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“Jesus answered… and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth… Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again…“-John 18:37-38
Today, In the 21st century our society and culture, especially in America, are in many ways an echo of that of the Greco-Roman; especially as it regards our values. While the people as a whole obsess over knowledge, and every kind of philosophy such as rhetoric, rationalism, intellectualism, reason, etc. and especially as a means of entertainment through humor, wittiness, sarcasm, and novelty (the Bible states it in this wise: “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing“-Acts 17:21), most are paradoxically yet rendered “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).
Additionally, today we find abounding a sentiment of relativity as it regards truth; or even the notion that absolute truth doesn’t exist or cannot be known. I believe this is largely the result of political correctness, rendering everyone “the right” to be correct, even if that’s ultimately only in their own eyes and doesn’t actually reflect reality. Everyone has “their truth”. Or in other words “What’s true for them may not be true for you, but is equally valid.” In a fit of total insanity, the absolute nature of facts and even history, have been thrown out the window. Even in the arenas where these are supposedly to be the foundations, giving particular relevancy to the Apostles cry to beware of “science falsely so called”–1 Tim.6:20.
While Pilate’s response to Christ, quoted above, most certainly reflects this notion of relativity and uncertainty as it regards matters of truth; likewise, and even more unfortunate; just as Pilate walked away after posing his rhetorical question, to that Man who alone could give him an honest, sincere, and accurate answer; indicating that he was not truly interested in Christ’s response; so it would seem that today, when it really boils down to it, most aren’t actually interested in the truth.
The below exposition, I wrote a couple years ago as a printable tract in an effort to demonstrate and prove that A) truth does exist B) it’s not relative and C) that the truth does matter. I believe it will not only be helpful for those who are searching for truth, but likewise for those who seek to bring others to knowledge of the truth. Bear in mind however, it may only serve to aid those who actually desire to know the truth!
Without further Ado:
The Mystery of The Ages (The Meaning of Life)
What is ‘Truth’? (Facts vs. Fiction)
∙Generally speaking the truth cannot be relative; in other words there are certain things that because of their nature are either exclusively true or false and cannot be both at the same time. I will proceed to demonstrate this principle using examples and analogies.
∙One such example would include history or in other words an account of an event or sequence of events that took place in space and time; while there may be different “versions” of the story, misunderstandings and/or disagreement about what exactly took place, it still stands that whatsoever took place, it happened in a specific and unalterable way regardless of what anyone says. If the stories of what supposedly took place contradict each other then it remains that only one can actually be true and accurate. And if the “truth is in the middle”, as the saying goes, that means that both parties are telling story with a degree of truth mingled with a degree of inaccuracy, in regards to what actually took place; and therefore neither entirely factual nor entirely false; but it remains there is an absolute as to what actually took place, and it can be known. (A few very simple examples would include: either a person was born/existed or they weren’t/didn’t; either a person got married or they didn’t; either they went to college or they didn’t; either a person had kids or they didn’t; etc.)
Now don’t misunderstand me, it should go with out saying, but nonetheless, I’m obviously not alleging everything is”black & white” and “either/or” as is the case in the examples above. But the fact is, the same principle holds true no matter the complexity. Let’s say for example: did the hypothetical individual from the previous example study medicine while at college? “Well, Yes and no. They took a couple courses, but it wasn’t their concentration.” You see, even in such cases where it’s not cut & clear, it doesn’t change the fact that it yet still took place in an exact, specific, unalterable way, which is possible to be known and explained in an accurate and objective way, that reflects reality.
∙Another example is established facts, in other words something known to be true by actual experience or observation, that is predictably consistent, and that can generally be agreed upon. (for example, the sun gives off light, the moon has craters, snow is white, gravity causes objects in earth’s atmosphere to fall towards the ground, the earth has more water than habitable land, etc.) Now, while they’re may be certain exceptions (in regards to the previous examples we’ll say: color blindness, an anti-gravity plane, etc.) it still stands that the observed phenomenon are generally true and predictably consistent, and the exception is just that, and is the result of additional variables which can be explained and reconciled to the whole in such a way that it’s understood to be merely an exception which is based on additional variables and doesn’t actually contradict the established laws of the universe. These principles are the very basis and sum of the ‘Scientific Method’.
If the above were not true, then the fields of ‘history’, every branch of ‘science’, and even ‘language’ or human progress couldn’t exist; nor would there ever have been any advancements in technology or invention, as nothing would be predictable to the end that it may be understood and therefore the ramifications and possibilities realized and expounded on throughout time. Take for instance the limited constitutional republic of America (which has become the greatest, most advanced, prosperous, and free nation in human history) with its subsequent freedom of speech, religion, and resulting middle class, a system of government with it’s policies and principles designed in light of hundreds of years of established history, in order to prevent common problems which lead to collapse, oppression, and tyranny in the past from repeating themselves. It wouldn’t have ever been possible to have been conceived or even conceptualized if truth was ‘relative’ and there was no such thing as established facts. Also, take for instance modern technologies such as airplanes and computers which are the result of expounding upon and incorporating previous inventions which came about by establishing and understanding principles (facts) through hundreds and even thousands of years of scientific experimentation.
Therefore if one denies that truth exists, they’re essentially denying that objective reality exists (which is defined by and the result of history and facts), and thus their world view by implication precludes the possibility of invention and progress; and therefore it must be concluded that they’re either: confused, self-deceived, delusional, or mentally ill; as this not only contradicts the real world, but leaves them totally unable to explain how the present age in which we find ourselves, with all its conventions, came to be. Indeed, there’s no question that if the universe was not governed by established laws, principles, and if there were no such thing as truth (facts, history, laws, etc.); it would be a world of total primordial chaos and we’d still be living in the stone age.
∙As follows, the same then must also apply regarding the various religions and non-religion (atheism). Particularly as their claims are exclusive, contradictory, and therefore can’t all be true at the same time. (for example, either we are ultimately the result of chance ‘a big bang’ and an unlimited number of of ‘chance’ coincidences which created the perfect conditions allowing for life to take place, and then to “evolve” (or whatever theory you subscribe to); or alternatively we were intelligently created by some higher conscious power. It cannot be both. We were either created or we weren’t. The Atheists claim there is no God. The religious claim there is a God (or gods). It cannot be both, either there was intelligent creation or there wasn’t, and likewise either there is an afterlife or there is not. It cannot be both.
Comparing The Major Religions
There are some who maintain that despite the many different religions, everyone is really worshiping the same God, and therefore there shouldn’t be so much friction, and people just need to “not be so dogmatic”, and come together. Most who entertain this line of thinking tend to believe this is the key to “world peace” (just think of those “coexist” bumper stickers). And it should be no surprise that this sort of philosophy often gives itself to the extreme notions of “this religion or that religion, needs to be obliterated”, or “all forms of religion need to be outlawed”. It should be pretty obvious that such an approach is nonviable. Nor would it be just, as it would ultimately require oppression, tyranny, violence, and persecution. But history attests that this approach has never worked, but rather breeds more converts.
By the way, I must say, I find the “everyone is really worshiping the same God” type of thinking quite fascinating, as it essentially acknowledges by implication a singular and sovereign deity. But all that aside, at this point we shall proceed to examine the major religions of the world, to the end that it may become evident just how contrary and exclusive each religion is in relation on one another, and therefore why compromise is impossible.
The Muslims claim that there is a God (and that singular), Muhammad being his prophet and ‘the supreme example’; and along with their “holy” book the Qur’an, the exclusive guide on how to please God. Furthermore, according to the traditions of Islam, He (God) had no Son/Savior/Messiah (that is, a third-party intervener, necessary to intercede on sinful mankind’s behalf before a Holy God, to take the fallen race’s transgression (they having disobeyed God, breaking the laws of heaven) upon Himself, being legally (in the courts of heaven), the only eligible subrogee, himself never having sinned (broken God’s law), and therefore not already being guilty/having the same sentence upon Him, able to take upon Himself mankind’s guilty charges. Having God as his Father (being conceived of the Holy Spirit), he was “God Manifest in the Flesh”, and thus having bypassed the curse of sin nature which typically passes down all generations since the first man and woman (namely, Adam & Eve, and ultimately as a consequence of their disobedience), through the earthly father’s DNA), and that nor will He ever in the future. In terms of an afterlife, Muslims believe that there is a heaven, and that their system is the only way to get there, and they likewise, in accordance to the precepts of the Qur’an, seek to establish a worldwide theocracy, even through violence if necessary, and what’s known as “cultural Jihad” as it teaches all human affairs are to be conducted in light of this system.
The Jews likewise believe in a singular God, but do believe there will be a messiah, but reject that it could have been Jesus of Nazareth, and maintain that the real messiah hasn’t yet come. Generally speaking, the Jews do not view the function of the Messiah the same way Christians do. They generally do not believe that Messiah will need to take away sins (or that “human sacrifice” (as they call it), even can take away sins), and therefore believe that the Messiah will not be God manifest in the flesh, but fully human, and an earthly king to bring world peace. Jews reject the notion of salvation, and depending on the various traditions, their views on the afterlife range from “the only way to find favor before God is by becoming a Jew and keeping the ceremonial, moral laws; and other commandments given in the torah/tenakh (the Holy Book of the Jews)” to “just be a good person”, or “attend synagogue and adhere strictly to the Rabbinic (Taldmudic) tradition”. Typically speaking, Jews do not proselytize nor feel the need to use force to make their religion dominate; but being themselves often persecuted throughout history, generally seek to be left alone and to leave others alone.
And then you have Christianity which, for practicality sake, we will be dividing into two categories (namely Protestant and Catholic) because of their significant and utterly contrary doctrines, practices, and history. Protestant Christians, while like the Jews and Muslims believe in a singular God, contrarily believe that Jesus was the Messiah (of the Jews), and that He extended salvation likewise to the gentiles (non-Hebrew races), and that Christianity is therefore the Jewish religion fully realized, and thus accept the history of the Jewish faith, patriarchs, lineages etc. as recorded in their (the Jews) holy book the torah (first five books of the Bible) or tenakh (entire old testament) but have an additional 29 “books” in their Bible which reflect the new covenant and are deemed inspired, but rejected by the Jews. Subsequently, they likewise believing in heaven, believe that it’s only possible to “be saved” by having ones sins (offenses against a Holy God who demands perfection) forgiven through this Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, where he being without sin was able to take ours, and that those who reject this gift/offer, will not make it to heaven, including the Jews and Muslims that don’t repent and believe. Once again, this system is absolutely contrary to the former, and exclusive in its claims, therefore only one of them can be right or none of them are. The Roman Catholic Church (papacy), which claims to be a Christian institution (even though it’s system of ritual religion contains mostly pagan elements contrary to the Bible), likewise professes to believe in one God (but supplements the mediatory office of the saints and especially Mary (this being absolutely contrary to the scriptures of the Bible) while yet profess Jesus as Lord, and believes the Bible to a degree (while history and even Bible prophecy record that the papacy responsible for the greatest crimes against humanity, including the slave trades, and torturing/killing of 50-200 million Bible-Believers is in the inquisitions and dark ages, including those who translated the Bible into languages other than Latin, which were deemed “vulgar” and ultimately forbidden to be read.) but maintain that her traditions are above the scriptures, and that salvation is only through the Roman Catholic “mother church”, by participating in it’s sacraments, and through good works, and all who do not enter this fold, including protestants who make the Bible their final authority in faith and practice, will ultimately be confined to eternal flames. Again the claims of each religion are mutually exclusive and cannot be reconciled.
The Hindus believe there are many gods; reject the bible, yet do believe Jesus existed, but that he was merely an avatar of one of their many gods, Krishna, and don’t believe in heaven or hell but reincarnation.
The Buddhists are neither polytheistic or monotheistic, but believe in reincarnation and karma effected birth cycles.
The Satanists say that they’re essentially atheists who hate all forms of religion, but most are actually purposefully worshiping the devil, performing rituals, and seeking to behave and revel in things contrary to the Judeo-Christian established principles of morality. The
Luciferians/Illuminati/High Masons believe in the deities set forth in the Christian Bible, but believe that the roles are reversed, and that lucifer is actually the true light-bearer and savior of man through knowledge so that man may become ‘gods’, and that Jehovah, the God of the Bible, is actually evil, controlling, and vindictive.
The Pagans, Ancient Romans, etc. believe there are many God’s (for example, Bacchus, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Vulcan, Ceres, Mithras, Isis, pan, etc.) each playing a different role, as well as taking place in various ceremonies and rituals, but ultimately rejected accountability to a single God, the creator.
Witches/Wizards more or less believe in a universal power, energy, and force which regulates all of life and the universe as we know it; that it may be manipulated, and harnessed, and consulted for wisdom to learn about what’s to come, but that it’s neutral and neither good or bad in and of itself, only being determined for what purpose it’s used.
The “New-Agers”, Spiritualists, Gnostics, etc. more or less believe some combination or variation of these, picking and choosing what they like and don’t like (sort of like spiritual chameleons) but ultimately believing that it’s knowledge which “saves” and enlightens. etc. etc. etc.
∙Obviously there are other (countless) different religions and sects, the point is, they cannot all be right because they all claim something totally different.
So where am I going with all of this? Either God exists, and sent his Son to die for our sins, or he didn’t. Once we’re willing and able to ask the tough questions about our beliefs, diligently seek the truth, in order to see past the brainwashing based on false history, false science, etc we’ve been indoctrinated with since childhood, looking at the big picture and having considered all angles with an open mind and honest heart, we find with careful research that archaeology, true history and science, coupled with a study of the prophecies of the Bible as they relate to both history as well as current events, actually prove the Bible to be wholly true. Not only is there an empty tomb outside of Jerusalem, as well as many secular historical accounts that Jesus actually existed such as those of Josephus, Tacitus, etc, but there have been countless fascinating discoveries over the last century such as Ron Wyatt’s of chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea, The rock at Mount Sinai that water Gushed out of when moses hit it with his staff, Noah’s Ark, the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah, the location of the Ark of The Covenant, etc., etc., etc., proving the Bible to be literally true. So what about those who lived before Christ, never came to an age of understanding, or were born in cultures that never had knowledge of the one true God? God is fair, just and is a god of love; and generally in those circumstances people will be judged according to what they knew.
∙Just as the truth is not relative, neither are morals; or the idea of right vs wrong. Generally most would agree that murder, lying, rape, pedophila, slavery, theft, vandalism, etc. are wrong. While some would argue that these values are relative because they culturally defined, one finds in examining cultures throughout history, that where those behaviors were the norm, the societies ultimately collapsed or remain in squalor; and conversely the nations which upheld principals to the contrary (based on the Bible) have become the greatest inventors of technology(for example Automobiles of Germany, Computers of America, Watches of Switzerland, Limited Government of the Dutch Republic, Ship Building of Great Britain, etc.,) wealth (middle-classes), safe-living, religious freedom, most refined music (Western Classical Music), and fine arts in general (Van Gogh, DaVinci, Rembrandt, etc). Since this is consistently observably true throughout history, one must acknowledge it being a result of God rewarding Good and Punishing evil, or otherwise chalk it up as just a grand coincidence without exception.
[in other words actual experience documented through history give veracity to the truth, God rewards those who uphold and practice his precepts punish those who don’t. +add idea of common law]
The Good News
(How and Why we need to be saved)
∙Like an earthly judge, God, who upholds the court of heaven must hold people accountable, or else by just letting people off the hook, he’d be a corrupt judge.
∙God divinely inspired certain men throughout history (which we have compiled and translated for us in the Bible) to record His commandments, standards, and laws, which according to (Romans 3:23) we have all broken and fallen short of.
∙(Romans 6:23) records that the wages of sin are death
∙But (1 John 1:9) tells us If we confess our sins, that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
∙The gospel, or “good news”, is that, instead of condemning all of man, while we were yet sinners, God chose to send his only begotten son into the world to take on the sins of the world (while himself being blameless) upon himself, that we might be saved, dying on the cross, buried, and and being raised from the Dead by God almighty 3 days later (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
∙(Romans 10:9) tells us if we confess this with our mouths and believe it in our hearts, we shall be saved.
Why should I Care?
∙The Meaning of Life: While most live to achieve certain goals, or for earthly pleasures and success, etc.; all of these things are ultimately passing away and meaningless. The real purpose of life is so that we might find God, and take advantage of this opportunity to prepare for the infinitely better future eternal life which we’ve been offered; He creating mankind with freewill (rather than robots) to the end that eventually he would have a family composed of those who love him and chose his ways on their own.
∙Your Eternal Fate: As it’s recorded in (Philippians 2:10-11) every soul no matter of our beliefs, will ultimately in a final judgment have to acknowledge with our mouths that indeed Jesus Christ is Lord of lords, and King of all kings, and will have to bow before him before accepting our final fate, regardless if it be in the Millennial reign of Christ in paradise, or thrown in the lake of fire.
∙The Judgements of God: Washington once said “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible;” Jackson, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.” It’s a historical fact that this country (America) was birthed out of the protestant reformation, seeking freedom of conscious to speak, invent, and worship, baptist and puritan notions which had been condemned and persecuted by the papacy which ruled the known civilized world for thousands of years– to this end the republic was founded. The reason that today the weather is messed up, we have corrupt leaders, financial difficulties, regular mass shootings, greedy corporations, poisoned food, etc. is the result of a departure from God and his Word with the precepts contained therein; to which the only solution is for individuals to seek repentance and personal holiness on a massive scale. As the saying goes “those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.” The trend we see today in America, has happened in many nations and over and over again throughout history, as recorded in the Bible, Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, and countless other historical works; and the result is always the same; total collapse and devastation which God allows to take place in judgement. Yet God promises if we turn to him from our wicked ways, he will heal the land.(2 Chronicles 7:14)
∙True Peace and Joy: The truth is, most “pleasures” that promise satisfaction are deceitful and actually end up leaving us empty afterward and/or with an insatiable appetite for more. The only way to have true peace and contentment (regardless of the trials or triumphs we may be facing,) is through the Holy Spirit (gifted upon repentance and belief of gospel) and by prayer and living according to the Word of God.
∙Eternal Reward: Beyond Salvation of our soul which is granted SOLEY by grace through our faith in the Gospel (not of our “good works,” for attending a certain church, etc.), the Bible makes clear that faith without works is dead, and that each will be rewarded in heaven based upon his works here on earth.(Ephesians 2:8-9, James 2:17, Romans 2:6-11, Matthew 16:27, Revelation 22:12)
Why all the pain and suffering?
∙ ultimately because we live in a fallen world, or in other words because of our “great-great-great-great… grandparents” Adam & Eve’s disobedience as recorded in the Bible in the Garden of Eden. When Adam & Eve sinned, it gave satan equitable title to the creation God originally had made them beneficiary of. Satan being the ‘god’ of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) with the intention to steal, corrupt, destroy, and lie (John 8:44, 10:10) ultimately being the source of all suffering and evil, but God allowing and using it form mankind’s ultimate good in fashioning those that will yield into the His image, even as Christ was the chiefest of suffering servants.
∙God wants a personal relationship with us through prayer, worship, song, quietude, reading and meditating on his Word (the Bible), etc. It’s not about churches, buildings, denominations, priests, sacraments, etc. most religious institutions are apostate today as prophesied in the Bible.
∙The Bible tells us that God doesn’t dwell in manmade buildings, but rather our bodies are the temple of God, and there is one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ, not priests, pastors, etc. (Acts 7:48, 1 Corinthians 3:16, )
∙God said the greatest commandment is to Love him with all are hearts, minds and souls (followed by loving our fellowman as ourselves,) that we must worship him in spirit and truth; and to study to show ourselves approved, growing in knowledge of him and his ways by studying the Bible so that we can live lives that glorify him and to the good of ourselves and fellowman (Matthew 22:37-39, John 4:24, 2 Peter 3:18, 2 Timothy 2:15,)
∙TODAY is the day to start actively seeking God. (James 4:8) tells us if we draw near to God, he will then draw near to us. The reason we don’t “hear” from God, is generally because we don’t want to, so he leaves us alone; as well as un-repented (lacking sorrow for, and desire to turn from) sin. We also read in (Jeremiah 29:13) if we search for God with all our heart then we will find him. (Psalm 32:6) tells us that we should pray while God may be found, because once calamity strikes, it will be to late.
∙The “right” Bible— The version (translation) that God has used the most throughout history is the AV [Authorized Version] 1611 King James Bible for english speaking people(not to be confused with the ‘New King James’.) All the other various subsequent versions of the Bible, while perhaps convenient for their modern english, are to be avoided or only used supplementary as they alter and/or altogether omit many very critical scriptures, and instead of being based on the original hebrew and greek manuscripts, are rather based on latin translations which do not hold up to the many historic manuscripts and tablets. With the Holy Spirit you will have no problem understanding the King James, especially when coupled with a good concordance such as “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance” which can be obtained for just a few dollars, as well as by “googling” questions you may run into. As far as obtaining a “good” King James Bible, I would recommend one with center column references, which makes understanding prophesies and other references from scriptures easier to connect and understand. I personally favor Zondervan’s “Center Column Reference King James.” (I would advise against getting the large print as you will lose many of the references)
∙Biblical Archaeology— http://www.biblehistory.net/
∙Biblical Archaeology— http://formerthings.com/
∙Journalist Seeks to put same Questions to the Test, book— “The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel
∙Regarding Origins of Bible; YouTube— “A Lamp In The Dark: Untold history of Bible”
∙Regarding Origins of Bible; YouTube— “Forbidden Book: History of the Bible (Full Documentary)”
∙Regarding Creation; YouTube— “Kent Hovind Creation Seminar” (7-parts)
∙Regarding Understanding Prophecy/History/Current events; YouTube— “Total Onslaught” (36 parts) or “Total Onslaught Mini Series” (10 parts) by Walter Veith
∙Debunking Evolution— “Evolution Handbook” by Vance Ferrel (can be found for free in PDF format online)
∙Further Study of doctrine, history, etc; links to discover Christian Music, as well as other resources, and contact info; My Personal Independent Website—http://contending.webs.com