"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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Monday, September 20, 2010

GOT TRUTH? Examining What Truth Is & How It Affects Us – PART TWO

~~By James Fire

(taken in part from J. MacArthur’s The TRUTH War & Other Sources)

The essence of truth as recorded in scripture has various facets to it.

In the Old Testament the word ‘truth’ or emeth in Hebrew, means, “firmness, stability, fidelity, a reliable basis for support. Its attributed to God as well as creatures, and appears in such verbalisms as “truly”, “of a truth”, etc. It’s ascribed not only to statements  (RUTH 3:12) but also to behavior (GEN 24:49).

It’s associated with promises, kindness, justice, and sincerity (see respectively – 2 SAM 7:28; GEN 47:29; NEH 9:13; ISAIAH 59:14; JOSH 24:14).

In the New Testament, truth retains the moral and personal emphasis of the Old Testament, even though the notion of faithfulness is more often carried by different Greek words.
From an etymological view, “truth” in the New Testament perspective suggests something that is “open, uncovered, revealed for what it indeed is, and so ascribes something as real and genuine rather than imaginary or spurious, and true rather than false.

When therefore the Bible speaks of “the true God” and, or “the true vine” (as the Nicene Creed put it, “Very God of very God”), this Greek word alethinos, is defined as “true, real, genuine” and is used abundantly in various passages as a predicate (examples: MATT 22:16; MARK 5:33; 12:32; JOHN 3:33; 7:28; 8:44-46; 17:3; ROM 1:25; EPH 4:25; 1 THESS 1:9; REV 6:10). These declare that God fulfills the meaning of His Name; He is “very God” in distinction from all other ‘gods’. He is absolutely true in His declarations and self-revelation, and He cannot lie.

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

PSALM 146:6
Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

HEBREWS 6:18-19
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

The New Testament brings greater clarity (due to greater, progressive, that is to say, more complete revelation) of the Truth. Truth is associated not only with fidelity and justice, but also with knowledge and revelation. This was assisted in the mundane by the eloquence of the Greek language, and its mathematical-like precision in its usage of words and syntax. As one begins to delve into the Greek language, as with any language, it helps to understand the mind set, the culture and philosophies of that particular ethnic group.

The Christian must show caution in studying the Greek language within its context, as the Greek culture was inundated with something called Platonic dualism.

(Although Plato is not the "father" of dualism, certainly he provided a far more extended treatment and defense of the doctrine than anyone who came before him. The Platonic dualism had great influence on Christian thinking, though it could not be made perfectly consistent with scriptural views since Plato shared the Pythagorean belief in transmigration of the soul. The greatest of the early Medieval thinkers was Augustine (354–430) who held,
Man is not a body alone, nor a soul alone, but a being composed of both . . . the soul is not the whole man but the better part of man; the body is not the whole but the inferior part of man . . . and when both are joined they received the name of man. We can say that Christianity, for the most part, adopted a form of Platonic dualism as its official view, which went more or less unchallenged until Aquinas (1225–1274) who followed Aristotle's line of thinking on the mind-body relationship. Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) disagreed with Plato, his mentor and teacher, and provided a closer relationship between the mind and the body, claiming that the soul is the "form" of the body.)
The Mind/Body Problem-Platonic Dualism

Truth as seen in the philosophies of the Greeks and most especially among certain branches of the Gnostics, is only pure and viable in its spiritual/mental state, and therefore cannot be experienced in the physical realm as it really is. Thus God is unknowable by the unenlightened (animal) man, and any connection to a heavenly state must by necessity be separate from this world.

However the Bible doesn’t teach this at all, since Truth is embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ, as it states in 
JOHN 1:14, “. . . the Word became flesh . . . (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. Further the scriptures teach that the Kingdom of Heaven will know a visible, actual revelation and manifestation here on this Earth, inaugurated and ruled by the LORD Jesus Christ Who shall physically reign as King in Jerusalem, during the millennial reign.

Essentially, while New Testament writers used Greek words and terms, they did so with a predominant view and doctrines from the Old Testament scriptures, such as the belief that the true God is not hidden (or mysteriously unknowable), but acts and speaks with openness that is wholly trustworthy.

There are three biblical concepts or aspects of Truth

1) Moral truth (that which is right vs. what is wrong, judicious in its nature)
2) Ontological truth (that which is real, actual, truly existing)
3) Cognitive truth (That which can be known intellectually)

“Ontological and Cognitive truth depends on Moral truth, and as well as this, Cognitive truth depends on Moral and Ontological truth. In all cases, truth depends on God as its basis, Who is the source and standard of righteousness (Moral truth), being (Ontological), and knowledge (Cognitive):

1) Moral truth – Truth is an attribute of God. As such the term speaks of His integrity; His trustworthiness, His faithfulness. It is celebrated by the Hebrew poet throughout the 
PSALMS (89) and by the prophet HOSEA (2:19-23); in both cases in association with mercy and love of God.
According to DEUT 32:4; PSALM 100:5; 146:6, His faithfulness is revealed in creation; and in the Apocalypse it is this attribute of God on which rests the expectation of judgment (REV 3:7,14; 6:10; 15:3,4; 19:1; 21:5).

“Since the character of God is to be emulated by men, truth in the same sense is to be a moral attribute of men, It entails honesty (PSALM 15:2; EPH 4:25) and civil justice (ISAIAH 59:4,14-15) as well.

(We have an article on The RED PILL Consortium as it relates to the death of the ‘moral twins’: truth and justice –
The Demise of the Moral Twins: Truth and Justice)

“Speaking the truth is therefore mandatory so that truthfulness (cognitive truth) marks the trustworthy man (moral truth). However, an overall integrity before both God and men is expected (EXOD 18:21; JOSH 24:14). Truth, in this moral sense, is no perfunctory veneer, but stems from the heart, characterizing the whole inner character of a man (1 SAM 12:24; PSALMS 15:2; 51:6).”

2) “Ontological truth (don’t let that BIG word scare you!) – Arising from the concept of one who is wholly trustworthy is the further concept of one who is truly what he purports to be, rather than being a deceiver, living a fiction, or being an imperfect example. In this sense “the true light” (JOHN 1:9) is to perfection the kind of light John the Baptist was in part and for which he prepared; “the true bread” JOHN 6:32) contrasts with the imperfect manna; and “true worshipers” (JOHN 4:23) contrast with those whose worship was still anticipatory. The Thessalonians, moreover, turned from their idols to serve “the true God” (1 THESS 1:9).

“In this sense we speak of a “true man”, a “true scholar” or a “true son”, meaning one who is true to an ideal, who perfectly embodies our standard. The Greek theory of the universals saw all particulars as participating to some degree in their ideal forms; Christian thinkers like Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas equated these forms with divine ideas and decrees (eternal truths), and ascribed ‘ontological truth’ to natural objects embodying them. This notion arises, however, not from Biblical usage but from combining the Greek theory of forms with the Biblical concept of the Creator who makes all things according to His perfect wisdom.”

3) “Cognitive truth – A further outcome of moral truth is that one speaks truth and not falsehood. In God, truthfulness stems from omniscience, so that the attribute of truth refers in part to His perfect knowledge (JOB 28:20-26; 38; 39). Since He is Creator, whatever else we know depends on Him. All truth [if it is in all actuality, truth in accordance with God’s Word] is God’s truth. Our cognitive abilities are His creation, and the intelligibility of nature attests to His wisdom. God’s knowledge is therefore archetypal (1) and ours ectypal (2).
1. Archetypal theology is the understanding which the Triune God has always had of Himself, and of every other fact or possibility. Therefore God has a theology apart from our experience of Him or His self-revelation to us.
2. Ectypal theology is God's accommodated self-revelation in the Word of God written. Because of the ontological distinction between the Creator and the creature God's self-revelation in the Bible is necessarily accommodated to human finitude (limitations)
Definitions above taken from this web site:

What Is Archetypal and Ectypal theology?
“What we declare true is therefore contingent, limited, and provisional. We “see in a mirror dimly” and “know in part” (1 COR 13:12). But archetypal truth is unlimited, unchanging and absolute. Truth for man is still in the making [as in the discovering and understanding of it, as found in God’s Word; “knowledge shall increase” (DAN 12:4)] but truth for God is complete [eternally so].

“This is expressed in John’s Logos-concept and Paul’s discussion in the Colossian epistle of the Christ “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. It is the Christ, by whom all things were made and are sustained who gives intelligible order and purpose to nature and history. To know Him is to know the omniscient source of all knowledge – not to know all He knows, but to understand how wisdom and knowledge are at all possible. He is is who guarantees the trustworthiness of the truth we acquire.

“While in the New Testament the cognitive concept of truth is evident (e.g. MARK 5:33; 12:32; ROM 1:25), it is applied particularly to the message of Christ and His apostles (JOHN 5:33; 8:31-47; ROM 2:8; GAL 2:5; 5:7; EPH 1:13; 1 TIM 3:15; 1 JOHN 2:21-27). The faithful messenger speaks the truth from God, and in responding to the truth the believer accordingly trusts the God from whom the message comes. Faith is both assent to truth and dependence on God. A Man is therefore said to ‘do the truth’ when his assent to the message and trust in God are evident in his ‘moral truth’ or faithfulness (1 JOHN 1:6-8; 2:4; 3:18,19).”

We are now going to shift gears a bit and look at the implications of the Truth and the reason why we must stand on and for the Truth.

It was recently in my protracted thoughts that the Truth and its resultant fruit tends toward beneficence while deception and its resultant fruit tends towards detriment. Consider the lies of evolution, of Nazism, of Humanism, of revisionist history and their results:

From evolution we derive a purposeless universe populated by thinking meat-sacks with no need of morals, integrity, and conscience or a sense of a God-given destiny (offered through Jesus Christ) and entirely licensed towards self-gratification.

From Nazism such fruit is evident: over six million dead Jews (among many others), and with equal justification for these heinous murders and an abrogation of freedom and a confiscation of the free enterprise system.

Likewise with Communism: gulags galore with the death of hundreds of millions, Christian, Jew and others, and similarly a “legal plunder” ethic that impoverishes, depletes and negates freedom and liberty.

Humanism places man at the center of reality, and on a pinnacle of importance, glorifying and extolling his supposed virtues, and denying any moral flaw, sinful intentions, and most vehemently an Eternal God Who is the Judge of the Earth, and thus instilling in its adherents a lethal sense of pride that will incarcerate them without parole into a hard-heartedness towards God and the spiritual freedom He provides through the LORD Jesus Christ.

Note: The above belief systems are, to one degree or another predicated upon evolution, thus this false system of so-called science is foundational to much of the global lies that predominate the world today.

From revisionist history we get such fallacies and falsehoods as the Israeli/Palestinian issue, and because of the fact that nations submitted to Islam have the preponderance of petroleum in an oil cartel, they (supposedly ‘they’) hold the world hostage and cow everyone to believing such lies as the historical fact of Palestinian’s presence in the land which God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This lie also lends power to the Islamic Agenda which we have reported on just previously on TTUF.

Somehow we perceive lies in any capacity as less detrimental than they are; certainly if one person believes a lie, its destructive level resides (in the main) with themselves and those closest to them. Yet if ten people believe the same lie, the arena of destruction is increased. What about an entire city? Or a nation? Or a world?

We are reminded of that horrific foretelling in the writings of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonian church regarding those who refuse the truth and adhere to lies -

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let (hinder, restrain), until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This “mystery of iniquity (that is, lawlessness)” was already at work at the time when Paul wrote those inspired, prophetic words; yet their working would increase with industrious intent until a tremendous apostasy takes place (departure from ‘the faith’ that is, the truth; something we ourselves are witnessing in greater degrees today) and then this “Wicked one,” the “man of sin, the son of perdition” is revealed:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Take note of such words and phrases as “lying wonders”, “deceivableness”, “receive not the LOVE of the truth”, “strong delusion”, “a lie”, “believed not the truth”, “son of perdition (lawlessness – without truth there can be no such law, thus lawlessness indicates the absence of truth).

As one meditates on these passages, one requires little more evidence that the fruit of lies and deception produces such deplorably universal destruction! Perhaps with this perspective in mind we can all the more appreciate to greater degrees the precious value of the Truth!

Here we end the first half of this article, part 2a of GOT TRUTH; the second half will be immediately posted for your review!
Click here to continue this series: 
GOT TRUTH? An Examination of What Truth Is and How It Affects Us – PART TWO-b

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