Words from THE Church in Iran

Words from THE Church in Iran

“Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”

This is the cry of His people coming out of Iran. God is moving, empowering and raising up a living testimony in Iran and to the whole world! Please go to this link: The Church in Iran

Pray for our brothers and sisters!

Meditation Moment – Salvation

Meditation Moment

Salvation

“He saved others;
He is not able to save Himself”
Matthew 27:42

The truth in Christ is they who would would save their own life will have nothing to give to others. They who lose their life for Him will have much to give. The disciple is to follow in the footsteps of their master; He who saved not Himself upon the cross bids us to follow in like manner.

In losing we find
In saving we lose

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”
Matthew 16:25

Brian Troxel

The Cross of Christ

The Cross of Christ

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,
that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
2 Corinthians 4:10

The call and purpose of God in Christ Jesus is to the end that we become an expression of the life and wonder of Jesus. Our interaction with the Holy Spirit is about the “manifestation” of His Life in us. He alone is to be the fulcrum upon which our life is lived. God’s singular focus is the glorifying of the Son; as our hearts become aligned by the power of the Holy Spirit we are caught up in this grand purpose. The signature of a life lived in the grace of God will be summed up by the cry:

“He must increase; I must decrease”

There is a hidden dynamic of life available within the confines of the Cross of Christ. A life of resurrection awaits those who would enter into the reality of discipleship. There is but one avenue of advance; one door, one key and one price for the surpassing glory of His Life being manifested in us: a dying to self. It is here that even the call to ministry must be refined within the consuming fire of God until its sole purpose is to manifest His life at the cost of our own. The pathway is littered with many who have started out well only to become enamoured by their own expressions of ministry and the adulation of others. How perilous is this way and how deceptive the human heart is at every juncture in our journey!

His ministration subtly becomes “our” ministry. The people we minister to become “our fellowship” and “our church”. The dregs of fallen Adam usurp the blessings of Christ. It is one thing to start out well but few there be that end well. The safeguard is to remain faithful to the truth; speak truth, live truth and identify with Him who is the truth. Relationships must be subservient to the truth. It is here that the weight and the power of the Cross is revealed. Popularity and acceptance are virulent enemies of the cross and the human heart is susceptible to both. Paul presented this vital truth in the Book of Galatians:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”
Galatians 1:8

Paul himself made it clear that his standing with the people of God in his day was founded on him being held within the truth of God and not in the office of his apostleship. Every ministration of God which causes schisms, division and a calling of people unto themselves, “their” church or fellowship, is an affront to the person and the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Only those who are living daily unto this ONE end will know of the wonder, the power and the excellency of the glory of the Resurrected Christ!

“He MUST increase,
and I must decrease”
John 3:30

Brian Troxel

The Way into Life

The Way into Life

“Holding the mystery of the faith
in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9

The conscience is a great gift of God to us. It is the vital link between the human soul and God’s Spirit. The deeper an individual goes in their relationship with God the greater will be the diligence required to keep one’s conscience pure and clean before God. Foolish is the one who thinks they can ignore the voice of God within and still grow in their understanding of the mystery and wonder of God in their own life. If we have wronged a brother or sister and do not seek to rectify the situation, let us not be deceived into thinking our life in God will prosper! The conscience is the sounding board in our walk with God. Those who truly seek to know Him must ever be sensitive to this inward light of God. An obedient heart keeps the conscience clean. When there is a disturbance in the conscience, true men and women of faith will do all in their power to keep this mirror of God clean.

“Now 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

They who defile their conscience and yet seek to portray faith and godliness walk in the hypocrisy of religion. Their faith is not genuine, and the defilement of the conscience contaminates their relationship with God. A pure heart is one which is ever cognizant of the status of the conscience.

“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”
Matthew 5:23-24

Supposing we can worship God in truth while allowing offences to remain unattended is the horror of religion. Such worship is carnal, hypocritical and unacceptable before God. The true heart will respond to the inner voice of the conscience. It requires an intensity of heart to walk in the truth of these things. It requires humility to seek out our brother and sister in order to obey God within the sanctum of our own hearts.

“First be reconciled to your brother” *

How little we comprehend the fact that our relationship with our brother is paramount to our relationship with God. We are the Body of Christ and if I set my brother at aught, in God’s eyes I am doing it unto Him. The growth of any individual in God will be measured by the sensitivity of our responses to this Holy gift of God in us. People may sear and desensitize their conscience by misusing the doctrines of grace. Make no mistake; those who do not obey the conscience will end up in an unfruitful and shipwrecked life, and a darkness from which there is no escape.

A few years ago, I came to understand a simple truth:

“Those who refuse to deal with their past,
will have no future growth in God”

Spiritual Stagnancy is the fruit of disobedience. 

We cannot ignore the voice of God in our conscience and expect His mercies to lead us on into a greater knowing of Him. The life of a true disciple in Christ is one of continual transactions with Him who is true. My sensitivity today is the door through which I enter into the New Things He has for me.

“forgive us our debts AS we also forgive our debtors”
Matthew 6:9

May God make known to us the simplicity of this truth. We may hold on to the doctrines of our forgiveness in God; in reality we are forgiven to the same extent that we forgive others! Forgiveness, like all the precious gifts of God, requires our participation. As with forgiveness, so is mercy… “Blessed are the merciful for they shall OBTAIN mercy”. The religion of men requires no real cost; we can defile our conscience with the very truths of God and somehow think we are in right standing with Him! (Please read the full context of Matthew 5:23-24).

There is a cost but also a great blessing associated with the keeping of a clear conscience. True disciples know the benefits of walking in the Way of Truth. Such things are not optional for those who desire to know Him in Spirit and in Truth.

“And herein do I exercise myself,
to have always a conscience void of offence
toward God,
 and toward men”
Acts 24:16
* Note: There will be instances where there will be unresolved issues, but the true disciple will do all they can to facilitate reconciliation. The conscience will be clear when God is at rest in the heart. Christ died for the reconciliation of the world, but men and women must respond to His gracious offer. Others must respond to that same offer from us. A clear conscience gives us the ability of “having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:13) in matters relating to spiritual warfare. A clean Conscience is vital for victory. Christ did all and gave all; it is incumbent upon His disciples to do the same.

Brian Troxel

Go Up! – A New Generation

A New Generation

Go Up!

“Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee:
go up and possess it,
as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee;
fear not, neither be discouraged”
Deuteronomy 1:21

The word of the Lord to Joshua was spoken to offset the fear and the discouragement of God’s people after forty years of seemingly pointless wandering in the wilderness. While a faithless generation passed away, God was speaking faith and encouragement to a new generation. It was a time of change; a New Day. The call of God to possess the promises given had fallen to a New Generation and within those promises lay new responsibilities for them to dispossess their enemies. So it is in our day. There is an exhortation for us to “Go Up” into the things of God.

His Word is spoken for those who will hear to rise up and leave the aimless wandering in the wilderness of powerless words; of a gospel that has been without direction and purpose, and an endless promotion of strategies and self-seeking men.

“Go Up” is spoken to a new generation. “Go Up” is God’s Word to those hearts whom the paltry offerings of empty words can no longer satisfy. There is a generation who find complacency in words, teachings and doctrinal concepts but there is also a generation who cannot find rest apart from the wonder of HIS Life within. The one generation must arise out of the complacency of the other.

Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life
are filled with the pulsating power of the Lamb’s Life.

Let us hear His Word afresh. May we feel the drawings of His Spirit to deeper things, higher things and living things. Let the “Go Up” of God bring a new seeking of Him who makes “all things new”!

“Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth…”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Brian Troxel

The Struggle and the Crown

The Struggle and the Crown

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”
Romans 4:16

The Struggle

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:22 – 25

Within the life of every true believer is the struggle between two natures; two ways of living, two sets of desires and two eternal consequences.  The conflict is between the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first Adam being that nature which is earthly and sensual and the second Adam being the heavenly man, the Eternal Son of Man. We see the very portrayal of this within the womb of Rebekah as she by faith brought forth the one who would become Israel in the purposes and dealings of our great God.

Esau was the firstborn, a man of passions, wild and undisciplined.  He was of the earth, earthly and devoid of any real love of spiritual things.  He was born first, bearing the likeness of the first Adam, which in the Hebrew means “red earth”.  At his birth the scriptures take great care to describe his appearance (See The Things of Esau).

“And the first came out red*(see note below),
all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau”

Genesis 25:25

Jacob, though a schemer and a conniver, had one thing that set him apart.  He had respect for the things of God.  The birthright, which was rightfully Esau’s by virtue of being the first born, meant little to Esau and he surrendered it for  a mere mess of pottage in a moment of extreme hunger.  Jacob, on the other hand, coveted this blessing.  Jacob was the son of promise, a man called to become the Israel of God, not by strength, nor by might but by the mercy and strength of our God.

These two distinct “manner of people” struggled within the womb of Rebekah, yet the promise was THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.  Jacob’s journey of faith to become Israel was one of many dealings and breakings in the hands of a determined and merciful God.  The promise of God tarries until the man Jacob is broken.  It is in our submission to His dealings that we become the people upon whom the promise falls.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob,
and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Isaiah 9:8

The promise to Jacob was a sure thing but the severity of the dealings of God and the determination of God is what made the promise sure.  The man Jacob must become the worm that he might indeed become strong.

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14 – 15

We must see that the inabilities in our life to do God’s will are the result of our strengths not our weaknesses. When we speak of weakness we are speaking of all that has not been brought into submission to the Son; in whatever measure we have known the fellowship of His sufferings there is a corresponding experience of His resurrection life.

“That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead”

Philippians 3:10 – 11

Let us realize that the struggle within is a struggle that is to be unto life and glory; HIS LIFE and HIS GLORY.  The struggle of Rebekah is prophetic of all that we must know within ourselves.  Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.  We too will remain barren unless we discover the wonder and the power of HIS faith in our lives.  A faith like gold submitted to the fire is purified and fit for the master’s use.  Teachings will not produce this life; only a broken and surrendered will in the hands of the God of Jacob!  This is not a day to tarry but it is a day for us to “press toward the mark, for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Let our confidence be not in ourselves, our knowledge or our associations.  Rather let our confidence be in the God of Jacob who was able to bring forth a PRINCE* (see note below) from the worm and who is able to complete that which He began in us.  The beauty of Jacob’s heart was clearly revealed at Peniel as we see Jacob clinging to the ONE who wounded him for in that place we see and hear God’s declaration…

The Crown

“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men,
and hast prevailed”

Genesis 32:28

* אַדְמֹנִי ʼaḏmōniy, אַדְמוֹנִי ʼaḏmôniy: An adjective meaning red, ruddy. from the Hebrew Word ADAM
*Israel – Prince with God

A Partial reprint of a former post.
A relevant reminder for us to stay the course in Christ

Brian Troxel

A Strong Exhortation – The Day of Reckoning

A Strong Exhortation 

Faith and Works

“His lord said unto him,
Well done, 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
(From the Parable of the Talents)

When the time came for the master to reckon with his servants, he did not say “well believed”; He spoke the words “well done”. True servants of God are not idle, nor slack concerning the gracious bestowal of talents. They invest their lives into God’s investment in them. They are faithful in the things entrusted to them. In this passage the one who was slack concerning God’s investment was reproved and cast into outer darkness. The talents were given to HIS SERVANTS and as such the Lord expected a work and a labour into that which was given. These were His people upon whom such privileges were bestowed. They were not given on the basis of individual merit, but according to each one’s ability. Men and women who declare they are not able to walk in such things declare God to be unjust in His estimation of their ability.

“His lord answered and said unto him,
thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

Whose Lord? The servant’s Lord. Let us make no mistake as to the meaning of this Parable. It is a false and foolish gospel that has robbed God of His rightful place as Lord in our lives. Let us turn from this deceit and embrace the responsibility and the great reward that awaits those who are found faithful to our Lord and Saviour.

In this Parable Jesus declares:

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh,
and reckoneth with them”
Matthew 25:19

Rest assured His coming is nigh unto us. Can we not hear with the ears of faith?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing
Luke 12:43

Again, the word does not say blessed is that servant that he shall find “so believing”! His Day is upon us and we are to be faithful in so doing and admonishing others to the same.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Do we not hear the exhortation to stir one another unto “love and good WORKS”? Can we not feel the day approaching? It is a slothful people who do not exhort one another unto “love and good works”. Read the context of the above scripture; it is willful sin not to be doing this as we assemble together.

The lethargy and false comfort preached in our day blinds His Own to their responsibility to the talents given.

The Day of the Lord is a day of reckoning for His people.

(Please read 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

Ω

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the Lord’s work,
because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel

Consider Our Heritage

Consider Our Heritage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ω

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

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – Look to Yourselves

Look to Yourselves

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward”
2 John 1:8

As the soldier who stands at the night watch on the field of battle, we dare not slumber and grow careless. The subtleness of the night season is one fraught with many dangers. The enemy is subtle and cunning and walks about as a roaring lion seeking those whom he may devour. His eyes are attentive and his wrath is cruel; he looks for those who in the wee hours of the morning their eyes are growing dim and the deceptiveness of slumber is infecting. It is in the night watch where the danger lurks and the slumbering ones lose their crowns.

“The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep:
and none of the men of might have found their hands”
Psalm 76:5

Look to yourselves! Shake the slumber and sleep from our eyes for the Day creeps upon us as a “thief in the night”. It is a day of great deception, a deception so deep and filled with such peril whereby we need the ministration of His Spirit unto one another to stand true with our eyes attentive, our hearts awake and that we be clothed in the full armour of God.

The Word of the Lord for this hour is one to which we need to give heed…

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand”
Ephesians 6:13

If there be no doing
there will be no standing!

It is the deceptive religious faith which holds the things of God in the slumber of a faithless inactivity where the enemy will come and the true state of an individual’s heart will be revealed.

“Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things
which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward”
2 John 1:8

Ω

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God”
Hebrews 12:15

Brian Troxel

Transition – Part Two – The Way of Provision

TRANSITION 

Part Two
(See Transition – Part One
The Way of Truth
)

The Way of Provision

“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for you. For within three days you are crossing this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, to possess it
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna still fell every day, Israel was now preparing for war. The trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna had been God’s provision, but the time had come for God’s people to be weaned from the manna and to begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the land they were about to enter. The manna was for a season only; it ceased when they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year
JOSHUA 5:12

It is sad to see some of God’s people still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions to be ready for warfare and to be able to feed others. They are content to sit passively while someone else feeds and waters them rather than reading God’s word for themselves; provisions that would make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a heathy life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the new things that we are called to.

The Hidden Manna

We read in John that Jesus came to Jacob’s well, “wearied with the journey”, and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food, He said he was no longer hungry. In the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed!

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision, but they would in the days ahead.

In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the Manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the Table of Showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the church of their day.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision are to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is essential that we go on in the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to grow into eating the “strong meat” that He desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts
Isaiah 28:9

Brian Troxel