Volume 51 | Number 1 | January–March 2023

Inglés Español

The Simplicity of Deep Truth (Reprint - July 1978)

By Dr. O. Talmadge Spence

But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden (Rev. 2:24).

Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation (Dan. 5:12).
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10).

We call attention to three words: depths, doubts, and deep. Sin can take a man to the depths of Satan; Wisdom can take a man to the dissolving of doubts; and, the Holy Spirit can reveal to God's people deep things.

It should be clearly understood: Satan has deep things; man has deep things; and, God has deep things.

Although man is prone to live shallow and superficial, yet it should never be forgotten that Satan still desires to take that shallow man into the depths of sin and despair.

We should never be fooled by the weak and surface manner in which most people are living in our time. We assume, much too often, that people live below an average level of intelligence. This is not true. Most people we meet have greater understanding of life, sin, and God than they will admit. In reality, they know much more.

It is my opinion that Christians and Preachers are thinking too shallow and superficial, whenever they make this assumption of others. The Enemy of our soul often takes advantage of our naivety at this point, and keeps us as a “simpleton” rather than think of God with profundity.

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? (Prov. 1:22).

There are simple-ones and simplicity- things which reveal a lack of depth and the presence of immaturity.

When I was a very small boy, about six, I think, I stole two dimes from my oldest sister. I proceeded to purchase ten pieces of bubble gum and 30 pieces of “Mary Jane” candies. At the time, after the purchase, and hastening to the woodshed, in order that I might eat the stolen comestibles as a coward, it did not seem to be such a big thing after the fear passed, and I escaped the theft without being caught. But as years have passed, I have realized how deeply was that sin in my heart. I really believe that it left a terrible scar upon my entire life, to know that I acted, deeply, in the lie and in the theft of this terrible thing.

It has really come to me, after a lot of thought and prayer, that sin and Satan are deep. God is deep, too. And God created man with a very deep heart; in fact, it is so deep a man cannot truly know his own heart. Man has often deceived himself with a multitude of shallow, surface things so that he might silence his conscience to explore the deeper things of his life. I do not, therefore, believe that any man, in reality, lives as a simpleton in a superficial puddle.

I wonder what would really happen if everyone of us, as a true minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, suddenly returned to our pulpits, and really preached as deep as we could to our people? Christians need deep truth; Christians need to know the profound things of God. We fail when we assume that our people need light and chaffy expressions and illustrations of Biblical truth. The modern church is too often shallow because we have made it so. Quite often I have had people say to me: “Dr. Spence, you preach too deep; I don't understand you!” Now, please pardon me in my response. I know myself, quite well, and I know that I am not too deep, for in the 30 years of preaching I am keenly aware of the fact that people do understand me, because too many of them have been against me for this to be questioned. It is the other way around: I am being understood, and by them living so shallow, they get around the Truth by playing dumb to what they hear.

The constitutional nature of man was a gift from God through creation; and man is never quite satisfied until that which he learns and knows is known to its depth. Underneath of all of our lives, there is a depth that truly runs deep. And in our own time, we should take advantage of the high-water mark of man's inquisition and curiosity and preach the Gospel as deep as possible.

And it takes a genuinely deep man of God to know how to approach the Word of God, in its profundity, and then grind that truth into simplicity and preach that profound, simple Gospel until it becomes the most profound and powerful force in every heart that hears it. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ took my shallow life and opened up great, deep channels and brought me, by the grace of God, into a profundity that is very clear and simple, in the various principles, but is deep and wonderful and mighty in its abounding knowledge and influence on my total life. I want my children and my people to exactly know the length and breadth and height and depth of this Christian witness. At least, I want this known to the best of my ability to communicate it.

We are nearing the End-Time, and great prophecies and great truths are involved in this transition of the present age to the Age that is to come. We should not allow the superficial to alter our determined course of preaching and instruction.

Yes, the Gospel is simple; but it is only simple because of the fact that our Profound God and Friend has revealed it to us through the Bible. But when that simple God-sent Gospel is planted like Holy Seed in our hearts, there will always be a profound change in our life from faith to faith, grace to grace, and glory to glory. And that is no small or simple matter!

I wonder if Paul, in his profound moment of glory, knocked over the ink-well of his scribe, Tertius, when the Holy Spirit revealed one simple insight to sovereignty. Should we not read it again in our own time?

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33).