December 17, 2020
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Joh 8:32
The Power Behind Truth and the Lie
This Christmas season, at its core, represents the battle between truth and the lie. Jesus Christ, the Truth in bodily form, came to earth during this season to destroy the destructive work of the lie that had contaminated mankind. Everything God created was good, therefore, we know everything opposing truth comes from evil. Even before the earth was formed, everything in heaven was good until evil was found in Lucifer, the chief musician, angel and cherubim in God’s heaven. That was the beginning of evil and its deteriorating force against all that is good. Lucifer is the author and father of all lies (Joh 8:44). When Lucifer, also called Satan, was kicked out of heaven by Father God; Satan fell down to the earth and, as an evil spirit, began his campaign of lying, corruption and destruction. Regardless of how difficult a year, the Christmas season always bring us back into remembrance of the miraculous power and goodness of God; and it influences us to do good toward others. During this season, the evil influence in our environment is usurped by the flow of good will from God’s Loving Spirit that is shared among us. It is up to us to hold on to it.
When Leaders Fail
Jesus Christ was birthed into this corrupt world and grew into maturity without sin under parents devoted to God. During His earthly ministry, He went into the synagogue and healed the sick but the religious leaders objected to his breaking their Sabbath ritual. Then as now, the church was steeped in performing rituals and the government was a burden to its citizens. Jesus came to restore the truth that would set all men free from institutional bondage but it was resisted by the established systems.
In our society today, little black boys born in the ghetto inquire of their mothers about their missing fathers. Their single mothers try to do their best to make it with low income and government assistance but may still lack decent housing, clothing and educational needs of the children. How does she explain that his father is in jail from stealing or drugs, which may have been all he ever knew in the gang that raised him? How does this family survive and where is the truth for them. In the church, she is told to bring an offering to the altar and God will help her; give a sacrificial offering and God will give her prosperity. Where does the money come from when you can barely pay the bills, buy food and clothing and still have money left for car fare to go to work? Is this the truth that Jesus came to bring her…one that makes the preacher rich and keeps her poor? How can she accept a Jesus who is always asking for money? How long can she endure this gospel that is giving her hope on one hand and taking it on the other? Is this the truth Jesus came to bring?
Pure Religion and the True God Offers Hope and Help
God proclaimed through Prophet Isaiah that the coming of Christ would bring good tidings and great joy.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isa 61:1,3
The impoverished people of Jerusalem looked forward to the restoration of King David’s kingdom because under it they were blessed and protected. They hailed the coming of the Son of David. When Jesus came to the temple at Jerusalem to be celebrated, He found the temple in disobedience. Merchants were buying and selling at the entrance and the temple leaders devoured widows’ houses (Joh 2:14). It is pretty much the same today and we wonder why things are so bad. The church house is still distorting the truth and the government is still burdening the poor through inequitable tax burdens. The citizens of Jerusalem were suffering sickness, poverty, oppression, spiritual ignorance and had little hope while the religious leaders lived in fancy houses, ate well, wore fancy clothing and cooperated with the government to keep the people in silent oppression. Not a lot has changed. The temple was the center of society and the Torah was ritually read in the square by the scribes; but the truth was withheld. It is pretty much the same today.
The world had been darken with leaders who lied and deceived but Jesus had come to bring light. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (Joh 8:12).” If Jesus came into Jerusalem and found the same things we are seeing today then what is the answer? Jesus told all His disciples: “Follow me.”
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Joh 12:26
Somehow the message Jesus gave of following Him became distorted to following the preacher. It can be difficult to imitate the preacher’s life that is lived within gates and behind walls. Before Jesus came, John told of the Savior and made it clear that men were not to continue following John but were to turn and follow Christ, the Savior. John stated that he was not worthy to loosen Jesus’ shoes and he would have to decrease while Jesus would increase. Upon hearing that, the disciples left John and began to follow Christ (Joh 1:35-37). Somehow the church has made man to increase and Jesus to decrease. The preacher has taken center stage and Jesus can hardly be found. Darkness has returned because man has taken the place of Jesus, the Light of the world. Jesus described His ways in scripture so the believer need not be deceived.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. Joh 10:9-15
Discerning True Leaders from False Ones
Christ came to show us our Father and reestablish our lost relationship with God. We need that relationship with God for our help and protection. Adam and Eve had no lack in the Garden while walking with God, but they lost it all when they listened to the serpent. Christ disciples united have the ability to stand up for truth under the protection of the Holy Spirit and bring the vulnerable into the arch of safety through faith in Christ. If we believe the truth that Jesus taught then God is our Father: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Joh 14:6).” True Christian leadership looks like Jesus. Jesus warned us that not every preacher is a true minister from Father God. Jesus rebuked the false ministers and exposed their work as from the devil. They were the ones who led the people astray and blocked the truth with lies. They were the one who blocked the light and opened the door to darkness.
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. Joh 8:44
Churchgoers today are not well taught the difference between true ministers and false ones but Jesus was not ambiguous in revealing the difference. While God looks to promote true disciples to leadership positions, Satan looks to replace true leadership with his followers so he can be established in power. We live in a time of celebrity preachers where great names are exalted and marveled at while integrity and truth are displaced by fame. God has uncovered the sins of some leaders to set their followers free from fear. Again, Jesus told believers to follow Him, He did not tell them to follow celebrities or idols. Because some churchgoers have followed the lie, they have found themselves entangled in the lie and darkness again. The Word of God is truth and it is always available to be read and listened to or watched with our modern technology. There is no excuse for not knowing the Word of God and we are expected to stand in truth, knowing that God fight our battles. True servants today have the same ability as the first disciples to turn this world around for God.
In our nation over the past year, we saw dark forces working to make this a terrible year. It has been a year that we do not want to see repeated. The darkness has existed for the past four years because the nation made some bad choices. Religious leaders should lead the people to the godly path but many of them directed our nation to follow a man that we all saw repeatedly speak and do evil. They pronounced him godly and to be one appointed by God to the highest political office. It was a lie but many people believed it and brought themselves under a cover of darkness. All professing Christians should have known better. Our nation was already in trouble but this lie and other lies, i.e., white supremacy and white nationalism, brought in the power of darkness and opened the door for destruction. The boldness of lying is a prophesied sign of the last days and the antichrist spirit in the land (1Ti 4:1-2). If we knowingly put away God’s ways, we invite the enemy in. Pride, arrogance, racial prejudice, hatred, greed, and a false gospel are all rooted in Satan’s efforts to deceive and destroy a people. We can choose to reject the lie, regardless of who told it, and choose to believe Jesus Christ, the Truth. Our nation cannot reject Christ, the Truth, and maintain His protection. We will either be under Christianity and a blanket of protection or under a blanket of lies and vulnerability. The choice is still ours. This is a time when we should examine our walk with the Lord. Each of us is accountable for the condition of this world because we each have the opportunity to change it like the first believers did. We can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. Jesus came to empower us to be the light of the world (Mt. 5:14).
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6