In 1992, a movie was released called “A Few Good Men,” written by Aaron Sorkin. Here is the exchange in a very memorable scene:
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I’m entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!
Jack Nicholson’s character, Jessep, then goes on to explain how the general American public receives freedom.
It is in this quote we hear a demand from Kaffee for truth. We hear a legitimate response from Jessep as the truth is overwhelming. Kaffee was asking for right information, correct information. He wasn’t cool with just answers.
We now pursue one of the most intriguing words to date, for me anyway…IF you can handle it…
A small discovery from Strong’s Concordance reveals the early Greek translation of the word ἀλήθεια means actuality, or reality, or the opposite of illusion. This Greek word is used over and over again in the New Testament. So almost every time you see “truth” in the NT, try reading that passage with “reality” in it’s place.
I could stop right there!
But, we press on. This new word had me go on a spiritual journey in my mind. I was listening past what I saw as reality. This is what I heard.
Today’s American, Westernized culture is passionately committed to creating a reality, an actuality, a truth. There are numerous opportunities to fade away from our own reality into reality tv shows, virtual reality encounters, and dare I say it, the Internet.
There’s nothing like watching someone else screw up their life on TV, or gain the world from the generosity of someone donating time, money and resources to a project. “If only I could be them.” or “I’m glad I’m not them.” or “I wish I could do that for someone.” Reality TV gives us a reality to consume.
Video games with friends, or your kids, or someone across the world…now that’s life! Imagine going on explorations, discoveries, tours with these folks virtually. You can do all of these things in the comfort of your own home. You can also run on a treadmill through a virtual path, or ride a stationary bike on a virtual le Tour de France… Virtual Reality provides a power button so that you can be where you want to be when you want to be there.
Now come on, the Internet!? That’s is a work of art! A gateway, if you will, to e-commerce! It brings worlds together! You can have a clean, snappy video about a relatively interesting or provoking reality somewhere, and all of a sudden, quoting Lloyd Christmas as they arrive into Aspen, “We’re there.”
But are we there? Can we virtually be anywhere and experience life? Are other realities worth consuming? Really?
If you want answers…if you want the truth…
The truth…the Reality is near. Let us gaze into Reality.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)
The Word of God, Christ, became flesh, Jesus. He then lived on earth with us. We got to see His glory (that’s next week’s post), and this glory is from only the One who was born from God. He was born with the fullness of God in Him. He also possessed a reality that was different from any other reality that had been revealed to man.
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. (John 4:23)
There will be a time, and actually is currently available, when actual worshipers will worship (yep, this is another word that will be discussed later) God in their spirit and in actual reality. This is who God is looking to as worshipers of Himself.
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32 NASB)
You will experience the reality of Christ, and this reality of Christ will make you free from what has you.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB)
Christ is the way to live, the reality to live in, and the life to live by. No one is able to be right with God without being in Christ Himself.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 NASB)
Jesus asked God and God delivered a Helper, Who is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is with us through death and life. This Holy Spirit is the Spirit of reality. The world cannot receive this reality because it doesn’t see or know this reality. But we know this reality in our spirit because the reality of Christ abides with us through our brothers and sisters, and the reality of Christ is in us.
Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. (John 18:37-38)
Wow! To present reality. Christ is the King of this other reality. That is why He was born and came to our realm. Everyone who is of this reality acknowledges Christ as King. Then Pilate asked about this reality…and completed the plan by offering Christ to the Jewish custom of release, which was given to Barabbas.
Later, Pilate called Jesus the King of the Jews. I don’t think He got it. Christ was the King of another realm. He entered into our realm to bring us access to His realm. Again. Wow!
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18 NASB)
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and perhaps make a pretty controversial statement…but I’ll keep it general so I don’t step on too many toes…
It is my belief that the wrath of God is no access to the fullness of God, or no grace. I also hold to the belief that heaven on earth is the expression of Christ through His Body, with Him as Head (which will be discussed in a later post). So, for those who suppress the reality provided by Christ, you receive the wrath of God, or no grace. I’m sorry.
This is also a warning to those pursuing Christ as Head of His Body. We must not suppress His reality! We know Him. May we allow Him to express Himself through each member of His Body. He is beautiful, isn’t He?
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation— having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13 NASB)
Being in Him (location), after hearing this message of His reality, which is the gospel (yep, another post) of our salvation (and yet, another post), and believing Christ is Who He says He is, we are sealed, forever, in Him, the location of Christ. This seal is from the Holy Spirit.
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:20-25)
A lot of truth in this passage. Reality is in Jesus Christ. Our new self, in this reality, has been created in righteousness and holiness, like God, Who is Christ. So, let’s speak this reality to each other, because we are all in this reality!
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; (Colossians 1:5-6 NASB)
Because we have heard and are experiencing this reality of Christ, this Good News that has come and expressed Himself among us, more and more fruit is being born as it has continued from the first time you heard and understood what the fullness of God and His reality looks like on earth!
Come on! If that doesn’t fire you up… What a great promise to His Body in Colossae, but also to us in our culture and in our realm today. He is growing fruit among those who have heard and understood his fullness that is accessible to us. He is also bearing fruit of Himself in and amongst those of us that are experiencing His reality! Woohoo!
And just read 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. Reality is ALL OVER his writings. It will be an enjoyable journey for you, I know!
What a tremendous reality Christ is! May He forever change your reality to be out of this realm and in His.
It is then you will know truth, and the truth will set you free. And Jessep was right. Individually, we can’t handle the reality of Christ! The expression of Christ through His Body is His reality, heaven on earth. Together, we live in His reality.
How have you seen His truth, or His reality, in your life?