Study in James – Jas 1:19-21 The Wrath of Man Works Not The Righteousness of God

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James 1:19-20 The Wrath of Man Works Not The Righteousness of God

Now listen to what these verses say, and see if they do not carry such a different meaning than what our fleshly, self-righteous flesh says. Now being FIRST FRUITS, we should see that the following verses start off with “WHEREFORE”: after we have learned that it was the will of God that we be begotten of Him and not of us; after we have learned that we are to see things differently by the spirit and not the flesh… WHEREFORE, because of this…

Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.

Wherefore: BECAUSE we are His first fruits and BECAUSE we are born again of His will, the following should apply. We should be “swift to hear”. Hear what? Hear the words/spirit of God in all situations of life. We should be fast to hear the words of God, which will make us “SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH”.

The flesh never sees that these things are speaking to “two” different men, the old man and the new man. The old man is concerned with its own justice, with saving the damsel in distress, with showing how righteous he can be. This is why hollywood makes so many hero movies, from John Wayne saving the poor rancher from the evil land baron to Bruce Willis saving the planet from an astroid. Because of this ‘saving’ concern, we all want to believe there is something in us that is SAVABLE, that, although we have problems, we’re not that bad. We aren’t Hitler or Stalin. But the firstfruits have a knowledge that none others have, for it is a knowledge of TRUTH. That truth is essential in knowing God. That none can stay His hand that none resist His will and that all things are going perfectly according to His predestined plan. Every life that has every lived, if only for a minute or for 930 years like Adam, lived out exactly what God had planned them to live. Their lives were lived out to do exactly what He created them to do and be, including you, me and even Hitler. None of us believed that we were created to be destroyed, and that is exactly what scripture teaches us; the flesh is a vessel of wrath made and taken to be destroyed.

Rom 9:21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour?

The verse says “Make one vessel….to DISHONOUR.” Our flesh was made to BE DISHONOURABLE – NOT honourable – but DISHONOURABLE! I never believed that. I was taught I was born perfect, and then I corrupted my own way. God made me perfect from birth and I took off on my own. Because He gave me freewill, that He would not violate, He had to LET ME, OF MY OWN FREE VOLITION, DO WHAT I WANTED, AND HE COULD NOT STOP ME. This is the great lie that has permeated every aspect of every individual that has ever lived. This vessel of dishonor is flesh, the son of Satan, that had to be created first that the second vessel of Honor, Christ, could be created in us and bruise the head of Satan, our old man (Gen 3:15).

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared to glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God purposely waits to show His wrath on our created vessels of wrath so that He can show our new man the riches of His glory. That glory is in His wrath upon our old man. In that wrath we are being destroyed to remold us into the new vessel, into the image of Christ.  When our new man sees the unsearchable wisdom of God in these verses, we cannot but with great admiration glorify God for His works and His patience with a sinful creature.

It is God’s wrath on our flesh and all flesh, not OUR WRATH. This is the law of liberty. I have Liberty from my own dishonorable flesh’s wrath and from thinking we should pounce on any deviation from the fleshly law for God’s glory. That is what James 1:20 is speaking of. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God, God’s mercy does. God indeed is in control over all men, from all time, and in all ages of time.

2Ch 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not you God in heaven? and rulest not you over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand you?

Even though God is in control, our religious flesh believes it is the protector of God’s glory and that God is expecting man to kill, maim and destroy for His glory. We are to kill, maim and destroy OUR OWN FLESH’S RELIGIOUS DESIRES TO BE RIGHTEOUS – Our own way of worshipping God, conceived in our own vessel of destruction, our religious leaders inside ourselves. The Pharisees are the perfect example of our own self-righteousness. We are quick to want justice for any deviation from God’s law to the flesh or from any tradition we were taught.

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

This verse was said basically in the same way by Christ Himself.

Mat 5:38 You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Mat 5:39 But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also.
Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him twain.
Mat 5:42 Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away.

I look at these verses and see them in the light the LORD gives me to see them. But as I was LITERALLY writing these things, I overheard a lady make the most amazing statement, that the LORD had predestined before the world began for me to hear so that He would have me walk in the works in which He had afore prepared for me to walk (Eph.2:10).

This lady’s husband was the man about whom the movie “American Sniper” was made. He became famous for having KILLED many people in the Middle East for the government of the United States as a sniper. He was later killed by a nobody whom he was helping by taking him to a shooting range. The man had what the doctors call “post traumatic syndrome disease” and Mr. Kyle was trying to help him by taking him to a shooting range and be his friend. The man had delusions that Mr. Kyle was laughing at him so he turned the gun on him and shot him. Mrs. Kyle now tours the world and makes money giving speeches and selling self-help books and books about her husband. She was on Fox News this morning as I was writing this study and made the following statement when speaking of her husband’s death and relating it to all “EVIL” acts by people.

“It is not God that allows this (evil) to happen. God gave us freewill, and some people use their freewill for evil. If anyone would help their kids give them faith that lasts a lifetime.”

These statements were statements that I lived by. I would have agreed with her 100% in the past. Like her, I believed that God gave me freewill to “RESIST THE EVIL” of others. I also served in the military and was a PROUD American patriot. I, too, believed we needed to kill people for the good of all. I saw it was good what Chris Kyle had done by killing all those “BAD” people; people who deserved to go to hell, where they would burn for all eternity for THEIR BAD DEEDS.

This is exactly what we are studying – the wrath of man. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. It DOES NOT. When we see that whatever comes our way, whatever enemy, whatever evil, does not come from the hand of man but from the HAND OF GOD, we are then walking in the spirit and doing the works of righteousness.

Exo 4:11 And the LORD said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things .

Pro 16:4 The LORD has made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

The natural man is quick to speak on what he sees as evil. The natural man with natural eyes is quick to pour out wrath on what he sees as a threat to his natural rights. But the first fruits, who are being resurrected now from the spiritual dead, see that God, Who is Spirit, sends all things on us, and all things were created by Him and for Him. Our sicknesses, our pain, our health, our sin, our good times and bad times all come from Him and for Him.

God is not mocked, for if you sow to the flesh, you shall reap corruption; you shall reap from the flesh that was sown in corruption, but will be raised in incorruption. (Gal 6:7, 8; 1Co 15:42). To sow to the flesh is to try to stop yourself from sinning because it is YOUR SIN. To sow to the flesh is to try and save yourself from sins of the flesh that we claim as our own personal sins. To believe that you have stopped yourself from sinning is SOWING CORRUPTION. For our good deeds which come from the flesh are still FROM THE CORRUPTION OF THE FLESH! That which is from the flesh is still flesh no matter how good it is to the flesh of others.

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

And what is this Charity (G26 – love)?

1Jn 4:8 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.

To be raised in incorruption is to see that all things that I have ever experienced, am experiencing, or will experience, good times, bad times, times of health, times of sickness, times of sin, times of no sin, and whatever one’s mind imagines, COMES FROM THE HAND OF THE CREATOR OF ALL OF THEM! To resist the evil, the enemy is my old man, and to resist is to resist God. And then to see it inwardly we must see who the enemy is…MY OLD MAN Satan’s son is my enemy, and Satan’s son is my old man.

The first man was sown a natural body and now is being raised a spiritual body. When sickness, sin, trials, etc. come my way, as written in my book for me to live by every word written in my book, if I see them as something I did separately and independently from God, then I am resisting evil. The evil, the vengeance that belongs to God to pour out on my old man must be seen as from the hand of my Creator for my good. We are told to RESIST the Devil, and he will flee from us. Is not the Devil evil? Of course he is.

Why are we then told to resist him when we are told not to resist evil? Because the caveat to resisting the devil is “submit yourselves therefore to God”. When we submit ourselves to whatever comes our way as from the LORD, we are resisting the devil in us to correct the trial as though it came from something we had done separately and independently from God. To resist the devil is to resist self-righteousness and that anything comes from me, good or evil. If we claim EVEN SIN AS OURS, we are not resisting the devil, we are playing right into his hands. If I believe that sin is mine of my own creation, then I can recreate what I had created. I can fix myself and make myself better.

Rom 12:20 Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

These verses above are the explanation of James 1:19, 20 and being slow to speak and slow to wrath. Because the flesh cannot bring about the righteousness of God, for everything it does is tainted with self-righteousness.

Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save YOUR SOULS.

There’s that “wherefore” again. Because the self-righteous natural man is quick to pounce on the literal law’s righteousness to make himself righteous, and we as first fruits see this truth, let us lay aside “ALL filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness”.

What’s the filthiness of which this verse is speaking? THE WRATH OF MAN. What’s the over abundance (superfluity – G4050) of wickedness (naughtiness – G2549)? The abundance of wicked, evil acts are the wrath of man.

If it were not for The LORD speaking to us in the spirit, we would do as I did for years and put these words “superfluity of naughtiness” as meaning sins of the flesh in outward acts. I would have totally missed what the Spirit of God was speaking about, and I did for years. It is our self-righteous old man of which these words are speaking and of which words we are to be swift to hear.

If we are looking inward, the engrafted word/spirit will save OUR SOULS. It does not say my neighbors, my family, or my friends; it says “YOUR SOULS”. He is speaking to believers, to the Christ of Christ, Who left us an example;

Joh 12:27 Now is my SOUL troubled; and what shall I say? Father, SAVE me from this hour: but for this cause came I to this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

“For this cause came I to this hour.” What cause? The troubling of his soul, the troubling of his temptation to be put to death. We are given this same trouble and this same hour of death to the flesh.

How was Christ saved? By death. And what did death produce? RESURRECTION! One cannot be resurrected from life….one must die to be resurrected. “Wherefore” having these truths of the word/spirit of God, let us lay aside all over abundance of worthless works of the flesh.

Again the word “superfluity” means super abundance G4050 and the word “naughtiness” means – wicked, badness, trouble (G2549) and has the root word meaning G2556 “worthless”.

So once God begins to show us our abundance of worthless religious deeds, we are then able to be meek and able to receive the words of God. He resists our proud flesh but gives comfort to our new man who is now made meek by these truths.

Pro 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Laying apart the abundance of wicked fleshly works is being a doer of the word. Not judging people from a natural fleshly standpoint but from a spiritual standpoint, looking through the eyes of our LORD, is being a doer of the word.  This does not mean we don’t have a judgment. It means we have a spiritual judgment.  We look at things through the Spirit of God, Who judges all things, even the hidden things that the flesh can’t see.  When we look at these things we must see them as from the hand of our Creator and then see the truth of each situation. Paul said that he did not judge himself and then he said he brings his body into subjection. If he didn’t judge himself, why did he need to bring his body into subjection? And what was it to which he bringing his body into subjection?

1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord.

1Co 9:25 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul is explaining in one place that he does not judge himself because he knows nothing by himself and all things that the spirit of God is doing within his flesh.  Yet in another he tells us that he is basically beating his body into subjection striving for the mastery. Without spiritual eyes these verses can be confusing to the natural man. Paul is talking about bringing his self-righteous fleshly man into subjection to the spiritual truths that God is teaching him and Apollos. God may use one to plant, God may use one to water, but it is God giving the increase to all and for all. That he is being taught not to take credit for anything that God is doing by him. If he is preaching all is by God and for God and through God, he is keeping his body in subjection to the will of God and being a doer of the word.  This is the same thing about which James is speaking and leads us to the next verses, which we will cover in-depth next week.

Jas 1:22 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein , he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

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