Fellowship of the Saints

Fellowship of the Saints

“For they refreshed my spirit and yours.
Therefore acknowledge those who are like that”
1 Corinthians 16:18

The fellowship of the Spirit between those who live and walk in the Light of Christ is a foretaste of true heavenly things. There is a repose and a refreshment in the presence of those who share in the grace of these spontaneous experiences. Eternal streams flow through the lives of those who live in the light as He who is the Light.

To many, fellowship is a noun; a thing rather than the movement and power of His Spirit binding us in the wonder of the Unity of Christ. It is by Him and in Him that all things are summed up. Division and dis-unity are the result of divided hearts; carnal things are mingled with pure to bring lives together in something other than Christ alone. Purity is the fruit of obedience. It is by this same purity that we partake of the beauty and the glory of His communion in the common bond of His Love.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

There is a communion far beyond the words of men. There are streams of refreshment and spiritual graces which cannot be shared outside of Christ Himself. Such things are effortless and eternal in nature.

“God is faithful,
by whom you were called
into the fellowship of His Son…”
1 Corinthians 1:9

Brian Troxel

James Nayler

Quote for Today

“There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thoughts to any other. If it be betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it takes its kingdom with entreaty and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it, nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression. It never rejoiceth but through sufferings; for with the world’s joy it is murdered. I found it alone, being forsaken. I have fellowship therein with them who lived in dens and desolate places in the earth, who through death obtained this resurrection and eternal holy life”
– J. Nayler

Leadership

Leadership and the New Wine Skin

Part Two

“Peter saith unto him,
Thou shalt never wash my feet.”
John 13:8

Peter’s deep reverence for Jesus had elements of worldly esteem. His carnal conception of what leadership was to be, was offended by this act of humility. Washing the disciple’s feet contradicted Peter’s idea of how Jesus should be; he deemed it denigrating. The humility of Jesus is an affront to all who desire pre-eminence in religious circles. True leadership of the New Emerging Wine Skin will be by those who understand this powerful truth within the depths of their being.

Leadership in the Spirit is simply a life consumed with following Him. It arises from those who follow the Lamb. Their vision, their purposes and their desires are not to lead others but to follow Christ. The true sheep follow those who bear the nature and the likeness of Christ. They have no earthly agendas, no grandiose concepts of personal greatness; their glory is to serve and honour Christ.

Paul could say freely and simply:

“Then whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God. Be without offense both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God. Even as I also please all in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ
1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 11:1* (see note below)

Paul’s leadership was founded in the cause of Christ; he did nothing for his “own advantage”. It was a leadership poured out in the edification and admonishment of others for their growth and apprehension of Christ, free from personal gain and agendas. The heart and soul of this new leadership being raised up will not build up anything unto itself. It will not seek its own nor use others for its advantage! It will be free from the pomp and the pride of anything other than the Lordship and Majesty of Christ. It will not walk in the pretense of a false humility. It will not be presumptuous or jealous of others. Rather it will welcome and foster, at every opportunity, authentic expressions of Christ and extend to others an invitation to sit and partake of the fellowship of the Spirit. It will not cut itself off from others nor walk in the spirit of Diotrephes who “loved to have the pre-eminence”. (Such corruption will subject them to the Judgment of God). Those who view any gathering of the people of God “my church”, “my people” or “my fellowship” will find themselves excluded from the New Wine Skin. There must be stamped upon our hearts the living truth:

“Unto Him shall the glory be”

Paul in his epistle to the Philippians declared that many of that day sought their own things and not the things of Christ. Those who refuse to humble themselves in this hour, who refuse to open their hearts to the ministrations of others, will reap sorrow and judgement.

This new leadership will have written upon their very hearts a pure desire to see the Unity of the Spirit become the reality here on earth until we come to the glory and power of the Unity of the Faith! (Ephesians 4:3,13) Any ministration which does not seek this One thing will be cut off from the commonwealth of His Life and Glory! Only the Life of Christ can produce such pure and holy lives.

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another…”
Romans 12:9-10

The new and emerging leadership must exemplify this heart. They are to be “ensamples” to, not lords over God’s heritage.

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also”
2 Corinthians 6:3-13 (ESV)

The verity of all ministry is to One End:

“that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
Colossians 1:28

“of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God,”
Colossians 1:25

What does this life look like?

“for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily”
Colossians 1:29

__________________________________________

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

*Note: The statement “Be imitators (followers KJV) of me, even as I also am of Christ” has grievously been isolated from the context of the truth of what Paul was presenting in 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, by the placing of a chapter division; some have erroneously interpreted this scripture to their own ends.

Brian Troxel

The Elect of God

The Elect of God

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God,
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…”
Colossians 3:12

The “elect of God” reveal their call and election through their expression of Christ-like character. They bear unfeigned aspects of His heart and passion. In spiritual things, we are revealed by what we are and what we are is expressed by what we do. In religious things, it is not necessary to have a connection between being and doing.

David breathed a prayer which was “after the heart of God”.

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth:
unite my heart to fear thy name”
Psalm 86:11

A united heart is an authentic heart; a heart full of the fear and wonder of the Lord. The inconsistencies of our being become united by the singularity of His rule within. Growth in Christ is revealed in the spontaneous flow of His nature into the world around us. The desire for a united heart is the affirmation of His Spirit at work within us.

The purpose of truth is to make us true. True to Him, true to one another and true to the world around us.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure…”
2 Peter 1:10

Brian Troxel

Thomas a Kempis – Love

Quote for Today

“Love feels no burden, regards not labors, strives toward more than it attains, argues not of impossibility, since it believes that it may and can do all things. Therefore it avails for all things, and fulfils and accomplishes much where one not a lover falls and lies helpless”
– Thomas a Kempis

The Purpose of Grace – 4

The Purpose of Grace

Part Four

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that He might destroy the works of the devil”
1 John 3:8

We are called to be the light of the world. Another way to declare that powerful truth: we are called to be His Light to the world. His Light reveals the hearts of men. His light dispels the works of darkness. His Life destroys the workings of despair which would beguile and tempt men and women into the throes of bitterness, sorrow and death. Many die long before they stop breathing. Their lives are twisted and perverted by the wretchedness of sin gift wrapped in the illusion of pleasure; hollow souls with vacant eyes and empty hearts bound in the misery of addiction and hopelessness.

He came for such as these. He has invested Himself into our own brokenness, that we may take the light of His Life to see the “works of the devil” destroyed in others. God’s answer is the power of Christ shining through redeemed souls, made whole by the same grace, now reaching out to others. May we see that the answer to our timidity, our reluctance, our apathy and our fear is the fulness of God’s love in our hearts.

These who have God’s love give of themselves first to Him, then to the world. The same God who so loved the world to the point of giving His only begotten Son has also purposed for us to give of ourselves.

“… as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

(See The Purpose of Grace Part 1)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(The The Purpose of Grace Part 3)
(Grace)

Brian Troxel

J.C. Ryle – Love & Humility

Quote for Today

“Humility and love are precisely the graces which the men of the world can understand, if they do not comprehend doctrines. They are the graces about which there is no mystery, and they are within reach of all classes. The poorest Christian can every day find occasion for practicing love and humility”
– J.C. Ryle

Love is God’s
Signature in a life
BT

Photo by M. Nohassi

Scripture for Today

Scripture for Today

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love”
John 15:8-10 (ESV)

“To love abundantly is to live abundantly,
and to love forever is to live forever”
Henry Drummond

Politics and the Day of the Lord

Politics and the Day of the Lord

“It is better to trust in the LORD
than to put confidence in princes”
Psalm 118:9

There is an angst in those who look to political leaders for answers to the upheavals of our day. Peace comes from God alone and not from the strategies and ideas of men. There are spiritual forces at work to stir up the chaos filling our streets. We are seeing but the precursor to a storm brewing on the horizon.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world…”
Luke 21:25-26

Why are these things happening?

“For the powers of the heavens will be shaken”
Luke 21:26

God is moving and powers are being shaken. Wicked spirits from on high are being cast down knowing they have but a short time. Wickedness will increase and lawlessness will reign for a season; these things must be. Yet in the end God will prevail in glory and majesty. Suffering precedes glory and seeming defeat is the path to sure victory. The crucible must give way to the crown. The winds are beginning to howl, the darkness is falling, and that Lawless One must be revealed for the Day of the Lord decrees it.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Trouble on earth is the result of heavenly powers being shaken. It is truly a time for us to look up “for our redemption draweth nigh”! God’s Word comes to us to prepare us, strengthen us and gird us up in the preserving power of His Life. Let not the fear of all these things trouble our hearts. He is our strong tower in this Day of the growing storm.

“Turn you to the strong hold,
ye prisoners of hope…”
Zechariah 9:12

It is a time to seek Him, pursue Him and allow Him to fully prepare us for the Day which is upon us. The graces of God are to be our shelter. Love, peace and the enduring hope of His appearing will guard our hearts from the bitterness and turmoil of this hour. Forgiveness is the costly preservative for our hearts. It is a balm which heals us from all injury and gives us the power to love beyond all human ability.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Brian Troxel

The Mystery of Holiness

The Mystery of Holiness

Part One

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

Our religious concept of holiness has many faces. It can appear austere, ascetic, harsh or given to cliques and elite tendencies. Nothing could be further from the mind and heart of God. The truth is, our growth into His Holiness must be garmented in the wonder of His Love. True holiness is founded upon the immensity of the Love of God. Its disdain for things of the world, its repulsion of isolationism and elitism, its burning desire to see the Body of Christ arise from the ashes of division, are the pure expressions of a life growing in the Love of Christ.

Worldliness spawns chaos and division. Racism, the desire for dominance, the need for men to draw others to themselves (or the need to be a follower of others), all stem from the same contaminated stream; the desire for self-gratification and a sense of belonging. These stains are rife in the Body of Christ; rivalry, competition, jealously and envy are the result of lives untouched by holiness. These things do not exist in heavenly places. They are obliterated in His Presence.

Those who have touched even the hem of the garments of His presence should be grieved by the slander, the separations, the envying and the striving for pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people. The pretense of holiness is a sign of ones lost in their own importance. There can be no true growth in holiness apart from its author, Love.

“…that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love”
Ephesians 1:4

The Holiness of God prompted the Father to send His Only Begotten Son into this world through the impulse of Love. Rather than looking down upon His creation, He desires to raise us out of its corruption and restore its beauty through the offering of Jesus. False ideas of what constitutes holiness are but another facade of the self-perpetuating and self-glorifying lust of men. Holiness is a life where all things are in order; the lust of self, the chaos and contradictions of our own hearts, are brought under the jurisdiction of the Spirit of God. The reign of harmony and peace are the fruits of holiness. As our own unruly self becomes subject to the Love of God, we begin to see order in our own hearts and in God’s house (not by law, but by grace). Order is the revelation of holiness. It takes little discernment to gaze over the landscape of what men call “Christendom” and see the energies and pursuits of self revealed in all of its disorder. When we declare “my church”, “my fellowship”, “my teacher” (1 Cor. 1:11-13) we have departed from the love and holiness of God. Order is the result of all things being in Him.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”
James 3:14-18

Humility is a life free from the pursuits of self. It is bold and at times audacious in its presentation of Christ. It will not yield to the religious of the day, not because it is self-important, but because it is free from the agendas of others. Peace is the atmosphere of humility. There is a liberty and ease within made possible by the cross of Christ.

“A vain man through pride causeth debate* (division),
And with the counselled is wisdom”
Proverbs 13:10 (YLT)

The selfish man profits from division. It is in the chaos of division and strife that he can find a place of pre-eminence.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition are,
there is confusion and every evil deed”
James 3:16

It is insecurity that compels men to follow others, to feel the need to be part of earthly organizations and religious cliques. They who are secure in Christ know there is but ONE Body, ONE Faith and ONE God and Father of us all. His Salvation is our freedom from the fallen self and the need to be recognized by others. His Unity can only be realized in the living truth of His Holiness dwelling in our hearts by Love!

Σ

“…and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations”
Revelation 22:2

*NOTE: The word translated “debate” in the YLT or “contention” in the KJV is defined as follows:

מַצָּה - maṣṣāh: “A feminine noun depicting strife, contention. It refers to wrangling, quarreling, and contention” The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament; Warren Baker

Thayer’s Lexicon points out this Hebrew word is from the Hebrew Root נָצָה - nâtsâh (naw-tsaw')
A primitive root; properly to go forth (1 John 2:19), that is, (by implication) to be expelled, and (consequently) desolate; causatively to lay waste. (scripture reference added by me)

Brian Troxel