The Demands Of Truth

When Jesus stood before Pilate, he was asked: “Are You the King of the Jews?” (John 18:23).  Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If Me kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”   Desiring more clarification, Pilate said:  “So You are a king?”   To which Jesus replied, “You say correctly that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”   Upon hearing these words, Pilate said to Jesus: “What is truth?”   Then Pilate said that he found no guilt in Him.  (see John 18:37-38)

Pilate had the same problem with truth that many have today.  Due to the influences of humanistic philosophy, truth is no longer absolute or attainable.  It is not knowable, understandable, teachable, believable or necessary.   Each person can make up his/her own truth.   Or we can change the meaning of truth to fit the need of the moment.  We can even make up our own history.   After all, what difference does it really make??!!    When you consider all of the lies being told in politics and by people in general, it really makes one wonder.   But Jesus stated clearly that His kingdom would be based upon the principle of truth. 

Everyone who is of the truth hears the voice of Jesus.  He is the fullest expression of truth and the fullest expression of God.  Jesus said, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father.  He has explained him” (John 1:17-18).  As the great Shepherd, Jesus identified the true sheep as those who are willing to hear His voice and follow Him only.  "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.  To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers" (John 10:2-5).   He also said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).  How can I know truth so that I will not be deceived?   Well, Satan, the great deceiver, is always at work.  Paul wrote: Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thess. 2:8-10).  Some will perish because they did not love and know the truth.  The knowledge and practice of the truth is our only protection against Satan! 

Definition of Truth

Here is the dictionary definition of truth:  1. The quality or state of being true; specif., a) orig., loyalty; trustworthiness  b) sincerity, genuineness, honesty  c) the quality of being in accordance with experience, facts, or reality; conformity with fact  d) reality; actual existence  e) agreement with a standard, rule, etc.; correctness; accuracy  2. That which is true; statement, etc. that accords with fact or reality   3. An established or verified fact, principle, etc. “ (New World Dictionary, 2nd College Edition).    Is there any difficulty in understanding the definition?   No.   All of this sounds great until one starts to apply this truth to religion.  Then all at once people get weak-kneed and wobbly and their vision becomes blurred.   And if someone suggests that there might be absolute truth in religion, they will call that person all kinds of names like bigoted, radical, homophobic, etc.    

Truth, if it is worth anything at all, is knowable, understandable, teachable, consistent, profitable, valuable in a court of law, reliable, dependable, absolute, honorable, believable, etc.  Truth is opposite of a lie, is not deceptive, does not mislead.  Words may be multiplied, but one who seeks truth will not be deceived.  In praising God’s word, David wrote:  “O how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.  98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.  99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.  100 I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts” (Psa. 119:97-100).

Do Not Be Afraid To Stand Up For What Is Right

Those who are genuine seekers of truth will go wherever truth leads.  They will place truth above family, tradition, culture, self or other such demands.  I had loving parents and I owe them so very much, and yet I could not use them as a standard to follow in everything.  The early Christians had to choose Christ above family and religion.  Some came from Jewish backgrounds and others from pagan. But none of this matters.  Jesus Christ must be #1 in our lives and this must be based upon the truth of God’s word, since it is impossible for God to lie.   I could use scripture to document all of the above, but all of these descriptions are true and do not need explanation.   One of the biggest stumbling blocks in following Jesus Christ is religion itself, as Jesus Himself warned over and over.   It is amazing that people can give lip service to Christ and then go their own way without giving any time or effort to find out what He requires.  Jesus said, "Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’,  and do not do what I say?”  (Luke 6:46).  

Some have just enough religion to be miserable.  Others have just enough religion to be dangerous.  Still others have just enough religion to feel good about themselves without fully embracing truth.  My friends, truth is not just a vague concept, nor does it compromise with those who have embraced the philosophy of tolerance at the expense of truth.

Truth Is Demanding

A true seeker desires truth more than silver and gold.  He will not rest until he obtains it.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).  He is willing to not only search for it, but live up to its demands.   Such a person Jesus compares to a wise man who builds his house upon a rock, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25).  It is never easy to follow the path of truth.  There are so many distractions and stumbling blocks for those unwilling to forsake all and follow Jesus Christ.   A true disciple of Jesus Christ is successful because he/she is willing to count the cost of discipleship and be faithful come what may.  Such a one has a passionate faith and is full of joy because of the experience of knowing and following Jesus Christ.   Read this description of those who were victorious in Revelation 11:12:  “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”  

As we gain knowledge of the truth, it is necessary to live according to the demands of that truth, or else we corrupt our conscience and stop the process of growing in grace and truth.  In my own life, I have often been reproved by the truth and forced to adjust my life to newly acquired knowledge.  It is important that we “test ourselves to see if we are walking according to truth:   “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5).   The Bible teaches, “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.  9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning” (Pro. 9:8-9).   No one really enjoys being reproved, but truth seekers know that this is necessary.  You see, a truth seeker is not one who is proud and thinks that he has all the right answers.  But he delights in the truth and is willing to receive instruction.  Some people are content in their religion and simply want to be left alone.  Such are not genuine seekers.  Even if I am confronted by a person who is aggressively pushing a false religion, I will still show him/her respect and feel obligated to follow the words of Peter to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15). 

Our Conscience and the Challenge of Truth

How do we know if a person is a truth seeker?   For one thing, a truth seeker is willing to change his mind to bring it in harmony with any newly discovered truth, whereas one who is not a truth seeker has no trouble bending the truth to match his long held cherished beliefs or desires.  When a honest man learns better, he does better, or else, he becomes dishonest.  A truth seeker is never afraid of what he might discover in the pursuit of truth.   A good conscience is a good thing, but as we grow in knowledge, we must be true to this new knowledge or else we exchange a good conscience for a guilty or evil conscience.  Thus, a truth seeker is always willing to change.  That is the real test.    Life will definitely put us to the test as to whether we really want the truth or will settle for lies.   I do not claim to know all things, but I must be willing to open my heart to further instruction and knowledge.  Truth has nothing to fear, and always maintain a good conscience.  

We need to seek truth in every field of knowledge.  But spiritual truth is the most important of all for this will determine our eternal destiny.  

Thanks so much for reading this article. 

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A Collection of Scriptures About Truth
(with my brief comments in italics)

Exo. 18:21-22:  21 "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.   Israel’s leaders were to be men of truth.
Pro. 3:3-4: 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.  4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.  Truth is part of our character and gives us favor with both God and man.
Pro. 8:7-8: 7 "For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.  8 "All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them.   Our mouths should always speak the truth.  Truth does not need to be disguised or spun.
Pro. 12:17: 17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit.  Just say what is right, plain and simple.
Pro. 29:14: 14 If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.   Truth is important, even in politics, for God will judge all liars, even those in high places.   Pro. 20:28: 28 Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness.  God honors truth in the political realm.
Pro. 21:28: 28 A false witness will perish, but the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.  Truth does not change, but a lie has to be covered up with more and more lies.
Pro. 23:23: 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding.  The truth will always be our most valuable possession.  Once you find it, do not let it go for anything.
Jer. 9:3-5: 3 "They bend their tongue like their bow; lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me," declares the LORD. 4 "Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, and do not trust any brother; because every brother deals craftily, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.  5 "Everyone deceives his neighbor and does not speak the truth, they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.  This is a description of a society that lacks integrity and no longer values truth.
Jer. 23:28-32: 28 "The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth.  What does straw have in common with grain?" declares the LORD.  29 "Is not My word like fire?" declares the LORD, "and like a hammer which shatters a rock?  30 "Therefore behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who steal My words from each other. 31 "Behold, I am against the prophets," declares the LORD, "who use their tongues and declare, 'The Lord declares.'  32 "Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the LORD, "and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares the LORD.  God hates all lying but especially those who speak falsely in the LORD’S name.  
John 1:14: 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  Jesus Christ is the ultimate standard bearer of truth.

For a list of other scriptures speaking of truth and its various qualities and applications see John 3:21;  8:31-32: 14:6, 17; 16:13; 17:17-19; Rom. 2:4-8; 1 Cor. 13:6; 2 Cor. 4:2; Gal. 4:16; Col. 1:5; Eph. 1:13; 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 Tim. 4:3; 1 John 2:21; 2 John 1:1-4, etc.  The information is overpowering, but the definition is simple.


Sorry to have delayed the writing of this article.  My wife and I have been constantly on the road since late June visiting Tennessee, North Carolina, Maine, New York and New Mexico teaching and preaching.  We traveled about 8,000 miles by car.  Most recently, Nancy and I were flown to Tampa to hear Cal Ripkin, Jr. speak,  sponsored by Florida Collage.  It was great fun.  I will attempt to write 3 or 4 more articles before the year is over.   The photo at the end of this article is of my wife, Nancy, and me, taken by one of the many lakes in northern Maine.  On this trip we saw many beautiful scenes including Niagara Falls.   In viewing nature, we see the great handiwork of God. We were treated grandly everywhere we went and saw such beautiful country as we traveled through the northeastern states and back home to Lavon, Texas.

If you know of others who would like to receive advanced copies of Pitching For The Master attached to E-mail, please write to me at:  1095 Meadow Hill Drive, Lavon, Texas 75166.  Or contact me at my E-mail address:   

August, 2013

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