by George Kirkpatrick
Under Moses' law, God established a strict, moral code for His people to live by. Although we call it Moses' law, it was a covenant or testament made by God with His ancient people. This law did not precede the time of Moses as some would have us believe. It also was given for a duration of time. It had a beginning and it had an ending. Moses declared the time of its beginning.
"The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." Deuteronomy 5:3
The law of Moses was given and written down when Israel was in the wilderness. This law was in effect until the Day of Pentecost.
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
Christ was the end of the law for righteousness. Christ, the Holy Spirit anointing, brings the end of the law to those who walk in the Spirit. We, therefore, no longer live by the law of Moses "which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on Israel until the time of reformation." Hebrews 9:10.
The law had a time limit. That duration of time was until the time of reformation. The word reformation means "to make straight, to make right again." The question is, "What was out of order in man's life that had to be made right?"
The answer is His relationship with the Father. The law of Moses was carnal, with fleshly regulations that man was to operate his life by. After we come to Christ, the Holy Spirit anointing, we no longer are bound by Moses' carnal law, but we operate our lives by the Spiritual law of God.
Paul asked the question:
"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." Galatians 3:19
What was the purpose of the law? It was added until the seed should come. Who was that seed?
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Galatians 3:16
Christ, the Holy Spirit anointing, was the only seed that Abraham had. This seed came on the Day of Pentecost to bring reformation to all mankind. It was to straighten our walk so that we could come boldly unto the Father.
Under the law God commanded His people:
"If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth." Numbers 30:2
The word vow means "promise or commitment." A promise or commitment means "to keep your word." Not many years ago a man was known by his word; and his word was his bond. But somewhere along the way, lying has become acceptable. From the generations of the 1960's, children have learned to say what the parents and others want to hear. Truth no longer seems the guiding influence in our lives.
God has not changed His mind about lying. We, as God's representatives in the earth, need to have our loins girded about with truth. Our word is our bond, and we are only as good as that bond. In the world, when we are employed by a company, we are that company's representative in what we do. When a person, working for a company, gets into trouble or commits a crime, the company gets a black eye because their representative did not benefit that company by his actions. We do not want to give God a black eye for our actions.
There are many reports today of those who call themselves ministers of God but they misappropriate and misuse what is given to their ministries. Many cases of child molesting, incest, alcoholism, drug abuse, adultery, homosexuality, and other ungodly actions have been attributed to those who minister in the name of our God.
Truly, these fulfill the scriptures in Corinthians:
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works." II Corinthians 11:13-15
These are ministers of satan who have transformed themselves into ministers of righteousness. Professing themselves to be God's representatives, they have given God a black eye. When we make a pledge or vow before God, we are to do all that proceeds out of our mouths. It is very important for us to keep our promises. In other words, we need to make our word good. It is very important for us to keep our commitments and do what we say we will do.
James speaks about our tongue:
"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." James 3:10
We recognize those who praise the Lord with their mouths, but curse, using God's name in vain, and getting angry when things don't go right. What is even worse, when they get angry with their children, they unleash this ugly, ungodly language against them. These same people will be sure that their children are in church on Sunday.
Is it any wonder the children want nothing to do with God or the things of God? What kind of a representative for God are these in their home, on the job or in their community? Are we guilty of what James said ought not to be?
It is therefore of utmost importance that, when we give our word or make a commitment, no matter what it costs, we keep it. When we speak, we are God's representatives in the earth. We need to ask ourselves, "How does Jesus look to the world through our lives?" It is so necessary that we, as the "inChristed ones", keep our word when we make a commitment.
There was a couple in the New Testament that made a commitment before God and did not keep it. This was given as an example to us:
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband." Acts 5:1-10
Let us search for understanding of why both Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, were struck dead as they stood before the apostles with a gift in their hands. This event happened soon after the Day of Pentecost, when the Early Church was still in its infancy. Ananias and Sapphira probably were converted, religious Jews.
When these early converts accepted Christ, they lost everything except that which they owned. If they had a job in the Jewish community, they lost it. If they were renting a house from a religious Jew, they had to move. If they owed money on something, it was repossessed. Even if they were married, many times their husband or wife would leave. The Jewish family would have a funeral and bury the one that had left the Jewish religion. When a religious Jew became a Christian, it cost him or her everything they had in life, even their family. Only that which they held title to, could they keep.
Some of the early Christians were men and women of substance. In Acts 4:36-37, a man by the name of Joses, whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas, a Levite of the country of Cyprus, had land; and he sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. He gave it all. This was an act of mercy to the new converts so none would suffer lack. This became the common thing to do.
We read: "For as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." Acts 4:34-35
In the early church there was no lack. All needs were met by those of like faith.
Ananias and Sapphira were possessors of lands, and they sold a piece of that land. They were not required to sell any of their land to meet the needs of these new converts. The needs of the new converts were met by willing hearts. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to appear to have willing hearts.
But they had another motive. They wanted their good works to be seen of men. Matthew wrote that our good works should be seen before men to glorify the Father, Matthew 5:16. But when we want men to see our good works to bring glory to self, it becomes an abomination to the Father. They brought their gifts and proclaimed that it was the total of what they had received for the land. They were not willing to go all the way with God. More likely, they justified what they did by saying they must take care of `ole number one first; they may have a need arise themselves, and it never hurts to have a little in the bank for a rainy day. But, once we begin to look at money as our security, it can never rain hard enough to get us to touch it. It becomes a god and we begin to love it. Paul wrote,
"The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I Timothy 6:10
Paul did not say the root of all evil was money. He said the love of money was the root of all evil.
Truly, Ananias and Sapphira pierced themselves through with many sorrows. They sold their property and brought part of the money to the apostles to help their brothers and sisters in the Lord, but it was under the guise of giving the total selling price to God. They had lied, not unto man, but unto the Holy Spirit.
Ananias, like so many today justified his lie and deceit before God. These kind of people think that doing good will hide their wicked motives from God, and that God will overlook their evil because of the good.
The writer of Hebrews spoke of the Word of God:
"For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
God is a discerner of the thoughts, and knows the intents of the heart. All the good we do is not acceptable before God if our hearts are not pure. Many times the Word tells us to give to the poor. Our motives should be pure. Jesus said:
"Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." Matthew 6:2
If those who give alms to take care of the poor have the wrong motive, the only reward they will receive is the praise of men. There will be no treasures laid up in heaven for those who give to be seen of men. We must not only give, but our motive must be proper for it to be received of the Father. As God's representatives, we must turn all glory to the Father, and desire to receive none ourselves.
When Ananias and Sapphira brought their offering unto the apostles they had conspired together to rob God. Peter asked them why they had tempted the Spirit of the Lord. With their mouths, Ananias and Sapphira had committed all to the Lord if He allowed them to sell the land. But as many today, when God answers our prayers, we fail to keep our commitments to God or man. We have all heard these commitments man makes to God; the promise, "If you will only get me that job, I will increase my giving" or "If I only could get a raise, then I could support this or that ministry." And yet, when they get the job or the raise comes unexpectedly and undeserved, all too soon the promises made to God are forgotten and the extra that comes into the household is consumed upon their own lust. They live more like the world than ever before.
I have heard many ill-informed, misdirected Christians state, "If I could only win the lottery, I could do so much good with the money." If you have wasted that which God has given gambling on the lottery, why should He give you any more? In Jesus' Words:
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10
Many take their commitments to God so lightly; as if God does not hear and the world does not see. But God does hear and those that do their alms in secret, the Father which sees in secret will reward them openly, Matthew 6:4. Unlike many teachings today, God's blessings and rewards do not always have a dollar sign in front of them, the same as our giving does not always have a dollar sign in front of it.
Too many of God's representatives today, like Ananias and Sapphira, give to be seen of men and to be praised by the lips of clay. As Peter said to them, "Why have you allowed satan to fill your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, Acts 5:3.
Many who call themselves Christians are serving the spirit of darkness while they pretend to be walking in the light. They want their light to been seen of men. But God looks upon their darkened hearts. He declares:
"Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." Luke 12:3
That which Ananias and Sapphira spoke in the closet was declared upon the housetop. Their sin is still discussed. God had it recorded so we may consider their actions, and know what is acceptable in the sight of God - - - so that, as His representatives, our works will then be acceptable in His sight. We are representing Him, not the church we attend, not the company we work for, not even the community we live in. But we are His representatives in the earth. Many are more interested in their standing in the community or work place, than they are for their standing with God.
Many continue in sin because they know they have forgiveness of their sin. All they need to do is repent and be restored. But in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, they found no place for repentance because their sin was conspired against the Holy Spirit. Their sin brought instant judgment; and that judgment was death.
The common thinking today is, "God does not judge sin that severely." But can one be sure of that statement? If an autopsy were performed on Ananias and Sapphira, their deaths would have been attributed to natural causes such as a heart attack or heart failure. Does God still judge by these means?
We read in Luke 21:26 of men's hearts failing them for fear; and for looking after those things that are coming on the earth. Are some of God's representatives still dropping dead because of their evil works, when it would appear they are doing good in the sight of men? Only God, and God alone, can give us this answer. But it should make us think. When we are representing God in this earth, we should consider our motives - - - the thoughts and intents of our heart.
Some may say this kind of thinking could cause fear to come upon people. This may be the whole purpose of God's recording this event in His wonderful Word. That was exactly the effect that it had on the early church.
"And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things." Acts 5:11
One of the main problems in the church today is that God's representatives have no fear of Him. They have no respect for His judgments, His righteousness,is pureness, or His holiness. They act as if He is only there to do their bidding. "Here are my plans, O.K. them. Here is my hoop, jump through it. I need this, go get it." Instead of treating Him as King, they treat Him as errand boy, believing that, if He has any power at all, it is only to do their bidding.
As God's representatives, we need to stand in reverential awe of our God. As children, we were told that if we lied, God would judge us; and our parents truly believed that. We never hear this simple truth any more because we do not want to bring fear upon the child. So we scratch our heads and wonder why we cannot depend on a word our teenagers say. We wonder why we can not trust them.
The NOW generation has no fear of lying. It has become an acceptable error in their lives. Those who desire to be truthful are laughed to scorn as some kind of moral freak with an antiquated sense of right and wrong, socially unacceptable in this enlightened age. Lies wound the soul and produce uncleanness in our spirit. God's opinion of lies and liars has not changed. When we come to the end of the book, we read that all the abominable murders, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death, Revelation 21:8.
Liars do not have their names listed in a very elite group. They are among malefactors (criminals). And I fail to find any difference between the saved liars and the unsaved liars. They all seem to appear in the same list. Nor do I find "little white lie" liars or convenient liars being excluded. They all seem to be lumped together.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he also had a list of those who needed to be aware of God's judgment.
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." I Timothy 1:9-10
Where do liars and perjured persons fit? What kind of a list are they included in? They are in the same list with the disobedient and the ungodly, the profane and the murders, the whoremongers and the homosexuals, and the enslavers. That is not a very good list for someone who claims to be God's representatives.
A perjured person is one who makes an oath of agreement and then goes back on it. This covers many areas in our lives; and has to do with the commitments we make - - - not only to God - - - but also to man. Man makes commitments very easily and, just as easily, ignores them.
An example of this is marriage. Two people stand before a preacher, judge, or justice of the peace, to promise to love, honor, and obey until death they do part. When the first test of that commitment comes, they decide to go their separate ways, stating they simply made a mistake.
All too often the innocent are the victims of a society where commitment has lost its meaning. Those who sit in the churches are no different. The percentage of divorces by those who claim to be God's representatives is the same as those who claim no relationship with the Father whatsoever. So many commitments are just a bunch of empty words which have no value.
In no way do we want to scorn those who have stood through thick and thin to keep their commitments, and their word is as solid as a rock. Nor do we want to ostracize those who, in the past, have been lax in their commitments and their word has been faulty; but who have repented, turned around, and are now leading a righteous life in God. But our desire is to encourage all to begin today to become the kind of representatives of God expects His people to be.
The lowest form of lying is deceit. The word deceit means "making a person believe as true something that is false, a dishonest trick." When we speak deceit, we are speaking words that purposely deceive. When we deceive, God judges it as lying. We are warned in Ephesians about being children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftsmen, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, Ephesians 4:14.
Paul is writing of men who preach their own doctrine, using the Word of God to deceive so that they may accomplish their own ends. Their messages and lives are based on deception and lies. Deception and lies began in the garden. We are informed by Paul's letter to Timothy that Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in transgression, I Timothy 2:14.
Adam partook of the mixed fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil willingly, knowingly, with his eyes open. And yet when God asked Adam if he had eaten of the tree, his immediate reply was,
"The woman whom thou givest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat." Genesis 3:12
His first defense was to blame God; and to deceive God of the intentions of his own heart that desired to partake of the forbidden tree. How often are we guilty of disobeying God and doing what we desire, and trying to make God think that it was for His good that we did these things? Paul writes,
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7
Adam was the recipient of that which he sowed. If we sow to the wind, we shall reap the whirlwind. It is easy to say that satan is the deceiver, and try to use him as our scape goat. James wrote that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed, James 1:14. We cannot blame satan when his devices work in our lives - - - because he has no power to make us do anything - - - unless we allow him to. As Adam and Eve in the garden, when we give place to the devil, our own lust takes over, and we are deceived and entrapped. And we, as Adam, turn to God and say, "It was satan, whom you created . . ." As Adam, we try to deceive God.
As God's representatives in the earth, our actions must reflect the character, nature, and personality of God. Anything less than this is a disgrace to God. Our representation is no longer worthy. [see "God's Character, Nature, and Personality" by George Kirkpatrick]
When Samuel anointed Saul to be king over Israel, he had to dig him out of the baggage where he was hiding. Saul knew, like many of us, that he was unworthy and unable to handle the calling of God in his life. So he hid when it was time to be anointed king. Even though God did not want Israel to have a king, He did mighty exploits through Saul. And God wrought many victories by the hand of Saul.
It was not long before Saul began to take the glory for God's victories. There came a time when Israel went to battle with the Amalekites and God gave Saul direct orders as to how to fight the battle and what to do with the spoils. Even though God wrought a great victory for Israel that day, Saul fell into disobedience and tried to cover up His disobedience with lies.
The direct commandment God spoke through Samuel, the prophet stated:
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up to Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." I Samuel 15:2-3
Saul was to destroy all the men, all the women, all the children, and every animal that the Amalekites possessed. These orders were to be carried out, without question of God's intentions in this matter. But Saul spared Agog, the King, along with the best of the sheep, oxen, and fattlings, lambs and all that was good. He refused to utterly destroy them. But everything that was vile and refuse, that he destroyed, I Samuel 15:9.
God spoke to Samuel and said that He repented for making Saul, King, I Samuel 15:10. Samuel went to Saul and the first words out of Saul's mouth were "I have performed the commandments of the Lord," I Samuel 15:13. When we disobey the voice of God, we use lies to defend our actions. This was only the first of a series of lies that Saul spoke to justify his actions. Samuel's reply was, "Then what is this bleating of the sheep in my ear and the lowing of the oxen which I hear, I Samuel 15:14?
We cannot hide our disobedience from God. When Saul was confronted, he lied again, "For the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God;" I Samuel 15:15. As Saul, many today justify their disobedience by trying to convince others they are doing it for God's good.
As king, Saul was God's representative in the earth. But as many today, Saul's position was marred by greed, lust, and self. Samuel spoke to Saul,
"When thou wast little in thine own sight, God made you the anointed King over Israel." *I Samuel 15:17
Today, many who have been anointed to be God's representatives in the earth are no longer little in their own sight. They have elevated themselves in their own sight to a place where God can no longer use them. So they keep their ministries going by the means of the world. It is held together by the arm of the flesh, and their own devious ways. As Saul, they cry out,
"I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me." I Samuel 15:20
Saul had made lies his defense. Disobedience always leads to lying, and lying leads to rebellion. Rebellion comes from an unrepentant heart, and Saul had an unrepentant heart. And though the voice of God was speaking through Samuel, Saul was defending his disobedience. His disobedience lead to rebellion. Samuel related:
" . . . rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." I Samuel 15:23
Most would say, "I would never fall into witchcraft or idolatry", and yet they have a stubborn, rebellious spirit - - - and an unrepentant heart. Before God, they are no different than Saul.
"The Strength of Israel (God ) will not lie nor repent: (change His mind) for He is not a man, that He should repent." I Samuel 15:29
When Saul realized there was no way out of his situation, he made an outward show of repentance, I Samuel 15:30. Saul's heart was not repentant ,nor did he have sorrow of heart for his sin. There was no laying all night in sack cloth and ashes; as was the common practice for remorse and repentance in the days of Saul.
Saul said to Samuel, "Honor me now before the elders and before Israel." Saul was not ashamed of his sin. He did not want to lose his standing before the people. He wanted to look good in the people's eyes. He was not concerned about how he appeared before God. We know God does not look on the outward appearance, but upon the heart, I Samuel 16:7. God does not hear what we speak with our lips. He hears the intents of our hearts.
"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." *** Matthew 12:34
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but that which proceedeth out of the mouth and comes from the heart that defiles the man, Matthew 15:17-18.
God rejected Saul as King; and Samuel never came to see Saul again, I Samuel 15:35. The Bible speaks of our being made kings and priests - - - but if we, as Saul, do not have a repentant heart and an obedient Spirit - - - then we, too, will be rejected as God's representatives in the earth. We must know one thing, that all lies in our life will be dealt with. It may appear for a long season that we have gotten away with it, but lies will always confront the liar.
A good example of this is the ten brothers of Joseph. Because of jealousy, Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers. To get this troublesome youngster out of their lives and to cover up their heinous crime, they soaked Joseph's coat of many colors, which his father had given him, in animal's blood and proceeded to lie to their own father about the death of Joseph.
This lie continued for approximately 20 years. The day of reckoning came when they had to stand before Joseph in Pharaoh's palace. They knew then that they must return to Canaan to face their aged father and proclaim, "We have lied about Joseph's death." Twice they broke their father's heart; when they lied and when they admitted to the lie.
We also break our Father's heart when we lie, especially if we have a callous, unrepentant heart. Many will say they do not lie, and will stand and defend their honesty and truthfulness with an unrepentant heart. Yet many lie, and do not even consider their words to be lies.
When they tell someone they will be some place at a certain time; or make an appointment and they do not show up or keep that appointment - - - what is it that they have done? They have lied. Or when they say to someone, "I will call you later" and do not call, what have they done? When they meet a total stranger in a place they have never been before and they say, "I will see you later", when they have no intentions of ever seeing that person again, what have they done? We need to set a guard on our mouths and weigh our words if we are to become God's representatives in the earth.
The world can do these things and it is expected of them. But we cannot represent God with a lying mouth. The Bible tells us that we will be judged by every word that proceeds out of our mouth. We need to get a new concept of who we are in God and know, as Ananias and Sapphira, that when we lie, we lie to the Holy Spirit. When we lie, we are not what we proclaim to be. As Saul, when we lie, we will be rejected as king. And as Joseph's brothers, when we lie, we break the Father's heart. We need to know, as God's representatives, that everything that proceeds out of our mouths must bring glory to the Father and edify the Body.
"Let all things be done unto edifying." I Corinthians 14:26
Related Books by George Kirkpatrick:
God's Character, Nature, and Personality
to New Foundations Home Page
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
updated January 12, 2008