What good will any of those be to you when your life is suddenly over and you die?
It is now time for a final reality check!
"Come on now", says James!
Do you truly believe that your heavenly Father is in complete control and that He alone has all power in heaven and on earth?
Does not mere observation itself confirm that our existence in these flesh bodies is but "a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
Then what is there "under the sun" that can be so "all fired" important?
Money? Power? Ego?
What good will any of those be to you when your life is suddenly over and you die?
"Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity!" (Eccl. 12:8)
It is "high time" to place all things in proper perspective because just ahead of us there is a time of great tribulation approaching, a time of trouble "such as never was since there was a nation..." (Daniel 12:1).
"Come on now!"
Time for a reality check!
Will you believe the very words of Jesus Christ concerning the tribulation to come?
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Let's start by not causing division among ourselves, even that division which causes denominations to separate us one from another.
James has already made it quite clear that when we do that, even in ignorance, we break the perfect Law of Liberty and the Judge who stands at the door will hold us accountable.
Do not allow yourself to be condemned because you cannot let go.
Become mature in His Word which alone can bridle the unruly waggly tongue!
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
There is no time to waste bickering with one another.
Remember in our last study what James told us in verse 8?
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
The Day of Lord draws near!
The question is, "Are you putting on the Gospel Armor (Eph. 6) and preparing to 'take a stand' or are you busy making next year's business plans without including Him?"
(There is nothing wrong with making wise business plans.)
Another question is, "How will you handle the coming tribulation?"
Listen to the wise brother of our Lord and Savior!
 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
What a "great cloud of witnesses" (Heb. 12:1) we are surrounded by!
What great testimonies the prophets gave to us as visible examples that we might SEE how the trying of faith worketh patience!
Are you not thrilled when you read how they endured suffering and trials and tribulations and then emerged victorious through the grace of the Lord who gave them that victory?
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Think about this for they actually DID IT!
We "count their trials and tribulations as joy", don't we?
We read their testimonies, which are but portions from the books of their lives, and we are thrilled with their victory in Him.
So the question is, "What about your testimony, your "book" that you are writing in "real time" as you live your life?"
Would someone in the Millennium who was reading your book, your testimony, about how you handled your trials and tribulations be as thrilled as you are reading of our forefathers and foremothers of old?
Do you SEE why and how it is that in the "strengthening" of our hearts we can "count all our trials as JOY" (James 1:2)? Consider Job!
What a story!
He lost everything he had "under the sun" except his life, yet he would not curse God, the Judge who stands at the door.
And because he endured with patience he received a DOUBLE PORTION of all that he had before.
Job was a type, a forerunner (let us run the race, Heb. 12:1) of God's elect.
Those who "endure to the end" with patience and prayer in this final generation will also receive a "double portion" as firstfruits.
BUT.... above all things!!!
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, 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.
For example, can we swear by anything that we can make our business plans work out for sure?
No, our Father who is in heaven is the Lord GOD!
Of course we should not be doubleminded and our word should be honorable and we should keep our words of yea, yea, and nay, nay, when we give them, but on a deeper level what James is saying is that our attitude should always be reverent towards our Father as in "Yes sir, no sir, let it be according to thy will Father!"
Whether we have trials or whether we don't we should always trust in Him and remember to show our love for Him.
He is very, very good to His children who love Him.
 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Talk to Him about them.
That is what prayer is. Understand the purpose of trials and tribulations.
How can there be a victory without a struggle?
And if you become "merry" while talking to Him because you "suddenly remember" James 1:2 and James 5:10 and you remember the prophets of old and you understand that you are in the midst of writing your book, your testimony, then praise God and sing psalms of joy for you know with certitude that He shall give you the victory!
Let "the author and finisher of your faith" finish each chapter of your book.
Count it all joy!
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.
He KNEW WHY he was suffering (to pay the price for you and me) and He KNEW where He was GOING, to sit down at the right hand of the throne of God!
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
They are known by their fruits, not by their status.
It is an act of obedience and the call of the sick to ask for the elders to come and pray and anoint them with olive* oil in the name of the Lord.
The olive oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit for it is the Lord, in whose name we pray, who does the healing. The "elders" of church are mature enough to know full well they DO NOT have power to heal!
*Olive = elaia, el-ah'-yah, Greek 1636; feminine of a presumed derivative from an obsolete primary; an olive (the tree or the fruit) :- olive (berry, tree).
Isn't that amazing?
 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We are one body in Jesus Christ and when one of our members is ill, either physically or spiritually, we should pray for God to lift him up.
Our Father does hear His righteous servants who by their faith do bring forth goods works.
Speaking of being human, have you
(Hey, El-i-Jah, kind of like "olive".)
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
The point is that Elijah fell short at times also for he was just like you and me, made out of flesh and blood.
In fact, he got so depressed at one point that he wanted to end it all right there.
Yet God heard Elijah and He, not Elijah, did cause the rain to cease from falling.
Remember, the Day of the Lord is nigh at hand and it is no coincidence that James brings Elijah into the picture here.
We read in Rev. 11 about the 1260 days (3 1/2 years) of the two witnesses in this final generation?
Rev. 11:6 "These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: ..."
 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
It is Christ who does the saving!
Will you remember the victory God wrought through the Patience of Job and the power God wrought through the effectual fervent Prayers of Elijah?
These are two very important words to keep in mind and "do" in these last days.
 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
"Come on now!"
The sins that shall be covered are not your own but those of the one who was converted.
Did you not understand the Book of James?
Can the olive oil itself heal?
Can your patience restore that which is lost?
Can your prayers save a soul?
Can you convert the sinner from the error of his way?
The answer is NO to all the above!
Our Father alone does the healing and our Father alone "giveth and taketh away" and our Father alone opens the eyes of the blind, and our Father alone is Judge who is able to SAVE and DESTROY!
But He allows the humble "doers" of His Word, those who love and serve Him, to share in the joys of His healings and restorations and in the victory over death!
And the love of God we have obtained by the freedom we have through the perfect Law of Liberty Christ gave us; that love of God also covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8).
The real blessing though is in knowing you are a child of the Living God, "knowing" you are freed from death by Christ's shed blood on the cross, and "knowing" how close He is to you because you have drawn close to Him (James 4:8)!
The Book of James, written by the dear brother of Jesus Christ to the 12 tribes which ARE scattered abroad, even here in this final generation of the fig tree.
He has given us who wait upon the Lord's Day the very key as to how to endure the divers trials and tribulations which are presently upon us and which are to come "such as never was since there was a nation".
What is that precious key of wisdom?
James told us right away, first thing, "Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (1:2)."
It is easy when and if your faith is not a dead faith but the faith that knows without doubt through the stablishing of your heart the reality that "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever."
One cannot "believe" that and NOT be a doer of His Word.
One cannot believe that He is Lord and NOT say "thy will be done" in all his or her plans and affairs!
"Thank you Father for this precious Book of James."
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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