The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire is the showing forth of His wisdom being brought to bear upon those whose hearts long to bear fruit unto Him.

“And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them…”
Zechariah 13:9

If our heart’s desire is to be re-created into His likeness, we must seek to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). The purpose of God’s Spirit is to “quicken” us, to transform us “by the renewing of our minds” whereby we are “changed from one glory unto another”. No individual truly called of God has escaped the depths of loneliness, separation, misunderstanding, and rejection. It is the forging of the fire which draws out the impurities of our own selves – the very construct of our wrongness. In God’s wisdom, He uses our circumstances to complete His work in us. If He spared not His own sinless Son, who are we to escape His loving and determined means to “bring many sons to glory”?

For the Jacobs to become Israels, God must use the Labans to bring purity, purpose, and movement. Man left to himself will remain in desert places, and tarry in stagnant situations, even as the sands of time exhaust the brief moments of our life here. It is in the antagonism, the strife, and the pressings of God that men leave the former things only to discover later God was in the exodus from our Egypt.

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest…”
Deuteronomy 32:11

God’s stirrings will press His own to movement; journeys which bring separation from the former things so that the new is readily received. It is in the journey with God where the crucible is known and the renovations of our being are realized. We experience the wrestling with God at our Jabbok where our natural man is crippled and we begin to comprehend Him whose name is “wonderful”. We discover the two-fold meaning of Jabbok*: our “being emptied out” and Christ being “poured in”. The exchange and transactions of God are not without price nor are they without great reward. The sorrow becomes the matrix of a Joy of which only the broken may know.

For the pilgrim of faith, the call to heavenly places propels him on through valleys, deserts, and lonely paths where the pure air of His presence is worth it all. The promise of God stands:

“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
Isaiah 61:3

In the dark places, the days of mediocrity, the days where our heart’s fire burns low, we learn “The Lord is thy keeper” (Psalm 121:5) and the restorer of our souls!

“He healeth the broken in heart,
and bindeth up their wounds…
Psalm 147:3

<§>

“Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance
Psalm 66:7-12

The abundant life is a tested and purified life.

* Jabbok. Hebrew pouring out or emptying. (Bullinger)

Brian Troxel

The Legacy of Life

The Legacy of Life

The Legacy of Life is a chief concern of those in whom the fire of Christ burns. There is an intense desire to pass on the truth of His power and His might to the next generation. They no longer seek their own legacy; they choose to live life in such a way that the next generation would know in a much greater way the wonder of His Glory. Their singular intent is that His Light would grow “more and more unto the perfect day” in succeeding generations.

“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come”
Psalm 71:18

The love of Christ reaches out to others.  It frees us from self-centered objectives through the workings of the Cross of Christ within. There is a new desire to touch the lives of the coming generation with the pure truth of Christ.

“…since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things”
2 Peter 1:14-15

<§>

“A Righteous Person
is one who lives
for the next generation”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Four-Fold Revelation

The Four-Fold Revelation
of
Christ in You

“And I looked, and behold, a windstorm came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire flashing itself, and a brightness to it all around. And out of its midst, like the color of polished bronze, it came, out of the midst of the fire. Also from its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was how they looked: they had the likeness of a man, and four faces were to each, and four wings to each of them, and their feet were straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.  And the hands of a man extended from under their wings on their four sides. And their faces and their wings were to the four of them,  joining each one to the other by their wings. They did not turn in their going, each one went toward the front of their face.  And the likeness of their faces: the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side to the four of them; and the face of an ox on the left to the four of them, and the face of an eagle to the four of them. So their faces were. And their wings were spread upward, to each, the two wings were joined, and two wings of each covering their bodies.  And each went toward the front of their faces. To where the spirit was to go, there they went; they did not turn in their going.  And the likeness of the living creatures: they appeared like coals of burning fire, like the appearance of torches; it was continually circling among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.  And the living creatures kept running and returning, like the appearance of a flash of lightning
Ezekiel 1:4-14

Brian Troxel

True Ministry

TRUE MINISTRY

True Ministry

The touchstone of Discipleship is revealed in our abandonment to His Glory. It is in our touching of Him where we are brought to the place of facing our own inherent desire for recognition and pre-eminence. This is something so vital to our walk and our sharing of Him with others. Freedom from ourselves is the path to our freedom in His Spirit. 

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him”
John 7:18

John the Baptist

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
John 1:35-37

Do we really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire for recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The purpose of the New Covenant…

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

It is to this end that we labour and preach the wonder of His Name! Purify us Lord for your glory.

BT

 

PODCAST – The Fire of God

The Fire of God

The Fire of God

“Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Brian Troxel

Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine

“Arise, sleeping ones and stand up out of the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you”
Ephesians 5:14 (LITV)

The shining forth of Christ from an individual is realized by the vigilance of a heart to stay alert and awake to the Life of Christ within. How easy it is to let the awareness of His presence slip (Hebrews 2:1); and to pass through life with His Words on our lips without the corresponding passion within our hearts. A common deception among believers is the presumption that belief alone is sufficient. However, the evidence of His Life is that we “live, move and have our being” in Him. If we do not know the wonder of new revelations of His Life, the movings of His Spirit within and without, and the experiencing of His ever-changing work in us, we have fallen into a life of slumber.

“For in Him we live, and move,
and have our being…”
Acts 17:28

The absurdity of claiming to hold the King of kings within our hearts without the power of His Spirit producing the evidence and demonstration of His heart to the world around us is deception.

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

“Let us rouse ourselves in so far as we can, most beloved brethren, and, breaking the sleep of old inertia let us awake to the observing and keeping of the Lord’s precepts. Let us be such as He Himself ordered us to be when He said: ‘Let your loins be girt, and your lamps brightly burning, and you yourself like to men waiting for their Lord when He shall come from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes, shall find watching.’ We ought to be girt, lest, when the day of departure comes, it finds us burdened and entangled. Let our light shine forth in good works and glow, so that it may lead us from the night of this world to the light of eternal brightness. Let us always with solicitude and caution await the sudden coming of the Lord, so that, when He knocks, our faith may be vigilant, ready to receive from the Lord the reward of its vigilance. If these mandates are kept, if these warnings and precepts are maintained, we cannot be overtaken while sleeping by the deceit of the devil; we will reign as vigilant servants with Christ as our Lord”
– Cyprian

BT

PODCAST – The Strange Woman

The Strange Woman

(23 minutes long)

The Strange Woman

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”
(Prov 5:3-5)

 

PODCAST – Staying In The River

PODCAST – Staying In The River

“…he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.”
(Ezekiel 47:5)

“But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh;
they are to be left for salt.”

(Ezekiel 47:11)

 

PODCAST – The Only Two Questions

The Only Two Questions
We Ought to Ask

Knowing the Will of God

“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
(Acts 9:5-6)

 

The Real Love

The Real Love

“Lovest thou me?”
John 21:15

“He who doesn’t love me
doesn’t keep my words…”
John 14:24

Jesus clarifies the verity of an individual’s love for Him. The criteria are simple as is the faith to walk in it. Many may declare their allegiance to Him, they may pray, they may speak of deep and esoteric things, they may ascribe to teachings and associations, but the Spirit of Christ cuts to the core. Obedience reveals the truth of our hearts toward Him.

Isaiah declares who it is that God sets His eye upon:

“…but I will look to this man, even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word
Isaiah 66:2

One who understands the enormity of God’s Word, and the inherent need to draw from Him the grace to walk in it, captures His notice. The religious readily acknowledge His Word yet feel no need to honour it with a life of obedience. They are not loving Him for who HE is, but for the sake of easing their conscience. They ascribe to His Salvation but not to His Lordship; they use grace to absolve themselves of the doing. They find refuge in His promises but remain unaffected by the power and love of Him through which the heart becomes subservient to that Word.

Jesus asks a penetrating question:

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

There is no time like the present to face the truth concerning our relationship with Him. Jesus does not leave us with any ambiguity as to our condition. Do not let the obscurity of a false gospel blind us to His clear word. Religion will rob God’s Word of its authority and leave the conscience untouched. Rather let us allow the Word to strike our hearts with His full power and intent.

“He who doesn’t love me
doesn’t keep my words…”
John 14:24

The litmus test for our heart is not in what we know, how well we pray, or in how many good things we may involve ourselves. The proof of our love for Him is always obedience.

“If ye love me,
keep my commandments”
John 14:15

The true life is the simple life.

Those who truly love will truly obey.

Allow nothing else to cloud our hearts. Let our growing obedience to Him be the sole measure of our love. Love always serves the object of its desire. Those who love themselves will end up serving themselves – even in the Name of God. Those who love Him, serve only Him.

“…having been perfected,
He came to be the Author of eternal salvation
to all the ones obeying Him
Hebrews 5:9

“God Himself – His thoughts, His will, His love, His judgments are men’s home. To think His thoughts, to choose His will, to judge His judgments, and thus to know that He is in us, with us, is to be at home”
– George MacDonald

See: Love and Lethargy

Brian Troxel