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Written by Jill Salzman
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:31,32)
This scripture has always struck a chord with me, but recently it has become more and more like a warning siren. What has become of the concept of truth in this modern world?
Starting about the 1960s we had post-modernism, which states that there is no real truth, only perceptions which vary from person to person, according to the time or situation. In other words, “truth” could be a lie if the real truth happened to be inconvenient!
Now we have post-truth, which suggests that you can have any “truth” you like, as long as it agrees with your personal bias. We saw this concept take off in 2016, during the US election.
Isaiah described the society in ancient Judea as being very similar to our modern world:
“Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked". (Isa 59:14, 15; NLT).
Last year, I came across a headline on Facebook: "Trump Collapses and Dies of Heart Attack!”. In disbelief, I immediately did a search and came up with nothing. Something so shocking and world-shaking would obviously have been all over the internet! It was fake!!
So how can we know what is truth? A few simple guidelines come to mind:
(1) Love the truth. The apostle Paul said that if we love the truth and really value it, we will be less likely to be deceived. (2 Thess 2: 10)
(2) Be your own fact checker! Who wrote this? Who said this? If something is online, check the author, and the website name (URL) which can appear similar to a reputable website. Do a Google search to see if any other websites confirm the information.
(3) Beware of false prophets (Jer 23: 30-32). Check to see if any of the person's previous predictions have come about. (Deut 18:21,22)
(4) Look at the fruits of the person who gives a “prophecy” or “secret truth” (Matt 7:16). If the person remains anonymous, be suspicious.
(5) Don't pass on information or news unless you have thoroughly checked its authenticity.
When Pontius Pilate examined Jesus Christ, he seemed to be very confused about what was true and what was false:
Christ said, “..Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (Jn 18:37,38).
Love the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Despite living in perhaps the wealthiest society of all time, people in our Western world still search for meaning for their lives. The explosion in information is promoted as the answer to our spiritual wanderings. But is secular information the same as the true knowledge of God? This lesson discusses the unique understanding that can only be found in the Bible. It shows how God inspired the various books by different authors, and how to understand the various types of literature found in the Bible. Most importantly, it teaches how to apply its practical truths in our personal lives.
Is the devil real? Many people assume he’s just a mythological figure or some sort of symbol of all evil. But your Bible tells a very different story. It describes a very real being of enormous power and influence over human beings. In fact, it tells us that this being “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). It describes him as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)—an evil spirit being who desires to be worshiped by human beings and who tries to usurp the one true God. How does he deceive the entire world? A major way is through false religion—by infiltrating churches and denominations and subtly influencing them into teaching a “different gospel” and “another Jesus” quite different from what the original apostles taught (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-9). Could you possibly be influenced by this being? How can you know? You need to read this issue of Beyond Today! It’s vitally important that you understand the truth!