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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Sons of the Kingdom, #10
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 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. (Galatians 5:20,21)
Hatred, wrath, strife, envying, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, factions, dissension, discord, selfish ambition.
All of these are tares. The root is selfish ambition leading to envy and strife. When we see them operating we know there are tares among us.
The Wheat and the Tares
As we go through the Bible we can see clearly the type of wickedness we are speaking about, the wickedness that is personal ambition leading to envy. We will notice that such people, the destroyers of the work of God, did not hear from the Lord, did not confess their own sin, were without understanding of God and His ways, and often were proud and ambitious. Yet for some unexplained reason they strove for preeminence in the Kingdom of God.
The Lord's people often are naive, simple of heart and mind. We shall notice in the following accounts that they were unable to distinguish between who was of God and who was acting from his own spirit. Their inability to separate the precious from the vile continues to this day.
Adam and Eve. Let us think for a moment about our original statement concerning the difference between righteousness and wickedness. There is a righteousness of loving and seeking God and walking in His will. There is a wickedness of loving and seeking our own gain and walking according to our own desires.
Usually we think of wickedness as being murder, robbery, drunkenness, profanity. These are wicked actions and often reflect the influence of Satan and his demons. The wickedness which we are emphasizing in this booklet, the destroyer of the work of God, is none of these, although it may lead to murder, robbery, drunkenness, and profanity. Rather it is the wickedness of loving and seeking our own gain and walking according to our own desires. We stated that this type of wicked person is characterized by not hearing from the Lord, by being unwilling to confess his sins, by a lack of understanding of God and His ways, and by striving for preeminence.
We can see the beginning of wickedness in Adam and Eve. Satan tempted them to love and seek their own gain, to walk according to their own desires. Instead of walking with God in the garden they attempted to gain wisdom by eating of a forbidden tree.
Notice that they were unwilling to confess their sin. Adam blamed the woman. The woman blamed the serpent. Perhaps the serpent in his heart blamed God. The wicked often do!
Adam and Eve lacked understanding. They did not consider the beautiful surroundings in which the Lord had placed them. They permitted doubt concerning the obvious goodness of God to enter their mind and influence their actions.
What could Eve have done? The Lord was nearby in the garden. She could have gone to Him and asked if He had changed His mind about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, if it really would make her wise and if such wisdom would bring love, joy, and peace to her. Instead she permitted the serpent to take her crown of life and righteousness.
Now the whole creation was thrown off course. Man was trying to be his own master. The original problem, and the source of all other problems, was not murder, robbery, drunkenness, or profanity. The problem was man seeking his own gain instead of looking to the Lord.
To be continued.