What does it mean to ask amiss 3( explaining James 4:3)
How about “asking amiss”? The word “amiss” was translated from the Greek word “kakos”, which implies evil or to be sick. It was used 11 times for sickness in the four gospels. The following are some examples:
Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. Matthew 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Luke used it in the book of Acts for evil (speaking evil against another):
Acts 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Hence, the word “amiss” refers to something that is evil. Therefore, when James said “you ask amiss”, he implied that they had “evil desires”. The word “consume” was translated from the word “dapanao”, which implies to waste.
Thus, James 4:3 can be better understood as: James 4:3 Ye desire, what is not in your nature, because those desires are evil (strife; hatred; unforgiveness; quarrelling and every evil work), that ye may consume it upon your desires.
In essence, James explained that walking in hatred / strife / unforgiveness and such like emanate from desires which are not from the Spirit or nature of the believer, who was created by God from above (in Christ / in the resurrection) as good and perfect. That was why he described those conducts (strife; hatred; every evil work) as waste.
So, where do these desires emanate from? James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. Vs 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. Vs 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Vs 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
The word “from above” was the same word he used in James 1:17; James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Vs 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Thus, the statement “descended from above,” will refer to the nature or the Spirit of the man born again / the New Creature in Christ! James was emphatic in his explanation of where these desires emanate from…earthly, sensual, devilish.
Paul taught the same too: Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Vs 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Vs 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
James explained further in Chapter four:
James 4:4 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.
The phrase “adulterer and adulteresses” can be better understood as “you are adulterous”. This is because it helps to understand better what James was referring to. It was translated from the Greek word “moichalis”. It is vital to note that it was not always used by authors to refer to sexual immorality.
Many times, it was used to refer to conducts of the flesh.
The following are instances where it was used:
Matthew 12:38- Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. Vs 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Here, Jesus used it to refer to an evil generation.
Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
The use in the above texts is similar to Matthew 12 Peter also used it; 2nd Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
He used it as a figure of speech to explain unbelief and walking in the flesh.
Likewise, James’ use here was not in reference to sexual immorality, that was why he said…friendship of the world is enmity with God…
James 4:4 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. The word “friendship” was translated from the Greek word “philia”, which implies an affection for the things of the world.
In essence, James used the word “adulterous” to refer to affections for the things of the world which is the same as walking in or serving the flesh.
Paul taught the same too: Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Vs 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Vs 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. So, James also in James 4:1-3, was referring to such desires – strife; hatred; unforgiveness; malice; evil speaking and such like.
He was referring strictly to the their conduct (of strife; hatred; evil speaking; every evil work) towards one another, which emanate from desires gotten from the system of the world.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. In other words, “asking amiss” in the context of James explanation has nothing to do with prayer or not receiving from God in prayer, rather, he was explaining the fact that a believer who is not sufficiently exposed to the written word or the reality of who he is in Christ (the New Creature / the son of God / Created by God as good and perfect) will have evil desires of quarrelling and fighting (strife; malice; hatred; unforgiveness; and every evil work) with other believers, and consequently conduct himself in the same.
Therefore, it suffices to say that the statement “asking amiss” is the same as “desiring amiss” and walking contrary to the reality of who the believer is in Christ.
Therefore, James 4:3 was not used by James to teach prayer. Its right application (as taught by James) was to teach and instruct the believer to walk in Love. This explains why James in talking about praying for one another in Chapter five, also emphasized the importance of restoring relationship amongst believers / walking in love towards one another.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: Vs 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Vs 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
This is consistent with the instructions in the Apostolic letters: Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Vs 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Vs 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Vs 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Vs 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
1st Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Vs 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Vs 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Vs 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. So, when the believer walks in love, he will not find it difficult to pray earnestly and fervently for other believers as James instructed in James 5:14-16; James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: Vs 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Conclusively, James 4:1-4 is synonymous to Paul’s explanation in Galatians 5:1-26, Ephesians 4:1-32 and 5:1-2 3 on walking in Love!
Essentially, what James explained as asking amiss is what Paul explained as walking in the flesh. His emphasis was about the conduct of believers towards one another, which ought to emanate from our nature (the Spirit; the Light; the word of truth). We are begotten of God by the word of truth, as good and perfect. Hence, our conduct towards other believers ought to be a reflection of our nature, which is love. In essence, when believers walk in love towards one another, there will be no strife / hatred / unforgiveness / malice in the local Church, and one of the ways we demonstrate our love for the Saints is by earnestly and fervently praying for one another. James sure taught and instructed believers to pray (once in Chapter 1 and twice in Chapter four). In his explanation, he laid a fundamental and vital fact about the Father, who gives to all men (when they ask) liberally, without fault finding (James 1:5-8), and this fact about Him CAN NEVER change (James 1:17-18). The believer therefore must be confident every time he prays unto the Father (1st John 5:14-15). The knowledge that the Father hears us every time we pray and gives us liberally what we ask, assures us to freely and confidently verbalize our requests unto Him. Hence, we can never “ask amiss” in prayer! So, let us pray! Concluded .
Another Excerpt from the book BECAUSE I PRAYED
Available in all Saints Community Churches And on Amazon Or call +2348093002121
"Hebrews 12:29 “…For our God is a consuming fire…”
Scriptures such as this, if not properly interpreted, could paint a picture of a God who does evil. It is important to get a background understanding of who God is before going further:
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: … Vs 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
God does not do evil.
Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness, Vs 2 nIn hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
God does not lie.
Let us now examine the text: The word “fire” just as every word in the bible is not an omnibus i.e. does not have the same application in every context. Hence, it must be studied within the context of its usage. The word “consuming” is translated from the Greek word “katanalisko” which implies to consume totally. The same word “fire” was mentioned earlier in this chapter:
Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, Vs 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: Vs 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: Vs 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
It is mentioned in verse 18 and looking in context, this was speaking of Mount Sinai.
Exodus 19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. Vs 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: Vs 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount… Vs 16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. Vs 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. Vs 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. Vs 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice Vs 20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. Vs 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. Vs 22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. Vs 23 And Moses said unto the LORD, the people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
Hebrews 12 :18 says … ye are not come…. He says clearly that the believer is NOT come to fire.
He goes further to say: Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
He now makes a distinction between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. The first fire spoke of fear and darkness.
Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The blood of Jesus in the entire book of Hebrews was used for forgiveness and redemption.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people… Vs 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us… Vs 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? … Vs 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Hebrews10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus … Vs 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate… Vs 20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Hence, when verse 25 speaks of “not turning away from”, he was speaking of 'not turning away from forgiveness in the blood of Jesus'.
Hebrews 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
The word “shaken” implies to overthrow and he relates the "overthrowing" to things. He says some things can be shaken while some cannot, hence will remain.
Hence, looking in context, 'God is a consuming fire' will mean he is consuming things on earth which were made and those things that will remain, are things that will remain forever. As we have seen earlier in the book of Hebrews, the emphasis is a comparison of the Law and New Covenant. Therefore, this portion is also not an exception.
The things that are consumed are of the Law while the things that remain refer to the New Covenant.
The fire in Mount Sinai was consumed.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved…
We have a kingdom that cannot be overthrown; nothing in that kingdom can be shaken. When we come to Zion, we come to the blood of sprinkling which accomplished redemption and forgiveness of sins.
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
God has consumed the Old Testament of sin consciousness and condemnation, what will remain is the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus which is an everlasting covenant. Hence, Zion has consumed Sinai, that is, the New Covenant has fulfilled the Old Covenant.
Further, Hebrews 13:9 say: Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
This follows the same thought from Chapter 12. The word “meat” here refers to things. Those things have been consumed, they do not exist.
Hebrews 12:28 … let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: What we have now is grace to serve. What Christ has done makes us acceptable to serve.
The word “acceptable” is translated from the Greek word “euarestos” which implies well- done. In book of Hebrews, the only one that was taught to have done something is Jesus. Therefore, what Jesus has done is what is acceptable.
The word “serve” is translated from the Greek word “latreuo” which implies worship.
Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Vs 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. Vs 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. Vs 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
They used things to serve God. However, as seen earlier and also in the verses above, those things have been consumed. Grace to serve is what Christ has done. We are serving with the grace of Jesus. It is in that grace, i.e. what Christ has done, that those things have been consumed.
We no longer serve with things of the Old Testament because God has consumed them. This is because he has purged our conscience. We now accept what Christ has done and serve God.
Therefore, a proper understanding of the text is from a proper contextual appraisal. It is not a negative statement. What brought sin consciousness, remembrance of sins has been consumed by his love. Now, we have access and serve God with godly fear. It is a reverence that came from God." ... See MoreSee Less
“Don’t think your pastors teaching can’t be wrong “ “Any bible teacher no matter the grace or insight can miss it “ “Don’t follow someone without knowing he can miss it “ “No one knows everything “ “ some act and talk like they can’t be wrong “ “ some are not studying for themselves ,they are following blindly “
What are these meant for ? Spiritual growth ?Fear of the fear of missing it ? Likely paranoia.
These are not the words of Christ ,they are better for prefaces of bible translations or its maps .
Not Christ but human nuances laced with less genuine concerns .
No need inspiring fear or paranoia .
Paul’s letters ( and all Apostolic letters )are accurate revelation of Christ in God ,He ( they )didn’t miss or err ,let’s learn His ( their ) writings ,roll up our sleeves and stop the unnecessary cacophony of unwarranted fear .
He asked us to read and understand.No fear of “ not being right all the time “
Remember this saying ? It infers that we shouldn't place too much premium on numbers
Like saying the " less is more "..
Many younger folks need to apply this in the work of ministry ,am specifically referring to organizing programs and conventions.
Besides the enormous and tedious work which goes into the planning of church special meetings,resources committed to them ,comes with it overall side effects of over doing any aspect of it or them
Length of days ,venue management etc
Very crucially is the aspect of inviting ministers
It appears many are catching the bug of inviting many ministers to speak in a single program .
A times it's a three day program ,and with 5-6 speakers or even less or more
Each speaker is not given enough time for his session to be called a teaching session
He ends up dropping many sound bites
Wets appetites ,creates hoopla .
Miracles received too
But meal and exercise for spiritual growth might be least or non existent
Some might even try and end up just trying to lay a foundation or so which is truncated too quickly
Asides this ,having many voices in a short period on any subject gives little or no room for depth
You might not need more than a single speaker for a 7 day convention !
Or two or three ,depending on the purpose .
The lesser the number of speakers ,the easier it is for comprehension in many cases.
Jesus had his apostles ( just 12!)but when he spoke ,they weren't speaking and vice versa ,not forgetting he sent them two by two ( the 70)
Luke 10:1 KJV  After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Upon his resurrection,120 or more were taught by him, yet he chose 12 to speak
Acts 1:2 KJV  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Peter did most of the speaking
It brings coherence and helps comprehension
Much later Paul and barnabas
Acts 13:2 KJV  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Yet paul did the speaking mainly
Acts 14:12 KJV  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
It helps this way
It will help the church and its parishioners to be focused
Besides the huge avoidable expenditure of funds which many of such might portend ,the line up of speakers at times is a semblance of a jamboree
"But I need a fellow with working of miracles ( gifts of healing ),another who understands gifts of the spirit ,one other who can teach faith ,yet another who can explain who you are in Christ and maybe another who can explain spiritual Growth "
Get a sound man and teacher! . Maybe two who believe alike .
Sound means all round , a single sound minister can Minister all listed above
Don't breed folks with such selective modus of reasoning
2 Timothy 4:3 KJV  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Every bible teacher / minister should be capable of all you listed above
And if there's none
Handle the convention yourself
I say this to many folks who listen to me and want to invite me for programs .
If you hear me well and long enough ,you don't and might not need me in every convention,you should be able to teach others !
If you should invite speakers ,don't do it for show off or jamboree or thinking the more popular and internationally acclaimed speakers the "bigger " the meeting and it gives a huge brand for your ministry marketing