Truth Brings Spiritual Victory
By Rich Carmicheal
This issue of Herald of His Coming focuses on spiritual warfare, especially in regard to the mind. In light of this, I call your attention to the vital role that truth plays in spiritual victory.
Consider, for example, some of the important things that truth can do. Truth helps us move from the darkness into the light: "But he who practices the truth comes to the light" (John 3:21). It sets us free: "…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). It sanctifies and purifies: "Sanctify them in the truth…" (John 17:17); "Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls…" (1 Peter 1:22). It leads to salvation: "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation…." (Ephesians 1:13). Truth brings forth spiritual fruit in our lives: "…the word of truth, the gospel…is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth" (Colossians 1:5-6). And the truth protects: "…Thy truth will continually preserve me" (Psalm 40:11).
On the other hand, the rejection or suppression of the truth leads to all kinds of evil. According to the first chapter of Romans, the wrath of God is poured out on those who "suppress the truth" (1:18). "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened…" (1:21). They "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (1:25) and "did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer" (1:28). Because they suppress the truth and refuse to live in keeping with the truth, God gives "them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful…" (1:28-31). In addition, when men are void of truth, they can become legalistic (1 Timothy 4:1-3) and they can use godliness as a means to financial gain (1 Timothy 6:5). What great evil comes when the truth is suppressed!
Satan, of course, is actively at work using deception and false teaching in order to keep people from the truth. When there is a lack of knowledge of the truth, he is able to ensnare people and hold them captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:25-26). The devil "…does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him…for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul gives this warning: "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…" (1 Timothy 4:1). He also reminds us that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). In order to remain victorious in the midst of the spiritual warfare, we are to "take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day" (Ephesians 6:13). One essential component in this armor is truth: "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth…" (Ephesians 6:14).
We need, therefore, to continually grow in our knowledge of the truth and in our obedience to the truth. This means that we need to enjoy good fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for truth is first and foremost in them. The Lord is the "God of truth" (Psalm 31:5); Jesus is "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14) and is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6); and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, able to guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). We need to beseech the Lord to "…send out Thy light and Thy truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Thy holy hill, And to Thy dwelling places" (Psalm 43:3). We should seek for the Lord to fill our lives with Himself and His truth, even as the Apostle Paul could state, "As the truth of Christ is in me…" (2 Corinthians 11:10). We can rejoice that "the Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth" (Psalm 145:18).
We must also feast upon the Word of the Lord, for "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Jesus says that "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). This means obedience to His Word because "The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected" (1 John 2:4-5). The truth, therefore, is not just something we know, but it is also something we do. We are to "practice the truth" (John 3:21) and "walk in truth" (3 John 1:4). And the Lord desires that His truth work deeply within us. As David writes, "Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being…" (Psalm 51:6). The truth is to abide in us and be with us forever (2 John 1:2).
We must also repent and put off all sin, for "If we say we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6). We dare not "go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth," for if we do, "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26). The knowledge of the truth is according to godliness (Titus 1:1) not sin. Daniel, in one of his prayers, acknowledges the importance between repentance and understanding the truth: "…all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth" (Daniel 9:13). Likewise, the Apostle Paul emphasizes how repentance is necessary for one to gain knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:25).
Fellow Workers With The Truth
As members of the body of Christ, we have the tremendous responsibility as well as the privilege of sharing the truth with others, for the Church of the living God is "the pillar and support of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). The Lord "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4) and He has chosen to use the Church as a major instrument to manifest and share truth with the world. As Paul writes, "…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15). We are to "…speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another" (Ephesians 4:25). We are encouraged to help turn back those who have strayed from the truth, knowing that as we do, we will save their souls from death (James 5:19-20). We are to gently correct those who are in opposition, hoping "God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 2:25). We are to be diligent to show ourselves as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, "handling accurately the word of truth", for the word of those who stray from the truth spreads like gangrene and upsets the faith of others (2 Timothy 2:15-17).
I gladly share one final passage that should be very encouraging to those of you who support the ministry of Herald of His Coming with your prayers and financial gifts. In 3 John 1:5-8, the Apostle John writes, "Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth." John praised Gaius because he was working together with others to share the truth. How the Herald staff also offers praise for those of you who stand together with this ministry! We praise the Lord for the way He continues to use Herald of His Coming as a messenger of the truth, and we thank all of you who stand in partnership with this work. May the Lord continue to give His anointing so that the Herald ministry, together with you, can share truth that will bring salvation, light, freedom, sanctification, purification, and spiritual victory to many precious souls worldwide!