The Great Call – Part Five

The Great Call

Part Five

” And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come”
Revelation 22:17

Amidst the current noise and clamor of the secular and religious worlds, there is a fear-mongering that affects the hearts of many. There is a growing distrust, rancor, and animosity within the whole spectrum of society. The internet has given the opportunity to anyone and everyone to voice their conflicting views and to further inflame the anger and malice. What is truly disturbing is to see the same things among those who name the name of Christ.

The above verse says those who are of the Bride, and those who hear in the Spirit, cannot help but put forward the Call to draw nearer to the One for whom all creation is longing. The Holy Spirit has one desire: to communicate to all who will hear, the crucified and resurrected one. Anything else is more data that just adds to the noise and confusion.

Those who hear deep within their hearts the cry of the Spirit to make Him known can only echo to all the world around them the divine invitation: “Come”. There is an overriding passion to make Him known, to bring others to the person of Jesus Christ! The closed and isolated sects within the Christian landscape who do not feel the necessity to reach out into the lives around them are not hearing the call and the voice of the Spirit. Too many of the invitations sent out by churches are to join them, or an event or program, rather than an invitation to come, taste, and see that the Lord is good! The Great Call of God to “make” disciples unto Jesus becomes perverted when men and women seek to “have” disciples unto themselves. The difference between these two agendas is the difference between heaven and hell.

When asked who he was, John the Baptist declared: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness”. He understood this singular and passionate purpose to which he had been called. So should be the echo in our own hearts. The foundational truth of all ministry is: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you”. Those who hear little, feel little and see little have little to share. Those who hear cannot help but declare to others, “come”.

There is a pulse reverberating within the hearts of those who hear the unction and cry of the Spirit of God. Both the wheat and the tares are coming to the harvest and the true nature of each is becoming evident. There is a nation arising from every tongue and ethnos which transcends the divisive names of denominations, the elitism of closed and isolated fellowships, or the misguided devotion of those who meet in the name of a teacher, a prophet, or any other man. This joining of the Body of Christ is based only on a pure and singular relationship with Him who is the Head. The “Valley of Dry Bones” (Ezk.37) is being fulfilled as “bone to HIS bone” are being drawn by His Spirit into a oneness in Christ alone.

Jesus prayed for this “oneness”. He gave His Life for it, and it must come to pass here on the earth.

“…that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe…”
John 17:21

This Oneness is a unity born of His Spirit; as Paul declared in his epistle, “The Unity OF the Spirit”. There must be those who live and dwell in the Spirit to know of this UNITY. This unity is not for the casual, for those who confess something to ease and validate their relationship to God’s saving grace (even though this aspect of salvation is true). But this unity for which the Son prayed, and for which the Holy Spirit has been sent into the earth to ensure its fulfillment, will only be known by those who can truly say: “for to me to live is Christ”. This alone is their summation of life. Nothing else holds their attention or interest; neither the political concerns of this world, teetering on the edge of destruction, nor of the religious world with its attempt at a compromise to make Christ more palatable to the culture and wisdom of the age. Just as the religious order of the Jewish leadership hated and yet conspired with the Roman government in its need to facilitate His crucifixion to save itself, so once again there will be a portion of the “church” of this day that will become instrumental in the persecution of the true Church!

“Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”
Matthew 21:42

Religious builders will always in the end reject the “cornerstone” of God’s purpose, for it is the nature of man to control and build things unto themselves. Like Cain, they build cities and name them after themselves and their work. Fallen man needs an identity, a name to rally around and to be a part of.

“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 fallen nature also infiltrates the people of God. They need a name to build around, to differentiate them from others so those in leadership may hold places of pre-eminence and power. Everything man builds must have a leader but within the Body of Christ, He alone is the Head. His Life is the Life that holds and fuses together the vast variety of His expressions in ONE SPIRIT. Those who are OF HIM know and feel this growing dynamic. Those who rest in confessions and in the organizations of men, though beloved of Him, will never touch the Unity of The Son.

It is the Bride and those who hear with every fiber of their being who declare… COME! They have nothing to do with division, they do not draw others to a sect, a denomination, or to themselves. True ministers live to see all things brought under the feet of Jesus.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
1 Corinthians 1:10

What was the atmosphere of the Church at Corinth?

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

13 Is Christ divided?

Paul says later “Are ye not carnal?”

Those who are of the Spirit recognize others who are of the Spirit because they instantly bear the witness of God and feel the love of God. This joining is not done by human hands. It is the Divine Nature of God within which binds the deep in one to the deep of another, a joining of life to life. There is no sound of a hammer, the striving of men, the hashing out of doctrinal persuasion. Read prayerfully the wisdom of God in Romans 14 to understand the enormity of the love and the forbearance of The Life. The scriptures make no room for division, unforgiveness, and strife. The binding agent of His Kingdom is not compromise, but love and truth.

“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

The scripture does not declare that if we talk of the light, if we teach many great things, or even if we by the gifts of the Spirit perform great works, we will have fellowship by which the power of God is released in our midst. We must WALK in the Light. If we abide in the LIGHT, and if our conduct is ruled by the Light and Life of Christ, THEN we have fellowship with one another.

Carefully read the context of what Jesus is saying. May He free us from the subverted gospel of words and bring us to the necessity of His Life as the ONLY means of our fellowship in Christ!

20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 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.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 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:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 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:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine”
Matthew 7:20-28 (let the context of His words speak to our hearts)

This doctrine will always astonish the adherents, the casual believer, and the carnal ones of the church today.

The lives which will stand in the unprecedented storm which is about to break will not be those who hear His words only, but those who DO them. Those who DO His commandments are those who love Him. These are not the words of men but the declaration of Christ Himself.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
John 14:21

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
John 14:24

See: The Great Call
See: The Great Call – Part Two
See: The Great Call – Part Three
See: The Great Call – Part Four

_______________

“That ye would walk worthy of God,
who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory”
2 Thessalonians 2:21

Brian Troxel

The Great Call – Part Four

The Great Call

Part Four

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

Jesus continues in John 15 by presenting the disciples with the way for them to enter the Great Call and to remain in His empowering love and grace.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love”
John 15:10

There can be no misinterpretation of the enormity of His call. Discipleship is not a comfortable teaching. It is not a popular invitation, nor an aspiration for those who seek a life of ease and respectability. It is a call of full surrender to the Will and purposes of God, a life of subservience to His Ways. A true disciple obeys His commandments to abide in the power of His Love. Love is the only motive able to transform a selfish, egotistical, and lost soul through the workings of the Cross. In dying to self, we discover the pure wonder of a Love so encompassing, so vast and so freeing that the cost is considered nothing in comparison to the “weight of glory” we will know.

“And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
Matthew 10:38

There is something radical, even unnerving in His Call. Accepting the offer of Christ is not a trendy and popular decision. It is a Call to selfless living and selfless giving. Obedience is not optional to the disciple. But the Love we hold, or more correctly which holds us to His Way, culminates in pure joy. The context of John 15 leaves little doubt as to His Call or His purpose. Let us see through the eyes of the Spirit the power of all Jesus is implying.

John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

In verse 9 Jesus presents to us the all-encompassing love of God; a Love of heavenly origin. It is a Love that knows our condition, that feels the agony and the lostness of humanity. It was a Love that sent Jesus into this world to walk as a man, to feel the oppression of mankind’s sorrow, to experience the corrupt and self-serving religious and political systems of the day. He spoke the truths of love in the parables of everyday life. The common man, the addicted, the afflicted, and the wounded were His focus. He exposed the religious elite who walked in the pride and arrogancy of hypocrisy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan revealed the beauty of a selfless life, caring for others more than ourselves. He called out to the poor and the needy to come and find the solace of heaven. He took notice of the offerings of the poor widow and saw the value of her mite; He was unimpressed with the rich who flaunted their offering. He was God in the flesh. His compassion, His uncompromising and unflinching walk was a source of anger and hate for the religious but a source of inspiration for the common man. He was the breath of heaven clothed in human form. He was and is the image of God’s purpose for all humanity.

Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”

Mat 20:26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”

Mat 20:27 “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,”

Mat 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The nature of man apart from Christ is one of self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-gratification. This focus on ourselves is the source of our own misery. Ask the addicted, the abused, and consider the countless stories of human sorrow which we have all known. It is to this crisis of human nature that the Cross is presented. In its deep work, we find rest, freedom, and the Divine enablement to love as He loved. We are free to forgive injustices and the tyranny of the human condition; to offer to all who would hear the wonder of freedom found in the Love of God!

Feel the depth of the Great Call of God in Christ:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

The Call goes forth to all who would hear and respond. The “yoke” of Christ is His invitation to enter a rest for our weary souls. The “yoke” of Christ is His Cross whereby we are freed from the poison of self to know His Joy in our hearts. This life of joy cannot be known by sitting in a pew, believing in a teaching, or adherence to a doctrine. It can only be known through the intimacy of a relationship, walking in the yoke of His grace and love.

Jesus spoke of His true intention for us being captured by His Love to a growing obedience:

“…that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full”
John 15:11

See: The Great Call
See: The Great Call – Part Two
See: The Great Call – Part Three

Brian Troxel

The Great Call – Part Two

The Great Call

Part Two

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

In reading this powerful discourse to His disciples we must pause to note the depth, the power, and the decisiveness of the words Jesus uses. There was nothing common or mundane about His speech. Every word was filled with the majesty and weight of truth. Having declared His incomprehensible love for them, He now addresses the need for them to stay in that love.

“continue ye in MY love”

The Greek translated “continue” means to dwell, abide, and remain in that love. The Love of God is more than a sentiment; it is an atmosphere, a power, and an all-pervading influence by which He rules and subdues our whole being. Those who know Him love because He is love. This love is of an entirely different nature than anything this world has to offer. It is not a love that we can fabricate. It is beyond the scope of human origin. It emanates from God and the pure delight and privilege of His children are to simply abide in its sphere.

The Love of God can only be realized by relationship. In making known to His disciples the wonder of this love Jesus clearly communicated their need to continue, to abide, and to dwell within the source of its inspiration. The secret to the Christian life is to remain within its warmth and power.

There are many who view His Love as a teaching or a doctrine. This reduces His love to a thing. But this concept negates the intent of God to rule by that love in their hearts and instead enables them to justify their cold indifference to walk in His Ways. His Love is not a thing to be taken for granted but an influence by which our lives are to be governed.

The whole discourse of John 15 can be summed up in ONE pervading truth: ABIDE. He is the source of Life and Love, and the Christian Life is simply one of partaking and drawing from Him. There is a joy that fills our hearts as we grow into the realization that we are free from trying to work up this life. It is not in us, nor of us that the verity of this influence is to be found. May we hear with the simplicity of child-like faith, “Abide in Me”.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit”
John 15:5

In my own journey, it has taken a long time to realize that many of the New Covenant scriptures are statements, not suggestions or doctrinal teachings. This has been revolutionary in understanding my life in Him. “He that abideth in me…bringeth forth much fruit”. A simple declaration of a fact. A healthy fruit tree bears fruit consistent with its nature. Lives which bear His fruit testify of Him. Lives that are barren and unfruitful are not abiding in the Vine regardless of their confession.

“continue ye in MY love”

See: The Great Call – Part One
See: The Great Call – Part Three

(continued in Part Three)

Brian Troxel