A REASON AND PURPOSE FOR EVERYTHING (PART 6)
Confusion, and uncertainty, the erroneous and fantastical, only exist in minds that are overshadowed by the spectre of ignorance. Belief which is not in accord with the correct knowledge of enough facts necessary in order to see the clear picture, and make an informed, and, therefore, correct judgement, can only ever guide one to that which is not true. Facts are our friends. However, a set of mismanaged, or misrepresented, facts will still lead a person to erroneous beliefs. For example, the fact that 4 is a number does not mean that it is the required and correct number to whatever equation you can think of. Simply because Christ died for sinners does not mean that He died for all sinners. The coupling of facts with incorrect understanding, man-made tradition, assumption, or ignorance of the truth is a recipe for disaster. There are facts, and then there is the truth: the true and only correct understanding of what certain facts equate to, what they are saying and what they mean collectively and individually. As statistics can be used to prove almost anything, misused facts can also be used to defend one’s incorrect beliefs or teachings. Without real facts, and without a proper understanding of those facts, one cannot deduce anything satisfactorily, much less accurately, logically. Everything a person believes is accurate and logical to them, for each person only knows what they are aware of, but this does not mean that everything they sincerely believe is truth. Take, for example, the parable of the blind men and the elephant which explains the need for complete context: “A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: ‘We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable’. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said ‘This being is like a thick snake’. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, ‘elephant is a wall’. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear… the parable implies that one's subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth.” The parable can hardly be used to show the impossibility of knowing truth, but it can be used to show that what a man believes to be truth, though palpably real to him, can be completely wrong when he does not have all the facts. A person who believes 2 +2 = 7 does not know his subject matter as the one who knows 2 + 2 = 4. Without an abidance in properly taught and understood Scriptural fact, no one can accurately and reliably deduce what the truth is and trust in it, either satisfactorily or logically. The true Christian has the truth. His understanding of Scriptural fact is in accord with the Word of God, and so, what he believes is the truth. Addressing fellow believers—not people who merely ‘believed’, but who believed the same things with the same faith—the apostle John wrote “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it…” (1 Jn. 2:21). Believing the truth is what evidenced these people as fellow believers. Obviously, those who do not know the truth do not know God.
There is a seemingly unending array of religions, claims to holy writings, supernatural experiences, and futile beliefs and ideas about who the real God is, which have done nothing but energize error, confusing and deceiving people whilst leading them into a false sense of security by convincing each and everyone that they have the true God. Ignorance is the key, the core element required, to believe error, but knowledge, unimpeded by ignorance or prejudice, is the key to freedom from error. “…Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, (said) ‘If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31,32). There is no freedom without truth. Freedom from what? Freedom from deception, the tyranny of lies and falsehoods, of error and the inertia of ignorance. “Human inertia is a compound of inertia and indifference...Find the facts, face the facts, follow the facts. A good rule! But ignorance never yet found a fact. Indifference faces fact and fallacy with equal unconcern…” Only the truth of God can free a man from ignorance and error about God. Only in what God says of Himself is there true freedom for the inquiring mind. What a person believes must agree with the Scriptures, and the Scriptures must agree with the Scriptures, otherwise, one cannot have the truth (see Isa. 28:9,10; Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15). Contradiction in the Bible is only in the eye of the ignorant beholder, the unsaved. The truth about God comes from God, and He reveals it to all His people. God’s people see His truth clearly, and by it are able to distinguish Him from all false gods. Those who do not see His truth can only see false gods.
Christ’s people know Him and His truth. Jesus says: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27 cf. Jn. 5:25). Christ’s people follow the true Christ, and not a false one. The only ones who hear the true God’s voice are His sheep, for they are known of Him and do follow Him. Those who do not follow Him are not of Him. They remain unconnected to the true God, for they are detached from His truth. Christ Jesus the Lord does not know those who do not hear His voice, who are not His sheep, for they do not follow Him. The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (Jn. 8:47). “…The Lord knoweth them that are His…” (2 Tim. 2:19). The only way to know God, to hear, understand and believe His words, is to be of God. The only way to be of God is to be saved by His grace. God is the cause behind a man’s hearing and believing Him. Those who were not of God did not believe in Him “…because God was not their Father, or they were not born of Him, as they boasted; therefore they had not eyes to see, nor ears to hear, nor hearts to understand: and it may as fairly be inferred, that because they did not hear the words of God, therefore they were not of God; for these two necessarily imply each other; it looks very dark on such persons, who neither hear the doctrines of the Gospel externally nor internally". Many do believe they are following Him, but the reality is they are not (see Matt. 7:21-23), for they neither understand nor believe the Gospel of God. They do not “hear with the ear of the mind”, and, therefore, do not trust in the way of grace. The telling factor is a singular failure to believe the doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God. The problem which has many in a state of utter confusion, with no way of unravelling the tissue of confusing and contrasting teachings which are all claimed to be Bible-based, but which in reality are only lies, is that everyone believes what they believe because they believe it to be truth. People are believing what man says, and what their carnal minds dictate, rather than what God proclaims through His Word. No one in their right mind would conclude that a particular question cannot have a right answer simply because 100 people have responded to it with a wrong answer. Whether there be one hundred, or one million people, with the wrong answer does not for one moment have any effect on what the true answer is. Nor would it for one moment suggest or mean that the true answer cannot, therefore, does not exist. Whether there are one million people or more who believe something to be the truth does not make it truth. Collective ignorance is weightless. Sheer weight of numbers, or lack of numbers, is no way to judge what the truth is. All the ignorance in the world cannot deny truth. Ignorance is the backbone of false knowledge, and “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance”. The truth is always out there, regardless of how few there are who see it, or indeed if any see it at all. As Winston Churchill once said: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is”.
Many people on the outside looking in are under the false impression that they would genuinely love an answer to all this confusion, something that would once and for all bring an end to all the uncertainty and the ensuing apprehension in their minds as to who is right, who the true God is, and how one can know Him with Scriptural assurance, and be with Him in eternity once their lives on this earth end. How eager and willing people seem to be for what they believe to be impossible. Perhaps the saddest fact of all is that when presented with the actual truth of God the vast majority of people who claim to want the truth vehemently oppose it, and denounce it as a lie. The truth is only a vexed issue for those who do not know what it is. The truth is only controversial to those who do not believe it. The truth is not believed by those who do not want it. What many want is their idea of truth, their preconceived concept of truth, and not the truth itself, for when they are presented with it they naturally flee from it. What truly reveals that which is within a person is how they respond to the truth of God. Truth is seen as controversy only to those who do not have God, and so, not recognising His truth, they gleefully entertain the lie, fake truth, which does nothing but deceive and confuse whilst leading people to that which is literally not even real. All error is unrealistic, for it does not represent truth. Error is a blinding force, darkness is its agent and ignorance is its sceptre. The blind even regard unfamiliar, or unrecognized, truth as mere opinion. And so, unbeknownst to the masses, truth is relegated to the ranks of error, ignorance and the downright blasphemous. Many such confused and misguided people are under the mistaken impression that they are not merely interested in truth, but that they are the very champions of it, and seek to run their lives in accord with it, and tell others about it. However, rather than wanting the real truth, the only truth—which most are either totally ignorant of, or identify as anything but truth—the reality of the situation is that what people really want is only what they want to believe the truth to be. A convenient ‘truth’ that suits them rather than having to conform their lives and their thinking to what the truth actually is.
People are sometimes keen for you to challenge their ‘truth’. They ask you for a Scripture verse that supports what you are saying, believing that you cannot supply one. However when you do show them the Scripture they often do not even offer a comment other than to show you a Scripture they have twisted to ‘support’ what they believe. One can challenge whatever one wishes to challenge, however, if a challenge is mounted upon prejudice and not verifiable facts, then one’s challenge is illegitimate. When most are challenged with that which is grounded in God’s Truth, their attitude quickly changes from boldness to timidity. They then hurriedly return to the perceived ‘safety’ of their false refuge which will inevitably cave in on them. Rather than honestly, properly and objectively deal with the Scripture they have been presented with, they hastily, instinctively, seek the comfort of the familiar darkness which resides within them. Rather than seek solace in what they have been incorrectly taught, people need to face the ‘uncomfortable’ truth and deal with the Scripture or Scriptures they have been challenged with. Many religious people live their lives devoted to morality and conviction, seeking to support, and lend legitimacy to their beliefs by an irreproachable lifestyle, yet relatively few have their morality and sincerest of convictions yoked with truth. Sincerity and lifestyle will never open Heaven’s Door. There is no other key to eternal life but the gift of belief in grace-given truth.
There is one, quick and sure-fire way to distinguish, to correctly sort through the morass of religious beliefs which range from the bizarre to the ridiculous. Many who believe themselves to be Christian rightly say that truth can only be discovered if one uses the Bible as one’s Authority. However, those who discount the Bible, in particular the New Testament, as being the Word of God, say that it is their ‘holy’ writings which must be looked to as the sole Authority. Islamists use the Quran, Hindus go by the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, and for the Buddhist it’s the Tripitakas. So while the Bible is the Word of Almighty God, many do not see it as the Word of God. What THE true and Holy writings are is a debatable subject for most, and so while the true Christian must declare the Bible as the Word of God, and quote from it, thus presenting God’s truth, we cannot depend solely on the Bible as the Word of God argument with those who do not believe it is, for all we will receive in return is argument. However, there is one thing which no one can, rightly or wrongly, argue against, and that is the indisputable fact that the one thing which all religions have in common is they all make Salvation, Nirvana, Valhalla, Moksha, immortality, Paradise, the Promised Land, call it what you will, conditional on what a person does, or does not do, in their lives. Religion says man must do in order to get saved, while true Christianity—according to the Word of God—states that salvation comes only by the grace of God through the gift of faith in the Obedience of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No religion, therefore, no man, has ever conceived of a gospel which denies salvation is something which can be achieved by what a man does. No gospel, or directory of salvation, of man’s says that salvation is only attainable by the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Blood and Righteousness alone. The Righteousness required for a man’s salvation was only achievable by One Man: The Lord Jesus Christ.
Ask anyone who is not a true born again Christian how a person is to be saved, and you will invariably receive the same answer: ‘obedience’. The obedience that is referred to is an individual’s obedience, a personal obedience. No carnal mind has ever accepted the truth that salvation comes only by the obedience of Jesus Christ, and not the so-called obedience of the saved individual. What people need to realise is that religion is all man-made. The common thread which runs through every man-made religion is the lie that man must, therefore, implying that he can, do something in order to get saved. Conversely, true Christianity is a Faith which is brought by God and freely given to His elect people so that they will believe the Gospel of salvation by the Obedience of One, and reject all else. As with the true God, the gospel of salvation by grace alone is like no other, for it conditions all of salvation on what God does, and nothing on what a man does. Truth concerning God—the truth of God and about God—is that which defines God, and is a revelation from God. The apostle Paul declared: “But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11,12). The fact that God declares “…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9), shows that no false god is like Him, and, therefore, no false god professes to save like the only true God saves. This strongly implies that false ways to salvation all have a source which is diametrically opposed to God’s only Way: the carnal mind of man, and the evil heart of Satan. There is only one of three sources from which a way to salvation comes: man, Satan or God. The only true Way to salvation is God’s Way. All false ways to salvation are authored by man or Satan. Man’s way and Satan’s way place the focus on man and what he does. God’s Way is the only one which places all the attention on God and what He has done to save His people from their sins. All the glory for all of salvation is due solely unto God, for salvatio