Greetings MOL Family!
Our opening text is a part of that closing communion with Jesus and His disciples in the upper room. He longed that their minds should be filled with a sense of His presence and the beauty of His way of life….
The Truth, Pure Truth, Unadulterated Truth
I am the way, the truth, and the life. – John 14:6
If Jesus is the way, and we are walking with Him, we will be walking the way of truth, won’t we? How does He reveal Himself?
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. – John 17:17
We are not to think merely that God says what is true; He is the truth, and therefore anything He says is the truth. It is true because He says it, not that He says it because it is true. If He says, Let light be, light is. If it wasn’t there before, it is now; because as soon as He says it, it’s a fact. That is creative power. That’s why the Bible says that God cannot lie. Oh, what a wonderful Source of truth, as He is the Source of life.
If everything God says is true, then if we say what He says, what will we do? We will say the truth, too. In Counsels to Teachers, I read this magnificent statement of this truth:
Man’s words, if of any value, echo the words of God. – Counsels to Teachers, pg. 423
If we don’t echo the words of God, our words are not what? Of any value. Oh, I am glad God has said some things, and has let us know what He has said. Aren’t you?
There was a time when God came down to earth and literally spoke, so that two million people heard Him. Where was that? Mount Sinai. What did He speak? The truth, the Law. And in Psalm 119, David says:
“Thy law is the truth.” – Psalm 119:142
All thy commandments are truth. – Psalm 119:151
So, when we study God’s Word, God’s Law, God’s Commandments, we are getting what? The truth. Now, let’s go over to 1 John 2:21. We will notice something that is opposite from the truth. Will you look at the last line of that verse and tell me what it says?
No lie is of the truth. – 1 John 2:21
Can you get truth and lies together, then? No. If you have truth, you don’t have what? Lies. And if you have lies, you don’t have truth. Now, don’t misunderstand. A lie is always part truth. There never was any lie ever invented that didn’t have some truth in it. I hope you won’t experiment to find out, but that is the truth. Lies are a perversion of truth.
And just as wine always has some sugar in it that didn’t get turned over into alcohol, so every lie has some truth in it that didn’t get changed into a lie. But nevertheless, when you have that mixture, you have something which, in its entirety, is a falsehood. That is why God told Adam and Eve to keep away from the tree of what? The knowledge of good and evil. It was a mixture. God wants us to have the truth, pure and unadulterated.
Let’s turn to John 8 and see where all this originated (this idea of telling things that aren’t so). Jesus makes it very clear how it all started. How did it start? It started with satan:
He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth. – John 8:44
What does ‘abode not’ mean? He didn’t stay there. He was the first person, the first character, who ever stepped outside the circle of truth. I wonder why. Well, there wasn’t room enough for him. Is the truth narrow? Yes, the truth is narrow in a sense. In a sense it is broad, broad as the universe. But that wasn’t big enough for Lucifer. His imagination went beyond the truth, the real, the factual, and he conceived designs beyond that which was the truth. As a result, he became the father of what? Of lies and liars. Well, then, any lie is due to whom? To satan.
And, if we follow falsehoods, why, we are of our father, the devil. I am so glad that we can leave that family and be adopted into the heavenly family, aren’t you? Yes. The Law of God puts its finger on this problem in the ninth commandment. What does it say?
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. – Exodus 20:16
But all falsehoods are against our neighbors. There are no white lies which benefit people:
No lie is of the truth. – 1 John 2:21
You say, “Why are we spending time on this? Everybody knows this, and everybody believes this.” Oh, is that so? Hardly anybody believes what we have just studied. Millions would agree to it as a theory. It is the application that brings problems. But, oh, I hope we will agree on the measuring line which is truth, pure truth, unadulterated truth, and then stick to it in our personal, practical application of it. What do you say?
The Process of Deception
Let us go to Romans the first chapter, and we will read a text on how lies come to be. We have already mentioned it, but I want the text that says so. Remember, if we echo the words of God, our words are of value. We know that what we say is truth if we say what God says, because He cannot lie. Everything He says is true. But here in Romans, Paul is describing the godless, pagan, heathen world. Speaking of them he says:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie. – Romans 1:25
Now what did they start with? Started with the truth. And they ended up with what? A lie. Remember this, friends: A lie is not a creation, it is a perversion. satan never created anything, but he is a great twister, a great perverter. He starts with what? With truth. He starts with something God created, and changes it. That is the way he got thorns on the plants. And that is the way he changes truth into a lie.
You who are acquainted with the chemistry of alcohol, know that through the fermentative process, glucose sugar, the sugar of the grape and the very sugar of the blood, is changed into alcohol and carbon-dioxide. If you will read the first chapter of the book Temperance, you will see how alcohol came to be. It is the brainchild of the devil, actually. He thought it up. But what did he start with? He started with this delicious grape sugar. And who but the devil would think of taking something as delicious and wonderful and life-giving as grapes, grape sugar, the fresh juice of the grape, and so change it, that a poison would be made that would affect the brain of man in such a way that he would think what is not so.
The perversion of the molecule of the grape sugar makes a poison which brings about a change of thinking in the brain, and truth is changed into a lie. Now that is why people drink wine and beer and whiskey and all that. They drink it for the change of thinking that they get as a result. They were worried, but now they are carefree. They were bothered, but now, “Who cares? Everything will work out all right.” Of course, like every lie, if they drink a little more, it goes to the place where, instead of being carefree, they are ready to fight. You have observed some of the effects of it. But the whole thing, from beginning to end, is a process of deception – deceiving the brain so it thinks what is not so.
But alcohol is not the only thing that does this. Tobacco does it. Tea and coffee do it, Coca-Cola, all these cola drinks. And hundreds of the drugs that are being used do the same thing. What is the purpose of a tranquilizer? What a name, a tranquilizer. What is the purpose of it? How does it act? It acts by causing the brain to think differently from truth. I want to read you something very interesting from Dr. David Starr Jordan, he was (for many years) the chancellor of Lehman’s Stanford University in California. Dr. Jordan said:
“The basis of intemperance is the effort to secure, through drugs, the feeling of happiness when happiness does not exist. Men destroy their nervous system for the tingling pleasures they feel as its structures are torn apart. Of this character is the effect of all nerve-exciting drugs.
As a drop of water is of the nature of the sea, so in its degree is the effect of alcohol, opium, tobacco, cocaine, cola, tea, or coffee, of the nature of mania. They give a feeling of pleasure or rest when rest or pleasure does not exist. This feeling arises from injury to the nerves which the brain does not truthfully interpret.
One in all, these various drugs tend to give the impression of a power or a pleasure or an activity which we do not possess. One in all, their function is to force the nervous system to lie. One in all, the result of their habitual use is to render the nervous system incapable of ever telling the truth.” – Dr. David Starr Jordan
No lie is of the truth. Oh, you see how this great principle, at one sweep, takes away our interest in every habit-forming drug, every poison, which, introduced into the body, would cause the nervous system to lie. We want the truth. Is that right? Oh, yes.
Turn to the 119th Psalm. I want you to notice a wonderful verse here, verse 30. Here is another picture of the beautiful way. See if you don’t agree with me.
I have chosen the way of truth. – Psalm 119:30
Is that your choice? So, when someone offers you a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, you can say, like Daniel, “No thank you.” And why? Because my church says you can’t do that? No, because I love truth better than fiction. I love reality better than falsehood. Oh, that we all may appreciate the beauty of truth.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32
As we continue with our study, we want to understand the beautiful way to a life of freedom, through a relationship with Jesus – He who is Truth! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.