and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|October 14, 2010||
Volume 9 Number 20
Do Not Speak Evil of One Another
There is someone out there who desires to speak evil of us. Satan is the fault-finder who searches for our faults so that he can continually accuse us before God:
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now has come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Messiah: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. -Revelation 12
Satan is known by many other titles, such as the "Great Dragon," that "Old Serpent," and the "Devil." Conducting his elusive operations on this earth, he is able to deceive the whole world!
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. -Revelation 12
His clever methods of delusion are difficult to detect because he is so subtle:
1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said to the woman, Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? -Genesis 3
Using his powerful tools of deception, Satan is especially effective in operating through prideful people. He uses their desire for power and wealth, which is his to give, as the means to gain control over them. In a major attempt to usurp the plan of God, he even offered Yahshua (Jesus) the kingdoms of this world. Satan said He could have them, together with their power and glory, on one condition:
7 If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours. -Luke 4
Yahshua rejected his offer, using the Word of God. Many others, however, have accepted Satanís offer and have become powerful and wealthy earthly kings. Some were deceived by the clever disguises that Satan and his demons use to gain access to unsuspecting people:
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11
He operated through the King of Babylon as a bearer of light, called "Lucifer," in order to lift himself up as God:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. -Isaiah 14
Working through the prideful prince of Tyrus, Satan claimed the title of "God:"
2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyrus, Thus says the Lord Yahweh; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God: -Ezekiel 28
We can expect Satan to enter into and control the powerful "man of sin," the "son of perdition," so that he can sit in the temple of God pretending to be God:
4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. -2 Thessalonians 2
Satan also subtly comes in among Godís people, where he spends his time looking for their faults so that he can bring them as accusations before Yahweh. We learn much about how Satan works among Yahwehís people through the example of Job:
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan came also among them.
7 And Yahweh said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And Yahweh said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and shuns evil?
9 Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 Have not you made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. -Job 1
Peter compares Satan, whom he called the Devil, with a "roaring lion" that is searching for someone to devour:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: -1 Peter 5
When Satan enters in among Godís people, he operates much like a lion as he searches for flaws, even tiny openings, whereby he can gain entry into our lives. When he finds one, he exploits it to the fullest, tempting us to sin. It was right after David had won victories over giants, that Satan found such an opening in him. He exploited Davidís pride to provoke him to sin against Yahweh:
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. -1 Chronicles 21
It was also during a prideful moment for Peter, right after it had been revealed to him that Yahshua was the Son of God, that Satan used him to rebuke Yahshua for saying that He was going to die for our sins:
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be unto you.
23 But he turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you savor not the things that are of God, but those that are of men. -Matthew 16
Satan is effective in identifying our weaknesses. Therefore, we need to protect ourselves from him by closing the openings in our hearts with the "whole armor of God:"
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. -Ephesians 6
While we may think there are no openings in our armor, such as those that have affected so many kings, our pride may still make us vulnerable to being controlled by the "wiles of the devil." If we yield to the temptation to elevate ourselves by diminishing the stature of others, then we have fallen for his schemes, perhaps even forgetting that we also must one day give an account of ourselves to God:
10 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of the Messiah.
11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. -Romans 14
The evil that is within our hearts is revealed as it proceeds from our mouths:
11 Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. -Matthew 15
We are accountable for every idle word that we speak. Yahshua says that our words will either justify us or condemn us:
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. -Matthew 12
James warns us:
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. -James 4
Knowing that life is short, James calls it a vapor, who are we to spend our time judging others? God alone is their judge. He is also ours:
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another?
13 Go to now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas you know not what shall be on the next day. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
15 For that you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live, and do this, or that. -James 4
It is evil for us to live this short life boasting because when think we have somehow increased our stature by diminishing that of another. James calls it sin:
16 But now you rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin. -James 4
Rather than spending our lives doing Satanís work by accusing and judging others, Paul reminds us what we should be doing:
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. -Philippians 4
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