Robert Wurtz II
He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” (He was lying to him.) (1 Kings 13:18)
And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?” (Ezekiel 13:19)
One of the most sobering stories in all the Bible deals with a prophet lying to another prophet. That’s right. God had given a task to a young prophet and specific instructions that were to be carried out to the letter. However, An old prophet came along and told the young man a lie. Apparently, because he was an old prophet, the young prophet reasoned that he could trust him. The assumption cost the young prophet his life. Lesson? Do what God says no matter what anybody else says — including a prophet.
Sometimes even a prophet can be a liar. In fact, because the people were willing to “listen to lies” in Ezekiel 13:19, innocent people were being murdered. When people are lied on and the people believe it, really bad things happen. Reputations are destroyed. Careers are ended. Ministries are brought to desolation. Sadly, God acknowledges that His people listen to lies. When liars win the trust of the people, they can control them to do evil in ways that we cannot conceive or even believe is possible. This is one of the reasons why all liars are going to have their part in the lake of fire.
It would seem to be common sense to say that everyone, especially Christians, should test everything they hear before they decide to believe it; but obviously, in the twenty-first century, it is not common sense. In fact, Edward Bernays (the twentieth-century father of public relations and nephew of Sigmund Freud) stated in his book, Propaganda that the reason why people (the masses) are so easily persuaded and controlled is that they don’t investigate things they hear. They rely on a trusted source to do the leg-work. In other words, people tend to form their opinions based on second-hand characterizations of people and events. Moreover, most people don’t realize that nearly everything they read or hear has been carefully crafted to influence them in a particular way. Generally speaking, if you think that the information you hear is not being “spun” you are dreadfully mistaken. Some of the most lucrative jobs in the world are in the field of public relations (aka propaganda) and they are employed for everything from selling products to spinning news stories.
Have you ever taken the time to seriously ponder why the people of Nazi Germany could have sent their sons to war or exterminated some six million men, women, and children simply because they were Jews or Gypsies? How could people of such high education be infamous for such dastardly behavior and inexpressible stupidity? It’s because the propaganda artists (ministers) knew that people tend to move in herds. They published information in all kinds of places designed to villanize the Jews — to the point that the average person on the street hated the Jews. This same “herding people around” thing is why we have fads or trends in what has come to be known as popular culture. Everybody’s doing it so why shouldn’t I do it? People don’t generally think for themselves they just go with the flow. When buying the latest tennis shoe that’s one thing, but when we’re talking about forming opinions of people (especially leaders) it is an infinitely more serious matter.
The shocking thing is that history has proven (just as in Ezekiel 13:19) that Christians get caught up in this flow as well. It would be superfluous to start listing all the areas where the world is directly or indirectly influencing everything from our morals to our worship services. It’s as if the filter is off and everything is being sucked into the engine (as it were). Filters exist for a reason. In WWI, even horses wore a filter on the battlefield to protect them from poisonous gas. In most modern cities filters are used to clean the impurities out of our water. Otherwise, we would have death and disease on an unimaginable scale. If you own a car there is a filter to keep it from sucking junk into the engine and destroying it while you drive down the road. Filters are everywhere. So why don’t people filter out the lies and propaganda that they are exposed to on a daily basis? Why do they sit in front of the TV, magazine, internet or radio and take everything in? Do they not know that subjecting themselves to secular media and “taking it all in” is like sitting on a battlefield in WWI without a gas mask? Again, is there any hope for, “My people who listen to lies?”
Did you know that when you turn on the TV you are being ministered to? This was the actual title given to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. He was Germany’s “minister of enlightenment and propaganda.” He was more than an agent or representative of the state. Goebbels was ministering deadly information to the people of Germany and in other parts of the world causing Jews and Gypsies to be murdered. Why? If you can sufficiently influence what people believe you can make a lamb into a wolf and vice versa. A good propagandist can make the devil look like a saint. In fact, they will deceive (if possible) the very elect. Think of the many times we are told in scripture in effect, “do not be deceived!” That is a command. We are responsible for making sure we filter the lies out of what we are hearing. It’s work and it takes time… that’s why so few people do it. I dare say that laziness in this area is going to send more people to gallows and the instigators to hell than we know.
Scripture considers investigating the truth to be a “noble” enterprise. In Acts 17:11 we have this passage, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” These people were not easily deceived. Why? They did their homework. They investigated what was being said. Not just the scriptures, but in all walks of life. In an age when it is hard to find the real truth, we need to spend more time making up our opinions based on first-hand information and investigation. Never form an opinion of a person or topic based on someone else’s characterizations. We owe it to the person in question or the topic at hand to make sure we have our facts straight. We are accountable to God. All liars and deceivers are going to have their part in the lake of fire. Be not partakers with them.
We all hate being misrepresented. I have to ask, would you want someone to make an opinion of you based on other people’s opinions or would you want them to base their opinion on first-hand information and experience? Would you want them to form their opinions based on truncated versions of your statements or writings or would you want them to examine everything in its proper context? Well, then it is only right that you would do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Consider this simple illustration on the importance of contest and how deception can be propagated.
1. Judah went and hanged himself.
2. Go and do thou likewise.
3. Whatsoever you do — do quickly.
I can see the eye rolls and hear the laughter already. But this type of deception is happening every day in the mainstream media and few even see it. All three of these statements are truncated and wildly out of context. The same is true for much that is reported on news stations and printed in newspapers (regardless of how trusted they are). The pretty and handsome faces are designed to lure your confidence. If an old prophet can be found a liar– how much more the agents of the enemy who pretend to accurately report facts?
Never base your opinions on other people’s opinions. This is especially true if we are speaking of the diabolically controlled secular media. Surely you understand that the enemy is controlling the dissemination of information– or do you think these are Spirit-filled believers? Satan is a liar and the father of it. We need to remind ourselves of that nearly all day and every day if we intend to navigate this world of lies and liars. Do your own research from the original sources as much as possible. Pray that God will give you discernment. Don’t base your opinions on information that comes from the enemies propaganda ministry.