Goodness and Admonition

Goodness and Admonition

“I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers,
that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
able also to admonish others”
Romans 15:14

Admonition is the natural expression of those who are full of goodness and knowledge. It is rooted in a genuine love for the people of God; a caring for one another that transcends the fear of man and the desire to be popular. A sensitivity to the Spirit is required to walk circumspectly in order to know the effective ministration of this necessary gift of God. The ability to admonish others (and to receive admonition as well) will be dependent upon the measure of the goodness of God within a life.

“…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching
every man in all wisdom,
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 1:27-28

Admonition is the proclamation of Christ; it is the ministration of a heart that seeks to present every life perfect, (mature and full-grown) in Christ. Wherever this grace is lacking it is because motives are wrong. It is by having God’s end in view for His Church, and for each individual, that we discover the ability to naturally express this grace.

The lack of this vital ministration is the cause of our condition. Where there is no love, there is no correction. Where there is no correction, there is no growth, development, discipline or harmony within the Body of Christ. A child without discipline becomes wayward and lost. On the other hand, a child who knows only harsh discipline grows up without confidence, discouraged, or filled with anger. Admonition is the fruit of love and goodness; it flows from hearts who walk and live in the “fear of the Lord” and the love of the Father. For this reason, true eldership is revealed in the state and condition of their own home. If a man lacks the quality of true admonition in his own home, he is not qualified to minister these things to God’s House (1 Timothy 3:5).

“And fathers, do not provoke your children,
but nurture them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord”
Ephesians 6:4

Admonition is the natural expression of the love of the Father. For children to grow up strong, confident, and upright in God, this grace is a necessary and fundamental expression both in the home and in the Church of Jesus Christ.

“For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth”
Proverbs 3:12

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Desire the Revelation of Life

Thought for Today

DESIRE
THE REVELATION OF LIFE

“For indeed we who are in this tent do groan, being burdened; not that we desire to be unclothed, but that we desire to be clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life”
2 Corinthians 5:4

Life, whether earthly or heavenly, is by nature filled with longings, desires and pursuits. As the natural life is filled with unholy lusts and affections so the heavenly life is filled with holy pursuits and desires.

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other”
GALATIANS 5:17

The nature of the life of an individual is known by the thing it covets and pursues. Just as the lust for the things of this world is the expression of the worldly man so is the desire in the life of the believer to be “swallowed up” in the LIFE of the SON.

Where there is no cry for heavenly things
There is no heavenly life

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – Personal Note

The Kingdom of God Series

Personal Footnote to Part Two

Obedience
The Fruit of Faith and Grace

I remember the first time I tried to read Andrew Murray’s book, “The School of Obedience”, many years ago. I read a few pages and threw the book against the wall. I just knew I could never walk in such obedience. Knowing my heart and self-will I felt utterly hopeless to attain to such a life. My problem was I did not understand that the obedience of which the scriptures speak is the fruit of faith empowered by grace. As the truth of this began to dawn upon me, I started to expect my life to grow in this wonder. Life became more of an adventure and I found God’s grace to be more than a sentiment but a real power to enable me to walk in new places. Grace became a constant need as my own resources were insufficient; my stubbornness often required wrestling and prayer to overcome. Fear of failure was a tool in the enemy’s hand that I needed to overcome in order to step into things into which God was leading me. Obedience is not a small thing in our lives, and it is essential for our growth. It is how we grow in our trust in Him and in our ability to be free from the fear of man. One act of obedience is better than fifty sermons. Learning of Him in these moments causes our faith to become real.

A key lesson to be learned in our growth in obedience is that the river never parts until we step into it. God has designed faith to rest upon Him so that we are not governed by what we see. I have had several experiences where the power of God is not made known to me until I have stepped into the thing before me. There is always that moment of hesitation (especially at first) before the step is made. God is faithful and the discovery of His faithfulness can only truly be realized by our obedience. Obedience is not some legalistic thing. It is our small part, insignificant in comparison to the release of God’s power as a result. Obedience brings us to the place of understanding His ways in our personal life and causes us to grow in our confidence in Him.

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

Kingdom of God Series – Part Two

The Kingdom of God

Part Two

What the Kingdom of God Is Not

Contrary to much of what we hear, the Kingdom of God is not in word.

“For the kingdom of God
is not in word, but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

May God help us to see that the Kingdom of God does not lie in teachings, doctrines and messages; it has very little to do with such. It is a Kingdom of Power, Substance and Reality. There is nothing ethereal, unsubstantive, or virtual about its existence. Those who consider it to be an intellectual message or concept are deceived and do not understand the truth of it. The Kingdom of God is known by the power it wields over its subjects. It is revealed within the lives of those who are growing and developing in the life and wonder of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Obedience is the dominant expression of a heart in pursuit of its reality. The Kingdom of God speaks of the Lordship and Reign of Christ; wherever He reigns is where His Kingdom is coming to be.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

How can we speak of the Kingdom of God without this fundamental truth? Obedience is the underlying principle of His Kingdom. In our day of an antinomian gospel we speak of a “kingdom” in which we simply confess He is Lord and then live our lives as we see fit and expect to have access to His Kingdom promises! It is a staggering and bewildering concept.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

It is not enough to know His commandments; the entering into this magnificent City is based solely on the doing of His commandments. His Word is clear and unmistakable. Let these words ring within the sanctum of our own hearts; meditate and hold all our actions to this one great rule of the Kingdom:

“Blessed are they that DO His commandments…”

“To be continued…”

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

Introduction

Seeing the Kingdom

“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly,
I say to you, if one is not generated from above,
he is not able to see the kingdom of God”
John 3:3

The divine enablement to see the Kingdom of God is a consequence of regeneration in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. The depth of the work of God determines the “seeing” and perspective one has of the Kingdom of God. The Jews in their day expected the coming Messiah to lead them to victory over their Roman bondage. Their expectations were wrong as were their hearts. Within Christendom there are vast differences of what the Kingdom of God implies and what its implications are in personal lives. For most it is a concept that has relatively little influence upon their daily lives; it is some vague heavenly location where all who name the Name of Jesus go when they die. To others it may be an actual political kingdom to be set up on earth in some future dispensation. The teachings and concepts of the Kingdom of God vary according to the discordant voices echoing through the landscape of the Church.

Jesus in His earthly ministration of truth spoke more about the Kingdom of God than He did of any other topic. The Parables centered mainly upon this one pervading subject yet how little it is apprehended in our day.

The initial introduction into the Kingdom of God requires a transformative work of God within the human heart. It takes Grace; without a change in the nature of an individual’s life it is impossible to even be aware of its existence. This paradigm alone should shake us at the core of our hearts concerning its nature and its jurisdiction within our lives. Transformation is necessary to perceive it.

“God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation;
neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’
for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”
Luke 17:20

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

The Unity of God – Part Two

The Unity of God

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

The Tri-Unity of God

In Genesis we see in the creation of the cosmos the unity of God speaking, creating and bringing forth the establishment of a whole new realm of matter and life.

1 “In the beginning God (see note) created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved (preparing, brooding and affecting) upon the face of the waters.
3 And God (see note) said (The Word-Christ Himself), ‘Let there be light’: and there was light…”
Genesis 1:1-3

NOTE: God – אלהים – ‘ĕlôhı̂ym – One of the names of God used in scripture (which intimates plurality) shining forth the Oneness and magnificence of His being. The same wonder is revealed in the New Testament in Matthew 28:19. The Greek Word for “Name” is singular: “In the NAME of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost” is presented to us as ONE NAME setting forth the unknowable and unsearchable riches of our God. (See more notes on Elohiym  at the end of Part Three of this series).

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the NAME (singular) of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”
Matthew 28:19

We see this same expression of God in the creation of man who is made in the image of God.

“And God (Elohiym) said,
Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness…”
Genesis 1:26

Indeed, humanity bears this corporate image within; even in the fall there remains the unmistakable likeness of God in the constitution of man.

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;
and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body
be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Thessalonians 5:3

To consider the very nature of God, one must in some form or other begin to comprehend the tri-unity of their own self. Within the mystery of our own being (which we are unable to solve) there lies spirit, soul and body; where each of these begin and end in us is a deep mystery. How beyond our capacity is it to unravel the greatest mystery of all: God Himself!

The consistency of this unveiling of the nature of God is expressed in the judgment of Nimrod and the arrogancy of man at the tower of Babel.

“Come, let Us go down
and confuse their language
so that they cannot understand
one another’s speech”
Genesis 11:7

Again, in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 6, we see the inner workings of God in the heavens preparing, cleansing, and sending Isaiah forth with words of Power which still reverberate in our hearts today:

“And I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Isaiah 6:8

There is a three-fold manifestation of this wonder at the Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:22), where we see the Father bearing witness to the Son while simultaneously the Holy Spirit appears as a Dove. This is a confirmation of the great mystery of Christ who, in type and shadow (by His Baptism), testified of His  submission to the cross (prophetically speaking to us of His death and resurrection yet to be fulfilled). Such things are too high and too deep for us, yet may they ignite a heart of worship and gratitude for all that Christ has accomplished for us!

“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God is ONE Lord”
Deuteronomy 6:4

Some may think that the above scripture presents a contradiction (which is an impossibility in the Word). The Hebrew word for “ONE” (see note below) used here is the same Hebrew word in Genesis 2:24:

“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become ONE flesh”
Genesis 2:24

NOTE: ONE – אֶחָד  “Unite co: ab: Unity: A uniting together. All things are a unity with something else (one man is a unity of body, breath and mind, one family is a unity of father, mother and children, one tree is a unity of trunk, branches and leaves, one forest is a unity of trees).” Source: “Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible”

Rather than presenting a contradiction, this confirms with great clarity the majesty and glory of our God! See also Genesis 5:2: “He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name (singular) Adam” (Adam – Man – singular). This same unity is to be the presentation to us of the mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church.

“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

To Be Continued…

Brian Troxel

This is Part Two of a multi-part series. For the sake of brevity this writing has been broken into short segments and as with all things it is necessary to read all the parts to appreciate the wonder and glory of our God.

Thought for Today – Love and Giving

Thought for Today

Love and Giving

“For God so loved the world,
that He gave his only begotten Son,”
John 3:16

Love is the essence of the Christian Life. It is from Love’s dominion within a heart that true gifts are given. Many give from their abundance of various means, but it profits little. An individual may give without love; but one cannot hold the Love of God within and not give.

“And if I give out all my goods,
and if I deliver my body that I be burned,
but I do not have love, I am not profited anything”
1 Corinthians 13:3

Wherever and whenever there is giving, with Love as the origin, there will be a corresponding touch of God upon the giver. When we give out of God’s heart there is a sense of fellowship in God; the source of the thing we are doing is God Himself. In these transactions we become participants in the very wonder of heaven. We are dispensing His grace into the life of another. How blessed is the economy of His Kingdom!

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”
Acts 20:35

Love seeks no remuneration. Love gives because that is the very nature of God. He is the fountain and source of all good things. His fullness is never depleted, and His riches are infinite. He invites us to participate in the glory and wonder of His life.

Brian Troxel

Transition – Part Two – The Way of Provision

TRANSITION 

Part Two
(See Transition – Part One
The Way of Truth
)

The Way of Provision

“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for you. For within three days you are crossing this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, to possess it
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna still fell every day, Israel was now preparing for war. The trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna had been God’s provision, but the time had come for God’s people to be weaned from the manna and to begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the land they were about to enter. The manna was for a season only; it ceased when they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“The manna ceased on the next day, after they had eaten of the produce of the land. The children of Israel didn’t have manna any more; but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year
JOSHUA 5:12

It is sad to see some of God’s people still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions to be ready for warfare and to be able to feed others. They are content to sit passively while someone else feeds and waters them rather than reading God’s word for themselves; provisions that would make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a heathy life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the new things that we are called to.

The Hidden Manna

We read in John that Jesus came to Jacob’s well, “wearied with the journey”, and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food, He said he was no longer hungry. In the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed!

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision, but they would in the days ahead.

In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the Manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the Table of Showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the church of their day.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision are to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is essential that we go on in the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to grow into eating the “strong meat” that He desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“Whom will he teach knowledge? To whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts
Isaiah 28:9

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Faith and Power

Thought for Today

Faith and Power

“Now to him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us…”
Ephesians 3:20 (WEB)

Faith is not belief. Faith is not a commodity or the product of a self-generated religious philosophy. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for. It is the actual “evidence” of spiritual realities. It is not empty, make believe or unsubstantial. Faith is rooted in God Himself. It is the divine enablement to reach into the very heavens where God dwells and appropriate divine realities. The ability to expect the greater things of God is proportional to the “power that is at work in us”. Within the life of every believer there is to be a power at work; a power received and held within the heart of His own. Obedience is the revelation of that power at work within our lives. It is God moving within us to fulfill His purposes for us.

By faith Noah, being warned of God
of things not seen as yet, moved with fear”
Hebrews 11:7

Noah was moved by faith; the impetus to do was the offspring of that faith. Faith is the mover. There is a relentless press of faith to do God’s work in those in whom that power is at work. The degree of its expression in our lives is revealed by obedience and the works which faith alone can produce. Where there is no living faith, the works of faith will be missing. Faith is the power of God at work within the life of the believer. The life which one lives is their true statement of faith. It is not merely something we believe; it is revealed in the life we live and the things we do.

In our day the faith of many rests in the words and wisdom of men and not in the power of God.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5

Faith in the wisdom of men is powerless and lifeless; it leaves its adherents looking to someone or something outside of themselves. It is a faith which lacks the reality of present day living. The faith that stands in the power of God knows that the secret of its fulfillment lies in our obedience to His Will.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out
into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed…”
Hebrews 11:8

Brian Troxel

Warfare the Sign of Life

Warfare: The Sign of Life

“I have fought the good fight…”
2 Timothy 4:7

The surest sign of the life of God within His own is the unconquerable will to fight the fight of faith. Life is always the antagonist of death. Faith is the adversary of sin. Victory over sin and iniquity is the result of warfare; warfare of the life of Christ Himself. When a heart ceases to fight it ceases to live.

“Fight the good fight of the faith…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We live in a day where “faith” is presented as a legal declaration of victory (regardless of the life lived) rather than the means by which we attain the victory. Paul was ever encouraging the people of God to remain active in the battle, to be diligent in their walk and to grow in the victory of the faith. The writer of the beauty and the power of all the truths in the Book of Romans also wrote this to Timothy… “fight the good fight of faith”! Compromise and concession are the harbingers of spiritual defeat and death. Life by its very nature opposes death and the scriptures declare that the “wages of sin is death”. The life of Christ within withstands evil in all of its deceptive and destructive forms.

The fight of faith is not won in a moment, nor is the crown easily earned, but we have been given the great gift of faith, the blood of Christ and the grace of God to stand in this evil day! It requires a walk of learning, growth and development in the school of His Spirit.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight…”
Psalm 144:1

Faint not at the battles which assail you; do not lose heart in the intensity of the conflict for we have this promise from God:

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you,
and keep you from evil”
2 Thessalonians 3:3

Ω

“The Christian life, then, is a battle,
so sharp and full of danger
that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss”
Huldrych Zwingli

Brian Troxel