Searching for Truth is a major issue these days. But how can we know what is Truth?
How can we know what is error or deception?
How can we discern truth from lies, what is true from what is fake or false?
Does Truth change over time? Does Truth evolve, like societies, cultures, and customs evolve?
The answer to these questions is found in the Bible, the written word of God.
According to the Bible, Truth has its origin in God. Truth is unchanging, and is absolute. And best of all, Truth is available to us. When we have the Truth, we can walk in the pathway of LIFE, and avoid deception.
But how do we find the Truth?
Finding the Truth
As we have shared in other articles, finding Truth must first begin with having the right attitude within ourselves. If we are not truthful with ourselves, then we are susceptible to, and easily led into, deception.
There is a prayer in the Bible, asking God to “Lead me in Your truth“ (Psalms 25:5). Finding God’s Truth would rank far above all other claims on Truth.
God’s Truth is authentic and indisputable, because His Truth is founded in the nature and character of the Creator of all things. And isn’t that what we want?
Since this writing is about Truth, let’s be straightforward — no one has the complete Truth, except the God of Truth! As mortal human beings, no matter how high our IQ, no matter how much ‘brain-power’ we might possess, none of us can fully understand the immortal Creator, the God of Truth.
God is far, far bigger than you and me, in every way!! So an important first step toward finding Truth, is for us to accept the fact that we are little in power, and little in knowledge. We are simply little creatures. We are dust and ashes, in comparison to God Almighty (Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 3:19 and Genesis 18:27).
The Bible tells us that in the End-Time Days, many will not have the Truth, but shall be deceived. Many will receive error, even gladly receive error, rather than Truth, and will be led astray. No one is exempt from being deceived! Thus we will begin by looking at deception, to which we are all susceptible.
Deception in the End-Time Days
We are living in a time when ‘Fake News’ is everywhere, and lies are accepted by many as being Truth. There is a great need for discerning Truth from error. But the Scriptures tell us: widespread deception is one of the characteristics of the End-Time Days, immediately before the return of Messiah.
There are few people we can trust these days, trust that what they are saying is really the Truth — Truth that is pure, right, and good. Having the Truth is a safe-guard against deception! But very few have the necessary discernment for what is actually Truth.
It is apparent that when deception is widespread, then righteousness, tranquillity, and safety begins to crumble. Society becomes chaotic, with nearly everyone doing whatever is ‘right’ in their own eyes! (Proverbs 12:15 and Zephaniah 3:5 and Judges 17:6)
What is needed, as we shall see in this series, is a Standard for Truth!
Many Shall Be Deceived
Yahushua Messiah [the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ] warned us of several characteristics of the End-Time Days. His first warning about the End-Time Days addressed deception:
“Beware that no one deceive you! … many shall come, and shall deceive many!” (Matthew 24:4-5).
From the above wording – ‘many shall be deceived‘ – we know two things:
- Only A Few (among multitudes) will not be deceived!
- Deception will be a dominant feature of the End-Time Days!
But what does deception mean? Definitions for deception include:
- A misleading falsehood
- An illusion; considered magical by naïve observers
- Fraudulent; having a misleading appearance
- Untruth; lie
- Scam; cheat
Those words are a good description of much that happens today. All around us we can see the ‘fruits’ of deception – the results of lack of Truth – turmoil, disorder, chaos, and grief.
Many desire to escape the turmoil, escape the ‘violence and strife’, escape the ‘deceit and guile’, just as King David wanted (See all of Psalms 55). The prophet Isaiah described exactly the main problem of these End-Time Days: “Truth has fallen!” (Isaiah 59:14-15a).
Recognizing the Doorway Into Deception
Since deception is a widespread problem today, and since we all are subject to deception, then let us consider this question:
Is there a safeguard against deception?
Yes there is.
But first we must recognize the doorway into deception.
As we saw in Turning From Darkness to Light, the big problem that opens the door into deception is our own PRIDE. Pride is the One, Most Spiritually Destructive Characteristic that will blind us, and trick us into a state of spiritual darkness and deception.
Pride is a darkness that tends to prevail, and periodically overtake everyone. No one is immune to the Darkness of Pride! When the Darkness of Pride covers us, then the Light of Truth is extinguished and we begin walking in a pathway of death (Proverbs 16:5a; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 21:24; James 4:6b).
The Strength of Our Own Pride
What could help us overcome the strength of our own Pride?
The answer is found in the following Scripture verse:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
Notice that little phrase:
That phrase is a piercing bit of God’s Truth! That phrase is a huge help in guarding against deception! We need to memorize that phrase!!
Let’s take special note of the word ‘highly.’ Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, is exactly what God means when He says things like, ‘lean not unto your own understanding’ and ‘be not wise in your own eyes’ (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Having pride in our ‘own’ understanding can be as a giant steamroller colliding against Truth. Our ‘own’ wisdom can be a blinding darkness against the Light of God’s Truth and Wisdom.
The problem with clinging to our own understanding, our own wisdom, is that it locks us into the clutches of Pride and our own self-importance. When we are locked into Pride, we are then unable to humble ourselves and consider that we might be wrong about an issue. This kind of Pride is a slippery slope down into deception (Galatians 6:3)!
Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought is at the heart of many arguments, contentions, and turmoil! Scripture tells us: Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10).
Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought is at the heart of deception. Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought is a characteristic of the foolish one, which in Scripture is called the fool:
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. . . (Proverbs 12:15a)
- He that trusts in his own heart is a fool. . . (Proverbs 28:26a)
- In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride. . . (Proverbs 14:3a)
- . . .fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7b)
- . . .the fool walks in darkness. . . (Ecclesiastes 2:14b)
As these Scriptures reveal, the way of a fool is right in his own eyes! A fool proudly trusts in his own heart, and therefore he will not humble himself. He will not question the so-called ‘rightness’ of his ‘lofty’ position.
When we have a high regard for our own thoughts, our own imaginations, and our own opinions, we are easily led into the clutches of Pride. When we cling to the Pride of our ‘own’ understanding, then we will view any Truth that might contradict us, as being false and unwanted!! Thus our pride keeps us locked into a very dangerous state of spiritual darkness.
So we must begin to not think so highly of ourselves than we ought!
There are two steps we can take to come against the Darkness of our Pride, so that we are less likely to fall into deception — two steps that are safeguards against deception.
Coming Out of the Darkness of Pride: Being Honest With Ourselves
To come out of the Darkness of Pride, we must first determine to be honest with ourselves, by being willing to humble ourselves and acknowledge any prideful, self-centered, hateful, or covetous behaviour we may be guilty of.
We must reconsider our position. We must humble ourselves and question our motives.
Are our motives rooted in pride, selfishness, or hatred?
Or, are we sincerely attempting to be self-less and loving? (1Corinthians 13:4-8a)
We may think we are being honest with ourselves. We may think our heart is pure and clean from such loathsome things as dishonesty, hatred, selfishness or deception. But if our words and actions are entrenched in selfish pride deep within our inner thoughts, then something is amiss, something is not right; something needs to change.
As the Proverb says: He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. (Proverbs 28:26)
Our own heart cannot be trusted to lead us into what is true and right. It is foolish to think that what our heart is telling us is always right. In reality, many times it happens that what we think in our heart goes completely against God’s Truth.
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
The Scriptures teach that our heart is not reliable! This is why we must always be open to reconsider our ways, reconsider our own understanding, and not be so easily provoked or irritated.
We must be willing to say, “I might be wrong.”
When we are being humble and honest with ourselves, we are taking the first step to safeguard ourselves against the Darkness of Pride, and thus against deception.
We will now look at the next step we must take to come out of the Darkness of Pride.
Coming Out of the Darkness of Pride: Acquiring the Love of the Truth
As explained in the following Scripture passage, we need to acquire the love of the Truth:
And then that Wicked one will be revealed … whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they would believe a lie [what is false], in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Thessalonians 2:8-12)
This Scripture passage teaches that those who refuse the love of God’s Truth become deceived, and believe a lie.
What a frightening thought — that God Himself sends a strong delusion to those who refuse to love the Truth — the simple Truth of God’s written Word!
It is a fearful thing to refuse ‘the love of the truth!‘
As we saw in A Way That Seems Right, the strength of one’s delusion begins with a refusal to love the Truth of God’s written Word.
We must love God’s Truth more than our own wisdom, more than the world’s wisdom. We must love the Truth fo God’s Word more than our own insights and understandings. We must love the Truth enough to learn the written Word of God, and then adjust our motives and our life to be in harmony and agreement with His Word.
In order to acquire the love of God’s Truth, we must make a solid commitment to seek God’s written Word [the Bible], and begin to learn and apply the Truth of His wisdom. This commitment helps us avoid believing lies, and thus, avoid becoming deceived.
This commitment to love the truth of God’s written Word is a safeguard against deception.
Our love for the Truth of God’s Word helps us gain the understanding and discernment needed to recognize Truth from error, lies, and falsehood.
In Part 2 of this series, we will look further into vital insights of the Truth of God’s Word, which God gave from the beginning, and are known in Scripture as The Ancient Paths.
Let us continue onward in exploring this prayer to God: “Lead me in Your Truth!”
- The Fountain of the Water of Life
- Only The Wise Shall Understand
- Acquiring a Teachable Heart
- Wisdom’s Call
- Set Your Affection on Things Above