I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by me.(John 14:6)
We have been studying the threefold sign of eternal life, as taught by the Apostle John in His First Epistle. We have stressed that Eternal Life is a gift of God, it cannot be merited, it can only received freely by faith.
But how does one know whether or not he has received the gift of eternal Life?
After all, in our day as well as in John’s there were many teachers, and prophets who were redefining the knowledge of God, and claiming a new, secret, unique and mystical relationship with God, that was much more experiential and elaborate than the salvation taught by the Apostles.
By their “spiritual warfare”, prophecies, “Words” and supposed “Anointing” the new prophets had so confused and beguiled the believers, that some departed from orthodox christianity, seeking the “new and improved” version of the “Knowing ones”,ie the gnostics.
Confusion and demoralization reined among the remnant believers as to what is the true spirituality, who should they be listening to, and how does one know that they have known God?
The Apostle John’s task was not to bring something new, but to restore their original faith, and to contrast the true knowledge of God as opposed to the false. He does it by re-iterating three simple theological propositions;
* God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all…(I John 1:5)
* God is Love…(I John 4:8)
* Jesus Christ has come (and remains) in the flesh…( I John 4:2)
Out of these John extracts three simple tests of those who claim to have the Life of God. A test of Righteousness, a test of Love, and a test of belief in truth. Eternal Life being the cause of all three of these in a person’s life.
Eternal Life is a cause and not an effect. In other words, I am not turning from sin so that I can obtain eternal life…it is because I have obtained the gift of eternal life, that I now hate sin. Eternal life in me hates sin and won’t allow me to abide in it!
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.( I John 3:9)
Furthermore it is because I have received eternal life that I now love the brothers, not the other way around! God’s gift of eternal life causes me to love, forbear, forgive, and seek to build up my christian brothers.
“Everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God,He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is Love”.( I John 4:8)
In the same way, eternal life causes me to believe the doctrine of Christ, and to continue in that belief. I have been led astray before, but eternal life didn’t allow me to remain in the doctrines of Kenneth Copeland, because they contradicted the doctrine of Christ.
The Life of Jesus in me led me to see through the teaching that we are all just “little gods” and that “any believer is as much an incarnation as Jesus was”. Adherence to the Truth is a major sign of eternal life.
What does the Bible mean by the constant expression, “the Truth”? We are told that “the Truth” will make us free, and that many will be damned because “they received not the love of the Truth”. Jesus said of himself “I am the Truth…” . What does the expression, “The Truth” actually mean?
“The Truth” is not meant to be understood generally, as in all reality, the reality of Geometry, algebra, history, etc. Nor is it a reference to “veracity”, truth telling.The biblical sense is that The Truth is not naturally obtained but can only come by revelation.
We often hear the misguided cliche “All truth is God’s truth”, which misses the point of the biblical expression entirely, because it assumes that there is truth everywhere available, even in false religions. Yes all men indeed do have general truth, a kind of natural revelation, but “The Truth” is something other than that.
When the apostles and Jesus speak of “The truth” they refer to the only reliable disclosure of the spiritual and eternal world. It involves The true nature of God, how God sees man, the plight of mankind, the plan of Salvation, eternity, and primarily, Jesus, who he is why and how he came (incarnation),and what lies ahead for humanity and for the world.
Jesus is the truth, in the sense that He is the ultimate revelation of God, and of the true nature of God. His evaluation of mankind is the eternal evaluation, He is the plan and working of God’s salvation, the future of everything is in His hands. Everything he says is the Truth.
Those genuinely born again are said to be “of the Truth”. That is, eternal life has given them an inward affinity to truth, they resonate with it, feed on it and crave it. They cannot follow the antichrists, because they don’t resonate with anti-christianity. They have to follow the Truth wherever it is proclaimed and lived out.
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.( John 18:37)
Those who aren’t born again constantly oppose or resist the truth. They must of necessity, it is deeper than intellectual it is moral and spiritual. There has to be a Ken Copeland and a Benny Hinn, because there is such a large constituency for them, there are so many who crave what they offer, that if there weren’t a Hinn, Dollar or Copeland, someone would have to invent one!
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:31)