STRENGTHENED BY FAITH

Strengthened by Faith

“…through faith in His name, has made this man strong,
whom you see and know”
ACTS 3:26

Faith comes to make men strong. It takes the lame, the deaf and the blind and makes them whole. It causes the weak things of this world to confound the strong. It finds the lost and wandering and fills them with His purpose. The excerpt of scripture above is from Peter’s sermon in the Temple after the healing of a man who was lame from birth. When Peter and John were confronted by the leaders of their day Peter spoke with great boldness and effect.

“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

Faith, living faith, true and powerful faith, takes ordinary men and women and makes them strong. Throughout the scriptures we read “BY FAITH…” The religious leaders of that day “TOOK KNOWLEDGE” that these men “HAD BEEN WITH JESUS”! Is the world around us acknowledging that we have been with Jesus? If not, why? Where is the disconnect? Where are those who are weary and troubled by the sterile, safe, ambiguous Christian expression in our land? Where are those who are tired of words, explanations and books describing our doctrinal position in Christ rather than defining what we are to BE in CHRIST? How can we believe that we have no part to play in HIS WILL in the earth when the scriptures are full of accounts of those who risked their lives for the Glory of HIS NAME? How can we read the book of THE ACTS of the Apostles and not see the great contradiction between then and now? Countless Christians are weak and impotent simply because they KNOW NOT WHO HAS CALLED THEM AND WHAT HE HAS CALLED THEM UNTO. Our Christian experience is much more than a “human choice” to accept Him into our lives. We are the result of THE ETERNAL CALL OF GOD unto a specific purpose which we will only discover through the obedient walk of faith in our lives!

“But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should SHOW forth the praises of him
who hath CALLED you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
1 PETER 2:9

“That ye would walk worthy of God,
who hath CALLED you unto his kingdom and glory”
1 THESSALONIANS 2:12

This thing called faith should cause us “to WALK worthy of God” in this world; not TALK worthy, but WALK and BE expressions of HIS GLORY. When will those around us take notice that we have been with Jesus? When our walk begins to match our talk. When the name by which we identify ourselves is none other than the name of Jesus rather than one of countless denominations. Let the words of Paul convict us…

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul;
and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
was Paul crucified for you?
or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
1 CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 13

Read the context of such things and let them sink deeply into our hearts. Let us return to the living truth from whence TRUE AND POWERFUL EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH ARISE IN POWER AND LIFE. Wherever there are powerful ministrations of truth there will be powerful expressions of FAITH; Faith to make men strong, Faith to make men free and Faith to bring HIS LIFE and GLORY into this world.

Ω

“Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources,
and thus they attempt very little and they always fail.
All giants have been weak men who did great things for God
because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them”
James Hudson Taylor

Brian Troxel

BLESSING Part One

BLESSING

PART ONE

“To you first,
God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from your iniquities”
ACTS 3:26

We hear much about blessing today and as we read here that is one of the reasons that Jesus came. However, let us note that the blessing spoken of here comes in the form of an enabling to turn from our iniquities. That blessing can only be realized by the power of the SON being received into our hearts by faith. The tenets of the Christian Teaching HAVE NO INTRINSIC POWER IN THEMSELVES! The power and the life of the New Covenant is not in words (1 Corinthians 4:20); the POWER of the New Covenant is solely based on the RESURRECTION LIFE OF THE SON. “God HAVING (past tense) RAISED UP….JESUS”! This same resurrected Jesus is NOW SENT to us for the purpose of blessing us IN turning us from our iniquities. He did not come to leave us in our carnality, our warped and corrupted ways, our malice, evil reasoning and lust; HE came to save us FROM our sins! For it is SIN that keeps us from the way of peace, SIN that perverts our interactions with other people, and SIN that prevents us from the WAY of LIFE. A salvation that leaves us in bondage and sin is unthinkable!

“…thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people FROM their sins”
MATTHEW 1:21

His blessing has come. It rests upon HIS people like a cloud of glory and power. This blessing seeks to permeate every aspect of our life, freeing us from the corruption of the First Adam and bringing us into the LIFE of the Last Adam! This Blessing is ever active IN our lives to “work in us to WILL and to DO of HIS good pleasure”. This Blessing is ever seeking, ever drawing and ever calling us to turn from our ways unto HIS. Our salvation rests in the resurrection LIFE of the SON not in the will power of men.

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But NOW is Christ risen from the dead…”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:16 – 20

It is in our yielding to that BLESSING that all that God has purposed in Christ begins to become a reality in our daily lives. HE IS OUR SALVATION AND HIS NAME IS JESUS FOR HE HAS COME TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS.

Ω

Souls are not made sweet by taking [ill tempers] out,
but by putting something in – a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.
Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all.
This can only eradicate what is wrong, renovate and regenerate,
and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men.
Time does not change men. Christ does.
Therefore “Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Henry Drummond

Brian Troxel

THE FEAR OF THE LORD PART ONE

FEAR OF THE LORD

PART ONE

“But unto you that fear my name
shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings”
MALACHI 4:2

The fear of the Lord actually BRINGS healing to those who know it. The fear of the Lord can only be known by the touching of HIS HOLY PRESENCE. This is not something learned by a sermon, a seminar, the reading of books or a casual walk with God; it is the fruit of a life whose heartbeat is to KNOW HIM as HE really is. In much of today’s Christian life there is little, if any, conscious understanding of the FEAR OF THE LORD. As a result there is a tepid, impotent, carnal and divided Christian expression. The FEAR OF THE LORD is relegated to a sub note at the tail end of a sermon. The only concept most people have is what they have been taught not what they have experienced. Only those that seek HIM find HIM; only those that find HIM know and walk in the FEAR OF THE LORD. God’s complaint with Israel was….

“Wherefore the Lord said,
Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth,
and with their lips do honour me,
but have removed their heart far from me,

and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men
ISAIAH 29:13

Teachings, precepts and concepts in and of themselves WILL NOT produce the genuine expression of the SON! Only the LIFE OF THE SON ruling and reigning in our heart will make us authentic expressions of HIS glory. To know HIM is to LOVE HIM and to LOVE HIM is to know HIM.

The Body of Christ is broken, fragmented, secularized (I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am a Baptist, I am a Pentecostal, I am ….whatever), wounded and impotent, but NOT hopeless! Unto THOSE that FEAR HIS NAME SHALL HE ARISE! Hallelujah! Not only will HE ARISE but there is HEALING and RESTORATION in HIS WINGS. This means there is healing in HIS ARISING. Let us at this moment seek HIM afresh for in seeking we SHALL (definite) FIND HIM, in FINDING we shall know HIM and in knowing HIM we shall understand the GLORY AND THE PRIVILEGE OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD.

IT IS UNTO THOSE THAT FEAR HIS NAME
SHALL HE ARISE!

Ω

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin,
and desire nothing but God,
and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen;
such alone will shake the gates of hell
and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth…”
Charles Wesley

Brian Troxel

THE TWO VOICES

THE TWO VOICES

“Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon,
sit on the ground: there is no throne”
Isaiah 47:1

It is a day of the humbling of nations, a day in which authority will fail and, in the rejection of all that is right, just and holy, we will see the result of men’s choices. Every form of wickedness contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

“And he cried mightily with a strong VOICE, saying,
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,
and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations
have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,
and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,
and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”
Revelation 18:2 -3

The man tormented by the legion lived in the graveyard; every living thing seeks out an environment in which it is comfortable. The reason Babylon is inhabited with devils, foul spirits, unclean and hateful birds is because there was provision made for them. In the rejection of the light and the choosing of darkness men provide a dwelling place for such things. God’s judgment is to simply give men over to their own ways (Romans 1:18 – 32). In the midst of the declaration that Babylon is fallen we hear “another voice” crying out…

“And I heard ANOTHER VOICE from heaven, saying,
Come out of her, my people,
that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”
Revelation 18:4

It is the calling out of God’s people unto righteousness and a sanctified life. To be numbered as one of God’s people yet to remain in Babylon WILL NOT SAVE US from the judgments of our God! Positional truths will not circumvent an unrighteous life. If we partake of “her sins” we will most assuredly partake of “her plagues”.

“God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap”

That VOICE IS SPEAKING TODAY, calling out to the people of God to COME OUT and be separate unto our God. A separated life is an obedient life; not a life lived unto itself. It is a life poured out unto the development and raising up of the BODY OF CHRIST! It seeks (like Nehemiah) the welfare of the people of God. To live unto ourselves, to choose our own way and to secretly love the things of Sodom is to ultimately partake of its plagues.

“Remember Lot’s wife”
Luke 17:32

Brian Troxel

LET US RUN

“LET US RUN…”

 

“…let us run with patience (endurance & fortitude) the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus…”

Hebrews 12:1 – 2

The race is neither to the strong nor to the swift. This race is not one of understanding, intellect or physical or mental capabilities. It is a race of the heart; of affection, love and devotion. It is a race where only the Love of God in our hearts will qualify and enable us to finish. All the motives of self seeking, the pursuit of glory for oneself and selfish ambition will surely fail in the course of this race. This is a race of endurance and fortitude in which only by the Love of God beating in our hearts will we finish triumphant and with great joy. The Love that God gives “beareth all things… endureth all things.” Only those who love God pursue Him. Love ever seeks to please and know that which it loves.

In the heart of man there is but one law; his greatest love will always subdue the lesser loves. Whether it is love of self, pleasure, or the love of God, what a man holds dear will always prevail, either unto Life or unto Death.

We need to guard intently the affairs of our hearts in the subtlety of this day in which there seems to be no ramifications to how we live. They that know their God understand the need to walk circumspectly and to seek out fellowship that is true that we may find ourselves ready for the hour that is about to break forth in our land.

“If ye be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above…
Set your affection on things above,
not on the things on the earth…”

Colossians 3:1 – 2

Ω

 

“A man’s heart has only enough life in it to pursue one object fully”
CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1834–1892)

Brian Troxel

“THY PROPHETS”?

“Thy Prophets”?

“Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee:
and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity…”
Lamentations 2:14

True ministry is primarily unto the Lord, not the people. The prophets described here focused on the people; they saw vain and foolish things because they were concerned about their acceptance and popularity. They had no concern for the actual spiritual condition of God’s house; their concern was for the attention of the people of God. These prophets are called “thy prophets”, not God’s, for their ministry is of the people to build up a particular assembly, ministry or organization, rather than HIS Lordship or HIS purposes in the earth. When this is so, there will never be a “discovery” of the iniquity of the people of God because true accountability is not popular. It is in the ministration of true accountability that the people of God are FREED from their captivity. True ministry ever seeks the freedom and liberty of God’s people. A false prophet’s or hireling’s only concern is to keep the people from scattering. Interestingly enough this was also the motive given for the building of the tower of Babel! Sadly God’s INHERITANCE is of little concern.

We are living in the days of the House of Eli. There was no real correction and the “ministry” of Hophni and Phinehas went unchecked until the very lamp of God went out in the tabernacle! It says of that day…

“And the word of the LORD was precious (rare) in those days;
there was no open vision (no vision breaking forth)”
1 Samuel 3:1

It is because men no longer contend for the purposes of God in this hour that we have come to such a condition. The eyes of Eli “waxed dim that he could not see” and it speaks later of the fact that he had grown fat. Is this not a true description of this hour? Apathy and neglect are seen across the land. A “seeker friendly” atmosphere can mean that sins and iniquities are not an issue and that if a person simply “believes” that is enough. We can hold on to our sins and have God with no contradiction!

This “House of Eli” is soon to pass way. A new priesthood is arising with a new heart; a heart that is fixed on HIM alone; a heart that desires that unto HIM will the gathering of the people be.

Ω

“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Saviour from Hell rather than a Saviour from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness”
Arthur W. Pink

Brian Troxel

BEING TRUE

BEING TRUE

“In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses,
HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”
ZECHARIAH 14:20

Horses in those days were part of the flow of everyday life; transportation and work. God’s intent is to bring us to the place that the common activities of our daily life are an expression of “Holiness unto the Lord”. What we are with our brothers and sisters as we gather unto the Lord, we are in the public work places of life and in the private times when no one else is around. Every activity and every secret of the heart has one desire and intent: “Holiness unto the Lord”.

The ministry of truth has but one end; to MAKE US TRUE. A true heart remains the same no matter what the surroundings are. It is not given to change for the purpose of “fitting in”, being approved by our peers, or the appearance of being “spiritual”. The revelation of the depth of TRUTH that we actually walk in happens by BEING TRUE to Him in every aspect of our life. It matters little what men may think of us or how they interpret our actions and words. It matters only that we live in such a way that we glorify HIM. Holiness unto the Lord means that we set aside our life, our desires and our pursuits for the purpose of DOING HIS WILL, REVEALING HIS HEART and WALKING IN HIS WAYS. This is not a life that can be known or experienced by our own strength. It is the fruit of the MINISTRATION OF TRUTH that pierces our hearts, that uncovers our nakedness, that purges us from the horror of our self-will and self-deception to bring us into the LOVE OF GOD.

“IN THAT DAY…”

declares the Lord there WILL BE such a people! Truth is more than words, more than print on a page. TRUTH is A POWER with only one purpose and that is to make us TRUE EXPRESSIONS OF HIM WHO ALONE IS TRUE.

Ω

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as HE IS, SO ARE WE in this world”
1 JOHN 4; 17

Brian Troxel

RENEWED

RENEWED

“And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed BY the renewing of your mind…”
ROMANS 12:2

The depth and power of our salvation is realized to the degree that we are TRANSFORMED BY the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus. This must be an ongoing operation of the Holy Spirit. In order for this work to continue there must be a conscious effort on our part to resist being conformed to the things (the tempers, lusts, pride, envies, jealousies, hatred, self advancement, backbiting, anger, and all of the other things that come in the many forms of temptation in our daily life) of THIS WORLD. The transformation process of the GRACE of God is to the end that we may PROVE what the will of God is for US AS INDIVIDUALS. Men who never seek God’s Will, will never find it. Men who never DO HIS WILL, will never know it. Men who walk after their own ways will never experience the RENEWAL of mind that is essential to the growth of proving and knowing HIS WILL. We, by nature, are at enmity with God; antagonistic to the knowing and the doing of HIS WILL. WE MUST BE TRANSFORMED and that is accomplished ONLY BY THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS.

There is never a point of arrival; only an ever increasing understanding of the depth, the width, the height and the breadth of the LOVE and NATURE OF GOD! HE is ever beckoning us to “come up higher” to see HIS humility, HIS Glory, HIS Wonder and HIS MAJESTY. Even holy celestial beings in beholding HIM are left with only the words, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…! How can we stop in our pursuit? How can we be content with the little we see, know and understand of all that HE IS? We cannot allow age, infirmity, disappointment or compromise to thwart our pursuit of KNOWING HIM.

Being TRANSFORMED is the eternal call to those who have touched the CRY of HIS HEART for relationship with man. Can we not hear the voice of the Lord God walking in the cool of the day crying out “Adam where are you….”? Have we not been gripped by this call? It is in hearing that CALL that we respond “by the mercies of God…” to present our lives unto HIM in such submission (living sacrifices) that we are no longer conformed to this world but we are transformed BY THE RENEWING of OUR MIND (how we see, interpret and understand HIS WILL) in the midst of this dark world. This is not an hour to grow weary or to settle for the status quo; it is an hour to press in with all diligence for HIS mercies to arise in our hearts to a greater submission. Only then will we BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT GOOD, ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD. No teaching in and of itself can enable us to know the will of God in this way; without the accompanying ACT of the renewing of our minds it will simply produce the highest form deception possible. We need look no further than the scribes and Pharisees! The word Pharisee means “called out ones”. How frightening it is to start out well but to stop somewhere along the way! The purpose of being “called out” is that we may ENTER IN!

“Since therefore it remains that some must enter in,
and those to whom it was first preached
did not enter because of disobedience”
HEBREWS 4:6

Ω

“Therefore we do not lose heart.
Even though our outward man is perishing,
yet the inward man is being RENEWED day by day”
II CORINTHIANS 4:16

Brian Troxel

THE GOOD NEWS!

THE GOOD NEWS

“For if ye shall diligently keep
all these commandments which I command you,
to do them, to love the LORD your God,
to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you”
Deuteronomy 11:22 – 23

The enemies of our land are greater than we are, they are stronger and they are to be bread for us. The Gospel of the Kingdom is GOOD NEWS! It is about His strength, it is about His Life in us rising up to bring us to the completed victory of our Lord and Christ. It is HE who will drive out all the enemies of our own hearts and in the land where we dwell. However, it requires us to be diligent to keep and to DO HIS commandments. What are some of these commandments?

1. To love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, all of our souls and all of our strength
2. To love one another as HE has loved us
3. To keep ourselves from evil and to keep the way of life
4. To walk in all of His ways and to cleave unto Him

His commandments are not grievous; they are the doorway into HIS life. If we walk in all of HIS ways and cleave unto Him, “then will the LORD drive out” our enemies! For HE alone is our salvation and our life! Our victory is in HIM so let us arise again this hour to WILL and to DO of His good pleasure.

Let not our experiences determine our faith, but let our Faith determine our experience. This is the day to hold fast to that which we know to be true. Faith does not see what is, it sees God. Faith hears His Word and is not shaken by the dismal things which we now see. HE is coming back for a pure and lovely bride; people that reveal the pure love of God for one another. A church that is the radiant answer to the prayer of Jesus…

“That they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:34

Do we really believe these things? Do we believe that the prayer of Jesus is to be answered in this world? Are we able to show that we are true disciples of Jesus Christ? If it does not start in us where will it start? For it will and must come to pass. If not in us, then it will be in the life of another; God’s word will not fail, nor will the prayer of Jesus remain unanswered.

Brian Troxel

HEARING

HEARING

“Let your hands be strong, you that hear in these days”
ZECHARIAH 8:9

True hearing is paramount to faith. We live in a day of information overload; conferences, seminars, I Pod’s, and other multimedia resources that enable us to listen to the latest Christian messages over the internet… but to what end? There are many types of hearing but each of them will produce a different response.

There is a hearing with no understanding….

“…hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”
MATTHEW 13:13

There is a hearing with no doing….

“But he who heard and did nothing
is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation,
against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell.
And the ruin of that house was great.”
LUKE 4:49

Then there is a hearing that produces FAITH revealed by doing …

“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them,
I will show you whom he is like:
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep
and laid the foundation on the rock.
And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house,
and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock”
LUKE 4:48 – 49

How a man hears determines the eternal issues of life. Since FAITH is the product of hearing, and our faith is revealed in what we do, what we pursue, and what we are, it is an hour for us to be asking HIM to search out our hearts and motivations. Unforgiveness, presumption, secret sins, pride, old wounds, envy, jealously and any other strongholds that keep us bound within, all hinder us from hearing and doing. Hearing is related to the condition of our hearts not our intellect.

“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing…”
MATTHEW 13:15

Brian Troxel