What is Truth? (IV)

By Roy E. Cogdill

In order to know the truth and determine what is truth, we must have a standard by which to measure truth religiously as in all other affairs of life. The right to prescribe a standard does not belong to men. He is incapable of doing so. Furthermore, sovereignty belongs to God and He must be allowed to rule in the hearts of men. God, therefore, has the right to set up a standard by which truth may be known and measured. He has done so in His Word. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s will is right. God’s Word is truth. “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).

This eliminates the false standards by which the world would establish the truth in religion such as one’s own intelligence, one’s own feelings, inherited traditions handed down from the fathers, and ecclesiastical authority. Truth can be established by none of these. They would eliminate and destroy God’s standard entirely.

Human Wisdom

Another false standard that needs to be eliminated from the hearts of many people is the idea that truth can be established by human wisdom. So many people are willing to reject a plain statement of the Word of God because some learned man in the wisdom and ways of the world has declared it to be otherwise. This, of course, impeaches the wisdom of God. God declares that His thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts and His ways are above man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Paul said, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Cor. 1:21). God has revealed His words so that “babes” might understand (Luke 10:21). Language is simpler and plainer in the Word of God than in any other literature ever written. Paul said of his preaching to the Corinthians, “my speech and my; preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (I Cor. 2:4-5). We should fear, “lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).

Opinion of Majority

Many people are also deceived by popular approval and reason that so many people cannot be wrong. If we find any consolation in the approval of numbers, it is because we do not believe Christ. He said, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

Later Revelation

Perhaps, however, there is no false standard that men accept that has led as many astray as the false claim to a “later revelation.” Multiplied millions of the earth have been led into the darkness of Roman Catholicism by the claim that their hierarchy makes that only they can understand the Bible and that revelation is continuing from God to them. Every cardinal doctrine peculiar to Catholicism has come through the church and the priesthood, and much too late to be any part of the Gospel of Christ revealed by the Holy Spirit through the apostles. The historians that are Catholic, writing under the approval and authority of the church, have freely admitted the development of their doctrines and practices through the centuries, and through their councils they are constantly setting forth new doctrines and demands or rulings. If revelation, is continuous and Catholicism is right, then the Word of God is not worth believing and following.

Among these claims to “later and progressive revelation” is the system of Mormonism founded by Joseph Smith upon ,the ridiculous claim that he was led by God to dig up some plates out of the earth and by this means he was given a later revelation-the doctrines of Mormonism. No system of religion, heathen or civilized, has ever been founded upon a more ridiculous myth. Yet it has deceived thousands of people and caused them to reject the Bible. One cannot be a Mormon and believe the Bible. Mormonism is a system of infidelity and it can be easily established from their official writings and publications that they do not believe what the Bible claims for itself.

In addition, other systems founded upon so-called revelations, all of them in direct conflict with the Bible and its claims, are Adventism, Christian Science, and professed “Spirit filled and guided” preachers among denominational bodies. The system of Adventism actually originated in its principal teaching with William Miller, but Ellen G. White came along and claimed that she was caught up into Heaven and many things made known to her, all of which is completely contradictory to what God has revealed in the Bible.

So-called “Christian Science,” though actually it is neither Christian nor scientific, is a system of doctrine given expression by Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy. According to her spurious claims, the Bible was a sealed and undisclosed revelation until she appeared with the “Key To The Scriptures.” According to this, and the same is true of all claimed later revelations, until these later revelations came along the truth was not known, though the Bible had been in the world hundreds of years before any of them existed.

It should be apparent that in these fallacious claims to “later and additional revelations” there is a complete rejection of the Word of God. Consider the following facts and then believe, if you can, that the Bible is true, and yet the claims of “later revelations” can also be true.

1. The Holy Spirit was to reveal all truth through the apostles (John 16:13).

2. Divine wisdom and power has furnished us unto all things that pertain to life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

3. The scriptures breathed of God are sufficient and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness and furnish the men of God thoroughly and perfectly unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

4. We are forbidden to go beyond the scriptures ,(2 Cor. 4:13; 1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:6-11, 2 John 9-11; 1 Peter 4:11; Rev. 22:18-19).

5. The faith has been “once’=once for all time to come-delivered to the saints and we must contend earnestly for it (Jude 3).

6. It will be bound in heaven and by it we will be judged in the last day (Matt. 16:19; John 12:48).

7. It is inerrantly inspired both as to word and teaching (1 Cor. 2:10-13).


If what the Bible claims for itself is true, then all human systems are founded and exist only in unbelief of the Bible. If it is not true and its claims are false, then there is nothing worth believing in any system of religion. It is the Bible, only the Bible, and all of the Bible versus all of the creeds and doctrines of men or there is nothing at all. Men must take their choice. Friend, where do you take your stand?

Truth Magazine XIX: 33, pp. 521-522
June, 26, 1975