“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present Truth.”
(2 Peter 1:12)
Whenever the Spirit of God is speaking to you He is speaking the whole truth concerning you. He is ever seeking to bring you into the place of a connection and a living truth that you might be in the “present” Truth. In the Greek, the “present truth” is, in essence, “the truth of THE presence”that you might be equipped and prepared to walk in a living and consistent walk, in sync with what He is doing on the earth.
Jesus said, “the words I speak they are spirit and they are LIFE!” and as you develop that personal relationship with Jesus there is an unfolding, and a familiarity, that grows within your life of Him speaking to you on a very personal level, where the word of the Lord isn’t the word of Elijah or the word of Ezekiel, but it’s the Word of the Lord to you and through you!
The whole purpose of ministry is to bring you into the place where you begin to speak the voice of The Lord in that particular wonder of His revelation to you. In the hearing of Him, we begin to walk in the present truth of His ministration to this generation and to the church in which we live.
Oh, the penetrating questions of Jesus. “Do you believe now?” Our Lord is ever bringing us to the truth. There is something about the heart of man that evades the “present” tense of God; it is far easier to put truth off to a future age or dispensation. There can be a soothing and narcotic effect in occupying ourselves with future concepts and ideas. It is an escape, a diversion from present reality. Jesus is the “I AM” and it is the purpose of truth to make us true in the present. The reality is we only have enough breath for the moment and our present condition is our condition. It is here and now that Jesus brings us to the fundamental truth of our state.
“Do you believe now?”. Do you love Him now, His Body (His people)? Are His purposes your purposes for now? Years ago, I sat with a dying friend who had spoken often of his “destiny”; that one of these days God was going to speak a living word and he would be quickened to step into it. But it never happened. If truth is always kept in the future, we run out of the precious commodity of time.
Past, Future, and Present Truth
Martha and Mary were loved deeply by our Lord. Lazarus was dying and they sent for Jesus in desperation and trust. Upon hearing their urgent request Jesus tarried two more days. He knew all that was transpiring and plainly told the disciples that Lazarus was “now” dead. When Jesus arrived, He was met with the faith of the past.
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
A very powerful statement. Jesus in His pre-resurrection state, as a man incarnate, was restricted to the “present truth” of His physical existence. Yet even in this situation, He tarried in the wisdom of God. He is ever-pressing us to “believe now” and to conduct ourselves accordingly.
As the narrative unfolds Jesus meets these statements with the living truth: “Your brother will rise again”. Immediately comes the heartfelt response, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day”. In this interaction with two souls that Jesus loved greatly, we see that He is pressing them into the “now”, into the situation at hand. He has a deep desire to bring us in all things to the present truth, the reality of the now. May we who have ears to hear recognize the pressing of His Spirit to free us from our past and our unsubstantiated future concepts. It is an intense and difficult thing to allow Him to penetrate our religious notions with the present reality. But it is necessary and vital to bring us to the acknowledgment of our true condition. Those who hold to future things, while denying the present reality of themselves, circumvent the development needed to become all that He has purposed.
Paul declared in Philippians that he had not yet fully apprehended the call of God. He did not rest in some future thing but cried out with great urgency of spirit, “I press toward the mark”. There was no room for concepts and beliefs to deter him from the apprehension of Christ. His life was abandoned to Christ. He did not isolate himself from the ministry of God to the Body of Christ; he did not segregate himself from interaction with others. He was in fact a vessel poured out because of the love of Christ in his heart. It is the synthetic who hide from others, who deceive themselves to be ones set apart (as the Scribes and the Pharisees* of old). His Love propels His Own to identify with the lost, the hurting, and the bound. It is in the touching of others that we discover the truth of ourselves. The truth of our nakedness is revealed in our touching the nakedness of others. It is in our discovery of our needs on their behalf that we find His provision! How good and how right are His ways with us!
Religion as a mere belief relieves people from having to face the current fitness and verity of themselves. The true in heart desire to know and to face the truth of the moment. Multiple times the disciples asked Jesus why their prayers did not meet the situation at hand. Deep within they desired truth, the truth, of their powerlessness. They did not mask their condition with a future hope. Jesus responded to them with the thing they needed to hear: “because of your unbelief”. These moments are necessary for our growth and development in Him. If we brush past these moments, we are none the better and we continue our way without facing the facts. The true in heart receive the truth as it is and the door opens for greater faith, a living faith that releases His wonder in the situation. The discovery of our poverty is the door into His riches!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
The disciple of Christ must discover in present situations their present condition. Therein lies the challenge and the adventure into the discovery of Him within our own experience. The seeker of truth does not seek to comfort themselves in past or future things for the Christ they pursue IS COME to lead them, and more importantly, bring them to the Truth in all character and wisdom. Jesus in His wisdom presented to Martha and Mary the crowning revelation of the mystery of Himself.
“I AM the resurrection…”
He is not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be”; He is always the I AM.
“And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?”
A few years ago, in my private time with Him, the words came to me, “To grow in truth one must be true with oneself”. Our journey into truth must begin and remain open to receive its piercings and exposure of our condition.
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
To which the answer of God is:
“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart”
When the truth is reduced to a confession, its wonder fades, its sword no longer pierces the heart. The result is faith without works, teachings instead of substance, and a limited vision of His power and glory.
“ Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth UNTO unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22
The true in heart measure their obedience and walk with God by the fervency of love for His people (not only the ones in their immediate circle). This love reveals itself in deeds produced by a faith made alive through love (Galatians 5:6).
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18
Can we hear Him calling us to the depths of Himself? Can we hear Him drawing us out of the ethereal, the forms of truth, and the comfort of mere confessions, into the vast wonder of His substance? Truth is the womb of repentance. Repentance brings us out of the shadows of obscurity into the penetrating gaze of Him alone before whom we must all give an account. Let not another day pass without a true turning unto Him who can cause us to become true witnesses of His Testimony within!
In the seeing of Him, we are afforded a seeing of ourselves (Isaiah 6:1-5). This great work of His Spirit will unveil all that Grace means. It causes us to glory afresh in His redemption of “our mortal bodies” by that SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the Dead. His resurrection will become more than a scriptural fact; it will be the living truth of Him at work within us. Love can only flourish between those who have seen themselves in the light of Him through the lamp of obedience. It is only through obedience that our “souls are purified UNTO the pure and fervent love of our brothers”. Love is the signature of God in a life. Love is being the face of Jesus to one another, where all our actions are governed by a pure desire to see His people WALK in the present truth of Christ.
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear about my children walking in truth. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers…”
3 John 1:4-5
God is not interested in truth coming from our lips only. The words which proceed from our lips are to be verified by our walk and our deeds.
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
* Note: Pharisees (Original meaning) “separated ones”; “called out ones”.
“And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.”
Convention and tradition are the nemeses of every generation. Without the impetus of the fresh inspiration of God, men would cling to the forms and methods of previous generations. We see Elizabeth’s strong reaction to the assumption of their friends:
“Not so; but he shall be called John.”
To which they replied:
“And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.”
The “coming ONE” brings change to everything that would bear witness to His Name. Even the forerunner must of necessity break with tradition. Christ alone is the new order and by the power of His life men undergo revolutionary transformations. No man can touch Him and remain the same. Tradition and stagnation are the very tombstones of a generation out of touch with the scope and atmosphere of His life.
Those who bear His nature within are aware of the lethargy of our current condition. The status quo is the means by which the “business” of Christian interaction is carried out today; the sheer lack of the wonder and majesty of His being should compel us to a heartfelt seeking of Him.
The verdict on our generation could be summed up in one simple, succinct statement.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
The Church today is not in need of new methods or programs. She is not in need of more technology or stratagems. Her ONE NEED is to be IN Christ. It is in Him that the dynamic of His life is known. It is in Him that the selfish ambitions of men are crucified. Pride, unforgiveness, jealously, envy, and the “works of the flesh” are consumed in the fire of God!
This is the declaration of one who carries within her own womb the touch and call of God to higher things. “Not So” is the cry from one who knows and feels deep within heaven’s fresh and invigorating breath. “Not So” has graced the lips of all those who sought nothing on earth and have become pilgrims of the same faith which inspired their father Abraham. For he sought out a city whose builder and maker is God. He was a sojourner even in the land of promise because his heart had been captured by heavenly realities; he could not and would not settle for the buildings and cities of men. Long he tarried in the plains of Mamre(Vision) not having the slightest inclination to join his nephew in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. His vision was clear and his heart resolute in the pursuit of this “one thing”.
How little our generation perceives that revelation follows sacrifice. Abraham, in the offering up of his own son of promise, “sees” the true offering of God and declares “Jehovah Jireh”! “God will provide”! Such a name had never been known in the earth nor had there been such an obedient heart. The two are inseparable.
“Not So” is the declaration of all who bear within their hearts the effervescence of the living Christ. While men stillwork and sweat to raise up edifices and organizations in the name of God, the verdict of God stands.
“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord?”
The man who uttered such things was stoned to death by the malice and hatred of the religious people of that day. Living truth is ever an antagonism to the religious. Past and future truth may be acknowledged; present truth is what is ignored and disregarded. They who bear His Word must also bear His reproach.
The Cry of the Spirit of God has ever been…
“Today if you will hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts”
“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.
Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.
Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.
“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.
It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.
“Sanctify yourselves (today): for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.
“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36
Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.
“Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts”
To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.
“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
“…be established in the present truth”
2 Peter 1:12
The great exhortation to the people of God in the Book of Hebrews is as true and valid today as ever “and so much more as we see the DAY approaching”.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, TODAY if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts…)”
The Word of God is ever TODAY! Many declare there is a word coming, there is a day coming. This is true but if the WORD today is not mingled with the obedience of faith the word tomorrow will be of no profit.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”
It is not in our hearing/knowing the truth preached but in our doing of it that we benefit by the power of His Life within us (see James 1:23-25). The Scribes and the Pharisees had knowledge of the day of the Messiah yet they could not “see” Him standing, speaking and doing the works of God in their midst.
“But exhort one another DAILY, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened…”
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
The “present truth” of the living Christ carries the strong exhortation “while it is called today”! The deception and folly of religion today is the absence of strong exhortation. People only want to hear good and pleasant things; things that make them feel comfortable in their relationship with God. We want to hear His promises without the corresponding obedience by which the confidence in God becomes ours. This is a generation who wants constant affirmation of their standing in God, but it is only through the medium of obedience that the true confidence of knowing Him is experienced.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing”
Whenever and wherever the people of God distance themselves from the daily exhortation to walk and be established in the present truth of God know that deception, hardness of heart and the folly of religion has replaced the fire of God burning within the human heart.
Let us give all diligence to walk in the present truth of growing and exhorting one another unto “love and good works”.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him
in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
“Now is the dwelling place of God himself”
— Thomas Raymond Kelly
“…be established in the present truth”
2 Peter 1:12
What was the “present truth” of which Peter speaks? The “present truth” is revealed in the context of the above scripture. Being established in the “present truth” is not a teaching or an acknowledgment of the scriptures; it is a life of interaction with Him who is the truth. It can only be known by the wonder of our participation in its work of bringing us to a life of authenticity. “Present truth” requires diligence and effort. It requires communion, prayer and discipline to discover the mystery of drawing from Him (the vine) the divine enablement to grow by the miracle of His Life in us. The context of the “Present Truth” scripture being the following exhortation…
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Peter 1:5-8 Read this chapter in its context to grasp the significance of what the present truth is.
It is as we add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance…patience… godliness… brotherly kindness… God’s love that we “make our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). These graces are the evidence of the I AM becoming our I AM experience. The adding of these things to our faith is simply the expression of living and growing in Christ daily; the “now” life being lived through the “faith OF Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
Doing of truth in our daily lives is the only way to come to the greater light of His Life within us.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light”
We are exhorted in the scriptures concerning “Today” in our relationship with Him.
“And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves (today): for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
The sanctifying of the people today was the present truth which would result in the tomorrow of God’s wonders. The religious of today wants God’s movings while ignoring the sanctifying truth of today!
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand”
It is in our “having done all” today whereby we will be able to stand in the evil day of tomorrow. The careless and unenlightened ones forfeit the opportunities of obedience today which is the requirement to be clothed in Him tomorrow. The lamps of the foolish virgins went out because of their casual indifference to the truth and importance of TODAY.
“Ihave fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
The confident “henceforth” declaration of Paul was because he had (past tense) “fought the good fight” and had “finished his course” in God. He had been faithful to keep his faith active and alive in his daily life. His confidence was born of obedience to the I AM.
They who have the true understanding of the time in which we live know the significance of walking in the “Present Truth”.
“Men that had understanding of the times.”
1 Chr. 12:32
“I cannot doubt that this sentence, like every sentence in Scripture was written for our learning. These men of Issachar are set before us as a pattern to be imitated, and an example to be followed, for it is a most important thing to understand the times in which we live, and to understand what those times require”
― J.C. Ryle
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”
The I AM
“I AM the door of the sheep…”
John 10:7 “I AM the door…”
John 10:9 “I AM come that they might have life… abundantly”
John 10:10 “I AM the good shepherd…”
John 10:11 “I AM the good shepherd…”
The Life of Christ as expressed and communicated to the disciples was present tense. I AM is not future tense. It is the present truth of His being, the ever existing One, ever dwelling and working and subsisting in the now of our life. Just as breathing is essential to our natural life so is His Presence to our spiritual life. The error and misconception of religion is that it offers a historical Jesus (we are saved by what He did) and a future Jesus (we will see Him in heaven). Of course these things are true but without the infusion of “present truth” we are bereft of the power and the dynamic of the “now” life. In I AM, Jesus presented Himself as the current One and the ever present One. Eternal Life is now; free from the earthly concepts of time, distance and human limitations. It is a life which can only be known by the union of relationship in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Him have this life and those who are outside of Him have not eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).
Jesus is always seeking to bring His disciples to the power of living in the moment:
“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
This trusting, child-like, faith rescues us from the worries and anxieties of the cares of this life. It is not irresponsible nor neglectful; it is a life of peace that takes no thought for tomorrow. It sows seeds today knowing that tomorrow’s provisions are assured in the doing of today. It is a life held in the peace of God by knowing He is the I AM of our tomorrows. It is because of this true understanding that obedience becomes paramount in our daily life. The religious do not concern themselves with “present truth” for their lives are lived in teachings and doctrines; heaven is assured because of what Jesus did historically and their present tense life has no bearing on future events. These ones are careless, ignorant of the “doing of truth” present tense; their time on earth passes in a fog of illusion and deception. It is in the now that eternal destinies are determined.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I NOW live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Paul’s life of identification with Christ was revealed in the now life he lived. The I AM of Jesus became the I AM of Paul. “I am” crucified was the declaration of Paul’s life in Christ. Not ”I will be” but present tense “I am”. The eternal “I AM” truth must become ours. It is in our obedience to the “present truth” in the “now” of life where the peace and power of this life is experienced.
Abraham’s Present Truth
“And he said, Take NOW thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…And Abraham rose up early in the morning…and went unto the place of which God had told him“
“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham…”
“And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he knew not that the LORD was departed from him”
“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference”
“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are
established in the present truth”
II PETER 1:12
The Apostle here is writing with the full understanding that he was soon to leave this world as a martyr. There was no panic or concern for himself; his concern was for the welfare of the people of God. We see him here showing a priestly diligence to remind and exhort the people of God to be faithful. The phrase he uses here “…established in the present truth” in the Greek reveals the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Peter many years earlier…
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren”
The Greek word translated “established” is the same Greek word translated “strengthen” in the Lord’s statement to Peter (Luke 22:32)! We see the impetuous Peter despite all of his weaknesses becoming the man seen here revealing the priestly heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. How encouraging it should be to us to see Peter, even in his last days, ever seeking to encourage and strengthen people in their walk with Christ. Let us be encouraged that the promises of God are TRUE, and that HE is ever here to watch over HIS WORD and HIS PURPOSE for our lives. Let us not become discouraged, but let us be established and strengthened in HIS ability to see us through. Let us conduct our daily lives with the hope that our strength and our confidence is in HIM not in ourselves. Our part is to be obedient, diligent and faithful for HE is not a GOD who can lie; one who will not leave us as orphans but HE who died for us now lives for us that we may be “more than conquerors, through HIM that loved us”!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”
HEBREWS 4:14 – 16
The “present truth” is ministered through the lives of those who are active in exhorting their brothers and sisters around them to be strong in the mercy of our God. To minister the present truth one must live and abide in the present truth of God in the substance and reality of their daily lives.