The"American Wisdom Series"
Pamphlet #5129 KCJames6

Many very intelligent men and women are void of wisdom, because wisdom comes from the Word of God which they reject.

James, whose name we learned is the same as Jacob in the Hebrew tongue, and who has written this timely letter of instruction and admonition to the dispersed tribes of Israel in these latter days, has gone to great lengths to explain to us in detail and by using commonly known Biblical examples that the idea many Christians have that all you need after you have been saved is to have "faith" without any works, is erroneous to say the least!

In fact, it is a "deadly" false doctrine because after a while one who has no good works shows that he really doesn't have Christ, and if you don't have Him, you're dead!

So don't listen to the ignorance of those who speak with unbridled tongues (vs. 1:26).

Do your homework and listen to the Word of God which simply and very clearly says, "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:20)

So the idea that just having "faith" without works is sufficient, should forever be erased from the mature Christian's mind, and along with doing your own homework and not listening to those who speak with unbridled, undisciplined tongues, make SURE that you aren't one of those who is doing the unbridled speaking!

In fact, this is of such enormous importance that James is going to take this next chapter in his book and teach us all about the little waggly tongue.

He will also give us some simple picturesque analogies to give us perspective and make it easy for us to be able to SEE just how powerful the devilish little thing really is.

James 3:1
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
The first point James makes is to let us know that in our eagerness to serve Him, we shouldn't be too hasty to become teachers of God's Word, which is what the word "master" really means, especially if we haven't "eaten the entire scroll" and we are therefore undisciplined in it, i.e. unskilled and unknowledgeable, which is what James means by "unbridled".


Well, surprisingly, many Christians seem to be totally unaware of the severe judgment placed on those who intentionally or even unintentionally through ignorance, mislead God's children.

Teachers who greatly err in bringing forth His Word, which is the reason for the great famine we now find ourselves amidst (Amos 8:11), will "receive the greater condemnation" all right, because our Father doesn't like His children being deceived and led astray with the traditions of men.

Each week many good hearted Christians volunteer to teach their Sunday school classes and they earnestly, though ignorantly, follow the lesson plans of their own or even perhaps some other church system and they blindly (being led by the blind themselves) teach things like "Eve ate an apple" and "Christ died on Good Friday" and "Sinners burn for eternity" and "Christ will return at any moment and Rapture His church" and "the law of God was nailed to the cross" and other such unscriptural nonsense set forth by ignorant unbridled tongues.

Our Father doesn't like it!

Go ahead and teach that works are not necessary for Christians once they are saved (yes, works have nothing to do with initial salvation) and declare that "all you need is to have faith".

But be forewarned there can be real danger if one teaches without knowledge and wisdom.

Look at this this way.

Suppose someone who is unskilled in "swordsmanship" picks up a very sharp twoedged sword and in his enthusiasm begins to wield it about uncontrollably everywhere he goes!

He or she could end up slaying many innocent bystanders.

The point is, be careful how you handle the Word of God for it is described in Rev. 1:16 as a sharp twoedged sword and Paul tells us just how powerful it is in Hebrews chapter 4.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
A spiritual sword can cut someone's "soul" so be sure to take some sword lessons and at least become qualified in the basics before you try to teach others.

Otherwise you could severely hurt both them and yourself.

[2] For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
We all stumble and fall short and mess up in many things.

However, if a person doesn't err in what he teaches then he shows a character that is mature, i.e. disciplined with a bridled tongue, and he is able to control the whole body, even the whole body of believers.

James gives us a real good example of what a little restraint can do:

James 3:3
Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
We put bits in the mouths of horses and then we can steer them in the right direction, but without the bit in the horse's mouth, the horse can become unwieldy.

So take heed, do not err (sin) with your tongue and always keep your mouth bridled.

David understood.

Psalm 39:1
To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
Think about how tiny the tongue is compared to the rest of the body and yet how powerful it is.

It can be compared to the small rudder on a big ship.

James 3:4
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
The helmsman can easily maneuver a great ship simply by controlling the little rudder, even a ship driven by fierce winds, if you know what I mean.

Well, the tongue is a little thing too, like the rudder in comparison to the great ship, and when the tongue "talks big", which is like the helmsman letting go of the wheel, it can run the ship amuck or send it on a course of collision ending in great destruction.

[5] Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
The word translated "matter" in this verse means "forest".

The point is that a great forest can be set ablaze with just a little flame and the little tongue is as dangerous as any fire because it can quickly turn your life and the lives of our members and loved ones into a living hell!

In fact, wise up, it can even send you and others there!

[6]And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
This verse reads somewhat awkward, partly because the word "so" is not in the better manuscripts.

"The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity among our members, that defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set ablaze with the fire of hell itself*.

Picture yourself standing in the midst of a vast forest and suddenly in a fit of anger you open your mouth and a nasty little spark flies off the end of your tongue and falls into a bed of dry leaves, and the next thing you know, all hell has broken loose and you are now trapped in a raging inferno, even gehenna*.

Don't be a fire breathing dragon or dragonette, learn how to bridle and tame the tongue with the Word of God.

* Gehenna, translated "hell" in verse 6, was a burning refuse site outside the city of Jerusalem and its fires of destruction were used in association with the judgment of God. It was the original site of the fires through which children were passed in the worship of Moloch.

[7]For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Man was given dominion over all four of those things mentioned in verse 7 and to this day he still dominates and brings into his subjection the creatures and wild beasts of the whole earth.
Genesis 1:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
But that tongue, oh that unruly, evil tongue!

Man can tame the wildest of beasts yet he can't tame that little waggly tongue.

James 3:8
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Yes, the tongue can be full of deadly venomous poison which can quickly spread throughout the whole body!
(If you take this literally then you better beware of French kissing.)
[9] Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Look what we do with the same tongue.

We use it to bless God and then we turn around five minutes later and use it to curse one of His children.

What a hypocritical little monster, blowing both hot and cold from the same mouth!

If you are one of the "my brethren" James refers to in the next verse, then your tongue ought not be so unruly and unbridled.

[10] Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Remember what James said about being double-spirited in chapter one?

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)."

A hypocritical Christian speaks with a forked tongue.

Consider the following simple natural examples James uses to illustrate his point:

James 3:11
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
The answer is obvious, "Of course not!"
[12]Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Here's the scoop.

Both common sense and nature itself teach that no fountain can issue forth both salt water and fresh water and no "tree" can bring forth fruit inconsistent with its type, i.e. its nature.

You see, if a man speaks with a poisoned tongue and then later speaks goodly words, the latter must be only seemingly so, words spoken in hypocrisy which contradict his type, his still unchanged character.

So you are either a sweet water fountain or a bitter one, and that depends on what spiritual stream of water feeds your mind.

And whatever kind of tree you are, i.e. whatever your true nature is, the fruit you bring forth will naturally be according to its kind.

Matthew, like James, used similar examples from nature to illustrate the same point.

"Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Mat. 7:16)."

The answer is obvious once again, "No, you cannot!"

James 3:13
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Who is a wise man endued with knowledge?

Does that mean someone who is really intelligent?

No, wisdom and intelligence are not synonymous terms.

Just look to Washington, D.C., and you will find many very intelligent men and women who are void of wisdom, because wisdom comes from the Word of God which they now reject.

It was not so in the days of our founding fathers.

So if you have that wisdom and knowledge from His Word, and you drink daily from the living water of life, then good conversation (conduct), good works, and humility will flow forth from your fountain and you will be a blessing to others.

[14] But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
But to "boast great things" (vs. 5) and to consider that you are wise, perhaps by claiming to be a teacher of His Word, and yet envying and strife flow forth from your fountain, you do bear false witness against the truth.

You are like a thistle trying to bear grapes.

It "ain't gonna happen"!

Your works and deeds do declare what kind of tree you really are.

For you see, if you harbor these things in your heart and you have a doubleminded spirit, you cannot serve God.

Who are you trying to kid?

James 3:15
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
The wisdom of the world which also pervades Churchianity through the traditions of men is not from above, from the "Father of lights" (vs. 1:17), so be ye wiser than the devilish serpent by seeking the true wisdom which comes from His Word.
[16] For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Did you know that the word "Babylon", which comes from the root word "babel", means "confusion"?

The Babylon of these end times is and will continue to be "religious confusion".

However, the straight on, pure truth from His Word allows for no confusion or envying, or strife, or division.

We as Christians are to be one body easily moved about by the will of our Governor, the Captain of our salvation, because we are bridled by the pure word of His truth.

[17]But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Do you have wisdom?

Everyone would like to think of themselves as being a wise person.

Then notice wisdom's order of priorities in verse 17.

Number one on the list is "purity", i.e. the purified truth.

Remember this chapter started out talking about being cautious in your eagerness to become a teacher.

Without the wisdom contained in the unerring knowledge of the pure truth, casting aside the traditions of men, your teaching could be as "deadly" as faith without works is "deadly".

Should that discourage someone from becoming a teacher?

Not at all, if they are truly led by the spirit and diligently seek knowledge and wisdom from His Word.

Peace then is number two on the list and it must not be sought at the expense of truth, for then it will not be a lasting peace.

However, peace and the fruits of righteousness will follow after the purification of truth which sometimes requires the application of His rod of iron.

Hebrews 12:11
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
So true wisdom from above, which verse 17 says is also gentle and easy to be intreated, i.e. makes sense and is easy to reason with, full of the mercy from the Law of Liberty, and which brings forth good fruits derived from good works, and which is without the double standard of respect of persons, and without the hypocrisy of the waggly tongue, comes from above, directly from His Word.

It is sown by the peacemakers who hold fast the purity of His Word.

James 3:18
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
The peacemakers are called "the children of God".

They are followers of the Prince of Peace.

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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