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Three Principles Can Help to See Through Rumors
By Ye Xin
The Consequences of Believing Rumors Lightly
I have ever read such a story: There was a swordsman who specially looted the rich and helped the poor, suppressed the evil and pacified the good. Yet those bad men, due to the loss of their personal interests, colluded with corrupt officials to frame him. They murdered, committed arson, and kidnapped women everywhere, leaving his main distinguishing mark, and then the government used this as an excuse to arrest him. Accordingly, he had to live in hiding in a forest. One day, he came across a young lady and her maid who were hunted by bad people. During the six months they spent together, both the lady and her maid thought well of him. Later, the lady declared her true feeling to the swordsman and expressed a willingness to marry him. Rejoiced at her words, he blurted his name out while looking to the skies and sighing deeply. At hearing that, she thought: Isn’t he the man who is wanted by the authorities? When thinking of the rumors, she immediately ran away with horror. As a result, she accidentally fell over a precipice, killing herself. The maid, however, realized that if the swordsman was really that wicked, would they not have been killed long ago? Then how could they still be alive today? So she returned to him. Henceforth, she lived a happy life with the swordsman.
This story transmits a message to us that the maid focused on investigating the fact so that she was able to live a happy life with the swordsman. From this we see that rumors will ultimately be unable to stand. Whereas, the young lady lightly gave her ear to the rumors without any discernment, and lost her life in the end. She was truly foolish. That’s so sad!
The Origin of Rumors
Though the young lady in the story was foolish and ignorant, yet there are still many people who have played the role of her. At the same time as lamenting for her ignorance, we also loathe those who had made up and disseminated the rumors. We can say that it was their selfishness and malice that directly killed her. Then why did these people create rumors? And what was the essence of rumors? We may as well use the rumors that were fabricated by the Pharisees when the Lord Jesus performed His work as an example to trace the origin of the rumors.
This made me think of the Lord Jesus, who was incarnated in the flesh and spoke and worked among mankind, which shocked the whole Jewish nation. Some common people followed the Lord Jesus after hearing His preaching. However, when the chief priests, scribes, and the Pharisees of that time saw that, they feared that the common people would not support them any longer, and thus they would not be able to enjoy the offerings people gave God. Therefore, to protect their status and livelihood, they began to spread rumors, saying that the Lord Jesus cast out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. As the Bible records, “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts he out devils” (Mark 3:22). Additionally, after the Lord Jesus was resurrected, they fabricated rumors again, saying that the disciples of the Lord Jesus moved His body. As it is recorded in the scripture, “And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money to the soldiers, Saying, Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept” (Matthew 28:12-13). This shows us that it was for the sake of their own position and jobs that these chief priests and scribes invented all sorts of rumors against the Lord Jesus. As a result of these rumors, many Israelites did not accept the work of the Lord Jesus, and instead blindly followed the Pharisees to pass on the rumors and condemn the Lord Jesus, committing a heinous crime. And even today, the Israelites are still deceived and bound by these rumors. This was the outcome of their believing rumors.
No matter if it is the little story above or the historical fact, they all enable us to see that rumors are all generally created by some people to achieve their own hidden goals, and are sheer fabricated nonsense and frame-up. At the same time, we have seen that the hearts of those who make up rumors are so malicious. If we cannot see through rumors, we will be misled by them and thus make an irredeemable error.
Following These Three Principles Can Help You See Through the Rumors
Then how can we see through rumors?
First, we should investigate the facts of God’s work.
Although the Pharisees created many rumors about the Lord Jesus, there were still many people who accepted His salvation and received His commission to spread the gospel to all nations and all peoples. Then why were these people not deceived by the rumors? It was because they paid attention to inspecting the facts. The Lord Jesus had performed many miraculous signs and wonders during His work. He not only made a blind man see, a paralyzed person walk, used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people, and rebuked the winds and the sea, but also performed the miracle of raising the dead. From the Lord Jesus’ work, those who followed Him recognized that He was the Messiah, and saw that His words and actions couldn’t be replaced by that of any created or non-created being. This allows us to see that a fact is after all a fact and no rumor can cover up the truth. Just as the Lordto His disciples, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matthew 10:26). One day the truth will come to light. So to see through rumors, we first need to investigate the facts. Don’t follow the herd and easily trust rumors.
Second, we should investigate in the utterances of God.
When the Lord Jesus was performing work, He expressed many words, including words that reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, such as the parables that the Lord Jesus spoke of; words that expose man’s corruption, such as the words of rebuke that the Lord Jesus spoke to the Pharisees; words of comfort and encouragement for man and of exposing man’s darkest secrets. Furthermore, it is many times recorded in the Bible that when the Lord Jesus rebuked demons that attached themselves to man, the demons came out. These words all manifested the identity of God, allowing man to see that the words of the Lord Jesus are full of authority and that He really is the Creator who appeared to man. Through hearing the words spoken by the Lord Jesus, many people recognized that He was the coming Messiah foretold in the Old Testament, and was God incarnated as the Son of man appearing to man, and therefore kept pace with God’s work. Because they could listen to God’s voice like the wise virgins and thereby recognized the Lord Jesus’ words and utterances are exactly the voice of God, no matter how many rumors there were in the outside world, they were not affected by them, just believing the Lord Jesus was Messiah. This shows us that those who are able to hear the voice of God can know God from His utterances. This way, they possess the capacity to discriminate and the resistance to rumors.
Third, we should investigate the fruits of God’s work.
In the latter days of the Age of Law, mankind was deeply corrupted by Satan, so that they failed to keep the law and could not free themselves from sin, facing the danger of being condemned and executed by the law. Therefore, God, based on the demands of the corrupt mankind and God’s management plan for saving mankind, became flesh and came down to earth for the first time. He ended His work of the Age of Law under the name of Jesus, began to spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and the way of repentance, and carried out the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. We only needed to receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior, pray to the Lord, and repent to have our sins forgiven. Henceforth, we were no longer condemned for not being able to keep the law. In addition, when we had no other way to turn, the Lord Jesus showed us many new paths of practice. For example, Peter asked the Lord Jesus, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matthew 18:22). The Lord Jesus said to him: “I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). And “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). These words spoken by the Lord brought us a new age and a new direction to travel. When we acted in accordance with the Lord’s words, we had the presence of the Holy Spirit and felt peace and joy. When we abandoned the Lord’s words, we lived in darkness. The disciples who followed Him at that time, because of practicing the Lord’s words, attained liberation and freedom, lived in the stream of the work of the Holy Spirit, and were approved by God. The results of our experiencing God’s work also enable us to have some discernment about rumors, for facts speak louder than words.
Just think about it: If we were born in the age when the Lord Jesus performed His work, when faced with the overwhelming rumors that Pharisees spread about the Lord Jesus, would we analyze and treat the rumors rationally, and focus on investigating God’s work and words like the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus, or blindly believe the rumors and pass them on without seeking or investigating, just like the foolish Jewish people? Without doubt, if we cannot grasp the principles of seeing through rumors, then we will be easily confused by them. Only when we grasp the principles of seeing through rumors and investigating the true way can we have the ability to discern rumors because of having understanding the truth. And only in this way can we stand firm when hearing any rumors.
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