Truth Encounters Bring Understanding
Understanding through teaching and the battleground is the mind.
Truth encounters, in which the mind is exercised and the will is challenged, seem to provide the context within which the other encounters take place and can be interpreted. Jesus constantly taught truth to bring his hearers to ever greater understandings about the person and plan of God. To teach truth, he increased their knowledge. However, in scripture, knowledge is grounded in relationship and experience; it is not simply philosophical and academic. The truth encounter, like the other two [power encounter & allegiance encounter], is personal and experiential, not merely a matter of words and head knowledge.
When we focus on knowledge and truth, we enable people to gain enough understanding to be able to accurately interpret the other two encounters. For example, a power demonstration has little, or wrong, significance unless it is related to truth. Knowledge of the source of, and the reason for, the power are essential for proper interpretation of a power event. The need for such knowledge is probably why Jesus used his power demonstrations in the context of teaching his disciples.
Charles H. Kraft, “Three Encounters in Christian Witness” in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement : a Reader, edited by Ralph D. Winter, Steven C. Hawthorne (Pasadena, Calif. : William Carey Library, 2009), 447. [comments and emphasis added by webmaster]
... you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32 ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 ESV)
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13 ESV)
We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 ESV)
This is he who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 John 5:6 ESV)
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An encounter with the truth is actually an encounter with Jesus. Since Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the truth (John 14:6) and God's word is the truth (John 17:17b) and Jesus is God's Word (John 1:14) then we encounter the truth by (1) reading and (2) believing in and (3) putting in to practice the words of Jesus and the words that the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9) gave to the writers of the New Testament - The Gospel - The Good News.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17 ESV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 ESV)
The words of Jesus Christ are the words that allow us to know the truth. The truth will expose the lies that we have believed or the sin we are hiding. By regularly reading God's word, our bibles, and meditating on God's word in order to hide it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), we will know the truth and the truth (Jesus) will set us free (John 8:32,36).
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:32,36 ESV)
For over 30 years Freedom in Christ Ministries has been teaching and training Christians about who they are in Christ and how they can be transform by the renewal of their minds (Romans 12:2) by replacing lies with the truth.
A TRUTH ENCOUNTER
2 Corinthians 11:14, 15
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
Another common misconception of the spiritual world is that demonic influence is only evident in extreme or violent behavior and gross sin. Most Christians suffering from demonic activity lead relatively normal lives while experiencing serious personal and interpersonal problems for which no cause or solution has been found. Since they relegate satanic involvement only to mass murderers or violent sex criminals, these ordinary problem-plagued individuals wonder what's wrong with them and why they can't just "do better."
Satan's first and foremost strategy is deception. It is not the few raving demoniacs who are causing the church to be ineffective, but Satan's subtle deception and intrusion into the lives of "normal" believers. One Christian psychotherapist who attended my conference on spiritual conflicts and counseling said, "I discovered that two-thirds of my clients were having problems because they were being deceived by Satan--and so was I!"
A final misconception that must be dispelled is that freedom from spiritual bondage is the result of a power encounter with demonic forces. Freedom from spiritual conflicts and bondage is not a power encounter; it's a truth encounter. Satan is a deceiver, and he will work undercover at all costs. But the truth of God's Word exposes him and his lie. His demons are like cockroaches that scurry for the shadows when the light comes on. Satan's power is in the lie, and when his lie is exposed by the truth, his plans are foiled.
When God first disciplined the early church in Acts 5, He did so in a dramatic way. Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphira: "Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?" (verse 3). God wanted the church to know that Satan the deceiver can ruin us if he can get us to believe and live a lie. If I could infiltrate a church, a committee, or a person undetected, and deceive them into believing a lie, I could control their lives! That's exactly what Satan is doing, and his lie is the focus of the battle.
Prayer: Lord, enable me to stay alert to the enemy's wiles and arm myself with Your truth.
Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), April 13. [emphasis added by webmaster]
After researching and praying about the Power Encounter vs Truth Encounter issue for several years and having experienced freedom through both I am now more inclined to agree with Dr. Nabeel Jabbour and call The Freedom in Christ Ministries Truth Encounter approach a Power in Truth Encounter or in other words a Truth Encounter culminating in a manifestation of God's Power.
I have experienced lasting freedoms from bondages through the traditional Power Encounter which brought freedom while at the same time declaring God's Truth in the situation.
I have also experienced lasting freedoms from bondages through the traditional Truth Encounter which brought freedom because it was the Power of God which actually brought the freedom once my Heavenly Father was satisfied with my repentance and faith in the situation.
Semantics aside I believe it's really fairly simple - if we embrace God's Truth and live accordingly He is pleased, by His Power, to deliver us from the evil one. On other occasions God will use and display His Power in order to point us to the Truth that He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us based on mutual love.
Therefore I believe our first obligation is to seek out the Truth (Jesus) and apply it in every aspect of our lives. We should make the effort to thoroughly know, through our relationship with God and God's Word, our position in Christ. And when all else fails to bring freedom and the Holy Spirit is leading we should avail our right as children of God to ask for and receive The Children's Bread - freedom and healing.
For More on Truth plus Power see...