Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude

Southern Christian University

Lesson on James #2

James A. Turner


Read all of the references given and they will help you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord”.


We begin this Second Class Session with the third chapter of the book of James.  I would like for you to get your questions out and look at them carefully as we study together.  If we miss anything relative to the questions, let me know and we will try to back up and get them. James 3:1, "Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that ye shall receive heavier judgment."  Now, question number twenty‑two reads, “Does James 3:1 contradict Hebrews 5:12, and I Peter 3:15, and Acts 8:4, and other passages?”  In Acts 8:4 when the persecution was brought against the church, Luke said they went everywhere preaching the word.  In I Peter 3:15 Peter says, "But sanctify in your hearts Christ is Lord:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear."  Hebrews 5:12 the writer to these Jewish brethren said to them in rebuke, "for the time when you ought to be teachers, ye have need that someone teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and have need of milk, rather than strong meat."  He is rebuking them and saying that you are still babes when you ought to be full‑grown Christians.  You ought to be able to teach others, and you still need to be taught the first principle.


So the question is:  Does this passage contradict passages like that?  Do those passages contradict James 3:1, “Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment," when these other passages instruct us how important it is to be prepared to teach.  STUDENT:  I think that we are supposed to be careful in our teaching.  Heavier goes to the responsibility that we have. BROTHER TURNER:  Right.  There is heavier responsibility on those who teach, that is surely one thing.  In regard to all such cases as this, where one passage may on the surface seem to contradict another passage, what should that say to us?  What is one of the basic rules of correct interpretation of the scriptures?  STUDENT:  If it looks wrong, we are reading it wrong. BROTHER TURNER:  And that the Bible is its own best interpreter, and if we are thinking in such a way that one passage contradicts another passage, we can be assured that we do not have the proper understanding, right?  Paul affirmed that God is “not the author of confusion but of peace (II Corinthians 13:33),” and so it cannot be a contradiction.  But from such passages in Matthew 23:1‑8 about the scribes and the Pharisees and the conditions that prevailed in the church at Ephesus, when Paul left Timothy there to make some corrections, what seems to be another thing involved here as to why he said to them, Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that ye shall receive heavier judgment."    STUDENT:  Do some of them have wrong motives in mind? BROTHER TURNER:  Yes.  I think in this case some of them wanted to be, recognized as teachers with wrong motives, like the scribes and the Pharisees. Jesus said they sit in Moses' seat, and whatever they tell you to do, do, but do not as they say, for they say and do not.  He went ahead and talked about some of their weaknesses.  And one of them was that they loved the salutations in the market places and be called of all men rabbi, master, or teacher.  They wanted to be recognized as teachers. 


In I Timothy 1:3‑7, we read how that Paul states that he had left Timothy at Ephesus when he was going on into Macedonia, that he might charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, nor to give heed to endless genealogies, and went ahead to say that some had turned aside from a good conscience and they wanted to be teachers of the law and they didn't know the purpose of the law or what they were confidently affirming.  So Timothy was left for a specific purpose, to get things straightened out in regard to the teaching in the church at Ephesus.  Remember Paul had said to the Ephesian elders, for the time will come when among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them.  So by the time Paul wrote the first letter to Timothy that time had come when there were those that wanted to be teachers for wrong motives. So, this is one reason, and of course, a person is always responsible for his teaching.  If he does not have proper understanding and teaches people wrong, then he is responsible for such wrong teaching. And so he emphasized the importance of man speaking correctly.  And surely man needs to speak correctly in regard to things in general, but certainly when it comes to the word of God, man needs to speak correctly.  James goes ahead to say, "For in many things we all  stumble.  If any stumbleth not in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also."  So if a man does not stumble in words, James affirms that he is a perfect man.  Well, I think further reading shows that we all do some stumbling in regard to word, and proper use of the tongue.  But if man doesn't stumble in words and speaks correctly, he is able to bridle the whole body also.  “Now if we put the horse's bridle into their mouths that they may obey us; we turn about their whole body also.  Behold the ships also, though they are so great, and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman willeth.  So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire.”  Think of the forest fires that have occurred in recent months, terrible fires that occurred through a cigarette butt or just a match.  And I know that we are all conscious of some of the fires of the western states, and especially in California, how that they can have a forest fire that gets up in the crowns of the trees, and even with all of the modern firefighting equipment we have today, it's just nearly impossible to stop.  About the only thing that will stop them in some places is a big rain.  But it started in most cases by a cigarette butt or a little match.  So the tongue can set on fire the whole body. 


Verse five, "And the tongue is a fire, the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on  fire the wheel of nature; and is set on fire by hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of creeping things,  and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame."  This says to us we never get the tongue under perfect control, right?  I remember Brother Brooks Booth used to make the comment that the tongue is in a pretty wet place, and you better watch it or it will slip most any time.  He was talking about the same thing as the instruction here, keep a bridle on your tongue.  But the tongue can no man tame;  it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we the Lord and Father, and therewith we curse we man, who are made after the likeness of God.  Out of the same mouth cometh forth blessings and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be.  Doth a fountain send forth from the same openings sweet water and bitter?  Can a fig tree, my brethren yield olives?  Or a vine, figs?  Neither can salt water yield sweet."  So James is saying if we bless God with our mouth and on the other hand curse our fellow man with our mouth, that such a thing is contrary to nature, this will not do.  "My brethren, these things ought not to be."  Well, after reading this instruction, we see that the tongue is a fire in our members, and it sets on fire the wheel of nature itself.  And no man can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil full of deadly poison.  What then is only safe thing then to do?  What about it, are we to say, well, I will close my mouth and I will not speak any more.  I have been using my tongue wrong and no man can tame the tongue, so I will just close my mouth and you can consider me dumb from now on.  The answer is it can be a power for good, and we need to use it as a great power to do good. The Lord intends for us to turn that thing around and use the tongue as a power for good.


In Ephesians chapter four and Colossians chapter three, Paul, I think, wrote both of these epistles at the same time and have a lot of passages very much alike in them.  And in Ephesians 4:29 he says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for edifying, that it may minister grace to them that hear."  This is in the context of those things that he is talking about of putting off and putting on.  We are to put off those things that belong to the old fleshly man, and we are to put on those things that belong to the way of Christ.  So get rid of all your corrupt language, all your filthy corrupt language, get rid of it, and speak then good things that are good for edifying that it may minister grace to them that hear.  It would be a blessing to them, a favor to them.  And the parallel passage then is Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that  ye may know how ye ought to answer each one."  The idea of speaking very appropriately, let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt, so it will be accepted in a good and right way. It is not necessarily just altogether what a person says, but how he says it, that makes the difference! And a child of God needs to cultivate that ability to “speak with grace, seasoned with salt,” the idea of it being received in an acceptable way.  Fried chicken is not very good without salt, and our speech, unless it comes forth in an appropriate manner is not worth very much either.  And it may not be taken in the right way if it is not spoken with a good and right spirit..  We need to be reminded that speech comes forth from the heart.  Proverbs 4:23, a passage that is familiar, I believe, to all of us, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  So if a man is going to control his speaking, he has first got to control his heart because the heart, or mind is the source of his speech.  In Matthew the twelfth chapter beginning with verse thirty‑four, Jesus in response to those that had said ‑‑ I believe they were scribes and Pharisees, weren't they that had accused him of casting out demons or devils by the prince of the devils or by Satan?  Jesus answered them about that, and then he said beginning with verse thirty‑four, "Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, speak good things?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things:  And the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things."  It goes ahead to say that every idle word that a man speaks, that he will give an account thereof in the day of judgment.  "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, by thy words thou shalt be condemned."  So it is not a matter for us to quit doing any speaking of any kind, it takes the right speaking to justify.  "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." 


In the book of Proverbs, there are surely a number of passages where Solomon emphasizes the importance of the proper control of the tongue.  And I would like for you to turn with me and let's read some of those passages.  We will begin with that Proverbs 4:23‑24, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  Put away from thee a wayward mouth."  That is like Paul putting off and putting on.  "And perverse lips put far from thee."  So get rid of all the wrong kind of speech.  Turn next to Proverbs ten beginning with verse nineteen, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not transgression:  But he that refraineth his lips doeth wisely."  What does that say to you?  "In the multitude of words there wanteth not transgression:  But he that refraineth his lips doeth wisely."  STUDENT:  Maybe think before you speak. BROTHER TURNER:  I think at least that.  Like James, be swift to hear and slow to speak and slow to wrath.  That would be involved, and, again, a person just can't talk all the time and say the right thing.  Later on he speaks of the fool who is just opens his mouth and it poured out folly.  So none of us need to be talking all the time.  "In the multitude of words there wanteth not transgression:  But he that refraineth his lips doeth wisely.  The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver:  The lips of the righteous feed many."  Meaning, of course, that they instruct them in the good and the right way.  "But the foolish die for lack of understanding."  The foolish are not ready to hear the righteous and follow their instruction. 


Turn next to chapter fifteen.  "A soft answer turneth away wrath:  But a grievous word stirreth up anger."  When someone is getting all stirred up, it may make all the difference as to how you answer him.  Now, I think that is the overriding rule that a soft answer turneth away wrath.  There may be some exceptions to the rule, but a lot of times when a person is all stirred up and you just answer the person with a soft answer in a good and appropriate way, it will just almost immediately kill all of his anger.  "The tongue of the wise uttereth knowledge aright:  But the mouth of fools poureth out folly. The eyes of Jehovah are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good He is listening, we might say, to everything that we say.  "A gentle tongue is a tree of life:  But perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit."  A gentle tongue gives encouragement, and tries to get a person to do the right thing, but a perverse tongue brings about a breaking of the spirit.  Many a child's spirit has been broken by a perverse tongue on the part of his parents! They cannot ever do anything right.  They are always getting a tongue‑lashing, but on the other hand a kind, gentle tongue is a tree of life. 


Turn next to 16:23‑24, "The heart of the wise instructeth his mouth."  He thinks before he says anything.  He is in the practice of keeping his heart with all diligence so he can say the right thing.  "The heart of the wise instructeth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips.  Pleasant words are as a honeycomb sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."  I am trying to think of a hospital that used to be here in Montgomery, Professional Center Hospital. It has been closed for years. Anyway, they had a black American that would come in every morning to visit the sick people, and he would come in singing and smiling, and his singing and smiling with his pleasant speech made a big difference as far as patients in the hospital were concerned.  He was just a person with a very pleasant disposition.  And I am pretty sure they had him hired, because he came in every morning.  He would come down the hall singing and go into each room and inquire how they were doing and maybe give them a sucker or something on that order.  And he was just a big help as far as a person's stay in the hospital was concerned.  I think nearly everybody enjoyed seeing Solomon.


Chapter 17:27‑28 is another passage that says we don't need to be talking all the time.  "He that spareth his words, hath knowledge.  And he that is of cool spirit is a man of understanding."  A man of cool spirit is one who is not stirred to wrath quickly. Somebody comes with a little cutting language and he doesn't respond with cutting language, he has a cool spirit.  "Even a fool when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise:  When he shutteth his lips he is esteemed as prudent."  So we need to recognize that sometimes we need to keep our mouth shut. Moving on to chapter eighteen beginning with verse six, "A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for stripes.  A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."  You know, everything is coming forth from the heart, and he speaks wrong and his actions are wrong, and so a fool's mouth is his destruction. 


Do you get the meaning in verse twenty-eight?  "The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts."  Just what do you think is the meaning of that statement?  "The words of a whisperer like dainty morsels?"  What does it mean by dainty morsels?  They are like that very rich piece of candy ‑‑ very rich, then it goes down deep, and then what?  So many times it causes trouble, doesn't it?

STUDENT:  What does it mean by a talebearer, is that like a whisperer or something? BROTHER TURNER:  That would be like the talebearer, right, the whisperer.  In other words, it is the wrong thing, it does not do anything but hurt.  Here is one all of us need to remember is 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."  So if we have been accustomed to not controlling the tongue, we need to get such control over the tongue and keep a bridle on it to the point that it becomes a power for life.  “Death and life in the power of the tongue,” and that would be talking primarily about spiritual death and spiritual life, don't you think?  Not many people have died a physical death because somebody said the wrong thing to them, but I guess some have had heart attacks because of a tongue‑lashing, but I think he is talking primarily in regard to spiritual things, death and life.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)."  In other words, eternal life and spiritual life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  And so, again, we are going to be justified by our words, and that applies to each of us as individuals.  Turn next to chapter twenty and verse three, "It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife:  But every fool will be quarrelling."  Quarrelling is just the wrong kind of speech, right?   And so those who have been accustomed to having a lot of quarrels at home with their wives or other members of the household need to consider that this is conduct that belongs to a fool.  "But every fool will be quarrelling."  Verse 20:19, "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets:  Therefore company not with him that openeth wide his lips."  So Solomon says don't keep company with a talebearer, they will have bad influence on you, you will be telling some of his tales that ought not to be told.  That statement would pretty well parallel Paul's statement to the Corinthians, “know ye not that evil companionships corrupt good morals.”  You cannot stay with the wrong kind of people all the time without it affecting you.


Chapter twenty‑one and verse twenty‑three, "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."  That pretty well would parallel what James said.  If a man does not offend in word, he is able to control the whole body, and so the man who keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from trouble.  We'll get one more.  Chapter twenty‑five verses eleven and twelve, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a network of silver.  As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear." The word fitly spoken is a beautiful thing, like apples of gold in a network of silver, and “so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear  The one who can give the right reproof to a person that wants to do right, to the obedient ear and he hears and makes improvement, but a lot depends on how it is spoken, “a word fitly spoken.” 


Turn back now to the third chapter of the book of James.  So there is a lot of instruction in the Bible about proper use of the tongue.  Evidently, this was one of the worst weaknesses of these early Jewish Christians that they were not properly controlling the tongue.  We have pretty well here all of chapter three, and he has already said in chapter one and verse nineteen, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  And wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your soul..” So in the first chapter is that exhortation, and then verse twenty‑six, "If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain."  He may think he is going the right way and pleasing God, but if he does not control the tongue, he is deceiving himself, and his religion is a vain religion.  And here you might say all of chapter three deals with proper control of the tongue. 


Verse thirteen, Here he asks the question, “Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.” How many of you have the King James Version?  All right.  What word is very different in the King James Version? STUDENT:  Conversation. BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  Conversation.  There are a lot of words that take on different meanings, and that is one reason why we need to read from another good translation, other than the King James Version.  The King James Version is still a good version in many ways, I guess it is still my choice.  But, you know, language is fluid and it continues to change and words take on different meanings, and there are several words in the King James Version that are outdated.  And just holding to the wording of the King James, a person may not get the proper understanding, of several passages.


So if you think you are wise and understanding, and want to be a teacher, you first need to be a good example to those you teach. A person has no business trying to get up and teach others, unless he is trying to live Godly himself.  Such teaching as “do as I say and not as I do” is not worth very much, if anything.  In fact, it may do more harm than good.  And I believe it is in II Timothy chapter two where Paul said, “And the things you have heard among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also  But notice the qualification faithful men, so that they will be good, capable teachers.  But there is a danger of encouraging a man who is not trying to live right to be a teacher.  If he is not putting forth real effort to live right he may end up teaching what the people want to hear.  So the man who thinks he is wise and understanding, capable of teaching others, let him show that he is prepared by living a good life.  Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.  Let him show by his everyday living that he is practicing what he teaches. 


Do you remember how that in the second chapter of Romans, that Paul reproved the Jews because they thought that they had so much more knowledge than the Gentiles and that they were in the light and the Gentiles were in darkness.  And they thought that they were in every way to be a guide unto them, but he came with a little reproof when he said, “thou that teachest another teacheth not thyself  Romans 2:17 beginning, "But if thou bearest the name of a Jew, and resteth upon the law, and gloriest in God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light to them that are in darkness."  And that would refer especially to the Jews attitude toward the Gentiles, as a people, were in darkness.  "A corrector of the foolish a teacher of babes, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth.  Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?  Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?  Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou rob temples."  Are you going to rob temples so that you will have an idol?  "Thou who gloriest in the law through thy transgression of the law, dishonourest thou God?  For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written."  So the wrong kind of living is likely to ‑‑ instead of drawing people closer to God is liable to drive them further away from God.  Here Paul affirms that the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of the Jews because they did not practice what they preached.  They could tell the Gentiles and they can tell others how they ought to live, but they were not living right themselves.  Does that same kind of thing still happen today? Sometimes people look and see the, wrong conduct on the part of a Christian and say if this is true religion, I do not want any of it. 


Verse fourteen, "But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth."  The New American Standard Version reads a little different.  On verse fourteen it says, "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant.  And so lie against the truth."  So if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition and you are all proud and puffed up, don't say that this is the way of the Lord, such conduct is a lie against the truth.  "For this wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish."  Such wisdom will be detrimental rather than wisdom that will help.  "For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed."  .  The New American Standard Version reads, "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing."  What causes a lot of confusion and disorder in the church today? STUDENT:  Jealousy. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, and this passage is very relevant for us today. It would make a good memory verse, if you have not memorized it already.  "For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion in every evil work or every vile deed."  Most of the trouble in the church is not over doctrinal matters, but nearly always there is that spirit of jealousy and faction involved, and anytime there is jealousy and faction involved, it is evidence of and a great lack of love!  


The way of love is contrary to the way of jealousy and faction.  You remember how Paul said to the Corinthians that they were carnal because they had that kind of spirit.  Reading from I Corinthians three beginning with verse one, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:  For ye were not able to bear it, nay, not even now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal."  You are following the old fleshly man instead of being a good spiritual man in Christ.  "For whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men?"  In other words, you are still living like a man of the flesh.  Your jealousy and strife is evidence of it, and it was, evidently, jealousy and strife behind the division that existed in the church.  Going back to chapter one and verse ten, "Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."  There was such division that they were divided into parties and factions, one group was saying I am after Paul, and another I of Apollos, and another of Cepheus, and others of Christ. 


Coming back to James three and seventeen, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy."  So a man who is a good capable teacher, whose life is in harmony with it, he has followed the Lord in such a way that it brings about this kind of conduct.  "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy."  So there is the earthly wisdom and the heavenly wisdom.  The worldly wisdom is contrary to God's wisdom. "And the fruit of righteousness is s0wn in peace for them that make peace."  And, again, a teacher is one sowing, and the word is the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11) and God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). “And the fruit of righteous is sown in peace for them that make peace.”  His conduct should be in harmony with the way of the Lord and always pleading for peace and unity in the church.  There were among these Jewish Christians those that were very worldly‑minded. 


Chapter Four

"Whence come wars and whence come fightings among you?  Come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not:  Ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain:  Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not."  What does James mean by this kind of language?  Were they literally fighting when they met together and were killing one another?  Do you think they were having fist fights at church? STUDENT:  I think in the warring of members, I think he is talking about that they had evil desires, their own desires. BROTHER TURNER:  And fleshly desires, are wrong and thus the trouble that it was bringing about.  The New American Standard reads, "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?  Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?"  See, they were giving way to worldly pleasures.  And it was bringing about the quarrels and the conflicts or the wars and the fightings as according to the King James and The American Standard reading. Do you see how readings from more than one translation will help you get a better understanding of a lot of passages? The New King James, "Where do wars and fights come from among you?  Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?"  According to Luke's account in the Parable of The Sower he talks about how that the cares and riches and pleasures of this life choke out the word that they bring no fruit unto perfection. 


Luke 8:14 reads, And that which fell among the thorns, these are they, that have heard, and as they go on their way, they are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."  That latter category of seed is represented as sown among the thorns.  Do you see the gradual process of a child of God turning away.  "And as they go on their way are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."  I Peter two and eleven, "I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, that you abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."  This is the kind of war he is talking about, fleshly lust that were causing the problems among the brethren and the war against the soul.  As James puts it, "Come they not hence of your pleasures that war in your members."  Your desire for pleasure is making a war against you doing the right thing and leading you in the wrong way.  "Ye lust, and have not:  Ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain:  Ye fight and war, ye have not, because ye ask not."  Again, were they literally killing one another?  How were they killing one another, or how were they guilty of murder?  What does the apostle John have to say on this subject of being a murderer? I John chapter two and verse nine, "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now."  So instead of being in a safe condition, John says that a man that hates his brother is in darkness.  To be in darkness means what?  To be in sin, doesn't it, to be in a lost condition.  "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.  But he that hateth his brother is in the darkness, and walketh in the darkness and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes."  He thinks he is going the right way and going in the way of darkness.  I John three beginning with verse thirteen, "Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you we know that we passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren."  We know we are in the saved condition, that we passed out of spiritual death into spiritual life, because we love the brethren.  "He that loveth not abideth in death."  So John really emphasized that in order for a person to be in a saved relationship with the Lord, he must manifest true love.  Verse fifteen, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."  Do we ever see hate manifested in our churches today?  Have you ever heard a child of God say, why that person has done me so much wrong that I cannot find a place for forgiveness.  If that is not hatred, it is bordering close to it, is it not? The law of Christ demands that we control our thinking, and John says, "Whosoever hated his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life a biding in him."  So a man does not have to take his gun and shoot and  kill a man to be a murderer in God's sight. 


"Ye fight and ye have not, because ye ask not."  I wonder why they were not asking for the things that they needed. Was it because they had the wrong spirit?  And a wrong spirit will stifle the right kind of prayers.  And Jesus surely emphasized that if we ask God for the proper things in the right way that he will hear an answer.  Remember how in the Sermon on the Mount he said, “he that asketh receiveth, he that seeketh findeth, he that knocketh it shall be opened unto him  But sometimes they did ask.  Verse three, "Ye ask and, receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures."  Maybe in pretense they were saying they wanted it for a good and right purpose, but if the Lord knew why they wanted it, that they wanted it for the wrong purpose, that they may follow after their worldly pleasures, that ye may spend it in your pleasures.  In other words, is it not a fact that one man could pray to the Lord, “Lord I need a new automobile,” and another man could pray, “Lord please give me a new automobile.”  One man's prayer might be heard and answered, and the other man's prayer not be heard based on the purpose for which he wants that automobile? 


Verse four, "Ye adulteresses, know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God?"  Again, there's a difference between the reading of the American Standard and the King James.  The King James reads, “You adulterers and adulteresses,  know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God?"  The American Standard reads you adulteresses.  It does not say adulterers and adulteresses, but "Ye adulteresses, know ye not the friendship with the world is enmity with God?"  The New American Standard reads, "You adulteresses, do ye not know the friendship of the world is hostility toward God?"  Let me check the Revised Standard while we are at it.  The Revised Standard reads quite a bit different.  "Unfaithful creatures!  Do ye not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?"  So what is the passage talking about?  Is it talking about physical adultery or spiritual adultery? STUDENT:  Spiritual.BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  It is definitely talking about spiritual adultery. 


There are many passages in the Old Testament where God speaks through the prophets, about how the people of Israel were adulterers.  They had departed from God and were worshiping other gods.  In other words, they were unfaithful.  They were unfaithful to their marriage vows to God.  The seventh chapter of Romans Paul speaks of how that a woman is bound by the law of her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband is dead she is free to be married to another man.  And then he says in Romans 7:4, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the dead, that ye bring forth fruit unto God."  Under the law, the people of Israel were married to God.  Under the New Testament, the church is the bride of Christ, we are married to Christ(Ephesians 5:22-23).  And so both laws were not in effect at the same time.  The New Testament law did not go into effect until after Christ died (Hebrews 9:16-17). 


In the book of Hosea, Hosea's wife became an adulteress and finally ended up into slavery.  And God told him to go and buy her back, depicting the relationship between Israel and God and how that Israel had committed adultery, but God was ready to forgive her if there was any real repentance.  Let us take time to read a few of the passages.  I may not have put down the best passages in regard to that question, but, anyway, you should have gotten enough that you can get an understanding.  If you will, turn with me to Jeremiah chapter three beginning with verse six, "Moreover Jehovah saith unto me in the days of Josiah the king."  Josiah was the last reform king of Judah, and he gave good leadership.  He walked in the ways of David and did what was right before God and led a reformation, in the southern kingdom of Israel.  But it was not as deep as it appeared on the surface.  And this passage and other passages show that.  "Moreover Jehovah saith unto me, in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done?"  Now, Israel is referring to the northern kingdom, the ten tribes.  "And she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot."  What is he talking about?  He is talking about their worshiping idol gods, and those were the places where they worshipped their idol gods.  And he said, you committed adultery under every high mountain and under every green tree and there hath played the harlot.   Well, Israel included the men and women of the ten tribes? 


"And I said after she had done all these things, She will return unto me, but she returned not.  And her rebellious, treacherous sister Judah saw it."  Do you remember that God had divided the kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms, because Solomon had married many foreign women and they brought in idolatry, and idolatry was rampant in the land.  And so he divided the kingdom into two kingdoms.  The northern kingdom was composed of ten tribes under the new king, Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, and the southern kingdom continued under Solomon's son, Rehoboam, with the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.  So the northern kingdom went away in the worst way first.  As stated here, the ten tribes committed adultery upon every high mountain and under every green tree, there played the harlot. 


The kingdom started out with calf idolatry.  God promised the new king of these ten tribes Jeroboam that if he would be faithful that he would establish his kingdom as sure as that of David's.  But he did not manifest proper faith, for when he became king, he reasoned that if the people returned to Jerusalem for worship, the proper place, that they will kill me and I will no longer be king.  The people of Israel had had a history of calf idolatry, so Jeroboam and his officers of government set up two golden calves, one at Bethel and one at Dan, and they said, behold, O Israel, thy gods which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.  And it pleased most of the people in the northern kingdom to turn and worship before those golden calves.  And that kind of idolatry was wrong, but the worshiping of idol gods was even worse.  And it wasn't long until the kingdom in Israel had so many worshiping idol gods that God put them away.  Verse eight, "And I saw, when for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorcement."  What does he mean that God put Israel away, and gave her a bill of divorcement?  STUDENT:  He separated himself from them . BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, he separated himself from them and saw that the Assyrians carried them away into Assyria.  They made war against them and carried them away into Assyria.  And that's included in that bill of divorcement of putting them away.  "And yet treacherous Judah, her sister feared not, but she also went and played the harlot.  And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks."  That would be idols, right?  Idols made of stone and idols made of wood.  "And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart."  Now, notice that.  Josiah had given good leadership, and there had been a returning in part, but more surface turning than real turning.  "She has not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith Jehovah."  She pretended to be returning with her whole heart, but in the main as far as Judah as a whole was concerned or the southern kingdom they had not turned. 


Turn next to Jeremiah chapter thirteen.  "God had tried to bring Judah back."  He had done many things to try to bring them back, but they were very hard‑headed and stubborn.  Picking up with Jeremiah 13:23, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?  Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."  In other words they had gotten so stubborn, and so accustomed to doing evil, that for them to turn and do right would be about like the Ethiopian changing his skin from black to white and like the leopard changing his spots.  And because they were so stubborn and rebellious, here's what he says he's going to do.  "Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.  This is thy lot, the portion measured unto thee from me, saith Jehovah, because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood."  It means by falsehood those idol gods.  "Therefore will I also uncover thy skirts upon thy face, and thy shame shall appear.  I have seen thine abominations."  That applies especially to the things pertaining to idolatry.  "Even thine adulteries."  They had left God and were worshiping idol gods.  "And thy nayings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, on the hills in the fields.  Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem!  Wilt thou not be made clean?  How long shall it get thee?"  In other words, how long is it going to be before you turn from being an adulteress. 


But he has already said he is going to scatter them as stubble.  In other words, they had departed so far from God, and if you are familiar with the whole book, Babylonian captivity was around the corner, because they had turned away from God and worshipped idol gods. Turn next to Ezekiel chapter sixteen beginning with verse thirty, "How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord Jehovah, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imprudent harlot."  Now, we are reading just a little bit here.  In Ezekiel God speaks of the northern kingdom as an adulteress woman and it is called a whore.  The southern kingdom is called Aholibah.  And it talks about how that Aholah, the northern kingdom, played the harlot and then  Aholibah.  "How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord Jehovah, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an impudent harlot; in that thou buildest thine only place at the head of every way, and makest thine lofty place in every street; and hast not been as a harlot, in that thou scornest hire; but as a wife that commiteth adultery."  He is speaking of the southern kingdom.  The people are conducting themselves like an adulteress wife.  They were supposed to be married and faithful to God, but he speaks of them as a wife that committed adultery.  "That taketh strangers instead of her husband!  They give gifts to all harlots:  But thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and bribest them, that they may come unto them on every side for thy whoredoms.  And thou art different from other women in thy whoredoms, in that none follow thee to play the harlot:  And where as thou givest hire, and no hire is given unto thee, therefore thou art different.  Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of Jehovah:  Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness uncovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and because of all the idols of thy abominations, for the blood of thy children, that thou didst give unto them."


Many people in Israel were even sacrificing their children, burning their children upon an altar as a sacrifice to an idol god.  That is what he is talking about, "For the blood of thy children, that thou didst give unto them; Therefore, behold, I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will gather them against thee on every side."  He is going to bring the nations against them, especially Babylon.  "And will uncover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all of thy nakedness.  And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will bring upon thee the blood of wrath and of jealousy.  And I will give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine vaulted places; (where they worshipped idol gods) brake down thy lofty places:  And they shall strip thee of thy clothes, and take thy fair jewels, and they shall leave thee naked and bare.  They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.  (war)  They shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women:  And I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou shalt also give no hire any more.  So I will cause my wrath toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. ( When they turned away from worshipping idol gods)  Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast raged against me in all these things; therefore, behold, I also will bring thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord Jehovah:  And thou shalt not commit this lewdness with all of thine abominations." 


Turn next to Ezekiel chapter twenty‑three.  Let us read a few verses beginning with verse one.  "The word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man. (Ezekiel) There were two women, the daughters of one mother:  And they played the harlot in Egypt."  The people of Israel came out of Egyptian bondage with a history of idolatry while they were there.  Do you remember when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, what did they say?  What did the people of Israel say to Aaron?  Make us gods to go before us, because as far as this Moses, we do not know what has happen to him.  And Aaron had them bring their gold earrings and other ornaments and melted them and made them a golden calf, while Moses was up on the mountain.


 "They played the harlot in their youth.  There were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity.  And the names of them were Aholah the elder."  That is the name that he gives to the ten tribes of the northern kingdom.  "And Aholibah her sister:  And they became mine, and they bare me sons and daughters.  And as for their names, Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem is Aholibah."  Now, we know from that statement that Aholah is referring to the northern kingdom, and Aholibah to Judah, the southern kingdom.  For he says, "And as for their name Samaria."  That was the capital of the northern kingdom. Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom.  "And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians and her neighbors."  And God carried them away, he saw that they were carried away into Assyrian captivity. 


Ezekiel 23:11, "And her sister Aholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her whoredoms which were more than the whoredoms of her sister. "Now, come to verse thirty and thirty‑one, "These things shall be done unto thee, for thou hast played the harlot after the nations, and because thou art polluted with their idols.  Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore I will give her cup into thine hand."  And he goes ahead and talks about the sister's cup being deep and large, of course, referring to calamity that was coming upon Judah, because she had become like an adulteress.  She had broken her marriage to God and was worshiping other gods.  So isn't this the same kind of thing that James is talking about, the people are worldly‑minded.  And when Christians become worldly‑minded, they are going the way of an adulteress. 


Verse four, "Ye adulteresses." That is a better reading, because it is speaking of men and women.  It doesn't have to say adulterers and adulteresses, but adulteresses takes care of both because the church is the bride of Christ.  Ephesians five, you remember the instruction there, don't you?  And how that he exhorts that wives are to be in subjection to their husbands as the church is to Christ.  And that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and love their wives as their own body, and he concludes by saying,    “this is a great mystery but I speak of Christ and the church  He used the husband and wife relationship, the closeth human relationship (Genesis 2:24), to show the relationship of the church to Christ.  "Friendship of the world."  Friendship with the world is enmity with God.  They were going the way of worldly pleasures (Luke 8:13-14).  And those worldly lusts were causing them to hate one another, caused quarrels and conflicts among them, or wars among them.  James is saying that friendship with the world is enmity toward God.  Therefore, whosoever would be a friend of the world “maketh himself an enemy of God.” 


So this is a very serious matter! What course are you following?  What way seems the best and appropriate way for you to go?  What do you get your greatest thrills out of?  Is it going from one big worldly sports event to another?  We have some that speak of themselves as being Christians that would spend five hundred dollars to go see their favorite football team play and when they go to church on Sunday, that kind of person probably will not give fifty dollars.  Do you not believe that kind of thing takes place today? Now, we can expect people of the world to do that, but a child of God should not be guilty of doing such a thing.  If a person delights more in association of non‑Christians than he does Christians, he is in a very dangerous position and must be very close ‑‑ if not all the way, going the way of the world.  And remember Luke 8:14, "And were choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, so that they brought no fruit unto perfection."  Well, the faithful bring forth fruit unto perfection.  Some a hundredfold is given in Matthew's account, some sixty, and some thirty.  But the children of God must bear the proper fruit.  And, again, remember how Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, “No man can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  You cannot serve God and worldly riches and worldly things at the same time.  "So who ever makes himself a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." 


Verse five, "Do ye think that the scripture speaketh in vain, Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?"  The New King James Version capitalizes Spirit.  That means that the translators think that it's the Holy Spirit.  "Or do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?"  The footnote in the American Standard Bible Version reads, “or the spirit, which he made to dwell in us, he yearneth for, even unto jealous envy.”  Our God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-6).


Verse five in The New American Standard Version, "Do you think that the scripture speaks to no purpose?"  "He jealously desires the Spirit which he made to dwell in us."  Does it not mean that it is a great sin for us to go the way of the world and that “God jealously desires the Spirit which he made to dwell in us.”  The New Revised Standard Version on verse five reads, “Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us.” Exodus 20:4-6 reads, “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:  For I Jehovah am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing love and kindness unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."  So God says, I am a jealous God. And I want you to serve me and me only, and God jealously desires the spirit, whether you think of the spirit as breath of life or the Holy Spirit,  he desires our whole hearted devotion.


I hope you remember I John 2:15‑16, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him:  For all that's in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life is not of the father but of the world.  And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of the Lord abideth forever."  He is not talking about God's creation when he says love not the world nor the things of the world. Certainly, we can all appreciate the beauty of the world and the creatures that God has created.  I really like the programs on the Discovery Channel and other animal programs that show all the animals and creatures of the world.  I just enjoy seeing all of the various creatures that God has created and the instincts and habits of those creatures.  I John 2:15-16 is talking about worldly lusts. 


Verse six, "But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."  Anytime a New Testament writer says wherefore the scripture saith, he is ready to quote the reference, and what is the passage that he quotes here?  Proverbs 3:34.  "God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble. Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  What do you think about the later part of that verse? STUDENT:  The devil will try to tempt you. BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  And each time Jesus said, it is written, it is written, it is written, and the devil left him for a season.  And the same thing will happen with us if we resist the devil. And remember those passages that say that God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear, he will give a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13, John 10:27-28).  "Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto you."  If we are far removed from God, who moved?  We did!  “All we like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).”  We need to draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  What is involved in drawing nigh to God?  "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." 


My brethren have written some good commentaries, but sometimes I just cannot go along with some of their conclusions.  I believe, I read where one writer said that here he is not talking about members of the church, but those who have not obeyed the gospel.  But look at the context.  He has been talking about members of the church, right?  “You adulteresses,” and they were sinners before God.  So “Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded.”  They were trying to hold on to the Lord with one hand and the way of the world with the other.  They were double minded, unstable in all their ways as he has already stated in chapter one, and so he has returned to that subject of their being double minded.  What does he mean by “cleanse your hands, ye sinners  What does that expression mean?  It means clean up your life, by getting rid of that worldly‑minded attitude.  Turn away from these lusts of the flesh and all these desires and pleasures of this life.  You cannot have it both ways.  This passage is saying to us that we cannot take in all of the pleasures of this life and reach heaven. All of us need to look, “unto the recompense of reward” as Moses did, and make the right choice like he did (Hebrews 11:24-27).


Verse eight again, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you  Isaiah 55:6ff reads "Seek ye Jehovah while he may be found, call upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  And let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."  And it goes ahead to say “my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways, and my word accomplishes its purpose.  But seek ye the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.” This reference from Isaiah is very much like the teaching of James in this passage. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners."  And there James calls upon them to repent, and Isaiah did the same,  "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  And let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."  So that is what the James is exhorting these brethren to do.  He is saying, you worldly‑minded brethren, you need to repent!  You need to cleanse your hands and purify your hearts. 


How does a man purify his heart?  What is involved in a man purifying his heart? STUDENT:  You have to repent. BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, you have to repent and do according to God's instruction, right?  I Peter 1:22 reads, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently."  So they had purified their souls by obedience to the truth.  And if a man is not a Christian, that is the way he can purify his soul.  He must obey the gospel.  If a man is a child of God and is going the way of sin, he purifies his soul again by following the way of truth (I John 1:7-9). 


Verse nine, "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:  "Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” Recognize the heavy burden of sin and repent, mourn and weep. There is no time to laugh because you are in sin.    In II Corinthians chapter 7:8-10 Paul says that their sorrow had been a godly sorrow that led them to repentance, “sorrow that bringeth no regret  They sorrowed and mourned, because from that first epistle they learned what sinners they were, but it led them to repentance. STUDENT:  What if somebody sins and repents, but after they repent they find ‑‑ I'm just using the word joy for simplicity's sake.  Let's just say I went gambling and I said, God I repent of the gambling, but I am enjoying the money, after I have repented.  I am happy that I got the money, but I said I repented of the sin, but now I am seeing joy with the money.  Is that true repentance? BROTHER TURNER:  I believe you got a hard question.  Well, he could go and say to those that he won it from, that I am sorry that I am guilty of this, I want you to take it back.  That would be the best thing that he could do.  He surely does not need to go on a big spending spree and rejoicing in his gambling money.  So he is calling on them to let their laughter be turned to mourning.  And you remember how Paul called upon the church at Corinth to repent.  They had not mourned but he called upon them to mourn and to withdraw from the man who had his father's wife.  " Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you." 


Verse ten, The New Testament teaches very plainly that the way up before the Lord is the way of humility in the way of service (Matthew 20:25-28). Peter has a passage very much like this one in I Peter chapter five.  Let us turn and look at I Peter chapter five beginning with verse five, "Likewise, ye younger."  I believe he is talking about the younger in age.  "Be subject unto the elder.  Yea, all of you gird yourselves with humility to serve one another.  For God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."  And there he is quoting Proverbs 3:34.  "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him:  Because he cares for you." And so the words of James here and the words of Peter are very much alike. 


In verse eleven he returns to the matter of the sins of the tongue.  "Speak not one against another, brethren.  He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh  against the law, and judgeth the law:  But if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."  And if you are trying to be a judge, you are in the wrong place.  Verse twelve, "One only is the lawgiver, and judge.  Even he, who is able to save and destroy:  But who art thou that judgest thy neighbor?"  Who is the lawgiver and judge that he is talking about in verse twelve?  He is talking about Christ, that he is the lawgiver.  This is the blood of the covenant, Jesus said, “which is poured out for many for the remission of sin (Matthew 26:28).”  His blood, you might say, dedicated the New Testament Covenant (Hebrews 9:16-26).  So there is only one lawgiver and judge, Christ our Savior.  In the scriptures, Christ is represented as being the judge.  In Matthew twenty‑five, he will come with his holy angels and all nations will be gathered before him, and he will “separate them as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats.”  So Christ will be the judge.  John five and verse twenty‑two, "For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he is given all judgment unto the Son.  That all men honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him."  So God has given all judgment unto his Son.  So Christ is the judge.  John 12:46, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him:  The word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day."  So Christ will be the judge, and all will be judged by the words of Christ. 


Verse eleven, "Speak not one against one another brethren."  You have different versions.  Read it from other versions, verse eleven. STUDENT:  "Brothers do not slander one another." BROTHER TURNER:  Do not slander one another.  Slander is when a person is purposely trying to say something bad against another person.  I think it is the same thing that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew seven beginning with verse one, "Judge not that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.  And with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thine own eye.  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of  thine own eye;  and then thou shall see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."  Here Jesus was talking about the same kind of thing, that harsh kind of judgment where a person judges the motives of another and he wants to find fault.  And speak not against, surely gives the idea of trying to find fault with a brother.  It is when one comes with harsh judgment and motives, he speaks against the law and the Judge.  There is only one lawgiving judge, and you are very much out of place when you speak against him. Now, other passages tell us to judge.  And Jesus said in the same chapter, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend youJesus is talking about, “two legged dogs and swine”.  Some people have no respect for God and for truth and righteousness, and Jesus is saying do not waste your time trying to teach them. He also said, "Beware of the false prophets that come to you in cheap clothing, but inwardly of ravening wolves, by their fruits ye shall know them." 


In Romans – Let us begin our class next time ‑‑ if you will remind me, with a passage from Romans chapter fourteen, there Paul talks about the same attitude.  I appreciate your good attention.  We will sign off.