Vol. 17, No. 14 – April 8, 2018
The Equipment, vs 13-17, vs. 14, Truth and Righteousness
Eph 6:14, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
As we celebrated our Lord’s death and resurrection last Sunday, I wanted to share with you a passage I have always been drawn to. It is the passage when Jesus Christ was before Pontius Pilate during His trials for crucifixion. In that scene, we see Jesus having a brief discourse with Pilate regarding who He is. In that event, Jesus was using the opportunity to witness the truth to Pilate for salvation. John, in his gospel, writes more about this scene than any of the other gospel writers.
John 18:33, “Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’”
The question Pilate asked Jesus in vs. 33, “Are You the King of the Jews?” is a most significant question for Pilate. It was asked to determine whether Jesus constituted a threat to Roman civil order. Such order could be threatened by rival kings. So, he asked Jesus whether He considered Himself King of the Jews or not.
John 18:34, “Jesus answered, ‘Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?’”
This is a pointed question. You see if Pilate had said this on his “own initiative” it would have meant that he was on the path to believing in the Messiah.
John 18:35, “Pilate answered, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?’”
This was a disheartening response by Pilate, because he had not contemplated who Jesus was. He was only going along with what the Pharisees wanted him to do. Nevertheless, if Pilate later recalled this conversation, he might have pondered Jesus’ question.
John 18:36, “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Jesus’ reply to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” was a way to tacitly admit that He was the King of the Jews, vs. 37, but clarifying that He was not a king such as the Jews or Romans were expecting. He was a Priestly-King in the order of Melchizedek, (Heb 5:6-10; 7:1), who came to sacrifice and save.
Heb 7:1, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, …”
Heb 5:6-10, “Just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” 7In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”
In addition, we see something of the Angelic Conflict here, as this world is currently not Jesus Christ’s kingdom. It is currently Satan’s kingdom, as noted in Mat 4:8-10.
Mat 4:8-10, “Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; 9and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘ YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”
Now back in John 18:37, “Pilate therefore said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth (MARTUREO ALETHEIA). Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Jesus’ purpose as The King was the unusual one of testifying to the truth. His reply to Pilate that He came from heaven, from God the Father, to witness the truth means, He came to teach the way of salvation to all of mankind, including Pilate and the Romans who were about to crucify Him.
John 18:38a, “Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
Unfortunately for Pilate, he did not understand the truth at that time. Maybe, later in life, when reflecting upon his interactions with Jesus he did, but at this time, and as far as scripture is concerned, we see that Pilate did not know the truth, even when it was standing right in front of him, as Jesus is, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life,” John 14:6.
John 18:38b, “And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.”
It is fascinating that after Jesus admitting that He was a King, when rival kings where a threat to Rome, that Pilate finds, “no guilt in Him.” Oh, from the mouths of babes! Pilate did not understand that Jesus was the Messiah King, yet he declared that He was without guilt, as Jesus Christ is the spotless lamb, the perfect sacrifice according to God’s Law.
And as you know the rest of the story, after the back and forth between the Pharisees, Herod, and Pilate, Pilate decides to grant the Pharisees their wish and have Jesus crucified. As a result, the true sacrifice for Israel and the entire world was completed, Heb 9:11-2.
Heb 9:11-12, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
Heb 9:26b, “… but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”
The spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross paid for our sins. His physical death demonstrated the completion of God’s plan for our salvation. Then three days later, Jesus rose from the dead to signify the victory won over sin and death.
1 Cor 15:54-58, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
Now that the victory over sin and death has been won by Jesus Christ, it is our job to go out and tell the whole world of this eternal truth, just as the Apostle began to do on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after our Lord’s resurrection, Acts 2:21-36.
And if anyone has a doubt about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Darrel Bock wrote a nice short piece regarding the veracity that Christ was resurrected:
“The story of the four gospels stands in contrast to the culture around them, which did not regard women as reliable enough to be witnesses. All four Gospels insist that Jesus first appeared to women. This detail, running against the larger, ancient culture as it does, is one of the key evidences that these Resurrection stories were not invented by a church trying to give Jesus a higher status than He really had. Had believers merely invented these appearance-and-empty-tomb stories with the hope that they would convince the culture about Jesus, they would not have unanimously picked women to bear the story’s burden to be true. That Jesus selected women as the first witnesses to God’s great act is an affirmation of their value and merit before God.” (Breaking the DaVinci Code, pages 138-139)
So, the truth is:
- That which the Lord brought with Him when He came down from heaven, John 18:37.
John 18:37, “Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice’.”
- The gospel of truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17.
John 1:17, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
- Jesus Christ is, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” for salvation because, “no one comes to the Father but through Me,” John 14:6.
- The Word of God that sanctifies, John 17:17.
John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
- Receiving the truth of salvation results in eternal security, Eph 1:13.
Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
- Having been saved, we are to go out and communicate the truth of salvation, just as the apostles did, 1 Tim 2:7.
1 Tim 2:7, “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
Pontius Pilate asked our Lord one of the most important questions in life, “What is truth.” In Satan’s world, which views all things, all thoughts, all ideas, etc., as “truth,” it is a very difficult and confusing question for people to answer.
One of the favorite sayings of the ultra-liberal, politically correct, crowd of today is, “your truth,” meaning everyone has their own truth. In other words, if you think something is true, then it is to you, and that is ok. What that means for everyone else is that we are to accept and respect each individuals truth, as truth, and leave them be. We are not to try to change their mind about “their truth” with “our truth.” Everyone has their own truth and that is good. Well, in reality that is not good, in fact that is anarchy. And, no society can function under anarchy. In addition, the ones who support the claim of “your truth,” do not even follow their own mantra, because as soon as another “truth” is put forward that contradicts their “truth,” they begin to get violent to force their truth to the front.
You see, that is the way of Satan and His cosmic system. It is part of the system of chaos that Satan has created. Satan’s “truth” is that he wants to be like the Most High God, Isa 14:14. But in reality, there is only one “Most High God.” Satan wants God to accept his truth, that he is co-equal with God and deserves to have his own kingdom. But the truth is, there is only “one God,” Mal 2:10; Mark 12:32; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:6; 1 Tim 2:5.
So, if we accept Satan’s truth as true and God’s truth as true, which contradict each other, then “what is truth?”
Fortunately for mankind, the One God, The Most High, has given us the absolute “truth,” which is found in His Word, The Bible. When we look to the Bible, we can know the truth without doubt or wavering. At the same time, we will also understand the “untruths” or “lies” of Satan’s cosmic system that we are to reject, refute, and reprove as needed.
In fact, one of the most loving things you can do for someone, is to set them straight from the falsehoods and lies they have been operating under, thinking that they were truth. Ask yourself this question, if someone told your friend an outright lie, and you knew about it, would you just “let it be,” and let your friend operate under a lie? Or, would you do your best to give them the real truth and set them straight.
In essence, that is what we should be doing for those who are in our lives and are unbelievers. They have been told a lie about God, Jesus, and life. We need to give them the truth. We need to set them free from Satan’s lies, and we can only do that with the truth of God’s Word, John 8:32.
John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Think about it, apart from the element of truth in God, there would be no certainty at all in this life, and we would wander on in comfortless perplexity not knowing where we came from or where we are going. For those who reject God and Jesus Christ, that is the state in which they live.
On the other hand, truth in God is surety that what He has disclosed is according to the true nature of things and that His disclosures may be depended upon with complete certainty. This certainty characterizes every revelation from God.
God is truth means He is absolutely dependable, without falseness of any kind. God’s plan, principles, and promises are completely reliable, accurate, real, and factual, Isa 25:1.
Isa 25:1, “O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”
The Father is said to be truth by the Son, John 7:28; 17:3.
John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Jesus Christ is, “The way, the truth, and the life,” John 14:6.
Regarding the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit is the truth,” 1 John 5:6.
This attribute of God is the ground of all our assurance, as God’s truthfulness is a rock of assurance for the people of God, Deut 32:4; Micah 7:20.
Deut 32:4, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
God’s veracity is evident in:
- His words. The setting forth of God’s truth is in the Bible. It, being the Word of God, is true in all its parts. There is a vast array of truth, themes, and subjects about which man could not know by himself. The Bible supplies this dependable information, 2 Sam 7:28; Psa 12:6; John 8:45‑46; 17:17; 2 Cor 6:7.
2 Sam 7:28, “Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.”
John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
Psa 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”
- His works, Psa 33:4; 111:7-8; Dan 4:37.
Psa 111:7, “The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure.”
- His ways, Psa 25:10; 86:15; Rev 15:3.
Rev 15:3, “And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!’”
Regardless of how things seem in this life, because God is truth, we can count on the Lord, always. Therefore, understanding who and what God is and relying upon His perfect character for both adversity and prosperity builds a foundation of confidence and inner peace. The results are wise decisions and actions in every circumstance of life.
Many ask, “How do I know if I am learning truth or receiving truth?” Well, the simple answer is, Truth will cause you to be stable, certain, and sure. As we have noted, the basic Hebrew word for Truth is EMETH that means, “stability, certainty, and trustworthiness.” It means that which produces faithfulness, stability, and security. Therefore, truth is firmness, security, and integrity of mind. If you lack faithfulness, stability, and security, it is usually because you lack Truth, (i.e., Bible Doctrine in your soul) in your life.
Prov 23:23, “Buy truth, and do not sell it, also buy wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
God’s righteousness loves to see His Truth in action, especially in you when you have stability of mind and soul. Therefore, truth is something we must be taught. It does not come naturally, it must be “put on,” Eph 6:14. Cf. Psa 25:5; John 8:31-32.
Psa 25:5, “Lead me in Your Truth and teach me: for You are the God of my deliverance.”
John 8:31-32, “If you continue in My Word then are you My disciples indeed. And you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.”
To reveal Himself to mankind and angles, God can only do so in terms of truth. Therefore, Bible doctrine is absolute truth and perfectly reveals the truth and holiness of God. The whole purpose of the Gospel and the object of salvation is to bring us to the truth about God, Psa 31:5; 40:11; 91:4.
Psa 31:5, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.”
Psa 40:11, “You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”
Psa 91:4, “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His truth is a shield and bulwark.”
Bulwark is the Hebrew word SOCHERAH (so-kay-raw’), used only here in the entire O.T. It is something surrounding the believer similar to the analogy of the “armor of God,” especially the girding of the loins with truth. Truth protects us and surrounds us.
Truth protects us and keeps us from deception. This is why the apostle Paul warns us that in the last days truth will be rejected and deception accepted. There are many false doctrines which oppose and supplant the known will of God which can only be rejected by those which believe and know the truth, 2 Thes 2:10-11; 1 Tim 4:3; 2 Tim 3:5-8; 4:1-4.
1 Tim 4:3, “Men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.”
Truth is always accompanied by God’s grace and mercy, which combined provides blessing to man, Psa 26:3; 85:10-11; Isa 65:16; John 1:14.
Isa 65:16, “Because he who is blessed in the earth will be blessed by the God of truth; and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of truth.”
Psa 85:10-11, “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.”
Therefore, we should be presenting our hearts to the Lord as, “teachable,” to receive the truth of His Word, Psa 25:5; 86:11.
Psa 25:5, “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.”
Psa 86:11, “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
Truth must be taught. This is why fathers are told in Deut 6:6-9; Isa 38:19, to make truth known to their children.
Deut 6:6-9, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Truth must be taught. This is why in Mat 22:16, our Lord taught the way of God in truth.
Truth must be taught. This is why the apostle Paul tells us that God’s will for all mankind is, “to be saved and then to come to the knowledge of the Truth,” 1 Tim 2:4.
Truth must be taught. This is why we are commanded in Prov 3:3, to bind it to our necks and have it written upon the tables of our hearts, so that it will never be lost.
Prov 3:3, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Truth must be taught, because God desires truth to be within us, 2 Cor 11:10, “As the truth of Christ is in me….,” because without Truth it is impossible to properly worship God, John 4:23-24.
John 4:23-24, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Truth must be taught, because God is to be served in truth, and our walk before Him is to be done in truth, Josh 24:14; 1 Sam 12:24; 1 Kings 2:4; 1 John 1:6.
Josh 24:14, “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.”
1 Sam 12:24, “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider what great things He has done for you.”
1 Kings 2:4, “…If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.”
Psa 86:11, “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
Truth must be taught, because Truth is to be meditated upon, believed, and embraced, Phil 4:8; 2 Thes 2:12.
Truth must be taught, because Truth is the basis for our Christian fellowship and love for one another, 1 Peter 1:22.
1 Peter 1:22, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.”
Truth must be taught, because love will always rejoice in the truth, 1 Cor 13:6.
1 Cor 13:6, “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.”
Truth must be taught, because Truth is according to godliness, Titus 1:1.
Titus 1:1, “Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen (the elect) of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness.”
Truth must be taught, because Truth abides continually with the saints, 2 John 2.
2 John 1:2, “For the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever.”
Truth must be taught, because our prayer life will be more effective when we walk in Truth, 2 Kings 20:3.
2 Kings 20:3, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”
Truth must be taught, because the fruit of the Spirit is accomplished in the sphere of Truth, Eph 5:9.
Eph 5:8-9, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light, 9(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).”
Truth must be taught, so that the people of God, as His servants, always speak the Truth, especially to one another, Zech 8:16; Prov 12:17, 22; 2 Cor 12:6; Eph 4:15, 25; Col 3:9.
Zech 8:16, “These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.”
Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
Eph 4:25, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.”
Truth must be taught, even if others do not always appreciate hearing the Truth spoken, Gal 4:16.
Gal 4:16, “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
Truth must be taught, because Truth is what will judge the believer at the Bema Seat Judgment, and the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
John 12:48, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the Word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
Psa 96:13, “For the Lord is coming to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with His Truth.”
This is why if a Pastor really loves and worships the Lord, he will 2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
And He will feed the flock of God, John 21:15-17, “If you love Me, feed My sheep, … lambs…” Feed them what? Truth, 2 Cor 6:4-8.
2 Cor 6:4-8, “But in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true.”
It gives the Pastor and God great joy to see His children walking in truth, 3 John 1:4.
3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-036, 18-037 & 18-038
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!