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BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

We are now in our fifth week studying the sins of the tongue. Let’s recap a bit. First and foremost, all sin is the result of human volition. And no sins are forgiven the unbeliever in spiritual death until he believes in Jesus Christ. For the believer, all sins prior to Salvation are blotted out at the moment of belief in Jesus Christ. B ut this doesn’t just cover our actions; it also covers what we SAY. Sins of the tongue are those we verbalize. They include gossip, maligning, slander, judging, lying, and verbal deception. What this means to the believer trying to live in God’s Plan is that you have to watch what you say! And you have to ignore what’s being said about you. Let God handle those situations. He will deliver you!

We learn from Job that believers have deliverance from the sins of the tongue committed against us: In six troubles He will deliver you. Even in seven, evil will not touch you. In famine He will deliver you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue. Neither will you be afraid of death when it comes. (JOB 5:19) The line “You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue.” We learn too that God protects the pastor from verbal sins:  No weapon that is formed against you will prosper, and every tongue that accuses you in judgment, You [Jesus Christ] will condemn. This is the heritage of the servant of the Lord and their vindication is from Me,' decrees the Lord." (ISA 54:17)

It is important to recognize the sins of the tongue and  to stay away from those who are habitually involved in them. Paul warns us to in ROM 16:17-18Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 

Apostasy is a term used for the falling away from the faith, which is the system of belief arrived at through the perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction….( 2TH 2:3) Apostasy is related to the sins of the tongue: There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue. (PSA 5:9) In the congregation, control of the tongue plus avoidance of the sins of the tongue is a sign of spiritual maturity: If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man. (JAM 3:2)Stumbling” refers to sins of the tongue which can destroy an entire congregation.  Since the sins of the tongue can destroy a congregation, it is the solemn duty of the pastor to warn and guard against this evil.

Those who commit the sins of the tongue are identified as mischief makers in JOB 15:35: “They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity, therefore their mind prepares deception.” Mischief is defined as the conduct or action resulting in harm or trouble, especially against legitimate authority. A mischief maker is against legitimate authority. Mischief makers in the local church use attractiveness and personality as resources to acquire power and approval.  Then they use this power to attract others, to discriminate, to distract others, and to reject Bible doctrine. Mischief makers can also perform good deeds. This results in the division of a congregation which then leads to control and manipulation of others. The end result is that authority is attacked in three areas of the local church: husbands, parents, and pastors.

Mischief makers stand between people who are attracted to them and the teaching of the Word of God from the pulpit. Mischief makers are believers who use their abilities to stir up trouble and discord. They cause peer pressure, heartache, and rejection in the local church, which inevitably undermines the authority of the pastor in the teaching of the Word of God.

PSA 7:16 warns us:  The mischief he causes returns on himself, and his violence comes down on his own head.  Under the law of volitional responsibility, the believer as a mischief maker inflicts on himself or herself unbearable suffering. This is because he or she has made bad decisions which evolve into sins of the tongue. Mischief makers also hallucinate, dream and fantasize. They use doctrinal vocabulary to fabricate their own spiritual status because they believe that they are more spiritually advanced than they really are. By mischief making, they easily slip into the early stages of mental illness. In their blind arrogance, they hallucinate about their spiritual status, so they fail to use recovery. This makes everything worse! Mischief makers do not forget those things which are behind them; they want to right the wrongs of the world in which they have personally been victims. They start out by helping others, but genuine expressions of gratitude often stimulate their own desire to go farther and farther with straightening out the world.

Remember there is a danger in helping others if it creates approbation lust in you.  Approbation lust is an over-exaggerated need to be recognized by others. If you are using the gift of helps, are you doing it as unto the Lord, or because of the gratitude of others? Another danger is that mischief makers find it stimulating if people become dependent on them. If dependencies are created, then the believer has to be strong enough with his or her spiritual skills to avoid arrogance, power, and approbation lust. In his arrogance the mischief maker begins telling others how to run their lives and tries to become the authority in spiritual matters and life, in general. In this way, mischief makers are always involved in the sins of the tongue. They are either judging others, or telling others how to run their lives.

Mischief making is related to two categories of the sins of the tongue: judging the life and production of others and bullying others into producing dead works.  This bullying is accomplished through clever phrases which indicate that you are not doing enough for God. For example: "You are hiding in doctrine" and "We need less preaching and more working."  This causes spiritually immature believers to become distracted from doctrine and involved in dead works. Remember dead works are the things we do in the flesh to try to please God. {to be continued}

 

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