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Posts Tagged ‘Grace and Truth’

Transition: The WAY of Truth

“And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.
And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
and in the midst of the seven lampstands
One like the Son of man…”
Revelation 1:12-13

Those who are true desire the truth; living truth which comes to those who walk and live in the Spirit. It comes at a cost and with the requirement for the individual to respond in order to receive its power. Any “truth” that does not require response and change is not living truth. It is in hearing and turning we are enabled to see. In turning from our ways and the current measure of truth we hold we are enabled by His wondrous grace to see Him anew. Those who walk in the static world of religion, words, teachings and doctrines of men never change. The growth and development of that on-going revelation of Christ becomes stagnant and motionless. The horizons of vision do not change with the passage of time and the wonder of His life becomes drab and uninviting to themselves and to those about them. The fervency of passion has long since subsided and the fire of burning hope is replaced with the cold and emptiness of a religious life.

It is in the hearing of His Word and the response from our hearts to the voice which calls us where we see Him in a new and higher way. This turning causes the former things to pass away as we step into that which is new and living. Transition and repentance is the hallmark of those who desire The Way. Those who walk in this living path become an antagonism to those who are static and set in something less than the “new” of God. God’s truth is one of unveiling the mysteries and glories of Christ and as such there is never a point of arrival; His Glory has no end! Eternity is not long enough to exhaust the wonders of our risen Lord. The scriptures are full of men and women who knew the Way of change and transition.

Job

“I have heard of You by hearing of the ear,
but NOW my eye has seen You;
Therefore, I despise myself,
and I have repented on dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6 (LITV)

We must ever be going on. That which I know today must be eclipsed by a further seeing and knowing of Him. Those who are of the truth cannot abide in what they see now for within is the continual cry to see Him in a deeper and fuller way. Consider Moses who saw such signs and wonders in his walk with God yet cried out at the end of his journey show me more of your glory.

“Lord Jehovah,
You have begun to show Your servant
Your greatness and Your mighty hand…”
Deuteronomy 3:24

Moses at the end of his life knew that all he had seen, heard and understood was the mere beginning of God’s glory. Do we not feel within our own heart of hearts the desire for “more of God”? Is there not an aching to go deeper and higher wherein dwell things which cannot be put into words? Paul saw things, heard things, which could not be shared because of their holiness and the inability to put them into the vernacular of man. How can men and women rest in the shallow waters of teachings and concepts (though good in themselves)? These things must become the bud of which the flower is produced, and the flower must give way to the fruit. and the fruit must give way to the seed so that it may replicate the wonder and glory of God in another heart. Such is the law of Life.

Ezekiel could not stop at the waters to the ankles, he could not linger in the waters to the knees, and the waters to the loins could not hold him from the depths of the “waters to swim in” (Ezekiel 47). Let us find grace to hear, to turn and to respond to the call of God to see Him anew. May we be so smitten with His Glory that the present place of abiding is merely a momentary one of provision to finish the race set before us. Let His hunger to fill our hearts with more of Him. Relationship is the mystery of God into which we have been called; not things about God or even of God. The true heart cannot rest until it is found in Him and in Him we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) of wonder at which even the angels will marvel for ages to come.

“…that He might show in the coming ages
the exceeding great riches of His grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:7

The hunger of the average Christian life in our day is revealed in the contentment with the status quo. Paul in writing to the Church of God in Corinth about the Love of God spoke to them of transition and going on. He had earlier called them carnal for clinging to the ministries of God by choosing one over another thus segregating and secularizing the Body of Christ. (i.e. “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”) Paul’s call to this carnal church (which fully resembles the one in our day) was to move beyond the childhood phase to grow up and become full grown people in God. The transition from childhood in God into maturity requires us to put away (turn from) childish things. Childish things are not wrong in themselves but they become wrong when people linger in them and fail to develop in God.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

In the processes of God, we must grow from the infant into the man, we must go from needing bread to becoming bread, and we must go from water to the ankles to waters to swim in (Ezekiel 47:1-5) by responding to His living word.

The deeper truths are withheld from His children and reserved for those who have been exercised in their growth in God.

“Concerning whom we have much to say,
and hard to interpret since you have become dull in hearing”
Hebrews 5:11

The Apostle was eager to share the deeper truths of Melchizedek but was restrained because of their lack of development:

“For indeed because of the time you are due to be teachers,
yet you need to have someone to teach you again
the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God,
and you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food;
for everyone partaking of milk
is without experience in the word of righteousness,
for he is an infant
But strong meat is for those full grown…”
Hebrews 5:12-14

Our ability to see Him in His word is dependent upon growth and development within our own lives! It is we who determine what we see (i.e. Matthew 5:8), hear and know (in an experiential way) of the depths and wonders of Him. It is a day for us to turn, to give heed to that which He has spoken. If we linger it will be to our sorrow not only here but in the eternal to which we have been called.

The promise of God is sure and it is one upon which we can stand:

“Seek and I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone asking receives,
and the one seeking finds,
and to the one knocking, it will be opened”
Luke 11:9-10

James tells us the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask. The lack of seeking is the reason for not finding and the failure to knock is the reason why men and women do not have new doors opened in their lives. Let us hear this solemn word…

“For everyone asking receives…”

If we believe His Word our lives will be filled with asking, seeking and knocking.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 7

Grace and Truth

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

The New Testament truth concerning the priesthood is in stark contrast to that of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament one was part of the priesthood by virtue of birth (with certain qualifications being met); in the New Covenant, we are made kings and priests as our hearts cooperate with the dealings of God in our lives. It is no longer a position but a call whereby the individual becomes a priest by growing in the virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ. As His Nature is imparted into our lives there is growth and a transformative work. No longer are we left powerless; His Life residing in our hearts brings change regardless of our age. It is here that we are afforded much grace. Much more than mere statements or religious doctrines, Truth is a life; nothing less than the Life of Jesus being held by faith within the core of our hearts. Living truth is in itself the expression of grace. We must submit to the working of His Way into our lives. No priest can be true if there is a diminishing of God’s Holy Word, His Call or His hatred of sin. True priests are unwavering in the ministration of truth.

Truth will never violate grace and grace will never violate truth. Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery was moved with great compassion toward her. He spoke to the “religious elite” of His day concerning their own issues and then turned to the woman who was before Him and spoke the gracious words “neither do I condemn you”. Such unmerited grace! The Gospel today is full of this powerful truth, however, the complete words of Jesus are often left out of the sermons for He goes on to say “Go and sin no more”! This is Living Truth where grace and holiness meet.

“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other”
Psalm 85:10

“For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
John 1:17

These expressions are only known in those who have tasted of His judgements and His grace to such an extent that the two are one in word and in deed.

“And hath made* us kings and priests
unto God and his Father”
Revelation 1:6

The unity of these ministrations is evidence that one has walked with God. The imprint of His holiness breaks our hearts. The Word of reconciliation to our brothers and sisters and those who do not yet know Him can only be borne by those in whom beats the heart of a priest.

Many years ago, while teaching a class on electricity and attempting to explain the basics of electrons and molecular concepts, I got thinking about salt. Salt is composed of two elements: sodium and chloride. We are called to be salt in this world, to minister him in every phase of our lives. Salt, like truth, is composed of two elements each of which are poisonous; but combined in God’s wisdom salt becomes indispensable to us. It heals, it preserves and it generally makes things more palatable. Religious ideas of grace or holiness are also deadly. Grace without holiness or holiness without grace will destroy the very fabric of a man’s soul. However, combined in the life of the Son they are the means of my salvation and of those around me.

Men and women who bear this living truth know full well the horrors of who they are apart from Him but in the piercing revelation of His light they cannot help but preach righteousness. Isaiah beheld God (Isaiah 6) and was instantly aware of his own condition (as well as all other men) yet he was a flaming expression of God’s truth and holiness. Those who have seen God cannot preach any other Gospel. They cannot make room for compromise within their own hearts or in the lives of those around them. He who is Holy has called us to be holy.

The garments of the High Priest in the Old Testament were white linen with the colors of Blue, Purple and Red woven in. Each of these colors speak of the wondrous virtues of our Great High Priest which become ours as we walk with Him. The Blue speaks of His Holiness and the Red speaks of Grace and Mercy (Redemption). The royal colour Purple is the result of the blue and the red mingled together (mercy and truth combined into one expression)  to reveal the attributes of Our King.

These things cannot be learned by books or teachings. They become ours through the medium of obedience to our Great High Priest. It must be by the Spirit and through the Spirit until we so live in Him that they are expressed through us IN the Holy Spirit. This is the making of the heart of a true priest of God.

*Note: See Heart of a Priest Part 5 Greek Meaning

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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GRACE AND PEACE

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”
(2 Peter 1:2)

Grace and Peace are the unspoken needs of the human heart. The absence of either results in the turmoil and unrest in the world in which we live. The lack of these things within the Body of Christ has contributed to the divisions and disunity of the Spirit in our day. The Grace and Peace spoken of here are not available to the human heart apart from an intimate knowledge of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. The Greek Word used for “knowledge*” here (see note below) speaks of an intimate and experiential knowledge, not an intellectual one. Many years ago I was working for a company that involved a lot of driving so I had a lot of time to spend seeking God. One day He drew my attention to a tree and said that for me to see that tree was a fact; but until I touched that tree and felt it I did not know the “truth” of that tree. So it is with our God. We may memorize the scriptures, read much concerning Him and even speak often to others concerning Him; but unless we have that intimate knowing of Him the power of that Grace and Peace will continue to elude us in our every day experience.

This Peace and Grace is ONLY made available to us “through the intimate knowing of God and Jesus Christ our Lord”. The grace and fruit of the Spirit cannot be known “experientially” apart from knowing God. He is the sum and source of all righteousness; without which we are cut off from the benefits of the New Testament. In Hebrews we are told that the Israelites could not enter the land of promise because of unbelief. This unbelief caused them to remain in the wilderness where they were cut off from enjoying the fruits and the provisions of the Land of Promise. It is through the medium of faith that we have access to knowing Him in an experiential way. It is by this knowing of Him that we grow into this GRACE. (“by faith we have access into this grace”; Romans 5:2).

It is in the knowing of Him that we are made partakers of His merits, His provisions, His grace and His peace. It is no wonder that Paul cried out in Philippians 3:10 “That I might know Him…”. There is no end to the fullness of God; there is no measure at which we can arrive in the knowing of Him. It is to this end that we fill up the remainder of our time here in the pursuit of “knowing” Him.

“Grace and peace
be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord”

*NOTE:
Cognate: 1922 epígnōsis (from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting” which intensifies 1108 /gnṓsis, “knowledge gained through first-hand relationship”) – properly, “contact-knowledge” that is appropriate (“apt, fitting”) to first-hand, experiential knowing. This is defined by the individual context.

Brian Troxel

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GOD IS LOVE

PART ONE

GOD’S HOLY LOVE

“GOD is Love”
1 JOHN 4:8,16

Love is not a sentiment of God nor is it a mere attribute or aspect of His Being; it is what HE is in HIMSELF. Therefore to know what love is, one must know God as He is in truth. For this writing to even presume to portray a small glimpse of this is futile and flawed. Rather the purpose of this writing is to simply be a lens through which we can begin to search out the infinite reaches of a God who even the heaven of heavens cannot contain. Before this God even the Seraphim (Fiery Ones) in perfect holiness must shield themselves from His Glory and Radiance. The Apostle John, of whom the word testifies “…the disciple who Jesus loved…” fell as one dead in the seeing of Him who is love. Men throughout the ages have seen small foretastes of His person and His glory and have been undone and troubled by what they have seen.

GOD IS LOVE AND GOD IS HOLY

In the world of man’s religions these two extremes are irreconcilable but in God they are fully ONE. They are not contradictory nor are they diluted in the full expression of each. One expression does not and CANNOT contradict the other for GOD IS LOVE AND GOD IS HOLY. God does not have conflicts within HIMSELF; for each to be true they must be fully expressed at the same time. How can these things be and where would we see such a picture of this infallible truth in God? The full expression is found in the person and the sacrifice of JESUS THE CHRIST, THE PERFECT LAMB OF GOD!

God’s Love for the world resulted in Him sending His only begotten Son into this dark and sinful world. God’s Holiness resulted in the perfect Son (who knew no Sin) becoming SIN and for SIN he was crucified and judged as SIN even to the point of experiencing total separation from God on Calvary. Here we see the divine love and holiness fully expressed without contradiction in such fullness and clarity. The eternal redemption and the subsequent ministration of LIFE flows forth from the DIVINE REVELATION of what LOVE is as disclosed at Calvary. We read in the scriptures…

Mercy and truth are met together…”
PSALM 85:10

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth
JOHN 1:14

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son,
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”
JOHN 1:17-18

We must understand that expressions of Mercy must be upon the grounds of truth in order for it to be the Mercy of God. Saul showed “mercy” to an enemy of Israel and by that act of disobedience lost the Kingdom. We must also understand that truth without mercy is not really a valid expression of truth. Moses in anger over the stubbornness of Israel was unable to enter the Promised Land. Grace without truth is not grace and Truth without grace is not true. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” We read here that GRACE teaches us to live lives that are godly and righteous in this present world. Any expression of Grace that does not produce righteousness and holiness is a grace misrepresented or wrongly received. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness…”.

We live in a day of great apathy where love and grace are presented in a way that truth and holiness are diluted. Such expressions rob God of His Glory. In the hymn “Amazing Grace” we sing the powerful truth… “‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear…” Yes and amen by that same grace our fears are relieved!

In the Old Testament the High Priest was clothed in blue, purple and scarlet. These are the colours of the priesthood. These colours represent the expressions of truth, mercy and the highest expression of all…the full expression of both mingled together (the purple) to show forth both in undimmed glory.

Blue represents God’s Holiness. “And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the LORD commanded Moses” (Exodus 39:31) For the sake of brevity we will not go into all the scriptures regarding the colour blue but we will note here that most of the Holy Vessels in the tabernacle were covered with a blue cloth signifying them as Holy. The scarlet and the purple cloth were not used for this purpose. Suffice it to say that any expression of God in the New Testament that does not convey God’s Holiness is not a full expression of God.

Scarlet represents the expression of the priesthood in dealing with the ravages, consequences and penalty for sin. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18) Likewise, as with the blue, any expression that does not reveal the divine enablement to deal with the wages of sin or the effect of sin (personally and in world around us) is not a qualified expression of Grace and Mercy.

Purple represents the grand colour of the High and Holy Priesthood. It is an expression where the Holiness of God and the Grace of God (the blue and the red) blend to bring forth an expression of the heart and life of the Son. When both of these truths of God’s Being are ministered in unison there will be a pure expression of Him to those around us.

It is interesting to note that in the scriptures the order is always the blue first. Any life that does not first set forth the aspect of His Glory and Holiness will never be able to present Mercy and Grace in its true value. The sheer power of His Holiness is what magnifies Grace and elevates Grace to its true value and wonder. Cheap grace robs God of His Glory whereas true Grace magnifies His Glory.

It is also notable that in the Book of Revelation we read of Babylon, which is the mother of harlots and has birthed many daughters in the world of religion, has all the colors and stones of the true tabernacle except one… BLUE. In all of her endeavors to mimic and misrepresent the true God she cannot in all of her sorcery and deception bring forth an expression of Holiness. We need to be aware of these things as we see many misleading expressions of “love” being touted in our day (even by well-meaning brethren); without the blue it falls short of presenting God. The fruit of this is a weak church uninspired by the power of the HOLY Spirit, ministering a “seeker friendly” environment and not mentioning sin as sin. Repentance and sorrow over sin is brushed to the side because it is not inviting and “relevant” for today. There is a dearth of men like Paul, James, Peter, Jude and John because of the slumber of God’s people. Without the ministration of Holiness the Church will not give birth to such powerful expressions. Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians…

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad.
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men;
but we are made manifest unto God;
and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences”
2CORINTHIANS 5:10-11

The same man who wrote 1Corinthians 13 (which we will cover later on) wrote this scripture to the same people.  A true expression of Love results in a “knowledge of the Holy” that changes how we live and persuades men that we will all stand before a Holy God some day. The LOVE of God that called me out of a life of debauchery and ruin has called me in Christ Jesus to pursue Holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”.

Due to the length of this article we will continue on in Part 2…

Brian Troxel

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