James 4-5 with Comparisons in Matthew

Fred R. Coulter—July 20, 2002

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James was so filled with things from the book of Matthew, that Matthew had to be pretty well completed by the time that James wrote his epistle, which was written in 40-41A.D.

Referring to a chronology that we have been working on based upon the book of Acts, the Hebrew calendar and certain historical things that we note. {note Appendix E: When Was Jesus Christ Born? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order)|

Acts 6 is a real clue where it talks about the ministry of the Word, and it has to do with the compiling and beginning of the compiling of the Gospel of Matthew and perhaps some of the Gospel of John.

What is so interesting is that the beginning of the New Testament with Matthew is very, very important. It is the first book in the New Testament and is the one that comes from the end of the Old Testament and carries into the N.T. with the same kind of procedure that God used in the O.T.

In the O.T. He had the Levites—beginning with Moses—write and preserve the O.T. You also have another thing that is important, and that is God first gives a verbal or preaching of the Word; then He has it written down. That's what He did with Israel when then came out of Egypt.

They came to Mt. Sinai and what did God do? He spoke to the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai! Then He had Moses go up and get the rest of the Book of the Law. Moses came down (Exo. 24) and he read all the words in the ears of the people, verbal preaching first!

Then Moses took animal sacrifices and he sprinkled upon the Book of the Covenant—after reading it—and upon the people and all the people said, 'We will hear and obey; we will do all th the Lord has said,' and that was the ratification of the testament with Israel—the Old Testament!

In preserving the text down through history, we have the various writers, and the most important were:

  • Joshua—he was not a Levite, but probably had a Levite write it
  • Judges—we don't know who wrote Judges, but various ones contributed
  • 1st-2nd Samuel—Samuel was a Levite; he wrote that and he also wrote parts of:
  • 1st-2nd Kings

then we have a canonization a little later on by:

  • Isaiah and Hezekiah

then we have the finishing of it by:

  • Ezra—a Levite, priest and ready scribe

Since the covenant to Israel always came through the Levitical line for its official authority, God continued the same thing with the Gospel of Matthew, a Levite.

When you go through the book of Matthew, I want you to look at how many times he interprets the prophecies of the Old Testament, especially those in the book of Isaiah.

When we come to Acts 6:4, which remember was within the first year after the crucifixion of Christ. We will just review it:

Acts 6:1: "Now, in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a complaint by the Greeks against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. And after calling the multitude of disciples to them, the twelve said, 'It is not proper for us to leave the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, brethren, search out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word'" (vs 1-4).

The ministry of the Word is also clarified in Luke 1. Remember that Luke wrote the book of Acts. Another thing that is important, too, is when God began the Church on Pentecost in 30A.D. He began it at the temple, which is where He placed His name.

He was now saying that instead of at the temple, He's placing His name with His Church beginning with the 12 apostles and all of those who were converted on that day. Luke's introduction helps interpret Acts 6:4 that shows "…ministry of the Word…" means writing and compiling the teachings of Jesus!

So, we find that we have the same pattern in the Old Testament: preaching and then writing! So, they started out on Pentecost and they preached. Through the first year they had thousands of new converts. They needed to know the words of Christ, so they have to be written down. All the apostles were there in Jerusalem, so I'm sure that Matthew, Peter and John—as well as the other disciples—were there to go ahead and begin the basis for what later became the Gospel of Matthew and then the Gospel of John and perhaps part of Mark; Luke comes on later.

Luke 1:1: "Since many have taken in hand to compile a written narration of the matters, which have been fully believed among us, as they delivered them to us, those who from the beginning had been eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word" (vs 1-2).

Notice that "…ministers of the Word" and "…written narration…" are equated, because of the eyewitness ministry of the apostles.

Verse 3: "It seemed good to me also, having accurately understood everything from the very first, to write these things in an orderly sequence to you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the absolute certainty of the things in which you have been instructed" (vs 3-4).

We have in Luke 1 a review of what they were doing in Acts 6.

I want to point out something very important in the chronology concerning the Gospel of Mark, and then we will finish up Matthew and James. (referring to the chronology):

32 A.D.

  • martyrdom of Stephen
  • persecution against the Church
  • Saul's activities
  • because of persecution brethren scattered
  • Philip to Simon Magus, Ethiopian

33 A.D.

  • Saul breathing out threats and slaughtering against the disciples, went to Damascus

That's when Saul was converted on the road to Damascus

34 A.D. in the spring

  • ends the first year of Saul in Arabia

35 A.D in the spring

  • ends Saul second year in Arabia
  • the Gospel of Matthew completed

We will show when we come to the section on canonization of it, that there were some concluding/finalizing clauses and sentences written into the Gospel of Matthew.

36 A.D.

  • end of Saul's third year in Arabia
  • he returns and goes down to Tarsus

37-38 A.D.

  • Peter evangelizes in Lydia and Joppa (Acts 6:9-32, 41
  • Peter stayed with Simon the tanner many days (Acts 9:42-43)
  • Cornelius had a vision and angels instructed him to send for Peter in Joppa (Acts 10)
  • Peter comes to Cornelius' house
  • many Gentiles converted
  • Peter reports conversion of Gentiles to elders in Jerusalem
  • Peter remains in Jerusalem from 38-44A.D.
  • Gospel of Mark written 38-44A.D.

Why? He comes back to Jerusalem and we do not have Peter leaving until we come to 44A.D.!

44 A.D.

  • Saul and Barnabas bring up the goods for the famine relief
  • food and relief sent to Jerusalem by the hands of Barnabas and Saul
  • Herod Agrippa persecutes the Church and beheads the Apostle James, brother of John, about Passover time
  • during the Feast of Unleavened Bread Herod Agrippa has Peter arrested and put in prison
  • angels release Peter from prison and he goes to Mary's house, the mother of Mark

This Mary was related somehow to Barnabas, because Barnabas apparently was Mark's uncle.

  • then Peter escapes to another place (Acts 12)

Where did Peter go? Since he was an apostle to the Gentiles—remember that we're in 44A.D.—it merely says this:

Acts 12:17: "Then, motioning to them with his hands to be silent, he related to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, 'Report these things to James and the brethren.' Then he departed and went to another place." This is virtually the last that we hear of the Apostle Peter in the book of Acts!

So, we have from 38A.D.-44A.D. If Mark was related to Barnabas, means that he was also a Levite. This is important because Mark wrote his gospel under Peter's supervision. We have six years in Jerusalem where they were together. That's probably when Mark was written.

I'm going to read you and astounding thing here, which I found in a book that I've had for years: The Search for the 12 Apostles! It includes Mark, Barnabas, John the Baptist and Judas Iscariot. Here's something most people don't know about the book of Mark:

The Search for the 12 Apostles by William Steuart McBirnie

The book of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, and of all the books of the New Testament it is written in the most elementary Greek. Because of this, when the United Bible Society translates the New Testament into various languages, it generally begins with the Gospel of Mark.

As of Dec. 31, 2001 Harold P. Scanland of the United Bible Societies reported, "At least one book of the Bible has been translated into 2,287 languages."

Since the Gospel of Mark is usually the first book of the New Testament translated, it is evident that it has been translated into more than 2,000 languages. Thus the prophecy of Jesus is fulfilled in Mark 13:10.

I thought that this was very profound and very meaningful:

Mark 13:10: "And the Gospel must first be published among all nations."

  • How about over 2,000 languages?
  • Do you think that's fulfilling that?

To say nothing of what has happened with all the websites and Internet. People now, with computers, can have access to Bibles anywhere in the world. You can even have a satellite Internet link. You can log on and you can go to any website in the world—there are thousands and thousands of them

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In determining when the Gospel of Mark was written we have a timetable of six years that Mark and Peter were together. The reason that this is important is because it is well-known that Mark wrote Peter's Epistle.

An archeological discovery from the Dead Sea Scrolls pinpoints and early date for Mark. In his boo A Search for the 12 Apostles, McBirnie writes:

 "Professor Jose O'Callahan, a Spanish scholar at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome has identified 19 scraps of papyrus found in 1947 among the Dead Sea Scrolls as fragments of a copy of St. Mark's Gospel written around 50A.D.

The date is what matters. The Biblical scholars have long assumed that Mark's Gospel, based on recollections of the Apostle Peter was set down in writing shortly before Peter's death in Rome, which date would be around 68A.D.

Since Jesus was crucified about 33A.D….

Actually 30A.D.

…the previous dating of Mark's Gospel generally regarded to have been the first one written left a hiatus of 35 years of which the historical details of Jesus either were transmitted by word of mouth or by the now lost records such as the famous Q document that scholars have long postulated but never found.

O'Callahan's papyrus fragments established by scientific methods as having been in a Palestinian library in 50A.D.

This indicates that Mark's Gospel may have been in circulation within a dozen years after Jesus' death. This is very important because it means Mark's record had to survive the acid test of any journalist or historical writing being published at a time when it could be read, criticized and if unauthentic, denounced by thousands of Jews, Christians, Romans and Greeks who were living in Palestine at the time of Jesus' ministry."

If it is in a library dated 50A.D. what does this tell us? It tells us that it was widely circulated before 50A.D., so therefore, it's not unreasonable to conclude that during that six-year period that Mark and Peter were together that the book of Mark was written, which puts it at 42A.D.  So, we have:

  • the Gospel of Matthew in 35A.D.
  • the Gospel of Mark in 42A.D.
  • the Epistle of James in 42A.D.

This is important because all of this follows the pattern of preaching and writing. That's the pattern that Paul did: he preached and he wrote. That's what Matthew did, Peter did, John did, and so forth.

Now we're read to come to the comparison between James and Matthew.

James 4:1: "What is the cause of quarrels and fighting among you? Is it not mainly from your own lusts that are warring within your members? You lust, and have not; you kill, and are jealous, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel, but still you do not have, because you do not ask" (vs 1-2).

Then when people are told that, they say, 'Okay, I'll ask.' But if it's still based upon your lust, guess what?

Verse 3: "Then you ask, and you do not receive, because you ask with evil motives, that you may consume it on your own lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?…." (vs 3-4).

That's an interesting word—enmity—because that root word in Greek is enemy. James makes the connection:

"…Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (v 4).

We are to preach the Gospel to the world, but the Kingdom of God is not of this world, 'therefore My servants shall not fight,' as Christ said. We are not to become friends of the world. That doesn't mean that we become hostile to them; it just means that you cannot serve two masters.

Matthew 6:19: "Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust spoil, and where thieves break through and steal."

They lay it up for themselves. Remember the farmer that had all these crops and said:

What am I going to do with this? I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to build bigger barns, store it and will have things for many years, and I'll tell my soul, 'soul, have pleasure, rest, retire, be good.'

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So, you know what happened, Christ said to the man who stored it up, 'You fool, this night your soul is required.' When you ask according to your lust you are not asking 'Your [God's] will be done.'

Example: You desperately need a car so you pray and say, 'God, I need a car and brand new Cadillac would do just fine.' So, you come across a ten-year-old Pontiac and you turn it down. Then you complain to God, 'You didn't provide the car I prayed for, therefore, You didn't hear me.'

If God would answer him, the answer would probably be, 'You asked in your lust for a Cadillac, and I sent you a Pontiac; therefore, you still don't have a car because you didn't take what I provided.'

Same thing with employment: 'God, provide me with a job.' So, God provides one, but it's not one that suits what you want. Maybe it's the only one that can be provided. At least it is a job.

That's how that ties in with this; v 20: "But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven…" That's:

  • loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being doing the will of God rather than your own lust
  • understanding the circumstances that you are in

And maybe the circumstances are a trial and you're never going to get out of the circumstances until you accept it as that and realize that God has provided it for your benefit.

As William Tyndale wrote: 'If God bid you to go on a trip across the sea, He will send a tempest to test whether you love Him or no.'

Look at all the trials that Moses had to go through, that Joseph had to go through, and we come to the New Testament and what Christ had to go through. That all the apostles went through, that Paul went through and so forth. That's why we are not friends of the world! That's why we don't store up treasures for ourselves on the earth.

If you love God, "…where neither moth nor rust spoils, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (v 20).

If you have hope and faith in God, do the will of God—whether easy or hard—then you have treasure in heaven!

Verse 21: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." That can also be applied to the thing concerning tithes and offerings!

I've gotten some letters from people who have said, 'I can't afford to tithe.' I've read the letter and looked at their attitude, and guess what, they complain because they're not blessed. How can you be blessed if you complain?

Besides, in the Old Testament the cheapest offering that you can give if you were poor was to give a 'flour offering.' So, if you're truly poor, God does not expect you to tithe—of course not—but when we come to the New Testament remember the widow who put in the two mites. Jesus saw their put it in, and:

  • What were those two mites? Those were equivalent to her living for however long!
  • What did Jesus do?

Most people would like to say that Jesus said, 'Widow, reach back in there and pick out your two mites, because you have to live on that.'

But He didn't! He commended her for doing it and because she did it, she gave more than those who gave generously, and God would bless her above and beyond those who gave of her abundance.

Lest anyone get upset over that, let me just ask you a simple, but profound question. Compared to what God says and His Word and His will, does any of our opinions contrary to the will of God have any standing before God? Of course not! That's why these things take place. That's why James is so hard on him (James 4). He knows what the scoop is.

Verse 22: "The light of the body is the eye. Therefore, if your eye be sound… [single purposed, single-minded toward God] …your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! No one is able to serve two masters… [that's exactly what James is talking about in the beginning part of James 4] …for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon" (vs 22-24). It's an impossibility!

Neither can you be a friend of the world because you will make yourself an enemy of God, and if you're an enemy of God because you're a friend of the world, how can you expect to be in the Kingdom of God?

The problem is with too much mush-headed thinking today! People don't think it through! They don't know how to reason from the Scriptures, which we need to learn to do, rather than be led about by our own lusts, our own beliefs, thoughts and opinions. Before God they don't have any standing anyway. The Word of God is not like CNN poll!

  • the Word of God is Truth
  • the Word of God is right
  • the Word of God is going to judge us

Opinions about it by human beings has no standing one way or the other.

A way that you can be a friend of the world and not think you're a friend of the world is to think like the world, to act like the world, and to claim that you're in the Church.

James 4:5: "Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, 'The spirit that dwells in us lusts with envy'?" You can put in there all the Scriptures you've memorized:

Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way, which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

Psalm 39:5: "…man at his best state is altogether vanity…."

Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"

Those three Scriptures apply right here to James 4:5!

James 4:6: "But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, 'God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.'"

Go back and look at all of those who have exalted themselves, and the greatest one who has done that has been Pharaoh. You know the story of what happened to Pharaoh.

Matthew 23:4: "For they… [the scribes and Pharisees] …bind heavy burdens and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men; but they will not move them with one of their own fingers. And they do all their works to be seen by men…." (vs 4-5).

That's why when you come back to what Matt. Wrote in chapter 5[transcriber's correction] that when you do your righteousness, don't let your right had know what your left hand is, and don't do it before men, because if men see you have had your reward.

"…They make broad their phylacteries…" (v 5)—which is much like the Boy Scout merit badge banner, and making them broad is the equivalent of putting on merit badges to show what a good job you have done.

"…and enlarge the borders of their garments; and they love the first place at the suppers, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called by men 'Rabbi, Rabbi.' But you are not to be called Rabbi; for one is your Master, the Christ, and all of you are brethren. Also, do not call anyone on the earth your Father… [in a religious sense; obviously you have a father or dad] …for one is your Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 5-9). Jesus is speaking spiritually!

Verse 10: "Neither be called Master… [an Indian word for that is guru] …for one is your Master, the Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever will exalt himself shall be humbled; and whoever will humble himself shall be exalted" (vs 10-12).

There you have exactly what James says here, humble yourselves! God sets Himself against proud!

James 4:7: "Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!: (vs 7-8).

If you are a friend of the world you are double-minded. You can't serve two masters. See how all this ties in with what Matthew wrote. Let's show you some double-mindedness of Peter.

Matthew 16:15: "He said to them, 'But you, whom do you declare Me to be?' Then Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven': (vs 15-17). So, here Peter said the right thing! This was given by revelation of the Father!

Now let's see the opposite of that, a little double-mindedness of Peter before his full conversion.

Verse 21: "From that time Jesus began to explain to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised the third day. But after taking Him aside, Peter personally began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God will be favorable to you, Lord. In no way shall this happen to You'" (vs 21-22).

In other words, 'Lord, I am here! I will fight for you.' Remember when Peter said that he would go to the death for Jesus if necessary, and Jesus said, 'You're going to deny Me three times before the night is over.'

Verse 23: "Then He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan!… [it came from Satan] …You are an offense to Me, because your thoughts are not in accord with the things of God, but the things of men.'"

  • Why? Even a good intention against the will of God is Satanic! You need to think on that.
  • How many good causes are done that end up in sin, beginning with the Garden of Eden and down through the whole history of mankind?

In every case have they not thought that they were right! Here Peter thought that he was right; he thought this was the thing to do. So, it also tells you how that Satan can get to you if you don't submit to God.

Verse 24: "And Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?'" (vs 24-26).

James 4:8: "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! Be grieved and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into grieving, and your joy into mourning" (vs 8-9).

This also shows quite a acquaintance with the book of Ecclesiastes, when you consider Ecc. 2 & 3. Now let's see how this ties in with the book of Matthew.

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James 4:11: Brethren, do not talk against one another. The one who talks against a brother, and judges his brother… [that's generally what happens] …is speaking against the Law, and is judging the Law…."

{note sermon series: Epistle of James}

"…But if you judge the Law…" (v 11). That's what a lot of people do when they pick and choose which commandment they will or will not do!

"…you are not a doer of the Law; rather, you are a judge…. [that goes clear back to the Garden of Eden] …But there is only one Lawgiver, Who has power to save and to destroy. Who are you that you presume to judge another?" (vs 11-12).

We covered this in Matt. 7 about judging and/or condemning them while you've got a beam in your own eye, and they have a twig in their eye.

Verse 13: "Now listen, those of you who say, 'Today and tomorrow we will go into such a city, and we will spend a year, and we will conduct business and make a profit.' You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little while, and then disappears" (vs 13-14).

Example: In Hollister there was a very popular high school teach and his wife who were at a party and they both got drunk. He was driving home and ran off the road, a single car wreck. His wife was thrown out of the car and killed. The whole town was stunned.

Years ago, very close to the same site, just after they put in a new road and there was a cross street. One of the real estate brokers' wife was driving into town and she cross the road, hit a walnut tree and died.

I drove by just after the police got there, and it didn't look like much of a wreck, hardly any damage to the car, but she died. Every time I go past that spot I think about it.

It's the same way with us!

Verse 14: "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little while, and then disappears. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills we will live, and we will do this or that.' But now you boast in your own arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, if anyone knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (vs 14-17).

Let's look at judging!There are many examples that you can use. There are also some in the other Gospels. Of course, everyone is self-righteous in his own way. Even people who are evil are self-righteous. They think that their judgment, their standards, their way of thinking is the best, and they judge everyone according to the way that they think!

The scribes and Pharisees judged the Law of God. They said, 'That's not enough, we need traditions; we need to define it, so we will make more laws' and they have thousands of them! When they would view other people, they would view the conduct of other people the way that they viewed the law. They would judge like James says, 'You are judging your brother and you are evil.'

Matthew 12:1: "At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath Days; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck the heads of grain and to eat them. But after seeing this, the Pharisees said to Him… judging] …'Behold, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath'" (vs 1-2).

  • By whose standard? God says, in the Bible, that you 'shall not harvest.'
  • Is plucking some grain in your hand harvesting?
    • According the Code of Jewish Law, yes!
    • According to the Law of God, no!

So, they set themselves as lawgivers, rather than Law doers, because they judged the Law, made addition laws, had their own traditions and condemned others!

That's exactly what happens. The Jews do it; the Muslims do it! That's why they hate everybody else in the world. 'If you're not a Muslim like me, then you're my enemy.' So, James is getting at the heart of this!

Verse 3: "But He [Jesus] said to them… [oh if we could learn to do this and answer with a question]: …'Have you not read what David did when he himself and those with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God and he ate the loaves of showbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but for the priests only?'" (vs 3-4).

In other words, Jesus is saying that 'you don't understand your Bible; you haven't read your Bible.' Isn't that true when you come up with all of these other standards contrary to the Bible and put the name of Christ on it, you end up doing the same thing!

Verse 5: "Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbaths the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? But I say to you, there is one here Who is greater than the temple" (vs 5-6)—speaking of Himself!

What He's saying here is that if you're going to be judging, why can't you judge Who is here? Because you have the Law and you should know Who is here! Did they not say that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem (Matt. 3)? Yes! Now here He is grown up as a man and doing His ministry, and they don't comprehend what's happening. That's why He said, 'I say to you that there is in this place One greater than the temple.'

Verse 7: Now, if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Day" (vs 7-8).

That is so true! I don't know how many times that all of us—we're all guilty of this—we make a judgment and we think we're right, though we are wrong! That's why we need to:

  • stay close to God
  • love God
  • understand how to do all this judging

James 5:1: "Come now, you rich men, weep! Howl over the miseries that are coming upon you!…. [a living Scripture today] …Your riches have rotted, and your garments have become moth-eaten…. [This is headline today] …Your gold and your silver have been eaten away, and their corrosion will be a testimony against you, and will consume your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth for the last days. Listen! The wages of the workmen who harvested your fields, which have been withheld by you, are crying out…" (vs 1-4).

Did this not happen with Enron and Worldcom and it's going to happen to many others. What did they do? They had lying, cheating bookkeeping!

"…and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of hosts" (v 4) In other words:

  • God knows this
  • He understands it
  • He knows what's happening

Verse 5: "You have lived in luxury upon the earth, and you have lived in self-gratification; you have nourished your hearts as in the day of slaughter." Jesus didn't mince any words!

Tie this in with Matt. 6:19-21 about serving two masters, or wealth and all that sort of thing. We've already covered that.

Verse 6: "You have condemned and you have killed the righteous, and he does not resist you." Does that not label the Inquisition for what it is?

Matthew 23:29—Jesus says: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the sepulchers of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous; and you say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.'…. [always self-justification] …So then, you are testifying against yourselves, that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets; and as for you, you are filling up the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how shall you escape the judgment of Gehenna? Because of this, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; and some of them you shall kill and crucify, and some of them you shall scourge in your synagogues, and some of them you shall persecute from city to city; so that upon you may come all the righteous blood poured out upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous, unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar" (vs 29-35).

That's interesting in English, from A to Z, the full alphabet! And they did come upon that generation.

James 5:7: "Therefore, brethren, be patient until the coming of the Lord. Consider the husbandman who waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, until it has received the former and latter rains. You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near" (vs 7-8).

This also shows us a very important principle, that character, which is the fruit of the Spirit We have a parable here about the fruit of the ground. You plant the seed in spring and you wait until it is grown and then you harvest it and use it. It's the same way with character.

  • You don't have patience unless you have trials to overcome the lack of patience, and then you have to learn to control your temper and have patience.
  • You don't have love unless you have obstacles to overcome, because love needs to be applied instead of hatred.
  • You don't have faith just because you want to have it right away. You have to exercise it by patiently doing the will of God and trusting Him that God will fulfill His promises.
    • God will not fulfill our demands!
    • A man cannot command God!
      • Job couldn't do it
      • a Catholic priest cannot command God to come into the wafer

That's what they claim that they do whenever they have the Eucharist! NO MAN is going to tell God what to do! That's why James draws the analogy here.

It's like a plant. It's going to come in its own time! It's going to come in its own way! You can't rush it!

In the front of our house on each side of the steps in the front we have two wonderful lemon trees that Delores rescued from death at a nursery. They were scrawny and scraggly. You can trust anything Delores buys, whether it looks expensive or not she got it cheap, cheap, cheap! These two lemon trees have thrived in the soil there. They turned out to be one of the thin-skinned sweet lemons. Marvelous lemons, and every year they're just loaded with lemons.

Right now we're at the point that we have hardly any ripe lemons left, but there are a 'jillion' green lemons. You have to have patience and wait for them to be ripe. Come Sept.-Dec. it's going to be loaded down with scrumptious, juicy wonderful lemons.

But if we went out there and pruned the tree back and cut off all the green ones—because we couldn't wait—there would be no lemons.

This is a good example to wait, be patient until it receives "…the former and latter rains." Then James draws the analogy:

Verse 8: "You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. Do not complain against one another, brethren, so that you may not be condemned…. [Warning!]: …Behold, the Judge stands at the door" (vs 8-9).

{note sermon: God's Judgment Cometh Soon} Yea! It cometh! Sometimes very swiftly!

There was a famous antagonist of the Church—though most people thought he was a protagonist—diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and his judgment came in two weeks. He's now becoming part of the dust of the earth.

Verse 10: "My brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of endurance in afflictions and of steadfastness."

Go back and read Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and in particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Jeremiah was chosen probably as a 19-year-old lad who was also a Levite, and God said 'Don't worry about what people are going to say, I'm going to make your forehead like flint!' Go through and read what he went through. He did complain to God down into his ministry.

The princes arrested him and threw him into the dung sump, human excrement! He was down there in it. Talk about filthy, smelly and rotten, and here you are a prophet of God. At that point he was complaining 'just a little bit'; and he was in there three days. Finally, one of the Cushites—probably one of the black servants from one of the nations of Africa—had mercy on him and took filthy rags and tied them in knots and pulled Jeremiah out.

Can you imagine the stench, the muck, the yuk of all that stuff? Today we're not acquainted with that because we have polite toilets. Back then they didn't have that. So, before you begin complaining, think about that! Have you ever been into human muck up to your shoulders? No!

How about Ezekiel: God said, 'Ezekiel, I want you to go naked in the camp, and I want you lay 390 days on one side for all the sins of the house of Israel.' He didn't lay there continuously for 390 days, but he laid there every day for a specific period of time for 390 days. Then when he was done with that, God said, 'I want you to lay on the other side for 40 days for the sins of the house of Judah.'

Read the message that he had, it was anything but 'how to make friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie.

Matthew 5:11—this is hard to do: "Blessed are you when they shall reproach you…"

When you're a friend of the world, you can't take that, because you've 'got go along and get along'; you've got to be friends with everybody.

"…and shall persecute you, and shall falsely say every wicked thing against you, for My sake. Rejoice and be filled with joy, for great is your reward in heaven; for in this same manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (vs 11-12).

That also ends up in martyrdom and we covered part of that in Matt. 23, but let's do a little diversion here, and I want you think on this. I don't quite have the whole answer for it, but I think it helps answer some of the questions concerning martyrdom and the inquisitions and the killing of people and whether all of those killed in the reformation are going to be in the first resurrection or not—we don't know!

A lot of them just heard that you're saved through Christ by grace, rejected the Catholic Church and died for the name of Christ. How many times have we read Rev. 17 but haven't thought it through.

Revelation 17:6: "And I saw the woman… [Babylon the Great epitomized by the Roman Catholic Church] …drunk with the blood of the saints…"—those who have the Spirit of God; NOT the saints around St. Pete's Basilica. "…the blood of the saints…" means that the saints were martyred!

"…and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…." (v 6). There are two categories:

  • the saints
  • the martyrs of Jesus

Could it be that the martyrs of Jesus are like those who just heard about Jesus and had to give up their lives. But they weren't baptized, never received the Holy Spirit and never had a chance to grow and overcome. Is God going to forget them? No, of course not! But could it be that these are going to be in the second resurrection, because they're the martyrs of Jesus, but never had an opportunity for salvation in this life, though they died for the name of Jesus? I don't know, just put it out there for what it's worth!

James 5:11: "Remember, we call those blessed who endure…. [tie that in with the Sermon on the Mount] …You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the end result of serving the Lord: that the Lord is very compassionate and full of tender mercies. But above all things, my brethren, do not swear, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and let your no be no, so that you do not fall into hypocrisy" (vs 11-12).

Matthew 5:33: "Again, you have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, You shall not forswear yourself, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God's Throne; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you do not have the power to make one hair white or black. But let your word be good, your 'Yes' be yes and your 'No' be no; for anything that is added to these is from the evil one" (vs 33-37).

James 5:13: "Is anyone suffering hardship among you? Let him pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing praise. Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him after anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick one, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (vs 13-15).

Matt. 10—here we have the commission of the 12 sent out to do that very thing: to heal the sick, raise the dead and all that sort of thing.

Matthew 10:1: "And when He had called His twelve disciples, He gave them authority… [Greek: 'exousia'] …over unclean spirits…"

Let me add something here very important: You never need to worry or fret about demons, because in the name of Christ all ministers and brethren have full authority to get rid of them! Ministers cast them out, and brethren—if bothered by demons—can rebuke them in the name of Christ and they must go!

That's very important to understand! Never be worried about demons. You hear all kinds of stories about demons, and some people are petrified of them and worry. If you are Christ's, and if you have the Holy Spirit, you do not have to worry about them at all. If you come across occasions where they are there, then you can rebuke them and you can get rid of them. If there are cases of demon possession, then they can have hands laid on them and the demons will be cast out.

"…to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every kind of sickness" (v 1)—and then it lists all the apostles and that's what they did! They went out to do that.

Matthew 21:22: "And everything that you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Then you tie the other Scriptures together that add if it be the will of God!

This is something you grow in. this is like the fruit that we talked about: you plant the seed and it's got to grow and come to the point where it's ripe. Part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is faith, but in order to produce these things, faith must be constantly exercised!

If you have prayers that are not answered, you come to this verse and you claim this promise. Not because of what you do, not because of what your righteousness is, but because of the promise of God! Then also do this: Help God to give you the understanding on how He answers that prayer. His will is not your will! That's all tied in together.

James 5:15: "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick one…" The prayer of faith is given by the elders, because it says to 'call for the elders of the Church' (v 14). Everyone has to have faith in it: the elder and the one who is being prayed for and requesting the anointing. It works together hand-in-hand.

"…and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (v 15).

Matt. 7—here is the whole principle of asking, praying, all of this altogether. This is a promise. You can take this on your knees before God and read these verses and claim the promise and say:

God, help me to understand, help me to realize. You have given this promise and it's not because of my righteousness, not because of my goodness, but because of Your will, Your grace and Your mercy!

That's how you approach God!

Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you."

  • ask and keep on asking
  • seek and keep on seeking—never giving up
  • knock and keep on knocking

You're persistent and keep at it!

Verse 8: "For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened."

To show you how much God is interested in giving these things to you; v 9: "Or what man is there of you who, if his son shall ask for bread, will give him a stone? And if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? Therefore, if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" (vs 9-11).

This is tied up, and why it's so important that we understand about James and Matthew. This helps us understand that James had to be written early, because we can show very clearly that it was written by 42A.D. What this also does is show that Matthew had to be written much earlier, because all of these are so integrated into James' thinking that it just comes out and is saturated with Matthew.

This is also important from this point of view: James did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection. Then Jesus appeared to him personally, as Paul notes in 1-Cor. 15. After that time it was a well known fact that Jesus appeared to James. That occurred during the 40 days that Jesus appeared to the disciples. Why? Because on the 40th day, after Jesus ascended and the disciples came back to Jerusalem, Mary and the brothers of Jesus were there with the 120, meaning that James was there. This all adds so much more understanding and information to the book of Matthew and the timing of James.

James 5:16: "Confess your faults to one another…" That is if you offend one another; this is not sensitivity training where you sit around and you all talk about the worst evil things and your faults to one another, so that you can kind of commiserate with one another.

This means that if you commit a fault toward one of the brethren you confess your fault, repent and go on.

"…and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man prevails much, being effective. Elijah was a man of emotions like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain upon the earth for three years and six months" (vs 16-17). You can go back and read how Ahab and Jezebel were after him and so forth.

Verse 18: "And again he prayed, and the heaven gave rain, and caused the earth to sprout its fruit."

He prayed seven times and was up on the hill and told his servant, after he prayed the first time, 'Is rain coming?' No! After the seventh time, he said, 'Is rain coming?' Yes! There's a little cloud on the horizon, run!

Notice how much James talks about prayer in here. That really struck me! Here we have Jesus' instruction for praying.

Matthew 6:7: "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions…" You are to ask and keep on asking till you receive. That is not a vain repetition!

"…as the heathen do…" (v 7)—is much like 'Hail Mary…!' and go on like that for 15 minutes! What have you accomplished? Nothing! Don't do that! I don't know what the Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist equivalent is, but they all do it.

"…for they think that by multiplying their words they shall be heard" (v 7).

The Tibetans, because they get tired of speaking, have prayer wheels, so they just turn them and they have a prayer written on it. It's supposed to send the prayer up to heaven.

That's why Tibet is one of the best places in the world to be, it has the most fertile and wonderful land, most even in temperate climate possible—and I'm being very sarcastic! It has a terrible climate, the highest place on earth! It's just the opposite.

Verse 8: "Now then, do not be like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him"—but He wants you to ask!

In Eph. 3 it says that He is able to do abundantly, exceedingly above all that we ask or think! So, you have to put it all together. Of course, the greatest prayer to be answered is at the resurrection. Think on that!\

Prayer is not a gimmick to get physical things in this life! God will bless you with sufficient. If He blesses above and beyond that, be thankful and grateful for it.

Verse 9: "Therefore, you are to pray after this manner: "Our Father, Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name… [sanctified or Holy] …Your Kingdom come…" (vs 9-10).

The Kingdom has come into your life today inasmuch as that you have submitted to the rule of God in your life, but the Kingdom of God is coming!

"…Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (v 10)—that's perfect!

Regardless of what men do they can do nothing contrary to the Truth of God that is going to change the Truth of God. What do I mean by this? If you obey God you're doing the will of God! If you disobey God and have the penalty of sin, the penalty for your sin is the will of God, so you cannot go against the Truth of God anyway. It's going to be enacted always:

  • whether for good or bad
  • whether for blessing or cursing

Always! But God has given free choice for us to choose! His will is being done even though the world is not going God's way.

  • Is it fulfilling prophecy? Yes!
  • Is that the will of God? Yes!
  • Is it going to come to an end when Christ returns? Yes!

Verse 11: "Give us this day our daily bread." He doesn't provide for us a retirement for a hundred thousand years!

Verse 12: "And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen" (vs 12-13).

There we have all the things that we have concerning the things of James in Matthew.

James 5:19: "Brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth, and someone brings him back, let him know that he who brings back a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins" (vs 19-20).

Almost all epistles or books of the New Testament end in 'Amen' with the exception of James, Acts and 3-John. Why? We don't know! We can speculate on that, but all the speculation has never been satisfactory.

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

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 6:1-4
  • Luke 1:1-4
  • Acts 12:17
  • Mark 13:10
  • James 4:1-4
  • Matthew 6:19-24
  • James 4:5
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Psalm 39:5
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • James 4:6
  • Matthew 23:4-12
  • James 4:7-8
  • Matthew 16:15-17, 21-26
  • James 4:8-9, 11-17
  • Matthew 12:1-8
  • James 5:1-6
  • Matthew 23:29-35
  • James 5:7-10
  • Matthew 5:11-12
  • Revelation 17:6
  • James 5:11-12
  • Matthew 5:33-37
  • James 5:13-15
  • Matthew 10:1
  • Matthew 21:22
  • James 5:15
  • Matthew 7:7-11
  • James 5:16-18
  • Matthew 6:7-13
  • James 5:19-20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 24
  • Acts 6:9-31, 41
  • Acts 9:42-43
  • Ecclesiastes 2; 3
  • Matthew 3
  • 1 Corinthians 15
  • Ephesians 3

Also referenced:

  • Appendix E: When Was Jesus Christ Born? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order)
  • Book: The Search for the 12 Apostles by William Steuart McBirnie
  • Sermon Series: Epistle of James
  • Sermon: God's Judgment Cometh Soon

Transcribed: 6/2/20