#91 What Is Truth?

Two thousand years ago Pontius Pilate asked Jesus Christ, “What Is Truth?”. Would you be able to answer this question, to tell someone not only what truth is, but where it can be found? Can you know the truth? Is truth relative? Can absolute truth be found? Where? Find out the answers to these questions in this episode of “That’s In The Bible””.

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SHOW NOTES

What Is Truth?

Isaiah 59: 1-2,12-14 The Prophet Isaiah is proclaiming to a people that their sins have separated them from God and also truth has been discarded, it has “fallen in the streets”.

Truth Other Than The Bible

Truth in the dictionary is said to be, “Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.”

There is this notion today put forth by many that all truth is relative, meaning something could be right for you, it could be your truth, but maybe not mine. The motivation behind this “all truth is relative” idea is said to be open minded and accepting of everyone and everything. Of course this open minded and all accepting notion shuts down when a Bible believer says there is a standard of truth, an absolute standard of revealed truth as found in the Bible.

Does the idea of there being no absolute truth and only relative truth make any sense though? Is it reality? For example, if a person believes that rat poison is good for them, is that truth? If they believe that they can fly and jump out of a 10th story window will they fly? Does this conform to fact or reality? Somehow, today it has become fashionable to believe that truth is not based on reality but is relative to a persons preferences

So if there is in fact absolute truth, where is it and how can it be found? Is absolute truth found on television? Which channel? Is it in the science of today? So much of what is called science today (science falsely so called) will be thrown out and replaced with the new science of “todays, today” tomorrow. Former Vice President and Presidential candidate and environmental activist Al Gore came out with a movie some years back called, “An Inconvenient Truth”, in which he proclaimed truth to be that man is destroying the environment which would bring about the end of mankind on the earth. Was his “Inconvenient Truth” absolute truth? In the religious realm the Italian Roman Catholic Pope followed the same line of reasoning recently when he stated during an address regarding “Earth Day” that we have sinned against the Earth and we will have no future if we destroy the environment that sustains us. Is that truth? Someone here is not reading their Bible.

The actor Tom Cruise (who follows Scientology, a religion made up by a dead science fiction writer), said in a movie that he wanted the Truth. Let’s listen to that short exchange. (Play Clip) The actor Tom Cruise said he wanted the truth and the actor Jack Nicholson said he couldn’t handle the truth. In reality that probably applies to both actors, They probably couldn’t handle the truth. And this also probably applies to many others today.

Truth According To The Bible

Okay, let’s be transparent and honest. To talk about truth as revealed in the Bible I need to lay out some basic beliefs. As a Bible believer I accept two major tenants.

  1. 1)  That the Bible was inspired by God. II Timothy 3:16,17 – “All scripture is given byinspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” II Peter 1:21 – “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
  2. 2)  That the Bible has been preserved without error in English today, meaning the actual words have been preserved for us, Gods word bound in one book that we can hold in our hand and believe. Psalms 12:6,7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Though shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” It shouldn’t be surprising that God takes great stock in the actual words and not just a message. Jesus said in John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” If you would like to do a good Bible study, run down “words” in a concordance, you might be surprised at the importance they are given in the Bible.

So some may say that these tenants are based on faith. I would say that the truth of the Bible is proven by fulfilled prophecy and archeology, but again that is another study. Let’s again be honest and recognize that all of us take a lot of things by faith. When we get into an airplane, we don’t really understand how such a huge heavy aircraft is able to fly with all of the passengers and luggage on board, but we do it anyway because we have faith that it will fly. We can’t really prove why it flys other than to trust that it will. The same thing with our car and how about gigantic cruise ships or aircraft carriers, it might seem that something so massive would not be able to stay afloat, but we trust that they will. In so many areas of our life that we don’t fully understand we just live by faith. Let’s face it, we all have faith in something, even so called secular humanists have a set of beliefs that they cannot prove, but accept solely on faith. Here is a clip of Pastor Bruce Varner of Bible Baptist Fellowship, who has put it this way (play clip).

What Does The Bible Say About Truth?

So it is more than fair to say that everyone has faith in something, not just Bible believing Christians. So back to our question, what is truth. What does the Bible say truth is?

1) Jesus Christ Is Truth

Not only is Tom Cruise looking for truth, but two thousand years ago Pontius Pilate asked our Lord Jesus Christ the same question. John 18:38 says “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?…”. He asks this question while looking right at truth personified, truth is standing right in front of him. Jesus said in John 14:6, “….I am the way, the

truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is truth. We will see this attribute of Jesus as truth at the incarnation, the Bible says in John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” And look a few verses down to verse 17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

2) The Holy Spirit Is Truth

I John 5:5 “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth.” So here we see clearly that the Holy Spirit is Truth.
See this title again used in the book of John Chapter 14, starting in verse 16 Jesus speaking says “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Also, lets see it again in John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

and John 16:13 “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.”

So the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of truth. So we have two members of the Godhead or trinity designated as truth, but what of God the Father?

3) God the Father Is Truth

Deuteronomy 32:1-4 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. [2] My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: [3] Because I will publish the name of the Lord : ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [4] He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalm 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
Isaiah 65:16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

So here we have the complete Godhead given the designation of truth. God the Father is truth, God the Son is Truth, and God the Holy Spirit is Truth, as revealed in scripture, the Bible.

4) The Bible Is Truth

I know what some of you may be thinking, okay, we have seen God is truth, but where does that leave the Bible? Can we trust the Bible itself to be truth? Glad you asked, because not only is each member of the Godhead revealed to be truth, but the word of God, the Bible itself is also truth.

John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

A verse that instructs us to study the Bible and to be aware of the divisions in the Bible is 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Ephesians 1:12-13 “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. [13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Quote from Deut. 8:3)
If we require the word of God to live by we have to have the word of God, and it has to be truth!

Can we trust the Bible? Jesus himself said in John 17:17 that the word of God was truth. Not believing that the Bible is truth is to not believe our Lord Jesus Christ.

God Cannot Lie

So what is the opposite of truth? The opposite of truth is a falsehood or a lie. It’s important to remember that God cannot lie.

Titus 1:1-2 “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; [2] In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it ? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

The Devil Is The Opposite of Truth – A Liar

So if God can’t lie what is going on here, where do falsehood and lies originate? Let’s look in the book of John Chapter 8:44 where we have the answer to that question straight from Jesus. Jesus is speaking to the scribes and Pharisees and says this, “[44]

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. [45] And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” Here we see the Devil in stark contrast with God, in fact the complete opposite of the Godhead and the Bible.

God cannot lie ———-> the devil is a liar and the father of it.

The Godhead and the Bible are truth ———> the Devil abides not in the truth and has no truth in him.

Is this why God takes such a dim view of lying, because it is so closely associated with the Devil? When God lists six things that he hates, yea seven are an abomination in Proverbs 6:16-19 lying gets a double billing, a double warning or admonition.
[16] These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: [17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, [19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 14:5 gives us the definition of a false witness “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.”
So here we see that God hates lying in general and then lying in this very specific way, being a false witness, like in a trial. Can you think of a trial that took place in the Bible where false witnesses were presented? I am reluctant to call it a trial because when you hear the word trial you may be inclined to think of it as a fair trial. Let’s turn to Mark 14:55-59 to see why God might have singled out the abomination of, “false witnesses”.

[55] And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. [56] For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. [57] And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, [58] We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. [59] But neither so did their witness agree together.

Is it reasonable to suppose that the Devil, the father of lies, in whom there is no truth had something to do with it?
We will see “false witnesses” rise up again in the book of Acts where Stephen a man of God is put to death. Turn to,

Acts 6:8-13

[8] And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. [9] Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. [10] And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. [11] Then they suborned (BRIBED!) men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. [12] And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught

him, and brought him to the council, [13] And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: By the end of the next chapter, chapter 7, they are stoning Stephen to death.

And remember the admonition not to bear false witness is listed as the 9th commandment in Exodus 20:16, and repeated by our Lord in Matthew 19:18.

An admonition to remember is found in Proverbs 30:8 “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:”

What Can We Expect As We Witness The Truth of the Gospel To Others?
As we witness the truth of the gospel to others we can expect a variety of responses.

1) People May Not Want To Hear The Truth

Pilate’s question about what is truth that we looked at earlier in John 18:38 seems to have been prompted by what Jesus had said in the previous verse. 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”. So implying by that statement that those that are not of the truth do not want to hear or have trouble hearing or believing the truth.

2) Possible To Receive A Strong Negative Reaction

Jesus earlier when speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees said in John 8:45 “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” They had a strong negative reaction to hearing the truth, John 8:40, “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”

3) They May Think You Are Crazy

Paul who witnessed and gave his testimony before Festus is thought to be a bit crazy. Acts 26:24-25 “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. [25] But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.”

4) They May Receive The Word!

Some that you witness to will receive the word, if you are a born again Christian today, you did! Praise God!
1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

Acts 8:14 “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:”

Conclusion

So in answer to the question, “What is Truth”, the answer is

  1. A)  The Lord Jesus Christ
  2. B)  The Holy Spirit
  3. C)  God The Father
  4. D)  The Bible

We have also seen that the direct opposite of truth is the Devil and his lies.

So as a Christian how can we please God in our worship? The Bible says in John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” How can we worship God in truth? We have access to the book of truth, The Bible. The King James BIble. Would you like to please God by worshipping him in spirit and in truth? Then seek out a Bible Believing, Bible preaching church that follows the word of God. Would you like to please God in your daily life, in your walk with God? Then judge everything by the Bible, evaluate your opinions and beliefs by what the Bible says. Where what you think doesn’t match up with what the Bible says, change your thinking. When the world promotes or says something is right and the Bible says it’s wrong, stick with the BIble, the word of truth.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

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