Biblical Foundations of Theophostic – The Power of the LieDecember 20, 2007
Theophostic Prayer Ministry seeks to rid the individual of lies more than anything else. The process ultimately relies on God to communicate Truth to the individual, and it is that truth that conquers the lie. But TPM is built upon an assumption – that a lie is powerful enough to radically change a person’s life. Let’s take a few moments to examine from Scripture whether that assumption is valid.
Adam and Eve: In Genesis 3, we see Adam and Eve frolicking around the garden, enjoying the fruits of God’s place of paradise (the word “eden” means “delights”). The only restriction on their freedom is the command to stay away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At the beginning of chapter 3, the devil, in the form of the Serpent, speaks to Eve about this arrangement. In his dialog with her, he questions whether God is indeed telling her the truth. When she tells him that the penalty for touching the tree is death, the enemy tells a boldfaced lie: “You will not surely die” he fibs (Genesis 3:4). From this lie comes the fruit of sin and death. From this lie comes the fall of mankind and alienation from God. From this lie comes the barrier placed between us and the Tree of Life. That is one powerful lie. It transformed the people who believed it into completely different beings rapidly.
If you wanted to ruin a person’s life, it would be best to have them believe a simple lie, either about themselves or the world around them. The earlier in the person’s life you sowed that lie, the more harvest you would get from it. However, you would have to wait until the person began to make universal conclusions about their life…beginning somewhere between 4 and 6. Curiously, most of the fundamental lies identified in TPM are identified from the time period between ages 4 and 9.
So what power does a lie have? It truly can cut us off from the Truth of God. This is the testimony of Jesus on the subject in John 8:43-45:
43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
Believing a lie means that we cannot really comprehend what Jesus is trying to say (v. 43). Believing a lie means we belong to the devil, at least in that area of our thinking (v. 44). It can cause us to carry out what the enemy wants us to do in opposition to what God wants us to do (v. 44). We cannot believe God because he speaks the truth (v. 45), which sounds like a lie and the enemy speaks a lie which sounds like the truth.
Let me give an example of what this might look like. Early in a young man’s life, he experiences pain in relationship to his older brother. The pain might take the form of ridicule at being clumsy. Out of that pain, the enemy lies to him and tells him that he will never fit in, no matter how much he tries. A series of painful experiences in childhood and early teenage years reinforce this lie and actually cause the young man to begin to isolate himself from everyone. When people seek to get close to him, he uses sarcasm and violence to push them away. To dull the pain of being isolated, he gets involved in online role-playing games and gets obsessed to the point of pseudo-hallucination (it happens more and more frequently these days). When his Christian parents speak of God, he laughs at them and says that God is just a cruel hoax. In fact, he cannot believe in God because of a simple lie that gets in the way. When he hears that God wants to love him and be close to him, he thinks that God is lying. He has fallen into the trap of the Father of Lies.
The only nickname Jesus gives the devil is to refer to him as the Father of Lies. All lies have their origin in devilish beliefs. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 reveals that God will allow the enemy to foist a worldwide lie on the human race which will speed the Last days to the final battle. Yes, a lie is powerful. It is more powerful than any dream, sin or action. Lies take the place of what Truth is supposed to do in our lives. Lies that we believe are like little cancers eating up the good cells in our bodies.