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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 5:7-11  (Read 1747 times)

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Hidden In Him

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James 5:7-11
« on: January 15, 2017, 06:52:49 PM »
Enduring The Coming Humiliation Of The Church

     As James has mentioned several times in this letter, believers in Jesus Christ, especially those among the poorer class, were suffering terrible injustices at the hands of the rich in Judea. It was bad enough that they were being spiritually belittled in that some were being forced to take demeaning places in the church, such as sitting beside a richer man's footstool (James 2:1-5); it was bad enough that the rich were in some cases judicially oppressing them, by using the courts to take away their sons and daughters to become their slaves when the poor couldn't pay their debts (James 2:6). But as James referred to in our previous passage, not only were the rich landowners financially exploiting their poor laborers by withholding their wages and refusing to pay them, but in some cases they were actually secretly arranging their deaths through the court systems by seeing to it they be accused of capital crimes against God. Should a poor man be condemned to death, not only would the rich landowner no longer have to pay him the wages he owed him, but he could also seize upon his property if it had been put down as collateral on a loan:

     Go weep now, rich men, howling over the miseries coming upon you... Behold, the wage of the workmen who harvested your fields is crying out, having been kept back by you, and the cries of those who have reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Hosts. You lived in luxury and self-indulgence on the earth. You fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You condemned, you murdered the just, who does not oppose you. (James 5:1, 4-6)

     But despite these terrible injustices being committed against the poor, James believed Jesus was returning soon, so he now turned to encouraging them to "be long-suffering until the coming of the Lord."

     Be long-suffering, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the Farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being long-suffering over it until it receives the early and the latter rain. Therefore you be long-suffering also. Firmly establish your hearts, because the coming of the Lord has drawn near. (James 5:7-8)

     Jesus likewise instructed His disciples that "he who endures until the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:9, 13), but to do so would require being more than simply "patient." It would call for being long-suffering, which is the proper translation here, for Jesus had likewise predicted that believers would face terrible trials before His return. Many would be betrayed, and delivered up by their own brethren to be beaten and in some cases killed (Matthew 24:9-13). So James was essentially repeating the same admonishments Jesus had. In the face of the financial exploitation, judicial oppression, and even murder for profit, the faithful needed to endure until the end.
     As shall be covered in this study, those hoping to become soldiers in the end-time army of God will likewise need to master long-suffering to face the the trials that are approaching. Christians will be hated throughout much of the world, and even in the West many will have to endure situations where they are publicly demeaned and humiliated, beaten and in some cases thrown into prison. Because of the stand they take on issues like homosexuality, they will be demonized by society as a whole, with the result that the vast majority of believers will distance themselves from the Christian faith, not willing to continue standing for the truth as stated in scripture. Yet through it all, God will be preparing a holy army for the coming end-time harvest.


Laying The Ground Work For The End-Time Harvest

     What did James mean by bringing up how "the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being long-suffering for it until it receives the former and latter rain"? At first glance, it appears he was comparing the believer to a farmer, but a closer look at the rest of the New Testament reveals this is NOT what James was saying. The One who is waiting for the end-time harvest in this analogy is God Himself, as Christ repeatedly taught in parables (see Matthew 13:24-30, Mark 4:14-20, 26-32). Thus, James was telling them be long-suffering because God was Himself still waiting for the end-time harvest to finish. This is why James referred to himself and those who had already come to Christ as the "first fruits" of the end-time harvest, by this implying there were still more to come:

     Do not be led astray, my dear brothers, every good impartation and every perfect endowment is from above, coming down from the Father of lights... Having wished, He brought us forth through the word of truth, for us to be a kind of first fruits of His creations. (James 1:16-18) 

     In fact, what neither James nor any of the New Testament saints knew was that two thousand years would pass in human history before the end-time harvest would actually be completed. The "former and latter rains" referred here prophetically to two great outpourings of the Holy Spirit. The first came at Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:1-4, and continued throughout the entire New Testament era, slowly dwindling out as the church progressed into the first two and a half centuries after Christ's resurrection.
     The "latter rain" is now set to come in the years ahead of us, and will be a far greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit than the earth has ever seen before. But most believers today are unfit to be chosen to receive it. God was choosing soldiers for his army back in New Testament times, which is why He specifically selected men like Cornelius, a Roman centurion (Acts 10). So, too, will He again be looking for soldiers, men and women who will not just fight for the truth, but endure on the field of battle until He comes, whenever that may be.
     Because of this, a great humiliation is about to come upon the church, to cull those not worthy to be enlisted in the coming army of God:

     Before the great ingathering Christianity will experience a great humiliation… The "accuser of the brethren" will go forth with unprecedented rage against the Body of Christ. The "revelations" of immoral and unethical behavior by hundreds of highly visible ministries will bring about a loathing of Christianity throughout the world, for a time. These "revelations" will include child molesting, rape, and the most vile forms of perversion. Some of these will be true, but most will not be true... After an atmosphere of revulsion has been created, the enemy will then move against even the most respected Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant, Charismatic and Catholic leaders with charges of the most base forms of perversion and ethical failures.
     In conjunction with this, hoards of cults and satanic worshippers will begin attacking congregations and meetings. They will enter services en masse, spitting on people, urinating and performing lewd acts in order to humiliate the church. This practice will be publicized until it becomes a fad among the cults. What begins as a few isolated incidents will soon become common throughout the world… (Joyner, The Harvest, P.139-142)   


Painting The Christian Church As A Hate Group

     Why will such hatred against the church soon emerge? Satan will set a plan in motion that makes it look as if the church fully deserves all the evil they will receive. Firstly, he will paint them as unforgiving of the sexual failures of others, homosexuals in particular, and then depict them as being even more sexually immoral themselves. The result will be that the masses will view Christians as the worst type of hypocrites and frauds, motivated by hate and ignorance.
     Already, the church is being labelled as a "hate group", as the following article from one Catholic website made clear a few years ago:

     A new petition has gone up, on Christmas Day no less, asking for the Catholic Church to be labeled a hate group. In his annual Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI, the global leader of the Roman Catholic Church, demeaned and belittled homosexual people around the world. Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, the Pope painted a portrait in which gay people are second-class global citizens. Pope Benedict said that gay people starting families are threatening to society, and that gay parents objectify and take away the dignity of children. The Pope also implied that gay families are sub-human, as they are not dignified in the eyes of God.
     Upon these remarks, the Roman Catholic Church fits the definition of a hate group as defined by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. (Austin Ruse, The Catholic Church, A Hate Group?, First Things)

     Expect this villainization of Christianity to increase in years ahead, and to then be followed by the events described in Rick Joyner's prophecy above. Hundreds of ministers will be "exposed" for sexual misconduct of the worst and most lewd kind. A precursor of these events took place in the 1990s, when the pedophile priest scandal broke out within Catholicism. The result was as expected: Millions distanced themselves from the Catholic faith, as statistics would bare out:

     According to a new Reuters analysis, the Catholic Church in the U.S. is dealing with deep financial problems, as well as shrinking congregations  - 52 million self-identified members this year, compared to 55 million in 2007. While multiple factors underlie these trends, a recently published study suggests the clergy sex-abuse scandals of recent years have played a major and lasting role... Bottan and Perez-Truglia focused on 3,024 “scandal events” that became public between 1980 and 2010... “We find that a scandal causes a persistent decline in the local Catholic affiliation and church attendance,” they write. “Some Catholics join other religious denominations during the first three years after a scandal. But these individuals later end up with no religious affiliation.”
     Whatever the specific cause, the “effects of scandals on religious participation and charitable giving follow somewhat similar patterns,” they write. “The effects increase in magnitude during the first couple of years after the scandal, and then they remain stable at that level. The affected outcomes do not revert to pre-scandal levels even more than 10 years after the occurrence of the scandal." (The Continuing Cost Of Catholicism's Sex Abuse Scandals, PSMag.com)

     This author concluded the article by stating, "revelations regarding pedophile priests have [thus] driven a significant number of Catholics away from the church  -  apparently for good," and the pedophile priest scandal was only a small precursor of what is yet to come. Satan's purpose in all this will be to attempt to whittle the church down to NOTHING, hoping that all believers will eventually abandon their faith in Christ, and make Christianity a thing of the past. Unfortunately for him, it will not work out quite that well in practice. Out of this coming humiliation, an army will be formed, one that will stand for Christ through it all, and eventually undo every victory Satan attained in the years preceding the coming of the latter rain.   


Gideon's Army: Three Hundred Against Tens Of Thousands

     In modern prophecy, the Spirit consistently compares this coming army to the army Gideon raised to defeat the armies of Midian in Old Testament times:

     God is now in the process of recruiting an army with which He will shake this old world one more time. By working through His soldiers, God will produce great miracles that will shake the established hierarchy of the so-called organized religion that is in this world today. These soldiers that God is now recruiting will demonstrate the power of God to a greater extent than did the disciples in the Pentecostal age. Some will be even greater demonstrations than that of Elijah.
     Know this also: There shall be a time or process of "culling" those who are not qualified to be a member of this "Gideon's" army. Just as in Gideon's army in the Bible, only a select few will be fit for service in the army of Christian soldiers the Lord will use in the battle of the latter rain. (Pittman, Placebo, P.42-43)

     On paper, it will look like a complete mismatch, just as it did back then. God purposely had Gideon cull his army down to just three hundred men; three hundred to face an army that filled an entire valley, for as the scripture says, "The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand upon the seashore in abundance." (Judges 7:12 ESV). But this will all be by design from God, and for a specific purpose. It will once again prove to mankind that it was "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts." (Zechariah 4:6).
     So, too, will God purposely reduce His coming end-time army to a relative few, as was also prophesied by Joyner:

     This humiliation will ultimately reduce many congregations and movements in the church to a figurative Gideon's three hundred. But like Gideon's little band, who could no longer stand the humiliation of Israel at the hands of Midian, these will be pushed to the limit of what they can tolerate. They will take their little lights and trumpets (i.e. their messages) and attack the entire camp of the enemy, beginning the rout. After this, many of those who have departed out of fear and confusion will return helping to complete the victory to bring in a great harvest. (Joyner, The Harvest, P.139-142)   

     The account of Gideon is found in the Book of Judges. What follows is the bulk of the story:

     Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there... There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others... Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord, and for Gideon.’”
     Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord, and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah.” So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they seized the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah. They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan. (Judges 7:1-6, 16-25 NIV)


     What can be gleaned from this prophetically? First of all, that God's deliverance will not come by any humanistic or political means. Rather, it will be by the supernatural power of God, i.e. signs and wonders following, which will throw the enemies of the gospel into complete confusion. After many decades of convincing themselves that Christianity was a lie, the implications of seeing the power of God at work will so unravel Satan's lies that they won't know what to believe anymore. As for the soldiers chosen, because they will not fear death, God will use them to now fearlessly preach the truth, warning of the realities of Hell and eternal punishment. Thus, though once villainized by all of society as evil, the power of God will vindicate them as having been righteous all along, and in this their lives will resemble those of righteous men like Job and Elijah, who likewise endured great hardships to emerge victorious in God.


Amidst Hardships, Job Refused To Deny His Righteousness

     Do not lament against one another, brothers, that you not be judged. Behold, the Judge stands before the door. Take as an example of enduring hardships and long-suffering, my brothers, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we call blessed those who have endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and observed the end of the Lord, that the Lord is filled with great mercy and pity. (James 5:9-11)

     The first Old Testament hero James will mention by name is Job, and no small wonder. Job is essentially the poster-child for enduring great sufferings while yet remaining faithful to God. He was very pious before God, and as a result very prosperous and wealthy. But because he longed to sift him like wheat (Luke 22:31), the Devil appeared with the angels of God one day when they came to present themselves before God in Heaven, specifically with the intent of daring God to bring misfortune into Job's life. Knowing this is why Satan had come, God asked him "have you considered my servant Job?," so as to draw him out: 

     And it came to pass one day, that behold, the angels of God came to stand before the Lord, and the Devil came among them. And the Lord said to the Devil, "From where have you come?" And the Devil answered the Lord, and said, "I have come from encompassing the earth, and walking up and down in it." And the Lord said to him, "Have you earnestly considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a man blameless, true, godly, and abstaining from everything evil?" Then the Devil answered, and said before the Lord, "Does Job worship the Lord for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him, and about his household, and all his possessions round about? And have You not blessed the works of his hands, and multiplied his cattle upon the land? But put forth Your hand, and touch all that he has. Truly, he will 'bless' You to Your face." Then the Lord said to the Devil, "Behold, I give into your hand all that he has, but touch not the man himself." (Job 1:1-12a LXX)

     This hedge Satan was speaking of was a hedge of angelic protection around Job's loved ones and property, so that no harm could befall him or his family. But at Satan's request, the Lord now granted that this protection to be removed. He would be at Satan's disposal, but Satan could not touch Job physically, nor bring any form of bodily injury or sickness upon him.
 
     So the Devil went out from the presence of the Lord. And it came to pass on a certain day, that Job’s sons and his daughters were drinking wine in the house of their elder brother. And, behold, there came a messenger to Job, and said to him, "The yokes of oxen were ploughing, and the she-asses were feeding near them, and robbers came and took them for a prey, and slew the servants with the sword. And I alone have escaped, and have come to tell you." While he was yet speaking, there came another messenger, and said to Job, "Fire has fallen from heaven and burnt up the sheep, and devoured the shepherds likewise. And I alone have escaped, and have come to tell you." While he was yet speaking, there came another messenger, and said to Job, "The horsemen formed three companies against us, and surrounded the camels, and took them for a prey, and slew the servants with the sword. And I alone escaped, and have come to tell you." While he is yet speaking, another messenger came, saying to Job, "While your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking with their elder brother, suddenly a great storm came on from the desert and caught the four corners of the house, and the house fell upon your children, and they are dead. And I alone have escaped, and have come to tell you." (Job 1:12b-19 LXX)

     These were the initial hardships Job had to endure, and it was not over yet, for because he still remained faithful to God, the Devil again approached the Lord to touch Job's life physically now. He promising that this time Job would surely curse God to His face. So God again granted Satan permission, this time to touch him physically this, but spare his life. So Satan again went out from the presence of God and began to bring physical torments to Job in the form of painful boils.
     Where did the rest of society stand when they saw this? It appears everyone under the sun believed Job must have done something terribly wrong for God to allow all this. His wife told him to give up, "Say some curse against the Lord, and die" (Job 2:9-10). His friends would be little better. They eventually came to him and told him to repent, so all would be well with him again. When he tried to maintain that he had not sinned, on of his friends told him, "Who has ever perished being pure? Or when were the true-hearted ever utterly destroyed?... if there had been any truth in your words, none of these evils would have befallen you" (Job 4:7-8 LXX).
     Thus, as far as virtually everyone around him was concerned, Job "deserved" all the evils that were befalling him because of something he had done. Yet Job never backed off of his righteousness, maintaining his confidence in God. For those familiar with the armor of God as described by the apostle Paul, Job was here warring against the Devil by putting on the breastplate of righteousness.


Understanding Righteousness As A Powerful Spiritual Weapon

     There is a reason the apostle Paul included righteousness in his description of the armor of God in Ephesians (6:14). In New Testament times, believers were being accused of "sinning against God" by disobeying the Jewish Sanhedrin. But the apostles asserted they were more righteous, not less, for they were doing far better to obey God than mere men:
 
     Then [the Sanhedrin] called them in again, and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you or to God? You be the judges. For we cannot help but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)

     This exchange essentially repeated itself again a little later when they were brought before the Sanhedrin yet again:

     And having brought them in, they set them before the Sanhedrin. And the high priest asked them, saying, "Did we not give you strict orders not to teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring upon us the blood of this man. But answering, Peter and the apostles said, "We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you murdered, having hung Him on a tree. This man God has exalted to His right hand and made Him a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance unto Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit, whom God gave to those obeying Him." (Acts 5:27-32)

     In the scriptural account, God eventually vindicated Job by manifesting Himself amid a powerful storm to console Job and chastise his friends for having spoken wrongly of him. Thus, by reminding his readers that "the coming of the Lord had drawn near" (James 5:8 ), James was essentially telling them that their vindication was on the way as well, for having endured all their hardships while remaining faithful and obedient to God.
     Similar vindication will come upon the army of God in the future, with the outpouring of the latter rain. After having been accused by society of being hypocritical and sinful, and fully deserving of evil treatment they are receiving; after in some cases having been thrown in prison for being guilty of "hate crimes," fired from jobs, and even physically attacked, their vindication will come in the form of the Spirit of God being poured out upon them to manifest miracles that bring entire nations to Christ.


Elijah Likewise Wore With The Breastplate Of Righteousness

     Who was James referring to specifically when he said, "Take, as an example of enduring hardships and long-suffering, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord"? He could have been referring to several men, since nearly all the prophets were forced to endure great hardships at the hands of the religious leadership of their time. Yet he clearly has at least one in mind specifically, for in verse 17 he will begin with the words, "Elijah was a man of sufferings similar to us..."
     Elijah was despised by much of Israel in general, and the leadership of Israel specifically. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel ruled over the nation during his days, and they were openly promoting the worship of the pagan god Baal. The prophets of Baal were being invited to dine with the queen in her palace, while a war of extermination was being waged against the true prophets of God. The only prophets left alive were now hiding in a cave, which means not only had Elijah probably already lost some of his close associates but also lived with the threat of death continually hanging over his head every day he continued speaking in the name of the Lord (1 Kings 18:4).
     It was in this context that the Lord commanded Elijah to appear before King Ahab and inform him that judgment was coming, and there would be no rain in Israel for three and half years: 

     After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab... So when [Ahab] saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
     “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:1-2, 16-19 NIV).


     By his response, Elijah likewise wore the breastplate of righteousness, in that refused to be told by Ahab that he was the one bringing trouble upon Israel. Rather, it was Ahab who was doing so, even if all of Israel seemed to sympathize with him. This bold stand Elijah took would ultimately culminate in a great confrontation taking place between himself and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, wherein God supernaturally vindicated him by sending fire from Heaven to burn up the sacrifice he made in the sight of all Israel:
 
     Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him. But if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal's prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire - he is God.”
     Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response. No one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
     At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
     Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord... Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
     At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
     When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord - he is God! The Lord - he is God!” Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there. (1 Kings 18:21-31, 34-40 NIV)


     So, too, will Christians be accused in years to come of bringing trouble to society by opposing homosexuality. By believing in "old, outdated, socially unacceptable myths," they will nevertheless be holding to views that lead some to depression and suicide. The truth, which they must also arm themselves with, is that the soldiers of God who hold to the word will be the only ones left trying to save homosexuals from an eternity in Hell. For this, they will have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Like Elijah, after a time of humiliation, they will be vindicated when God uses them to manifest greater miracles on earth than this world has ever seen before.
     Notice, however, that such soldiers will in all likelihood also have to endure a time of great loneliness. Like both Job and Elijah, their stand for righteousness may cause virtually everyone to distance themselves from them, and this will be another part of the hardships they will have to learn to endure.


But True Righteousness Means Not Harboring Resentments

     One thing must be remembered, however. It is not true long-suffering to endure mistreatment from others yet still harbor bitterness towards them. Those who go around forever lamenting what so-and-so did to them grieve the Holy Spirit, by straying from the path of walking in forgiveness and thankfulness to God. And as James warned his readers, the Judge was before the door, which meant He was hearing every word and would hold them accountable:

     Do not lament against one another, brothers, that you not be judged. Behold, the Judge stands before the door. Take as an example of enduring hardships and long-suffering, my brothers, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. (James 5:9-10)

     Christians were commanded to speak only that which edified others and built them up spiritually (Ephesians 4:29). They were supposed to be overcoming evil with good, not being overcome by it. As Paul told Timothy, the command was to "endure hardships, as a good soldier of Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3). Soldiers don't lament the hardships they have to endure. They work to master endurance and long-suffering to the point of perfecting it, so that they can handle any challenge or test of endurance the enemy throws at them.
     This was a point James was trying to get across at the beginning of the letter:

     My brothers, esteem it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the proving of your faith builds up endurance. But let endurance have its perfected work, that you reach full potential and development, and not fall short in any circumstance. (James 1:2-4)

     In fact, James went one step farther in urging that his readers count it all joy when they experienced hardships, knowing that this was how their endurance would become perfected. As for the coming army of God, the Lord will be watching to see how we react to mistreatment from the world. If we want to be chosen as His representatives to manifest His supernatural power to the world, we too will need to become fully trained and disciplined as spiritual warriors, having grown accustomed to embracing and enduring anything and everything the Devil throws at us.





Links to sources:
https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/01/the-catholic-church-a-hate-group
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/time-vatican-releases-wide-raning-statistics-priests-defrocked-rape-child-abuse-article-1.1781825
https://psmag.com/the-continuing-cost-of-catholicism-s-sex-abuse-scandals-6dda1fcb5c4a#.l3lgwytc0





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