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Christ On Intellectual Assent

Christ Himself taught on intellectual assent, It is far from the will of God, as approaching God without faith will not please Him. The verses that Christ uses are most familiar and often overlooked, and are as follows:

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Mat ch13v10-17
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (KJV)

Now, if God were to state that that knowledge of the kingdom given to His disciples were not to be taught only in parables, we could assume the opposite: that people should understand and be converted through direct knowledge of the kingdom of God. Verse 15 clearly states Christ's reasons why this is not so, for the people are apparently tired of their religion in any form and Jesus has come but for "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" and to make the "salt of the earth" salty again.

Now, if Christ were to teach that knowledge which was only given to His disciples which he only spoke openly by parables, the early "church" would be overwhelmed with those that understood but would not please God. Are these tares? Of a sort, yes they are.

Verse 12 seems cryptic until it is realised that if you have a little "understanding" you are given much knowledge that you may unlock from the Christian mysteries, whereas if you have no understanding, even of any, even that which you think you understand counts for nothing.

Jesus is applying a "sieve" to turn aside those that would claim knowledge of God without the faith necessary to please Him.

Jesus, by the end of the above passage has clearly taught the Kingdom (mysteries, cf v11) to His disciples, and not to the "crowd". Now they, are not classed as "saved by intellectual assent", but Christ has chosen them to have "very much". Even they do understand through faith, yet even given that faith they have, it is mightily strengthened through that knowledge given of Christ.

So, intellectual assent is not enough to save any, but is a good preservative for a Christian with faith already.


Now, the above teaching of Christ on intellectual assent unlocks or, rather, makes relevant the context of the next two parables Christ immediately teaches. The parable of the sower and that of the tares. The former references the least amount of knowledge that need be transmitted to sow the word of the kingdom: a "mote" or "mustard seed", or simply as here, a "seed". That seed is God's sovereignty to reform His own kingdom as He sees fit. No other seed is needed and clearly this is intellectual assent to such a given first principle. (For the law, the prophets and even the gospel follow after.) Faith built upon that word is then found perfected.

Then follows the parable of the tares. Jesus clearly references that those without faith or those with faith but no understanding are even as tares. Other gospels are not necessarily apparent only, but clearly the heresy of Nicolaitanism is also an indicator of the presence of tares, a flock polluted with or by those that do not read scripture and rely on a proxy for their doctrine, and trust to it before they would ever read the scriptures which on finding them conflicting, would be set aside in preference to their proxy.

That would, after a fashion, also include those who even set righteous faith aside as to be held by a proxy instead of themselves, whilst they themselves hold only to intellectual assent. (For faith is a prerequisite to please God and is therefore a requirement of sound doctrine.)


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