrust, selfishness, linear thinking, limited understanding). God's gracious answer is always to reveal His character and the nature of His kingdom. He's not tricking us with roundabout answers; He just knows we ask roundabout questions and this is what our hearts truly yearn for. To know God. He answers "I AM" to every question because it IS the answer to every question once all the why's and how's are exhausted. It's what I've found anyway, when I follow a question to its end with God. He removes the anxiety from the question with His reply.

    What will it be like to ask questions in Heaven? I've read that a bank of fog 3' wide, 6' high' and 100' long has only about 1/7 of a glass of water in it. That small amount is divided into some 60 million tiny drops, each perhaps four ten thousandths of an inch in diameter. Yet when such insignificant particles settle down they can blot out the landscape and hide the sun. I think it's like that for us and sin. Even one bit of mistrust in Him blinds us. In Heaven that fog will be completely lifted. Here are some beautiful texts which for me link with this "fog clearing" metaphor: 1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:5-6; Revelation 22:4,13.

  3. Is Isaiah 65:17-25 really a prophecy about heaven or about the literal Jerusalem if God's people loved and obeyed Him? Because what confuses me is the verse:
    Isa 65:20 ISV  "And there will no longer be in it a young boy who lives only a few days, or an old person who does not live out his days; for one who dies at a hundred years will be thought a mere youth, and one who falls short of a hundred years will be considered accursed.
    How can it be about heaven if people are dying?
    Also in John 14:1-3 Jesus said there were already many mansions and He was going to prepare a place for us, so why would we need to build houses?

    I can understand it being used as an example of what the LORD would like to provide for us, safety, peace and happiness.

    • I think it is one of those passages that have a dual application. The emphasis is that we have much to look forward to.

      And I would not be unhappy about building a house in heaven, or making use of some high technology either.

    • Although He is building mansions for us in heaven, the earth will be made completely new after the thousand years, perhaps this is where we will be building new houses and inhabiting them.

    • The "many mansions" are literally "many rooms" in His Father's house. This would be the city of God, and all will have a place there, but not limited to only there. We will not live only in the city, but over all the world, as Adam and Eve did in Eden. Ellen does write of the redeemed building homes in the earth while having a "mansion" in the city of God too. Eden was a living home and always changing. Sort of like rearranging the furniture to give an old room a new look.(?)

      I agree that Isaiah was also speaking of the possible restoration of Jerusalem "if" Israel would be faithful, though we know how that turned out, yet it speaks of the world to come while using the language of what could have been in this world where death rules over all.

    • The mansions are in the city. The houses will be built in the message have country. 🙂
      In a historic village in Fredericksburg, Texas, we can see the tiny Sunday houses the pioneers built in the city. They would come to their city homes every weekend, then go back to their country homes. When some of them get to heaven, they'll know exactly what the purpose of those mansions is. 🙂 (Personally I would hate to be cookbooks to a city - even the New Jerusalem.)

  4. We are so blessed that we have been given insight via EG White to what we will learn when in heaven.

    There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.—Education, 306 quoted in The Adventist Home, 549. Hvn 145.1
    Heavenly Knowledge Will Be Progressive—All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God's redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar—worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings, who will share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through the ages upon ages in contemplation of God's handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation—suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the greatest, the Creator's name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed.—The Great Controversy, 677, 678. Heaven by EG White pg 155.2
    And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character.—The Great Controversy, 678. Hvn 155.3

    • All I can say is "WOW"!

      And I will be using this quote this Sabbath, to have it read to my Sabbath School class. Thanks.

      Be blessed!

    • Thank you for sharing Mrs. White's writings, Shirley - these are tremendously comforting insights revealed by the Spirit of our loving Heavenly Father!

  5. “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Rev 22:4

    Then Shall We Know
    Having the name of Jesus on our forehead means we knew Jesus personally while living on this sinful earth. Our minds are fixed on Christ and his words are embedding in our thinking. We are living with him now and for him, we are being led by his spirit moment by moment. We are not waiting until we get to heaven to work or build houses but while we are on this earth we are sluggards and dont want to put his talents and opportunities to work. Heaven is cont being with him.

    I personally think many, many, even SDA have a twisted view of the new heaven and earth and what to expect. I must know Jesus now as my personal savior to be a part of that place call new heaven and new earth. The bible says when Jesus returns the second time the only thing he will change in us is; 1. Mortality. 2. Corruptible nature. If I or anyone die today our destiny is sealed. We either die in Christ or out of Christ. None in-between. That is why we are told to live everyday as today is our last. Today self is crucified and Christ lives in us. The image of Christ must be reproduced in me today, should I die today, then I will will rise in the first resurrection. He is the one who knows who have his image reproduced in them.

  6. my view and excitement about heaven is first seeing And worshping Jesus, the one who died for me, and forgave me of my sins . Secondly, the vast amount of knowledge there is to know. The cosmos is beyond our wildest thoughts, and to be able to visit and learn the lifestyle planets now unknown is exciting to me. Then to reunite with my family and loved ones that death has separated us in this life , what a joy to look forward to such a reunion. Lord hasten the day.

  7. Very good question. I think the old and new testaments affirm the idea of restoration. While the OT is more corporate, the NT is more individualistic. Whereas the old testament paints a palpable "worldly" picture of what awaits us in glory, the NT more "otherworldly". But even the otherworldly is still described in language of this world. I want to think that the audience to whom the writer(s) was/were addressing their thoughts grasped the awesome beauty (in prose) of what heaven is supposed to be like.

  8. I really like reading the quote above from "Education" every time I read it.

    While we hope in what we will learn in the next life, what about that which is given for us to know and follow in THIS life? Can we expect to learn from God then if we are not following Him now?
    Laodicea is not known for their faithfulness.

  9. My husband said the lesson makes him think of a school where the students have caused a riot (our sinful world) and the school is destroyed and thus must close during the riots, so there can be none of the planned education. When the riots are over (when the sin problem is under control) and we (the students) return to our new/rebuilt school in Heaven, the education/learning originally planned can resume.

  10. 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV: "But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”.
    This is a promise about heaven that holds so much more than what we can ever imagine. What it says to me is that all the positive things, the wonderful events, the things I love about this earth are in no wise comparable to what awaits me in heaven. Heaven is not cheap, but for me it is free.

    The lesson today asked us to ponder deep questions and also how to keep living the faith and trusting God when we have no answer or the answer is no (my paraphrase). Here are my go-to Bible texts... Hebrews chapters 11 and 12:1-2. These provide me with a small sample of people who lived by faith, eyes upward yet were grounded in the current world they lived in.

  11. Hi Brothers and Sisters,

    Let's see if you all can give me some constrictive criticism today. It really does help me to fine-tune the lesson that I will be presenting at church.

    Then Shall We Know:
    1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known”.
    This verse has always captivated me. Even though it is in a chapter about Love, Paul throw in some words of encouragement about education, that we will be doing a lot of learning when we see Him “face to face”. There are so many people, living and deceased, that have a lot of knowledge in their brains, degrees behind their names, inventors, and thesis writers; but all of that pales in comparison to what we will learn when we are able to see “in the mirror” clearly, face to face when Jesus come.

    Being a life-long learner, I love to learn new things, especially if it doesn’t involved too much physical activity. But I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like, with my small finite mind, to be able to understand quantum physics; I don’t understand regular physics. To finally understand the true meaning of love; what we understand now about Love is just stretching the surface. Boy, it is blowing my head right now just to think about it all; my mind can’t keep up. Until then, I will have to focus and concentrate on the tasks I have to accomplish here and now.

    And 1 Corinthians 4:5, just says it plainly, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.” In my opinion, this verse is saying “judge nothing before Jesus comes” because some of those that we held in high esteem may not be as they seem, and those that we judged as bad, their hearts may have been closer to God than you thought. Let Jesus give out the praises when He comes.

    God blessings to All!

  12. The lesson writer seems to address two topics. I have no questions about my life in *Heaven*, so I want to focus my comment on the reference 1Cor.4:1-7KJV – (v.5) “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

    In this verse, Paul admonishes not to prematurely *judge* one another or the circumstances in which we find ourselves, drawing conclusions – acceptance or rejection - based on 'insufficient evidence'. I think that this is one topic the lesson wants to point out – we are admonished to remain focused and keep the faith in the teachings of the Gospel and not lean unto our own understanding with which to judge man and circumstances – Prov.3:5KJV.

    In heaven we will know better, by for now, our minds are not able to discern rightly the complete circumstances in which we encounter each other, so we are advised to refrain from reacting in a ‘knowing-it-all’, dismissive, unkind, judgmental way. The last portion of verse 5 is interesting, because it points out from whom we expect the ultimate judgement to come from - praise (or condemnation) – GOD!

    Both references from the book of Corinthians are related to our conduct. The King James Version of the Bible gives Corinthians Chapter 4 and 13 the respective titles - ‘Moral Standards’ and ‘The Way of Love’.
    Looking at learning and knowing in these contexts, I find it important to understand that the most dramatic changes for the new nature take place in our hearts and minds; in the realm of our perception. Our ability for discernment undergoes a 180 degree change from ‘self-based understanding’ to ‘inspired understanding’!

    Until "we know as we are known" - until we are re-united with the Father, God has given us all things needful for our new, spiritual and practical life to remain safe in Christ Jesus. We are admonished to always remain faithful, to always desire to love God with all our heart and love our fellow man as we have been loved by the Father who brought us from death into Life – Phil.4:8-15KJV.
    Luke 6:37; Matt.7:1-5; Rom.14:1-23; James 4:11-12; Rev.20:12; 2Tim.4:3-4; Matt.5:22; 1Cor.11:31.

    • Something I have noticed is that people who judge, criticize, or hold grudges do not express high levels of faith, hope, and/or love. They appear to have lower levels of joy. Being someone who sees the world as a glass half full rather than half empty puzzles me how they read 1 Cor 13 and their hearts remain outwardly unchanged...
      Here is another of my "go-to" chapters when I feel my love cup needs re-charging- 1 Cor 13. Verse 3: " But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love". LOVE. What a beautiful word.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>