THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

Ex 20:16--You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Bearing false witness is the giving of untrue testimony. Untrue testimony perverts justice, and is a tool of the wicked for bringing harm to the righteous. False witnesses testified against Jesus. They said that he stated that he would destroy the temple at Jerusalem and raise it up in three days. He was talking about his body.

Stephen, the first recorded martyr for Christ, had false witnesses against him. They testified that Steven had spoken against the temple and the Law. Stephen was stoned to death because of their lies.

Perhaps the most chilling story of false testimony was about Sapphira, who lied to the Holy Spirit, Acts 5:1-11--But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price."

Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well."

And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

Yes, God hates a lying tongue, Prov 6:16-19--There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

Gossip combines false witness with malicious intent. Perhaps four of the seven things the Lord hates, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who tells lies, and one who spreads strife among brethren, have a connection within a heart that does not respect the power and authority of God.

Telling lies, giving false testimony, is a sign of disrespect toward God. He knows our hearts, and He knows the truth. When we lie, knowing that God hates lying, we are insulting our Creator. God knows our thoughts. If we conform our thoughts to Godís will, and have the desire to please Him, then we will stop lying before God and to each other.

Lying is destructive. It destroys trust and disrupts commerce. Lying destroys relationships and social well-being. Failure to keep our word gives our Lord a black eye, if we belong to Him.

Perhaps it would be useful to society today if a few liars were killed, just to get our attention! Someone tell a lie before the church, and fall down dead. But the Law of sin and death will not control our hearts.

Ultimately, loving God with all our being, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, will remedy the liar problem. We will not lie before one we love, and we will not lie to one we love, if the spirit of God controls our spirit.