322. In the spiritual sense, "bearing false witness" means to persuade that falsity of belief is true belief and evil of life is good of life, and the reverse, doing this from purpose, not from ignorance; that is, doing this after one has learned what is true and good, not before; for the Lord says:
If ye were blind, ye would have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth (John 9:41).
In the Word this kind of falsehood is called a "lie" and the intent is called "deceit," as in the following passages:
We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we have made vision, for we have made a lie our trust, and in falsehood have we hid ourselves (Isa. 28:15).
This is a rebellious people, lying sons, they will not hear the law of Jehovah (Isa. 30:9).
From the prophet even unto the priest everyone worketh a lie (Jer. 8:10).
The inhabitants speak a lie, their tongue is deceitful in their mouth (Micah 6:12).
Thou wilt destroy them that speak a lie; Jehovah abhorreth the man of deceit (Ps. 5:6).
They have taught their tongue to speak a lie; their habitation is in the midst of deceit (Jer. 9:5, 6).
Because a "lie" means what is false, the Lord says:
That when the devil speaketh a lie, he speaketh from his own (John 8:44).
("A lie" signifies what is false, and false speaking, in the following places also: Jer. 23:14, 32; Ezek. 13:6-9; 21:29; Hos. 7:1; 12:1; Nahum 3:1; Ps. 120:2, 3).