Why the Book of James Has No Conclusion
By Gerald Flurry • February 3, 2023
The Apostle James thought he was living in “the last days” (James 5:3), very near “the coming of the Lord” (verse 8). He wrote this just before the a.d. 70 holocaust in Jerusalem, a terrifying time that was only a small type of this end time.
The beginning of James 5 describes a great apostasy or falling away from God. Four times in this chapter, the word behold is used, meaning “Look!” “See!” “Lo!” God is trying to get our attention!
“[B]ehold, the judge standeth before the door” (verse 9). Jesus Christ is our Judge, waiting to rush in the door and rescue us from this world of horrors. He is ready to act to save mankind. He will cut short the coming time of suffering for the sake of the very elect in His Church (Matthew 24:21-22). Otherwise, “there should no flesh be saved alive,” as verse 22 reads in the Moffatt translation. In this nuclear age, we need Christ at the door to intervene!
The return of Christ is “at the doors” (verse 33). Look, see, lo! Perceive this truth!
A Multitude of Sins
The book of James is one of three in the New Testament with no “amen” conclusion.
Think about what is on Christ’s mind at the end of James: “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide [cover] a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). There was a great falling away inside God’s own Church in this end time.
God is talking about His own Family here. He is thinking about the crucial error that the Church is making. Most of the brethren have committed a multitude of sins, meaning the “fullness of an entire mass, or the entirety taken as one unit” (Lange’s Commentary). Virtually the entire Church—95 percent—has fallen away from God! Fifty percent of these rebels will lose their eternal lives, and the other 50 percent will be martyred for God in the Great Tribulation if they don’t repent beforehand.
God is telling His loyal remnant today: I love you and have shown that I love you. Now I want you to do something for me: Declare an urgent warning message to my Church!
Where is the Church apostasy? How much do you understand about it? This is about people losing their salvation! God’s very elect know who they are. We are sad about what is happening here. The book of James ends with these sobering thoughts of God. He is concerned about His Church and His people, only 5 percent of whom remain to deliver the warning.
God isn’t willing for anyone to perish! (2 Peter 3:9). All the people who have ever lived, He doesn’t want a single one to die forever. This is the love of God—a wonderful love that we need in our own lives.
It is the responsibility of the loyal 5 percent to warn the rebellious 95 percent. Delivery of this message is critical to God, so He ended James with this important job for us. There is no “amen.”
What is God’s little flock going to do? What are we going to do? Will we show God’s love? He is building that love in all of us if we allow it, and we can show it by doing everything we can to bring the rebels back to Him. They can know how to repent by receiving our warning message!
No loving parent wishes to lose a child. God is the same.
James wrote about the importance of faith and works combined (James 2). By pairing faith with works, faith comes alive! If you are helping to deliver God’s message and finish His Work, then your faith will become living faith. It brings God alive. It brings Satan alive. It brings the Bible alive. We all need to make these things more real in our minds.
“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH” (Zechariah 3:8). We are cursed if we follow a man (Jeremiah 17:5). These fellows are looking to Joshua not Jesus Christ! They are men wondered at, or men of sign. This end-time Church rebellion led by a traitorous Joshua type is a sign that our Judge is at the door—that our Branch is about to come! Jesus Christ’s return is very near!
James 1:1 indicates the need for, as Lange’s Commentary puts it, a “reconstruction” in God’s Church: “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” The context of this passage shows that James is talking about spiritual Israel, God’s own Church, being scattered all over the place in this end time! God is concerned about this in a powerful way. This is His Family!
James was part of the reconstruction, trying to bring God’s Church back together. So are God and His very elect today. This is an important mission.
The End-Time Elijah
James was the brother of Jesus Christ. He was martyred in a.d. 62. Tradition says he was thrown off the temple and killed for delivering God’s truth. He wasn’t converted until after Jesus was crucified. Surely, he wasn’t proud of that fact. But once James finally gave himself to God, he became a powerful worker for God.
So many of God’s people were falling away, accepting a false gospel just a couple decades after Christ’s crucifixion (Galatians 1:6-7).
James and the loyal brethren delivered God’s message around the known world in the first century. This message was not delivered worldwide again until this end time, when God sent an Elijah type to fulfill the commission. One man preached the gospel around the world and restored all things! (Matthew 24:14; 17:10-11). He united families (Malachi 4:5-6). He has already come and gone.
Who was this man? He was a messenger for God, declaring the way for Christ’s Second Coming (Malachi 3:1-2). Now Christ is standing at the door, ready to act! This is the good news!
The message of the book of James didn’t conclude in the first century. It continues to this day.
Love God Back
What is life? James described it as a vapor or mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes (James 4:14). Life passes by so quickly. We must use our time to work urgently and finish our commission from God. This all leads to eternal life!
A “day of slaughter” is coming (James 5:5). God warns us so we can avoid it. We must warn others. Verse 6 says, “Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.” This could be a spiritual and physical killing. God is talking about the end-time Elijah here, and how the rebels murdered the righteous one (Anchor Bible). This man did a lot of work for God, and we must know who he is so we can be close to God and know what God is doing today.
This is crucial to our spiritual lives, yet how many people really understand what James is talking about?
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (verse 7). God has poured out His revelation through two human leaders in this end time. The early rain came from God through the Elijah type, but he died. We are in another Church era now, receiving the latter rain.
“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience” (verse 10). God’s very elect today must continue where the end-time Elijah left off, even through some difficult times. We must represent God and tell people about the Judge, Jesus Christ, standing at the door! What could be more exciting and thrilling than that?
There is so much to understand in this book.
Let’s look at verse 20 again: “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” This is what God is thinking about! He is building a Family. He loves them. Jesus Christ died for them, and His blood covered their many sins. God’s own Church has committed a multitude of sins in this end time. Thousands in His own Family are about to lose their eternal lives, and thousands more are about to suffer along with the rest of the world if they don’t wake up—and if the world doesn’t wake up either.
God has shown us His love. It is time for us to love Him back and deliver His message to the world: Jesus Christ is standing at the door, ready to give help to anyone who will accept it.Read More