Archive | September, 2019

Are we living in the “last times”? – Jude 17-25, Part 1

30 Sep
Photo by Stephan Herb on Unsplash

Have you ever been in a gathering or meeting where someone is talking, and you think to yourself, “I don’t know what this guy is talking about”?  You’re hearing his words, but you’re not understanding him.  Maybe he’s using jargon you’re not really familiar with.  But here’s the thing, no one in the group listening to him is giving any indication that they don’t understand, so you feel awkward.  To make matters worse, the way he is talking makes it seem like he believes what he is talking about it so common that of course everyone would know what he is talking about.  You wonder if something is wrong with you because you are so confused.

Or have you ever been new to a group, maybe your first day or week on the job, or new to a school, new to a class, new to a volunteer group, or even new to a church, and someone says a line, a phrase, and everyone starts laughing, but you have no idea why?  You realize, they just told an inside joke, and you have no history with them, so you feel like an outsider.  It can feel really unsettling.

Over the years on this blog we’ve talked about how we Christians can have our own lingo.  I’m referring to Christian phrases that we commonly use amongst ourselves, and most of us have a good idea of what we’re talking about.  But if you were to use those phrases outside of a Christian setting people would probably give a strange look that says, “What in the world are you talking about?” Then I thought about it more and it struck me that sometimes even we don’t understand our own lingo.  Do you ever feel like that?

I was thinking about this tendency recently, because the Scripture passage we’re studying this week has some important phrases that sound like insider language, but do we know what they mean?  Take a look at the phrases listed below and think about what images or ideas pop into your minds as you read them:

Last times.

Build yourselves up.

Pray in the Spirit.

Keep yourself in God’s love.

Do you know what they mean? They sound really Christian don’t they. Today we’re not going to assume that we know what they mean.  Instead let’s investigate!

For the last few months on the blog, we have been reading other people’s mail.  That mail has been the short letters in the New Testament: Titus, Philemon, 2nd John, 3rd John, and today we finish Jude.  Last week we looked at Jude 1-16, and we learned that Jude was confronting the church about godless men whom the church had allowed to enter into their fellowship and make a mockery of things.  So Jude asked the church to contend for the faith, which meant that the church needed to deal with these men.  But how?

Now we move to the conclusion of Jude’s letter, verses 17-25, where we learn what contending for the faith looks like. 

In verse 17, Jude continues by saying to the church, “Remember what the apostles of Jesus foretold.”  What did the apostles foretell? Jude reminds them in verse 18: the apostles prophesied that a number of things would happen in the last times. There’s that first phrase I listed above.

What are the last times? It is possible that Jude is referring to 2 Peter 3:3 which is nearly identical to Jude 18.  Here is 2 Peter 3:3, “in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.”  Compare that to Jude 18.  See how similar they are?

In fact, if you study the text of 2 Peter and Jude, you’ll notice that there are a lot of similarities between the two letters.  So it is possible that Peter was one of the apostles who prophesied this message, and Jude is referring to him.  It could also be that both Peter and Jude were writing at the same time about the same situation.

Whenever we hear of last times, it raises the question, “Are we in the last times?”  There are plenty of Christians who would like to believe that we are in fact in the last times. (That’s come up on the blog many times. See here and here, for example.)  I have often heard people state that they have a strong belief that we are in the last days.  But the reality is that we don’t know. 

Jesus taught that no man knows the day, time or hour.  So it is okay that we don’t know if we are in the last times.  What is interesting to me is that here Jude is talking about the last times as if they were happening in his day and age.  Do you know how long ago Jude wrote?  Almost 2000 years ago.  My guess is that there have been Christians in every era that felt like they were living in the last times.  In recent memory I can think of no better era that seemed like it was the last days than World War 2.  It had all the makings of the last days, from global war, to massive amounts of death, to evil leaders, and more.  But it was not the last days, and our era is nowhere near as horrible as the situation was in WW2.  We live in a far more peaceful time. 

So my point is that we should take Jesus seriously when he said that no one knows the day, time or hour.  But Jesus also said that we should be ready at all times.  What does it mean to be ready? 

Let’s stay with this and see if Jude answers it.   I think he will!

You might be an impostor and not even know it – Jude 1-16, Part 5

27 Sep

All week long in this series of posts on Jude 1-16, we’ve been reading this ancient letter in which Jude reveals to the Christians that they have ungodly impostors in their church. Are you an impostor? No? Are you sure? Is it possible that there might be some small way you are living an inconsistent life? Do you need to check your heart? Keep reading as Jude will talk about the many ways we can be impostors, some of which we might say aren’t that bad, or that everyone does that.

If you haven’t read the first four parts of this series, you can go back and start here to get caught up on what Jude has said so far about the impostors. He then goes on in verses 14-15 to claim that Enoch prophesied about the ungodly impostors.  This is the second quotation in Jude’s letter from a non-biblical source. The first was in verses 9-10, from The Assumption of Moses.  Like Moses, Enoch was a biblical character.  He is the son of Jared, as we read in Gen. 5:18, and he is a famous character in Genesis for two reasons.  One, Enoch is the father of Methuselah, who lived 969 years, the oldest in the list of ancient people.  Also, we learn something fascinating about Enoch in Genesis 5:24, and this one is much more important. There the writer of Genesis says that Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more, because God took him away!

What Jude quotes is a non-biblical book called The Book of Enoch.  Though it is a non-biblical book, it was held in great respect by early Christians.  Obviously Jude was familiar with it, enough to quote it to support his point.  His quote from Enoch is a passage about God judging the ungodly. What we have seen, then, throughout verses 4-15, is Jude laying out a devastating case against the ungodly impostors.  There should be no cause for question here.  They are out of control, and the church needs to address this issue. 

But still Jude is not done.  After so many illustrations and quotations and analogies, he has a few more very specific issues that the godless impostors are guilty of.  Look at the list in verse 16.  They are grumblers, faultfinders, following their own evil desires, boasting about themselves, and they flatter others, for their own advantage.

Sound familiar?  In nearly every letter we’ve read this summer, we’ve heard about people in the churches who were impostors like this.  Because it is repeated so frequently in the letters, we ought to pay attention to it!

So let’s do that.  How can contemporary Christians learn from this?  Let us check our hearts. So that we are not impostors.

In the last month, I’ve started my devotional time praying David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

When you learn where you have been offensive and sinful, seek forgiveness with those you have wronged.  Come to your church family with a humble heart to serve.  Be willing to make hard changes in your life, changes that move you in God’s direction.  Seek truth.  We just studied that last week.  Walk in truthWalk in love.  As you interact with each other here and with your family and with your community.  Are you grumbling, complaining, being selfish, or gossiping?  Ask someone if they see these things in you and be willing to sit with a friend and Jesus and make the hard changes. 

Impostors don’t have to stay impostors. 

Thus far in Jude verses 1-16 we have heard a fairly harsh message from Jude.  He wanted his church to take to heart what he was saying, and we should take it seriously as well.  God wants our whole hearts.  And out of the outflow of our hearts comes words, attitudes and actions.  He wants our whole hearts because he loves us deeply.  He desires an abundant life for us.  He wants our good.  Remember how the letter started: we are called, loved and kept.  There is such good for us when we follow his ways.  It might not necessarily be easy or comfortable for us, but it will result in so much good, because we will be following the way of Jesus.

How to ruin a Love Feast, Jude 1-16, Part 4

26 Sep
Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

Have you ever heard of a love feast?

This is Part 4 in a series of posts on Jude 1-16, and we’re going to talk about people that ruin love feasts. Thus far in Parts 1, 2, and 3, we’ve been studying the ancient letter in the New Testament called Jude, and Jude has been telling a group of Christians about ungodly impostors that have infiltrated the church.

Jude says in verse 10 that these ungodly men speak abusively against what they don’t understand.   It reminds me of a student who is studying physics or algebra and struggling with it, and just says, “This is stupid, why will I ever need this?”  I might have said that a time or too… I might have even recently said something similar about books I’m reading for a doctoral program…

Or maybe you adults can admit to having spoken unkindly when seeing someone who has gotten themselves in a bad situation, perhaps a homeless man, with no understanding as to how he got there, who he is as a person and what his story is.  Like the ungodly impostors, have you ever spoken abusively about what you didn’t understand?

What is worse, these ungodly impostors indulge in their animal instincts, their lusts, their passions, which is all they understand, and Jude says it is destroying them.  They are unrestrained, lacking self-control.  It gives the image of people who get drunk, who get high, who spend money irresponsibly, who overeat, etc., and do it with a bit of a self-righteousness and a judgmental heart to others. 

Jude’s conclusion about them, his accusation, we see in verse 11 is, “Woe to them!”

A woe is a kind of prayer that speaks God’s judgement on people.  “Woe” describes hardship, distress, even horror.  Jude is saying that the ungodly impostors should be in horror because of what their end will be. 

Then he gives three rapid fire illustrations of their ungodliness, all three based on Old Testament stories, thus showing how the impostors deserved woe.

First they have taken the way of Cain, which was a life lived in the opposite direction of God.  Second, they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error, meaning they are willing to sell out for money.  And finally they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion, which is another story about how the people of Israel rebelled and God judged them.

Jude is saying, “Church, do you realize the severity of this situation?  Do you realize what you are allowing to go on in your church?” He then explains the situation further in verse 12.  He says these men were blemishes at the church’s love feasts.

Love feasts?  What is that?  Basically it was a time when the church family would gather for a meal, followed by the Lord’s Supper.  Grace Brethren and Moravian churches still do this, a wonderful expression of the unity of the church family. But in Jude’s day these impostors had come into the church, and though they were ungodly and even denying Jesus, for some reason they were still participating in the love feast. 

It is so absurd to Jude.  Those guys had no business being there!  The Lord’s Supper is only for Christians.  And the church was allowing the impostors to partake.  Those guys denied Jesus in their hearts, in their actions and yet they still participated in communion?  It was a mockery, and the church was allowing it to happen.

You can hear the righteous anger in Jude’s words as he launches into a bunch of illustrations to further describe these guys.  They are shepherds who feed only themselves, which depicts their selfishness.  And remember, they do this all while pretending to be a Christian.

Next he calls them clouds without rain. In an agricultural society that very much depended on rain, a cloud without rain was nearly useless.  He says the wind blows the clouds by, showing the clouds were a waste, that they had succumbed to the greater power of the wind, which is what will happen to the impostors when God judges them.

He says they are autumn trees without fruit, uprooted, twice dead.  Again, a total waste.

They are wild waves at seas, foaming up their shame.  They lives produce a lot of commotion and drama, but nothing substantial.  Nothing meaningful.  They fade away.

He says they are wandering stars for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever, and image that reminds us of total separation from God.

In other words, Jude is saying that the ungodly impostors are in a very bad spot in life because of what they have coming to them.  They are doing no good within the church.  Contrast that with true Christians in the church, Christians who love Jesus and have hearts and minds in line with Jesus, who give their lives for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.  Their actions will be ones that strive for unity, for love, for obedience to the ways of Christ.  The fruit of the Spirit will be evident, flowing from them: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control.

How’s your heart? – Jude 1-16, Part 3

25 Sep
Photo by Mitchell Hollande on Unsplash

How is your heart? We normally think of this question in medical terms. But in this post, think about your heart in spiritual terms. Does God have your heart?

In this series of posts on the first 16 verses of the ancient letter called Jude, we’ve been learning that Jude was writing to Christians to talk with them about impostors in the church. If you want to get up to speed with what we’ve discussed already, you can read Part 1 and Part 2. We left off with Jude revealing the impostors in the church.

At this point, I start thinking to myself, I wonder if the church already knows this, or is Jude revealing it to them for the first time?  Would people be reading this letter thinking, “What?  Who in the church is like that?  Who is he talking about?”  Would they be getting all concerned about being infiltrated?  It’s like when you hear on the news that hackers stole a million Target customer passwords, and you think, “Did they get me too?  Is my account compromised?”

Look at verse 5.  Jude says the church actually did know what was going on. It could be that Jude is saying that what church knew about was the material that he is about to teach, which are three illustrations from the Old Testament. Even if so, as we continue hearing what Jude has to say about how the impostors were behaving in the church, it will become very clear that the people in the church knew about it. My guess is that they not only knew about it, but worse, were allowing it to happen, and that’s what has Jude so concerned.  In other words, the secret impostors weren’t hiding themselves all that well.  That’s why Jude is confronting the church, because the church knew who the impostors were and didn’t deal with them. The church wasn’t contending for the faith.

Jude, in verses 5-7, brings up illustrations from the Old Testament, then, to remind the people of God’s judgment against unfaithfulness in his people.  Clearly Jude wants to motivate the church to contend for the faith. 

The first illustration in verse 5 is the story of the Exodus, and how even after rescuing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, they rebelled against God and he punished them.  The second illustration in verse 6 is about rebellious angels, which is admittedly a somewhat mysterious reference, but carries the same idea as the first.  The third illustration in verse 7 is the story Sodom and Gomorrah which were judged for their sin.  The conclusion Jude says, is that these stories serve as an example of what happens to those who rebel against God. They will face consequences.  So don’t rebel against God.  It won’t go well for you.

Jude continues in verses 8-9 when he says that in the very same way (as the illustrations from verses 5-7 described) these godless impostors in the church do three things: pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.  We’re not told how they do these evil things yet.  But clearly polluting your body is not good, and is likely a reference to sexual impurity.  Rejecting authority is not good either.  Of course neither is slandering celestial beings, but what does that specific behavior refer to?   We hear a lot about not polluting our bodies, and especially through sexual impurity.  We also hear a lot about rejecting authority. These are common problems in our day.  But slandering celestial bodies?  What is he talking about?

In verse 9 Jude explains this with an illustration of slander from an apocryphal book, called The Assumption of Moses.  Because it is an book, it is very interesting that Jude quotes from it.  This doesn’t mean that the story Jude quotes is true.  It could be a parable.  We don’t know if Jude thought it was true or not.  That’s not what is significant about Jude’s use of a non-biblical source.  What we do know is that Jude is using the story to prove his larger point.  So let’s see how Jude uses this story. 

In the story, the archangel Michael and the devil dispute over Moses’ body. Michael wants the body of Moses for the Lord, but the devil makes a claim on the body because Moses, early in his career, had done evil when he murdered an Egyptian. What Jude points out is that in the argument Michael chooses not to disrespect the devil!  Instead he demonstrated humility by saying “the Lord rebuke you,” showing his trust in the Lord.  Compare that to the ungodly impostors in the church.  They were arrogant and did not have the humility that Michael showed, even with the devil!  You’d think Michael would have permission to slander the devil, right?  But instead he humbly places his trust in God.  The impostors in the church were nothing like that, even willing to commit slander against God’s angels.  Jude is using this to describe how far these impostors hearts were from God.

Therefore Jude gives us a principle we need to remember: God cares so deeply about our hearts.  As we are in relationship with God, our lives and our actions are the outflow of what is going on in our hearts.  In the story Michael showed his heart to fully trust in letting God handle the devil.  In this letter Jude is pointing out heart issues in these impostors and then encouraging the hearts of the Christians to trust God and make the brave changes that were needed.  We need to examine our hearts. Are we allowing God to guide us, to fill our hearts with his love?

Impostors in the church – Jude 1-16, Part 2

24 Sep

Are you an impostor? Are there impostors in your church?

In part 1 of this series on Jude 1-16, we talked about impostors, and in this next post we’re going to learn a whole lot more about them.

In verse 2 Jude gives the Christians a customary short blessing featuring mercy, peace and love, all important rich terms, but we have studied them in recent weeks, so let’s move on to verse 3.  There we read that Jude wanted to write them about the salvation that Christians share, but something became more important.  It seems he wished he could write an encouraging letter, but now he can’t. 

Instead he felt he had to write and urge them to contend for the faith.  In that phrase we have Jude’s purpose for writing: to encourage the church to contend for the faith.  That word “contend” is defined as “to exert intense effort on behalf of something—to struggle for.”[1] He is saying, “Church, you have some work to do, and it might be really hard. But no worries. You can do it – you are called, loved, and kept.  God is with you.” 

So Jude’s purpose for writing them is to point out some issues.  He wanted to write an encouraging letter, but instead he realized he needs to confront them.  Why?  What happened? In verse 4 he tells them.  The issue that has Jude concerned is that there is a secret crisis in the church.

He says that certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago secretly slipped in among them.  So there was an infiltration in the church.  It almost sounds like a spy novel, a CIA story.  Like an FBI agent who goes undercover and becomes part of a mob family for a couple years.  But in this case, it’s not good guys secretly infiltrating the bad guys to take them down.  It is bad guys entering the church. Impostors.

These people who secretly entered the church are godless, Jude says.  That’s a serious charge.   People in the church that are godless?  You might ask, but don’t we want godless people to become part of a church family, because then they can get to know God?  Yes, but that’s not what these godless people were doing.  They were secretly malicious. 

How do you enter a church secretly?  Not through a back door, because at that time there were no church buildings.  Jude is not speaking literally about entering a building.  He is talking figuratively about people becoming part of church family, and the primary way you do this secretly is to lie about who you really are.  It is to say that you are a Christian, when in fact you are not. It is to be an impostor. 

How do we know this? Because Jude says they are godless.  And he says the impostors have an agenda.  They change the grace of God into a license to sin.  That means they are giving false teaching.  To exchange the grace of God into a license to sin works like this:  It is a person who says, “Well, God is a gracious God who forgives all our sins through Jesus’ death on the cross and victory over sin in his resurrection.  That means every sin I ever committed and every sin I will commit is forgiven.  So therefore, let’s live it up and sin, because it’s all forgiven!”  That’s how you turn God’s grace into a license to sin.  You remember Paul’s letter to his friend Titus?  Go back to Titus 2:11, and Paul directly counters this idea when he says, “The grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness and live holy and upright lives.” 

Jude is right.  The impostors are wrong.  True Christians, when they receive God’s grace, they are so sorrowful for their sin, so thankful for what God has done that their response is to pursue godly living.  A life like we read about the past few weeks, walking in love, and walking in truth.  But these impostors in the church, Jude says in verse 4, “They deny Jesus Christ.”  And there you have it.  They’re not Christians.  And they don’t want to be.  They are in outright denial of and disobedience to Jesus.

As we continue studying what Jude says about the impostors, you might consider asking yourself if there are impostors in your church? And in what ways might you be an impostor? If you think, “Well I’m not denying Jesus or changing grace into a license to sin,” are there other ways that you might be an impostor? Jude has a lot more to say about the impostors. Check back in to the next post to learn more.

[1] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 495.

You are Called, Loved, Kept – Jude 1-16, Part 1

23 Sep
Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

Have you ever known someone who turns out to be very different from what you originally thought?  Sometimes we get that impression about a person as we get to know them.  Other times people change.  Then there are people who just fool you. 

Malcolm Gladwell in his recent book Talking to Strangers tells the story of a woman, Ana Belen Montes, who worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency for years, but during that time she was a spy for Cuba.  When word got out, it wrecked her colleagues.  They couldn’t believe it.  She had duped them.  She was an impostor. 

We’re used to hearing about stories like this coming from the world of intelligence.  But there can be impostors in many places.  Some people say that we are all impostors to one degree or another.  Who lives a truly consistent life?  In recent years, there is the trend of being a social media impostor.  That is the person who selectively curates their social feed to make it look like their life is a certain way, usually really good, when in fact those who know them in person know things are very different.  Christians can be impostors on social media, and in the church. 

All summer we’ve been reading other people’s mail.  Ancient letters in the Bible, like Titus, Philemon, 2nd John and 3rd John. This week we are reading a letter written by Jude, who is going to talk about impostors in the church.  So before continuing, go ahead and read Jude verses 1-16. 

In verse 1, the writer identifies himself as Jude, and he describes himself two ways: a servant of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James.  When he says he is a “servant of Jesus,” that’s a fairly common description that writers of the New Testament letters used, but the second label Jude uses is rather uncommon, “brother of James.”  Who is James?  James was at the time a leader of the Jerusalem church.  Sometimes people refer to him as the Bishop of the Christian church in Jerusalem.  He’s the same one that wrote the New Testament epistle of James.  And here’s where it gets interesting: James was a brother of Jesus.  So that means Jude was also a brother of Jesus. 

Two brothers of Jesus each ended up becoming leaders in the church and writers of a book of the New Testament.  I love that kind of detail.  You might think, “Well, of course Jesus’ brothers would become famous. That happens all the time in famous families.”  That is a good point, and it may have happened in this case too.  But it didn’t start out that way.  In John’s Gospel, chapter 7 verses 1-5, there is a brief story where John describes some animosity between Jesus and his brothers.  It seems they weren’t too keen on the idea of their big brother’s sudden fame.  John 7:5 says, “Even his own brothers did not believe in him.” 

But at some point, of his siblings, at least James and Jude changed their views and began to believe in him.  To the point where Jude doesn’t call himself a brother of Jesus, but a servant of Jesus. He had come so far in his thinking, when he could have taken advantage of the family connection and said, “You know I’m Jesus’ brother, right?”  But he didn’t.  We see some measure of humility in Jude.  That said, he does say he is the brother of James, so he still name drops a little. 

After identifying himself, he describes who the recipients are, and we see that it is a general letter, to those who have been:  Called, Loved and Kept.

That means Jude is writing to Christians.  Christians are called by God into his family, to a new life as a child of God, and Christians are loved by God the Father, and finally Christians are kept by Jesus. 

Do you hear the close family language in that phrase?  Called, loved, kept.  In this we observe the active role that God takes in being in relationship with us. 

I believe it best to understand God’s love as not forcing us against our will, whether before or after we choose to give our lives to him.  He’s not that kind of God.  Instead we need to see this phrase in connection with verse 21.  We’re going to study that more fully next week, but I at least want to point it out.  There Jude says, “Keep yourselves in God’s love,” which means that we have a responsibility too, we can and should live in such a way to keep ourselves in God’s love. 

Back in verse 1, though, Jude wants to remind the people that they are beloved and surrounded in care.  They are family.  As we’ll see, once he gets around to telling them his main purpose for writing, he has a reason saying they are called, loved and kept. I’ll give you a hint: they may need to be brave in what he is asking them to do, but they need not worry because they are called, loved and kept by God.

So may that be an encouragement to you. While you have the responsibility to keep yourself in God’s love, you’re not wholly on your own. God is at work, too, calling, loving, keeping you.

But why would the Christians need to be brave? And what about impostors? Check back in to the next post, as Jude will begin to reveal the reason for his writing, and why it is so important that the Christians ground themselves in God’s work of calling, loving and keeping them.

How to live a non-hypocritical life – 3rd John, Part 5

20 Sep

Remember the story I told about the difficult boss who was terrible to work for, but he was a kind and caring gentleman among his church family?  One way in one setting, totally different in another.  Now that we have studied 3rd John, and we have learned about walking in truth, we can conclude with some practical applications.

To summarize what we learned, Christians walk in truth, and that means a consistency of life no matter what setting we’re in.  To live a double life is to live a lie.  But to walk in truth is to live with consistency.

So in this letter to Gaius John has taught us what it means to walk in truth. 

He said very clearly what walking in truth is not.  For that we just need to look at Diotrophes.  Christians should not love to be first, should not be gossiping.  We should not be divisive, disagreeable, grumpy.  Do you in any way resemble Diotrophes?  At work, at school, at home, at church? 

If so, let’s remember what walking in the truth is.  For that we can look at Gaius.  We should be welcoming of fellow Christians, and we should be striving for unity in the church.  In other words, we are striving to have a way or a pattern of life that is modeled after Jesus.  Jesus is our teacher and we invest time and energy learning from Jesus how to live. 

That’s how we walk in the truth.

If you are living an inconsistent life, I would encourage you to make a choice to begin walking in truth, and that starts with devoting your life to Jesus. 

If you were the harsh boss reading 3rd John about walking in truth, I hope your response would start with repenting.  Admitting in front of your employees that you have been wrong.  Asking their forgiveness.  Listening to their hurts.  Seeking accountability to be different.  If you were Diotrophes, it would mean telling your church family that you are sorry for gossiping, for being grumpy, for being divisive.   

One of the best pictures of this is a man named Zacchaeus in the Bible. He was a tax collector who got wealthy by cheating people, and when he met Jesus his life was changed.  To start walking in the truth he began to make amends, giving money back.  He wanted to walk in the truth.  Christians, we are to be known for walking in the truth. How are you walking?