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. This morning we seek to understand the validation of truth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Validation of Spiritual Truth
"Jesus saith unto him, ‘‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto to the Father, but by me.’’" John Chapter 14, Verse 6
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we share some further insights into the validation of truth. We are particularly interested in knowing how we validate truth, for we sincerely desire to escape from error. In our attempts to gain insights into the validation of truth, we shall consider some material analogies to assist us. Though we must always bear in mind that we cannot use material tests to prove spiritual truths, these analogies may just help us to highlight the difference.
In the material realms, we can verify whether something is true or not. If someone tells us that we have a million dollars in our bank accounts, we can easily verify that whether this statement is true. First of all, we would be skeptical of such a claim. Skepticism arises because there is no prior experience that would allow us to believe such a statement.
Second, in the world that we live in we know that ordinarily things of this nature do not just happen out of the blue. But the acid test that we use to prove whether this is true is to check the bank account and see whether such an amount has been placed in our accounts.
If someone says that we are descended from royalty, we look at what we know immediately about our ancestors and can discern whether this is a true statement. However, if someone says that our remote ancestors were of royalty, then such a claim may be difficult or impossible to verify unless we have an unbroken record of our ancestors leading back to that time. But if someone says that we are kings or queens, knowing who we are, we can verify this statement right away. We immediately know what our present status is.
When we enter the religious realm, discerning the truth of religious ideas is not so easy. We have embraced a collection of writings and have pronounced it as being the inspired Word of God. People have died acting out these beliefs, and still others dedicate their lives to the propagation of these beliefs. Recently a man was convicted of murdering a physician because of his strong religious belief that what the physician was doing was wrong. The murderer felt that his act was justified because the physician was performing abortions, which he felt was an abomination to God. And millions of people every Sunday morning either attend Church or look at television or listen to the radio to messages purported to be from God. How can we discern the truth of what we hear? There is only one way that we can know the truth of what we hear when it comes to spiritual revelation and that is to look to Jesus, the personification of truth. Jesus is the personal revelation of the heavenly Father.
We can only discern the truth when we are seeking to discern it. Truth being the reality of divine relationships, must be experienced. To discern truth, the Father’’s character, we must exercise our faith to discern it. We must remember that when we seek to know the Truth, we are seeking to know God. But without faith, it is impossible to please Him: For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." When we seek God, he rewards us by making us like His Son, Jesus, by perfecting our character.
So we return to our main focus: the validation of Truth. Before Pilate, Jesus said that he bore witness to the Truth. By his very life, he demonstrated that he was God in the flesh, the Son of the living God. He proclaimed that all men were the sons of God, and that by believing in Him, they would receive eternal life. When Jesus was asked how people could know if what he was saying was true; that is, how can people validate the message? Jesus said: "As to my message and the teaching of my disciples, you should judge them by their fruits. If we proclaim to you the truths of the spirit, the spirit will witness in your hearts that our message is genuine."
So then, how can we validate spiritual truth? We know that we cannot use intellectual or material means, not even moral means to validate spiritual truth, for though spiritual truth is moral, morality is not truth.
The greatest spiritual truth that we can know is that God is love, and that we are indeed his spiritual children. Jesus said that by the fruits shall we know if God is love, and we are His children. How does the Spirit bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God? Keep in mind that this exchange is a spiritual exchange of values. If we accept this proclamation by the Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God, then we should experience something that we have not experienced before. We should experience God’’s love. If we experience God’’s love, then forthwith will this love begin to flow through us to our brothers and sisters, demonstrating that God is our Father, and we are his children. The test of spiritual truth is the experience of that truth and the incorporation of it into our very beings. Thus when we accept our status as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father, we change. We move away from our image and move into the image of Jesus, His Son.
When we experience spiritual reality, the experience of the reality is the proof of its validity. A spiritual experience, unlike a material experience, changes our characters into unselfish loving individuals. And this becomes our spiritual proof.
The fruits of the spirit are the spiritual test we apply to the spiritual declaration that God is love and that we are His children. If these fruits flow through us, then we have indeed spiritually proved them because we have experienced them. From this great truth, we can derive all other truths. And we do this by the same method--the method of spiritual verification--through the experience of that spiritual value that we have embraced. But we must refrain the tendency to seek material proof as a verification of spiritual experience. Such proof cannot be forthcoming. We must learn to separate the two realities in our minds. We must distinguish between the things of Caesar and the things of God. Mixing the two will deprive us of the security and assurance of knowing that we are sons and daughters of God since we will tend to look for material proof for validation rather than spiritual proof. Again we cannot prove spiritual tests by material means!
But how do we keep the tendency to view things from the materialistic prospective from creeping in? How do we keep the sometimes moral ambiguities, emotional difficulties, and material difficulties from eroding our spiritual consciousness? There is only one way: the constant submission in the face of these distractions of our wills to the Father’’s will. As we continue to do this, the boundary between the material and the spiritual will grow in our minds and souls so that we will have no difficulty at all in keeping the two separate. We will go to the grocery store for groceries and to the gas station for gas.
In seeking to grasp greater and greater spiritual truths, we are to be guided by the Spirit of Truth, who reveals the spiritual concepts to us. If we can conceive them, we can believe them (faith embrace them with our whole hearts). Then we can achieve, realize, and experience them. And as we continue to grasp more of these spiritual truths, of our relationship with the heavenly Father and our brothers and sisters, our spiritual consciousness of God grows in direct proportion to our grasp of this great truth: That God is indeed our spiritual Father and that indeed we are his sons and daughters. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God."
This concludes today's message on the validation of 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.