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Bible verses about Lying
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Dishonesty is not confined to religion by any means. This whole world is based on a lie! Satan said to Mother Eve, "You will not surely die" (Genesis 3:4), and humanity has been deceiving and being deceived ever since!

Many of us in God's church, trying to live by the commandments, are simply unaware of the extent of dishonesty in our society. Recent research, however, shows that the average person tells a lie every eight minutes! That is seven lies per hour, 112 per 16-hour day, and 40,880 per year! At that rate, the average individual would lie over 2.8 million times over a seventy-year lifetime. Does mankind follow the way of "the father of lies" or not?

In its typical fashion, Hollywood recently made a mockery out of this scourge of society in the comedy Liar, Liar. In the film, a young boy wishes his father, a lawyer, had to tell the truth for one whole day, and his wish is granted. The rest of the story shows how frequently people resort to deceptions to smooth their road through life. For most, as the movie portrays, lying has become a matter of habit and an accepted practice.

In many areas, lying has become an art form. We can see this clearly in the financial world where numbers and statistics are manipulated with Machiavellian flair. We tend to trust numbers because we think, "Aren't they rational and quantifiable? Numbers don't lie." But they do, and in the hands of talented people, they can do tremendous harm.

One example of this occurs in the U.S. government's employment statistics. The President will take credit for a huge reduction of unemployed workers by saying jobless claims decreased by so many percent. The truth is that these numbers fail to distinguish what kind of jobs these people are taking. How many of these people were laid off from full-time, well-paying management positions, yet took minimum-wage jobs at the local fast food restaurant? Thus, the economy looks rosy, but in reality, personal income is falling. The government does similar things with other statistical reports, such as inflation, consumer spending, and foreign trade.

The medical and pharmaceutical professions do likewise. The American Cancer Society claims that a woman's risk of breast cancer is one in nine. In fact, there are many differing claims, most of them lower, including that a woman under 50 has a one-in-1,000 chance of suffering breast cancer. The truth is, writes Cynthia Crossen in her book Tainted Truth: The Manipulation of Fact in America,

the risk of breast cancer rises as a woman ages, so one in nine is the cumulative probability starting the day a girl is born and ending at an age so advanced—somewhere between 85 and 110, depending on whose figures you believe—that she'll probably already be dead of something else.

Of course, deceit begins at home. A national survey, conducted in 1984 for the IRS, reports that half of Americans have a "flexible" standard of honesty. For instance, they believe it acceptable to cheat large stores and insurance companies. They rationalize that since these big businesses make so much money—and are probably gouging the consumer anyway in prices and premiums—that they deserve a little back.

It does not end there. Sixty-three percent of the students at one Midwestern university admit they have cheated on exams. This not only includes peeking at the student's paper in the next row, but also buying stolen test keys and/or term papers.

The American Insurance Association estimates that one-fifth of insurance claims are fraudulent, most commonly in the form of the "disappearing deductible," where insureds raise the claim amount to cover their costs. The insurance company, in turn, raises its premiums to cover its losses due to fraud. Everyone loses.

In 1985 long-distance telephone companies reported losing 9% of their revenues to "fraudulent service switching," the practice of running up huge bills with one company and, without paying, jumping to another without fear of having their service disconnected. Now many companies require a 90-day agreement before switching service.

Not only are all these and many more examples of deceit and fraud costly to the nation's economy, they are also damaging to our moral and ethical foundations. Economies can rebound, but character at some point becomes set, and repentance becomes more difficult. With such an atmosphere of deception, our children grow up thinking such things are acceptable and even necessary for success. Trust in one another declines, and soon trust in God suffers greatly. This kind of environment breeds discontent, distrust, rebellion, and apostasy.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Deceptions of the End Time


 

Exodus 20:15

The eighth commandment of God's law—"You shall not steal"—reflects our sense of responsibility toward others and their possessions. It exposes whether we understand the motivating principle and purpose of the entire law of God, the principle of give rather than get (Acts 20:35). This commandment, found in Exodus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 5:19, is interwoven with the other commandments. Breaking it usually begins with covetousness. Such greed can lead to physical or mental violence and murder. It often involves fraud, deceit, and lying. Stealing to acquire the objects of our worship is spiritual adultery and idolatry against God. Succumbing to Satan's "get" way of life dishonors our spiritual Father and elevates the self above God. Would we consider stealing if we truly and deeply respected God's power and office?

Martin G. Collins
The Eighth Commandment


 

Exodus 20:16

Speech is arguably man's greatest gift and at the same time his most dangerous ability. It is impossible to estimate the good it has done when great men and women have truthfully instructed and inspired others. By contrast, we cannot measure how much evil the tongue has perpetrated, for falsehoods disguised as truth have destroyed reputations and even nations.

God devotes two of the Ten Commandments to the evils of false witnessing, the third and the ninth. These seem to be broken with impunity—sometimes even by those who are aware of their application—because the drives that motivate people to break them are so powerful.

God commands, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," but liars and lying abound. Everybody knows that marketers lie about what products can do. Books, magazines, and movies feature liars of many different stripes. The media and the public have caught prominent government figures from presidents on down lying about important issues.

According to an article by Jan Mendenhall in the June/July 1997 issue of Aspire, college kids lie to their moms in 50% of conversations. Dating couples lie to each other a third of the time, and spouses deceive each other in about 10% of major conversations. Twelve percent of four million Americans lost their jobs for "misrepresentation." A November 1997 survey conducted by the publishers of Who's Who Among American High Schools Students reveals that 76% of the students listed in their publication (supposedly the elite achievers) admit having cheated. Two-thirds of these believe it is "no big deal" to cheat to get a good test grade—and 65% of their parents agree!

We use a large number of euphemisms to soften the act of lying. Some are: duplicity, fabrication, evasion, stringing someone along, inaccuracy, exaggeration, fudging, rationalization, falsehood, "whopper," deception, misrepresentation, dishonesty, putting someone on, putting up a front, and fibbing.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

Exodus 20:16

To make a bad witness through ignorance or weakness is one thing, but to know better and deliberately mislead surely compounds the transgression! Why do we lie? We lie to cover up; we fear that something we wish to hide will be exposed. We also lie to rise above our feelings of inadequacy or inferiority or to lower a third party in the eyes of others. This latter reason tends to elevate ourselves in our own eyes and, we hope, in the eyes of others.

Consider the use of cosmetics in this regard. Makeup is frequently used to hide, to cover up what we consider to be inadequacies of beauty. But by whose standard are we inadequate? Are we really being a true witness of ourselves?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

Exodus 20:16

The ninth commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20), protects our relationship with God because by seeking and bearing true witness to the truth, we can have a relationship with God. God is truth (John 14:6), and he who speaks truth from the heart abides with God (Psalm 15:1-2). Speaking the truth also shows love toward our fellow man (Ephesians 4:15). Lies of any kind—bald-faced, white, or anywhere in between—cause separation and distrust, while truth, though sometimes hard to bear at first, produces unity and trust in the end.

Martin G. Collins
The Ninth Commandment


 

Exodus 20:16

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" has very far-reaching spiritual applications. Bear means "to spread, carry, render, or give." At first glance, the commandment appears to involve only lying in a court of law, and this might be true if the words in the commandment were to be taken only at face value. Jesus clearly shows that there is a "spirit," an intent, to God's laws in addition to the letter that carries their application far beyond mere face-value judgments.

Many scriptures show that the commandment covers lying under any circumstance, including hypocrisy and self-deception. That is, it covers any wrongful word or example that would tend to injure. The ninth commandment is in a similar position in man's relationship to other men as the third commandment is in man's relationship to God. This commandment directly involves faithfulness and loyalty in our speech and in our witness for God before men.

Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." The Soncino Commentary remarks that a person's good reputation, his name, is his most valuable asset. Indeed, the Bible shows that God guards and protects His name very jealously. This is because His name represents what He is.

So it is with us. But why do so many lie, sowing the seeds for the destruction of their reputation? It is the desire for the approval of others that leads them to twist a story or to deliberately exaggerate or diminish their parts in it in the retelling.

When we hear a name, images of that person and what he or she is immediately spring to mind. What we are and how others perceive us has everything to do with what we believe and practice. So, is what we believe and practice true? If we want to have a good name (reputation) in the eyes of both God and man, we, too, have to recognize truth—wherever and whenever it arises in daily life—understand it, and submit to it. This process produces faithfulness.

This is where truth in a person's witness begins. If truth does not form the foundation of a person's life, he is already behind the eight-ball to some extent. The urge to lie must be met and overcome. At the base of this problem is a deceitful heart (Jeremiah 17:9) that continually lays traps to make lying an appealing course to follow. Besides lying before men, some of us keep lying to ourselves, and thus our name before God is not good. Faithlessness is the result. In order to have a good name, we, as God's children, must face up to our vanities and quit deceiving ourselves that God will just have to take us as we are.

We need to stop blaming our failures, problems, and shortcomings on others, which tendency provides us with justifications for what we are and what we do. Within the family, Mom and Dad are frequent targets of this. They are usually guilty to some extent, but God puts the pressure on us to change. Change will not occur in this way of life until we face up to the truth that we are responsible for what we are. We also bear much of the responsibility of becoming what we hope to be. Nobody can do this for us.

This is the day-to-day "stuff" on which trustworthiness and righteous reputations are formed. They are built on the witness of what we do before others. God wants our reputation before men to be built, first, on His truth and then on truth in general. Are we honestly doing this as well as we could be?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Deuteronomy 19:15-21

If enacted today, the Old Testament law—that a false witness would receive the same penalty that would have been given to the accused—would substantially reduce the number of lawsuits in our courts! People sue indiscriminately because they have no penalties to fear. God considers such things as abominations!

Martin G. Collins
The Ninth Commandment


 

Joshua 7:20-21

Covetousness produces only negative results like theft, lying, murder, harmful lusts, and apostasy. Only sorrow comes from covetousness—and eventually death, if it is allowed to dominate a person's mind.

Martin G. Collins
The Tenth Commandment


 

Job 31:33

Job makes this statement because he has been accused of being a hypocrite, so he is defending his integrity. "Adam" represents mankind in general. Unlike mankind in general—though it is the natural thing to do—Job does not hide himself from the deceit of his heart, showing both his conversion and his wisdom. Sir Walter Scott wrote, "Oh what tangled webs we weave/ When first we practice to deceive." Job understood that either lying with the tongue or presenting a visible hypocrisy creates problems, not solve them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Psalm 119:69

Why lies? For two reasons: The first is to better obtain whatever he covets, and the second is to uphold and protect his image and then to build it up to what he imagines it should be.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 6)


 

Proverbs 13:15

When a person consistently has a perception of what is true and lives it, he gains a force of beauty of character. In other words, faithfulness creates favorable impressions that open doors for him.

For example, to whom would we rather loan money, to a person with a record of steady work and payment of debts or to one who cannot keep a job and consistently defaults on his obligations? Which one is more likely to get the loan? A person of good character recognizes his responsibility to truth, understands it, and submits to it. This produces the witness that glorifies God.

If a person will not follow this process, he will not have the good character and the good name to go with it. If he recognizes and understands his problem but does not submit to the truth, he is deceiving himself.

This principle holds true in every area in which a name is built, including marriage, childrearing, and health issues. Many run from the truth about themselves. Hardly anything will destroy a reputation quicker than for others to know an individual is lying to himself about what or how much he eats, his failure to discipline his children properly, or his careless inattention to his spouse. Such faithlessness provides a strong foundation for hypocrisy.

The ninth commandment not only covers bearing false witness verbally, but also bearing false witness about one's relationship with God by displaying a spotty example of conduct, all the while claiming to be Christian. To make a bad witness in ignorance or weakness is one thing, but to know better and deliberately mislead is another matter altogether.

Why do we lie? Often, it is to cover up our irresponsibility. We fear that something about ourselves we wish to keep hidden will be exposed, so we lie to protect the image we want others to see. We also lie to rise above our feelings of inadequacy or inferiority. We also do it to lower a third party in the eyes of others, which, of course, has the effect of elevating ourselves in our own eyes and, we hope, in the eyes of others.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Proverbs 14:5

"Bearing false witness" is lying. Conversely, a faithful witness gives accurate testimony. He declares events, statements, and information as they happened, not as he perceives them or as they give him an advantage. Such a person will consistently tell the complete truth.

Martin G. Collins
The Ninth Commandment


 

Proverbs 16:6

We overcome lying because God mercifully but forcefully brings it to our attention by revealing His truth. When we submit to His truth rather than our self-deceptions, we are beginning to overcome.

Commentators suggest an alternative translation of this verse: "By loyalty and faithfulness one escapes evil." The sense is that loyalty and faithfulness to God's truth are essential elements to escaping the second death. Obeying truth does not forgive sin, but it plays a part in cleaning our minds of the garbage of bad habits lodged in our character so that we are less likely to involve ourselves in sin. God's truth says we must not bear false witness, and that must be obeyed!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

Proverbs 26:18-19

These two verses begin a section largely devoted to illustrating the fruits of lying. They might be better translated as, "A man who deceives his neighbor and disguises his deception as a joke is as dangerous as a madman shooting arrows at a crowd. Someone will surely get hurt." Lying is never a joke, and someone always gets hurt, even though it may not be immediately apparent. Lying is sin and sin brings death. Do we believe this in the actual practice of life? Though the lie, when discovered, may cause laughter, a reputation has been stained and trust diminishes.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Proverbs 26:24-25

This continues the thought in verses 22-23, but it focuses on friendly words concealing hatred until the person sees the chance to pull the other down. He may speak graciously, but be careful! This sounds similar to the way the media approaches public figures, who are fair game for every abominable accusation, though they are unsubstantiated.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

Proverbs 26:26-28

These powerful words caution that one who indulges in activity like this will have his hatred exposed—and probably by the same means he has used on others!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

Proverbs 26:26

This verse is directly connected in thought to the previous ones, telling us in no uncertain terms that this sin has an obvious boomerang effect! The liar will fall into the pit he digs for others, and in the process, he will be exposed before others.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Proverbs 26:28

Clearly, lying is an act of hatred. It is so bad that it can bring ruin to those it is used against, and like a boomerang, it will return to destroy those who employ it.

Here is a good maxim to live by: Never believe anything bad about a person unless you know it to be absolutely true; never even tell that absolute truth to another unless it is absolutely necessary; and remember when you do tell it, God is listening.

Galatians 6:7-8 contains an important principle: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." All who believe God must deal with this reality. God cannot be fooled. Neither can God's law be fooled, just as the law of gravity cannot be fooled. A person cannot treat God or His law with contempt and get away with it. We are accountable to it whether we wish to be or not.

This principle teaches that what a man does to life, life does back to him. It is inescapable. "Do men gather grapes of thornbushes or figs of thistles?" Jesus asks (Matthew 7:16). The hypocrite cannot fool God's laws, only other people—and himself—for a while. This principle is instructing us not to delude ourselves into thinking that we will somehow escape its power. We must always strive to live the truth, which is a difficult job considering the heart within.

The prophet writes in Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" The Hebrew word translated deceitful can mean in this context "faithless, insincere, hypocritical, underhanded, false, dishonest, treacherous, sneaky, double-dealing, tricky, cunning, and crafty." They all apply.

The phrase desperately wicked, which can also be rendered as "perverse" or "incurable," implies that the heart knows better but does it anyhow. It is addicted to deceit or faithlessness! Who can fathom its treachery or corruptness? We know where this came from! "The prince of the power of the air" is largely responsible for this evil proclivity because his spirit dominates life in this world (Ephesians 2:2; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9). He was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44), deceiving himself into believing that he could overcome his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-14)!

Solomon says in Proverbs 11:9, "The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered." This proverb comforts Christians by reminding us that we have a hedge about us. It also reminds us that, eventually, truth will out. The flipside of this is that the lies, too, will be exposed and with them the condemnation of the liar. Why is this certain? Because there is a God in heaven overseeing His children's well-being.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Isaiah 29:13-15

This charge against Israel is to a people so insensitive to God and truth that they are blind to dishonesty's destructive power. On the national scene, we parade slogans such as "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God." Daily in the courts, citizens by the thousands swear on Bibles and then proceed to lie on the witness stand. Millions attend church on Sunday but then conduct business Monday through Saturday in the normal, self-centered, "let's get as much as we can" fashion.

We Americans grew up in this twisted environment and perhaps never really questioned it—we merely accepted it as normal. To some degree, it has conditioned our approach to life. In Isaiah 29, God accuses His people of hypocritically playing games with His truth and of not facing up to its standards in daily life. Jesus quotes verse 13 in Matthew 15:8, charging the scribes and Pharisees with being hypocrites. In both cases, the context is strikingly similar. In both, deceived and hypocritical people mishandle God's revelation. However, after a period of persistent practice, the deception or hypocrisy establishes itself as the way of life!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Amos 1:3

Notice first that the Gentile nations are guilty of the same basic sins—that of gross and vicious cruelties in warfare. In sharp contrast, God charges Judah with commandment-breaking, specifically lying. Israel's sins largely involve national and personal deceitful faithlessness in social, economic, and cultural circumstances. This is not to say that other nations do not have some of these same characteristics or that Israelites have no vicious streak in them. However, Israelites have the Word of God and most especially God's commandments more generally available to them and thus have less excuse, so God holds them more accountable than any other people (Amos 3:2). To whom much is given much more is required (Luke 12:47-48). Israelites should know better.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Seventh Commandment


 

Amos 2:4-5

Unlike the judgments of the Gentiles (Amos 1:3 - 2:3), Amos indicts Judah for breaking His commandments, specifically lying.

Judah's despising of God's law and Israel's commanding the prophets to stop preaching His Word (Amos 2:12) reflect exactly the same moral condition: Both refused the voice of God as spoken through His prophets. What God intended to be their privilege through revelation of Himself and His law had turned out to be their central peril. It is another way of saying, "To whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:48).

Despising truth is an inward attitude that outwardly reveals itself in immorality, and this is the condition God found in ancient Israel. The people had become complacent about His revelation to them. They zealously sought after knowledge - even religious knowledge - but they did not really love the truth (Romans 10:2-3). This was reflected in their immorality; if they had loved God's truth, they would have been living it, and God would have had no cause for judgment.

In this information age, we accumulate mounds of data - regarding ethics, solutions to social ills, and the like - yet our morals decline. Intelligent, educated individuals have written many Bible commentaries, but they still refuse to keep the Sabbath or holy days. They write that Christmas and Easter have pagan origins and are not commanded in the Bible, but they still observe them. They do not love God's truth enough to change. This was Israel's problem, and it could be ours if we are not careful.

Because God has revealed His truth to us, each individual Christian has a responsibility to conform to it and grow. A greater diversity of distractions compete for our time and attention than at any other time in the history of mankind. If we are not extremely careful, and if we lose our sense of urgency, we will gradually lose our understanding of what is true and what is not. Our ability to distinguish between right and wrong will become blurred. We must make sure that God, His Word, and His way are always first in our lives.

Christ said that if we keep the truth, the truth in turn will keep us free (John 8:31-36). If we live it, the revealed truth of God will protect us from sinking back into slavery to sin. But first we must love the truth we have been given. Humanly, we pursue what we love. God wants a father-child or teacher-student relationship with us. If we do not love truth, and if we do not pursue it and God Himself, we will seriously undermine our relationship with Him, and He could interpret our attitude as despising His truth.

Love of the truth comes from God through His Holy Spirit and must be nourished through our response to it. We must not only learn it but also apply it in our lives. This will make the difference between being saved and perishing (II Thessalonians 2:9-12).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part One)


 

Matthew 24:3-4

Christ is saying that an increase in lying and deceit will be a hallmark of the end time. Jesus speaks particularly of religious deception, especially of those who "will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (verse 5). Most likely, He did not mean those who acclaimed themselves to be the Messiah, but those who would use Jesus' name to preach falsehood. Every "Christian" church of this world professes Christ as Savior, but do their ministers preach the truth He brought? Are many "Christians"—1.9 billion strong around the world in 1996—being deceived by a false gospel? This prophecy is fulfilled every Sunday around the world.

But it affects not only Christians. The other religions of man are no more honest than this world's Christianity. Regarding the ninth commandment, Judaism's "great" rabbis of the past have made exceptions to allow for deceit and lying. For example, they would allow a Jew to lie to Christians and other "heathens," but it was a great sin to lie to another Jew. The Talmud maintains and endorses falsehoods about Jesus, vilifying Him with names and alleging He was illegitimate.

Islam fares no better. It purports that God chose Ishmael over Isaac and the Arab peoples over the Israelites, but it uses large chunks of Israelite history to fill out its past. It claims Mohammed is a greater prophet than Jesus, and that he ascended to heaven on his horse from the site of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Its adherents believe that killing infidels will earn them a place in heaven, spawning worldwide, state-sponsored terrorism.

The many Eastern religions range from polytheism and animism to abstract, existential philosophies. None teach the truth about the great questions of life. For example, regarding life after death, Eastern religions run the gamut from nihilism to reincarnation, while none preach the Kingdom of God. Some espouse living a moral life, and others take a more epicurean stance, but none teach all of the Ten Commandments. Billions of people have been and are being deceived by these false faiths.

The latecomers to the smorgasbord of this world's religions are the New Age groups. They often blend, or syncretize, traditional beliefs with some form of mysticism, spiritism, or rank demonism. Some of these call Jesus one of the "enlightened masters" or call Him an embodiment of Lucifer or, like some of the Gnostics, believe He was "the first emanation [creation] of God." Whatever the case, such religions have deceived millions and led them farther away from the truth of God.

Jesus' instruction, however, is simple: Be vigilant not to be deceived. Through the apostle Paul, He teaches, "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). In I Timothy 6:20, he writes, "Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge."

In his next letter to Timothy, Paul expounds further:

Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit [which] dwells in us. (II Timothy 1:13-14)

Once we have proved what is right and true by the faith and love of God, we must never let anyone persuade us otherwise! We have the strength to hang on to it through God's own power.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Deceptions of the End Time


 

Mark 7:6-9

Most of this world's holidays are based on fables, myths, and lies, while the Christian is commanded to worship God "in spirit and in truth." A true Christian does not lie and does not associate with lies, but seeks after truth in all aspects of life. If we live with a little lie now, then it is much easier to live with a worse lie later. God is emphatic on this point: A liar will not enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:7-8).

Martin G. Collins
Pagan Holidays


 

John 1:46-47

Without deceit means "simple, without subtlety, candid and sincere." Was this a compliment or a mild sarcasm? Jesus may actually have been pleasantly surprised.

All need to pay heed to His comment, in which He is teaching that "a real Israelite is one in whom is no falsehood." Nathanael represented the way a true Israelite should be, a person without deceit, candid and sincere. Jesus seems to be referring to the post-conversion character of the once-deceitful Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites, whose name God changed to "Israel." Before Jacob's conversion, Isaac had said to Esau, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing" (Genesis 27:35), yet afterward, Jacob dealt honestly and fairly with others.

However, lying is such an integral part of the fabric of our lives that we have coined such expressions of mild disbelief as "Is that so?" and "Do you really mean it?" We expect advertisers to exaggerate the quality of their products. We expect politicians to be crooked, to lie, to be evasive, to use their positions to become wealthy, and to make under-the-table deals with contractors or even crime figures. We expect policemen to be "on the take" and businessmen to give little in return for as high a cost as the traffic will bear.

Indeed, the protestors of the 1960s justified the turmoil on the streets because of their disillusionment with the obvious hypocrisies of leaders becoming wealthy on a prolonged, senseless war. During that same general period, Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson were caught openly lying at news conferences. A web of intrigue and lies brought about President Nixon's resignation. Even General Motors misrepresented Oldsmobile cars with Chevy engines!

People in government commonly lie "in the national interest," as the saying goes. Many have testified that Bill and Hillary Clinton spent eight years continuously lying about a wide variety of personal failings, moneymaking deals, and political intrigues they were involved in. The media took the Bush administration to task on its obfuscations regarding the Iraq War.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill served his nation most critically in wartime, during which artful lying, called disinformation, is a common tactic. He once said, "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Do we as a people think that no one is listening?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

John 1:47

This verse is an interesting commentary on mankind regarding the sin of lying, which is so common that it seems to be "in the genes"! Jesus seems pleasantly surprised at Nathanael. He describes a person without deceit, a simple, innocent person without subtlety, candid, and sincere. Is this a compliment or mild sarcasm? Or is He saying, "Here is a genuine Israelite, one in whom is no falsehood?" If so, He means, "This is how an Israelite should be!"

Regardless, Nathanael's lack of guile impressed Jesus, indicating its rarity. Lying is such an integral part of our lives that we have coined such expressions of disbelief as "Is that so?" "Do you really mean it?" or "You don't say!" because so many tales we hear stretch credulity.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

John 8:44

This is the spirit—the attitude, the mind, the heart—that is driving humanity. For anybody whose father is Satan, it is in his or her nature to break the commandments. This is why God says that "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). It is impossible! There has to be a change, a conversion, to the divine nature. Thus, Satan cannot help himself. He gathers things to himself because he is self-centered, and he gathers them for the purpose of killing or abusing them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Love's Importance and Source


 

Romans 1:18

Commandment breakers suppress the truth to avoid admitting they are wrong. The human mind reasons that it is easier to lie than to live God's way, which they view as oppressive. But by lying, they become slaves to sin and Satan, the father of lies.

Martin G. Collins
The Ninth Commandment


 

Galatians 6:7-8

God cannot be fooled, and liars seem to forget His awareness. While they mind, or side with, the things of the flesh, they put themselves in jeopardy of reaping what they have allied with - death. We cannot treat His law with disrespect or contempt and get away with it. Just as gravity cannot be tricked, neither can God's law. We are accountable to it whether we wish to be or not.

What we do in life, life does back to us. We cannot escape it! If we sow to death, we will reap death. If we sow to life - eternal life - we will reap life. Jesus asked, "Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?" (Matthew 7:16). A hypocrite cannot fool God's laws, only others and himself - for a while.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment (1997)


 

James 1:26

Putting a bridle on our tongue is absolutely essential because a liar is not merely deceived. Each additional lie gets him in deeper and deeper until he loses track and believes his own lies. He tells them or lives them so often that, like an alcoholic, he loses his grip on reality. Each lie adds to the difficulty of changing for the better. If it continues, the person becomes addicted to it as a way of life.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Ninth Commandment


 

Find more Bible verses about Lying:
Lying {Nave's}
Lying {Torrey's}
 




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