“Knowing Whom I Have Believed.”
from: The Prophet’s Pen
While analyzing Paul’s message at Antioch, we found that Antioch is the birthplace of the label
“Christian.” The name Christian does not carry the same association today as when it was
initiated. Today it is almost used as a badge of pride or honesty. You’ll see placard announcing
Christian businesses such as a Christian lawyer or dentist or plumber. With reference to the
forgoing, it as been my experience to beware of those establishments who advertise themselves
as Christian. A Better Business Bureau check couldn’t hurt.
The followers of Christ back in the early church were called Christian in the same sense as one
would use the word nigger today. It was a derogatory term. In reality the name means, “like
Christ,” a most coveted compliment to those who follow him. It’s interesting to note that the
name of Jesus is such a lofty name whereby even those who seek to belittle that precious name
end up glorifying his name. The early saints in Antioch received the intended slander as a tag
The same apostle, Paul, made reference to some who preached Christ as a source of
contention saying that whatever their motives, Christ was preached and the declaration of his
holy name produced positive results just the same.
One does not have to conduct an exhaustive search to find that many, not most who currently
believe in Jesus Christ actually know very little about the man. I have said for years, ask a
believer to stand up in church and give a five minute speech about Jesus and most of them
would fizzle out after about two minutes. Or, they would go on and on talking about Jesus being
a heart fixer, a mind regulator, a lawyer in a court room, a doctor in a sick room, and so on but
such a testimony falls far short in convincing an unbeliever to place his or her faith in Jesus. To
do so is like the words of that popular Easter song:
“You ask me how I know he lives, he lives within my heart.”
While that may pass for the end of a chorus, theologically the statement is inaccurate. I might
feel his spirit moving on the inside but try persuading the sinner with my feelings as motivation
for his faith! Our personal feelings about Jesus are worthless unless we have the factual
evidence to support those feelings. In truth, personal feelings areakin to blind faith, something
God would never promote.
God acts as if we are all from Missouri, the “show me” state, where faith is concerned. God
took ample time and sufficient evidence to show us multiple reasons for our faith in Christ Jesus
with the evidence of the Old Testament, specifically, the writings of Moses and the prophets.
When Paul made his defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ he boldly and confidently stated, “I
know whom I have believed.” Looking at the preaching of Paul it is evident that Paul was not
issuing idle words. His first stance for Jesus occurred in the same city where he was introduced
to Jesus, Damascus.
“And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues that he was the Son of God.” Acts 9:20
Keep in mind an incident that occurred years before with Jesus and his disciples when he asked
them who they thought he was. Peter received a revelation from the Father and announced that
Jesus was the Son of the Living God. When Peter made that statement the group had been
following for at least two years or longer. Paul made that declaration not long after his
conversion having never walked or talked with Christ as did the disciples.
“But Paul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus,
proving that this is very Christ.” Acts 9:22
Put another way, Paul proved to the Jews that Jesus was the actual Messiah promised by God
to deliver Israel and subdue the nations of the world Being confounded is a state most prefer
not to be in when it comes to religious beliefs. Paul confounded the Jews. They had two
options after hearing Paul:
1) They could continue in the former knowledge of Jesus and reject the light given to them from
2) They could receive the facts presented by the Apostle, believe the gospel and be converted
and healed and saved.
What did they do?
“And after many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him.” Acts 9:23
Paul escaped from Damascus and continued in fellowship with the disciples in the city of
His reception there was cold except for the friendship of one named Barnabas, who personally
spoke up for Paul and convinced the apostles and disciples in Jerusalem headquarters that
Paul was legitimated. Later Paul would have what I think was one of his finest moments in the
city of Antioch showing forth his intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ:
“Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God,
give audience.” Acts 13:16
With the beckoning of the hand Paul gestured that start of the presentation of a great truth that
he desired all present to hear clearly. When you know who you are talking about you will want
to be heard above all. Get the attention of your audience. That may require turning off the
television or radio or any other distraction. If the location is not conducive to the conoverstion,
take the candidate to a quiet place where you can present Christ without distraction.
Notice the text in Acts, chapter 13. Paul first presents the history of the Jews and of Jesus
Christ. To really know Jesus it is imperative that you know Jesus’ pedigree. He himself said,
“Lo, I come in the volume of the book.”
Paul and the apostles did not have the New Testament writings when they presented Jesus.
Paul convinced the Jews of the deity of Jesus using the Old Testament writings alone. Can you
do that? So much for a homework assignment! If you want to go deep and deeper into the
word of God I suggest you start your study in Leviticus. It has often been called the pictorial
gospel. All of the sacrifices and offerings depict Jesus Christ in shadow and type. You will
never find a more fulfilling study of Jesus anywhere. I will not make that study mandatory but
those of you who really want to elevate into the realm of professional prophets will take
advantage of the opportunity. Leviticus is a perfect opportunity to employ the “Ask, and it shall
be given unto you,” principle.
The day is rapidly approaching when we will be called out to defend this savior we have been
following. Will you be able to do so as a workman that needs not be ashamed or will you be
embarrassed by your limited knowledge of Jesus?
The Holy Ghost is not delivering this special edition of Jesus without reason. We have already
discovered in our tour through the book of I John that many defectors have already gone out
from us, denying the only Savior, Jesus Christ and God the Father. That’s where the attack will
be focused on in the last days. Personal testimony will not cut it. You and I will need nothing
less than the historic, scriptural description of Jesus. May the Holy Ghost and the grace of our
Lord Jesus Christ assist us to obtain nothing less than absolute knowledge of Him.
Pastor Stephen Benton 1/29/06
To read more current revelations from Pastor Steve, check out his book published September of 2017 on Amazon.com: God’s Final Secret.