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Heart of a Priest

Holy Zeal
Part 9

“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
has turned My wrath away from the sons of Israel
while he was zealous for My sake among them
Numbers 25:15

True priests of the Lord are zealous for God’s glory. They have a burning passion within for His ways, His Holiness and His Glory. They do not sit idly by while men in their insolence disregard His glory and bring dishonor to Him in His house. Those without zeal will not react to the situations before them. They may cringe a bit, they may be saddened or even give themselves to prayer, but the true priests of God act out of a heart that is “zealous for His sake” among the lukewarm people of God.

This rising up of Phinehas happened in the midst of a great judgement from God. Israel’s backsliding had brought the worldly ways of men to the very people of God!

“And Israel lived in Shittim.
And the people began to fornicate
with the daughters of Moab”
Numbers 25:1 (LITV)

While Moses and the true priests of the Lord were weeping before the Tabernacle a brazen act of adultery was happening right in their midst. Zimri* (Song of the Lord) brought into his tent a Midianite woman Cozbi* (false, deceptive, a lie); the pollution of the Song of the Lord by the joining of it to the deceptive things of the world. It is against this backdrop that Phinehas rose up from the place of weeping and took a spear and slew both the Israelite and the Midianite in His zeal for the Lord. God’s response to this act:

“Wherefore say, Behold,
I give unto him (Phineas) my covenant of peace:
And he shall have it, and his seed after him,
even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood;
because he was zealous for his God,
and made an atonement for the children of Israel”
Numbers 25:12-13

Do we not see the Song of the Lord in our day mingled with the flesh and horror of the world? Do we not see apathy in the midst of a carnal church which has been polluted with the ways and the wisdom of this ungodly world? Are there not those who will rise up in such an hour for His Glory to be restored to His Church? Where are the prophets, where are those who sigh and cry over the abominations committed in the very Name of God? The church is filled with those who break fellowship with one another, who allow His own to speak evil and perverse things and none lay it to heart. It is a day of blasphemy and disgrace for the things we allow in our midst. The true priests of the Lord will not be silent in this day. It is a day to rise up, to speak and to do concerning the mixture and pollution we see all around us. We see men who take unto themselves the money of the widows and the sincere to build up empires unto themselves and none lay it to heart! It is a day to respond to the horror of men’s ways; a day to become involved in the purifying of His house. Men and women allow God’s people to withdraw from others; they do not take seriously the ministration of the blood which binds us together with the cords of His love. No one wants to get involved. Every man attends to his own interests alone and in so doing becomes a participant in the tearing down of His house. This is happening because within the lives of many there is no zeal for God; they are content with the status quo. They hide themselves in the religious garment of prayer and do nothing. Prayers which do not lead to obedience and zeal for the Lord are the prayers of religious and vain hearts. True prayer brings us to the threshold of His Glory and in that awesome presence men rise up with the fortitude and love of God beating in their hearts to stand for Him in this day. Men who see and feel nothing do nothing.

This new priesthood is one which contends for God’s purposes in the earth. They stand like beacons in the midst of the apathy and spiritual harlotry of today. They are grieved over the functioning of the carnal church which operates on the same premise as any worldly corporation. They cannot help but speak out to all who would hear “repent and turn from this wickedness”. God will give us a new heart to serve Him in the fervency of His Love for one another.

The call of God is going forth in this hour to those who have a zeal for His Glory in the earth; who become involved in the new wineskin into which God will pour the New Wine. He will give a new heart to serve in the fervency of His Love to one another. Those who respond with the fervor of His Spirit have the heart of a priest unto Him.

“Blessed and holy is the one
having part in the first resurrection.
The second death has no authority over these,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with Him…”
Revelation 20:6

*NOTE: Hebrew Meaning of Zimri and Cozbi
Zimri:
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads “Song Of The Lord” BTN defines Zimri – “my praise” or “my music” in Hebrew.

Cozbi: כזב
The root-verb כזב (kazab) means to lie (Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 57:11), or to disappoint or fail (Habakkuk 2:3, Isaiah 58:11). Figuratively, this verb is used to describe a brook or stream that has dried up: Job 6:15, Jeremiah 15:18, also see Isaiah 58:11 (and the opposite of a lying river is a river whose water is sure — Isaiah 33:16;
Its derivations are:

The masculine noun כזב (kazab), meaning a lie, falsehood or deception (Judges 16:10, Amos 2:4, Isaiah 28:15).
The adjective אכזב (‘akzab), meaning deceptive or disappointing (Jeremiah 15:18 and Micah 1:14 only).
The Bible considers lies the ultimate opposite of whatever God is, stands for and wishes to bring about. Since God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 14:6), Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44), and an idol a teacher of lies (Habakkuk 2:18).
Abiram Publications

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Let Us Draw Near

PART 2

See Part 1

“Therefore, let us draw near
with confidence to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy,
and we may find grace for timely help”
Hebrews 4:16 (LITV)

The Kingdom we seek is unlike any other for its throne, though majestic, imperial and Holy, is called the throne of Grace. It is here that weary pilgrims approach and receive mercy to finish the race that is set before each of us. It is here we can find grace to rise up against all the things which would wear us out, tear us down, and seek to destroy our confidence in the One who has promised to keep us in His care.

Failure, weakness and discouragement are only a few of the things every child of God will face many times in their pursuit of His Kingdom and Righteousness. It is in these times we are given the opportunity to draw near to the One in whom there is strength, mercy and grace. There we are made partakers of these precious ministrations of Him and have opportunities to become more like Him. He gives grace to us that we may in turn become more gracious to others. In receiving His mercy, we are to become more merciful to others. As we become strengthened we are able to minister strength into the lives of those around us.

The depth and substance of our walk with God is revealed in the ability to strengthen and encourage others. Wisdom is the ability to minister truth into another’s life. It is a divine enablement to touch the heart of another by being sensitive to the whispers of God’s Holy Spirit. Only He who knows the human heart knows the intricacies of its workings, the hidden circumstances and the inner cry. It is incumbent upon us to walk carefully in such circumstances. As we draw near to Him for our own situations we learn to draw near to Him on behalf of others. True priests discover that the real call in life is to come into such Love that the things of others become more important than our own.

It is a learned way of life; one that involves the discovery of our own failures and weaknesses whereby we are enabled by grace to see and touch the same in another’s life. This throne of Grace becomes something much more than a personal truth; it becomes the very means by which we bring others into the sphere and wonder of its power.

True ministry, heartfelt and powerful, will only flow from those who know that the Throne of God is to be the revelation of a Grace which imparts His strength and enablement into the lives of those around us. The Grace of God is never a sentiment. It is His power to cause men and women to rise up and overcome the things which stand in their way. Grace will never allow a life to be comfortable in defeat or compromise. Because of this truth, when we go to His Throne of Grace, we will not find sympathy but help and strength in our time of need.

They who have truly come to such a throne cannot be barren in the ministration of His power to others to overcome the circumstances of life. All of God’s divine attributes can only be had in the sharing of them. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”: It is in forgiving others that we receive forgiveness, and so it is with Grace…

“And of his fullness have all we received,
and grace for grace”
John 1:16

We receive grace for the grace we walk in. To those who are faithful more will be given. Those who seek their own will never excel at knowing God. Those who desire to appear spiritual will know barrenness and the emptiness within the recesses of their hearts. Those who give shall receive. Those who pray and agonize for others will find the added blessing of grace welling up as a perpetual spring within their hearts. How good and wise our God is; how gracious are His dealings and His ways. In seeking the good of others we find our own needs fulfilled. Those who desire preeminence will find the East Wind blowing upon all they seek to do for the way of selfishness leads to poverty and bitterness.

“Israel is an empty vine,
he brings forth fruit unto himself”
Hosea 10:1

The whole purpose of God in Christ is to bring forth a people who have discovered the law of His Life “Give and it shall be given unto you”; for it is the outward revelation of the inward law of Christ “Love one another as I have loved you”. He has loved us consistently and faithfully despite our wandering and the error of our ways. The surest test of our relationship with Him is revealed by our love for one another. They who have discovered the Throne of Grace are known by the love expressed in and through their lives.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.
He that loves not his brother abides in death”
1 John 3:14

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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A Plea to God’s People

“This people says, the time has not come, the time for the house of Jehovah to be built. And the word of Jehovah was by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you yourselves to live in your finished houses, and this house to lie waste? And now, so says Jehovah of hosts: Set your heart on your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but are not satisfied; you drink, but not to be filled; you dress, but there is no warmth to one. Yea, he who sells himself sells himself for a bag of holes. So says Jehovah of hosts: Set your heart on your ways. Go up the mountain and bring wood and build this house. And I will be pleased with it, and I will be glorified, says Jehovah. You looked for much, and, behold, little! And when you brought it home, then I blew on it. Why, declares Jehovah of hosts? Because of My house that is ruined, and you, each man, run to his own house. On account of this, the heavens above you have held back the dew, and the earth is held back from her produce. And I called for a drought in the land, and on the mountains, and on the grain, and on the new wine, and on the oil, and on that which the ground produces, and on man, and on livestock, and on all the labor of your hands”
Haggai 1:2-11(LITV)

This word and its implication in the days in which we live are burning in my heart. The response of God’s people, many of whom once believed in the entering in (Hebrews 4:1-6; Philippians 3:8-14), is dismal as they have settled and grown weary with the way. I have heard it said that the reason for the poverty of this generation is because God is not opening the door. There will be no proper response to God from His people until we ourselves acknowledge that it is our doing which has brought about the spiritual malaise of this hour. It will require broken hearts, repentance and a coming together on the basis of His worthiness and His glory; people with an inherent cry to enter in to that which has been given to us.

It is we who have caused God’s presence to be dimmed as all the prophets of old have declared. We have become accustomed to the lack of His Presence in our midst. We have settled for ease and shrugged off our accountability unto Him. We have been forgiven, called, and gifted, in order to declare His Glory to this generation. Instead we have become comfortable with brothers and sisters who do not speak to one another, animosity and division which ruptures the very fabric of His Body. We are called to love one another, pray for one another and admonish one another unto love and good works. A great storm is about to break and we have not laid these things to heart. It is a day to repent, to turn from the love of the world, and to acknowledge that if I do not care about my brother I am walking in darkness. We must facilitate the rising up of HIS BODY in the earth. We cannot continue to walk outside of the fear of the Lord, for in His fear we are aware that our words and deeds are measured before our God.

It is with this attitude of heart that I plead with my brothers and sisters to reach out to find common ground in His heart; to relate to one another in His Love that we might receive the encouragement and admonition of the Lord and rise up out of our apathy in the Unity of His Spirit and His Faith. Unto Him be Glory in the Church now and forever! Amen.

A New Generation Arises

There is a new generation arising with faith and determination to enter into that which God has set before them. Many of the older generation* have failed to enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:19, 4:6). They seek by prayer and religious works that which has already been provided for in Christ. The Word of God declares…

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief”
(Hebrews 3:19)

“Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein,
and they to whom it was first preached
entered not in because of unbelief”
(Hebrews 4:6)

The thing that God has promised sits before us, open and ready for those who step into the River Jordan. While the former generation hold prayer meetings and discussions about how God needs to open the door, a new generation is hearing the call. Those who sit in faithless inactivity fail to understand the truths in the parables of the pounds and the talents. He has given us great ministrations of His Life; it is what we do with them that determine the outcome. To declare that God is the one holding us back is to intimate our spiritual condition is due to His providence rather than our own unbelief. The River parts AS His People step into it. It is unbelief to pray to God to give what has already been given (Exodus 14:15-16). Unbelief cloaked in religious activities has been the sin of many a generation, yet within these times of unbelief God has people who are rising up to take the promise of their day and their hour. Such is the crisis/opportunity of today. In the midst of this unbelief there is a new generation arising that will not be denied. Their hearts cannot linger in the “religion” of unbelief and a faith that does not produce the works of the Son. The veil has been torn (past tense) and to ask God to open the veil is an expression of unbelief.

To say that the reason God’s people live in such spiritual poverty is because of God’s unwillingness to open the way is to lay blame for their spiritual condition upon God rather than themselves. This is a fearful place to walk.

While the bones of one generation bleach white on the sands of unbelief * a new one rises with added grace to enter in and displace the enemies who have too long held the Land of our inheritance. May we be those who feel Him pressing us to walk with the “hind’s feet” (Psalm 18:33) of His provisions. We cannot linger in the valley of vain words, religious meetings and wordy discussions. We must shed our unbelief and stop consoling one another with words rather than the works and admonitions of faith.

I am blessed and encouraged to see the faith of this new generation taking them beyond the impotence and staleness of former things. They are lights shining in the dark! Their words convey a faith not learned by reading books or hearing sermons but a faith that is the very gift of God. They know intuitively there is a Land filled with the Glory of God which is beyond the reach of the religious, but easily accessible by childlike faith. It is a great consolation to hear these voices arising which are speaking better things than the jealously of Saul, the gainsaying of Korah, and the greed of Balaam. The cry within their hearts is for the Unity for which the Son prayed and they will not allow jealousy, apathy and high-mindedness to deter them. They understand the truth of Isaiah 58; the true fast of the Lord is one of doing and becoming rather than the Pharisaical works of the flesh. It is of these that Jesus speaks “suffer the little children to come unto ME”. They are not schooled in the unbelief of our day. They do not know and care little about great men; they have been enamored by the ONE who matters. They know we are here to be the answer to HIS prayer and desire in the earth.

“…that all may be one, as You are in Me,
Father, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe
that You sent Me”
John 17:21 (LITV)

The final outpouring of His Spirit will not fall on a divided and sectarian people. The New Wine will only be poured out into a New Wineskin (Matthew 9:16-17). The old, inflexible wineskin, held together with the carnal energies of those who would seek their own glory and not His, will never be able to contain His Glory. Patching things up rather than seeking the New will never work. There is only ONE NAME by which this will happen; His Name is JESUS and it is above all others. This coming move of God will not be identified as Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance or the thousand other names by which men have sought to differentiate themselves from others. Those who will be part of this New Wineskin will find their whole identity in Him and seek His Glory alone. They will so minister the life of Jesus that they will rejoice when their brothers and sisters surpass them in their knowing of Him. It is from such a heart that Paul declared:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. for I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh
Romans 9:1-3

This is the heart that draws the anointing from God; the heart to which God can entrust the power and the wonder of His ways; the heart that knows the ministration of the Holy Spirit is not about them but about His People and His Inheritance. It is into such a vessel that this New Wine will be poured out without measure. It will not be poured into those who separate themselves from God’s people and pray for God to move. Faith without works is not a living faith. Elijah prayed for the “child of promise” which had died and when the prayers were not answered he stretched himself out and identified with that dead body (three times) in order to see it arise (1 Kings 17:19-22). Any “truth” which does not cause an individual to identify with God and His People is not truth but simply a teaching.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God
John 3:21

One cannot hold faith or truth within their hearts
and be without the deeds which are borne of them.

* Note: In the midst of a whole generation failing the purposes of God at Kadesh Barnea there were those of that generation who walked in the faith and fire of God. These are they of whom it is said they followed after a “different spirit” than the generation who declared the enemies were too large and strong…

“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land wherein to he went; and his seed shall possess it”
(Numbers 14:24)

The promise of entering in is not based upon teachings or doctrines; it is determined by the spirit in which one walks with God. Many linger in things which are dead and passing away, even things which had life for many years. They now must give way to the New and the New can only be known by having ears to hear and a heart to obey.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth…”
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Unity  

The Natural State of All Things In God

Unity is the natural order of anything which pertains to God in the Spiritual world. Where God rules, Unity is. It is not something to be attained by works rather it is the natural state of anything that is submissive to God’s Spirit. Jesus prayed that we may be ONE as He and His Father are. Jesus did not strive to be ONE with His Father for that ONENESS is who they are. If we are in Him the natural expression is UNITY. It is the Lie and the desire of self that prevents that which is in heaven to be so in the earth. Men do not want to give up their positions, their churches, fellowships, ministries or their very selves in order to see God’s end in the earth: the ONE Body. Unity is the fruit of the heart of Jesus and the whole purpose of salvation is expressed in us “being transformed, by the renewing of our minds” until we are freed from the fallen nature into the mind of Christ. (Read each verse in the same Spirit which inspired it).

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:2-8

How can we read this and not feel the piercing of His Holy conviction? How do we reconcile the thing we see in the land today with such deep and powerful words? We see every day, everywhere the contradiction of this within the household of faith. Men and women ostracizing others, declaring this is our church, our beliefs, our teacher (pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle). This is not the language of the New Testament nor of the Spirit of God! It grieves God’s heart for such things to even be spoken. Yet many of God’s people feel no pangs of sorrow, no grief of soul and are even comfortable with the arrangement.

“The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests bear rule by their means;
and my people love to have it so…”
Jeremiah 5:31

This is nothing new for where there is no change within the human heart there will always be this comfortable arrangement. Jeremiah precedes this verse with a telling description of the environment which is conducive to this horror.

“Now hear this, O foolish people, even you without heart, who have eyes and do not see. who have ears and do not hear. Do you not fear Me, declares Jehovah? Will you not tremble before My face, that I have placed the sand as the boundary for the sea by a never ending decree, so that it cannot cross over it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot cross over it. But to this people there is a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have turned, and are gone. And they do not say in their heart, let us now fear Jehovah our God who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. For among My people are found wicked ones. They lie in wait, as one who sets snares. They set a trap, they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of treachery. On account of this they have become great and grown rich. They have become fat; they shine. Yes, they pass over the deeds of the evil; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper. And they do not vindicate the right of the needy. Shall I not visit for these things, declares Jehovah? Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? An astounding and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their hands; and My people love it so…”
Jeremiah 5:23-31(LITV)

The reason things do not change is because His people are comfortable with the status quo. The preachers preach a comfortable gospel, the people pay them to do so, there is no conviction, reproof or exhortation in the land. We are not pressed to forsake our carnal ways and the way of the world..

There can be no unity to those who walk in the strategies of the carnal mind, “for the carnal mind is not subject to the law (and reign) of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7-8). Unity will only be known by those who walk, live and dwell in His Spirit. They who insist on their own way, who love the pre-eminence and the control where God’s people meet will never know of the blessing, power and glory of God in our midst.

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 133:1-3

The unity brings the anointing, the power and the blessing.

Ω

“The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations, but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members, each subject to all the rest…”
– Charles Hodge

 Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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GOD’S ARITHMETIC

Loss & Gain

the-measure-of-life

“But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ”
Philippians 3:7

In this scripture we read the language of one in whom the Cross of Christ was a living reality. This expression is the “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”. The power of God revealed within the life of an individual is summed up in this one verse. Men and women may fast and pray for this power but the essence of God is expressed through the lives of those who walk in the substance of this truth.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth…”
Romans 1:16

Religious people often pray for things that only obedience can unlock. Prayer is essential to a life in the Spirit; it is through prayer that we find Grace and divine enablement to live the life of obedience. Religion attempts to replace obedience with prayer. The true Christian experience is through prayer we become obedient. When power is lacking in God’s house it is the result of the church embracing a crossless Gospel. The Gospel of the Cross of Christ will bring His Life, His Power, His character and His Glory into this dark world through the medium of a surrendered people.

“But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ”
Philippians 3:7

The measure of all that we do, embrace, declare and allow into our lives is to be measured by this one principle: His Life in us. The decree of God is such that in order to live in one realm we must experience death in the other. We cannot find life in this world and expect to hold on to His Life in the other. We are living in a day of choice. Discipleship is a decision that no one else can make for us. It is a decision of the heart; a decision based upon love. What men love they serve, as Jesus sums up so succinctly in this verse…

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
Luke 12:34

It takes very little discernment in our interactions with others to discover what the treasure is in their lives. Out of the abundance of the heart men speak and thereby reveal their primary love.

“So is he that lays up treasure for himself,
and is not rich toward God”
Luke 12:21

Spiritual poverty is the result of the choices we make. We are the “epistles” read of all men. The depth and power of God is expressed through “earthen vessels” and as such we must bear the responsibility for the life we express. We have lost sight of our responsibility to show forth His light and life in this world. It is the fruit of a Gospel which has lost sight of God; a gospel that is centered upon people rather than God. Where men absolve themselves of accountability and relegate their walk to words, teaching and statements of faith, Godlessness and unrighteousness become acceptable. It is in such a time that God raises up the Prophetic to “show the (heavenly) house to the (earthly/fallen) house” (Ezekiel 43:10).

“Thou son of man,
shew the house to the house of Israel,
that they may be ashamed of their iniquities…”
Ezekiel 43:10

The religion of today wants to be able to love this world, walk and live in the ways of this world and yet take hold of all the things of God. Such things will never be.

“Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him”
1 John 2:15

It is through the true fellowship of the Spirit and in the worship of Him where the things of His life become more real to us than the dim things of earth. Wherever His people gather and commune together in the Love of Jesus that men and women are drawn out of this world and into His.

“But ye, beloved,
building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life”
Jude 1:20-21

Ω

“This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying–the delicate seed-globe must break up now–it gives and gives till it has nothing left.”
~L. Trotter

Art Work by Lilias Trotter (14 July 1853 – 28 August 1928) A Missionary who poured out her life to the call of Christ in Algeria. Her artwork is the expression of her devotion to that Call.

Brian Troxel

http://www.aword.info

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The Blood Sanctifies our Walk

“…and Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon …
the great toe of his right foot”
Leviticus 8:23

Election, Godliness and Being Chosen by God

DISCIPLESHIP

“But know that the Lord hath set apart
him that is godly for himself:
the Lord will hear when I call unto him”
Psalm 4:3

It is the godly whom the Lord sets apart for Himself. It is the godly in character and heart whom God hears. It is in this context that men and women must consider God’s grace. God’s election by Grace must be coupled with man’s response. “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Teachings, miraculous deliverances, movings of His Spirit in signs and wonders and even His own goodness are no insurance of entering the Kingdom of God. Israel saw His manifest power as He laid Egypt waste and yet they failed in the wilderness and perished without entering into God’s purpose. It is essential for us to see and grasp the truth of God, His ways and His Holiness.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:1-5

Paul goes on to say that these things were written for our learning and admonition. These were people who grieved God. Despite all the miraculous signs and provisions of God, this generation fell short of God’s desire for them. They did not consider Him in their walk. They lacked the desire to please and bless Him by how they conducted themselves in their daily affairs of life. They went through life choosing the things that would please themselves rather than God. They saw His acts without ever discovering His ways.

“He made known his ways unto Moses,
his acts unto the children of Israel”
Psalm 103:7

We see this same truth in the New Covenant.

“But without a parable spake he not unto them:
and when they were alone,
he expounded all things to his disciples”
Mark 4:34

It is the disciples whom Jesus pulls aside to expound on the hidden truths of the parables. Disciples are those who follow Jesus. They live to learn of Him and because of this “…the Lord sets apart him that is godly for Himself…” They are sanctified by God for His purposes and it is these ones He consecrates (chooses and sets as living stones in the breastplate of His Holiness). These works of God are for those who choose Him, who desire to follow Him, discovering His ways and the wonder of His heart. Discipleship is the path into His Love. The verity of all true disciples will be revealed by the signature of His Love in them.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

God’s love is the defining feature of His true disciples. Many who are religious will (as the Pharisees) love their own little circle; the stamp of a true disciple is one who loves God’s people with the same Love that beats within the heart of our Heavenly Father. This Love is characterized by a passion and concern for the spiritual condition of His people. Denominational ties are irrelevant as they only see One church, One Flock and One Body. It is a Love that seeks out God’s sheep and God’s approval and cares little about the approval of man. True disciples do not seek positions or prominence; they seek to function within the confines of His calling upon their lives. The mark of God in the life of a true disciple is one of serving God not men. This Love “seeks not its own things…”

“Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LITV

Those who seek the pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people are not His disciples nor are they His true sheep. Those who encourage the affection of God’s people toward themselves, rather than ministering that His people fall in love with Jesus, have not seen God’s heart. The desire of the true ministers of God is not to draw men to their church, fellowship or their person; it is to Glorify God in all things. The cry of a true disciple is:

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

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Mystery of God

Part Two

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom, which God
ordained before the world unto our glory”
1 Corinthians 2:7

Salvation and the Entrance into the Kingdom
Is a Journey and a Life,
Not an Event

The subtlety of religion is to start out well but not finish well; to begin in the good and perfect way but become relaxed and satisfied or consumed with the concerns and affairs of this life. We need to read often the parable of the sower and the various soils into which the life of Christ was sown. Paul, speaking of himself, declares…

“But I keep under my body,
and bring it into subjection:
lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway”
1 Corinthians 9:27

We are reminded throughout the New Testament that salvation is the on-going work of the Spirit of God in our lives. Paul speaking to the Church of God at Phillipi says,

“Wherefore, my beloved,
as ye have always obeyed,
not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure…”
Philippians 2:12

The working out of our salvation is the result of God working in. A life that has become inactive and lukewarm ceases to work out His working in. It becomes slothful and complacent and in the end unfaithful and impotent. It is to such that God speaks judgment and sorrow as to the unfaithful servant who was given the one talent…

“His lord answered and said unto him,
Thou wicked and slothful servant…
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matthew 25:24-30

The Fear of the Lord
The Secret of True and Vital Prayer

The entrance into the Kingdom of God requires much diligence and above all a healthy fear of the Lord. His Spirit calls and beckons every man to the fear and awe of Him.

“For that they hated knowledge,
and did not choose the fear of the LORD”
Proverbs 1:29

The religious man cloaks himself in religious phrases, religious activities, prayer meetings, out reaches, church activities and other such “works” all the while ignoring the inward working of faith which would bring him to obedience and the way of the Lord. The prayer of the Pharisee…

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,
God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are,
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess”
Luke 18:11

Notice that this man “prayed thus with himself “! His prayers never left his lips; God was not listening. Prayer without obedience, prayer without the brokenness of heart that comes from knowing to Whom we speak, and the infusion of faith whereby we touch the substance and reality of His heart, are merely the echoes of a vain and impotent religion.

Here Jesus is praying to the Father:

“Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers and supplications
with strong crying and tears unto him
that was able to save him from death,
and was heard in that he feared;
Though he were a Son,
yet learned he obedience…”
Hebrews 5:7-8

The very prayers of Jesus were offered in the fear of the Lord and in a life of obedience! Such things are too deep for me but these are the truths of the life of the Son. If they are true in Him, then it must become the reality within my own life. For He who became my sin did so that I may become His righteousness and a living participant within the great mystery of God.

THE PURSUIT OF THE MARK

This life of becoming is the sum and substance of the Kingdom of God. The writer of the  Book of Hebrews declares emphatically…

“Let us therefore fear,
lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest,
any of you should seem to come short of it”
Hebrews 4:1

This is the attitude of heart of those who would enter into the fullness of God. It is a heart which is so in love with Him that to fall short of His purposes, to displease Him, to miss Him in the full purpose and desire for our life is an unthinkable tragedy. Not because of judgement but because of love and the great desire to please and honour Him. This is the heart with which Paul wrote to the Philippians…

“Not as though I had already attained,
either were already perfect: but I follow after,
if that I may apprehend that
for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded
and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you”
Philippians 3:12-15

Any one in Christ who is not pursuing this one thing the Spirit declares that “God shall reveal even this unto you”. To be otherwise minded is to miss the mark in our walk with God. It is to this end we are called and in the seeing of this we are overwhelmed with the enormity of His Call and the greatness of our need for Him and one another. We recognize the need to meet with one another, to participate in the working out of that mystery through the means of fellowship and the ministration of truth. Men who are satisfied with meetings and Bible studies in which the fire and the presence of God is missing reveal a lack of truth and honesty. The ministration of encouragement and exhortation is for those who desire truth within the inward man; a desire for transparency and authenticity over a mere appearance of righteousness.

Paul’s Specific Purpose
“TO MAKE MEN SEE”
The Building Up of the One Body in Christ

Paul in describing the purpose for which the grace of God was given to him declares…

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints,
is THIS grace given,
that I should preach among the Gentiles
the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And to make all men see
what is the fellowship of the mystery,
which from the beginning of the world
hath been hid in God,
who created all things by Jesus Christ”
Ephesians 3:8-9

The cry of Paul’s heart was to make all men see what is their participation (Greek word for fellowship) in the mystery! Men without a sense of the mystery have no desire to fellowship in this manner. They see no purpose in meeting and functioning with others in the power and wonder of His Holy Spirit. This mystery is the Christ in me, interacting with the Christ in you, each member functioning within the call and the expression given by God whereby we grow into the very fullness and stature of the risen Christ! How can we settle for a gathering of His people if this functioning and ministration of His life between members of the Body is not a reality? Paul goes on in his epistle to say…

“But speaking the truth in love,
may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together
and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”
Ephesians 4:15-16

This coming together in the power of His Life begins with “speaking the Truth in Love”. The fullness and increase of this corporate expression will be “according to” (in proportion to) the effectual working (functioning) of every part (member). We can preach, teach, pray and strategize all we want; this living reality will only come by the functioning of every part. Any ministry, whether an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher that does not have this beating within his heart is failing the call of God. The true heart of Christ within a man desires to see the Body of Christ arise in His fullness. Men who seek to hold the pre-eminent place within a gathering of God’s people have missed the mind and heart of Jesus. We are called to present unto Christ a chaste virgin, a spotless bride, a people who are fully attentive unto Him. How dare the ministries of God seek the attention and love of His sheep! “He must increase; I must decrease” was the heart of John the Baptist; so should it be with all who minister Him. We must function in such a way as to so present the living Christ to men that their obedience and affections are fully centered upon Jesus not a man.

TRUE MINISTRY
The Means By Which The Body of Christ Is Realized

A picture of true ministry is revealed by an incident recorded in John’s Gospel…

“Again the next day after John stood,
and two of his disciples;
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith,
Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak,
and they followed Jesus”
John 1:35-37

Do men really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire of recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The other issue in our day is that men want to follow others and support other people; for growing into their own functioning ministry is fraught with personal accountability, obedience and faith. It is much easier to simply sit in a pew and absolve themselves of this responsibility. In gatherings where there are no ministrations of life, the power and presence of God is lacking and men remain undeveloped and immature.

The mystery of God will never be known and realized without this ministry one to another. Paul, as great and powerful as his ministry was, declared “That we with all saints might know…” He understood that his knowing of the depths, the power and fullness of God would only be realized with all saints. Those who have seen and touched the hem of His Glory know that His fullness can only be revealed in a Body, not an individual. It will take the full functioning of every member to embrace and contain the glory of the new wine. There is no room for elite little groups any more than there is for mega churches to think they can contain this Mystery. Peter and his fellow believers were meeting together and there began a religious segregation of the Jews withdrawing from the Gentiles to form a little clique. A young newcomer rebuked Peter for straying from the truth. Peter was faced with repenting and acknowledging his error or citing his position as “chief apostle” to ignore the rebuke. Peter, to his credit, repented at the rebuke of Paul. The fivefold ministry (Ephesians 4:13) is to bring the people of God unto “the unity of the faith” not to separate His people unto themselves! The fivefold ministry will remain in the church until this is accomplished.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the (their) work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Ephesians 4:11-13

Any ministry that has not this one goal in mind has missed the purpose and the call of God. Any ministration that is content with the status quo of a divided church, drawn unto men and organizations and the kingdom building of those who seek honour for themselves, will be subject to the judgments of God. All things are unto the Son, and it is He alone who is to have the pre-eminence in our midst. The scriptures declare prophetically “unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” and it is the responsibility of all the people of God to see this come to pass!

Our understanding of the Mystery of God is revealed by what we do not by what we say. Jesus said those who “speak of themselves or from themselves, seek their own glory” but those who labour by the Spirit of Christ glorify and honour Him. It is the day of the Revelation of Christ; an hour when men will declare by their actions whether they are His or mere hirelings who seek out their own glory. This house will be finished.

This Mystery of God will be accomplished!

“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,
when he shall begin to sound,
the mystery of God should be finished,
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets”
Revelation 10:7

Brian Troxel

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