Letters to the Church – Part Five

Letters to the Church – Part Five

“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
Luke 19:15

The magnitude of God’s grace and the abundance of His gifts are evident throughout the New Testament promises. The depth of His unmerited mercy can only be fully appreciated through the medium of walking out those gifts in faithfulness. We see this throughout the Gospels. The Parables of the pounds, the talents, the sower and others, show the variety and the wonder of His gifts AND their corresponding accountability. To each of the recipients of the Pounds in the above Parable the reward of Christ was determined by their “trading” of the thing given. The individual who received one pound without their diligence to the precious gift given were never able to fully appreciate the gift or the giver’s worth. It remained unchanged, undeveloped and unappreciated. For such the Day of the Lord holds no rejoicing. How did Jesus respond to the one who held His precious things lightly?

“Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant…
and he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound,
and give it to him that hath ten pounds…”
Luke 19:22-24

The great gifts of God require our full attention. They become far more developed and valuable as we are faithful to them. In this Parable (unlike the Parable of the Talents) every individual was given the same initial amount; through their faithfulness and investment the one pound became ten, and to another became five. Yet for the slothful one, the one talent remained one. In the Parable of the Sower the one seed sown in a variety of the soils, produced very different outcomes. The fruitfulness of the seed was determined by the soil, not the seed! The same Pound given produced different results in the lives of each of these individuals. The great eternal question to each of us? What have we done with the precious gifts allotted to us?

We read in the great chapter of Faith in Hebrews 11, the faith of our forefather’s lives and the testimony they have left for us that we might walk in like manner.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward
Hebrews 11:24-26

The reason Moses forsook Egypt and chose to suffer affliction and reproach was because he had “respect” for the eternal rewards of Christ! He accounted the reproach of Christ to be of more value than Pharaoh’s riches! Men and women who fail to develop the great gifts of God hold a disrespect for His Gifts of Mercy and Grace. The verity of Moses having “respect unto the reward” is a New Testament truth declared in the Book of Hebrews; it is a truth of infinite value for the people of God in this day! We live in a Day when the Gospel preached minimizes or denies the reward and the Judgment Seat of Christ unto His Own! (2 Corinthians 5:10) We have a gospel today which speaks of a salvation regardless of how we live our lives where the faithful and the unfaithful all just go to heaven without any eternal consequences relating to the life they lived. Without the solemn truth of the “fear of the Lord” men and women, who are truly God’s children, see no reason to develop the gifts of Christ in their own lives. Much of the “ministry” in God’s house is satisfied  with a people who are undeveloped in their “own” gifts and ministries in God. This false gospel is convenient for the leaders as they maintain their authority with little or no local accountability. It is also convenient for the people as they feel free of their responsibility to God in His purposes for their lives.

“…the priests rule by their own authority;
and my people love to have it so”
Jeremiah 5:31

The result is a poor and impoverished church which lacks power, vitality and the raising up of the Body of Christ through the development of their own ministrations. This arrangement will not alter the accountability of each individual unto God for themselves. His Word is clear and our Day of giving an account of how we lived our lives unto Him remains true and unchangeable.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:10-11

(I do not write these things to be contentious, but because I am compelled to be faithful unto His Word to all who read these things. We want our day of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be a day of joy and great rewards, not of loss and sorrow.)

A gospel which denies our accountability is not only a deceptive lie but a robbery of God’s glory and investment!

“Will a man rob God?”
Yet ye have robbed me
But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee?’
In tithes and offerings”
Malachi 3:8

The tithes and offerings of the New Testament is for us to give back to God the increase of His gifts to us. If one with a gift of healing, a word of knowledge, a ministry in the Word, or a thousand other ministrations He has lavished on the Body of Christ does not invest that in others, we not only rob ourselves of the reward of Christ but we also rob His Body which is to be built up “by the functioning of every part”! (Ephesians 4:16) If every part is not functioning, the Body of Christ will suffer loss!

Paul in his understanding of this vital truth exhorted and encouraged the people of God to walk and fulfill the ministry that God had given unto them.

“And say to Archippus,
Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,
that thou fulfil it
Colossians 4:17

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”
1 Timothy 4:14

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
that thou stir up the gift of God…”
2 Timothy 1:6

We must reject a gospel which presents ministry as something for a privileged few and began to read His Word in the truth and solemnity of its simple declarations.

“But to each one is given
the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all”
1 Corinthians 12:7

Read the context of this scripture and do not let any teaching, doctrine or cunning words of men deter you from the truth and grace which has been given to “each one” of us!

When we stand before Him, may we each hear:

Well DONE, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

Brian Troxel

The Unity of God – Part Three

The Unity of God 

Part Three
(See Part One)
(See Part Two)

The Body of Christ

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be ONE flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church”
Ephesians 5:31

The Unity of the Body of Christ

“That they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in US…”
John 17:21

The US is the distinction of plurality, and the ONE is the wonder of unity; a unity beyond description and understanding. Such things cannot be understood by the intellect; they can only be known through relationship in Him (Christ) who alone can reveal the Father. The glory of the Body of Christ itself cannot be comprehended unless we are in Him who is the Head and Life of it. That men can divide and cut asunder the living fabric of His Body is beyond comprehension. Those who seek to draw men unto themselves in the name of God will know the severity of His verdict in the great Day of Judgement reserved for all men (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). God, by His very nature, hates divorce for “whatsoever God has joined let no man put asunder”! Those who seek to separate His people from the Head and one another will know the wrath and judgement of God.

The Holy Spirit

Within the heart of the Son is the eternal Will to live out of the Father; in like manner, the Holy Spirit is sent into the world to work and bring to pass the Will of the Son, culminating in us becoming a pure expression of Him. We must see that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father; He Himself is the agency to lead and guide us into all Truth, and to glorify the Son in the earth.

“But when the Comforter is come,
whom I will send unto you from the Father,
even the Spirit of truth,
which proceedeth from the Father,
He shall testify of Me
John 15:26

This grand unity filled with the Eternal Glory of all that God is, has called us by the sovereignty of Grace to become part of this Oneness by partaking of the Divine Nature.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 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”
2 Peter 1:3-4

“That they may be ONE… in US

Let the wonder and the magnificence of the call and purpose of God in Christ beat within our hearts.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself”
Philippians 3:21

Is there not within our hearts the same longing that God has put in all creation?

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves…”
Romans 8:19,21-23

The validity of having received the Firstfruits of the Spirit is revealed in the longing within our hearts for the completion of God’s purpose! There is a desire to walk in the fulness of Christ, not apart from Him, but in full dependence as the branch eternally abides in the Vine.

The True Five-Fold Ministry of Christ

God has set the five-fold ministry in the earth to accomplish this great Call.

Eph 4:11 And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the(ir) work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:13 until we all may come to the UNITY of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Any ministry which is not endeavoring to instill within God’s people the purifying Word to the bringing forth of the actual righteousness of Christ; who is not encouraging them in the birthing of their own powerful ministrations of God into the world around them; and who are not seeking to usher in the Unity of the Faith, has misrepresented the heart and purpose of God!

“That they all may be one; as thou,
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in US…”
John 17:21

Σ

“For of him, and through him, and to him,
are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”
Romans 11:36

Notes on the Name of God – Elohim

God – אלהים – ‘ĕlôhı̂ym is a derivative of the Hebrew name Eloah which is the singular form, the difference being that the Elohiym has the usual ending for all masculine Hebrew nouns in the plural. “A devout saint and Hebrew scholar Dr. Parkhurst, defined the word Elohim as a name usually given in the scriptures to the ever blessed Trinity by which they represent themselves as under the obligation of an oath to perform certain conditions” Excerpt from Parkhurst – Hebrew Lexicon

It is also noted by Nathan Stone: “It is significant that although plural in form (Elohim) it is constantly accompanied by verbs and adjectives in the singular” when used in reference to God and always in the plural when used in reference to false gods and idols.
Nathan Stone – The Names of God

For example:
“Look unto me (singular), and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:
for I (singular) am God (Elohim-plural), and there is none else”
Isaiah 45:22

and

“I will say of the Lord (YHWH,
He (singular) is my refuge and my fortress:
my God (Elohim); in him (singular) will I trust”
Psalm 91:2

Elohim is the Name of God in which His Covenant is promised, purchased, and ratified through the Word of the Oath by God Himself, through the Obedience and Offering of Christ on our behalf and the Ministration of the Holy Spirit to seal and ensure that the Covenant of Grace would be sure unto those who believe.

The Oath of God – God has sworn by Himself… Hebrews 6:17 and Acts 2:30
The Surety – “Jesus was made the surety of a better Covenant” – Hebrews 7:22
Are Sealed – We are Sealed in/by the Holy Spirit – Colossians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:13

“What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31

Brian Troxel