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Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!

“Knowledge is Power”

I graduated from Walton Junior High School of Auburn, Maine in the spring of 1960, heading out from there to my sophomore year at high school. The official seal and insignia of Walton Junior High was of a circular design with the words “America’s Future - Educated Youth” in the outer ring, and inside a torch and an open book with the words, “Knowledge is Power.” We had a library there, with a lot of books in it, and sometimes we even went there to study. Libraries were thought to be good things, and in America, they were established by important citizens in major cities, and indeed, some say that the public library, as such, was an American invention. Came the impetus of Andrew Carnegie, who had been born to poverty but became a man with mucho money. As a youngster messenger-boy in Pittsburgh, each Saturday Carnegie borrowed a new book from the library, and he thus developed and held a place in his heart for libraries that led to his establishing 2,509 Carnegie libraries between 1883 and 1929, giving over $60 million, which he envisioned as libraries that would "bring books and information to all people." We had a Carnegie Library in Auburn, and it was a beauty. As a little kid I went there and listened during the children’s hour, and later in my educational journey went there to research (defined, "copy") material for those term papers that seemed to be the nuisance of every student.

Libraries came to be more than books, becoming status symbols and societal underpinnings. Butte, Montana was perhaps the largest, richest and rowdiest mining camp in the American West, but city boosters opened a public library in 1893. Daniel F. Ring, in "The Origins of the Butte Public Library: Some Further Thoughts on Public Library Development in the State of Montana," argued that the library was originally a mechanism of social control, "an antidote to the miners' proclivity for drinking, whoring, and gambling." I guess knowledge really is power!

And none of this was new.

The city of Pergamos, which was one of the seven churches of Asia that the Apostle John wrote to, (what we refer to now as Asia Minor, in what is now a part of Turkey) had a huge library, said to contain 200,000 volumes, which was a source of great civic pride. The intellectual center of the day was Alexandria, Egypt, and their library was likewise, so much so that competition was inevitable. Pergamos boasted shelves spaced from the walls to allow for air circulation, intending to prevent the library from becoming overly humid in the warm climate of Anatolia, which was an early attempt at library preservation regarding the parchments. Intellectuals were hired for prestige, and originals of various writings added to that prestige. Things were done up right, but when the power of the sword brought its own form of knowledge, Rome took over and according to legend, in 43 B.C. Marc Anthony seized the collection of 200,000 rolls and presented them as a gift to his new wife Cleopatra. (Emperor Augustus returned some of the rolls after the death of Antony).

That ancient history sounds a lot like today. It could easily be Harvard versus Yale instead of Pergamos verses Alexandria. The Bible says, (Ecclesiastes 12:12) “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” And Festus thought of Paul that “much learning” had made him “mad.” Paul wrote to Timothy saying “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” (1 Timothy 6:20). The same Apostle John who wrote to Pergamos observed that “there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (Now there’s a big library - John 21:25). Bible perverters such as Origen hailed from Alexandria, and the people there disputed with Stephen but were not able to resist his godly wisdom, so they lied about him, bought false witnesses, and murdered him. Sometimes, stupidity is power, when knowledge of God is absent.

As children, we had a couple of authorities during the school week. They were the teacher and the textbook. If she said it, it was law, and what she said was backed up by the textbook. Of course I knew evolution was true, and Buddha was a great guy to emulate. I learned that while observing a presentation in the Yarmouth School system just a year ago, where my grandson, along with his classmates, all wore funny hats and chanted like a bunch of mystics! Some knowledge is good power, and some knowledge is of the world.

The greatest Book in the world is the Bible. It was written by the greatest Author, was written down by the greatest men, and has been preserved like no amount of air circulation could ever match. We’ll be judged by the words of Jesus as written in His Book (John 12:48), the Book is alive and discerns our very thoughts (Heb 4:12), and by it we are born again (1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”) And if that’s not enough, our friend the Apostle John wrote in his Gospel, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14).

Knowledge “is” power, but Jesus spoke of some librarians who had “… taken away the key of knowledge:” saying “…ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” (Luke 11:52). And in Romans 1:28 we find that the world “… did not like to retain God in their knowledge,and God subsequently “… gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” After all, of Christ Colossians 2:3 says “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.I give you this one last thing from John, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3).

"The Knowlege that is power" that we need to know first and foremost is of the LORD Jesus Christ as our personal saviour, and you can learn all about Him in the one volume Library of God, The Holy Bible! God doesn’t need 200,000 volumes, He doesn’t need experts, He just needs people who take advantage of His public library, founded and funded by His precious blood, and that library is open 24-7! Visit it today, for that Knowledge is Power!

Love and Prayers to you all,

Pastor

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