What is Truth? “Sanctify them through thy truth”

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“Thy Word is Truth”

What is truth? It was Jesus who came into the world to bear witness to the truth, therefore let us hear His testimony

on the matter. It was in his prayer to his Father on behalf of his disciples that He prayed:

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

What is truthThe word of God is truth: Nothing that He has ever uttered through the agency of prophets or apostles can have a higher claim to be called His Word; than the Words which he spake from Sinai.

Accordingly the Holy Spirit testifies by David,

“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” Psalm 119:142. “Thou art near, O Lord, and all thy commandments are truth.” Verse 151.

“When Jesus stood before Pilate; accused as a malefactor, he vindicated his character by these simple words: “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37.

Pilate, unconscious of the fact that Jesus had already given the substance of the best definition of truth; asked. “What is truth?” And he immediately went out. His question; and the fact that he did not seem to expect an answer, indicates that he did not believe in the existence of such a thing as truth. There have always been, and are still many people in the same condition as Pilate.

Thees are they who disbelieve in the existence of truth, and reason is simple. Their own hearts are corrupt, and they naturally seek the association of those of like mind; until they know nothing of the truth. It is only the man whose heart is pure; or who seeks after purity of soul who can know and appreciate the truth; for it is only the man who will do God’s will who shall know of the doctrine. John 7:17” 

“Truth purifies and sanctifies the soul. “Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.” Will obedience to error produce the same effect? If it will, it makes but little difference which we hold; but if it will not, it is of vast importance that we have the truth.” TRU 4.2
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. Some avoid the truth as a yoke of bondage; but let him that would be free indeed, seek and obey the truth. Says David, “I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts.” “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” TRU 6.1

So what is truth, and how therefore are we to gain it?

“By Revelation”


1. Man cannot obtain an adequate knowledge of God, but by His Word only.


“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” Job 11:7-9;
“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:” Job 23:8, 9;
“…we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” I Corinthians 2:7-12;
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33
“Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.” Ecclesiastes 8:17
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.” Job 36:26
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” Job 37:23.
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:” Ephesians 4:18.


2. We must first seek the truth, but it is God who gives the knowledge.


“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.

3. And the Bible imparts this knowledge to us by revelation from God.

“He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him… But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; Daniel 2:22, 28.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29.
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” Ephesians 3:3-5.
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matthew 11:25.
“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” John 17:8.
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:25, 26.

4. The Bible has preserved this revelation for us.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” Revelation 1:1, 2.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.
“Praise God, we have a divine road to heaven. We need not depend upon the conjectures and opinions of men, but upon the infallible decision of the word of God. The word of the infinite God is true, and cannot be distorted to suit men’s pleasure, or be turned aside to suit the inclinations of the unsanctified soul. No man can safely judge the word of the Supreme Ruler of the universe.—Signs of the Times, Aug. 21, 1893.

NOTE: A revelation absolutely necessary in order to know God.

We can only know what the mind of God is toward a sinful creature by a revelation of that mind. ‘For who hath known the mind of the Lord?’ Romans 11:34. In fact, to know God at all, we must have a revelation. ‘For who by searching can find out God?’ Job 11:7. ‘No man knows the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal him.’ Matthew 11:27.

We can only know whether there be forgiveness with God by revelation.

“But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” Psalm 130:4
“Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:7
“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;” Daniel 9:9.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9.

Only by revelation can we know the method of the divine grace.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17.

Indeed, all the unseen and eternal things which most deeply concern us are matters of pure revelation.

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” 1 Corinthians 11:9,10.

But for the revelation which God has given us by his Son Jesus Christ. What could we know of heaven or hell, of the state of the dead, of life and immortality, or of any of the things that ‘must shortly come to pass?

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:…And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Revelation 1:1; 22:6

“Many of the opinions that men cling to today are but corrupt interpretations of the message that God has given to them by his word. Therefore, instead of listening or caring to what man may say or think; we should go direct to the word of God for the knowledge that will make us wise unto salvation. 2 Timothy 3:16.”
“Then let every man read, study, and search the Scriptures for himself and take nothing as infallible but the Word that you can see for yourself, after much prayer and searching in an humble, teachable spirit.”

Further study material.

The Doctrine of Christ: A series of Bible Studies by W.W. Prescott “Download Link”


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