Monday, November 11, 2019

THE FINAL WORDS OF JAMES PART ONE

The final words of James Part One



The Apostle James starts out by saying for all practical purposes in this article above all do not swear by heaven or earth or by any other oath. He gets right to the point by saying let your yes be yes and your no be no. We should keep our conversation simple and earnest before God and to other people.

The Apostle changes the subject by writing if any among you is afflicted let him pray or if any is merry let him sing Psalms. If there is any sick among you they should call for the elders of the church and let them pray over this person but with oil in the name of the Lord. James then proceeds deeper with the subject writing this prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up.

If this particular individual has committed sins they shall be forgiven. It just goes to show us how highly God regards a group of elders gathering together with the right attitude to help someone who is helpless. If you are the leader a suggestion that I can give you is to go all the way in the back so if God does heal in the way He desires, glory will be given to the Lord as opposed to you. This way no misunderstandings will take place regarding who gets the praise.

The Apostle then urges us to confess our faults to one another and also pray for that person. You would be surprised what sins your brothers or sisters are struggling with and just as encouraged to how God answers prayer in these situations. It takes a lot of courage to confess our faults to one another but this does not mean we throw away discretion. It may not be proper to engage in this practice with certain people in the church or outside so just pray for wisdom. We, a brother or sister in Christ might need the effectual prayer of a righteous person so we can be healed which in this context is either a sin or a sickness. If the prayer is effectual and fervent this is highly effective before God and the results are healing in one way or another.

The Apostle James once again goes to an example in the Old Testament reminding his readers that Elijah was a man subject to like passions so he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. God answered his intercession and sure enough earth did not get rain for three years and six months. That sounds like an exact time frame. He prayed again and the Bible says heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.

James says if any of you err from the truth and one does convert him it is good because the wayward person is changing from sin to righteousness. This individual just spent some time with a confused mind and troubled spirit but the result is a multitude of sins are being forgiven.

Look at the last biblical principle. We sometimes look at the big Bible teacher and let us just give this man the benefit of the doubt. He is obeying God and in His will. If a person helps another person in need this is the same cup as the well meaning teacher of the Bible preaching to thousands of people. We should never forget this biblical precept because one is no more spiritual than the other. Let me just quote the original text so you can read this passage and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.



(12) "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. (14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (17) Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. (18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (19) Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (20) Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5: 12 -20.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

THE FINAL WORDS OF JAMES PART TWO

The final words of James Part Two

The Apostle James cautions us against swearing. Our honestly should be enough so we should not have to add on to, "I swear to God" or "I swear to you" because God calls this a very grievous sin. It does not make any sense to add on to honesty because then it becomes dishonest. Our yes or no in a conversation should be sufficient. By the way I am not saying that we should limit our responses to yes or no because the other person may think we are some kind of a robot. The Bible is saying the add on of swearing is very damaging to the heart, our relationship with God and other people.

James spoke of this because profane swearing was very customary among the Jewish people. We need to honor God and not throw contempt on His name or authority. I hear people take the Lord's name in vain but they do not realize that by doing this God gets placed on the level with the common things in life when in fact Jesus Christ is Supreme and far above His Creation. If we do not let our yes be yes and our no be no then we are fearful of being suspected of falsehood which could lead into swearing. Saying curse words is something different than what I am talking about but the moral is honesty with good character will win in the end.

Then the Apostle James writes about our various two states in life which would be prosperity or affliction. We should pray when we are suffering and we should praise God when we are merry. James is talking about the seasons of the good (praise) and bad (prayer).

God does send us trials so we as Christians should seek Jesus Christ very early out at the inception of the suffering. If we wait to long we are confessing that we can handle the problem ourselves. This would be an example of misguided confession. The most prominent reason God sends us afflictions is because we are neglecting Him but there could be many other motives that we are not even aware of such as Jesus Christ Himself  priming us for a task on behalf of the Kingdom of God. We will always have issues in our pain so all the more reason to engage in prayer. God desires us to have faith and hope in Him but we will never get there alone so intercession is the obvious answer. If we are merry and feeling good praising the Lord is a wise course of action because our joy should be holy and consecrated to God.

The Apostle James does give instructions for the sick. The responsibility is on them to send for the ministers because they are the ones that desire assistance and prayers. We all as believers in Christ have assignments before God and to other people but if this is your call then praying over this sick person is your responsibility and accountability. This ill person is to be anointed with oil but please understand that it is the prayer that is the instrument of healing. For this to be successful the person doing the praying must have faith in Jesus Christ for the well being of this sick person.

The promise is already given that this person's sins will be forgiven in verse fifteen but that does not mean the person praying should not be pleading before God that everyone's sins can be forgiven because this is a serious issue before God and should not be taken lightly. Remember sin is the root of the sickness so if it is pardoned the affliction will be removed only because of the mercy of God. If it is a gradual healing the same rule applies. If God chooses to take this person on home to glory obviously we do not choose when we come into this world or when we leave so praise God because he or she is dancing on the streets of gold.

We as Christians are then told we should confess our faults to one another. I do not usually see this in the church because we are supposed to be spiritual. The faults are probably referring to how we may have caused someone else to stumble. If successful our spirit becomes calmer because no sincere Christian wants this on their conscience. If a brother reveals a sin in his life we should be willing to pray for that courageous person who left himself venerable as a plea for help. We should expect the same from our brothers. A sister in Christ if at all possible should confess to another sister. The crossing of male and female could be a conflict of interest if most people in the church are married. It could be misunderstood. The actual person saying the prayer should be living right before the Lord and the intercession needs to be fervent.

The Apostle James then mentions Elijah who was a Godly man but had his infirmities. I can assure you when he prayed this warrior for God did not look at his own merit but the grace of God. He will be one of the two witnesses in the future seven year tribulation. He never died but was raptured up to heaven. When Elijah was in prayer he prayed. His intercession was so strong that God withheld rain from earth for three and a half years and then he prayed again and this time it rained. Most Christian's prayer life is not so much in the miracle realm but a witness of the grace of God in our spirit so do not feel less spiritual if something spectacular does not happen.

Verses nineteen and twenty are the last verses in the book and may very well be the most merciful verses in the book. If a person errs from the faith just to be there is something I usually do not see in life. This special person is being used as an instrument of saving a soul from death. It does not matter if this misguided person is strong in personality or weak in their disposition because either way he or she needs to be confronted. Ask God for wisdom based on their personality how to come across with the spirit of love.

Being in error in their relationship with Jesus Christ is either in opinion or the practice of their life. We are gently converting them back to their walk of faith but this is the work of God. We are just the vessels. If we fail in converting them then we must go to our prayer room and pray that God convert them through His Son Jesus Christ. If we are erring in the truth we are erring in our way but if we are abiding in Jesus Christ then His countenance will come out in our spirit and our "Way" is in the will of God.

Christians will differ in opinions but I am talking about those slants that lead us away from God. What we want to see is their conversation of life changed or the way they live which should be for Jesus Christ. This person should come to true repentance before God so a multitude of sins be hid. The grace of God is so wonderful because I think of all the transgressions I committed in my life and I know that I know that they are all forgiven because I engaged in true repentance to God through His Son Jesus Christ.

If you do not know the Lord do not try and hid or cover your sins because the only effective way according to God through His Son Jesus Christ is to repent and forsake them. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. I hope and pray that you just made that all important eternal decision not only for your life but to be able to enter into heaven when you die or at the time of the rapture (whatever comes first).

God Bless you,
Bob D.                   

Sunday, November 03, 2019

ONE SIN LEADS INTO ANOTHER BUT WE SERVE A MERCIFUL GOD

One sin leads into another but we serve a Merciful God



The Apostle James starts out in this particular passage by writing the hire of your laborers who have reaped down your fields. Of course he is speaking in farming language because that was a popular profession in the first century. This was a bad thing because they were not reaping up the fields but this whole thing was kept back by fraud. There was a cry and anytime this happens one group is making a lot of money at the expense of another group of people that were being cheated.

I was always weary of big money being made to the point where it is being thrown around as common practice while other people in the same society are barely able to put food on the table. In our country back in the 1950's no big money was made from the average person you would see but everybody worked and our nation was not in debt. The basic tone was work hard, be honest and watch our land grow. Now it is work hard, make money at another person's expense and watch our country go deeper into financial bondage because we owe so many people so much money. In this passage this mentality reached the ears of the Lord of the sab'a-oth. They lived in pleasure on this earth but always desired more so they were nourishing their hearts with the riches of this world. They had a spirit of self indulgence. 

The reason they took this greed one step deeper is because the heart can never be satisfied with wealth if Jesus Christ is not in the center of their lives. They were never able to answer the question, "How much is enough?" The answer is it is never enough because these people were apart from God. Since it is never enough in this particular case they condemned and killed the just and righteous. Of course God was against them as they took their sin one step deeper against innocent people. We are at present living in the Laodicean church age and this is happening in most parts of the world.

The Apostle James encourages us to be patient unto the coming of the Lord. He then gets a little poetic by writing the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has been very patient until the early and latter rain. Once again farming language is used because the readers were able to relate to this writing as they themselves were farmers.

This was the way James was also able to get down to their level and urge fellow believers in Jesus Christ to be patient and stablish their hearts for the coming of the Lord because it is drawing closer and closer everyday. The truth or reminder was for the purpose of strengthening their hearts because even as we watch for the rapture of the church we become stronger if we look for the return of Jesus Christ in the proper biblical manner for our lives. There are two extremes in Christianity which would be those that never look for the Blessed Hope or those that constantly set dates. God wants us right in the middle.

The Apostle James then goes into a different subject by writing grudge not one against another lest you be condemned but once again James reminds them that the real judge is Jesus Christ,  ... "The judge standeth before the door." Complaining would probably be a minor word for holding grudges but this emotion would be in the general family of this subject.

James then goes back to the Old Testament and explains that the prophets spoke in the name of the Lord for an example of suffering affliction and patience.

In verse eleven the author writes we count the happy who endure by going specifically to the patience of Job. The Apostle James reminds them of a very precious truth to believers in Jesus Christ that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy. Let me just quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(4) "Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sab'a-oth. (5) Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. (6) Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. (7) Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (8) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth near. (9) Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (10) Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. (11) Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:4 - 11.

What are the sins James is talking about that bring such misery to the soul? One sin would be covetousness. We are supposed to be thankful for whatever we have but hoarding up for ourselves apart from God is a transgression against Him. Storing up a little extra food and money is biblical in case an emergency happens unless God specifically tells us to do otherwise. If the latter occurs then God is in essence saying I just want you to trust Me. The first could not possibly be wrong because Joseph and Noah were commanded by God to engage in saving food because He Himself told them that very tough times were coming on the earth.

James was talking about a very different group of people. The Apostle was talking about those people that get wealth in their hands with power and have no regard for God. At this point they are very tempted to abuse their position and oppress those that are under them especially Christians in this particular biblical context.

Other sins that James talks about is sensuality and voluptuousness. Pleasure within the boundaries of God is fine but if this is all we are living for then that is a transgression against God. These people nourished their hearts which was the Apostle's way of saying that Jesus Christ was not in their lives and they were just enjoying parts of the Creation of God and falling into sin. If our God is our belly and we are not responding in ways of love then pride and being lazy will be a way of life.

This is sad to say but they went to the next step of depravity. This sin is persecution. At this point the degree of iniquity in their hearts was really high. This was not just one individual but a group. Imagine that because they were all at the same level of rebellion against God. They did not just get there because one sin leads into another and these people (group) did not serve a merciful God because when people serve the devil he even hates them and if they did not truly repent I can guarantee you no love or mercy is being given to them in Hades. More than likely the people that suffered the persecution did not resist the unjust sentence of their oppressors. I do not think it is pretty hard to figure out who was rewarded in heaven and who was punished in hell.

Verse eight talks about us being patient for the coming of the Lord. In a round about way the Apostle James is saying Jesus may not come when you think He might. In fact the Bible says He is coming at a time when you think not so as we are doing our work for the Kingdom of God be patient because God does not desire that even one person perish. Having this attitude is a humble acknowledgement to the wisdom and timing of God which of course is His will. In verse eight it says stablish your hearts so our faith has to be firm in Jesus Christ, the practice of good continued, our resolutions for God fixed and this is all in spite of temptations and sufferings. If Jesus Christ has not come and we are still here then this is the will of God for our lives. In this context we are not called to serve God in heaven just yet but be patient and let the Son of God know that you are waiting for His return. When I look at the watchers community in the body of Christ I suppose the one thing that they seem to struggle with is patience but this is part of obedience to God.

If you are in suffering circumstances and have enemies you may be more prone to hold a grudge against one another. If we do this we grieve one another and as a result sorrow fills the heart of God. This circle is extremely close to being punished by Jesus Christ because the very essence of who we are supposed to be as Christians is loving and forgiving. James 5:7 tells us to look and observe the husbandman. He sows his corn in the ground, then he waits many months for the former and latter rain because a willingness to wait for the harvest is the fruit of his labor. If he can wait for a crop of corn we can wait for a crown of glory. In light of verses eight and nine do not be impatient or quarrel with one another because the great judge is at hand who is Jesus Christ. He is knocking at the door to see if we have love and forgiveness in our hearts and this is why I believe in verse nine it says grudge not against one another lest you be condemned. If one has a lack of love and a lack of forgiveness in his or her heart as a lifestyle the Bible is saying this person will be condemned. Groaning and grudging will hurt everybody full circle including ourselves.

In verse ten we are encouraged to look at the Prophets who were some of the greatest servants of God in time. Since they went through the hardest times we should be resigned to affliction with patience, love and forgiveness.

When verse eleven says we count those happy who endure Job is proposed as an example. Job endured his pain and was praising God in the end. In context these verses are saying God accomplished those things for him (his needs and desires) and this is proof that our Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy. When God is dealing with His children his tender mercy will give his people an abundant amends for all their hardships, afflictions and sufferings. Remember Jesus Christ suffered on the cross for us, He suffers through our darkest moments and He sees all the evil on earth and in Hades. The bottom line is we primarily grow through afflictions. The difference between the two groups that the Apostle James is talking about is one set of people listened to the devil and the other gathering of Christians knew what the word of God said, endured their trials with love and forgiveness and allowed the Holy Spirit to meet their needs and desires His way and in His timing which is patience personified in the Person of Jesus Christ. We should serve God and endue our trials. In the timing of God which is always perfect He will give us our allotted blessing in His proper time.

If you are one that has never come to know the Lord in a personal way now may be a good time to do this especially in light of the verses I just expanded on because there is good and evil. People that do not possess true salvation in Jesus Christ can go as far as killing good people because one sin if held on to hard can lead into the next advanced level of evil. This is like a domino effect that just keeps going but the righteous person desires to do the will of God and struggles when he or she is not in His will. If you feel you want this kind of lifestyle and desire to live in heaven for all eternity then accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life. I hope and pray you just made that life changing eternal choice so you will be in the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ.

God bless you,
Bob D. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

THE ECONOMIC FUTURE AND CORRUPTION OF MAN

The economic future and corruption of man



The Apostle James starts out by writing to his readers that you are rejoicing in your boasting but this is evil. I think James was trying to describe arrogance.

Then the Apostle turns to a different subject and defines what sin is to his readers. In laymen's terms he says if we know to do good and do not engage in this practice then it is sin.

James goes into a different subject by writing specifically to rich men and telling them to weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you because your money is corrupted and your garments are motheaten. He seems to get more specific by saying your gold and silver is cankered and the rust of them will be a witness against them. At this point he seems to get poetic in a dark way by saying this will eat your flesh as fire. He faces them with the reality of what they were doing which was heaping up treasure together for the last days.

Although this has practical application for their day it is also talking about a severe financial crash in the first year of the future seven year tribulation period. The corresponding verse to collaborate what I am saying is (6) "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." Revelation 6:6.

There might be areas of the world before the future great day of wrath where financial meltdowns happen but the big one happens after the rapture of the church and around the start of Jacob's trouble. There could also be a mini worldwide crash but let us face facts because we have seen this happen before in past history. Once again at the risk of repeating myself if this does happen it will be nothing in comparison to what James chapter five and Revelation chapter six are describing for the future after the antichrist confirms the 7 year peace covenant which starts the seven year tribulation period.

I do not pretend to know every detail of what the prophetic word of God says of the future economy but I will do my best to get as specific as I can regarding this subject; however, I can tell you that commercials for the RFID chip have aired for animals and they seem to be making a joke out of the whole thing by explaining what technology they can use on the animal. I also find it interesting that most financial counselors that I have spoken to know virtually nothing about this subject. 

Many people ask is the financial crash going to be like 1929 where everybody loses all their money. According to the Bible the answer is no. (16) "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." Revelation 13:16. Notice the rich and poor are still living in the same existence on earth. Another widely asked question is will gold have any worth at that future time frame in history. The implication in James 5: 1 - 3 is no but I am not one hundred percent positive on that answer. What good is gold if there is no food on the shelves?

If you are a billionaire and say no to the mark then keep in mind you will not be able to get access to your money. Many people that choose this option will face prison. Just because a person does not take the mark does not in and of itself make them right with God. This individual would still have to accept Jesus Christ into his or her heart. If you say yes to the mark then you forfeit your soul for all eternity. (9) "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand (10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Revelation 14: 9 - 10.

It is my guess that some countries will reluctantly agree to this because they will be sucked in like a vacuum and as a result just like the Bible teaches the whole world will have to participate in this horrible future time period. This will be worldwide and probably around the time that the leaders of this earth start enforcing the mark of the beast which is a chip that gets inserted in the right hand or the forehead after the rapture of the church and the start of the seven year tribulation period.

The Bible talks about this in Revelation chapters 13, 14 and 20. The word of God warns us not to receive this mark for buying and selling purposes. If an individual does he or she will not go to heaven. I would urge people to receive salvation through Jesus Christ now so they can go up in the rapture and escape these horrible things but let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(16) "But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. (17) Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4: 16 - 17.

(1) "Go to now, ye rich man, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. (2) Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. (3) Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." James 5:1 - 3.

We as Christians are told to avoid vain boasting. They clearly desired a life with prosperity and the great things in this world without any regard for God but to add insult to injury these people were boasting of their lifestyle. James called this evil because it is foolish in the eyes of God.

Let me give you an example of true rejoicing in Jesus Christ. All our time is in His hands and our circumstances are at His disposal but with a devotion that Jesus Christ is our God. We rejoice in Him, not our vain confidence or our presumptuous attitudes that the world can not even guarantee us tomorrow for our riches or our life. By the way all this comes out so we will be able to tell if arrogance or true rejoicing in the Lord is inside of us or another person.

We are taught to have strong convictions based on what our knowledge is from the Bible. We should be careful of coming across to strong but remember if we do not stand on the promises of God we will stand for nothing.

The worst witness a person can do is when he or she sins against his or her own conscience. It is actually so simple because if a person knows the good he or she should be doing before God then the answer should be obvious. If a Christian fails to do it then not only will the conscience be pricked but God may apply more pressure on His child's life. On the other hand if a person does evil and knows that he or she should not be engaging in this sin then repentance would be the wisest course of action. One of my biggest fears for Christians is that they will fall into either a lifestyle of sin or a consistency of not doing what is right such as growing cold to a hungry person and not even caring. Both are dangerous and has the ability of kindling the anger of God. It is not easy doing right or resisting wrong but it is necessary to have true obedience and faith to Jesus Christ.

In James chapter five the Apostle starts out by writing to sinners and then Christians. James starts out by writing woe unto you that are rich for you have received your consolation. What was happening in that day was the poor Jewish people were accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal Savior but the rich rejected Christianity and they were persecuting believers in Jesus Christ. It is one thing to be rich and reject the Lord but it is far more evil to take it one step farther and make Christians suffer because of their wealth.

The Apostle James foretells that God will invoke on them by saying they will have miseries come upon them but it will be directly associated with what made them happy. They were eating, drinking and being merry but God wanted them to weep and howl. They were living like beasts but they should have been howling like an animal. The Apostle clearly writes that corruption, decay, rust and ruin would come on your wealth. Remember they were not just rich but were persecuting Christians because power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. If you have something that has worth to you and Jesus Christ is not in the center --- say goodbye. God judged them and it was worth nothing. In essence James was saying in verse three your treasures of wealth will become treasures of wrath. Their sins became their miseries. Their sin was covetousness but they took it to the next step in making Christians suffer through a persecution.

The only reason God gives us worldly possessions is to honor Him and to do good with our money for Him but hoarding for our own security will never save us because only Jesus Christ can redeem our sins. If we accumulate riches for selfish reasons it will be a witness against us but if we understand that everything we own is the possession of God then we as Christians will determine in our hearts that we will be good managers for Jesus Christ. If a wealthy person takes his or her power to a point that persecution against believers in Jesus Christ is happening then multiple judgments will be placed on him or her and these people will have to bear a very heavy burden of punishment from the Son of God.

If you do not know the Lord in a personal way whether you are poor or wealthy now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. Everything we have God owns but it all boils down to our response to Jesus Christ in that we should desire to honor, glorify and be profitable for Him. This passage should show us that we can lose everything especially if glory is in our riches. We were created to honor and glorify God through His Son Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

God Bless you,
Bob D.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Jesus Christ is our Providential Judge

Jesus Christ is our Providential Judge



The Apostle James starts out by writing not to speak evil of one another. I have had people speak evil behind my back and it hurts. This passage says if we do speak evil of our brother and judge him then we speak evil of the law and also judge it so the conclusion is we are not truly doers of the law which God desires for our life but judges which has never been the plan of God for our journey down here on earth.

There is only one Lawgiver who is able to save or destroy and according to the Bible God does both so the Apostle James poses a question --- who art thou that judgest another?

James also makes the point that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We can say we are going to a place and stay there for a year to buy, sell and get gain but the truth of the matter is we do not really know what the future will bring for our lives. Our lives are a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. We should say if the Lord will we shall live and do this or that. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(11) "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (12) There is One Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (13) Go to now, ye that say, To day or morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." James 4: 11 - 15.

Right away James cautions us against the sin of speaking evil because this should not be done to one another. If the allegations are true we must still use our discretion but if they are false we are wrong for engaging in this gossip.

Our words should be guided with kindness, truth and justice. These are our brothers / sisters and tenderness is very becoming because if we do not take the opportunity to show kindness oftentimes we may fall into the temptation of speaking evil about them which leads into nothing but trouble. If anyone does this he or she is judging the law. If we have a conflict of interest with a person do not go as far as saying he might be under the condemnation of God for anything not already determined in the Bible.

We can judge the law in determining the perfect commands of the word of God for our lives because this knowledge is essential to how to live right before Jesus Christ. If God says to do something or not to do something this is to be taken very serious. One truth I found out about God is He says what He means and He means what He says. Technically speaking each Christian is to let the Bible have the last and final word in all our responses to our lives. The problem is some places of Christianity the standards are so low and liberal even in conservative churches that their consciences are seared to the point that they just keep sinning as a lifestyle.

If some Christians insist in setting themselves as judges which is the role of Jesus Christ they are usually the ones that fail in their obedience to the Bible. It seems like it would be the other way around but from my experience it is the real judgmental believers in Christ that do not have the kind of faith and obedience in Jesus Christ that God requires of them as Christians. Remember it is God the lawgiver who has reserved the power of passing the final judgment on people wholly to Himself. If what God says is final then He can put His law in our conscience because He desires us to obey Him first and then proceed with our lives.

God has the right to enact laws and this should not be contested but we should never forget that He will enforce them. When Christians say I am saved by grace but bluntly do something that is contrary to the Bible especially as a lifestyle then God will judge that person. It is only respect to God to do whatever we can to get right with Jesus Christ which includes repentance. I never said this is easy to do I said God requires it from His children. Jesus Christ is the one that has the power to reward and punish so this fact alone should put the proper fear of God in our hearts. The reason why the Apostle James writes that there should not be a bunch of little judges running around is because there is one judge and His name is Jesus Christ. Trust me when I say this there are many laws in the Bible so we should not be setting up new rules on top of all the commands in the word of God.

It is obvious that James according to verse thirteen and fourteen does not want us to be presumptuous about our lives. In observing my past most of the time this got me in some kind of trouble. If we say we are going to a place to do this or that how would we even know that knowledge? We are just like the world if we do that because leaving Jesus Christ out is what unbelievers do because they have no real faith in Him. If our minds are full of visions as to what we are going to do in the future it is vain because this leaves out the Providence of God in our lives. We may never reach our end in our plans because something could shorten our stay but even if we continue we may not receive any kind of gain because the uncertainty of this world is a sure thing. It is the wisdom of God to leave us in the dark of future events.

Set your goals and live by faith but leave room for the Sovereign God who is Jesus Christ to make any changes He desires because He is above time because He created this exact measure. We just happen to be living in this so if we understand this aspect of our Creator we will know that Jesus Christ is the beginning and ending of all things in our lives if we let Him have first place in our path down here on earth. We could never be sure of life itself because it is as a vapor. It appears for a little time but then it vanishes away.

In verse fifteen James encourages us to have a consistent sense of the will of God in our lives. The Apostle shows us the wiser way to live. We want the blessing of God before we do anything so we do not have to presume in our travels. Whatever happens is in the Providence of God and it is in His hands not our visions. Life is not in our hands so we should be dependent on Him. We should want our responses and designs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. God gives us counsel for life in how we are to conduct ourselves so in context set Godly goals and live by faith in Jesus Christ but leave room for the Providence of God because we do not see our lives.

If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ you are more than likely one of those people that make all kinds of plans without God. I have seen people die in the dream state and they did not go to heaven because not knowing the Lord in a personal way is the exact same thing as not having a relationship with Him. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life. I hope and pray that you just made that all important choice for your life and eternity.

God Bless you,
Bob D.   

Sunday, October 06, 2019

THE HUMBLE WILL BE EXALTED

The humble will be exalted



In the passage that I will be going over the Apostle James writes that God desires to give us more grace. In a cold world that is a very special promise to me but then he is very blunt to say that Jesus Christ resists the proud so our lives should be humble before God.

James changes the subject by saying that if we submit ourselves to God, resist the devil he will flee from us because we are now in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We made a definitive decision to kick demons out of our life so there would be no reason for Satan to hang around and harass us to wreck havoc in our lives.

The Apostle James goes even deeper into the subject by writing draw near to God and He will draw near to us. He adds cleanse your hands you sinners. This obviously means we as Christians are to check our sin radar everyday because if left unchecked one sin probably will lead into other sins and before we know it our hearts are filled with transgressions for all practical purposes. The Apostle James adds that it is our responsibility to purify our hearts. Some Christians teach that this is the responsibility of God but that is not what this passage is saying even as believers in Jesus Christ. If this were the case we would never have to repent of our sins again so all I have to do is look at myself and testify to you that this teaching could not possibly be biblical correct. It is interesting that James at the end of the verse says ye double minded. All I can say is since the Apostle already went through a lengthy sermon on this subject in the book of James he must have seen many Christians fall into this trap.

The Apostle James then changes the subject to allowing our laughter being turned to mourning and our joy to heaviness. I will go over this precept more deeply after I quote the Bible passage.

James then writes humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible. 

(6) "But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4:6 - 10.

God draws a distinction between the proud and the person with true humility. God resists the proud but on the other hand the proud resists God. If I were a prideful man which I am not (I checked my spirit deep) I would or should be trembling because God resists the proud. The prideful person will be filled with shame in the end because he or she chose this for themselves before Jesus Christ. This is not even to mention that a condescending spirit will effect other people in a bad way.

On the other hand Jesus Christ gives help to the humble. The Apostle James is saying pride / disgrace or humble / grace. If we choose the latter God will give us grace then by the very nature of this divine gift we will desire more and eventually He will give an abundance of His love to us. The more humble we are before God the more grace He will bestow in our hearts because we see a need for this divine gift of the Holy Spirit to be shed upon our hearts. We should formally pray for this and when we receive this divine sustenance for our lives a thankful spirit should always be present in our hearts.

We should submit ourselves entirely to God because we as believers in Christ tend to have the yield sign up to what the Holy Spirit desires to do in our lives of some things we want and do not desire God meddling in our affairs. If we learn to have glory in God in our submissions to Him not through fear but love, understand that this is the main thing demons desire to hinder so I believe James had to write, "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4: 7. The problem with yielding to temptations is demons will continually follow us but if we make a stand against sin demons will have to flee because there is nothing there in our lives except the presence of Jesus Christ.

James tells us how to respond towards God. He tells us to draw nigh to Jesus Christ. If we did rebel against God through some sort of sin our heart has to be brought to the foot of God. If our spirit becomes estranges in our fellowship with Jesus Christ we should desire to become reacquainted with His wonderful presence. This is why James says cleanse your hands because if they are not clean it would be an exercise in futility to draw close to God. Sin by nature causes us to become double minded so you can probably see why our hearts must be purified through Jesus Christ. Only sincerity before God will bring us to this good place in Jesus Christ.

When James says be afflicted, and mourn, and weep he means if God sends us an affliction we should accept the situation because Jesus Christ takes our trials with diligence. If we are in the middle of contention, strife and division we should be mourning and just like the Apostle writes let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. What kind of people would we be if we responded any other way? When I was very young my Dad told me that life has far more sorrow than laughter and I did not take him very serious but my earthly father turned out to be right. There is something about Godly sorrow that the Holy Spirit has much sympathy for in our broken hearts.

This passage writes humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord. In context I believe the Apostle James is saying there is humiliation in sin and evil so go the other way and let there be humility in doing what is good and righteous. This will be a constant battle in our lives until we get to heaven. The real question is are we willing to go to war with our besetting sins. If we read the Bible very close this is our primary battle. Some people feel it is to war against the state or the establishment but our first responsibility is to battle against our sin / sins. Most countries or all have some element of evil in the government but I would be far more concerned with our transgressions that could be eating away at our souls.

James gives us great encouragement on how to respond to God. If we see drawing near to God as our duty then God will draw close to us because of His mercy. If we do not have a close fellowship with Jesus Christ it would be our fault. I have found that many Christians try and expect certain responsibilities from God but in fact it is their accountability. We are responsible and accountability to draw close to God and then He will show us His grace. There are exceptions to this rule. For example when I am working, moving fast and under enormous stress often times I will feel the hand of the Holy Spirit move through my spirit in His peace. I did not do anything to deserve this but in His mercy I end up with the supernatural peace of God and this divine gift absorbs my anxiety in His love.

Once again James gives an order by saying, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4:10. If we as believers in Christ are truly sorry for our sins by missing the mark of God He will not only forgive us but show His favor. He will lift up our spirit and comfort us in our bad circumstances. The most humble on earth before God will probably be one of the highest in heaven.

I know the Apostle James says much in these five verses so all I can say is it will take me a good while for all these biblical principles to be absorbed in my spirit. If you do not know the Lord in a personal way now may be a good time to humble yourself before Him. The Bible says, (9) "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11)  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father." Philippians 2: 9 - 11. Everybody is going to bow before Jesus Christ but most people will not go to heaven because they did not do it while God may be found. If a person dies without Jesus Christ it will be to late because their judgment will be set for eternity. Now may be a good time for you to make this all important eternal decision. Just accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. I hope and pray you just made this choice for your life and eternity.

God Bless you,
Bob D.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

STRIFE OR PEACE

Strife or peace



The Apostle James just gets finished writing the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. He then goes back to the negative or the bad side of what could happen if confusion and every evil work is in a given family structure whether it be family, social, church, work or one to one relationships. He says sometimes wars and fighting take place and it is primarily because of the lusts that is in our members. At this point the Apostle expands on this biblical principle. He says you lust and have not, ye kill and desire to have but can not obtain, ye fight and war yet ye have not because ye ask not but James goes deeper into this precept. The Apostle says ye ask and receive not because oftentimes we ask amiss but he adds that ye may consume it upon your lusts or pleasures. If this is complicated language for you I promise to make it very simple.

James continues with some pretty strong language by saying ye adulterers and adulteresses don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? If we are a friend of the world we are enemies with God or unfaithful to Him. I will explain this principle deeper after I quote the original text.

The Apostle James reminds them that the Scriptures are not in vain and sometimes the spirit that that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make referance to it in this particular study of the Bible.

(1) "From whence come wars and fighting among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts at war in your members? (2) Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (3) and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5) Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" James 4: 1 - 5.

The biblical precept that James is trying to get across is if we lust after worldly things division is inevitable but sometimes it can be taken to a level that is a shameful height. If this does happen Jesus Christ is not even close to be found for all practible purposes in that group. The Apostle James explains to these Jewish Christians why their wars were taking place and the causes of their lusts. The reason for their battles was not love for country and honoring God because there were negative Godly lusts in them that were causing them to sin. We need to examine if we have true zeal for God or pride. If the latter is the case we will battle inside ourselves with lust and more than likely fight on the outside. We can have lust for power, pleasure or riches but when they come to the surface as Christians we are contributing to the contentions that are in the world. The only way to solve the problem through Jesus Christ is to mortify those lusts that are in our members.

These desires will be disappointed if we say no but so will we because our flesh is so used to having the sin / sins fulfilled. We should not appease or satisfy these transgressions just because we want our void filled through desire because the Bible offers a better way through righteousness in and through Jesus Christ. We can make sure our worldly or fleshly lusts are satisfied but (I don't mean to repeat the same word) we will never be satisfied. We will have to keep committing the same sin over and over again because lust always desires more. If we have this affection for a transgression and keep committing the sin / sins then we will generally opt not to pray to God. That is why James writes you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. If we do not consult God in what we do and do not make a decision to commit our ways to Him then we will follow our own corrupt ways and inclinations to sin. What the Apostle is saying is our lusts will spoil our prayers.

There are all kinds of sins such as sensuality, pride or bitterness but they hinder our prayers. My advise is to first repent in the most sincere way you know how to because that is a start in the right direction. If we just pray without getting our sins right our devotion toward God will be hindered, not to mention we dishonor Jesus Christ and as a result our prayers are rejected. In this particular case we would be asking God for success in what we are doing but it would not be because we want to glorify Jesus Christ or to do Godly good. To the contrary we would consume our growth with the lusts of sin. Remember Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could be forgiven not so we can prosper in our transgressions.

When we as believers in Christ are not to hasty in our prayers that could be good in many cases because we might ask God for something amiss. In this case we would not be petitioning God for the right issues in the proper manner. When our prayers become our lusts then the grace of God will return empty to us for our souls.

We are warned by James to avoid all friendships with the world because we will become earthly minded in our life. This without devotion to Jesus Christ is enmity to God. A person can be wealthy and keep himself in the love of God but it is an entirely different thing to set the world on the throne of our hearts. This is why James writes whosoever therefore is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. If we have an adulterous, idolatrous love of this world of course there are going to be wars and fighting on the outside. What is inside of us must come out on the outside. We can not have peace with people if we have enmity towards God.

If we are corrupt there will be a lust to envy and we will always desire more but devotion to Jesus Christ gives us closure in love of God. It is not that the world will not give us position and pleasure but according to this passage we will fall into strife and quarrels just by the mere fact that we are friends with worldly desires because the two go hand in hand. If you desire to avoid contentions then make a decision not to be friends with the world. God gives more grace than the world not to even mention the fact that the people of this earth can turn on us at any moment. They can not even guarantee us tomorrow.

If  we feel we are falling into this trap the grace of God can correct a worldly spirit but we must make a decision to give our devotion to Jesus Christ. We can not stay in the middle because the lusts of earthly desires are to strong. These impulses naturally dwell in us but God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit will give us His Spirit of love which is the opposite of the world.

If you do not know the Lord in a personal way now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God in your life. If you do not make this choice then your only option is to be worldly and have earthly sinful desires. It is only when we have Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives that the grace of God dwells in us so we will not have to be immersed in sin. Of course there are different levels of this lifestyle but with the help of the Triune Godhead our path down here on earth will be righteous. The decision is up to you and I hope and pray people reading this article will make the right choice. 

God Bless you,
Bob D