WITNESSES TO THE TRUTH
"Pilate therefore said unto Him, 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.
Every one that is of the Truth
heareth My voice."--John 18:37.
WE RECALL that these words of the Master were uttered when the Jews brought Him before Pilate and accused Him of setting Himself up to be a King. Pilate asked Him, "Art Thou a King, then?" His answer was, "To this end was I born"--For this purpose was I born--"for this cause came I into the world."
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 God's favor. It had been foretold through the Prophets that the time would come when a King should reign in righteousness, when princes should rule in judgment (Isaiah 32:1.), and when every knee should bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God. So our Lord Jesus now declared in answer to Pilate's question, that He had come into the world to this end. If there had been no world to be redeemed, no world to be brought back into harmony with God, the Logos would not have needed to come down to dwell among men. If God had not purposed that there should be a Kingdom and a King, it would have been wholly unnecessary that our Lord should die, for there would have been no world to be blessed and lifted up as a result of His great work.
The latter part of the text says, "that I should bear witness to the Truth." While all of our Lord's utterances were, of course, 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. He had turned out badly--was a discredit to his Creator. The reign of Sin and Death was a discredit to God and a disgrace to all good government. Under such circumstances it would seem a reasonable question to ask, "Why not destroy creatures so unworthy and discreditable?" Because Jehovah had declared that the curse resting upon man should be rolled away, and that a great blessing should come to the world, through Abraham's Seed, and not one jot or one tittle of God's Purpose could fail of accomplishment.
"GOD'S PLANS LIKE LILIES WHITE UNFOLD"
Hundreds, yes, thousands of years had passed since God's Promise to Abraham; and no blessing had come, no rolling away of the curse! But God had remained true. His Word had not been broken, could not be broken. He purposed to bless the world, and He would surely accomplish all His design. This is the great Truth--that Jehovah God has provided salvation for "all the families of the earth." The types of the Law foreshadowed it. The Prophets testified to it; "Yea, all the Prophets from Samuel and them that followed after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold these days" of blessedness to come. Our Lord Jesus while in the flesh bore witness to this Truth. He declared the fact that God had not misrepresented Himself and His Plan.
Our Lord had come 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 said, "How can He be a King? He cannot accomplish anything!" And now, here 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, that God's Kingdom should yet be established under the whole heavens. And it will be fully consummated, through the great One who was there crucified as a malefactor. Verily,
"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. Yet we see that the crucifixion of Messiah was the very thing necessary to the accomplishment of God's Purpose. It was necessary that Christ should redeem the human family by His own death before He could restore them through His Millennial Reign. But to the world at large this great Truth is still obscure. Jesus assures His disciples that to them it has been given to know the mysteries; but to all outsiders, all not in fullest harmony with God, these things are given in parables and dark sayings; and hearing they do not understand, and seeing they perceive not.
THE "TRUTH PEOPLE"
It seems rather remarkable to the Editor that without any effort on our part this word "Truth," and the term, "Truth people," are identified with ourselves. What we have is the Truth--nothing else but the Truth, the Bible Truth! This is the only word we could use. The denominations have taken up the other names, and we have left us simply this term--"the Truth." And without any preconcerted action in any way that we are aware of, this expression, "Truth people," seemed to get about as applied to us. We are, indeed, bearing witness to the Truth--the same Truth to which our Master bore witness [R5898 : page 151] even unto death--about the Kingdom, about Jesus' leaving His glorious prehuman estate and coming into the world, about His going into the Heavenly glory again, to a far higher station than was His before. We are bearing witness to the truth that God is not a vicious God, a cruel God--that He never purposed to doom man to eternal torture, but has promised that the curse of sin and death shall be swept away forever. The witness is just the same today, along the same line, as proclaimed by our Lord and His Apostles.
All who are of the Truth hear the Truth, and love to bear witness to the Truth. Yet in our case, as in the Master's case, the world knoweth us not. It knows us not because it knew Him not. The world, especially the religious world of Christendom, is disposed to crucify us as it crucified Him, only we are living in a more civilized time and the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law apparently find it more difficult today than of old to incite the people to destroy our lives. But by God's grace we will continue to bear witness to the Truth until the dark night comes "wherein no man can work," should our lives be spared till then.