The Pillar & Ground of the Truth by John McIlvenna

by John McIlvenna

The Pillar and Ground of the Truth

1 Tim 3:15

The Triune God of Heaven cannot lie

“In hope of eternal life, which God, THAT CANNOT LIE, promised before the world began.” Titus 1:2. God is a trinity, and each person of the Godhead is true and cannot lie.

The Father

In His prayer to the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. The Father never lies. “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD.” Prov 12:22


The Lord Jesus is one of the persons of the Godhead, and John writes, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.” John 1:14-17. The Lord said of Himself, “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. The Lord Jesus never told one single lie!

The Holy Spirit

The Spirit of God is one of the persons of the Trinity, and our Lord said of Him, “Howbeit when He, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, is come, He will guide you into ALL TRUTH: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” John 16:13. The Spirit of God never lies! “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, AND IS TRUTH, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27

The Word of God

Every word of God is true. “Sanctify them through thy truth: THY WORD IS TRUTH.” John 17:17. The Word of God never lies from cover to cover. The whole volume of the Book is perfectly true. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH.” 2 Tim 2:15.

The Garden of Eden

From the beginning of human history on earth, one of the most serious problems confronting men and women is discerning between truth and error.

God spoke to Adam and said, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:16-17. The serpent, inspired by Satan said, “Ye shall not surely die.” Gen 3:4. Who told the truth and who lied? They obeyed the voice of the serpent but died according to the Word of God.

Pilate’s Dilemma

“Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, WHAT IS TRUTH? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in Him no fault at all.” John 18:37-38. The Jews professed such holiness they would not defile themselves by coming into the Judgment Hall. He then went in to talk to the Lord Jesus, who claimed He bore witness unto the truth. Pilate went out to speak with the Jews who claimed the Lord Jesus to be a malefactor and a blasphemer! Pilate found difficulty in discerning who spoke the truth and who spoke lies. He then declared the innocence of our Lord, but consented to the murderous desire of the Jews!

“Let God be true, but every man a liar.” Rom 3:4
When the Son of God came to earth in a body of human flesh, He taught the whole

truth of God to humanity (Heb 1:2). The teaching of Christ in His flesh is the divine standard of truth to enable us to discern between truth and error (Matt 17:5).

We are continually meeting men and women who contradict the Words of God spoken by the Lord Jesus and written in the Bible. John gives us instruction on how to discern between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.” 1 John 4:1-3. The confession that ‘Jesus Christ is come in the flesh’ is consenting to the doctrine of God that Christ spoke while here in His body of human flesh (John 12:49-50). “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 1:7-9.

The Spirit of God will never teach anything different from the doctrine of Christ. Therefore, every person who introduces and continues to teach the doctrine of Christ according to the words our Lord taught when He was here in a body of human flesh, teaches the true doctrine of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Paul instructs Timothy concerning the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing.” 1 Tim 6:3-4. He is lying and a false teacher.

Assembly Testimony Today

God intends all baptized believers in our Lord Jesus Christ to gather in local assemblies of His saints all over the world. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20. Each assembly expresses the truths of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27). Paul writes to Timothy to teach the saints at Ephesus, “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayst know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is the church of the living God, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH.” 1 Tim 3:14-15. The word “Ground” means, “Stay, support.” A natural pillar supports the structure of a building. An assembly of obedient saints supports the whole truth of the Living God of Heaven and His will on earth today. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matt 6:10. The Lord Jesus taught, “Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10.

The apostles obeyed the truths of God and Christ for assembly testimony. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:41-42. Paul also taught, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” 1 Thess 4:1-2. The truths of all New Testament Epistles were addressed to assemblies of the Lord’s people or individuals in local assemblies.


Beloved saints let us be fully attentive to all the words of God, the Lord Jesus, and all the words from the Spirit of God recorded in the Bible. These words express the will of the True God. May we count everyone who oppose the words of God in the Bible to be liars and turn away from them (1 Tim 6:5; 1 John 2:4). “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is TRUE, and we are in Him that is TRUE, even in His Son Jesus Christ. THIS IS THE TRUE GOD, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:19-20.

John writes in his second epistle to the saints, “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children WALKING IN TRUTH, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” 2 John 1:4-6.

Our blessed Lord said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall KNOW THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” John 8:31-32.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15.

J. McIlvenna

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