Our church or HIS HOUSE

Our Church
or
HIS HOUSE

PART ONE

“This people say, The time is not come,
the time that the LORD’S house should be built…
“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses,
and this temple to lie in ruins?”
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Consider your ways!
“You have sown much, and bring in little…”
HAGGAI 1:2

Our church and His House are not the same thing. He has many “living stones” within the confines of our churches but, make no mistake, the two are not the same. For the most part we are content to dwell in our churches. We deck them out in attractive designs and welcoming programs but the end is the same. An organization that operates much the same as any worldly corporation, with various committees and structures, can never produce that organism that lives by the Lordship of the Holy Ghost. His House is to be pulsating with a Life that produces life. The men and women who minister in this house have one purpose and one heart’s cry; to see each member functioning in the power, uniqueness and spontaneity that can only be the product of Him who is the Author and Perfecter of such things. In HIS House (singular) there is a unity of desire to glorify Him. Success is not measured by how many attend but by the righteousness and quality of character of those involved. We are no longer content to dwell in “our” houses but the real concern is for HIS HOUSE. That HOUSE is made up of men and women who were born in Heavenly Zion, the City of our God, the New Jerusalem which is THE CHURCH of the Firstborn. This is not a building on a street corner. This is HIS BODY comprised only of the blood washed children of God born out of every tongue, nation and tribe. A people fused together by ONE SPIRIT and ONE FAITH having been born unto One Father by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“But you have come to Mount Zion
and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn
who are registered in heaven,
to God the Judge of all,
to the spirits of just men made perfect”
HEBREWS 12:22 – 23

In HIS HOUSE the ministry is functioning to bring forth a UNITY OF THE FAITH not the filling up of a building! HE HAS GIVEN…

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles,
some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
FOR the equipping of the saints FOR the work of ministry,
FOR the edifying of the body of Christ,
TILL WE ALL come to the unity of the faith”
EPHESIANS 4:11 – 13

True ministry is not here to propagate an organization or its agendas. Rather they are to facilitate an actual growth in righteousness. Their sphere of influence should be equipping others to function in the call, the purposes and power of the Holy Ghost, They are to minister in such a way as to bring forth the UNITY of THE FAITH and of the FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON!! The nature of anything is known by the fruit it produces. Often the young men and women attending our Bible schools are indoctrinated in the particular brand of “faith” of that school. Rather than producing those who are moving toward the unity of the faith they are propagating and instilling deeper divisions and confusion. God has a name for this; it is called Babylon. The scoffers and the “wise” of this world/church say that such a unity is unattainable on this earth. God’s Word says that these ministrations will continue UNTIL this takes place AND JESUS PRAYED…

“I pray for them…
that they may be one as We are..
I do not pray for these alone,
but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me,
and I in You; that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me”
JOHN 17 (excerpts)
(read the whole prayer)

This unity is attainable if for no other reason than that the SON PRAYED for it. He gave ministry unto the church to make it so. If we cannot believe God for this than it is time for us to consider the validity of our faith.

The Time is not yet come!

I hear people say “it is not time” for such a thing. I hear people say “can such a thing ever be?”

“With men this is impossible;
but with God all things are possible”
MATTHEW 19:26

The fact of the matter is HIS HOUSE lays waste. How do we know this? What measure do we use to arrive at such a conclusion? All we have to do is read the Book of Acts, and as Haggai says…

“You have sown much, and bring in little”
HAGGAI 1:6

The outreach programs, the marketing efforts, the strategizing, and immense amounts of human energy and financial resources are spent with little return. We market HIM rather than present HIM. We offer HIM up as a cheap commodity as if He were dependent upon the whim and will of men. He is not presented as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; we present HIM as something less. Are we here to beg and plead with people to accept HIM or are His People the result of HIS CALL, HIS CHOOSING AND HIS SOVEREIGNTY?

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you
and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit”
JOHN 15:16

“NO ONE CAN COME TO Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;
and I will raise him up at the last day”
JOHN 6:44

{No One! We may wonder, then why preach? Watchman Nee put it best… He would go from village to village preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ because there were those in every village whom God’s Spirit had been preparing for him to bring that living word.}

We see the ineffectiveness of our efforts while we present to the world a divided, powerless church, filled with division and competition. We seek to build kingdoms unto ourselves and compete with the church across the street. We think we are moving toward unity if the pastors meet once a month in some fraternal way. We neglect the fact that the way God has purposed to reveal Himself to the world is through the depth and power of LOVE that we have toward one another. “BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW…” Yet through unbelief we continue to say such a thing is impossible. We ignore the necessity of the five fold ministry and invent a pastoral role without ANY scriptures to support it. We are more interested in building our church than HIS. We say we are of the Pentecostal church, the Alliance church, the Anglican church, the Baptist church, etc. Paul told the Corinthians that such a thing is carnal…

“Now I say this, that each of you (who) says, “I am of Paul,”
or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,”
or “I am of Christ.”
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
1 CORINTHIANS 1:12

If Christ is not divided how dare we live divided. Jesus told us to pray to the end that as it is in heaven so should it be on earth. The end of division is summed up in one word, OBEDIENCE! Thy WILL be DONE on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. The SON prayed for that unity here and that it would be of the same quality as it is in Heaven. Therefore…

“THUS SAYS THE LORD
CONSIDER YOUR WAYS”
HAGGAI 1:5, 7

Brian Troxel

LET HOPE REMAIN

LET HOPE REMAIN

“And he said, About this season,
according to the time of life,
thou shalt embrace a son”
II KINGS 4:16

Opportunities for enlargement are often shrouded in the dark clouds of obscurity and silence. What seems to be a dead end and a place of helplessness is often the very gateway into the Glory of God. While men linger in resignation, God waits in expectation.

In the story presented here in II Kings there is an unfolding of a relationship between a prophet of God and a kind woman who provided a place for him and his servant to stay as they passed through from time to time. Her motive was right and she did not expect anything in return. She was simply accommodating a servant of God. After some time it came to Elisha to bless her for the kindness shown and in which the revelation of her barrenness came to light. Her husband was old and the desire for a child must have been a strong cry within her heart. Upon discovering Elisha spoke that living word of promise that she would embrace a child much to her own disbelief. The hope of such a thing had long passed as her circumstances dictated otherwise. The years of fading hope had succumbed to the defacto of her experience. The cry for fruitfulness had been quenched and subdued to the point of a pragmatic outlook on life. It is in such places and such times that God will send the opportunity for His Grace to find us if we will simply remain open to the appointment afforded us; one that is wrapped up in the “everydayness” of life and clothed in the simple outworking of our lives.

The promise of this son, given by a living word, would in itself be a testimony to us who should believe hereafter of THE SON being brought forth in the power and REALITY of our lives. It is incumbent upon us to remain open to the opportunities around us and not allow the experiences of life to harden our hearts nor shrink the world in which we live. It is a day to lift up our eyes “unto the hills” and to ever live with an expectancy of His moving afresh in our lives. The power of a living HOPE chases away the seeming treadmill of our existence. It lifts our eyes from the dusty footsteps of our path unto the horizon where the “Sun of Righteousness” is arising with healing in His wings. The dark night of sorrow and the dim grey shadows of a lifeless dawn must and will give way to HIS ARISING. May we live in the knowledge of HIS Character and not give way to a religious existence of doctrine, rote and tradition. Let us remember that He who has promised cannot lie and the desire to bear fruit out of our own lives is the result of HIS planting and HIS promises.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass”
PSALM 3 7:3- 5

COMFORT

COMFORT

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours,
and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
And I will make thy windows of agates,
and thy gates of carbuncles,
and all thy borders of pleasant stones”
ISAIAH 54:11-12

In affliction, tempest and sorrow the God of all comfort comes softly like the dew settling upon the grass after the long dark season of night. His silent ways bring whispers of hope within the human heart and His strong arms hold and carry us in the distress of our circumstances. He walks with us through the valleys. He gently embraces the wounded heart and in the secret of His ways we see the fair colours of His handiwork. We see the precious stones of His making become the foundation of our lives; not only strong and stable but filled with the beauty of His own being. There is no such thing as wasted tears for those that know their God. All sorrows and trials become part of the building of His story in our lives. His comfort becomes the very currency that we can share with others for it has become ours through the experiences of a life with Him.

His promises of comfort in our trials are the foundation of our hope in Him. The history of His faithfulness builds within us a strong hope to face the path that lies before us. The ONE who faced Calvary, and prayed with such intensity that great drops of blood fell as He communed with His Father, is the same ONE who is now able keep you in your dark hour. Let His faithfulness assuage your broken heart and His Grace lift you up as on eagles’ wings. Let the world know that we are not without the rich resources of our Risen Christ.

His mercies are new every morning and though weeping may endure for the night joy will come in the morning.

Ω

“Troubled soul, the “much tribulation” will soon be over,
and as you enter the “kingdom of God” you shall then see,
no longer “through a glass darkly”
but in the unshadowed sunlight of the Divine presence,
that “all things” did “work together”
for your personal and eternal good.”
Arthur Pink

BT

BLESSINGS & PROMISES

BLESSINGS AND PROMISES

“Give me a blessing:
for thou hast given me a south land;
give me also springs of water.
And Caleb gave her the upper springs
and the nether springs”
Judges 1:15

It is the Father’s good pleasure to give to those that ask and to give without measure to those who seek out His inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18). Here Caleb’s daughter is asking for her inheritance of the Land of Promise. According to the law only sons had the right to this inheritance. Likewise, under the law, we would all be excluded from any of the inheritance of God. But Christ has come and, even more importantly, IS COME. HIS FATHER is now ours because we have been born into HIM. These promises are ours by relationship not by teaching or declaration.

“For all the promises of God IN him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God
II CORINTHIANS 1:20

The promises of God are fulfilled in HIM and become ours through relationship with HIM who is the HEAD of this body. The LIFE of the Body flows from the HEAD just as the branch lives by drawing the LIFE of the vine. The WISDOM of the Head becomes the wisdom of the body as it listens to HIM through a LIVING relationship. These promises are ours for the Glory of God, not for us to consume for our carnality or selfish purposes. The true blessings of God glorify HIM. His promises are given that we may enjoy the manifold expressions of His life in and through us.

“But unto them which are called,
both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God,
and the wisdom of God”
I CORINTHIANS 1:24

Contained within the calling of God is the promise of HIM to be our Power and our Wisdom. Power to endure, power to remain faithful, power to overcome and to become true, authentic expressions of all that HE IS. Power to reveal strength in our weaknesses, power to love our enemies, power to remain true when all around us is compromise, religion and lies. Power to face the issues of our own hearts knowing that in HIM they are to become “bread for us” (Numbers 14:9). Power to refuse to compromise with the world without and the issues within. Power to BE is greater than the power to DO (Matthew 7:22-23).

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”
PROVERBS 16:2

It is the Father’s joy to make available to us through HIS SON the power (Grk. Dunamis) to become by Grace what the Son is by Nature. In HIM we have become partakers of this Divine Nature BY the promises of God!

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers (participants)
of the divine nature”
II PETER 1:4

These promises are ours that we may become participants (κοινωνός)* of the Divine Nature. It is in giving that we receive and in doing that we become. In the interaction of our lives in HIM we grow and BECOME more like Him. We cannot read the parable of the Vine in John 15 without being struck with the impact of the vital truth of the New Testament; HE came to produce a living body not a collection of doctrinal adherents. He did not come to establish another religion in this dark and lost world. HE CAME to make us the light of the world!

Let us rise up in faith to explore, appropriate and live in the promises of God in Christ. Let us not settle for a nominal “christian” experience. His pleasure is to give, His glory is to watch His children grow into the full stature of the Son by the ministrations of life that HE has so freely given (Ephesians 4:11-16). “Unto the FULL STATURE….” May we lift up our eyes and place our hope and confidence in the God who CANNOT LIE.

“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

*G2844. κοινωνός koinōnos; gen. koinōnou, masc.-fem., neut. koinōnon, adj. from koinos (G2839), common. A partaker, partner, companion, used in an absolute sense in 2 Cor. 8:23; Phile. 1:17. Followed by the gen. of person of whom one is the companion, with whom he partakes in something
Complete New Testament Word Study

ONE BREAD ONE BODY

ONE BREAD ONE BODY

“For WE,
though many,
ARE one bread and one body;
FOR we all partake of that one bread”
I CORINTHIANS 10:17

Love is mentioned 156 times in the New Testament while the word WE is mentioned 630 times; the majority of these are concerning the body of Christ. The WE is the expression of the Love. The commonality of the communal heart was a ONENESS in the peoples’ lives revealing the ONE BODY and the ONE CHURCH. The thing that made the unity was the partaking of that ONE bread which was broken for them. The closer one is in relationship to the HEAD the more one is cognizant of the ONE body. This explains the fragmentation and sectarianism that has robbed the body of its power and reality.

Love is the fruit of relationship with the head. Love surpasses knowledge, rejoices with the truth, stands for truth and knows that the only hope for anyone to be truly free, truly righteous and truly like the Son is by the ministration of truth. Where truth is neglected love will be a dismal expression of all that God is for “God IS Love”. I cannot know what love is except in the true knowing of God. Truth is my only hope for knowing what LOVE really is.

Love is the selfless and pure expression of the God who so loved the world that HE gave His only Son. That same Love that gave is the same God who in total holiness and impartiality is the judge of all men. All the heavens and they that dwell there are awestruck with the Holiness, the Righteousness and the Omnipotence of His Majesty. The most holy Angels who have never known sin or rebellion shield themselves from His glorious penetrating light; such a contrast with the apathy and religion of today. Where there is no unity in the midst of God’s people there will be little or no glory.

In every case of unity in both the Old and New Testaments there was God’s glory to such an extent that men were bowed and the heavens were opened. The unity PRECEDES the moving of God. On the day of Pentecost they were in ONE ACCORD prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We read in the Old Testament that when the singers and dancers were of ONE Voice the Glory of God fell. Jesus said…

“And he spake also a parable unto them;
“No one tears a piece from a new garment
and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new,
and the piece from the new will not match the old.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.
If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled,
and the skins will be destroyed
LUKE 5:35-38

The New Wine will not be poured out into old wine skins. They are old, inflexible, and weak. They have become rigid and have a form of righteousness that cannot be changed. God is not in the renovating business; HE TRANSFORMS anyone who dares walk in truth and in the light. His Love does not compromise with sin and religion. He cleansed the temple in His Day and He has not changed! Men were satisfied with their paltry offerings and even the disciples (prior to Pentecost) were found marveling at the temple buildings in their day. Jesus says that there will not be left one stone of that old order. For the new was ready to break forth upon the grounds of the pure sacrifice of the LAMB OF GOD. Now it is a temple not made with hands; a living temple made up of living stones mortared together by the simplicity of the LOVE of God. Men no longer build their own edifices but are themselves built together INTO this glorious temple.

“In whom ye also are builded together
for an habitation of God through the Spirit”
EPHESIANS 2:22

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men,
but chosen by God and precious, you also,
as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
I PETER 2:5

The ONE BREAD is to bring forth the ONE BODY in truth and reality. Not a oneness based on the effort of men or the compromise of the truth! This ONENESS is the REVELATION OF THE TRUTH not the ignoring of it. TRUE LOVE IS THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT which IS CALLED THE “SPIRIT OF TRUTH”. When men love programs, teachings, the esteem of men and self promotion more than they love truth they reap the fruit of their own ways. This in itself is the great judgement of God. When men are content with such things nothing changes. Agnosticism is in full expression and men declare that God moves at times and not at others as if it were some mysterious thing. Truth is seen as being relative; there is no concern for wrong teachings and soulish ways. We are not to say anything, do anything, that might offend others. God has a name for such a generation… ICHABOD!

“And she named the child Ichabod,
saying, The glory is departed from Israel”
I SAMUEL 4:21

It is time to read the scriptures for what they say and to see through the “status quo” of today. It is a day to return to the simplicity of truth and the power of His Spirit that can only be found where the New Wine skin is made up of those that love one another fervently out of a pure heart. We can no longer meet in the ways of the world. The true church is not an earthly organization but a spiritual organism living in the breath of the Holy Spirit, where men no longer walk in titles and positions but live and walk in the pure expression of His love. It is a place where our meeting together is no longer orchestrated by the programs of men but has become the place where the Spirit of Liberty is free to EXPRESS THE LIVING CHRIST. A place where His Glory comes in such power that the ways of Ananias and Sapphira are judged and God is glorified. A place where HIS Glory so permeates our gatherings unto Him that no earthly agenda can survive and men speak as the oracles of God.

We need to stop reading the scriptures as if they were for another day; to stop viewing the Holy Word as if it were a historical document.

Daniel in captivity UNDERSTOOD by the reading of the scriptures that they would be in exile for 70 years and began to pray and repent; GOD ANSWERED! It is as men read the scriptures and hear HIS voice that repentance and change comes. He did not simply say “Well, God is going to do it”… HE knew God enough to know that HE MUST RESPOND to God’s Word personally to experience the LIFE OF IT. FAITH IS SIMPLY THE ABILITY TO RESPOND TO GOD.

The scriptures are read everyday across our land but the famine of the word is not in the reading of it but in the HEARING of it. For FAITH comes by hearing not reading. So Jesus warns us to take heed “HOW WE HEAR” and “WHAT WE HEAR”.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD,
that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of HEARING the words of the LORD”
AMOS 8:11

That day is upon us, but the promise of God to His Church is …

“He who has an ear, let him HEAR what the Spirit says”

The unity of the true Body of Christ is only known by the simplicity of WALKING IN THE LIGHT…

“But if we WALK in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
I JOHN 1:7

Ω

“The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity.
The World will go limping until
Christ’s prayer that all may be one is answered.
We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks.
A unified Church is the only offering we dare present
to the coming Christ,
for in it alone will He find room to dwell”
CH. Brent

Brian Troxel

Captivated by Beauty

“Captivated by Beauty”

“After this many of his disciples
turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life”
JOHN 6:66 – 68

The “seeing” of Him is the essential element of TRUE discipleship. Discipleship on any other basis is simply religious fervor that leads to legalism and fanaticism. On the other hand, men who have not seen the unparalleled beauty of the Son pursue nothing. They are quite satisfied with the knowledge of being a child of God without any real desire for a deeper relationship with Him than what they have now (Philippians 3:7-14).

We see here in Peter’s response to Jesus that they could not go away for they had discovered in Him the words and the source of eternal life; their hearts had been captivated by a beauty beyond compare. In one of the parables of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God Jesus said…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

The ardency of the pursuit of Christ is the revelation of what one has seen. The fruit of seeing is a life of following and seeking. The true beauty of Christ ruins us for the trappings of religious contentment that knows not the cry for a knowing of Him. It is in the FINDING OF HIM that the merchant goes and sells all that he has to purchase this great treasure.

Men who have not truly found Him do not pursue Him; there is no compulsion within to know this ONE PEARL of great price. It is only in KNOWING HIM that we are privileged to see the surpassing beauty of His Glory. To such an end have the promises of God been given…

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”
MATTHEW 5:6

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”
MATTHEW 7:8

Let us take note of the tremendous assurance of His promises; Ask… IT WILL BE GIVEN, Seek…YOU WILL FIND, Knock… IT WILL BE OPENED! The real beauty of these promises is “for EVERYONE that…”! How can we sit idle or find comfort in simply knowing Him from afar? How can we linger with such promises given?

We live in a day of such apathy and ungodly contentment; where men and women hold the “knowledge” of God in a lukewarm and casual manner. We speak of salvation as a one -time event that having now been born again the work of God is complete and I can live my life with very little ongoing growth or development. We are content with remaining servants without any desire to grow from servants to friends with God.

“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 requires obedience and hearing. It requires one who is coming to know the heart and the ways of God. It is a RELATIONSHIP that is ever growing and it necessitates change on my part. It requires a seeking and a desire to know HIM who is the ONE GREAT LOVE of the FATHER.

Where else can we go, to whom else can we turn? Nowhere but to Him who is the source of all life, hope and glory!

*γνωρίζω gnōrizō; to make known; it is used here as an aorist verb. See John 17:26 where Jesus in speaking to His Father said “…I have declared unto them thy name, and will (continue to) declare it”

To learn is to grow and to to grow is to live.

Brian Troxel

GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN

“Give me this mountain”

“…yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me:
as my strength was then, even so is my strength now,
for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Now therefore give me this mountain…”
JOSHUA 14: 11 – 12

Faith is not only a substance and the real evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) it is also a spiritual reality and a precious fruit (Galatians 5:22 – 23). Faith is not determined by age or the weaknesses that are common to man. We see here the testimony of Joshua who, at the age of eighty-five, is undaunted by the promises of God. The mountain he asked for was inhabited by the giant Arba and the Anakims which were the giants of the land of whom Goliath was a descendent. His eyes were fixed upon the promises of God, not himself.

Because that living faith burned within his heart it had NOT diminished with the passing of time; he was able to declare…

“Now therefore give me this mountain…”

The eternal purposes of God do not rest upon our physical strength or abilities; they are carried along by the operation of His faith within the recesses of our hearts. Joshua still had to invade that land and fight the giants but his strength was the product of a living faith and not the other way around. So must we in our day continue to “contend for the faith”. Faith that is living and true, that is present tense and at this moment “strengthened for war…to go out and to come in”. Wherever there is true faith there is a continual war in the spirit both to hold onto what is ours in Christ and to see total victory over the strongholds within.

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”
II CORINTHIANS 10:4

And again…

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare”
I TIMOTHY 1:18

Many of Joshua’s fellow Israelites did not live to enter the Promised Land because of the issue of faith; so it is in our day (I Corinthians 10:6 – 12 and Hebrews 4:6). May the Lord stir our hearts to hold faith, walk in faith and live a life that pleases HIM. May we be found strong to finish the race for HIS Glory.

“Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might”
EPHESIANS 6:10

Brian Troxel

An Open Heaven? Purity of Heart

An Open Heaven?

PART THREE

PURITY OF HEART

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will see the heavens opened”
JOHN 1:51

An open heaven is progressive in its nature and outworking; the experience of it in our lives is directly related to the condition of our hearts.

Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God
MATTHEW 5:8

The ability to see and understand the ways of God is an issue of the heart not the mind. The heart is the lens through which we “see” God. Its purity of motive and intent is an essential requirement to the knowing and understanding of HIS WAYS. In the religious world today there is very little concern over WHY a thing is done. The actions of Ananias and Sapphira go unchallenged today because in large part we do not concern ourselves with motives and intentions. As a result we see very little in terms of depth of understanding or truth. Holiness has no real meaning in our day because of the “teachings and concepts” of a worldly gospel. When will we realize that the judgment on Ananias and Sapphira is a New Testament reality? God HAS NOT CHANGED. Where truth becomes a mere religious teaching God hides Himself; the greatest judgment a people can ever experience. But those who desire to see HIM will pursue a pure heart.

“…for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

All our actions are weighed in the balances of His Holiness. When things are done to please people, to garner the praises of men, or to seem spiritual, the thing done has little value in the eyes of HIM that burns with the PURE flame of heaven (Revelation 1:14). A pure heart is when we live our lives to please HIM and honor HIM in all that we do.

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner
of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight,
but all things are naked and open
to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”
HEBREWS 4:12 – 13

The recognition of our need for purity of heart is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is the HOLY SPIRIT; not just the Spirit of God but the HOLY SPIRIT of God. It is in a living relationship with HIM that we realize that Holiness is not simply a nice religious word but that it is the ESSENTIAL requirement of any heart to grow in the knowing of our God.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
without which no man shall see the Lord”
HEBREWS 12:14

Ω

“This desire for heart purity
is a creation of the Holy Spirit at work in the heart”
Duncan Campbell

Brian Troxel

FOR THE TIME WILL COME

“For the time will come…”

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears”
IITim: 4:3

(Greek Exegesis)

“…shall heap to themselves teachers…”

Shall they heap to themselves teachers (ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύ σουσιν διδασκάλους) A vigorous and graphic statement. Ἑπισωρεύειν to heap up, N.T. Comp. σεσωρευμένα laden, 3:6. The word is ironical; shall invite teachers en masse. In periods of unsettled faith, skepticism, and mere curious speculation in matters of religion, teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies in Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found. “The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools” (Bacon, Ess. 17).

Having itching ears (κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν) Or, being tickled in their hearing. Κνήθειν to tickle, N.T. lxx. Κνηθόμενοι itching. Hesychius explains, “hearing for mere gratification.” Clement of Alexandria describes certain teachers as “scratching and tickling, in no human way, the ears of those who eagerly desire to be scratched” (Strom. v.). Seneca says: “Some come to hear, not to learn, just as we go to the theater, for pleasure, to delight our ears with the speaking or the voice or the plays” (Vincent’s Word Studies)

The word narcosis is the result or state of temporary being that arises from this pursuit of mere gratification. As it speaks in the scriptures of a famine of the “hearing” of the Word of God, and because of this “…they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” Amos 8:11 – 12. There is a lust for knowledge that is not for the purpose of becoming but simply for the pursuit of accumulating more knowledge. It is a day of great obscurity as the wheat and the tares grow together until the day of harvest when the sheep are separated from the goats. This separation is not based on the accumulation of knowledge but is determined by the nature of the individual (IIPet. 1:4). It is through the process of obedience and the pursuit of His person that what we hear becomes what we are. When teaching no longer creates a cry within the hearts of its recipients to become, it is simply another means of entertainment for a people who “heap to themselves teachers”.

I felt impressed to send out this short article that I wrote in 2007 and though it is not meant as something easy to read it is simply a Greek word study on 2Timothy 4:3.

B. Troxel
March 18, 2007

An Open Heaven – Obedience –

An Open Heaven?

PART TWO

OBEDIENCE

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will see the heavens opened”
JOHN 1:51

An open heaven is a progressive life of revelation and change; it is dependent upon our response to His leading in order for us to grow and develop in the purpose that HE has for us. An Open Heaven is the result of a life of Obedience to Him. Without obeying Him we are sure to live a life of stagnation and impotence. This is no destination worthy of the God who has called us with an eternal and infinite call. His purposes for us are also eternal.

“That in the ages to come
he might show the exceeding riches of his grace
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”
EPHESIANS 2:7

An ever opening heaven should be the normal Christian experience of every child of God. The things of heaven should be becoming more real and precious to us while the things of earth will, in direct proportion, become dim and distant as we behold the wonder and glory of our God. This life of the ever opening heaven is only realized through the life of obedience. In truth faith and obedience are inseparable. Sadly in our day faith has little to do with obedience for we have separated the two to such an extent that what one believes has little or no consequence to what one does.

OBEDIENCE

Whether it is in the Old or New Testament, the accounts of glory discovered by men and women, who on the basis of obedience were afforded the unique revelations of the Most High God, are there for our learning and admonition. Had not Jeremiah gone to the Potter’s House he would not have received the message of God for Israel. Had not the man with the withered hand responded to Jesus (in the midst of great unbelief) he would not have been healed. Had not the disciples got into the boat they would not have seen the Christ walking on the water in the midst of the storm. Had not the widow begun to pour oil out into the empty vessels her poverty would have continued and her sons would have been taken. Had not the priests stepped into the river that was flooding there would have been no way for the children of Israel to enter into the promised land. Had not Phillip gone to Gaza he would have missed the appointment with the Eunuch. Stagnation sets into the lives of God’s people when obedience is replaced by religious concepts and teachings. The open heaven becomes closed when men no longer expect nor receive the afforded grace of the WAY of GOD. The ever increasing dynamic of HIS life in us is energized by the glimpses of His Glory as we obey Him in the secret places of our hearts. Fresh revelations of Him in our daily lives keep the warmth of His presence alive to continue to follow Him wherever He leads.

The necessity of the Open Heaven is the means by which we become that heavenly people. It is the essential aroma of those who follow the Lamb in the reality of their lives. There is an unmistakable hope that beats within the hearts of those who endure by the seeing of Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27). The Open Heaven causes men and women to believe and know that they are to participate in His return. They are not just waiting without purpose but that they are a PART OF HIS RETURN; through the life of Obedience they are hastening His appearing.

“…when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared”
1PETER 3:20

God’s judgment on the earth waited for Noah to finish the Ark!

“Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there”
GENESIS 19:22

God’s judgment on Sodom waited on Lot to leave the city!

Jesus said HIS return would be as it was in the days of Noah and Lot. Can we not see and understand the implications of our life in Him?

Peter enjoins us to ever be…

“…looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God”
2Peter 3:12

The Holy Spirit here is telling us to “HASTEN” the day of His return.

“…and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled”
2CORINTHIANS 10:6

The Open Heaven is necessary for us to see that through the power of His Faith in us we are HIS BODY and HIS LIGHT in the earth. We are bone of His bone and as such we are to KNOW HIS WILL and walk in it.

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
See then that you walk circumspectly,
not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise,
but understand what the will of the Lord is
EPHESIANS 5:14 – 17

Ω

“The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters
is not intellect, but obedience.”
Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel