191 - THE TRUTH
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The Jews knew the law, the psalms, and the prophets by heart, and Jesus suggests that they did not know the truth? They were sure to know the truth, by knowing the law of Jehovah by heart, for the psalmist says: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is truth” (Ps. 119:142).The psalmist declares that the law of Jehovah is the truth, but the apostle John says: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus brings up that there is no truth in the law, for if Moses gave the law and Christ gave the truth, Moses did not give the truth when he gave the law. Let us analyze the issue comparing the law with the truth:
- The law of Jehovah does not produce the justice of God. “And through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses” (Acts 13:39). “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets” (Rom. 3:21). “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from of the Law” (Rom. 3:28). The apostle Paul closes the issue, saying,“Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law” (Gal. 3:21).
- The Law nullifies the grace of God, that is, salvation. In the epistle to the Galatians, Paul says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:1-4). If the law nullifies the grace of God to the one who keeps it, it is logical to assume that it was given by Jehovah with this very purpose, for we hear in the Old Testament that the Law is the truth, but it is not (Ps. 119:142; Mal. 2:6). We also read that in the law of Jehovah we find the justice of God (Ps. 119:142; Is. 51:7). When Jesus says: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” he means the deceit of the law of Jehovah.
- The Law destroys the promises of God of the New Testament. “For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified” (Rom. 4:14). What promise is nullified? “And this is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life” (1 John 2:25).Another promise is the Holy Spirit. “And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” (Acts 1:4-5). What is the third promise? “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15). The Law is so evil, that it nullifies three promises that Jesus made: the eternal life, the receiving of the Holy Spirit, and the eternal heritance. We conclude that the truth is not in the Law.
- The Law was given by Jehovah to be against man, not in favor of man, that is, the Law does not help, but only hinders. The Law is not the needed help to men, but an obstacle. Moses said, from Jehovah, “Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you” (Deut. 31:26). “So the word of Jehovah to them will be, ‘Order on order, order on order, line on line, line on line, a little here, a little there,’ that they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive” (Is. 28:13). “And I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live” (Ezek. 20:25). “Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth” (Hos. 6:5). When Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” he is revealing that the truth is: the Father is not against sick sinners, but he is for them, for sin is an infirmity of the soul. God is for them, because the Father loves his creatures, and he loved them to such extent, that he gave them their Son Jesus, to save everyone who believes (John 3:16). This is why Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
- The Law of Jehovah does not make man perfect. “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind” (Rom. 7:7-8). And Paul goes further, saying, “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death” (Rom. 7:5). The same Paul closes the issue. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56). The writer of the letter to the Hebrews brings the law to nothing.“For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness” (Heb. 7:18). The law, instead of making stronger against sin, incites irresistibly to sin. This is why Paul said, “And the Law came in that the transgression might increase” (Rom. 5:20). If Jehovah knew the truth of Jesus Christ, it would never put his people under the Law. Christ delivers men from the yoke of the Law and gives them the Holy Spirit, which is the only power capable of sanctifying them, and for this reason Peter declared, “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:2). And Paul confirms, saying, “But we should always give thanks to god for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for the salvation THROUGH SANCTIFICATION BY THE SPIRIT AND FAITH IN THE TRUTH” (2 Thess. 2:13). There is a faith that is not of the truth. It is a faith in Jehovah and on the covenant of the Law of the Old Testament. This is why there was darkness at mount Sinai when Jehovah, by his own mouth, announced his ten commandments. “And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness cloud and thick gloom. The Jehovah spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the ten commandments” (Deut. 4:11-13). Darkness is part of the kingdom of Satan (Acts 26:18).
We are children of light, because Jesus Christ is the true light that came into this world (John 1:9; 12:46).
JESUS IS THE TRUTH; JESUS IS THE ONLY TRUTH.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira