Compromise

Compromise

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him;
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,
lest they should be put out of the synagogue”
John 12:42

What was the Holy Spirit’s judgment on this?

“For they loved the praise of men
more than the praise of God”
John 12:43

When men and women lack the fortitude and courage to walk and seek God’s favour on their own, they will invariably seek their identity in “fitting in” with others. Many see the inconsistencies and compromise, yet remain complicit, ignoring the cry of their inner hearts. They succumb to conformity, to the protocols and doctrines of men at the expense of God’s glory. They become traitors to Christ; professing faith while choosing the acceptance of man over the call of God.

The penalty for such betrayal is beyond estimation, not only in this life but for eternity. Families are often destroyed by remaining in the throes of compromise for the sake of a horribly misplaced loyalty; parents (because of a loyalty to man) expose their children to lifeless concepts of God which often results in a life of wandering and futility.

The worth of a thing is determined by the price someone will pay for it. Those who esteem the praises of men more worthy than God’s pay a bitter price in the end. What people esteem becomes the compass by which they direct their life and they who value the approval of men must by necessity wander out of the Way of God.

“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
shall remain in the congregation of the dead”
Proverbs 21:16

May the grace of God work in us an uncompromising walk of faith. It is better to walk alone with God than to abide in the congregation of the dead.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare”
Proverbs 29:25

Brian Troxel

Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

“He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.”
John 7:37-38

The giving forth of the Holy Spirit is clearly connected with Jesus being glorified. It is not limited to “dispensations”, times or seasons. Jesus has been glorified, is being glorified and will forever be glorified. As a result, the Holy Spirit will continue to be given. The unbelief of not asking, not seeking and not receiving the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is the bane of the gospel of our day.

The Word is clear. The promises are certain, and the price paid for the sending forth of the comforter, the One who is to lead us into all the truth of Christ. He is ever offered to those who by faith receive.

A gospel which proclaims something less cannot fully glorify Jesus. Unbelief caused the children of Israel to perish in the wilderness. Unbelief is the great cause of unanswered prayer. Unbelief is the reason for powerless living. Unbelief produces a dearth of the works of God in our midst.

“And he did not many mighty works there
because of their unbelief
Matthew 13:58

God has not abandoned us; He remains the same forever. Unbelief is the crisis of our day. Men would rather deny God’s gift than admit their own unbelief. It is easier to explain away the wonder and the power of the Holy Spirit than it is to ask, seek and pursue Him who died to make this gift ours.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Luke 11:11-13

Brian Troxel

The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

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

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Four Cherubim & God’s Tapestry (an introduction)

The Four Cherubim & God’s Tapestry (an introduction)

“The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.” (Rev 4:7)

A Spiritual Checkup

A Spiritual Checkup

This is an excerpt of my own heart’s internal desire to remain current and alive unto my God and Saviour.

Spiritual Ignorance is the result of disobedience.

The Remedy:

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light”
John 3:21

Spiritual Stagnation is the result of fruitless living.

“Every branch in me that
beareth not fruit he taketh away”
John 15:2

Spiritual Apathy is the result of not abiding in Him.

“If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered”
John 15:6

Spiritual Poverty is the result of robbing God of the gift of ourselves to Him.

“Will a man rob God?
Yet ye have robbed me”
Malachi 3:8

The Remedy:

 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual worship”
Romans 12:1

Repentance and godly sorrow is the great gift of God’s mercy to us. In turning we shall be turned, and in godly sorrow is found the wonder of His Joy. Humbling ourselves is the precursor to Him being magnified in our lives.

I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

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 “Examine yourselves,
to see whether you are in the faith”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Eyes of God

PodcastThe Eyes of God

 

…and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.” (Rev 4:6)

Quote for Today – A.B. Simpson

Quote for Today

“God means every Christian to be effective, to make a difference in the actual records and results of Christian work. God put each of us here to be a power. There is not one of us but is an essential wheel of the machinery and can accomplish all that God calls us to”
A.B. Simpson

Introduction to the Cherubim and Our Warfare

PodcastCherubim and Our Warfare, an Introduction

“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee…”
Ezekiel 28:14-15

“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. (Gen 3:24)

Letters to the Church – Words – Part Seven

Letters to the Church – Words

Part Seven

“For he that will love life, and see good days,
let him refrain his tongue from evil…”
1 Peter 3:10

The sacred scriptures speak much to us of the relationship between the words we speak and the quality of life we are afforded by the Grace of God. This exhortation from Peter is often overlooked. In the midst of the strife, contention and competition in religious circles, these words offer us a warning and a promise from God. Wisdom is the result of the fear of the Lord. In its sway we begin to weigh our words before we speak. We are saved from rash words filled with evil intent and the tendency to inflict upon others the poison of our own hearts. How often we need to be reminded of His omnipresence. He is present at every conversation weighing the words of our anger, foolishness and unsanctified thoughts.

“But I say to you, that every idle* word,
whatever men may speak,
they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day”
Matthew 12:36

There are no words spoken which will not be accounted for in the Judgment Day. All our words will be required of us in that Day. Jesus continues on in His discourse;

“For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned”
Matthew 12:37

The fruit of one’s lips are the revelation of their heart. We see here God’s perspective on the words we speak and the deeds we do. How we need to touch the Holiness of God to see and understand the implications of foolish words and an unbridled tongue! The gossip, slander and the seemingly innocent words spoken to dishonour another brother, or to further inflame situations in the Body of Christ, carry heavy repercussions in this life and judgment in the next.

“Do any of you think you are religious?
If you do not control your tongue,
your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself”
James 1:26

The value of a person’s walk and their relationship with God is readily seen in the words spoken. Regardless of our profession of faith, the religion of one who speaks with an undisciplined tongue is vain and worthless.

“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence,
but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret”
Proverbs 11:13

In our daily lives we either justify our walk with God or we reveal the vanity of our religious ways.

“So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

Σ

*Note: The Greek Word translated “idle” ἀργός is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “ἀ” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be “words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).

Humility is the precious fruit of the Spirit which becomes ours by the seeing of Him. It is in touching the Presence of God where we are delivered from our boastful words and the discrepancy of saying one thing while walking in another.

Our works are to give the words we speak the
weight and verity of Christ living within us.

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12
(Please read the context of this scripture James 2:12-26)

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

Brian Troxel

The Life of Jesus – Part Two

The Life of Jesus – Part Two

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him”
Acts 10:38

Three People Defined

The testimony of Jesus when He walked in this world was that He “went about doing good”. Why? “For God was with Him”. The “good” which He did was the result of the Will of the Father not the prerogatives of men. Within the current landscape of the church there are:

1) those who hear and DO nothing,
2) those who DO without hearing,
3) true disciples who DO through hearing.

1. People who hear without doing.

The Parable of Jesus concerning the Good Samaritan depicted the priest and the Levite who did not involve themselves with a man beaten on the road (Luke 10:30-36). Their reason was in part, that they were “separated ones” (the literal meaning of Pharisee). Their inability to be moved by the love of God unto the works of God, shows the poverty and impotency of a life which holds the teachings of God apart from the love and person of God. Their religion is one of words and concepts. They may vigorously defend the tenets of faith yet be devoid of the works of faith.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him”
Titus 1:16

These are they who are quick to defend menial and irrelevant matters disputing about contentious issues i.e. related to meat, drink, days, seasons and teachings; yet lacking in the substance and the works of Christ Himself in their everyday life.

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Colossians 2:16

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth”
2 Timothy 2:23-25

2. They who DO without hearing.

These ones works are self-generated; they respond to every need without the wisdom and leading of God (Martha) and some even for the purpose to be seen of men and of the world. They seek to build up their reputation and walk in self-promotion. Works without faith is another form of a religion which denies the Lordship and reality of Christ.

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 6:2)

There is also within this category a far higher and more deceptive realm into which His people may fall. It is found within the ministrations of the gifts of the Spirit. People may be given a precious gifting of God but use it for the promotion of self, all in the Name of God! This is a most grievous and terrifying thing to behold.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” To which Jesus responds… “I never knew you” Matthew 7:22-23

3. They who hear and do.

These find the life of wonder in being “yoked” with Christ wherein they are bound by the Love of God and the will of God in Christ. Their walk is characterized by the liberty of the Spirit to fulfill the desires of God alone. They seek no glory for themselves. They speak truth and do truth by the workings of the Cross. They bear His reproach as they do His will. The reproach of Christ was the result of the Son doing the will of the Father. Likewise, His disciples bear His reproach in their obedience to Christ. They truly know Him as Lord.

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)

The Kingdom of God is for those who submit themselves to DO the Will of the Father in Christ Jesus our LORD.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel