There are some Pentecostals who like to make a play on the Greek word we discussed last week, epiginosko. The take the position that this word cannot mean knowledge that happens in this life, it must be the knowledge that would await Heaven. Paul uses this word in 1 Corinthians 13:12 to speak of knowledge to be obtained or that it is already obtained in this life. I will cite a few instances where the word epiginosko is used in the Greek text and you can see for yourself that in none of these cases it means to “know completely”. In Romans 1:32 Paul by the Spirit writes: “Who knowing the judgment of God…” There is NO way those who Paul describes can have the full, eternal, overwhelming knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 14:37, again, Paul writes by the direction of the Holy Spirit, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith…” Hebrews 10:26. “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins…”. One more, “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:3.
These usages (and a host of others) suggest that the word in 1 Corinthians 13:12 does NOT refer to something to be obtained ONLY in Heaven. Epiginosko is a common word to refer to knowledge which can be obtained here on earth. The Holy Spirit NEVER MEANT Paul nor any saint would KNOW everything fully, for that matter ANYTHING of God can no man know fully!!
To suggest that the compound epiginosko is more FULL OR COMPLETE knowledge than the simple ginosko is to overlook the additional fact that the simple form is the normal word used to speak about the knowledge that Jesus and God have!! Matthew 6:3, 7:23, 10:26, 12:15, 15:33 plus hundreds of other places (the Gospels are full of them), all show the commonness of this word.
There is no linguistic evidence that I know of and even less Biblical evidence that will allow any of us to think we will EVER know as much as God knows about anything!! That does away with the eternal qualitative and quantitative difference between God and His creatures. Why need God in Heaven if we will there have His complete knowledge of everything?? That temptation got the first people into trouble in Eden, it will not get those of us who advance to that sublime degree!! We will praise, honor, and glorify the only One who has complete knowledge —forever and ever, there!!
The Holy Spirit used a good illustration for that century. To look into a polished metal (1st century mirrors were polished metal instead of silvered glass) was not to see in proper perspective. It was to see as a child sees. This is compared to looking at God’s revelation from the piecemeal sources from which revelation was coming at that time. But when the completion is done, then we can look to His revelation directly, face to face!! It must be mentioned here that to see the self completely, face to face from a face to face look, is not yet to see the self completely!! There’s still part of the real self that cannot be seen in any mirror!! I have known studied brethren who always seemed to have a superior knowledge for which we all strive knowing the path to their information leads through the same door of study as has every diligent student of the scriptures. I cannot find that 1 Corinthians 13: 12 suggest a complete or full knowledge. The Greek word used does not suggest a kind of knowledge which cannot be obtained in this life.