The Gospel of God

The Law of the Spirit

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Psalm 1:2

In physics, a law describes the behavior and the observable function of a particular phenomenon.

“Laws are descriptions — often mathematical descriptions — of natural phenomenon; for example, Newton’s Law of Gravity or Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. These laws simply describe the observation. Not how or why they work” Coppinger

Newton’s Law of Gravity describes the behavior of gravity. Gravity does not exist because of the law; the law simply describes the inherent operation of gravity. So it is in the Law of the Spirit. The Law of Righteousness is a Law which describes how a righteous life lives. It cannot make one righteous it is simply given to describe the behaviour of a righteous life.

“For the law made nothing perfect”
Hebrews 7:19

It is not in our trying to keep the Law that we are spiritual. It is because we are becoming spiritual that the Law of Life (His Life) is fulfilled. Whenever we break the Law it is because we are lacking the LIFE OF THE ONE who alone can keep it. Paul, referring to the Law as given by Moses, declared the following truth:

” For we know that the law is spiritual…”
Romans 7:14

The issue is that we are carnal; it is an absurdity to attempt to keep a spiritual law when by nature we are not. The only hope for any individual is by virtue of the Spirit of Christ invading our lives. By His power we receive a new nature, a spiritual nature which naturally fulfills the Law of God. Only a spiritual nature can fulfill a spiritual law.

“For we know that the law is spiritual:
but I am carnal, sold under sin…”
Romans 7:14

Here is the great contradiction in the life of every individual. The natural man cannot fulfill a spiritual law. There is no amount of striving, no matter how earnest the effort, that will ever enable one nature to fulfill the law of another. In the Law of Gravity, if an object has mass, it is subject to its inherent law of attraction. In spiritual things where there is a residue of the natural man, he will find himself subject to the Law of Sin and Death. It cannot be otherwise. What is this Law of Sin and Death?

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”
Romans 7:5

There is only ONE WAY to be free from the Law of Sin and Death; it is in our discovery of the power of Christ to liberate us from walking in the flesh! This freedom requires a new nature. This nature must be freed from the pull and the horror of the Law of Sin, a law which holds all things carnal in its deadly grip. The freedom of the Law of Life is the provision of God. It is in our abiding in Him that we are freed from the chains of sin.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”
Galatians 5:16

The simplicity of the provision of God is clear. The agonizing struggle for all who are seeking freedom from this Law of Sin and Death is described clearly in Romans 7.

“For what good I desire, I do not do. But the evil I do not desire, this I do. But if I do what I do not desire, it is no longer I working it out, but the sin dwelling in me. I find then the law, when I desire to do the right, that evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law in my members having warred against the law of my mind, and taking me captive by the law of sin being in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Romans 7:19-24

Paul called this agonizing dilemma a war. It is a war to those desiring to fulfill the Law of God but who constantly find the Law of Sin holding dominion over their actions. The truth is our attempts to fight this war with our carnal nature is like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket; as futile as it is absurd. To try to overcome the flesh by the power of flesh is like a man jumping up from the earth in order to over-come the Law of Gravity. That momentary state of freedom is quickly erased by his inevitable return to the ground. Let this truth stand as God’s verdict upon the carnal mind (the natural man) and especially to those who ascribe to the futility of religion.

“…the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Romans 8:7-8

The Law of God decrees (as evidenced in all creation) that the carnal man is subject to the Law of Carnality. Its nature determines its behavior. Those who live in the Spirit of God live their life according to the nature of His Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-25).

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
Matthew 7:16

The logic of God is clear; the fruit of a thing reveals the nature of it. A thistle cannot bear figs. James states that fresh water and saltwater cannot flow from the same fountain. It is here that religion attempts to circumvent the simplicity and truth of God’s Law of Being. What individuals do reveal the nature by which they live. In Matthew 7 Jesus is describing to His disciples the basic law of true spiritual discernment: “you will know them by their fruits”. In the sphere of religion, the clarity of God’s truth becomes murky (by men’s design) when the validity of a person’s standing in God is judged on confession rather than behavior! This deception of Satan infiltrates and spawns its deadly contagion among those who are not discerning.

In Galatians Paul sets forth the “works” of the flesh.

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:19-21

Wherever these traits are expressed it is the result of living and walking out of the nature of the carnal man. Let no one deceive you in this. Confession, good works, prophecy, speaking in tongues, prayer, teachings, fastings, and a thousand other things cannot circumvent the truth. Those who DO these things are under the dominion of a life subject to the carnal mind. What men do reveal the nature in which they walk!

The Law of God frees us from our religious deception. This Law is fixed, and its declaration is eternal. We are to judge ourselves by its ministration that we may know the validity of our walk before Him. If I have lust in my heart, I know my need for His Life. If I become bitter, it is because I am living in the flesh. There is no excuse for bitterness because the Spirit of God frees me from its stain and sorrow. If I hate my brother, I most definitely know such a thing is not of God. If I continue in its dark influence, I disqualify myself from God’s Kingdom. If I hold envy or jealousy, I clearly reveal the nature of my walk. To envy another is to be angry with God for what He has graciously given me. The list is endless! The value of the Law is that it reveals to me my desperate need of His Life to free me from the works and the dominion of Sin and the Flesh.

“But we know that the law is good,
if a man use it lawfully”
1 Timothy 1:8

Again, Paul states in Romans 7 that the Law is good and it is to be used to this end.

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet”
Romans 7:7

Can we not see the Law is a ministration for good? By its ministration the nature of Sin is revealed, and I can see the necessity of my need to live and abide in Christ! How deceptive is a gospel that teaches us to abolish the law by the declaration of a doctrine that we are forgiven and absolved of our wrong doings; as if we are no longer to measure our life by the Law of God! Many have embraced a gospel which frees them to live out their carnal nature with no concerns about their standing in God! This is the LIE which was first spoken by the Serpent in the Garden. God told Adam and Eve, “if you eat of this tree you will die”. The Serpent told Eve go ahead and eat of the tree for “you shall not die”. What was the end of the evil deed of Adam and Eve? What is the end of a life which walks in the “works of the flesh”?

“…of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:21

Why such a harsh decree? Did not God pay the penalty for Sin; not only ours but the sins of the whole world? The decree of God is not against the acts listed in Galatians 5:19-22; God’s judgment is upon the Nature from which those evil expressions spring. The Kingdom of God is spiritual and those who would enter its dominion must do so on the grounds of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. To what end?

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
who walk not after (according to) the flesh
but after (according to) the Spirit”
Romans 8:4
(Read the whole context of this scripture)

The Law is good, and it is for our instruction. Let us not be deceived into believing that a religious confession trumps a carnal life. The conviction of God is the path to discovering the Law of Life which alone can free us from our sins. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace”
Romans 6:14

Grace is not an excuse to ignore our sinful ways. The validity of Grace is revealed in my personal freedom from sin’s power. The gospel of today states we are freed from the law therefore we need not concern ourselves with the Law’s decree. Let us read the above scripture again through the eyes of faith – “Sin shall NOT have dominion over you”. Why? Because if you walk “under (the influence of) grace”, its power will set us free. Paul goes on to contend with those who would use the “teaching” of grace to excuse sin…

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law,
but under grace? God forbid
Romans 6:15

And again.

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,
we ourselves also are found sinners,
is therefore Christ the minister of sin?
God forbid
Galatians 2:17

Those who teach a grace which makes provision for sin have no understanding of the purposes of God in Christ. To hold to a doctrine of justification and still hold to sin is the false gospel of today. Christ is not the minister of sin nor are those who have been justified in Him doomed to a life of sin and powerlessness. Let the Word of God deal with the false teachings of our day. Let His truth penetrate our hearts with His promises and power!

The purpose of living truth is to bring each of us into the holy freedom of God; it is not to find loopholes in the Law. It is to bring us to such a place that we are no longer subject to its decrees because we are living in such a way that we do not violate its righteousness. If I drive at or under the speed limit, I am not subject to the speed limit sign and therefore the penalty of the law holds no terror for me. The falsity of a gospel which states that I can sin, and since I have confessed Christ the wages of sin no longer apply to me, is appalling and deceptive. One who subjects himself to pornography knows within the defiling wages of sin. The one who holds hatred in his heart knows by experience the truth of the wages of sin. Peace is not found in the way of the sinner. Communion with God is not possible in the life of one who lives out of the carnal nature.

“So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God
Romans 8:8

The above scripture is not a teaching; it is the statement of God. It is God’s verdict upon humanity. Praise be to God there is an answer to such a decree!

“Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again”
John 3:7

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”
John 3:6

The necessity of being “born anew” is the beginning of our deliverance. Our growth in the life of salvation is revealed in the ever- diminishing dominion of sin in our lives. In our growth in grace we find the power of His Salvation manifest in our lives by the demonstration of the fruit of His Spirit! This is the evidence of our deliverance from the works of the flesh and our “translation” from the kingdom of darkness into the glorious Kingdom of Light. The Apostle John, in his later epistles, wrote as a warning to all:

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

A faith that does not carry the life, the power and the works of God is a dead faith. A faith which is in word only has no value in the working out of God’s salvation.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him…”
Titus 1:16

The nature of Christ within must be accompanied by a revelation of Him without.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall LIVE by faith”
Romans 1:17

To be a living Faith, it must grow from one degree unto another degree of faith (faith unto the faith). It is to produce greater expressions of God’s righteousness! “The just shall (truly) live by faith”. Jesus declared I AM come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. Notice the tense here; not “I will come” but that “I AM come”. It is the folly of religion to point to a day in the future when in reality HE IS COME! There are greater things to come and will be for all eternity. But faith is for me to know and grow within the wonder of His “present truth”.

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:
Every spirit that confesseth that
Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is of God”
1 John 4:2

The confession of a dead faith will talk about future things while denying the power of Christ which IS COME, present tense. That is the spirit of the anti-Christ (1 John 4:3). Those who do not take responsibility for walking righteously now, soothe their conscience with a future idea, absolving themselves from a present-day walk. It is a subtle lie of the devil himself and those who live in this “faith” sow to themselves great sorrow on an eternal scale. It is a sign of the Day in which we are living that there are many who subscribe to the lie of this faith.

Paul continues his discourse in the Book of Romans by following up Romans 1:17 with:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness…”
Romans 1:18

What is the wrath of God to be revealed against? “All unrighteousness” even upon those who “hold the truth” for they hold it in “unrighteousness”. Any faith which is not causing men and women to grow in their ability to live righteously is the result of holding the truth of God in unrighteousness. Let all who have ears to hear; faith without the works of God is dead! The Greek word used for “works” in this scripture is best defined by the English word “energy”. Faith which does not produce the “energy” of God within the life of an individual, unto the demonstration of its author, is dead and carries no eternal value.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also
James 2:26

Let us hear the truth of what James is declaring by the Holy Spirit. A body without the spirit is but a carcass; so are those whose faith is without works. May we all reconsider the degree and the power of His Life within us today! God is calling, ever beckoning us to “come unto Him” that we may have (present tense) the wonder of His life within our hearts.

“If any man thirst,
let him come unto me, and drink”
John 7:37

To what end?

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

Christ HAS COME but more importantly, HE IS COME! Even greater, HE IS COMING!

“Who delivered us from so great a death,
and doth deliver:
in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us
2 Corinthians 1:10

Delivered (past tense)
Doth deliver (present tense)
Will yet deliver (future tense)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Galatians 2:20

Lastly, Paul in the Book of Galatians states that the life he “NOW” lived, he lived by the faith of the Son of God. May we take note of the life he lived and its power it had on the world about him! It is time for us to begin to consider what we allow as acceptable. May the power of God’s word move us afresh to pursue in Him greater vistas of grace and glory in our salvation. May His Word move within our hearts to produce a new apprehension of what HE has called us to and for us to begin to see the full provisions which are ours in Christ Jesus!

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end”
Ephesians 3:20-21

Brian Troxel

The Power of The Gospel

The Power of the Gospel

“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life”
John 3:16

The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lies not in the words and the doctrine of it; its true power lies in the Love of it. The Love of God IS the Gospel; more than a message, a doctrine or a teaching, the Gospel is in itself the expression of God’s love to His fallen creation. It is the WHY which caused God to send “His only begotten Son”. Until those who declare it comprehend its true power, it will remain an impoverished message. It must be expressed from the lives of those who bear in their hearts the passion of God’s WHY!

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power…”
1 Corinthians 4:20

What is this power? What is the flame which enabled men and women of old to turn the world upside down? What is the glory of God which fills the heavens with awe, worship and exaltation? It is the God of Holiness and His undimmed fiery Love. A Love so incomprehensible that Paul had to pray for the Church at Ephesus to be “strengthened with might” in order for them to be able to comprehend the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the Love of God.

A loveless gospel is a powerless Gospel. The Church is not perishing for lack of knowledge; she is languishing from the loss of the dynamic of His love (Revelation 2:4-5). Love is the furnace, the fire and the very essence of God Himself. In the midst of all of our correct doctrine God’s decree stands as the Divine witness against our true state:

“He that loveth not
knoweth not…
for God is Love”
1 John 4:8

Those who hold within their hearts even the faintest quintessence of this Love cannot remain untouched in heart. They cannot sit in faithless inactivity or take comfort in a knowledge bereft of the Divine heartbeat. Many would rather discuss the correctness of the words rather than feel the burning power of the God of the message. The world will remain untouched by those who share from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge rather than the power of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. The Gospel is not a WHAT, it is a WHO.

The cry of God is summed up simply:

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus…”
Philippians 2:5

It is impossible to hold the love of God within your heart and not feel the anguish, the urge and the pulse of the Almighty to express His Light and Life into this world.

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

Δ

“There is too much theology in the Church now,
and too little of the Gospel”
Lewis Tappan

Brian Troxel

 

 

Is Christ Divided?

Is Christ Divided?

ONE BODY IN CHRIST

“For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of that one body, being many,
are one body: so also is Christ.”
I Corinthians 12:12

Truth by its very nature is simple, but the implications of its simplicity are profound and costly. Truth demands change in order for us to enjoy and walk in the power it brings. Truth is the root from which all the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Without truth all things are a counterfeit and a sham. In the presentation of the Gospel of John we see in the introduction the simple statement, “In the beginning was the Word…” This Word is not a truth written in ink on paper. This is the LIVING SON who alone IS TRUTH. It is therefore vital that in the forming of HIS life in the individual believer there be a ministration of TRUTH to make us TRUE in the core of our lives. Truth only has one purpose, one end; to make the recipient TRUE in character and expression. Truth is not knowledge, it is not opinions, and it is not a supposition. Truth is power, truth is substance and it is nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus did not say I give you a truth. He said I AM THE TRUTH! Truth is the WORD becoming flesh. To the extent that we reveal HIM in our daily lives is the revelation of the TRUTH that is in us. In the actual development of TRUTH in our hearts, we must begin to see that there is ONE BODY because “so also is Christ”! (Many members, ONE BODY.)

We look today over the landscape of what men call “Christianity” and wonder how such a unity could ever be. IF HOWEVER, we look into the POWER and LOVE of God through the eyes of faith, we must say, “How can these things NOT BE?” In 1 Corinthians 1:13 Paul asks the most profound question…

“IS CHRIST DIVIDED?”

I Corinthians 1:13

IS HE? The issue is not what we see, but what we know to be truth. FAITH is the doing of that which is the TRUTH in Christ. It is not concerned with what is, for FAITH can only reveal that which is REAL in the Spirit. By faith Peter walked on water; at that moment of time he walked in truth by faith. He saw JESUS walking on the water and his FAITH translated what he saw in JESUS into what he walked on earth. That is the true nature of FAITH. Faith is not statements, teachings or ideas. Faith is substance, revealed by our walk. If I believe there is ONE BODY even as there is ONE CHRIST then my life will reveal it. IF the question Paul presents here “Is Christ divided?” is answered by a resounding NO within our hearts then it is of necessity that our lives reveal this truth! Our speech, our behaviour and our prayer life must certainly be indicative of our individual abiding in HIM. To have and walk in the LOVE OF CHRIST can only mean that we love what HE loves.

This ONE BODY can only be the product of TRUTH. For the corporate expression of the RISEN CHRIST will require HIS LIFE to arise within the life of each individual believer who would know of this oneness. The difficulty of this is measured only by the condition of our hearts. Peter asked Jesus about John, and Jesus replied “What is that to thee? Follow thou me”. Man always tries to quickly excuse our response by looking at someone else, but the truth lays within our own heart not someone else’s. This reality can only be known as truth is truth in the individual. For this unity WILL SURELY COME to pass, but only through the medium of faith will it be so with us.

Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but the efficacy of the blood can only be appropriated by faith within the heart of each life. Faith is the conduit through which the life of Christ is received and appropriated into our own being. It is in my own heart becoming united in its love and pursuit of Christ whereby I will touch the wonder of that unity in my brother and sister. Unity is the natural state of being where God reigns.

Jesus set forth in a clear and definitive way those who are His brothers and sisters…

“For whosoever shall DO the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”
Matthew 12:50

It is not by some religious profession which constitutes the family of God; The true children of God are they who DO His Will and walk in His Ways. The Lordship of Christ is the basis of this unity and all they who are of the truth hear His Voice and grow into the unifying reality of the Power of His Love.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

This unity and its unspeakable glory can only be approached by the obedient heart individually; for the purity of our hearts can only be realized by a life which obeys the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 7:21

Doing is the path to Becoming.

HE IS ABLE!
HE IS COME FOR THIS PURPOSE!
(John 17)

Ω

“I have never yet known the Spirit of God
to work where the Lord’s people were divided”
D.L. MOODY

Brian Troxel
(Updated writing from “He is Able” Series Part Two)

The Kingdom of God – Chapter Eight – Part One

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Eight

Part One

Poor in spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Judgments are the Sign of His Love

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

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

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

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

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God – Chapter Seven continued

The Kingdom of God

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

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MATTHEW 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – A Key to the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Seven
(See Chapter Seven Part Two)

Keys to the Kingdom of God
Matthew 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

Individual Ministry and Fruit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(To be continued…)

Kingdom of God Series – Part Six

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Six
(See Chapter Seven Part One)

The One Bread
Unity and True Ministry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Troxel

Kingdom of God Series – Part Five

Kingdom of God Series

Chapter Five

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

The simplicity of this walk is what makes it so profound. In our submission to Him the scriptures concerning Him become true in us. There is a natural fulfilling of them as His life unfolds within. To pray, exhort, admonish and encourage another life is an outflow of His love. Concern for His Father’s house is a result of the Law of His Life. If there is no concern for the lives of others, for our brothers’ and sisters’ walks, we are outside the grip of His Life within. Paul wrote of Timothy:

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”
Philippians 2:20-21

Wherever and whenever Christ is reigning within, we will be freed from the seeking of our own things and will be servants to the things which are His! Living for self is eclipsed by a concern for the things which are Christ’s. We become stewards of God; we are no longer living for self by the power of self. Our life is now centered upon the care and the concern of His Church.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:1-2

The call to stewardship requires faithfulness to Him whereby our growth and development brings us to the place of ministry.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me,
for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry”
1 Timothy 1:12

This ministration has nothing to do with Bible schools, denominational accreditation or seeking the approval of men. It is a ministry that arises from the call of God unto a life of obedience and faithfulness to Him.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father,
who raised him from the dead;)
Galatians 1:1

To be continued

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – Part Four

The Kingdom of God Series

Chapter Four

Friendship With Christ

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
John 15:14

Obedience is love in action.

Obedience is the path to power. When obedience is growing within a heart there will be a corresponding increase of the dynamic life of Christ within; it reveals our submission to Him. His Lordship within the life of an individual is expressed through the medium of obedience. In the religious world a “spiritual” life and appearing “pious” can mask the true condition of a heart. Prayer, “false humility” (Colossians 2:23), and a thorough knowledge of the scriptures may all be but superficial expressions of a proud and unsubmissive heart.

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations… “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh…”
Colossians 2:20-23

The Kingdom of God is known by the power He has over the unruly desires of our hearts. It is not a life of “appearances”; it is a life of freedom from the First Adam by our submission to the Living Christ. His Kingdom reigning within liberates us from the horror of outward appearance (hypocrisy) and brings us into the simplicity of His nature. Romans, Chapter 7 is an accurate description of a life of “trying” to be spiritual without the power and unction of Christ within.

“And I have no clear knowledge of what I am doing, for that which I have a mind to do, I do not, but what I have hate for, that I do. But, if I do that which I have no mind to do, I am in agreement with the law that the law is good. So it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me.”
Romans 7:15-17

The Kingdom of God is known by a life of freedom to His Will, His Thoughts and His Nature. This Kingdom cannot be held within the flimsy grasp of teachings and concepts. Though these things may be scripturally accurate and may hold a “form” of the life that God is after, it still requires the life and power of Christ to walk and live them. He is the Word. He is the Word made flesh Who came and dwelt among us. Yet, even with Him in their midst the disciples exhibited very little change over the course of three and a half years. Why? A Christ with us (Emanuel) will not save us from within!

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
John 16:7

The Emanuel had to go away for the power of our salvation is not in a Christ without but the living Christ within! The Lamb of God came to earth as Emanuel in order to pay the price for our salvation, but it is in His going away and coming back to His Own as the Christ within that He is now becoming our salvation. It is as He lives and reigns within our hearts that we can live in the “liberty wherein Christ has made us free”. Paul declares the wonder of this marvelous truth:

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach…”
Colossians 1:27

It is the Christ within who is our hope and surety of Glory. An outward conformity, achieved through the power of self, is religion at its worst; it is the womb of hypocrisy and scandal. The Kingdom of God is not in Word, it is in power; power to live and move within the spectrum of His life. Obedience is simply the fruit of Him living in us.

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – Personal Note

The Kingdom of God Series

Chapter Three

Personal Footnote to Part Two

Obedience
The Fruit of Faith and Grace

I remember the first time I tried to read Andrew Murray’s book, “The School of Obedience”, many years ago. I read a few pages and threw the book against the wall. I just knew I could never walk in such obedience. Knowing my heart and self-will I felt utterly hopeless to attain to such a life. My problem was I did not understand that the obedience of which the scriptures speak is the fruit of faith empowered by grace. As the truth of this began to dawn upon me, I started to expect my life to grow in this wonder. Life became more of an adventure and I found God’s grace to be more than a sentiment but a real power to enable me to walk in new places. Grace became a constant need as my own resources were insufficient; my stubbornness often required wrestling and prayer to overcome. Fear of failure was a tool in the enemy’s hand that I needed to overcome in order to step into things into which God was leading me. Obedience is not a small thing in our lives, and it is essential for our growth. It is how we grow in our trust in Him and in our ability to be free from the fear of man. One act of obedience is better than fifty sermons. Learning of Him in these moments causes our faith to become real.

A key lesson to be learned in our growth in obedience is that the river never parts until we step into it. God has designed faith to rest upon Him so that we are not governed by what we see. I have had several experiences where the power of God is not made known to me until I have stepped into the thing before me. There is always that moment of hesitation (especially at first) before the step is made. God is faithful and the discovery of His faithfulness can only truly be realized by our obedience. Obedience is not some legalistic thing. It is our small part, insignificant in comparison to the release of God’s power as a result. Obedience brings us to the place of understanding His ways in our personal life and causes us to grow in our confidence in Him.

To be continued…

Brian Troxel