Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Church’ Category

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

God’s House or A Religious System

worship

“For they are an uncontrolled people, false-hearted,
who will not give ear to the teaching of the Lord:
Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets,
Do not give us word of what is true,
but say false things to give us pleasure”
Isaiah 30:10 (BBE)

Most people would not blatantly say such things but God sees the heart. Many religious people do not want to hear truth. They do not want to concern themselves with the condition of their hearts, God’s house, nor the gravity of the day in which we are living. There is only the desire for positive words and good things to bolster our carnal ways. We have not come to this state of apathy by embracing His truth and walking in His Spirit. We are here because of our choices. We have a “church” where the people elect who would minister to them rather than whom God may send. We have our own agendas for how we want “our” church to look. It is not about God; it is about an atmosphere where we can feel comfortable, accepted and in control.

Truth has become something that fortifies our “doctrine”, our way of doing things and conducting our church/fellowship business. The ministration of the Word is no longer a fearful thing. It is not something which holds up the light, wonder and holiness of God; it has become tepid and impotent. Rather than bringing conviction it soothes our failures to live righteously. It makes light of sin and our carnal and worldly ways. Pastors and preachers who want to hold on to their “jobs” need to stay within the comfort zone or their replacement will easily be found. Those who love truth will speak it. These ones do not seek the approval of men for there is a knowledge deep within their hearts of a holy accountability unto Him who will judge all things. This is nothing new as noted by Francis Bacon in his day.

“In periods of unsettled faith, skepticism, and mere curious speculation in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found. “The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools” (Bacon, Ess. 17).

There is always a “priesthood” quick to provide whatever the people want:

“…the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron,
and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us…”
Exodus 32:1

Aaron quickly responded:

“…and fashioned it with a graving tool,
after he had made it a molten calf:
and they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel,
which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt”.
And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it;
and Aaron made proclamation, and said,
Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord”
Exodus 32:4-5

Notice how quickly they took the “new” and made it appear as if it was unto the Lord! Religion has not changed. There is nothing new under the sun. Surely this is a generation who loves to hear smooth and nice words. Whenever and wherever God’s people choose their own ministers the results will be the same.

It is during these times that God raises up true men and women who seek to live truth, speak truth and to confront the horror of such things. In God’s House the ministrations of His Spirit are not chosen by the people they are called…

“Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father…”
Galatians 1:1

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

Thought for Today

New wineskin

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

In Moses’ day there was a moving of God’s Spirit among the people and Joshua was moved by jealousy for Moses’ position because others were prophesying.

“And Moses said unto him,
Enviest thou for my sake?
would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets,
and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
Numbers 11:29

The envy, jealously and all of the other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) must be dealt with in God’s house. It is the horror of our ways which keep His glory from falling upon us. The works of the flesh prevent the fruit of the Spirit. God’s house is a spiritual house and He will not mingle the ways of men with the Holiness of the Lord. The lordship of man must be cast down and the ways of men must cease so that there may be true mercy, goodness, kindness and love between His people. The Lord alone will be exalted in this day. True leaders desire the glory of God in HIS people, they are willing to decrease to see the increase of God. The purpose and the heart of the New Covenant is that we would so selflessly minister to one another to see the end of ministry. For the purpose of ministry is to bring God’s people to know HIM fully for themselves. They who love the preeminence and places of control will have no place within the New Wine Skin.

Jeremiah 31:33-34
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
for they shall all know me,

from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord”

Let the prophets speak, let the intercessors pour out their hearts unto Him, let those who aspire to preeminence humble themselves and turn from the job descriptions of “positions” and seek the callings and purposes of God. It is a day to prepare the Way of the Lord. Every high place will be brought low and those of humble hearts will be exalted. Receive His words from those who seek His honor in this day.

Let the people of God humble themselves with one another that we may behold, taste and see God’s provisions for us in one another.

“Submitting yourselves one to another
in the fear of God”
Ephesians 5:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

Thought for Today

accountability

Accountability

“For WE must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10

Contrary to much of the teaching of our day we are to live righteously and to admonish one another to keep His Fire burning in our hearts. If we succumb to the world and its ways we will not desire nor seek out the fellowship of others who will hold us accountable. It is in our hearts knowing that we must all appear before the Judgement seat of Christ whereby we desire the true fellowship in order to grow and walk in righteousness. They who are of the night have no inclination for these things.

The revelation of the life of those who claim to be His is known by the environment and the relationships they choose.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise:
but a companion of fools shall be destroyed”
Proverbs 13:20

ω

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness
without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession,
absolution without personal confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship,
grace without the cross,
grace without Jesus Christ”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

FELLOWSHIP
AND THE
MYSTERY OF GOD

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin”
1 John 1:7

True fellowship is a blessed and precious expression of the Life of the Son between His people. It is a function of light not of teaching. Many today within the landscape of the Christian Church have little or no concept of this vital flow of life. Being in one room does not constitute fellowship. Speaking of the things of God, singing, sharing, and praying together does not in itself imply this powerful act of the Holy Spirit. Fellowship in and unto God is a transaction wherein the depth of God in one vessel pours the very life and glory of God into another. The light of His Being is imprinted upon the whole; the ministration of the Blood of Jesus releases an impartation of the cleansing power of the Lamb. The wonder of community, the koinonia, is known by God’s glory. It is grievous to behold the blindness which exists between the religious things of men and the precious things of the Spirit. Within the mixture of today men cannot discern between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and mundane. Light is the Life of Jesus within His own (John 1:4). It is so much more than words, actions and prayers. It is as we touch His Life within another person that we know the brotherhood of Christ. It is in the fragrance of another’s expression that the aroma of Christ in His Body is known. This flow of Life is the Light of the World and the wonder of Heaven.

“Then said the Lord to him,
Put off thy shoes from thy feet:
for the place where thou standest is holy ground”
Acts 7:33

Moses having left Egypt because of the recognition of his true identity as an Israelite by birth, was not yet aware of his call as a true Israelite (a prince with God) in his walk. He stood in the very presence of God and knew it not. Though he had left Egypt he still walked in the shoes of Egypt and was unable to sense God’s presence even in the place he stood. So it is with religion. Men and women may have teaching, may have even a spiritual heritage (as Moses with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and yet be totally unaware of God’s reality. It is in the taking off of those shoes, (the religious and carnal ways of men) that we are introduced to the Holy Presence of God. We begin to “feel” our way into the life to which He has called us. While many boast of knowledge, or take comfort in their association with great teachers or organizations, it does not avail them of the knowledge of the Holy.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding
Proverbs 9:10

In God’s estimation it is not in the accumulation of data and information that gives a person true understanding; it is in their knowing of the HOLY. Without this sense of awe we will never be able to really flow in the life and light of God. It is this flow which brings us to the Holy Ground of fellowship in God. There is an unseen line of demarcation which religious people cannot pass through; it is a realm of life and liberty in the Holy Spirit. People may behold it but it is always outside of them. It is a thing to see but not one which is internal and real.

“But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me
Luke 8:42-46

In the midst of all the people thronging about Jesus there was one who touched Jesus in the realm of need and faith. Though many were “touching” Jesus, clamouring to hear his words and see His acts, there was one who touched Him in such a manner that virtue (power) flowed from Him into her. This flow is the power of true fellowship and life. Many throng about Him in meetings, services, Bible studies and prayer meetings, yet without the living faith of Him within the heart the virtue of Christ remains hidden and distant.

True and vital fellowship exists where each member shares the substance of Christ which they have seen and heard within their own hearts. It is the communication of their faith because of their relationship and walk with God. The flow of the sharing is orchestrated by the Lordship of the Holy Spirit and culminates in the symphony of His life within the whole. This is no longer a religious gathering. It is in fact the very essence of heaven and the true life of the Son being revealed through vessels of clay who walk in the knowledge of the Holy.

It is through the Glory of such fellowship that the change and transformation of our hearts occurs. It is in the beholding of Him, seeing His wonder in our brothers and sisters, that we touch the beauty of His true Body. It is only by the seeing of Him that we are changed, for no one can see Him and remain the same. While many gather in some manner or another, change will always be the fruit of those who behold His glory; where there is no change there is no glory. The Virtue of Christ always flows into the lives of those who touch Him in the reality of the living faith of God.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

The desire to know Him is the only impetus which can bring the mystery of this fellowship to the life of an individual. People who are content with the status quo will never know this vital flow of the Son. It is the story of this woman’s need and desire which caused the touching of Him in reality. Religion is content with things about Him, they who are of the truth are only concerned with the knowing of Him experientially (corporately and individually). Change is the fruit of seeing God. For fellowship with Him brings us to His light and the love of His people. No one can have fellowship with God and walk in darkness.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him,
and declare unto you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him,
and walk in darkness,
we lie, and do not the truth
1 John 1:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

Let Us Build

Lost in the multitude of words and the intellectual dissertations of our day, where men work and sweat in order to build something for God, is the Call of God in the New Testament to bear His image. Jesus in speaking to His disciples said…

“A disciple is not above the teacher,
nor a slave above his lord.

It is enough for the disciple
to become as his teacher”

Matthew 10:24-25

Is it not enough for us to be filled with the heart of this call? Jesus built nothing nor had any desire to. He did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to reveal the Father’s heart. Discipleship within a man is a life of following, learning and being transformed into His likeness (2Corinthians 3:18). It is the call to forsake the way of the worldly man, the religious man, who is ever in search of building a legacy, a monument and a work which will declare his worth. (Compare the desire of Saul as contrasted with David). It is the basic instinct of fallen man. We see this need to build something for God even in the lives of His own disciples as Peter exclaimed on the mount of transfiguration … “let us build”. The words had no sooner left Peter’s lips when God Almighty spoke from the cloud “this is my Son…” He alone is the temple. There is no temple in heaven beside Him and as it is there so is it to be here on earth! While men seek to show their measure (or worth) by what they build, the true disciple is content in becoming conformed to His Image and likeness. Life is no longer defined by what men think or do; it is centered on being as Him. It is in the forming of His life in us that we are enabled to see His heart and His purposes. Inevitably the religious builders of this world will sooner or later reject the chief cornerstone in order to accomplish their own purposes.

“What is this then that is written,
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner?”
Luke 20:17

In order for any building endeavor (whether small fellowship or mega church) to succeed it must be accompanied by an agenda and the agenda always precedes the building. The agenda also requires a leader for men to rally around. (It is one thing to come together to have fellowship and a totally different thing to meet in order to build a fellowship or church organization).

“And they said, Go to,
let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven;
and let us make us a name,
lest we be scattered abroad
upon the face of the whole earth”
Genesis 11:4

This is the heart and the cry of Babylon; “let us build…let us make us a name, lest we be scattered”. While men may eagerly rally to be a part of these building programs, in the end it produces an offspring of adherents to the cause while the Chief Cornerstone is rejected. The Cross of Christ is lost in the greatness of men’s achievements.

Cain must always bring his offering (it is the only thing he knows); the work of his hands gathered from the planting of his agendas. Abel can only offer the life of another. One offering is accepted and the other rejected. The seed of Cain will always come to hate the seed of Abel. Ishmael will always mock the child of promise and in God’s time the Ishmael spirit must be driven out.

We are living in a day where the two are mingled, as the wheat and the tares, but the hour is upon us when we will see with great clarity the separation and the antagonism of the one for the other.

“Cast out this bondwoman and her son:
for the son of this bondwoman
shall not be heir with my son,
even with Isaac”
Genesis 21:10

We must have eyes to see and ears to hear that it is in THE SON that the full purposes of God lie. It is in us becoming bone of His bone that we are grafted into the tree of life and made heirs with Christ in God. It is WE who are built together as living stones…

“Ye also, as lively stones,
are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”
1Peter 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

A TRUE HEART

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
Part One

“Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes,
saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee,
he shall go in thither: encourage him:
for he shall cause Israel to inherit it”
Deuteronomy 1:37-38

We see and hear much of leadership in the context of the Christian faith these days. We see many who are striving to build up their church, their organization and their ministry; all the while the Body of Christ remains divided and secularized. God’s true leaders seek not their own. They seek God’s glory which is the welfare and spiritual condition of His People. Moses paid a terrible price in being denied access to the promised land because of Israel’s hard heart and unbelief. In the midst of such disappointment God charges Moses to encourage, teach and mentor Joshua to finish what God had begun with Moses. A selfish and self-serving man could not endure this sacrificial task. It would be one thing to appear to fulfill a commission like this but another thing altogether to do it with a whole and pure heart. Only men who are concerned with God’s glory and purposes can walk in such high places. A pure and holy heart is the means by which these things can be real and alive within the Body of Christ.

Let nothing be done
through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
others better than himself”
Philippians 2:3

Can we grasp the power and intent of the heart of God in this scripture? Let us meditate on the little phrase “Let nothing be done” out of the spirit of factions and self promotion. How quickly the Body of Christ would arise out of the ashes of human striving for pre-eminence and control into a glorious expression of all that HE has purposed in Christ!. May God convict us to desire that pure heart and the joy found in seeing our brothers excel in the gifts and the callings of God in their lives. If the very Son of God took upon Himself the “form” of a servant shall not we, who declare it is He alone we serve, do likewise?

It is time to search our hearts, to consider the hidden motives by which we “serve” God. Though our works may appear good in the sight of men it is the ONE with the “eyes of fire” who sees the true motives and intents of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

“Let us search and try our ways
and turn again unto the Lord”
Lamentations 3:40

It is only then that we will discover the “Pearl of great price”; HIS heart living in us.

“…let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
Hebrews 12:28

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »