Present Truth Message


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The message of Present Truth is unique for every generation suited to the problems of that generation. Modern Present Truth is focused on the restoration of all truth after the Great Apostasy. Present Truth is progressive and continues advancing until all the errors of the apostasy are refuted. Present Truth for the 21st century is not the same as it was in the 19th century or even the 20th century. Truth is progressive. All the truth of God is far greater than we see and much has been lost to apostasy through the Dark Ages.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
II Peter 1:12
The Word of God is our primary source of the present truth for all generations. The light of God's Word is always guiding us into all truth.
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalms 119:105

Proverbs contains one of the many indications we have that truth is increasing. This growth is seen in individuals and can be expected in every generation during periods of enlightenment. This is particularly true in the period of the Reformation which still continues. I suspect this was still true in some way for a small group during the period of the Dark Ages.

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Proverbs 4:18

It is important to note the prophetic aspects of this familiar chapter. We know in part but the perfect will come and do away without our partial, childish understanding.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I Corinthians 13:9-12

Truth and Knowledge

There is great value in truth and there are great dangers of knowledge. Paul spoke at length of these things in counsel to Timothy.

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Timothy 6:1-21
Paul also expressed the dangers of knowledge in these words to the Corinthians.
1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
I Corinthians 8:1-2

Ellen White Counsel

Ellen White also counsels us to always be seeking greater truth. She warns of special truths in every age. We should never ignore the past and we should not limit ourselves to the past.

If it was necessary for God's ancient people to often call to mind his dealings with them in mercy and judgment, in counsel and reproof, it is equally important that we contemplate the truths delivered to us in his word,--truth which, if heeded, will lead us to humility and submission, and obedience to God. We are to be sanctified through the truth. The word of God presents special truths for every age. The dealings of God with his people in the past should receive our careful attention. We should learn the lessons which they are designed to teach us. But we are not to rest content with them. God is leading out his people step by step. Truth is progressive. The earnest seeker will be constantly receiving light from Heaven. What is truth? should ever be our inquiry. {ST, May 26, 1881 par. 16} {2BC 1000.8}

We are to continue to grow but we must never run over those around us.

Our work is clearly aggressive. Our warfare is to be directed against error and sin, not against one another. God requires us to be a strength to one another, to heal, not to destroy. We are to be constantly receiving light; and we are not to spurn the message nor the messengers by whom God shall send light to His people. {15MR 297.3} {1888 1121.3} {PC 151.2}

She repeats, truth is progressive. We must move forward and not rest content with the past and where we are.

The great principle so nobly advocated by Robinson and Roger Williams, that truth is progressive, that Christians should stand ready to accept all the light which may shine from God's holy word, was lost sight of by their descendants. The Protestant churches of America,--and those of Europe as well,--so highly favored in receiving the blessings of the Reformation, failed to press forward in the path of reform. Though a few faithful men arose, from time to time, to proclaim new truth and expose long-cherished error, the majority, like the Jews in Christ's day or the papists in the time of Luther, were content to believe as their fathers had believed and to live as they had lived. Therefore religion again degenerated into formalism; and errors and superstitions which would have been cast aside had the church continued to walk in the light of God's word, were retained and cherished. Thus the spirit inspired by the Reformation gradually died out, until there was almost as great need of reform in the Protestant churches as in the Roman Church in the time of Luther. There was the same worldliness and spiritual stupor, a similar reverence for the opinions of men, and substitution of human theories for the teachings of God's word. {GC 297.2}

Growth in truth depends on sanctification, which depends on obedience to truth.

Obedience to the law of God is sanctification. There are many who have erroneous ideas in regard to this work in the soul, but Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and added, "Thy word is truth." Sanctification is not an instantaneous but a progressive work, as obedience is continuous. Just as long as Satan urges his temptations upon us, the battle for self-conquest will have to be fought over and over again; but by obedience, the truth will sanctify the soul. Those who are loyal to the truth will, through the merits of Christ, overcome all weakness of character which has led them to be molded by every varying circumstance of life. {TDG 148.2} {ST, May 19, 1890 par. 2}

Light and truth depend on willingly seeking and following.

Those who walk in the light will progress; they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. This is the result of sanctification through the truth, and this is what God requires of all. Truth is progressive; and those who are preparing for the last great day will go forward in accordance with the accumulated light which shines upon them from the prophecies and from the lessons of Christ and the apostles. No one will be condemned in the day of Judgment because of a lack of knowledge which he never had an opportunity to obtain. The light which never shone upon him will never be his darkness. The truth which God's messengers have presented by pen and by voice, the treasures of the word of God which they have opened to the people, the light which has penetrated the darkened chambers of the mind, will, if rejected, be witnesses against them in the last great day. The testimony which will come with condemning power upon the sinner, and which will close his mouth before God and testify of his guilt, is the fact that he saw the light, but for various reasons in harmony with the carnal heart, would not receive it. He would not receive the truth that was given to save him. The greater the light, the greater the obligations. {RH, January 5, 1886 par. 6}

Truth leads to obedience and sanctification.

If it was necessary for God's ancient people to often call to mind his dealings with them in mercy and judgment, in counsel and reproof, it is equally important that we contemplate the truths delivered to us in his word,--truth which, if heeded, will lead us to humility and submission, and obedience to God. We are to be sanctified through the truth. The word of God presents special truths for every age. The dealings of God with his people in the past should receive our careful attention. We should learn the lessons which they are designed to teach us. But we are not to rest content with them. God is leading out his people step by step. Truth is progressive. The earnest seeker will be constantly receiving light from Heaven. What is truth? should ever be our inquiry. {ST, May 26, 1881 par. 16}

We are in danger of repeating the apostasy of the papacy, if we do not heed the message we receive in our search for truth.

The papal authorities first ridiculed the reformers, and when this did not quench the spirit of investigation, they placed them behind prison walls, loaded them with chains, and when this did not silence them or make them recant, they finally brought them to the fagot and the sword. We should be very cautious lest we take the first steps in this road that leads to the Inquisition. The truth of God is progressive; it is always onward, going from strength to a greater strength, from light to a greater light. We have every reason to believe that the Lord will send us increased truth, for a great work is yet to be done. In our knowledge of truth, there is first a beginning in our understanding of it, then a progression, then completion; first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear. Much has been lost because our ministers and people have concluded that we have had all the truth essential for us as a people; but such a conclusion is erroneous and in harmony with the deceptions of Satan; for truth will be constantly unfolding. {ST, May 26, 1890 par. 2}

The greatest care should be exercised lest we do despite to the Spirit of God by treating with indifference and scorn the messenger, and the messages, God sends to his people, and so reject light because our hearts are not in harmony with God. When Christianity is truly received, it will always transform the heart and mould the character. Let those who have been accounted worthy to be expositors of God's word, who have been intrusted with the care of the flock of God, like humble, wise men, open their Bibles with grateful hearts and study its precious utterances. The messenger of God should not only search the Scriptures, but he should also urge the people to study the word of truth. As the miner seeks for gold in the rocks and the mountains, so men should dig in the mine of truth, that they may find out what God has revealed concerning the salvation of man. {ST, May 26, 1890 par. 3}

Present Truth is needed at this time.

The understanding of those who trifle with the plain testimonies of God's Word, and refuse to believe because it is inconvenient or unpopular to do so, will become darkened; truth will appear to them as error, and error will be accepted as truth. There are so many teachers who confuse the mind, and lead men away from the path of obedience, that we need to watch, and pray much for divine guidance. Those who transgress God's law will have much to say about charity; and when the truth is spoken, they talk of the liberality of God's Word and the license given in it. But love for Christ and for the souls for whom he died, will lead the servant of God to make faithful warnings and appeals. {SW, June 23, 1908 par. 6}

Those who walk in the light will progress. They will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. This is the result of sanctification through the truth. Truth is progressive: and those who are preparing for the last great day will go forward, in accordance with the accumulated light which shines upon them from the prophecies and from the lessons of Christ and his apostles. {SW, June 23, 1908 par. 7}

Truth has always been known but greater truth is continually revealed as time progresses.
In every age the gospel ministry has tended to the same end. But every minute specification is not revealed in the Word of God. He desires us to use our reason and experience, by their help adopting methods and plans which, under the existing circumstances, are for the benefit of the church and the schools and the other institutions which have been established. "By their fruits ye shall know them." If erroneous opinions are entertained, search the Scriptures with hearts which are humbled before God. Pray to the Lord, believing that He hears, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If we will only believe, we shall receive the help we need. {1888 133.1}

The message "Go forward" is still to be heard and respected. The varying circumstances taking place in our world call for labor which will meet these peculiar developments. The Lord has need of men who are spiritually sharp and clear-sighted, men worked by the Holy Spirit, who are certainly receiving manna fresh from heaven. Upon the minds of such, God's Word flashes light, revealing to them more than ever before the safe path. The Holy Spirit works upon mind and heart. The time has come when through God's messengers the scroll is being unrolled to the world. Instructors in our schools should never be bound about by being told that they are to teach only what has been taught hitherto. Away with these restrictions. There is a God to give the message His people shall speak. Let not any minister feel under bonds or be gauged by men's measurement. The gospel must be fulfilled in accordance with the messages God sends. That which God gives His servants to speak today would not perhaps have been present truth twenty years ago, but it is God's message for this time. {1888 133.2}

We have great light but more is to come.

This is our work. The light that we have upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, and will not be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world. The Lord's command to His servants is, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1. A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines. {CH 520.3}

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