Chapter 22

Chapter 22

What Do You Believe About

The Truth Versus The Lie?

John 8:31-59

There seems to be a scarcity of truth. The courtroom judge asks, “Do you swear (or affirm) to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Yet the courtroom is plagued with lies and liars. Men do not tell the truth. They imitate over and over again the first liar. Satan is a liar and “the father of it” (John 8:44). One does not need to be taught to lie. Lying is a by-product of sin. It was the lie that set the trap capturing the first sinner. Eve succumbed to the lie.

Truth never changes and never requires a change. Even as I am writing this, I overhear someone saying, “I asked him, why did you have to lie?” The truth is, one does not have to lie. But all do lie or at some time have lied.

“How may the lie be best examined?,” one might ask. The most revealing way is to lay the lie next to truth. Yet, even this way is not always conclusive because of the very nature of the lie. The lie most efficiently employed, requires that it be adorned with a certain degree of truth. For this reason the judge asks, “Do you tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth …”

As deceiving as the counterfeiter of truth may be, real truth has its very distinguishing marks. The truth ultimately “feels” different, as the banker will tell you after handling real money and then touching the bogus.

As we examine further the discourse and teachings of Jesus, may we focus intently on the concept of truth while squeezing out its very essence. We will do this by examining, I. The Continuation of Truth (vv. 31-40); II. The Contradiction of Truth (vv. 41-46); and III. The Comprehension of Truth (vv. 47-59).

I. THE CONTINUATION OF TRUTH vv. 31-40

Jesus said to the Jews which believe upon Him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (v. 31). The parable of the sower indicates that not all seeds take root. Some seem to take root but are soon withered. The continuing and the maturing in the faith is a strong indicator of true belief. Many have walked the isles of our churches only to return to an unchanged lifestyle. True belief is marked by change, continuing, and fruit. The true believer will have real fruit that remains.

Notice the next powerful statement made by Jesus, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (v. 32).

A declaration about truth (vv. 31-32). In verse 32, this statement is a classic statement. To be a literary classic, the word arrangement or word choice cannot be improved upon. When Jesus spoke this statement of truth, He said with just a few words so very much concerning the doctrine of truth. It is implied, strongly, that the lie is the “bondage maker.” How many countless souls have voluntarily shackled themselves to the leg irons of a lie. They tell a lie with the false hopes of obtaining their freedom. Jesus refutes this mentality by saying that it is the truth that shall make you free.

For there to be “truth freedom” there must be the knowledge of what the truth is. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth.” How then might one know the truth, that he may also grasp the truth? Truth must have either recognizable features to reveal it as such, or there must be someone who is absolutely reliable to identify truth to you. Many will continue their stumbling ways, because they do not know how to know the truth.. There always will be the blind guides who lead the blind. As mentioned earlier a good lie is a composite of truth. It does not take much “lie” to make the whole truth a whole lie. A lie is a lie regardless of the percentage of truth. I have been told that rat poison is only one percent poison and ninety-nine percent filler. Yet with such a small percentage of poison it will still kill the rat!

Jesus is not only the truth revealer but is also THE TRUTH incarnate as John 14:6 tells us. His words are truth, and His God breathed Word is the Bible. Therefore, the Bible is the absolute criteria of truth. Any deviation from the Word of God constitutes a lie. All the religious counterfeits are bondage makers because they are comprised of truth mixed with error. To obtain true freedom and release from the shackles of a religious lie one must completely rely upon the Word of God. The Word of God is a key that releases from bondage.

One of the subtle traps laid by Satan to make the lie convenient is by convincing the liar that he is really telling the truth. With situation ethics being ingrained humanistically into our cultural existence, we tell ourselves that it is better to tell people what they want to hear than to tell them the truth. I recognized a person lying to his wife and rebuked him for it, only to be told that it was better to lie than hurt her feelings. This person was convinced that a lie is not really that bad. Yet the Scriptures give evidence that the lie maybe the most blatant of all sins. For it was the sin of the lie that plummeted the whole human race into sin. Those to whom Jesus was speaking were living a lie, and were so convinced by their own false standard that they did not recognize their lying. Jesus properly labeled their lying as sin.

A departure from truth (vv. 33-40). “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man ...” (v. 33). These who were confronted and rebuked by Truth Incarnate were so blinded that they could not recognize truth. In their lack of discernment they will also be indicted for not being able to hear truth. Those who have been enlightened by God’s spirit, will so clearly recognize truth and find it amazing that others do not see as they see.

Their departure was signified by their denying that they were in bondage to any man. That is one of the distinguishing, but also captivating aspects of the liar. He lies but does not always know that he is lying. Often the drunkard will tell you that he can quit anytime. He had been lied to by Satan in thinking this, because he never seems to quit apart from a miracle or from some designed program to help him get away from his intoxicating lifestyle.

Jesus says in verse 34, “Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin.” To be a servant of sin means that the Lord is not your master. In saying this, Jesus is preparing them, by identifying them for who they really are. He is going to identify them in relationship to their father the Devil (John 8:44). The message of verse 34 is that there are only temporal qualities in association with becoming the servant of sin. The metaphor of a house is used. The son or believer is able to dwell in relationship to Jesus forever, the servant of sin does not have that privilege. His counterfeit privileges are only for a little while. For what the servant of sin thinks he is gaining by telling a lie is soon to be exposed as having no permanent value. The man who lied to his wife, was hoping to avoid conflict for the moment only to be robbed of trust. His lie will be discovered and her trust for him will be removed.

John 8:36, another powerful and great verse says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Satan will allow bondage to come the Son can grant you your freedom. While rejecting the Son, these Jews were embracing Abraham. They were emphasizing the physical relationship to Abraham only with disregard to the spiritual relationship. They identified with His genealogy but not with his faith. There are many today who embrace intellectually and even emotionally the faith of their fathers but never embrace that faith spiritually. They have only a symbolism of the real but lack the truth.

A great mission field today is the temple, church, or synagogue. Many of these are filled with a large population of unbelievers. This is such a tragedy as indicated when Dr. John R. Rice preached decades ago, “Religious but Lost.”

Christ recognized their ties back to Abraham (v. 37) but rebuked them by telling them that His “Word” or truth had no place in them. Their opposition to Christ was so intense that they wanted to kill Him. They were permitted to do just that at the crucifixion. They were intent on killing Jesus because He simply told them the truth. Jesus told them that Abraham did not do this way (v. 40).

II. THE CONTRADICTION OF TRUTH vv. 41-46

Verse 44 is a culmination of the reason for the Jews doing as they do. Reflecting back in our study one cannot help but notice that every activity directed against Christ was satanically induced. In the healing of the impotent man the Jews responded with a rebuke, “It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed” (5:10). In verse 16 of the same chapter we are told that the Jews sought to slay Jesus because He had healed on the sabbath. In chapter 6, verse 41, the Jews murmured because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven?” They also rejected His deity wanting to make Him only a common son of Joseph (6:42).

The Jews questioned the depths of His theology by saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (6:52). They accused Him of having a devil (6:20); they tried to arrest Him (6:32); and they tried to trap Him with their law (chapter 8).

Even as the Jews attempt to mount up evidence against Jesus, He is compiling His own. He has them in the snare and shows their total contradiction of truth.

They are inconsistent (vv. 41-42). One of the most glaring characteristics of the liar is his inconsistency. When one fabricates and tells one lie, he usually will tell at least two. In telling his lies, he says one thing and often contradicts something he has previously said or will say. He then is perceived as being inconsistent. We must always remind ourselves that truth never changes. Thus, the most consistent man that you will ever meet is the most truthful man as well. In verse 41, the Lord told the Jews, “Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.”

The answer of the Jews shows how very deceived and inconsistent they actually were. They were deceived in thinking that they were genealogically pure with only Abraham being their Father. They in their deception could not perceive that the seeds of Satan had birthed them into their unbelief. An inconsistent person is double minded and unstable in all his ways as James chapter one tells us.

Jesus gives the litmus test when He told them, “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (v. 42). True love is a very strong word and especially so in its usage here. The same Spiritual quality of love that is referred to here is in the same degree found in every believer. The true believer will have the powerful love bond that only God can provide, for “God is love” (I John 4:8), and “love is of God” (Romans 5:5).

They are incoherent (vv. 43-46). “Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.” A question by Jesus is followed by an answer. In using the rhetorical method a question is answered with a question. Here the question is asked and answered by the same person. The question is to provoke them to think more intently on what He asks them. Any questions Jesus may ask is to produce conviction, and though He asks, He in His omniscience carefully knows the answer. Yet the Jews are totally void of understanding their true lost state and depravity, because, they being dead, cannot hear.

Whereas the believer can be “dull of hearing” the unbeliever can not even hear at all. The great sermons which are preached with conviction still require the Lord to open the heart of unbelief. Lydia gives testimony to this truth. With the ongoing apostasy that marks these last days, people will become more and more incoherent to truth. This state of oblivion has allowed more and more humanistic philosophies to be ushered in. We no longer have, as a nation, a “Christian mindset.” Yet if we return back to the truth of God’s Word and preach it with Holy Ghost power, it still will bring conviction to the soul.

In verse 44, Jesus tells them that their problem is in having the wrong Father. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” In verse number 46, the Lord asks them has anyone found Him to be convicted of having sinned. He went on to say, “And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?”

III. THE COMPREHENSION OF TRUTH vv. 47-59

To hear requires a spiritual relationship (47-54) After the Lord told them of their real problem of having Satan as their father, He gave that as the reason for their not hearing. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” With this still being the case, most religious systems must communicate a counterfeit God. Just recently I was in Seville, Spain and visited a well known Roman Catholic Cathedral. When I walked in I found the nearly one thousand year old cathedral quite impressive. I also felt a very depressive spirit when I entered in thinking of the countless souls who sincerely practiced their worship, yet without the truth of God’s Word. The worshiping of Mary, of the departed “saints,” of the golden idols, all gave testimony to the way people must worship when they are void of truth. Yet this kind of worship is Satanic. Remember, any departure from truth is a lie, and the lie is birthed of Satan; he is the father of it.

Accusingly, the Jews countered Jesus by saying He had a devil. The diabolical system, under the ruler-ship of Satan, will still attack truth and its believers with slander and in any vicious way that it can. A lesson that might be learned, is that the unbeliever perceives the believer as the vicious one. As the believer finds the things of Satan repugnant, the unbeliever finds truth the same.

Those who are living an immoral and wicked lifestyle will go to any means to justify their sinfulness. I just heard recently that there is a conservative or fundamental “gay” church. Even with word terminology the attempt to weaken sin takes place. The Scriptural description of a person lusting after another of the same sex is “sodomy.” The street name is “queer” or “gay” and the social name is “homosexual.” This so-called “gay” church is living the lie of acceptance.

Not to hear reveals a satanic relationship (vv. 55-59). The remainder of this section is a further indictment against their unbelief. The Lord even further angered them by telling them that Abraham had rejoiced to see the day of the Lord (“my day”) (v. 56) and he saw it and was glad. Their anger was so intense that they gathered up stones to cast at him, but “Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

Several years ago, I purchased a shirt in Venezuela that I thought to be a “Tommy Hilfiger” shirt. It was only after I returned to the states and compared it to the real thing that I knew that it was bogus. Dear reader, please lay what you think to be truth right beside the King James Bible, the Word of God, and if it is not different then it is the real thing. TRUTH NEVER CHANGES, NOR NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!

Sermon From Dr. Max Alderman