All people in rebellion have the same patterns of behavior and lies. They all have an underlying deficit in character development and cannot submit to God’s governmental authorities on earth and thus they will never see heaven without repentance and/or grace. They attack the innocent leaders the same ways that Satan, Cain, King Saul, Miriam, Aaron, Korah, Absolam, Judas, and all others have attacked through gossip, lies and slander in the past and continue to do to this very moment.
The enemies of Christ (some Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees) came to Jesus as friends and admirers but were actually trying to entrap Jesus with their trickery born out of their vanity, jealousy, bitterness and hatred. They called Jesus, mad and demon possessed. They classified him as a false prophet; a rebel rouser and sick rabbi. They gossiped and slandered him behind his back and spread lies about him to anyone who would listen in hopes of influencing them so they would turn away from following and supporting Jesus Christ. The same type of evil reports are still being spread today about Jesus. Agnostics, atheists, religious leaders, philosophers, teachers, news reporters, magazine writers and some who call themselves “Christians” are still spreading evil reports about the Lord Jesus Christ. Some call him a homosexual, or the lover of Mary and that he had fathered children. Still others call him a cult leader and they classify his disciples as fanatics, etc.
Today people (some call themselves Christian) continue to attack Christ by coming against his servants. They call them mad, mentally sick, narcissistic, controlling, manipulating, liars, demon possessed, adulterers, thieves, cult leaders, etc. They excuse their sins of gossip, back biting, tale bearing, complaining, whispering, and slandering, by saying they are just “sharing experiential knowledge” or some other type of human justification for their sins and total violation of the word of God. They try and use I Tim 5:19-20 out of context by saying that the complainers and rebels are the elders and they have confronted the accused elder already with witnesses. And they may continue to distort the Scriptures by gossiping, slandering and lying about this elder to all who will listen calling it “public rebuke.”
In reality, they have usually just confronted the leader along with other dissatisfied, carnal people and have not gotten their way. Kangaroo court is not what the Scriptures are talking about when this type of situation occurs. A violation of the spirit of reconciliation is nothing more than street justice where a gang of carnal people (“Christians”), attack an innocent victim. What Paul is instructing believers to do, when they have a disagreement over an issue with a leader, is to follow strict guidelines with true church governmental elders in that organization. This will prevent the leader from being framed or even accused without having the proper forum (persons present). This forum should include people who are objective, non-involved, mature, qualified leaders to hear the complaint.
This means the elder who is being accused is to have his official board or credentialed officials, or presbytery present to hear the accusations, etc. They are there to ensure justice, not a lynch mob by disgruntled zealots who are attacking the leader who is under criticism. In court, hearsay information is not allowed and a hostile witness is identified because both bring bias and distortion of facts into the case.
If a senior pastor or leader of a ministry is accused of something, and the matter has passed the stage instructed in Matthew 18:15 of a private one-on-one meeting, then the correct people need to be present.
It is a shame that believers each day are constantly bringing allegations against elders after listening to hostile people who are guilty of slander and refuse even to come and talk with the elder. So now after they have already spoken, other individuals are influenced who should not even be involved to take up their ungodly cause, and bring accusations when it is really none of their business. This type of utter injustice daily continues as believers fail to follow the protocol established in the Scriptures and circumvent God's due process, representing what I call “Korah and his rebels” taken from the Biblical account of Numbers chapter 16.
God is not only concerned with an elder receiving a proper hearing or trial so that he is not a victim of slander, but the Lord is also concerned with the attitude of the individual approaching the elder. “Do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father…” (1 Timothy 5:1). Wow, how different than what self righteous religious hypocrites are doing today!
Again, in court these people who have taken up the cause of this gossiping rebel would not even be allowed to testify. Yet in the church arena today, this busybody who acts as a prosecutor levels other peoples complaints against usually innocent leadership.
Let us take a good look at an example of this type of person in the scriptures and the consequences to all people, both innocent and deceived who are a victim to their murderous lies.
Please study now with me Numbers chapter 16:1-50.
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; put fire in them and put incense in them before the LORD tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the LORD chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up! Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us? Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”
Then Moses was very angry, and said to the LORD, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.” And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the LORD—you and they, as well as Aaron. Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the LORD, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.”
So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron. And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation. And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?” So the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’”
Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.
And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.”
Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to pick up the censers out of the blaze, for they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away. The censers of these men who sinned against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the LORD, therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.” So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the altar, to be a memorial to the children of Israel that no outsider, who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before the LORD, that he might not become like Korah and his companions, just as the LORD had said to him through Moses.
Complaints of the People Breed Destruction
On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.” Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces.
So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped." (NKJV)
What is critically important to understand is this insurrection started in Numbers 13:26 to chapter 14:1-10, 20-45 with the 12 leaders that were sent out to spy out the land and 10 returned with a evil report. These 10 representatives of Israel who went with Caleb and Joshua to view the enemy returned and spoke words of doubt, unbelief, opposition and direct rebellion against the vision and commission that God gave to Moses. These "evil reports" caused the entire congregation to "grumble against Moses and Aaron." (14:1)
What is so very sad here is that this is exactly how Satan interrupts and sometimes stops the vision from God to be carried out by a righteous Senior Pastor today.
There is nothing new under the sun. Lucifer has always used "wiles and devices" against God's servants to discredit them in an attempt to come against the vision of the Lord, for a church or ministry in a particular city, state or nation. Satan uses immature people to create doubt and unbelief in the Word of God, through a servant of God, just as Satan did in the garden to Adam and Eve. Now we see the ten leaders (spies) who were sent out by Moses with Caleb and Joshua returned to Israel's camp and not only came against the words of Caleb and Joshua, but spoke words of death to the destiny of God's people!
Caleb and Joshua were supporting the leadership of Moses in trying to obey the vision and commission given to Moses by God. The ten spies spoke words of defeat, discrediting Moses in front of the congregation as well as murmuring behind Moses' back to cause the entire congregation to resist supporting the vision of the Lord. Today people quit giving their tithes, offerings and gifts to a church or ministry because of listening to evil reports by doubters. People of weak character are prone to gossip and slander, and they undermine the leadership of a Senior Pastor, thus causing the vision for the church or ministry to be delayed or destroyed by the words of this type of individual.
I have found that most gossipers, whiners, backbiters, talebearers, complainers, slanderers, and whisperers are also rebels who lie. The Scriptures classify them in the category of a murderer because of the root of bitterness and unforgiveness that accompanies these sins of our tongue. They are like a woman who once loved her husband but now can say nothing but distortion and lies concerning the man she used to admire, respect and boast about. The problem is usually not that her husband has changed so very much for the worse, as people usually mature over time for the better. The real problem is this woman is not getting her way as much as she wants, thus she allows bitterness to enter her heart if her relationship with Jesus Christ is not healthy and growing.
Yes, relationships in marriages, businesses, churches and ministries all have leadership. God has placed his governmental authorities on earth in positions of leadership. Those listed already and many others like schools, colleges, universities, military and police forces, etc. Government on earth is essential for unity and victory in any area involving people. Without people in positions of governmental leadership the end result is disorganization, revolution, anarchy and destruction. Man's carnal, innate, and rebellious nature will rule and he becomes a beast. The innocent are attacked and God's desire and vision for a church, ministry or nation is derailed, and many times permanently cancelled.
The negative report from the ten spies had a domino effect. Korah later gossiped and conspired with two of his friends who were also leaders. The three of them now influenced 250 other religious leaders (Levites) of Israel who in turn led a mutiny with the congregation of Israel against Moses and his loyal leaders. The end result is approx. 14,953 people were killed by God for their rebellion against the man of God who was trying to carry out the vision of God. Not only did the selfish rebels die, who influenced the people to rise up against their God-ordained leaders, but also their wives and children perished. Yes, there are terrible consequences for allowing selfish people to talk to you about criticism, slander and lies against your supervisor, pastor, or leader of a organization, etc. Not only do the innocent suffer because of their rebellious words, but the vision of the Lord is delayed (the Hebrews wandered 40 more years in the wilderness) and sometimes it is destroyed forever (like Adam and Eve in the garden).
Selfish leaders had accused Moses of being a tyrant and the people his slaves, but God was using Moses to challenge the people to learn how to become slaves of Jehovah through obedient service in their daily sacrificial lives. This is truly the way that God develops servants of God in order to learn to become useful to the kingdom of God and to take our destiny and victory into the promise land that God has for his church.
True leadership must first learn the lessons of real servanthood and slavery that comes through daily sacrifices. I learned how to serve God with genuine agape love and anointing by sacrificially becoming a slave to another leader of God. I sacrificed my time, energy, resources (selling my retirement, investments, career, etc.) to travel and live around the world in countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Kenya. In Africa, my wife and I sacrificed and slept on the floor for six years as there were always other needs we felt more pressing than our comfort. Many people would call that out of balance and a slavery to a leader and his ambitions in Singapore or to my own vanity and pride,9 but God called it obedience and faith.
In becoming a slave to a godly leader, my wife and I learned to lay aside our life and carnal wishes so that we could develop (strengthen our spirits) to serve Jesus Christ in this life to the fullest. Churches and pastors were started and trained all throughout Africa because of our sacrifices. Many other missionaries from Singapore also followed our example and learned the joy of slavery to Jesus Christ. My grown children are all serving the Lord in ministry and I only thank the man of God in Singapore for giving me the opportunity to serve him in his obedience to the Lord. I would never think of criticizing him in any way for the sacrifices I and my family made to be his servant and get the opportunity to learn ministry.
Blessings, Jonathan Hansen
Please call my office and order the book, "Stop the Runaway Conversation - Take Control Over Gossip and Criticism," by Dr. Michael Sedler
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