Ultimate, Bottom Line Truth in I John
"of the truth" (Jesus and the Apostle John)

Bottom Line on Ultimate Truth:  The Apostle John in I John


You must be able to get out of the theoretical on truth to the concrete in order to realize the bottom line of ultimate truth.  You must even go more practical than the philosophical of Elton Trueblood in THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION and YOUR OTHER VOCATION, even the parts on “intellectual honesty”, and more practical than the scientific approach of R. A. Millikan in “Evolution in Science and Religion.”  You go far beyond the thoughts for discussion only, with justification and rationalizations of life as it has been lived, like Pilate said to Jesus, “What is truth?”  (John 18:38)  And right now, before we get into the bottom line of the Bible on all Bible, focusing on the bottom line of the Bible on truth, we must note how in the previous verse to 18:38 usage of truth by Jesus Himself, and the philosophical usage of truth by Pilate as an common intellectual excuse, is the exact difference we will seek from the Bible in I John as the bottom line of real, ultimate, practical, and bottom line truth.  What did Jesus say about truth before Pilate said, “What is truth?”


4-1:  “What Is Truth?”


“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My kingdom is not from here.”  (John 18:36)


“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are you a king then?”  (18:37a)

“Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king.  For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”  (18:37b)


While we could bog down with many pages right here on all these kingdom and king aspects of truth from Jesus, also dwelling a long time on the fact that the very mission of Jesus to earth from heaven and God the Father was to “bear witness to the truth”--so full of implications to be the supreme witness from God of truth itself--in order to focus on this bottom practical line of truth before diving into I John, we concentrate on the aspect of truth from Jesus of “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”.


4-2:  “Everyone who is of the Truth Hears My Voice.”  (John 18:37)


This is highly practical for then and for today; and from the Master Teacher Jesus:  (1) some who hear Jesus and the words of Jesus are “of the truth” and some who hear the words of Jesus are not “of the truth”; (2) here truth is a condition of inward character or the inward man or woman more than teachings and doctrine that are heard and taught; and (3) you can tell the people who have experienced the inward change of “of the truth” by the extent to which they hear the voice of Jesus.  Even as of the 11 evidences of perished truth in the Judah of Jeremiah, and the beginnings of perishing truth {see “Truth in the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7” }, start going backwards in the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7 after the announcement that “truth has perished and been cut off from the nation” (Jeremiah 7:28), with the nation of God’s people that “would not obey Me or incline their ear”, so those on earth during the time of Jesus who would not obey those words of God from Jesus, nor even show some inclination toward God and Jesus, self-identified themselves, even as today in churches and church members, as not “of the truth”.
     There is no reality in Bible today apart from admitting frankly that:  (1) Many members in the churches of America have never experienced the 9 month new birth to the extent of placing themselves in the important category of “of the truth”; (2) the continuing faith has never been realized by them of both the Gospel of John in the stated gist of John 20:30-31--”and that believing you may have life through His name”, and then in the bottom line on believing along with truth of I John 5:13, “that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God”; and (3) while the common American Democratic Faith and the contemporary and collective American Conscience demand of all Americans that the majority is always right, in church, in truth, or otherwise, the clear teachings of Jesus and the Bible is that while the majority go the easy way that leads to destruction, it is only the minority of any nation or time that go the narrow way of the minority that leads to eternal life, to the king and the kingdom of which Jesus spoke practically earlier to Pilate as part of truth; and (4) even as many is more than a few, and the majority over the minority, as Jesus taught in Matthew 24:12 as He taught in all truth that “because sin would abound” in the final days of the Falling Away just before the end and the Second Coming, “the love of many would wax cold”, so all less and less church members during the Falling Away--that is what the Falling Away is, a falling away from God and Jesus of church members near the end, synonymous with the great apostasy--will be Christians “of the truth”; and more and more will be not “of the truth”.  {Please see “Categories of Christians” on the www.biblecombibleman.com website of SunGrist_Bible.}


4-3:  Some Bottom Lines on Truth from the Apostle John in I John.


1.  We can only sample quickly truth in I John.
Even as yet we have not fully fathomed “truth” in Jeremiah in our Truth Subset and in the larger “Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy”; even as we must still do much more research on truth in the Gospel of John, like the references from Pilate and Jesus, and much more in the Gospel of John; and then add more from the many places the word is used in the whole Bible; so now, we can only touch on all the places the word “truth” is used in I John.  However it is hoped that enough of it will be comprehend from I John to see how bottom line, ultimate, and practical this truth of I John from the Apostle John is.
2.  John is the Bottom Line Apostle of the Bible.
You might call the Apostle John the bottom line and realistic Apostle of the Bible.  Not only did the Apostle John, from the human side, have the last words of the Bible to say on “truth” as on all other Bible subjects; but as John wrote near the end of the first century, (1) behind him was the early days of loving and leaning personally on the breast of Christ, (2) functions as the only and last living real Apostle of Jesus; (3) well over 50 years of pastoring at one of the leading first century churches, the church at Ephesus; (4) the ability to read and utilize in person and in the pulpit all the other Scriptures already written by other Apostles like Paul; and (5) much  personal experience with the splits in Christian fellowship of the first century with the root causes {he also bottom lines deals with this in I John as well as II and III John}, the superficial and sentimental attempts to subvert the way of Christ and Christianity with many distortions of sound doctrine, and the many false claims to be disciples of Christ based on alternate ways.


4-4:  Ultimate Reality and Truth in I John.


Brace yourself for bluntness and stark reality when you start to look at I John.  John does not mince words or try to appease any side.  Of course, you can do that when you are an Apostle of Jesus Christ, the only last and living Apostle, and when in addition to all the pastoral and Christianity wide counseling and advising experience, are under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the writing of the final words of the Bible which is a guidebook for living, which is “profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness”  (II Timothy 3:16,17)
1.  Above while Jesus made the more positive approach to those “of the truth”, in short those who heard and heeded the words of Jesus as serious, the Apostle John right up front in the little epistle of I John declares that “the truth is not in” anyone who says that he is not a sinner, that there is absolutely no sin in his life:  in short that claims a righteousness in his life which he does not have. (I John 1:8)
2.  It is more blunt and worse than that:  (1) we deceive ourselves when we deny that we are sinners; and (2) “we make Him {Jesus} a liar” (I John 1:10a)--have you every thought that you are calling Jesus a liar everytime you think or say that there is no sin in your life {and shortly in I John 3:6 we will come to the difference between sinning and a habitual sin which is a no-no}; and (3) Jesus word, like truth, is not in us (I John 1:10b).


“...and His word is not in us.”  (I John 1:10a)


3.  The church member who claims to be Christian {the favorite false claim today is to use the buzz words of “born again”} and habitually fails to keep the commandments {teachings and doctrines} of Jesus:  (1) is a liar {certainly you will come to see in the Bible that the lie, liar, and lying is the opposite of truth} (I John 2:4b); and (2) “and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:4c).


NOTE:  Certainly it does not take many more Scriptures to come to see somewhat the difference between the first stage of the Falling where church members start to backsliding, “they will not endure sound doctrine” (II Timothy 4:3,4) where sound teaching and doctrine start to perish in churches and among church members and then final “turning way from truth finalizes the falling away” of the fourth stage of the Falling Away.  Lack of sound doctrine is more a teaching, thought process, and brain sort of thing; but by the time the fourth stage of the Falling Away arises in a church or individual life, the “truth is not in him”.  And, of course, the number one excuse of we are in the majority and therefore right will not hold up against any sound doctrine of the Bible and of Jesus!


4.  Those “of the truth” in churches, first century and now, have a special anointing from the Holy Spirit, alias the real 9 month new birth, which helps them with certainty to “know all {spiritual} things”, and which is all things for ultimate reality; and to know also that there is no compromise with truth, “no lie is of the truth” (I John 2:21).  The big lie is that Jesus is not the Christ, whether that lie is by mouth or by a false profession where both bitter and sweet come out of the life style of a professed believer.
5.  Love like truth and with truth must pass from the theoretical and professed to the concrete as “whosoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him” (I John 3:17), replaces love “in deed and in truth” {love becomes unrealistic and a non-reality} with love in only “word or in tongue”  (I John 3:18).
6.  Here is a supreme way that you can know that you are among the saved Christians:  (1) if you know that “you are of the truth” (I John 3:19); (2) if our hearts are assured with confidence before Him in prayer even as our own inward spirit automatically cries “Abba” for Father, sincerely and naturally (I John 3:19b); (3) that even when the unpredictable conscience based on the American Conscience condemns us, since God is greater than both our personal conscience and the American Conscience, we can have confidence directly from our personal relationship and prayers with God.
7.  The way to know any human spirit that is “of truth” and of God and those human spirits in the church and otherwise not “of truth”, the same as “the spirit of truth versus the spirit of error” is by those spirits in the church that will listen to us.
“they are of the world.  Therefore they speak as of he world, and the world hears them. 

We are of God.  He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.”  (I John 4:5,6)


Granted this got complicated as indicated in the rest of I John, as some church members went out from the fellowship of those in fellowship with the Apostles, as some messengers sent from the Apostles were rejected by some church fellowships; and as splits continued like today, where it was difficult to tell who was right and who was wrong, where the spirit of error and the spirit of truth were.  ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT IT IS THOSE WHO CONTINUE IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE APOSTLES, AND WHO “LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS”, WHO ARE “OF TRUTH”; AND FURTHER THAT YOU HAVE TO GO AS MUCH BY THEIR ATTITUDES AND SPIRITS {“TEST EVERY SPIRIT”} AS BY THEIR PROFESSED DOCTRINES.  For example, like taught in II Timothy 3:1-8 if any group in your church habitually demonstrates follies or bad habits like “love of self, love of money”, pride, boasting, and so on; and as taught in this Scripture “do not associate with them”.
You see, you really can tell who takes seriously the teachings of the Bible and who does not.  An obvious clue is, “Is a leader in your church, pastor or otherwise, always seriously listened to by the world, because the world knows their own?  Do those most experienced in the truth of the Word listen to them and heed them, and those most matured in the battles of the Christian life, like John, listen to them!  You see, unlike the ways of the world, a position of status does not determine right and wrong on who is “of the truth” and who is not “of the truth”.
8.  Above all, Jesus is Truth, the Holy Spirit is Truth, just like God is truth and love.  The Holy Spirit, often like in I John just called “the Spirit” or sometimes the Anointed One, IS Truth, or personifies like Jesus truth.


“And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.”  (I John 5:6b)


“I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6)


“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”  (John 15:26)


“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth...”  (John 16:13)


NOTE:  Not only will so many pentecostals enamored with mumbling tongues that are not really languages in the Bible never know when the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn from earth {see II Thessalonians}, but they never bet to truth because they are still look for the Holy Spirit to come into their lives, a falsely called second baptism, when He already came historically on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension and already individually come into any church member life with real “of the truth” salvation!

RETURN TO:

1.  The "Truth Subset" or

2.  "Bible Studies in Jeremiah and Prophesy".