When Lying is Ok

In these increasingly dark and evil days, let us look at some Bible accounts of how righteous people acted in their own dark and evil days.

Shiphrah and Puah

Note that the Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh, lied to Pharaoh, and were blessed by God for fearing Him. They refused to murder babies.

15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.
Exodus 1:15-21 NKJV

Rahab

Rahab hid the two spies, lied to the king, and helped the spies escape.

Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.”

So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”

So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”

Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.
Joshua 2:1-6, 15 NKJV

God obviously approved of her actions, because she gets two mentions in the New Testament.

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
Hebrews 11:31 NKJV

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
James 2:25 NKJV

Absalom’s Rebellion

When Absalom tried to overthrow his father, king David, David asked his friend Hushai to lie to Absalom to gain Absalom’s confidence, then give him bad advice.

31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”

32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God—there was Hushai the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”

37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 15:31-37 NKJV

Hushai does as David asked, and he lies to Absalom.

15 Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And so it was, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?”

18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.”

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give advice as to what we should do.”
2 Samuel 16:15-20 NKJV

Ahithophel knew what he was doing, and his advice would have put Absalom on David’s throne.

Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
2 Samuel 16:23 NKJV

After Ahithophel had given his advice, Hushai knowingly gave Absalom bad advice, advice that would defeat Absalom and keep David as king. Absalom bought the bad advice hook, line and sinker. Ultimately Absalom would die as a result. God had no problem with Hushai lying to Absalom!

So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom.
2 Samuel 17:14 NKJV

Then two men took the urgent message to king David. On the way an unnamed woman hid them and lied about it, and the urgent message got to David.

18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down into it. 19 Then the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”

So the woman said to them, “They have gone over the water brook.”

And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly. For thus has Ahithophel advised against you.”
2 Samuel 17:18-21 NKJV

A Lying Spirit From God

Despite reading it many times in the more than 40 years of being a Christian, this story still blows my mind. Wicked king Ahab’s prophets tell him he will win a battle at Ramoth Gilead.

Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?”

So they said, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
1 Kings 22:6 NKJV

Unfortunately for Ahab, they are being influenced by a lying spirit – a lying spirit from God!

19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.
1 Kings 22:19-23 NKJV

King Ahab took the advice of the 400 prophets, went to battle, and was killed.

34 Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”

35 The battle increased that day; and the king was propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians, and died at evening. The blood ran out from the wound onto the floor of the chariot. 36 Then, as the sun was going down, a shout went throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country!”

37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria.
1 Kings 22:34-37 NKJV

This story still blows my mind. I know that God cannot lie, but He will use a lying spirit if He wants to. Truly:

But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
Psalms 115:3 NKJV

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
Psalms 147:5 NKJV

The LORD has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
Proverbs 16:4 NKJV

Disobedience in Daniel

There are two stories in the book of Daniel where the righteous people refused to obey the the king. The first is about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who disobeyed king Nebuchadnezzar. The king had them tossed into a fiery furnace because of their disobedience, but the only thing that burned was the ropes that bound them. To his face they had said they would not obey his order to worship an idol.

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV

The second story is about Daniel himself. Daniel disobeyed king Darius, spent a night with hungry lions, but wasn’t harmed at all. He knew he was breaking the law when he prayed to God instead of to king Darius.

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel 6:6-10 NKJV

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego all chose to obey God instead of the king, and God delivered them.

Romans 13:1-5

Given the examples above, it is impossible that the Bible could teach that a believer has to obey wicked laws. The key to Romans 13:1-5 is to know the world in the time the New Testament was written. If you were caught with a letter that said, “Obey God not wicked laws or wicked men” you might literally be whipped to death.

The punishment for treason during the time of Nero was to be stripped naked, having his head held up by a fork and being whipped to death.

https://www.romae-vitam.com/roman-punishment.html

Or you might be impaled.

[Impalement] is still known as one of the most painful and gruesome methods of execution/torture. The person was pierced through the vagina (women), rectum (both men and women), through the side or through the mouth. The victim would then slide down the pole by his/her own weight and just left to die. Since it didn’t cause death immediately, it would cause a lot of damage to the person who was still alive and who could still feel everything.

What were the execution methods used in Ancient Rome?

Therefore the letters to the churches would have to be acceptable to the Roman government censors, yet still have the intended meaning for followers of Jesus. Romans 13:1-5 has nothing to offend a spiritually-blind censor. In fact he would no doubt endorse the surface message.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
Romans 13:1-5 NKJV

Now consider the first part of verse 4.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
Romans 13:1-5 NKJV

If he is God’s minister to me for good, I have to be subject. If he is Satan’s minister to me for evil, I must obey God even if it costs me my life. Paul wrote the book of Romans. He knew all about Shiphrah, Puah, Rahab, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel, who disobeyed mans’ laws to follow God’s. Paul also knew these and similar Scriptures.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:15 NKJV

Romans 13 does not mean “Always obey the government.” It means “Always obey God, and the government if it is doing God’s good.”

1 Peter 2:11-17

This often misunderstood passage has similar censorship-proof wording whose real meaning should be clear to those whose eyes God has opened.

11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
1 Peter 2:11-17 NKJV

If the government is praising evildoers and punishing those who do good I’m to follow God, not the evil ordinances.

Remember that Peter said this.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:29 NKJV

Undoubtedly Peter also knew these.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:15 NKJV

Peter said “We ought to obey God rather than men,” but wrote that other believers in Jesus should obey men instead of God? Impossible.

This is my current understanding of Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:11-17. YOU MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!

Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.
Acts 17:11 BSB

Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 BSB

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16 NKJV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
1 Corinthians 14:20 NKJV

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Ephesians 4:14 NKJV

Forever is a long, long time. Choose eternal life!

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.
Proverbs 29:25 NKJV

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:29 NKJV

Jesus is coming very, very soon. Be ready!

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 NKJV

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

4 thoughts on “When Lying is Ok”

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