James 2:1-10, [11-13], 14-17 - Understanding the difference between belief and faith

Updated: Aug 21

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My brothers and sisters Adelphoi mou, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters adelphoi mou agapētoi. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?


You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.[ For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.]


What good is it, my brothers and sisters adelphoi mou, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.


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This is the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 18], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will be preceded by one of two pairs of Old Testament and Psalm readings, called Tracks 1 and 2. Track 1 places focus on a proverb of Solomon, which credits Yahweh for the creation of both rich and poor. Its Psalm sings praises to Yahweh as coming from those pure of heart. Track 2 places focus on a song of Isaiah, where he sang of fears being replaced by living waters, when a soul weds Yahweh. The Psalm sings of the benefits that come from servitude to Yahweh. All will accompany a Gospel reading from Mark, when Jesus went to Gentile lands and healed a girl with an unclean spirit and made a deaf man hear.


I wrote about this reading and published my views the last time this reading came up in the lectionary cycle, in 2018. That commentary can be read by clicking on this link. Those observations still apply, so I welcome all to read it and offer comments and suggestions, questions and corrections. For this analysis, I will only focus on a few elements. Please feel free to compare the two.


In my 2018 commentary, I addressed the issue of the NRSV [and the Episcopal Church] having transformed the words written by James – “Adelphoi mou” – into “My brothers and sisters.” The words written clearly translate into “Brothers mine,” or “Brothers of me.” There is absolutely nothing written that says “and sisters.” I want to advance what I wrote in 2018, because I believe this needs to be divinely understood as being Yahweh moving James’ hand to write, not James being gender-phobic.


Last Sunday the Gospel reading from Mark pointed out how Jesus called out the Pharisees and scribes, who came to him complaining that Jesus’ disciples were eating without first washing their hands, as being "hypocrites." They had made up a general doctrine that was based on the Mosaic laws that were intended solely for the Levitical presence within the Tabernacle. Therefore, Jesus called them “hypocrites,” and then quoted Isaiah to them. The focus of that quote says the failure of a religion is always based on big-headed leaders doing lip-service to Yahweh, while changing the laws to suit their own needs. That practice is now on display by “hypocrites” changing “Brothers mine” into “My brothers and sisters.”


F.Y.I.: "hypocrite" means, "1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings." [Google search]


James was writing to the first ‘Jews for Jesus’ or the first true Christians, all who were born and raised Jews. James was not writing a letter to Gentiles who had been transformed by their souls marrying Yahweh and being filled with His Spirit, then giving birth to the resurrected soul of Jesus, therefore all becoming Yahweh’s Anointed one [i.e.: each a Christ]. While it was true that the society of Jews at that time was one that addressed the menfolk publicly, it was not exclusive of the wives and daughters (even the children). Peter made a point of writing (on occasion) of “sisters,” but only when that difference in human gender needed to be addressed. James, in like manner, was not excluding anyone because of their human sex organs not being that of an adult Jewish male. Reading the Epistles with a brain that seeks human precepts on doctrine will make physicality take precedence over spirituality; and, that should be avoided.


I have consistently, for some time now, explained that souls in bodies of flesh need to marry Yahweh and become His brides. In that way, males and females alike are feminine essence as a neuter soul taking on the gender of the material realm, which is feminine. The feminine receives spirit, as seen in a baby receiving the breath of life at birth. As such, spirit is masculine essence that penetrates the feminine flesh. Yahweh being the Father, as the Creator of all that is spirit and matter, must be seen as the epitome of masculine essence. All human souls are called to submit to Him in divine marriage, as brides-to-be (neuter gender souls in feminine bodies of flesh). Just as men wed virgin women, so there is a husband and wife (mother-to-be) resulting, so too does Yahweh seek souls to penetrate and bring forth His Son [no daughters allowed].


This means that a soul in a body of flesh [both genders] is the wife that becomes penetrated by the Husband. It is a rebirth of the soul, similar to the change of state that comes from the breath of life entering flesh at physical birth. This marriage becomes how one can call Yahweh one’s Father [just as a baby has identity with its biological father]. Yahweh is the Father who (through the penetration of His Spirit with a soul) impregnates a soul with a twin soul - that of Jesus. This becomes the rebirth of Jesus, as the resurrection of his soul with the soul of a wife to Yahweh. This rebirth makes a wife become Jesus reborn – ALL OF THEM! Therefore, all who are true Christians [reborn Jesuses] are then “Brothers” [not “brothers and sisters], because Yahweh is masculine, as is the divine soul of His Son Jesus.


The capitalization of “Adelphoi” must be read as an important statement about “Brotherhood.” Capitalization in divine Scripture [New Testament, as Hebrew has no capital letters] means a divine level of meaning must be applied. The divine level of meaning read into “Brothers” is all are the children of God [males in Spirit], so all are related to the same Father. Because Jesus is the Son of man, all human souls who have become reborn as Jesus are also Sons of man [not daughters of man]. Because it is the soul of a wife of Yahweh [in the bodies of males and females they come] joined with the resurrected soul of Jesus [only the masculinity of Yahweh, as His Son] the result is a soul that is no longer neuter gender, but masculine [regardless of what sex organs a body of flesh possesses]. Because Yahweh is 'God enough' to do this to many souls in the flesh, and Jesus is 'soul enough' to be resurrected wherever the Father says, "Go," the result is who James wrote to. Therefore, the capitalized word “Brothers” is a statement about divine relationship, when all souls, regardless of their human genders, are reborn as “Brothers” in that Spiritual family. All are the Christ of Yahweh, because they are the resurrection of Jesus' soul with their soul, the truth of the name “Christianity.”


People who have no personal experience with the presence of Yahweh’s Spirit, because their souls have not done the required testing of their sincerity for such a divine union. They think of Scripture in human terms. The changes that always take place in society are then reasons for religious leaders to amend the Word to suit societal norms and acceptances. Priest who do not want to offend the women of their parishes (women are the ones who give the most cash and are more inclined to name churches in their wills) have led to this change in English translation. Therefore, those who recite “brothers and sisters” are standing before their congregations in the same way some Pharisees and scribes stood before Jesus, telling him their “human precepts of doctrine,” which honors themselves, only giving Yahweh lip-service.


Three times in these selected verses James wrote “adelphoi mou,” in two subsequent presentations in the lower case spelling. The same interpretation of “brothers” should be seen. This then brings focus to the word for “brothers” three times being immediately followed by the word “mine” or “my.” The Greek possessive pronoun “mou” is rooted in the word “egṓ,” which translates in the first person as “I.” Because a marriage of a soul to Yahweh means one must surrender one’s “ego” or identification as “I,” the “ego” (or the “soul”) becomes possessed by Yahweh. The twin soul of Jesus becomes the replacement "ego," so each "I" is as him, as the Son of man. This is the genitive case being used, where all “Brothers” are like James, having all given their “egos” or “selves” [mou” can mean “ourselves”] to Yahweh, lowering their faces of “ego,” raising up the face of Yahweh as the face they wear to the world [that face Spiritually looks like Jesus]. This face is equally worn by men and women, whose neuter gender souls have become merged with the masculine Spirit of Yahweh and His Son. In that way, James stated they were “Brothers” by all sharing the common sacrifice of “self” [a “self” is a “soul”] to Yahweh, becoming His possessions, so all are “in His name.” [That is a statement of marriage, where the feminine takes on the name of the masculine in that union.] That name is "Jesus," which means "Yah[weh] Saves."


I have added these clarifying remarks because Christianity has been reduced to an image, an icon, or an idol of its origins, which has come because of people pretending to know some things, when they know nothing of value. Yahweh knows all about souls being incarnated in bodies of flesh that demand different sex organs, so the species can be regenerated in the material realm. Yahweh breathes souls into dead matter, allowing dead matter to be animated with a form of life, until that dead matter is no longer able to sustain a residence for a soul. Therefore, Yahweh knows there are males and females that serve Him; but Yahweh led a true Apostle to write “Brothers” for a reason that must be truthfully discerned. However, some panderers of human precepts of doctrine have felt the need to correct Yahweh.


Relative to this awareness is last Sunday’s reading from James, in his first chapter, where he wrote, “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.” Certainly, James was addressing the Jews who had persecuted Jesus to death, as the religion they had been born into was that which had become so degraded centuries earlier that Yahweh sent prophet after prophet, to both the Northern and Southern kingdoms, to tell them they had made so many changes in the meaning of Mosaic Law that they had reduced their religion to a state of worthlessness. Still, because James was writing what Yahweh instructed him to write [as His wife in marriage], the Mind of Yahweh is all-knowing and was then well aware of the degradation that would come to the religion called Christianity. Yahweh knew then what would become now (and beyond). Just like the religion of the nations headed to ruin, and their brothers and sisters who were returned Jews also headed to ruin, the road to ruin is one paved with the worthlessness of human precepts of doctrine that do little more than give Yahweh lip service. Therefore, as the path Christianity is on now is the same path of old, it is surely headed to ruin as well.


When a soul’s call is to marry Yahweh – the simplicity of Moses and the simplicity of Jesus – that call has been reduced by human ideas that reject complete commitment. It welcomes precepts that avoid using the proper name "Yahweh," preferring to call Yahweh some generic “lord.” Such generic use could just as easily be applied to Satan. Because Satan requires nothing more than a soul to say, “Okay,” rather than “I do,” a soul marrying Satan brings worthlessness. It cannot even teach its members the name of their God, who calls their souls to marry Him: Yahweh. Yahweh is not some demon called "drug addiction," or "homosexuality," or "gang murderer."


When “Brothers ourselves” gets reduced to “my brothers and sisters” [a lie, if James was not writing to biological family members], Christianity has no way of being Sons of man [in men and women as married souls of Yahweh], as Jesus reborn. When “Jesus Christ” is seen as some fictional character in heaven, sitting on a throne next to God (with “Christ” being his last name), there is no way the truth of Christianity can ever resurrect. When the Spirit of Yahweh is not seen as the most important addition to one’s soul, as His Spirit that makes one walk a path of righteousness – BE HOLY – calling it instead a “Holy Spirit,” which is like God and Son [a group of three manly mans], then that Spirit can never be one with one’s soul. Ruin is neigh.


In verse ten, James is shown [NRSV] to write, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” Sin creates the 'weakest link' that leads to infidelity. That is a statement that says, when one’s soul has submitted totally and completely to Yahweh, it is then Yahweh’s Spirit that controls the body of flesh; and, that means the Law is written on one’s heart [soul], so that body of flesh never ventures beyond the directions of Yahweh. Every example James gave of the Jews obviously being self-led sinners says they have absolutely no right to preach good and evil to anyone else. The same conditions exist today. Being a homosexual is a sin. Sinners cannot be saints, because their souls are married to Satan. Those who pander to homosexuals (because they tend to make a lot of money) are likewise sinners. The churches have become dens of sin. No leaders are filled with Yahweh’s Spirit; so, no leaders are leading others to be souls married to Yahweh and stop sinning forevermore. They cannot do that! They don't know how to teach that.

When a soul is married to Yahweh, one only eats the fruit of the Tree of Life. The knowledge of good and evil comes from the Mind of Christ; but oneself cannot eat that forbidden fruit.


This whole reading comes down to a question of “faith.” There is no “faith” without personal experience. One can believe in Yahweh all day long; but until one’s soul has been penetrated by Yahweh’s Spirit – AND MADE HOLY – one is just talking one’s opinion about what one heard another say. Belief is hearsay. Marriage with Yahweh’s Spirit is faith; and, faith does not come because one is pretty and rich, as if Yahweh wants some of what one has. Marriage, penetration, the rebirth of Yahweh’s Son is not so one can brag about how wonderful one is [“If Jesus was here today, he would agree with my opinion.”]. A soul becomes one with Yahweh [FOREVER] because one is going to be a minister (priest) for Yahweh, which means WORKS. Thus, James wrote [NRSV], “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”


The aspect of death means a soul has been born into a body of flesh, which is dead. Matter has no life in it, whatsoever, beyond the eternal life a soul brings to dead matter. What James said is a soul that is in dead matter, without the presence of Yahweh’s Spirit [and thereby His Son] is then one only spouting ideas and opinions of belief [“pisits”]. Pistis without Yahweh’s union with one’s soul is simply the breath of life in matter that will die, releasing that breath to return into more dead matter [reincarnation]. The presence of Yahweh's Spirit leads a soul’s body of flesh to acts of “faith” [“pistis”]. That means a soul alone in dead matter can have no more than "belief." So, when that dead matter falls away from that soul, then that soul gets reincarnated [or worse … eternal damnation]. Faith, on the other hand, means salvation for a soul when it is released from its dead flesh.


As the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry to Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson is clear: Stop thinking you know some things, when the only thing known of importance is the presence of Yahweh’s Spirit after divine marriage. All opinions of belief cease at that time. One enters ministry as the hand of God on the earth, which is not meant to teach right from wrong. Knowledge of good and evil is the fruit of death and banishment from heaven. The only point of ministry is to teach others to give their souls to Yahweh and then let Yahweh lead their lives righteously.