NEWDOMINOES 120

The Risk Of Loving The Truth

Why are you reading this? I know, it's sort of a strange question to ask. But, it is an important one. The answer at some point, however, has to include something to do with curiosity. And a sense of curiosity is nature's original school of education as Smiley Blanton pointed out. When our curiosity is joined by diligence and integrity, it leads us to the truth. Curiosity remains the motivating force in producing the articles that appear here. After all, if Christianity is to be our way of life, and not just a sop, then we should be tenacious, adept and implacable when it comes to pursuing the truth of the word of God so we can apply it in our lives. Otherwise, our energies and actions are nothing more than a religious placebo, chasing the wind on an endless treadmill.

The Christian age is, beginning in the first century, a prelude to the first resurrection, when Christ harvests his first-fruits, those who live their love of the truth. It includes those called and chosen in the body of Christ [Rom. 12:3-8], who have been baptized and received the Spirit of God, that goodwill down payment given to us by our Father in this age of what we are to be in the coming age. For those chosen to share in Christ’s royal power and authority at his return, the second death has no power.

The articles we have posted in the Prophecy section, and chapters five and six in The Blind Man's Elephant, as well as The Hijacked Elephant paint the big picture and provide details of our story in the Biblical record from the creation of the heavens and Earth in Genesis to the new heavens and Earth in Revelation. They show us our place in the Biblical record and the relevancy of our current events. As the apostle John told the ekklesia in the first century, "Behold what manner of love our Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now we are the sons of God [Greek, sons of theos, as in the family of God; see the Sneakers article, One Two Three, More Or Less], and it does not appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him [see 1 Cor. 15:52; 13:12, 13]; for we shall see him as he is. [By contrast, see Exd. 33:17-23]. And every man that has this hope [Greek, elpis, expectation] in him purifies himself, even as he [our Lord] is pure." [1 John 3:1-3; also see Rev. 22:1].

While the prophecies tell us what has been determined shall come to pass for the nations of Israel, as individuals, the ekklesia, we still have the opportunity to purify ourselves, to be counted worthy to escape the evil that is about to come upon our world in the form of the sixth empire, Babylon the Great. "Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" at his return. [Luke 21:36].

However, knowing prophecy has a downside in that we can be fooled into thinking it’s spiritual growth. Yes, it helps us understand the events taking place around us, teaching us that God directs the course of human affairs. But, knowledge of prophecy is not a substitute for spiritual growth. And while the majority of people may not like to think of it this way, knowing prophecy doesn’t give us any special standing before God. In fact, prophecy is vanity when we are missing one key ingredient. As the apostle Paul pointed out to the ekkelsia in Corinth, "And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith that so I could move mountains, and not have love, I am nothing." [1 Cor. 13:2].

The Greek word love used here is agape. It is benevolence, an affection and good will expressed in our actions that is Christian love. This is the love we must have in all that we do every day regarding God and our fellow man as Paul said. "... love shows itself as a harmonious attitude toward life in general. It is a steady, unflinching desire for constructive action which permeates the whole personality. Love is in this sense a basic emotional approach that we must develop in our work, in our relationships with other people, and also in our attitude towards ourselves."1 In addition to our occupational work, it must also apply to our Christian profession. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." [Heb. 4:14; see the Feature article, And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor].

If we stood outside a church at Easter, and asked those exiting, "Do you have Christian agape?" more than likely each person would answer in the affirmative. As a Christian, however, our agape must start with an unwavering love of the truth of the word of God, which is why we are admonished to "Seek first the kingdom [power and authority] of God." [Mat. 6:33]. Otherwise, we love a falsehood, a deception, as is the case with the Babylonian goddess Easter, who first century Christians did not venerate. [See the updated Feature article, Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist]. Therefore, knowing prophecies concerning the House of Israel and Edom, for example, while at the same time justifying our participation in Easter or Christmas activities, has the opposite of our desired effect in terms of spititual growth as Christians. 

And no matter how sincere our misdirected actions are regarding lying vanities, it cannot be a Christian love because our Redeemer Jesus Christ is the LORD God of truth. [Psa. 31:5]. When we love God, we love the truth and vice versa. When we love the lie, our actions show we love the author of it, all our verbal justifications to the contrary. [See John 8:44]. "For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one [our Lord] who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed [Antichrist, Babylon the Great], but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth." [2 Ths. 2:7-12, NLT].

Therefore, our knowing prophecy is nothing of itself. It doesn’t get us one step closer to the kingdom of God. We need a resolute Christian love of the truth for that. As John noted, " ... every man that has this expectation [of eternal life as the sons of God] in him purifies himself ..." meaning removing the lies from our lives by living the truth. When purifying gold by fire [see Rev. 3:18], borax and soda ash are used to separate the gold from inferior metals and dross. The love of the truth of the word of God acts as our borax and soda ash, the catalyst that causes us to separate the truth from the evil deceits and lies, the impurities in our lives, allowing us to grow in faith and hope.

If we wish to push against the way our troubled world is headed, it begins within each of us as individuals. "Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God [of truth] with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments of love hang all the law and the prophets." [Mat. 22:37-40]. Neither of these two great commandments mentions knowledge of prophecy.

The Wicked One is restrained for now, but as Christ said, when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, summer is near. The prophecies have shown us what to look for leading up to the days of the sixth beast and the Antichrist. [See the Feature article, Why Do We Believe The Lies?]. But without love, beginning with the love of the truth of the word of God, we are nothing before God. Knowledge of prophecy is nothing if we don't use this knowledge to put into daily practice the love of the truth. Lukewarm lip service is a false savior. [See the Sneakers article, We Don't Believe You].

Many of our Feature articles2 deal with the non-prophectic aspects of the truth as do the articles in other sections including Sneakers as well as the chapters in the Elephant book trilogy. These chapters and articles are not as popular as the prophecy articles, but the prophecy articles do not require any effort on our part to purify ourselves, to grow in Godly love and truth. More important than wanting to know “What’s gonna happen,” we need a “What can I do” attitude, which means internalizing curiosity, which in turn generates a love for discovering the truth and putting it to work in our daily lives.

The non-prophecy chapters and articles are far more valuable in terms of garnering the love of the truth that we might be “ … counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Understanding prophecies can be used as a prod, motivating ourselves in seeking the truth so we will grow in the fruits of the Spirit that bring us closer to God. [See Gal. 5:22-26; Eph. 5:8-14]. "… speaking the truth in love, we grow and increase becoming more like Christ, who is the head of his body ..." the ekklesia. [Eph. 4:15]. With a love of the truth, what we read in the Biblical record, the word of God, must be transferred into action daily for it to be of any value. [Read 2 Ths. 1].

Our square one is the love of the truth of the word of God. Putting the love of the truth into practice daily in our lives, we engender spiritual growth. And spiritual growth leads us to a true love of God, the brethren, and our fellow man, by purging the lies and the works of the flesh. And it's this putting to work the love of the truth in our lives that we bear fruit as the ekklesia, the body of Christ. This is what the apostle Paul refers to as "going on to perfection" in Hebrews chapter six. [Also see 1 Cor. 12:12-31].

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about love for the word of God, "As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children, that you would walk worthy of God, who has called you to his kingdom [basileia, royal power, kingship] and glory. For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is, in truth the word of God, which works effectively [Greek, energeo] also in you that believe." [Greek, pisteuo, verb, belief, confidence in that which is true, from the root, pistis, a conviction of the truth. 1 Ths. 2:11-13].

As Paul continued to the ekklesia in Thessalonica, "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief [pistis] in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." [2 Ths. 2:13, 14].

And as John noted above, “… it does not appear what we shall be ….” But we will fully see this with the obtaining of the glorious promise of our Lord. As Paul wrote, “For now [in the flesh with the Spirit of God], we see through a glass darkly, but then [at the first resurrection] face to face: now I know in part, but then I shall know even as also I am known. For now continue in these three, faith [Greek, pistis], hope and love [Greek, agape], but the greatest of these is love.” [1 Cor. 13:12, 13]. Paul is telling us to always have a love of the truth of the word of God for the expectation of the glorious power and authority of God at Christ’s return.

To put all this into everyday analogous terms, according to the wonderful promise given to us, at Christ’s return those few who follow the advice given to us by Paul will be raised to immortality at the first resurrection, chosen as the “executive management team” of God. [See Deu. 26:10]. As we are told in the first chapter of Revelation, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and prince [chief] of the kings of the earth. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us kings and priests of God [Greek, theos, the family of God] and to his Father, and to him glory and dominion for ever and ever. So be it.” [Rev. 1:5, 6; also 5:10]. How many of us grasp the full implication of what John is telling us? If we do, what then are we doing to dynamically translate it into action in our lives 24/7? Talk about a "ground floor" opportunity for eternity. Yet, most folks probably could care less. The love of the truth has become irrelevant in our daily lives. [See the parable regarding spiritual growth, Luke 19:11-27; also the Feature articles, Heaven Can Wait and Heaven Can Wait II]. 

The apostle John, who canonized the writings of the apostles into the New Testament, and who was the last of the original apostles, wrote his epistles towards the latter part of the first century. As false prophets had crept into the Christian theological landscape early on, he clearly understood the value of the truth and our love for it. As John mentioned in his last epistle to the church, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” [3 John 1:4].

And in his penultimate epistle, 2 John, he wrote, “The elder [John was likely in his late 80s or early 90’s by this time] unto the elect lady and her children [the ekklesia], whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all those who have known the truth; for the truth’s sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be to you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” [2 John 1:1-3].

It is incumbent on us who are members of the body of Christ to purify ourselves daily with the love of the truth, heeding the advice the apostle John gave the ekklesia in his first epistle, "My little children, let us not love with words or talk, but in our actions and in truth." [1 John 3:18].

Therefore, brethren, in addition to the question posed at the beginning, Why are you reading this?, we must ask, Is not the risk of loving the truth worth the glorious promise of the word of God? 
 

Dr. Smiley Blanton's Love Or Perish, 1956, p.14. If you can get your hands on a copy, read Love Or Perish. It's a worthwhile, though not casual, read that provides insight for everyday life, written at a time much different than today. Dr. Blanton was somewhat prescient in identifying why our society is perishing. This is especially true regarding the hostile nature exhibited in social media nowadays. As Dr. Blanton wrote, "... love is the only true source of knowledge ... We need not remain mired in the unstable and neurotic patterns of hostility which waste our substance ... Each of us may learn the lesson of love for himself, and with its power we can correct and fortify our lives from day to day." And our first step is with love of the truth as the apostle John wrote, "He that loves not, knows not God; for God is love." [1 John 4:8].

2 A few non-prophetical articles that are helpful in laying the Biblical foundation of the truth are: The Tale of Two Covenants, We're Abraham's Seed And Heirs, What Exactly Is The Gospel? and the Sneakers article, We Don't Believe You.

NLT- Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

This article appeared in its original iteration at the end of the Feature article, The Final Prophecy: It Is Done under the subheading Postscript To Prophecy. It has been rewritten, expanded and adapted as a Sneakers article.
 

Italics and [ ] are the author’s.

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