Introduction to James

Teaching by John Verstegen
Part 1 of 2
Transcribed and edited by Nancy Paulson

(James 1:1-8 KJV) James, aservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. {2} My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; {3} Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. {4} But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. {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. {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. {7} For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. {8} A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James is designed to equip the twelve tribes to endure, withstand temptation during the tribulation period. But it is important to understand that the temptations are of a particular kind, not like sex, drugs and alcohol. Those are not the types of temptation these people will be facing.

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

Divers means different. They will be facing different kinds of temptation during the 70th week of Daniel. The book of James is designed to equip these saints to endure some of those divers kinds of temptations and particular temptations.

In the book of James there are three types of people, three main groups:

  1. Rich
  2. Poor
  3. Every one in between - those who have to decide who they will associate with

One of these particular diverse temptations is the temptation to be drawn away or drawn back to that false apostate religion: the tradition of the fathers that will wind up being the false apostate religion of the Antichrist. James is designed to equip them so they do not fall into this particular diverse temptation by helping them discern who represents the true faithful remnant of God.

That member of the 12 tribes, that Jew out there in the Tribulation period, is going to see the rich and the poor and he will be having to discern who represents the true faithful remnant of God. And he will have to associate with one or the other. And by associating with one or the other, he will placing his allegiance either with the Antichrist or with God's people, God's word.

During the Tribulation, the temptation will be to think those who are rich are the ones being blessed of God. This is how Satan will destabilze the nation; he will cause them to be double minded. This is why it says in James 1:6, "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."

And so, he needs to ask in faith, nothing wavering. Is it this group or is it that group? Do you see the connection there?

We need to kind of set the stage here - Iíd like for us to imagine that we are meeting in the synagogue today and of course, we are all Jews, in our imagination. Well, sitting up in the front row are all the rich people, all the ones that are wealthy and look like God is blessing them. That is the first two rows of people, the wealthy and rich.

Then the ones way in the back are the poor; it seems God is not blessing them. They are poor, naked, have no daily food and they have vile raiment. So it would seem those back there just cannot be the true representatives of God.

And then there are those who are in the middle, who look up to those in the front row as the true representative of God.

The Pharisee, scribe or the high priest stands up and gives the the word of God. The faithful remnant back there, as the service is over is saying, "No, Jesus Christ is the Messiah, He is the one they are to follow. He is the fulfiller of Isaiah 53 and all these other passages". The rich, scribes and Pharisees are disagreeing saying that it is God that is blessing them. The ones in the middle are saying, "Well, I can see these guys have some verses that seem to indicate that maybe Jesus Christ really was the Messiah but these rich up here seem to be the ones who are being blessed by God.

And so you can see how the ones in the middle could be double minded: Is it this group or is it that group? And they could be unstable in their doctrinal understanding. The book of James is designed to answer the question as to who represents the true faithful remnant of God.

Look at James 1:1

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

James is written to the whole entire twelve tribes, not just the remnant. It is a call to the nation out there. But within the book we see three groups of people: the rich, poor and those who need to decide with whom to associate.

God had these books, Hebrews through Revelation, written at the time He had them written is that the conditions that existed back there in the early Acts period are going to be the exact same conditions as in the Tribulation."

Think back with me in Acts 2 -7, is it not true that you had three groups of people within the twelve tribes of Israel?

  1. The scribes and the Pharisees (rich) who opposed the faithful remnant, the Little Flock
  2. The Little Flock (poor) who continued to preach in spite of the oppostion and called the nation to repentance
  3. The rest of the nation who needed to decide if they would join the Little Flock or continue to believe the scribes and the Pharisees

The book of James is the same scenario. James is designed to equip the twelve tribes to understand and identify who the true faithful remnant of God really is. I want you to see these three groups just by looking at some verses:

(James 1:9-10 KJV) Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: {10} But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

You see the two groups there? In verse 9, you have the poor and in verse 10 you have the rich. Look down at verse 27:

(James 1:27 KJV) 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.

Now, you have the fatherless and the widows consistently in the scriptures, those are the poor. But you have those people who have to make the decision to visit those people., that is the nation Israel, they have to go visit the poor, fatherless, and widows.

(James 2:1-2 KJV) My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. {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;

There are the three classes right there: the rich guy, the guy with vile raiment and the one who has to make a decision as to who represents the true nation, the true remnant of God.

(James 2:5 KJV) 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?

Well, who does James think are the heirs of the kingdom? The ones that are poor but rich in faith.

(James 2:6 KJV) But ye have despised the poor...

Well, then, the twelve tribes have despised that true faithful remnant, in favor of associating with the rich, those who had become the apostate leaders.

(James 2:6-7 KJV) But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? {7} Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

See, they are having to make a decision as to who represents the true nation of God.

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

Is that guy rich or poor? He is a poor guy. Well, in context, the twelve tribes have to make a decision as to how to treat the poor guy; who does he really represent? And, therefore, will he give him food and clothing?

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

Now, understand he is not talking about anyone who has money in the tribulation period. He is talking about those within the twelve tribes that sold out for the Antichrist instead of selling out for Jesus Christ. By selling out to the Antichrist, they are the ones that are able to buy and sell. They will be able to get gain and wealth in that tribulation. Whereas the Little Flock, by following the Lord Jesus Christ and refusing the mark, are not going to be able to buy and sell; they will be poor. So, the nation of Israel as a whole has to decide with whom to associate: with those who are rich or those who are a part of that true faithful remnant of the nation Israel.

(James 5:1-2 KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. {2} Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

You cannot help but read James 5 and think of Matthew 23, where the Lord Jesus Christ describes the Pharisees as hypocrites and he talks about how on the outside they look great but on the inside they are wretched and corrupted.

In the book of James there is a constant contrast between the poor and the rich. Who do the poor represent and who do the rich represent? The twelve tribes need to decide who they will associate with, how will they respond?

All through the book of James, in direct association with this identity of the poor and the rich is what he says back in chapter 1:26-27.

(James 1:26-27 KJV) 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. {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.

In verse 26, we have a guy who seems to be religious, but his religion is vain, worthless. In contrast, in verse 27, we have pure religion and undefiled, not mixed up with all the traditions of the elders. In the book of James, we constantly see this conflict between this pure religion that is undefiled before God and that apostate vain religion that is really the result of being associated with the Antichrist.. Now, take that same thought and go to chapter 3 in the book of James. Almost the entire of chapter 3 has to do with the issue of the tongue. What is the significance of James taking a whole chapter and dealing with the issue of the tongue?

(James 3:1-6 KJV) My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. {2} For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. {3} Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. {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. {5} Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! {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.

Whatís his point here? The point is that the tongue, time and time again in the scriptures, is a demonstration of the doctrine that is coming out of the mouth. What we will see is whatever the tongue is speaking is a representation of the doctrine one has in his heart. James ends chapter 3 by telling us that there is certainly some wisdom coming out of these tongues of these people but the problem is where this wisdom comes from.

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

James is telling the twelve tribes they see the poor in contrast to the rich, the true religion in contrast to the vain religion and they will have to discern some doctrine coming out of the mouths of these people. They will have to discern whether or not the wisdom being spoken by the tongue is devilish wisdom or wisdom spoken from above.

(James 3:17 KJV) But the wisdom that is from above...

James started the book by saying if any of you lack wisdom, ask. So, we can see constant contrast with this issue of the poor and the rich, the pure religion and the vain religion, the tongue that is conveying doctrine that is associated either with the wisdom from above or it is devilish. And as we go on to chapter 4...

(James 4:4 KJV) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

The reason he brings this up is because that is friendship of the world in association or connection with the joining the Antichrist, it is joining that false apostate religion at that time. He is not saying it is wrong to be a friend of the deer and a lover of the antelope. The point is when you get to chapter 4, James tells the nation of Israel if they join that world system it is the same as loving that false apostate system of the Antichrist. The twelve tribes have to discern these things; they need to genuinely have some true wisdom from God.

The book of James, rather Hebrews through Revelation, gives them that divine wisdom to discern these divers temptations. Look back with me to Chapter 1; the book of James instructs or equips the nation Israel to endure those temptations and thus to receive the crown of life.

(James 1:12 KJV) 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.

He will be tried in that tribulation period, that 70th week of Daniel. What is he receiving in that verse? The crown of life, right? Well, now watch the same phraseology in chapter 2 verse 5 and you can tell when he will receive that crown of life:

(James 2:5 KJV) 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?

God has chosen the poor of this world, in other words, they are the ones God has chosen, they are Godís true representatives. They are rich in faith and are heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him. Do you see the verses as saying the same thing? In both verses, the last phrase is something that He promised to them that loved Him: the crown of life and the kingdom.

The book of James is designed to equip the twelve tribes to make a decision. The book is designed to give them divine wisdom as to who represents the true Israel of God, the true faithful remnant. Thus, they will use that wisdom, the right use of knowledge, to walk in faith. They will then join and associate with that faithful remnant rather than being drawn into the association with the false apostate religion of the Antichrist.

There is something else you need to understand about the book of James; in order to understand James, you need to understand something about the Old Testament, including Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In particular, if you want to understand the book of James you have to read the book of Matthew. And if we can get even more specific than that, if you want to understand the book of James you have to read the Sermon on the Mount.

The interesting thing about the books Hebrews through Revelation, is the book of Hebrews assumes you know something about that great salvation that was at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to the twelve tribes by them that heard Him. And God, the Holy Spirit, bearing witness at Pentecost with signs, miracles and wonders. (Hebrews 2:3-4) So the book of Hebrews assumes that you have some of that information but it says, "Letís go on". And so the books of Hebrews through Revelation, each book leads you to understand some doctrine in the next book.

Hebrews will give you some information to understand James. James will give you some information to understand Peter, etc. And each book assumes you got the information in the previous book. James will assume you got some information from the book of Hebrews. 1 Peter especially assumes you got some information out of the book of Hebrews and James. Clearly, a doctrine of edification is taking place in the books.

Now, when we say that James is take-off directly out of the Old Testament, there is something we need to understand. Go back with me to the book of Leviticus 26. In the book of Leviticus, God, through the voice and the pen of Moses, describes to Israel a series of judgments the nation of Israel would go through if they did not follow His Word. We refer to these as the five cycles of judgment.

If you start at Leviticus 26:3-13, that section says if they follow the commandments everything will be fine and they will be blessed. But, in verses 14-17 God says if they despise what He will say then this is what He will do to them and they will be punished.

Now, my question is to you, why did God punish Israel for disobedience? How could He justly do that? What kind of relationship did the nation Israel have with God? Was it unconditional or conditional? It was conditional, Law relationship. The nation of Israel was entered into a contractual agreement with Almighty God. For disobedience and rebellion, God chastened them. Praise God, we live in the dispensation of grace. Leviticus 26 has nothing to do with how God deals with the believer today.

At any rate, when you go through Leviticus 26, God Almighty says when sin against Me, I will punish you and if you will not be reformed for that, if you will not repent as a result of that punishment, look at verse 18:

(Leviticus 26:18 KJV) And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

Here goes the second cycle of punishment (judgment). Verses 14-17 is the first cycle of judgement. Verses 18-20 is the second cycle of judgment. Now watch the third one, verse 21:

(Leviticus 26:21 KJV) And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

Verses 21-22 is the third cycle of punishment. Then in verse 23:

(Leviticus 26:23-24 KJV) And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; {24} Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.

Here is the fourth cycle of punishment. Verses 23-26 is the fourth cycle of punishment. In verse 27, we will get to the fifth cycle of punishment and that is where Israel was at this time, this is the cycle of punishment the nation of Israel is in when they go through that Tribulation period; they are in that fifth cycle of judgement. That is another reason why when we read Hebrews through Revelation there is so much that is conditional. It is why there are so many warnings.

(Leviticus 26:27-31 KJV) And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; {28} Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. {29} And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. {30} And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. {31} And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.

In other words, He will reject their sacrificial system. At this stage, if God rejects their sacrificial system and they keep doing it; what would you call that sacrificial system? If God is not recognizing it anymore it is vain, empty. It has turned into the false apostate religion of the scribes and the Pharisees, which is vain and the traditions of men.

(Leviticus 26:32-33 KJV) And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. {33} And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.

Verse 33, I will scatter you among the heathen... Does that ring a bell in James 1:1: to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. That is interesting. Why are they scattered? They are scattered in direct relationship to the cycles of punishment in Leviticus 26.

You see when you read the book of James, it is not divorced from the Old Testament, it is not divorced from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John . Everything that happened to that nation back in the Old Testament and in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is all associated with the fulfillment of the prophetic program. So in the book of James, they are in that scattered state in direct association with God dealing with them in connection with the five cycles of judgment of Leviticus 26. But the thing that Leviticus 26 goes on to say is...From verses 33-39, Israel will just waste away. But watch, does God totally abandon them? No!

(Leviticus 26:40-43 KJV) If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; {41} And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: {42} Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. {43} The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.

The point is in all that they finally recognize their iniquities and confess their sins, then, guess what? God will bring them back to their land. Does that not sound like the verse in 1 John 1:9? That is right out of the Old Testament.

So the book of James and that whole section is telling Israel that they have that greater sacrifice, they have that better covenant and they need to associate that covenant and be joined with Christ outside the camp, separate from that false apostate religion of the Antichrist. The book of James is designed to equip the twelve tribes to identify the doctrine with the wisdom of God in these books the true faithful remnant from the rich who represent the false apostate leaders of the nation of Israel.

Did you notice in James 1:12 it says, "Blessed is the man that..." Does that sound like anything the book of Matthew? How about what they call the Beatitudes? That is what the book of James is taken off of, the whole idea of how can that Jew really be blessed. He can be blessed by following Godís word to him. The Sermon on the Mount is very clearly identified in the book of James by little references and phrases. Look at verse 25:

(James 1:25 KJV) 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.

This man shall be blessed; there it is again. That theme also runs through the book of James.

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

And then James gives the illustration of one who is just a hearer and not a doer. Now, can you think of any passage in the Sermon on the Mount where the Lord Jesus Christ might have said almost the same exact thing about not being just a hearer but be a doer? How about the end of the Sermon on the Mount?

(Matthew 7:24 KJV) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

That is what the twelve tribes have to do; they have to hear the words, remember Hebrews said, "so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us." Hebrews through Revelation is taking that doctrine and putting it in their soul. They have to hear those words.

(Matthew 7:25 KJV) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

The rain descended and the floods came is a type of the tribulation; as in Noahís day, it is a type of judgment. Hebrew through Revelation is to build those souls upon the rock of Jesus Christ.

(Matthew 7:26 KJV) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

This guy is not a true believer; he has vain religion. He appears to have religion on the outside; he does not bridle his tongue as we will see in a little bit here.

(Matthew 7:27 KJV) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

How true that will be. You cannot help but think of how in Revelation they cry for the fall of Babylon: how great was the fall of it, the very seat of the Satanic apostate religion of the Antichrist. That is the exact same issue that James is talking about.

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

James says that not only must you have to hear it but you have to do it as well. Now, it really important to remember this principle of hearing and doing in connection with that prophetic program because that is what God, all the way through the Old Testament tells them: you have to hear and do. Understand that is not what God says today for justification. Today, He is not saying you have to hear and do. Israelís program is a national program, a national call to repentance where He deals with the nation as a whole. That is why James writes to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. On the other hand, in the dispensation of Grace, God is not telling us to hear and do in order to be saved and if you do not do, do and do then you will lose your salvation. It is hear and believe; it is just rest in what Christ has already done.

Now, that was our introduction to the book of James... What we want to do is do an overview of each chapter so we can see how indeed the book encompasses this information in the lives of the people.

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

Now the first question is, who is the book of James written to? It is written to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. Now, who is that? Let me ask you something,; if you were to try to find some truth about the identity of the twelve tribes, do you suppose our apostle Paul could identify that for us? Do you think he could tell us who the twelve tribes are?

Letís see who the Apostle Paul thinks the twelve tribes are? It is incredible that people think, because of tradition of the elders, not the Jewish elders but the church age elders, people do not believe the Bible. They will not accept what the verses on the page say. Well, you have to make a decision and it is similar to the decision the nation of Israel has to make concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you going to believe the scribes and Pharisees or are you going to believe the word of God? They make void the word of God by traditions of men and so, too, do they do so today. Here is a simple phrase that ought to be take at face value but people stumble over it. Who are the twelve tribes? Letís ask our Apostle...

(Acts 26:4 KJV) My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

Who is Paulís own nation? How about the twelve tribes, the Jews, the nation of Israel?

(Acts 26:5-7 KJV) Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. {6} And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: {7} Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.

Our twelve tribes, who does Paul believe are the twelve tribes? The Jews. He does not think the twelve tribes represent the Body of Christ and he talks to Agrippa, a guy who knows the twelve tribes are the twelve tribes. I say all that because there is so much confusion over the book of James and it can be solved and answered when you come to the first verse in the book of James if you will simply take God at His Word over all the preachers, teachers, and the commentaries. The book of James has absolutely not one single thing to do with the dispensation of grace in which we live. It is not about or directly to the church, the Body of Christ, so regardless of what you want to do with James 2, for example, faith without works is dead, do not forget that it has nothing to do with you, the Body of Christ.

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

James is written to the twelve tribes; donít ever say James is written to me because it is not. James is written to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad. Remember, in the early Acts period, they were scattered. Why? Because of the punishment, the cycles of judgment. We need to look at a few verses about the issue of being scattered.

(Deuteronomy 4:25 KJV) When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:

Now, remember what we read earlier in Leviticus 26 if they did these kinds of things, what will happen to them? They will be punished and one of the punishments had to be with them being scattered.

(Deuteronomy 4:26-27 KJV) I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. {27} And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations...,

It is significant that the Lord says through the pen of James that the twelve tribes are scattered and every Jew understood why, at least Bible believing Jews understood why they were scattered. In Daniel 9, we read that Daniel understood why they were carried off into Babylonian captivity.

(Deuteronomy 30:1 KJV) And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

Are they scattered or are they in their land? They are scattered; they are driven out of their land.

(Deuteronomy 30:2-3 KJV) And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; {3} That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

God was giving them a way to return back to their land. What is interesting about this is that the nation of Israel is scattered in judgment. Remember we keep saying the books Hebrews through Revelation are writing to future nation in the tribulation period. Well, what condition is the nation going to be in during the tribulation period? Will they be regathered in their land or will they be scattered among the nations? They will be scattered. James writes to them in the exact condition that the nation of Israel will find themselves in the tribulation period: in a scattered position. God through the New Covenant promises to regather them. I just want you to see that in the New Covenant there is a promise to regather them, that implies that they are scattered.

(Ezekiel 36:21-24 KJV) But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. {22} Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. {23} And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. {24} For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

And then he talks about the New Covenant. The point of these verses is they are scattered among the nations but in association with the fulfilling of the New Covenant God will regather them back to their land.

James finds the nation of Israel scattered abroad in judgment but God has promised to bring them back.

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

Now, again, I say that is divers temptations that the nation of Israel will be facing during that tribulation period and he says to them to "count it all joy". There are a couple of reasons why he will say to count it all joy:

Those who are walking by faith will understand they are in that tribulation period. So, how close are they to the second coming of Christ? They have seven years to go. One reason they can count it all joy is theyíll know it will be short-lived. Sometimes when we go through a hardship or difficulty in life it seems like there is no end to it. It seems like the burden, the heartache will never go away. The Apostle Paul would say, "Be not weary in well-doing." One can grow weary living for the Lord just facing the nitty gritty things of life. Well, these folks are going to grow weary; these folks are going to face some temptations in the likes of which we have never seen.

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

Knowing this, they have to know some doctrine. What does it mean to try your faith? Have you ever heard the phrase "something will test your metal"? What does that mean? To see what you can endure. These folks will be having their faith tried. Their faith will be put on trial. The trial they will experience will be just like in nature like the trial the Lord Jesus Christ faced before the scribes and Pharisees. The point is the antagonism and the intensity of that trial. So, too, in the tribulation, these folks will have their metal tested. Their faith will be put on the line. Their faith will be placed in the fire, you might say and it will test that metal. They will have the trying of their faith, that is a perfect description of what that faithful remnant will go through during the tribulation period. That is why James says this here, you are going through the divers temptations in the tribulation period. The point is the trying of their faith works patience.

(James 1:4 KJV) But let patience have her perfect work,...

Remember, we kept talking about perfection, that edification process is leading to something .

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

Can you think of a time in which, finally, the faithful remnant will be perfect and entire wanting nothing?

(1 Peter 5:6-8 KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: {7} Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. {8} Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan in Revelation 12 is kicked out of heaven and comes down to the earth. He will be seeking these folks out.

(1 Peter 5:9-10 KJV) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. {10} But the God of all grace,...

Connect verse 10 with James 1:4. (By the way, Paul is not the only one who talks about God and His grace. Paul is the only one who talks about God and the Dispensation of Grace.)

(1 Peter 5:10 KJV) ...who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

The point is they can rejoice they are going through the trying of their faith because they know it is short lived. It has an end and the end of the will be in that kingdom when they will be rejoicing with the Lord Jesus Christ .

James tells them in chapter 1:1-4, they are to endure the trying of their faith in the tribulation period. Now he will bring up the issue of if they lack wisdom.

(James 1:5 KJV) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,...

The point of asking for wisdom in this verse is not like to try to ask God for wisdom to buy a house or a car. In the context, the issue in the dispensational setting of Hebrews through James, the wisdom in the book is the wisdom that descends from above these people will need in connection with identifying the true word of God versus the false apostate religion of the Antichrist, the true faithful remnant versus those who have joined in allegiance with the Antichrist. They need wisdom in these issues. The books Hebrews through Revelation will give them that wisdom.

(James 1:5-6 KJV) 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. {6} But let him ask in faith,...

Now, what does it mean to ask in faith? Faith has nothing to do with a feeling. People often say, "If only I had enough faith." But what they really mean is "if only they had some greater intensity of feeling." That is not faith. Feelings have nothing to do with what faith is. If you want to see an illustration or a picture of faith, go to Matthew 15 where that Gentile woman understood the word of God to her as a Gentile in relationship to Israel. Christ told her He was not sent but to Israel and He cannot give the blessing to her as a Gentile. He said that it belongs to Israel. She said, "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masterís table.í The Lord said to her, "Woman, great is thy faith." In other words, "Great is your understanding of the word of God to you as a Gentile and your position in the Word of God as a Gentile, your position as a Gentile in the program of God". So, too, if we understand that is what faith is; faith does not have anything to do with intensity of feeling, it has to do with believing Godís word to us, taking Him at face value and moving forward in that. So, James says, let him ask in faith, not asking in a feeling of intensity. It is asking in a clear understanding of what Godís word says to the twelve tribes.

(James 1:6 KJV) 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.

Ask in faith, do not waver, that is, saying I know the word of God demonstrates the Messiah but these folks over here are saying that He is not. You ask in faith, in strict accordance with the Word of God and nothing wavering. Do not waver back and forth between that issue of is He or isnít He. Make a decision, asking in faith, believing what the book says. For example, in the book of Hebrews, do not waver about whether or not the Old Covenant is the way to come to God, is it or is it the new and living way to come to God. Which is it? The book of Hebrews tells them it is the new and living way to come to God. Donít waver. They will have to make a decision. That Old Covenant is not the way to come to God anymore. In that tribulation period, they cannot say they are doing it by faith and still offer the blood of bulls and goats. They cannot operate by faith and still join in that false apostate religion. They can say they are doing it by faith, but they are not.

James is telling them to ask in faith, ask in strict accordance to what the book says, with what the verses say. Then God will give you that wisdom.

(James 1:6 KJV) 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.

See where it says "for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed". Go check that phrase, "driven of the wind like the wave and tossed" in 2 Peter and Jude which both say to the twelve tribes that there are among them those who are spots and blemishes. They are like the wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed; they are unbelievers. James is saying that if they waver they are like those guys who do not believe the word of God, they do not walk in faith .

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

When will he be exalted? Ultimately in the kingdom.

(James 1:10-11 KJV) But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. {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.

Do you see the intensity of the tribulation period? They are at this point according to the passage over in Isaiah 40:6-8 which describes the intensity of that tribulation period.

(James 1:12 KJV) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: ...

That guy will be blessed in the kingdom. In verse 13, James says that when they are tempted they are not to say it is from God. Do you see that issue there is that it is not the true and living God that is tempting that Little Flock to go and join in allegiance with the Antichrist? So if they are being tempted to go and join allegiance with the Antichrist they will know that temptation is not coming from God but it is coming from somebody else. And if they are drawn away by that thing, they are drawn away by their own lusts. They will not be drawn away by walking by faith.

(James 1:19 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear,...

Hear what? Hear the Word of God.

(James 1:19-21 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: {20} For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. {21} Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

His point is to go and receive with meekness that engrafted word. That doctrine there in Hebrews through Revelation, is able to save their soul. It is able to lay that solid foundation of doctrine and build them up in that program. It is able to take then on and enable them to receive that crown of righteousness that God will give to them that love Him.

Continued --->

   

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