Thinking Out Loud

July 17, 2009

Charles Price on True versus Truth

Charles Price is the senior pastor of The Peoples’ Church, Toronto — once Canada’s one and only megachurch — and the host of the Living Truth TV and radio broadcasts.  Charles is a the former head of Capernwray in the U.K. and author of several books.

1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.   ~ Hebrews 10: 1, 11-12 (NIV)


The message that came through the prophets, through the priests, through the angels and through Moses was all true but it was not the truth.  Remember Jesus, in the upper room said “I am the truth.”  John 14:6 records Jesus saying, “I am the way and the truth.”   These previous messengers spoke truth, but Jesus was the truth.

Perhaps you travel frequently by train.   You may have a timetable that tells you a train will leave the station and ten o’clock on Saturday morning and arrive at your destination at two fifteen.   That may be true,  and if you’re planning to catch the train, you hope it is — but the timetable, although it’s true, is not the truth.  The timetable bears witness to the truth.   What is the truth?   The truth is the train.   A timetable won’t get you anywhere.   You can read the timetable, underline it, memorize it, sing it:  it won’t get you anywhere.   It’s true, but it’s only true in the sense that it bears witness to the truth which is the train.   That’s the truth, that’s what the timetable is talking about.   God’s revelation through the prophets, through the priests, through angels, through Moses is true but it’s like the timetable, which is pointing to the train.

I could paraphrase Hebrews 1:1 “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the timetable at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He’s given us the train.”  Does that make sense?   Everything that went before, pointed to Christ, but it didn’t take you anywhere.   The priests could tell the people there was someone to go to, but they could not take them because the message of the Old Testament is that one day the train is going to pull into the station.   But the problem is that when the train came, they did not receive him.   They did not catch the train.

There’s nothing wrong with the law at all, but it’s only a shadow, it’s not the substance, it’s the timetable, it’s not the train.  It won’t get you anywhere as Hebrews 10:1 explains: “it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.”   Was it a waste of time?   No, it was preparing people for what was coming.

One day the train will come.

Charles Price writing in the Our Journey
devotional booklet for August 2, 2009



  1. That’s a great picture! Reminds me of 1979 and Slow Train Comin’.

    Comment by Kevin Rogers — July 17, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  2. Love the analogy! But then, I’m an old railroad brat. I grew up with trains — on trains.

    Comment by lydiajo39 — July 18, 2009 @ 1:07 am

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