What is Truth?
By John Thiel
Scripture Reading: John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Is this your prayer? Holy thine oh Lord, teach me how. It is the purpose of this hour that we will come to know the truth for this is the title of this sermon – What is Truth?
We are reminded of the words of Jesus speaking to the woman at the well.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
God is a spirit. What does that mean? The Bible deals with the spirit of man as the intelligent part of him. Those who worship Him are called to worship Him intelligently and in truth. He is seeking such to worship Him. We want to get the answer as to what is truth. Time and time again, in my searching mind, what is meant to worship Him in spirit and in truth? I seek to find the deep meaning of that. It all fell in place in a multi-dimensional way. We need to have unity in Gods church and in unity with the pioneers of Adventism. As I meditated on that, I planned to share a message this week entitled Parenthood. An illumination came into my mind, we have to deal with the truth we are so dependent on so we can worship Him in spirit and in truth. Jesus had much to say on the subject of truth.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
He didn’t say the truths, He said I came to bear witness unto the truth. The thought that comes as He says this, there is a fundament reality there is truth that I came to witness to. It has it’s tentacles in every other truth. Why was He born? To witness the truth. What does he say? I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me. Pilate was stirred and he said; what is truth? He had a wonderful opportunity. He may have learnt something.
John 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
This question that Pilate posed needs an answer. The very answer to the question; what does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth?
Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
What is his truth? The Lord he is God, it is He that made us and not we ourselves. What does that tell you? You came into existence without any purpose of your own. We came into existence under his direction; He made us. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. This is a fundamental truth that is being ridiculed today. Atheists, people who don’t believe in God; the Englishman says he is a self-made man; we are self-made. No we are not. This truth, first and foremost is to be an important area of my meditation. Let’s see how important this is.
Psalm 96:4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 8 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
The words that we are reading are often read in a slipshod manner. It is important we ponder deeply the important truth we have read. Why are we to reverence God in His sanctuary? Because He made us. He is the creator of everything in nature around us. Just meditate the enormity of that cosmos. He God, is the creator of that and He created us. This is vital truth frequently not thought about.
Gods existence is being discussed, sought out for proof by the scientists of today. Satan is quite happy, they can discuss it as much as they like. But to know He is the creator of this earth, fills us with great awe as He is the epitome of parenthood. Here is the question:
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
He is our parent. He made us, not we ourselves and in Him dwells the truth as to why I exist. Have you ever asked the question, why was I born? Why just me? Why am I living? What is my purpose? The Lord pointed out to me when I didn’t want to live anymore at age 21; aren’t I worth living for? This is the truth that is to permeate every other question. The purpose of life is found in our creator.
He is the reason for my existence. That’s the question; why am I here? Lets see how God answers:
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
What is the purpose of life? God who made us, owns us.
Isaiah 43: 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
What’s my purpose? For Gods glory; “I have made him for my glory”. What does that mean? The question of my experience is of such a nature, you want to hear it from God himself rather than work it out yourself.
Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
We often think, I don’t want to live; so why was I born? Some want to take their life because life crowds upon us. Don’t argue why you were born? It was in the mind of God to create human beings and it was because of the mind of the father and mother that I came into existence. I had no word in it. God says; do not fall into the trap of blaming your parents or me for creating you.
Isaiah 45:11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
He says my hands have stretched all that out. Do you realise who I am? God. That’s a truth that we understand.
Isaiah 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Think what he is saying. Let’s enlarge it by Paul. Especially as life is pulsating. Some who have had health conditions; you feel drained and weak. Here is an important knowledge of truth.
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
He is there giving me breath. In Him we live and move and have our being. The fact that I’m living, the fact my heart is beating, when my heart is playing up, that heart beat is necessary to keep on living. If that stops, I’m gone. In Him we live and move and have our being.
When I did my nurses training, I learnt what keeps our heart beating. Do you know what keeps our heart beating? In our heart is an electrode not connected to the brain, it keeps on pulsating at least 40 times a minute. The message comes from the brain to pump faster, the thing that makes the heart pump is an electrical current that comes from no where else but God. If that electrode, doesn’t pulsate anymore, you’re gone. As I studied all that, I thought wow, my life is totally dependent upon you.
Awesome, overwhelming, this is truth. What follows the knowledge of this truth? What is the next item? It is the truth that the Bible is the only book on earth whereby God the creator speaks directly to man. All the other books are fabrications of man meditating and talking. This book is where God speaks to you and me directly. That truth is imperative to know. If God is the one that keeps my heart going and created me in the first place, there is something to pay attention to.
Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
This is our creator speaking and He says my counsel shall stand. You don’t want to mess around with that person. The one who speaks in the Bible, the Bible is God speaking to humanity so directly. I want to let him speak again in Jeremiah 29.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Where are you going to search for God? In the blue sky? People have an imagination of God and they wait for God to do magic for them. When we seek for him with all our hearts, where are you going to seek for him? Let him tell us.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
The Bible is the place where you will find God. If you look anywhere else, you will find bits and pieces but the Bible you will get direct revelation.
We must regard the Bible as addressed to us personally; and as we take heed to the words of God, they will be a safeguard to us against the enemy. RH July 7, 1891, par. 5
There is nothing hazy, nothing muddied in the mind of when we understand that God is speaking to me out of the Bible. Don’t let any human being confuse your mind with the wrong reading of the Bible. Aren’t we suffering that today? That’s your interpretation. You read something in the Bible, and it’s torn apart by another preacher and whatever you read is brought to nothing to your mind many times. What did Jesus say when the young ruler came to him? What must I do to have eternal life? Jesus said; how readest thou. Take the Bible how it reads, it’s God speaking to you. If you have trouble understanding, it will be explained somewhere else. God speaks to us through the pulpit.
The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us just as surely as though we could hear Him with our ears. HP 134.2
Something begins to happen when you read the Bible like that.
The word of the living God is not merely written, but spoken. Do we receive the Bible as the oracle of God? If we realized the importance of this Word… HP 134.2
You’re not just reading a book, words on a page when you come to the Bible, you are hearing God speaking to you. If that’s the case, with what awe would you open the pages? Some ministers open the Bible as a rag, no, it’s the place where God is speaking to us. Where ever we meet with God, that is to cause us to realise; oh, the Bible is God speaking to me.
With what awe…
If we realized the importance of this Word, with what awe would we open it, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts. The reading and contemplating of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Most High. HP 134.2
God’s Word is a message to us to be obeyed, a volume to be perused diligently, and with a spirit willing to take in the truths written for the admonition of those upon whom the ends of the world are come. It must not be neglected for any other book…. When we open the Bible, let us compare our lives with its requirements, measuring our character by the great moral standard of righteousness.11 HP 134.3
Now comes the biggest importance of truth that if it is God who is the creator of the universe, the most high, that gives me purpose in life if I listen to what He says, in the audience of the most high, what is the truth that continues to come with that reality? He the creator, my Father. His parenthood over us. If he created us and is all knowing and I know nothing; He knows everything. Then I am paying close attention to what He is saying, how am I going to respond to what He is saying?
Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
You are in the audience chamber of God, listen to me. What are you supposed to be doing? Listen to me diligently. I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Whatever thoughts you’ve got, what do you do with them? Lay down your own as my thoughts are not like yours. And my ways are not your ways so now I want you to listen to me. The truth is because I know everything and you don’t, listen carefully. Pay close attention and do what I say. Learn of me, you don’t know a thing. You’re just little child. I like that song “You will always be a child to me”. He is the ancient of days who knows everything. Who am I? can you see what happens to you when you realise this truth? You become a totally humbly person. To whom does he look with adoration/approbation? I love those statement – he seeketh such to worship him. Who? Those who will worship in spirit an in truth. To worship God in spirit and in truth is to put down my own ideas and place myself under his direction. Not the way it’s being interpreted by human beings, but plainly as it is written. I’ve got this problem with people time and time again when I talk to them. I tell them what the Bible says and they say to me, that is your interpretation. I say I’m reading to you and they say everyone does that. I say, I’m reading to you, I don’t interpret. I read it as it reads. They put their interpretation on it. I ask, show me. People do not want to take God at His word just as it reads. This is where our safety lies. Who does He look to? Who is He approving of? Study to show thyself approved of God, rightly dividing the word of truth. Don’t put your own construction on it. Don’t add or take away from it. These are important ingredients to make sure I’m hearing Him speaking and not running of with my own thoughts.
Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
What does it mean to tremble at His word? What does that mean? I’m paying close attention. I have to listen to what He is saying and not my own ideas. That is the person He looks to. Blessed are they who hunger an thirst after righteousness. Are you hungering? Are you trembling at His word?
Isaiah 66:3 Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
They chose that which I delighted not. God knows exactly what people are doing with his word.
Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
The majority of people are doing their own way There many out there who have their own opinion and they even tell God what is right. You who take me seriously and tremble at my word, they will mistreat you, they will throw you out of the church. They are the ones who are going to get into trouble and I am going take care of you if you tremble at my word.
If we don’t reverence Gods word, if I say pugh, I don’t care about that, what can God do? There is another truth that is part of him; what is this truth? 1 John 4:16 God is love.
The God who created us is love and if we pay no attention to him and not do what he says, what can he do?
Only by Love is Love Awakened
The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2. DA 22.1
That’s what Jesus is all about. He came to show us God is love. To the people not listening to Him, he came to His own. Some rejected Him but God is love. What can He do? This is the thing that really endears my heart to Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. God is bound my love that when I am rebelling against him, He is bound by love. He can’t use his authority over me as it’s against His government. Only love. What can He do? What will happen to those who repel His love? What can God do? Here is an example of the one who loves us who can’t use force, how is He going to deal with us?
Hosea 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. 9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
His heart of love is turned from people rejecting him. God says; I feel terrible inside of myself. I’m stepping back, I love you, how can I give you up? What can I do? Ephraim continued to rebel and oppose His love.
Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
This is Gods love. If you keep on relying on other Gods and not listening to me but your own ways, then I am going to have to let you go. What happens if He lets you go? We studied it in the sabbath lesson. Our own life choices will destroy us. This is God. He in whom w live and move and have our being. If we are left alone, he can’t interfere. He will let you go, do what you want. What happens?
Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Can you hear His heart cry?
Proverbs 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
My ways are not your ways, if you don’t want my ways, then you will have your way and you will meet the consequences.
What happened to Judas?
Jesus cried for him. How can I let thee go? He washed his feet (He didn’t want to let him go) and as He washed his feet, Judas was vibrating inside himself to break away from his rejection of Jesus but then he didn’t. what did Judas do? God had to let him go and he went along and hung himself. That is the consequence. God loves us.
Christ always used simple language, yet His words tested the knowledge of deep, unprejudiced thinkers. His manner of teaching should be followed by teachers of today. Spiritual truths should always be presented in simple language, that they may be comprehended and find lodgment in the heart. Thus Christ addressed the crowds that pressed and thronged about Him; and all, learned and unlearned, were able to comprehend His lessons. CT 261.2
Every time you refuse to listen to the message of mercy, you strengthen yourself in unbelief. Every time you fail to open the door of your heart to Christ, you become more and more unwilling to listen to the voice of Him that speaketh. You diminish your chance of responding to the last appeal of mercy. Let it not be written of you, as of ancient Israel, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. Let not Christ weep over you as He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Luke 13:34, 35. COL 237.1
The destruction of Jerusalem was the problem. He was weeping, He was in anguish. This is truth. God is our creator. He exists. We are amenable to Him. We can’t do as we please. We are to be subject to Him. But in Him we will find our true identity. We will find a true resting place. Why? Because when He made us, He made us in his own image. We are intrinsically one with God by creation. The only place you will find fulfilment and true meaning in life is in harmony with him. This is what the atonement message is all about. Atonement, assimilation, intrinsic harmony with Him.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
What is this talking about? If your human nature is resisting God, mortify it. It’s going to happen many times. God is saying I want you to do this and you say no. You know what is written and what He is saying, but you don’t want it. Mortify the deeds of your body.
Heirs of God
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
What was Jesus heir of? He was a man who was part of the Godhead and what is written here? As we have been created in the image of God, if we will submit to the love of God demonstrated in Jesus giving His life for you and me, if I submit to everything God says, through Jesus Christ, I will become an heir of God. Not an heir to His estate, an heir of God. Read it as it reads. The Spirit of Prophecy is distinct on this, we re to be part of God. She says that. We are to be part of Him as he made us in His own image and when He redeemed us, He combined himself with humanity and brought them into the place of his position.
What did Jesus say? He who over comes, will sit with me in my throne. Even as I overcame and am set with my Father in His throne. I pray we will pay close attention to the truth as it is in Jesus.
Posted on 29/01/2023, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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