Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude

Southern Christian University

Lesson On James #3

James A. Turner


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


I hope that all of you are keeping up with all of your reading and the answering of the Study Questions. If you get behind it will take a lot more effort to catch up.


We now begin with James 4:13. With verses thirteen through seventeen, we come to another bad weakness of these early Christians.  They were making their plans for the future without having God in their plans.  They evidently felt self‑sufficient in every way.  They did not need God's providence in their behalf.  They thought that they could just plan for the future and everything would go according to their plans.  But James says, “come now  That amounts to stop, look, and listen like at the railroad tracks, that used to be at least.  I want you to listen to me.  "Ye that say, to day or to morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow."  So they were reasoning they just had complete control over whether they would go today or tomorrow.  There would be no sickness and no problems.  They would have no problems in respect to transportation.  They wouldn't have any problems in respect to housing when they got to the city, just whatever they decided to do, everything would just fit.  There would not be an outbreak of war, or famine, or earthquakes or any other kind of calamity.  They just reasoned that they had full control of a year as stated here.  We are going to move in such a city and spend a year there and trade and get gain.  In other words, they were very confident there would be those products that they could buy at a very reasonable price and then sell them for a much higher price and get good gain.  There would be plenty of customers, and they just would not have any problem, self‑sufficient in every respect.


Verse fourteen, James says what is your life, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  What is your life?  "For you are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Those of us that live in this area know that there are times, and especially during the winter months, when we have big heavy fog, but let the sun come out and that fog vanishes in a hurry.   The life of any  person in comparison to eternity would not amount to that much vapor.  James says our life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  You might want to write down out beside that verse Proverbs 27:1.  Let me encourage you to make a lot of notes in your Bible.  Now, if you just really insist and put them on paper, I will have to let you, but they will not be worth much to you, because you will not have that paper when you need it.  But if you will put notes in your Bible, they will be there, and those notes will help to recall a lot of instruction that you have forgotten. And it would be very appropriate for you to run the references again.  And you will find those notes are very helpful when someone asks you a question.  Get in the habit of using  hi-liters and  hi-lite key verses and maybe sometime just key words, and you'll find that that will be a real benefit to you.


Verse fifteen, "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.  But now ye glory in your boastings:  All such glory is evil."  To say something is evil is the same thing as to say what? STUDENT:  Something is sinful. BROTHER TURNER:  All right, that it is sinful. So these brethren were going the way of sin in respect to leaving God out of their planning.  And we today can be guilty of the same thing in just making our plans like everything depends on us, not considering as Solomon put it in Proverbs 27:1, "Boast not thyself for the morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."  We do not even know whether we are going to have tomorrow or not.  Tomorrow at the best is just a promissory note, and so he says, "If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this, or that."  Verse seventeen, "But to him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."  I think we have a question on that statement.  What in particular is he talking about in verse seventeen when he says to him, "Therefore him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."  What is the particular thing that he is talking about? STUDENT:  I feel like he is saying in essence you know better, that you should do better.  If you know to do good, you should do good; and when you know it and do not do it, it is sin.  And getting back to what he is saying, not only be hearers of the word, but be doers of the word. BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  But it has a particular meaning in this context.  What is the specific thing that he is talking about in verse seventeen, "To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." STUDENT:  An omission? BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, he is talking about in making your plans for tomorrow, verse fifteen, for we ought to say if the Lord will.  So in making your plans, or you tell somebody you are going to do something, the appropriate thing is to say, if the Lord will I will do it. STUDENT:  On question thirty‑three, I kind of answered the question earlier today like that.  On question thirty‑three it says, what was wrong with their plans in respect to Proverbs 27:1. BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  They were making their plans for the future as though everything just depended on them.  They were self‑sufficient and leaving out God and all kind of trouble and calamities that they might face. STUDENT:  Okay.  That's what I had.  On question number thirty‑four it says, what particular thing is referring to in James 4:17?  Is that the same thing? BROTHER TURNER:  He is referring back to verse fifteen, "For that you ought to say, in making your plans to say, if the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this, or that." 


Now, if you read from a number of commentaries, you will find that there are quite a number that are ready to discount verse fifteen of saying that if it is the Lord's will.  One writer says this must not be an empty passage on our lips.  I agree that it should not be an empty passage on our lips, but I think it should be a real sincere living up to the standard that's given here.  There was a time when a lot of our brethren, in telling you they will do something in the future, they would say, “if it is the Lord's will”.  And that is exactly what James is talking about here.  And one writer said, that the thing that counts is the right attitude toward God, not the chattering of a formula.  Well, that is not what James said, James said do it.  It is right in making your plans to say if it is the Lord's will, we will do this or that.  Now, I am not sure it is got to be expressed in those exact words, but all of us need to speak in such a way to sincerely let the person know that we recognize we do not have complete control over tomorrow.  And if we say this to one another and to others, it will help us to increase in our faith and keeping God properly in our planning.  The great apostle Paul thought that that was the proper thing to do. Write down in your margin at the end verse seventeen ‑‑Well, I guess you have those in your questions, but you should write them in your Bible, Acts 18:21 and 21:14, and I Corinthians 4:19, and I Corinthians 16:7.  And we find Paul in three of these passages saying if it is the Lord's will he would do this or that.  In Acts eighteen ‑‑ Let me see if I have got the right passage.  I think I have, but let me check and be sure. STUDENT:  Acts 18:21? BROTHER TURNER:  Yes.  "But taking his leave of them, saying, I will return again unto you if God will.  And he set sail from Ephesus."  This is on the return part of Paul's second missionary journey.  On the return part, he went to Ephesus.  He went into the synagogue of the Jews, and they wanted him to stay longer, verse twenty.  And when they asked him to abide a longer time, he consented not, “but taking his leave of them and saying I will return again unto you, if God will.” And he set sail from Ephesus. 


In I Corinthians 4:19, Paul is reasoning to the Corinthians about how that he had made a change of plans and was not coming to them.  He could have sailed from Ephesus over to Corinth and made a direct course to them, but he changed his plans, and was going to visit the churches of Macedonia and then go down to Corinth, and he said, “But I will come to you shortly if the Lord will  In I Corinthians 16:7, he talks further about his plan to visit them, and that when he did come, he wanted to spend some time with them if it was the Lord's will.  So if the apostle Paul and these other brethren that were in company with him and the brethren at Cesarea, if they thought it was proper to say if it is the Lord's will, why should not we understand that it is proper to say, if it is the Lord's will or some such appropriate statement that would make those that we are talking to recognize that we are not self‑sufficient and we are not guaranteed tomorrow or next year or any other appointment that we are making.  We will be ready to do if circumstances are such that we can do.  But we need to call attention and not make any excuses, but be sincere that if it is the Lord's will, I plan to be there. 


Chapter Five

The first part of chapter five is directed at the rich.  And everything that he says to the rich is rebuking them, and there is no encouragement whatever for them to repent.  And on this basis, many have come to the conclusion that he must be talking about the unbelieving, rich Jews, and possibly those that had leadership in putting Christ to death, and that they are so hard‑hearted that there is no hope of repentance.  If that is not the case, if it is a matter of some calling themselves brethren and were in this condition, there is no hope of repentance for them.  And so all of the passage is a message of rebuke to them.  "Come now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten."  I wonder from this whether or not their riches were already corrupted and their garments moth eaten, or whether he is talking about in God's sight, that they had hoarded so that it was corrupted in his sight or going to be corrupted, but it is possible they were already corrupted.  They may have been in the practice of hoarding so long that all the wheat and other grain that they had stored up in their barns and storehouses that it was deteriorating, in the process of corrupting.  Anything like that will corrupt in the process of time and get to the point that it is no good, right?   Even with the very best treatment, it is likely to take place.  “And your garments are moth eaten.”  Some of the rich were ready to have big wardrobes and those garments were very precious in their eyes.  And, of course, in the process of time the moths are going to get into them.  Something is going to happen to them.  You remember how Jesus said, ‘Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does  corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.  For where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also,’ Matthew 6:19‑21.  So the Lord warned against the hoarding and trying to lay up treasures upon earth, and says lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; and when a man is laying up treasures in heaven, his riches are secure. 


What does it mean to lay up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust does corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal?  How does a man lay up treasures in heaven? STUDENT:  Where the righteous live in the kingdom of God. BROTHER TURNER:  Okay, but it is talking about riches now.  Suppose I have a million dollars, and everything is paid for, what am I supposed to do with it?  It is hard for me to imagine that, but maybe you can.  Everything is paid for and I have a million dollars in the bank. STUDENT:  Use it for the glory of God. BROTHER TURNER:  Right.  In I Timothy chapter six beginning with verse seventeen ‑‑ Write down that passage, I Timothy chapter six beginning with verse seventeen.  He tells Timothy ‑‑ Timothy is at Ephesus at that time.  There must have been a lot of rich brethren in the church at Ephesus.  He says, “charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high‑minded or put their trust in uncertain riches.  (All riches of this world are uncertain).  but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, that they do good, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come  Paul in that passage is talking about the same thing that Jesus is talking about in Matthew 6:19-21, take your riches and distribute to people in need.  Communicate to the needs of others.  That word communicate in the newer versions, nearly all of them will read share.  In other words, share what you have, you do not need all of that.  Share what you have with those who need it. 


Well, I guess we need to think about this, is this message a rebuke entirely because they are rich?  Is it wrong for a man to be rich?  If so, Job was a terrible sinner before God.  The book begins by telling about the great possessions Job had and then it is said that he was the greatest of all the children of the east, talking particularly about his wealth, that he had possessions and wealth, more than any of the other people in the east.  But God challenged Satan by saying to him, “have ye considered my servant Job that there's none like him in all of the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that fears God and turneth away from evil.”  And if you have studied the book of Job, you know that Job had been using his riches in the right way.  He had been communicating to the needs of others, and a person that is industrious and the Lord blesses him and a lot of good things happen, he can do a lot more.  The more he makes, the more he can do, and that's what the Lord expects a man to do with his riches. 


In that short letter to the beloved Gaius, John said to him that he hoped that he would prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospered.  So he wanted him to be just as rich in material things as his soul, in other words as he would know how to properly handle.  But these rich were not using those possessions properly, they were hoarding them.  Their riches were corrupted, their garments were moth eaten, and it says their gold and silver rusted.  I guess it means that they were tarnished, and their rust shall be for a testimony against you.  In other words, all of your hoarded possessions are testifying against you.  They were not even trading, they were just hoarding.  And they will testify against you.  "And shall eat your flesh as fire.  You laid up your treasure in the last days." 


What does that statement last days mean? And if you do not understand the meaning of last days, you would do well to highlight those words last days.  What is meant by the end of these days and the last days as used in the Bible? STUDENT:  I see it as the Lord is coming, he's our opportunity. BROTHER TURNER:  Well, it is more than that.  It is the Christian age.  This is the last dispensation of time.  It's used in a number of passages as the last days. STUDENT:  The days after Pentecost. BROTHER TURNER:  Right.  Turn back and let us look at least one passage, Acts two, where Peter told about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, that the prophet Joel had prophesied concerning that outpouring of God's spirit upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost.  Acts 2:15 Peter said to the people, "For these men are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, and I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:  And your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."  Well, that is sufficient to show that Joel was speaking of what was beginning to take place here on that first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.  Of course, there would be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles, and the apostles by the laying on of hands could give miraculous gifts to brethren.  And the Old Testament writer had rightly spoken of it.  "It shall come to pass in the last days."  Well, in Isaiah chapter two beginning with verse one and Micah four, the same terminology is used.  "It should come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountain, shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."  It is talking about the church, the kingdom of God, and it had come to pass in the last days. Do we need to go further for proof?  I would rather try to give a little too much than not enough.  I reckon silence is saying that those references are sufficient.


Another very sinful thing, they were not only hoarding, but they had the same spirit as the rich man recorded in the gospel of Luke. His land brought forth plentifully, and the rich farmer said I do not have barns to bestow all my goods.  And he decided “I will tear down all my old barns and build greater barns and there I will bestow all my goods and I will say to my soul, soul, thou hast much goods stored up for many years, take thine ease and eat, drink, and be merry  But the Lord said what?  “Thou fool this day, thy soul shall be required of thee.”  He thought he had a great future to eat and be merry.  The Lord said, “thou fool this night, thy soul shall be required of thee, then who shall these things be which thou hast stored up  The rich men of the text were  so covetous that they were cheating the laborers that mowed their fields.  "Behold, the hire of the laborers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out:  And the cries of them that reap have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth."  The Old Testament even required that when they hired laborers they were to pay them at the end of the day (Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14-15), but here they were not only not paying them at the end of the day, but it looks like that they were not paying them.  They were cheating them.  “which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out”.  God hears the cry of the poor, and especially when they are being cheated. God is the Lord of hosts, look at it in any way you will!  "You have lived delicately on the earth; and taken your pleasure, ye have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter  So again, that is a statement of rebuke that you live delicately on the earth and live the life of pleasure.  And please remember Luke 8:14. A man is not to go the way of worldly pleasures, and he is not to live delicately all the time.  Do you remember the instruction about the rich man and Lazarus as given in Luke 16:19-31?


The prophet Amos was sent from Tekoa (Amos 1:1) of the southern kingdom of Israel to preach at Bethel to preach in the northern kingdom, one of those places where they had erected one of the golden calves(Amos 7:12-15) and he spoke out against those who were living in ease and luxury. He said, "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, to them that are obscure in the mountain of Samaria, the noble men of the chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come!  Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great:  And then go down to Gath of the Philistines."  Where God evidently had brought calamity to them because of their delicate living or some other sins.  "Or they better than these kingdoms?  Or is their border greater than your border?  Ye that put away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches. And eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that sing idle songs to the sound of the viol, and invent for themselves instruments of music, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief oils:  But they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph (Amos 6:1-6)."  So the prophet of God cries out against their delicate living, and why should a child of God want to live a delicate, and wasteful life when there are so many people around that need help? 


Now, back to James 5:5 again, "You live delicately on the earth in taking your pleasure; ye have nourished your hearts, in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and ye have killed the righteous one; who doth not resist you."  Now, I am reading from the American Standard, and one is supplied, as shown by the difference in the print.  But the translators thought that one needed to be in there, so that we would know which one he is talking about.  Now, if they were thinking correctly, that could not refer to any person except Christ.  Other versions ‑‑ I intended to check the King James version and I forgot to.  I know that several of the newer versions say that you have killed the just.  It does not say just one, but you have killed the just. STUDENT:  You have condemned and killed the just. BROTHER TURNER:  And that is what version? STUDENT:  King James. BROTHER TURNER:  Okay.  But when you think about it, technically speaking at least, Christ is the only just and righteous one.  Do you agree with that?  You remember how that Paul quoted to the Jewish people, “there is none righteous, no not one” in reproving them. 


Put down at the end of verse six, Acts 3:14, 7:52, and 22:14.  In Acts 3:14, Peter was preaching what looks like the second gospel sermon.  Acts 3:13 beginning, "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him.  But ye denied the Holy and righteous one, and asked for a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."  So that passage is very definitely speaking of Christ as the righteous one.  And when the King James and other versions use just one, I think it would mean the same thing.  In Acts 7:51 Steven said to the murders of the Sanhedrin Court, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit:  as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?  And they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One."  And Righteous One would definitely refer to Christ.  And in the American Standard, Righteous One is capitalized.  They are capitalized in your Bible too, are they not?  When they are capitalized, what does it mean? STUDENT:  The King James capitalized Just One. BROTHER TURNER:  All right, Just One, and when they capitalized Just One, it means what?  It means that the translators thoughtthat it was referring to deity.  And they killed the prophets that spoke to them and showed them of the coming of the Righteous One.  "Of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers:  Ye who have received the law as it was ordained by angels, and kept it not." 


James 5:7, "Be patient therefore brethren until the coming of the Lord."  Note that he is now talking to his brethren and us again. Now, if you go down to the library and pull down several different commentaries and read what they have to say about verse seven, it would be my guess that at least one third of them would come with the idea that the apostles and inspired writers were all mixed up about the second advent of Christ, that they thought that he was coming immediately.  Well, I know absolutely that that interpretation is wrong, because the apostle Peter did not expect Christ to come immediately.  And very definitely the apostle Paul did not expect Christ to come immediately. Peter expected to die before the coming of the Lord.  Turn to II Peter chapter one beginning with verse twelve, "Wherefore I shall be ready always to put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them and are established in the truth which is in you.  I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle. (a fleshly body) to stir ye up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle, cometh swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus signified unto me."  And there he is talking about what John records, how that Jesus had said to him, that now ye can go about where ye want to go, but the day is coming when you will be bound.  And Peter knew that the Lord's instruction was going to be fulfilled.  And so he is saying, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I feel that I need to put you in remembrance knowing ‑‑ verse fifteen then, knowing that I am going to die before long.  "Yea, I will give diligence that every time ye may be able after my decease to call these things to remembrance."  So Peter did not expect to see the second advent of Christ. 


Now turn to II Thessalonians 2:1-8, I hope that you remember how that the brethren at Thessalonica were all stirred up about the second advent of Christ, and he talked to them about the second coming of Christ in the first epistle, chapter four verses thirteen through chapter five and verse ten. He learned from the report they brought back that there were still those that were very concerned about the second advent of Christ.  And in chapter two of II Thessalonians beginning with verse one, "Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  And notice if you have a Bible that has a footnote ‑‑ mine has a footnote for coming.  It says the Greek means presence.  My Bible gives references to the meaning of it, meaning the Lord is coming in presence.  He did not come in presence in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  But back to the reading, "and our gathering together unto him, to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind; nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us."  Some may have been trying to forge epistles in Paul's name or the other apostles.  "As that the day of the Lord is just at hand.  Let no man beguile you."  He goes ahead to tell them that there's going to be a great falling away, and the man of sin will be revealed before the Lord comes.  And verse eight, "And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming."  And, again, the same Greek word by his presence or personal coming. 


Back to James 5:7, "Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord."  We mentioned how that some say that the apostles and inspired writers were all mixed up, that they thought that Christ's coming was imminent.  Well, these two passages show very definitely that that was not the case.  Some, including some of our brethren would say, that it is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  Now, the Lord had taught his apostles plainly that Jerusalem would be destroyed.  But we have those that have gone to the extreme.  They have just gone through the New Testament and every passage that says ‑‑ like Philippians four, "Let your forbearance be made known unto all men, the Lord is at hand," the King James reading.  They take that to mean that it is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem.  Any passage like this one or any passage that has the Lord is at hand, or because of the present distress as spoken of, by Paul in I Corinthians seven, they apply those passages to the coming destruction of Jerusalem. And I would like for you to put down these passages, and then we'll turn and read, and you use your own judgment as to what these passages that have this Greek word, meaning coming in the presence or coming in person as given in Matthew24:27, 24:37.  If you have a margin in your Bible, you will do well to write them in the margin. I have some room at the end of the chapter here, so I have written down at the end of the chapter, I Corinthians 15:21‑24, I Thessalonians 2:19, 3:13, 4:13‑18.  And then from II Thessalonians the passage that we just read, 2:1‑8, and II Peter 1:16, 3:4, 3:11‑12, and I John 2:28.  If you will look carefully at the context of these passages where this Greek word is used, and they have reference to the Lord's second advent.  And the Lord did not come in person in the destruction of Jerusalem.  And I wish we had time to go into some detail of discussing Matthew twenty‑four verses twenty‑seven through thirty‑five, and the parallel in Mark 13:24‑31, and in Luke 21:20‑33.  We have quite a number of sincere brethren in this day that are making those passages figurative and symbolic and applying it to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  Such is contrary to proper rules of interpretation of the scripture.  Remember the Bible is its own best interpreter.  And these passages say plainly that Christ is coming and his coming will be visible, and there will be the signs that will accompany his coming.  Now, no person knows the day nor the hour, but when Christ comes there will be the signs that accompany his coming. 


But let us turn and read at least some of these passages, Matthew twenty‑four first.  As Jesus is going out of the temple with the apostles, the apostles were showing him the fine buildings of the temple.  Evidently, they marveled at what a marvelous construction it was.  Jesus told them the time was coming when there would not be one stone left upon another.  And some time later as he was with, I believe three of the apostles, on Mount Olive they asked him, “Tell us when shall these things be  In other words, when will the temple be destroyed and “what shall be the sign of thy coming  And coming there is that same Greek word, “and of the end of the world  Now, the apostles may have thought that all three of these things were coming at the same time, but Jesus answered their questions in the order that they asked.  When will Jerusalem be destroyed?  And what shall be the sign of thy coming?  And of the end of the world, when will that be? STUDENT:  Doesn't the chapter talk about as how many questions in it?  Is it a three‑fold BROTHER TURNER:  It is a three‑fold question. STUDENT:  And the first part talks about ‑‑BROTHER TURNER:  The destruction of Jerusalem. STUDENT:  Right. BROTHER TURNER:  And then the signs that will accompany his coming, and then the end of the world.  But the same word coming is used in verse three.  Now, reading from the passage that I said that they are using as being figurative and symbolic ‑‑ And if we had plenty of time, I would bring some of our brethren's statements and read them on this passage.  But I think they are doing great injustice to the word of God by the interpretation they give it.  "For as the lightning cometh forth from the east and is seen unto the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man."  And as given in the book of Revelation, "Every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him shall see him."  So the coming of Christ will be visible.  Verse twenty‑nine, we will not take time to discuss  immediately, but I believe I can do a pretty good job on that.  "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven."  And they want to talk about that the destruction of Jerusalem was a sign of the wrath of Christ.  It is a fact that Jerusalem was destroyed, but look at the rest of the verse.  "And then shall all of the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."  When Christ ascended, those that stood by in white apparel said what?  Acts one, I think, around verse eleven, that he will come again in like manner.  So he ascended in the clouds, and he is coming back in the clouds.  And it is talking about his second advent for sure.  "and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet."  And some of them were saying that's talking about the trumpet as the gospel, and the power of the gospel, and he is sending forth messengers to preach the gospel to the world.  But Jesus said the angels would come forth.  In the day of judgment as given, Matthew 13:39-42, 13:49-50 and  also II Thessalonians 1:7-10.


Matthew 24:31, "And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the fourwinds from one end of the heaven to the other."  Concerning the day of his coming.  Jesus said “but of that day and hour, knoweth no one."  And some of our brethren have concluded on that basis of 24:36 that there are no signs.  Well, there are no signs that a person has time to prepare, but his coming will be accompanied by the powers of the heavens being shaken.  And you need to turn to Luke and read the parallel in Luke 21:25-27.  Matthew 24:36, "But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son but the Father only.  And as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man."  And there is the same Greek word coming in person, the presence.  As far as those days which were before the flood, they were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark.  And they knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.  And each time that word coming is used, it looks like to me that it is talking about the second advent of Christ.


Turn to I Corinthians fifteen.  You know how that some of the brethren at Corinth were saying that there was not going to be any resurrection of the dead, and thus the great chapter fifteen, the great resurrection of the dead chapter.  In I Corinthians 15:21, "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  But each in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's at his coming."  And, again, the Greek word referring to the second advent,  when Christ comes, and not be in the destruction of Jerusalem, but when he comes in person, the end of the world, and the resurrection of the dead and judgment.  "Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign till he hath put all of his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be abolished is death."  So when Christ comes that will be the ending up of the heavens and the earth and the resurrection of the dead and judgment.


STUDENT:  Looking at verse twenty‑eight, could you kind of explain that to me when it says all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him that God may be all in all. BROTHER TURNER:  In other words, God has now put all judgment in the hands of Christ.  He is the judge.  And he is going to reign at the right hand of God until all enemies are put under his feet, the last enemy death will be conquered because he is coming back.  All the righteous will have eternal life.  The dead righteous will be raised, and the living righteous will be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.  And then Christ will be subject to the father again.  In other words, God has given him all authority ‑‑ as given in the gospel account, all authority in heaven on earth has been given unto me (Matthew 28:18-20).  But then he is going to be subject to God again, at least God will be the one that will have supreme authority then, our heavenly Father.  In I Thessalonians 2:19 Paul talks about how that he wanted them to be faithful unto the Lord.  He is so concerned about that he wanted them to be his joy and crown at the coming of Christ.  Reading from I Thessalonians 2:19‑20, "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glory?  Are not even ye before our Lord Jesus at his coming?"  And again that Greek word.  "For ye are our glory and our joy." There are a number of passages that show very plainly that there will be identity in heaven, and this is one of them, that Paul would know those converts that were faithful to the Lord.  And they would be his glory and his crown in that day.  Again I Thessalonians 3:13, "To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming."  And again that same Greek word.  "Of our Lord Jesus Christ with all of his saints." 


I Thessalonians four teaches that when Christ comes, he is going to bring the spirits of the righteous with him.  You remember Ecclesiastes 12:7 that when death comes, the dust returns to the dust as it was and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  The spirit goes to be with God without a body.  But when Christ comes, he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him.  That is taught in chapter four beginning with verse thirteen.  "But we would not have ye ignorant brethren, concerning them that fall asleep that you sorrow not even as a rest who have no hope."  Evidently, they thought ‑‑ expecting the imminent coming of Christ and some of their brethren had died, and somehow they were reasoning that they would not receive all of the wondrous things that those who are living when Christ comes would receive, but Paul tells them very plainly that when Christ comes he will bring the spirits of the righteous with him and they will be raised before the living will be changed.  "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him."  That is talking about the spirits.  "For this we say unto you, by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left into the coming."  And, again, that Greek word.  "Shall in no wise preceed them that are fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven." He did not descend from heaven with the destruction of Jerusalem, but in the second advent, Christ shall descend from heaven “with a shout, with a voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first  It is not talking about two separate resurrections, but it is talking about that the dead in Christ will be raised before the living righteous will be changed.  "Then we that are alive."  And I Corinthians 15:50-58 shows that the living will be changed and put on incorruptible bodies.   


Verse nine, "Murmur not brethren one against another.  That ye be not judged.  Behold the judge standeth before the doors."  Is this not very near the admonition that he gave in chapter four, Speak not one against another.  Murmuring ‑‑ finding something where a brother did something and you murmur to another brother, “he ought to have done it that way.”  Let us remember that Jude says those ungodly people of his day were murmurers and complainers walking after their own lust, Jude sixteen.  Murmuring and complaining belongs in the devil's camp, and the children of God need to stay away from such a spirit; but some of us complain about brethren at the church.  They ought to have made this announcement and did not do it, you know this happened and the other, insignificant things, not worth hardly talking about, much less murmuring about.  "Murmur not brethren, one against another.  That ye be not judged.  Behold, the judge standeth before the doors."  Jesus said to the church that he did not give a simple compliment, Laodicea, “Behold I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Revelation  3:20).” So he has been saying that now for a long time, nearly two thousand years now and he is still saying that to us. He is still knocking at the door wanting every sinner to open the door and let Him in!


Verse ten, "Take brethren for an example of sufferings of patience the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord, behold we call them blessed that endured:  Ye have  heard of the patience of Job and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity and he is merciful.” 


We need to be familiar with the book of Job, it is a great book.  God allowed Satan to take away all of Job’s great possessions including his seven sons and three daughters in one day. He took away everything but his wife, who evidently was already in the devil's camp.  And Job, instead of cursing God, worshipped and said, “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord  God also allowed Satan that he could touch Job's body, but he could not bring about death, and that proved to be the worst trial for Job.  Satan smote Job with boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head to the point that he went out and sat down in the ashes and scraped himself with a piece of broken pot, the pain was so great.  Three of his friends, at least they counted themselves friends, made an agreement together that they would go and comfort him.  And when they saw him afar off, ‑‑ Well, they knew it was him, but I believe it says they did not know that it was him, because his physical body had changed so much.  And they went and sat down and didn't either one of them speak for three days. 


Finally, Job broke the silence by cursing the day that he was born.  And then they decided that Job was a sinner and that calamity had come upon him because of his sins, and they continued to charge him, and finally they charged him with many specific sins.  And this instruction shows us that patience, as used in the Bible, is different from what many think of patience.  I think some of our brethren have the idea that if a man is meek and patient as he ought to be, that he will just let somebody bring all sorts of false charges against him, and he is just supposed to say, well, I am sorry that you feel that way about me.  And if they continue to insist, why they may even make a confession that I am sorry that I have done this.  Well, in chapter twenty‑seven, Job says as long as I have breath I am not going to confess, I have not done according to what you have accused me of.  Chapter thirty‑one is a checklist chapter, they continued to accuse him of so many sins that he just starts and checks off their charges.  If I have done this, then let this calamity come upon me.  So in what sense was Job patient?  Job was patient in the sense that he was determined to continue to do the right thing.  He was steadfast, he endured.  He could not begin to understand, he thought that God had brought calamity upon him directly.  He did not know that God had allowed Satan to do it, and he did ask a lot of foolish questions to God, but throughout he affirms that I am still going to do right.  I do not understand why God is treating me this way, but I am still going to be faithful.  And that is what real patience is, that steadfastness and endurance and perseverance in the way that you know is right.  And so be patient.  James said, be patient, my brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.  Be like the farmer that “waits for the early”‑‑ We skipped that passage, didn't we?  “and latter rains.”  In Palestine the early rains came in the fall of the year when they planted their grain crops, and then the latter rains came ‑‑ I guess that would be about April and May, when it is time for those grain crops to start that process of maturing.  And so if the good farmer waits until he receives, he would be patient, wait until he sees the early and latter rains. 


Verse twelve, "But above all things my brethren, swear not, neither by the heavens."  Well, you remember how in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the same thing that James is talking about.  In many passages in this book, James the Lord's brother is calling attention to what Jesus taught.  That is Matthew chapter five beginning with verse thirty‑one where Jesus gave that instruction.  Verse thirteen, "Is any among you suffering, let him pray.  Is any cheerful, let him sing praise.  Is any among you sick, let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord  Write down by verse fourteen Mark 6:13.  When Jesus sent forth the twelve with miraculous power they healed the sick, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 


James 5:14.  "Is any among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."  I asked you last week to put above that verse ‑‑ And, again, let me emphasize the importance of writing in your Bible.  Notes that you put in your notebook are not usually worth carrying home.  But if you will write in your Bible, when you come back around you will have some notes that should help.  And so put Mark 6:13 by verse fourteen.  And Mark 6:13 is about the occasion when Jesus sent forth the twelve under the limited commission during his personal ministry.  And Mark says that they went forth telling the people to repent and they cast out demons and they anointed with oil many that were sick and they were healed.  So it looks like from that reading that this was evidence of miraculous healing.  If that be the case, then in this particular time, it is talking about maybe the elders of the church having the miraculous power to heal. 


I really think that is the meaning of it.  You may say, Well, if that be the case, there is no need to pray for the sick today.  No, God can still do wonderful things in his providence.  There are no miraculous cures today.  The miraculous age of the church is over as taught very plainly in I Corinthians 113:8-12, and Ephesians 4:8-16. God in his providence can do wonderful things, and we are still to pray for the sick, but here if it was miraculous, they  would be guaranteed healing, do you not think, in that day in time.  But in regard to prayers today, we are to pray according to the Father's will, and he is surely not causing anybody to live to be two hundred years of age any longer.  Verse fifteen, "And the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. 


Verse sixteen, “Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."  Now, I want you to notice from verse sixteen that there are no specifics given as to how and when this confession is to be made.  It certainly does not say go and confess to the preacher or some special official of the church, but as Christians confessing their sins one to another.  And I believe the Lord has left us some freedom as to how that is to be done.  There have been times when it looked like to me there were those that thought that if a person had sinned, and if he didn't make a public confession at church his sins couldn't be forgiven.  Well, remember the second law of pardon is given in Acts eight.  Peter told Simon the sorcerer to repent and pray that perhaps the thought of thine heart be forgiven thee.  Just as soon as a child of God sincerely repents of a sin and asks God to forgive him, his sins are forgiven (I John 1:8-9)..  And I do not like to see brethren trying to force a public confession.  Now, I agree with what our brethren have been saying down through the years, if it is a public sin it is appropriate that a public confession be made, but I am of the opinion they should not try to force a confession and make a law where God has not made one. It is as wrong to try to make a law to try to bind where God has not bound as it is to try to loose where God has bound, and we need to be careful.  In the first place, if the elders of the church have to force a confession out of a person, what good is the confession going to be anyway?  Now, they can say words to encourage, and they ought to if it looks like it needs to be done, but to try to lay down a rule would be getting out of order.  A lot of passages where God says do something, he has not given any details as to how we are to do it.  Like the brethren in regard to taking care of orphans or teaching in Christian schools and a lot of other things, they want to make it a specific way when God has not made it a specific way.  As long as we properly take care of widows and orphans, we are meeting the Lord's instruction.  I believe that is left to the wisdom of man as to how we are to go about doing it.  We just need to be sure that it is done. Well that did not cost you anything extra, and   I want you to think for yourself.  I am not expecting you to swallow everything that I say, think for yourself!


Verse seventeen, "Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain:  And it rained not on the earth for three years and six months."  Have you answered that question yet on your questions?  Please always remember to keep your questions out before you as we study together.  Read ahead of time the questions for the next session, and then keep the questions before you. Question forty‑one, why did Elijah pray fervently that it might not rain?  And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Now, there is not a passage in the Old Testament that says specifically that it was three years and six months, but it is stated twice in the New Testament here in this verse in James and in Luke chapter two verses twenty‑five and twenty‑six.  You ought to put that one down on question forty‑one.  I think I am remembering the right verses twenty‑five and twenty‑six, Jesus was preaching at Nazareth where he was brought up.  And he said there were many widows in the days of Elijah but he was sent only to the widow of Zarephath of Sidon.  In other words, to another country ‑‑ to a widow of another country, not to Israel.  Well, he states in 2:25 about Elijah that it was three‑and‑a‑half years before it rained.  So Jesus said it was three‑and‑a‑half years and James said it was three‑and‑a‑half years.  That ought to settle the matter, shouldn't it, that the drought was for three‑and‑a‑half years? 


Why did Elijah pray?  Do you think if we should pray, “Lord, do not give rain for three‑and‑a‑half years” that he would answer our prayers?  Well, why did he answer Elijah's prayer?  Why did Elijah pray for it not to rain, and it did not rain for three‑and‑a‑half years? STUDENT:  I put for a revelation of God, so that people believe in the power of God instead of Baal and his prophets. BROTHER TURNER:  Okay.  To show that God was God and not Baal.  And really you need to read all of I Kings 16:25-18:45.  And this was during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, the most wicked king and queen that the northern kingdom had, although all the kings were wicked. It look like Ahab probably excelled them all.  He had married Jezebel, a worshiper of Baal, and through her killing the prophets of the Lord, and furthering the worship to Baal, many of the people in the northern kingdom had turned to Baal worship, and so I reckon the Lord gave the prophet Elijah instruction.  Anyway, he went to king Ahab, chapter seventeen, and told him there would not be rain nor dew except by his word.  Then God told him, you go to drink water out of the brook and I'll have the ravens to feed you, and that is what happened until the brook went dry; and then he sent him to the widow of Zarephath..  And then when – What is the man's name along with the king that was out trying to find water to try to keep some of the animals alive, and Elijah showed himself? STUDENT:  Obadiah. BROTHER TURNER:  Thank you, yes Obadiah.  And Elijah told him to go tell the king that I am here.  And Obadiah said I will go tell him and you will be gone and I will be killed, or words to that effect.  But, finally, Elijah got across to him that he was going to be there, but this led to the test at Mount Carmel.  You know how that Elijah had them to prepare the two altars.  The prophets of Baal called upon the name of their god Baal and worked themselves into a frenzy and Baal did not answer, and then how that Elijah had them to pour water on the wood and offering and all around the altar and then called upon the name of God, and God consumed the sacrifice.  So it was shown very plainly as to who was God, and that was the purpose of the prayer on the part of Elijah.  The reason I went into that much detail ‑‑ Now, if this was just an ordinary Bible class, we would probably turn back and read some from I Kings seventeen and eighteen.  I believe in the average Bible class in the church, passages like this one are so many times passed over, and maybe half of the class do not know what it is talking about.  We need to make connections as we study the Bible together.


Verse nineteen, "My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he who converted the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins."  If there was not another passage in all the New Testament, a person ought to know by this one passage that the doctrine of once saved always saved, once a child of God always a child of God is a false doctrine! James is saying that a brother can fall away from the truth and be in a lost condition again, but if you go and convert him and bring him back, you have saved a soul from death, talking about spiritual death.  Spiritual death is separated from God, and so a child of God can be separated from God.  Now, he will not be separated from God as long as he will hear and follow Christ (John 10:27-28);  but each person is a free moral agent.  So it turns on our free moral agency as to whether or not we are willing to hear and follow.  Paul said of the weak in the church at Rome, “Yea, he shall be made to  stand for the Lord has the power to make him stand (Romans 14:4).” It turns on the weak man as to whether or not he is ready to stand.  You might want to write down by verses nineteen and twenty Galatians 6:1‑3 where Paul said to the Galatians, "If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness; considering thyself, lest thou also shall be tempted.  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."  In regard to the context, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  In the context, the burden that he is talking about is the burden of sin.  A child of God can just take the wrong attitude and go to a brother in a I‑told‑you‑so attitude and not be effective, or he may refuse to try to help the brother.  Say you have a brother that is turned back to an old habit like strong drink.  If a man is an alcoholic, he is going to need help.  He is going to need brethren that will try to keep him away from the company where he would be so prone to go back to his old habit, and that is what the passage is talking about.  If you love your brother you are going to be ready to try to help him.  And a lot of times that includes a lot of attention from the standpoint of seeing that he is in proper association, and when he is troubled to try to shield him as much as you can.   "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  Now that carries to many other areas, but the particular thing in the context is the burden of sin, and it may make all the difference as to whether a man is able to overcome or whether he just goes back and falls completely. 


If you have a good analytical concordance, and if you do not have one you need one.  I have an old copy of Young's Analytical Concordance I keep by my chair, so when I want to look up something I can find it.  The average concordance in a Bible is not worth much.  If I have some difficulty, I usually have to get an analytical concordance.  Not only that, but it gives the Hebrew word or the Greek word and the meaning of it.  And you do not have to know everything about Hebrew or Greek to get a pretty good idea of the meaning of the word, if you will just turn to your concordance and look it up.  I am saying that in part, because I want you to learn to use the concordance.  It is one of the most important tools in the study of the Bible, and you need an analytical concordance that will give those helps.