Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Do You Fight the Lies...

...from those who claim to be Christian? As can be noted in the brief study I did on Bearing False Witness, breaking this particular commandment is linked to a number of other problems. It looks like this can be said of other commandments also, but when we look at the fruits of those who claim to be Christian (our only standard to discern a true Brother in Christ), if this one pops up, then I've seen that the others will follow. After all, I could make the case for the key commandment being the first one, but how can I tell if someone has some other god before God? Only by their fruits.

I was reading some of John Piper's work after seeing a missions video on youtube that was linked to his quote about missions: "Go, Send or Disobey." While exploring his website, I did what I do from time to time when I find a new preacher, I searched for "Freemasonry" and "Masonry". There was only one hit on the entire site which from my research indicates there is probably something from someone else. I've found that solid, orthodox, reformed preachers tend to have nothing or one item from someone else. For some reason, Freemasonry isn't on their radar screens.

So we find here. My search only found one document from July 21, 1989(!) with the following quote:

33. Ron Carlson, an expert in cults, ate lunch with me and others one day and spoke of the amazing inroads of the Masonic Lodge in America. He has made a tape exposing the cultic, Eastern, counter-Christian elements of the Lodge. Fifteen thousand men have left the Lodge because of this tape. Ron has been threatened. He said 40 percent of Southern Baptist pastors belong to the Lodge. The whole elder board at a well-known Twin Cities Presbyterian church belonged to the Masons at one time recently. When you join you must take an oath that you will slit your throat before revealing the secrets of the Lodge. The IRS investigated recently and discovered that none of the money raised by the circuses went for the children’s hospitals. The red Fez with the Islamic sword and crescent is based on the bloody slaughter of 10,000 Christians by Muslims in the city of Fez. Norman Vincent Peale, who is high up in the Masonic order, told Ron that Masonry is the most important thing in his life. One board chairman in the Twin Cities who railed at Ron answered his question of why he should be accepted into heaven by saying, “I guess I’ll say I was a good Mason.” How vigilant we must be about the subtlety of sin and error.

So, what do we really have here?
  1. The source is "Ron Carlson, an expert in cults." Ok, the first line would be that since Freemasonry isn't a cult, he doesn't know jack about it. Unfortunately, as we will see, it may sound like a snippy joke, but it is actually the just the simple truth.
  2. Next we have "amazing inroads of the Masonic Lodge in America". Uh, like every single other secular fraternal organization in America, we have a steadily declining membership. Even when I've seen a local "boom" in new members, it is merely a slowing of the rate of decrease.
  3. Next, "He (Carlson) has made a tape exposing...". I've heard recordings of Mr. Carlson's presentations at conferences. He is called on to speak against Freemasonry. Within a few minutes, despite this talk supposedly being the "real deal" about Masonry, Mr. Carlson will be telling people about "resources" available for sale on the back table. I gues this would qualify this tape as being the "real real deal".
  4. "cultic": Not by any definition either ancient or modern. The only basis for this remains the constant stretch by these antimasons who claim to be Christians that Freemasonry is a religion. This despite the massive witness of centuries of Masons that Masonry is NOT a religion. Oh, we are all just Satanists anyway, right?
  5. "Eastern": Oh wow. Care to comment on the Oriental nature of the people that produced the Bible? Now, if this is a "modern" pop definition of Eastern (i.e. slant eyed folks), then it is a laugh. I don't think you will find the corporate group state mentality in Freemasonry that you will find there, or even in the Bible where one Man was chosen to die for the good of the state.
  6. "counter-Christian": How is it "counter"? I know of nothing in Masonry that is against ("counter") Christianity. Unless it is the fact that this secular fraternity chooses not to whole-heartedly endorse Christianity as the one, true faith. Of course, then it wouldn't be secular, would it? It wouldn't be Freemasonry either.
  7. "15,000 men have left the Lodge because of this tape". Really? Does Mr. Carlson have this in writing? I doubt it. Of course, having worked the phones to call older brothers who are about to lose their membership for not paying their dues (wait, isn't this a cult, you know, HARD to get out of?), I'm quite aware of one problem among my older Masonic brethren, especially if they are also my Christian brethren. When I call and let them know that if they are in distress economically that we can provide for them, I find them politely thanking me and requesting that we don't. Why? Is this the Great Carlson AntiMasonic Tape at work!?! Maybe. The reason these older Christian and Masonic brothers are letting their dues lapse is that they are old, no longer active and are tired of being harassed by their kids and preachers who are listening to Mr. Carlson's or Mr. Ankerberg's lies. Remember what I said about bearing false witness leading to other sins? Here, the idea of honoring they father and mother or respect for the elder ones in the church go >poof!<
  8. "Ron had been threatened." By who? The last time you had a case of that was the Morgan Affair in the early 1800s. Oh wait, bearing false witness and dividing the church? Scripture has somewhat to say about that, but I don't think it is a mere threat.
  9. "40% of SB preachers/Presbyterian Church". The first is a known lie, pushed by Dr. Holly among all his other ones. As for the other, if true, so what?
  10. "take an oath to slit your throat". Old lie, I did not do so, have not heard of anyone else doing so and after sitting in many jurisdictions both in the USA and overseas for degrees, I've not observed any oath calling for slitting your own throat.
  11. IRS and the Shrine. I'm not aware of anything back then, but I am aware, even though I'm no longer a Shriner, that an internal investigation is ongoing into some abuses by members of a subgroup of Shriners. If this is true (and it looks like it is), then the Shriners involved will probably end up no longer Masons as well as no longer Shriners.
  12. The Red Fez lie: I'll only cover the first fact on this one. The city of Fez was founded by the Muslim sultan who conquered the area from pagans (although there may have been some Christians there) and the hat known as the "fez" for the city didn't exist until the next sultan built up the city of Fez to attract more commerce to it. Oops! BTW, the currently fashionable number and the one I've always heard was 50,000 Christians, not the mere 10,000 of Mr. Carlson's myth.
  13. Norman Vincent Peale: Oh, this is a personal testimony (how about two or three witnesses?) by Mr. Carlson.
  14. "I was a good Mason." See #13 above.
  15. "How vigilant we must be about the subtlety of sin and error." Amen Brother Piper, Amen. I suggest you start with Mr. Carlson. Over half of the points above are lies, the rest appear to have no evidence except for Mr. Carlson's personal testimony and Mr. Carlson appears to use his conference appearances as live infomercials for his products. I find his fruit to be a bit dubious.
Fortunately, Mr. Piper most definitely appears to be only guilty of trusting someone who is supposed to be of good report.

Going to Africa

I've known it for a while now, but it is been getting more official: I'm going to Africa on a mission trip. I'm not going to say exactly where since it fits on the IMB's list of countries that you aren't supposed to talk about. While I'm going to be there doing what the missionary requires, the primary requirement is to improve the quality of the local food production. Since part of what I do around my place is sustainable agriculture and livestock, I am able to fit a specific need.

Actually, this might be something more than just what I'm going for. I'm not sure, but along with the minor stuff, once I get on the ground and see what the locals have, I might be able to work on getting more to them. They have very little to no electricity, but these days everyone thinks "modern". How much electricity do you need for refrigeration if you use an old fashioned ice box? A few hours of generator power once a week to hard freeze ~50 lbs of ice, which should give the locals some extra food storage, especially for something like making cheese. Even a little bit of cold box extends your options on holding food.

This would give them the option of culling their goat flocks harder to get higher productivity since it won't go to waste in the heat. There would be the ability to hold excess products until enough was on hand to process for long term storage. For example, if they need to consume most fruit as part of their daily diet, but there is a little bit left over, then it could be accumulated in the cold for a few days until there was enough to cook down and can in jars for later. It is amazing how much just a little bit of ice can do. However, that is for the next time I go.

So, please, I'd like your prayers and if you feel like you need to you can send a donation through the online giving link here, I'm sure there is someway you can list it as "for Kamatu's Africa Trip" or something like that. You will probably confuse everyone except my pastor. It takes some kind of registration, so that is up to you, but I would thank all of you who pray that He will make this trip a success.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Apologetics?

Back in February I did a short post on the core of apologetics, this expands on it some. I was sorting out my documents since I've disposed of my baby (first day at school!) and I'm waiting for the washer to finish so I can hang some clothes up on the line.

God said it, I believe it, that settles it.

Anyone familiar with this one? For a believer, it is at the bottom line, the simple truth. However, for those in the world, it is a bit simplistic and they don’t know how you got from where they are to where you are.

1 Peter 3:15 - "...and always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

2 Timothy 2:15 - “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”

This is the verse translated in the King James as “rightly dividing the word of truth”.

1. The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
2. Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system.

What Apologetics is Not

Apologetics is not designed to prove the word of God, but to provide an intellectual basis for faith.

The objective of apologetics is not to convince a person to become a Christian contrary to his will. The objective, "strives at laying the evidence for the Christian gospel before men in an intelligent fashion, so that they can make a meaningful commitment under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit." "The heart cannot delight in what the mind rejects as false." (Charles Pinnock, member Evangelical Theological Society)
Apologetics does not diminish the importance of faith. Apologetics defends the reasonableness of faith in God and his Word. When non-Christians ask tough questions about the Christian faith, will you be able to give a solid and logical response? If not, there is an opportunity lost to spread God's Word. Worse, the Christian who has a weak foundation for his faith can be easily shaken by the doubts of non-believers.

Is Faith Reasonable? What is Faith?

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain

John 10:38 - “But if I am doing them and you don’t believe Me, believe the works. This way you will know and understand that the Father is in Me and I in the Father.”

Mark Twain states the current popular definition of religious (especially Christian) faith, however, with apologetics, the true meaning of faith becomes clear: ”Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.” The trust comes from evidence, a closer way of thinking of a Christian’s faith in God is the faith we all have that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. There is no evidence we can use to prove today that it will, but we have seen it come up every day of our lives and so have faith that it will again tomorrow. This is the kind of faith a Christian should gain as they mature.

What kind of questions get asked?

You may not hear any of these, but our kids going to college will. This is not a huge memory work project to memorize defenses to these, but you have to know that there are defenses, usually that end up showing that the question is a bit silly. I don’t know the specific detailed answers to all of these myself, but they can be looked up. You will hear them from people who have advanced college degrees, even if they are stupid statements. It’s not that they are stupid, but they are ignorant and amusingly enough, they are often taking the garbage they have heard about Christianity and the Bible on blind faith of the sort Mark Twain wrote about.

The prophecy about the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) really translates as a “young woman” not a virgin.
Don’t you know that all agricultural societies have a dying and rising god?
Don’t you know that Jesus is really modeled on mythological deity X?
If Jesus was supposed to be the model for Christians and He was “meek”, why did he dispute with the Pharisees so much?
If Jesus is God, how did He hear prayer when He was a baby?
Well if you don’t believe in abortion and want them to stop, why aren’t you out there adopting babies?
Are you saved by faith or by works? You know the Bible contradicts itself, don’t you?
Since we only have copies of copies of copies of the Bible, how can we trust it?
Don’t you know the Bible is full of contradictions?
Jesus lived a long, long time ago and how can we really know if He was real or that we know what He really said and did?
Jesus couldn’t have really been raised from the dead, He either swooned and woke up, the disciples stole His body, the disciples went to the wrong tomb or it was all some kind of mass hallucination/vision.
Jesus was just a good moral teacher or prophet.
Jesus never claimed to be God.
The Bible states that X horrible thing happened and I just couldn’t ever believe in a God who would do such a horrible thing. (Argument by Outrage)
You know about group X that calls themselves Christians that do some horrible or strange thing Y, don’t you? Aren’t they Christians? They aren’t? What gives you the right to judge? Maybe you are wrong, aren’t you?
Do you believe the Bible is the literal Word of God? Do you hold to a literal interpretation? So, you believe that mountains can skip, don’t you?
Do you eat bacon? Doesn’t the Bible literally say that pork cannot be eaten? Well, real Bible believing Christians wouldn’t eat pork, would they? So you must not be one.

What can apologetics give you? Increased Conviction

I can only speak from personal experience, but studying apologetics, I can state a few things if I’m confronted by these, at least in general. For example, I’ve studied supposed Biblical “contradictions” and I’ve always found that they all fall into the category of being out of context, in the literary, cultural or historical sense, so I can easily answer a critic.

Take for a simple example Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:. Now, I can claim this is in the Bible, so it is Scripture (true) and that these are the words of Jesus (true) which all Christians should agree with (true). Oh no! Have you been wrong all this time Christians? Did Christ advocate that kind of action? Well, no.

What has been done is taking the verse out of context, let's put it back: Matthew 5:38-39 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: (39) But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (It goes on down to the end of the chapter at verse 48.) As you can see, the verse has been lifted out to attempt to twist it into something the Scripture doesn't say.

Greater understanding also comes, which increases faith. Take “meekness” which the world defines as overly submissive, docile, of little courage, wimpy, low spirited or compliant. How many Christians of today do you think agree with this definition of meekness?

Consider one definition from Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary: “a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked”. From the Handbook of Biblical Social Values: “gentleness, coupled with non-violence that is followed not because of any revulsion to violence, but because the meek person CAN use violence but has enough confidence and ability not to threaten or challenge others, and whose opponent is unworthy or too weak -- in other words, he's not strong enough or right enough for you to bother with.”

Something every Christian should realize, that for 2000 years now, people have been trying to find that magic bullet to kill Christianity. Don’t you think that if there was one someone would have found it by now? There really is “nothing new under the sun”, so pretty much, anything that a skeptic throws up as an objection has been dealt with long ago.

Verses that support contending for the faith with knowledge

Jude 1:3
Psalm 25:9
Proverbs 10:17
Proverbs 12:1
Proverbs 13:18
Proverbs 15:12
Proverbs 15:31
Proverbs 15:32
Proverbs 22:19
Proverbs 27:5
Proverbs 28:23
Proverbs 29:1
Ecclesiastes 7:5
Matthew 5:10-19
Matthew 22:29
Mark 12:24, 26-8 22:29
Luke 17:3
John 14:23-24
Acts 19:8-10
1 Corinthians 15:58
1 Timothy 4:1-16
1 Timothy 5:20
1 Timothy 6:2-4
2 Timothy 2:22-26
2 Timothy 3:16
2 Timothy 4:2
Titus 1:13-16
Titus 2:15
1 Peter 2:19
1 Peter 3:13-17
1 Peter 4:12-19
1 Peter 5:8-10
2 Peter 2:1-3
2 John 1:9
James 5:19-20

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bearing False Witness

This is not an exhaustive study, merely one that can be replicated by using an electronic or study Bible, intended as an overview. Any references made to the other commandments are informational only since I have not done the same level of research on them, so I will not be defending the comments made about them. Enjoy. I did and found it very instructive.

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

Deu 5:20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

One little commandment, with huge implications to believers throughout Scripture. As given here, it could simply refer to perjury in legal matters, but it goes much further. Perjury would also include taking the Name of the Lord in vain (some say that this and false professions of faith are the major thrust of the third commandment, not directly swearing). Bearing false witness could also include violations of the sixth (killing) and eighth (stealing) commandments.

It is interesting that this is not a simple prohibition against lying as some choose to interpret it, but then it can be necessary to lie when that lie covers a greater sin. A classic Scriptural example would be in Exodus 1, when the Hebrew midwives reported to Pharaoh that Hebrew women were giving birth before the midwives could get there. They prevented the murder of innocents by being less than truthful, but is this bearing false witness? No. As we will see, false witness covers the area of lying to do injury to others and/or to try to make oneself seem more important or righteous in the eyes of men. Not only can this be done in court, but in everyday life. Loving your neighbor as yourself includes wanting to maintain his good reputation even as you maintain your own.

Slander, spreading rumors, equivocating, gossiping, telling partial truths, remaining silent while others bear false witness and all other forms of lying come under this prohibition and in some ways they can be considered worse than perjury since there is no appeal or formal way to refute this form of false witness. The lies can simply be repeated over and over again. Even worse, the slanderers and rumormongers can tell their tales and claim to be pious while doing so, think of those who “share” too much information in a prayer request so that one can “pray more effectively”. Look at the scribes and the Pharisees in the NT as they attack Jesus and the apostles while claiming to be righteous. In this way, so do those claiming to be Christian also indulge themselves while claiming to be righteous.

Exo 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Exo 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Notice the expansion beyond a purely legal court sense to cover a wider area. Slander, going along with the crowd and “the end justifies the means” thinking are addressed here. One comment I read implies that 23:1a include receiving a false report, we may hear it, but we should reject it.

Exo 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

Keeping far from a false matter goes along well with the concept of rejecting the false.

Lev 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

Lev 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

Lev 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

Notice how false witness twist into violations of the other commandments mentioned above. Also, gossip and rumors are also covered.

Psa 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

Psa 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

Psa 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

This Psalm gives indicators of how you can identify the righteous, firstly by their walk, work and speech. Notice that in answer to the questions in verse 1, the lack of false witness is mentioned twice in both a positive and negative manner to reinforce it. Again, the implication is here that other commandments are violated by the one bears false witness.

Psa 36:3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

This appears to be formerly godly man who has become wicked as he has left being wise and doing good, but the false tongue again shows itself among the other markers.

Psa 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

This seems to refer more to the “lies” of earthly things, positions and power although flattery and pandering to the “better” people appears to apply also.

Psa 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

Psa 50:20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

This portion of the Psalm (vv. 16-21) is addressed to those who sit in the congregation claiming to be faithful and righteous, but again, the bearing of false witness in its many forms give an indicator of their walk. Even those they should have closest of relationships with will be attacked by them

Psa 52:1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

Psa 52:2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

Psa 52:3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.

Psa 52:4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

Psa 52:5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

Here David is rebuking one who lied to Saul, provoking Saul into killing the priests of the Lord. Jealous and hating David, Doeg the Edomite reported to Saul in such a way as to make Saul think that the priests were in rebellion against them, when they were simply helping the trusted servant of the king.

Psa 58:1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

The question of speaking the truth (righteousness) also includes remaining in silence while hearing gossip and slander. It is also noted that even infants lie before they can speak (as any parent can testify), which makes lying closely related to our fallen state and may be considered a good indicator for the validity of a profession of faith. It must remain only an indicator and not a positive sign one way or the other since most of us are not instantly transformed, but must renew our minds and work out our salvation with fear and trembling as we grow in Christ.

Psa 62:4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

In context, the false witnesses seek to destroy the righteous, loving both the gossip behind the back and false flattery to the face.

Psa 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Psa 101:4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Psa 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

The rules of the king as ruler. All sorts of evil and evildoers will be shunned and banned from the court. It also applies to anyone in relation to those they turn to for counsel. Notice that slander is prominently mentioned as a specific trait of those to be removed.

References: Proverbs 10:16-18; 12:17; 14:5, 25; 19:5,9,28; 21:28, 24:28, 25:16

These are short snips again confirming that the Lord is against the false witness.

References: Proverbs 11:1; 16:11

These are about true scales and measure which refer to false witnessing in combination with stealing.

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

The references are easily read and need no comment, but this one passage is quite interesting. Here seven things are listed that are abominations to the Lord and four of them directly involve bearing false witness and the other three are possibly connected to it by being related in the other passages with lying as a strong indicator of a false witness or professor of the faith.

Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Isa 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

A catalog of sins that keep prayers from reaching the Lord, i.e. signifying the unrighteousness of the one praying. Notice the multiple references to false speech.

Jer 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.

Jer 9:4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.

Jer 9:5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.

Jer 9:6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.

Jer 9:7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

Jer 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.

The Lord speaks of why He will judge Judah, again, repeated references to the various ways of bearing false witness along with hints of other issues such as theft and coveting. Notice that they “weary themselves” or work at it. Again the use of false witness as an indicator of true righteousness.

Eze 13:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.

Against false prophets who claim to have a “word from god” and deceive the people with their lies.

Zec 8:16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

Zec 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

Speaking to the returned exiles about what they have to do to restore Jerusalem and their nation. Notice what the Lord requires them to do. Real simple stuff, but which again points strongly to the indicator of bearing false witness as an outward sign of the unrighteous.

Ok, that was just a bunch of OT stuff, what about the NT?

Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Ananias and Sapphira’s lies brought instant punishment, for the crime of lying to God. Notice that it wasn’t the keeping of part of the money that was the sin, it was the attempt to puff up their reputation by keeping part back while claiming to give all the money. Notice also the link between false speaking and stealing again.

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Notice how many variations of speaking falsely make up this list of traits along with some that usually include sins.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:

Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Again, a listing of traits, with multiple mentions of false witnessing.

Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Eph 4:29 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.

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Snips from these passages about those who convert to Christianity, again with multiple references to the various forms of bearing false witness. James 3 is also instructive about this.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

The description of the new Jerusalem, with those that make lies specifically prohibited from entry. Other translations say “does what is vile or false” and “practices falsehood”, which along with “maketh a lie” implies those who bear false witness in all its forms deliberately.

As is shown above, those who bear false witness tend to freely break other commandments, cloak themselves with righteousness and cause disruption in the congregation. We should steer clear of them and examine ourselves since we must also purge ourselves of these old tendencies to destroy others, cause discord and puff up ourselves vainly by our own words. Those that cannot be faithful in a few things, cannot be trusted with many, so to from this study it becomes clear that those who bear tales, slander and gossip should be looked at very carefully, because from Scripture the evidence is strong that they are just professors and not true believers, wolves in sheep’s clothing. Like those of Berea, we must study to find the truth of matters. They did not simply study Scripture, they studied Scripture (here the OT) to compare it to what Paul and Silas were teaching them that was outside the Old Testament.

Wait, am I being too legalistic here? A bit on the Pharisee side? I don’t think so.

1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1Ti 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

1Ti 1:7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

1Ti 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

However, let’s make it clear. What did Christ Himself say about this matter of bearing false witness?

Joh 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.

Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Argue with Him.