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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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THE SON & JUDGEMENT

“For the Father judges no one,
but has given all judgment to the Son”
JOHN 5:22

How fitting it is for all Judgement to be given to the SON. The ONE who became a man, who was tempted as a man, overcame as a man and who suffered cruelty as a man for our salvation. Who better to render justice than Someone who has experienced our lot in this life? The ONE who was tempted in all points as we are is the ONE who walked this way in total victory. HE did not fail. HE did not have an “off” moment or a day filled with selfishness. We catch glimpses in the scriptures of HIM spending all night in communion with HIS Father, drawing from HIM the fortitude and resources to walk above the life of self, in order to honour and glorify HIS Father. In overcoming HE has become the one who can keep us from falling. In overcoming HE tells us to draw near to HIM, to come to the Throne of Grace in times of need, so that we may also walk in HIS victory.

It is to such a ONE that we must give an account; to HIM who died for our very own sins, who shed HIS blood for our transgressions, who rose from the dead and now lives in our hearts by faith so that we may live righteously in a dark and sinful world. HE is now living in our hearts that we may live unto HIM in this present world. It is to THIS ONE alone that we will be held accountable.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
HEBREWS 10:23-29

A gospel that relieves men of accountability, that justifies living for self, that relegates my responsibility to God to anything less than a consecrated life is reprehensible and worthy of judgement. A cross-less gospel is a Christ-less gospel. A cross-less gospel is a dead gospel. A gospel that does not produce within the hearts of men and women the intense desire to “follow Him” by means of bearing our own cross is not the Gospel of God. The sheer realization of these things brings us to a new intensity to know of this GRACE wherein we can walk aright. The need for Grace is directly proportional to the desire to walk in righteousness.

Grace for living
Grace for becoming
Grace to live as He

Mercy for giving
All of myself
Unreservedly to Thee

“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

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
PSALM 29:9

The common law of life is that whatever a man loves he speaks of and pursues. Where a man dwells determines what he sees. Every life form in God’s creation has a habitat and an environment with which it is compatible. Whether it is a palm tree or a fir tree it lives and grows in the climate that is conducive to its growth and development. The Polar Bear and the Panther live in the land for which they are most suited. As it is in the natural so also is it in the things of the spirit. The demon possessed man of the Gadarenes lived amongst the tombs for there was the dwelling place consistent with the nature of the spirits that inhabited him. We also read …

“…there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Aser…
which departed not from the temple,
but served God with fastings and prayers night and day”
LUKE 2:35 – 37

Anna’s life was one of focus and a continual desire to serve and worship the ONE that she loved. She “departed not” from the life of prayer and worship which are the means by which we abide and grow in Him. She did not miss HIS appearing. While the multitudes were taken up with their “religious” duties she and Simeon beheld the Promised One and ministered unto HIM! Such are the privileges of those who find their lives “hid with Christ in God”! While many people are looking for a temple to be built in Jerusalem God HAS set HIS TEMPLE, the TRUE ETERNAL TEMPLE made without hands in the very PERSON OF HIS SON…

“I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple”
REVELATION 21:22

And again…

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spoke of the temple of his body
JOHN 2:19

They who desire to live and dwell in HIM are only able to speak of HIS GLORY! They no longer give nor seek the praises of men. They are not impressed by the extravagant buildings and organizations of men for they have seen glimpses of a GLORY that will not fade away; a GLORY that blinds the eyes, that humbles the heart and becomes the perspective by which all things are weighed. They are not mislead by the teachings and doctrines of men for they have seen the ONE in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells and are freed from the paltry offerings of this world. They are pilgrims in this world of temporal things as they seek that which “fadeth not away” with the passing of time. They have been gripped by the unseen HAND of God and HEARD the ETERNAL CALL; ruined for anything religious or manmade.

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
MATTHEW 6:19 – 21

Our lives reveal the place where we dwell, by the things we speak and treasure.

Brian Troxel

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BY FAITH

PART FOUR

“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he obtained witness that he was righteous
and through it he being dead still speaks”
HEBREWS 11:4

Since FAITH is the evidence of things not seen we must embrace that the expressions and works it produces in us have an eternal aspect to them. We read here “through it” {FAITH} Abel, being dead, still speaks. His life that was lived by faith still speaks! His life is still a living sermon to all who should believe afterwards. Faith must produce eternal expressions. It must bring forth works that have eternal implications. It must bring us to new depths of living, seeing and walking in HIM who is the author of such within our lives.

In today’s religious world faith is considered to be a certain doctrinal persuasion that one holds to, a set of teachings that expresses our belief system, something we can print out and hang on our wall to show others who we are. In God however faith is the LIFE THAT WE LIVE, the expression of His heart through us in this world. True faith cannot be debated in terms of mere discussion; it is a life that demonstrates the reality of unseen things. It is the SUBSTANCE of things not seen; the very knowing of His Will. It is in itself the growing of a confidence in HIM who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. It is a power that grows in us through obedience and suffering ever bringing us to a deeper dying to self in order that we may fully live unto Him!

We need to take note that this SAME faith that enabled Abel to offer a more excellent sacrifice “still speaks” today to all of us who now believe. May there be a greater abandonment to a faith that will produce within our lives expressions of HIM that leave eternal consequences in this world.

“through it he being dead still speaks”
HEBREWS 11:4

Ω

“Faith, as Paul saw it,
was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience
to the commandments of Christ”
A.W. Tozer

Brian Troxel

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BY FAITH

PART TWO

“For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good testimony*
HEBREWS 11:2

Faith is the only means by which men can please God. Faith is the “essentia” of man’s witness unto God and the only expression which garners God’s approval. Through faith these men and women of old OBTAINED a worthy commendation from the living God! By their lives being governed by the promises of God they “reckoned”, “accounted” and “judged” God faithful to see them through. Just as “faith without works is dead” so are works without faith dead and worthless. We must see that the life OF FAITH, a life lived IN FAITH and a life lived BY FAITH is the only thing acceptable to our God!

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
ROMANS 14:23

Faith is to be the indispensable element of our daily walk whether at home, work or any other situation of life. Faith is the criteria by which all our actions are weighed. Whatever point we are at in the development of our faith is what we reveal in the common flow of our life. We cannot live in the estimation of others for true faith is only concerned with the pleasing of our Heavenly Father. As our faith develops so will the revelation of that faith be in our life. Many try to live their lives according to the acceptability of what others may think, to attempt to please or impress others with their carefully planned actions, but this is neither faith nor a life pleasing to God. Faith seeks ONLY to glorify its Author. There is a freedom in simple childlike faith that gives us liberty from the opinions of men, living solely for His pleasure.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written, The just shall live by faith”
ROMANS 1:17

The righteousness of God can only be revealed through our lives to the degree that Faith has been developed within us. Our life of faith is progressive “from faith to faith”, a living dynamic gift that God has given to us by His Mercy. Faith must grow through the experiences of life, through trial, tribulation and seeing God’s hand move in the daily aspects of our life! How good He is to those who trust Him! How faithful He is to those who rely on Him in all that we go through! How can we not desire that our trust in Him grows as well as our love FOR Him? Is He not to be the sole purpose of our life? Can we not seek to live our lives to the fullest extent of the faith that is at work in us, so that we may please Him more and more in the passing of our days?

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly”
II THESSALONIANS 1:3

Ω

John Paton was making a translation of the Scriptures into a language spoken in the country where he was a missionary, and searched long for the world for “Faith”. The natives had no word for “believe” One day, while working on his translation, a native entered his room, exhausted and flung himself down on the nearest chair, and placed his feet on the chair across from him. The native remarked how good it was to lean his whole weight into that chair. Dr. Paton noted the word he had used for “lean his whole weight.” He had his word for “believe”.
John G. Paton

*“Literally, “were witnessed of;” that is, an honorable testimony was borne to them in consequence of their faith”
Barnes New Testament Notes

Brian Troxel

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BY FAITH

PART ONE

“By faith we understand…”
HEBREWS 11:3

Faith is the means by which we see and understand the purposes of God. For faith IS the substance of the thing hoped for. It is the deposit of that which is not seen. In order for us to see these things FAITH becomes not only our eyesight but in itself is the very SUBSTANCE of the thing that we see and hope for. The reason we see so little understanding in our DAY, the reason that there is so little VISION and PURPOSE in our DAY, is because we are living in a time when FAITH has very little to do with the everyday life of the average believer. We hear much, yet we see so little in the expression of a dynamic living FAITH gripping the hearts of His own. We see little in terms of a personal faith being expressed in unique ministrations of the life of the Son from member to member. We have succumbed to a faith that is in word only; a “faith” that is not producing His Likeness and His Righteousness in our everyday life. We have settled for a righteousness that is by doctrine rather than a Righteousness that is the product of a living faith ABLE to bring forth a REAL RIGHTEOUSNESS that this world can see.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”
I John 3:7

By FAITH we understand that this is true and that by His Faith living and growing within these things are possible to all who believe. Faith lays hold of such truths and produces within us the seeking (seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness), and the doing. By FAITH we UNDERSTAND that these things that are declared in His Word are to become our living experience.

The very Word of God without FAITH will remain a religious document, a historical narrative about something from a distant era, an outdated book that has no real relevance for today. That same Word when viewed through the eyes of one in whose heart FAITH is alive and well pulsates with LIFE, HIS LIFE. It reveals mysteries and glimpses into the very wonder and glory of God. It draws a man into a quest and a life of pursuit of the RISEN CHRIST; for BY FAITH it breathes into our hearts the “substance of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen”. Such things cannot be held with the intellect. They are only ours through the operation of a living, breathing FAITH!

For one to look into the Word of God and believe it one must first KNOW that it is TRUE and that whatever is written therein is for us in Christ Jesus. This can only be when we see it through the eyes of FAITH.

“BY FAITH WE UNDERSTAND…”
HEBREWS 11:3

Ω

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable,
and receives the impossible”
Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983)

Brian Troxel

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SEASONS

The young tree sprouts in emerald green
From the womb of fertile earth
Expectations of grandeur’s dream
Arise in its emerging birth

Spring and Summer
Grace its young life
As it stretches and grows
In days of delight

Fall’s impending chill
Brings new doubts and fears
What’s to become of this new life I feel?
Are these days of goodness to disappear?

Deep green leaves begin to fade
Into shades of crimson and gold
Life begins to wither and age
As youth grows dim and cold

Summer’s leaves lifelessly flitter
In grey days of barren skies
The life of Summer’s past lay littered
In angst the young sapling cries

Winter’s blast and freezing breath
Complete the Fall’s initial task
And in the grip of seeming death
The young sapling’s hopes are finally dashed

Yet Spring’s tender call whispers,
Awakens the tree in hope’s embrace
And from Death’s chill and hopelessness
Comes the warmth of God’s amazing Grace

The familiar face of warming sun
And the retreating Winter’s snow
Proclaim the witness that Spring has sprung
A season of life, a season to grow

And in the passing of the seasons
Through the passage of the years
The Tree will understand the reasons
Of all the joys and bitter tears

In Spring’s joyous rush
……….The Tree recalls Fall’s fading hush
in Summer’s joyous rays
……….The Winter’s grey and dreary days
in Fall’s fading sigh
……….Hears Spring’s tender call nigh
And in the grip of Winter’s death
……….Clings to Summer’s healing breath

May we be instructed
From the seasons of the tree
Whatever the experience
Of the moment may be
We are at rest and peaceful still
Knowing this season too will Pass
But HIS FAITHFULNESS never will.

Brian Troxel

They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Isa. 65:22

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