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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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Behold He Stands at the Door

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
Revelation 12:1-5

As I was writing Part One of another article I felt a burden of the things which are about to break upon my heart. These things are occurring now in the earth and the fulfillment is at hand. (I trust the clumsiness of my words will give way to God’s Spirit to give clarity to that which He is speaking.)

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
Revelation 12:1-2

The rising up of the “great dragon” (the coming together of all who are opposed to God) is happening in our day! The Bride is beginning to feel the birth pangs of the ages within her very being. Those who have received Him into the womb of their heart are beginning to touch the cry, the travail of the very Spirit of God to give birth to this one end: a Man Child who is to rule all nations. This mystery cannot be obstructed. Though all the evil and worldly forces shall become one with the intention to prevent this very thing it shall be!

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born…”
Revelation 12:3-4

We see this “great dragon” not only in the heavens but also at work in the earth “with his tail” drawing spiritual forces (and their corresponding entities upon the earth) into ONE expression of evil to prevent the great wonder of God in the earth.

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb…and they who are with Him
Revelation 17:12-13

We are about to witness and experience the final assault of the combined forces of evil upon all who live Godly in Christ Jesus. There will be a unity of purpose as all earthly powers and governments will be united to this one end: to make war with the Lamb.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”
Matthew 24:21-22

This gathering of forces is happening in our day and it will continue until the end. It will be on a scale never before witnessed and the severity will be to such an extent that if God does not intervene no life will be saved. While many place their hopes upon some politician, political party or “declaration of independence,” those who know their God are preparing themselves for the Day at hand. They can place their trust in none other than the very Life of Jesus within their hearts. Those who have the faith of the Bride do the works of the Bride, for the Word declares that the “Bride hath made herself ready.” Her heart knows the day; she is not walking in this day carelessly for she knows the time is short. The life within is moving her to obedience and the contractions of travail are beginning to take hold. The hour is upon her and she is sensing it. While the religious world carries on with little idea of what is about to befall them, the Bride is preparing herself for His Day.

In the Day of this birth the enemy is fully assembled to devour this child; nevertheless God’s purposes shall stand.

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”
Revelation 12:5

God will complete that which He has begun in Christ. None can stay His hand or His purposes. This being true we have strong consolation for the sufferings coming our way. Glory must be revealed in a corresponding measure of suffering. Paul knew this as have all the saints who have gone on before us…

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead”
Philippians 3:10-11

To know Him in the power of His resurrection, one must know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.

This drama is now playing out unto the fullness of all that is revealed to us in the scriptures. The Bride is making herself ready while the forces of darkness are preparing for war on a scale never seen to this day. We are called in this hour to overcome evil by His goodness within us, to overcome evil by His Love which surpasses knowledge; a love which will stagger even the enemies of Christ because of its purity and power to love beyond all human capability. It is by this alone that His people will overcome for “LOVE endures ALL things”.

The promise to those who walk in the faith, obedience and life of the Bride is glorious: for as soon as she (Zion) travails she will bring forth!

“…for as soon as Zion travailed,
she brought forth her children”
Isaiah 66:8

Oh saints of God, let us not grow weary in this hour. Though we may know isolation from our brethren, though we may walk a lonely and solitary way, let this be the confidence of our joy…

“Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem*, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her”
Isaiah 66:9-10

*Note: The only Jerusalem which is of consequence in the New Testament purposes of God is the Heavenly one. (Galatians 4:25-26, Revelation 11:8, Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9-10)

“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God”
Revelation 21:9-10

“But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect”
Hebrews 12:22

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

witness

God’s Witness

“…for now I know that thou fearest God”
Genesis 22:12

In the context of this scripture Abraham’s obedience was offered to God in the spirit of faith and wonder. It was in the doing that God acknowledged the validity of Abraham’s Faith. Many hold faith in the intellect but it is in the crucible of doing that God acknowledges the weight of our fear of Him, love of Him and trust in Him.

A faith that does not give birth to works is a faith not worth the words in which it is spoken.

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

The deeds are the verification of the substance of the love/faith that birthed them.

God’s declaration of “now I know…” is His testimony, His speaking of divine favor upon Abraham’s faith. The God who never changes is ever ready to give His witness to the reality of our offerings to Him when they proceed from honest and willing hearts.

“And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith”
Hebrews 11:39

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Trust

“Trust in him at all times; ye people,
pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Psalm 62:8

Trust is the foundation of obedience, the essential basis of our relationship with Him. Relationship with God grows in proportion to our trust. Like all of the attributes of His grace it is a quality developed over time.

We can only respond to the “go” of God according to the depth of trust we have in Him. It is our obedience to Him that reveals the true quality of our trust. As we obey in the little things our trust in Him grows for the greater things. A lack of trust produces narrow thinking, stunted perspectives and lives with little effect upon the world around them. The growth of trust produces a life that will “trust Him at ALL times” and in all circumstances.

“David said moreover,
The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion,
and out of the paw of the bear,
he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine”
1 Samuel 17:37

What do we see in the obstacles that stand before us? Giants or opportunities?

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Belief versus Faith

“Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well:
the devils also believe,
and tremble”
James 2:19

Belief in and of itself is not the revelation of a true heart. We live in a time when people are considered “children of God” because of their beliefs rather than the life they live. Jesus said we would know a life by its fruits, not words.

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”
Matthew 7:18

A person’s beliefs will never produce the fruit of the Spirit; Faith must. Our real faith is fully summed up in the life which we now live. It cannot be any other way for faith is in itself the “substance” and the “evidence” of things hoped for.

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Galatians 2:20

Paul’s faith was revealed in the “now” of his life and as such was expressed in his earthly walk. So too our faith is expressed in our everyday life. It is imperative that we do not let our “beliefs” deceive us as to our true condition.

“For with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness…”
Romans 10:10

Without a change of heart unto righteousness the “belief” of an individual is merely an intellectual exercise in vanity. Such was the religion of the Scribes and the Pharisees and the same nature as the believing devils of which James speaks.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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SERVING JESUS

“If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”
John 12:26

The central theme to which Jesus kept directing His disciples was relationship to Him. The great deception of religion is that men and women serve an organization, a doctrine, a teacher or even worse themselves. Here Jesus points to the essential cornerstone of true service unto Him: “let him follow me”. It is in following Him that we become separated unto Him. The “cross” of the individual believer is simply defined by a life of following Him. While many are willing to do strenuous religious observances, fasting, long prayer meetings, conferences and seemingly good works the issue remains one of following Him. The cross of Christ was in doing the will of the Father. In this place of true servitude the Son glorified the Father. It is in our being “yoked” with Him that our lives will in truth glorify the Son. Knowledge of the scriptures must give way to relationship with the Son. Knowledge alone of the Son will never make a person free nor bring about the true experiential knowing of Him within the human heart.

Throughout the scriptures we see that many stopped following Him because of the cost of the Way. The Scribes and Pharisees had no problem with long prayers, religious observances and the rites and rituals of the religious system but they failed to follow Him. In following Him they would have come to the crossroad of serving self or serving God. It is here that the truth of one’s heart is revealed. In this day of the great Apostasy the hearts of many are growing cold and unresponsive to Him and His Word. The forms of truth are retained but the active daily following of Him is replaced by the love of this world, by the busyness of religious programs, and in living a life of self-interest; this culminates in a life that no longer follows Him. Freedom from self with all of its wretched ways and miserable ends can only be found in the following of Him. To truly follow Him requires a forsaking of self. Religion is the “opiate of the masses”; it offers the appearance of a thing without the substance of the thing. It offers the sayings of Jesus without the required obedience to His words. It calls Him Lord but affords its adherents the means to escape actual obedience to Him by the soothing of the conscience with the very words of scripture. Early in Jesus’ life Satan came with great power and temptation by quoting the scriptures so that Jesus might seek to “save” His life supernaturally for all to see (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus refuted such temptation as He was not here to fulfill His will. His purpose was to fulfill the will of the Father.

There can be no true serving of Jesus without a life of actively following Him. It is evident that we are in the time of the great falling away. It is a very subtle and deadly affair of the heart when men and women cling to the words of Jesus without the following of Him. The subtlety of such a life is called deception and it is the way of spiritual decay and death. We remain static while He moves on in the will and the glory of the Father. We hear many say that God does not answer prayer. The wonder of His presence is lacking and in most places not even expected. We have become accustomed to the forms of religion without His presence and power. It is not because He has forsaken us; it is that we have ceased as a people to “follow Him”. He declares to the Church at Ephesus:

“But I have against you
that you left your first love…”
Revelation 2:4

The verse preceding this one states “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience…” The works continued but the love faded. The forsaking of their “first love” (pre-eminent love) was so critical to their place in God that His judgement upon such a people was the removal of His presence from their midst. The reason for the cooling of the heart of His people is the result of iniquity abounding.

“And because iniquity shall abound,
the love of many shall wax cold”
Matthew 24:12

The Greek word translated iniquity here does not fully imply gross sin. It speaks of lawlessness in that instead of obeying the commandments of Jesus we subtly set them aside declaring that we are now under grace. It is through the horror of this deceptive teaching that we are seeing the fervent love of many growing cold and indifferent. It is we who have forsaken the good and right way. The church has embraced teachers who bring in damnable heresies that turn His people from following Him to the serving of self and other things. We call Him Lord yet we set aside His commandments to obey the traditions and teachings of men. WE HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NON-EFFECT! It is our own doing and God’s remedy is repentance and the return to our primary love.

“”This people honors Me with the lips,
but their heart is far away from Me; and in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Isa. 29:13 8)
For forsaking the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men”
Mark 7:7-8

God has a simple answer for this generation and this time. It is the simplicity of obeying His commandments and following Him.

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The teaching of a grace that absolves His people from obedience to the commands of Jesus is a lie and deception of the devil himself! If we do not repent we will stand in the judgement of God as they who once knew the truth and turned away. This is the picture presented to us in the Parable of the Sower where the soil which grew weeds of the cares of self and this life and choked out the precious seed. This truth is presented throughout the New Testament to those who started out well yet grew cold and indifferent to Him in the end.

“For if by a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, they have escaped the defilements of the world,
and again being entangled they have been overcome by these,
then their last things have become worse than the first.
For it was better for them not to have fully known
the way of righteousness, than fully knowing to turn from
the holy commandment delivered to them”
2 Peter 2:20-21 (LITV)

Let us find Grace in this day to finish the race which is set before us. Let us not grow weary in our following of Him for we shall surely reap if we faint not.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

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

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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