Letter from James to “The Twelve Tribes” of Israel
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JAMES: CHAPTER 1
James, a servant of Elohim and of Master YEHOSHUA ha Mashiach, to the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad, Greetings!
2 My brethren, consider it all joy when you fall amongst diverse temptations,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith works toward patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect doing, so that you may be perfect and whole, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let them ask of Elohim, Who gives to all liberally, and reproaches not, and it will be given to them.
6 But they must ask in faith, not wavering, for those who waver are like a wave of the sea, which is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For let not that person think that they shall receive anything from the Master,
8 because a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways.
9 Let the brethren of humble degree rejoice in that they are exalted,
10 but the rich, in that they are made low, because like the flowering grass, they will pass away;
11 for the sun has no sooner risen with a burning heat, and the flower of it falls away, and the grace of the appearance of it perishes. So too shall the rich fall away in their ways.
12 Blessed are they who endure adversity, for once they are approved, they will receive the crown of life, which the Master has promised to those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when they are tempted, “I am being tempted by Elohim”, for Elohim cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone,
14 but each is tempted when they are drawn away and enticed by their own lust.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
16 Do not go astray, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, or shadow of turning.
18 Of His own will He brought us forth with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.
19 Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every person be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath,
20 for the wrath of mankind does not work out the righteousness of Elohim.
21 Therefore, cast off all filthiness and the abundance of wickedness, and receive with humility the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, they are like a person who looks at their natural face in a mirror;
24 for they behold themselves, and go their way, and immediately forget what manner of person they were.
25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, these people shall be blessed in their deeds.
26 If anyone among you supposes they are pious, and yet do not bridle their tongue, but deceives their own heart, that person’s piety is vain.
27 Pure and undefiled piety before Elohim and the Father is this: To visit the orphaned and widows in their anguish, and to keep themselves unblemished by the world.
JAMES: CHAPTER 2
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Master YEHOSHUA ha Mashiach, as if with respect to favoritism,
2 for if there comes into your assembly a person with a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor person in shabby clothes,
3 and you have respect for those wearing the gorgeous clothes, and say unto them, “Sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor, “Stand there, or sit here under my footstool,”
4 are you not then partial in yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Hear, my beloved brethren: Has not Elohim chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor. Do not the rich oppress you, and drag you before tribunals?
7 Do they not blaspheme that beautiful Name by which you are called?
8 If you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well, 1
9 but if you show respect with favoritism, you are committing sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet offends one, they are guilty of all.
11 For He Who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 2
12 So speak, and so do, as those who are to be judged by the law of Liberty,
13 for they will have judgment without mercy, who show no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.
14 What profit is there my brethren, if someone says they have faith, but have no works? Can that faith save them?
15 If a brother or sister is naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them that which is necessary for the body, what profit is that?
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, it is dead, being alone.
18 Yes, some may say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
19 You believe there is One Elohim. You do well; the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But will you understand, O vain people, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Do you see how faith worked with his works, and by those works, faith was made perfect?
23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed YEHOWAH; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of Elohim. 3
24 You see then how through works a person is justified, and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers, and sent them out by another way?
26 For just as the body without The Spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
JAMES: CHAPTER 3
My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that as such we will receive the greater condemnation,
2 for in many things we all stumble. If anyone does not stumble in what they say, they are perfect, able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put the bits into the horse’s mouths, so that they will obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which although they are so great, and are driven by fierce winds, are still turned about with a very small rudder, wherever the impulse of the governor intends.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and it boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!
6 And the tongue is a fire; a world of iniquity, and so is the tongue among our members, in that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beast, and of bird, and of serpent, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Master and Father, and with it we curse mankind, who are made after the likeness of Elohim.
10 Out of the same mouth proceed both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet and bitter water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a vine, figs? Thus no fountain can yield salt water and fresh.
13 Who among you is wise and endued with knowledge? Let them show by their good behavior their deeds, in the humility of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, glory not, and do not lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish,
16 for where there is jealousy and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easily entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
JAMES: CHAPTER 4
From where do your wars and fights come among you, if not from your lusts, which wage war in your members?
2 You lust and have not. You kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain. You fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.
3 You ask and receive not, because you ask badly; so that you may consume it upon your lusts.
4 You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whosoever therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of Elohim.
5 Do you think that the Scripture speaks in vain, “He jealously desires the spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “Surely He mocks the mockers, but He gives grace to the humble.” 4
7 Submit therefore to Elohim. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to Elohim, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Master, and He will exalt you.
11 Speak no evil against another, brethren. They who speak evil of their brethren, and who judge their brethren, speak against the law, and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is One Lawgiver, Who is able to deliver and to destroy. But who are you who judge another?
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and tarry there a year, and buy and sell, and make a profit.”
14 Yet you do not know what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Master wills, we will live, and also do this, or that.”
16 But now you rejoice in your boasting, and all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore, to one who knows to do good, and does it not, to them it is sin.
JAMES: CHAPTER 5
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and your silver are corroded, and the rust of them will be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who have reaped your fields, which has been withheld by you, cries out, and the cries of those who have reaped have entered into the ears of the Master of Sabbath.
5 You have lived in luxury on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as if for the day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned and killed the righteous, and they do not resist you.
7 Be patient therefore, until the coming of the Master. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has patience for it, until it receives the early and latter rains.
8 Be patient also. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Master draws near.
9 Groan not, brethren, one against another, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
10 Take the prophets, my brethren, who have spoken in the Name of YEHOWAH, for an example of suffering, affliction, and patience.
11 Behold, we count those happy who endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the outcome of the Master’s dealings; that the Master is extremely compassionate, and of tender mercy.
12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not; neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your yes be yes, and your no, no, lest you fall into condemnation.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let them pray. Are there any of good cheer? Let them sing praises.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the Name of YEHOSHUA;
15 and the prayer of faith will make whole the sick, and the Master will raise them up; and if they have committed sins, they shall be forgiven them.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous soul avails much.
17 Eliyeh was a man of similar passions as are we, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth for the time of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 My brethren, if any of you do go astray from the truth, and another converts them,
20 let them know, that those who turn a sinner from the error of their way, will save a soul from death, and will hide a multitude of sins.
1 Matthew 22:39
2 Exodus 20:13 & 14
3 Genesis 15:6; Isaiyeh 41:8
4 Proverbs 3:34
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Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD.