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Posts Tagged ‘Apostasy’

Wrestling

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood*,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

Wrestling is the reality of a life in Christ. The life of a healthy Christian is one of standing and contending for the faith. We must continually and intentionally withstand the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and the subtlety of compromise and collusion. Warfare is the natural response of those who are alive in Christ. Many who call themselves by His name have no sense of the nature and intensity of this warfare. Paul is speaking from his own experience. To be alive unto Christ is to be an antagonism to the world, principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. To claim to be alive and yet not engaged in this battle makes us dead to the reality of a life in the spirit.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”
Revelation 3:1

This is the Word of the Lord to His Church located in Sardis. How few realize the enormity of this Word. This is a church where His name is used freely and there is much activity with people who are eager to build up “their” church organization or fellowship. Wherever the motive is to be popular and relevant in the eyes of the world the preaching of righteousness is forsaken. This is the environment of a dead and impotent church; it has a reputation of being alive and “current” but it has ceased to contend for the faith. The “knowledge of the holy” is so lacking that people see no reason to wrestle with the unholy alliances of flesh, spiritual powers, spiritual wickedness and the resulting compromise. They have become insensitive to the contagion of the world and are unaware of what the “normal Christian Life” is. It is a situation that brings the very judgements of God! Consider the judgement pronounced on the Church at Sardis (unless they repented) and the greatness of His promise to those who overcome the apostasy and lethargy of their condition (Revelation 3:3-5).

A modern day “gospel” which declares that God loves His church and would never bring judgement upon His people is the LIE of the Devil himself. “You shall not die” were his words to Eve to deceive her into disobedience and judgment. Those who are ignorant of the warfare are unaware of the reality of walking in the Spirit. Deception is anything that keeps us from walking in the truth.

“The reason why men do not look to the Church today
is that she has destroyed her own influence
by compromise”
G. Campbell Morgan

Ω

“No one serving as a soldier
entangles himself in the affairs of this life,
that he might please the One having enlisted him”
2 Timothy 2:4

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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LUKEWARMNESS
The Present Day Deception

“So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot,
I will spue thee out of my mouth”
REVELATION 3:16

This is the word of the Lord unto His Church, written to His own. By nature we prefer to be lukewarm rather than too hot or too cold; it is far more comfortable. The present day deception of the Antinomian gospel removes my obligation to live righteously BY Grace and replaces it with the false belief that I can now live as I please because OF Grace. This teaching of “I believe therefore I am declared righteous”, regardless of how I live, has produced a lukewarm and apathetic generation of “believers”. We think that we now can sit back and live a life of compromise with the world without any consequences to our relationship with God!

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 JOHN 3:7

John is teaching the people of his day not to be deceived; they that are truly born of God live righteously. They DO righteousness, it is the fruit of their faith, the evidence of the Son living in their lives. John goes on to say…

“In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…”
1 JOHN 3:10

It is time for us to awaken to the truth and to reject this deception. IT DOES MATTER HOW WE LIVE! If we are lukewarm HE will spue us out of His mouth. We need a healthy fear of the Lord that brings accountability into our own lives and gives us the courage to speak to our brothers and sisters who are complacent with sin. Where are those who seek out others who will challenge them to live Godly in this present world and to have their lives shine with the Light of the Life of the Son?

Many will say in this hour “Lord, Lord” but it is to them that “doeth the will of God who shall abide forever…” (1 John 2:17)

“And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.
But he that doeth wrong
shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons”
COLOSSIANS 3:23-25

Brian Troxel

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THE ANCIENT CUBIT

“And in these hath Solomon been instructed to build the house of God:
The length in cubits by the former measure* is sixty cubits,
and the breadth twenty cubits”
II CHRONICLES 3:3 (YLT Bible)

We see here that Solomon is to lay the foundation using the measurements of the Ancient Cubit which was first given in the raising up of the Tabernacle. As in all things pertaining to God His divine purpose and idea of the thing HE is after remains unchanged; but in the process of time men lower the standards and the lofty purposes of God to something less, something more easily attained to so that we are made more “comfortable” in the presentation of HIS WORD. We move to a “seeker” friendly atmosphere and speak of easier things. Repentance becomes a rarely used word and the blood is seldom mentioned. Change, growth, sin and Holiness have become bywords in the new religion of the day.

Solomon was to use the cubit of the former measure, the “Sacred Cubit”, as some Hebrew scholars like to translate it. Even in Solomon’s day there had been introduced into Israel’s understanding different cubits which of course was a contrasting measure of the thing God intended. How subtle and innocuous is the slow but sure change from what God decrees and what men devise. A “new” measure is slowly introduced and by the abominable shift in what is taught in each succeeding generation the result is a steady decline until we arrive at the “Gospel” of today. God’s standard is set aside while the terms remain the same so as to avoid any alarm. The VALUE has been decreased and God is robbed of His Glory and His Majesty.

“Will a man rob God?
Yet ye have robbed me”
MALACHI 3:8

In our drifting away from the original desire of all that God has purposed in Christ we have come to such a low state of affairs in the thing we call “Christianity” that what a man does is now irrelevant; as long as a man believes correctly we are satisfied. God’s measurement and ours becomes two separate values yet we retain the correct nomenclature (words and terminology). The power of a lie is based on the amount of truth it contains. Thus we see a religion that soothes the conscience and yet leaves the soul untouched in the misery of sin with all of its consequences.

“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set”
PROVERBS 22:28

The ancient landmarks are the standards by which we are to govern our way. In the Book of Acts a living unified Church pulsated with the power and dynamic of the Living God. Let us measure the sad contrast of what we present to the world today and the fruits of the man made “church”. The scribes and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day had Herod’s Temple* (not God’s) built by a heathen ruler to APPEASE the religion of the Jews. A pathetic and telling parallel of where we are today. May God raise up men who are willing to confront the issue of the removed landmarks and the lowering of the measurements of God. May there be a people who can no longer tolerate the Herod’s temple of our day and cry out unto the Lord for the Spirit of Repentance. May we turn from the ways of men, the wisdom of this world and the foolishness of a religion that is devoid of the power of Holiness and Godliness. May HE open our eyes to see what we have allowed to come upon us. It is in returning to the simplicity of Him that we will find the depth and the substance of a living faith that alone can produce Godly expressions. May we be freed from the wisdom and philosophy of a vain religion that has the appearance of good things but lacks the ability to produce men who have convictions and courage to stand in the darkness of this hour. Men and women are needed who are no longer satisfied with the “temperance” and acceptability of a stagnant religion but who are empowered and inflamed by the Holy God to challenge a lukewarm church. Where are those who feel the weight of HIS Glory, HIS Holy standards and their accountability to HIM and HIM alone? Where are those who know the “terror of the Lord” and are moved to persuade men of their ungodliness?

“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”
IICORINTHIANS 5:11

How do these scriptures fit into our present day Theology? Not very well. For we have changed the measurement of our God and have presented a Gospel that tells us we are no longer accountable for what we do. The Church is void of men like Paul, James and John and the world is presented with a religion that has neither power nor reality.

LET US RETURN TO THE STANDARD
THAT WE MAY MEASURE OUR LIVES BY THE LIGHT OF HIS WORD
AND HIS PURPOSE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

“And there was given to me a reed like to a rod,
and the messenger stood, saying,
‘Rise, and measure the sanctuary of God,
and the altar,
and those worshiping in it”
REVELATION 11:1

*NOTE ONE:
This was the cubit mentioned by Ezek 40:5 and that of Solomon’s temple, “cubits after the first measure” (2 Ch 3:3), i.e. the ancient cubit. The ordinary cubit of commerce was shorter, and has been variously estimated at between 16 and 18 or more inches, but the evidence of the Siloam inscription and of the tombs in Palestine seems to indicate 17.6 inches as the average length. This was the cubit of six palms, while the longer one was of seven (Ezek 40:5). The cubit mentioned in Jdg 3:16 is from a different word in Hebrew (גֹּמֶד, gōmedh) and was probably shorter, for Ehud girded it on his thigh under his clothing. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

*NOTE TWO:
King Herod’s Temple was designed by Architects from Greece, Rome and Egypt and built by the Jewish Priests of that day, an astonishing parallel to today.

Brian Troxel

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APOSTASY
And
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away (ἀποστασια) first,
and that man of sin be revealed”
II THESSALONIANS 2:2

Apostasy. What does it mean and what does it look like? The Greek word used here for “a falling away” is ἀποστασια, a female derivative of the Greek Word ἀποστασιον that is translated “DIVORCE” in the New Testament (see Strong’s Concordance #646 and #647). Divorce is the result of a relationship where, over a period of time, the love has died. So it is with the word APOSTASY: it is the result of a love for God that has grown cold over time. The decay is so subtle and deceptive that the heart can scarcely discern it. The reason love grows cold in this day of obscurity is that “iniquity abounds” (lawlessness) within the house hold of faith; the wages of SIN are no longer to be feared, morals are loose and boundaries become less and less sure. The preaching from the pulpit is intended to create a “seeker friendly” atmosphere. The LIVING WORD of God is no longer offensive to the proud, the arrogant, and the haughty. We are told that God is LOVE therefore HE could not possibly be angry with SIN and the suffering it causes. We are presented with a meek and gentle Jesus that we cannot seem to reconcile with the ONE who cleansed the Temple, or with the New Testament judgement that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. We tend to pass over literally hundreds of warnings given to us in the New and Old Testament from a God who HATES SIN and JUDGES INIQUITY. As a result Grace has become cheap and meaningless in the ministration of the Gospel. It is God’s estimation of SIN that gives GRACE value and import. Amazing Grace is really only known by those who have truly known within their hearts the touch and the taste of the FEAR of the LORD! (A grace that saved me from a hell- bent life style is the only reason I am here. There was and is nothing good within me yet while I was in that hellish state, so lost and so ignorant, HE CAME. That is GRACE!) We do God a tremendous disservice when we appeal to men with human reason and carnal salesmanship rather than ministering in the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost! Men like John the Baptist would be disallowed in our church services as we would consider him uncouth and reckless. Men like Jeremiah and Isaiah would be far too fanatical for our polished presentation of the Gospel. Elijah would be too far out there for the comfortable environment we have produced.

It is for this very reason that we have fallen under the spell of APOSTASY AND LOOSE LIVING! Men and women see nothing strange about sitting in a pew or a living room couch for years with little or no expression of WHO GOD IS IN THEIR LIFE! Unaware of an eternal calling to be living ministrations of power and light! Unaware that they are called FOR A PURPOSE; not to give 10% of their earnings into an offering plate but to give 100% of their lives unto the King of Kings! How can we not look at what we call “church” and wonder at the incredible contradiction between what we see today and what we see in the New Testament? Where are those who can no longer be anaesthetized by the doctrinal statements, church programs and deep sounding teachings that have rendered the people of God harmless and impotent in a world racing towards judgement? Where are the cries that are birthed out of an inconsolable grief over the lack of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER IN OUR MIDST? Where are those who are grieved by the insensitivity of how we treat one another, how we act in business, in our work and in our homes in terms of walking in such a way that men would ask “what is the hope” that lies within us? Our preaching first and foremost is to be with our lives and how we conduct ourselves, by how we treat our wives or how we treat our husbands? Where are those who would sound the alarm over a divorce rate that is OVER SIXTY PERCENT? Where are the preachers in the pulpit that rise up to the challenge of divorce and remarriage within the CHURCH? Where are those who will preach the Gospel even if it means that a large percentage of the pews will be empty the next week? Where are those who preach the truth because they desire to be found faithful unto HIM rather than to be considered a successful pastor due to the size of the congregation rather than the quality of the lives to whom they minister?

We are in the DAY of APOSTASY and men know it not for the most insidious result of sin and iniquity is that it numbs the hearts of those it holds. That is why leprosy is the figure of sin in the Old Testament. People with this disease lose their body parts one at a time because they no longer have the ability to feel pain.

We are in the DAY of the falling away, when the hearts of men grow cold and indifferent, where religion replaces relationship, where traditions of men usurp obedience, and the Sunday meeting goes on whether God shows up or not. Do we not read the “love of MANY shall grow cold”, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” and again “MANY shall say in that day LORD, LORD… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? Do we not read these things and tremble? Can we not give ear to the voice of God in this hour? Let us see and feel the weight of all that is transpiring around us and began to cry out to God to move afresh in HIS CHURCH.

The DAY of the Lord is at hand for the APOSTASY is growing like a cancer and men see it not just as in the days of Noah when the “flood came and took them all away”! Read carefully and you will see that it was not Noah who was taken away. It was those “who knew not”; those that lived in carelessness and were too caught up in the world to notice that the DAY of Judgement was upon them. Jesus said the Day of His return would be as it was in the days of Noah…

The Day of the Lord is at hand for we also read that Jesus said that the Day of the Lord would be as it was in the days of LOT when promiscuity and sexual perversion filled the land. Do we not see this same thing and how it has flooded the Church in our day? Where are those who will cry out unto God for HIM to pour out the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATION” that will bring the people of God to mourning, confession and repentance?

“And I will pour upon the house of David,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
In that day shall there be a great mourning…”
ZACHARIAH 12:10 – 14

This mourning is the RESULT of the spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS being poured out on the people of God! Grace to return us to a people of a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a life that once again trembles and honours God’s Word! In the pouring out of such grace upon us and the resulting response from our hearts we read of God’s response…

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness”
ZACHARIAH 13:1

Even so Lord pour out upon us the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS” that we may be turned from our carnality and carelessness. Turn us again unto the right way, the way of repentance and restoration. May we as the prodigal son return broken and contrite from the folly of our worldly ways, where we have secularized your people, we have called ourselves by other names, we have met in the name of an organization, a teacher and a movement rather than simply coming together unto THEE. We have separated ourselves from the “lesser” brethren. We have elevated ourselves against those who are blood washed in the same blood that has purchased us, and in so doing we have separated ourselves from you. Bring us again to the common faith; to the discerning of the Body of Christ. Cause us to hate the sin in our hearts more than the inconsistencies in our brothers and sisters. Work in us to will and to DO of your good pleasure. Unite those who are yours that we may once again meet in the power of your Name and the Glory of your Presence.

EVEN SO LORD COME!

Brian Troxel

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