Can you be a bit more specific and point what or which knowledge are you referring here?If Knowledge alone liberates and knowledge is always in an instant
Do you mean (i) knowledge of brahman;
(ii) knowledge of vedAs?
(iii) knowledge of mahAvAkyAs?
(iv) knowledge of advaita?
(v) knowledge that brahman alone is sAswatham and all others are transitory?
This may help me know better why you consider krama mukti as a paradox. Knowledge alone liberates per Sankara, I admit, but liberation is not restricted to persons having vedic knowledge only (again as per Sankara) so clarity here may remove the ambiguity or supposed paradox.