Truth should be our greatest pursuit and highest standard. The knowledge of the truth in every field of study, in applications of life, is that which has or would instruct us in all things, including history, communications, educations, industries and technologies, but more importantly in relationships with man and God, revealing falsehoods, lies and deception, and what is pure reality and eternal.
After speaking briefing on three partitions of time, this article will offer a few definitions, and then speak on the differences and importance of Clarity and Truth.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians and to us. Amidst speaking on love and saying that out of the vitally important characteristics of faith, hope and love – “the greatest of these is love” – Paul writes, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away… now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully (1 Cor. 13:12).” Some translations say, “for now we see through a glass (squinting in a fog), darkly (through a mist in partial darkness); but when the time of perfection comes (when we are with God and Christ in Heaven) we will see face to face.”
Old Testament (Before Christ)
About 10 generations after God created mankind, the human population had greatly increased. And with that increase came much sin. “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become and that the inclinations of the thoughts of the human heart were towards evil all the time. The Lord regretted that He made human beings… (though) Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a righteous man… and he walked faithfully with God… (Genesis chapter 6).” So due to man’s wickedness “floodwaters came on the earth,” such that only “Noah and his sons and his wife and his son’s wives” survived on the Noah (Gen. 7).
Ten generations later, mankind had increased and migrated in Mesopotamia. And the Lord called Abraham to become the father of nations. First by the flesh and then miracle, Abraham had Ishmael with Hagar his wife’s servant, and Isaac with his wife Sarah (Gen. chap. 16, 17, 21). Isaac had Jacob, who the Lord called Israel. Jacob had twelve sons, including Levi and Judah, from whom came priests and kings. Over 3,700 years ago, seven generations [Abraham – Isaac – Jacob (Israel) – Levi – Kohath – Amram – Moses] from the promise to Abraham by God (Gen. 12:2; 17:8 – ‘land of Canaan’), “I will greatly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars… your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies… in your offspring shall all the nations be blessed… (Gen. 12:2; 22:17-),” came the Law and Commandments of God through Moses.
Through Abraham – Isaac – Jacob – Judah – came “the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David and, the son of Abraham… fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David (Abraham – Isaac – Jacob (Israel) – Judah – Perez – Hezron – Ram – Amminadab – Nahshon – Salmon – Boaz – Obed – Jesse – David), fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 1).”
So from Adam, the first man, to Jesus Christ was about 3,760 years according to the Jewish calendar and Hebrew Bible. During this period, humans were “without excuse” for their sins because we are given a conscience, and to many the Lord God sent prophets, and “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen (Romans 1:20).”
Thus, when Stephen was being persecuted, just before being killed, he gave his countrymen a history lesson with hard truths, especially how God sent prophets and the people would not listen. Then he said, “you stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit, as your ancestors did, so do you… who received the law as ordained by angels, but have not obeyed it… (Acts 7:51-53).” And to the Hebrews, likely through Paul, it was said, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the universe (Heb. 1:1-2).”
In the Fullness of time God sent Jesus the Messiah
The apostle Paul said, “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive (Gal. 4:4)” salvation. For “the Lord is patient and longsuffering to us (mankind), not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance… (2 Peter 3:9).” Thus, because “God so loved the world (mankind), He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life… this is the judgment, that the Light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved the darkness (pleasures, sin, etc.) rather than Light, because their deeds were evil… everyone that does evil hates the Light… but everyone who practices the truth comes to the Light… (John 3:16-21).”
Now, the gospel of Jesus Christ in great part is that Jesus, the Son of God, was killed on a cross (crucified), and that His precious blood was a sacrifice for our sins (Exodus 12 – Passover was a type). And after the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to the witnesses and ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit would be sent those who received His Word. Jesus said, “if you love Me, keep My commandments… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things… (John 14:25).”
It is beyond this article to speak on the myriad of things needed to educate the novice and expert on the history and doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. Suffice it to say at this point that since about 29 AD, Jesus Christ has spoke to mankind through the Holy Word of God and His Spirit, through His disciples and their disciples and so on who spread throughout the world. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, bore witness that “Christians” were throughout parts of the Roman Empire. And we have tens of thousands of pages of writings and accounts of the early church fathers (1st century AD – 4th century) – such as from Clement (disciple of Paul), Polycarp (disciple of John), Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyprian, Augustine, and Eusebius. Though there are differences in interpretations of doctrines, there is no difference in where to find the truth – in the Bible – the Holy Scriptures.
The prophets Daniel, John and Jesus said, “…There will be a time of troubles (wars, etc.) such as has not happened from the beginning of nations… immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light… the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels… and He will thrust the sickle and reap… for the time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice. Like the voice of an archangel, like a loud trumpet… and those who sleep (the dead) in the dust of the earth will awake to the Judgment… we will ALL stand before God’s judgment seat and each of us will give an account of ourselves to God… those who have done what is good to everlasting life and those that continued in evil will be ashamed and receive everlasting contempt… So it will be at the end of the age (world): the angels shall come and reap out the wicked and throw them into that place of weeping and gnashing of teeth… We (in Christ) at the last trumpet and the Last Day will be changed and the dead (in Christ) will be raised imperishable… (Daniel 12:1-2; Eccl: 12:13-14; Matthew 13:49-50, 24:29-31; John 5:29; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 11:15, 14:15)
Clarity: quality of being coherent and intelligible. Clearness, comprehensible; the quality of being certain or definite… transparent or pure; being easy to see or hear.
Truth: state of being true; gospel; characterized by good faith; correct; right; a fact; a reality.
What is Reality?
There is truth. That which is the pure fact of the matter. And there is the understanding and knowledge (Latin: Scientia – science) of man. And often it is truth. But there are also perceptions by humans that they believe to be true; however, often humans think they are understanding and knowing with certain or clarity, but in reality, they are seeing through a clouded filter, or worse – they are deceived.
Thus, Paul says, “Beware lest any man deceives you through philosophy and vain deceit, following the tradition of men according to the ways of the world, and not in accordance with Christ (Col. 2:8).”
In John Calvin’s Institutes, he wrote, “Seeing, that the folly of some wicked people has risen so high… it seemed to me necessary to make this book serve …for instruction… The secrets of His (God’s) will which He thought good to communicate to us He has witnessed to us in His word…” Calvin spent years writing this work and his commentaries, but he reminded us in that same work that, ”God’s word is the unique way to lead us to seek all that it is lawful for us to know about Him, and the only light to illumine us to contemplate all that is lawful to see about Him, that will easily hold us in check and make us withdraw from all rashness. For we know that when we go beyond the limits of scripture we walk outside the path and in darkness, and that is the reason we cannot do so without erring, stumbling, and bumping into things at every step…”
Noble men like Calvin and Luther made great efforts to reach and teach mankind, but both would say the Scriptures are clear and pure with truth, but men make mistakes – so take care compare what is taught as the Truth. And understand that Luther and Calvin had their disagreements, but not in the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and only salvation of man; and that the Scriptures are pure and contain life.
Anyone who has bought expensive diamonds knows that they are classed in part by their clarity. From those with Inclusions that are easy to detect by the eye, and those with very small inclusions that look pure or to be clear by most humans without the aid of magnification (VS1/2). Then there are some that look pure even under a 10x magnification, but in reality, they have extremely small inclusions (VVS1/2). Finally, there is that which is said to be flawless and have no imperfections (FL).
In truth, without the aid of the Holy Spirit and the word of God, most people follow the broad path full of deceptions, sin and inclusions in teachings and doctrines and theories and practices and beliefs of mankind. Most stray from confronting the truth on sin, repentance and the judgment to come.