Quote for Today – F.W. Robertson

Quote for Today

FW Robertson

“It is wondrous how, the truer we become, the more unerringly we know the ring of truth, can discern whether a man be true or not, and can fasten at once upon the rising lie in word and look and dissembling act – wondrous how the charity of Christ in the heart perceives every aberration from charity in others, in ungentle thought or slanderous tone.”
– FW Robertson

Spiritual Discernment – Familiar spirits

Spiritual Discernment

Familiar spirits

“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit,
or that is a wizard…”
Leviticus 20:27

The term “familiar spirits” (KJV), mentioned only in the Old Testament, comes from the Hebrew word “owb” which originally meant “water bottle”. It was applied to mediums or “spiritists” (as we call them today) to describe those who presented themselves to the spirit world; the reference being the sounds a skin water bottle made when agitated (see below)*. The term “familiar spirit” was translated into the English language due to the means of their expression. They endeavored to deceive those who sought them out by imitating “familiar” tendencies of those who were dead. The term “familiar spirits” were applied to the mediums (not to the family or generational sins of people); deceivers who would by demon power provide accurate portrayals of the deceased though utterly false.

These same spirits can also come to people posing as someone who has passed on, someone with whom the person being deceived is “familiar”. This wickedness is not only deceptive but deadly. The term “familiar spirits” never referred to a family or a generational concept.

The New Testament Greek word for these same expressions uses the phrase “Pythonic spirit” which speaks of the same only it describes the nature of the spirit rather than the expression of the spirit.

In these last days we will see an increase in the activity of these deceiving ones. There will also be a release by the judgment of God a great deceptive power upon those who refuse the truth. They will be given over to the Lie in its diverse forms.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

These deceptive expressions are even now invading the people of God to test them and to sift them as to whether they will hold to the truth or follow the Lie. These things will be accompanied by false teachings, pseudo prophesies and supernatural deceptive works. Only those who love the truth, obey the truth and abide in Him will be able to withstand the onslaught of these things.

“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce,
if it were possible, even the elect
Mark 13:22

While many may think these will not be an issue because of their scriptural knowledge, personal associations and pride in their own “discernment”, Jesus said:

“But take ye heed: behold,
I have foretold you all things.”
Mark 13:23

In the world of security, specialists are taught to discern a counterfeit bill. They study and become so familiar with the real that, regardless of the form a counterfeit bill may take, they know when it is not genuine. So it is in the Spirit. We must live our life clinging to, abiding in and growing in our knowing of Him as our salvation and truth. If there be any reliance upon self, we will not stand in these coming days.

Even now there are those experiencing false visitations in the guise of a “familiar” prophet or teacher. The Spirit of God cries out “beware” and “take heed” to the peril which will follow all those who adhere to such deception.

May the Lord give us the humility of spirit to keep from the pride and self-seeking which leads many down the path to destruction.

“For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.…”
2 Timothy 4:3-4

*Note: “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit (owb), out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust”
Isaiah 29:4

Brian Troxel

Psalm 34 – The Way into Life

Psalm 34:12-13

The Way into Life

“What man is he that desireth life,
and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Psalm 34:12

“Keep thy tongue from evil,
and thy lips from speaking guile”
Psalm 34:13

The scriptures declare that life and death are in the tongue. Those who truly desire life guard their words with diligence. The wise hold within their consciousness a “fear of the Lord”. It is this wonder that causes His own to measure their words knowing that every uttered thing will be weighed in God’s balance. This sense of accountability is the means by which we enter into and abide within His Life. The “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Hebrew “principle part”). It is the awareness of His presence that delivers us from the folly of presumption.

The journey into the wisdom of God is one of simply growing in our sensitivity to His presence and being accountable for the life we live and the words we speak. Those who shun the “fear of the Lord” deprive themselves of the Life and Wonder of Christ within their hearts. It is as we walk with Him who is “THE WAY” that we are afforded the riches of His grace and wisdom. The discipline of measuring our words enables us to speak His Words with the authority of Christ Himself.

“Where the word of a king is,
there is power”
Ecclesiastes 8:4

The keeping of our tongue can only be known to the degree that we are in submission to Him. True spiritual authority comes to those who are under His authority. Spiritual authority does not come from holding a position within a religious organization or fellowship, nor from an educational degree; it comes from being under the authority of Christ. Authority derived by any other means than a submission to the Risen Christ, though it may have an appearance of authority, will be of no avail in accomplishing the will of God in the earth.

Freedom from Guile

Speaking evil is a hellish and deceitful thread woven into the cloak of the hypocrite. The workings of guile can be found hidden within the smooth words of friendship, manipulation of situations and the Christian jargon of our day. Discernment comes as we are free from seeking the approval of others and do not succumb to the pressure to “fit in” to the hidden agendas of those who seek their own gain. Discernment is God’s provision for freedom from guile.

May His fires burn and His truth reveal these things in our own hearts that we may apprehend the power, purity and marvel of His Life ruling and reigning within.

“What man is he that desireth life,
and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Keep thy tongue from evil,
and thy lips from speaking guile”
Psalm 34:12-13

Brian Troxel

Spiritual Discernment – Ananias and Sapphira

Spiritual Discernment

Ananias and Sapphira
(Acts 5:1-11)

They pretended to give all yet held back something for themselves. It was the pretense that brought the judgment of the Lord upon them. Had they held back a portion and stated so, their offering would have been accepted. It was the deceit of portraying that they had given all which was judged so severely. How we need to endeavor that our hearts be free of this great sin. This is a common sin of our day and is often overlooked for now. However, when we stand before our King such things will be brought to light for nothing will be hid in that day.

“For the Son of Man will come
in His Father’s glory with His angels,
and then He will repay each one
according to what he has done”
Matthew 16:27

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Discernment – Solomon and the Two Mothers

Spiritual Discernment

Solomon and the Two Mothers

Two women come to Solomon each seeking to portray themselves as the true mother of a child presented in Solomon’s court (1 Kings 3:16-28). Each claimed with great emotion that they were in fact the mother of this child. A perplexing situation indeed and one which presented a great test for the king! Those who would rule and walk in authority in God’s house must be schooled in the wisdom and council of God Himself. The spirit of discernment must work and rule within the heart of His own.

Solomon’s answer?

“Bring me a sword”!
1 Kings 3:24

Hallelujah! How can we not love the living word of God! It is a divider of that which is flesh and that which is of God’s Spirit. It is living, active and it is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearts of men.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do”
Hebrew 4:12-13

His living word is the sword of the Lord which pierces and divides asunder the very hidden workings of deceitful expressions and false pretenses, of seducing spirits and the presumptive expressions of false ministers in the community of faith.

These are but a few examples presented to us in the scriptures where the true and the false both seek to present themselves as true expressions. How we must grow into the place of abiding in Him for discernment and wisdom!

The purpose of all true ministry is to bring God’s people to the place of knowing and discerning the things before them. Without discernment God’s people have a very limited ability to pray, speak or react to the situations of life.

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Ezekiel 44:23

Discernment is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit it is also a faculty which must be developed within the heart of every believer. The “strong meat” of the word of God is withheld from those in which the faculty of discernment is not developed.

“For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

Ψ

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man”
1 Corinthians 2:14-15

Brian Troxel

Discernment – The Pythonic spirit

Discernment

The Pythonic spirit in the Book of Acts

“And it happened, as we went into a place of prayer,
a certain girl slave having a Pythonic spirit met us,
whose divining brought much gain to her lords”
Acts 16:16 (LITV, BLB)

What was this Pythonic (original Greek word used here) spirit declaring?

“…These men are the servants of the most high God,
which shew unto us the way of salvation”
Acts 16:17

To those who have had at least some experience with true spiritual warfare this is not surprising. The fact that these things are found in the scriptures prove that His people should have some knowledge of the deceptive nature of our enemy. In many places today such “prophesying” would be readily received to their shame and their own spiritual deception. It is imperative that we test the spirit that birth these expressions and not judge simply by the mere words of the utterance. It is here where many of God’s people are ill equipped in the discernment of things they allow in their midst. Spiritual ignorance is the product of a shallow and untutored walk with God. It is an indication of a heart which has not been open to the voice and the leading of His Spirit.

The Pythonic spirit is one of change, camouflage, deceit and is difficult to discern. The scripture describes its manner of working:

“There be three things which are too wonderful for me,
yea, four which I know not…
the way of a serpent upon a rock…”
Proverbs 30:18-19

Paul in addressing the Church at Corinth spoke hard words in order for them to stay true to the Gospel of God. Here Paul upbraids them for their willingness to receive false expressions over the true because they did not really want to embrace the truth of their condition.

“But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which is due to Christ. For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure these
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (read the previous verse as well for context)

He is saying if one comes and presents another gospel or another spirit you might well endure such a one. Yet they had more trouble with Paul because he spoke the truth to them instead of nice smooth words. He actually cared for them with a godly love and jealously. It is because of these things the Church of God requires the Apostolic and Prophetic ministrations of God.

“Take heed to yourselves,
that your heart be not deceived,
and ye turn aside”
Deuteronomy 11:16

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

How to know that we know Him

How to Know That We Know Him

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1 John 2:3

The true Christian life is one of simplicity. Those who keep His word love Him; they seek to honor Him in every aspect of their lives. Those who profess to love Him but do not keep His word are liars.

“He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar, and the truth is not in him”
1 John 2:4

Those who leave off the doing of truth are not able to come to the glorious light of Jesus the Christ. Without the doing of truth there can be no growth in the light.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

The simplicity of our life with Him is easily discerned by those who have objective hearts. The beauty is we can make changes at any given moment for He who died for us ever lives to bring us to a deeper, more vibrant walk in Him. To continue to declare that we love Him and not keep His commandments is the LIE that will condemn us on the last day. Those who hate reproof hate the light. It is in this crucible that the fate of all men and women will be determined.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved”
John 3:20

Ω

Hereby do we know we know Him

To obey the truth reveals the love of His Light.
To hate reproof is to hate the light.

Brian Troxel

Butter and Honey – Part One

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART ONE
(See Part Two)

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good*
Isaiah 7:15

Spiritually we are what we eat. The richness of the Word of God is revealed here as producing within the lives of His own discernment and right choices. How people walk reveals the depth and the import of their partaking of the things of God. In our day of lukewarm attitudes towards sin and conformity to the world it becomes clear that a religious gospel is not capable of producing a separated people. By and large the church is more concerned with the numbers in the pews rather than the righteousness of the people of God. The Word has been robbed of its power and purpose. Smooth things are spoken. Oratory has replaced the anointing. Programs and written resources have taken the place of the individual’s responsibility to seek God and His Will for themselves. Knowledge about God replaces the knowledge OF God. We have become as comfortable as Samson in Delilah’s lap. We have fallen asleep and know not the hour and the day that is about to break upon us. In our slumber we characterize those who cry out to the current condition of things as “legalistic” and overly religious. We have “discovered” new methods of evangelizing where we seek to appeal to the masses with a Jesus that can tweak human nature but still allow them to enjoy the world. This gospel is presented as a band aid rather than a cure; a new paint job rather than a new creation.

Unto those who feast upon the butter and honey of the word of God there is a growing ability to refuse evil and choose good. What a precious gift this is! Discernment is critical to our growth and maturity in God. Without discernment there is no ability to partake of the “strong meat of the Word”.

“But strong meat belongs
to them that are of full age,
even those
who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

Those who refuse the “butter and honey” of the Word cannot eat of the strong meat that produces men and women separated unto God. We read of Moses though raised in the very house of Pharaoh and given the opportunity of living a life of luxury…

“Choosing rather
to suffer affliction
with the people of God,
than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season
Esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches
than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect
unto the recompense of the reward”
Hebrews 11:25-26

This empowerment to esteem the reproach of Christ as “greater riches” only comes by the eating of the Word through obedience and having our senses exercised to see things as they really are.

Ω

“The issue is now clear.
It is between light and darkness
and everyone must choose his side”
(The last words of GK Chesterton)

*NOTE: The prophetic word spoken here of the Son communicates to us His manner of life and His Beauty. All that is true in Him is to be true of those who are in Him.

“…because as he IS, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

What is Righteousness?

What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother
1 John 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Faithful and Wise Servant

Faithful and Wise Servant

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:45-46

Faithfulness is a commendable virtue of God’s servants; those who labor in His fields shepherding and feeding His flock regardless of personal situations and circumstances. However, Jesus by His great work within our hearts, is always enlarging the scope of His ministration through us. It is one thing to be faithful and another thing altogether to be faithful and wise. Here Jesus commends His steward for having the ability to give His people “meat in due season”. One who ministers from a wise heart knows the condition of God’s people and walks in a discerning way. This servant is not just a disseminator of information but one who, in God’s wisdom, understands what God is after in each life and ministers accordingly. The faithful and wise servant seeks not the praises of men but pursues the honor of His Lord. The very essential portion of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is His people and therefore His salvation and His divine purposes that are to be fulfilled in each life.

Many appear to be faithful in our day within the confines of church activity and religious endeavors yet without the wonder of His wisdom at work in and through their lives such ministrations will be found lacking. This can be because of ulterior motives or an attemptt to minister from a position (job description) rather than through the ministration of His heart.

It is the faithful and wise servant who becomes endued with His authority in His house. Authority is given to those who are under His authority. Only those who are truly His servants (serving Him rather than themselves or a religious agenda) can actually walk and abide in His wisdom. The true wisdom of God is free from partiality and factious loyalties. It knows the fear of the Lord and will not be contaminated with anything that would interfere with the true ministration of His mercy or His judgments. People who function with a view to loyalty to a denomination or a particular faction or gathering of God’s people will forfeit the ability to walk in His wisdom.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy”
James 3:17

Those who stand in places of ministry in His house will reveal this union of faithfulness and wisdom in their own lives; in their families, their work and behavior in all circumstances. Paul wrote to Timothy concerning those who would walk and function from the wisdom of God:

“One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Timothy 3:4-5

Faithfulness and wisdom are attributes of an individual not just in a religious setting but in every area of life. It is to this end that we interact with Him and those around us; that we may hear Him say to us “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:13

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info