Exodus 20:16 and Deut. 5:20: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” (Col. 3:9-10). As we continue through the Ten Commandments we see two things 1) God is still stating He is creator and 2) keeping the commandments of God is attitudinal. Paul is telling us we must have the attitude of Christ to keep His commandments (Read again Phil. 2:5). These two points of creation and attitude permeate the Ten Commandments from beginning to end.
In reading this command to not “bear false witness against our neighbor” there are three words we must delve into to get the fullest meaning of this commandment, false, witness and neighbor.
False: Hebrew word is “seqer” meaning lie, falseness, deception, vanity, lying. Strong’s #8267. God is telling us not to tell falsehoods about our neighbor. Once again, we see an attitude of selfishness and deception (See CSCOG7 Staff Eighth Commandment for more on deception) as a root of this commandment.
Witness: Hebrew word is “ed” meaning testimony, an object that serves as a memorial or a person giving of legal evidence”. Strong’s #5707. In our personal lives, we should not be lying about our neighbor as if in a court of law.
Neighbor: Hebrew word is “rea” meaning friend, companion, associate or neighbor. Strong’s #7453. We are not to lie about or to our neighbor. Who then is our neighbor? Our neighbor can be a friend, companion, an associate or the person living next door.
We can see from the words, false, witness and neighbor we have a large task in our life: do not lie about or to those we associate with or anybody around us. In the final court of law we find in Rev. 20:11-15 God looking through the “Book of life” and judging the inhabitants of this world. As we read in Col. 3:91-10 we are not to lie as we have “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” If we are liars we will not be found in the Book of Life.
Lies come from Satan and Jesus says not to lie: Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Speaking lies is a “doctrine of devils” (I Tim. 4:1-2). Both Jesus and Paul list “lies” as sin (Matt. 5:19; Luke 18:20 and Rom. 13:9). In the end times there will be false prophets speaking lies, deceiving many and performing miracles as if they are from God. We are not to be swayed by these demonic liars of the end times (Matt. 7:15; II Pet. 2:1; Matt. 24:11; 24:24; Mark 13:22).
A moment of truthfulness. We have seen lying is of Satan. Where then does truth come from and what are the results of being truthful? “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Knowing the “truth” makes us free from the penalty of death (Rom. 6:33). “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). We receive “truthfulness” directly from our savior Jesus Christ! “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). What word is truth? God’s words are truth and all His scripture is truth (II Tim. 3:16). The “WORD” of truth is none other than our Savior and King Jesus Christ. His words and only His words are the truth (John 1:1-4:14). Jesus is the Word of truth which we must obey.
False witness (lying) is of Satan. The TRUTH is of God. Do not bear false witness against our neighbor!