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Posts Tagged ‘James 1:22’

I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

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

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Mystery of God

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom, which God
ordained before the world unto our glory”
1 Corinthians 2:7

True ministrations of the Holy Spirit present the Mystery of God in a hidden wisdom that is indiscernible to the natural man. This is not a mystery that is to remain unknown but a mystery that cannot be understood with the intellect; a mystery only entered into by a pure heart and a child-like faith. This mystery can only be explored by the lamp of obedience, the result of Love beating within the heart of every pilgrim. It draws men with such beauty and promise that, upon seeing it, they go and sell all they have in order to hold that “pearl of great price”. The religious and curious love to sit and discuss aspects of it, they enjoy expounding upon its merits and possibilities, and are content with it remaining an ethereal concept. To those who have tasted and caught glimpses of its Glory nothing can alleviate the cry to enter into its depth and fullness. Men through all ages have touched the hem of this life, this wonder, and have been so captivated by its beauty they gladly lay everything down for its reality. It is with this motivation that men speak to one another, encourage one another and stir up one another to a greater passion for the living Christ. It is to such a heart that this mystery unfolds His Majesty and Worthiness.

Hidden to be Revealed

The scriptures declare that God conceals Himself in wisdom. Love compels Him to make Himself known but that knowing is wrapped up and hidden from the wise and prudent of this world and revealed to babes in heart.

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes”
Matthew 11:25

The hidden things of God are only hidden with the desire to make them known. God created the material world and all that is in it to make Himself known. This is the only means by which men move from darkness and religion into fellowship and friendship with God. Relationship is impossible where one of the parties involved remains hidden and obscure. The good news of the Gospel is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” The Gospel, the reaching out of God’s heart to man, was God’s initiative, prerogative and design. Our sin, rebellion and sheer ignorance made Him foreign and unknowable in our lost condition. The ability to see, hear and know Him requires change on our part. It requires a “new birth” in order for us to “see” His Kingdom.

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God”
John 3:3

While many in Christendom are satisfied with the mere seeing of the Kingdom there are those whose hearts have been touched by the baptism into His Spirit; those who instinctively feel the call to not only the see the Kingdom but to enter into it.

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
John 3:5

Exception to Entrance
Into The Kingdom of God

This seeking of the Kingdom and the desire to touch the invisible, to know the things of God which are beyond knowing (Ephesians 3:19), and the participating in the Mystery of God can only be known by a childlike heart. The word “except” in the scriptures above  eliminates the ability to see and enter the Kingdom of God by any other way. “Except” is an exclusionary term especially when God is the one speaking. Jesus added to the list of exclusionary scriptures by saying…

“Except ye be converted,
and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

This “exception” declares that this must be the experiential reality of those who would enter this Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the Mystery. It is the mystery of righteousness and the mystery of faith that can only be revealed to those who meet the criteria which God has set forth. It does not require much effort to look over the landscape of the religious world and realize that the wonder and mystery of God is a foreign concept. We have allowed teachings, doctrines and dogmas of men to replace the wonder and glory of His Spirit. We have been caught up in “words” about God instead of the Word of God. We somehow have equated “knowledge” with the means of entering; that somehow the gathering of more knowledge about God will qualify us to enter His Kingdom. This was the mindset of the Pharisees in Jesus day; they knew much and saw little. Jesus spoke to them concerning their “knowledge” of the scriptures…

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

They handled, spoke and condemned the very manifestation of the Kingdom to their own shame and damnation. Pharisee in the original language means “called out ones”. They were the religious “elect” of their day. They excelled in their knowledge of the scriptures and they excelled all others in their blindness. If the Kingdom came by words and knowledge there would surely have been a people who entered in long ago. However, the Lord tells us the Kingdom is not in word but in the power of His Spirit.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Entrance into Kingdom by
Obedience and Character

The entrance into the Kingdom is not by what we know but by what we become through the operation of His Spirit within our hearts. The simplicity required by God is produced by our being “converted”; the depth and power of that conversion brings about a childlike faith and heart. Men with much instruction can become hardened, rigid and lose the ability to flow in the things of the Spirit. The Word becomes too familiar and too well read through the glasses of their own doctrinal concepts and natural reasoning. The Word loses its wonder, its glory and its mystery. The Bible, the pages of which are filled with over four thousand years of God speaking, becomes a one-dimensional plane of religious phrases instead of the pulsating, living and vibrant voice of God. Men cease to hear the voice of God and of the prophetic men who penned such a marvellous work.

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem,
and their rulers, because they knew him not,
nor yet the voices of the prophets
which are read every sabbath day,
they have fulfilled them in condemning him”
Acts 13:27

There are many who read and hear the scriptures every Sunday/Sabbath/Meeting that never hear the voices of the prophets who languish in the throes of a religious wilderness. They hear only good things without the power of God to become expressions of Him in authenticity and truth. There is a form and appearance of being righteous but the inward reality is absent. These are those of whom Jesus spoke “because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not; neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). It is a hearing that will never produce acts and works of faith. “Faith cometh by hearing” and that hearing is the result of a pure and right heart. It is the “pure in heart” who shall see God; those who know that the real issues of life are the heart’s condition, obedience to His Word and the overall desire to see God glorified (not themselves).

Understanding the mystery of God is on the grounds of faith and obedience. This entrance into the Kingdom of God has the following conditions:

1. A true willingness to do the will of God. “If any man will do his will, he shall know…”

2. Growth and development of His Life within us. “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. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. 2 Peter 1:5-11

Spiritual blindness occurs when men stop adding the virtue and wonder of God to their faith. There is a slumber and a religious stupor of knowing a thing without becoming. Knowing without doing is the pathway to deception and sorrow.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Rest of article continued on next post.

Brian Troxel

http://www.aword.info

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THOUGHT FOR TODAY

WHAT IS FAITH?

PART ONE

“Now faith is the essence of things being hoped
the evidence of things not having been seen”
HEBREWS 11:1 (LITV)

In the book of Hebrews we have this brief description of what faith is in terms of expression. When God seeks to lay out to His Own what faith is He is not the least bit interested in an intellectual definition. He speaks of faith as evidence and expression. He reveals faith by what it produces in terms of reality. We read this of FAITH:

For by this (FAITH) the elders OBTAINED WITNESS (Evidence of pleasing God)
By FAITH Abel OFFERED
By FAITH Enoch was TRANSLATED
By FAITH Noah PREPARED (built) an Ark
By FAITH Abraham OBEYED
By FAITH Sarah RECEIVED POWER to conceive

When God in His Word seeks to impart to us what faith is He can set before us no other description than what faith produced in the lives of those who have gone on before. The true test of faith is not what we believe; it is revealed in what we do and in what we become. True FAITH is the EVIDENCING of the Life of the Son of God in our lives. Faith is the ability to APPROPRIATE the LIFE of the SON into the world in which we live. Faith without works is an impossibility. For in the holding of faith, a true and living faith, there must always be an accompanying evidence of its authenticity in the life of the true follower of Christ. Believing a thing is simply an intellectual acknowledgement of a prescribed doctrine or teaching but having the faith of God can never be without a living expression of that inward power.

We live in a time when faith is held as a teaching, a holding to some form of doctrine or belief; a religious persuasion. This kind of “faith” is an intellectual commodity rather than a life changing expression of the power of God. The deception of such a notion is clearly communicated by James…

“But become doers of the WORD,
and not hearers only,
deceiving yourselves”
James 1:22

The “deception” James speaks of here is the deadliest and most subtle of all deceptions for the real purpose of faith is to empower us to the DOING of that LIVING WORD. Jesus is that Word made flesh and the intent of Him sending faith into our hearts is to see that same living WORD become flesh in the substance and reality of our lives.

“Who through faith…
wrought righteousness,
obtained promises”
HEBREWS 11:33

Brian Troxel

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