PODCAST – The Only Two Questions

The Only Two Questions
We Ought to Ask

Knowing the Will of God

“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
(Acts 9:5-6)

 

Friendship in Christ

Friendship in Christ

“A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity”
Proverbs 17:17

Friendships IN Christ grow deeper and stronger, bound by His cords of love. Friendships of the world, though good and pleasant, cannot touch the recesses of our being. True relationships are woven together by the fabric and substance of Christ. They require little effort, for the vitality is rooted in the eternal springs of His heart. There is a camaraderie, an ease of interaction, and an understanding of things unsaid.  The mutual sharing of joys and sorrow are borne with a sense of honour and privilege.

There is no fear of saying the wrong thing or of “stepping on toes”; these things weary the soul. Spontaneity is the atmosphere of friends and the mark of true brotherhood. It is the result of child-like faith discovering the joy and freedom found only in Christ.

Bonds are strengthened through the storms of life, the fears, the failures and the triumphs of one another. Jealously and envy find no home within the selfless strands of these bonds; when one succeeds it brings great joy to the heart of the other.

Though these friendships may be rare, it makes them all the more valued. They give us glimpses of His Heart for His Body.

“That they ALL may be one;
 as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us”
John 17:21

Brian Troxel

 

PODCAST – We Are Not Our Own

We Are Not Our Own

“My beloved is mine, and I AM HIS.”
(Song of Solomon 2:16)

 

Take Hold

Take Hold

Take Hold of Eternal Life

I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite,
king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it,
and contend with him in battle.”
Deuteronomy 2:24

In spiritual things there exists a substantial difference between His gifts and our possessions. There is a consistent revelation of this truth throughout the Bible. Whether it be Joshua and the Israelites needing to battle to possess the land that God had given them, or the passionate pursuit of Paul to “apprehend that for which he had been apprehended”, the essential truth is unchanged. In the Old Testament there was a physical element to possess His gifts; in the New Testament the truth of possessing His profound spiritual provisions remains the same: that of fighting “the good fight of faith”.

“Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses”
1 Timothy 6:12

“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called”. The exhortation to “take hold” is in the now of life. Paul is beseeching Timothy to continue to fight that he might “lay hold” of this Life of Jesus in an ever-deepening way. Too few comprehend the battle required to experience the Life of Christ to which we have been called. There are depths and wonders for us to take hold of that He might be shown to the world around us.

May we be encouraged afresh to “fight the good fight”, not in the realms of carnal warfare but in the issues of our hearts. By the power of His grace let us continue to battle to subdue every unholy thought and desire to the intent that we will take hold of His Life now

All creation is groaning for this: to see people who are fully His. It requires a full and complete submission to His Holy will and an obedience which springs from the root of His love working within us.

“For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God”
Romans 8:19

His return is predicated upon a people moving in the full Life of the Son; those who through faith have “apprehended” this Life in Christ. However, there is a land to be conquered; a thought life brought into the obedience of Christ and an unruly nature made subservient to Him in all things. The call goes out to all those who are His to overcome as He overcame.

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:21-22

Fight the good fight my brothers and sisters that we may “lay hold” of this magnificent Life of Christ. He who has given us all things invites us to possess our possessions IN CHRIST.

Brian Troxel

Political Rights

Political Rights

Political Rights

While in His presence this morning this Word was given to me.

“They who fight for political rights
know little of the cross of Christ”

Brian Troxel

The spirit of Diotrephes

Have This Mind in You

Excerpt from Coming Book
“Have This Mind in You”

The spirit of Diotrephes

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not…”
3 John 1:9

Self-promotion is the curse and the damnation of the Church of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of a self-seeking, self-promoting serpent nature is alive and very prominent in the Body of Christ today. Men pretend to be walking in the Spirit of God yet by their works reveal the factious ways of the world (the Greek word relates such works to the political factions of the world). The result is division and strife. We see these secular and isolated groups throughout the history of the Church inflicting great pain and sorrow on the people of God while bringing damnation and eternal judgments upon themselves.

“Because of this, if I come, I will recall his works which he does, ranting against us with evil words. And not being satisfied with these, neither does he receive the brothers; and those intending it he prevents, and thrusts them out from the assembly”
3 John 1:10

John goes on to say:

“Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. The one doing good is of God; but the one doing bad has not seen God”
3 John 1:11

It is what people DO that reveals the spirit in which they walk, not their profession!

“They profess that they know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work”
Titus 1:16

In order for this infection to stop God’s people need to grow in discernment. It is not what men say but what they do that reveals the spirit in which they walk. We see much of the spirit of Diotrephes across our land. The cry for people to join an organization or sect, follow a teacher or a movement, is heard far more prominently than the true Call of God to “Come unto Christ”. The waning influence of the Church is partially a result of the horror of calling people to something other than Jesus.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto me”
John 12:32

The Gospel today is one of setting forth the ambitions of men to “grow” our churches, our fellowships, our teachers (or teachings) in competition with the other “churches” who also promote themselves in the same spirit of rivalry. Somehow, we convince ourselves (in spite of our carnality) that we are representing the Spirit of Christ and the work of His Salvation in the earth.

“Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same thing, and there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same judgment”
1 Corinthians 1:10

This Word from Paul is aimed forcefully at those in the Church at Corinth because of their carnality:

“For concerning you, my brothers, it was shown to me by those of Chloe that there are strifes among you. But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ”. (Or in our day – Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance plus thousands of other names or no names – the little sects that meet in closed cliques which mingle not with others nor reach out with the love of God to the world around them are all an affront to heart and mind of Christ.)
1 Corinthians 1:11-12

“Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5 (ESV)

The very nature of this mind being formed in us through the ministration of His Word and our abiding in Him is the very essence of our unity. Any heart which “feels” not the call of God in Christ to this is one which is out of touch with Him. The holy bonds of His Spirit are the actual bonds of those who are His. There is a spiritual joining, a joint-communication of the life and power of the Christ which flows between those who live in Him. The Day of the  wheat and tares are being revealed in our day, they who cling to a joining which is carnal and based on something other than Christ Himself will become more evident as we see the bones of Ezekiel’s Vision comes to pass (Ezekiel 37)… The phrase “bone to His bone” is the verity of the New Wine Skin. Only those whose lives are becoming His can partake of this glorious thing. It is the power of His Life which joins us to one another and it is here where the depth of God’s wisdom will reveal the unfathomable truth of His Word… “members one of another”. This is a truth which the natural mind cannot comprehend, its power, its wonder is so Divine in its origin that only those who feel the draw and the call of God to this Holy place can be affected within the core of their being. Few there be in our Day who feel the pulse and the power of all God is preparing in this Day.

“That they all may be one; AS thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

May God re-establish the truth within us, that we are here for His Glory, we are here to fulfill HIS purposes for us and they who are growing in their relationship with Him know that we are here to please and honor Him who is worthy of all that we are. Having the “mind of Christ” formed within us necessitates a fervency to live out His nature with our brothers and sisters. A nature which speaks truth, lives truth and walks in the desire to please Him.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
Revelation 4:11

As Christ came to Glorify the Father may we so allow our hearts to be transformed to “order our steps aright” to glorify His Glorious Name by how we live.

“…to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

To the heart of those who direct their steps in the Way of Christ there is a unveiling of Himself concerning the wonders and glories of His Salvation.

These truths are hid from the wise, the proud, the seekers of pre-eminence and those who are satisfied with something less than the fulness of Christ Himself.

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight”
Matthew 10:21

It requires the “mind of Christ” to see Him unveiled in His Word and it takes the heart of Christ feel the bonds of His Spirit.

The spirit of Diotrephes is alive and present in the community where I live, and the place where you live. Its dark and sinister work is deeply felt within the Body of Christ world-wide by the schisms and discord sown by its proud and haughty ways. It covers itself with garments of falsehood and hypocrisy. It pretends to follow Christ and usually appeals to its adherents on the basis of being deeper, more spiritual and may even express itself concerned for others while yet by its works reveals the true nature of its spirit by its isolation and spiritual stagnation. The spirit of such refuse others from the Body of Christ liberty to minister to "its own", it receives only from those who hold to its ideology and secretly must acknowledge its leaders to gain access.  It is an malignant evil which will be judged severely in the Day of the Lord.  It is by their works the spirit of such are revealed. It is important that God's people read and meditate carefully upon this writing of Third John for in it is the dark spirit of such revealed. Honesty of heart and pureness of motive will be the safeguard of all those who desire to see the One Body of Christ.

Brian Troxel

Sam Storms – Grace

Grace and Power

“Grace is not only the divine act by which God initiates our spiritual life, but also the very power by which we are sustained in, nourished, and proceeds through that life. The energizing and sanctifying work of the indwelling Spirit is the grace of God. After Paul had prayed three times for God to deliver him from his thorn in the flesh, he received this answer: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Although Paul undoubtedly derived encouragement and strength to face his daily trials by reflecting on the magnificence of God’s unmerited favor, in this text he appears to speak rather of an experiential reality of a more dynamic nature. It is the operative power of the indwelling Spirit to which Paul refers. That is the grace of God”
– Sam Storms

Politics and the Church

Politics and the Church

“How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken* the nations!”
Isaiah 14:12

(This is an updated reprint - It is a message pleading to us to turn our hearts unto the ONE who can turn us and breathe the life of healing, purity and the unity and to once again make us to be His Light to the World)

Nations always fall from within before falling from without. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is never about politics; its message is one of righteousness, integrity, honesty and above all love. These qualities are to be the foundation of a nation and are the unshakable virtues of a strong unified country. When the Church of Jesus Christ ceases to be the light of a nation its fall is inevitable. God’s people are not called to be political and the Church is not to involve herself in the carnal warfare of worldly politics. She is to be the inspiration to lead the nations to the Light of Christ. It is in Him alone that people find saving grace and the virtues which make a nation strong and true. Righteousness cannot be legislated; that is the error of religion and politics. The only way for people to be free and live with respect and love for one another is for His law to be written on their hearts; not by a law given from without.

We are exhorted to pray for those who are governing, not to criticize or condemn. Those who are Christ’s are not of this world. Paul and the other Apostles of that day, in exhorting the people of God to pray for those in authority, was speaking of Nero the Roman Emperor. The reason we see the decline in morality and an increasing anger, hatred and vehement attitudes is because the Light of God has grown dim within the lives of His people. The same selfishness, the same carnal agendas, the same politics which are in the world are found within His Church .(**see below)

Jesus said if I be lifted up,
I will draw all men to me.

In the void created by the absence of Light God allows Satan the destroyer of nations to arise. With all the vices and malice of his own being he is allowed to infiltrate a nation bringing lawlessness and darkness in the stead of light and love. Wherever the Gospel is dimmed, darkness will rule in the hearts of the people. God never ceases to be God but He hides Himself and allows men to destroy themselves. The condemnation upon the world is not because men are evil in their natural state; it is because they choose darkness over light, they love wickedness rather than goodness. They become more evil by the choices they make. The people of God in Jesus’ Day chose Barabbas over Jesus! So it is even today.

“And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.”
John 3:19

The judgement of God is upon our land. It has already begun and the ramification will be one of great suffering for His people. The insidious weaving of Satan himself into the very fabric of the religious world is a precursor to the weakening and fall of a nation. His stratagem has not changed over the course of history. One simply needs to read in the Book of Romans as Paul sets forth with great clarity the process of God’s judgment; it was already at work in the Roman empire of his day and is now at work in ours (Romans 1:18 – 2:29). Read this with fresh and anointed eyes to see the parallel in our day. Paul begins by speaking of the people who willingly reject God. God in great wisdom gives them over to the inevitable growth of wickedness in their hearts culminating in sexual perversion and reprobate minds. He then turns his attention to the Jews at Rome who stand in judgment of others while they themselves are guilty of the same thing .

“Then the one teaching another, do you not teach yourself? The one preaching not to steal, do you steal? The one saying not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? …For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”
Romans 2:21-22, 24

We may speak against the evil without while we ourselves are guilty of the same things within. **We need look no further than the rampant evil of pornography and the infiltration of it into the very soul of many believers. We need look no further than the horror of the political culture of the organized church which sets one church in competition with another. We need to look no further than the gossip, evil speaking and the lack of willingness to invest ourselves in the development of Christ in the lives of those around us. We need to look no further than the rampant rise in divorce and unfaithfulness within the Body of Christ to know how far we have fallen. We need look no further than the indifference within His own concerning the condition of God’s house. It is in the face of all this we hear little from His watchmen, pastors and prophets. We clearly see the condition of the backslidden lives of God’s people addressed by the prophet Isaiah in former days (there is nothing new under the sun):

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant,
they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark;
sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,
and they are shepherds that cannot understand:
they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
Isaiah 56:10-11

The shepherds in these days, to a large extent, are hired to fill the pews, to grow the “church” in numbers while neglecting the spiritual condition of the people. They who should be watchman in God’s house have become “blind”. They are as dogs who do not bark (to warn His people) at the coming judgment which is about to fall! We have become more interested in numbers rather than God’s Glory. Compromise with the world is the very darkness of the church. Words without fire and faith without works are the hallmarks of a compromised people. We cannot be of this world and be the light of God to it at the same time. It is the greatest contradiction of all.

GOD HAS AN ANSWER

If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

We hear this verse quoted much in our day with the emphasis on prayer. It is rarely mentioned in the context of seeking His face and even more rarely in “turning from our wicked ways”. It is as we seek God’s face in truth that we will see the wickedness of our own ways. Our collusion with the world, our infatuation with things other than God, our treatment of our brothers and sisters, are all part of the “wicked ways” from which we need to turn. God’s word to us is always IF. When the IF is fulfilled, God is sure to be our THEN.

First and foremost, it is HIS people who need to turn, who need to repent and who need to humble ourselves. The Light of God must, by His design, shine into the lives of His own before it will shine into the world around us.

“Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid”
Matthew 5:14

Σ

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

Discipleship is not a teaching
it is a life.

* NOTE: “weaken” Hebrew Word meaning to prostrate, by implication to overthrow, decay…
Strongs Hebrew Dictionary

**Note: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” James 4:4

Brian Troxel

The Song of the Lord

The Song of The Lord

“God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter the community of God join in this song. It is the song that the “morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” at the creation of the world. (Job 38:7). It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea, the Magnificat of Mary after the annunciation, the song of Paul and Silas in the night of prison, the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their rescue, the “song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3) It is the song of the heavenly fellowship
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There are melodies discovered in dark places, graces developed in the oppression and angst of the soul. There are lyrics written upon the soul of His own; songs from the deep where Christ abides. They are but mere whispers of  glory which wind their way from heaven’s throne to bring the fragrance of a far away land where righteousness reigns and love is the atmosphere that His creatures there breathe.

Let not the clouds of the dim lands here hide for long the lightness and the buoyancy of the Song of Lord.

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”
Isaiah 35:10

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – FOUNDATIONS – Walking with God

The Foundations of the Lord

Walking in God

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)

As your walk with and in God deepens, He begins to deposit of Himself in you that you might minister out of this deposit to others, and obedience is the path to confidence.