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Truth (Part 2)

Last month we considered truth as opposed to what is false. We must now look at it as the substance of that projected in the revelation of God by types and shadows. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews refers to the law as "having a shadow of the good things to come" (10:1). These good things are, undoubtedly, associated with the coming and manifestation of Christ. In and through Him we have substance and reality.

In the past God raised up His servant Moses and used him to convey to His people that which was to be the basis of their collective existence and to be their constitution as a nation. What God gave was the law of the Lord. It originated in the mind of the Lord, though at times it was designated the law of Moses. He was the instrument used by God.

At the beginning of the present dispensation God raised up servants through whom He could convey what was to be the basis of the collective existence and the constitution of His holy nation in this period. That which He gave was the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. It originated in the mind of the Lord, though at times it was described as the teaching of the apostles, "the foundation of the apostles and prophets." They were the instruments used for its promulgation.

The law given through Moses is in divine revelation equated with the word of God, and in light of the inseparable relationship between God and His word we have in the final analysis that God Himself was the spiritual Foundation of the Israel nation.

Similarly, the Faith, that is, the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, is equated with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to Timothy, "If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up (1 Tim. 6:3, 4). We have already observed that the words of Christ are identified as the word of God and we conclude that Jesus Christ Himself is the spiritual Foundation of God's New Testament nation. Paul said to the Corinthians, "Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 3:11). This statement is in agreement with what Peter wrote,"... unto whom coming, a living Stone... ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house... because it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner Stone, elect, precious (1 Pet. 2:4-6). As the sides of a building may converge into a large corner stone to find true alignment, coherence and fixity so the teaching of the apostles and prophets found true alignment and coherence in Christ the Lord. In their teaching Christ had pre-eminence and control. The Stone laid in Zion was the Foundation and corner Stone of God's spiritual house.

To Timothy Paul wrote, "These things write I unto thee... that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15). Each church of God is God's building in the locality where it is established (See I Cor. 3:9). The aggregate of these buildings constitutes the house of God. All that is true of the larger unit is true of the local expression of it. The house of God is presented in divine purpose as the pillar and ground of the truth. In Dr. Marshall's Interlinear New Testament we see that in the Greek there is no word "the" before "house", "church", "God", "pillar and ground." But there is "the" before "truth." The church in Ephesus, like every other church of God, was characteristically the house of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, but each church was to shoulder responsibility for the maintenance, practice and proclamation of the whole truth of God, that is, the Faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.

An analysis of the Truth will show that it has many aspects. For several centuries prior to what is referred to historically as The Reformation many features of divine truth were lost, buried in human tradition and philosophy. Gradually exercised and enlightened minds began to recover precious truths. Many of these truths have received reverential and lucid exposition in oral and written ministry. We think of such truths as the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the Deity of Christ, justification by faith, redemption through the sacrifice of Christ, the Church, the Body and the rapture of the Church at the coming of Christ. These and other truths have been clearly understood and taught by many children of God.

But we submit that there are other important areas of the Truth which have not received adequate attention. These contain truth concerning God's purpose in relation to divine Testimony in its collective, conditional expression. We hope to deal with these next month.