by Ruth Greene
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work out the righteousness of YAHWEH. Wherefore, remove far from you all impurity, and the abundance of wickedness; and, with meekness, receive the word that is implanted in our nature, being able to save your souls.
But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, this one is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror; for he studied himself, and has gone away, and immediately he forgot how he looked.
But the one looking into the perfect Law of liberty, and continuing in it, this one not having become a hearer of the word which can be forgotten, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in his labor.” – James 1:19-25, HRB
At times, I can see myself in a pattern that is not favorable with my Heavenly Father and I want to break this foothold. My mouth often opens before the Word of YHWH fully engages me. I am not alone in the world. The flesh is full of the fruit of tongue. The ugliness of the world bears that fruit through the unholy attitudes and actions of mankind. Disciples of the Messiah are to ‘lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness’ even though the nature of the old man seeks to prevail. (Colossians 3:1, 10; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
When you or I talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs…and how many of us actually feel this way? This pride is the plague of mankind! The advice of James is that each disciple needs to effectively reverse this process as they walk in divine trust before YHWH. Wisdom considers that each disciple must watch how much the mouth is in gear: how you talk versus how much you listen. (Proverbs 11:2, 16:5, 29:23)
How many times do you rise up because your sense of self seems to be under attack in some way. ‘I am hurt,’ you say, as you rare up and respond heartily! Your past life experience barks over what you know as truth. You aren’t being heard and you want the floor. You want the admiration of millions… or at least control and devotion of the people in the room, even if it is simply the one you say you love. Your excuse may be that you are being treated unjustly in some way. You must win the debate! You must have the floor! The flesh barks out as it craves the dominance it desires. Certainly you know what I am talking about. You have experienced this too. (“Hindered Prayer in Marriage“; “Anger: When Your Temper Flares“; “Real Love“; “Is Your Love For Others Cold?“)
While injustice may make you feel righteous anger bubble inside, you and I need to learn to take positive action that righteously overcomes instead of fighting with the devil on his level. Selfish anger has little value for the short term. In the long term, selfish anger erodes and destroys, a foothold that builds into a stronghold of Satan. The world is full of such things, and as a disciple of the Messiah, you and I are not to be part of the world and its plagues. A disciple is to set apart to the purpose of Elohim’s Kingdom. (John 17:11, 16; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; James 1:21; Romans 12:1-2; “The Truth About Anger“; “Breakthrough Prayer: Anger-Rage“)
When the flesh is humbled by an obedient heart, you and I accept the salvation of the Master as He delivered it. The word remains firmly planted in your heart. YHWH’s Word alone saves through the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] the Master. When your mouth is closed, your ears are more likely to be open so that what enters them is exercised through the Word of YHWH. The result of this continual action will be spiritual maturity as long as YHWH’s Word is applied. Your Bible study and accumulation of knowledge must result in a change of behavior and attitudes as your mind and heart are cleansed as a new man in Yahshua [Jesus] the Master. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:6-8; Galatians 3:28; “The Meaning of Humility“; “Humility: Do You Need It?“)
Genuine trust results in freedom instead of bondage. It points out the folly of sin and gives you and I the opportunity to operate in true forgiveness and grace. (Romans 7:7-8) The Messiah came to free us from the control of sin, but how many of us continue to operate in sin? I dare say, all of us continue in sin because we don’t yet have the completion of the Savior that He brought to us. Instead of being free to do exactly as you please, your trust sets your apart to YHWH through genuine trust and love (not rules of religion). Your knowledge and the touch of Messiah allow you to obey YHWH instead of man. That is the beginning of freedom that Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah talks about, the stuff that you may often hear about in church, but the truth that few elaborate on so that you can understand that truth. (James 3:17; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“; “The False Shepherd and the True Shepherd“; “Being Set Apart Makes You Aware of Sin“)
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is worthless. Clean and undefiled religion before the Elohim and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ” – James 1:26-27, ISR98
The tongue in your mouth is like the rudder of a ship. It isn’t very large, but holds great power. (James 3:3-5) Even a small spark can set a forest on fire. It happens all the time. So it is with man.
“ And the tongue is a fire, the world of unrighteousness. Among our members the tongue is set, the one defiling the entire body, and setting on fire the wheel of life, and it is set on fire by Gehenna.” – James 3:6, ISR98
The ‘course of nature’ is actually the ‘wheel of nature,’ a reference to YHWH’s track of righteousness! (James 1:23) The world of iniquity that the worldly nature of the tongue produces is gehenna, ultimately the Lake of Fire, eternal destruction and separation from YHWH, Elohim of Hosts. The wickedness of a corrupt tongue can only result in death. (Matthew 5:22; Acts 5:3; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“; “Truth About YHWH’s Wrath“; “Spiritual Growth or Spiritual Death“)
“For such are false emissaries, deceptive workers, masquerading as emissaries of Messiah. And no wonder! For Satan himself masquerades as a messenger of light! It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works!” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, ISR98
What a picture this is! None of us that truly love YHWH and His ways want to fit into the frame of a false apostle, into a creature of Satan! Instead of walking in the purity of Messiah, it is much easier to walk in the ethics and morality of the world. The world is based wholly on the acquisition of wealth, power and pleasure. These values contaminate the renewal of the new man in the Messiah. (Matthew 7:15-23, 13:41-42; 2 Peter 2:1-22)
Instead, disciples are to pray for and express true love to one another, even to the point of caring for their brothers and sisters in faith, the ‘orphans and widows in distress’ that have proved their trust in YHWH. This isn’t simply humanitarian works. A disciple is answerable to care for [agape, love] his brother and sisters in ‘faith’ first, as all reach out to witness to the world at the same time. (Matthew 4:17, 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-8; John 20:19-23) If you are a disciple of the Messiah, you are personally involved in this great outreach to the world, while guarding your heart and taming your tongue in the freedom that only the Master can give. When this is the case, the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit] moves actively in your life, as the evidence of your trust in YHWH gives birth to spreading the truth of YHWH instead of the works of man and religion. (“Freedom from Bondage“; “Are You Rejecting YHWH’s Holy Spirit?“)