There are three kinds of lies: lies, statistics, and lies straight from the pit of hell. (Apologies to Mark Twain.)
The original quotation, often attributed to Mark Twain, is this: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” In that context, probably the “lies from the pit of hell” would literally be damned lies, since they come, well, from hell.
This picturesque expression, a lie from the pit of hell, mostly sees usage among Christians who have a heightened sense of the devil’s active work here on earth. We’re talking about Christians who throw in with the charismatic movement and who practice spiritual warfare. You see, when you are alert to the ongoing wiles of the devil in your day-to-day life, then it’s no surprise that sometimes you will encounter one of the devil’s most powerful weapons—the lie—and identify it as coming directly from him.
“Lies from the pit of hell,” according to the way people use the term, tend to fall into two categories: (1) lies about God; (2) lies about one’s self. In the category of lies about God, these tend mostly to be lies about whether God will or won’t miraculously heal people today. As you will read in the definition below, one of the most prevalent “lies from the pit of hell” is that God uses sickness or injury as part of his divine plans. Proponents of divine healing and the health-and-wealth gospel say that it’s ridiculous that God would actually want a Christian to be sick or injured; except instead of saying that such a thing is “ridiculous” they say that it’s a “lie from the pit of hell” itself. You say tomato, I say tomato…
In the second category of lies, which are are lies about one’s self, we have lies about a person’s inherent self worth. So if a person keeps on telling himself or herself that they’re no good and unlovable and beyond God’s forgiveness, then a Christian might emphatically tell them that such-and-such thoughts are flat-out “lies from the pit of hell!” Such demeaning and debasing accusations are not just lies—they’re lies of an especially diabolical sort, because they attack and torment a person from the inside out.
Moving on… As intense as the metaphor lies from the pit of hell is all on its own, there is a variant form that adds just a tad bit more emphasis: lies straight from the pit of hell. These lies not only originated from hell, but they flew to earth without making any pitstops along the way! They came straight here!
What other strong expressions for an “untruth” do you know? Have you ever countered something that someone said by labeling it as a “lie from the pit of hell” or a “lie straight from the pit of hell”?
lie from the pit of hell n. Also emphatic form lie straight from the pit of hell (see citations for 1978, 1983, 1987, 1997). [“pit of hell” is a metonym for Satan; hence, a lie that Satan particularly wants people to believe] A statement or idea that is alleged to be absolutely contrary to reality or to Biblical teaching.
The term is sometimes used by proponents of the *health-and-wealth gospel in their defense of miraculous healing (see citations for 1983, 1987, 1988, 2005).
The term is also applied to lies about a person’s inherent worth in the eyes of God (see citations for 1991, 2004, 2007, 2009).
• 1973 Johnson Tips for Teens 33 : The current philosophy that everyone should get what he wants, regardless of right or wrong, is the devil’s own lie from the pit of hell. 1978 Tomczak Straightforward 90 : Brothers and sisters, this is a bold-faced lie straight from the pit of hell! 1983 Whitaker Nature’s Kitchen 24 : Did Jesus will for us to have sickness, disease, weakness? Absolutely not! That presumption is a lie straight from the pit of hell. 1987 Copeland You Are Healed 12 : Many people think God wants them to stay sick, so He can get glory out of their travail; but that kind of thinking is a lie straight from the pit of hell! 1988 Nieman Living Smart 231 : There are people today who believe the lie from the pit of hell that it is not God’s will to heal the sick, and a lot of people have had to deny that lie. 1991 Otto The Stay at Home Mom 123 : We were sitting at the kitchen table during dinner one night when she [=my daughter] said, “I feel fat, dumb, and ugly.” Suddenly, before I even realized what I was saying, I waved my finger at her and said in a very severe tone, “That’s a lie from the pit of hell. Replace it with the truth.” David gasped and Anissa’s big, brown eyes widened in shock. 1997 Dollar The Color of Love 24 : They thought that when they lived by faith, they wouldn’t have any trouble; but that’s a lie straight from the pit of hell. 2004 Folger What’s a Girl to Do? 27 : When Satan pushes his tried-and-true button that says “God has forgotten about you. He doesn’t care and won’t answer your prayers,” you will recognize it as a lie from the pit of hell. 2005 Howard-Browne Seeing Jesus As He Really Is 50 : What kind of a god is sitting in heaven trying to teach mankind a lesson, trying to bring them closer to him by afflicting mankind with sickness and disease? That’s a lie from the pit of hell! 2007 Sykes Cry: A Voice in the Wilderness 17 : The enemy serves to confuse and lie to the people and tell them they are not worthy and that God does not love them. This is a lie from the pit of hell! 2009 Patterson Healing for the Holes in Our Soul 45 : “What would there be to love about you if you were not a Christian?” she asked. Without hesitation, I replied, “Absolutely nothing!” Her next statement gripped my soul. “Sharon, that is a lie from the pit of hell!”