Transcript based on a Bible Study 8 March 2003

James 2:14 - 3:10

Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

In this sermon we will be carrying on from where we finished, which was James 2:13, and today I want to cover four areas that are connected with this book of James:

Recap from Last Time (PLAY FROM 01:17)

Some of the points in this recap are a little bit different and there are one or two new aspects that I want to bring out regarding the verses we have already done within James. I ended last time by talking about the three groups giving a prayer of faith, mentioned at the end of James. You go to the end of James 5 and there is one group - notice in James 5:14:

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church [there is one group, the elders]; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord [so they are offering a prayer, and notice verse 15]: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick...[that's one group and they are offering a prayer of faith, and here's another group:] Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed..." (James 5:14-16)

Now obviously, if it's the prayer of faith that saves the sick, and it is also saying that we should go ahead and pray for one another, that also needs to be a prayer of faith. So the indication is, in these two groups - the ministry, and also every single one of us - we all need to understand how to give a prayer of faith. Preceding that in James 5:13, it says:

"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray..." (James 5:13)

We find in the beginning of James the people that are actually going through the trials themselves also need to pray a prayer of faith. Right at the very beginning, in James 1:2 it says:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into [different trials or types of trial]; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing. If any of you lack wisdom..." (James 1:2-5)

So somebody going through a trial needs to pray to God for the wisdom to understand the purpose of that trial. So here is the third prayer of faith, because it says in James 1:6:

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering..." (James 1:6)

So here again we have a prayer of faith. So there are three different categories as I was bringing out last time. (1) the ministry; (2) the person going through the trial; and (3) every single one of us as we pray for one another. All of us need to learn how to offer a prayer of faith. The entire book of James is talking, to a large degree about related issues - issues that we need to keep in mind as we give a prayer of faith, so we are able to pray for one another effectively, and we are able to get through to God Himself.

As pointed out last time that, notice in James 2:1 where it says:

"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." (James 2:1)

It says here very plainly it is the faith OF our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a distinction between the faith IN Christ, which begins the process and the faith OF Christ. You must have the faith in Christ to be able to have the faith OF Christ, but the faith OF Christ is the product of the very Holy Spirit that we receive from God after we have gained access to God.

You can't have respect of persons and the faith OF Christ, because the two are incompatible. I went into it to a fairly large degree, but something I would like to comment just a little bit more on in that regard - notice in James 2:11:

"For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill..." (James 2:11)

Now I brought out that what it's talking about here is that if you have respect of persons you are killing somebody, spiritually speaking. It says, If your brother has something against you, then go to him and make your peace, and then go offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24.) So you can't go ahead and 'kill' somebody and still have the faith of Christ, because Christ's faith wouldn't do that. And there is a reason for it. Notice I Peter 4:19:

"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God [it talks about count it all joy when you fall into different types of trials, and patience having a perfect work] commit the keeping of their souls [beings] to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." (I Peter 4:19)

I brought that out in a preceding Bible Study, but I want to just comment about it a little bit in this context, where in James chapter 2, it is talking about not killing. Now God is a faithful, notice, a faith-full - that is somebody full of faith - Creator. He is not a killer. He is not out to slander somebody, to bring them down. His Way of life is different. He is the Creator. Christ is the Creator. We are to be creators in the future. The attitude of mind that we should have now is one of creation, of uplifting, of helping and serving and being the kind of being that God and Christ are.

We cannot hold that faith OF Christ with respect of persons that tears people down - that is what is being said in these verses. As I have mentioned before, a commentary will say James is a disjointed book. It is not. It is continually giving aspects to do with this prayer of faith that needs to be offered at times of trial. James 1:16 says:

"Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear [listen through the trial, listen through what God is trying to teach us, both within scripture and also through the trial itself], slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." (James 1:16-20) And that is what we are aiming for.

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty [here is this faithful Creator developing His character within each of us, wanting us to give prayers of faith, the same kind of prayers that Christ was able to pray, and that He used to perform miracles], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)

Over in chapter 2:12 it says:

"So speak ye, and so do , as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12)

So you cannot hold the faith OF Christ with respect of persons because it is an antithesis. It goes against this mind of a Creator. This faith OF Christ that we should all have within us is something that we should be striving for.

That's a recap from last time with a little bit of expansion on the fact of God being a faithful Creator and that ties into the fact that we shouldn't be killing each other in any way, and being a respecter of persons does that.

Can Faith Save (PLAY FROM 10:44)

Going into the second point, let's ask the question; can faith save? Because in James 2:14 it says:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" (James 2:14)

Now the obvious inference as it goes into this particular passage is that, No - by itself it can't. But I want you to notice that over in James 5:15 it says:

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:15)

So on one side, it says can faith save him? And the answer is no. And on the other side, it says, the prayer of faith shall save the sick. It is the identical word for both, 'sozo' - Strong's 4982.

One of the things that people don't tend to realize is that having read the booklet 'What Is Faith?' they might think they now understand everything there is to know about faith. But that isn't right, because it doesn't give the full answer on the question of faith. You've got to take the other booklet; 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' The two go together. They were both written by Mr Armstrong, and should be read together.

When we say; "...the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:15) and we say, "What kind of faith is required for salvation?", we are talking about the same subject. Because being saved is not just purely a spiritual idea - it is being rescued. That's what it's talking about.

So when Mr Armstrong writes, 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' It is not just for spiritual salvation, it is for being saved and this is being used in this particular passage in James 5:15; "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:15)

But it is the type of faith, and this is what Mr Armstrong brings out in that booklet, 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' Because it says here in James 2:14: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" (James 2:14)

The same word is being used in Matthew 9:20. The word that is translated as 'save' in so many locations - this word 'sozo'- is translated in different ways in other places.

"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole ["be whole" is 'sozo' - be saved]. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole [has saved you, 'sozo' again]. And the woman was ['sozo' - was saved] from that hour." (Matthew 9:20-22)

So it is actually tied in with healing in this particular location. In Luke 8:36 it is actually translated there as 'healed'. So going back to James 2:14;

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" (James 2:14)

You can put that as: "can faith make him whole?" Or, the prayer of faith can save him, as it says; "And the prayer of faith shall [make the sick whole]..." (James 5:15) You could insert the word heal in there, because the word can be used in that regard.

God indicates here in verse 19 that belief itself is not sufficient: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the [demons] also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)

There must be works with it. Back in the Autobiography, we can see this at work. The man that anointed Mrs Armstrong, all those years ago had a very simple faith. It was something that God allowed him to have. He had a gift - it was a grace that God gave him. Was it in fact, the faith of Christ? Did he have the Holy Spirit working in him? He certainly had the Holy Spirit working with him, because he was actually healing people.

He had a simple faith and as much as he knew, he was being obedient to. But as soon as he rejected the Sabbath, and he rejected something that was true - and he knew was true - and yet he would not go ahead and acknowledge that, then that gift left him. That is certainly something that all of us need to understand. The works - the obedience - has got to be there as well, because demons, as it says, they have belief, but they don't have faith.

Let's now look at what Hebrews has to tell us, starting in Hebrews 10:36:

"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36)

Remember what it said over in James 1:4: "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing. If any of you lack wisdom [we can't figure out what's going on in this trial we're going through - we pray to God and we pray this prayer of faith], ...let him ask in faith, nothing wavering..." (James 1:4-6) Then, that wisdom can be given to us

Within James, the whole subject of this faith - the kind required for rescue, for salvation - is a doing kind of faith. This is the point James brings out.

Here now in Hebrews 10:36: "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36)

Now this is the salvation that Mr Armstrong is principally talking about within that booklet 'What Kind of Faith Is Required for Salvation?' It is talking about the salvation in the future.

Hebrews 10:37: "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry [will not wait]. Now the just [notice -] shall live by faith..." (Hebrews 10:37-38)

It's not just that we sit there and think about something, or we give some kind of impression, or we just have this assurance in our mind, and that's all. It is living by this belief, by faith. The works are evident. To anyone else looking at our lives, they are the evidence of what is going on inside.

Hebrews 10:38: "...but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [following evil ways]; but of them that believe to the saving [same word, 'sozo'] of the [very being]." (Hebrews 10:38-39)

Now in Hebrews 11:1 it says:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

"Substance" means it is the undergirding, and it comes from a word that was bandied around so much in the apostasy - 'hypostasis'. This is where it is actually used, and it means setting under, to support. It is only used once in relation to God, and has been completely twisted out of context.

The word 'evidence' is very well translated. It is 'elegchos' - Strong's 1650 - and it is talking about evidence that leads to a conviction. We are convinced of something, and it gives us evidence that leads to that conviction - the conclusion that we can draw. So, it is the evidence of things not seen. You can't see something going on, but there are certain things that give us evidence that it is going on. The faith you cannot see, but there is evidence there that you can see. This really has a great deal to do with what kind of faith is required for salvation. That's why I say these two booklets need to be taken together, so that you can see the two together. This ties in with James, chapter 2. It is interesting what it says in Hebrews 11:2:

"For by it the elders obtained a good report." (Hebrews 11:2)

The literal word "a good report' is 'martureo' - Strong's 3140 - and means obtained witness, as one that gives evidence. It is almost the same word as over in Hebrews 12:1 where it says:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses..." (Hebrews 12:1)

It is almost identical to that word witnesses. So the elders, gave a good witness. Allowed us therefore to look at the witness of their evidence, and conclude that they had faith. This is what Hebrews 11 goes into. That we can see the evidence there, that we can see therefore the faith that was actually standing underneath them, undergirding them. Now in their case, they didn't have the thing that they were hoping for. If they had, they wouldn't have needed faith. They had the faith, while they were waiting for what they were anticipating. For anybody looking back on their lives, we can see the evidence their faith - while they were waiting and what they were looking forward to. Let's go through and have a look at certain of these evidences. In Hebrews 11:3, it says:

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3)

Now we can't see the Creator. We can't see the Word of God. But we know there is a Creator, and we know the Word of God is there that commanded all of this to come into being. Why? Because we can see the creation. We can see that as the evidence of something that we cannot see. If you go onto Hebrews 11:4:

"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness ['matureo' again] that he was righteous [notice what it is we're witnessing - something you cannot see. You cannot see that he was righteous, because that is something internal], God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." (Hebrews 11:4)

So what you can see is this record that God has left us of Abel's sacrifice, and the fact that God accepted Abel's sacrifice, gives evidence of faith that Abel had, that he was righteous. You can see the evidence there. The faith and works are working together. Hebrews 11:5:

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony [this witness, this 'martureo'], that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5)

What can't you see? You can't see that he pleased God. But what you can see is the record that God translated him, which is the evidence of the faith that he had that he was pleasing God. The works and the faith were going hand in hand.

The kind of faith that is being talked about in James is not "sit on your backside and believe" faith, or "make a big hoo-ha and believe" faith, or a big kind of show or whatever. It is the evidence that is there. The life that we lead that shows to all and sundry that we are walking in faith. That we believe God and we will continue to believe God and we will continue to walk this way, regardless of what God does because we know that He is consistent. There is no variableness with Him. That gives evidence in our life for something that people can't see - the faith they can't see - but they can certainly see the evidence while we are waiting for what we are hoping for.

Once we get what we're hoping for, you don't need faith anymore. The faith is not just belief. The kind of faith required for salvation, for being saved ...the prayer of faith, remember, will save the sick ... the kind of faith we need for that, is a doing faith. It is living the life while we are waiting. So the fact that Enoch disappeared and was translated, shows he pleased God. That is the evidence of it. Hebrews 11:7:

"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet [he couldn't see the flood], moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." (Hebrews 11:7)

Why? Because he believed what God said. He knew, based on God's revelation to him, that there was going to be a flood, and he built this huge ark over decades, probably the best part of one hundred years. And there was your evidence of something nobody could see. You couldn't see the faith, but you could certainly see what he was doing, and how he was walking, and how he was living. It is what he had while he was waiting for what had been promised, that he was having the faith in. Hebrews 11:8:

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went [the fact is that he left, he got up off his backside and he walked out of the Ur of the Chaldees]. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in [tents] with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10)

So he was looking for what was not yet seen - this future city, built by God. Ultimately, he was looking for the New Jerusalem, but the fact that he left Ur and that he walked, shows what was going on in his mind, that he had faith. That he could see this thing in the future. Hebrews 11:11:

"Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised." (Hebrews 11:11)

Remember, we are talking about a faithful Creator that is creating in each and every one of us at the moment. Part of the trial process, as it says; "...rejoice when you fall into all different types of trial;" (James 1:2 paraphrased) is that this faithful Creator is creating the patience necessary. And we should allow that to have its perfect work, and continue to walk the way we need to, regardless, because of what's going on in that process. But she was over ninety. What we can't see, notice in Hebrews 11:12:

"Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable." (Hebrews 11:12)

Now you can't see that, and you can't see the strength that was given to Sarah. What you can see is the fact that Sarah was pregnant at age ninety, and she gave birth to a child. It is clear that is something totally out of the ordinary, miraculous and is an obvious indication that God is fulfilling His promise.

What Type of Works? (PLAY FROM 30:26)

Now let us ask the question, what kind of works should we therefore be looking at? We have seen several of those examples throughout Hebrews. The fact that they were walking in a certain way regardless of the circumstances, which shows us what was going on inside which we cannot see. The fact that they had the faith in something in the future, that neither they or us can see, but you can see the evidence in their lives. It says here in James 2:14:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:14-17)

Now if you go to just about any religion of the world, including Humanism, you will find that verse 16 applies. Even Humanism - an atheistic form of philosophy - will have the provision of help for the needy. Obviously you get something that is totally and utterly satanic, Satanism or the like, but in the vast majority of religions you will find that. But as James 2:17 says:

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone [there has got to be something there that gives evidence of some internal change]. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works [in Hebrews you can see the faith of people by their works, by what they were doing while they were waiting]. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the [demons] also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? [in his mind he had. He understood that God was quite capable of resurrecting him if necessary] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (James 2:17-22)

Remember: "But let patience have a perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, [and]...ask in faith..." (James 1:4-6) So the type of faith being mentioned - the prayer of faith mentioned at the beginning of James - for wisdom, is a faith whereby we walk the right Way regardless. While we are waiting, for whatever it is we are asking for, we are walking the right Way. James 2:22:

"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (James 2:22)

Can you see that Abraham was being tested at that time? He was falling into different types of trial, and yet he was doing things. He got up in the morning. He saddled his ass, he did all the various things were needed and he went to Mount Moriah. James 2:23:

"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." (James 2:23)

You can see that this relationship and trust was there with God, by the fact that he got up early in the morning and he saddled his ass and he took his son, and he went. James 2:24:

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:24-26)

As the body without the breath is dead - the word for spirit and breath are synonymous. So faith without works is dead also. You say, what kind of works are we talking about? I remember a lady years ago in the Church who had cataracts, and she went to be anointed for these cataracts. In her mind, she was absolutely convinced she was going to be healed. She had evidence that she was about to be healed, and absolutely knew, categorically, that she would be healed this time. The evidence that she had was a type of prayer was being offered - a hell fire and brimstone type of prayer, almost demanding that God go ahead and keep His side of the bargain. It was in a demanding way. Now agreed, Mr Armstrong said that he had never heard a prayer like that from this individual that anointed his wife initially. But let's just have a look at this particular verse in James 1:25:

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)

In what he does, how he actually goes about his life, how he conducts his life. Now should we expect that because somebody uses a great amount of emotion with their prayer that it's going to do the trick? Is that the approach we should use? This is what this lady felt. Let me be clear - many times the emotion is lacking within our prayers - it is a need, and when emotion is lacking within our prayers, we will not receive what we want. It says very clearly in James 5:16:

"...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

So it does have to be fervent. But the evidence that she had was purely that this man made a great show while he was praying. She wasn't healed - she went blind. She then went and finally had an operation, and saved her sight that way.

We need to understand what the scripture says; "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer..." (James 1:25) Turn to Micah chapter 6 and it is interesting the lead up into this section:

"Wherewith shall I come before the [Eternal], and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old [the price of a pair of calves - a few hundred pounds]? Will the [Eternal] be pleased with thousands of rams [that's hundreds of thousands of pounds], or with ten thousands of rivers of oil [you are getting into mega-millions]? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? [Shall I give something that is utterly priceless?] He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the [Eternal] require of thee..." (Micah 6:6-8)

In other words, what is the type of work God wants? Is it this kind of hell fire and damnation type of preaching? Is that the evidence that we are looking for? Is it purely emotion that we are looking for? It says in Micah 6:8:

"...what doth the [Eternal] require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk [these are the works] humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)

Now we have got to be very careful. If we pray in a demanding, aggressive manner, are we walking humbly before our God? Now perhaps this man that Mr Armstrong had anoint his wife was humble - he seemed to be a humble man that simply believed God and held Him to His promise and did it that way. God acknowledged that, and He went ahead and healed as a result of it. But, the indication here is, that we must be humble before God and therefore what types of works are we looking at for this prayer of faith? It is going to need humility.

It doesn't take ten thousand rivers of oil. We don't have to sacrifice our firstborn child. It is a case of doing what God says. Doing justly, loving mercy, leaning towards God's Way, and walking humbly with Him and doing His will in everything that we can. These are the works that we are looking at as far as; "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...But let him ask in faith..." (James 1:5-6) You ask - walking, doing justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with your God. That is the asking in faith. That is part of the process.

In Isaiah 66 we find out a bit more about the Being that we need to walk before:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?" (Isaiah 66:1)

Remember; "He that dwelleth in the secret place...shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1) He who dwells - his mind is stayed on God, his mind is focused on that area, he is the one that is actually protected under the shadow.

"...where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest [where is My Spirit going to lodge]? For all those things hath mine hand made..." (Isaiah 66: 1-2)

He speaks and it is. He wants to change some sickness? How simple it is, I don't know. I'm not God, I don't know how simple it is to heal, but it seemed incredibly easy for Christ to heal. In one case a woman actually came up behind Him and touched Him, He said; "...thy faith hath [saved you]..." (Matthew 9:22) In other words, she had faith in Him, and that faith saved her. Isaiah 66:2:

"For all these things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this man [or this one] will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)

Our basic attitude has got to be that we're humble before God. We can see this once more in James. Notice, this entire section that we are reading at the moment, is leading right on into the end of the book. But it says in James 4:6:

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)

He will give unmerited favour, which is what grace is. Unmerited favour to the humble. If we want the prayer of faith to heal the sick, and we are looking at the works that are linked with this faith, it is to walk humbly with our God in the time of trial. To trust Him, to walk His Way, come what may. "though he will slay me, yet I will trust him..." (Job 13:15) That is what Job said. James 4:6:

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:6-8)

These are all tied up together. You go back to James 1; "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8) And the context of that verse is in the preceding verses that talk about this prayer of faith for wisdom. Somebody who is trying to walk two different ways at once, will get his legs in a knot. It's not possible. Double minded, 'dipsuchos' (Strong's 1374,) it literally means 'two souled'. In other words, a creature that is breathing two different types of breath. Going in two directions at once. It says here in James 4:8:

"...purify your hearts, ye double minded [get back on track!]. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:8-10)

So the prayer of faith, what type of works are involved? It is a case of fasting, yes; prayer, yes; drawing close to God, doing justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with God, doing what we should be doing, regardless. Even though we are going through a trial. Never shaken in that faith, that way in which we are walking. We ask in faith, and that faith is the type required for salvation, for rescue. It is not just simple belief. The faith being talked about is a doing faith. That's the entire subject of the book of James. If you want to look at a little bit more on that notice James 2:12:

"So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12)

What are the kind of works? The speaking and doing! And he is just about to go into the types of works he is talking about. He is talking in James 3 about the use of the tongue. But there is another thing that is brought out just before the section where it says; "Is any among you afflected? let him pray..." (James 5:13) and "..the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:15), Notice James 5:12:

"But above all things, my brethren, swear not [you think why on earth would he say that there? It doesn't seem to make sense], neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." (James 5:12)

In other words, this prayer of faith you are about to issue would have no effect at all. We don't need to swear, we don't need to back it up with an oath, because our yes means yes. When we say something, we mean it. We don't use trickery and devious ways. It's walking humbly with God. When you come into James 3 it is talking about use of the tongue. It is talking about two different types of wisdom at the end of James 3, and having these two ways at once and we can't be going two different directions at the same time. James 2:12:

"So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12)

In James 3:2 notice:

"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)

So the works that are being talked about in James chapter 2 - in the context of "...let patience have her perfect work..." (James 1:4) and asking for wisdom, nothing wavering in the type of faith - he is talking about what do we say the rest of the time. How do we use our tongue? Oh, we go before God and we get on our knees and we ask God for wisdom. We ask God to give us understanding. What are we using our tongue for the rest of the time? Can we keep the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons? You have got to have the compatibility and if the compatibility is not there, we cannot ask in faith. It is impossible. In Romans 5:8 it says:

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [so before we were converted at all, Christ died, He died so that we have something to hang onto]. Much more then, being now justified by his blood [we are made righteous by His blood "...for the remission of sins that are past..." (Romans 3:25)], we shall be saved from wrath through him [same word 'sozo']. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled [we have accepted that sacrifice], we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:8-10)

So the prayer of faith that saves the sick, is a prayer of faith that comes from a mouth, in whose heart is the Spirit of God. The words coming out of our mouth are coming from somebody led by the very Spirit of God. The works that we're doing are the works of somebody who is being led by the Spirit of God. We look into the perfect law of liberty, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. All these sections all fit together to tell us what is necessary to give a prayer of faith. Notice over in John 14:10:

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10)

Now we are looking to a prayer of faith saving the sick. The words that were coming out of Christ's mouth were coming from the very Spirit of God. He had the Spirit without measure. If we come before God, we have got to hang onto that sacrifice, and without that we have no hope at all - because the sacrifice allows us to approach God - but then we walk in the Way that God wants us to walk. John 14:10:

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14:10-11)

So in other words, look at the evidence that is there, the witness. "Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" - this is the witness that the Father was working through Christ, evidenced by the works that He did. He raised the dead, whatever came out of His mouth was the will of God. Turn to John 10:37 a similar thing is being said here:

"If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." (John 10:37-38)

The Words of God, the Spirit of God upholds the entire reality that is here. In that sense, we are in Him. But also, the Father dwelt in Christ specifically at that time. Go back to John 3:16, this is the classic scripture that is quoted by many and then they stop at verse 16:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life [but go on, keep reading]. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved [now the prayer of faith will save the sick - yes, a physical healing, but the same principle in effect]. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is [determined or judged] already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:16-21)

It is God that is doing the work through the individual. He comes to the perfect law of liberty and sees the type of person that he is, and makes changes. He is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This is what it's talking about here, that these works that are being done here are wrought in God - He is behind these works that are being done. Go back to John 14:10, and notice:

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father [we are examining James in the context of a prayer of faith healing the sick and giving us wisdom in times of trial, of praying for each other through that prayer of faith that we might be healed]. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:10-14)

That is really quite categorical isn't it? Yet we think, well this doesn't happen. Well, then there is something wrong with us. We are off track. Remember what James said - it is a prayer of faith, and faith without works is dead. The works being talked about particularly are the words that we use. What comes out of our mouth? How do we live our life? Is it a reflection of the spirit that is within us? John 14:15:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for it dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:15-17)

So here we see that the Spirit does actually work with somebody, before being in them. This man that Mr Armstrong came across, undoubtedly that Spirit was working with him, but he rejected knowledge and truth and it stopped working with him. John 14:18:

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you [through that Spirit, Christ Himself, the Living Word of God, the Logos of old]. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also [we read these words every Passover, and they should teach us a great deal]. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:18-23)

Now there is the power through which people are healed. They are not healed by our faith. It is the faith OF Christ in us. That is the power that does the healing. As far as we are concerned, if we are looking at why we are not being healed, then what is the problem with us? We need to look in these areas. Why when I as a minister pray over somebody are they not healed? I need to look at that, and say, "What's coming out of my mouth - at other times - is it reflecting what should be coming out of my mouth? Yes, we all make mistakes, but is that just really a mistake, or is it me fundamentally? Am I wrong in this area? Is there something there that I need to put right? The answer is yes, there is.

It says; "...If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man..." (James 3:2) I'm not perfect, I make mistakes. It is necessary for the ministry, but it is also necessary for every single one of us to ask ourselves this question. Because we pray for each other that we may be healed. The prayer of faith is not just the minister's job.

If we're going through a trial and we cannot see why - we ask for wisdom and we are not receiving it - and we think, "why is God allowing this?", could it be that we're two spirited, that we're going two different directions at the same time? That seems to be one of the problems that is there. As it says; "...purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:8) It is the heart where the Spirit of God actually resides. That has got to be pure. If that is trying to go two different directions, it won't work, it doesn't work. In Hebrews 12:1 it says:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses..." (Hebrews 12:1)

In other words, we can go back to these people who had faith, that were walking in faith, albeit not seeing the promises, not seeing what was up ahead. But what we can see is the life that they led while they were waiting. It wasn't just a dead faith, it was the type of faith required for rescue, for salvation. Hebrews 12:1:

"...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us [we also walk in faith through whatever trial we have to go through], Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Because, "...I am in the Father, and the Father in me..." (John 14:11) and through that same process God is in us also, through the very Spirit. We know therefore that God has control over a situation such as somebody being sick, and we have faith in that process. Hebrews 12:2:

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:" (Hebrews 12:2-5)

So, as it says; "...count it all joy when ye fall into [the different range of trials];" (James 1:2) because it is a development process that God uses for our benefit. It is speaking to us as children. We are therefore "...swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" (James 1:19) We don't rail against what's happening to us, but we ask in faith, walking the way we need to walk, regardless of circumstances, until we finally die if necessary. But we will ask for that wisdom we need. Hebrews 12:10:

"For they [human parents] verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." (Hebrews 12:10)

Remember, even Elijah, when he prayed for rain, didn't just pray once. It was seven times he prayed for rain until finally a cloud appeared. We need to keep going. As it says in Luke 18 where it talks about the unjust judge, the widow kept going and just kept bothering him. We need to keep on our knees before God and keep walking in the way that we need to walk - just keeping going in that same way. Hebrews 12:11:

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way [becomes dislocated]; but let it rather be healed." (Hebrews 12:11-13)

In other words, the way in which we walk is healed. The lesson that is being taught, is learned. The important point is that the works we are doing and the way we are walking needs to be in the Way of God - come what may - for eternity. That is what is being tested in the trial. That was Abraham's test, it says; "...now I know that thou [will be obedient]..." (Genesis 22:12) So, we have got to walk the Way of God - come what may - for eternity. God will not have another Satan on His hands, and we are being tested by God to make sure that is going to be the case. These are the purposes.

Where Do Our Words Come From? (PLAY FROM 1:09:24)

So going into James 3 and asking - where do our words come from? James 3:1:

"My brethren, be not many masters..." (James 3:1)

The word 'masters' there in the King James means master as a student and master. It literally means teacher - as a master who teaches a class. It has the connotation of somebody who is in authority, yes, but it is not like an overlord but a teacher.

"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:1-2)

That points straight back to where it talks about in James 1:4:

"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing. [But] If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men..." (James 1:4-5)

So, looking at the way in which we use our tongue is part of the process of being perfected. And particularly if we are teachers - using our tongue all the time - are we teaching what is right, or are we going in a different way? In Leviticus 4:3 we find differentials being made between people that were in positions of authority and people that were not, even in the sacrificial system:

"If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the [Eternal] for a sin offering. [now verse 13:] And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the [Eternal] concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin..." (Leviticus 4:3,13-14)

Both the entire congregation or the priest - who was representing God - had to offer a bullock. But, when you come down to Leviticus 4:22:

"When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the [Eternal] his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty; Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:" (Leviticus 4:22-23)

So there is a lesser offering there. In Leviticus 4:27:

"And if any one of the common people [people of the land, ordinary people] sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the [Eternal] concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned." (Leviticus 4:27-28)

So, presumably that was a lesser expense. The priest had to bring a bullock, but the common people were able to give a kid. And as James 3:1 says;

"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." (James 3:1)

What comes out of our mouth as teachers is more important, and particularly where it talks over in James 5, about the prayer of faith healing the sick, it is very, very important that we understand the aspect there. Turn over to Matthew 12:31 where it says:

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men [if you notice 'against' is in italics, it is a spiritual blasphemy that shall not be forgiven to men]. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:31-33)

In other words, where are the words coming from? Are they coming from the Spirit of God? Remember the people were blaspheming against Christ, and His Words were coming from the Spirit of God completely. He was filled with grace and truth and they were getting very close to the unpardonable sin because of what they were actually saying. Matthew 12:34:

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:34-37)

Now that should teach a great deal to all of us. How do we use the tongue? It is in the context of works and faith to do with these three categories of people expected to give a prayer of faith before God - the individial, the minister and the brethren ... praying for one another. A prayer of faith that would actually produce a miracle. Somebody being healed, or somebody having wisdom from God.

If we turn over to Malachi on this same basis, regarding the priests. Malachi is scathing. I am convinced that Malachi is primarily talking to the ministry today or in these past few years, and has a great deal to say to us, Malachi 2:1:

"And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the [Eternal] of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart [as it says, "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34)]. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the [Eternal] of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace [Levi is the type of the ministry]; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips [ as James mentioned: "whoever looks into that perfect law of liberty, continuing therein, being a faithful hearer, and a doer of the work"] he walked with me in peace [there's his works, the faith with the works] and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the [Eternal] of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the [Eternal] of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law." (Malachi 2:1-9)

An absolutely scathing indictment to the priesthood and is clearly an end-time fulfilment. Now back to James 3:1;

"My brethren, be not many masters [don't be many teachers, don't be ones getting up there to preach, don't crave that above all else], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body [so the works can be done]. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." (James 3:1-4)

When I taught sailing, I had to teach the people which way to push the tiller. Invariably they get it wrong at first, because it goes back to front. In a strong gale, you can be flying along, and it's "how about turning around now, before we get to the beach?" James 3:5:

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body [the body of the Church], and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame..." (James 3:5-8)

No man can tame it! It takes the faith OF God, the faith OF Christ. You cannot hold that with respect of persons. There has got to be, as it says, "so speak and so do as those that should be judged out of the law of liberty. The works perfom with the faith to show that we are the children of God. James 3:8:

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:8-10)

Why? Because as it says; "A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways." (James 1:8) We are being double minded, we are being two-spirited if we are going two different ways at the same time! We are trying to hold the faith OF Christ - the way Christ was, the way Christ operated - with respect of persons; trying to better ourselves or do whatever it is, using our tongue in an incorrect way. The only way we can get round this, is as it says in James 4:8:

"Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn..." (James 4:8-9)

That is how it can be done - it takes fasting, it takes prayer and humility. There is your basis for actually praying the prayer of faith.