Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

   by Rayola Kelley

One of the casualties of the end days is truth. It is not that truth has been destroyed, for you can do nothing against the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8). Rather, it has been wrapped up in lies. In fact, a number of years ago, Jeannette was given a vision that the whole world was wrapped up in lies. One can find every type of opinion, exposition or critical debate about a matter, but to find, read, and hear the simple uncompromised truth is a rarity.

What does it mean for the truth to be wrapped up in lies? To wrap something up means to cover, envelop, enfold, engross, conceal, or obscure. As you consider how truth is handled, you realize that it has been adjusted to fit personal realities, changed to justify error, and denied to embrace deception. When you adjust truth, you make it into propaganda that has an agenda to it. When you change truth, you simply are changing your philosophy about a matter. And, when you deny truth, you put it in the arena of debate where you can twist, pervert, defile, blaspheme, and crucify it all in the name of God.

One of the main fruits of wrapping truth up in compromise, perversion and delusion is insanity. Insanity is the product of people who do not deal in the arena of reality. One of the fruits of insanity is that it lacks true wisdom. As Paul stated, the truth becomes foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:22-27). Such foolishness will boast, rejoice and agree with the delusion that suits its particular reality. In such cases, it is not a matter of truth, but one of pride that exalts personal opinions as the final authority. In fact, pride couldn’t care less about truth, it simply wants to come out on top in its arrogance and delusion. Let’s face it, even arrogant people in their fake nobility can often display more “tolerance” than truth does, since truth remains unchanged. However, any deviation from the truth is mishandling it in unrighteousness, and will result in the wrath of God (Romans 1:18).

My struggle is how to keep sane in a world that is becoming more insane about its various delusions. How do I know I am sane in the midst of this madness? To examine my own sanity, I had to determine what would constitute sanity in the midst of the delusion that is engulfing this world. We know that only truth can bring clarity to madness (John 8:32). But, what is truth? Obviously, if we are going to maintain our sanity, we must find the source and basis of all truth. Otherwise, our conclusions to a matter will create a world of insanity that is not only unstable in all of its ways, but will have no boundaries in which a matter can be tested and verified.

As Christians, we already scripturally know that answer. Jesus said, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6). The problem does not rest with where we can find absolute truth. The madness rests with the fact that there are so many different Jesus’s being presented. Is it important to get Jesus right? In other words, can our premise of truth start from any old Jesus, and will we come out right?

Most fundamental Christians would have no problem with concluding that you must start with the right Jesus to come out with a correct perspective. Obviously, if you start out with a wrong Jesus, you will end in greater delusion. However, most people think they would recognize delusion. After all, they have all the logical arguments and presentations as to why they have adopted their particular point of view. However, even delusion has it own light or understanding that a person will walk according to. This light is simply deluding these individuals to the fact it is not truth. Granted, it may sound sensible and verify a gut-feeling about a matter, but truth cannot be discerned from such a basis. The Bible tells us that all the ways of man seem clean and right in his own eyes, but they lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12; 16:2, 25). Our intellect and feelings are a matter of the flesh and not the Spirit. Such things oppose God and have no part in the kingdom of God (Proverbs 3:5; Romans 8:5-14; Galatians 5:16-21).  Truth can only be discerned by a right spirit (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13-14).

Jesus brought out the aspects of people walking according to the darkness of their own point of view. He gave this warning in Luke 11:34-35: “The light of the body is the eye; therefore, when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, they body also is full of darkness. Take heed, therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”  How does a person know whether he or she is walking according to the darkness of his or her own soul and perspective? How does one know whether he or she is in darkness or walking in the light?

This brings us back to the only sound test of truth, the Person of Jesus Christ. However, to ensure we are lining up to the truth, we must seek Him in His Word. The Word of God is a revelation of Jesus, which brings us to another struggle over truth. Many people do not really believe the Word of God. Granted, they will tell you they believe it, but…. watch out for the “but”, because in reality they do not believe that the Word is of and from God. These people seek to undermine the Word with their own religious philosophies. They believe according to their own viewpoint. Therefore, they will adjust Scriptures that disagree with their viewpoint for the sake of promoting their own religious propaganda.

Such people will change the right perspective of God by changing the Person of Jesus. Keep in mind what Jesus stated: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14:7). Obviously, if the person does not know the real Jesus, they do not know the Father.

Ultimately, such will deny certain aspects of the Bible as being true,to exert their “so-called” elitism and superiority over those who do not agree with them. As previously stated, these people do not care about truth or souls. All they care about is maintaining their point of view as being superior to what they consider to be truth. Such arrogance has nothing to do with truth. In fact, the very spirit of it is far from the mind of Christ who was lowly in disposition and meek in attitude. Clearly, God did not give us the Word so that a few could claim spiritual insight over the rest. He gave us the Word so that we have one standard of truth to judge all matters in regards to truth and righteousness (Matthew 11:29; Philippians 2:5; 2 Timothy 3:16).

In my mind, the Apostle Paul addressed such elitism with a simple statement: “But if any man be ignorant, let him remain ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38). Obviously, if a man or a woman insists on maintaining his or her own superstition about spiritual matters, leave him or her in their ignorance. As Paul instructed us, it is not profitable to strive about such matters, because in such debates, people are not interested in finding the truth, they are only interested in getting their particular point of view across (Titus 3:9).

In the years I have been a Christian, I have heard all the different debates. Once in a while, I hear something old with a new twist to it. Although I have heard it for years, it never ceases to amaze me as to the lengths people will go to avoid believing the record given about Jesus in Scripture (John 5:39; 1 John 5:5-13). As you can imagine, it all seems so insane.

Each time I have been challenged with a “so-called” new insight, truth or revelation about Christ, I have come back to the sure record given about Him to gain some type of sanity or reality that I can trust. After all, when you are exposed to what you consider insane long enough, you must test your own perception.

With each challenge, I examine my personal understanding and belief about Jesus in light of the only standard I can trust, and that is the simple Word of God. Note, I say simple because there are no real hidden meanings in Scripture as far as who Jesus is. Scripture means what it says. To take the simplicity out of its straightforward presentation of Jesus is to become beguiled and corrupted in the mind. Such corruption simply means a person has come under the false light of Satan, and is not only preaching a different Jesus, but has received another spirit and accepted a perverted gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9).

Needless to say, those who oppose, refute or denounce the truths about Jesus contained in His Word can’t understand why others cannot see it their way. However, it is obvious why people do not see it their way. It is because those who oppose truth walk according to their own personal light or understanding. For me, I do not choose to walk by the light of others; I choose to walk by the light of the Word of God. That light is not a philosophy, belief, doctrine, or matter of logical conclusions; that light is Jesus Christ (John 1:4).

Each time I have been challenged in the area of who Jesus is, this is the conclusion I continue to come back to in regards to what I can trust to present a right perspective of the nature, character and work of Jesus Christ. I have learned a long time ago, I cannot trust the conclusions of man, regardless of his claims of being an expert in Greek and Hebrew, or his ability to show his intellectual prowess. I can only trust the Word of God. Granted, I may not possess the religious experience to obtain mystical enlightenment beyond the simplicity of the Bible, the expertise of tearing a Scripture apart so that it ceases to mean what it says, or the intellectual ability to debate because I am considered in the league of the rest of the ignorant masses about matters of history and religion, but I have a child-like faith that allows me to believe the Word of God about Jesus Christ.  I simply approach the Bible to believe what it says about Him (Romans 10:17).

I don’t try to understand the likes of such Scriptures as John 1:1-3, but I believe they are true. In other words I simply mix faith with what the Word tells me. Hebrews 4:4 puts it quite nicely: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” I happen to know that such faith pleases God for it seeks Him for who He is in sincerity. It is counted for righteousness because it responds to the matters of God as truth, instead of picking and choosing according to personal preferences. And, I am also aware that what is not of faith towards God and His Word is sin, because it is the fruit of unbelief and a hard heart towards God (Romans 4:3; 14:23; Hebrews 3:7-15; 11:6).  

I don’t walk according to my understanding about a matter. Rather, I walk by faith in God whose character is beyond comprehension, but whose ways have reached down to my very soul and brought me to a place of rest in my spirit. The Apostle Paul put it best in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God. Who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Emphasis added.)

So what do you do when someone denies that Christ is fully God and fully man, and challenges you about it? What do you do when people claim that any old Christ will do when it comes to salvation, knowing that it could cost them their very souls? What do you do when someone implies you are close to blaspheming the truth by believing the simplicity of the Bible, while they undermine or discard fundamental beliefs that have been in place for 20 centuries? What do you do when someone threatens you about standing on the Word of God in regards to matters of salvation? Although such claims come across as the product of the madness engulfing this world, these people are sincere in their conclusions. Do you discuss or debate or argue with them? It depends. If a person seems open, you must contend with him or her about the true faith in hopes of converting him or her from error to truth, thereby, saving his or her soul from death (James 5:19-20).

 If such people show that they are not interested in the truth of the Bible, and that they are only interested in confirming their particular belief, take note that they are not really after the truth. As a result, contending with them about the truth would be like throwing your pearls before swine. In other words, they will take it and defile it no matter how many Scriptures you have to back it up (Matthew 7:6). Do you rebuke them, especially those who teach it, knowing full well that these people are making two-fold the converts of hell to their way of thinking (Matthew 23:15)? According to the Bible you are to admonish those who are heretics twice, knowing that such are subverted and in sin, due to the fact they are condemning themselves to greater damnation (Matthew 23:14; Titus 3:10-11; 2 Peter 2:1-3).

Therefore, what should you do when madness challenges your sincere belief in Jesus Christ? We need to be a Job. Even though God would slay us (for believing His Word) we need to still trust His character and ways (Job 13:15). By unfeigned faith we must first of all decide to love the truth even more (John 14:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).  Then, grab a hold of the true God of heaven. Stand firmly on His Word as His truth, and cling to the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ as your sole foundation to all spiritual matters (1 Corinthians 3:11). As you cling to Jesus, remember such Scriptures as 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves how Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobate.”  As long as you discover you believe in the simple, but complete record given about Jesus Christ in God’s Word, you can be assured of being in the true faith. And, since by faith He is in you, you can know that the truths surrounding Him have never changed for He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  You can also be assured that in the end, you will not be confounded for believing the Jesus of the Bible, and that you will not be found to be a reprobate or useless in your faith when you stand before the ultimate Judge of your soul (John 5:22; 1 Peter 2:6-8)