Ninth Commandment = being honest
What is real honesty and is that what the 9th commandment is about?
Is the 9th Commandment one of the solid foundational stones of our society today?
Not even close, on the second question; the article below answers the first question.
Our 21 century society is geared so that a person has to become very subtle; able to steal and manipulate others, lie cleverly or even deliberately bear false witness against others on occasion to keep themselves looking good. They don’t seem to realize, even in what is thought to be the “Christian” realm, that this is following the nature of the god of this world, which is not Christian at all! (See John 8:44 & 2Cor.4:3-4)
However, true honesty, the keeping of this commandment and that kind of integrity would have been what God intended for the Nation of Israel and is one of the Ten Commandment Laws He gave them. It is still one of the most important Character straits that any true Christian should be striving to develop. As any Bible student will know, Israel as a whole, failed miserably. It should also be an integral part of the character of any true Christian to want to keep all of the Commandments all the time. Any true Christian must yield to God and strive to overcome any tendency to be dishonest, letting God strengthen and lead them by His Spirit through life and its trials. This is what we all must do if we are to be His faithful children. (Rom.8:14-1John 3:10) Everyone will be taught honesty in the coming Kingdom of God, but what is the 9th commandment in the Ten Commandment Law of God? (Deut. 5:20 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (NKJ) Is that all there is to it? Being honest can cover more than just this Commandment, but this is a specific type of honesty, dealing with the “neighbor” that is nearest to you, which can even be your marital partner, brothers and sisters, children or parents. (See “Broken Vows” for more on dishonesty in marriages.)
Below are a few proverbial passages to remind us how God looks at those who would specifically violate this Commandment. Every true Christian will strive to keep the Commandments—not break them for their own pleasure, as noted above. These Proverbs are given as a quick reminder and to help us to more solidly learn the end result of breaking the 9th Commandment with this type of deceitful dishonesty.
God’s Holy Spirit will guide a true convert to see and repent of any “false witness” or dishonesty, overcoming any “Heart of deceit” they may have previously had. (Prov.12:20, “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan good have joy.” RSV)—So to be Christian is to be turning from this evil, to be learning and teaching oneself to have a heart of Honesty and true integrity. (The KJV words that passage this way; Prov.12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: (Or plan it) but to the counsellors of peace is joy.” (KJV) It is better to be poor and honest in this life, than to be a rich liar and perish without hope. Prov.19:22-23 “What is desired in a man (or woman) is loyalty, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the LORD leads to life; and he who has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. (RSV)
Honesty and integrity of heart helps us seek righteousness, which should be clear, (Matt.6:33) while violating the 9th Commandment is sin (1John 3:4) and brings the death penalty (Rom.6:23) and sorrow of heart to us and others around us. This must be repented of and cast out of one’s nature in order to please God and be keeping the 9th Command. Lying and false witnessing is not the nature of a true convert who is being led by the Spirit of God. It is of an opposite nature; the spirit of darkness and evil.
Prov.6:16-19 “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, (quickly following a mere suggestion to be a liar for gain or false witness can fulfill this.) 19 A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.” (NKJ)
Where do these wrong character traits stem from? (Again, See John 8:44) Prov.12:17 “He who speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.” (RSV)
Prov.14:5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies. (NKJ) Prov.25:18 A man (or woman) who bears false witness against his (or her) neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow. (NKJ) (The intent is to beat down or cut or pierce the truthfulness and authenticity of their neighbor so that he/she is discredited.) Prov.19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.” V.9 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish.” (NKJ)
Sadly, some choose to be dishonest on account of or for other physical family, thinking they are doing good for that person, but Christ said this in Luke 6:32; "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (NKJ) He also said this: John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.” So the true Christian will be striving to have their priorities in the right place with every decision they must make, especially when it comes to the possible violation of one of the Ten Commandments. Paul was inspired to write; Acts 17:30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent”---NKJ There is no more excuse for past ignorance when the Holy Spirit was not yet given—because now it will live within the converted and prompt them to see when they are going against the letter and spiritual intent of the Law. All true Christians have to be looking and desiring to have that “prompting” by the Spirit and have the desire to please God, not themselves or others.
It is a sad thing to see people constantly practice dishonesty and deceit, especially just for selfish reasons or some physical gain in this world, without any acknowledgement of the need to repent and change. For that to happen among those who are called out and given opportunity at eternal life, (COG) it is even more disheartening to see because that opportunity for life will be lost forever without deep and heartfelt repentance and change of nature. (1John 1:6, 1John 3:10 & Rev.3:19) Phil 3:13-16 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, (Paul says) forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. (unless you choose to ignore the prompting or lead of the Holy Spirit) 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” NKJ
So these admonitions are for the true converts; the world in general will not hear. Certainly Honesty & keeping the 9th Commandment is what a true Christian will cling to, wanting more than any physical thing, to be like Christ and be born into the Kingdom of God! They will not let physical things, Satan’s nature, circumstances and other people pull them aside from the goal of their high calling!
Many may prosper physically and from dishonesty, but to have a Spiritually prosperous life and make our society around us better, we all need to practice being HONEST, not bearing false witness, in order to be keeping the 9th Commandment!
(Editor for TCOGMSO)
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