True Worshippers

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:24

Preparatory Reading: II Kings 17; Isaiah 44:9-20; II Thessalonians 2:9-15; II Timothy 4:1-4.

  1. Introduction:
    1. What is truth? It is conformity with fact; agreement with reality; accuracy, correctness, verity (of statement or thought). For us and this study, it is what is right and true as defined by Almighty God in the Holy Scriptures.
    2. We might question the importance of truth when we discover others holding different doctrine and practice from our own, if they are ancient commentators, growing churches, right on some points, give glowing testimonies of their walk, criticize our strictness, and/or live without fear or trouble (as Asaph wrote in Ps 73).
    3. The text above, John 4:20-24, is very popular and oft-quoted, but do you fully understand its proper sense?
  1. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
  1. Our fathers.
    1. The woman had already identified the difference and animosity between Jews and Samaritans (Jn 4:9).
      1. She did not use the plural first person pronoun to mean Jesus and her – but her nation and her.
      2. John would later record that Jesus talking to this woman caused marvel in the apostles (Jn 4:27).
      3. Jews and Samaritans hated each other for national and religious differences (Lk 10:33; Jn 8:48).
      4. If Jesus criticized her religion, He would condemn her nation, 450-year-old traditions, her religious leaders and parents, and her own relationship and worship to God. And He did just that!
    2. The Samaritans were half-breeds created by amalgamation with pagan Assyrians (II Kings 17:1-41).
      1. Assyria started by moving Israelites from Samaria to cities in Assyria (Jn 17:6), which we assume was only part of the population of Israel (II Chron 34:9; etc.), and we also assume affinity.
      2. The king of Assyria also brought other men from Assyria and placed them in Israel (Jn 17:24), and this initial wave of immigrants was assisted or added to by the Assyrian Asnappar (Ezra 4:9-10).
      3. Their religion started as a perverse mixture of idolatry and Jehovah worship (Jn 17:25-33), which God honored a little by calling off the lions; for obeying any truth has value (I Kgs 21:27-29).
      4. Josiah destroyed much of their pagan worship in his revival of Jehovah's religion (II Chr 34:6-7).
      5. But they kept on in some degree to their horrible religious confusion by serving both (Jn 17:34-41).
      6. They appealed to this worship of Jehovah over two hundred years later to Zerubbabel (Ezra 4:2).
      7. Rejected, they antagonized Judah by hindering the temple's rebuilding (Ezr 4:1-10; Neh 4:1-23).
      8. A son-in-law of Sanballat was rejected by Nehemiah from the Jewish priesthood (Neh 13:28).
      9. Josephus indicates a temple on Mt. Gerizim was built to compete with Jerusalem and its temple, and it was here these half-breeds followed a Mosaic form of worship, as a few do to this day!
      10. Those rejected from Jerusalem and temple worship for heresy or political reasons could find easy refuge and a similar religion just 30 miles away on Mt. Gerizim.
      11. These imposters were racially corrupt (Assyrians) and religiously corrupt (Moses perversion).
      12. John Hyrcanus (son of Simon Maccabees) destroyed this temple in 129 B.C., but they still saw the mount as holy, praying toward it as Solomon had established for his temple (I Kgs 8:35-36).
    3. The Samaritans were bold to claim to be the true worshippers of God from their Israelite fathers.
      1. They claimed themselves to be the proper descendants of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim.
      2. By appealing to certain Biblical accounts, some altered in their Samaritan Pentateuch to support their claims, they tried to establish themselves as the true, ancient worshippers of Jehovah.
  2. Worshipped in this mountain.
    1. As described under our fathers, the Samaritans worshipped Jehovah by Mosaic code on Gerizim.
      1. They had had a good enough temple there, where they kept Passovers and other Jewish feasts.
      2. Even after John Hyrcanus destroyed it in 129 B.C., they still worshipped toward the mountain.
      3. Abraham and Jacob had clearly worshipped in these parts (Genesis 12:6-7; 33:20; John 4:5-6).
    2. God chose Mount Gerizim for proclaiming God's blessings (Deut 11:29; 27:12; Josh 8:33: Jdgs 9:7).
    3. She referred to it as this mountain, for they were very near it at Sychar, which is Shechem (Jn 4:5-7).
      1. She was not a woman of the city of Samaria, eight miles distant, but of the country of Samaria.
      2. She was not using this demonstrative pronoun to refer to Mount Zion at a distance of 30 miles.
      3. She was not using this demonstrative pronoun to refer to Mount Sinai at a distance of 300 miles.
    4. Some religions put ridiculous stock in a location or place, like Islam with Mecca, aping Jerusalem.
    5. Mount Zion at Jerusalem was the place to pray toward after Solomon’s dedication (I Kgs 8:35-36).
  1. And ye say.
    1. This woman of Sychar reduced their religious differences to tradition and opinion, not scripture.
    2. The Jews had a different opinion of Mount Gerizim, their priests, and their aping of Moses' law.
    3. Today the acceptable response by many to this would be that each man's opinion is okay in religion.
    4. Or, we can agree to disagree, some say; but God has already disagreed, which annuls any agreement.
    5. We should never let religious matters become us against them … but rather, What saith the Lord?
  1. That in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
    1. Jerusalem is clearly where God placed His worship and where both temples were built for Jehovah.
    2. From the beginning of Israel, Moses had identified God's chosen place (Deut 12:5-11; I Kings 9:3).
    3. Why did the Jews say Jerusalem was it? Because God had told them so (II Chron 6:6; Ps 132:13).
  1. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
  1. Jesus saith unto her.
    1. All the answers, definitions, and doctrines of our religion come from the Founder and Head of it.
    2. She thought him to be only a prophet, but even a mere prophet was better than anything on Gerizim!
  1. Woman, believe me, the hour cometh.
    1. By these words and the context immediately following, we know He introduced a significant event.
    2. At a future date, worship would be so changed that it would not occur rightly in either city or mount.
    3. When Jesus says to believe Him, it is our wisdom to humble ourselves to the full sense of His words.
  1. When ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem.
    1. The Samaritans were ignorant about worshipping Jehovah rightly, but He waited His timing (Jn 4:22).
    2. He wisely chose for the sake of argument at this stage to allow her assumption of Samaritan worship, but He also prophesied an incredible thing – the worship of Jehovah would leave Jerusalem!
    3. The New Testament of Jesus Christ does not have a place on earth – its religion is of different sort.
      1. Jesus introduced her to a time of reformation and the doing away of Moses' worship (Heb 9:10).
      2. The worship of God would take place throughout the earth in the local churches of Jesus Christ.
      3. Though men were repenting and being baptized in the gospel, temple worship also continued.
      4. For forty years, from about 30 A.D. to 70 A.D., the two religious dispensations ran side-by-side.
      5. The longstanding difference between Jews and Samaritans would end – both would be replaced!
  2. Worship the Father.
    1. This is Jehovah, whom Jesus and the New Testament constantly refer to as Father in many senses.
    2. The Samaritans had their Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, assuming they worshipped Jehovah.
    3. Almighty God chooses the place and the way of His worship, and variations are totally unacceptable.
  1. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
  1. Ye worship ye know not what.
    1. Jesus our Lord was not taught political correctness, so He boldly and simply stated the plain truth.
    2. The Samaritans were religious idiots, aping Jerusalem without any authority from heaven to do so.
      1. Their temple, their priesthood, their rites, their sacrifices were nothing but nationalistic vanity.
      2. He said this for they did not worship by God's word, but rather by human tradition (Is 8:20).
      3. They did not what they worshipped – the worship of Jehovah must be by the written scriptures.
      4. By different arguments, their worship was actually of the devil, the father of lies (I Cor 10:20).
  2. We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    1. He admitted the Jews at least were correct in their worship, for they had the written oracles of God.
    2. The truth of the Scriptures and all they contain to know God and worship was theirs (Ps 147:19-20).
    3. Salvation was wrapped up from a national perspective in God's covenant dealings with the Jews.
  1. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  1. But the hour cometh, and now is.
    1. Jesus returned to His prophecy of a future change, but He declared here that it had already started.
    2. Further changes would occur; Jerusalem worship would end; but John started it all (Luke 16:16).
    3. The disjunctive but indicates that His previous statement about Jewish worship is to be superseded.
  1. When the true worshippers.
    1. If there are true worshippers, then there are false worshippers, and it behooves us to be the former.
    2. All the reasons men assume and give to validate their worship is entirely worthless outside scripture.
    3. Samaritans were imposters – not true worshippers; the Jews were true worshippers under the O.T.
    4. But a religious reformation was taking place that would soon condemn both Samaritans and Jews.
  1. Shall worship the Father.
    1. Jehovah of Moses, the God of Israel, would be as clearly worshipped, but it would be very different.
    2. Though not on Gerizim or Zion, and though not in Jerusalem, the LORD God would be worshipped.
    3. The change – correcting worship at Gerizim and in Jerusalem was summarized as spirit and truth.
    4. Paul described the reverent and fearful worship of Jehovah as the object of N.T. (Heb 12:28-29).
  1. In spirit.
    1. This identifying mark of true worship changes the outward ceremony and ritual of Jewish worship.
    2. Old Testament worship occurred in a place with external ordinances of sensual perception and duty e.g. altar, miters, candlesticks, Ark of the Covenant, incense, showbread, laver, curtains, etc., etc.
    3. This is not the Holy Spirit at all; for the Holy Spirit you must go elsewhere in scripture (Rom 8:9).
    4. This word describes the internal, spiritual, heart and mind worship of the New Testament protocol.
  1. And in truth.
    1. This identifying mark of true worship condemned the manmade lie of the Samaritan worship.
    2. It also condemned the distortion and hypocrisy of the Jews that Jesus took apart (Matthew 5-7).
    3. There is a right and wrong for every moral issue, especially the acceptable worship of Jehovah.
    4. Truth is defined, described, and limited by written revelation only (Deut 5:32; 12:32; Matt 28:20).
  1. For the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    1. God the Father, in His plan for worship, was through with the Jewish system of external religion.
    2. The God of Israel, never had any use for the blasphemous mimicking of Jerusalem on Gerizim.
    3. That God seeks true worshippers, and the identity of the worship is given, should greatly excite us.
    4. This verse is simply describing the change from the Old to New Testament form of worship.
    5. Jesus by these words introduced the earthshaking change in worship (Hag 2:6-9; Heb 12:26-29).
  1. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
  1. God is a Spirit.
    1. God is not corporeal being with a body or form of anything at all – He is an eternal, invisible Spirit.
    2. It is a horrible shame that so many want some kind of image, object, or picture in order to worship.
    3. Because God is an invisible Spirit, all the outward and visible ceremonies of Moses missed the mark.
    4. The invisible Spirit that created the worlds cannot be worshipped in a temple made by human hands.
  1. And they that worship him must worship him in spirit.
    1. Because God is an invisible spirit, the purest and best form of worship is that involving your spirit.
    2. External ceremonies and rituals of altars, incense, gold, candles, and such like do not match Him.
    3. God was never properly worshipped with animal blood, temples of stone, and carnal ordinances.
    4. We worship God acceptably in spirit by directing our inner affections and thoughts toward Him.
    5. For this reason the apostolic direction for music was for a melody from our hearts, not an instrument.
  1. And in truth.
    1. We must determine every aspect of our worship by the scriptures without regard for anything else, as we have taught and emphasized from the beginning (Ps 119:128; II Tim 3:16-17; Jude 1:3; etc.).
    2. He has revealed His will for New Testament worship by the scriptures of the apostles for us to obey, and we must be as dogmatic about them as Jesus was against this sincere woman of Samaria.
    3. We must oppose any alteration, invention, or modification of the New Testament scriptures, no matter how esteemed those making the changes or how others may perceive the change.
    4. It does not matter how ancient or sincere worshippers are – it is the word of God only that counts.

What Is Truth?

"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. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all."

John 18:37-38

 

  1. Introduction:
    1. Our Lord confessed His royal office and ministry of truth, but Pilate the Roman could not receive it: he had never heard a solid profession of truth, for the Roman Empire was a polytheistic mess of lies.
    2. Agur illustrated praying for us by limiting himself to two requests, the first being truth (Pr 30:7-9).
    3. Jesus told a woman of Sychar His Father sought worshippers who worshipped in truth (Jn 4:23-24).
    4. This study should not cause pride, but rather humble us in dependent ignorance; it should not puff us up as superior, but it should cause us to love as we are loved (Ps 119:18; Mat 11:25-27; I Cor 8:1-3).
    5. Those who think a claim to truth is arrogance are utterly destitute of godly reason and true humility.
    6. The prophetic Elijah proves a simple point most cannot or will not see (Mal 4:5-6; Mat 11:14-15)!
    7. We need valid reasons why we have a church of our own and do not simply join another area church.
    8. Consider baptism, salvation, cremation, holidays, the Lord's Supper, apostolic gifts, Bible prophecy, instrumental music in the church, and a host of other points of doctrine that test our love of truth.
    9. Most Americans grow up and spend their lives believing lies, and the American way of life is a lie!
    10. What if you spent one minute believing or serving a lie? Your sincerity is irrelevant. It is still a lie!
    11. Deception, believing a lie is the truth, is one of the most horrible ways to waste a life known to man.
    12. Imagine meeting Jesus and discovering that the Pope, Mary, and St. Nicholas cannot help you at all!
    13. Imagine meeting Jesus and discovering that every act of penance and holiday was an abomination!
    14. Consider the horrible results of our first two parents believing the first lie in Eden! Incredible!
    15. Every lie since then caused confusion, loss, pain, trouble, and judgment. Do you hate every lie?
    16. God mocked idol worshippers of the world for missing the lie in their right hand (Isaiah 44:9-20).
    17. Today's world has many idol worshippers: Hindu polytheists, ancestor worship, Mary and saint worship, and other foolish lies; but there is also many atheists and agnostics. All these are fools!
    18. A prophecy warns Christians would tire of truth and turn to fables and entertainment (II Tim 4:3-4).
    19. Do not be over confident! Your heart wants to believe lies rather than truth (Pr 21:2; 26:12; Je 17:9).
    20. A horrible but holy judgment awaits those who neglect the truth God offers them (II Thes 2:9-12).
    21. The reason we assemble is to hold fast truth we have received (II Thess 2:13-17; Heb 10:23-25).
    22. Truth should cause thanksgiving for it, prayer for more, diligence in seeking, and zeal in defending.
  1. WHAT IS TRUTH?
    1. There are many false concepts of truth, which are the result of the devil's work on sinful hearts.
      1. Some think truth to be situational ethics – whatever a situation calls for is appropriate truth.
      2. Some think truth to be relatively personal – whatever a person thinks is right is truth for them.
      3. Some think truth to be found in sincerity – whatever a person sincerely believes is truth to them.
      4. Some think truth to be found in science – whatever facts scientists can prove must be truth.
      5. Some think truth to be based in popularity – whatever the majority of men hold must be truth.
      6. Some think truth to be determined by antiquity – whatever previous generations taught is truth.
      7. Some think truth to be found in education – whatever the most educated men believe is truth.
      8. Some think truth to be found in personality – charming and powerful men must hold the truth.
      9. Some think truth to be found in feelings – the truth will feel and seem right to these persons.
      10. Some think truth to be found in results – if it works, or the end justifies the means, it is truth.
    2. Truth is certain, in spite of what foolish men may say about it being relative, changing, or flexible.
      1. Solomon wanted his son grounded in the words of God to know certain answers (Prov 22:17-21).
      2. Luke wrote Theophilus to declare certain facts of the gospel they surely believed (Luke 1:1-4).
      3. Every issue has one true answer or solution and many false answers or solutions. Prove the one!
    3. Everything that is not truth must be a lie, for every statement, idea, or opinion is one or the other.
      1. Consider the first lie. God said, "Thou shalt surely die." Satan said, "Ye shalt not surely die." The difference between life and death, and between heaven and hell, was just one little word!
      2. Words, facts, and doctrines must be proven truth (Gen 42:16; Deut 13:14; I Kgs 17:24; Job 9:2).
      3. No lie is of the truth (I John 2:21). Truth and lies are totally incompatible and adversarial.
      4. If you contradict the word of God, then you have turned from the truth to a lie (II Timothy 2:18).
      5. Truth is determined by measuring it against the apostolic religion of the Bible (I John 4:1-6).
      6. Elijah boiled issues down to the basics! How long halt ye between two opinions (I Kgs 18:21)?
      7. Truth frees men from lies and the devil's captivity (John 8:32; Isaiah 44:18-20; II Tim 2:24-26).
    4. God is truth (Exodus 34:6; Deut 32:4; II Sam 7:28; Psalm 31:5; 146:6; Isaiah 65:16; Jer 10:10; Daniel 4:37; John 17:3; I Thess 1:9; I John 5:20).
    5. God's word is truth (Psalm 19:7-11; 119:142,151; Daniel 10:21; John 17:17; II Cor 6:7; Eph 1:13; II Tim 2:15; I Thess 2:13).
    6. Jesus Christ was a Man of truth (Matthew 22:16; John 14:6; 18:37; Romans 15:8; James 1:18).
    7. Truth in matters of liberty varies from man to man, but God has not spoken (Rom 14:1-5,14,20,23).
    8. Truth is sincerity (Phil 1:16-18). Truth is reality, for lies are vanity (Psalm 119:113; Prov 30:7-9).
    9. Truth is the foundation of faith; when men turn from truth, they overthrow their faith (II Tim 2:18).
    10. Truth must be proven to be truth, held very tight, and then all other opinions rejected (I Thess 5:21).
      1. Everything you hear must be confirmed clearly by the word of God or rejected (Acts 17:11).
      2. If you cannot prove a thing as truth, then you should hate it and get rid of it (Psalm 119:128).
      3. If it is not found in God's word, then it is nothing but abject darkness and ignorance (Is 8:20).
      4. The only reasonable men in the world are those with faith believing Scripture (II Thess 3:1-2).
  2. TRUTH IS DESPISED
    1. Even in Isaiah's time, the people of God preferred smooth things more than right things (Is 30:8-11).
    2. In our prophesied days, Christians reject sound doctrine and prefer fables to truth (II Timothy 4:3-4).
    3. Many denominations make women the focal point of programs without any truth (II Timothy 3:6-7).
    4. The warning was of a generation desiring fables rather than truth i.e. self-love, casual worship, freewill, child discipline, social programs, prosperity gospel, interpretive dance and drama, etc.
    5. Men resist the truth, even so-called Christian teachers, and they are getting worse (II Tim 3:6-8,13).
    6. By nature, all men and we prefer lies and hate truth (Pr 20:6; 21:2; Luke 6:26; John 8:45; Gal 4:16).
    7. No one is totally sure of anything today, except to slander Christians, in order to avoid any conflict.
    8. The poor Galatians had been victimized from evident truth to the heresies of the Judaizers (Gal 3:1).
    9. We are despised for believing things by faith rather than by human explanation (II Thess 3:1-2).
    10. It is amazing how many emphasize the Spirit, but despise the truth, even though the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; Eph 5:9; I John 5:6)!
    11. Sin hardens our hearts, so we are capable of departing from the living God (I Tim 4:2; Heb 3:12-13).
    12. There have been profane and potent enemies of the truth (Dan 8:12; John 8:40,44; Acts 13:10).
    13. The wicked hold the truth in unrighteousness and change the truth to a lie (Romans 1:18,25).
    14. Men choose to be willfully ignorant when it affects their little games in sinful lusts (II Peter 3:3-5).
      1. Men despise the truth and try to turn you from the truth by various ridiculing and sarcastic remarks.
      2. If you say you have the truth, then you are condemning everyone else as heretics.
      3. If you say you have the truth, then you are certainly in a small, lonely minority.
      4. If you say you have the truth, how can you be absolutely certain it is the truth?
      5. If you say you have the truth, are you denying you have ever changed your position?
      6. If you say you have the truth, what are you saying of all the other great teachers?
      7. If you say you have the truth, what are you saying of other good men and women?
      8. If you say you have the truth, then you cannot be open to new truth that God might show you.
    15. Men despise the truth and try to turn you from the details of truth, saying that God does not care.
      1. Cain thought his version of the truth should be as good as Abel's, but it was not (Genesis 4:1-8).
      2. Nadab and Abihu though God should accept their strange fire, but He did not (Leviticus 10:1-7).
      3. Moses and Aaron thought their overall obedience might allow some compromise (Num 20:7-13).
      4. King Saul justified his compromise by intending to use it for God's glory (I Samuel 15:20-23).
      5. David had a great heart and motives, but forgetting the due order killed a man (I Chron 15:13).
      6. King Uzziah thought his position and God's blessings would allow him liberty (II Chr 26:16-21).
      7. Saul of Tarsus sincerely believed he had the truth, but he found his heart to be a liar (Acts 26:9).
      8. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures and fervent in spirit, but he lacked truth (Acts 18:24-28).
  3. TRUTH IS RARE
    1. The Lord Jesus asked if the Son of Man would find faith on the earth at His coming (Luke 18:7-8).
    2. When God brought the flood, we only read that Noah was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5).
    3. Satan is the father of lies, and he does want men to have truth. He rules over his kingdom with lies. His kingdom is based in lies, and men willingly follow him (John 8:44; Eph 2:1-3; II Thess 2:9-12).
    4. There are many teachers that want to turn us from the truth, even using Jewish fables (Titus 1:14).
    5. There are Christian teachers destitute of truth, as hard as it may seem (I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:6-8).
    6. God's prophets described Israel as having forsaken the truth (Isaiah 59:4,12-15; Jeremiah 5:1; 9:3,5).
    7. Rather than aggressively seeking the truth, men rush with lascivious greed after sin (Eph 4:17-19).
    8. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many for the truth has and will wax cold (Matthew 24:12).
    9. The people of God have always been a very small remnant in the world (Isaiah 1:9; Rom 11:1-5).
    10. God has sent a famine for the word of God due to the rebellion of His people (Amos 8:11-12).
    11. We live in a sick society of relativism contrary to God's absolutism, dogmatism, and truth.
    12. Personal compromise steals our hearts from steadfast love of the truth (Prov 8:13; I Tim 4:16).
    13. Sin in our lives will harden our hearts to the truth of God's word (Hebrews 3:12-13; I Timothy 4:2).
  1. TRUTH IS BY GRACE
    1. Truth is not a right; it is a privilege. Truth is not an achievement; it is a blessing. Truth is not a discovery; it is a gift. Truth is not by education; it is by revelation.
    2. Man is not intellectually incapable of truth: he is morally incompatible with truth; he is emotionally resistant to truth; he is motivationally rebellious to truth.
    3. Truth is not a matter of intelligence, diligence, luck, or other natural basis; it is by gracious revelation from the Source of truth, the God of heaven.
    4. Consider Matthew 13:10-17 and 16:20 and their ramifications. God does not owe truth to any man.
    5. Jesus praised His Father for hiding the things of truth from the wise and prudent (Matt 11:25-27).
    6. God shines in only some hearts to give His knowledge against the devil's darkness (II Cor 4:2-4).
    7. There are secrets and mysteries that natural man cannot and will not understand (I Cor 2:6-16).
    8. By nature we prefer lies and hate truth, for we are depraved and follow Satan (John 8:45; Gal 4:16).
    9. Our hearts are incredibly deceitful above all things, which is not flattering or hopeful (Jer 17:9-10).
    10. The ability to be delivered from Satan and acknowledge the truth is by God's grace (II Tim 2:25).
    11. We are bound to thank God for the truth and saving us from damning delusions (II Thess 2:13).
    12. Isaiah 44:9-20 describes men blinded to truth, captured by lies, and without any hope of escape.
    13. Only godly men by the grace of God can acknowledge the truth as it is in Jesus Christ (Titus 1:1).
  1. TRUTH IS BY REVELATION
    1. Jesus plainly told Peter that his understanding of Himself was directly from heaven (Matt 16:17).
    2. Jesus spoke in parables to hide truth from many and reveal it to His disciples (Matt 13:9,16-17).
    3. However, most Bibles are altered freely to use all kinds of words in presenting various meanings!
    4. Truth does not necessarily have much to do with learning, because there is a lot of the latter with little of the former (II Tim 3:6-7). God blinds the minds of scribes and opens the hearts of Lydia's.
    5. Jesus Christ is Truth, and He is the True and Faithful Witness (John 14:6; 18:37-38; Rev 1:5; 3:14).
    6. His kingdom is based in truth, into which we are translated by the great work of God (Col 1:13).
    7. Our generation believes it is so advanced and superior to all that came before it, but their insane ideas on most subjects increase daily.
      1. They think we are civilized because we use microwaves instead of an open fire, but they are idiotic enough to believe the universe came from a big bang and humanity from monkeys!
      2. Every generation before us knew that child discipline works, but this one scoffs at the idea.
      3. Every generation before us knew that capital punishment was a deterrent, but not this one!
    8. We know the details of creation, for it has been revealed to us by revelation (Gen 1:1-31; Heb 11:3).
    9. Truth rests on two pillars – (1) God is, and (2) God has revealed truth through the Scriptures.
      1. The Bible is called the Scriptures of truth and the word of truth (Daniel 10:21; II Timothy 2:15).
      2. The spirit of truth and error is seen by how a person receives the apostles' writings (I Jn 4:1-6).
      3. The Bible is more sure than hearing God's voice from heaven with witnesses (II Pet 1:16-21).
      4. The apostolic revelatory gifts were very imperfect and only temporary (I Corinthians 13:8-12).
      5. Dreams and visions and other such Charismatic nonsense are worthless (Jeremiah 23:28-29).
    10. Selecting only certain points of doctrine to measure truth is a compromising nightmare of vanity.
      1. There are no godly rules in the Bible to justify or limit such a selection process (Deut 12:32).
      2. Any verse used to separate from any error will require separation from all and every error.
      3. Such a selective approach to truth is inherently rebellious and proud, and it leads to cult thinking.
      4. We must purpose to hold every word of God in truth or hold nothing at all from the word of God.
  2. TRUTH IS TO BE SOUGHT
    1. Truth is not necessarily easy to obtain, at least in some respects; but diligence should be applied.
    2. Jesus compared the truth of His kingdom as being worth all that a man might pay (Matt 13:44-46).
    3. Solomon described the hunting for truth and wisdom as the searching for hid treasure (Prov 2:1-9).
    4. Do you search for truth? Do you highly value truth? Do you pray for truth? Do you fight for truth?
    5. Everything is to be proven right or wrong by the word of God (Acts 17:11; I Thessalonians 5:21).
    6. Buy it! Sell it not! Give up things for it; and accept nothing that will distract you from it (Pr 23:23).
    7. Truth is necessary to worship God acceptably, and He is looking for true worshippers (Jn 4:23-24).
    8. We must prepare to have the good ground that bears fruit from hearing the truth (Luke 8:18).
    9. Samuel warned of the dire consequences of neglecting the truth of God (I Samuel 12:20-25).
    10. God expects to be worshipped in truth (Joshua 24:14; I Sam 12:24; Psalm 145:18; John 4:23-24).
    11. God is looking for a man who seeks the truth for His mercy (Jeremiah 5:1; Zechariah 8:16).
    12. Do you pray for truth, which is begging God for more (Ps 119:18; Dan 9:13; Eph 1:17-18)?
  1. TRUTH IS TO BE EXALTED
    1. Solomon said, "Buy the truth, and sell it not" (Proverbs 23:23). It is a valuable thing to be obtained.
      1. In order to buy the truth, we must be willing to exchange or give up valuable things for it.
      2. In order to not sell the truth, we must be ready to reject high prices offered to take it from us.
      3. You can buy the truth with time and separation (Pr 18:1), friends (Pr 13:20), prayer (Pr 2:3), instruction (Pr 9:9; 19:20), study (Pr 2:4-5; 6:6; 15:28), and so forth.
      4. Do not sell it for comfort, peace, friends, "balance," or even your own life.
    2. If you make light of truth or disregard it, God is able and willing to send you a lie instead (I Kgs 22:21-22).
    3. Jacob and David were thankful for the truth God had graciously shown them (Gen 32:10; Ps 138:2).
    4. The most precious truth is the facts concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, which are unknown to men.
    5. We have a bond in the truth we should never forget (Titus 1:1; II Pet 1:1; II John 1:1; III John 1:1).
    6. It is our duty to keep one another converted to the truth without any errors (Jas 5:19-20; Gal 6:1-2).
    7. Truth has wonderful properties to save you from false doctrine and trouble (I Timothy 4:1-6).
    8. If you despise truth, God can take it all away from you, as He does Catholics (II Thess 2:9-12).
    9. Truth can set you free, because it will deliver you from the bondage of deceiving lies (John 8:31-36).
    10. We cannot tolerate error, because evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33).
    11. The fear of man brings a snare, so we reject men in order to hold to the truth (Job 32:1-22; Pr 29:25).
    12. Do not allow idols in your heart to tempt you away from truth; God may deceive you (Ezek 14:9).
    13. Great men that are fit to be rulers over God's people must be men of truth (Exodus 18:21).
    14. God is coming to judge the people with truth, so there will be a reckoning soon over truth (Ps 96:13).
    15. We should keep the Lord's Supper with truth, because false doctrine corrupts it (I Corinthians 5:8).
    16. A tool against the devil is truth, for he is and always has been merely a liar against truth (Eph 6:14).
    17. The fear of man brings a snare, so we must exalt truth above even great men (Psalm 119:98-100).
    18. Truth should be more important than your family, for the Lord may test you (Matthew 10:34-37).
    19. The martyrs loved truth far more than their own lives (Acts 7:59; Rev 1:9; 6:9; 12:17; 20:4).
  1. TRUTH IS TO BE TAUGHT
    1. God does not care what men want, so He orders truth be taught intensely anyway (II Tim 4:2).
    2. Women must be protected and taught carefully, especially by husbands (I Cor 14:34-35; II Tim 3:6).
    3. God wants His elect, some of all sorts of humanity, to come to a knowledge of the truth (I Tim 2:4).
    4. We want to save men from the delusions of the devil and false religion (II Thess 2:13).
    5. Peter purposed to continue reminding his hearers of the truth, though established in it (II Pet 1:12).
    6. If we wander out of the way of truth, we shall remain in the congregation of the dead (Pr 21:16).
    7. Do you teach the truth to your children, which is God means for perpetuating truth (Is 38:18-19)?
    8. Solomon told his son to buy the truth and sell it not (Job 28:12-23; Proverbs 23:23; Isaiah 38:19).
    9. We want ourselves and our children to be established in the certain words of truth (Prov 22:17-21).
    10. Godly preaching makes manifest the truth to every man's conscience (II Corinthians 2:14-17; 4:2).
    11. Godly preaching is making war with the minds and imaginations of all the hearers (II Cor 10:4-6).
    12. There is no room for weakness or compromise in teaching the truth (II Tim 4:1-2; Titus 2:15).
  1. TRUTH IS TO BE DEFENDED
    1. We have an apostolic order to earnestly contend for the truth once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
    2. Consider how intensely Nehemiah contented with the leaders in his church (Nehemiah 13:25)!
    3. Truth does not change, so Paul told Timothy to continue in what he had been taught (II Tim 3:14).
    4. Timothy was to find other men that would not change in doctrine or practice (II Tim 2:2; Titus 1:9).
    5. Are you ready to give a reasonable answer of the hope that is in you (Prov 22:17-21; I Pet 3:15)?
    6. It takes a little knowledge to believe truth, more to teach it, and much more knowledge to defend it.
    7. Human education, of any sort from any source, does not raise the probability of truth; it reduces it.
    8. We want our church to fulfill Paul's instruction to be a pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim 3:15).
    9. We cannot even allow the truth to be questioned, for that is how Satan began with Eve (Gen 3:1).
    10. We cannot let good words and fair speeches deceive: error proves belly worship (Rom 16:17-18).
    11. Heresies will most certainly come, but they are for proving your love of the truth (I Cor 11:19).
    12. We cannot allow compromise in any matter of doctrine or godliness, at home or in the church.
    13. Heretics must be thrown out of the churches and our lives (II Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10-11).
    14. Churches are responsible for the doctrines held by their members (II John 1:9-11; Rev 2:14-15,24).
    15. Paul warned about seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, which we must oppose (I Tim 4:1-6).
    16. Paul would not put up with error for even an hour in order to maintain the truth (Galatians 2:5).
    17. Those not holding the truth, regardless of position, are to be rebuked for their error (Gal 2:14; 3:1).
    18. We must eventually reject false brethren that are ignorant or contentious (I Cor 14:37-38; 11:16).
    19. Paul did not care if the error came from him or an angel; the teacher was to be cursed (Gal 1:6-9).
    20. Jesus Christ blasted the religious leaders of His day with unprecedented dogmatism (Matt 7:28-29).
  1. TRUTH IS TO BE OBEYED
    1. Disregarding the truth will bring severe judgment and delusion from God (II Thessalonians 2:8-12).
    2. The Jews took great comfort in their possession of Scripture, to their own confusion (Rom 2:17-27).
    3. Consider Catholics and Episcopalians, who kiss the Bible to show reverence, yet defy most of it.
    4. Faith, no matter how prized, carries no weight in comparison to obedience (James 2:14-26).
    5. Truth must be more than head knowledge, or it is merely a devil's faith, hypocrisy, and/or rebellion.
    6. The truth includes the practical commandments of the Word of God, as opposed to merely theological truth. You cannot accept the Being of God, but reject that Being's rules for holy living.
    7. Walking in truth, as opposed to talking in truth, is the important part (III John 1:3-4; II John 1:4).
    8. Unless we live the truth and keep the commandments of God, we do not have the truth (I John 2:4).
    9. We can hurt the truth by wicked lives, which has always been a major cry of unbelievers (II Pet 2:2).
    10. We purify our souls by obeying the truth, but this is through the Spirit of God blessing it (I Pet 1:22).
    11. We can lie against the truth to justify our carnal habits or faults, but we deceive ourselves (Jas 3:14).
    12. Truth brings much greater responsibility, for God will hold you accountable for it (Hebrews 10:26).
  1. Conclusion:
    1. We cannot waste a day of our lives and not read the Bible with great pleasure and zeal for the truth of God.
    2. We must learn the words of truth to give certain answers to those asking questions (Pr 22:17-21; I Pet 3:15).
    3. A tithe of time is 2 hours and 24 minutes; just 1% of your time is 14 minutes and 24 seconds; this is each day.
    4. We must be thankful to God always for the truth He has graciously shown us (Genesis 32:10; II Thess 2:13).
    5. We must apply ourselves diligently toward obtaining the truth of God (Job 23:12; Prov 2:1-9; 18:1).
    6. We must pray for more truth that God will reveal it to us (Job 34:31-32; Ps 119:18; Eph 1:17-18).
    7. We must teach and defend the truth in a day that despises God's truth (Is 38:18-19; I Tim 3:15; Jude 1:3).
  1. For Further Study:
    1. The sermon, "Is God the Author of Confusion?" proves God owes the truth to no man and deceives many.
    2. The sermon, "Truth Is Fallen in the Street," exhorts men to duty in seeking, defending, and obeying the truth.