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MoreBloodWine

October 14, 2020, 06:17:44 PM
But ya, any PM's sent they should be made aware of via email, if they have notifications set for receipt of a PM.

But even if so, my newsletter blast can ignore such settings so anyone registered will at least get my message. But I can name them specifically in it for *** & giggles.
 

MoreBloodWine

October 14, 2020, 06:15:17 PM
Still need to check some things but that will be easy enough to do via PM.

When the site is re-opened. It is now, but tech locked down... but when it's "back". I can send out a newsletter, anyone who has an email attached that they still use will be made aware / be able to come back if that's what they choose to do.
 

Hidden In Him

October 14, 2020, 05:56:59 PM
You're kidding... That would be something. Any way to contact ShadowKen and Indybones? And maybe Pineapple, LoL. I suppose if it's all intact I could just message and it would go thru to email.
 

MoreBloodWine

October 14, 2020, 01:53:33 AM
@HIM: The MP is back, but it will need to remain in maintenance mode until I can re skin it / fix some of the underlying addons, But it is loading again... all data should still be intact.

I've already alerted spddmn's wife to let him know ;-)
 

Hidden In Him

April 27, 2020, 06:37:28 PM
And after checking, it wasn't done yet, LoL. Looks like it is now (hopefully).
 

Hidden In Him

April 08, 2020, 10:37:46 AM
This one's pretty good, LoL. Should be fun to put on video some day.  :)
http://www.spiritualwarbiblestudies.com/index.php?topic=181.msg207#msg207
 

Hidden In Him

March 10, 2020, 12:43:23 PM
 :) :) :)
 

MoreBloodWine

March 10, 2020, 07:02:44 AM
Everything happens for a reason, even if it's rewriting old works ;-)
 

Hidden In Him

March 07, 2020, 07:12:18 PM
My wife dislikes the idea that I'm rewriting studies rather than writing new ones, but the Lord is now opening up Colossians to me like never before, and some work needs to be redone. Very excited about the new insight!  :)
 

Hidden In Him

February 29, 2020, 02:19:44 PM
...get back to making sure studies were ready to put on camera when the time comes.  :)

So how's life with you?  
 

Hidden In Him

February 29, 2020, 02:18:44 PM
I noticed you were still lurking around, LoL. Glad to see I'm not the only one happy about it.  :) Hard at work converting the garage into a recording studio & music room. Gonna be nice! The soundproofing is going to be work and money, but a lot of it is already purchased. In the meantime, I had to
 

MoreBloodWine

February 29, 2020, 01:59:43 AM
 :) :) :)
 

Hidden In Him

February 28, 2020, 05:43:50 PM
I'm officially going back to writing! Glory to God Almighty!! Having fun again already, and going to be going to work improving and the adding to the set on Colossians.

Blessings in Christ to all who visit,
Hidden
 

MoreBloodWine

November 02, 2019, 02:37:56 AM
I rarely ever used Tapatalk to log in to the site. Not sure if anyone ever actually did as the issue of it not working was never reported.

But for our mobile uses, certain things like this chat box will not be available through the app as this chat box is an addon itself. But all boards within the forum are available and currently confirmed working.

Ty & my apologies !
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:21:06 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:49 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:34 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:58 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:21 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:18:57 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:57:00 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:56:30 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:42 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:19 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what the abundan
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:54:41 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant according to the admin

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Author Topic: James 1:9-12  (Read 1314 times)

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Hidden In Him

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James 1:9-12
« on: April 10, 2016, 06:24:22 PM »
A Believer's Top Priority: Being Blessed In Eternity

     Who would you say God's favor rests upon more, the rich or the poor? Most believers today would say the rich, and this was the same mindset the Jews operated under during New testament times. They assumed the rich were "blessed of God" and the poor were "accursed," based on the promises found in Deuteronomy 28 which stated that those who obeyed God would become materially wealthy while those who did not would become financially oppressed. That most Jews operated under this mindset is clear from how the disciples responded when Jesus told them how hard it would be for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God:

     And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you that hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of Heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." And having heard this, the disciples were exceedingly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:23-25)

     This was not the only instance where the Lord turned this common assumption on its head. In the Sermon on the Mount, He openly stated that the poor and lowly would be more blessed of God in eternity, for they would be richer in faith, having proven that they loved Him by remaining faithful in the face of adversity:

     And lifting up His eyes, [Jesus] said to His disciples, "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall ostracize you, and reproach you, and repudiate your name as evil on account of the Son of man. Rejoice and leap for joy in that day, for behold, great is your reward in Heaven, for their fathers did these same things to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your consolation. Woe to you who have been filled, for you shall hunger. Woe to to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers did these same things to the false prophets. (Luke 6:20-26)

     After Christ's resurrection, Satan would indeed see to it that believers were being subjected to trials and sufferings. As Jesus warned, those who denied Him under such circumstances would make themselves unworthy of eternal life (Matthew 10:37-38).
     But as James now taught, if they remained faithful in their trials and sufferings, they would wear eternal life like a crown. As for the rich, however, their lives and their glory would be short-lived:

     But let the lowly brother boast in his exalted status, yet the rich [man] in his lowly status, for like the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun arose with the scorching wind and withered the grass, and its flower fell out, and the beauty of its appearance perished. So also shall the rich man die away in the midst of his travels. "Blessed" is the man who endures trials, for after he has been proven he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him. (James 1:9-12)

     Unfortunately, much of the modern church now operates under the same false assumption the Jews did. They believe they are "blessed of God" because of the material advantages they enjoy, not realizing that they are spiritual paupers in comparison with New Testament saints because, comparatively speaking, their faith has rarely been tried in the fires of adversity. 


"For The Sun Arose With The Scorching Wind…"

     James lifted this analogy from a prophecy in Isaiah about the coming Day of the Lord, when all of mankind would wither like grass before the wrath of Almighty God:

     A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low... And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice said, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?" "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers [and] the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:3-8)

     This Chapter in Isaiah was frequently quoted by New Testament writers because it not only prophesied the coming judgment, but also contained promises concerning how the Lord would shepherd His people, and grant them rewards upon His return:

     Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and His arm rules for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. He will tend His flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in His arms. He will carry them in His bosom… [yet He] brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as a desert wasteland. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when He blows upon them and they wither, and the storm carries them off like stubble. (Isaiah 40:10-11, 22-24)

     James essentially took these passages and turned them into past tense prophecy, similar to those used by his brother Jude years later (see Jude 1:11). By the expression, "the sun arose with the scorching wind," James was comparing the Lord to the sun, who would arise at His return, and whose judgment would destroy the nations like a desert sandstorm blasting everything away before it. The heat of His wrath would bring the nations to nothing as if they were grass, and cause rulers to wither away and "fall" from positions of power, like flowers quickly fading in glory and dying.
    The "scorching wind" specifically referred to here was the Sirocco, summer windstorms that became heated to scorching temperatures by the sands of the Jordanian Desert. These powerful sandstorms killed not only plant life but could even have suffocating effects on humans and animals.

                                             

     James, then, was reminding his readers that "the Lord makes the rulers of the earth as a desert wasteland. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when He blows upon them and they wither, and the storm carries them off like stubble." Those who would live eternally, on the other hand, would be those who endured trials, for after they had endured, they would receive "the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)


Enduring Trials To Receive The Crown Of Life

     The Lord Jesus Christ often used the words "life" and "eternal life" interchangeably, occasionally in the same sentence (see John 3:36, 5:24). This means that the phrase "receiving the crown of life" was a reference to being rewarded with eternal life, which those who remained faithful to God in the midst of trials would wear like a crown. Martyrs especially would wear eternal life like a crown of honor, for they would be remembered throughout eternity as having trusted the Lord Jesus Christ enough to lay down their earthly lives for Him, just as He had for them.
     Such an opportunity was offered to the church at Smyrna, whom the Lord addressed with the following words:

     And to the angel of the church in Smyrna, write, "These things say the First and the Last, the One who was dead, yet lived. I know your affliction and poverty, yet you are rich. And [I know] the blasphemy coming from those who declare themselves to be Jews, yet are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. Do not fear the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be put through trials, and you will suffer affliction for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give to you the crown of life." (Revelations 2:8-10)

     That the Lord had promised this crown "to those who love Him" was probably originally taken from the Gospel of Matthew, where the Lord told His disciples:

     Beware of men, for they will deliver you to Sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues… brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father the child, and children will rise up against [their] parents, and put them to death. And you will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who endures until the end, this one shall be saved… The one who loves [his] father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who loves [his] son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And that man who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:17, 21-22, 37-38)

     Jesus encouraged the church at Smyrna by telling them, "I know your affliction and poverty, yet you are rich…  Be faithful unto death, and I will give to you the crown of life." By this, Jesus meant that they were rich in the faith, for they would go into eternity with proof they had truly loved Him.


Those Rich In Faith Were Inheriting The Kingdom

     Returning again to our passage in James:

     But let the lowly brother boast in his exalted status, yet the rich [man] in his lowly status, for like the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the Sun arose with the scorching wind and withered the grass, and its flower fell out, and the beauty of its appearance perished. So also shall the rich man die away in the midst of his travels. "Blessed" is the man who endures trials, for after he has been proven he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him. (James 1:9-12)

     As already stated in previous studies, the rich were part of the ruling class, yet what James was saying here was that they would not remain part of the ruling class much longer. The kingdoms of this world were about to be handed over to the saints, for only those who endured trials with the Lord would be worthy to reign with Him. They would enter eternity having proven that they were rich in faith, not just material wealth.
     The apostle Peter gave nearly the exact same teaching, telling believers that the trials they were experiencing would make them rich in faith, proving the extent and quality of their faith, like gold proven in the fire: 

     [Your] salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time, regarding which you exult, though now if necessary for a little while having been put to grief through various trials, so that the proving of your faith, much more precious than perishing gold, and proven by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:5b-7)

     Their faith was more precious than perishing gold, i.e. material wealth, because it would be seen throughout eternity as of great value, rather than being valuable only for a short time.
     As Peter then went on to explain, the rich in faith would be those who were most blessed, for after enduring sufferings they would not only receive eternal life, glory and honor, but also inherit the kingdoms of this world:

     ...for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls, regarding which salvation the prophets, having prophesied of the grace predestined for you, undertook research and investigation, searching into the time and circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was disclosing when He testified beforehand of the sufferings [to take place] until the coming of Christ, and the glories [to follow] afterwards, to whom it was revealed that not to themselves but to you they were ministering these prophesies, which have now been conveyed unto you by those having preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven, which angels desire to look into. Wherefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober-minded, place your hope entirely in the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ… for all flesh is grass, and all its glory as the flower of the grass. The grass withered and the flower fell out, but the word of the Lord abides forever. (1 Peter 1:9-13, 24-25a)

     Though I have quoted it many times before in previous studies, I will quote the passage in Daniel 7 one more time, since this is the specific text Peter was referring to which described the sufferings the saints would have to endure before experiencing the glory of rewards and kingship afterwards. Speaking of the reign of the Antichrist:

     He will speak against the Most High, and oppress His holy people, and try to change the set times and laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey Him.’" (Daniel 7:25-27 NIV)

     Unfortunately, in New Testament times there were also some congregations who were spiritually impoverished, and clearly not on their way to being granted kingship in Christ's coming kingdom.


Laodicea: One Church That Was Poor In The Faith

     Because the believers in Laodicea were financially prosperous, they assumed themselves to be spiritually "blessed of God" as well. The truth, however, was that in terms of true spiritual riches, they were desperately impoverished:

     “Unto the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of God’s creation, says these words [to you]: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would have you be [either] cold or hot. Therefore, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of My mouth, for you say, ‘I am rich. I have acquired wealth, and have need of nothing,’ and do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you may be [truly] rich; and white garments, so that you may clothe yourself, and the shame of your nakedness not be made manifest; and eye salve to anoint your eyes with, so that you may see. As many as I love I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. I will grant to the one who overcomes the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father on His throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22)

     This was a church the Lord was not even in true fellowship with. He was outside the door, knocking to get in. For those who heard His voice and opened the door to fellowship with Him through prayer, He would come in and "dine" with them, another allusion to God entering into intimacy with them. But with this promise came a warning: When He did enter in, He would be bringing His discipline with Him, for they had no true zeal for God. Although they assumed they were rich in the faith, in reality they were "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." The image was of house guests inviting a rich king to dinner, assuming they were in His social class because they too were "rich," not realizing they had no gold (i.e. faith) proven in the fire of trials and sufferings as He did; they were not clothed in white garments as He was, i.e. the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which the rich in faith were putting on through prayer; and they did not have His wisdom and understanding because their sight was so badly obscured by spiritual blindness. He found their lack of zeal distasteful, and thus was warning them that through divine utterance, i.e. the gifts of the Spirit in operation, He would "spit out" their presumptuousness if He entered in among them. If, however, they bought from Him gold refined in the fire, white garments to wear, and spiritual eye salve to see with, they would acquire true spiritual wealth, and be granted the right to sit with Him on His throne in eternity.       


Christ's Message To Inheritors Of His Kingdom

     As is now well known by the church, the Lord chose the seven churches in Revelation to provide prophetic images of what conditions would be like in the church for seven successive ages leading up until the time of His return. What He said to the last of these churches, the church at Laodicea, is therefore what the Spirit is saying to us in our time.
     So what, then, did Christ mean by the words:

     I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you may be [truly] rich; and white garments, so that you may clothe yourself, and the shame of your nakedness not be made manifest; and eye salve to anoint your eyes with, so that you may see... I will grant to the one who overcomes the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:18, 21)

     "Gold refined in the fire" has already been explained. This expression referred to a faith proven in the fire of trials, as the apostle Peter referred to above. The Laodiceans were wealthy because of their location as a major trading center of the Roman Empire, but the Lord was telling them that spiritually they were beggars, and needed to acquire true spiritual riches.
      So what, then, did the other two analogies refer to? It needs to be kept in mind that Christ was advising them of what they would need to "buy" to be fit for kingship in His coming kingdom. Along with a faith proven by trials, the proper clothing for kingship was also needed, i.e. the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In other words, they needed to become clothed in Christ Jesus Himself:

     You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)

     We should walk becomingly, as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual misconduct and wantonness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the lust of the flesh. (Romans 13:13-14)

     The Laodiceans were manufacturers and sellers of dyed wools, and naturally therefore wore fine garments themselves. But the Lord was telling them that spiritually they were naked. The Spirit had clearly not yet been poured out upon them, given that the Lord described Himself as standing outside the door of this church, knocking to get in. This would have to change if they wished to rule with Him, for only those who "abided in Him" could accurately represent Him, and be fit for rulership in His kingdom.
     Lastly, what was meant by the Lord telling them "buy of Me… eye salve, so that you may see"? The Laodiceans had a famous school of medicine, and manufactured and distributed a special ointment known as "Phrygian powder," which was famous for curing eye defects. But the Lord was telling them that if they were to be kings in His coming kingdom, they would need to heal their spiritual eyesight concerning how He judged His people.
     Old Testament kings were also judges, and Solomon is recorded as having such wisdom to judge that it caused Israel to fear him, knowing he could not easily be deceived. When two prostitutes came to him with a child, both claiming it was theirs and insisting that Solomon decide which one should have it, the scripture says:

     The king said, "Divide the nursing child in two alive, and give half of it to one and half to the other." And the woman who gave birth to the living child answered, and said to the king... "I beseech you, my lord, give her the child, and in nowise slay it." But the other said, "Let it be neither mine, nor hers. Divide it." Then the king answered and said, "Give the child to her that said, ‘Give it to her, and by no means slay it. She is its mother." And all Israel heard this judgment which the king declared, and they feared the king, because they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to execute judgment. (1 Kings 3:25-28)

     Those who will be kings in the coming kingdom will likewise need to be difficult to deceive, acutely perceptive, and stern in their judgments whenever necessary. The apostle Paul made this abundantly clear to the Corinthians in passing judgment on a man who was sinning among them:

     Sexual immorality is commonly being reported among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, such as for one to have sex with [his] father's wife. And here you are having become inflated with pride, and rather did not mourn because the one having done this deed might [soon] be removed from your midst!  For, indeed, I being absent in the body but present in the spirit have already judged regarding the one having done this thing as being present: In the name of the Lord Jesus, when you have been gathered together in the power of the Lord Jesus, and with my spirit, you are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved on the Day of the Lord Jesus… Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are unworthy to make the smallest of judgments? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? (1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 6:2-3)

     In passing judgment, Paul reminded them that a "little leaven leavens the whole lump," meaning that if they allowed sexual immorality to go unchecked it would cause licentiousness to spread, and eventually lead to the entire congregation becoming spiritually defiled, and incurring God's judgment. Thus, it was a great shame to them that they had not yet passed judgment on this man in the power of the Holy Spirit, seeing as how Daniel's prophesies said that the saints would one day judge the nations.
     Likewise, the Book of Revelations also states that it will not be only the Lord Jesus Christ who rules the nations with a rod of iron when He comes (Revelation 12:5, 19:15), but that the faithful will as well. Jesus specifically promised the overcomers at Thyatira that as rulers and judges in the coming kingdom they would break the pride of sinners as if breaking pottery to pieces:

     But I say unto you… the one who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, to him I will grant authority over the nations, and he [i.e. the one who overcomes] will shepherd them with a rod of iron, like pottery vessels being broken in pieces, as I also have received from My Father. (Revelation 2:26-27)

     Thus, those who reign with Christ in eternity will possess the spiritual eyesight to see through lies and deception, and pass judgment accurately. The Laodiceans, however, lacked this spiritual eyesight, just as we do today. Granted, the Lord rarely executes judgments in the church today because we have so distanced ourselves from the Holy Spirit. But this has all the more blinded the modern church to the fact that He does indeed pass judgment on sinners when He is near. Those who ascribe to heresies like hyper-grace now think God doesn't even see their sin because He sees them as "the righteousness of God." But the Spirit will open their eyes to these falsehoods when He once again enters in amongst His people in power, and starts executing judgments again as He once did during New Testament times.


Prayer: The Currency Of Heaven

     As a closing note, let it never be forgotten that prayer is the currency though which we "buy" all things from God, not that we earn anything through works, but that we demonstrate the proper faith by persistently "seeking, knocking, and asking" for them to be granted unto us by God's grace.
     Praying to receive spiritual eyesight and become clothed in the Holy Spirit are both easy to understand, and are well attested in scripture should one need proof that they are attained by petitioning God. The hard one to understand is the insinuation that we should actually pray that our faith be proven in the fires of trials and sufferings. All I can say to those who might doubt this message is that, like the Laodiceans, try not to view the world through carnal eyes, or you will have no understanding of what true spiritual riches are in eternity. Once you begin seeing things from God's perspective, you begin aspiring to trials, viewing them not as something thrust upon you but as an opportunity to fully conform to Christ's image while proving the full extent of your faith. While the wicked might think you crazy, it is actually only the truly wise who understand such things, as the prophet Daniel prophesied long ago:     
 
     I said, "Lord, when will the end of these things be?" And He said, "Go, Daniel, for the words are closed and sealed up to the time of the end. Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified; but the transgressors shall transgress. And none of the transgressors shall understand, but the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:8-10 LXX)



Extras:
- A quote from Philo that parallels James 1:8: “Let God alone be your boast and your greatest praise (Deut. x. 21), and pride not yourself in riches, neither in honour, etc., considering that these things . . . are swift to change, withering away (μαραινόμενα) as it were before they have fully bloomed.” Philo, de vict. off. 10 (ii. 258).


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