James 2 with Comparisons in Matthew

Fred R. Coulter—June 22, 2002

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio \ [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

James 2:1: "My brethren, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." We've seen that happen in many different ways!

Verse 2: "Now then, if a man comes into your synagogue wearing gold rings and dressed in splendid apparel, and there comes in also a poor man in lowly apparel, and you give preference to the one who is wearing the splendid apparel, and say to him, 'Seat yourself here in the best place'; and yousay to the poor man, 'Stand over there,' or, 'Sit here under my footstool'; then have you not passed judgment among yourselves, and have made yourselves judges with evil opinions?" (vs 2-4).

Who knows, maybe that poor man was an angel just coming to find out what you would do. Paul says in Heb. 13 that 'many have entertained angels unaware.' Let's see the parallel in judging:

Matthew 7:1: "Do not condemn others, so that you yourself will not be condemned."

What is one of the worst sins that everybody has secret to him or her self in his or her own mind? You look at someone and you see them and you make a judgment concerning them:

  • how they look
  • how they're dressed
  • whether they're fat or thin
  • whether they are beautiful or ugly

It comes by so unconsciously that the advertising industry is able, by the use of radiant, voluptuous female figures able to sell almost anything, because of that very thing, combined with lust. Here's how it works:

  • men see it and they are attracted to that kind of female body
  • women see it, and they either affirm that they're like that person or wish they could be

This is really one of the hardest things to do to overcome accepting a person what he or she is, whom God has called in His mercy and love.  {note sermon series: Judge Righteous Judgment}

Another thing that that people do with this is that they judge the other person's thought. If you really want to get in trouble—husband and wife—judge the other person's thought. Wives are pretty good at it because they know their husband's well enough that over a period of time they can pretty well guess what he's thinking. But that's not necessarily always the case.

Where you get yourself into trouble in judging is that you put the other person down in your mind so that you are better! In the case of the rich man coming into the synagogue… 'Come right on up here…' because he can give us some money! The poor man comes in and is told, 'You stay over there because you can't give anything.'

But what if the 'poor man' came in and was going to give a lot of money and you didn't know it, and he came in as a poor man just to test you out to see where your heart was? You never know!

But the worst sin mentally that everyone does, and you catch yourself doing it. You will see someone, make a judgment concerning that person, look at their face and know that you know what they're thinking, because of the look on their face. One thing about our faces, they are what we have and we can't help it. Nine times out of ten If you make that judgment, and you're going to misjudge the person entirely. That's why we need the love of God, so that we learn not to do this.

To judge a doctrine is one thing, we are to do that. To compare the truth with the Truth, we are to do that. To find error as compared with truth, we are to do that. But to judge each individual's heart and mind, we are not to do that, because God has a remedy. It's automatic, it's a living law.

Verse 2: "For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged… [read the book of Esther, the story of Mordecai and Haman the Agagite] …and with what measure you mete out, it shall be measured again to you."

Isn't it always true that when crooks get caught they say, 'Don't shoot! Don't shoot!' They want mercy.

Here is the mental thing that takes place; v 3: "Now, why do you look at the sliver that is in your brother's eye, but you do not perceive the beam in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, "Allow me to remove the sliver from your eye"… [I'll tell you what to do] …and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam from your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to remove the sliver from your brother's eye" (vs 3-5).

That's why whenever anything comes up, we need to be careful how we judge!

Luke 15—The parable of the prodigal son. You know the story, the prodigal son said, 'Father, give me my inheritance.' He gave it to him and he left and went out and squandered it all.

Now, just imagine a Jewish young man feeding swine! The worst, most horrible duty that a Jew could ever do, walking in swine's muck and feeding them. Of course, if you've ever been around swine and hear them eat and watch them eat and smack their lips, all of this sort of thing, and snort, grunt and wheeze. Here you are starving to death!

Now here's where we all need to come in everything that we do this way. That's why Jesus said to 'cast the beam out of your own eye.'

Luke 15:17: "And when he came to himself…" That's the key. Whenever there's a difficulty or problem each person has got to come to him or her self before God! That's why if you see someone who has a problem, you pray for them, instead of mentally condemn them.

Who is most capable of changing that mind in a greater way than you? Christ! Christ can inspire them to overcome if you pray for them. All of this is part of love and getting along with each other.

1-John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death…"

What is a sin not unto death? Any sin that is not the unpardonable sin! This means you can repent of it, because the 'wages of sin is death,' but if you repent there's forgiveness!

Verse 16: "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that is not unto death, he shall ask… [pray] …and He will give him life…"

God will give life for them that sin not unto death; God will forgive them. How much better it would be in handling certain problems, instead of coming in to get rid of the fly by using a 105 Howitzer! You know what that does, don't you? There's a fly on the wall and you use a 105 Howitzer and you destroy the house! Yet, you killed the fly! Lot's of times some problems are small and we make them large and we come after a small problem with all guns blazing!

What we need to do is back off and do what it says here and pray, and not judge. Put it into God's hands, because God is the heart-knowing God and knows what's going on. If the person did make a mistake, so what?

  • You make mistakes, don't you?
  • Do you not want forgiveness when you make mistakes? Of course you do!
  • Do you not want forgiveness for your brother or sister if he or she makes a mistake? Of course you do!

That's all part of love and getting along with each other! We are not to treat each other like true doctrine or false doctrine. We are to love each other as Christ loves us and part of it is that we are not judging people.

  • we're helping them to come to themselves
  • we're praying that they will repent of their sins

And God will hear us and answer!

Isn't that a better solution than marching up and self-righteously saying, 'Don't you know…'? It's probably what you've experienced in the past! If there's a sin unto death you don't pray for that.

 "…for those who do not sin unto death. There is a sin unto death; concerning that sin, I do not say that he should make any supplication to God. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. We know that anyone who is begotten by God does not practice sin; for the one who has been begotten by God keeps himself by the power of God, and the wicked one does not touch him" (vs 16-18). That's what we need to pray for those individuals in circumstances like that!

  • Have you ever been misjudged?
  • How does it feel? Pretty bad!
  • Have your motives been imputed to you that were absolutely wrong? Yes!

Therefore, since you've experienced that, why do that to someone who is your brother or sister in the Church? Or even someone in the world? Listen! Even in the world God takes care of them in the world!

Now, the rest of the story, the prodigal son comes home and what does the Father do. He throws a banquet and said,

Luke 15:24: "For this my son was dead, but is alive again…" He puts a robe on him and throws a party.

The other son is out in the field and here he comes to the house. Let's see what happens with the other son:

Verse 26: "And after calling one of the servants nearby, he inquired what these things might be…. [What's going on in the house?] …And he said to him… [probably very happy] …'Your brother has come home, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him safe and well.' Then he… [the brother who was judgmental] …was angry… [rather than happy and loving and embrace his brother and say, 'I'm glad you're back'] …and would not go in. As a result, his father came out and pleaded with him. But he answered and said to his father, 'Behold, I have served you so many years… [you can almost hear the tone] …and never did I transgress your commandment; yet, you never gave me a kid, so that I might make merry with my friends; but when this son of yours came… [because I know him and know what he's done] …who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him'" (vs 26-30).

This is a perfect example of Matt. 7, judging the other person, condemning the other person and you don't have all the facts, and you don't understand how God is working in that individual's life.

  • it was good that other son didn't transgress
  • it was good that he stayed there with his father

But you can't come along and make your goodness in comparison to the other person, to exalt yourself and put the other person down. That's what all of this judging does.

Let's see another example, Luke 18:9. I think in the future, as we go down the road, we're going to find more and more people who have been burned in his world and have gone through so many things. There will be those whom God will call that have gone through and done things to their lives with drugs and different things. Their lives have been ruined and shattered. Can God call them? Yes!

  • What are we going to do when God calls them and brings them into our midst?
  • Are we going to say, 'Whoa, you took drugs?'?
  • Are we going to play the part of the self-righteous son who stayed behind and play the part of a Pharisee?

Here's the parable of the Pharisee, Luke 18:9: "And to some who trusted in themselves… [instead of trusting in God] that they were righteous, and despised others, He also spoke this parable."

Example: It is one thing to compare the doctrines of a church with the Scriptures, and to show where God shows that that doctrine is incorrect. It is another thing for those people who were deceived and don't know better, and are trying very hard to live decent lives, and they're deceived and don't know it.

The key is that God would open their mind to understand. Like in the parable of Matt. 13, if God hasn't called them to open their minds, they don't understand.

  • Does that make them their fault?
  • Are they sinning because they're evil, wicked, despicable people by nature?


  • Is it that they're sinning because they're deceived and don't know better, and they're jut trying to do the best that they can?

Maybe this will help all of us have a different perspective of things in the world and with each other, too. That's what happens when you get self-righteous, you despise others!

Verse 10: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector."

If you work for the IRS you know you have to be the most hated individual on earth; especially if you're an auditor.

Verse 11: "The Pharisee stood and prayed with himself…" Notice that it wasn't to God; he used God's name!

The thing concerning self-righteousness is that you trust in yourself and it's your righteousness, and what you're doing 'sure enough is right.' But you're trusting in yourself rather than God!

"…prayed with himself in this manner: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers—or even as this tax collector'" (v 11).

  • Should he be an extortioner? No!
  • Should he be unjust? No!
  • Should he be an adulterer? No!

The truth is, God expects you to keep His commandments!

What have you done? Nothing! You've done nothing greater! You certainly haven't loved your neighbor as yourself. So, you can see where all of this leads to. He judged his heart, even as this publican; just exactly what we're talking about here. Notice that he listed his own works:

Verse 12: "'I fast twice in the week, and I give a tithe of everything that I gain.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat himself on the chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled…" (vs 12-14). That's what you do when you judge others:

  • judge their mind
  • judge their heart
  • condemn them in your own mind

You're judge, jury and executioner in your own mind! Brethren, we all have done that, and we all do it! We need to learn to have more of the mind of Christ so we don't do that, because God will have a way of abasing us.

"…and the one who humbles himself shall be exalted" (v 14). That's why He says not to condemn others! That's with a judgment, the King James says 'judge' but it judging to condemnation

Matthew 7:1: "Do not condemn others, so that you yourself will not be condemned."

Christ gave the solution. You work on your own problems and you pray for the other person to work on his or her own problems, and love them in Christ, and you will see those things disappear. If you have a church run like the synagogue here, where they come in and they're judging the ones who come in according to how they're dressed and how much they have.

Then you're a respecter of persons and you're going against God because maybe God called that individual. No doubt about it, He did!

James 2:4: "Then have you not passed judgment among yourselves, and have made yourselves judges with evil opinions?" That's the whole cause of problems between individuals, nations and races!

Learning this now is going to equip us to be able to help the people in the Millennium apply it in their lives when the Kingdom of God is on earth.

Verse 5: "My beloved brethren, listen. Did not God Himself choose the poor of this world…?"

Let me just stop here and explain something, in the Greek there is a special kind of verb called a 'middle voice verb,' which is the subject is also the object. God chose the poor of the world for Himself.

"…rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and do they not drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme the worthy name by which you are called?" (vs 5-7).

Let's look at some other parallel Scriptures in Matthew.

Matthew 18:10: "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones…" That's what James was talking about! Actually, when you do this you're blaspheming God.

"…for I tell you that their angels in heaven continually look upon the face of My Father, Who is in heaven. For the Son of man has come to save those who are lost…. [Then He gives a parable]: …What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and search for the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Likewise, it is not the will of your Father Who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. So then, if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between you and him alone…." (vs 10-15).

At this point John was in prison, and he knew that he was called to prepare for the Christ. He also knew that Christ was going to bring the Kingdom of God. In his own way, John was expecting Christ to begin fulfilling the prophecies concerning taking over the kingdom of Judea and getting rid of the Romans.

Here's John in prison, Herod Antipas arrested him, and I just wonder what John was thinking when he was in prison. Nevertheless, there he was.

Matthew 11:1: "And it came to pass that, when Jesus had finished commanding His twelve disciples, He left there to teach and to preach in their cities. Now John, having heard in prison of the works of Christ, sent two of his disciples, saying to Him, 'Are You the One Who is coming, or are we to look for another?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised, and the poor are evangelized'" (vs 1-5).

That was quite a thing that Jesus was doing. We also need to understand that, and also the time is going come when it will be similar in our cases that these things will happen again; bound to!

Verse 6: "And blessed is everyone who shall not be offended in Me." People do get offended if they start comparing their righteousness to other people!

Verse 25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes. Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this" (vs 25-26).

Just stop and think and look around; I would say that we're a composite group of those whom God has called. It's just like Paul said, 'Not many mighty'—a lot of limpy-gimpies—'not many wise' in the world, hardly any rich at all. God has called us! What we have, brethren—remember we have nothing we didn't receive—everything we have physically and spiritually, God has given to us! That's what is important!

  • yes, we have to study, but God reveals
  • yes, we have to pray, but God answers

All those things are true! God has called the poor of the world, and it's pleasing in God's sight!

Verse 27: "All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him."

Do you have a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ? If you do, it's because the Father has called you! That just 'blows my mind' every time I think about it. The Father in heaven above, the Sovereign of the whole universe…

If you could see some of these pictures that are coming back from the Hubble Space Telescope, it's awesome that the God Who created that—through Jesus Christ—would reach down into our individual lives and reveal the Father to us! That is awesome, and that ought to be very humbling! With that then it ought to help us understand why we need the mind of Christ so much! This is a great and miraculous thing that God has done.

  • the Father Himself has reached down and called you
  • the Father has revealed Christ to you
  • He has given you of His Holy Spirit
  • He has given you of His Word
  • He saying, 'Come and be My children'

And here is the book on how to do it, in personal letters to you!

Verse 28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened, and I will give you rest." That's why we're to cast all our cares upon God, because He cares for us!

When you get depressed and down and lonely, and feel as though the world is against you—everybody is against you and everything is going wrong—look up and realize that it isn't!

  • God the Father has called you
  • Christ is there as your High Priest

That's what's important!

Then all the troubles… They won't disappear, you're going to have to work to get out of them, God will make a way and make it possible! Then there will come a day, sometime down the road, when you will say, 'Thank You, God, for that!'

Have you ever experience that? You've gone through something and you didn't know why you went through the trial! Then several years later BING! You understood!

Have you ever been so self-righteous that you have never understood until one day God reveals it to you? Yet, at the time when that happens, we're all convinced that we were absolutely right! We put our burdens on Christ!

1-Peter 5:5: "In the same manner, you younger men be subject to the older men; and all of you be subject to one another, being clothed with humility because God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Be humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you" (vs 5-7).

Why do you cast all your cares upon Him? That is the way you resist the devil, because he is there to capitalize on your anxieties, fears and cares to try to pull you away from God!

Verse 8: "Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour. Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world" (vs 8-9).

Now here's a promise. If you're going through a trial or difficulty, claim this promise:

Verse 10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you." That's what all of these things are for. Wonderful promise!

Matthew 11:29: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 29-30).

If you put it all on the Lord, what do you have to worry about? Nothing!

Several have said that they didn't know that all of this was in the book of James. Neither did I! I was writing the commentary and I have a three volume set of Edmond Hebert, and he pointed out 15 places where James and Matthew coordinated. I thought, WOW! I'm going to see if there are any more there.

It's a good object lesson to me, and to everybody else, you never know everything! How can you?

  • IF the mind of God inspired the Word of God, which it did
  • IF God is eternal, which He is
  • IF God is the greatest that there is, which He is
  • IF this reflects the mind of God

THEN it has got to be reflected back out to us by the depth and understanding that is in the Word of God, because it's spiritually inspired!

John 6:63—Jesus said: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing…."

Our fleshly bodies are only a vehicle that God can put the mind of Christ in us through His Spirit.

"…The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life" (v 63).

That's why when you read and study the Bible, you learn things out of it, and you get mental impressions and feelings out it, because it has been inspired by the mind of Christ. These are the words of life!

Granted, it's the same alphabet that pornography magazines are written in. So, it's not the alphabet or the language, it's the Spirit behind the inspiration of it! Which then connects with our mind—through the Spirit of God—and we understand the Word of God.

Even that in itself is a marvelous operation! Therefore, we can't claim anything on ourselves!  'I did this or that…' What does it mean, you're supposed to do things. What have you done? Only what you're supposed to do anyway!

1-Cor. 2—here is another aspect of the Word of God that makes it the greatest book in the world. The New Testament is the greatest book in the world! There is no book anywhere, written by anyone, that can even come close to what the New Testament has. With God's Spirit in opening our mind to understand things, God is performing a miracle in your mind through His Spirit and His Word!

(go to the next track)

When you read these words, and you audiblize them in your mind, you then are spiritualizing these things because of the Spirit of God. That's why when it says in Isa. 29 that you 'give the book of God to a 'wise' man and he says, 'I can't understand this.' Because he doesn't have the Spirit of God to discern! They can study it and do all kinds of things. They can even come to some great understandings in it, but unless they have the Spirit of God and love God they're only going to go so far.

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" That's why the love of God is the key to the whole thing!

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…" Just like the Proverb says, 'It is God's delight to hide something, and the king's desire to search it out.' That's why He's given His Word, written in such a way that we search it out and HE reveals it to us! HE gives us understanding!

We're not the only ones in the world to understand, please understand that, brethren. There are other people in different place that have understanding. God is working with people in the world that we don't know anything about.

God is greater than we are! We don't ever want to get to a point of being exclusive, to say that 'we're it and you're not; that if you're not with us you're nothing.' That's not what God wants! No way! That is carnal partisanism. God has done a wonderful thing:

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit… [they are spiritually discerned] …for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God." We now live in a time when that can be fulfilled as never before!

  • What are the deep things of God? We're learning some of them now!
  • Should we seek after the deeper things of God? Certainly!

We're not to remain in the sandbox, kindergarten through third grade for all of our lives. God wants us to grow up into the maturity, the full stature and measure of Christ.

Jesus said to the apostles that 'you see and you hear things that Prophets and wise men have not understood.' And how much moreso us who live at the end of the age when we have the whole Bible? We have all the Word of God! We have all of these tremendous things for us, the different men as I mentioned, that 'we are laboring in someone else's harvest.' They have worked and studied and plowed the ground. We learn from them, and we learn from the Word of God combined together!

Psalm 119:17: "Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your Word. Open my eyes so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law" (vs 17-18).

There's comes a time in our lives when God wants us to understand those things, wondrous things! The deep things of God! Marvelous things of His Word! When you read it:

  • it moves you
  • it inspires you
  • it gives you the Godly desire to seek God
  • it gives you a greater hungering and thirsting

God has promised that you will be filled! God has revealed them to us!

When we study the Word of God, with the Spirit of God in us, this is how we are going to learn: 1-Corinthians 2:10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—eventhe deep things of God." Then He draws a comparison:

Verse 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man, which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God."

Isn't that a marvelous thing? That's why God created the Sabbath; so we can get together and fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ Who put Their presence in the Sabbath wherever those are gathered together in His name. If we're truly seeking God and loving God:

  • He will give us understanding
  • He will guide us
  • He will reveal to us

Together all at the same time! I'm learning and you're learning! What I should do when I learn is teach you so that you learn!

This is to fulfill what Christ said, that, 'it's sufficient that the disciple be as the teacher.' Not to be some exalted mucky-muck to look down on and talk down to people. NO! But to let the Word of God elevate them and lift them up! That's what it's for, because it's Spirit and it's Life! That's what Christ has given it to us for. It's a marvelous operation. That's what God expects us to do! And it cannot be received any other way! There's no way to do it, expect God's way!

Verse 12: "Now, we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know… [God wants us to know] …the things graciously given to us by God." All of this is a gift!

That's why when we come to Sabbath services, or we observe the Sabbath, it's so important that we do it in the right spirit and attitude in approaching God and studying His Word, because God has so much that He can teach us.

Look, you can sit down and study your Bible and ask God to help you understand. He will give you understanding as you read and study, as you serve and love God. He can give that to you. God wants to give it to us! But He also wants us to search it out, to hunger and thirst for it. He'll provide it for us. What a marvelous thing it is that we have all of this available to us.

Verse 13: "Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom…" That's why you can't find God in philosophy books!

I remember that when God was calling me—the summer of 1960—I was student at the College of San Mateo, a junior college—and I graduated and received my two-year degree. I was receiving the Plain Truth magazine at that time, which had the series' on The Ten Commandments and Satan's Great Deception by Roderick C. Meredith. It was a summary of the book The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop.

I had already signed up that after graduation I would go to the University of San Francisco, a Catholic institution. I had signed up just before hearing the World Tomorrow program. I was going to go there and take business courses and so forth.

I had been reading the Plain Truth an studying the material and things like this, and began to see and understand things. I got to the University of San Francisco, and lo and behold, they had these busts of all these important men strung up and down the hall. They had a crucifix up in front of every one of the classes.

I had just read in the Plain Truth magazine about those scribes who love to walk in long robes and greetings in the marketplace and all of this sort of thing.

Here I am standing up on the third floor looking out the window down over the courtyard between the buildings and here are the priests walking down with their daily missal reading it in their long Cossack robes. When they would come to a student they would look up and nod. I thought: that's just what I read about!

To make a long story short, I withdrew six weeks into the semester so I wouldn't receive bad grades if I had stayed any longer. When I walked into the office to sign out and here is this huge picture of Christ with the crown of thorns on His head, with one little drop of blood coming down with this really petulant look.

Of course, I had been reading about that in the Plain Truth, too. So, I said, 'Thank You, God, for getting me out of here.' I went down to Pasadena and that's when I was baptized, Oct. 19, 1960.

I remember that one of the classes that we had to take at the University of San Francisco was Philosophy 101. Here is the Catholic Church supposedly representing Christ, supposedly to teach the Truth, and we start out with all of these pagan philosophers, and I'm sitting there thinking: What on earth, Fred, are you doing here?

That came to me because I know now that God was working with me to show me these things. But I can guarantee you that what understand out of the Word of God does not come from man's wisdom! It does not come from philosophy, from which is the root 'sophia' for 'philosophia.' It doesn't come from that.

Look at what the wisdom of the world has done to the world today. It's not the wisdom of the world, which is what man teaches:

"…but in words taught by the Holy Spirit"—the one that is teaching you. I may say the words, but if it has an impact upon you, because it's the Word of God and it's spiritual, it's the Spirit of God in you that is making the impact!

Contrary wise, what happens when you hear someone who is not preaching the Truth? You automatically recognize it! Jesus said, 'My sheep hear My voice; they will not hear the voice of a stranger.' That is a spiritual operation! That's what God is doing. The Holy Spirit compares speaking spiritual things with spiritual. That's precisely what we're doing here today.

Therefore, if we go home filled, we can all thank God. If we yield ourselves to God—if I do so I can teach, and if you do so you can learn—we'll all learn together. I can learn from you; I've been taught many things by brethren. That's how God wants it done, and that's the way that we grow in love, understanding and character!

If we do, you can know for sure that there are going to be changes in your life, in your mind and in your way of thinking, which will become permanent, if you continue to exercise God's Spirit that way!

There are many, many things in the Word of God that He has for us that we search out, yea the deep things of God. So, to answer the question as to when was the first time that I learned this about James and Matthew? About a week ago! I said to myself: Look at that! That's right! I just imagine that there's a whole lot more in there than 15 references!

So, I did exactly what we're doing now. I got James and put it here, and Matthew and put it beside it, and read James and then Matthew, back and forth, and said, 'WOW!' When I got done and counted it all up, there are 55 references that can be found rooted in Matthew that are in the Epistle of James.

Isn't that a marvelous thing? What does this tell us? This tells us that it's the same mind that inspired Matthew and inspired James who wrote this and it was in 42A.D., 12 years after the crucifixion. Matthew was completed somewhere in the middle to late 30s.

That means a great deal as to the veracity and preservation of the Word of God. God didn't just leave it to people to accidentally put it together 200 years later. God doesn't work that way!

I know there will be people, when they read it, who will say, 'How did you come to this? How did you come to that? Blah! Blah! Blah!' So be it! I'll take the hits, whatever they are! But if it's true, let it be! If it upsets people then let it upset them. If I'm wrong I'll change, it's that simple!

James 2:8: "If you are truly keeping the Royal Law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well. But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors; for if anyone keeps the whole Law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all" (vs 8-10).

Here's how to love your neighbor as yourself; Matthew 7:12: "Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets."

Matthew 22:36: "'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?' And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (vs 36-40). Everything is based upon that!

James says, 'The Royal Law' and this in Matthew is the Royal Law. All the rest of the Law comes from it. It's even like Paul Harvey said, I think he made a comment on it when talking about the Ten Commandments, and people who said that the Bible is hard to understand. Harvey said, 'What's so hard to understand about the Ten Commandments? What it says they don't like, not that they can't understand it.'

So, James is saying the same thing here. This is the Royal Law. And we have another one where Jesus said that we should love each other as He loves us. There's a nice long lifetime goal, isn't it! All of us with our aches and pains, bumps and whatever other difficulties we have; we all have difficulties, we all offend, we all do and say things we don't want to do. We have to get after ourselves and repent and so forth.

But it is a process and that's why being in smaller groups is really a blessing. You have to learn to love each other, forebear each other and understand each other. This does not happen when you get into a group of 500 people and you can go hide somewhere. It just doesn't happen. If you start doing that then you have respect of persons. Here's a little clique over here, and another clique over there. That doesn't work.

James 2:9: "But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors; for if anyone keeps the whole Law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all. For He Who said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' also said, 'You shall not commit murder.' Now, if you do not commit adultery, but you commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law" (vs 9-11).

Jesus also talked about that; Matthew recorded it; Matthew 5:27: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (vs 27-28).

James it talking about the same thing! Let's talk about murder; v 21: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit murder; but whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.' But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be subject to judgment…." (vs 21-22).

This is saying that there's a time to be angry, a righteous anger or indignation! But it should be with cause. Then solve the dispute, of course!

"…Now, you have heard it said, 'Whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be subject to the judgment of the council.' But I say to you, whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be subject to the fire of Gehenna. For this reason, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (vs 22-24).

How important is it for peace? It's so important that it's unreal! The kind of peace that only Christ can bring, which is based upon the Word of God.

Isn't that a wonderful thing when that is done? We can all get together and assemble together and we don't have to have these worries in our mind, 'What does so and so think?'and the hunting and pecking and all of this sort of thing that goes on.

What a wonderful thing when brethren dwell together in unity, when we can be like we are here today. Where we can all get together and learn from God's Word and can have a wonderful meal together and we don't have to worry about someone judging you or thinking wrong of you. All of those things just put out beyond the bounds.

Then you add to that the love of God and each other, that's a tremendous and wonderful thing that God wants us to do. In all of this is what God desires for us to do.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • James 2:1-4
  • Matthew 7:1-5
  • Luke 15:17
  • 1 John 5:16-18
  • Luke 15:24, 26-30
  • Luke 18:9-14
  • Matthew 7:1
  • James 2:4-7
  • Matthew 18:10-15
  • Matthew 11:1-6, 25-28
  • 1 Peter 5:5-10
  • Matthew 11:29-30
  • John 6:63
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
  • Psalm 119:17-18
  • 1 Corinthians 2:10-13
  • James 2:8-10
  • Matthew 7:12
  • Matthew 22:36-40
  • James 2:9-11
  • Matthew 5:27-28, 21-24

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 13
  • Matthew 13
  • Isaiah 29

Also referenced:
Sermon Series: Judge Righteous Judgment
Book: The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop

Transcribed: 6/1/20