What you should know about the Truth in the Bible? How will you know it when you see it?
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding truth in the Bible. If you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first. I have had way too many people try to tell me that the Bible is the truth, but yet none of these people can agree what it is that the Bible says. Isn’t that a problem to you? We have one group of people who profess only we know the truth ad another group who believes the opposite who say only they know the truth. This makes it very difficult for you to convince anyone that is not a Christian that the Bible is true and that they should become a Christian. Of course this is what Satan wants to happen and that is why he works so hard at confusing Christians and potential Christians. Truth is a very complex subject and an extremely advanced subject for any Bible study. Truth is such a complicated concept simply because there is no one but, God who knows it all. That leaves the rest of us in a state of varying degrees of ignorance and nobody likes to admit they are ignorant of anything. So as a result we have churches standing up in pride saying only we have all the truth and the rest of you are just a bunch of heretics.
There are many Christians who profess that the Bible contains God’s “Absolute Truth”. This is technically not a true statement if we base it upon a complete dictionary definition of the word “absolute”. The term absolute dictates both “complete” and “perfect” truth. But we should realize that God knows many other truths that were not yet recorded or made known to us. Instead of calling it absolute truth I would prefer to call it “ultimate” truth and I will try to explain this more clearly as I continue in the lesson. The Bible is clearly the only source for any ultimate spiritual Truth from God. Even if the Spirit of God speaks to someone a truth it will never contradict what He has given to us in the Bible already. I believe this and I preach it. I will also define the term “ultimate truth” as being truth that never changes or a truth that can not be overruled by the knowledge of any new truths. But the stated existence of even “Ultimate Truth” would also imply that there are other types of truths that are not at this level or truths that could be trumped by new knowledge. This would mean there could exist levels of potentially changing truths depending upon human perspective, understanding or even knowledge and you need to understand this. I believe that our perspective of truth changes even when God’s truth stays constant and that both of these occur at the same time. God’s truth will never change but our knowledge will change or at least it should.
Then there are those who look into the Bible and claim that every word in the plain textual natural meaning is the complete truth that needs to be known and they imply that that there is no other hidden spiritual truths within the plain text that can be found. Others say that everything written in the book is 100% the truth. But, I do not believe that is completely accurate according to what the Bible itself teaches us. Some people will automatically think that I am preaching some kind of heresy to say that the entire Bible is not 100% truth. But, they fail to understand the complexity of God’s Word so they make wrong assumptions and say things out of religious ignorance and I forgive them. You see I certainly do believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word and that it does contain the truth, but this truth is not all that easily visible on the surface only readings of the Bible that most Christians do. You see the Bible clearly describes to us numerous times that this book contains spiritual parables, proverbs, mysteries, secrets, puzzles, riddles, hidden wisdom, and many things that are not clearly self-evident without God showing us what they say and what they mean. That is why we have over 22,000 different Christian denominations in the world today and everybody thinks they know what is important.
So the first thing that you should learn about truth is that you do not know it. I guess I should qualify that statement and say you do not know it “all”, because you might know a very small part of it. I personally believe the amount of the truth that we all know combined when compared to God’s knowledge of the truth is like a thimble full of water being compared to all of the water in the oceans of the world. I mean come on, you do not know the number of hairs on top of your head and God knows the number of hairs on top of over 6 billion people in the world today. We all know just little bits and parts of the complete whole truth and too many times we think that we know way more than we do. According to the Bible, God is the infinite holder of all knowledge and all truth. But, the Bible also says that God’s ways are not our ways and that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa 55:9), and this is one of the human’s greatest problem and weakness. So if we know anything that is actually a part of God’s truth it is usually a result of God’s grace giving us insight and revelation into this information. Without God opening your understanding you will fail to see or know the truth. One of our biggest problems as human beings involves the fact that we are not God, but try to act like Him on many occasions. Do you understand that statement? Since only God knows everything, we are extremely limited to know only what He has revealed by His grace. Fortunately for us, God has revealed a lot of valuable information to us in His Word for us to know in these last days. But that still does not mean we know everything by far. Here are my foundational scriptures for today’s Bible lesson:
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
In this statement by Jesus concerning us knowing the truth are some valuable clues of us understanding this subject of what truth is. First off it says or at least implies that you do not yet know all of the truth and I will talk more about that soon. The basis of this statement almost implies that we can never know all of the truth, but at the same time it seems to imply that we will at some given point in time come to know what the revealed truth is by God’s grace. It is almost a paradoxical puzzle being presented to us. According to this verse, in order to know the truth, we must continue in the Word of God. To continue in the word implies an ongoing or even a never ending process of learning, or so it would seem. But by continuing in the Word of God we are further implied to come to an end or reach a level that God called “Know the Truth”. Have you arrived at this level of “Know the Truth”? If you think you have you have probably been deceived. The reason that I say that is because this verse says that this “knowledge of the truth” will set you and I free? Are you free? What does it mean to be free? Free from what or who? Those are extremely good questions and more difficult to answer than you might think. According to Jesus and the Bible, you are not 100% free right now! Meaning you are limited or controlled by something that is holding you captive today. What is this speaking of? I personally believe it is our ignorance that is holding us captive and when we learn what God has hidden for us to learn we will then understand what we need to do to become free. I would venture to challenge you to do some Bible study and find out what you need to be freed from. The reason that I say that is that no one ever escapes to freedom from captivity who does not first know that they are captives. What I learn from this verse is that Jesus teaches us that there will come a time when we learn and understand enough that will cause us to be free from someone or something and we will be able to clearly see when this happens. So if you think that you are already free you do not know that you are a captive. If you think that you have arrived at this “know the truth” level what are still doing here in this world?
So I alluded to a statement that there were different types of truth in my introduction. I believe that there are many types of truth in the world and that this truth changes based upon two things that I will attempt to introduce you to today. For example, 150 years ago it was impossible for man to fly and that was the known truth. However, today people fly everyday all over the world and that is the new or changed known truth. What changed to make this new truth of flying available to everyone? Does anyone in the world today still believe we can’t fly? It was our knowledge that changed. The real truth never changed, the real truth was that man could always fly. It was just what we thought was the truth because of our ignorance or lack of information forced us to believe the wrong truth. However, 150 years ago it was true, but today that view is not true. Do you understand these things that I’m telling you? Since our knowledge has increased in this area we have learned that the laws of aerodynamics overrule the laws of gravity and this allows us to fly. 150 years ago we only understood gravity and this was only a small part of the truth and we based all of our beliefs of the truth upon our limited knowledge. We never invented aerodynamics, so the laws of aerodynamics are not new, we just didn’t understand them and how to use them 150 years ago. So it was our ignorance of these existing laws of truth that kept us from flying 150 years ago and nothing else. Do you understand this? This is actually very important information to see and to apply to what you learn and know from the Bible. This is a prime example of how studying the Bible is today and why some people believe this way and others believes the complete opposite. There is always an absolute truth, but based upon your current level of knowledge you may not understand it and therefore still don’t believe that people can fly. There are way too many Christians like this in the world today.
God is so much smarter than we are that He can write things in a book over 2000 years ago that we do not clearly understood and yet the words are right there in front of us this whole time. I have just demonstrated to you that knowledge matters to determine what the truth is. Another example that I could give you is that men and women in the world today are more like 4 year old children when compared to God’s infinite knowledge level. If a college professor came to teach a 4 year old child some advanced calculus would the 4 year old grasp any of it? This is another major problem with modern Christianity found in the world today. Their spiritual maturity level is not sufficiently increased so that God can teach them anything about what is the real truth. So I mentioned the fact that there are different types of truth in the world and I will talk briefly about that. There are changing truths, inter-related truths, dependent truths, independent truths and universal truths to name some that I have discovered while studying the Bible. I’ve already discussed the changing truth concept based upon our level of knowledge so let’s talk about another factor that helps us to determine truth.
Let’s take a look at the concept of gold. Gold has great value in our world and that is a truth based on the way we see it. But, the actual value of gold is not known because it is viewed as an ever changing commodity that is manipulated by the markets of the gold traders on the earth. So the true value of gold is an unknown quantity and probably impossible to determine in our world. Why, because the quantity of available gold is tightly controlled and the prices are artificially manipulated to be high. I would dare to say that God knows the true value of gold but unless God revealed this, it would be only our best guess. However, I have read in the Bible that God paves His streets in heaven with gold, so that would mean that since we paved our streets on the earth with asphalt that God views gold to be His asphalt. So God’s perspective on gold is entirely different than our perspective on gold and this is why the Bible is so entirely difficult to understand. Gold must be so abundant in heaven that it is used for paving roads and here on earth it is viewed as a rare commodity. So your view of the truth is totally dependent upon your knowledge level and then your perspective of the subject being studied. I just showed you an example of how God’s perspective on something is vastly different than ours, so let’s adjust to see things like God sees them. Knowledge and perspective are two things that are critical to understand when studying the Bible. My current level of knowledge of the Bible may be more or less than your current level knowledge of the Bible, but my perspective of the Bible can be more accurate if I choose to see things the way God sees them. I have known many people who knew the Bible much better than I did, but understood practically none of it because they had the wrong perspectives. They viewed things naturally instead of seeing with God’s spiritual perspective. Therefore, correct Bible interpretation is dependent upon your level of knowledge and your perspective of the verses being studied. What happens if you do not agree with my beliefs? Nothing, but this just proves that at least one of us is wrong and possibly both of us are wrong and only God is right based upon what I have just taught you. As we continue to study in the Word of God we should be converging to the top of a spiritual pyramid type organizational or knowledge chart. We should be coming closer together to the agreement of what is the truth and the knowledge of the truth, to reach the upper point that God called “know the truth” pinacle point.
In my last blog about heaven I talked about the city called Jerusalem in the Bible. Let me ask you a new question about this city. Since most people do not know that there are three different cities called Jerusalem in the Bible, how can one man teach about Jerusalem from the Bible when they do not know this information? Does it matter what we teach if we are void of some of the key facts on the subject? Does it change the real Bible truth because someone teaches something that they think is the truth, but is not? You see you might believe something with all of your heart and you might be totally wrong because you do not know a couple of key scriptures that will solve your ignorance problem. You see that is the problem facing every Bible teacher, our ignorance forces us to teach a subject based upon our current level of knowledge and our current perspective. But, the mistake some Bible teachers make is when they teach at the level that they know like it is the complete truth and everyone else is totally wrong. You see the Bible contains more than one truth and all of the truth must fit together correctly. The Bible also has numerous hidden truths and these must be revealed by God in order to understand other truths. You cannot ignore one truth to teach another truth, all though people do this all the time. I’ve used this example before; I have heard more than one preacher read how the church is the body of Christ in the Bible. I believe these verses whole heartedly, but then they jump to wrong conclusions and say that means we are not the bride of Christ. Their ignorance causes them to criticize those who teach things contrary to what they believe. They say that if Christ has a bride we have a bride since we are the body of Christ and that is very wrong. What these men of God lack is knowledge of how the church became the body of Christ and this would solve their problem and their view of the actual truth. To them what they teach is the truth or they would not be a Christian. However, ignorance and knowledge levels play a huge role in us knowing the real truth. This is the basis for the majority of all of the problems faced within the church today; those who do not know much teach like they know everything and they cause nothing but vast confusion.
What have we learned today? The primary thing should be that “absolute truth” doesn’t change. But, our view of the truth changes as we change based upon the two primary factors that I have taught you about today. As your knowledge increases of the Bible, your understanding of the Bible should also be increasing. If your understanding of the Bible is not increasing, then check up on your perspective on the subjects that you are studying in the Bible. Could it be that you are seeing things in the Bible from your perspective and not God’s perspective? You should be smart enough to be able to judge yourself and determine if you are doing the right things that I have just discussed. It is only by the church of God making the right adjustments that God can accomplish what He has planned for us. I am a firm believer that before Jesus returns for us that the church will become one unit in one accord, victorious overcomers over Satan our enemy. This I believe is the clue to Jesus statement of “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. There must come a point in time when we know the truth, in order to experience this freedom that Jesus described. This is what I am working towards; this is my goal for you and me today. Continue learning the Bible and continue growing in the knowledge of Him who is faithful and true and I will be back with more of the knowledge of God in my next Blog.
Posted on September 25, 2010, in Bible Interpretation, Keys to Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.