"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
The Hebrew word for “truth” is the word “emet” (אמת). It means truth, true, truly, right, faithfully, assured, sure.
When we look at the paleo Hebrew / pictographs, we see the following picture: The strength of a leader (aleph - “e” - first letter of the Hebrew alphabet); in the waters of chaos (mem - “m” - in the middle of the Hebrew alphabet); brings forth covenant (tav - “t” - the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet).
From this we can see that Abba is trying to tell us a message! Everything in His Word - from the beginning, through the middle, all the way to the end - it is the truth!
It also teaches us that we have to live in truth all throughout our lives!
On surface level we think this is only about speaking the truth, but it goes much deeper than this. It also involves what we think about ourselves and others. The enemy knows that God designed us to do what we believe and act according to our convictions. When we believe a lie about ourselves or someone else - we will live according to that lie. Sometimes we even believe lies about God. Whatever we believe, we will walk out in our lives.
In John 8:32 we read “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The truth can only do one thing and that’s to set people free! The truth can never hold people bondage! When we walk in the truth, we can never bear false witness.
In John 10:10 we read “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The only mission of the enemy is to come and steal, kill and destroy. What a better way to steal, kill and destroy by holding someone captive to the lies they believe about themselves?
It’s so easy for us to become broken and to believe a lie. If someone spoke a lie over you or maybe even a generational lie that has been spoken over you - it becomes part of who we are and we live form that conviction. From Scripture we know that Yeshua came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18).
The lies that have been spoken over us has to be broken in order for us to walk in freedom and to live the abundant life that Yeshua has dies on the cross for us to have! The only way we can be saved is through confessing the truth! Confessing Yeshua as the Way, the Truth and the Life! And also confessing the truth in our situations!
We'll take a look at 10 examples that Jim Staley referred to in his teachings on this commandment:
Number 1: Satan
In Genesis we read that Satan was sent to the earth because of his pride. God created mankind in His image and gave mankind dominion over the enemy. Satan is jealous and despises the authority that God gave to mankind. (Genesis 3)
Because of his jealousy, he makes the choice to bear false witness against God. All he had to to was place the lie in their hearts that God didn’t really mean what He said.
We see this lie still to this very day being rampant amongst Christians. We tend to bend and adapt the Word to suit our convictions. When in fact we should allow the Word to transform our lives.
In Romans 12:2 we read “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Unless we repent for believing the lies of the enemy - we are also witnesses to the lie. Too many times we are the very reason why people do not want to become Christians. Why would they want to buy into Christianity if the Christians are stuck in the same lies as the rest of the world? Holding onto the enemy’s lies tells the world that God cannot set us free from the bondage of sin! It’s a lie straight from the enemy’s camp!
We have to ask ourselves the honest question: Does my life bear witness to what my tongue is saying?
Number 2: Absalom
The second one we’ll take a look at is Absalom. He was the son of king David. Absalom killed his half brother, Amnon, after Amnon raped his sister, Thamar. As a result, Absalom was kicked out of the kingdom of David. When David allowed him to return many years later - Absalom was jealous of his father. He was mad that his father didn’t give him a high position in the kingdom when he returned. Absalom started sweeping up the people against David.
Absalom’s actions was a clear display of the spirit of Jezebel. They tend to push down and oppose leadership - in order to gain a higher position for themselves. Absalom was later crowned king and he gained that position through slander & bearing false witness against his father, king David. Many times where there’s a spirit of Jezebel present, the Absalom in the situation will get the position they are gunning for. But fortunately time always tells who is the Absalom and who is the David in the situation. (2 Samuel 13)
Number 3: Potiphar's wife.
Our third example is Potiphar’s wife. Joseph was appointed second in command below Potiphar. He had a lot of power. Potiphar’s wife was jealous of Joseph’s position and power and she was attracted to him. She wanted to sleep with Joseph, but he refused. She was angered that he rejected her, so she tore off a part of his clothes and then bear false witness against Joseph. Her false accusations caused Joseph to end up in jail. All because of her jealousy and greed! (Genesis 39)
I just love it that Abba has given us victory in all situations, no matter how bad they might seem!
Number 4: Is Joseph’s brothers.
They were jealous of the favour which Joseph had with Jacob (Israel), their dad. They carried bitterness & resentment with them. They lied to thier father and it almost broke his heart, he almost died as a resulf of grief. We know that God restored Jacob and reunited him with Joseph. (Genesis 37)
Number 5: Aaron and the golden calf.
Aaron, Moses’s brother, made a golden calf. When Moses came from the mountain and he saw what happened, Aaron blame shifted and pretended that he didn’t know how they got to this point. Aaron feared the people more than he feared the Lord. The spirit of fear makes people lie. (Exodus 32)
Number 6: Korach.
Korach was jealous of the leadership and authority that was given to Moses. Korach did exactly what Absalom did years later. Through Korach’s maipulation and rebellion he got 250 op Israel’s top leaders together to go up against Moses. Moses didn’t defend himself. He didn’t list all of the things God has done through him. He had more than enough things he could have used to humiliate them. But he chose not to! Moses tells them that it’s fine with him if they want a “re-vote.” He told them that God can choose. Funny thing is that Korach and the 250 men did exactly what Moses told them to do - despite the fact that that was the issue they had with Moses. From Scripture we see that fire came down from heaven and the earth swallowed them up. Utter destruction and death came from Korach and the others’ greed, jealousy and rejection! They were not satisfied with what God have given them. (Numbers 16)
We can learn a lot from how Moses handled this situation. When they made false accusations against him, he didn’t defend himself. He went to God and prayed about it and followed God’s instructions.
God always redeems those who were falsely accused!
In Exodus 14:14 we read “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Truth (emet) will always be revealed by the fruit that’s on the tree. We have to start praying for the trees (others) instead of attacking the fruit. We have to pray that the tree will be strengthened.
When someone makes false allegations do what moses did. God will defend you. The truth will be revealed by the fruit on the tree.
Number 7: The Gibeonites.
They were scared of the Israelites. Out of fear they pretended that came from far off and tricked Joshua to create a covenant with them - to not destroy the Gibeonites. They were willing to be slaves to the Israelites. Out of fear of losing something (their land), the Gibeonites lied to leadership (Joshua) to get into covenant - remember the paleo Hebrew of the word “emet” (truth)? They stretched the truth to save themselves. We have all been guilty of this in our own lives at some point as well. (Joshua 9)
Number 8: King Saul.
God told Saul (through Samuel) that he had to destroy the Amalekites. God knew what would happen if that line was not destroyed. The Amalekites were EVIL people. Studies have shown that Hilter comes from the lineage of the Amalekites. God saw that 6 million Jews would be killed in the Holocaust down the line if they were not taken out completely. (1 Samuel 15)
Saul got greedy, he kept the best of the cattle and sheep. He lied and said that he kept it to make sacrifices unto God - despite the fact that God instructed them to destroy the people and their belongings from the face of the earth. Saul falsely testified. Samuel ended up having to kill king Agag himself. Saul did not kill all of the Amalekites. We know that because we read in 2 Samuel that king David were at war against the people whom Saul claimed he destroyed. You cannot fight dead people. 400 of these Amalekites survived and spread through the land. Hama, whom we read about in the book of Esther, came from the Amalekites. He wanted to kill all of the Jews. If Saul was obedient, a whole lot of problems the Jews faced later in life could have been avoided.
Number 9: Ananias & Sapphira.
They were part of the disciples. They lied when they sold everything and gave the money to the disciples. They didn’t give all of the money that they made from selling their things. They kept some for themselves. (Acts 5)
From this we are reminded about the importance of keeping our word. When we say that we are going to do something, we cannot change our minds down the line. If we do that, we are bearing false withness against the Holy Spirit through our actions.
We are called to be stewards of everything we have - our mind, will, emotions, belongings, finances - everything!
We are either increasing the Kingdom of Heaven OR the kingdom of hell, there is no in between.
We cannot say that we serve the Lord and obey His Word and then we criticize everything others are doing. When we constantly point to someone else’s inferiority - we probably sit with jealousy, fear & greed in our hearts - in other words, we are spiritually and emotionally wounded. Bornagain believers don’t have to push people down in life, to get to the top. We only need the fruit of the Spirit.
Ananias & Sapphira dropped dead at the feet of the other disciples. Their greed and false witness cost them their lives!
Number 10: The Pharisees who falsely accused Yeshua.
They were jealous of His following. They feared to be rejected by the people. They were hunger and greedy for power and position. The Pharisees worked for years to get their positions and status amongst the people and Yeshua simply came and spoke the truth and people followed Him. The Pharisees hated it! (Luke 6)
The transgression of the 9th commandment sprouts forth out of greed, fear, jealousy, and/or a lack of knowledge/information.
There are only two sources of false information. Primary sources, they are the ones who start the false accusations and they are always rooted in biased opinions, rooted in wounds.
Secondary sources are those who trust the primary sources. An example of this is the news (primary source) and those who believe whatever is being told to them, without vetting the information (secondary source).
Unless we have heard both sides of a story - we are not in a position to make a judgement. Breaking the 9th commandment also means breaking several of the other commandments as well.
When we make a judgement without hearing both parties out, it places us in a position that is described in Hebrew as “lashon hara” (ל וך הרע) which means “the evil tongue.”
The question is not whether the information we are sharing is true or not. When we expose someone who is in sin through slander, it’s nothing different to what Ham did through exposing Noah.
Have you ever noticed that it’s the church / religious people who are the meanest? We have an obligation to pray for those who have hurt us or who have falsely accused us - like Moses did. God will deal with them, we don’t have to explain nor defend ourselves. Yeshua was crucified by His own people.
Judgement has no reward, only 100% risk. When we focus on falling in line with God’s instructions - He will take care of those accusations. Let them steal, God will restore you!
We don’t know one another’s beginning, middle and end, how could we then possible judge and falsely accuse them?
We should always consider the possibility that we might be wrong. Asking for more information gives others the opportunity to state their side of the story before you make any accusations.
9th Commandment (The blog you are reading now)
10th Commandment - scheduled for 27 December 2023