The truth is the truth because it is the truth. We either serve the truth and allow it to guide us and wash us from what is not true and turning us from darkness to light or we run around like blind fools. The gospel is the same. Once we see where the truth resides, which resides in the very Person of Jesus Christ who is the Truth of all Truths Personified, then as servants we have no choice but to allow the truth of this very Person to teach us all that is true. There is no where else to go! Jesus Christ is the ground of all that is true! It took me many years to come to this all-important realisation. When we declare the reality of Jesus Christ as of the same being with the Father as He has declared Himself, I and the Father are ONE (John 10.30) it implies we are one with Jesus Christ and in His oneness we are one with the Father. This point has to be pressed home with all the force necessary to make it abundantly clear the utterly staggering reality of the Word who was in the beginning, who was with God and who was God is the one who is the Source and the Cause of all things, by whom all things were created and in Him all things consist. The fingerprint of Christ is all over and throughout the universe. More importantly, Jesus Christ has set up our humanity to be His living temple. The very truth of the Gospel begins with Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Spirit reside in us. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand (John 10.27-29). We are held in the eternal bond of love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and they will never, ever let us go.
The truth of the gospel is omnidirectional. It begins in Jesus Christ and radiates outward just as our sun radiates its light and heat outwards. No one can monopolise the sun, take control of it and deliver it as something different to what it already is. Our role as His disciples is not to hide away anything of Jesus Christ behind the church walls. Jesus Christ cannot be contained behind lofty academic communities, or within the so called leadership structures of denominations or their statements of belief. If we cannot explain the gospel to a 7 year old child in a way they easily understand, then we probably do not understand it ourselves.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John the Baptist ask us to behold Him. When we do behold Him as God of very God, do we walk with Him and He in us as the One who has taken away the sin of the world? Or do we scurry around our Bible looking for a disclaimer to undermine this passage? Either this passage is true and we live by it, (especially if one believes in the so-called inerrancy of scripture), or we cherry pick scriptures, as do the heretics, so that we can have some right to have power over the people we preach to. What we have here is a power-base struggle. For as long as we go on about sin and try and shame people to believe the evangelical line that we must change our mind about it, the more we look like the power hungry Gentiles Jesus warned His disciples about;
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.
This has been a constant problem for the church since its very beginning and it has become rampant today. Generally speaking, we have a Gentile structure within most churches where it is expected congregations are to fall into line with the pastors. I am often challenged by pastors who are confused about the style of leadership I aspire to. Generally, it is expected of me that I serve pastors. They would be happier if I serve them and this is what they try to sell to me. I tell them I serve Jesus Christ, not pastors. If I find a pastor to serve exhibiting the very same qualities, nature and character of Jesus Christ, then I would only be too happy to serve them. In this country, I have not found one. In this country, I have found too many pastors who have been burned out by the enormous expectations placed on them. I have also found too many people who have been hurt in varying degrees by pastors. I too have been hurt by pastors and as I have been bitten hard, I am doubly twice shy. Be warned: When I disclose this to pastors they use this line—I am sorry this has happened to you but I am not like that. Nevertheless, by pressing on this point, sooner or later they start to defend the Gentile structure of the organisation which they serve of which I do not want to be a part. I have learnt that I have been given a new wineskin. The traditional mainstream institutional structure are old wineskins. The old has to be discarded and the new has to be tried out and tested. If we try to put the two together, the old wineskin will impair the new.
The style and structure of most mainstream evangelical churches follow the very same patterns of the Gentile Arians in the ancient church. Their theologies (or rather mythologies) were structured in a way that would serve the political interests and benefit those in power. Depending on the sect, the authority of Jesus Christ was undermined by placing either limitations on His divinity or taking away His divinity altogether. The all-important reference point of Jesus Christ as the only rule of faith regarding all the ways and works of God was watered down. This allowed the power of ordinary men to have a greater say in matters of the church. By adopting the power structures of the Gentiles into their churches, the Arians were able to take advantage of the prestige, power and wealth that would come with aligning with the Gentile rulers. These rulers had the military resources on their side that could be used to place political pressure on the constituents who would not fall into line. This caused enormous problems for the ancient church, especially leading up to the Nicene period in the fourth century. Even after the council of Nicaea in 325AD, many Christians who opposed the Arians were dealt with cruelly and also as a warning to those who would oppose those in power that had aligned themselves with the Arians.
It is the Arian political structure that has held fast in the mainstream church today. Jesus Christ’s significance as God who came to us as a human being varies from denomination and even from church to church. Without Jesus Christ as the rule for all the ways and works of God, when it comes to any crisis or dispute in any congregation, it is often the will of those who exercise power over those who often have little or no power that have the final say. An appeal to the truth, at best, is near impossible when Jesus Christ’s power to disclose the truth is either watered down to suit the power structures of the church or taken away all-together. If the church has the, “my way or the highway” approach to resolving all matters concerning the running of the church, then there is no real security for the parishioners just like the Gentiles who lord it over them. But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.
The way to truth lies in Jesus Christ alone. He is one with the Father. All that the Father has belongs to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit takes from Jesus Christ and makes it known to us. How so? The Spirit of Christ resides in us. As a result of the work of Jesus Christ He restructured our internal way of knowing Him, putting it back where it ought to be so that we can intuitively know His truth. That is, we can truly know for ourselves directly from Jesus Christ, who is the only True Priest of every single human being, especially those who believe. There is no one person who can act like a conduit for others to the truth of God. Only Jesus Christ can do this. When we begin to learn to understand and feel the truth directly from Christ within us, then we each learn to be able to discern the truth from those who claim to have authority such as leaders in churches. Those with authority have the ability to uncover the reality of Christ in us and give us the means to be able to become fishers of all people and likewise teaching others how to be fishers of all people. We begin to recognise authority because we hear the voice of Christ in us is ringing true with those who speak the voice of Christ to us. We find more and more we begin to say the same thing because ultimately this is what is being said from Christ from within the depths of our being.
Jesus Christ is at the centre of the knowledge of the Father. When we make Jesus the centre in us, then the knowledge of the Father is also centred in us. The Spirit of Christ makes this reality alive in us. In this way, we really begin to experience life that cannot be sought anywhere else. When the gospel is preached from this centre, it resonates with those who hear it. It is not heard because someone has been given authority by the denomination such as through ordination etc. It is heard because what is said is the very same as what the Apostles taught, which is the same voice as Jesus speaks by His Spirit within us. By grace, we have been given the ability to discern intuitively whether or not what we hear is the truth. It is this truth for those who are weary and burdened seeking rest. It is this truth that desires we learn from the Source of all Truth, Jesus Christ. For He is gentle and humble in heart giving us the rest for our souls we so desperately need. It is a burden that is easy to carry because it is so light.
We live by the truth. The Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ. The truth begins with this Person and we build our lives upon Him as the foundation for all things. He has made us living temples in which He dwells within with the Father and the Spirit. The Truth begins here from within. Jesus Christ is the reference point where anything that is ever said about God must conform to what He has disclosed throughout His life in His Person and work. If something does not make sense with the disclosed reality of Jesus Christ, then it more than likely has no place in Christian knowledge.
When James Clark-Maxwell, following on from Michael Faraday, presented his theory of the electromagnetic field he allowed the electric field, the magnetic field and light to tell him the truth held from within. This was in contrast to the scientific world at large who held mythological ideas about physics that had very little or no connection to the inner truths of the physical world. James held to what he intuitively knew to be true and suffered much ridicule as a result. As more and more people started to take into consideration the work of James Clark-Maxwell, progress was made. Beginning with the truth he discovered, more truths were discovered especially when Albert Einstein came across his work. With Maxwell’s foundation, Einstein developed his relative theories that changed the world forever and set it on a technological revolution. The characteristics of electricity, both AC and DC, and magnetism and light could be harnessed and utilised in many areas. Over time, new truths were discovered in this particular field without compromising what Maxwell original laid down in the 1870’s. The most notable consequence of his work today is the smart phone where electricity, magnetism and light are incorporated to bring into our hands instant communication from all over the world. We are currently on the cusp of quantum computing that will make the most powerful computers we have today look like Commodore 64’s by comparison. By adhering to the rules of the physical world, the revolution in technology has exploded at breathtaking speed.
The gospel is much the same. If our theology adheres to rules governed by the Person and work of Jesus Christ as testified by the whole scope of Scripture, then the potential to see a move of the Spirit unlike ever seen before will turn into a reality. What we endeavour to learn from Jesus Christ and pass onto others must be within what He has disclosed in regard to the inner truths of who God is in His inner Being. In addition, because God has made Himself Man, and resides at the Father’s right hand after His Incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension, we are no longer able to look at anyone or anything except through the new creation in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has made God within the reach of our intellectual human capacities on a person to person level from deep within every single person’s being.
The message of the gospel must adhere to the rules of who Jesus Christ claims Himself to be and what is testified about Him throughout the whole scope of Scripture. God is One Being, Three Persons who mutually indwell and have such intimacy that is beyond what we could ever conceive. There is only one doorway into the knowledge of God. There is only one Person who knows the Father to the very deepest depths of His Being. All that the Father has in Himself has been given to Jesus Christ. All that Jesus Christ has concerning the very depths of the Father’s Being has been taken by the Holy Spirit and placed into the very depths of our being. All the knowledge of God we will ever need to know has been placed firstly within the depths of our being providing the foundation for how we interpret Scripture. This absolutely delights God that His nature, character and disposition of love and grace actually is able to touch us even at the very messy depths of our humanity. This is where the truth begins. We read scripture and allow only those who can bring this to life to teach us to live by this ever so gentle Spirit of God.