Tell me nothing but the truth – Part 1

Tell me nothing but the truth – Part 1

The statement, “nothing but the truth” is used where emphasis is placed on factually accurate statements. The statement is defined as follows:

“The absolute truth about something, without omission, embellishment, or alteration. Used to swear in witnesses while giving evidence in court, and used by extension in other contexts.

Place your hand on the Bible—do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” (Source: TheFreeDictionary)

We are all familiar with this. Everyone loves to be told the truth and no one likes to be told lies. It seems God has made us that way, to hate lies. The statement above is used in courts and many other places. It is important to give the truth and only the truth if the courts are to function properly in doing justice.

You probably have come across something like this.

Declaration

I confirm that the information supplied on this form and in support of claims made on this application form is true and correct

I understand that providing false or misleading information is a serious offence.

When completing some documents such as tax returns, passport application, and so on, you find it written there that false or misleading information is a punishable crime. That is true even if the false information is very little.

The Bible is even more emphatic.

  • 1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Truth and lies have no fellowship. In fact, a big truth mixed with a small lie is a big lie.

big truth + small lie = big lie

The Bible goes further and says this.

  • John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Bible gives a source for lies. It is the Devil and Satan. No lie comes from God. It is that simple. So whenever we see a lie, we know the spirit behind it is not of God.

Because statements contain lies, the Bible admonishes us to test  and prove everything. The Bible says this.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

We should never accept something without proving it first, to see if it is true. Then the Bible says this.

  • John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
  • Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

We can conclude clearly that there is absolutely no lie in God, not a bit. We see that:

  • We have to prove what is true.
  • The truth sanctifies us, i.e. makes us separate from the world for God’s holy purposes
  • There is no lie in the mouths of those who will stand before God, the saved.

Probably the most important thing we want to prove if we are in truth is who we worship. The whole Bible is about who is worshipped. The Israelites were punished by God for worshipping the wrong god, Baal and other gods. Jesus spoke this about knowing who we worship.

  • John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

So true worship is knowing who we worship. You cannot worship until you know who you are worshipping. That makes sense because to worship is to have a relationship. There is no relationship unless we know who we relate. Hence the first thing people who have just met do before they can relate, is to know each other. What’s your name, where do you come from, male or female, young or old, etc.?

So, who is the God we worship? Who is the God of the Bible? What is his identity? We want the truth and nothing but the truth.

To start answering this question, let us take this quotation from a well-known writer, whom I believe was inspired by the God we worship.

“Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself. A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character. This is the knowledge needed by all who are working for the uplifting of their fellow men. Transformation of character, purity of life, efficiency in service, adherence to correct principles, all depend upon a right knowledge of God. This knowledge is the essential preparation both for this life and for the life to come. The knowledge of the Holy is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). Through a knowledge of Him are given unto us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This is life eternal,” said Jesus, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). { MH 409.1 to 410.1} (emphasis added)

We need to know not just his character, but who he is, his identity. Character and identity cannot be separated. Who you are, your habits and behaviours go together. In fact, in the Bible one’s name (i.e. identity) was often derived from one’s behaviour/habits (i.e. character). Jacob for example was called the supplanter for displacing his brother Esau from the first born privileges. After changing his character, Jacob was renamed Israel, to suit his new character as one who successfully strove with God and man. Similarly, the devil was once called Lucifer, the light-bearer because that’s what he did. When his character changed, he was renamed Satan the adversary, for that’s what he now was.

God also is known by names that emphasise his character, for example, Father because he is the father of all (1 Corinthians 8:6), El Shaddai meaning God Almighty (e.g. Genesis 28:3) because God is all powerful. God is the merciful God, the Lord of hosts and many other such titles which reveal his identity in his character.

The primary doctrine (the primary truth) of any church (and any religion) is the identity of God they worship. Most of the churches that profess belief in the Bible clearly identify the God they worship as the trinity. The Catholics say that all their doctrines are based on the trinity doctrine. The modern SDAs have the identity of God as Fundamental Beliefs 2 to 5. The modern SDAs spend much more effort in defining who their God is than they spend in defining any other single doctrine. The pioneer SDAs in the mid to late 1800s defined who the God they worshipped was in their fundamental principle number 1. The Methodists have the identity of God as basic belief number 1. The SDARM have the identity of God as fundamental belief number 1. So we see that of any church, it is certain that the identity of God is the primary doctrine on which the rest of the doctrines anchor.

Most churches believe in what is called the trinity. In other words, they worship one God who is called Trinity – a one God who is in the form of three persons. The SDA Church defines this One God as follows:

“The Trinity – There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”

Let us look at this closely. This statement is describing the one God they worship. From this statement we can see that:

The One God they worship is not one individual single person.

The One God they worship is made up of three individual single persons.

The One God they worship is a UNITY not a person.

So, the question is, is this statement the truth and nothing but the truth? Is there no lie in it?

Question 1: Does the Bible state that the One God we worship is made up of persons?

The Bible does not talk about any three persons who make up One God. The Bible does talk of the Father and the Son as one and of the Father the Son and Spirit as one but not One God. Let us consider the verses.

  1. John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Christ says him and His Father “are one”. However, he does not say him and his Father are One God. In fact, Christ explains how him and his Father are one.

  • John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.

The way Christ is one with his Father is the same way as the 11 disciples must be one. It is the same as how the church must be one today. The Bible further explains how this oneness is like.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

The disciples were one in that they had one mind, or one spirit. Their deep love for one another and their common singular purpose made them one. Therefore, they were all united as one, but not making one man out of 11 persons. So, we see clearly that when Jesus says him and his Father are one, he means they are totally united. He never says they are One God.

The inspired writer explains the oneness in John 17 this way:

“The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.” { MH 422.1} (emphasis added)

Hence the unity between God and His Son is not to form the One God, but to be united in everything they think and do. This oneness therefore has nothing to do with forming one God out of three persons. In other words, the oneness is not a means of forming the identity of the One God.

  • 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Another verse which talks about oneness is 1 John 5:7. In its own words, the three i.e. the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, are one in bearing record in heaven. Nowhere does it say they are One God.

In fact, the Bible continues to talk about the bearing record (witnessing) and just a few verses later, the Bible makes it clear that there is God (the Father), then there is his Son both involved in witnessing. Notice:

  • 1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

At no time does this passage tell us of a One God who is made up of three. It clearly identifies God, then His Son, and leaves out the Spirit. As we saw already in John 10:30, God and his Son are one in mind and in spirit. Do we have evidence for this oneness in spirit? Yes, notice.

  • Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings…
  • Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [Christ], because he [God] hath anointed me [Christ]… (emphasis added)

These were words prophesied by Isaiah about Christ, the Son of God. Christ himself read the same words in Luke 4:18 referring to himself. Christ confirms that he was given his Father’s Spirit. Him and his Father have one Spirit. Therefore, the Father, the Son and by the same Spirit they have are all one, i.e. united in bearing record. That is what 1 John 5:7 is saying. It is talking about the unity between the Father and the Son in the one Spirit in witnessing the truth. It is not talking about the forming of One God out of three persons.

Continues in Part 2 to Part 5.

God’s blessings to you all.

The Rock Fortress Ministries

Email: therockfortress@gmail.com

Website: www.rockfortress.net

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05 September 2020

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