Lay Apart

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls

So many warnings are written in the Word of what we should not be guilty of or partake in, but so many excuses contradicting God’s Word are still used for those who chose to remain in sin (Rom. 6; 1Jn. 3; 5:18).

We MUST lay apart all moral filthiness and wickedness, impure and unholy affections, baseness, vileness and depravity. Only then can we receive the engrafted Word. It is by the Word of Truth inborn and implanted in the soul that one is saved and begotten (Jas. 1:18; Eph. 5:26). The Word is called seed (1Pet. 1:23; 1Jn. 3:9). When it is implanted in the soul it germinates and springs forth into eternal life. Only the seed that fails to be sown on properly prepared soil and cared for, will fail to bring forth fruit (Matt. 13:3-30).

Be Slow to Speak/Wrath

James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 

The wrath of man cannot work the righteousness that God requires. For example, no zeal of doing anything out of anger can be justified before a just God. Therefore, we have been given two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

One of God’s attributes is that He is slow to anger (Psa. 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13) and we are warned that a wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appease strife and that he that is slow to anger is better than the might, and he that rule his spirit than he that takes a city (Pro. 15:18; 16:32). The usage of the tongue is the one thing we are warned of the most in the Word of God and something we should all be sufficiently aware of (See Pro. 18: 7; 20-21; 1Pet. 3:10; Jam. 1:26; 3:1-12).

Begotten by the Word

James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 

Whatever is good comes from God who never changes; whatever is evil comes from satan and fallen man who are bent on doing whatever gains a selfish and sinful end.

God is the Father of Lights, which refers to Him as the creator of that which give light: the sun, moon and stars, which causes changes in the seasons of the year. But there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning in God, He is always – in every season – the same and does not change like the shadow of a sundial (Heb. 13:8).

It is God’s will that all people be saved – begotten by the Word (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9). The Word of Truth is one of the agents that make men new creatures (John 3:5; 1Pet. 1:23; Eph. 5:26).

Do Not Err

James 1:13-16 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bring forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. 

After using the word temptation in the sense of trial, it is now used in the sense of solicitation to sin. God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man with it. Evil temptations come from evil, not from good. Do not be deceived by supposing that God is the author of sin or that He impels any man to commit it.

Temptation starts with us being tempted in our thoughts of evil, thereafter we are drawn away with strong imagination and lust or delight in viewing whatever we put our minds on. We are being enticed as our wills are weakened and lust conceives as we yield and a sinful act is committed. The result of actual sin is death.

Fade Away

James 1:9-11  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls and the grace of the fashion of it perish: so also, shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 

A poor Christian must rejoice in his hope of heaven, but the rich one in his humiliation, for both are here only for a short while (Ps. 90:10). Lives burdens are compared with the burning heat of the sun that withers us away as we age.

The rich man who is outside of Christ fades away like a flower. Riches in Scripture are considered the cause of much sin and rebellion against God; and, for this cause, there are many warnings to men, especially converted men, to shun all covetousness of such (Mat. 6:19; Luke 6:24; 12:15-20; 1Tim. 6:9-18).

Ask in Faith

James 1:5-8  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that give to all men liberally, and upbraid not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that waver is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. 

If you need answers, advice or wisdom in any situation: ask God! Don’t be as quick to turn to others for council (Ps. 1:1) or to operate from your own understanding (Pro. 3:7; 26:12). Pray to the Father who gives to all men liberally (Mat. 7:7-11) without finding fault, in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, having a full understanding of your rights and privileges (Jam. 4:3-4) in harmony with the Word (John 14:13), ask in faith, nothing doubting (Heb. 11:6), with praise for the answer (Php. 4:6).

He who doubts is like a wave that is rising one moment, sinking the next. One minute he believes; another he does not. He says yes and then no to what God has promised, never making up his mind which way he believes. He staggers like a drunken man, helpless in prayer. It is as certain that a doubtful man will not get an answer as it is that the man of faith will get an answer. The term ‘double-minded’ was used by the Jews of a man who attempted to worship God and still loved the creature; who wished to secure both worlds. He would not give up the world here and yet was loathe to give up heaven: one torn between carnal and spiritual things.

Count It ALL Joy

James 1:2-4  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith work patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 

Be joyful when you are going through a trial since it will produce the right fruit IF you choose to keep on trusting and relying on God (Heb. 11:1) instead of looking at your circumstances and reacting to what you feel or see.  Remember that we are tempted by the enemy to sin against God, thus guard your heart against complaining. Trials test religion and faith and the man who stands true in them proves his religion sound and his faith genuine. Tests work patience and patience works perfection (Jas. 1:12; Rom. 5:3-5; 1Pet. 1:7).

Two blessings come of perfect patience: personal perfection in the knowledge of the gospel and the will of God which will have a direct effect of you being without spot or blemish when you are perfect in your actions and reactions (Mat. 5:48; 2Tim. 3:17); and personal completeness in all graces and gifts of God.

Rightly Dividing Truth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

The Word of God must be studied so that our love may abound more and more in knowledge and in all judgment Php. 1:9 and should be read slowly, prayerfully, frequently, reverently, meditatively, searchingly, perseveringly, believingly, and obediently.

The Greek word orthotomeo means to Rightly Divide the Truth, to set straight and handle right. It means not only to give the true meaning, but also the correct application to the various times and classes of people. Truth must be divided dispensationally, prophetically, historically, and with regard for classes and subjects. The chief fundamental principle of interpretation is to gather from the Scriptures themselves the precise meaning the writers intended to convey. We must exercise common sense and reason, applying the same principles and grammatical rules to the Bible as we do to other books. One should take the Bible literally wherever it is at all possible. When the language cannot be taken literally, we know it is figurative. We should then get the literal truth conveyed by the figurative language.

The word Interpret means to state the true sense of God’s message as He expresses it; that is, give to the reader the exact statements of Scripture without change to prove every question discussed; to state exactly what God says and where He says it. The science or art of interpretation and explanation is called Hermeneutics and comes from the Greek ermeneuo, meaning “to explain,” “to expound,” and “to interpret”. It is the science that establishes and classifies the principles, methods and rules by which the meaning of the author’s language is ascertained.

The interpretation of any piece of literature will depend upon the nature of the work under consideration. Poetry, history, fiction, and each form of human expression require a different set of rules. The rules of writing when interpreting a work of fiction would not be suitable for history. Accordingly, the rules that govern Bible interpretation depend upon the character of its separate kinds of writings, just as is true of different kinds of writings in other books.

The Word of God should not be changed to be understood, there is no mysteries, secrets, or hidden meanings veiled in spiritual language and scriptures does not have many different meanings and different interpretation as some tend to claim.

The modern way of interpreting the Bible is to change the meaning of what is written to suit one’s fancy and to harmonize the Bible with one’s own theories. It transgresses every known sensible principle of true interpretation and places man as the authority above God concerning the Bible.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,  If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  Revelation 22:18-19 KJV

Since the Bible is like other books in that it is written in human language, it must be interpreted like all other literature. If heavenly, supernatural, and spiritual truths are written in human language, we must understand such truths on this basis. One must understand the words and expressions in the Bible the same as if they were found outside of it. There can be no special Bible logic, rhetoric, or grammar. The laws of grammar apply to the Bible as they do to other writings.

Christ and His disciples prove this method of interpretation. In about 400 quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament, the phrase “It is written” is held as all that is necessary to prove the sense of God’s message. This will settle every point of doctrine today if we are to be Christ-like. Not one example is found in Scripture where the plain literal sense of Scripture was done away with by the allegorical, mystical, speculative, spiritualizing, and symbolizing methods so prominent today. We must lay aside all such methods if a true knowledge of the Bible is to be gained.

The Bible is clear in itself when all traditions, wrong interpretations, manifold changes, and spiritualizing of Scripture are abandoned. The average person is blind to many simple truths of Scripture because they have been overlaid with so many human traditions and interpretations designed to serve a church, a party, or some personal fancy.

The Bible is an inspired revelation Rom. 16:25; Col. 1:26; Rev. 1:1 from God; a revelation is an uncovering or unveiling so that all can see alike what was previously covered or hidden. The only excuse any man would have for not seeing something that was uncovered for him is his willful refusal to look. Anything that is revealed is clear, or the purpose of the revelation has failed.

How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; Ephesians 3:3 KJV

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness 2Timothy 3:16 KJV

 

 

The Parable of Weeds

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. Mat. 13:24-26 KJV

The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Jesus) Mt. 13:37 and the “good seed” illustrates the true children of the kingdom of Heaven. The field illustrates the world of men and the tares illustrate the professed children of the kingdom who are, in reality, the sons of the devil, who sowed them among the wheat. Mt. 13:25, 38-39 The wheat being in the ground first shows God’s plan concerning the kingdom, that only good shall be in it and that every one who professes to be a child of God should really be one. An enemy – the devil Mt. 13:25,28,39; Lk. 10:19; Acts 13:10 – sowed tares among the wheat, causing a mixture of good and bad in the same field. Thus, the kingdom of Heaven now takes on a new aspect and should rightly be understood as “the sphere of profession, “Christendom,” or “the kingdom of Heaven in mystery.”

It was common in the East for enemies to sow tares and other poisonous seeds in the fields of those they wished to hurt. In India various weeds are sown that take years to get rid of.  The word “tares” – the Greek, zizania, occurs only in Matthew 13:25, 36 is not the same as the darnel of the naturalists, but zewan, as known in Palestine today. While growing it looks like wheat, but when full grown the ears are long and the grain is black. Each grain of the zewan must be removed before grinding the wheat, or the bread is bitter and poisonous. Tares show their true color as they ripen. Verse 26 shows that the tares could not be detected until the fruit began to appear. Mt. 7:15-20

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Mat. 13:27-30 KJV

The tares and the wheat both grow side by side in the same field, which is the will of the householder, until the harvest. Mt. 13:37-40 Both saved and unsaved who profess to be children of the kingdom will mingle together in this world until the end of the age. The harvest illustrates the separation of the wicked among the just at the end of this age when the Messiah comes to reign. Mt. 13:39-43; 25:31-46; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14; Zech. 14:1-21   The reapers illustrate angels who will separate the wicked from the good when Christ comes. Mt. 13:39-43; 24:31, 51; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Mat. 13:40-43 KJV

The expression of “the end of the world” means “the end of the age.” At this time the kingdom of Heaven ceases to be the sphere of profession and becomes the literal kingdom of Heaven, or the reign of the Messiah over all the kingdoms of this world. Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:13-14, 18

When the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, refers to the time when the judgment of the nations Mt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9 will be executed. The tares will be burned in the same sense the branches of Christ will be if they do not abide in Him. Mt. 8:12; 13:40-43,49-50; 24:31; 25:41,46; Jn. 15:6

The furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth is another description of eternal hell, not the grave. Mt. 13:42,50; Rev. 9:2 Wailing, Mt. 13:50 weeping Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28 and the gnashing of teeth, picture bitter remorse and pain. The righteous will take over the kingdoms of this world forever Rev. 1:5-7; 5:10; 11:15; 20:4-6; 22:4-5; Mt. 25:31-46; Zech. 14 and they will be luminous like the sun Mt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Rev. 5:10; 20:1-10 and inherit all things. Mt. 5:5; 25:35; Lk. 12:32; Rom. 8:17; Dan. 7:18,22,27; Rev. 21:7

I choose to hear what the Word of God says and will live in obedience so that I can shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of my Heavenly Father! Amen

 

The Parable of the Sower

And he spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow… Mat 13:3 KJV

This parable pictures the classes of hearers in the kingdom of Heaven – the whole course of this age of grace, portraying the reception of the Word of God in different hearts and the results that follow.  The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Christ) and the seed illustrates the Word of the kingdom.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up … When any one hear the word of the kingdom, and understand it not, then come the wicked one, and catch away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Mat 13:4,19 KJV

The seed sown on wayside ground, being eaten by the fowls illustrates a class of people who hear the Word of the kingdom and refuse to obey it because of indifference and lack of understanding. The devil immediately catches away the Word sown in the heart lest it should germinate and bring forth fruit. 2 Cor. 4:4

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away …  But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hear the word, and anon with joy receive it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but endure for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arise because of the word, by and by he is offended.  Mat 13:5-6, 20-21 KJV

The seed sown on stony ground, which immediately sprang up because it did not have much depth of earth, illustrates a class of people who receive the Word with joy, but they are shallow in their experience and the seed, because of lack of preparation in the ground, cannot go deep enough to take root to stand. In time of trouble and persecution, such persons are offended. They stumble and reject the Word as quickly as they receive it. Mt. 18:6; 2 Tim. 3:13

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them … He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hear the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he become unfruitful. Mat 13:7, 22 KJV

The seed sown on thorny ground, which was choked by the thorns and became unfruitful, illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to be choked by a love for the world, the cares of life, and the deceitfulness of riches, so that it becomes unfruitful. Rom. 12:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:10; Jas. 4:1-7; 1 Jn. 2:15-17

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hear the word, and understand it; which also bear fruit, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mat 13:8, 23 KJV

The seed sown on good ground, which brought forth fruit illustrates a class of people who hear the Word and permit it to have free course and bring forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold. This class puts forth an effort to understand the Word and to get out of the personal life all the hindrances symbolized by the hard, stony, and thorny ground. The words “hundredfold,” “sixty-fold,” and “thirty-fold” do not teach degrees of Christians, but degrees of fruit-bearing by Christians and that depends upon the quality of ground in which the seed is sown and the effectiveness of care and cultivation.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear … Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. Mat 13:9, 18 KJV

I choose to hear the Word of God and be obedient to what I hear so that my life can bring forth fruit and I can live a Godly life!