I've cracked open a book called Feeling Like God by Chris Tiegreen. Lots of good stuff... it talks about the emotions of God as outlined in the Bible and tries to help the reader understand God on a more human level. This is supposed to help us build a stronger relationship with Him, which is a good deal, since we are God's children, after all. Everything we are is a dim, dim, dim shadow of Him....
But something stood out to me in the first chapter of the book that bugs me. It mentions "knowing" God as in studying Him through a book. Chris Tiegreen then goes on to say that it's not enough to know Him through the Bible, we must feel like God as well. Feeling like God is what helps us build a deeper relationship with Him. This shocked me because since coming into my own faith, I have always thought it was obvious that to know God is to feel God, and it has nothing to do with the Bible at all.
Let me ask a question: can you claim to know someone just by reading a few letters they sent you in the mail? If Angelina Jolie sent you a letter telling you about what she bought when she went shopping yesterday, does that mean you know her?
Can you know someone if you have never met them in person but talk to them on the phone every day? Perhaps a bit better.
Can you know someone if you've never been involved in a deeply romantic relationship with them? Especially a long marriage, including sex, children, and the whole nine yards? After a lifetime together, you can claim to know someone much, much better....
But knowing God, when you really know God, is much deeper than all of these things, because God first and foremost resides inside of you.
Knowing God is what real salvation/revelation is. In this book, Chris Tiegreen starts out by speaking of "knowing God" as though it has to do with humanly study and knowledge, but that's impossible. We can never truly comprehend God in our minds... and for God's sake, don't base your "knowing God" on "knowing the Bible." The Bible is nothing like God, not when it is taken as a whole.That's where the essential flaw lies in studying the Bible. Everything that comes before Jesus' teachings should really be thrown out, because all that stuff about "jealousy" and "rage" is simply not true.
When you really know God and you know God's presence in all things, you also realize that religion has very little to do with it. Imagine for a moment that your brother walks into the room. You know it's your brother; you can see him, hear him talk, maybe even smell him if he hasn't showered. Now imagine that you can know God in just the same way. You sit down in a room and you are silent, and suddenly you can feel a love, connection, and consciousness humming through everything. Knowing is an emotion, but it's more real than that. The faith of the saints and prophets is a feeling, it's an experience and a "knowing" that is absolutely incorruptible because it cannot be challenged. God walks into a room and you see Him. You can't know God much more than that.
You can know God on earth. God isn't sitting somewhere out there on some Heavenly throne. Even Christ said "The Kingdom of Heaven is inside of you." God is here and now. You know God when you can see God here and now.