The action of critical thought has been defined as:
“Critical thinking is the analysis of available facts, evidence, observation, and arguments in order to form a judgment by the application of rational, skeptical, and unbiased analyses and evaluation. The application of critical thinking includes self-directed, self disciplined, self-motivated and self-corrective habits of mind, thus, a critical thinker is a person who practices the skills of critical thinking or has been trained and educated in its disciplines. Richard W. Paul said that the mind of a critical thinker engages the person’s intellectual abilities and personality traits. Critical thinking presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use in effective communication and problem-solving, and a commitment to overcome egocentric and sociocentrism.” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia under the heading of Critical Thinking
I can sum up the above statement from Wikipedia with the following statement concerning critical thought….. Question everything.
The questions asked by evangelists of the laity, doing what they can to fulfill the great commission given by Christ before His final ascension into the heavens, which we will quote later in this article, are designed to cause a would-be Believer to begin the process of salvation. “Do you know the Lord, Brother?” is one such pick-up line in the world of lost souls.
Question for you…. And I’ll ask you to apply the process of critical thought to your answer. What does it mean to actually know The Lord?
The above question derives from critical thought taken from One of The Apostle John’s epistles, and therefore the only way to answer a critical thought question is via the use of critical thought evidence accordingly.
“And by this, we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” 1 John 2:3–4
As is the case so many times within any search for truth, the original question can not be answered void of another question that first must be asked. So, before we can answer the question, “What does it mean to know The Lord?”, after reading and considering the above text, we must then ask, what are the commandments of Christ?
I learned a very valuable lesson concerning bible study a long time ago. I have since been able to use this process to be able to have an understanding of scripture beyond that found on just the surface of simply reading the bible. It is the principle laid out by The Prophet Isaiah.
“To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” Isaiah 28:9–10
Thus, one of the lessons of critical thought bible study is to be able to apply scripture with scripture, here a little, there a little, locating pieces of the puzzle that fit with other pieces of the puzzle to draw a conclusion one way or the other.
Let’s use this critical thought lesson from Isaiah to answer our above question concerning “What are the commandments of Christ?”. In doing so, you guessed it, we have to ask yet another question.
What defines a Saint? I mean that is exactly the issue, right? The question, “Do you know The Lord, Brother?” is the very first step in the creation of a Saint of the Most High.
“Here is a call for the endurance of THE SAINTS, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yeshua.” Revelation 14:12
So, another question in our critical thought investigation of John’s statement in his first epistle…. Which member of the God family actually spoke these commandments that John (The writer of Revelation) keeps referring to? Well, that was obviously, God The Father, right?
Uh, no, I’m afraid not. Again, let’s allow a few puzzle pieces to paint the picture of who exactly it was that articulated in an audible voice the commandments (Covenant Law) to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. Consider the following texts.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. John 1:18
“And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen” John 5:37
“not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.” John 6:46
“Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, AND THEY SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL. There was under his feet as if it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they BEHELD GOD and ate and drank.” Exodus 24:9–11
“and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1Corinthians 10:4
The above five passages, make the case that even a young child can understand. The One that gave the commandments and the judgments of Covenant Law at Mount Sinai was not The Father, but rather it was the very One that came in Human form just as John writes again….
“And the Word (Covenant Law) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 with commentary and emphasis added for further understanding, in parenthesis
Paul even answers the question directly in his letter to the Assembly at Corinth. That Rock was Christ!
So, with the above information plugged into the ole computer between your eyes, let’s work our way back to the original question.
The commandments spoken of by John in 1 John 2:3–4 and Revelation 14:12 is the Covenant Law given by Christ. That law belongs to the Father, but they are given to man by His Son, The Spokesman of The Father to mankind accordingly.
Thus 1 John 2:3–4 can be fully understood via the following commentary added to the text.
“And by this, we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commandments (Covenant Law given at Mount Sinai, via the words written in The Book of The Covenant). Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep (Gaurd) his commandments (Covenant Law) is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” 1 John 2:3–4
The Great Commission was given to all Believers, via the following words directly from Christ, which goes like this:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them TO OBSERVE all that I have COMMANDED you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20
The word “observe”, throughout scripture, can be best understood as “to guard”, or “to stand up for”, as in to defend The Covenant Law of The Almighty Father, as lived and taught by His Spokesman in the flesh. Just as Christ was our example, so too, via His words, here as recorded by Matthew and the various puzzle pieces that have to be worked out within our own study of The Bible, we are to be examples of Covenant Law livers in the flesh.
So the next time you hear someone ask, “Do you know The Lord, Brother?” cut to the heart of the matter and lend them this lesson via critical thought process as to what it actually means to know The Lord. You might find, the tables turned and the one trying to evangelize becomes the one actually saved.