Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

Unbelief and The Holy Spirit

“He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.”
John 7:37-38

The giving forth of the Holy Spirit is clearly connected with Jesus being glorified. It is not limited to “dispensations”, times or seasons. Jesus has been glorified, is being glorified and will forever be glorified. As a result, the Holy Spirit will continue to be given. The unbelief of not asking, not seeking and not receiving the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is the bane of the gospel of our day.

The Word is clear. The promises are certain, and the price paid for the sending forth of the comforter, the One who is to lead us into all the truth of Christ. He is ever offered to those who by faith receive.

A gospel which proclaims something less cannot fully glorify Jesus. Unbelief caused the children of Israel to perish in the wilderness. Unbelief is the great cause of unanswered prayer. Unbelief is the reason for powerless living. Unbelief produces a dearth of the works of God in our midst.

“And he did not many mighty works there
because of their unbelief
Matthew 13:58

God has not abandoned us; He remains the same forever. Unbelief is the crisis of our day. Men would rather deny God’s gift than admit their own unbelief. It is easier to explain away the wonder and the power of the Holy Spirit than it is to ask, seek and pursue Him who died to make this gift ours.

“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Luke 11:11-13

Brian Troxel

The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘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

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Worship and Faith

Thought for Today

Obedience is the essence
of Worship

Abraham our father,
was not he declared righteous out of works,
having brought up Isaac his son upon the altar?”

James 2:21 (YLT)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”
Ephesians 2:8-10

By Faith alone was Abraham Justified
By obedience his Faith Perfected

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

Ω

“It is one thing to believe in God;
it is quite another to believe God.”
R.C. Sproul

Brian Troxel

Substantive Life

Substantive Life

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

God’s purpose has always been to make those who love Him, evident tokens of Himself. In things pertaining to the spirit there is a transpiring within whereby the thing believed becomes the reality of the life lived. In Hebrews chapter eleven we read that “Faith is the… substance…”; those in whom faith is real become the very evidence of things hoped for. The reality of Christ within must, by His nature, produce within an obvious revelation of Him without. It is inconceivable to have the majestic Christ within without radical and continuous changes to our walk in this world. The power of His Word infused with the wonder of His Holy Spirit is to the end that we would bear His image in this world.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as He is, so are we in this world
1 John 4:17

The reason for a confidence in the Day of Judgment is because we have allowed His Life to produce in us a likeness of Him in this world! The substance of His life developed in us what we are to impart to those around us. Peter declared to the crippled man

“…but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”
Acts 3:6

Spiritual substance is the result of our yielding to the power of His Spirit; the forming in us of the Pearl of Great Price! He is the precious treasure. In Him we are no longer barren, poor or found wanting. As the power of the Living Christ makes us One with Him, His virtues become ours through a vital and substantive relationship with Him.

“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life”
1 Timothy 6:18-19

Those who are rich in Christ internally, will be rich in the good works of Christ externally. The power of the good works is directly related to the substance of Christ internally. We can only distribute the substance of Christ in proportion to the substance we have.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another…”
Colossians 3:16

The depth of our teaching and the power of our admonishing one another will be according to the depth and power of His Word which dwells within us.

Let us be encouraged in His heart and His purposes for us. He has made a covenant with us to cause us to inherit substance, His substance, that we may be light in this world.

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

Σ

“…that as He is
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel

Small Things

Small Things

“For who knoweth what is good
for man in this life”
Ecclesiastes 6:12

Can we see Him in the dreary paths of life; in the mundane and the seemingly insignificant matters of every day? Or do we, like the potter’s vessel, feel the hand of God molding and shaping the inner man into a vessel which honours and serves Him? The circular rote of daily life with its unspectacular events seems to come and go endlessly, yet within our walk with God there are unseen opportunities to please Him.

Do the seemingly small things pass our eyes without us seeing the hidden wisdom and purposes of God?

“And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had”
Luke 21:2-4

That poor widow had no idea that her small act of giving would be used for centuries to explain a great truth of the Kingdom of God!

In view of such things we are to be instructed to be diligent and faithful in every aspect of our life. Who knows what God may see and use for His Glory? It is crucial in the unguarded and trivial things of life that we remain true to our God.

“And Asa did that which was good and right
in the eyes of the Lord his God”
2 Chronicles 14:2

May this be our testimony unto Him.

Brian Troxel

The Two Aspects of Hearing God

The Two Aspects of Hearing

How Do We Hear?

In our day the Christian landscape is rife with erroneous teachings and heresies. Most of these are obvious to any child of God with even a limited concept of the foundational truths of Christ. However, Jesus addressed two aspects of hearing with His disciples; each were critical in the measuring of His truth to them. These are clearly set forth for us: take heed WHAT we hear and take heed HOW we hear. The first warning concerns the “hearing” of those who follow Him.

“Take heed WHAT you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear
Mark 4:24

Here Jesus is addressing the content of WHAT people hear. There is a divine measuring of truth proportional to what we are willing to hear. If we allocate God’s truth to be for another time and not for us today, we will be unable to hear anything further. The “measure” that we allow will determine what is measured to us. We must “take heed” to these critical warnings. Only then will the Body of Christ be a light and a wonder to the world around us!

God has always been concerned with HOW His people hear His Word. Many may read its content. Many may discuss its implications and even teach its meaning, but few hear with the ears of faith.

It is HOW one hears that determines how one walks.

Hearing is the foundation of an individual’s life in God. This intrinsic and essential faculty determines the whole concourse of our life. Where there is no hearing by the ear of faith there can be no growth in our relationship with Him. The crisis of every heart is reduced in God to this ONE THING. It is here that the eternal destinies of all people are concluded.

“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

There is a deception which is of a far higher order than merely taking heed to WHAT we hear; it is in the realm of “HOW” we hear. Throughout the New Testament we are struck with the clear distinction God makes between those who hear and those who do not.

The Parable of the Builders

“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock…”
Matthew 7:24

Jesus continued in this Parable to contrast the one who heard correctly from the foolish one who also heard correctly WHAT Jesus was saying but failed in HOW he heard.

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand”
Matthew 7:26

The strength of the House which each man built was not determined by WHAT they heard but in what they DID with what they heard. In other words: in HOW they heard! One man heard the Words of Jesus as the Word of the Lord who is to be obeyed; the other heard the Words of Jesus as a Teacher and viewed God’s Word as something to know rather than something to be obeyed! The “fruit” of these two contrasting lives is clearly set forth in the power of Christ’s Word to His disciples.

Jesus, in a few verses preceding this Parable, set forth what He was clearly meaning.

“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”
Matthew 7:21

The eternal question to each of us is, “HOW are we hearing?” Do we hear Jesus as LORD, or do we hear Him as our Teacher? One to be obeyed, or one who came to merely enlighten us with divine teachings? The manner of our walk reveals the evidence of HOW we hear!

“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

Σ

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel

Trusting God in the Now

Trusting God NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory”while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”
PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit”in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

Σ

“We cannot always trace God’s hand,
but we can always trust God’s heart”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

Revelation 4:1 – Part 2 – Patmos

Podcast – Revelation 4:1

The Isle of Patmos
God’s Purpose
for the Revelation of Himself

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Revelation 4:1 – Part 1 – The House of God

Podcast – Revelation 4:1
The True House of God

The Contrast Between
Bethel and El-Bethel

An Informal Bible Study
Concerning the True House of God

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The Throne of God – Part 1 – Bible Study

Podcast The Throne of God

“And out of the throne proceeded
lightnings and thunderings and voices…”
Revelation 4:5

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