The Devil's Toolbox
The devil has a collection of well-used tools in his toolbox. He knows what works to accomplish his goals to bring every kind of wickedness into action. The verses below describe them:
The character of earthly wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:14-16
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
a. Bitter envy and self-seeking: These are the opposite of the meekness of wisdom mentioned in Jas_3:13.
b. Do not boast and lie against the truth: Anyone who shows bitter envy and self-seeking should not deceive anyone - especially themselves - about how “wise” they are. They show a wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic. Their “wisdom” is more characteristic of the world, the flesh, and the devil than of God.
c. The fruit of this “wisdom” is plain: confusion and every evil thing. The wisdom of the world, the flesh, and the devil may be able to accomplish things, but always with the ultimate fruit of confusion and every evil thing.
Where envy and strife is brewing, there is disturbances, uneasiness, disquiet, slander, gossip and contention. It can continue to escalate into intimidation, and harassment.
Mobs form from these fires being stoked, such as Moses (Exo 17:4,Num 11:11) , and David (1Sa 30:6) had to contend with at various times. It was envy and strife that drove Saul to madness chasing David for years, trying to kill him. Rebellion is an underlying factor in this taking place, along with boasting, and lying. Those who keep these contentions going-will keep the strife and stories going in a town/village, and won't stop. They will do this without the person they are attacking being present-the agenda isn't to resolve a problem, but to keep it going, and making sure only their side of it is told to the mob.
When troublemakers are gathered together, and outnumber the one being attacked-there's no end of tactics that will be used to get their own way.
Jealousy and envy are many times intertwined-and the bible tells us it is more dangerous than anything else.
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
The definition of envy is: a feeling of unhappiness over another's good fortune together with a desire to have the same good fortune: He was filled with envy on seeing her success. 2 : a person or a thing that is envied. envy. verb. envied; envying.
What are the characteristics of envy?
Signs of Envy
Jealousy means-a feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has, or has accomplished. Jealousy is also exhibited by anger, resentment, comparing people against each other, competitive in all aspects of a relationship, control. Being overly suspicious, false accusations that paint the person in a bad light to other's-for their own benefit. Probing into other's private life-without their consent, or knowledge-stalking.
The reason this sin is so evil-is it is linked to the tenth commandment-Thou shalt not covet:
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
This sums up mans turmoil of spirit-we are not secretly to desire what is someone else's, and wish they were in our possession; since it discovers uneasiness and dissatisfaction with our own lot and portion, and is coveting another man's property, or achievements. When covetousness consumes a person-it can cause obsessions to develop to the point of consistently slandering the one who is envied-destroying them in society, and murdering them with the tongue. This is one of the devils most well used tools.
Definition of strife:
1a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension political strife. b : an act of contention : fight, struggle. 2 : exertion or contention for superiority. 3 archaic : earnest endeavor.
What is an example of a strife?
Strife is defined as the act of conflict or something that is difficult to do. An example of strife is the bad relationship between a brother and sister. The act of striving or vying with another; contention or competition.
This wisdom is not real, but false, which gives rise to envy and strife is not from heaven. It is earthly, of the passions of the flesh, of the devil, not of God. Where these exist in the heart every evil work will follow.
The main goal of someone consumed with strife-is to take away your peace, any way they can do it.
Who is a wise man? Discreet and well informed? It must be shown in conversation, that is, in life, both words and deeds, meekness of wisdom. True wisdom will not speak boastfully. If there is bitterness in the heart, let there be no boasting of your goodness. That would be to lie against the truth.
What is the answer to this? Galations ch. 5 gives the direction we need to go, to overcome and avoid the devils attacks.
Keep in Step with the Spirit
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Jas_3:17-18) The character of heavenly wisdom.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
a. But the wisdom that is from above: God’s wisdom also has fruit. James here is defining exactly what he meant by the meekness of wisdom in Jas_3:13.
b. First pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy: The character of this wisdom is wonderful. It is full of love and a giving heart, consistent with the holiness of God.
c. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace: This fruit is like a seed that will bear fruit as it is sown by those who make peace. David Guzik comm.
Jesus Teaches How to Avoid Strife
Luk 14:7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
Luk 14:8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
Luk 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
Luk 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
Luk 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
See also- Luk_1:51, Luk_18:14; 1Sa_15:17; Job_22:29, Job_40:10-12; Psa_18:27, Psa_138:6; Pro_15:33, Pro_18:12, Pro_29:23; Isa_2:11, Isa_2:17, Isa_57:15; Mat_23:12; Jas_4:6; 1Pe_5:5
Pro 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
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The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: