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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).

Because of our esteem for the truth of God, we do our best to be faithful to it by doing whatever it says to the best of our ability. That is when we will grow. Without the truth, we will never grow or mature. Walking in the truth is the evidence of its presence in our lives. We know it, and we do what it says. Part of Jeremiah’s indictment of his countrymen was that they would not speak the truth. God gave Jeremiah a message to speak, and his countrymen hated him for it. They treated him with distain and contempt. Yesterday we handled the first use of alētheuō in Ephesians 4:15. The only other occurrence of alētheuō is in Galatians 4:16, where Paul asks a question that Jeremiah must have also wondered about.

Galatians 4:16: Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth [alētheuō]?

Our faithfulness to the Word should never make us an enemy to someone who also loves the truth. Paul knew that should not be. If we are indicted, let it be for speaking the truth (like Paul), rather than not speaking it (like Jeremiah’s countrymen).

Jeremiah’s countrymen “taught their tongue to speak lies.” Romans 1:25 similarly speaks of people who “changed the truth of God into a lie.” When truth is rejected, it is always replaced with lies. The Greek word for “lie” or “falsehood” is pseudos. It occurs nine times in the Greek New Testament. Its first occurrence is very enlightening and establishes the source for all falsehood. Jesus speaking to the Pharisees born of the devil said:

John 8:44:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie [pseudos], he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar [pseudēs], and the father of it.

The devil fosters and promotes lies to deceive people and separate them from God and His truth. That is why Ephesians 4:25 tells us to speak the truth with our neighbor by “putting away lying.” John in his first epistle assures us that no lie comes from the truth (I John 2:21, 27). The devil consistently uses lies to deceive and mislead. Thessalonians warns us:

II Thessalonians 2:8-12:
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying [pseudos] wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send [idiom of permission; i.e., allow to be sent to] them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie [pseudos]: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Those that work these lying signs and wonders fool those who lack a love of the truth. Revelation speaks of those kept from entering the city of God. Some of them are identified as “whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15). Lies are a main weapon in the devil’s arsenal, and he uses them effectively.

The verb form of pseudos ― pseudomai ― has two basic meanings: “to lie or make a false statement” and “to deceive with lies.” The first has to do with what one does, and the second deals with one’s intent in doing so. Pseudomai occurs twelve times in the Greek New Testament. The first is in Matthew. When people lie about us for Jesus’ sake, we will be rewarded.

Matthew 5:11-12:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely [pseudomai], for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus comforted his followers who were persecuted for their association with him. They had to endure the evil spoken against them falsely, but they would be rewarded for it. So will Jeremiah who certainly qualified as one of those prophets who endured persecution before they did. We who are valiant for the truth will rejoice and be exceeding glad for our reward in heaven will be great also.

Acts 5:3-4:
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie [pseudomai] to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied [pseudomai] unto men, but unto God.

This account shows both the lie and the attempt to deceive for which the lie was spoken. Ananias and Sapphira intended to deceive Peter and lied about the price of the land they sold. They intended to gain favor by giving and thought that if they said they gave the total price they received from the sale, the favor would be greater. However, Peter was not deceived. They had conceived an elaborate scenario in their minds to misrepresent the truth. Peter was not fooled, and they paid dearly for their treachery.