A Word in Season – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

“That which of all things unfits man for the reception of Christ as a Saviour, is not gross profligacy and outward, vehement transgression, but it is self-complacency, fatal self-righteousness and self-sufficiency”
– Alexander MacLaren

Meditative Moment

Meditative Moment

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Dwelling in God’s presence is ever the result of His goodness and mercy following us as we follow the Great Shepherd of our souls. His goodness dwells where His mercy reigns! Quietness and confidence is the atmosphere of God’s presence.

“…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…”
Isaiah 30:15

Brian Troxel

An Exegesis of Light – Excerpt From Coming Book (4)

An Exegesis of light

Chapter 4
(excerpt)

The Division of Light from Darkness

“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:17

We now come to another very important aspect of the work of God especially as it relates to our day: the separation of THE LIGHT from THE DARKNESS. Notice the article “THE”. This is not only speaking of a light but The Light; and it is not just a darkness but The Darkness. Even here we read prophetic declarations of this final Day. The Devil has no power against The Light of God. The Light defeats all of the stratagems and power of the Devil. By nature, he hates the light and everyone who is of the light. His only hope of victory is by attempting to diffuse the light, by introducing darkness, and mingling the two. The purer the light, the more the power of God is released. The purer the light by which one walks in God, the greater the ability of that one to see, hear and know God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8

It is to this end that the enemy of our souls works incessantly to mix darkness into the light of the Word of God and the hearts of God’s people. The enemy’s strategy is clear as he converses with Eve in the Garden of God. “Has God not said…” The tone is one of creating doubt. The choice of words is selective so as to present God in a less majestic manner. In presenting the question to Eve, he uses Elohim rather than Jehovah or YHWH. Elohim, though a name of God in the scriptures, can also be used for idols and is often translated as “gods”. It was a calculated tactic of Satan to lessen the impact of God’s Holiness upon Eve’s conscience. The simple and seemingly innocent question was designed to cause Eve to come to a conclusion based upon her own independence and contrary to God’s direct command. Eve now replies to the Devil by quoting God’s Word but the quoting is now weakened. Her place of standing moves from the light of Day into the darkness of independence and self. In view of her response the Devil moves from a seemingly sincere question into an outright attack upon the verity of God’s Word. “You shall surely not die…” He takes it even further with an additional assault of an evil thought which subverts God’s motive in giving the Word.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:5

Not only does he now openly slander God, but he also very slyly presents the promise of her own advancement in life. As Eve begins to come to her own conclusions (from which God has been marginalized) her own self has been magnified to the point of supposing to become like God through self-effort and independence. The rest we know is history. We read these things and our initial reaction may be one of “Where was God while this was going on? Why did he not intervene?” The answer is very simple and one of profound import. The higher the creation, the greater is the capacity of free will. God has created us for fellowship, friendship, and companionship. For all of these reasons it is necessary that we move and commune with Him freely as holy individuals on the basis of personal choice. Eve had to be tested as to whether she was going to “grasp” at becoming like Him through independence, or through obedience and submission to Him and His goodness. Relationship must involve the mingling and sharing between two or more individuals.

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
Amos 3:3

This is the fundamental law of relationship and the very reason that God created man with the ability to choose to exercise his will in compliance with God’s way. In the crucible of the moment Eve chose the way of self-effort which brought her and Adam and the whole human race into the darkness and the lie of the Devil.

God was not taken by surprise by this course of action. In getting to know Him we realize that “fruit” is never created; it must be formed (Galatians 4:19). Fruit is revealed by the very nature of the life which produces it. We read in the New Testament that Jesus was “a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The offering and the answer to Eve’s choice existed from beyond the reaches of time in the wisdom and foreordained council of God. Some ponder the ramifications of this and come to the conclusion that God must then have created evil. The fallacy of this notion is quickly put to rest by realizing that God is incapable of doing or creating moral evil.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.”
James 1:16-17

If God did not create evil, then how did evil come into being? Satan (formerly called Lucifer), was one of the highest creations in the heavenly order of God’s Domain and as such, he possessed a certain freedom of will as well as incredible power and wisdom. The very declaration “I will ascend; I will exalt my throne…” are all statements of a free will making choices (see scripture below). The scriptures reveal that at some point he began to desire the throne of God for himself…

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”
Isaiah 14:12-14

Just as darkness is simply the absence of light, evil is the absence of good. Reverting back to John 8:44 Jesus in speaking of the Devil states:

“…when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:44

In other words, the devil is the father and initiator of THE LIE. He is the one who through self-will, blind ambition and self-seeking gave birth to the darkness and LIE (he fathered it). In his rage and blindness, he introduces to Eve the very LIE which was and is his own undoing. It is for this reason that we have two seeds in the earth: God’s seed and the Devil’s.

“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

Those who seek preeminence in the world and in the church through the motives of self-will and pride will be judged in the same light. Worthy is the Lamb of God who has delivered and is delivering us from such a horrific fate! He has come to bring forth purity of motive in our lives with submissive hearts to the doing of His will.

It is worth noting here that in the above mentioned scripture God was the one who put enmity between the seeds. Yet in many of today’s religious circles the church is trying so hard eliminate this enmity by becoming like the world. They seek the approval of men; they want to present a friendly and inviting atmosphere where the people of the world can feel comfortable thereby mingling the light of God with the darkness of the world.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
James 4:4

The above scripture is written within the context of unanswered prayers amidst division and strife. Surely it is a day to repent and turn from our ways that we may find grace in this hour to be vessels of light in a day of great darkness!

This compromising “gospel” is a product of the LIE; a result of mingling light with darkness; a dimming of the grace of God wherein men and women no longer feel the anguish of living outside of the light and power of God. They are no longer presented with God’s Holiness. They can come to “church” without sensing the Holy Presence of God nor the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The early church met in God’s presence to such an extent that the unbeliever cried out “surely God is in your midst” (1 Corinthians 14:25) The contrast between then and now is poignant. The Word of God is declared often without seeing any change in those who hear. Mixture and the doctrines of men rob God’s Word of its power and purpose.

“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
Mark 7:9-13

Herein lies the deception and horror of our present day. We reject the Word of God so that we can keep our own teachings and holding to the methods of men rather than walking in the pure wisdom of God. The response to those who question these methods is “well that is how we do it now”. No wonder our ways continue to bear the fruits of lukewarm living and halfhearted faith! The very purpose of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13) is to establish God’s people in His ways to the intent that we all come into the unity of the faith; a people who can no longer be swayed by the hypocrisy and mixture of the teachings of men.

“So that we may be no longer children, sent this way and that, turned about by every wind of teaching, by the twisting and tricks of men, by the deceits of error…”
Ephesians 4:14, BBE

God hates mixture. He hates lukewarm hearts, He hates tepid prayers and hypocrisy. We see from Genesis to Revelation that God’s word to His people is always dispensed in order to bring forth a separated and holy people. We must be ever vigilant to watch objectively over the affairs and issues of our own hearts.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”
Revelation 3:16

(continued)

Brian Troxel

A Strong Exhortation – The Day of Reckoning

A Strong Exhortation 

Faith and Works

“His lord said unto him,
Well done, good and faithful servant;
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23
(From the Parable of the Talents)

When the time came for the master to reckon with his servants, he did not say “well believed”; He spoke the words “well done”. True servants of God are not idle, nor slack concerning the gracious bestowal of talents. They invest their lives into God’s investment in them. They are faithful in the things entrusted to them. In this passage the one who was slack concerning God’s investment was reproved and cast into outer darkness. The talents were given to HIS SERVANTS and as such the Lord expected a work and a labour into that which was given. These were His people upon whom such privileges were bestowed. They were not given on the basis of individual merit, but according to each one’s ability. Men and women who declare they are not able to walk in such things declare God to be unjust in His estimation of their ability.

“His lord answered and said unto him,
thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

Whose Lord? The servant’s Lord. Let us make no mistake as to the meaning of this Parable. It is a false and foolish gospel that has robbed God of His rightful place as Lord in our lives. Let us turn from this deceit and embrace the responsibility and the great reward that awaits those who are found faithful to our Lord and Saviour.

In this Parable Jesus declares:

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh,
and reckoneth with them”
Matthew 25:19

Rest assured His coming is nigh unto us. Can we not hear with the ears of faith?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing
Luke 12:43

Again, the word does not say blessed is that servant that he shall find “so believing”! His Day is upon us and we are to be faithful in so doing and admonishing others to the same.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Do we not hear the exhortation to stir one another unto “love and good WORKS”? Can we not feel the day approaching? It is a slothful people who do not exhort one another unto “love and good works”. Read the context of the above scripture; it is willful sin not to be doing this as we assemble together.

The lethargy and false comfort preached in our day blinds His Own to their responsibility to the talents given.

The Day of the Lord is a day of reckoning for His people.

(Please read 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

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

Ω

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the Lord’s work,
because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – The End of the Matter

The End of the Matter

“…but the end of the commandment is love
out of a pure heart and a good conscience,
and faith not pretended,
from which having missed the mark,
some turned aside to empty talking”
1 Timothy 1:5-6

God’s end is revealed in His beginning, just as the harvest is the manifold expression of the seed sown. The same love that motivated Christ’s incarnation is the same love abiding in those who have loved and received Him. When men and women lose sight of the “end of the commandment”, the words, the works and the life are empty and vain.

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

The Gifts of God without love: empty and hollow. Deep understanding into mysteries of God: useless. Knowledge without love is meaningless and without value. It is the agape of God which infuses all things with the weight and wonder of Himself; for there can be no growth or development of Love apart from a pure heart. There can be no true impartation of life where the conscience is conflicted by wrong and ulterior motives and unrepented sins. There can be no true and lasting work of God when faith is presented in pretense. The work of God can only be within the lives of those who live in authenticity. These three graces must be the foundation of our growth into the love of God:

Purity of Heart
A Good and Clean Conscience
Faith Unfeigned

A Gospel which does not include the ministration of truth and admonition will inevitably produce lives devoid of the fire, intensity and the power of the Love of God. The reason God is declared a “consuming fire” is because HE IS LOVE. We cannot hold the love of God within our hearts and be void of passion, works and an energized faith. Love is what breathes life into faith and faith by its very nature must produce His works in and through our lives.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything,
nor uncircumcision, but faith working (energized) through love
Galatians 5:6

The legalism of our day rests in declarations of the tenets of faith. It fails to grasp that the END or PURPOSE of God in Christ is to takes us beyond the fact of being justified by faith, into the power of God manifested through lives who have been sanctified. Sanctification brings us into a life of abandonment and surrender unto God as a “living sacrifice”. When such legalism becomes the foundation there will be no pursuit of a “pure heart” or a “clean conscience”. A true and unfeigned faith flows from those who seek only His approval. The horror of this “gospel” of legal declarations is that His people see no need for an ongoing, deep and powerful work of God within their hearts. There is a rest and a complacency in an unfinished work of God. The two and a half tribes of Israel found rest in a land outside the purposed and promised land of God; many today are settling for something far less than the full purpose and intention of God.

When there is a deviation from God’s end, in the estimation of God Himself, the expressions of ministry become vain and empty chatter.

“…from which having missed the mark,
some turned aside to empty talking”

Paul the Apostle, who declared the truth of justification by faith, summed up his life as one who was pressing, pursuing and desiring the apprehension of the mark of God.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…”
Philippians 3:13-15

Paul was not resting upon the knowledge of being justified by faith. He was in full pursuit of “apprehending” (laying hold) the mark and purpose for which God had laid hold of him!

A dead faith rests in the acknowledgement of a teaching, while
a living faith pursues the apprehension and reality of God Himself.

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – AW Tozer

Quote for Today

“Cultivate the acquaintance of God more than the friendship of men and we will always have abundance of bread to give to the hungry. Our first responsibility is not to the public but to God and our own souls.”
– AW Tozer

The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding

Podcast – The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding

…is the foundation of his household

A Simple Study of God’s Amazing Spirit of Understanding

Meditative Moment – Hebrews 11:39-40

Meditative Moment

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect”
Hebrew 11:39-40

May we stop and consider what the Word of God has laid before us! All that the saints of old have accomplished, their faith, their testimony and the laying down of their very lives for God’s glorious name – they yet await for us to finish what they started… “that they without us should not be made perfect”! Let the weight of this sink into the depths of our being and may it free us from the paltry offerings of the modern day “gospel”. May we lift up our eyes to see beyond the horizons of our present day experience.

Let us consider His call upon this generation that He may receive a fresh offering of ourselves unto Him.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2

Brian Troxel