Monday, August 15, 2011

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Truth in our day and culture is a very modest and fleeting “commodity.” Truth as distinguished from deception is desperately lacking in today’s society. Much of the time it is easier to recognize deception and lies rather than the truth. Perhaps, this is what is meant by the old adage, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” People are known to possess overactive imaginations – so much so that they can concoct unreality rather than recognize stark reality as to the genuine nature of an idea or thought, to be grasped.

“Objectivity” is equated with stark reality – hence, “the” “truth.” Perhaps that was the idea the politically pressured Pontius Pilate possessed, when he turned Christ over to the incensed crowd who were crying for Christ’s crucifixion. Pontius Pilate perceived himself to be in a jamb. He feared for his political future and feared a potential uprising of the Jewish people he was to control and subdue – all part of his commission from the Roman Emperor.

Pilate just had a conversation with Christ – and in response to Christ’s words, Pilate asked the question: “What is truth?” This was Pilate’s question after Christ stated:

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 [KJV]


It is apparent that Pontius Pilate had no clue as to the truth. To him, “it” didn’t register. If he had just understood that the proper question to ask, would be: “Who is the truth?” – Then, he would have been on the right track:

“……In whom [Jesus Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3


The “Whole” of Truth

It is a customary practice in our court system to swear in the witness with the question: “Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….? Why do you suppose, that phrase, “the whole truth,” is included in the swearing-in process? It is because – not to tell the whole (totality) of the truth, is, essentially, warping the truth – hence, being deceptive and shifting ones witness into a lying mode.

When “truth” is being bandied about, it cannot (honestly) only refer to an isolated, specific reality. Truth is an all encompassing reality. It is, as Webster, in part, (originally) defined it:

“……The ‘truth’ of history constitutes its whole value.”


Christ’s reference to the truth to Pontius Pilate, was the same intended reference to the truth, directed, to one of his disciples -- John 14:6:

” …. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And then we read in the N.T. Epistle of Colossians, “……In whom [Jesus Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3



The “Whole”(of) Truth Needs an Object

I copied (sometime, ago), a comment from a forum that I considered to be a revealing admission of a flawed moral thought process. The person commented that he was in a state of “moral flux” by virtue of himself not possessing a “standard,” with which to judge, (distinguish), reality. Here is what he stated:

…..Modern liberals are a confusing lot -- I know because I was one. Too many unresolved conflicts cause one to regress into relativism or to have little standards to judge things by. You find yourself in a state of not knowing what is right or wrong anymore so you just trust your government or public opinion as to how to lead your life. A liberal feels comfortable when he has a consensus on his side.


Aside from human political considerations, I relate the above comment to illustrate that truth desperately requires an object in order to have any moral relevance. The object of “my” truth, [which, is, in reality, not, “my” truth], is the God-man Christ of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures whose birth, life, suffering, death, burial and physical resurrection was prophesied (in history) hundreds of years before His actual birth! Now that is a very credible “Object” of truth, to be able to comfortably, and without shame, base my perception of the “Truth,” upon!

I hope and pray that you will be able to understand what I have been attempting to convey. Perhaps you are like some of those religious leaders portrayed in the Gospel of John 8:12-59. They readily brushed off Jesus Christ, because they could not think beyond their own human perception and tradition. John 8:32 makes it clear that when Christ was speaking of the truth, He was ultimately referring to Himself, being, that, Truth. This also, coincides with what Christ said in the Gospel of John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [KJV]

The Totality of Truth


The totality of truth cannot be found in specific facts or realities such as the laws of physics, mathematics or even gravity. Evolution certainly, did not even put these realties into place. Ultimate truth and the “whole of truth,” come from Creator Christ:

……Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:15-17


To this same Jesus Christ, the Scriptures ascribe the attribute, of existing, eternally – before time, as we know it. [John 1:1-3] Not only is Christ the Master world (universe) architect, He is one and the same with God.

Rejection of Christ


To disavow this Christ, who entered human history for the purpose of appeasing a just and wrathful God, on account of human sin, would be and will sadly be, the pathetic demise of all you who attempt, on your own, to deal with your corrupt human condition of sin.

You might be saying that you don’t have that problem of sin. That’s the same fixed point of view that those holier than thou religious leaders possessed in the historical Gospel narrative of the Gospel of John 8:1f. To them, Christ warned that they would die in their sins if they would not believe Christ to be who He said He was, (and, of course, act, upon that belief).

The choice is yours. You do have the God-given free moral agency to go about your merry way as the aforementioned “liberal” had. Make and fashion for yourself your own reality of “relativism.” Carve out for your selfish person, a world in which you believe there are no absolutes and no right and wrong. But know for a certainty that you will not escape this world alive. You, also, will “go the way of all flesh.” Your soul, after you die, will not be lost in an eternity of some “cyberspace nothingness.” Your soul will end up experiencing death eternal if you choose to continue to dismiss the claims of Christ and deny and reject his free offer of forgiveness from your sins against your holy and just Creator.

I implore you – search out the historic Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. Check out the rich literature of prophecy and prophecy fulfillment in the birth, life, death, burial and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

He is the only ultimate truth to shine light upon your sinful soul, and rescue it from its hopeless present and eternal condition.


Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins


Old Testament:

Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:26 ; Psalm 33:6 ; Psalm 102:25 ; Isaiah 45:12 and Isaiah 45:18

New Testament:


Gospel of John 1:1-3 and John 8:12-59

Colossians 2:3 and Colossians 2:15-17


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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
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Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


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