Do You Believe Now?

Do You Believe Now?

“Do you believe now?”
John 16:31

Do you believe now?

Oh, the penetrating questions of Jesus. “Do you believe now?” Our Lord is ever bringing us to the truth. There is something about the heart of man that evades the “present” tense of God; it is far easier to put truth off to a future age or dispensation. There can be a soothing and narcotic effect in occupying ourselves with future concepts and ideas. It is an escape, a diversion from present reality. Jesus is the “I AM” and it is the purpose of truth to make us true in the present. The reality is we only have enough breath for the moment and our present condition is our condition. It is here and now that Jesus brings us to the fundamental truth of our state.

“Do you believe now?”. Do you love Him now, His Body (His people)? Are His purposes your purposes for now? Years ago, I sat with a dying friend who had spoken often of his “destiny”; that one of these days God was going to speak a living word and he would be quickened to step into it. But it never happened. If truth is always kept in the future, we run out of the precious commodity of time.

Past, Future, and Present Truth

Martha and Mary were loved deeply by our Lord. Lazarus was dying and they sent for Jesus in desperation and trust. Upon hearing their urgent request Jesus tarried two more days. He knew all that was transpiring and plainly told the disciples that Lazarus was “now” dead. When Jesus arrived, He was met with the faith of the past.

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

A very powerful statement. Jesus in His pre-resurrection state, as a man incarnate, was restricted to the “present truth” of His physical existence. Yet even in this situation, He tarried in the wisdom of God. He is ever-pressing us to “believe now” and to conduct ourselves accordingly.

As the narrative unfolds Jesus meets these statements with the living truth: “Your brother will rise again”. Immediately comes the heartfelt response, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day”. In this interaction with two souls that Jesus loved greatly, we see that He is pressing them into the “now”, into the situation at hand. He has a deep desire to bring us in all things to the present truth, the reality of the now. May we who have ears to hear recognize the pressing of His Spirit to free us from our past and our unsubstantiated future concepts. It is an intense and difficult thing to allow Him to penetrate our religious notions with the present reality. But it is necessary and vital to bring us to the acknowledgment of our true condition. Those who hold to future things, while denying the present reality of themselves, circumvent the development needed to become all that He has purposed.

Paul declared in Philippians that he had not yet fully apprehended the call of God. He did not rest in some future thing but cried out with great urgency of spirit, “I press toward the mark”. There was no room for concepts and beliefs to deter him from the apprehension of Christ. His life was abandoned to Christ. He did not isolate himself from the ministry of God to the Body of Christ; he did not segregate himself from interaction with others. He was in fact a vessel poured out because of the love of Christ in his heart. It is the synthetic who hide from others, who deceive themselves to be ones set apart (as the Scribes and the Pharisees* of old). His Love propels His Own to identify with the lost, the hurting, and the bound. It is in the touching of others that we discover the truth of ourselves. The truth of our nakedness is revealed in our touching the nakedness of others. It is in our discovery of our needs on their behalf that we find His provision! How good and how right are His ways with us!

Religion as a mere belief relieves people from having to face the current fitness and verity of themselves. The true in heart desire to know and to face the truth of the moment. Multiple times the disciples asked Jesus why their prayers did not meet the situation at hand. Deep within they desired truth, the truth, of their powerlessness. They did not mask their condition with a future hope. Jesus responded to them with the thing they needed to hear: “because of your unbelief”. These moments are necessary for our growth and development in Him. If we brush past these moments, we are none the better and we continue our way without facing the facts. The true in heart receive the truth as it is and the door opens for greater faith, a living faith that releases His wonder in the situation. The discovery of our poverty is the door into His riches!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 5:3

The disciple of Christ must discover in present situations their present condition. Therein lies the challenge and the adventure into the discovery of Him within our own experience. The seeker of truth does not seek to comfort themselves in past or future things for the Christ they pursue IS COME to lead them, and more importantly, bring them to the Truth in all character and wisdom. Jesus in His wisdom presented to Martha and Mary the crowning revelation of the mystery of Himself.

I AM the resurrection…”
John 11:25

He is not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be”; He is always the I AM.

“And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?”
Mark 9:28

A few years ago, in my private time with Him, the words came to me, “To grow in truth one must be true with oneself”. Our journey into truth must begin and remain open to receive its piercings and exposure of our condition.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Psalm 15:1

To which the answer of God is:

“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart
Psalm 15:2

When the truth is reduced to a confession, its wonder fades, its sword no longer pierces the heart. The result is faith without works, teachings instead of substance, and a limited vision of His power and glory.

“ Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth UNTO unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently
1 Peter 1:22

The true in heart measure their obedience and walk with God by the fervency of love for His people (not only the ones in their immediate circle). This love reveals itself in deeds produced by a faith made alive through love (Galatians 5:6).

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

Can we hear Him calling us to the depths of Himself? Can we hear Him drawing us out of the ethereal, the forms of truth, and the comfort of mere confessions, into the vast wonder of His substance? Truth is the womb of repentance. Repentance brings us out of the shadows of obscurity into the penetrating gaze of Him alone before whom we must all give an account. Let not another day pass without a true turning unto Him who can cause us to become true witnesses of His Testimony within!

In the seeing of Him, we are afforded a seeing of ourselves (Isaiah 6:1-5). This great work of His Spirit will unveil all that Grace means. It causes us to glory afresh in His redemption of “our mortal bodies” by that SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the Dead. His resurrection will become more than a scriptural fact; it will be the living truth of Him at work within us. Love can only flourish between those who have seen themselves in the light of Him through the lamp of obedience. It is only through obedience that our “souls are purified UNTO the pure and fervent love of our brothers”. Love is the signature of God in a life. Love is being the face of Jesus to one another, where all our actions are governed by a pure desire to see His people WALK in the present truth of Christ.

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear about my children walking in truth. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers…”
3 John 1:4-5

God is not interested in truth coming from our lips only. The words which proceed from our lips are to be verified by our walk and our deeds.

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

___________________

* Note: Pharisees (Original meaning) “separated ones”; “called out ones”.

Brian Troxel

Love One Another

Love One Another

I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ”
 Philippians 1:8

Love is the signature of God ruling within His own. The bonds between the people of God were evident within the language of the New Covenant. There was a living mortar which bound the living stones to one another. One can sense the threads of each life woven together to impart to us the richness of the tapestry of the One Church. It is in stark contrast to our day in which we have increased in the knowledge of the things of God yet lack the essence of what that knowledge is to convey. The estimation of God concerning the progress and development of a heart is in the measure of Love it holds and expresses to others.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing
1 Corinthians 13:2

Knowledge, gifts of the Spirit, prayer, religious works and even faith itself (necessary as they all are), if not mingled with the power and wonder of the pure love of God, leaves us empty and bereft of God Himself.

“He that loveth not
knoweth not God…”
1 John 4:8

Love is the highest expression of truth. It is the verity of truth within a life. Love is what fuels the faith of God unto the works of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love”
Galatians 5:6
(Greek: empowered through)

One cannot hold the love of God and be static, stagnant or isolated. Love, by its very nature, gives of itself and does not seek its own. It is the source and sum of His Joy. It does not regard the sectarian ways of men and is not preferential in its dispensation; it lives only to please the ONE from whom it flows.

“This is my commandment,
That ye love one another,
as I have loved you
John 15:12

Brian Troxel

Love One Another

Love One Another

I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ”
 Philippians 1:8

Love is the signature of God ruling within His own. The bonds between the people of God were evident within the language of the New covenant. There was a living mortar which bound the living stones to one another. One can sense the threads of each life woven together to impart to us the richness of the tapestry of the One Church. It is in stark contrast to our day in which we have increased in the knowledge of the things of God yet lack the essence of what that knowledge is to convey. The estimation of God concerning the progress and development of a heart is in the measure of Love it holds and expresses to others.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing
1 Corinthians 13:2

Knowledge, gifts of the Spirit, prayer, religious works and even faith itself (necessary as they all are), if not mingled with the power and wonder of the pure love of God, leaves us empty and bereft of God Himself.

“He that loveth not
knoweth not God…”
1 John 4:8

Love is the highest expression of truth. It is the verity of truth within a life. Love is what fuels the faith of God unto the works of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love”
Galatians 5:6
(Greek: empowered through)

One cannot hold the love of God and be static, stagnant or isolated. Love, by its very nature, gives of itself and does not seek its own. It is the source and sum of His Joy. It does not regard the sectarian ways of men and is not preferential in its dispensation; it lives only to please the ONE from whom it flows.

“This is my commandment,
That ye love one another,
as I have loved you
John 15:12

Brian Troxel

Omission

Omission

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good,
and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
James 4:17

Omission is the fruit of apathy. It is the result of a false gospel which demotivates us to act. Our personal involvement is the shining forth of His Life through us. The non-involved life is a life centered on self, one that withdraws from an active life of faith, of reaching out into the world around. It leads a sequestered existence, safe and insulated from the personal ventures of faith.

“That the communication of thy faith
may become effectual…”
Philemon 1:6

Paul’s prayer for Philemon was that his faith would be communicated to others with an effect. The communication of an effectual faith leaves an effect on the lives of others because it carries the life and power of the Author. Those active in the ministrations of His Life feel the immensity of the responsibility to walk in such a way that there be an actual communication or impartation of the living Christ through their words, their works and their very lives. The impotency and indifference of many people today regarding their “faith” reveals an appalling attitude that they are “increased with goods and have need of nothing”. This “comfort zone” is a gospel of grace with no sense of laying down their lives for the uplifting of Him. It is easier to give money and resources to someone else to do that. It is easy to labour for the unrighteous money of this world yet be careless with heavenly treasures. We are too prone to ignore the promptings of the Spirit of God to involve ourselves in the lives of others. It is easier to “pray” about things than to pour ourselves out for others. There is a cost to obedience. We have invented an insulation from this dilemma of accountability; a gospel woven with the falsity of a devilish reasoning: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good,
and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
James 4:17

Religion often has the correct understanding yet is powerlessness in the realm of doing. Many know right things and understand the words of Life. Yet their faith is one of words without the power and motivation of Love. They believe the tenets of faith with no valid expression of the LIFE of faith.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing,
nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh* by love”
Galatians 5:6
(a faith which produces the works of love)

John in his epistles constantly prods the people of God in his day unto love and good works. The Book of Revelation declares to each location of the One-Church that God is beholding “their works”. It is the works of a life that show evidence of faith in that life. “I know thy works” is the Word of God to every Church.

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

One deed that springs forth from the Love of God is worth far more than the confessions and proclamations of a thousand sterile lives. Jesus saw the “two mites” of the one who gave of her living rather than the rich offerings of those who appeased their conscience by words and platitudes. A life uninvolved with the lost, the wayward and the stagnant, is a life uninvolved with God.

Omission is the revelation of a inert and lethargic life. It is the one sin which is easily ignored but which paves the road to spiritual bankruptcy.

“Thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

The sin of the one to whom the one talent had been given was the great sin of omission; the sin of doing nothing with the great and unmerited gift placed in his trust. The resulting eternal judgment was one of loss and sorrow. Those faithful to the gifts given to them were rewarded with ruling and reigning in God’s coming Kingdom. The truths of His gifts given to each of us are eternal issues. Faithfulness now brings great reward in the unveiling of His Kingdom then.

“Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me,
to repay to each man according to his work.”
Revelation 22:20 (ESV)

Brian Troxel

The End of the Matter

The End of the Matter

“…but the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith not pretended, from which having missed the mark, some turned aside to empty talking”
1 Timothy 1:5-6

God’s end is revealed in His beginning, just as the harvest is the manifold expression of the seed sown. The same love that motivated Christ’s incarnation is the same love abiding in those who have loved and received Him. When men and women lose sight of the “end of the commandment”, the words, the works, and the life are empty and vain.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love (agape), I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2

The Gifts of God without love: empty and hollow. Deep understanding into mysteries of God: useless. Knowledge without love is meaningless and without value. It is the agape of God which infuses all things with the weight and wonder of Himself; for there can be no growth or development of Love apart from a pure heart. There can be no true impartation of life where the conscience is conflicted by wrong and ulterior motives and unrepented sins. There can be no true and lasting work of God when faith is presented in pretense. The work of God can only be within the lives of those who live in authenticity. These three graces must be the foundation of our growth into the love of God:

Purity of Heart
A Good and Clean Conscience
Faith Unfeigned

A Gospel which does not include the ministration of truth and admonition will inevitably produce lives devoid of the fire, intensity, and the power of the Love of God. The reason God is declared a “consuming fire” is that HE IS LOVE. We cannot hold the love of God within our hearts and be void of passion, works, and an energized faith. Love is what breathes life into faith and faith by its very nature must produce His works in and through our lives.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working (energized) through love
Galatians 5:6

The legalism of our day rests in declarations of the tenets of faith. It fails to grasp that the END or PURPOSE of God in Christ is to takes us beyond the fact of being justified by faith, into the power of God manifested through lives who have been sanctified. Sanctification brings us into a life of abandonment and surrender unto God as a “living sacrifice”. When such legalism becomes the foundation there will be no pursuit of a “pure heart” or a “clean conscience”. A true and unfeigned faith flows from those who seek only His approval. The horror of this “gospel” of legal declarations is that His people see no need for an ongoing, deep and powerful work of God within their hearts. There is a rest and a complacency in an unfinished work of God. The two and a half tribes of Israel found rest in a land outside the purposed and promised land of God; many today are settling for something far less than the full purpose and intention of God.

When there is a deviation from God’s end, in the estimation of God Himself, the expressions of ministry become vain and empty chatter.

“…from which having missed the mark,
some turned aside to empty talking”

Paul the Apostle, who declared the truth of justification by faith, summed up his life as one who was pressing, pursuing, and desiring the apprehension of the mark of God.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…”
Philippians 3:13-15

Paul was not resting upon the knowledge of being justified by faith. He was in full pursuit of “apprehending” (laying hold) the mark and purpose for which God had laid hold of him!

A dead faith rests in the acknowledgment of teaching, while a living faith pursues the apprehension and reality of God Himself.

Brian Troxel

Love the Evidence of Life

Thought for Today

Love the Evidence of His Life

“Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another.”
1 John 4:11

The validity of our relationship with Him is revealed by the power of His love within us drawing, seeking and pursuing relationship with those who are His. Love without works is the lie of religion…

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

The Apostle John follows this statement with the summation of the above scripture…

“And hereby we know that we are of the truth,
and shall assure our hearts before him…”
1 John 3:19

While many cling to the legal declarations of the scriptures, positional truths and statements of faith we are told clearly here that we can find assurance in God that we are (of a certainty) of the truth… by “loving one another in deed and in truth”. It is the deeds which reveal the verity of the truth and the faith of God being alive within our hearts.

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

Freedom from the religious deception of resting in legalistic doctrines is found in the live truth of God moving within us unto a faith which is energized by the wonder of Love (Galatians 5:6).

Doing is the revelation of Being

Brian Troxel

THE MEASURE OF A MAN Part One

The Measure of a Man

PART ONE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In this day of declining fervor and passion for God and His purposes, it is always good to be reminded of the measure to which we have been called to love Him. Many in this day take comfort in His Love for us which, while it is incomprehensible and unmerited, is given with purpose and accountability. This Love wherewith He has loved us, when received as a mere teaching, has no real influence upon the human heart. The Love of God when received into the very being of a man will always produce change, pursuit and a love for Him in return.

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1John 4:19

Love received in truth will always bring forth a reciprocating expression of that love back unto Him who is Love. The validity and measure of the love we have received from Him is revealed in the depth and the corresponding love for Him. The call of God goes out in this day (as it has from the beginning of creation) to love Him with our whole heart. Without Love the New Covenant offers little to the people of God, for Love is the very fiber and matrix of all our actions unto Him. Religion is a dry and monotonous exercise in futility without Love. Faith lacks motive, power and purpose when it is held alone without the wonder of God’s Love. Faith needs to be mingled with Love to accomplish the great things of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love
Galatians 5:6 (LITV)

Paul exhorts us in Corinthians chapter 13…

“…though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not love, I am nothing”
1Corinthians 13:2

People who are held within the grasp of a true sense of their indebtedness unto Him can never be static, inactive or apathetic in their pursuit of God. Those whose love for God rarely, if ever, has any influence on their daily life must reconsider the eternal ramifications of such a meager existence. True and active disciples are always being moved and led by the love of God beating in their hearts. Jesus in seeing the multitude had compassion

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
and he healed their sick”
Matthew 14:14

They who love little do little. A mere religious belief without the love and fire of God burning within the heart is the horror of religion. Woe to those who are comfortable to minister a Gospel without the fire of God in their hearts. Woe to those who are content with anything less than a pure desire to love God with all of their heart.

“…I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent…”
Revelation 2:4-5

Only “first love” can produce “first works”. People without love are barren and unfruitful in the things of God. The loss of first love in the Church at Ephesus (if not repented from) would result in the removal of God’s Presence from their midst. God’s love is the spring from which all His works flow and correspondingly so it is with His disciples.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:35

Discipleship is the expression of a life which has been captured with the beauty and glory of our God. Love is the only constraint which binds the disciple to the life of following of Jesus.

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info