What is the truth that will set you free?

John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall make you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications. When Yeshua made this statement to Jews, what did he mean? To Yeshua what is truth? Two verses later, he mentions being a slave to sin. What is sin, and what does that have to do with truth? As many times as you’ve heard this axiom, have you heard anyone explain verse 32 in the larger context of Yeshua’s statement? We will now do so below.

We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word. 

To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth? 

The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life. 

Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom. 

It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!

Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand the fuller, biblical meaning of Yeshua’s statement, “And you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.”

 

Truth (capital T) versus truth (small t)

Psalm 117:2, Truth…forever. The Hebrew word for truth is emet spelled aleph, mem, tav, which are the first, middle, and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet or alephbet. This teaches us that the truth or Word of YHVH Elohim contains everything there is to say about everything, that it is the beginning, middle and end of everything and is complete; there is nothing that can be added to it. 

To wit, Scripture reveals that Yeshua the Messiah as the Word of Elohim incarnate is the beginning and the end of everything and the aleph and the tav (or to express this in Greek terms, the alpha and omega). As such, there is nothing to add to the this Truth, for truth is unchangeable, immutable and is eternal. Those who add or subtract from it do so at their own peril (Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18–19) thinking that they know better or more than the Creator. This is not only folly, but is the epitome of rebellious hubris and is succumbing to the deceptive lie of the serpent who deigned to suggest to the first humans that one not only had the right but the ability to question the Word of the Almighty. All the serpent and man can do is to counterfeit and pervert divine Truth, not replicate or improve on it, for it is already perfect and complete. 

So why capitalize the word Truth? This is to differentiate divinely revealed truth from general truth. The fact that two plus two equals four is truth, but it’s not eternal or divine Truth. Two and two equaling four is truth on earth, but it may not be truth in other realms of existence. Truth on the other hand is true in all realms of existence whether on earth, in the second heaven of outer space or in the third heaven of YHVH’s spiritual existence and for all eternity. This is because Truth is an expression of truth at a much higher level; it is the revelation of Elohim’s very character and nature. It is who he is.

So what is Truth? We must look to the Bible to define its own terms and nowhere else, for it alone contains Truth and divine Truth is to be found nowhere else. To define its terms from any outside or extrabiblical source is to diminish its meaning and to arrive at an incomplete truth. The Bible is a self-contained vessel and needs no outside validation, substantiation or explanation. As such,the Bible defines the Truth as the Torah-commandments of Elohim (Ps 119:142, 151). This is logical and should be no surprise, since the Torah are the very words of Elohim given to man whether in spoken or written form. They are not the words of man and thus a reflection of the mind of man, but of the Creator. This is why the Torah cannot be abrogated, done away with or added to or subtracted from. It is ridiculous and ludicrous to think the this can be done. This is why any theological argument, philosophy or religious tradition of man that attempts to so is absolute insane foolishness and is laughable. How can that which was created think itself to be wiser than that which created it? Man doesn’t even posses the mental capabilities to comprehend Truth, much less change it or understand the ramifications and consequences of adding or subtracting from it? He cannot, so it’s best to accept Truth, to leave it alone and to bring his life into accord with it.

Moreover, Scripture reveals that Yeshua the Messiah is the Word of Elohim incarnate, and that as such he is Truth (John 14:6). And no wonder, for in his preincarnate state, he was the Word of Elohim that created all things and that spoke that same Truth to the first humans, to the patriarchs, to Moses and the Israelites, to the biblical prophets, which is the same truth that emanated from his mouth when he manifested himself in flesh-form as Yeshua the Messiah and was recorded in red letters in the Gospels, and was then transmitted to his disciples and his sent-ones apostles to be spread abroad to the ends of the earth from then until now. 

Yeshua is the same Truth who declared in the very last verses of the last book of the Bible that, “Surely, I come quickly.” The author of that book then completes that book and the Bible with the word amein meaning “truthfully,” which derives from the Hebrew word emet spelled aleph, mem, tav/<NT. If he is coming back quickly with the sharp sword of the Word or Truth of Elohim coming out of his mouth to judge the nations and all people on the basis of that Truth and to mete out rewards and punishments accordingly, does it not behoove the wise and discerning person to bring his or her life in accordance with the whole Truth of the Torah-Truth-Word, mind, heart, will and character of YHVH Elohim and Yeshua the Messiah who is the divine expression and manifestation of Elohim? Amein!

 

“Let there be light” in your life…

Psalm 67:1–2, Face to shine…that your way. In analyzing this biblical passage, let’s apply some mathematical logic and discover the wonderful place to which it leads us. It’s a place that’s higher and better than any other! Here we go…

YHVH’s face or countenance shines like the sun in its full strength (Rev 1:16). He is the Sun of righteousness (Mal 4:2). The sun is the greater light that shines in the darkness of this world (Gen 1:16). The physical sun points to and is a representation of Yeshua who isn’t the greater light, but the Greatest Light that shone on this earth before the physical sun was created on the fourth day, and will shine once again on the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23) as he shone on the first three days of creation (Gen 1:3). 

Presently, Yeshua is the Light of the world (John 8:12) that is contained in his Torah-Word, which is truth, and which is revealed by the Spirit of Elohim (John 16:13) to those who humbly and repentantly seek it like little children (Matt 18:3–4). 

Moreover, Yeshua is the Word of Elohim that was made flesh (John 1:1, 14), and he is a spiritual light that shines in the darkness of this world to show men the way out of the darkness and to his Father in heaven (John 1:4;–5; 8:12, 9:5 cp. 14:6) who himself dwells in supernal light (1 Tim 6:16; Dan 2:22; 1 John 1:5; Jas 1:17). 

Light in the Scriptures is also a metaphor for truth (John 3:21) and the Torah (Prov 6:23 cp. Ps 119:142, 151). Light is also a metaphor for the Word of Elohim (Ps 119:105). Yeshua was and is that Word (John 1:1, 14). 

Now let’s go back to Psalm 67:1–2. When Elohim causes his face to shine on us, we will be blessed and receive his mercy (verse 1). The result will be that we will know his ways and his salvation, which is Yeshua (salvation is the Hebrew word Yeshua in verse 2). 

Can the truth of Elohim’s word be any clearer than this? When we understand these simple biblical truths, and humbly submit ourselves to them and walk in the light of this glorious truth, our lives will be in perfect alignment or in sync with the plumb line of YHVH’s laser light-like truth. This puts us on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, and it places us in the middle of YHVH’s river of life (Ps 1:3) that flows from his throne and a tree of life (Prov 3:18 cp. Ps 1:3, read vv. 1–6 for context). 

This spot is where it’s at—the sweet spot of life (see Ps 1:1–6)! Yet men are so hard-hardhearted, stiffnecked, rebellious and arrogant that they refuse to see these simples truths because they love the darkness of their sin and refuse to come to the light of Yeshua (John 3:19–20). 

Those of you who are privileged to have the light of YHVH’s countenance shining on you, give him the glory he deserves for his wonderful merciful grace in your life, and take a moment to offer up a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving!

 

What guides us? Your truth, my truth or divine truth? (part 2)

John 18:38, What is truth? 

In this age of moral relativism or situational ethics, it is unpopular to believe in, much less purport, that there is one single truth. Most humans live under the notion that every person can determine their own truth for themselves. The problem with this delusion is that when your truth conflicts with my truth there will inevitably be conflict. Ultimately, there will be a breakdown in law and order leading to anarchy resulting in unending theft, murder and wars. This was the case in primeval and medieval societies like Europe before strong central governments evolved to enforce law and order. The history of British Isles alone before there was a strong king in London was one series of blood baths after another by various raping and pillaging parties.

The reality that a single truth is better than multiple truths is reflected in the laws of a nation. Ostensibly there is supposed to be one set of laws (or one truth that determines what is right and wrong) for all the citizens of that country, state or city. For example, if each person who drove an automobile on the public roads had a different set of rules or truths, mayhem would occur. So at this level, it’s not difficult to see the need for one set of rules or, literally, one truth when it comes to driving a vehicle.

The difference of opinion as to what constitutes truth, however, occurs when we take this Continue reading


 

What guides us? Your truth, my truth or divine truth? (part 1)

What is truth? Is it relative (i.e. each person determines their own truth, which may be different from that of the next person and it changes over time), or is it absolute (i.e. it is unchangeable and there is one truth out there for all time that is the same for everyone)? Who or what determines what truth is?

Some truths or laws can be determined through observation of empirical evidence. This is the basis of true science. But what about moral and spiritual truths not cannot be scientifically proven or tested? Who or who determines these? What if different people have different ideas of what moral truth is? For example, if a person has decided that murder, adultery, lying or stealing are morally acceptable to them, then how will this effect those around them and society as a whole?

These are important questions to ask. If one doesn’t know the answer, then how does a person live their life and determine what is right and wrong?

Also, in our modern society, all too often the definition of truth is changing such that what was truth at one time (e.g. male and female, marriage, family, the sanctity of life and what was considered life, standards governing human sexuality) is no longer truth. In fact, in many cases, the standards that society has traditionally considered to be right and wrong have been turned upside down: wrong or sin is now lauded as virtuous and commendable, and that which was morally right is now considered passé and even repugnant! How confusing is this?

What are the effects morally on a society that at one time deemed such things as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, abortion, the illegality of certain mind-altering drugs, pornography and, in some cases, even divorce to be morally wrong, but over time societal standards have changed, and so have the laws such that these things are no longer considered immoral or illegal? How does this effect the moral foundations of a society, an individual, the family unit, children, and how people in a society interact with each other?

If society, the family or an individual is like a building, then what is the moral foundation that they are built on? Is it sand or rock? How one defines truth and whether is it is relative (changing) or immutable (unchanging) will determine the solidity of that foundation. This not only affects us, but also those around us including the succeeding generations that we influence. It’s like the rings that spread out when a pebble is dropped into a pool of water.

The Bible addresses these issues.

If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? (Ps 11:3)

 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt 24:24–27)

Can humans really determine what moral truth is? Or do we need someone outside of our existence and who is greater and more knowledgeable than us to tell us what right and wrong is? Someone  who has the oversight, wisdom and knowledge to understand what the short and long-range consequences of our actions will be upon us and society if we act one way or another?

With the idea that man needs a little (or maybe a lot!) of help from his Creator to determine moral truth, so that he doesn’t find himself in a societal mess of conflicting values resulting in confusion and chaos, and eventually destruction and death, let’s now examine the concept of truth from a biblical perspective.

John 17:17, Truth. Yeshua, the One sent to this earth from Elohim in heaven, says here, “Thy [Elohim’s] Word is truth.” In Matthew  4:4, Yeshua said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim.”

So what is truth? The word in Hebrew for truth is emet (spelled aleph, mem, tav), which is Continue reading


 

What is the truth that will set you free?

John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall set you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications. 

We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word. 

To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth? 

The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life. 

Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom. 

It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!

Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand th


 

The Basics of Progressive Divine Revelation

Learning the divinely revealed truths of Elohim and his ways of righteousness as found in the Bible is a step-by-step process that will last a lifetime.

Exodus 21–23, Basic principles of morality and righteousness. After having given the ten statements (or “ten commandments”), which forms the basic cornerstone of the whole Torah and out of which all the other Torah commands branch, Elohim now expands on these ten basic principles in chapters 21 to 23.

This passage contains the basics of how to love YHVH Elohim and one’s neighbor as oneself (the golden rule). Exodus chapters 20 to 23 contain the basic laws and principles for a society to function smoothly at a high level spiritually. They form the foundation of societal governance, which the new nation of Israel needed in order to survive spiritually (in right relationship with Elohim) and to survive physically and morally as a holy or set-apart nation surrounded by heathen nations.

It is also interesting to note that YHVH didn’t give Israel all 613 Torah laws at once, but introduced them to Israel little-by-little on an as-need basis and so as not to overwhelm them all at once. It was like a parent teaching a child one step at a time on how to act like an adult. YHVH started with the ten statements of Exodus 20, then expanded these ten into the basic laws of chapters 21 through 23, and he then goes from there instructing the Israelites in ways of righteous living. This teaches us another truth about how YHVH operates with men: He reveals himself to those who seek him slowly, methodically over time. He and his ways are too transcendently great and expansive for the mind of man to encompass all at once.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YHVH. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 58:8–9)

This measured method of divine revelation is exactly how the apostles chose to reveal YHVH’s truth to the new Gentile converts in Acts 15—little by little. First they heard the gospel message and came to Messiah, then they were given basic rules to follow in order to enter into the fellowship of the saints, then they would learn the laws of Moses over time each Shabbat.

Learning the divinely revealed truths of Elohim and his ways of righteousness as found in the Bible is a step-by-step process that will last a lifetime.