Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Simply James 4 Part One

Have you heard these sayings?

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,"

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

" Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

Did you know that all these things are in one Chapter, in one Book, written by one man? James, Brother of Jesus, and what is said to be the oldest Book of the New Testament. Did you know that James was not even a believer until AFTER the Resurrection? James is a fascinating study in and of himself. Some places where it talks about him? Matthew 13:55 "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." John 7:3-5 "His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him."

He then became a head of the Church in Jerusalem following the Resurrection. Called a Pillar by Paul and one that extended his hand and authorized Paul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Galatians 2:9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

This is yet another place that dispels the myth that Peter was the first Pope. Peter was the leader of the Jews. His job was to Preach the Gospel of Christ to the Jews. He wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles. Paul is the first Pope, if you will. Sanctioned and ordained by God Himself to Preach the Gospel of Christ to the non-Jews.

Now James's main foundational message is Faith without Works is dead. That we need to be more than hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. That Religion for Religion sake is pointless. Which is probably why I feel a bit of kinship with him.

There is so much wealth in just this one Chapter, we need to truly spend some time here. Here it is..

James 4:
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that 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 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the 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?

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 nigh to God, and he will draw nigh 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.

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 to 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 vapour, 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.

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.
Let's look at this a bit more closely.
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that 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 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Now you know the Scriptures...

Matthew 7:
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
John 15:
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Mark 11:
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Does this mean that I can go out back of my House and Pray for a money tree with Hundred Dollar Bills for leaves, and I will be plucking my way to wealth tomorrow? Nope. Wait, does it not say "whatever you wish, and it will be done for you?" Then I want that money tree. It also says "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Who was Jesus talking to? His Disciples. God tells us, through His Word, that He will give to His Children anything that they ask, they shall receive. What should the Children of God ask for? To meet their needs? Nope. Jesus told us that our Father knows what we have need of before we do. No. As Children of God, we should ask for things that will be a blessing to us, but more importantly for us to be a blessing to others.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the 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?
This is a simple truth that is rarely taught. You cannot be part of the World and serve God at the same time. You simple can't. The World is flesh. God is Spirit. If you are OF the World, you are walking in the flesh. Remember, Romans 8 declares "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Jesus put it this way..

John 15:
18 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
When you start receiving great praise and power by Man, it's time to look in the mirror. It's time to enter into the Word. It's time to Pray. As we have discussed many times, you can be a great "Insert Religion here" all you want to be. You may receive promotions and great praise by man for the teachings and keeping of man-made traditions. But are you actually following and teaching the Truth of God?

A little bit later, Jesus even told us that it would be worse than the World simply Hating us. He said this..

John 16:
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus actually Blessed those of us, that become persecuted, because of Him and His Word. He said this...

Matthew 5:
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Think about this. How did the Apostles of the Bible die? Well, James is said to have been thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his Faith in The Christ Jesus. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a Fuller's Club. Interesting side note. This is said to be the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the time of his temptation.

Peter was Crucified, per his request, upside down on an x shaped cross. He claimed he did not feel worthy to be Crucified the same way Jesus was. All were martyred with the exception of John, whom legend has it, was boiled in a basin of boiling oil, yet by the Grace of God survived and died of old age. Some were hung, some beheaded. Some tortured to death.

Truth is, becoming a Christian is not, all peaceful gliding through life. You will face trials and tribulations. People, some friends and even some family members, will pull away from you. Some may even end up hating you. In...

1 John 2:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.

17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
This is why The Word tells us over and over again, that once we receive the Spirit of Adoption, we become a new creature. We are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We are now able, through the Spirit, to overcome the World and the things of it. As a Child of God, we in essence should count it a blessing when we find the World hating us. Jesus told us this would happen when we are faithful to God. Who would you rather have hating you? Man or God?
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 nigh to God, and he will draw nigh 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.
Remember the Sermon on the Mount? It was all about being humble.

Matthew 5:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
You see the Proud, are all about themselves. They take pleasure in their own accomplishments. They love to talk about themselves. They do everything they do, for self gain. They love the praise and admiration of others. Jesus talks about some Religious folks falling into this trap.

Matthew 6:
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
And continuing....
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
What Jesus is telling us here is do not be prideful, seeking acceptance and reward from man. If that is all you seek, that you shall be rewarded with. But become humble. Do not do things for your own gain. Serve the Lord your God. Serve God Himself. Allow Him to Justify you and more importantly, Glorify you.

So to recap so far. In James 4, we have learned we shall have whatsoever we ask God to supply us with, as long as we are living for Him. As long as we are doing His Will. He will not answer our Prayers if we are praying for greed or lust. If we are attempting to manipulate God, we will find Him silent.

We have learned that once we become a Child of God, we are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We have learned that the World will hate us, because it first hated Him. That we should not care. But be good and faithful servants of God Himself.

We have learned that God will not accept those that are full of pride. That we need to stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God. That if we humble ourselves, God will lift us up. Moses was humble, God made him powerful and able to do the things he did. David was humble and through God, brought down a Giant and became King. Solomon the Wisest King ever. Peter humbled himself and walked on water, and even his shadow healed people. Saul became Paul. James, Jesus's own Brother, humbled himself and became a leader of the Church. Many more examples can be found all through the Word. What they all have in common is that they humbled themselves. They gave up themselves and allowed God to work through them.

Next time we will be talking about what James tells us about judging one another, the fact there is ONE way of Salvation and Righteousness, and the fact we should be a be anxious for nothing. Then we will wrap this all up with the Sin of Omission.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

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