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Posts Tagged ‘Brotherly Love’

Thought for Today

Forgiveness and Sin

“Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more”
John 8:11

Forgiveness is the means to God’s end not the end in itself. Forgiveness is not for the purpose of continuing in sin; it is the respite required to free us from sin.

The goldsmith does not abandon the gold in the fire because of the dross. He has patience in the process to realize his desired vessel. Justification is not the conclusion of God’s work; it is the vehicle by which we fulfill His purpose.

“…and whom he justified, them he also glorified”
Romans 8:30

The true glory is freedom from sin.

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel,
to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Let Us Draw Near

PART 2

See Part 1

“Therefore, let us draw near
with confidence to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy,
and we may find grace for timely help”
Hebrews 4:16 (LITV)

The Kingdom we seek is unlike any other for its throne, though majestic, imperial and Holy, is called the throne of Grace. It is here that weary pilgrims approach and receive mercy to finish the race that is set before each of us. It is here we can find grace to rise up against all the things which would wear us out, tear us down, and seek to destroy our confidence in the One who has promised to keep us in His care.

Failure, weakness and discouragement are only a few of the things every child of God will face many times in their pursuit of His Kingdom and Righteousness. It is in these times we are given the opportunity to draw near to the One in whom there is strength, mercy and grace. There we are made partakers of these precious ministrations of Him and have opportunities to become more like Him. He gives grace to us that we may in turn become more gracious to others. In receiving His mercy, we are to become more merciful to others. As we become strengthened we are able to minister strength into the lives of those around us.

The depth and substance of our walk with God is revealed in the ability to strengthen and encourage others. Wisdom is the ability to minister truth into another’s life. It is a divine enablement to touch the heart of another by being sensitive to the whispers of God’s Holy Spirit. Only He who knows the human heart knows the intricacies of its workings, the hidden circumstances and the inner cry. It is incumbent upon us to walk carefully in such circumstances. As we draw near to Him for our own situations we learn to draw near to Him on behalf of others. True priests discover that the real call in life is to come into such Love that the things of others become more important than our own.

It is a learned way of life; one that involves the discovery of our own failures and weaknesses whereby we are enabled by grace to see and touch the same in another’s life. This throne of Grace becomes something much more than a personal truth; it becomes the very means by which we bring others into the sphere and wonder of its power.

True ministry, heartfelt and powerful, will only flow from those who know that the Throne of God is to be the revelation of a Grace which imparts His strength and enablement into the lives of those around us. The Grace of God is never a sentiment. It is His power to cause men and women to rise up and overcome the things which stand in their way. Grace will never allow a life to be comfortable in defeat or compromise. Because of this truth, when we go to His Throne of Grace, we will not find sympathy but help and strength in our time of need.

They who have truly come to such a throne cannot be barren in the ministration of His power to others to overcome the circumstances of life. All of God’s divine attributes can only be had in the sharing of them. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”: It is in forgiving others that we receive forgiveness, and so it is with Grace…

“And of his fullness have all we received,
and grace for grace”
John 1:16

We receive grace for the grace we walk in. To those who are faithful more will be given. Those who seek their own will never excel at knowing God. Those who desire to appear spiritual will know barrenness and the emptiness within the recesses of their hearts. Those who give shall receive. Those who pray and agonize for others will find the added blessing of grace welling up as a perpetual spring within their hearts. How good and wise our God is; how gracious are His dealings and His ways. In seeking the good of others we find our own needs fulfilled. Those who desire preeminence will find the East Wind blowing upon all they seek to do for the way of selfishness leads to poverty and bitterness.

“Israel is an empty vine,
he brings forth fruit unto himself”
Hosea 10:1

The whole purpose of God in Christ is to bring forth a people who have discovered the law of His Life “Give and it shall be given unto you”; for it is the outward revelation of the inward law of Christ “Love one another as I have loved you”. He has loved us consistently and faithfully despite our wandering and the error of our ways. The surest test of our relationship with Him is revealed by our love for one another. They who have discovered the Throne of Grace are known by the love expressed in and through their lives.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.
He that loves not his brother abides in death”
1 John 3:14

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Unity  

The Natural State of All Things In God

Unity is the natural order of anything which pertains to God in the Spiritual world. Where God rules, Unity is. It is not something to be attained by works rather it is the natural state of anything that is submissive to God’s Spirit. Jesus prayed that we may be ONE as He and His Father are. Jesus did not strive to be ONE with His Father for that ONENESS is who they are. If we are in Him the natural expression is UNITY. It is the Lie and the desire of self that prevents that which is in heaven to be so in the earth. Men do not want to give up their positions, their churches, fellowships, ministries or their very selves in order to see God’s end in the earth: the ONE Body. Unity is the fruit of the heart of Jesus and the whole purpose of salvation is expressed in us “being transformed, by the renewing of our minds” until we are freed from the fallen nature into the mind of Christ. (Read each verse in the same Spirit which inspired it).

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:2-8

How can we read this and not feel the piercing of His Holy conviction? How do we reconcile the thing we see in the land today with such deep and powerful words? We see every day, everywhere the contradiction of this within the household of faith. Men and women ostracizing others, declaring this is our church, our beliefs, our teacher (pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle). This is not the language of the New Testament nor of the Spirit of God! It grieves God’s heart for such things to even be spoken. Yet many of God’s people feel no pangs of sorrow, no grief of soul and are even comfortable with the arrangement.

“The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests bear rule by their means;
and my people love to have it so…”
Jeremiah 5:31

This is nothing new for where there is no change within the human heart there will always be this comfortable arrangement. Jeremiah precedes this verse with a telling description of the environment which is conducive to this horror.

“Now hear this, O foolish people, even you without heart, who have eyes and do not see. who have ears and do not hear. Do you not fear Me, declares Jehovah? Will you not tremble before My face, that I have placed the sand as the boundary for the sea by a never ending decree, so that it cannot cross over it? And though they toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail; though its waves roar, yet they cannot cross over it. But to this people there is a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have turned, and are gone. And they do not say in their heart, let us now fear Jehovah our God who gives both the former and the latter rain in its season; He keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. For among My people are found wicked ones. They lie in wait, as one who sets snares. They set a trap, they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of treachery. On account of this they have become great and grown rich. They have become fat; they shine. Yes, they pass over the deeds of the evil; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper. And they do not vindicate the right of the needy. Shall I not visit for these things, declares Jehovah? Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? An astounding and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their hands; and My people love it so…”
Jeremiah 5:23-31(LITV)

The reason things do not change is because His people are comfortable with the status quo. The preachers preach a comfortable gospel, the people pay them to do so, there is no conviction, reproof or exhortation in the land. We are not pressed to forsake our carnal ways and the way of the world..

There can be no unity to those who walk in the strategies of the carnal mind, “for the carnal mind is not subject to the law (and reign) of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7-8). Unity will only be known by those who walk, live and dwell in His Spirit. They who insist on their own way, who love the pre-eminence and the control where God’s people meet will never know of the blessing, power and glory of God in our midst.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Psalm 133:1-3

The unity brings the anointing, the power and the blessing.

Ω

“The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations, but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members, each subject to all the rest…”
– Charles Hodge

 Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE WAY

“But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence,
filling in your faith with virtue; and virtue with knowledge;
and knowledge with self-control; and self-control with patience;
and patience with godliness; and godliness with brotherly love;
and brotherly love with love. For these things being in you,
and abounding, THEY will make you not idle,
not unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the one in whom these things are not present is blind,
being shortsighted, taking on forgetfulness
of the cleansing of his sins in time past. On account of this, brothers,
rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election;
for doing these things, you will not ever fall into sin .
For so will be richly furnished to you
the entrance into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2Peter 1:5-11 (LITV)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
The works which Faith has wrought in us and through us becomes the very means by which we enter into His Kingdom.
B. Troxel

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The Rise of Evil and God’s Answer

“Daniel spake and said,
I saw in my vision by night, and, behold,
the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
  And four great beasts came up from the sea,
diverse one from another”
Daniel 7:2

In the midst of all the chaos, perplexity and suffering we see arising in the earth it is essential that God’s people see that these are all a result of the work of heavenly powers. The visions of Daniel and John in the Book of Revelation clearly reveal that these things must be as they are all interwoven into the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Day of the Lord. Within this unfolding drama we see a period (3 1/2 years, 1260 days, a time times and a half, 42 months)*(see note below) of great suffering and seeming defeat for the saints of God. Jesus Himself was cut off in the middle of the week (3 1/2) as He in total submission yielded Himself to the perfect will of the Father. It is ordained that those who “would follow the Lamb” walk in the same steps in the coming hour that is to try the whole earth. The hour is upon us; in some countries our brothers and sisters are already facing pure evil in this time of great sifting. We hear stories of great suffering and even death for the witness of the Living God in these countries.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”
Matthew 10:22

“Charity…endureth all things”
1 Corinthians 13:7

This time of great trial is going to come upon all that dwell in the earth. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will endure faithfully to the end. The rising up of these evil expressions must be; “for whatsoever is brought to light is made manifest”. In order for God’s righteous judgments to be manifest in the earth He must allow evil its full expression that He may judge it fully. It is for us to endure and overcome these things in our day and in our land. Words will fail, the doctrines and teachings of men will not abide the hour that is upon us. The only thing that will stand is a people filled with the very Love of God. Only Love endures all things, for Love never fails and they who abide in His Love are they who abide in Him. He is our hiding place and if we abide in His love we will also love one another with the same love that is shared between the Father and Son. The oneness which they have is to be our oneness. It is in this pure expression that men will know we are His. Love is the end of God’s purposes and those who dwell in His love dwell in God. It takes very little observation to see the carnality, the selfishness and the hypocrisy of the day we are in.

“If a man say, I love God,
and hateth his brother, he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1 John 4:20

Love is God’s answer. The storm that will come in all its fury and violence will seek to drive God’s people from love and mercy into its own realm of hatred and evil. It is incumbent upon us today, while it is yet today, to enter into the stronghold of the Risen Christ. It is in Him that our lives are secure; not from martyrdom or suffering but from the weakness of self. It is in Him that we will find the resources to love and shine His life into a world baptized in evil. This love is not some sentimental emotion. It is the very life and nature of God Himself and can only be known through submission and a life of identification. Teachings, sermons, Sunday meetings, prayer meetings (if not salted with obedience and submission to God) and all of men’s religious endeavors will not avail in this hour. Purity of heart, passion and full surrender of our lives into His hands is the only way to enter into this place of peace and safety. He is our salvation and this life must be entered into before the storm breaks out. Men who tarry and slumber in this hour will find great peril awaits those who did not respond to His call in the day of prosperity. We have today to interact with one another in the realm of truth and accountability. This true fellowship of the Spirit can only be known by those who walk in the light as He is in the light. Love is the end and goal of all who seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. It is this Love alone which will endure the day that is upon us.

“And above all these things put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness”
Colossians 3:14

* NOTE:
time, times, and a half—(See on Daniel 7:25). Newton, referring this prophecy to the Eastern apostasy, Mohammedanism, remarks that the same period of three and a half years, or 1260 prophetic days, is assigned to it as the Western apostasy of the little horn (Daniel 7:25); and so, says Prideaux, Mohammed began to forge his imposture, retiring to his cave, a.d. 606, the very year that Phocas made the grant to the bishop of Rome, whence he assumed the title, The Universal Pastor; Antichrist thus setting both his feet on Christendom together, the one in the East, and the other in the West. Three and a half is the time of the world power, in which the earthly kingdoms rule over the heavenly [Auberlen]. “Three and a half” represents the idea of spiritual trial; (besides this certain symbolical meaning, there is doubtless an accurate chronological meaning, which is as yet to us uncertain): it is half of “seven,” the complete number, so a semi-perfect state, one of probation. The holy city is trodden by the Gentiles forty-two months (Revelation 11:2), so the exercise of the power of the beast (Revelation 13:5). The two witnesses preach in sackcloth 1260 days, and remained unburied three days and a half: so the woman in the wilderness: also the same for a “time, times, and a half” (Revelation 11:3, 9, 11; 12:6, 14). Forty-two connects the Church with Israel, whose haltings in the wilderness were forty-two (Numbers 33:1-50). The famine and drought on Israel in Elijah’s days were for “three years and six months” (Luke 4:25; James 5:17); there same period as Antiochus’ persecution: so the ministry of the Man of Sorrows, which ceased in the midst of a week (Daniel 9:27) [Wordsworth, Apocalypse]. (JFB Commentary)

“I beheld,
and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came,
and judgment was given to the saints of the most High;
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”
Daniel 7:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“I Have No Need of Thee”

The Condition,
the Cause
and
The Way to Fullness of Life

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee:

nor again the head to the feet,
I have no need of you”

1CORINTHIANS 12:21

THE CONDITION

The scriptures clearly speak of the ONE Body and all the exhortations that follow are based on the simple premise that all believers, who have Christ living and dwelling in their hearts by faith, are to be growing and pursuing the ONENESS for which Jesus prayed (John 17, Ephesians 4:2-6). We do not have the right (whether by deed or by thought) to dismiss or ostracize our brother or sister except for matters of heresy or behaviour that brings dishonour to His Name; (even then all actions are done to minister reconciliation and restoration). A cavalier attitude and callous ability to disassociate our brother is the revelation of a heart that knows not God. A true heart that has touched the life of God feels the necessity to flow in the administration of His life from member to member. ANYTHING that impairs this flow of the vitality of the LIFE is an antichrist spirit. For a believer to declare by actions (though in words they may say differently) that they have no need for another member is contrary to the heart and mind of God! It is what we do that reveals the truth of who we are. Men can speak of the Body of Christ in word while in deed they do great violence to the very heart and wonder of it.

THE CAUSE

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the declaration of a heart and a life that is lived out carnally, selfishly and blindly in the throes of a dead religion. “I” is the declaration of life in which the centre of all being revolves around self and its own independence and carnality. “…I have no need of thee…”  Those who declare such things by their deeds end up anemic, impotent and fruitless.  To enter into HIS LIFE requires the death of our life, our independence and the seeking of our own good. There is no room for “I” in the Body of Christ for the true heart of Christ is to see each member grow with the increase of God to such an extent we fulfill the very purpose of God in the New Covenant.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them unto the greatest of them…”
JEREMIAH 31:34

The true ministers of God know this and so interact with their brothers and sisters to SEE this PURPOSE come to pass.  Carnal men who hold places of pre-eminence in the Body of Christ are intent on “having disciples” rather than “making disciples” of Christ.  The Day of Judgement is come to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. Such is the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man; the Spirit of Christ seeks only to exalt the Son and the religious carnal man seeks to exalt self by the “…I have no need of thee…” use of the things of God.

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the outcome of those who have been indoctrinated into the teachings of men and not of the Holy Spirit; whose religion is based on the ways and methods of men and is thereby disconnected from the LIFE of the VINE. Men who do and say such things are blind and insensitive to the moving’s of the Spirit of God. If the prayer and the heart of Jesus is that we may be ONE AS HE AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER, yet we live contrary to this understanding, how can we in truth say that we know HIM?

THE WAY TO LIFE

In contrast to the declaration of “I have no need of thee…” the Love and Heart of Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeks out His own, searches for the lost and broken and ever seeks to minister the Good News of reconciliation. They who have the Love of God beating within their hearts “seek not their own way…” but walk in the way and the heart of the Good Shepherd. They ever seek to minister righteousness and truth for without these the possibility of true and vital relationship is nonexistent. It is in us becoming HIS righteousness that we are enabled to deal truthfully with one another. It is not in ignoring sin that this ONENESS is known.  It is in the functioning of the Holy Spirit through one another that the entrance into this glory is realized.

“Whom we preach, warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour,
striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily”
COLOSSIANS 1:28-29

Love is the very reason that God sent His Own Son into the earth to save His People FROM their sins. It is in us being freed from sin and self that the world will marvel at how we love one another. Where sin and self seeking are allowed to exist, love, righteousness, peace and joy will not be found. Purity of heart is the lens through which we see God. The reason Paul spent his life warning and teaching every man was to this end: to “present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus”. It is only from this place of the full development of the life of Christ within each member that we are able to be built into “a spiritual habitation” (1Peter 2:5) for God Himself. True hearts will welcome the correction, the teaching, the exhortation and edification of the people of God.

“…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,
and he will increase in learning”
PROVERBS 9:8-9

Whenever and wherever the people of God gather we are exhorted to…

“…consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
HEBREWS 10:24-25

Do we not see the DAY approaching? Do we not “hear the voice of the Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14)? Is there not a cry within our hearts for the prayer of Jesus to be answered? Do we not feel the same grief and burden of the Spirit of God over the division and apathy of His Body? Can we not comprehend that it is ONLY in this place of UNITY that the full revelation of HIS ETERNAL LIFE will be experienced by the people of God?

“Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore
PSALM 133

If we expect this life apart from our brothers, if we want this life plus our own independence, and if we want this life while clinging to the life of self, it will never be! It is in the very Love of God beating within our hearts as we interact with our brothers and sisters that we are fused together in unbreakable holy bonds. This LOVE burning as a Holy Flame within HIS OWN, to the consuming of all things that are not holy and pure; is the way to HIS END. It is to this end we labour “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. We are here to fulfill His purposes by obediently treading in His Word.

May The Lord stir the hearts of all who “have ears to hear” to walk, live and seek out the welfare of the Body of Christ.

Ω

“There are two freedoms –
The false, where a man is free
To do what he likes; and the TRUE,
Where a man is free to do
What he ought”
Charles Kingsley

Brian Troxel

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