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What Is Truth?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Wednesday, June 05, 2013, 2:40 a.m. – I woke from sleep about 20 minutes ago. I lay there in bed thinking I would fall back asleep, but alas, that was not the case. The song “My Jesus, I Love Thee” was playing in my mind, so I sang it back to the Lord in prayer. Then, another song came into my mind – “The Battle for Truth,” and then I knew the Lord Jesus wanted me to get up, so I got up to meet with Jesus.

    I prayed, “Speak, Lord, your words to my heart,” and then I read John 18 (NIV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2018&version=NIV

    Who is it you want?

    Jesus had just finished praying to the Father (see John 17), and then he left with his disciples to go to a garden in an olive grove. Judas, who had betrayed him, and who was familiar with the place, came there with a detachment of soldiers, possibly numbering in the hundreds, and with some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. Jesus, knowing they had come to arrest him, stepped forward and made himself known to them. He said, “Who is it you want?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth,” to which Jesus replied, “I am he.” Jesus willingly surrendered to them, yet he asked that his disciples be let go.

    Impetuous Peter, who had previously declared his undying devotion to the Lord, who had boasted that if all forsook Jesus, that he would not, and who had proclaimed that he would, in fact, give his life for Jesus, again acted by impulse and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus rebuked Peter, and then he commanded him to put his sword away. He said, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” Jesus knew why he had come to earth, and he accepted his destiny, which was to go to the cross to die in our place for our sins so that we could go free from slavery to sin and the ultimate punishment for sin in hell.

    The Denials

    Jesus was arrested, and was first brought to Annas, a previous high priest and father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Impetuous Simon Peter and “another disciple” were following Jesus. The other disciple and Peter entered the high priest’s courtyard. A servant girl asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. He said he was not. Peter stood in the courtyard, warming himself around a fire, along with some of the high priest’s servants and officials. They asked him if he was not one of Jesus’ disciples, too, but Peter denied it again, and said, “I am not.” One of the high priest’s servants challenged Peter and said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Once again Peter denied it, “and at that moment the rooster began to crow,” just as Jesus had predicted would happen. Though John did not record this, Matthew’s gospel says that Peter then went outside and wept bitterly.

    The Mock Trial (and Kangaroo Court)

    From Caiaphas, the Jewish leaders then took Jesus to the palace of the Roman governor. The Jewish leaders, in their hypocrisy, did not want to enter the palace in order to avoid “ceremonial uncleanness,” because they wanted to be able to partake in the Passover meal. So Pilate came out to them. They didn’t mind at all that they were sending an innocent man to his death, who they knew had done no wrong, yet they avoided being “ceremonially unclean” just so they could eat the Passover meal, a celebration of salvation for the Jews out of slavery in Egypt, and representing Jesus’ shed blood for us on the cross so we could go free from slavery to sin. Wow! They celebrated their historic freedom from bondage, and yet they sent their Savior to his death, which ironically brought about their salvation from sin.

    Pilate asked the Jewish leaders what charges they were bringing against Jesus. Their response to Pilate was elusive. It reminds me, in nature, of a non-denial denial, only not. They indirectly answered his question in such a way as to be deceptive, giving the impression that Jesus was indeed a criminal, though they knew that not to be the case. They said, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”

    Then, they added to this deception with another lie (half-truth), it appears. Pilate, evidently aware that they had no real charges to bring against Jesus under Roman law, told them to take him themselves and to judge him by their own law. Then, they proclaimed that they had no right to execute anyone, which was very telling right there, for it revealed their true intentions. Yet, that was a half-truth because they could execute him by stoning, but they could not take his life by crucifixion, [which is what they wanted, evidently, so that Jesus’ messianic claims would be discredited, because Jesus would, apparently, then fall under the curse of God, according to Deut. 21:22-23. Apparently, then, their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah would be justified (Source: Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary)].

    What is truth?

    Pilate then took Jesus aside and asked him if he was king of the Jews. Jesus asked him where that idea originated, to which Pilate replied that Jesus’ own people and chief priests had handed him over to Pilate. Pilate inquired of Jesus as to what he had done, to which Jesus responded by saying that his kingdom was not of this world, otherwise his servants would be fighting for him. So, Pilate asked him if he was a king, a question to which Jesus responded in the affirmative, saying that for this he had been born, and that he had come into the world to testify to the truth. And, then he told Pilate that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice, which is when Pilate then asked the question, “What is truth?”

    It is not real clear what Pilate meant when he asked this question. The context does not give us enough hints to determine exactly what he had in mind, yet it appears to me that he might have been saying that, in the scheme of things, truth is really irrelevant. He could surmise the Jewish leaders’ intentions. And, he could ascertain that they really had no charges to bring against Jesus according to Roman law. Yet, Pilate was a politician, so he offered to release one prisoner to them. He asked, “Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” “No!” was their response. “Not him!” “Give us Barabbas!”

    Truth and Consequences

    “Truth or Consequences” was an old TV show from the early 1950’s in which contestants were asked bizarre questions. If the contestant could not answer truthfully, there would be consequences. Yet, what this passage today reveals to us is that, even when questions are answered truthfully, there can still be consequences, i.e. the death of Jesus, and that when people respond with lies, they can seemingly get away with it, yet we know the lies will eventually catch up with them, and that ultimately there will be consequences.

    Since the Lord Jesus put the song “The Battle for Truth” in mind prior to me reading the passage this morning, I was sensitized more to the truth and the lies that were being told here. The lies, first of all, began with the betrayal of Judas. A betrayal is a deception which is a lie with the intention of harming another by surrendering that person to the enemy. Then, we have the denials of Peter, who had said previously that he would go to the death for Jesus, and that he would never deny his Lord. He lied out of fear of rejection and persecution, and to save his own life. The Jewish leaders lied to themselves and others via hypocritical religious practices in which they engaged all the while they were plotting the murder of an innocent man. And, they lied through deception by alluding to the notion that Jesus Christ had committed a criminal act, when they knew that was not true. And, they lied through telling a half-truth, because they had an ulterior motive for having Jesus crucified.

    In contrast to these lies and liars, Jesus always told the truth. He voluntarily surrendered himself to the soldiers, stating that he was the Jesus whom they were seeking, and he showed enormous integrity by willingly going to the cross to die for our sins, accepting his purpose and his destiny in order that we might go free. He always spoke openly to the world, teaching publicly in the synagogues or at the temple, so the Jews could hear what he said. He said nothing secretive or deceptive. Yet, he was punished for telling the truth. He admitted that he had a kingdom and that he was a king, only his kingdom was not of this world. And, then he shared the fact that he was born to be a king and that the reason he came into the world was to testify to the truth, because he is the way, the truth and the life.

    And, then he said something interesting. He said that everyone on the side of truth listens to him. Basically, what he was saying to Pilate and to the Jews was that if they were really on the side of truth, they would listen to him, because he is truth. Jesus is saying the same thing to us today. He is calling out to us not only to be truth tellers and to repent of our lies, but to listen to the one who is truth, instead of listening to and following after all the lies of mankind coming through politicians and religious leaders within our churches. There is such a battle for truth going on in our world and in the church today. Jesus is asking us to honor him, to tell the truth, to show integrity, to turn from our sin and from all the lies and deceptions of the enemy, and to be faithful to our Lord, to not be spiritually adulterous, to not be hypocritical in our religious practices and forms of religion, and to return to our Lord.

    The Battle for Truth / An Original Work / May 18, 2013

    Based off Malachi 1-4

    I love you. Honor me.
    Tell the truth. You’ll be free.
    Sing My praise all your days.
    I will give all you need.

    Turn from sin; cleansed within.
    Stand in awe of My Name.
    Teach what’s true. Walk in peace.
    Follow Christ, in His ways.

    Show to God faithfulness.
    Do not be adult’rous.
    Do not shed shallow tears.
    Do not be insincere.

    I have sent messengers,
    Who have giv’n my address.
    They call for repentance,
    And they warn of judgment.

    I, the Lord, do not change,
    So return – blessings gain:
    Healing comes; joyfulness;
    Freedom from your distress.

  2. Truth is what God says it is!
    Mr. Darby likes this.
  3. It centers around John 14:6.

    Also, John 1:14.

    Major likes this.
  4. The title came from this passage in John 18. In this chapter we read several examples of lies, including half-truths, deceptions, a betrayal, and denials. In contrast to these lies, deceptions and liars stood Jesus who was/is truth, yet they killed him for telling the truth. Today there is a great battle for truth going on within our society and within the church. Jesus is calling out to his people today to be people of integrity and to be truth tellers, so it is important that we understand and are able to distinguish lies from the truth every day of our lives. There is a whole lot going on within today's institutional church in the name of truth that is not unlike what we read about in this passage. So, we need to know the truth. Thank you both for your responses.
  5. Hi Sue

    Revelation is very encouraging.

    I received revelation in a similar manner. To understand is to be understood is it not?
    Knowledge without wisdom is futile.

    When we understand the 7 principalities of God we will see the 7 opposing principalities of the Devil clearly.

    In Lord Jesus name

    Brother in Christ
  6. God has indeed revealed Himself in Scripture, the Word of God, the central and glorious theme of which is the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we need to do is, rather than seek new revelation from outside the Scriptures, get to know His Word prayerfully more and more, as graciously enlightened by the Spirit of God.
    calvin and SueJLove say Amen and like this.
  7. I agree! God's word speaks volumes to us in so many practical ways to our every day lives. His word never changes, yet the application of his word will vary depending upon the day and age in which we live, the circumstances of our lives, et al. In other words, God's holy word is alive! It still speaks to us today to what we are going through presently. And, the Spirit of God within us speaks to our hearts, as well, and gives understanding of the truths of scripture as applied to our lives today.

    I am always learning and growing in my faith, as the Lord Jesus reveals more and more of himself to me each day - not new revelation, but the realization of revelation already given, and as applied to my life and circumstances, and to my world in which I now live.
  8. SueJLove: Exactly; not new revelation, but taking on board the revelation we already and abundantly do have! Blessings.
    Major likes this.
  9. And what are the 7 "principalities" of God.????
  10. Major: I was wondering about that, too... o_O
  11. I will be surprised if we see an answer to the question.
  12. Major: Who knows? :unsure:
  13. He enumerated them in another post.

    Meaning/initiative is the intent of purpose by reasoning.
    Reconciliation is the reconciling of the meaning's purpose.
    Creation is the purpose of the meaning/initiative through the reconciliation formation.
    Teaching is for the explanation of the purpose.
    Guidance is for the purpose of the teaching.
    Choice is for the exception or denial of the purpose.
    Destination is the result of the choice.

    Personally I find that that sort of thing reeks of Eastern Mysticism,
    but I'm just and old farm boy, so what do I know.
    Major likes this.
  14. You know Glo.......you just may have earned a star. I think you may be right my friend.

    Did you notice what is missing? The GOSPEL!!!

    It is that age old thing of having "AN AGENDA".
  15. How to milk a cow?:p
    Major likes this.
  16. SueJLove: Someone said that the believer 'reasons from revelation', which kind of sums it up, I thought. Blessings.
  17. Would you mind expanding that thought? I am not quite sure what you mean.
  18. SueJLove:

    Yes, what I meant was that truth is given to us by revelation in Scripture.

    But then with people we can point to Scripture and reason with them, on the basis of what Scripture says (not for speculation or for overriding clear statements with our opinions). Major, above, was also talking about reasoning.

    So: reasoning on its own is mere rationalism. But reasoning from revelation gives our thought processes a truth anchor.

    Major and calvin say Amen and like this.
  19. Jesus said; “I am the way and the truth and the life." John 14:6
    Fairly straightforward to me.

  20. Souns good. :)

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