Letters to the Church – Part Six

Letters to the Church – Part Six

“For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:14-18 (Wuest Translation)

Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:

“For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured. The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day, with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, with reference to the Lord does not eat, and he gives thanks to God…”
Romans 14:5-6 (Wuest Translation)

“But as for you, why are you judging your brother? Or, as for you also, why are you treating your brother with contempt? For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. For it stands written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Therefore, then, each one of us shall give an account concerning himself to God. Therefore, no longer let us be judging one another. But be judging this rather, not to place a stumbling block before your brother, or a snare in which he may be entrapped”
Romans 14:10-11 (Wuest Translation)

There is within the economy and glory of Christ the liberty and respect for each member to hold within their hearts their own faith concerning food, drink, and days. The secret to this liberty is that they are “serving Christ” in their persuasions.

Paul in Colossians stated:

“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

Let not him who regards a day judge him who regards not a day; let not him who regards not a day judge him who esteems a day over another.

The living fabric of Christ’s Body is more than meat, drink or reference to some day or season. His LIFE is the very sinew and connection of each and every part. The ignorance of who and what the wonder of Christ is becomes apparent when the mundane issues of life become of more importance than the unity of His Spirit in our midst!

Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Colossians that they who judge others in respect to the elemental and menial things are

“…not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?”
Colossians 2:19-22

We violate the very life of Christ who supplies the rich ministrations through which we are knitted together. Those who emphasise the mundane over the Holy will give an answer to Him in the Day of Judgment.

Paul finishes his discourse of these things by stating that the observance of these things will in NO WAY bring victory for a believer over their flesh. There are no spiritual victories to be gained by the foolishness of fleshly ordinances. Our victory comes only by living and abiding within the sphere of Christ Himself.

May God free us from the horror and stain of the Pharisee spirit in the observance of trivial matters while failing to comprehend that “the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Seven Ones – Perfection)
Ephesians 4:2-6

Those who would destroy the bonds of peace and sever the very ligaments of Christ over the rudimentary elements in respect to days, food and drink, know not the heart of He who is the Head of all things.

One cannot read the beauty of Ephesians Chapter 4 and Colossians Chapter 2, with any illumination of the Spirit of God, and not feel the very essence of Christ Himself beckoning us to preserve the Unity of His Spirit and the wonder of the Body of Christ.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”
Philippians 2:1-2

Fellowship is the natural outflow between those who are in Christ. Where there is no deep and powerful flow of Christ there is darkness and separation from the Life and Wonder of Christ. Beware of something added (or taken away) from the Life Giving essence of Christ alone. Light (not knowledge) is the basis of true fellowship.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7

Brian Troxel

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

Letters to the Church – Part Five

Letters to the Church – Part Five

“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
Luke 19:15

The magnitude of God’s grace and the abundance of His gifts are evident throughout the New Testament promises. The depth of His unmerited mercy can only be fully appreciated through the medium of walking out those gifts in faithfulness. We see this throughout the Gospels. The Parables of the pounds, the talents, the sower and others, show the variety and the wonder of His gifts AND their corresponding accountability. To each of the recipients of the Pounds in the above Parable the reward of Christ was determined by their “trading” of the thing given. The individual who received one pound without their diligence to the precious gift given were never able to fully appreciate the gift or the giver’s worth. It remained unchanged, undeveloped and unappreciated. For such the Day of the Lord holds no rejoicing. How did Jesus respond to the one who held His precious things lightly?

“Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant…
and he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound,
and give it to him that hath ten pounds…”
Luke 19:22-24

The great gifts of God require our full attention. They become far more developed and valuable as we are faithful to them. In this Parable (unlike the Parable of the Talents) every individual was given the same initial amount; through their faithfulness and investment the one pound became ten, and to another became five. Yet for the slothful one, the one talent remained one. In the Parable of the Sower the one seed sown in a variety of the soils, produced very different outcomes. The fruitfulness of the seed was determined by the soil, not the seed! The same Pound given produced different results in the lives of each of these individuals. The great eternal question to each of us? What have we done with the precious gifts allotted to us?

We read in the great chapter of Faith in Hebrews 11, the faith of our forefather’s lives and the testimony they have left for us that we might walk in like manner.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward
Hebrews 11:24-26

The reason Moses forsook Egypt and chose to suffer affliction and reproach was because he had “respect” for the eternal rewards of Christ! He accounted the reproach of Christ to be of more value than Pharaoh’s riches! Men and women who fail to develop the great gifts of God hold a disrespect for His Gifts of Mercy and Grace. The verity of Moses having “respect unto the reward” is a New Testament truth declared in the Book of Hebrews; it is a truth of infinite value for the people of God in this day! We live in a Day when the Gospel preached minimizes or denies the reward and the Judgment Seat of Christ unto His Own! (2 Corinthians 5:10) We have a gospel today which speaks of a salvation regardless of how we live our lives where the faithful and the unfaithful all just go to heaven without any eternal consequences relating to the life they lived. Without the solemn truth of the “fear of the Lord” men and women, who are truly God’s children, see no reason to develop the gifts of Christ in their own lives. Much of the “ministry” in God’s house is satisfied  with a people who are undeveloped in their “own” gifts and ministries in God. This false gospel is convenient for the leaders as they maintain their authority with little or no local accountability. It is also convenient for the people as they feel free of their responsibility to God in His purposes for their lives.

“…the priests rule by their own authority;
and my people love to have it so”
Jeremiah 5:31

The result is a poor and impoverished church which lacks power, vitality and the raising up of the Body of Christ through the development of their own ministrations. This arrangement will not alter the accountability of each individual unto God for themselves. His Word is clear and our Day of giving an account of how we lived our lives unto Him remains true and unchangeable.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:10-11

(I do not write these things to be contentious, but because I am compelled to be faithful unto His Word to all who read these things. We want our day of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be a day of joy and great rewards, not of loss and sorrow.)

A gospel which denies our accountability is not only a deceptive lie but a robbery of God’s glory and investment!

“Will a man rob God?”
Yet ye have robbed me
But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee?’
In tithes and offerings”
Malachi 3:8

The tithes and offerings of the New Testament is for us to give back to God the increase of His gifts to us. If one with a gift of healing, a word of knowledge, a ministry in the Word, or a thousand other ministrations He has lavished on the Body of Christ does not invest that in others, we not only rob ourselves of the reward of Christ but we also rob His Body which is to be built up “by the functioning of every part”! (Ephesians 4:16) If every part is not functioning, the Body of Christ will suffer loss!

Paul in his understanding of this vital truth exhorted and encouraged the people of God to walk and fulfill the ministry that God had given unto them.

“And say to Archippus,
Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,
that thou fulfil it
Colossians 4:17

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”
1 Timothy 4:14

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
that thou stir up the gift of God…”
2 Timothy 1:6

We must reject a gospel which presents ministry as something for a privileged few and began to read His Word in the truth and solemnity of its simple declarations.

“But to each one is given
the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all”
1 Corinthians 12:7

Read the context of this scripture and do not let any teaching, doctrine or cunning words of men deter you from the truth and grace which has been given to “each one” of us!

When we stand before Him, may we each hear:

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

Brian Troxel

The Call to Prayer

The Call To Prayer

There is a call in the Spirit of God to prayer, intercession and repentance. There is a move of God coming filled with the power and glory of Himself to visit our land and to purify HIS CHURCH from her worldly ways and sinfulness. It is a move which will be precipitated by a people receiving “the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12:10) The moving of this wonder being poured out upon His people will produce a “looking upon me (Christ) whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) resulting in “a great mourning” (Zechariah 12:11) to come upon the people of God. This mourning of great sorrow and repentance will usher in the “spirit of burning” and cleansing of a magnitude which has never been seen for this is THE DAY OF THE LORD (the Last Days). This is the DAY of GOD and the fulfillment of His promise to those…

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5)

There is a salvation which has been reserved and kept for this DAY. There is a final unfolding of that which Paul and the early church pursued with all of their heart, strength and soul. There is to be in this day an apprehending of the FULNESS of all that God has purposed in sending His Son into the earth. It is in this day that the Call of God is going out unto all who have “ears to hear” and hearts to obey. A glorious day of repentance is upon us, how blessed is this grace given and may our hearts receive its wonder and transforming power!

This Word came to me as I was revising a former writing here below…

ARISING IN THE NIGHT

”And I arose in the night”
Nehemiah 2:12

The test of faith is not only what we do in the times of light and blessing but how we respond in those times when we cannot see our way. Here we see a dark time for the people of God; the City of God was burned with fire, the gates destroyed, and rubble filled the streets. The enemy was strong in the Land and the oppressors kept diligent watch that there should be no rising up of the people of God.

Nehemiah had a call from God to see the City arise from the rubble. There was a cry in his heart for the City not for himself. The burden caused him to arise, the vision was strong upon him, his purpose was clear and his God was Great. He did not wait for others to “catch the vision”; he did not wait for the “conditions” to improve.  He arose to fulfill the cry of God in his heart.

True Vision produces DEEDS of FAITH. True vision brings us into the reality that our God is willing, able and faithful to provide substance and strength for the purpose for which we have been apprehended. While men linger in the night the tares are planted…

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat”
Matthew 13:25

While men sleep the enemy sows deception and error; thoughts that sound right but destroy the truth of the seed that was planted. Excuses and reasons why we cannot arise, why the people of God should be content to just maintain the status quo while the City of God remains divided, weak and barren, are all tares sown in the night.

“The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way…”
Proverbs 26:13

LET US ARISE even in the night to see HIS Glory once again covering, filling and empowering the Church of JESUS CHRIST. Let us arise, lay aside the seeking of our own prosperity, and find HIS heart to seek the welfare of the Children of God!

The Word of the Lord declares…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

God responds to the prayer of the contrite and broken. God hears the prayers of those who in trueness of heart “turn from their (own) wicked ways” and seek His Face on behalf of HIS NAME in the earth. Many pray today with a heart of pride as the Pharisee who considered himself above the others around them deceived into thinking they are not like other men… These are the prayers of the Pharisee spirit, “I thank thee, that I am not as other men are” (Luke 18:11) Jesus testified of such that he “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11). The prayer of such never ascended unto God.

Daniel in his heartfelt prayer on behalf of Israel cried out in anguish of soul…

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee” (Daniel 9:8)

The condition and the state of God’s people when addressed in their day by those whose hearts are true and right in His sight always included themselves in the backslidden condition of all! For it is the Spirit of Christ within them birthing these prayers and intercession. He came and took on our sin and our iniquity, He came to identify with our miserable state and as such His heart within us should produce the same identification with His people.

While “The Pharisee prays thus with himself” the true prophets of God identify with the state of His people with prayers of brokenness and godly sorrow and the deeds of repentance which is acceptable and pleasing unto God.

Σ

“God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless”
Andrew Gih

Brian Troxel

Letters to the Church – Part Three

Letters to the Church

PART THREE

The Value of Every Member

“If the foot shall say,
Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body;
is it therefore not of the body?”

I Corinthians 12:15

Value. Even in earthly things the value of something is based on what someone will pay for it, not its intrinsic worth. Something that may be of little value to one is priceless to another. In the Church at Corinth there was much dissimulation and controversy because there was much value put on specific expressions while others were minimized. Today we have a similar situation where multitudes of God’s redeemed people sit in ignorance of the wealth and the precious investment that is theirs in Christ Jesus. We all admire a gracious ministration of God in an individual, but the truth of the New Covenant is that Jesus paid the SAME PRICE for every man. He tasted the SAME DEATH for everyone that calls upon HIS NAME. The attitude expressed here “because I am not the hand”, therefore I am of less value is really an expression of unbelief rather than humility. Function does not determine value, rather the price paid! How we need to see things through the eyes of our Redeemer! We hear things such as; “I could never preach like that, pray like that” and that may be true. However, it is the “I” that is the problem, not the giver. For there to be unity, life and glory in the Body of Christ there is no room for I. This is His Body and HE PLACES the members in it as it pleases HIM not us; there is no such thing as something insignificant in God’s Eternal purposes. What HE has purchased is to become a priceless, unique and powerful expression of HIS LIFE. It is UNBELIEF that says “because I am not the hand, I am not of the body…” It is the recipient of the one talent which hid his portion in the ground that received such a stern judgement from the hand of the Lord.

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

The FEAR OF THE LORD is the great leveler of men. Paul is stating here that the thing that propelled HIM from one city to the next in HIS declaration of the Gospel was the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord does not paralyze men it enables men to walk, live and be responsible to the investment of the Lord in our lives. It causes us to face our own unbelief and ARISE to walk in HIS PROVISION. It frees us from the fear of man, the fear of inadequacy and the fear of failure. It brings us to the awful recognition that it is to HIM that I must give an account, and that it is a terrible sin to hold the precious things of HIM in faithless inactivity and unbelief. This is the DAY for the people of God to ARISE and LIVE and WALK in the provisions of the SON in OUR FATHER’S HOUSE. All things are HIS, and HE is looking for a healthy return upon the investment that HE has given.

The validity of any ministry is revealed in the degree of life that the people of God exhibit within the sphere of its influence. Unique, powerful and varied expressions pulsate with a life that only lives to bring glory, honour and praise unto HIM from which all things do flow. The purpose of ministry is to bring others into their own ministry by ministering faith and responsibility into the life of each believer. For it is in each member feeling the “weight” of their obligation unto their Lord and Saviour that this body will arise in such glory and power that this world will know that this is indeed the Body of Christ.

“…but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another
I Corinthians 12:24 – 25

It is in the doing of these things that they become the everyday reality of our lives. We must tear down these strongholds for the desire of the Lord is to bring us to the same love one for another that there be no schism in the body of Christ.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Malachi 3:10 – 11

We hear much of tithing. How repulsive that it has become only a tithing of the unrighteousness mammon and not a tithing of the produce of the Lord within the hearts of the individual believer! How dare we believe that in giving more money the result will be “meat in HIS HOUSE”! Finances will not produce spiritual meat to supply the people of God with strength in the power of HIS MIGHT! The Church of Jesus Christ is a SPIRITUAL House not an earthly organization! A Spiritual house needs spiritual tools to build it, and it is in the functioning of each and every member that this house will arise and be fully completed!

This is the day for the people of God to walk in their gifts and callings and to know the responsibility and necessity of bringing their spiritual tithes into the storehouse, that there may be fullness and blessing in our midst.

Ω

“What difference does it make to you
what someone else becomes, or says, or does?
You do not need to answer for others,
only for yourself”

THOMAS À KEMPIS (C. 1380–1471)

“There is no man living that can do the work that God has got for me to do. No one can do it but myself. And if the work ain’t done we will have to answer for it when we stand before God’s bar”
D.L. Moody

Brian Troxel