In a world that is increasingly liberal and suffused with readily accessible ‘knowledge’, truth has become more and more nebulous. It is no more what the dictionary defines it; a fact, an exactness, a veracity, precision etc. Now truth has become relative….it is as you ‘see’ it or more appropriately, as you ‘choose’ it. It really doesn’t matter anymore; it is now ‘whatever!’ Yet, nothing is farther from the truth than relativism. Truth is constant, must be constant, otherwise it is not truth. But where do we go to get the truth; tradition, science, philosophy, religion or the occult or the media?
Tradition passes down ‘known’ truths which many hang on to simply because, well ‘it is the way it has always been’. Man simply passes down stories of myths, legends etc. to teach values but invariably each group picks and chooses object lessons that conform to their reality, leaving contradictory gaps. Traditions are powerful, so powerful indeed that their premises go unchallenged. Yes, tradition has its place. It provides the paradigms for society; the clear lines that make for ‘peace’ and stability of the society. But tradition must be challenged for societal progress to take place, as is always the case. In any case, tradition does not always stand the test of objective scrutiny and time. The ‘fathers’ are not always right! Tradition can and does change, therefore tradition cannot be truth.
Science on the other hand, explores the ‘unknown’ for truth. It seeks to verify, by objective means, traditions and other thoughts; about people, things and phenomena. The outcome is fair predictability of cause and effect. Science is comforting, as the knowledge of truth always is. The danger though is that science itself is unfolding; we know in part. But ‘known’ scientific truths may unwittingly become tradition; until they are challenged and become obsolete. Therefore, Science, the intellectual pursuit of truth, cannot be truth in and of itself.
Religion stands astride tradition and Science. It seeks to address the whys of life by proclaiming ‘truths’, some of which are now known and others which remain unknown and unexplained, as yet, by science. Thus, we have accounts of angels and demons, invisible beings that appear and disappear mysteriously; and of other inexplicable supernatural manifestations. Religion further talks about a good place and a bad place, both invisible, and how our conduct on earth will determine which we go to after death. Then it hands down rules, to guide us to the good place, most of which have a common denominator across cultures; the moral code. The problem of course is that while we uphold the essential goodness of the moral code, we ourselves are found wanting in its fulfillment. They are good but we cannot keep them perfectly, even while we demand that others do. The result is hypocrisy, finger pointing and discontent. Religion does not deliver on its promise of utopia because man is somehow unable, in his strength, to fulfill all of its requirements!
Philosophy, with its great disdain for ‘superstitious’ religion but an abiding faith in man’s intellectual prowess, has also attempted to answer the question of why? Unfortunately, philosophy has raised more questions than answers. The best that we have got from philosophy is more ‘knowledge’ of what is; and the inevitable pride that comes with it, but not the why. Rene Descartes’ proposition, cogito ergo sum: ‘I think, therefore I am’ may have been taken too seriously, and literally, by philosophers, especially the Enlightenment thinkers. But to believe that we exist because we ‘think’ is to conclude that we ‘thought’ ourselves into existence. No, we think, because we are! The ‘great thinkers’ of the Enlightenment era promised an ‘unending human progress’ but we have since witnessed an unending stream of wars, including two of the most devastating wars of all time; and rumors of more wars. They obviously did not take the ‘desperately wicked’ heart of man into consideration. Indeed, some of the greatest ‘liberators’ turned out to be the worst oppressors. No, philosophy has not the answers to man’s deepest needs. Their latest offering rather has been the perfect lullaby; ‘why ask why?’
The occult meantime seeks to fill the gap; it grants ready access to the supernatural without the ‘religious’ rules, albeit at a hidden cost now and even for generations. It is nothing but ‘sophisticated’ voodoo. Like traditional voodoo, widely practiced in Africa and the Americas, it is rooted in the strong belief that everything in the material world, including humans, has a spiritual identity that is immune to physical death. In particular, each person’s spirit survives the death of the body, therefore they can be reached at will; people and things can be manipulated through their spirits. The occult does indeed deliver on some of these promises.
But the occult does not identify or separate the ultimate sources of spiritual identity and their implications for mankind. The very root of the word occult means ‘hidden, secret’. It is deceitful, and extremely dangerous.
Enter the MEDIA with the latest communication wonder; the internet. A new breed of all-knowing moguls who have an answer to our every question, but offer the truth after their own ‘image and likeness’, has emerged. And they are everywhere, on your phone, laptop, TV etc. Now everybody has a say on the Truth and they have the platform to share their ‘truth’ with a mostly gullible audience, in the millions! With a single tweet, every word and act is scrutinized and projected in the light of the purveyor of ‘truth’. An innocent embrace, an invitation to a date, could become ‘sexual harassment’, even when the offer could well have been rejected without rancor. Conversely, the same media ‘sells’ women, in all shades of undress daily; as objects to be ogled at by men, and now increasingly it seems, by women so inclined! Yet, men are being emasculated for being seduced. The outcome, intended or otherwise, is confusion in the minds and hearts of all; an attack on our social nature. ‘Political correctness’ means that you can no longer be objective on this or any other matter; unless and until you say it only as the ‘liberals’ define it. That cannot be Truth!!
The internet has been a blessing; it is also a dangerous place to seek the Truth.
The Bible, however, makes the most authoritative yet mysterious claim: that Truth is more than a concept, but is a Person. Truth, says the Bible, is ‘God’s Word … which lives and abides forever….
And the Word was made flesh …’
The closest we are to verifying this claim scientifically, is from an interesting scientific theory, the wave particle theory, which stipulates that energy and matter are interchangeable:
Invisible energy can become visible matter and visible matter can become invisible energy!
The Bible actually makes that claim; that the invisible energy birthed the visible matter.
“By faith, we understand that the universe was put together by God’s word. What we see was made from what we cannot see.”
What science calls energy, the Bible calls spirit or the supernatural. And what science calls matter, the Bible calls natural or physical realm; flesh in some instances. Words, the Bible further tells us, are spiritual entities (invisible energy) that give life.
It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
So, we conclude that:
Truth, the invisible Word of the invisible God, is the source and essence of everything, beyond the mere fact of its existence.
Truth (God’s word) is also a creative force, a spiritual power, that originates in the heart of the Creator in accordance with His will. Truth is simply God’s Will!!
“I AM the…Truth…” says Jesus Christ.
Surah Maryam 19:34, “That is Jesus, the son of Mary –
the word of truth about which they are in dispute.” Koran
‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes’
The battle of life is a battle of belief. Yes, the material (visible) and spiritual (invisible) are both real and are co existent:
“But the things which are seen (matter) are temporal, (and) the things which are not seen (spiritual) are eternal…”
For too long, we have believed more in the visible material world. But that reality is temporal. It is one reason why material stuff never truly satisfies; the thrill only lasts so long, no matter what. The founding fathers of the great USA made ‘the pursuit of happiness’ the right of all, which in turn birthed The American dream; a house, a car and a yearly holiday for every family. The USA is arguably the richest country in the world. It also has one of the highest rates of depression, gun violence, homicides, drug abuse etc. in the world!
The problem is not with material possessions in themselves, no. Mankind has an inexplicable burden of guilt, shame and want. The freedom from guilt, shame and want, that we seek does not come from without, the material things of life, but from within…
‘God is a Spirit’, an invisible being; He is also the “Father of spirits”, according to the Bible. Science would probably say it differently: God is Energy and the Father of energies. We further deduce from the Bible, that man has a dual nature: he is both spirit and flesh; energy and matter. Man has a will, emotions and intellect, all of which are invisible spiritual realities, in the ‘image and likeness’ of the invisible God. Man also has a body, a complex flesh and blood visible matter. Some may quarrel with the notion of man as a spirit; and indeed with all things spiritual. But our every choice, thought, emotion and word is actually spiritual, invisible reality. And they birth our material realities! Everything we do starts from the place of thought; the houses and roads that we build, the music we play and sing, and all the other great inventions that we have come up with. And our emotions color everything. One can live in beautiful Park Avenue, New York and still be lonely and miserable!
For beyond our everyday realities, the greater burden of not knowing the reality of the hereafter, what lies beyond death, leaves man in the bondage of the fear of death, ‘all their lifetime’. For the fear of death is ultimately man’s greatest fear and it drives all our lustful desires, the greed to ‘have it all and more’, here on earth before we die; if at possible at the expense of all others! But having it all here does not assuage our fears or the emptiness within and the longing for ‘something’which we can hardly describe. Is there a way out of this dilemma? Yes, there is; God’s way, Truth.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
There is great power in Truth to ‘make you free’. I recall watching an interview of one of the investigators of the Malaysian flight that got ‘missing’ and was never found. Two years into the investigation and lots of money and efforts after, he was asked why the search was still on. His answer caught my attention; the families and friends needed to know the truth so they could move on with their lives. No, he wasn’t offering them any hopes of seeing their loved ones alive again but just to knowwhat they obviously already knew; that they were dead. Such is the power of truth: to‘…make you free.’
Truth in our human spirit is the only means to real freedom and happiness.
The inequalities between men and between nations, the pervasive evils of life and the devastating disasters of nature etc. may lead some to question the very existence of God; or His fairness and power. Some sincere religionists in sheer despair would even attribute everything; the good, the bad and outright evil, to ‘the will of God. We do not subscribe to that, indeed we cannot. Rather, we believe that God:
Our ‘Father which is in heaven is perfect’; in love, goodness, and power.
His perfect love extends to all; godly and ungodly alike. Yes, God loves mankind so much and wants the best for all. But that presents a paradox. We do not see perfection in the world! So we blame God for the very things we ascribe to Him as God; His perfect love, goodness, and power. If God is who we say He is, then He can and should put His creation in order!! The truth, however, is that God has given man the awesome responsibility over the earth…
‘The heavens He has reserved for Himself and the earth He has given to the children of men.’ Wow!!
Man is, should be, in charge!! The world is imperfect because men are imperfect. So we blame God for creating an imperfect man? Not according to the Bible. Rather, rebellion against God’s rule entered into the heart of man and brought corruption in its wake. Man enthroned his own will, over and above all else; even over the will of God! Mankind is still inclined to his own will. Our imperfect world is the result of the clash of selfish unyielding wills that are out of sync with Love, out of sync with God.
God made man upright; but they have sought out many schemes.
Post modern man seems averse to the things of the spirit. It is foolishness, to their mind. Well, we may not readily see or fully understand the things of the spirit, but to deny their existence is akin to denying the wind. We may not see the wind but can we deny its effects? Even so, we may not fully understand spiritual reality but we are best advised to seek and to apply the available knowledge profitably. We need not understand the digestive process to profit from eating food daily. We only need to know that we need food to keep alive and be wise enough to eat our food without bothering so much about understanding the process. Understanding the process, of course, may be helpful but not necessary.
So here’s a basic truth;
There are two great mysteries, or kingdoms, that control life and creation as we know them; Godliness and wickedness.
The prevalent mystery in the world now, is the mystery of evil. It begs the question, why? Why is there so much evil in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people; and vice versa? Why do people, old and young, suffer and die prematurely; or die at all? Why is mankind unable to love one another, even as nearly all the religions teach? What is it about man that drives him in such wickedness of thoughts and actions? Why do we expect, nay demand, so much of one another yet give so little in return? Why, why, why…? The questions are endless and the answers not forthcoming, at least to the rational mind. The unreasonableness of evil is what the Bible calls the mystery of wickedness. It is our inexplicable but prevalent existential reality. God’s created universe, He called good, indeed very good. But we also hear of a spiritual adversary, satan, a rebel angel and God’s arch enemy, who sought, and still seeks to be ‘like the Most High’. Jesus called him the ‘prince’ or god of this world. His mission, we know, is to ‘kill, steal and destroy’ and we see the effects of his evil rule all over creation. He is the god of wickedness and ultimately the source of all of man’s woes, including natural disasters, for he brought corruption and death to the world; to both man and nature. Moreover, he has succeeded, unfortunately, in reproducing his rebellious and proud servants on earth: men and women, in high and low places, who seek to play god over their fellowmen. The banner of this oppressive evil kingdom is SELF.
The greater mystery of Godliness is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, the God-Man; the embodiment of Truth, the Word of God. In the life of Jesus we see the heart of God; the God who desires good and healing for us all. It is written, how…
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Jesus, the Christ, or Chosen Savior, is God’s agent to reverse the corruption and oppression brought about by satan, and to ‘deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.’ That is the gospel, good news in Greek!
The people bore Him witness, being ‘beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.’
The banner of this Godly kingdom is Love!
Here’s another very basic but far more important truth for You: You are a spirit being with an inviolable free will; your God given power of choice.
You can choose which kingdom to belong to. The will of man is the essence of man and is a veritable spiritual force. Indeed it is man’s greatest asset. But that depends on our choices. Primarily, our choice of either God’s counsel, Truth or satan’s ungodly counsel, Lies.
The Truth, or lie, we choose to believe and obey, becomes our reality.
We must know that God will not negate our will and also that satan cannot; he only keeps people deceived and thus captive to his foul will. Hence the Bible’s charge:
Choose you this day whom you will serve (believe and obey)
For, ‘to him whom you yield yourself servant to obey, his servant you are’; whether you understand it or not, or believe it or not!
That ultimately is the ‘battle’ of life: the choice of Truth or Lies; our Belief system.
We must come to terms with the sure knowledge that we were created to choose but not to make the rules; we didn’t initiate it neither can we reverse the order.
Belief, translated from the Greek word pisteuo, actually means ‘to trust in, rely on or obey’.
Man has a natural tendency to rely on self; the outcome of our corrupted God given will. It is primarily the reason the world is the way it is. Even when we ‘seek’ God, we would rather have Him do our will, than have His will done! It was never meant to be that way. The will of man can only take him so far, and it hasn’t taken us very far where it matters most; the well being of our souls and our world! The reality is that we must yield to a higher spiritual authority by choice or default. Mostly, we have yielded by default, in our fallen state, to the visible Lies of our material world. But that still leaves us with a void in the heart; an inexplicable longing for more than the world has or can offer. For, even with the best that the world may offer: money, fame and power, man remains unfulfilled but driven still by fears; and a longing for acceptance. To be loved. That may well be the chief desire of all mankind and many go through hurtful manipulations just to be loved and accepted for who they are. We grab, hoard and kill, all in our craving for acceptance, recognition and importance; for love. This is the human condition. It is equally applicable in the richest as well as in the poorest of nations. And it is no wonder really, since we all are created in the image and likeness of the Love-God. But only God who has no need to manipulate us, but loves us because of who He is, can love and accept us perfectly; wholly and unconditionally. To know this perfect love is to fill the void in the heart and to break the stronghold of fear; of guilt, shame and want. It is the state of being which is best described by the Hebrew word, shalom; that sense of tranquility and wholeness, in spirit and body, devoid of fear. The nearest English equivalent, peace, is a grossly inadequate word!
‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He who still fears is not made perfect in love.’
Strangely, God has left us with the free will to receive or reject His love. Unfortunately, that has led to our hurt mostly, as we insist on our own ways. It would seem that our greatest gift may be our albatross after all. But those who choose to receive His love experience a power to live and to love; even as they have been loved. A fish out of water can only be restored by returning into water. Even so, man can only be truly restored by returning to his Source, God, and find the ultimate purpose and fulfillment in life:
- Firstly, to know, and experience, God’s love and to love Him in return.
- Secondly, to love and be loved by our fellow humans.
For this commandment have we from him: ‘that he who loves God must love his brother/mankind also.’
We are only able to obey love’s greatest creed; to “do for other people all the things which you want them to do for you”, when we too have known and trusted in the Father’s unconditional love:
‘We love, because God first loved us.’
The believer in Truth ‘does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us’, C.S. Lewis
Otherwise, we may seek to be and to do good but soon discover that we are ‘powerless’ to be and to do good consistently. Man’s love is conditional at best and often difficult in the light of offences, for:
‘To will is present with (us); but how to perform that which is good (we) find not’.
The power to love unconditionally derives rather from a loving relationship with God, the Father, through our trust in His Truth and by the power of His Holy Spirit; it is a thing of the heart, deep calling to deep. But it is all embodied in the Truth of God; the wisdom and power of God, to restore and to reconcile man to Himself. It is also a life long journey.
This is the summary of the message of Truth:
God is Father and God is Love. All power in creation is in and of Himself; revealed to mankind in Truth, the Word of God.
To know and to live in the truth of God’s love, as our Father, is to believe correctly; and to be empowered to love ‘your neighbor’! That is the path to shalom in the soul and in the community. When we are no longer dependent on the value opinion of others but on God’s value proposition, then do we in turn truly value self and our fellow man and work for the good of all. Pity the man who knows not this love, for he remains ‘a-clawing’, ‘a-hunting’ and ‘a-killing’ his fellow man, made in the same image and likeness of the Almighty God: driven by fear to ‘succeed’ at whatever cost; only to discover that it is all a mirage, an unending chase after vanity. Most don’t always understand this plight of course. But ‘the truth shall make you free.’ The Truth is the light that drives away that ignorance of the plight of man, for‘whatever makes manifest is light’
satan will sneakily seek to dilute Truth by ‘tradition from your fathers’ or ‘religion which has a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…’
The unbeliever in Truth would readily fall for these subtle lies, for ‘the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.’
We must be on guard, always, to resist these intrusions: ‘…from such turn away’, says the Bible.
Every reference in this book, unless otherwise indicated, is from the Bible, a compilation of some of the oldest written manuscripts available to man. Cultural biases, such as religion, education or tradition may induce a resistance to the truths shared herein. But they are universal truths applicable to all; for we ‘can do nothing against the truth but for the truth”
But it is a very personal message to every individual, for we all have the power of choice: whosoever wills, is the instruction.