Ya`aqov, servant of 'Elohim, also of the master, Yahshua the anointed:
To those of the twelve tribes of the diaspora---Shalom!
Consider it complete blessedness when you fall into various trials, realizing that the proving of your faith develops endurance. And let your endurance have mature result, so that you will be mature and complete, lacking in no way. But if any of you are lacking wisdom, let him be asking 'Elohim who gives openly and does not criticize unjustly, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in sincerity, not inconsistency, because the inconsistent is like a wave of the sea, wind-driven and storm-tossed. Therefore, do not let the man such as this presume that he will receive anything from YHWH. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Let the humble brother rejoice in his aspiration; but the rich in his becoming humble---because like the flower of grass, he will pass away. Indeed, the sun rose high with burning heat and the grass withered, its flower fell off, and the beauty of its appearance perished---likewise, the rich man in his pursuits will fade away.
Blessed the man who holds up under trial, because having become worthy, he will receive the crown of the Life, which the master promised to those loving him. Let no one say, 'I am tempted by 'Elohim!,' because 'Elohim is not tempted by evil things, nor does he tempt anyone. But each is tempted by their own craving, being lured and entrapped. Then the lust, having conceived, gives birth to transgression; and the transgression, having become full-grown, brings death!
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Any suitable gift and any true benefit is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no changing or eclipse.
Because he wished so, he brought us into existence by the message of the truth so that we can be a type of first-fruits among his creatures.
And thus, my brothers, let every man be quick to listen, slow to take issue, slow to become angry; the anger of man does not produce the righteous purpose of 'Elohim. So, in discarding all filthiness and excessive malice, embrace in gentleness the implanted message which is able to save your lives! And become doers of the message, not just hearers, deceiving yourselves. If one is a hearer of the message, but not a practitioner, the same is comparable to a man seeing the face of his birth in a mirror---he looked at himself but immediately went away, forgetting what kind he was. But he who continuously looks into the perfect Torah of freedom and remains---not becoming a forgetful hearer, but instead a worker---the same will be blessed in his effort.
If anyone not controlling his tongue imagines to be pious, (he) deceives his heart instead---this one's piety is worthless. Pure, untainted religion in regard to 'Elohim the Father is such: seeing to the welfare of orphans and widows during their hardship, and keeping oneself unblemished from the world.
My brothers, do not hold to the belief of our master, Yahshua, the Glorious One's anointed, with one showing favoritism to persons: If a man comes into your synagogue wearing gold rings on his fingers, in a fine robe, while there also enters a poor man, in dirty clothing---(Will you) look at the one wearing the splendid robe, and say, 'You, sit here in comfort!' but to the poor man, you say, 'You, stand there, or sit beneath my footrest!' ---did you not make a difference among yourselves, becoming judges with twisted opinions?
My beloved brothers, listen to me! Has 'Elohim not chosen the Poor of the world---rich in faith and heirs of the Reign that he promises to those loving Him? But you dishonor the Poor! Do the wealthy not tyrannize you? ---and these same drag you into legal proceedings! Do they not revile the honorable name you are called by?
If you are really perfecting the Torah of the King on account of the scripture, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' you do well. But if you are showing favoritism, you practice transgression and are convicted by the Torah as transgressors. Indeed, those observing the Torah who fails at one has become guilty of the whole. Indeed, He who said, 'You must not commit adultery!' also said, 'You must not murder!' So, if you do not commit adultery, but you murder, you are a Torah-breaker! Speak and act according to this, because by a Torah of Freedom you are destined to be judged. Surely, the Judgement will be merciless to one who has not been merciful---mercy triumphs over judgement.
What is the advantage, my brothers, if one may claim to have faith, but has not works?--- Faith is not able to save such a person! If a brother or sister is without clothing and lacks food for the day, and one among you was to say to them, 'Be well! Be warm and full!' but you have not given the necessities of the body, what is the point?
And so, belief by itself, without works, is dead! Perhaps, someone will say, 'You have works, but I have faith!' ---you show me your faith without works---I will show you faith by my works!
You believe that YHWH is Alone---you do well!---even the evil spirits believe, and tremble!
But do you want to be certain, O' Empty One, that belief with works is dead? Was not 'Avraham, our forefather, made righteous through actions, taking up his son Yitshaq to a sacrifice altar? You must realize his belief worked with his actions, and through the actions his faith became fully mature. And the scripture came true, saying:
"...But 'Avraham trusted in 'Elohim and it was considered as his righteousness...."
And he was called, Friend of 'Elohim. Do you see, that a man is made righteous by actions, and not just belief?
Likewise, was not the whore, Rahav, also made righteous by actions, giving the scouts shelter and sending them out by another way? Just as the body that is without breath is dead, so also, belief without actions is dead.
You should not become many teachers, my brothers, knowing we will receive a more severe judgement. Because we all stumble in many ways---if anyone can speak without stumbling, he is a matured man and able to bridle the whole body! Observe! We put bits into the mouths of horses in order that they be made obedient to us, and we turn their entire body about! Observe! Ships also, being so massive, being driven by uncontrollable winds, are turned about by a little rudder wherever the whim of the helmsman pleases!
Likewise, the tongue is also a little part, but boasts of great things! Observe! A little fire lights a forest! Indeed, the tongue is a fire---the ornament of iniquity! The tongue is appointed among our bodily parts as that defiling the whole body---setting the wheel of creation on fire, being inflamed by Gehinnom!
Every species of wild creature, birds, reptiles, sea life, is overcome and has been dominated by the human species. But the human tongue none is able to tame!---unrestrainable evil, full of deadly poison!
With it we praise 'Elohim the Father, but with it we curse men---those who have created according to the likeness of 'Elohim! Out of the same mouth goes praising and cursing. It is not necessary, my brothers, that things be like this. Does a spring run sweet and bitter out of the same opening? My brothers, is a fig tree able to produce olives, or the vine figs? Likewise, neither can salt sweeten water.
Which among you is wise and experienced? Out of a worthy lifestyle let him show his works with unpretentious wisdom. But if you hold to bitter competition, and aggression is in your heart, do you not presume and speak falsely according to the truth? That is not the wisdom coming down from above, but rather earthly, physical, and of bad spirit. Because wherever there is competition and aggression there is confusion and every bad practice.
But the wisdom from above, principally, is truly sinless, followed by (these attributes): peaceful, gentle, easily directed, full of mercy and appropriate fruits, without favoritism, without pretending. The fruits of righteousness are planted in peace by those making peace.
From where do the disputes and fights come among you? Is it not from this?---from your desires of pleasure struggling within your bodily parts? You crave, but do not get; you murder and are zealous, but unable to conquer; you fight and quarrel; you do not have because you do not ask. You ask, but do not receive because you ask wrongfully in order to waste it in your pleasure seeking.
Adulterers! Do you not realize that friendship with worldly society is hatred toward 'Elohim? Therefore, whoever would resolve himself to be a friend with worldly society is a declared enemy of 'Elohim. Or do you think the scripture is uselessly stated? The impulse placed within us longs in jealousy. But greater is the loving-kindness he gives, as it says:
"'Elohim sets Himself in opposition to the proud,
but to the humble-minded he gives loving-kindness."
Therefore, be obedient to 'Elohim, go out to battle against the Accuser, and he will flee from you! Draw near to 'Elohim and he will draw near to you; wash your hands, transgressors; purge your hearts, double-minded ones! Suffer misery, mourn, weep out loud; let joy turn to shame. Bring yourself low in the sight of YHWH, and He will lift you up!
Brothers, do not speak badly of each other---the one speaking ill of a brother, criticizing his brother, speaks ill of the Torah, indeed, criticizes the Torah---but if you judge the Torah, you are not a adherent of the Torah, but a judge! One is the Lawgiver and the Judge, He who is able to save or destroy! Who are you to judge another?
Consider now, you, saying, 'Today or tomorrow we might go to a certain city...might stay there a year...might trade and make a profit...' (You) who knows nothing about tomorrow---what is your existence---it's vapor with a slight appearing then disappearing.
Here now O' rich! Weep out loud! Howl over the miseries coming to you! Your abundance has rotted away, your clothing has is moth-ridden. Your gold and silver are corroded, and its rust will be a testament of you, and will consume your bodies like the fire you store up for the last days! Look! The wage you held back from the workers who harvested your fields cries out! The pitiful complaints of the harvesters have come to the ears of YHWH Tseva`ot! You have lived luxuriously from the earth and you have been unrestrained, you have fattened your hearts for the Day of slaughter! You condemned! You murdered the Righteous One!--(it is) not he that opposes you!
Be patient, brothers, until the Coming of the Sovereign---beware! The Planter expects the priceless fruit of the earth, waiting patiently until he receives it after the early (autumn)and the latter (spring) rains. So you be patient, secure your hearts because the Shekinah of YHWH has come near.
Do not complain against each other, brothers, so that you will not be judged---Look! The Judge has been standing before the doors! As an example of endurance of evil and being patient, consider the Nevi'im who spoke in the Name of YHWH. Those who patiently endured we call blessed. The patience of 'Iyyov you have heard of, and the result due to YHWH you know; indeed, YHWH is full of kindness and mercy.
Concerning anything, my brothers, do not swear---not by Heaven, not by earth, or any type of oath; let your yes be yes, and your no be no---so you will not come under judgement. If ones suffers evil, let them pray; let the cheerful sing. Is there sick among you? Let the elders of the community pray for them, having applied oil in the Name of YHWH. The faithful prayer will save the sick, and YHWH will raise him (out of bed); if he has made transgressions they will be forgotten.
Admit your faults to each other, and pray for each other for healing---well-intentioned entreaty is very effective.
'Eliyahu was a man with difficulties similar to ours, and he offered up a prayer to stop rain, and it did not rain upon the land for three years and six months. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the land put forth its fruit.
My brothers, if any one of you strays from the truth, and anyone is able to turn him back, let him know, that he turning a transgressor from his straying path will rescue his life from death, and put away a great number of transgressions.
Copyright © 1997/5757; Translation © 1986,1997 Shemayah ben-Avraham