The Kingdom of God – Chapter Eight – Part One

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Eight

Part One

Poor in spirit

“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man”
Proverbs 21:17

“He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand”
Proverbs 10:4

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”
Matthew 5:3

We can see from a small sampling of the scriptures that there is a wide variety of poverty spoken of in the scriptures. There is the blessedness of a poverty which is of the Spirit of God whereby men and women are able to glorify God and there are other forms of poverty which are the result of faithlessness and worldly seeking. The church in our day is filled with an assortment of all of these and how sad that with many it is the result of apathy and lethargy. It is a crisis of great proportion. We are forewarned by the Word of God of such a day in which we live. It speaks of iniquity (lawlessness) abounding causing the love of many to grow cold and indifferent to the things of God. It speaks of a generation who have become wise in their own eyes and have become proud of heart, dull of hearing and spiritually blinded to the tempest which is about to break over the whole earth.

“And because lawlessness will be increased,
the love of many will grow cold”
Matthew 24:12

The scripture preceding the above tells us the predominate cause of this growing lawlessness.

“Many false prophets will appear
and deceive many people”
Matthew 24:11

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction”
2 Peter 2:1-2

Jesus and later Peter are not speaking of the world here, they are speaking of His Church which will allow damnable heresies and false prophets who speak for hire and gain, false teachers who will teach pleasant things to draw the people unto themselves and their organizations, and the preaching of a false gospel which renders sin acceptable and provides a sympathetic ear to those who love and pursue its pleasures.

The world without the light of Christ shining from His own grows darker and darker even unto the point of debauchery and degradation. If the church ceases to be a light hell and death will rule over all. There is a poverty of spiritual things which has nothing to do with the Spirit of God. This ethos will produce a gospel in word but utterly lacking the vitality, life and the glory of God. It is a poverty brought about by loose living, worldly seeking and ambitious men and women who seek their own (in the name of God) and not the things of God.

“Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old doesn’t linger, and their destruction will not slumber. For if God didn’t spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved for judgment”
2 Peter 2:2-4

In the verses preceding these it is clear Peter is seeking to warn God’s people of these things. Declaring to us that God did not spare the angels when they sinned and how (in the verses which follow) brings this same truth of judgment into the earth where we live. There is within such a generation a lack of the fear of the Lord and His return is spoken of with scoffing and indifference. God’s answer to such a generation? Unanswered prayers, religious meetings without the fire and wonder of God, and a gospel which is in word only without power and authority. This is a poverty brought about by the judgment and counsel of God Himself.

God’s Judgments are the Sign of His Love

Yet God’s pronouncement of such things are sent to us in hope; a hope which seeks to stir within His people a seeking of His face through repentance and brokenness of heart. God’s judgments to His Own are ever redemptive in design and merciful in intent. It is here where the true in heart find a poverty of spirit which brings His greatest blessings and becomes the matrix from which His riches flow!

God’s warning to us is often and exceedingly clear as to what will transpire in these last days in His own people…

“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God: holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. from such turn away
2 Timothy 3:1-4

Let us consider these different forms of poverty of which the scriptures speak that we may be instructed to stand in this evil day and discover the beauty and blessedness of the true poverty of spirit by which the Kingdom of God becomes ours.

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Words from THE Church in Iran

Words from THE Church in Iran

“Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”

This is the cry of His people coming out of Iran. God is moving, empowering and raising up a living testimony in Iran and to the whole world! Please go to this link: The Church in Iran

Pray for our brothers and sisters!

The One Thing – Psalm 63

The One Thing – Psalm 63

“So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory”
Psalm 63:2

The beholding of God is essential to the life, welfare and growth of the individual child of God. Relationship denotes a communion and sharing of the self of each one involved. Within the wonder of this sharing lies the power of becoming and partaking of the substance of each life involved. In our relationship with God there must be the mingling of a living faith, the “substance of things not seen”. True faith, that which is the gift of God to each of His new-born children, is not just an idea, a teaching or an ethereal concept. It is the very substance of the thing not seen. Faith is the breath and substance of God Himself. As God breathed into the freshly formed life-less body of the first Adam, man became a living soul. So must the breath and wonder of Christ be breathed into the lifeless spirit of fallen man, quickening and raising the earthbound into heavenly things.

“And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul;
the last Adam was made a quickening spirit”
1 Corinthians 15:45

Though this impartation is but the mere beginning of the journey into becoming full grown children of God, there is a dynamic whereby those who receive it are to be drawn into a pursuit of the ONE from whom they have received. The need for communion and sharing in this ONE becomes the chief joy of life. The material world with all of its offerings begins to fade in the growing light of Christ. This diminishing is only real and vital to the extent that we “taste and see” Christ Himself. It is in the tasting and seeing of heavenly things that the beholder is changed into the likeness of that which he beholds.

“And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; and we all, with unveiled face, the glory of the Lord beholding in a mirror, to the same image are being transformed, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord…”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (YLT)

The recognition of our need for change is precipitated by our touching Him. Life becomes focused and simple, free from the trappings of the world and the concepts of religion. There is the realization of the ONE THING. This phrase is uttered by David and through the centuries. Paul speaks the same thing in a different language, dispensation and culture:

One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek after…”
Psalm 27:4

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do…”
Philippians 3:13

Brian Troxel

The Cross of Christ

The Cross of Christ

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus,
that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
2 Corinthians 4:10

The call and purpose of God in Christ Jesus is to the end that we become an expression of the life and wonder of Jesus. Our interaction with the Holy Spirit is about the “manifestation” of His Life in us. He alone is to be the fulcrum upon which our life is lived. God’s singular focus is the glorifying of the Son; as our hearts become aligned by the power of the Holy Spirit we are caught up in this grand purpose. The signature of a life lived in the grace of God will be summed up by the cry:

“He must increase; I must decrease”

There is a hidden dynamic of life available within the confines of the Cross of Christ. A life of resurrection awaits those who would enter into the reality of discipleship. There is but one avenue of advance; one door, one key and one price for the surpassing glory of His Life being manifested in us: a dying to self. It is here that even the call to ministry must be refined within the consuming fire of God until its sole purpose is to manifest His life at the cost of our own. The pathway is littered with many who have started out well only to become enamoured by their own expressions of ministry and the adulation of others. How perilous is this way and how deceptive the human heart is at every juncture in our journey!

His ministration subtly becomes “our” ministry. The people we minister to become “our fellowship” and “our church”. The dregs of fallen Adam usurp the blessings of Christ. It is one thing to start out well but few there be that end well. The safeguard is to remain faithful to the truth; speak truth, live truth and identify with Him who is the truth. Relationships must be subservient to the truth. It is here that the weight and the power of the Cross is revealed. Popularity and acceptance are virulent enemies of the cross and the human heart is susceptible to both. Paul presented this vital truth in the Book of Galatians:

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”
Galatians 1:8

Paul himself made it clear that his standing with the people of God in his day was founded on him being held within the truth of God and not in the office of his apostleship. Every ministration of God which causes schisms, division and a calling of people unto themselves, “their” church or fellowship, is an affront to the person and the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Only those who are living daily unto this ONE end will know of the wonder, the power and the excellency of the glory of the Resurrected Christ!

“He MUST increase,
and I must decrease”
John 3:30

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

The Kingdom of God – Chapter Seven continued

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Seven
(Continued)
(See Chapter Seven Part One)

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MATTHEW 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

Jesus in His presentation to us of the Kingdom of God begins with this fundamental truth…

“The sower sows the Word…”
Mark 4:14 (LITV)

The thing sowed is not a word, a thought or an idea; it is The Word Himself (John 1:1). It is sown in seed form, it is sown un-germinated as an embryo filled with the potential, the power and the divine possibilities of us becoming full grown, matured manifestations of all that Christ is; not by any virtue of ourselves but by the power of the vine pulsating and pouring forth His Life into the branches via a living relationship!

“But as many as received him,
to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name…”
John 1:12

The Greek Word translated power means “the freedom, the right, the privilege, the potential and ability”

He is ever the Only Begotten Son, He is ever the Christ (The Anointed One) and it is simply in our abiding in Him that we are made partakers (“joint-heirs) of His glory. The Life is in the seed or better yet the Life is the seed. The Kingdom of God is in this WORD and outside of this Word there is no ability to see, understand or enter into the Kingdom of God. It is in our receiving this Word which grants to us the potential, the right and the privilege to become sons in God. This parable speaks of a seed which denotes growth, development and a living process, not a one-time event. How short-sighted are those who present the receiving of the Word as a completed transaction. The central truth of this parable is that the fruitfulness of the seed is determined BY the soil, not the seed. The same potential which fell in seed form upon the hard ground, the thorn infested soil and the good soil was the same! It was the soil which determined the outcome! May God grant to us the deep and powerful truth of this “key” presented to us. God’s sovereignty is presented in the universal sowing of the Seed and it is our response to the Word which determines its growth and development! The Kingdom of God is not a teaching it is a relationship which denotes interaction, a mutual communing and sharing with one another in order for fruit to be produced.

“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived, and bare…”
Genesis 4:1

The conception and the bearing of fruit is the outcome of a deep and intimate relationship. It is by the power of relationship with Christ Himself whereby the power to know of this life of bearing fruit. Knowledge by itself will leave a life impotent and barren in the things of God. In the parable of the Vine in John 15 the fruit is the result of the branch abiding in the vine.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing”
John 15:5

The power of the life of the Christian is not one of the seed only, it is not of the soil only it is the seed being received INTO the soil whereby the wonder of Christ is realized individually. The greater the submission of the soil to the Life of the seed is what determines the fruitfulness of the Life of Christ. Without the seed there is no life and without the soil there is no medium for the seed to grow. Fruit is simply the revelation of the seed growing IN the soil.

It is here where we begin to discover the “key” presented to us in our ability to understand all the other parables is given in a convincing and graphic setting forth of God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The seed represents the power, the might and the life of ALL that God is after yet it is found in our response to His sovereign grace which determines the end result.

In Romans chapters nine through eleven we are presented (as in nowhere else in scripture) the majestic portrayal of the sovereignty of God. Yet Paul continues his thought of the complete presentation of this truth in Romans chapter 12:1!

“I beseech you therefore (because God is Sovereign), brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
Romans 12:1

Paul is pleading in the power and the love of the Holy Spirit… Because God is so sovereign I beseech you therefore brethren by the great mercies of God that you may respond to this sovereign God by the presenting of yourselves to Him! Why? That you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind… God is inviting us into relationship with and in Himself. The depth of a relationship is contingent upon the depth of the interaction between the individuals of that relationship. There is a continual giving and receiving in order for a relationship to continue to grow and develop; this is the fundamental law of relationship. Relationship is the mystery of life. It is here within the context of relationship that God has sovereignly determined to reveal Himself and empower us to grow into His Likeness.

“This is eternal life: to know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom you sent”
John 17:3

When Jesus defined eternal life He defined it by a personal relationship not by some acknowledgement of a teaching or a dogma. How sad would be a marriage if its only merit was the event of their wedding day! Even as marriage is a life long experience between two people even more so is our relationship with God and Christ.

 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly
Ephesians 5:31-32

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – A Key to the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Seven
(See Chapter Seven Part Two)

Keys to the Kingdom of God
Matthew 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

Individual Ministry and Fruit

In our consideration of the Kingdom of God we must begin with the Parable of the Sower as it is one of the keys to understanding all of the other parables of which Jesus spoke.

“And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable?
and how then will ye know all parables?”
Mark 4:13

There is a key hidden within this parable which gives us understanding and wisdom to begin to comprehend the wonder, the mystery and understanding to all the other parables. It is here buried within this one parable the introduction to us of our entering INTO the Kingdom of God.

Through the ages theologians, seekers of truth and teachers of God’s word have wrestled with the mystery of the Kingdom of God concerning God’s Sovereignty and the responsibility of man; the parable of the sower introduces us to the very core of this subject. God’s answers are given in such a way that it never fully satisfies the carnal curiosity of man. For there is very little to be gained in the intellectual knowing of a truth whereby we are better suited for this Kingdom, for it is in our hearts participating in Him whereby we are made partakers of His Kingdom.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2

Though each of us possessed all understanding of the mysteries of His Kingdom and possessed all knowledge we would be none the better. We could have perfect doctrine and be able to speak of such things without flaw we would be considered in the eyes of God as nothing. We must once again reiterate… “the Kingdom of God is not in word… it is in power”. Power to love, power to walk, and power to be the living extension of His Light into this dark and sinful world. Light is nothing less than His Life being resident within us. His life ruling and reigning over the hearts and lives of His Own.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men
John 1:4

It is His LIFE in us which is the light of men. While it is very important to have right teaching and a proper understanding of His ways those things in themselves will never bring us (within the core of our being) to the power to reveal and display His majesty. It is His Life in us which is becoming unto us, The Way, the (verity) Truth and the Life whereby we are made partakers of His Kingdom.

Jesus in His presentation to us of the Kingdom of God begins with this fundamental truth…

“The sower sows the Word…”
Mark 4:14 (LITV)

(To be continued…)

Kingdom of God Series – Part Six

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Six
(See Chapter Seven Part One)

The One Bread
Unity and True Ministry

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled, of the Word of life”
John 1:1

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us…”
John 1:3

The simplicity of true and powerful ministry has been lost, to a large degree, in our fast-paced world of data and information. Here we see true ministry described in the simplest of terms: personal relationship with Christ. The ministry of an individual believer is the result of hearing, seeing, and handling Him, the Word of Life! It is not the echoing of something we have heard or read from others (as good as that may be); it is in our own partaking of the Living Christ whereby we share what “we have seen and heard”! It is this personal sharing of Christ that is the basis of true fellowship. There is a union of believers in the knowing of this One Body in Christ! Whenever men and women ascribe to the doctrines/teachings of men there is division and chaos; the discordant and unruly hearts of men seek to draw others to themselves rather than to Christ. The Kingdom of God is revealed in unity and power. It is in partaking of the Bread of Life that we are brought into the realization of Him as the Head of us all; His heart beating and binding us into the cords and bonds of His love.

“For we being many are one bread, and one body:
for we are all partakers of that one bread
1 Corinthians 10:17

This unity is the evidence that we are partakers of the One Bread.  It is the miracle of His Life that makes us the One Bread and the One Body. It is in this wonder at work that the wheat and the tares are revealed, and that day is upon us.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”
Matthew 13:30

We are living in the Day of the Harvest and even now this great work of God is evident. Isaac and Ishmael cannot co-exist though both of them are the offspring of Faith (Abraham); Isaac is of the womb of Rachel and Ishmael is of the womb of Hagar the Egyptian. One seeks the City of God whose builder and maker is God; the other seeks to build their own ministry/church/city and put their name on it. (See Galatians Chapter 4) Even Peter, on the Mount of Transfiguration, wanted to build “three tabernacles”. It is an inherent need of fallen man to build things unto God and name them after themselves. Peter was rebuked by the Father for such an idea.

“For Israel hath forgotten his Maker,
and buildeth temples…”
Hosea 8:14

It will be become more and more apparent those who are partaking of the One Bread and those who are not. The singularity of partaking of Christ alone is what propels His people into the Unity of His Spirit. Those who are content with the division and sectarianism of our day have not yet touched or felt the wonder of gathering together unto Him. We become what we eat and drink. His flesh is meat indeed and His blood is life. It is from this ministration that all who are His come together.

“Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him
John 6:53-56

The Kingdom of God is Christ. He is the Kingdom. Our entrance into this Life can only be known by partaking and abiding in Him. There is an inherent need to be joined with others who are also abiding in Him. “Deep calleth unto deep”, life unto life. It is the desire of the hand to know the living connection it has to the foot, likewise the eye to the ear. The Kingdom of God is a living, breathing, organism which is NOT of this world. It is heavenly, spiritual and, above all, vitally joined in Christ who is the Head.

“But now, indeed, many are the members, but one body. And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”
1 Corinthians 12:20-21

Those who are truly in Christ are NOT ABLE to say to another member “I have no need of you”. If we are partaking of Him, one would have to deny the very life of Christ within to say such a thing. If we are in Him, we know intuitively that we need one another just as the hand needs the foot and the eye needs the ear. It is only the proud and the arrogant who think they are sufficient in themselves to meet the needs of “their” congregation or assembly.

The Kingdom of God is being raised in this day out of the debris of the methods and arrogancy of men and their selfish endeavors (“my flock”, “my church”, “my ministry”), into the wonder of those who live with such selflessness that they esteem others as more worthy than themselves. This is happening as His people partake of and minister the ONE BREAD. The Unity of the Spirit will culminate in the Unity of the Faith. Let us walk carefully before the Lord to minister His word out of a pure heart.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind
Philippians 2:1-2

Brian Troxel

The Question

The Question

Children or Sons?

“Beloved, now are we the sons (Greek: children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1JOHN 3:2 – 3

This powerful, liberating truth of God speaks to all those who by FAITH have been born anew into the family of God; “…we are God’s children NOW”! This is not determined by the feelings or circumstances of life; this is the certainty of God. We are now children of His, whereby we cry “Abba, Father”. To much of Christendom this is as far and as deep as things get. The beginning has become the end; we have manufactured a doctrinal thesis to keep this as the status quo. We read here in First John that there is to be a living hope that beats within our hearts of growing into a full, undimmed expression of HIM in our lives; so that when HE appears we SHALL BE LIKE HIM! This is manifested in the maturation of a growing purity within the hearts of those who know of this living hope.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”

While a living hope infuses the passion and pursuit of purity, a doctrinal hope has no power to convey this quest for life. It is simply a belief that lays no claim to our personal lives; a religious concept that robs the WORD of its power and authority (Mark 7:13). There is little or no cost associated with such a “belief” and the adherents of such go through life with very little change. They are children of God, loved of Him, yet bereft of the experience and privilege of growing and developing into the sons of God. In the New Testament the Greek words used to differentiate between these two (children and sons) are distinct*. As a child develops, added responsibilities are given and with these responsibilities the added privileges of life. We do not give a three year old the car keys. God measures out to His own the pounds and the talents according to their “ability” but  we see the withholding of truth to those who are unexercised in the development of true spiritual discernment.

“For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:13 – 14

And again:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able”
1CORINTHIANS 3:1

Strong meat belongs to those who have grown from a child toward that full-aged development by the exercising of their senses to discern “good and evil”. Discernment is developed by growing into a pure heart so that we can see clearly and objectively (1Corinthians 2:15). “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:18). It is only by us becoming pure in heart that we shall see God and have the ability to discern between good and evil.

“And everyone that has THIS hope in him
purifies himself as he is pure”

The revelation of our hope is verified in a growing purity. That hope is the bridge between what we are now and what we will be when HE appears. All we need to do is to look at the parables of Jesus. They all speak of faith as a living, growing, dynamic filled with HIS very life. The parable of the sower clearly states that the fruitfulness of a life is completely dependent upon the soil of the heart into which the precious seed falls. The seed that fell on the stony ground is the same seed that fell into the soil that brought forth the hundred fold harvest. The only difference is the soil, not the seed.

We need to take responsibility for our growth and development in God. A living hope, burning within the hearts of those who are in full pursuit of purity, is the means of growth from an infant unto maturity.

The heart is the lens through which we see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God”
(Matthew 5:8)

*NOTE
Huios (son) at times refers to a legal heir and thus, by implication, an adult. It seems to underscore the character or maturity of the individual. Teknon (child or children) is a more general designation for offspring and contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another. For example, Jesus is never designated as teknon or teknon Theou (gen. of Theos (G2316), God), Son of God, but always ho huios, the Son, the Son of God or the Son of Man

Also:

“The difference between believers as “children of God” and as “sons of God” is brought out in Rom. 8:14-21. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are “children of God,” and, as such, they are His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This stresses the fact of their spiritual birth (vv. 16, 17). On the other hand, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” i.e., “these and no other.” Their conduct gives evidence of the dignity of their relationship and their likeness to His character.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments Words, by W.E. Vine)

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