The NINTH Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Lie
INTRODUCTION: A middle-aged pastor in a small Midwest community had been falsely accused. It was a vicious, scandalous story, and it swept through town like a prairie fire. After a period of time, however, the rumor was found to be just that, an ugly, empty rumor, without any basis in fact. But the damage had already been done. Many people had believed every word and were now reluctant to revise their opinion.
Some-time later, the couple who had spread the false tale came under conviction of their sin and went to the pastor to apologize. Confessing they had known the rumor to be false all along, they asked the offended man for forgiveness. Immediately the pastor forgave them, where upon he made three requests of them.
First: “Go home and fill a large bag full of chicken feathers.”
Second: “Go throughout the town and scatter some of the feathers at each street corner, then go up the hill outside of town and scatter the rest of them to the wind.”
Third: “After you have finished scattering all the feathers, you need to go back through town and gather them all up again. In so doing make sure that you pick up every one you’ve dropped and every one you’ve scattered to the winds, and put them all back in the bag. Please be careful that none of the feathers is missing, and bring the bag back to me.”
After a significant pause the truth of this word picture began to dawn on the couple. Yes, they could be forgiven for their actions, but no one could undo the damage they had done by scattering their false and slanderous words.
There is perhaps no commandment in the moral law of God given to the nation of Israel and humanity, so frequently and daily broken than the 9th Commandment in Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Two of the Ten Commandments deal with the expression of the tongue.
The 3rd commandment forbids the taking of God’s name in vain.
The 9th commandment forbids the false witness against our neighbor.
Perhaps as we begin this message we ought to turn our attention for a moment to several passage of scripture.
Proverbs 26: 18-28, “ As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, (19) So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? (20) Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. (21) As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. (22) The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. (23) Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. (24) He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; (25) When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. (26) Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. (27) Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. (28) A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
Psalm 58:3 tells us, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born telling lies.”
Psalm 116:11 declares, “All men are liars.”
A teacher in a children’s Sunday School class asked the question, “What is a lie?” In reply one of the little students answered, “A lie is an abomination unto the Lord, and a very present help in time of trouble.” The problem with that is, the trouble is soon over, but the abomination goes on.
For in Proverbs 12:22 where we read, “Lying lips are an abomination unto the Lord.
On the other hand, in Proverbs 21:23 it says, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”
Remember the very first sin committed on this earth was a lie. Eve said unto Satan, who was disguised as a serpent, “We shall not eat of the fruit of the tree lest we die” And Satan, said, “Thou shalt not die.” That was the first sin ever committed and it was the sin of lying. Thus we read in John 8:44,
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He…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.”
On the other hand we find that:
God is Truth, Titus 1:2 says, “… God, that cannot lie…”
Jesus Christ is Truth, for in John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”
The Holy Spirit is Truth, John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”
The Word of God is Truth, II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God…rightly dividing the word of TRUTH.”
So we are either of the family of the DEVIL which is the family of LIARS or we are of the family of God which is the family of TRUTH. Of which family are you?
Let’s face it, for better or for worse, the power of the spoken word is incalculable.
Someone said, "A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use."
Another said, "Keep your tongue between your teeth and think twice before you speak once."
David said in Psalms 141:3-4, "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil things…"
Peter said in I Peter 3:10 "He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile."
The Bible tells us in James 3:6 that "the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; … and is set on fire of hell." This passage indicates our tongues can be a powerful weapon in the hand of Satan. He can use our tongues to accomplish his purpose in the Body of Christ and in the lost world.
Sadly, the devil gets ahold of our tongues as we live out our lives in our Christian homes and in our churches. I am grieved when I hear Christians engaged in angry, heated arguments, or indulging their flesh with critical, harsh, and arrogant words, or engaged in lying and gossipy talk.
CONTENTIOUS TONGUES have hindered the work of God 100’s times over.
CRITICAL TONGUES have closed church doors.
CARELESS TONGUES have broken the hearts and health of many dear pastors and Christian workers.
Proverbs 18:21 sums it up by saying, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue…" Words are unbelievably powerful in their impact upon human life. What you say, and how you say something, will either build an individual up, or little by little tear that individual down into a pile of rubble.
On the other hand, what kind of words does God want us to say to others?
Ephesians 4:25, 29 tells us, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor…Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” What kind of words are we to use? “Building words, helpful words, uplifting words. My words, your words were meant to deliver healing and sweetness.”
Proverbs 16:24 reads, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”
Now, in the 9th commandment we read, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Briefly in this message, let me point out just three ways that we violate this commandment.
Number 1: The Ninth Commandment speaks of the sin of LYING. Someone called “lying a designed deception” God calls lying a sin. A lie is a lie. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a “big Lie or a small lie” or a “white lie or a black lie.” A lie is a lie. A lie is a sin.
Remember, a lie has no end. The first lie requires you to support it with another lie. Usually the second lie needs a third lie to cover up the second lie, which has covered for the first lie, until “your sins have found you out.”
Proverbs 6:16-19, expresses 7 things God hates. One of them is “a lying tongue” and another is “a false witness that speaketh lies.”
Proverbs 12:19 tells us, “The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
Colossians 3:9 says, “Lie not one to another, seeing you have put off the old man with his deeds.”
I trust you are beginning to see how God feels about lying.
Number 2: The Ninth Commandment speaks of SLANDER. For example:
Psalms 101:5, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off.”
Proverbs 10:18, “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander is a fool.”
Proverbs 25:18, “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.”
Slander is telling false-hood about others.
Slander is what you can call “tongue assassination.”
Slander is like the fly that lands on a man’s sore, but does not touch his good parts.
Slander is running down someone who has become the object of your hatred. You speak against them, so others will hate them also.
Those who slander are malicious back-biters, who see the faults in others but never see them in himself or herself. Slander can destroy another person without touching, or even seeing them. Someone said, "Our own words may not have caused wars or wrecked cities, but they can break hearts and ruin reputations."
Number 3: The Ninth Commandment speaks of the sin of GOSSIP. The Bible calls this sin TALEBEARING. This term is found in:
Proverbs 18:7-8, “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
Proverbs 20:19, “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.”
Proverbs 11:9, 13, “A hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.” A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”
Someone said, “Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds talk about things and events, small minds talk about people. Let us therefore resolve by God’s grace to “speak evil of no man.”
GOSSIP is passing on information about a person without careful investigation. Whether it is true or not, the damage has been done.
GOSSIP is what you may call ear pollution, the favorite indoor sport of many who call themselves Christians, “Oh, did you hear what I have just heard? Someone just told me this in confidence, but I thought you should know, so we can pray about it." As a result, moving lips and loose tongues of gossip have started another fire. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the person who listens to gossip also has a responsibility.
GOSSIP would soon DIE OUT if we all refuse to entertain it in our conversations.
Proverbs 16:27-28 tells us, "An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife, and a whisperer separateth chief friends."
If you know something that is between two others either good or bad, or something that you are not personally involved in, or you do not know the other side of the story, please do the Lord a service and yourself a favor and SHUT UP! Most of what we repeat does not bring one iota of glory to God, but it sure makes the devil happy when others hear bad news.
You may ask, “Pastor, what should I do with information passed on to me?” Simply ask yourself two questions:
Is this any of my business? If it is not any of your business, then politely tell that other individual you need not hear of the matter.
Do I know all the facts in this situation? If you don't, then stop right there and go no further.
Someone said, “Each word we utter should have to pass through three gates before we say it. At the first gate, the gatekeeper asks, “IS IT TRUE?” At the second gate, he asks, “IS IT NECESSARY?” and at the third gate he asks, “IS IT KIND?”
The 9th commandment tells us, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Psalm 58:3 says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born telling lies.”
Psalm 116:11 declares, “All men are liars.”
Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are abomination unto the Lord.
Ephesians 4:25, 29 states, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor…”
Therefore, how can I get my tongue under control?
First: Treat lying as a sin and as such confess it. Since lying is a sin, you need to treat it as such and flee to I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Second: Realize only God can change the way you speak. James 3:8 says, “Our tongue is like a wild animal that no man can tame.” There’s a simple reason for that. It is because only God can. You’ll never be able to train your tongue to bring life instead of death. Real healing comes in your heart and mind when you realize only God can turn bitter words into sweet words.
Third: Be accountable to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. You and I need to make a conscious decision to respond to those inner nudges and whispers of God’s Spirit, as He seeks to do the very thing that we could never do – “TAME OUR TONGUE.” Being accountable to the Holy Spirit is really not very complicated.
When He says, “Watch it” then watch it.
When He says, “Don’t” then don’t.
When He says, “Hush” then hush.
When He says, “Bite your tongue” then put your teeth into it.
If you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit in you, you’ll feel the nudge and you’ll know deep down,
“I really shouldn’t be talking about this,” or
“I shouldn’t be saying this,” or
“This conversation has drifted into something unhealthy.”
Listen to that voice and respond, even if it makes for an awkward moment or two. For when you do, you’ll be growing toward Christ-likeness.
Fourth: Cry out for help. David said in Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." Don’t you just love this man’s honest, humble prayers in the psalms? “Lord, You’re my strength. You’re the One who redeems me. You’re the One who can help me control my tongue today. In light of this, our prayer ought to be:
"Lord, teach me to hold my tongue. Teach me to set a watch at the door of my lips that my speech may always be seasoned with grace. MY TONGUE IS NEVER TO BE A SWORD. My speech is always to be edifying, uplifting, and that which glorifies God."
Fifth: Recommit your life to worship and praise. The very last verse in the book of Psalms, Psalm 150:6 says “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” When your heart is filled with gratitude there simply isn’t going to be room for false, bitter, or critical words.
To draw this message to a close, may I be blunt? ARE YOU A LIAR? Allow me to point out to you that the last two chapters of the Bible are glorious chapters. These chapters reveal the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven giving a picture of our Heavenly home. Here in the midst of paradise, we have a warning about lying.
Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelievers, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:27, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie…”
Revelation 22:15, “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
No liars will see the inside of Heaven. So, I ask you again more plainly, more bluntly, ARE YOU A LIAR?
Perhaps I am speaking to someone who needs to make a conscious decision to repent of lying, or slander, or gossip. Regardless of the form in which you are involved, you need to repent of it, confess it to God, perhaps make it right with the individual you have lied to or about. I urge you to do it NOW, even this very hour, in this very service.
Perhaps you are here, and you need to have your sins washed in the blood of the one who is TRUTH, the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to receive him as your personal Savior. The only way to Heaven is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Would you, this very moment, pause and do that?
May God grant us the heart of Jesus, who spoke words of grace, truth, compassion, and power. May our tongue be ever used by Him to bring healing, blessing, and life to many FOR HIS GLORY!
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon, The NINTH Commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Lie,” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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