We continue the discussion of 1 John 2:28 with 1 John 2:29-3:3 and 2:20, 26-27 here in Part 8 of this paper.
188.8.131.52. JOHN 14:16-17 and 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19: "I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [the Holy Spirit], that He may be with you forever; (17) that is the Spirit of truth [who enables us to know the truth and be established in the truth (cf. 1 John 2:27; John 15:26; 16:13)], whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He [the Holy Spirit] abides with you and will be in you ["be in you" after the Spirit is poured out on the Day of Pentecost]." 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God [God the Father], and you are not your own?
Christians are born of God the Father (born again; born from above) by the indwelling Holy Spirit of life. See 1 John 3:9 ("No one who is born of God [God the Father] practices sin, because His seed [referring to the Holy Spirit] dwells in him...." Note that the Son of God is mentioned in 3:8. On being born of God the Father, see 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18. These verses are all the more important for this study because they are all in 1 John.
The Spirit could not be given to dwell in us in the full, promised new-covenant sense until the Lord Jesus had overthrown spiritual death, sin, and Satan in His atoning death and been resurrected and ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Compare, for example, Acts 1:4-8 and 2:33. I'll quote ACTS 2:33 (It confirms that God gives the Spirit, in accordance with His promise, but it also shows that it is biblical to say that the Father gives the Spirit through the Lord Jesus, who purchased our salvation with His blood): "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit [from God the Father], He [the Lord Jesus] has poured forth this which you both see and hear." JOHN 15:26 also mentions that God the Father gives the Spirit (the Spirit comes "from the Father") through the Lord Jesus, who is speaking here): "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you FROM THE FATHER [my emphasis], that is the Spirit of truth WHO PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER [my emphasis], He [the Spirit] will testify about Me." When Jesus sends the Spirit or baptizes in the Spirit (John 1:33; Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16), it must be understood that this is the Spirit that is given by the Father, according to promise. In Acts 1:4 Jesus spoke of believers receiving "what the Father had promised," and He went on to speak of being baptized in the Spirit "not many days from [then]," referring to the Day of Pentecost. I'll quote TITUS 3:6, which is another verse that speaks of God the Father giving the Spirit through the Lord Jesus: "[Holy Spirit] whom He [God the Father] poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior."
I'll quote a few sentences from what Marianne Meye Thompson says under 1 John 2:20 ("1, 2, 3 John" [Inter-Varsity Press, 1992], page 78): "God the Father gives the Spirit who inspires true understanding and confession of Jesus the Son. Thus God is the final court of appeal. It would be crucial for the Johannine Christians to be able to claim the ultimate source of the Spirit with which they had been anointed and which continues to guard the truth of their confession. ...the Spirit they know comes from God and guards the truth." From my point of view, it is important that God the Father has the preeminent role in the Trinity. (See my last paper: "The Preeminent Role of God the Father in the Trinity: What about the Council of Nicea and the Nicene Creed?" It is available on my internet site: Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.)
I'll quote a few sentences from what Zane C. Hodges says under 1 John 2:20 and 27 ("Bible Knowledge Commentary - New Testament," (SP Publications, Inc., 1983), page 892): "The readers were well fortified against the antichrists, however, since they had 'an anointing from the Holy One' (i.e., from God). The 'anointing' is no doubt the Holy Spirit since, according to verse 27, the anointing 'teaches.' ... Jesus Himself was 'anointed' with the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 10:38)." And "Their 'anointing...received from' God, 'remains in' them 'and' was a sufficient Teacher."
I believe that when you add up all of this information that I have included under 1 John 2:26-27, the evidence rather strongly supports the viewpoint that it is God the Father who anoints in 2:27 and that the words "you abide in Him" (or, probably better, "abide in Him") at the end of 2:27 refer to God the Father. This serves as a rather strong confirmation that the words "abide in Him" in 2:28 also refer to God the Father. And if the words "abide in Him" in 2:28 refer to God the Father, the words that follow in 2:28 refer to Him too: "so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming [parousia]."
6. JAMES 5:7-8 (WITH JAMES 5:1-12) AND THE LORD'S COMING TO JUDGE, BUT WHO DOES THE LORD REFER TO HERE? (James 3:1-4:10 are discussed in a paper on my internet site. Google to Karl Kemp Teaching. The content of that paper has some relevance for this study of James 5:7-8.)
JAMES 5:7-8. "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming [Greek "parousia"] of the Lord. [["Therefore" at the beginning of this sentence ties these verses to the previous verses (1-6). For one thing, those verses deal with the need for judgment, for the Judge to come, and 5:7-8 deal with the Judge coming. Verses 7 and 8 (and 10-11) include the important message that God's people must be patient and wait for the Judge to come. They must resist the urge to become the judges and take vengeance themselves (cf. Rom. 12:19). Verses 1-12 also powerfully contain the message that God's people must live for Him in His truth and righteousness (by His grace) so they will be ready to stand before Him (the Judge) when He comes. Later in this study of James 5:7-8, I'll quote James 5:1-6 and 9-12.]] The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains [The early rains in Israel typically start in October-November and the late rains typically fall in April-May.] (8) You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming [Greek "parousia"] of the Lord is near." Back then they thought the coming of the Lord was near. God wanted them (and all generations) to live in the light of the fact that His coming was near. Even though He didn't come in their generation, they all died and have to stand before the Judge. All Christians of all generations must get ready, and then stay ready, to stand before the Judge. We don't have any time that it is OK to sin, because He is not coming for a long time (cf., e.g., Matt. 24:42-51; the "evil slave" of verses 48-51, who represents a leader among Christians, thought he had some time for sin before the Judge/judgment would come; he made a big mistake and suffered the ultimate penalty for his rebellion).
The Key Question for this Study of James 5:7-8 Is Who Is the Lord Who Comes ("Parousia") in These Verses? (The Greek noun "parousia" is used in both verses.) Most believe these verses speak of the coming of the Lord Jesus to judge. The dominant reason for this viewpoint is that the New Testament frequently speaks of the coming (parousia) of the Lord Jesus to judge and to save, including the resurrection and rapture of the saints (cf. Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; and 2 Pet. 3:4; all these verses use parousia).
However, as we will discuss, I believe the evidence rather strongly favors the viewpoint that James was speaking of God the Father coming to judge the world. This doesn't mean that the Lord Jesus is not coming. He will come too, at the same time. (It seems clear that James, who was a half-brother of the Lord Jesus concerning the flesh, who totally understood His deity, also understood, and rightly so, that God the Father has a preeminent role in the Trinity. (This epistle manifests that reality. See my paper "God the Father has a Preeminent Role in the Trinity" on my internet site [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching]).
The New Testament clearly shows that the Lord Jesus will come, being sent by the Father, and that He will be active in the end-time judgment of the world. Most apparently have not even considered the idea that James was speaking of the coming of God the Father. That idea has not been an option for most Christians, but I have said enough above to show how Biblical this idea is. Even if we just had what the super-important book of Revelation says on this topic that would suffice.
6.1. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BOOK OF JAMES IS UNUSUAL IN SEVERAL WAYS. For one thing, it probably was the first book written that eventually became part of the New Testament. I prefer the view that it was written in the 40s. The book is strongly oriented to Jews and the old covenant, including the Law and works. ((This emphasis doesn't mean that James didn't believe in the basics of Christianity, including the deity of Christ, His atoning death, and the saving grace of God in Christ and faith. The apostle Paul would have agreed with James that Christians must have the works (works that go with Christians living in the righteousness of God) that the grace of God, which includes all the work of the indwelling Spirit of God, enables us to do (cf., e.g., Eph. 2:10; 1 Cor. 7:19; Rom. 8:4; and Rom. 2:26-29; these verses are discussed in my books "Righteousness, Holiness, and Victory Over Sin," and "Holiness and Victory Over Sin").
It is significant that the Book (Epistle, Letter) of James deals so extensively with God the Father. James 1:1 ("James a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ") and 2:1 ("My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism") are the only two verses that clearly mention the Lord Jesus. The Greek noun "kurios," which is translated "Lord," is used 14 times in the book of James, which includes the two verses I just quoted (James 1:1 and 2:1). I'll list the other 12 verses that use kurios (1:7, 3:9; 4:10, 15; 5:4, 7, 8, 10, 11 [twice], 14, 15). As I mentioned, most commentators take 5:7-8 of the Lord Jesus, and there is widespread agreement on 5:14-15, which apparently deal with praying for the sick in the name of the Lord Jesus, but the other eight verses probably all refer to God the Father. Peter Davids ("Commentary on James" [Eerdmans, 1982], page 40), for example, takes James 5:7-8 of the Lord Jesus, but he takes all of the other eight uses to refer to God the Father. He didn't list James 3:9 on his page 40, but he takes "Lord" of God the Father on his pages 145-147.
It is difficult to separate 5:7-8 from the context of 5:1-12, which deals with the fact that the Judge is Coming, and there is widespread agreement that kurios in James 5:4, 10, and 11 (twice) is used of God the Father. This rather strongly supports the viewpoint that kurios refers to God the Father in James 5:7-8 too. JAMES 4:12, which I'll quote in full as we continue, IS VERY SIGNIFICANT! IT SAYS THAT "THERE IS ONLY ONE LAWGIVER AND JUDGE," and it is clear, I believe, that James was referring to God the Father!
6.2. I'll Quote Part of what Peter Davids Says under James 5:7-8 ("Commentary on James" [Eerdmans, 1983], pages 182). ((I have already mentioned that Davids takes 5:4 and 10, 11 and quite a few other verses of God the Father where James used the Greek noun "kurios," which is translated "Lord." I also mentioned that he opts for the very widely held view that is held by the "majority of commentators" (but I believe is probably wrong) that "Lord" in James 5:7 and 8 refers to the Lord Jesus. As I mentioned, I believe it is quite obvious that the fact that kurios refers to God the Father in 5:4 and 10 and 11 (twice), which many hold (including Davids), weighs heavily toward seeing Him in 5:7 and 8 too, and all the more so because God the Father is the One judging in the book of James. God the Father has the preeminent role throughout the book of James.)):
"They are to be patient, enduring, 'until the parousia of the Lord [James 5:7].' Two basic interpretations of this phrase have been offered. One group, noticing that in chapters 4 and in 5:1-6 [and 5:10-11 and undoubtedly 5:9], it is God [God the Father] who will judge and that this theme [of God the Father judging] is common in the OT [This is important and I will briefly discuss this point below] and apocalyptic presentations of the final judgment, argues that it is not the coming of Christ but the coming of God [God the Father] in judgment that is intended." Davids gives some examples in his next paragraph, which I'll quote next.
(See the similar paragraph above in this paper under 5.5.1. The documents listed by David's here are all Jewish documents, except for the last two. The Jewish documents are all speaking of the one we call God the Father. According to the Wikipedia article on the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," they reached their final form in the second century AD.) "Compare Test[ament] of Jud[ah] 22:2 [quoted below in this long paragraph]; Test[ament] of Lev[i] 8:11 [quoted in the similar paragraph above (in section 5.5.1)]; Ass[umption] of Mos[es] 10:12 [[I'll quote several sentences from section 10 of this Jewish document (I took this from "The Wesley Center Online"; it mentions that this is a second century BC document; it was adapted from R. H. Charles, "The Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha of the Old Testament"): "For the Heavenly One will arise from His royal throne And He will go forth from His holy habitation With indignation and wrath on account of His sons [to vindicate them]. And the earth shall tremble: to its confines it will be shaken: And the high mountains will be made low And the hills will be shaken and fall and the horns of the sun shall be broken and he [the sun] shall be turned into darkness; and the moon shall not give her light, and be turned wholly into blood. ... For the Most High will arise, the Eternal God alone, And HE WILL APPEAR (my emphasis) to punish the Gentiles, And He will destroy all their idols. Then you, O Israel, will be happy.... And God will exalt you, And He will cause you to approach to the heaven of the stars, In the place of their habitation. And you will look from on high and see your enemies in Ge(henna) And you shall recognize them and rejoice, And you shall give thanks and confess thy Creator. ...."]; Eth[iopian] Enoch 92-105; Test[ament] of Abr[aham] 13 [quoted as we continue with this long paragraph]; Syr[iac Apocalypse of] Baruch [or 2 Baruch] 55:6 [briefly discussed as we continue with this paragraph]; [Shepherd of] Hermas Sim[iltudes] 5.5.3 [I assume the following words of this early Christian document are being referred to: "and the Master's absence from home is the time that remains until His appearing," where the Master here is referring to God the Father (taken from newadvent.org).]; 2 Clement 7:1 [another Christian document]; some of these passages use 'parousia,' but as Dibelius, 243, notes [his footnote 6], there are textual problems in each case.... ...." [[I'll quote the first part of his footnote 6 from the commentary on James by Martin Dibelius ("James" [Fortress Press, 1976 in the English translation], page 243): "Test[ament] of Jud[ah] 22.2: 'until the coming of the God of righteousness' ([Dibelius gives the Greek here, which includes "parousia"], but these words are lacking in the Armenian version): Test[ament] of Abr[aham] 13...'until his [God's] great and glorious coming [Dibelius gives the Greek here, which includes "parousia," but he comments that this word (or these words) are not included in recension B]. In 2 Bar[uch] 55:6, what is mentioned is not the 'coming' of the Lord, but of the 'day of the Almighty.' ...."]] So, some of these Jewish documents speak of the coming of God the Father in judgment, which is no surprise since this a common OT teaching. And they demonstrate that parousia was sometimes used of the coming of God the Father in judgment. As I mentioned above (under 5.5.1), we are interested in all of the passages that speak of God the Father coming to judge, whether parousia is used, or not, but the verses that use parousia are especially important for this paper.
There is no reason that parousia should not be used of the coming of God the Father in judgment, and I believe it was probably used that way in 1 John 2:28 (there is widespread agreement, but the majority disagree, that the manifestation of God the Father, not the Son of God, is spoken of in 1 John 3:2 and that we will see Him face to face); in James 5:7, 8; and 2 Pet. 3:12 speaks of "the coming [parousia] of the day of God" (see 2 Pet. 3:10-13). Furthermore, and significantly, as we have discussed, the book of Revelation, although it doesn't use the word "parousia," emphasizes the fact that God the Father is coming to judge (and to save) at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, the same time that the Lord Jesus will return and the glorification and rapture will take place.
6.3. I'LL QUOTE JAMES 5:1-6 AND THEN 5:9-12: "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. [James is clearly speaking of those who had become rich, had "stored up [their] treasures" (verse 3), at least in part, through cheating the laborers (see verse 4) and much worse, condemning and putting to death the righteous man, who does not resist him (see verse 6). He is not addressing any Christians here, at least not any real Christians. He is speaking in this context of the miseries associated with the Lord's soon-coming end-time judgment of the world.] (2) Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. (3) Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (4) Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth [["Lord of hosts [armies]." There is widespread agreement that the "Lord [Yahweh] of Sabaoth" refers to God the Father in the Old Testament. The word "Sabaoth" was taken (transliterated) from the Hebrew of the Old Testament.]]. (5) You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. [James is speaking of the day of their being slaughtered in the Lord's end-time judgment of the world.] (6) You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you. ... (9) Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves many not be judged [[I'll quote JAMES 4:11-12: "Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law [instead of keeping God's Law. Christians are obligated to keep God's moral law by His enabling grace. Also, the New Testament makes it clear that many Jews who became Christians continued to keep the ceremonial law, or parts of the ceremonial law (including what they ate for example) for many years, but technically this wasn't required according to the new covenant. Also, it became a serious problem when Christians (in some cases true Christians) who continued to keep the ceremonial law, or parts of the ceremonial law, judged/condemned those (especially Gentile Christians) who were not keeping the ceremonial law.]; but if you judge the law you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. (12) THERE IS ONLY ONE LAWGIVER AND JUDGE [my emphasis], the One who is able to save and to destroy [in judgment]; but who are you to judge your neighbor." There is widespread agreement that James was referring to God the Father as "the Lawgiver and Judge," which adds to the quite strong evidence that He is referring to Him in 5:7 and 8 too. Everyone acknowledges that the epistle of James was written to Christians from a Jewish background and that what he says in this epistle is strongly influenced by the old covenant and the Mosaic Law.]]; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. [In the light of James 4:11-12, which I just quoted, and James 5:4, which we briefly discussed, and 10-11, which we will discuss, the evidence strongly favors seeing God the Father as the Judge here. If it were not for the very widespread (what I consider to be) misunderstanding on the identity of Lord in verses 7 and 8, it would be totally obvious that the Judge here is God the Father.] (10) As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [The Old Testament prophets clearly spoke in the name of Yahweh, God the Father.] (11) We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance [steadfastness] of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's [God the Father's] dealings, that the Lord [God the Father] is full of compassion and is merciful." [Because of the Old Testament context, there is widespread agreement that "the Lord" is God the Father in verses 10 and 11.] (12) But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment." [James continues with the theme of God's judgments that permeate these verses. The Judge is Coming! That is for sure, even if He didn't come in that generation, or the next one. And, as I mentioned, those who die before the Judge comes, will all also stand before the Judge too.]
It is very significant that "the Lord" in James 5:4, 10, 11 refers to God the Father. These verses are very much in the same context with 5:7 and 8. There is widespread agreement regarding these three verses (5:4, 10, 11). James 5:4 speaks of the "Lord of Sabaoth," which fits God the Father in the Old Testament, and James 5:10, 11 are set in an Old Testament context by mentioning "Job" and "the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord." It would be very natural in this context to see the "Lord" to also refer to God the Father in 5:7 and 8. And James 5:9, though it doesn't use the word "Lord", greatly strengthens this viewpoint: "...the Judge is standing right at the door, which ties to the last words of 5:8: "for the coming of the Lord is near."
God the Father is the Judge in the book of James: See James 1:5-27. ((Note that God the Father is mentioned in 1:5, 7 (there is widespread agreement that God the Father is the "Lord" here in this context), 13, 17, 18, 20, 27, and undoubtedly verse 12 too in this context. We can see God's judging (positive and negative judging) 1:10-12, 15, 20-22, and we could include some other verses from chapter 1 here.)) See James 2:8-26 where God the Father is the Lawgiver and Judge. It doesn't seem that the Lord Jesus is mentioned in chapter 3, which has quite a bit to say about sin and the judgment of sin. See James chapter 4. This chapter, which is filled with warnings of God's judgment against those who live in sin without repentance, doesn't seem to mention the Lord Jesus either. I agree with Davids and the other commentators who believe "Lord" in 4:10 and 15 refers to God the Father. JAMES 4:12 IS ESPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT: "THERE IS ONLY ONE LAWGIVER AND JUDGE, THE ONE WHO IS ABLE TO SAVE AND TO DESTROY...." In the epistle of James, that "One" is God the Father.
When I read James 5:7 and 8 in context with James chapters 1-4 and especially in context with James 5:1-6 (assuming, in agreement with very many commentators, that the "Lord of Sabaoth" refers to God the Father in 1:4) and with 5:9-15 (assuming, in agreement with very many commentators that the "Lord" in verses 10 and 11 refers to God the Father), I believe the evidence strongly favors seeing that "the Lord" in 5:7 and 8 also refers to God the Father. If so, James 5:7 and 8 are two more verses that speak of the "parousia" of God the Father. I don't find this to be surprising at all.
I'll quote James 5:7-9 (5:9 is a very important verse in this context): "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming [Greek "parousia"] of the Lord [Greek "kurios"]. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. (8) You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming ["parousia"] of the Lord ["kurios"] is near." (9) Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door." Based on what I said above, I believe that verses 7 and 8 speak of the coming of God the Father to judge. As verse 9 says, "the Judge" is standing right at the door." As I briefly discussed above, God the Father is very dominant in this epistle, in comparison to the Lord Jesus, and that very much includes picturing God the Father as the "Lawgiver and Judge" (James 4:12).
We will continue this discussion of James 5:7-8, with James 5:1-12) in Part 9 of this paper.
© Copyright by Karl Kemp