Leadership

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

Part Two

“Peter saith unto him,
Thou shalt never wash my feet.”
John 13:8

Peter’s deep reverence for Jesus had elements of worldly esteem. His carnal conception of what leadership was to be, was offended by this act of humility. Washing the disciple’s feet contradicted Peter’s idea of how Jesus should be; he deemed it denigrating. The humility of Jesus is an affront to all who desire pre-eminence in religious circles. True leadership of the New Emerging Wine Skin will be by those who understand this powerful truth within the depths of their being.

Leadership in the Spirit is simply a life consumed with following Him. It arises from those who follow the Lamb. Their vision, their purposes and their desires are not to lead others but to follow Christ. The true sheep follow those who bear the nature and the likeness of Christ. They have no earthly agendas, no grandiose concepts of personal greatness; their glory is to serve and honour Christ.

Paul could say freely and simply:

“Then whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. Be without offense both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God. Even as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ
1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 11:1* (see note below)

Paul’s leadership was founded in the cause of Christ; he did nothing for his “own advantage”. It was a leadership poured out in the edification and admonishment of others for their growth and apprehension of Christ, free from personal gain and agendas. The heart and soul of this new leadership being raised up will not build up anything unto itself. It will not seek its own nor use others for its advantage! It will be free from the pomp and the pride of anything other than the Lordship and Majesty of Christ. It will not walk in the pretense of a false humility. It will not be presumptuous or jealous of others. Rather it will welcome and foster, at every opportunity, authentic expressions of Christ and extend to others an invitation to sit and partake of the fellowship of the Spirit. It will not cut itself off from others nor walk in the spirit of Diotrephes who “loved to have the pre-eminence”. (Such corruption will subject them to the Judgment of God). Those who view any gathering of the people of God “my church”, “my people” or “my fellowship” will find themselves excluded from the New Wine Skin. There must be stamped upon our hearts the living truth:

“Unto Him shall the glory be”

Paul in his epistle to the Philippians declared that many of that day sought their own things and not the things of Christ. Those who refuse to humble themselves in this hour, who refuse to open their hearts to the ministrations of others, will reap sorrow and judgement.

This new leadership will have written upon their very hearts a pure desire to see the Unity of the Spirit become the reality here on earth until we come to the glory and power of the Unity of the Faith! (Ephesians 4:3,13) Any ministration which does not seek this One thing will be cut off from the commonwealth of His Life and Glory! Only the Life of Christ can produce such pure and holy lives.

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another…”
Romans 12:9-10

The new and emerging leadership must exemplify this heart. They are to be “ensamples” to, not lords over God’s heritage.

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also”
2 Corinthians 6:3-13 (ESV)

The verity of all ministry is to One End:

“that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
Colossians 1:28

“of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God,”
Colossians 1:25

What does this life look like?

“for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily”
Colossians 1:29

__________________________________________

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

*Note: The statement “Be imitators (followers KJV) of me, even as I also am of Christ” has grievously been isolated from the context of the truth of what Paul was presenting in 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, by the placing of a chapter division; some have erroneously interpreted this scripture to their own ends.

Brian Troxel

The Elect of God

The Elect of God

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God,
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…”
Colossians 3:12

The “elect of God” reveal their call and election through their expression of Christ-like character. They bear unfeigned aspects of His heart and passion. In spiritual things, we are revealed by what we are and what we are is expressed by what we do. In religious things, it is not necessary to have a connection between being and doing.

David breathed a prayer which was “after the heart of God”.

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth:
unite my heart to fear thy name”
Psalm 86:11

A united heart is an authentic heart; a heart full of the fear and wonder of the Lord. The inconsistencies of our being become united by the singularity of His rule within. Growth in Christ is revealed in the spontaneous flow of His nature into the world around us. The desire for a united heart is the affirmation of His Spirit at work within us.

The purpose of truth is to make us true. True to Him, true to one another and true to the world around us.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure…”
2 Peter 1:10

Brian Troxel

Thomas a Kempis – Love

Quote for Today

“Love feels no burden, regards not labors, strives toward more than it attains, argues not of impossibility, since it believes that it may and can do all things. Therefore it avails for all things, and fulfils and accomplishes much where one not a lover falls and lies helpless”
– Thomas a Kempis

The Purpose of Grace – 4

The Purpose of Grace

Part Four

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that He might destroy the works of the devil”
1 John 3:8

We are called to be the light of the world. Another way to declare that powerful truth: we are called to be His Light to the world. His Light reveals the hearts of men. His light dispels the works of darkness. His Life destroys the workings of despair which would beguile and tempt men and women into the throes of bitterness, sorrow and death. Many die long before they stop breathing. Their lives are twisted and perverted by the wretchedness of sin gift wrapped in the illusion of pleasure; hollow souls with vacant eyes and empty hearts bound in the misery of addiction and hopelessness.

He came for such as these. He has invested Himself into our own brokenness, that we may take the light of His Life to see the “works of the devil” destroyed in others. God’s answer is the power of Christ shining through redeemed souls, made whole by the same grace, now reaching out to others. May we see that the answer to our timidity, our reluctance, our apathy and our fear is the fulness of God’s love in our hearts.

These who have God’s love give of themselves first to Him, then to the world. The same God who so loved the world to the point of giving His only begotten Son has also purposed for us to give of ourselves.

“… as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

(See The Purpose of Grace Part 1)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(The The Purpose of Grace Part 3)
(Grace)

Brian Troxel

J.C. Ryle – Love & Humility

Quote for Today

“Humility and love are precisely the graces which the men of the world can understand, if they do not comprehend doctrines. They are the graces about which there is no mystery, and they are within reach of all classes. The poorest Christian can every day find occasion for practicing love and humility”
– J.C. Ryle

Love is God’s
Signature in a life
BT

Photo by M. Nohassi

Judgment and Resurrection Coming to The Church

Judgment and Resurrection Coming to The Church

This Word came to me two weeks ago. This Word will stand not because I am anything but because He has declared it. This is the Day of the Lord and these things MUST BE.

The Sign of Samson to The Church

“And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes
and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles.
And he ground at the mill in the prison.”
Judges 16:21

The life of Samson
is a sign unto the Last Day Church.

These things will surely come to pass. The once proud church, persecuted and humbled, will arise out of her weakness in the strength of her God.

Like Samson, the church in North America, arrogant in its God-given strength and not having the fear of God, has done what it pleases; it will soon be reduced to the jeers and worldly sport of its enemies. Like Samson, there is a judgment of blindness and bondage, a result of its seduction by the world.

The Seduction and the Fall
of Samson and the Church

“And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him
Judges 16:19

The once powerful Samson was reduced to slavery and ridicule because of his foolish love of Delilah (representing the world and its ungodly ways). As he fell under her seduction, he gave up the secret of his strength. Bound and fettered by her beguiling ways, his eyes were put out (spiritual vision) and he became a slave to the world and its ways. The careless life he lived and the reckless abandon to his selfish pursuits brought him to a place of utter bondage and hopelessness. With his God-given strength gone, his enemies fell upon him with devastating cruelty. The ungodly politics of religious leaders and the greed and lust for worldly wealth and power has impoverished the church in this hour. Jude in his epistle clearly warns us of the infiltration and influence of ungodly ones who come to defile the ways of God in our very ranks.

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ”
Jude 1:4

What is the result?

“Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever”
Jude 1:11-13 (ESV)

The folly and horror of the things we have allowed in our midst has become (as Samson) our undoing. God is arising to thoroughly purge His Church of all worldliness and ungodly living.

Peter declared:

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?”
1 Peter 4:17

Before He can judge the world of its depravity He must have a pure and holy Church. He cannot judge the world of its wickedness while His Church walks in the same abominations as the world. The judgment of the Philistines came at the hands of a Samson who had been humbled and purified from his own lusts and worldliness. In his restoration he brought judgment upon the enemies of God. The very people who carried out God’s judgment upon Samson would, in the end, fall as his strength was made new.

God’s promise of restoration and purpose for His Church will not go unfulfilled. Just as Samson, the broken ones, now fully cognizant of our sins, will find the secret of His strength once again and arise from the devastation to “possess the Kingdom of God”

“But the hair of his head
began to grow again after it had been shaved”
Judges 16:22

God’s promises hold true and His mercies never cease. The enemy, your enemy, does not know the secret ways of the Lord. God will surely “renew their strength” and in due time “they will mount up with wings as eagles” and walk in the strength of their God! It will then be a time to lift up the eyes which have been blinded by our enemy, a day to lift up the hands which hung down and to once again sing the song of the Lord with joy. It is of the Lord’s mercies to do a work in our Day of humbling; to cause His servants to arise and, as Samson, strike a blow greater in his weakness than he ever did in the days of his strength.

“Therefore also now, saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and with weeping,
and with mourning…”
Joel 2:12

For in our turning He will turn;
In our seeking He will be found;
In our mourning – He will be our Joy.
The glory of the Lord will arise
upon His people for the set time is come.
The Day of His recompense is upon us!

A Glorious Visitation

In our turning and in our seeking of Him there will come a visitation; a visitation of glory and an anointing to prepare His Own (as He was in Bethany) for the purpose of sacrifice and eventual victory. We are in a time of the growing darkness; a time of anarchy, lawlessness and bitterness. The sorrow and devastation that is coming will be such that if He does not cut it short no flesh could survive.

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”
Matthew 24:22

Daniel’s Horn is Rising!

There is a “horn” arising and for a season it shall make war with the saints of God and shall overcome them (even as Jesus was overcome); but it shall not last.

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them…”
Daniel 7:9

Those who are to rule with Him must overcome even as He overcame. Herein will be revealed the patience (endurance) of the saints. In our being overcome so shall we overcome. It is the Way of Christ so it must also be the Way of His Body. The crown of suffering must precede the crown of Glory. May those who have ears to hear understand.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

A dark night will soon cover the earth and gross darkness will settle upon the people of the world. The righteous will be hated and the hope of many may fail. Be encouraged that as surely as the night comes so will His morning. He will arise with healing in His wings unto those who fear and honour His Name. Stand fast! The time is coming quickly; confusion, anarchy and lawlessness will abound. But the Ancient of Days will surely arise and in the end the “Saints of the Most High will possess the Kingdom”!

“Until the Ancient of days came,
and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High;
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”
Daniel 7:22

Ω

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the Lord”
Zephaniah 3:12

Brian Troxel

Scripture for Today

Scripture for Today

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love”
John 15:8-10 (ESV)

“To love abundantly is to live abundantly,
and to love forever is to live forever”
Henry Drummond

Politics and the Day of the Lord

Politics and the Day of the Lord

“It is better to trust in the LORD
than to put confidence in princes”
Psalm 118:9

There is an angst in those who look to political leaders for answers to the upheavals of our day. Peace comes from God alone and not from the strategies and ideas of men. There are spiritual forces at work to stir up the chaos filling our streets. We are seeing but the precursor to a storm brewing on the horizon.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world…”
Luke 21:25-26

Why are these things happening?

“For the powers of the heavens will be shaken”
Luke 21:26

God is moving and powers are being shaken. Wicked spirits from on high are being cast down knowing they have but a short time. Wickedness will increase and lawlessness will reign for a season; these things must be. Yet in the end God will prevail in glory and majesty. Suffering precedes glory and seeming defeat is the path to sure victory. The crucible must give way to the crown. The winds are beginning to howl, the darkness is falling, and that Lawless One must be revealed for the Day of the Lord decrees it.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Trouble on earth is the result of heavenly powers being shaken. It is truly a time for us to look up “for our redemption draweth nigh”! God’s Word comes to us to prepare us, strengthen us and gird us up in the preserving power of His Life. Let not the fear of all these things trouble our hearts. He is our strong tower in this Day of the growing storm.

“Turn you to the strong hold,
ye prisoners of hope…”
Zechariah 9:12

It is a time to seek Him, pursue Him and allow Him to fully prepare us for the Day which is upon us. The graces of God are to be our shelter. Love, peace and the enduring hope of His appearing will guard our hearts from the bitterness and turmoil of this hour. Forgiveness is the costly preservative for our hearts. It is a balm which heals us from all injury and gives us the power to love beyond all human ability.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Brian Troxel

The Mystery of Holiness

The Mystery of Holiness

Part One

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

Our religious concept of holiness has many faces. It can appear austere, ascetic, harsh or given to cliques and elite tendencies. Nothing could be further from the mind and heart of God. The truth is, our growth into His Holiness must be garmented in the wonder of His Love. True holiness is founded upon the immensity of the Love of God. Its disdain for things of the world, its repulsion of isolationism and elitism, its burning desire to see the Body of Christ arise from the ashes of division, are the pure expressions of a life growing in the Love of Christ.

Worldliness spawns chaos and division. Racism, the desire for dominance, the need for men to draw others to themselves (or the need to be a follower of others), all stem from the same contaminated stream; the desire for self-gratification and a sense of belonging. These stains are rife in the Body of Christ; rivalry, competition, jealously and envy are the result of lives untouched by holiness. These things do not exist in heavenly places. They are obliterated in His Presence.

Those who have touched even the hem of the garments of His presence should be grieved by the slander, the separations, the envying and the striving for pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people. The pretense of holiness is a sign of ones lost in their own importance. There can be no true growth in holiness apart from its author, Love.

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

The Holiness of God prompted the Father to send His Only Begotten Son into this world through the impulse of Love. Rather than looking down upon His creation, He desires to raise us out of its corruption and restore its beauty through the offering of Jesus. False ideas of what constitutes holiness are but another facade of the self-perpetuating and self-glorifying lust of men. Holiness is a life where all things are in order; the lust of self, the chaos and contradictions of our own hearts, are brought under the jurisdiction of the Spirit of God. The reign of harmony and peace are the fruits of holiness. As our own unruly self becomes subject to the Love of God, we begin to see order in our own hearts and in God’s house (not by law, but by grace). Order is the revelation of holiness. It takes little discernment to gaze over the landscape of what men call “Christendom” and see the energies and pursuits of self revealed in all of its disorder. When we declare “my church”, “my fellowship”, “my teacher” (1 Cor. 1:11-13) we have departed from the love and holiness of God. Order is the result of all things being in Him.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”
James 3:14-18

Humility is a life free from the pursuits of self. It is bold and at times audacious in its presentation of Christ. It will not yield to the religious of the day, not because it is self-important, but because it is free from the agendas of others. Peace is the atmosphere of humility. There is a liberty and ease within made possible by the cross of Christ.

“A vain man through pride causeth debate* (division),
And with the counselled is wisdom”
Proverbs 13:10 (YLT)

The selfish man profits from division. It is in the chaos of division and strife that he can find a place of pre-eminence.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition are,
there is confusion and every evil deed”
James 3:16

It is insecurity that compels men to follow others, to feel the need to be part of earthly organizations and religious cliques. They who are secure in Christ know there is but ONE Body, ONE Faith and ONE God and Father of us all. His Salvation is our freedom from the fallen self and the need to be recognized by others. His Unity can only be realized in the living truth of His Holiness dwelling in our hearts by Love!

Σ

“…and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations”
Revelation 22:2

*NOTE: The word translated “debate” in the YLT or “contention” in the KJV is defined as follows:

מַצָּה - maṣṣāh: “A feminine noun depicting strife, contention. It refers to wrangling, quarreling, and contention” The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament; Warren Baker

Thayer’s Lexicon points out this Hebrew word is from the Hebrew Root נָצָה - nâtsâh (naw-tsaw')
A primitive root; properly to go forth (1 John 2:19), that is, (by implication) to be expelled, and (consequently) desolate; causatively to lay waste. (scripture reference added by me)

Brian Troxel