The Lie about the Truth, Pt.1 – Did God Say?

The Lie about the Truth, Pt.1 – Did God Say? [TRANSCRIPT]

Genesis 3:1 says,
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
 
Numbers 23:19  says,
“God is not a man, that He would lie, Nor a son of man, that He would change His mind; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"

Titus  1:2  says,
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,”

In John 8:43-45 Jesus says,
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I say the truth, you do not believe Me.”

Romans 3:3,4a says,
“What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? Far from it! Rather, God must prove to be true, though every person be found a liar,”

As the title of this podcast suggests or states, Truth Matters. In reality, Truth has always mattered. The God who created everything is a God of Truth. Today we are witnessing a huge wave of resistance to the very idea of Truth as a knowable reality. What is the origin of this resistance? How did the Lies about the truth begin?

***

Today I want to begin a series of episodes on Truth Matters dealing with the topic of Deception. Now, the very word deception conjures up thoughts of trickery, mal-intent, deviousness, deceit, and even outright evil. Deception by its nature is an assault on Truth. Deception involves lies and a Lie is the opposite of Truth.

Now, no one today likes being accused of lying or being connected with lying. For some, the accusation by itself seems harsh or mean-spirited. Well, that’s because we live at a time of political correctness. When I first encountered political correctness, I observed that with political correctness it’s a greater offense to be rude then to be immoral. With the dominance of a therapeutic view of life, being rude or mean or hurtful is more offensive than holding to or practicing immorality. And to say that someone is lying or something is a lie sounds a moral declaration. In the same way, to declare that something is truth also sounds like a moral statement. And in reality, it is a moral statement. The fact of the matter is, to declare Truth creates an unavoidable moral delineation.

So, to begin with, talking about Deception we need to understand where it all began. We need to begin at the Beginning. The battle of truth and the lie is an ancient one. God, who is in fact the final absolute in matters of truth was and is involved in the conflict of truth and deception.

The Bible records how the battle was manifested here on earth in mankind. God created man and woman and placed them in a perfect setting, a Garden. The Bible records that they lived in the garden in a harmonious relationship with God.

God provided for their every need. They were told that they could eat of the fruit of any tree in the garden but one. It was called the tree of good and evil. They were warned that the day that they ate of the fruit from that tree they would die. Basically, they were presented with a moral choice and they were told of the consequences. They knew what God had told them and they believed Him.

But then enters the deceiver, the Liar. I am convinced that the whole battle Truth and the Lie has its origin in the conflict between the Liar and God. Satan is a being in rebellion against God. In terms of the eternal narrative, God is the protagonist and Satan is the antagonist. This narrative has a beginning and it will have an end. And although mankind is involved in this conflict, we are not the main issue in the war. In terms of the enemy’s assault, we need to understand that God is the main target.

The rebellion of the enemy is against God and everything that God is. The enemy knows that he cannot win a direct assault against God. The reality of God is unassailable. He can’t win that battle. And so, his strategy has been and will always be to attack God’s Word, God’s name, God’s nature and God’s character. He does this though lies. He has and continues to create lies about God in these areas that I mentioned in his attempt to somehow prove that God is not who He says He is.

For instance, in the Bible we read how God revealed His Name, “I Am.” The enemy then comes in, repeating lies in countless ways that says, “No, He’s not!” And there is the battle in a nutshell. God is! – then the enemy comes in and says, No, He’s not!

The enemy cannot and will not succeed. But his pride will not allow him to yield or surrender. And so, he goes on willfully, pridefully and wickedly fighting, lying and destroying. But in the end, he will be defeated. It is he who will be proven to be the liar that he is. That is the story of the lying rebel that is our enemy.

Now, as I said, mankind’s part in the drama begins in the garden. And in the interaction with mankind, the enemy reveals his attack strategy against God. It’s in a series of three lies that we see his attempt to undermine God and to destroy mankind. I believe that these three lies are, in essence, the foundation the Lie that he has continued to use throughout history.

Over the next few weeks, we will look at them and set the groundwork for our study on deception.

The first of the lies is seen in Genesis 3:1. It says,
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

Notice that the enemy is first of all is described as more cunning. This word used here describes someone who chooses their words and actions with care and intent. There is nothing casual or accidental about this creature. He knows exactly what he wants to accomplish. And when he speaks his intentions and subtilties are revealed. He is lying and he knows what he’s doing.

 Listen to what he says. “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Did you catch all of that? The first thing the serpent does is he calls into question what God had said while at the very same time twisting it. His lie plants the seed that is meant to grow and fester until it grows into disbelief, distrust and finally rebellion.

We see it here in this first lie that the enemy will always use. And that is, he will attack God’s Word. To begin with, he questions the fact of what God said. “Has God really said?” Those two in the garden knew that God had said it. And yet, the enemy calls into question the fact God had really said it. His lie creates doubt as to the very existence of a word from God.

And if that were not enough, the enemy then slips in a slight modification of what God did say. “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” Again, these two knew what God had said. The prohibition only involved one fruit from one tree. But the liar puts in a subtle change to confuse, to misdirect and to cause a moment of doubt.

I want us to see what is going on here. You see, in my experience and many years of study I’ve come to the conclusion that when the enemy fell in his rebellion, he lost his imagination. Let me put it this way, “Who is the most creative being in existence?” Of course, the answer is God, the Creator. And within mankind He has bestowed a creative ability and imagination. But what happens when someone is cut off from the Creator? Or worse yet, what happens when someone is in rebellion against the Creator?

For while the enemy is knowledgeable, cunning, crafty, evil and wicked, it’s interesting to me that his tactics, his lies have not changed. His wicked heart has set him on a path that though modified with the times, has basically remained the same, consistent.

And this first lie that we see in the garden is still something he continues to do. He attacks God by calling into question God’s Word. He starts by questioning if God actually did speak. We have seen this repeated over and over again in human history. If you paid any attention to today’s talking heads, scholars or authorities you hear it repeated over and over again. “Did God say that? How do what He said or even if he even said anything?

God has spoken and yet the liar creates a doubt with a lie. It’s the Liar calling God a liar. People hear it. They know about lies and liars, and yet they believe the lie. They ignore or forget what God said about Himself.

In Numbers 23:19 it says,
“God is not a man, that He would lie, Nor a son of man, that He would change His mind; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
We used to use the phrase, “God said, I believe it. And that does it.” But today the lie is strong and people say, “How do we know really what God said?” And so, the lie is planted and it grows. People doubt and will not believe what God has said.

For instance, we know that He makes promises to His children. We believe His word and trust Him. In Titus 1:2 it says, “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.” We are trusting eternity that God says the truth that His Word is true. He cannot lie and He will not lie. The very nature and character declare that He is true and His Words are truth. So, when the liars question God’s promises, don’t listen to them. They are lying.

Never believe the lie when you hear it. Today they are repeated and shouted as if sheer volume could make them become true. When anyone seeks to call you to question God’s Word, they are merely repeating the lie of their father the Liar and father of lies. And he’s used this continually.

In John 8:43-45 Jesus says,
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I say the truth, you do not believe Me.”
Very few times did our loving Lord speak with such vehemence. He knew the true source of lies. It was the Liar himself, the enemy of God and man. He understood the destruction Satan has brought and continues to bring upon mankind. In these words, He warns anyone who chooses to question and not believe His words.

See, Jesus knows the true stakes that are involved of believing the lie. He knows that in the end the battle is between God and this wicked liar. We should be aware of what is going on when anyone questions God’s Word.

This week you will hear the lie, the lie that calls into question God’s Word. “DON’T believe it!” It is dangerous to listen to the lie. I know that the volume today is great and it  screams at us to listen to them. The lie is subtle but it still remains a lie. Just because everyone around you is saying it, doesn’t nullify the truth of God’s Word.

Romans 3:3,4a says, “What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? Far from it! Rather, God must prove to be true, though every person be found a liar,

The battle for the Truth is real and formidable. The majority thought is not in the ways of the Truth. God has spoken clearly, but today leaders take polls to determine what is true. Truth is now a matter of surveys or worse yet, who holds the power to decide.

Truth is not a democracy. It is the revelation from God. It doesn’t matter how many or how loud the lies are proclaimed. They will be proven as lies and God will be vindicated as True. So, it is God’s Word above all else that we should listen to.

As we move through this study on deception you will me say this over and over again. The best weapon against the false, the lies, is the Truth given to us in God’s Word.

Read God’s Word. Remember God’s Word. They are the words we trust that speak of the rescue of our souls. They are the light to our path in a dark and dying world. They are the life and the light that we share to anyone who will hear.

The truth of God’s Word is the lifeline that He has given it to us to trust, to trust in while the enemy spreads his lies.

The truth sets men free.
Hold to His Truth.
Know this. Know it now, both now and for eternity, Truth Matters.

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