Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Also Exodus 23:1)

Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.

Deuteronomy 25:13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.

14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.

15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Joshua 24:14a Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth.

Psalm 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Zephaniah 3:13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. (Also Colossians 3:9-10.)

I Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Also Revelation 21:8)

MEMORY VERSE: These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood … A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. —Proverbs 6:16-19

CENTRAL THOUGHT: One of the ten commandments was a prohibition of lying, while other Old and New Testament teachings reveal God’s will that His people should be a people of truth, sincerity and integrity; lying or hypocrisy will keep a person out of heaven.


Exodus 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false witness”: “This forbids speaking falsely on any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising or designing to deceive our neighbour. Speaking unjustly against our neighbour, to hurt his reputation. Bearing false witness against him, or in common conversation slandering, backbiting, and tale-bearing; making what is done amiss, worse than it is, and in any way endeavouring to raise our reputation upon the ruin of our neighbour’s” (Matthew Henry Commentary).

Leviticus 19:35 “Meteyard”: measurements of length or surface, such as the cubit or

foot. “Weight”: measurements of anything that is weighed, such as a pound or ton. “Measure”: measures of capacity, such as the biblical homer or ephah; or our gallon or bushel.

Deuteronomy 25:13 “Divers weights”: “stones of unequal weights, the lighter to sell with, the heavier to buy with” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).

Deuteronomy 25:16; Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 6:16 “Abomination”: morally disgusting; an abhorrence; detestable.


The bag of “divers weights” can be an object lesson for our study today. In buying and selling, the ancients used stones for their standards of measuring. Having a standard that was the same for the buyer as well as the seller kept a business transaction honest. As the Israelites increased in commerce, Solomon and the prophets saw the need to re-emphasize the concept to keep them mindful of God’s requirement for honesty. “According to the authorities during the second Temple, he who gives false weight or measure, like the corrupt judge, is guilty of the following five things. He (1) defiles the land; (2) profanes the name of God; (3) causes the Shechinah to depart; (4) makes Israel perish by the sword, and (5) to go into captivity. They appointed public overseers to inspect the weights and measures all over the country; they prohibited weights to be made of iron, lead, or other metal liable to become lighter by wear or rust, and ordered them to be made of polished rock, of glass, &c, and enacted the severest punishment for fraud” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).

The faithful, absolutely just, equal, and true character of God, who “cannot lie,” and in whom is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” in whose mouth was found “no guile,” who dwells in unapproachable light, and “is light, and in Him is no darkness at all,” rightly demands sincerity, honesty and truth from those who would fellowship Him and dwell with Him in eternity. He could do nothing else; the scriptures are absolutely clear; the examples in Bible history cannot be denied.

The ninth commandment, which was repeated continuously in various forms throughout the Pentateuch; the appeal from Joshua to the Israelites to serve Jehovah in sincerity and truth; the proclamations in the Psalms and Proverbs and the judgments pronounced by the prophets; Jesus’ support of the commandments and condemnation of the Pharisees for their hypocrisy; the apostles’ letters to the churches enjoining honest and truthful behavior and speech; and the words of Jesus in Revelation listing those who would have their place in eternal fire—in all of these we can see a clear and holy standard that is non-negotiable.

Actual examples from Scripture are clear as well; telling or living a lie was always discovered and punished. From Achan’s cover-up to Ananias and Sapphira’s deception, man’s attempts at lying to God have proven fatal. Likewise, honest, faithful persons with integrity and “no guile” were always recognized, blessed and commended by God.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Which commandment forbids lying?
  2. Can you explain about the “just weights”?
  3. In Deuteronomy and Proverbs, what word was used to express God’s displeasure toward lying?
  4. Who dwells in God’s holy hill?
  5. Who is God’s delight?
  6. Describe the behavior of God’s “remnant.”
  7. How is one to worship God?
  8. What is the eternal fate of the liar?


Our lesson today is very closely related to the teaching on purity of speech. At the heart of Jesus’ “let your yea be yea” message is His standard of absolute honesty.

How may we apply the lesson to the everyday life of saints today? In a world filled with deception—acceptance by even “Christian” people of “little white lies,” covetous, dishonest business dealings everywhere from neighborhood car salesmen to powerful pharmaceutical corporations, hypocrisy in religious and government leaders, bribery and corruption in the judicial system, and traditional holiday celebrations based on lies to children about imaginary characters—God is still calling for His people to raise the standard of true and honest living.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck

Charles Ebert Orr
May 5, 1861 — September 22, 1933

Charles Orr was converted at age 28 in 1889, while he was a teacher in Tampico, Indiana. In 1891 he met D. S. Warner, who held a meeting in a school house near Charles’ home in southern Indiana. Bro. Warner encountered much opposition from the community during this meeting, and Charles was impressed by his gentle spirit and the clearness of his teachings. He also spoke of rooming with Bro. Warner during a ten-night debate he held with a Seventh-Day Adventist preacher, and being powerfully influenced by Bro. Warner’s fervent prayer life, writing his experience from Everett, Washington, upon Bro. Warner’s death in 1895.

Bro. Charles also was called to minister, evangelizing throughout the Midwest and pastoring at Federalsburg, Maryland, from 1898-1912. He was a man of deep meditation, continuous prayer and a high personal standard of holiness. He wrote several books, songs, such as “Savior, Lead Me” (#137, ELS), and many poems. His burden to uphold the Bible standards which had so convicted him led him to publish Christian Conduct in 1903, as he began to see changes in the Church of God movement. In 1910, still disturbed by the changes, such as racial segregation and worldliness, he began to publish the Herald of Truth periodical, which attracted a following of people like himself, who were grieved because the leadership of the Church of God movement was moving away from its former teachings, and took a harsh, critical stand against “compromise.” Bro. Fred Pruitt was one such seeker, and he prayed that God would show him which paper taught the truth—the Gospel Trumpet (Anderson) or the Herald of Truth. He felt God showed him that both were headed toward spiritual destruction, and that he should keep following the Holy Spirit.

In time, Bro. Orr ceased publication of the Herald and joined back with Anderson until 1926. In 1928, now pastor at Hammond, Louisiana, Bro. Orr was still searching for balance and began another publication, The Path of Life. A picture published in Bro. Pruitt’s book, God’s Gracious Dealings, shows him with other ministers at a campmeeting in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1928. In 1932 he was led to merge his paper with the Faith and Victory (published by Bro. Fred Pruitt). While visiting in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in September of 1933, he died after a few weeks’ illness. He was predeceased by a first wife, with whom he had five children, who, along with his second wife, Sadie, survived him.

The following excerpt is from Bro. Orr’s book, Christian Conduct, on the subject of honesty in business: “Many men are prone to misrepresent property they are offering for sale. For instance, a horse may be said to be seven years old by his owner when he knows he is ten. He may represent him to be sound in every way when he knows he is diseased, and for this very reason he desires to sell him. Of course, no man can do these things and be a Christian. The Bible says, ‘Lie not one to another’ (Colossians 3:9). ‘Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor’ (Ephesians 4:25). The Christian not only tells the truth as is asked him concerning his horse, but he also tells of all his defects though he be unquestioned. If a horse should be in some way diseased or blemished unknown to and unsuspected by the purchasing party, the owner, instead of seeking to hide his defect, frankly tells, if he is a Christian, all about the diseased and blemished condition. This is doing as he would be done unto, and is Christian conduct.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck