When we ended our last study on James, we covered James 1-8. Let’s look at verses 7 and 8 quickly before we move on.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord, is near. (James 5:7-8 NASB)
You may be surprised to know that many farmers have Bachelor’s degrees in Science and Horticulture. This means that depending on the crop, they have done their homework and know when the rains should come. Patience, then, for a farmer is a relative term; sure, they understand, almost to the day, given the correct nutrient and water combinations when the crop should be ready to harvest.
The point James is trying to make is that with the right ingredients, the Lord, too, will come.
What are those ingredients for the believer?
Fulfilled prophecies. One of the most prominent prophecies has to do with Israel becoming a nation in a day; this happened in 1948. As a young lady on social media recently said, as she spoke of her end times dream, that generation alive when this event took place will see the coming of the Lord. The young lady also stated that it would be 70 years. My head said, yes, that is true. She seemed to think she found this information in the Psalms. I have been looking and all I can find this evening is this.
“Scholars dating the Exodus to about 1250 B.C. usually propose that 1Kings 6:1 refers to twelve generations that have passed. (12 generations × 40 years [the symbol of a generation] = 480 years,) however, the actual years elapsed from one generation to the next would be less than 40 years; for example, the actual calendar years between generations—that is from birth to marriage and children—is much less than 40 years, perhaps closer to 25 years or less.” [From the Holman Bible Atlas]
I tend to have rather black and white thinking, and so when I hear the word generation, as in the example above, I compare it to my father, who, in his own right, is a generation. When he brought me forth –he initiated another generation. He was eighteen when he married my mother, and a year later, I was born.
Does that make my father’s generation 18 years?
Of course not, for it is the span of his life, and I believe he is 87. If he died today, and he will not, that would make his generation 80+ years.
Our scholarly example above is referring to the exodus from Egypt. Because these people were so rebellious, God made them wander in that miserable desert for forty years until that generation, that had emerged from Egypt, was dead. There were a few exclusion, such as Moses – although he did not get to go into the promised land because he smote the rock instead of speaking to it. By the way, do you understand the problem with that? He misrepresented God to the people like an angry God.
Joshua and Caleb both got to enter the promised land – but why? Because they had faith. Those two men said, we can do this, while all the others whined about the size of the Caananites, and how they saw us grasshoppers they could step on. That may have been the case, but since they were supposed to be spying, and not making contact I am not sure how they would have come up with that theory.the
Based on this information, can I say that a generation is forty years?
It seemed to work for this group, but then, it is evident that their deaths appeared to be mandated; and, they were in a miserable environment that surely took a heavy toll on them.
So what do we know for sure?
That a generation is the average age of life (for that period of time.) Does it make sense that in 1948, when Israel became a nation, that the average life span would have been affected by war, and the fact that they were still an agrarian society? Sure it would, but even in 1948, the world was becoming modernized. Science was influencing our lives, and the average age should have been increasing.
But the key for us is, what does God have to say about it?
Amid a God-hating, pre-flood world; where a generation for humans and Nephilim was an average of 900 years, God stepped in and said that’s it, and He reduced the age limit to 120 years (Genesis 6:3.) Wikipedia tells us that during the days of Jesus, the average life span was 35. Considering the hard, physical labor that most did, this is not surprising.
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:33-34 KJV)
So when Jesus said this, those that heard could make an immediate assumption that the period of time would cover 35 years. But He was not talking about an event that would happen soon; this was an event that would not come for over 2000 years.
The average life expectancy in 1948 was 64.6 years for men, and just one year later, it was 65.2 years.
But what does the Bible say?
“As for the days of our years, in them are seventy years; and if men should be in strength, eighty years: and the greater part of them would be labor and trouble; for weakness overtakes us, and we shall be chastened.” (Psalms 90:10 Brenton)
There it is, seventy years (70). So the generation, born that year, would be the boundary in terms of length of time.
Are you aware that Israel, the nation, is 72 years old?
And yet, here we are, sitting on 72 years.
Do you realize that we are on borrowed time?
In that borrowed time, end times events have accelerated.
Have you seen any of the social media content that speaks to what “they” have done to force us into a state of compliance in as little as FOUR MONTHS?
- In March, we were put on lock-down. You can call it quarantine, but the name alone implies that you have or had an easily spreadable disease, and when this started there was NO workable way of testing you to see if you had the COVID.
- According to Allen West, in a commentary he wrote for “CNS news,” entitled Tyranny, Not COVID-19, Is America’s Most Dangerous Virus, We have seen parents being arrested for playing with their children in parks. We have seen people getting citations for driving alone in their cars — just taking a drive. The real meaning of “lock-down” has become house arrest — illegally implemented martial law.
- People were allowed to congregate in our streets for the purpose of destruction, with no repercussions, and yet, you can be arrested to going to church or to the beach. If you have ever seen me at the beach, you would know that I don’t want you within six feet of our perimeter, especially if you are some runny nose brat, that does nothing but kick sand.
Working on borrowed time, we have seen an acceleration of events that will most certainly lead to a One World Government, like the mandatory chipping of all people. This is a control issue so that a citizen cannot shop or work without this mark. And the worst part of it all, driven by fear, we have given up our freedoms.
If you know the Lord is near, and it is evident that He is, then,
“Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” (James 5:9 NASB)
Many years ago, I heard the Holy Spirit say this to me; I have called you to be a watchman upon the wall. The watchman is supposed to alert those within the walled city, that trouble is coming. The people, on the other hand, should respond appropriately. All I have spoken of is that blaring call, not just of danger, but of the Lord’s soon return.
Immediately, this takes an interesting turn because the Greek word translated as complain has several other meanings: to moan, groan within myself, a deep sigh, murmur, and grief. Many of these terms are the kind of posture that can be associated with complaining; but, they are also terms related to praying in the spirit.
In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NASB)
Everything around me seems to cause me to groan within (I just learned that here in So. California, we just canceled the Rose Parade, and this is over and above a new, indefinite Church closure.) If I am being told by James, NOT to sigh deeply, then perhaps God should not have given me breath, as breathing facilitates my ability to groan.
But James 5:9 gives us a clue, as it tells us that this is, brethren, against each other.
In my own life, I have “brethren,” who recently shunned my wife and me because we refused to wear our masks in church, and we sang. Before the Governor’s closure mandate, we, as a church, opted to have our church service in the parking lot. Apparently, you can obtain enough social distance in a parking lot. My wife did what she is accustomed to doing, as she excitedly went around greeting people who have been her friends for over 20 years. That same lady that shunned us on Sunday had denounced my wife for not wearing her mask in the parking lot, only weeks before.
In our house, I have a stepdaughter and her family living with us. This same stepdaughter, who hates President Trump, sporadically tries to shame us over our clear statements about how we wear our masks; she is especially vocal toward my wife for not wearing a mask anytime she goes outside.
Wait a minute, this verse opens with “Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged.“
We have seen this before, only there it tells us,
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 NASB)
What is different?
Not that much as Complain is the Greek word stenázō and leans itself toward feeling contracted (as when one is squeezed or pressed by circumstances); to groan or sigh. It is used of persons in distress, who have affliction or grumble from impatience. The word judged, as used in Matthew 7:1, is the same Greek word that James uses, krinō, which means to separate, distinguish, discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good. In the NT, it means to judge, to form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case.(WSD)
With such an emphasis on not complaining against brethren, you have got to ask why?
The answer is two-part:
- Because we will be judged, now, here on earth, based upon how we judge. The reason I say that is because I have experienced this judgment personally.
- The Judge, Jesus, is standing right at the door. Doesn’t this imply the Bema seat, and yet, having looked intently at the Bema seat, I found it to apply to rewards, not punishment/judgment.
You can whine all day long about how some of us, have been saying this “ Jesus, is standing right at the door” thing for over two thousand years. Well, contrary to your wishes, it’s finally here. The ironic part of this is that most will not affirm that statement.
Having done all that we can do, such as NOT whining about our brethren who choose to wear face masks 18 hours a day, we can, like the farmer, finally expect to see the harvest.
Everything necessary has taken place; there is no prophecy left to fulfill, except possibly one, and that would be Luke 21:24b.
“and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” NASB
As I recently noted, the annexation that Israel intends to do may be the very thing that, for the moment, fulfills this prophetic word, as Israel will technically be in control of the temple mount once again.
I suppose with the COVID 19 lock-downs, you may be at the end of your patience. James continues this theme in verse 10.
James 5:10 NASB As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Alright then, let’s look at these prophets for a moment.
“The LORD, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done.” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16 NLT)
Isaiah, the prophet, in Isaiah 39:6-7, was ignored, and earlier in his prophetic career, the Lord asked him to go naked for three years to make a point with Israel (Isaiah 20.)
Micaiah, the prophet, finally delivered the word that the Lord wanted these two kings to hear, and for his trouble, King Ahab of Israel had Micaiah put in prison until his death. 1 Kings 22.
There were, of course, success stories like Elijah and Samuel, but for the most part, the prophets, much like me, were not accepted.
Maybe the writer of Hebrews summed it up best.
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13 NASB)
They still looked for and longed for the day of the Lord’s return.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26 NASB)
But above all, my brethren.
James 5:11-12 NASB “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. (12) But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”
Our job, if I can call it that, is to wait for the Lord.
He is coming, and this time, it is soon.
So, in the meantime, let your yes be yes, and your no be no.
Be straight with people.
Walk-in love whenever possible.
And practice this, “if the Lord is willing, then this or that will happen.”
The Lord is full of compassion, and He is mercy. Give people a chance, so that you may not fall under judgment, because it is so uncomfortable when it comes.