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James, The book of human nature!

October 11, 2021

What can we do to develop a good nature that God and Christ will approve of. It is by knowing God and Christ that such a nature can exist. We can only do this by reading God’s word and acting upon it. James says that faith without works is dead. Another way to look at this is volunteering to help other people. After you have volunteered for a while, you see that other people have it worse than we do. The focus moves from you to others, which will lift you up. James says that testing comes to believers because we are believers. Christ is testing us to see how we spread our new roots to see how deep they have gone into Christ and His earthly kingdom. Have you tested your roots lately? Know what the purpose of tests are, where the source of temptations come from, your faith obeys God’s word. All Christians will be tested at some point in their life, to see if they can withstand the darts and arrows of the evil satan.

James Chapter 1

Theme: Be sure your not carried away by your own sin, be quick to listen and slow to speak, slow to anger.

James 1 A bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, greetings. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Being a double minded man , unstable in all his ways. But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his humiliation, because like flowers grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind, and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say he is tempted , “I am being tempted by God”, for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures. This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, and slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his one tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of out God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained be the world.

Theme answers: Personal responsibility through trials by faith in Christ. Trials produce endurance resulting in being perfect and complete. Man needs God’s wisdom for living, we have to ask God who will freely give it. The brother of humble circumstances will glory in his humiliation. Man should not be like the raging sea, being tossed to and fro, or like the flowers and dried grass that is scorched by the wind and hot weather. The Man of God is supposed to persevere under trials. God temps no man, because God cannot be tempted by evil. Every perfect thing comes from God. That is the reason we should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Anger does not achieve the righteousness of God. We should put aside all filthiness, and all that remains of wickedness. In humility receive the word implanted in your souls. He who looks at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it, and not becoming forgetful, or a doer shall be blessed in what he does.

James Chapter 2
Theme: Faith removes discrimination.

My brethren, do not hold you faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For is a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there comes in a poor man in dirty cloths, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing fine cloths, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down at my footstool,” have you made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren; did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those that love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich man who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you are called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and we are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not commit murder. Now if you do not commit adultery, but did commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, go in peace, be warmed and filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Issaac his son on the alter? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and lead them out by another way? For just as the body without the Spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Theme answer: Personal responsibility through trials by faith in Christ. Trials produce endurance resulting in being perfect and complete in Jesus Christ. Man needs wisdom from God for living, we have to ask God who will freely give wisdom. The brother of humble circumstances will glory in his humiliation from scoffers. Man should not be like the raging sea, being tossed to and fro, or like the flowers and dried grass that is scorched by the hot sun and wind. The man of God is supposed to persevere under trials. God temps no man, because God cannot be tempted by evil. Every perfect thing comes from God. That is the reason we should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Anger does not achieve the righteousness of God. We should put aside all filthiness, and all that remains of wickedness. In humility, we should receive the word implanted into our souls. He who looks at the perfect law of liberty and abides by it, and not becoming forgetful, for a doer shall be blessed in what he does.

Chapter 3 Faith controls the tongue
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put bits into the horses mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by winds, are still directed be a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; From the same mouth come both blessings and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh. Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle reasonable, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Theme answers: This whole chapter deals with the human tongue. James looks at small things that control large things. The tongue can defile the whole body and ruin a persons life.
How a small rudder of a ship that weighs 100s of tons, controlled by the pilot of the ship still guides it where he wants to go. The small bit in the horses mouth that ways a 1000 pounds goes in the direction the rider wants the horse to go. James compares the mans tongue to a ships rudder, a horses bit that controlled the horses head and the direction the rider wants to go. Here we have man made tools that guides what ever the ships pilot and the horse rider wants to go. The tongue is controlled by the human brain. James also talks about comparisons of trees and its fruit, fresh and bitter water, and how man has tamed every species of beasts, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. I said above that our mind controls our tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father. James also states what sets our tongue on fire, bitter jealousy, selfish ambition in our hearts, being arrogant, lieing against the truth. This type of wisdom is not that which comes down from God and Jesus Christ, it is earthly, natural, and demonic. Where jealousy and selfish ambition exists, there is disorder and every evil thing. Gods wisdom from above is first pure, peaceable, gentile, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering,without hypocrisy. The seed whose fruit in righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
When in our mind we think that we deserve more than what we have, there is a power struggle that is going on in our mind. The power struggle is between good and evil, Christ and satan. Jesus says He will supply all of our needs. Philippians 4:19 Look at 1 Peter 5:8 Be of a sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly. John 10:10 God does not always answer questions about our wants. But what Christ wants to be is strong in our faith and know that He has over evil, and the best thing we can do is resist the devil and he will flee from us.
Which kind of person do you want to be, like Christ or like the devil?

James Chapter 4
Theme: Do you think that scriptures speaks to no purpose? Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow, you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts, among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 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; you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. There is only one law giver and judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judges your neighbor? Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow, you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “if the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance ; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do it, to him it is sin.

Theme answer: James lays out what the quarrels and conflicts are among you. What is the source of your quarrels and conflicts among you? You commit murder. It is your pleasures that wage war in your members. You lust and do not have, you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. When you ask and do not receive, you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask, but do not receive. Why? Because you ask with wrong motives. If you get what you want, you spend it on your pleasures. Do you not know the the friendship with the world is hostility toward God! THEREFORE WHOEVER WISHES TO BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD, MAKES HIMSELF AN ENEMY OF GOD. God jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us? Therefore He gives a greater grace to His. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. “SUBMIT THEREFORE TO GOD, RESIST THE devil AND he WILL FLEE FROM YOU. DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.” Cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 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.

James Chapter 5
Theme: Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord, but above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 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! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the out cry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you. Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? 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; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.
Theme answer: to God’s people, present and future.
Do not desire riches, desire the riches of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, His love, compassion, forgiveness, His steady hand upon ones life. Talk to Him, and He will talk to you. If not the first time, keep talking until you hear Him. Do not give up. You will always be in His good and faithful hands. He will teach you His ways if you listen closely. Shh-h, to hear Him you have to be close enough to her Him. Take it into your heart that Jesus is always with you, where ever you are. Sometimes events of life will make you question the relationship. That is okay, sometimes it will feel like you are alone, but that is the time you really want to draw close to Jesus and whisper in His ear, I need you, and He will be there with you at that moment. Remember, Shh-h, quiet please, and listen. He speaks from within.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 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! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the out cry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you. Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? 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; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.

A little history on James, the brother of Jesus. The Bible does not give any information or none biblical information on the life of Joseph after Jesus was 12 years old, when Jesus stayed behind to question the Jewish leaders. But the Bible gives the names of His brothers and sister. There are a few James in the New Testament. James the brother of Jesus is not the son of Zebedee, or Alfeaus. James the brother of Jesus is the son of Joseph. This is the only information in the Bible. From Eusebius, a first century historian, James was an Ascetic Jew by practice. This also involved the taking of the Nazarite vow. After the death of Jesus, the death of Stephan, Simon Peter had been arrested by Herod a second time, Herod was going to hang him the next day, and during that night an Angel of the Lord came to Peter and woke him up and led him out of prison. Peter winds up at Mary’s house. It is believed that Peter left Jerusalem at that time. Some believe that he went to Antioch. It is during this time that James had become the leader of the Jerusalem church. James was the leader of the Jerusalem council. Paul thought a great deal of James and also had his disagreement with James on giving church leaders letters of authenticity. Paul had confronted James on this means of identification. Coming up the Passover in AD62, the Scribe and Pharisees ask James to go up to the Temple Pinnacle, they told James that if he would answer a question, they would build him up to the people. James went up to the Pinnacle and the Scribes and Pharisees ask James, “Isn’t there a danger for the people to believe and be looking for Yeshua to return for them. James was supposed to agree with them. But instead, James said, Yeshua is in heaven sitting at the right hand of God, and coming on the clouds of heaven to those who believe in Him. James quoted scripture for his answer. With that answer they went up to the Pinnacle and threw James down. He did not die from the fall, so they hurried down and incited the people to stone him to death. Has the people started stoning him, someone picked up a fullers club and hit James in the head and he died. Jesus was crucified in about 33 AD. Here, nineteen years after Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees are still trying to get people to not worship Jesus in public. In AD 70 is when the Romans went into Jerusalem and destroyed it, ending all the problems and rule of the scribes and Pharisees. With no Temple, or people they became extinct. It will be interesting who is ruling when the third temple is built.

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