Truth and Lies.      

All quotations are from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Here God speaks truth to Adam, for Adam and Eve’s wellbeing. No ‘white lies’. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

God had spoken directly to Adam, we could assume that Adam passed on the message from God to his wife. From God the supreme Head to the man and Adam the head of his wife to Eve. The warning was true no matter who gave it. Truth is truth. Satan, the father of lies, chose to seduce Eve with his deception. He did not challenge God’s truth directly. Satan questioned if Eve could eat any fruit she liked. He prompted Eve to doubt whether God really meant what He had said. Satan lied with what seemed to be reasonable and true in a way. ’You will not surely die’. Eve did not drop dead on the spot after eating the forbidden fruit. She then passed on this lie, giving the fruit to Adam to eat. Eve hadn’t died yet so where is the harm? Satan had exploited their desires and curiosity to get them to doubt God’s truth.

Genesis 32:9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.

All the folk that God dealt with in giving promises to bless learnt that God’s word is always true. Truth is the signature characteristic of God.

Deuteronomy 32:3 For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Here Moses affirms and confesses that God is the God of truth.

Psalms 86:11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

David equated every word of God with truth.

Psalms 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

God’s truth can be trusted absolutely because He is truth.

Psalms 116:11 I said in my haste, “All men are liars.”

David acknowledges that all men either deliberately lie or inadvertently lie in passing on lies. It is important to know this fact, as we shall see later on.

Psalms 119:160 The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

There are no white lies, no fables or myths when God speaks.

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Word made flesh and blood, is truth incarnate. He could not lie because God cannot lie.

John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Continuing, living in whatever the Lord Jesus, the Christ speaks to us, makes us truly His disciples or students. The disciples of Jesus are not hearers only, but doers of His word.  His word is always true, to hear His truth sets us free. Whom the Lord makes free is free indeed.

John 8:43 “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  “Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  “He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

By nature we are all liars and find truth difficult to live with. Through the grace of God granting us repentance and faith towards the Lord Jesus the Christ we can be born of water; that is, baptised or washed in the name of Jesus for the remission of our sins. This results in a clean conscience towards God and qualifies us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. As new creations we become able to hear and listen to the words of Jesus which are truth and life. Not being able to hear Jesus speaking to us is evidence that we are not born of God. The good news is that God has opened up the possibility of this new birth through repentance and faith in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

John 8:55 “Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.

Even when the hearers would not believe Him, Jesus only speaks truth.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

As the Word made flesh Jesus of Nazareth is the embodiment of the truth. God’s truth brings us to Himself.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

As there is one God alone, Who is Spirit; and the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit; The Spirit of Jesus, the mind of Christ is the Spirit of truth who lives with His disciples forever. Words fail me!

John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

What confidence we can have in the indwelling Spirit of truth, Christ in us, the hope of glory.

John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

The disciples of Jesus are set apart, separated to God from the world by truth. God’s truth is a two edged sword. The apostle Paul was set apart by the truth he declared of the cross of Jesus the Christ. God’s truth will separate those who gladly receive His word from those who oppose it.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

As a politician, a statesman, a ruler, one of Cesar’s aides, Pilate knew all about lies. He knew about half-truths. He knew about deception. He knew about manipulation and coercion. He probably had lost sight completely of truth. In our world also, it is extremely difficult to go through employment and other avenues of social life without being pressured to lie or compromise the truth in some way. Jesus being the truth set Him apart. If we hear the truth and speak the truth we hear we will also be set apart.

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?  “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”  Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

When we are of God’s household it is expected that we do not try to lie to our Master. The above incident demonstrates how critical it is that truth is not compromised by those entrusted with the good news of eternal life. Judgement does begin at the household of God.

Romans 3:4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:“That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”

Having seen how important it is to not try lying to God we paradoxically need to know that all men are liars. In the right circumstances anyone can be pressured into not being straightforward with the truth. The word that is from the Spirit of truth will always be true but the person used as the oracle of God is still potentially a liar.

Galatians 2:11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

Here the truth of the good news of salvation was being compromised by dishonest behaviour. By the apostles of Jesus Christ! Peter was under pressure from the religious Jewish disciples from Jerusalem. Peter’s behaviour pressured Barnabas into copying him. Soon all the Jewish believers at Antioch were copying them and distorting the truth of the gospel. Lies can quickly spread like leaven throughout the whole lump of dough. Someone has to stand up for truth, no matter who is going along with the lie! How much more in this day when the message of repentance and remission of sins through the name of Jesus has been largely compromised, diluted and distorted. By ‘Christian’ preaching celebrities!

Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

Without truth in the local assembly of the disciples of Jesus Christ standards will rapidly crumble. Lusts are inherently deceitful. Just as Eve saw that the fruit was to be desired, our desires can lead to swallowing the lies of Satan.

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

The light is truth, the darkness is lies. The answer to lies is the truth. Christ will give us light as we put to death the deeds of the flesh and put on Christ, even the Spirit of truth.

1 Timothy 3:14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church (assembly) of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The assembly of those who walk in truth, in the power, teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit of truth is the pillar and ground of truth. If there is any place on earth for the truth it is where the saints are together in the name of Jesus the Christ.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Satan will keep on speaking lies until the very end. Satan will try to deceive if possible even the very elect, those chosen for repentance to life. The lies will be a challenge to the truth of the good news of repentance and remission of sins through/by/in the name of Jesus the Christ. When Paul writes about the faith he means the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus the Christ that is by revelation of Jesus Christ. People don’t make up their own lies, they rather are deceived by Satan and spread his lies. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;

Where men walk in the lusts of the flesh the truth will be in short supply and will be held in contempt. Those who resist the truth expose themselves as corrupt. Only God is true, every man is a liar.

Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop (overseer) must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:

Though this may seem harsh, there is safety in knowing just how weak and poor we are so that we might become rich in the grace of God through the indwelling Spirit of truth. If those who teach are not filled with the Spirit how will they teach truth and not pass on lies?

James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

With the knowledge that anyone of us may wander from the truth we perhaps will look out for one another and for ourselves. When one does fall for a lie though, he needs his brothers to help him with the truth.

1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

All of God’s commandments are true. As many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God. If Christ is in us and we in Him, His truth is in us and we can walk in the truth. This truth will set us free from the power of the lies of Satan.

To discuss this or any other matter regarding the good news of Jesus Christ please email;  

Colin Thompson, Gateshead, England.

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