What is truth?

Sunday Trust - - SERMON - By Em­manuel Ojeifo Bishop Dr. Charles Olowo­joba is the Gen­eral Overseer of Dayspring Bi­ble Church World­wide with HQ in Abuja, Nige­ria & Pres­i­dent, Dayspring Chris­tian Min­istries Int’l. Web­site: www.dayspringcmi.org e-mail: dayspringcm2000@ya­hoo. com Help

Un­til you are free, you can­not rise. Take full de­liv­ery of your lib­erty through the fol­low­ing keys: “If the Son there­fore shall make you free, you shall be free in­deed.” (John 8:36)

Jesus does not set you free and goes away; He hangs around to make you. Mak­ing is a process.

Each time we talk of de­liv­er­ance the only thing that comes to most peo­ple’s mind is demons. But a per­son can be free of demons and still not be com­pletely free. The aim of be­ing free is to en­hance the qual­ity of life.

Com­plete lib­erty must there­fore in­clude…

• Men­tal and psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing. You need a healthy mind to do well. Many have been hurt and are hurt­ing from the past. You need to know what to do and which way to take in or­der to pros­per. The Bi­ble says you pros­per as your soul pros­pers. • Fi­nan­cial well-be­ing. • Phys­i­cal well-be­ing. • So­cial well-be­ing. A slave has noth­ing of his own; he labours for oth­ers and toils in vain. When you are bound in any way, you are grossly lim­ited. Un­til you are free, life is a mis­ery. Joseph’s dream could not be ac­tu­al­ized un­til he got out of prison. God who brought him out and pro­moted him is about to de­liver and pro­mote you. The very place where the devil plans to hu­mil­i­ate you is the place where God will hon­our you. God el­e­vated Joseph in the very land of Egypt where he suf­fered as a slave and pris­oner. God will hon­our you in this very land. What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38). This is the ques­tion that Pi­late the Ro­man Gover­nor of Judea cyn­i­cally and sar­cas­ti­cally asked Jesus dur­ing his trial at Pi­late’s Court some 2000 years ago. Jesus had re­sponded to a ques­tion put to him by Pi­late by say­ing: “I came into the world to tes­tify to the truth. Every­one on the side of truth lis­tens to me” (Jn. 18:37). It was in re­sponse to this an­swer that Pi­late asked Jesus what truth is. In­ter­est­ingly, Jesus did not of­fer any re­ply to Pi­late’s cyn­i­cal ques­tion, which with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight has be­come one of the most pro­found and eter­nally sig­nif­i­cant ques­tions in the Bi­ble ever posed by a pa­gan Ro­man po­lit­i­cal fig­ure. Since then, hu­man­ity has been left to wan­der end­lessly along the path of rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent streams of philo­soph­i­cal at­tempts to grasp the full mean­ing of truth. Count­less vol­umes have been writ­ten on the mean­ing and na­ture of truth, yet hu­man­ity is still un­able to put an end to Pi­late’s eter­nal ques­tion. The whole world con­tin­ues to breath Pi­late’s cyn­i­cism. Some say truth is a power play, a meta­nar­ra­tive con­structed by the elite for the pur­pose of con­trol­ling the ig­no­rant masses. To some, truth is sub­jec­tive to the in­di­vid­ual world of pref­er­ence and opin­ion. Truth is what you say it is, how you see it. Oth­ers be­lieve truth is a col­lec­tive judg­ment, the prod­uct of cul­tural con­sen­sus. Oth­ers still flatly deny the con­cept of truth al­to­gether or the pos­si­bil­ity of

10 Ways to en­joy com­plete free­dom

1. Claim the fin­ished work of Christ in its en­tirety.

2 De­velop in­ti­macy with the Lord. Con­stantly dwell in His pres­ence. Love and wor­ship Him in deep rev­er­ence. But the peo­ple that know their God shall be strong and they shall do ex­ploits (Daniel 11: 32b).

3. Avoid sin. Keep away from door open­ers to the devil. Read the Ten Com­mand­ments and find out what to avoid. Keep your­self pure.

4. Avoid bad com­pany: one that pulls you away from God and in­creases you ten­dency to dis­obey God.

5. Prac­tice the truth you know. This is called faith. Mir­a­cles hap­pen only to the be­liev­ing. Doubts never pro­duce your de­sired re­sults. Stop ad­ver­tis­ing your doubts. Start cel­e­brat­ing your ex­pec­ta­tions of a mir­a­cle. Pay your tithes, sow seeds, prac­tice for­give­ness etc.

6. Get help. Get min­is­tered to if you have not. A man lost his son and was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot of dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges. He was spend­ing his re­sources and life sav­ings also on tak­ing care of his very sick sis­ter. He then called a brother in church to nar­rate his woes. Af­ter lis­ten­ing to him, the brother de­cided it wasn’t any­thing he could han­dle him­self so he re­ferred him to me. This man ob­vi­ously was un­der a mas­sive sa­tanic at­tack and bondage and needed help. I prayed for his lib­erty and his sis­ter’s heal­ing. I as­sured him that God had touched his sis­ter and he left. A week later, he trav­elled home to see her com­pletely healed. The sis­ter told at­tain­ing truth. To ask any­one to­day, “What is truth?” would be to start an in­ter­est­ingly end­less con­ver­sa­tion.

Per­haps, it should have been ob­vi­ous to Pi­late that truth was stand­ing be­fore him, the truth he knew about the fact that Jesus had done noth­ing but had been un­justly brought for­ward for con­dem­na­tion by a horde of Jew­ish lead­ers of re­li­gion who, afraid of be­ing put out of busi­ness, mo­bilised an an­gry mob to press for the in­no­cent man’s trial and con­dem­na­tion un­der the false ac­cu­sa­tion of blas­phemy. “Early in the morn­ing, all the chief priests and the elders of the peo­ple came to the de­ci­sion to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pi­late, the gover­nor” (Mt. 27:1-2). When Pi­late dis­missed the charges brought against Jesus and seemed deter­mined to let him go, the Jews pressed all the more for his con­vic­tion: “We have a law, and ac­cord­ing to that law he must die be­cause he claimed to be the Son of God” (Jn. 19:7). The ma­trix of this un­just con­dem­na­tion is that it sealed to avert a po­lit­i­cal up­ris­ing. The Jew­ish lead­ers were deter­mined to fo­ment trou­ble and cre­ate may­hem in Jerusalem, one that would put Pi­late’s job at risk and earn him the ire of the Ro­man Em­peror Cae­sar. It was thus out of po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­ency that Pi­late con­demned Jesus to death. “When Pi­late saw that he was get­ting nowhere, but that in­stead an up­roar was start­ing, he took wa­ter and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am in­no­cent of this him how she had been dream­ing of see­ing dead peo­ple un­til she dreamt and saw a pas­tor pray­ing for her and as­sur­ing her that God had re­placed life with death. She woke up feel­ing well and got com­pletely healed be­fore the brother ar­rived.

The woman with the is­sue of blood met Jesus. Is­rael needed Moses. You may need some­one. There are cer­tain lev­els of min­is­tra­tion you can­not do for your­self. You need an ex­pe­ri­enced and anointed per­son to un­ravel mys­ter­ies con­cern­ing your sit­u­a­tion as well as the so­lu­tion.

7. Watch Your Tongue. Never give per­mis­sion to your en­e­mies through your words. Proverbs 18: 21 tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Some turn their tongues against them­selves. Jesus used His tongue ef­fec­tively-He cast out demons with His Words, he calmed the rag­ing storms, He si­lenced His en­e­mies, and He healed with His words. He reigned with His mouth. “Where the word of a king is, there is power.” (Ec­cle­si­astes 8:4). I asked that we call down fire into the foun­da­tion of our lives for a re­lease from what­so­ever had held us in cap­tiv­ity dur­ing the one All-Night. The fol­low­ing day a sis­ter re­ceived a phone call from the vil­lage that one of her un­cles that had been tor­ment­ing her in the dream hung him­self at about 3.00am, the ex­act time we re­leased the fire. Un­til you speak noth­ing hap­pens.

Learn to re­sist the devil when­ever he shows up with any­thing in your life that is con­trary to the word of God. Re­al­ize that op­po­si­tion is proof of your progress. It is not enough to de­fend your­self, you must be ready to take the bat­tle to the en­emy. Learn man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your re­spon­si­bil­ity!’” (Mt. 27:24). Thus he ab­solved him­self of blame.

If this truth was Jesus was in­no­cent was not enough to per­suade Pi­late, it should have been ob­vi­ous to him that his ques­tion was re­dun­dant in the face of Jesus. He was ask­ing about truth from the Truth. Dur­ing his pub­lic min­istry, Jesus had said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Fa­ther ex­cept through me” (Jn. 14:6). As such, the Truth was stand­ing be­fore Pi­late when he ut­tered that cyn­i­cal ques­tion. He did not need to ask. He only needed to ap­pre­hend it and to con­tem­plate it. This is where Chris­tians of all ages have pitched their tent in re­ply to Pi­late’s ques­tion. Jesus came to show us the way to the Fa­ther, to teach us the truth about God and to give us abun­dant life. He taught this truth about God by point­ing to him­self not just as the mes­sen­ger of truth but also as Truth Him­self. When Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Fa­ther and we shall be sat­is­fied” (Jn. 14:8), Jesus replied: “Have I been with you for so long and you still do not know me? To have seen me is to have seen the Fa­ther… Don’t you be­lieve that I am in the Fa­ther and the Fa­ther is in me?” (Jn. 14:9-10).

So what is truth? Truth is that which is con­sis­tent with the mind, will, char­ac­ter, glory and be­ing of God. Even more to the point, truth is the self-ex­pres­sion of God. Be­cause this def­i­ni­tion of truth flows from God, truth has a the­o­log­i­cal char­ac­ter. The Old Tes­ta­ment refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 31:5; Is. 65:16). When Jesus said of him­self, “I am the Truth” (Jn. 14:6), he was mak­ing a pro­found claim about his own di­vin­ity, but also about his to use the weapons in the word of God. 1Pe 5:9, “Whom re­sist sted­fast in the faith, know­ing that the same af­flic­tions are ac­com­plished in your brethren that are in the world.” Jas 4:7, “Sub­mit your­selves there­fore to God. Re­sist the devil, and he will flee from you.” A brother gave a tes­ti­mony of a strange ex­pe­ri­ence one night. At about 3am one night, light went off and the brother who was awake, lit a can­dle and al­most im­me­di­ately, light was re­stored. He saw a frog on his son who was sleep­ing. He alerted his wife and they got hold of the frog. They de­cided to burn it. They then poured anoint­ing oil on it be­fore burn­ing it. Just then the frog spoke with a hu­man voice and said, “Don’t burn me.” That frog came on a mis­sion for that child but it was aborted. The brother said that fear came on him at first but he sum­moned courage and burned the frog. Next time they come to your house they will be ex­posed and de­stroyed in Jesus name.

8. Em­ploy the weapon of praise. Praise is your ver­bal and phys­i­cal re­sponse to the great­ness of God. Mu­sic…singing…wor­ship…cre­ate an at­mos­phere for mir­a­cles. You are re­spon­si­ble for the cli­mate you per­mit around you. The at­mos­phere you per­mit de­ter­mines the prod­uct you pro­duce. David’s mu­sic and wor­ship cast devils out of King Saul. To en­joy con­tin­u­ous de­liv­er­ance, make praise a per­ma­nent fea­ture of your life.

9. De­velop a hunger for the TRUTH: the Word of God. Only those who hunger and thirst af­ter right­eous­ness get filled. Pour the word over your mind daily. Un­til you pros­per in your soul, you can­not pros­per in your life. You can­not have own equal dig­nity in the God­head. Af­ter all, he is the bright­ness of God’s glory and the per­fect copy of his im­age (Heb. 1:3). Jesus is the truth in­car­nate; he is the per­fect em­bod­i­ment of God and the ex­pres­sion of all that is true. Jesus also taught that the writ­ten word of God is truth. It does not merely con­tain prin­ci­ples of truth, but is truth it­self, which “can­not be bro­ken” (Jn. 10:35). In his high priestly prayer, Jesus im­plored the Fa­ther to con­se­crate his dis­ci­ples in the truth: “Sanc­tify them by your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). More­over, the word of God is eter­nal truth “which lives for­ever” (1 Pt. 1:23).

There can be no dis­cord be­tween the writ­ten Word of God and the in­car­nate Word of God, be­cause truth can­not con­tra­dict it­self. Truth is both the mes­sage and the self­ex­pres­sion of Jesus. As such, truth can­not be ad­e­quately ex­plained, recog­nised, un­der­stood or de­fined with­out ref­er­ence to its source - God, the Au­thor of Truth. Even when Jesus promised to send “the Spirit of truth” (Jn. 14:17) to his dis­ci­ples, he did not say that the Spirit would bring new truths. On the con­trary, he will bring en­light­en­ment, help­ing the dis­ci­ples to un­der­stand clearly and to clar­ify what they have al­ready been taught by the Truth Him­self: “But the Coun­sel­lor, the Holy Spirit whom the Fa­ther will send in my name, will teach you all things and will re­mind you of ev­ery­thing I have said to you” (Jn. 14:26). The post-Pen­te­cost events in the life of the Apos­tles and of the early Church bear the truth of this en­light­en­ment. As such, Jesus re­mains the un­chang­ing ref­er­ence point for ap­pro­pri­at­ing divine epis­te­mol­ogy. He is the Foun­tain of sound re­sults if you do not prac­tice sound prin­ci­ples. Good things may hap­pen once in a while to an ig­no­rant per­son but a man of un­der­stand­ing en­joys con­stant do­min­ion. Many are in the house but they do not know what is in the house. One of the things the anoint­ing does is to teach us. 1John 2:27. Your un­der­stand­ing is your qual­i­fi­ca­tion for pro­mo­tion. Sound knowl­edge is your ac­cess to un­lim­ited sup­ply. Many be­liev­ers are il­lit­er­ate in spir­i­tual and fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion. As a re­sult, they take wrong de­ci­sions and end up with wrong re­sults. Wis­dom is your pass­port to your Promised Land.

10. Pay your tithe faith­fully and reg­u­larly. Also sup­port the spread of the Gospel with your fi­nan­cial seeds.

Why are peo­ple in­ca­pac­i­tated even af­ter de­liv­er­ance min­is­tra­tion? The great­est cause of bondage is lack of knowl­edge.

The Bi­ble says, “They know not; nei­ther will they un­der­stand; they walk on in dark­ness: all the foun­da­tions of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are chil­dren of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” (Psalm 82:5 - 7).

You can be free from demons but if you are ig­no­rant of the prin­ci­ples and fall short in the prac­tices, you will not pros­per. That is why the Bi­ble says, You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Seek for help to­day and you will en­joy free­dom. Truth.

When a so­ci­ety de­nies and tries to su­press the es­sen­tial con­nec­tion be­tween God and truth, it turns it­self over to be­come a play­thing in the hands of dan­ger­ous evil forces. The per­mis­sive­ness we find in our so­ci­ety to­day is the re­sult of this fun­da­men­tal dis­junc­tion. When this hap­pens, even knowl­edge be­comes dan­ger­ous and poi­sonous, as are the ghastly ide­olo­gies of the last cen­tury that sys­tem­at­i­cally dec­i­mated hu­man lives in the name of progress. This is ob­vi­ous in the fun­da­men­tal moral dis­tor­tions that are also tak­ing place to­day be­tween good and evil, right and wrong. Elab­o­rate epis­te­molo­gies have been pro­posed and me­thod­i­cally de­bunked one af­ter an­other - like a long chain in which ev­ery pre­vi­ous link is bro­ken. Af­ter thou­sands of years, the very best of hu­man philoso­phers, from Plato, Socrates to Descartes, Hegel, Locke Kant, Ni­et­zsche, and Marx have all ut­terly failed to ac­count for truth and the ori­gin of hu­man knowl­edge apart from God. What is clear to­day is the valu­able les­son from the past that it is im­pos­si­ble to make sense of truth with­out ac­knowl­edg­ing God as the nec­es­sary start­ing point. This has fun­da­men­tal im­pli­ca­tions for so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural life. The state­ment of Carl Friedrich von Weiz­sacker, cited by Car­di­nal Joseph Ratzinger in his 1995 book, The Na­ture and Mis­sion of The­ol­ogy de­serves to be re­peated here: “I main­tain that in the long run only a truth-ori­ented so­ci­ety, not a hap­pi­ness-ori­ented so­ci­ety, can suc­ceed.”

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