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

The Day of Decisions

A Day of Decisions

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them…”
Revelation 13:7

In these last days The Cross of Christ will be much more than a teaching; to the saints it will be experiential. There is far too much frivolity in the popular “gospel” of today. Men and women pin their hopes on politics and wealth; scriptures are misconstrued to conclude that we have been called to worldly prosperity and influence. Read this scripture again and let its truth sink deep into your spirit. Let it bring clarity to the things that lie before us.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them…”
Revelation 13:7

It was given unto whom?

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea,
and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…”
Revelation 13:1

The Beast is rising in our day. They who have ears to hear and discerning eyes to see know that the day is upon us. John hears and sees this phenomenon unfold before him. We are clearly told what is soon to be:

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,
whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb…”
Revelation 13:8

John then hears a stern and powerful exhortation:

“If ANY man have an ear, let him hear”
Revelation 13:9

Can we truly hear? The foolishness of empty words will cease. Let His people be under no illusions; a time of great testing is coming upon us. It is a day to “arm ourselves”; not with carnal weapons but with the spiritual armour and graces of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh,
arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin…”
1 Peter 4:1

Jesus is the Way! He overcame this world and the principalities of spiritual wickedness through sacrifice, not carnal warfare! It is a Day to arm ourselves with “the same mind” which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is time to cease from the carnality of politics and turn unto Him alone who can prepare us for our day of sacrifice. Our victory in the days ahead will lie in our being “hid” in Christ, where His mind, heart and Spirit becomes ours. We dare not face this day unprepared. The “cross” IS the power of God. It is as we take on his armour today that we will be given the ability to stand in the evil day, having DONE all.

“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

There is a large segment of the church who are becoming zealous for political power rather than the true power of God. To them the cross is foolishness and represents a weakness rather than the power that it is. The carnal mind despises the Cross of Christ and all they who think such things are in the throes of “perishing”. It is to those who are being saved that the cross holds the true hope and power of God.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are being (the Greek Tense) saved it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18

The lines of demarcation are being drawn; this Day will separate the wheat from the tares, the true from the false, and those who serve God from those who serve themselves.

The Cross has always been the threshing instrument in the hands of our God.

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:
for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision”
Joel 3:14

The Day of the Lord is upon us. There is a deep valley through which His people must pass and where decisions will be made. The flood is coming and the foundation of every man’s house will be tested for the day will declare the verity of everyman’s work.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is”
1 Corinthians 3:13

(continued)

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

Goodness and Admonition

Goodness and Admonition

“I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers,
that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
able also to admonish others”
Romans 15:14

Admonition is the natural expression of those who are full of goodness and knowledge. It is rooted in a genuine love for the people of God; a caring for one another that transcends the fear of man and the desire to be popular. A sensitivity to the Spirit is required to walk circumspectly in order to know the effective ministration of this necessary gift of God. The ability to admonish others (and to receive admonition as well) will be dependent upon the measure of the goodness of God within a life.

“…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching
every man in all wisdom,
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 1:27-28

Admonition is the proclamation of Christ; it is the ministration of a heart that seeks to present every life perfect, (mature and full-grown) in Christ. Wherever this grace is lacking it is because motives are wrong. It is by having God’s end in view for His Church, and for each individual, that we discover the ability to naturally express this grace.

The lack of this vital ministration is the cause of our condition. Where there is no love, there is no correction. Where there is no correction, there is no growth, development, discipline or harmony within the Body of Christ. A child without discipline becomes wayward and lost. On the other hand, a child who knows only harsh discipline grows up without confidence, discouraged, or filled with anger. Admonition is the fruit of love and goodness; it flows from hearts who walk and live in the “fear of the Lord” and the love of the Father. For this reason, true eldership is revealed in the state and condition of their own home. If a man lacks the quality of true admonition in his own home, he is not qualified to minister these things to God’s House (1 Timothy 3:5).

“And fathers, do not provoke your children,
but nurture them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord”
Ephesians 6:4

Admonition is the natural expression of the love of the Father. For children to grow up strong, confident, and upright in God, this grace is a necessary and fundamental expression both in the home and in the Church of Jesus Christ.

“For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth”
Proverbs 3:12

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Discernment – Wisdom

Spiritual Discernment

Wisdom

“Doth not the ear try words?
and the mouth taste his meat?”
Job 12:11

The wise of heart try the words they hear. Words abound in the church today and none are without intent. There are voices and intentions veiled within the speech of men. Though there may be many voices there is but ONE voice with whom we have to do (John 10:27).

“The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters,
and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.”
Proverbs 18:4

Words hold an intimation of deeper things. Whether perverse or godly there is a wellspring from which they flow. The common speech of daily life reveals the riddle and mystery of the heart of man; it cannot be hidden for long. What a man loves and desires will be expressed by his words.

“…for out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh”
Matthew 12:34

Wisdom is the pure fruit of the fear of the Lord. In its dominion men walk in the caution and prudence of God’s Spirit. It is the expert wine taster who discerns the quality of the wine, it is the chef who savors the food before him, and it is the wise who discern the fountainhead of the words of others.

“…a wise man’s heart
discerneth both time and judgment”
Ecclesiastes 8:5

Brian Troxel

Speaking the Truth – Part One – Truth and Partiality

Speaking the Truth

Part One

Truth and Partiality

“Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear.”
1 Timothy 5:20

The true love of God cares about others within the Body of Christ. It is not silent nor does it turn a blind eye to sin within His House. The “wages of sin is death”. Do we really believe this? Has sin become so rampant, so common and prevalent that we care little about its horror? Have we become so anesthetized in our own hearts that we dare not confront that which is without because of the compromise within?

Paul followed his charge (the above scripture) to Timothy with:

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality
1 Timothy 5:21

Denominations, sects, kingdom-building and the desire to please others, has become more important than the truth of God. We are more concerned with people’s opinions of us than we are with staying true to God’s Word and purpose. The need to fill the pews and be popular outweighs the purity and power of God’s living truth. We sacrifice truth upon the altar of our agendas and desires. We place men upon pedestals and hold them to a different standard than we do others.

Paul speaks this truth concerning himself:

“But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!”
Galatians 1:8

The love of truth, for the sake of God’s glory in our midst, must exceed the love of our personal relationships. God’s house is to be holy and pure, having the same love one for another; it is to that end we live and move within His Body. There are to be no schisms or sects and no favoritism. Timothy was charged with the solemn task of accountability to God, he was to live in the simplicity of honoring and glorifying God. There was no favoritism and the repulsion of treating one member differently from another.

Truth is truth.

Truth is not relative! The devastating lie of “relativism” has crept into the very core of the Church of Jesus Christ. We may speak truth to one brother and turn a blind eye to another but God has a word for such an unspeakable act: HYPOCRISY.

The condition of the Church of Jesus Christ today is a sad testament to this hypocrisy. The Love of God has fallen to such a low degree where we have set His Call to holiness below that of our relationships with others. A relationship that cannot survive the speaking of truth to one another is a carnal relationship and is based upon something other than God.

Woe to us if we walk in partiality, sectarianism and the horror of a love that only loves its own. Woe to us if we walk in anything less than the pure love of truth.

The Call of God is going out to bring forth a people who love in deed, word and truth without partiality.

“For while one saith, I am of Paul;
and another, I am of Apollos;
ARE YE NOT CARNAL?
1 Corinthians 3:4

How many today speak these same things? I am of the Pentecostal church or the Alliance church; I follow a certain leader or a particular teaching; are we not carnal? Within these boundaries partiality flourishes and so does sin!

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying,and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:3

There is a simple solution to this.

“But speaking the truth in love”
Ephesians 4:15

Love is the only motive and power which can cause the walls of sectarianism, denominational-ism and carnal factions to be removed.

The true love of God will not and cannot stand idly by and watch a brother/sister or fellowship/church destroy their lives or the life and unity of the Body of Christ without speaking to it. It is an impossibility. When sin is viewed from a lethargic heart it is easy to say nothing. When it is seen for the deadly thing it is we cannot remain silent. Apathy begets apathy. Love is the only answer to apathy. Love is the only thing which can and will break down the walls of carnal thinking and carnal doing. Where the fear of man reigns secularism and denominational-ism will prevail. Whenever love and truth are the impetus, God is glorified.

The Test

There is a simple test to know the validity of our relationships. Set your heart to the speaking and receiving of truth. If the relationships hold then God is the foundation. If contention and strife arise then know that the foundation is built upon the sand of men’s ways and not God’s.

The call of God today is to seek with all of our hearts to be true within the secret places of our lives. Love God above all. Be true to Him and from such a spring you will drink the refreshing waters of the eternal fellowship of Christ IN His Body.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
John 3:20-21

Brian Troxel