Text Box: Publish Monthly by 
Pilgrim’s Bible Church
Timothy Fellows Pastor
VOL. XVI No. 5
JULY, 1989


Featured Articles

Thou shalt not bear False Witness

URGENT: Family news

The "Agnostic"




Thou shalt not bear False Witness



TEXT: "A faithful witness will not lie." (Proverbs 14:5)


The Work of Joseph Fletcher

Joseph Fletcher was an Episcopal minister  who was affiliated with 17 Communist organizations. In or about 1967 he published his book Situation Ethics: The New Morality. The publisher’s comment on the book jacket reads:

The sensational deductions which the author draws for this premise include he bold statement that any acts, even lying, premarital sex, abortion, adultery and murder could be right –depending on the situation. Because "whatever is the most living thing in the situation is the right and good thing. It is not excusably evil, it is positively good."

The Case for Situation Ethics

While godly people then fought Fletcher’s concept of Moral Law, today some within the Church have become confused because not a few ministers teach that it is proper in certain situations for Christians to do wrong, such as to lie.

Some attempt to justify this notion by arguing that in time of war, people are under no obligation to tell the truth to occupational forces. Using this reasoning, some of God'’ people think that since our present government is become socialistic, it is unconstitutional, and is therefore an occupational force that has taken control of our country. They therefore reason that our present government is their enemy, and they argue that they are under no obligation to answer truthfully any questions the government should put to them. They are, however, obligated to obey God, and God has said, "Thou shalt not lie."

The So-Called "Patriotic Movement"

Socialism has spawned the Social Security System, the graduated Income Tax, and hundreds of welfare programs. The answer by many in the self-styled "Patriotic Movement" is to begin by giving their employers false Social Security numbers. Thus, they make lies their refuge (Isaiah 28:15), and cause the sons of men to trust in a lie. (Jeremiah 29:31)

Many who call themselves "Patriotic" lie, and as they do not respect copyright laws, they steal. Hear me well: God will not bless people who have no integrity. Let them plant the name of God to the organizations they have founded—let them fix His name in their frequently used vocabulary, but God will not bless the children of disobedience.

"Thou shalt not lie." God would violate His very nature if He were to allow men to flaunt His Law and still receive His blessing. "A deceived heart hath turned them aside." (Isaiah 44:20)

Truthfulness and Society

No church or state can exist without trust, and there can be no trust where there is no truthfulness. Without it, life in any society would be filled with any suspicion. Peace and safety cannot be preserved apart from truthfulness. For this reason, they are forever barred from Heavenly Jerusalem who "love and make a lie." (Revelation 22:15) If lying was allowed in Heaven, Paradise would soon become as Hell.

God has made men so that people by nature detest a liar. Except a man repent of his dishonesty his conduct will be continually suspect. Such is the killing nature of this sin.

Savonarola declared, "Veracity shows man to be that which he really is, neither more no less. This, though not a legal, is a moral duty, for it is a debt which every man in honesty owes to his neighbor."

"Lies may be light and accidental," said Ruskin, "but they are an ugly soot from the smoke of the pit, and it is better that our hearts should be swept clean of them without care as to which is largest or blackest."

The Nature of God and that of Man

Moses declared God is "a God of Truth, and without iniquity, just and right is He." (Deuteronomy 32:4) And again, "God is not a man that He should lie." (Numbers 23:19)

Samuel said, "The Strength of Israel will not lie" (I Samuel

15:29}, and the Apostle Paul affirmed, "God ...cannot lie." (Titus 1:2)

Men lie—"they go astray as soon an they be born, speaking lies." {Psalm 58:3) Abraham lied when he told Abimelech a half-truth declaring that Sarah was his sister, and God judged not the king only but the kingdom as well. The prophet was shamed by the rebuke from the pagan king. (Genesis 20)

The Reason Men Lie

Men may lie because they lack faith, and think they must take matters into their own hands. We are all capable of lying, only let us not attempt to justify it.

Abraham is called "the father of the faithful" yet even he was at times demonstrably weak in faith. It is never right to do wrong, and it is wrong to break the Law of God and to lie. "Thou shalt not lie."

The Will of God

Is the will of God of no account? Does it not matter? For He commanded Israel, ’re shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another," (Leviticus 19:11) "’Surely they are My people,’" the Lord testifies, "’children that will not lie:’ so He was their Saviour." (Isaiah 63:8)

David lied to Abimelech the priest. (I Samuel 21:2) As Thomas

Watson said, "The best of men are only men at best." But the awful result of David’s wrong was evident when Saul had 85 priests killed as conspirators, and then turned his wrath upon the priest-city of Nob and killed the women and children. David later repented for his part in causing these deaths. (I Samuel 22:22)

In a moment of weakness David lied, but he abhorred deceit and vowed, "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." (Psalm 101:7)

Prophets Who Lie

Perpetuators of "situation ethics" effectually "change the truth of God into a lie." (Romans 1:25) God said, "Lie not one to another" (Colossians 3:9), and warns, "There shall in no wise enter into it (the Heavenly Jerusalem) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie." (Revelation 21:27) And again He says, "Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and ...whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:15) Therefore the Lord exhorts us to put away lying and to speak every man truth with his neighbor. (Ephesians 4:25)


"But," one may object, "are we responsible to tell the truth to sinners?" The Pharisees taught that no Jew was to lie to or to steal from another Jew, but to lie to or to steal from a Gentile was appropriate conduct. Therefore, they promote Pharisee-ism who teach that it is proper to lie to sinners.

Another may ask, "But who is our neighbor?" The teaching in the parable of the Good Samaritan is that we are responsible to be a neighbor and to do good to all with whom we come into contact. If me miss this, we miss the purpose of the parable.

Rahab lied when she told the king’s men, "It came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark that the men went out: whither the men went I (know) not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall surely overtake than." (Joshua 2:5) Must we do wrong in order to help God out of what we perceive to be difficult circumstances? And, where does God ever condone lying, or bless people for breaking His Law? "Thou shall not lie," and "No lie in of the Truth." (I John 2:24)

The Character of the Godly

Job abhorred lying. "Look upon me," he said to his detractors, "for it is evident unto you if I lie." (Job 6:28}

Paul despised lying. He wrote to the believers at Rome, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not." (Romans 9:1) He told Timothy the same thing. (I Timothy 2:7) He argued with the saints at Corinth, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not." (II Corinthians 11:31) He gave his oath to the churches of Galatia, "Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not." (Galatians 1:20)

The Father of Lies

The Devil speaks lies because he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44) It is Satan who fills the heart to lie (Acts 5:3), and the Psalmist tells us that it is the proud who forge them. (Psalm 119:69)

Lying Prophets

All who teach the acceptability of lying, "prophecy a lie unto you" (Jeremiah 27:10}, but all too often they do it in the name of God. God says, "I have not sent them." (vs. 15} "A faithful witness will not lie." (Text)

Willingness to Suffer for Right

"Thou shalt not lie." Do not give the government false information. "What glory is it if when ye are buffeted for your faults ye take it patiently." (I Peter 2:20) Are you so unwilling to suffer doing what is right that you will resort to lying? Do you not believe God will bless all who suffer righteously?

Lying is often an evidence of a lack of faith in God, yet a businessman may lie by professing ignorance when he does not want to divulge information. And, parents may teach their children to lie by instructing them to tell the visitor, "I am sorry but they are not at home" when the truth of the matter is they do not want to be disturbed. But a lie by any other name is a lie, and "no lie is of the truth."

"Awake to righteousness" says the Apostle, "and sin not."



Catherine is ill with fibroid tumors and requires surgery. However, her blood count was last recorded as 7.

Sunday night, a week ago, no sooner had our people left church when she doubled over in excruciating pain. She could neither sit, nor stand, nor lie down, I took her to the emergency room and we were told her womb had twisted. Please pray for us!


* Old Testament Notes (available in May) ... $10.

Index for The Angelus (1974-1987) ........ Free

"Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy"-3 vols. $45

Interview On WGAC Radio (1-27-89) ........ Free

How To Make Home Happy, or

The Marriage Ring, J.A. James ........ $3.

Comfort In Sickness and Death,

Robert Murray M’Cheyne ............... $2.

*Used in Pastors Class



Sometime ago I visited a man in the hospital who wasted no time in telling me he was an agnostic. Since I knew the man l felt I could be forthright, so I disagreed with him. "You are not an agnostic," I told him.

The man became agitated that I would contradict him. "What do you mean, I am not an agnostic?" he asked. I then proceeded to tell him that the word "agnostic" comes from the Greek prefix "a" meaning "not" and the verb "ginosko" meaning, "to know". Therefore an agnostic could not know anything for sure, and since he told me he was an agnostic he could not be one. I then proceeded to give him the truth of God, and it is my prayer the Lord will be pleased to awaken him to righteousness. May it be so!

(Incidentally, Spurgeon once pointed out that the Latin equivalent for the Greek word "agnostic" is the word "ignoramus.")

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