The Rules of Truth

“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”  John 7:18.

Jesus takes the search for truth and works it into a small deductive rule:  If a man works on behalf of another, he has no reason to lie but speaks the truth of the one for whom he works.  On the other hand if he’s concerned only about his own honor, his motives are suspect, methods might be devious depending on the goal and truth subjective at best, fluid at worst.

 For instance:  Those who would like to be thought of as wise will do what it takes to sound wise or be seen as such.  I’ve noticed wisdom sets puzzles out for people to study and find the truth hidden there, but liars simply complicate the process by making it hard to reach the truth or find it at all.  Some proverbial wisemen take truth to be their own special form of wealth.  I know for some of us being ascetic appears to be selflessness, but in truth it can be a form of self-absorption and pedestal building all on its own.  Those who long to know search to understand and since they are on a mission on behalf of truth, they speak honestly about what they do and don’t grasp.  A person seeking their own honor finds anything that will work as an answer then throws half-truths in the mix to keep those who ask their advice off balance.  A liar keeps enough truth in their arsenal to hook the unwary into the falsehoods they are selling.

Jesus spoke the truth of God not because it was to His advantage but because He served the Father’s purpose.  Look at how He lived during His ministry.  He ate and drank, socialized and fasted, taught selflessness as well as economy, and generally affirmed all the Lord God created man to be by striking a balance between them.  When confronted with tithing, He made it clear it was important but included mercy, grace and love as equally so.  Contrary to some assertions Jesus was not ascetic or Nazarite, rather He took on the role as a rabbi, who would be set apart for holy use, but could still join in the community routines.

As I began thinking of this again this morning, I realized that Jesus didn’t necessarily declare a man’s mission on behalf of another based on truth but that the man who represented the other did so with integrity.  That in itself is quite a distinction, for a man of integrity may believe a lie or half-truth because he has no means of proving it to be anything else but true.  It can also mean that within a certain scope of education, cultural belief and a position where this “truth” has never been challenged, the man (or woman for that matter) never had the opportunity to question it.

John wrote three other letters that we know of and another book called “Revelation.”  In the first letter he writes to the church warning her to beware of deceptive spirits masquerading as authentic and he instructed us to test them.  What test could we give these spirits that would reveal their true nature?

The only one we litmus test we have available to us, the Word of God.  Isaiah 8:20:  To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.  Which then means to me the Word of God, for the testimony is that of the history of God’s work in Israel as well as the prophets who called her out on the carpet for her sin.  Isaiah 8:19 takes it a step further to clarify who he’s talking about,  When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a  people inquire of their God?  Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  Horoscopes, financial prophets and political pundits fall into this category as far as I’m concerned for they don’t speak according to the Word but reject it for the wisdom of mathematics, scientific research and “experts” who study trends.

As far as I’m aware most of what man calls “sound advice” mixes human interest sans God, which negates its validity to some extent.  We don’t have to be isolated or critical of every theory, discovery or truth which comes from the world, but we need to be skeptics of their motivations.

Jesus told the Jews just how to tell a man’s integrity:  He works tirelessly on behalf of another.  Jesus sacrificed all the Jewish tradition held dear for life and happiness to spread the word about a God who anxiously desired an intimate relationship with them.  He might have been wrong about His Father, but His integrity was true.  On the other hand, His miraculous power came from somewhere, therefore we must conclude the Father and He were partners in this mission, since Jesus would have no power at all (according to His teachings) unless God granted Him to have them.  He had the power to lay down His life but as part of that laying down of His position in heaven He became totally dependent on the Father for everything He did.

As should we…


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3 Responses to “The Rules of Truth”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Is it that I notice it more often all the strange religious beliefs that have no biblical basis or is it that it is more blatant in these days?

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    I think it’s more blatant and definitely more tolerated.

  3. JimmyBean Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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