But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come.
For men shall be self‑lovers, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self‑control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Yahweh; holding a form of righteousness, but having denied the power of it: from these also turn away.
(II Tim 3:1-5)
Since the terrorist strike against the United States on 9/11, much attention has been given to the control of weapons in this country. One can hardly get on an airplane or attend a special public event without becoming the subject of a personal search. The dangers presented by these heartless terrorists are real and must be taken seriously. However, there lurks a comparably sinister danger in a weapon used every day to maim, cut, destroy, and kill others, which only a change in heart will disable.
The weapon I refer to is the tongue and the malicious use of it. It is a savored weapon of politicians, criminals, disgruntled employees, as well as unrepentant antagonists that are sin-laden defectors from the faith. This weapon is well described in Proverbs.
There is a generation that curses their father, And bless not their mother.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, And yet are not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, oh how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. (Prov30:11-14)
The term “Railers” found in II Tim 3 is Greek #989 in the Strong’s Concordance and has the meaning of scurrilous, i.e. calumnious, or impious. It is a derivative of #984 in the Greek, and means by implication to injure and #5346, meaning a saying, i.e. rumor. In brief, it means to injure someone by speaking slanderous or defamatory remarks about them. The term “Character Assassination” is a more common description for this type of activity.
This past election cycle illustrated how gossip (evil speaking) and even lies about the “other” candidate were used as weapons of warfare. (See Propaganda this web site.) This was to curry favor for the opposition party. The objective was to destroy the credibility of the standing president. False words were used as a weapon against him. The basic principle was, if the “injury” were severe enough, the opposition would somehow look “better”. King David was no stranger to this covert killing.
Hear my voice, 0 Elohim, in my complaint: Preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of the workers of iniquity: Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword, And have aimed their arrows, even bitter words, That they may shoot in SECRET PLACES at the perfect: Suddenly they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil purpose; They commune of LAYING SNARES PRIVATELY; They say, Who will see them? They search out iniquities; We have accomplished, they say, a diligent search: And the inward thought and the heart of every one is deep. But Elohim will shoot at them; With an arrow suddenly shall they be wounded. (Psalm 64:1-7) Also see Psalm 57:4
In Yahweh I take refuge: How say you to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain; For, lo, the wicked bend the bow, They make ready their arrow upon the string, That they may shoot in darkness at the upright in heart; (Psalm 11:1-2)
It is cruel and cowardly to sit in anonymity and malign another. What sort of heart lies in wait to catch another in a word so they may attack? The answer is – SINFUL!
What causes one to use the tongue as a criminal to harm another with words?
Then they said, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us STRIKE HIM WITH THE TONGUE, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
Give heed to me, 0 Yahweh, and listen to the voice of them that contend with me. Shall evil be recompensed for good? For they have dug a pit for my soul. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them.
The word in the Strong’s Concordance for STRIKE is Heb #5221. nakah, naw-kaw'; a prim. root; to strike (lightly or severely, lit. or fig.):-- beat, cast forth, clap, give [wounds], X go forward, X indeed, kill, make [slaughter], murderer, punish, slaughter, slay (-er, -ing), smite (-r, -ing), strike, be stricken, (give) stripes, X surely, wound.
Notice how violence and even death are related to this word. These wicked men were willing to repay good with evil by assassinating Jeremiah, using the tongue as their weapon, because he showed them their sin for their own good!
What drives men to perpetrate such criminal acts? In a word – Hate. Allow me to quote from another article here at Truth On The Net entitled - Hatred,The Killing Emotion.
“Hate is the nuclear weapon of the mind. Its detonation can blow apart the social order and plunge nations into war and genocide. It shatters relationships, leading people who once loved each other into bitterness, violence, even murder. Blasts of hate sweep away civility and tolerance, spurring individuals to commit acts of savagery and pitting group against group in combat that can grow vicious and deadly.” by Rush W. Dozer, Jr.
No matter how much one denies it, when verbal attacks are launched against another with unsubstantiated or unwarranted (and even uncorroborated) accusations, you can be assured that hatred is in that individual’s heart! Scripture supports this fact.
Though his hatred covers itself with guile, His wickedness shall be openly showed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it; And he that rolls a stone, it shall return upon him. A lying tongue hates those whom it has WOUNDED; And a flattering mouth works ruin. Prov. 26:28
Recently I had a phone conversation with the leader of the organization we saw exhibited the fruits worthy of the white stone. Elder Jacob O. Meyer commented on the pain he has experienced over the 40 years of his ministry at the hands of those whom he befriended and sacrificed for. He could not understand how these individuals could return evil for the good he sought to do for them by teaching them the pathway to the kingdom of Yahweh. Like Jeremiah, he cried out against sin for their good. He described some of the vicious rumors and lies spoken of him and his family to lure others away from the faith and assuage their conscience. Also he mentioned he is not alone and this is not uncommon. He had recommended that I review a book describing such behavior, and how to combat it.
The book, entitled “Antagonist in the Church” by Kenneth C. Haugk describes how an antagonist shows hatred for a leader of an organization, by actively campaigning against him and impugning his character. The plan is to bring down the leadership and cause them to be unable to function. They look to subvert authority and gain control within an organization. Antagonists accomplish this by character assassination. Allow me to quote what the author says, as he defines an antagonist.
“Antagonists are individuals who, on the basis of non-substantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity.”
Antagonists are individuals well versed in the art of “covert killing” with the tongue. Common activities of the antagonist are phone calls, letter writing, and other communications designed to create discord and conflict, as well as doubt in one or more leaders. (Prov 6:16-19) They are very passionate against their current or former organizations.
If you’re searching for truth, listen carefully to the leaders of that prospective group you are looking into. If you hear what I have from most Sacred Name groups, you will quickly recognize the hatred that lies just below the smiling surface. When their tongue loosens, the bitterness and hatred will begin to flow. Read closely their web site and see if it has articles reflecting hate and bitterness. See if they use or used their tongue against others as a weapon, attacking the person rather than challenging doctrines as we do here on Truth On The Net Dot Com. Remember that our concern is for those seeking Biblical truth, not for self-aggrandizement. (See PURPOSE)
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