The Truth Shall Stand
WHAT determines the truth? Is it merely how you view something? Can it be said that what is truth to you is truth and what is truth to your neighbor is also truth although a contradiction of views may exist? Or can it be said that truth is what is popularly accepted and believed? Rather than being determined by personal impressions, imagination and popularity, truth is determined by the One who created man. He created the material universe according to certain physical truths that he established in it. They remain although man may believe one theory or another. Before any theory can be accepted as true, it must be proved by observation to agree with these truths.
The standard for spiritual truth was also established by God and is found in his written Word, the Holy Bible. His Word is the standard with which human beliefs must agree in order to be the truth. More than 1900 years ago Jesus Christ said to God: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Today it still is, notwithstanding contradictions of that by men who are wise in their own eyes.
God’s truth is not altered or caused to fall because mighty propaganda machines succeed in regimenting human minds to think according to the twisted views of some political rulers. It does not cease to exist because popular religious belief in a country may contradict it or claim that human tradition is also a standard for truth. It does not lose any debate with well-educated men who put forth clever arguments against it. Although counterarguments from less educated persons may seem puny and unimpressive, God’s truth stands and, in the long run, wins the debate. Time proves it right and the worldlywise ones wrong.
It is like a seed that falls on good soil. The sprout that comes forth can withstand the torrid heat of the sun and the buffeting of storms. It is strong enough to crack a rock. So the truth of God’s Word weathers heated opposition and eventually cracks and demolishes popular falsehoods that have appeared to be as solid and immovable as rocks. Propagandists, worldly intellectuals and powerful religious groups can lash at it and seemingly demolish it, yet it persistently grows up again and again and again. Long after they have ceased to be, it is still in the hearts of many godly people.
Because you may belong to a popular religious organization, perhaps the dominating one in your country, do not conclude that its teachings must be the truth, that its popularity, size and age are assurance of this. Its teachings must match God’s Word to be true, just as scientific theories must match the truths God established in the physical universe in order to be true. Check the beliefs of your religion with God’s written Word and see whether they stand or fall. If you are confident they can stand, you should not be reluctant to talk about them when Jehovah’s witnesses call at your door. If the teachings do not match God’s Word, but are nothing more than human philosophy and traditions, they cannot stand. In due time they as well as those who trust in them will fall. “If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”—Matt. 15:14.
God’s truth is not any more popular today than it was in Jesus’ day. At that time it conflicted with popular religious views, and today it does the same. Out of hatred for it the world persecuted Christ and his followers; today the world shows the same dislike for proclaimers of it. The apostle Paul foretold that the truth would not be popular when he said: “All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. On the other hand, wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.”—2 Tim. 3:12, 13.
Although Christendom claims to be Christian and claims to hold to the truths of God’s Word, her actions belie her claims. She has drawn near to God with her mouth but her heart has been far from him. “It is in vain that they keep paying respect to me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.” (Matt. 15:9) In times past she has tried to stamp out God’s truth by destroying copies of the Bible, by torturing and killing Bible translators and Bible readers, and by trying to muzzle anyone who proclaimed it. By their works the leaders of Christendom have shown themselves to be wicked impostors pretending to be followers of Christ. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.”—2 Cor. 11:13.
Despite efforts to destroy God’s written Word and to silence those speaking its truth, God’s truth has prevailed. It has continued to spring up in the good soil of godly hearts to bring forth good fruit to the honor of God. It is being proclaimed world-wide today in the face of much opposition from the political and religious leaders of Christendom. It does not harmonize with political ambitions and practices, and it does not agree with many popular religious customs and teachings.
Do not make the mistake people in the first century did who rejected the truth Jesus Christ preached, because it was not in harmony with popular belief at that time and was condemned by their religious leaders. Do not make the mistake of thinking that size, age and popularity of a religious organization assure the truth of what it teaches. Instead, use the standard of truth God has given you—his written Word. Be suspicious of religious leaders who try to discourage your reading it. If their teachings are true, they would have no reason to fear the reading of God’s Word by anyone.
Despite the efforts of this world to stamp out God’s Word of truth or to corrupt it with popular traditions and philosophies, it continues to stand as the measuring rod of spiritual truth. It will still be standing, and so will those who bring their lives into harmony with it, long after this world and its lovers are nothing but dust and its popular beliefs are fantasies of the past. “The word itself of our God will last to time indefinite.”—Isa. 40:8.