PSALM 46 – ALAMOTH – Refuge and Strength –

PSALM 46

REFUGE AND STRENGTH

ALAMOTH

PART ONE

“To the chief musician. For the sons of Korah;
A song. For the Virgins*.
God is our refuge and our strength…”
Psalm 46:1
(Literal Translation)

Alamoth is a Hebrew Word that literally means virgins. Translated “virgin”* in Isaiah 7:14, it is also alluded to in the first chapter (verse 23) of Matthew’s gospel and 1Corithinians 11:2-3. This is a psalm referring to those who have set their hearts and affections aside for their future Husband.  They resist the draw and enticement of this world.  They have found grace to submit themselves to the discipline and breaking necessary to know that singleness of heart and purpose. People who give all, are given all; all of the resources and care of the great God of Jacob. This giving and yielding is the result of the mercy of God working in the hearts of  HIS own.

“…by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice…”
Roman 12:1

This is a psalm of protection and refuge. It is a psalm of defense, help and strong confidence. It is a psalm upon which King Hezekiah drew strength and encouragement during a time of overwhelming circumstances when destruction and death seemed certain.

“He is a buckler to all those that put their trust in Him”
Psalm 18:30

Faith and trust are the means by which all the resources of heaven are made available to the people of God. It is by these that we know that God is not only our “refuge and strength” on a doctrinal level but we know the reality of Him as our “present help in trouble”. The ability for us to see Him as our only source of refuge, strength and present help comes because we have learned through His gracious dealings that we do not trust in our own resources, the “strategies” nor the help of this world. We are enlarged in our God by the reducing of our trust in other things. Child-like trust in our God will cause the reality of this psalm to wrap us up in a hope and faith that will hold us secure in the DAY that is upon us.

Ω

REFUGE

“A dear friend of mine, who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’ So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God.  A.C. Dixon

ψ

*NOTE: The most famous passage where this term is used is Isaiah 7:14, where it asserts an ʽalmāh will give birth to a son. The author of Matthew 1:23 understood this woman to be a virgin. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament – Warren Baker, D.R.E. Eugene Carpenter, Ph.D) (עֲלָמוֹת ʽalamoth is the plural form of עַלְמָה ʽalmâh)

Brian Troxel

THE HEART – The Issue of LIFE –

THE HEART
THE ISSUE OF LIFE

“My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments
PROVERBS 3:1

In the life of the authentic believer every action and word spoken is a direct revelation of the heart. While there are many Christian adherents to a teaching, a code of ethics, a dress code or outward compliance to a perceived religious concept, we read here that God is only interested in an obedience that is heart felt. It is the internal motivation that determines whether or not a thing has merit before Him. True life consists in knowing His Word and following it with our heart. Many good religious works may be done with the desire to be seen of others, to ease our conscience, or to reap some other benefit. Obedience from the heart is true worship. God sees more than just our actions; he sees the motives and intentions of our heart.

“For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

We measure deeds by our own criteria but God sees and values things from His own perspective and heart.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury,
and beheld HOW the people cast money into the treasury:
and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
That this poor widow hath cast more in,
than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance;
but she of her want did cast in all that she had,
even all her living”
MARK 12:41-44

Jesus drew the attention of his disciples to this incident so they would “see” the unfolding of everyday occurrences from His perspective. We live in a day of great religious works, buildings and programs but unless we can see things from His heart we will miss Him in the true opportunities that are presented to us in our daily lives. It is a process in our own heart that frees us from outward and seemingly good works into a walk of faith that is authentic and springs from a deep love of our Saviour.

“Now it came to pass, as they went,
that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary,
which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,
and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her”
LUKE 10:38-42

Many are absorbed in the doing of numerous RELIGIOUS things FOR God while His real purpose is for us to be doing HIS WILL IN God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”
JOHN 5:19

The heart is the centre from which the core issues of our life are determined. What a man loves, what he treasures, and where his allegiance lies are kept in the secret places of the heart. How necessary it is that we invite Him to purify our hearts in order that we may obey His commandments uprightly and be freed from the outward works of religion.

“This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
MATTHEW 15:8-9

May our love for Him be the motivation from which we keep his commandments and honor His Name. This is true worship.

 

Brian Troxel

FOUR WORDS FOR AMERICA

FOUR WORDS
FOR
AMERICA

“MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN”
DANIEL 5:25

PART ONE

JUDGEMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF GOD
“For the time is come that judgment MUST begin at the house of God”
1 PETER 4:17

The judgment of God IS COME to America. She has been weighed and measured and found wanting. Great division and strife will be the outcome. Desolation and burning will be the reward for her ways and her works. God is Holy, He is Pure and Righteous. In order for His righteous judgments to proceed He must begin at His Own House; it would be hypocritical for Him to do otherwise. He must have a purified house before He can rightly judge the world (II Corinthians 10:6).

THE HOUSE OF ELI

The apathy and attitude in God’s House today is likened to the House of Eli. It was a priesthood that had become dim of eye, fat of soul and hard of hearing. Hophni and Phinehas were helping themselves to the offerings that were being offered to God, they had immorality issues and they were not ashamed. They lived in great abundance as they became rich and profited from the very offerings of the people unto God. Eli did not reprove them nor did he prevent the evil that they committed in GOD’S HOUSE. It was a priesthood that did not love God nor was it concerned about His honor. After 450 years of the sacred fire of God burning in the tabernacle it WENT OUT DURING HIS WATCH! The very Fire of God that fell and was preserved by the priesthood for all of those years went out because of apathy and neglect. The sacred fire that was used for the lampstand, the offerings and the fire that alone could be used for the Altar of Incense was no more. This was the product of a priesthood who had gone from serving God to serving themselves! This priesthood was one of the reasons that the Judgment of God fell upon the house of Israel to such an extent that even the very Ark of God was captured by the Philistines! The anger and response of God to a fallen and corrupt priesthood was the departing of His Glory; a priesthood that brought forth a son whose name was Ichabod (meaning “God’s Glory has departed”). As it was then so is it today. We have men who move in the gifts of the spirit, and speak of the things of God, yet live in the riches and wealth received from the offerings of His people and KNOW NOT THAT THEIR JUDGMENT IS COME. This “church” has come to such a low estate of knowing God that they are ignorant of the day we are in and the impending judgments of a God who is Holy, Pure and Righteous. God’s people have not been prepared for the DAY that is about to break. Men have not sought to minister righteousness nor speak truth for the size of the congregation has become more important than their standing with God. On their watch the divorce rate has equaled or surpassed that of the world and sexual immorality, greed and envy are rampant in HIS house. Men have instituted their own names and have propagated their own agendas all in His Name to give their dark deeds a covering and legitimacy. They are more concerned with the acceptance of the congregation rather than the approval of God. Truth is watered down so that men are no longer offended by the Word of God; they have removed the power and the truth of God’s very person. We will “build” is the cry as if God needs a building or another program to reach His people.

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man,
saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel:
only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach”
ISAIAH 4:1

This priesthood has its own bread (teaching). It provides its own apparel; a false garment of salvation no different than the fig leaves of fallen Adam. The works of the flesh will never take away the reproach of Sin in the presence of a Holy God. This priesthood has its own doctrines failing to realize that they do not have that right!

“Jesus answered them, and said,
My doctrine is not mine,
but his that sent me
JOHN 7:16

Who are we then to have our own?! We do not have the right to pick which scriptures we like. We are here to submit to HIM and LEARN OF HIM and in the learning of Him we discover truth and righteousness.

HISTORIC TIMES

We are beholding the historic judgments of God in our land as we see a priesthood that has lived in luxury and contentment in worldly things. They do love the world and they are of it and enjoy their status with it. We see “ministries” in the land that are worth millions of dollars pretending to portray the HOLY ONE who was born in obscurity, NOT OF THIS WORLD, and lived a life in total subjection to HIS FATHER. He came to save us from the trappings of this world and to birth a people that resemble Him in all lowliness and humility. These false representatives are they upon whom the judgments of a righteousness God are about to fall.

UNITY WITH ROME AND ISLAM

This false priesthood has already begun to proclaim the “End of the reformation” and the “end of the protest of Protestantism” as a new day of unity has come. The “church” that they are a part of has fallen to such depths of blindness that in fact for them it is over. There is no difference for those that walk in darkness and those for whom the light in them has become darkness. For God always divides Light from Darkness (Genesis 1:4-5). This new “church” seeks friendship with the world, to provide a place where light and darkness can coexist without offense, forgetting that it was God who put the enmity between those who serve God and those who do not…

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed;
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”
GENESIS 3:15

Some very well-known “ministries” are making a league with Rome and declaring the end of the Reformation and the beginning of a new day with the Catholic church; even strong hints of unification with Mecca itself! They have gathered together to bless and confirm their alliance with Rome. Do they not know that the very voices of the martyrs, the hundreds of thousands of them who were brutally murdered for their simple love of Jesus, cry out unto this very day from beneath the altar in the Book of Revelation! Those voices are not crying out for forgiveness and reconciliation; they are crying out for justice!

“And when he had opened the fifth seal,
I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,
and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying,
How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the earth?”
REVELATION 6:9-10

How these men are so blinded that they would seek such an unholy alliance is beyond comprehension. The DAY OF JUDGMENT IS COME! It will first fall on His house to cleanse it from the filth and the abominations that are found therein. Jesus drove out the money changers, and the sellers of animals for sacrifice and offerings in that day, and the same horror is paralleled today. So shall HE come again to visit the house of this day. Those in that day who made merchandise in the House of God will stand up in Judgment over the things that go on today. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira goes unchecked today in a religion that is void of any sense of Holiness or Righteousness. We may think there are no repercussions for these things but we will give an account unto Him.

A HOLY PRIESTHOOD

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:
and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,
that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD,
as in the days of old, and as in former years.
And I will come near to you to judgment;
and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers,
and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in
his wages, the widow, and the fatherless,
and that turn aside the stranger from his right,
and FEAR NOT ME, saith the LORD of hosts”
MALACHI 3:3-5

A purified and refined priesthood will bring “spiritual sacrifices” (1Peter 2:5) unto God by Christ Jesus. Worship that is Holy and Sanctified, free from the taint and the corruption of the world, will arise unto God out of humble and broken hearts. They will have no other love and no other agenda for they have found the chief joy in life is to honor and praise Him.

Judgment must come. It must begin at His House and the fires of it will reveal, to the very core of our hearts, where our treasure really is. For where our treasure is there will be our hearts be also.

Brian Troxel

DILIGENCE

DILIGENCE

“giving ALL DILIGENCE, add* to your faith…”
II PETER 1:5

The key to spiritual growth and vitality is found in the heartfelt DILIGENCE of every believer. We live in a day when salvation is presented as an event rather than a life. In this scripture we see that it is a life of growing, a journey of development; in Corinthians Paul compares it to a race that must be run. Diligence is the passionate result of a LIFE that LOVES JESUS. It is the fruit of a heart that longs to know HIM more and to reap the great reward of a deeper growing relationship with HIM.

We are exhorted here in II Peter to add to our faith virtue, and to our virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness LOVE. Peter then goes on to say….

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted,
even to blindness, and has forgotten
that he was cleansed from his old sins”
II PETER 1:9

Without the divine diligence working in our heart the ability to add these critical elements to our faith is missing and we become short sighted and blind in our Christian walk. There is no substitute for DILIGENCE. It is the heart beat of all who love HIM. In the Greek the word that is translated “ADD” is an *Imperative verb which by definition makes this word a command not a suggestion. It is the same verb form that is used when the Gospel is preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Mark 1:15 where Jesus speaks “Repent ye and believe…”

“And we desire that EVERY ONE of you do show the same diligence
to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful,
but followers of them who through
faith and patience inherit the promises”
HEBREWS 6:11-12

The desire of every true minister of God is to instil and exhort every believer to maintain diligence to the very end of their life. Where there is a failure to admonish all to follow and seek HIM with diligence there will be a corresponding slothfulness in the people of God. They will be short sighted with no purpose in their walk with Him. They will have no vision to pursue and there will be no powerful ministration of the life of Christ within them. Short sighted Christians are passive and have no burden for the condition of the church or sense of their own responsibility to be faithful to the talents and the pounds that have been graciously deposited in their lives by the mercy of God. The day of the Judgement Seat of Christ awaits every believer and we will have to give an account for what we have been given. Woe unto the shepherds who have not presented a Gospel that urges the people of God to a life of diligence and faithfulness.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren,
give DILIGENCE to make your calling and election sure:
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
II PETER 1:10

* “The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding” Blue Letter Bible Greek Parsing Notes

Brian Troxel

Relationship – The Highest Call –

RELATIONSHIP
THE HIGHEST CALL

And he said, Now give ear to my words: if there is a prophet among you I will give him knowledge of myself in a vision and will let my words come to him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so; he is true to me in all my houseWith him I will have talk mouth to mouth, openly and not in dark sayings; and with his eyes he will see the form of the Lord”
NUMBERS 12:6-7

While much of Christendom glories in dreams, visions and supernatural experiences there is something that is much higher; it is called relationship. We live in a day of many voices and as the scripture declares they are not without significance (1 Corinthians 14:10). They all seek men’s attention and clamor for the hearts and minds of God’s people. Spiritual Gifts are necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ. We are exhorted to seek and desire them; but let us recognize that they are a MEANS to God’s end. They are not in themselves the goal of a true child of God. The purpose of all true expressions of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to the KNOWING of God Himself. While the Lord will speak to some by dreams and visions God’s highest call is to find men who KNOW Him face to face. Relationship with the Most High is beyond understanding; His presence transcends knowledge and gifts. How HE longs for His own to see and understand His purposes.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding”
PROVERBS 9:10

The “…knowing of the Holy is understanding”. True understanding brings men and women to the realization of what Holy is, what it means, and what it conveys to us of the “Fear of the Lord” and the Glory and Wonder of His Presence. It takes very little observation to see the state of the “church” today and lament the utter lack of the sense of the mystery of Holiness. While we have much in terms of “gifts” operating in our midst, and no end of men and women speaking forth great words and prophetic utterances, and the telling of dreams and visions*, we have become much like the Church of God at Corinith. She excelled in the operation of the gifts (1 Corthians 1:7) and yet was filled with sexual immorality, carnality and sectarianism (I am of Paul, or Apollos, Peter… etc). Paul called her carnal.

“For ye are yet carnal:
for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions,
are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith,
I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”
1 CORINTHIANS 3:3-4

Spiritual gifts are not a reflection of a man’s relationship with God. They are gifts given because of the merits and mercy of God as revealed in Christ Jesus. They are necessary for the building up of the Body of Christ, not ourselves.

Relationship with God, as we see here revealed in Numbers, for Moses was based on his faithfulness to God. Moses never placed his relationship with men above God. His concern was for God’s Glory and God’s purposes. Because of this God did not speak with Moses in dreams, visions and riddles. He spoke to him as a friend face to face. Such is the depth of relationship that HE has called us unto. While many are satisfied* with the reading of books, listening to sermons, religious works and attending conferences there is a call of God in that “still small voice” to turn aside unto the seeking of Him. For those who seek shall find that HE IS COME to bring us from the shadows of service into the brightness and glory of a growing relationship with Him.

Ye are my friends, if ye DO whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:
but I have called you friends;
for all things that I have heard of my Father
I have made known unto you
JOHN 15:14-15

Friendship with God is costly for it requires obedience which is far beyond religious adherence to a doctrine or teaching. It beckons us to better things, it draws us away from the broad paths into the narrow gate, and it fills us with the promise and hope of knowing our God as HE is. It is in the receiving of His Words, hiding them deep within our hearts and applying what we hear into the common course of our life, that we begin to touch the hem of the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God”
PROVERBS 2:1-5

Ω

Through the medium of obeying
We grow through the shadows
Of thought and form
Into the growing light
Of the seeing of His Face
And the knowing of His Heart

 

* While these things have value (depending upon their authenticity), if they do not bring us into the “knowledge of the Holy” their value is suspect in terms of all that God has purposed. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord

 

Brian Troxel

GRACE

GRACE

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
HEBREWS 12:28 (NKJV)

The ability to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, is by the power of His Grace given to us. Grace is given in order that we may serve our God and glorify Him in our daily lives. Grace received is revealed in the fruit of our lives. It produces a desire to serve Him, to lay aside my own will and submit to His. Without grace we are left to our own resources, our own thoughts and our own ways. Grace is to be in us a power to live beyond our own abilities. Failure to receive of this Grace causes us to wither and become ineffective in the world around us.

The scriptures declare that Noah “found” grace in the sight of the Lord and because of that he OBEYED God and built an ark to the saving of him and his family. Grace is the great enabler that produces within us a life that testifies of Him and desires to please Him. Grace received will never leave us barren nor unfruitful; it will always honor and glorify the giver!

“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
may be glorified in you, and ye in him,
according to the grace of our
God and the Lord Jesus Christ”
2 THESSALONIANS 1:12

The measure of Grace in which we walk today is good and precious. It is to be guarded and appreciated. It is given from our Lord Jesus Christ with the intent that we would grow in the apprehension of it and its influence in our lives.

“But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever.
Amen”
2 PETER 3:18

Ω

“Grace is an energy; not a mere sentiment;
not a mere thought of the Almighty;
not even a word of the Almighty.

It is as real an energy as the energy of electricity.
It is a divine energy; it is the energy of the divine affection
rolling in plenteousness toward the shores of human need.”
Benjamin Jowett (1817–1893)

Brian Troxel

PROVISIONS

PROVISIONS

“Prepare your provisions,
for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan
to go in to take possession of the land
that the Lord your God is giving you to possess”
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna was still falling every day Israel was now preparing for war; the trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna was God’s provision but it was now time for God’s people to be weaned off the manna and begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the Land they were to enter. The manna was for a season only and it ceased WHEN they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“And the manna ceased on the morrow
after they had eaten of the old corn of the land;
neither had the children of Israel manna anymore;
but they did eat of the fruit
of the land of Canaan that year”
JOSHUA 5:12

Sadly some of God’s people are still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions so that they may be ready for warfare and be able to feed others. They sit passively in a pew, while someone else feeds and waters them, rather than reading God’s word and finding their own provisions to make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a healthy and active life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth and development. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the things that we are called to.

We read in John of Jesus coming to Jacob’s well and the scriptures testify that Jesus was “wearied with the journey” and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food Jesus said he was no longer hungry; in the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed.

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him,
saying, Master, eat.
But he said unto them,
I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Therefore said the disciples one to another,
Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus saith unto them,
My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision but they would learn of it in the days ahead. In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread as they traveled in the wilderness. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the table of showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face to be discussed in a later writing). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the condition of the church of their day.

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision from our heavenly Father is to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is vital that we go on into the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to GROW into the “strong meat” that HE desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,
ye have need that one teach you again
which be the first principles of the oracles of God;
and are become such as have need of milk,
and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe”
HEBREWS 5:12-13

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on…”
HEBREWS 6:1

Brian Troxel

LUKEWARMNESS – THE PRESENT DAY DECEPTION –

LUKEWARMNESS
The Present Day Deception

“So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot,
I will spue thee out of my mouth”
REVELATION 3:16

This is the word of the Lord unto His Church, written to His own. By nature we prefer to be lukewarm rather than too hot or too cold; it is far more comfortable. The present day deception of the Antinomian gospel removes my obligation to live righteously BY Grace and replaces it with the false belief that I can now live as I please because OF Grace. This teaching of “I believe therefore I am declared righteous”, regardless of how I live, has produced a lukewarm and apathetic generation of “believers”. We think that we now can sit back and live a life of compromise with the world without any consequences to our relationship with God!

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

John is teaching the people of his day not to be deceived; they that are truly born of God live righteously. They DO righteousness, it is the fruit of their faith, the evidence of the Son living in their lives. John goes on to say…

“In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…”
1 JOHN 3:10

It is time for us to awaken to the truth and to reject this deception. IT DOES MATTER HOW WE LIVE! If we are lukewarm HE will spue us out of His mouth. We need a healthy fear of the Lord that brings accountability into our own lives and gives us the courage to speak to our brothers and sisters who are complacent with sin. Where are those who seek out others who will challenge them to live Godly in this present world and to have their lives shine with the Light of the Life of the Son?

Many will say in this hour “Lord, Lord” but it is to them that “doeth the will of God who shall abide forever…” (1 John 2:17)

“And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.
But he that doeth wrong
shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons”
COLOSSIANS 3:23-25

Brian Troxel

THE STEADFAST LOVE OF GOD

THE STEADFAST LOVE OF GOD

“When I said, My foot slippeth;
thy mercy, O LORD, held me up”
PSALM 94:18

The common denominator for all of God’s people is Mercy; by it alone do we stand. We are held by the unseen hand of God at every turn. His loving-kindness is the strength of our walk and the source of our strength. In this Psalm the Hebrew Word for “held” is in the imperfect tense; the action is not completed but it is an ever ongoing one. It is used in the imperfect tense so that we may know that the Mercy that held me yesterday is sufficient for my today. As He has been so will He be. Blessed be His Holy Name!

This steadfast love of God is what enables us to continue to grow in the faith and that ever beckons us to walk into the unknown resources of Him. We see Peter stepping out of the boat to walk unto Jesus in the midst of the stormy sea. We see that Faith stirring within Peter the desire and the ability to walk and identify with its author. With every new impartation of Faith for us to move into a deeper walk with Him we must have that assurance that His steadfast love will be there to hold us up. Even in Peter taking his eyes off of Jesus and sinking into the waves there was the mercies of God to hold him. Faith will always press us into the walk of a greater identification with Him. Our ability to step into the opportunities that are presented to us will be according to the trust we have in Him to hold us.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried,
offered up Isaac…
Accounting that God was able to raise him up,
even from the dead”
HEBREWS 11:17-19

Abraham offered up Isaac, because he trusted God. Every act of true obedience is based upon our accounting God faithful to hold us up. Obedience is the highest expression of faith and that faith grows in its depth and its trust of God because we learn that His Mercy will hold us up in the doing of His Will. We can count on Him in our circumstances to hold our steps as we follow Him.

Let us not linger when we feel the stirrings of His call to greater things. Let us not sit when we need to step out for our God is faithful. HE IS COME and He is ever inviting us to leave the shallow shores of safety and to launch ourselves into the great depths of His Call.

“Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets for a draught”
LUKE 5:4

Let us grow in the knowledge
that His Mercy will hold us where His grace calls us.

Brian Troxel

THE FEAR OF THE LORD – STRONG FAMILIES –

THE FEAR OF THE LORD

STRONG FAMILIES
for a
STRONG and VITAL CHURCH

“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding”
Job 28:28

We read in proverbs that “Wisdom cries out” (Proverbs 1:20-33) in the common course of everyday life. It ever seeks to instruct even the simple and the wayward but it is the responsibility of man to give heed to her voice. In all things pertaining to truth there is a response required for an individual to walk in the “WAY” of God. True wisdom, to the heart of one who seeks to be exercised and disciplined by its reigns, brings a growing wonder of His Life. We read that this wisdom seeks and cries out for men to hear and embrace her. Wisdom builds and brings safety and confidence; it builds strong families that produce children who are strong in the ways of our God. Strong families produce a strong Church. Paul writes to Timothy…

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois,
and thy mother Eunice;
and I am persuaded that in thee also”
2 TIMOTHY 1:5

Without the fear of the Lord as the atmosphere of the home and the Church of God there is little vitality or strength. Without the fear of the Lord the sin and corruption of the world infiltrates and weakens the foundation of the home. There is no hope for true understanding within the lives of individuals without the ministration of the fear of the Lord. Weakened homes produce children who are set adrift in the world without a compass or foundation upon which they can build strong and confident lives. We see all around us the tragic consequences of a gospel that has rendered the “fear of the Lord” as a concept that is old and outdated; acceptance and tolerance is the new “enlightened” message.

The “fear of the Lord” brings us to the “true understanding” of the Glory and Majesty of our God. It brings parameters into the lives of those who know and grow in its way. That True Understanding enables us to depart from iniquity and produce strong ministrations of Light that will shine into the darkness of this present world. This ministration is not simply by the religious words of men but the Word of Truth that is ministered from lives that demonstrate authenticity by a life well lived in God.

We hear much in terms of teaching and doctrine in our day; without the “fear of the Lord” they remain words without power. Doctrines without the substance of life to demonstrate the verity of their declarations produce a Church that is declining in its influence and vitality within and without.

Where there is no Fear of the Lord
Holiness, Righteousness and Truth
will have little impact
In our homes
And in
the Church of God
And correspondingly
In the world in which we live

Ω

“I can know if I truly fear God
by determining if I have a genuine hatred of evil
and an earnest desire to obey His commands”
Jerry Bridges

Brian Troxel