The following is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.
“But if our gospel [good news] be hid, it is hid to them are lost [perishing]. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
Right now as you read this, there is a war raging over the Truth. What is truth, and where does it reside? Truth resides on a higher realm; the realm of the Spirit. You and I carry the Truth, (the Word of God) to the world at large.
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 NIV. And so the battle begins…
The adversary is doing everything that he can to keep people blinded to the truth that is right before their eyes.
When a person is physically blind and in constant darkness, you could put a flashlight right in their face but they cannot see the light. That is the same with people who reject the Gospel: the truth and light of Jesus can be shining brightly, right before their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:6), but still they will not see it. That’s because satan – the god of this world – has blinded them to the Truth. His mission is to keep as many people as he can blinded to the truth of Jesus for as long as he can.
How does satan blind people’s minds from seeing the glorious light of the gospel that shines in the face of Jesus? He blinds their minds with lies and deception. I like to say it this way: ’Jesus is hiding in plain sight.’ He is not hiding himself, but He is being hidden to those who give heed to everything else but Him.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV), “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.”
Even some of the faithful will be drawn away by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, so think about how strong the pull by those forces is on those who don’t know Jesus at all. The devil has a storehouse of lies that he pulls from in order to deceive and manipulate people, and yes, sometimes even the very elect (Matthew 24:24) will fall prey to his tactics; which is why we must stand fast in the faith. Taking a position of passivity where the truth of God’s Word is concerned is what I believe will leave many prey to the deceit of the enemy.
Some of these lies actually lie in the ‘isms’ of world religions: Islam, Shintoism, Confucianism, the list goes on and on. The cults, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormonism, and many other world religions, are all “doctrines of devils.”
As the “father of lies” (John 8:44), satan uses these lies to blind the minds of people so they cannot see the truth that comes to us through Jesus. The truth is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by Him. (John 14:6)
Either Jesus was telling the truth or Jesus was a liar. But we know that He was the truth in bodily form, and there is no in-between. There are no shortcuts to truth. I know that we are being conditioned to take the shortcuts instead of the scenic route, but we must be careful not to adopt a secular mindset when it comes to the things of God.
Well, what do we do? How do we combat these lies? We use our weapons to fight!
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge (or the truth) of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
What are our mighty weapons? It’s the Bible… It’s the B-I-B-L-E…it’s the Word of God. It’s the anointing of the Holy Ghost, the name of and the blood of Jesus. Those weapons are enough to defeat any lie, deceit, stronghold, bondage or sickness. Those lies that have blinded the minds of people are no match for the weapons that Jesus secured for us. We can give the truth to those who are blinded and they will see the light and understand the truth of the Word of God. There is hope in this fight.
Yes, millions, even billions of people are being deceived, and that battle is right in our backyard. But you and I are going to win the battle for truth in four distinct areas:
1. WE MUST KNOW THE TRUTH.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
We must have an experiential knowledge of the truth; not just an intellectual knowledge, but a revelational knowledge of the truth in your heart. This can’t be truth that only gives mental assent to what is read; it has to be truth that is rooted in your experience and faith in a truth that is beyond your comprehension. This truth is embedded in your heart and it provokes you to action.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall produce a result in your life. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, because once you truly know something, you can’t be bound by what is not truth. Once you know that Jesus is a healer, you can’t be bound by sickness.
For whatever is true about your healing, that will bring healing to you. Whatever is true about your money, that will bring finances to you. Whatever is true about any bondage in your life or addiction according to the Word of God, when you know that truth by revelation, it’ll free you from it.
“You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
But we must first know it. But we won’t know it unless we do what Jesus said: “You must continue in my Word” (John 8:31). Continue to learn it. Continue to meditate on it. Continue to hear it from the Holy Spirit and through your five-fold ministry leaders. Listen to your apostle. Listen to your pastor. Listen to your Bible teachers, your elders, your deacons. Pay attention to them. If you are in a Bible-believing church, what the leaders have to say will reveal truth to you.
Proverbs 4:20 says, “My son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life [shout life!] unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Isn’t that exciting? All the life and health you need is right here in this Bible.
2. WE MUST LOVE THE TRUTH.
I believe if you truly know the truth, you are going to love the truth.
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
These verses teach us that because people did not receive a love of the truth that God allowed them to be deceived, deluded and to believe a lie, because they didn’t love the truth when they heard it.
If you love the truth, you’re going to grab hold of it. You’re going to embrace it. You are going to pull it to you. You won’t let it just go in one ear and out the other. You won’t just allow it go by. When you hear the truth, and you love the truth, you will embrace the truth.
You’re going to have to know what you believe. You’re going to have to love it enough to do the next thing here to win the battle for truth, you must defend the truth.
3. WE MUST DEFEND THE TRUTH.
We’ve discussed the fact that you have to know the truth, and that you have to love the truth of the Word of God. But now you have be prepared to defend the truth.
“Beloved, when I give all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it is needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3
We are to assert a position of faith and strive in opposition against any position that seeks to dispute the truth of God’s Word. We are to vie for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. You have to contend for it. You must stand up for it. We must defend the truth of God’s Word. You and I are the only ones that can do it. And I have news for you…we must do it together in the wisdom of God. We must have the wisdom of God to get His strategy regarding what to do and what to say. Timing is a key element in strategy. God may have you, like Daniel, learn the Babylonian system, but also remain true to your God. Being there outside of a class or after work for the other students or co-workers to discuss “truth” could be God’s strategy for reaching people who have honest questions. Many have been brought to “the truth” when they hear irrational statements made by teachers or professors, and seek out someone else in the class who may know “the truth.”
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel .” (Philippians 1:27 NKJV – emphasis mine)
Get into reforming the laws of our society. Get involved with politics. Get out there and help win the battle. We need people who will do that. If we don’t do it, who will do it? The whole world will go to darkness. You are the light of the world, I am the light of the world. Jesus said to work while it’s day.
”I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5
That is the key there….while you are in this world, you are the light of the world. Because one of these days your light is going to go out. You are going to leave this world. The Bible says, “While it’s day we work.” What makes daytime the time to work? Because there is light. When the light goes out it’s nighttime. No man can work when it’s nighttime, the Bible says.
As long as you are in the world and I am in the world, it’s light right now. It’s daytime. We have to work to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am excited when I get the opportunity to resist the falsehoods surrounding Jesus, which gives me an open door to speak the truth of the Word of God. I fight to keep the truth of the Gospel from being taken away for the unbeliever. It’s not my desire that any would perish, so I work hard to keep that truth in the earth by speaking and writing in support of the doctrines of Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but while I’m alive, I will be working. I will avail myself to His Word (truth). I am going to love the Word (truth). And I am going to defend the Word (truth) that will free men from their sin. We were made to defend the truth of the Word of God. This is our Christian responsibility.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
4. WE MUST SPEAK THE TRUTH.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
We must speak the truth. There is such a spirit of intimidation against us as Christians in the world today. People say that we are intolerant because we come out and say that there is such a thing as moral absolutes.
The biggest thing that caused the Roman government and the religious people to be against Jesus and to crucify Him was because He said that there were moral absolutes.
Moral Absolutism is defined as the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.
Jesus makes a statement in John 14:6 that sends the whole earth in a tailspin. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Since Jesus is the way, it makes all other ways obsolete and without relevance. In other words, “…there is only one way to get to the Father, and that way is narrow and without options. It’s a singular pursuit.”
Today, we have religious pluralism and diversity. When you stand up and say that there is only one way to God, people say, “No, that’s intolerance of everybody else’s belief.” That’s when we must remember that we are here on earth to defend or contend for the faith. We are not going to be loved in this world. Jesus has already told us that we are going to be, “…hated by all men for my sake.” (Matthew 10:22)
The current presentation in defense of this type of thinking is that there is truth in every religion. There is a little truth in every religion. But know this, Jesus didn’t say that He was some truth. He didn’t say that He was made up of truth. He didn’t indicate on any level that He was a piece of this and a part of that. No, He was very clear…”I am THE Truth.”
The word, ‘the’ is absolute, singular, directive to the final of a subject. Jesus is ‘the’ truth. In other words, truth starts and ends with Jesus.
The trouble in our society is that it has tolerated everything under the sun, and even though many leaders know that this depraved thinking has gone too far, they lack the ability to speak the truth. But you and I have not only a responsibility but a command from God himself to speak the truth, albeit in love.
You have to know that when you take a stand that doesn’t agree with the prevailing motto: “If it works for them, who are you to say, that it’s not right?” When you stand up and say, “That’s not the way. There is only one way,” you are going to be labeled a religious bigot. It will be said that you are intolerant and you don’t have love for others. The reality is that my love for others is what motivates me to give them the truth.
Like I said, there is great intimidation against God’s people to speak the truth today. When you stand up for a moral absolute in a world of relativism, where they say there are no absolutes, then you become a person that is looked at as a problem. For example, at your job, if you say that marriage should be between one man and one woman, then you become known as a religious hate-monger.
We cannot run from it. We cannot hide from it. We are in a battle for truth. It’s a battle and it’s a battle that we can win! God is on our side, Hallelujah!
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
We can win this battle. But we must be in the fight. You can’t win a battle that you’re not in.