WHAT IS TRUTH?

WHAT IS TRUTH?

“What is truth?”
JOHN 18:38

This is such a profound and penetrating question stemming from the brief encounter of a Roman governor of Judea with Jesus the Christ. Pilate’s question, though in most respects more rhetorical than honest, still echoes the eternal cry within man, “What is Truth?” His question was in response to the reply of Jesus in the preceding verse…

“To this end was I born,
and for this cause came I into the world
that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice
JOHN 18:37

In light of the general condition of much of the church today this is a most disturbing statement. Jesus in speaking of truth, and those who are of the truth, reveals it primarily as a relationship rather than an intellectual commodity. “Everyone that is of the truth HEARS my voice”! Our land is filled with teachings, sermons and didactical dissertations. Debates over scriptural interpretations, and the nuances of men’s understandings, have contributed to a carnal denominational system with the result that many no longer understand what TRUTH is. Much of the teaching today is purely informational, filled with scriptural facts to support OUR belief system, OUR statement of faith and to reinforce OUR standing in God. The Book of Acts is taught from a historical perspective. We have our charts and theoretical ideas on end time events. We love to hear the latest teachings on “deeper” things in the scriptures and we talk of the “rhema” word. We sit and talk esoterically of concepts that tantalize the mind and tickle the ears but are left bereft of any actual doing. These things become spiritual narcotics that render the believer empty of the works of Faith* and the revelation of the Living Christ.

In EVERY letter to the Church in the Book of Revelation Jesus speaks the same thing…

“I know thy works…”
REVELATION 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1. 8, 15

He is not interested in our words per se (1Corinthians 4:20). He knows that our works reveal our faith (James 2:20 & 26). If they who are of the TRUTH hear His Voice, then they who are of the Truth must also be those who DO the truth. To hear His Voice means that HE is communicating HIS WILL to us. If Faith comes by hearing then it must be that to hear HIS voice culminates in our DOING of HIS good pleasure. Growth and development in the realm of light comes in our doing of truth.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
JOHN 3:21

The pathway of life is through the medium of DOING. Truth by its very nature must produce HIS LIFE in the one who is OF the truth. For in the hearing of HIS WORD HIS LIFE and substance is communicated into the heart of the one to whom it is spoken. HIS WORD is not a sermon it is in reality HIS VERY SELF, not bits of information but the very life of HIMSELF who is the LIFE.

“…the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life”
JOHN 6:63

We think that by knowing all the scriptures concerning a certain subject that we have the truth of that particular thing. We fail to realize that truth is a life not a subject. All Christendom can quote John 3:16, but there are those who have turned the world upside down when they have touched the heartbeat of that wondrous LOVE. It is one thing to hold a scripture in our intellect, it is another to be radically transformed by the power of the ONE of whom it speaks. It is in hearing HIS voice and responding to that living truth that we become expressions of His heart and Life.

Ω

“Truth lies in character.
Christ did not simply speak the truth;
he was Truth—truth through and through,
for truth is a thing not of words but a life and being”
Frederick William Robertson (1816–1853)

* Note: Paul states that we are not saved by works but we are saved UNTO good works (Ephesians 2:8-9) where the works are not the basis of our salvation; they are the revelation and the result of HIS LIFE in us.

Brian Troxel

PRIDE – The Great Destroyer –

PRIDE
The Great Destroyer

“But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride,
he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him”
DANIEL 5:20

Pride has been the downfall of many. From the lowest of men to one of the highest angelic creatures pride has corrupted and destroyed. We see it everywhere; in the halls of government, the justice systems, the corporate world of business, the world of sports, the dark corners of crime and even the pulpits and pews of the religious world. Pride is the contagion of the human heart. It lifts its head in the high thoughts of men and is the same power that causes men and women to wallow in discouragement and despair. It is a power that feeds on the selfishness of man. It is the “ME” that it thrives on. It fastens itself to the enlargement and gratification of the need for recognition and sympathy. It is insatiable in its desire for attention and acknowledgment. It cares little for the needs of others unless there is something to be gained by doing so; even its good is corrupted by the self-serving motive that lies behind its deeds. It will make men become whatever is necessary in the acquisition of its end. It will serve one master for a season until a more useful one comes along and then it will change as a chameleon in a new environment. It has no loyalty and hates truth though it will use it for its own ends. In the end, however, it will be the means of destruction for all who live by its sway. The only means of deliverance is through the power of TRUTH. Truth is the means by which humility is born. Truth is the tree upon which the fruit of the Spirit is produced.

Truth is not a fruit. It is the only means by which fruit can be produced. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of love, for even love is the key fruit of truth.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law”
GALATIANS 5:22-23

It is in the ministration of the Truth that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. For in the ministration of TRUTH we see the condition of our own hearts and of those around us. It is in seeing HIM that we truly know ourselves and, in seeing ourselves, we are no longer surprised by what we see in others. Truth is the leveler of all men. Truth is only known in the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we are transformed by HIS GLORY. There is no change, of any lasting value, wrought within the heart of man except by seeing HIM who alone is true.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image
from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, had been commissioned by God to prophesy for some time in Israel but in chapter six we read…

“In the year that king Uzziah died
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up …
Then said I, Woe is me!
for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips:
for mine eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of hosts”
ISAIAH 6:1,5

One glimpse of the majesty of the Lord and Isaiah was undone. In the beholding of the Holy One he not only knew his own condition but he was made aware of the general condition of fallen man. A man who has touched that Holy Presence is no longer swayed by either the accolades or the criticisms of those around him for he has seen the One to whom he must give an answer. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the chorus of voices shouting Hosannas the scriptures declare that “Jesus did not entrust himself to them” for He well knew how fleeting were the praises of men. A short time later that same crowd was shouting “crucify Him”.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast,
many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them,
because he knew all people
and needed no one to bear witness about man,
for he himself knew what was in man”
JOHN 2:23-25

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees,
and went forth to meet him, and cried,
Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel
that cometh in the name of the Lord”
JOHN 12:12-13

God’s answer to all men is truth, living truth, that penetrating ministration of HIS LIFE that cuts asunder the heart of man, piercing us to the very separation of bone and marrow even to the dividing asunder of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. It is at the very core of who we are that our motives must be laid bare in order for mercy and grace to bring forth the fruit of His Spirit within us. Humility is the garment of all who would participate in the ministration of truth to others for it is the grace that frees us from the opinions of men to speak and do as HE leads. Meekness is the power to persevere under the most strenuous of ordeals with the patience and steadiness of Christ Himself. Joy is that inward sense of His approval that strengthens and encourages us with a power that is unconquerable and radiant. Joy is not to be confused with cheerfulness or happiness.

As we contemplate these and other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, and realize the immensity of their power and glory, we are reduced to a singular pursuit of HIM in whom alone we have hope of their realization. They are never to be “our” fruit. They are, and always will be, the Fruit of the Spirit. For them to flourish we must live and abide in HIM.

“Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in me”
JOHN 15:4

Brian Troxel

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
PSALM 29:9

The common law of life is that whatever a man loves he speaks of and pursues. Where a man dwells determines what he sees. Every life form in God’s creation has a habitat and an environment with which it is compatible. Whether it is a palm tree or a fir tree it lives and grows in the climate that is conducive to its growth and development. The Polar Bear and the Panther live in the land for which they are most suited. As it is in the natural so also is it in the things of the spirit. The demon possessed man of the Gadarenes lived amongst the tombs for there was the dwelling place consistent with the nature of the spirits that inhabited him. We also read …

“…there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Aser…
which departed not from the temple,
but served God with fastings and prayers night and day”
LUKE 2:35 – 37

Anna’s life was one of focus and a continual desire to serve and worship the ONE that she loved. She “departed not” from the life of prayer and worship which are the means by which we abide and grow in Him. She did not miss HIS appearing. While the multitudes were taken up with their “religious” duties she and Simeon beheld the Promised One and ministered unto HIM! Such are the privileges of those who find their lives “hid with Christ in God”! While many people are looking for a temple to be built in Jerusalem God HAS set HIS TEMPLE, the TRUE ETERNAL TEMPLE made without hands in the very PERSON OF HIS SON…

“I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple”
REVELATION 21:22

And again…

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spoke of the temple of his body
JOHN 2:19

They who desire to live and dwell in HIM are only able to speak of HIS GLORY! They no longer give nor seek the praises of men. They are not impressed by the extravagant buildings and organizations of men for they have seen glimpses of a GLORY that will not fade away; a GLORY that blinds the eyes, that humbles the heart and becomes the perspective by which all things are weighed. They are not mislead by the teachings and doctrines of men for they have seen the ONE in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells and are freed from the paltry offerings of this world. They are pilgrims in this world of temporal things as they seek that which “fadeth not away” with the passing of time. They have been gripped by the unseen HAND of God and HEARD the ETERNAL CALL; ruined for anything religious or manmade.

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
MATTHEW 6:19 – 21

Our lives reveal the place where we dwell, by the things we speak and treasure.

Brian Troxel

CURIOSITY

CURIOSITY

“…the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not;
but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then?
Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet?
And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou?
that we may give an answer to them that sent us”
I JOHN 1:19 – 22

The individuals quoted here were not interested in truth; they merely asked questions of John that they could satisfy the curiosity of the religious leaders of that day. Apparently the leaders of that day had such little interest in the things of God that they could not even be bothered to seek out the substance of these things for themselves. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Man’s unregenerate heart at its basic state remains unchanged throughout the history of man. The rhetoric remains; the terminology may change, and the thing that God is doing may be different, but the response is the same, Religion prefers the historical account of an event rather than the current manifestation, or as Peter would state “the present truth”, of God’s will in the earth. The true seeker is one whose passion is to know HIM more today than was known of HIM yesterday. In the glimpses we are afforded there is a grace that compels us to cry out for a truer and deeper seeing of HIM. Men seek that which they love and pursue the things on which their heart is set.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
MATTHEW 6:21

In this day of information overload we see and hear much curiosity in the “teaching” that some ascribe to; as if truth were simply an arrangement of scriptures arbitrarily put together with which we can substantiate any given lifestyle. This type of religion has very little (if any) effect upon the ones who hold such views. For truth to be true it must necessitate a CHANGE in the one who holds it. It must first of all CONVICT an individual of the absolute necessity for the REDEMPTIVE act of God; an ongoing CRY for CHANGE at the heart level of who we are. Truth is not a statement of our doctrines. Rather it is the SPIRIT of GOD working from within to transform the very fabric of our being, what we are by nature, into an expression of the Living God. THE PURPOSE OF TRUTH IS TO MAKE US TRUE. The sad testimony of this hour is that there is a satisfaction in knowing about the historical events of God without any pursuit to know HIM in a greater way today. When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God HE gave the following parable…

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

Truth will not be found of those who casually ask, leisurely inquire or by those who seek the approval of men. Truth is known of those who understand the costs associated with its acquisition. We cannot grow in truth while we cling to our own untruthful self and self-interests. We cannot remain where we are if we are caught up in the pursuit of HIM who is truth. Truth always beckons us to more of HIM! It bids us to “take up our cross and follow HIM”. It does not allow us to hold onto unforgiveness, envy, lusts, jealously and anger; it produces a deep awareness of our own poverty and brings us to the realization of our riches in the Risen Christ.

The journey into truth beckons us to “ask” in order to receive, “seek” in order to find and to “knock” in order to enter its door; “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it”. (Matt 7:7 – 9)

Ω

“I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain”
A. W. Tozer

Brian Troxel