"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "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." John 8:31, 32

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones - "A Question of Priority"

by A.M. Kisly

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to the liberal theology that had become a part of many Christian denominations, regarding it as aberrant. He disagreed with the broad church approach and encouraged evangelical Christians (particularly Anglicans) to leave their existing denominations, taking the view that true Christian fellowship was only possible amongst those who shared common convictions regarding the nature of the faith.

I recently found an old recording entitled "A Question of Priority". The message was preached on Sunday June 5, 1966, and is based on the book of Acts from chapter 6:1-2. This sermon covers the following topics:

... The priority of the Church is not philanthropy.
... Benevolence that comes from the changed man.
... Priority must always be the Gospel message.
... The fundamental need of men.

I pray this message builds you up in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

ISRAEL AND THE LAST DAYS

by A.M. Kisly

The following video presentation by Chuck Missler called, "Israel and the Last Days" is in response to the anxiety that we are all feeling today about the danger rising in the Middle East. As we appear to be moving on the threshold of a major engagement, let's look to the Scriptures to see what has been foretold of these events in order to discern the times, and make sense of the things that are unfolding before our eyes.

Let's watch:

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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


~~By James Fire

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!

Mat 14:33
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!

Mat 15:27
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).)

Mat 22:16
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”!

Luk 4:25-27
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!

John 3:18-21
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).


John 4:23-24
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:

Gen 3:4-5
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:

John 3:16
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.
Rom 10:9
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!

1Cor 13:6
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 –

Eph 5:9
(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 –

Eph 6:14
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!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

GOT TRUTH? An Examination of What Truth Is and How It Affects Us – PART Three-a (taken in part from John MacArthur’s The TRUTH War, and the Holy Bible


~~By James Fire

We now continue with this article, and proceed with an examination of John MacArthur’s book, The TRUTH War, and we will then wrap it up with a look into the scriptures themselves on the subject of Truth, and how it affects us and our world.

MacArthur advances his treatment of The TRUTH War in chapter four entitled, “Creeping Apostasy: How False Teachers Sneak In

If only false teachers wore black caps and tall black top hats, with long curly moustaches and giggled with malevolent intent (and attempted to tie damsels in distress to rail road tracks wouldn’t hurt) to properly identify them!

The very fact however that such false teachers and prophets are deceptive is readily demonstrated by the use of analogies made by the LORD Himself: “Sheep in wolve’s clothing,” “white washed sepulchers,” “tares among wheat,” “transforming apostles,” etc.

“As a matter of fact,” MacArthur begins, “most false teachers are not so conspicuously unspiritual as Rasputin (a licentious Russian Orthodox mystic) or Gene Scott (Southern Californian televangelist who smoked fat cigars, used profanity and a surly personality in the ‘ministry’). They usually do a passable job of imitating the fruit of the Spirit. They disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness (1 Cor. 11:14-15). They seem quite sincere [and] look and sound harmless enough . . . They know the truth well enough to use it for their own ends – sometimes taking cover behind one truth while they attack another. They know exactly how to gain trust and acceptance from the people of God.”
*“ . . . They [attack the foundations of the truth itself] by suggesting subtle redefinitions, by making modifications, or by suggesting that contemporary Christianity needs to re-imagine, update or simply jettison some supposedly obsolete doctrine. They usually try to sound as innocuous as possible while planting as many doubts as they can. Those doubts are like sticks of dynamite in the foundation holes they have drilled. They are actually working towards the wholesale demolition of the entire structure (of Truth).”

As MacArthur accurately points out, such people and conduct are referred to in Jude :12 as “spots in your love feasts”. ‘Spots’ in the Greek is spilas, and it refers to dangerous reefs or rocky protrusions just under sea level that would prove destructive to any unsuspecting vessel happening by. Such false teachers were (and are!) capable of tremendously disastrous spiritual shipwrecks as in 1 Tim. 1: 19.

Its interesting to note (as MacArthur does) that most (not all) of the dangerous confrontations the church has had, throughout history, has been from within her own ranks; such leaders as were once among the church, who have arisen and led many astray, precisely as Paul the Apostle forewarned:

Acts 20:29-31
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.


Such evidences of potential infiltration into the church by false teachers and false brethren are easily found in such admonitions and commendations by the LORD Jesus Himself in passages like Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 (2:2, 6, 9; 14-16, 20). In 2 Thessalonians Paul had to undo the damage done by some other by writing and addressing the false teaching that the LORD had already returned and gathered His people to Himself (and that they were left behind).

Such false brethren and their influences were warned against by Paul in his instruction to Timothy, namely Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17), “who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and overthrow the faith of some” (vs. 18).

Likewise the apostle John warned against Diotrephes (3 John 9).

MacArthur is commendable in his observation that “Jude wrote this Spirit-inspired caution about the influence of false teachers who sneak in unnoticed – ‘ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 4) – he wasn’t speaking only to a single church facing an unusual peril. This is a message that applies to every true believer in every age.”

Who were some of these false teachers and systems of false belief, and have they survived in today’s world, to even now confront and infest the church with their errors?
Two groups that were prevalent in those days were the Judaizers and the Gnostics. In The TRUTH War, both are addressed.

The JUDAIZERS –
The entire book of Galatians, written by Paul was a biblical refutation of the Judaizers and their teachings of salvation by the inclusion of works. The claim was made that salvation indeed came through Jesus Christ and faith in Him, but that this was insufficient; works were also required (such as circumcision and the keeping of the law).

Paul went so far as to pronounce an “anathema” on any one who brought in “another Gospel” and “another Jesus” and would not tolerate (there’s that politically incorrect word again!) any kind of heresies, false teachings, or erroneous beliefs based not on God’s Word, but tradition or at the least a misapplication of God’s Word.

Acts Ch. 15, and the entire book of Hebrews, and throughout the New Testament, one sees how the Judaizers and their teachings were quite pervasive, ceaselessly endeavoring to gain a foothold in the church; the lengths of this endeavor was so powerful that even for a time, the apostle Peter, as well as Barnabas was led astray by it, as documented in Galatians Ch. 2 where Paul had to rebuke Peter for his inconsistency.

J. Gresham Machen (famous theologian and author) stood opposed to liberal theology at the beginning of the 20th century; MacArthur quotes his observations in the distinction between the doctrinal beliefs of Paul as differing from the Judaizers:

“The difference [between Paul and the Judaizers] concerned only the logical – not even perhaps, the temporal – order of three steps: Paul said that a man (1) first believes on Christ, (2) then is justified before God, (3) then immediately proceeds to keep God’s Law.
“The Judaizers said that a man (1) believes on Christ and (2) keeps the Law as best he can, and then (3) is justified. The difference would seem to modern ‘practical’ Christians to be highly subtle and intangible matter, hardly worthy of consideration at all in view of the large measure of agreement in the practical realm.’

Machen thought about how a modern thinker would deal with such a dispute, particularly in terms of the prevailing view in “promoting moral reform in secular society, evangelicals should actively cooperate with any one whose views on moral and spiritual issues so closely align with their own” –

“What a splendid cleaning up of the Gentile cities it would have been if the Judaizers had succeeded in extending to those cities the observance of the Mosaic law, even including the unfortunate ceremonial observances! Surely Pal ought to have made common cause with teachers who were so nearly in agreement with him; surely he ought to have applied to them the great principle of Christian unity.”

MacArthur replies: “Many Christians in Machen’s generation wanted to declare a truce like that with modernism. Today there is the same pressure from evangelicals who want to accommodate postmodernism. But, said Machen:

“Paul did nothing of the kind; and only because he (and others) did nothing of the kind does the Christian church exist today. Paul saw very clearly that the difference between the Judaizers and himself was the difference between two entirely distinct types of religion; it was the difference between a religion of merit and a religion of grace. If Christ provides only a PART of our salvation, leaving us to provide the rest, then we are still hopeless under the load of sin.”

The vital issue was that “sinners are saved by grace, solely on the basis of what Christ has already done on their behalf and not in any way because of anything they do for Him”

Paul preached the truth of this; the Judaizers denied it.

The GNOSTICS –

“Before the controversy with the Judaizers was completely quelled, another battle had already broken out on a whole new front in the Truth War. Primitive forms of Gnosticism began to creep into the church. Most of the later Epistles argue against the ideas that were fundamentally Gnostic. The doctrinal arguments John makes in his first epistle, for example, make a fine catalogue of replies to some of the favorite false doctrines of Gnosticism.
“Gnosticism was not a single, unified cult. Gnostic thinking offered the possibility of ‘designer religions’ where each false teacher could basically invent his own unique sect. That is why Gnosticism as a system wasn’t easy to refute and isn’t easy to describe. The ideas of one Gnostic group weren’t necessarily held by other Gnostics. It took much labor and diligence to contend against this diverse set of false doctrines. And over several centuries time Gnostics produced hundreds of varieties of counterfeit Christianity.”

For the Gnostic the concept of ‘truth’ was a secret only known by a select few; elevated and enlightened minds who alone could perceive the sublime nature of it. Often they would borrow ideas, myths, superstitions from pagan mystery religions and various human philosophies. Eventually they came to write their own ‘more enlightened’ gospel accounts and presented them to the world at large as inspired of God.

Gnostics became wealthy as their followers were given the many secrets and esoteric knowledge, but at a price, which their followers gladly paid. With careful and deliberate synthesis of Christian symbolisms and terminology, Gnostics were able to fool many Christians with their philosophy. By simply creating a glossary of terms, identical in wording, but quite different in definition, Gnostics were able to pass themselves off as Christians, but of a far more enlightened brand.

“Just as Judaizers’ doctrine obscured the gospel by burying it in Jewish tradition, Gnosticism altered every distinctive of Christian truth by overlaying it with pagan ideology. Like the Judaizers, the Gnostics denied justification by faith and thereby shifted the focus of the gospel. The message they proclaimed instead was all about what people need to do to gain enlightenment (The Gnostics substitute for salvation) – rather than the truth of what Christ did to save helpless sinners from divine judgment. Since Gnosticism attacked the truth at the very foundations, every variety of this error needed to be answered and strongly opposed. And this was no easy task.

One sect of Gnosticism, led by a man named Cerinthus, subverted the doctrine of the incarnation, God made flesh, and taught that Jesus (the human person) was actually indwelt by a divine spirit being known as ‘the Christ’. Further, that Jesus’ own deity was mere illusion and any divinity was the influence of the Christ-Spirit that possessed him (for a time: from the point of Jesus’ baptism up until the time he was crucified, they say).

Some of the pseudo-Christian writings, which were actually Gnostic to the core, are two gospels: the Gospel of Judas, and the Gospel of Thomas; supposedly relatively recently discovered works that revealed ‘new truths’ but were in all actually well documented, quite familiar Gnostic works that did nothing to expand theological, and doctrinal truth, but on the contrary, were opposed to such. For example, the Gospel of Judas was first mentioned by Irenaeus who rightly identified it with a rather evil Gnostic cult that viewed Cain, Esau, the men of Sodom, Korah and others as heroes of the faith (?!). Obviously, they also viewed Judas himself as a ‘hero’.

This concludes this summary of John MacArthur’s fourth chapter in The TRUTH War.
For more about ‘Gnosticism’ and how they influenced the church, please refer to a previous TTUF article: How Near Eastern Religion Invaded the West –
How Near-Eastern Religion Invaded The West

Now we turn to the scriptures themselves and see what the Holy Word of God has to say about Truth. This would prove to be quite the exhaustive task, as any cursory examination of a concordance would reveal. Sufficient for our purposes here, would be a brief overview of this vital subject, and it’s our hope at TTUF that this will whet your appetites and propel you on to your own study!

TRACING TRUTH THROUGH HOLY WRIT –

Doing a word search for ‘truth’ in the Bible is rather like looking for water in the ocean. It’s EVERYWHERE! So how does one go about a word-study about truth in the Word of God? Rather selectively, by category; and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I decided to start with the Old Testament and focus what it has to say about the Truth, and have placed the various scriptures into certain headings with associated titles.

These are as follows:

The keepers of God’s Truth are His delightProv. 12:22; Isaiah 10:20

The keeping of truth brings God’s blessing, salvation and knowledge –Psalms 15:2; 40:11; 45:4; 57:3; 60:4-5; 61:7; 69:13; 85:10; 91:4: 98:3; 146:6; Prov. 23:23; Isaiah 26:2; 38:3; 65:16; Jere. 4:2; Jere. 33:5-6; Ez. 18:8-9; Zech. 8:3,8
Here is an example of the above verses:
Psalm 57:3
He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
God’s truth has a preservative effect, even when there are those who are intent upon our destruction, or those that “would swallow me up”.

Psalms 146:5-7 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:


Our hope in God is reliable because He keeps truth forever; because of this, both God and the Truth are immutable, or incapable of change. Thus we can place faith in God and never be disappointed. Because God is a God of Truth, we can take comfort in the truth that justice will ultimately be served for He “executes judgment (justice) for the oppressed.

The Rejection of Truth Brings Cursing –
Isaiah 59:4, 14-15; Jere. 5:1-3; 7:27-28; 9:3-5; Daniel 8:12-14, 25; 9:13; Hosea 4:1-3

Isa 59:4, 14-15
None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.


And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

Read the entire chapter of Isaiah 59 and you will get a picture of what a society will breed when truth is rejected. We have previously posted a RED PILL Consortium article on this subject, and if you haven’t yet read it, here is another opportunity for you –

The Demise of Civilization

The judgments and ordinances of the LORD are Truth –Psalms 19:9; 33:4; 54:5; 89:14; 95:13; 111:7-8; 119:43, 142, 151; Isaiah 16:5; 25:1; 42:3; 59:16-18; Jere. 4:2; Daniel 4:37; Zech. 8:16; Malachi 2:16.

Psa 54:3-5
For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul

He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth
.

Note that here, the very same God that upholds and helps one person is also the same God that cuts others off and rewards them for their evil. What is the difference? Those cut off, never set God before them, that is, they never acknowledged or regarded God for Who He is; and those who are helped and upheld by God (such as the Psalmist here) are those who do acknowledge God and regard Him. God will discriminate the one from the other by means of His Truth.

Jer 4:2
And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory
.

See that the LORD lives, in Truth, Judgment and Righteousness, and if a nation bless themselves with God and His attributes and actions, they will indeed be blessed and shall glorify God.

The Truth as Divine Guidance and Promise –
Ps. 25:5, 10; 26:3; 43:3; 51:6; 86:11; 89: 49; 119:30, 43; 132:11; Proverbs 22:21; Prov. 23:23: Isaiah 61:8; Daniel 9:13; Micah 7:20.

Psa 25:5, 10
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
What a comfort to know that God will guide us and make provisions in accord with His promises in an uncertain world of bewilderment and deceit. As partakers of the New Covenant (Jere. 31:31) we can be assured that the paths God leads us, and will lead us upon are paved in His mercies and His truth!

The Perished Have No Part in the Truth –
Psalm 30:9; Isaiah 38:18; Jeremiah 3:1-3

Isa 38:18
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

God is a God of Truth –
Psalms 31:5; 85:11; 86:15; 115:1; 119:160; Isaiah 10:20; 65:16; Jere. 4:2; 10:10; Zech. 8:8.

Psa 31:5
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Isa 65:16
That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.


Our entire faith is predicated on the fact that God is a God of Truth, that there is no lie in Him (Numbers 23:19; 1 John 2: 21, 27). In allegory, God is compared to a rock, unchanging, immutable, etc. and this is properly so, for God Who is perfect in all of His ways, cannot change, for if He did, He would no longer be perfect.

Those Faithful Who Declare God’s Truth –
Psalm 40:10; Prov. 8:7; 12:17,19; 22:21; Isaiah 38: 19; Jere. 28:9, 15; Zech. 8:16; Malachi 2:6.

Prov 8:7
For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

In this personification of wisdom, that is the wisdom of God’s Spirit we have these words, and we understand that the greatest and most faithful of those who declare the Truth of God is the LORD Jesus Christ. To incrementally lesser degrees (but no less valid) are those saints who will not shrink back from declaring God’s Truth and the blessed reward for doing so, even in the face of obscene opposition and persecution.

Isa 38:19
The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.


Jer 28:9,15
The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, [then] shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.

Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.

Jeremiah was a strong opponent against the false prophets of Israel that did not represent the Truth of God, and even though it cost him dearly (as it did to all the prophets that were sent to Israel), he nonetheless was faithful to declare the truth of God.

The Truth is Exalted beyond Human Capability to Comprehend it –
Psalms 57:10; 108:4; 138:2; Dan. 4:37; 9:13


Psa 57:10
For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Long before the invention of airplanes and hot-air balloons, the idea of attaining to the heights of the clouds was unimaginable. In today’s vernacular we might well say that “thy truth unto Andromeda;” something truly unobtainable by human powers. Yet the LORD in His mercy and humility has deigned to bring us lowly beings His Truth! Even the most prideful and self-glorious individual can be humbled and realize the Truth; take Nebuchadnezzar for example. After seven years of insanity, and animalistic behavior, groveling in the dirt and eating grass, this once proud and obstinate Emperor lifted up his eyes at the end of that condition and said: “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” See Daniel 4:37.

Truth Inspires Worship and is Central to its Focus –
Psalm 71:22; 138:2; Isaiah 25:1; 38:19

Psa 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Truth and mercy are compatible now in salvation –
Psalm 85:10; 145:18; Prov. 14:22; 16:6; Isaiah 10:20
Psalm 85:10-11
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven
.

I find this passage particularly intriguing, full of biblical truth, and quite revealing in light of the New Testament.

I believe it was Plato that stated (around the 3rd century B.C.!), “It may be possible for Deity to forgive sin, but I can’t see how.” This is extremely perceptive for one of his culture, recognizing a dilemma that isn’t necessarily self-evident.

If God is holy, He cannot tolerate even the slightest sin. Yet if God is love, how can He not? However, how can these two attributes be reconciled? How can Truth (that by the Law of God that expresses truth) coexist with Mercy (that longs to bestow forgiveness and withhold any charges against the helpless sinner)?

How can the righteousness of God (that must mete out judgment on all unrighteous deeds and thoughts) coexist with peace (that would desire reconciliation with the unrighteous)?

The answer is found in vs. 11 of this passage! Jesus, Who declared Himself to be the Truth (John 14:6) ‘sprang’ out of the ground, that is, the garden tomb, resurrected from the dead! Having paid the penalty of sin, died for our sins personally, and defeated both sin and death by His resurrection, the righteous eyes of the Father looked down upon the propitiatory (a satisfactory sacrifice) atonement paid for by the Son and because of this, mercy and truth are met amicably together, and righteousness and peace have kissed one another!

The Truth is Eternal and Immutable –Psalm 100:5; 117:2; 138:2; Isaiah 61:8

Psa 100:5
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations
.

The book known as the Holy Bible is one whose destruction has been sought after by generations of Truth-haters. From Pontiff Persecutions to marauding Moslems, even to hateful Hindus and aserbic Atheists, this Book has known more hatred (and more love by the way), than any other book in history.

Here we end the first half of this third installment on GOT TRUTH? We will continue in the second half immediately; it is our hope that these articles bless and encourage you in the LORD Jesus Christ.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

MY HOPE

by A.M. Kisly

Thought you'd all enjoy this new worship song by Matt Redman. My Hope rests in none other than Jesus Christ....When the mountains are falling, when the waters are rising, I shall be safe in you...Though the nations are quaking; every kingdom be shaking...still I will REST IN YOU! No matter what trial comes our way, we can rest in the safe and loving arms of our Risen Savior and King, Jesus!






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