I See Dead People.

A study on the practice of love in the church. James 2

James the brother of the Lord Jesus saw walking dead men, declaring complete faith and confidence in the life giving Son of God. Their bodies stinking with the decay of death, these men claim to have been born again.

The apostle James, moved by the Spirit of God, wrote a letter that included a warning to Jewish Christians about certain walking dead men who professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and new life in the Spirit, and how they can be identified.

The truths taught are fundamental to the faith of Christians in every generation.

In the second chapter of James’s letter, he uses very descriptive language to distinguish between two types of professing Christians: those who are alive in the Spirit, and some who are literally walking corpses.

Before we look at James’ use of the word “dead,” (literally means: corpse), we will follow his train of thought from the beginning of the second chapter.

 James 2:1-4

(1)  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (2)  For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; (3)  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: (4)  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges with evil thoughts?

TRUTH: Partiality, discrimination, “respect of persons” is an evil that is inconsistent with, and cannot be practiced along with faith in the Lord Jesus. They are like oil and water: they cannot mix.  They are like night and day, darkness and light, evil and good.

The one who discriminates is a judge, who reasons and thinks in an evil way.

It must be kept in mind, that this is a study on the evil of discrimination among professing Christians, and the necessary spiritual virtue (work/labor) of love.

This truth regarding the supremacy of love  can be found in every NT Gospel and epistle.

Some teachers maintain that James contradicts Paul’s teaching in Romans where we are justified by faith without works. They say James belittles and weakens faith in this chapter.  But, LOVE is greater than Faith! This NT truth is extremely important. see 1 Cor. 13:13, 1 John 3:10,11,17,4:7,8,20 etc. More on this later.

James 2:5

(5)  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

TRUTH: We should hear and understand, that scripture teaches: God chose the poor of the world to be rich, (wealthy,) in faith, and to inherit the kingdom which he promised to the ones who are loving Him. God does not discriminate against the poor, He does the opposite, He has favored them. cp 1Co_1:26-28

It is clear from the words used, that the apostle is painting a picture concerning true and false wealth, status, success, and poverty.

James 2:6-7

(6)  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? (7)  Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

TRUTH: But, those to whom he writes, do the opposite of God’s example. They mistreat, despise, treat shamefully the poor, while showing favor to the rich. The rich, in return, oppress them, and speak evil of their God. This was true throughout the NT history. Compare: 1Co 11:22, Luke 10:30-37, Act 6:1, Joh 4:9, Mar 2:16

James 2:8

(8)  If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:

 TRUTH: If you truly fulfill the royal (of or belong to a king, kingly, royal, regal) law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. Lev. 19:18 Jesus said that on the law of love hang all the law and the prophets (Mat 22:40).

James 2:9-13

  • But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
  • For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

(11)  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. (12)  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (13)  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

 TRUTH: Professing Jewish Christians, to whom James is writing, should have understood the truth that all the law must be obeyed in order to escape judgment. Romans 2:17-23

Discrimination is a merciless sin that violates the royal law of love, and will therefore be judged without mercy. But, the merciful, loving ones, will rejoice at judgment time.

James 2:14-16

(14)  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15)  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16)  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?

TRUTH: Returning more directly to his original point in verse 1 –faith in the Lord Jesus and discrimination are diametrically opposed– and continuing the idea of the evil reasoning (thinking) of those looking for profit (used twice in these three verses) or gain by showing favor to the rich while despising the poor.

Faith is professed, 2:1, by those who do not execute/fulfill/practice/work  the royal law of love, (which is demonstrated by mercy and compassion to poor brethren);  yet they hope to be saved from the judgment of God that they know awaits merciless discriminators.

They sought earthly profit and eternal reward, but, will gain neither. As for the former (earthly profit) verses 6 and 7 shows they have only received oppression, ill treatment and defamation from the rich. And the latter (eternal reward), is promised only to those who love God and love their brother as themselves.

Now James draws an even sharper line of distinction. A more vivid picture is painted of the true evil nature of discrimination.

James 2:17-26

(17)  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Matthew chapter 23 is a parallel passage to this chapter of James and should be used to help interpret James. Matt. 23 sheds a bright light on the meaning of “dead works”. Both James and The Lord Jesus (Jam 1:1, Matt. 23:2) refer to and discuss similar problems recorded throughout the New Testament regarding the Jewish religious leaders opposition to the gospel and it’s message of grace to all people.  Discrimination against gentiles was a way of life.

For example:

Mar 2:15  And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. 16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

Also compare: Mat_9:10; Mat_9:11; Mat_21:31; Mat_21:32; Luk_5:29; Luk_5:30; Luk_6:17; Luk_15:1;Act_11:3; Gal_2:12;


Matthew chapter 23 represents the most severe condemnation recorded in the gospels from God Almighty against any person or group. It is remarkable because it is leveled against the religious leaders of the Jewish people, not the prostitutes, murderers, drunkards, or criminals.

This passage should be carefully studied. Why was Jesus so harsh? Did he leave any likelihood of repentance or forgiveness? Were these men who devoted their lives to transcribing, reading, protecting and teaching the holy scriptures deserving of so harsh a treatment? If so, why. Did this group of men represent the very worst of sinners? If so, why? Was their sin so much worse  than those who rejected religion altogether?

Mat 23:3  All therefore whatsoever they bid (say) you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Mat 23:5  But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Mat 23:6  And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,…

Mat 23:27  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers (grave), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

Mat 23:28  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity…

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mat 23:38  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Luk 11:44  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

Back to James:

(18)  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast (to have, i.e. own, possess) faith, and I have (to have, i.e. own, possess) works (an act, deed, thing done): show (expose to the eyes; to give evidence or proof of a thing) me thy faith without (separate, apart from) thy works, and I will show thee my faith by (out of, from)  my works.

TRUTH: Faith can only be seen by deeds. It does not exist apart from deeds. v.17, v.20 Very close parallel with Matt. 23, ie. The scribes and Pharisees say one thing but do (demonstrate) another v.3.

The word faith or belief is a word that reaches outside of oneself to embrace another for the purpose of life and direction. It is inconceivable to understand it apart from the effect it has on the one who possesses it.

(19)  Thou believest (to have faith in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing) that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also (in the same  manner) believe, and tremble.

 note: “and” connects, it is cumulative; (also, even, so then, too etc.).

 Interesting use of “belief”, here twice and v.23 . Their belief is compared to the belief of devils as to genuineness.  

Robertson’s Word Pictures: “The demons do more than believe a fact. They shudder at it.”

Thayer Definition: Belief: pisteuō 1.) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence (trust)  in 1a) of the thing believed.

      TRUTH: The devils show their faith (belief) by their trembling. Faith cannot be known otherwise: “If you love me keep my commandments…” “Go and bring forth fruit consistent with repentance”Matt3, “Ye shall know them by their fruit..”, Mat 7:21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” etc.

(20)  But wilt thou know, O vain (empty, of places, vessels, etc. which contain nothing) man, that faith without works is dead (a corpse)? 

“Vain”: another powerfully vivid picture, similar to Jesus statement in Matt.23 ” white washed tombs”.

Proof that v.18a is impossible i.e. true faith cannot exist without works. These people are empty talkers, devoid of true faith and lacking when compared even to demons!

(21)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22)  Seest thou how faith wrought with (Thayer Definition: to work together, help in work, be partner in labor 2) to put forth power together with and thereby to assist) his works, and by works was faith made perfect (to complete, to carry through completely)? See below: The Apostle Paul taught… (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.

  • Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (merely, alone).

More repetition for emphasis! Faith is not and cannot be known without deeds. The record of Abraham’s justification proves it. No other proof needed. But…

  • Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

See also Hebrews 11 for proof that true faith is visible and tangible.


Gal 5:5-6  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth (to have strength) any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh (be at work) by (through) love.

Religious ceremonies- even circumcision- are powerless/useless in the life of Christians but, faith which works through love is powerful. Faith is definitely a verb.

Contradiction from Paul??

Rom 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without (separate from) the deeds of the law.

Some scholars falsely believe this verse completely contradicts James, and therefore reject the epistle of James altogether.

  1. Paul clearly, along with Jesus, taught this same truth regarding the inseparable relationship between  faith and love. Eph. 3:17, 6:23; Col 1:4; 2Tim 1:13 etc  also See “Proof’s”  below.
  2. Rom. 3:28 deals with the objective nature of “the God kind of righteousness”(which comes only through faith,) without a description of the subjective qualities or characteristics of that faith, which he identifies later (5:2-*5, 6:22, 7:6, 8:5, 12:1-21, 13:8-10).  James is focusing on the genuineness of faith.
  3. Rom 3:28  is referring the Law of Moses and it’s commandments, while James is referring specifically to the Law of love (Jesus’ 2nd. Commandment , vv. 1, 8) which characterizes all of the Spirit indwelt offspring of God. compare also 1John 3-5

There is therefore harmony between James and Paul.

Peter on Faith and Deeds:

2Pe 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.

John on Faith and Love:

1Jo 5:2-5  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


176 times in NT the word works is used!

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; also Col 3:25

Rev 2:2  “I know thy works…” The judgment of each of the seven churches by the Lord Jesus is according to their works!

Rev 14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.

Rev 20:12-13  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Rev 22:12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 


READ Hebrews 10:35-12:2 – Maybe the greatest passage on faith in the NT.  Their works proved their faith!


  • For (The reason, the explanation) as ( just as, exactly like) the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 The body without the spirit is a dead body. In the exact same way faith without works is dead faith. A person professing faith without works is a spiritually dead person. Love is the essence of the works.

Love is the very breath of spiritual life.  Love is the spirit of faith:  “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” 1Jo 3:23,24

TRUTH: The person confessing Faith without possessing Love is a dead man; 1Co 13:13-  And now faith, hope, and love, these three things remain; but the greatest of these is love. 

Love proves faith as breathing proves life;

No love=No Faith; No breath=Death;

No Love = Spiritual Death


The work of true saints:

Joh 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Joh 15:12-14  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Heb 6:9-11  But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

1Jo 3:14-19  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 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. 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. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

1Jo 3:23-24  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

(Why? Because the work of the Spirit is love, against which there is no law.  Gal. 5:23, Rom 13:8)

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Joh 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Joh 3:19 –21 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.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1Pe 2:12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Rev 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

No Love = Spiritual Death


True faith is accompanied by spiritual life which produces the activities (deeds, motions) consistent with life in the Spirit. These works are produced by the Spirit of God and are characterized by LOVE.

Those who are alive in the Spirit show the work of the Spirit ie. LOVE, all others are dead, no matter their profession. Lack of love (1John 2:9-11) is sure evidence of spiritual death.

The Jewish religious leaders: Scribes, Chief priests, Elders, Sadducees and Pharisee’s were the prime biblical examples of this spiritual death.

Professing to be a Christian while discriminating against your poor or lowly Christian brother is the profession of a corpse and absolute evidence of spiritual death.

Love is the very breath of spiritual life, the visible birthmark of children born from God.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.  1Jo 3:14

Eph 4:15, 16  but speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, the Christ, from whom all the body, having been fitted and compacted together through every assisting bond, according to the effectual working of one measure in each part, produces the growth of the body to the building up of itself in love.

…a more excellent way. 1Cor. 12:31

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Without cost you have received without charge you give. Matt. 10:8



Those who love the truth, other people, and humility, expose their shame to be covered by mercy, forgiveness and grace. We’ve all seen this tap-dancing and have performed a few moves of our own.Do you remember the look on someone’s face who knows you are lying?

(The narcissist has no empathy, and no sense of shame which causes you to surrender to truth. So, they never see the other person’s face–they don’t care. The only pain being protected is their own.) What did Adam become? God knew where he was, but did Adam know?

Listen to the interrogation. With each question Adam drifts further away from God. In fact, this is the last we will here of his relationship with God.

…And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? [a request for self awareness, spiritual gps location?] And he said, I heard thy voice [the event which caused a reaction] in the garden, and I was afraid [for the first time by your presence], because I was naked [ashamed of myself for the first time]; and I hid myself [to avoid the shame and save my self righteousness].  And he [God] said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  [Two questions providing opportunity for honesty and repentance] And the man said [lies, half truths to poison the mind of the interrogator and implicate/destroy his wife], The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. [So, out of the 3 of us, I am last to be blamed]Genesis 3:9‭-‬12 KJV

The narcissist always asks “why all the questions? You don’t trust me?”  From his/her perspective, the only stake in the relationship is theirs. What they don’t REALize is, the interrogator already knows where they are, they just want to know if they know where you are now in the relationship.


This just scratches the surface of this drama.


“Share in afflictions? According to the POWER OF GOD”???
Isn’t that a contradiction? Doesn’t the WEAK one experience the pain, and the POWERFUL experience victory, and peace? What is Paul taking about? He’s taking a beating from God’s enemies—literally–and talking about. “…according to the power of God”?

As we learned in Romans 1: the gospel is the “POWER of God; the FORCE of God unto salvation.” Rom. 1:16 (a parallel verse.)

Therefore the forces in the world are soo powerful that God must use FORCE to accomplish salvation!

  • FORCE is necessary to overcome the enemy and rescue the captives. 2Tim. 2:9-12, 15, 3:8, 11, 12, 4:2-8
  • FORCE is necessary to give life, sight, and faith to those being rescued. 2:25-26
  • POWER is necessary for the children of God to overcome during this life and receive the inheritance. 1:6-14, 2:3-6, 4:2-8
  • The GOSPEL is that power/force: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise UNTO SALVATION through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED unto ALL good works.
    2 Timothy 3:15‭-‬17 KJV

“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord SHALL DELIVER ME from every evil work, and will PRESERVE me [POWER TO RESIST CORROSION] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. –2 Timothy 4:17‭-‬18 KJV 


” be thou partaker of the AFFLICTIONS of the gospel ACCORDING to the POWER of God;” 2 Timothy 1:‬8 KJV


“Let no man beguile you of your reward..”. –Colossians 2:18 KJV ,

“That their hearts [the center of desire and longing] might be COMFORTED, being knit [forced]  together in LOVE [deep family bond], and unto [the collective purpose of this bond is towards] all RICHES of the FULL ASSURANCE of UNDERSTANDING, to the acknowledgement [complete knowledge, discernment] of the MYSTERY of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  In whom are HID [kept secret] ALL THE TREASURES [treasure chest] of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE…And this I say, lest any man should beguile you [to cheat by false valuing something] with enticing [persuasive] words.. As ye have therefore received [taken possession of] Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye IN HIM:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving… Beware lest any man spoil [take spoils, lead away as booty] you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  Let no man beguile [to defraud or beguile of the prize of victory] you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, Colossians 2:2‭-‬4‭, ‬6‭-‬10‭, ‬18 KJV

We have these bandits, pirates, today. Beware of the pirates, stealing your treasure and leading you away captive. They lead you away from Christ the priceless treasure, and towards the fools gold of religious/spiritual activities and doctrines. see Col.2:23

It is important to understand (like the Galatian false teachers,) these pirates were professing Christians. They were teachers in Christian churches, pretending to serve Jesus but denying his glory by placing equal or more value on religious rituals, activities, empty philosophies, and traditions.
False teachers lead into all kinds of religious distractions, but they do not comprehend Jesus So they reject his riches. They believe other things are more profitable. They trick their followers to treasure the wrong thing.

So then, if you are going to mine for gold and search for treasures, there is only one true place to spend your time.

[THE TREASURE:] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; [THE JOY:] teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.–Colossians 3:16 KJV

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:   Who, when he had found one pearl of GREAT PRICE, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.–Matthew 13:45‭-‬46 KJV

Study your Bible until you know it’s treasures by heart, and are a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about Jesus in whom all the fullness of God dwells.

The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, WE WOULD SEE JESUS. John 12:21 KJV

There are a number of hidden treasures concerning Jesus the Son of God in the short letter to the Colossians– do you know them? How valuable is this secret knowledge to you? What’s your plan for mining more treasures about the Lord and his kingdom?

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is ABLE to BUILD YOU UP, and to GIVE YOU AN INHERITANCE among all them which are sanctified. –Acts 20:32 KJV

The Glorious Sun! No shades please.

They tell us most of the country is vitamin-D deficient and are therefore sick. Yet they insist you need sunscreen to block the greatest natural source of vitamin D–“the sun is now harmful, so you need to buy some cream.” God wants to hurt you, but we got you covered.” 😉

2 Corinthians warns is against this trick. Never let anyone tell you you need shades when gazing into God’s glorious light. Reject any teacher who filters God’s glorious word. They explain, they pure word is too harsh for the mind and needs to be cleverly watered down so that it is more easily digestible for sinners. Their sermons are full of interesting stories “people can relate to.” (Friends, you want life giving stories, the word of God is full of them!)

“But have renounced the HIDDEN things of DISHONESTY , not walking in CRAFTINESS [trickery], nor handling the word of God deceitfully [no light filters or sunglasses;] but by manifestation [visible exhibition] of the TRUTH commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our GOSPEL be HID, it is HID to them that are lost: In whom THE GOD OF THIS WORLD hath BLINDED [obscured, shaded] the MINDS OF THEM WHICH BELIEVE NOT, LEST the LIGHT of THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF CHRIST, who is the image [exact likeness] of God, should SHINE unto them. For God, who commanded THE LIGHT to SHINE out of darkness, hath SHINED in our hearts, to give the LIGHT OF THE KNOWLEDGE of THE GLORY of God IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day [as we stand face to face before the Word of God].–2 Corinthians 4:1‭-‬4‭, ‬6‭, ‬16 KJV


Don’t put a novice in office.

There is a trend in many churches these days of putting younger people into leadership. I recently visited a fellowship run by young people in their 20’s and early 30’s. Most of them are also new believers.

There is a very good reason the Bible says:

“A bishop [elder/pastor-teacher] then must be … apt to teach; Not a novice, [new plant] lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.-1 Timothy 3:2‭, ‬6 KJV

Even though the “young plant” may have knowledge–be a quick learner; They lack one essential ingredient all God-appointed Biblical leaders have: EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE.

You can teach what you’ve learned, or you can teach what you know to be fact.

In God’s kingdom this required EXPERIENTIAL knowledge is

  1. Of God. (1Jhn. 1-2)
  2. The Christian journey, battlefield. (Rom. 5)
  3. The enemy the devil. (1Tim.3,
  4. The path to victory/Overcoming.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for a young plant to possess this knowledge. This is why all of the prophets and disciples were trained over long periods by God before given responsibility to lead his flock. It’s also why we don’t reach maturity until we have been tried in the furnace of trails, and have endured like gold.

Objection! But wasn’t Timothy young? Yes, but he wasn’t a young plant. He was trained in the faith/scriptures since a child.

These churches who covert young leaders also SHAME the elders in their midst as they dismiss their wisdom and experience in favor of “young talent”.

Many of these churches have spiritually dried up, and hope to survive by recruiting youthful leaders. It’s a misguided business strategy, mixed with LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

*the pic is from Unconscious: Unlocking the Zone book.

MANNA: “Surpasses all understanding”

And he humbled [afflict, oppress] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know [were force fed like a helpless baby. Not food!?]; that he might make thee know that man doth not live [have the activitiy of life]  by bread [grain, earthly] food only, but by every word [all the commandments] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. –Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV

Like the unfamiliar food: manna, the word of God is the answer to all of our distress. We normally expect relief to come from what ever we feel we are lacking that causes our discomfort. But, getting closer to God in prayer and his word are the remedy we really need. Notice the level of relief, comfort, and satisfaction promised in these passages.

“for NOTHING BE ANXIOUS, but IN EVERYTHING by prayer, and by supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God;  and the peace of God, that is surpassing all UNDERSTANDING, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 YLT1898

Surpasses all understanding,” is exactly what the manna from heaven did to the starving Israelites in the wilderness. It was nutrition they knew nothing about, yet it was more than enough to satisfy their needs, with plenty left over when they could not work for food.
Friends, the word of God, (full of his promises) is all we need to lean on when times get tough. God promises to take care of everything we need.

“and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye were called in one body, and become thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing each other, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your hearts to the Lord; –Colossians 3:15‭-‬16 YLT1898

“‘Come unto me, all ye labouring and burdened ones, and I will give you rest,  take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me, because I am meek and humble in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls, –Matthew 11:28‭-‬29 YLT1898

“Do you believe this?”

Manna: I’m Starving! But, what is that?

In the wilderness, the Lord afflicted the souls of the Hebrews through starvation, so that they would learn to look to him daily for food and sustenance. (Deut. 8:3)

This was an important event on planet earth going forward in the history of God saving his people.

Did you know that the “fat man” may very well be as nutritionally deficient as the starving, skin and bones child in the third world country? The fat man is stuffing his starving body with nutritionally empty substances Therefore his starvation continues even as his body grows.

First there must be a certain type of hunger/starvation, nutritional deficiency. Then the sweetness of the words of God are no longer words in another book on the shelf.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.–Matthew 5:3‭-‬4‭, ‬6 KJV

The world system, the kingdoms of men, are organized to condition its subjects to look to the empire for the satisfaction of every need. For example, entertainment for the lonely and empty. Specially created and packaged food for the hungry. Club memberships for community and a sense of identity, etc. These, like the starving fat man, create an illusion of healthy growth.

The nutritional deficiency is so great that a mere threat of taking away these things creates a panic that often manifest in a war-like reaction, such as we see in the two party political system. The members are trained to fight the opposing side as if food and water are at stake. The same mindset is seen in organized sports leagues.

When these provisions fail, the kingdom provides drugs to numb the delusion and disappointed mind, or to take the mind on drug trips.

What if our soul and spirit were starving for a different, super-natural food? A food not for the body, but for the mind, soul and spirit?

Silence is complicity, and protection is accessory: Judges 19-21

This is a really good summary of this passage. The passage reads like a Blockbuster movie with anticipation, stomach churning horror, amazement, sadness, outrage, revenge, and a measure of redemption. I left out at least a dozen more adjectives.

Every teacher must remember the beginning of the book, and do not leave off the ending, which ends where it began.

This tells us that you really don’t go to the book of judges to find the way the people of God should live. You go there and learn how the people of God should not live.

(Bible critics use passages like this to accuse the Bible of promoting vile conduct.)

The episode in chapter 19 highlights the worst moral decline among the mightiest of the tribes. There are a lot of failures to consider. However, one that stands out to me, (and is often overlooked,) is the perpetrators were a distinct group among the Benjamites. They had a reputation for corruption. They were known as “the children of wickedness.”

Nonetheless, they found a haven and protection among their blood brothers. “A little leaven, leavens the whole lump.” Instead of family shame, their brothers supported their evil lifestyle.

In this case “a king” (as the book repeatedly reminds us) would have been morally responsible before God, and be the first to suffer for such evil in the kingdom.

Friends, silence is complicity, and protection is accessory to the crime. God took the opportunity to clean house in all of Israel at that time.

Study note: Remembering that the Lord only tells us what is important; how many mistakes were made in this episode in Judges 19 + 21?


“And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
Revelation 5:4 KJV

Why was John crying his eyeballs out? Because that book contains the list of those inheriting eternal life. The roll must be called, the names must be read.

WORTHY is a word indicating a comparison between at least two things.

Thayer Definition:
“weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much.”

Who “outweighs, is more valuable” than what or who?

The answer is The Law, Sin, and Death. Therefore more powerful than them, and able to deliver out of their hands and give life!

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Revelation 5:9‭-‬14 KJV