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Archive for the ‘The Kingdom of God’ Category

dependence

MY GOD and MY TESTIMONY

God of Light
You continue to reveal my darkness
God of Love
You overlook my indifference
God of Mercy
You melt my heart to offer my life afresh daily
God of Grace
You give me desire and ability to walk in you
God of Wonder
You fill my perplexities with vision
God of Hope
You give me tenacity to hold to your way
God of Peace
You crush the works of darkness in me
God of Glory
You lighten my pilgrimage in this dark and dreary world
God of Comfort
Embraces me in the loneliness of the Way and the wandering of my soul
God of Provision
My fountain never runs dry nor the staff of Thy Word fails me
God of the Orphan
When friends forsake and the way is dark – you hold me
God of Truth
To reveal the untruth in me – A most precious ministration
God of the Harvest
My only hope of being fruitful in the seeds sown and the deeds done
God of the Sabbath
Ever teaching and leading me into the true Rest of doing Thy Works and Speaking Thy Words
God – The Consuming Fire
The Flame which burns within my heart for purity and the desire to honor you
God – My Shepherd
The One who leads me in the way of the Lamb, through the meadows, the still waters and the valleys of shadows and death
God My Saviour
Who is ever working the wonders of His salvation in the midst of my own lostness
God My Keeper
Who keeps me when I do not see danger
He Who Is – The Word
My First Love and to whom I owe my very existence
God My Light
Who gives me light to see the greater Light
God My Wisdom
Who teaches me by His Presence the beauty and true value of the Fear of the Lord
God of the Disciple
He who holds me in the steps of His Son and presses me to forsake my love of self
God of Beth-El
Who has birthed in me a Love for His House – May she arise in the unity of the power of His Heart!

My God My Only Hope Now and for Eternity

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“Peace, Peace”

False prophets 2

“For they have healed the hurt
of the daughter of my people slightly, saying,
Peace, peace; when there is no peace”
Jeremiah 8:11

In every generation false ministers speak peace and comfort when God’s desire is righteousness. There can be no true peace apart from God’s righteousness. These false comforters speak peace “when there is no peace”. They have never confronted the sin within themselves and therefore cannot and will not speak to the sins of His people. Righteousness is simply a religious term with no meaning in those who proclaim such a message. These are false and impotent expressions within His house. Words like mercy, forgiveness and grace have little value without an expression of righteousness. If sin is not understood as the evil and horror it is, then the sacrifice and shedding of Christ’s blood holds little weight in the hearts of His people.

We live in a day of tremendous obscurity as the result of a false and man-centered preaching of the gospel. While these ministrations lure His people into slumber of spirit and a false sense of peace and safety, death and destruction lie at the door.

Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you;
and they have not revealed your iniquity,
to turn back your captivity
Lamentations 2:14

It is in preaching the righteousness of God in Christ that His people discover the wretchedness of their ways and can avail themselves of the beauty of His grace, mercy and truth. It is in the ministration of His Holiness that we discover His power to save us and raise us up to be a flaming expression of Him. He came to save us from our sins not to leave us in them. He came to give us a peace which cannot be taken from us because it is founded in Him. It is a peace that the world cannot give. Those who speak peace when there is no peace are liars and traitors to the word of God. They seek to soothe and console when God desires conviction and repentance.

What is the end of such preaching? What does a church look like that endures such false and beguiling words? Read the next verse from the Book of Lamentations.

“All who pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem,
saying, Is this the city which they called the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?”
Lamentations 2:15

Men mock and scorn the very thing that should reveal the power, the love and the glory of our God. When the church as a whole listens to the falseness of this gospel His face and heart are hidden from the world around us.

The Church at Laodicea

“Because you say, I am rich, and I am made rich,
and I have need of nothing,
and do not know that you are wretched and miserable
and poor and blind and naked”
Revelation 3:17

This is God’s church! Why did she not know her true condition? Why did she not know of her wretchedness and poverty? Her condition was the result of a false gospel which spoke peace and comfort instead of preaching the truth. Deception is anything which hides God and prevents His people from truth. Truth is the revelation of Jesus the Christ; in His piercing light we see Him and we see ourselves. It is in this ministration that men and women find powerful comforts of mercy and grace whereby we are set free from our sins and our poverty becomes the storehouse of His riches; the blind eyes see, our nakedness is clothed in the garments of His salvation and His joy becomes our strength.

Woe to those who seek to comfort His people with anything less than the living truth of God. Woe to those who would speak comfort to people who are at home in this world. Woe to those who seek out and listen to those who would lie to them.

This is a day for crying out to God for truth that we may turn from our ways and back to His ways; that the hurt and the cause of our lukewarm hearts would be discovered and healed so we may rise up in the purity and fire of a love that cannot be quenched.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape”
1 Thessalonians 5:3

This is a word to God’s people not the politicians of the world.

Ω

“If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,”
where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word
“Let love be without dissimulation*
and blunt the edge of truth,
speaking not right things but smooth things,
then I know nothing of Calvary love…”
Amy Carmichael

*Note: The meaning indicated here is to speak the same to all people; we do not blunt the edge of truth because of friendships, associations and people with whom we seek advantage. Calvary’s Love destroys the seeking of the approval of men for it brings us to the same heart as the One who offered Himself at Calvary. He died for Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free men. His blood is without dissimulation and so must be our ministration of Him!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“Enemy of Our Soul”

ENVY

“Ephraim shall not envy Judah,
and Judah shall not trouble Ephraim”
Isaiah 11:11

The power and beauty of the Body of Christ is found in the unity of His heart beating within (Psalm 133). It suffers greatly when there is rivalry between its own members; in this instance the enemies are not so much from without but from the carnality within.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest,
which are these…Envying’s”
Galatians 5: 19-21

The works and deeds of the flesh mar the image and likeness of Christ in the earth. When men and women are filled with love of self they harbor envy and cling to this destructive work which prevents them from entering God’s Kingdom (Galatians 5:21). They withdraw from the union and fellowship of the Spirit with others. Where there is no vision of the Body of Christ there can be no comprehension of the devastation that is wrought by this enemy. In the seeds of this evil there is a deception which hides God’s face from the heart of the one who holds on to envy. It is an insidious work of the Devil himself. Gossip, evil speaking, lies, murder and darkness lurk and grow within its domain. Exclusion of the other members of the Body of Christ, causing schisms and divisions are the outcome of its curse. Envy was the primary motive for Cain to kill his brother because the sacrifice of Abel was accepted and Cain’s was rejected. Saul envied David and Joseph was envied of his brothers.

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts,
glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion and every evil work
James 3:14-16

Wherever there is envy and jealously within a heart darkness and deception are sure to overtake the light bringing damnation and judgement. Envy at its root grows from an ungrateful heart for the giftings and callings given of God. By envying another we are telling God that He is unrighteous in His giving. Traces of the sin of envy and the judgement thereof are found throughout the scriptures. Korah was a prime example of someone not content with the call of God upon His own life. It was and will continue to be the downfall of many.

Those who hold on to envy reveal the darkness in which they walk; to continue in its way one must hide themselves from the light and the fear of the Lord. What is the end of this work of the flesh and of the devil?

“envying’s…of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:22

ω

“Wherever God is — there is peace.
And the opposite is self-evident:
where there is envy, enmity, impatience, self-love — there is the devil.
Wherever the devil is — there, everything is ruinous, proud and hostile.”
St. Anatoly

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Purpose of God

“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12

The radical nature of the Kingdom of God is one of mystery and paradox; it is contrary to the constitution of natural man. Entering into it requires the death and renunciation of the self-life in order to touch the wonder of its power. The very LIFE of the Kingdom of God is only available in Jesus. There is “salvation in no other name” and there is LIFE in no other. He ALONE is the Kingdom and He ALONE is the Way into the Kingdom. He is the TRUTH of the Kingdom and He is the LIFE of the Kingdom.

“For the Jews require a sign,
and the Greeks seek after wisdom”
1 Corinthians 1:22

Here Paul sums up the inclinations of the world and the people of God. His people desired signs and wonders and others sought “wisdom” (Greek word “sophia” from which we derive the word philosophy*). The nature of the heart of man has not changed. God’s Kingdom will not be found by these means for Paul goes on in the very next verse of scripture:

“But we preach Christ crucified,
unto the Jews a stumblingblock,
and unto the Greeks foolishness”
1 Corinthians 1:23

Christ crucified is the pivotal point upon which the entire purposes of God rest. The Way into this Kingdom is dependent upon the extent of our identification and participation in His death being worked out in our lives. The corresponding revelation of His Life in us will be to the degree of “death” being worked into us. This happens through the operation of His Holy Spirit combined with our own will yielding in true discipleship. Smooth words, elaborate teachings and overt signs and wonders will never replace the power of a crucified life. It is in this place that God’s work must culminate if we would enter into the wonder of His Life. Again Paul continues:

“But unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God,
and the wisdom of God”
1 Corinthians 1:24

It is in those who are called that this revelation is made known. The nature of a call requires a response and the call to discipleship is predicated with an “if”. The “if” allows a free-will response from the individual. Entrance into the Kingdom is not by words, understanding, or signs and wonders but by the crucible of the Cross.

“For we which live
are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake,
that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our mortal flesh
2 Corinthians 4:11

The end and purpose of all life is “…that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh”.

*NOTE: Contained within the Greek language are differing words for knowledge and love. The word for Philosophy comes from two Greek words (φίλος- philos) and (σοφία-sophia). Philos is one of three main Greek words for Love; agape, philos, and eros. Each speak to a realm or a sphere of love. Eros is a love which proceeds from the flesh and in turn loves fleshly things. Philos is a love which originates from the soul; it speaks of friendship and affection and when combined with (σοφία-sophia) we end up with the word philosophy: man’s love for wisdom and knowledge. It is a knowledge which may sound deep and good but leaves those who hold it weak and ineffective in the ministration of His life. God’s end is Agape – it is His love ruling, leading and holding us to His ways and purposes. God’s love cannot rest in anything which is contrary to His nature. It is the One over-riding motive which can produce discipleship within the heart of an individual. Peter’s love (philos) failed for man’s affection will never hold a heart true in times of testing.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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Behold He Stands at the Door

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
Revelation 12:1-5

As I was writing Part One of another article I felt a burden of the things which are about to break upon my heart. These things are occurring now in the earth and the fulfillment is at hand. (I trust the clumsiness of my words will give way to God’s Spirit to give clarity to that which He is speaking.)

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
Revelation 12:1-2

The rising up of the “great dragon” (the coming together of all who are opposed to God) is happening in our day! The Bride is beginning to feel the birth pangs of the ages within her very being. Those who have received Him into the womb of their heart are beginning to touch the cry, the travail of the very Spirit of God to give birth to this one end: a Man Child who is to rule all nations. This mystery cannot be obstructed. Though all the evil and worldly forces shall become one with the intention to prevent this very thing it shall be!

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born…”
Revelation 12:3-4

We see this “great dragon” not only in the heavens but also at work in the earth “with his tail” drawing spiritual forces (and their corresponding entities upon the earth) into ONE expression of evil to prevent the great wonder of God in the earth.

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb…and they who are with Him
Revelation 17:12-13

We are about to witness and experience the final assault of the combined forces of evil upon all who live Godly in Christ Jesus. There will be a unity of purpose as all earthly powers and governments will be united to this one end: to make war with the Lamb.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”
Matthew 24:21-22

This gathering of forces is happening in our day and it will continue until the end. It will be on a scale never before witnessed and the severity will be to such an extent that if God does not intervene no life will be saved. While many place their hopes upon some politician, political party or “declaration of independence,” those who know their God are preparing themselves for the Day at hand. They can place their trust in none other than the very Life of Jesus within their hearts. Those who have the faith of the Bride do the works of the Bride, for the Word declares that the “Bride hath made herself ready.” Her heart knows the day; she is not walking in this day carelessly for she knows the time is short. The life within is moving her to obedience and the contractions of travail are beginning to take hold. The hour is upon her and she is sensing it. While the religious world carries on with little idea of what is about to befall them, the Bride is preparing herself for His Day.

In the Day of this birth the enemy is fully assembled to devour this child; nevertheless God’s purposes shall stand.

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
Revelation 12:5

God will complete that which He has begun in Christ. None can stay His hand or His purposes. This being true we have strong consolation for the sufferings coming our way. Glory must be revealed in a corresponding measure of suffering. Paul knew this as have all the saints who have gone on before us…

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead”
Philippians 3:10-11

To know Him in the power of His resurrection, one must know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.

This drama is now playing out unto the fullness of all that is revealed to us in the scriptures. The Bride is making herself ready while the forces of darkness are preparing for war on a scale never seen to this day. We are called in this hour to overcome evil by His goodness within us, to overcome evil by His Love which surpasses knowledge; a love which will stagger even the enemies of Christ because of its purity and power to love beyond all human capability. It is by this alone that His people will overcome for “LOVE endures ALL things”.

The promise to those who walk in the faith, obedience and life of the Bride is glorious: for as soon as she (Zion) travails she will bring forth!

“…for as soon as Zion travailed,
she brought forth her children”
Isaiah 66:8

Oh saints of God, let us not grow weary in this hour. Though we may know isolation from our brethren, though we may walk a lonely and solitary way, let this be the confidence of our joy…

“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem*, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her”
Isaiah 66:9-10

*Note: The only Jerusalem which is of consequence in the New Testament purposes of God is the Heavenly one. (Galatians 4:25-26, Revelation 11:8, Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9-10)

“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God”
Revelation 21:9-10

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

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

New wineskin

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

In Moses’ day there was a moving of God’s Spirit among the people and Joshua was moved by jealousy for Moses’ position because others were prophesying.

“And Moses said unto him,
Enviest thou for my sake?
would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets,
and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
Numbers 11:29

The envy, jealously and all of the other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) must be dealt with in God’s house. It is the horror of our ways which keep His glory from falling upon us. The works of the flesh prevent the fruit of the Spirit. God’s house is a spiritual house and He will not mingle the ways of men with the Holiness of the Lord. The lordship of man must be cast down and the ways of men must cease so that there may be true mercy, goodness, kindness and love between His people. The Lord alone will be exalted in this day. True leaders desire the glory of God in HIS people, they are willing to decrease to see the increase of God. The purpose and the heart of the New Covenant is that we would so selflessly minister to one another to see the end of ministry. For the purpose of ministry is to bring God’s people to know HIM fully for themselves. They who love the preeminence and places of control will have no place within the New Wine Skin.

Jeremiah 31:33-34
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
for they shall all know me,

from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord”

Let the prophets speak, let the intercessors pour out their hearts unto Him, let those who aspire to preeminence humble themselves and turn from the job descriptions of “positions” and seek the callings and purposes of God. It is a day to prepare the Way of the Lord. Every high place will be brought low and those of humble hearts will be exalted. Receive His words from those who seek His honor in this day.

Let the people of God humble themselves with one another that we may behold, taste and see God’s provisions for us in one another.

“Submitting yourselves one to another
in the fear of God”
Ephesians 5:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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