Today in my personal bible study, the Lord gave me John chapter 8. As I was reading through the chapter and ruminating on each verse, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me as I read verses 42-47. I’d like to share what he gave me with you.
First off, looking back at verse 12 Jesus states, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Then in verse 31 he says, “If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In the verses between verse 12 and verse 31, Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees, lays down his case as to why they should trust him and believe his word. In short, he is trustworthy because he comes from the Father and the Father is his witness.
As the Pharisees continue to reject his teaching they invoke their lineage as Abraham’s descendants as proof that they have never been slaves meaning “We don’t need your freedom, Jesus. Thank you very much.” Jesus responds with “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” In other words, “Don’t be so lofty because of your connection with Abraham. You are sinners in need of a Savior.”
In verses 37-38 he hits them with a truth bomb, “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” He is pulling no punches at this point. They are so full of pride, arrogance, religion and the enemy's lies that they can neither recognize nor accept the truth. Their response to this slice of truth? “ ‘Abraham is our father.’”
Well, they clearly are not getting it, so Jesus has to give it to them bluntly ,
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would[c] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.” (John 8:39-41)
The key part of the scripture that I want to really look at are verses 43-45. I have read this scripture many times and have highlighted and underlined and starred it quite a few times, however, as I read it this time the Holy Spirit gave me a deeper revelation. I’d like to share with you the insights that he gave. Hopefully, you’re still reading after all the background.
He was a murderer from the beginning , not holding to the truth for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NIV)
We say all the time “The Devil is a liar.” We know that he’s a liar. However, do we really, really believe it? In verse 44, Jesus tells us that Satan was a murderer from the beginning and that he did not hold on to the truth for there is no truth in him. That means that everything that the enemy tells us is a lie. However, like the Pharisees we choose to take what they enemy says as the truth and we question and reject the truth of God.
Let's say that we know that someone is a pathological liar. We have caught them telling lies repeatedly, and they have proven themselves to be a swindler and a deceiver. Wisdom demands that we stop believing their words. Common sense says that everything that they say must be fact checked and examined because they have proven that they are not to be trusted. Our experience with them have shown us who they are, and so we know that we better not believe a word they say.
Well, as believers we KNOW that the devil is a liar. In the first place, Jesus told us so, and in the second, the devil has lied to us enough times for us to know he can’t be trusted.
In the Bible, the first time we see the devil, he’s telling a lie. He reveals himself immediately to be a big, fat, rotten liar. We see the master deceiver at work as he first causes Eve to question God’s word (the truth) and then blatantly lie to her to get her to disobey God’s command. His lying skills are so exceptional that he causes people who have been in intimate, constant fellowship with God to put aside all their trust and faith in their Creator and instead believe the lies of a snake.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3: 1-4)
That same lying serpent is at work in our lives today, doing the same thing. I heard a preacher say that Satan doesn’t have any new tricks. So just as he tried and was successful in separating Adam and Eve from God with lies, he’s doing the same thing to us today. We become so full of his lies that we have no room for the truth of God, and so, we find ourselves in bondage to strongholds and sin. We suffer needlessly because we hold to the deception instead of to the truth.
When we listen to the enemy instead of to God, it opens a doorway into our lives to the devil. Now he can wreak havoc and cause us to question God and to disbelieve his truth. I experienced this recently which is probably why this scripture resonates with me so powerfully. I have struggled with low self-esteem for practically my whole life, but as I grow in the Lord, he has reinforced and reaffirmed my worth. However, because I felt like I had let the Lord down (I broke a fast), I listened to the enemy when he began to tell me that I was a loser. He told me that I was weak and worthless and that I was good for nothing. Usually, I counter those thoughts immediately with the truth aka the Word of God, but my disappointment was so great that I believed the enemy’s lies. When the Lord immediately began to remind me of his truth, I refused to accept it. I had fallen from my own lofty and perfectionist heights, so I must be worthless and I must be a loser.
Thankfully, the Lord brought people and circumstances to reaffirm his truth, and I was convicted and repented. However, the damage that the enemy did is still fresh in my mind and in my life. When we believe his lies, it causes a rift between us and the Lord because we are no longer operating in faith. The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. So when we believe the father of lies, we reject the truth and that means that our faith in a God who is truth, falters.
So I leave you with this: what lies have you been believing? In the previous blogs, we examined the armor of God, and so we know that we are constantly under attack. When he throws his darts of deception we must raise the shield of faith and counterattack with the sword of the Spirit. We don’t have to believe his lies. We have the choice to reject them. It is so important to stay in constant prayer and bible study because that is where we find the truth of God. That is where the Lord points out the lies we have believed and restores us in his truth. We must be diligent and earnest about holding to the truth. As devoted disciples, we have to grip, clench, clutch, grasp, and embrace the truth of God with everything we have. That is the “lamp to our feet” and “light to our path.” The enemy’s lies come at us constantly from the media, from the mouths of others, and from our own thoughts. Let us be aggressive truth pursuers and truth tellers. Just now, the Lord dropped into my spirit that we must be truth spreaders as well. We must know the truth, believe the truth and tell the truth. If the enemy is lying to us, then he is also lying to others. So when God gives us the opportunity, let us be prepared to share the truth. I hope this has been a blessing to you. Thank you for reading!