HOW and WHY We Know We Have the Truth
a sample of clever but faulty human reasoning! Where God or the truth
is concerned, it seems natural to reason suspiciously, and with a
skeptical or hostile approach.
Would you be deceived by this type of reasoning?
time ago a man, who knew little or nothing about the truth that the
living God is proclaiming to the world through us, asked:
can you know that you are any nearer right than anybody else? You say
the whole world is deceived. You say the churches are wrong on many
points of doctrine, but that you have the truth. You say they are
human, and have been deceived. It's human to err.
"Bur are you not also human? Are you not also fallible? How can you be sure you are any nearer right than any of the others?"
want to give our readers the clear, plain, understandable answer to
those questions! I want to explain, so plainly you can really
Comprehend it, HOW and why we know we have the truth!
I want to
make clear how you may know what is the truth, while this whole world
is deceived and in utter darkness. I want to tell you how you may be
First, are we not also human? Yea, indeed! We can make
mistakes, too! We too, could be in error on this, that or the other
point. But we do not need to be!
A man may say: "Who does this
Herbert W. Armstrong think he is? Is he any smarter than all these
great theologians - these noted preachers and heads of great religious
The answer is no — it is not a matter of intellectual capacity.
are all human. We are all fallible. I have been wrong. I have made
mistakes. The same is true of all those God is using in His work.
is the very first thing that we do recognize. That is the starting
point in the search for truth. That is one reason why we do have the
truth, in the midst of a very deceived world. I wish every religious
leader would adopt this approach.
God says, "prove all things."
That means you are fallible. That Means all the "great" men are
fallible! All are human. All can be Wrong — and nearly all are. The
whole world is Deceived (Revelation 12:9). That means its religions
leaders and churches are deceived!
The very recognition of that
fact is the beginning of right knowledge. We do recognize it — and that
we ourselves could be wrong. That is the first step toward coming out
of the fog of error and deception, starting toward truth. It is not a
matter of who has the greater intellect. A man may have the highest IQ
in the world, and in his intellectual vanity refuse to admit he could
be wrong — reject all correction — and thus embrace error and deception.
second step if you would know truth, is to be willing to admit being
deceived, or in error, and to reject it and accept truth Ask yourself:
"Am 1 really willing to confess error to admit I'm wrong when proved —
and reject it? Am I willing to accept truth new to me — when proved —
even though unpopular — even though it cuts me off from my family,
friends, associates or club members — even though everything in my
Selfish and vain nature rebels against it? Am I willing to act on it —
obey the truth — no matter what the cost?"
Ah, yes! Perhaps now
you are beginning to see why "all these great theologians — these noted
preachers and heads of great religious denominations" could be in
error. Did you ever know a person of great intellectual powers who did
not have the kind of vanity that shrinks from confessing he has been
WRONG — and has misled others? To find and live the TRUTH requires a
These are the first two points in which one who has come to the TRUTH differs from those still steeped in deception and error.
you be sure that we have the truth, when we, too, as the critic argued,
are fallible, with minds that are not perfect? Yes, you can be SURE!
greatest, ablest intellect in the world is still human — still fallible
— still imperfect. Those who are deceived and steeped in error have
simply not stopped to realize their own imperfections — their proneness
to error. They assume, in their egotism, that whatever they believe is
True And they are unwilling to humble themselves and confess their
I can tell you how I started, 59 years ago, out of the
darkness and into the light. And it is the basically sound and SURE way
for you, or any other, to start.
First, I had to know whether there
is a real BASIS for truth. Is there an infallible authority? In other
words, does God exist? Is the all-wise, all-knowing, all-perfect GOD a
reality? And if so, has He communicated
basic TRUTH to mankind?
A world-famous Protestant leader writes
(or has written for him and in his name) a syndicated newspaper column,
It gives His answers to Bible questions.
A question published in
this syndicated newspaper column asked whether the Bible gives any
PROOF of the existence of God. The man's answer may be summed up in One
word: NO. He answered that we must assume God's existence — and then
have FAITH, That is, have faith in this human assumption!
the Bible commands, "PROVE ALL THINGS." That includes the existence of
God! In the Bible, God says, "Prove me now, herewith." The Bible says
the scoffers "are without excuse," because the PROOF of God's reality
is clearly seen, even in nature. God Himself, in the Bible, offers the
proof of fulfilled prophecies. He offers, though few experience this
proof, the PROOF of answered prayer.
I found irrefutable proof of God's existence In the facts of science, the facts of matter, in reason and in the Bible.
second, I sought proof of whether or not the Bible is the authoritative
revelation from God to mankind — and I found it positively PROVED
by many irrefutable proofs. So I had a firm basis for faith. I had an
Still, this was not alone sufficient. I
had the SOURCE of truth. But, up to that time, I had never been able to
understand the Bible. Neither do most scientists, educators or
theologians understand it.
A great mind and a superior intellect, alone, are incapable of UNDERSTANDING this spiritual revelation from almighty God!
is explained in the second chapter of I Corinthians. These truths of
God are a mystery a hidden SECRET — that none of the leaders, rulers or
great men of the world know (I CORINTHIANS 2:7-8).
But God has
revealed these spiritual truths to converted, Spirit-begotten
Christians by His Spirit (verse 10). For while man can know the things
of a man — that is, physical and material knowledge but the spirit of
man, which is in him (verse 11)?
Can you understand that? Pure
physical BRAIN, Composed of matter, cannot comprehend the things of
this material universe known by scholars, scientists, educators- The
dumb animals have physical brains. But they do not comprehend human
knowledge — the physical knowledge known to human minds.
Job learned (Job 32:8), there is a spirit IN man. This spirit is not
the man man is dust or matter (Genesis 3:19) — NOT spirit. But this
human spirit, united with physical brain, forms human mind. Yet this
human MIND is Carnal. It can know the things of a man — that is, mortal
or physical things.
What man, then, could know or possess this
material knowledge, except by the spirit of man that is IN the man
united to and functioning with material BRAIN? The addition of this
human spirit turns animal brain into human mind.
Now go further in I Corinthians 2:11: "Even so no one knows the things or God Except The SPIRIT OF GOD."
is only by the receiving of God's Ho Ly SPIRIT unite with the human
mind, that a man may comprehend spiritual knowledge. Only by the
receiving and indwelling of the Holy Spirit are the real truths or the
Bible comprehended by the human mind.
The great minds of this
world Cannot comprehend biblical and spiritual TRUTHS without God's
Holy Spirit, any more than a dog, horse, ape or elephant can comprehend
physical, scientific knowledge without the spirit that Is in man and is
not in the dumb brutes!
"That is precisely WHY, up until 59
years, ago, I could not understand the Bible. That is why nearly all of
the truly great minds of world leaders cannot understand this
TRUTH! It is not a matter of degree of intellect.
order to really perceive the deceptions that have blinded this world,
once we have recognized our own fallibility and proneness to error —
once we have become WILLING to admit it when proved wrong, and to
accept TRUTH the next step is to receive God's gift of
His Holy Spirit. And the conditions to this are; 1) repentance, and 2.)
faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
Repentance is toward
God. Sin is against God. We may harm or injure
people but we SIN against GOD. Sin is the
transgression or GOD'S law. Sin is rebellion against God. It has cut us
off from God.
To repent means to be so humbled, so broken up
about the colossal crime of rebelling against the holy
God so abhorrent of our own rebellious, deceitful, vain, selfish
SELVES — that in real contrition we turn to God for mercy and change of
mind and attitude, now desiring TO CHANGE OUR WAYS —
obedient to God's law.
Very few know what
repentance really is. Then, through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, we
may be reconciled to God, and His PROMISE is that we shall then receive
HIS Holy SPIRIT.
The self has to die! It means unconditional
surrender to God and His REVEAL.ED way! I know that with me, it was a
painful process. The self does not want to give up in surrender. I knew
it meant ridicule and persecution from relatives, friends, former
business associates. It meant a
CHANGED LIFE. It meant a Start toward a new and DIFFERENT GOAL.
God had humbled me.. He brought me to repentance and faith. And He
opened my mind to His truth by the gift of His Holy Spirit.
But I had to be willing. Continuously, to confess being wrong, and to embrace truths constantly NEW to me.
That process has been going on, now. for 59 years.
I studied a portion of the Bible, I could now understand it. But I had
to walk in the "light" as God opened my mind to see. Regardless of the
cost in the esteem of men, or in countering opposition and persecution,
I had constantly to be willing to follow God and not man.
a mutter of willingness not of superior and
lofty minds. It is a matter of being LED by God's Spirit into His ways
that are SO
CONTRARY to this world's established
customs and beliefs, not of personal human powers.
do you know that has ever publicly confessed that its teaching and
practice has been wrong, and has corrected it, to conform to the Bible?
What great, lauded and mighty churchman or religious leader has ever
made such a public confession, turned from his non biblical ways and,
despite persecution and
ridicule, PROCLAIMED the truth?
lauded, lofty "greats" of this world could become undeceived and have
their eyes opened to God's truth - IF THEY WOULD BE HUMBLED, REPENT AND
SURRENDER UNCONDITIONALLY TO AL.MIGHTY God and His law!
you would know what God says of these "great and eminent" religious
leaders of the great denominations, read God's prophecies, in the
Bible, describing these very leaders of our OWN 20TH CENTURY, in
Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 34; Ezekiel 22, especially verses 23-31, referring
to British and United States peoples and their religious leaders NOW.
at the time leading directly to "God's wrath" — the time of the last
plagues, just prior to, and at, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
we CAN KNOW, if willing to know, whether we are right or wrong. It is
not a matter of superior intellect, but of submission to God.
the conclusion of the whole question is this: I did not start this work
of my own accord at all. It is the very last thing I would have wanted,
in my days of carnality, to do.
It is God's DOING!
circumstances. God forced me to submission. The living JESUS Christ so
manipulated events and the force of circumstance that He literally
plunged me into His work. It is not my work — it is THE VERY WORK
And THIS can be easily proved, TO those willing to know the TRUTH!
Personal from the Editor by Mr. Herbert W. Artmstrong Good News Magazine January 1985