‘I AM’ The Truth


Jesus Christ! The great ‘I AM’ The significance of ‘I AM’

‘Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your Fathers has sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘what is his name?’ ‘What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’. And he said, ‘Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:13-14.

‘I AM EHYEH’ first singular present of TO BE. HAYAH denotes that God is personal, eternal, self-existent i.e. absolute being.

1. Eternal. Psalm 135:13

2. Self-existent. Psalm 88:6-7

Then God, having revealed to Moses some essential aspects of His (God’s) personality informs Moses of the name by which He (God) wants to be known. God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘YHWH the God of your fathers, has sent me to you, this is my name for ever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’ Exodus 3:75 / Psalm 135:13

YAHWEH plural form

Genesis 1:26, ‘Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness’.

The plural in the name YHWH, us and our, can in my opinion be regarded as an indication of the plurality of God’s nature and character, of which the Son and the Holy Spirit are part; three distinct persons who can act individually though never in disharmony and who are united in the godhead as one God. That the Spirit i.e. the force of God was there at creation is clear, ‘and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters’. Genesis 1:2

That through Jesus all came into being is stated in John 1:1-3 and John 1:18. It was through Jesus, i.e. God Himself Incarnate that redemption would be wrought.

The name YHWH meaning ‘the Becoming One’ is the ‘redemptive’ name of God and refers to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ who is in the bosom of the ‘Father’ God; Jesus who is part of the Godhead. When Jesus made Himself equal with God He was merely speaking the truth and had indeed every right to utter the words, ‘I AM’ in such a special way. The Jews understood perfectly well what was alluded to by the term I AM used by Jesus.

‘This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.’ John 5:18 / Leviticus 24:16

Now, remember the Bible doesn’t use names for God in the same way as we use names today. God doesn’t have a name as such but He uses certain words to describe His character or nature.

For example, the word El-Shaddai describes His nature as the all-sufficient One, the all-powerful One. The word Adonia describes His character as Lord, Master, the One with all authority. The word Yahweh describes His nature as the everlasting, self-existing One.

And so when God speaks to Moses, He is not giving Moses a name as we understand it. But He’s telling Moses to tell His people that Yahweh, ‘I AM THAT I AM’, the self-existing One has sent you. God is basically saying to Moses I don’t need a name but I will give you one to tell my people.

Now remember the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years and so God goes on to say in Exodus 3:15 just in case my people have forgotten who ‘I AM’, tell them ‘The LORD, (The One with all authority), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’

Now let’s fast forward a couple of thousand years. We know that the Gospel according to Matthew focuses a lot on prophecy where Matthew points out time and time again that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The Gospel according to Mark focuses a lot on Jesus’ miracles and Mark uses the word ‘immediately’ regularly.

The Gospel according to Luke focuses a lot on Jesus’ humanity and shows Jesus as being the Son of man. And finally, the Gospel according to John focuses a lot on Jesus being the Son of God which shows the Deity of Christ.

But have you ever wondered why all the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are found in John’s Gospel?

John writes in John 20:30-31 ‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name’.

Now John never uses the word miracle in his gospel but he does use the word sign regularly. And there are 16 signs recorded in John’s gospel, 8 are things which Jesus did and 8 were things which Jesus said.

John is basically saying that the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are signs, selected from many other signs. And he says these signs are selected with a purpose in mind and that purpose is that you believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be.

And so just as `I AM’ is God’s own identification of Himself in Exodus 3:14 to Moses. Remember that strictly speaking, it is not a name, but a declaration of His Nature.

When we come to the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus, we need to remember that Jesus was not giving Himself a Name or a title, but was asserting His Deity. In other words every ‘I AM’ reveals some aspect of His nature and purpose.

‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’

In his famous ‘Essay on Truth’, Roger Bacon wrote, ‘what is truth,’ the jesting Pilate asked and did not stay for an answer.’ I am not convinced that Pilate was jesting. He may have terminated the discussion and left the Praetorium because he did not believe that anyone could answer his question.

But, here is an interesting and curious fact. You will recall that the Governor, Pontius Pilate was a Roman. His native language was undoubtedly Latin, and, he may well have posed his question in Latin. If that is the case, the question he asked was.

‘Quid Est Veritas?’ What is truth?

Now here is a curious fact, you may take the same 14 letters of ‘Quid Est Veritas’ and with them form an anagram, that is, you may re-arrange those letters, and, if you do, they will give you. ‘Est Vir Qui Adest,’ which means, ‘it is the man who stands before thee!’

If only Pilate had been aware of the identity of the One who stood before him that day! If only Pilate had known! But, of course, when Jesus made that startling revelation, ‘I AM the truth’, it was not to Pilate that he spoke, but to His own disciples. And we are naturally interested to know just what he meant.

What about the word, ‘truth’?

Think about it because it’s an interesting word. If you consult your dictionary, you will find that it is defined as, ‘The quality or state of being true, accurate, honest, sincere.’ ‘The statement of things as they are.’

But I am not really satisfied with that definition, because all that it tells us is that according to the English word, there may be different levels of truth. It does not take into account the fact that one may speak what he believes to be the truth and yet be honestly and sincerely in error. And this is easy to demonstrate.

For instance, if I were to tell you that, ‘I sincerely believe that, at this moment, there is a blizzard raging outside this building’, and you were to go to the door to discover that it really is snowing, I have spoken truth. If, on the other hand, you discovered that the sun is shining and it is 100 degrees outside, not only would it be a miracle! I would have proved myself, at the very least, to be guilty of error, sincere as I may have been.

In that sense, ‘truth’ would mean, ‘The statement of things as they are’, and even an atheist would agree with that definition. And in that case, truth is something which is relative or comparative. Now, we need a definition which is much more precise than that. We need a definition which is absolute and unconditional, and for such a definition we must turn to the word which Jesus used in the text before us.

Well, the word for ‘Truth’, which is used in the Greek New Testament is ‘Ale Theia’ and it basically means, ‘unconcealed’. It is a word which is developed from the word, ‘Lanthona’, which means ‘to be unknown, or to be hidden’.

Now, when the Greeks wished to change the meaning of a word so that it meant the very opposite, they replaced the letter, ‘A’, ‘Alpha’, in front of it. You may take for example the word, ‘righteousness’, which is ‘Dikaiosune’. If we place the letter, ‘A’, in front of it, it becomes ‘A Dikaiosune’, which is ‘unrighteousness’.

Well, the word ‘truth’, has been formed in the same way. Place the letter ‘A’, in front of ‘Lanthano’, ‘unknown, or hidden’, and you create the word ‘Alethia’, so that it now means, ‘Unconcealed’. Therefore, the New Testament word for ‘truth’ means, ‘that which is open and evident and exposed’, and which, is capable of withstanding any examination; any scrutiny any investigation’.

If we take it a step farther, ‘truth’, in the New Testament sense, means, ‘reality’ or the manifestation of things as they really are. Think about the phrase which we meet many times in the Bible, the phrase, ‘the only true God’.

It literally means, the only real God, because the word ‘Alethinos’ indicates the genuine as opposed to the false.

For this reason, when William Tyndale came to John 15, in which Jesus says, ‘I am the true vine’, he translated it, ‘I AM the Verri vine’.

Truth then, in the Bible sense, is reality and revealed in a person. That is why, when we say that ‘God is truth’, we mean that God is the ultimate reality, the Origin, the Creator and Sustainer of all things and that apart from Him there is no reality.

It follows, therefore, that if God is truth, His is the only Mind which knows reality perfectly, and truth is that which corresponds with His mind and will. In other words, we only possess the truth on any level and on any subject, when what we say about it is what God says about it.

If, for instance, someone were to say that the purpose of life is to have a good time and look after number one, that would only be true if it was what God said about it. Now, this is the consistent teaching of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

In Genesis 32:10, Jacob, coming out of Mesopotamia on his way back to Canaan gave thanks to God for his mercy and truth and praised God because he has dealt with him in Truth and faithfulness.

In Deuteronomy 32:4, Moses called God a ‘God of truth’, whilst in Exodus 34:6-7, when on Mount Sinai, God revealed Himself to Moses, His own description of Himself was ‘YHVH, YHVH, merciful, slow to anger, gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth.’

The psalmist never ceased to sing about the ‘God of Truth’. ‘All his works are truth. His truth endures to all generations. He keeps truth for ever. His truth reaches to the heavens.’

Turning to the prophets, twice in one verse, Isaiah 65:16, the prophet Isaiah called God, ‘The God of truth.’

Over in the New Testament, Paul described Him as, ‘the God who cannot lie’. And in Revelation 15:3, the redeemed praise God as ‘just and true in all his ways. God, then, is Himself, ‘Truth.’

But, let us now take this a step further, and notice that the God of truth, whose Word is truth, in the fullness of time, is, when the right moment came, revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who came to us as ‘the truth incarnate’. The truth manifested in a physical body. The Word became flesh.

This is why, in Revelation 3:7, Jesus Himself is described as, ‘The Holy One, the True One.’

And why, later in the same chapter, in verse 14, the Lord Jesus describes himself in words which cannot logically be understood in any other way than as a claim to Deity. ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.’

Jesus is actually saying, ‘I AM the Amen.’ Now, this is a statement which arrests attention immediately. You see, that word, ‘amen’, comes to us straight from the Hebrew language. It is a word which has not been translated. It is not English. It is not Greek. Even the Greeks did not translate it.

The word is also ‘Amen’ in the Greek language, and although we are in the habit of using the word as a convenient way in which to close a prayer, and have been told it means, ‘so be it’, it has a vastly more profound meaning than that.

Although the connection may not appear at first glance, there is a very close relationship between the words, ‘truth’ and ‘amen.’ The root meaning of the word, ‘amen’ is that of ‘nursing, nourishing, building up’, hence it has to do with ‘establishing, establishing, making sure.’ And, in its original use, it takes us back to God as the nursing Mother of His people. Now that is a thought to consider! The fact of the Motherhood of God. In Isaiah 66:13, God Himself said, ‘As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you’.

Now if the thought of the ‘motherhood’ of God is new and strange to you, perhaps I might throw in the additional fact, and say that one of the compound names for God, which is found in the Old Testament, is ‘El Shaddai.’ It is used no fewer than 48 times, and when you read the name, ‘God Almighty’, or ‘Almighty God’, that is the translation of ‘El Shaddai.’

But, it has long been a puzzle as to why the men who translated the Old Testament rendered ‘El Shaddai’ as ‘The Almighty God’, when Hebrew scholars have long known, that it really suggests the ‘Mother-love’ of God and the fact that God never tires of bestowing His bountiful goodness and fullness and riches on His people, as a mother bestows her tender care on her child.

And for this reason, ‘El Shaddai’ is literally, ‘El’ God, ‘Shaddai’, the Breasted One, for that is what the word ‘Shaddai’ means. And this is why besides calling God ‘the truth’, you may place this other name for God, ‘the Amen’, ‘the nourisher’, ‘the sufficient One’, the One who nurses, and nurtures His people.

And so, in Revelation 3:14, the Lord Jesus presents Himself to the church at Laodicea, a church which has been faithless and false in its witness, and He comes as, ‘The Amen, the Faithful and True witness’ The One who is true to His own nature, who will never cease to provide for His people. He is faithful ad true because He is the ‘Amen.’

As a title, ‘The Amen’, is equivalent to the title in our text, ‘The Truth’, because when Jesus says, ‘I AM the Truth’, it means that He cannot lie. He is true in all His words. He is true in all His actions. All truth lies within the compass of that word.

Now, I think that this ought to be a source of great comfort to every child of God because it is the guarantee of the total reliability and faithfulness of everything He ever says or does. When He makes an assertion, that assertion is absolutely dependable.

When He makes a promise, you may rest all your weight on it, in the certain knowledge that it can never fail. When He warns of judgment, depend upon it, that judgment will follow as surely as night follows day. And because He is ‘Truth’, He will never make terms with a lie.

I expect that it has occurred to you by now, that, when we hear Jesus say, ‘I AM the truth’, we are, in fact, dealing with, yet another assertion of His Deity. I say, ‘yet another’ because such declarations of Deity come at us from all directions if only we have eyes to see them.

For example, the Hebrew word for ‘Truth’ is yet another name for God Himself. It is the word ‘Emet’, and it consists of the First, the Middle and the Last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Now the first chapter of the Revelation. Revelation 1:8, we read, ‘I am the Alpha and the Onega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’

In other words, I am the First and I am the last.

I now turn to the last chapter, and in Revelation 22:12, we read, ‘Behold I am coming soon bringing my recompense to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Onega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’ And who is the speaker? He is the Lord Jesus Himself, and the last Boob in the Bible, and the Bible itself, closes with this statement, ‘Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come Lord Jesus’.

In the light of all this evidence, it must be obvious that, because Jesus is the ‘Truth’, it is not enough simply to say that He is the greatest teacher the world has ever known, or that what He taught was true. He does not say, ‘I know the truth’, or ‘I teach the truth’. Instead, He makes a claim for himself that no other teacher would dare to make.

He says, ‘I AM the Truth’. And any modern-day educator who dared to make such a claim would immediately be looked at as unbalanced. Indeed, no teacher of any worth would ever consider making such a claim, because it is a claim to deity.

After all, the wisest and greatest thinkers the world has ever known, have confessed themselves merely to be seekers after truth, and have admitted that truth has evaded them. The great Socrates said that he was aware of how little he understood. Sir Isaac Newton, described himself as a child who had gathered a few pebbles, on the shore of a great ocean.

But Jesus was able to say, ‘if you continue in my word you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free’. John 8:37. Just consider what Jesus is actually saying here! The claim is stupendous, He says that is that ‘if we abide’, ‘meno’, remain, stay, in His word, that is if we continue to be obedient to Him, we shall know the truth.

Our lives will be controlled and governed by truth, and there will follow an ever-deepening awareness of truth and an ever-increasing capacity for truth, and we shall be made free by the truth. I come back to the same point, time and time again. I am compelled to say that I cannot imagine any teacher in history who would dare to make such a claim and expect to be treated seriously by normal, intelligent, balanced people.

But Jesus says, ‘I AM the truth’. Do you wish to know truth? ‘Then follow Me and stay with Me’, Jesus says. I think that it is tragic that today, men and women, even members of the Lord’s church, are coming under the influence of liberal theologians and their so-called new hermeneutics, teachers who appear to have little or no regard for the authority of the Word, or the Christ of the word for that matter. It is sad to find them eager to spread their old, warmed-over critical theories, among less mature members of the church.

I know one man who told a group of young Christians, ‘we cannot be sure that we have the truth, because we cannot know anything with certainty.’

Now, such a statement as that sounds very profound and wise and advanced to impressionable people. They think it is wonderful evidence of deep thinking and a beautiful demonstration of tolerance. But I do not believe I need to point out to you just how dangerous and destructive such teaching is.

If we accept the notion that we cannot be sure of anything, the gates are thrown wide-open to allow anything and everything into Christianity. ‘We cannot know. We cannot be sure that we have the truth; therefore, others may have the truth, and we don’t know it!’

This is modern agnosticism, remember that the Greek word ‘Agnostic’ identifies one who does not know and is the exact equivalent of the Latin word ‘Ignoramus’. This is the modern agnosticism which so often parades as Christian scholarship. It is the ignorance which pretends to be wisdom.

Look! If you ever hear anyone say that we cannot be sure that we the truth, you ought to tell that person that he has a controversy with the Christ, who said, ‘I AM the truth’, and he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life; He who abides in me shall know truth and the truth will make him free’.

Oh! That members of the Lord’s church would steep themselves in the Word of Truth and the Truth Who is presented in the Word! I truly believe that the crying need of our age is for Christians who have taken hold of the Word, and who have allowed the Word to take hold of them. Men and women who are mastered by the truth, because they have been mastered by the Master Himself. If you seek the truth, look no farther than the Word of God.

John Greenleaf Whittier, the Quaker poet wrote.

‘We search the world for Truth. We cull The good the pure the beautiful From graven stone and written scroll, From all old flower-fields of the soul, And, weary searchers for the best, We come back laden from our quest, To find that all the sages said, is in the book our mother’s read.’

Do you desire a faith upon which you can confidently rest your soul? A faith which will carry you through every experience in this life and on into the next? Then listen to Him. The One who said, ‘I AM the truth’!

In this respect, nothing has changed in 2000 years! Preachers and religious teachers and religious fancies have their day, they come and they go. But, everything that is normative and creative in our faith, depends upon Him and upon His word. And we need to recognize that fact.

Far too often we study what men have written about the truth, rather than the Truth Himself. Far too often we have felt that we need to keep abreast of the latest thinking or, at least, what we have been asked to believe is the latest thinking. And we are led to suppose that if we have not devoured the most recent ‘best-seller’ from the pen of the latest popular pedagogue we are inferior and out of touch.

I recall that some years ago, at the Lectureship in Frankfurt, Germany, a well-respected brother, whom I regard as a friend, innocently told the congregation of his admiration for the writings of C. S. Lewis. And overnight, it seemed, half the preachers in the brotherhood discovered, C. C. Lewis!

Something similar happened with regard to the works of William Barclay. A few years ago, if you didn’t have Barclay’s daily Bible study on your bookshelves you were behind the times! And the same thing has happened very recently with the publications of certain of our own brethren, who shall be nameless, but whose books can be found in most denominational book-shops. And you may draw your own conclusion as to the significance of that! Too often, we listen to men, when God says, ‘this is My Son, Hear Him’.

So, if then, we listen to Jesus and follow Him, what will this mean in practical terms? Well, the first, and the most obvious consequence is that we shall be true to ourselves. Jesus said, ‘He that is of the truth hears my voice’.

And, of course, the word ‘hears’ means listens to, listens to in the sense of paying attention and obeying. There is a difference between just hearing and heeding.

Years ago, when I was working with the church in Portknockie, a small fishing village in the north of Scotland, I stayed near to one of the Elders of the church. I recall one day hearing his brother’s wife calling his name when he was out in the yard at the back of the house. Now, I have to tell you that Sister Mc. was the sort of woman who, not to put too fine a point on it, could very easily get on one’s nerves! And, it became evident that particular day, Br. J had just about had enough! Her voice became more and more insistent, and more and more strident. At last, she called out, ‘John, John, are ye hearing me?’’

And I heard John growl back at her, ‘aye! I’m hearing ye’. But I’m no heeding ye!’

Now that illustrates perfectly the difference between hearing and hearing. True hearing means hearing and heeding. And Jesus says that men and women of the Truth will be obedient to His word. They will be men and women of integrity and I am using that word in its original sense, not merely honest and sincere, but men and women of soundness and wholeness, for that is what integrity means, wholeness. That is how Jesus used the word when he said, ‘if your eye is single, sound, wholesome, your whole body shall be full of light’.

That is integrity and if we are men and women of truth, it will be seen throughout our entire life and character. Not just in the big issues, but in little things as well. There is many a man who would rather die than perjure himself in a court of Law, whose life is a tissue of little insincerities. And that is the sort of thing against which we need to be on our guard if we claim to follow Christ.

We say we hate falsehood, when, in fact, what we really hate are the consequences of falsehood. We resent hypocrisy, and deceit, not because they are untrue but because of the hurt and inconvenience to us. We condemn insincerity, and yet we are flattered by false praise.

He is a man of truth who hates untruth as untruth, who resents the smooth polished falsehood of society, which, they tell us, does no harm. He hates the white lie which they say, hurts nobody. He recoils from those deceptions, which go on day after day in the world, deceptions at which people smile when you call them deceptions.

If we accept Jesus as the ‘Truth’ and we stand for truth, we shall also practice truth. Oh yes! As Christians, we preach honesty, but are we honest in our own dealing? We teach purity, but are we ourselves, pure in thought and word and deed? We admire truth, but do we always shun falsehood and deceit, as the down-right lie?

We cannot dismiss these as little things, because life itself is made up of little things and little things from our character. And, if we get into the habit of practising small deceptions and using little artificialities, we shall discover that it is impossible to be true in the so-called larger issues of life because holding to truth is a matter of habit, as well as a matter of the will.

The way in which we regard integrity in daily life is important. If the disposition of our life, and the practice of our life, has been one of accepting the dubious and doubtful and questionable in little things, we shall find that, when something which we think is big comes along, something important, we shall not be able to break the habit of our life.

Accept anything less than that which is wholesome and the sound, and you will discover that the strength to be a servant of Truth is just not there when you want it, it has leaked away, like water that drains away through a small hole in a bucket.

As I said, ‘truth’ is reality. And I have just been speaking about things which are less than reality. When a man lacks integrity his entire life becomes fiction and unreal. His religious profession turns out to be based on fiction. Why? Because no matter what he may claim, he is not a righteous man.

And what do we mean when we speak of righteousness?

Well, take the middle out of the word and you are left with right-ness. And that is what righteousness is. It is right-riving, right-doing, right-thinking, and right speaking. You are not a righteous person because you are a member of a religious body and go to church every Sunday and sing and pray and read the Bible and give into the contribution. You are not a righteous person because you listen to sermons like this, or jot down the pretty little sayings of the preacher.

Come to think of it; I am not righteous because I am preaching this sermon. Righteousness is being put right and kept right with God. And it is letting the truth you have heard and claim to believe blaze out in your life, not just on Sundays but Sunday, Monday, every day of the week, having every single day shining with holiness to the Lord.

Followers of the One who said, ‘I AM the truth’, speak truth, maintain truth and act truthfully, because when Jesus says, ‘you shall know the truth’, He does not give us truth merely to contemplate and discuss and admire, but to be done, because life is a matter of action not just thought or theory.

You know, brothers and sisters, when a man aligns himself with falsehood and error in any form it affects the durability of his own character. Whilst, on the other hand, when one rejects the false and clings to the True, he has aligned himself with the power which endures and which cannot decay.

I feel sure that we all realize that we are living in a world in which moral standards are changing, maybe even disappearing completely. There was a time when people seemed to know the difference between truth and falsehood, right and wrong. Children were brought up to know the difference. And society knew it also.

But these days, for whatever reason, the long-accepted standards of conduct are no longer valued. There are many who recognize. No moral standards at all, and who live by the code which says, ‘Do what you please, when you please and how you please’.

How often have you heard it said when an offender is brought to justice, ‘He made a mistake; He broke the 11th commandment, thou shall not be found out’.

But, no matter what the world thinks, or does, the standard still exists. Neglect ignored perhaps, but still there. Truth will always be essential, remain truth. Right will remain right and wrong will continue to be wrong. Nothing can alter this.

I am reminded of the story concerning a visitor to the art gallery in Florence. He was casually looking at the masterpieces which were in view, and he remarked rather loudly that he didn’t think much of them! One of the custodians heard his comment and said to him, ‘Sir, it is not the pictures which are on trial here. It is the viewers.’

So, it is with the Truth. So, it is with the Lord Jesus and all that He represents. The world may reject Him and ignore His claims but truth stands.

Out in the Big Horn, of Wyoming, there is an unusual rock formation which perhaps, unfortunately, has been named ‘The Devil’s Tower’.

It is, in fact, a column of rock reaching several hundred feet in the air which can be seen for miles around. Its sides are so steep that it is impossible to climb it. I think that geologists call it a volcanic plug, and it has withstood all the ravages of time and weather whilst the land around it has been eroded away. That rock might be said to represent truth, durable; abiding in a world of decay.

But, of course, that is not a perfect illustration because eventually, that rock itself will, fall. But truth endures for ever. Jesus said, ‘I AM Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’ He said, ‘Heaven will pass away, but My word shall not pass away.’

And neither He nor His Truth can be destroyed.

Andrew Melville, the great Scottish preacher, so admired by John Knox, was once threatened with death by hanging by the Earl of Montrose, and if the threat had been carried out his corpse would have been left hanging to rot away. But Melville simply laughed at the Earl and said, ‘Tush! Tush! My Lord! Make these threats to your courtiers. It is all one to me whether I rot in the air or in the earth! It is not in your power to hang or exile the Truth.’

And I am reminded of the words of James Russell Lowell, the American poet, ‘Careless seems the great Avenger’.

John Bunyan wrote the book ‘A pilgrim’s progress’ which at one time was almost compulsory reading for anyone who wished to be regarded as educated, but which today is rarely read, such is the change which has overcome society. It is, as you may know, an allegory, describing the journey of a Christian from earth to heaven.

In it he describes, Mr Valiant for truth’ coming to the end of his pilgrimage. He has lived a life filled with danger and adventure and now the end is in sight. He has arrived at the Great River; whose surging waters separate him from the celestial city which lies on the other shore.

At first, he is afraid, because it is so dark and forbidding. But he remembers the promise which said ‘When thou comest to the waters I will be with thee that they do not overwhelm thee’.

And, leaning on his faith, he steps into the river which he finds not to be terrible at all. And soon he is stepping out onto the shore of the Celestial City. And all the trumpets sounded on the other side.

What is truth? The very question posed by Pontius Pilate. John 18:38. Consider the meaning of the Greek words translated as ‘true’ and ‘truth’. True ‘alethes’, means unconcealed, manifest, actual, true to fact. True ‘alethinos’ denotes ‘true’ in the sense of real, ideal, genuine. Truth ‘aletheia’ means objectively, signifying the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter.

When Jesus speaks of truth, it describes that which corresponds to reality, what is factual and absolute, not relative but how Jesus is the truth? He proclaims that truth is real and knowable, John 8:32. He proclaims that truth can set one free from the bondage of sin, John 8:32-34.

His doctrine is the way to the truth that frees one from sin, John 8:31-32 John 8:34-36. He faithfully proclaimed His Father’s Word, which is truth, John 17:14 / John 17:17. By abiding in Jesus’ teachings, we can know the truth and the freedom it offers! Freedom from the bondage of sin becomes even more meaningful when we consider how Jesus is.

The very life of Jesus was a representation of the truth; he is Truth Incarnate, John 5:32-33 / John 8:46 / John 1:17.

Let us always bear in mind that there is only one Truth: The Lord God to whom we can go through Jesus Christ our Mediator Saviour and Truth.