The Ten Commandments

9 - You Shall Not Lie

an article based on a sermon

by Jon Bowles

given 25 August 2007

(PLAY FROM START)

In Liverpool last week, an eleven-year-old boy was shot dead. The Telegraph reported, in an article entitled “Shot boy’s killer could be as young as 13”:

“Police believe the killer who shot 11-year-old Rhys Jones dead in Liverpool could be as young as 13. They are looking for a slim white boy aged about 13 to 15 and around 5ft 8ins tall. He was riding a black BMX bicycle and wearing dark clothes, including a hoodie top with a peak, and white trainers...

“David Cameron, the Conservative leader said: 'We have had a spate of children killing children, and we have got to ask what’s going wrong in the country?'"

An eleven year old shot dead! It staggers belief, and it appears as if a boy just slightly older than the victim did the shooting. In 1997 the government of the United Kingdom banned handguns after the Dunblane Massacre where 16 children and 1 adult were shot at Dunblane Elementary School. Since then statistics for violent crime have skyrocketed. Banning guns is not the answer.

At first glance, the link between God’s Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness” and this shooting appears completed unrelated; but the Ninth Commandment has everything to do with it. What is happening in our society today that would impact on the case where an eleven-year-old boy gets shot dead?

Let us take note of three areas: The first is the democratic system. We are living in a unique time in history where democracy is viewed as the pinnacle political system where you “give people their rights.” The people proclaim, “I know my rights,” with the result that there is not the discipline that there should be in the home. What happens then is that the ones who can tell the biggest lies most convincingly are the ones who actually get into power. There is a culture of lying coming out of this democratic system.

The second area is the lie of evolution that undergirds everything within our educational system. With evolution, there is no creator God, no authority, no spiritual dimension to life, no morality. It is survival of the fittest. Evolutionists twist the evidence. “They suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). They lie. What effect does the lie of evolution have on a society? It gets rid of the spiritual dimension, gets rid of the morality that says, “Do not kill.”

A third area that impacts on this shooting case is violent video games. When children play these games, they enter another world where they become somebody else. They “kill” their opponents without real consequences. The idea that you can kill people, get killed yourself, lay on the ground for two seconds, and get up again is a total lie. The real world is not like that. Children who play these games live in a make-believe world with the result that, if they get hold of a gun, it means nothing to them to shoot somebody, because that is the way they have been “living” in these violent video games. They have been living a lie.

The breaking of the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness,” definitely has an impact on events like this shooting. It has an impact on all of our lives. In the Old Testament it was clearly pointed out that the command, “You shall not bear false witness” does not just apply when appearing before authorities, as in a court of law, but applies in all aspects of life.

"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another."(Leviticus 19:11)

As with the other commandments in this series, we will get to the principle, the spirit of the law, the mind of God that is behind the Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness,” or, “You shall not lie.” We need to look at the New Covenant application, the overall intent of this command, because we are going to be a part of the very government of God in the future, administering the very law of God in this new agreement, this marriage agreement between Christ and His Church, in the coming Kingdom of God, ruling over the world. The very purpose of Church services – why there is a sermonette, why there is a sermon that is of a certain length, why it is in the style of a lecture – is because we are students, disciples, for the time when we will be administering the law of God to the world under Christ.

In Ephesians 4 Paul is talking to the Ephesian Church about focusing their minds on becoming "...a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). In other words, he is saying we need to have the same spiritual mind that Christ has. We need to be able to approach things in the same way that God the Father and Jesus Christ do. That is what we are here in the Church to learn to do.

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

We should not be lying to each other, because we are members one of another, eventually to be married to Christ as the bride of Christ. When resurrected, we are going to be of the same spirit kind as Christ is. That mind of Christ has to be developed in us now. We in God’s Church are here in this life to develop that mind.

There are five areas we will cover in looking at this commandment.

It Is Impossible For God to Lie

"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; " (Titus 1:1)

The reason we sit in services, the reason we have lecture-style sermons is to develop godliness within us, "the truth which is after godliness."

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." (Titus 1:2)

Imagine if God could lie, what would we have? We would not have "the truth which is after godliness," because we would not know if God was lying or not, nor would we have the hope of eternal life. Our whole future depends on the fact that God cannot lie. When He says something, that is the way it is.

"For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ [Christ is going to come from on high and will return to this earth.] (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body... [this is the hope, the faith, that we have if we continue the course] ...according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)

The body that Christ has and this body that has been promised to us is able to subdue all things to that body. How does Christ do that, and how will we do that? What is the process?

From Genesis 1 and from Psalm 33: – "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9 )– we see the way in which Christ created, the way in which He subdued the earth which was in "tohu" and "bohu" (Genesis 1:1) was that "He spoke, and it was." What, then, is the principle area of this glorious body that we will be changed into that does this subduing? It is the tongue. If we cannot rule our tongue in a God-like way, we cannot administer the very government of God. If our attitude of mind produces a lying tongue, we cannot do what we need to do now and on into eternity. It takes character.

How is the tongue controlled? When we speak, what is actually happening? We draw a breath in, and the breath comes out as speech. The breath is given, in essence, shape and form. It is given a means of conveying information. It passes the information out to others.

With the glorious body "working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself," it is the "holy breath" or Holy Spirit that comes out of mouth. The word for "spirit" in Greek is "pneuma," the word from which we get the word "pneumatic," as in a pneumatic tyre.

"Pneuma" is the breath, the air, that comes out of the mouth. The glorious body that we will have is going to have the spirit, the breath of God. When the breath of God comes out from a spirit being, and the spirit being says, "Let there be light," things happen, because this "... glorious body according to the working whereby...is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)

There is no way God will give this kind of power to an individual with the mind of Satan. The only way that that power will be given is if what is coming out of our mouth is governed by the breath, the Spirit of God.

In scripture you often find lying and stealing together. On the surface they are not the same; but when you look at the spirit and intent, they are very similar. As we covered in the article on the Eighth Commandment, a thief works to get; but God and His children work to give. We can take this same concept and apply it to the Ninth Commandment. A liar speaks to get, but God and His children speak to give. This is the key to the whole subject – the heart, the principle, the spirit, the intent of the Ninth Commandment.

A liar will use the tongue in an incoming way, trying to get. He will lie about things, for example, so that he is looked on in a better way. God and His children speak to give. God speaks and it is. His is an outgoing nature, coming from an outgoing mind.

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Eternal, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (8) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Eternal. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:" (Isaiah 55:7-9)

Notice "that it may give seed to the sower." That is an outgoing way. God has made the earth such that we can till the land, plant the seed, the rain will come down and water the seed, and it gives us what we eat.

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

This is the way God’s word is. It is impossible for Him to lie. Whatever He says is. That is why it is impossible for Him to lie. When He speaks, it is. This is the definition of what is real. The laws came out of the mouth of the One who became Jesus Christ, and that word has defined all that is. So how can He lie? When He says it is going to be a certain way, that is the way it is going to be.

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) This truth is what sets apart those who are converted, those who are following the way of God.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) The truth will make us free in the sense of looking into the future where Paul speaks of "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).

"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:21) Those who love the truth come to the light, to see that what they have been doing has been "wrought in God."

"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9) Christ is the true Light.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

Notice that both "grace" and "truth" are mentioned. Grace, "charis" in Greek, means "an excellence," "a blessing," everything that is good. Charis is an outgoing nature, an outgoing excellence. This being who created all things, who does not lie, is filled with grace and with truth.

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

A better rendering of this verse is: "For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. He magnified the law and made it made more honorable. Note that "truth" is again linked with "grace."

Psalm 119 deals with the law of God. David speaks of "the way." "Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works."(Psalm 119:27)

"Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously." (Psalm 119:29) It is not enough just not to lie. What must be removed is the way of lying. "Grant me thy law graciously." The law of God is gracious.

"I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart." (Psalm 119:32)

When the heart has the very spirit of God and the "breath of God" is coming out of the mouth, the words spoken will be an expression of that spirit – of the mind and character of God. The words will come out in a "gracious" way, or better translated, "an excellent way." Our words will be excellent, outgoing, the way God would frame His words, the very spirit of the law.

"This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." (I John 5:6) We read earlier "Your word is truth." (John 17:17) The Spirit is truth as well. "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth." (I John 2:21) If we lie, the Spirit of truth is lacking.

James has a great deal to say about the tongue, and, therefore, about the spirit, the intent, and the principle of the law with regard to lying.

"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)

Why is he able to bridle the whole body? Because "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34). Eventually what is in our heart will come out of our mouth. If our heart is wrong, what comes out of our mouth will be in the wrong way. We have all heard of the "Freudian slip." Your mind is working on something; and you then say something inadvertently, and bang, it is out there. What is in the heart will come out of the mouth.

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:8) No man can tame the tongue. If all we are trying to do is to make sure that we do not lie, we will fail. You cannot keep the law this way. You may come close, but eventually you will slip. No man can tame the tongue; "it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." We need to go to God and ask for that " holy breath" that will then control our tongue.

A liar speaks to get. He says whatever is necessary to elevate himself. God and His children speak to give. It is a totally different character of mind.

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (12) Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. (13) Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. (15) This wisdom [so-called "wisdom"] descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." (James 3:11-15)

Why devilish? Because God cannot lie. The Spirit of God, the "breath" of God does not flow in that direction.

"For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure... [Does a fountain set forth at the same place pure water and bitter (verse 11)? No. The spirit has to be right first. It must be first pure then it can be] ...peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:16-18)

We have to go to the source for that pure water, to God for whom it is impossible to lie. If it is impossible for God to lie, if we are in contact with Him, if that Spirit and "breath" is within us, then it will also be impossible for us to lie!

The Devil Is The Father Of Lies

However, the problem is that at times we are not in contact with God. We are in tune with another being.

"I [Christ] know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you." (John 8:37)

The word of Christ was coming from a different source. The "breath" being used was a different breath.

"I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father." (John 8:38)

Where is the source of what is coming out of the mouth? You do not change the tongue by changing the tongue. You change the tongue by changing the "breath," the "pneuma."

"But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham." (John 8:40) That is not the way of Abraham. "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word." (John 8:43) The word does not sink in at all. It is coming from a different "breath," a different source. "Ye are of your father the devil...(John 8:44) "Devil" means "slanderer. "Satan" means "enemy." Christ uses the term slanderer because what He is saying concerns the tongue.

"...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)

There is no truth in the devil. Why? Because when he speaks, he speaks to get. That is his entire modus operandi. The devil speaks to get; and, therefore, there is no truth in him because speaking to get is the antithesis of truth. Truth is speaking to give. "Your word is truth" (John 17:17)."God [that] cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). The devil is the father of lying. If we have a problem with lying, that is where it is coming from.

"And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (46) Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? (47) He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:45-47)

"And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? (17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught [into the toilet bowl]? (18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart [from the innermost being, the core, where the spirit is]; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart [the core of our being] proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." [That is not what you should be concentrating on.] (Matthew 15:16)

Out of the heart comes "false witness." In looking at the intent, the spiritual application of the Ninth Commandment, "You shall not bear false witness," it is the heart that has to be changed.

How is this change accomplished? "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:33)

It comes down to the two trees, as Mr. Armstrong talked about so many times. One tree is the way of give. The other tree is the way of get. The fruit, therefore, corresponds to which tree is there. Are we speaking to get, or are we speaking to give? These are the two contrasting ways. This is the heart and core of this subject of the Ninth Commandment.

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34) If you have evil in the heart, in the core, how can you speak something which is good? It is impossible!

"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things [the words spoken]: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:35-37)

This is why we need to be careful. We need to make sure that we are plugged into the Vine (John 15:1-6); and where we fail, we repent and get plugged back into the Vine. "Make the tree good."

What was Satan’s intent when he went to Eve? His intent was to deceive her. Was that for her benefit? Of course not. Satan did not want Adam to supersede him and his government.

God places a great deal of emphasis on this subject of lying. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)

All of us, if we just try and rely on ourselves, will be liars. We will not change. Not lying must come from the right "breath." It is the breath that forms the words. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." The heart, the core, contains either the very Spirit of God or it contains the opposite, the mindset of Satan. There are two trees – a way of give and a way of get. What comes out of the heart is either coming from a way of give or a way of get. If it is coming from a way of get, it will go down the route of a lying spirit. If what comes out of the heart is coming from a way of give, it will go down the route of the Spirit and the breath of God.

"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie ."(Revelation 22:15)

Again, it is not just a case of not lying, it is "whoever loves and makes a lie." This is what Satan is like. Satan’s name is not just Satan, which means enemy. It is devil as well, which means slanderer, someone who lies. The devil is the "father of lies." You either go one way, down the route of the "father of lies," or the other, down the route of the Spirit of God.

A Specific Problem Today

Lying is a specific problem in the world today. I Timothy 4 talks about "doctrines of devils." We tend to think of celibacy, "forbidding to marry," and vegetarianism, "abstaining from meats," (verse 3) as the two doctrines of demons that are specific to demonic influence. But notice what it actually says.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly [the Spirit speaks through the prophets, and what it speaks is truth], that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons]; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (I Timothy 4:1-2)

"Speaking lies in hypocrisy" is part of these doctrines of demons. It is what comes from a satanic mindset. Celibacy and vegetarianism are also included in these doctrines (verse 3), but it is all coming from a lying spirit. Those who are going in that direction speak lies in hypocrisy, "having their conscience seared with a hot iron." This is what we will find extant at the end time. As it says, "the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times..."

II Thessalonians speaks of an individual who will rise in Europe and give "lying wonders." "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness... [He is deceiving people. He is a liar. He is "pulling the wool over the people’s eyes"] ..,in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (II Thessalonians 2:9)

Again, it is a case of the two trees – you either follow the way of give or the way of get. People ask the question, "What has gone wrong with our society that an eleven-year-old boy can be shot by someone barely in his teens? How can such a thing happen?" It is a lying society that lives and that feeds on the lies that come out of video games, DVDs, television, movies, etc. If we are not careful, we will too.

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:" (II Thessalonians 2:11) They are going the way, the riverbed down which Satan’s spirit is flowing – not the riverbed down which God’s Spirit is flowing.

"That they all might be damned [judged] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thessalonians 2:12)

Lying is going to be a specific problem in the end time and not just with the false prophet who performs "lying wonders," causing miracles to take place. "If possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). The intent is to deceive the very elect.

The lie of evolution undergirds everything in society today. Romans 1:18 speaks of those who suppress "the truth in unrighteousness," which is what evolutionists do. They deny the beauty and wonder of creation and, where they find they cannot deny the evidence, they come up with things like "multiverses" (multiple parallel universes) to explain the evidence away. It is blatantly obvious that all we see was created. The idea that it just somehow came into existence by happenstance is nonsense. It is a total fabrication.

In the media today, we find the lines being blurred. Look at advertising, for example. There is a car commercial currently running on television where they attach helium balloons to the specific cars being advertised and push them off of multistory car parks. The cars then "float away." You cannot see how they make the cars "float." There are no wires above them. They have been airbrushed out. Reality is blurred.

"Police believe the killer who shot 11-year-old Rhys Jones dead in Liverpool could be as young as 13." How can somebody do that? They have had to have been playing these violent video games, over and over again. We are living in a time where "the love of the truth" is not there. Therefore, people accept "strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

It is a specific problem today; and we must get to grips with this problem ourselves within God’s Church, because we are going to have to teach people who have grown up in this society a different way of life. If we go down the same route as they, how can we possibly do that? All of us, in fact, have gone down that route; and all of us need to repent. We need to repent, to change, from using our mouths to get, to using our mouths to give, which is the way of God. Using our mouths to give comes from a different spirit – God’s Holy Spirit. We need to get plugged back into the Vine (John 15:1-6).

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." (Revelation 19:20)

The "spin" that you find within the media, coming out of the government and elsewhere, is all part of the problem you find at the end time. The false prophet, the one who is deceiving by using miracles – as mentioned in Revelation 19 and II Thessalonians – is going to be part of the very system as a religious leader. The Roman Catholic Church today accepts evolution. It does not believe in a Creator the way we in God’s Church do. It does not believe in a specific creation. It declares evolutionary theory as true and says that the "soul" was put into man about 6,000 years ago. Its belief is a syncretism of these two ideas – evolution and creation.

In the United Kingdom, "New Labour" (a term used by the Labour Party to identify its shifting of political ideologies in the ’90’s) has been in power for over ten years now. It is euro-national socialism, which is another name for euro-Nazis. The thinking that is coming out of this government mirrors days gone by. Hitler, on coming to power, had the Reichstag burned and blamed it on the Communists so he could bring in the various controls that he needed to bring in.

Could something similar have been done by New Labour? It has been speculated that the "7/7 bombing" (a series of bombings that hit London’s public transportation system on July 7, 2005) was, indeed, done by the "powers that be." We may shake our heads at that, but I saw a video on the incident that included an interview with a security firm (also shown on BBC and ITV) that reported that their firm just so happened to be doing a security exercise against bombings of the London public transportation system on the specific day, at the specific time, and at the specific stations where the bombings happened. If the bombings were done by the "powers that be" and the operatives were discovered at those locations by someone, say a policeman, they could say, "We are just part of a security exercise." This is the classic way in which these "false flags" are done by governments.

An actuary determined that the statistical probability of this scenario happening – where a security firm was in the specific places, on the specific date, at the specific time as the bombings – is 1 in 10 to the power of 41. That is comparable to you piling together every bit of sand on the earth, coloring just one grain, chucking all the sand into the ocean, mixing it all together, and having that one colored grain of sand just so happen to hit you in the eye. That is how likely this scenario is; and that is when you think: Is what the media reported to us a lie? Were the bombings staged? Or, is this video not true? You do not know who to believe.

As I say, lying is a specific problem today. It is going to be a specific problem within the European conglomeration that comes out of the European Union that Britain will not be part of. We need to be aware of what it is saying in II Thessalonians 2 and to be awake and alert to what is actually happening around us today.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." (II Timothy 3:1)

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [It is a real problem at the end time.] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of [the things that you have proved], knowing of whom thou hast learned them;" (II Timothy 3: 13,14)

The plan of God did not come from Mr. Armstrong; it came through him from God. We need to be assured of where we learned it and make sure we recognize the true source of that knowledge and do not get sucked in with people who are "deceiving, and being deceived."

Swearing To Our Own Hurt

Remember, a liar speaks to get. God and His children speak to give.

"A Psalm of David. Eternal, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?" (Psalm 15:1)

Who is going to be there in the future? What is God looking for? Notice how many of the verses have to do with controlling the tongue and how the tongue is used.

"He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." (Psalm 15:2) The truth comes from the heart. The heart must be changed, so that the breath that comes out is being guided by the holy breath, the Holy Spirit of God. "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. (4) In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Eternal. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not." (Psalm 15:3-4) He says that he will do something; and he does it, even "to his own hurt."

"He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Psalm 15:5) He shall never be moved from the tabernacle that dwells in the very holy hill of God, which is spiritual Mount Zion, New Jerusalem.

Notice this excerpt from a recent article written by a lawyer from a U.K. solicitor’s firm: "For over 200 years, Dictum Meum Pactum or ’My word is my bond’ has been the motto of the London Stock Exchange where bargains are made without an exchange of documents. However, until this case, although common practice - particularly in the City - deals concluded over the telephone with formal written documents signed later on, did not have judicial backing."

This is referring to a case that had to come to court because people would not accept what was agreed to in a telephone conversation, and suddenly "My word is my bond" no longer applied. For 200 years the London Stock Exchange existed with this as its motto, and that is the way business was conducted. The court case happened in 2006, and suddenly the rules of the game changed.

Mr. Armstrong, as recorded in his autobiography, attended a luncheon in 1919 where the noted Boston statistician Roger Babson was the quest speaker. Mr. Babson said: "When I want to know what the temperature in this room is going to be an hour or two from now I don’t consult the thermometer on the wall. I go to the boiler room and see what is going on down there."

You go to the "boiler room" to see how people are dealing with each other. Then you start to understand what is happening to the society, a society that produces a child of eleven being shot three times in the neck. The mindset of society is very different from the way it used to be. It is not a case of, "He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not."

"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: (34) But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: (35) Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (37) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil [from an evil source, or the evil one]." (Matthew 5:33-37)

As I said, it comes down to the two trees. Either you are following the way of speaking to get; or you are following the way of speaking to give – where your "yes" means yes, and your "no" means no. In this regard, however, the person giving the "yes" or "no" has to have the authority "to bind." If a young child, for example, is invited by another child to stay at their house for the week, saying, "My dad won’t mind at all," the family is not bound to that. The father is the one with authority.

In our evil, feminist society, this goes down like a lead balloon. Nevertheless, it is written in the law of God and will be implemented in the world tomorrow and needs to be implemented within the Church of God today.

"And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Eternal hath commanded. (2) If a man vow a vow unto the Eternal, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth." (Numbers 30:1-2)

You have to be old enough to do this. If you are a male adult and you bind yourself, you are bound. You "swear to your own hurt and change not." If you say something, you need to go through with it.

"If a woman also vow a vow unto the Eternal, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth [a teenager]; (4) And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her [the relationship is between her father and her]: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand [exactly the same as if a male had done it]. (5) But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Eternal shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her." (Numbers 30:3-5)

If her father says, "No, I know you gave your word that you would do that; but that is not going to happen," that is it. She does not do it. "The Eternal shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her." Why? It could well be that the daughter’s hormones came into play. Whatever it is, this is what the law of God states.

"And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; (7) And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. (8) But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Eternal shall forgive her." (Numbers 30:6-8)

The husband also can disallow something within the household. As I say, these verses anger many in our evil, feminist society, but this is what God says.

"But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her." (Numbers 30:9)

However, within the structure of the home, where there is a father or husband, they have the right to disallow something. But it must be done within the day, and it must be done between the man and the lady affected. It is not a matter of saying it to everyone concerned.

We are to "swear to our own hurt." We are to bind ourselves by saying, "Yes, we will do something," or "No, we will not do something." And we need to be very careful with this.

"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) Whereas [here is the wisdom] ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." (James 4:13-15)

In other words, "God willing, I will do this. I will make every effort that I can to do what you ask." To say, "I will do it" can be a problem. It is unwise to say that, because you do not know what can happen. You could break a leg, end up in a hospital. We need to respond to requests putting it in this phraseology, because when we say something, that is the way it should be (with the one proviso for the women that we read of in Numbers 30).

In Exodus there is an incident where God seems to lie: And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The Eternal God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Eternal our God." (Exodus 3:18)

"And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Eternal God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." (Exodus 5:1)

God, and for that matter Moses, knew full well that it was not just a feast in the wilderness that was necessary. God was taking them to Canaan. Why, then, did He tell Moses to say, "Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness"?

"And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not [except] by a mighty hand. (20) And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go." (Exodus 3:19-20)

The Eternal, the One who became Jesus Christ, knew when He gave the command to Moses "to go and tell this to Pharaoh" that Pharaoh would not even allow them to "hold a feast to Him in the wilderness."

"" And the Eternal said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. (22) And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Eternal, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (23) And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn."(Exodus 4:21-23)

This eventually did happen. The firstborn were slain, and Pharaoh did let Israel go. The only reason God’s initial approach was "let them go to do sacrifice to me in the wilderness" was so that when Pharaoh in the future is resurrected, God will say, "You would not even let my people go and do sacrifice." This incident will be part of Pharaoh’s conversion process in the future. God knew that Pharaoh would not agree to let His people go. God did not reveal to him all the truth, but His intent, what was coming out of His mouth was to give, even to Pharaoh – thinking into the future and how Pharaoh would be converted. His is a mindset of give.

For those in God’s Church, when we speak, we are to speak the truth, but circumspectly. We do not have to reveal all the truth at once, as we will go on and read about in Proverbs.

Being Members One Of Another

"Because the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21)

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

The words coming out of the children of God in the world tomorrow will be true. You will be able to count on their words the same way you can count on God’s words. This, then, will cause a "glorious liberty" within the entirety of the earth, and it is why we need to take this subject to heart.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Philippians 3:21). Our tongue is part of our body! In "subduing all things to Himself," we are looking at His word. He speaks, and it is. He says, "Let the dry land appear," and the dry land comes up through the sea. Our bodies need to be a living sacrifice. When we speak, we are that living sacrifice. We reflect our God.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove [put to the test] what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (3) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. [Get onto God’s wavelength.] (4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (Romans 12:2-4)

"And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (I Corinthians 12:21) This is foolishness. We are members one of another. We are part of the body of Christ, the Bride that is going to marry Him in the future. The word that comes out of our mouth must reflect that same Spirit.

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity [liberality]; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love [which is the expression of the mind of God] be without dissimulation [pretense]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave [stick] to that which is good. (10) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;" (Romans 12:6-10)

Why? So that we are, indeed, "members one of another," recognizing this unity within the very Church itself.

Proverbs is full of verses that speak of controlling the tongue. Let us take just one chapter and look at a few verses.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)

"The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright [properly]: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness." (Proverbs 15:2) If we have "verbal diarrhea," then we had better be careful, because that is the mouth of a fool. We need to put a brake on our mouth.

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.. [it does something to help somebody, to "give life" to the other person ]..but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." (Proverbs 15:4) The "breath" (Hebrew: ruach) that is coming out is the problem.

"The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so." (Proverbs 15:7) A lying tongue speaks to get, but God and His children speak to give. They dispense knowledge. It is an outgoing way, giving to those who are listening. That is what we need to concentrate on; giving to the one who is listening.

"The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." (Proverbs 15:14) The mouth of a fool says something just for the sake of it. That is not the way of God. His way is to give something to the person who is listening, something that they need, something that is beneficial to them.

"A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23)

"The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Eternal: but the words of the pure are pleasant words." (Proverbs 15:26) Again, the breath that is coming out is giving; it is outgoing.

"The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." (Proverbs 15:28) We are to think, to pray about it, before we answer something. The mouth of the wicked "pours out evil things" because it is only interested in getting something for itself.

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (Proverbs 17:28) Even a fool when he keeps his mouth shut is counted as wise!

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," (Ephesians 3:14-15) We in God’s Church are part of this family. We attend services to understand how that family must behave.

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [the breath, the pneuma] in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints [members one of another] what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:16-19)

From this breath that is in us comes the right kind of words that are necessary.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us [the breath that is there], (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians 4:13-14)

Deceiving is done through the mouth. Here is the contrast: "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (17) This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart [out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks]: (19) Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness [speaking in a way that is in-coming, selfish]. (20) But ye have not so learned Christ; (21) If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:" (Ephesians 4:15-21)

Christ is filled with truth and grace. "Grant me thy law graciously." It is the living word of God that needs to be in us, driven by the same Spirit that He was anointed with that made Him the Christ.

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another." (Ephesians 4:22-25)

We are all in this together, members one of another. But notice what it then goes on to say. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace [excellence] unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

Again, a lying heart speaks to get; God and His children speak to give. They are speaking to give understanding, to edify, which means to teach; and the teaching needs to be wholesome and good for the person who is listening.

"And grieve not the holy Spirit [the holy breath] of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)

How do you grieve the Holy Spirit? The "breath of God" must express itself in a certain way. When we lie, we are going with a different breath, and therefore vex, or grieve, this holy breath. We must make sure that when we speak it is administering grace, something which is of benefit to those that are hearing. We need to remember the central point of God’s Ninth Commandment: A lying heart speaks to get, but God and His children speak to give.


*Transcribed in article form by KA. Edited by JB. 1 Emphasis our throughout. 2 "LORD" replaced with "Eternal" throughout