Ninth River — Lying
“‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” — Ex. xx, 16. A Lie is any false statement made with a design to deceive.
Lying is one of the most raging, fearful Streams which feed the River of Death.
The devil himself is the father of Lies, and all Liars have his nature.
God forbids this sin in all its forms, and the Bible declares that it is an abomination toHim, a hindrance to prayer, and the mask of hypocrites.
Satan would have people think that there are little Lies, big Lies, black Lies, and whiteLies; but this is untrue. A good man has rightly said that “a Lie that is half the truth is ever theblackest of Lies.”
A single Lie makes one a Liar until it is forgiven by God and washed away through theblood of Jesus.
As God declares that “all Liars have their part in the lake that burneth with fire andbrimstone,” it is of great importance that we be saved from this awful sin.
It is one of the Sin-boats in which the Enemy is sinking multitudes in the River of Death,and sweeping them over the Falls of Eternal Despair into that fearful place where Jesus says thereis “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth;” where “their worm dieth not, and the fire is notquenched.”
God loves the truth, and hates shams of every kind, and all Liars are shams of the worstdescription. We will hate Lies like God hates them if we are His children.
As it is the business of Satan to deceive’ people, young and old, in regard to this and everyother sin, we will need to study the matter very closely in order to be sure he’ is not deceiving us.
The following are some of the ways in which people are guilty of this sin:
By stating things which are untrue in order to deceive.
By just making believe for the sake’ of making money or making sport, or concerningsomething wrong.
By making engagements which they know they can not keep.
By pretending goods are better than they really are.
Lies may be acted as well as spoken, and an acted Lie is just as wicked in God’s sight asone that comes from the lips.
By pretending to be all right when one knows he is all wrong.
By being silent. If you hear a Lie told about some one else, and do not deny it, you make theLie your own.
If you repeat a Lie which another has told, knowing it to be’ such, you are a Liar as reallyas the one who first told it.
By sending word to callers that you are not at home when you do not wish to see them.
By professing to be right with God when yon are not keeping His Commandments.
“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth isnot in him.” — 1 John ii, 4.
By professing to have no need of cleansing from sin, when not cleansed. (See I John I,8-10.)
By saying we have fellowship with God, and walking in darkness.
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in the darkness, we lie.” — 1 John1, 6.
As people may steal from God, so they may Lie to Him. Is it less wicked to lie to Him thanto man?
People Lie to God when they promise they will serve Him if He will do certain things forthem, and then refuse to do so.
They Lie to God by breaking the promises which they make when converted, and bybreaking the baptismal covenant in which they promise to “forsake the vain pomp and glory of thisworld, and all covetous desires for the same, so they will not follow nor be led by them.”
People who do this, and then go to the circus, the theater, the dance, and such worldlyplaces, are Liars.
By breaking their Church covenant, in which they have promised to be “cheerfullygoverned” by the rules of the Church and to “keep God’s Commandments.”
By breaking the marriage covenant, in which they have promised to love and protect eachother “so long as they both shall live.”
By breaking death-bed covenants, in which they have promised loved ones they would leadChristian lives and meet them in heaven.
By promising to do some duty, and then refusing.
By promising God to give a certain amount for His cause, and then, like Ananias andSapphira, refusing.
By promising to preach or go as missionary, and then neglecting to do so.
God preserves you from all sin and the awful consequences.
The Life-boat is pressing close and hard to you if you are in this fatal flood.
Many who once were Liars have been saved from this awful sin, and now are full of praiseto Him who has redeemed them and made them clean by His precious blood.
“Wherefore, . . . speak ye truth each one with his neighbor.” — Eph. iv, 25,
ACTING A LIE
Eben E. Rexford, in N.Y. Observer
Dolly had been told never to meddle with a beautiful vase that stood on a bracket over thepiano. “It will break very easily,” her mother said. Now, Dolly had an intense desire to take thevase down and examine it — probably because she had been told not to do so. One day, when shewas alone, she made up her mind to gratify her curiosity. She took the vase down without injuringit, but on trying to put it back the bracket slipped off its nail, and the vase fell and broke into adozen pieces. Dolly was frightened. As she stood there trying to think her way out of the dilemma,her kitten came into the room.
“I’ll shut Spotty into the room, and mamma’ll think she did it,” decided Dolly, “and Spottycan’t tell.”
So the kitten was shut up in the parlor, and when Dolly’s mother came home she foundSpotty there and the vase broken.
“Do you s’pose Spotty did it?” asked Dolly.v “I think she might have done so,” answered her mother. “You don’t know anything about it,do you?”
Dolly pretended that she didn’t hear the question, and got out of the room as soon aspossible. That night she couldn’t sleep. “You lied,” something said to her. “No, I didn’t,” she said.”I didn’t say I didn’t break it.” “But you might just as well have said so,” the voice of consciencetold her. “If you didn’t tell a lie, you acted one, and that’s just as bad as telling one’.”
Dolly stood it as long as she could. She got up and went to her mother’s bed.
“Mamma, I broke the vase,” she sobbed out. “I thought if I acted a lie you wouldn’t find outabout it, but I can’t sleep for thinking that God knows, if you don’t.”
We can not deceive Him.
A LIAR’S FATE
D. T. Taylor
God is almighty. Were He not so He would not be God. It is therefore unwise and unsafeto provoke His wrath. The sinner, the reviler of the Holy Spirit, the blasphemer, do so, and sooneror later meet a dreadful fate. God could forget the strongest man into nothingness in a moment. Butwhen He puts forth His terrible power it is as easy for Him to turn a hundred and eighty-fivethousand warriors into corpses in a night (Isaiah xxxvii, 36), as to strike dead a lying man andwoman in an instant (Acts v, 5-10).
The Boston Journal says a man was playing at cards with three others at Omaha recently,when a dispute arose about the betting. The man uttered a lie. Everybody believed him to belying. Very loudly he asserted his lie, exclaiming in a bold manner, “I hope Christ will kill me, ifit isn’t so!” His hour had come. He dealt the cards to the next player. The hand — his last hand. Hepassed the cards to the next player. The player shuffled the cards, and asked the man who hadreferred the matter to his Judge to “cut;” but a look in his face disclosed the awful fact that he wasdead. The proof of a living Christ and an avenging Deity was before them. It is a fearful thing tofall into the hands of a living God.Beware!