Truth – the concept, the quality, the reality – is paramount to a realistic, balanced and contented life, a life anchored in stability and moral strength. Without the foundation of truth, there can only be physical and emotional disruption and pain. The existence of truth assures forward direction and holistic progress, whereas its absence creates distraction and disorder. To put it in other words, truth is uniquely and inimitably fundamental to a state of well-being in any existing relationship, in any situation or plane of existence, with God or with humans – the ultimate quality of a proper, a beneficial, and a rewarding life.
The essential concept of “truth” is anything that represents fact, i.e., that which is totally trustworthy and which exists in reality, substance and information that cannot be refuted. Yet, today, it is most unfortunate that such is rare within most all facets of society, e.g., personal relationships, politics, advertising, media broadcasts, economic opportunities, and religion. And it is regarding the latter that this study is directed, because if this aspect of life is correct, all else can and should appropriately follow.
The foundation of “truth” rests upon “that which actually exists,” the creation itself, e.g., space, substance, and time. To deny such is futile. The material and laws that make up the Universe are indeed true. They exist, they are real, and any endeavor to refute such leads to absurdity.
This truth stems solely from God, who is eternal, thereby truth is eternal.
And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)
For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. (4) He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:3, 4)
For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 117:2)
(cf. Isaiah 65:16; Jeremiah 10:10; Daniel 4:37; Revelation 15:3)
It was a two-fold exploitation of truth between Eve and the serpent that preceded and resulted in the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. First, Eve added to God’s warning that upon eating the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . . you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), by saying “nor shall you touch it” as an addition to that which would result in the verdict of death (Genesis 3:3). And second, the serpent blatantly contradicted God’s truthful warning by saying, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).
It should be noted that the denial or alteration of the “truth” leaves only the “lie” – an exclusive product of Satan who indeed is the “father” of the lie.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. . . . (1 John 3:8a)
The initial abandonment of truth recorded in God’s Word was the foundation of that which brought about the spiritual death of all mankind and subsequently produced and insured the constant and prodigious abandonment of truth throughout every level of life from then until now. Within every realm and at every level within human existence the absence of truth prevails. And such will be the case until God in His mercy changes this world’s order.
God is the Foundation of Truth. He indeed is the “God of truth.” Without Him there would be no truth. Frankly, without God there would be no material creation, human or otherwise.
So that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth . . . . (Isaiah 65:16a)
Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
For the Word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. (Psalm 33:4)
Who [God] made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who [God] keeps truth forever. (Psalm 146:6)
And you shall swear, “The LORD lives,” in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory. (Jeremiah 4:2)
Scripture reveals that God is One in essence or nature but who reveals Himself through (by means of) three distinct personalities – the Father, the Word (manifested as the Son), and the Holy Spirit. This concept of God is referred to as the Trinity. The following passages of Scripture are only a few that disclose this doctrine: Genesis 1:1-3; Psalm 33:6, 9; John 1:1-3; 1 John 5:7.
(A more comprehensive treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity may be obtained by clicking on the following links: http://bibleone.net/print_tbs10.html.)
God’s Word became flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ. God is One who incorporates a Triune revelation of Himself, i.e., reveals Himself through three distinct Persons (Father, Son [physical manifestation of “the Word” – John 1:1, 2, 14], and Holy Spirit).
Jesus Christ was/is Truth incarnate, the One who unequivocally stated that He was centrally “the Truth” (John 14:6), for He was “the Word” [clear expression] of God who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 2, 14, 17).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. . . . (14) And the Word became 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. (John 1:1, 2, 14)
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
. . . the truth is in Jesus. (Ephesians 4:21b)
Not only in God’s time was God’s Word manifested in the flesh, but it was given in written form by means of the Holy Spirit (i.e., the Spirit of Truth [John 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 5:6]) through chosen men prior to and after the time of its manifestation for the benefit of mankind.
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . . (2 Timothy 3:16a)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
Since God is true, so is His Word (“that which is communicated”) – it is real, permanent, and absolute (Psalm 119:160; cf. John 17:17; 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 43:3; 119:142, 151). Scripture is the very Word of truth and is to be handled correctly (2 Timothy 2:15). And central to Scripture is the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Gospel – God’s good news of truth for all mankind (Galatians 2:5, 14; 5:7; Ephesians 1:13).
The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)
Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! . . . (27) And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself [Jesus Christ]. (Luke 24:25, 27; cf. v. 45; John 1:45)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
. . . that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Galatians 2:5b)
(For a more detailed treatment of that which is central to Holy Scripture, the reader should access the study at http://bibleone.net/The-Pinnacle-of-Christianity4.htm in addition to the one at http://bibleone.net/The-Prime-Principle-of-Christianity.htm.)
God’s Word has always been “the Truth” for the salvation of man:
1) Salvation of the Spirit – eternal salvation based solely on the work (sacrifice) of Christ on the cross – salvation that emanates from the grace of God that is grounded in and based solely on Christ’s payment for sin while on the cross at Calvary, which may only be apprehended by faith in Christ (never by any work/s of man) and which, when received by faith, can never be withdrawn or nullified by man or God.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
2) Salvation of the Soul – an inheritance that may only be achieved by a Christian who faithfully follows Christ during this temporal life, a salvation that may only affect a Christian’s entrance and participation with Christ during the coming Millennial Kingdom, a period of 1,000 years over the earth.
This aspect of God’s salvation for mankind is reserved for those Christians who achieve spiritual maturity (sanctification) by means of God’s Word and who thereby produce “good works” for which they were “created in Christ Jesus.” And although a primary aspect of this salvation is “faith,” it is the quality of a Christian’s faithful works, credited at Christ’s Judgment Seat, which will secure his placement in the coming Kingdom, a placement that will be forfeited should a Christian remain “carnal” (babes [spiritually immature] in Christ) and devoid of “good works” during this lifetime.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:24-27)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (11) Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . . .
(2 Corinthians 5:10, 11a)
Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (39) But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:38, 39)
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)
Receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:9)
3) Salvation of the body – that which the Christian will experience subsequent to his appearance and evaluation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. For a fairly detailed treatment of this aspect of man’s redemption the reader is advised to access and study the appendix section (Adoption, Redemption of the Body) of the book, God’s Firstborn Sons, by Arlen L. Chitwood, which may be accessed at http://bibleone.net/GFS.htm.
(Note: Man is a tripartite being composed of spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). Scripture addresses the salvation of each. To study this complete redemptive doctrine more thoroughly, it is recommended that the reader read Salvation of the Soul by Arlen L. Chitwood, which may be accessed from the home page of www.bibleone.net)
In addition to the reality of truth, Scripture lays great emphasis on the communication of truth throughout every facet of life. To put it more precisely, God would have all men and women to strictly and always tell the truth, no matter its consequences. This being the case, there can be no “little white lies” (i.e., telling a person a falsehood in order to spare one’s feelings [or not telling the whole truth to a person who isn’t prepared for it, since such is assumed would destroy the trust and good will between two individuals]).
Scripture is quite firm on this issue.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16; cf. Deuteronomy 5:20)
You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. (Exodus 23:1)
You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (Leviticus 19:11)
Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue. (Psalm 120:2)
He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit. (Proverbs 12:17; 14:5)
Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25; cf. Colossians 3:9)
In this regard, the opposite of telling the truth is to tell a lie, an act that God hates.
These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: (17) a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, (19) a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19; cf. 19:5, 9; cf. Zechariah 8:16, 17)
“And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:3; cf. Isaiah 59:4)
. . . no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21b)
Finally, it is every Christian’s responsibility and privilege to always represent, live by, and tell the truth. If your reputation is where others declare that “your word is your bond” and that “your handshake is better than a contract,” you are most blessed. Indeed, if this be true of you in this day and age where the lie often supersedes the truth (at every level), you would be a rarity.
Finally, be absolutely truthful to, with, and for Jesus Christ at every level, all the time, and you will not be disappointed when you stand before Him at His Judgment Seat!
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
(2 Corinthians 5:10)