Lying is falsehood or untruthfulness. This sin started in heaven when Satan through lies first misrepresented the character of God before the angels. Consequently, Satan was expelled from heaven and will never regain residence there. Neither will his followers, “whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15).
Satan’s first lie to Adam and Eve was, “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). This assertion contradicted God’s clear command that stated, “for in the day that you eat of it (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan challenged the truthfulness of God’s word by a lie, for which reason Christ was right in calling him the father of lies (John 8:44).
In contrast, God is the God of truth. It is impossible for Him to lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2). His Word is as reliable as His unchangeable nature. Christ declared that He is the “truth” (John 14:6). And His children should resemble their truthful Father in character and word.
The Ninth Commandment
The ninth commandment states, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). God’s Ten Commandments are the only document on earth that was written by His finger twice on stone (Deuteronomy 9:10). Therefore, they should not be broken.
This commandment can be broken in a public way by untruthful witness given in a court of law (Exodus 23:1). Perjury has always been regarded as a great crime. According to Roman law, the Twelve Tables judged the law breaker to be pushed headfirst from the Tarpeian Rock. According to Athenian law, a person who gave false witness was heavily fined. If convicted 3 times of this same crime, the liar lost his civil rights. And according to ancient Egyptian law, the liar had his nose and ear cut.
In addition, this commandment can broken by speaking evil of another and remaining silent when hearing an innocent man wrongly judged. Thus, whoever twists the exact truth for any purpose, is guilty of breaking the ninth commandment and will receive the due punishment.
Lying in the New Testament
When Ananias and Sapphira purposely lied to the church regarding their offering, Peter rebuked the couple. Consequently, God killed them (Acts 5:1–11). Their offense lay primarily in the fact that they presumed to deceive the Holy Spirit. Lying and deception corrupts the soul of the deceiver, often harming him more than the deceived.
How can those who are followers of the Christ, who is the truth, do anything else but hold to the utmost integrity in all of their words and actions? At the end, all the liars, including those who preach false doctrines will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).
In the life of the Christian, there should be no place for taking advantage of another in a business transaction, for the twisting facts, for giving false ideas, for giving promises without meaning to keep them, and for giving wrong information.
Paul lists lying as one of the main sins (1 Timothy 1:9-11). Therefore, he admonished the believers saying, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9 ). And he urged them to speak the truth: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
God gives His children the power to overcome all sins including the sin of lying (2 Corinthians 2:14). When the divine commands are faithfully kept, God makes Himself responsible for the success of the work done by the believer. At this point, the true Christian can confidently proclaim, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
In His service,