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    When the Truth Hurts...

    When The Truth Hurts...

    We have all experienced it at some point in our lives. A truth is spoken to us and we do not want to hear it. We reject the bearer of this truth because what they say disagrees with us and we wish not to discuss it further. We just don't care for the discussion. We feel it will lead to an argument of which we would rather avoid.

    Is the reason for this because we cannot yet bear it or have we chosen a path for ourselves where we determine what we WILL hear and what we will NOT hear. This is that crucial part in our lives where we are at a fork in the road and one of the choices means we have to change our minds while the other path says we can stay as we are.

    The children of Israel came across that very same fork in the road while on their own journey through the life God was leading them to. That fork in the road was when God spoke His commandments to them from the midst of that burning fiery furnace known as an all consuming fire, God Himself. Let's see how they reacted to it:
    Deuteronomy 5:23-29 (NKJV)
    23 “So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said:“Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 You go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it. ’
    28 “Then the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me:‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken.
    29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
    They heard what God said but they no longer wanted to hear anymore! Why was this? They said it themselves. They were fearful of God. This is what they said, "For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die." They discovered two things when God spoke to them. First, the motives of their heart was uncovered. In Hebrews we discovered the truth of this:
    Hebrews 4:12-13 (NKJV)
    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
    When God speaks, His word cuts right through and exposes the very motives of our heart. It is when we see the motive of selfishness at the core of our sin that we become ashamed, guilty and will want to either hide or repent. The children of Israel chose not to repent but wished to hide that which became exposed. This is another truth that Jesus spoke about when He spoke to Nicodemus by night:
    John 3:19-20 (NKJV)
    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
    There was a second thing the children of Israel learned that day when God spoke to them from that mountain. God is an all consuming fire. This fire is a fire of holiness which burns up all works of the flesh while refining all the works of righteousness. They learned that the reward for sin is judgment. When men refuse to repent, they choose to hide themselves from God. This became evident in Genesis when God called out to Adam but Adam hid himself from Him. Once sin enters in, we see our own nakedness and seek to hide ourselves from the very One who loves us and created us.

    It is the PAIN of this discovery of our own guilt, our own nakedness, our own sin which causes us to want to withdraw. Remember that first lie you told your parents when you were a child? Why did you do it? Were you afraid of punishment? Did you do something that was forbidden and you sought to cover it up by lying about it? Was it the thought of the punishment you would receive that motivated you to hide what you did? If your brother or sister found you out and threatened to tell, did you love them or did you want to prevent them from exposing you?

    The truth CAN be painful because the pain of the knowledge of the truth brings that sense of judgment, retribution, punishment. Look what happened when Steven spoke the truth to the religious leaders of Israel, they became so enraged they picked up stones and killed this saint of God. Truth hurts! Truth can be one of the most painful and challenging of all that is God. Many will come face to face with truth in that final day at the judgment seat of Christ where the living and the dead will be judged. Those who have rejected the truth while on this earth will face the ultimate in judgment, the flames of everlasting fire. Each one will see their lives and how they lived it and see Jesus in a way they have chosen not to see in their lifetimes. It is then that they will know, with a terrible realization, that Jesus was all He said He was and more. It is then they all will wish they could have another chance to right the wrongs in their lives but by then, they had made their choices in life and now must pay for those wrong choices. They loved their own lives and now they will lose it forever.

    Yes, the knowledge of the truth CAN be very painful but for those who desire the truth, it is not quite so painful. Yes, the initial discovery of our sin and the cause of our sin, when we see it, can be a terrible experience. I remember that for me, this came after watching a Jesus movie depicting how Jesus lived His life and I saw my own life in contrast. I saw how He lived a life dedicated to others and never for Himself and I saw how I lived MY life fully dedicated to myself. Even when I loved, it was to be loved in return and if that love was not reciprocated, I would reject the ones I said loved. What a terrible realization and yet, there was Jesus with His arms outstretched to me saying, "I am ready to forgive you!" I knew my guilt, for it was my kind of love, my selfishness, that put Jesus on the cross, that struck Him, that tortured His body, that pierced His side, that mocked Him and condemned Him to die. Yet, He was ready to give me mercy if I just asked. And ask I did and He removed all my sin and forgave my selfishness and gave me His righteousness instead. He took my filthy rags and put His robe on me!

    Brethren, the truth need not hurt if we are willing to open our hearts to that truth. Jesus taught us that if we know or experience this truth, then that very same truth can make us free. Until Jesus introduced Himself to us, we never knew what freedom was. We lived all our lives in bondage and never knew how freedom could feel so FREE! And yet today, many still refuse to allow the truth to enter into their hearts. What truth they have learned already is sufficient for them and they are unwilling to learn more. If another comes with a further revelation of truth to share, it is rejected.

    This has been the case throughout church history. As God restored another aspect of truth to the church, that truth met with opposition by those who did not want change. They liked things as they were. These were unwilling to change and rejected this revelation of truth. From one move of God to another, change and revelation has been met with opposition and even violence. We have the vantage point of history to see these things but those at that time did not. They felt threatened by these new revelations and instead of embracing them, they rejected them. It is still the same today. We have become comfortable with where we are and if a new revelation of the truth comes, will we too forcibly reject it as well? I tell you, with all of history to teach us, we have not learned our lessons yet. We have not adopted that truth that Paul introduced to us to leave what we have learned behind in order to pursue that which is before us. We still settle into our comfort zones and refuse to move from there.

    What man that is alive today has received that full embodiment of the living truth in them? Only Jesus was given the fullness of the Spirit of God. Everyone else has been given a portion, a measure. It is when the Body of Christ comes together that we are able to witness a greater measure of the Holy Spirit in our midst as each member shares that portion they have received of God. We each have a testimony, a psalm, a teaching, a prophetic revelation, a part of the Holy Spirit so as to give to the Body of Christ for the benefit of the whole. One is called to be a hand while another a foot and yet another an ear, a mouth, and eye and so forth. Are we all one foot, are we all one hand? It is when we come together as a whole that Christ is revealed and glorified through His workings in our midst.

    It is the same with the truth. Paul speaks of it in this way:
    Philippians 3:7-10 (NKJV)
    But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
    "...what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ..."
    It is with this attitude of pressing forward to know Christ even more, that this pursuit of the truth requires. We learn the truth at one stage of our growth but we have not yet arrived and so we take what was learned and count it as rubbish when we compare what is yet to be discovered in Christ. We should not let what we have gained be the reason for not pressing forward for more.
    Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
    12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
    It is this "pressing on", this "reaching forward to those things which are ahead" which should be the desire and attitude of all believers. It is the realization that there is always more than what we have learned because God is not limited but we are. It is the continual revelation of who God IS in us that which beckons us to take what was given, walk in it and pursue more. It is when we say that we have learned enough and end our journey for the seeking of the truth that will cause us to stagnate just as a stream that flows nowhere will begin to stagnate and become undrinkable.

    Whenever you have reached a point of stagnation in your walk, God sees this and knows how to remedy this in your life. He will bring further truth, not something outside of His Word but a revelation of truth that you have not seen before. This is the dredging equipment to unblock the flow of that stream of truth in you so that you may continue to experience the freshness of the flow of His Spirit. You may be challenged in what you have believed thus far and challenged in opening your heart to further revelation. You may not feel you NEED this as you have become self-satisfied in where you are and in what you already know.

    I learned this truth one day a number of years ago when God gave me a vision. I was in a small circular room with no furniture. This room contained only one thing, a shelf which was at eye level. On this shelf was everything I had learned till this time. Everything was within easy reach. Suddenly, that shelf was no longer at eye level but had moved to above my head. I moved to the opposite end of the room to get a better view of what was on that shelf but there was no vantage point to see. Then the Spirit of the Lord said to me, "You will no longer reach forth to those things you have learned but now, you are to reach forth to those things you do not know."

    From that point on, He began to teach and train me how this is done. As it turned out, this new lesson mirrored exactly those I've shared in this message. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know." This was to become my favorite verse. It reminded me daily that what I know today was not enough for there was far more available for me to learn. It is NOT the accumulation of knowledge itself that Holy Spirit is drawing us to acquire, rather, it is the accumulation of the knowledge of the Holy One that He is beckoning us to seek for and ask for.

    A man may increase his knowledge but this alone is not what God seeks in us. It is fellowship with Him and learning of Him in that fellowship that God desires in us. It is IN this daily walking with Him that we begin to discover Who He IS and who WE are. It is in this daily walking with Him that we discover what it means to be sons of God. We learn how to be loved by Him, how to be taught by Him, how to be corrected by Him. We learn what being a son is all about. For it is out of our sonship that we learn how to serve God and others. Although we may be called to be apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, these things do not define WHO we are but rather what we DO. For we are sons first and out of this position as sons of God, we serve.

    The reason for this message is simple: I have often encountered men and women through the years that have reached that pinnacle in their lives that they feel that what they have learned is sufficient and need not know more. As a result, ANY revelation that is different than what they have received, is not accepted and is therefore dismissed. The most common refrain is:

    "Let us agree to disagree."

    "You see the truth in one way and I see the truth in another way. Let us all just agree that it is okay to disagree."

    These very same people will wish to leave it at that and will tell you they love you and bless you and then forget they ever met you. I have encountered this attitude all my life as a Christian. I have never sought these encounters, yet I keep running into them. It grieves my heart to see this, for it comes oftentimes from unexpected sources.

    Brethren, since when is it agreeable to disagree? Is this what we will encounter in heaven? I dare say it is not. For in heaven, we shall be as one and everyone will then be able to see the full truth where before we saw the truth but as though looking through a darkened window. Don't we pray for what is in heaven to be on earth in the same manner? Isn't it better to have a better view than to say that what I have seen is enough for me? Whatever happened to the "Let us reason together you and I..." attitude of heart. We are willing to be more flexible with an unbeliever in their unbelief than we are with a believer who happens to see a side of the coin we have never decided to look at.

    One church says that 5+5=10 and teaches this so. Another church teaches 3+7=10, while yet another teaches 8+2=10. Each church is correct in what they teach but when they begin to say that their version is the ONLY version that is right, it is then they fall into error. It is then that pride becomes lifted up and others are rejected because they do not see as they do.

    Understand this, the truth is like a many faceted diamond that has been finely cut and polished to reveal all its multifaceted beauty. We simply cannot look at just one facet and make the claim that this is the only perspective of truth. Another standing right next to you has a slightly different perspective of that same diamond, shares what they see and you reject what they say because it is not what you see! Remember as children, we each would be on one side of a house or the other and look at the moon overhead. One would say it is over here and the other, from a different perspective, would say no, it is over here!

    As our position changes, so does our perspective. This is easily understood just by looking at the place we grew up as small children and then visiting that same home as adults. Isn't everything much smaller than we remembered? It is the same with problems we faced as children and then face those same problems as adults. Somehow those problems do not look the same. What at first seemed insurmountable now seems so easy to overcome. As we grow and change, so does our perspective. So why is it then brethren, we do not consider that another may have a revelation that may actually ADD to us and BENEFIT us because of the uniqueness of their perspective.

    Why do we resist rather than receive? Is it because we have become comfortable in where we are? Like the children of Israel, once they found a good spot, their attitude is to stay and camp there for the springs are good and there is plenty to eat for our flocks but yet the cloud would still move and they must move as God leads them.

    We are creatures of habit and as such, we want to make things familiar, comfortable with no change. We desire to relax and rest and not be forced to move away from our comfort zone. Yet the very nature of the life of a Christian is a life that is constantly in the state of change as we are being changed from glory to glory. Yet we resist this change and along the way, we will 'sadly' find that we missed the best God had for us because we refused to move on and change and open ourselves for more of God.

    Paul's attitude of heart was never to rest or sit on what he knew because he knew that the depths of God are far beyond our comprehension but even this daunting truth did not cause him to stop his continual pursuit of the knowledge of truth, the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection.

    I urge you Brethren, do not reject this pursuit of the knowledge of the Holy One. The next person you encounter may be the one holding the key to the next revelation in your life that can bring with it a greater fulfillment of God in your lives beyond what you could ever have known or imagined. As with all truth, I strongly encourage you to be a Berean. Search the scriptures to see if what is being presented can be proven. Understanding that no prophecy is of private interpretation but comes by the Spirit of the Lord. Let Holy Spirit guide you and teach you His truth and always be watchful and on guard as your adversary, the devil, is always seeking those who leave themselves vulnerable.

    Be watchful and prayerful in all things and give glory to God in all that you do, according to His mercies and goodness, AMEN!

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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