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Posts Tagged ‘friendship with God’

“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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Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded…”
2 Timothy 1:12

Our relationship with God is not based upon the quality of our faith rather our faith is the result of our relationship with Him. Faith is the evidence in the life of one who is abiding in Him. It is the effect in a life caused by our learning of Him. This persuasion to stand in the midst of great trial, the ability to endure the seeming contradictions of this life, and to remain steadfast in the Word of God, is grounded in our knowing of Him. Faith is not a blind religious belief in a teaching or concept; faith is a “substance” which is rooted in the very character of God Himself. It is the fruit of a heart which has, in a corresponding measure, come to know HIM. Faith lays hold of that which it “sees” God doing and joins itself to Him. For this reason faith can never be without works; God is always working, always moving and always invading the lives of His Own.

Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and feels the draw and the impulse to walk with the Son. A living faith is one in which the heart (because of Love) ever seeks to identify with the object of that Love. Faith is simply the expression of Peter stepping out of the boat; it does not need nor seek the opinions of others in the boat for it sees Christ. The ability to rise up and step into the stormy sea is trust. Trust is the means by which faith is exercised. It is the terra firma upon which a man walks. Men who do not know God cannot trust Him. They may hold a religious creed that says right things, they may mentally ascribe to His Word, but it is in the actual doing that true faith is revealed.

“And they that know thy name
will put their trust in thee

Psalm 9:10

Relationship with God is the purpose of the New Testament. He called the disciples that “they might be with Him”. Their time spent with Him produced men who turned the world upside down.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus
(Acts 4:13)

It is our relationship with Him that determines the cause and the effect of our lives in the world around us.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
2 Corinthians 5:11

Those who know the terror of the Lord persuade men. The cause of someone seeking to persuade men of their accountability unto God comes from “knowing”. Men who know not, do not.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord…”
Ephesians 6:8

The cause in a person’s life to do good and bless others is effected by the knowing of God. Those who know not God live unto themselves. The reality of our relationship with Him is revealed and shouted out to the world everyday by the effect produced within our lives. This evidential expression is called “Faith”.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith…”
Galatians 5:22

FAITH BEING THE FRUIT (or effect)
Of the Spirit ruling in our lives

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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MAMRE

THE PLACE OF SEEING 

PART ONE

“And the LORD said unto Abram,
after that Lot was separated from him,
Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art
northward, and southward,
and eastward, and westward:

For all the land which thou seest,
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
And I will make thy seed
as the dust of the earth:

so that if a man can number
the dust of the earth,

then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it
and in the breadth of it;
for I will give it unto thee.
Then Abram removed his tent,
and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre,
which is in Hebron,
and built there an altar unto the LORD”
GENESIS 13:14-18

Abram “came and dwelt” in the plain of Mamre* (vision).  Men of faith are men of vision and purpose.  Life is no longer a string of unrelated events and meaningless experiences.  Faith gives birth to vision and vision becomes the defining purpose of a man’s life.  Mamre is located within Hebron*, the place of fellowship and intimacy.  It is from here that we see God, we see His purpose for our lives and within the scope of this ministration we are drawn out of this world into His.  It is in seeing this heavenly land that we are freed from this world.  It is in hearing His voice calling us to “arise and walk” that we are constrained to leave the bondage of this world and the paltry offerings of a religion that has Ichabod written upon it.  While the Lots of faith choose to settle down in Sodom and Gomorrah Abram dwells in the land of vision and fellowship with God.  No man is truly lonely if God is His friend.   With all of the activity of the religious world racing on with no real impact or purpose there are those who find sitting at the feet of Him who is “the way the truth and the life” a ministration beyond compare.  Abram dwelt here, pitched his tent, built an Altar and lived to see the birth of his Isaac.  This land is not earned; it is given to those who make it their home.  But it is incumbent upon us to “arise and walk” within its borders to know and feel the length and the breadth of it.   We make it ours by moving our tent into the very center and dwelling there.  For it is here where we meet with Him, commune and learn of Him.

Abram’s journey in God (as is ours) is one of being and walking in the WAY.  It is a life of obedience and submission to God Himself.  How beautiful and comforting are the words spoken here unto Abram…

“Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art…”
GENESIS 13:14

The place where Abram now stood was confirmed by God as His Will.  Though barren and a prisoner of HOPE we see God’s word of the divine approval “look from the place where thou art!  Vision has to do with location.  Where we are determines what we see.  Mamre is a portion of our inheritance of the land of Hebron; it is a life of vision that arises from intimacy with the Most High.  It is here that the promise of God of the long awaited Son is confirmed and made definite, the barren womb is given hope and Sodom is judged.  The birthing of the ONE must necessitate the judging of the other.  As a friend with God, Abram is now brought into the place of knowing God’s moving in the earth and the necessity of his priestly portion in it.

“And the LORD appeared unto him
in the plains of Mamre”
GENESIS 18:1

*NOTE: Mamre
ראה

The root-verb ראה (ra’a) primarily means to see or look at or notice (Genesis 6:2, Isaiah 6:5), and, much as in English, came to also mean to understand (Jeremiah 5:12). This verb’s derivatives are:

  • The adjective ראה (ra’eh), meaning seeing (Job 10:15 only).
  • The masculine noun ראה (ro’eh), meaning seer (1 Samuel 9:9, Isaiah 30:10).
  • The identical masculine noun ראה (ro’eh), meaning prophetic vision (Isaiah 28:7 only).
  • The feminine noun ראית (re’ut) or ראות (re’ut), meaning look (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
  • The masculine noun ראי (re’i), meaning mirror (Job 37:18 only).
  • The masculine noun ראי (ro’i), meaning sight or appearance (Genesis 16:13, Job 7:8).
  • The feminine noun מראה (mar’a), meaning vision as means of revelation (Genesis 46:2, Numbers 12:6).
  • The identical feminine noun מראה (mar’a), meaning mirror (Exodus 38:8 only).
  • The masculine noun מראה (mar’eh), meaning sight or appearance (Exodus 3:3, Isaiah 11:3, Ezekiel 8:4).

*NOTE: Hebron
חבר
“Hebron” = The Binding Friendship Place

The conventional interpretation of “Hebron” correctly identifies its main, and most obvious, meaning.
“Hebron” = heth-bet-resh-vav-nun = XBRWN = XBR + WN = “Binding Friendship”
[XBR = “association”, etc.] “place” [-WN]

The root-verb חבר (habar) means to join

Brian Troxel

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LUKEWARMNESS
The Present Day Deception

“So then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot,
I will spue thee out of my mouth”
REVELATION 3:16

This is the word of the Lord unto His Church, written to His own. By nature we prefer to be lukewarm rather than too hot or too cold; it is far more comfortable. The present day deception of the Antinomian gospel removes my obligation to live righteously BY Grace and replaces it with the false belief that I can now live as I please because OF Grace. This teaching of “I believe therefore I am declared righteous”, regardless of how I live, has produced a lukewarm and apathetic generation of “believers”. We think that we now can sit back and live a life of compromise with the world without any consequences to our relationship with God!

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 JOHN 3:7

John is teaching the people of his day not to be deceived; they that are truly born of God live righteously. They DO righteousness, it is the fruit of their faith, the evidence of the Son living in their lives. John goes on to say…

“In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…”
1 JOHN 3:10

It is time for us to awaken to the truth and to reject this deception. IT DOES MATTER HOW WE LIVE! If we are lukewarm HE will spue us out of His mouth. We need a healthy fear of the Lord that brings accountability into our own lives and gives us the courage to speak to our brothers and sisters who are complacent with sin. Where are those who seek out others who will challenge them to live Godly in this present world and to have their lives shine with the Light of the Life of the Son?

Many will say in this hour “Lord, Lord” but it is to them that “doeth the will of God who shall abide forever…” (1 John 2:17)

“And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.
But he that doeth wrong
shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:
and there is no respect of persons”
COLOSSIANS 3:23-25

Brian Troxel

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THE WAY TO PURITY

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word”
PSALM 119:9 (NASB)

Purity of heart is not only relative and progressive it is attainable! The simplicity of the above verse is powerful and within reach to every believer no matter the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. The provision for purity of heart, required by the scriptures, that enables us to see God is set before us to grow and delight in. The one requirement is simple and yet profound… obedience. By keeping His Word, reading it, cherishing it and DOING IT we receive the benefits of a heart that grows in purity and in that growing purity we see God more clearly and profoundly (Matthew 5:8). Obedience is the lamp by which we see His Face.

True obedience is by its very nature sacrificial. It is the way of the cross that leads us into the footsteps of the Son and the doorway into the growing dynamic of His life in us. In order to obey I must lay aside my will for His. I choose His Word and His Way over my own. In the doing of this I not only discover the hidden resources of His Life but I find His Word preserving my life in Him from the trappings and temptations of this world. For example:

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”
PSALM 101:3

By taking heed to this I am preserving my thought life and the purity of my heart. In embracing such a powerful truth I must disobey the lust and desire of the old man and keep the integrity of the new man that is being created in His Image! How simple and just are His ways. By the keeping of His Word we grow in righteousness and peace. In the keeping of His Word we are freed from the wages of sin and death! Obedience is the only way to know of this purity.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren…”
1 PETER 1:22

Though the keeping of His Word is simple in its application it does require the empowering and enabling work of the Holy Spirit to see us through. Within the confines of a growing relationship with our God there is the constant need for us to walk, live and move within His Holy Spirit. The more we obey His Word the easier it is to know of this divine enablement. With each new step into the transforming Life of the Son we find our great Shepherd leading us onward in the “paths of righteousness”. How precious and glorious are His Ways!

Ω

“The proximate result of obedience to God
is inward conformity to the Divine image”
Charles Hodge

Brian Troxel

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An Open Heaven?

PART TWO

OBEDIENCE

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
you will see the heavens opened”
JOHN 1:51

An open heaven is a progressive life of revelation and change; it is dependent upon our response to His leading in order for us to grow and develop in the purpose that HE has for us. An Open Heaven is the result of a life of Obedience to Him. Without obeying Him we are sure to live a life of stagnation and impotence. This is no destination worthy of the God who has called us with an eternal and infinite call. His purposes for us are also eternal.

“That in the ages to come
he might show the exceeding riches of his grace
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”
EPHESIANS 2:7

An ever opening heaven should be the normal Christian experience of every child of God. The things of heaven should be becoming more real and precious to us while the things of earth will, in direct proportion, become dim and distant as we behold the wonder and glory of our God. This life of the ever opening heaven is only realized through the life of obedience. In truth faith and obedience are inseparable. Sadly in our day faith has little to do with obedience for we have separated the two to such an extent that what one believes has little or no consequence to what one does.

OBEDIENCE

Whether it is in the Old or New Testament, the accounts of glory discovered by men and women, who on the basis of obedience were afforded the unique revelations of the Most High God, are there for our learning and admonition. Had not Jeremiah gone to the Potter’s House he would not have received the message of God for Israel. Had not the man with the withered hand responded to Jesus (in the midst of great unbelief) he would not have been healed. Had not the disciples got into the boat they would not have seen the Christ walking on the water in the midst of the storm. Had not the widow begun to pour oil out into the empty vessels her poverty would have continued and her sons would have been taken. Had not the priests stepped into the river that was flooding there would have been no way for the children of Israel to enter into the promised land. Had not Phillip gone to Gaza he would have missed the appointment with the Eunuch. Stagnation sets into the lives of God’s people when obedience is replaced by religious concepts and teachings. The open heaven becomes closed when men no longer expect nor receive the afforded grace of the WAY of GOD. The ever increasing dynamic of HIS life in us is energized by the glimpses of His Glory as we obey Him in the secret places of our hearts. Fresh revelations of Him in our daily lives keep the warmth of His presence alive to continue to follow Him wherever He leads.

The necessity of the Open Heaven is the means by which we become that heavenly people. It is the essential aroma of those who follow the Lamb in the reality of their lives. There is an unmistakable hope that beats within the hearts of those who endure by the seeing of Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27). The Open Heaven causes men and women to believe and know that they are to participate in His return. They are not just waiting without purpose but that they are a PART OF HIS RETURN; through the life of Obedience they are hastening His appearing.

“…when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared”
1PETER 3:20

God’s judgment on the earth waited for Noah to finish the Ark!

“Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there”
GENESIS 19:22

God’s judgment on Sodom waited on Lot to leave the city!

Jesus said HIS return would be as it was in the days of Noah and Lot. Can we not see and understand the implications of our life in Him?

Peter enjoins us to ever be…

“…looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God”
2Peter 3:12

The Holy Spirit here is telling us to “HASTEN” the day of His return.

“…and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled”
2CORINTHIANS 10:6

The Open Heaven is necessary for us to see that through the power of His Faith in us we are HIS BODY and HIS LIGHT in the earth. We are bone of His bone and as such we are to KNOW HIS WILL and walk in it.

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
See then that you walk circumspectly,
not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise,
but understand what the will of the Lord is
EPHESIANS 5:14 – 17

Ω

“The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters
is not intellect, but obedience.”
Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

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“The CONDESCENSION of GOD”

“…thy gentleness hath made me great”
IISAMUEL 22:36

Such words of thankfulness reveal a heart that understands the unmerited favor and mercy of God. Whatever may be the measure to which we know Him there will be a corresponding knowing of ourselves. No man can see God without seeing himself. It is in the seeing of Him that we understand our absolute need for His Grace and Mercy to cover and hold us. Isaiah in the Old Testament had the same response as John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation…

“In the year that king Uzziah died
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up…
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone…”
ISAIAH 6:1 – 5

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead…”
REVELATION 1:17

We see here that the GREATNESS and GLORY of God is the humbler of men; we also see that by the gentleness and condescension of God man is lifted up! How good and unsearchable are His ways and the beauty of His wisdom past understanding.

The phrase “…thy gentleness hath made me great” would be best translated “Thy condescension has made me abundantly fruitful”.

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
JOHN 10:10

Notice here the tense used in this verse “I am come”; not has, or will come, for His coming is always present tense. He is here now to meet with us in such intimacy and grace; the God of all Glory here to speak with us and to commune with us. If we only knew the full depth of His heart for us we would be left speechless. No wonder the author of Hebrews cries out…

“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?”
HEBREWS 2:6

May the Lord have mercy upon us that we might reconsider the gift of His salvation, the adornments of His righteousness and the abundance of gifts and ministrations that He has so richly bestowed upon us. Let us turn again unto Him in meekness and humility to worship and glorify His Name in the earth.

Ω

“When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love, and praise”
Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

Brian Troxel

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