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Jesus said concerning the devil, “…he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8.44]  And yet when a spirit came forward in 2 Chronicles 18.21 and said to the Lord, “I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,” as his way of enticing Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there, the Lord replied, “You will succeed in enticing him.  Go and do it.”

As it is recorded, the Lord approved a course of action that involved a lie.  That would seem a complete contradiction from all that we hold as the standard of our way of life in Christ.  So why did the Lord approve it, and why did it succeed?

When the devil lies, he has a purpose and an intent, that is, to deceive, and in his case, for the purpose of murder.  For when he deceived Eve, what followed was death to all mankind.  This then is the reason why the devil is so successful compared to the church of Jesus Christ.

He lies, of that there is no doubt, but when he does, his words have a purpose and they are all selected carefully to achieve the desired purpose.  That is, the devil is accurate in his words and his speech.  Every word that he speaks is precisely spoken to achieve that which he purposes… and that is deception.  Precision with his words is where he has the advantage over the church of Jesus Christ.  When he lies, it is a true lie.  For your own interest, read the three occasions when the words of Satan are recorded in the Bible – in Genesis, in Job and in the gospels.  I say three because the temptation of Jesus is only one occasion.

Now compare that to the church when we speak about Jesus Christ.  From the moment we speak about His birth, we are unable to present it accurately.  It has been clearly written in the gospel of Luke for hundreds of years that the time of His birth was in the spring when lambs were born, when shepherds would be out watching their flocks by night.  Yet we speak of it as being in the middle of winter, December 24th, according to the Gregorian calendar to be exact, because it is tradition.  Unfortunately, it is an inaccurate tradition.  It is an inaccurate presentation of the truth.  An inaccurate presentation of the truth is a lie and completely drains all power from the truth itself.

This is one of the problems that sees us unable to overcome.  An inaccurate presentation of the truth is like an inaccurate gun.  You can fire as many bullets as you wish, but the target is not hit unless you fluke it occasionally.  And that is exactly what we have been doing.  We fluke it occasionally.  Unless our presentation of the truth of Jesus is accurate, we cannot expect to beat the enemy… because an inaccurate presentation of the truth is a lie.

Every time we say Jesus was born in December, we are lying.  Every time we teach something that Jesus did not teach, we are lying.  When we say the incident at Gerasenes as written in Matthew and Luke is the one and the same incident, we are lying.  Every time we say that the centurions from Capernaum are the one and the same incident, we are lying.  Every time we teach that Jesus taught us not to eat food sacrificed to idols, we are lying.  And so on and so on.  The intention may be right and noble, but the aim is wrong, and all we end up with is a lot of noise.

No one is free from this mistake… no one except the Lord Jesus.  That is why we must master remembering His words and master practising them, and when we teach and testify, master the accuracy of the teach.  Better to speak the little we know accurately rather than speak much of what we cannot recall or remember accurately.

When we speak the truth inaccurately or teach the truth inaccurately, we are actually in the devil’s territory… and he is far better at lying than most of us, and he wins every time because his lies achieve their purpose, but our inaccurate truths do not achieve their purpose.

Perhaps now some of us will appreciate the Testimony much better, for it allows us to remove the inaccuracies from the truth.  And with the increasing accuracy, we should see the truth we speak hit home more and more.

Since we are so often inaccurate in the way we quote Jesus, let us be in continuous repentance of our inaccuracies.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

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