We continue our study of the letter from James. In part 1 we determined that the letter was written by James, the half brother of Jesus, around 50 AD when most of the Church was still of Jewish origin. They had been scattered throughout Israel and surrounding countries in the persecution that began after the stoning of Stephen in 36 AD, and James was sending what was probably the first letter ever written to the growing Christian community. This week we’ll look at chapter 2.
A fair amount of controversy has arisen of late over this letter, some even questioning whether it belongs in the Bible. Others say if it does, it was certainly not meant for the Church. In this series we’ll address these questions while undertaking a verse-by-verse study of the letter.
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 33:7-9
“And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” (Isaiah 66:24)
Pentecost comes in the early summer (mid May-mid June). It’s the only Levitical Feast Day between the 3 spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) and the 3 in the fall (Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles). The Hebrew name for this Day is Shavuot, which means weeks, so in Israel it’s often called the Feast of Weeks.
Scattered throughout the Scriptures are prophecies that contain references to both the first and second coming of the Lord in what appears to be a single thought. These dual reference prophecies could only be identified as such after the first coming had already taken place. That’s because they were written in such a way that it was impossible to tell beforehand that the Lord’s first coming would only partially fulfill them. Often the writers switch from the first coming to the second coming in the middle of a sentence without so much as a punctuation mark to alert the reader.
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thes 2:7).
The number of emails I receive from people who are discouraged, frustrated, even despondent, is steadily increasing. They point to current conditions in the world and wonder how much worse things can get.
I’ve received several questions lately asking for clarification of the term “Outer Darkness” so here’s an updated and expanded version of a study I did on the subject several years ago. The outer darkness is mentioned a total of 4 times in the New Testament, three by name and one by implication, and always by Jesus. The term is not used any where else, Old Testament or New, by anyone else. Those who ask about the outer darkness want to know if it’s another name for the place of eternal punishment, or if it’s some place different. And they want to know who’s going there.
Over the past five years or so I have written several times about the middle eastern kings of Daniel 11 known as the kings of the north and the south. In these studies I’ve shown how these two kings will become prominent again in the end times as the Shiites (king of the north) and the Sunnis (king of the south) vie for supremacy in the Islamic movement. Before getting a look at what’s currently happening in this coming clash, let’s have a quick review of their origins.
Q. John 17: 3 gives the meaning of eternal life as defined by Jesus. “And this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” In my study I looked up “know” and it means to know absolutely, completely, not limited, “life” means to live, breathe, rational immortal soul, and “eternal” means perpetual, past present future..forever. Do you believe we know God absolutely when we become His?
Q. In one of your recent posts, you said some people who think they are saved will learn that they really aren’t. This really concerns me because I do not understand how one can believe they are saved but really aren’t. I do not want to be one of those people. I confessed Christ as my savior and asked him to save me and I want salvation and his kingdom more than anything and was sincere when I asked him. What does it mean for someone to believe they are but really aren’t?
Q. What view do you hold based on Scripture with regard to the amount of time that may lapse between the Rapture and the revealing of Antichrist? Dave Hunt spoke convincingly of a very short duration between the two events. What say you?
Q. We were doing a bible study on book of judges 11 about Jephthah’s daughter. This caused a debate. Some said that it could have been her virginity that was taken or some other sacrifice, not necessarily Jephthah killing his daughter. In a recent post you said it was an abomination to the Lord to do that so therefore unlawful. Could you please clarify what actually happened. Did Jephthah sacrifice his daughter?
Q. This past weekend I heard a wonderful TV sermon on forgiveness. I have been struggling with a certain person and situation for about 15 years and had no desire to forgive him because he continually hurt me emotionally. Praise God, at the end of the program I was able to raise my hands, ask God for forgiveness and then to forgive those I felt had hurt me. The lifting of the burden was instantaneous and I am at such peace. My question is: Do I need to get in touch with the people I have forgiven or is that forgiveness between me and God? Thank you for your insight and God Bless you for your wonderful teaching!
Q. Our Pastor told us about this but I could only find basic info online about this conjunction on June 30th. If you watched the Bethlehem Star documentary, you know that Regulus and Leo were involved in the process then making it KING KING KING. Well, it is about to happen again and we think it must mean that our Father is soon to start the 7 year return process for Jesus. We pray that is the case!!!
Q. I have recently read your post on Jephthahs daughter. I have a “vow” that haunts me to this day. As a young teen I felt very guilty over a sin. I told God “if I do this again, you can take my salvation away.” Of course I committed that sin (and still do). I am terrified that because I made that “vow” that I am held to it. Here I am 32 years old and I am still struggling with the fear. It is stories like this in the Old Testament that haunt me. I would love some insight.
Q. I’ve heard the idea of temporary bodies at death discussed both pro and con, that when a person dies, and are immediately in the presence of the Lord, they appear to be in spirit form, hence, the spirit would be without a body. However, in Rev. 6:10-11, referring to Tribulation Saints in Heaven, they ask why has God not avenged their blood on those who dwell on the earth, they are then given white robes to wear for a little season until their fellow servants, who should also be killed, arrive in Heaven. Would this indicate that even though we arrive in Heaven in a spirit form after death we are given some kind of body in which to reside until the Rapture?
Q. You mentioned in one study that all physical beings are bound by time and that therefore we, being physical, could only look backward and not see into the future. I’ve always been taught that Satan cannot know the future, yet I believe he is spirit, and therefore, according to you and I guess Einstein, he should also not be bound by time. Yet I do not believe Satan can see the future or he would never have allowed our Lord to be crucified. Can you give me any insights?