WHAT IS TRUTH?
BY: TROY NICHOLS
John 18:33-38 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of (out of) this world: if my kingdom were of (out of) this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world (worldly order), that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of (out of) the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
- The word what in verse 38 is the Greek word “tis” and it is used over 500 times in the New Testament. (what over 200 times – who over 100 times – whom over 20 times -which over 10 times)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father (Spirit), but by me.
- Jesus is the road to truth and life.
- The heart of God is the Father. The face of God is the Son. The voice of God is the Holy Spirit. The hand of God is the Church.
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. 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. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Pilate replied, “You are a king then?” “You say that I am a king, and you are right,” Jesus said. “I was born for that purpose. And I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.
- Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. That is true. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.
- Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus answered, “You are the one saying I am a king. This is why I was born and came into the world: to tell people the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me? John 3:31-34 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
John 8:23 And he said unto them, ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world (See cross ref’s – Jn 15:18-19, 17:14-16, 1 Jn 4:1-6, 5:19-20); I am not of this world.
Mark 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
Mark 12:38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing (speaks in principle of some of our present day holiness Churches), and love salutations (greetings) in the marketplaces.
Luke 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
John 6:63-69 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me (Principle: this church), except it were given unto him of my Father (See 1 Cor 12:18). From that time many of his disciples (congregation) went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
John 18:19-22 The high priest (religious – outsiders) then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
Matt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you (inner circle) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Many individuals as well as local assemblies have been blessed and chosen by the Lord to receive pearls of great price in Gods Word. However, you need to know as you receive these pearls, you will be tested more than those that have not received them. For to whom much is given, much is required (Lu 12:48).
Acts 20:27-32 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel (purpose) of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
- Perverse means to distort or to misinterpret. When studied on out, it means, the channel of an act, to twist, turn around or reverse.
- Revelation: There will be men that will misinterpret the truth through their ministry and thus turn many away from truth to error, from life to death.
Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Even some of you will distort the truth in order to draw a following.
- Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
- Also, men from your own group will rise up and twist the truth. They will lead away followers after them.
- Some of your own men will come forward and say things that distort the truth. They will do this to lure disciples into following them.
We have been entrusted as stewards with the truth of God and therefore we will be tested to see if we are faithful with the word that we know and are preaching and teaching it. Sad to say, many have truth but are afraid to teach it in fear of losing some of their congregation.
1 Cor 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries (secrets) of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (See other translations on next page for verse 1)
- So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s secrets.
- So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.
- This is what people should think about us: We are servants of Christ. We are the ones God has trusted with his secret truths.
Dan 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
Dan 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
If we are not faithful with the truths that God has entrusted us with, then God will not show us anymore, and we could even lose what we already have as can be seen in Mark 4:24-25. It reads as follows, “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” (See other translations below for the above verses)
- And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand—and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.
- Think carefully about what you hear. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you, but God will give you even more. Those who have understanding will be given more. But those who do not have understanding, even what they have will be taken away from them.
- He went on to say, “Pay attention to what you’re listening to! Knowledge will be measured out to you by the measure of attention you give. This is the way knowledge increases. Those who understand these mysteries will be given more knowledge. However, some people don’t understand these mysteries. Even what they understand will be taken away from them.
Example: There have been those that have come to this Ministry and have heard some mysteries of God revealed but failed to pay attention to them. They chose to walk away from that which they heard and thus they have lost those revelations and have begin to walk in the ordinances and traditions of man once again fulfilling the scripture in Proverbs 26:11, “as a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly“. Another translation reads like this, “a fool who repeats his foolishness is like a dog that goes back to what it has thrown up.
- Folly in the English means nonsense or a ridulous idea. In the Greek, it means silliness or perverse. This speaks to us in principle of those that have left ministries where the truth was being perverted to come to a valid ministry where the truth was being brought forth only to return to the ministry that they had previously came from.
- God allows heresies to go around in the Church in order to test the hearts of his people. When false doctrine goes around, the ones whose heart is not right become prey to it in order that the ones who have truth might be made manifest in that time as can be seen in the scriptures below.
1 Cor 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (See other translations below for this verse)
- But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that those of you who are right will be recognized!
- Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine.
- No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.
- It is necessary for there to be differences among you. That is the way to make it clear which of you are really doing right.
- Factions have to exist in order to make it clear who the genuine believers among you are.
Jer 5:30-31 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets (inspired man) prophesy (to speak by inspiration – or simply put “under the influence of a spirit”) falsely (untruth – cheat people out of truth), and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? [Italics added by writer for clarity]
2 Tim 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound (free from any mixture of error – See Ezra 9:1-2 – Error comes in riding on the back of truth many times) doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (myths or fantasies). (See other translation on the next page for these verses)
- For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.
2 Pet 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you (TRUE CHURCH), who privily shall bring in damnable (ruin or loss – spiritual or physical) heresies (disunion – a choice or party – a sect, see further study on the next page for sect), even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words (to mould as from clay – fictitious words – as from earthy “clay” man) make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
- The NIV says they will exploit you with stories they have made up – sounds like the dating game if you know what I mean. Many saints have outlived the very ones that set the dates concerning the coming of the Lord.
- False prophets (teachers) through their carnal ideas of who God is have done their part to divide the Body of Christ through their denominations, organizations and heresies. They haven’t changed much from days of old. Israel wanted a King (1 Sam 8:5-20) to rule over them that they could see, so they rejected the Lord (WORD) and he gave them their desire, only their King brought them and their children into bondage.
Neh 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
- Be careful who you delegate power to in your midst, the Bible says lay hands suddenly on no man (1 Tim 5:22). The Bible also says to know those that labor among you (1 Thess 5:12).
The Bible gives us a very good principle in Matt 12:25, for it says; every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: We are the house that Jesus is building, and if you fight against his will and purpose in this earth, then your house becomes divided, you then fall which puts you in the same position as the lame man in the book of Act’s. You therefore sow seed into the woman which is the Church in your lame condition and your children that you bring forth from the womb bear your characteristics (spiritual lameness). There are many lame people in the Church today that are crying out to God for deliverance, they don’t want alms, they want to WALK.
As we move on, I want to explain to you what a sectarian spirit is. According to the English dictionary, a sectarian is who is narrow minded (syn. one who is confined) or one who is of a sect. To confine means to keep within bounds, to restrict, to imprison. (Synonyms for this word are: immobilize, bind, chain, handcuff, hold down, restrain, box in, fence in, or hedge in)
I was in a denomination and was confined, I was told I couldn’t go out and help another Church when our Church was having service. It didn’t matter that I had made plans before our home church scheduled a revival, to support this other church that was having a revival. I with my family was preached on the following Sunday morning. We were told that when you put your name on the line to become a member, you are expected to be there every time the doors are open.
Sect: A religious body united by common beliefs. (It is interesting to note that a synonym for this word sect is denomination)
1 Cor 1:11-13 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Cor 3:1-4 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (See other translations below for verse four)
- One of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos.” When you say things like this, you are acting like worldly people.
- When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I prefer Apollos,” aren’t you acting like those who are not Christians?
1 Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (Man has taken God’s Holy Nation and divided it and thus it is not God’s Holy Nation now, but it is mans denominations, which is not scriptural).
- Let us look at this word denomination so that you might better understand the power of these false prophets and teachers that are not one with God and thus many times find themselves ministering under the influence of a sectarian spirit.
- De is a prefix, which first of all signifies separation. This word separation when studied out means; to devitalize (deprive of life or effectiveness), deactivate (to make inactive), to remove from (a specified thing), to dethrone (to remove from a place of power). It not only dethrones God but dethrones you, for you are sitting with God in the heavenlies. It means to devalue (to lessen the value of) and to nominate which means to select (choose, decide, elect, empower or to elevate).
I have said all of this to say this. Those that are walking with God in this hour are doing their part to tear down the walls that have divided God’s people and thus bring about the answer to Jesus prayer in John 17:20-21 for he said; Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
- It is interesting to note that one is mentioned six times in John 17. The revelation is simply this, we (man whose number is six) will not become one with each other until we become one with Jesus. [6+ 1=7 perfection]
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (See other translation below for this verse)
- Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
Matt 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets (one who acts the part of an inspired speaker), which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Jer 14:10-16 Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept (is not pleased with them) them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit (punish) their sins. Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good (don’t pray for their welfare). When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept (be pleased with) them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say (opposite of what you are saying) unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
Lam 2:14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered (revealed) thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment. (See other translation below)
- The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.
Micah 3:11-12 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. (See other translations below and on the next page for these verses)
- You rulers govern for the bribes you can get; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim you are depending on the LORD. “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the LORD is here among us.” So because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to rubble! A great forest will grow on the hilltop, where the Temple now stands.
- The judges in Jerusalem take money to decide who wins in court. The priests in Jerusalem only teach for pay. The prophets only look into the future when they get paid. But yet those leaders say, “The Lord is with us. Nothing bad will happen to us.” Because of you, Jerusalem will be plowed like a field. Jerusalem will become a pile of rocks. The hill on which the Temple stands will be covered with bushes.
In this message, we are going to look at some guidelines for interpreting doctrine and teach you why so many people have been caught up in error.
1) Lack of Bible Knowledge
Matt 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Jesus answered, “You’re mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power.
- Jesus answered, “You don’t understand, because you don’t know what the Scriptures say, and you don’t know about the power of God.
- Jesus replied, “Your problem is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.
- Jesus answering said to them, ‘Ye go astray, not knowing the Writings, nor the power of God.
- Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
1 Cor 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions.
- Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all say the same thing, and that there be not among you divisions; but that ye be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same opinion.
- I beg you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be split into groups. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
- Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.
- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
- Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Rightly Dividing: to make a straight cut, to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message), to proceed on straight paths, to hold a straight course, equivalent to doing right, to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly.
Prov 2:1-6 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
2) Immaturity: (Young and uninformed, and just doesn’t know any better)
1 Pet 2:1-2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
1 Cor 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Carnality therefore we can see is as much of a sign to us that you are not ready for the meat is as the newborn baby is with no teeth. You can give a baby meat who has no teeth but he will choke on it because it can’t chew it and thus properly digest it, even so it is with the carnal minded believer. You can feed him the meat of the word, but he will choke on it because he has no spiritual teeth to chew it and thus digest it. It is interesting to note that the same meat can kill one and bring life to another.
3) People are taught wrong: (The problem here lies within the leader).
- A leader in error can lead his whole congregation into error.
- Ignorance in the day in which we live my friend is no excuse with the Lord because his spirit abides in us to teach us and to lead us into all truth or simply put “ALL of Christ”!!
Matt 15:7-14 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man (False doctrine therefore defiles the Temple of God in which you and I are as being born again – See 1 Cor 3:16-17 below). Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone (Pharisees – a separatist – separated ones – denominations, etc): they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
1 Cor 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile (see meaning below) the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Defile: to shrivel or wither, to spoil (by any process) or (generally) to ruin (especially fig, by moral influences, to deprave), to lead away a Christian congregation from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide.
John 16:12-13 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 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 shew you things to come.
I Jn 2:26-27 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Acts 17:28-30 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
4) People are sincerely wrong:
- The bad thing about deception is that people who are deceived strongly believe that they are right. And the longer they are wrong, the more convinced they are that they are right.
Prov 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
- It is going to take more than sincerity to keep you on course. Are you willing to listen to others? Can you humble yourself and go to someone else for help? Wisdom, humility, and the counsel of others are needed in order for you to stay on course and thus maintain proper balance.
- Example: A man could be driving on Rt 17 West sincerely thinking he is on Rt 17 East, but he is still going the wrong way. And the longer he travels, the further he is going from his destination, though he is extremely sincere.
5) A closed mind: (Stubbornness, unteachableness)
- A believer can have a closed mind because of his background and the way he was brought up in church and because of traditional teachings of man. Are there any areas in your life where you are closed? A person for example might be open until a certain subject is brought up and then his heart closes. This could however be for several reasons. They may already have preconceived ideas, they may have been misinformed, or maybe they just don’t want to hear it. You need to ask God to give you a pliable heart, for if you don’t; it is in these closed areas that you will remain barren and unproductive in the days to come.
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.
Job 33:14-30 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
As we now continue on, let us look at some other reasons why many believers are in error concerning the scriptures.
1) The sin of overconfidence or pride:
- Some people think they are infallible, that is that they know the voice of God and can’t be wrong.
- There have been many that have moved in the gifts of the Spirit that have boldly proclaimed that they have never been wrong. But in all sincerity, they have, as I would dare say, we all have at one time or another.
Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
- Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall.
Isa 2:11-12 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.
1 Cor 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. (See other translations below for this verse)
- Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.
- Someone may think that he has full knowledge of something and yet not know it as well as he should.
- If anyone thinks he knows all the answers, he is just showing his ignorance.
Obad 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Isa 29:22-24 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
2) The failure to test a revelation: (The failure to check out the word that is being taught as the Bereans of old did, to see if the scriptures backed up what was being taught).
- I have said and will always say that you have no right to say an individual is wrong in his teaching until you have sincerely taking the time yourself to thoroughly search the scriptures, rightly dividing the word yourself, concerning that which is being taught.
Acts 17:10-13 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
- The Thessalonicans speak to us in principle of all those in the church that are ignorant to the things of the spirit. We can see a picture of this in 1Thes 4:13 where Paul says to them, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. It is interesting to note that the emphasis in the text at hand was not the coming of the Lord but those that have died.
- The Bereans on the other hand speak to us of all those in the church that have a daily walk with the Lord and will not hesitate to search the scriptures daily concerning that which has come to their ears in order that they might be people of truth and not error.
- It is interesting to note that the Thessalonicans came and stirred up the hearts of the Bereans after hearing that Paul went and preached to them.
- There are those that have rejected that which I teach and thus the Lord moved me on to another city so to speak as he did Paul. However, when those that rejected me heard that I was in another area preaching and teaching the Kingdom of God, they made attempts to stir up the hearts against the truth lest they believed and arose above where they were living which was in the religious confines of man made religion.
- We can see a beautiful picture of this in John 7:1-12 where it says, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.”
- We go on and read these words in John 7:43-47, So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
- I live my life and judge that which is being taught by the very words of Jesus in John 6:63, It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak (present tense) unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
- Principle: When the Spirit of the Lord is speaking through an individual, you will always be lifted up or encouraged and you will feel alive instead of dead after leaving the presence of this one in whom the Spirit spoke.
1Thes 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (See other translation below for this verse)
- But test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it.
I Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of (“ek” out of) God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Eph 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
WHAT IS TRUTH, Parts 1-5 [Troy Nichols] 1