Lucia's Blog: BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, March 14, 2016

BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT

“Buy the truth, and sell it not; Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” 
Proverbs 23:23


What is truth?  Our former president once said, "that depends on what the definition of is is."  The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."  Jesus promised his disciples the Truth that would set them free. Let us wrestle with the questions that men raise against that truth.

Our religious world does not want to acknowledge the importance of loving and obeying the Truth. Almost everyone who claims to be a Christian understands how important it is to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:26-27).  Yet, Satan has succeeded remarkably in leading many into false doctrine or teaching.  He has led many into believing that doctrine and teaching have nothing to do with our eternal salvation.  I often hear folks say, “It is not doctrine that matters but the way one lives that counts,” or “it matters not what one believes as long as he is sincere.”  They have not analyzed or thought out such ideas very well.  God's Truth clearly teaches that it does matter what one believes and teaches.  Consider Paul's exhortation:
"And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.   Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."  (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

Indeed, many think they are walking with God in Truth but are not keeping His commandments. They ignore the fact that to walk in Truth, one must obey completely.  To walk in the Truth demands total commitment to the love of the Truth and following it.  It is not just an option, but a command from God!  It is much easier to talk about, debate, and recite (memorize) the Truth than it is to put it into practice (walking in it!).  The fact is that Truth is an essential reality.

Clearly, many think they love the Truth, but do they truly love the whole Truth or just the Truth that is convenient for them?  It is vital that we love the Truth if we are to be saved and not be condemned.  Sadly, many will perish because not only did they did not love the Truth but they even refused to love it.  In John 8:32 Jesus said:
"and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Notice that Jesus says "the Truth" and not "some truth" or "the truth that you like" or "the truth that you want to accept," and so on.  Rather, He simply says "the Truth,” that is, the absolute Truth, all the Truth and nothing else.  Alas, very few respect or revere the Truth of God (His Word, Law).  Few tremble at His Word because they do not love the Truth and are not "humble and contrite of spirit"  (Isa. 66:2).

The purpose of this study will be to help us to love God's Truth humbly and not neglect it, holding fast to the Truth we have received (II Thess. 2:13-17; Heb. 10:23-25).

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)
“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”  (II Thess. 2:13-17).

I.   WHAT IS TRUTH?
"Then Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.'  Pilate said to him, 'What is truth?' After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them,'I find no guilt in him.'"  (John 18:37-38).

Our Lord Jesus confessed His high office and ministry of Truth in John 18:37-38 when Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?“  Indeed, he asked an excellent question, perhaps one of the most important questions of all times.  But Pilate could not receive it.

So, what is the source of Truth?  In John 1:17 we read:  
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
 Therefore, Christ is the source of all Truth.  

Jesus told the Samaritan woman His father sought true worshippers who would worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-34).  Alas, false teachers teach a false concept of Truth, which is but the result of Satan's lies that work through sinful hearts.

  • The Truth is essential reality:  “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
God exists!  Furthermore, He promises an eternal reward:  heaven or hell.  In John 3:33 we read that
“Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”  
God always tells the Truth!  
"Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words,  and prevail when you are judged.'"  (Romans 3:4).

  •  The Truth is the opposite of a lie:  “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:25).
Those who are false Christs teach lies and not Truth. The apostle Paul rebukes the Corinthians for their tolerance with false teachers who were bringing them a different doctrine than they had received: 
or if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.”  (2 Cor. 11:4).

Everything that is not truth must be a lie.  Every statement, idea or opinion is one or the other, truth or lie.  Consider the first lie.  God said:  “Thou shalt surely die.”  Satan, the king of lies, said, “Ye shalt not surely die.”  Notice that the difference between life and death, and between heaven and hell was just one tiny word, not!  Therefore, all words, facts and doctrines must be proven truth (Gen. 42:16; Deut. 13:14; I Kings 17:24; Job 9:2).  No lie is of the Truth (I John 2:21).  Thus, lies are incompatible and contradictory.  The one who contradicts the Truth of God has turned from the Truth to a lie; he has gone astray from the Truth, (2 Tim. 2:18).  Period!

Therefore, it is crucial that we know the Truth by studying, analyzing it carefully and most importantly by not going beyond what is written.  It is the will to obey the Truth that helps one to discern Truth:  
“If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself?”  (John 7:17).  
It is vital that we apply ourselves to love the Truth that we might understand it and live it.  To continue in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ is to live by His teaching or doctrine.  Let us put it into practice and not be just hearers!

All false “Christs,” false apostles (Rev. 2:2) and false teachers and preachers (Gal. 1:8-9) are not from the Truth but the lie.  Truth teaches that there is:  
  1. One body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23).
  2. One hope (eternal life).
  3. One baptism (immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, Eph. 4:4-6).
Therefore, the Truth is against all human traditions, superstitions, and the many “isms” (communism, sectarianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, millennialism, Adventism, Pentecostalism, institutionalism, etc.).  All “isms” have no reality (truth) before God's eyes but are merely man made inventions.

We must understand that there is a significant danger in false teaching. We must watch out!  Why? Because we may lose what we have gained or accomplished:  
“Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”  (2 John 8).  
And one can transgress, overstepping the bounds of safety!  
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”  (2 John 10-11).  
So to welcome, to encourage, to wish them well (false teachers) or even worse to spread their false teaching is to share in their wicked work.  Take heed!!

  • Christ is the Truth:  Our Lord was a man of Truth. (Matt. 22:16; John 14:6-9; 18:37; Romans 15:8; James 1:18).
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.'  Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.'  Jesus said to him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?'"  (John 14:6-9).

Christ is the Truth, and the Truth is in Him.  
“But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus”  (Eph. 4:20-21).
  • God's Word is the Truth:  
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17).  
“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.”  (Psalm 119:142).  
“You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth. (Psalm 119:151).  
The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”  (Psalm 119:160).
  • The Gospel is the Truth:   
"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him withthe Holy Spirit of promise."  (Eph. 1:13).  
“In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”  (James 1:18).  
“Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned.”  (2 Peter 2:2).  
“But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.”  (Gal. 2:5).  
"But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, 'If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?'" (Galatians 2:14).
  • The Doctrine of Christ is the Truth:  
"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.  (2 John 9-11)
Indeed, many false teachers have a wrong concept of Christ and His doctrine.  As a result of this, they fail to obey the commands of walking in truth and love.  They likewise go beyond what is written. Notice what Paul told the Corinthians:  
“Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond ththings which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.”  (I Cor. 4:6).
  • The New Testament is the Truth: 
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”  (John 16:13).  
The Holy Spirit reveals the Truth:
 “It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”  (I John 5:7).  

The Holy Spirit has already revealed all the Truth.  Hence, the New Testament is “all the Truth.”  Lest we forget, the source of all Truth is Christ and not the church. 


II.   LOVING THE TRUTH:

All those who possess the excellent characteristics of God will strongly love the Truth.  God's Word is Truth, (John 17:17) and we must thirst, hunger and long for it “like newborn babies”  so that we may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 2:2).

  1. But we must give diligent study to it that we might be able to divide the Word of Truth rightly.
  2. We must strive to understand the Truth because it is the will of God. 
  3. We must not be foolish.  (Eph. 5:17).  
  4. We must exercise our senses that we might discern between good and evil; not being tossed to and fro and carried away with doctrines of men which are but error that leads them to their destruction.  
  5. We are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. 

Like King Ahab in I Kings 22:16, one may pretend to love the Truth but not really want the Truth. Why?  Because when the Truth reproves, exhorts and rebukes them because of their lawless deeds and sinful habits as well as their erroneous and contradicting teachings and practices, they refuse to accept it.   They reject the Truth in matters of:

  1. Bible authority and doctrinal error:  the divine pattern of worship (i.e., the use of instrumental music in worship; institutionalism, the tithe, the Lord's Supper, etc.).  
  2. They don't accept the Truth in matters of the home.
  3. The works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:22-32); fornication, marriage, divorce, adultery (although they call it "marriage"), worldly practices, bad habits.
  4. Salvation, faith and works, grace, and discipline in the church.  
  5. In a few words, they do not want to accept the whole counsel of God in every aspect of their life.
Hence in Acts 20:20, 27 the apostle Paul declared:
“How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house...  for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”  

Sadly, many times our prejudices, preconceived notions and preferences render us weak, making it difficult for us to keep and obey the whole counsel of God, the divine rules (I Tim. 5:21).

Again in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 we have been exhorted to love the Truth because:
“For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.”

Those who do not love the Truth behave in this manner.  They profess to love the Truth but don't really want it, rejecting it when that same Truth condemns their errors or sins.

To love the Truth is to tremble at God's Word in awe and fear.  Few people respect and tremble at His Word because they are not humble in spirit.  They forget that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.

In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  
We all understand what it is like to be hungry and thirsty.  We see this portrayed in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:16-17

To hunger and thirst after righteousness means to have a strong and intense desire to know and follow righteousness.  Such righteousness is only found in the revealed Word of God, the gospel of His Son, (Romans 1:16-17).  Righteousness is indeed not found in man's own wisdom and reasoning.  It is tragic when man establishes his own righteousness, not in agreement with knowledge and the righteousness of God, (Romans 10:1-3).

The wicked hold the Truth in unrighteousness and change the Truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:18,25).

When one is diligently reading and studying the Gospel of Truth, he starts to learn of God's righteousness, and he will be filled.
 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.”  (John 7:17).

God praises and blesses those who believe, love and know the Truth, but He also condemns those who have no love for the Truth, (2 Thess. 2:9-12).  Therefore, it is vital to love the Truth with all our heart, mind, soul and strength to understand His will and be saved.
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (I Tim. 2:4).

It is hard to get many to understand this principle and put it into practice.
  • Do you suppose all those who believe a lie will be condemned? 
  • How can one say, therefore, that one doctrine is as good as another?  
  • Do you think that we must abide in the Truth and not go beyond it?  
  • Do you understand that false teaching is dangerous and that it is possible to lose what one has accomplished or gained?  
  • Do you suppose one can overstep the bounds of safety by transgressing? 
  • Is it a sin to encourage false teachers in their error and false teaching?  
  • Let the Word, the Truth, be your judge!!

III.   DESPISING THE TRUTH:

Today, many Christians reject and despise sound doctrine, preferring to go after fables and myths rather than the Truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  Our generation wants fables rather than Truth:  fables such as:

  • The fable of self-discovery or self-love.
  • The fable of worship that pleases the public or casual worship.
  • The fable of the freedom of those enslaved by sin.
  • The fable of letting a child discipline himself and be creative.
  • The fable of endless social programs.
  • The fable of the prosperity gospel.
  • The fable of interpretive dance, drama, and anything else to satisfy the flesh and not the Spirit. 
Many are willing to reject the Truth, preferring lies and hating all Truth (Proverbs 20:6; 21:2; Luke 6:26; John 8:45; Gal. 4:16).  They will slander Christians to avoid all correction.  This brings to mind the Galatians who were victimized and carried away from the evident Truth to follow the heresies of the Judaizers, (Gal. 3:1).
"O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified."

Many of us are despised because “not all have faith,”  but follow human reasoning, (II Thess. 3:1-2).  Sin hardens the heart of man. Making him depart from the living God, (I Tim. 4:2; Heb. 3:12-13).  Indeed, there are many powerful enemies of the Truth, (John 8:40,44; Acts 13:10).  The wicked holds the Truth in unrighteousness, changing the Truth of God for a lie, (Rom. 1:18,25).  Many despise the Truth and try to turn others from the Truth, claiming that God does not care:

  • Consider Cain who thought his version of the Truth was better than that of Abel's but it was not so, (Gen. 4:1-8). 
  • Remember Nadab and Abihu, who thought that God was going to accept their strange fire, but He did not, (Lev. 10:1-7).  
  • Remember Moses and Aaron, who thought that their overall obedience could allow some compromise, (Numbers 20:7-13).  
  • Then there was King Saul, who justified his disobedience saying that he intended to use if for God's glory, (I Samuel 15:20-23).  
  • David learned the hard way about the consequences of not heeding what  Moses had commanded as to how they were to carry the Ark of the Covenant according to God's ordinances; forgetting the due order, he killed a man, (I Chronicles 15:13).  
  • Saul of Tarsus is another who thought he had the Truth but found out he did not, (Acts 26:9).

IV.   TRUTH IS NOT SUBJECTIVE BUT OBJECTIVE:

The word “subjective” means  “of the subject” (personal, oneself).  Unfortunately, many believe that truth is whatever one wants to do or believe.  It is said, “that is the truth for her or him.” What is called “subjective truth” is produced merely by one's thinking, reasoning or feeling.  Such a thing is not in any sense the Truth.  Now the word “objective” means that truth is an external object.  It is a separate entity apart from one's mind.  What one thinks does not determine the truth.  Therefore, it is vital that we study and learn what is truth accurately rather than whatever one thinks or says about it.

Many believe that truth is not absolute.  For them, truth is whatever everyone considers to be the truth (subjective truth).  Such people contradict themselves because they affirm something as an absolute truth while they say that truth is not absolute.  My question is:  If there is no such thing as absolute truth, how is it that they can affirm as absolute truth that truth is not absolute?  

Truth is not whatever “one believes.”  It is not true that everyone is entitled to their own way of thinking or belief.  If it is true that it does not matter what one believes in, then it does not matter what one believes or thinks.  Right?

Truth is not relative but absolute. Therefore, absolute truth is the divine rule that governs the life of every man:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”  (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Word of God plainly teaches absolute truths.  Truths such as:

  1. That everyone can learn and obey the Gospel of Christ.
  2. That Christ built His church.
  3. That those who are saved are added to the church, the body of Christ.
  4. That the church’s worship is simple and spiritual.
  5. That the Lord's Supper is every first day of the week (Sunday).
  6. That the church must not use instrumental music.
  7. That the church's offering(contribution) is not tithe.
  8. That all Christians are saints (sanctified, set apart from the world).
  9. That each Christian must live “as strangers and pilgrims,” abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
  10. That “any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” 
  11. That God has not called us for impurity but in holiness.
  12. That the Lord will return and the dead will rise up and all will be changed in a moment.
  13. That the dead will be raised imperishable.
  14. That the “heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
  15. That it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.
  16. That  every knee shall bow to God and every tongue shall give praise to God.
  17. That we all will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
  18. That those who reject His Son  will go into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.  
These are all absolute truths and not relative truths in any sense.  Take heed!!

Indeed, the Truth is narrow because the Truth is the way to heaven!

  1. The Truth is narrow just as mathematics is narrow and all scientific truth is narrow.  
  2. Likewise, all historical truth is narrow.
  3. All geographical truth is narrow.  
  4. Truth does not change.
  5. It does not fluctuate.  
Therefore, God's Truth cannot and must not be modernized!  All that the Truth affirms about:

  • The deity of Christ.
  • The plan of salvation.
  • The church and its divine pattern of organization.
  • Holiness, righteousness, etc. cannot be modified.  
Do we agree or not?  The Truth that the apostles taught is the ONLY TRUTH we must teach and proclaim and nothing else!!  The Truth that first-century brethren obeyed is the only Truth that all must obey today.  The Truth never changes, it is eternal.  Take heed!


V.  THE TRUTH IS NOT ONLY POSITIVE BUT ALSO NEGATIVE:

Today in many churches, there exists another wrong concept, although very popular, that if a preacher is to preach and teach the Truth, he has to do it under whatever terms the church or their leaders choose to do it.  All they want to hear preached or taught is about love and positive subjects or matters.  But what they refuse to acknowledge is that the Truth has to prick the heart, the conscience to be effective.  The Truth condemns all error and sinful living (lawlessness), as light exposes darkness.  The Truth is to be lived by the teachings (doctrines) of Christ.  For one to be faithful to God, one must walk in the Truth, (2 John 8; 2 John 10-11).  

The Truth is that the very Word of God (His Son) became flesh to show us how to live in holiness; in the commandments of God.

  • To follow the commandments of God is our expression of love and obedience to Him.  
  • To obey the Truth is love toward our family, church members, our enemies, and our neighbor. 
  • To love the Truth requires action. 
  • Love for the Truth and obedience go hand in hand.  
  • To know and love the Truth is to accept the Gospel of Christ and also to express it in love. 
  • When the Truth is not put into action, it is not love.  
  • If it is not love, then it is not the Truth either.  
  • To abandon love is to leave the Truth.  Period!  
  • One cannot love if one takes people beyond what is Truth.
In Matthew 16:16 Jesus said,
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  
This is a positive statement.  Right?  But read the rest of the verse:

“but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

This is a negative statement.  Right?

As we read the New Testament, we find out that:

  1. Christ and the apostles not only teach the positive aspects of the Gospel but also condemn all false teaching, false religions, human traditions, hypocrisy and all sin or lawlessness.  
  2. It also condemns all of the errors and shortcomings of the Lord's church as well (I Cor. 5; Gal. 1:2; 6-9; Rev. 2 and 3).  
“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  (I Peter 4:17).

The absolute truth is that the Truth is transforming, but to transform us, it demands:

  1. A change of living.
  2. A renewal of the mind and spirit.
  3. Putting off the old self, (Eph. 4:22-32). 
  4. It also requires that one leave (renounce) all error.

VI.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE SOUGHT AND LEARNED:

Those who love the Truth, study diligently to learn the Truth.  In Acts 17:11 we are given an example of those who searched truth to learn the Truth:
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

It is vital to read and study the Bible with all diligence to learn it:
“Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)

God wants and demands that all men learn the Truth.  The Bible is “God-breathed,” (2 Tim. 3:16). God Himself gave the Truth.  In 2 Peter 1:20-21 we learn “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

God's holy men spoke and wrote (I Cor. 2:10-13) as the Holy Spirit moved them.  Therefore, the Bible was written for all men.  Paul said,
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  (Romans 10:17).  

God gave us the Bible, His Truth so that we might believe (develop faith) in Him.  Without the Truth, we will be lost.

  • Jesus compared the Truth of His kingdom to a “treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”  (Matt. 13:44-46).  
  • Solomon described the hunt for Truth and wisdom as the search for a hidden treasure (Prov. 2:1-9).  
  • Do you search for Truth?  
  • Do you highly value Truth?  
  • Do you pray for Truth?  
  • Do you fight for Truth?

The Truth is easy to learn and understand.  God does not hide Truth.  He “reveals” Truth.  Therefore:

  • The Bible is the Truth, the will of God.  
  • God wants to save us.  
  • He promises salvation to those who accept it, but condemnation to those who reject it.  
  • Why would God give us a revelation that could not be understood when the salvation of our soul is at stake?
“Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  (I Tim. 2:4).
Think about that!!

Jesus said,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.  (Heb. 10:26).
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the Prophets,‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— '"  (John 6:44-45).

Therefore, the Bible is understandable.  God would not give us a book that we couldn't understand. Those who believe and teach that we cannot all understand God's Truth, the Bible, alike, imply some terrible things about God and His wisdom or intelligence.  God is wise enough to have given us a book that we can diligently study and understand correctly.  The Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our pathway, (Psalm 119:105).  The real problem is that many are not willing to study it with a good and honest heart! (Matt. 13:15).  May it never be so!  May we always strive to buy the Truth and sell it not!

  • But we must exalt the Truth and seek it.  
  • We must desire to know the Truth.  
  • We must handle God's Truth with honor and reverence, respecting the context of each passage and the ordinary definition of its words, that we might draw the conclusions that are Biblical according to God's will.  

The Word of God is infallible and does not contain any errors whatsoever.  It has never been proven to be wrong and does not need to be corrected or improved to be implemented.  The Word of God is perfect as it is:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”  (Psalm 19:7).  
The Bible is the Truth!  (John 17:17).

God's Word is sufficient and able to make us “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”  (2 Tim. 3:17).  

So often it is prejudice that prevents men from learning the Truth.  They prefer to judge before they investigate.  It is man's prejudice that does not allow the Bible to teach what it teaches.  If one is determined that the Bible teaches a certain doctrine, he will find such doctrine in many texts.  Likewise, if one is determined that the Bible does not teach a certain doctrine or practice, then such a person will not do it either.  Such a person will not allow the Word of God to teach him what God wants him to learn.

Therefore, it is crucial that we not make the same mistakes the Jews made by hardening our hearts the same way they did.  They could not understand the Truth because they had a veil over their hearts, (2 Cor. 3:15).  So what was the veil?  It was their erroneous concept of the Messiah and His Kingdom.  You see, they had their own concepts and preconceived ideas. Although they heard the same Word of God, they could not understand it.  So the same is true for millions of people today who read the same Word of God, the Bible, but do not understand it since they have a veil over their hearts.  They can read a Bible text a dozen times and still not understand it.  That is tragic!!

What good does it do to know the whole Bible by memory and recite it, but not understand it because of a mental block that blinds us to its true meaning?  We must have the right and proper attitude toward the Bible.  There is no other way!

To acquire a deeper knowledge of God's Word, one must diligently apply himself to his studies.  It means one must be steady, enthusiastic and tireless.  Casual Bible-reading will not do it.  It is imperative that one show diligence and not get discouraged when searching the depths of God's Word even if he finds a passage to be difficult to understand.  Deeper knowledge of God's Word demands a lot of continual effort, but it is worth it.  I can guarantee you that!

True and deeper Bible study requires a real intention to grow to our maximum potential.  


VI.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE TAUGHT AND DEFENDED:

Jesus and the apostles taught and preached the Truth.
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you.”  (2 Thess. 3:1).

In Jude 3, we are exhorted to defend the Truth:
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

It is essential that we give a defense and confirmation of the Gospel of Truth; fighting together for the faith of the Gospel:
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”  (Phil 1:27-28).
Therefore:
  • We must always be ready to give a defense of the Truth.  (I  Peter 3:15).  
  • We cannot suppress the Truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18).  
  • The church must be the pillar and support of the Truth, (I Tim. 3:15).  She is not the source of Truth but the support of it.  Jesus is the source of all Truth, (John 14:6).

VII.  THE TRUTH DOES NOT FELLOWSHIP ERROR:
  • God does not fellowship with those who practice false religion (i.e., any religion besides what He has authorized in the New Testament).  
  • God cannot have fellowship with man-made religions (i.e., Catholicism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Islam, etc.).  
  • By the same token, God does not have fellowship with man-made churches (i.e., Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Catholics, Pentecostals, etc.).  
  • God wants His followers to be saved through His Truth that sets them free, (John 8:32).  
  • Not just part of the Truth, which is what man-made churches offer.

The critical question is:  Can a church or denomination that twists the plan of salvation and changes the Bible pattern for the work and worship of the church be in fellowship with God? Obviously NOT!  Why?  Because no matter how much they claim to follow the Truth in good conscience, they are still not teaching or following the Truth about God's plan of salvation as found in the New Testament.  Indeed, God is disgusted with what He sees in the vast majority of the churches in the religious world today.  He will not approve of those who depart from His Truth nor will He approve of those who have fellowship with them.  They are under His curse!  (Galatians 1:8).  When man alters the Truth of God, His Word, in some way (by adding or taking away and not being silent where the Truth must be), such person is under God's condemnation!  They are rebellious and in sin and need to repent and submit to God's will.

Sadly, we live in times when man does not want the Truth.  The modern man resents the doctrine of Christ, (II Tim. 3:1-4:4).  Men are addicted to all doctrinal error and all carnal pleasures.

  • They prefer to learn error rather than the Truth.  
  • They prefer fables and myths rather than the Truth, (2 Tim. 3:7; 4:3-4).  
  • Many are false teachers who pervert the Truth, knowing nothing, (I Tim. 6:3-5).  
  • Indeed, we live in times when men agree to allow anything except God's Truth!

The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, warned us of error and false teachers that would eat like gangrene.
"Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus."  (2 Tim. 2:17).

These false teachers do not rightly handle the Word of Truth.  Alas, how many souls have been perverted by false teaching!   

False doctrine grows worse and worse, eating away the soul as gangrene eats away the flesh.  God rejects both the false teacher and his followers.  In Matthew 15:14 Jesus said,
“ Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 
Paul also warned of those who were insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.”  (Titus 1:10-11).

Likewise, Peter said about false teachers,
“And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”  (2 Peter 2:3)

Thus, anyone who holds to error is condemned whether they be the instigator, promoter or follower.  Let us take heed and not lose what we have gained!

Sadly, there are many today who willfully and knowingly fellowship error and false teaching.  And when one points out the error, they say, “I don't believe everything my “church” teaches” or “I don't go along with all that my “church” does or teaches.”  Some have even the audacity to admit their “church” is getting farther and farther from the Truth.  My question is:
  1. Does recognizing and rejecting certain error free one from all responsibility in the matter?  
  2. Can a person close his eyes to error and be willing to stay in a group (church) that does not teach the Truth and that he knows is wrong and in error?  
What he doesn't realize is that by partaking in error rather than exposing it, he is under condemnation. Instead, he must “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.”  (Titus 1:13-13). The same must be applied within the Lord's church when there is error being taught.  It is our obligation before God!  Therefore, one cannot continue to have fellowship with those who believe and are practicing error.  That simple!  Instead, he has the responsibility to rebuke and warn them with the Truth, (2 Tim. 3:16).  Silence is dangerous!  Why?  Because by one's silence one is approving and partaking of that which is error and thus is sinning.  As long as one is a member of any church that teaches error, he is associated with error and identified with the same.  Take heed of what Jesus said, 
“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.”  (Matt. 15:13).  

It means that those who fellowship error will be rooted up along with his followers in the last day. Therefore, it is vital to identify error so that one may be identified with God's faithful followers.


VIII.  THE TRUTH IS TO BE OBEYED:

Those who believe the Truth, obey the Truth to purify their souls.
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. ”  (I Peter 1:22-23).

In Galatians 5:7 we are told to obey the Truth and not be hindered from following it.  Those who disregard and despised the Truth will bring severe judgment and delusion from God, (2 Thess. 2:8-12).  Truth demands obedience to God's commandments.  Therefore, we do not have the Truth if we are walking in darkness and not keeping His commandments, (I John 2:4).  

It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord” if we do not obey the Truth and do the will of God, (Matt. 7:21).  Likewise, we must not be just hearers but doers of the Word of God, (James 1:22-24).  We must also walk in the Truth, (3 John 4).  So those who are not walking in the Truth of the Gospel must be rebuked, (Gal. 2:14; 4:16).
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”  (Gal. 4:16)

CONCLUSION:

Jesus did not establish His Kingdom with the sword but rather with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  He did not use political means or fleshly tactics.  He used the straightforward preaching of the Gospel.  Jesus said that "everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”   So, are we of the Truth?  Do we love the Truth?

It is impossible to worship God without the Truth.  Truth is fallen in the streets, and the Lord is challenging everyone to see if they care for the Truth.  Christ is the Truth, and the Word of God is the Truth.  The Gospel is the Truth.  Christ's doctrine is the Truth.  The New Testament is the Truth. Thus, there is no substitute for the Truth.  All man-made laws and traditions of all man made churches do not work because they do not free us from sin. They cannot do or accomplish what the Truth can.

The truth is not subjective but objective.  The Truth is not what everyone wants but what the Bible teaches.  The Truth is not relative, but absolute.  The Word of God, the Bible, teaches absolute truths, undeniable truths, and irrefutable truths:  For example, Christ is not “a god” as the Watchtower Witnesses claim but rather God is true, almighty, or omniscient.  The Truth says there is only one church and that to be saved one must be baptized for the remission of sins and so on.

If we are indeed apostolic Christians, we are called to contend earnestly for the Truth, (Jude 1:3-23). The more one loves Christ and walks in Him; the more one will love the Truth, for He is Truth.  We must prove Truth and hold that which is good, (I Thess. 5:20-21).  

The church is the pillar and ground, support of the Truth and we must do our part to help her.  The Truth is the opposite of error; error is ignorance; compromise is rebellion, (II Tim. 1:12-13).

Those who contend for the Truth are a small minority, and we must continue to contend earnestly as those false teachers decline.  We must not compromise anything in matters of doctrine and godliness. It is vital that we obey the Truth, lest He remove our understanding and withdraw Truth.  God cannot fellowship with those who practice error, false teaching.  He has fellowship with those who walk in the Truth, the Light.  But to walk in the Light one must obey the Gospel and live it faithfully according to the New Testament pattern.  There are many out there that are teaching a different Jesus and a different Gospel.  These are but man-made churches who despise the Truth of God.  And God is very disgusted with them!  He does not approve of their departure from His Truth.

Many in our culture are religious but are not in the right way, God's Way.  On the day of Pentecost, there were 3,000 devout religious people who realized they needed to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.  The were religious but not right with God!  There are many like these in our culture today.  Therefore, it is crucial that we reach out to them to teach them the Truth though we cannot approve or share in their errors.

Therefore, let us tremble at His Word with awe and fear!  Let God be true, but every man a liar.  We must never apologize for the Truth.  We must pray for God's enlightenment to understand the Truth and not be deceived, (Eph. 1:15-19; 3:18; Prov. 2:1-9; Psalm 119:18, 131; Col. 4:2-4; James 1:5). We must give thanks for the Truth, the Gospel news and our understanding of it, (II Thess. 2:13-15; Romans 10:15; Psalm 119:14,111,162).  We must never despise Truth, sound doctrine but obey it if indeed we are children of Light.

Those who love the Truth have their minds open and receive the Truth with all eagerness to learn all the counsel of God, (Acts 17:11; Acts 20:20,27).  Such don't have any prejudice; the number one enemy of the Truth.  Likewise, those who love the Truth learn the Gospel of Christ, believe His Gospel and obey His Gospel.  They love God with all their heart, repent of their sins, confess their faith in Christ and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins.  They also continue living in it faithfully, obeying the Truth, (Gal. 5:7) even though the Truth might rebuke, correct, and exhort them as a sharp knife.

In the same manner, those who love the Truth teach and defend it, because the Truth is precious to them.  They buy the Truth and sell it not because they accept it at all costs.  They will surely never wander from it, (James 5:19).

May we buy the Truth and sell it not.  May the Truth never fall in the streets.  May we never harden our hearts to the Truth because of sin in our life and error.  May we be bound to thank our God for the Truth and for saving us from condemnation and delusions.  May we always love the Truth and highly value it in our hearts as God's precious Words to us.  May we always read and study God's Word with great pleasure and zeal to come to the knowledge of the Truth.  May we never be satisfied with mediocrity when it comes to our understanding of God's Truth. Finally, may we always teach and defend the Truth to others even when everyone seems to despise Truth.


Luci