True Ministry

TRUE MINISTRY

True Ministry

The touchstone of Discipleship is revealed in our abandonment to His Glory. It is in our touching of Him where we are brought to the place of facing our own inherent desire for recognition and pre-eminence. This is something so vital to our walk and our sharing of Him with others. Freedom from ourselves is the path to our freedom in His Spirit. 

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him”
John 7:18

John the Baptist

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
John 1:35-37

Do we really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire for recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The purpose of the New Covenant…

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

It is to this end that we labour and preach the wonder of His Name! Purify us Lord for your glory.

BT

 

Proverbs 13:10

Proverbs 13:10

Proverbs 13:10
Pride and Contention

” Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

Pride is the spring from which every form of contention flows. It may be masked by earnest religious phrases but its poison results in much human sorrow within the Body of Christ.

Pride is the curse of humanity. It is the cause of unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, jealously, and malicious talk. It may be hidden in the smile of hypocrisy or the vehemence of outright aggression. It erects walls between close friends and breeds separation and schisms within the people of God. It is often cloaked in the “spiritual garments” of truth and sincerity, declaring with the subtly of Cain, “am I my brother’s keeper”? In the end, Pride brings spiritual blindness. It is its own judgment. Pride denies an individual their own progress in Christ and brings with it stagnation, deception, and sorrow. The love and forgiveness they deny to others become the harvest they reap. Forgiveness destroys the insidious workings of pride, darkness, and deceit. To forgive another one must give up their rights and hurts to the One who bore all sin in Himself.

The unforgiving remain unforgiven*

“Then laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil words, as newborn babes desire the pure soul-nourishing milk, that you may grow…”
1 Peter 2:1-2

May we set a watch upon our words, for out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak. Paul entreats us all:

“And, finally, be all of one mind, sympathetic, loving the brothers, tender-hearted, friendly, not giving back evil for evil, or reviling against reviling; but, on the contrary, give blessing; knowing that you were called to this in order that you might inherit blessing. For the one desiring to love life, and to see good days, let him restrain his tongue from evil, even his lips not to speak guile. Let him turn aside from evil, and let him do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it; because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous…”
1 Peter 3:8-14

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* Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
Mark 11:25-26

Brian Troxel

Proverbs 13:14

Proverbs 13:14

“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death”
Proverbs 13:14

The words of the wise bring God’s people to choices. They clearly present the way of life contrasted with the path which leads to spiritual decay. Life itself is a series of choices and each choice has consequences. Jesus speaks of the narrow way which leads us to life. This narrow way is fraught with decisions that determine the depth of our apprehension of His Life and vitality.

“For narrow is the gate, and constricted
is the way that leads away into life,
and few are the ones finding it
Matthew 7:14

The presentation of truth as a fountain of life enables the hearer to turn from the “snares of death”. The Gospel is presented to equip God’s people to walk in truth, not just to hear the truth. The wise bring men and women to a place of reality with words that lead to righteousness. The words of fools make light of sin.

“The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving”
Proverbs 14:18

See: The Wonder of Wisdom

Brian Troxel

Hope and Love

Hope and Love

“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”
Romans 5:5

Hope’s fulfillment rests in the love that fuels it. The power of hope is in the purity of His love inspiring our lives. A hope with selfish agendas will fail and disappoint us, for love “seeks not its own”.

The simplicity of the Love of God being shed abroad in our hearts BY the Holy Spirit requires a life that is lived IN the Holy Spirit.

See: Abiding in His Love

Brian Troxel

Persistent Prayer

Persistent Prayer

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end,
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint”
Luke 18:1

“Our Lord warns us against feeble prayer. This means that we must possess enough enthusiasm to carry us through the severe and long periods of pleading prayer. Fire makes one alert, vigilant, and brings one out as more than a conqueror.

The atmosphere about us is too heavily charged with resisting forces for lifeless prayers to make any progress. It takes heat, fervency, and fire to push through to the heavens where God dwells with His saints.

Fervency before God counts in the hour of prayer and finds a speedy and rich reward at God’s hands.”
E.M. Bounds

See: Active Duty

The Righteous Equation

The Righteous Equation

“Mercy and truth meet* together…”
Psalm 85:10

Mercy and Truth = Righteousness

Mercy must be coupled with truth to equal righteousness. Truth must be in harmony with mercy to be consistent with the character of God. Mercy tempers self-righteousness and truth delivers us from apathy and carelessness. It is in the blending of these two Divine realities of God that righteousness culminates.

“…keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation”
Exodus 34:7

Moses’ response to such a pure and Holy revelation was this:

“And Moses made haste,
and bowed his head toward the earth,
and worshipped”
Exodus 34:8

Pure worship is the result of seeing God in the wonder of His Glory and Holiness. His Glory is His character; His character is the basis of His Judgment. The deceived corrupt His Likeness by “perverting the grace of our God into moral anarchy and lack of self-restraint”. Others corrupt His truth into a callous caricature of a malicious despot. Truth magnifies mercy and brings the work of Christ into holy living, worthy of His sacrifice. Mercy breaks the proud heart of the natural man. In brokenness, we find obedience unto Him by which we are made free and alive in Him.

“But as for me,
I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy:
and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple”
Psalm 5:7

There is no contradiction between the Mercy of the Lord and the Fear of the Lord. Only the pure in heart can understand the fusion of these two great and solemn attributes.

A Gospel which declares a mercy void of truth produces apathy, the womb of unholy living and damnable heresies.

“For certain men entered surreptitiously who were of old predicted with reference to this judgment, men destitute of reverential awe towards God, perverting the grace of our God into moral anarchy and lack of self-restraint, and denying the only absolute Master, even our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jude 1:4

Jude goes on to declare:

“Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this**, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn’t believe”
Jude 1:5

How we need to be reminded of the verity of God. It is to this end we encourage and admonish one another to “live godly in Christ Jesus”. Let the unmerited ministrations of His mercy break our stubborn hearts and bring us into obedience that the world may see the truth of Him in us.

“Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God
2 Corinthians 7:1

Those who believe in the “promises of God” pursue purity of heart and are ever in the process of seeking holiness in the fear of the Lord.

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“The diverse aspects of the divine nature, to separate which is the tendency of the unregenerate mind of man and of all paganism, are united in perfect harmony in the Lord Yahweh… But the perfect revelation of the harmony was reserved for the fulness of time when “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” was made known to us in the flesh as both our Saviour and our Judge”
Albert Barnes

* Hebrew – To meet together (face to face), to concur, join

** The early Church knew of these powerful truths and the resounding expression of them brought forth a people who were the light of Christ unto the world. Compare the glory of the early church with the ethos of the present.

See: Grace and Truth

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Union

Spiritual Union

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12

God measures our life in Him by the Love we have for one another. Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues, and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for His people. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14

Authenticity is the fruit of a life lived in God. The Life of Christ is the sole bonding agent which fuses one member to another. Obedience is the means to this purity by which our relationship with our brothers and sisters becomes filled with the wonder of God Himself. An impure heart is filled with mixed motives, carnal and self-seeking desires which by their very nature prevent the true union of His Spirit and Life with Him and one another.

Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart…”
1 Peter 1:22

See: UNITY

Brian Troxel

Unity

UNITY

Unity is simply being ONE in Christ.

“that they also may be one in Us”
John 17:21

Transformation and change are the natural order of those who are active and current in their relationship with Jesus. Those who merely subscribe to the tenets of the “Christian” faith remain unaffected by the wonder of His life and Being. Change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, tasting of His Goodness, Mercy, and Holiness. One cannot touch His presence and not grow in the reverence of who He is. Without change, there is no understanding of the fear of the Lord.

“Because they have no changes,
therefore they fear not God”
Psalm 55:19

Knowledge may increase, familiarity with the things of God may have the appearance of being good and deep, but it is in the crucible of growth that our relationship is revealed. He came moreover He is come to work within our hearts fundamental and revolutionary transformations from what we are into the image of Christ. This transition from fallen Adam to the Risen Christ is the vehicle and means by which we are moved from an isolated and selfish entity into the substance of being “members one of another”. The validity of our walk with God is revealed in those who are being united by faith into One Body, One Life, and One Heart! Jesus prayed for this, He gave Himself up to cruel and wicked men to pay the price of redemption to this end. Not only did He give Himself as an offering but He is even now giving  Himself to us to make it so. Those who do not feel the pull and the cry for this union of hearts within the wonder of His life have become distant and unable to hear the Spirit of Truth.

“Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The one saying to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes”
1 John 2:8-11

Indifference is hatred held in apathy. They who are indifferent to the members of the Body of Christ around them are walking in the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light is simply the life of Jesus beating within our hearts.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The Unity of His people will never come from God moving without… Its wonder can only be known by the work of Grace within our hearts. It is not an event, it is a life, it will not come with observation (Luke 17:20). They who live in His Light know of this unity. Just as Jesus prayed… “that they may be ONE IN US”. Unity is the fruit of our relationship in Christ.

Brian Troxel

The Fulness of Time

The Fulness of Time

“But when the fulness of the time was come,
God sent forth his Son, made of a woman…”
Galatians 4:4

In God’s purposes, “the fulness of the time” happened to be during the tyrannical control of the one-world government of Rome. The Jewish faith had deteriorated into darkness, and the common man had little reason for hope. Just prior to the birth of Jesus, Herod, fearing a “coming Messiah”, decreed that hundreds of babies be murdered. Factious, religious elements were constantly rising to challenge the Roman rule of the time.

The Fulness of Time

God’s measure of time is different than ours. The things men fear, loss of liberty, loss of religious freedom, and oppression by worldly governments, do not hold the same estimation in His eyes. The fulness of time is about the person of Christ, not the common lot of men. He is the Light and Life of another realm. He is the salvation of God for all. He stepped out of eternity into the limitation of time to breathe into all creation the atmosphere and wonder of heaven. The Man of Sorrows has come to instill His Joy and Peace into fallen humanity, even unto those who call upon His Name.

The Fulness of Time

The fulness of time has once again come to mankind. God’s purpose is to bring an end to the sin and corruption of a dying world. We may seek to delay this hour, to cling to a form of government which cannot rectify our condition, to maintain a religious “freedom” that has failed to bring us into the liberty of His Spirit.

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed”
Luke 17:26-28

Read about of the judgments of God in times past (which Christ declared would typify His return): the world laid waste in Noah’s Day; the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by the fire and brimstone of God’s indignation. These were precursors to the Day we are in.

The fulness of time has now come upon us. It is not a day for protesting and rebellion, nor is it a day to cower in fear. It is a day to submit our hearts afresh unto Him who rules and reigns over the affairs of men. This day of darkness*, blasphemy and destruction must come for the culmination of this creation must pass away in order that the new may arise. Christ crucified is God’s answer for the human race. Christ crucified is the end of this creation and His resurrection is the beginning of a new creation. It is incumbent upon those who walk in the Spirit of Christ to walk in the light of this truth:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!”
2 Peter 3:10-12

The Day of the Lord is the end of a realm, it is the long-anticipated execution of a sentence passed on Calvary. Christ was crucified and that we may be co-crucified with Him, to be prepared for HIS coming.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”
Galatians 6:14

The fulness of time is upon us and the revelation of every person’s walk, our works, and the verity of our faith, will be fully revealed and tested by fire “for the Day of the Lord will declare it”.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the DAY shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward”
1 Corinthians 3:13-14

Peter’s faith was revealed in spite of his loud professions. The fulness of time is upon us and the untested faith of many will be revealed; religious confidence will fail and even the gold will be tested to the very limits of its endurance. It is time to cry unto Him for the substance of faith and purity of heart to face this Day in the strength of Him.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”
Matthew 5:22

* “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light”
Amos 5:18

Those who know not the manner of His appearing or the true condition of their own hearts speak with the bravado of the foolish. Those with a glimpse of the Day respond with a deep sense of our need to be “hid in Christ”. God is calling out in this hour:

“Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come”
Joel 1:15

“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire…”
Malachi 3:1

God is raising up prophetic voices to call His people to repentance; to Spirit-inspired intercessions beyond the casual prayer meetings of the day. His voice is going forth to all who have an ear to hear and a heart that responds to His Call.

“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision**!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision**
Joel 3:14

** Hebrew חָרוּץ – From the Ancient Hebrew Root meaning “A sharp cutting instrument…” The transliteration of this verse would read “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of the sharp threshing instrument…” This verse speaks of the Word of the Lord in the Book of Revelation:

“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: FOR THE TIME IS COME for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe”
Revelation 14:14-19.

Brian Troxel

Our Salvation

Our Salvation

“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him.
that glory may dwell in our land”
Psalm 85:9

In the purposes of God, salvation and glory are inextricably linked. His Glory is the reason for His gracious dealings with us. When we separate these two, we make salvation something very different; we make salvation about ourselves rather than about Him.

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake
Psalm 79:9

The end of His saving grace unto us that His Name is glorified in the earth. We receive His mercy that we may then shine forth His divine attributes into a dark and dying world. His salvation is the world’s hope of glory. Those who honour His salvation shine as lights and ambassadors in the foreign landscape in which we live. A nation loses its way when the church has lost her way.

God’s answer is us! In His wisdom, He uses His people to communicate His likeness and heart as we are faithful witnesses of His salvation.

“Ye are the Light of the World”

May these words strike us with the full force of His Spirit. His intent is for us to breathe in the Spirit of those words and let them be the ignition of His quickening grace. “You are the light of the World”; not your pastor, not your teacher, not someone on television. The word carries little power until it is YOUR Word. Until our hearts reverberate with His word, until we see that His salvation is to result in the manifestation of His Glory, we have missed the wonder of it.

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory”
2 Timothy 2:10

A salvation concerned only with itself is stunted. Salvation ought to produce in us a desire to live right that others may “obtain” His grace, that they also may shine forth His “eternal glory”.

Brian Troxel