Half of the truth is the worst part of the lie.
Half of the truth is the worst part of the lie. The problem with half-truths is that when we believe them, we receive the consequences of that decision. Half-truths are enticing, pleasant, and the more natural path to take. Satan told Eve half of God’s truth, deceiving her into partaking of the fruit of the tree. That decision resulted in the fall of man and the curses pronounced upon Satan, Adam, and Eve. Everyone today is experiencing the ramifications of their decision, each day we live on earth.
Satan later tried this deception on Jesus in the wilderness, but Jesus wisely used the WORD to overcome the temptations. Jesus replies to every lie by speaking the Word of Truth; “For it is written . . . Worship the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:10).
The greatest and most deceptive half-truth conceived by man is that “ALL ROADS LEAD TO GOD.” This eternally destructive lie states that since God is love, and you’re a good person, God will never send you to hell. The whole and complete truth are that all roads do lead to God but for distinct reasons and different ends: believers for their rewards and non-believers for judgment.
I think Alice-in-Wonderland said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” I am sure she was referring to the rabbit hole roads in her fairy tale. Maybe this is what people are miss quoting when they say, “All roads lead to Heaven.” It is vital to understand what happens with this kind of Half-Truth-Thinking.
Indeed, God doesn’t send anyone to hell. We alone choose between heaven or hell according to our belief in or rejection of Jesus Christ. Those who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will receive eternal life. Those who deny Christ will, by that decision alone, will separate themselves from God for all eternity. Free choice can either be a gift or a curse.
When tempted, there is a lie involved, and we must use the Word of God to overcome Satan. THE PROVE IT LIE, THE “FOR IT IS WRITTEN” LIE, and THE SHORT CUT LIE. Eve had the misfortune of being deceived by these lies. On the other hand, they were unsuccessful with Jesus in the wilderness.
These lies are temptations familiar to us all. We will face them for the rest of our lives. There is no escape other than through Jesus. Spiritual maturity only causes Satan to increase pressure. The devil attacks us in all areas of our life, trying to deceive us and draw us away from our walk with God. The Word of God helps us to overcome the things of this world.
GOD’S instruction to Adam and Eve was that they could eat any fruit in the Garden of Eden except one. He said: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
We so often try to assemble something without the owner’s manual. Likewise, we try to win a spiritual battle without the armor of God protecting us. Sadly, prayer becomes the final cry for God’s help after first trying all carnal options and worsening the problem through our misguided self-determination!
God created everything in the Garden for Adam and Eve to eternally enjoy. However, He gave them one commandment to obey, and they failed by listening to the lies of the serpent. Paraphrased, “don’t eat it, or you will die.” The Word precisely says what God said!
Eve’s main problem was that she had a conversation with Satan in the first place! Scripture states: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7-8a).
A changed life will always be the result of a renewed mind; a renewed spirit always results in a transformed life.
LET’S SEE HOW THIS PLAYED OUT IN THE GARDEN
SATAN: And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).
First half-truth/lie: God only said not to eatof the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other trees planted were for their enjoyment and nourishment.
EVE: And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2-3).
First misquote in the Bible: “neither shall ye touch it”: Eve added this for some unknown reason because God never said it. Satan drew Eve into a discussion with him and planted the seed of doubt about God’s Word. Satan revealed Eve’s incomplete understanding of God’s Word. He wanted Eve to forget all about what God said about the consequences of sin.
SATAN: Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). Satan’s direct challenge to God’s Word. You will not surely die.
LIE: You will not surely die. Their bodies might not die now, but they directly died spiritually and removed from the presence of God. Eventually, they would die physically for God later said in pronouncing their curse, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
HALF-TRUTH: The day you eat of the fruit, your eyes shall open, not to see as God sees but seeing good and evil. Once opened, they straightaway knew that they had sinned, noticed they were naked and tried to cover their sin with fig leaves. Talk about eyes wide-opened and rude awakenings!
TOTAL LIE: “You will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan himself fell, wanting to be equal with God. The enemy was trying to deceive Eve into believing she could become a god herself by rebelling against God. “Satan is a deceiver, liar, and is roaming the earth seeking whom he might devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Because of the work Jesus did on the Cross Satan lost. Jesus’ death and resurrection guaranteed this to be truthful.
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
Matthew gives an account of the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. In using the SHORT CUT LIE, Satan’s offer was that he would give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down to him. Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10).
Jesus had come to save the world and to repurchase it from the grip and control of Satan. But it would take a horrible death on the Cross to accomplish that. Satan was essentially offering Jesus a shortcut. “You don’t have to suffer and go to the cross just compromise, and I’ll give you everything right now,” Jesus responded in each case by quoting scripture and by resisting the temptation.
We cast the final vote to sin or not to sin. No one can throw it for us-regardless of the pressures we may be facing.
God does promise to deliver us when tempted. However, He does not guarantee that trials will no longer be part of our life. Satan knows our areas of weakness. If we have fallen in one area before, rest assured that he will come at us again from the same angle. Jesus encourages us: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
First, God always limits the power of every temptation so that we can overcome it. Second, He still supplies a way to escape through it. The Holy Spirit guides us through the trials; not around or over them. He is on our team throughout every test. The Lord doesn’t lead us into temptations but will see us through them as we trust Him to do so.
Temptation itself is not a sin. Keep in mind that we are not responsible for what flashes through our minds. Our responsibility is to control the things that dominate our thoughts. Jesus dealt with temptations in all areas of life, but without sin.
Just like feeling angry is not sin, but, if not dealt with, can be a temptation that needs immediate attention. It is what you do with that anger that counts. James reminds us: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).
WHAT YOU DO WITH THE TEMPTATION IS WHAT COUNTS!
Surely, God was not disappointed during the temptations of Christ in the wilderness. Point being the attraction is not a sin unless we embrace it. Surely, He was not disappointed during the temptations Christ endured.
We confuse how we feel with how God thinks about us. The Bible assures us that God rewards those who are tempted-if they persevere: James 1:12, “Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
HOW JESUS RESISTED THE ENEMY
Our best example of how to resist temptation is how Jesus endured the enemy. After fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, and He answered every temptation of Satan with the Word. David wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
Strength in overcoming the wicked one comes through the Word of God. And then, our victory is through prayer. Paul says, “praying with all prayer and the Word along with supplication in the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:13-18). Again, the real power against the enemy and the world is prayer and supplication (petition) in the Spirit. As you stand in the name of Jesus, you will come to know, through God’s Word and in prayer, the power and the victory over the temptation that is trying to pull you down into a pit. James exhorts us, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
THE THREE LIES THAT DID NOT STUMBLE JESUS
THE PROVE IT LIE: Here in Matthew 4:1-11, we see the account of Jesus’ temptation by Satan. The first temptation from Satan suggested that “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (v.3). This lie was the temptation to allow the flesh to rule over the Spirit.
But He answered and said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (v.4).
THE “FOR IT IS WRITTEN” LIE: The second temptation was when Satan took Him up to the pinnacle of the temple and was told to throw Himself down and let the angels save Him. Here Satan took a verse out of context and tried to get Jesus to test God inappropriately.
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God” (v.7).
THE SHORT CUT LIE: The third temptation Satan offered was that he would give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down to him.
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (v.10).
Jesus refused the devil’s temptations because God sent Him to fulfill His purpose. But it would take a horrible death on the Cross to accomplish that. Satan was essentially offering Jesus a shortcut to fulfilling His mission. “You don’t have to suffer and go to the Cross, just compromise, and I’ll give you everything right now,”
Jesus responded in each case resisting the temptation using the Word of God. Jesus was to be obedient to God’s will and buying into Satan’s short cut lie would defeat His plan of salvation. Nothing but the Cross could save humanity. Short cut lies present themselves to Believers in this world; however, ask: “What would Jesus do?”
HOW TO USE YOUR “FOR IT IS WRITTEN” WEAPON
Praying and speaking scripture are two of your most potent weapons.
Since we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, now’s a proper time to put into practice the teaching of Christ. Let’s not make the mistakes Eve did in the Garden. Best to respond to our temptations as Jesus did. Remember, we have put on the mind of Christ, so we should think, act, and answer the same way Jesus does.
The following examples are lies we face during our lifetime. I will start us off, but I encourage you to continue with your list. Only you and God knows what temptations you face.
THE LIE: The devil tricked me, and so I did it.
IT IS WRITTEN: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8).
IT IS WRITTEN: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
THE LIE: This trial will never end.
IT IS WRITTEN: “There has no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
IT IS WRITTEN: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which established us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (1 Corinthians 1:20-22).
Written by, Brad Wyrick