What is Truth?, Pt. 3

Scripture: John 14:6, Job 1:, Luke 13:
What is the point of believing a particular view of truth? How does this impact our view of God? This broadcast continues a series on seeking truth. It is important to realize there are millions who believe in a truth about God that is distorted.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the bible to deepen our understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the bible and how the bible affect you today. I'm John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: I'm Gary Gibbs and we're talking today about the nature of truth and how it reveals who God is.

John: The last couple of times we've been together Gary we've talked whether there is truth or what truth is, if truth is absolute and what you've said just now is very interesting. Does or how does truth reveal God to us? In other words, if you don't believe it, right, what does it really matter? Maybe this is a very important subject for us to consider because it answers the question, what's the point of believing, so you're wrong, I'm wrong, you're right, what does it really matter? Maybe it matters if it impacts the way you view and believe in and relate to God.

Gary: Jesus said in John 14:6, "I'm the way the truth and the life." So Jesus is the embodiment of truth and in John 1:14 the bible tells us that he actually came down to this earth to show us what God is like. So John, when you consider why we're here on this planet and what's going on, you realize that Satan has been distorting the character of God by attacking who God is like. I think about these Pagan religions where you have a virgin thrown into the mouth a volcano to appease this angry God of theirs, to save the village and to save the people. Well, that's a distortion of who God is. The truth is God is love and you don't have to throw your daughter into the volcano, he gave his son.

John: That's correct and there are many millions of people today who are in slavery because they are party to religious belief systems and I'm thinking largely of non-Christians belief systems where they believe that their deity is vengeful or tyrannical and they have to appease spirits. Sort of bribe and manipulate the spirits. They just stay enslaved all their lives not experiencing that elevation, that lifting up that the true God, if you understand him correctly, brings into a persons life.

Gary: You see this in the very beginning in the Bible when Adam and Eve created from God's hand and there they are, they have all the evidence of this loving God around them. They actually walk and they talk with him and along comes Lucifer in the form of the serpent and he says, "This God told you, you can't eat of every tree of the garden?" He says "No, we can eat of every tree but this one, the tree of fruit of knowledge of good and evil." Lucifer says, "Well, that's because God doesn't want you to know what he wants." He paints God as this God that's holding out something. He's a God who's secretive. He's a God who doesn't really love. He doesn't want to give you everything.

Even though they had all the evidence that God was anything but that.

John: He was a liar and he said to them, "This God is so unkind that he's trying to keep something back." We don't know exactly what he said in heaven but you can go further back from the Garden of Eden. He deceived a third of the angels so he had to have misrepresented God somehow back then. So those angels in heaven who were being deceived, it wasn't just that they were wrong but their wrongness in following Lucifer lead them to misinterpret what God was really like and it resulted in them ultimately being evicted from heaven. That's a serious consequence.

Many people will fail of entering into heaven because they have a warped view of who God is because they didn't find the truth about God's character. The lies or the errors they believed painted God in an altogether bad light.

Gary: When Adam and Eve accepted this lie of Satan and they ate in that fruit, what did they do when Jesus, when God came to walk with them in the garden that evening?

John: Well they ran, didn't they?

Gary: They ran, yes.

John: They fled from God. What is that? You shouldn't be running from God. You should be running to God. But the consequences of them believing a lie about God lead them to fear the God that the Bible says is love.

Gary: This has been Satan's task all these millennia of time is to distort who God is and in every teaching in the bible. Some of these things that we don't think about as having some reflection on the character of God actually do. So whether you're talking about hell, hell would be a great one to look at.

John: Yes, let's do that in just a moment.

Gary: This belief that where you die a wicked, lost person, you're thrown into this fiery burning inferno in the center of the earth and God delights in just torturing you there for your sins. What type of God is that then that do that?

John: We believe the bible says God is love. We want to offer you something special at the end of this program absolutely free. Call the number we give you or email us at the address we give you when we're done and be sure that you ask for our study called Rescue From Above.

Gary: An exciting and interesting Bible study by the way that you'll definitely want to get.

John: It'll tell you just what God is like and you want to know about that, back to this thing about hell.

Gary: So here you have Satan has painted this picture of God and it's really medieval Christianity, literally painted it.

John: Yes

Gary: You've traveled in Europe and I have too. You see these paintings of these people being dragged by these demons into the fires of the furnace of hell.

John: That's right.

Gary: What type of God is that? What type of service is that going to elicit from you as a believer if you think God is watching your every move and if you mess up, man, you're toast.

John: That's right.

Gary: You're burnt toast.

John: Yes. You're very, very literally. The idea that God is going to burn you forever and ever and ever, come on, I was taught that as a child and all that did was teach me to fear God. I was scared stiff of God and I desperately wanted to go to heaven but I was scared of this place called hell. It didn't motivate me to love God. It made me fear God. Were you taught that same thing as a child?

Gary: I was. In our church is we need to think about this and I want our listeners to think about what they're hearing about hellfire from their churches. Now, let me say this first though, I believe there's definitely a hellfire.

John: Sure, there is.

Gary: It's hot. It's going to burn. It's punishment.

John: Sure.

Gary: It's the matter of when does hellfire begin and when does it end...

John: Right.

Gary: ...that is at question here. There's no doubt about the bible teaches there's a hellfire so don't misunderstand anything we're saying here. But the point is if hellfire begins as soon as a person dies and they go to hell and they start burning then that means, take for example if we think that we've been here on this planet 6,000 to 7,000 years, we've got people who've been burning for 6,000 years and they might just have been an unrepentant sinner that live before Noah. So they've been burning what? Yes, 4,000 years maybe since Noah's time, 5,000 years and here they are. They come down to our day and you've got some wicked person who's been responsible for the deaths of millions. Maybe, Adolf Hitler.

John: Sure

Gary: He's been burning 4,000 years less than this unrepentant sinner back then. What type of God is that? We, as Christians in the church need to address our doctrines, what we're saying to people and what it says about God. This doctrine is way askew from what the bible really teaches.

John: It paints a horrible picture about God. People would say to me, "Well, I don't have to like it or agree with it and if God wants to do that then God can do that." If God wanted to, he could do that. But the bible makes it very clear, God does not want to do that, you see, and I say praise the Lord for the truth in this subject. Man will set you free. Look through the bible, the devil always wants to distort what God is like. See, they came to Jesus one day and you'll find the story in Luke 13. Pilate had killed some Galileans.

The Bible says he mingled their blood with their sacrifices and Jesus said, "I suppose you think that the Galileans were sinners, these ones above all the other Galileans because they suffered such things."

This was the belief there. If you have suffered, if you are poor, if you have some calamity come to you, then this was the hand of God against you. Therefore this was a misrepresentation of God.

Gary: You have that in Job, John.

John: I was just going to go there.

Gary: In Job 1, you have Satan actually doing the work of the destruction against Job. You have Satan wiping out his family, his house, his livelihood.

John: Yes.

Gary: But everybody looking on says, "That's God".

John: Yes. His friends coming to him and saying, "Come on, just confess what you did, man."

Gary: Yes.

John: "You must have done something terrible to deserve this." What a horrible picture of God. Some dear Christian family going to church, their baby gets horribly sick, it maybe has a disease or God forbid maybe dies, and now they're saying, "God, why did you do this to us? We've been punished by God." Man, I hear that all the time and it's a lie from the devil. Things happen and this is a whole other study we could get into but just because something bad happened the devil wants you to think act of God, God did this to you.

You find it in the story in John nine about the blind man. They came to Jesus and they said, "Who sinned, " that this happened to him? Was it him, or was it his parents who sinned and as a result he was inflicted with blindness?

The Lord Jesus had to come out and say, "No, it wasn't that. This fellow was blind so that God's glory might be revealed, you see." Very, very big difference, the devil wants you to tell you something that is wrong and ultimately it is going to lead you to the place where you misunderstand the character of God, terrible consequence.

Gary: The devil actually paints God with his own characteristics.

John: Yes, he does.

Gary: He tries to make God be the vengeful one. God is the one that's always looking to trip you up. God is the one that likes you get you in trouble. God likes to punish you. That's not God at all.

John: No, that's what the devil is like.

Gary: God gave his son to die for us. God gave up the glories of heaven to come down here to live a life of temptation and trial all for us so that we could have eternal life of bliss and happiness.

John: I'll give you another one. When Jesus was alive on the earth, Jesus healed a fellow. You read about it in John Chapter five. He healed this guy and it happened to be the Sabbath day and the devil had seen this thing. God gave the Sabbath back at the Garden of Eden, instituted by God, by Christ himself as a matter of fact. He was the act of Agent in creation according to the Bible. So Jesus gives the Sabbath and now when he is on the earth, the devil has succeeded in making the Sabbath just the most miserable day of the week.

You can get your ox out of a ditch but you certainly can't help a poor suffering man. I mean, come on. That's how the devil painted things back then, why? God had given the Sabbath as a gift, as a blessing, as a commandment too and in following this thing that God had inflected upon the world, "Oh, man I got to suffer for 24 hours."

It's supposed to be a day of rest and gladness and joy and delight and it's still to be that but today people would say, "Oh, no man that's just harsh." The devil has imbued God with his own characteristics. You misunderstand that doctrine and you're going to have a crooked picture of God.

Gary: That's why it's very important for us to understand the doctrine on every topic, death, hell, second coming of Jesus, the rapture. You get into this, The Rapture, I have to confess John, I believe what most of Christianity especially Evangelical Christianity teaches about the rapture, the secret rapture, isn't in the bible at all, absolutely not in the Bible. In fact, you can go back and you can historically study the modern day teachings of the rapture, where it originated and you'll find it originated outside the bible. These things that we accept, they actually lead us away from truth and away from understanding God and his personality and his plan for our life better.

That's why it's so important for us to get back to the bible. I think we live in a day, John, when it is unsafe to trust virtually anything we hear from our pulpits today without checking it out in the scriptures.

John: You see, where Paul commended the Bereans. He said they were more noble than the people of Thessalonica because when they heard what they heard they went off and studied whether these things was so. I believe that Christians aren't in their place today for the most part. They hear, they swallow it down, they say, "OK, whatever the preacher says, we'll just go on blindly believing."

Gary: Who would be better to believe without having to look it up than Paul. Paul says it, you ought to just believe and accept it.

John: Sure.

Gary: But here we have this group of people in Berea which is in Northern Greece. They're not going to accept it. They're going to look it up in the bible. So, what we're saying is no matter how much you love your past or how much you love John and me, check it out in the bible. Go to the bible.

John: We don't want to encourage to distrust any man of God, anyone who stands in the pulpit, but you've got to allow the bible to be the ultimate standard.

Gary: The way you do that is get a concordance and look up every word in the bible that deals with that topic. Read the immediate context and most importantly, open your heart to God and say, "Lord lead me in the truth," and that's why we have an offer that we make hear at Bible Talk.

John: Yes, be sure and get that, Rescue-from-Above. My friend, it is worth the effort. Go to the bible, search the bible, you'll draw closer to Jesus Christ. The truth will make you free. See you next time here at Bible Talk.

Announcer 2: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for Rescue-from-Above. The toll free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, PO Box 1058 Roseville, CA, 95678, that's PO Box 1058 Roseville, California, 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org, bibletalk@amazingfacts.org.

Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of LifeTalk Radio.

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