The Way into Life

The Way into Life

“Holding the mystery of the faith
in a pure conscience”
1 Timothy 3:9

The conscience is a great gift of God to us. It is the vital link between the human soul and God’s Spirit. The deeper an individual goes in their relationship with God the greater will be the diligence required to keep one’s conscience pure and clean before God. Foolish is the one who thinks they can ignore the voice of God within and still grow in their understanding of the mystery and wonder of God in their own life. If we have wronged a brother or sister and do not seek to rectify the situation, let us not be deceived into thinking our life in God will prosper! The conscience is the sounding board in our walk with God. Those who truly seek to know Him must ever be sensitive to this inward light of God. An obedient heart keeps the conscience clean. When there is a disturbance in the conscience, true men and women of faith will do all in their power to keep this mirror of God clean.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned
1 Timothy 1:5

They who defile their conscience and yet seek to portray faith and godliness walk in the hypocrisy of religion. Their faith is not genuine, and the defilement of the conscience contaminates their relationship with God. A pure heart is one which is ever cognizant of the status of the conscience.

“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”
Matthew 5:23-24

Supposing we can worship God in truth while allowing offences to remain unattended is the horror of religion. Such worship is carnal, hypocritical and unacceptable before God. The true heart will respond to the inner voice of the conscience. It requires an intensity of heart to walk in the truth of these things. It requires humility to seek out our brother and sister in order to obey God within the sanctum of our own hearts.

“First be reconciled to your brother” *

How little we comprehend the fact that our relationship with our brother is paramount to our relationship with God. We are the Body of Christ and if I set my brother at aught, in God’s eyes I am doing it unto Him. The growth of any individual in God will be measured by the sensitivity of our responses to this Holy gift of God in us. People may sear and desensitize their conscience by misusing the doctrines of grace. Make no mistake; those who do not obey the conscience will end up in an unfruitful and shipwrecked life, and a darkness from which there is no escape.

A few years ago, I came to understand a simple truth:

“Those who refuse to deal with their past,
will have no future growth in God”

Spiritual Stagnancy is the fruit of disobedience. 

We cannot ignore the voice of God in our conscience and expect His mercies to lead us on into a greater knowing of Him. The life of a true disciple in Christ is one of continual transactions with Him who is true. My sensitivity today is the door through which I enter into the New Things He has for me.

“forgive us our debts AS we also forgive our debtors”
Matthew 6:9

May God make known to us the simplicity of this truth. We may hold on to the doctrines of our forgiveness in God; in reality we are forgiven to the same extent that we forgive others! Forgiveness, like all the precious gifts of God, requires our participation. As with forgiveness, so is mercy… “Blessed are the merciful for they shall OBTAIN mercy”. The religion of men requires no real cost; we can defile our conscience with the very truths of God and somehow think we are in right standing with Him! (Please read the full context of Matthew 5:23-24).

There is a cost but also a great blessing associated with the keeping of a clear conscience. True disciples know the benefits of walking in the Way of Truth. Such things are not optional for those who desire to know Him in Spirit and in Truth.

“And herein do I exercise myself,
to have always a conscience void of offence
toward God,
 and toward men”
Acts 24:16
* Note: There will be instances where there will be unresolved issues, but the true disciple will do all they can to facilitate reconciliation. The conscience will be clear when God is at rest in the heart. Christ died for the reconciliation of the world, but men and women must respond to His gracious offer. Others must respond to that same offer from us. A clear conscience gives us the ability of “having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:13) in matters relating to spiritual warfare. A clean Conscience is vital for victory. Christ did all and gave all; it is incumbent upon His disciples to do the same.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Hedged In

Thought for Today

Hedged In

“Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?”
Job 3:23

The confinements of God serve His end to those who understand His ways. Liberty in the Spirit often comes to those who feel hedged in in the flesh. The light of God is given in times of darkness. The constrictions of circumstances bring enlargement, patience and strength to those who see beyond the walls of this life. There is a hidden ministry, veiled from the prisoner, during the silent and painful work of a pearl being formed. The graces of God must be fashioned in the life of His own in the dark and lonely experiences of life.

“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison,
a place where the king’s prisoners were bound:
and he was there in the prison”
Genesis 39:20

There are dark places within the soul of man which require dark times to bring and fill them with the light of God! Joseph could not comprehend the end God had determined for him. He had a dream of authority in the family of God, but he had never even considered the greater sphere in which he would rule and reign! God’s end is always larger than what we can see. What was the secret hidden in Joseph’s captivity?

“But the Lord was with Joseph…”
Genesis 39:21

There is treasure locked within the dark times of our lives. There are purposes to be mined in the deep places of confinement and loneliness. The promise of greater things is bound up within our faithfulness to serve God in these prisons. Joseph’s faithfulness to God was the key to his release. His faithfulness to the gift of interpreting dreams became the very means of unlocking his prison door.

Let not the dark places crush your vision. Let not despondency rob you of your service unto the King of kings. Remain faithful in every circumstance to serve and honor God; for we shall surely reap in proportion to our sowing. We will stand in the Day of harvest, bringing our sheaves to lay at the feet of the One alone who is worthy.

“I have remembered thy name,
O Lord, in the night,
and have kept thy law”
Psalm 119:55

Σ

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness,
and hidden riches of secret places,
that thou mayest know that I, the Lord,
which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel”
Isaiah 45:3

Brian Troxel

The Struggle and the Crown

The Struggle and the Crown

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”
Romans 4:16

The Struggle

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:22 – 25

Within the life of every true believer is the struggle between two natures; two ways of living, two sets of desires and two eternal consequences.  The conflict is between the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first Adam being that nature which is earthly and sensual and the second Adam being the heavenly man, the Eternal Son of Man. We see the very portrayal of this within the womb of Rebekah as she by faith brought forth the one who would become Israel in the purposes and dealings of our great God.

Esau was the firstborn, a man of passions, wild and undisciplined.  He was of the earth, earthly and devoid of any real love of spiritual things.  He was born first, bearing the likeness of the first Adam, which in the Hebrew means “red earth”.  At his birth the scriptures take great care to describe his appearance (See The Things of Esau).

“And the first came out red*(see note below),
all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau”

Genesis 25:25

Jacob, though a schemer and a conniver, had one thing that set him apart.  He had respect for the things of God.  The birthright, which was rightfully Esau’s by virtue of being the first born, meant little to Esau and he surrendered it for  a mere mess of pottage in a moment of extreme hunger.  Jacob, on the other hand, coveted this blessing.  Jacob was the son of promise, a man called to become the Israel of God, not by strength, nor by might but by the mercy and strength of our God.

These two distinct “manner of people” struggled within the womb of Rebekah, yet the promise was THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.  Jacob’s journey of faith to become Israel was one of many dealings and breakings in the hands of a determined and merciful God.  The promise of God tarries until the man Jacob is broken.  It is in our submission to His dealings that we become the people upon whom the promise falls.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob,
and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Isaiah 9:8

The promise to Jacob was a sure thing but the severity of the dealings of God and the determination of God is what made the promise sure.  The man Jacob must become the worm that he might indeed become strong.

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14 – 15

We must see that the inabilities in our life to do God’s will are the result of our strengths not our weaknesses. When we speak of weakness we are speaking of all that has not been brought into submission to the Son; in whatever measure we have known the fellowship of His sufferings there is a corresponding experience of His resurrection life.

“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

Let us realize that the struggle within is a struggle that is to be unto life and glory; HIS LIFE and HIS GLORY.  The struggle of Rebekah is prophetic of all that we must know within ourselves.  Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.  We too will remain barren unless we discover the wonder and the power of HIS faith in our lives.  A faith like gold submitted to the fire is purified and fit for the master’s use.  Teachings will not produce this life; only a broken and surrendered will in the hands of the God of Jacob!  This is not a day to tarry but it is a day for us to “press toward the mark, for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Let our confidence be not in ourselves, our knowledge or our associations.  Rather let our confidence be in the God of Jacob who was able to bring forth a PRINCE* (see note below) from the worm and who is able to complete that which He began in us.  The beauty of Jacob’s heart was clearly revealed at Peniel as we see Jacob clinging to the ONE who wounded him for in that place we see and hear God’s declaration…

The Crown

“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men,
and hast prevailed”

Genesis 32:28

* אַדְמֹנִי ʼaḏmōniy, אַדְמוֹנִי ʼaḏmôniy: An adjective meaning red, ruddy. from the Hebrew Word ADAM
*Israel – Prince with God

A Partial reprint of a former post.
A relevant reminder for us to stay the course in Christ

Brian Troxel

Goodness and Admonition

Goodness and Admonition

“I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers,
that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
able also to admonish others”
Romans 15:14

Admonition is the natural expression of those who are full of goodness and knowledge. It is rooted in a genuine love for the people of God; a caring for one another that transcends the fear of man and the desire to be popular. A sensitivity to the Spirit is required to walk circumspectly in order to know the effective ministration of this necessary gift of God. The ability to admonish others (and to receive admonition as well) will be dependent upon the measure of the goodness of God within a life.

“…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching
every man in all wisdom,
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 1:27-28

Admonition is the proclamation of Christ; it is the ministration of a heart that seeks to present every life perfect, (mature and full-grown) in Christ. Wherever this grace is lacking it is because motives are wrong. It is by having God’s end in view for His Church, and for each individual, that we discover the ability to naturally express this grace.

The lack of this vital ministration is the cause of our condition. Where there is no love, there is no correction. Where there is no correction, there is no growth, development, discipline or harmony within the Body of Christ. A child without discipline becomes wayward and lost. On the other hand, a child who knows only harsh discipline grows up without confidence, discouraged, or filled with anger. Admonition is the fruit of love and goodness; it flows from hearts who walk and live in the “fear of the Lord” and the love of the Father. For this reason, true eldership is revealed in the state and condition of their own home. If a man lacks the quality of true admonition in his own home, he is not qualified to minister these things to God’s House (1 Timothy 3:5).

“And fathers, do not provoke your children,
but nurture them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord”
Ephesians 6:4

Admonition is the natural expression of the love of the Father. For children to grow up strong, confident, and upright in God, this grace is a necessary and fundamental expression both in the home and in the Church of Jesus Christ.

“For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth”
Proverbs 3:12

Brian Troxel

The Church of Sardis Part ONE – The Lampstand and the Seven Spirits of God

PODCAST – An informal home Bible Study on the Church at Sardis – PART ONE. (Revelation 3:1-6)

The Lampstand
and the
Seven Spirits of God

October 21, 2018

First Half – 34 Minutes

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Second Half – 28 Minutes

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Thought for Today – Idle Words

Thought for Today

Idle Words

“But I say unto you,
that every idle* word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment”
Matthew 12:36

The Greek word translated “idle” used here (see below) portrays the weight of God’s desire for His people. These words from the lips of Jesus speak of authenticity and the need for us to walk circumspectly in our daily lives; it is in these scriptures we are made aware of His constant watch over our words and thoughts. There are several words we need to consider in the light of our accountability:

1. Every idle word” – No word that passes our lips will be unaccounted for in the day of judgment.
2. “Every idle word” The Greek word used here refers to words spoken without a corresponding doing or a performing; religious words that are not backed up by the doing and being in the life of an individual. (See the Greek exposition of this word below; also James 2:12)
3. “Shall give account” Contrary to the modern day Gospel in our land there is a day coming in which every believer will give an account unto Him for how we lived out our lives here on earth. This account will be required of us for every word we have spoken and every deed we have done. How unaware we have become of our accountability. It reveals a lack of our sensitivity to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
4. “In the day of Judgment” May God press upon us a new awareness of our accountability to Him. Let us seek Him for a new sensitivity in our daily lives so we will walk an authentic walk. The day of Judgment for the true believer is not one of determining salvation. It is one in which we reap the eternal consequences of rewards and judgments for how we lived our lives. Even a cursory reading of scriptures show us this and are easily understood: the parable of the talents/pounds, the promises to the overcomers in the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, and the parables of Jesus in the Gospels.

The day of Judgment for the true believer is not one of determining salvation; It is one in which we reap the eternal consequences of rewards and judgments for how we lived our lives.

The more we learn of Him, grow in Him and walk with Him the more we are impacted by His desire to make us genuine and true. Words are a reflection of the heart. It is as the heart becomes pure that the words become pure and are backed up by the life lived.

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

The “Law of Liberty” is the Law by which we will be judged. John speaks of the “Law of Life” while James refers to this “Law” as one of liberty. Through the transactions of Christ on our behalf we have been set free and because of this freedom to act and speak we will be held accountable at the end of our time here on earth. Law speaks of government and accountability. God’s word speaks of His Kingdom wherein righteousness, equity and holiness is the atmosphere of His presence. As we become compliant with the workings of Christ in our hearts we will partake in corresponding measure of His eternal rewards. (For those who seek to look into this vital truth please do a simple search on the word “reward” in the New Testament). We must realize that it matters on an eternal level how we live and conduct our lives.

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

*Notes:

1 The Greek Word translated “idle”  ἀργός  is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be “words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: ἀργός
ἀργός, -όν, and in later writings from Aristotle, hist. anim. 10, 40 [vol. i., p. 627a, 15] on and consequently also in the N. T. with the feminine ἀργή, which among the early Greeks Epimenides alone is said to have used, Titus 1:12; cf. Lob. ad Phryn., p. 104f; id. Paralip., p. 455ff; Winer’s Grammar, 68 (67) [cf. 24; Buttmann, 25 (23)], (contracted from ἄεργος which Homer uses, from α privative and ἔργον without work, without labor, doing nothing), inactive, idle;
a. free from labor, at leisure (ἀργὸν εἶναι, Herodotus 5, 6): Matthew 20:3, 6 [Rec.]; 1 Timothy 5:13.
b. lazy, shunning the labor which one ought to perform, (Homer, Iliad 9, 320

Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words connects this word with James 2:20 “Faith without works is dead”

Strong’s Concordance:
ἀργός argós, ar-gos’; from G1 (as a negative particle) and G2041; inactive, i.e. unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless; barren, idle, slow.

This Greek word is used in the following scriptures:

Mat 12:36
“But I say unto you, That every idle (G692) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Mat 20:3
“And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle (G692) in the marketplace…”

Mat 20:6
“And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, (G692) and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? G692

1Ti 5:13
And withal they learn to be idle, (G692) wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, (G692) but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”

Tit 1:12
“One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow (G692) bellies.”

2Pe 1:8
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (G692) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Hearing of the Wise

Thought for Today

The Hearing of the Wise

“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction:
but a scorner heareth not rebuke”
Proverbs 13:1

The wise hear the Father’s correction and instruction. A proud scorner cannot hear the reproof of the righteous. It is the heart’s condition that determines hearing.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life”
Proverbs 4:23

The issues of life are determined by our hearts; for life is about affection, desire and love. What the heart pursues determines the course and end of each person’s life. Those who love truth, will hear the truth. The self-seeking will hear only that which will promote them and their agendas.

Judas heard the words of Christ, he saw the wondrous works of the Father, and the love and grace of Christ, with no effect.

It is within the confines of loving truth, embracing truth and becoming true that His Own show forth the verity of His Salvation. Those who are of the truth desire it; even if it means receiving correction, admonition and rebuke. To love truth is to seek it out.

David cried out in the Psalms:

“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness:
and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil…”
Psalm 141:5

The proud, the religious and the self-seeking do not heed the corrections of the Father. Those who love truth receive graciously the words of truth from foe and friend alike; therein is the promise of life and honor. God can use even the words of our foes for our benefit; words that search our hearts and cause us to take heed to our ways. The hungry in heart find instruction in all things for they know that all things are ordained of God for their learning.

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:
rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee”
Proverbs 9:9

The scorner (the proud of heart) hates reproof and correction whereas the wise one loves truth enough to receive those words as from the Lord.

“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me”
John 10:27

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love and Lethargy

Thought for Today

Love and Lethargy

“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your faith…”
1 Thessalonians 3:5

The love of God in the life of Paul initiated inquiries. Faith, seen in its proper light, is a living thing; an attitude with which one faces the battles of life. Faith is the gift of God. It is not an intellectual understanding but truly an impartation of Christ Himself. Paul was inquiring about the state of their living faith. Were they keeping it alive, pertinent and growing within their hearts?

“…lest by some means the tempter have tempted you,
and our labour be in vain”
1 Thessalonians 3:5

Paul goes on to say that his labour of love for them would be in vain if their faith was not a living dynamic. We have little comprehension of this love in our day. Do we reach out to others to inquire about the status of their faith? Do we feel the love of God pressing us to encourage one another to remain in the hold of faith’s power?

“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your faith…”

The Love of God pressed Paul to check the temperature of their hearts to see if they were growing in Christ’s dominion in their lives. It is easy to see the lethargy of this hour; the heartbeat of God’s love is so low that there seems little concern over the status of the FAITH in the lives of others. God’s Love is revealed in its concern for others.

We live in a day of unprecedented communication yet there is an apathy and lack of God’s love concerning one another. Faith and Love are to be the hallmarks of our relationships with one another; these are the glue and the bonds of the Body of Christ. When we care so little for the state of each other’s hearts we clearly reveal the lethargy of the hour in which we live. It is no wonder that the world is not greatly impacted by us.

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

Love does not ignore the life of another. Love inquires and seeks to know the faith of God’s own. It is nothing less than the Heart of the True Shepherd reaching out to all who are His.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Simplicity

Thought for Today

Simplicity

“Whoever claims to abide in Him
must walk as Jesus walked”
1 John 2:6

In this Epistle John kept truth very simple. His teaching, his life and his depth of knowing Christ produced an unpretentious presentation of Christ. There is little attempt to soften the blow of truth. Grace is not presented in an obscure, generic fashion. Truth is depicted as the verity of one’s walk. Eternal life is set forth as the “now” life, wherein the actions, thoughts and intents of an individual’s heart IS the revelation of their relationship and life in God.

With the simplicity of the Spirit of God the truth in these powerful statements declare that what one does reveals the spirit in which one walks. There is no escaping these blunt statements regarding our condition. In the reading of this Book we are forced to face the authenticity of our own character.

Religious obscurity offers a shelter with enough ambiguity to give the illusion that things are fine. There is a dimming of the light and the promise of a bright future with no correlation to the life now lived. There is a compartmentalization which disconnects our current walk from our future end. Such a concept is a lie.

Whenever and wherever truth is obscured, and teachings and precepts cloud the current state of one’s condition, grace becomes a sentiment which comforts an individual rather than a ministration which empowers them to arise and live godly in Christ Jesus.

The cry of the sincere heart is one of embracing truth, loving truth and desiring the piercing revelation of all Christ is in order to bring change into our current life, our “now” life. The true in heart seek no alternative. They pursue no hiding place from the Light of God in their own hearts. They find no comfort in anything other than His power producing within them the life of Christ. The true in heart love the simplicity of truth and seek the Living Word of God to reprove, correct and cut away all that is not of Him.

Truth is come to make us free. This freedom brings not only an emancipation from sin but a life unfettered and spontaneous which unconsciously expresses the verity of Him. May we find the joy of His Word as it illuminates, reveals and burns away the dross and contagion of self. Let His Truth be simple, powerful and above all evident in the life we live.

Authenticity is simply the fruit
of being free in Christ.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Diligence Within

Thought for Today

Diligence Within

“And the children of Israel did secretly those things
that were not right against the Lord their God”
(2 Kings 17:9)

Truth searches out the deep things. Its ministration is one of illumination and revelation. The secret things are not hidden from the “eyes of Him, with whom we have to do”. These secret things determine our true standing before God. It is here, within the inner workings of our heart, that we find the authenticity of our lives. The desire of the sincere is to guard and protect the condition and the verity of one’s own heart. If there is darkness there it will taint our ability to deal in truth with all those around us.

Compromise brings us little by little into deception and the life of a hypocrite. It is a slow process of the Light of God within becoming dim while one gives way to self-deception. If the light within becomes darkness, how great is that darkness! The Holy Scriptures are full of examples whereby we are to be instructed and warned of this deadly malaise. We must continually set a watch upon our own hearts and pray with intensity that the Lord make known to us the secret things of our own hearts. Many a life has fallen within long before it falls without. It is the gradual decay of neglect, lethargy, and trust in something other than the fire and searching of God within our hearts. Comforting ourselves with doctrine rather than confronting the contradiction within of what God has called us to, is the darkest of all deceptions. The true in heart pursue authenticity as the prize that it is: the power to walk in His light and to know the confidence which comes from a pure and simple walk with God. The Peace which radiates from right-being is profound and liberating but the fear of exposure ever haunts the hypocrite.

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks,
and look well to thy herds.”
Proverbs 27:23

It is the inward part of our lives where God seeks to impart His truth to make us free from every impediment to becoming His light in this world.

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts”
Psalm 51:6

Brian Troxel