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Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’

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

The Cross of Change

Change: The Validity of Life

“Because they have no changes,
therefore they fear not God”
Psalm 55:19

Transformation and change are the natural order of those who are active and current in their relationship with Jesus. Those who merely subscribe to the tenets of the “Christian” faith remain unaffected by the wonder of His life and Being. Change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, tasting of His Goodness, Mercy and Holiness. One cannot touch His presence and not grow in the reverence of who He is. Without change there is no understanding of the fear of the Lord.

Knowledge may increase, familiarity with the things of God may have the appearance of being good and deep, but it is in the crucible of growth that our relationship is revealed. He came moreover He is come to work within our hearts fundamental and revolutionary transformations from what we are into the image of Christ. This transition from fallen Adam to the Risen Christ is the vehicle and means by which we are moved from an isolated and selfish entity into the substance of being “members one of another”. The validity of our walk with God is revealed in those who are being united by faith into One Body, One Life and One Heart! Jesus prayed for this, He gave Himself up to cruel and wicked men to pay the price of redemption to this end. Not only did He give Himself as an offering but He is even now giving of Himself to us to make it so. Those who do not feel the pull and the cry for this union of hearts within the wonder of His life have become distant and unable to hear the Spirit of Truth.

“Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The one saying to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes” 1 John 2:8-11

Indifference is hatred held in apathy. They who are indifferent to the members of the Body of Christ around them are walking in the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light is simply the life of Jesus beating within our hearts.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Get Thee Up

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain”
Isaiah 40:9

In God’s Word there is ever the call to His people to arise to the heights and wonders of His being. Here the prophet tells God’s people to get up into the high places that they might behold their God. The verses preceding this declare…

“The voice said, Cry. And he said,
What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever”
Isaiah 40:6-8

These are the good tidings; the pride and strength of man shall not prevail but His Word will stand forever! It is in light of this knowledge that we are called to arise, no longer in the strength of men, but in the power of God. It is time to climb the mountain and behold Him from a new perspective. We, who are withering grass and fading flowers, will find that our hope and our strength is in God alone and will be able to declare to others “Behold your God!”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up,
be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!”

Isaiah 40:9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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In the Beginning God…

Part 2

All life begins with God. Without Him nothing exists materially or spiritually. He is the beginning and in Him life is filled with endless beginnings. He is ever making all things new. The glory of creation is always giving way to new wonders and countless beauties. Every sunset has its own glow and signature. Every plant, every creature has a uniqueness which, though it belongs to a certain species, has something distinct about it. No two things are the same. The creator can never be exhausted in His creativity. From birth there is always the first step, the first word, the first moment of conscious thought. At each step of the journey into the expanse of His world we become more aware that we are eternal creatures moving toward a call; the apprehension of a mystery that can only be known in Christ. He is the Word by which we were begotten in the fullness of His time and will. In the mystery of this relationship His thoughts, words, ideas and omniscient care may seem intangible yet somehow there is an inner knowing that He is near.

Relationship is by its nature a mystery. While religious men consider God in abstract terms and religious concepts, something unfathomable transpires in those who touch the hem of His Holiness, Love and Power. It is at times unsettling, more than any mere human is able to comprehend, yet there is a fragrance within the wonder of it all that draws His own near. Isaiah in Chapter 6, caught up to the very presence of God, was immediately struck with God’s glory and the contrast of His own dreadful condition. Yet in the face of such contradiction and terror, He hears God speaking within the Holy Trinity: “Whom will WE send, who will go for US?” There must have been an unspoken love shrouded within that dreaded Holy Place that enabled Isaiah to whisper, “Here am I, send me…” It is in these intimate moments where we catch glimpses of the new beginnings in God. Though Isaiah had already prophesied mightily for five chapters, infallible words from God, we can rest assured he was not the same man after the seeing of Him. So it is with us; when we truly see Him we can never be the same and that ever increasing light leads to deeper places and growth in the knowledge of Him.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

The light of Him is the life of Him. While many consider light to be the ability to understand certain doctrines and teachings, or to hold scriptures in the intellect, true light is the revelation of His light to us with the intent that it shine through us.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The only light we have is the life of Him ruling and reigning within us. It is in the holding of Him we have life. When one wanders from Him the life and the light fades into darkness and futility. The life never leaves the Son for He Himself is the light. People speak of getting saved as an event that occurred at one point in time failing to realize that eternal life is not something a person gets by complying with a statement of faith, it is the very life of Jesus living and abiding within us. He who has the Son has Life; He who has not the Son has not life; a very simple statement yet one that is far reaching in its eternal implications. Eternal Life is not something we hope to get when we die rather it is ours by having Him present tense in our life by relationship. It is here the true believer experiences the continual life of new beginnings. His word, His ways, our seeing of Him is ever increasing, calling us to higher and deeper places of knowing Him. This is not a static religious concept; it is the way of His life within us. To many the way becomes dreary and filled with uneventful meetings, prayers and discussions but to those who hold His life dear within their hearts, life here is but the womb of greater things. We see new songs being sung in the heavens; new creations do new things.

“And they sing as a new song before the throne”
Revelation 14:3

Not just anyone can sing this new song. It is a song reserved for those who follow the lamb wherever He goes. It is for those who are free from the systems of men and walk in a way that pleases Him. The true things of God are not to be had by claiming promises; they are ours as we come to abide in Him.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen”
2 Corinthians 1:20

All of God’s promises are in the Son and as I grow in relationship with Him they become mine. Just as the life and the fruitfulness of the branch can only be known by abiding in the true vine there are attributes of God which can only be mine by being in Him. It is here that the revolutionary walk of identification and love is known. There is a fountain which ever flows in the Spirit. The psalmist says there is a river which makes glad the city of God. It is a river which has no beginning for it flows from the very throne of God Himself. It flows with the intent that men might walk into it, drink of it and wash themselves clean. Those who separate themselves from others find themselves outside of the flow and the wonder of His life. Jesus walked with the common people, He ate their simple food and He understood the plight of every man. Just as in the parables, the normal things of life become vehicles to convey God’s heart and truth. This is where we will find Him still teaching, still instructing us in heavenly things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear and comply with His whispers. Relationship implies the sharing of personal and intimate things, and we need to be close enough and still enough to have that privilege.

It is here we find those new beginnings with each step we take into the mystery of knowing Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going for he had caught a glimpse of the ONE who is the way, the truth and the life. For many it is much more comfortable to linger in things of the past than to take that first step. Fear holds men and women where faith falters. They die to spiritual things and new beginnings are a thing of the past. Life has become a series of days filled with rote and stagnant activities.

But to those who hold Him dear within the very recesses of their hearts He remains precious, living and true. It is in these ones that fellowship is a most desired and coveted thing. As each member beholds Him and shines that forth into the lives of their brothers and sisters we see the manifold work of new beginnings within each life; a Body that beats with His heart for one another!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Blood Sanctifies our Walk

“…and Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon …
the great toe of his right foot”
Leviticus 8:23

Election, Godliness and Being Chosen by God

DISCIPLESHIP

“But know that the Lord hath set apart
him that is godly for himself:
the Lord will hear when I call unto him”
Psalm 4:3

It is the godly whom the Lord sets apart for Himself. It is the godly in character and heart whom God hears. It is in this context that men and women must consider God’s grace. God’s election by Grace must be coupled with man’s response. “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Teachings, miraculous deliverances, movings of His Spirit in signs and wonders and even His own goodness are no insurance of entering the Kingdom of God. Israel saw His manifest power as He laid Egypt waste and yet they failed in the wilderness and perished without entering into God’s purpose. It is essential for us to see and grasp the truth of God, His ways and His Holiness.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:1-5

Paul goes on to say that these things were written for our learning and admonition. These were people who grieved God. Despite all the miraculous signs and provisions of God, this generation fell short of God’s desire for them. They did not consider Him in their walk. They lacked the desire to please and bless Him by how they conducted themselves in their daily affairs of life. They went through life choosing the things that would please themselves rather than God. They saw His acts without ever discovering His ways.

“He made known his ways unto Moses,
his acts unto the children of Israel”
Psalm 103:7

We see this same truth in the New Covenant.

“But without a parable spake he not unto them:
and when they were alone,
he expounded all things to his disciples”
Mark 4:34

It is the disciples whom Jesus pulls aside to expound on the hidden truths of the parables. Disciples are those who follow Jesus. They live to learn of Him and because of this “…the Lord sets apart him that is godly for Himself…” They are sanctified by God for His purposes and it is these ones He consecrates (chooses and sets as living stones in the breastplate of His Holiness). These works of God are for those who choose Him, who desire to follow Him, discovering His ways and the wonder of His heart. Discipleship is the path into His Love. The verity of all true disciples will be revealed by the signature of His Love in them.

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

God’s love is the defining feature of His true disciples. Many who are religious will (as the Pharisees) love their own little circle; the stamp of a true disciple is one who loves God’s people with the same Love that beats within the heart of our Heavenly Father. This Love is characterized by a passion and concern for the spiritual condition of His people. Denominational ties are irrelevant as they only see One church, One Flock and One Body. It is a Love that seeks out God’s sheep and God’s approval and cares little about the approval of man. True disciples do not seek positions or prominence; they seek to function within the confines of His calling upon their lives. The mark of God in the life of a true disciple is one of serving God not men. This Love “seeks not its own things…”

“Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LITV

Those who seek the pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people are not His disciples nor are they His true sheep. Those who encourage the affection of God’s people toward themselves, rather than ministering that His people fall in love with Jesus, have not seen God’s heart. The desire of the true ministers of God is not to draw men to their church, fellowship or their person; it is to Glorify God in all things. The cry of a true disciple is:

“He must increase, but I must decrease”
John 3:30

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Blood Speaks of the Remission of Sins

The Remission of Sins
Our Part

God, in Christ having paid the price of our sins and remitted them forever from His presence, now proclaims us forgiven and justified in His sight. He now brings us into the workings of His Love, His Truth and His Spirit to complete His full plan of salvation. Having been declared righteous He now begins in earnest to make us His righteousness in truth. The experience of His joy in our hearts and the incomprehensible knowing we are freed from the penalty and the shame of our past sins is the sure sign of His truth in our hearts. However, we soon discover that the declared righteousness, as wonderful as it is, leaves lingering sins and issues. Even though much of the former sins have passed away we inherently recognize the need for a further work of God to complete that which He has begun.

“…being persuaded of this very thing,
that the One having begun a good work in you
will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ”
Philippians 1:6

This is the point at which His people reveal their desire for religion or truth. Voices of the nominal church will tell the young believer to believe the work of God is done; that they have been forgiven and justified so go enjoy life in this world. These voices of reason speak the words of compromise and death. These are the voices of a thief that would rob His people of the truth and power of the Cross to which we have been called. It would steal from us the riches of the promises of God given to those who overcome. If there is no overcoming there will be no reaping of the rewards which God gives to those who live and overcome by faith.

“To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
Revelation 2:7

“He that overcometh
shall not be hurt of the second death…”
Revelation 2:11

“To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna,
and will give him a white stone,
and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it”
Revelation 2:17

“And he that overcometh,
and keepeth my works unto the end,
to him will I give power over the nations:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron;
as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:
even as I received of my Father.
And I will give him the morning star”
Revelation 2:26-28

“He that overcometh,
the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels”
Revelation 3:5

“Him that overcometh
will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out:
and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God,
which is new Jerusalem,
which cometh down out of heaven from my God:
and I will write upon him my new name”
Revelation 3:12

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

These promises are not ours because we were forgiven and justified; they are for those who overcome! These promises are to those who refuse to compromise with the enemies of their own hearts. These promises are to those who desire the true righteousness which is ours by the power of the faith, life and truth of Jesus beating in our hearts. These ones know the truth of “working out their own salvation”; not by the works of the law but because it is God who is at work in their hearts.

“Wherefore, my beloved,
as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
Philippians 2:12-13

Our working out of this great salvation is the result of God working in. This is not religious works but the works of faith. Faith cannot exist within an individual without producing these works. They who do little have little faith.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also”
James 2:26

The voices of compromise and of a lukewarm spirit will cry out Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast”
Ephesians 2:8-9

What they fail to quote is the verse that follows…

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them”
Ephesians 2:10

The working out of God’s salvation as a result of His working in brings us to the knowing this one thing: We are not saved by works; we are saved unto good works. Those good works are revealed in overcoming the obstacles of our hearts, our weaknesses, our thinking, and the lusts of this world, the pride of life and the accuser of the brethren. These are the works and victory of His faith in us.

Our part in the remission of sins is summed up in this scripture.

“John did baptize in the wilderness,
and preach the baptism of repentance
for* (unto) the remission of sins”
Mark 1:4

While much of the church would preach and believe in the remission of sins on God’s part, few would dare to preach or believe we are called to walk out the remission of sins in our own lives. We are to co-operate with God’s work of salvation in our lives. We also are called to “send away from ourselves” our sins. John the Baptist preached the baptism of repentance in which people would be convicted and brought by the power of the Holy Spirit to the place of repentance. Repentance is the power of God at work in lives to “turn” from their sins. John preached this repentance unto the remission of sins. This is the preaching of the Gospel whereby people are convicted in their minds of the horror and bondage their sins have brought upon them and in that sorrow they find in God divine enablement to remiss (turn away, send away) their own live sins. It is here we discover the power of God’s salvation working within the hearts of men to bring them to the point of action: the turning away from sin. How the truth and power of the Gospel has been polluted! It is here, by grace, we enter into a covenant with God. It is a covenant that He instituted by the death of His Son through the shedding of His Own Blood. How can we linger in sin any longer?

“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace?
God forbid”
Romans 6:15

God forbid that we should compromise with sin because we are under grace. God forbid that the battle of faith within my own life should cease until everything within my heart is brought under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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