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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



The apostle John expressed great joy in 2 John 4. To the "elect lady" (verse 1) he writes, "I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father." The source of John's joy should be of great interest to every child of God. The stated reason he was happy was because some of the Christians he was writing about were walking in truth. Truth is a big deal for the apostle John. In the 7 chapters that make up 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, "truth" occurs at least 19 times. John insists that truth exists, that we can know it, love it, walk in it, and by it be set free (John 8:32; 2' John 1-6). But if John leaves no doubt that some were walking in truth, he is equally clear that others were busy walking away from truth — For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (2 John 7).

The following question from a courtroom transcript reminds us that words can be used to muddy up and hide the truth rather than make it clear. Question: "When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?" Say what?! False teachers and false teaching have a way of muddying up even the most clearest and most fundamental teachings in the gospel. The apostles confessed that Jesus was God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9), but antichrists said He wasn't (1's John 2:22; 4:2-3; 2' John 7). Jesus said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16a), but false teachers say, "He who believes is saved and will be baptized." The apostle Peter said, "baptism doth also now save us" (1 Peter 3:21a), but a popular religious teaching insists "baptism does not now save us." About A. D. 60-61, the Holy Spirit had it recorded that "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6). On the one hand atheism muddies this clear truth by saying "There is no body, no spirit, no hope, no Lord, no faith, no baptism, and no God." On the other hand religious pluralism and liberalism muddy it by insisting, "There are many bodies, many spirits, many hopes, many Lords, many faiths, many baptisms, and many Gods." Aldous Huxley said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." The truth does make some people mad but it made the apostle John glad.  What does the truth do to you?