We’ve all told lies, big ones, small ones, partial lies, and so-called “white” lies. People have even lied to spare someone from being emotionally hurt because the truth of a particular matter might be too hard to bear. In the end though, NO lie is acceptable to God because it implies deceit. So this is bad news indeed.
New believers in Christ have read verses that concern them because even though they’re saved, they occasionally still tell a lie. Then they worry they won’t get into heaven because of verses like this:
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Pretty scary stuff. So let’s put this straight.
The use of the word “lie” in the NT is not primarily about telling fibs. It’s about wilfully setting out to deceive with the intent to mislead someone about Biblical doctrines. The thrust of the verses is really about practising lying, not just the occasional slip up. It’s about deliberately trying to mislead someone away from the revealed truths of Scripture.
Cults and sectarian groups like the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons are therefore liars because they practise falsehood by attacking such teachings about the deity of Jesus, the Trinity, etc in order to support their own doctrines. It’s true for the majority of adherents they’re not out to knowingly deceive, because they believe what they’ve been taught is actually true. Nevertheless they participate in a lie because it’s spawned by the Father of Lies himself.
The Quran also falls into this category because it lies about the person of Jesus and exalts Muhammad above Jesus as the one and only Messiah. It’s not only cults and false religions that do this, even so-called “Christian” teachers and prophets do the same – and will share the very same fate – being barred from God’s presence forever. It includes anyone who embraces and spreads anti-Christian lies or anti-Biblical doctrines. We might also be able to add “extra revelation” to that list.
Ignorance is not an excuse for supposed “Christian” teachers, who might think they’re bringing new or fresh revelation – when in fact they’re actually twisting the truths of the Bible in order to gain followers and seek admiration. They may think they’re expounding truth - but when they introduce ideas like the “we’re all gods” teaching or the recently introduced “Courts of Heaven” notion, it really is non-Biblical because the foundation is not Truth but the desire to be noticed and impress others with special insider knowledge.
The term “Gnosticism” is how historical Christianity describes this heresy; it simply means to have secret knowledge only known by a few of the spiritual elite. You can see where this ancient false teaching comes from these days because all those who teach “new revelation” say they received it directly from God when they last visited heaven, or how an angel came specially to them to impart something new and revolutionary. Same old heresy. Same old lie. Same old father of Lies!
Almost, if not all, “new revelations” have been announced through someone having an angelic visitation, visions, dreams, or being translated to heaven to be introduced to hitherto hidden knowledge. For example look at this list: Joseph Smith of Mormonism, Muhammad of Islam, Ellen White of Seventh Day Adventism, and Herbert Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God.
While all the above have been around for some time now, the very same manner of deception is still being used to fool naïve believers today. A Google search on YouTube for instance will show how many “new revelations” have come via a visit to heaven, or an angelic encounter.
Some of the meaningless excessive use of spiritual terms used by many “prophets” and pastors also fits into this same pattern. If you listen attentively to some of the recent prophecies for this New Year, you’ll notice the “prophet” isn’t really saying much at all. It’s all spiritually sounding phrases but lacking substance. The undiscerning person can be easily taken in by the superior-sounding terminology. It sounds good to the undiscerning ear but is hollow to the core. At the end you have to ask yourself, “what did that person actually say?” See this excerpt for example.
“As this restoration of JOY in Me and their assignment takes place, I am bringing them into a new realm of CREATIVE DOWNLOADS in their assignments. Creativity will begin to explode as I show them the new ways of building with Me, the new ways of partnering with Me creatively in this new era in their assignment ERUPTS into their lives from My heart. I am going to completely revamp things with My creativity in their assignments right now and for this new era, and the CREATIVE DOWNLOADS they will receive from encountering Me and My heart is going to restore such JOY in the assignment. I am releasing creative strategies to them on such a deep level, many will look and say “WOW, that is so fresh, it’s so NEW, I have NEVER seen that before.” The anointing will be so thick and so heavy, so fresh, that it will be VERY clear that it has been birthed out of My heart and the throne room of heaven. Implementing in obedience the creative strategy and downloads that I will release will not only see the power of My Spirit move to impact and change lives on a scale that has never been seen, but it will draw in the harvest in such unprecedented ways, salvation will EXPLODE all around.” (Lana Vawser word for 6 Jan 2021 – her emphasis).
I still can’t quite figure out what this lady is trying to say. It seems to be religious nonsense because it just doesn’t seem to be sensible. Does God really talk in that muddled way?
Satan is the father of lying (John 8:44) and he continues to use the same method he’s always used. From the Garden of Eden onwards he’s mixed error with truth in the hope that falsehood will pass unnoticed. And it works. You can see how it operates in the zeal employed by many of today’s false teachers. The enthusiasm and spiritual clichés they use delude the unsuspecting believer into a web of falsehood and even outright lies. The seeming spirituality and devotedness of many false teachers can be very enticing because at the heart of it all the enemy has transformed the false teacher into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
If you were to go to such a meeting (or watch on YouTube) it’s easy to be impressed by the sincerity of the preaching, the enthusiasm of the attendees and the seeming depth of the teaching. It almost seems to be “on fire” but it’s what Scripture calls “strange fire” (Lev 10:1). Do not deluded by the passion of what seems to be intensely spiritual, zealous, and deeply devout. I’ve noticed that generally false teachers (of any era) tend to promise more than they can deliver and exaggerate both themselves and their supposed revelation of new or extra “truth”.
Peter warned us about such boasting. “For they mouth empty, boastful words and by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter 2:18-19).
According to Scripture, lies in any form are d