I am daring to present a shadow of the Lord’s witnessing, a shadow surely cast by his deeds and his very words! If I mistake, he will forgive me. I fear only lest I should fail of witnessing, and myself be, after all, no king, but a talker; no disciple of Jesus, ready to go with him to the death, but an arguer about the truth; a hater of the lies men speak for God, and myself a truth-speaking liar, not a doer of the word.
We see, then, that the Lord bore his witness to the Truth, to the one God, by standing just what he was, before the eyes and the lies of men. The true king is the man who stands up a true man and speaks the truth, and will die but not lie. The robes of such a king may be rags or purple; it matters neither way. The rags are the more likely, but neither better nor worse than the robes. Then was the Lord dressed most royally when his robes were a jest, a mockery. Of the men who before Christ bear witness to the truth, some were sawn asunder, some subdued kingdoms; it mattered nothing which: they witnessed. The truth is God; the witness to the truth is Jesus. The kingdom of the truth is the hearts of men. The bliss of men is the true God. The thought of God is the truth of everything. All well-being lies in true relation to God. The man who responds to this with his whole being is of the truth. The man who knows these things, and but knows them, the man who sees them to be true, and does not order life and action, judgment and love by them, is of the worst of lying; with hand, and foot, and face he casts scorn upon that which his tongue confesses.
Truth from the Inside Out
by Diane Adams
A lie distorts reality, not only for others but eventually for the person telling it as well. There are all sorts of lies--lies for personal gain, lies made up out of fear, lies to protect, lies to cover up. But I think the most common lies, and the lies that are the most deadly, are the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves. Self-deception is the bedrock on which all other untruths rest. Deceive the self, and it makes every other form of deception simple and even at times unconscious.
When Jesus called himself The Truth, he was not being allegorical. He meant it literally. The Truth is God himself. God is not simply the source of truth, or a teacher of truth. He is truth. And he demands the same from us. The demand is not that we simply speak truth, or do things that are true to what we know, but he requires truth in the innermost being. Truth as a part of who we are.
The great fear that feeds a self-deceived life is a terror of what we find inside ourselves. What if we are not actually good people? What if we are not worth much compared to most others? The soul flees in horror from a deep examination of what it truly is, from a concrete standard upon which it can base self-perception. It does not want to be judged as worthless. We would rather be found liars than be found wanting.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, without deception and without fear, he embodied truth for those who were to come. The crowds found him guilty, but God found him innocent. He was unafraid of what the world could do to him, it was the judgement of God himself that was his concern.
The good news for us here is that we do not have to be Jesus. He did the work of separating God’s court from the courts of human law. Then he gave this gift to us. All we have to do is accept the result, which is that God has found those who cast themselves on his judgement rather than the judgement of man not guilty. From this basis, we can face fully the journey towards truth inside ourselves. We already have the verdict.
There is no need to hide from ourselves our own failures and desires. We have been found not guilty, if we are indeed no longer the judge. We are free to learn what God is teaching us, without a sense of worthlessness or defeat because the basis from which we form our sense of worth has moved from those around us to the One above.
When we know God is on our side, he’s not out to torture us or discard us because we don’t have the right kind of thoughts, when we really know this, freedom is ahead. To allow truth to enter the innermost being requires courage. It means we will be left with no illusions about ourselves. It also means we will no longer have a need to distort reality because we no longer have to fear an encounter with it. When we become honest in the depths of our own being, honest with ourselves, we have turned the tables on deception. We are no longer seeking truth outside, in the world of mankind. Instead we are becoming Truth, from the inside out.