The very first sin committed on earth was a result of believing the devil’s lie in preference to accepting God’s truth. God had told Adam and Eve that eating of the forbidden fruit would bring death, but the serpent contradicted God, and with his smooth, deceptive words beguiled the woman, and she fell into his snare. Soon Adam was also involved into Satan’s trap, and this brought death and all of its sorrows into the world. Genesis 3:17. No human tongue or pen could accurately portray the awful results of this foolish and senseless deed… “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men for all have sinned.”—Romans 5:12. Since that time the conflict between truth and error has never ceased.
Jesus taught that Satan was “the father of lies.” “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it”—John 8:44. Every untruth that has degraded a character and deceived a trusting heart has Satan back of it. He has only one purpose that actuates him; that is to humiliate God and destroy man. His deceptive and evil work never ends; but the saddest thing to consider in connection with the devil’s work is the fact that his lies are seldom coarse or crude. He is a polished liar! Paul said that Satan has the power to transform himself into an angel of light, and his ministers are transformed into ministers of righteousness—II Corinthians 11:14, 15. This is why Paul realized the wisdom of always being aware of Satan’s “devices”—II Corinthians 2:11. Only a knowledge of Satan’s devices can protect one against error. A mind that is held in the thralldom of deception can never know the wonderful joys of freedom, or have the full assurance of faith. Besides all this, we need to face the stern fact that no error can ever lead a soul into salvation. Jesus once declared. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”—John 8:32, and in so stating he revealed the only power that can free man from the bondage of sin and Satan. How important it is that all men should recognize and understand this truth. The way to freedom and salvation is the way of truth.
But just here we are confronted with another question. When Jesus stood before Pilate, he stated that he came into the world to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate rather contemptuously asked, “What is truth?” In John 17:17 Jesus gives us the clear answer. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” We have in the New Testament the revealed will of God, which “is able to make one wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”—II Timothy 3:15. Paul declares that “God cannot lie” (Titus 1:2) which being true, we must accept his word as absolute truth. Anything that is diverse from or contradicts God’s word, must be rejected as falsehood. Hence, it follows that if man would be saved, he is saved by acceptance of the truth of God’s word. Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my word, hath one that judgeth him; and the word which I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”—John 12:48. This makes it imperative that man should diligently study the word of God to know what the Lord requires of him. He who truly values his immortal soul, will be satisfied with nothing less than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Paul speaks of many who shall perish “because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.”—II Thessalonians 2:10. Love for the truth must exist in the heart, before the heart will search for truth. Therefore, if one is concerned as to his eternal future, nothing but the truth will satisfy him; and he will go to the sole source of religious truth to ascertain what the divine Father requires of him.
Life is short, and death is certain, heaven will be beautiful and hell terrible. God loves man while Satan hates and despises him, ever seeking his destruction. The above indisputable facts should provide the motive to arouse man to desire to know the truth. No one will arrive at heaven’s gate by accident or chance. Jesus said to the Jews, “ye shall die in your sins, and whither I go, ye cannot come”—John 8:21. The greatest quest a man can make is the quest for a knowledge of God’s purposes for him; and, therefore, there should not be the slightest hesitation in putting his belief to a test to learn if he is building on the rock or on the shifting, unstable sand. When the deeply religious, but greatly deceived Saul of Tarsus, met the Lord on the Damascus road, the earnest, passionate prayer that came from his humbled, penitent heart was, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do”—Acts 9:6, and that same prayer should arise from every sincere heart who truly wishes to serve God in humble reverence and godly fear. Saul followed his conscience and it led him to become “the chief of sinners”—I Timothy 1:15, others followed their conscience and it led them to become murderers of God’s servants—John 16:2. There is only one source of knowledge of the divine will—the word of God; and in it God speaks to every heart revealing the way to heaven. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”—Matthew 7:21. The eternal safety of every eternity bound soul depends on its humble, sincere effort to learn the truth and then to obey the truth in all of its divine requirement.
Christ predicted that false prophets and false Christ’s would arise whose power of deception would be so great that even the very elect would be in danger—Matthew 24:24. Peter said that as there had been false prophets among the people, even so there would be false teachers who would bring in damnable heresies—II Peter 2:1; and in view of these inspired declarations, how important it is that we all diligently study God’s word lest we be led away by our own destruction. We earnestly urge upon all of our readers the necessity of learning God’s revealed will that we might “be wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”—II Timothy 3:15.
~ Roy Loney