Millions today profess they are walking in the TRUTH of God. But what is TRUTH? Do you really know?
By Garfield Gregoire
Standing before Pontius Pilate, Jesus said: "… and for this cause, came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18: 37). In response to Jesus’ claim, Pilate simply asked, "What is truth?" (verse 38).
Like Pilate, the world is in ignorance of God’s truth. If understood, the world would be shocked to know that multiple millions who profess to know God, calling themselves "Christians" – do not really know the vitally important aspects of God’s truth.
To be sure, such a statement may seem preposterous and beyond belief, but if truly understood, it would become clear to the ones willing to rid their mind of prejudice, in order to see what God really says.
But what is the TRUTH of God? How may this be understood or defined?
The Bible tells us in Revelation 12:9 that Satan deceives "the whole world". This means that mankind has been deceived about the truth of God. This is the very reason we have so many different religions, ideas, customs, practices, and beliefs in the world today, as well as the very cause of why humanity is unable to solve its problems, and achieve true and lasting peace in the world.
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong spent his life preaching and teaching that the cause of all of humanity’s ill’s stem from Adam and Eve’s failure to obey and believe God. Adam and Eve chose the wrong way; they decided to choose the way of self- knowledge - rejecting the very knowledge or truth that came from God. Quoting from his book, The Incredible Human Potential, Mr. Armstrong wrote: "What is the most necessary of all knowledge to know? It is the knowledge of what man is; the knowledge of why he is - the PURPOSE for which humanity was put on earth: the knowledge of the way to achieve that purpose - of the way to world peace, peace between individuals, groups and nations; the knowledge of the cause of all the world's troubles and evils; the knowledge of the solution to all these problems; the knowledge of the true values - what is important and what is worthless.
That is the missing dimension in knowledge. Look at the situation as it is now - our present, pulsating twentieth century. Supposedly this is the day of enlightenment and mass production of knowledge. But both modern science and higher education have rejected the sole source of this basic knowledge - -needed knowledge, though it is all contained in the book generally supposed to be the source of belief of at least three of the world's great religions.
Look at the situation as it was more than 1900 years ago. Jesus Christ came from heaven with a message from God containing this knowledge. But even most of those who believed on Him disbelieved the message He brought and demanded His crucifixion for declaring it. His apostles went forth proclaiming the message; they too, with one possible exception, were martyred. Before the end of the first century, Christ's gospel message was suppressed and a spurious "gospel" proclaimed.
Go now all the way back to the beginning of humanity on the earth. Our very first parents rejected this same revealed knowledge imparted to them by their Maker in person. They disbelieved what He said. Yet they did believe Satan's lies. They disobeyed by stealing the forbidden fruit. They took to themselves the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. All humanity has followed their example ever since.
The Eternal God nevertheless has made this vital revealed knowledge and truth available to any willing to BELIEVE what He says - in His inspired book, the Book of books - the Holy Bible. This book has actually become the world's best seller. But this precious book has been interpreted and misinterpreted, distorted, twisted, misrepresented, misunderstood, and maligned as no other book ever has.
Humans have written uncounted millions of books. People BELIEVE what these books say, though they may be partly, mostly, or totally in error and devoid of truth. People take these books literally to mean what they say. Yet of the Bible they will say, "You surely don't take the Bible literally, do you?" They will not believe this book means what it says. It is the very Word of the living God, but they refuse to believe what God says.
And thus disbelieving humanity continues stumbling on its way, piling up the mountains of human woes, discontent, unhappiness, sorrow, pain, suffering and death. Yet the Eternal God of truth and mercy makes available even today - in this end-time of the present evil world - vital, exciting, new knowledge to those willing to believe what He says and to obey it.
Notice how Mr. Armstrong accurately expressed that there is a missing dimension in knowledge of human understanding, and that this knowledge or truth is available to anyone willing to believe what God says in the pages of the Bible. In essence, the Bible or Holy Scriptures is where the Truth of God may be found. In John 17:17, Jesus said, "Thy word is truth." Scripture also shows us: "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart" (Hebrews 4: 12).
God’s word cuts deep and has the power to separate truth from error.
In the early phase of his ministry, Mr. Armstrong encountered a man who told him he wouldn’t get very far, because he was preaching the truth of the Bible. The man told him that the Bible was like a sharp sword that cuts and corrects, and that people were not going to support that kind of preaching.
Mankind has failed to understand that God is the "fountain-head" of pure truth and knowledge, and that the Bible should be the basis or foundation that guides and regulate every aspect of human conduct.
How We Know We Have the Truth
A man who knew little or nothing about God’s truth wrote to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in the following manner: "How can you know that you are any nearer right than anybody else? You say the whole world is deceived. You say the churches are wrong on many points of doctrine, but that you have the truth. You say they are human, and have been deceived. It’s human to err. But you, are you not also human? Are you not fallible? How can you be sure you are nearer right than any others?"
In responding to that man’s question, Mr. Armstrong wrote the following words – in a Personal titled, How and Why We Know We Have the Truth: "I want to make clear how you may know what is TRUTH while this whole world is deceived and in utter darkness. I want to tell you how you may be SURE!
First, are we not also human? Yes, indeed! We can make mistakes, too! We, too, could be in error on this, that or the other point. But we do not need to be! A man may say: "Who does Herbert W. Armstrong think he is? Is he any smarter than all these great theologians – these noted preachers and heads of great religious denominations?" The answer is No – it is not a matter of intellectual capacity. We are all human. We are fallible. I have been wrong. I have made mistakes. The same is true. The same is true of all those God is using in his work. That is the very first thing that we do recognize. That is the starting point in the search for truth. That is one reason why we do have the truth, in the midst of a very deceived world. I wish every religious leader would adopt this approach.
God says, "Prove all things." That means you are fallible. That mean all the great men are fallible! All are human. All can be wrong – and nearly all are. … That means it’s religious leaders and churches are deceived. The very recognition of that fact is the beginning of right knowledge. We do recognize it – and that we ourselves could be wrong. That is the first step toward coming out of the fog of error and deception, starting toward truth. It is not a matter of who has the greater intellect. A man may have the highest IQ in the world, and his intellectual vanity, refuse to admit he could be wrong – reject all correction – and thus embrace error and deception."
Mr. Armstrong continues: "The second step, if you would know truth, is to be willing to admit being deceived, or in error, and to reject it and accept truth. Ask yourself: "Am I really willing to confess error – to admit I’m wrong – when proved and reject it? Am I willing to accept truth new to me – when proved – even though unpopular – even though it cuts me off from my family, friends, associates, or club members – even though everything in my selfish and vain nature rebels against it?
Am I willing to act on it – obey the truth – no matter what the cost? … These are the first two points in which one who has come to the TRUTH differs from those still steeped in deception and error".
Notice the two vital ingredients for knowing the truth is based on our willingness to prove all things, and to be willing enough to see and admit we are wrong. The Bible plainly says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:6). The fundamental flaw of traditional Christianity (and mankind in general) - is that they are not willing to admit they are wrong, and do what God says. It would be extremely rare to see a religious leader come out and admit to their congregation that that they had been in error on a particular belief or doctrine. Instead, they would usually rather continue in error than to ever make such admission.
Our Need to Love the Truth
The Psalmist David knew that the Word of God was true, and knew that if we are to have a relationship with God; it was incumbent upon us to love that truth.
Notice what the Psalmist said in Psalm 119: 97-99: "Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; for thy testimonies are my meditation."
In looking at scriptures like this, we need to pause and ask ourselves if we truly love God’s law and His way of life as it is expressed here; we need to ask: Do I make it my meditation all the day? Does the love for God and his Truth become the focus of our attention and concern? If it isn’t the focus of our attention and concern, then we need to urgently beseech God to help us develop more of that love and dedication to His truth.
Mr. Armstrong loved the truth of God and he devoted his life to not only seek out God’s truth but to proclaim it to the world - as a witness to all nations. We in the Church of God (Scattered Faithful) hold to the very same ideals, truth and doctrines held to and taught by Mr. Armstrong – when he led the Worldwide Church of God; we are so doing - because this Church loves and cherishes the truth the way Mr. Armstrong did.
We Are Not a New Church
Those reading this article may wonder if we are a new Church. The answer to that is a resounding NO; and the answer is NO for two reasons: First, a Church is not a building, but rather that which comprises those living human beings that have been called out of this world and placed into the Church by God the Father; and second, we are part of that same body of believers that continues to hold fast to the truth and doctrines RESTORED to the Philadelphia era of the Church by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. It is true that the name "Scattered Faithful" has been added to the name of the Church, but that is only so named to express the fact that God’s people are now in a scattered condition.
We realize that Jesus said the Church would be kept in the Father’s name (John 17: 11, 12). The scripture shows us that the Church Jesus founded would be called the Church of God – hence, the true Church of God would continue to bear that name right until the return of Jesus Christ. If Mr. Armstrong was allowed to come back to life, he would recognize us as being part of the very Church era that God raised him up to establish. Granted, there are others who have appropriated this name, but God knows those that are truly His – meaning those that truly love God and those who are abiding in His TRUTH.
Mr. Gary Liebold who pastors Church of God - Scattered Faithful, is dedicated to the task of upholding and delivering God’s truth to those who remember and support all of the doctrines established under Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. While it is known that many other groups are in one form or another compromising with these doctrines, this Church un-yieldingly holds firm to those truths and will not compromise with any of the doctrines, or with the government structure that God established in the Church of God, under Mr. Armstrong.
In speaking about truth, Winston Churchill said, "Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it; ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." Yes, how wonderful it is to know and have God’s truth - knowing that no matter what happens - TRUTH will always stand.