The Knowledge of Fools

God calls them fools when:

  • they seek their knowledge in order that the world may call them great and learned
  • no time can be given to consider what they propose to do with the knowledge they gain, or to the quality of their studies
  • whether they are of such a character to give them an increased knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…Genesis 3:22 (KJV)

man-fools knowledge-attitude

When individuals seek their knowledge in order that the world may call them great and learned, God calls them fools


The human ambition has been seeking for that kind of knowledge that will bring to them glory, self-exaltation, and supremacy. Thus Adam and Eve were worked upon by Satan until God’s restraint was snapped apart. Thus their education under the teacher of lies began in order that they might have the knowledge that God had refused them – to know the consequence of transgression.

When individuals seek their knowledge in order that the world may call them great and learned, God calls them fools

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 1 Corinthians 3:19 (KJV)

Those who have only this wisdom, need to become fools in their own estimation. According to the pan of inspiration, the greatest ignorance that now curses the human race is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God.

Satan exalts nature above nature’s Creator.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:22, 23, 25 

In its human wisdom the world knows not God. Its wise men gather an imperfect knowledge of God through his created works. Then in their foolishness exalt nature and the laws of nature above nature’s God. Nature is an open book which reveals God. All who are attracted to nature may behold in it the God that created them. Those who haven’t accepted the revelation God has made of himself in Christ, will obtain only an imperfect knowledge of God in nature. 

Can men comprehend God?

In divine revelation God has given to men mysteries that are incomprehensible, to command their faith. This must be so. If the ways and works of God could be explained by finite minds, He would not stand as supreme. Men may be ever searching, inquiring, learning, and yet there is an infinity beyond. The light is shining, ever shining with increasing brightness upon our pathway, if we but walk in its divine rays. But there is no darkness so dense, so impenetrable, as that which follows the rejection of Heaven’s light, through whatever source it may come. 

Human beings have had a practical knowledge of evil. But Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing of the nations. He also declared that the divine influence of the Spirit will be with His followers unto the end. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word.

Those who think they can obtain a knowledge of God aside from His Representative, whom the word declares is “the express image of his person,” will need to become fools in their own estimation before they can be wise. Christ came as a personal Savior to the world. He represented a personal God. He ascended on high as a personal Savior, and will come again as he ascended into heaven, a personal Savior.

It is the duty and privilege of all to use reason

At the same time, there is a boundary where man’s resources must cease. There are many things that can never be reasoned out by the strongest intellect, or discerned by the most penetrating mind. Philosophy cannot determine the ways and works of God. The human mind cannot measure infinity. Jehovah is the fountain of all wisdom, truth and knowledge. There are high attainments that man can reach in this life through the wisdom that God imparts. But there is an infinity beyond that will be the study and the joy of the saints throughout eternal ages.

The folly of those who make the world their all

The foolish rich man had received everything from God:

  • the sun had been permitted to shine upon his land – for its rays fall on the just and on the unjust
  • he showers of heaven descend on the evil and on the good
  • the Lord had caused vegetation to flourish, and the fields to bring forth abundantly

On the other hand, He lived as if there were no God, heaven or future life. Moreover, as if everything he possessed were his own, and he owed nothing to God or man. The psalmist described this rich man when he wrote: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Psalm 14:1. This man has lived and planned for self. He regards himself as favored above other men, and takes credit to himself for his wise management. He is honored by his fellowmen as a man of good judgment and a prosperous citizen. For men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. Psalm 49:18.

But the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The message comes to this unfaithful steward:

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? Luke 12:20

Here is a demand that money cannot supply. The wealth he has treasured can purchase no pardon. In one moment that which he has toiled through his whole life to secure becomes worthless to him. “Then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” His broad fields and well-filled granaries pass from under his control. He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. Psalm 39:6. 

In living for self he has rejected that divine love

The only thing that would be of value to him now he has not secured. He has rejected that divine love which would have flowed out in mercy to his fellow men. Thus he has rejected life. For God is love, and love is life. This man has chosen the earthly rather than the spiritual, and with the earthly he must pass away. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:20. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Luke 12:21. 

To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. 

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:11, 12.

Wherefore Christ says: Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:15. 

Christ is our Pattern

Separated from God, leaning to their own understanding, individuals become fools. Yet in their own estimation, and in the estimation of others, they are often the wisest of men. Their sayings are eagerly caught up, repeated, extolled, and adopted, while the utterances of the living God, who made heaven and earth, are disregarded because not in harmony with their ideas of science. Could these once see themselves as God views them, their attitude would change.  The godless prating would cease and their vain imaginations would change. Their corrupt hearts can find no happiness and peace.


Those who would have that wisdom which is from God must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears, lest they hear that which is evil and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts. And they should guard their tongues, lest they utter corrupt communications and guile be found in their mouths. Let believers in the truth for this time, turn away from authors that teach infidelity. Let not the works of skeptics appear on your library shelves, where your children can have access to them. Give no place to the agents of Satan, since there is nothing by which to vindicate their doings.

A clean thing cannot come out of an unclean

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

The greatest ignorance that now curses the human race is in regard to the binding claims of the law of God. It is the result of neglecting the study of the word of God. 

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LordThey would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. Proverbs 1:23-33



  1. Man. 67, 1898; CE 108; HL 293; 8T 20; AH 404; HL 296; COL 257; – The Ellen G. White Estate
  2. King James Version (KJV) Bible – BibleGateway
  3. Image courtesy – Pixabay


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Victory in Christ – the wonderful possibility of being like Christ »

Threefold message – light of the world development prior to Christ second advent »

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Last update: November 7, 2018


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