“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I’m sure you’ve heard it said by many that the truth will make you free, or it will set you free. I disagree wholeheartedly. The truth will make or set no one free. Some would say, “Why Brother Hammond, how can you say that, because the verse in John 8:32 that you just quoted says that it will?” Again I will say that the truth will make no one free. Because Jesus said in John 14:6 that He was “the way, the truth, and the life”; so if He was the truth, then why isn’t the entire race of man free?
Sometimes because of our upbringing, our learning, the teaching we have sat under, or biblical comments men have made we just take it for granted that something is true. Look at the above verse very carefully and you will notice something of great value. It is not the truth that will make a man free; it is first knowing the truth and then you will be made free. Did you catch that? In other words, it is the truth (or a particular truth) that you have a knowledge of first, and then with the knowledge of that truth, you will be made free. The RHM translation says, “And you shall know the truth, and that individual truth that you do know and have a working understanding of shall make you free.”
Knowledge is power my friend. Ask Albert Einstein, who figured out that E=MC2 (Energy=Mass times the speed of light squared). His knowledge brought forth great power that ended a world war.
1st Samuel 2:3, “For the Lord is a God of knowledge.”
Proverbs 19:2, “For the soul to be without knowledge is not good.”
Philippians 1:9, “Abound yet more and more in knowledge.”
Colossians 1:10, “and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
2nd Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord.”
Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.”
Isaiah 5:13, “Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge.”
Please take careful note of the last two verses listed here and see that God’s people are destroyed (Hebrew: wiped out, brought to silence, utterly cut off, and to perish. The verb of this word “domi” means to come to a violent end) and going into captivity for one reason…a lack of knowledge. This should show just how powerful biblical knowledge really is. Now notice that God is not talking about the world (the unbelievers) perishing, but His own people.
When you have a knowledge of something because you’ve studied it, received it, or have been endued with it, then you have “an edge’ so to speak on that particular subject. I know men who are so knowledgeable in their areas of expertise (earth and space science, math, politics) that these men can school the average person on those subjects.
Here’s the point I am trying to make…it is imperative that we study the scriptures that we may know how we ought to answer every man according to knowledge, and life. The Lord can only shed light on that which you have put in. He will not go beyond His word. I know personally that the Lord speaks to men through personal visitations, angelic visitations, visions, dreams, trances, etc.; but this is the exception and not the rule. And when He does speak to men in this way, it is usually because of a specific call upon their lives; and it is not because of the man or his own righteousness as much as it is the call of God upon him for a specific task. His main way to speak to us is through His word. Does He speak to our hearts? Sure he does…but what He speaks will always line up with His word. 1st John bears this out beautifully.
Now concerning sin…the devil loves it, most people love it, God hates it, Jesus died for it, that it (sin) might be judged and done away with. Two times in the book of John, Jesus said, “go, and sin no more.” In the first one that is found in John 5:14, the Lord finds this man (a child of Abraham…allegorical to the Christian) in the temple (place of worship…allegorical to the building where most Christians meet; ie, church) and tells him to sin no more lest a worse thing come upon him. What can be worse that being an invalid for 39 years, not being able to walk, work, enjoy life, or anything else? Going to hell is the worse thing Jesus is talking about here.
In the last few months God has been ministering two sections of scripture to me that have been very tender and very sobering to me. The first one is found in Deuteronomy 5:29, “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” And the next one is found in Jeremiah 32:39-40, “Then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them…but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me.”
The Lord has been taking me down a certain path lately of seeing truths in His word concerning professing “Christians” who really are not “Christians” at all. But these have deluded themselves and deceived themselves into thinking they are.
Some would say to me, “Now Brother Hammond, let’s not judge anyone here…only God knows the heart…etc., etc., etc.” Jesus said in Matthew 7 that we shall know them by their fruits. It is not a matter of judging, but a matter of “knowing” – for He said we shall know them by their fruits. As one has said, “The profession of religion will no more keep a man from perishing than calling a ship the Safeguard or the Good-Speed will keep her from sinking. As many go to heaven with the fear of hell in their hearts, so many more go to hell with the name of Christ in their mouths.” The same one goes on to say, “Will you clothe and pamper your body, and yet take no care of your soul? This is as if a man should feed his dog and yet starve his own child!”
Dear reader today, if you are living in sin or have secret sins, or a favorite sin, then you will not make it to this sinless and glorious place. I fear there are many who like Agrippa told Paul, “Thou almost persuadest me to become a Christian. “ He almost became a Christian, but he just couldn’t quite make it there. There are many on this road who are actually seeking to enter in through the narrow gate and will not be able to enter. “Strive to enter in through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:24
Let us really consider these words. He is saying that there are many that are on the right road and are actually seeking to enter but they will not be able to. Is this you, dear reader? I fear many have deceived themselves into thinking they are Christians because they go to church when the church bell rings, they even give in the offering, they say all the right things and even own a bible. But the work of grace in their hearts has yet to be submitted to. They love their sin and they love living in it. They will not fully surrender and submit to the Lord. They can’t quite give up and give in. They fall short of yielding to Jesus and His demands of what it takes to really be a disciple.
The Lord told a man one day in Mark 12:34 that he was not far from the kingdom of God. But please take special note that he wasn’t IN the kingdom, only that he wasn’t far from it. He was still short of the goal. I fear this to be the lot of many. They are actually on the right road, they are going in the right direction, they are approaching the “narrow gate”, but many will not be able to enter. The word “narrow” in the Greek means restricted, compressed, and contracted. In other words, it’s a restricted way. There are things allowed and there are things not allowed. There are things you can do and there are things you can’t do. There are things you can bring with you and there are things you can’t bring with you.
And one of the things NOT allowed is sin. Sin of any shape, sin of any color, sin of any flavor, secret sin, wanton sin, blatant sin, little sins, sins of the mind, sins of the flesh, and sins of the heart. This is what keeps a man out of the kingdom. Because Jesus said that he who sins will not be allowed in. This is what really kept the five foolish virgins from entering in. They loved their self-life and their sin more than they loved Him. You will notice that they were “virgins” and you will notice in Matthew 25:7 that they all (all 10 – the wise and the foolish) heard the cry to arise and go meet Him. The five foolish ones knew all about the oil (the Spirit) yet failed to obtain it in their lifetime. These five (50%) went to hell, for they were shut out of the kingdom. Please take note that they called Him Lord though in v.11. But we remember that He said in Matthew 7 that not everyone who calls him Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of God. But only those who do the will of the Father.
Can it really be a coincidence that two were working in the field and one was taken and the other left (50%); that two women were grinding at the mill and one was taken and the other left (50%); or that a married couple was in bed and one was taken and the other left (50%)?
I’m afraid that there are many among us who really think they are saved and are not. According to a poll taken by LESEA Ministries, it was to be found that over 85% of people in America who call themselves Christians and attend a protestant church on a regular basis and give financially have never been saved!!!! Think of it!! People put so much trust in so many things thinking they are ok, when in fact they are a child of the devil who are following along in their bibles sitting next to you in the pew, and afterwards having a church dinner with you. It’s just the American thing to do out of religious duty: to go to church, own a bible, say a few Christian phrases, give in the offering plate, and even help in the nursery. Yet they are as dead spiritually as satan himself because they have not truly taken His righteousness as their own. They have trusted in their own righteousness, their own goodness, their own morals, or their own interpretation of what it really means to be a Christian. “Most men are good Christians in the verdict of their own opinion, but you know the law allows no man to be a witness in his own case, because their affection usually overreaches conscience and self-love deceives truth for its own interests. The heart of man is the greatest imposter and cheat in the world.”
Paul, in writing to the Hebrew Christians, said in Hebrews 4 that some would fall short of entering His rest. My heart goes out for your souls who are reading this today but will fall short of fully entering in. Will this be your lot, your portion, and your inheritance? He has offered you a Way. Will you shun His Way to take your own way? Many, yea most will. Jesus Himself saying that only a few would make it there. Only a few. Will the landing lights be turned on in eternity to welcome you home, or will your portion be with the hypocrites? Any man who says he is a Christian and lives in sin or loves to sin is a hypocrite and will suffer the vengeance of eternal punishment with all the other lost souls (most of them good people) in outer darkness forever separated from the love and the glory and the beauty of Christ and His kingdom. This being from the mouth of our blessed Lord Himself.
In a place where the worm dies not (your conscience eating at you for all of eternity at the opportunities you passed and shunned), and where there will be weeping (self-shame) and gnashing of teeth (self-judgment) because you wanted to do it your way. For any one reading this today and you are unsure if you’re going to make it, I encourage you to email me and we will fellowship upon the matter and we will find out quickly if you are a professor of religion or a confessor. In the meantime, I encourage all to read the entire New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs and find out for yourself if these things are so or not.