(Exodus 20:16), “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
The Hebrew law placed great stress on telling the truth, especially in criminal cases. In fact, in (Deuteronomy 19:16-23), a man who falsely testified in criminal cases would face the same penalty as the man on trial would have paid. “Bearing false witness against our neighbor” is actually lying, and the ninth commandment is a study of lying. Lying is a sin that is condemned throughout the Word of God. What is a lie? A lie is a statement of untruth which is contrary to fact and told intentionally to deceive. We live in a day that lying has become an acceptable way of life. Newspapers lie to sell more papers, politicians lie to get elected, advertisers lie to sell their products, salesmen lie to increase their sales, and even some preachers lie by changing the truths of God’s Word in order to build congregations. Lying is a common problem in our world today and it is often a problem with many profess to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
- CONCEPTION OF LYING…“where did lying begin?”
The Lord Jesus tells us the source of lying in (John 8:44), “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because 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.” The devil is the world’s first liar and he is the world’s biggest liar. He lied to man about God in (Genesis 3:4), he lied to God about man in (Job 1:9, 11). He lies to man today about salvation by telling them they don’t need it or they can have some other way than through Jesus Christ. He lies to God about believers. (Revelation 12:10), tells us he is the “accuser of the brethren.” And in the tribulation period, he will embody the antichrist, who tells a lie so big and believable that it brings about the end of the world. From beginning to end, Satan is a liar! And when we lie we align ourselves with everything that brings death, destruction, doom and damnation to this world. We are never more like the devil than when we tell a lie because he is the father of all lying.
- CHARACTER OF LYING…“how does a person lie”
There are many ways a person can lie. A person can lie through perjury (not telling the truth in the courts; lying (a statement of untruth which is contrary to fact and told intentionally to deceive); and gossip (habitually spreading intimate or private rumors or facts); half-truths (not telling the whole story); twisting the truth (to alter or distort the intended meaning); slander (lie that has been invented for the primary purpose of doing harm to the person the lie is told on); talebearing (telling stories about someone that we’ve heard from someone else and not checking to see if it was true or not); flattery (excessive or insincere praise); whispering (getting behind the backs of people silently and whispering little stories); backbiting (not having the courage to say something face to face with an individual); silence (allowing people in your presence to say things that are unkind, untrue, and malicious about another individual); exaggeration (heaping or piling up in an excessive manner and going beyond the bounds of truth); excuses (dressed up lies); giving your word and not keeping it; hypocrisy (lying with the life by professing to be a Christian and not acting like it).
- CONSEQUENCES OF LYING…“what are the consequences of lying?”
Lying cuts and hurts the one whom is being lied about. But it also poisons the one who is being lied to. Reputations, churches, and friendships can be ruined by lying. And once a lie has been told it is impossible to take back the harm. There is the story of a woman who was guilty of gossiping about her pastor. She was convicted and went to him to apologize to him and to try and make restitution for her wrong- doing. The pastor graciously accepted her apology and then told her that if she wanted to make it all right again, that she should take a chicken, kill it, pluck it, carry its feathers to the top of the highest building in town and cast its feathers to the four winds. When this was done she was to return to the Pastor. She carried out his directive and returned to him. He looked at her and said, “Now go and collect every one of those feathers.” She replied, in horror, “That is impossible!” He said, “So, it is impossible or you to take back all those things you have said about me.” How many homes, families, marriages, businesses, societies, prospects, thrones, governments, and nations have been ruined by the misuse of the tongue.
- CONQUERING OF LYING…“how to overcome lying”
Firstly, learn to be holy. Holiness is being one with the will of God and the will of God would never lead to harm another person. Secondly, learn to be honest and always tell the truth. Thirdly, learn to be hinderer by not being a false witness by lying, gossiping, slandering, backbiting, exaggerating, or any of the other things that constitute lying. And don’t listen to those who are given to these activities. Rebuke them. Shun them. Don’t let someone steal another’s character and you say nothing. You wouldn’t let someone steal from your neighbor and not say anything.
Pastor Allen Jackson