King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page

Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store


    PROLOGUE In the New Testament we have three men by this name: James the Greater, the brother of John, thought the first to espouse the episcopacy in the Apostolic Church, was the first of all the Apostles to seal his faith with his blood, being decapitated by Herod Agrippa, A.D. 44. James the Less was precipitated from a pinnacle of the Temple and beaten to death with a fuller’s club.

    Matthew suffered martyrdom in a city of Ethiopia; Mark was dragged by a roaring mob through the streets of Alexandria; Luke was hung on an olive tree in Greece; John was cast into a boiling soap cauldron at Rome in order to make soap of him. As his work was not done, he did not saponify. So his enemies took him out and banished him to the Isle of Patmos, which was so pestilential, in consequence of the upas and narcotic strychnus, as to be uninhabitable. Hence it was used as a place of banishment for imperial criminals of Rome.

    Arriving after dark on Saturday evening, he is thrown out and left alone on the rocky shore, amid the bones of his predecessors, whitening in the moonlight. Having spent the night alone on his knees in prayer, at day dawn the glorified Savior comes down, opens heaven to him and reveals the wonderful panoramic visions which he recorded in the Book of Revelation.

    Paul was beheaded by Nero, the Roman Emperor, one mile west of the city wall. I visited the spot in 1895. Then I went to the Campus Martitis, where my guide said Peter was crucified with his head downward, by his own request. Matthias, the successor of fallen Judas, suffered martyrdom in Abyssinia of Africa. Andrew was crucified on a transverse cross in Armenia, preaching to the crowd standing till his spirit took its flight.

    Bartholemew took Phrygia, an old heathen empire in Western Asia, for his field of labor, where he preached till he incurred the displeasure of the king, who ordered him to leave his country. When he continued to preach, regardless of the royal mandate, the king became so enraged that he had him skinned alive.

    Philip suffered martyrdom in Northern Asia. Jude was shot full of arrows while preaching in Tartary, and thus sealed his faith with his blood.

    Thomas, the doubter (who never had a doubt after the fiery baptism of Pentecost burned them all up), went far away to India and lived to preach a long time: finally they put him to death by running an iron bar through his body, and hanging him up between two trees. Despite all the bloody Mohammedan conquest and persecutions sweeping over that land, the Christians of St. Thomas still survive to salute the modern missionaries and bid them welcome to that country.

    But who is the author of this Epistle? The highest critical authority assigns it neither to James the Great, or James the Less, but to James, the son of Joseph by a former marriage, and brother of Jude. Josephus says he was put to death by the High Priest Annas, A.D. 64. He and Jude the Elder, brothers of the Lord, are not found in the original Apostolic Catalogue ( Matthew 10). While the world was rising on tiptoe jubilant at the Christhood of Jesus, how natural for His elder brothers to hesitate, soliloquizing, “This is little brother Jesus, we rocked Him in the cradle, singing lullabies over Him; we slept with Him, and He helped us do our work. He was always wonderfully good, sweet, loving and obedient. But surely our little Brother can not be the Christ of God, the Shiloh of prophecy, the Redeemer of Israel and the Savior of the world.”

    But years roll on; He is nailed to the cross, and buried in the sepulcher.

    When He smashes all the fetters of the tomb, walks out, and they all see Him, identify Him, shake hands with Him, hear His voice, while thousands on all sides are proclaiming the Christhood, His older brothers, flinging away all doubt, fall into line with tremendous shouts, “After all, our little Brother Jesus is the Christ of God, the Shiloh of prophecy and Savior of the world.”

    In view of their kinship to our Lord the apostles gladly receive James and Jude, promoting the former to the pastorate of the Metropolitan Church, and Presiding Apostolate. The Armenian Christians idolize James much like the Romanists do Peter. (CHAPTER) - 1. “James the slave of God and Lord Jesus Christ.” In the Greek Testament we have two words translated “servant,” oiketees , a hired servant, and doulos , a slave. The New Testament is expository of the old.

    The Hebrew slaves all went free at Jubilee, every fifty years. However, the law of Moses provided for its indefinite perpetuity if the slave was unwilling to go free and preferred to remain with his master; but in that case, the master must draw him up to the door-post, drive a nail through his ear, by this painful tragedy, nailing him fast, thus indicating that he is to be his slave forever. Now let us see the verification of this grand symbolic truth in the Gospel economy. All sinners are the devil’s slaves.

    Sanctified Christians are God’s love slaves, while the unsanctified are His hired servants. This we see constantly evinced by their speech and deportment. Our Savior forbade His apostles to go and preach under the Gospel dispensation till they received the sanctifying fiery baptism of Pentecost. If the Church had remained true and obedient to this heavenly mandate, she would have escaped the withering and blighting curse of the hireling ministry. The Holiness Gospel blows the jubilee trumpet, which is the signal to all the hired servants in the Lord’s kingdom to go free, i .e ., to go back into the devil’s country, whence they came, and be perfectly free to commit all manner of sin, or go forward into the experience of entire sanctification. The Jubilee proclaimed to all the Hebrew slaves a decisive emergency, i .e ., they must either accept their freedom or have their ears bored and enter into perpetual slavery. Even so the sanctified Gospel brings to all the Christians who hear it an inevasible ordeal. They can not reject the call of the Holy Ghost to go forward into sanctification without forfeiting justification. If they stay with their good old Master, they must let the Holy Ghost, their Sanctifier, pull them up to the door-post, the cross of Calvary, and nail them fast. There Adam the first must bleed and die, thus consummating their love slavery forever. Sanctified people, like the Hebrew love slave, no longer serve God for a reward, but for love alone. They only regret that they can not do, bear and suffer enough for Christ’s sake. They are more than willing to give everything in their power, and wait till they enter the pearly portal for every iota of recompense. O, how happy this love slave, free from care and solicitude as an angel in heaven. All responsibility for soul, mind and body, in time and eternity, devolves on his Master. Now, contemplate the Divine ownership! Do you not see that a truly wise master will always conserve his own interest in the welfare of his slave? I belong to God unreservedly and eternally. I am perfectly becalmed in Him. I know He manages me all right, spiritually, providentially, physically, temporally and eternally.

    Hallelujah! I am lost in God’s will as free as Gabriel. 2. “My brethren, consider it all joy when ye fall into many temptations.” How striking the contrast of Apostolic preaching with the puny, timorous, howling religion of the present day. Doubtless temptation is the grandest source of blessing this side of heaven, for it simply opens the way for a fight with the devil, in which we are sure to conquer if we are true to our Great Captain. The soldier that fights no battles wins no victories, lives and dies a coward, receiving no diadem. The terrible conflicts with the strong intellect of Satan constitute our grandest means of grace this side of heaven. 3, 4... “Let patience have its perfect work, in order that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.” O, how grandly the apostles preached on Christian perfection! How contrastively with the feeble, cautious and cowardly pulpit utterances of the present day! Good Lord, help us all to emulate the clear, bold simplicity of apostolic speech! “Perfect,” in this verse, is teleioi , finished, brought to an end, complete. It is the strongest adjective in the Greek language, descriptive of a work actually and absolutely finished. Now what is this finished work? It is certainly the very work Jesus came to do. He came to destroy the works of the devil ( 1 John 3:8). You all know sin is the work of the devil, and his only work. Hence Jesus came to destroy sin in your heart and mine. When sin is utterly exterminated in your heart, then, and not till then, are you what the Holy Ghost calls a perfect Christian. You may be as ignorant as a Hottentot, or as wise as Solomon. Intellectual culture and theological learning have nothing in the world to do with your Christian character. If Jesus has completed His work in your heart you are free from sin, and a perfect Christian, and ready for heaven. This is the only standard of salvation found in the New Testament. “Entire,” is holokleeroi , a compound word, from holos , the whole, and kleeros , part, hence it means entire, i .e ., complete in every part. What are the parts? Divine love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness. goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, i .e ., practical holiness ( Galatians 5:22). These graces imparted to the human spirit by the Holy Spirit constitute the beautiful constellation of Christian character. The second work of grace, i .e ., entire sanctification, perfects all of these graces, by eliminating out of the heart all of their antagonisms: e .g ., perfect love is nothing but love unantagonized by the malevolent affections, while perfect faith is not the greatest faith, but faith free from doubt. When you get under the cleansing blood pursuant to your humble, doubtless faith, the Holy Spirit eliminates the surviving depravity antagonizing each one of the spiritual graces. “Lacking in nothing.” Glory to God for an omnipotent Savior, who is more than a match for the devil, and abundantly competent to destroy all of His works, so there will be no deficiency in your character. 5. Wisdom here is generic for the gracious economy, and means experimental religion. When Solomon says, “Get wisdom,” he means to get God’s religion. Heaven is full of salvation; you have nothing to do but tap the ocean by faith and you will get full. You need not be afraid of asking too frequently, nor for too much. You have nothing to pay but your sins. 6. “But let him ask in faith doubting nothing for he that doubteth is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed by the tempest.” Faith is the hand by which we receive the salvation of the Lord. Doubt is a paralysis, more or less affecting that hand, and defeating our efforts to receive the needed grace. Sanctification is the only doubt-killer. We here have a nautical metaphor presented by the Holy Ghost for our instruction. The unsanctified man, beleaguered with doubts, is the ship on the stormy sea, tossed by the merciless waves and driven by the angry tornadoes, while the sanctified soul is the ship safe in the harbor, secure from the raging tempest, never again to drift, the sport of the stormy billows.

    ARGUMENT DOUBLE MIND 7, 8. “Let not that person think that the double souled man, most unstable in all his ways, shall receive anything from the Lord.” The Bible describes the sinner, one soul (or mind), and that a bad one; the sanctified man, one soul, and that a good one, while James’ double souled man is an unsanctified Christian. We are born into the world with the carnal mind, transmitted from Satan through Adam the first. In regeneration, the Holy Ghost imparts the mind of Christ, simultaneously subjugating the carnal mind and giving grace to keep it in subjection. Then follows the civil war in the heart between the good soul and the bad one, i .e ., the Spirit and the flesh. In sanctification after regeneration, the Pentecostal fire consumes the carnal mind, leaving the mind of Christ to reign in the heart without a rival.

    We see from this Scripture that the unsanctified Christian must totally abrogate the carnal mind, and get victory over it, in order to prevail with God in prayer. “Most unstable in all his ways.” O, how significantly the Holy Ghost describes the unsanctified man! Today he is all honey and, you think, a Christian; tomorrow he is all vinegar and you think he is a sinner. Truly his religion is always in the subjunctive mood, so you never know where to locate him. He does things unbecoming a Christian and repents at once. O, how he needs sanctification to establish him. 9. “Let the poor brother boast in his exaltation.” The penniless scavenger, sweeping the streets, intelligently saved and gloriously sanctified, hears the angels singing all the day long, ready to encircle him in their pinions of light, and waft him like lightning to the bosom of God. 10. “And the rich man in his humility.” While God blesses the pauper with the transcendent grace of entire sanctification, exalting him above kings and millionaires, He blesses the rich man with that perfect humility which enables him to consecrate all to God, who fills him with the Holy Ghost, makes him humble as a beggar, benevolent, and takes him up to heaven. 11... “So also the rich man shall pass away in his ways.” If the rich man holds on to his selfish, avaricious ways, though he may bloom as the rose and flourish in royal splendor, he is destined to fade like vernal flowers, blighted by the withering siroccoes of endless damnation; while, if in the full and eternal abandonment he takes God’s method, consecrates all and lives for heaven, he will rejoice with Abraham and Job in the city of God.

    ARGUMENT TEMPTATION 12. While James assures us that all external temptation is a great source of blessing, Opening to us the devil’s battlefield, in which we receive the grandest spiritual gymnasium, as we come in contact with the powerful intellect of Satan, he warns us against all internal temptation as out of harmony with the gracious economy, exceedingly detrimental to our spiritual welfare and perilous to our heavenly hopes. 13. Where it says, “God tempted Abraham,” it should read “tested” him, as James assures us that “God tempts no man with evil, neither can He be tempted of evil.” 14. “But each one is tempted, being drawn out and allured by his own lust.” This internal temptation is a powerful argument against inbred sin.

    The sanctified heart is a citadel impregnable against all possible assaults by the adversary. Troy stood a siege of ten years against the combined armies of Greece, led on by the bravest heroes in the world’s history. When the crafty Ulysses succeeded in the introduction of wooden horses filled with armed men into the city, that world-renowned capital, in one awful night, fell to rise no more. So long as your heart is clean, the combined powers of earth and hell can never hurt you; on the contrary, the battleground of Satan will develop your gifts, mature your graces, cultivate your heroism, inspire your martyrdom, and add stars to your crown, which will accumulate new luster with the flight of eternal ages. Entire sanctification is an eternal fortification against all internal temptation; meanwhile, all possible outward temptation will only augment your efficiency in this life and brighten your felicity in the world to come. “God worketh together for good all things to them that love Him” ( Romans 8:28), hence you see that God must assuredly, in His transcendent providence and grace, make Satan himself a great source of blessing to His true people.

    Internal foes are cutting down the Lord’s people by myriads on all sides.

    Meanwhile an omnipotent Savior is ever ready, waiting and anxious to turn them all out, where, instead of ruining our souls, they would actually become an auxiliary force to develop our heroism and brighten the victor’s wreath in a blissful eternity. 15. “Then lust conceiving hatcheth out sin, and sin being perfected bringeth forth death.” The lust here mentioned is the very nature of Satan, the virus of hell, transmitted to every human being, through Adam the first. We all ought to be converted before we are old enough to commit sin, and then sanctified before we backslide. In that case the devil nature would never develop into a wicked life. A boy finding some eggs out in the forest, bringing them home with him, put them under a hen; within a dozen days a great commotion is heard in the poultry yard; they go out and find a lot of black-snakes running round among the chickens, which they kill outright.

    When I was a little boy going around hunting up the eggs, my mother would say, “Willie, be sure you leave a nest egg, or the hen will leave the nest.” Good Lord, help us all to take every nest egg out of our hearts, so the devil will quit the nest. So long as you leave a nest egg the devil will lay more and hatch them out, and you will have an everlasting brood of snakes in your heart. O, the importance of sanctification as the only possible way to break up the devil’s nest in the heart. You do not have to do anything to make the lust hatch out sin. It will hatch spontaneously. Sin, when perfected, i .e ., when you yield to the lust and commit known and willing sin, bringeth forth death, i .e ., condemnation, which, if not removed by pardon, will send you to hell. Be sure you get under the blood and have the devil’s nest egg washed out of your heart, and the fining fire utterly consume all of the pollution of inbred sin.

    ARGUMENT PARALLAX 16, 17. Here the Apostle warns us against deceivers who oppose the truth he here reveals in the two works of grace, regeneration for the sinner, and sanctification for the Christian. He here certifies that two gifts come down from God out of heaven, i .e ., “the good,” regeneration, and the perfect, sanctification. “With whom there is no parallax nor shadow of change.” Parallax is the angle which a planet makes with the sun. The argument here is that we should have no parallax with the glorious Sun of Righteousness.

    You all know that your shadow lengthens as you advance from the equator to the poles. It is significantly true in the spiritual as well as in the physical world. North pole churches are the blight of Christianity in the present age of secular ecclesiasticism. God wants us all to live under the equator, where we cast no shadow; as your shadow is simply the measure of your distance from God. O, the long shadows, cast by the popular churches. They rival each other with the high steeple, whose long shadow is the measure of their own condemnation. In equatorial latitudes flowers never fade, fruits never fail, winter never comes and summer ever lasts. So long as you cast any shadow with God, you are not ready to meet Him.

    Complete consecration puts you in line with God, and forever obliterates your shadow. Sanctification comes spontaneously, responsive to simple faith, when you are entirely consecrated. While out on the college campus on a beautiful, moonless, starlit night, observing the heavenly bodies with a telescope, responsive to my request to see the planet Jupiter, the professor continued to move the telescope hither and thither, exploring the celestial vaults, when suddenly a flood of light sweeps down. Behold, that beautiful and majestic planet, fourteen hundred times as large as this world, encircled with majestic belts, and traversed by brilliant satellites, suddenly burst upon an enraptured vision. Even so, the moment you get in line with God His light shines through you, dissipating forever all your doubt about the witness of the Spirit. 18... “That we should become first fruit of His creatures.” Throughout the Bible the millennium is contemplated as the heavenly harvest. Satan’s long, dark night followed the eclipse of Eden’s bright day, destined in due time to be superseded by the glorious millennium Sabbath. Romans 13:12.

    During this dreary, dark night of Satan’s reign and hell’s harvest, the saved have been few. Luke 13:23. The millennium will be earth’s glorious, heavenly harvest, of which the few who are plucked as brands from the burning, during these dark centuries, are but the first fruits. 19. James is a wonderfully practical preacher, elucidating every ramification of domestic as well as public life. Empty talk has been a snare to millions. Many people fall into idle gossip, and soon talk their religion all away. We should all do more — infinitely more — thinking than talking. Ten minutes — five in prayer and five in religious conversation — is ample time for a pastoral visit. Many preachers backslide, and cause their members to backslide, by unprofitable conversation.

    ARGUMENT THE RESIDUE OF SIN 20. The “righteousness of God” here mentioned contrasts vividly with our own righteousness, arising from our good works, which is filthy in the sight of God, and utterly inadequate to the severity of the Divine judgments. Unless we are covered with the righteousness of God in Christ, received, and appropriated by faith only, we are certain to go down under condemnation when we stand before the great white throne. 21. “Therefore laying aside pollution and residue of evil, receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.” When the sinner receives the “righteousness of God,” mentioned in ver. 20, he is then freely and fully justified by faith for Christ’s sake; however the pollution of original sin, “the residue of evil,” still survives in the heart. Apothemenoi , laying aside, is the Greek aorist, always revealing an instantaneous action. Hence we see clearly and unequivocally in this verse the second work of grace, in sanctification instantaneously wrought in the heart, in the removal of the pollution and remainder of sin. The residue theory of depravity surviving in the heart after regeneration, is hotly contested by Zinzendorfians, but a clear translation of this verse forever sweeps all controversy from the field. “Superfluity of naughtiness” is perfectly, correctly, and more lucidly translated “residue of sin” or “remainder of evil,” which clearly and forever settles the question that there is a residue of evil in the heart of the regenerate, to be eliminated by a subsequent work of grace. Sanctification actually engrafts the word in the heart, so it is no longer a dead letter like a branch severed from the trunk, but a living graft full of spiritual vitality, always flourishing and bearing fruit, perpetuating and consummating the Salvation of the soul. 22. Full salvation completely purifying the heart, always makes the outward life truly exemplary and obedient. 23, 24. The Bible is God’s looking-glass in which we all, when duly illuminated by the Holy Ghost, see ourselves as we are. That is the reason why candid spiritual truth has always been intolerably odious to impenitent sinners, and explains why Paul raised a row and received a thrashing everywhere he went. History repeats itself. In the days of Christ and the apostles, the Jewish churches were largely filled with impenitent sinners. It is equally true of the worldly churches of the present day.

    Hence the pulpit in the main has laid aside the straight, hard, spiritual truth of conviction, conversion and sanctification, and gone off into intellectualism, which has no power to disturb the conscience nor save the soul. The sanctified preachers are set out of the churches for no reason save that they incessantly hold up God’s looking glass, i .e ., the Bible, before the eyes of the wicked, carnal people, till they see themselves as they are in God’s sight, horrifically ugly with depravity, and black all over with transgression. Then they become mad and want to break the glass and kill the man who holds it up.

    ARGUMENT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY 25. Egypt is sin land; the wilderness, law land; Canaan, grace land; and heaven, glory land. Pharaoh emblematizes the devil, who rules the sinner with a rod of iron, so long as he remains in the brick kilns and mortar yards of his galling slavery. The law was given from Mt. Sinai in the wilderness because all the people who live in that country have depravity, i .e ., the man of sin, in their hearts, who must be held in subjugation by the law, otherwise he will break out and commit actual sin. The law not only holds him in subjection, but condemns him to die — “The soul that sinneth it shall die” — thus providing for the utter extermination of the sin principle out of the heart and the complete sanctification of our spiritual being. Into Canaan, i .e ., grace land, Adam the first never can come. Hence the inhabitants of that land are as free as if there was no law, from the simple fact that there is nothing in their hearts antagonistic to the law of God; neither is there anything which needs the law to hold it in subjugation.

    Hence all the inhabitants of grace land enjoy this perfect law of spiritual liberty. While grace land is free from sin and unutterably delectable because of perfect spiritual liberty, yet it is everywhere encumbered with infirmities, i .e ., sins of ignorance, which, though perfectly compatible with Christian perfection, must all be eliminated by the subsequent action of the Holy Ghost in glorification, when this mortal puts on immortality, thus wafting us out into glory land, disencumbered of every infirmity, similitudinous to the angels.

    ARGUMENT RELIGION DENIED 26. The tongue is the exponent of the soul. Hence it is always homogeneous with it, and a true exponent of it. We bridle horses not only to keep them, but especially to work them. So God bridles our tongues in sanctification, so that we speak no more for Satan, but for God only. 27. “This is pure and undefiled religion with God even the Father, to relieve the orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep yourselves unspotted from the world.” Hence you see the beautiful globe of our religion contains two hemispheres, i .e ., philanthropy and purity. The world has much philanthropy, but it is all more or less contaminated with selfishness and utterly destitute of salvation. Philanthropy is the human and purity the divine side. Hagiazo , sanctify, means to take the world out of you. Hence, to “keep yourself unspotted from the world” simply means to get sanctified and keep sanctified. The Bible is a plain book when unobscured by the fogs of creedism. Holiness always superinduces philanthropy, while true and disinterested philanthropy only exists with genuine holiness. O, how simple is the whole problem of religion when you let the Bible speak! There is nothing in it but philanthropy and purity. (CHAPTER) - ARGUMENT PARTIALITY 1. The Holy Ghost here condemns the wicked sin of partiality, called “respect of persons.” How natural is it for us to think that God can be glorified more through the instrumentality of the rich than the poor, the learned than the illiterate, the noble than the ignoble. For this conclusion we fail to fully apprehend the power of God. Aunt Amanda Smith, born and reared in Negro slavery, ignorant of the alphabet, toiling at the washtub in a basement hovel in New York, is gloriously sanctified by some street preachers. Filled with the Spirit, as the years roll on she becomes the sensation of the Continent, preaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. She crosses the ocean and preaches to the magnates of the British Empire in Europe and Asia. She goes to Africa and stirs the Dark Continent, preaching to the sable sons and daughters of her native land; thus girdling the globe with her thrilling testimonies to full salvation, and her flaming appeals to flee the wrath to come. Will not her crown outshine that of every bishop except Taylor? 2. “For if a golden ringed man in shining apparel may come into your synagogue, and a poor man may also enter in soiled clothing.” 3, 4. “Are ye not condemned within yourselves, and have you not become the judges of evil reasonings,” i .e ., having evil reasonings. This simple description of the partiality shown to the rich, noble, cultured and well dressed people entering our congregations, with simultaneous neglect and depreciation of poor people, dressed in untidy, soiled and perhaps ragged apparel, is universally prevalent at the present day, with few exceptions, outside of the holiness movement. Yet we here see God’s withering condemnation of all such proceedings. 5. “... Hath God not chosen the poor in the world, rich in faith, truly heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him with divine love?” Agapee , which means divine love, is none other than the divine nature imparted to the human spirit by the Holy Ghost in regeneration ( Romans 5:5), and synonymous with the spiritual kingdom. Hence the kingdom here referred to as the glorious reward of God’s people, poor in this world, but rich in faith, is none other than the millennium, in which the glorified Savior will rule the world through the instrumentality of His transfigured saints. 6, 7. It is a significant fact that the saints of God in all ages, as a rule, have been poor in the things of this world, while the rich have invariably led the way in the bloody persecutions, which in bygone ages have martyred two hundred millions of God’s people. 8. “If you truly perfect the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor with divine love as thyself,’ you do well.” Your neighbor is every human being on the globe, without regard to race, color, nationality or religion. This commandment of the royal law can not be satisfied with human love, as the word used with the Holy Ghost is agapee , divine love, to which the unregenerated are total strangers, and must so remain till the Holy Spirit pours out the divine agapee into the heart, which always consummates regeneration. 9. “But if you have respect unto persons you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.” This verse is a withering condemnation of all partiality shown to different classes of people. What a powerful argument is this against the inbred sin of partiality, for which there is no final and effectual remedy but entire sanctification. 10. “For whosoever may keep the whole law and fail in one item, has become guilty of all.” Here is tacit allusion to this occult and universally prevalent sin of partiality. The breachy animal need not elope every panel of the fence, in order to become a transgressor. If he jump the fence in one place, he is in your field, and as truly a transgressor as if he had leaped over every panel encompassing your field. When you commit a single overt act of known sin, you are out of the Lord’s kingdom, over on Satan’s common and a transgressor of the law. 11. This verse is illustrative of the preceding. 12. When you stand before the great white throne you will be judged by the law of liberty. What is this law of liberty? The soul fully and completely sanctified, and thus saved from every inclination to violate the law, is as free as if there were no law. Hence this is the only final qualification for the judgment bar. 13. “For judgment is without mercy to him that doeth no mercy: mercy boasteth over judgment,” i .e ., condemnation. Mercy is the twin sister of divine love which is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10. James elaborates with iron logic this powerful argument of thirteen verses against the inbred sin of partiality, i .e ., respect of persons, whose only possible remedy is entire sanctification. This sin is so prevalent nowadays as to be passed by among all classes almost unnoticed, yet James assures us that the guilty party will be held responsible for the whole decalogue. The grand achievement of grace is to prepare us for glory. This great and prevalent sin, i .e ., respect of persons, is utterly incompatible with the heavenly state, whose crowning glory is perfect love for every creature in all the celestial universe. Hence this subtle, clandestine and serpentine sin of partiality must be totally and eternally eradicated.

    ARGUMENT FAITH AND WORK 14-18. We see in these verses that the only possible method of manifesting our faith is by our works, the legitimate fruit. 19. “Dost thou believe that there is one God? Thou doest well: the demons also believe and tremble.” The devil and his myrmidons are utterly dead, spiritually, yet possessing wonderful intellectual power. Man is a trinity, similitudinous to God, consisting of spirit, mind and body. The conscience, will and affections constitute the human spirit. The conscience survived the fall, still ringing out the voice of God in the soul of the most abandoned reprobates, always taking God’s side of the controversy. The will, the king of humanity, so long as we remain in sin being on the devil’s side, is turned over to God in conversion, ever afterward deciding with God in every emergency, while depravity still survives in the deep regions of the affections, till eliminated by entire sanctification. The mind embraces the intellect, the judgment, the memory and the sensibilities.

    Since the apostasy from the apostolic experience of Pentecostal baptism, the pulpits have been mainly filled by dichotomists, confounding the spirit with the mind, and, consequently, preaching mentalities instead of spiritualities. At the present day the popular preachers feed the mind and let the soul starve to death. The churches are thronged with people having nothing but intellectual faith, just like the devils; meanwhile they are spiritually dead. In common parlance, spirit, heart and soul are synonymous. While God says, in the Bible, “Speak comfortably to my people,” the Hebrew says, “Speak to the heart of my people.” During the last five Sundays I have heard five Doctors of Divinity in five great churches of this city (San Francisco) preach at 11 A.M. Those five sermons were to the mind exclusively, giving nothing to the poor soul for the conviction of a sinner, the conversion of a penitent or the sanctification of a Christian; meanwhile the multitudes walk down to hell. The human spirit, and not the mind, is the immortal being, destined to live forever in the flames of hell or the glories of heaven. The Lord multiply the holiness people a thousand times, as it is incumbent on them to give the Gospel to the world. 20-23. Here James refers to the notable case of Abraham when he offered up Isaac on Mount Moriah. Whereas God had repeatedly assured him that Isaac was to be the progenitor of Christ the Savior of the world, when, in flat contradiction, He ordered him to sacrifice his son for a burnt offering, the faith of the patriarch staggered not at the irreconcilable dilemma.

    Meanwhile he proposes to offer him for a sacrifice; his heroic faith leaps to the conclusion that God will surely raise him from the dead ( Hebrews 11:19), and send him home rejoicing to meet his mother. Thus Abraham’s obedience confirmed and perfected his faith. 24. This verse shows conclusively the utter inadequacy and futility of a disobedient faith. 25. “In a similar manner was not Rahab the tavern keeper also justified by works, receiving the spies and sending them another way?” The Hebrew word zonash simply means a woman keeping a public house, without regard to her moral character. In this case we have clear revelation that she was a good woman, a friend of Israel and a believer in Jehovah, and hereby James mentioned her along with Abraham as an example of Christian faith made perfect by obedience. Having espoused the cause of Israel she became the wife of Salmon, a Hebrew, and one of the honored mothers of our Lord. 26. This verse assures us that faith without works is dead, being alone.

    The plain and simple meaning of dead faith is no faith at all, just as a dead horse is no horse practically. The Bible is a plain book, needing nothing but common sense and the Holy Ghost to understand it. Martin Luther, a great and good man, living in an age when Biblical exegesis was in its infancy, discarded the Epistle of James as spurious, because of its irreconcilable antagonism to the grand Pauline epistles on justification by faith alone, without works. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without deeds of law.” These apparent contradictions of Paul and James all evanesce on a fair exegesis. Paul is expounding the justification of a sinner whose work is all in Satan’s kingdom, and belongs to him. Hence the utter futility and nonsense in his attempt to procure justification by his good works. Let him do ever so much good work, as a matter of necessity he must do it in the devil’s kingdom, therefore Satan gets it all.

    Regeneration must bring him into the kingdom of God before he can possibly render obedience to divine law. James is describing the justification of a Christian, as we see abundantly evinced by the case of Abraham offering up Isaac forty-one years after he had been justified as a sinner by faith alone. Genesis 15 and Romans 4:22. In the gracious economy there are four justifications: (1) In infancy, without either faith or works, by the free grace of God in Christ. (2) In case of the guilty adult sinner by faith alone, when in the full and final abnegation and abandonment of all sin in the profound realization of his utter ruin and meatness for hell fire, in final desperation he casts himself on the mercy of God in Christ. Then the Father freely and fully forgives him for Christ’s sake only. The foolish dogma of a sinner’s justification by works has populated hell with millions, this vainly and ignorantly treating the vicarious atonement of Christ with contempt. (3) After the sinner has been justified freely by the work of Christ received and appropriated by faith only, he must then be justified as a Christian (not in the sense of pardon, but approval), throughout the remainder of his life. James is addressing Christians, who can not be justified by faith only. A faith which remains alone is Satan’s counterfeit every time. Such a faith never brings justification but condemnation. Justifying faith is always active and obedient. Hence a Christian must constantly prove his faith by his works, like Abraham.

    When he ceases to obey God, his faith falters, and his experience dies. (4) When we all stand before the Great White Throne in final judgment, we will be justified by works alone. Revelation 22:12 and Matthew 25:34. Our final judgment will have nothing to do with the heaven or hell problem; but with our reward in heaven and retributions in hell, which will be determined entirely by our works. (CHAPTER) - ARGUMENT TEACHERS AND PREACHERS 1. “Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive the greater responsibility.” The Bible contemplates many preachers, but few teachers. In the apostolic age all the disciples preached the Word. Acts 8:4. When our Savior wanted preachers He called ‘unlearned and ignorant men.” When He wanted a teacher, He called Saul of Tarsus, a double graduate, having graduated in the Greek schools of Tarsus and the Hebrew colleges at Jerusalem, thus standing at the top of the world’s learning.

    Jesus needed such men to expound the Scriptures. The holiness movement has suffered immensely from incompetent teachers. To preach simply means to proclaim the Word, corroborated by our experience. While a collegiate education is in no way essential to the preaching of the Gospel, if not baptized by the Holy Ghost and fire, it will be a serious temptation, very liable to side-track you as it has millions, and get you into preaching that which is not gospel, and destitute of saving power. The trend of the churches to leave the Bible and run into human learning, is the mammoth heresy of the modern pulpit, fast secularizing and infidelizing their congregations. God wants to give all of His people full salvation, and the spirit of prophecy ( Revelation 19:10), sending them forth as in the Apostolic age, “preaching the Word.” He is now raising up a grand army of lay men and women, baptizing them with fire, and sending them to the ends of the earth, “to preach the gospel to every creature before the great and dreadful day of the Lord cometh.” Acts 2:20.

    This is a very signal mercy, in view of that human learning which is fast crowding the Gospel out of the popular pulpits, and thus turning the people over to the world and Satan. Let this grand army of the bloodwashed and fire-baptized laity content themselves simply to proclaim the Word of the Lord and tell their experiences and never attempt to explore the profoundities of exegesis, lest they propagate all sorts of error, as has been done much to the detriment of the cause. God needs a few well educated, fire-baptized and Spirit-illuminated teachers to expound the Scriptures. He will raise them up and send them forth. 2. “For in many things we all fail. If any one fail not in word, the same is a perfect man, truly able to bridle the whole body.” Sanctification renders no one infallible, but it leaves us encumbered with many infirmities, for glorification to remove “when this mortal puts on immortality.” The Greek logos means God’s Word revealed in the Bible, while reema means man’s word. In this verse we have logos , i .e ., God’s Word. In the experience of entire sanctification, the whole Bible enters into the heart; meanwhile the Holy Ghost freely imparts all the grace we need to obey and live in harmony with it. While this perfect man, who is simply the normal gospel saint, is very fallible in his own word and deportment, yet he does not fail in the Word of God, because his experience is in perfect harmony with it, and he receives freely each fleeting moment all the grace he needs to obey all the commandments of God.

    ARGUMENT THE TONGUE AND TWO FOUNTAINS 3-8. The tongue is the exponent of the soul and, consequently, by far the most important of all our members. Your soul passes out from the end of your tongue, and comes back the same way. It is here said of the tongue that it has hell fire in it. This “hell fire” is the inbred sin in the heart which flashes out through the tongue. “No one is able to tame the tongue: an incorrigible evil, full of deadly poison.” That is true, but, thank God, He can, and does, tame it. He puts the sanctification bridle on it, thus not only keeping it out of all mischief, but thoroughly harnessing it up to do His blessed and holy will. 9. “With it bless we the Lord even the Father, and with it we scold people who have been made after the image of God.” 10. James very affectionately salutes these people, who with the same tongue bless and scold, “My brethren, these things ought not so to be,” revealing plainly that he is addressing Christians. 11. “Whether does the fountain send forth the sweet and the bitter.” 12. “My brethren,... the bitter fountain can not send forth sweet water.” These Scriptures clearly and unequivocally set forth the undeniable fact that the unsanctified Christian actually has the two fountains, i .e ., the bitter and the sweet, in his heart, both of which flow out ever and anon through his tongue. Consequently, the unsanctified is a very ambiguous character. Today his tongue sends forth the honey and tomorrow the gall.

    The idea of blasphemy you have in your English entirely disappears from this passage in the Greek. There is but one possible conclusion, deducible from this entire argument, i .e ., sinners have but one fountain in the heart: that is corrupt and bitter. The sanctified has but one, which is clean and sweet. Meanwhile the unsanctified Christian has two fountains in his heart, the sweet and the bitter, both of which flow out through the tongue, sometimes the one, sometimes the other. God’s plan is to take the bitter fountain utterly out of the heart. In that case the sweet fountain fills the whole heart. Hence the tongue of the wholly sanctified discharges the sweet water only. 13. This verse follows a logical sequence from the preceding. 14. Here we are warned to adhere pertinaciously to the truth in our testimony. 15. “This wisdom cometh not from above, but is earthly, intellectual and devilish.” Here we are warned against carnal wisdom, in contradistinction to the spiritual and heavenly. 16. So long as this carnal wisdom abides in the heart there is an irrepressible conflict with the spiritual. 17. “The wisdom which is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easily persuaded, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” This is a beautiful description of the nature, created in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration. Purity and depravity are not combined in the heart, but mixed, like wheat and cockle in the stack, until a powerful steam thresher effects the separation. So the grace of God is pure in the regenerate, though mixed with depravity till the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire effects the final separation, consuming the latter. The grace of God in the heart solves the problem of universal peace. A true experience of salvation makes a perfect gentleman, who is so easily persuaded in the way of right that a child can lead him by a hair, while earth and hell can not force him in the way of wrong. O, how opportune is this heavenly wisdom. “Full of mercy and good works,” in a world full of suffering and inundated with calamity! This heavenly wisdom is the divine nature having the very purity of God, hence free from “partiality and hypocrisy.” Grace is perfectly transparent, abounding in universal love. 18. “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace to them that make peace.” This whole world is involved in implacable hostility and an exterminating war against the Father of the universe. Eternal ruin must supervene in every case where perfect reconciliation is not effected. Hence every true Christian is significantly and pre-eminently a peace maker. (CHAPTER) - ARGUMENT SPIRITUAL WEDLOCK 1. “Whence come wars and fightings within you?” James here enters into a powerful argument against inbred sin. The heart of the unsanctified soon becomes the scene of a terrible civil war. Paul, in Colossians 3, describes the members of Adam the first, anger, wrath, malice, envy, jealousy, revenge, and all the motley cohorts of malignant affections, ever and anon rising up and waging an exterminating war against the grace imparted in regeneration. 2. Here is evidently a tacit allusion to those terrible wars that raged in Palestine immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. 3. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, in order that you may expend it in your pleasures.” God in great mercy keeps us poor that He may take us to heaven. If we had been rich the temptation to sensual pleasures would have defeated us, alienating us from God, and leading us off after the world. 4. “Ye adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity to God?” While the Church of God throughout the Bible is represented by a pure woman, the fallen Church is constantly emblematized by a harlot. So long as the Apostolic Church remained pure the world was arrayed against her, the Roman emperors doing their utmost for her extermination. When the awful Constantinian apostasy utterly derailed the Church from the glorious Apostolic doctrine of entire sanctification, she took the world, with its floods of corruption, into her pales, drifting fast into the sensualities and debaucheries of Romanism. “The friendship of the world” is the bane of the popular church at the present day, fast engulfing her informality and hypocrisy. “Therefore, whosoever may wish to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God.” In Satan’s Eden conquest he conquered the world; not only taking it into his corrupt and polluted kingdom, but utterly alienating it from God, hence Ekklesia , the Church, means the people called out of the world and separated unto God; while hagiazo , sanctify, means to take the world out of us. Hence you see the irreconcilable disharmony of this fallen world with God and holiness. Ever since Satan succeeded in the abduction of this world from God he has powerfully and incessantly used it as a passport to hell. The Church at the present day is encumbered with mountains of worldliness, expediting them at race-horse speed to Romanism and Satan. 5. “Do you not know that the Scripture positively says, the Spirit who dwelleth in us desireth us unto jealousy?” This verse is the grand culmination of this powerful argument against inbred sin so vividly portrayed in spiritual wedlock. In regeneration the soul is betrothed to the spiritual Christ, and married in sanctification. In this argument we have a vivid description of the regenerated soul’s carnal lovers, still surviving in the heart and doing their utmost to prevail on that soul to enter into spiritual wedlock, consummating hopeless apostasy and damnation. The two years of the betrothal state are memorable in my history, because the lovers waiting my contemplated bride kept me in hot water, tortured with solicitude lest discarding me she might enter into wedlock with one of them. From our conversion the Holy Ghost is anxious to consummate nuptials in our sanctification. forever defeating and exterminating all of our carnal lovers. On the return of the Greek army from the memorable ten years’ siege and final destruction of Troy, the fleet of Ulysses was separated by a storm, tossed on unknown seas, and wrecked on foreign shores till ten years more had elapsed, giving him an absence of twenty years from his kingdom. Meanwhile his beautiful and accomplished queen, Penelope, was terribly beset by the young princes of Greece, night and day pressing their suit for her hand in wedlock, and at the same time year after year devouring the subsistence of her kingdom, assuring her that her husband has been buried in the dark, deep sea, and will never return again.

    In her desperation to postpone the suitors, whose military power she seriously feared, she resorts to a strategem, alleging that she was weaving a great web for a burial shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes, then venerable with years. The suitors, impatient and vexed over the postponement, in their nightly vigils at length discover that she raveled out at night what she had woven in the day, thus maneuvering to postpone the celebration of the nuptis. At the expiration of twenty years, behold, Ulysses arrives, slays all the suitors in a hand-to-hand combat, and takes possession of his kingdom. Now remember that you have an Omnipotent Ulysses, to whom, if you will be true, He will assuredly come in due time, slay all of your carnal lovers in a hand-to-hand fight and take you to His bosom to be His royal spouse forever. This wonderful verse says the Holy Ghost is jealous of all His rival suitors, i .e ., this seductive group of worldly lovers. Will you not turn them all over to Him that He may slay them, and enter into heavenly wedlock with your soul? 6. He giveth more grace, i .e ., the grace of sanctification to that of justification. 7. The devil is a coward and easily put to flight in every case of true heroism. 8. “Clean your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-souled people.” The sinner has one soul, and that is a bad one, transmitted from Satan by Adam the first. The sanctified man has one soul, and that is a good one, transmitted to him by Adam the Second. The unsanctified Christian is a double-souled man, having the carnal mind in a state of subjugation and the mind of Christ enthroned in the heart. James winds up the argument with an enthusiastic altar call to sinners for pardon and to Christians for sanctification. That is the true genius of the gospel, great altars crowded with sinners seeking justification and Christians seeking holiness. 9. “Be afflicted and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into sorrow.” James believed in the good old style mourner’s bench, where people weep, grieve, mourn and afflict themselves with the deepest sorrow, till Jesus comes to their relief and speaks their sins all forgiven till the sanctifying power sweeps down from heaven’s altars in showers of fire, consuming all hereditary depravity. You must remember also that this is also a mixed altar, in which sinners seeking pardon and double-minded Christians seeking sanctification are indiscriminately mixed up; meanwhile the billows of God’s free grace are rolling over them, regenerating the one and sanctifying the other. 10. “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will raise you up.” God’s ways are diametrically the opposite to man’s ways. When human pride wants to rise it climbs, only to fall and break its neck. When true consecration goes down to the bottom of humiliation’s holy valley, the Omnipotent Hand in due time lifts you up to the top of Pisgah. In this wonderful argument against inbred sin, we see it culminating in the spiritual wedlock of the soul and the utter defeat of all her carnal lovers amid a rousing altar service for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of Christians, in which grace gloriously prevails and victory brightens on Immanuel’s banner.

    ARGUMENT CALUMNIATION 11. “Speak not against one another my brethren.” This paragraph warns us against all sorts of unbrotherly criticism, depreciating the gifts and graces, and in the end contravening the efficiency and antagonizing the usefulness of a brother or sister. “He that speaketh against a brother or condemneth his brother, speaketh against the law and condemns the law.” This follows as a logical sequence from the commandment of the royal law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Faithful obedience to this royal commandment would forever paralyze all criticism. We can not overestimate the importance of this argument. Evil speaking is the bane of religion, drying it up in the heart, exterminating it in the life and sweeping like a withering scourge over whole communities. It is both the Scylla and Charbydis in camp-meetings and annual conferences, disseminating blight and desolation. 12... “Who art thou who judgest thy neighbor?” Every human being is your neighbor. Judgment here is in the sense of condemnation. The people of this world do not belong to us but to God, hence they are in no way responsible to us for their behavior, but to God alone, who will certainly deal justly with every human being. Hence we are happily relieved of the arduous responsibility of punishing people for their maltreatment of us or others. It is God’s prerogative. He will certainly attend to them. So rest in perfect peace, turning over all your enemies eternally to Him who says, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.” Lord, save us all from criticism, controversy, fault-finding, calumniation and litigation.

    ARGUMENT AVARICE 13. This verse vividly describes Christians in the old states getting so bewildered and enthused with the love of money, that they sell out, migrate to California and plunge into the gold mines, wild with speculation after riches. They leave their religion in the old country; and forsaking God, they worship gold. 14. This verse vividly describes the evanescence of all things earthly, and the transcendent folly of living for this world. It is said that an inhabitant of one of God’s innumerable, immortal, unfallen worlds came down and became a citizen of the earth. He was utterly unacquainted with all things terrestrial. On arrival, responsive to his inquiry, “What is the chief good?” all answered, “Money making and money getting.” Acquiescing in their response, and falling into line with the people of this world, himself entering upon the pursuit of wealth. One day he happens to see a graveyard. As death was unknown in the country whence he came, he interrogates a passerby, “What is this?” When the man gave him a candid answer, observing that all the people in this world live but a few years and then die, he said “Oh, 1 have been deceived; if what you tell me is true, not money, but a preparation for never-ending eternity, is the chief good in this world.” 15. “On the contrary if the Lord wills and we should live we will do this or that.” In my innumerable responses to evangelistic calls I always append the initials D.V. (Deo volente God willing). It is very unbecoming in people who profess to believe in God to leave Him out of their daily conversation and transactions. 16. Here James positively condemns all human, boastful arrogance as utterly out of harmony with the meekness and lowliness of true Christian character. 17. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” This verse teaches that our responsibility to God is commensurate with our knowledge. When the whole world shall stand before the great white throne there will be an infinitesimal diversity of judgments. The people who lived and died under the Mosaic dispensation will be judged by the Old Testament only; those who have lived in the Christian era will be judged by the Old and New Testaments, while the heathen millions will be judged by neither, but only by the laws of nature. Hence myriads who have lived and died in pagan darkness and superstition will be acquitted, because they walked in all the light they had, while multiplied thousands who have lived in Christian lands and shown better moral characters, will go down under condemnation because they did not walk in all the light God gave them. 1 John 1:7, “If we walk in light... the blood... cleanseth us from all sin,” applies to all nations indiscriminately — Jews, Mohammedans, pagans, Catholics and Protestants, having an infinite diversity of light, but only responsible for what they have. (CHAPTER) - Unfortunately, this chapter division comes right in the middle of the apostolic argument against covetousness, interrupting the sense and breaking it in two. You never will make much proficiency in Biblical study, till you learn to utterly ignore all chapters and verses, as the divisions were not made by the inspired writers, but by people in the dark ages who knew very little about the Scriptures. So this argument against avarice continues right on to verse 6. 1. “Come now, ye rich, weep howling over your calamities coming upon you.” The “rich” here appealed to are those Christians mentioned in the preceding chapter who migrated out of their humble rural homes, providentially so favorable to piety, into the rich mercantile cities, there to trade, speculate and accumulate fortunes. They have succeeded in getting rich, but utterly backsliding, their life worn out in laying up treasures on earth, which they must now leave for others to enjoy, go out into eternity and meet God unprepared, destined to weep and howl in the flames of hell through all eternity, bewailing their blind folly in permitting Mammon to crowd God out of their hearts. 2. In the olden time fine garments were exceeding costly. These people were vain enough to buy them, but too stingy to wear them till the moths devoured them. 3. This verse vividly describes the remorse of conscience superinduced by their ill-gotten gains as a consuming fire devouring their flesh. “Ye laid up treasure in the last day.” Money accumulates money faster than anything else, consequently a life spent in hard toil to accumulate riches is followed by a feeble and afflicted old age, in which the grace of God is so much needed to ripen them for eternity, but the rapid accumulation of riches inundates them with such a multiplicity of cares as to crowd God out, envelop them in an awful spiritual night, and thus precipitate them into eternity. 4. Here we see how the accumulation of riches almost invariably involves a guilty conscience because of ill-gotten gains, fraudulently wrung from the stinted wages of the poor laborers. 5. “You flourished and lived sumptuously on the earth; you nourished your heart in the day of slaughter.” Here we have the striking similitude of a slaughter pen, in which the sheep, hogs and cattle are fattened for food.

    These animals, intellectually blind to their awful fate, eat voraciously till the fatal blow strikes them dead and their flesh is cruelly cut to pieces and devoured. So these unfortunate people, who embarked upon a great financial speculation, grew rich, backslid and became hopeless reprobates, are now in Satan’s slaughter pen, feeding on the carnal pabulum of this world, by which they are fattened for the barbecues of hell, in which cruel devils will devour them without mercy. 6. “You condemned, you murdered the righteous, he does not resist you.” These people have not only utterly apostatized, in their wild scramble after wealth, but they have actually turned persecutors of the Lord’s true people and imbrued their hands in martyrs’ blood. In this argument against covetousness, illustrated and enforced by the course of these Christians immigrating into a mercantile city to accumulate riches, while they succeed in their mercantile enterprises and riches wonderfully accumulate, they become worldly, apostatize, forget God and actually persecute the righteous, dropping out of life in Satan’s blackest midnight. Thus the argument, winding up in the signal triumph of sin and Satan, is a solemn warning to all Christians to beware of the seductive covetousness. It almost ruined Jacob, and utterly ruined Judas.

    ARGUMENT THE FORMER AND LATER RAINS 7. The people in the Apostolic age were on the constant outlook for the Lord to return to the earth. If the Apostolic Church had been true to the Pentecostal experience our Lord would have returned in the glory of His kingdom before the expiration of that generation. Matthew 16:28. It is certain that the true attitude of saintship is that of constant expectancy of our Lord’s return to this world. It is the normal inspiration of all saints to be robed and ready every moment to salute our glorious King. Inspired truth is very simple and unique, consisting of the isolated dogma of sin and its remedy. However, the Holy Ghost utilizes infinitesimal imagery, deduced from every ramification of the material world, to elucidate and enforce this grand primary truth. The autumnal rains are indispensable to soften the earth preparatory for the farmer’s plow and the reception of the seed wheat. Then he is dependent on the spring rains to produce the crop.

    Here the Holy Spirit uses this familiar agricultural illustration to enforce the great truth in the gracious economy, involving the absolute necessity of the two experiences. Regeneration sows the seed and sanctification produces the crop of holiness for the heavenly garner. 8. “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” The Greek parousia , “coming,” literally means presence, setting forth the fact that our Lord will come to stay and reign upon the earth. Oh, what an inspiration to a soul! 9. The momentary anticipation of our Lord’s return to the earth should silence all cavil, vilification, strife, controversy and unkind criticism forever. 10. We derive infinite value from the patience and heroism of our noble predecessors in the Lord’s kingdom, whose testimonies light up all bygone ages. The mob having assaulted John Wesley’s meeting, extinguished the lights, and stampeded the audience in the darkness; seizing the preacher, they dragged him away and beat him till they thought he was dead, then skulked away. While the man of God lays suffering in his blood till day dawned, he composed that beautiful hymn, “Shall Simon bear the cross alone, And all the world go free? No; there is a cross for every one, And there’s a cross for me,” thus manifesting the most angelic spirit of the man amid the bloody persecutions. 11. Here James makes pertinent and beautiful allusion to the patient suffering of Job and the end which the Lord brought to the memorable tragedy when those three great anti-holiness preachers, i .e .; Eliphas, Bildad and Zophar, united in a debate with Job against his testimony of Christian perfection. Upon his final appeal from their verdict to God, behold, Jehovah descends in a whirlwind and accepts the situation, turns the debate into a holiness meeting, says to Eliphas, Bildad and Zophar, “You have not spoken that which is right concerning me as my servant Job hath; therefore offer a sacrifice of some rams and some bullocks and my servant Job shall pray for you.” Four represents humanity, i .e ., the world North, East, South and West. Three represents God. Therefore seven throughout the Bible represents our Savior the incarnation of all perfection. Hence we see that God required them to make a perfect consecration. Behold the beautiful scene Eliphas, Bildad and Zophar, all on their knees, seeking sanctification, Job praying for them, God Almighty conducting the service, and Elihu, that young holiness evangelist who had been scared out of his testimony by these big preachers till God came, when he said he would burst if he did not testify, shouting aloud. Job was not a Jew, but an Arab, belonging not to the Mosaic but to the Patriarchal dispensation. History says he was one hundred and forty years old at the time of his afflictions.

    After his wonderful restoration he lived one hundred and forty years more.

    Meanwhile his estates were all given back double and the same number of children given back, which added to his former family, who were not destroyed but in heaven, made them also double.

    ARGUMENT PROFANITY 12. Leviticus 24:16 corroborates James, giving the death penalty as the punishment due in every case of profanity. Verse 17 specifies the death penalty for murder. Hence you see profanity is as wicked in the sight of God as murder. We can only measure crimes by their penalties. Here verse 16 gives death as the penalty for profanity and verse 17 gives death as the penalty for murder. Therefore profanity is equally criminal with murder, both punished with death under the law of God, given by Moses.

    Profanity is certainly one of the crying iniquities of the present age, with other dark crimes provoking the indignation of God and expediting that swift destruction coming upon the wicked. As the foundation of profanity is laid in by-words, parents and teachers can not be too careful in the prohibition of idle words and phrases, which tend to profanity. It is also our imperative duty to prohibit profanity in our employees. The name of God should be called only in reverence and solemnity.

    ARGUMENT DIVINE HEALING 13-15. We see clearly from these and other corroborative Scriptures that the Lord is the Healer of our bodies as well as of our souls. It is certainly appropriate when we get sick to obey this Scripture. The anointing with oil symbolizes our full consecration to God and the enduement of the Holy Ghost. In the Gospel dispensation, the Levitical priesthood is transferred to the membership, justification making you a priest and sanctification a high priest. 1 Peter 2:5-9. I would not anoint an impenitent person nor pray for his healing, but for his conviction, as salvation is infinitely better than health, and God may use his sickness to bring him to repentance. “The prayer of faith will save the sick.” “As your faith is, so be it unto you,” is as true of the body as the soul. Whereas you are saved and sanctified by the grace of faith, you are healed by the gift of faith. Corinthians 1:9. Hence the healing of your body has nothing to do with the salvation of your soul. It is simply to be understood in the light of a very precious privilege and always to be subordinated to salvation, all petitions being crowned, “Thy will be done.” The gift of divine healing is bestowed by the sovereign discriminating mercy of God. It is certainly our glorious privilege to have it. Healing always comes pursuant to the “gift of faith.”

    Though I have been distinctly and repeatedly healed, if the Lord does not translate me, the time is at hand when I will have no faith to be healed, and then I will get to go to heaven. If you are truly and fully consecrated to God, as indicated by the anointing with oil, you may rest assured that God will either give you health or heaven which is infinitely better. As the light of the glorious gospel broadens out over the world and the people learn about Jesus as the Healer of the body, divine healing is becoming common, which is not only a glorious blessing to the body, but a grand conservator of true spirituality.

    ARGUMENT PREVAILING PRAYER 16. “The inwrought prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The Greek for inwrought is energeumenee . It means the prayer wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost. It is from ergon , work, and en , in. When the Holy Ghost works a prayer in your heart He is sure to answer it. This wonderful truth is corroborated by the case of Elijah, when he prayed three years in the cave by the Brook Cherith I visited this cave in 1895. I do not wonder that they did not find him, as it is profound and dark, while the craggy mountains jut over from either side. It is now occupied by a nice, strong superstructure, inhabited by Greek monks. 17. “Elijah prayed with prayer” (not “earnestly,” as your English reads). “With prayer,” as the Greek has it, is very significant. It means that Elijah prayed with the prayer which God gave him. That is the reason why he could lock the heavens three years and six months and withhold the rains.

    If God were to give you the prayer you could do the same, because God always answers the prayers which He gives. Learn the secret of prevailing prayer. Get in touch with the Almighty so He will give you your prayers, then He is sure to answer them. It makes no difference how low down your son or husband has sunk in sin, if you get in touch with God, so He will give you your petitions. You have but to take hold of Him in prayer and He will raise them up. “Elijah was a man of like suffering,” i .e ., he suffered hunger, thirst and pain as we do. “Passion” is the wrong word, as Elijah was surely saved from all carnal passions, as we ought to be.

    ARGUMENT APOSTASY AND RECLAMATION 19, 20. Here James warns his sainted brethren against apostasy, exhorting them to convert the apostate, and assuring them of rich reward. He is surely of the Apostolic brethren before he “errs from the truth.” Afterward James calls him a ‘“sinner” and earnestly pleads for his “conversion,” assuring the benefactor that he will “save a soul from death.” In this plain statement you see clearly the possibility of a real Christian “erring from the truth” and becoming a “sinner.” At the same time we are assured that he may be converted again and eternally saved.

    This epistle is infinitely valuable in the elucidation of practical Christianity in its sundry phases.


    God Rules.NET
    Search 80+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.