“THE TIME OF SEALING”

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Come Away –

Thought for Today

Come Away

Come Away!

“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of songs 2:16

The call of God to His own is always one to new places of intimacy in relationship. Not only does He call but He speaks words of endearment to those who follow after Him. His own know Him as “Beloved” and He calls us “my fair one” There is no plurality here; He is not speaking to a congregation or a crowd. He is calling out to one who is the object of His great love.

In religious circles the call is broad; it is a generic call and the references are impersonal. Those who are His know this intense and personal relationship. There is a singular flow of His life and love unto those who are following Him. The focus of the individual’s heart is all about Him. In the seeing of Him the world becomes dim and distant and its temptations start to lose their power and attraction. It is out of this wonder of Him drawing near that we feel the power of His love rising in our hearts to respond to the call of a deeper knowing of Him. This call is characterized by words of incomprehensible beauty: “my fair one”. Who can resist such undeserved love? Who is able to fathom such redemptive love? How can we ever measure or understand its cause or the depths from which its flows?

Lost within the broad landscape of religion, and a world gone mad with the voices and the rantings of men who think they have the answers, there is the “still small voice”. It draws the heart with whispers of grace and affection; “come away my fair one… come to Me”.

Within this growing relationship the need to fortify our place in Him with the teachings and doctrines of men disappears for His love itself becomes our surety and solace. His love constrains us to willingly arise from where we are to follow on to deeper places of affection and wonder. We touch the holy atmosphere of His cords of love that embrace us setting our own hearts ablaze with their fervency. The words flowing between the “beloved” and the “my fair one” are the language of this holy union:

“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine”
Song of songs 6:3

He is hers because she is His!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

IF and THEN – Proverbs –

IF and THEN

Part One

PROVERBS 2:1-5

“…IF you will receive My words, and treasure up My commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding”
Proverbs 2:1-2

“…IF you cry for discernment, lifting up your voice for understanding”
Proverbs 2:3

“…IF you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures”
Proverbs 2:4

THEN you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find knowledge of God”
Proverbs 2:5

In understanding the fear of the Lord we are given access to the knowing of Him. We live in a day in which understanding is relegated to teachings and concepts but the true knowing of God must be on an experiential basis not a doctrinal one. There is a Way that we can grow into the understanding of the fear of the Lord; it is a way fraught with conditional promises. Religion does not like the word “if” for it denotes responsibility and accountability; the pathway to discipleship is full of this word. “If” in the scriptures confirms the exercising of our own will and choice. It is the determining factor of a person’s walk with God and God’s walk with them. The beauty of God is that all of His “ifs” to us culminate in His “then” to us, for He desires relationship and investment on both of our parts. God has invested His Son and we are asked to simply comply with His “ifs”. Every promise given by God is conditional. It requires faith and faith is revealed by doing. “If” implies more than an intellectual acknowledgement; it is in itself a conditional statement requiring our response.

“IF you…”

This is the phrase given to us. A quick glance at these two words brings us not only to a conditional response, but more importantly a personal one. Many wait for someone else to do a thing or pray that somehow the “then” will come to pass. The promises wait for those who fulfill the “if” which must precede the blessing of the promise.

God will never circumvent the fulfilling of the promise without the corresponding “if’s” being met in our lives on a personal basis. No amount of prayer will short circuit God’s desire for our obedience.

Religion is expecting God’s approval without walking in God’s way.

God Never Tells Man To Do Something
That Man Cannot Do

* Noah built the ark ---------------------God flooded the earth
* Moses stretched forth his hands---------God parted the waters
* Joshua marched around the walls---------God tore them down
* Elijah smote the water------------------God parted the waters
* Elisha threw the stick in the river-----God made the iron swim
* Naaman dipped 7 times-------------------God healed his leprosy
* We lay hands on the sick----------------God will heal

“IF and THEN” are the realities of His Way to the fulfillment of His Life in us.

* List Courtesy of
The Dusty Scholar

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded…”
2 Timothy 1:12

Our relationship with God is not based upon the quality of our faith rather our faith is the result of our relationship with Him. Faith is the evidence in the life of one who is abiding in Him. It is the effect in a life caused by our learning of Him. This persuasion to stand in the midst of great trial, the ability to endure the seeming contradictions of this life, and to remain steadfast in the Word of God, is grounded in our knowing of Him. Faith is not a blind religious belief in a teaching or concept; faith is a “substance” which is rooted in the very character of God Himself. It is the fruit of a heart which has, in a corresponding measure, come to know HIM. Faith lays hold of that which it “sees” God doing and joins itself to Him. For this reason faith can never be without works; God is always working, always moving and always invading the lives of His Own.

Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and feels the draw and the impulse to walk with the Son. A living faith is one in which the heart (because of Love) ever seeks to identify with the object of that Love. Faith is simply the expression of Peter stepping out of the boat; it does not need nor seek the opinions of others in the boat for it sees Christ. The ability to rise up and step into the stormy sea is trust. Trust is the means by which faith is exercised. It is the terra firma upon which a man walks. Men who do not know God cannot trust Him. They may hold a religious creed that says right things, they may mentally ascribe to His Word, but it is in the actual doing that true faith is revealed.

“And they that know thy name
will put their trust in thee

Psalm 9:10

Relationship with God is the purpose of the New Testament. He called the disciples that “they might be with Him”. Their time spent with Him produced men who turned the world upside down.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus
(Acts 4:13)

It is our relationship with Him that determines the cause and the effect of our lives in the world around us.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
2 Corinthians 5:11

Those who know the terror of the Lord persuade men. The cause of someone seeking to persuade men of their accountability unto God comes from “knowing”. Men who know not, do not.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord…”
Ephesians 6:8

The cause in a person’s life to do good and bless others is effected by the knowing of God. Those who know not God live unto themselves. The reality of our relationship with Him is revealed and shouted out to the world everyday by the effect produced within our lives. This evidential expression is called “Faith”.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith…”
Galatians 5:22

FAITH BEING THE FRUIT (or effect)
Of the Spirit ruling in our lives

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Entering The River Through Obedience

The following is a message delivered on January 7, 2016 at Boulder Street Church.

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GOD IS LOVE PART THREE

GOD IS LOVE

PART THREE
INDIVIDUAL LOVE

“I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me
GALATIANS 2:20

Religion tends to deal with generalities, teachings and concepts. The Truth, that living truth, must be personal for it to be powerful. It is one thing to know that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world but it is another thing altogether to know that HE died for me PERSONALLY! The power of knowing deep down within the core of one’s heart that Jesus loves and gave himself for ME is the point at which men and women are transformed; from religious adherence to a doctrine to a life of knowing HIM on an intimate spiritual level. That personal sense of belonging to HIM can only be experienced to the depth that we know this fundamental living truth. Paul saw himself as a purchased possession. In almost every Epistle he describes himself, not as a child of God, but as a δοῦλος, a bond slave, one whose will and life belongs to another.

“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s”
1 CORINTHIANS 6:20

Without that sense of being HIS, men build their own kingdoms, propagate their own ministries and agendas, and every man is left to his own ways and decisions. The Church of Jesus Christ has known much suffering and grief as a result of the chaos and carnality of men’s ambitions.

This security of being HIS produces a quiet peace in knowing that I am no longer left to my own resources or stratagems. I am no longer required to produce any works of my own (although faith without works is dead); I am now only responsible to do the will of HIM who loved me and gave HIMSELF for ME. It is to HIM and HIM alone that I must give an account. The simplicity of such a life makes HIS burden light as we learn to walk in the YOKE OF CHRIST. This frees us from the voices of men and the “laws” of religion. I have one LORD, one SHEPHERD, and one KING and it is HIS bidding that I must obey. The greater the sense of HIS OWNERSHIP the less is the grip I have on my own life. The living truth of HIS LORDSHIP must produce a life that “now lives” by faith. This can only be realized by being in relationship with HIM who so loved me that HE gave Himself over on MY BEHALF. The call to the radical life of a disciple is not based on a religious law; it is rather the response of a heart that has touched the wonder of such unmerited love. This is a love that captivates the heart of the true believer and because of HIS love yields itself to HIM. For love is the only basis for true obedience. It is the one thing that can hold a man to the cross of Christ. We read in Hebrews chapter eleven…

“By faith Moses, when he became of age,
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God
than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt;
for he looked to the reward”
HEBREWS 11:24-26

The love of God that loved ME while I was yet a sinner, lost in the darkness of this present world, bent on doing evil, unable and unwilling to change my ways, is the same love that holds me, teaches me and keeps me on a daily basis. How could we help but love Him?

Brian Troxel

RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

The relationship between the Christian and Jesus Christ is to be one of devotion and ownership. In HIM becoming ours we become HIS. This is no casual relationship; this is one of intensity and pursuit. It is one where we seek, desire and procure HIS affections. This is not a commonly understood theme in the teaching of today yet it is declared clearly in Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians…

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win* Christ”
PHILIPPIANS 3:8

Paul is not speaking of earning his salvation. He is describing his pursuit to win over completely the affections of Christ in his own heart. The Greek word translated here is used in other places in the scriptures where it speaks of the believing wife winning her husband over to the lord by her chaste behavior; or the recipients of the talents or the pounds having GAINED through their faithfulness to what was given. Paul was flat out in his desire to make himself the sole possession of the living Christ. In bringing his life to that place of pure delight in God he was making the Son the sole purpose and desire of his life. Sadly, today Jesus is often seen as an event in our lives, one that fulfills the religious criteria of a Christian, after which we may go out and live our lives. This has produced people who have spent very little effort in discovering the glory of a relationship with God that is a prize above all things. His beauty and wonder permeates the lives of those who have caught glimpses of His pure radiance. A casual attitude and apathetic approach to the Christian walk will leave its adherents in the vague world of teachings and concepts with no idea of the LIFE that is found in HIM.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

This is a statement of mutual love; a declaration of pure holy love at the most intimate spiritual level. It is one that requires change and motion as we seek to become those vessels of holy delight to Him who is in turn our only source of joy and desire. Let the awe of such a possibility of relationship with the Most High God be the fire that burns within our hearts. For that fire (which is the very flame of HIS OWN love burning within us) will not only give us the focus to pursue Him but will, at the same time, burn away the impurities of our own agendas and desires. Men and women who have found this Pearl of Great Price throughout the ages declare in perfect agreement with the scriptures…

“My beloved is white and ruddy,
Chief among ten thousand.
His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy, And black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves By the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk, And fitly set.
His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
Banks of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies, Dripping liquid myrrh.
His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl. His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold. His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
SONG OF SOLOMON 5:10-16

*NOTE: κερδαίνω kerdainō; “He (Paul) was still forfeiting all that he had held dear. What for? He tells us, “that I may win Christ.” This latter expression does not refer to Paul’s acquisition of Christ as Savior, but to Paul’s appropriating into his life as a Christian, the perfection, the graces, the fragrance of the Person of Christ. The word “win” is the translation of the same Greek word translated “gain” in verse seven. This acquisition of the perfections of Christ, he elaborates upon in verses nine to fourteen”

Translation: “Yea, indeed, therefore, at least, even, I am still setting all things down to be a loss for the sake of that which excels all others, my knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord which I have gained through experience, for whose sake I have been caused to forfeit all things, and I am still counting them dung, in order that Christ I might gain”
WUEST’S WORD STUDIES

Brian Troxel

THE WAY TO PURITY

THE WAY TO PURITY

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word”
PSALM 119:9 (NASB)

Purity of heart is not only relative and progressive it is attainable! The simplicity of the above verse is powerful and within reach to every believer no matter the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. The provision for purity of heart, required by the scriptures, that enables us to see God is set before us to grow and delight in. The one requirement is simple and yet profound… obedience. By keeping His Word, reading it, cherishing it and DOING IT we receive the benefits of a heart that grows in purity and in that growing purity we see God more clearly and profoundly (Matthew 5:8). Obedience is the lamp by which we see His Face.

True obedience is by its very nature sacrificial. It is the way of the cross that leads us into the footsteps of the Son and the doorway into the growing dynamic of His life in us. In order to obey I must lay aside my will for His. I choose His Word and His Way over my own. In the doing of this I not only discover the hidden resources of His Life but I find His Word preserving my life in Him from the trappings and temptations of this world. For example:

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”
PSALM 101:3

By taking heed to this I am preserving my thought life and the purity of my heart. In embracing such a powerful truth I must disobey the lust and desire of the old man and keep the integrity of the new man that is being created in His Image! How simple and just are His ways. By the keeping of His Word we grow in righteousness and peace. In the keeping of His Word we are freed from the wages of sin and death! Obedience is the only way to know of this purity.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren…”
1 PETER 1:22

Though the keeping of His Word is simple in its application it does require the empowering and enabling work of the Holy Spirit to see us through. Within the confines of a growing relationship with our God there is the constant need for us to walk, live and move within His Holy Spirit. The more we obey His Word the easier it is to know of this divine enablement. With each new step into the transforming Life of the Son we find our great Shepherd leading us onward in the “paths of righteousness”. How precious and glorious are His Ways!

Ω

“The proximate result of obedience to God
is inward conformity to the Divine image”
Charles Hodge

Brian Troxel

ADONIJAH

ADONIJAH

“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying,
“I will be king”;
and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen,
and fifty men to run before him.
(And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying,
“Why have you done so?”
He was also very good-looking.
His mother* had borne him after Absalom.)
Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah
and with Abiathar the priest,
and they followed and helped Adonijah”
1KINGS 1:5-7 NKJV

( Read the whole event in 1Kings chapters 1 and 2)

“There is nothing new under the Sun” declares the Word. In the days when King David was passing off the scene and the need arose for a new king we see many false expressions rising to “claim” their place. Adonijah was a picture of this. He had a good sounding name (the Lord is my YHWH), a spiritually blind Joab and priesthood lending their credentials, and a multitude of people proclaiming that this was God’s anointed; the feast went on with great excitement yet GOD WAS NOT IN IT! Neither were those who truly knew their God involved in this.

“But Zadok the priest and Be-naiah the son of Jehoiada
and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei
and David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah”
II CHRONICLES 3:3 (YLT Bible)

This is an example of a false move that ended in the judgment of God coming upon all who where involved in it. We see the parallel today with many claiming to be the anointed one, associated with signs and wonders and great excitement, BUT GOD IS NOT IN IT! We see “moves” of the spirit where people are barking like dogs, howling and running around with no wisdom or depth of character being displayed. The lack of discernment allows chaos and foolishness to be exercised and encouraged. Those who know their God are not taken in by such things. They stand in the wisdom of their God. Men and women of integrity know there is a difference between following signs and wonders or signs and wonders following them. While multitudes seek out signs and wonders there are those who are not moved by such things. Jesus said..

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign”
MATTHEW 12:39

It is evil to seek after signs. When Jesus sent out His disciples and they came back with the report that even the demons were subject to them in HIS NAME… Jesus replied…

“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not,
that the spirits are subject unto you;
but rather rejoice,
because your names are written in heaven”
LUKE 10:4

Our glory is to Glorify Him and to do HIS WILL! In the doing of that will we will discover that our rejoicing is always in Him. I have seen and been a part of great movings of God, have seen healings and experienced Holy Visitations of HIS glorious presence; in all of these glimpses of HIS Glory there remained the Holy Wonder of Him. It was not a circus. Rather it was the Holy One moving by grace to reveal His wondrous ways and person. His Holy Spirit has ONE PURPOSE and that is to humble men and glorify Jesus. We see men on stage soaking in the applause of men and glorified and followed as if they were of any account. In the days of Azuza’s outpouring one of the main preachers would hide himself behind the pulpit so as not to attract any attention to himself. In our day we put men’s names in lights so to speak and the multitudes following with an adulation that should be reserved for God alone!

In the Book of Acts we see Paul being used of God…

“And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius,
because he was the chief speaker.
Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city,
brought oxen and garlands unto the gates,
and would have done sacrifice with the people.
Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of,
they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?”
ACTS 14:12-15

Such is the difference between the ministers of God and the false ministrations of our day. Who is glorified and what is our motivation? These are eternal questions that will determine our end on the day of Judgement. Men who follow men know not their God. Their confidence is in being in concert with others and they know not the internal approval of God within their own hearts.

Will we not hear in this Day…

“Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.”
MATTHEW 7:21-23

There is a balance in the wonder of our God. We are exhorted to despise not prophesy for it is one of the means of God speaking to and encouraging His people; necessary and vital. On the other hand we must have those who are equipped with discernment and wisdom to judge all things that go on in the midst of God’s people.

May God continue to raise up elders and men of God that are here to see the plumb-line applied to the building of His house. Men of integrity, free from agendas and personal pursuits. Men whose sole purpose is to Glorify Jesus that HE may have the pre-eminence in our midst. Woe to those who partake of the fleshly excitement of trite expressions and dedicate themselves to the lifting up of organizations and men. Woe to those who cannot discern between the house of God and the organizations of men. Woe to those who are satisfied with the lack of reality in our day. Woe to those who can simply submit themselves to the rote of meetings and gatherings that are not producing men and women abandoned unto their God. Lord save us from the status quo of this day!!

“And the LORD said unto him,
Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem,
and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry
for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof”
EZEKIEL 9:4

*NOTE: The same faith that had birthed the rebellion of Absalom had now given birth to Adonijah. The same heinous expression only clothed in a different form. Both very good looking and pleasing to the eye, both exalting themselves, both of the “lineage” of David and yet false.

Brian Troxel