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Archive for the ‘The Priesthood’ Category

Heart of a Priest

Part 8

“And when he prayed for his friends,
Jehovah turned the captivity of Job”
Job 42:10

The depth of any individual’s ministry as a priest in God’s house will always be in proportion to the degree to which they are free from the contagion of self. God’s blessings fall freely and often upon those who are able to set self aside and minister His grace into the lives around them. We read here in Job the conclusion of a heated exchange of words with three of his brother’s in the midst of a very distressing situation. The bitter words spoken in haste and rancor escalated the trial of Job to an agonizing level. Job’s release from this situation was finally obtained when he prayed for his friends. True priests work through the bitter exchanges in life, the hatred, variance and strife within the household of God for they have His end in sight; a body filled with His Glory each member functioning in a measure of the very life of Jesus to one another. It is here that the mettle and heart of His people are revealed. It is in these contentious moments we have the opportunity to approve ourselves unto God.

“For there must also be heresies among you,
so that the approved ones
may become revealed among you”
1 Corinthians 11:19 (LITV)

Those who are of the Truth will always be revealed by their conduct, character and humility. The ability to shorten our trial lies in our ability to respond with His character and grace. The words, the rejection and the outright hostility from others become the very catalyst to bring forth healing waters from our hearts. His mercy is released from those who abide in His life. The fruit of the Spirit is the outflow of any life that walks in His Spirit. In the Song of Songs the Bride describes her beloved…

“His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
a raised bed of aromatic herbs.
His lips are like lilies dropping flowing myrrh”
Song of Songs 5:13 (LITV)

The process of becoming a priest in His house is directly related to the development of His Character and Life within our own hearts. Jesus, when men beat and mocked Him, turned the other cheek. He did not reply to His accusers for He came as the precious Lamb of God! When men smote Him the fragrance of spices flowed effortlessly from Him in whom there is no guile. His words poured forth like the sweet smelling myrrh and He held His composure in the midst of all that evil man could bring upon Him! (Who is like unto Thee, Oh Lord of Hosts!) As He is so are we to be in this world. When men and women walk contrary to this, yet boast of their walk with Him, they reveal the darkness and blindness of their way. While many will reject His own, speak evil and despitefully use them, those who are His reveal His Life by praying, reaching out to the offending ones and truly desiring and seeking reconciliation. Those who are His reveal it by the life they live and gracious manner in which they respond to the circumstances of life.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:17 (LITV)

This is the heart of a priest which beats and ever seeks to live in this world to glorify Him regardless of the cost to self.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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ALWAYS ABOUNDING

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour
is not in vain in The Lord”
1Corinthians 15:58

As God’s people we are to be ALWAYS abounding in the work OF The Lord. This is not to be confused with work FOR The Lord; rather it is work OF The Lord. While visiting some relatives this week I noticed this scripture on a plaque in their home. It was in another version and it really struck me with great conviction. “Always abounding”! This phrase can only be applied to Disciples. This is not a part time occupation, not a scarce and rare moment in the life of a true believer. It speaks of being occupied with His Work and a fulfilling of His desires in our daily life. The “always” is based upon a faith that knows “that your labour is not in vain”. It is a deep assurance that if we walk faithful to Him, “abounding” in His Work, we shall surely reap fruit unto His Glory. Men who believe little, do little. This walk and journey of life can only be according to the faith which is at work in our hearts. We reap according to our sowing, we grow according to our doing, and our faith is exercised by the doing of His will.

Those who are “always abounding in the work of The Lord” are “steadfast” and “unmovable” in The Lord. By the handling and working of the things of our Father we remain engaged in the power of His reality. There is a subtlety in just “knowing” things about God; without the “doing”, the things of the Spirit become distant, doctrinal and mysterious. They become ethereal and rare rather than the simple flow of Him in and through our lives. Many speak of the “will of The Lord” as a hidden thing that is hard to find. Let us be reminded that Paul is speaking to His brethren in Corinth; not a select few, but the whole church there. We must put away wrong thinking and seek this life of “always abounding in the Work of the Lord”.

“Wherefore be ye not unwise,
but understanding what the will of the Lord is”
Ephesians 5:17

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE NEW WINE SKIN

OUR BROTHERS KEEPER

“And the clean person shall sprinkle
upon the unclean on the third day,
and on the seventh day:
and on the seventh day he shall purify himself,
and wash his clothes,
and bathe himself in water,
and shall be clean at even.”
NUMBERS 19:19

Within the sacred writings of the Old Testament we are constantly amazed at the glimpses into the New Covenant! In this passage we read that an Israelite who in his daily life touched something unclean (making him unclean) or something dead (bringing a ministration of death into his life), required a ministration in order for him to be received back into the life of the community of Israel. If only we could see the import and the necessity for us to so interact with one another that the community of faith (known as the Body of Christ) would begin to flow in the love of God and edify itself in HIS Love.

“From whom the whole body
fitly joined together and compacted
by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body
unto the edifying of itself in love”
EPHESIANS 4:16

This picture presented to us in the Book of Numbers clearly demonstrates the heart of God. We are not here to live independently from one another. We are to interact in the out workings of God. Men who have no desire to flow with others will not know of the fullness of God. God in His wisdom prescribed this WAY for the unclean to be so ministered to by his brothers that he is brought back into the life of the community. There is no mention here of the shedding of blood but of the sprinkling of water unto cleansing. This is not dealing with redemption and salvation; this is a ministry of the washing of the water by the Word being ministered to one another. It is like washing one another’s feet as we journey in this world full of darkness, temptation and death. This is a life found within the ministrations of the Holy Spirit, member to member, cleansing, encouraging and exhorting. If there is to be any real desire for righteousness and purity how the Body of Christ needs to see the vitality of this life of interaction!

Our independence, lack of trust and pride keep us from the power of this life. It is God’s way and in refusing His way we are left to our own. We have in the New Testament a picture of this in the revelation of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. Only Jesus has the power to raise the dead; but once Lazarus has been raised Jesus turns to His Disciples and says “Loose him, and let him go”.

“And he that was dead came forth,
bound hand and foot with graveclothes:
and his face was bound about with a napkin.
Jesus saith unto them (the disciples),
Loose him, and let him go”
JOHN 11:44

Just as with Lazarus, Jesus speaks the Life of Resurrection to every true child of God. He then expects us, as His disciples, to remove the grave clothes (lingering effects, ways and habits of the “old man”) that bind. He tells His Disciples to “loose him and let him go”. Can we not see the connection? We are HIS BODY, and as such, by the interaction with one another, we are to be the means by which every man becomes truly free. Too many of God’s people are sitting passively in pews, or isolated in little groups, or alone, while the power and the WAY of God go untouched due to our lack of interaction. We are to be the New Wine Skin but as long as we refuse to walk in this way He will not pour out the New Wine.

“Then He spoke a parable to them:
“No one puts a piece
from a new garment on an old one;
otherwise the new makes a tear,
and also the piece that was taken out of the new
does not match the old.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins;
or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled,
and the wineskins will be ruined.
But new wine must be put into new wineskins,
and both are preserved.
And no one, having drunk old wine,
Immediately desires new;
for he says, ‘The old is better.’”
LUKE 5:36-39

We keep thinking that He is going to patch up the old! Perhaps if we had a new pastor or a new teacher or a new youth leader; or perhaps if we just prayed a little harder we could get OUR way of “fellowship” or method of meeting to work. It will not happen. IT IS A NEW DAY and the new day REQUIRES a new and fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit! The former things must pass away! The problem is that people like the old wine. They say the old wine is better, they resist change, are set in the old ways and do not desire the new enough to forsake the old. It is because of this that God must go out into the highways and the byways to bring in new people who have not “acquired” the taste of the Old Wine.

GOD HAS A WORD for those who linger in the old and leaking wineskin; He has a Word for those who desire the Old Wine instead of the NEW…

“Moab* hath been at ease from his youth,
and he hath settled on his lees,
and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
neither hath he gone into captivity:
THEREFORE, his taste remained in him,
and his scent is not changed
JEREMIAH 48:11

Moab* is a people who were the incestuous offspring of Lot; they were born out of a desire to save or preserve the seed of Lot after the judgements of Sodom. They will not change, they refuse to be “poured from vessel to vessel” and because of this THERE IS NO CHANGE in their own lives.

“Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing…”
ISAIAH 43:18-19

It is a day to forsake the former things for it is the DAY of the New Wineskin; a day to seek and desire to fulfill God’s heart: the full revelation of the “Body of Christ”. It is a day to forsake the format and the structure of the old wineskin that will NOT make room for the new. Let us embrace the power of the life of the Son where the New Wine Skin is birthed by the vital relationships of the people of God, each member beholding the Head, even Christ.

“…unto Him
shall the gathering of the people be”
GENESIS 49:10

How can we continue to meet in the name of some denomination, or in the ways of some great teacher or organization, how long can we gather in the name of anything other than JESUS! The early Church had no other name, they had no other impediment in their coming together for they were drinking of the New Wine for it was poured out into a New Wine Skin. The word testifies that they were in ONE ACCORD PRIOR to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the NEW WINE SKIN must precede the pouring forth of the precious HOLY SPIRIT.

In 2 Kings God pleads with His people to give heed to His Word and change their ways and they refused and instead of obeying Him they clung to their former ways…

“Howbeit they did not hearken,
but they did after their former manner”
2KINGS 17:40

Can we not hear, is their not within our very hearts the cry for something real, powerful and NEW? How long will we cling to the former things, how long will we languish in that which is old and leaking? When will we so desire the new that we rise up and forsake that old and impotent way? A man’s desire for a thing must come to the place of such intensity that it produces the arising and the seeking for it.

*NOTE: Moab is a seed who springs out of the mighty deliverance from Judgement   In which Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, Moab is a type of a people who desire to preserve THEIR way, THEIR position and THEIR relevance in the things of God. They will not change, they refuse to be “poured from vessel to vessel” and because of this THERE IS NO CHANGE in their lives. The taste of the wine that flows from them and the scent of their spirit and their heart remains intact and to such a people there will be NO NEW WINE. Moab’s inheritance and place of abiding in the Old Testament was the Dead Sea! Can we not see the end of such ways?

“Therefore also now,
saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me
with all your heart…”
Joel 2:12

Brian Troxel

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IS OUR LOVE DIFFERENT?

“And if ye salute your brethren only,
what do ye more than others?
do not even the publicans so?”
MATTHEW 5:47

The Greek word for “salute” would best be translated here to embrace or literally as Thayer’s Greek Thesaurus translates this word, “to draw to one’s self”. It is translated “embraced” in Hebrews 11:13. In the verse preceding this one Jesus states that if we love {agapao Grk.} only those that love us, how do we differ from the publicans? May the weight of these things impact us as we look around and see this love displayed to varying degrees throughout the church today. Does this not vividly describe the condition of the sectarian ways to which we have fallen? We see churches and various groups holding on to the close confines of those that “fellowship” with them and the common definition of the church or body today has mistakenly come to mean the ones that we meet with.

To add weight and importance to the above verse Jesus follows with…

“Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”
MATTHEW 5:48

In other words our Father in Heaven is nothing like this. His Love knows no bounds; He does not show impartiality nor is He a respecter of persons. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust and His Son died for the sins of the world. We speak of “our” church, “our” pastor and “our” ministry as if we owned something or that because of our goodness these things have become ours. In Corinthians Paul states…

“For who makes you differ from another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
1CORINTHIANS 4:7

If we seek only to meet with those of like mind we remove from us the wonder of His mosaic and the richness of the variations of His Wisdom. When we exclude or diminish another for differing from us we reveal the love of this world. We wonder why the world has not seen the Glory of our God in our midst while we live divided and walk in a love that loves only those that love us.

Peter, one of the Chief Apostles, started to segregate himself from the “gentiles” in his midst and was strongly rebuked by Paul and rightly so. The carnal man seeks to distinguish himself from others thus elevating one’s self. The need for recognition and distinction is at the core of that fallen nature. Jesus HAS broken down the middle partition between Jew and Gentile, between “Baptists” and “Pentecostals” and whatever other walls may be added through the “names” of teachings and doctrines. The gathering of the people is to be unto Him and Him alone.

Sadly the Proverb speaks to our day with such clarity…

“Only by pride cometh contention”
PROVERBS 13:10

Ω

“Division has done more to hide Christ from the view of men
than all the infidelity that has ever been spoken”
G. MacDonald

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
PSALM 29:9

The common law of life is that whatever a man loves he speaks of and pursues. Where a man dwells determines what he sees. Every life form in God’s creation has a habitat and an environment with which it is compatible. Whether it is a palm tree or a fir tree it lives and grows in the climate that is conducive to its growth and development. The Polar Bear and the Panther live in the land for which they are most suited. As it is in the natural so also is it in the things of the spirit. The demon possessed man of the Gadarenes lived amongst the tombs for there was the dwelling place consistent with the nature of the spirits that inhabited him. We also read …

“…there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Aser…
which departed not from the temple,
but served God with fastings and prayers night and day”
LUKE 2:35 – 37

Anna’s life was one of focus and a continual desire to serve and worship the ONE that she loved. She “departed not” from the life of prayer and worship which are the means by which we abide and grow in Him. She did not miss HIS appearing. While the multitudes were taken up with their “religious” duties she and Simeon beheld the Promised One and ministered unto HIM! Such are the privileges of those who find their lives “hid with Christ in God”! While many people are looking for a temple to be built in Jerusalem God HAS set HIS TEMPLE, the TRUE ETERNAL TEMPLE made without hands in the very PERSON OF HIS SON…

“I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple”
REVELATION 21:22

And again…

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spoke of the temple of his body
JOHN 2:19

They who desire to live and dwell in HIM are only able to speak of HIS GLORY! They no longer give nor seek the praises of men. They are not impressed by the extravagant buildings and organizations of men for they have seen glimpses of a GLORY that will not fade away; a GLORY that blinds the eyes, that humbles the heart and becomes the perspective by which all things are weighed. They are not mislead by the teachings and doctrines of men for they have seen the ONE in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells and are freed from the paltry offerings of this world. They are pilgrims in this world of temporal things as they seek that which “fadeth not away” with the passing of time. They have been gripped by the unseen HAND of God and HEARD the ETERNAL CALL; ruined for anything religious or manmade.

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
MATTHEW 6:19 – 21

Our lives reveal the place where we dwell, by the things we speak and treasure.

Brian Troxel

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WORDS OF LIFE

“And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting,
a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked”
ACTS 14:8

This is the common condition of the common man. In things relating to the Spirit we are all weak and without strength; “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5.6). Without strength, crippled from our mother’s womb and without the innate ability to walk right and be right. It is in that condition that the God of all Glory comes and speaks strength, life and a new ability to “rise up and walk”! By HIS virtue and power we are made alive to rise up out of the shadows and the miry places to walk in newness of life. As the prophet of old says…

“The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills”
HABAKKUK 3:19

He comes that we might begin to live and walk upon the high places; to see in the realms of the Spirit such wonders of HIS Grace that we are “changed from glory to glory”. His purpose is not merely that we can walk and live in righteousness; HIS purpose is to bring us to the place where we speak the same WORD OF LIFE into those around us and that we become fishers of men and a powerful expression of HIM whom we love and worship. This same crippled man at Lystra heard Paul speak….

“This man heard Paul speaking.
Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
said with a loud voice,
“Stand up straight on your feet!”
And he leaped and walked…”
ACTS 14:9

What do men hear when we speak? What faith is communicated from the core of our lives? Have we settled for a life conditioned to the status quo or do we look into the ever living word and hear the voice of the Son calling for a deeper and fuller expression of who HE IS? If the things we communicate do not stir the heart of another, if they do not cause a greater longing to know HIM and walk with HIM, then our lives need repentance and change. Powerless words come from powerless lives. Paul prayed for Philemon….

“That the communication of thy faith
may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing
which is in you in Christ Jesus”
PHILEMON 1:6

God’s real purpose is to bring us to the place of being able to COMMUNICATE our faith into the lives of those around us. To see men and women who are crippled, lost and without strength, hear and rise up and walk anew. We are not talking about the doctrines and the teachings of men. We are speaking of a living faith that makes others live; a faith streaming from our heart that communicates a hunger, a love and an intensity to know and please HIM.

“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
JOHN 7:37 – 38

“Believest thou this?”
JOHN 11;26

Brian Troxel

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