Inspiration from Dr. David White
The Kingdom Series – ‘Valiant for the Truth on the Earth’
“And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 9:3).
Shortly after our arrival at our hotel in what was then known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I turned on the television curious as to what I might see being broadcast in a communist nation.
After finding a channel I could actually see, it shortly became apparent that I was watching a children’s program consisting of anti-American propaganda. The content and intention was so obvious that my not knowing the Russian language was no major obstacle.
I remember telling God how the program was filled with propaganda, as if that was news to Him. God then whispered something in my heart I will never forget. I heard how there was more propaganda being promoted and published daily in the United States than at any time in the history of the Soviet Union (Russia). Although I didn’t fully comprehend what I believed I had heard that June afternoon I now clearly see what God was showing me.
It could be said that no other generation in American history has been less prepared to cope with and escape the onslaught of deception now inundating America and indeed every nation on earth, from America, via the air waves philosophically, educationally, politically and religiously. One has to wonder if some American news outlets are even capable of telling the truth on any regular basis. Lies, fake news, misinformation and propaganda are backed up with even more lies, fake news, misinformation and propaganda. Yet the Scriptures have clearly pre-warned us of these days while offering hope on which we can stand.
When asked by His disciples about the timing and the events surrounding the end of the age, Jesus wasted no time by warning them to first, “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4). Then He cautioned them how, “if possible, even the elect”, (Mark 13:22), could fall prey.
Deception comes from a Greek word that means to roam from safety, virtue or the truth, and will abound and capture the entire world in unprecedented fashion at the end of the age. This deception will be so seductive and widespread that eventually it will be said that, “all the world, (world system), marveled and followed the beast” (Revelation 13:3).
Since the deceived do not know they are deceived escaping deception requires we continually examine our thoughts, beliefs and actions by the standard of God’s Word. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (II Corinthians 13:5a). He reminded them, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (I Corinthians 11:31).
The word translated ‘judge’ means, ‘to separate thoroughly’; ‘to withdraw from’; ‘to oppose’; ‘to discriminate’; ‘to decide’; and ‘to hesitate’. The wise will discriminate, decide and separate themselves from that which is unholy and untrue. They will hesitate before accepting and believing anything they have not thoroughly judged as being truth.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
“Test all things; hold fast what is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).
Raising the Standard
Isaiah prophetically described a time when, “…truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (see Isaiah 59:14-15).
Speaking through His prophet, God confirms that, “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.” (Isaiah 59:21)
Although truth may fall in the earth, it will continue to march on, in and through His people. In the same context Isaiah reminds us that, “when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).
The standard bearer for truth in the earth is defined when the Apostle Paul later describes the church as, “the pillar and the ground (mainstay) of the truth” (see I Timothy 3:15). It’s not the government, or politicians, or the news media that possesses the God-ordained authority to represent and declare truth on the earth. Although we want our politicians and news media to speak truth, ultimately it is the church of the “living God” that has been granted this authority and responsibility. As Paul desperately wanted Timothy to understand his role in representing and defending truth on the earth so we must understand the church of Jesus Christ has the responsibility of lifting up the standard of truth in each generation.
[If we fail to make truth known in our generation we can be certain enemies of the truth will fill that void with lies from their father the devil, who Jesus defined as, “a liar and the father of lies and of all that is false” (John 8:44 Amp. Bible).]
As someone has rightfully said, without God, we can’t, and without us, God won’t. God is sovereign and yet the church of each generation is responsible to represent, defend and be valiant for the truth to their generation.
Valiant for the Truth
Jeremiah recognized the lies and deceptions of his day and boldly declared “And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.” (See Jeremiah 9:3) Jeremiah acknowledged the need for those who knew the truth to rise up and defend that truth, thus countering the lies and deceptions of his generation. Likewise God, who uses ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary, is looking for standard bearers who will be valiant for the truth in the earth at a time when lies and deceptions abound. The question is how do we do that?
To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we should be among those who continually hear the truth!
When the Apostle Paul declared to the Romans, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), he was giving them a key to their receiving a saving faith necessary for salvation. He also gave them a key that would enable them to possess a sustaining faith necessary for their remaining free from any entanglement in the world. Just as it is necessary to hear God’s Word initially to receive salvation so it is necessary we continue to hear God’s Word to walk in the freedom salvation brings. We will either have faith to believe what is true or faith to believe what is false. Wisdom declares, “But whoever listens to me (God), will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33). The same truth that sets us free keeps us free!
If we are to be valiant for the truth on the earth, we will be among those who consistently walk in truth!
Scripture confirms, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II John 7). Though this warning applies to every generation, it is especially relevant for the church at the end of the age when the spirit of the Antichrist will become more and more of an influence in the world.
John does not tell the believers to try and figure out the identity of the antichrist, but rather challenges them to be among those who are “walking in truth” (see II John 4). Knowing the identity of the Antichrist will not deliver anyone from the deceptions promoted by the spirit of the Antichrist. Deliverance comes through our walking in and obedience to the truth. As the Psalmist cried, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth” (see Psalm 86:11).
To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we must be among those who stand on the truth!
Once during one of our family devotions when our children were young, I was trying to emphasize the necessity of their learning to stand on the truth (God’s Word). As we were finishing up our devotion for that night, my son, who was probably around five years old, jumped up on the bed, stood on top of the Bible lying on the bed and shouted, “Like this daddy?” I responded with, “Yes, just like that son”, and my prayer has been that he would never forget it.
Eleazar, along with two other mighty men of David, fearlessly faced the entire Philistine army while all the others fled in terror. It is written of these men, “But they stationed themselves in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory” (I Chronicles 11:14).
The Hebrew word “stationed”, simply means that these men ‘took their stand.’ They refused to flee because of mere words spoken by those who did not know God. They had far more faith in God who was with them than the enemy who threatened them. Refusing to follow the crowd, these brave and valiant men took their stand on the truth and in their place in history.
To be valiant for the truth on the earth requires we be among those who stand up for the truth!
It has been said, that “if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything.” During the end of the age, the world, including many possessing faith in Jesus, will be prone to believe lies strategically designed to lead people away from the truths of God’s Word. Paul warns the church to, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit (powerless unproved promises), according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
In speaking to his generation and every generation that would follow, Peter says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies . . . and many will follow their destructive ways (see II Peter 2:1-2).
Standing on the truth in the privacy of our homes is necessary and honorable, but standing up for the truth before a hostile and angry world brings a deeper meaning to what it means to be valiant for the truth in the earth.
The word ‘valiant’ defines someone who is ‘brave, courageous or heroic’. It also can refer to those who ‘overcome’ or are ‘victorious’. One source defines the word as someone who is ‘founded on the truth’, something that should be said of every believer in Jesus Christ.
Christian leaders throughout history were among those who led the way boldly and courageously standing against deceptions that had a stranglehold on individuals; as well as, entire nations. They rightfully saw themselves as pillars and standard bearers of the truth. These were called to walk the fine line of demonstrating God’s unrelenting love, while reproving the darkness of their hour (see Ephesians 5:2-11)
One example of how the church today can stand against the gross darkness and deceptions of this hour can be found in the misinformation of what in the 1970’s was decried as the world’s impending doom from the coming ‘ice age’ or ‘global cooling’.
Thirty years later liberal publications and politicians began to predict the earth’s imminent demise from what was explained as ‘global warming’ ignoring the growing challenges of many of the world’s scientists and climatologists who questioned the validity and the political motives behind their claims.
To promote further confusion the subject was strategically renamed, ‘climate change’. This allowed those promoting the deception, to include any normal change in the weather in the debate.
The Scriptures answer the questions of extreme global cooling and warming when God assured Noah, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
God’s Word assures men and women that though the weather will naturally change the seasons and the earth’s heating and cooling patterns will continue until the end. Although we are called to be good stewards of the earth’s resources, as well as the earth itself, men cannot alter God’s pre-determined natural laws. Nor are we to esteem the creation above the Creator (see Romans 1:25).
Truth will always eventually prevail against darkness regardless of the persuasive power behind it. Whether political or religious all lies originate from the father of lies, (see John 8:44) and are intended to keep men and women from seeking the One who is, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Rick Joyner in his book, Breaking the Power of Evil, gives an example of being valiant for the truth, by referring to an end-of-the-age righteous army who will declare, “We are here to stand for truth and proclaim the gospel of His Kingdom to those who are caught in the shackles of evil and on the path to destruction. We need rest when it is given to us, but how can any soldier of the cross want to rest for a long time while there is yet even a single soul in bondage to the evil one? Every Christian is sent out as a knight of the kingdom, to slay dragons, fight for the poor and oppressed, and establish the domain of the King”. It can be further said that the world desperately needs a generation to emerge that will fear no one but God and proclaim nothing but the truth regardless of the costs.
To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we will be those who know when to speak the truth!
In writing about the seasons and purposes of God, the wisest king who ever lived wrote about, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (see Ecclesiastes 3:7). While most of us could use a lesson in the first part of that verse we still must be aware of the importance of the last.
During the years leading up to the Holocaust and the massive loss of life among the Jews, most of the world and sadly the church was strangely silent. There were those however that dared confront the evil of that day, most of which lost their lives. I wonder if at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will not only be judged for what we shouldn’t have said but did, but also for what we did not say when we had the opportunity to say it. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Yet truth kept secret sets no one free.
One of the greatest truths in the Bible declares, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). This verse inspires and gives the church hope in its commission of preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. Yet the following verse reveals a deeper understanding of this truth. Paul continues by stating, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)
Anyone who really calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But no one can call upon Him unless someone speaks up and tells them about Him. When the Ethiopian eunuch questioned Philip about who it was that was being discussed as he read the Scriptures, we read, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35). If Philip had not opened his mouth the eunuch might never have known true salvation.
To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we will be among those who receive a deep and passionate love for the truth.
In referring to the end of the age, Paul explains that there will be an “unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. He then writes what may be two of the most frightening verses in the Bible when he says, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:10-12).
One of the greatest prayers we could ever pray for our children and this generation is not that they just recognize good from evil or truth from error, but that they might have a deep and profound love for the truth, that they might be saved.
If our children love the truth they will recognize what is good from evil through their knowledge of their Savior who has promised to lead them into all truth. Loving the truth along with speaking the truth in love will incite others to want to discover the truth for themselves.
To be valiant for the truth on the earth, we must be among those who most of all, know the Truth!
When standing before Pilate facing His eventual death, Jesus told Pilate that He had come to bear witness of the truth. Pilate then responded by asking the question, “What is truth?” (See John 18:38)
Although caught up in the entanglement of the world’s lies the overwhelming majority of people long to know truth. God has placed a deep hunger within the heart of every man and woman to ask the same question Pilate asked Jesus.
Knowing the truth is not about knowing all the right answers, the right people, the right formulas or always knowing what to do. It is about our knowing the right person. Truth above all else is a person, the person of the Lord Jesus!
Now is the Time
As in Jeremiah’s day, there are many who, “like their bow have bent their tongues for lies”. The time has come for those called to be valiant for the truth on the earth to arise, raise the standard and take their stand in the midst of the flood of some of the greatest deceptions ever introduced upon the earth. These will unashamedly speak the truth with the most outrageous and contagious love for God this world has ever seen.
As the church of Jesus Christ we must align ourselves with truth, walk in it, love it, proclaim it, and when necessary defend it with our lives. As in generations past, so His truth will continue to march on until the end of this age and throughout eternity.
(Revised from the book, “The Times to Come Have Come – Hope and Help in Troubled Times” by David White)
David White Th.D.
David and his wife Shirley are the head pastors at the Gathering Church in Moravian Falls, NC. The Fresh Bread Blog is where Dr. David posts inspiration and messages he receives from the Lord for the church and missions.
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