Before the beginning of time as we know it, something happened in the heavens between God and the Angels. Lucifer was puffed up, proud, and believed that he could overthrow his Father’s Kingdom. He still does. He was the first to slander and by doing so, he was able to lead astray 1/3 of the very Angels that dwelled in Heaven. Imagine that….
Ezekiel 28:16 16Through your widespread >trade< you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
This is addressed continually, all throughout the Bible. It’s not the action or words that are the root issue. It’s the heart. Here is a commentary on the issue of standing by in the midst of slander against your neighbor:
So, who is our neighbor and what does this all mean? Jesus answered this in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10:25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Is Jesus only talking about someone who is physically beaten and laying on the side of the road? Does He not address murder in THE HEART? After all, He did say that what goes into the body is not what defiles a man, but what comes out and that you murder your brother by hating (despising and persecuting) him in your heart.
Psalm 31: 12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind. I am like a broken vessel. 13For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side. They conspire against me and plot to take my life.
Mark 7:18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Back to the commandment in Leviticus and the Good Samaritan. If you know of and hear slander (murder) going around about your brother or sister in Christ, but you did not initially spread it and actually weren’t a part of it to begin with, should you get involved? What does the Bible say?
Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: >neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour.<
In the parable of the Samaritan, a PRIEST and a LEVITE who KNEW better and were supposed to be representatives of the Most High, did not get involved. They turned a blind eye, pretended they didn’t see what they saw, and left their brother stripped, beaten, and nearly dead. They, in essence, committed murder in their hearts and almost quite literally. Had the Samaritan not come along, whom the priests and Levites considered unworthy humans, the poor man would have died.
This is the same thing that happens in the Spirit realm when we allow our brothers and sisters to be spoken ill of without evidence or proof of what’s being spread, slandered, stripped, beaten, cut out, persecuted, left hanging with unanswered questions, mocked and ganged up on (equivalent to lobbying). This is EXACTLY what Lucifer did, and it is what still goes on, even within the Church. We are instructed in Matthew 18 to go to our brother and let him know if we have any issue with him. If he is repentant then you have gained your brother. If he is not, you take witnesses and if that doesn’t work, expose him to the church. It’s not that difficult.
Matthew 18:14In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. 15 If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
But if the person does repent, questions what he or she did wrong, asks those who are in the circle of fellowship who are close to them and/or have been exposed to the gossip or slander, etc., we are to be completely transparent and honest (not withholding portions of the story, which is still lying), answer their questions and extend forgiveness. When this doesn’t happen and people are cut off and still being slandered, we bystanders ARE to get involved. (neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour) This is no different than the Samaritan, who could have left the guy, that thought him unworthy, to die. By taking a neutral, “it’s none of my business” stance, you are violating the commandments that are at the heart of the law to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Jesus was not a coward and He doesn’t “suggest” that we do the right thing. He commands it.
Deuteronomy 31:5 The LORD will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Revelation 3:15 I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16 So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
Genesis 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
So are we our brothers’ keeper? The short answer is yes. Even if it means you are going to undergo persecution for getting involved. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you are to turn away from such matters in order to save your own skin or not rock a boat. It is true that there can’t always be reconciliation, especially in matters that are too painful or where there are issues that also go against scripture that remain unresolved. But there is always room for repentance and forgiveness.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.” 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
Matthew 5:23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Lastly, if you are wondering whether or not you should or should not remain in fellowship with someone or a group that has this issue time and time again, I’ll just leave this Scripture here. Please take it to Jesus in prayer. Remaining yoked to these people will eventually drag you down and cause you to sin.
Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.