Friday, October 8, 2010
GOT TRUTH? An Examination of What Truth Is and How It Affects Us – PART Three-b (taken in part from John MacArthur’s The TRUTH War, and the Holy Bible
Whereas in times past, Truth-haters intended the actual destruction of the Bible (some Popes were known to have ordered the burning of entire libraries of Bibles!); in today’s world, a different tactic is employed – not the actual destruction of its paper and ink, but of the Truth they contain! Emergent leaders like Brian McClaren and Doug Pagitt as well as Atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (two of the Four Horsemen of the New Atheists movement) want to dismiss by subterfuge and, or denial both intellectually and experientially the Truth as contained in the Holy Scriptures.
Yet the Word of God still abides, the Truth endures – to – all – generations!
In this second half of the article of GOT TRUTH? we will continue this study by turning to the New Testament scriptures (but hardly an exhaustive study) in the hopes that we whet the appetites of you the readers to conduct your own more thorough search!
*Obviously there is more on the subject of Truth as found in the Old Testament, and these other verses and portions of scripture I would submit to you and your own further study; for now however, I would like to turn to the New Testament and see what nuggets we can find there! I will take a slightly different approach with this second half however.
It’s quite interesting to know that the word ‘Truth’ appears in the Gospels a total of sixty five times. Six times in Matthew, five times in Mark, ten times in Luke, and an astounding forty-four times in John! More than all the other Gospel accounts put together! And as the Gospel of John focuses on the Divinity of Christ, its no small wonder that ‘Truth’ would be mentioned so frequently, as God is a God of Truth!
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
God grants us truth incrementally, have you noticed that? If He divulged the sum total of it to us all at once, it was be a (literally) mind-blowing experience! Once before during a tumult at sea, the apostles witnessed the LORD bringing calm, and asked themselves “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” They knew something was up with this carpenter from Nazareth, something unusual, but they didn’t even know the half of it. In this passage above, they recognized the truth that Jesus is indeed the Son of God! This truth led them to worship Him, and rightly so!
And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
In the next chapter over, we see a woman, desperate for the healing of her daughter (who was possessed of demon(s). Yet she was a Gentile woman from the coastal area of Sidon and Tyre, and the Jews had no dealings with the Gentiles, and it would seem the LORD is reluctant to even speak with her, but when He does, He sounds demeaning: “Its not acceptable to take bread from the children and give it to dogs (a common Jewish term for Gentiles).”
Yet this woman, who was prostrate in worship, humbled herself even further with an admission: “Truth, LORD, but even the dogs eat of the master’s crumbs that fall from the table!”
We can see how this woman was willingly humbled by the Truth and accepted her place in rank, as it were (a dog, lower in status than the children of the Father). Being so humbled by her own admission, she found an answer to her plea, and her daughter was delivered!
Her faith was in the Truth, that the Master would out of the goodness of His heart, bestow a blessing (even to a dog), with a few crumbs from His table!
(Of course in the dispensation we find ourselves in today, such rank and file of Jew and Gentile is temporarily suspended, for in the church, there is one body comprised of both Jew and Gentile, and neither is superior to the other. In the kingdom of heaven, Jewish people will enjoy a place of preeminence among the nations (excluding the church).)
And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
As we, who loves the Truth, maintain a stalwart and consistent hold on the Truth, we will lose any fearfulness and respect of persons in Light of their awed reverence for God Himself and His Word (Gal. 1:10). We see this happen time and again throughout the scriptures, from Noah, to Moses, to Elijah, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and others, all the way to John the Baptist and the LORD Jesus Himself, along with His apostles (AFTER Pentecost). Observe the bold response that the LORD gave to the Herodians when they posed their question regarding “tribute to Caesar”!
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
The Truth can certainly hurt, can’t it? It can cause offense and wound terribly, but those who hate and reject the Truth will experience far greater peril and destruction than anything Truth would do; indeed, if they would humbly submit to the Truth, they would only find benefit and good. In the passage above the Jews who heard the teaching of Jesus were offended, because He reminded them that in the days of Elijah and Elisha, none of the Jews of their day were delivered such mighty blessings, provisions and healings as did these two Gentiles – a woman of Sidon, and a Syrian General named Naaman. The woman received a perpetual supply of flour for her and her son’s sustenance in the midst of famine; Naaman received a miraculous healing of his leprosy by dipping himself in the Jordan River, seven times. Just as the Word preached by Elijah and Elisha was generally rejected by Israel, so also the preaching from the Messiah Himself was, on a national basis, rejected by Israel. I believe this was the LORD’s way of telling the people that if they didn’t receive His Word, He would turn to those who would (the Gentile nations).
Consider what a terrible loss we experience if we reject the Truth; what about all the multitudes of innumerable souls that will stand condemned before the White Throne of the Holy God because they summarily rejected the Truth of the Gospel! Think of those who knew the Truth, but didn’t believe it, or receive it, these that “held the truth in unrighteousness”! See Romans 1:18; 2 Thess. 2:10, 12.
John 1:14, 17
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.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The ‘Word of God’ aside from being the inspired canon of scripture and the revelation of Truth as sent by God, is also a title of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity (1 John 5:7; Rev. 19:13). He is the very embodiment of Truth in the person of a Man (truly ASTOUNDING!), Who is God (John 1:1).
How we are affected by Truth, and likewise the world in which will live, can no where else be demonstrated with greater clarity or ramifications than how we deal with the Person of Jesus Christ Who is essentially ‘Mr. Truth’.
This is a rather remarkable statement when one realizes we are talking about a person who was born two thousand years ago to peasants, in an insignificant town in Judea called Bethlehem, was raised in a similarly insignificant and disreputable town known as Nazareth, grew up in obscurity for thirty years, and for a very brief three to three and a half years ministered in towns and cities throughout Israel, but still no more than two hundred miles from where he was born. He owned virtually nothing, was disrespected by the religious establishment of Israel, ridiculed and rejected by most of her people, mocked, imprisoned and crucified by the ruling government of Rome, whose followers all abandoned him, and who, to this day remains a curse word to the world!
Upon this Person hangs the eternal destiny of every single man, woman and child, every human soul who was ever born into this world and ever will be! The LORD Jesus asked His disciples that very question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?”
Who do YOU say that Jesus is? A great teacher? Religious leader? Revolutionary? A good man? A renegade prophet? Or is He God made into man, the God-man, wholly Divine and wholly human? Your own eternal destiny will hang on your very answer to this quintessential Question of questions!
Note that Jesus Christ is full of grace as well as truth. This mixture is of paramount importance for the truth alone would indict us with our own treasonous abandonment of it; yet grace steps in, and with unmerited favor brings about a truth not otherwise obtainable: that we sinners by believing in the truth of God’s grace can become saints! Rather than seditionists in league with Satan, we become the sons of the Living Savior!
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The nature of one’s heart and propensities will be manifest when exposed to the Light of God, which is God Himself (1 John 1:5). If one is evil, as the verses above state, they will flee from the Light to the darkness which they love, for in that darkness they are not reproved for their evil. Yet if one is a doer of Truth they have no fear of the Light nor of its manifesting power, because Truth and Light are twins in the spiritual sense and even more denotatively, in a Divine sense. We saints, “walk in the Light, as He (the Truth made flesh) is in the Light, and we have fellowship one with another” (1 John 1:7).
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Worship of God isn’t a free-style matter; nor is it a do-it-yourself religious practice. This verse plainly indicates that they who worship God “must” worship Him in spirit and in truth. Yet worship in some of America’s churches has become a free for all where anything goes! Don’t believe me? Walk through the Museum of Idolatry and see it for yourself (WARNING: You just might want a barf bag before you watch some of these clips, they are not only grievous, they are sickening and sad):
A Little Leaven
We approach God the Way He has prescribed for us: through the LORD Jesus Christ; we worship Him the Way that He has determined: with surrendered hearts that are committed to obeying God in a walk of holiness and righteousness. On FROM The MIND of FIRE, we have an article on worship for your perusal:
Seeking Such To Worship
John 8:31-32, 34, 36
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
It’s the Truth of God that delivers, saves, redeems, restores . . . every genuine benefit you can think of, somewhere along the line is derivative of the truth; every destructive force, power, or intent is based upon deception and lies.
Think of the sort of destruction that resulted from Eve believing the lie of the serpent:
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Think of the destruction and ruin that’s resulted from the lie of evolution; follow the history of the most heinous, wanton evils and violence, and just see if the destroyers didn’t justify their actions (at least in part) to the theory of evolution (this is why I like to spell it ‘evilution’)”
Think of the sort of blessing that the Truth brings; firstly, the Truth as represented in the Gospel:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Think of the benefits of the truth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that has secured for us a freedom in a Republic form of government, a rule by just law (as we were originally founded as, not a Democracy which is a rule by majority vote).
From the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …”
And from the Constitution of the United States: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
In the passage from John ch. 8 the LORD Jesus states that the Truth will make one free, and then He also states that “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” Thus declaring Himself as the Truth, and that this Truth is of Divine origin, as opposed to the issue of spiritual bondage and slavery to sin, which we all have become by the Fall of man, and in which we continue in blinded fashion, seldom realizing that anything is wrong, that sin is ‘normal’ because ‘everybody does it’. Sin is deceitful and it blinds us to the truth (Heb. 3:13; 2 Cor. 4:4), and it’s only the power of God in revelation of the Truth that can deliver souls from the quagmire of this condemnation!
Charity (love) . . . Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Some say that telling the truth is unloving, but what does the scripture here state? That love REJOICES in the truth! Truth if delivered by a heart intent on and inspired by unconditional love and which is born of Divine wisdom that’s always easily intreated (James 3:17) can be readily received.
2 Cor 6:7
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
The minister of God is always approved by the truth (among other things) and this is something regarding integrity in the ministry. Measure the standards of pastors and teachers in the churches here in America with the standard of truth according to God’s Word, and see if there are any discrepancies (2 Cor. 6:4-10).
Can you list the fruit of the Spirit? Is truth among those fruits? Check out this verse in Ephesians –
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
And where spiritual warfare is concerned, truth is the primary element. Why do I say that? Read in the next chapter of Ephesians –
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
The belt in the soldier’s armor was essential, foundational in a way, because everything else connected to it. Likewise in our Christian lives, everything we are engaged in spiritually is connected to the Truth.
Our (helmet of) salvation is based upon the Truth; our (breastplate of) righteousness is likewise based on the Truth, our (shield of) faith is based on the Truth also, etc.
When we are assailed with the multitude of lies, deceptions and falsehoods by the enemy, and these come in various shapes and sizes, the one weapon we have to combat them all is the Truth!
Dave Hunt points out that since the doctrines of the Word of God are resolute and unchanging, and so in order to combat the Truth, Satan likewise in his arsenal must have false doctrines that never really change either (terms and certain cosmetic changes may be evident, but the essential lies as promoted in this world are always the same).
In addition to the doctrinal truth of God’s Word, note that this is a belt, a girding up of the loins which, allegorically speaking, refers to the passions and lusts in this life. Bringing such under control, girding them, we are able by God’s Spirit to maintain a morality and truth in the form of personal integrity. An inward truthfulness, as it were that manifests itself as honesty, genuineness, and committed to sound and demonstrable truth.
1 Cor 9:27
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
As mentioned before, we at TTUF will be doing a study on the Armor of God and spiritual warfare, which will be a shared article with FROM the MIND of FIRE (FtMoF) where I am currently doing a verse by verse study of Ephesians.
One can readily acknowledge that this subject on Truth is an exhaustive one, and we have hardly scratched the surface! May we at TTUF encourage you to delve into this critical subject as you engage in your own personal studies?
In the meantime we pray that the LORD will draw all of us deeper in our love and commitment to the Truth of God’s Word! CrossTV on this youtube clip elaborates:
GOD'S WORD IS TRUTH!
And in opposition of the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD, there is the idea of Relative truth:
The RELATIVE TRUTH OF THIS WORLD & Its MEMBERS
This concludes this article on GOT TRUTH? But it by no means indicates a conclusion of our continual heralding of God’s Holy Truth as written in the Holy Bible. More and more as these days march towards its inevitable climax, we are witnessing the Truth under fire!
YET THE TRUTH IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST (MAY HE RETURN SOON!) SHALL PREVAIL!
Posted by James J. Fire at 12:06 PM