All Liars

Acts 5:1-11 “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. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” Both Ananias and Sapphira lied about how much they had received for the property they had sold.  They wanted to look good in the eyes of the people. Instead, they were found out and fell down dead.

Lying can take several forms.  One may tell a lie to avoid the consequences of his actions.  For example, a parent may ask a child “Did you break that lamp?”  The child may respond “no” when in reality he did break the lamp.  Or one may deny what is true to deceive another.  The devil lied to Eve as we find in Genesis 3:1-5 “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.’”  The devil lied to Eve; she and Adam did die from eating of the forbidden fruit.

When one pretends to be good so that he will look good in the eyes of other people, that can be called hypocrisy.  Matthew 22:15-18 “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.’ So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said to Him, ‘Caesar’s.’ And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” The people who came to Jesus pretended to be seeking the truth, when in reality they were trying to trick Jesus and get Him to say something so that they could condemn Him.  Jesus called them hypocrites.  The lie was that they pretended to have good motives.

One may lie by telling a half-truth – something partly true and partly not true.  Abram and Sarai did that in Genesis 12:11-13 “And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, ‘Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.’” It was true that Sarai was a half-sister to Abram but she was also his wife.  They intentionally deceived the people that she was only his sister. 

Exaggeration is another form of a lie; this is when one intentionally describes something as greater than it really is.  Deceit is the action of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. Guile is hiding one’s true intentions by deceptive words or actions. A false witness is one who lies about what they saw or know about another person or situation.  The Bible deals with many forms of lying. 

Jesus came to bear witness to the truth and correct falsehoods that existed.  He also did not deceive with His words or actions.  1 Peter 2:21-22 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.’”  Jesus knew the character of Nathanael.  John 1:47 “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’”  I encourage you to have no deceit.

You and I should always seek to be genuine and truthful. Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 13:5 “A righteous man hates lying, but a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.” Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” 1 Peter 3:10 For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”

I encourage you to ask God to purify you from all forms of lies in your life. The destination of liars is in the lake of fire. Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

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