“WHAT IS TRUTH?” This was Pilate’s question to Jesus when he appeared before that Roman governor in the judgment hall. (John 18:38) It was a bewildering trial, but our Lord was perfectly calm. He had said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world” (vs. 36)—not a kingdom of the present order, or arrangement—and he proceeded to call Pilate’s attention to the fact that his followers were not fighting for him, not seeking to establish his kingdom authority by force. If his kingdom were thus to be established, he would never have permitted himself to have been left at the mercy of his enemies. His kingdom was “not from hence,” was not yet due to come into power.

Pilate evidently understood, and asked, “Art thou a king then?” Do I understand you to mean that you are to be a king, but have not yet attained that position? Are you to reign in the distant future?

Jesus then indicated that he came into the world for the very purpose of being a king; that all his testimony was in line with this great truth. Everyone who is honest and sincere, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” (vs. 37) Jesus also implied that others, the majority, do not recognize him now, and will not, until the time arrives when he shall set up his kingdom.

Our Lord’s reference to truth, sincerity, honesty, seemed to touch a tender spot in Pilate’s conscience, and he probably would have this in his mind.

It is well for us to have clearly in mind that as the Master designated himself, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), so all who are truly his disciples must be of the Truth, must be sincere. The Heavenly Father has been, and still is, drawing to Jesus those who are meek, lowly in heart, teachable, truth-hungry, sincere, honest—those who are at heart children of the Truth.

How important that we should be honest-hearted from first to last; sincere in all our words, thoughts, and conduct, remembering that in our Lord’s parable of the sower it is only the “good and honest heart” that brings forth the required fruitage.—Luke 8:15, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

Pilate may have thought of his own disregard for sincerity in many of the prominent affairs of his life. And as he looked at the leaders and rulers of the Jewish nation, which claimed to be the most holy people in the world, he seemed to fear that question, ‘What is truth?’ What is it to be sincere? These were questions beyond his depth; beyond his power to properly weigh; and apparently equally beyond the power of appreciation of the chiefest of the scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus was the only representative and exponent of the Truth. He was preaching a doctrine which evidently was far above the heads of his own nation. We may see, however, that in the Divine plan this preaching of the Truth is the means whereby the Lord would gather together, during the Gospel Age, a people for himself—his jewels. We are to prize the Truth above riches, or honor of men, even above life itself; so shall we be true disciples of him who is the Truth, and who prayed for his followers, saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”—John 17:17


Divine Truth is recorded for us in the appointed channel, the Word of God, as set forth by our Lord, the apostles, and the prophets. This Truth is very precious and the psalmist has testified, “Thy law is the truth.” “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” “I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”—Ps. 119:142,72,127,162,140

The following verses also are reminders of the importance and preciousness of God’s Word of Truth: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “All scripture given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” “Having purified your lives by the obedience of the truth, to unfeigned brotherly love, love each other from the heart, intensely; having been regenerated, not from corruptible, but from incorruptible seed, through the living and enduring word of God.”—Ps. 119:105; II Tim. 3:16; Col. 3:16; I Pet. 1:22,23, WED

The fully consecrated faithful followers of Jesus are ever conscious and grateful that they are taught of God through his inspired Word, so beautifully illuminated to their minds by the holy influence. Their wondrous experience is as stated in I Corinthians 2:12,13, WED, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but that spirit which is from God, that we may know the things graciously given to us by God; and which things we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but by the teachings of the Spirit; unfolding spiritual things to spiritual persons.”

No matter how long the true children of God have enjoyed the glorious Truth respecting the Heavenly Father’s will for them, they should always be mindful of the Divine plan of the ages and call these truths to remembrance. The Apostle Peter writes, “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.”—II Pet. 1:12,13

We, as God’s children, love the Truth; we have an affinity for it. When, by Divine grace, it was revealed to us, we recognized its harmony and beauty. By the Lord’s help we have been privileged to have a growing knowledge of the Truth. We continue to prize it and to meditate upon it. We rejoice to pass it on to others, saying, “It is just like our God; it is the manifestation of his glorious goodness; the reflection of his loving, benevolent, wise, and righteous character.”


The Prophet Amos has referred to a time when there shall be a famine in the land, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11) While these words of the prophet describe conditions prevailing during what are known as the Dark Ages, it is true, even today, that concerning the Truth, the world is still a dark place.

Many people imagine that they are familiar with the teachings of the Bible, whereas in reality they are influenced by the creeds of the darker past. The minds of men have been turned away from Divine truths by the mistaken idea that the creeds properly represent God’s Holy Word.

The close footstep followers of Jesus, instructed through the Bible, rejoice in the Truth, and by Divine favor are not deceived by erroneous human traditions. They recall how Jesus, during his earthly ministry, rebuked certain ones who then, similarly, held to the traditions of men, instead of to Divine Truth. “He [Jesus] said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition; … Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered.” (Mark 7:9,13) And the Apostle Paul wrote, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men” tend to make the Word of God of none effect. (Col. 2:8) An extract from a widely circulated publication, based upon creeds which were formulated by men during the Dark Ages, but are still being proclaimed, said, “Hell is the place where the devil and those who ally themselves to him will find their ultimate and final abode. In hell they will suffer punishment which is everlasting in duration. There is no hope of ever transferring from hell to heaven.” This citation is unscriptural and definitely untrue.  (See the booklet, The Truth About Hell)

The necessary course for us is to engage in careful and prayerful Bible study, and that without creedal spectacles. Our forefathers, who compiled the creeds, participated more or less in persecutions of each other which we today entirely condemn. They were as honest, doubtless, as we are, but they had less light—they lived in a darker age.

The belief that God is torturing his creatures in everlasting hell torment, led some of our well-intentioned forefathers to torture one another in God’s name, in a manner which we today cannot endorse as being either just, loving, or Christlike.

To the extent that any person realizes that ‘eternal hell torment’ is untrue, and yet in one form or another preaches this God-dishonoring doctrine, with a view to putting fear into the people and hoping thereby to keep the masses somewhat under their control, or for any other unjust reason, to that same extent, honesty and sincerity are lacking. Here would be evidence that such do not possess an ‘honest and good heart,’ which is the necessary ‘good ground,’ wherein Truth can be received, retained, and the required fruitage produced.—Luke 8:15, Phil. 4:8


The apostles of old were outspoken, uncompromising teachers. When they knew that they had the Truth, they spoke it with confidence, and boldly declared that everything contrary to it is false doctrine. They also taught believers that it was not only their privilege, but their duty to be established in the faith—to know, on the evidence of God’s Word, why they believed—and, to quote Peter’s words, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear [reverence].”—I Pet. 3:15

To be established in the Truth signifies that we, individually, have carefully studied and thoroughly proved it by “the law and … the testimony.” (Isa. 8:20) As a consequence we are convinced of its absolute truthfulness. Thus our faith is steadfast, we know whom we have believed, we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. We have rejoiced in sweet fellowship with him and partaken of his spirit of meekness, faith, and godliness to such an extent as to be led into a joyful realization of the fullness of his grace. This is manifested in the wonderful Divine “plan of the ages.”—Eph. 3:11, WED

We have been permitted to see, not only the various features of that plan, but also the necessity and reasonableness of all its various measures, in order to fully accomplish its glorious outcome in the fullness of the appointed times.

Though we be thus established in the Truth, we need to bear in mind that our election to the high position to which we are called has not yet been made secure. The race for the prize of the High Calling is still before us. We are still surrounded by many subtle and powerful foes, so that if we would be successful we must “fight the good fight of faith.” (I Tim. 6:12) The “weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God [God’s Truth] to the pulling down of [the] strong holds” of error, superstition, and inbred sin. (II Cor. 10:4) We must bear in mind also that “we wrestle not [merely] against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”—Eph. 6:12

It is in view of the warfare before us, of the subtlety of our temptations, and of the weakness of the flesh, that the Scriptures urge all diligence in the cultivation of the Christian graces, and a continual calling to remembrance of the precious truths we have learned, that we may be strengthened thereby to make our calling and election sure.

It is only when we get rid of the smoke, darkness, and confusion of Babylon and the Dark Ages and their creeds, and feed upon the pure unadulterated words of the Lord, apostles, and prophets, that by the grace of God we are granted the opening of the eyes of our understanding, so that we can see Divine truths in their true light.

The Scriptures clearly teach that the Lord is seeking those who should be counted worthy to be joint-heirs with him beyond the veil. They are to sit with him in his throne in the kingdom and to rule with him. They are to judge Israel and all the nations of the world. Not until we learn to differentiate between the church—his bride, the members of his body—and the world, can we get a clear conception of the Divine purposes progressing throughout the Gospel Age.

From this standpoint, none can be of the true church unless they develop faith and character above and beyond that of the world in general. All such should bear the good fruits and must walk the narrow way of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and character development in order to be fitted and prepared for the great work the Lord has for them in the millennium.


“Pilate therefore said unto him [Jesus], Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” (John 18:37) God had arranged that there should be a King Emmanuel, a priestly king, who would put an end to sin and restore sinners (as many as were willing) to Divine favor. It had been foretold through the prophets that the time would come when a king would “reign in righteousness,” when princes should “rule in judgment” (Isa. 32:1), and when “every knee should bow,” and “every tongue … Confess, to the glory of God.” (Phil. 2:10,11) Our Lord Jesus declared in answer to Pilate’s question that he had come into the world to this end.

The latter part of the verse as quoted above, (John 18:37) reads ‘that I should bear witness unto the truth.’ While all our Lord’s utterances were truths, there was a certain great Truth to which he was bearing witness. Not only was he speaking truthfully, but he was also upholding the Truth. God had created man, but mankind had turned out badly, and was a discredit to his Creator. The reign of sin and death was a disgrace to God, and to all good government.

Under such circumstances it would seem a reasonable question to ask, “Why not destroy creatures so unworthy and discreditable?” We answer, “Because God had determined that the curse resting upon man should be rolled away, and that a great blessing should come to the world through Abraham’s seed.”—Gen. 22:15-18; Gal. 3:16,29

At the time of our Lord’s First Advent, many centuries had passed since God made his oath-bound promise to Abraham, yet all nations of the earth had not been blessed as promised. But God had remained true. His word had not been broken—indeed, could not be broken. He purposed to bless the world, and he would surely accomplish all his designs. God has provided salvation for “all the families of the earth.” (Gen. 28:14) This is a great truth. The types of the Law foreshadowed it and the prophets faithfully testified to it.

Our Lord came into the world for the very purpose of being that great king who was to bless all of Adam’s fallen race. He came proclaiming this kingdom, and the Jews thought, How can he be a king? He cannot accomplish anything.

He was before Pilate, still declaring himself to be a king. For three and a half years he had borne witness to the great truth that God’s will should be accomplished and that God’s kingdom should yet be established. It is true that it will be consummated through the great One who was crucified as a malefactor.

“God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.” The rejection of Jesus made it seem as though God’s whole plan had been turned aside. It seemed as though those unbelieving Jews had triumphed over the great Jehovah. We find that the death of the Messiah was necessary to the accomplishment of God’s purpose.

It was required that Christ should redeem the human family by his own death before he could restore them through his millennial reign. To the world at large this great truth still remains obscure. Jesus assured his disciples, however, that to them it had been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to outsiders, all not in fullest harmony with God, these things were given in parables and dark sayings, that “they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”—Matt. 13:13-15

We are to bear witness to the Truth to which our Master and the apostles bore witness even unto death. It was our Lord’s faithfulness to the Truth that brought upon him the opposition of those who were blinded by the Adversary. It was his witness to the Truth that cost him his life; and it was the giving of his life, as he defended the Truth, that constituted the redemption price.—Rom. 3:24

Similarly, all the Lord’s followers are to bear witness to the Truth in respect to God’s character and plan. Indeed, as with the Apostle Paul, we should not shun to declare the whole counsel, or will, of God.—Acts 20:27


“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) In all the history of the church there has probably never been a time like the present, in which the great Adversary has been so active in diverting attention from the Truth by introducing, in a subtle way, unprofitable and irrelevant questions. Satan is resorting to every device in order to beguile us of our reward. But to defeat, or render void, any part of the Divine purpose is impossible! God has purposed to take out from among mankind a “little flock,” “a people for his name,” and such a company is being gathered. (Luke 12:32; Acts 15:14) Yet, whether all those now in the race for the prize of the High Calling will surely be of that company is still an open question. We are to take heed and to “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”—Rev. 3:11

It has been observed that those who, for any avoidable cause, have turned aside from the true Gospel are quickly turned out of the way or greatly hindered in their walk of full consecration to God. It is for us to greatly treasure Divine Truth, so that we will not compromise it in any sense or degree. We are not only to hold the Truth in the letter, but in the spirit, in the love of it, because it is true, as well as beautiful and grand.

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.” (I John 3:18,19) These verses intimate that some do love merely in word. The evidence of the sincerity, or truthfulness, of our love is made clear by our deeds, and not merely by words. In addition to words there is to be that zeal for God and for his Truth. There must be evident efforts to control words and deeds in harmony with the interests of the Truth.

What the Lord requires of his people is not merely an outward manifestation of devotion to him and to his cause, but a development of love in our heart and disposition. If we profess to love one another, and yet pursue a course of self-seeking, instead of self-denial, then, as the apostle indicates, we are not of the Truth.

In a later epistle, John wrote, “I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (III John 3,4) We similarly are to adhere steadfastly to the Truth, and live in accordance with it, notwithstanding the fact that errors abound. We are to hold high the light of Divine Truth, in the spirit of the Truth. At all times we are to refuse to tolerate evil, and reproving it by God’s precious Word, which is Truth—always speaking the Truth in love, with gentle firmness, and obedience, that we “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”—Eph. 4:15

Dawn Bible Students Association
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