What do we think of when we hear the word truth? What thoughts come to mind? Is it something that is scholastically learned through hard studies? Is it something can be proved? Is it something that can be taught? Or maybe is it something completely different from these other things, or a combination of them all? I would like to look at specific sections of scripture to see what it has to say on the topic. Many times we think of truth as something tangible and to be grasped, but what if there is more to it than that.
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7, ESV)
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete." (1 John 1:1-4, ESV)
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me." (John 8:31-45, ESV)
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known." (John 1:14-18, ESV)
"In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:11-14, ESV)
These are a few of the verses that discuss what truth is, does, and contains. Many people have heard the saying "the truth will set you free". Many people who do not even believe in God or trust Him for their salvation. Yet, they hear this saying and they know at least part of what it is referring to. They take it to mean, that if you have wronged someone or lied to someone or something like that, then if you tell the truth it will take a weight off of your shoulders and cause you to feel better. That has nothing to do with where that saying actually came from. Instead the verses where this is talked about clearly discusses the way in which the Jews were so mad at Jesus for claiming that they were not children of Abraham and therefore slaves. It has nothing to do with feeling better, but rather the state of someone's soul. Until Jesus reigns within your heart and mind, you are lost, unable to find truth.
Why can I say this? I can say this because Jesus said clearly "Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me." This stings to the very heart and lays out what the issue is when dealing with the idea of truth. People believe that they know the truth and have an infinite amount of knowledge that they can draw upon. Yet, they forget the greatest factor in knowing truth. They forget it's source!
One way to think about this would be to have access to the greatest river of the purest water ever tasted by man. People could drink of this river and feel refreshed to the utmost. People would travel for thousands of miles to come to the head of this river, to the very spring that fills it to overflowing. Then, over time this river becomes a thing of "normal" occurrence. The people begin to channel the river to all parts of the world, creating life and pleasing taste for all who come in contact with these branches of the wonderful river. Over time the whole world has been touched, even if just the slightest sense, by this mighty river. People begin to become complacent and to forget that there was a time before the rivers refreshing taste. People begin to attach different rivers to their water sources, trying to gain a greater access to better water. They combine the pure river with smaller ones that have impurities and lesser quality tastes. They have problems with what to do with the water after it is used, and therefore begin to add drains further downstream so that those furthest away from the spring have the most polluted water. This continues on and on and on, until children are told the story of the purest river in the world, as if it were a mere fairy tale.
The fact is, this is where truth has gone. Jesus is the truth, the way to salvation, the life giving source, that refreshing cool drink. And yet, the world has taken His words, the Truth of scripture, and turned it into the most disgusting waste. Yet, at the same time that they have turned it into such awful waste, they continue to drink and use it to try to "convince" others that this Truth (water) is the most pure and wonderful that there is. How can this be? How can people be expected to see the beauty and purity of the living water, when it no longer resembles it in the very least?
And yet, even though this water has been diluted in such a way that it no longer even resembles its true state, there is hope. When someone dilutes a river, or a stream, somewhere hidden away from all these distractions and dilutions, the Spring, the Source still exists. We may have to walk through the most disgusting and polluted water that could ever be to follow the river to its Source, and yet when we do, we find the most amazing and pure tastes and life that we could ever imagine. It no longer has an oily or putrid taste, but rather a smooth and refreshing one.
This spring, this life source that I have been talking about, is Jesus. He is the savior of the whole world, and the only way to salvation is through Him. Now, He no longer dwells upon the earth in human flesh. He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. However, He did leave us with His word. The Bible. And with His word we may begin to understand and grasp this life giving water. To see more clearly in this murky disgusting river that is our world. Without scripture, The Bible, we have no way of knowing truth.
It is with that in mind that I challenge everyone to read the Bible, to search it to see if their church is doing the things that they should, to see whether they are being fed properly, or whether they are drinking the most vile water/food that could be had.
There are those "churches" that claim to be feeding their congregations Truth, when in fact it has been so diluted and polluted that it no longer even resembles the Truth. The Roman Catholic Church claims that they are the proclaimers of Truth, and that those who disagree with them, they cannot be believers of Truth. Yet, they no longer hold to the actual words found with the Bible. They have many beliefs held by their leaders that go directly against scripture and the teachings of Jesus. There are others that would also like to deceive you into thinking that they proclaim Truth. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Joel Olsteen, Rob Bell and many many others.
The church of God needs to stand up and declare that all of these people smell. They smell like the sewer that they are trying to push upon people, claiming that it is Truth and worth drinking of. We cannot sit idly by while they take the actual Truth and twist it towards their own purposes and dilute it with the filth of their own ideologies. If something contradicts scripture, it is not true. It cannot be true, for as we read in the passages above, Jesus is the Truth. If he is the Truth, then nothing that contradicts His word can possibly be true.