Jun 15

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Let the banner of truth fly high and may it never be lowered! There are many flags that fly in our nation but the banner of truth, the flag of truth, must fly the highest and never be lowered! Of all the things in this world, not one of them nor all of them put together are as important as “the banner of truth,” the flag of truth!
It is a shame that the majority of this nation and indeed of the world, do not regard the truth as it should be. When the Lord said to the believing Jews: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The truth, of which the Lord is addressing, is the truth that has the power to make one free of the consequences, “the wages of sin;” which the apostle Paul identifies: “For the wages of sin is death; …” (Rom. 6:23). The “death” of which the apostle is addressing, is separation from God, not only now but forever! Can you get your mind around this truth? Many, in fact, the majority of the people cannot; for if they did, they would obey the truth! Once more read the words of the apostle Paul, when he is writing about what will happen when the Lord returns; it shall be “In flaming fire taking vengeance!” (2 Thess. 1:8). Upon whom will “vengeance” be taken? It shall be taken upon those who: “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8). Now read just how long this “vengeance” shall be; “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (verse 9). It is hard, if not impossible, for the human mind to comprehend such thoughts! Just how do we express “everlasting destruction?” Writers over the years have used several expressions, as they have tried to reveal “eternity” but not one of them is satisfactory! Therefore, let it be said, it is not within the abilities of the human mind to understand “everlasting,” nor “everlasting destruction!” This reality does not change the truth, however!
Let us here look at the word, “everlasting.” It is the Greek, “aionios,” and means: “without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be” (Thayer). There is not one thing, that the human eye has seen, nor ear heard, that is good enough to “wrap” the mind around and come out with a true understanding of the word “everlasting!” Strong gives us this word, “perpetual” but this does not allow us to truly understand the “everlasting?” No! There is truly nothing, that we know or that we can think of, that will give the human mind the ability to understand “everlasting,” “eternity!” With this, it is not hard to understand that no inspired writer even attempted to do so! They just, by the Holy Spirit, use words such as: everlasting and eternity. As we live upon this earth, we cannot totally get away from the “blessings” of God! In fact, it is by these “blessings, that we live! What are some of these blessings? They are such as: 1) the air that we breath, 2) the food that we eat, 3) the rain that we receive, and finally just here, the earth upon which we live! We did not have one thing to do with giving these blessings to mankind! At our birth, all of these and more are present, and humanity had not one thing to do with it!
Once more notice the words of the apostle Paul: “For the wages of sin is death; …” Just what does the word “death” mean? We all know about physical death, as it is revealed by James: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, …” (James 2:26). But even here, through the years, we have used different ways to identify “death!” For years it was when the heart no longer beats; but of late, death is determined by the brain, as is there any activity in the brain. Therefore, one can be “brain” dead, but the heart may continue to beat! Who knows how man may determine when a person is truly dead? As no one can see the “spirit” depart from the human body! For instance, has the “spirit” departed from the body when the heart stops beating; or does the “spirit” leave the human body when the brain stops working? Or will there be another means of determining when a person is dead in the future? Even this, apparently simple thing, will forever remain a mystery!
It is revealed, however, that as Jesus said: “the truth shall make you free.!” Not free from physical death but spiritual death. Death is always understood; in that it is a separation; as when the “spirit” departs from the human body. Thus, spiritual death is when the spirit/soul of man is separated from God! This occurs when we continue to sin! It is not seen but it truly takes place!
The “truth” of which Jesus is speaking in John 8:32, is addressing being free from the result of sin. The “truth,” not by itself, but when it is obeyed! We must know “the truth” before we can obey it!

Frank R. Williams

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