Monday, July 27, 2020

Unchanging Truth

One of the questions that is still being asked today is, "What is Truth." Modern definitions of the word truth are..."That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; the body of real things, events, and facts; a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true." Although these definition may seem ambiguous, and they are, they only define truth from a natural sense. For thousands of years philosophers have been asking this same question, yet they are limited to natural knowledge, therefore they can only define truth based on their limited knowledge that emanates from the five senses. So, if fact or reality is based on solely upon natural human knowledge, then truth will never be found. 

During Jesus' trial as He stood before Pontius Pilate, He made a very important statement that goes beyond the sense knowledge realm of the greatest philosophers, "...For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." (John 18:37) The latter part of Jesus' statement is very intriguing, "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."  Notice that this does not say everyone who hears my voice is of the truth. In other words, many people may hear the Lord's voice but is does not mean that they themselves are of the truth, that is, believe the truth, accept the truth or understand the truth. We see this in Pilates response to Jesus. 

He is hearing what Jesus is saying, but still asks the question, "...What is truth?..." (John 18:38) Now we know that Pilate was a pagan and that he was spiritually dead, but why do so many Christians who are supposed to have the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, living within them reject the truth? What do I mean?  Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6) and "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17) Jesus is truth! The Word of God is truth! However, in many ways many believers treat the truth as though it is only nice suggestions. Much of this is due to the erroneous doctrines of men that are developed by those who do not really know Him, but know of Him. Many say the Bible is the Word of God but claim that it does not do today what it did in the past. Somehow, God gives man His Word, which is truth, but it only worked in times past. God is unchanging, but somehow His Word is. 

Let's view these scriptures, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Number 23:19) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. (Psalm 89:34)
"Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89) 

Logically, if the Bible is God's Word, but what He has spoken is only applicable to a dispensation, especially that of the New Testament, then how can one say that Bible is relevant for today? You can't because it would be a book of historic events that are time dated or only a philosophy. Why should people teach and preach from the Bible if God's Word doesn't work today? They shouldn't unless they want to teach history or philosophy. Is truth not a constant from everlasting to everlasting or does truth change? It certainly is from everlasting to everlasting and it certainly does not change because Malachi 3:6 says, "For I am the LORD, I do not change..." and Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  

So if God does not change with time and we believe that He is from everlasting to everlasting, that He has no beginning or end, then it is only logical to believe that His Word is the same. It does not change with time, but what it said (says) is applicable for all time. Truth does not change! So what is the problem? The writer of Hebrews tells us the problem when it comes to accepting and believing the truth, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." (Hebrews 4:2) Although this is aimed at the Jews who heard the gospel but rejected it, it also applies to many believers today. When believers hear the truth if it is not mixed with faith it will not profit the hearer which makes it easy for a counterfeit (a lie, the opposite of truth) to get place. 

The apostle Paul had an experience along this same line. In Athens he encountered some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers who spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. In other words their were looking for truth but were limited as philosophers are because they are limited to natural knowledge.  The wisdom of God upon Paul gave him an open door to preach Christ (the truth) by-way-of an altar with this inscription, "To the unknown God." Although these philosophers heard the truth "...some mocked, while others said, we will hear you again on this matter. So Paul departed from among them. However, some men joined him and believed..." (Acts 17:16-34)

The point in this matter is, believers need not see to believe, they need to believe so they can see (the truth). Experience is not the best teacher, the Holy Spirit is. As the apostle Paul say, "Knowledge puffs up..." (1 Corinthians 8:1) However, Proverbs tells us to "incline your ear to wisdom". (Proverbs 2:2) Why? Because wisdom is spiritual and gives one the ability to use knowledge. So to understand, accept and believe truth we need the wisdom that comes from the great Teacher, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "If you abide (continue, endure, remain, stand, tarry) in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) It is accepting God's Word without wavering, without questioning, but through faith that God is able to perform what He said (says) He will do. When believers accept God's Word without "Buts or what ifs" then they shall know the truth and the truth shall make them free!

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