James 3:5b-6: “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
The form of the ninth commandment — “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” — indicates that the tongue has come under the power of our sinful flesh. The ninth commandment, says our Catechism, requires “that I avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works of the devil, unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God.”
Every form of falsehood is sown by the devil, whose very name means liar. Satan kindled that fire of the lie when he came as a serpent to Eve and called God a liar! When Eve responded that if they would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would die as God had said, the devil said, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5).
That tells us even more about the lie. The lie is rooted in wicked pride which seeks to elevate the creature above the Creator, and which would give the creature the right to determine the truth. It is a common thought in our day that truth is what we make it to be. That philosophy goes hand in hand with the rejection of the Scriptures as the absolute standard of truth and the infallible Word of divine authority.
From that first lie of Satan proceeds every form of the lie today and every form of evil speaking. The power of the tongue has been made a power subject to Satan. As we near the end of time, Satan is once again given opportunity to develop his power. He will do so by success of the lie. The book of Revelation reveals that there is given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he is able to deceive the nations, as well as the false church. The tongue, when in the service of Satan, is set on fire of hell. The ninth commandment condemns all forms of lying and deceit as being “the proper works of the devil.”
Steven R. Key (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: September 1986
Pastorates: Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI - 1986; Randolph, WI - 1991; Hull, IA - 2000; Loveland, CO - March 2010Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lovelandprctest1/home
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