Preserve the Truth
Whose duty is it to Preserve the Truth? Is it
the responsibility of one of the bigger organizations? Are we somehow
safer to depend on them, rather than ourselves? Those of us in God's
Church have been blessed beyond measure, not only to have received a special
calling from God, but to have the Truth available to us to be able to attain to
that high calling.
Among the people of God, we have used the phrase, "The Truth,"
to mean those right doctrines, practices and correct beliefs that represent
God's way. We often interchange "The Faith" with "The Truth."
From within the pages of the inspired Bible, "The Truth," enables us to
comprehend and achieve a Christian life that is God centered.
The Scriptures were not written so that just anyone at all could grasp the
entire plan of God.
We have been privileged, not only to know of the better
resurrection, but through the Holy Spirit, be able to be a part of that
first resurrection! With the scattering and shattering of the Church of
God in every direction, who will preserve the Truth for those who will
follow after us? At the time of the Apostles, God revealed that
certain important elements would be preserved by the men of Judah for all
time. "What advantage then hath the Jew?... Much every
way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of
God." (Romans 3:1-2)
If we could ask Jesus Christ, right now, who would He say should
be preserving the precious Truth that we have received?
The Jews do not have it. Remarkably, no one has it today, except the
scattered people of God. Brethren, it is us. We, the
saints, are the called out ones of the living God, the pillar and
foundation of the Truth. The Truth is ours to preserve and
safeguard. Scripture compares us to a building that is built upon
a foundation that will not be moved, because we are built on that Rock - who is
Jesus Christ. Do not reason that the preservation of the Truth lies with
corporations or organizations - no - it is we, personally, who must continue
to maintain the Truth of God.
"He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and
laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a
rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a
foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat
vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was
great." (Luke 6:48-49)
Those who looked to men instead of God have suffered great
ruin. Those who wanted to return to the world, and those who
would espouse different beliefs are not able to uphold the
Truth. It is only true Christians, led by God's Holy
Spirit, who are able to maintain the Truth. Today, the separated
Children of God can hardly be identified. How can the Truth of God be
preserved by so weak a people? The Body of Christ is comprised of many
parts, but those parts are not fitly joined. Members of the Body even
reject other parts of the Body - and yet, the safeguarding of the Truth is
our obligation. What if the Truth were not available to our children and
grandchildren - what a travesty that would be!
Some would say, "It is not my job to make sure the gospel is
defended and preserved - it is the minister's responsibility." It is true
that ministers are to "Teach as they have been taught." Others would say,
"Most ministers couldn't be trusted to keep the Truth." That is
also true, the great majority of the ministry - probably six out of
every seven ministers proved unfaithful in defending the Word of Truth.
The great majority of pre-apostasy ministers were either hirelings or worse yet
- not converted. Some ministers today claim to represent the Truth -
simply because they were once associated with it. Those who say the words
of Truth while oppressing the saints by their actions - are not living or
preserving the Truth.
For over 50 years, God taught Herbert W. Armstrong a good deal
of His Truth. For a while we became, to a large extent (although
not perfectly), a well-functioning group, fitly framed together. Just
as in every previous Church era, Satan contaminated the believers with tares
(non-believers). Truth and Doctrine were relatively consistent throughout
the Church, the members were being fed, and the gospel was being effectively
preached throughout the world - and yet, God is not mocked, He would have to
separate the wheat from the tares.
"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which
are approved may be made manifest among you." (1Corinthians 11:19)
"They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us,
they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might
be made manifest that they were not all of us." (1John 2:19)
After the death of Mr. Armstrong and the emergence of men who
did not regard the Truth, Satan was able to scatter the Brethren.
Leaders who had the ability to maintain the Truth and hold the brethren
together in unity - did not do so. The Truth suffered when so few men of
God were willing to take a stand for the Truth. Precious few set
about to hold fast to the Truth we had received.
Groups sprang up - large and small - with the stated
intention of preaching the gospel, doing the Work, or just keeping as many
people together as possible. Some were reluctant and fearful to declare
their previously held beliefs. Preserving the Truth was not high on
their list of priorities. By the harsh and neglectful way people treated
one another, it became clear that the true meaning of Christianity was not
understood by the great majority.
Too many ministers have lowered their standards and lost their
zeal. They are not able to "Cry aloud and spare not." At
the same time, a substantial number of the members of God's Church became
skeptical of all ministers, and finally concluded that they would no longer
support or be associated with any minister. For some, this meant that they
refused any input from ministers, and decided to go it entirely alone as
independent Christians. For others, it meant that they have a certain
minimal amount of contact with some ministers, and may listen to sermon tapes,
request anointings, etc., but do not feel any responsibility to help preserve
the Truth. So many people have lost sight of what true Christianity
It is astounding how many people have come to believe
that the Church founded by Jesus Christ is something other than
the called out ones who are led by God's Holy Spirit. It
is incredible, at this late date, how many think that a member must have an
organization, a man, or a structure between themselves and God. A minister
is a servant - he does not have dominion over anyone's faith. He is
supposed to be a helper of our joy. Notice this: By Faith we
stand! "Not for that we have dominion over your faith,
but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand." (2Corinthians 1:24)
What needs to be done to preserve the Truth?
Do we just sit back and say, “Let’s wait on God to fix it”? Or does God
expect us to do everything we can to preserve the Truth once delivered?
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common
salvation, it was 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 1:3)
How can we identify and encourage others who hold fast to the
Truth? It is our responsibility as Christians, to seek out those
who know the Truth and are striving to live by it. By communicating,
praying for them, fellowshipping, and showing ourselves friendly, we begin
to show love for one another. We need to encourage those ministers who are
true servants of God. Preserving the Truth is a duty of member and
"Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another:
and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his
name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in
that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his
own son that serveth him." (Malachi 3:16-17)
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