I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK PART TWO

“I press toward the mark…”

PART TWO

In our day and age in the Body of Christ there is very little sense of purpose; to be more precise there is little concept of what is the MARK in the Christian life. If there be no MARK presented to the people of God by the “ministry” how can there be any pursuit of the MARK clearly set forth in the Living Word of God? There can be no pressing into the things of God without a clear presentation of what those things are; it is like trying to run a race with no finish line. That would be absurd and yet it is exactly what so many seem to do. Once the “seekers” are “saved” the seeking tends to wane. Others will “feed” them and look after the “development” of their faith as long as they give their tithe and get involved with a few programs. How do “pressing toward the mark”, “reaching forth unto the things that lie before” and “counting the loss of ALL things as dung” in order to WIN Christ even fit into the “theology” of this present day? If there is no goal there is no pursuit. Wrong teaching produces wrong living.

The Greek word used here for MARK is σκοπός, (skopos), where we get the English word scope, best expressed as the scope of a rifle with a cross-hair in it for aiming at a specific target. Paul was not a theoretical or idealistic man; he was a man with a determined and specific purpose in his pursuit of the living God. All things were measured by this ONE THING. Everything else was made subservient to this one call and as a result he never swerved from the singular desire of his heart. Men who see little, pursue little. Only those who find the “Pearl” to be of great price will sacrifice all to purchase this unique and priceless treasure. What we are at this moment is the revelation of our vision. If we are comfortable and content with the status quo of our life in God, if we have settled for anything less than a life that is in full pursuit of HIS LIFE in us, then we have seen little. If there is not a cry within us to affect the lives of those around us and, more importantly, those we do not even know, we have seen but little. If there is a contentedness to remain independent and aloof from the lives of God’s people around us, if we are unmoved at the divorce rate, if we are not alarmed by the overwhelming dependence of God’s people for mood altering “medications”, if we are not burdened over the lack of HIS FIRE in our midst, if we have been meeting with the same people for years with little or no development in the expression of Christ in our lives or theirs, then we are most definitely in need of VISION and a true understanding of God’s purpose in the race.

There is a MARK to be aimed at by the people of God. In the Epistle to the Church at Philippi Paul was laying bare his heart regarding the attitude by which every one of God’s people was to be driven. Without HIS LOVE beating within our hearts there can be no pursuit. This pursuit is not birthed by a religious zeal for that will fail in the difficulty of the way. Self realization will fade in the recognition that there is no place in which the flesh can glory. It will cost us all that we hold dear. There will be no going back when once we truly see the MARK…HE who first loved us!

“Bad will be the day for every man
when he becomes absolutely content with the life that he is living,
with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing,
when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul
some great desire to do something larger,
which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is still,
in spite of all, the child of God.

PHILLIPS BROOKS (1835–1893)

Brian Troxel

I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK

“I press toward the mark…”

PART ONE

Those who have life and faith arise to walk in the unknown. There is a depth in God that calls out unto the depth in us to walk and live in the moment (Psalm 42:7). The depth in Christ beckoned to the depth that was in Peter to come and walk on the water. Life consists of simple obedience to the urges and movings of the great depth that has been birthed within us. That great depth is nothing less than the Glorious Risen Christ. He has come to cause us to arise and walk, to arise and explore, to arise and lay hold of the treasures of His (and our) Father’s house. He has come to bring us into the Father’s Kingdom. It is His good pleasure to do so, and it is our good pleasure to arise and walk in the vastness of what He has given. The testimony of Enoch is “Enoch walked with God and was not” (Gen. 5:24) “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death…for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God”! While men linger waiting for some great event, the Son walks day by day doing the will of His Father. See Him at the age of twelve years old in the temple, living and moving in the business of His Father. He was not waiting. He was engaged in life, because He is the Life. So also should it be with us, He has been given…

“For unto US a child is born,
unto US a son is given,”

Isaiah 9:6

He is right now resident within our hearts to bring us into the fullness. He is right now beckoning us to walk, live and have our being in the great oceans of His provision. Why tarry any longer in the teachings and concepts of men, when the Son of Man is speaking… “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me”. We must resist the voices of fear that speak of our weakness, our failures and our inabilities. Jesus said to deny them… it is not the voice of faith and that is the voice that has kept us living in the squalor of our own reasoning. Concerning Abraham, Paul writes….

“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead,
when he was about one hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb…”

(Rom. 4:19)

It is a day and a time for us to Arise and Walk; a day that we must begin to discover who the Son is in US. The Body of Christ must arise to walk upon her high places, for HE has given us “hinds feet to walk upon the high places” of God in Christ. The secret of life is Christ in you the hope of Glory! Not some teaching, some apostle, but Christ in you the (only) hope of Glory. Let us realize that for the Body of Christ to arise HE MUST ARISE in the individual. Without the members in particular moving in the power and reality of His Presence there is no vital expression of the true and glorious Body of Christ in the earth. Each day the Son arises to bring us to new horizons in Him…yet He is bound to the response of the faith within our own hearts. Let us return to the child like faith that reveals the true faith by responding to the deep in us to live and move in the great and glorious depths of our God and Saviour. He ever calls unto us… “Launch into the deep and let down your nets…” and man’s response is “we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing…” but faith arises “nevertheless…” A man who lives by his past, dies in the past. It is the “To Day if ye will hear His voice…” that we must hearken to and respond to for the fresh manna of today.

May the cry for truth and reality burn with a new intensity, A FIRE THAT CANNOT, WILL NOT BE DENIED. A CRY WITHIN OUR HEARTS THAT WE MIGHT LIVE AND MOVE IN HIM THAT HE MIGHT RECEIVE FRUIT FROM HIS VINE, THAT HE MIGHT RECEIVE THE INCREASE OF THE TALENTS AND POUNDS THAT HE HAS SO RICHLY GIVEN AND THAT THIS WORLD MIGHT BE CONFRONTED BY THE FULL UNDIMMED EXPRESSION OF THE SON! THIS IS NOT AN HOUR TO TURN BACK; IT IS AN HOUR TO ARISE, FOR THIS IS HIS DAY, HIS HOUR AND HIS MOMENT.

Ω

“Bad will be the day for every man
when he becomes absolutely content with the life that he is living,
with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing,
when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul
some great desire to do something larger,
which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is still,
in spite of all, the child of God.

PHILLIPS BROOKS (1835–1893)

Brian Troxel

HEART OF A PRIEST PART FIVE

THE HEART OF A PRIEST

PART FIVE

“At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi,
to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD,
to stand before the LORD to minister unto him,
and to bless in his name”

DEUTERONOMY 10:8

In the Old Testament in the days of Israel, men were born priests by virtue of belonging to a certain tribe. (There were qualifications for the priests which we will cover at a later date) In the New Testament we see that we are made priests through the dealings of God and the cooperation by faith of our lives with Him.

“And hath made* us kings and priests unto God…”
Revelation 1:6

All of God’s dealings with His own are to this one end, to make us in thought, word and deed men and women who reveal the Great High Priest. In distresses, weakness, temptation and great fiery trials the imprint of His grace, mercy and longsuffering are woven into the fabric of our being so that in the passing of time all of His graces become the unconscious outflow of our own lives. Let us not waste time in consternation over the trials that come upon us, for He is at work to bring forth in us depths of mercy that cannot be learned by sermons and teachings. These qualities cannot be known by textbooks and weekend seminars; they must be learned in the crucible of life and by taking His yoke upon us. He has come to lead us and guide us into ALL truth and we must see that truth is a person (not a collection of facts). It is in knowing Him that we see and know what truth really is.

What a man is is revealed by what he does.

We cannot expect to send men and women to Bible School and by intellectual understanding have any hope of producing the true priesthood of the New Covenant. We must first know HIM! And in the process of learning of Him we discover that He is HOLY! Men, who know not God, fear not God. Wisdom only begins within those who have touched the sphere of HIS HOLINESS, who have seen themselves by virtue of seeing HIM. Isaiah prophesied for a season and yet in the passing of King Uzziah, Isaiah SAW the Lord, High and Lifted up and immediately he knew his true condition and the condition of those around him. The Glory of God is the great leveller of ALL MEN. Calvary’s real value is only known by the touching of God’s Holiness. We see and hear little of the Blood in this hour because we have lost sight of the Holiness of God! The true priests of God are those who have seen and known their unworthiness, they have felt the weight of their own wickedness, the futility of psychological methods and the programs of men and self help ideas, to rid themselves of the principle of sin. But, thanks be to God, we are not left to our own resources, there is a river that flows where sin can be cleansed, hearts made crimson with sin’s dark stain can be cleansed whiter than the snow, mourning can be turned to dancing and the crooked places made straight. His name is Jesus, His name is Emanuel, His name is Prince of Peace and He has all authority to save those that come to Him by faith and trust. This is our God and in knowing HIM and HIM alone do we have the right and the privilege of becoming a royal priesthood unto our God. The priesthood of the individual believer in not a doctrine, it must be the reality of the Body of Christ. Those who are functioning and walking in some measure of this high calling cannot find rest in their own attainment, for the purpose of ministry is to bring others into their own expression. The key word of Ephesians 4:11- 13 is the word TILL

“…Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

Ephesians 4:13

Only those in whose hearts this truth is a passion and a fire that burns with the singularity of purpose to see this one thing come to pass will know of the precious truth of the heart of a priest. It is not about us, it is all about HIM! Let us recognize that in the Old Testament the priests HAD NO INHERITANCE IN THE LAND. TRUE PRIESTS SEEK NOT THEIR OWN BUT ONLY LIVE TO SEE THE GLORY OF GOD ARISE IN THIS DAY SO THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREMINENCE.

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne,
and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,
and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:
for thou hast created all things,
and for thy pleasure they are and were created”

Revelation 4:10

*MADE (The Greek Word used here poieō means “To make, form, produce, bring about, cause, spoken of any external act as manifested in the production of something tangible, corporeal, obvious to the senses, completed action”   Spiros Zodhiates, TH.D

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART FIVE

TITUS 2:14

PART FIVE

“FAITH WORKS”

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

Somewhere in the in the murky waters of religion, “works” became one of those words that became a stigma to the teaching of faith. Works and faith were set in opposition to one another to such an extent that faith itself lost its power in the life of the individual believer. Faith became a noun where it is said of some they are of a particular “faith”. In the divorce of Faith from works, faith became an esoteric concept, a teaching, a statement of belief that could be hung from a wall, printed on a church bulletin, or written in a book and sold as a commodity. It has come to such a low point that faith really has very little to do with the life of the common believer. Its impact is relegated to “discussions” and doctrinal statements without so much as a thought as to what it should actually PRODUCE in the life of the believer.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?”

James 2

As the church descended the slippery slopes where faith occupied less and less of the minds and hearts of God’s people, false teachings came in corrupting and beguiling the people of God and bringing the GREAT DIVORCE of Faith from Works. Faith was no longer the heart and soul of the people of God; teachings and philosophy replaced the power and illumination of the lamp of God. No longer did the fellowship of believers “provoke one another unto Love and Good Works”, but we replaced it with programs and teachings that promoted faithless inactivity. Jesus was having a discussion with the Pharisees of HIS day in which they had said to HIM, “Abraham is our father”. Jesus replied….

“If ye were Abraham’s children,
ye would do the works of Abraham”

John 8:39

So should it be said in this day, if we are the children of God, we should be doing the works of God. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stated…

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”

Matthew 5:16

We are not saved by works; we are saved UNTO good works by the union of Love and Faith. Far too often have the scriptures been taken out of context and used to support the horror of divorcing Faith from Works…

“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and not that of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath ordained that WE
SHOULD WALK IN THEM.”

Ephesians 2:8 – 10

Where is the separation? It is only in the abominable teaching of this hour. Where are the works of the believer that are inspired by the living Faith of Christ within us? How dare we separate these two; for in the separation we have compromised with a faith that is not only dead but has deceived the people of God into thinking that a faith without works is not only acceptable but pleasing to its Author.

Zealous of Good Works

A people redeemed from all iniquity, purified unto a peculiar (treasured and precious) people, are a people zealous of Good Works. Whatever our place of development in God, whatever our standing, rest assured that our faith is being revealed by what it produces everyday in our lives. In the Book of Revelation we see the ONE with the eyes of fire peering into the Church of Laodicea and HE SPEAKS this Word…

“I know thy WORKS,
that thou are art neither cold nor hot…”

Revelation 3:15

Our works reveal our faith. The redemptive power of salvation is revealed in and through lives that are filled with the fire of a continually growing, dynamic faith that is made alive by the LOVE of God.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision
availeth any thing, but
Faith which worketh by Love.”

Galatians 5:5

Ω

“Faith is the root of works. A root that produces nothing is dead.”

Thomas Wilson (1663–1735)

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART FOUR

TITUS 2:14

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar* people,
zealous of good works.

Titus 2:14

PART FOUR

“The Private Purse”

May the Spirit of truth impress upon our heart the reason why He gave Himself for us; “that He might…. purify unto Himself a peculiar people.” Not only to redeem us from something but more importantly unto something. The church in our day as a whole has as its focus that we have been redeemed; how true and wonderful that is. But redemption’s purpose is not simply to grant us forgiveness that we might go out and live our lives unto ourselves, but rather that we live unto HIM. The very Greek word for redemption used here implies more than something paid to obtain release. It speaks of the very release itself. Religion is very content with a legal statement; in the New Testament there is a Greek Word that is also translated redeem to convey this thought. But a heart that desires truth sees this as the starting point not the end. Paul is stressing here the reality of this truth; to be redeemed is unto something and that something is a purified life unto Him. In the very process of becoming purified unto Him we become a peculiar people! We hear all kinds of puns about the people of God being peculiar in reference to something other than a good thing. But, the English word peculiar is from a Latin word* that means a private purse. The implication of the private purse is one where special and private resources have been set aside for those who are in Christ Jesus. This word was used to describe a special fund which was appointed for the training, supporting and financing of a family member which was  outside or in addition to the regular allowance for the household. In other words the people of God should be experiencing a life that has additional resources to which those outside of the New Covenant have no access! This is a build on the original Greek word used here and is the only time it is used in the entire New Testament. The Greek Word “periousios” comes from two Greek Words “peri” (beyond) and “ousia” (substance or being) commonly used words such as abundance, exceeding, and others are dim expressions of all that this word implies. In other words, HE has come that we might live beyond the substance of our own resources! It is with such things in view that the scripture declares…

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them
that love him.”

I Corinthians 2:9

Purified unto a peculiar people by the redemptive ACT of God! Purified until the motive of our heart is single; for if “our eye be single, our body is full of light”. If in all our trials God has produced in us a pure heart we will with single purpose seek to glorify HIM in them. If there are other motives at work the trials will reveal those and we then have the opportunity to allow HIM to burn off the dross that the purity of HIS heart may shine forth. The Christian life is not a life that is lived in the absence of trials but one in which through the trials we begin to discover the “private purse”. We learn how to draw from the abundant resources of the living Christ that in every circumstance we might live unto the Glory of HIS Holy Name. The private purse; a hidden resource of which this world knows nothing. A power that flows out of weakness, a richness that is freely given out of poverty and a life that is lived to a fullness out of death. Such wonder and power is ours by the God of all Grace taking upon Himself the initiative of redeeming us “from all iniquity… unto HIMSELF!” May the truth of these things stir our hearts afresh to walk in the power, the life and the Glory that is ours in Christ Jesus.

“Now unto HIM that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of HIS Glory
with exceeding joy.
To the only wise GOD our saviour,
be glory and majesty, dominion and power,
both NOW and ever, AMEN.”

Jude 1:24 – 25

*NOTE: Περιούσιος is from the participle of περιεῖναι to be over and above: hence περιουσία abundance, plenty. Περιούσιος also means possessed over and above, that is, specially selected for one’s own; exempt from ordinary laws of distribution. Hence correctly represented by peculiar, derived from peculium, a private purse, a special acquisition of a member of a family distinct from the property administered for the good of the whole family. (Vincent Word Studies)

The Authorized Version “peculiar” expresses the sense exactly, and the περιούσιος of our text and of the LXX., from whom it is borrowed, is meant to define either that special reserved portion of a man’s property over and above what he spends for ordinary expenses, which nobody can interfere with, or those jewels on which he sets a special value, and places safely in his treasury. (The Pulpit Commentary)

The thought expressed here is two-fold.

  1. Where the purified believer has access to a private purse of provision and supply above and beyond the ordinary provisions of the regular house-hold
  2. The purified believer is to become a “peculiar” or set apart possession of the master of the house. This is speaking of a sanctified life where the one which has been set aside for a “peculiar” purpose is a prized possession of the Master.

“If a man therefore purge himself from these,
he shall be a vessel unto honour,
sanctified, and meet for the master’s use…”
2 Timothy 2:21

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART THREE

TITUS 2:14

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART THREE

THE LAW OF LIFE

To fully appreciate what true salvation is, its depth and its power we must first comprehend what it is we are saved from and unto. Words like sin, iniquity, transgressions, evil, unrighteousness and many others used in the scriptures must be more than mere religious clichés. To the average Christian sin is just something wrong in thought or deed without any degree of an understanding of what it actually is. So it is with the word used here for iniquity. It is a Greek word used 17 times in the New Testament. The actual Greek word is anomia and it’s meaning simplified means “without law”, “lawlessness”. Iniquity is a state where men will not or cannot conform to the Law. It can apply to the judicial laws of Government, Laws of Society, and cultural laws but in the scriptures it ultimately refers to the Law of God. It took a redemptive ACT of God to bring our lives into a place of living within the glory and freedom of HIS LAW!

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

Romans 8:7 – 8

The carnal mind by its very nature is enmity AGAINST God. Not only is it lawless by choice it also has no capacity to be subject to the law of God. The very offering of Jesus Christ was to REDEEM us from this condition whereby we are redeemed from all Lawlessness. He has come that we might be free to live within the wonder and glory of His Law. What is this LAW? Men immediately think of some code of religious “do and don’ts” and that is one of the reasons the Church is so divided, sectarian and powerless. May God give us eyes to see! The New Testament has a LAW. It is a law of power, glory, freedom and true relationship! IT IS CALLED the LAW OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS! We have been redeemed so that we might LIVE within grip of this life James refers to it as the PERFECT LAW of LIBERTY. John spoke of it as the Light of Life; Paul speaks in Romans of the Law of Faith. Can we not see that when we live in iniquity (lawlessness) that we are placing ourselves outside of the Sphere of this LOVE, this POWER and this FREEDOM.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do,
in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 8:2 – 4

Why would we want to live anywhere else! Everything that is not governed by the LAW of LIFE in Christ Jesus is iniquity! To live outside of the Law of Life is to find ourselves subject to another law, the law of sin and death. The only reason men can submit to the Law of God is because they have been redeemed! The depth of that redemptive work is revealed by the life that we live. The power to live within the dynamic of this law of life is expressed in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. This is the Kingdom, and blessed are they who enter into the beauty of Holiness. Freedom from self, freedom from all lawlessness, freedom to live and choose of HIS Good will is true life indeed.

“The purpose of Christ’s redeeming work
was to make it possible for bad men to become
good—deeply, radically, and finally.”

A. W. TOZER (1897–1963)

Brian Troxel

SHEPHERD MY SHEEP

SHEPHERD MY SHEEP

“He said to him again a second time,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him,
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him,
“Tend (shepherd) My sheep.”

JOHN 21:16

Love for Jesus is the prerequisite to being ABLE to shepherd HIS sheep. To be a shepherd in God’s house is not a position, a job description or a title. It is simply the expression of a life that loves Jesus. Here Jesus is speaking to one who would walk as an apostolic expression in the days ahead yet the command from Jesus is to FEED and SHEPHERD HIS sheep. The word pastor is used only once in the entire New Testament. Not once is it mentioned in the Book of Acts or in the Epistles of Titus and Timothy who were to go out and ordain (appoint or confirm) Elders in the local church. Yet the concept and passion of all of Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s and Luke’s writings are felt in the heart beat of the Great Shepherd shining through every page written by the unction and power of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s “church” we have made it a position and a title; A shepherd that is going to look after the people of God. The rest can merely sit in the pew, give their 10% in the offering to support “the” ministry and give no more thought to the result of such an idea. The reality is that any one who is truly in Love with Jesus will naturally care for HIS sheep.

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

PHILIPPIANS 2:20

A person who is filled with the Love of God will find that the natural flow of HIS heart is to see God’s people walk in the power and truth of HIS life. The fact that we have so little corporate expression in the Local Church is a powerful testimony to the ineffectiveness of the status quo. True ministry has only one purpose; to cause men and women to be so captivated with the beauty of Jesus that they experience their own deep convictions and desire for the Life of the Son to be manifested in their lives. We will see an incredible bursting forth of power when people are no longer seeking their own things but are more concerned with the life of the Son in those around them. Only LIFE can produce life; only LOVE can bring forth a true and natural flow of care for the life of another.

The Church of Jesus Christ needs more shepherd expressions that are the result of a deep passionate love for Jesus. Not necessarily those who are professional, schooled and trained in the psychology of this world but those have been brought into the Fear of the Lord which is the beginning of ALL TRUE WISDOM. Powerless counselors, worldly strategies and mood altering drugs will NEVER prevail against the deep symptoms of the human heart. We must come to know that only the POWER of JESUS displacing the darkness, the fear, the guilt, the shame and the perversion of the broken heart will provide lasting change. HE is the answer and those that love HIM reveal HIM. We are all still works in progress but let us know that the answer for this world is to be found in a people who LOVE HIM. Those who truly love Jesus cannot help but empower those around them to a greater desire to rise up from where they are and to be caught up in the great pursuit of HIS Lordship and HIS LIFE!

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART TWO

TITUS 2:14

PART TWO

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART II

“that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity”

Jesus said “you do err (are deceived Greek) not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God” (Mathew 22:29). The New Testament clearly presents us with the truth that the obedience of Christ is of greater power than the disobedience of Adam. Yet we constantly hear that there is no “real” complete victory over sin in this life. We are told these statements are merely “positional” and not really actual. By our very confession of such things we declare that the disobedience of Adam is of greater authority in our lives than the obedience of Christ! How can such things be? He gave Himself for us, on our behalf, that we might be redeemed from ALL iniquity! Deception is anything that keeps us from apprehending, understanding and living in the power and glory of the life that is IN Christ Jesus. Deception comes from not knowing the scriptures NOR the power of God. Here we have the clear statement “…that HE might redeem us from ALL iniquity…” Not some iniquity, or most iniquity, or in some theological positional – based teaching that tells us we are already totally free while ignoring the total contradiction all around us. ALL. Wrong thinking produces wrong living. Look around today and see the effects of our “believe and be blessed” teaching. Look at the passive “faith” and what it has produced. To know the substance of a thing, we must see what it produces. This is a day to rend our hearts and return to the life of Love, Joy and Authority that is the fruit of a true knowledge of the scriptures AND the power of God. Anything less than this Jesus called deception! The life of Faith is referred to throughout the scriptures as a fight, as a victory and as a power that is able to reveal HIM in the best and the worst of circumstances.

Whenever there is a contradiction between our lives and the scriptures we must acknowledge that the contradiction is in our hearts. When we are confronted with these things we have a choice to either circumvent the clear declaration of the Word by “clever” teachings or turn our hearts unto the ONE that can make us the righteousness of God in Christ. The life of Faith is one of pursuit. “I press toward the mark…” This is not a vain pursuit, it is a pursuit that is convinced that the provision has been made, the power is there and the “Author” of that Faith is committed to the bringing us into to ALL that HE IS!

We think we can ignore WAY and somehow have knowledge of the TRUTH. We think we can ignore the TRUTH and somehow walk in the LIFE. This is DECEPTION. The WAY is a life of surrender and discipleship, the TRUTH is a POWER not an opinion, the LIFE is HIM reigning in us. This LIFE is the FRUIT of those who WALK in the WAY, empowered by the TRUTH unto the revelation of HIS LIFE in us. The early Church did not meet the WAY we meet today, nor did they have the “teachings” that we have today. But we have not shaken the world as they did. In the purposes of God, the Glory of the latter house shall EXCEED the glory of the former. God always saves the best wine for the last!

Let us arise in this hour to shake off the disillusionment of all that is around us that is the product of a system that is the culmination of a stagnant faith and the tradition of men. For the tradition of men will always render the Word of God powerless (Mathew 15:6); the very scriptures tell us that! For the Word is empowered and made real only through the FAITH of God working in our lives.

“Let us therefore FEAR,
lest a promise being left us of entering into HIS rest,
any of you should seem to come short of it.
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:
BUT THE WORD PREACHED DID NOT PROFIT THEM,
not being mixed with FAITH…”

Hebrews 4:1 – 2

We are here exhorted that we should fear if there is in our lives a coming short of entering into HIS rest. We are coming short. Why is there such complacency within the people of God? Why is there no godly fear left? It is because we know HIM not. We have accepted the teachings of men instead of the truth of God. We have accepted the “way of the world” rather than the WAY of TRUTH, and we have accepted the “carnal life” of good reason, prudence and convenience instead of the LIFE of FAITH and TRUST. We have a church life that is run like any corporation of the world and we wonder why we live a life that resembles the life of the world. We are segmented and divided and wonder why the world cannot see the truth. (They shall know that you are my disciples because you love one another). We no longer see the value of our brothers and sisters or even recognize them as such because the average believer sits passively on a pew no longer even aware that we have an obligation and a responsibility for the condition of His house. We will be held accountable for what we have done with HIS precious life. We have men who delight in the current arrangement as they hold sway over the “faith” of “their” flock. Rather, the ministers of God should be “weeping between the porch and the altar” over the condition of GOD’S House. We have our churches, our fellowships, our pastors, our teachers, our prophets and our apostles and do not know that this is CARNAL. “For one says I am of Paul, another I am of Apollos… are ye not CARNAL?” (I Corinthians 2:4)

It is a day to repent, a day to turn from these things, and a day to seek HIS WAY, HIS TRUTH and HIS LIFE. For these are the last days; the sacrifice has been made and the invitations sent. WHO WILL RESPOND? The Marriage Feast of the Bridegroom will be full and it will be attended only by those who have “their wedding garments on”. The garments of this present day will not suffice. We read that the “Bride hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7), she is clothed in the righteousness of God and she is glorious within and without. This glorious bride will not arise without the functioning and ministration of the individual believers of Christ operating in the Love and Power of HIS LIFE (Ephesians 4:15 – 16). We need one another. We need to love one another and we must function in HIS LIFE to empower one another unto godliness and true charity.

“And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”

Ephesians 4:32

“We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own,
or to enjoy spiritual retirement, we are here to realize Jesus Christ
that the Body of Christ may be built up”

Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART I

“A New Nature”

The Good News is this, that “God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever…” God initiated; God was moved toward His creation by the simplicity of a Love that loves because it IS Love. We look for reasons why, we try to understand the sense of it all. We look for value within our own heart and find none. Love is its only reason. Love is the beginning, the journey and the end of man’s relation to GOD. In all of this HIS design is to replicate His nature within us. For nature determines relationship. Without the new birth from the old Adam into the NEW, there can be no relationship with God. Jesus said “you must be born again”. Nature is the result of BIRTH not teaching. We think by knowledge we have access to God, but without the new nature HE knows us not. The reason we are the offspring of God is because in Christ we have been born anew.

Nature is the Foundation of Relationship

Adam beheld all of creation. He named them and understood with great wisdom their creation and design.

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field
and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam
to see what he would call them.
And whatever Adam called each living creature,
that was its name”

GENESIS 2:19

What great delight must have been God’s to see what man would call the creatures HE had created! For it is always the joy of the Father to see his children function and live as distinct and active beings! We read in verse 2:18 that it was God’s desire to bring forth a help “meet” (fit or suited) for Adam. So God “brought” every beast of the field and fowl of the air, both male and female, to pass in front of Adam and in so doing HE caused Adam to see and understand the wonder and wisdom of companionship in the midst of creation. In so doing there was a cry that awoke within Adam for his own counterpart; something that was of his own likeness, something that was of his nature with a corresponding ability to answer to the cry of his own heart for relationship. The result of this desire is summed up in verse 2:20 “… but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him”. In the verses that follow we see the glory of God bringing forth one out of Adam that answered the cry of his own heart; one that was “bone of his bone and flesh of his own flesh”. One called “Woman, because she was taken out of man”. God well knew that man would not find that deep companionship with the rest of creation, good as it was. For Adam was of a different nature; and that companion must be of the same nature for there to be a true and deep relationship.

So it is of great importance that we begin to see that our relationship with HIM is only true and real according to the measure that HIS nature is formed within us. Do we not read in the Psalm 42 that “deep calls unto deep”? (Psalm 42:7) Should not this be norm for the true people of God; the depths within us calling out to the depth of our heavenly Father? How can a doctrine, teaching or activity replace this cry for trueness of being? For it is written as we have borne the likeness of the earthly, even so we shall bear the image of that which is heavenly and eternal? Even as Eve came out of Adam so must the Bride of Christ arise out of HIM that we may know of this likeness and companionship. Brought out of HIM by the sovereign Grace of God that we might be presented UNTO HIM that we might ever be WITH HIM throughout eternity that in the ages to come God may show forth the manifold wisdom of God in Christ Jesus! So Peter exhorts us…

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust.”

IIPeter 1:4

If in our fallen condition, God took upon Himself the initiative to give HIMSELF for us, our partaking of that nature would freely cause us to give of ourselves to HIM and to ONE ANOTHER that we may see the reality of the Body of Christ in the earth. For it is in loving one another that we reveal our love for HIM (I John 4:20). Nature is the result of birth not teaching. Conduct is the doing of that which is in the nature of a man; by this we know that we are the children of God;

“…and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”
I John 4:7

“Conduct is what we do,
Character is what we are”

E. M. Bounds

Brian Troxel

MINISTRY IN THE HOME

Teach Them

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up”

Deuteronomy 6:7

His name, His goodness and His praise should ever be on the hearts and minds of His own. Our lives before our children should be lived in the evident love of Him. Even though there are shortcomings and issues we need for our children to see that HE is the love and purpose of our life. Strong homes where God is spoken of constantly, where HE is the over-riding reason for the direction and purpose of the home is a ministry in itself. If our faith is not pervading our home and our children’s lives it is time to seek afresh the priorities of our life and turn again to the good and perfect way of the Lord. The unity and the faith of the home is the strength of the Church. It is in passing on to our children the goodness of the fear and the love of God that we see the next generation arising in their own faith and their own light.

“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”

II Timothy 1:5

Strong faith, unfeigned faith, faith that is not comprised of principles and concepts, but a faith that is living and real must bring others into their own FAITH and walk. Faith cannot not be handed down like some sort of heirloom it must be ministered. True faith is only known via relationship with the Author. How we need in this day homes and families where HE is exalted, talked about and lived out to the fullest measure we know that in so doing our children will be drawn into the place of their own relationship and journey with God. The next generation of ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ should be rising up within our own families.

“The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where the
processes of character-molding are
silently, lovingly, faithfully
and successfully carried on”

RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES (1809–1885)

Brian Troxel