The Truth Never Changes


"Truth," what a wonderful word! Who wouldn't want to have his or her theories, ideas, speeches, beliefs, inventions, or creations be everlasting truths that never change? Therefore, humans have employed all sorts of methods, whether by establishing educational institutes or by using human influences, to uphold their theories as universal laws.

But which of the -isms and schools of thought, whether of science, philosophy, or even religion can remain relevant through every generation? The belief that the earth was the center of the universe was widely accepted as true for over 1,000 years, beginning from the time of ancient Greece. Yet it was proven to be incorrect during the Renaissance.

What is accepted in a certain period of time is called the truth or law. However, this kind of knowledge changes over the years, so how can it be called the truth?

WHAT IS TRUTH?
When the Lord Jesus was on trial before Pilate, He said, "My kingdom is not of this world...For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (Jn 18:36-38)

If Pilate (a prefect whose status, education, knowledge, and experience surpassed that of the average citizen) did not know what truth is, what chance do ordinary people like us have to know the truth? Not many people are like Pilate, who sought the truth with a straightforward and direct question. Instead, we see unceasing debates about the truth among those who regard evil as good, righteous as wicked, and right as wrong. There is no conclusion from such arguments on what the truth is.

What exactly is the truth?

Jesus told His sorrowful disciples: "'And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper...the Spirit of truth'" (Jn 14:16, 17). In this prayer, Jesus asked for the sanctification of His disciples by the Spirit of truth because no one can go to the Father without being sanctified by the truth. This request is fulfilled by the prayer Jesus gave before His crucifixion: "'Sanctify them by your truth, [for] your word is truth'" (Jn 17:17). From the two verses, we see that sanctification by the truth is sanctification by the Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit is Truth (Jn 14:17).

When Jesus said in John chapter 17, "Your word is truth," what word is He referring to? The word refers to the word of God, which is the true God that has existed since the beginning of time (Jn 1:1). So we see that God is Truth.

Because Jesus is the Word in flesh who dwelled among us (Jn 1:14), He said, "'I am the way, the truth, and the life'" (Jn 14:6). Jesus is Truth.

The Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus are one, and they are the Truth. Therefore, John says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn 1:14).


WHERE IS TRUTH?
We know that Jesus is Truth and that He ascended to heaven after the completion of the work of salvation. So where can we go to search for the truth? Scripture says, "In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you" (Ex 20:24), meaning a church that is erected by the name of God has the abidance of God (the truth). Today, there are innumerable Christian churches, so how do we know which one is erected by God?

According to the Bible, such a church must have the four qualities below:

Raises the Holy Name of God on High
A church must raise God's holy name on high, proclaiming the Lord Jesus as true and great because there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Numerous denominations exist today, but do their churches' names truly honor the Lord and identify themselves as God's temple? It is rare to find another church whose name honors God. Most churches are named after people or places and have therefore changed God's church to "man's church" or "earth's church." Behold! Here is a unique church, one of its kind, True Jesus Church, where God's name has made its dwelling; those who belong to Him are forever under His name. Amen!

Abidance of the Holy Spirit
As previously discussed, the Holy Spirit is Truth. A church that has the Holy Spirit has the truth, as well as God's constant abidance. When the Lord became flesh and dwelled in the world, few knew that He was the Holy Lamb of the Highest One. Even John the Baptist, who came for the purpose of preparing the way for the Lord, did not know who Jesus was.

"I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." (Jn 1:33, 34)


Today, how can a church attest that she is the church of God, the body of Christ? Thank God, we can use the method John the Baptist used to know the Lord. We must look at where the Holy Spirit abides - the church that has the abidance of the Spirit is a church that belongs to God. Godis church will have the abidance of Truth.

The Word of Truth
A church that has the truth must have this critical quality: she preaches the word as a whole according to the Bible (Ezek 11:25), and not in bits and pieces. Nowadays many churches twist or even reject God's word; having united with the world they discard God's commands in favor of men's traditions. Conversely, the true church has the teachings of Christ as her foundation; she imitates the mind of Christ and refuses to compromise with any teaching that is different from Christ's. The true church is Bible based and relies on the Holy Spirit's guidance to walk according to the truth.

Signs and Wonders
John chapter 3 records that Nicodemus came to see Jesus because of the signs He performed. Concerning the signs, Nicodemus remarked that no one can do them unless God is with him (Jn 3:2). Before the Lord ascended to heaven, He promised to confirm through signs and wonders the word that the disciples preached (Mk 16:17, 20). When the disciples went out and preached, signs and wonders did indeed accompany them to confirm their testimonies. Signs and wonders are rare except in the true church. Only in the true church would God constantly manifest His great power. Therefore, signs and wonders are another confirmation of the truth.

THE TRUTH NEVER CHANGES

The one true God is the absolute truth, everlasting and never changing.

Absolute
Everything in this world is relative. As a popular Chinese saying goes, "There is no absolute right or absolute wrong under the sun." Even though gray areas exist throughout the world, the truth- God's word- is absolute. The Bible says, "Know the only true God" (Jn 17:3), and "'The Lord is one,' and His name one" (Zech 14:9).


Everlasting
Truth must be eternal; it cannot be true today but false tomorrow. Scripture says, "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven" (Ps 119:89). This is an everlasting, unceasing existence. As Peter says, "'The word of the Lord endures forever'" (1 Pet 1:25).

Jesus Remains the Same
Humans' hearts change as often as the wind changes its direction. Our volatile nature fills the world with hypocrisy. But the Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). Only Jesus, who never changes, is worthy to be called the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6).


CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGING THE TRUTH
Eternal Condemnation
To the church of Galatia, Paul repeatedly pointed out that those who pervert God's true gospel will be condemned: I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6-9)

We must examine against the Bible the doctrines that we have received, lest we be eternally condemned for preaching "a different gospel."

Plagues
When on the island of Patmos, John received a revelation from the Holy Spirit. In the last chapter of the Book of Revelation, he expressly wrote down a warning: For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18, 19)
When faced with such a stern warning, how can anyone who calls on the Lord Jesus not take heed?

THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE TRUTH
Love
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isa 2:2, 3)

The mountain, the house of God, Zion, and Jerusalem all refer to the true church of the last days. We will go up to this mountain, to this house of God, and the Lord will reveal the truth to us and teach us so that we can see the light of the truth.

The queen of Sheba traveled thousands of miles to listen to King Solomon's words of wisdom (1 Kgs 10:1-6). The Ethiopian eunuch endured the long journey to Jerusalem to learn more about the truth (Acts 8:27-29). Modern transportation has made traveling to distant places more convenient. We don't need to go through the trouble that the queen and the eunuch went through, traveling long distances to search for the truth. If others have been willing to endure difficulties to learn the truth, how much more should we, as children of God, endure to understand the truth that we believe in? We must show our love for the truth.

Keep
Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. (Prov 7:2, 3)

After a person acquires a treasure, he will certainly store it in a very secure place. If he treats it as junk, what profit would this treasure bring him? Truth is far more valuable than money and jewels, and cannot be exchanged for wealth. I entreat brothers and sisters who have already received the truth to be watchful and make every effort to guard yourselves, lest you reject the truth and be rejected by the truth in the end.

Support
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Cor 13:8)
Support the truth, and do not oppose it. Be strong and courageous, and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When the devil attempts to alter the truth among the congregation, we should contend earnestly for the truth and point out the devil's trick lest believers be fooled by it. Because we love God, we are willing to suffer and even give up our lives to guard and support the truth. Never compromise with the world and thus surrender to the devil. To be friends with the world is to forsake the truth which we have received, and to be enemies with God (Jas 4:4).


Apply
A true believer does not merely hear the truth, he practices the truth. David had the heart to practice the truth. He prayed, "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth" (Ps 86:11). God came in flesh as Jesus and set an example for us. As long as we try our best to imitate the examples that the Lord has set for us - like what Paul wrote, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1Cor 1:11) - we will have the likeness of Christ, spotless and blameless, able to welcome the true God. Amen!

CONCLUSION
The Lord Jesus is Truth, and in Him there is no change. Though our resurrected Lord has ascended to heaven, He manifests Himself by the Holy Spirit, the evidence of Truth. As long as we humble ourselves and seek to know the truth, we will receive it. The true God will give the truth to those who ask Him. The Lord has already promised: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3).


extracted from TJC Manna #54