The Message - Sermon

Lying

Why do people lie? Does God lie? Does the Devil lie? How do forgiveness works when we are falsely accused of lies? Are there consequences for lying?  Are white lies considered as small lies? So, is it ok to lie!

A lie is a statement used intentionally for the purpose of deception. The practice of communicating lies is called lying, and a person who communicates a lie may be termed a liar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie

When we are caught of lying, what do we do? We tried  to explain why we lied, stand firm to our lie or correct the lie and accept responsibility.  Making up stories and get caught is very embarrassing. Mark Twain quoted “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”The best thing to do is to be humble and ask for forgiveness which is a noble and righteous thing to do. Humbleness could lead to forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not only setting the liar free. However, although not easy, it is necessary for our own healing.  The resentment, anger in our mind and heart can drain us if we do  not let go. It is easy to say but harder to get it out of our system.   God promises that if we seek His face instead of retribution, He will bring healing to our body and peace to our mind. Forgive and forget is necessary for healing, easy said than done, but it can be done.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32).  God will bless us continuously by obeying His pleasing and perfect Will  if we have no ungodly feelings towards others, no desire to group in corrupt environment who nearly worship money and power, no hatred, no envy and pride. With God in our heart and mind, there will be no room for evil thoughts and doubts and only God will be the desire of our heart.

To be blessed with complete happiness, do what Matthew 5:5-12(NIV) told as about happy living:

5 “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!

6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!

7 “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!

8 “Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!

9 “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!

10 “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

11 “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.

12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven.

Forgiveness is embedded in us since the beginning of time when God made us in His image bundled with mercy, grace and authority as partaker of His divine nature.  When we obey what God made us to be,  we can be like Him.  Mercy and forgiveness will make us complete. As (Micah 7:18)  stated, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”The Psalmist stated:  “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’(Psalm 82:6);

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’ (John 10:34). And in Ephesians 5:1 (NCV) “You are God’s children whom He loves, so try to be like Him.”

Mercy and grace is the foundation of love.  God loves us even before we love Him and our relation with Him is through forgiveness.  Just imagine without forgiveness how can we define love in its entirety. We are all sinners and sin will separate us from Him, but His nature of Forgiveness resets our relationship to be a better person to Him.  Although we make great efforts to achieve to be closer to Him, we still fail, sometimes.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Clearly stated by Paul in Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

Why do people lie? Is it necessary?

Does it advance our cause in order to gain something, or we just have a habit of doing so!  Lies could destroy someone’s life and destroy one’s life, the whole family for a short time,  for more worse or could be a lifetime.  

They know that!  Everybody knows that!!  But why?  Is it in our genes that we cannot help that consistent and sometimes outrageous lies?  As described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck, Pathological lying is a behavior of habitual or compulsive lying.

Lying, whether for a good cause, small or big is still a lie and a sin before God. The Ten Commandments said: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”.  When a person is righteous and his enemies can find nothing with which to blame him, bearing false witness is a common weapon. Lying comes from the sinful nature of man.  Our hearts breathe Lies, our mind is overruled by evil thoughts and a lie that comes out of our mouth and delivered by a lying tongue defiles a man. “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matthew 15:11

There are two natures in the child of God as described.  In Galatians 5:17  it says: ”For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.”  We should not ignore what the Spirit of God wants us to do it is the only way to cure a lying heart.  We have to repent and submit to God to receive a new heart that can only be given by Him. ”I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26(NIV)

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (John 3:6)(John 6:63) (NIV)
         

The old self which is controlled by the flesh is gone and the new will take place with the Spirit of God, as it is written: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24(NIV)
         

Though God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, we still need to confess and ask.  We must speak the truth in love and walk every step with honesty and respect and act like the walking advertisement of His holiness.  As stated in the gospel of Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Lying was seen as sinful; when the serpent lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden and caused the fall of man that lead judgment upon him. (Genesis 3:1)
Scripture provides many other ways in which lying is sinful. Proverbs 26:28

“A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”Lying is ultimately the work of the devil. (John 8:44).Lying can bring the judgment of God. Acts 5:3                                          

Lying is part of the “old self.” (Colossians 3:9).Lying does not show love to neighbor (Ephesians 4:25)  Lying undermine God’s truth. First John 2:21

Does God lie? God never lies!        

This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God-who does not lie promised them before the world began. God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.,But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Titus 1:2 (NLT), Number 23:19, (NIV), Ephesians 4:9 (NIV),Revelation 21:8 (ESV)

Are white lies acceptable to God especially when it’s harmless? We stated that lying is a sin as written (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22).

White lies though it’s harmless are still defined as a sin, although the intent to deceive or making an untrue statement is to favor a truth.  White lies are common, especially to some people. For example,  movie stars when it comes to their age; marital status, and income, sometimes when it comes to keeping their life private.

Lying is indispensable.  Car salesmen have to lie about the condition of the vehicle to meet the quota required by the management.  We sometimes lie in our job applications just to get the job.  Many people even lied to their teeth believing that it doesn’t matter as long as nobody gets hurt.  Self-righteous people already pre-judged their work of lie that little lies don’t count against them.

The Scripture advises us in Romans 6:23 (NIV)” For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And in Revelation 21:8 (NIV) “All liars will be consigned to the lake of fire. This is the second death.” God’s condemnation of lying in Proverbs 6:16–19, that lying tongue and false witness carries no exclusion for condemnation. White lies may have good results for a person who lied but not to the persons who entrusted him. A person who consistently lies to benefit himself financially or to advance himself in a corporate environment will eventually be seen for what he really is – A LIAR.

Using white lie to benefit own self is considered to be covetous, selfish in his desire to acquire power, wealth, and control over others. Cultic practices are regarded as one. Whether small or large lies, both are considered by some as workers of the father of all lies, the great deceiver who made mankind perfectly imperfect. God made us perfect from the beginning of time and become imperfect.  “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned”    

Ignorance of the Word of God leads us to fall to temptation and may end to the lake of fire. “For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16 (NIV)

It’s very clear that the Bible discloses that truth and peace exist together; “Love truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19). Many believe that speaking white lies is an expression of speaking lies out of “love”,  despite, the Bible advises us to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

It is pleasing to God, to tell the truth without compromising that all lies are unpleasant to Him. Sometimes telling the truth is not easy without using white lies, but we are called to be truthful to every word that comes out from our mouth. Truthfulness is God’s delight (Proverbs 12:22); telling the truth is neither a request nor a suggestion but a command.  The Psalmist, Prophet, and Paul said it,  that it is a command!  Have to speak the truth from their heart (Psalm 15:2);  Speak the truth to each other, (Zechariah 8:16); put off falsehood and speak truthfully (Ephesians 4:25 ) father of lies (John 8:44). Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. (Psalm 31:5).      

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)

Temptations, Lies and Deceptions

 The account of Jesus Christ of His encounter with the devil’s tactics. It is very important to acquire knowledge and understanding of the Word of God as it is written. We can use this knowledge to stop the temptations, lies, and deceptions by the enemy of our faith. Jesus Christ showed us how to counter these attacks by using what was written, the effectiveness of being submissive to God and His word.

Matthew 4:1-11” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”  And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple  and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to him, “All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written,“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and he only shall you serve.’ ”Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

We thank  Jesus Christ for sharing his encounter with the devil. He showed us how the Word of God was used to entice him; how it concealed and misrepresented the truth and with utmost importance, we thank him for showing us how to counterstrike the temptation and deception by using the Word of God.

The enemy has knowledge of the Word of God and may use it to deceive us. We should, therefore, be mindful of the word used by Jesus to overcome the temptation and defuse tense moments that caused the enemy to leave – “Begone, Satan!  For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” The Son demonstrated the truth of the word and the enemy hates the truth. God equipped us with His truth to succeed in dealing with temptations, lies, and deceit. The truth is bigger than lies and we can rest on it.

Does Devil lie?  Always!

“For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.” Proverb 4:16 (NLT)

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything.  It doesn’t matter how big and small.  It is their delight to destroy the lives of others as it seems to be their joy and great accomplishments. Telling the truth is the very good thing a person can do, but for liars, it is very difficult as it does not give them comfort and pleasure. The first lie happened in the Garden of Eden during the dispensation of the time of innocence, the time of sinless environment, and the unlimited joy of paradise. We can ask ourselves how the sin of lying raised up into the garden of paradise and made Eve fall to the greatest deception of all times. When God created the paradise for Adam the presence of the prince of darkness was somehow somewhere.

Satan divides the word of God to deceive Eve with this lie: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1) and followed up by saying “You will not certainly die” (Genesis 3:4). Eve’s innocence caused the first lie to succeed on earth and Adam joined in. God’s limitless power and divine nature have been judged (Romans 1:20). So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After God drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:23-24). Life is not the same anymore. Our fallen nature was carried out all through generations. We inherited lies and it is an awkward and unpleasant inheritance that we do not want to be part of if we could.

Can God change our fallen nature? As it is written Number 23:19; “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” God is a Spirit that gives life, a Creator, and not a destroyer. He doesn’t change His purpose and will but He can change the circumstances. During the time of the prophet Jonah, God is going to destroy the City of Nineveh for their wickedness, but God’s love for the children of Nineveh made Him changed His mind by delaying the destruction and instead sent Jonah who then preached the forthcoming judgment against them and afterward the people repented and worship God. 50 years later they went back to their wickedness. As prophesied by the prophet Nahum the destruction of Nineveh came into place in 612 BC, the famous city of Assyria never recover.  “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people,” (Exodus 32:14).

“Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and the Lord changed His mind about the misfortune which He had pronounced against them? But we are committing a great evil against ourselves,” (Jeremiah 26:19).

Satan and demons’ aggressive attack against the children of God is using their skills to lie and to deceive.  Many fall on this bluff and draw people away from the truth. Satan’s kingdom is full of sinners, and not limited to unbelievers, all liars, murderers, sexually immoral, idolaters, and those who practice magic arts. Revelation 21:8. The Bible is very clear that whoever believes in the Son will not perish but have eternal life John 3:16. The sins mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19, include lying tongue and false witness while in Galatians 5:19-21 adds envy, self ambition, and jealousy to name a few. Also, Paul added stealing, swindling, and drunkenness written in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

The devil uses various kinds of deceitful tricks to fool the children of God whose maturity and level of faith still are vulnerable to temptations and deceptions. For example,  the young who just learned to know what is left and what is right, the people that don’t have enough knowledge and understanding of the word of God as well as those who are ignorant of His word.  Many of Satan’s lies tend to go and on and on and he makes it sure to keep it alive.

For example, he used Eve to convince Adam, and still uses the same old tricks today. He uses a charismatic group of people to further his evilness, he uses foolish, brainless people to spread his evil works and in many cases, he uses false religions, cults, and occults.  Devils also work on miracles and healings that convinced people to believe that it is the work of God. Satan has told more lies to more people and his tactics, even before time began deceived the angels of God to fall to his trap. His “little white lies” is a very common practice and almost becomes a day by day mission.

Many started with little lies and eventually became a habit and develop lying effectively.  Many salesmen become successful by lying, disregarding the consequences to the customers. The majority of Politicians are good on lying and they are experts on broken promises that eventually turn into lies. Some are using the pulpit by dividing the word of God without shame of lying “Do not think about tomorrow for we do not know if we are still here, almost saying “why save for the future when you can enjoy the fruit of you labor today”  that is bending the word of truth in Matthew 6.

The Bible told us that we can save “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper so that there will be no collecting when I come.” 1 Corinthians 16:2 putting your money to work and multiplying it is a wise thing to do.

Proverbs 21:20 says “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” While Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”, Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Storing up treasure for themselves is a good foundation for the future, but be mindful that we are also called to be generous and ready to share.  

Many religious leaders of different beliefs divide the truth of the word of God for their own financial gain; some even have more than one jet, more than one mansion.  When these religious leaders do missions,  they sleep in an executive suite,  if not presidential that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars per day. That’s a lot of money considering the money came from members who, probably some are living from paycheck to paycheck or trying to make ends meet.  What really hurts the most is they live a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of Truth. These people are more likely to fall if not on the devil’s hand by now. Jude reminded us about this kind of people: Jude 1:17-19  “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

Seek for the truth and the truth will set us free. We have to be aware that Satan has many names and mostly describe his true nature: He is the Prince of this world (John 12:31), the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), Satan as tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5), great dragon, devil & Satan (Revelation 12:9), Beelzebub-prince of the demons (Matthew 10:25), Belial or the King of Evil, was responsible for bringing wickedness to man (2 Corinthians 6:15). Our awareness of any of these names and nature of his deeds will bring us to the knowledge of identifying whom we are dealing with and understanding Satan’s intention to draw us away from the truth and separate us from the love of God.

Sins that God hate

The unbeliever, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars meaning small or large lies (Revelation 21:8), and anyone who lies will either be punished or perished (Proverbs 19:9). Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).

The Scriptures that exposes the wickedness of Satan and the righteousness of God, Scriptures Satan do not want us to see.

  1. He is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
  2. Like a serpent worse than wild animals; it exposes his lie- Genesis 3:1
  3. Like a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy- John 10:10
  4. Do not give the devil a foothold. – Ephesians 4:27
  5. Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil- James 4:7
  6. The kingdom of God has come near to you – Luke 10: 19
  7. No more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1
  8. In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. – Philippians 2:9,10
  9. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. – 1 John 3:8
  10. Know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32
  11. I know where you live where Satan has his throne-Revelation 2:12-13
  12. “Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of God, and the authority of his Messiah. – Revelation 12:10
  13. Practice righteousness and become children of God -1 John 3:10
  14. Worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. ” Matthew 4:10
  15. Who ever receive him and believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”John 1:12

He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. His power is greater than the power of the enemy. No one can get closer to harm us. We are given authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and overall the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you (Luke 10:19). God equipped us with His Word more than enough to defeat Satan and all evil spirits. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (2Peter1:3).

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12). God is our refuge and strength and no one can separate us from His love (Rom 8:38-39).  He promised that if we love him and believe in His Son we can lean on Him. Jesus said:  “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”   Who else can testify about the greatness of the Father but the Son?  Jesus said that God the Father is greater than all of them, what else do we have to doubt?  As we all know, the devils were angels, deceived by then Lucifer, and they rebelled against God that when they lost the battle, they were thrust down to earth waiting for their time to be judged.  That is God’s supreme power!

“Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love makes us complete us. “The knowledge given to us is that “we live in Him and He in us” is the promised Holy Spirit.  When the time that God’s purpose and will reach their fulfillment, unity to all things in heaven and on earth comes into effect as one body under Christ. 1 John 4:11-13 (NIV)

Many, if not all were chosen and predestined for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with God’s pleasure and will, but not as much responded due to the absence of faith that “God is loved.”  The wrath of God rests upon those that have yet to humble themselves, repent and trust in Christ (John 3:36), which is to be revealed either after their death (Heb 9:27) or when they die before Christ returns (Rev 20:12-15).

An unfounded allegation can do irreparable harm and cannot be corrected through any kind of compensation, the damage can be brief but the effect can last forever. Often, we think of tongue as being an instrument for evil work that is why it is godly to guard it and speak only those things that build up another. The tongue that is controlled by the Holy Spirit becomes an instrument to be used to edify, encourage, uplift, teach, and counsel, among other things that will do good for the Body of Christ.

We are here today and can be gone tomorrow, why not live with a purposeful life, a life worth living, as Paul said: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7), As Paul continued in his letter to the Corinthians 10:13; “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

The Psalmist said: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is our refuge and our fortress and He will save us from the fowler’s snare and deadly pestilence, His faithfulness will be our shield and rampart and no harm will overtake us and no disaster will come near our tent. He will guard us in all our ways. (Psalm 91:1-13)

Joshua 1:9 noted: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Let us continue the good work of Jesus Christ and his Apostles and fulfill God’s Purpose and Will to live to the promise of eternal life. Though living in this world full of challenges and diversity, lies and deceit, search and destroy that only the fittest can survive. When we humble ourselves and be submissive to His will, He is faithful and just to do the work for us.

God equipped us with the strength we needed to overcome the obstacles in life. We either are called or chosen, predestined, or elect the Spirit of God that gives life will never leave us till the end of time.  He will never give up His love and care and His presence can be felt when somebody tries to harm us. God wants us to enjoy our relationship with Him and that alone can be worth living.

Let us pray.  Almighty God we humbly lift up to you this humble work given to us for a specific purpose by your Spirit to help those who are lost due to ignorance of your word, for those who lack faith and stumbled, for those that have been deceived by a lying tongue, for those who submitted to temptation and cannot get out, and most of all for those who did not believe that your word is true.

LORD let this work be known to those who turned their back and walk away from you and now with a change of heart coming back to acknowledge your greatness. Your love, mercy and grace that guarantee the forgiveness they are seeking for.

Thank you LORD for this task and we humble ourselves submitting to you this work with joy and love. Your children in Jesus name, we pray.

In service to God in the highest!

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