Consider Our Heritage

Consider Our Heritage

“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder,
were tempted, were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins;
being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
Hebrews 11:37-38

How we need to contemplate our heritage and the bravery and purity of those who have gone on before us. By faith they forsook the ways of this present world because they were in pursuit of a City whose “builder and maker is God”. It is the nature of faith to produce within the lives of His Own a pilgrim walk; a life of separation and detachment from the toxic offerings of a world opposed to all that is godly and righteous.

We need only study the lives of those who through faith obtained a “good report” from God to consider our ways and find grace to walk in the “paths of righteousness”. These precious saints paid a price for their faith. Their lives were such a light and revelation of their faithfulness to God that it caused those around them to take note of the dynamic faith, which was living, vital and real in their lives.

“…who through faith overcame kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the mouths of the sword, acquired power from weakness, became strong in war; made armies of foreigners to yield. Women received their dead by resurrection; but others were beaten to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”
Hebrews 11:33-35

They had their eyes upon a “better resurrection”. By faith they were convinced that the life lived here on earth was a determining factor in the eternal realities of God. It is a false gospel which declares that regardless of how we live our lives here, our resurrection is unaffected. It is a degrading concept of a Holy and Righteous God!

Surely it is a day for us to consider our ways; to contemplate the beauty and quality of the lives of those who have gone before us. May we see and feel their testimony passed on to us that by the same power of a living faith we would walk worthy of Him who has “called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus…”
Hebrews 12:1-2

Ω

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,
in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses…”
2 Corinthians 6:4

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Revelation 4:1 – Part Two – Patmos

Podcast – Patmos – Revelation 4:1

The Isle of Patmos
God’s Purpose
for the Revelation of Himself

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PODCAST – Revelation 4:1 – Part One – The House of God

Podcast

The Contrast Between
Bethel and El-Bethel

(about a 10 second delay at the beginning)

Revelation 4:1 – The true House of God

An Informal Bible Study
Concerning the True House of God

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Thought for Today – Faith and Power

Thought for Today

Faith and Power

“Now to him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us…”
Ephesians 3:20 (WEB)

Faith is not belief. Faith is not a commodity or the product of a self-generated religious philosophy. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for. It is the actual “evidence” of spiritual realities. It is not empty, make believe or unsubstantial. Faith is rooted in God Himself. It is the divine enablement to reach into the very heavens where God dwells and appropriate divine realities. The ability to expect the greater things of God is proportional to the “power that is at work in us”. Within the life of every believer there is to be a power at work; a power received and held within the heart of His own. Obedience is the revelation of that power at work within our lives. It is God moving within us to fulfill His purposes for us.

By faith Noah, being warned of God
of things not seen as yet, moved with fear”
Hebrews 11:7

Noah was moved by faith; the impetus to do was the offspring of that faith. Faith is the mover. There is a relentless press of faith to do God’s work in those in whom that power is at work. The degree of its expression in our lives is revealed by obedience and the works which faith alone can produce. Where there is no living faith, the works of faith will be missing. Faith is the power of God at work within the life of the believer. The life which one lives is their true statement of faith. It is not merely something we believe; it is revealed in the life we live and the things we do.

In our day the faith of many rests in the words and wisdom of men and not in the power of God.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Faith in the wisdom of men is powerless and lifeless; it leaves its adherents looking to someone or something outside of themselves. It is a faith which lacks the reality of present day living. The faith that stands in the power of God knows that the secret of its fulfillment lies in our obedience to His Will.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out
into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed…”
Hebrews 11:8

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Redeeming the Time

Thought for Today

Redeeming the Time

“Redeeming the time,
because the days are evil”
Ephesians 5:16

Time is one of the most precious commodities given to humankind. The experience of every moment becomes the very fabric of our human existence. Every day, every moment, and every breath are God’s gift to us. Each minute that passes is one less left in our journey here on earth. We are exhorted by God to see these gifts of time as opportunities in our walk with Him.

“So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

In Jesus’ life here on earth, no time was squandered. Each moment was filled with purpose and design. He was here to reveal the Father; to please His Father. He came that we might live our life with the same intensity of heart. His Life was active, yet ever at rest. His hands were busy in destroying the works of the devil. His words were filled with power and wisdom. His thoughts towards God’s fallen creation were pure. His feet took Him from the darkness of the synagogues to the lost woman at the well. In each situation men and women were struck with the very light of God. In short, His Life was not His own. John declared:

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.
Were every one of them to be written,
I suppose that the world itself could not contain
the books that would be written”
John 21:25

The Son of God was always engaged in the “now” of life. His heart was and is ever attentive to the will of His Father. Nothing was arbitrary or lost in His short 33 years. The secret of our life is to discover this same perspective. It is the surrendered life, free from our own pursuits, wherein we discover the divine enablement to be sensitive to the opportunities around us. It is here we “redeem the time” allocated to each of us. Discipleship is a journey of following in the Way of the Master; a life of cultivating and developing a sensitivity to His Spirit in our daily lives. The opportunities to extend His Love into the world are all around us.

“Do you not say,
‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes,
and see that the fields are white for harvest
John 4:35

Life is to be lived in the moment. The deception of religion is that it concerns and consoles itself with either past or future concepts and ideas; Christ was always in the “now” of His Father. While people were and are looking toward an event, Jesus told His disciples to lift up their eyes to see that now, in the present, the fields are white unto harvest.

The secret to redeeming the time
is discovered in the “now” life we live.

Ω

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
– C.T. Stud

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Throne of God – Part One Bible Study

Podcast

The Throne of God

“And out of the throne proceeded
lightnings and thunderings and voices…”
Revelation 4:5

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The Real Faith

The Real Faith

“Also this, knowing the time,
that it is now the hour for you to be aroused from sleep”
Romans 13:11

The deceptive nature of slumber is that it is not aware of itself. It is found in the lives of those who rely on the tenants of faith rather than the life of faith. It is to those who do His will through the agency of faith who are kept awake and alive unto Christ. Doing necessitates that we are constantly pressed into Him for Divine enablement to meet the needs of those around us. Life without doing produces a virtual reality in the life of a believer, without experience or substance. It is a deadly place to dwell. Its foundation is based on an intellectual belief in the inspired Word of God, yet it is not united by faith unto the life of doing (Hebrews 4:2). It is the highest form of deception. When Jesus walked the earth the religious leaders of His day were the most deceived. Those who had spent their life in learning became deceived by the very knowledge in which they had immersed themselves!

Faith by its very definition is the evidence of spiritual realities (Hebrews 11:1). It must produce works and expressions of actual worth to validate its existence in the life of a believer.

Hebrews 11:2 “By faith the Elders obtained Witness…”
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain”
Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham… obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”
Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith, being tested, Abraham offered up Isaac…”

The authenticity of one’s faith is revealed in the doing, not the knowing. A faith that does not have within the life of a believer the “evidencing” of its power is a faith which is dead and deceptive.

“My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith,
but he does not have works?”
James 2:14

“But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works. You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder. But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?
James 2:18-2:20

“And everyone who hears these Words of Mine,
and who does not do them,
he shall be compared to a foolish man
who built his house on the sand…”
Matthew 7:26

Living faith is evidenced by the works produced within the life of a true believer. Jesus gave us the Parable of two men building their houses. One man, “a believer”, built his house by the process of “hearing only”. The other man built his house by hearing and doing. The house built by “hearing” only, failed in the time of the storm. He “thought” his faith was genuine, but it was proved otherwise. The one who built his house by hearing and doing had a foundation built upon the Rock of Christ.

It is clear that it is the doing
that is the true foundation of faith.

“Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for,
the proof of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

True living Faith obtains the promises of God… (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
True living Faith is evidenced through the life we live…
True living Faith reveals the life and wonder of Him who gave it…
True living Faith must produce the works of faith in the lives of those who are governed by it.
True living Faith builds its house upon the Rock of Christ through the obedience which it inspires…

“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed (Greek united, joined) with faith by those who heard.”
Hebrews 4:2

A faith which does not produce within the believer change, passion, and obedience is a faith which will bring men and women into the judgment of God (read 1 Corinthians 10:1-12).

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Persistent Heart

Thought for Today

The Persistent Heart

“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.”
2 Chronicles 34:3

Whenever and wherever a soul begins to seek God in truth, the result will be a purging of unclean things both within and without. Those who declare they are earnestly seeking God but have not this heart, have not yet found God. It is one thing to seek Him; it is another thing to find Him.

“For in the eighth year… he began to seek God
and in the twelfth year he began to purge…”

God is not found overnight. He is not found in a few days of seeking. The true in heart set their lives apart to seek Him. It is not a quick and easy process; it takes learning, discovering and an earnest cry within the human heart for Him alone. He is unfathomable, eternal and infinite. The is no end to His Glory nor His purposes for us. One cannot touch Him and remain the same. The life that constantly seeks Him shall surely be filled with the constant finding of Him.

The promise stands sure to all who would find Him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

The secret to finding Him lies in the persistency of seeking.

It is a lifelong pursuit which intensifies in passion because of the beauty that beckons the hungry heart onward. Faith will not be deterred. The human element which seeks for other purposes grows weary in its search; the faithful heart expends itself all the more. The Syrophenician woman would not be dismayed by the seeming rebuffs of Jesus, crying out “even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28). Jesus responded with great delight at the display of her great faith.

It is incumbent upon us to set our hearts afresh to seek Him and to remain faithful in our pursuit of Him. His promises are sure and those who find Him will speak to the world around them of righteousness and purity of heart. The anointing falls on the life of those who love righteousness and hate iniquity.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
Hebrews 1:9

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living for Him

Thought for Today

Living for Him

“And he died for all,
in order that those who live
should no longer live for themselves”
2 Corinthians 5:15

The proof that we are living for Him and not ourselves is revealed in our daily life. The risen Christ becomes the purpose and the intent of our everyday existence. Only those who are truly alive in Him know the fire and the intensity of this pressing to spend themselves for Him.

Many may claim such a purpose but within the confines of daily living there is a discernable lack of that unrelenting determination to please Him in all that they do. Life is to no longer be lived within the tedious rote of religious endeavors; it is to be filled with the adventure of His joy welling up from within as we discover the riches of His will in the now of our today. There is much taught about the “now” life but there must be the works to support our confessions of faith. The real need of His people is not an understanding and acknowledgment of a teaching but the pressing into good works to show our faith.

“But someone will say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Show me your faith apart from your works,
and I will show you my faith by my works.”
James 2:18

True life is one whereby the faith and works of Christ are realized. It is the divine life flowing through the fragile earthen vessel which honors and glorifies the Father. A life devoid of works is a life devoid of love and faith. Neither of these can remain static or inactive within the heart of “those who live”.

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

The Son ever lives to glorify and please His Father. If He is alive and ruling within, we will know this power and grace at work in us.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit…”
John 15:8

Brian Troxel

The Conversations of Jesus

The Conversations of Jesus

Luke 10:25-29

“Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”
Luke 10:25-29

Even the most casual conversations of Christ demonstrate depth, wisdom and power as revealed in the magnificence of His Word.

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

The seemingly innocent question of a respected teacher of the law, as seen through the eyes of the Spirit of God, is in fact a man tempting God. Jesus saw his heart and knew that the mask of sincerity was meant to hide the intent of exposing the Living Christ as a fraud. The question was an effort to catch Jesus in His Own words that the Pharisees might find fault with Him. The religious ones of His day were ever seeking to discredit Him for His very presence; His life and wisdom were a constant reproach to the wickedness of their own hearts.

Jesus the Son of God was never lax in His abiding in the Father; he had no moments to Himself. His diligence and life of separation was on display for the world to see. May God grant to us the unction, the grace and the power to be ever alive in Him; no “me time”, no moments of casual conversation where our words are unguarded and carnal. There is a life, (oh a deep life of wonder) where we are held within the dictates of a Grace so abounding, so deep and so consistent that our words are birthed and directed by His Spirit ruling and reigning within.

“He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?”

Jesus responds not with what the Word says. Rather the wisdom of God turns the questioner into the one being questioned with “how do you read”? Often what a person reads and how a person reads are two very different things. The contradiction lies in the heart, not in what is written. Now the man is forced to answer in front of all.

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

The man answers correctly. His belief is right but his standing with God is not. How we need the penetrating light of God to bring what we believe into the light of doing and becoming what we believe. Jesus responds to him:

“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live…”

His belief was right, but this gave the man no assurances of the “eternal life” he desired. When we separate the life that we now live from the “eternal life” offered to us in the Son we reveal a disconnect with the purposes of God.

Jesus was bringing this man to the fundamental truth that the “eternal life” he sought was found in the life he now lived.

“…this do, and thou shalt live…”

Can we not feel the prompting of His Spirit to live and walk this day in the power and wonder of the “now life”? “This do and live…” Let these words penetrate and lay hold of our hearts. Let them grip us with such force that every day is seen as a great adventure into further depths of Him!

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbour?”

Here is where the fault lay within the heart of this man. Whenever our response to truth is one of justifying ourselves, we can be assured we are not walking in “eternal life” in our own personal experience. It is the horror of religion to believe one thing and walk in another. Eternal life must be found within our own hearts and the verity of the life we now live. The discrepancy between these two (what we believe versus how we live) is the thermometer of how far we have progressed in our journey into Him who is the Life. Paul stated to the Church at Corinth:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Paul was not talking about doctrinal faith in the things they knew. He was speaking of the faith which determined the life they now lived. This is the crucible of every believer. It is here where doctrinal adherents are separated from true disciples. The continual quest to know Him or, as Paul declares, “to apprehend” this Christ comes from a heart that knows its inherent need of Him in order to walk correctly every day. Paul goes on in his discourse to the Philippians to say, “not that I have obtained… but I press on…”. The discrepancy was not a cause of condemnation; it was the very matrix from which Paul’s pursuit of Christ was birthed. We must see that it is not what we believe but what we do because of the truth whereby we discover His Life.

“…but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

“…and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Galatians 2:20

Brian Troxel