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Sunday, September 16 2012

The Epistles: James

Studies in this complete Epistles series:
What Is An Epistle? Luke Acts Romans First Corinthians
Second Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians
First Thessalonians Second Thessalonians First Timothy Second Timothy Titus
Philemon Hebrews James First Peter Second Peter
First John Second John Third John Jude Revelation


There were at least three prominent men named James (the English form of Jacob) in the New Testament record. Historians debate which of them was the author of the epistle of James.

The apostle James (one of the first four of the Twelve), the brother of John. He was killed by Herod.

Fishermen On The Sea Of Galilee

"4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother [see also The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth], in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them." (Matthew 4:18-21 KJV)

"12:1 Now about that time Herod the king [see A History Of Jerusalem: The Herodian Dynasty] stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword." (Acts 12:1-2 KJV)

The apostle James (another of the Twelve), the son of Alphaeus:

"10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother [see also What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?]; 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matthew 10:2-4 KJV)

James, one of the brothers of Jesus of Nazareth.

"13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? [see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth] Whence then hath this man all these things?" (Matthew 13:54-56 KJV)

"1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the LORD's brother." (Galatians 1:18-19 KJV)

"Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures"

While some have interpreted "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad" to mean that the epistle was addressed the "lost ten tribes" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) and the people of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah), it seems obvious that he was addressing people who not only knew who they were, but moreover knew what they were - believers in the Messiah when He came.

Fruit

"1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:1-8 KJV)

James was specifically addressing converted Christians, referring to the "firstfruits" of salvation ("we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures") whose salvation will happen on the day of Christ's return (see The Harvest Prophecies and When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin). Unconverted people are not subject to temptation to fall away.

"1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

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: 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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. 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." (James 1:12-18 KJV)

Unlike those who merely claim to be Christian, using Christ's Name to do as they please, James warned "be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

The Road To Emmaus

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

1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 1:25 But whoso looketh 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." (James 1:19-25 KJV)

Even devils have the impotent faith ("Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble") of those who reject the LORD's command to actually and genuinely obey Him as a manifestion of faith i.e. being faithful to the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?).

"2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? [see Works Means Obedience] can faith save him? 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone [see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners].

2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac] 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:14-26 KJV)

Right from the Garden of Eden when the first humans turned from the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?) to the lies of the Devil, humanity has existed in a war of words, the Word of God verses Satan the accuser (Satan literally means accuser; see Sending Away The Escapades Goat).

Storm At Sea

"3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:1-11 KJV)

Conflict, between people, and hence between nations, results from the lust of malignant-minded humans to take what belongs to others - having a psychotic sensitivity for their own personal or national sovereignty, while hypocritically plundering everyone and everything else that they can. "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."

"4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 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.

4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" (James 4:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: What changes will "the day of the LORD" being upon the world?
See What Is The Day Of The LORD?


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This Day In History, September 16

307: Western Roman Emperor Severus II was captured and imprisoned at Tres Tabernae. He was later executed (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1620: The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. On board were 48 crew members and 101 colonists, including 35 Separatists from Leiden, Holland, known afterward as the Pilgrims. During the three-month voyage, two passengers died and two babies were born.

1673: Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I declared war against France (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1736: German physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit died at age 50. The Fahrenheit temperature scale is named after him.

1747: The French captured Bergen-op-Zoom, consolidating their occupation of Austrian Flanders in the Netherlands.

1810: A rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Mexico when the priest Hidalgo y Costilla issued the grito de Dolores.

1812: The Great Fire of Moscow destroyed 75% of the Russian city.

1882: The Great September Comet of 1882 was so bright that it could easily be seen in the daytime sky.

1893: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was born in Hungary. The Nobel Prize winning biochemist was the first to isolate vitamin C.

1920: A terrorist bomb exploded in the Wall Street district of New York City, killing at least 25 people.

1934: An anti-Nazi protest was held in Munich. Not all Germans believed Adolf Hitler's "patriotic" myths and excuses for doing Satanic evil (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1945: At the end of the Second World War, Britain took Hong Kong from the Japanese. Britain surrendered political control of the wealthy island to the Chinese in 1997.

1947: Typhoon Kathleen killed over 1,900 people in Japan.

1955: A Soviet submarine became the first submarine to launch a ballistic missile.

1955: Argentine President Juan Peron was ousted by a military coup.

1959: The first operational photocopier, the Xerox 914, was introduced.

1975: Papua New Guinea became independent from Australia.

1978: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake killed 25,000 people in Iran.

1982: Lebanese Phalangist militiamen entered the Palestinian refugee camps at Saba and Shatila and slaughtered over 2,000 men, women and children. The Israeli military had unwittingly allowed the murderers into the camps.

1991: Despite worldwide protests that it violated established diplomatic and prisoner of war laws of civilized nations, prosecution under U.S. domestic law of captured Panamanian President Manuel Noriega began in a U.S. civilian court.

1997: Typhoon Oliwa hit southwestern Japan, killing 6 people and forcing 80,000 from their homes.


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