Prov 18:20 “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Both death and life are spiritual forces in the Bible. Notice where they are found, in the tongue. So heaven and hell are as close as your tongue.
James tells us the tongue is the source of blessing and curse, life and death, and the only thing to activate the blessing or curse is what comes out of our mouths. He is not talking about spells and incantations, but common conversation and the content and attitude of the words. See if you can spot this in this passage.
8 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
13 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
Notice how Holy Spirit sums it up for us in the last word in verse 15, “devilish” or of demons. So here we see the warning that we are allowing demons to use our mouths, and in verse 14, we are told the source of the problem is corruption in the hearts of Christians.
So James is not talking about black hat, boiling cauldrons and spells to release demonic activity among people. but simple words spoken from a corrupt heart. And in general, the practice of releasing demons on people is called, witchcraft. It could be from cruel words that scar a child for life to sending demons to give someone cancer, or to kill them. All are the territory of witchcraft.
Witchcraft is using a source other than God to manipulate and control people and their behavior, usually in a negative manner. As described in James, it may be intentional or unintentional. But the effect is the same, the person is invoking demons to do their evil work.
It does not seem to matter if the perpetrator is aware what they are doing or not, just the works themselves are sufficient to invoke the demons. And James makes the point that the primary tool is the mouth of his audience, which is primarily Christians. So yes, James is accusing his Christian audience of working witchcraft, not directly, but by implication. But James is directly saying that his audience is releasing demons, cursing people, on a regular basis and apparently unaware of the full implications of what they are doing.
Most people will shrug off their corrupt mouth as either justified or from a bad day. James nails it to a corrupt heart that allows those thoughts to come out in corrupt words. Few will say, “I was talking for and feeling like a devil when I said that.” Or if they do, the usually do not call it sin, just a “fault of insignificance.”
I would contend that in 4000 years of assembling the Bible, and so much on this topic, then to Holy Spirit it is significant and calling it minor is simply allowing more work for the devil.
Jennifer LeClaire wrote a nice article on this here. She reviews the scripture with the assertion that many Christians are practicing witchcraft in the sense that they are using their tongues to invoke demons on people in a manner similar to that described by James.
There were several comments to her article, but I found most were trying to get off the subject of letting the devil use our tongues because we have corruption in our hearts. So here is my comment.
In the ancient world of biblical times, as in much of the current third world, no one ever believed that any thought, word or action is independent of a spiritual source. Quite the opposite, they recognized that every thought, word or action is from and in agreement with a spiritual source, and we are accountable for what source we let manifest through us.
And at the high level there are only two sources: God and the devil.
Trying to separate spiritual sources in biblical text or word meanings, as all the writers understood that everything was in contact or relationship with a spirit, is to generally miss the point. All sin, unrighteousness, is of the devil and God cannot sin and has no sin, no mixture, but we humans can be full of mixture. And mixture means thoughts, words and actions inspired by a mixture of God or the devil.
Thoughts lead to words and actions, and we will be judged for every word and action on the Day of Judgment.
Matt 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
Matt 12:36 “But I (Jesus) say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
To the ancients all thoughts, words and/or actions involved invoking a spirit being. And there was no thought, word or action that did not invoke a spiritual being. This kind of world view is very opposite of a modern western world view where you can have one of three positions – a) with God, b) with the devil, and c) neutral or “not so bad or good.” Yet this is the basis for most modern exegesis or explaining Bible passages and word meanings.
Since all thoughts, words and actions have a spiritual source and connection, whether you operate with Moloch or Baal or Mammon, you are still separated from God and therefore united to the devil. And this is on a thought by thought basis.
So you do not need a black hat, boiling pot, snakes tails, incense and weird music to cast witchcraft spells, i.e., invoke the devil to cause trouble, just a foul mouth. and a bad or arrogant attitude. And that is part of the point Jennifer is making in her article.
And yes, we wrote a book on how to get free of these bad mouth attitudes. It is called “OK, GOD, Now What” and we show how to deal with what modern science is proving, that every action that is habit or repeated, is in the subconscious mind, and the most efficient path to right thoughts, words and actions is to include subconscious mind or heart-centered approaches.
And we also show how the biblical lifestyle is one that uses many such mind renewing approaches. So science is proving what God as always said. We show the science and the scriptures, and give tools to start the process in the most efficient manner possible. And the result will be a life with far less sin, or rebellion or witchcraft, and more of Christ manifested.
Or have you noticed why telling people to stop sinning generally has little success? And even if they agree they need to stop sinning? But do it right by the way the mind works and God has always commanded, and the results are awesome.
God is no respecter of persons. His ways apply to all, all the time. If you do not see God move, the problem is not on the “God” end.
We are destroyed, walk in failure, fear and confusion, by lack of knowledge and lies, not some administrative decision by God.
God is no respecter of persons. Do the right things and you will get the right results; do anything different and you will be unhappy sooner or later. Digital Universe.
Evil works inspired and powered by the devil are no match for the Living God, but they sure tempt fleshly leaky neurons, even in those spiritually righteous.
There are no wrong answers here, only seek more of Jesus who already paid for every failure we ever made, are now making, or will make. Since He was healed of it, so are you.
It will be shameful for you to show up on the Day of Judgment and see that every hardness of heart was already healed and waiting for you to do the right labour to get that hardness of heart healing already done in Jesus.
A Bible not devoured is like bags of seed stored away. The potential of God into the Earth is there, but never a harvest is made. Jesus is the Seed. The only soil that matters is your heart.
Keep Working the Word so God can Work!
God Bless You and Yours in the Name of Jesus to be more Noble in Him (Acts 17:11-12)
Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth!
Donald C. Mann
Speaker, teacher, navigator and author of:OK, God, Now What? (OkGodNowWhat.com) Discovering Our Redemption Battle Prayer for Divine Healing-Field Manual 2