Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of James Chapter 1
Metaphysically Interpreting James 1:1
1:1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting.
Metaphysically Interpreting James 1:2-8
1:2Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; 1:3Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. 1:4And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.
1:5But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 1:6But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. 1:7For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; 1:8a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways.
Metaphysically Interpreting James 1:9-11
1:9But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate: 1:10and the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 1:11For the sun ariseth with the scorching wind, and withereth the grass: and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his goings.
Metaphysically Interpreting James 1:12-18
1:12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him. 1:13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: 1:14but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 1:15Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. 1:16Be not deceived, my beloved brethren.
1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 1:18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
August 16, 1947: James 1:13-15
Is the source of temptation outside of us? No, it is within us. “Each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.”
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1935: James 1:1-17
Give the metaphysical meaning of the name James. James is the English equivalent of Jacob (the “supplanter”). Metaphysically, the name represents judgment in individual consciousness, or justice and discrimination.
Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Did He mean by this to forbid man to exercise judgment and discrimination? Jesus warned His disciples and followers against the habit of criticizing others adversely and indulging in negative judgments, not against the practice of exercising justice and spiritual judgment or discrimination. He Himself showed discrimination when He pronounced but one thing needful.
What other evidence have we that Jesus recognized the necessity for man to exercise the judgment faculty? In His statement, “For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see.” Jesus showed that spiritual judgment is a necessary part of man’s development.
What do “the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion” signify in this lesson? The twelve tribes signify the twelve faculties of man, and the fact that they were dispersed shows that the faculties of the natural man are scattered through want of discipline and understanding.
Can temptation be put to a constructive use? Explain how this is done. It affords man an opportunity to learn concentration, since he must marshal his forces each time in order to withstand the temptation.
Name one result of the overcomer’s victory over temptation. He who withstands temptation gains patience through using his faith as a bulwark against tests.
Is the advice to “let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing” reflected in the experience of other ancient peoples, besides the Children of Israel? The Spartans not only welcomed the customary trials that come to the natural man, but invented additional hardships with which to wrestle, in the belief that, in surmounting obstacles, man develops nobler character.
Why is wisdom mentioned in this lesson? Because it is essential to the exercise of good judgment, as well as to the gaining of patience. The wise man does not give way to impatience.
Does spiritual discrimination affect man's estimate of himself under divine law? Spiritual discrimination causes a man to affirm his true estate under divine law, regardless of appearances. The affirmation “Ye are gods” is understood by the metaphysician to be true of each man in the ideal sense.
What is good judgment in regard to will? Good judgment sees that “God can not be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.” Evil is not one of the realities; it is the natural man’s reaction to life.
Metaphysically Interpreting James 1:19-27
1:19Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 1:20for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 1:21Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
1:22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 1:23For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 1:24for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 1:25But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.
1:26If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain. 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Sunday, August 10, 1941: James 1:17-22
How does man show good judgment in his attitude toward Truth? By accepting the idea of God as universal principle, which is as unvarying in its application as any mathematical principle that is derived from it. “The Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.”
What is the significance of the words “shadow that is cast by turning” in this statement of principle? A shadow falls on the side of an object that is removed from the light, therefore, in order to enjoy wisdom, intelligence, and understanding, man faces the light (the Father). He constantly contemplates Divine Mind and himself as its expression.
In what do goodness and perfection have their source? In God. The law of good faithfully followed brings forth good.
In what form is the word manifested in obedience to divine will? In the perfect manifestation, ideal man, who is called the “first fruits of his creatures,” the first fruit to ripen, being the largest and finest on the tree.
What are some of the qualities of the ideal man? A sense of the fitness of things is one of the first developed. He knows when to speak and when to be silent, he is self-controlled, too well grounded in understanding to be carried away by anger, resting always in the poise of the Infinite.
Does anger materially hinder man’s spiritual development? As long as he gives way to anger, man cannot enter into the consciousness of universal life and develop towards the perfection of spiritual unity. Anger limits him to a narrow personal standard.
What is the “implanted word”? This is the word of Truth that is spoken into the ideal creation by the voice of God. Truth is therefore innate in man, and its manifestation waits only upon his recognition of its presence and his active cooperation with God in all his ways.
Why is the hearer who is not a doer self-deluded? Because man does not develop according to his passive thinking and understanding, but according to what he applies to both. To hear and understand Truth without trying to apply it practically is to shun spiritual reality and become withered fruit on the tree of life.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 1925: James 1:19-27
Who was James and to whom was The Epistle of James written? James was an apostle of Jesus. He was called “James the Just.” His epistle, which consists of spiritual and moral precepts, was written from Jerusalem to the twelve tribes.
In verse 19 we read: “But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Interpreting this spiritually, should every man listen to information from without, or should he listen to the still, small voice within? Man develops from within, and in order to express himself wisely and harmoniously, he should practice receptivity to the mind of Spirit “Be still, and know that I am God.”
What is "the implanted word" referred to in verse 21? “The implanted word” is the Logos, whose office in man is explained in the book of John. It is the word of God planted as a seed in the mind of man.
How do we become conscious of this implanted word? We become conscious of the implanted word by cleansing our thoughts of impurity and wickedness, and by making ourselves meek and obedient and receptive to the Spirit of truth.
After we have emptied our minds of material thoughts, through denial, and have affirmed the truth of our being, what follows? When we have put the law of Divine Mind into action in our consciousness, we feel an inner urge to do something for the development of our souls and for the good of our fellow man; then, to fulfill the law, we perform the outer act.
Do many people delude themselves by filling their minds with knowledge for the mere pleasure of learning? Yes. There is much running to and fro, reading books, listening to lectures, and many other ways of storing up wisdom, which is not used. People are hungering for Truth, and they often gorge their intellects with more than they can digest.
How does James picture the outworking of the law? “But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth, but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.”
When we think religiously and talk materially, what are we doing? When we think that we are religious, yet express thoughts in material terms, we are deceiving ourselves. Not a few people accept Jesus’ definition, “God is Spirit,” but their descriptions of God are material, showing that they do not have true understanding of the character of God. “God is Spirit,” and all his creations are spiritual. Man, his image and likeness, is spiritual. The manifest or Adam man is not the direct creation of God, but the formed expression of the image and likeness, that is Jehovah God. In thinking of ourselves, we should always remember that our real ego is Spirit and that personality represents a degree of evolution of this spiritual idea or word implanted in us from the beginning.
October 26, 1947: James 1:22-27
How do we become doers of the word and not hearers only? By listening to God as He directs us and carrying out His commands.
Why are we who are hearers but not doers self-deluded? We delude ourselves when we think we can grow spiritually without the necessity of putting our understanding of Truth into practice.
What is the result when we are hearers of the word but not doers? We accomplish nothing of enduring spiritual value. Whatever we accomplish without divine guidance is of no more permanence than the reflection of ourselves that we see in a mirror, which lasts only while we stand before it.
What is the result when we are doers as well as hearers? Whatever we do in following divine guidance is of enduring spiritual value. When we act in accordance with His will, God our Father blesses us abundantly.
Why is it necessary to he careful of the words that we speak? Because our words are powerful and establish the outer conditions of our life.
How do we practice Truth, “pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father”? By keeping ourselves free from indulgence in materialistic thoughts and words (“unspotted from the world”) and by expressing true humility and divine love in unselfish service to our fellow men who are seeking greater spiritual understanding of “fatherless and widows in their affliction.”
October 1, 1950: James 1:22,26-27
In what [unreadable]? In our doing. Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-31-2013