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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

The Wayfaring Ones

“And an highway shall be there, and a way*,
and it shall be called The way* of holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it;
but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men…”
Isaiah 35:8

In every generation there have always been “the wayfaring ones” who walk in the way of Holiness. The Hebrew word translated “highway” comes from the root word meaning to “lift up or exalt”; it might better be translated “high way”. It is also the narrow way of which Jesus spoke. Its proximity to the broad way of the masses may seem close at first but the ends of these two paths are radically different.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
Matthew 7:14

The broad gate (easy gate) leads to destruction while the narrow way leads to life; His Life within the hearts of those who choose to travel such a road. The narrow way is the “Way of Holiness”. It is for the wayfaring ones who can no longer abide in the tents of Hagar. They can no longer be bound within the confines of a system and a contentment of the “partial faith” as was Ishmael. Part Faith (Abraham) part flesh (Hagar: the Egyptian), a mingling of the two where the ways of men exalt the flesh while attempting to declare the ways of God. The nature of Ishmael will always mock the child of promise. Nevertheless, the day will come that God brings separation and speaks His decree.

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-womanGalatians 4:28-30

The Way of Holiness is the way of the wayfaring ones. It is a lonely way with the painful discovery of all that we are by nature: broken, sinful, selfish, vile and unloving. The Way of Holiness is the pathway to the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we see ourselves. The Way of Holiness is also the way to discovering His unmerited grace and wonder! In knowing our condition Grace is seen in its reality. Mercy is no longer just a religious word. It is the very power of God at work within to enable us to rise up and follow Him who “first loved us”.

Inherent within His own, the wayfaring ones, there is a cry and a desire to see Him, to know Him and to please Him. The cry rises from deep within, for it is nothing less than the cry of the spirit of adoption whereby we cry “Abba Father”. It is the result of the Life of another beating within our hearts, a cry which cannot be ignored nor pacified by the programs and ways of a dead and impotent religion. These wayfaring ones are filled with a hunger and a thirst for His righteousness to be worked out in their own lives. They do not leave the religious things because they think they are better; they leave because they can no longer ignore the need to know Him in a deeper and fuller way.

Pursue peace with all, and holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord
Hebrews 12:14

What is the promise of a faithful God to the wayfaring ones?

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion (Heb. 12:22) with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isaiah 35:10

The hardness, loneliness and sorrow of the way is the journey into the Joy and Gladness of the Lord. Blessed are those who remain true to the leading of His Spirit.

“Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”!
Matthew 5:6

*Note: Strong’s Definitions: דֶּרֶךְ derek, deh’-rek; from H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, often adverb:—along, away, because of, by, conversation, custom, (east-) ward, journey, manner, passenger, through, toward, (high-) (path-) way(-side), whither(-soever).

“Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am Holy”
1 Peter 1:16

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

sinnomore

Sin and the Knowledge of God

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame”
1 Corinthians 15:34

Those who do not address sin in themselves know little of the righteousness of God. The knowledge of the righteousness of Christ is revealed in corresponding measure to our hatred of sin.

Our attitude toward sin is the revelation of our perception of Him and His Righteousness.

To love righteousness is to hate iniquity.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, even thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
Hebrews 1:9

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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BUTTER AND HONEY

PART TWO

“…for butter and honey shall every one eat
that is left in the land”
Isaiah 7:24

Earlier, (See Part One) in the fifteenth verse of this chapter, we read the prophetic word given to Isaiah concerning Jesus the long awaited Messiah and Saviour. Here we read that what was true of Him is to be true of those who remain in the land after His judgements and dealings; they will also eat of “butter and honey”. The grace and beauty of the Son are to become ours also through the power of His Life ruling and reigning in us. Throughout the ages men and women of God have seen the power, majesty and purpose of God for His people. Faith has brought them to the place of embracing His Power in spite of their weaknesses. The Son becomes their “life” in substance and reality by a Grace not limited by their own doubts and blindness.

“By Grace we become what God is by nature.”
Athanasius

Even in this hour there are people who know the wonder of Life working within. This deep and powerful work of God brings clarity and separation in the midst of religious flippancy. It necessitates an obedience, submission and yielding of themselves to His Word and the moving of His Spirit. The intensity of His fire has one purpose: to purify and cleanse in order that He may empower with a fresh and Holy Expression of God in the earth.

The Word of God is not to be held in the intellect; it must be eaten and digested as butter and honey. Those who eat of His word cannot remain unchanged. There is no salvation in hearing, no safety in quoting the scriptures or listening to Sunday sermons and following great teachers.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you…”
John 6:53

The power and life contained within the Word, when assimilated, will never leave the recipient unchanged. Those who only hear the word but do not obey will not experience lasting impressions. The effects of the Word are momentary and temporal (James 1:24). Some are ever learning but never come to the truth. Others, who eat of the “butter and honey” of God’s Word, will know the fire within that consumes and purifies from all that is not of Him. By this “refiner’s fire” His people come to “discern between the righteous and the wicked” and “between him that serves God and him that serves him not” (Malachi 3:18). They are not fooled by the appearance of those who claim to serve God but in reality are serving themselves and their worldly ambitions.

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good”
Isaiah 7:15

Ω

“Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain
to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music;
and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry
to the sight that has gazed on the vision
of the great white throne and the crystal sea”
Alexander MacLaren

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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PSALM 25

ALEPH PART FOUR

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

ALEPH.* In this Acrostic Psalm (see Part Two) David is setting forth the posture of one who through the experiences of life has come to a place of total reliance upon his God for the keeping of his soul. Gone are the self-reliance and the zeal of his youth. The aged man has now learned the value and the truth of the Lord as his shepherd. The fickle soul of man must ever be lifted up unto God for safe-keeping. The purpose of all our experiences in life brings us to the ALEPH of God; He is the Saviour and the Keeper of our very lives. These are more than mere words and must be accompanied by brokenness of spirit and gratitude of heart. This is not something uttered in a special moment of prayer but the very position from which His elect face the reality of life. It is here that the truth of Him makes the deep and lasting impressions of grace; a grace which has wrought upon an individual the need to abide and trust in God alone.

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul” is the cry of the human heart reaching out unto Him who alone is worthy and able to satisfy the desire of every man. It may be the faint whisper of one weighed down with the afflictions and circumstances of life or the sigh of the weary seeking rest. His throne is one of grace for us to find the succor of God in time of need. Grace and power flow from the heart of the One who so loved us that He offered Himself in our stead to be our answer for the sin, the rebellion and the ignorance of our utter hopelessness. The lifting up of our soul unto Him is the revelation of a faith rooted and grounded in the knowledge that He hears us and cares for us. As children we have placed our well-being in the hands of men, our beliefs or our own strengths but with the passing of time we are brought to the power of this one truth: “Unto Thee, O Lord”. The journey into Him has brought us through the disappointment of trusting in other things and especially trusting in ourselves. As a child “weaned from his mother” (Ps. 131:2) so are we weaned from our dependency upon other things.

This is the ALEPH of our deportment of life in God. Through the mountain top experiences and down to the dark and dreary days of discouragement the pilgrim of faith has been brought to this abiding temperament of heart…

“Unto thee, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul”
Psalm 25:1

NOTES ON PSALM 25

PSALM 25 is an Acrostic Psalm where each verse begins with an orderly sequence of the Hebrew Alphabet (Verse One Starts with the letter ALEPH)

*ALEPH: Historically Aleph means oxen; thousand; teaching; master…Divinity ‘Master of the universe.’ The Divine ‘One’ revealing Himself throughout the plurality of Creation. It is the first of all the Hebrew letters and is the representation of God’s Oneness and Power. **ALEPH is a unified graphic depiction of Him in relation to His Work, His Power and His Relationship to creation. Its upper right section consists of the Hebrew letter yod, the first letter in the Name of God (YHWH). A second yod in the Aleph’s lower left segment implies the Creator with and in His creation. The central diagonal connecting column is the vau, a Hebrew letter signifying transformation and change. Aleph thus reveals God’s primary intention of bringing forth man in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26) whereas creation is merely the beginning of His work and purpose. The design of this letter communicates Him as the Father/Creator of all things with the intent to bring about the wonder of transformation and change via relationship in and through the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

ALEPH is revealed in Ezekiel’s vision of the four living creatures as the Ox which imparts to us the sacrificial nature of the heart of Jesus our Saviour. These four faces as seen by Ezekiel reveal His Character in the beauty and wonder of the Son. Ezekiel’s setting forth of these four living creatures is one as having the appearance of a man. There is only One in heaven whom God is interested in revealing and honoring: The Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

“Also out of the midst thereof
came the likeness of four living creatures.
And this was their appearance;
they had the likeness of a man”
Ezekiel 1:5

Jesus in His discourse with the religious men of His day declared,

“Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me”
John 5:39

The four-fold Gospel of Jesus bears witness to these faces.

Matthew ——————– Lion
Mark ———————– Ox
Luke ———————– Man
John ———————– Eagle
(To be addressed in a later writing.)

**“The original pictograph for this letter is a picture of an ox head (ox head did not paste) representing strength and power from the work performed by the animal. This pictograph also represents a chief or other leader. When two oxen are yoked together for pulling a wagon or plow, the older and more experienced one leads the other. Within the clan, tribe or family the chief or father is seen as the elder who is yoked *** to the others as the leader and teacher.

The Modern name for this letter is aleph and corresponds to the Greek name alpha and the Arabic name aleph. The various meanings of this root are oxen, yoke and learn. Each of these meanings is related to the meanings of the pictograph . The root (אלף) is an adopted root from the parent root אל (el), written as in the original script, meaning, strength, power and chief and is the probable original name of the pictograph .” (The Hebrew Alphabet by Jeff A. Benner) http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/alphabet_letters_aleph.html

*** It is in this understanding of the yoke represented by this letter where we are afforded the beauty of Jesus’ invitation to us “to take His yoke” upon us (Matthew 11:29). It is in our being “yoked” with Him that we come to know His Ways and His Heart. Change can only be wrought in us via relationship with Him. While the religious desire intellectual knowledge (as revealed in Eve reaching for the “tree of knowledge”) the true in heart know that it is only in us partaking of the “Tree of Life” that His Life becomes ours.

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions from the following sources:

Alfred Jones, “Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names”
Jeff A. Benner “The Hebrew Alphabet”
Hebrew Today website
Aleph – Wikpedia website
Andrew Jukes – “Types in Genesis” and “The Names of God”
B. E. Crowley
C.R. Oliver
Rabbi Michael L. Munk -- “The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet” (Mesorah Publications)
Abiram Publication – www.abiram-publications.com
Jeremy Aranoff – “Torah, The Quintessential Blueprint”

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 8

“And when he prayed for his friends,
Jehovah turned the captivity of Job”
Job 42:10

The depth of any individual’s ministry as a priest in God’s house will always be in proportion to the degree to which they are free from the contagion of self. God’s blessings fall freely and often upon those who are able to set self aside and minister His grace into the lives around them. We read here in Job the conclusion of a heated exchange of words with three of his brother’s in the midst of a very distressing situation. The bitter words spoken in haste and rancor escalated the trial of Job to an agonizing level. Job’s release from this situation was finally obtained when he prayed for his friends. True priests work through the bitter exchanges in life, the hatred, variance and strife within the household of God for they have His end in sight; a body filled with His Glory each member functioning in a measure of the very life of Jesus to one another. It is here that the mettle and heart of His people are revealed. It is in these contentious moments we have the opportunity to approve ourselves unto God.

“For there must also be heresies among you,
so that the approved ones
may become revealed among you”
1 Corinthians 11:19 (LITV)

Those who are of the Truth will always be revealed by their conduct, character and humility. The ability to shorten our trial lies in our ability to respond with His character and grace. The words, the rejection and the outright hostility from others become the very catalyst to bring forth healing waters from our hearts. His mercy is released from those who abide in His life. The fruit of the Spirit is the outflow of any life that walks in His Spirit. In the Song of Songs the Bride describes her beloved…

“His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
a raised bed of aromatic herbs.
His lips are like lilies dropping flowing myrrh”
Song of Songs 5:13 (LITV)

The process of becoming a priest in His house is directly related to the development of His Character and Life within our own hearts. Jesus, when men beat and mocked Him, turned the other cheek. He did not reply to His accusers for He came as the precious Lamb of God! When men smote Him the fragrance of spices flowed effortlessly from Him in whom there is no guile. His words poured forth like the sweet smelling myrrh and He held His composure in the midst of all that evil man could bring upon Him! (Who is like unto Thee, Oh Lord of Hosts!) As He is so are we to be in this world. When men and women walk contrary to this, yet boast of their walk with Him, they reveal the darkness and blindness of their way. While many will reject His own, speak evil and despitefully use them, those who are His reveal His Life by praying, reaching out to the offending ones and truly desiring and seeking reconciliation. Those who are His reveal it by the life they live and gracious manner in which they respond to the circumstances of life.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:17 (LITV)

This is the heart of a priest which beats and ever seeks to live in this world to glorify Him regardless of the cost to self.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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