Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What is Murder? (James 4:1-8) Friendship with this World is Enmity with God


Was Christ and the early Christians murdered? Is murder justified simply because you do not (as Webster's dictionary defines) have malice (Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite)?  Yeshua (Jesus) told Pilate "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin."  (John 19:11)  The Jews which delivered Yeshua over to Pilate "had the greater sin", not the only sin! 

Pilate's participation was not from a spirit of revenge.  He was willing to let Yeshua go, as Peter said, "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go."  (Acts 3:13)  And, Pilate's wife told him, "When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."  (Matthew 27:19) 

Pilate found no fault in Yeshua.  Pilate had no reason for malice, but on the contrary, reason's to have no malice, as we see from the aforementioned scriptures, yet, for his participation of Yeshua's murder, (even though he was an established authority simply doing his job) he was guilty of sin.  (John 19:11) 

War, Abortion, Killing to Save Your Life, Condemning Criminals to Death--is all MURDER.  Murder is intentionally killing another person.  Repent.  Yeshua said "Judge not and ye shall not be judged; condemn not and ye shall not be condemned; forgive and ye shall be forgiven.”  (Luke 6:37) 

The salvation of your soul is dependent on you obeying Yeshua’s commands.  (Matthew 7:21-27)  Don’t listen to your begging pastor’s advice concerning what you just read.  The salvation of your soul REALLY is DEPENDENT on YOU OBEYING Yeshua’s commands.  Do not let yourself be deceived.  YOU KNOW it is evil, wrong, and devilish to kill another human being, regardless of the reason.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”  (Revelation 21:8)

James told the early Jewish Christians who were scattered because of persecution:  “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.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  (James 4:1-4)  Do you think that these early Jewish Christians were finding it difficult not to murder, as Webster’s dictionary defines murder:  The act of unlawfully killing a human being with premeditated malice, by a person of sound mind. To constitute murder in law, the person killing another must be of sound mind or in possession of his reason, and the act must be done with malice prepense, aforethought or premeditated; but malice may be implied, as well as express. 

Why would James follow the words “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” why would he follow those words with “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.?”  Do you think that they were struggling with killing people so that they could rob them of their possessions (because they were covetous)?   No!  As today, that type of murder was condemned by the Law of Moses and the governments of the world at that time. 


I thought to myself at one time, that perhaps James was simply referring to “disunity” among the brethren when He said “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?”  (James 4:1)  But obviously that thought does not make sense.

I used to wonder why James wrote these words but it is clear.  And I only used to wonder why James wrote these words because of how this world, my family, and faithless theologians defined the word murder.  I could not grasp that these early Jewish believers were having a “murder” problem…that is, killing people for no reason, for sport, or to rob them of their possessions, or for an unjust cause (the world would call these things murder). 

James said these words because these early Jewish Christians were resisting evil, returning evil for evil for evil:  seeking help from this world to defend themselves and their property which would mean those who did these things, (if they were not Roman) according to Roman law, would be killed and because they were apostatizing from the Christian faith of the Christ who commanded “Resist not evil and love your enemies” to the world view of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life.”  (Matthew 5:38-48) 

The world today, and the Jews and Romans then, would not define what these early Jewish Christians was doing as murder.  They would call it “self-defense” “right to bear arms” “Just war”, “trial at law”, “life for life”, (Exodus 21; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21) etc.  But for these very things James called them adulterers and adulteresses and reproves them again saying, “whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God," and, "Friendship with the world is enmity with God."  (James 4:4)  I always understood this statement of "friendship with the world" to mean participating in the things of this world i.e. entertainment, fashion, etc., but in context it means to resist evil when Yeshua commanded "resist not evil"; (Matthew 5:39) an example of this is the Church at Corinth:  "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?”  (1 Corinthians 6:1)  They were befriending this world by seek this world’s help to judge their matters “pertaining to this life.”  (1 Corinthians 6:3)

And for these reasons again, is why he wrote what follows “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. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 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 4:5-8)

“Cleanse your hands” that is, because your hands were involved in resisting evil by murder; and “purify your hearts” i.e. from hatred, and from the world’s way of justice, revenge, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.

He warned them with the words “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” because the Spirit is not going to beg you or woo you into submitting to God (as many popular false prophets today teach)…if you keep resisting the Spirit, the Spirit will leave you, and let you go your self-willed/proud way.  But if you yield your will to Yeshua’s commands “He giveth more grace” “He giveth grace to the humble”.  These are the “humble” who “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  (Philippians 2:5, 8)

James then tells them to submit to God (love your enemies, turn the other cheek) and to resist the devil (the devil’s temptation to get you to fight back, protect yourself, seek worldly government for help [example in 1 Corinthians 6:1-9], eye for eye tooth for tooth).  For all of their resisting evil he calls them sinners, being double-minded, going from the Christian faith to the Jews’ faith, the law of Christ to the law of Moses…he was exhorting them to make up their minds as to who they were going to follow:  Yeshua or this world? 

Murder is therefore defined by the New Testament Law of Christ as:  Killing in self-defense or to protect your property (killing for a “just, fair, right” cause: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life); War; Abortion; Condemning criminals to death.

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160