Wickedness is the opposite of righteousness; just as darkness is the opposite of light. Everything undesirable, leading to death, is represented in wickedness. However, without confusion, there is no danger with wickedness. Of necessity is being aware of what wickedness entails, as compared to righteousness. With truthful data, it is possible to avoid wickedness.
The fiery furnace is a utility for smelting iron to produce required products. But that does not mean the burning fiery furnace would not be dangerous when carelessly handled. This is scientifically factual, as sustained in natural laws. This shows another dimension in that Satan’s wickedness is not represented in extreme wickedness, but in-between righteousness and wickedness.
Satan is often caricatured demonically. Children’s stories are often illustrated with representations of Satan as a fierce-looking, red-eyed ogre, presumed as sucking blood from humans. This is premised on falsehood, although true that Satan is associated with wickedness, affecting humanity.
As a Spirit being, Satan cannot be seen physically, except through the effects of his works. Physical illustrations cannot accurately portray his personality. There has to be a deeper understanding, before, concluding on matters of Satan’s physical appearance. He is scripturally portrayed among religious, but untruthful people:
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve”(2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV).
The apostle Paul accurately described Satan’s ministers, mistaken for true Christianity. They use the same trick, used against our ancestors, Adam and Eve. The purely ugly things do not necessarily portray Satan’s character. The critical datum, describes Satan as falsehood, as opposed to truthfulness. Jesus always described Satan for what he truly represented.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (John 8:42-46 NIV).
Satan’s native language is uttering falsehoods, twisting God’s word for something else. The definition of “native” embraces the source of origin. A liar cannot be from God, but from Satan whose native language is falsehoods. The degradation of humanity describes the extent to which humanity has fallen.
To highlight the description of falsehoods, there is a gradual consideration. In the lower gradient would be found falsehoods, not as aggravating to the extent of calamities in war, for instance? Yet language provides many instances of permissive communication, using falsehoods to cover up sins.
Suppose you schedule a meeting for 8 o’clock, the following day. The business associate, with whom to hold the meeting gives a wishy-washy response, like; “I will try to make it.” He may indeed come as scheduled. But, only on rare occasions are such communications trustworthy. The “trying” aspect grants no guarantee that the meeting would materialize.
One would be unwise to assume the intended business meeting would materialize. Any failure in government, or any other corporate organization, can be attributed to wishy-washy arrangements. Successful businesses subscribe to the concretization of promises, according to arrangements.
In its scientific definition, lying refers to the alteration of time, place, event, or form. The minutest change in the four components defines what falsehood implies. Truth is the exactness of time, place form, and event. Hence, one can safely conclude that for a problem to be a problem, it has to contain a lie.
Stupidity exists in assuming that problems are solved by telling lies, which serve to aggravate them. On the next gradient, we have falsehoods, resulting in not having sufficient information. Inadequate information leads to conclusions, based on falsehoods. Hence, stupidity is found in the inability to evaluate data.
A wise individual is never tired of evaluating information. That person keeps himself abreast with the latest information, for workable innovations. Imagine a business enterprise, preferring to send letters by post, even during the current digital age. That business becomes threatened with extinction.
Any data, considered truthful, is judged according to its workability. This is in terms of the maxim favoring the greatest good to the majority. The evaluation of data is, therefore, most vital in this world. This reveals good education, as the only vehicle expected to proffer valuable data, according to this consideration.
The next gradient carries falsehoods, designed to cover up one’s own previous mistakes or to obtain unwarranted benefits. On this rung is included conmen selling un-exchangeable products. Money swindlers are professional liars, surviving on receiving undeserved benefits. This includes all corruption, that exists in most governments, today.
The range of falsehoods is so wide and cumbersome to capture in detail. But all falsehoods can be as corruptible as leading to destructive lies. Wickedness is found in falsehoods, more than any other horrible sin imagined. Falsehood is found even among those involved with the occult.
The most serious of all falsehoods is rumor-mongering. All wars, as bad as known to be, are caused by rumor-mongering. Rumor mongers have become professionals in propaganda. Even in the corporate business world, a highly successful organization can be destroyed by propaganda.
As living in a world that does not evaluate data, people are prone to believe anything. A free press is important to spread information, but also susceptible to spreading falsehoods. Scandalous occurrences are more attractive to humanity than good news. Therefore, a free press can be viewed as dangerous.
A nation gets easily destroyed, just as the character of individuals gets assassinated by free media. But this does not suggest that free media should be muzzled. It should be promoted. People need information. Equally important, under those circumstances, is the evaluation of information.
The current world is sustained by falsehoods. If Satan is understood as a creature that exists, falsified information justifies his existence. Contrary to assuming that Satan uses demons to influence gruesome murders, falsehoods are the only causes of such gruesome murders.
Most domestic quarrels, ripping families apart, emanate from rumor-mongering. The perpetrators of falsehoods are those assumed to be honestly advancing truthful information, and not necessarily the originators. The originators of falsehood know what they would be doing, benefitting from such chaos.
The scourge of Gukurahundi is a perfect example of the effects of rumor-mongering. Those advancing lies that Nkomo was creating dissidents; were readily received by those who could not evaluate that information. The idea of projecting the existence of dissidents had been meant to wipe out opposition politics. The whole scheme was intended for a one-party state, under the pretext that this was necessary to ensure all dissidents were removed.
Those in the echelons of leadership knew that there was no truth in such utterances. But ordinary people picked up such falsehood and got emotionally charged to fight dissidents, even without verified proof. There was no demon, to be imagined as influencing the Gukurahundi debacle.
There is no way a person can be out of the problem, without identifying the cause of the problem. It is ordinarily the people without adequate information, but rumors, who get manipulated to perpetuate falsehoods. Such people are willing to commit murder; on the pretext, they would be patriotic. In his ministry, Paul encountered similar problems, which intended to terminate his work.
About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case, we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly(Acts 19:23-41 NIV).
This is a fascinating story about a businessman whose profits were derived from manipulating people to purchase idols from him. He had to peddle lies, to secure support from the unsuspecting people. But the commotion could have cost the lives of Paul and his counterparts. It took only the courageous city clerk to quell such lawlessness.
In all this, we see the works of Satan, but the cause was that Demetrius wanted to achieve his objectives. If the truth had been availed to ordinary people, it could not have been possible for Demetrius to cause such confusion. The sad thing about falsehood is that rumor mongers are safe, as long as using the ignorant people.
Lack of education is the only vehicle for all wickedness. An uneducated person is quick to do what he does not understand, assuming to be doing well. It should be understand, though, that education is different from schooling, which most people mistake for education. Education means the ability to evaluate data and discard falsehood.
Where rumor-mongering is being disseminated, the actual peddlers of such rumors are often protected. They would be assumed to be good people, in most societies. It is those who stand for truth who get persecuted, instead. However, in the case of Demetrius, we see a sane person, in the mold of that city clerk, managing to use reason, to calm the situation.
This world is desperately in need of people such as the city clerk of Ephesus. Such people do not even need to be many, in any community. It takes only one person of integrity to occupy a position of authority. We do have good people, in our societies. But most of them are cowards, unable to stand up against an oppressive environment.
Remove falsehoods and teach people to advance truthful information only. You would have removed the personality of Satan. That is the only idea of establishing a workable environment. Rumor mongers benefit from an oppressive environment for reasons that are currently unknown.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
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