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The Ninth Commandment: What is a Lie?

Bible Study on Lying and Deceit

Our society has become complacent with lying. We lie to manipulate people. We lie to protect ourselves. We lie to protect other’s feelings. In fact, many of today’s therapists teach people to lie and help them understand the healthy boundaries of lying. So why do the bible scriptures take such a dim view of lying? Why doesn’t the bible realize that not all lying is bad?

There are some truths about lying that society has tried to hide under good meaning theories and logical sounding arguments.

Lying Manipulates

A lie is always born out of the desire to manipulate another person into doing something, or thinking something, in a way that you want them to do. This removes their ‘right’ to make their own choice and come to their own conclusions based on the facts. Is it really your right to keep silent or twist words so that someone is not hurt? We read verses that clearly state that God’s Children hate lies, they avoid them, and reject those who lie.

The bible offers no variations between lies of omission, white lies, or lies meant to protect us. It seems harsh for God to make a statement like ‘God Hates Lies’ or ‘They shall not enter heaven … who lies’. It is almost impossible to imagine not lying, or that God would consider it a sin to lie to a loved one to protect their feelings.

Trust and Honesty

To understand why God hates lying, we need to understand a couple things. First, many of our lies are born in our own pain and unwillingness to forgive. Christians who lies are covering hurts and pains instead of healing from them.

Honesty or lying is a direct reflection of your inner character, your faith, your beliefs, and your witness to the world. Honesty also creates a clear conscious and helps prevent mental illness, anxiety, and stress related problems.

God’s ultimate purpose is to help us learn to be Christ like. He wants us to heal, become strong emotionally, and to learn how to face life’s challenges without fear.

Honesty with Yourself

The most important reason to be honest is because if you lie to others, then you won’t recognize when you lie to yourself. How many women marry the wrong guy because they deceived themselves? How many times have you heard a woman say she regretted getting married within months, weeks, or even hours? We cannot be honest in our evaluation of ourselves or others (Romans 12:3) if we have learned to deceive others and ourselves.

The bible says that when we fall into a trap of deception then we become blinded to the truth. By learning to be honest we ‘renew our minds’ and it becomes more difficult to be swayed by bible misinterpretations or wrong theology. In fact, many of today’s Christians even lie to God. How many days have you gone without asking forgiveness of sin? Do you really believe that you haven’t sinned? Or, has deception dulled your view of right and wrong to the point where you no longer see sin as sin? It is a serious question to ask yourself.

Hypocrisy

An serious form of lying is hypocrisy. 1 John 2:4 teaches that if a person says they are saved, but do not keep God’s commands, then that person is a liar. Lying is destructive. It destroys churches. It destroys families. People make bad choices and destroy their own lives. Ultimately, it creates an apathetic Christian who believes they are saved no matter how they live, or whether they have a personal relationship with God – or not.

Without honesty the darkness in our lives will not be exposed. We will not move closer to Christ, and will misunderstand the basic elements of salvation. The deceiver will become the deceived and the ultimate cost may be spending eternity with the father of deceivers, instead of with God our loving Heavenly Father.

The Bible’s View of Deceit
Look at how the world has become deceitful. Now we have learned and logical people, highly educated, telling us that the truth is relevant to what we want it to be. What is true for me may not be true for you. That there is no ‘real’ truth – a statement that defies the Christian belief in Christ. If Christ is the truth, and we do not believe that the truth should be a fundamental part of our lives – then do we actually, truly, believe in Christ?

It is a good topic for discussion in any small group. Feel free to comment and add your thoughts to this discussion. Also, read some of the following bible scriptures and offer your views of their meaning.

Bible Scriptures on Lying

Leviticus 6:1-4, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour…or hath deceived his neighbour…and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty,”

Leviticus 19:11, “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.”

Job 11:3,5, “Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;”

Job 13:4, “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.”

Job 24:25, “…who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?”

Psalms 24:4-5, “He…who hath not…sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD,”

Psalms 31:6, “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.”

Psalms 31:18, “Let the lying lips be put to silence;”

Psalms 40:4, “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”

Psalms 52:2-4, “Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.”

Psalms 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

Psalms 59:12, “For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.”

Psalms 62:3-4, “… ye shall be slain all of you…they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.”

Psalms 63:11, “…the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

Psalms 101:7, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”

Psalms 109:2, “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.”

Psalms 119:29, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.”

Psalms 119:69, “The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.”

Psalms 119:163, “I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.”

Psalms 120:2, “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.”

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Proverbs 8:7, “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”

Proverbs 10:18, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.”

Proverbs 12:19, “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”

Proverbs 13:5, “A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.”

Proverbs 14:5, “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.”

Proverbs 14:25, “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.”

Proverbs 17:4, “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.”

Proverbs 17:7, “Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.”

Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.”

Proverbs 19:9, “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”

Proverbs 19:22, “The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.”

Proverbs 21:6, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.”

Proverbs 26:28, “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”

Proverbs 29:12, “If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.”

Proverbs 30:6, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

Proverbs 30:8, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:”

Isaiah 28:15,17, “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement;…for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:…the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”

Isaiah 30:9, “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:”

Isaiah 32:7, “The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.”

Isaiah 44:24-25, “…I am the LORD…That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad;”

Isaiah 59:2-4, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For…your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness…they trust in vanity, and speak lies; ”

Isaiah 59:12-13, “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.”

Isaiah 63:8, “For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.”

Jeremiah 7:4, “Trust ye not in lying words,”

Jeremiah 7:8-9, “Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye…swear falsely…and walk after other gods…?”

Jeremiah 9:3, “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.”

Jeremiah 9:5, “And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.”

Jeremiah 14:14, “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.”

Jeremiah 15:18, “Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?”

Jeremiah 16:19, “…Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”

Jeremiah 23:14, “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies:”

Jeremiah 23:26, “How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;”

Jeremiah 23:32, “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”

Jeremiah 27:10, “For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.”

Jeremiah 29:23, “Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD.”

Ezekiel 13:8, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel 13:19, “And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?”

Ezekiel 13:22-23, “Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”

Ezekiel 22:28, “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”

Ezekiel 24:12, “She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.”

Daniel 11:27, “…and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper:”

Hosea 4:2, “By swearing, and lying…they break out and blood toucheth blood.”

Hosea 7:3, “They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.”

Hosea 10:13, “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.”

Jonah 2:8, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

Micah 6:12-13, “…the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.”

Nahum 3:1, “Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies”

Zephaniah 3:13, “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:”

Zechariah 8:16, “These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour;”

Zechariah 13:3, “…Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: ”

Malachi 2:6, “The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips:”

Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…false witness…These are the things which defile a man: ”

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.”

Acts 5:3, “…why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, ”

Acts 26:25, “But he [Paul] said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.”

Romans 1:24-25, “…through the lusts of their own hearts…Who changed the truth of God into a lie,”

Romans 9:1, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not,”

2 Corinthians 11:31, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.”

Galatians 1:20, “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.”

Ephesians 4:25, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”

Colossians 3:9, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

1 Timothy 1:9-10, “…the law is not made for a righteous man, but…for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”

1 Timothy 2:7, “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not)”

1 Timothy 4:2, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”

James 3:14, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”

Titus 1:2, “…God…cannot lie, ”

Hebrews 6:18, “…in which it was impossible for God to lie, ”

1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”

1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

1 John 2:21, “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”

1 John 2:22, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

1 John 2:27, “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 4:20, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

Revelation 2:2, “…thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:”

Revelation 3:9, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which…do lie;”

Revelation 21:8, “…and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:”

Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 22:14-15, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are…whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”

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