Program Air Date - 8-17-08



Good morning and welcome to the Living Word program! Thank you for choosing to give this time to God, as we together strive to honor Him according to His will. As always, this morning it will be our privilege to sing hymns about God and to study from His magnificent Word. Now let's bow our heads before His throne in prayer!


Today we want to begin with a song that reminds us of our need to imitate Christ in all things. So won't you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing, "O To Be Like Thee!"

(SONG # 1)


We all have read many thought provoking concepts from the Old Testament Writers. In fact, one of the best writers that gives us so many of these ideas is Solomon. If you think about it though, who better than Solomon to guide us in the ways of God? You might recall that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, because he prayed to God for wisdom and it was granted to him.

In Proverbs 2:21-22, Solomon made this thought provoking statement, "For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it." This quote is dealing with two main thoughts. First, we see that Solomon was reminding us that if we are trying we will be able to dwell in the land with God. However, the blameless or perfect are those who will be able to remain in it. You see, all of us reap the blessings that God gives to those of this earth. We all are alive, we breathe, and we have the abilities, which God has created us each with. We also know that God sends the sun and rain and it falls on and helps both the just and the unjust. However, what is it that causes a person to receive the right to remain in His promises? Obviously, it is when an individual strives to do what God has said and what God asks us to.

On the other hand, he went on to state that the wicked will be cut off and the unfaithful rooted up. Let's face it, it does take an active roll on our part for God to know that we are on His side. Our faith has to be one that is seen as active, otherwise we are not of God - as is stated here, we are wicked. James put it like this; "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works," chapter 2, verses 17 and 18. Isn't it our active works that prove our faith in God?

I'm reminded of a story told by Jesus in Matthew 25. Here the Lord Himself, was trying to teach us that we should do good and care for all men. In fact, He said when we do good to others, it is as if we are doing it to Him. Now, this is the very same point we are trying to make this morning. Jesus said that He knows when we are faithful, because He sees it in our actions. Just as Solomon said in Proverbs, that our reward is according to what we do, Jesus also confirmed in this same passage. In verse 34, He talks of the reward for those that show their faith through action, but in verse 46, He says that those who didn't prove their faith would be destroyed. Start living today in a manor that proves to God and the world that we are truly following His commandments. Then and only then can we be found faithful and justified in His sight!

This morning we will continue our study together entitled, "The Things Which God Hates." Our specific discussion of the day is, "God Hates A False Witness Who Speaks Lies!" So please stay with us and after our next song I will lead our lesson thoughts of the morning. Now let's join in our next hymn of the morning, as we glorify God our creator. The name of this song, "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less."

(SONG # 2)


By Ray Sullins

We're glad you've continued with us today as we go now to God's Word and look again to Proverbs chapter 6 at those things it says that God hates, and actually, things so bad that they are abominations in the sight and according to the law of God.

You might note with me then what we'll consider today, which is found in verse 19. It says there, "God hates a false witness who speaks lies." So we're going to think about that concept again as something that God really is against for it is against God and the Will of God whether it be again in action or whether it be in attitude or character. And so that's exactly the point we want to understand about this phrase this day.

If you'll notice with me, the thing we want to do is to break this down into two sections. We first have the idea of one who bears false witness. The second idea is lies. What we'll do first of all is look at the concept of lies or speaking lies because we've already covered that several weeks ago. You might back up with me there to verse 17 and it speaks of "God hating a proud look and a lying tongue." Now that's not strange to us because we've looked in a very detailed way at what lying is and how that it is contrary to the Will of God. We confirmed together there in the book of John chapter 8 and verse 44 in the words of Jesus that "Satan is the father of lies and if we lie then we are of our father who is Satan." So we know that a lie is an untruth that is told to harm or to deceive, as the definition would be given to us. And so Satan or those who choose to lie to give untruths that harm and hurt certainly are those that are doing contrary to the Will of God for "God cannot lie," the book of James 1 tells us and God does not lie. Therefore, as we are imitating God we should not lie.

So then if we'll look at the verse again we find in verse 19 a false witness who speaks lies. So what is a false witness or one who bears false witness? We actually have a lot of examples in scripture that will help us to understand this concept of false witnessing or bearing false witness.

The first we will go back to is really in the book of Exodus in chapter 20. You might recall with me there that this is when the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. Guess what it is that we find there in verse 16 of Exodus 20 as the 9th commandment by God. On the stone was engraved, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Here we have the idea of bearing false witness. Now you and I know Israel was receiving command and would understand that their neighbor would encompass and include and primarily focus on their neighbor as their brothers, their Hebrew brethren. So they were not to bear false witness against one another.

So what was this false witness? Obviously as we look at other examples in context in the same book we find this false witness was a false report. It was something that was said by an individual that was wrong or that was untrue about someone else. Now if you'll look with me there in Exodus chapter 23 we find it actually stating it in such a way. "You shall not circulate a false report." Now that could be really carried out in two ways. Possibly the individual who tells the false report or gives false witness is the one starting the false report or the false witness either because they are wanting to harm someone or lie. Or because they are saying something they thought was true but it is not. Or they are saying something that really they have seen themselves that the individual has done. On the other hand, the false report might be something they have been told. That would lead us into what we actually will mention a little bit later and that would be gossiping. Someone who bears false witness based on what they have been told that they really don't have proof of or that the one who has spoken to them themselves did not have proof of. And so when we read here, it speaks of this not only bearing a false report or circulating, gossiping about this false report to where there is no fact or evidence, but here it says, "And also do not put your hands with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." What we begin to learn is this false witnessing or false reporting causes us to be someone who is mentioned here as unrighteous.

Now certainly if we know that to be the case, we would want nothing of it as those who love God. That we would even entertain the idea to bear witness against someone that was false or untrue. What would be the benefit? What would be our desire in such a case? So we must make sure that when we bear witness it is true witness. We must do as we saw even in our discussion online and make sure that our yes is yes and that our no is no, that people take us at our word and know that we can be trusted in all things.

Another example that we might find and I think that is interesting as well that would relate to Israel and some of her leaders is found in the book of Numbers. You might recall there in Numbers chapter 12 a story where Moses is actually spoken against by his own brother and his own sister. I like this story in relationship to our discussion because it shows sometimes it is not just somebody that we know who is a neighbor or even somebody who is maybe a distant kin, but sometimes someone can bear false witness who is very close to us or who we trust or whom we love. Here we find Moses being spoken against by his own brother and his own sister in the fact they didn't like that he married an Ethiopian woman. Now that is a whole other issue. But what they were doing was speaking out against, trying to rile up the people and bearing false witness against him. Now how were they doing that? The verse tells us actually if you'll look at verses 2 and 3 that they were speaking, "Well you know God doesn't only speak through Moses." Aaron was thinking that, "God speaks in the law through me and as I carried the rod and as I was a spokesman, God was speaking through me." Merriam was thinking, "Well, I speak to the women and lead the women and God has used me to speak to the women." So here they are puffed up. They are caught up in themselves and they are now beginning to bear false witness. They know that God chose Moses, not them. They know that Moses was closer to God than perhaps anyone, that he was a friend of God, that he had been on the mountain with God and had even experienced so many things with God. So when they spoke a false witness, gave reports about Moses and no doubt said things that were not in tune with what they knew to be true from God, we know that God was unpleased. In fact, so unpleased he called the three before Him. He then struck Merriam with leprosy that would lead to death. Moses eventually has to pray to God that they would be forgiven. They also repent and beg for forgiveness of Moses and God. Why? They had spoken things untrue. They had bore a report that was false based on what they knew God had confirmed in His Will, that Moses was His child. He was the leader of Israel and that he was the chosen one that God spoke through.

Another example that we have I think that is interesting is found there in the book of 1 Kings. We know here that there was a king named Ahab and his wife, Jezebel. And as many kings might be, they want everything they see and when he saw this vineyard, he decided, "I want that vineyard," but he was sad because he didn't want to do what it would take to get the vineyard. And so being a good wife, at least in her eyes, what does Jezebel do? She actually helps him obtain that vineyard. She actually helps him to devise and really behind his back does what it takes to get the vineyard. But I might note with you that after they get the vineyard, guess what happens. He freely takes it. He doesn't question her at all and he doesn't really say that she shouldn't have done that. So there in 1 Kings 21, if you'll notice with me it is interesting that plan that she makes. It says she sends a letter and she wants to find two scoundrels who will lie. Why? Because she needs them to bear false witness. In verse 10 of chapter 21 in 1 Kings, the verse says, "She wanted them to sit, the two men, the scoundrels before him to bear witness against him." Then if we drop down in the same text down to verse 13, it says, "When the came and sat the scoundrels before him they witnessed against him. They bore false reports and witness and claimed that he had blasphemed the name of the king and that he had blasphemed the name of God." So what would be the result of that? Death. So he was put to death, but certainly not because that was true. They had bore false witness and notice the results. They died.

So when we look at all of these examples, what do we begin to see? We find time after time that God is not happy with anyone who speaks something that is a lie or that is not true or that is a false report. In fact, we might notice that what God is really getting at here is that if anyone speaks such things, they will pay for that. They will answer for it.

In fact, I think one of the best verses to help us see that is in Proverbs chapter 21. If you'll notice with me there in verse 28, the Bible says, "A false witness shall perish." Is there anything hard to understand about that? If we choose to bear false witness, we will perish. That is no doubt why it was one of the Ten Commandments. "You shall not bear false witness." That's why today Jesus still says that we need to make sure what we say again proves that we as God are faithful, that we as God are trustworthy, that we as God can be known to be those who are truthful in all things.

Really, why wouldn't this make sense? Because we go then over to very familiar passages found in the New Testament such as the book of Ephesians. And we know there as Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 4 that he says this about words and things spoken. He says, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but that which is good for necessary edification that it might (do what?) impart grace to the hearers."

How can we bear false report when everything we do and say is supposed to do what? Good. How can we say something wrong or evil or that is gossip or unfound and untrue? That is what gossip is. That which has not been proven or is said to be harmful. How can we say that when we know God is against such and he really wants me to say things that really help, encourage and benefit all who hear, not only who they are directing it at, not only who they are about, but that if anyone hear it they be encouraged, they be edified.

So now I hope you're beginning to see what it is that God wants from each of us. He wants us to be able to show how much we love Him. He wants us to be able to prove that we believe in Him and obey His Will and that we do the Golden Rule, Matthew 7 and verse 12, and that we want others to do unto us just as we have done unto them for first we have done godly to them. In other words, act in such a way towards others that they are going to respond in a godly way, a good, a wholesome, a righteous way. Isn't that what Christ did? Even when He was reviled, He did not revile against them. He did not sin. He did nothing wrong. But He was willing to do what? Even as the verse says, "Turn the other cheek." No longer an eye for an eye, Matthew 5 verse 38, as the old law says, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," but now "turn the other cheek." Help one another. Go the extra mile. Show the love of God.

Are you willing today to make sure that your report, your witness about God, about others is true, and is founded only on fact and evidence and is based only on that that will edify and encourage? If you are, you will be God's child. But if not, a false witness or a liar, those who speak lies will pay before God and answer and they will perish and be lost eternally. If you are not a child of God today, do what God says to become one. Confess His name. Repent and be baptized so that the Lord might add you to His church and that you might begin to live the life that is truly of a speech that is worthy of those who love God. Are you willing to do what God has commanded? Are you willing to set the example and to be the standard according to His precious Word?

(SONG # 3 - "Mansions Over The Hill Top!")


Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, as we gave this time to God. It is always a blessing to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to the service of God!

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As we live every day on this earth which God created, may we speak the truth in all things and make sure our word is our bond. For how beautiful are the words of the faithful when they are in tune with what God commands.

(Program closing)