In a recent series called “Entering God’s Rest” I show that the “two witnesses” of Revelation 11 represent God’s overcomers who throughout history proclaim the theme of God’s Word, mercy and truth. In the Bible we see God’s mercy described many ways and by various words like righteousness, lovingkindness, grace, and kindness. Likewise we see God’s truth explained and summarized with words like justice, law, faithfulness, and judgment.
I also teach, like many others, that the first time a word is used in Scripture often sets the theme or pattern for understanding or interpreting that word throughout the Bible. This is called the “law of first mention.” I believe this law proves itself yet again with respect to the first time the words “mercy” and “truth” appear together. This happens to be in Genesis 24:27.
And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s kinsmen. (Genesis 24:27 KJ2000)
I am drawn again today to dwell upon God’s revelation of truth because truth is the only thing that can sustain us in these dark days we now live in. Nothing else positive any longer exists, except our loving relationships and the work God has given us to do. We have passed from the church age, an age of abject failure, to the time when God judges the church and the beast (governments) she rides. We have stepped into the Day of the LORD.
The failure of the last age takes many forms, spiritual, moral, economic, environmental, endless wars etc. We cannot point to any aspect of our earthly existence and say, “Look! We succeeded here!” because we did not succeed. We failed at everything. We can no more turn our white hair to black than we could 2,000 years ago. If it appears that we do so then you need to understand that we only did it by artificial means. And we do pretend a lot don’t we? For our culture en mass “fake is always better.” That’s why we color our hair, drug our senses, implant our breasts, change our faces with plastic surgery, eat margarine instead of butter, genetically modify our food, and on and on. We’re not real people; we’re fakes! Like the Jews of Jesus’ day when we proselytize an unbeliever we make him twice as much a son of hell as we are!
`Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye go round the sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and whenever it may happen–ye make him a son of gehenna twofold more than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15 YLT)
Jesus did not tell these corrupt teachers that their followers would spend twice as long in hell as they themselves would spend. He used the word “Gehenna” here which was Jerusalem’s trash dump, her place of continual burning. Jesus was telling these corrupt religious teachers that their doctrine, their religious “truth,” contained such perversions that those they taught would need double the “baptism of fire” to correct their errors. Thus you read these words and cannot understand. They do not match the doctrines you were taught all your life.
But the time is coming when those who did not understand will understand. Until then I say, “Buy the truth and sell it not,” for this is all that can sustain you in the dark coming days. Deception is coming that will fool, if possible, even the elect. Deception is coming and if you have eyes you can even now see it growing.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24 KJ2000)