Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we explore the discernment of spiritual truth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Discernment of Spiritual Truth
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." John, Chapter 14, Verses 6 and 7
Brothers and sisters, how do we know that what we believe about our relationship with the heavenly Father is really true? As there is no objective evidence that we are children of the heavenly Father, how do we really know that we are? If we are his children, how do we know that our understanding and our acts on his behalf are really representative of the actual relationship that we have with him?
When acts committed in the name of God are wrong to us morally, we must also conclude that the act does not represent the relationship we have with the heavenly Father. We are able to compare two sets of conduct and can pass judgment on whether they are good or evil. We recognize the Father as being good. He is the source of our moral sense. Our relationship with the Father must be moral, must be good. Therefore, if the acts that we commit out of our understanding of our relationship with the Father are moral, then they must also be true. All truth is moral, and all moral acts are true.
Just as we have a moral sense, we have the Spirit of Truth that lives in our minds and souls. It is unerringly sensitive to truth. And yet despite this Spirit of Truth, we find that there are still errors in relationships purported to be reflective of God’’s will. How do we explain this?
"Divine truth is a spirit-discerned and living reality. Truth exists only on high spiritual levels of the realization of divinity and the consciousness of communion with God. We can know the truth, and we can live the truth. We can experience the growth of truth in the soul and enjoy the liberty of its enlightenment in the mind, but we cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct. When we try to do so, it speedily dies. The post-mortem salvage of imprisoned truth, even at best, can eventuate only in the realization of a peculiar form of intellectualized, glorified wisdom. Static truth is dead truth, and only dead truth can be held as a theory. Living truth is dynamic and enjoys only an experiential existence in the human mind.”” ““Truth is a spiritual reality value experienced only by spirit-endowed beings who function upon supermaterial levels of universe consciousness, and who, after the realization of truth, permit its spirit of activation to live and reign within their souls."
Since divine truth is a spirit-discerned and living reality, no book can validate divine truth for us. We must always critically evaluate any and everything that purports to be true. We must look within for the standard of truth. Over 2,000 years ago, the Son of God took on the form of a human being and revealed the Father’’s character and spiritual nature to mankind. He revealed that not only was the Father moral but that he was love. He perfectly and personally demonstrated the Fathers’’ character and his love. He went about doing good. He was the truth, embodying in his self the perfect relationship between he and the Father. Thus for us to know the truth, we must look towards him as our revealer of truth. He said that if we loved one another as he loves us, all men would know that we were his disciples. So we see that truth and love are intrinsically linked. The Father is living love, and truth is the observation of this living love. When we depart from this living love in our thoughts and our deeds, we depart from truth. The Spirit of Truth guides us into true relationships with each other, and these relationships are characterized by love and mercy. And these relationships are always moral, right.
If we relate ourselves to each other in a loving and unselfish way, we can be sure that we are living within the realm of truth. We can be sure that our relationship is true if we embrace it by faith. If we commune in the Father’’s presence with our thoughts and contemplated acts, subject to his divine will, and our motives are pure, then our relationships will be true. If our goals in the relationship are unselfish and we act with intelligence and wisdom, then our decisions will reflect our relationship with the heavenly Father as revealed in the Spirit of his Son, Jesus. When and if we fail to do this, we fall into error. Error cannot be experienced, only truth can. If we act out of error, no further meanings are forthcoming. Truth is always characterized by a growth in meanings.
We can best see the discernment of truth when we examine the truth that Jesus uttered when he commanded us to love one another as he loves us. Now we know that some brothers and sisters are easy to love and some are not. The challenge and stimulus for our growth lies not in loving those who are easy to love and avoiding those who are not. Those who are easy to love do not stimulate our souls to grow. We are challenged by those who are not easy to love. In our efforts to learn how to love them, we will realize the truth of Jesus’’ sayings. When we observe a brother or sister who is deficient in love, we should determine precisely what value it is in their souls that they are missing. If we examine them closely, we will have no difficulty in locating the missing value.
We begin by praying for those values that are missing from their souls and those values that we need to learn to love them. So we may pray to better understand them as a starting point, for without understanding them, we really don’’t know what values they need. If we discern that because of unfortunate experiences the brother or sister is devoid of trust, then we should begin to ask the Father to give us trust so that we can display this trust to their souls. If the brother or sister is deficient in hope, then we should pray to the Father to give us hope, so that we can display this hope to them. If they are deficient in patience, then we should display patience towards them.
If we ourselves are deficient in patience then we should ask the Father to give us the necessary patience. If the brother or sister is deficient in forgiveness, someone who holds a grudge, then we should display this forgiveness towards them, demonstrating that we hold no grudges towards them, even though they may have offended us. In our petitions to the Father, we should pray for values, and we should always remember that these values are to be displayed to the one that we are praying for. It becomes obvious, then, that we should be in contact with the person for whom we are praying, otherwise they will never see the values we are praying for them to have.
While sincerely praying for someone with whom we are not in contact will keep us in the "right spirit" towards them, it will not make a spiritual appeal to their souls. This spiritual appeal to the souls of our brothers and sisters brings about a soul transformation. Praying for someone whom we have no desire to be in contact with makes us guilty of asking the Father to do something for us that we are unwilling to do ourselves. We should always remember that we are in partnership with the Father and not serving in an advisory role. The Father has no needs of advisors. He needs partners, those who will allow him to work through them. Our attitude should always be: "Here I am, send me."
If we are active children of the Father, we will bear the fruits of the spirit in our daily lives and our brothers and sisters will continually benefit from the display. And we will increasingly take on the image of his Son, Jesus. As we grow and mature, we will increasingly display a character just like Jesus, a character motivated by love and dominated by mercy, indicating that we are fully discerning the truth of the Father’’s love.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to discern spiritual truth. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry