Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
The ninth commandment is an avoided topic in church for good reason. The preacher/teacher who brings this up very often, will find the pews and offering plates begin to empty quickly. This world, and the churches-are rife with it. But, the devil uses gossip and slander in every area of our lives to tear apart individuals, families, relationships, businesses, and the destruction of your eternal soul-if he can do it.
I've come to look at this commandment as Satan's "directed energy weapons". He is ruthless in how and who he uses to slander and gossip to achieve his goals. He'll use family members, friends, co-workers, people in your life that you may have thought were trusted friends, people you love and may have told them things about yourself that you thought would never be shared with anyone else-to find out you have been betrayed.
Whole communities can destroy somebody, and you'll find you've become "what's for dinner" on their menu at the local gas station, village store, and the street corner in town. People's poison can create enemies for you, that you don't even know personally-you may not even know their names, nor done anything to them personally; but the conduct, behavior and reactions make it very clear-you've been the topic of gossip sessions. When you don't want to hang out with the town troublemakers and gossips-this will add to the problem.
You may have long ago been redeemed by the love and mercy of Christ, to find those who you thought had forgiven you as well-still spreading stories and lies, that you've never done, but the poison has worked. The pain this sin inflicts to the heart and soul of a person, is just as destructive as being shot with a gun, because the one slandered lives with the ongoing consequences of the mouths who've done this. The damage done to the soul is invisible to the world, but not to God, nor the devil.
Jesus dealt with this his entire life. His mother, Mary was slandered, accused of being pregnant out of wedlock-a serious accusation in that day. Jesus was accused of being a bastard child, and Joseph-his stepfather lived with this stinging accusation during the years he raised Jesus as a young boy. When his ministry began-the Pharisee's and Sadducee's accused him numerous times by insinuation that he was a bastard, possessed by demons, and did all they could to trap him in His words and actions. His responses were powerful, direct, and brought them to silence.
Joh 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
Where is Your father? The Pharisees intended this as a deeply cutting insult to Jesus. They refer to His virgin birth, and to the rumors that it was not a miraculous conception, but an illicit one. (excerpt from David Guzik)
This is just one example of what the Lord dealt with, I encourage you to study the Gospels, and follow Jesus as he is followed, harassed, and falsely accused throughout his ministry. Many times they plotted to kill him, but weren't successful, because it wasn't his time to die yet-but eventually, they caught him. But, it was in God's timing, and after they thought they had gotten rid of this troublemaker-Lo and behold, He rose from the dead!
The way Jesus confronted his accuser's is a teaching for us-when we are treated the same way. There is a time to speak and rebuke, and there's a time to be silent, and let God take care of our enemies-with prayer, and asking for the Lord's wisdom, we are helped by the Holy Spirit to respond in the way that will help us stand in victory, no matter what the devil throws at us, or what people say about us.
Many times in the Gospels Jesus tells us that whatever they have done to Him will be done to us; we must stay close to the Lord, read and take in His word as meat for our souls, because it is the only thing that is going to keep us going, when the world turns against us.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Joh 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
Joh 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Joh 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Several excerpts from good commentaries will be put below-that do a good job of defining and exposing how Satan uses this sin to destroy many-and some posts will be added to give some insight on how to deal with it, and not allow it to destroy you-if you are someone who's going through being slandered.
There is victory in every circumstance, when we let Jesus into our lives, and seek Him for wisdom, His help, and direction on how to deal with it.
I've found through the years, the older I get, the less it matters what people think. If you know the love and companionship of the Lord, you'll become comfortable with yourself, your faults, and imperfections. God will deal with you as a Father, and correct you when you need to be-but what He desires the most, is your love and friendship. If you have that, it doesn't matter what the world or the devil thinks.
Points About Those Who Gossip and Slander
⦁ Notice this is done without the person being present who is being talked about-they can't defend themselves.
⦁ When the person being slandered isn't present-there's no interest in whether the story is completely true-this is the realm of fabrication, and inserting lies when it's convenient-to slant the story in the accuser's favor. The town troublemakers, boozers' and coffee clutch crowd like this, and thrive on it.
⦁ Take into consideration that if the person being talked about is being treated this way-most likely you will be also. In fact, many times before your completely out the door as your leaving.
When I listen to people emphasizing love while they are talking about somebody else, my mind goes to these two direct energy weapons; because those accused of "not loving" many times are simply standing up for something, or someone, or not buckling under the bullying their getting from the mob. When somebody is being talked about to me-I put a stop to it fast, by simply asking if they'd like to bring to person to me, and talk it over with them there, face to face. This usually causes people to turn and walk away, and that's fine with me.
The ninth commandment: You shall not bear false witness.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: We can break the ninth commandment through slander, talebearing, creating false impressions, by silence, by questioning the motives behind someone’s actions, or even by flattery.
i. “Slander . . . is a lie invented and spread with intent to do harm. That is the worst form of injury a person can do to another. Compared to one who does this, a gangster is a gentleman, and a murderer is kind, because he ends life in a moment with a stroke and with little pain. But the man guilty of slander ruins a reputation which may never be regained, and causes lifelong suffering.” (Redpath)
ii. “Talebearing . . . is repeating a report about a person without careful investigation. Many, many times I have known what it is to suffer with that. To repeat a story which brings discredit and dishonor to another person without making sure of the facts, is breaking this commandment . . . How many people, especially Christian people, revel in this, and delight in working havoc by telling tales about others. To excuse the action by saying they believed the report to be true, or that there was no intention to malign, is no justification.” (Redpath)
iii. What about inappropriate silence? “When someone utters a falsity about another and a third person is present who knows that statement to be untrue but, for reasons of fear or being disliked, remains quiet, that third person is as guilty of breaking this law as if he had told a lie.” (Redpath)
b. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: The New Testament puts it simply. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds (Col_3:9) “How very strange that we have ever come to think that Christian maturity is shown by the ability to speak our minds, whereas it is really expressed in controlling our tongues.” (Redpath)
i. “What a startling revelation it would be if a tape recording could be played of all that every church member has said about his fellow members in one week!” (Redpath)
ii. Satan is always there to encourage a lie (Joh_8:44; Act_5:3); and Jesus Himself was the victim of false witness (Mar_14:57); in some ways, we might say this was the sin that sent Jesus to the cross. David Guzik comm.
Thou shalt not bear false witness, etc. - Not only false oaths, to deprive a man of his life or of his right, are here prohibited, but all whispering, tale-bearing, slander, and calumny; in a word, whatever is deposed as a truth, which is false in fact, and tends to injure another in his goods, person, or character, is against the spirit and letter of this law. Suppressing the truth when known, by which a person may be defrauded of his property or his good name, or lie under injuries or disabilities which a discovery of the truth would have prevented, is also a crime against this law. He who bears a false testimony against or belies even the devil himself, comes under the curse of this law, because his testimony is false. By the term neighbor any human being is intended, whether he rank among our enemies or friends.
Adam Clarke comm.
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."-- Exo_20:16.
St. James called the tongue a world of iniquity. And against its lawlessness, which inflames the whole course of nature, each table of the law contains a warning. For it is equally ready to profane the name of God, and to rob our neighbour of his fair fame.
Jesus Christ regarded verbal professions as a very poor thing, and asked, "Why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I command you?" He aimed a parable at the hollowness of merely saying, "I go, sir." But, worthless though such phrases be, the act which substitutes professions for actual service is no trifle; and our Lord felt the importance of words, empty or sincere, so profoundly as to stake upon this one test the eternal destinies of His people: "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Now, the tongue is thus important because it is so prompt and willing a servant of the mind within. We scarcely think of it as a servant at all: our words do not seem to be more than "expressions," manifestations of what is within us.
But a thought, once expressed, is transformed and energetic as a bullet when the charge is fired; it modifies other minds, and the word which we took to be far less potent than a deed becomes the mover of the fateful deeds of many men. And thus, being at once powerful and unsuspected, it is the most treacherous and subtle of all the forces which we wield.
And the ninth commandment does not undertake to bridle it by merely forbidding us in a court of justice to wrong our fellow-man by perjury.
We transgress it whenever we conceive a strong suspicion and repeat it as a thing we know; when we allow the temptation of a biting epigram to betray us into an unkind expression not quite warranted by the facts; when we vindicate ourselves against a charge by throwing blame where it probably but not certainly ought to lie; or when we are not content to vindicate ourselves without bringing a countercharge which it would perplex us to be asked to prove; when we give way to that most shallow and meanest of all attempts at cleverness which claims credit for penetration because it can discover base motives for innocent actions, so that high-mindedness becomes pride, and charity withers up into love of patronising, and forbearance shrivels into lack of spirit. The pattern and ideal of such cleverness is the east wind, which makes all that is fair and sensitive to shut itself up, forbids the bud to expand into a blossom, and puts back the coming of the springtime and of the singing bird.
There are very gifted persons who have never found out that a kindly and winning phrase may have as much literary merit as a stinging one, and it is quite as fine a thing to be like the dew on Hermon on as to shoot out arrows, even bitter words.
It is a pity that our harsh judgments always speak more loudly and confidently than our kindly ones, but the reason is plain: angry passion prompts the former, and its voice is loud; while the calm reflection which tones down and sweetens the judgment softens also the expression of it.
It has to be remembered, also, that false witness can reach to nations, organisations, political movements as well as individuals. The habit of putting the worst construction upon the intentions of foreign powers is what feeds the mutual jealousies that ultimately blaze out in war. The habit of thinking of rival politicians as deliberately false and treasonable is what lowers the standard of the noblest of secular pursuits, until each party, not to be undone, protests too much, raises its voice to a falsetto to scream its rival down, and relaxes its standard of righteousness lest it should be outdone by the unscrupulousness of its rival.
And there is yet another neighbour, against whom false witness is woefully rife, both in the Church and in society. That neighbour is mankind at large. There is a prevalent theory of human sinfulness which unconsciously scoffs at the appeals of the gospel, striving indeed to influence me by love, gratitude, admiration for the Perfect One, and desire to be like Him, by the hope of holiness and the shame of vileness, but telling me at the same time that I have no sympathies whatever except with evil. The observation of every day shows that man’s nature is corrupt, but it also shows that he is not a fiend--that he has fallen indeed, but remembers yet in what image he was made. But the world cannot upbraid the Church for these exaggerations, since they are but the echo of its own. Excerpt from Expositor's Bible
See also: Exo_23:6-7; Lev_19:11, Lev_19:16; Deu_19:15-21; 1Sa_22:8-19; 1Ki_21:10-13; Psa_15:3, Psa_101:5-7; Pro_10:18, Pro_11:13; Mat_26:59-60; Act_6:13; Eph_4:31; 1Ti_1:10; 2Ti_3:3; Jas_4:11
Every Sin and Temptation We Face-Every Rejection and Abuse-He Endured Also
He is Our Great High Priest-Who Suffered Every Pain and Heartache We Face In Life
Satan's Directed Energy Weapons
Jas 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Jas 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
The Warfare On Our Own Tongues
We cannot control what other's do, but we can choose to control ourselves, and our own actions. I can decide to read and appropriate what God is teaching me, no matter what other's may do. It's worth the cost, to walk with God, His way. I'd rather know His abiding presence, than go back to what the world has to offer-the path of the world leads to destruction.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psa 34:12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Psa 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
1Pe 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
See also: Psa_39:1; Pro_18:21; Mat_12:35-37; Jas_1:19, Jas_1:26,
Lev_19:16; 2Sa_19:27; Psa_15:3, Psa_50:20, Psa_101:5, Psa_140:11; Pro_6:19, Pro_10:18; Pro_18:8, Pro_25:23, Pro_26:20; Jer_6:28, Jer_9:4; Rom_1:29-30; 1Ti_3:11, 1Ti_5:13; 2Ti_3:3; Tit_2:3, Tit_3:2; Jas_4:11; 1Pe_2:1; 2Pe_2:10-11; Jud_1:8-10; Rev_12:10
1Pe_2:12, 1Pe_3:16; Act_13:45, Act_18:6; 2Pe_2:12; Jud_1:10
In closing, when finding ourselves in situations of suffering and falsely accused-the verses below are a reminder to us that nothing that is done to us, is missed by God. One day, the balances will be weighed, and everyone will be rewarded according to their deeds.
Psa 28:3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
Psa 28:4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
Psa 28:5 Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Jer 25:14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and
Jesus Christ is Lord
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.