Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:2-4).
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:9-10).
Some people are compulsive liars. Others may lie when they are put on the spot in order to protect themselves from trouble or shame and embarrassment. Others lie unintentionally because they themselves have believed a lie. It is an old saying, often attributed to Adolf Hitler or to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels, that if people tell lies repeatedly and convincingly enough, then they will soon be believed. Propaganda works. But there is also a saying that lies are eventually exposed through a lack of consistency and an ever-changing narrative. There are some narratives that have become sacrosanct that they dare not even be questioned, such as six million Jews killed at the hands of the Nazis.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us (1 John 1:5-10).
It is very important to continually walk in the light, in the truth and to confess our sins and faults to one another.
When people cover their shameful and embarrassing deeds by outright and obvious lies, then they will start to walk in darkness and the truth will no longer be pure and authentic in them. Hypocrisy is to live in a lie by pretending to hold to truth and morality when it is not the case.
When people walk in darkness because they are ashamed and embarrassed about their sins, then they fall into the hands of the one who is the master liar.
The Law of Moses could be observed to an extent of giving the impression to others that one was a good and righteous person even when secret acts and shameful thoughts were kept hidden. Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh. One of the reasons why many Jews hated Jesus was that he knew their very inner thoughts and often exposed their sin and hypocrisy.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).
Religious hypocrites want people to regard them as belonging to God and having his approval, even when they know that they fall way short of God’s glory. There are many religions in the world. However, humanity is only reconciled to God through faith in Jesus the Messiah through which they become a completely new humanity by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You have an anointing from the Holy One (which is the precise meaning of the name, “Christian”, i.e. anointed one), and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life (1 John 2:20-25).
Jesus exposed hypocrisy – and declared that those who hated him were of their father the devil, who is the liar – or father of lies and deception.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (John 8:42-47).
Whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict (for all of humanity who refuse to believe in Jesus): Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:18-21).
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-13).
The one who is called, “the father of lies”, Satan the deceiver, has taken the whole of humanity captive to do his will.
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:18-20).
It is vitally important that we love the truth and continually remain in the truth. There are no such things as half-truths and harmless white lies for those who walk in the light and have fellowship with God for God sees and knows everything and nothing is hidden from him. However, there are times when the truth may be withheld from liars and evil doers to whom we may even blatantly lie with a pure conscience and a higher cause. For example, Rahab hid the Hebrew spies and then told the people searching for them to harm them that they had gone the other way. Another example is that if someone has a firearm hidden in their home and criminals ask where the firearm is and they are told that the person doesn’t own a firearm.
Governments will lie and false propaganda will prevail. How will we discern the truth? By remaining in the light and the truth of the Word of God.
Lies and deception are a slippery slope. If we should become hypocrites who pretend to one another that we love the truth and walk in the light when we don’t or when our hidden thoughts are impure, then we will fall victim to the one who is the master liar and deceiver. We must love the truth so as to be discerning and kept safe from power delusions and misleading conspiracies.
King Ahab, king of Israel, had many prophets among his administration who, in rather seeking approval from God, sought the favour and approval of this corrupt king. However, because Ahab refused to love the truth and godly correction, God eventually sent him a powerful delusion which ultimately led to his destruction.
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favourably.”
But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
“So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you” (1 Kings 22:13-23).
Through the apostle Paul, God has made it perfectly clear that all who refuse to love the truth and be saved and protected in and through the truth, will, like King Ahab, be handed over to a powerful delusion which they will not be able to discern as being a delusion that will ultimately lead to their destruction.
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).