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Archive for the ‘Faith and Works’ Category

I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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IF and THEN

Part One

PROVERBS 2:1-5

“…IF you will receive My words, and treasure up My commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding”
Proverbs 2:1-2

“…IF you cry for discernment, lifting up your voice for understanding”
Proverbs 2:3

“…IF you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures”
Proverbs 2:4

THEN you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find knowledge of God”
Proverbs 2:5

In understanding the fear of the Lord we are given access to the knowing of Him. We live in a day in which understanding is relegated to teachings and concepts but the true knowing of God must be on an experiential basis not a doctrinal one. There is a Way that we can grow into the understanding of the fear of the Lord; it is a way fraught with conditional promises. Religion does not like the word “if” for it denotes responsibility and accountability; the pathway to discipleship is full of this word. “If” in the scriptures confirms the exercising of our own will and choice. It is the determining factor of a person’s walk with God and God’s walk with them. The beauty of God is that all of His “ifs” to us culminate in His “then” to us, for He desires relationship and investment on both of our parts. God has invested His Son and we are asked to simply comply with His “ifs”. Every promise given by God is conditional. It requires faith and faith is revealed by doing. “If” implies more than an intellectual acknowledgement; it is in itself a conditional statement requiring our response.

“IF you…”

This is the phrase given to us. A quick glance at these two words brings us not only to a conditional response, but more importantly a personal one. Many wait for someone else to do a thing or pray that somehow the “then” will come to pass. The promises wait for those who fulfill the “if” which must precede the blessing of the promise.

God will never circumvent the fulfilling of the promise without the corresponding “if’s” being met in our lives on a personal basis. No amount of prayer will short circuit God’s desire for our obedience.

Religion is expecting God’s approval without walking in God’s way.

God Never Tells Man To Do Something
That Man Cannot Do

* Noah built the ark ---------------------God flooded the earth
* Moses stretched forth his hands---------God parted the waters
* Joshua marched around the walls---------God tore them down
* Elijah smote the water------------------God parted the waters
* Elisha threw the stick in the river-----God made the iron swim
* Naaman dipped 7 times-------------------God healed his leprosy
* We lay hands on the sick----------------God will heal

“IF and THEN” are the realities of His Way to the fulfillment of His Life in us.

* List Courtesy of
The Dusty Scholar

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE WAY

“But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence,
filling in your faith with virtue; and virtue with knowledge;
and knowledge with self-control; and self-control with patience;
and patience with godliness; and godliness with brotherly love;
and brotherly love with love. For these things being in you,
and abounding, THEY will make you not idle,
not unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the one in whom these things are not present is blind,
being shortsighted, taking on forgetfulness
of the cleansing of his sins in time past. On account of this, brothers,
rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election;
for doing these things, you will not ever fall into sin .
For so will be richly furnished to you
the entrance into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2Peter 1:5-11 (LITV)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
The works which Faith has wrought in us and through us becomes the very means by which we enter into His Kingdom.
B. Troxel

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We Have Today

“For man also knoweth not his time”
Ecclesiastes 9:12

The great deception of life is the blindness of its own mortality. The foolish man declares tomorrow I will do this or that; in truth we have only today to walk uprightly and to treat others with the wisdom and kindness of God. We only have today to hear His voice and to live our lives to please Him. The Psalmist declares…

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

The wise man who walks in the fear of the Lord knows the importance of each day. Those with an understanding of “the Holy” know that each day presents opportunities of faith and accountability unto Him who sees the very intent of a man’s heart. Our days are not to be spent foolishly or without regard to Him unto whom we must give an account. In reality the journey of man is brief and filled with foolishness but those who “number their days” make a concerted effort to apply wisdom.

Men who fear the Lord seek out fellowship with others who know of this wisdom. They gather for no other reason than to worship Him who alone is worthy; to speak and exhort one another to live each day to the doing of His Will.

“Then they that feared the Lord
spake often one to another:
and the Lord hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the Lord,
and that thought upon his name”
Malachi 3:16

This is the fruit of those who have tasted and touched the Holiness of God. Sadly many allow each day to pass without the application of His Truth and His Will. God speaks daily to one who has ears to hear and a heart to obey.

“Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith,
Today if ye will hear his voice
Harden not your heart”
Hebrews 3:7, 3:15. 4:7

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded…”
2 Timothy 1:12

Our relationship with God is not based upon the quality of our faith rather our faith is the result of our relationship with Him. Faith is the evidence in the life of one who is abiding in Him. It is the effect in a life caused by our learning of Him. This persuasion to stand in the midst of great trial, the ability to endure the seeming contradictions of this life, and to remain steadfast in the Word of God, is grounded in our knowing of Him. Faith is not a blind religious belief in a teaching or concept; faith is a “substance” which is rooted in the very character of God Himself. It is the fruit of a heart which has, in a corresponding measure, come to know HIM. Faith lays hold of that which it “sees” God doing and joins itself to Him. For this reason faith can never be without works; God is always working, always moving and always invading the lives of His Own.

Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and feels the draw and the impulse to walk with the Son. A living faith is one in which the heart (because of Love) ever seeks to identify with the object of that Love. Faith is simply the expression of Peter stepping out of the boat; it does not need nor seek the opinions of others in the boat for it sees Christ. The ability to rise up and step into the stormy sea is trust. Trust is the means by which faith is exercised. It is the terra firma upon which a man walks. Men who do not know God cannot trust Him. They may hold a religious creed that says right things, they may mentally ascribe to His Word, but it is in the actual doing that true faith is revealed.

“And they that know thy name
will put their trust in thee

Psalm 9:10

Relationship with God is the purpose of the New Testament. He called the disciples that “they might be with Him”. Their time spent with Him produced men who turned the world upside down.

“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)

It is our relationship with Him that determines the cause and the effect of our lives in the world around us.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
2 Corinthians 5:11

Those who know the terror of the Lord persuade men. The cause of someone seeking to persuade men of their accountability unto God comes from “knowing”. Men who know not, do not.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord…”
Ephesians 6:8

The cause in a person’s life to do good and bless others is effected by the knowing of God. Those who know not God live unto themselves. The reality of our relationship with Him is revealed and shouted out to the world everyday by the effect produced within our lives. This evidential expression is called “Faith”.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith…”
Galatians 5:22

FAITH BEING THE FRUIT (or effect)
Of the Spirit ruling in our lives

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Open Door

“For a great door
and effectual is opened unto me,

and there are many adversaries
1 Corinthians 16:9

Difficult and adversarial situations have no bearing upon the child of God. The Open Door into the things of our Father must be filled with opposition for this door can only be entered on the grounds of Faith; a Faith that is living, pressing and teeming with the life of God. Men who wait for all the conditions to be right will never know the hidden glories of God’s provisions.

“Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies”
Psalm 23:5

The rich provision of God’s table is served in the midst of our enemies. It is there we find the nourishment and faithfulness of our God to provide all that we need to accomplish His works in and through our lives. John on the Isle of Patmos was banished to a forlorn and desolate place for his testimony of God. It is there that he sees a great door opened and the heavens drawn back to unveil the deep and dramatic unfolding of the Revelation of Christ! We must not draw back from the doors presented to us. We must not consider the opposition and the obstacles that stand in our way; for faith never walks by sight. Many men and women of God sit in faithless inactivity waiting for the opposition to be removed before venturing into the things they have been called to.

“He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”
Ecclesiastes 11:4

The reaping in a man’s life is always in proportion to his sowing. Great testing is about to unfold in our day and it is incumbent upon us to be in the now of His Will; to step out of the confines of our world and into the open doors of His world. The way of truth is not an intellectual commodity; it is the Life of Jesus being lived out in my life today. When Jesus said “I am the Truth” He proclaimed truth to be His Life in me; not some doctrinal understanding of a teaching, but the very breath and power of His life in my own heart. Men who accomplish the works of faith are blind to the obstacles that stand in their way. They see through the barriers, they see through the weaknesses in their own lives and the limitations of their own resources for faith sees His Will and nothing else. It is a day to “lift up our eyes”, in order to see past the circumstances and be found “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Drowsiness

“…drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”
Proverbs 23:21

Drowsiness is simply the final interval prior to the fullness of slumber. It is a place of great danger for the Christian. It is very easy to become so alive to this world, its needs, desires and demands that it robs from us from our real need: to stay vitally aware of our life before God. We are exhorted in the scriptures to be vigilant to keep our garments white in this day of great apathy.

“Blessed is he that watcheth,
and keepeth his garments”
Revelation 15:16

In this day of drowsiness and slumber it is essential that we find ourselves in a living fellowship with others who seek out and desire to stir up in one another the fires and ministrations of the Holy Spirit. So few in this day want the ministrations of exhortation and admonition; men do not desire such. They want to hear only good things. Those who have received the “love of the Truth” want the truth. They recognize their own need for the searchlight of God to penetrate the blindness of their hearts. His Word is living and is sharper than any two edged sword. The fact is not all men desire or want accountability. When they are struggling with sin they would rather go to someone who is defeated than to one who has overcome. They want sympathy not victory. This type of “fellowship” will always lead to drowsiness and spiritual death. God has spoken to us of His provision…

“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
Hebrews 10:24-25

This is God’s answer to meet the drowsiness of this hour; exhortation and strong encouragement “unto love and good works”. We see so little in terms of exhortation, true love and the doing of good works which honor and glorify our God!

It is obvious the spirit of slumber has taken hold of the people of God in our day. They have become comfortable and sleepy due to the lack of exhortation and the strong admonition of the Word of God. The Word to us from Hebrews chapter ten is a command (so renders the parsing of the original Greek) not a suggestion. We read these things as if they did not apply to us. We read with a faithless sigh of apathy rather than as a promise from God and His way to keep our hearts on fire and awake, ready for His appearing. The fellowship of the Spirit is always full of these things and those who desire “truth in the inward parts” seek out this grace with others.

To yield to the drowsiness of this hour will end in our spiritual garments becoming rags rather than robes of righteousness. God speaking to His Own in the Book of Revelation says…

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works
perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch,
I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis
which have not defiled their garments;
and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels”
Revelation 3:2-5

Let us turn from the slothful ways of this hour and seek out those who would “walk in white” in the reality of His Spirit. Men reveal their hearts by what they do, not by what they say. It is time for us to seek and search out those who hear the call of God to “strengthen the things that remain”.

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come…”
Proverbs 6:10

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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