A Word in Season – The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

Introduction

Seeing the Kingdom

“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly,
I say to you, if one is not generated from above,
he is not able to see the kingdom of God”
John 3:3

The divine enablement to see the Kingdom of God is a consequence of regeneration in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. The depth of the work of God determines the “seeing” and perspective one has of the Kingdom of God. The Jews in their day expected the coming Messiah to lead them to victory over their Roman bondage. Their expectations were wrong as were their hearts. Within Christendom there are vast differences of what the Kingdom of God implies and what its implications are in personal lives. For most it is a concept that has relatively little influence upon their daily lives; it is some vague heavenly location where all who name the Name of Jesus go when they die. To others it may be an actual political kingdom to be set up on earth in some future dispensation. The teachings and concepts of the Kingdom of God vary according to the discordant voices echoing through the landscape of the Church.

Jesus in His earthly ministration of truth spoke more about the Kingdom of God than He did of any other topic. The Parables centered mainly upon this one pervading subject yet how little it is apprehended in our day.

The initial introduction into the Kingdom of God requires a transformative work of God within the human heart. It takes Grace; without a change in the nature of an individual’s life it is impossible to even be aware of its existence. This paradigm alone should shake us at the core of our hearts concerning its nature and its jurisdiction within our lives. Transformation is necessary to perceive it.

“God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation;
neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’
for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”
Luke 17:20

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

Persecution Post – Indonesia

Persecution Post

NEVER SHAKEN

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2

In December 1999, a Muslim mob attacked the Doulos Bible School on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. One of the main aims of this Bible School is to evangelize among the 30-million-strong Sundanese, the largest unreached people group in the world, who live in west Java. One student died and forty-four other students were wounded. About eighty percent of the buildings were destroyed. Domingus is a young student who was injured. He shares his personal story of the events that fatal evening:

That night I was asleep in bed so I didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly a friend woke me up and shouted that we were being attacked. The building was already burning and I did not know where to run to. I knew if I ran to the main gate I would be killed. I ran to the back of the campus where my friend lived. I prayed “Lord, if I die, I know I will go to heaven.”

Suddenly the crowds arrived and they shouted to kill me. They grabbed me and blindfolded me. The Lord spoke to me “Don’t be afraid, I will be with you.” They hit me with a big stick and I lost consciousness. I felt my spirit leave my body. Through a sequence of events I was brought to a place where people were singing and worshipping God. I saw a very bright light and I closed my eyes and bowed down. A voice said “Your time has not come yet; it is time to go back!”

I regained consciousness and realized where I was. I tried to look at my watch but I discovered my neck was very badly cut. I saw all the blood. I prayed that the Lord would send someone to take me to hospital. I thanked the Lord that I could be persecuted for the gospel and that through this I could meet Him.

When the police arrived they asked, “Where did you find this corpse?” They took me to hospital. I tried to open my eyes and I still saw the angels around me. The doctors said I would be paralyzed but as you can see I am not.

Upon the conclusion of his testimony, Domingus was asked the obvious question: “What now? They will come back to finish the job and kill you. What do you want to do with your life Domingus?” He replied with great conviction, “I just want to serve Jesus.”

Standing Strong

A Word in Season – William Booth

Quote for Today

“The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Anyone who has tended a fireplace fire knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally”
– William Booth

A Word in Season – Corrie Ten Boom

Quote for Today

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength”
– Corrie Ten Boom

The Unity of God – Part Three

The Unity of God 

Part Three
(See Part One)
(See Part Two)

The Body of Christ

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be ONE flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church”
Ephesians 5:31

The Unity of the Body of Christ

“That they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in US…”
John 17:21

The US is the distinction of plurality, and the ONE is the wonder of unity; a unity beyond description and understanding. Such things cannot be understood by the intellect; they can only be known through relationship in Him (Christ) who alone can reveal the Father. The glory of the Body of Christ itself cannot be comprehended unless we are in Him who is the Head and Life of it. That men can divide and cut asunder the living fabric of His Body is beyond comprehension. Those who seek to draw men unto themselves in the name of God will know the severity of His verdict in the great Day of Judgement reserved for all men (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). God, by His very nature, hates divorce for “whatsoever God has joined let no man put asunder”! Those who seek to separate His people from the Head and one another will know the wrath and judgement of God.

The Holy Spirit

Within the heart of the Son is the eternal Will to live out of the Father; in like manner, the Holy Spirit is sent into the world to work and bring to pass the Will of the Son, culminating in us becoming a pure expression of Him. We must see that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father; He Himself is the agency to lead and guide us into all Truth, and to glorify the Son in the earth.

“But when the Comforter is come,
whom I will send unto you from the Father,
even the Spirit of truth,
which proceedeth from the Father,
He shall testify of Me
John 15:26

This grand unity filled with the Eternal Glory of all that God is, has called us by the sovereignty of Grace to become part of this Oneness by partaking of the Divine Nature.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”
2 Peter 1:3-4

“That they may be ONE… in US

Let the wonder and the magnificence of the call and purpose of God in Christ beat within our hearts.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself”
Philippians 3:21

Is there not within our hearts the same longing that God has put in all creation?

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves…”
Romans 8:19,21-23

The validity of having received the Firstfruits of the Spirit is revealed in the longing within our hearts for the completion of God’s purpose! There is a desire to walk in the fulness of Christ, not apart from Him, but in full dependence as the branch eternally abides in the Vine.

The True Five-Fold Ministry of Christ

God has set the five-fold ministry in the earth to accomplish this great Call.

Eph 4:11 And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the(ir) work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13 until we all may come to the UNITY of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Any ministry which is not endeavoring to instill within God’s people the purifying Word to the bringing forth of the actual righteousness of Christ; who is not encouraging them in the birthing of their own powerful ministrations of God into the world around them; and who are not seeking to usher in the Unity of the Faith, has misrepresented the heart and purpose of God!

“That they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in US…”
John 17:21

Σ

“For of him, and through him, and to him,
are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”
Romans 11:36

Notes on the Name of God – Elohim

God – אלהים – ‘ĕlôhı̂ym is a derivative of the Hebrew name Eloah which is the singular form, the difference being that the Elohiym has the usual ending for all masculine Hebrew nouns in the plural. “A devout saint and Hebrew scholar Dr. Parkhurst, defined the word Elohim as a name usually given in the scriptures to the ever blessed Trinity by which they represent themselves as under the obligation of an oath to perform certain conditions” Excerpt from Parkhurst – Hebrew Lexicon

It is also noted by Nathan Stone: “It is significant that although plural in form (Elohim) it is constantly accompanied by verbs and adjectives in the singular” when used in reference to God and always in the plural when used in reference to false gods and idols.
Nathan Stone – The Names of God

For example:
“Look unto me (singular), and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:
for I (singular) am God (Elohim-plural), and there is none else”
Isaiah 45:22

and

“I will say of the Lord (YHWH,
He (singular) is my refuge and my fortress:
my God (Elohim); in him (singular) will I trust”
Psalm 91:2

Elohim is the Name of God in which His Covenant is promised, purchased, and ratified through the Word of the Oath by God Himself, through the Obedience and Offering of Christ on our behalf and the Ministration of the Holy Spirit to seal and ensure that the Covenant of Grace would be sure unto those who believe.

The Oath of God – God has sworn by Himself… Hebrews 6:17 and Acts 2:30
The Surety – “Jesus was made the surety of a better Covenant” – Hebrews 7:22
Are Sealed – We are Sealed in/by the Holy Spirit – Colossians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:13

“What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31

Brian Troxel

The Unity of God – Part Two

The Unity of God

Part Two
(See Part One)
(See Part Three)

The Tri-Unity of God

In Genesis we see in the creation of the cosmos the unity of God speaking, creating and bringing forth the establishment of a whole new realm of matter and life.

1 “In the beginning God (see note) created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved (preparing, brooding and affecting) upon the face of the waters.
3 And God (see note) said (The Word-Christ Himself), ‘Let there be light’: and there was light…”
Genesis 1:1-3

NOTE: God – אלהים – ‘ĕlôhı̂ym – One of the names of God used in scripture (which intimates plurality) shining forth the Oneness and magnificence of His being. The same wonder is revealed in the New Testament in Matthew 28:19. The Greek Word for “Name” is singular: “In the NAME of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost” is presented to us as ONE NAME setting forth the unknowable and unsearchable riches of our God. (See more notes on Elohiym  at the end of Part Three of this series).

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the NAME (singular) of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”
Matthew 28:19

We see this same expression of God in the creation of man who is made in the image of God.

“And God (Elohiym) said,
Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness…”
Genesis 1:26

Indeed, humanity bears this corporate image within; even in the fall there remains the unmistakable likeness of God in the constitution of man.

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body
be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Thessalonians 5:3

To consider the very nature of God, one must in some form or other begin to comprehend the tri-unity of their own self. Within the mystery of our own being (which we are unable to solve) there lies spirit, soul and body; where each of these begin and end in us is a deep mystery. How beyond our capacity is it to unravel the greatest mystery of all: God Himself!

The consistency of this unveiling of the nature of God is expressed in the judgment of Nimrod and the arrogancy of man at the tower of Babel.

“Come, let Us go down
and confuse their language
so that they cannot understand
one another’s speech”
Genesis 11:7

Again, in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 6, we see the inner workings of God in the heavens preparing, cleansing, and sending Isaiah forth with words of Power which still reverberate in our hearts today:

“And I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Isaiah 6:8

There is a three-fold manifestation of this wonder at the Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:22), where we see the Father bearing witness to the Son while simultaneously the Holy Spirit appears as a Dove. This is a confirmation of the great mystery of Christ who, in type and shadow (by His Baptism), testified of His  submission to the cross (prophetically speaking to us of His death and resurrection yet to be fulfilled). Such things are too high and too deep for us, yet may they ignite a heart of worship and gratitude for all that Christ has accomplished for us!

“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God is ONE Lord”
Deuteronomy 6:4

Some may think that the above scripture presents a contradiction (which is an impossibility in the Word). The Hebrew word for “ONE” (see note below) used here is the same Hebrew word in Genesis 2:24:

“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become ONE flesh”
Genesis 2:24

NOTE: ONE – אֶחָד  “Unite co: ab: Unity: A uniting together. All things are a unity with something else (one man is a unity of body, breath and mind, one family is a unity of father, mother and children, one tree is a unity of trunk, branches and leaves, one forest is a unity of trees).” Source: “Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible”

Rather than presenting a contradiction, this confirms with great clarity the majesty and glory of our God! See also Genesis 5:2: “He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name (singular) Adam” (Adam – Man – singular). This same unity is to be the presentation to us of the mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall be joined unto his wife,
and they two shall be ONE flesh.

This is a great mystery:
but I speak concerning
Christ and the church”

Ephesians 5:31

To Be Continued…

Brian Troxel

This is Part Two of a multi-part series. For the sake of brevity this writing has been broken into short segments and as with all things it is necessary to read all the parts to appreciate the wonder and glory of our God.

The Unity of God – Part One

The Unity of God

Part One
(See Part Two)
(Part Three)

“How is it ye sought me?
Knew ye not that I must be in
my, the Father”
Luke 2:49
(literal Greek rendering)

The Son

The majority of translators, in dealing with the above verse, felt the need to add the word business or house or things even though none of these words are present in the Greek text. It is difficult for the religious mind to leave it as it actually reads: “I must be in my, the Father”. There is a seeming hole in this thought; surely there needs to be an explanation concerning the Father. To leave this concept without some sort of thing attached to the Father is too ambiguous and mysterious. Joseph and Mary had no understanding of the depth and the wonder of what Jesus was conveying.

“And they understood not the saying
which he spake unto them”
Luke 2:50

Jesus lived His life in the Father. He was beyond seeking only to do the business of His Father. He was beyond things associated with the Father. He was in the Father and as such His doings were not for the Father; they were that which were accomplished in the Father. It is difficult for us to see beyond service to God, past the external, seemingly good things of God, and begin to experience the Life in Christ whereby we are moved upon by the great impetus which filled and occupied Him.

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
John 5:17

The showing forth of the Father through the Son is by means of virtue and nature. It is the proceeding forth of the Will of the Father through the magnificence of Christ as it has been through eternity.

“All things were made through him.
Without him was not anything
made that has been made”
John 1:3

The Son has forever been the agency through which the Father created and worked His wisdom and power. His Life on earth was simply the extension of His relationship with the Father from eternity.

“I and my Father are one”
John 10:30

To Be Continued…

Brian Troxel

This is Part One of a multi-part series. For the sake of brevity this writing has been broken into short segments and as with all things it is necessary to read all the parts to appreciate the wonder and glory of our God.

Quote for Today – Hudson Taylor

Quote for Today

“Carrying the cross does mean following in Jesus’ footsteps. And in His footsteps are rejection, brokenheartedness, persecution and death. There are not two Christs – an easy going one for easy going Christians, and a suffering one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are we willing to follow His lead?”
– Hudson Taylor