The Weapon of Influence
Robert Wurtz II
“These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:26–27 KJV)
“From our leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public questions; from some ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to which we conform most of the time.” (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)
One of the ways the enemy destroys vast numbers of people, is to lead them into error through the influence of persons they have come to like, love, or admire. Once a relationship is established, and a person has someone “in their hip pocket,” they may convince them that almost anything is true. That is the subtle power of relationships. This is especially true for people who tend to follow the crowd.
The enemy knows that relationships are one of the greatest means of controlling a persons’ beliefs. If he can use a relationship to influence someone else, a domino effect can take place in which an entire progeny is put at risk. Take a young man or woman for example. They may have grown up with a group of people who subscribed to set of values “A” and then met someone else who captured their heart and turned them to set of values “B.” The relationship broke down the door of the persons’ reason, and overthrew their upbringing. Whereas their parents spent their entire life raising them to serve God, now the relationship trumps everything. This is why God warned Israel not to become involved with the idolatrous nations.
Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. (Deuteronomy 7:3–5 NKJV)
Notice that the passage says the daughters of the idolaters will turn your sons away from following Me. This may be the Old Covenant, but there is a principal here that is timeless. Relationships have the power to completely overthrow a persons’ belief system. In fact, they can turn a person completely away from the One True God to false gods.
Charmed to Deception
Have you ever noticed how when a person is “likable” they can nearly get by with murder; but if they are “unlikable” they can do no right? Take politicians, for example. Since the dawn of pictures and sound, men have been able to sell themselves as “likable” characters. The word is “charm.” If they can find a way to come-off on the radio and in the news as “charming,” they get more votes. If they can get you to like them or admire them, they can control you (at least in the voting booth). Modern media has allowed people to market themselves to the highest percentage of voters. This is why politicians are charged with lying and being fake. They are playing to the largest number of people in an audience. This is exactly what Edward Bernays was referring to in the quote above.
Former president the late Richard Nixon once advised a comrade on how to win the vote of the people. His surprising answer? “Lose twenty pounds.” We may ask, “Are people really that shallow?” Unfortunately, many are. They are seduced into thinking a certain way by people who know how to manipulate them. If they can appeal to someones unconscious desires, they can control their decision making; they can take advantage of the person.
How Not To Win Friends
Have you ever wondered why some people never take a stand on difficult subjects? Often it’s because they want everybody to like them. They are too concerned about building up appearances to allow some important or controversial subject to tarnish their glow. Jesus was never concerned about His “image” and “reputation.” He was no deceiver. His approach to winning men and women was to tell them the truth and allow their conscience to do the work. He never solicited or moved in ulterior motives. He did not manipulate a “yes” from people. In fact, He went to great lengths to test a person’s “yes” before He would believe them.
Duped By Deceivers
John writes, These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. The enemy was working in the churches, through people, to lead the saints astray. Think about how many have used their “smooth words and flattering speech to deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18b NKJV) They sport their charm and other carnal means to achieve their own ends. All the while the true men and women of God are marginalized.
I recall an old western song that depicts a woman at home alone when a knock comes to the door. “Lord it’s the Devil,” She exclaims, “Would you look at him? I heard about him, but I never dreamed… He would have blue eyes and blue jeans.” This witness is true. This is the power of charm. This is the power of seduction. Multitudes are seduced by the devil every day. He comes dressed as an angel of light and lures away scores of unsuspecting — undiscerning people. Never mind what his values are, look at him! Can’t you see how beautiful he is? Listen to him, can’t you hear how charming he is?
The apostles were forever dealing with these type of people who tried to come in and seduce the saints. People would make fun of the way Paul looked and spoke — favoring those who better looked and talked the part. What did he say?
“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.” (1 Corinthians 4:19 NKJV)
While the masses are swooning after those who come dressed as angels of light, Paul said he would discern the power they were moving in. This is key. Does the words the person speaks resonate in the conscience? Is the Holy Spirit backing the message? This was Paul’s concern. there are a lot of smooth talkers in the world, but there are few who are speaking for God.