QA: What is Truth?
The real question is: “What shall we use as our measure of Truth – which of the multitude of ‘sacred’ writings, all professing to define ‘Truth’? Shall we select the most popular copy in the world? Shall we insist on the version that we grew up with – or that which we have been introduced to? – the most soothing proclamation? – or which?
All religions proclaim a ‘super being in charge of nature, the world and our destiny’. Amongst such proclaimed ‘super beings’, none would have greater claim to all, than the Creator of all.
Does such a Creator exist?
In answer to this, let us consider: Look around you, the things you see; the chair that you sit on, the bed which you lie in, the shoes on your feet – these required intelligence to make – they did not just ‘happen’. Now consider electricity, the paper, book or computer that you are reading from right now – these required even greater intelligence. Now look outside your window and behold the tree with a green leaf protruding from rock-hard wood, flowers according to their kind, birds, animals. These superior creations require far higher intelligence for their being than television or space shuttles. Why then do intelligent people claim that it simply ‘happened’, in an extended cycle of ‘evolution’?
If we can rise above accepting evolution and co-incidence as being the creative power of the wonders of nature, than we have to admit that, yes, there must of necessity be a Superior Intelligence with the Creative ability to produce even the human mind which is capable of creating the wonders of technology around us.
Just as there are manuals for the proper maintenance of all the products of technology, so there should be a manual for the ‘maintenance and proper use’ of the Creator’s prime creation – the human person. Just as it would be unthinkable for the producer of a product to issue it to the user without a proper manual which has to be strictly adhered to for proper usage and satisfaction, so it would be unthinkable that the Creator of mankind would not provide a similar manual with His product, for its guidance, welfare and protection.
Such a manual should then surely also define ‘True Religion’, where ‘religion’ refers to ‘Way of Life’. It should clearly spell out the “do’s and dont’s” for these ‘intelligent machines’.
Our search for Truth can now be restricted to finding such a manual which claims to have been authorised by the Creator of all. We can therefore eliminate from the list, all those claimant writings by mortal men or women, presenting themselves as ‘god’. Also those referring to statues, animals or human-animals and the likes, as ‘gods’.
From our remaining shortlist, only ONE manual complies with the following credentials:
- to be the Word of the Creator
- to have been inspired by the Creator, speaking to His prophets who were instructed to record His Word
- gives clear Divinely stated Signs through a specially selected nation amongst the nations of the world and their Divinely appointed Land and Capitol City, by way of specifying clearly, their history 3000 years in advance, to current date. Refer http://www.revelations.org.za/JerPart1.htm
- gives clearly stipulated “rules of life” for the welfare or suffering by mankind
Which is “The Word of God”?
The Bible claims to be that Manual of the Creator God of Israel. This Bible itself more specifically defines “The Word of God” as ‘The Old Testament’, or Tanach – the “Jewish Bible”, as it is so often referred to. Wherever the New Testament refers to ‘the Word of God’ which provides the Directives for proper living, it infers and points to the Tanach.
This statement unleashes a barrage of questions regarding the authenticity or not, of the New Testament. The NT speaks for itself. Nowhere does it ever claim to be the actual “Word of God”. Because of this, there is no reason to discard the NT entirely. Just like the Talmud in Judaism, and all the other wealth of Rabbinic writings, it should be regarded as interpretations and guidelines on the actual Word of God, as contained and protected throughout the ages by Judaism, in the Tanach. Where it contradicts the Torah, the Torah supersedes – like when people conclude that the NT teaches against Torah observation. This can NOT be, for God does NOT change and His Word (Torah) stands for ever. Such contradictory statements do NOT disqualify the overall agreement of the NT with the Torah.
Unlike in Judaism though, where the Rabbis and teachers have been Divinely mandated with the interpretation of the actual Written Torah, there is no such injunction on NT writers. This is confirmed by no other than the Living Word Himself, YAHU’SHUAH, in:
Matthew 23 “Then YAHU’SHUAH said to the crowds and to His disciples: ‘The teachers of the Torah and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”
For a study on the Divine Mandate to Judaism, please refer to our study: 1.11. Judah – The Lawgiver of God
If we accept the Tanach as the ‘Word’ or Manual of the Creator, then we can now turn to it for a definition of ‘Truth’. Unfortunately, there are as many divided and contradictory claims of ‘Truth’, all extracted from the same Bible. Unlike the reading of other manuals, when it comes to the Bible, readers do not wish to accept what it states – they prefer to interpret it in a way that makes more sense to their liking.
As an underlying golden thread throughout the Tanach, we are given a double-threaded measure for establishing Truth:
Isa. 8:20 – note the context from verse 13 onwards:
“To the Law and to the Testimony … if they speak not accordingly, it is because there is no light in them.”
The preceding verses and its context refer to a matter of “concealment of the Testimony”, i.e. something that needs revelation.
Thus, those that have the Truth, will have the Law and the Testimony (which requires revelation).
The Hebrew text uses:
- “To the TORAH and to the TEUDAH …. “
- The English translations render it: Law and Testimony – i.e. revelation, teaching, witness, etc.
- “TORAH” needs no explanation. It is also referred to as the Revelation in general.
- “TEUDAH” is used 3x in the Tanach (O.T.) in verse 16 & 20 above and in Ruth 4:7 where it refers also to ‘identification’ / ‘certification’. Israelis today carry a “Teudat Zehut’, Identification Document.
Thus, Truth has 2 golden threads: the Law and the Testimony regarding the True Identity of the Living Creator God.
The New Testament picks up this test of the Truth bearers in Rev 12:17 and 14:12.
Rev 12:17 “Then the Dragon (Satan, refer v. 9) … made war … on all who obey God’s Commandments and bear witness to YAHU’SHUAH.” Thus, all who have the Truth.
Rev. 14:12 “This is why there must be constancy in the saints, who keep the Commandments of God and Faith in YAHU’SHUAH.” The true believers are identified once more by the same 2 credentials of Truth.
That YAHU’SHUAH fulfilled the Testimony of being the One True God of Israel, is confirmed by the Angel in Rev. 19, when he confirms that those believers who are invited to “The Marriage Feast of the Lamb”, are those (Rev. 19:10), “who have the Testimony of YAHU’SHUAH. (They are only to) worship God … for the Testimony of YAHU’SHUAH (that He is the One Only True God) is the Spirit of Prophecy.” – referring to Isa. 8:20 and all the Tanach Prophecies of the Coming Messiah Who would be God Himself (Isa. 9:5,6 etc).
The TEUDAH really becomes a vital requirement of Truth when it comes to the controversial subject of the True Identity of YAHU’SHUAH as the Eternal Creator God, YHVH Himself!
So, in short, if these 2 factors are required for testing Truth, then it should leave no one in any doubts about what Truth really is:
- In regard to Torah (Law) – If a teaching would serve to make one more abiding to the Law of the Creator God – how could it be wrong? Only those who rebel against the Law, would reject such a teaching – and this is in NO WAY a suggestion that one can ‘buy’ one’s salvation by law-abidance. You could, however, forfeit your salvation by rebellion against the Law.
- In regard to the Teudah (Testimony of Oneness) – If any teaching denies that there is ONE True Creator God only, if it does not exalt the Creator YHVH / YAHU’SHUAH ) to the uppermost position, unrivalled – even if it brings just a shade of limitation to His Supremacy and exaltedness, or any type of multiplicity (trinity, compound unity, etc) – “… it is because they have no Light in them” This, once again, stems from rebellion against His Sole Authority. This was the arch angel Lucifer’s problem – he rebelled against the authority of the Creator and begrudged and envied His Supremacy. Messianics especially, are faced with the vital question regarding Messiah’s relationship to the Creator God YHVH. This Web Site offers an entire Library of studies on properly identifying the Messiah from Scripture – refer Library of Oneness Studies
It is important to note that the 2 texts which we have quoted a few paragraphs back (Rev 12:17 and 14:12), specify the 2 salient identifying criteria by which the overcoming True worshippers can be recognized, i.e. they keep the Commandments of God and worship the One True God of Israel. This does not exclude conforming Jewish believers – for they worship the One Only True God YHVH – they have simply been blinded to His Manifestation as Messiah – but is one and the self-same God, YHVH.
It speaks for itself (without being judgmental) that the Creator can have no place or use for someone in His Kingdom who rebels against His Law or His Authority – or those who, for whatever reason unbeknown even to themselves, cannot grant Him the fullness of His Greatness as the One True God of the Shemah Himself – with the same fervour and excitement as that of a shouting, screaming Rock Star fan towards his/her idol!
Other related reading material on this Web Site –
- Israel – Jews and Jerusalem – God’s Sign and Proof to the world
- Which is the True Faith amongst the multitude?
- Know the Way
- The Eternal Covenant — Key to Eternal Life.
- Who does Messiah say He is: Man or God?
- Here’s Your God