STUDY ON MURMURING N°6
This teaching is the 6th part in a series of thirteen. Please read the other 12 parts.
I want us to examine the case of incantations that can come our way from Children of God. Know that some words which by nature can divert us can also come from Children of God as well as children of satan. The difference that exists between a child of God and a child of satan is that no child of God can wilfully set a trap for you. What happened in the case of Peter? It was his overzealousness for the Lord, the excessive love he had for the Lord made him to react the way he did. Ignoring God's plan, he thought he was doing good to the Lord. As soon as he knew that the Lord was going to a place where He could be killed, he said: "Lord, you won't dare do such a thing". He was rendering service to the Lord because he was limited, he was ignorant, and he knew nothing about God's plan. Why was his reaction so bad to the extent that the Lord rebuked him very bitterly? Simply because if the Lord had given heed to his words, the mission He came to accomplish would have failed.
And also because this word was intended to instil fear in the Lord's mind. "Lord don't go there, they will kill you". If the Lord believed all of that He would not have continued because of fear. And if the Lord did not die, we would not have been saved. It is the death of Christ that is our life. We celebrate the death of the Lord because if He did not die, we would never have been saved. So, the word of Peter was a word of incantation because the consequences would have been terrible. We see that it came from a child of God. But it was not intentional since he did not even know it was something bad. That's why when the Lord told him: Away from me satan, he was taken aback. He surely asked himself: "but what terrible thing have I said that the Lord is reacting this way?" He only understood later on.
What must we then do for ourselves? We must always watch in order not to allow satan to use us.
How must we watch? Can we say it's because Peter did not watch? The answer is no. It's because he was ignorant. Do not forget that presently we are more knowledgeable than Peter was at the time he pronounced those words of incantation. Because at that time Peter was still ignorant of everything, he was ignorant of God's plan for salvation, ignorant of whom Jesus truly was. Although he recognized Jesus as Christ, he didn't know what that meant. Today, we are more knowledgeable than Peter who told Jesus not to go to Jerusalem. I am not referring to the Peter who subsequently became knowledgeable and served God. I am rather talking about Peter who spoke to Jesus at that particular moment. He was totally ignorant. We are no longer at that level. Because we have all the teachings that Peter did not have at that time.
So, if we have a good disposition, we can avoid falling into that kind of trap. We can do that just by always abiding on what the Lord asks us to do. When we endeavour to have only one desire, the desire to please God, to be a source of blessing for everyone, while abiding on what is written, it becomes easier for us not to fall into the trap of satan. But at times when we abandon our Bibles, when we are ready at times to seek worldly solutions to our problems, if we seek solutions which are contrary to what God wants, we can find ourselves giving bad advice to brethren. In order not to become a trap for God's children, the secret is to abide in what the Lord tells us. When we are not sure, it is preferable to remain silent, and when we know what the Lord says, we can freely advice the brethren. So, the secret is still the Bible. That is why I encourage you to abide in the meditation of the Word of God. For the more you understand the Word of God, the less you make mistakes against God. This is because for us who love God, most of our mistakes are due to ignorance. And the more we discover who God is in His Word, the less we make mistakes out of ignorance, an interesting thing for us; Hosea 6:3 says: Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Why is murmuring different from the other sins?
The brethren demonstrated to us that murmuring is different from other sins because of all its tentacles and consequences on the people of God. Even if we cannot take the risk of classifying sins, it is nevertheless important to understand that some sins have far-reaching consequences than others. When we talk of repentance for example, we lay emphasis on sins like witchcraft, in short, on sins which open wide doors to satan in our lives. In the same way, in our walk with God, sins are different depending on the influence they have on our lives. If we take the risk of classifying sins, we could follow the footsteps of the brethren by saying that murmuring is at the top. If we consider the damages caused by murmuring, we would say that murmuring comes first and adultery second. You know that it is only adultery that we consider as sin, don't you? As long as someone has not committed adultery, he thinks he is holy. Adultery is considered as the only sin. Beloved, just like you do your best to avoid adultery, you should also endeavour to avoid the other sins.
Since murmuring always affects a good number of people, we will therefore put it at the top. In the case of murmuring, we realize that a small snake rapidly bites a good number of people and everything is polluted. Adultery involves only two people. And the other sins like lies telling involve only one person; so, we can say that they are less serious because they concern only one person. The brethren made a good illustration by using the example of the one who violated the Sabbath. We see that he was stoned alone. What is more complicated is the fact that someone sins alone and causes thousands of people to perish, the fact that the sin of a single individual causes the death of many. Beloved, the most difficult is seeing a multitude of people perishing because of a few rabbles; so many losing their blessings because of murmuring or the rebellion of some agents of satan who infiltrated the midst of God's people.
We shall use a few passages to make you understand that it is in this same manner that the Lord Himself looks at things. Already, when you read the teaching on Discernment, in which we tried to establish the difference between sins which are "so serious" and those which are "less serious". That is, sins that Children of God can commit and those they must not commit at all. We noted among others the case of murmuring. Here, we also regrouped what is likely to create division, i.e. murmuring, slandering, gossiping…
Romans 16:17-20 "17Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20And the God of peace will crush satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." These are the same agents of satan who, in the days of Moses, succeeded in seducing, diverting and inciting the people against Moses, i.e. against God. And the result is what you all know. All of them were put to death.
Titus 3:10-11, says: "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned." In the teaching on Discernment, among the numerous sins that exist, we emphasized on murmuring, gossiping, in short, all the sins that create division. We said only agents of satan can bear those fruits. Because such sins are big traps that the wicked set for us, and one of the questions that you asked yourselves in your study was: "What must we then do not to find ourselves in such sins?" I told you that the solution is the Word of God. Now, concretely speaking, how can the Word of God help us not to find ourselves in such sins? When you go back to the teachings that we have received, you see practical elements that we have pointed out and are making our effort to put into practice. Talking about gossip, slander, and all these things that lead to murmuring, we said that a child of God must never fall into the trap of listening to a brother who is talking about another brother.
This concretely means that if your brother/sister comes to complain about another brother/sister, the first question you should ask him/her is whether he/she has already spoken with the brother/sister in question? Would you want me to listen to you in the presence of that brother/sister? When we adopt such an attitude, we put an end to slander, gossip and even murmuring in our midst. This is how we can at least curb murmuring and gossiping. In the midst of God's children, it is forbidden for a brother/sister to complain to a third party about a problem he/she has with another brother/sister. Such are things we shall never tolerate.
I have asked leaders of assemblies to expel such people even without asking my opinion. If you see someone who has problems and each time he prefers to complain to others instead of meeting the person with whom he has problems, don't think he/she is innocent; expel him/her without wasting the least time. Formerly, the brethren seemed not to understand, but now they have well understood this notion. This is because as soon as there is a problem between two persons, if both of them come together, they will easily resolve their problem. Out of 100 cases 99 are resolved in this manner. It is only in rare cases that the problem can go further. Whereas for a simple issue, when you leave the person concerned and meet a third party, you win that person who ends up accepting your own view point. Automatically, the third party opposes your brother who may not even understand why you are teaming up against him. We have repeatedly had problems like this where people had already sided with others. When the problem was later examined, all those who had already taken sides where ashamed; and it is in course of examining the matter that they realized there was no problem at all. Having listened to the one who came and narrated his own version of the story to them full of exaggeration, they thought there was a big problem and sided with the complainant and started slandering the other and murmuring. We also came across cases where brethren had formed clans, and all this for nothing.
Know that murmuring, gossip, slander are just there to destroy the Church. But Children of God can put an end to that. That's why I am telling those who are new in our midst that it is forbidden to have problems with somebody and instead meets someone else to expose that problem. We put such people out without any waste of time. If you have problems with a brother/sister, go and settle the matter with him/her. By the grace of God, if both of you are Children of God, the problem will rapidly be solved. If it is not solved, you will now contact another brother without any problem. After all the teachings that we have received, and after all the warnings of the Lord, I still reminded the brethren never to speak for someone else. I think as time goes by and as we study all this together, you now understand better some teachings that I gave you in the past.
The Lord made it possible for us to live with sorcerers, suffer from their incantations and receive all their arrows to the point of being more balanced now. Even if we still have much to learn, we have got the essential that helps us not to fall at times. That's why I told the brethren not to answer for someone else. At times some people may think that we are exaggerating just because they don't understand. Because they don't yet understand, they think that we are so strangely discreet. The Lord in His love grants us the grace to examine His word daily. He allows us to discover His word together. And the knowledge that we gather from there opens our spirit to better understand the things of God. I therefore told brethren that no one has the right to speak for another.
I shall explain to you why we arrived at that decision. At times we meet as a family just like it is the case now, and our desire is actually to live like a family and to love one another. During break for example, all the brethren are there in the hall, and suddenly a brother approaches you saying "what does that other brother do?" You must rebuke such a person severely as if it is a big crime he has just committed. Don't underestimate what he is doing. It is when we allow such little malicious spirits in the Assembly that they create big problems. There is no reason why a brother should choose to talk about another brother to a third party whereas the said brother is just a few meters away from him. It does not make sense. You can go towards your brother and ask him "My brother, what do you do?" instead of leaving him and contacting a third party to get information about him. This is how we detect evil spirits in the Assembly. During the presentation of reports, some brethren pointed out the fact that Caleb had a different spirit. And they were wondering the kind of spirit the others had.
This makes us to understand that we don't all have the same spirit. So, when you are able to discern the spirit that people have, you won't fall into their traps. It easier for me to meet a brother if I want to find out something about him, but it will be very inappropriate for me to leave that brother and meet a third party whereas he is just a few meters from me. There is something fishy in that kind of attitude. I have told Children of God not to allow such things in their midst. For you to leave a brother who is just next to you and inquire about him to a third party does not make sense. In the past, we had cases like that where serpents and sorcerers (thank God they are no more there) will approach you and ask something about someone, and when you respond, they will meet the next person and ask the same question about you. Do you think such spirits are there to construct? No beloved, do not be naive; they are there to create division, to harm, and to destroy. It when there is no discernment that we fall into their traps. It is due to lack of discernment that the Church is full of murmuring.
Meanwhile, if we are vigilant, by the grace of God, we shall detect such wicked spirits in our midst. This is what the children of Israel lacked at that time. And you know how they suffered because of that. To the extent that Moses missed the Promised Land; to the extent that innocent people spent 40 years in the desert. Joshua or Caleb, or the children who would have enjoyed the Promised Land 40 years earlier, found themselves suffering in the desert for nothing because of the rabble. These are the consequences of things that you neglect, but which are more serious than you think. So, let's be very vigilant about the word of God. Remember from now henceforth that God knows better than we do. When God asks us to do something, let's just obey. When we obey, it is to our advantage. So, regarding murmuring, you have to handle it with a lot of rigour. You should not tolerate murmuring in your midst.
Talking about our beloved brethren who are in our midst, let me give you an example. As soon as I arrived at their place, with all the teachings they had already received, there was a serious case in the Assembly, and by the grace of God two of them immediately approached me to talk about that case. The question I asked them was this: "Will you allow me to meet the person in question?" They said "yes", I then told them "very good, that's all I want". Telling me things that I won't be able to examine looks like slandering. By the grace of God that case was examined. The Lord Himself resolved the problem for us, because it was a serious case. In fact, it was the case of a brother who was a leader and who was aspiring to lead, but who got married, divorced, and remarried after becoming a born-again Christian, and even pastor. People were disturbed because of that. As soon as I was told, I told them: "let's not make it a subject of slander. Let's confront him with the problem", and they accepted, which was a good thing. This is just to tell you how we work. For those of you who know me, you know how I have always worked. Each time, all that we say in secret, we freely discuss it publicly. I have always told you that when we do things this way, we are blameless before God. It helps us to avoid slander and gossip. I always avoid as much as I can to find myself unable to say in public things which I discuss in private.
Recently, we had the example of some brethren whose behaviour was clumsy. The brethren approached me to discuss it. The Lord granted us the grace to hold a meeting with the said brethren. During our meeting, we revisited all that we discussed in their absence and we even explained to them how we managed to catch them in their follies. And they understood that what we say in secret in their absence, we can freely say them in their presence. If I am revisiting all these elements, it is for you to understand that while you are severe with slander, gossip and murmuring, you must make sure you are not involved in them. So, please, know that if things are done appropriately, such problems can be avoided in the midst of God's Children. Discipline must not be trampled on. When teachings are clear for everyone and some people choose to despise the teachings, put them outside. Don't think that they are ignorant. It is because if they obey the teachings they will be unable to operate.
Grace be with you all who have Jesus Christ as Master!
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