How the Bible Teaches Us to Discover Truth

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The Pharisees thought they would establish the truth by studying the Scriptures. Jesus rebuked them and said they needed to actually come to Him to receive the truth (John 5:39-40).

Truth is not a book. Truth is a person (John 14:6).

“Revelation encounters” change our theology (i.e., our understanding of the words of Scripture).

  • Truth came to Paul when he had a direct encounter with the living God, hearing His voice and seeing His vision (Acts 9), after which he went away to the Arabian wilderness for three years. Paul makes a point to say he was not taught by man but rather taught by the Spirit (Gal. 1:11-18).
  • The disciples on the Emmaus Road were in a similar situation. They knew the Old Testament prophecies but did not have revelation concerning them until Jesus opened the Scriptures to them, and their hearts were set on fire (Luke 24:13-35).

Truth Comes by the Spirit

  • But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come (John 16:13-14).
  • The anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things (1 John 2:27).
  • So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts (2 Pet. 1:19-20).

Truth is a person, and when reading His book (the Bible), we need Him to reveal its message.

  • In the Garden of Eden, they were not handed a book. They were offered a walk with God in the cool of the day.
  • Jesus had this to say to those who thought they were going to receive life through a book: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). Jesus is saying: Come back to the Garden of Eden and have a living encounter with Me! Note Jesus didn’t say come to a linguist; He said come to Me!
  • The Bible teaches that the path to truth is when the Holy Spirit opens the Scriptures to our understanding causing our hearts to burn with revelation (Luke 24:13-35).
  • A foundational requirement is: We must receive the love of the truth so as to be saved (2 Thess. 2:10). I must pray for and seek out the constant enlightening of the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18), more than I love my pet doctrines, which are yesterday’s revelations codified. I either love the security of my theological box or I love the prophetic word constantly emerging in my heart, granting me ever-increasing light, continually transforming me into His likeness.
  • They did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved (2 Thess. 2:10)
  • I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know … (Eph. 1:17-18)

Satan has used every trick in the book to keep us from knowing the truth. His lies include:

  1. Skip walks in the garden: You don’t need to hear God’s voice; you can know. (“You” became the false god of “humanism” — it’s about my efforts. “Know” became the false god of “rationalism” – it’s about what I think).
  2. Dispensationalism: Much of the Bible is for another period, and you can’t apply or live it in this age (dispensation).
  3. Demythologization: The supernatural stories in the Bible are fables, not real.
  4. Fear of rejection: If you embrace this truth, you will lose your job, position, salary, prestige, social position. (Think Nicodemus, for example.)
  5. Fear of inadequacy: I am too ignorant to properly discover truth.
  6. Pride: I have truth all boxed up, so don’t confuse me with any countering verses or insights.
  7. A false understanding of spiritual authority: I must submit to what my leader tells me to believe.

My confession is:

I can know the truth through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. I honor and seek God’s revelation through all six means by which the Bible teaches that God reveals Himself. These are illumined Scriptures, anointed reasoning, peace in my heart, direct revelation through dreams, visions, angels, prophecy, illumined understanding of the fruit of life, and the revelation-based counsel of spiritual advisors. I walk in meekness, knowing that I see through a glass dimly and that the Holy Spirit grants me ever-increasing insight (1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Pet. 1:19).

Here is a biblical epistemology (system of knowing) for discovering truth:

  1. Honoring six ways God reveals Himself to us – The Leaders’ Paradigm {eoa}

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Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God’s voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University, where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.

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