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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 26      Deniable Truth???

 

I would like to spend our time today considering some things that Jesus said about truth, and then seeing if we can make some helpful conclusions; and I want to start with a startling statement from our Lord Jesus.

Jesus said unto them,

If God were your Father,

ye would love me:

for I proceeded forth and came from God;

neither came I of myself,

but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech?

even because ye cannot hear my word.

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.”  John 8:42-45

As Jesus encountered the leaders of His day, He often confronted them with difficult truths, usually truths that they did not want to hear; even His followers often had trouble with His startling revelations of truth.  In fact, just a few chapters earlier, Jesus shared some difficult truths with those around Him, and for many it was too much to believe and accept.

Many therefore of his disciples,

when they had heard this, said,

This is an hard saying;

who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself

that his disciples murmured at it,

he said unto them,

Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man

ascend up where he was before?

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.

64 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.

65 And he said,

Therefore said I unto you,

that no man can come unto me,

except it were given unto him

of my Father.

66 From that time

many of his disciples went back,

and walked no more with him.”  John 6:60-66

The people of Jesus’ day had the same problem that we have today—they wanted following Jesus to be easy, simple and convenient.  They wanted to eat the “loaves and fishes” without any commitment to “pay” the price.  What about you and me?  Have we put restrictions on what we are willing to do for Jesus!  Is God your Father, or is Satan your father?  Not a very popular question, but one that every person will answer now or later; for every person ever born on this earth will bow before Jesus!  The question isn’t “will you bow”, but rather “when” will you bow.

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also

hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:8-11

Will you bow before Jesus now, as your Lord and Savior while there is time and opportunity?  Or will you bow before Him at the Great White Throne as your judge, with no opportunity for salvation?  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test—and there won’t be any ‘fudging’, ‘excuses’ or ‘justification’ for your sin, if you’ve refused Jesus as the payment for your sin!

And the devil

that deceived them

was cast into the lake of fire

and brimstone,

where the beast

and the false prophet are,

and shall be tormented

day and night for ever

and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face

the earth

and the heaven

fled away;

and there was found

no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead,

small and great,

stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged

out of those things

which were written in the books,

according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead

which were in it;

and death and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged every man

according to their works.

14 And death and hell

were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written

in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:10-15

Peter reminds us of the import of the One Way to God—Jesus–and Jesus’ example of holiness that God wants us to not only receive from Jesus, but to also exhibit before the world.  Yet like Jesus, when we take our stand on truth, it can often bring suffering and ridicule.

As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves

according to the former lusts

in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy

in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written,

Be ye holy;

for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father,

who without respect of persons

judgeth according to every man’s work,

pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know

that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver

and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb without blemish

and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained

before the foundation

of the world,

but was manifest in these last times

for you,

21 Who by him do believe

in God,

that raised him up

from the dead,

and gave him glory;

that your faith and hope

might be in God.”   1 Peter 1:14-21

Peter goes on to paint an amazing picture of what Jesus did for us!  We are to heed His redeeming work and His example of faithfulness before God, and before a lost and dying world, committing ourselves “to him that judgeth righteously”!

For what glory is it,

if, when ye be buffeted for your faults,

ye shall take it patiently?

 but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it,

ye take it patiently,

this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us,

leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin,

neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who,

when he was reviled,

reviled not again;

when he suffered,

he threatened not;

but committed himself

to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self

bare our sins

in his own body

on the tree,

that we,

being dead to sins,

should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes

ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep

going astray;

but are now returned

unto the Shepherd

and Bishop

of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:20-25

Jesus Himself, warned us of the response of the world to truth; what are you expecting from the world around you?  If the world hated Jesus for speaking the truth, why would we be expecting to gain fame, fortune and popularity by following Jesus, and speaking His truth, in love? While there are some fine men of God who may be ‘well-known’, Jesus told us that we could expect the same results that He received.  Jesus’ way and the world’s way are diametrically opposed—why can we not remember and understand this principle?  I think it’s mostly because the majority keep telling us that we must do God’s work the world’s way to succeed—but Jesus told us that if we follow Him, we can expect opposition (to say the least)!  And remember that Satan is an expert at lying and deceit—even to believers!

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me

….25 These things have I spoken unto you,

being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter,

which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send

in my name,

he shall teach you

all things,

and bring all things

to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you,

my peace I give unto you:

not as the world giveth,

give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,

neither let it be afraid…”.  John 14:6, 25-27

And Jesus continued in this same discourse with the disciples just before His death.

If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you

out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater

than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things

will they do unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them,

they had not had sin:

but now they have no cloke

for their sin.

23 He that hateth me

hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them

the works which none other man did,

they had not had sin:

but now have they both seen

and hated both me

and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass,

that the word might be fulfilled

that is written in their law,

They hated me

without a cause.

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:”   John 15:18-26

What are your expectations from following Jesus?  Or are you following Jesus for your own reasons?  Jesus makes it clear that there is a cost to those who will put their trust in Him and be born again through repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, redeeming sacrifice.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come

in the glory of his Father

with his angels;

and then he shall reward every man

according to his works.”   Matthew 16:24-27

Taking up my cross means that I identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for salvation from my own sin; it also means that I live by the Holy Spirit and His power that God gives to His own to live a life of faith—waiting on HIM, and going His way—denying ‘self’ and obeying Jesus!  His way—His timing—His purposes—His glory; and my ultimate good!

But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up

with wings as eagles;

they shall run,

and not be weary;

and they shall walk,

and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:31

As Paul so aptly put it:

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

 who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

And in this same letter to the Galatian believers, Paul describes what the work of God’s Holy Spirit looks like, and what it shouldn’t look like!  My life and yours will reflect who we have given our allegiance to—who’s your “Father”?

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh…

….19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery,

fornication,

uncleanness,

lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry,

witchcraft,

hatred,

variance,

emulations,

wrath,

 strife,

seditions,

heresies,

21 Envyings,

murders,

drunkenness,

revellings,

and such like:

of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory,

provoking one another,

envying one another.”  Galatians 5:16 & 19-26

So, just as Jesus said in the first passage that we observed, “because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not”; do you believe Jesus?  Does your life reflect the truth or the “father of lies”?  To whom do you belong? Are you denying the truth or living it?  You may choose to deny truth, but it is God’s “undeniable” truth that never changes.  It’s your choice—but there is a test!

Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Amen and Amen!