Bible4 “The wisdom which is from above”

The Epistle of James the Legate – Chapter 3

1 Let there not be many teachers among you, my brethren; but know ye, that we are obnoxious to , a severer judgment.
2 For we all offend in many things.
Whoever offendeth not in discourse, is a perfect man, who can also keep his whole body in subjection.
3 Behold, we put bridles into the mouth of horses, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Huge ships also, when strong winds drive them, are turned about by a small timber, to what place the pleasure of the pilot looketh.
5 So likewise the tongue is a small member, and it exalteth itself.
Also a little fire inflameth large forests.
6 Now the tongue is a fire, and the world of sin is like a forest.
And this tongue, which is one among our members, marreth our whole body; and it inflameth the series of our generations that roll on like a wheel; and it is itself on fire.
7 For all natures of beasts and birds and reptiles, of the sea or land, are subjugated by the nature of man.
8 But the tongue hath no one been able to tame:
it is an evil thing, not coercible, and full of deadly poison.
9 For with it, we bless the Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who were made in the image of God:
10 and from the same mouth, proceed curses and blessings.
My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Can there flow from the same fountain, sweet waters and bitter?
12 Or can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olives? or the vine, figs ?
So also salt waters cannot be made sweet.
13 Who is wise and instructed among you ?
Let him show his works in praiseworthy actions, with modest wisdom.
14 But if bitter envy be in you, or contention in your hearts, exalt not yourselves against the truth, and lie not.
15 For this wisdom cometh not down from above; but is earthly, and from the devices of the soul, and from demons.
16 For where envy and contention are, there also is confusion, and every thing wrong.
17 But the wisdom which is from above, is pure, and full of peace, and mild, and submissive, and full of compassion and of good fruits, and without partiality, and without respect of persons.
18 And the fruits of righteousness are sown in stillness, by them who make peace.

comment: by judging and preferring some, based on appearance, we are judging ourselves, and that judgment is evident by what our tongue speaks – the tongue repeats what is in the heart, as JESUS taught

commentary: this is a curious letter, as James was the brother of JESUS by Joseph’s first wife James came to trust Christ much later and there was prejudice against their step-brother; for this reason none of them wanted to adopt His mother Mary when He died.

2 Esdras 13
1 And it came to pass after seven days, I dreamed a dream by night: 2 And, lo, there arose a wind from the sea, that it moved all the waves thereof. 3 And I beheld, and, lo, that man waxed strong with the thousands of heaven: and when he turned his countenance to look, all the things trembled that were seen under him. 4 And whensoever the voice went out of his mouth, all they burned that heard his voice, like as the earth faileth when it feeleth the fire. 5 And after this I beheld, and, lo, there was gathered together a multitude of men, out of number, from the four winds of the heaven, to subdue the man that came out of the sea 6 But I beheld, and, lo, he had graved himself a great mountain, and flew up upon it. 7 But I would have seen the region or place whereout the hill was graven, and I could not. 8 And after this I beheld, and, lo, all they which were gathered together to subdue him were sore afraid, and yet durst fight. 9 And, lo, as he saw the violence of the multitude that came, he neither lifted up his hand, nor held sword, nor any instrument of war: 10 But only I saw that he sent out of his mouth as it had been a blast of fire, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he cast out sparks and tempests. 11 And they were all mixed together; the blast of fire, the flaming breath, and the great tempest; and fell with violence upon the multitude which was prepared to fight, and burned them up every one, so that upon a sudden of an innumerable multitude nothing was to be perceived, but only dust and smell of smoke: when I saw this I was afraid. 12 Afterward saw I the same man come down from the mountain, and call unto him another peaceable Multitude. 13 And there came much people unto him, whereof some were glad, some were sorry, and some of them were bound, and other some brought of them that were offered: then was I sick through great fear, and I awaked, and said, 14 Thou hast shewed thy servant these wonders from the beginning, and hast counted me worthy that thou shouldest receive my prayer: 15 Shew me now yet the interpretation of this dream. 16 For as I conceive in mine understanding, woe unto them that shall be left in those days and much more woe unto them that are not left behind! 17 For they that were not left were in heaviness. 18 Now understand I the things that are laid up in the latter days, which shall happen unto them, and to those that are left behind. 19 Therefore are they come into great perils and many necessities, like as these dreams declare. 20 Yet is it easier for him that is in danger to come into these things, than to pass away as a cloud out of the world, and not to see the things that happen in the last days. And he answered unto me, and said, 21 The interpretation of the vision shall I shew thee, and I will open unto thee the thing that thou hast required. 22 Whereas thou hast spoken of them that are left behind, this is the interpretation: 23 He that shall endure the peril in that time hath kept himself: they that be fallen into danger are such as have works, and faith toward the Almighty. 24 Know this therefore, that they which be left behind are more blessed than they that be dead. 25 This is the meaning of the vision: Whereas thou sawest a man coming up from the midst of the sea: 26 The same is he whom God the Highest hath kept a great season, which by his own self shall deliver his creature: and he shall order them that are left behind. 27 And whereas thou sawest, that out of his mouth there came as a blast of wind, and fire, and storm; 28 And that he held neither sword, nor any instrument of war, but that the rushing in of him destroyed the whole multitude that came to subdue him; this is the interpretation: 29 Behold, the days come, when the most High will begin to deliver them that are upon the earth. 30 And he shall come to the astonishment of them that dwell on the earth. 31 And one shall undertake to fight against another, one city against another, one place against another, one people against another, and one realm against another. 32 And the time shall be when these things shall come to pass, and the signs shall happen which I shewed thee before, and then shall my Son be declared, whom thou sawest as a man ascending. 33 And when all the people hear his voice, every man shall in their own land leave the battle they have one against another. 34 And an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as thou sawest them, willing to come, and to overcome him by fighting. 35 But he shall stand upon the top of the mount Sion. 36 And Sion shall come, and shall be shewed to all men, being prepared and builded, like as thou sawest the hill graven without hands. 37 And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest; 38 And shall lay before them their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labour by the law which is like unto me. 39 And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him; 40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. 41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, 42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. 43 And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. 44 For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. 45 For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. 46 Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come, 47 The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace. 48 But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders. 49 Now when he destroyeth the multitude of the nations that are gathered together, he shall defend his people that remain. 50 And then shall he shew them great wonders. 51 Then said I, O Lord that bearest rule, shew me this: Wherefore have I seen the man coming up from the midst of the sea? 52 And he said unto me, Like as thou canst neither seek out nor know the things that are in the deep of the sea: even so can no man upon earth see my Son, or those that be with him, but in the day time. 53 This is the interpretation of the dream which thou sawest, and whereby thou only art here lightened. 54 For thou hast forsaken thine own way, and applied thy diligence unto my law, and sought it. 55 Thy life hast thou ordered in wisdom, and hast called understanding thy mother. 56 And therefore have I shewed thee the treasures of the Highest: after other three days I will speak other things unto thee, and declare unto thee mighty and wondrous things. 57 Then went I forth into the field, giving praise and thanks greatly unto the most High because of his wonders which he did in time; 58 And because he governeth the same, and such things as fall in their seasons: and there I sat three days.
2 Esdras 13 KJVA

Bible4 “But if ye have respect of persons”

The Epistle of James the Legate – Chapter 2
1 My brethren, hold ye not the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, with a respect to persons.*
2 For if there come into your assembly a man with rings of gold or splendid garments, and there come in a poor man in sordid garments;
3 and ye show respect to him who is clothed in splendid garments, and say to him, Seat thyself here, conspicuously; while to the poor man, ye say, Stand thou there, or sit thou here before my footstool;
4 are ye not divided among yourselves, and become expositors of evil thoughts ?
5 Hear, my beloved brethren; hath not God chosen the poor of the world, but the rich in faith, to be heirs in the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor man.
Do not rich men exalt themselves over you, and drag you before the tribunals ?
7 Do they not revile that worthy name, which is invoked upon you ?
8 And if in this ye fulfill the law of God, as it is written,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye will do well:
9 but if ye have respect of persons,* ye commit sin; and ye are convicted by the law, as transgressors of the law.
10 For he that shall keep the whole law, and yet fail in one [precept], is obnoxious to the whole law.
11 For he who said,
Thou shalt not commit adultery,
said also,
Thou shalt not kill.
If then thou commit no adultery, but thou killest, thou hast become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so act, as persons that are to be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment without mercy shall be on him, who hath practised no mercy:
by mercy, ye will be raised above judgment.
14 What is the use, my brethren, if a man say, I have faith; and he hath no works ? can his faith vivify him?
15 Or if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you say to them,
Go in peace, warm yourselves, and be full;
and ye give them not the necessaries of the body, what is the use?
17 So also faith alone, without works, is dead.
18 For a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works; show to me thy faith that is without works; and I will show to thee, my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou dost well; the demons also believe, and tremble.
20 Wouldst thou know, O frail man, that faith without works is dead ?
21 Abraham our father, was not he justified by works, in offering his son Isaac upon the altar ?
22 Seest thou, that his faith aided his works; and that by the works his faith was rendered complete?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: Abraham believed in God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness, and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Thou seest, that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone.
25 So also Rahab, the harlot, was not she justified by works, when she entertained the spies, and sent them forth by another way ?
26 As the body without the spirit, is dead; so faith without works, is dead also.

comment: * our commitment to Him is evidenced by how we treat others … i.e. all peoples are worthy of the Gospel. it offers no gain to the individual who displays the gospel.

2 Esdras 12 KJVA

1 And it came to pass, whiles the lion spake these words unto the eagle, I saw, 2 And, behold, the head that remained and the four wings appeared no more, and the two went unto it and set themselves up to reign, and their kingdom was small, and fill of uproar. 3 And I saw, and, behold, they appeared no more, and the whole body of the eagle was burnt so that the earth was in great fear: then awaked I out of the trouble and trance of my mind, and from great fear, and said unto my spirit, 4 Lo, this hast thou done unto me, in that thou searchest out the ways of the Highest. 5 Lo, yet am I weary in my mind, and very weak in my spirit; and little strength is there in me, for the great fear wherewith I was afflicted this night. 6 Therefore will I now beseech the Highest, that he will comfort me unto the end. 7 And I said, Lord that bearest rule, if I have found grace before thy sight, and if I am justified with thee before many others, and if my prayer indeed be come up before thy face; 8 Comfort me then, and shew me thy servant the interpretation and plain difference of this fearful vision, that thou mayest perfectly comfort my soul. 9 For thou hast judged me worthy to shew me the last times. 10 And he said unto me, This is the interpretation of the vision: 11 The eagle, whom thou sawest come up from the sea, is the kingdom which was seen in the vision of thy brother Daniel. 12 But it was not expounded unto him, therefore now I declare it unto thee. 13 Behold, the days will come, that there shall rise up a kingdom upon earth, and it shall be feared above all the kingdoms that were before it. 14 In the same shall twelve kings reign, one after another: 15 Whereof the second shall begin to reign, and shall have more time than any of the twelve. 16 And this do the twelve wings signify, which thou sawest. 17 As for the voice which thou heardest speak, and that thou sawest not to go out from the heads but from the midst of the body thereof, this is the interpretation: 18 That after the time of that kingdom there shall arise great strivings, and it shall stand in peril of failing: nevertheless it shall not then fall, but shall be restored again to his beginning. 19 And whereas thou sawest the eight small under feathers sticking to her wings, this is the interpretation: 20 That in him there shall arise eight kings, whose times shall be but small, and their years swift. 21 And two of them shall perish, the middle time approaching: four shall be kept until their end begin to approach: but two shall be kept unto the end. 22 And whereas thou sawest three heads resting, this is the interpretation: 23 In his last days shall the most High raise up three kingdoms, and renew many things therein, and they shall have the dominion of the earth, 24 And of those that dwell therein, with much oppression, above all those that were before them: therefore are they called the heads of the eagle. 25 For these are they that shall accomplish his wickedness, and that shall finish his last end. 26 And whereas thou sawest that the great head appeared no more, it signifieth that one of them shall die upon his bed, and yet with pain. 27 For the two that remain shall be slain with the sword. 28 For the sword of the one shall devour the other: but at the last shall he fall through the sword himself. 29 And whereas thou sawest two feathers under the wings passing over the head that is on the right side; 30 It signifieth that these are they, whom the Highest hath kept unto their end: this is the small kingdom and full of trouble, as thou sawest. 31 And the lion, whom thou sawest rising up out of the wood, and roaring, and speaking to the eagle, and rebuking her for her unrighteousness with all the words which thou hast heard; 32 This is the anointed, which the Highest hath kept for them and for their wickedness unto the end: he shall reprove them, and shall upbraid them with their cruelty. 33 For he shall set them before him alive in judgment, and shall rebuke them, and correct them. 34 For the rest of my people shall he deliver with mercy, those that have been pressed upon my borders, and he shall make them joyful until the coming of the day of judgment, whereof I have spoken unto thee from the beginning. 35 This is the dream that thou sawest, and these are the interpretations. 36 Thou only hast been meet to know this secret of the Highest. 37 Therefore write all these things that thou hast seen in a book, and hide them: 38 And teach them to the wise of the people, whose hearts thou knowest may comprehend and keep these secrets. 39 But wait thou here thyself yet seven days more, that it may be shewed thee, whatsoever it pleaseth the Highest to declare unto thee. And with that he went his way. 40 And it came to pass, when all the people saw that the seven days were past, and I not come again into the city, they gathered them all together, from the least unto the greatest, and came unto me, and said, 41 What have we offended thee? and what evil have we done against thee, that thou forsakest us, and sittest here in this place? 42 For of all the prophets thou only art left us, as a cluster of the vintage, and as a candle in a dark place, and as a haven or ship preserved from the tempest. 43 Are not the evils which are come to us sufficient? 44 If thou shalt forsake us, how much better had it been for us, if we also had been burned in the midst of Sion? 45 For we are not better than they that died there. And they wept with a loud voice. Then answered I them, and said, 46 Be of good comfort, O Israel; and be not heavy, thou house of Jacob: 47 For the Highest hath you in remembrance, and the Mighty hath not forgotten you in temptation. 48 As for me, I have not forsaken you, neither am I departed from you: but am come into this place, to pray for the desolation of Sion, and that I might seek mercy for the low estate of your sanctuary. 49 And now go your way home every man, and after these days will I come unto you. 50 So the people went their way into the city, like as I commanded them: 51 But I remained still in the field seven days, as the angel commanded me; and did eat only in those days of the flowers of the field, and had my meat of the herbs
2 Esdras 12 KJVA

Monday Prayer “Father who art in Heaven Thy will be done”

Thus pray:

Our Father who art in the heavens! be sanctified thy Name.

Come thy kingdom.

Be done thy will, as in heaven, also in earth.

Give to us the bread of our need to-day;

and forgive us our debts, as also we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory to the age of ages.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Father who is in heaven will forgive you also.

But if you will not forgive men, your Father also forgiveth not your trespasses unto you.