Oak Leaf #199


August 2017
 
 

Valiant for the Truth on the Earth
The Kingdom Series
by David White

 

“And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 9:3).

     Shortly after our arrival at our hotel in what was then still the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and before we hit the parks to preach where it had been mostly forbidden for seventy years, I turned on the television curious as to what I might see being broadcast in 1991 in a communist nation.

     After finding a channel I could actually see, it shortly became apparent that I was watching a children’s program consisting of anti-American propaganda. The content and intention was so obvious that my not knowing the Russian language was no major obstacle.

     I remember telling God how the program was filled with propaganda, as if that was news to Him. God then whispered something in my heart I will never forget. I heard how there was more propaganda being promoted and published daily in the United States than at any time in the history of the Soviet Union (Russia). Although I didn’t fully comprehend what I had heard, I now understand what the Lord was showing me.

     It is possible that no other generation in American history has been less prepared to cope with and escape the onslaught of deception now inundating America and indeed every nation from America, via the air waves philosophically, educationally, morally, and politically. One has to wonder if some American news outlets are even capable of telling the truth on a regular basis. Lies, fake news, misinformation, and propaganda are backed up with even more lies, fake news, misinformation, and propaganda. The political and psychological warfare constantly being waged seems to be gaining the upper hand over masses of people. Yet the Scriptures clearly pre-warned us of these days while at the same time offering hope whereby we can stand.

     When asked by His disciples about the timing of the end of the age, Jesus wasted no time by warning them, “take heed that no one deceives you” (see Matthew 24:4). Additionally, He cautioned, “if possible, even the elect” (see Mark 13:22), could fall prey.

     Deception comes from a Greek word that means to roam from safety, virtue or the truth and will seek to capture the entire world in unprecedented fashion as this age comes to an end. This deception will be so seductive and widespread that eventually it will be concluded, “all the world (world system) marveled and followed the beast” (see Revelation 13:3).

     Since the deceived do not know they are deceived, escaping deception requires that we continually examine our thoughts, beliefs and actions by the standard of God’s Word. Paul exhorts us to, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (see II Corinthians 13:5). Paul suggests, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (I Corinthians 11:31).

     The word translated judge means to separate thoroughly; to withdraw from; to oppose; to discriminate; to decide; and to hesitate. The wise will discriminate, decide, and separate themselves from that which is unholy and untrue. They will hesitate before accepting and believing anything they have not thoroughly tested.

     “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).

     “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).      
 

Raising the Standard

     Isaiah prophetically and accurately described these days by declaring, “truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (see Isaiah 59:14-15).

     Yet immediately following Isaiah’s prophecy we discover what God will do to counter what is taking place on the earth, “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore” (Isaiah 59:21).

     In the same context Isaiah reminds us how “when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (see Isaiah 59:19). This standard is God’s word (truth) being spoken from the mouths of His saints! Although truth may fail in the streets, it will continue to march on through His people from generation to generation.  

     The standard bearer for truth in the earth is further defined when the Apostle Paul later describes the church as, “the pillar and the ground (mainstay) of the truth” (see I Timothy 3:15).

     It’s not the government, or politicians, or the news media that possesses the God-ordained authority to represent and declare truth on the earth. Although we want our politicians and news media to speak truth, ultimately it is the church of the “living God” that has been granted this authority and responsibility. As Paul desperately wanted Timothy to understand his role in representing and defending truth on the earth, so the responsibility lies upon our shoulders to lift up the standard of truth in our generation.

[If we fail to make truth known in our generation we can be certain the enemies of truth will fill that void with lies from their father the devil, who Jesus defined as “a liar and the father of lies and of all that is false” (see John 8:44 Amplified).]

     The saying is true how without God we can’t and without us God won’t. God is sovereign and yet the church of each generation is responsible to represent, defend, and be valiant for the truth in their day.  
 

Valiant for the Truth

     Jeremiah recognized the lies and deceptions of his day and boldly declared “And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth” (see Jeremiah 9:3). Jeremiah acknowledged the need for those who knew the truth to rise up and defend that truth, thus countering the lies and deceptions. Likewise God, who uses ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary, is looking for standard bearers who will be valiant for the truth in the earth at a time when lies and deceptions abound. The question is how do we do that?

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we should be among those who continually hear the truth!

     When the Apostle Paul declared, “so then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), he was giving them a key to their receiving a saving faith necessary for salvation. He also gave them what would enable them to possess a sustaining faith necessary for their remaining free from any entanglement in the world. Just as it is necessary to hear God’s Word initially to receive salvation, so it is necessary we continue to hear God’s Word to walk in the freedom salvation brings. We will either have faith to believe what is true or faith to believe what is false. Wisdom declares, “But whoever listens to me (God), will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33). The same truth that sets us free keeps us free!  

     If we are to be valiant for the truth on the earth, we will be among those who consistently walk in truth!

     Scripture confirms, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II John 7). Though this warning applies to every generation, it is especially relevant for the church at the end of the age when the spirit of the Antichrist will become more of a captivating influence in the world. As the Psalmist desired, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth” (see Psalm 86:11).

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we must be among those who stand on the truth!

     Once during one of our family devotions when our children were young, I was trying to emphasize the necessity of their learning to stand on the truth (God’s Word). As we were finishing up my son, who was probably five, jumped up on the bed, stood on top of the Bible lying on the bed and shouted, “Like this daddy?” I responded with, “Yes just like that son,” and my prayer has been that he would never forget it.

     Eleazar, along with two other mighty men of David, fearlessly faced the entire Philistine army while all the others fled in terror. It is written of these men, “But they stationed themselves in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory” (I Chronicles 11:14).

     The Hebrew word “stationed” reveals how these took their stand in the face of great resistance. They refused to flee because of mere words spoken by those who did not know God. They had far more faith in God who was with them than the enemy who threatened them. Refusing to follow the crowd, these brave and valiant men took their stand on the truth and in their place in history.

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth requires we be among those who stand up for the truth!    

     It has been said, “if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything.” During the end of the age, many, including some possessing faith in Jesus, will be prone to believe lies strategically designed to lead people away from the truth. Paul warns the church to, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit (powerless unproved promises), according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).   

     In speaking to his generation and those that would follow, Peter says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies . . . and many will follow their destructive ways (see II Peter 2:1-2).  

     Standing on the truth in the privacy of our homes is necessary and honorable, but standing up for the truth before a hostile and angry world brings a deeper meaning to what it means to be valiant for the truth in the earth.

     The word valiant defines someone who is brave, courageous or heroic as well as those who overcome’ and are ‘victorious. One source defines the word as someone who is founded on the truth, a testimony every believer should share.

     Christian leaders throughout history were among those who led the way boldly and courageously standing against deceptions that had a stranglehold on individuals and nations. They rightfully saw themselves as pillars and standard bearers of the truth. These were called to walk the fine line of demonstrating God’s unrelenting love, while reproving the darkness of their hour (see Ephesians 5:2-11).

     Whether it’s the trickery and deceit surrounding the subject of climate change or the misinformation and fake news of the Russian collusion story, truth will eventually prevail against gross darkness regardless of the persuasive power behind it.

     Rick Joyner in his book, Breaking the Power of Evil, gives an example of being valiant for the truth by referring to a righteous army who will declare, “We are here to stand for truth and proclaim the gospel of His Kingdom to those who are caught in the shackles of evil and on the path to destruction. We need rest when it is given to us, but how can any soldier of the cross want to rest for a long time while there is yet even a single soul in bondage to the evil one? Every Christian is sent out as a knight of the kingdom, to slay dragons, fight for the poor and oppressed, and establish the domain of the King.”

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we will be those who know when to speak the truth!

   In writing about the seasons and purposes of God the wisest king who ever lived wrote about “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (see Ecclesiastes 3:7). While most of us could use a lesson in the first part of that verse we still must be aware of the importance of the last.

     During the years leading up to the Holocaust and the massive loss of life among the Jews, most of the world and sadly the church were strangely silent. There were those however that dared confront the evil of that day, most of which lost their lives. I wonder if at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will not only be judged for what we shouldn’t have said but did, but also for what we did not say when we had the opportunity to say it. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). However, truth kept secret sets no one free.

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth we will be among those who receive a deep and passionate love for the truth.

     Paul explains how there will be an “unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." He then writes what may be two of the most frightening verses in the Bible when he says, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).

     One of the greatest prayers we could ever pray for our children and this generation is that they might have a deep and profound love for the truth that they might be saved. 

     To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we must be among those who most of all, know the Truth!

     When standing before Pilate facing His eventual death, Jesus spoke how He had come to bear witness of the truth. Pilate then responded by asking, “What is truth?” (see John 18:38)

     Although caught up in the entanglement of the world’s lies, the overwhelming majority of people long to know the truth. God has placed a hunger within the heart of every man and woman to ask the same question Jesus was asked by Pilate.

     Knowing the truth is not about knowing all the right answers, the right people, the right formulas, or always knowing what to do but initially knowing the right person. Truth above all else is a person, the person of the Lord Jesus!

Now is the Time

     As in Jeremiah’s day, there are many that “like their bow have bent their tongues for lies” (see Jeremiah 9:3). The time has come for those called to be valiant for the truth on the earth to arise, raise the standard, and take their stand in the midst of the flood of some of the greatest deceptions ever introduced upon the earth.

     While there is time, we must align ourselves with truth, walk in it, love it, boldly proclaim it and when necessary defend it with our lives.

     Giving our lives up for the truth so others might live in His truth is a sacrifice that will never lose its reward. 

(Revised from the book, The Times to Come Have Come – Hope and Help in Troubled Times by David White)

 


David White has been in ministry for over thirty-five years and is currently the Lead Pastor of The Gathering Church in Moravian Falls, NC. He authored the book, The Times to Come Have Come—Hope and Help in Troubled Times which can be purchased from Amazon.com, and numerous booklets and articles. Part of MorningStar since the mid-nineties, David’s passion is to see another Great Awakening take place in America. He and his wife Shirley have two grown children and live near Moravian Falls.


 

Note the flag at the top of the mast that reads, "Appeal to Heaven."  This was our first national flag, and yet now prayer is banned in most public places.



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