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Telling the Truth
By David A. DePra
God has told us the Truth – about Himself and everything else. He has revealed it through many vehicles, consummating in His Son. (Heb. 1:1) But now God wants us to embrace the Truth, and then – God wants us to BECOME TRUE. And the result? The result will be that we will TELL THE TRUTH about God and His plan and purpose.
Pillar and Ground
Truth is not optional. In fact, to say that Truth is optional is the biggest LIE of all. And yet it is one that is spreading everywhere today. In this world, absolutes are more and more considered evil and unloving. And true to form, this mentality has firmly established itself in the church. Today the Truth is either ignored, or directly denied as essential – in the very church.
Is this right? Read what Paul says about the Truth and the church:
But if I tarry long, that thou may know how thou ought to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Tim 3:15)
The church is supposed to be the PILLAR and GROUND of the Truth. Why? Because the church is the Body of Christ, the witness unto Christ, and the temple of Christ. And Christ is what? Jesus Christ is the Truth. To be a pillar and ground of the Truth is therefore equal to being a faithful and true witness to Christ.
This is not too strong of a statement: Any church (or any individual) which is not a pillar and ground of the Truth of God in Jesus Christ is, at best, NOT in God’s will, and at worst, a living lie. God wants us to BE a truthful witness unto Christ, and we cannot do this unless we stand fast in, and live out, the Truth.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the Truth." Thus, your regard for the Truth is your regard for Christ. If you say that Truth doesn’t matter, or that we cannot find Truth, or that there is more than one Truth, then you are saying those things about Christ. People need to come to terms with this and stop playing politically correct games.
As the pillar and ground of the Truth, churches are supposed to preach CHRIST. They are supposed to living epistles of God. So read the epistles and try to find one suggestion that it is ok that we compromise with the Truth, or neglect the Truth. You cannot find such thinking. People used to DIE for the Truth. Today they use it as a marketing tool.
As never before, there are emerging people on the scene, people who claim to be enlightened Christians, who are preaching that Truth doesn’t matter. They are saying that all that matters is, "loving Jesus," and, "following Him." Pardon my bluntness, but that kind of thinking is so completely STUPID that it is inexcusable. How, we might ask, are you going to follow Jesus if Truth doesn’t matter? If Jesus is the Truth, can you follow Him by walking in error? And how will you love Christ if you believe lies about Him? But you see, people don’t even get as far as asking these questions. Thus, today there are many new teachers who are gaining big followings because they teach that Christ is not the only way to God, or because they teach that there is no way for us to know the Truth. Yet the Bible says that anyone who teaches such things is a false teacher.
It is almost humorous and ironic, but if I say there is no such thing as knowable Truth, then obviously I am denying the Truth. If I say that there is no such thing as absolute Truth, then I am FALSE. Incredibly, it has come to the place in the Body of Christ where those who deny Truth are lauded as teachers of Truth, and those who insist on Truth are condemned as hateful and exclusive. Sure. This is the work of Satan, and millions are ripe for it.
At some point, EACH individual person must decide: Is there such a thing as absolute Truth? If not, then Jesus was not only a liar, but when He said, "I am the Truth," He was misrepresenting His very person, and His very identity. But if there IS such a thing as absolute Truth, then Jesus came to, yes, bring it and reveal it, but more so, Jesus came to BE IT. He said, "I have come to bear witness to the Truth." Will we join Pontius Pilate and answer, "And exactly what IS the Truth?"
There IS absolute Truth because there is an absolute Being, who is God. Jesus came to BE a living revelation of Him to us, and to teach the Truth. Christianity is, in large part, based upon the existence of absolute Truth, and much of the Christian life is nothing more than you and I growing to know Him who is the Truth, Jesus Christ. Deny that and you don’t have Christianity anymore. You have what amount to a LIE.
You cannot know Truth unless you know Christ, because as we have seen, Christ is the Truth. Oh, you can know facts. You can know science and stuff like that. But Truth is reality. It is the way things REALLY are. This is impossible to know subjectively unless you know Jesus. He is THE LIGHT. Without Him you are in the dark. It doesn’t matter how smart or insightful you think you are. This isn’t about brain power. It is about knowing God Himself.
I once knew a man who was of great intellect. In fact, he was quite arrogant. This was how he operated in church, in the things of God. To Him, Christianity was a big Bible study. Just gather all the Bible facts you can, and you are a strong Christian. Well, several times he was exposed and confronted by the Holy Spirit – he was shown that his heart was not right with God. But each time he would NOT accept this as the Truth. You see, HIS truth had to be maintained. HIS truth would not make him accountable to God. HIS truth kept him safe, and told him he was righteous because of his book knowledge. But sadly, his truth was nothing but a big LIE.
There is a principle in this that we will get to later in more detail. And that principle is this: If I embrace the Truth it will make ME true. But if I reject the Truth, I will become false. It isn’t that I will simply believe true or false THINS. I will. But rather, it is that I will BE true or false unto God.
This brings us back to Jesus Christ. The new birth is the result of me becoming one with Jesus Christ in my spirit. At that point, I am in Christ, and Christ is in me. It is a total oneness. And since Jesus is the Truth, I am one with the Truth. The Christian life is, from that point, an unfolding of Christ to me. As I grow to know Him, not only do I see and believe true THINGS, but I am MADE TRUE. You cannot walk with the One who IS the Truth unless you are MADE TRUE. But if you, as did this man, reject the Truth and light, then you will be made FALSE. And there will be no fellowship with God that amounts to much.
John writes, "If we say we have fellowship with Him and do not walk in the Light, we LIE, and do not the Truth." In other words, the notion that I can have any sort of fellowship with God if I refuse the Light – the Light that makes this fellowship possible -- is a LIE. If I refuse the Truth, I am refusing fellowship with Christ. So if I say I have fellowship with Christ I am lying. I am false.
All Truth in Jesus
The moment we admit there is absolute Truth, we are also admitting that everything outside of absolute Truth is a lie. Sure. Absolute Truth is, well, absolute. It is all or nothing. People don’t want to face that – it brings them into a place of accountability and exposure. But it is a fact. Indeed, we are going to discover that the Truth is central to Christianity – indeed, God’s revelation of the Truth IS Christianity, for the Truth and God gives us and reveals to us is not a THING. The Truth is His Son, Jesus Christ.
Christianity is CHRIST IN US. (Col. 1:27) When we are saved, our spirit becomes one with Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 6:17) The result of this spiritual oneness is a new birth – the result is a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. And from there, God wants us to grow. He wants to progressively create us IN Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:10) To put it another way, God wants to FORM Christ in us. (Gal. 4:19)
A fundamental result of Christ being formed in us is that we will be growing to have an inner consciousness of Christ. This will not be intellectual at the core – but spiritual. It will not be primarily information, but REVELATION. In short, God wants to reveal to us the TRUTH.
There is no Truth outside of Christ, but only IN Christ. He is the embodiment of all Light and Truth – He is God’s revelation of Himself to us. That is why Jesus said, "I am the Truth." The point is, if Christianity is all about Jesus Christ, then Christianity is all about TRUTH. Sure. If Jesus IS the Truth, and we are supposed to have Him formed in us, then we are supposed to have Truth formed in us. God wants us to KNOW the Truth, and this is at the core of His purpose.
Don’t think of Truth as merely a list of facts. And don’t limit the Truth to that which is theological or doctrinal. No. Theology and doctrine, if Biblically sound, are the outcomes of Living Truth. But the Living Truth is a Person. The facts teach us about Him – true facts tell us the Truth about Him.
Christians just don’t seem to get this. So many think Truth is theology and doctrine. So many others think theology and doctrine are unnecessary, and they focus on spiritual experiences. Well, you cannot have doctrines without experience and you cannot have experiences unless they are based in doctrine. In short, if my experiences are of God, Biblical doctrine will absolutely affirm them. And if my doctrines are Biblical, I will eventually experience them. Or, to put it another way, since Jesus is the Truth, then my experience of Christ, and God’s revelation of Him to me, will agree completely with the written revelation. And the written revelation will act as a safeguard and affirmation of any experience I could ever have with God.
Regardless of what you hear today, God will never do anything in this age that departs from His written revelation. The Bible remains God’s written authority for Truth. You violate that principle, and you are, quite frankly, on your own. You are, in that case, neglecting God’s warnings and protection against deception. You WILL be deceived.
But on the other hand, don’t congratulate yourself for knowing all the doctrines of the Bible, but neglect to know Christ Himself. Don’t memorize the passages that state that God wants to form Christ in you, and then neglect to allow Him to DO IT! God always gave His written Word to test all spiritual experiences – but don’t forget that there ARE spiritual experiences with God.
If God if forming Christ in you, then He is forming TRUTH in you. And the Truth He is forming in you, and revealing TO you, must always line up with the Truth in His written Word. There are NOT two Truths – but ONE – despite God’s multi-faceted methods of revealing Truth.
Now, all of this leads us back to something that I stated earlier, and repeat now: Truth is at the core of Christianity because Jesus is at the core of Christianity, and Jesus said, "I am the Truth."
This ought to tell us the essential of seeking Truth, preaching Truth, and insisting upon Truth. It ought to tell us that anyone who says you cannot know the Truth is really saying that you cannot know Jesus. It ought to prove to us that anyone who denies that there IS Truth, is really denying Christ Himself. Make no question. Truth is NOT OPTIONAL. It is very much at the heart of what God is seeking to reveal to every one of us.
God and Truth
All revelation that is of the Holy Spirit will tell the Truth about God. Likewise, true Biblical doctrine will tell the TRUTH about God. Thus, we see that the standard here for Truth is GOD – everything is defined by HIM – everything is defined by whether is tells the Truth about HIM. And since there is ONE Truth, then all revelation that is the Truth will be affirmed by the Bible. And all Biblical Truth will be affirmed through any revelation of the Holy Spirit.
I say it again – true doctrine is essential because we must tell the Truth about God. False doctrine is unacceptable because it lies about God. For anyone who cares about walking with Jesus Christ, and realizing His purposes in their life, this brings Truth front and center. If you believe false doctrine, indeed, teach false doctrine, you are lying to yourself and others about God Himself.
But you see, people today don’t want to hear that. They want to hear that Truth doesn’t matter, or that you can have your Truth, and I can have mine. They don’t want the responsibility of having to face the Truth, and of having to be adjusted to the Truth. They don’t want to come to terms with the Truth about themselves before God. And so today, more and more, we have movements emerging which either deny the necessity of the Truth, or simply neglect it as central.
The issue here is nothing more complicated than ACCOUNTABILITY towards God. If there is no such thing as absolute Truth, then there is no such thing as absolute accountability. Indeed, if there is no such thing as absolute Truth, then there is no such Person as an absolute God, and there is no such thing as the Truth about Him. But once we realize that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, and that His purpose is that we might come into the Light, and know Him, we must immediately face the fact that in order to do so we must both embrace the Truth about Him, and become changed OVER TO HIM by that Truth. This demands accountability and surrender.
I once heard someone say, "I am absolutely sure that there is no such thing as absolute Truth." The contradiction in that statement is more than obvious. But if you examine that statement, it is exactly what is being said every time someone denies that there is ONE Way to God, and every time someone claims that all religions are equal in the eyes of God. The reality is, if God exists at all, there is absolute Truth – because He is an absolute Being. And in the end, if you begin talking about His purposes in the lives of people, this dialog will bring you face to face with our accountability to Him -- WHAT His purpose is, and HOW He intends to accomplish it. Without absolute Truth, there is no God of purpose, and nothing matters, including our accountability to Him.
This is why the Bible states, loud and clear, that if you claim to know the Truth, and yet your Truth denies your accountability to God – that is why the Bibles states that you are a LIAR. Does that sound harsh? Read I John:
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
So there you have it, right from the mind of God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as to what God would say to Oprah Winfrey, to spiritual wimps like Joel Osteen, and to twisted spirits like Robert Schuller. There you have it, right from God Himself, as to His opinion about movements such as The Emerging Church, The Purpose-Driven Church, and to the madness that has emerged from the charismatic church. He says, "God is Light. Jesus Christ is the Truth. Thus, if you ignore or neglect the Truth, or if you say that Truth is not necessary, or central to Christianity – if you put aside the Truth in favor of fads, members, money, self-esteem, or supposed LOVE – this is evidence of one thing: You do not have the Truth in you."
The fundamental reason people fail to revere Truth, or teach the Truth, is because they don’t have the Truth in them – they aren’t true to God. For if you have the Truth in you, you will teach the Truth. You can call that a law of nature, if you will. What is in your heart is going to eventually manifest itself through ministry.
We need to see this. If you and I have the Truth in us – which is equal to saying that we KNOW JESUS CHRIST – we will never minimize Truth. How could we? It is impossible. I’m not saying that any of us know all Truth. I’m not saying that we don’t all make mistakes of judgment. No. What I am saying is exactly what God is saying – that if you have the TRUTH HIMSELF in you, you are going to more and more hunger for Truth, seek the Truth, revere the Truth, and ultimately, KNOW the Truth. You are not going to," say we have fellowship with Him," all the while claiming that it is impossible to know the Truth. This is a lie.
Statements like the one above from John are so directly to the point, and yet today you hear the opposite more and more. This is apostasy. The Words of the Bible are being directly ignored. John the apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is saying loud and clear that if you and I have any fellowship with God, that that fellowship is in the LIGHT OF TRUTH. Sure. GOD is Light, so how can we have fellowship with Him if we deny the necessity OF light, or if we continue to dwell in darkness? We cannot. And to say otherwise is a lie.
As I said before, and the Bible bears this out, it is one thing to say, "I don’t know the Truth." We can ALL say that to a degree. But it is entirely another thing to say, "God doesn’t care if I know the Truth." Or, as is more and more being said today, people are saying, "There is no absolutely Truth. There is no ONE Truth. You can come to God on the basis of most anything, as long as you are sincere."
This is such utter nonsense. The ENTIRE PURPOSE of God in people is that they might KNOW HIM. Even salvation is UNTO this. To say that we can know Him, but not know the Truth, is a direct contradiction. To say that we can have fellowship with Him, but not know the Truth, is a lie. It is really the goal of Satan to get people to the place where they deny the need for the Truth.
Is God interested in revealing Himself to us? Let’s read a bunch of passages. First, we have this verse from a prayer of Jesus to His Father:
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
Jesus makes eternal life equal to KNOWING GOD. What He is getting at is the fact that eternal life is not a THING God gives us. No. When we are saved, God gives us Himself through Christ. The result is that we will grow to KNOW Jesus. Can we see that knowing the Truth – that knowing God – should be BUSINESS AS USUAL for a Christian? Can we see that in the very prayer of the Son of God to His Father, that it is revealed that God WANTS us to know Him?
Here is another passage from John:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:13-15)
A number of times Jesus called the Holy Spirit, "the Spirit OF TRUTH." Get that – the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH. Not the spirit of a GRAY area. Not a wishy-washy spirit. Not the spirit who will tell you that it doesn’t matter what you believe. Not the spirit who will tell you that there is no need to seek the Truth. No. The Holy Spirit is the SPIRIT OF TRUTH – and Jesus affirms this by saying, "He will guide you into all Truth. He will reveal MYSELF to you."
This is what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do when He came. I would submit that if this is what the Spirit wants to do – guide us into a knowing of Jesus – that this ought to tell us what God wants to do in our lives.
And yet there are more and more professing Christians today that are saying that it doesn’t matter what you believe, all you need to do is love and worship Jesus! Really? How do you love and worship the One who said, "I am the Truth," if you do it in ERROR? How do you come to KNOW the Truth by believing ERROR? Is there a gray area with God? Do lies and the Truth overlap? Is there more than ONE Truth?
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21)
No lie is of the Truth. Darkness is NOT light, and light is NOT darkness. In short, there is absolute Truth because we have an absolute God. There are no gray areas, and there are no opinions. There is just Truth. The notion that you can worship God any old way – indeed, worship Him in error – and still be in the Truth, is contradictory. In fact, Jesus spoke to this bit of nonsense in the gospel of John.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
Does this mean that if someone is, "sincere," that God nevertheless rejects them? That is really not the question – whether God rejects THEM. The question is whether they are finding GOD! Why can’t we see that? This is not a matter of God arbitrarily, or with a narrow mind, rejecting people because they don’t do things, or believe things, or come the way He demands. In contrast, this is not solved by God saying, "Well, you are walking in complete darkness. But since you are sincere, I will let you have fellowship with the Light." No. Rather, we are here talking about who God IS. Light cannot fellowship with darkness. Truth cannot be one with error. We cannot say we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in darkness. God says IF we say that, we are LYING. All of this is NOT a matter of God rejecting people. It is a matter of God revealing Himself TO people – and only if we embrace what God reveals can we become those ABLE to fellowship with Him.
Get that: This is about whether we are ABLE to fellowship with God. God is seeking to make us able. He is seeking to reveal Himself to us so that we can be changed by that revelation, and brought over to HIM for fellowship. This requires that we KNOW Him; know the Truth. What? – do we think that God is going to adjust Himself to accommodate us? That God is going to become darkness, rather than Light, so that we can fellowship with Him? NO. God wants to make us children of Light so that we can fellowship with Him. The change must be in us, not God. And if we have the slightest regard for God, or consciousness of our own need, we would not want it any other way.
Jesus Christ is the Truth. God is Light. Thus, if you want to know Him, and fellowship with Him, and experience Him, YOU must be changed so that you can. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would do this work – if we would yield. But if we won’t even confess that there IS Truth, or if we decide that it doesn’t matter, we won’t even get started. And yet this is today’s gospel.
If Satan can get me to the place where I believe Truth doesn’t matter, or to where I resign myself to the fact that I can never see it, then he has me where he wants me. There is nothing Satan wants more than to get us to embrace a lie – and ironically, the biggest lie of all is to say that there is no such thing as Truth. Note what Jesus said about this:
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God hears God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:42-47)
I’ve mentioned that knowing the Truth of Christ is not the same thing as knowing theology and doctrines – although our theology and doctrines must manifest the Truth about Christ. This is a difficult concept for many Christians. We continue to think that if we know true doctrine that we know the Truth. Well, this is a start, and absolutely essential. But we need to go on to know Jesus.
Paul said, "But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus." (Eph 4:20-21) Read His words carefully. We are to LEARN CHRIST – not just doctrines about him. The Truth is IN JESUS – not just ABOUT Jesus. There are many way to try to get this point across. One way that might be helpful is to say, "The Truth in Jesus will make you true."
Get that. The Truth – experiencing Christ Himself – will MAKE you true. Doctrines will tell you about Jesus, and will tell you that the Truth will make you true. But theology cannot make you true. Why? Because theology is INFORMATION – and at best, a revelation to the intellectual mind. But the Truth in Christ is REVELATION. And while it eventually must renew our minds and correct our thinking, it changes US. It makes us true.
Here we come to the crux of the matter. The Truth makes us true – not as a thing unto ourselves – but the Truth makes us TRUE TO GOD. God is already true to us. But only as we SEE HIM, and embrace the Truth about Him, are we made TRUE TO HIM. Isn’t this fellowship? Sure. That is why you have to come into the Light to have fellowship with God – it is why the Truth must be IN YOU.
If nothing else, being made true to God means I will be seeking the Truth about God, and refusing to settle for less. I will have faith, not that I have the ability to find the Truth about God, but I will have faith that God wants to reveal Himself to me. And because I have this faith, and desire for Truth, I will tell God to do whatever it takes to reveal to me the Truth.
This is what it means to BE TRUE TO GOD because it is void of all religious poise. It is honest and open. You see, to be true to God doesn’t mean to be perfect. It simply means to want to be perfect, in the sense, of wanting God to have His way with you. To be true to God means to tell the Truth TO God, and to tell the Truth to yourself, and to open yourself to the Truth that God has for you. It is a relationship and fellowship that has nothing between us and God. This can never be accomplished with error.
Unless I am made true I will not tell the Truth about God. Oh, I might say WORDS, but my life won’t be telling the Truth about God. And what does it mean for a life to tell the Truth about God? It means that Christ is made manifest in and through that life – HE is the Truth. But again, my life cannot reflect Christ unless I have been made true; unless I have been brought into conformity with the Truth that is in Christ.
The Truth in Jesus will set me free. But not if I refuse to obey the Truth. And to where will real obedience bring me? To step into the Light. This will initially result in accountability, faith, and of course, repentance. But also to great freedom, joy, and peace. You will get NO WHERE until you step into the Light – and keep doing so.
I can know theology and doctrines – and even be right about them – but not be true to God. That is because theology and doctrines tell the Truth ABOUT relationship with God. But they, themselves, are not THE relationship. They don’t make me true. I must enter into a relationship with God through the Truth. I cannot enter into a relationship with the Truth Himself by living in error.
The Truth that is in Jesus Christ – because it is LIGHT – will absolutely bring me face to face with God. It will cause me to come to terms with my relationship with God. The Truth will bring me to a crossroads, where I must BE CHANGED by the Truth, or step back into the darkness. Always.
God uses the analogy of LIGHT when it comes to Truth for good reason. Truth exposes everything. The moment LIGHT COMES – all error and darkness is exposed for what it is. And of course, if LIGHT COMES, then it will simply affirm all Truth that is already there. Or, to say it another way, God intends to tell the Truth about everything. If we understood it, THAT is actually the meaning of His judgment. We will see this in a minute.
You cannot know Jesus Christ unless you know the Truth, and you cannot know the Truth unless you know Jesus Christ. And if I KNOW the Truth – the way the Bible means that term, "know" – then I will be MADE TRUE. I will be adjusted to God. I will be changed so I can enter into a relationship with Him.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb 4:12-13)
We usually think of JUDGMENT as a sentence God pronounces against the sinner. There is truth to that. But it is essential to see that the judgment of God isn’t a temper-tantrum or God being vindictive or punitive. Rather, the judgment of God is nothing more than God telling the Truth about each one of us, and assigning the consequences that MUST BE because of that Truth. This is why the judgments of God are always just. They are always the absolute TRUTH.
If I have rejected God all of my life, then at the judgment, God is going to tell the Truth about this. And He is going to then assign to me the Truth that must result. And what will that Truth be? A punishment to pay me back? No. The Truth, in that case, will be that I have rejected God. The result is that I have gotten exactly what I chose: I have no relationship with Him. The consequences – the Truth that must be assigned to me – is that I must spend eternity separated from Him. Thus, rather than a temper-tantrum by God, judgment is nothing more than an eternal SEALING of the Truth about me, and about my relationship with God.
There are people, even professing Christians, who think that God is just going to open up heaven to even those who have distanced themselves from Him during their life on this earth. In other words, people that have knowing rejected God, and the Truth, are going to be invited to dwell forever with God in light and Truth. Can we see that, first of all, God could never do this? For if He did, He would have to turn light and Truth into darkness and error in order to accommodate these people? But secondly, it is a fact that these people would not want God anymore THEN if they do not want Him NOW.
Now notice what I did NOT say: I did NOT say that these people will openly reject heaven, or eternal life, or that they don’t care if they go to hell. Nope. If God said, "Well, since I’m so loving, you can all come in regardless of your relationship with Me," they would eagerly enter in. I promise you that EVERYONE wants to live forever, and wants to avoid hell. I promise you that everyone wants the good stuff. But you see, God cannot give STUFF and LIFE and REWARDS to people as THINGS. No. All of these are found in HIM – they are found in Truth and Light. In other words, everyone wants LIFE, but these folks don’t want God. They want LIFE, but don’t want to come the narrow way. In short, they want LIFE, but they want LIFE on THEIR OWN TERMS.
This is what Satan wanted, and what Adam came to want: Life OUR WAY, on OUR terms. Yet this is the very definition of sin and rebellion. In fact, it is the very definition of being MADE UNTRUE. And amazingly, people today still think that they can be UNTRUE to God, and even reject God, but somehow God is going to enter into a relationship with them.
Get that. God is true. We must be made true unto Him. If we won’t be made true unto Him, God isn’t going to make Himself untrue for us -- so that He can be in an untrue relationship with us. Rather, God wants to make us true so that we can have an eternal relationship with HIM. If we refuse, it is over. We have made our choice. And the judgment of God is simply the outcome and final verdict of God upon our choice. It is God telling the eternal Truth about who we are to Him: UNTRUE. And the eternal outcome can only be that we are assigned to a place where we can be untrue forever.
We must come to terms with the fact that God is never going to change. He is already perfect and true. And furthermore, God is going to have His will and His way. Not maybe. The time is going to come when all there is going to be is God, and those who are TRUE IN CHRIST. The time is going to come when the kingdom of God IS come, and the will of God IS done, fully and completely. God is preparing a people for this great purpose. God is right now seeking to change us from who we are in Adam – untrue – over to who we can be in Christ – those who are TRUE to God. To do this, He cannot, and will not, use ERROR. He will ultimately not tolerate error. Rather, to make us true, God must tell us the TRUTH, and through Christ, cause the Truth to dwell in us. Then we can enter in. Otherwise we CANNOT. It is impossible if God is Light and Jesus is the Truth. You can argue about it, protest against it, and say what you want. But it is a fact.
Of course, all of this need not be negative. While it is a fact that the same Truth that God intends to set us free WILL be our judgment if we refuse it – this isn’t because God wants us to be condemned. It’s just that once light comes, well, we have seen and ARE accountable. But God didn’t send Christ, nor does He reveal to us the Truth, because He is out to get us, or wants our end to be condemnation. No. God has given us these things to save us and set us free.
Judgment is God’s pronouncement of the Truth upon us, and an assignment of the Truth that now must be. For those who allow God to make them true, there is no fear. For they have already seen and embraced the Truth. There will be few, or no, surprises at the last judgment.
To be made true doesn’t mean I am fully perfect in every way. No. For again, we are made true UNTO God. In other words, despite our imperfections, our relationship with God is a true one. We walk with Him in faith, based in Christ. We are honest and open. We may not be perfect, or know all Truth – no one does – but we are openly and honestly seeking God. We want His will and glory – and are willing for Him to do whatever it takes to bring it in us and through us. This is what it means to be MADE TRUE unto God.
There are other terms in the Bible that equal this same thought of being MADE TRUE. One of them is being, "single minded." Another is, "pure in heart." But any way you put it, this is about who we are to God, and who God is to us – it is about our relationship with Him.
I emphasize that because some people today think that Christianity is all about who I am to myself. They think it is about the wonderful specimen that God wants to make of ME – almost as if God acts upon me and turns me into something to be admired. No. I am nothing, and really, have no identity at all, unless I am at one with Christ. All that I am is because of my oneness with Him. Thus, to be made true isn’t a matter of ME being true to myself. It is a matter of me being true to Him, and true because of Him. Accountability, yes, but freedom and everything that comes with Jesus Christ.
If we know the Truth, the Truth will set us FREE. Jesus said this, and He also said, "I am the Truth." So clearly, if we know Jesus Christ, we will be set free. But what does that mean? How does the Truth set us free? And from what does it set us free? – indeed, UNTO what does the Truth set us free?
Freedom is a term that is quite RELATIONAL. I mean, when you talk about being free, or being in bondage, you must immediately define as to what you are free FROM, or free UNTO. Same thing goes for bondage. If you are IN bondage, then you are talking about your relationship to someone or something. So immediately we see that when Jesus said knowing the Truth would set us free, we are talking about our relationship with someone or something. Jesus is promising that the Truth would set us free FROM and UNTO. This is relationship.
So now we can begin to see unto WHOM the Truth sets us free: To God. The Truth sets us free into a relationship with God. This is accomplished by the Truth because the Truth TELLS THE TRUTH about the Truth! The Truth reveals to us JESUS CHRIST. But secondly, the Truth sets us free unto God because the Truth MAKES US TRUE. You cannot have a relationship with the God who is the Truth unless you are made true.
What we see in all of this is that FREEDOM is being one with God. It is the result of knowing Him through Christ, and the result of being made true by the same. In fact, there is no such thing as freedom unless your freedom is unto a relationship with God. You cannot be free by the Truth unless you are freed unto a relationship with the Truth Himself.
So freedom is a relationship word. God doesn’t merely want to set us free from bad THINGS, or from the THINGS that are wrong with us. Where would that leave us? No where. Rather, He wants to set us free UNTO HIMSELF, and if that happens, then all the bad THINGS will fade away. Why? Because most of the bad things are the result of NOT having God. Put God in control and they lose their power.
The problem with us is that we are born DEAD and BLIND. The solution isn’t to set us free from a condition of death and darkness – for these are all VOIDS. We must become filled with SOMETHING. The solution to death is LIFE, and the solution to blindness is LIGHT. Thus, there is NO freedom from anything that is of the old creation unless it is found in Jesus Christ. We are set free UNTO a relationship and oneness with HIM.
This is why Jesus continually said, "I AM….." All that God has, and all that God is, is found ONLY in Him. You want LIFE? God cannot give you a THING called, "life." But He can give you Jesus, in whom is ALL life. You want LIGHT? God cannot give you a thing, or just facts. But He can give you Christ, who IS the Light – and IN WHOM are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3) Jesus Christ is all, and we can be ONE with Him. And if we are in Christ, the Holy Spirit will bring us on into a revelation of Him, that we might know God, and be set free into a greater depth of relationship with Him.
The Essential of Truth
Let’s conclude by listing a whole bunch of Bible verses on the importance of the Truth:
God, our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:3-4)
But the anointing which ye have received of him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:27)
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (2 Th 2:13)
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Cor 13:8)
Behold, thou desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. (Psa 51:6)
For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:3-4)
One last one: Jesus said, "Thy Word is Truth." Deny that there is Truth, and you are calling God a liar – you are really saying God doesn’t exist. But no. There is Truth because there is God – and there is nothing more than He wants than to reveal the Truth about Himself to us.
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