By Tavares Robinson

The word talebearer is one term that has been overlooked today, due to our habit of redefining words. But as we draw closer to Christ’s return, Satan will aggressively make his way into the church and corrupt the character of many who believe they are Christian. But in actuality, these people are working on behalf of the evil one.

Living in an age full of deception, error is not only coming from the pulpits; in fact, it’s coming from the pews as well. Error has gained access through erroneous teachings and unbiblical spiritual authority. Additionally, it’s been revealed through a perverse character and a fictitious spirituality.

The Apostle Paul warned of this type of behavior in 2 Timothy chapter 3. He warned of those who have a “form” of true godliness but have no true “power.” These people have a reputation among others, but in reality, godliness is not in their possession. These are the same charismatic “believers” with wretched character: blinding others with a heart that seems to care, only to mask its craftiness. These people are no different from the fig tree that Jesus cursed (Mark 11:12-14). They have become fig-tree Christians, who look good and promising from a distance until you get close and realize they are barren and fruitless.

They can quote scriptures because they have been planted in good soil, but what they quote does not match their spiritual condition. If our Savior didn’t eat from that tree, neither should we! Paul goes on to say that these individuals have only a form because they reject the very thing that can produce godliness. They reject the conviction and the purification of the Holy Spirit to transform their heart.

In scripture, the heart is not being referred to as our physical organ; instead, it’s speaking about one’s will, emotions and desires. In essence, it’s the sum total of our character which includes our motives. Satan, in the last days, will begin to move upon those who appear to be saved, but their hearts are unregenerate and deficient in holiness.

You might be thinking, “What does that have to do with a talebearer?” Well, if you read through the exhaustive description that Paul gives us (2 Tim. 3:2-5), you will see very alarming mannerisms and character traits that will be displayed, not from the world, but by those who profess salvation. Paul gives us some descriptions which will be the catalyst for degenerating attitudes among family members and personal relationships.

In the list we see, disobedient to parents… unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control…, and traitors. These sorts of behaviors are covenant breakers! When those who confess Christ as Lord and Savior live out these destructive mannerisms, great strain will be placed on family and personal friendships, along with a door now open for demonic activity.

One word we will extract from the list, is the word slander. This word slander in the Greek is the word Diabolos. This is a very strong and destructive term. Why? Because this is actually the name for the devil. It’s comes from the word which means to “throw between.” Slanderers operate by throwing words in between others. They use false accusations with the intention to divide. They can even take something that is true, but because of a hidden motive, distort what’s true by incorporating innuendos. They are people of unscrupulous speech. These people are malicious gossipers who are so deceptive, that they personally deceive themselves. They have operated this way for so long that they are now indifferent when they actually do it.

Satan has placed them on his payroll. And what’s so alarming is, they don’t even know it. These people are now functioning as Satan’s mouthpiece. He uses their mouth and their tongue to cause others to stumble. They are actually the children of the devil; therefore, they imitate his ways. Jesus, in John chapter 8, knew those Jews could not be children of God simply by their ways, so he identified who their father was (v.44). A slanderer operates under a perverse and lying spirit and cannot be trusted. In the Old Testament, a similar word was used for someone like this, and it was the word talebearer.

Let’s take a look at what the scriptures say about this type of person.

A talebearer is a person who maliciously gossips or reveals secrets. One who spreads the mischief of others but conceals their own personal shame. The word of God is not in favor of character of this sort:

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter -Proverbs 11:13

A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends -Proverbs 16:28

The one who forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends -Proverbs 17:9

The words of a talebearer are as self-inflicted wounds, and they have gone down to the inner parts of the heart -Proverbs 18:8

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore, do not associate with one who flatters with his lips -Proverbs 20:19

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.  As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body. Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin. -Proverbs 26:20-28

You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. -Leviticus 19:16

A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure. My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land. That they may dwell with me. He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me. He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. – Psalm 101:4-7

Clearly, this sort of character is offensive to the holiness of God and should not be represented in the lives of fellow believers. But unfortunately, the church in the last days, will have to encounter this spirit and must know how to make sure they are not inflicted by this demonic influence. Sadly, many friendships and family relationships will suffer and be fractured due to talebearing and gossip.

Paul speaks about busybodies and those whose mouth is not tamed, “Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not,” (1 Tim.5:13). As believers, we are commanded to confront such actions with the intention of our fellow brother or sister may come to repentance. But If our concern is rejected, God command us to withdraw from such person (2 Tim. 3:5).

We shall all take heed and to guard ourselves knowing that future outcome of this sin is not favorable.