Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom:

All good things come from God, and so does all wisdom. Unfortunately, Satan has been working for thousands of years doing what he does best, corrupting God’s creation and twisting wisdom. We learn in this episode the difference between heavenly wisdom and demonic wisdom. Don’t miss this one!

Podcast 48 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello and good day. I am B. R. Maul and you are listening to Living God’s Way in an Ungodly World. Thanks for joining. Today we continue in the book of James. We are on chapter 3, and we are going to be tackling verses 13 through 18. I am your host, and, well, who am I? For those of you who have not joined us before, I am a teacher of God’s word, a minister of God’s word, but most importantly, I am a child of God.

Let’s jump right in. We have much to cover in the verses that we are reading for today. In James, today, we are looking at the difference between heavenly wisdom and demonic wisdom. We do know that all wisdom comes from God. There is nothing above Him. And even the demons still have to obtain wisdom. But, demonic wisdom isn’t something that is invented, or better yet put, hasn’t been created.

It’s nothing that God himself has no clue of, or himself doesn’t understand. Demonic wisdom works just the way Satan himself works. He will take what is godly, and flip it, so it is ungodly. So, like everything that Satan does, It’s tampered with. He mutilates things. He has to change it up because he himself can’t create anything.

So he takes God’s wisdom and flips it upside down. And you’ll see what I’m talking about. As I’m reading these verses today, notice that demonic and worldly, those terms, go hand in hand. It may not be a surprise to you since Satan himself is the ruler of the world, currently. And he’s had these thousands of years to influence the world. And so yes, they do go hand in hand. But something to keep in mind as I’m reading. So here’s James, chapter 3. Starting in verse 13 through 18. As usual, I’ll read the whole reading for the day, and then I’ll unpack it, verse by verse. Thirteen.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 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. 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.

Here ends the reading. So Heavenly Father, guide my lips as I teach your word. Let not my own words get in the way. And I pray for all those who hear these words, open their heart. and give them understanding to know your son Jesus Christ. And in his name I pray. Amen. Let’s unpack it. James 3 verse 13. Who is wise and understanding among you? That wise and understanding. In Proverbs there’s so much about wisdom and understanding. It’s packed in there. King Solomon spent a lot of time Recording his thoughts and his experiences and thankfully through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit has shared much of that in Proverbs with us.

Now, being godly, with godly wisdom, that’s what I’m referring to, it isn’t easy. And, yes, it comes with sacrifice. Jesus never promised his disciples that once we believed in him, once we started following him, that life would be nice and easy. Not at all. In fact, It’s quite clear that we’re going to have to make sacrifices. And of course, I’m not talking animal sacrifices, right? That’s Old Testament. Nope, I’m talking sacrifices in our lives. Doing away with so much. Of the world. And that’s challenging because yes, we are born into this world, and when we are born into this world, we are of this world. Not until a person is born again, which means their spirit goes from being dead to alive, then our destination changes and we now have a heavenly home in the future. And we are heaven bound. And we are no longer of this world. To really get through that, to get beyond the wisdom of this world from Satan himself, and to be godly and start taking on the wisdom of God, yes, we will have to sacrifice. I myself tried it when I began walking with the Lord some 20 years ago now, and in my heart he put it. To read his word. My journey is in another podcast, but that was part of it. I was seeking wisdom from people, pastors, priests. I mean, anybody that I was trying to find out more about God and about myself, really, but that’s another story. But when I started doing that, and I opened up the Bible, I started reading.

Day after day was doing that, and yes, there was, it was a challenge. Why? Because I was so used to being of this world, I had already a whole schedule of things to do each and every day. My way of life. Seeking entertainment. Seeking popularity. Seeking wealth. I already had a whole gamut of things to prioritize in my life, and it did not, at that time, include reading God’s Word.

So I found out the hard way that, yes, I would have to start sacrificing things. And I say I found out the hard way because I, I tried for quite a while to do both. I wanted to walk with the Lord and obey him by reading his word, but I also wanted to keep doing everything else. Watch all my TV shows, so forth and so on, without giving up anything.

And anybody who’s been down that path, I’m sure you’re nodding your head because you get it. You can’t do it. So listen to these action words, words that point out an effort, as I read here from Proverbs. I’m in Proverbs 2.

And treasure my commands within you so that you incline your ear to wisdom. Wow, so right away we, there’s receive my words, treasure my commands, incline your ear, of course that’s to wisdom, apply your heart to understanding, there’s that understanding. Having to apply your heart. He’s saying he goes on.

Yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, once again, there’s more understanding, but you have to cry out. He’s saying you have to lift up your voice. You actually have to fight for it. Speak up and speak out. He continues. If you seek her as silver, her being wisdom and there’s that now seek yet another action, right?

This is just amazing how many things that we, we have to do. We can’t be born again and then suddenly just magically one day, poof, and we have this wisdom and understanding. He goes on and search for her, again wisdom, for hidden treasures, then, after doing that stuff right there, then you will understand, there’s that understand, the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. So there’s our wisdom and understanding that James is talking about when he asks in verse 13, Who is wise and understanding among you? So who are those who have just done what I read from Proverbs that who are you the ones who have Received God’s Word and treasured his commands Who are you that have inclined your ear to his wisdom and applied your heart to understanding?

Yes, if you cry out for discernment all this stuff right here is effort and that’s how a person becomes wise and obtains Understanding And through obtaining that wisdom and understanding can be understanding towards others. We can skip a little down, Proverbs 2. This is now 10 and 11, verses 10 and 11.

When wisdom enters your heart, there’s that wisdom. And knowledge is pleasant to your soul. Wow, this means really keeping that close. It is something that you treasure so much. It has entered your heart, not just your mind. It’s not a head knowledge. Sure, it’s memorization passages. So, yes, there’s, there’s that head smart, but at the same time, it’s loving God’s Word, holding it so close that it’s in your heart.

Then discretion will preserve you. Discretion here is someone who’s perceptive, being perceptive, having a plan, sagacious, so keen judgment, alright? Then understanding will keep you. So that wisdom and understanding. So that is how we obtain it. And there’s a lot there. I encourage you to, on your own, go to Proverbs 2 and read that several times over, verses 1 through 10.

When you do that, in your Bible, underline those verbs. Those words that point out that there’s an effort. That we can’t just sit there and magically take it in. And that’s where that effort comes in. that we’re going to have to sacrifice things because, well, let’s face it, when we obtain all this knowledge of the world, knowing movies, the names of them, who’s acted in them, when they were made, memorizing just songs that we like, uh, sport fanatics, knowing sport history, the players, big plays, big games.

Think of all that head knowledge we have obtained being in this world. And why is that? Because we have spent much time in this world. Well, to obtain God’s wisdom, we have to do the same thing. And to do that, since we are all born into this world and of this world, And so depending on how long it takes an individual to be born again and to be led in what it’s like walking with the Lord, what does that look like day to day until a person actually sees that, learns that, accepts it and adopts it as their own lifestyle?

Well, then at that point in time, when we’re reading God’s word, praying to him, meeting with brothers and sisters in the Lord and worshiping him, doing all of that. In place of so many other things, it’s amazing that wisdom and understanding that will come to you. Going on in the book of James, Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. So I wrote down here that a wise person can’t walk around telling people they’re wise and have understanding. It doesn’t work that way. In somebody who has godly wisdom and understanding, it shows you can see it in the person’s conduct. How they hold themselves, how they behave, and you know, they actually care for other people. It’s not an act. I think most people, we can sniff it out when somebody is just acting like they care about us. There’s that pretend friendliness until we’re out of earshot. Godly men and women, as they grow in their wisdom and understanding, they come to really care and love other people.

And that’s a whole other sermon right there. Just how the Holy Spirit changes us and makes us more like Christ. Verse 14, But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast. Alright, let’s take a look at that bitter envy and self-seeking. A few moments ago then, when I was talking about what Satan does, he takes what God has created because he can’t create anything. He’s no different than you or me. He cannot create anything just out of thin air. Like us, he can take what God has created. And what God allows in his creation, and make things. We have to use the components, the elements, that God has already made, he created, and in his extreme knowledge, and his creativity has made it so others can make other things.

Like the very fact that we can take a tree, and take the wood from the tree, and build homes. What Satan, though, has done is, again, he has taken the traits, which we’ll be talking about here shortly, because James mentions those. But bitter envy ness, having this bitter envy, is the complete opposite of godliness with being content with what we have.

1 Timothy 6, 6, now godliness with contentment. is great gain. Quite the opposite of having bitter envy. One is a picture of somebody who is very just content enjoying what the Lord has given them without their own expectations. Where the other, it’s the opposite. Being bitter because of their own expectations not being met by God and wanting more.

We are not to sit there and look at what other people have and want their stuff. And then look at what we have and go, man, this is horrible. And then also self-seeking. Again, quite opposite of godliness. Because we are to think less of ourself and more of others. In 14, James is saying that if you have bitter envy, and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast. Certainly shouldn’t boast about it because if these are traits that a person is struggling with, they really need to question if they are born again, they could just very well have the head knowledge of who Jesus Christ is may even appreciate who Jesus Christ is. But if they’re not born again, they could still struggle with envy and self seeking.

And then there’s that last part there. He says do not boast and lie against the truth. Wow, right back to Satan. The biggest lie against truth came from Satan himself. We can go right to Genesis 3, verse 1. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. We all know the story of the serpent, that’s Satan. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Mmm, look at that, already is up against the truth. Questioning the truth, making Eve question herself and question God. Now she responds, Verse 2, And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.

Then the serpent said to the woman, and here is that big lie, you will not surely die. He flat out lied. He knew that Adam and Eve, and all who would come after, would die spiritually. Because God didn’t say physically, obviously not. We know that Adam lived in his, up to his 900s. So verse 15, James says, this wisdom does not descend from above.

So this wisdom of bitter envy and self seeking and lies against the truth, he’s saying, does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual. demonic. We can take a look at those three things. I mean, earthly, since we live in a fallen world, one that is poisoned with sin, and is broken because of it, well that represents coming from the fallen world.

Whether a person is not born again and they are still of this world, all the more they’re going to adopt the wisdom of this world, the wisdom that Satan corrupts that is godly. Sensual, well that is a reference to our flesh. Our sensual needs is fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Wanting to look at things that are pleasing.

Touch things that are pleasing. Thinking of our belly right away, that’s a tough one, right? We are hungry and those hunger pains grow and grow. That’s still sensual, it is of our flesh. So we also have to deal then with our own flesh, and the heart is deceitful, above all things, and desperately wicked. We can get that wisdom from the world around us, and from our own heart.

And also from seeking out our sensual desires above our own spiritual desires, our heavenly desires. And then he says demonic, demons are supernatural. They’re not natural. So we have to be careful where we get our wisdom from the world, from our senses, and from the demons and Satan himself. James goes on in verse 16, for where envy and self seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Now every evil thing, that literally means every worthless work. Confusion and worthless work. Let’s take a look. Take a look at that. Beloved, is confusion abundant in the world today? Think of the confusion that encompasses those who live in and of this world. One of the biggest questions and topics is, what is my purpose? Movies, books, advertisements, selling products that of course are going to fix all of that and give you a purpose. All of this is offered from the world. But all of it is empty because none of it shows us our purpose. Unfortunately, many of us have to get out of this routine of teaching our kids because after generation after generation is taught that, well, here’s what you need to do.

Go to school and you learn. You get as good as grades as you can. Behave, be a good person, be a good student, graduate, go on to college, get an education, or get yourself a, a skill. Find yourself a really good job that pays well. Save up as much money as you can throughout your life. Try to stay as healthy as you can so you can live longer.

And then you want to retire. And enjoy what money that you have saved up and whatever health that you have left. And somewhere in that process, you’re supposed to find who you are. Unfortunately, those who stay on that path and never know Jesus Christ, never, never find their purpose in life. Because our purpose can only be identified from the very one who created us, God himself, Jesus Christ, God incarnate.

That’s it. There is no other way of identifying who we are. And to find our purpose. It saddens me that people spend their whole life and the resources that they have obtained trying to figure out this. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing? What’s my purpose of my life? What’s the purpose of life? If you’re asking those questions, beloved, turn to Jesus Christ.

Once you turn to Jesus Christ, He’ll show you. He’ll tell you.

And what about worthless works? So there’s that confusion. Confusion is everywhere. You know, what’s healthy, what’s not healthy. I can’t even keep up with that stuff. One thing is bad for me, and then another study comes out, or a few years down the road, Oh, nope, that’s not good for you. Margarine versus butter.

Artificial sweetener versus sugar. I mean, we could keep going on and on, right? All kinds of stuff out there, and it’s just confusing. It really is. But worthless works. That’s something the Lord has helped me see over time. Because how much time does Satan have people around the world wasting their time?

And, sadly, Even many Christians, those who are born again and who are heaven bound, and Satan knows once you’re born again, he can’t take your salvation from you, but he can waste your time, make you useless to God on this side of eternity, and make it so you don’t reap any blessings from your Heavenly Father until, of course, you get to eternity.

And how does he do that? Worthless works. James calls it, in verse 16, evil thing. And that is evil. Worthless works is pure evil that so many have fallen for. I wasted several decades of my life chasing money. Worthless works. I mean, think about that for a moment. We read it for those who are in God’s word regularly. I mean, it’s not a surprise. There’s much wisdom on that, that what we have, what we own, well, someday isn’t going to exist. And even if it outlasts us, ourselves, our lives are but a vapor. But someday, when God goes to cleanse this world, He’s already promised He’s not going to flood the world again, but He’s made it perfectly clear, if you read His word, That someday he is going to burn it.

Everything is going to burn. That nice new car that you just got, going to burn. Your house that you have worked so much to keep looking nice, and cozy, and comfortable, going to burn. The job that you have worked so well in, or even your business that you have built, and is expanding, and making money. Going to burn and yet we can spend our entire life doing worthless works now Let me be very clear here because I know this is one of those lines that a person can Be walking that can be a fine line because if you misunderstand me, you’re gonna think that I’m just completely against working I can’t be against working because, uh, we are made to take care of God’s creation.

He has built us in a way to work. So working isn’t bad. We do need to plow the earth, right? The sweat of our brow. We are to make food to survive. We are to help others who are struggling with that to help them survive. We are to watch out for our brothers and sisters as they watch out for us to make sure that we are surviving and of course that all takes work.

The problem is, it doesn’t stop there. The problem is suddenly work becomes a career and career becomes a person’s identity. That is the problem and that is the worthless work. When everything is set up and revolves around a person’s career, a person’s business. That’s worthless work. Why? Because if you’re born again, beloved, you are commanded to go and make disciples. We are to share the gospel. Because without the gospel, without Jesus Christ All of this means nothing. And if a person spends all that time with worthless works, and their idol isn’t Jesus Christ, their idol is their work, their idol is their possessions, they’re going to spend eternity in hell. And that is horrible.

We don’t want to show others that that is what’s so important. Work, work, work. Not caring if our loved ones or our neighbors around us are going to hell or not. We can’t live a godly life. We cannot obtain godly wisdom and understanding, as James is talking about here, by living worldly. Can’t do it.

Impossible. I tried it. I’ve talked to many others who’ve tried it. Everyone fails. It cannot be done. You can stir water and oil as long as you want, but they will not mix. So, that is with the worthless works and the plan of Satan himself, the enemy of God, that has done a pretty fine job at convincing people this is what you have to do.

So, verse 17. We shift gears again. So we’re, we’re leaving what the evil wisdom contains, this envy and self seeking, having a life full of confusion and everything evil or worthless work. To verse 17, but the wisdom that is from above now We are going to get a nice list of what’s what so he says The wisdom that is from above is first pure and I love that word pure Think of so many things that are pure, pure water, not contaminated at all, fresh, clean, cool, crisp water, nice and pure. Things that are pure are beautiful.

Things that are pure is based on God’s holiness because God is incapable of producing evil. Okay, well then why does evil exist? Well, beloved, I’m sorry I don’t have time today to get into that. In many podcasts I do talk about it. But, is it part of God’s plan? Yes. Did he produce it? No. But it’s all to do with love and giving mankind, human beings, the ability to choose whether they want to give their love to God or keep it for themselves.

Wisdom from above is first pure. It has no evil in it whatsoever. Then, he goes on and says peaceable, peace. That’s that word that’s kind of nice. We hear it at Christmastime, often sung, carols, peace on earth, goodwill towards men, people wanting to live a peaceful life, having peace in one’s heart. So we have pure, we have peaceable, gentle.

Wow, that’s certainly the opposite of self seeking and somebody who is envious. Because for those who are living a wicked life, strife comes so easily in their way of living. But gentleness is a characteristic of God. Jesus, he was so gentle, but even when he did show anger in the temple, for example, and when he did rebuke, he still had that godly gentleness about him.

Willing to yield. And I have a note here that I wrote willing to take instruction. That’s another way of putting that. Willing to yield. So wisdom from above. Somebody who is willing to learn. Willing to take instruction. Willing to be told what is right and what is wrong. Willing to learn something. Become better at it.

And knowing that we need to improve. And the next one is full of mercy and good fruits. Mercy is another way of being able to say love. Being loving towards other people. And good fruits. Now, keep in mind, good fruits, fruit is something that comes from our being, our work. Jesus has told us in the New Testament that a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.

James says wisdom that is from above is without partiality and without hypocrisy. Without partiality, there’s no discriminating against other people. And there’s having that confidence in oneself. Without partiality. Not changing one’s mind, going back and forth. So one day, this is what’s right, and then the next day, nope, that’s no longer right, now it’s wrong.

So there’s that combination of not discriminating against other people, and also not discriminating against what is right and wrong. And without hypocrisy, Do you know a hypocrite? Somebody that says one thing, but does another? That is certainly not from God. In our world today, now that there is so much hypocrisy, yes, it’s always been around, but as we get closer to the day, to the end time, hypocrisy is more and more abundant, and I find it to be the hardest trait to deal with. Because, how do you try to set somebody straight who no matter what they do is right and what you do is wrong? Even if they’re doing what you’re doing, or you’re doing what they’re doing, a hypocrite will still say that you’re wrong and they’re right. It’s crazy. It makes no sense at all. And hence is pure evil, because to be a hypocrite is to live a lie.

To be able to deny the wrongdoing of oneself, but then turn around and point to somebody else that’s doing it, and demanding that they pay for it. That is just so extreme. In America, my goodness, we are dealing with that, with those in our government, those who are picking on conservatives. One of the greatest examples in America, people who went to peacefully rally around President Trump on January 6th when he was speaking, and without getting into all the details, but later finding out that there were plants by the FBI and others causing the ruckus.

The FBI to this day, three years later, are still out arresting people, and they’re treating them like they’re terrorists. And these people were there supporting Donald Trump, and protesting the counting of the votes, which They had every single right. But the hypocrites that are in office right now, they seek the January Sixers, as they’re called, and yet have done nothing to this date to the thousands that were protesting and burning cities in Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, causing much, much damage, and nothing.

How do you deal with that? That hypocrisy. It’s pure evil. Verse 18, the last one. Now, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. And I underlined who make, because this is an effort to live a righteous life, beloved, to be an advocate for peace, to refrain from hypocrisy, all of this, it does take a lot of effort.

It does. It truly does. But the reward, oh, the reward of it. To do it, you need the Holy Spirit, you need to be born again, and you don’t have to be slave to this world once you are born again. So as we get close to the end here, I ask, what kind of wisdom are you accumulating? Are you accumulating heavenly wisdom?

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Are you reading God’s Word? Are you meditating on it? Or, are you still accumulating that demonic wisdom, and you are accumulating it by the things that you watch, the movies, the shows, the books that you read that are of this world. Even the music that we listen to, music that promotes anger, hostility, bitterness, revenge.

Everything beloved, everything that is not heavenly is of this world and demonic. So how much time are you doing that? What kind of wisdom are you taking in? If you are indeed born again and you are A brother or sister, well then, get to work. Start putting the worldly stuff to the side. Start what’s a little bit more easier.

Go to our Heavenly Father. Open up His Word. Keep reading. And start getting with other brothers and sisters. In the faith, those who are born again, those who value the same thing as Jesus, those who are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, those who are keeping their focus on God, on heavenly things, be around those people and you will continue to accumulate heavenly wisdom.

And if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Right now is a good time. If you can stop what you’re doing, then stop. If you’re driving and listening to this, just keep driving. But it’s all in your heart. It’s not what you pray. The Holy Spirit can read your heart. In fact, that is what God reads.

He makes it very clear. Proverbs 17, 3. The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold. But the Lord tests the heart. So He’ll know. He’ll read you. And if you’re done with this world, if you are done being a slave to envy ness and self seeking and self gratification and walking over other people to get where you want to be, if you’re so tired of it, beloved, then just pray this, Heavenly Father, I am done!

I am done with this world, and I give myself to you. Your Son, Jesus Christ, died for me. His blood is pure and washed away my sins, and I only need to accept it, and I do. I accept it, and I give what’s left of my life to you. I will open your word. I will open the Bible and begin to read. I will seek those who already know you and learn and grow.

And Beloved, if you prayed that You meant it in your heart. Welcome to the family. I encourage you to get a hold of me. You can email me. You can go to my website BRMAUL.com. There’s a place that you can click to get a hold of me. You can send me questions. You can send me comments. I love to interact. And from this day forward, start accumulating that heavenly wisdom.

Do away with the world. It’s hollow. It means nothing and our time here is short.

And until next time,

God bless.


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