Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Ten Commandments #9: Lying: Direct or Indirect

Exodus 20:16

INTRODUCTION

Someone rightly said, "Of the Ten Commandments the ONE we break the most is the NINTH". (Exo 20:16) "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

This commandment is not to be restricted to false testimony given in the Courts of Justice.

It prohibits gossip, lying, slander and  misrepresentation at any time under any circumstance.

We would miss the lesson that God has given us if we consider this commandment as a mere prohibition of lying in general.

Notice the true significance of this COMMANDMENT.

I. THE PURPOSE OF THIS COMMANDMENT

(Exo 20:16) "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

A. This commandment demands TRUTH in the statements made directly or indirectly by man to man concerning man.

B. The fundamental fabric of our society is based on the truth of testimony that one man bears to another man.

C. Such must be the case if righteousness and justice are to be achieved.

D. To lie brings harm to the person who believes the LIE, for it misleads them.

E. LYING will eventually bring harm to the LIAR, for his or her falsehood and untruthfulness will eventually be discovered.

II. THE IMPORTANCE OF WORDS AND/OR THE PRIVILEGE AND POWER OF SPEECH

(Mat 12:34) "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

A. SPEECH can be used to gladden the heart. (Prov 16:24) Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

B. Speech can be used to sadden the heart. (Psa 120:2) "Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."

C. Therefore, the Child of God must watch his or her speech. (Eph 4:25) "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another."

D. Watch your SPEECH!

III. THE VIOLATION OF THIS COMMANDMENT

(James 4:17) "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

A. Direct Lying

1. False testimony in trials of justice.

2. Perjury has been made a criminal offense because it results in the miscarriage of Justice

3. The Ninth Commandment is broken by PLAIN LYING - both black and white as we refer to lies!

B. Indirect Lying

1. By means of False Sympathy

2. By means of an insinuating question

3. By means of listening

a. A noise has no effect unless there is an ear to hear it.

b. Just as the law holds the receiver of stolen goods to be as guilty as the thief, this commandment holds the eager receiver of a lie to be as guilty as the one who bears it.

4. Indirect lying can be done by merely being Silent.

5. Gushing flattery is a form of Indirect Lying.

C. This commandment is broken by faultfinding and unjust criticism.

IV. WHEN A CHRISTIAN BREAKS THIS COMMANDMENT, HE OR SHE IS GUILTY OF HYPOCRISY

(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."

A. Jesus described the devil as a liar who does not abide in the truth.

B. He is said to be the source of all lies.

C. For the child of God to be guilty of lying is to conduct himself or herself as belonging to the Devil rather than to God.

D. You are identified with the crowd you keep.

V. HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM OF FALSE WITNESSING

(James 1:19) "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

A. "We would be much less likely to break this commandment which forbids the giving of false testimony if we would be slower in the matter of throwing our tongue into high gear when we ought to be turning off the motor."

B. There are a number of important questions by which we can test the information that we PASS on concerning others:

1. Do we know for certain that it is TRUE?

2. Is it kind and helpful?

3. Is it necessary for me to communicate this information?

4. Would I be willing to stand before the person face to face and repeat it to them?

5. Would the Lord be pleased with my speech?

CONCLUSION

(James 3:8) "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."  James tells us that no man can tame his tongue, but we can bridle and control it. The best way to control our tongues is to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. If our heart is full of His love, then we will bite our tongues instead of wagging them when it comes to hurting someone.