Summary: What does bearing a false witness mean?
There’s a story of two brothers. Both brothers lived wild - sinful - lives. Yet, these two brothers attended the same church every Sunday. They made large donations to various church ministries. In a sense - using their attendance and donations to cover-up the dark side of their lives.
The church called a new pastor - a young man who preached the truth Didn’t take long before this pastor - being a man of insight and integrity - it didn’t take long before he seen through the hypocritical lifestyles of the two brothers.
There came a time when attendance at services grew to the point that the church needed a larger worship center. Also at that time one of the brothers died. The pastor was asked to conduct his funeral. The day before the funeral, the surviving brother pulled the pastor aside and handed him an envelope.
He said, “There’s a check in here that is large enough to pay the entire amount you need for the new sanctuary. All I ask is one favor: Tell the people at the funeral that my brother was a saint.”
The pastor gave his word. He would do precisely what was asked. That afternoon he deposited the check into the church account.
The next day - at the funeral - the young pastor said with firm conviction, “This man was an ungodly sinner, wicked to the core. He was unfaithful to his wife, hot-tempered with his children, ruthless in his business, and a hypocrite at church...but compared to his brother, he was a saint.”
Exodus 20:16-“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Jesus offered expanded interpretations on killing…Matt. 5:21-22-“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
Adultery…Matt. 5:27-28-“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
How would you think He would have completed the sentence, "You have heard it said, You shall not bear false witness,' but I say unto you ...."?
"If you misrepresent your neighbor in order to mislead others into supporting your side of the argument or fight or agenda, you have broken this commandment. And, if you tell stories about a neighbor and its just hearsay or you don‘t know all the facts, you have broken this commandment."
Who is my neighbor? Jesus gave us the answer to that, in the story of the good Samaritan.
Our Neighbor Is Anyone Whom God Places On Our Path!
Bearing false witness started all the way back in the garden, when the serpent said, “Hath God said?”
Lying By Insinuation-Chris uses this statement…The last time I saw Jimmy, He wasn’t drinking! Is it true? Yes! But he has suggested something else.
If we are not careful we can insinuate or suggest something about someone that is not true!
That’s what Satan did, he put doubt in her mind, he suggested something…and the trouble began!
Lying By Exaggeration
Job 1:9-11-So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
Satan basically is saying to Eve that God isn’t good because He is keeping something from them, and now he’s saying to God, that He is too good!
When someone starts buttering you up, remember that they are probably about to have you for lunch!
Used to be when you said you wanted to have the preacher for dinner, you meant you were having fried chicken. not roasted preacher.
Psalm 55:21-The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.
If we are not careful every time we tell the story of what someone done to us, we add just a few more details, a few more things to make it sound more dramatic…That my friend, is bearing a false witness!
Lying By Telling Half Truths
Matthew 4:5-7-Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”