Truth vs. Lies
The title of this article, “TRUTH VS LIES,” is more than an academic game; more than a sport. It is the essence of reality; the essence of eternal life or eternal death. It is at the heart of free moral agency. God is the God of truth (Titus 1:2). The devil is a liar and the father of it (Jn. 8:44). God is not only the apex of truth, He is an expert at it. The devil is the most cunning liar, and thoroughly practiced.
A news reporter, John Berman, was interviewing Vice President Mike Pence a few days ago. Berman made the statement, “We are living in a world of two different realities.” The Vice President interrupted him and said, “No John, there is only one reality.”
The Vice President was correct. The devil has put forth the lie that alternate contradicting “realities” can factually exist in the same place at the same time. The word “reality” is defined by Webster as “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” It is a scientific and philosophical fact that two or more alternate and contradicting realities cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Two opposing and contradicting ideas or perceptions may exist in the same place at the same time, but not realities. Yet, this is the postmodern and pluralistic thinking of many in the world today. It has its roots in existentialism—the philosophy that there is no absolute truth.
A lie does not become truth by repetition. Tom Stafford, in an article for BBC news, said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this known as the "illusion of truth" effect” (Tom Stafford, “How Liars Create the ‘illusion of truth,’” Oct. 26, 2016, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20161026-how-liars-create-the-illusion-of-truth). Matthew 15:1-9 shows that repetition (tradition) does not establish truth.
Neither does a lie become truth by popular opinion. In a Gallop Poll report printed in 2017 it was found that people who believed the Bible was the literal word of God had fallen from a high of 40% in 1984 down to 24% in 2017. The number of people who believed the Bible was the inspired word of God but not all was to be taken literally had risen slightly from 45% to 47%. The number of people who believed the Bible was a myth had doubled from 13% in 1974 to 26% in 2017. 1 John 5:19 affirms that the whole world is under the sway (influence by the lies) of the wicked one.
A lie does not become truth because of a group or an individual’s opinion. Joyce Myers, a popular woman preacher, said, “God has gifted me to be up here and you down there,” about her preaching. She also said, “I just sensed God speaking in my heart, or, you know, putting a desire in my heart to teach the word; that this dream came to me that I was going to go all over the world to teach the word…” (Source: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=joyce+myers+women+preaching+in+church&qpvt=joyce+myers+women+preaching+in+church&view=detail&mid=94949C05B57B1170B6A894949C05B57B1170B6A8&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Djoyce%2Bmyers%2Bwomen%2Bpreaching%2Bin%2Bchurch%26qpvt%3Djoyce%2Bmyers%2Bwomen%2Bpreaching%2Bin%2Bchurch%26FORM%3DVDRE). 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:37 refute Mrs. Myers and her followers' belief.
Lies, when believed, will put a person into bondage. Eve is the perfect example. In Genesis 3 Eve believed Satan’s lie. When she believed Satan’s lie and partook of the forbidden fruit, it altered her relationship with God. And, because she and Adam partook, they were cast out of the garden. The same is true for us. Believing Satan’s lie will alter your relationship with God also.
Only the truth will set a person free. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn 14:6). There are no exceptions given in Jesus’ statement. In John 8:31-32 He said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Because of these statements by our Lord Jesus Christ, it is of the utmost importance that we learn how to discern truth and that we maintain that truth. How?
#1 Know the source of ultimate truth. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). When the earth is destroyed in the great conflagration (2 Pet. 2:10-12), Jesus’ words will still be standing (Mat. 24:35). This teaches us where our desire and trust must lie.
#2 Recognize the value of truth. Solomon the wise said, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Pro. 23:23). Eve “sold” God’s truth for Satan’s lie out of a desire to be like God (Gen. 3:6; 2 Cor. 11:3; 2 Tim. 2:14). She did not fully comprehend the value of God’s truth. The fact that Jesus is truth (Jn. 14:6), and, that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), raises the value of truth to divine heights. Psalm 31:5 says, “You have redeemed me, Oh LORD, God of truth.”
#3 Practice critical thinking. A commercial from the 80’s said that Tylenol is “the pain reliever hospitals use most.” An article in the Washington Post said, “The reason Tylenol is "the pain reliever hospitals use most," as the ads say, has little to do with quality, a consumer-advocacy magazine contends. Rather, Tylenol is, among other things, cheaper to hospitals than other brands, thanks to deep discounting by its maker, Johnson & Johnson” (Julie Deere, “Why Hospitals Choose Tylenol,” The Washington Post, June 9, 1987). The statement was true, but not for the reasons the commercial implied.
#4 Try the spirits. 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” A key for us today is in the phrase “false prophets.” There are an abundance of false prophets and false teachers in the world today. We must be able to recognize them, note them, and avoid them according to Romans 16:17-18.
#5 Search the Scriptures. God considers a person or persons to be more noble when they search the Scriptures in order to test a person’s teaching for truth. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
The lies of Satan tear down, cause division, hatred and death (2 Thes. 2:10-12). The lies of Satan are designed to bring you to the second death and to the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). But truth builds a solid foundation, provides a moral standard of equality, and is a guiding light even in the darkest of times. Let us be a people who seek the truth, who values the truth, who stands on the truth, and who refuses to be led astray by Satan’s lies.
Let us pray with the Psalmist: “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle” (Ps. 43:3).