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Knowing God

Theophostic Prayer and Knowing God
 
Critic’s concern: Critic’s concern: It is my understanding that Smith believes that you cannot know God outside of experience. He says, “You don’t know God by learning about him. You know God by experiencing him” (“Basic Training Seminar”  tape one 1999 edition).  Do we not need to do both?

 

Ed Smith’s response: You have a misunderstanding here. The training clearly teaches that both are vital. I say in the training manual:

In his final discourse to the church, Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the entire world with the gospel, make disciples, and teach them everything He had commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20). The early church appointed leaders to instruct the church and bring her members to mature faith and the knowledge of Christ.

The basic purpose of Theophostic Prayer Ministry, however, is not to teach biblical truth but to bring mind renewal and, by so doing, to free people to apply the good things they are taught. We can be released from our lies when God reveals truth to us in a “Theophostic moment,” but it is through being taught, discipled, and walking with God over the long haul that we come to maturity in Christ.

Paul declares this when he writes, “Proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28), and “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching” (Colossians 3:16). To Timothy he wrote, “Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).

Christian growth and maturity occur in the lives of believers who are faithful and seek the face of God, regardless of whether they know about Theophostic Prayer Ministry. We grow in our experience of the Lord in each new life situation. When we cry out to Him, He shows Himself strong and enables us to shed the lies that have hindered our walk.

Why then shouldn’t we just tell people the truth? Yes, we should “teach them all things” that the Lord has commanded us, but unless the Holy Spirit implants it in their heart, it will only make them smarter. There are many biblically smart people out there who are not walking in freedom. Theophostic Prayer Ministry is an attempt to help people connect relationally with the presence of Christ so that they might know him with a “knowing” that goes beyond knowledge. There is a vast difference between knowing about Jesus and KNOWING Jesus. Both are essential for achieving a mature Christian life.”


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