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Posts Tagged ‘1 John 4:8’

His Appearing

“When the LORD shall build up Zion,
he shall appear in His glory”
Psalm 102:16

God is a covenant keeping God. The reins of His dealings in His people are neither arbitrary nor random. He is a God of purpose and intent. It is always striking to me to hear people say that the Lord could return at any moment as if there were no real purpose in His timing. He is coming back for something specific and precious to Him.

“…to present her to himself as a radiant church,
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless”
Ephesians 5:27

The church which God is going to present to Himself is to be radiant, pure, and holy. The stains of selfishness, strife, division, and worldliness will be removed. She will be ONE in truth, love, and holiness. Her garments will not be wrinkled nor soiled. The members of this glorious body will have a fervent love one for another and there will be no schisms within those who have the faith of the Bride. Those who are not bothered by the division and the worldliness of the church today know little of either His return or His heart. Those not burdened to the point of speaking, praying, and admonishing His people to repent from their ways know not God! His return is predicated upon the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus.

The Prayer of Jesus

God is not going to allow the prayer of His Son to go unanswered! The prayer of Jesus (John 17) will not fall to the ground unfulfilled. We are here to serve His purposes and desires; to walk contrary to these things is disobedience.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready
Revelation 19:7

Those who walk in the faith (the call) of the Bride cannot hold to evil thoughts about their brothers and sisters; they cannot gossip, speak evil, or withdraw themselves from others. Those who would be ready for Him must know of the burning and purifying required to walk in the white robes of His righteousness and grace. We are required to speak truth and present the Holiness of God to all. The declaration of His Holiness does not arise out of a perceived self-righteousness; it is simply because He who is Holy has called His people to be holy. People who see little are not troubled by the horror of the present day Church of God. They are so involved with their own “church” that they are blinded to the reality of God’s house.

How can it be that we can have our “own” church and our “own” spiritual agendas? Even in our “preaching of Christ” we secretly desire to bring men and women to our building, our organization and our ways. The hidden agenda to enlarge “our” church body reveals the carnality of self-seeking. The result of this worldly way of living is that we are divided against ourselves; an indictment of a people who have wandered far from the truth and power of HIS love in our midst.

Jesus prayed:

That they all may be one;
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

Many religious people do not take the substance of this prayer seriously nor is it thought of in terms of actual fulfillment. The prayer of Jesus is given little consideration as to how we live and conduct ourselves within the household of faith. This Oneness for which Jesus prayed can only be known by “us being ONE IN HIM”. If I am in Jesus, I love His people; if I do not love His people, I do not know God.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Living outside a true knowing of God will leave an individual separated from the influence of the prayer of Jesus. Men take the knowledge of God’s Word and purposes as an intellectual formula but do not know the heartbeat or the power of His love within their hearts. They journey through life unaffected by the condition of His House. In stark contrast, the Bride makes herself ready for she feels the anticipation of being one with Him. Her aspirations are not born by some religious concept; she desires purity because she wants to present herself to Him. This spiritual betrothal is a real and living thing that beats within her heart; a hope that purifies.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3

Everyone that has this hope knows of this purifying! It is a day of separation of the wheat from the chaff, the wheat from the tares, and the Ishmaels from the Isaacs. The Day of the Lord is upon us and the life which we now live reveals the truth of our condition. Those who hold His heart and His faith are asking God to search out their hearts, repenting of the works of the flesh and the severing of relationships. There is a fire to speak the truth and to hold one another accountable in our walk with Him. There is a circumspect walk and a rising up of His Word within the hearts of those who know and feel that the day of His appearing is nigh; not waiting in faithless inactivity but cooperating with the burning of His Spirit within their hearts. They seek out others in whom the fire is burning “to provoke one another unto Love and Good works”.

The Father waits for the prayer of the Son to be realized within those whom He has called.

“Behold, the husbandman waiteth
for the precious fruit of the earth…”
James 5:7

It is He who is waiting for the full and rich harvest from the precious seed which was sown into the earth! The Day of the Lord is the Day of the Harvest. He is waiting for the fullness of Christ within His own. We cannot know God and have little or no concern for the welfare of the Body of Christ. Daniel saw the state of Israel and spent his time weeping and praying over their condition. Paul, Peter, Jude and others wrote and spent their lives beseeching His people to preserve the unity of the Spirit and hold fast to the love of God.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you… to walk worthy
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace
There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all,
and through all, and in you all”
Ephesians 4:1-6

How do we walk worthily?
By endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit!

This is not about the organizations of men but about the One Body of Christ. To walk worthy of His heavenly call we must seek the welfare of His house! Without a burden for his house we are without His Heart.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

A heart devoid of love reveals the indisputable fact that it is not a disciple of Christ. Love is the very signature of God in His own. Apathy is deception; it holds to His word but is bereft of the power and wonder of His Love for Him and one another.

Religion is comfortable with loving one another in word but the love of God calls us to a higher standard.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

When the Church of God is pure, holy, and unified in the fervency and power of His Love, He will suddenly appear with unspeakable glory.

“It came even to pass,
as the trumpeters and singers were as one,
to make one sound to be heard
in praising and thanking the Lord…
that then the house was filled with a cloud,
even the house of the Lord
So that the priests could not stand
to minister by reason of the cloud:
for the glory of the Lord
had filled the house of God
2 Chronicles 5:13-14

———————————–

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come”
Revelation 22:17

Those who are of the Bride speak the same word as the Spirit.

His Return

Note that there are many aspects of His return and his appearing will be according to a person’s relationship with Christ. To the wicked and evil of this world He will come as the Righteous Judge with retribution upon those who have not obeyed the Gospel. To the slothful servant who hid His talent in the ground He will judge and render a just recompense (Matthew 25:24-28). Those who kept their lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit He receives into the marriage feast (Matthew 25:10). To the foolish virgins the marriage feast is closed (Matthew 25:10). To those who knew His will but did not prepare themselves His coming will be accompanied by many stripes (Luke 12:47). His coming to each of us will be in accordance to the life we have lived not the doctrines we hold.

“Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:26

“the Lord, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to his temple”
Malachi 3:1

With an acknowledgement to Brendan Jaster and Linda for help with editing
Please also visit: Brendan Jaster's Blog

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Taught of God

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another”
1 Thessalonians 4:9

The culmination of God’s work within an individual is Love; His Love ruling and reigning in the life of His own. While those with “itchy ears” (desirous of hearing something pleasant Literal Greek Definition) clamor to hear teachers who will entertain the intellect and arouse their curiosity, those who are taught of God are brought into the arena of His Love for one another.

“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;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (LITV)

The Gospel of God speaks of righteousness and grace. It presents to us a bruised and broken Son of God, delivered to wicked men to be crucified on our behalf, that we should no more be slaves of sin but would become servants of righteousness. The gospel of pleasant things is “another gospel” prevalent in preaching of today. The verse preceding the above one is Paul’s instruction to Timothy of what his preaching should be.

“Preach the word; be instant in season,
out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort
with all longsuffering and doctrine”
2 Timothy 4:2

We are to preach the Word, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting one another in the fervor and passion of the Holy Spirit. In our day those who live and preach such things are ostracized and ridiculed for being “legalistic”. In reality the Word declares just the opposite.

“Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away
2 Timothy 2:5

It is those who live in the realm of appearances and hold to a form of righteousness from whom the Apostle exhorts Timothy to turn away. We have perverted the Gospel to such an extent that the “professors” of religion are accepted while those who seek to preach righteousness are turned away even by many who call themselves by His Holy Name. People desire to hear only “pleasant things”; things that soothe the soul and anesthetize the conscience from that word that would pierce asunder “soul and spirit” and make manifest the ulterior motives of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Those who are taught of God know of His Love which corrects, chastens and reproves that they may grow in the righteousness of God in Christ. Those who love religion and appearance are comfortable with a form of goodness and have no desire to come to the truth.

To be taught of God is to desire His word of reproof, exhortation and rebuke from all who walk in the light of God. Truth is the only means by which we can know in the depths of our hearts what God’s Love is. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of Love; it is called the Spirit of Truth. It is in the ministration of truth, that piercing revelation of all who Jesus is, that we have any concept of the Holy Love of God. God’s love does not overlook sin; it atones for it!

Love is the end of God within His people. Those who know God love His people and have His heart, His call and His desire for them beating within their own hearts. It is from such that His ministrations of truth proceed. Those who speak only “pleasant things” are those who desire only pleasant things. Those who compromise with sin in their own hearts will easily overlook the sins of others. Those who shun those who speak truth are those who also shun truth in their own hearts; for by their works men reveal their true condition. It is a day of the unveiling of all things. The Revelation of Christ is also the day of the revelation of all hearts. In the shining forth of Him all things hidden will be exposed and “the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”.

To Love someone is to care
To care for someone is to speak truth
To speak truth is to reveal Jesus
To reveal Jesus is to Honour the Father
To Honour the Father is to Love the Son

Whether or not we are taught of God is revealed by the depth of His Love which flows from our hearts to others. The validity of an individual being taught of God is revealed in the Love they walk in. If we only love those who love us we know not God.

“And if you love those who love you, what thanks is there to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks is there to you? For even the sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks is there to you? For the sinners lend to sinners so that they may receive the same. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be much; and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil ones”
Luke 6:32-35

Ω

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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GOD IS LOVE

OVERVIEW

DIMENSIONS OF HIS LOVE

“THE BREADTH AND LENGTH AND DEPTH AND HEIGHTH”

“GOD is Love” 1 JOHN 4:8, 16

Having felt impressed to write a single article on God’s love it is now apparent that this will be a series of short writings in an attempt to present a brief outline of this majestic subject. The enormity of such an undertaking, and the sense of total ineptness on my part, is coupled with a prayer that HE who chooses the weak things to confound the mighty, the base things to confound the wise, may be pleased to do so here.

I remember probably 30 years ago pondering the responsibilities that God has given to men and the great need we have to draw from HIM the resources to be found faithful in all of the different aspects of our lives. The man of God must be a good husband learning by Christ’s example to love his wife AS Christ loves the church. The man of God must be a good father who discovers through his experience with the Heavenly Father to raise his children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. Failure in these prevents us from having the experience and understanding to be expressions of wisdom in the Church. The man of God must be a good employee/employer as we recognize our accountability unto Him. The man of God must also be a witness and an example to the world without where we walk in wisdom and righteousness. As I contemplated these things the scripture in Ephesians 3:18 came alive and I was struck with the fact that there are four dimensions of knowing Him and His Love that we are to discover and experience.

“May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge”
Ephesians 3:18

HEIGHT

The first dimension is the height of this LOVE. It is here that we must see that every aspect of God’s dealings with us is to enable us to discover that HE IS HOLY. Failure to understand this will dim and corrupt our ability to know His other dimensions; knowing HIS breadth, length and depth. Scripture is clear that “without holiness, no man shall see the Lord”. It is the responsibility of all those who minister to the people of God to set forth a clear presentation of the Living Christ. In so doing the hope would be that each life would see THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE and forsake everything in pursuit of the acquisition of it. Without the aspect of Holiness men will not see HIM as HE is.

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

There is a much today in terms of instruction, and scriptural facts concerning the Christ, but it is not the “knowledge of the holy” which is the true understanding of God. Men who know not of “the HOLY” know not God as they ought for God IS HOLY.

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,
whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place,

with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…”
ISAIAH 57:15

In our religious world today there are many forms of contriteness and humility but unless these qualities are the RESULT of seeing Him they will always fall short of being the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Watchman Nee remarked in the book “Release of the Spirit” that there are many types of brokenness but the only brokenness of any value is that which brings the release of the Spirit of God into the lives of others. So it is with every facet of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The absolute truth that God is Holy and that God is Love is the revelation of WHO and WHAT HE is in HIMSELF. These are not attributes. They are HIS intrinsic self (HIS NATURE) and as such all that HE does flows from the great substance of HIS BEING. We can no more remove the wonder of HIS Holiness from HIS Love than we can take the element of hydrogen from water and still expect to have water. The church of today has in fact removed that element from HIS expression and because of this it is left with a love that is soulish, tepid, shallow and devoid of the power and the pulse of the Holy Spirit. This will taint the expressions of love that are poured forth from the life of the individual believer. The most blatant result seen today is the lack of LOVE between the members of the Body of Christ. Those who have the fear of the Lord know that they are not free to pick and choose which brother they will interact with for the LOVE of GOD is without partiality. They have a holy sense of the connectedness of the Body of Christ and are able to extend that LOVE of GOD to other believers because they ARE His body. They know the flow of that LOVE for it is based upon HIS Nature not upon a brother’s worthiness or capacity. This is where the breadth and length of the expressions of God’s love is determined by the height of a man’s understanding. If there is no comprehension of the height the love becomes earthly and human in its expression. Without the height men become very comfortable with the status quo of the day, exhortation and reproof are seen as expressions that contradict this “love”, and we become apathetic and comfortable with our current condition.

In the letter to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation we see a God who pronounced judgment upon the Church at Ephesus for leaving their “pre-eminent love”. In the Church at Pergamos we see false teachings were being embraced because God’s Holiness was not presented in their lives. We could expound on the other issues found in each of these locations but the cure for all of them is a people who live in the fear of God. Men who fear God have no interest in the approval of men.

BREADTH

Concerning the breadth of God’s love we must come to see that HIS love in us will love not only every brother who is truly a part of the Body of Christ but also those who are contrary and opposed to all that God is. A love that truly loves its enemies prays for them even to the point of blessing them. The absolute breadth of such a love is truly beyond understanding. This love is beyond the manufacture of men, beyond human ability or desire, and it almost seems to contradict our very understanding of Justice and Truth. The breadth of such a love is revealed in the first martyr as we see Stephen being stoned and asking God to forgive them! It is one thing for us to forgive men for their deeds but it is another thing altogether to ask God to forgive them eternally! It is no wonder Paul prays for us to be “strengthened to lay hold” of such a love.

LENGTH

In our consideration of the length of this love we must grasp the enduring love of God who has gone to great lengths of patience and long-suffering with us in our walk with Him. This same love will produce in us a love that will continue to love in the face of indifference and rejection. This is the love that will enable us to suffer long with a brother who refuses to grow, develop, or overcome the obstacles of life. It is a love that, because of God’s Holiness, will not compromise with a brother’s walk but will ever seek to raise them up to the CALL of God to holiness and righteousness. In this dimension there is a suffering born of the knowledge of God’s provisions and HIS own priestly concern over the life of every one of HIS. This is a love that will go to every length within its sphere to see HIS people rise and walk with their Holy God!

DEPTH

When I began to contemplate the mystery of this fourfold knowing of HIM and HIS LOVE I was impacted by the realization that in earthly things my concepts were only three dimensional. Having enjoyed drafting and drawing buildings and such when I was younger it occurred to me that one of those words used in Ephesians 3:18 was beyond my capacity to know. In studying the Greek words used for all of these dimensions I came across the word that is translated depth. This Greek word is a mariner’s term used to describe the ocean and its depths. As sailors they understood they were merely moving upon its surface but that below that surface there was a whole other realm of life about which they knew nothing. Praise the LORD! It is the same Greek word that Jesus used when He invited the disciples …

“Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets…”
Luke 5:4

Can we not hear HIM inviting us to leave the shallow waters of men’s concepts, traditions and teachings and launch ourselves into the depths of HIS BEING where light, glory and LIFE abound? Do we not instinctively sense depths within HIM that surpass knowledge and words, books and sermons, where the Apostle Paul himself declares that he saw and heard things which cannot be uttered? These are things which men cannot articulate for they are beyond the speech of men, beyond the reach of the human mind and are only shown to those who have made holiness of life and purity of heart their pursuit.

“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.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,
yea, the deep things of God”
1CORINTHIANS 2:9

My prayer is that together we will explore the unfathomable dimensions of His Love, for to love Him is to know Him and to know Him is to love Him.

Brian Troxel

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