Like All the Nations

Like All the Nations

“Now make us a king (a leader) to judge us
like all the nations”
1 Samuel 8:4

Samuel, the holy man of God, was very displeased with this request. He knew instinctively how power corrupts the weak and wayward hearts of men. In praying and seeking God over this grave matter God spoke with clarity:

“Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you;
for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me,
that I should not reign over them
1 Samuel 8:7

The desire for human authority within the Body of Christ is a rejection of God’s authority. His purpose and design is for each member to be led by His Spirit; to come to the place of hearing and knowing God within the sanctuary of their own hearts. The whole purpose of ministry is to bring His people to this one place. This vital task has been committed to His five-fold ministry for the purpose of ushering in the “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:11-13)! When the ministry becomes the end of the thing, instead of the means to God’s end, confusion, strife and competition replace the beauty of the unity of His Spirit. Men invariably hold on to the functions of His ministrations rather than the purpose of the ministrations.

“…for you are still carnal.
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you,
are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
For when one says, “I am of Paul,”
and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”
1 Corinthians 3:3-4

The operation and organization of the general “church” today resembles the carnal business model of the corporate structures of this world. Financially and administratively there is very little distinction. Is this not enough to testify of our condition and the reason for the conflicts and agendas which have corrupted and separated the true Body of Christ? We must reconsider our ways! Is not our innate desire to have someone over us to take away the responsibility of hearing God for ourselves? Is this not a rejection of His Lordship over us?

“And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27

The reason for this sad dilemma is that His people generally do not really want to hear His voice for themselves; that would bring accountability and responsibility. We prefer to hear His word from the pulpit, a minister or a book for the impact is decreased. We can reject words from another person but who can run from the voice of the Almighty? In functioning like the world we drown out the voice of God in our lives. The invitation of God is always to the person; the individual. His work of salvation is to bring us to the hearing of His voice and the doing of His will. The purpose of all true and valid ministrations in the Body of Christ is to that one end. A personal knowing of Him, hearing of Him and a walking with Him.

The Body of Christ is unlike anything in or of this world. It is not an organization it is an organism which lives and breathes by the very Life of Christ within. It cannot be contained within the confines of a corporate entity; it seeks no affiliation with this present world, for it is a heavenly truth.

“But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…”
Hebrews 12:22-23

David speaking prophetically of the true Jerusalem, the heavenly Zion (Psalm 48 and 87); a united people fused in the holiness and the purity of His Love. A Body which is bone of His bone and the very expression of His heart and His will; freed from the agendas of men to serve the living God. It is to this end we have been redeemed, forgiven and washed in His blood. While the unbelieving say this is a dream and an unrealistic goal, let us be reminded that Jesus prayed to this end and it is unconscionable to allow the damnable unbelief of the age to even consider the prayer of Jesus to go unanswered.

“Glorious things are spoken of thee,
O city of God.

Selah”
Psalm 87:2-3

Ω

“Be ye not conformed to this world,
But be ye transformed…”
Romans 12:2

Brian Troxel

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

“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

God’s House or Religion

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
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Leadership & The New Wine Skin

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
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Accountability –

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
www.aword.info

Fellowship and the Mystery of God

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
www.aword.info

“LET US BUILD”

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
www.aword.info

A TRUE HEART

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
www.aword.info

I Have No Need of Thee

“I Have No Need of Thee”

The Condition,
the Cause
and
The Way to Fullness of Life

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee:

nor again the head to the feet,
I have no need of you”

1CORINTHIANS 12:21

THE CONDITION

The scriptures clearly speak of the ONE Body and all the exhortations that follow are based on the simple premise that all believers, who have Christ living and dwelling in their hearts by faith, are to be growing and pursuing the ONENESS for which Jesus prayed (John 17, Ephesians 4:2-6). We do not have the right (whether by deed or by thought) to dismiss or ostracize our brother or sister except for matters of heresy or behaviour that brings dishonour to His Name; (even then all actions are done to minister reconciliation and restoration). A cavalier attitude and callous ability to disassociate our brother is the revelation of a heart that knows not God. A true heart that has touched the life of God feels the necessity to flow in the administration of His life from member to member. ANYTHING that impairs this flow of the vitality of the LIFE is an antichrist spirit. For a believer to declare by actions (though in words they may say differently) that they have no need for another member is contrary to the heart and mind of God! It is what we do that reveals the truth of who we are. Men can speak of the Body of Christ in word while in deed they do great violence to the very heart and wonder of it.

THE CAUSE

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the declaration of a heart and a life that is lived out carnally, selfishly and blindly in the throes of a dead religion. “I” is the declaration of life in which the centre of all being revolves around self and its own independence and carnality. “…I have no need of thee…”  Those who declare such things by their deeds end up anemic, impotent and fruitless.  To enter into HIS LIFE requires the death of our life, our independence and the seeking of our own good. There is no room for “I” in the Body of Christ for the true heart of Christ is to see each member grow with the increase of God to such an extent we fulfill the very purpose of God in the New Covenant.

“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…”
JEREMIAH 31:34

The true ministers of God know this and so interact with their brothers and sisters to SEE this PURPOSE come to pass.  Carnal men who hold places of pre-eminence in the Body of Christ are intent on “having disciples” rather than “making disciples” of Christ.  The Day of Judgement is come to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. Such is the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man; the Spirit of Christ seeks only to exalt the Son and the religious carnal man seeks to exalt self by the “…I have no need of thee…” use of the things of God.

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the outcome of those who have been indoctrinated into the teachings of men and not of the Holy Spirit; whose religion is based on the ways and methods of men and is thereby disconnected from the LIFE of the VINE. Men who do and say such things are blind and insensitive to the moving’s of the Spirit of God. If the prayer and the heart of Jesus is that we may be ONE AS HE AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER, yet we live contrary to this understanding, how can we in truth say that we know HIM?

THE WAY TO LIFE

In contrast to the declaration of “I have no need of thee…” the Love and Heart of Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeks out His own, searches for the lost and broken and ever seeks to minister the Good News of reconciliation. They who have the Love of God beating within their hearts “seek not their own way…” but walk in the way and the heart of the Good Shepherd. They ever seek to minister righteousness and truth for without these the possibility of true and vital relationship is nonexistent. It is in us becoming HIS righteousness that we are enabled to deal truthfully with one another. It is not in ignoring sin that this ONENESS is known.  It is in the functioning of the Holy Spirit through one another that the entrance into this glory is realized.

“Whom we preach, warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour,
striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily”
COLOSSIANS 1:28-29

Love is the very reason that God sent His Own Son into the earth to save His People FROM their sins. It is in us being freed from sin and self that the world will marvel at how we love one another. Where sin and self seeking are allowed to exist, love, righteousness, peace and joy will not be found. Purity of heart is the lens through which we see God. The reason Paul spent his life warning and teaching every man was to this end: to “present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus”. It is only from this place of the full development of the life of Christ within each member that we are able to be built into “a spiritual habitation” (1Peter 2:5) for God Himself. True hearts will welcome the correction, the teaching, the exhortation and edification of the people of God.

“…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,
and he will increase in learning”
PROVERBS 9:8-9

Whenever and wherever the people of God gather we are exhorted to…

“…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”
HEBREWS 10:24-25

Do we not see the DAY approaching? Do we not “hear the voice of the Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14)? Is there not a cry within our hearts for the prayer of Jesus to be answered? Do we not feel the same grief and burden of the Spirit of God over the division and apathy of His Body? Can we not comprehend that it is ONLY in this place of UNITY that the full revelation of HIS ETERNAL LIFE will be experienced by the people of God?

“Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore
PSALM 133

If we expect this life apart from our brothers, if we want this life plus our own independence, and if we want this life while clinging to the life of self, it will never be! It is in the very Love of God beating within our hearts as we interact with our brothers and sisters that we are fused together in unbreakable holy bonds. This LOVE burning as a Holy Flame within HIS OWN, to the consuming of all things that are not holy and pure; is the way to HIS END. It is to this end we labour “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. We are here to fulfill His purposes by obediently treading in His Word.

May The Lord stir the hearts of all who “have ears to hear” to walk, live and seek out the welfare of the Body of Christ.

Ω

“There are two freedoms –
The false, where a man is free
To do what he likes; and the TRUE,
Where a man is free to do
What he ought”
Charles Kingsley

Brian Troxel

HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE

HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE

“…He will rest in his love”
ZEPHANIAH 3:17

John in his epistles makes some very startling statements, one of them being “God is Love”. Whenever love is used in relation to people it is always spoken as a verb, it is something we do or express. John’s profound statement reveals that love is not just something God does it is what He IS in Himself. Since He IS Love, everything He does flows from that one central point of His being which is governed by what He is. All of His justice, judgment, wisdom and righteousness are governed by LOVE. In order for us to understand such high and holy things we must recognize that it is impossible to separate love from all of His other attributes. God being who He is is incapable of internal conflicts; Holiness is never in conflict with Mercy, Judgement and Forgiveness meet without compromise, and Grace and Truth kiss in the Son.

Zephaniah is a Book of Judgment. It is a Book that prophesies of tremendous destruction and suffering upon His people. It is a book for today. It is a book whose very name means “hidden of YHWH”. It is a writing that pronounces great judgements upon Judah, Jerusalem and upon the surrounding nations for their idolatry, disobedience, apathy and unrighteousness. Love is the reins of our God. He knows that sin, idolatry and disobedience left unchecked will bring the human race into the very bowels of hell itself. Every act of selfishness is an offense to Him. Every impure motive, every attempt at deceit and hypocrisy is the very horror that keeps people from the glory and wonder of truth. For LOVE itself is the full expression of truth in substance and reality. In Corinthians Paul writes that “love thinks no evil”, and “seeks not its own way”. These are the fruits of the very Spirit of Truth. It is no wonder that in Zephaniah, after all of the pronouncements of incomprehensible judgments we read… “He will rest in His Love”. For at the end of all His judgements the scriptures declare that men will learn righteousness. When evil is judged and hypocrisy is destroyed then will God rejoice over His own, He will joy over them with singing. When righteousness and truth prevail God rejoices over His creation and peace and joy reign in the hearts of men.

Prior to the pouring forth of His wrath upon His Own He speaks of her ways and her insolence…

“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction;
she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.
Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves;
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons:
her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
they have done violence to the law.
The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity:
every morning doth He brings His judgment to light,
he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:1-5

In the midst of such wickedness in His house and the things which are committed in His Name God must rise up to restore righteousness and judge evil. Even through all of this “God is in the midst” and “He will not do iniquity” and “every morning He brings His judgement to light” for He fails not yet the unjust continue on in their wicked ways.

Peter declares that “Judgement must begin in God’s House” even before the nations of the world.

“For the time is come
that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us,
what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 PETER 4:17

We see this same truth in Zephaniah as God’s anger turns from His house to the unbelieving…

“I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate;
I made their streets waste, that none passeth by:
their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man,
that there is none inhabitant.
I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction;
so their dwelling should not be cut off,
howsoever I punished them:
but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings”
ZEPHANIAH 3:6-7

God’s judgements are proportional to the stubbornness and rebellion of men’s hearts. He sends devastation and great punishments. If they do not repent He brings greater consequences for His motive is redemption and His reins are love and mercy.

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord,
until the day that I rise up to the prey:
for my determination is to gather the nations,
that I may assemble the kingdoms,
to pour upon them mine indignation,
even all my fierce anger:
for all the earth shall be devoured
with the fire of my jealousy”
ZEPHANIAH 3:8

When men fail to repent God becomes determined to pour out fierce anger and indignation and the earth will be engulfed in the fire of His jealously. The Day of the Lord is at hand and we are standing upon the very brink of the summation of all that He has purposed. What are the results of His judgements?

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
that they may all call upon the name of the Lord,
to serve him with one consent…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:9

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;
neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:
for they shall feed and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid”
ZEPHANIAH 3:12-13

The result of God’s judgments is people who are free from iniquity (self will), lying, deceit and pride. His love as expressed in judgement will bring forth His desired end: a pure and holy people.

God will rest in His love, He will conqueror all and “…the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Brian Troxel