Present Truth = Present Duty
Satan is ever ready to fill the mind with theories and calculations that will divert men from the present truth, and disqualify them for the giving of the third angel’s message to the world. It has ever been thus; for our Saviour often had to speak reprovingly to those who indulged in speculations and were ever inquiring into those things which the Lord had not revealed. Jesus had come to earth to impart important truth to men, and he wished to impress their minds with the necessity of receiving and obeying his precepts and instructions, of doing their present duty, and his communications were of an order that imparted knowledge for their immediate and daily use.
Jesus said: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” All that was done and said had this one object in view,–to rivet truth in their minds that they might attain unto everlasting life. Jesus did not come to astonish men with some great announcement of some special time when some great event would occur, but he came to instruct and save the lost. He did not come to arouse and gratify curiosity; for he knew that this would but increase the appetite for the curious and the marvelous. It was his aim to impart knowledge whereby men might increase in spiritual strength, and advance in the way of obedience and true holiness. He gave only such instruction as could be appropriated to the needs of their daily life, only such truth as could be given to others for the same appropriation. He did not make new revelations to men, but opened to their understanding truths that had long been obscured or misplaced through the false teaching of the priests and teachers.
— E.G. White, Review and Herald, March 22, 1892
This quote well explains what present truth is. Many of us assumed that it had much to do with political events, to the point now where when people are proclaiming what they consider “present truth,” they are only presenting present news, with a prophetic flavor, many times in speculation. Why do we keep doing this? I believe one reason is that we do not understand what present truth really is. If our minds are filled with evil political figures instead of God, that is what our mouth will speak (Matt. 12:34). Should this knowledge really be absorbing our attention? Any search results for “present truth” in social media will yield things largely of the present political environment. Our conservative Adventist culture is deceiving us and we need to learn what present truth really is.
Present truth is very practical. It has to do with receiving and obeying and practicing every precept of the Word of God, even the ones that seem foreign to us. Revival and reformation work together. One will bring out more of the other. Reforms will revive us, though the foundation of our revival is in daily digging in the Word to receive the true knowledge of God (which I’m making a different post on) and living the life of prayer, but the more we prayerfully study from God’s Word, the more we learn of reforms that we must practice and share with the body; and these reforms will, in effect, react upon our spirituality and revive us. Present truth is present duty – present as God presents it to us fresh from His Word. We have been dwelling much too largely on the theoretical and not nearly enough on the practical; it is no wonder why some think it strange that we are focusing on things that we must do and not do. Let us learn from our Master and Teacher instead of our own thinking.
If present truth has anything to do with what is presently happening in the world—the signs of the times—then it is not merely the political environment but the desolating wrath and judgments of God.
Brothers and sisters, our minds need to be on God, not on the things of this world. Satan has people in two ditches: one feeding upon the entertainment media in games, movies, television, music, and sports; and the other feeding upon conspiracies, politics, and theoretical doctrines, sometimes full of sentimentalism or speculation. But instead we should be filling our minds with God in His Word, not searching for some new idea or some new evidence for our pet theories but for the life and character and power of God! Knowing Him must take first priority in our lives. He will fill our deepest cravings, but because our cravings are not being fully filled by Him, because we are not seeking Him with our whole hearts, we turn to worldly things.
When we hear of tempestuous storms, mighty earthquakes, crippling blizzards, raging fires, and explosive volcanoes, we should think upon God and not Satan. Satan does not have ultimate control. All these things are judgments of God, and that is how they are normally expressed in God’s Word. These things are to cause us to fear God. God has a merciful purpose in His judgments: they are for our eternal security and peace. But when we find ourselves out of harmony with His principles of peace, we have every reason to be afraid. God wants us to be afraid of His wrath, but Satan wants us to glorify him by dwelling on what he is doing on the earth.
The foundation of the first angel’s message is “Fear God and give glory to Him” (Revelation 14:7). For the sinner, this fear includes being afraid. If we are still indulging in any sin that He reveals to us, God wants us to be afraid. He has purposely let out more of His wrath in His turning away and letting Satan destroy, as he loves to destroy, as much as He permits him. It is to stir us to repentance! His judgments have been multiplying in recent years to prepare us for the judgments that will destroy this world. Our Father loves us! He destines everyone to be saved from His wrath to come, and He sends it now to warn us, for every storm that happens now is a shadow of what is to come, just as the seven trumpets are the shadow of the seven last plagues.
If present truth has anything to do with what is politically happening in the world, it is definitely the movements of militant Islam and terrorism. Why? Because through this power, God shall unleash His wrath upon the world. Militant Islam knows this; they know their purpose. And their main objective is to destroy all those who are fake Christians, who live and dress like the world. They did not touch a soul who had “the seal of God in their foreheads” in that woeful fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:4), so will it be in the seven last plagues in the Battle of Armagaeddon. All of the much more woeful human machinery will destroy those who do not take God seriously, failing to live by His every word. But neither Sharia law nor Sunday law will destroy the faithful who diligently live by Torah law.
Sister White advocated teaching on the Eastern Question for good reason: It awakens people to a fear of God. Dwelling on the proud Papacy will cause people to wake up, but they will only be awakened to pride, just the opposite of fearing God. Therefore, we should “have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy” (Letter 57, 1896), especially since many in North America are Catholic now, so to make its prophecy prominent to them would incite prejudice, just as it incites pride to us, as well as unbelief when things do not come to pass as we speculated they would. Every movement of militant Islam in these last days is a shadow of the fearful caliph king of the north in the last day days; and this fear is to produce a fear of God, not to worship the destructive Allah but the one true God who is Love. And the Septuagint apocrypha – those remnant Scriptures for the remnant people – have the same purpose. The fear of God is written through and through. I recommend reading these Scriptures right away!
As our fear of God matures, we won’t merely be afraid but we will be in reverent awe of God whenever we open the sacred Scriptures. We will tremble at His Word, for He “is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12); He is wonderful, majestic, triumphant – Mercy and Justice. God is Love. A knowledge of Him is our greatest need – the foundation of the true revival we need. God is our Present Truth. And His knowledge is not head knowledge but oneness with Him, through His very life that we receive in His Word. Head knowledge tends toward pride, whose end is destruction. True knowledge, true present truth, is life eternal, and that life is in the Word of God.
One thought on “Present Truth = Present Duty”
very well put,