Saturday, October 01, 2005

# 91: Truth or Deception

Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” in John 18:38. To searching minds and hearts, this has been the question of the ages. There are several truths. One has a wide audience: man's/woman’s perception of truth, which is extremely diverse and which we see all around us. And there is eternal absolute truth, a truth which cannot be established but only experienced as one seeks it with one's whole life. This latter truth of which I am speaking pertains to this question: What is the best way of living?

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the truth.” Let's stop right here. That is the answer, but what does it mean to be “the truth”? Most certainly, truth does not merely consist of words, a theory, or a belief, as it does a life. Everything Jesus did, said, or thought was according to this eternal truth. I don't like to use the word “eternal” too much because it is quite incomprehensible to us foolish mortals who are governed by time in this high-speed “I want it now” world; still, we must differentiate between man’s truths, which change with time and cultural perspective, and Christ's truth, which cannot change any more than God can change. If we could live our lives according to this eternal truth, we would be perfect; however, one foul thought, one kind deed undone, one unloving word, and the end result is partial truth, or better yet, deception.

How does this apply to us in our practical daily living? Jesus Christ lived this truthful life and is therefore our only perfect example in living according to Divine truth. As we deviate from that truth, however little, we will be living in evil-inspired, self-induced seduction. If this is true, then the whole world is under the power of this satanic deceit, which includes, to a small degree, reborn Christians. The closer we come to living like Jesus, the less we will be susceptible to self-deceit. True Christians are living with much truth and hopefully little deceit, while the unregenerate world is living with much deceit and little or no truth. To speak in generalities for everyone, I don’t believe that anyone wants to unknowingly live in deceit. Many, by choice, live a deceitful life in which they deceive everyone around them; this they are pleased to do and believe it is the best for them. But to actually be deceived by life itself, I do not believe anyone truly desires this.

Jesus lived this totally truthful deceit-free life by listening only to His Father's voice and obeying His every word without reservation. He did this because He believed His Father like a little child would, never doubting a word no matter how bizarre it might have seemed on the surface. In order for us to eliminate deceit from our lives, we must somehow understand how Jesus lived the truth and desired to believe and obey His every word to the letter. There is no other way we can even start to live a Christ-like life. As we start to live as Jesus Christ desires, our gullibility will be revealed to us, thus giving God the chance to destroy it.

As I said in several previous posts, one of the most seemingly outlandish truths of Christ’s success, and a sure path to our success in living the truth, is guarding our every thought, action and deed to the extent that they promote only the cause of Christ. Other things of importance will interfere to some degree, but at the same time we must realize that when we desire to have more than we need, it is the result of pleasing deceit. This is a hard teaching, but nevertheless, as openly displayed in the New Testament, it is an absolute. Living in this truth is what sets us free. It will free us from our incarceration of living in deceit and gull. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him . . . and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” John 8:32-33.

In order to live this life of truth, we must not only tap into the life of Jesus, but much more importantly, we must enter into His motive: living up to the Father’s expectation. Christ showed us the only way to life. He is the way. He is the truth. And He is the life: the mystery of God. As we put this secret formula into practice by entering into his holy life, we will display His truth because we will be living clones of Jesus Christ! Amen.

Let’s seek a bit more spiritual depth as we continue this topic. To most of us, to be called “gullible” is an insult to our human dignity and intellect. Webster defines “gullible” as being easily deceived. I believe the root of most, if not all, gull comes from some kind of self-centered human desire.

To be more specific: If a person desired a million dollars and someone came along and offered a way to acquire that million, such a person might be duped into some scam, depending on the force of his/her desire. When desire is stronger than logic, gull is born. Since human logic and common sense are relative, one person’s logic might seem like stupidity to another, and vice-versa. It can easily be said that all humans are gullible to one degree or another. Gullibility can be found in all classes of people, from the educated and talented to the uneducated and ignorant. The only difference is that their gull is present in different areas of their lives. I believe that most people would adamantly deny that they are gullible, but if they knew they were gullible and in which areas of their lives deceit existed, they wouldn't be gullible anymore. After knowing this, if they still clung to their perverted desires, they would knowingly be deceiving themselves.

The most gullible are the young and the restless; I mean the religious. They are being amused by the world, straight to the pits of Hell, and loving every minute of it. The young are naive and inexperienced in matters of lifetherefore can easily be seduced. Most of the mature religious crowd has been deceived into believing in a God that loves and accepts anyone who thinks they are O.K. because they belong to a certain religious group, regardless of what type of life they may be living. The sad thing about this is that when they are controlled by this type of belief, their whole life may be a deception. That is the epitome of gull. I don't know who is worse off: one who believes and participates in a pleasing but false form of Christianity; an atheist; or one who believes in the existence of God but does nothing about it. It could be that they all have one foot on a banana peel and the other foot in hell.

Nothing irritates me more than knowing I have been/am being deceived. That may be the main reason why I live my life in a very cautious and inquisitive manner, not leaving one stone unturned. I say cautious because I know the world is full of beautiful, deceptive and very well-camouflaged land mines, just waiting to disable me bit by bit until I am totally out of commission. On the other hand, I never harbor inordinate fear of leaping into unknown territory, because I know whose company I am in: Jesus Christ's. I live in an inquisitive manner because I know God cannot reveal anything to us about Himself if we don't continually inquire about Him. I know all too well who the prince of gull is; the Spirit of Christ continually points out most of his tricks to me. The evil one desires to keep us in a gullible state by distracting us from the truth: the life of Jesus Christ. When we desire to live the truth by making Christ our paradigm, we become examples; as Christ gave his life for us, we will willingly give of ourselves to others if and when necessary. By our lives of either truth or deceit, we will lead others to Christ or to hell. This is an awesome responsibility. God doesn't give us new lives by making us like Him just as a means in itself, but to draw others to Him. Yes, if we truly love our fellow man, we must desire to be a shining and perfect example to the whole world by and through our truthful lives. We are showing off either Christ or self. How many people have you and I led to hell by our lives of deceit or to heaven with our lives of truth? Living the way we are expected to is serious business, not merely for our salvation but for the eternal destiny of all in our company. Do we truly know what Christ expects of us? This post has been a concerted effort on His part to do just that.

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