The War of Truth Against the Lies of Men
Men are liars (Rom 3:4). They are children of the devil (1 Jn 3:10), who was a deceiver from the beginning (Jn 8:44). They bear his image, having forsaken the image of God in the fall of Adam (Gen 3). Destruction is their way, “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin (Prv 26:28).”
The child of God is the product of truth. Truth delivers the elect from the morass of deceit. Jesus Christ is the truth (Jn 14:6), the true God-man come into the world (Jn 1:14, 3:16; Rom 3:4). Walking in the truth makes one an enemy of the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2), whose dwelling is the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). They hated Jesus, first, and they hate those who follow the way of truth (Jn 15:18–25).
The quest of the liar is to gain more of the world. A lying tongue is only for a moment (Prv 12:19); it is a fleeting vapor, in the lust for fleshly gratification (Prv 21:6). Ambition for fortune and power is the pursuit of death. Every labor of man is inspired rivalry against his neighbor (Eccl 4:4). He lies to make himself look better than he is in reality. Lying is fake news about oneself. If truth was in men, they would say, “Look away from me, a fake and a failure.” Instead, they draw attention to themselves, unaware they are naked and wretched.
Words have great power, which is why the life of the poet is celebrated, but that of the journalist is cut short. Tell the truth about a man, who is totally depraved, and you incite murderous intentions in his heart. The Jews killed Jesus because of His words spoken to them. He told them the truth about Himself and about themselves. No one wants to hear that he or she is an enemy of God, even if it is true (Eph 2:15–16). It is true of all men, who remain in rebellion against Him (Rom 5:10; 11:28).
Jesus spoke peace to His people (Jn 16:33), and reconciled them to God (Rom 5:11), by His purposeful act of love (Eph 5:25), at the cross of Calvary. Blinded by pride, the arrogant rejected His claims to be Messiah (Jn 10:30). He came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), but the many did not belong to Him (Jn 10:26), hence, they did not believe in Him (Jn 5:38).
Those who hear the voice of their Good Shepherd (Jn 10), who follow Him, have trouble in the world, “In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He answered me. Deliver my soul from lying lips (Ps 120:1–2a).” In this, the children of the world are wiser than the children of light (Lk 16:8), for they diligently labor to gain more of the world, by manipulating their relationships for profit and power (“networking”).
The wicked take their wealth and invest it to gain more riches. They sell their pseudo-salvific products and services with lying lips, deceiving unwary consumers with the empty promises of “a changed life.” When the child of light tells the truth about these cheap substitutes — their fleeting life span or failure to satisfy, exposing their evil (Eph 5:11) — they are hated by men, their governments and corporations.
Enter the lawyers and their words. “Woe to you, lawyers,” was how Jesus judged them for their deceitful practices of twisting the truth (Lk 11:46, 52). Exposing evil is a dangerous business. The darkness does not comprehend why anyone would sabotage the game (Jn 1:5). “King of the mountain,” or “Survival of the fittest,” or “Keeping up with the Joneses” gives meaning and purpose to their diabolical lives.
Jesus spoke in parables to confound the wise; but He pierced their wicked, deceitful hearts (Jer 17:9) with the Sword of His words (Eph 6:17). He called them “hypocrites” and “blind guides.” The Word of truth is a mighty weapon, as the ultimate dread champion (Jer 20:11), Jesus, wielded His weapon with skill of a Master…and that He was, in the days of His earthly ministry of war and peace.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Jesus last forever (Mt 24:35). Like a double-edged sword (Heb 4:12), they still cut with precision, today. Men still die in spiritual warfare because they tell the truth (Eph 6:10–20). How disheartening, to the temporary victor of this fleeting world, is the doctrine of the resurrection (Jn 5:25–29; 1 Cor 15). The natural man defeats the spiritual man like Cain did Abel. He prances in his pomp, “I’m number one! I’m number one!” Dead spiritual men still speak; and nothing says “victory” like, “He is risen (from the dead), just as He said (Mt 28:6).”
Christian, Jesus told you the truth and set you free from slavery to the sin of deceiving your neighbor (Rom 6:6). Walk in the truth and your light will shine. It will please your Father in heaven, inspire other believers, and subject you to the wrath of men. Their end is destruction, which is why we are called to holiness.
Join the psalmist in prayer, for God to deliver you from the lies of the enemy, the doctrine of demons. Employ the shield of faith, to quench the fiery darts of your adversaries, who war with you with their words. They deceive you, gossip about you, slander you, bear false witness against you because they hate peace (Ps 120:6).
Love your enemies, by speaking the truth in love to them. In this, you may gain a brother, or you may heap burning coals upon your neighbor’s head. This is war. The light exposes darkness. The truth cuts and divides the lies, and it proclaims judgment against liars. Be harmless as doves but wise as serpents, in dealing with those hell-bent on gaining the whole world, at the expense of their own souls (Mt 16:26).
To win a few of those souls is our wise investment. Take what you have and store up treasure in heaven. What do you have? Come on, man! You have Christ Jesus, the wisdom and power of God, and the riches of His glory and grace, distributed to men in the telling of the Gospel of peace.
May all men realize grace and truth have come to them, by the words you have spoken to them, as one who is recognized, as having walked with Jesus in the Spirit.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 6, 2022