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Archive for the ‘Our Relationship with God’ Category

God’s Family

“Behold my mother and my brethren!”
Matthew 12:49

Within the context of everyday life the Son was ever speaking of His Father’s heart, will and purpose. In the early days of Jesus’ ministry to the multitudes the light and life of God flowed from His lips in such depth and power that men marveled. It was the fresh breath of God after the dankness of the prevalent religious atmosphere. Religion had relegated the wonder of God to rituals, concepts and doctrines that sought to impress its own mark of ownership upon man; man who was created in the very image of God! It usurped God’s purposes by seeking to control the hearts and minds of men and women with its own agenda all in the name of the very God it denied. Within this darkness the Light spoke of love, life and the redemptive heart of God. He spoke truth in the face of men’s lies. He spoke the substance of God into those steeped in the decay and stupor of pious and pompous traditions. The ones who, though being the sperma (Greek word used in John 8:37 natural “seed”) of Abraham, (John 8:37) Jesus said they were actually of their father the devil (John 8:44) because of their works and deeds. The horror of all religion is to blind its adherents to the fruit of a person’s life and replace it with the concept of adherence to a teaching or a doctrine as being the mark of a true child of God. Jesus here is responding to those who informed Him that His mother and brothers wanted to speak to Him:

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

The true offspring of God are those (whosoever) are doing the will of the Father. Doctrinal adherence, quoting scriptures, religious prayer meetings, and all of the other related duties of religion avail nothing. Those who are truly borne of the Spirit will be occupied with the “doing of truth” not speculating about it. To the religious leaders of His day who boasted of being the “seed” of Abraham Jesus replied “If ye were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”. Fruit is always the revelation of the underlying nature of any organism. While some may speak great swelling words, teach from scriptures and boast of revelations and gifts (even of the Spirit) the actual substance of their hearts are revealed by their conduct in everyday life.

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening* wolves.
You shall know them by their fruits”
Matthew 7:15-16

The Greek word used here for “ravening” speaks of one who uses their official position for the purpose of obtaining another’s property, funds or patronage! How subtle and deplorable are those who come in sheep’s clothing with the hidden agenda of obtaining the patronage of God’s people!

Paul speaks to this error in the Church at Galatia:

“For neither they themselves
who are circumcised keep the law;
but desire to have you circumcised,
that they may glory in your flesh”
Galatians 6:13

These are the religious defilers who point God’s people to a doctrine or a tradition which has an appearance of being of God yet in its very practice draws men and women away from the life of Christ to the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh will always glorify the flesh while the works of the Spirit will always glorify the Son!

Truth is being revealed by the sifting of men’s hearts and this very work is happening even now! The hearts of individuals are being drawn together on the basis of nature. In this Day of harvest everything will be gathered according to its kind. The tares are being gathered with like-minded as they have refused to obey God’s call. To such the voice of God is growing faint and they will reap the wages of apathy and indifference. The lamps of the foolish virgins are growing dim and the oil they so desperately need will not be available; this oil can only be acquired through obedience to His word. Hearing without the subsequent act of obedience will leave a life impoverished and completely unable to withstand the impending storm.

Only those who have followed the Lamb, obeyed His Word and sought refuge under His wings prior to the storm will stand in that day. It is time to humble ourselves; to bring to Him our poverty of spirit and brokenness of heart that we may obtain the provisions of His Life. Let us meet this day with our lamps trimmed, our hearts sanctified and the experiential ability of not loving our lives unto death. Those who do His Will are His Family.

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

May God give us ears to hear and eyes to see what the Father’s will is. Many religious works, even supernatural ones, if not carried out in His will with the desire to honor and glorify the Son, are the works of iniquity. Men and women who function in gifts with the intent to garner the parsonage and attention of God’s people are also workers of iniquity. The desire to draw men and women to anything other than Jesus is sin.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity
Matthew 7:20-23

*Note: Greek Word translated “ravenous” indicates extortion(er) or one who swindles – The online free dictionary defines extortion as: 1. Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage. In the five occurrences of this word being used it would be best translated swindler or extortioner in four of them.

Word Origin
from harpazó
Definition
rapacious
NASB Translation
ravenous (1), swindler (1), swindlers (3).

Matthew 7:15 Adj-NMP
GRK: εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες
NAS: but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
KJV: inwardly they are ravening wolves.
INT: they are wolves ravenous

Luke 18:11 Adj-NMP
GRK: τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἅρπαγες ἄδικοι μοιχοί
NAS: other people: swindlers, unjust,
KJV: men [are], extortioners, unjust,
INT: of the men swindlers unrighteous adulterers

1 Corinthians 5:10 Adj-DMP
GRK: πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις
NAS: with the covetous and swindlers, or
KJV: or extortioners, or
INT: covetous and swindlers or idolaters

1 Corinthians 5:11 Adj-NMS
GRK: μέθυσος ἢ ἅρπαξ τῷ τοιούτῳ
NAS: or a swindler– not even
KJV: or an extortioner; with such an one
INT: a drunkard or swindler with such a one

1 Corinthians 6:10 Adj-NMP
GRK: λοίδοροι οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ
NAS: nor swindlers, will inherit
KJV: nor extortioners, shall inherit
INT: slanderers nor swindlers [the] kingdom of God
5 Occurrences

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Transition: The WAY of Truth

“And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.
And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
and in the midst of the seven lampstands
One like the Son of man…”
Revelation 1:12-13

Those who are true desire the truth; living truth which comes to those who walk and live in the Spirit. It comes at a cost and with the requirement for the individual to respond in order to receive its power. Any “truth” that does not require response and change is not living truth. It is in hearing and turning we are enabled to see. In turning from our ways and the current measure of truth we hold we are enabled by His wondrous grace to see Him anew. Those who walk in the static world of religion, words, teachings and doctrines of men never change. The growth and development of that on-going revelation of Christ becomes stagnant and motionless. The horizons of vision do not change with the passage of time and the wonder of His life becomes drab and uninviting to themselves and to those about them. The fervency of passion has long since subsided and the fire of burning hope is replaced with the cold and emptiness of a religious life.

It is in the hearing of His Word and the response from our hearts to the voice which calls us where we see Him in a new and higher way. This turning causes the former things to pass away as we step into that which is new and living. Transition and repentance is the hallmark of those who desire The Way. Those who walk in this living path become an antagonism to those who are static and set in something less than the “new” of God. God’s truth is one of unveiling the mysteries and glories of Christ and as such there is never a point of arrival; His Glory has no end! Eternity is not long enough to exhaust the wonders of our risen Lord. The scriptures are full of men and women who knew the Way of change and transition.

Job

“I have heard of You by hearing of the ear,
but NOW my eye has seen You;
Therefore, I despise myself,
and I have repented on dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6 (LITV)

We must ever be going on. That which I know today must be eclipsed by a further seeing and knowing of Him. Those who are of the truth cannot abide in what they see now for within is the continual cry to see Him in a deeper and fuller way. Consider Moses who saw such signs and wonders in his walk with God yet cried out at the end of his journey show me more of your glory.

“Lord Jehovah,
You have begun to show Your servant
Your greatness and Your mighty hand…”
Deuteronomy 3:24

Moses at the end of his life knew that all he had seen, heard and understood was the mere beginning of God’s glory. Do we not feel within our own heart of hearts the desire for “more of God”? Is there not an aching to go deeper and higher wherein dwell things which cannot be put into words? Paul saw things, heard things, which could not be shared because of their holiness and the inability to put them into the vernacular of man. How can men and women rest in the shallow waters of teachings and concepts (though good in themselves)? These things must become the bud of which the flower is produced, and the flower must give way to the fruit. and the fruit must give way to the seed so that it may replicate the wonder and glory of God in another heart. Such is the law of Life.

Ezekiel could not stop at the waters to the ankles, he could not linger in the waters to the knees, and the waters to the loins could not hold him from the depths of the “waters to swim in” (Ezekiel 47). Let us find grace to hear, to turn and to respond to the call of God to see Him anew. May we be so smitten with His Glory that the present place of abiding is merely a momentary one of provision to finish the race set before us. Let His hunger to fill our hearts with more of Him. Relationship is the mystery of God into which we have been called; not things about God or even of God. The true heart cannot rest until it is found in Him and in Him we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) of wonder at which even the angels will marvel for ages to come.

“…that He might show in the coming ages
the exceeding great riches of His grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:7

The hunger of the average Christian life in our day is revealed in the contentment with the status quo. Paul in writing to the Church of God in Corinth about the Love of God spoke to them of transition and going on. He had earlier called them carnal for clinging to the ministries of God by choosing one over another thus segregating and secularizing the Body of Christ. (i.e. “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”) Paul’s call to this carnal church (which fully resembles the one in our day) was to move beyond the childhood phase to grow up and become full grown people in God. The transition from childhood in God into maturity requires us to put away (turn from) childish things. Childish things are not wrong in themselves but they become wrong when people linger in them and fail to develop in God.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

In the processes of God, we must grow from the infant into the man, we must go from needing bread to becoming bread, and we must go from water to the ankles to waters to swim in (Ezekiel 47:1-5) by responding to His living word.

The deeper truths are withheld from His children and reserved for those who have been exercised in their growth in God.

“Concerning whom we have much to say,
and hard to interpret since you have become dull in hearing”
Hebrews 5:11

The Apostle was eager to share the deeper truths of Melchizedek but was restrained because of their lack of development:

“For indeed because of the time you are due to be teachers,
yet you need to have someone to teach you again
the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God,
and you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food;
for everyone partaking of milk
is without experience in the word of righteousness,
for he is an infant
But strong meat is for those full grown…”
Hebrews 5:12-14

Our ability to see Him in His word is dependent upon growth and development within our own lives! It is we who determine what we see (i.e. Matthew 5:8), hear and know (in an experiential way) of the depths and wonders of Him. It is a day for us to turn, to give heed to that which He has spoken. If we linger it will be to our sorrow not only here but in the eternal to which we have been called.

The promise of God is sure and it is one upon which we can stand:

“Seek and I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone asking receives,
and the one seeking finds,
and to the one knocking, it will be opened”
Luke 11:9-10

James tells us the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask. The lack of seeking is the reason for not finding and the failure to knock is the reason why men and women do not have new doors opened in their lives. Let us hear this solemn word…

“For everyone asking receives…”

If we believe His Word our lives will be filled with asking, seeking and knocking.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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In the Beginning God…

Part 2

All life begins with God. Without Him nothing exists materially or spiritually. He is the beginning and in Him life is filled with endless beginnings. He is ever making all things new. The glory of creation is always giving way to new wonders and countless beauties. Every sunset has its own glow and signature. Every plant, every creature has a uniqueness which, though it belongs to a certain species, has something distinct about it. No two things are the same. The creator can never be exhausted in His creativity. From birth there is always the first step, the first word, the first moment of conscious thought. At each step of the journey into the expanse of His world we become more aware that we are eternal creatures moving toward a call; the apprehension of a mystery that can only be known in Christ. He is the Word by which we were begotten in the fullness of His time and will. In the mystery of this relationship His thoughts, words, ideas and omniscient care may seem intangible yet somehow there is an inner knowing that He is near.

Relationship is by its nature a mystery. While religious men consider God in abstract terms and religious concepts, something unfathomable transpires in those who touch the hem of His Holiness, Love and Power. It is at times unsettling, more than any mere human is able to comprehend, yet there is a fragrance within the wonder of it all that draws His own near. Isaiah in Chapter 6, caught up to the very presence of God, was immediately struck with God’s glory and the contrast of His own dreadful condition. Yet in the face of such contradiction and terror, He hears God speaking within the Holy Trinity: “Whom will WE send, who will go for US?” There must have been an unspoken love shrouded within that dreaded Holy Place that enabled Isaiah to whisper, “Here am I, send me…” It is in these intimate moments where we catch glimpses of the new beginnings in God. Though Isaiah had already prophesied mightily for five chapters, infallible words from God, we can rest assured he was not the same man after the seeing of Him. So it is with us; when we truly see Him we can never be the same and that ever increasing light leads to deeper places and growth in the knowledge of Him.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

The light of Him is the life of Him. While many consider light to be the ability to understand certain doctrines and teachings, or to hold scriptures in the intellect, true light is the revelation of His light to us with the intent that it shine through us.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The only light we have is the life of Him ruling and reigning within us. It is in the holding of Him we have life. When one wanders from Him the life and the light fades into darkness and futility. The life never leaves the Son for He Himself is the light. People speak of getting saved as an event that occurred at one point in time failing to realize that eternal life is not something a person gets by complying with a statement of faith, it is the very life of Jesus living and abiding within us. He who has the Son has Life; He who has not the Son has not life; a very simple statement yet one that is far reaching in its eternal implications. Eternal Life is not something we hope to get when we die rather it is ours by having Him present tense in our life by relationship. It is here the true believer experiences the continual life of new beginnings. His word, His ways, our seeing of Him is ever increasing, calling us to higher and deeper places of knowing Him. This is not a static religious concept; it is the way of His life within us. To many the way becomes dreary and filled with uneventful meetings, prayers and discussions but to those who hold His life dear within their hearts, life here is but the womb of greater things. We see new songs being sung in the heavens; new creations do new things.

“And they sing as a new song before the throne”
Revelation 14:3

Not just anyone can sing this new song. It is a song reserved for those who follow the lamb wherever He goes. It is for those who are free from the systems of men and walk in a way that pleases Him. The true things of God are not to be had by claiming promises; they are ours as we come to abide in Him.

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

All of God’s promises are in the Son and as I grow in relationship with Him they become mine. Just as the life and the fruitfulness of the branch can only be known by abiding in the true vine there are attributes of God which can only be mine by being in Him. It is here that the revolutionary walk of identification and love is known. There is a fountain which ever flows in the Spirit. The psalmist says there is a river which makes glad the city of God. It is a river which has no beginning for it flows from the very throne of God Himself. It flows with the intent that men might walk into it, drink of it and wash themselves clean. Those who separate themselves from others find themselves outside of the flow and the wonder of His life. Jesus walked with the common people, He ate their simple food and He understood the plight of every man. Just as in the parables, the normal things of life become vehicles to convey God’s heart and truth. This is where we will find Him still teaching, still instructing us in heavenly things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear and comply with His whispers. Relationship implies the sharing of personal and intimate things, and we need to be close enough and still enough to have that privilege.

It is here we find those new beginnings with each step we take into the mystery of knowing Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going for he had caught a glimpse of the ONE who is the way, the truth and the life. For many it is much more comfortable to linger in things of the past than to take that first step. Fear holds men and women where faith falters. They die to spiritual things and new beginnings are a thing of the past. Life has become a series of days filled with rote and stagnant activities.

But to those who hold Him dear within the very recesses of their hearts He remains precious, living and true. It is in these ones that fellowship is a most desired and coveted thing. As each member beholds Him and shines that forth into the lives of their brothers and sisters we see the manifold work of new beginnings within each life; a Body that beats with His heart for one another!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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A THANKFUL HEART AT YEAR’S END
2016

“You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance”
PSALM 65:11 NKJV

Standing on the brink of another year end we stand amazed at the goodness, glory and faithfulness of God. Surely HIS WAYS are good and HIS MERCY does endure forever. HE has crowned the year with His goodness and His paths do drip with the abundance of HIS beauty. His paths signify His way and as we walk in HIS way we find the flow of HIS abundance. In HIS way are HIS Blessings found and HIS person known. The way of the Lord makes men strong in their God; it brings forth life and blessing and in HIS way the secret of the Lord is made known.

“The way of the LORD is strength to the upright”
PROVERBS 10:29

As we look back over the events of the past year we are instructed to give thanks and honor unto Him who has brought us through times of good and times of testing. We can only declare that HE does all things well. In HIS wisdom HE has guided our feet in the “paths of righteousness” and he has disciplined us for HIS good pleasure. His forgiveness holds us in our weakness and His mercy sustains us. His grace is given to make us strong for the journey ahead. There is no one like HIM.

“Come and see the works of God;
He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men”
PSALM 66:5

Brian Troxel

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THE CONSECRATED LIFE

And
The Sanctified Ear

“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God”
John 3:34

The things which are true in Jesus are to become true in us. Jesus being the LIFE of the New Testament has come to live in us. His Words are to become ours via the rule and reign of His Spirit within our hearts. The power and the authority that resides in Him are to be ours, in a corresponding measure, to the degree of our submission unto Him. The verity of our submission is revealed in the words we speak.

Many years ago the Lord showed me that words are mere containers; the real value of a word is not in itself but in the power contained in the Word. The religious world is filled with many words that carry within them agendas, purposes, and voices to woo and call people to one thing or another. Those who hear words only and do not “feel” the weight, the power and the voice within the word will always be perplexed and mislead. Two individuals may share the same scripture; yet one is empty and void of life or power while the other is pulsating with the Life and Call of Jesus. Without a sanctified ear one will not know the difference. There is an inability to distinguish between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and dead.

“For the ear trieth words,
as the mouth tasteth meat”
Job 34:3

The sanctified ear hears and discerns the voice of God in the words which men speak. It is attuned to the Voice of the Almighty. This is a day of great confusion within the religious world as many voices are calling out to His people. While these voices may speak great things, they seek the heart, the affection and the very souls of men to join their cause or organization and to come under the “covering” of some apostle. We must seek Him and prove His voice within our hearts. It is a day to taste and see that the Lord is good whereby we can know whether something spoken is of Him or the voice of another.

Jesus said “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63) It is to this end we must develop within our own hearts a deep and experiential knowing of His Spirit and the character and manner of His Life. In so doing we are exercised in the ability of discerning Him in all things. It is to those who have been so exercised that God opens the “strong meat” of His Word.

“But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

God will not entrust His word to those who use it casually. He will not open understanding to one who will use the precious things of God for their own purposes. Many may quote and teach things that other people have seen and heard but the actual power and authority will be lacking. The words may have the form of something right but they are the empty, plagiarized words of others. Real truth must proceed from those who have first seen and heard within their own lives. These are truths begotten in God by relationship; personal relationship with the author Himself. The sanctified ear hears the voice of Him who is the sanctifier. It cannot waste time in the meaningless debates of the religious world, the speculations of the learned and the surmising of those who would rather know a thing intellectually than Him who is the Truth.

“Blessed is the man that hearth me”
Proverbs 8:34

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The Sanctified Ear

“Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear…”
Leviticus 8:23

“Take heed therefore how ye hear:
for whosoever hath, to him shall be given;
and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even
that which he seemeth to have
Luke 8:18

The sanctified ear brings one to the place of not only hearing His voice but of hearing it correctly. This hearing is coupled with obedience. In religious circles there is much information and often good and right teachings. The subtle challenge of our day is not so much what we hear, it is how we hear. True hearing must be accompanied with the corresponding act of obedience. It keeps the individual in a habitat of movement and change. A static Christian experience is not possible for the very call of Christ is for us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Following denotes movement and keeps us in an active state of attending unto Him in everyday life. No matter how demanding the business world, our home life or our secret life, there is watchfulness required that transcends all of these other things. The sanctified ear is set apart for Him, above all the noise and demands of this life, alert to His Call and His Will.

The authentic Christian life is one of being ”on call” and active in response to Him. Sensitivity to His voice grows as we hear and obey Him in even the little things of life. Integrity in business, selflessness in responding to the needs of others, going out of our way to bring a word of encouragement or exhortation to another even in the face of opposition, are all indicators of a healthy Christian walk. The phrase “take heed how ye hear” contains a warning that we can lose what we seem to have. Hearing without obedience brings a deception of thinking that because we know something we have something.

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was”
James 1:23-24

The hearing of a good thing without the corresponding action leaves one in a state of ambiguity and uncertainty. It causes men and women to be tentative and filled with perplexity in their walk as Christians.

“Take heed how you hear” is the warning of Jesus to every one of us. It is a phrase intentionally set at the end of the Parable of the Sower. Time has a way of passing quickly and “take heed how you hear” is His exhortation to all of us to be watchful that we do not fall into the subtlety of routine and religion. The sanctified ear is God’s answer to the deception of our hearts. It is His way of keeping us from the narrowness and comfort of our own tendencies. This error (implied in the Greek for the word deception in James) is insidious in its workings. Not only we as individuals are susceptible but even more so in any type of corporate Christian gatherings. There is a blindness that can creep in of such delusion that without a strong prophetic ministration (often times from the outside) it may become ingrown and closed to others who do not “see the truth” as they do.

In Luke’s Gospel we read the story of Jesus’ parents going up to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts and then returning home.

“But they, supposing him (Jesus)
to have been in the company…”

Luke 2:44

They assumed He was with them. After all He was with them as they went to the feast and He had been with them since. They took for granted he was still with them. This is a warning to His people, especially those who have been gathering for a long time. There is an assumption that He is with us, for we are meeting and doing what we have been doing for a long time; God was with us in the past so surely He must still be with us. This is especially true for groups and organizations that in the past have had moves or stirrings of the Spirit. Yet over time the Son has moved on and they are unaware that anything has changed. The Son does not abide in a certain place. He is ever about His Father’s business. It is incumbent upon us to follow Him and not to presume He is with us! The difference between the two has eternal consequences. Obedience is a journey filled with movement, change and growth. He is ever calling us out of the “boat”; out from the other disciples to walk upon the water unto Him* (Matthew 14:25-32). It is here where we reveal whether we are His disciples or mere adherents to a teaching, doctrine or religious association. The beauty of this story in Luke is that when they discovered He was not with them they forsook their “company”* and sought Him out. He will always be found doing his Father’s business. We must be willing to do the same regardless of our relationships and understandings with others with whom we have fellowship.

“Take heed how you hear” is the living truth which must abide in our hearts continually. For He is our Way, He is our Truth and in the knowing of Him in these things He will also Become our LIFE which is what we have been called to.

“Take heed to how ye hear”
Luke 8:18

*Note: Obedience to Jesus is paramount in our walk; all true relationships with our brothers and sisters are to be based upon Him being our head. When Peter rose up out of the boat he was not forsaking the others in terms of relationship but he was stepping out in a living response to Jesus. True relationships that are the result of a vital connection with Jesus are never interrupted by such obedience. Relationships built upon a teaching or a religious affiliation will always be in opposition to the ways and the will of God. The essential thing in the life of the true disciple is our obedience unto Him. Religion brings conformity but the living way of God brings transformation; one is static the other is living.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place
1 Samuel 26:25

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Discovering God’s Ways

THE SEALED BOOK AND OUR BOAZ

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

We live in a day of information overload with data available at the click of a finger. This data, transferable at incredible speeds, can be accessed from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. A whole Bible translation can be downloaded in less than a minute. One would think if ever there was a day where men could know God surely this is would be that day. Yet there has never been a day of greater darkness upon the world. The Word itself testifies of this day…

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, even to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased”
Daniel 12:4

We read here that “even to the time of the end” Daniel’s words are shut up and the book sealed (ready to be revealed in these days Ephesians 3:5) while men run from place to place and knowledge is increased. Knowledge will never pry open the mysteries of God. Men in their pursuit of knowledge will never access those Holy places of Divine Revelation and Understanding. We have seen endless books written about such things but with the passage of time they are often found futile and obsolete. Time itself is the verification of all truth. Men peering into the pages of the sacred scriptures (without an eternal view) will always seek to bend truth to the moment in which they live to support their agendas. God will not reveal His ways to such. The Greeks sought God by wisdom and the Jews through religious works and miraculous signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). Our world is now filled with a multitude of religions and Christian sects comprised to varying degrees of the mixture of these two carnal ways; an effort to conciliate the unfulfilled cry within their hearts and the search for value and meaning.

“…the world by wisdom knew not God”
1 Corinthians 1:21

The discovery of God’s ways is out of reach to the carnal man. It is not to be found in the accumulation of data, nor in the religious works of men, nor in the “running to and fro” of men to conferences, teachers and sages. For Truth is a person (Jesus said “I am the Truth”) not a teaching or doctrine (John 14:6). He is the living TRUTH, (1Timothy 2:5) Eternal, Just and True and His ways are past finding out. Truth is, in all reality, the life of Jesus living within man. The measure of truth within a man is revealed in the life that he lives!

“Ye shall know the truth
and the truth will make you free”
John 8:32

No amount of teaching or the accumulation of data will set a man free from himself and the world around Him. No more than a man by jumping with all of his strength can free himself from the law of gravity. It takes a power and a life to so invade a man as to effect such a radical change from within that men are able to know this freedom of which Jesus spoke. This power is found in only One and His name is Jesus. It is in Him that men “move and have their being” (the Greek here is literally “are”). It is to this end “that all creation is groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:19-23). Through man’s disobedience, enticed by the promise of eating of the tree of knowledge, the Book of Life was sealed and man became subject to the “law of sin and death”. The sealing of this Book was in accordance to the law of Righteousness just as a man who disobeys earthly laws is subject to imprisonment and loss of liberty. This Book of Life was sealed in heavenly places out of the reach of fallen man.

The Sealed Book
Revelation 5:1-14

When John saw the “sealed book” in heaven he wept for there was no man who was worthy to open it!

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne
a book written within and on the backside,
sealed with seven seals

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?

And no man in heaven, nor in earth,
neither under the earth, was able to open the book,
neither to look thereon

And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:1-4

This Book of Life was sealed through man’s disobedience and the only way for it to be opened was by a Man whose obedience was perfect and complete. While John wept over the “sealed book” an Elder spoke to him…

“Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof.

And I beheld, and, lo,
in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts,
and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb
as it had been slain,
having seven horns and seven eyes,
which are the seven Spirits of God
sent forth into all the earth.

And he came
and took the book
out of the right hand of Him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:5-7

We must pause here and give all Glory to Jesus for He has prevailed! He came and took the Book out of the Hand of God Almighty and opened it on our behalf! The reason we have life is because He overcame and in the ministration of His Life into us we are also to overcome. His desire is to bring forth a people who will rule and reign with Him; not on the basis of a teaching but because of the operation of His Life within us producing and bringing forth His Victory in our own experience.

“And when he had taken the book,
the four beasts and four and twenty elders
fell down before the Lamb,
having every one of them harps,
and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying,
Thou art worthy to take the book,
and to open the seals thereof:
for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood
out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and nation”
Revelation 5:8-9

The drama of this transaction being played out in the heavens resulted in all of heaven worshipping and glorifying Jesus, the Lamb of God! The scriptures declare “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” We see here the fruit and reward of His Obedience and Suffering. Shall we not in this hour find in Him the strength, virtue and ability to overcome the trials in our day? Knowing this on a doctrinal level is not sufficient to impart the ability to abide in these living truths. Jesus said that the “words He speaks are Spirit and Life”. As such they can only be received by a heart which is compliant to His Will and abiding in His Spirit.

“And we are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost,
whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Acts 5:32

The depth of our receiving of His Holy Spirit is determined by our obedience and the yielding of our lives to His Will. The reason for the Holy Spirit being sent into this world is to guide us into all truth. He has come to lead us into the very life of Jesus by a new and living way. It is by way of relationship; taking His Yoke upon us, learning of Him and following and abiding within Him. These are not intellectual concepts but a discipline and a surrender of our will to His. The discovery of His Ways will not be by the efforts of men trampling through His Word with carnal wisdom but rather by a heart which has been broken and acknowledges its own condition.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

We live in a day in which few “tremble” at His Word. To believe His Word and obey it is not only unpopular but scorned in those who would uphold it in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation”. Men who do not tremble at His word treat it as a historical document, a book of instructions and good sayings, a source of religious sermons and quotations. Men who see His Word as Holy, walk carefully through its sacred pages with a desire to be instructed, comforted, reproved and made right by its ministration. The heart that finds its sole source of hope and salvation in His Word seeks to grow into a life of yielding to it. It is to such that the Word becomes living and vibrant. It is they who see the face of God in His glory and hear the voices of the prophets in its substance (Acts 13:27).

Our Boaz

Those who tremble at His word gaze upon it with awe and wonder. They approach it in prayer and with reverence.

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

What a beautiful picture this is of Ruth who, though not belonging to the House of Israel, an outcast by the Law, her husband dead and therefore in need of someone to redeem her portion in the earth, came in to Boaz (who had the right of redemption by virtue of marriage to an Israelite) softly (not upon the grounds of a right but upon the grounds of mercy); uncovered His feet (desiring to learn of His Way); and laid herself down (resting from her own works) to rest in His. Boaz means “In Him who is strength” (in the Hebrew) rises upon her behalf to redeem her inheritance. This same Moabite woman became a part of the very lineage of Christ. So it is that those who walk softly, and with contrite hearts, seek to lay themselves down in His presence and uncover His ways will so find themselves with a redeemed inheritance in Him!

”I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love,
till he please”
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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