What does it mean to 'know' the Lord?
Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Some people read this verse too quickly and arrive at a hasty conclusion. But have they looked into the Bible to find out what 'know' means?
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In that day (the time of the final judgment of mankind, our present time)---Jesus will say to many that are calling out to Him as Lord, "I never KNEW you".
What does it mean that Jesus never knew them? Does it mean that He lacked knowledge of their existence? Of course not. He's eternal God and knows all things about all things (including all people).We have to look further into the Bible to find out why Jesus never 'knew' them.
John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
In this Scripture, Christ declares that His sheep hear His voice---and that He KNOWS them---as result they follow Him.
The implication for the rest (those that believe not because they are not His sheep) is that Jesus does not know them.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The Lord provides a Biblical definition for salvation in the above verse. "This is life eternal-----that they might KNOW Thee the only true God"!
Eternal life (salvation) is to KNOW the True God of the Bible. Anyone that knows God will be known of God. Salvation brings about an intimate relationship between God and the one saved. They know one another.
Any that are not saved do not know God, and are not known (in an intimate way) by God.
Of course we live in world where billions of people say they know God. All the numerous and varied religions make this claim. All those within the numerous and varied churches also claim this. Yet the Bible says:
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Faith (profession or claim of knowing God) is dead if alone---that is if lacking the work of Christ to accompany it.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
The Bible says the way for a person to 'know' that they 'know' God is to keep His commandments. Once again, knowing God is a result of the intimate relationship of salvation. And intimate relationships involve love. Jesus said in the gospel of John that "if you love Me keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
In 1 John, we read that we do know that we know Him, "if we keep His commandments.” The keeping of the commandments of God demonstrates love which is essential to any intimate relationship.
The professed Christian claims to love (to know intimately) God---but then does NOT keep His commandments. Therefore, finally, in the time of judgment, Jesus assesses the relationship between Himself and the professor and declares that "I never knew you"!
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The Lord KNOWETH them that are His!Depart from Me ye that work iniquity---I never knew you!
1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.
Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Everyone that loveth (keeps God's commandments) knows God. He that loveth not (fails to keep God's commandments) knows not God.
After looking at all these verses telling us about the word 'know' in relationship to salvation (this is life eternal---that we might know Thee)---we are now qualified to understand this verse:
Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
It says 'they shall not teach'---and automatically some people that do NOT do their homework run away with a wrong conclusion and say, 'see, there's not to be teachers'. And yet they haven't carefully looked at the verse at all concerning what it is actually saying.
What is it that they shall not teach? Shall they not teach about marriage and divorce? No it doesn't say that. Shall they not teach about Christ as God? Or about raising children? What shall they not teach?
It says they shall not teach every man his neighbor and brother, saying, KNOW THE LORD-----What does it mean to 'know the Lord'? Eternal life is to know God.
Therefore they shall not teach other people to 'know God/to obtain eternal life'. But why not? Isn't that the point of the Word of God? The reason is stated in the next part of the verse:
"For all SHALL KNOW ME, from the least to the greatest."
All shall know Me--since knowing God is eternal life---this can only mean that ALL to be saved (all to know God) have become saved (all now know Him). That is, it is speaking of the completion of God's salvation program. All the elect, all whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life have had the gospel come to their ears and have received a new born again soul and heart. And as a result of God's glorious salvation program---they now know God.
But hold on---when has there ever been a time when it could be said that there was no need to send forth the gospel unto salvation---because all to be saved had already been saved?
May 21, 2011!
Since that date God’s elect people continue to share the truths of the Bible, and may teach about whatever they discover in God’s holy Word. Yet, they are not to teach the Bible with the intent of evangelizing others unto salvation (to know the Lord in that intimate way)--because that would be waste of time since all already do know the Lord (all to be saved have already become saved).