What is Truth? You have the right to know the truth
By: Eddie Jones
Our generation has grown up with an educational system that teaches, truth is something the individual must learn for himself. Those who are searching for truth today, often ask the question, “What is truth?” Many centuries ago, Pilate asked the same question to Jesus. John 18:38. You do not have to be satisfied with mere theories and ideas of men, when you can learn what is truth!
Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch, who was reading from the prophet Esaias, “Understandest thou what thou realest?” He answered, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” Acts 8:30, 31. Proper guidance, with divine revelation, will bring a good understanding to those who really desire to know the truth.
The word “truth” defined by Webster simply means � “Quality or state of being true, genuineness, agreement with a standard, that which is true.”
To know the truth, it is important to understand that the word of God is truth, and that truth cannot be separated from God. “. . . Thy word is truth.” John 17:17. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.” John 1:1. “And the Word (which was God) was made 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.” John 1:14. Jesus said, “I AM the way, the TRUTH (Word made flesh), and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Jesus also said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37.
We cannot receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, without receiving the truth (God’s Word), for they are inseparable. Jesus assured, “Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free. If the SON (Jesus) therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36. Also we cannot reject the truth, or any portion of God’s Word, without rejecting our only Savior, and thus receiving the judgment of God’s Word. Jesus warned, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48. (Also Revelation 20:12-15.)
“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. Realizing the authority of God’s Word it is important that we receive nothing but the truth and all the truth. The Lord stated, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it . . . ” Deuteronomy 4:2. (Also Revelation 22:18-20.) No one has the right to change God’s Word, or to choose one scripture and reject another to agree with his opinion. If any man’s interpretation of a scripture clashes with another scripture, his interpretation is in error. For truth will never contradict itself. With proper interpretation all scripture will agree together to produce a clear understanding of truth. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:20,21.
Although a person may be sincere, the lack of understanding or the absence of truth is dangerously misleading. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end there of are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12. (Also Matthew 15:14.) Therefore Paul instructed, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
Once truth is established it cannot be changed. It is always truth! Truth never takes away from, replaces, or destroys truth. Truth always builds to, strengthens, or agrees with truth. Isaiah declared, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10.
A wonderful experience is waiting in God’s word for every honest heart! So, let us establish the truth in our hearts. The following are basic principles of true Bible salvation:
1. Faith in God
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Paul and Silas said to the Philippian jailer, “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31. The truth is established that faith in God is essential to salvation. But faith alone cannot save an individual. James emphasized, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone.” James 2:17. Therefore, we cannot stop with faith, for it is only part of the truth. There is more!
2. Repentance to God with Divine Forgiveness
Jesus stated, “Except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3. God COMMANDETH all men everywhere to REPENT. Acts 17:30. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. The truth is established that repentance to God with divine forgiveness, is essential to salvation. But this does not take away from faith, it only builds to and strengthens. For a sinner must have faith in God to repent of his sins. But repentance alone will not save an individual. There is still more truth!
3. Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the Remission of Sins
Jesus said, “He that believeth and is BAPTIZED shall be saved . . .” Mark 16:16. “While the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by WATER. The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM DOTH ALSO NOW SAVE US.” 1 Peter 3:20, 21. Jesus commissioned that repentance and REMISSION OF SINS should be preached in HIS NAME. Luke 24:47. Peter preached, “Repent, and be BAPTIZED everyone of you in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS . . .” Acts 2:38. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME (JESUS) under heaven given among men, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED.” Acts 4:12. Ananias said, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and BE BAPTIZED, and WASH AWAY THY SINS, CALLING on the NAME OF THE LORD.” Acts 22:16. The truth is established that water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, is essential to salvation. But this does not replace repentance, here again it only builds to. As Isaiah said, “Precept MUST BE upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” But water baptism alone will not save an individual. We must sincerely receive all the truth.
4. Holy Spirit Baptism Evidenced by Speaking in Tongues
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:5, The Lord COMMANDED His disciples that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall BE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY GHOST not many days hence.” Acts 1:4, 5. Jesus promised, “And these signs shall follow them that believe … they SHALL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES.” Mark 16:17. On the day of Pentecost, 120 disciples were all FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and began to SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4. Peter assured, For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:39. The truth is established that the Holy Spirit Baptism, evidenced by speaking in tongues, is essential to salvation. But this does not do away with water baptism, for it works together in agreement with it. Once truth is established it cannot be destroyed.
Like pieces of a puzzle, we rightly divide the word of truth, fitting the scripture together to produce a beautiful picture of true Bible salvation. To answer the believers who asked, “What shall we do?” Peter put it all together when he said, “REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall RECEIVE the gift of THE HOLY GHOST.” Acts 2:37, 38.
Following the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the ministry of Peter at Pentecost, the Bible states, “They that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED: and the same day there were added unto them (120 disciples) about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41.
When Philip went down to Samaria, and preached the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, THEY BELIEVED and WERE BAPTIZED in the Name of the Lord Jesus. But it was not until Peter and John came, that THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST. Acts 8:12-17.
Peter preached faith in Jesus Christ and remission of sins through His Name, to the Gentiles at Caesarea. And the HOLY GHOST FELL ON ALL them which heard the Word. Now, the Jews were astonished that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, FOR THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES. Then asked Peter, “Can any man forbid WATER, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he COMMANDED them to BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.” Acts 10:43-48.
At Ephesus, Paul asked certain disciples of John the Baptist, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE YE BELIEVED?” They replied, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Now, here were baptized believers, who had not received the Holy Spirit Baptism. But when they heard the preaching of Paul, they were REBAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the HOLY GHOST CAME ON THEM; and THEY SPAKE WITH TONGUES …” Acts 19:1-6.
Paul concluded, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, (how?) by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Titus 3:5, 6.
How beautiful is the truth! Repentance builds upon faith, water baptism builds upon repentance, and the Holy Spirit Baptism builds upon water baptism. Each is dependent upon the other, as they all work together in agreement, to produce salvation in the hearts of believers. The Bible reveals, “There are three that bear witness in earth, the SPIRIT, and the WATER, and the BLOOD: and these three AGREE in one.” 1 John 5:8.
If you desire to know the truth, I urge you to open your heart and receive all that God has for you in His Word. Why settle for anything less, when you can experience true Bible salvation?
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.
This booklet “What is Truth?” written by Eddie Jones is published by Know the Truth Literature.