The Lying Problem
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. (John 8:44)
“WHEN SATAN UNDERTOOK TO DRAW EVE AWAY FROM GOD, he did not hit her with a stick, but with an idea. It was with an idea that God could not be trusted and that she must act on her own to secure her own well-being.” (Dallas Willard) If you have been hit with that idea, you might do well to ask yourself where it came from.
WE WERE MADE BY THE HAND OF AN AWESOME GOD and we are confronted with a tireless adversary who works night and day to destroy us. If he cannot destroy us, then he will hinder us and destroy our testimony for God. At the core of who we are in Christ, we are this: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3John 1:4)
BUT, SINCE WE RETAIN THE PRESENCE OF THE OLD NAURE we had before we received Christ as Savior and Lord, we are plagued with the constant pull into darkness. Our struggle is how to live the Christian life. We have two natures. We still have the old nature and we have a new nature imparted to us by the Holy Spirit and we have the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives in the body of every true believer in Christ. John brings to our attention:
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1John 1:6-7)
THE CHRISTIAN HAS THREE ENEMIES: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The comedian, Flip Wilson missed it on his quip: “the devil made me do it.” The devil can’t make us do anything. Nothing! Eve was not compelled by the devil to sin against God. Eve was influenced by the devil to sin against God. Eve chose with her own free will to side with the devil and sin against God.
HOW DID THE DEVIL INFLUENCE EVE? He lied to her. In our text for today, when Jesus addressed His audience, he went to the core of their problem: they were walking in the pattern of their father, the devil. What is demonic activity? We’ve heard some disturbing tales about Satan worshippers gathering in the cemetery at night and offering the blood of an animal to Satan. That does give me pause. But that’s not where Satan does the most of his work.
I SAT IN ON A SESSION WHERE DEMONS WERE CAST OUT OF A TEENAGE GIRL (in a Christian school) and there’s no way to forget it. The demons used her voice to speak low and guttural. When they let go, she relaxed and fell back on the table where she was sitting. When the demons wanted to speak through her, she bolted upright, and the demons spoke through her. That was the work of Satan, alright. Sometime after midnight, the demons came out of her and she slept for almost two days.
BUT THE WORK OF SATAN DOES NOT BEGIN THERE. The work of Satan is working when people are willing to lie to one another or to lie about one another. That’s certainly not the work of the Sunday school teacher, you think? People who lie are doing the chief work of Satan because they are copying their master, the devil. Jesus said the devil is a liar and the father of lying.
Jesus said that Satan was a murderer from the beginning and that he is a liar. It doesn’t get worse than that. People kill the bodies of people and they are buried. But people kill the character of people with their tongues: character assassination. God said through Moses: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)
THE INFAMOUS DEEDS AND WICKEDNESS OF KING AHAB AND HIS WIFE: JEZEBEL are known everywhere there is a printing press or a book store, I suppose. When King Ahab couldn’t get his way, he would go to bed and pout. His “sweet” wife Jezebel would come in and cheer him up and take over for him.
AHAB WANED A VINEYARD NEXT TO HIS TO ROUND OUT HIS PRIVATE HOLDINGS. When Naboth wouldn’t sell it to him, Ahab went to bed, turned his face toward the wall and pouted. Jezebel took over. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. (1Kings 21:7)
AND JUST HOW WAS JEZEBEL GOING TO GIVE HER HUSBAND NABOTH'S VINEYARD? Simple. Kill him. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. (1Kings 21:8-10)
AND THAT'S WHAT THEY DID AND THAT'S HOW AHAB GOT HIS NEIGHBOR'S VINEYARD. The only problem with that is that God was watching the whole thing and he sent His prophet to talk with Ahab. That wasn’t the only wicked thing Ahab and Jezebel were into. They were turning the whole nation of Israel toward idolatry and God called Elijah to be His mouth piece. When it came time to deal with it, this is how it happened:
And he (Jehu) said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him.
And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. (2Kings 9:33-37)
MURDERING AND LYING GO TOGETHER. If we tell a lie against someone we have wounded them, maybe destroyed their name. We have broken one of the Lord’s ten commandments. Not only so, we have joined the ranks of the devil who is the father of liars. Let’s have the truth, whatever it is and wherever it takes us: tell the truth! There’s no such thing as a Christian liar. If you are a Christian and you lie as a way of life, you could be taking your life into your own hands because there is a sin unto death for the Christian.
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1John 5:16-17) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
OCTOBER 3, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Isaiah 27-28 P.M. Ephesians 5
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Memory Verse This Month:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hosea 4:6-7)
Song for Today:
Sweet Beulah Land (3:47) (Carrol Roberson)
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Repeating this great song for one day…