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Lies Versus Truth

 

By Dr. Richard Ing

December 5, 2005


            We’re in the middle of Christmas season once more and it’s a time for fairy tales, pretences and lies.  Although the church has the duty to defend the truths that God gave us, most Christians would rather defend a bunch of lies instead. 

            When I preached that Christmas was not Jesus’ birthday and the early church never celebrated either Christ’s birth or resurrection, pastors in the Philippines got upset and argued with me for over an hour and a half.  But as Ptr. Isagere of Cavite said, they killed all the prophets in the Old Testament that came to deliver the Word of truth.  The truth is an embarrassment and inconvenience to the world.  To get along with others, it is easier to lie.          Christmas is an abomination to God.  It has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. It has everything to do with the worship of Tammuz (Eze. 8:14), the sun god of Babylon, who is born on December 25 of each year.  The famous Christian writer, Bishop Alexander Hislop, pointed out that the overwhelming majority of Bible scholars believe that Jesus was not born on December 25.

IT IS NOT A CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL

             The encyclopedia says that Christmas started with a pagan festival that honored the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) and celebrated the birthday of Tammuz.  Mistletoe came from the Druids and the Yule log came directly from the worship of Tammuz.  If you surf the net on your computer, you will find that witches claim Christmas to be their holiday, not Christianity‘s.

            The celebration of Christmas was copied by the Roman Catholic Church from pagan religions as they also incorporated pagan customs such as monks, nuns, monasteries, robes, habits, shaved heads, celibacy, prayer beads, use of candles, confession boxes, female goddess worship, chanting, meditation, penances, relics, elite priesthood, large church buildings, purgatory, many pagan observances and ceremonies, etc.  You cannot find any mention of these practices in the Bible, and of Christmas or Easter.  The famous historians, Eusebius and Philo, claim that for the first three hundred years, the church did not observe either the birth or resurrection of Jesus.  They lived and wrote their books around 275 to 300 A.D.

            Department stores in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, India and many non-Christian countries also celebrate Christmas with their trees, decorations, Santa Claus and Christmas carols.  Most in these countries have no idea who Jesus is.

 CHRISTMAS TREES

             Christmas trees are idols in the lives of countless Christians all over the world.  God warned us in Jeremiah 10:1-5 that trees cut out of the forest with an axe, stood upright in houses with nails and decked with silver and gold were the ways of the heathens (Babylonians) and not to be copied.  Yet, many Christians defend their trees on ground that they are cut with saws, not axes, and clamps, not nails, are used to stand them upright and anyway, they do not use real silver and gold.  Christians will say anything to defend the lie and disobey God.

FLIMSY JUSTIFICATIONS

            Many Christians claim that it doesn’t matter if it’s not Jesus’ birthday because it is a wonderful time of fellowshipping, love and gift-giving.  It is also the most depressing time of year and more suicides take place during Christmas season than at any other time of the year.  Many think that Christmas is a powerful tool to convert sinners.  But, it is a false assumption.  Only the true gospel of salvation (gospel of the cross) and the convicting power of the Holy Ghost can bring someone into the kingdom of God.  It is not good feelings among friends and the need to find love that brings people to Jesus.  It is genuine humility, conviction of sins, repentance and faith that saves.  Only the Holy Spirit can convict and save and only the Father calls people to Jesus, not Christmas.  While there may be a few who came to Jesus after being influenced by Christmas celebrations, it is the grace of God, not the occasion.  God can extend His grace at any time of the year.  Frankly, I don’t know any Christian that was converted because of Christmas.  While it may be true that Christmas can be one of the things that attract people to Christianity, it is also true that other false practices and pageantries can attract also, for the wrong reasons.

CHRISTMAS IS A BIG LIE

            There are only two kingdoms in the universe: the kingdom of truth and the kingdom of lies.  They are in direct opposition to the other.  It is not just a matter of lies versus truth.  It is a clash of kingdoms.  There is an evil spiritual power behind lies - the spirit of death and darkness. The kingdom of lies is ruled over by Satan, the father of lies.  Jn. 8:44.  Deception and lies are Satan’s weapons.

            There is also a spiritual power behind truth.  The Holy Spirit is the power of the godhead; but first and foremost, He is the Spirit of Truth.  Jn. 14:17; Jn. 16:13.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  You cannot separate the Way and the Life from the Truth.  They are one and the same.  Truth is the Way; Truth leads to Life.  Truth is a person; His name is Jesus Christ.

            There is no darkness or gray area in heaven - only the light of truth.  We are called children of light (Jn. 12:36) because the truth abides in us by the Holy Spirit of Truth.  Even as Christ is the light of the world, we are to be filled with light and truth.  God desires truth in our inward parts.  Ps. 51:6.  “What communion hath light with darkness?”  2 Co. 6:14b.

            When we were saved, it was because we became true and came to the light.  Jesus said in John 3:19-21,

                        And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  (underlining added)

            Men are not saved “. . . because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”  2 Th. 2:10b.  It is truth that joins us to God.  Lies join us with Satan.  The more truth in us, the more mature in the Spirit we become; the more lies we have in us, the closer we are to the kingdom of darkness.  To be sure, it is not the knowing of truth, the speaking truth or even the assent to truth that makes us true.  It is truth in the inward parts that compels us to walk in truth and be true.  Our love of God is really no greater than our love for the truth.  The truths of the faith are, and will continue to be worth living and dying for. 

            The church and each individual saint must be guardians of the truth.  Every lie must be rejected and never allowed to taint the truth.  Without the truth, or with only a watered down and diluted version of the truth, we are no longer God’s true church.  God is not interested in how large your congregation is or how many “Christians” there are in the world, as He is in how much truth is in His church.

THE CHURCH TODAY

            The church has suffered greatly from many false doctrines and practices.  We are being directly attacked by Satan’s kingdom of lies.  It is not just false doctrines such as Pre-tribulation Rapture, Lucifer, Christmas, Easter, Ecumenical Movement, etc.  The church itself has become false.

            Even our services have become expressions of man’s selfishness and desire for control.  We have become legalistic and stiff-necked.  Our services are a planned program with everything designed and led my men for man’s benefit, entertainment and blessings.  Our services have become “give me, bless me, admire me” programs.  We have cut Christ out of our services and substituted man’s version of worship in the flesh.  The Holy Spirit has as much liberty to direct our services as the janitor who closes the windows and doors when our services are over.  Good feelings have become more important than truth.  Entertainments and programs take precedence over repentance and humility.

            Instead of blessing and honoring God, we come as spectators expecting to be entertained and blessed.

A RACE TO PERFECTION

            As the apostle Paul said, we are in a race to perfection in Jesus Christ. 

1 Co. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:8-15.  There is a cloud of witnesses looking down on us and cheering us on into perfection.  Heb. 12:1.  As we mature in Christ, we become more true and our light increases until we become just like Jesus - Morning Stars in the world.  Rev. 2:28; Rev. 22:16.  It is not enough that we attend church every Sunday, put a few dollars in the offering plate and think that we are going to heaven.  The path and gate to eternal life is a very narrow one.  Presumption kills.  In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  These had power to cast out devils, prophesy and do wonderful works in Jesus’ name, but they did not know Jesus.  They lived the way they wanted and were not true to the Word or the Lord.  They presumed that they pleased God.  Be not deceived.  Spiritual gifts and power do not translate into spiritual maturity and the knowledge of God.

            The apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; ….”  When truth begins to reign in your heart and life, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27) will shine forth in the darkness of this world through you.  Maturity begins with truth and ends with all truth.

            It is God’s desire that we live in truth.  3 Jn. 2:4 says, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”  Ephesians 4:15a says, “. . . let our lives lovingly express  truth in all things – speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly.”

            The truth must be the whole truth or it is a lie.  Truth must be lived or it will cease to be truth.  To walk truth is to walk in and by the Spirit of Truth.  Walking in the Spirit will mean speaking and thinking truly.  That’s what it means to walk in truth.  We need to consider pretense and guile to be sin as well.  Our very lives depend on it; for a life that is not true is not life.  Our false appearances, facades, pretences, acts, are killing us and preventing us from knowing God.  Speaking the truth must penetrate to the deepest recesses of our souls.  Hypocrisy is not merely an outer shell or mask over the surface of things, but an inner force intermixed with the whole substance of a life.  If I am not living truly, my speaking truths makes my condition worse, not better, because it hides the corruption beneath the surface until finally my words and doctrines themselves are corrupted from within and are transfigured into lies.

            If we are indifferent or resistant toward truth, it is not only truth that we will lack but everything that the Spirit of Truth was intended to convey.   Christmas and Easter (Babylonian festival of Ishtar, the goddess of fertility and witchcraft whose signs are colored eggs and hot-cross buns) are only the shadow and the symptom of a deeper sickness in the church.  It is the love of lies and resistance to truth that keeps the devil in the church and the saints from becoming real.

            As I shared a long time ago, I was praying one morning and asking God what was wrong with the church.  I suddenly had a vision of the yellow pages of a phone directory.  I saw a right forefinger point to the word at the upper right hand corner of the page.  I said, “APPEARANCES.”  Our false appearances, facades, pretenses, make-believe and imaginations, and lies are killing us!  They cover up a lack of holiness, spiritual maturity and knowledge of God.  God help us!

Note:  This writer drew many of his ideas and thoughts from The Spirit of Truth, written by Arthur Katz and Paul Volk.


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