Most all of us exhibit a loyalty to certain things and/or people whether we realize it or not. What is the object or basis of your loyalty? So many are loyal to a company, their job or career for instance, because they believe that's what provides their stability and comfort. Some base their loyalty on whether or not others will agree or side with them in a disagreement. Though these considerations are very common and may seem reasonable, ultimately they are temporal, external, and totally conditional. Let us find out what else we need to consider:
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 of evil thoughts? 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? 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? 8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Obviously the Apostle James is exhorting us to be loyal in a way which is consistent with "the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ". He then goes on to contrast how we are to be loyal thru less visible considerations by not judging our brethren based upon their outward appearance. This loyalty then begins in our hearts and minds, working its way out in the way we treat one another. God blesses this, as it serves as proof that we truly "love him". It is no surprise to find that the rich are mostly loyal to other rich people with common interests, which results in the oppression of the poor. This is contrary to the lifestyle God intends for us and is the equivalent to blaspheming "that worthy name". Meanwhile, what is this "royal law" he refers to and what bearing does this have upon our loyalty? These and other questions will be answered. For how can we reconcile having evil thoughts toward and judging our brother while claiming to have faith in and love God? You cannot:
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 of evil thoughts?
First of all we must be clear that James' correction of showing partiality and favoritism is only in reguard to his "brethren". For this is only in reference to those he wrote this Epistle to whom he called previously "the twelve tribes", which are the Israelites who were "scattered abroad" at that time, our white ancestors. Trying to include anyone else in this (such as any non-whites) is nothing more than contextual dishonesty.
What he is saying is it makes no difference what is reflected by what others are wearing if they are our brother or sister. All favoritism we show based on another's external appearance, proves we are being carnally-minded and exposes how shallow we really are. It makes no difference what kind of clothing someone is wearing, if they are white we must remember we are genetically connected to them. No matter what they look like on the outside, they still have the same Spirit of God on the inside, just like you. According to James, if we show partiality, we are "judges" with "evil thoughts" when we treat our brother this way. This is sinning and coming short of the glory of God. To make a distinction between other Israelites solely based on their clothing or even upon their economic situation is to have something evil going on in our minds. After all (think about it), with this kind of attitude and outlook where does our true loyalty actually lie?
Though our Sovereign God is perfectly able to fulfill His purposes regardless of what we do, one of the biggest downfalls in white society is men wanting to undercut and rule over one another. How many conflicts and wars could've been avoided if our people would have just taken heed to what James is saying here? If we are going to follow the Christian lifestyle taught in the Scriptures, we cannot go on denying the truth in our practice that we have the deepest connection possible to every white person we come in contact with, as we all have the same Spirit of God. When we treat another white unfairly because of their appearance or even based on the supposed idea of there being social classes, we are being carnal and "have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ" in the way we approach our brethren- this is serious. For the way we approach and treat our brother (which was created in the image of God) who we can see, completely reflects the way we feel about our Heavenly Father, Who we cannot see. Overall this serves to illustrate how faith can never be based on external considerations, especially in relation to any fellow Israelite. Faith only exists in the invisible, where our ultimate loyalty must be.
This passage is misused all the time to support and promote the improvement of inter-racial relations and egalitarianism. Yet, as you have seen, it is only in regards to our white "brethren" that we're not to show partiality based on appearance alone. This passage has no hint of encouraging us to integrate with non-whites, to accept their persons in any way, or to even excuse other whites who do. Yet it must be emphasized in reference to how we treat our white brethren, whether they be rich or poor. This involves being loyal to our race:
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?
WE BELIEVE JUST LIKE WE BREATHE. Everything that happens in life either influences or is a result of what we believe. What we say reflects what we believe even if it is a hidden belief when we lie. Even non-whites and demons believe, though they cannot believe the truth to the saving of the soul. We cannot help but believe, whether it be in a truth or a lie, whether you believe God always wants what's best for you or that He does not; you are always believing something about everything you are aware of. Even an atheist has a belief that there is no God, how do we know? Because he will explain why he believes the way he does. One who gives up is believing all hope is gone. A person committing suicide believes it is the only way out. We speak of unbelief, but think about it, even what we consider unbelief is actually just having beliefs which run contrary to trusting God. We are 'running over' with belief because God has chosen for the poor to be rich in faith.
God created all His people, placing us each where we begin in this life, with the potential of arriving at a place where we can be happy and appreciate Him. The question is, how do we get there? Obviously we are talking about having the things, relationships, and opportunities we want to materialize in our lives. The richer one starts off, the more he will live by sight and the less he will live by faith because he has the means to not only determine what he desires but to attain it on his own.
The poorer we are, the more we live by faith whether we realize it or not. We are either relying upon a faith that believes God can and will make things better for us or we are believing He will not. We either believe we are getting closer every day to the outpouring of His abundant blessings or we believe that He has overlooked us once again. GOD HAS CHOSEN FOR THE POOR TO BE RICH IN FAITH FOR US TO PROVE WHETHER OR NOT WE "LOVE HIM". Whether we choose to believe it or something to the contrary, we are "heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him". Right now, each of us are either settling, progressing, or even regressing based upon what we've placed our faith upon. How we direct our faith reflects whether or not we really love God.
So even though you may not have started off with very much materially in this life, being poor, you are rich in faith. The poor want things they do not see yet in their possession, whereas the rich see what they want because they have it. God chose to make the poor rich in faith so we can experience receiving what we desire from Him thru our believing. Obviously with God being all-powerful, He could have made all white people rich to begin with. Yet there must be a greater glory to be achieved for Him thru a poor man's faith. Therefore, "Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted" as James proclaimed in chapter 1.
As we have said in previous studies, fear is the only other option besides believing God, and is the opposite of love. Yet fear is also a belief that ultimately God does not love you. How could anyone be afraid if they believe the Omnipotent God loves them?! Always believing the worst or that something bad is going to happen is still believing! Just like people who are rich can spend their money on the wrong things, those who are rich in faith can "spend" their belief on the wrong things as well. If you've always believed things could never get better in your life then that's why they never have. In our spiritual ignorance we have created the life we have by default as we did not recognize the power of our belief. But now that we understand God has chosen us to be rich in faith, we can begin deliberately creating our own life into what our heart desire it to be. Oh it will take some time as we may still be reaping what we have already sown thru our past fears, worries, and doubts. But if we will take responsibility for this wealth we hold by investing our faith in the One Who keeps His promises, our loyalty to the invisible will one day prove to be our wisest investment!
To "Hearken" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #191 which Liddel and Scott's defines as to obey... to hear and understand. LOYALTY TO GOD COMES THRU BELIEVING AND TRUSTING IN HIS WORD. Proof you understand this is recognizing yourself as one of the "beloved brethren" entering "the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him" presently. If you are "poor in this world" recognize God has "chosen" you to be "rich in faith" which can result in unlimited power and blessings in your life! It is yours now to answer the call as one of the "heirs of the kingdom". The question is, what will you spend your faith upon from now on? To find the answer, all you must do is look at what you want your life to be and become loyal to its fulfillment.
Again and again in the Scriptures, we see the great opportunity faith provides for the poor if they will only hearken to the voice of God (See UNSEEN REALM OF FAITH 4: YOUR INHERITANCE). For thru his rhetorical question as we have seen, James states God has "chosen the poor of this world" to be "rich in faith". If you are a poor white individual or family and you love God, you can achieve anything you truly desire in this life by faith.
Ultimately, none of us are what we have or don't have materially. We are what we are by the grace of God. Stop placing value on people based on what they have or don't have, even yourself. WE ARE ALL WHAT WE ARE ON THE INSIDE. We can become what we want to be if we would only believe. Would you rather start off rich and end up poor because of unbelief, or start off poor and end up with it all because of faith?! It's all within you.
This further proves that non-whites have no value to God other than what He will use them for til the close of this age. Once this age is completed, all of the workers of iniquity will depart into the Lake of Fire as David said in Psalm 37: "as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke they shall consume away." Yet your brother who was poor in this life will be there with you throughout all eternity. Stop being loyal to those who won't even be around when all is said and done. Discover the wealth of faith which is within you by placing your loyalty where it truly belongs! It all comes down to whether or not you believe God loves you and in turn you love Him. Now we go back to the way we show our love for Him:
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?
Our carnal mind will always try to convince us there is something to gain by showing partiality. When we misplace our loyalty by for instance kissing up to the rich, we show one of the clearest indications that we are not trusting God. Yet by making their own rules to oppress and rule over their brethren, many rich white men have thumbed their noses at God's law as if to say to God, "No thank you, we don't need Your input." However we can rise above all that carnality to a much higher plain, when we ignore who is rich and who is poor and treat all our brethren as good as we can regardless of what they have.
How do we despise the poor? By not trying to help them. We cannot continue to neglect or ignore the needs of our brethren. We call ourselves Christians which means we are to be Christlike. Yet we never saw Christ going around picking favorites based on rich and poor, upon whether someone wore expensive or shabby clothes. We see Christ healing, touching, and helping any and every Israelite who would believe. When we show favoritism based on outward appearance, we "have despised the poor". If there is any oppression in the world or in your life at all, it is mainly by those who have the power, who are probably rich or controlled by someone who is. According to this, when the rich oppress their own people it is the equivalent to blaspheming the Name of God.
This is where loyalty is weighed in the balance and if there are any agendas, they will be exposed. To despise a brother over something that most likely is not of his own doing is unacceptable to God. No one wants to be poor. In our current economic climate there are many of our brethren who are suffering, as the rich keep getting richer, including rich whites because of there selfish neglect of their brother who continue on in their evil greed. Yet they should not think for one moment God is not well aware of their disloyalty to their race.
We are to love our brother as much as we possibly can, no matter what place he is in financially. Sometimes we must show love for a brother by having to separate from him. But even in this we should do so still wanting God's best for them. Even those who were once rich and have lost it all, becoming poor was never their intention. Therefore it makes no sense to despise people who have no control over where they are. To despise a brother merely because he is poor James says is to "blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called".
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Here we see what this all comes down to: having a loyalty to royalty. Here is the foundational principle we must take to heart: LIFESTYLE CHRISTIANITY ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW YOU TREAT YOUR BROTHER. We must be loyal to the truth that every Israelite is royalty because we are all the children of the Sovereign of the Universe, Yahweh God Almighty. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor" or anyone who is near to you genetically as your white brother or sister. James says if we do this "ye do well" in the sight of God.
The word "royal" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #937 from #935 which is through the notion of a foundation of power... regal (in relation)... belonging to (or befitting) the sovereign... king's, nobleman. According to this, true nobility is based upon the presence of God's Spirit within rather than the appearance of prestige from without. Being an Israelite you have royal blood, royal genes. AS ISRAELITES WE SHOULD TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE ROYALTY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. This royal law is basically what Christ called the second of the first two commandments.
This brings us to a significant point that we've missed and actually many of us have been taught to contradict. Many have been taught that we are not to love ourselves at all, that it is actually evil to love yourself. So many wonder why they have such a hard time in relationships or with trusting other people. We cannot help but treat others the way deep-down we feel about ourselves. If you don't love your self, you won't truly love others. If you refuse to forgive yourself, you cannot and will not truly forgive others. And if you cannot trust others it is because deep down you do not trust yourself. Why else would Yahweh use how we feel about ourselves as the standard for our love for others, if this were not the case? If we don't think too much of ourselves then we start off by not giving others much of a chance, shutting ourselves off in our hearts and lives.
Some may believe not liking yourself is somehow dying to self, making you more humble. This is contradictory to the Scriptures for James here is repeating a commandment of Almighty God to every Israelite, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". At closer observation we see that the minimum we are to love others is as much as we love ourselves. Therefore you are to at least love others as much as you love yourself. IF YOU DO NOT LOVE YOURSELF THEN YOU DO NOT LOVE ANYONE ELSE. If you do not love yourself then you are controlled by fear because you cannot believe God loves you either. But if you love the real you, which is the inner, spiritual being you are, you will love those who have this within them as well. This is the true meaning of loyalty as you are loving all that is God within yourself and your brethren.
Many times we wonder why people will not forgive others to discover they have not forgiven themselves for many things. If you can't forgive yourself there's no way you have ever really forgiven anyone else; it all begins with you. If you never understood that your love for others is based on how much you love yourself, then you've never understood how the Bible teaches us to love. Break this chain of confusion that's been binding your heart, possibly most of your life and be free!
This is major! Maybe you've wondered why you always end up feeling so alone. If you haven't been loving yourself- THIS IS THE WAY OUT OF IT! Maybe your relationships always seem to result in heartache, always assuming it's everyone else's fault- it isn't. FORGIVE YOURSELF, BEGIN LOVING YOURSELF, and then you will start seeing others in a whole new light, maybe for the first time! Again James says, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well"- It is a good thing for you to love and forgive yourself, so you can actually do it unto others!
As we have already seen, if the way you feel about others is based solely on their outward appearance or circumstances, it is nothing more than carnality and "sin". Therefore treat your brothers and sisters the same regardless of what social or economic situation they are in; treat them like royalty.
Are you now discovering how much it says about us by where we place our loyalties? So many times we've ignored God, putting our dependency upon men only to be let down. Yet we can trust our Unchanging God Who is always there. Truly as Peter said we "are a chosen race, royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."