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

Timnath and the Riddle

Timnath and The Riddle

“And he said unto them,
Out of the eater came forth meat,
and out of the strong came forth sweetness.
And they could not in three days expound the riddle.”
Judges 14:14

The riddle of every believer can only be solved within the equation of their own experience. Samson’s riddle was one of personal experience and victory. There is no other living person who can solve the riddle of “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. Paul spoke at length of this mystery in Ephesians and Colossians.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

The matchless wonder of the mystery can only be solved individually through the medium of obedience and victory. Samson’s riddle was his own; he did not share with anyone (initially) the victory over the young lion he met in the way. It was his victory and God’s strength that prevailed in the vineyards of Timnath. “Timnath” in the Hebrew means inheritance or allotted portion. What was true of Samson is true of everyone who truly knows the Lord. In our pursuit of Christ Himself (our Timnath) we will encounter the enemies of our soul that confront us, condemn us, and seek to destroy us. It is here we find provision in God to contend with our enemy until the victory is ours and our place in God is discovered.

Many Christians have no sense of spiritual identity, no comprehension of the call to walk and discover the unfolding mystery of Christ within them; a Christ who is known to them in the fierceness of the battle, a Christ who is known in the personal victories over sin, temptation and failure. To be an overcomer in Christ one must experience the victory of Christ within the riddle of their own life. The mists of confusion lift and doubts fade in the light and victory of Christ through our obedience to Him.

He is ever calling us to explore, walk and live within the sureties of His wonder in our lives. Like a flower ever unfolding, like the rising sun of each new day, He is beckoning us to explore and discover His riches within the sanctum of our own hearts. No one can solve this mystery but the individual to whom He is given. It requires walking, trusting, and a living faith to step into the Timnath of His Call in each of us.

May we, as Samson, know that out of that which sought to destroy us God prepares strong meat. Out of the strength of our enemies comes the sweetness of victory and the secret of the Lord. It is our glorious riddle to solve within the fabric of our own being.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

Brian Troxel

The Church of Sardis Part ONE – The Lampstand and the Seven Spirits of God

PODCAST – An informal home Bible Study on the Church at Sardis – PART ONE. (Revelation 3:1-6)

The Lampstand
and the
Seven Spirits of God

October 21, 2018

First Half – 34 Minutes

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Second Half – 28 Minutes

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Obedience and the Tree of Life

Obedience and the Tree of Life

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Obedience to the will of God is the revelation of His Lordship. Calling upon His Name and then walking in the stubbornness of our own ways is labelled iniquity in the New Testament. Iniquity simply means “self-will”. It is the unbroken, undisciplined and unconquered will of one who claims to be a follower of Christ and yet exhibits all of the traits of the first Adam. We live in a day of a false gospel, a declaration that by simply naming the name of Jesus we have full access to all the promises of God, such is not the truth.

The message of Jesus to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation is consistent… “I know thy works…” It is in what we do wherein we reveal the nature and the spirit in which we walk.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

Jesus follows this powerful question with the “Parable of the Houses” being built upon rock and upon the sand.

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Luke 6:47-49

How few realize that it is in doing His will wherein the deep foundation of the house is laid! It is in the doing where we discover the true nature of all that we are and run to Him for grace. His will is in itself the very foundation of our salvation. In His will we are confronted with our own stubbornness and we are met with the full knowing of our own weakness and folly. His Will is the cross upon which the horror of self is crucified. They who hear only never come to terms with their true self, they live in a world of teachings, confessions and religious talk without ever venturing into the land of truth. It is WHEN the flood comes that the foundation is discovered and the verity of an individual’s true nature is revealed.

Obedience brings us to the need of the true grace of God, it is no longer a sentient, a catch phrase or a religious cliché; it is the means by which our hearts find the power to submit to His ways and walk in them.

Through disobedience man lost the right and the access to the Tree of Life and it is through the wonder and life of the Son (as expressed in a life of obedience) we gain the right to the Tree of Life and are able to partake of its life giving fruit.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:14

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho

Effectual Prayers

Part Seven

Elisha and Jericho

“…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. If we walk in the Spirit our requests, desires and needs will be consistent with the nature and sphere of our walk. If we walk in the flesh our request will be congruous with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is here we are given insight into the heart of our heavenly Father. In His love he may not answer or at the least delay prayers that are offered amiss.

Asking amiss can include anything from our own selfish desires to praying on behalf of others without understanding the purpose of God within the situation. It requires a seeking on our part as to what the will of God is in order to pray in faith. As we come before Him we discover the “secret of the Lord” in the need presented to us. There are many things hidden from our eyes; secret things known only to the Lord. Yet as we seek His face it is His joy to reveal the hidden things that our petitions may be accurate and aligned with His purposes. Such prayers readily find their way to the “Throne of Grace” where He is waiting to meet the need of the moment.

Elisha and Jericho

“And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, now, the site of the city is good, as my lord sees, but the waters are bad; and the ground causes barrenness. And he said, “bring a new dish to me, and put salt there.” And they took it to him. And he went out to the source of the waters and threw salt there, and said, so says Jehovah, I have given healing to these waters; there shall not be death and sterility there anymore. And the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.”
2 Kings 2:19-22

One of Elisha’s first miracles was healing the waters of Jericho. Rather than praying for the waters at the city, Elisha understands in the Spirit that the waters needed to be traced to the spring from which they flowed. Many times we pray and offer counsel concerning a situation at hand but if we seek the Lord He will lead us to the “source” or cause; therein we discover a true and lasting solution. Left to ourselves we tend to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. Prayers asked amiss will hinder the power of God being released.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”

Prayer and Obedience

Another cause of unanswered prayer is that often our prayers require obedience to be combined with insight. Elisha took the “new” dish of salt, cast it into the spring of the waters and then spoke the Word of the Lord over it. We must see that prayers without obedience can remain unanswered. Sometimes we ask amiss because we walk amiss!

Obedience and Prayer cannot be separated.

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Six – Asking Largely

Effectual Prayers

Part Six

Jeroboam and Elisha

“…ye have not, because ye ask not”
James 4:2

Our faith determines the nature of our requests. Those who believe little ask for little. Faith is the formative factor in our asking and our receiving. The doors of His great storehouse are opened unto us upon the hinges of Faith.

Jeroboam went to Elisha the Prophet who was on his deathbed whereupon Elisha gave the King an arrow and told him it was the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel from the Syrians. He then instructed the King to shoot the arrow into the air and then strike the ground with the remaining arrows. The King did so and struck the ground three times; the Prophet responded:

“And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.”
2 Kings 13:19

The King’s response revealed a faith which was lacking. Jeroboam’s desire for victory was small and correspondingly so was Israel’s victory over the Syrians. Our asking will always be proportional to the faith we hold in our hearts. We may pretend to ask largely but within the recesses of our heart we know when we are in the faith or when we are asking in the presumption of self.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

It requires the faith of Christ to access the Amen of Christ to all the promises of God. (Galatians 2:20)

“The real tragedy of the poor
is the poverty of their aspirations”
Adam Smith

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Church of the Laodiceans – Part Four

PODCAST – A Bible Study on the Church of the Laodiceans – Part Four. (Revelation 3:14-22)

Buying the Gold Tried in the Fire

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PART 1  ||  PART 2  ||  PART 3