The Coming Antichrist and the Rapture of the church. Chapter 3, the last in this series. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10.


Still looking at 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  (KJV)

and that man of sin be revealed,”

Sin (as the KJV states) is the Greek hamartia and also means offense. However, the NASB uses the word lawlessness, and it is another Greek word altogether, anomia, and means illegality, that is, violation of law. ( – ah, but whose law?)

Revealed is the Greek word apokalupto and means to take the cover off or disclose.

If I stopped here I don’t think I would be any the wiser, but, I have learned that because of the political emphasis going on in the early 1500s, the Catholic Church pushed to have the wording changed to reflect their disgust with people leaving the “mother” church and going to the newly formed Protestant churches. In many early English manuscripts, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was less confusing and read similar to this:

“…for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition, …” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva)

There is something absent from the sentence above, in my opinion, and therefore, makes the sentence misleading. Having listened to Pastor JD Farag reread this passage from the Geneva Bible, it is obvious to me that he did what I did, and Americanized the passage. I don’t really see a problem with that, but I still have difficulty with this fuzzy transition that verse three gives. As it reads, although we gained an understanding about how apostasia means a departure, yet, we still have an issue as it appears that the son of perdition must appear before the catching away of the church. This hesitation about the man of lawlessness might then put us into the category of mid-tribulation saints, and that would make those that stand against a pre-tribulation rapture, ecstatic. Sorry to disappoint, but not really, because Pastor JD Farag did the same thing that I did, as he too changed one of those “that’s” to a “then”, and that made the sentence flow.

Can we or should we do that? Legitimately, no, but, if you read ahead to verses seven and eight, where the story is basically retold from another angle, we see verse seven end with “until he is taken out of the way,” while verse eight begins with, “then that lawless one will be revealed.” “He” is the church filled with the Holy Spirit, and has been, in every way, shape, and form, standing against the lawless one, and those who represent him. Because it is the same story, then by the usage of “then” we have a precedent established and can legitimately use the word “then” to convey a timing, that is otherwise not given.

In continuing to define the man of sin, we move on to verse 4. 

(2 Thessalonians 2:4 NASB) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Daniel tells us this: In emphasizing an attempt at changing God’s Law and the sacred seasons, it confirms that the majority of the thrust is toward the Jewish people in the nation of Israel.

Daniel 7:25 CEV “This king will speak evil of God Most High, and he will be cruel to God’s chosen ones. He will try to change God’s Law and the sacred seasons. And he will be able to do this for a time, two times, and half a time.

The scriptures use words like deceitful, crafty, policy, trickery, and cunning. Doesn’t this sound like almost every politician? But this guy takes these two steps to the extreme.

Daniel 8:25 CEV His deceitful lies will make him so successful, that he will think he is really great. Suddenly he will kill many people, and he will even attack God, the Supreme Ruler. But God will crush him!

This person, whether he is a king or not, is not essential; what is critical is that he gains immediate control. Now, considering where the real focus is – Israel, then it would be logical to assume that this man is associated with the Middle East, and he is quite probably a Muslim, controlling Islamic armies. Islam is anticipating a powerful Muslim man, the reincarnation of the 12 Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, to do this very thing.

Daniel 11:36 NASB “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

Consider for a moment this portion of the passage above, as he, “exalts and magnifies himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods.” Did you catch that? He exalts himself above all other gods. I know what that says to me, he is attempting to set himself above Yahweh. There are thousands of gods that people worship. Why wouldn’t a large variety of people suddenly rise up against this guy? Perhaps they will, but since he may total control, our cries against his actions will probably be quickly squelched. 

If there were ever a revealing collection of verses, it would be these we see in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, for they tell us plainly, that something MUST be removed, and then the lawless one will be revealed. That something is the Holy Spirit-filled church, which has been praying and voicing their displeasure at this drive for a one-world government. 

2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

Since the passage defines who this lawless one is, we can now recognize the timing and method of his departure. Although Daniel makes it look like the beast is vaporized, the spirit remains alive and is dealt with.

Daniel 7:11 NET. “Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire.

Revelation 19 also tells us the story of the lawless one, or beast, being destroyed and put away.

Revelation 19:19-20 NET. (19) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. (20) Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf — signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur.

What is it that I have now settled in my mind?

  • That we are neck-deep in apostasy; although, I have learned that the word apostasy was inserted thanks to the Roman Catholic church and is a rabbit trail because the best and previous terminology was “the gathering.”
  • The gathering is imperative and something that we, the church, have been looking for since the church came into being.
  • Since the word apostasia, transliterated into apostasy, can also indicate a defection, I have to ask the question, has the church, in the majority, turned their backs on God? The answer is yes.
  • Another thing that I have established or settled is that there are no prophecies left to fulfill prior to the return of Jesus Christ to gather His church; and is, therefore, imminent.
  • And, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10, the Antichrist will NOT come into view until after the removal of the church.

One other thing before I move on.

I have had many discussions about the war of Ezekiel 38,39. In this war, God jumps in and sends a firestorm upon Gog and his armies, while they are on the hillsides within Israel. Why is that significant? Because, the Antichrist calls out for peace, and, comes to a seven-year agreement with many. That word many does NOT have to include Israel and very well may not.

If what we know from the Word of God is true, then, there are only seven more years after the church is taken away. Where then do we fit all these events that happen during “the day of the Lord?” If the Antichrist is a Muslim, speaking to the Muslim nations, then there are a multitude of reasons to call for peace, one of which is that the Islamic nations in the Middle East would have taken a tremendous beating from this firestorm and need to regroup and resupply, possibly even get themselves a new leader, since Gog is now gone.

How about this? God, sends two witnesses, who stand in the streets of Jerusalem and prophesy for forty-two months. The word “prophesy” is a wide spectrum term. See Revelation 11:3-14. When does this take place? During what appears to be the first 42 months of God’s wrath.

Sadly, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian will go up in the catching away of the church.

How do I know that?

Because Matthew 25:1-13, tells us of ten virgins who were all invited to the same wedding. They all got an invitation, but not all made it inWhy? The story is told in terms that were relevant to the Jewish audience that used oil lamps, and therefore may not strike us as significantly; because of that, we simply change the oil to flashlight batteries that fit in a digital flashlight. A digital flashlight does not warn you that it is going to quit by dimming, as an older style might. If you pick it up, push the button and it works, you have NO idea if it will work the next time you push the button, not to mention continuing through the night.

Might I equate the oil to fresh batteries and the impact they could have on my life and my ability to see clearly?

That’s great, you have fresh batteries on the shelf. In this scenario, did you check? I always have a few backups, because I have a couple of flashlights that I go to consistently to deal with bangs in the house (we have cats inside during the night,) and peculiar noises outside. It is very annoying to grab a flashlight and not have it work. And, in the case of this wedding that we were invited to, they may not have checked to see if the flashlight was even working, as it was light when they left the house. Let’s just say I get to the meeting point, as these all did, and night falls; when the call comes to go, and my light did not work. Those in the story had already been demanding that the others share what little bit of extra oil they had, with them. Well, that’s no way to ask, and the obvious thing, for a time and place such as Nazareth, would be that the town shut down completely in the dark hours. There was no place to go and find more. But since they were all invited to the same wedding, surely they all knew each other.

Why then wouldn’t you simply follow along with those who had light?

I have run that through my mind many times. I would have done that. And, even if you did not want me near you, I would have followed. I may have stayed out of swinging distance, but I would have come. Considering the nature of this crowd, I can’t imagine such hostility, nor someone trying to keep you away from the wedding, but as I was writing these words, haven’t we, as the church, done that? I don’t try to focus on church history but wasn’t there something called the inquisition. Yeah, I thought so.

Some have told us that oil is representative of the Holy Spirit-filled life. Since having the Holy Spirit is thought by many to be an aspect of our salvation, you would think that we should be permanently filled. If that were the case we would not be having so many ugly moments where we act like angry cave dwellers. So my answer to this is to pursue a constant, daily infusion of and from the Holy Spirit. NO, I don’t ask, much like some who struggle with negativity, for God to save me, once again. But I consciously put my life into the hands of the Holy Spirit daily. I want Him to possess me, and fill me. Keep pouring your life in me until you and I are one. You did that for Enoch, do it with me.

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, antichrist, apostasia, Apostasy, apostasy, Apostle Paul, bible study, Catholic Church, departure, Douay-Rheims Bible, Geneva Bible, lawlessness, Protestantism, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Antichrist and the rapture of the church, chapter two. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10


“The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

If you understand that one of the NEXT events on the horizon is going to be God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth then we can move on.

(Why did I say “one of the next events”? Because Daniel 9:26 tells that this time frame will come with a flood – not a literal flood, although that could happen, but a flood of armies coming at Israel from every direction; and Israel will be at war, and they will be desolated. Ezekiel chapters 38,39 tells us that God interrupts this war with fire from heaven. Strangely, Ezekiel speaks of people merely marking the bodies that lie on the hills of Israel, so that specialists can take care of them; from that, we might assume that this fire is nuclear. This theory makes sense, considering the players involved.)

These events happen so rapidly and include the entrance of the Antichrist who declares that there will be a seven-year peace treaty. (Here again, we can see from Daniel 9:27 that someone rises up as a “global” leader. I suspect that he will be a global leader over the Islamic nations. Keep in mind the territory that this scenario is focused on.) With that understanding we can move forward and discuss what we the church will experience just moments before this wrath – our being gathered to Him. (“Him,” is Jesus Christ, and you can see that distinctly in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)

While these two verses (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) are the entrance into a solid and critical understanding of the rapture of the church, the first three verses used to bring me much confusion. The confusion came because verse three, which we will get to shortly, is typically written in such a manner that it comes across as though the Antichrist will come first. Let me show you.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB (3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

See how it says, “it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed.” The word “and” is merely a conjunction and not a mandatory timing. The major problem with this verse is the word apostasy, and we will get into that.

“… and our being gathered together to him,”

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, (2 Thessalonians 2:1 ESV)

Gathered or gathering it is the Greek word episunagōgē and means a complete collection, to gather together, or an assembling.

At some point, soon, we are going to be gathered and collected, back to Jesus.

Our gathering together to Him is the catching away of the church, or, if you wish, the rapture.

… unless the apostasy comes first, …”

2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

If I read this passage, as is, it gives the impression that two things have to happen before the rapture, but that is NOT what it says. Yes, the apostasy must come first, but the second half of this sentence says nothing about the church’s rapture, nor does it define what the apostasy means. It does, however, speak of a moment when the man of lawlessness will be revealed, and if we migrated forward to 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8 we can see this clear definition.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB)

Comes is the Greek word erchomai and means to be established, become known, arise, come into being, show itself, find a place, influence.

In light of verse one, where it speaks of our being gathered together with Him, we know that the “it” is the catching away of the church, however, it could also be pointing to the seven-years of God’s wrath.

“unless the apostasy comes first,” 

This section has been the game-changer for me.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 in the NASB, tells us that the church will not be caught away until there is, as the NASB states, an apostasy, but, as I have learned, the text and interpretation of the word apostasia, was changed to fit a Roman Catholic motive.

G646 apostasia; from G868. G868 is the word aphístēmi, and is derived from From G575 and G2476 and has the meaning to remove, or to put away.

Who or what then, is to be removed? The church.

Now let’s get back to apostasia for a moment.
The Word Study dictionary tells us that apostasia means to depart, or departure.

The simple word and, is our problem child here. While I have a clear understanding, based upon apostasia meaning to gather or remove, the word “and,” can in some cases, infer that an event or action must occur at the same time.
And is the Greek word kahee and apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force. It can mean: and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.

Since we are looking at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 then let’s see how this changes the way we look at this verse with some original wording.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB (3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the (departure, gathering, or removal – of the church) comes first, and (then) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (The bold type is mine.)

One of the early texts was the Geneva Bible. (Imprinted in London, by Christopher Barker, Printer to the Qveenes Maiestie. 1587.) A Swedish translation covers the word apostasia most appropriately.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and then that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition, (2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva) 

To read this passage, with this understanding, for me, eliminates any confusion I might have had, as we should have been looking for our removal by means of the harpazo, or catching away.

The clarity goes away quickly if I focus on what the Douay-Rheims Bible says. This is the early Catholic translation in which we find the effects of their displeasure with people leaving the church.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3 DRB)

The Rheims New Testament first published by the English College at Rheims, A.D. 1582. The Whole Revised and Diligently Compared with the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner, A.D. 1749-1752. This translation reflected the angst of the Catholic church during the Protestant revolution, where radicals were pulling away from the Catholic Church, the state church – also considered to be the mother church. Hence, we have terminology such as revolt. This translation seems to have been a catalyst for an entire shift in understanding and interpretation, so the degree that we now looking, not for a departing to be with the Lord, but a falling away from the Lord and traditions, in our church bodies. Strangely, a falling away from the Lord, is exactly what is happening, but the focus improperly changed, and confusion entered.

So the Roman Catholic Church had the word apostasia which means to gather, transliterated into the word apostasy, and changed its meaning to a falling away from the truth. Truth, of course, meant the state church, the Catholic Church also deemed the mother church.

We, slightly less than efficient Bible students, may not realize that something like the Strong’s concordance could be driven by error. Look at what we get from Strong’s concordance. Apostasy is the Greek word apostasia and means a defection from truth, a falling away from the truth.

Now examine what the Word Study Dictionary tells us about apostasia. It means to depart, but the WSD doesn’t stop there, it gives us more. “In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the word apostasía does not refer to genuine Christians who depart from the faith, but mere professors who, without divine grace, succumb to the Satanic deception of the Antichrist.”

Think about these words and phrases for a moment. To fall away from truth implies time, deception, and disinterest. 

If what we are looking for is a disinterest in church, we got it.

Having watched Ultimate Fighting Championships and Mixed Martial Arts, they interest me for a time but then it gets boring, and so I “fall” away. Church has always had problems like this, as some mighty move of God, or an evangelist, comes to the church, and everybody gets excited – we had one evangelist at our church when I was a teen, that continued for 13 weeks. My church doubled in size after so many came and stayed for a time. But then, the excitement turned to mundane daily living once again and the church retracted in size. 

A defection, on the other hand, implies an intentional turning away from.

We typically associate defection with “spies,” but it does not have to be that dramatic. Yes, some, for whatever the reason, become disenchanted and turn against the church. To be honest, because of events I experienced that were brought on by pastors and church leaders, I could have been one of those defectors, and I have been at times as I think about it. Only in my case, the events, for the most part, did not turn my heart away from God

It is not as though He is giving us another 500 years to get it right, it is time to turn up the fire in your own life now. History has demonstrated that most of what we call church has turned into deterioration and religious practices under a phony pretense. My own Pastor, while standing on a platform in the parking lot, stood before us and talked of God pushing the reset button, (but, he equated the church to a cat litter box, owned by a crazy cat lady, who has so many cats that she can no longer manage to clean up after the cats, nor does she care to.)

Have we as a church fallen away from what is right? 

There is no doubt in my mind that we have. 

The IVPBBC says this about verse 3-4.

2Th_2:3-4. The first prerequisite is either the “rebellion” (NIV, NRSV, TEV) or the “apostasy” (NASB). If it is a “rebellion” against God, it is the world’s final insult to him (2Th_2:4); if “apostasy,” it refers back to Jesus’ sayings later written in Mat_24:10-13. Both sins are characteristic of Jewish lists of end-time sufferings, but because Paul omits most of the signs found in such lists and focuses only on those cited by Jesus, the term here might mean apostasy. In either case, Paul indicates that the term does not apply to his readers (Mat_2:10-15).

(For those who will not read the passage from Matthew 2, let me give you a taste. Herod has noticed a large dust cloud in the distance, has sent out spies, and now knows that it is the Magi with a large entourage. Nothing in your Bible says that there were only three Magi. It does say that they brought three gifts. I might also note, that these gifts were of such large amounts, that when you next see Joseph and Mary, they are living in a home, and Jesus is now two years old. Herod calls in the chief priests and scribes to find out what is going on. Surprise, they knew but refused to acknowledge or have anything to do with this king of the Jews. So, while the Jewish leaders were rejecting Jesus, the Magi came from afar and fell to the ground before Him.

Now, since the other twisted possibility is a defection, have we done that as well? 

Defection = Want or failure of duty; the act of abandoning a person or cause to which one is bound by allegiance or duty, or to which one has attached himself; and revolt. 

The answer is a resounding YES. To prove my point look at the descriptions that the NASB/Apostle Paul gives us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB)

This is the world we live in.

It seems the entire Congress of the United States operates on these principles. If that is not enough, we ended the month of May and a part of June of 2020, with looting and rioting across the nation, and for convenience sake, blamed it on the murder of one black man. I don’t mean to sound callous, but Chicago alone has multiple killings of black people daily, but NO ONE seems to care about it, or them.

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, antichrist, Antichrist, Apostasy, Apostle Paul, bible study, Cult teachings, death, deception, End times, false teaching, gullibility, hypocrisy, Jews, judgment, judgment, strongholds, Thoughts on scripture, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Antichrist and the rapture of the church. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10


Chapter one

I had recently written, once again, a study on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10, and thought I did a fairly good job of making my point, that the rapture comes first and then Antichrist arrives, along with God’s wrath, but things change.

What changed you might ask?

First, there was the COVID 19 virus, that put the world in a panic. We, as a nation, also got put in quarantine. That quarantine turned into something of a joke as it got extended, first by the President, then by our California Governor multiple times, to the point that we were under quarantine for three months. During that quarantine, we were told that the church was non-essential, and churches were ordered closed. Surprisingly, our government, namely our California Governor, seems to have forgotten that we had a First Amendment to the constitution.

It reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

After a reasonable amount of time, many Pastors began to push back against the California Governor. Our own President Trump even got involved on behalf of the churches by demanding that the dictatorial Governors reopen churches because they are essential. In case you had not heard, here in California, by the end of the three months, we had more people die from suicide than from the COVID 19. My own church, did not take assertive action along with the others, but we did, in time, institute a drive-up/or sit in the parking lot church, and that was fine. All this initiated in early March of 2020.

As I look back, I am thankful that this seclusion led me to find other pastors on the internet. I found bold men, such as Pastor JD Farag, in Hawaii; Pastor Tom Hughes, from San Jacinto California; Pastor Jack Hibbs, of Chino Hills California, and James Kaddis, the Pastor of Signal Hill Church in Long Beach, California. These men preach a powerful, fearless gospel, and most opened their churches early. But the best of it was the messages that they brought and how they pulled no punches.

This time with these pastors, and the messages about the end times, was one of the biggest changes for me.

Here it is mid-June of 2020 and Pastor JD Farag recently stated,

after years of teaching, he still found himself struggling to sort out the timing of the rapture and Antichrist’s entrance into the end times scenario based upon 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. (This struggle to understand the chronology of what is going to happen, is all to common in the church.)

But then, as he said, I settled it. (That means he got the facts straight in his thinking, applied some faith to the subject, and settled it; never to struggle with it again.)

It is my belief that settling the timing associated with the rapture and the Antichrist has become pivotal to me, since March of 2020; because, since the beginning of March, we, the church, have submitted to:

fear; quarantines; a voluntary loss of our rights; the loss of our ability to assemble at church; the mandatory wearing of face masks, and soon, a mandatory “vaccination,” which we have learned will do nothing outside of marking you with a scannable nanodot. Many of us, are alarmed at how rapidly these changes have altered not only our world but us. If it goes the way the globalists want, we will not be able to work, shop, or go anywhere without this “vaccination.” And, if you are not aware, this is all meant to show you your need for a centralized government under one leader – a one-world government.

Does anyone else see the biblical themes running through the current events we are dealing with here?

What does this all mean?

It means that the emergence of the Antichrist and a one-world government is right around the corner. Thus, I implore you to settle these details about the catching away of the church and the coming of the lawless one in your heart and mind as well. And no, this is not just about you, although you should be capable of expressing and explaining to others this hope that we rest upon.

Why did Paul write this letter to the church in Thessalonica?

Because a fraudulent letter had at minimum, been distributed, to the church in Thessalonica; the effect of which, disturbed their peace, and filled many in the church with fear, as they thought had been left behind.

How did Paul respond to this fraud?

By reestablishing truth with them. He wrote them a second time, in an effort to refresh their thinking, and by reexamining a vital truth without rehashing all the details he previously taught. An example was given of a college professor who gives a lecture, upon which the students will be tested. Several weeks later, days before the exam, he reexamines many of the vital points he made. Does he, once again, give the entire lecture? No, because they should have gone over those notes themselves. He is merely reestablishing in them, what is coming. And thus Paul begins to write, now, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ESV  Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,  (2)  not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

“Now concerning the coming.” Coming is the Greek word parousía and means to be present. It also implies a coming to a place or an arrival. 

Eugene Peterson in his version of the Bible expresses this about verse one.the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.”

Other translations read like this: The CJB states- “in connection with”; the NASB reads – “in regard to,”; and the Amplified Bible declares, “But relative to the coming.” As long as the terminology conveys the association and immediacy of His coming, we should be good.

The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is interpreted in one of several ways:

Primarily, “The day of the Lord” is one of those interpretations and pertains to several events, all of which are associated with the seven-years of God’s wrath. The Word of God also speaks of this in terms of a day

If you do a search for the phrase, “the day of the Lord” and it shows up over 22 times across the Bible. In the book of the Prophet Joel, we get this.

“Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.” (Joel 1:15 NASB)

And He also addresses it as a week of years. For example, in Daniel we see –

“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. (Daniel 9:24 NASB)

If God were talking about actual weeks, to the Jews that would be about a year-and-a-half. It is actually 70, seven-year periods of time, and it took us up to Jesus’ resurrection. However, that only covered 69 of those time periods. The seventieth has been on hold, waiting for its moment to arrive that is described as “when the fullness of the Gentiles has come.

Romans 11:25 NASB “… a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

In the Revelation we see many martyred saints getting this answer from Jesus.

Revelation 6:11 NASB And there was given to each of them a white robe, and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

That seventieth, seven-year period is the time of God’s wrath upon the earth, and you see that in Daniel 9:24 (which I have shown you above.) This time is what we refer to as the tribulation, however, the tribulation is a highly inappropriate term as tribulations are what Jesus described would be a daily aspect of our lives. There is, however, a segment of time, within the seven-years, which will become so deadly that Jesus calls it a time of great tribulation and points out how God has to bring it to an end or no one would survive. This scenario is associated with Matthew 24:15, however, Daniel 9 tells us, another one will cause the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. At this point, if you are in Israel, run for your lives.

for then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22 MKJV)

I wish I could tell you that this ugliness will be confined to Israel, but I cannot.

Secondarily, there is another advent associated with Christ, which is frequently thought of as the day of the Lord, and that is when Jesus returns to earth as the warring Messiah.

Revelation 19:11-15 NASB (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. (12) His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. (13) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

His coming back in this manner is at the end of the seven-years.

If you were one of the survivors I would think you would be screaming Hallelujah because all sufferings are about to end, as we enter the thousand years of peace that takes place right before eternity and the total elimination of Satan.

3. The third and most vital interpretation, as concerns the church in relationship to God’s wrath, is what we call the rapture.

When it comes to the catching away of the church, we, the church, are looking for Him to come in the clouds, but He, at this point, will NOT physically return to earth and will merely gather us back to Himself. Scripturally, we have this:

They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 NASB)

This was not said to the disciples to clarify the day of the Lord; this was said to strengthen and encourage hope in the disciples who saw the most amazing man, die, come back to life, and leave them. They had a hope that He was the one who would save them, but standing there watching Him ascend into the clouds must have stripped the hope right out of them. They needed more hope – a hope that He would return for us.

Another passage that speaks of this time is 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

“and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB)

Since we know that the wrath, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10, comes almost immediately after the church has been removed, then what we see in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is indicative of His gathering of His church; and, the church is not included in “the day of the Lord,” which includes His wrath.

Having a clear understanding that this “day of the Lord” and what so many call The Tribulation, are the same thing, is essential.

Continued: See chapter two. omharris.com

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, antichrist, Antichrist, Apostle Paul, bible study, COVID 19, End times, Jesus, rapture, Thoughts on scripture, trials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Where Do We Go When We Die?


This is in response to a video made for a class, put on by the World Video Bible School. The teacher in that class was not identified.

Where Do We Go When We Die?

James 2:26 tells us, The body without the spirit is dead… (NIrV)

The speaker in the video makes a statement, and then asks the question of us, when we die, the soul leaves the body, but where does it go?

James, as we see above, states the body, lacking the spirit, is now dead.

So let’s assume two scenarios:

  1. I die as a believer. Now, Paul’s writings speak to us.

2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT  For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

In 2 Corinthians 5:1, having left the body for our heavenly home, the body should be dead.

2 Corinthians 5:6 NASB Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–

2 Corinthians 5:8-9 NASB (8) we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (9) Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

  1. I die without the saving knowledge of Christ.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 NASB For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.

In the video, the speaker now shows us a graphic, where the upper portion is paradise, and the lower portion is Hades, the place of the dead. The speaker goes on to say that Hades is not only the dwelling place of the dead but a holding place for disembodied spirits.

He then says,

the good who die go to Hades;

the bad who die go to Hades.

The speaker continues with, the reason we are confused is because, the King James Version of Matthew 16:18 translates hades, as hell.

Matthew 16:18 MKJV  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I guess I am not understanding for in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is replying to Peter, after asking Peter a question, to which Peter responded with, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To this astounding response by Peter, Jesus replies, flesh and blood did not reveal this you but My Father in Heaven. Jesus might as well have said, the Holy Spirit of God revealed this to you. But Jesus continued, by disclosing to Peter, and whoever else was listening, that by saying, “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Jesus was going to build His church on the principle that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, but note, the gates of hades shall not prevail against His church, NOR the principle that the church is founded upon – Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

Continuing to speak about our confusion, the speaker, as though he is telling us that what we see here in Matthew 16:18 has two different words to represent this word hell. I can tell you that I looked the verse up and all I see is one hadēs, a word that has unseen as its first choice in the Strong’s concordance. The speaker has now added Gehenna/hell to the mix and says that the KJV translated both words, Hades and Gehenna, as hell. As the speaker continued to articulate about Matthew 16:18, he said, this means that death would not stop His kingdom. The Old Testament word for the dwelling place of the dead is Sheol. Sheol and Hades are the same places.

Now, this is where I get annoyed. He says, “once you understand that all people go to Hades when they die it is going to clear up some things for you.” Well, NO!

I (Ozzie) can plainly see that those who do not have a relationship with Christ are merely lying quietly in the ground,

Ecclesiastes 9:5 NASB For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.

while those in Christ are immediately found in the presence of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT  For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

Paul continues with,

2 Corinthians 5:6 NASB Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–

Again, there is a logical path here. If, we are absent from the Lord while we are at home in the body, then, to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. It is not that difficult.

Perhaps the foolish assumption is that NO ONE gets to migrate one direction or the other, until at least the first resurrection, otherwise, how would anyone be in heaven, and yet we know that there are people in heaven during the time of wrath because John tells us about seeing the martyred saints, on two occasions, and he sees the Saints come riding back to earth with Jesus to wage war with the beast and the false prophet, and therefore we all rest quietly in Hades. The problem with the video teachers’ logic is that the first resurrection applies to the martyred saints during the time of God’s wrath upon the earth. The church does not have the term resurrection applied to it at any time.

In the video, the speaker attempts to justify our being in Hades by using Acts 2:31. While the speaker uses the NKJV, I will use the MKJV, they both say something similar.

Acts 2:31 MKJV  seeing this beforehand, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor would His flesh see corruption,

What is the context of this verse? Is it Hades, or is it the resurrection? If it is the resurrection, then we are NOT being directed to focus on Hades as a subject central to the conversation. What is central, is Jesus submitting fully to being a human, the Son of God; He did so to pay the full price for our redemption. Having put Jesus on the cross, Satan thought he had won and defeated God Himself, but he missed one critical thing, Jesus never sinned – nor was He born into sin, as a normal man, and therefore there was NO sin in Him. Satan had put him in hell illegally. As such, it is NO wonder hell could not hold Him.

Why would David speak prophetically about Jesus, and that God would not leave His soul in hell?

Psalms 16:10 MKJV  For You will not leave My soul in hell; You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Hell is the word she‘ôl and means hades or the world of the dead including its accessories and inmates: – grave, hell, pit.

One more piece of logic and comparison before I move on. Jesus, in response to the scribes and the Pharisees, said, you will get no sign, but the sign of Jonah. You can pursue this story in its entirety in Matthew Matthew 12:38-41, but suffice it enough to say,

“An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; (40) for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Why is this significant, and why would Jesus refer to the incident?

  1. No one gets swallowed by a fish, they get eaten by sharks.
  2. If you got swallowed by a fish, NO ONE would expect you to live.
  3. Three days is the time frame, that the Jews clung to, pertaining to the soul leaving the body – we also see this in the case of Jonah. It was understood that Jonah’s soul left his body. Now Jesus uses that same time frame and says, that He will be in the heart of the earth for three days. Since they understood that the heart of the earth was Sheol, then they knew He meant hell; and, they knew that this was the formal time frame for an official separation if that is what God was going to do to Him – and they, because of His “blasphemy,” saying that He was the Son of God, would have been the event that caused Him to be sent to hell.

When Jesus came to heal His friend Lazarus, he was four days dead, a very intentional move on the part of Jesus.

The thing that gives us trouble is this passage from Luke16:19-31.

Considering what we just finished talking about, and how Jesus came to fulfill every demand necessary to purchase our freedom, it should be a done deal already, not worthy of a discussion.

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  (20)  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores  (21)  and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.  (22)  “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  (23)  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  (24)  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.’  (25)  “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  (26)  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’  (27)  “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,  (28)  for I have five brothers. Let him warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  (29)  “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’  (30)  “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’  (31)  “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” NIV 

Who is Jesus talking to?

Jews. Jews that had an understanding of the concept of soul sleep. They knew that God had promised them eternity, but it was always a future event, and not to worry about.

Is it possible that this depiction of paradise and Sheol, is or was a reality?

Because Jesus describes in such detail, I can only assume that it was a reality.

What would have changed?

  1. We now have a personal relationship with Jesus, and the great mystery of Christ being in us, was solved, and therefore, where He is, we will be. This had to have an impact on this working relationship.
  2. Is it possible that the rich man was in some form of sheol/hell/? Again, Jesus gives us the details, and they are not rosy for this guy. “The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment.” However, for Lazarus, he was comforted.
  3. There was a monumental change. Who were these captives and where did He find them? Perhaps Sheol/Hell/Hades. It doesn’t matter and here is why. So if, you, like the video preacher/teacher, want to get technical, and say that Hades is little more than a calm resting place for the soul, distinct from the torment of hell, then know this, Jesus got the keys to both places, and neither is, for the believer, a place to be feared.
Posted in 2 Corinthians, absent, bible study, body, death, death, Ecclesiastes, Hades, Hell, hell, know nothing, Matthew's gospel, Our being caught up, prevail, rapture, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was asked the question, does the Lord give us trials that we cannot handle?


Shortly after the question had been put forth, George Floy was murdered; a new, riotous, political, protest group was formed and began to rampage across the nation; and not just protests, but rioting, and looting broke out. I don’t care who you are, if you are human you have been taunted by the demons to hate, rage, and fear. We, have to get a handle on our own emotions.

Now, the person asking, was probing, because he already had an answer, and it was a correct one, but what I believe he wanted, was my take on the subject. In truth, this type of question has been around for a long time, and in almost every circumstance the question has been improperly represented.

Look at the NASB, which I have provided.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)

An alternate version.

You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 BBE)

As we see in 1 Cor 10:13, where it says, “No temptation” has overtaken you. I want to look at that word for a moment.

Temptation, as used here, is the Greek word peirasmos and also means “a putting to proof,” solicitation, discipline, or provocation; by implication adversity.

In tearing apart the word temptation, with the twisted concept that God tests us, I get the idea that God is attempting to prove that we are worthy; the problem with that is that the theory stands in opposition to the work of the cross; it’s either that, or I am to perceive that God is bringing adversity into my life, but then for what reason? Again, both of these trains of thought run in opposition to the cross.

But, we have a problem as we try to mount an apologetic against God testing us, and you encounter it as you continue in the verse, where it says, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted.” I fully understand there is a context here, but I am trying to make a point, as this again implies God’s involvement in the testing. In this usage of the word tempted, the Greek word is peirazō and it carries with it the connotations that we are most familiar with, such as: to test (objectively), scrutinize, entice, discipline, assay, examine, prove, and tempt.

If I accept the NASB translation literally, I cannot read the statement, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man,” and make a sensible determination as to where this testing is coming from. Neither can I say, with any resoluteness as to where the test is coming from if I use the BBE version.

Now I will be frank, there are many who would say, if you look at the NASB it says, “but with the temptation will provide the way of escape.,” Sadly, most end the sentence there. The BBE translation also gives a kindred thought, as it says, “but he will make with the test a way out of it.” Here too, the sentence continues, but we rarely pursue the verse to the end, because we want it to stop; we don’t want to have to go through it.

So, does the implication that God may have His hand in the test or temptation exist?

Absolutely, for NOTHING happens on this earth without God’s ordination.

What do I have to prove that?

Job, for in Job we see Satan pointing out Job to God, and making statements to indicate that God has the man protected. God is not a man that He should lie, and therefore told Satan that the barriers, which had previously protected Job, were broken down; and, that the man was in his hand. With all that, God tells Satan, “but don’t take his life.” If you read the story in Job you will see Satan trying to get God to set His hand against the man, but that doesn’t happen.

Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:9-12 NASB)

So God limited the actions Satan could take against the man.

I have heard great negativity about Job, and those same speakers have God putting the tests on Job when the direction that the tests come from are clearly laid out as being from Satan. Few have been able to give a satisfactory explanation as to why God had this unusual conversation, and why He had to relinquish Job over to Satan.

Here is a powerful reason as to why Job’s barriers had come down. God expects us to walk in faith, and there is little in the scenario below that demonstrates faith.

(Job 1:4-5 NASB) His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Now, before we move on, there is this in response to “does God have His hand in the testing?”

Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (James 1:13-14 NASB)

Here in James, there is that word peirazō once again. The word is still being translated as tempted, but can also mean discipline, scrutinize, or entice. And yet, it is, without question, exclusive from God.

Can I perceive that Satan would do that very thing?

Absolutely, and James tells us that when he says, “each one is tempted (scrutinized, enticed, disciplined, assayed, examined, and proved. So, based on this, you can see that Satan’s goal and purpose in life, is to punish us when we do not comply with the ways of his kingdom.

Posted in enticed, Faith, false teaching, God's character, Hope, In Christ, James, overtaken, Sin, temptations, tests, Thoughts on scripture, trials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A warning against worldliness. James 4:1-13.


We ended James chapter three with an admonition to walk in wisdom instead of letting our tongues destroy us, and those around us. This wisdom, as James states, is from above and looks like this when it shows up: it is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. If this body in Christ could have lived in this manner, there would be no need to address wars and quarreling within the body of Christ, but it is not just within the body of Christ, it is our everyday lives.

Writing to a mixed body of believers, primarily Jewish, James has a need to address the quarreling and bickering he has learned about. Eugene Peterson’s Message says it best.

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from?
Do you think they just happen? Think again.
They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.
James 4:1 MSG 

Doesn’t that seem odd that James would have to address their bickering as wars and quarrels?

He then says, in case you had not figured it out yet, these boisterous battles are happening because you want your own way, and you, from your gut, are willing to fight for what you want.

I want to show you the shameful version and then one that is less harsh.

You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.
You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.
You do not have because you do not ask.
James 4:2 NASB

Almost all of us lust for what we do not have, but few of us commit murder to get it. What is going on here? Perhaps they have not come to murder as yet. Since the context of the verse has to do with envy and the inability to fulfill lusts, would God have us clamoring with Him, in an effort to get Him to satisfy our lusts? Surely, most of us, have at some point asked God to fulfill our desires. In my case, I got what I wanted. I later came to understand that my lust was not what I needed.

You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. James 4:2 GNB 

So if we have considered it, we have done it, right? Well, that is the picture Jesus painted when He said,

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 NIV 

I don’t see these people asking for anything, I do though, see them bickering and demanding. Wars do not just happen on battlefields.

I might like to think that James just shifted the focus.

James 4:3 NASB You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Ah, there is the answer, they are asking God to satisfy their stupid cravings.

You ask” is the Greek word aiteo and means to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require.

and do not receive,” Greek lambanō meaning to take in whatever manner.

James 4:2,3 from the Message Bible, tells us: “You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.”

because you ask with wrong motives,” Gk, kakos, kakos – sick, sore, amiss, diseased, evil, badly (physically or morally), wrongly.

so” Gk, hina – in order

that you may spend” Gk, dapanao – 1) to incur an expense, expend, spend; 2) in a bad sense: to waste, squander, consume

it on your pleasures.” Gk, hedone – (to please); sensual delight; by implication desire: – lust, pleasure. This is the same word from which we derive hedonism; which is, the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence. Synonyms: self-indulgence, pleasure-seeking, self-gratification. More it is the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.

James 4:4 NASB You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

That seems harsh. Let’s look at the Greek dictionary and see what they say.

moichalís; gen. moichalídos, fem. noun. An adulteress (Rom_7:3; 2Pe_2:14, “eyes full of adultery,” meaning gazing with desire after such persons. See Sept.: Eze_16:38; Eze_23:45). Used figuratively to indicate one who is unfaithful toward God as an adulteress is unfaithful toward her husband (This can apply to wives as well.) In the Greek OT it is spoken mainly of those who forsook God for idols (Isa_57:3, Isa_57:7; Ezek. 16, 23; Hos_3:1). In the NT, the word is generally used of those who neglect God and their duty toward Him and yield themselves to their own lusts and passions (Mat_12:39; Mat_16:4; Mar_8:38.
In James_4:4 the word moichalís stands as a characteristic of infidelity, faithless, or idolatrous).

Having been cheated on by a wife, this passage takes on a depth that most will not understand. After my first wife had her first blatant infidelity I struggled to trust her words and actions. The relationship was never right, as we never truly communicated. Later, she told me that her dad had asked her, as she was walking down the aisle to give her “vows”, “do you really want to do this?” Is this not a picture of how many of us are with the Father?

And in Zechariah 1:14 NASB we can understand that God is “exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.” All this makes me think of Oprah Winfrey. She said, when she learned that God was jealous, she perceived that God was jealous of her, this understanding put them in conflict. She said she would not tolerate such a sick relationship and walked away from God. Consider that she is heavily involved in the plans for globalism and the New World Order, which includes the murder of babies under the guise of health issues.

Look at this verse once again.

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 NASB

How quickly we turn our backs on God. I can’t imagine anybody not having some longing. For me, it was a 24-foot inshore fishing boat. This then evokes some questions: Does God hate me for admiring the fishing boat? Is there anything I can do? Where does one get a camel hair coat so that they can look like John the Baptist?

Enemy, BTW, is echthros and means to hate; hateful (passively odious, or actively hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary.

Never stop until you get the full context, and that brings us to James 4:5.

James 4:5 Williams  Or, do you think that the Scripture means nothing when it says, “He jealously yearns for the Spirit that He causes to dwell in your hearts”?

There it is, He is madly passionate about that Spirit that He has caused to dwell in our hearts.

Why? That Spirit is a part of Him, no less than the Son is a part of Him. Genesis 2:7 tells us that God breathed His own spirit into the man; and in Zechariah 12:1 we learn that the Lord formed the spirit with us. No wonder God is jealous for us, for we too are a part of Him, which He lost through Adam’s treason, and regained through Jesus Christ’s actions on the cross. The only problem is that He gave us the choice to return to Him. We can voluntarily return to Him by receiving Him once again.

So here I am struggling to understand what God wants from me, knowing full well that I am messed up, although I seem to be getting better at following His voice and staying out of trouble. And He knows all that.

What does James 4:6 have to say about this? While most translations say, He gives more grace, look at how the CEV translation puts it.

James 4:6 CEV  In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.”

Knowing that we are messed up, God treats us with greater kindness.

Notice how it says, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he is kind to everyone who is humble.” Have you given much thought to what it means to be humble? My mother thought it meant to dress and rags, not wash much, and be proud of it. There is something horribly twisted in this logic; and, it has the idea of pride mixed, as though that whole John the Baptist look makes you Holy – it does not.

In trying to grasp this humble thing, I have learned that Moses was the most humble man on the earth; really? Yes, the baby in the grass basket maneuver, was surely humbling, but maybe, in his case, it was just too cute and therefore gained Moses access to Pharaoh’s palace, where he had the finest education of his day. We fail to remember that Moses was nursed by his real mother until it became ridiculous. During that time she told him who he was. How and why he remembered any of that information is beyond belief. If anything, being raised in Pharaoh’s court would have made him prideful; and, if you know the story, Moses, having learned what his true heritage was – hated sheep farmers who seemed to have God’s calling upon their lives, rises up and slays an Egyptian man. In his pride, He thought that he would be, at least, one man’s redeemer; but that did not work out so well and he had to flee for his life. For the next forty years, in the desert, he tends sheep – one of the most hated things in Egypt. The Pharaoh who wanted him dead is now dead himself, and so God sends Moses back to Egypt, with this message – Let my people go!

What then caused him to gain this humble status?

After becoming the leader of God’s people, he was overwhelmed by the daily issues and threatened several times, one of those threats came from his own brother and sister. In the face of ugly situations, we find that Moses turned to God. This turning to God became a pattern for him, and it demonstrated that he knew where the power and answers truly lay.

So what does it mean when God opposes us?

From the Greek Antitassomai to range oneself against, that is, oppose: – oppose themselves, resist.

The first thing I want to look at is this idea of God setting himself in opposition.

The definition of oppose also includes the idea of being a counterbalance. So, while we may sit there scratching our heads, wondering why God is against us when we should be asking, what is God trying to teach me.

James 4:6, in the NASB, tells us that God gives more grace. Consider what we know so far.

  • We are messed up, although many of us think we have got this living large stuff down pat.
  • In spite of our being messed, and because we have accepted Christ into our lives, God has placed His Holy Spirit inside of us. If you only knew the treasure that lives inside of you. And, God is exceedingly jealous over that Spirit; that means He is jealous over you and will go out of His way to protect and cover you.
  • And, as you can see from the NASB, that God, knowing who we are, just pours out more grace.

It is difficult to comprehend at times, but He loves us. The proof we have of that is that He was willing to allow His Son to experience the gore of the cross so that He could open the door for us, to come flooding back to Him.

In our efforts to be real, we can’t ignore the negative side of James 4:6.

“GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

Try searching for this sentence and you will only find it in two places, James 4:6 and 1Peter 5:5. I can assure you that James would not have quoted Peter’s words. Everyone that references an Old Testament passage refers you to Proverbs 3:34. Because it makes more sense and holds to the context, I will show you the Good News Bible version. Besides that, none of them precisely match those words.

“He has no use for conceited people, but shows favor to those who are humble.“

One definition of the word conceited explains the word like this: “Entertaining a flattering opinion of one’s self; having a vain or too high conception of one’s own person or accomplishments.”

Just remember, everything in this world is at odds with God’s ways and plans. Pursuing them will make you God’s enemy.

Does this sound like a setup for failure?

It is not. God knows what became of us, that is why He sent His Son, and in so doing He poured out His grace upon all who would accept it. How can an assured hope of an eternity with the Father that loved you, be a failure?

In light of that grace, James tells us to,

“Submit 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, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 NASB

If you get involved with recovery, you learn quickly that bold, blatant, honesty brings about the most healing. No, don’t go blabbing everything in front of strangers, but in time, you will have to spill your guts to a trusted person. This is the direction James goes next.

James 4:9-10 NLT  Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  (10)  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

In other words, own the damage that you have done, even if it is idolatrous living. You know, that stuff you put before God. When you are done, (in recovery it is usually your sponsor who tells you when you can graduate,) humble yourself before the Lord.

What did we learn from Moses?

To throw everything before God. He has grace waiting there for you.

Lastly, knock off the judging. You are certainly no better than anyone else. This is an important message that the world currently is refusing to hear.

Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.
If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law.
But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.
God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge.
He alone has the power to save or to destroy.
So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
(James 4:11-12 NLT)

Posted in bible study, forgive, James, Jews, judgment, Mercy, mercy, prejudice, restore, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom from above. James 3:14 – 18


Previously, we talked about taming the tongue. If you noticed, that maybe one of the hardest things you will ever do; and, it is wisdom at its best if you do. Now, under the premise of “Wisdom from Above” James elaborates on how this faith action demonstrates good behavior and the gentleness of wisdom.

Wisdom from Above

The section starts with the verse we ended on, but from Eugene Peterson’s perspective.

James 3:13 MSG  Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.

In contrast to the person who lives in this appropriate manner, we have James chapter three, verse fourteen, which seems to be in total opposition to wisdom.

James 3:14 NASB But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

Where did this person who is living well, wisely, and humbly get off to? Do you see those categories?

  • “you have bitter jealousy” and
  • “selfish ambition in your heart” But note, that these things equate to arrogance and lying against the truth.

The word bitter is the Greek word pikros and means sharp (with the idea of piercing,) or pungent.

Jealousy is as it says.

Selfish is the Greek word eritheia and also means rivalry and ambition.

Ambition is merely the Greek word eritheia used twice. I am not a scholar, so I look at translations from a layman’s point of view, and it makes no sense to say selfish twice. So, typically, in conjunction with a defining term, the word changes into something that has a similar meaning, and hence we get selfish ambition. When words are used in succession, it is wise to pay attention.

Arrogant is the Greek word katakauchaomai and its primary meaning is to exult over. This is often understood as arrogance.

To lie seems like such a simple word that it needs no explanation but let’s examine it anyway. It is the Greek word pseudomai and it means to utter an untruth or attempt to deceive by falsehood. This is the root from which we get the term pseudopods. Clams are pseudopods, meaning, they have a false foot. A dictionary definition includes protozoans and says, it is a temporary protrusion of the protoplasm, as of certain protozoans, usually serving as an organ of locomotion or prehension.

So when it comes to uttering an untruth what could James possibly be talking about? Especially since James just finished talking about a person who shows good behavior and wisdom by controlling their tongue.

Against is the Greek kata and means that this untruth is indicating motion meaning down from a higher to a lower place.

Truth. Again, this seems to simple a word, as it means what it says. But as Pilot said to Jesus, what is truth?

Jesus responded to Thomas, with, I am the way, the truth, and the life … John 14:6 NASB

Jesus said this of the Father, and therefore Himself – His word is truth John 17:17

The Psalmist David tells us, The sum of Your word is truth, … Psalms 119:160 NASB

Refocus on the passage once again.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

So, once again, in the course of studying the book of James, I ask, who is James talking to?

Jewish followers of Christ – who hold to the old ways and attitudes. This holding to the old ways is not necessarily a bad thing, as the Jew tends to have a grip on the Holy feast days – something we “Christians” have little to no idea about; and yet, these Holydays – Pentecost which we just went through, plays a role in the end times events.

Consider this idea for a moment. God brought the church into being on Pentecost; is it possible that He will remove the church in conjunction with this one? Yes, I know, it is June of 2020 and we are still here, but the momentum that brought about the birth of the earth might be something comparable to the pandemonium we have been witnessing on our city streets. Example: Chaos came to the streets of Minneapolis somewhere around May 22, 2020. Having been on quarantine for three months, many churches challenged “the law” and opened, specifically on May 31, 2020, Pentecost Sunday. It felt like a clarion call to come back to life; and, if you are honest, you will have to admit that our Churches have been dead or dying for a while.

Having looked at the alternate words that could have been used, I can see that James is having to deal with horrendous attitudes and pride. We Gentiles, who stumbled in off the street, have our own set of issues; but stick around religion long enough and we can learn to develop our own biting attitude that longs to lord over someone else. You probably noticed that James just straight out said, our bad attitudes are twisting the truth – lies. Wait a minute, I was just trying to make my point in that conversation, besides that, I know I was right and they needed to hear it.

If we are lying, then what are we lying about?

Truth! If God’s word is truth, and it is, then without thinking about it, we are disparaging almost everything that God stands for. Have you ever thought about that?

What then does God stand for?

What you should really be asking at this point, is, what is God’s nature and character, because WE get every twisted potential, such as God is an angry God, willing to send everyone to hell; or that He is unapproachable and uncaring. Yes, God stands for justice; but there is another word that is often used here, and it is vengeance.

In the context of the now global rioting, under the premise of a murdered black man, George Floyd. Not only are crazed people trying to find justice, but because of the looting, fires, and additional harm done to the public, we too are now crying out for vengeance and justice. This evokes more questions.

  • When will God bring this justice?
  • Are we supposed to be motivated by fear?

We are broken, and therefore we all have the capacity of acting out of this brokenness that we see in James 3:14. Now pay attention as James continues to disassemble what acting outside of wisdom gets you.

James 3:15 NASB This wisdom is not that which comes down from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

If you are acting as if bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are okay, then you are operating in a wisdom that is earthly and demonic.

James 3:16 NASB For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

Operating in a realm that is earthly, natural, and demonic, puts us in a position where there is disorder, and to make things worse, every evil thing.

But the wisdom that comes from above.

James 3:17 NASB But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Eugene Peterson’s Message says, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, …”

Dr. J. Vernon McGee states, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure—that is, it’s not mingled or mixed; it’s undiluted; it’s the original. It is that wisdom which comes down from God, and James clearly identifies it.”

  • pure
  • peaceable
  • gentle
  • reasonable
  • full of mercy
  • full of good fruits
  • unwavering
  • without hypocrisy.

James 3:18 NASB And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Once again, look at what Peterson has to say.

You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (James 3:18 MSG)

Lacking the Super Hero characteristics to take on all the looters, I really only have a handful of reasonable tools to combat the fear and anxiety fear tries to bring, prayer, and teaching. Since my teaching is not what I thought it would be, then I must pray.

The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace?

Look at alternative passages.

The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. (Proverbs 11:18 NASB)

Fairness will produce peace and result in lasting security. (Isaiah 32:17 NET.)

Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12 NASB)

Can horses gallop over boulders? Can oxen be used to plow them? But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness. (Amos 6:12 NLT)

he who sows for his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, and he who sows for the Spirit will reap life eternal from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:8 Moffatt NT)

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
(Philippians 1:11 NLT)

So be seed planters of peace, the times are calling for it. This is NOT peace as the world understands it, it is the Word of God, which often tells you NO. In doing this you will reap a harvest of righteousness.

Posted in bible study, God's character, James, mercy, righteous, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, understanding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Excerpts from “A Coming Mandatory Vaccine Biometric Chip? by Danny Jones.” April 30th of 2020.


Excerpts from a sermon by Pastor Danny Jones, Northlake Baptist Church, Georgia.

The 45 minute video is found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0qr0vNtqE4

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;

Of all the Bible translations that I possess, only two use the word iniquity, most use the word wickedness. Lawlessness or iniquity is the Greek word anomia and its primary meanings are illegality, violation of lawor wickedness: – iniquity.

In terms of the COVID 19 virus, we have evidence that “they” have been telling us what they were going to do, as far back as 1981 when Dean Koontz wrote a mystery novel called The Eyes of Darkness, in which he describes a deadly virus called the Wuhan-400, what a coincidence considering that it describes virtually every aspect of what we have been experiencing and what we hear on the daily news. The Simpson’s (adult cartoon show,) spelled out in 1993 that we would be experiencing, not only the Corona virus, but Murder Hornets, and we now have both. An account with more similarities, also credited by some as predicting corona virus, is found in the 2011 film  Contagion, about a global pandemic that jumps from animals to humans and spreads arbitrarily around the globe. What were we told? That the Corona virus came from the wet market of Wuhan and that it involved bats. Bill Gates and The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation produced a Netflix movie called Pandemic, that aired in November of 2019.

The timeline begins.

3 years ago on November 8, 2016 Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency. He won by promising: To make America great again; To put a stop to the globalists agenda; To close our borders; To quit paying into the United Nations and NATO; To stop the climate change hoax; and to stop the one sided trade deals. Once the president started all this, the globalists turned against him and our own government tried to impeach him. These attacks on Trump went on for about three years.

The next move was Corona virus. With Bill Gates as the new, elder statesman, we move on.

January 17, 2017 – The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where 3000 of the world’s wealthiest gather every year to figure out how to rule the world. Bill Gates initiated a new working group called CEPI – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation. CEPI is a collaboration of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway, India, Germany, Japan, and two big pharmaceutical companies called Inovio and Moderna. CEPI began working on the next epidemic there in Davos in 2017. Also there at Davos, Bill Gates began working on a Netflix video called “Pandemic.” It was released November of 2019. The plot of the movie was a Corona virus that originated in a wet market in China, leaving millions of people dead.

Is this just a coincidence? Is Bill Gates a prophet? Or, is it a plan?

October 18, 2019 – There was a pandemic exercise called event 201, at John’s Hopkins University. The exercise was conducted by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The World Economic Forum, and Michael Bloomberg’s School of Public Health at John’s Hopkins University; and yes, that is the same Michael Bloomberg that tried to run against the President. The pandemic simulation predicted that the virus would have the same kill rate as the Spanish flu of 1918, which cause around 55 million deaths worldwide, in an eighteen month period. It is also good to note that Dr. George F. Gao, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control was involved in the simulation.

October 18-27, 2019 – On the same day, at the same time (as the pandemic exercise event 201, at John’s Hopkins University,) the World Military games were being held in, of all places, Wuhan China. 10,000 athletes from 110 countries, and the United delegation was about 300 people.

2 months later.

January 7, 2020 – China reports the CORONA outbreak in Wuhan.

Here is an interesting piece of information. James Walker, reporting for Newsweek, on 3/14/2020, elaborated how that “the first confirmed case of someone suffering from  COVID-19  in China can be traced back as far as November 17 last year, according to local reports. The South China Morning Post reported it had seen government data showing that a 55-year-old from Hubei may have had the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus on November 17, but did not make the data public. The newspaper also said that it was possible there were cases reported before the November date set out in the government data, adding that Chinese officials had identified 266 cases of COVID-19 last year. How far back in time this goes is not clear, but there is something you need to understand the spread of this virus. Where did the COVID 19 virus have its biggest impact? Milan, Italy. The Milan Italy fashion shows, began their spring and summer showings last season on September 7 through September 23, 2019. Who might come to this event besides the extremely rich? Representatives from China who will be making the clothing lines for many of these designers.

January 21-24, 2020 – The World Economic gathering in Davos, Switzerland. Bill Gates and the CEPI announced a Corona virus vaccine program, with partnerships including Inovio and Moderna; the United States Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is led by none other than Dr. Thomas Fauci. (Remember, this is Davos, where plans are made.) Dr. Fauci is now the Chief Medical Adviser to President Trump.

Dr. Fauci wrote in March of 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine, that this Corona virus was going to be nothing but a seasonal flu. But when he went before America, on camera, he told us that this virus was going to be 10x worse and may kill two million Americans if we do nothing; It may still kill 200 thousand Americans ever if we shut down the country and shelter in place. He said, there is NO known vaccine and it’s going to take 12 -18 months to get a vaccine ready for trials. Of course, the question is, where did Dr. Fauci get his numbers; where did he get the model that projected that quantity of deaths? It turns out, that information came of the University of Washington; The Institute for Health Nexus and Evaluation, which happens to be funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

January 24, 2020 – The US House of Representatives began drafting a Corona Virus stimulus bill called the CARES act. So the money we got in April started back in January. So somebody knew what was going to happen. So somebody in Congress knew that we were going to need relief.

January 24, 2020 – The US Senate was getting an ultra secret briefing on this event that was about to get unleashed upon the United States.Senator Kelly Loeffler, all of a sudden, had some changes made to her investment strategy.

January 30, 2020 – The United Nations World Health Organization officially launches a world wide wide public health emergency for what the called a Novel Corona virus, even though, at that time, there was only 150 declared cases in the world. But they knew it was going to be an emergency. By the way, Novel means newly discovered, never seen before. That means COVID 19 didn’t just come crawling out of the woods. That should make you wonder, where did it come from?

January 31, 2020 – President Trump orders a travel ban on anyone traveling from China.

Pastor Danny Jones adds: “Four days later, January 4…” Pastor Jones did not stop here but I felt I must.I put this in as Pastor Jones said it, but it does not make sense. If he is going chronologically then four days later would be February 4, 2020.

February 4, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control decided NOT to use the World Health Organizations COVID 19 test kit, as they did not think they were good enough; and they (The CDC) had to come up with their own. So the CDC made their own tests and they were defective; and they had to pull them off the market. CDC got out some new tests by the end of February. But they (the CDC) were backlogged, taking from one to two weeks for people to find out if they had it (COVID 19) or not.

At this point in the video Pastor Jones talks about his own resume and how he was a pre-med student at the University of North Georgia (North Georgia College.) He continues: “And so I went to the CDC website and looked at those test instructions to see what was involved in a Corona virus test.” “A positive COVID 19 test, DOES NOT rule out bacterial infections, or, co-infections with other viruses. COVID 19 may NOT be the definite cause of the disease, however, still report autopsy cases to the CDC.”

February 5, 2020 – President Donald Trump was acquitted on the articles of Impeachment. So we had been watching the news about the impeachment and we knew nothing about this COVID 19 thing that was going on out there in the world.

March 11, 2020 – The World Health Organization officially declared COVID 19 as a global pandemic.

March 14, 2020 – The Associated Press announced that volunteers in Seattle were given the COVID 19 vaccine, that was made by MODERNA, and it was approved by Dr. Fauci of the National Institute of Health. Pastor Jones again interjects: “that is less than two months, and yet Dr. Fauci had earlier said, it would take up to 12 to 18 months to get a vaccine ready for trials, so something is going on there.

March 16, 2020 – President Donald Trump declares a state of emergency for the United States, for COVID 19, and that is when we began the social distancing, standing six feet apart, sitting six feet apart, and no meetings with over ten people.

March 31, 2020 – Bill Gates wrote an OP ED in the Washington Post, stating that the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the Corona virus, so we need to shut down the US economy for at least 10 weeks. (At this point, I am not sure if Pastor Jones is still reading from the Washington Post article. It feels as though he is merely making a point that this 10 week period should take us to the end of June.)

One week earlier, around March 24, 2020, Bill Gates did a TED talk interview, where he said, “once people in the world learn to trust science to solve a pandemic, maybe they will ready to trust science to solve climate change. Pastor Jones then says, “it kind of makes you wonder where are we going with this thing.”

Big changes brought about by the COVID 19 Corona virus.

Was to verify the power of the press; to make sure that these five corporations that control 90% of what we hear and see in the media, still have the ability to put everybody in a panic.

Of course we are talking about: CNN; Time/Warner; ABC/Disney; Fox/Newscorp; CBS/Viacom, and, NBC/Comcast. These networks bring on experts whose job it is to convince us that we need to give up our liberty or we are all going to die. They bring on globalists experts that explain that global problems require global solutions. I’ve heard (said) that a half dozen times. They tell us, the world is too complicated for any nation, (or) for even something as great as the Untied Nations. We can’t fix this by ourselves, we need a one world solution to our problem. They bring on experts that tell us we need to quit being ignorant and listen to science; listen to experts; listen to technocrats, (as) they alone know how to fix pandemics; and, they alone know how to fix climate change.

Another one of the great changes that we’ve seen, that I’ve never seen in my time, is called social distancing – six feet between individuals; no gatherings larger than 10 people. (They have) ordered people off the streets and confined (them) to their homes; this is a trial run at martial law, but it turns out they never needed martial law because most Americans submitted voluntarily. But Governors have ordered up police, deputized government workers, and deployed nation guard, just in case we the people get sick and tired of this and rebel. To further add to the rumors of a police state, our (Georgia) governor, set up a telephone hotline so you can call up and rat out your neighbors who are not complying with lock down orders. This sounds more like Russia or China than it does the United States of America.

The next big change is crashing the capitalist economy. Following theses social distancing guidelines, we have watched 22 million Americans lose their jobs; we have seen the stock market drop 10,000 points; we have seen our retirement/savings vanish and go down the drain; we have watched the government take charge of production, which is a classic definition of socialism. We get the government using the executive orders, loans and grants, to pick which businesses will win and which businesses will lose.

Another big change that has come out of this, is that they have made the church irrelevent, or shall I say, more irrelevent that what we already were. In times past, when America went into a crisis they would call on the people of God to pray; that’s not what we are hearing now. (We hear,) we need doctors, we need scientists, we need people to tell us how to do this; we don’t need God, churches, and prayer. Churches are listed among non-essential businesses. Pastors are not allowed to visit sick memeber in hospitals and nursing homes. The Christian tradition of hand shaking with the right hand of fellowship, is forbidden. Churches are not allowed to assemble, which is a violation of our first amendment rights, (such as,) freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. Also, it is a violation of Hebrews 10:25, where it says, do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Our sermons and our Sunday School classes are forced online, (a venue in) which all of our words are being saved and stored in a National Security Agency data center in Utah, which, as long as we have a government that is okay with Christianity, were okay; but, what if our New World government is more like China? Then our very own words will be used against us in a criminal trial.

Speaking of the government giving out money. One of the goals of this New World Order is universal basic income, where you get paid to do nothing. You don’t have to work for money, the government decides what you need. (Pastor Danny states,) I guess giving $1200 to every adult and $500 to every child, was a good test run. An intersting article is Bloomberg news from April 5, 2020, (tells us that,) Spain is using the Corona virus crises to roll out its universal basic income system. So apparently some of our nations know what’s up with this.

This happened around Christmas; December 23, 2019. The prestigious Scientific American reported that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and MIT, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had developed a bio-metric tattoo, where a nanochip can be injected into your forearm, at the same time you are being vaccinated; therefore, your arm can be scanned to reveal your identity, you vaccination, maybe even your medical records. The Bio-Metric tattoo is part of a bigger plan called ID2020, which was also announced this January (2020,) at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland; and, again sponsored by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and several other billionaire organizations. These “compassionate” billionaires advertise this as a special tool to help poor little children in undeveloped countries who are in crises where there is a war, or famine, or something like that, where they have to run to some other country; and, you know they don’t carry papers with them, so you don’t know whether they have had their shots or not. So all they have to do is scan their little forearm and know whether they’ve had their shots or not. Sounds very compassionate, then you read on down the article, (and you find that) the author mentioned that this tattoo would be a great screening tool at airports, border crossings, schools, health care facilities, government buildings, and sports facilities.

Posted in Antichrist, Apocalypse, Apostasy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, COVID 19, Deception, End times, gullibility, New World Order, one world religion, rapture, redemption, Revelation, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taming the tongue. James 3: 1-13.


James 3:1 NASB Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

Raised in the church, we frequently had missionaries come back into the church, with videos and slides, demonstrating the work they had been doing. They NEVER spoke to the crowd with the hope of making new teachers; it was always a push to be missionaries. To be honest, good Bible teachers were rare, and therefore there was little to inspire us to be a Bible teacher.

When I “came back to the Lord,” I was about 23, and almost immediately I was fortunate enough to get involved with a few “good” Bible teachers. I felt like I finally had people that I could emulate. Unfortunately, I got married to a girl I met in church, and thought she would be perfect, she was not, and getting married to her was nothing more than a fulfillment of my selfish desires. With that marriage, my dreams of being a Bible teacher came to a crashing halt for almost 40 years.

The verse says, “we (teachers) will be judged more strictly.” Let me give you the KJV for contrast.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1 KJV)

It seems as if the emphasis changes. Is it possible that this has nothing to do with a judgment from God, as the majority of the teachers emphasize?

What if this has everything to do with the opposition you receive from the religious and the world, who have just enough religion in them to be a thorn in our flesh?

When I look at the KJV I get the word knowing. Knowing is the Greek word eidō and means to see. Again, the KJV states: we shall receive. We assume that it means we shall receive from God. It is the Greek word lambanō and means to take up a thing to be carried.

My experience teaching is limited to you, and a very small handful of men, rarely exceeding myself and two others. I am not a pastor, not do I want the responsibility of being a pastor. I have enough trouble handling my own life. However, I do feel the weight of responsibility to teach these guys an appropriate, intelligent, and Holy Spirit inspired message. I am fortunate as, currently, we all seem to be like-minded; there is that, and the way I teach is to demonstrate that there could be alternate ways of looking at a passage. This approach has been very freeing, as I do a reasonably thorough job of researching the subject matter, and point out things like, how the Book of Revelation, is a Jewish oriented book.

the greater” is the Greek word meizōn and means larger. The KJV finishes off the sentence with the word condemnation. This word is kríma and means to judge. The suffix -ma indicates the result of judging.

Maybe my speculation is off track and it is judging.

The Holy Spirit acts as a control in the life of the believer, but here is something else.

Romans is a letter that Paul wrote to the church of Jewish converts that were meeting in Rome. Having returned after an expulsion, they have brought Gentile believers into the mix. Sadly, the Jews are exhibiting far too many traditional ideas and aspects of the law in their interactions with the Gentile believers. Paul had to address this in his letter. Notice the terminology that Paul uses, as it seems to speak to this theme of being judged.

But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? (Romans 2:17-21 NASB)

Let me break down what we just saw in Romans. It begins with an admonition to the Jews, who:

    • rely on God,
    • know His will,
    • approve the things that are essential;
    • are instructed out of the Law,
    • and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind.
    • a light to those who are in darkness
    • a corrector of the foolish
    • a teacher of the immature
    • having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth
    • you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?

So, if you feel condemnation from James 3:1, then ask yourself, do you not teach yourself?

James 3:2 NIV 
We all stumble in many ways.
Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect,
able to keep their whole body in check.

Did you catch that?

The one who is never at fault in what they say is PERFECT.

Is that even possible?

If it were, then this person, perfect as they are, would be perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. Eugene Peterson’s Message, says this person is “in perfect control of life.” Surely Peterson did not mean that this person who controls their tongue, controls all of life? Maybe with control of their own tongue, they are in control of their own life, and that, I think, would be enough. Nonetheless, I am snickering as I write this, as I have never met anybody like this.

Almost as if to say, you are all that, what about horses? Well, that’s a brutal comparison.

James 3:3 NLT  We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.

And if James hasn’t gotten your attention yet, what about ships? Ships are mindless machines that do what the competent commander directs the crew to do.

James 3:4 NET. Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs.

To be honest, all this could be nothing more than a contrast and comparison example, and the next verse proves that out.

James 3:5 NET. So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze.

Well, it’s true; the tongue, in comparison to the entire body, is quite small, but look at the damage it can do.

Why just recently, my lovely wife, had to add, when I pointed out how vacant the streets of our local community were, and how I still miss our times of sitting at one particular coffee shop. Mind you, Starbucks had not taken over every street corner as yet. To my comment, she added, and your family drove everyone away from that lady’s coffee shop. I found myself thinking, did she really intend to be insulting by her comment, especially when we all knew that the lady was running two business out of the same small shop at once, and, at the time that quaint little street was suddenly losing the theater crowd, as the theater was going to undergo major structural repairs; and, yes, Starbucks did move in on the next corner. Whether she chooses to realize it or not, she kindled a fire with her so-called innocent comment. Oh yes, that reminds me, I need to refill the fire extinguishers.

James 3:6 is rather straight forward in the NET Bible.

And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence — and is set on fire by hell. James 3:6 NET.

How about something a bit different?

James 3:6 CEV  The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself.

Any questions? None from me either as the verbal lashing continues.

James 3:7-9 NET. For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. (8) But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (9) With it, we bless the Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people made in God’s image.

Well, maybe not cats, but if there was anything that should be trainable, you would think it was a human. James, seems to say, NOT SO.

    • But no human being can subdue the tongue.
    • it is a restless evil
    • full of deadly poison.
    • With it, we bless the Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people made in God’s image.

Every one of these statements cuts me to the heart. Dear God, there has to be some hope.

James 3:10-12 NET. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. (11) A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? (12) Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.

    • From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.
    • A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter.
    • Can a fig produce olives, or a vine produce figs?

I think we get the point. I, for one, need answers, and yet what does James do, shift gears and begin to talk about wisdom.

Think about what we have just heard: the tongue is a fire that can destroy, not only the body but everything around it. The obvious factor is that this is a problem for all of us and that NONE of us is perfect. I can’t help thinking about the “man cave,” and how there seemed to be NO desire, in several of the men, to change the speech patterns. Maybe I am judging, but it makes me think that there is nothing motivating them to change.
I know that this last thought is completely unsound because we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, therefore He is NOT going to quit speaking to our hearts, about living a more controlled life. Hence the transition to wisdom.

James 3:13 NET. Who is wise and understanding among you?
By his good conduct, he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings.

James asks,

    • “who is wise and understanding among you?”
    • “By his good conduct, he should show his works – (works) done in the gentleness that wisdom brings.

Refresher course.

Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, says in Romans:

    • 1:17 – that the righteous by faith will live.
    • 4:11 – that Abraham gained his righteousness by faith.
    • 5:1 – (states that) we have been declared righteous by faith.
    • 11:20 – tells us, that if we stand, it is only by faith.

James, on the other hand, seems to advocate works. Having gone through two chapters of James already, we know that is a misconception, as faith without works is dead.

So we shouldn’t be shocked when James tells us that Godly understanding (wisdom,) should bring about a gentleness, that shows up in our works.

Earlier in James, we saw this:

But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. James 1:22 NET.

It is not as though we have a huge ugly list of does and don’ts, and we see this fact in James 1:27.

The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world. James 1:27 CJB 

Our list of do’s are simply:

    • to care for those who have no one to set a good role model for them, or feed them – orphans are a good example of this;
    • take care of the widows in their distress;
    • and, most importantly, keep yourselves from being contaminated by the world.

Yes, we are subject to the law, it’s called “the perfect law of liberty,” and it is written upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

We don’t need oppressive tablets of stone, we have the grace and mercy of God, that allows us to walk in this freedom that the law brings. If the “law” that motivated us was simply to care for others, as we see above, that would be enough, but James added the most difficult law of all, keeping ourselves from being contaminated by the world.

What is the world’s contamination?

Do not love the world nor 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 lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. (17) The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17 NASB

There is your answer: “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.”

The enemy will try to tell you that it is people; people are trying to take you down because they are flaunting their stuff, things, and bodies at me.

And, to that, I would have to agree that it seems that way, however, they are merely puppets playing a role. The true enemy, that fights against the wisdom of God, is this:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

Keep your mind straight, and keep your armor on and polished. This action of polishing your armor will simply remind you that you did not take it off. Since you are armored and prepared, walk-in wisdom because the world that surrounds you is filled with evil.

Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom.
Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom.
Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom.
James 3:14 MSG 

The NET Bible says, “do not boast and tell lies against the truth.”

Who is the truth? That, of course, would be Jesus. So acting in opposition to what we saw in James 3:13b “Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” and being mean spirited it acting against Jesus, the truth.

For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
James 3:15 NLT 

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
James 3:16 NASB

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
James 3:17 NASB

And finally, we finish off with this.

You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. James 3:18 MSG 

Are we, in general, doing that? No.

Since the church is failing in this regard, then this command falls back on us. We have to do the hard work of getting along with each other and treating each other with dignity and honor.

Posted in bible study, bridle, fire, James, judgment, rudder, stumble, teachers, Thoughts on scripture, tongue, untamed | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith without works is dead. James 2:14-26.


James 2: 14 through 26.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

My friends, what good is it to say you have faith when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? James 2:14 CEV 

My son in law will occasionally say, I am a Christian, but try talking to him about His relationship with the Father, and he will tell you that his relationship is private. I suppose, on an intimate and personal level, I can understand that, but then there is that admonition from Jesus.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NLT)

What does that say about your private and personal relationship?

Perhaps a lot, but who am I to talk, as I was a shy introvert most of my life. It was only the power of the Holy Spirit that changed me and gave me a boldness that I simply do not understand at times. I find myself scratching my head, and asking who was that guy because that was never who I was?

The NLT version of the Bible reads like this:

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

Let’s examine this idea of faith for a moment.

Is it only a demonstrative faith that brings about your salvation?

Well, that was not the case for the thief on the cross. Pay attention to the conversational interaction between Jesus and that particular thief.

Luke 23:32-43 NLT

(32)  Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him……

(39)  One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

This is the first thing we have heard out of the other two. If they are of the same mindset, then it should not go well for them, but watch what happens.

(40)  But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?

The “other” criminal protested, by saying, don’t you fear God? Now, where did he get that understanding from?

The thief’s addendum, “even when you have been sentenced to die”, alludes to the idea that he has an understanding that there is a God to fear.
Assume a couple of scenarios:
1. They don’t know God. If that is the case, how would anyone perceive or recognize that there was a relationship between this man in the middle of them and God?
That is a great question, and the only thing that would change this equation is that the one doing the protesting is a Jew. (Another assumption we make, is that the Jews are so constrained by the laws of God that they would never do anything wrong; this is, an illogical assumption, for we are ALL broken by sins effects.) We might make an assumption that the thief saw the traditional garment worn by all Jews, the one with the blue tassels, but that would not have happened as Jesus was stripped of His garments, beaten to look like hamburger, and a purple robe was draped over him. The Roman soldiers did gamble over a piece of clothing he had been wearing. But this could have been thought of as a common undergarment.
2. We can make the assumption that the protesting thief had seen and heard some of what Jesus said and did, but then, what do we know about Jesus that might best respond to that assumption? He went about doing good and healing all who were oppresses of the devil, and that should be enough to change any life.

(41)  We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”

At this point, what has this thief done that demonstrates faith?
He acknowledged that Jesus was God, and then makes the most remarkable assertion, “this man has done nothing wrong!”
Is it possible, that he said this by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, because in saying that, hasn’t this thief just openly declared that Jesus is God’s perfect son? 

(42)  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Here is another piece of acknowledgment, that would only come out of traditional Jewish training – that there is a kingdom that is expected and it is coming.

(43)  And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

In response to those three things, in which Jesus saw faith in the man, this man was guaranteed an eternal place with Jesus in paradise.

If I base my comprehension of what faith looks like upon the thief on the cross, then salvation is rather simple and non-dramatic, and yet, even if it is too simple, there are components within the man’s declarations that are earth-shaking; and, if you were honest, you would probably have to admit that you know very people few people with that kind of depth or understanding of God.

Now remember that James is writing to Jewish converts, so don’t let your Gentile mindset creep in here, as these people held tightly to traditions, the Holydays, and the law of God, just as James did.

“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works?”(NASB)

Works is the Greek word ergon, and means that which one undertakes to do.

Since we have only been given one job – to be His witnesses, telling people about Him, what is He expecting us to do?

Simply that, tell people about Him. For those that struggle with this whole concept of demonstrably showing Jesus to others, James offers these words.

James 2:15-16 NASB If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

Once again, the mindset of James, as he seems to keep it in the family.

If we ignore the Jewishness of James for a moment, what can we see here?

Helping people in need:

  • “ If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,”

Where else do we find some substantiation for feeding and clothing the needy?

In Matthew 25; there, Jesus, as the final judge, brings all the dead before Him; separates them into two groups, the sheep and the goats; and then, extends His invitation to the sheep to enter “the kingdom prepared for you.” Well, of course, these are shocked because they did all the religious things, we the pious, expect to see. But what was Jesus looking for?

For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. (Matthew 25:35-36 MKJV)

They saw the hungry and those without clothing.

What if these ignored what they saw?

Then they would hear some ugly words, like what we see when He addresses the crowd referred to as the goats.

Then He also shall say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; (Matthew 25:41-42 MKJV)

So what are we seeing so far?

Faith demands some action. For some it’s words; for others it is actions; perhaps doing both is good.

I love how the Contemporary English Version conveys this next verse.

James 2:17 CEV  Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!

Many of you can see a pattern here, as some, it seems, are working and gaining God’s favor, while others have faith. The standard assertion: Isn’t faith a mandatory method of gaining entrance into the kingdom of God?

Well, that is certainly what I was told, but then I saw these passages in Matthew 25 and they made me start rethinking what I had been taught. Paul, in writing to Philemon, said,

And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:6 NLT)

So, there can be a generous action generated by faith. However, Paul also makes this statement:

We are Jews by birth and are not sinners like Gentiles. But we know that God accepts only those who have faith in Jesus Christ. No one can please God by simply obeying the Law. So we put our faith in Christ Jesus, and God accepted us because of our faith. (Galatians 2:15-16 CEV)

If I skimp on my reading and merely glance at the passage, I might only see, “God accepts only those who have faith in Jesus Christ.”

Now that is a true statement; but, it does not explain, for me anyway, Matthew 25 and the sheep; and, it seems a little short-sighted – let me explain. The passage continues to explain, “No one can please God simply obeying the Law.” Paul was writing to Jews just as James did, so he has to deal with some deep-seated teachings and traditions, one of which conveyed that keeping the law (and making a sacrifice) was the path to righteousness. Jesus, however, became our righteousness; having learned that, I put it into action and accepted Jesus as my salvation, and therefore, my righteousness.

I am so glad that the sentence continues to say,

So we put our faith in Christ Jesus, and God accepted us because of our faith.

Paul, more than any of the others, would have been considered the expert among this lot, therefore we see what I, the Gentile, see as brutal, “We are Jews by birth and are not sinners like Gentiles.” I suppose this is where my grace kicks in because I know NONE of them to have an exclusive any more than I have with the Father – Thank you, Jesus, for that.

The Complete Jewish Bible reads:

Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead. (James 2:17 CJB)

I put actions to my faith and gained His righteousness, and therefore a promised home in His kingdom.

This next verse reminds me so much of the world right now.

James 2:18 CJB  But someone will say that you have faith and I have actions. Show me this faith of yours without the actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions!

Eugene Peterson makes this so clear.

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. (James 2:18 MSG)

If you take away one thing from this passage it should be this:

Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.”

You can’t have one without the other. After a speech like this, you would think that much of this argument would be obvious; I guess not, for James has to throw in the concept of one God.

James 2:19 CJB  You believe that “God is one”? Good for you! The demons believe it too—the thought makes them shudder with fear!

As you can see above, the Complete Jewish Bible comes across rather sarcastically, maybe the CJB reflects what many of us pick up on, that the Jews tend to be blunt. The Moffatt translation conveys this a bit differently.

You believe in one God? Well and good. So do the devils, and they shudder. (James 2:19 Moffatt NT)

Perhaps this too could be perceived as sarcastic, as what follows comes across harshly.

The demons believe it too—the thought makes them shudder with fear!

Stop for a minute and ask yourself, what did he just say?

  • That there is only one God.
  • The other thing that James gives acceptance to, is the fact that there are fallen angels/demons ever-present and battling about us in the spiritual realm.

Moving on.

James 2:20 NET. But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Don’t be this person. May of 2020, the year of infamy and quite probably the Lord’s return, we remembered that the Thunderbird aerial demonstration team would possibly be flying nearby. Calling to the children to come outside quickly, one of them responds back with, “why!” To which, I responded, in your case, you can just stay in the house. Go back to whatever you were doing. Where is our sense of adventure?

While the Bible is filled with acts of faith combined with works, James only focuses on two.

Abraham

James 2:21-24 NLT  Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  (22)  You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.  (23)  And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.  (24)  So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

In Genesis 15 God spoke to Abram in a vision. A vision happens when you are awake and it is very much like watching a movie about your life or someone else’s. In this vision, God spelled what He would do with and to Abram, and in Genesis 15:6, it tells us, that based upon what Abram saw, that:

“.. Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (Genesis 15:6 NLT)

So God spoke words unto Abram’s life, and Abram believed it, accepted what God had to say, and therefore demonstrated faith. This belief was counted as righteousness.

Righteous, according to Webster’s dictionary = Just; accordant to the divine law. Applied to persons, it denotes one who is holy in heart.

What we saw in Abram’s life were faith and actions. James refers to Abram, now called Abraham, and his offering of Isaac on the altar, as being the thing that brought about God’s righteousness, but obviously it was much earlier than that, and the works that James speaks of, were not so evident that day when God showed him the vision.

Our other reference is Rahab.

James 2:25 NIV  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

I will tell you straight that I hate this because it demeans her when it calls her a harlot/prostitute, but when I look up the words, in both the Hebrew and the Greek, it is an unavoidable ugliness. In the church I grew up in, prostitutes were merely sinners destined for hell unless God changed them, and most of the old ladies in the church held little hope for such women.

The story of Rahab comes from the book of Joshua chapter 2, and has Israel in attack mode and headed toward Jericho. Spies were sent out by Israel and they entered the town. Within a very short period of time, they entered the abode of Rahab and tell her, under the penalty of death, who they were and what is coming. Watch what happens as she demonstrates faith and then the associated action.

Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. “Now, therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” (Joshua 2:8-13 NASB)

Because of what she knew and the fact that the Israelites were here in her home, she exhibited faith and then action by her bartering.

Now, therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.

As you know, the walls fell and Israel attacked, but all those in Rahab’s home were spared. Considering that she was prostitute, do you think her family held her in high regard? Just that thought alone changes so many things about this woman, as she went to her, told them what was coming, and they followed her explicitly.

“The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.” (Joshua 6:17 NASB)

One other thing about this amazing woman. Matthew chapter one spells out the lineage of Jesus through Joseph.

Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. (Matthew 1:5 NASB)

And Jesse was the father of King David. And God, to show His righteous ways and cause, brings this woman into the line of Christ.

James ends this chapter with this:

James 2:26 NASB For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Put your faith into action. What’s the most predominant thing we can do? Pray and withstand this evil plot of the enemy.

Posted in bible study, Faith, James, Rahab, righteous, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment