Do You Believe Now?

Do You Believe Now?

“Do you believe now?”
John 16:31

Do you believe now?

Oh, the penetrating questions of Jesus. “Do you believe now?” Our Lord is ever bringing us to the truth. There is something about the heart of man that evades the “present” tense of God; it is far easier to put truth off to a future age or dispensation. There can be a soothing and narcotic effect in occupying ourselves with future concepts and ideas. It is an escape, a diversion from present reality. Jesus is the “I AM” and it is the purpose of truth to make us true in the present. The reality is we only have enough breath for the moment and our present condition is our condition. It is here and now that Jesus brings us to the fundamental truth of our state.

“Do you believe now?”. Do you love Him now, His Body (His people)? Are His purposes your purposes for now? Years ago, I sat with a dying friend who had spoken often of his “destiny”; that one of these days God was going to speak a living word and he would be quickened to step into it. But it never happened. If truth is always kept in the future, we run out of the precious commodity of time.

Past, Future, and Present Truth

Martha and Mary were loved deeply by our Lord. Lazarus was dying and they sent for Jesus in desperation and trust. Upon hearing their urgent request Jesus tarried two more days. He knew all that was transpiring and plainly told the disciples that Lazarus was “now” dead. When Jesus arrived, He was met with the faith of the past.

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

A very powerful statement. Jesus in His pre-resurrection state, as a man incarnate, was restricted to the “present truth” of His physical existence. Yet even in this situation, He tarried in the wisdom of God. He is ever-pressing us to “believe now” and to conduct ourselves accordingly.

As the narrative unfolds Jesus meets these statements with the living truth: “Your brother will rise again”. Immediately comes the heartfelt response, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day”. In this interaction with two souls that Jesus loved greatly, we see that He is pressing them into the “now”, into the situation at hand. He has a deep desire to bring us in all things to the present truth, the reality of the now. May we who have ears to hear recognize the pressing of His Spirit to free us from our past and our unsubstantiated future concepts. It is an intense and difficult thing to allow Him to penetrate our religious notions with the present reality. But it is necessary and vital to bring us to the acknowledgment of our true condition. Those who hold to future things, while denying the present reality of themselves, circumvent the development needed to become all that He has purposed.

Paul declared in Philippians that he had not yet fully apprehended the call of God. He did not rest in some future thing but cried out with great urgency of spirit, “I press toward the mark”. There was no room for concepts and beliefs to deter him from the apprehension of Christ. His life was abandoned to Christ. He did not isolate himself from the ministry of God to the Body of Christ; he did not segregate himself from interaction with others. He was in fact a vessel poured out because of the love of Christ in his heart. It is the synthetic who hide from others, who deceive themselves to be ones set apart (as the Scribes and the Pharisees* of old). His Love propels His Own to identify with the lost, the hurting, and the bound. It is in the touching of others that we discover the truth of ourselves. The truth of our nakedness is revealed in our touching the nakedness of others. It is in our discovery of our needs on their behalf that we find His provision! How good and how right are His ways with us!

Religion as a mere belief relieves people from having to face the current fitness and verity of themselves. The true in heart desire to know and to face the truth of the moment. Multiple times the disciples asked Jesus why their prayers did not meet the situation at hand. Deep within they desired truth, the truth, of their powerlessness. They did not mask their condition with a future hope. Jesus responded to them with the thing they needed to hear: “because of your unbelief”. These moments are necessary for our growth and development in Him. If we brush past these moments, we are none the better and we continue our way without facing the facts. The true in heart receive the truth as it is and the door opens for greater faith, a living faith that releases His wonder in the situation. The discovery of our poverty is the door into His riches!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 5:3

The disciple of Christ must discover in present situations their present condition. Therein lies the challenge and the adventure into the discovery of Him within our own experience. The seeker of truth does not seek to comfort themselves in past or future things for the Christ they pursue IS COME to lead them, and more importantly, bring them to the Truth in all character and wisdom. Jesus in His wisdom presented to Martha and Mary the crowning revelation of the mystery of Himself.

I AM the resurrection…”
John 11:25

He is not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be”; He is always the I AM.

“And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?”
Mark 9:28

A few years ago, in my private time with Him, the words came to me, “To grow in truth one must be true with oneself”. Our journey into truth must begin and remain open to receive its piercings and exposure of our condition.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Psalm 15:1

To which the answer of God is:

“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart
Psalm 15:2

When the truth is reduced to a confession, its wonder fades, its sword no longer pierces the heart. The result is faith without works, teachings instead of substance, and a limited vision of His power and glory.

“ Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth UNTO unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently
1 Peter 1:22

The true in heart measure their obedience and walk with God by the fervency of love for His people (not only the ones in their immediate circle). This love reveals itself in deeds produced by a faith made alive through love (Galatians 5:6).

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

Can we hear Him calling us to the depths of Himself? Can we hear Him drawing us out of the ethereal, the forms of truth, and the comfort of mere confessions, into the vast wonder of His substance? Truth is the womb of repentance. Repentance brings us out of the shadows of obscurity into the penetrating gaze of Him alone before whom we must all give an account. Let not another day pass without a true turning unto Him who can cause us to become true witnesses of His Testimony within!

In the seeing of Him, we are afforded a seeing of ourselves (Isaiah 6:1-5). This great work of His Spirit will unveil all that Grace means. It causes us to glory afresh in His redemption of “our mortal bodies” by that SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the Dead. His resurrection will become more than a scriptural fact; it will be the living truth of Him at work within us. Love can only flourish between those who have seen themselves in the light of Him through the lamp of obedience. It is only through obedience that our “souls are purified UNTO the pure and fervent love of our brothers”. Love is the signature of God in a life. Love is being the face of Jesus to one another, where all our actions are governed by a pure desire to see His people WALK in the present truth of Christ.

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear about my children walking in truth. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers…”
3 John 1:4-5

God is not interested in truth coming from our lips only. The words which proceed from our lips are to be verified by our walk and our deeds.

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

___________________

* Note: Pharisees (Original meaning) “separated ones”; “called out ones”.

Brian Troxel

Have This Mind Today

Have This Mind Today

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

The sheer thought of having His Mind created within us is staggering as well as sobering. God never calls us to heights unattainable. He who measures the talents (minas) to us “according to their ability” knows our frame and our weaknesses. His expectations are not established upon our strengths but are rooted in His provision. The Call of God to us is therefore within the reach of everyone. His grace is not limited by the miry clay of our human composition. It is here where we stand upon the magnitude of an accountability unto Him who has made us able to walk in heavenly places. Grace requires response. Faith is the ability to respond to His Call. The personal Call of God in Christ to each of us requires faith, a faith which is revealed in our obedience to that Call.

Faithless belief will declare its allegiance to Christ, but will fail to respond to the Call of Christ. It is here where we need to forsake the deceptive cloak which we weave for ourselves, a false comfort in something other than truth. Truth pierces our false self – it cuts into the very essence of our being in order to bring us into the wonder of selfless living.

His ministry to us is relentless, His Call is ever filled with the divine enablement to walk in deeper places, to live beyond the veil of human impotency and to reach unto the High Call of God in Christ Jesus. His corrections and His grace bid us to be His hands in this world, to be His Light which reaches into the dimness of humanity to touch the Hem of His Endless Life for themselves. This is not a time to be crowded in by the limitations of fear and isolated living. The “mind of Christ” is ever available to those who by faith hear His Call to Obey the inspiration of His Life.

“No man has the mind of Christ,
except him who makes it his business to obey him”
George MacDonald

See – The Renewing Work of Christ

Brian Troxel

Speaking the Truth – Part One – Truth and Partiality

Speaking the Truth

Part One

Truth and Partiality

“Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear.”
1 Timothy 5:20

The true love of God cares about others within the Body of Christ. It is not silent nor does it turn a blind eye to sin within His House. The “wages of sin is death”. Do we really believe this? Has sin become so rampant, so common and prevalent that we care little about its horror? Have we become so anesthetized in our own hearts that we dare not confront that which is without because of the compromise within?

Paul followed his charge (the above scripture) to Timothy with:

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality
1 Timothy 5:21

Denominations, sects, kingdom-building and the desire to please others, has become more important than the truth of God. We are more concerned with people’s opinions of us than we are with staying true to God’s Word and purpose. The need to fill the pews and be popular outweighs the purity and power of God’s living truth. We sacrifice truth upon the altar of our agendas and desires. We place men upon pedestals and hold them to a different standard than we do others.

Paul speaks this truth concerning himself:

“But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!”
Galatians 1:8

The love of truth, for the sake of God’s glory in our midst, must exceed the love of our personal relationships. God’s house is to be holy and pure, having the same love one for another; it is to that end we live and move within His Body. There are to be no schisms or sects and no favoritism. Timothy was charged with the solemn task of accountability to God, he was to live in the simplicity of honoring and glorifying God. There was no favoritism and the repulsion of treating one member differently from another.

Truth is truth.

Truth is not relative! The devastating lie of “relativism” has crept into the very core of the Church of Jesus Christ. We may speak truth to one brother and turn a blind eye to another but God has a word for such an unspeakable act: HYPOCRISY.

The condition of the Church of Jesus Christ today is a sad testament to this hypocrisy. The Love of God has fallen to such a low degree where we have set His Call to holiness below that of our relationships with others. A relationship that cannot survive the speaking of truth to one another is a carnal relationship and is based upon something other than God.

Woe to us if we walk in partiality, sectarianism and the horror of a love that only loves its own. Woe to us if we walk in anything less than the pure love of truth.

The Call of God is going out to bring forth a people who love in deed, word and truth without partiality.

“For while one saith, I am of Paul;
and another, I am of Apollos;
ARE YE NOT CARNAL?
1 Corinthians 3:4

How many today speak these same things? I am of the Pentecostal church or the Alliance church; I follow a certain leader or a particular teaching; are we not carnal? Within these boundaries partiality flourishes and so does sin!

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying,and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:3

There is a simple solution to this.

“But speaking the truth in love”
Ephesians 4:15

Love is the only motive and power which can cause the walls of sectarianism, denominational-ism and carnal factions to be removed.

The true love of God will not and cannot stand idly by and watch a brother/sister or fellowship/church destroy their lives or the life and unity of the Body of Christ without speaking to it. It is an impossibility. When sin is viewed from a lethargic heart it is easy to say nothing. When it is seen for the deadly thing it is we cannot remain silent. Apathy begets apathy. Love is the only answer to apathy. Love is the only thing which can and will break down the walls of carnal thinking and carnal doing. Where the fear of man reigns secularism and denominational-ism will prevail. Whenever love and truth are the impetus, God is glorified.

The Test

There is a simple test to know the validity of our relationships. Set your heart to the speaking and receiving of truth. If the relationships hold then God is the foundation. If contention and strife arise then know that the foundation is built upon the sand of men’s ways and not God’s.

The call of God today is to seek with all of our hearts to be true within the secret places of our lives. Love God above all. Be true to Him and from such a spring you will drink the refreshing waters of the eternal fellowship of Christ IN His Body.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
John 3:20-21

Brian Troxel