April 1 carries a tradition of being known as April Fools’ Day. This is a day in which many indulge and excuse themselves in lying, deceiving and playing pranks on others. However, the breaking of any of God’s commandments is never justifiable, and those who engage in deceitful practices are bearing false witness and if unrepentant will find themselves outside of the city of God. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” Revelation 22:14 and 15.
Even major companies find themselves engaging in deceitful and seemingly harmless pranks. This year Google had to disable one of its April Fools’ jokes after it had some serious repercussions for some users “Google’s April Fools’ Day prank has backfired, leaving the company looking the fool and a number of concerned users fearing for their jobs – or worse. As 1 April began in Australia, the company announced its latest stunt: ‘Gmail Mic Drop’, a special version of the send button which appends a gif of a minion (one of the sexless, ageless merchandising icons from the Despicable Me series) dressed as the queen dropping a microphone to the end of your email…Unfortunately, the way the company decided to implement the Mic Drop feature was by simply placing the button on every user’s compose window, making it easy enough to hit accidentally. Web developer Andy Baio quickly started cataloguing some of the users who had been undone by the change.”1
Just as this prank was intended to be harmless and fun, but had serious consequences on a business level, deceitfulness and lying is never practiced without damage being done to both the deceiver and the deceived. If we plan to be a part of the 144,000 and saved at last, we must be found having no guile (deceit) in our mouths. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads…And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” Revelation 14:1 and 5. See also Psalm 34:13; 1 Peter 2:1 and 1 Peter 3:10.
“As a madman who castesth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport?” Proverbs 26:18, 19. This applies to children as well as to men, and it has special application at the present day. We do not know whether or not the custom of perpetrating “April fool jokes” was in vogue in the days of Solomon; but if it was not, there were people who told lies in sport, and against all such this language is directed. What are called “April fool jokes” are nothing else but lies, and the one who indulges in them proclaims himself a fool. We have seen people professing confidence, who countenance their children in such practices, in doubtless thinking that it was “innocence sport.” If a madman should come into a crowded assembly and begin to scatter firebrands, and shoot poisonous arrows, it would not be called innocent sport; but Solomon says he is just like one who deceives his neighbor, and says, “Am not I in sport?”
The first of April is just before us, and we write this in hope that the eyes of some thoughtless ones may be open to see that a lie on the first day of April is just as sinful as one on any other day of the year; and that to tell a lie in sport is worse if possible than telling one in anger, because it indicates that the person’s moral sensibilities are so blunted that he can deliberately lie without having a thought of its sinfulness.
“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25. Let parents see that they themselves are not blameworthy in this matter, and let them beware lest their children acquire, in sport, a disregard for truth, which will be difficult to overcome.2
2. E.J. Waggoner, Ellet The Signs of the Times, March 17, 1887, page 176.