For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. ( 3 John 3-4)
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.( 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
We have been talking about the third sign of eternal life, which is belief in the Truth. Eternal Life, is a gift of God, it can’t be merited only received freely as the gift of Love.
But those who have received the gift of God’s life, manifest it sooner or later and to varying degrees in three major areas. Since God is light, those who have a share in his life have come and remain in the Light of God. They hate sin in their own lives, and resist it consistently.
Since God is love, those who have received a share in the Life of God, now love God and they love the brethren. In fact , eternal life leads them into the development of a life like Jesus, laying down their lives to love, serve and give of themselves as a way of life. “As he is so are we in this world….thus shall we assure our hearts before Him”.
Finally, because God is Truth, eternal life causes us to adhere to the Truth, resonate with it, remain in it, and to propagate it wherever possible.
By the term Truth, we refer not to the general abstract concept, but to a specific Divine revelation of the reality of the Spiritual world; of the person of God, the state of man, and most importantly, of who Christ is and what he has done for us. This is “the truth” that we are born of, and of which Jesus has come to reveal to us.
Those who have eternal life are said to be “of the Truth”. Jesus Christ calls himself “the truth”, and “the faithful witness” of “the only true God”. In his confession before Pilate, Jesus told him that Truth was the reason he came into this world,
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)
But in the confessing church are those who seem to have no regard for truth in the sense we have been speaking of. These are the ones who ridicule “doctrine” as something which only divides the body of Christ, it is for the “spiritually dead” christians, who “argue over words and teachings, and are in “head knowledge” and not truly “in the spirit”.
There are many teachers who are widely accepted by evangelicals and Pentecostals, who teach that which amounts to a complete denial of the truth as revealed by Jesus and the Apostles.
It matters little, for example , to the followers of the late Kenneth Hagin that he repeatedly denigrated the Incarnation by declaring that “the believer is as much an incarnation as Jesus was”. When this is pointed out to the “WordFaith” followers of Hagin, if they respond at all it is usually with a statement about taking Hagin’s heretical quotes “out of context”.
Nor does it matter much to followers of the heretic Copeland, when his various false teachings are held up, word for word, in the light of the Word of God. Copeland denied Jesus’ deity, and proclaimed that any “born again believer with the revelation knowledge Jesus had could have died on the cross and defeated Satan”.
The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, ‘Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your
tradition trip you up.’ He said, ‘Think this way – a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’ And
I threw my Bible down like that. I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn
of many brethren defeated him.’ He said, ‘You are the very image, the very copy of that one.’ I said,
‘Goodness, gracious sakes alive!’ And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said; ‘Well now you
don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah, if you’d
had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ’cause you’re a
reborn man too.’” ( Kenneth Copeland ” Substitution and Identification”, tape 00-0202, side 2)
Why do these conversations with the followers of Copeland and Hagin seem to always end the same way ? Why are these people more offended by criticism of their teachers, than by the manifest distortions of the Word of God done by these teachers? The simple answer seems to be that people have more loyalty to their group or false teachers, than they are to the Word of God. They don’t seem to have the love of the Truth.
I could spend the rest of this report and many others expounding upon the routine denial of the Truth, in the church, and the widespread acceptance of the heretics and false prophets who do so with impunity! Hell is being denied these days, so is original sin, Jesus is being redefined in a thousand different ways, the way of salvation is being contradicted as is the wrath of God, and the doctrine of substitution. The Koran is being read respectfully in many churches, homosexuals are being “affirmed” also!
How could this be possible ? Behold the fruit of fifty years of denigrating doctrine, denying truth, “innovative” preaching, man centered “techniques” of evangelism, and of accommodation to the world spirit, “the zeitgeist”(the spirit of this age) in the name of relevance, and out of a desire to escape the reproach of Christ, who is “the Truth”.
“After all we wouldn’t want to be percieved as being hung up on dusty doctrine now would we?” But what is doctrine? It is the body of Truth, the revelation from heaven, the only reliable guide to the eternal and spiritual world.
Belief and unbelief are not merely intellectual excercises, they are spiritual and moral acts as well. That is why it is a sin to believe “the Lie”, or to embrace any lie. Those who believe in the Kenneth Copelands, and Benny Hinns, betray about themselves a perverse inward affinity for the lies that these charlatons put out. False teachers can only appeal to false motives.
There are a good many who have left the heretics, but are yet unfree because they never really repented of following them. They should have sorrowfully asked themselves what was it in me that resonated with such false teaching? Why would someone want to subscribe to the exaltation of the believer at the expense of the denigration of Jesus? Why would they want to believe that they are “little gods” able to speak reality with their mouths and to shape their own worlds? There must have been an inward affinity for the Lie.
The same is true of the Truth. Jesus said “All who are “of the truth” will hear my voice”…are you ‘of the Truth’?