'Accusers' - Speaking Wrongly About Others

In the New Testament there are two words which are translated by the terms 'Slanderer; Accuser'. The most common is 'Kategeros', which is put together from 'Kata' - meaning: lower; down - and 'agerio' - meaning: to assemble. In context the word means: "to be against someone in the assembly" or "to put down someone in the assembly."

The other word is 'Diabolos', which is put together from 'dia' - meaning: through - and 'ballo' - meaning: to throw, to hurl. Therefore, the word means: "To hurt or injure other people by throwing or hurling words at them." In 1 TIMOTHY 3:11 this word is translated, "Backbiters, Slanderers", and every time the New Testament refers to Satan, this exact word is used: we can see the connection easily! Originally the word "Slanderer" meant: "To put down, or to speak badly about, someone in the assembly."

Withstanding the Devil

1 PETER 5:9 teaches us that we have to "resist stedfast in the faith", and that faith comes through listening to the Word of God (ROMANS 10:17); and everyone in the assembly can listen to God's Word through their brothers and sisters. Therefore, by hearing of others' mistakes, our attention is not drawn to the victories in God's Word. Apart from recognising the victories in the Word of God, we have got to apply the same to our own lives through the Blood of Jesus Christ, and through holding on to a good witness of faith. Most people do not do this solely for the glory of God, but also because they hate to suffer a miserable life under the hand of Satan.

However, there is another aspect to the activities of Satan which cannot be recognised as easily, and avoided accordingly. This aspect has great influence in the development of the spiritual strength of an assembly, and the growth process in the whole assembly.

It concerns how a Christian speaks, and their use of criticising words or accusations (JAMES 3:5-10). This is what divides Christians, who, if they had been united in faith, would have been able to withstand much more severe spiritual attacks from the enemy. What is just as bad is that it projects a negative and destructive image of the assembly, which represents our own spiritual help and support system.

Jesus described these criticisms and accusations as "idle and wasteful words" (i.e. words which are not used for the purpose of serving the listener in love and grace), and said that people will have to give an account for every idle word that they speak on the day of Judgment! MATTHEW 12:34-37 points to the fact that such words proceed from a satanic heart, and that we are justified by the words we speak, or damned by the words we speak.



Don't be Satan's Servant

Satan's original title means "accuser". In REVELATION 12:10 he is referred to as the accuser of the brethren, and in JOB 1:9-11 he proves to be the accuser. Accusations in the assembly, whether from individuals or from the assembly itself, are the work of satan by which he can use the lips of thoughtless and unspiritual Christians. Obedience to the teachings of Jesus will avoid criticism and accusation.

He teaches us to sort out disagreements privately - "between thee and him alone"- MATTHEW 18:15.

We also have to forgive each other, if necessary 490 times (MATTHEW 18:22). We have to do this to keep Satan's accusing influences from the assembly.

Paul explains that forgiving, and strengthening and uplifting love amongst ourselves is vital for the assembly (2 CORINTHIANS 2:8-11).

Each believer in the assembly has to make sure they do not bring an accusation against God's assembly, or against an individual, and do not listen to any such accusations. If he does, he is saying what Satan wants to hear, or hearing what Satan wants to tell him; instead of speaking or listening to the words of Jesus Christ, which are uplifting, comforting, and strengthening.

1 PETER 4:11 explains, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God...", GALATIANS 3:5 shows that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the working of miracles amongst us is a result of the hearing of faith.

Translated from the German: "Verleumder: Schlechte Dinge über andere sprechen"

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