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Proverbs 21:28, A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
We will have a better understanding of what it means to be a false witness if we first concentrate our attention on the second clause of this proverb which reads:
"the man that heareth speaketh constantly."
This proverb does not pop out to the casual reader and easily give wisdom.
This is a proverb that you have to wrestle with to make her give you wisdom.
This proverb requires intermeddling, it requires doggedness.
God challenges us to work hard and to study his word in order to get a proper understanding and a proper sense.
Last week we were told that a prudent man conceals knowledge but this week we are told about a man that speaks constantly.
At first glance it appears that this clause tells us about a man that is always talking.
He is speaking constantly. But this is not what this clause is to teach us.
We must study it in context with the first phrase if we are to understand the sense of the proverb.
In this proverb we have a comparison between a true witness and a false witness.
The true witness of this proverb is a hearer.
The true witness is the hearer that appropriates in his life that which his physical ears deliver to his heart.
He must be one to open his ears and his heart in order to be fully informed of that which he is called upon to witness.
He must be fully acquainted with the facts if he is to be a true witness.
Jesus Christ the faithful and true witness said to Nicodemus: We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen;
Jesus Christ was the perfect witness because he was fully a hearer of the Father and he always did the will of the Father.
The true witness only speaks what he has fully appropriated in himself because he has opened the ears of his heart to that which he witnesses.
In Acts 4:13, Peter and John were bold in their witness even though it was perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men.
But their witness was true because they had been with Jesus.
They had heard Jesus. They were hearers of his word!
This transfers to boldness. Hearing equals boldness.
True hearing translates to doing. True hearing translates to being a true witness.
A witness for Christ is informed and empowered by the Holy Spirit
Believers are instructed that their witness is to be true and faithful, reflected both in their speech and their way of living.
Believers can only be true witnesses because they have witnessed their own salvation.
As we read in 2 Corinthians 4:13, We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
And this proverb tells us that the true witness, the one that heareth, speaks constantly.
Does this mean that the true witness is always talking?
No! That is not what is being said here.
The word constantly translated from the Hebrew as used here is the same as being fixed on a bright object at a distance traveled towards.
It means being fixed toward a goal, to the most distant point of view, it means perpetual.
Abraham had this witness as we are told in:
Hebrews 11:8-10, By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham as all the heroes of faith died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off.
They were strangers and pilgrims on the earth constantly traveling towards a bright object.
They sought a country, a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Their look was fixed on a bright object at a distance traveled towards. Their look was constant. They were true witnesses.
David was a true witness because he had the same constancy as we see in Psalm 57:7, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Paul gave the same witness when he spoke of it in: Philippians 3:14, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Abraham and the heroes of faith and David and Paul all were looking fixed on a bright object at a distance traveled towards.
They were all constant towards Jesus Christ. They were hearers speaking constantly!
So the hearer, the true witness, holds to his witness, he holds to his testimony, he does not contradict himself because he knows the truth.
He speaks the truth and does not deviate from it.
He does not wonder or question his testimony.
In others words his testimony does not perish. It continues!
He is steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as he knows that his labour is not in vain in the Lord.
He ponders the path of his feet and all his ways are established.
He commits his works unto the LORD, and his thoughts are established.
He is not carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.
He is not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.
His heart is established with grace. His mind is stayed on God and he has perfect peace because of his constantcy.
the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
This is the true witness! But the false witness shall perish.
The false witness has no bright object on which to focus his life. His eyes are never constant.
He has a lying tongue which is but for a moment.
He is a false witness because he has no assurance of that which he speaks.
He speaks things with a certainty, with a bravado, with a confidence, but his belief will not support what he speaks.
The false witness does not testify of the things which he has seen and heard because he is blind to truth.
He can only be a false witness because he has never witnessed the saving power of Jesus Christ is his life.
He is a false witness because he walks in darkness.
He does not seek a city whose builder and maker is God because he is satisfied with the cities made with hands.
He is not a pilgrim traveling toward a bright object.
He is carried about with every wind of doctrine and with divers and strange doctrines.
He is the false preacher, the false teacher, the apostate.
He is the evolutionist. He is the psychologist. He is the humanist. He is the unbelieving scientist.
His ways are not established and he has no foundation.
He is always able to move his position to that which he thinks advances himself or his belief.
This is the false witness and his destiny is to perish while the true witness speaks constantly of him upon whom he fixes his heart.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever, He is the bright object at a distance traveled towards.