Text Box: A commentary on 
The Book of James
by Robert Breaker III
copyright 1997
Third Edition
 

 

 

* The following online book has been designed to be "printer friendly."  So please feel free to print the entire thing and read it through!  Otherwise, just read it here online.

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THE BOOK OF JAMES

The epistle of James has 5 chapters, 108 verses, and 2,039 words. It was written by James Zebedee, the brother of John, shortly after Jesus' resurrection, on or before 40 A.D. It had to be written early during the book of Acts, because James had his head cut off in Acts chapter 12, around 44 A.D.

The book of James is one of the "Troublesome Books" of the Bible. For centuries it has been a book of controversy because it seems to contradict the Pauline epistles. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther so despised the teachings and supposed contradictions of James to the Pauline epistles, that he said he wished he could light his stove with it. Granted, James does appear to contradict Paul several times in his epistle. However, one must keep in mind who James is writing to. According to James 1:1, he was writing doctrinally to Jews (specifically the 12 Tribes of Israel scattered abroad).

When reading the Bible, you must keep in mind that certain parts of the Bible are written to a specific group or groups, while other parts are written directly to us in the Church age. We call this "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). When you realize that James was writing to Jews and Paul was writing to saved, born again Christians, then all those "so-called" contradictions vanish.

Also, you must keep in mind that every verse in the Bible can have several applications. It can be literal, historical, spiritual, devotional, or doctrinal. When reading, ask yourself two things:

            1. Who is this written to?

            2. What is the context?

Then, If you still can't figure out the passage, never change it to mean what you want it to. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning to you, for he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

As afore mentioned, James is one of several "Hard to Understand Books" in the New Testament. The other "Troublesome" books are: Matthew, Acts, and Hebrews. These are the most misinterpreted and misunderstood books in the New Testament because they are not rightly divided.

Matthew is a transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Whereas, Acts is a transition from Israel to the Church. Hebrews is a transition from the Church Age to the Tribulation. And, James is written doctrinally to the Jews in the Tribulation. But, all of these books can be devotionalized or spiritualized to a christian.

Now, we are ready for a verse by verse commentary on the Book of James.

 

James Chapter 1

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

Right away we see who the book is written to. For almost 2000 years, scholars have missed the foundation of this book. James is writing to Jews, specifically the 12 tribes of Israel. In verse 2, he calls them his "brethren" (i.e. Jewish Brothers) just as Jesus refers to his fellow Jews as "brethren" in Matt. 25:40 and 28:10.

Born again believers also call each other "brothers" as in Romans 1:13,8:29,11:25,12:1, etc.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Here is a command to the Jews to be joyous when they are tempted. This temptation could apply to the temptation of taking the mark of the beast. Verse 3 talks about "patience" which may be applied to the "enduring to the end" mentioned in Matthew 24:13 and Mark 13:13. The Jews must endure and be patient for 3 years in the last half of Daniel's seventieth week (Rev. 12:14) without taking the mark of the beast, or die as a martyr for Christ in order to be saved.

The "joy" would be happiness of knowing that during the tribulation they were enduring for something worthwhile, i.e. salvation, a millennial kingdom, a crown if martyred, etc.

In the church age, Paul commands Christians in 1 Thess. 5:16, to "rejoice evermore."

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Faith is necessary. In the Tribulation, it is a faith plus works set up. A man must have his faith in the blood of the lamb, and not take the mark of the beast. Some references are Rev. 12:17, 14:12.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Patience is supposed to work perfection. But, it doesn't always do so. The problem is that we don't have enough patience to become perfect. Our flesh wants what is immediate, and what is there now. The flesh hates to have to wait for something.

The context here would be the patience of a Jew in the tribulation waiting for Jesus return.

James 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.

This verse says all you have to do to get wisdom is ask God for it. But, always remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. See Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, and Prov. 1:7.

This verse can apply to a Jew, an unsaved man, or a Christian.

James 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.

When you ask, ask in faith, and expect to get it. But, there are some conditions:

James 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Why? vs 8

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

"Double minded" here means unable to make up one's mind. You should make up your mind to do something, and then do it. See also James 1:22.

James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

Tribulation application. The brother of low degree (Tribulation saint) will be exalted in the millennium.

James 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

Notice the word "rich." In the tribulation, there will be two classes of people. They will either be rich or poor. The rich will be those who take the mark of the beast, because they will be able to buy and sell (Rev. 13:16,17). But, those who do not have the mark, will be unable to buy or sell, thus, unable to afford food, clothing, etc.

Also read Matthew 19:16-24 and Luke 12:16-21 to see what Jesus said about the rich.

James 1:11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

Applies to the rich man, or those who have the mark of the beast. When the Son comes back at the 2nd Advent, they shall be cast into hell. See Malachi 4, and Rev. 19:20; 20:4-15.

James 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.

Again, the "temptation" is being tempted to take the mark in the tribulation.

The "crown" is a martyr's crown for those who die for Jesus (Rev. 2:10). There are 5 crowns mentioned in the New Testament. They are:

        1. Incorruptible Crown 1 Corinthians 9:25

        2. Crown of Life James 1:12

        3. Crown of Glory 1 Peter 5:4

        4. Crown of Righteousness 2 Timothy 4:8

        5. Crown of Rejoicing 1 Thessalonians 2:19

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:

"When he is tempted" shows that there is a certain time in the tribulation, when a man will be tempted to take the mark of the beast.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Being tempted is not a sin. It is giving in to that temptation that is a sin. And, there is always a way out of a temptation. See 1 Cor. 10:13.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The order is Lust, then Sin, then Death. The wages of sin is death!!! (Rom. 6:23)

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Let's look at where sin enters:

        1. Presentation - you are presented with a temptation.

        2. Illumination - you have a knowledge of good or evil.

        3. Debate - you think about doing it. (Where sin enters).

        4. Decision - you purpose in you heart to do it.

        5. Action - When you follow through with your thoughts.

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.

Every good gift is from God! Salvation is a free gift (Rom. 6:23). God gave us his son (John 3:16), and eternal life. God won't repent of his gift. God is not an Indian Giver. He gives for keeps! Paul says, "thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift (salvation)" (2 Cor. 9:15).

"The Father of Lights" refers to God. In John 8:12 and 9:5, Jesus says that he is "the light of the world." John 1:9 tells us that Jesus is the "true Light." But, in Matthew 5:14, Jesus refers to those present at the sermon on the mount as "the light of the world." Luke 16:8 also talks about the "children of light." Doctrinally, these children are Jews in the millennium according to Matthew 5. See also Rev. 21:23,24; 22:5. But, Spiritually it applies to church age saints. See Acts 9:3; 13:47; Rom. 22:19,14:17; Ephesians 5:8; and 1 Thess. 5:5.

James 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.

"The word of truth" refers to the Bible. The "begatting" is the new birth. According to 1 Peter 1:23 the new birth is "by the word of God." Romans 10:17 says, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." And James 1:21 tells us that the word of God is able to "save our souls."

God's word is powerful. According to Genesis chapter 1, all God had to do was speak and his word created the galaxies, stars, nebulas, planets, and solar systems, etc. And, we have the words of God written down before our eyes, by which we can read what God intended for us to know. Not only is God's word powerful, it is also everlasting. 1 Peter 1:25 says, "...the word of the Lord endureth for ever."

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

One preacher said, "God gave you one mouth and two ears so you could hear twice as much as you say!!!"

James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

The Bible says, "Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Eph. 4:6). Being angry is not a sin. But, acting on that anger, or not getting over that anger is.

Jesus was angry according to Mark 3:5. But, the New International Version of the Bible doesn't like that idea, so they change the Bible. In Matt. 5:22 they take out the word, "without a cause." The verse then reads, "...whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment..." So, according to the Non Inspired Version, Jesus is a sinner in danger of judgment because he was angry. But, according to the King James Version, Jesus had a cause to be angry with the Pharisees, because they made the temple a house of merchandise. (See John 2:13-17).

James 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.

"Superfluity" means "too much."

Some things that the "engrafted word" does are:

judges (John 12:48), washes (Eph. 5:26), cuts (Hebrews 4:12), cleans (John 15:3), and works in those that believe (1 Thess. 2:13). The word of God is also spiritual and alive (John 6:63). But, the greatest attribute of the word of God is that God has magnified his word above his name (Psalm 138:2).

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

God wants action. You deceive yourself when you hear and don't act. See also James 4:17.

James 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:

"Glass" here refers to a mirror, also called a "looking glass." Another reference for "mirror" is 2 Cor. 3:18.

In this verse, James likens the word of God unto a mirror. Here are some ways that a mirror is a type of the Bible:

James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

Self Explanatory

James 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.

Spiritually can be applied to the church age. A born again believer gets rewarded for working for Christ.

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

"Vain" comes from the word "vanity" which has to do with self. It also means worthless. The man that is religious and self-righteous, his religion is worthless to God (Isa. 64:6). Not only can a man have vain religion, but, he can also believe in vain. See 1 Cor. 15:2.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

This is the Biblical definition of religion. It is two things: 1. To visit the fatherless (orphans) and widows in their affliction, and 2. to keep himself unspotted from the world (i.e. to stay clean from sin). The biblical definition for religion is works. Religion is simply: a system of works a man does to justify himself before God. Religion never refers to salvation. Religion has always been an enemy of the cross, and it always shall be. Remember it was the religious crowd that killed Jesus Christ.

Salvation, on the other hand, is what a man takes when he realizes he can't justify himself before God. It all boils down to righteousness. A sinner must quit trusting his own self-righteousness (i.e. trying to work himself to heaven), and trust in the righteousness of Jesus Christ who suffered, bled and died for their sins.

The best example of Religion versus Salvation would be Cain and Abel in the book of Genesis. Cain brought what he had wrought hard at growing and what he was most proud of - his work. But, Abel realized that the best he could ever do would not please God, so he trusted in the blood of a poor defenseless lamb as his sacrifice, in his place. And now, in the church age, that lamb is Jesus Christ. John 1:29 tells us to "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

 

James Chapter 2

James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

"Brethren" is again referring to the Jews according to the flesh as in 1:1 and 1:16.

"Respect of persons" means don't be partial. Treat all people the same, whether rich or poor.

James 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

Can apply to the tribulation. The books of James, Hebrews, Matthew, Proverbs, and Psalms, all refer to the rich people as bad and the poor people as good. Another example is in Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazarus. See also Matthew 19:21-26 about the rich young ruler. The application is that in the tribulation those with the mark shall be rich and those without the mark shall be poor.

James 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Notice the Bible says "gay clothing." The word "gay" has a bad connotation nowadays. Here it means: "cheerful, colorful, or bright." But, today homosexuals call themselves "gay." They are not "cheerful" at all. As a matter of fact, they are an abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22).

This is an example of a Bible word that has been changed to mean something else. The devil has changed it to pervert its meaning. Some other King James Bible words that the devil has given a perverted connotation to are: Peter, John, Ass, Bowels, Prick, Privy, etc.

James 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

A direct question to the Jews.

James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Again, a doctrinal application to the tribulation. The "of the kingdom" refers to the millennium or the Kingdom of heaven.
Devotional application: Rich men tend to trust in riches. Whereas, the poor tend to trust in someone else.

Bob Jones Sr. once said, " God showed what he thought about money by the kind of people he gave it to."

James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Remember, James is writing to the Jews. Jesus warns the Jews of this oppression of men in Matt. 10:17-20 and Mark 13:9-10. The context of these passages is the tribulation.

James 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

The name by which we are called in the church age is Jesus Christ. A born again believer is called a "Christian," which means "Christ like."

James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

This is called "the royal law." However, he forgets to say that you should love God first. See what Christ says when he quotes this in Matt. 22:36-40 and Mark 12:28-31.

James 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

To put one person above another is a sin. God is no respecter of persons. See Rom. 2:11.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

A great principle! This says if you tell just one lie, you are as guilty as one who is a murderer, or a sodomite, or an adulterer. Sin is sin in the eyes of God. We think that some sins are worse than others. But, all sin stinks in the nostrils of God.

James 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

You only have to break one law to be a law breaker. It doesn't matter which law.

James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

This is aimed at a Christian. The "law of liberty" is in James 1:25. The context is the word of God. Under liberty a Christian can do anything. A Christian is under grace, and when God sees a born again Christian, he sees the righteousness of his son Jesus Christ. He doesn't see us as sinners, he sees us through the blood. That means a Christian is at liberty to do whatever he wishes after he is saved. But, if he sins, he'll lose rewards, he'll lose fellowship with God, and he'll lose some joy. Under Liberty or Grace, a Christian should consider his influence on other people. And finally, always remember the law of sowing and reaping is still in effect for a born again believer. See Galatians 6:7,8.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Mercy is against judgment. Mercy is always a good practice. God was merciful to us to die in our place.

We should be merciful to others also.

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Notice this is in the form of a question. The answer is "Yes." In the Church Age, a man is saved by grace through faith - period! See Eph. 2:8,9. But, after a man is saved by faith, Eph. 2:10 says he should do some works, not to stay saved, but to earn rewards in heaven.

James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

They will be in the tribulation.

James 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?

Nothing. You should always help others. Paul said, "Without charity I am nothing" (1 Cor. 13:2.)

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Two kinds of faith:

        1. Saving faith - which produces fruit.

        2. Dead faith - which produces no fruit.

James 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.

Works are a demonstration of a man's faith.

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

The devils not only believe, they tremble. It's not enough to just believe in God to be saved. A man who believes in God is a Deist. Salvation is believing in the act that God did for you. See The Gospel in 1 Cor. 15:1-4.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

This is the passage that Martin Luther had so much trouble with. Catholics use this verse, and verse 24, to prove their doctrines. They are religious, and trust in their mass, sacraments, prayers, vain repetitions, idol worship etc, (i.e. works), to get to heaven.

But, the passage here is again a question. He is asking this of a vain man (one who is trusting his own self righteousness). A church age saint is saved by grace through faith without works. But, as before mentioned a tribulation saint must have works.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

"Our Father" shows he is talking to the Jews here. Abraham was justified by works. But, Church age saints are justified "by His Blood" (Rom. 5:9).

Abraham's salvation is not our salvation. But, it is a type. Abraham believed, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness (vs 23). Afterwards, Abraham was justified when he offered up Isaac in Genesis 22. Christians are justified and imputed righteousness at the same time when they receive the new birth by faith.

James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

A Faith plus works setup in the tribulation as it was for Abraham.

James 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.

See comments above.

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Abraham was justified by faith plus works. A tribulation Jew is saved by faith plus works also. He must endure to the end of the tribulation without taking the mark of the beast, and then he will be justified at the 2nd Advent if he remains faithful. But, a born again Christian in the church age is saved and justified by faith in the blood plus nothing else.

James 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?

Rahab was justified by lying. She helped out Joshua's two spies (Joshua 2:1-21) and then lied about it. And, God lists her as one of the hero's of faith in Hebrews 11:31.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Spiritually, faith that saves brings works. But, to us in the church age, faith itself saves. See Gal. 2:16, and Romans 3:25-28.

Notice also where the verse says "the body without the spirit is dead." Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:23, that a human being is made up of a body, soul, and spirit. When a person is born into this world he has a live body, and a live soul. But, his spirit is empty. Thus, he is 2/3 of a man, or in fractional form .666. Revelation 13:18 says that this is a number of a man (specifically the antichrist in context).

When a man is born again, his spirit becomes alive and filled with the Holy spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) and his soul is still alive, but he is to reckon his flesh (the body) dead (Rom. 6:11-12).

At the new birth, a spiritual circumcision of the soul from the body takes place according to Colossians 2:11. The soul then melds with the spirit of God, and a new creature is formed (2 Cor. 5:17). The new creature is still 2/3 of a man, however. But, he is waiting for a glorified, sinless body (Romans 8:23), which he will receive when Jesus Christ returns at the rapture. See 1 Cor. 15:50-55 and 1 Thess. 4:15-18.

 

James Chapter 3

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Spiritual Application: "Many masters" refers to being a "Jack of all trades" so to speak. He is saying don't try to be an expert in too many things.

James 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.

The main theme of James chapter 3 is the tongue. One thing that everyone should master is the tongue. The tongue is a powerful thing. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..."

In World War II, twenty two million people were killed all by one man's tongue - Adolf Hitler's. The tongue is a powerful instrument.

James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

In this verse, the tongue is likened unto a bit in a horse's mouth. Just as a small little piece of metal is able to control the whole horse, so is the tongue able to control the whole body. The doctrinal application to the tribulation would seem to point to the possibility that the taking of the mark would not only be a physical mark on the body, but would also consist of taking an oath or swearing allegiance to the Beast. In WWII, Hitler had all his troops swear an allegiance to him personally, which could be a type of the oath to come.

James 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.

Again the tongue is likened unto something. It is likened unto a "helm" or rudder. The type of the body is the "ship." And, The "governor" is you. Just as he uses the helm to guide the ship, so we use our tongue to guide our bodies from day to day. Some examples would be that we say that we will work for an employer for so much everyday and do it. We say that we agree on so much to buy or rent a house and pay it. We make promises with our tongue and then follow through with it. Our tongue tells our body what to do.

James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

The tongue is such a little member, but it can cause much trouble when used for evil. Examples would be lying, backbiting, gossiping, cursing, swearing etc. Some references on sinning with the tongue are as follows: Proverbs 6:16-18, Rom. 1:30-32, James 5:12 etc.

James 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.

The tongue here is likened unto a fire, and fire is not always easy to put out. Sometimes, it is not easy to stop talking when we should. The bible tells us that there are times when we need to be quiet. See 1 Thess. 4:11; Proverbs 10:19 and 2 Thess. 3:12.

James 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:

Since the curse in Genesis chapter 3, animals are naturally afraid of men. This is why they have to be tamed. But, in the millennium, the curse will be lifted and man and beast will live in harmony. See Isa. 11:6-9.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

A common truth. You can find yourself saying things that you don't mean often. It is hard sometimes to make the tongue say exactly what you want it to say. At times, the hardest thing to say is "yes" or "no" and mean it.

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

This verse says man is made in the similitude or likeness or God. It does not say that man is made in the image of God. Adam was made in the image of God according to Gen. 1: 26,27. Then, Adam fell. Everyone born since Adam, was born in his image (Gen. 5:3) with a sinful nature (Rom. 5:12).

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

God demands holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16) especially in your speech. God hates lukewarm (Rev. 3:15,16). With God it is either hot or cold, black or white, right or wrong, up or down, etc. God is an extremist.

James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

Answer: No. Notice that James asks questions many times in his epistle. The references are James 2:4,5,6,7,14,16,20,21,22,25; 3:11; 4:1,4,5,12; and 5:13.

You should never base any doctrine in the Bible on a question.

James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Notice the three trees mentioned: "Fig, olive, and vine." These three trees are mentioned together a lot in scripture. Some references are Judges 9:8-15, Amos 4:9, and Haggai 2:19. These trees represent the three main trees in the garden of Eden, as well as the three trees (crosses) on Calvary.

The Fig tree represents self-righteousness. You'll remember in Genesis 3:7 that the fig tree was present in the garden of Eden because Adam and Eve sewed Fig leaves together to cover themselves after their sin. This also is the only tree that Christ curses in his earthly ministry. Mark 11:13,14, 21 tells us that Jesus cursed a fig tree (i.e. cursed man's self righteousness) and the very next verse (vs 22) Christ told his disciples to have faith in Him (i.e. his righteousness). See before mentioned comment in James 1:27. Also, the fig tree would correspond to the dying thief next to Jesus that chose to reject Christ and trust his own righteousness as he died.

Grape or Vine Tree = blood

(Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil)

Matches Jesus Christ on cross

Fig Tree = Self Righteousness

Matches Self Righteous sinner at Calvary

 

Olive Tree = Holy Spirit

(Tree of Life)

Matches dying thief that trusted Christ

 

The olive tree is a type of the Holy spirit. In Genesis 8:11, Noah let a dove out of the ark, which came back with an olive branch in it's mouth. And, in John 1:32 the Holy spirit is likened unto a dove. So, there is a connection between the Holy Spirit, olives, and doves. Olive oil is used in the bible for anointing (See James 5:14 and Luke 7:46). And, according to 1 John 2:27, when a man is saved, he is anointed by the Holy Spirit.

This tree would match The Tree of Life in the garden of Eden found in Genesis 2:9, because it is the Holy spirit which seals born again believers with eternal life (Eph. 4:30). The olive tree also would match the dying thief beside Jesus on the cross that trusted Jesus as he said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Then, Jesus said unto him, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). That day, the thief was given eternal life.

And finally, the vine or grape which is a picture of blood. Pure grape juice is the closest thing to blood that there is in the world. Theoretically, you could remove all the blood out of the human body and replace it with grape juice, and it would still circulate properly. Also, the Bible likens wine (grape juice) into blood in Deuteronomy 32:14 when it says the "pure blood of the grape."

This tree in the Garden of Eden would have to match The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil found in Genesis 2:9. When Adam and Eve partook thereof, and ate the grape (not an apple as the world would have you believe) their water circulatory system became a system of red blood. After Adam and Eve ate the grape, their flesh became pink and they became a corruptible being subject to death (Rom. 5:12).

This "forbidden fruit" changed their water circulatory system into one of blood. One type of this is Jesus dying on the cross and "Forthwith came there out blood and water" (John 19:34). Also, Jesus Christ's first earthly miracle in the New Testament was turning water into wine (i.e. blood) in John 2.

The problem now is with man's blood. Most diseases and illnesses today have to do with the blood. The blood is what makes the body corrupt or stink after death. Nowadays, when a man dies and is taken to a funeral home, the first thing they do is take out all the blood and replace it with formaldehyde, in order to preserve the body.

The tree on Calvary that matches the vine tree mentioned above is the cross upon which Jesus died. Jesus died, and shed every drop of his blood (i.e. a type of wine). But, Jesus did not have sinful or corruptible blood (See 1 Peter 1:18,19). It was God's blood (Acts 20:28).

When a man or woman is born into the world, he receives those genes or chromosomes that tell his body how to produce blood from his father. And, not one time during pregnancy does the mother's blood mix or mingle with the baby's blood. This would explain how Jesus Christ had sinless blood. Any other man would have sinful blood because he received his genes from a sinful man with sinful blood. But, Jesus Christ's father was not a man. It was the Holy Spirit according to Luke 1:30-35.

God has always demanded a blood sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:22 says, "...Without shedding of blood is no remission [of sin]." In the Old Testament, God demanded the blood of a lamb, or bullock, or turtledove, etc. But on that old rugged cross Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice and shed his innocent blood as an atonement for sinners. And, it is only the blood of Jesus that can save a soul from the deepest smokestacks of a devils hell!

See also Romans 5:9, 1 John 1:7, Eph. 1:7, and Hebrews 9:12-14; 13:12.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James asks another question: Who is wise...?

Then he answers his own question by saying "the man who shows his conversation." In other words, your speech should match your works.

James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

What is in your heart comes out of the mouth. Another reference for this is Matt. 12:34. It says , "...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Or as an old Baptist Alabama preacher once said, "What's in the well comes up in the bucket."

James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

"This wisdom" shows that there are two wisdoms:

        1. Wisdom from above (vs 17)

        2. Wisdom from below (vs 14)

"Wisdom" is the ability to use knowledge. Whereas, knowledge is just an assembly of facts. Understanding is knowing your relationship between wisdom and knowledge in relation to God. Thus, you need wisdom to apply your knowledge to God.

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

See comments on James 3:5.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

A definition of what wisdom from above is. "First pure then peaceable" You can't have peace without first having purity. Hebrews 7:2 lists righteousness first, then peace. Luke 2:14 shows that another prerequisite to peace is giving glory to God. You'll never have peace without giving God the glory, then living pure. The UN is trying to bring in world peace, but it will never happen because they will never give glory to God, and they will never admit that they are sinners, and do right.

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Notice it implies that we are to make peace with others. How do you make peace? A good start would be forgiving a brother, or witnessing to an unsaved man.

But, peace has been made already with God for those who are born again, according to Colossians 1:20, which states, "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself: by him, I say whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

 

James Chapter 4

James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Now, James switches to Politics.

"Wars" come from things inside the body. The problem is lust. One man or country wants what the other one has, and fights to get it. Mankind's sinful nature is the source of war.

James 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.

A condition for prayer. See below

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Devotional application to a Christian: You have hindrances to prayers for 2 reasons:

        1. You don't ask (vs 2).

        2. You don't ask with the right motive (vs 3).

The Lord checks you out in prayer. He sees and knows your heart, and can see your motive. An example of the right motive to a prayer asking God for money would be: "Lord send more money through me than to me."

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.

"Adulterers and adulteresses" has a Spiritual application. Ezekiel chapter 16 and 23, and Hosea 1-3 all liken physical adultery to spiritual idolatry.

Some things that "friendship with the world" will do to a Christian are:

                    6. It will get you to love the world even though it will be destroyed

                    7. It will cost you some rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.

James 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

James is quoting a verse that is not in the Bible and calling it scripture. That means that there is some scripture that is not in the Bible. Some examples of these other scriptures are: The book of "Jashur" listed in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18 And, The "Epistle to Laodicea" in Col. 4:16 which has never been found. Also, Acts 20:35 is a quote of Jesus Christ not found anywhere in the Bible. Finally, Hebrews 12:20,21 is a quote of Moses not found anywhere from Genesis - Deuteronomy. So, The Lord edited what he wanted, and gave us what he wanted us to have in the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Humility is always a good practice. Peter commands a Christian to be humble in 1 Peter 5:6. Another reference for humility is Luke 14:11

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Notice it says "resist the devil." No where in the New Testament are we commanded to "bind" Satan or to fight the devil. As a matter of fact in Jude 9 Michael the archangel says to the devil, "The Lord Rebuke thee." Michael the archangel, the second most powerful being in the universe other than God, knew not to quarrel with the devil. Christians are commanded not to mess around with the devil, but resist him, because he has power to devour (1 Peter 5:8,9) Be careful of people who go around rebuking devils and casting them out and etc. Read what the bible says about them in Matthew 7:21-23.

James 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.

Spiritual application for a Christian to draw nigh to God by prayer, and Bible reading.

Doctrinally, it applies to Jews in the tribulation. The Jewish race now is guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ (Matt. 27:25). In the Tribulation, Israel as a nation must be guiltless of the blood of Jesus. They must do what Deuteronomy 21:1-9 says to do, and then the nation of Israel shall be guiltless of the blood of Christ. The passage does not say a red heifer which you hear so much spoken about nowadays. It says a heifer. A companion verse would be Hebrews 13:11-13 which is a command for the Jewish elders to go without the gate to sacrifice that heifer.

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

The idea is for the Jews to feel sorry for killing their Messiah.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Notice the peculiar wording: "in the sight of the Lord" just as in Deuteronomy 21:9.

James 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.

James is talking about the law again. In the church age, a Christian has no business being under the law. We are saved by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus. But, the Jews in the tribulation will have to go back under the law. Again, as afore mentioned, salvation in the tribulation is a faith plus works set up. Rev. 14:12 says that they not only have the faith of Jesus Christ, but that they keep the commandments of God.

James 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

The Lawgiver is God. (Isa. 33:22)

James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

A command for some Jews in the tribulation to go away if they want to buy and sell (i.e. take the mark).

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

This verse likens life unto a vapor (i.e. it doesn't last long). 2 Peter 3:8 says, "that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and thousand years as one day." So, your 50, 60, 70, ect., years of life on this planet are very infintesimal on God's time scale.

James 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Always say "Lord Willing." Proverbs 27:1 says "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."

James 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Don't boast of what you do for this is vain glory. Boast about what God did.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

A definition of sin. This is the sin of omission. When you know it is right to do something and you don't do it (i.e. not going to church, not reading your bible, not witnessing about Jesus, etc.) it is a sin. Some other Bible definitions of sin are:

        1. Transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4

        2. All unrighteousness. 1 John 5:17

        3. The thought of foolishness. Proverbs 24:9

        4. The sin of omission. James 4:17

 

James Chapter 5

James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

The "rich men" are those with the mark of the beast as afore mentioned. The "miseries" might be a reference to the plagues in Revelation chapter 15 and 16.

James 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

See below

James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

"Last days" refers to the great tribulation.

The "treasure" is a reference to earthly, material possessions here on earth. Christ commanded in Matthew 6:20 to, "lay up...treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt..." See James 5:2.

Devotional application: "Debt will eat you up!"

James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

"The Lord of Sabaoth" in Greek is the same as "The Lord of Hosts" which of course is Jesus Christ. This same phrase "The Lord of Sabaoth" is also used in Romans 9:29. But, it's equivalent "Lord of Hosts" is used quite often in the Old Testament. In it's context, it describes that God is the head of the Host of the armies of Israel, but we also learn from Luke 2:13 that there is a host of the heavenlies of whom God is Lord also. And, Daniel 4:35 tells us that there is an army in heaven. So, God is a militant God. Exodus 15:3 calls God a "man of war."

James 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Spiritual application: Men live in pleasure on the earth, because they just want to please themselves. But, God created us to please Him (Rev. 4:11).

James 5:6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

"Ye" refers to the Jews. 1 Thess. 2:14 tells us that they killed Jesus Christ "the just" ( 1 Peter 3:18) and their own prophets. And, "he" (God) did not resist them. He allowed them to do it.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

"Coming of the Lord" is a reference to the 2nd Advent.

"The early and latter rain" is also a reference to the 2nd Advent (Joel chapter 2 and 3). According to Joel 2:23 this is a literal rain that shall fall in one month.

James 5:8 Be yea also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

A reference to the 2nd Advent definitely.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

A transition is taking place and it is about to move to the millennium, when Jesus Christ comes down and reigns on earth for a thousand years as a king and a judge, with Matthew chapters 5-7 as the millennial constitution or rules to live by.

James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

Before Jesus comes again, the Jews must suffer and be patient in the tribulation and possibly even die as some of the prophets did. See above.

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The book of Job is a picture of the tribulation. Job has 42 chapters which coincides with the 42 months of the great tribulation, or last 3 years of Daniel's 70th week.

James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

Here comes the mark of the beast in the tribulation, and the final warning in the book of James not to swear allegiance to or an oath to the beast. We, in the church age, are not waiting for the mark or the number, we are waiting for the man (Rev. 13:17).

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Music can change a person's mood. And, singing is something a person does when he is happy. James is saying if you are happy, sing a song or two. He also tells those that are afflicted to pray. Unfortunately, men tend to pray more when they go through trials and afflictions than they do when things are going well. But, Luke 18:1 says, "men ought always to pray."

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:

The apostolic signs show up again in the tribulation. The 12 apostles and Paul had the Apostolic signs and wonders. But, they were for the Jews. 1 Cor. 1:22 tells us that "the Jews require a sign."

In the beginning of the church age, God gave man the power to perform miracles (i.e. heal the sick, raise the dead, etc.). But, that power was lost. And in the church age man cannot heal anyone. Only God can heal!!!

In the church age now, if a man says he's an apostle, or that he can heal, he is one of two things: either a liar (Rev. 2:2), or a devil (2 Thess 2:9).

Paul began his ministry with power from God as an apostle with signs (Acts 19:11,12). But, Paul lost that power.

In 1 Cor. 12:9, we see that there was a gift of healing, and Paul had it. Acts 19:11,12 shows us how Paul healed. He didn't even have to touch the sick, he only touched their handkerchiefs or aprons, and they were healed. But, then the Bible shows us that Paul lost the gift of healing. In 1 Tim. 5:23, Paul recommends medicine to Timothy, for his "infirmities." And, 2 Tim. 4:20 plainly tells us that Paul left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Did Paul just not feel like healing him? No, Paul lost his gift of healing.

Further proof of this is found in 1 Tim. 4:11 and Col. 4:11. These verses tell us that Paul needed a doctor, which was Luke. Why would Paul need a doctor? He healed others, and himself he could not heal? The answer is found in several places in the Bible. Acts 9:3-9 tells us that Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus, and God restored his sight there after for a short time, but when he lost his gift of healing, he also lost his sight, and this is probably his thorn in the flesh that he talks about in 2 Cor. 12:7.

In Gal. 4:15, Paul says that there were those who were willing to pluck out their own eyes for him, why would he say such a thing, unless he had bad eyesight? In Gal. 6:11 Paul writes that it is a large letter, when it is only 6 chapters. In comparison to his other epistles, it is rather small. But, it would be a large letter if he wrote it, because most blind people have a tendency to write rather largely.

James 5:15 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.

In vs 14 it says the elders prayed, and the prayer of faith saved the sick (vs 15). So, it is not "healers" that do it, but God that heals. But, there will be 144,000 Jewish apostles in the tribulation working signs and wonders during the tribulation. See Rev. 7:4-8 and Matthew 10.

James 5:16 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.

Notice it says, "Confess your faults one to another." The easiest thing in the world to find is fault (in someone else). The hardest thing in the world to find is fault (in yourself).

Also notice it says "faults,'' not "sins." In The Revised Standard Version and in other Catholic bibles, "faults" is changed to "sins" in order to teach that a sinner must confess his sins to a priest in order to have them absolved. But, the Bible tells us to confess our sins to God, not to man. And, it's not for salvation, it's in order to have fellowship with God. See 1 John 1:6-10.

James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

"Elias" is a reference to Elijah. It is interesting to note, that he is mentioned in the context of the tribulation. According to Revelation 11:3-12, God will send two witnesses to prophesy for a thousand two hundred and sixty days during the tribulation. These two witnesses will be Moses and Elias (or Elijah). Revelation 11:5,6 says that they will have power to "Shut heaven that it rain not... (Elijah), and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues... (Moses)."

God tells us in Malachi 4:5 that he will send Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (2nd Advent). And, Moses in mentioned in the verse right before - Mal. 4:4.

Also, In Matt. 17:3 Jesus Christ is on the Mount of transfiguration, and Moses and Elijah show up talking with him.

An interesting note is that Moses and Elijah's bodies were never found. Moses died, according to Deuteronomy 34:5-6, but Jude verse 9 tells us that there was a contention for Moses body between Michael the archangel and the Devil. Obviously, Michael won and Moses was somehow resurrected in order to come back in the tribulation.

Elijah, however, never died according to 2 Kings 2:1,11. He went up to heaven and he waits there till this day to come back in the tribulation.

Also notice in the passage where it says, "He Prayed earnestly that it might not rain...three years and six months." We are not told in the Old Testament, how long it went without raining. But, there are two times in the New Testament when God tells us. The first is Luke 4:25, and this verse is the second.

Here James tells us that it was exactly 3 years. That matches the last half of Daniel's seventieth week (42 months). See also Rev. 11:2,3; 12:6,14; 13:5.

James 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

This may have to do with the early and latter rains listed in James 5:7. Rain marks the 2nd advent. Both rains are in the first month (Joel 2:23), which is the month Abib or our March-April, in which the Jewish feast of the Passover is celebrated.

James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

"Brethren" doctrinally applies to a Jew.

James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

This certainly applies spiritually to the church age. Proverbs 11:30 says, "...he that winneth souls is wise." But, doctrinally it applies to the tribulation.

Notice the word "sinner." The Pharisees referred to a really bad person as a "sinner." See Matt. 9:10-13. Now we know that every one is a sinner (Rom. 3:10,23). But, this is used as meaning a really bad sinner like a harlot, or murder, who's sins where outward sins. The Pharisee's tried to live sinless outwardly, but inwardly they were very wicked. Those inward sins are the ones that will get you in trouble. Examples: envy, pride, hate, lust, covetousness, etc.

This concludes our study on the book of James.

If you have questions or comments, write to the address on the back of this book.