Present Truth

As we draw closer to the end of the age and the second advent of our Lord, media coverage depicts the growth of Christianity as unprecedented and phenomenal. Television ministries, distinctly different in dogma and function, produce the same overall results: thousands are seemingly converted and great satisfaction is experienced. I am indeed astonished and tempted to say, that it seems the world is experiencing a mighty move of God, and revival is sweeping the nations.

However, I hesitate to draw a conclusion that is based on tradition and speculation, but ignores scriptural support and precedence. The word of God cannot be ignored, but must become the “lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105. When scripture contradicts what I see and hear, I am compelled to put human reasoning aside and believe God’s word. Logic should never erode illumination. It thus becomes necessary that truth be understood. A misunderstanding or misinterpretation of truth will result in the acceptance of the erroneous. Isaiah warns against calling evil good and putting “darkness for light.” Isaiah 5:20. Because man’s carnal mind cannot decipher spiritual things, we need God to touch the “eyes of our understanding” to enable us to see. 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 1:18.

It was good for the godly in every age to accept truth in their era. What they heard was believed, and resulted in their salvation. So it is in our time. We either accept or reject God’s will. Understanding the past is wonderful, but accepting the present and responding correctly is our responsibility. We will be judged based on our responses to truth offered in our day.

The apostle Peter, seeing the importance of exposing God’s people to the present truth, declares that he will “not be negligent” to put them always in remembrance of these things, that they be established in the present truth. 2 Peter 1:12.

It is true that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Jesus being the chief cornerstone, but present truth establishes the church. Present truth allows the believer to recognize the subtlety of evil in one’s day, and then offers the tools necessary to conquer the same. Present truth considers the climatic conditions and builds appropriate spiritual walls to keep the storms of this present evil age from infiltrating God’s work.
As God sent prophets in every age, preaching a message appropriate for the needs of their time, we must see the need for prophets in our age. They must be equipped with the ability to recognize present evil, thus offering God’s people guidance for sanctification. The apostle Paul admonishes the church at Rome not to be “conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Rom. 12:2a. John also supports the need for sanctification, by exhorting us to, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” John. 2:15. Of course, the greatest authority was our Lord Jesus Himself, who prayed that God the Father would sanctify His disciples from the evils of the world, by the word of God, which he described as truth. John 17:14-17.

Definition

The simple definition of the word truth is, “fact or reality.” This, of course, provides no room for fable or fantasy. There are basically two elements to truth. The first is theoretic truth, which is the factual concept of God and His salvation as revealed in the word of God. This element of truth eliminates traditional misconceptions and provides an understanding that will assist in the second element, which is practical truth.
Practical truth is that which is lived. While theoretic truth provides knowledge, practical truth provides the wisdom manifested in daily living. As we are exposed to theoretic truth, faith is developed, and faith developed is manifested in our works or walk. Both of these elements are necessary in the Christian’s development. “Faith cometh by hearing..” Romans 10:17. James 2:17. “Even so, faith if it hath not works is dead..” James 2:17. While our God declared that “knowing truth” sets one free. Jn 8:32, the apostle John rejoiced to see God’s children “walk in truth.” 2 John Vs 4-6, 3 John Vs 3-4.

Doctrine

The word ‘doctrine’ is another term widely used in scripture to describe truth. False doctrine promoted by false prophets results in individuals believing a lie, and is condemned by God’s word. Mt 15:9; Mt. 16:12; Heb. 13:9; Mk. 12:22; 2 Cor. 11:13; 1 Tim. 4:11. John emphatically declares that individuals who transgress true doctrine, “hath not God.” 2 John. 9-10. True doctrine is an absolute necessity for victorious living in every dispensation. Careful note should be taken that religious performances not established on truth, are unacceptable to God. “Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord…then I will profess unto them, I never knew you… For not everyone that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of God, but he that doeth the will of my father..” Mt. 7:22.

Truth Today

As it is rightly said, the past offers a good foundation, the future, a hope and goal. The present gives us an opportunity to live godly. We, as children of God, will be judged by our acceptance or rejection of truth offered in our era. God’s word declares that we will all be resurrected: They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29. God will not expect the people of Nineveh to respond to Noah’s message, but to Jonah’s. Each prophet or preacher had an identity and a particular message for the people in his time. His message was geared to condemn the evil in his day, and provide a way of escape.

Though the past was a wonderful example of God’s dealings with mankind, we must understand that present truth, though absolute in the time frame it is dispensed, becomes past truth in the future. Thus, truth must be progressive in order to maintain its identity as present truth.

From Malachi to Matthew, truth lay stagnant and no additional scripture was written for approximately 400 years. Stagnant truth results in apostasy, and gives birth to non-scriptural, traditional customs. It is no wonder that Isaiah describes Israel as ‘a dry ground’ and Jesus as a relatively isolated element of life coming out of it. Isaiah 53:2. John The Baptist, equipped with the first ray of present truth in his time, was described as “greatest among those born of woman.” Luke 7:28. Jesus, describing himself as “..the truth,” declares himself as the only access to God. John 14:6. Truth offered by Jesus was present truth, and though condemned by established religion, was the only truth capable of setting mankind free. John 8:32.
With the understanding that our present will be tomorrow’s past, may God touch our minds to recognize present evil and then give us a message capable of offering deliverance to His people today. May present truth prevail.