The position of being separated from God by sin leaves a person very exposed to the forces of tearing down and destruction.
How can we be certain of this?
Because God has already written the playbook.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God states, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God…” (Isaiah 59:2). Sin and God simply do not mix. Not that God doesn’t give space for sin to be repented of – He does. But when sin is a way of life, certain characteristics develop as a result.
One of the main destroying forces that quickly develops is lying. “… your lips have spoken lies … they trust in empty words and speak lies … so truth fails … then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him…” (Isaiah 59:3-4, 15). This prophecy is instructive for us today.
It has been very sobering to be living witnesses to the brokenness of all of man’s systems. The recent pressure brought to bear during the worldwide crisis has demonstrated that the systems for maintaining an ordered society are largely broken. As Isaiah points out to us, truth fails and is replaced by lies.
The mechanics behind this are simple. When a person (or nation) is separated from God by sin, they are more firmly under the influence of “the prince of the power of the air” – Satan. Satan and lying go hand in hand. Christ identified Satan as not having any truth in him and as the father of lies (see John 8:44). Satan has the power of death – the ability to lead a mind into sin, thus accruing the death penalty (see Hebrews 2:14).
These last few months have given us an important spiritual dimension to our worldview. It is not just facts and figures that indicate the forward momentum of prophesied events. It is an underlying spiritual understanding that is vital for perspective.
When God is rejected, and His people are separated by sin, lying becomes a dominant feature of society. This is not just in relation to lying about God and His very nature, but as Isaiah said, “Also the schemes of the schemer are evil; he devises wicked plans to destroy the poor with lying words …” (Isaiah 32:7). The bottom line is the tearing down and destruction caused to people and the social structure by lying.
The big take away from current events is that it is impossible to know the real truth behind all that is going on. Man clearly has, “… exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator …” (Romans 1:25).
We in God’s Church need the spiritual discernment to understand the basic underlying strategy of Satan. The Church is not immune to Satan’s lying nature. What is a false prophet? A false prophet is a liar representing his father – Satan. The Apostle Paul nailed that down when he addressed a false prophet – a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus. “Then Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full of deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?’” (Acts 13:9-10).
Prophecy foretells of a time when there will be great pressure on God’s people to believe lies. When a lie is supported by great signs and wonders, it is powerful. “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). Christ also said many false prophets will rise up and deceive many (verse 11). Will any of us be in that number?
Satan has deceived the whole world by his lies. He began with Eve and has tracked through the generations ever since. His way of deception has never deviated. The world is held in his sway, but the Church of God stands against him. Thus the Church will become the increasing focus of his “tearing down and destroying” efforts.
We are encouraged to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). That armor is a spiritual mindset.
The Apostle John indicates that it is possible for a member of the Church to be living deceitfully by lying to themselves. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). That deception is a lie to themselves. The armor that withstands the wiles of the devil is a Holy Spirit led and influenced mind. A humble, converted mind will be close to the source of truth. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (the separation of sin is removed). If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).
Now is not the time to allow our spiritual, mental condition to be influenced by the lies that unfortunately have become the bedrock of man’s systems.
Over the Pentecost weekend is a good time to consider instead the bedrock principles of the Church begun by Christ. The foundation of the Church is truth.
“…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).