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In the book of Revelation, Jesus reproved or rebuked the churches for lack of either one.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatever are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me do: and the God of peace shall be with you." (Phil 4:8-9 KJV)

Truth and love require a great deal of balance and attention. The apostles taught truth and modeled both truth and love, and it was their hope for their 'little ones' in the Lord to learn, apply, and imitate them (1 Corinth. 4:16). Throughout his epistles, Paul watched over the correct application of truth with the zealous love of an apostolic father. In the epistle of 1 John, the apostle John carefully attended to what love is (deed, not words), while explaining how we must walk and abide in His light (truth and honesty). Later in the book of Revelation, John took dictation from Jesus Himself as He both praised His churches and addressed their failings. You will notice that Jesus' letters to these churches repeatedly address this balance of truth and love. 

Lovelessness is considered a most serious offense. The church of Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7) lacked love (beginning with her 'first love,' Jesus, and extending to each other) and so lost its candlestick in spite of a healthy, vigilant adherence to the truth: 

"I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;  and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent. Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." (Rev 2:2-7 NASB)

We have plenty of fellowships full of the judgmental spirit. Pharisees not only sit in the "seat of Moses" (Matt. 23:2), but also sit beside us, quick to judge us while remaining self-centered and loveless in their pious works. Thankfully, just as with Ephesus, their time to operate will not be forever (Matt. 15:13-14). 

Yet, sometimes Christians are so zealous to make love paramount, that they forget the importance and sacredness of truth.  It is no secret that the Pharisees started out as detail-oriented truth finders and ended up with little love and less honesty. Ironically, they also ended up losing their love of truth.

Once the whole 'loaf' of our lives is leavened with pride, well-honed religious defense mechanisms come into place. These defense mechanisms are not adopted in order to defend the truth. Instead, they seek to either prevent someone 'outside' their inner circle of wisdom from speaking the truth in the first place, or find ways to discount it once they already have. 

For instance, today they might propagate the ready-made stereotype of the blazing prophet who cares not for love and is harshly bashing people over the head with the truth.  Just pop this widely-accepted stereotype into the oven, bake with the heat of fear, and their followers are taking scriptures such as Eph. 4:25 and 1 Corinth. 14:4 completely out of context, implying that anyone who speaks truth (in other words, anything that they would rather not hear) is not operating in love. Yet, Jesus spoke truth with some amount of passion BECAUSE of love. Scripture shows that He offended a few people in the process. 

With truth being a mere commodity to toss aside, it is no surprise that we end up with plenty of compromised and corrupted churches. While not tolerating true prophets and teachers who dare to speak the truth, we are left with what fills the vacuum--"Balaams" and "Jezebels." Jesus gives us these spiritual names during his rebuke of the churches of Pergamum (Rev. 2:12-17) and Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29), both of whom had obviously lost their Ephesus-like zeal for truth: 

"But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality. Thus you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." (Rev 2:14-16 NASB)

"But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols....But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them-- I place no other burden on you. Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. (Rev 2:20,24-25 NASB)

So, laying hold of the truth while being active in love to God and each other is of utmost importance. Otherwise, we become dead like the churches of Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) or lukewarm like Laodicea (Rev. 3:14- 22), who were both extremely deficient in truth and love. 

It's been our experience in the Lord that He wants us to concentrate on both truth (appropriate structure) and love (appropriate Christian community), the two things lacking most in today's contemporary 'Church.' This is not only for the purpose of helping those of us who have been exposed to poor examples of both in our poor, dead churches or fellowships with their ineffective and sick systems, but also to give us a chance to become as the victorious example of the faithful Philadelphia church:

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one  will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one  can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie-- behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and  to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word  of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what  you have, in order that no one take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."(Rev. 3:7-13) 

With "these things" in mind, we promise these sections of this Web site will be both challenging and inspiring. 

To Truth Page

To Love Page

To HarvestNET Reformation  page

Created and maintained by Teri Lee Earl.
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