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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

Kamagiply

August 04, 2019, 11:55:58 AM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:35:37 PM
This is just a site I use for writing. We gave no one here who goes by the name "Paddy."
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:34:34 PM
Sure you have the right website there, Kamagiply?

Kamagiply

August 03, 2019, 12:46:31 PM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti

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Author Topic: James 2:21-26, Part 1  (Read 958 times)

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Hidden In Him

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James 2:21-26, Part 1
« on: June 11, 2016, 02:32:33 PM »
The Original Gospel: Preaching Jesus As Messiah, Part 1

     Immediately after Pentecost, believers were giving generously to help the poor among them. Saints of their own accord were selling houses and properties and giving the proceeds to the apostles, who were then distributing goods to the poor as they were needed.
     But some twelve years later, it appeared things had changed some. There were now members of the Christian community who felt no great compulsion about helping the poor, but were only offering them lip service instead, saying, "Go in peace. Be warmed and filled" without actually giving them any genuine help. James took issue with this, and would now begin asking his readers if they honestly thought "faith" without works could save them:

     My brothers, what help is it if anyone claims to have faith yet does not have works? Is faith able to save him? And if a brother or sister is insufficiently clothed and may be lacking daily food, and anyone from among you says unto them, "Go in peace. Be warmed and filled," yet does not give them the things the body needs, what help is it?... The demons also believe, and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?
     Was not our father Abraham justified by works, having offering Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working together with his works, and by works was [his] faith made manifest. And the scripture was fulfilled which said, "And Abraham believed God, and it was accredited unto him for righteousness," and he was called a friend of God. You see [then] that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. And in like manner was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, who received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also is faith apart from works dead. (James 2:14-16, 20-26)


     Why did James mention Rahab the harlot here? Commentators sometimes take educated guesses, yet rarely express much confidence in their answers. But James used Rahab here to make the point that the kingdom of God was coming, and the wise needed to help those who were soon to rule over it, i.e. the poor and oppressed among them, just as Rahab wisely helped the Israelites, who would soon rule over Jericho. As James has already made clear earlier in the letter, God had chosen the poor to become heirs of the coming kingdom.

     Hear me, my dear brothers. Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor. (James 2:5-6a)

     The story of Rahab the harlot is found in the Book of Joshua. Although she was a pagan prostitute, she very wisely saved her own life and those of her family by helping two Jewish spies escape unharmed just before the Israelites attacked and destroyed the city of Jericho:

     And Joshua, the son of Naun, sent out two young men to spy the land…  [who] went up and entered into Jericho. And they entered into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. And it was reported to the king of Jericho, saying, "Men of the sons of Israel have come here to spy the land." And the king of Jericho sent and spoke to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men that entered into your house this night, for they are come to spy out the land." And the woman took the two men and hid them. And she spoke to the messengers, saying, "The men came in to me, but when the gate was shut in the evening, the men went out. I do not know where they have gone. Follow after them, so you may overtake them." But she had brought them up atop the house, and hid them… And it came to pass when the men who pursued after them were gone, and before the spies had lain down to sleep, she came to them on the roof of the house, and said to them, "I know that the Lord has given you the land, for the fear of you has fallen on us. For we have heard that the Lord God dried up the Red Sea before you when you came out of the land of Egypt, and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites… Now swear to me by the Lord God: Since I dealt mercifully with you, so also deal mercifully with the house of my father, and save alive the house of my father, my mother, my brothers, and all my house, and all that they have, and you shall rescue my soul from death."
     And the men said to her, "Our life for yours even to death." And she said, "When the Lord shall have delivered the city to you, you shall deal mercifully and faithfully with me." And she let them down by the window, and she said to them, "Depart into the hill-country, lest the pursuers meet you. Remain hidden there three days until your pursuers return from searching for you, and afterwards you shall depart on your way."
     And the men said to her… "You shall bind this scarlet cord in the window by which you have let us down, and bring in with yourself, into your house, your father and mother and brothers, and all the family of your father. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall go outside the door of your house, his guilt shall be upon him, and we shall be relieved of this your oath. But we will be responsible for all who shall be found with you in your house. But if any one should injure us, or betray these terms of ours, we shall be relieved of this your oath." And she said to them, "Let it be according to your word." And she sent them out, and they departed. And they came to the hill-country and remained there three days. And the pursuers searched all the roads, yet did not find them. (Joshua 2:1-22 LXX)


     The reason more people don't understand why James used Rahab's story to illustrate the importance of helping those who would soon become rulers over the coming kingdom? We no longer preach Jesus as Messiah. We preach Him primarily, if not exclusively, as Savior. Did He die for our sins? Most definitely, and this was the explanation for why He allowed Himself to be crucified just outside Jerusalem. But the predominant message preached by the apostles during New Testament times was that He was "the Christ," i.e. the promised Messiah of the Jews, and would soon be returning in power to establish His kingdom on earth, and reign forevermore over the nations.


Proclaiming The Gospel Of The Coming Kingdom

     Jesus is described as Savior 23 times in the New Testament. He is described as Christ (the Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah"), 554 times. Both words mean "anointed one," and refer to Jesus as the One anointed by God to rule over the nations. Thus, for every one time the New Testament writers identified Him as Savior, they identified Him twenty three times as the Jewish Messiah.
     They preached the gospel of the kingdom because this is what Jesus Himself preached from the very beginning:

     And after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, [saying], "The time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15)

     And Jesus was going about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

     Jesus told His disciples that once this gospel had been preached in all the earth, then the antichrist would arise:

     He that shall endure until the end, this one shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the earth for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:13-14)

     What they were not aware of was the principle of the dual fulfillment of prophesy, and that in His wisdom God the Father intended for everything happening during New Testament times to serve as a foreshadowing of all that would take place during the end-times. But without knowing this, the apostles set out in obedience to proclaim the coming kingdom to all nations after Christ's resurrection, being simply told that it was "at hand," and that they would be supernaturally empowered to witness to its certainty:

     Therefore, having come together, [the disciples] were asking Him, saying, "Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?" But He said to them, "It is not yours to know times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses of Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:6-8)

     The gospel they presented to the Gentiles likewise focused on the Messiah's coming kingdom. Toward the end of his life, the apostle Paul would call for the elders of the church and say to them:

     "I know that you all, amongst whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, shall see my face no more." (Acts 20:25)

     What exactly did he teach them? As we shall see, evidence suggests that Paul taught them the prophesies in Matthew 24, as well as Old Testament prophesies like Psalm 2, which clearly declared the Messiah would come to rule over the nations with a rod of iron. The Antichrist would gather the armies of the nations to wage war against Him, yet to no avail. The God of the Jews would send His armies to empower Christ to destroy them all, and establish His Own kingdom on earth:

     Why did the heathen rage, and the nations imagine vanities? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together against the Lord and against His Christ, saying, "Let us break their bonds, and cast away their yoke from us"… [Yet the Christ shall say], "Yet I have been made King by Him on Mt. Zion, His holy mountain, declaring the ordinance of the Lord. The Lord said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel.'" (Psalm 2:1-3, 6-9 LXX)
 
     So, too, does it state in the Book of Revelation:

     And the armies in Heaven were following Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white. And from His mouth went forth a sharp sword, that with it He might strike down the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. (Revelation 19:14-15)
 
     Was this message relevant to the Gentiles? Very. Simply preaching Jesus as Savior to the Gentiles would not have had much relevance to them. They were not Jews, and therefore not answerable to the Jewish God or His laws. But preaching Jesus as the soon coming Messiah? That had great relevance to the Gentile world.


Signs Confirming The Kingdom Was At Hand

     The disciples had very good reason to believe the Lord Jesus was coming in their lifetimes. For starters, the emergence of the antichrist appeared to be imminent. Just eight years after Christ was crucified, the Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula attempted to have a massive statue of himself transported to Jerusalem and set up in the temple of God (see 2 Thessalonians, Study #3). This suggested that the time of the antichrist was already at hand. Great tension continued to exist between Rome and the Jews. All it would take was another Emperor to rise to power who actually succeeded at doing what Caligula only attempted to do, and the Biblical prophesies regarding the antichrist and the coming of the Messiah would be fulfilled.
     This is what Paul reminded the Thessalonians of when he feared they might be deceived into thinking the Lord had already come:     

     Now we implore you, brothers, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him, that you not become quickly disturbed in mind nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if written by us [intimating] that the Day of the Lord is here. No one should deceive you in any way if the apostasy has not [yet] come first and that man of lawlessness has been revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above everything that is called God or is worshipped, so as for him to sit down in the temple of God, exhibiting himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was with you I was telling you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5)

     What things had he told them? In all likelihood, Paul explained to them the prophesies spoken by the Lord to His disciples in Matthew 24 concerning the coming overthrow of Jerusalem, when the "abomination that causes desolation" would be erected in the Jewish temple:

     “When you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel -  let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again… (Matthew 24:15-22)

     Again, all that remained now was for this man of lawlessness to arise as Emperor, for given the rising tension between Rome and Judea, and that one Emperor had recently attempted to enter Jerusalem and outlaw the observance of Judaism already, it appeared the mystery of lawlessness was already on its way to realization:

     And you know it yet remains for [the Antichrist] to be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already on its way to realization, only he is holding back at present until he manifests out of the midst, and then shall that lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy with the breath of His mouth, and depose with the brightness of His coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8) 

     As a result, the saints were convinced that the Lord's return was imminent:

     Be long-suffering, therefore; reassure your hearts, for the Lord's coming has drawn near. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, that you not be judged. Behold, the Judge stands at the door. (James 5:8-9)

     Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Let your sufferance be known to all men. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:4-5)

     The end of all things is drawing near; therefore be sober-minded, and watchful unto prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)

     We should be considerate of one another, and aim to provoke [each other] to love and good works ... all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24, 25b)

     As stated in the Gospel of Matthew, even the demons believed the time of God's kingdom was now at hand:

     And having come to the other side of the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met [Jesus], coming out of the tombs, [men who were] very violent, such that no one was able to pass by that way. And behold, they cried out, saying, "What business is there between you and us, Son of God? Did You come here to torment us before the time?"  (Matthew 8:28-29)


Heirs Of The Kingdom: The Poor And Oppressed

     And who again would be the heirs of the coming kingdom? The poor and oppressed. This is why Jesus specifically targeted the poor to hear the gospel of the kingdom:

     Now John, having heard in prison the works of Christ, sent two of his disciples, [who] said unto Him, "Are you the Coming One, or are we to wait for another?" And having answered, Jesus said to them, "Go and relate to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, lepers are being cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are being raised, and the poor are having the gospel preached to them." (Matthew 11:2-5)

     What specifically was this gospel Jesus was preaching to the poor? Luke described it in detail:

     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. (Luke 6:20-24)

     Jesus here named both the poor and oppressed as joint heirs of the coming kingdom. Whereas Luke had Jesus saying simply, "Blessed are the poor," Matthew recorded Him as saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," referring specifically to the oppressed. But since the most oppressed class of people were the poor, and because those religiously ostracized within Jewish society were often cheated and robbed (see Hebrews 10:34), the two expressions were essentially synonymous.
     In short, God was choosing those who were viewed as nothing in the eyes of the world, so that when the rulers of this world were deposed and the meek instead inherited the earth, no flesh could glory in His presence as if they had attained to greatness without His help: 

     For you see from your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many are powerful, not many are of high estate. But God chose the fools of the world that He might shame the wise, and God chose the weaklings of the world that He might shame the strong, and God chose those of low estate in the world, and the despised, and the unesteemed, that He might depose those who are [esteemed], so that no flesh might boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)


Acting On Faith: The Sign Of Genuinely Believing

     This, then, was the setting behind which some Christians were now neglecting the poor, and dishonoring them by seating them like spiritual inferiors during meetings (James 2:1-4). The question for James was, how could they say they had faith, both in Christ and in His coming kingdom, yet do nothing to help those who would soon be rulers over it?
 
     Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor… what help is it if anyone claims to have faith yet does not have works? Is faith able to save him? And if a brother or sister is insufficiently clothed and may be lacking daily food, and anyone from among you says to them, "Go in peace. Be warmed and filled," yet does not give them the things the body needs, what help is it?… will you know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? (James 2:5-6, 14-16, 20)

     This is just common sense. If you had a dream that the janitor of the company you worked for was going to invent something that would so revolutionize the company that he would quickly be promoted up the ranks and eventually become your boss, would you not treat him differently? If you without question truly believed he was destined to become the company CEO in several years, would you not befriend him and go out of your way to help him, even though he was still a "nobody" in everyone else's eyes? 
     Rahab truly believed the Israelites were about to conquer her city, so she wisely chose to cover their escape, even though it was dangerous for her to do so. But by acting on her faith she saved her own life. By contrast, the king of Jericho clearly did not believe his city was about to be destroyed. If he had, he would have sent ambassadors to the Israelites suing for peace. To be relocated as allies of the nation of Israel would have been preferable to death. But his lack of faith led to a lack of action, which in turn led to his destruction.
     Paul made a similar point about the Roman rulers who crucified Christ. Had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. To serve their own best interest, they would have protected the future King of kings, and crucified His enemies instead. The city of Jerusalem would have been encircled with hundreds of crucified Pharisees, scribes and religious leaders; those who demanded that Jesus be crucified. But despite his wife having a premonition in a dream, Pilate caved in to the wishes of the Jews, and had the future Messiah murdered.
     But the wise were treating the poor and the oppressed with honor and decency, knowing the promises of God that such were destined to become the rulers of the coming age:

     We speak wisdom among the mature, only not the wisdom of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are [in the process of] being deposed. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery which has been hidden, which God preordained before time for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age had known, for if they had known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But just as has been written, "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it at all entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:7-9)

     This last verse was again a reference to how the saints would soon inherit the kingdoms of this world. Had the magistrates and rulers of the Gentile cities Paul was flogged and scourged in known that they were doing so to a future ruler of the world, they would not have treated him this way either. But it was evident by their actions that they did not believe:

     I suppose that God set us forth the apostles last, as appointed unto death. For we became a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men… To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, are insufficiently clothed, receive beatings, and wander homeless. But we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless. Being persecuted, we forbear. Being defamed, we encourage. We became as the scapegoats of the world, the expiation of everyone until now. (1 Corinthians 4:9, 11-13)

     The word "expiation" here referred to those who were offered up in sacrifice to the pagan gods. They were usually the least esteemed people in all of pagan society, such as the mentally ill or deformed. But whereas the apostles were the least esteemed members of pagan society and treated as such, they would be the most esteemed members in the kingdom of God after Christ came to establish it on earth.
     But as for the question of if anyone with "faith" can be saved apart from works, what if Rahab the harlot had told the Jewish spies that she truly believed they would soon conquer Jericho yet refused to help them escape? Would such a "faith" have saved her life? No, it would not have. She would have died along with all the rest. Such will also be the case with those presently being deceived into thinking their faith does not require any action on their part in order to be saved, for this is completely contrary to the true gospel of the kingdom as was presented during New Testament times.
     Does this mean only those who help the Christian oppressed will be saved? The larger point James was making was that true faith manifests itself in works, and those who truly believe Jesus is the coming Messiah will show it by making Him Lord over their lives, and entering into works that prove it. The absence of such works will prove a person doesn't actually believe, despite professing to.
     As for why James brought up the patriarch Abraham, and emphasized how he "believed God, and it was accredited unto Him for righteousness," these questions will be addressed in Part 2. 





« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 12:03:49 PM by Hidden In Him »