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The Epistle of James - Christogenea on Talkshoe 1-13-2012
II 1 My brethren, do not with respect of the stature of persons hold the faith of our Prince Yahshua Christ of honor. 2 For if perhaps a man should enter into your assembly hall with a gold ring in a shining garment, and a beggar should enter in a filthy garment, 3 then you should look upon he wearing the shining garment and say “You sit here comfortably”, and to the beggar you should say “You stand there”, or “Sit beneath my footstool”, 4 have you not made a distinction among yourselves and become judges of evil reasonings?
“Respect of persons” is respect for the stature or the status of persons in judgement. The Greek word προσωπολημψία comes from πρόσωπον, literally the face, and a verb which means to receive. The use of the term by James reflects that same idea which Paul often infers where the King James Version translates the Greek word προσωπολημψία, which is literally the receiving of a man's appearance, and related words and phrases as “respect of persons”.
At Romans 2:11 Paul wrote “For there is no respect of persons with God”, but in that chapter the context is Israel's relationship to and judgement under the laws of God.
Matthew 2:16, in part: “Teacher, we know that You are true, and in the way of God You teach in truth and in You there is no thought for anyone, for You do not look at the stature of men.”
2 Chronicles 19:7: “Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.“
Proverbs 24:23: “These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.”
Many commentators confuse the idea of respect of persons with race, thereby seeking to surreptitiously include non-Israelites into the covenants of God, something which cannot ever be done under any circumstances. The same Paul who said (at Romans 11:29) that “Indeed the favor and the calling of Yahweh are not to be repented of”, meaning that they can not be retracted or modified, also added (at Romans 15:8) that “Yahshua Christ came to be a minister of circumcision in behalf of the truth of Yahweh; for the confirmation of the promises of the fathers”, all of which may include only the children of Israel. In Romans chapter 9 Paul tells us that for only genetic Israelites – his kinsmen in accordance with the flesh - are “the position of sons, and the honor, and the covenants, and the legislation, and the service, and the promises; 5 whose are the fathers; and of whom are the Anointed in regards to the flesh, being over all blessed of Yahweh for the ages.” In Hebrews chapter 8 that same Paul again quotes Jeremiah in relation to those same covenants: “10 For this is the covenant which I will devise with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: giving My laws into their minds, I will also inscribe them upon their hearts, and I will be for a God to them, and they shall be for a people to Me. 11 And by no means shall they teach each his fellow countryman and each his brother, saying ‘know Yahweh’, because they all shall know Me, from the small unto the great among them. 12 Because I will be propitious with their unrighteousness, and their errors I will not at all remember hereafter.”
As James has said here in this epistle, with Yahweh “there is not a variation or shade of change”. Here in James the term is clearly defined. It is absolutely evident that the term has only to do with the status of a man who in any case already deserves a place in the assembly, and one cannot attempt to force other races into the assembly by it, because that is an abuse of the meaning of the term, and a clear violation of the covenants of God which cannot be amended by men. The phrase “respect of persons” only means, all other things being equal, that all men are to be judged equally under the law and in our daily estimations when we have intercourse and conversation together.
Proverbs 24:23, again: “These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.”
1 Samuel 16:7: “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
This is what is meant by “respect of persons”, in all contexts where the phrase appears. But it does not ever get aliens into the covenants of God. The covenants are immutable according to Scripture. No saying of Scripture nullifies any other. If there is a conflict, it is our understanding which is at fault.
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: has Yahweh not chosen the beggars in society to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you dishonor the beggar?
James is teaching what he learned from Christ. We should not ever dishonor those of our brethren who are of low estate. Matthew 5:1-10: “1 And seeing the crowds He went up into the mountain, and upon His sitting His students came to Him. 2 And opening His mouth He instructed them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who are mourning, because they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, because they shall be satiated. 7 Blessed are those having mercy, because they shall be mercied. 8 Blessed are those who are pure in heart, because they shall see Yahweh. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, because they shall be called sons of Yahweh. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted on account of righteousness, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Yet the “peacemakers” are not the world's compromisers. Rather, they are those who uphold the Word of God, as the Proverb says: “He that winks with his eyes deceitfully, procures griefs for men; but he that reproves boldly is a peacemaker” (Proverbs 10:10, from the Septuagint).
Matthew 11:2-6: “2 Then Iohannes, hearing in the prison the works of Christ, sending through his students 3 said to Him: “Are You He who is coming, or do we expect another?” 4 And responding Yahshua said to them: “Going report to Iohannes the things which you hear and see: ‘the blind see again and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf-mutes hear, and the dead are raised and the poor have the good message announced’. 6 And blessed is he who would not be offended by Me!”
The poor have the good message announced. Paul taught exactly as James did in this regard also, where in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 he explains that Yahweh had chosen the fools, the feeble, the despised, the low-born, those of His children who for the most part have not been so successful in this society, to be the bearers of His Word and to understand His wisdom. As Christ says in Matthew, it is they who shall reap the greater rewards, because it is they who are loved by God. Good Christians – those who actually put their Christianity into daily practise, are precluded by that practice from becoming wealthy or powerful. It is the Christian weltanschauung, the Christian philosophy of life, which makes it difficult for Christians to become especially wealthy. It is the poor among us whom we should look out for the most. Yet so many of us naturally cater to the wealthy and powerful, in spite of the poor, sickly, feeble and humble.
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: has Yahweh not chosen the beggars in society to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you dishonor the beggar? Do the wealthy not exercise power over you, and they themselves drag you into trial? 7 Do they themselves not blaspheme the good name labeled upon you?
Those with their hearts set upon the things of this world, they are those who most readily gain power and wealth. They are also those who drag us into court, those who harass and who persecute their fellow men, because they prefer the wealth of the world over the health of their brethren.
Matthew 5:11-13: “11 Blessed are you when they would reproach and persecute you and being liars they would speak any evil against you on account of Me. 12 Rejoice and exult, because great is your reward in the heavens. For thusly had they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has lost its savor, with what shall it be salted? It avails for nothing more than it is cast outside to be trampled by men!”
Go to any community in America, and see that the local merchants, the prominent businessmen, the landlords and the factory owners, they are treated like royalty on account of their wealth. These are the men who traditionally have influenced our societies to bend the laws in their own favor. These are also the men who most often conspire against their own countrymen for the sake of their own commerce. Our history is replete with examples of this, and in Europe as well as in America. Yet, if these men were good Christians who feared God, they would use their wealth to serve their communities, and not to lord over them! We will see much more of this theme in James in chapter 5 of his epistle.
8 If, however, you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture: “You shall love him near to you as yourself”, you do well.
Leviticus 19:18: "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
The word “neighbor” is a very misunderstood word. Neither the Greek nor the Hebrew intone that one's neighbor is simply anyone who lives in proximity to us. An examination of the so-called Indo-European roots of the word neighbor prove that the word originally has nothing to do with geographical proximity, and everything to do with those of one's own clan or race who are proximate. The word neighbor in the phrase in Leviticus 19:18 which says “love thy neighbor” in Hebrew is ultimately derived from a verb which means to graze together, and therefore can only refer to the sheep. The Hebrew word, Strong's 7453, rea' or reya', is defined by Strong as an associate, and translated in the King James Version as brother, companion, fellow, friend, husband, lover, or neighbor. The word is derived from the verb ra'ah, Strong's number 7462, which means “...to tend a flock, i.e. pasture it...intransitively to graze...by extension to associate with”, and therefore it can only be properly used of other flock members! Wolves do not graze together with sheep.
The Greek phrase for neighbor where it appears in the New Testament in these contexts is ὁ πλησίος (Strong's 4139), which with the Article is a Substantive, used as a noun, and it is always translated in the A.V. as “neighbor”. Because of the general misunderstanding of the word neighbor, I always translate it very literally, as “he near to you”, or something similar. This Greek word πλησίος is both an adverb and a preposition, and it means “near, close to...” (Liddell & Scott) and it is a derivative of the adverb πέλας which is “near, hard by, close...” (Liddell & Scott). Either word, πέλας or πλησίος, used as a Substantive, was used to denote “one’s neighbor”, and Liddell & Scott give examples of this from secular writers who used either ὁ πλησίος or ὁ πέλας. But in secular Greek there are other words used by contemporary secular authors and in the N.T. translated “neighbor”: γείτων (1069), which is explicitly “one of the same land, a neighbour...” (Liddell & Scott) and which is found at Luke 14:12; 15:6, 9; and John 9:8, and περίοικος (4040) which is “dwelling round...οἱ περίοικοι neighbours...” (Liddell & Scott) and which is found at Luke 1:58.
Therefore use of the phrase ὁ πλησίος does not necessarily mean to refer to geographical proximity, for there are other more specific words for that. Rather it simply denotes one who is near to a person. With all of the other injunctions found in the law, it can only refer to one of the sheep, and not to a wolf who has moved in nearby. This meaning is magnified where Yahshua tells His followers not to share their pearls or that which is holy with dogs and swine. At Matt. 5:43, Yahshua Christ is credited with the words “Thou shalt love thy neighbor (τὸν πλησίον), and hate thine enemy”. What meaning would the saying have, if one’s enemy, as is often the case, lived in the house next door? So here it should be evident that τὸν πλησίον is “one near” to you, an associate and a fellow flock-member, but not one who is only close by geographically.
9 But if you respect the stature of persons, you commit an error, being convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For he who should keep the whole law but would fail in one thing, has become liable for all. 11 For He having said “you should not commit adultery” also said “you should not commit murder”, and if you do not commit adultery but you commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
We are all sinners, each and every one of us. The apostle John says in his first epistle that “If we should say that we have no guilt, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Men are good at renouncing the sins which they have not committed, while ignoring the laws which govern the sins that they have committed. Yet James reminds us that all of us, having at one time or another transgressed the law, we are all lawbreakers in the eyes of God. So no matter the station in life, no matter the stature of the person, we must judge all men equally and we must respect all men equally, in accordance with the law and the Word of God.
12 Thusly you speak and thusly you do as if going to be judged by a law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy for him not effecting mercy. Mercy exults over judgment.
We are going to be judged mercifully, and therefore we must judge our brother mercifully. From Matthew chapter 18, we see this parable of Christ: “21 Then coming forth Petros said to Him 'Prince, how many times shall my brother do wrong to me, that I shall forgive him? As many as seven?' 22 Yahshua says to him: 'I do not say to you as many as seven, but as many as seventy times seven! 23 For this reason the kingdom of the heavens is compared to a man who is king, who had desired to take an account together with his servants. 24 And upon beginning to take it one had been brought to him, a debtor of ten thousand talents. 25 And not having it to repay the master ordered him to be sold, and the wife and the children and everything whatever he has, and to be repaid. 26 Then falling down the servant made obeisance to him, saying ‘Have patience with me, and I shall repay everything to you!’ 27 Then being deeply moved the master of that servant released him and forgave the loan for him. 28 And departing that servant found one of his fellow-servants, who owed a hundred denarii to him, and seizing him he strangled him saying ‘Repay anything you owe!’ 29 Then falling down his fellow-servant exhorted him saying ‘Have patience with me, and I shall repay you!’ 30 But he did not desire, rather departing he cast him into prison until he would repay that which is owed. 31 Therefore seeing the things which happened his fellow-servants grieved exceedingly and going they explained to their own master all the things which happened. 32 Then summoning him, his master says to him: ‘Wicked servant! I forgave you for all that debt, since you exhorted me! 33 Had it not been necessary also for you to have mercy for your fellow-servant, as even I had mercy for you? 34 And his master being angry handed him over to the torturers until when he should repay all that which is owed. 35 Thusly also shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you would not each forgive his brother from your hearts.'”
In verse 12 above, James tells us to act as if we were going to be judged “by a law of liberty”. Many fools in Christianity, and especially in Christian Israel Identity, attempt to criticize Paul for somehow “doing away with the law”, a charge which is patently untrue. However Christian Israelites must know, that we are not going to be judged by Christ under the condemnation of the law. That is why He died for us: so that we would be free from the condemnation of the law, as Paul explains in his epistle to the Romans, especially in Romans chapter 7 where he explains that Yahweh the Husband died for our sins, that Israel the wife – the nation – would be free from condemnation, being a harlot. If we were judged by the law, we would all be liable to death for being transgressors of the law, which is what James is telling us here. This is “the perfect law of freedom” which James mentioned in the first chapter of this epistle, and what Peter referred to as our “liberty” in 1 Peter 2:16.
Therefore Paul tells the Galatians in chapter 2 that there are “false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ ...” (Galatians 2:4). Later, in chapter 5, Paul tells the Galatians to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.... For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh [i.e., to follow lust], but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:1, 13).
So we see that all of the apostles taught the same things very consistently, and disputes and contentions over these things come only from men with agendas, who want to impose their own will over the Word of God.
14 What is the benefit, my brethren, if one should claim to have faith, but does not have works? Is faith able to save him? 15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and lacking daily food, 16 and one from among you should say to them: “Go in peace, be warm and fed”, but you would not give to them the provisions for the bspan style=em span style=ody, what is the benefit? 17 Thusly also faith, if it should not have works, is by itself dead.
Do you claim to love your brother, and not help to see that he is provided for? You can wish well with your mouth, but if you do not take action to help your brethren, your well-wishing is vain. Telling your brother “Go in peace, be warm and fed” is not enough – you must do something to make certain that your brother actually is warm and fed!
Here are the words of Christ in Matthew chapter 24: “45 Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom the master has appointed over his household for which to give to them food at the appropriate time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom having come his master shall find doing thusly! 47 Truly I say to you that he shall appoint him over all of his properties. 48 But if that bad servant should say in his heart ‘My master delays!’, 49 and he should begin to beat his fellow servants, and should eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant shall come on a day which he does not expect, and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and he shall cut him in two and set his portion with the hypocrites! There shall there be weeping and gnashing of teeth!”
Christ is not talking here about 1st century slaves. If we are children of Israel, we are servants of God. We are called his servants collectively in many scriptures, such as at Isaiah 41:8 where Yahweh says “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.” Therefore if we are His servants, whatever we have comes from Him, and it belongs to Him. We are to use it to perform His will. By this we are tested. If we do well, we have a great reward – in heaven. Earthly rewards are temporary. Heavenly rewards are forever.
Here is another parable, from Luke chapter 12: “16 Then He spoke to them a parable, saying: 'The land of a certain wealthy man produced bountifully. 17 And he had reasoned within himself, saying ‘What shall I do, since I do not have where I may gather my fruits?’ 18 And he said ‘This I shall do, I shall take down my storehouse and I shall build a greater, and I shall gather there all the grain and my goods, 19 and I will say to my soul: Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Rest, eat, drink, be happy!’ 20 Then Yahweh said to him ‘Fool! This night your life is demanded of you. The things which you have prepared, for whom shall they be?’ 21 So is he storing up riches for himself and not for Yahweh.'” If the rich man had filled his original storehouse, he would have had plenty of goods for himself. Then if he had taken the excess and made certain that his needy countrymen had what they were wanting, perhaps he would not have been judged so harshly.
18 Rather one shall say: “You have faith, and I have works, show to me your faith without the works, and I shall show to you faith by my works!” 19 You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe it, and they shudder! 20 Now do you desire to know, o vain man, that faith without works is idle?
There was apparently some confusion among first century Christians, and especially – as Peter also explains in his second epistle – over the writings of Paul. Yet as we can tell from Paul's own epistles, it was the enemies of Cfont-size: small;hrist who were purposely confounding Christian teachings at that time, and so they continue to do so today. Paul argues that the “works of the law” were done away with, and it can be proven from the Septuagint and from the Dead Sea Scrolls that by the phrase “works of the law” Paul meant those sacrifices and rituals which were necessary under the Old Covenant. Christ, the Lamb of God, is our final sacrifice and so there is need for rituals no longer, as Daniel also prophesied.
James says here that faith without works is dead (as the King James has it, but even the better manuscripts are divided between dead and idle), and Paul agrees, but his explanations come in a different method. Paul said at Ephesians 2:8-10: “8 For in favor you are being preserved through faith and this, Yahweh’s gift, is not of yourselves, 9 not from works, lest anyone would boast [meaning the rituals of the law], 10 for His work we are, having been established among the number of Christ Yahshua for good works, which Yahweh before prepared in order that we would walk in them.”
The spirit of everything that James says here concerning wealth, faith and good works is summed up again by Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 6, where he says that “17 To those who are wealthy in this present age, you exhort neither to be high-minded nor to have hope in uncertain riches, but in Yahweh who provides for us richly all things for enjoyment: 18 to do good work, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous, sharing, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the future, in order that they would obtain the true life.”
To repeat James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe it, and they shudder!” Remember this when a judaized churchianity so-called Christian, a Christian zionist, tells you that all one has to do is “believe in Jesus” to be “saved”. They too have taken Paul's words out of context and twisted them to fulfill an agenda. Even the demons know there is one God, and that He was manifest as Yahshua Christ, and they shudder indeed.
At Matthew 8:28-31 we see this: “28 And upon His coming to the other side to the country of the Gadarenes two men possessed by demons coming out from among the tombs met with Him, exceedingly troublesome, so that not anyone is able to pass by through that road. 29 And behold, they cried out saying 'What is with us and with You, O Son of Yahweh? Have You come already, to torment us prematurely?' 30 Now there was afar off from them a herd of many swine feeding. 31 And the demons exhorted Him saying 'If You cast us out, send us into the herd of swine!'” So the demons knew who he was, and they knew that He would be opposed to them. Of course, demons have no hope in salvation.
21 Had Abraham our father not been deemed righteous by works, offering Isaak his son upon the altar? 22 Do you see that the faith had operated together with his works and by works the faith had been perfected? 23 And the Scripture had been fulfilled which says “And Abraham believed Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”, and he is called a friend of Yahweh. 24 Observe that a man is deemed righteous by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in like manner was not Rahab the harlot also deemed righteous by works, receiving the messengers, and discharging them by another way? 26 For just as the body without a spirit is dead, thusly also faith without works is dead!
Our daily deeds, the manner in which we live our lives, the things that we do every day in the course of our regular actions, these are our works. Not anything special we do whenever we are reminded that we are supposed to be Christians, but every common act which we do, through these we manifest our faith. Paul explained in Romans chapter 4 that Abraham believed Yahweh, and for that he was considered righteous. But in Hebrews chapter 11 Paul tells us how Abraham exhibited that faith, in verse 17: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” Paul also explained in Hebrews 11:8 that “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” In other words, Abraham went without knowing exactly what he was getting himself into. So while Abraham believed God, that – as Paul tells us in Romans 4 – he believed that his offspring would indeed become many nations, he displayed that belief in carrying out God's wishes. If we today believe God, then we also should seek his will and act upon it in our day-to-day lives. Not only on “church” days.
Now here Rahab was called a harlot, and James is clearly repeating what he had read in Greek in the Septuagint. But Rahab was not necessarily a harlot, the misunderstanding being that the Hebrew word from which the Septuagint was translated also may refer to a woman engaged in retail trade not that is necessarily of her own body. It is clear, as Josephus believed and as his own account of the story of Rahab relates, that she was an inn-keeper, and not a harlot. The Greek word, πόρνη, is also loosely related to words that describe conveyance for the purposes of trade.
III 1 You must not produce many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive a greater judgment. [As Paul explains in Romans chapter 2, those who claim to be teachers, yet do not teach the Word of God righteously, are actually blaspheming God.] 2 For we all fail often! If anyone does not fail in word, he is a perfect man able to guide with a bridle even the whole body. [There was only one of those: Yahshua Christ.] 3 Even if the bridles of horses are put into their mouths for which to persuade them for us, then we maneuver their whole body. 4 Behold also, there are such great ships, and being driven by severe winds, maneuvered by the smallest rudder, being driven straight where impulse desires. 5 Thusly also the tongue is a small body-part and boasts loudly. Behold how small a fire ignites so great a forest! 6 And the tongue is a fire, an ornament of injustice. The tongue sits among our body-parts soiling the whole body and setting ablaze the course of existence, and being burned by Gehenna!
James had already said, at 1:19: “You know, my beloved brethren, that every man must be quick for which to listen, slow for which to speak, slow for anger.” Vengeance belongs to Yahweh, and the anger of man does not accomplish the vengeance of Yahweh.
There are more than a few similar sayings found in the Greek classics, and among my favorites are those from Theognis, a Greek Elegaic Poet of the 6th Century BC. He says “Many men do not have on their tongue a door that closes with a well-adjusted fit...” and again, “The mind is a good thing and so is the tongue; but they are found in few men who have control over both”. And once more, he said: “Speech is apt to cause many a slip for mortal men....” Yet if the tongue alone got us into so much trouble, why should we have one? Rather, the tongue is a tool, and we should use it wisely. Therefore we should be “quick for which to listen” and “slow for which to speak”, and James tells us wisely.
Proverbs 16:27: “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire”.
Psalm 52:2-4: “2 thy tongue has devised unrighteousness; like a sharpened razor thou hast wrought deceit. 3 Thou hast loved wickedness more than goodness; unrighteousness better than to speak righteousness. 4 Thou has loved all words of destruction, and a deceitful tongue.” (In Psalm 52, David refers to Doeg the Edomite.)
Jeremiah 9:3: “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.“
Sirach 5:9: “Winnow not with every wind, and go not into every way: for so doth the sinner that hath a double tongue.”
1 Timothy 3:8: “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre”.
Matthew 15:17-20: “17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”
All of these things are of course true, but we must consider how and what kind of speech causes men to slip. And in whose perception do men slip? One man may think that you have erred when he does not like what you say. But what is sin, to slip in the eyes of man? Or to slip in the eyes of God? The Judaeans thought Peter and John were in error, when Peter and John told them (Acts 4:19): "Whether it is just before Yahweh to listen to you, or rather to Yahweh, you decide."
Wisdom 1:6 For wisdom is a loving spirit; and will not acquit a blasphemer of his words: for God is witness of his reins (the bowels were seen as the seat of emotions), and a true beholder of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
James says that “we all fail often”, and of course that is true. But if we seek with our hearts to be true to the Word of God, our good deeds will far outweigh our failures after our works have passed through the fire.
7 For every species [φύσις – form, or kind, a natural type] of both beasts and birds, and reptiles and sea-creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by the species of man
By “species of man” James refers to the Adamic φύσις. The King James Version translates φύσις as “kind” here on both occasions. This is a reference to Genesis chapter 1, where it says at Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Therefore we see that Adamkind was commissioned in Genesis chapter 1, and that Genesis chapter 1 refers to our race, and not to any pre-Adamic so-called races of non-Whites, which quite sadly many people in Christian Israel Identity still believe.
8 but the tongue no one of men is able to tame; it is an unstable evil, full of death-bearing poison. 9 With it we praise the Prince and Father and with it we would curse men who have been born according to the likeness of Yahweh. 10 From the same mouth proceeds praise and curse! There is no need, my brethren, for these things to be so.
Likewise, Paul says at Ephesians 4:29: “You must not let any corrupt word go out of your mouth, but if anything good is of use for building, that would give delight to those listening.”
Luke 6:28: “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
Romans 12:14: “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
But a curse is not merely a dirty word. Calling someone a “whore” or a “bastard”, for instance, that is not cursing. It may be a slander if it were not true, but it is not a curse. And if it is true, then it is only a statement of fact, even if it is not the most pleasant language. A curse in the ancient world is an imprecation of evil upon someone. Overtly wishing someone harm, that is a curse.
11 Does any spring from the same opening flow sweet and bitter? 12 Is it possible, my brethren, for a fig tree to make olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither does salt make sweet water!13 Who is wise and knowledgeable among you? He must show by good conduct his works in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, do not exult and lie against the truth.
Lying against the truth, THAT is how the tongue sets off a world of iniquity. Teaching lies contrary to the Word of God, THAT is how the tongue gets a man into trouble. If I speak against God, then I pray to be corrected. If I speak against men and they blaspheme me and retort with slanders, then I praise God, because as Yahshua told us in Luke chapter 6, “22 Blessed are you when men hate you and when they separate from you and they reproach and they cast out your name as evil because of the Son of Man: 23 Rejoice in that day and leap, for behold, your reward is great in heaven! For in accordance with these same things did their fathers do to the prophets.”
Submitting to the truth of the Scriptures, that is true meekness. Playing politely is not meekness, as the popular culture today would have us believe. In fact, the serpent in the garden was playing politely. Submission to God and to His Word is real meekness, and that is real humility.
As we see James explain here, heresies of doctrine most often come out of pride of heart. As he says in verse 14, “But if you have bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, do not exult and lie against the truth.” This is the source of nearly all of our disputes. Some disputes are honest, however they are usually minor and have no real relevancy or danger to sound doctrine. However there are many people in Christian Identity who have not shed their Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witness or other unsound beliefs. And there are just as many others who imagine themselves to be the revealers of some great new and unique idea which will somehow save us from error. These themselves are far greater errors. The trumpeting of frauds such as Ron Wyatt, Jordan Maxwell, Zechariah Sitchin, so-called Mayan calender prophecies, Elenin, Nibiru, and many other supposed “discoveries”, such as men imagining themselves to be one of the two witnesses or one of the 144,000 of the Revelation, all of this is error produced and nurtured by pride. All of these lies, when we fall for them, only lead us into reproach and an indefensible position in the light of true Biblical scholarship. How can we willingly spread these lies, and even care to face our Redeemer? If doctrine is not explicit in the original languages of Scripture, then forget about it, it is not doctrine at all. If truth cannot be established in the light of Scripture and by two or three witnesses, and also stand in the context of the rest of the Scripture, then it is not truth at all.
15 This is not the wisdom coming down from above but earthly, animal, demoniacal.
As John says in chapter 4 of his first epistle, we are to test every Spirit, to see whether they are of God or of the World. Spirits born of the World are not from God, and they are the spirits of demons. As demons are the disembodied spirits of bastards, bastards are the embodied spirits of demons!
16 For where jealousy and rivalry are, there is instability and every mean deed.
This describes all of the trolls and those who have nothing better to do than to sit in forums and make ad hominem attacks, rather than subjecting themselves to the Word of God. By harassing Christians who seek the Word of God, they make manifest their jealousy.
17 But the wisdom from above is first indeed pure, then peaceful, reasonable, obedient, full of acts of mercy and good fruits, unhesitating, unhypocritical. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those making peace.
Yet the “peacemakers” are not the world's compromisers. Rather, the real peacemakers are those who seek to uphold the Word of God, as the Proverb says: “He that winks with his eyes deceitfully, procures griefs for men; but he that reproves boldly is a peacemaker” (Proverbs 10:10, from the Septuagint).
So if you disagree with what you read or hear, just leave – and if you cannot leave but need to make incessant and nagging attacks otherwise, you are certainly proving that you are no Christian in the first place! Real Christians are not going to compromise!