Updated: Feb 6
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
This is the Epistle selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B 2018. In the numbering system that lists each Sunday in an ordinal fashion, this Sunday is referred to as Proper 20. It will next be read aloud in an Episcopal church by a reader on Sunday September 23, 2018. It is important because James wrote of wisdom being divinely born, but also manifesting in “unspiritual” and “devilish” ways. In the change of chapters, James then wrote that the solution of selfish disputes calls for the sacrifice of the self-ego, to be replaced by the submission to God (i.e.: marriage to God).
In verse thirteen, where the translation above states, “Show by your good life that your works are done,” the literal translation shows a separate segment that states: “let him show out of the good conduct the works of him.” This means the acts of one “demonstrate” (from “deiknumi”) one’s “honorable behavior” or “noble manner of life (from “kalēs anastrophēs”). It implies people will display bad character. The difference is the source of goodness.
When the literal translation from the Greek shows “him” repeated, this is a word for presented in the third person masculine, as a singular personal pronoun. The dual references to the third person, as “him,” can be mistaken as the same person who acts “good” as being generated by “himself.” This misses the duality of two that are combined as one. As such, the implication is exposing two elements of the same one: the one exhibiting such “good life” (“him”) and Him as God within, the inspiration of those righteous acts.
When God is read into that segment, then “gentleness born of wisdom” is from a divine source. This is then contrary to the next verse, where “jealousy” (“bitter envy”) with a “bitter” spirit is the outward acts of inner distress. To have “selfish ambitions” (from “eritheian”) is James way of saying the absence of God within is due to the self-ego pushing Him away, preferring to worship one’s Big Brain. That dependency on intelligence then hardens the heart – the love center. Without the heart leading the mind, one becomes prone to “boast and lie against the truth” (“be boastful and false to the truth”).
The Big Brain is thus the god of self and generates a weaker form of “wisdom,” which “does not come down from above,” as it is not from God. This is the feminine goddess “Wisdom,” which Solomon referenced, such that the femininity is a reflection of the “earthly” (from “epigeios”).
Wisdom is ruled by elohim.
Aliens are assumed to have godlike powers of intelligence, by fools who think the Mind of God can fit into a bony box filled with gray matter.
Because it is of the earth (like science, dependent on observable data) it is “unspiritual” (from “psychikē”). That root word implies “animal, natural, and sensuous,” as anything “of the earth,” not of the spiritual heaven. This then leads to a conclusion that earthly wisdom is “devilish.” However, the word translated as that is “daimoniōdēs,” which implies an “evil spirit.” That translation requires deeper insight.
The Greek word “daimónion” comes from Ancient Greek, meaning most basically “spirit.” This “spirit” can then be said to be divine, as miraculous and extraordinary manifestations on earth. This is rooted in the Greek word “daímōn,” which can mean anything from “a god or goddess, a guardian spirit, or a departed soul.” Their importance is only found in the worldly plane.
The etymology has it rooted in “daíomai,” which means “divide.” As such, Satan is a god that has divided from God (Yahweh) and has been cast into the earth (a goddess’ realm – the feminine), where Satan became an influence for evil, attempting to steal souls that have divided from God (life breath spirit – soul). In a sense, the division is symbolic of divorce, such that Lucifer cheated on his Husband, was caught and banished. Thus, in humans, an “earthly spirit” is one led by the soul, which is more inclined to be misled by Satan’s evil influences (i.e.: loving sin), acting “devilish.”
From this insight, the translation of “devilish” means being under the influence that keeps one divided from God. It is designed to lead one away from the reunification of a soul with God. It is the influences of the world that trick one into turning away from a commitment to one, desiring to try as many delights as possible.
James then repeated the traits of an evil spirit as possessing “envy and selfish ambition,” such that following the thoughts of a brain will one’s life be scattered and ever-changing, lacking order. The Greek word written by James is “akatastasia,” where “disorder” means: “disturbance, upheaval, revolution, almost anarchy, first in the political, and thence in the moral sphere.” It implies a difficulty standing up for what is right, because everything has become unsettled, confused, and in tumult. All this comes from depending on a Big Brain to lead one properly, when the result is always to be deeper into the complexities of a sinful existence.
What have I done this time?!?!
The only escape from this madness is then God, by coming to rely on His “wisdom from above” (where “the from above” comes from “anōthen,” meaning “anew”). This implies being reborn, where the old self dies and God’s divine ego replaces the old. This new wisdom then comes from the Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ being resurrected in a human form. With this new presence comes the Christ Mind, which leads the human brain to understand all acts that are motivated by the heart first.
To say this new self “is first pure” means one has to first and foremost be cleansed of all past sins that the soul has accumulated, through lives on the earthly realm. This cleansing becomes a baptism by the Holy Spirit, when means the soul has been immersed into a state of spiritual purity. This union with God’s Holy Spirit is then the marriage of one’s soul with God. It is a cleansing brought on by love, meaning the deep desires of one’s heart; the brain have submitted to the Will of God and having no say in this subjection and submersion.
To then have James write, “then peaceable,” this is like when John the Baptist lifted Jesus from the waters of the Jordan and (as Luke wrote) “the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”’ (Luke 3:22)
The dove is symbolic of peace, and this is stated in the Greek word “eirēnikē.” That word says “peaceable,” but implies: “God’s gift of wholeness which results from knowing (discerning) the Lord’s will and obeying it.” [HELPS Word-studies] This says “peace” is the state of one’s being, after marriage to God.
The descriptive terms then written by James, translated as “gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy,” are the new way one is led to act, after being renewed by God. This is the resurrection of Jesus Christ within one’s being. One being reborn as Jesus Christ then duplicates the lifestyle of Jesus of Nazareth, effortlessly, willingly, and delightfully. It is not self-willed, but a natural way of being.
These ways, if deemed good by a Big Brain, would be impossible to maintain through self-will. God has to be in love with one’s soul, make it pure for His presence, and then the union of God and soul in a human form will reproduce the Son of God. Only Jesus Christ being reborn into one’s flesh can one achieve a righteous life, as stated by James; as James then stated this as, “A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”
The end of chapter three then means a freedom to start new thoughts of divine wisdom, prompting James to question those who are not in a divine state of peace in his fourth chapter. He asked, “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?”
It should be realized that “you” is less a focus on the collective or a group of people (Jews, to whom James ministered), and more designed to be personal, to all who would read this letter.
The Greek word “hymin” is a form of “su,” which is the second person singular personal pronoun, “you.” The use of “hymōn” twice then repeats this as “of you,” with the word “epithymeite” then pointing out the second person singular form of “to desire, covet, lust, and to set the heart upon.” It is “you” who leads oneself to sin, not anyone else.
The personal pronoun in the singular number says James is now speaking directly to “you” (the reader), asking, What are the causes of your inner disputes?” and “Why are you always at war with the call to find inner peace?”
All of the sins of the world are committed because of these inner conflicts and disputes. The most egregious sins are committed because one does not want to give up self-control and the love of intellect and the sweet nothing it seems to bring. Such selfishness, demonstrated in self-destructive acts, is why James then pointed out the obvious: “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.”
This cycle of always doing the wrong things and being self-defeating can be summed up by the idiom: “Fool me one, shame of you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Of course, for every number greater than two times fooled, the same shame still falls on “me,” the one fooled. But, then, some struggle remembering this phrase.
After skipping over several verses in this epistle reading, the answer to being fooled is then stated by James as, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” In that, the plural number of “yourselves” is explained as applicable to all individuals whose self-ego has wrought the weight of pain and suffering on the soul. The answer to all who feel the guilt of worldly sins is to “subject themselves to God.”
The same Greek word written (“Hypotagēte”) means to make a major life change (due to the word being capitalized), from selfishness to submissiveness. Such a change means the death of the ego and the marriage of one’s soul to God. This demands one take a completely submissive stance, as His wife (where human gender is meaningless).
To “resist the devil” is then a reference back to chapter three, when James wrote that earthly wisdom made one “devilish.” This is then an instruction that subjection to the Lord will mean to take a stance against the influence of worldly sins. In this, one should realize that James is not the source of this instruction, as he has surrendered his self-ego to be married to God. James, like all other Apostles, is speaking as the voice of God, Jesus Christ. As such, becoming submissive to God’s influence will make it assured that Satan will be resisted.
This means that James writing, “He will flee from you,” means “He” is the influence of the “evil demon” Satan. It is then just as Jesus commanded Satan, who tempted him, saying “Away from me, Satan!” From that command we then read, “Then the devil left [Jesus], and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:10-11)
When Jesus Christ has been resurrected in one whose soul is married to God, then the urges to do wicked deeds will vanish.
It is then vital to understand the meaning of James writing, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” The repetition of the Greek word “eggizó” (as “engisate” and “engiei”) doubles the meaning of “extreme closeness, immediate imminence” [HELPS Word-studies], as “to join.” This is a way of stating to become one with God. It means marriage to God is recommended; but because God is the Most Holy Spirit, God does not join directly with human flesh. So, God will not say “I do” on a physical altar.
God breathes the life of a soul into flesh, which is a soul spirit. That breath is the dividing of God into Him and you. The marriage that draws near to God, and vice versa, is God’s Holy Spirit becoming one with one’s soul. It is the rejoining of a soul to its source.
This is the first step to a soul rejoining God in Heaven, after the death of physical flesh. Marriage to God means eternal life in Heaven, without the filthiness and guilt of a material body imprisoning a soul divided from God, which is repetition through reincarnation.
As the Epistle selection for the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s personal ministry for the LORD should be underway – one has found wisdom from above through one’s soul being reunited with God – the message here is to stop being fooled by earthly wisdom. Confusion, doubt, guilt and all the self-defeating sins of lust, greed, adultery and murder are erased when the heart is set on fire for Yahweh.
This Epistle reading selection is presented along with other readings that are calling one’s soul to the spiritual altar. As I looked for pictures that would be symbolic of the title “Submit yourselves to God,” I came upon diagram produced by church organizations that used a series of umbrellas to show this message. The largest umbrella was either depicted to be “God” or “Jesus Christ.” Under it were two smaller umbrellas, depicting a “Husband” and a “Wife.”
The message of marriage that is assumed from reading the books of the Holy Bible is human, not Spiritual. The leaders of churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples around the world, common in all religions, see females as commanded to be subservient to their male husbands. While this human arrangement is resisted in modern Western societies, it is a reflection of the animal kingdom, which is “devilish.” Not all animals on earth (humans included) adhere to the principles of marriage being a family, where husband, wife, and children all live happily together.
Just as all animals are naturally led to procreate and raise their young in variations of the family theme, humans also have variations that can be deemed “natural,” even though they differ from the norm. This is not the point of marriage that comes from the words of Scripture. God does not demand any life form on earth to submit to His Will. God allows His breath to be divisions of Himself onto a plane where life forms were free to live according to self.
When animals express self, it is a natural program of survival. Animals do not possess Big Brains that plot evil deeds. Still, being predator and being prey is the natural order of that game of life. Humans, however, do not have the same excuse as lower animals, because God gave them a large piece of flesh that reasons, while finding pleasures sought unnaturally.
To see a human rite of reason become the lone expression of most holy matrimony, where Man gets to pretend itself as god, while the feminine half of the species has to play the role of submissive animal, this is wrong. It completely misses the point of one’s soul being rejoined with God, on a voluntary basis. Males and females are expected to choose a marriage to God, in order to be freed from the prison in which their souls have been cast – the human form. Humans are in the likeness of God because they have all been divided from God. God is the pure Spirit. Humans are the impure form.
For church organization to preach a need for good marriage values as the salvation of mankind, where a husband and wife together under God will live happily ever after is missing the most important point. The institution of human marriage is in shambles because it has been corrupted by Satan. The youth of today are turning away from traditional marriages and turning to alternative ways of co-existence and co-habitation, with children seen as an unwanted burden upon the world.
The human institution of marriage (as an official Sacrament of a Church is a relatively modern concept) is good, when it is a mutually willing commitment. It is good when it mirrors the oneness of two individual committed to God. This sacred act is not always upheld, which makes it human, divided from God. The answer is not to preach the wrongness of marriage born on the physical plane, where God gave souls a vacation from submission to only doing right. Instead, it is important to preach the reminder: This is only a vacation. Remember you are expected to go back to Heaven. Renew your vows to God soon.
What Americans would think of taking a honeymoon in France and not make sure the Passport was in order?
Who says everyone can use a camera?
The eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost is when some wisdom came down from above and some wise men chose “marriage to God” lessons for priests in the name of Jesus Christ to explain to those still under training as disciples. The heart needs to be softened and the brain needs to be lowered. God is always offering His hand in marriage; but He will only join with those who prove a desire for Him. A minister for the LORD will have accepted that proposal, so Jesus Christ can preach, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
That means marriage to God. Rather than a lustful heart and a ritzy honeymoon, marriage means the love of a child for the Father, in the purest way.