The Good News - Home
By David A. DePra
Spiritual sight is not a matter of discerning THINGS. No. Spiritual sight is based upon an inward revelation of JESUS CHRIST. If you have no personal revelation of Jesus Christ, then you have NO spiritual sight – and it does not matter how much brainpower you have, or what is your education, or what is your IQ. All spiritual sight begins and stays rooted in SEEING and KNOWING Jesus Christ.
There are many Christian people who might scoff at the Biblical teaching that we are to have an inward revelation of Jesus Christ. But this is central to the Christian experience. Indeed, this great need to know Jesus Christ is the reason why so many Christians are blind, disagree on basics, or otherwise can be very intelligent, yet know nothing of God. It is also why uneducated people can have keen spiritual discernment. We must get this settled: God wants us to know learn Christ and to know Christ. But this isn’t about brains. It is about spiritual sight.
Natural man has no capacity for spiritual things, let alone, the ability to see light and Truth. The best natural man can do is intellectually grasp some concepts ABOUT God. But no one can see God unless there is given him that which from above. Jesus said you couldn’t even begin to see the kingdom of God unless you are born again. That settles it. To see the Truth you must have the Truth, i.e., Jesus Christ, living in you. And even then we must learn and grow. Even then we must grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
As noted, many Christians today have no clue what it means to have an inward revelation of Jesus Christ. Such a possibility is not taught, is not discussed, and indeed, is sometimes viewed as being unbiblical. I understand that, because we are, after all, talking about that which is FROM ABOVE being given to flesh and blood human beings. The natural senses are not at issue. There are also those today who have entered into the psychic world and mistaken it for the Spirit of God – and this brings reproach to the REAL. But that being said, the personal and individual revelation of Jesus Christ is not only Biblical, but is central to Christianity. Christianity is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. From that point, God wants to reveal Christ to us in an inward, personal way.
Christ, the Key to All
The reason why there is so much doctrinal disagreement in the Body of Christ is that people do not know Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Christ, you cannot know the Truth. Oh, you can study and sort out theology, and assure yourself that you have it right. But in that case, you are at the mercy of your brains, your background, your upbringing, and your personal bias and preference. Thus, we have the disagreements. And some of these disagreements are so big that we aren’t even talking about the same God, or the same gospel. Calvinism, for example, is ANOTHER GOSPEL, with another Jesus, and another God. The fact that Calvinism has a nice, comfortable place in the Body of Christ is a testimony to the utter lack of discernment and the apathy towards the Truth.
If people were taught and edified in Christ, and if people were growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, doctrinal differences would fade away – all would hold to the same sound doctrines. For Christianity did not originally emerge from a list of doctrines. Rather, doctrines emerged from Christianity – doctrines emerged from a revelation of Jesus Christ. Get back to Christ, and the same doctrines will emerge and be taught everywhere. There is ONE Truth, and once Christ is seen, that ONE Truth will prevail everywhere.
The revelation of Christ is so essential, that the Body of Christ has NO chance whatsoever of ever getting on track until there is a return to Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about a return to Christ as the topic of conversation, or as the central theme of sermons. I’m talking about a return to Christ as personal Lord, and as the One who dwells in each one, and as the One who wants to progressively unfold Himself to us. I’m talking about Jesus Christ having His Way, His Truth, and His Life in HIS Body – not just in theory, but really.
Read John chapters 14 through 16. Jesus clearly lays out the work of the Holy Spirit of God for the church age. Each and every function of the Holy Spirit comes back to revealing Jesus Christ to the individual -- and then by extension -- in the Body. Read also Ephesians 4. The work of the ministry is to build up each believer, and by extension, the Body of Christ, in Christ. Indeed, all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are unto that end, and only that end.
Christianity is an ongoing revelation of, and experiencing of, the Person of Jesus Christ, by the individual in whom Christ dwells. This is the work of the Spirit of God – including the work of the Spirit through the Body of Christ. The BODY helps people know Christ for themselves. There is no other concept in the NT.
God wants us to KNOW HIM. And because we know Him, we will clearly see everything else according to the Truth. This is spiritual sight. It is the ability to see as God sees – because we see Jesus Christ. Of course, there is a growth process involved. But spiritual sight is a capacity that God gives to each in Christ. What we see, and how we see, governs so much – it governs all. God desires that we see according to Christ.
Christ in the Individual
God wants to reveal Christ to each individual believer. The revelation of Christ cannot come by proxy. Even if God speaks or bears witness to Christ through another member of the Body, it is unto the end that each individual learn Christ for themselves. This is what it means to edify each other in Christ. It is real and it is personal. Ministry is LIFE – ministry is Christ. And if it is not individual and personal it is not real.
Everything God wants to do in the Body is only possible if it FIRST takes place, and stays rooted in, the individual. You cannot have a healthy church if the individuals in it are sick. In fact, if a church is sick, or spiritually healthy, it is BECAUSE this is a reflection of the individuals that comprise it. The Body is the sum of its parts. Everything starts with Christ in the individual. Christ is in the individual, and that is the only reason why the individual is in the Body of Christ to begin with. Distort this order and you will ruin the purpose of God.
I have known people in my life who demand that it is through the Body that individuals abide in Christ. In other words, they teach that you can plug into God only if you first plug into a group – usually THEIR group, or THEM, as a leader. There are also those who suggest that only if I submit myself to a group that I can truly be part of the Vine. I make no apology for saying this: Such a teaching is a LIE. You are not saved by plugging into a group. You do not abide in THE VINE by first abiding in another branch. You are in Christ individually. Then, because of that, you are in the Body.
There are likewise those today who teach that any suggestion that the individual takes precedence over the Body – they teach that this is rebellion and, "an independent spirit." Folks who believe this are either deceived, or want to use their teaching to control the lives of others. I once knew a woman who taught these errors. She ended up totally deceived by her own importance. She controlled the lives of everyone around her. In the end, she attributed what she was doing to, "love," and to some higher knowledge she claimed to have. God gave her chance after chance to see her error. Yet her pattern of error continued for decades. Some folks will not see. They refuse to see. Most of the time it is because they think they already DO SEE. They are too prideful to consider otherwise.
What is the problem here? Is it theology? No. It is never theology. It is merely a matter of a mistake of discernment? Nope. The problem with this woman, and really, with all who live life in error, is that there is a spiritual blindness – people DO NOT SEE JESUS CHRIST.
We must come to terms with some absolute Truth revealed in the NT. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all Truth. Yet there are individuals who spend a lifetime walking in error, and nothing seems to be able to wake them up. Whose fault is that? Has God forgotten them? Is the Holy Spirit seeking to guide THEM into all Truth? Sure. That is what Jesus promised EACH of us. But there are those who continue in error. I would submit that when everything is said and done that if I spend a lifetime walking in error that it is MY fault. (It can’t be God’s fault!) No. I have refused, neglected, or distorted the Truth. The problem isn't my theology. The problem is my heart before the Lord. A lifetime that ends in darkness is evidence that I have loved darkness – darkness GAVE me what I wanted – I have chosen darkness over light.
You will note that I am talking here about people, not who are ignorant, but who COULD know the Truth – because God is showing it to them. But they close their eyes. They won’t consider what the light of God will expose about their own heart.
Read Romans 1. There Paul speaks of those who would NOT accept the Truth, but rather, exchanged it for a lie. This is possible for all of us. The Truth will NOT affirm us. The Truth will slay us – it will slay all that is contrary to Jesus Christ. Some of what the Truth will slay might seem good. It might even be that which is our, "claim to fame," before the Lord. But if we want to go on with God, we have to walk in the Light. We need to get that settled and ask God to do whatever it takes to change us so we will do this. Some won’t. They won’t let go of their self-value or self-importance. They won’t be exposed. So God gives them over to exactly what they want – they go on with a concept of God that they have shaped and molded in their own image.
God’s Message is Christ
Spiritual sight is God’s desire for each of us. He wants us to receive an inward revelation of Jesus Christ that will enable us to see everything according to Christ. In fact, this is always the outcome of walking with Christ. It isn’t for only some people. It is the only possible result of new life. It is the only possible result of growing in Christ. Indeed, the revelation of Jesus Christ is fundamental to everything a Christian IS.
This fantastic purpose of God, that we might KNOW HIM, is especially vital to realize in this day and age of self-appointed prophets, apostles, and teachers. There are professing Christians everywhere prophesying – claiming to have visions and insight from God. But if you read the New Testament you discover something that almost NONE of these people teach. You read that it is IN CHRIST that God has wrapped up all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3) You find that it is through a personal revelation of Jesus Christ that God is today speaking to us.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…(Heb. 1:1-2)
So HOW and WHAT is God speaking today? It is right here in this verse. God is speaking to us IN HIS SON. Not – God gave us teaching through Jesus. He did. But this verse means much more. Fundamental to Christianity, indeed, to the New Covenant, is that God is revealing Himself, and His purposes, through a personal revelation to each of us IN HIS SON.
Have you Christ in you? Well, if you do, then what God is speaking and revealing – the Truth Himself – is in you. It is simply a matter of growing to see and know Christ. As you do, you understand what God is saying. It is all IN the Person.
We too quickly read right by passages such as this one from Hebrews. I’m not dismissing the possibility of God giving revelation about some THINGS to people today – as long as it is fully scriptural. But read this one verse from Hebrews. What is THE message God has for us today? What is He speaking? He is speaking to us His Son – and by extension, He is speaking to us IN His Son. In other words, you cannot separate or divorce ANYTHING God speaks or is doing from His Son.
What does this mean, practically speaking? Well, first of all, it means that God is generally not handing out random information and revelation. The internet today is filled with prophets with messages from God. Most of them have nothing to do with Christ. No. God is revealing Christ. Only as Christ is revealed and known does any related revelation come forth. No information or revelation is of God except it be hid in Christ and be unfolded as HE is unfolded.
Always beware of any person or group who claims to be getting messages from God. God’s message is Christ. But again, while this does not entirely dismiss a Word from God about THINGS, when God speaks by His Spirit, it is always scriptural, and always according to Christ.
So again, spiritual discernment is not merely a gift the enables us to see THINGS. Rather, spiritual discernment is the outcome of SEEING JESUS CHRIST, and therefore, we are able to discern what is OF HIM, and what is NOT of Him. In contrast, spiritual blindness is the result of not knowing Jesus.
The Knowledge of Christ
When Hebrews says that God is speaking to us IN His Son, it does not limit that to the words spoken by Jesus while here on earth. Of course, God’s Word to us includes the literal words spoken by Christ. But Jesus IS the Living Word of God. This means that the very Person of Jesus Christ is God’s word to us – Jesus Himself is the revelation that God is today giving.
To some, this might seem strange. But grow to know Christ and it becomes clear that He is God’s revelation, message, and Word to us. Grow to know Him, and the meaning of Bible verses become clear. Grow to see Jesus, and you will know what God is doing – or you will be content NOT to know. Jesus said, "He that has seen ME has seen the Father." This is as true today, through the Holy Spirit, as it has ever been.
This could not be more plain from Hebrews 1:1. For not only are we told that God is speaking to us IN His Son – speaking to us, "Son-wise," in the Greek – but this is CONTRASTED over and against the other means by which God spoke in times past. God had once spoke through prophets – that is, He once gave messages, information, direction, and teaching through His prophets – BUT NOW, and that denotes a change, God is speaking to us IN HIS SON. Every means by which God once spoke are now swallowed up in the revelation of His Son.
You can argue the point all you want, but despite the affirmation of the NT spiritual gifts, there has taken place a big change – a big change in both the MEANS and CONTENT of what God is speaking. God is today speaking Christ. Christianity is Christ in us. And in Christ, God is today speaking to us – that is, it is through an on going personal revelation of Christ that we come to SEE, and KNOW, and discern God, and His plan and purpose.
The essential of knowing Christ in an inward way by revelation is all through the NT:
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. (Gal 4:19)
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mat 16:16-18)
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (Gal 1:15-16)
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Phil 3:10)
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (Eph 1:17)
The bottom line is, if Christ is not being revealed to you and I, we aren’t going to get far. Someone might say, "Well, all we need is love." The Christian landscape is littered with people’s ideas of God’s love. Love without the knowledge of the One who IS love usually ends up being something destructive. But the argument is moot. It is simply not possible to grow to know Christ without growing in love. It cannot happen. Indeed, if I have all knowledge but don’t have love, my knowledge is not the knowledge of Christ, but intellectual at best. Any revelation of Christ will be a revelation of ALL He is, central to which is love.
God wants us to KNOW HIM because the foundation of all relationship with God is that we might KNOW THE TRUTH and thereby be set free. The Truth is a person, and knowing Him MAKES US TRUE – thus enabling us to walk in fellowship and relationship with Him.
Light and Truth
God is bringing the saved on into greater and greater LIGHT and TRUTH. This isn’t simply a part of what it means to be redeemed. It IS what it means – that is – this is what Redemption does, it restores a person to God. Yes, we are given LIFE, but we are given LIGHT. Light and Life are in a Person, and Redemption is the restoration of oneness with Him.
We have to STOP defining Christianity as a list of doctrines to believe. Of course there are doctrines – and they must be true. But even the devils know they are true. Rather, Christianity is Christ in us, the hope of glory, or if you prefer, believers in Christ. It is the spiritual union between God and man in His Son. Everything else that we call Christianity comes from that – including doctrines, and certainly all spiritual experiences that are of God.
Some people don’t like the word, "experience," because so many today have made Christianity nothing more than miraculous experiences, most of them NOT of God. But the fact is, if Christianity is not an experience, then it is not real. Do you think Redemption is NOT an experience? Do you think that Christ in you is just a theory? No. We are not merely saved legally. Rather, we are to experience Christ. This will change us, and frankly, it is the only experience that can.
The point is, if Christ is in me, then the only possible result (assuming that I yield to Him) will be an ongoing enlargement of Christ TO ME – and this will mean LIGHT and TRUTH and greater power over death through His resurrection. Now, I’m NOT talking about doing miracles, etc. No. I’m talking about an inward work of the Spirit. Go back and once again read John 14 through 16. There Jesus outlines the work of the Spirit of God. What Jesus promises is HIMSELF. Do we actually think that Christ could dwell in us, and that, if we yield, that there could be no change in us?
If my Christianity is not changing me to where I am becoming LESS and Jesus is becoming MORE, then there is something wrong. If my Christianity is making me bigger in my own eyes, I am deceived. If my Christianity is not making me more and more obsessed with, and dependent upon, Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit has NOT gotten much done.
If Christ is in me, two things will be going on: I will be shaped in accordance with His death. This is the work of the Cross. But I will see a greater release of His resurrection. BOTH will be the case. It will be death to my flesh and to all that is self-righteous about me. But it will be life that emerges from this death. And with that life will be light. The two always go together because they are Christ.
Here we see how it is possible to receive an inward revelation of Jesus Christ. It is not through mere study. It is through the Cross – that is, we have to have a death to ourselves if we are to have an enlargement of life. And that enlargement of life contains an enlargement of LIGHT. Why? Because we are talking about an enlargement of Christ. In Him is life, and His life is the light of men.
Christian people usually have a completely wrong idea about what it means to come into the fullness of Christ. We continue to think that God is going to make something wonderful out of US – out of the material we give Him in the old man. He never will. God is out to get us OUT of the way through the Cross. Rather, He wants to make Christ known THROUGH us. This is completely different, indeed, completely contrary, to our thinking. We continue to think that God wants to glorify the earthen vessel by putting in a Treasure. He won’t. He wants to glorify the Treasure. We are recipients, and that is all. Yet if we understood that, we would realize the blessedness of it.
The work of the Comforter, the Spirit of God, is to make Jesus Christ our personal Lord. Or, to put it in other terms – God intends to completely change people by revealing Christ TO them, IN them, and THROUGH them. This is the only means by which we can obtain spiritual sight. We have to KNOW CHRIST. We have to SEE Christ through inward revelation. Anything short of that and we cannot see.
If spiritual sight is dependent upon seeing Jesus Christ, then spiritual blindness is defined as NOT seeing Jesus Christ, and consequently, NOT seeing the Truth. There are a number of reasons for spiritual blindness, and there are degrees of spiritual blindness. Thankfully, we are not victims at the mercy of this condition. In the end, because God is already working to open our eyes, how much we see is determined by US.
Spiritual sight is never based on brains, education, or any natural asset. Most Christians don’t believe this. That is why we exalt and promote those with degrees to ministry, and have turned the church itself into nothing more than a religious version of the world’s organizational structure. Very few people will listen to the Truth on this matter. But the fact is, your spiritual sight – your knowledge of Jesus Christ, and your calling from God, and your place in His Body -- has absolutely NOTHING to do with even a Bible education. You cannot open your eyes to God through theological study. Instead, your knowledge of Jesus is determined by the degree to which you have yielded to the Light.
It is also possible to mistake an intellectual knowledge of God and the Bible for the true knowledge of God in Jesus Christ. It is possible to be so blind to the difference that the question never even arises in the heart. There are thousands upon thousands of Christian people today, including ministers, who are completely blind to Jesus, but who are convinced they know Him. But what they know are facts about Him – at best. What they possess is a body of doctrine and Bible teaching. Many of us have learned much about Christ, but have not, "learned Christ."
Well, the good news is that God knows all about these problems. They are not a surprise to Him. He has an answer. But make no question about it, it is possible to remain blind even though God wants us to see. The Bible is filled with such warnings. Thus, it behooves each of us to understand the Truth about this condition, and God’s way of setting us free so that we can see and know Him.
Jesus said unto them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remains. (John 9:41 KJV)
The most innocent type of spiritual blindness is IGNORANCE. We all have ignorance. Ignorance might be defined as the INABILITY to see because we have not yet grown to the point where we can see. In other words, our blindness is not due to any hardness or refusal on our part, but merely the result of inexperience and immaturity. If we are truly ignorant we are open to the Truth, and God has all the room in the world in eventually opening our eyes.
We are not to blame for being truly ignorant. But we are to blame if we remain in the dark once God brings light. That is really the whole point. Once God brings light ignorance is no longer possible. For once light comes, we cannot go back, for we are faced with a choice. The question at that point is not ignorance – the question is no longer whether we have light. We do. The question is whether we will embrace the Light.
Herein we see the key to spiritual sight – to embrace the Light. When God brings Light I must either love light rather than darkness, or love darkness rather than light. (see John 3:19-21) Ironically, I determine WHETHER I see, and WHAT I see, by what I do with the Light God brings.
Now, this won’t make much sense if we think that LIGHT merely consists of teachings and doctrines. No. It includes that. But LIGHT is the Truth. Period. Seeing LIGHT is a matter of seeing everything, including MYSELF, as God sees it. The result will extend far beyond doctrinal clarity. Seeing Jesus Christ will actually MAKE ME TRUE UNTO GOD. If what I see is not making me true unto God, then I am not seeing the Truth – for the Truth will always make me true unto God. There is no other possible impact of Truth – this is what it means for the Truth to set me free.
This is why it is possible to see doctrinal Truth, but nevertheless become arrogant, and remain spiritually blind. You can know Truth intellectually, but nevertheless remain UNTRUE to God. Being true unto God is a matter of standing and walking in HIS LIGHT – everything is exposed, including our real condition. Many will not accept such Truth.
There is ONLY ONE TRUTH. That is because there is only ONE GOD and ONE Jesus Christ. The Truth is ultimately a PERSON. Thus, I do not determine the Truth. Rather, I determine what I will do with the Truth God reveals. In the end, I am either going to allow God to adjust me to the Truth – make me TRUE UNTO GOD – or I am going to try to adjust the Truth to fit me -- that is, I am going to try to make the Truth UNTRUE, because I want to remain UNTRUE. I will do one or the other once God brings Truth. The outcome may take years, but I am doing one or the other continually.
Most Christians do not realize the absolute necessity of seeing the Truth in Jesus Christ. Most of us don’t even know what that means. In addition, we do not realize what would happen if we really saw Jesus; if we really embraced the LIGHT. We still think this is about embracing teachings. The fact is, if I embrace the Truth, everything untrue and everything dark about me will be brought into the Light. Of course, this is great news, and the path to freedom. But as mentioned earlier, most of us have no frame of reference for such an experience in Christ. We have not learned Christ. We have been sold a bill of goods. Many of us are deceived.
True spiritual ignorance is a condition wherein one is blind, but really doesn’t know they are blind. They don’t even know THAT. And because the blindness is that complete, the person will not even cry out for sight. One might even say they are blind to the fact that they are blind. This is possible to any number of degrees. But despite the ignorance on many matters, we are accountable for what we DO KNOW. This gives God the fertile soil necessary to plant His Word.
I suppose if we were to identify the initial indication that God is working in a life, it would be when our need for Christ begins to be awakened. In other words, we are no longer blind to the fact we are blind. Rather, we are awakened to the fact that we are blind – and this frees us to cry out to God.
You will notice that to be, "awakened to the fact that we are blind," is not yet real spiritual sight. But actually, IT IS SIGHT, in a very real sense of the word. For once I know I am blind, and can cry out to God, I DO SEE. I may not see much, but I do see that I am blind. I now know there is MORE.
To, "open our eyes," to the fact that our eyes NEED to be opened, is most often the way in which God initiates salvation, and after salvation, it is the usual way in which God continues to enhance our spiritual sight. God will put us in a situation where we MUST SEE JESUS to a greater degree, or we will not get through.
But of course, as noted earlier, this will make no sense if we think that knowing the Truth equals knowing Bible verses. Well, the Bible verses do tell the Truth. But the problem remains: WE are not true unto God. And until we are true unto God, we have not embraced the Truth. We have no spiritual sight.
Because today Truth means little, and Christianity is no longer, "Christ in us," but is more a RELIGION about Christ, even this elementary teaching about the need to SEE CHRIST is considered strange and even wrong to many. Tell an educated Christian person that we need to have opened, "the eyes of our understanding," and that God wants to give us a, "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (see Eph. 1:16 on) – preach this necessity in your average Christian church, and the people will look at you funny. They will either think they already KNOW and POSSESS this – because they think you are talking about doctrines – or they will think you are suggesting that we depart from the Biblical revelation. Well, the need for such spiritual sight IS the Biblical revelation. It is what the Word itself SAYS we need.
There is nothing God will ever reveal to us that is not in perfect harmony with the Bible. But you can study the written Truth your entire life and in the end what is going to matter is whether you have been made true unto God. Have you merely studied about the need to embrace the Light, or have you actually embraced the Light? Do you know intellectually that you must be made true unto God, or are you being made true unto God? Have you learned about Christ, or have you learned Christ Himself? These are not cute questions. They are matters of spiritual life and death. This is not about religion. It is about eternal relationship with God – about being one with the Light Himself.
Well, when God does begin to bring light to a person, they are going to first see that they are blind. Why? Because they ARE blind – this is the Truth. As I said earlier, don’t expect the Truth to discriminate in our favor. Don’t expect a truth that will affirm US. No. The Truth is going to expose all of us just as we are. And the fact is, without Christ we are reprobate. Do you want the Truth? THAT is the Truth – He is everything, and we are merely the earthen vessel. There is no other Truth we will see.
There are a whole bunch of people out there who will NOT even confess their blindness or need. They won’t admit they are blind. The Pharisees would not confess this. Why? Pure pride and arrogance. This possibility remains for each of us.
That is why Jesus said we must become as little children. We must become as little children unto God in order TO SEE, but I am certain that once we begin to see that the result will be that we will become childlike all the more. This is just another way of saying that the Truth makes us true unto God.
Any knowledge that makes me proud may be based in fact, but it is not Truth that I have really embraced for myself, because pride is a sign that the Truth has not made ME TRUE. The fact is, you cannot see Jesus Christ and remain proud. True humility is not the result of keeping religious principles. True humility is the result of seeing the greatness of Jesus Christ in a way that will utterly change me – I see the Truth of Christ and am made true unto God.
Can we see that we are here talking about seeing the Truth – and having that Truth alter us according to Christ? This is not about acting a certain way, or coming under some list of principles that we think will deal with pride. No. Those things are condemned in scripture, and the product of unbelief. The ONLY solution is to SEE JESUS. See Jesus and you see Truth. Embrace that Truth of Jesus and you will be MADE TRUE UNTO GOD. That is freedom, and the only way in which all that we read in the Bible can be made real in the heart and life of a human being.
If God shows us that we are blind, we ought to rejoice, for this is never a matter of CONDEMNATION, but unto ILLUMINATION. God shows us our true condition so that we might turn to Christ. God is a Redemptive God. Always.
The Pivot Point
It is possible to begin to see the Truth by reading the written Word. But we must still EXPERIENCE IT. We must still be made true. Most often, God will orchestrate practical situations wherein we can do this – or refuse to do it. It is there that much is decided.
For example, let’s take something simple: God’s provision. Do you believe that it is the Truth that God will provide? Notice that this is a matter of THE TRUTH. Is God faithful to provide? Is that the Truth or is it not?
I said before that there is ONLY ONE TRUTH, because there is only ONE GOD. So this question of God as provider is not complicated. Either it IS the Truth or it is NOT. There is no gray area, and there is no way to sit on the fence. Either we want to enter into the Truth on this matter or we do not. And God has already said that HE wants us to know and live in the Truth.
Now note that last statement – GOD wants us to know the Truth. That itself IS a great Truth, all in itself. It is stated all through the Bible that God wants us to know the Truth and that He is taking the initiate to reveal Christ to us. Do we believe that?
My point is this: Perhaps we can admit that we don’t believe the Truth as much as we thought. Maybe, for example, we thought we believed God was our provider, but now we are not so sure – for maybe God hasn’t seemed to provide. But again, here is the question: What is the Truth? Well, if the TRUTH is that God is our provider, and that God WANTS to provide for us, then THAT is the only Truth God has for us. In short, despite our deficiencies of faith, God is going to want to get us to where we DO believe the Truth about these things and live in them.
Note what I am saying: Jesus promised that He would guide us into ALL TRUTH. This is about MORE than learning teachings. It is about living in a relationship with God that is THE TRUE RELATIONSHIP – which requires that I be made true. Thus, if the Truth is that God is my provider and if the Truth is that God wants to provide, then God is going to be faithful to bring me to where I can believe and know this Truth. It is the only possible outcome IF I remain open.
You see, God has not left it up to us to make ourselves true so that we can believe the Truth. Rather, He will make us true. We need only turn to God and say, "Do whatever it takes, Lord, to make me true." That, in itself, is the result of being made aware of our need. And then God will answer – He will do that. And if the Truth in question is God as provider, God will do whatever it takes to bring us into a true knowledge of God on this matter.
If there is one thing we must realize is that these things – these different aspects of relationship with God – are not optional if we want to see the Truth. If God wants to be our provider and will provide – if this is the Truth about God – then there is no other possible outcome of seeing and living in the Truth but that we enter into exactly such a relationship with God. Is God THE provider? Then if I am to walk in the Truth He must be MY provider. It is that simple. God can bring me no other place if He is to guide me into all Truth.
And yet do we realize what seeing and living in such Truth will mean? Do we realize what it will require to be MADE TRUE unto God? Well, everything that is UNTRUE about me will be exposed. As it pertains to God as provider, it means that all faith in myself and other things will need to be dismantled. There will need to be a work of the Cross upon my natural man if I am to be made true. But again – this is not about jumping through required religious hoops in order to get God to do His part. No. It is about seeing and coming into THE TRUTH.
I say again – there is ONLY ONE TRUTH because there is only one God. Do we want THE TRUTH? Or do we want affirmation for ourselves? In this Christian life we are going to have plenty of opportunity to stop short of the Truth and settle for something gray. Yet God will always be faithful to keep bringing light. The pivot point is when He does – the question becomes what we will do with it.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)
These words are quite sobering, but really, there ought to be no debate here. Are we going to debate and resist the Truth? God is seeking to reveal Himself to us through Christ. The fact that this is His ONLY purpose – and that there is only ONE Truth – this accounts for the strong language. We are warned – God has nothing else for us. Truth is the only option because the fullness of Christ is the only option. And yet this ought to be good news. We ought to rejoice and ask God to bring the Truth no matter what. He won’t fail us.
The Truth will cost us all untruth. To the flesh, this will at times seem quite exacting. But is untruth a real price? Are we kidding? Embrace the Truth in Christ and you will marvel at your hesitance, and be sobered by what might have been your indifference. The Truth sets us free unto God. How can we settle for less?
Hardness and Unbelief
We have stated that there is such a condition as innocent ignorance. This is a matter of being blind, but of not knowing you are blind. You just go on in the dark because light has not been given. For this – and God alone knows the heart – we are not to blame. Where there is no light there is no accountability.
It is just as certain: Where there IS light there IS accountability. Now, it is here that we need to understand something very important. We have already shown that LIGHT and TRUTH are not merely doctrines. Rather, they are THE PERSON – and all that is seen in His Light. Consequently, LIGHT may be nothing more than seeing that I can, and must, turn to God. It may be that simple. In fact, it usually begins there.
I said that the first sign that God is working is that a person realizes he is blind. In other words, light has been brought to bear upon his condition. He SEES – ironically – he sees that he does NOT see. But this IS seeing – it is seeing our great need. It is seeing our great need for Christ. And at that point we are accountable for turning to Him for freedom.
But we have also shown that it is here that it is possible to harden our hearts. We might see that we are blind but refuse to confess it. People do this all the time. And the result is a greater darkness.
Note again that the issue here is NOT doctrine. It is relationship and accountability to God. Anyone can embrace teachings and doctrines. But to embrace God Himself will cost me everything about myself that is UNTRUE and that is contrary to Him.
Of course, we ought to desire this with all of our heart. We use phrases like, "surrender to God," and, "accountability to God," as almost negative terms. We tally what it costs us to give ourselves to God and think we are paying a big price FOR HIM. In reality, surrender and accountability ought to be the outcome of SEEING THE TRUTH. There is no other TRUE RELATIONSHIP with God possible except that we are surrendered to Him fully. And THAT is all to our benefit and to His glory.
When God shows us that we are blind He is showing us the Truth. He is showing us the LIGHT, Jesus Christ. If we confess and embrace Him, freedom will be ours. But it is possible to refuse even the light of seeing we are blind. And if we do, we will progress no further.
Here we see another possible reason why people do NOT see. It is one thing to be blind because your eyes have never been opened. But it is another to be blind because you have chosen to close your eyes. The former is the result of having no light. The latter is the result of refusing light by closing your eyes to it.
There are many people today who are in the dark, but not because of ignorance. Rather, they are in the dark because they have closed their eyes to the Truth. Perhaps they had some light and did not like what they saw. Perhaps they simple chose an alternative to the Truth – and there will ALWAYS BE ONE. Every time God brings a person on to the Truth, the enemy will offer another path – a good one; one that can be rationalized. Some take it, and never stop taking it. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that even our worst choices in life can be spiritually redeemed by God. But many refuse to believe EVEN THAT – they refuse EVEN THAT light.
Hardness of heart is always the result of wanting my own way. It is the result of seeing Truth and altering it to fit ourselves so that we can get our way – we want a Truth that will conform to US in some way. Again, this is about relationship and openness to God. It is about whether we really want the Truth, and to be made true – or whether we will remain untrue.
I have stated that there is only ONE TRUTH. Indeed, if there is such a thing as Truth, there can be only one Truth, for if there were two Truths you would have no Truth. There could be no God, and no absolute reality.
But there is ONE TRUTH – it is a Person. Yet because there is only ONE TRUTH – because there is only ONE GOD – then it is certain that all that extends from Him, and all that is part of Him, is TRUE. It means, for example, that if I want to enter into fellowship with God, I am entering into fellowship with the personification of Truth, and therefore, I must be MADE TRUE if that fellowship is to be possible. Again – we are not talking here about theories or creeds. We are talking about God. If you want to walk WITH the Truth Himself then you are going to have to be MADE TRUE UNTO HIM. Otherwise there is NO fellowship.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:6-7)
Now, among other things, what this means is that there is ultimately ONE TRUE relationship with God. Not two, but one. But again, I’m not talking as much about DOING or practicing religion, as I am about our inward dedication and devotion to God. Certainly, all of this is build upon Jesus Christ. But it is built upon Jesus Christ, then all the is built upon Christ, and is the product of Christ in us – all of that is going to be TRUE.
Simply put, if you and I are walking in the Light, and are walking with the TRUTH HIMSELF – if we are actually doing that in a growing way – then not only will we be personally MADE TRUE unto God, but what we believe, teach, and practice is likewise going to BE MADE TRUE. Sure. And this is exactly what is taught throughout the New Testament.
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:4)
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (John 16:13)
But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. (James 3:14)
The above verse from James 3:14 proves that there is a TRUE relationship with God, and a TRUE condition of the heart. Note that if our spiritual condition is contrary to the will of God that we are lying against the Truth. How so? Because our relationship and attitude are not TRUE – the are LIES – they are contrary to Christ. The result of the Truth is that it will make us true, and will result in us manifesting the Truth. Anything else is a LIE. – not a spoken lie, but a living lie.
Now, can we see that it is possible or a person to know and believe all the true doctrines of the Bible, and yet for that same person to BE LYING against the Truth because there is something wrong between them and God? Sure. I can believe it is God’s will for me to trust and obey Him. But that doesn’t mean I do.
God wants to make us TRUE TO HIM – and this is what it means to be set free through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ will set me free – knowing Him (if I embrace the Light) will make me true unto God – and this will translate into a true relationship with God, manifesting the Truth in and through me.
Now notice something related: Christian people set us rules and laws and religious practice, in large part to keep themselves right with God. Sometimes rewards and punishments are attached to these things. Other times there are other motivations offered. But can we now see, that when everything is said and done, that this is about walking in Truth and Light, rather than in darkness? It is about walking in the Truth.
It is actually possible for Christian people to walk in a system of law, and keep all kinds of good principles – ones that seem holy and upright – but in doing so to deny the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the sin of the Galatian church. They kept GOOD laws in order to keep right with God. But Paul said that they were under ANOTHER GOSPEL – he said they were under a LIE. In short, they were living contrary to the Truth. Yet their works were good! They produced good works from a lie, rather than the Truth. Thus, we see the vital essential of knowing the Truth.
The solution is simple: Return to the Truth Himself. Return to the Cross. The message of the Cross tells us that NOTHING we do can keep us right with God. It is sin to try, and deception to think so. See the Truth. There is no other Truth. There is no other Light. You have to come back to the ONE TRUTH.
The Ultimate Issue
If there is ONE TRUTH, and that one Truth is a Person, then all of His purposes are true, and the only possible result of knowing the Truth will be to know Him, and that one purpose. And what is that purpose? The NT states it a number of times in different ways. Perhaps the best statement is found in Ephesians:
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (Eph 1:9-10)
Well, central to his purpose is MAN – if God’s purpose is to gather together all things in Christ, central to this will be those who are IN CHRIST. But simply being in Christ is only the beginning of this purpose. If Christ is in me, then the TRUTH HIMSELF is in me. Thus, the MEANS by which God’s purpose is accomplished is through the unfolding of Christ to me. I must grow to know Him, or, in other words, I must grow to know the Truth.
It is through knowing the Person of Christ that I actually come to know His purpose – it is through knowing Him that I come into actual fellowship with God in His purpose. This is impossible if I am blind to the Truth, or if I believe error about Jesus Christ. No. Again, this is about TRUTH – the ONE Truth. God has one purpose. That purpose only is the Truth. And it is found in Christ – and Christ is IN US,
Even though most of us pass through different phases in our Christian life, and perhaps take a few years to get to where our eyes are truly opened, the fact remains that we are only going to get so far until we see the Truth of God’s purpose in Christ Jesus. We can get only so far until we begin to know Christ personally, and begin to realize that God wants to gather all things in Christ. Thankfully, since there is only ONE Truth and ONE purpose, if I go on with God, seeing the Truth in Christ is the only possible outcome. Again – walk in His Light. There is no other possible outcome than to see and know Jesus if I walk in the Light.
Along the line of God’s purpose in Christ, there is the Lordship of Jesus. When the Bible says there is ONE Lord it is stating the Truth. When it says He is Lord of ALL, it is stating the Truth. In short, there is no Truth except the Truth of Jesus as Lord – of all, yes, but of YOU and I personally. The Truth will not only reveal this to us, but the Truth will make us TRUE so that we can live under Jesus as our personal Lord.
To illustrate a contrast, we can go back to something we saw earlier. If Jesus is my personal Lord then my relationship with Him is THE TRUE ONE. But if He is not, then my relationship with Him is a lie. There aren’t options here. There is just TRUTH, and there are LIES.
Lordship is fundamental to God’s creation. The ultimate issue in all of creation is WHO will be Lord of all. It boils down to that in the end. We talk of all that Christ has done for us, and that is wonderful and necessary, but if we turn things around and consider them from God’s standpoint, and speak of God’s rights, then we see that Redemption is much wider – it is a matter of restoring all things under God, through Jesus Christ as Lord. This is what God is doing.
But again I say – this IS THE TRUTH. It is the ONLY TRUTH. It is the ONLY purpose. If you and I are not entering into this Truth we are OUT of God’s will. This is not maybe. It is absolute. From the standpoint of the individual, God is revealing to us personally and individually the TRUTH – not simply the Truth of His purpose as a, "thing" – but God is revealing to us the Truth who is His Son. Thus, we enter into the Truth of God in Christ as we grow to know Christ and give ourselves to Him as personal Lord.
It is folly to speak of the purpose of God in general if I do not enter into it personally and individually. What good will it be to me to be able to know or teach the true purpose of God in Christ – that Christ is to fill all things – if Christ is NOT filling ME? For in the end, these things are not about doctrine, nor are they experienced by reading them in a book. This is about relationship and fellowship with God Himself. And that relationship CANNOT be real to anyone except it happen on an individual and personal level.
Christianity is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27) It is personal before it is corporate. In other words, for YOU, Christianity is NOT, "Christ in ME." And for ME, Christianity is NOT, "Christ in YOU." Rather, for each of us, Christianity is Christ in each of US. My personal Christianity begins with Christ in MYSELF – individually, personally, and one on one. If it does not begin there, and live there as the basis, the rest is upon a wrong foundation. And this means that Jesus must be Lord of me. And in addition, it means that Jesus must be revealed to me individually.
The very definition of Christianity – the very meaning of the New Covenant – is that Jesus Christ has made Himself one with individuals. Personal oneness with God through Christ is the foundation of everything God is doing. And for those who are concerned that I am making little of the meaning of the Body of Christ, and the ministry that comes from it, the answer is that none of God’s purpose through His Body is possible unless Christ is FIRST known by, and living in, the individual. Do you want the Body of Christ to function according to God’s will? Teach the individual the meaning of Christ in THEM. Get the individual into personal business with Christ. This is, in fact, the real purpose of all NT ministry – to build up the individual in Christ so that the Body might function. Do it the other way around, and try to make the Body function FIRST, neglecting the individual, and you will work spiritual disaster.
So what we see is that Jesus Christ is Lord. And that God intends to gather all in Christ. That is the Truth. It is the ONLY Truth. Thus, the work of the Spirit OF Truth will be unto that end – to make Jesus Christ our Lord. To bring us into oneness with Christ. This is what God is doing, and everything else that is going on is unto that end. You cannot adjust it or tweak this to fit yourself, and you cannot neglect it without consequences. You can only surrender to Christ.
Today the Christian landscape is filled with people who parade their systematic theology and clever arguments – they say they are apologists for the Truth. Some of them are worse than the people they oppose. There are others who have this or that ministry – all of them claim to be anointed of God; blessed of God; and to have a calling from Him. A few of these have built up big kingdoms for the Lord. Others yet set up churches, start music ministries, and claim to have found the keys to the kingdom. There are others who are heretics and con-men. But when everything is said and done, the only question that is going to matter is whether there is any of Christ in it. Or, to put it another way, is the matter in question OF THE TRUTH?
It is this simple: Either something is FOR the Truth or AGAINST it. Either something is OF GOD or is NOT of God. It doesn’t matter how something started. It matters what it is now – it matters what it is to God. Am I true unto God? Does my ministry reflect that? Or is there something else that has entered into the picture, not something bad, but something that is less than the Truth?
We are going to spend eternity living IN CHRIST. That means we are going to spend eternity in LIGHT and TRUTH – not as things, but in the PERSON. If we are not doing that now, as much as God makes possible, we are going to have no capacity to do it then. It is utter lunacy and deception to think that we can shut out the LIGHT now and have capacity to embrace LIGHT then. We won’t embrace it. We won’t even know what God is talking about. Bank on it. There is no theme more central to the parables of Jesus.
What this tells me is that on some level or another, God is going to sort us out. He will, on some level, push us so that we MUST choose one way or another. Truth is absolute and our choice to embrace it must ultimately be the same. God is going to see to it. He will again and again bring people to the point where they must choose darkness OR light. And each time we do choose we are made either more true or untrue to God. This is a relationship that forms the foundation for the eternal ages. It is the ONLY relationship there is, because it is relationship and fellowship with God Himself. God is the Truth.
Jesus Christ is Lord. He is to be all in all. That is the Truth. It is the only Truth. Thus, in the end, we have to embrace and enter into this Truth. But this is all for our benefit. It is all for our eternal blessing. And God is right now already beginning to reveal to us these things in His Son.
The Good News - Home