Transcript based on a Bible Study 15 March 2003

James 3:11 to 4:17

Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Last week we managed to get up to the middle of James 3, today we will:

Recap from Last Week (PLAY FROM 00:45)

So in a recap; remember what we were talking about before, that there are three groups mentioned within James. And you find all three of them at the end in James 5:13, where it says:

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

These three groups are all to do with the prayer of faith. We can see at the beginning in James 1:2, where it says:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into [different types of trial; verse 4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith..." (James 1:2,4-6)

Here again, is a prayer of faith. This is somebody who is going through a trial, as it says; "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray..." (James 5:13) He or she is praying for wisdom in how to handle that trial.

Another group, in James 5:14 says: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him...[so here are the elders of the Church] And the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:14-15)

In James 5:16 it says: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed..." (James 5:16)

As it is "...the prayer of faith that [heals] the sick..." (James 5:15) and if you pray for one another, then that also is a prayer of faith.

So here are three groups of people. All of them giving prayers of faith. As I pointed out, when you look at the book of James, it's a consistent book. It is not the way the commentaries tend to portray it, which is a disjointed book. It starts in James 1:8 notice:

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8)

That's really introduced in this context, and it's then expanded. And it will be expanded a good deal in this Bible Study and this section, as we go into the end of chapter 3 and chapter 4. There will be a great deal about this double mindedness. In James 1:17 it says:

"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." (James 1:17)

There is no double mindedness with God. With God there is a single mindedness, complete and total. If we are to become perfect and let patience have its perfect work, and we need wisdom, then it will be in that light. This is part of what is being explained. In James 1:19, it says:

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: [listen to what's being said, verse 21] Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the [implanted] word, which is able to save your souls [being]." (James 1:19,21)

So that word is coming from both the Word of God as it starts to talk about this perfect law of liberty, which is what we will learn from. And also the trial itself, which will give us aspects of that law that we can learn from. So, that is all part of that same subject. Then James 2:1 says:

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

You can't have the faith that we need with respect of persons. The two do not fit together. He goes on to elaborate on that a good degree. Then in the latter part James chapter 2, it talks about faith and works. You therefore see what kind of faith is required for salvation, for being saved. It is the prayer of faith that saves the sick. It's that prayer of faith, the type of faith being talked about where it says:

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

It's the doing faith. It's living God's Way right the way throughout. That second half of James 2 elaborates on this living faith. The faith that is required to offer this prayer of faith.

It then goes into James 3, talking to the teachers, to masters, like you have a head master. It says, make sure that we understand "...that we shall receive a greater condemnation." (James 3:1) So we need to make sure that we take to heart what's being said. He then describes the tongue, and the use of the tongue. It says in James 3:2:

"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)

Remember what it says in James 1:4: "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, [lacking] nothing." (James 1:4)

As it says later on; "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." (James 1:19-20)

So often we can get annoyed at the trial we are in, and yet God is working with us and working through that trial and explaining certain things to us in a way that we will never be able to gain just simply by reading the words.

So the use of the tongue is something that is very important. You can't offer a prayer of faith if the tongue is being used in a different way, a totally alien way.

The Two Sources of Wisdom (PLAY FROM 07:15)

It flows in from the beginning of James 3 to these two different sources of wisdom. Notice what it says in James 3:7:

"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:" (James 3:7)

I was watching a TV programme about the mink. There was an individual there with hundreds of yards of sheds of mink. He was fur farming in Denmark. He had been moved out of the UK because of the legislation, and he was now fur farming in Denmark. He reached his hand into one of these cages and pulled out one of these mink. You would not get me putting my hand in a cage with a mink! I am absolutely convinced that this was a very special mink, probably one that had been handled a great deal, because my experience with mink, is that they are a vicious little brutes, and you do not go ahead and put your hand anywhere near them. This thing was just like a ferret, covered in lovely fur. One thing he brought out which was quite interesting, he said, "We don't mistreat our animals. If we mistreated our animals, we damage the coat. If we don't feed them properly and keep them in decent conditions, the coat won't be any good, and therefore we have to look after them." As it says in James 3:7:

"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 [the mink are naturally a wild animal, but they have been tamed]: But the tongue can no man tame..." (James 3:7-8)

Notice, the tongue can no man tame. The source of taming the tongue does not come from man. It doesn't come from our ability. If we are having trouble with out mouth, then we need to be looking at not controlling our mouth, but controlling our heart, getting our heart right before God. James 3:8 says:

"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)

Now he is going into two sources of wisdom. It is all part of an elaboration of "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). It is two different ways, two different sources. You can't have the two together. You can't have the faith of Christ with respect of persons, which is of a different source. The only way we can give a prayer of faith is by having a single source, so that what comes out of our mouth, God listens to. James 3:10:

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place [or hole, as it is in the Greek] sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." (James 3:10-12)

The indication is that it is the very Spirit of God that actually produces the words. So if we are cursing men, if we are saying; "...to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool" (James 2:3): and being partial in judgment, then we are speaking out of two sides of our mouth at the same time. It is impossible. It doesn't come that way. We cannot therefore say a prayer of faith, and allow this to be the case. If you go to Psalm 34:11 it says:

"Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the [Eternal]." (Psalm 34:11)

Now; The fear of the [Eternal] is the beginning of wisdom..." (Proverbs 9:10). So what he is really saying to you, is I will teach you the beginning of wisdom, I will teach you the fear of the Eternal. Psalm 34:12:

"What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile [the way that our tongue acts is very important in this regard, notice it goes on]. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the [Eternal] are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." (Psalm 34:12-15)

Now we are talking about a prayer of faith, healing the sick. He is leading into that. He is talking about if you lack wisdom, go to God and ask, but ask in faith, nothing wavering, not being double minded. Psalm 34:16:

"The face of the [Eternal] is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the [Eternal] heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The [Eternal] is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the [Eternal] delivereth him out of them all." (Psalm 34:16-19)

When we are looking at being delivered; "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray..." (James 5:13). In that context, when we read these verses, we find that the use of the tongue is important. If our tongue is kept, as it says; "...thy lips from speaking guile. Departing from evil, do good, seek peace, and pursue it (Psalm 34:13-14). Then we can go and ask, and pray and we will be heard. Then we will be heard. This is the essence of what is being talked about in James. In Psalm 141:1 notice:

"[Eternal], I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice [here is somebody with a prayer, hopefully a prayer of faith, looking for an answer]. Set a watch, O [Eternal], before my mouth; keep the door of my lips [notice where this keeping of the mouth and the lips is coming from, it is coming from God]. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities. When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet." (Psalm 141:1-6)

In other words, you are praying for somebody else when they go through a particular calamity. So here we find praying for one another. We find that our prayers go up asking for wisdom, yes, in faith, yes, and praying for one another that they might be healed, yes. So within that context, it says; "Set a watch, O [Eternal], before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3) Why? Because it says in James 3:11, how can you get salt water and fresh from the same spring? It doesn't make sense. A fountain doesn't from the same place send sweet water and bitter?

"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 3:9-10)

As we read last time; "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). It goes into this fountain sending from the same place, sweet water and bitter. That is an interesting point, over in James 3, where it talks about the fountain, the well spring, it is a symbol of the very Spirit of God. Water is continually used as a symbol for the Spirit of God.

Go back to Exodus 15, we find here one of the first trials that Israel went through, after leaving Egypt behind.

"And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the [Eternal], for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea [we are looking at the destruction of the Egyptian army]. So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water [so for three days they marched]. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. [which means bitter] And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the [Eternal]; and the [Eternal] shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he [tested] them, And said, If thou wilt diligently listen to the voice of the [Eternal] thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments..." (Exodus 15:20-26)

You go back into James and see that this is what he is talking about, this "...perfect law of liberty, and [you look into this perfect law of liberty] being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work..." (James 1:25). You look into the next chapter where it says "...have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ...with respect of persons" (James 2:1), and this is very similar structure here. Exodus 15:26:

"...do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the [Eternal, Yahweh Rapha, the healing Eternal] that healeth thee." (Exodus 15:26)

Now that is what we are looking for, when we have this prayer of faith to heal the sick. We are looking for Yahweh Rapha. We are looking for the faith of this Being who heals. He is the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I just thought it was interesting to go back and have a look at this incident in Marah, where here we have a spring with two types of water. It was the tree that was put in that actually caused it to be sweet. I don't want to draw too many analogies out of that one example, but I did think it was interesting to read it and reflect on it.

If we think about what happens, remember what it says in James 3:1:

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

So often, we have seen people get elevated. I know Mr Armstrong mentioned this a number of times. You had the Vice President, the second in command under Mr Armstrong, and it used to cause some real problems within the organization. He was quite sarcastic about it - this office of the Vice President - it seemed to go to people's heads. But God many times has got to bring people down. If we turn over to Numbers 22:15 here was an individual who God was about to use:

"And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they [they had already been to see Balaam, and here another group came down]. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people. And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the [Eternal] my God, to do less or more." (Numbers 22:15-18)

It is interesting that he would say, "I'm going to go off and listen to what the Eternal is going to say to me." Then it says: God, or Elohim, or the mighty ones, came unto him at night. Eventually, The Eternal Mighty One came unto him and dealt with this individual, but it's interesting in how He did so, Numbers 22:19:

"Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the [Eternal] will say unto me more. And God [Elohim] came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do [God was starting to deal with Balaam]. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab." (Numbers 22:19-21)

In other words, he didn't wait, he just got up and went because he was so eager - a house full of silver, that sounds alright to me! Numbers 22:22:

"And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the [Eternal] stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the [Eternal] standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the [Eternal] stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the [Eternal], she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the [Eternal] went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the [Eternal], she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the [Eternal] opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the [Eternal] opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the [Eternal] standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the [Eternal] said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. And Balaam said unto the angel of the [Eternal], I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way..." (Numbers 22:19-34)

But it took the voice of the Eternal speaking to him through the mouth of an ass, to try and get a point across. Any of us that get up to speak, if God is using us, we are no different from Balaam's ass quite frankly, Balaam's donkey. Because all we're doing, or should be doing, is speaking the Word of the Eternal. We should be taking that Word faithfully before God's people. The prophet, Balaam was starting to get bigheaded because he was a pagan priest, and here was the [Eternal] starting to deal with him. He started getting big headed about it, and yet that is not the case.

Any of us that are in positions where our tongue is to be used by God, had better understand that God can use an ass. He can use a donkey if He needs to. I have seen too many cases where people lose sight of that. All of us can lose sight of that in whatever position we find ourself. As it says in James 3:10:

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:10)

If we are lying about somebody, then we push somebody down and elevate ourself. If we use sarcasm on somebody, the same thing: pushing somebody down and elevating ourself. Or if we're a talebearer, we're criticizing, and harping, and carping and so on. We have got to be so careful.

If we are going to be perfect, as God's children, in the longer term then there is only one word in our mouth, and that word has got to be God's Word. It has got to be coming from the right source, the right spring. The water that is empowering that Word has got to be the very Spirit of God. If we are going to give that prayer of faith, that water that empowers that prayer of faith has got to come from the Spirit of God. The faith is not our faith, it is God's faith. So if we go into James 3:12 again where it says:

"Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [conduct, but conversation is a good translation] his works with meekness of wisdom [it is a testing of what is coming out of the mouth]. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." (James 3:12-16)

If we find that what is coming out of our mouth is something that leads to strife and envy and confusion, then there is something dramatically wrong! Turn over to I John 3:24, here is a similar passage:

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him [so here is the living God dwelling in somebody who keeps His commandments], And hereby we know that he [lives] in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (I John 3:24)

The Spirit that is within us is coming from God. I John 4:1:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit [or every breath], but [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit [breath] that confesseth ['homologeo' Strong's 3670 which means, 'has the same word as'] that Jesus Christ [as coming] in the flesh is of God:" (I John 4:1-2)

In other words, does it marry with the way Christ would be if He was there in that particular circumstance? Is the word that is coming out of somebody's mouth reflecting what came out of Christ's mouth, or is it different? This is how you test basically the spirits that are behind different individuals. I John 4:3:

"And every spirit [breath] that confesseth [homologeo] not that Jesus Christ [as coming] in the flesh is not of God [if you don't have that, then it's coming from a different source, two different types of water from the same spring, you cannot have that, it doesn't work]: this is that spirit of antichrist [the one that is against the Anointed One], whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (I John 4:3-5)

It's the source. What is the water that drives that voice? Where does that prayer of faith come from? What is in us? What is actually driving it? I John 4:5:

"They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error [this is how you determine, differentiate between the two]. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is [begotten] of God, and knoweth God [this contact with God is there, it is not human love, it is "...the love of God...shed abroad in our hearts..." (Romans 5:5)]. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." (I John 4:5-9)

Now that is why it says, you test the spirits. If any hasn't got the same Word, 'homologous', as Christ coming in the flesh, then it is not of God. Why? Because Christ is - or should be - living through that individual. "The life that I now live, I live by the power and strength of the Son of God. The Son of God who gave His life for me." (Galatians 2:20) That is how all of us live. We put on that new man, and that is going to reflect the Way. It is the same Way that Christ lived. I John 4:10:

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another [this is coming into another aspect]. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us [God is actually dwelling in us and His love is being perfected in us, if we are loving one another within the Church, and to the world to a certain degree]. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit [that's the water that provides us with the power, to have the love of the brethren that is needed]. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess [homologous] that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." (I John 4:10-15)

This is the power that allows the prayer of faith to be given. This is what is important. So, if we haven't got this Spirit of God active within us, we can't give this prayer of faith. We are trying to go two different directions at the same time. It won't work. That is really what James is all about. I John 4:16:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect [remember it says, "...let patience have her perfect work, that you may be...entire..." (James 1:4) ], that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world [we reflect the same Way that Christ would behave in this society, in this world]. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar..." (I John 4:16-20)

Now that again ties in with what was being said; "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil...Therewith we bless God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." (James 3:8-9) It is all one same thought pattern. I John 4:20:

"...for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is [begotten] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." (I John 4:20-21,5:1)

Now it is talking about brethren within the Church here. In I John 5:14 it says:

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us [so we are looking at the prayer of faith that will heal the sick, that every single one of us should be offering on behalf of other people, including we as ministers as well]: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (I John 5:14-15)

That is the answer, because the One who lives in us, He is the One who does the work. It is the Spirit of God, that drives that prayer of faith. It is according to His Will. Then it says in I John 3:16 notice:

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren [just the same way as James said that you cannot have the faith of Christ with the respect of persons]. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth [that was examined within James also]. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." (I John 3:16-21)

In other words, if we are right before God, if that source of our words is the one source, which is a spiritual source, then whatever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and we do those things that are pleasing in His sight. So if we go back to James 3:17 it says:

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure..." (James 3:17)

It has to first come from the Holy Spirit, it comes from above, it is first pure. It has got to be that way. Even if you have a peaceable person or a gentle person or somebody who is easy to be entreated, if it is not first pure, it is not coming from the right source. Eventually it will break down. James 3:17:

"The wisdom that is from above [remember, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally...and it shall be given him. But ask in faith..." (James 1:5-6) ] is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18)

That is exactly what we just read, "...Every spirit that confesseth [same word, 'homologous'] that Jesus Christ [as coming] in the flesh is of God:" (I John 4:2) We are looking at the same basic wisdom. If we turn back to Ephesians 4:21 we see this same process taking place:

"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind [here is the breath that generates this prayer of faith that is needed]; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness [it must be first pure, then gentle and easy to be intreated]. Wherefore putting away lying [so that's been put away, you now have this other side], speak every man truth with his neighbour [if we decide we're going to control the tongue, and if all we do is just keep quiet, that doesn't really control the tongue. It is better than having a tongue that is foul, or lying, but that's not what it says here, it says, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour]: for we are members one of another." (Ephesians 4:21-25)

In other words, we do help one another, giving them the truth. Within a husband and wife relationship, if there is a problem, just being quiet isn't an option. Being quiet and just shutting up is not going to solve the problems. It is a case of an active use of the tongue. Ephesians 4:26:

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [go down to verse 29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth [that's the negative, but it says], but that which is good to the use of edifying [what needs to come out of our mouths is something which is good and uplifting], that it may minister grace unto the hearers [so that it is able to actually give a benefit, a favour to those that are hearing]. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption [this use of the tongue has got to come from the right source, the wisdom has got to come from the very Spirit of God]. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:" (Ephesians 4:26,29-31)

Remember what it said over in James 1:19? It says; "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." (James 1:19-20) But notice back in Ephesians 4:32, here's the contrast; it's not just a case of the bitterness, and putting away these negative things:

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)

So the positive side has got to be there. Going back to James 3:12 where it talks about the fountain sending forth at the same place, sweet water and bitter, it is not a case that the thing simply dries up, it is a case of what has got to come out of the mouth has got to be positive, coming from the very Spirit of God. James 3:17:

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18)

So what comes out of our mouth has got to make peace. If we do that, then the indication is that it is coming from the right source. We are doing that because we have contact with God, then we are able to offer that prayer of faith, coming from the very Spirit of God. That is the only source that is actually going to have any effect.

Cause of War (PLAY FROM 45:14)

Now coming into James 4:1 he asks the question:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts [or upon what you want]." (James 4:1-3)

Now there is an interesting ad I saw in the paper, called 'Why So Stupid?' I looked at the price of this book - £175.00 - and I thought - yes, I wonder who is so stupid? I thought it's quite interesting. It's by Edward de Bono who is quite a name within 'thinking'. He's the father of thinking about thinking. He has written apparently sixty five books, translated into thirty seven languages.

But an interesting quote here says, "A scientist dealing with the element copper knows that its properties are predictable, permanent and constant." Now he is talking about spiritual things here, he is trying to say, you have to have spiritual solutions. He doesn't know that, he doesn't quite know what he's saying. He says, "With human affairs, if you call somebody an idiot, that person is no longer the same person you called an idiot." Think about it, if you go up to somebody and you say; "You idiot." - before you say that, he is one kind of person towards you. After you say that, he is another kind of person towards you. I thought that was a very apt way of putting it. With human affairs, "if you call somebody an idiot, that person is no longer the same person you called an idiot."

Here in these causes of war, remember this flows straight after this passage on the tongue, and that flows straight after the passage about two different types of wisdom. It's saying; "Look, you've got conflict and problems and differences within the Church." It doesn't say within the Church specifically, but where are all these wars and fightings coming from? If you notice, as it says back in James 3:6:

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body..." (James 3:6)

It says in James 4:1:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1)

That's a reference back to James 3:6, where it says; "...so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of [Gehenna]" (James 3:6). So we see that he is carrying on the same topic when it goes into chapter 4. It is not a disjointed book. The topic is conflict - either verbal or actual - and applies to general warfare and also war between members, fights between Church members, differences. James 4:2:

"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill..." (James 4:2)

Why does it talk about killing? It says in James 2:10:

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." (James 2: 10-11)

It is a consistent concept being dealt with. You lust, you have not, you kill, you desire to have. You don't have because you don't ask. Why? Because you don't have that prayer of faith to ask. The prayer of faith, and that prayer, asking for wisdom. Wisdom that comes down from God without any variableness or shadow of turning.

There's an article here that was in the paper; 'Why Humans Want to Wage Wars', it says; "Perhaps the most famous last words in military history were uttered by an American Civil War Officer called John Sedgwick. 'They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.' " I don't think he actually got the word distance out. "He was immediately killed by enemy fire in the Battle of Spotsylvania in May 1864. The comment illustrates a problem identified by behavioral scientists that dominates the psychology of warfare. A strong universal tendency to underestimate the enemy's strength, while overestimating your own side's capacity. Indeed, if it wasn't for this particular bias in human thinking, termed 'a positive illusion' by psychologists, most wars would probably not be fought. In comparison to humans, whose history is dominated by warfare, there is relatively little violence or conflict between animals of the same species. Animals first dispassionately assess how likely victory is and invariably opt to withdraw in the face of superior adversaries. The human tendency to wage war then becomes an evolutionary puzzle. After all, humans frequently do battle, when any rational assessment should have indicated a low probability of victory."

And so it goes on, you see, the problem is, he misses one vital ingredient. That vital ingredient is Satan's mindset. What have we just been reading? It says in James 3:11:

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? ...But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." (James 3:11,14-15)

This isn't coming from God. It says in James 3:17: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle..." (James 3:17)

So what have we got when you have wars and fighting within the members. We've got a tongue behaving itself in a certain way; "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil...(James 3:9) and we're smiting the men made after the similitude of God. We are attacking one another. The actual answer to this question lies in the spirit realm. If we go on a little bit further, it says in James 4:4:

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses [these are spiritual adulterers and adulteresses], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God [you can't have a fountain sending forth water coming from two different places]? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy [or it lusts enviously]? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:4-6)

It then starts to go into the solution to the particular problem. Notice I Corinthians 2:12:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world [there's our problem, we are still part and parcel of this world], but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." (I Corinthians 2:12-13)

As Mr Armstrong said, if we are having problems with healing within the Church, we are too close to this material world, and we are too far from God. That's the heart and core of our problem. I Corinthians 2:13:

"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth [the wisdom that descends from above is first pure and peaceable]; comparing spiritual things with spiritual [or with those that have the spirit]. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth [or discerns] all things, yet he himself is [discerned] of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord [the One that is over us], that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (I Corinthians 2:13-16)

That is where it's coming from. That's where our mind and our perception must come from. I Corinthians 3:1:

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:1-3)

That is exactly what James was saying. How can somebody who is living a certain way, pray a prayer of faith? A way, that is away from God, and away from God's Way of life. That is our problem. That is where our problems lie. It is in these areas. This is the heart and core of our problems. Notice over in John 8:37:

"I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you [we are Britain and America, we are Ephraim and Manasseh, we know that, but look at what it says here - you seek to kill me because my word has no place in you]. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham [that's again what James is talking about, faith and works, Abraham was the father of the faithful, and he had the works to prove it]. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth [there is an incompatibility there, two different springs], which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent [apostlized] me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word [He was the Christ, the Anointed One, the source of that Word was the very Spirit of God]. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:37-44)

So this concept; why humans want to wage war, they don't recognize this analysis. This guy was a psychiatrist that actually wrote this. The reason why he looks at it and tries to analyze it along evolutionary lines is, he completely negates, and completely overlooks the spiritual element. The spiritual element is, what spirit is this coming from? What breath does this come from?

"From whence come wars and fightings among you?..." (James 4:1) It is from; "...the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning..." (John 8:44) That war in your members? And James 3:6 says:

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body..." (James 3:6)

It's coming from the wrong spring. James 4:2:

"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon [what you want]. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?..." (James 4:2-4)

It is against the very character of God. The spirit of the world and the Spirit of God are total opposites. We cannot have the one mouth sending out words from these two spirits. That is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways. Two-souled is what it literally means when it says double minded. The soul, or the word 'psuche' (Strong's 5590) is a breathing creature. You are trying to breathe two different spirits, two different breaths at the same time, and it isn't possible. James 4:4:

"...whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:4-6)

The Solution We Need to Apply (PLAY FROM 1:00:25)

Now the grace that we need is favour. When we pray the prayer of faith, we are asking God for favour. How do we get that favour? This goes into the next point, the solution we need to apply, James 4:6 says:

"...[He] giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you [that is the solution to the problem]. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners [if there are specific sins, they need to be cleaned up]; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:6-8)

So if what comes out of our mouths from time to time is two different sides of the same coin, if it is coming out of one mouth, from two different spirits, then the heart needs cleaning up. It's the heart that needs to be clean. It's done by humbly coming before God. James 4:9:

"Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." (James 4:9)

Now that sounds to me like fasting. Turn over to John 14:26:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)

So that Holy Spirit - if we are in contact with God, if we are walking the Way of God - will prompt our minds. It will tell us when we are off track. It will be there. Providing that we don't quench that Holy Spirit, but the the problem is we do. When we are told by that Holy Spirit that it is time to switch that TV set off, because the stuff on it is not suitable, we don't always switch it off. We leave it on, and then eventually if you keep quenching the Spirit of God, it will eventually leave. John 14:27:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you [that sounds very much like this wisdom that is from above, it is first pure, coming from the Spirit of God, and then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated]: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." (John 14:27-30)

Christ was filled with grace and truth. He was the Christ. He was the Anointed One. He had the Spirit of God without measure. That is what we aspire to. That is the perfection that we are aiming for, but we don't yet have that. We still have a certain percentage of our life that is not that way. We are growing hopefully in that percentage. If we offer the prayer of faith, we need to get to grips with this. We need to get close to God. Getting close to God is really the heart and core of it. But the Christ, the Anointed One had nothing of Satan in Him.

If you turn over to Mark chapter 9:28 and here we have a foul spirit and the disciples couldn't go ahead and cast this spirit out:

"And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out [why couldn't we just tell him to go]? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:28-29)

So when we go back to James 4:7:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil [how do we resist the devil? verse 8] ...Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 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 4:7-10)

So we are looking at fasting as part of the process. That is how we gain close access to God. We get ourself in the right frame of mind, and fasting allows us to do that, and also prayer. It is more prayer that is needed, and fasting on a regular basis.

Notice what it is saying: "...Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) The word devil means slanderer. That is one of his terms, he is the slanderer.This word 'diabolos' Strong's 1228 is always translated devil, apart from three places:

(1) I Timothy 3:11 translated slanderer

(2) II Timothy 3:3 translated as false accusers, not referring to Satan, but still diabolos, the same word.

(3) Titus 2:3 translated as false accusers as well.

Here we see in James 4:7:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the [slanderer], and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

So how do we get rid of this tongue that is having a real struggle? Well for a start, it needs resistance. Resistance against this slandering spirit. It is coming from a water source that is wrong. If we are watching soap operas all the time then we will have a problem with a slandering spirit. If we are watching violence all the time, we will have a problem with a murderous spirit. These things do have an effect on us.

You cannot have that and also the Spirit of God. The two are incompatible. As it says; "...have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ... with respect of persons." (James 2:1) The two don't fit together. It's all one subject, the whole book is on one subject, dealing with one basic and fundamental subject. James 4:8:

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:8)

The fasting process is what allows that to be the case. Turn over to Matthew chapter 9, and notice, here is Jesus Christ. Remember it's the Spirit of God, it's the Spirit that was within Christ, the One that had the Spirit without measure, the same Spirit that gives rise to the words within our own mouth. Notice what Christ was like. Matthew 9:36:

"But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." (Matthew 9:36)

You go on to Matthew 14:13, these are just one or two examples:

"When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities [He wanted to get away by Himself and pray, presumably]. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick." (Matthew 14:13-14)

You see the way Christ was - He was compassionate towards other people. If we are purifying our heart, we who are double minded, and we cannot hold the faith of Christ with respect of persons, we are compassionate towards one another. If we are having a struggle with that, then we pray to God, who upbraids not, and gives liberally that we have the right kind of wisdom. Matthew 15:32:

"Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?" (Matthew 15:32-33)

Notice Matthew 20:34: Christ was compassionate on the two blind men and healed them. And in Matthew 18:27 it says:

"Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt [this is the way that God deals with us, He forgives us our debts, verse 33]. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." (Matthew 18:27,33-35)

Again, this ties back with what we have been reading over in James. Now James 4:10:

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up [that is where our strength will come from]. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." (James 4:10-11)

This again is referring back to the one who "...beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgeteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer...shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:24-25) Well how is it that we are judging the law? Turn back to Luke 17:1:

"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." (Luke 17:1-2)

Now all of us within the Church are going to be making mistakes. All of us are going to sin from time to time. But, all of us, if we are converted should be going before God and repenting of those sins, and then keeping the law through the power of the very Spirit of God. Luke 17:3:

"Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." (Luke 17:3-10)

Now we should be doing what is our duty. This is all part of what is being talked about in James. We say we are going to ask a prayer of faith - a prayer of faith that may move mountains or sycamore trees or whatever. But what we have also got to do, is understand that we have got to do our duty before God. God wants us to do His will first. Then we can go and eat and drink.

That's where the Spirit of God comes in. The Spirit of God is working within us to mold us as His servants, and as His children in the future. That is the primary focus. The other is incidental to it, it is an additional benefit. When it is put into this context, that if anybody is sinning and asks for forgiveness, then we have got to forgive him. It says back in James 4:11:

"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." (James 4:11)

Because that brother is keeping the law. Yes, he may break it, yes he or she may sin, but if they are going back before God on their knees, then the slanderer doesn't have any recourse. Because the blood of Christ has covered it. James 4:12:

"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings..." (James 4:12-16)

In other words, we're elevating ourselves, and pushing down other people. We judge a brother, speaking evil of a brother, and speaking evil of the law, when he or she is battling. Yet, we go ahead and rejoice. What we really need to understand is, that we don't know all the circumstances. Between here and going home tonight, I could have an accident. I could end up brain damaged. I could be in a totally, totally different situation. If that was the case, how would I then be judged? Would I be looked down on by somebody? "You sit down here by my footstool." That is exactly what James is all about. He says, you can't boast for the morrow. You don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. James 4:16:

"But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:16-17)

What it's talking about in this chapter is that we; "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:8) If we are critical of one another, then we better be careful, because we might find ourself in that same trial.

It is all leading into this final chapter five, which we will conclude with next time.