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November 14, 2011

Ninth Commandment – 11.14.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 9:43 am

9TH Commandment
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16
Before we go any further, let’s have a biblical history lesson. In the Old Testament, when this LAW was written, in what manner could be you accused and proven guilty?
Deut 19:15-20 (NIV) One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
Before we go in depth, going back to the 9th Commandment, Exodus 20:16, just like we normally do, in what ways does this apply to us in modern day, 2011?
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Can someone give me a New Testament equivalent to the 9th Commandment?

2Ti 3:1-3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Jas 4:11-12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Now, let’s take a “spin” on this. To give false testimony most of the time that requires “speech” correct? Let’s take a look at “speech” or “words” that we speak.

Matt 12:36-37 (NIV) But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

FOCUS on the word [ACCOUNT]:

Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

NOTICE in Matthew 12:36-37, you will give an account for everything you SAID. Now, notice in Ecc 12:14 and Romans 2:16, you will give an account for every “secret” thing….. or things you didn’t say but should have said.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
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Basic Christianity, John Stott.
The last five commandments express that respect for the rights of others which is implicit in true love. To break these commandments is to rob a man of the things most precious to him, his life (you shall not kill), his home or honor (you shall not commit adultery), his property (you shall not steal), and now his reputation (you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor)

This commandment is not only applicable to the courts of law. It does include perjury. But it also includes all forms of scandal, slander, idle talk and tittle-tattle, all lies and deliberate exaggerations or distortions of the truth. We can bear false witness by listening to unkind rumors as well as by passing them on, by making jokes at somebody else’s expense, by creating false impressions, by not correcting untrue statements, and by our silence as well as by our speech. [DISCUSS AT LENGTH]
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Ex 23:6-7 (NIV) 6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
When it says “do not deny justice to your poor”…. So it would also mean the opposite, which would be “what”? (Do not give favoritism in court to the rich). What does that make you think of today?
• OJ Simpson trial, the guilty that are rich or famous appear to get away with it because they can afford better/more lawyers.

Lev_19:11 “‘Do not steal.

How does this apply to today’s 9th commandment?
• Stealing someone’s reputation by lying, etc.

Lev_19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

Psalms 15:1-3 (NIV) 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,

Psalms 101:5-7 (NIV) 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
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Now, do not answer this….but think about yourself. If there is “one thing” you could change about yourself FOR THE BETTER, and it’s not “too hard” to do…..maybe you have a GOSSIP problem.

Prov 10:18 (NIV) 18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

Prov 11:13 (NIV) A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
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OK, so here’s another one. If you want to make your life better, and avoid temptation at the same time, here’s something you can do for yourself:

2 Tim 3:3-5 (NIV) without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
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Have you ever thought…that it was lies and slander that put Jesus and most of the disciples to death?

Matt 26:59-61 (NIV) 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward

Acts 6:12 (NIV) 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

Folks, if lies and slander helped put Jesus and the disciples to death, then lies and slander are a powerful, powerful sin. No wonder God detests this sin.
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Eph 4:31 (NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

James 4:11 (NIV) Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

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—Matthew Henry Unabridged
The ninth commandment concerns our own and our neighbour’s good name: Thou shalt not bear false witness, v. 16. This forbids,
1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbour.
2. Speaking unjustly against our neighbour, to the prejudice of his reputation; and (which involves the guilty of both),
3. Bearing false witness against him, laying to his charge things that he knows not, either judicially, upon oath (by which the third commandment, and the sixth of eighth, as well as this, are broken), in common converse, slandering, backbiting, tale-bearing, aggravating what is done amiss and making it worse than it is, and any way endeavouring to raise our own reputation upon the ruin of our neighbour’s.
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Matthew 5:33-37 Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]
Matthew 5:33-37
• Break – ep-ee-or-keh’-o – to commit perjury: – forswear self.
Going Deeper – Matthew 5:33-37

1. Who is Jesus speaking to?
a. Mat 4:24-25 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

2. What were the Jews guilty of regarding this particular teaching?
3. What is Jesus’ command (v.34)?
4. What is the common element between heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and the head (vv.34-36)? (God)
5. Does this mean we are not to ever take oaths?
6. What are you if you swear falsely or break an oath or vow? (a liar)
7. What does God think about lying again?
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. The Sin of Lying – deception and falsehood is sinful before God
2. The Scope of Lying – lying can affect anyone who is around us
3. The Seriousness of Lying – lies come from the father of lies and liars will suffer consequences
4. The Sources of Lying – different excuses for lying
5. The Sidekicks of Lying – sins that normally are accompanied by lying
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily for a mouth that is honest and pure. Purify your heart through washing of the Word so that it may overflow only pure and righteous words for the building up or salvation of those around you.
Give thanks that you have the righteousness of Christ and the Holy Spirit to empower you to bear truthful witness in your daily walk.

Read and meditate each day: Psalm 120; Romans 12:1-2, 9-12; Proverbs 12:13-22

Psalm 120
A song of ascents.
1 I call on the LORD in my distress,
and he answers me.
2 Save me, LORD,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
3 What will he do to you,
and what more besides,
you deceitful tongue?
4 He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
with burning coals of the broom bush.
5 Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace;
but when I speak, they are for war.

Romans 12:1-2
A Living Sacrifice
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

DISCUSS: ALL OF US CHRISTIANS WOULD LOVE TO BE ‘AUTOMATICALLY’ TRANSFORMED….BUT WHY AREN’T WE? WHAT PREVENTS US? HOW CAN WE BECOME TRANSFORMED?
Romans 12:9-12

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Proverbs 12:13-22
13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
and so the innocent escape trouble.
14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
17 An honest witness tells the truth,
but a false witness tells lies.
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The LORD detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus again refers back to the Ten Commandments. This time he references the 9th commandment from Yahweh. This command states that God’s people should not speak falsely or give false evidence regarding another person. In Jesus’ day, the Jews had become experts at bending the Law to their own wishes and getting around commandments on so-called technicalities. Stuart Weber comments “Legal technicalities can evolve to the point of destroying the justice they are supposed to serve. Truth loses itself in wordiness.” However, this not only applies to the judicial systems but also to private conversations or even thoughts. Lies are among the most damaging of sins and can destroy a person’s reputation and good name. The Scripture is filled with examples of liars. The very birth of sin in creation began with a lie; a so-called “half-truth” from Satan to Eve. We must constantly be on guard and in prayer against a lying tongue and wicked mouth.
Now that we are alive in Christ, his commandment to kingdom citizens is to love our neighbor, and our neighbor is every person we meet, whether saved or lost. One way of loving our neighbor is for the church to be a people of integrity and wisdom. Integrity means that we keep our promises, to the point where we don’t even have to promise and people will regard it as such because they know we will do what we have said. But he also expects wisdom in our responses. For when we say “yes” and do not do it, we are a liar. It is better to simply say “no” than to break faith with another person or party.

Bible Fellowship Time
Icebreakers

Were you ever promised something as a child (maybe by a parent) and the promise was broken? How did it make you feel?

Application:

Do lies and falsehood live in you? I hope not! As we’ve just discussed, lies and falsehood live in the flesh or sin nature. The Scripture says in Galatians 5 that “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” We have nailed the sinful flesh to the cross. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This does not guarantee that we will never sin again, we most definitely will at times. That flesh is on the cross, but it is still writhing a bit until we go to be with the Lord. But we must remember that Christ lives in us! If Christ lives in us, what great hope we have to overcome sin!
Closing Devotion
Read this devotion from Thomas Brooks for assurance of the hope that we have:

We do not stand before God in our own righteousness, but in the perfect, spotless, and matchless righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Weak hearts are apt to be troubled and discouraged when they look upon the sin that is in them, and the imperfections that attend their best service. Yet in Christ we have all. Your sins shall never provoke Christ to give you a bill of divorce. This is a great support that sin shall never separate us from God. It is slain judicially, and is under the sentence of condemnation. It has been sentenced though not fully put to death. The power of it is much abated, and its dominion and tyranny are overpowered. The Lord has stripped sin of all its ruling, reigning, domineering, and tyrannizing power. O Christian, look upon sin as dead! It is not to be obeyed, and not to be acknowledged. The Lord Jesus has given sin a mortal wound by his death and Spirit, and by the communication of grace to the soul. Thus sin shall never recover its strength and shall die a lingering death in the souls of the saints. It is like a tree cut at the root with a serious gash, and must die soon. Though for a time it may flourish, it may have leaves and fruit, yet it secretly dies, and will shortly wither and perish. Christ did not die all at once upon the cross, so also the slaying of sin is gradual in the souls of saints. Christ has given sin such a mortal blow, it will never recover. We may truly say that it is slain. Therefore, cheer up O weak souls, for certainly sin that is thus slain can never provoke Jesus Christ to give you a bill of divorce. Ah! That all weak Christians would be like the bee: to abide upon those sweet flowers and gather honey out of them.

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