We Are All Witnesses

 

he scriptures place a considerable emphasis on the concept of "bearing witness" (Romans 2:15). In the Gospels, Jesus said "There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true" (John 5:32). It is clear that Christ was referring to John the Baptist - "He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light" (John 1:8).

 

In the Old Testament, God demonstrated that the concept of bearing a true and accurate witness was so important that He codified it in the 10 Commandments - "Thou shalt not bear false witness" (Exodus 20:16). He further ingrained the severity of the issue in the Mosaic law by requiring sometimes extreme consequences when false witnesses were exposed:

"If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong...the priests and the judges...shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: So shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you." -Deuteronomy 19:16,18-20.

This passage tells us the reason for the stern warning concerning bearing false witness. It was to be sure that the evil did not flourish among the people and be in a position where it could spiritually reproduce. The text plainly shows the penalty was to be imposed so that "those which remain shall hear, and fear...."

Under the New Covenant, Jesus clearly instructed the Christian church that the order of things shifted to the degree that we are not to seek to destroy the liars. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, he identifies "the good seed [as] the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one" (Matthew 13:38). The "tares" (which are essentially weeds that look like wheat) are seeded in among the children of the kingdom of God and have heavily infiltrated the body of the Christian church.

When the disciples asked "Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" Christ specifically instructed the disciples "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn" (Matthew 13:30).

Those that bear false witness are tares, because they are liars. They do the works of their "father the devil...there is no truth in him, when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44). When individuals bear false witness, they are doing the works of their father - and identifying themselves as to whose child they actually are.

While as children of God we are strictly forbidden to seek to destroy the tares, the text implicitly demonstrates that we are to identify them. We are to bear witness to the truth. Indeed, in the parable, it was the "servants of the householder [that] came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?" (Matthew 13:27)

Although the precise legal practice seen in the Old Testament relative to judging a true witness and punishing a false witness is now overshadowed by the present grace that is found in JESUS CHRIST, the basic principles that God has imparted through "the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12) are intact. Thus, we are always to bear witness to the truth and can never be found to sustain a lie. Indeed, in the final analysis we see that God will judge the world "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (II Thessalonians 2:10,11).

Because of the very legal nature of this process when God will ultimately judge men for the evil they have done, the Bible provides examples that demonstrate that the law and grace of God never allows an ANONYMOUS witness. For instance, in I Kings, we find an instructive story of stealth and intrigue where the notorious Jezebel is seen as the hidden architect of a false witness.

In this illustrative story, Jezebel and her husband Ahab have designs on the possessions of Naboth the Jezreelite. Jezebel schemes and not only bears a false witness, but she does it secretly as she writes letters in another person's name. In this scriptural account, she is the hidden assassin that arranges matters to that Naboth is eventually destroyed and she can obtain her victim's property. She also arranges to have other two men bare false witness to further her covetous plan (I Kings 21:8, 10)

Most know how Jezebel and Ahab end up as God ultimately punished them, but the point of the Biblical account is that those that secretly slander and anonymously attack by stealth are hardly moving in the truth that is supposed to pour forth from a servant of God.

As a modern day Naboth, I hold "property" that other "ministries" want. Even as I write these words, Christian Media is being slandered ANONYMOUSLY on the internet by nameless parties that represent themselves as Christians. For over 2 years we've been engaged in aspects of this conflict as we've sought to track down the source of the lies and attacks, and the trail eventually led us to specific ministries and "Christian" leaders.

I'm not allowed to pull up the tares, so I've sought to bear witness to the truth. In every case, my name is plainly associated with the any broadcast and/or printed statements I've made. My cowardly enemy, on the other hand, attacks my wife, my friends, my associates, my integrity, and even my appearance - and they do it ANONYMOUSLY.

Because the mainstream Christian church as well as significant portions of the so-called remnant church continues to allow such unscriptural practices to occur unabated without an overwhelming rebuke, the evil within the body remains like a festering cancer on the soul of the remnant of Israel. The Old Testament requirement of removing the evil among us was designed to preserve the body (Ezekiel 20:38). The modern body of Christ is dying because of this grotesque deteriorative condition.

However, God has promised that He will always preserve a righteous remnant. I have one question for those that continue to seek to maintain relations with liars and deceivers that have been thoroughly and methodically exposed by name. If you continue to have fellowship with any of the offenders (or those that strengthen them) how can you expect to be a part of the remnant that God will preserve?

James Lloyd

Copyright © 2002 Christian Media Network

See Also

Strongholds And Stumblingblocks

 

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