Have you ever had someone say something about you that was untrue? Have you ever felt the pain of the knife sticking out of your back when someone tells others things about you that are false? The pain of being falsely accused, slandered, gossiped about and your character maligned through people that spread twisted facts and half-baked truths is unlike no other, especially when it's done to - seemingly - forward an agenda. We've all had this happen to us at one time or another and, when it does, it can stir anger in even the most patient person.
The Bible says that if you are making an impact on the kingdom of darkness, you will be attacked for such character assassinations. These assassinations have a pinpoint purpose, especially when they come from the enemy camp. But I'll get to in a moment. The assassination squad locks onto its target like a sniper on a rooftop. But they normally don't make things up out of thin air. They are masters at disguise and experts at using some truth and mixing it with a lie so they can accomplish their agenda. They know that if it sounds too far-fetched the people might see through the veil. So they craftily build a case based on sketchy facts (which, many times, seem to line up with that person's past). Then they add their poison to the spoon full of sugar and voilà! The people swallow it hook, line, and sinker.
Many times the enemy will craft his greatest deceptions using people that seem to have good reputations and be credible witnesses. And because he knows that most people don't know what the Scriptures say about how to determine truth from fiction, he has no problem getting then to believe the accusation out of shock. They don't even require any proof that the allegation is true or think that the enemy might be trying to malign the person's character so as to discredit them to those to whom they are ministering. It's called a conspiracy.
In our Federal court system, if two or more people say something is true about another individual, it's considered fact. As crazy as it sounds, hearsay is permissible. For example, someone is caught hauling a thousand pounds of drugs across the country and the two people driving the truck get together and decide to conjure up the story that the owner of the truck was the one that gave them the drugs and told them to do it. Even though the owner of the truck only let them borrow his truck for the weekend and had no idea what they were hauling, he would be found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in a Federal prison for drug trafficking. No further evidence would be necessary for conviction other than the two young men who decided to throw the owner of the truck under the bus so they could cut a deal with the Feds and forward their agenda. (This is a true story, by the way.)
As believers and even as humans, we would say that this example is completely unfair. How on earth could someone be convicted with no other evidence than just two people accusing them of doing something they never did? It's sad, but it's true that if someone wanted to put you in prison, all they would have to do is plant some marijuana plants in your backyard and then get two people to say they saw you selling it to people. That's really all it takes. If we think that's not fair, why then do we believe accusations about others using the exact same method of "conspiracy" that we would say is crazy to use in a court system? If a pagan system can add things to a case that shouldn't be there or use methods that even the average person would say are unethical, how much more is the enemy using methods and strategies to discredit God's people from the message that He put inside them?
The Bible requires all matters to be established inside of a biblical court system where witnesses are called, the evidence is presented, there is a chance for cross-examination, etc. If there is a congregational setting in play and these steps are not exhausted with the accused getting a chance to see all the accusations and answer them so as to make sure all the information is presented, Yahweh considers it nothing but a false allegation. The accused must be given a chance to refute the evidence or repent if it is true.
The next time you hear something about someone else, if they are inside a congregation, the question should be asked, "Was the proper biblical court protocol followed?" If so, and the person is accused of not repenting and is required to leave the congregation, that means it went all the way to the elders and the person was brought before the court of the congregation for trial. In that case, there would be a transcript of the trial and all the evidence would be available to anyone who asks why they were released from the congregation. This system of government is the accountability that Yahweh put into place to keep rogue leadership from creating a coup and tampering with evidence with ill intent. Having full disclosure and providing the people with a full transcript of the trial where the accused is forced to answer the allegations prevents the people from being deceived and prevents the accused from getting "railroaded" by people that have ulterior motives.
If it is not a congregational issue, and someone just comes up to you and says, "Did you hear about what so-and-so did?," you immediately go into defense attorney mode and take the position of "innocent until PROVEN guilty." You should ask questions such as: "What is your source for that information? Did that person see it themselves first-hand? Did they go to that person to try to help them see their sin? Did they assume they are missing information and try to get all the facts before telling you about it? Have you personally heard both sides per Proverbs 18:17? Was the biblical protocol followed that is outlined in Matthew 18? What is the actual evidence that proves that this person actually did this? And lastly, if this person is guilty, how can we help him come back into proper relationship with the Father? How can we love him back into proper alignment?" If the person cannot provide you with all the proper answers, the accused must be given the benefit of the doubt and presumed innocent.
FRUIT vs. FICTION
The people of the Book always judge by the fruit of a person's life and not by the accusations that surround them. Let's take a look at Yeshua's life. His entire ministry took place under a cloud of controversy. He was regularly accused of breaking the law and was even betrayed by His closest friends. He was slandered and His character was in constant question. If a traveler passing through Jerusalem heard all the gossip about Him, they would easily conclude that He deserved death. He must be guilty because even his own religious leaders say He is. This was the enemy's plan all along: control the press and get the religious leaders to do his dirty work for him. Discredit the Messenger so that the Message will be lost.
Those who had spiritual eyes in the first century would have simply looked at the fruit of Yeshua's ministry and would have known right away that all the allegations were false. Yahweh doesn't bring that much fruit from someone that is not in alignment with the will of His Father. Those that know the biblical protocols of allegation can almost never be deceived. And deception is what the enemy is all about. The greater the threat to his little kingdom, the greater conspiracy and deception he must create to take that person down. Fruit and fact checkers always take into consideration that unless they have gone DIRECTLY to the person in question, or have a transcript from someone else that has done so, they must assume they are missing information and leave the judgment to Yah. If the fruit is good, then the tree is connected to the Root. The Spirit always endorses those He supports with constant fruit and spiritual growth, even in the face of adversity. Time is always the tell-tale sign of whether something is true or not. And that brings me to the main focus of this article.
REPUTATION OR INFLUENCE?
What was the point of the enemy attacking Yeshua so viciously through false allegations, slander, gossip, and all the bad press that surrounded Him? What was the point of the punch in the face, the spitting on him, and the harsh treatment? And why didn't He respond to all of it when He knew He was innocent and could have easily set the record straight? When we discover the enemy's real motive is to malign a person's character or destroy their reputation, we can destroy his real plan. The spit on your face, the fist marks on your cheek, and the knife in your back are all just methods to lay the trap for the larger scheme. Ladies and gentlemen, Satan doesn't care about your reputation. He cares about your INFLUENCE!
The other day, Blake and I were talking and he made that exact statement. Although you might think that I mean "influence on people," (and that's what Blake meant when he said it) that's only the end result. As soon as I heard it, the Spirit immediately illuminated to me what He really meant. The enemy doesn't care about what the people said about Yeshua or how good or how bad His reputation was. There are many preachers that have a great reputation among the people but are completely out of alignment with the Father. He's not even that concerned with your influence among the people; there are a lot of people that have a lot of influence in the earth realm.
WHAT HASATAN FEARS MORE THAN ANYTHING
What the adversary fears more than anything is a person that has influence with the Creator. When a person has a reputation with God and He's using them, that makes the enemy nervous. He gets frustrated because he has no jurisdiction over that individual and he has to do something. He has to move quickly before the influence continues to grow. But just like with Eve, there is nothing he can do if the person is following the will of God. The enemy wants to kill the person's anointing and influence but the person is not giving him any way in. So what does he do if he can't disqualify the person on his own? Listen to what I'm about to say: he works overtime to get the person to disqualify themselves!
It's real simple. HaSatan knows our hot buttons better than our spouses. He knows if he can get inside our emotional systems and trigger our anger, we will do something to disqualify ourselves. Why did he bring so many false accusations to Yeshua and Paul, forcing them to the front page of the religious press as false teachers? He did it so they'd have to react to it and STOP THE INFLUENCE AND ANOINTING! Satan doesn't care about what people think about you! That's not why he does what he does! He cares about what YAHWEH thinks about you and that's the formula he's trying to change!
In the story of Balaam and king Balak, king Balak hired the pagan prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites. But each time he opened his mouth to curse them, Yahweh only blessed them. This gives us a principle that each and every time the enemy tries to curse someone that is in God's favor, you will see nothing but more blessings as time ticks on. What did the enemy do when he realized that the people of Yahweh were in alignment and therefore protected? He devised a deception and sent pretty Midianite women into the Israelites' camp. When the men took them to be wives, they would be breaking the law of God and cursing themselves.
This is exactly what the enemy does. He blows things up in front of us, offers us this, tempts us with that, falsely accuses us with this, etc...all with the intention of getting us to REACT unbiblically in the hope that we will disqualify ourselves from a future blessing. He wants to see if we'll flinch.
IF WE FLINCH, WE ARE STILL ALIVE AND THE ENEMY WILL CONTINUE TO ATTACK. IF WE DON'T AND REFUSE TO TAKE THE BAIT, THE ENEMY SEES THAT WE ARE DEAD AND HE MUST FLEE!
Didn't this happen with Yeshua in the desert? What happened as soon as He was mikvahed by John? He had to qualify for the ministry He had been called to. He had to be tested before His ministry could go global. The enemy had no jurisdiction so he tried to lay traps to get it. He did his best to get the Messiah to disqualify Himself, but Yeshua didn't take the bait.
So the next time someone hits you in the face with something that gets you emotionally stirred up, WATCH OUT! It's likely a trap to try to get you to sin. If he can get you to sin from someone else's sin, then his trap works. His only plan is to get the people of God to disqualify themselves. He is crafty at destroying reputations and hitting people in the gut. But if we maintain a state of shalom, if we refuse to believe everything we hear, and if we judge by the fruit and look out for the deceptive traps of the enemy, we can be sure that he will stay outside our camp and won't gain access to our lives in any way, shape, or form. And when all else fails, remember that Yahweh loves you. And no matter what circumstance you are going through, He has it under control if you let Him. He has plans to prosper you and use you if you stay in alignment with Him.