Pure Truth

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture Reading: John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Truth for Salvation

Will Your Anchor Hold? We want to understand what it means to have an anchor in these times of multiple opposing doctrines and teachings that are coming upon God’s people in the Advent faith. The security and assurance that is spoken of in having an anchor that will stand immovable amongst all the strains and stresses that are upon God’s people today, especially in reference to truth – do we have such an anchor? In our scripture reading Jesus speaks to us and says that, to be truly free we must know the truth. According to those words of Jesus, can you be free if you hold any error? This is a very serious question.

Jesus said, If you continue in my word, then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. What will set us free? The truth will set us free. If it is the truth and we hold any error, how important then it is that truth is what we have. There is another reference in the words of Jesus in regards to truth, in John 17. He uses the same mental exercise of truth in reference to our salvation in sanctification:

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

To be set free we must have truth. To be sanctified we must have truth. That is why to Timothy the apostle Paul wrote these words:

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

We want a very secure anchor within our soul, because our salvation is dependent upon pure truth. Unless I have confidence and the assurance that I am standing on pure truth, I have no assurance that I am being saved, according to these words. I have no assurance that I am being sanctified unless I have pure truth.

As a preacher like Timothy, the challenge is, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” According to this, the hearers of the preacher are affected by the truth that comes from the preacher; they will be saved by hearing thee. These are the words of Scripture, these are not human suggestions. To be set free and to be justified, truth is necessary. God, knowing that, spoke again through Apostle Paul:

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

God would have us all be saved; and to be saved, to be set free, to be sanctified, we must have the knowledge of truth. In this exercise of being set free and sanctified so that we would be brought to salvation also through the preacher, we read further that truth handled by God’s people is the avenue through which we will be prepared for salvation:

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

He gave them for a purpose. What was the purpose?

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Truth proclaimed by God’s servants – the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers – is there within His church; and it is in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God (who is the truth) that we are to reach perfection, the fullness of Christ. And because this is the work of God’s Word that has been stipulated to His church, we see then, in the following scripture, that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

God’s church on earth is the avenue through which, in the unity of the faith of that church that carries the truth, a people would be established in salvation and security in truth. According to this, we must be under the tuition of the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. These are all plain, simple scriptures which leave no room for supposition or human explanation.

With these thoughts suggested and brought to our attention through these words, let us proceed together to ascertain the meaning of truth, and secondly, to observe its function to save. We want to delve into this by the revelation of God’s word. I propose to put nothing before you but simple declarations by the testimony of Jesus, nothing else; not my own opinion, not my own thoughts. I want to lay out very vividly before us what really is the truth that we are going to be saved by, and how it actually does this saving.

The Meaning of Truth

The word truth is unequivocal. In other words, you can’t meddle with the word truth. Truth is truth. What is the meaning of truth? There is no error in truth, none at all. It is the truth that we are trying to get our head around. If there is partial darkness in what is being preached, is it truth? It is impossible to say that a preacher is preaching truth if there is some error in what he is preaching.

We are to stand upon the platform of eternal truth, pure, unadulterated truth. In this we may be considered singular, but this is the lot of all who make Christ their portion. {MM161.1}

“We are to stand upon the platform of eternal truth, pure, unadulterated truth.” In other words, truth must not be adulterated. We are to be sure that we are standing on unadulterated truth. If it is adulterated, is it truth? Common sense, isn’t it? Did you notice what the Spirit of Prophecy is saying? If we are going to do this, we will be considered singular. I don’t know whether you have noticed it as much as I have noticed it, but if you are going to proclaim pure truth and stand on a pure platform of truth, you are going to be regarded today as, “Who do you think you are? How do you know that you’ve got the pure truth? How do you know?”

Can you stand there and say you have the pure truth? The original Adventists, as they developed the truth, stood on that. The fact is that in a world in which all winds of doctrine are blowing, if you to stand up today in this shemozzle of doctrines that are being debated across Adventism, and say, “Here is the pure truth,” you will be regarded as singular. You will be regarded as somebody who is just so fundamentalist that you will be ridiculed for standing on that assurance. This is the lot of all who make Christ their portion. Truth is to be unadulterated and it is to be uplifted by the true servants of God today.

The world is perishing for want of truth, pure, unadulterated truth. Christ is the truth. His words are truth. {OHC 208.2}

What is the world perishing for? It is perishing for a want of pure, unadulterated truth. Today in the confusion of the debates of different doctrines that are being held, is the world perishing? It is in a terrible state, both Christians and unbelievers, both Adventists and other Protestants and Catholics. We are in the dilemma that has been carefully orchestrated by Satan through his work through the papal church. If you examine the work of the Jesuits, they have worked from the time of the rising of the Reformation, they began to weave themselves through the ranks of Protestants to put a shemozzle of ideas and teachings across to question absolute, pure Bible truth. This is where we are today, and we have many varied adulterated teachings claiming to be truth.

The preachers of the 1800’s were singular. Adventists were regarded as singular. They were attacked by all the different schools of thought, but they stood very firm. Notice what Sr. White is writing in reference to unadulterated, pure truth:

With the great work before us of enlightening the world, we who believe the truth should feel the necessity of thorough education in the practical branches of knowledge, and especially our need of an education in the truths of the Scriptures. Error of every character is now exalted as truth, {CE197.3}

If those words were true in Sr. White’s time, how true are they today? Error of every character is now exalted as truth,

…and it is our duty earnestly to search the sacred word, that we may know what is truth, and be able intelligently to present it to others. {Ibid.}

In an atmosphere of multiple errors being taught, errors of all kind, we must have an intelligent ability to present the truth at this time.

We shall be called upon to make known the reasons of our faith. We shall have to stand before magistrates to answer for our allegiance to the law of God. The Lord has called us out from the world that we may be witnesses for his truth; and all through our ranks, young men and women should be trained for positions of usefulness and influence. {Ibid.}

The young people need to be educated and disciplined to stay very firmly on the platform of truth, not to be swayed by the many teachings that are going about today. It says very explicitly here that in the 1800’s, as Sr. White is pointing out, error of all kinds was to be counteracted by well-trained people who could communicate pure truth. We have a need to be singular in a world of multiple different ideas.

In these last days it is our duty to ascertain the full meaning of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. {13MR 68.1}

What is our duty? It is to ascertain the full truth of the three angels’ messages. Is it possible to stand before the world on the platform of pure truth and, even though you are singular, to proclaim, ‘This is truth’?

The first, second, and third angels’ messages are all united, and are revealed in the 14th chapter of Revelation, from the sixth verse to the close. The whole gospel is to be proclaimed throughout the world. {Ibid.}

Those words are very explicit. The whole gospel, the whole truth, unadulterated truth. Are we to be able to stand together with those who have been before us and stand on that truth unadulterated? As it was in Sr. White’s time, it is even worse now:

You have much truth, precious truth, but mingled with suppositions. Your extreme ideas and strong language often destroy the effect of your best efforts. Should many accept the views you advance, and talk and act upon them, we would see one of the greatest fanatical excitements that has ever been witnessed among Seventh-day Adventists. This is what Satan wants. {1NL 110.7}

You can have beautiful truth, and you hear this amongst many Adventist circles, they have beautiful aspects of truth, but then come aspects of error and suppositions. And as these suppositions are mingled with the truth, what is the effect? People take it as truth, and we have what Satan wants.

Satan is better pleased with the help which the shepherds of the flock give him when they present truth mingled with error, than with the help given by the boldest unbeliever. {ST, July 4, 1900 par. 8}

What is Satan happy with? If there are people presenting beautiful truth to the flock but mingled with some error, Satan is much happier with that than with the people who are the boldest unbelievers. Why is Satan so happy with that, to have a group of people preaching today who have lots of beautiful truth with some error mingled with that? If you have some pure truth mingled with error, what will it make? What effect will it have?

We cannot exercise too great care in sending laborers into the cause of God. If one is left to engage in the work without thorough discipline, he is left to shape his own course. He is left with insufficient experience, with too limited knowledge of the truth, and the old errors which have not been thoroughly uprooted, will bear a part in his teaching and influence. His trumpet will not give a certain sound. The doctrine of truth will be mingled with error, and the result will be that those who are taught will cherish error as they do the truth. {RH, May 29, 1888 par. 4}

What will they cherish? They think they are getting the truth, and because truth is mingled with error they will cherish the error as truth. I have watched this throughout my years in Adventism. I have observed that people are exonerating error because it has been mingled with the truth and they think they are on the right platform. This is the sad reality.

Those who are raised up under such a teacher, are in need of the most arduous and patient labor. It will be more difficult to reach and correct their errors, than to bring a company into the truth from the darkness of complete ignorance of the truth. It would have been better if they had not heard this mingling of the truth with falsehood, for then the truth in its purity would be more effective in reforming their lives and characters. More harm can be done by one who has a mixture of truth and error, than many who teach the whole truth can undo and correct. {Ibid.}

If there is some error in what is being taught with the truth, then the people are in a worse state than if they had just come out of error into the pure truth to start with, much worse a state. That is why Satan is so happy. He wants people to hear truth mingled with some error. This is very similar to what you can do with a perfect pot of pure food. If you mingle a little bit of poison into that pot of pure food, what does it make that pot of pure food? It makes all of it poison.

We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. {GC 587.1}

God’s people, who have the truth, are not go and listen to preachers and churches that have some of the truth that we have plus some error. Sr. White says we are not to listen to them, because there the truth and the error is so mingled together that it will be dangerous. We are told explicitly here that if we mingle a little bit of poison, a little error, into the truth, then it makes the whole lot a dangerous concoction. Truth must not be mingled with error at all.

The different parties of professed Advent believers have each a little truth, but God has given all these truths to His children who are being prepared for the day of God. He has also given them truths that none of these parties know, neither will they understand. Things which are sealed up to them, the Lord has opened to those who will see and are ready to understand. If God has any new light to communicate, He will let His chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to have their minds enlightened by hearing those who are in darkness and error. {EW 124.2}

I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with darkness. {Ibid. 124.3}

We have all the truths that they have, but we have also other truths which they do not have, therefore we are to stay on the platform of the truth that we do have and which we know to be truth. Truth mingled with error is the same as poison mingled with good food.

The opinions of your associates may be of value to you, but you should not rely upon them and have no definite ideas of your own. You should examine the truths you have been led to believe, until you know that they are without a flaw. {CSW 33.1}

You are to examine them until you know that they are without a flaw.

You lose much when you do not bring every point of faith you hold to the law and to the testimony, for you do not see or appreciate the truth as it is. Oh, that all our youth might appreciate the privilege that God has given! It is His will that you should go to the source of all light, and receive the enlightenment of His Spirit (for this will be given to every humble seeker for truth), and then you will know that the Spirit and the Word agree, and know that you know what is truth. {Ibid.}

I was told by one minister once, “You know that you know, don’t you?” Well, here it is, we are indeed to come to such a point that we know that we know what truth is.

What assurance this knowledge gives! You can then speak with power, proclaiming what you have learned as truth, knowing that you have not followed cunningly devised fables. TSS 58-61. {Ibid.}

This is a very singular way of thinking, isn’t it? This is the lot of those who stand on the platform of truth. They will be ridiculed for preaching assurance that what they are preaching is absolute truth. But here are the words of the testimony of Jesus.

Can we see that we are today in this sad dilemma? Today there is so much confusion that I hear the people under the influence of all these different teachings that are being conveyed today, saying, “What does it really matter?” Have you heard that, or have you ever been tempted to say that? “What does it really matter whether we have it exactly right or not?” Have you heard that being said? Have you ever been tempted to think that? “Does it really matter if I have it exactly right or not? So long as we have Jesus, so long as we have the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t matter whether we have got it exactly right or not.” That is what is being bandied around today.

Let me first of all direct you to some absolutes that we can have today, so that we do not need to quaver under the confusion and say, Does it really matter? What we have been reading clearly so far is that, it matters what truth is because truth is going to save us.

Absolutes

The Spirit of Prophecy gives us assurance that there is unadulterated truth that we can hang on to. This is our only assurance, and I have made this my security. I hope and pray we can all join together under this security:

Let Pioneers Identify Truth.–When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No aftersuppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. {CW 31.2}

In other words, what has firmly been put in place, we aren’t to go back afterwards and examine and say, Well, maybe … is this 100% correct? No aftersuppositions are to be entertained. It is an absolute that you can hang on to.

Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. {Ibid.}

A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. {Ibid. 31.3}

This statement was written in 1905. She says a few were still alive at this time who had passed through the establishment of this truth.

God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard-bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. {Ibid. 32.1}

We are to take the writings of those who have passed away under this platform of truth, and they will continue to speak to us.

I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time. {Ibid.}

We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.– Preach the Word, p. 5. (1905.) {Ibid. 32.2}

Can you see that truth is something you can place your assurance upon? It is an anchor that does not alter. Your anchor can hold in the midst of the arena of debate that is happening across Adventism today and which would otherwise lead you to think, Does it really matter? It will lead you to think that we can listen to this one, and to that one, and we can listen to the others and still come out all right. Is this what I am reading? As long as we have Jesus, as long as we have the Holy Spirit, does it matter what we believe?

Those who are truly converted to Christ [must] keep on constant guard lest they shall accept error in place of truth. Those who think that it matters not what they believe in doctrine, so long as they believe in Jesus Christ, are on dangerous ground. There are some who think that they will be just as acceptable to God by obeying some other law than the law of God—by meeting some other conditions than those He has specified in the gospel—as if they obeyed His commandments and complied with His requirements. But they are under a fatal delusion, and unless they renounce this heresy and come into harmony with His requirements, they cannot become members of the royal family. {CTr 235.4}

This is very fundamental, isn’t it? This is called fundamentalism. In today’s circles that is looked down on. “We need to be a little bit more pliable,” we are hearing. “Just don’t be too dogmatic about something.” According to God’s revelations here, I am going to remain dogmatic, that is my choice; and I am going to preach dogmatic realities. Dogmas are firm, decided, unalterable teachings. The pioneers had it. This is what we are to communicate. This is what God’s word is telling us. Anything different from that and we are on fatal ground.

The truth and the glory of God are inseparable; it is impossible for us, with the Bible within our reach, to honor God by erroneous opinions. Many claim that it matters not what one believes, if his life is only right. {GC 597.2}

This is an oxymoron.

But the life is molded by the faith. If light and truth is within our reach, and if we neglect to improve the privilege of hearing and seeing it, we virtually reject it; we are choosing darkness rather than light. {Ibid.}

“It doesn’t matter what I believe, as long as my life is right.” Can you see the oxymoron in that? How can your life be right if you don’t believe the truth? It is the truth that shapes your life. The life is molded by the faith.

Now that we have examined closely how absolute truth is and how assured we may be that there is a dogmatic conclusion about what truth is, let us examine how my life is moulded by what I believe. What is the function of truth?

Truth’s Function to Save

You need an intelligent belief in the Word of God. This Word is our rule of action. You are not to stand long, saying, “What must I do?” {UL 176.8}

How many times do we stand there saying, What do I have to do?

The first question with you is, “What must I believe?” Right believing means right doing. Christ gave His life to make it possible for you to be a partaker of the divine nature. . . . {Ibid.}

Then comes the beautiful story of the atonement. I must know what truth is so that my life will become governed by that truth. It is not just to say, Now I know the truth, and to leave it at that. Truth, if it is held correctly, is to mould and direct our actions. If we don’t have it right as truth is, will the following quotes be our experience? If I don’t have it exactly right, will I actually be experiencing what we will read now? You will see how important the effect of truth is.

Truth that is in the heart is not a cold, dead letter… {OHC 208.7}

It is not just something to argue about.

There is fullness of joy in the truth. {Ibid.}

When you lose joy, what may be the problem? A lack of truth, because there is fullness of joy in the truth. You have such assurance that the truth is there and it wells up within you with great joy.

There is a nobleness in the life of the human agent who lives and works under the vivifying influence of the truth. {Ibid.}

What influence does truth have? It is a vivifying influence. It brings life.

Truth is sacred and divine. It is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ. {Ibid.}

Do we want to become Christlike? The only way we can become Christlike is by letting the truth penetrate as the security within my soul.

When it is cherished in the heart, the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being. {Ibid.}

Did you just swallow that? When the truth is cherished in the heart, the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being.

This is Christianity. Thus truth–pure, unadulterated truth–occupies the citadel of the being. This is the life of God in the soul. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26. {Ibid.}

When the truth is cherished in the heart, when you marvel over it, when you keep on enlarging it in your own research and experience, like I have shared with you how to study the Bible, when you do that, what will happen? God’s life is in the soul. That is what happens. Satan is very happy for us to keep on debating what is truth. As long as he can keep us doing that then the truth will not be cherished and change my life. That is all he wants, just keep on meddling around in the truth associated with darkness and try to work your way through it and you will not find joy, you will not find God in the soul. Pure truth is God in the soul.

The sons of God will not be like the worldling; for the truth received into the heart will be the means of purifying the soul, {RC 59.3}

Do I want a pure life? Everything is written in the books of heaven. If we want to have a pure life, what does it say? The truth received into the heart will be the means of purifying the soul,

…and transforming the character, and of making its receiver like-minded with God. {Ibid.}

We are called upon to have the mind of Christ; we are called upon to have the mind of God. How only can that happen? By having unadulterated truth settled in our heart and moulding our character.

Unless a man becomes like-minded with God, he is still in his natural depravity. If Christ is in the heart, He will appear in the home, in the workshop, in the marketplace, in the church. The power of the truth will be felt in elevating, ennobling the mind, and softening and subduing the heart, bringing the whole man into harmony with God. He who is transformed by the truth will shed a light upon the world. {Ibid.}

What is the effect of truth? It will have an elevating, ennobling effect, softening and subduing the heart. We will have in the church a sweet, harmonious fellowship because the truth is governing within.

He that hath the hope of Christ in him will purify himself even as He is pure. The hope of Christ’s appearing is a large hope, a far-reaching hope. It is the hope of seeing the King in His beauty, and of being made like Him. {Ibid.}

The whole pursuit of truth is not simply to win arguments, not simply to win a debate. In fact if you read the Spirit of Prophecy, we must avoid debate. We must avoid arguing over the truth, we must stand together on the platform of truth that has been plainly laid out before us. As we embrace that which has been proclaimed by those who have gone before us and we don’t debate and don’t go into the areas of the falsities that are mingled together with that truth, we are safe.

This is the characteristic as we look amongst all the multiple independent movements of today, they all have some of the original truth, and because they all have some of that we think it is safe there, but it is not, because they also have a combination of error with that. Therefore it makes it poison. We are to stand together on the word of God, on the pillar and ground of the truth, as we have been reading, and the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. If today we don’t have churches visible before us, we have a church visible, and that is the early Adventist church. That is the church that I cling to. That is the pillar and ground of the truth. If we will stand together on that and in defense of that, then we will be moulded and fashioned by it. We will become Christlike, we will not become in any way unsoftened and unsubdued, because the truth is there to help us to be Christlike, to have the mind of God. Jesus knew what He was saying when He said, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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

These are the words of Jesus to us. May we not become apologetic if we will stand on the platform that is immovable together as a company. May God help us to this end is my prayer.

Amen

[Jan. 24, 2014]

Posted on April 24, 2014, in Divine Service Sermons, Pioneers, Prophecy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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