Those Who Say and Do
By George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
In our effort to walk as God would have us walk, we discover many stumbling blocks and pitfalls to hinder our walk. Many of these stumbling blocks and pitfalls are of our own making. We encounter these stumbling blocks and pitfalls because we do not heed God's warning He has given us in His Word.
In God's Word we are given two examples: Jesus and Israel. Peter gives us insight into our first example:
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:" I Peter 2:21
If we are going to make it through this life, and accomplish what God has given us to do, then we must walk as Jesus walked. Without a pattern to shape our lives by, we continue to walk as the world walks, falling into our self-made pits, and stumbling over the stumbling blocks we have failed to deal with.
Paul also gives us insight into our second example in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Now all these things happened unto them (Israel) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." I Corinthians 10:11
God recorded Israel's mistakes and His judgments for our admonition to warn and exhort us to change so we will not make the same mistakes. God admonished Israel through the pen of Moses:
"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." Deuteronomy 7: 6
God gave His ancient people every advantage and opportunity to be His chosen people. Even though Israel knew this, they chose to go their own way and do their own thing. Israel's desire was to have their own king. They rejected God and chose to follow the false religions of the heathen nations. When Israel fell into unbelief they became rebellious, and because of this God's judgment fell upon them. God revealed through the pen of Isaiah:
"But they rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them." Isaiah 63:10
God became an enemy to His chosen people, and fought against them until they were scattered across the face of the earth. Ancient Israel has mingled with every nation on earth until they are no longer recognizable from any other people on earth. They have their religious sects which still proclaim to be God's chosen, but there is no power in their midst, only religious ceremony. Speaking of Israel, the Holy Spirit revealed to Paul:
"Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:" Romans 11:20
Unbelief entered into Israel. Because of this they were broken off (rejected). Paul proclaimed:
"For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead." Romans 11:15
Ancient Israel can be grafted back into the root again through the blood of Jesus. Paul referred to this as "life from the dead". God's ancient people are apostate, and have no covering for their sin. There is only forgiveness for their sin through the blood of Jesus.
Today the church has come to the same place as Israel. Unbelief, apostasy, and every worldly sin have been allowed to enter into their midst. The church has turned a deaf ear to every warning. Like ancient Israel who desired their own king, the church has turned to religion instead of the true worship of God.
When Jesus began His ministry His only opposition came from the religious system; basically the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Jesus spoke the same message to them He is sending to the churches today:
"Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Mark 7: 7
Most churches' commandments and doctrines are contained in their statement of faith which are handed down from their organized denominations. Their precepts and doctrines are carved in stone and cannot be changed. There is no movement of God allowed, only the maintaining of the status quo. Their whole emphasis is on their unchanged attendance record, instead of changed hearts. Jesus continued:
"For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do." Mark 7:8
Jesus was speaking of the religious system maintaining their ritual worship services, and not following the commandments of God. Jesus concluded with:
"And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9
What an indictment against the organized religious system in the earth today! The prophet Jeremiah gave a word of warning to those in the organized religious system:
"For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13
The water Jeremiah is speaking of is the Word of God. The religious systems have their cisterns that they have hewn out for themselves. These cisterns only contain the Word they will accept. A cistern holds water that has run off the earth. Cistern water is never pure. It is contaminated with the things of the earth (the flesh). Cistern water becomes stagnant very quickly because there is no aeration to keep the water fresh. Spiritually, the church has rejected the fountain of living water to drink the stale, stagnant cistern water contaminated by the flesh. Jesus spoke to His disciples and the multitudes that followed Him:
"Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:2-3
Jesus informed His disciples and the multitudes that the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. The scribes were expert in the law. The Pharisees were known as "Separatists". The Pharisees were most ardent in keeping the law. The only problem was they interpreted and changed the law to suit their purpose.
Jesus informed His disciples and the multitude whatever the scribes and Pharisees told them to observe, they were to observe and do. The word observe means "to keep, reserve, to attend to carefully, to take care of, and to guard". Jesus informed His disciples and the multitudes to observe and do what the scribes showed them in God's Word, but they were not to do after their works. Why? Because they say, and do not.
The same is true today, many know what to say, but their talk does not match their walk. Many declare their righteousness, but their lives do not show righteousness. Others speak of their great faith, but their life does not reveal faith. Some speak of serving God with their whole life, but in reality, everything in their life, comes before God. These are only examples of those who say, and do not. Today we see much verbal faith, verbal righteousness, and verbal Christianity. These are truly the ones Jesus referred to when He said, "Do not after their works, because they say and do not."
One of the lessons we learn from the Word is that God judges us by the thoughts and intents of our heart. Jesus gave us an example of man changing His heart, but not his words:
"But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard." Matthew 21:28
The vineyard is the body of Christ. Many have been called in this last hour of time to labor in God's vineyard.
"He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went." Matthew 21:29
The son refused the father's words, but he repented. If the father had judged the words of his son's mouth, he would have judged him a rebellious son, and would have pronounced judgment accordingly. Repentance changes the Father's heart. The son was forgiven because of his repentance and obedience. Jesus spoke of the second son:
"And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not." Matthew 21:30
The second son was the one who said, and did not. If the father had judged the words of his mouth, he would have been counted a faithful son. Instead he proved himself to be a lying, disobedient son. In speaking to the chief priest and to the elders of the Pharisees, Jesus declared:
"Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you." Matthew 21:31
They confessed with their mouths that it was the repentant son who did the will of the father. Jesus informed the religious system that the publicans (tax collectors) and harlots would go into the Kingdom of God before them. Why? Because Jesus knew the religious system were the ones that say and do not. They agree with their mouths, but are unwilling to change their actions.
Those in the religious system believe because they are faithful to their religious order, they are acceptable in the sight of God. Jesus dealt more harshly with the religious order than any other facet of the society of His day. Why was this? Because they were supposed to be representing Him. He knew the worldly people would do after their worldly ways. He knew the government would do what the government always does in enslaving the people. He knew the army would follow the dictates of the government. In the same manner, He expected those who represented Him to do as He said.
The same is true today. Those who are called by His name, and claim to live their life by God's Word, fear the government more than they fear God. The ways of the world are more alluring than the worship and praise of their God. As Jesus proclaimed to these who follow their precepts and doctrines of men:
". . .The publicans and harlots will enter into the Kingdom before you". Matthew 21:31
These are those who say and do not. Jesus gave another example of those who say and do not:
"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20-21
The problem with most of God's people is they believe the Kingdom of God is in some far off place called "heaven", and there are only two ways to get there: by dying and passing from this life, or, by some phony rapture. If those who believe this would commit themselves to God's Word, they would understand the Kingdom of God comes without observation because the Holy Spirit has become resident in their life.
Today we hear many saying we need to run to this city, or go to that country, that is where God is moving. If God is not moving in your life before you go, He will not be moving in your life when you return. You may receive a Spiritual high, but it will soon wear off. Or you may receive some new so-called Spiritual doctrine. This, too, will fade in time.
If the Spirit of God is not given free access in your life, and you are not committed to the Word of God, then the Kingdom has become a strange land to you, and you have joined those who say and do not. Jesus spoke this parable to the Pharisees:
"He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come." Luke 19:12-13
This certain nobleman is Jesus. Jesus went into a far country. Jesus, the nobleman, gave His ten servants each a pound, and told them to occupy till He returned. The word occupy does not simply mean to take up space. It means "to be active in whatever the Master has given you to do". To use the word properly it means "to fill our time keeping the commandments the Father has given us to keep". What are we to do while we are occupying? Jesus revealed this while addressing His disciples:
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsover I command you." John 15:14
Jesus' friends are those who are in the process of occupying till He returns. Jesus gave His servants money and told them He would return. He has His faithful servants, and His unfaithful servants. To His faithful servants, He declares:
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what His Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15
Jesus promises His friends He will make known all things He hears from His Father. The Father has those today who are hearing His voice and doing as He commands them to do. These are His faithful servants who are occupying until He comes.
Many today fall into the category of His unfaithful servants who refuse to occupy until He comes. These simply continue to go their own way and do their own thing, hoping God will accept them as they are. They are unwilling to spend time in His Word or in their prayer closet seeking God's will in their life. Luke recorded Jesus' words concerning these unfaithful servants:
"But His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us." Luke 19:14
Jesus' citizens are those who call themselves by His name and the name of His Holy City. The unfaithful servants hated Him. They may not have expressed their hatred by the words of their mouths, but their actions declared, "We will not have this man to reign over us."
"And it came to pass, that when He was returned, having received the Kingdom, then He commanded these servants to be called unto Him, to whom He had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading." Luke 19:15
There is a day of reckoning for all God has called into His Kingdom. Each servant was given a pound. The first faithful servant gave account of the investment God had intrusted him with:
"Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And He said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." Luke 19:16-17
Because of the servant's faithfulness, he became part of God's ruling and reigning saints, and was given charge over ten cities. The second faithful servant had gained five pounds and was given reign over five cities.
Then, the unfaithful servant, brought one pound. He was one of those who declared, "I will not have this man rule over me". He was one who went his own way, did his own thing, and never invested that which the Lord had given Him in the Kingdom:
". . . Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow." Luke 19:20-21
The unfaithful servants are those today who have done nothing with the gift God has given them. They spend little or no time in His Word. They fail to do His commandments. They do not take time to be quiet and know His voice. These rely on the false hopes of their religious systems. The only part of God's Word they know is what they get from the pulpit or over radio or television. They are totally devoid of any move of the Spirit in their lives.
"And He said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds." Luke 19:24
Those who do not use what God has given them will lose it. God is going to give the unfaithful servant's pound to them who are doing His work. Many have been entrusted with God's wealth but have wrapped it in a napkin (the banking system), where it is of no value to anyone, and certainly of no use to the Kingdom of God. Jesus declared:
"For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him." Luke 19:26
Those who have wrapped God's money in a napkin, or have invested it in man's system will lose it, suffering much loss. Jesus declared their judgment:
"But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me." Luke 19:27
Those who refuse to hear and obey God's voice are considered His enemies. They will not only lose what God has entrusted them with, they will lose their eternal life. They will not only suffer God's wrath and judgment, their eternity will be spent in outer darkness. These are those who say and do not.
We hear many today declaring their verbal righteousness. They do this to look good in the eyes of man. We need to ask ourselves how we look in the sight of God. Will He see us displaying His righteousness, or will He only see our self-righteousness. The prophet Isaiah spoke of those who display their self-righteousness:
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6
If our righteousness is as filthy rags before our righteous Judge, then we will be as a faded leaf ready to wither and fall to be trodden under the feet of men and be burned. We discover this fall with many who have been held very high by man. They held their importance above our God. We have seen them fade and fall. Their name has become a reproach. They were held in high esteem, but as Isaiah proclaimed, because of their iniquities, they were carried away by the wind, and no place was found for them. Jesus proclaimed:
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45
Man speaks what is in his heart (mind). If his heart is pure, then he will speak the things of God. If his thoughts are not on God, then his words are evil. His speech will be base, degrading, and degenerate. The evil in his heart (mind) will come out his mouth. Man speaks what is on his mind. Jesus asked the question:
"And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46
When our actions do not line up with what we speak, we are those who say and do not. Jesus asked, "If you are not going to do what I say, why bother calling Me, Lord, Lord?" The beloved John wrote:
"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" I John 1:6
Verbal Christians are only fooling themselves. They certainly are not fooling God. When their walk and their life does not line up with the Word of God, they are not fooling their brothers and sisters. Even the world can see through their phoniness. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you," Romans 2:23-24
The name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles by the church at Rome. The word Gentile means "aliens of God", or "those who are foreign to Him and His ways." We would call them the unsaved. The same is true today. God is being blasphemed among the heathen (the unsaved) by the ways and actions of those who call themselves by His name. The Psalmist Asaph declared those who say and do not:
"Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth, and they lied unto Him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they stedfast in His Covenant." Psalm 78:36-37
Those who blaspheme God among the Gentiles flatter God with their mouths, and they lie unto Him with their tongues because they say and do not. They make many promises to God they never keep.
Another aspect of their lying is when they declare God spoke this or that, or told them to do thus, and so. These declare themselves to be prophets. As we watch, we do not see that which God was supposed to have spoken come to pass, nor do we see them doing what God told them to do. How do we recognize God's true prophets from the false ones? In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul declared:
"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge." I Corinthians 14:29
If what a prophet says in the name of the Lord does not come to pass, or if they are not doing what they have proclaimed, God tells us what to do. We are to judge their words, and our judgment must be by the Word of God. If a prophet's words and actions are not true and they did not come to pass, then they did not come from God. The only conclusion we can draw is they are liars and disobedient to God's Word. As the Psalmist declared, "Their heart is not right with Him, neither were they stedfast in His covenant". We may ask, "Why does God allow such things to go on? The Psalmist gave us the answer:
"But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath." Psalm 78:38
Our God is a God of compassion and longsuffering.
"For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again". Psalm 78:39
God recognizes the weakness in the flesh. This is why it is so important to overcome the flesh. It is time to suppress the flesh and give pre-eminence to the Spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to bring forth our new man so we may be victorious. When Paul was among the Athenian idols on Mars Hill, he declared:
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead." Acts 17: 30-31
As long as we are in ignorance of God's will and His way, God winked at our immaturity. Paul spoke of an appointed day when God is going to judge the world in righteousness. This is the day when God no longer winks at our ignorance. We have no cloak for our sin. God will judge those who say and do not obey His Word. Those who do not line up with His Word will be accounted enemies of the Lord, unless they repent.
Many wonder why they cannot claim the promises of God, why they are sick, and why they are living beneath the standard God has called His people to live. The Psalmist Asaph declared:
"Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel". Psalm 78:41
Those who say and do not have turned their backs on God, and tempted Him. In doing so they have limited God. He no longer has any influence in their lives. They continue in their sin declaring how righteous they are, how humble, and how holy. Their turning back has caused them to doubt and fear. Because of this their lives have become a blasphemy to God among the heathen (the unsaved). These who say and do not need to know there is a day of judgment. There are many today who doubt God's judgment. The apostle Peter not only declared the day of judgment, he warned:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." II Peter 3:3-4
The apostle Peter also declared the Day of Judgment upon those who say and do not. Peter quoted these as saying:
". . . all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. II Peter 3:4
Peter reminded these scoffers of God's judgment in the days of Noah:
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." II Peter 3:5-7
Those who say and do not are willingly ignorant. They are not ignorant of the flood, but they are willingly ignorant of God's judgment of fire coming upon the earth. His judgment will judge all unrighteousness, not only in the world, but also all the unrighteousness in His people. Peter disclosed:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17
The time has come when God's judgment has begun upon the house of God. Those who remain willingly ignorant and do not obey His gospel are those who say and do not. These truly will suffer the full fury of God's wrath upon His house.
As Peter proclaimed, ". . . the heavens and the earth are being kept in store by the same word reserved unto fire." The phrase kept in store means "to gather together and to heap up". God's judgment is righteous. All God's judgments are in His Word and by His Word. When we violate God's Word, we are heaping up judgment in our life. When we say and do not, God is gathering together and heaping up all our offences by His Word. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. God no longer winks at our sin and our idolatrous worship of the things of the world.
If what we are saying and doing is not Godly, then we are considered to be among ungodly men, and we will suffer God's judgment and perdition. The word perdition means "utter destruction." Those who cry, "Lord! Lord!" and do not the things He says will be among those whom God deems ungodly. Neither church affiliation, attendance records, nor giving will assure entrance into God's Kingdom. Those who say and do not have become God's enemies and will be dealt with accordingly.
Today the church is made up of two factions: those who recognize the Holy Spirit, and those who do not. Many recognize the Holy Spirit simply as the third part of the Godhead. These believe He has no power, and give Him no pre-eminence. These refuse to allow Him to have any control in their lives. They continue to fulfill their religious obligation to their religious order. They also refuse to hear God's direction in their lives. Many who do recognize the Holy Spirit baptism as the power in their lives are even more guilty of saying, and doing not. They know all the proper things to say, but their lives remain the same. They, too, espouse their religious doctrine, but they will not allow change in their lives. Job speaks of those who say and do not:
"They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways." Job 21:11-14
Those who say and do not teach their children to dance before the Lord. They take timbrel (tambourine), harp (stringed instruments), and organ; and shout and praise before the Lord. Certainly this is good when we can have freedom to dance and rejoice before our God. But all too often this becomes show, and no more than the release of emotion. Emotion has nothing to do with our worship of God in the Spirit. Jesus is our example. There is nothing recorded of any emotional outburst in His life. The prophet Isaiah foretold the life of Jesus:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not." Isaiah 53: 3
Many say they are worshiping Jesus as their Saviour and following in His footsteps. Yet when the Holy Spirit desires to make changes in their life, they remind Him, "You accepted me as I am." These are those who say and do not. Job continued:
"These spend their days in wealth...". Job 21:13
The prosperity message is very prevalent in many churches, "Name it and claim it" and "Get God and Get Rich" are their main thrust. Job declared, ". . . in a moment they go down to the grave". When a church falls into these damnable heresies, they die Spiritually, and God leaves their midst. It is then they must operate on hype, working up the emotions, and calling it Spirit. The pastor becomes more of a cheerleader than a proclaimer of God's Word. They tell stories of the past great men of God in their midst, and their exploits, real or imagined. As Job declared, "These say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Your ways". The Apostle Paul spoke of these as:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." II Timothy 3:5
Paul admonishes us to turn away from those who have a form of godliness but deny the power (the Holy Spirit). Do not associate with them because it is very easy to work up the emotions and call it God. God is looking for changed hearts, not how loud we can shout His praises. There is certainly nothing wrong with our worship and praise, but it must be from the heart, and it must be pure praise before our God. We must worship our God with a changed heart. When Jesus addressed the woman at the well, He informed her:
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." John 4:23
We must worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. No other worship is acceptable before Him. Our Father is seeking those who will worship Him this way, not with emotion or hype. When this kind of worship is worked up, our expression before God has become as a sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.
God is trying to wake His virgins out of their Adam sleep. He is shaking them, and sending His true prophets to speak life unto His people. Some are hearing, but as the prophet Joel proclaimed:
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14
The multitude of God's people are still in the valley of decision, not knowing if they want to walk with God or run with the world. Ezekiel spoke of those who are in the valley of decision:
"Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." Ezekiel 33:30-31
When God raises up a ministry to proclaim His truth, many of His people speak against that ministry. Why? Because God's true ministries in this hour are proclaiming things that go against what the denominational orders have taught. God's message today is one of repentance and change. Yet today when many of God's people desire to hear the revelation of God, they are as Ezekiel revealed, "They hear God's words, but they will not do them. They seek God's direction, but they will not walk His way." Ezekiel reminded them, ". . . with their mouth they speak much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness". They desire everything they see instead of being as Paul proclaimed:
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11
Paul disclosed, "No matter what state he was in, he was content". The word state means "circumstance." The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write whatever circumstance or condition he was in, he was content. The writer of Hebrews put it another way:
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
If we truly believe God will never leave us, nor forsake us, then we know He is in our every circumstance and situation. Our life must be without covetousness. When we covet we become discontent, and our life before God becomes one of complaining and murmuring. We blame God for our circumstances instead of praising Him for them. Paul proclaimed, no matter his circumstance, he was content in God. Because of this state of mind, Paul could write to Timothy:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6
Contentment is part of our godliness. How can our life be a witness if we are constantly complaining about our circumstances? The prophet Ezekiel informed us:
"And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them." Ezekiel 33:32-33
God's people hear the words His prophets are speaking to them, but they will not do them. Ezekiel continues, "When this cometh to pass . . . ". What will come to pass? God's judgment will come to pass on those who say and do not.
Ezekiel promised, "Lo, it will come . . . ". When God's judgment comes to pass His people will know there has been a prophet among them. Unfortunately it will be too late. Those who do not repent and change while it is yet day will be in the center of God's judgment.
God's Word is full of His promised blessings. It is also full of His warnings to those who do not obey His gospel. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed those who confess Him with their mouths, but deny Him by their actions.
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men:" Isaiah 29:13
Today the church system is full of those who honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They have been taught the fear of the Lord by the precepts and doctrines of men. Each denomination teaches their people what they believe God is, and what He represents in their order. They have developed their precepts and doctrines of their religious orders instead of worshiping God by His Word. Jesus quoted this passage from Isaiah when He was addressing the Scribes and Pharisees:
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:7-9
Those who are trying to worship God by man's precepts and doctrines are worshiping God in vain. The word vain means "fruitlessly". Their worship of God can never produce the fruit of the Spirit in their life. As Paul wrote to Timothy, they only have a form of godliness. They deny the Holy Spirit access in their life. These only say, but do not. Paul also disclosed to Titus:
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16
Those who confess with their mouth they know God, but their walk does not line up with their talk, are abominable (detestable), and disobedient. Because they say and do not, every good work they do is considered reprobate. The word reprobate means "rejected, not standing the test, not approved, unfit, and castaway". Many today fall into this category. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul warned:
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." I Corinthians 10:12
Many believe they are going to receive a reward for what they are doing, and they will. But it may not be the reward they expect or desire. Those who think they are standing need to take heed. This means they should listen and seek what the Spirit is saying unto the churches. Many who believe they are standing will fall, drawn away by the lust of their flesh, desiring the things of this life and the world. The apostle James admonishes us:
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17
God has shown in His Word what is right. When we read His Word and do not do as it says, this becomes sin in our life. The word sin is the Greek word HAMATRIA and means "to miss the mark". In his letter to the Philippians, Paul disclosed:
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
Those who are not pressing toward the mark of God's high calling in their life cannot expect to hit the mark He has set for them. Their lack of effort to be the best they can be in God becomes sin. God must judge sin, or He would not be a righteous God. The writer of Hebrews warns:
"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:38
The just, or justified, shall live by faith. Here, again, many confess their verbal faith, but when the test of their faith comes, it is non-existence. When trials and testings come we hear doubt, fear, anger, and unbelief coming out of their mouths.
We need to ask, "Where is their faith?" The word faith means "the conviction of truth". When we are convinced something is true, we stand on that truth. No matter what anyone does, says, or thinks, we stand on the truth. If our convictions are in man's religious doctrines, we have nothing to hold on to because we are holding on to what man says is true, instead of what we have proven to be true.
Today many are seeking for deeper truths. It is never too late to turn with your whole heart to God's Word. We are admonished in the book of Hebrews:
"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13
Many voices in the earth today are warning and exhorting the body of Christ to begin to move into God. Many are heeding this call, but many are hardening their hearts, and missing the mark of the high calling God has in their life. Once the error of our way has been pointed out, we need to allow God to correct us. If we follow those who say and do not, then God's judgment is sure. What we hear coming from the pulpit today is:
"Don't do as I do. Do as I say"
These are those who say and do not. From such turn away. Our God is exhorting each of us today to seek Him through His Word. If we do this, and do not turn to the right hand or the left, then we can be those who say, and be those who do God's Word.
Other Related Books by George Kirkpatrick:
Those That Obey not the Gospel
Harden Not Your Heart
For Further Discussion
Precepts and Doctrines of Men
Those Who Refuse Change
The Prosperity Message
Missing the Mark
The Valley of Decision
Overcoming the Flesh
Occupy Till I Come
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give