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Thought for Today

The “ING” of Life –

“If you will not believe,
surely you will not be established”
Isaiah 7:9

Believing in God is not a one-time event. In a true and vital reality, it is to be more equated to breathing than some momentary experience. The Hebrew words used for “believe” and “established” are expressed here in the imperfect tenses. The imperfect tense would suggest (for the sake of clarity) these words culminating in an “ing”, indicating an ongoing and uncompleted work. It is in our believing that our lives will be in the ongoing work of being established. The work of the Holy Spirit is ever embellishing, ever rooting and establishing us in Christ. It is in the ongoing reliance upon Him where His work takes on the power and substance of true in-wrought character and stability in our lives.

“If ye continue in my word,
then are ye my disciples indeed”
John 8:31

Discipleship is not a fleeting momentary experience. It is a life-long necessary experience. As breathing is to our natural life so is believing, trusting and faithing in our relationship with Him. The life of the branch consists in its live and continuous connection to the vine. Jesus in this parable uses the word “abide”. It is here within the context of this one living principle that we discover the wonders and glory of the increasing of His Kingdom within our own hearts.

“If ye abide in me,
and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you”
John 15:7

This life of abiding, believing, and trusting in Him is an active principle of life. Any true expression of faith is revealed in obedience and response to His Word. To abide in His word means to respond to its influence and lordship. It is not uncommon to see a dead branch connected to a living plant. The connection is there but the dead branch no longer has a live relationship with its source. The identity of the branch is known by the fruit it bears. We see a branch bearing grapes we know that it is a grape vine. The fruit is the signature of the life of the vine. They who do not abide in Him lose their identity and confidence in Him. When people lose their identity they have no ability to impact the lives around them. Faith becomes a thing rather than a life. It becomes an ideal or a teaching rather than a heartbeat. This is what death is in our spiritual lives. Faith without works, branches without fruit and cold dead hearts without His life being the continuous inspiration of our very breath are the symptoms of a decaying branch.

“Every branch not bearing fruit in Me,
He takes it away”
John 15:2 (BLB)

Ω

“But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, this one is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror; for he studied himself, and has gone away, and immediately he forgot of what kind he was. But the one looking into the perfect law of liberty, and continuing in it, this one not having become a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in his doing”
James 1:22-25

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Glimpses of Christ
in The Book of Revelation

PART SEVEN

Revelation Chapter 5

The Sealed Book

“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

Even in the midst of all the glory and wonder the apostle John was seeing there was one thing that clouded his heart: the sealed book. Consider the awesome splendor of all he was beholding in terms of God’s glory; the angelic hosts, the seven lamp stands, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. Yet he is found weeping because of the sealed book.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

John knew instinctively that the fate of the entire scope of creation hung in the balance of this sealed book. All creation was in fact groaning and travailing for this Book of Life to be opened by the loosing of the seals placed upon it due to the disobedience and rebellion of man. It had been closed by the righteous verdict of God Himself and the only way for this book to be unsealed was by another man who had overcome the scourge, the horror and the defiling of all creation. The seals could not be broken by any other creature than a man; for the curse had come by man and in turn been pronounced upon man (being the head and authority of all creation itself). The failure of the First Adam could only be undone by the Second Adam. That Second Adam had to overcome (in total submission to the Father) the disobedience of the First Adam.

“For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus”
1 Timothy 2:5

All the promises of God hinged upon the one transaction of a flawless Man through perfect obedience and submission having won the right to open the Book and loose the seals thereof. Even Abraham saw this day of the Revelation of Christ Jesus our Lord!

Abraham’s Faith

The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city. The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God
Hebrews 11:8-10

The earthly land of promise seemed a strange land to him as he became increasingly aware and enthralled with the heavenly City of God (The New Jerusalem). He was a sojourner in the land of promise because of a greater thing to come. In the offering up of Isaac he saw, by faith, the revelation of THE LAMB of God who would come to lift the curse and stain from the human race thus making the City of God the habitation of “just men made perfect”! Jesus declared:

“…Abraham rejoiced to see my day:
and he saw it, and was glad”
John 8:56

All the laws, rituals and commandments of the Old Covenant were to bring men to this One Thing; the Lamb of God and His Salvation. There is salvation in no other. No one in heaven or on earth could loose the seals of this Holy and Sealed Book except the One whose name is Jesus!

This bears repeating. While John stood before the very Throne of God he wept because deep down within the recesses of his being he knew that his fate and the fate of all creation rested in the sealed book (Romans 8:24-30). As John was standing in this place he heard a strong angel cry out:

“Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

The man who could open this sealed book had to be worthy. John’s weeping in this heavenly place was based on the fact that no man was found worthy.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Elijah and all the other ones mentioned in Hebrews Chapter Eleven could not open this Book.

“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
received not the promise”
Hebrews 11:39

The promise, though seen through the eyes of faith in all of these faithful ones, could not be received until the Book of Life is opened by the One in whom all the promises of God abide.

“For ALL the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

Men and women cannot look to anything greater than the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the blessed Lamb of God and the Great High Priest who is after the order of Melchizedek! This Melchizedek, to whom even Abraham paid tithes, was greater than Abraham. By types and shadows of things to come it revealed that all the Levitical priesthood paid homage to a greater who was to come; an eternal Priest in whom all the covenants would be fulfilled by virtue of Him prevailing in perfect obedience!

“Now behold how great this one was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils; and indeed those of the sons of Levi receiving the priesthood have a command to tithe the people according to Law, (that is, from their brothers, though coming forth out of Abraham’s loins), but he not counting his genealogy from them has tithed Abraham, and has blessed the one having the promises. But without contradiction, the lesser is blessed by the better. And here dying men indeed receive tithes, but there it having been witnessed that he lives; and as a word to say, through Abraham Levi also, the one receiving tithes, has been tithed. For he was yet in his father’s loins when Melchizedek met him. Truly, then, if perfection was through the Levitical priestly office (for the people had been given Law under it), why yet need for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not to be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priestly office having been changed, of necessity a change of law also occurs. For the One of whom these things are said has partaken of another tribe, from which no one has given devotion at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord has risen out of Judah, as to which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is still more abundantly clear that if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has not become so according to a law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an indissoluble life. For it is testified, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Psa. 110:4 18 For a voiding of the preceding command comes about because of its weakness and unprofitableness. For the Law perfected nothing, but a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God”
Hebrews 7:4-19

As John was weeping over the fate of the sealed Book he hears the most blessed words:

Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof”
Revelation 5:5

It is by virtue of His prevailing that this Book is opened, the seals are being loosed and soon all creation will be released from their groaning in futility and bondage (Romans 8:20-23).

In the following pages of the Book of Revelation there is an unfolding of all that Christ is and the rendering of judgments in the earth. In the removing of each seal there is a corresponding manifestation of God’s righteousness revealed in judgments and great upheavals in the earth. Who can withstand these things? Who can hinder the ongoing loosening of the seals and the revelation of His Justice! We will see the final triumph of God over sin and death and the full revelation of the Risen and Reigning Christ! Unto Him Be Glory now and forever more!

“And he came and took the book
out of the right hand of him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:7

What a thrilling and glorious moment! The Son, by virtue of utter perfection and submission to the will of the Father, takes this sealed Book and begins to lift the seals one by one. (In His submission He became the Captain of our salvation, Hebrews 2:10) How can we not praise and honor Him with our very hearts and lives!

The Book of Revelation is not about events. The events are merely the ramifications of the One who has won the right to open the sealed book! In the opening of the sealed book creation is released, sin and death are destroyed and those who overcome as He overcame will rule and reign with Him for eternity!

“To him that overcometh
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

Salvation is a free gift of the grace of God but ruling and reigning with Him is given to those who by virtue of His Life in them overcome in the same manner as He!

Revelation chapter 5 is the fulcrum for what follows in the rest of the Book of Revelation. In chapter 6 John begins to describe the loosening of the seals and the repercussions of each upon the earth.

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder,
one of the four beasts saying,
Come and see…”
Revelation 6:1

Hallelujah! This is the DAY of the LORD! May all who walk and are present tense alive in Him, consider and walk worthy of the hour in which we live. He who has triumphed over all is at work in the heavens to the end “that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD!” and “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (see Romans 8:21).

To God be ALL the Glory!

Conclusion of Part Seven of coming book.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Hearing

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,
and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet”
Revelation 1:10

In spiritual things hearing is the fruit of relationship. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them…” The issue of today is one of relationship and obedience. John prefaced his introduction of the great unveiling of Jesus Christ with a glimpse into his own walk and relationship with the Lord. In our daily walk, as we live and abide within the awe of His Holy Spirit, there is an ability to hear the “great voice” of God calling us to higher and deeper places in Him. It is the precursor to the seeing of greater things. A true walk in the Spirit of God cannot produce pride or self-sufficiency; the fear of the Lord is the atmosphere and the very nature of any heart that is alive in Him. There can be no real touching of His Spirit while walking contrary to the wonder of His Life.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembles at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today?

Who is Wise?

Part 2

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3

God given wisdom is anchored in righteousness and the fear of the Lord. Those who are wise, have a fear of the Lord as they walk and seek to understand the true righteousness of God. The wisdom of God causes His people to shine in the brightness of His countenance. It is the truly wise who understand the consequences of sin and righteousness knowing that in Him all their actions are weighed. The foolish do not consider the wages of sin; they walk lightly and carelessly. They forget that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” and give an account for all the things we have done (1 Corinthians 5:10). Their lack of understanding produces wrong thinking, wrong living, and consequently, unholy lives.

The wise shine forth His counsel and righteousness for it is in the ministration of wisdom that others are made wise. It is in the speaking and the living with a true understanding of “the holy” (Proverbs 9:10) that others are turned to righteousness. There are many who preach forgiveness, acceptance and grace but do so at the expense of righteousness. It is in the preaching of righteousness that men and women seek God for mercy and forgiveness! There can be no true and earnest desire for mercy except there be a revelation of the righteousness of God. A penitent heart is one who has been impacted by the holiness of God.

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” Acts 2:37-38

It is the preaching of righteousness in the power of the Holy Spirit that “turns” people to righteousness. The preaching of grace and forgiveness apart from the ministration of God’s righteousness is an absurdity.

“The depth of our repentance 
will determine the depth of our revival”

Frank Bartleman

The reason for the dearth of holy zeal, passion and fervency of spirit is because we have not seen the enormity of our sins! For they who are forgiven much love much. Lukewarm hearts, apathetic lives and lethargic living in His people is the fruit of those who have forgotten or have never known the extent of their transgressions.

They who are wise preach righteousness
for they love Him who is righteous.

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins 2 Peter 1:5-9

The foolish lack diligence, virtue, knowledge, temperance and all the above qualities of the character of Christ because they have become blind through forgetfulness of how much they have been forgiven.

They who are alive in Christ walk in the wisdom of God and live for the sole purpose of preaching Christ and His righteousness.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Spiritual Temperature

fervent

“fervent in spirit”
Romans 12:11

In this day of apathy and lukewarm expressions of faith we need this simple statement of the Holy Spirit to remind us of our calling. We are surrounded and bombarded by the world, the lust of the flesh, the ease of life and the deception of the status quo. We watch in horror how His people treat one another; divided by secular organizations (all in His Name) and fully capable of all manner of evil to one another with no sense of  accountability to Him. This dreadful state is the result of a people who are not “beholding the Head” or walking in His Life. Fervency of spirit is the result of His Spirit burning within our lives.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire
Hebrews 12:28-29

There are many who preach grace from the pulpit but it is a grace that ministers a human comfort, a consoling message to our sin, worldliness and cold hearts. This “grace” brings an apathy to people who are no longer aware of the Day which is upon us. It is a false grace, the Lie of the very Devil who would lure God’s people into a deadly slumber of spirit which will result in the judgment of a Holy God.

The true ministration of Grace brings forth lives who are enabled to serve God acceptably with “reverence and godly fear”. The Church of Jesus Christ is in need of burning expressions of His Light and His Glory to re-ignite the flame of God within the sanctuary of our hearts. If our God is a consuming fire what should be the temperature of the hearts of those who claim He is alive in them? We cannot sit Sunday after Sunday hearing sermons (which may be good) without the intensity of something rising up within us to be empowered and inspired as a flaming torch for Him! How can this slumber continue without a sense of life passing us by; without the tasting and seeing of His wonder being expressed from our own hearts?

Jesus commenting on John the Baptist declared:

“He was a burning and a shining light…”
John 5:35

Should not this be the normal testimony of Jesus concerning each of us?

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

Do we believe this? The revelation of our belief is in the outflow of lives held by the fervency of His Spirit. How can we be comfortable with a life which has no resemblance to this? The complacency of spirit, the dead thing men call life in our day, the standards of the life of a Christian are so low that even the world takes note of our impotency.

“For the name of God
is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”
Romans 2:24

Read the context of this scripture and feel the passion and heart of God beating in Paul’s heart. Let us hear the admonition of His voice in our Day. Let us turn from our wicked, self-deceiving, and worldly ways and offer ourselves afresh unto Him who can turn our cold and dead hearts into flaming expressions of living sacrifices.

It is the empty altar which receives no fire.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God”
Romans 12:1

The evidence of His mercy received is a free-will offering unto Him. The greater the reception of mercy the greater is the depth of our offering.

“Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

“Nevertheless”

“And Simon answering said unto him, Master,
we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”
Luke 5:5

True living faith will never be conditioned by experience. Faith, to be faith, must always find its dependence in God not ourselves. Though experience says one thing the cry and purpose of faith must remain undaunted. “Nevertheless” is the word of a man who sets aside his own resources, strengths and abilities and believes God in the moment. This faith must birth a doing in the now. “Nevertheless” is a word that gives way to the doing of a thing regardless of our past experience. It is a word that comes to those who believe, and by that believing there is a response in the now of our life. It is not the “faith” of Mary who said Lord I know “… in that day…” something will happen, for the Christ stands in our midst speaking “I AM the resurrection and the life…”

Let this word “nevertheless” speak to us of better things than what our experience would teach us; for those who listen and regard their experience cease to walk and live by faith. “Today if ye will hear HIS voice…” is the creed by which we must live. Men who don’t do won’t hear. The Word is to those who “have ears to hear” for with every hearing there must be a corresponding act of doing and obeying HIS WORD.

The Spirit of God is HERE to press us beyond our circumstances, our former experiences, and our own resources into the glorious provisions of a God who is constantly calling us to deeper waters, a higher vision and a greater dependency upon HIM. How good is our God! How gracious are HIS ways; the thing we are confronted with is HIS doorway into greater things in HIM!

Faith, to be faith, must always be fresh, living and beating within our hearts. Faith IN a teaching or an idea will eventually become stagnant and dead; the faith of the living Son is active and real! It is never static for it is always moving from one faith unto a greater faith (Romans 1:17). Every living thing grows and everything static and stagnant remains the same. Obedience is the evidence of faith.

“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place”
1 SAMUEL 26:25

Two men; one ever moving on in the WAY of God the other returning to “his place” of stagnation and disobedience.

Ω

“Belief is truth held in the mind;
faith is fire in the heart”
J. Newton (1880–1950)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Invitation

PART TWO

“Who will go for us?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

In other words, who will represent Me (God) in godliness, righteousness and show forth my character in all their ways. It is one thing to have a dream, a word or a gift. It is another thing entirely to reveal the very character of God Himself.

True Leadership in God’s house exists when His call is fused with character and quality of being. Had David rejoiced in Saul’s death he would not have been a “man after God’s heart”. Had Moses, when God tested him to stand aside while God destroyed Israel to make Moses a great nation, agreed to such a proposal he would have utterly failed to represent God’s heart. Had David slain Saul when God presented the divine opportunity to seize the Kingdom by carnal means he would have failed to represent the heart of God. Those who are called to places of authority will know of such testings and it is in knowing His heart that the approval of God is gained. The Gifts of God without the character of God will always lack His authority and His approval. The gifts may bring a vessel honor and fame in this world but they will never gain the approval of God. There will always be an emptiness which will haunt the disobedient and gifted one.

Within God’s House there are vessels of honor and dishonor.

“But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honor, and some to dishonor”
2 Timothy 2:20

In the verse preceding this one Paul states… “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. This is the true test of the authentic vessels of the Lord. Saul prophesied and Balaam prophesied an infallible word of God yet they were perverse in heart and spirit.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”
Jude 1:11-12

These are blemishes within the assembly of God’s people. They may function in gifts, ministries, and places of leadership and yet be utterly false in the eyes of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). They may see and hear right things but it is by their fruits they are known; how they conduct themselves and whether or not they seek the welfare of God’s people even in the face of adversity and rejection.

“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

The true ministrations of God approve themselves by their conduct in all phases of life.

“Who will go for us?”

This is a far more penetrating question than many realize. It is a question which has more to do with who we are than what we do or say.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall SEE God”

Ω

“God’s plan is to make much of the man,
far more of him than of anything else.
Men are God’s method.
The Church is looking for better methods;
God is looking for better men
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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