13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13 NASB
Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “ I find no guilt in Him. John 18:37-38 NASB
My Brethren if Any Among You Strays From The Truth (James 5:19a).
In the book AND THEN THE END SHALL COME, I spoke to this last verse in light of these others at some length. I have alluded to this verse in James often — Why? — because the very souls of our brethren may depend on our pointing out the truth that they ignore. Is this not what James is saying that we must do? How can I say that with so much confidence? — read on and you will then need to judge what is said.
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 NASB).
My brethren, If anyone among you — who are these? “Brethren” certainly this must mean that they were once with the Apostles (the brethren) and they were walking in the Truth from which they have strayed. Today men from all brands of Christianity claim to own “truth”. On this one verse itself there are many views on what is its truth. To the point that the plain truth of the verse itself is lost in the many interpretations of it. And this straying from the truth exists for many reasons. One view cannot accept it because it contradicts “once saved always saved”.
So the question becomes: When Jesus stated that “no man can pluck you out of the Fathers hand”, did He by so stating mean that you cannot remove yourself? — stray from the truth? Did He in fact remove your free will from you for all time with the promise that no man can pluck you from My hand? Do you have free will concerning the matter of truth?
Jesus who made this statement also stated to His followers Abide in Me, and He placed a consequence on not abiding. Read it it’s consequence are not good. He stated to these same Jesus followers: “if you deny Me, I will deny you before My Father in Heaven”, do these statements sound like the removal of a brothers free will? He also said: “He who endures to the end shall be saved”.
Now it is true that there are those who would tell us that these things were not written to us in the Church, they were written to Israelite men. They say that these followers of Jesus were still under the Old Covenant. Therefore they could still fall, but you cannot. Is what they tell you truth? Seems a good argument. But, why do they then point to Jesus’ statement: no man can pluck you out of My hand or the Fathers hand, as their proof for “once saved always saved”?
And if these things that Jesus stated under the Old Covenant are not for New Covenant Believers — why did Paul state to us? — Now these things happened to them (Old Covenant Israel) as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Notice it is “him who thinks he stands” who Paul says needs to take heed. Why? — “that he does not fall”. So our conclusion must be that Jesus who stated these things could not have meant to take away our free will by His statement. Had He done so He would have contradicted His own Words to us, His own truth. Remember He is truth, the very word of God He is. So why did He leave this question open for debate rather then adding to “no man can pluck you from My hand” a simple (except you yourself)? Perhaps for the same reason I did not give you all the Scriptures references regarding all of His above statements. For you are to study to show yourself approved a workman who needeth not be ashamed. You have a choice — you can believe everything that someone else tells you is His truth, or you can dig out the Gold for yourself.
But let me also say this to you the reader, using verses like these — to condem your brethren, who stray to hell, is not your proper response when dealing with them. We are to love the brethren; yes, we are to point out their straying from truth, but it is not my job or yours to condemn them to the losing of their soul. The word of God is the judge, and He does not command us to be the judge of a man’s spiritual end. In the above verse He calls on us to attempt to turn our brother back.
And thus I say to you — you be the judge Not of my salvation but of what I teach. Why do I say that? — because you are responsible to work out your own salvation in fear and trembling, not mine. Did you pay anything for your own salvation? Did you pay for mine? — what you do with what truth is given you is your responsibility. If you stray from the truth in so doing, you must pray to God that someone will help you find your way back. Is straying from Truth straying from Jesus Himself, who is the Truth? Is Twisting truth equivalent to creating a new Jesus, one which does not exist?
May God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit bless you in your study, and in your interactions with your fellow man concerning truth.
Remember we are in the process of learning all truth. We must be open to hear, and to receive truth. Yet, Peter tells us that men twist scriptures “to their own destruction”. Do not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, but search the scriptures to see if these things be true.
God issued to us a stern warning, is it to be applied to just the Revelation or to the entire book of the Bible? Listen to this warning and ask yourself — is it important to know what is truth?
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19 NASB
God bless you as you seek truth from God through His word. His word is truth.
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18
Who are you trusting God or yourself?