Every day we are bombarded with half-truths, deception and outright lies. How many of these statements have you heard recently?
- “I’ll be just a minute.”
- “The check is in the mail.”
- “There’s absolutely no obligation on your part.
- “The doctor will be with you shortly.”
- “If I’m elected, I promise to…”
If you think back to your childhood and teen years, you’ll probably remember a few whoppers—some you may have heard, while others you may have told! And perhaps as you have grown older, you recall a relationship built on false promises.
As you turn the pages of history, you’ll discover countless stories of fraud and scandal in politics, religion, business and practically every field of human activity. But as we will see, there is one deceit that ranks at the top of the list—what I consider to be the greatest lie ever told.
THE RESULT OF GREED AND DECEPTION
To narrow our search, let’s regress hundreds, even thousands of years and review what took place in Bible times.
During the great season of revival at the start of the early church, people were so moved by the mission they actually pooled their money and gave it for the cause of Christ. As the Bible records, ‘Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need “(Acts 4:34-35).
A man by the name of Annanias, and his wife, Sapphira, wanted to be part of what was taking place, yet sadly, their personal greed caused them to make a fatal mistake.
They sold a piece of land, but secretly kept a portion of the money for themselves. The rest of the funds were brought to the apostles for an offering.
LYING TO GOD!
Peter, filled with divine discernment, confronted Annanias and questioned, “… why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 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 unto men, but unto God “Acts 5:3-4).
The instant Annanias heard those words he fell to the ground dead! He was carried out, buried, and as you can imagine, this put the fear of God into every person who heard the news.
DON’T TEMPT THE SPIRIT
About three hours later, not knowing what had already transpired, Sapphira came to see Peter. Holding the money in his hand, he asked, “Tell me, was this the full price you were given for the land?”
She lied and answered, “Yes. “Peter looked into her eyes and said, “How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband” (vv.9-10).
I do not believe this couple died because they kept back part of the selling price. It was their decision; they could do whatever they wanted with the money. Their lives were abruptly ended because they deceitfully said they had given all—and this was totally untrue.
Annanias and Sapphira lost their lives, however, theirs was not the biggest lie ever told.
AN ANGRY KING
Let’s go back to the Old Testament.
David was the hero of a nation. His incredible victory over Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, had caused all of Israel to take notice of this shepherd boy. After the triumph, people were dancing in the streets and singing, ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7).
As you can imagine, Saul was angry. He complained, “They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward”(vv.8-9).
RENEGING ON A PROMISE
Because of his growing popularity and, I surmise, because of the anointing he carried, Saul was extremely fearful and jealous of David. Twice, he tried to kill him with a javelin.
However, Saul was clever and conniving. So much so he figured the best way to get rid of David was to put him in a position so that death at the hands of the Philistines would be virtually unavoidable.
Saul promised David if he would fight for him he would give his oldest daughter Merab to be his wife. All the while, thinking, “Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him” (v.17).
Long story short, the Philistines did not kill David and when the big day arrived for him to marry Merab, Saul reneged on his promise because he had given her instead to Adriel the Meholathite (v.19).
This was a deceitful act on the part of Saul and it impacted David’s life, love and his future. While it was shameful, this was hardly the biggest lie ever told.
“LIE WITH ME!”
Generations before David, a man by the name of Joseph was the victim of one of the most famous—or should I say infamous—falsehoods chronicled in scripture.
After being sold by his own brothers into the slavery of Egypt, he became a servant in the house of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.
Joseph was a handsome man, and as time passed, Potiphar’s wife became attracted to this Hebrew and set out to seduce him. One day she said, “Lie with me” (Genesis 39:7).
Her aggressive behavior continued day after day, but being a man of principle, Joseph refused her advances. One morning, when he “Please sleep arrived at the house to do his work, all of the servants happened to be gone. Potiphar’s wife seized her chance. She grabbed him by the coat and begged, “Please, sleep with me.”
In the confusion of the moment, Joseph ran out of the house, and in his haste made the mistake of leaving his coat in her hand. Immediately, the rejected woman called for the servants to return and angrily told them, “This Hebrew came in here and tried to make love to me, but I screamed as loud as I could.” Then she added, “…as I lifted up my voice and cried…he left his garment with me, and fled out” (v .18).
With the “evidence” in her hand, she later repeated the falsehood to Potiphar himself.
What was the outcome? “Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison “(v.20).
As far as lies go, this ranks high on the list, but still isn’t the biggest ever told.
A POT OF BEANS
Isaac, the son of Abraham married a woman named Rebekah and she birthed twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau was born first so, according to Hebrew law, inherited the birthright—and the blessing it entailed.
Evidently, this honor meant little to him.
One day, Jacob was cooking a pot of beans when Esau came in from the field and was starving to death. “Give me some of that stew,” he said.
“Well,” countered Jacob, “Let’s make a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.”
Esau thought for a brief moment and replied, `Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (Genesis 25:32).
The deal was made!
“I AM ESAU”
As time passed, Jacob was not satisfied with just the birthright, he wanted the blessing which accompanied it. So one day, Jacob came to the bedside of his dying father, Isaac, wearing the clothes of Esau—shrouded in the skins of goats to give him the feel of Esau.
Jacob brought the meats his mother had helped him prepare, just the way Isaac liked them, Then he leaned over to his dying father and told him a gigantic untruth: ” I am Esau, your firstborn.”
Next, Jacob said, “I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me” (Genesis 27:19).
Deceived, Isaac gave him the blessing.
It was incredibly cruel to attempt to knowingly mislead this dying old man and take of advantage of his condition. Still, this is not the greatest deceit on record.
A DISHONEST DEVIL
Let’s go back to the beginning in a paradise called the Garden of Eden.
There we find the first woman, Eve, admiring the only tree in this vast garden which had been forbidden. God told Adam and his wife, “You can eat of any tree you want, but not the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
It is human nature to desire what we can’t have and here is where this concept was birthed.
Satan, in the form of a serpent, slithered up to Eve and whispered, “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” (Genesis 3:4-5).
Eve looked at the tree, desired its succulent fruit and thought about how it could make her wise, so, “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (v.6).
Instantly, their eyes were opened and “…they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (v.7).
It was then they heard the voice of God “… walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (v.8).
Eve should have never listened and succumbed to the serpent, but she did and the rest is history.
THE BIGGEST FALSEHOOD?
The reason this deceit was so devastating is because of the impact it would have on all mankind. All the other lies in history and scripture had consequences for those directly involved and perhaps for a few others, but they were somewhat limited in their scope and influence.
This blatant untruth was so enormous it affects the entire human race to this very day. However, if you were to ask me, “Is this the biggest falsehood ever told?” I would respond, “Not quite.”
I believe a far greater lie is the one the enemy of your soul may be speaking to your mind right now when he says, “You have blown it and you can never recover.”
Even more, the devil suggests, “You are not worth being saved and certainly not good enough to be used by God in His Kingdom.”
The reason I believe this to be the biggest lie is because it is designed to rob you of your destiny and to deter you from experiencing the wonderful future the Lord has designed.
The destructive result of this deceit is that it will not only harm you and hold you down, but will rob those whom you could influence through your service to God.
A NEW START
Don’t listen to the “father of all lies” (John 8:44). When the devil insists you are finished, have nothing to offer and cannot ever be forgiven for what you have done, read these words out loud:
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:4-10)
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
Because Adam sinned, we all have sinned. Yet God had an amazing plan to give us a second chance. He sent His Son, Jesus to earth to be born as a Man and die on a cross for our sin.
By asking Christ to cleanse you with His precious blood, you can be gloriously forgiven and enjoy a brand new start.
Instead of the bondage of Satan’s lie you’ll have the blessing of God’s love.
The above article “The Biggest Lie Ever Told” is written by Steve Warman. This article was excerpted from chapter two in Warman’s book The Second Try Your Best Is Yet To Come.
The material is copyrighted and should not be repainted under any other name or author. However, this material may freely be used for personal study or purposes.