Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom’

“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

Read Full Post »

SPIRITUAL PROVISION

“Do you not know that those who minister the holy things
eat of the things of the temple”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

We partake of that which we serve. We are called to be servants of the Most High God. We are called to be a people whose chief joy and occupation in LIFE is to serve HIS Purposes here and now. EVERY BELIEVER IN CHRIST is called into a life of ministry and purpose. The priesthood of the individual believer is not a “nice teaching”; it is the CALL of God to every believer to be consumed with HIS purposes in the earth. If we want to eat and partake of the things of the Temple we must live the reality of ministering (serving) the Holy Things of God! The provision of God is found in occupying ourselves with the things of God. It is in the OUTFLOW of HIS LIFE that we discover the INFLOW! Men who hold the things of God in faithless inactivity never come to know the basic LAW of HIS LIFE

“Give and it will be given to you”
LUKE 6:38

The fields are rich all around us. In HIS eyes the fields are white unto harvest. The provision of God for the needs of the multitudes around us is found in the “five little loaves and two fishes” that we hold in our hand. We always want to have a sense of the plenty when in reality we have all that we need to BEGIN the journey into the LAW of HIS LIFE. Spiritual poverty is always the result of self-will, self-serving and self-reliance. Those who do not find themselves BECOMING servants of the MOST HIGH will never know of HIS PROVISION; the provision is found in the doing. It is in being faithful to what we HAVE that more is given. It is in being a source of strength and encouragement to others that we know of the mystery and wonder of HIS strength and encouragement into our own lives.

“The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself”
PROVERBS 11:25

In this day let us be occupied in the Holy Things of our God; exercised in the portion of grace that HE has given to every one of us. Let us not sit and squander the time and opportunity afforded us of participating in the ministry of HIS LIFE and HIS CALL.

“…those who serve at the altar
partake of the offerings of the altar”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Ω

“God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies”

HUDSON TAYLOR

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

SHEPHERD MY SHEEP

“He said to him again a second time,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him,
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him,
“Tend (shepherd) My sheep.”

JOHN 21:16

Love for Jesus is the prerequisite to being ABLE to shepherd HIS sheep. To be a shepherd in God’s house is not a position, a job description or a title. It is simply the expression of a life that loves Jesus. Here Jesus is speaking to one who would walk as an apostolic expression in the days ahead yet the command from Jesus is to FEED and SHEPHERD HIS sheep. The word pastor is used only once in the entire New Testament. Not once is it mentioned in the Book of Acts or in the Epistles of Titus and Timothy who were to go out and ordain (appoint or confirm) Elders in the local church. Yet the concept and passion of all of Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s and Luke’s writings are felt in the heart beat of the Great Shepherd shining through every page written by the unction and power of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s “church” we have made it a position and a title; A shepherd that is going to look after the people of God. The rest can merely sit in the pew, give their 10% in the offering to support “the” ministry and give no more thought to the result of such an idea. The reality is that any one who is truly in Love with Jesus will naturally care for HIS sheep.

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state,
for all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”

PHILIPPIANS 2:20

A person who is filled with the Love of God will find that the natural flow of HIS heart is to see God’s people walk in the power and truth of HIS life. The fact that we have so little corporate expression in the Local Church is a powerful testimony to the ineffectiveness of the status quo. True ministry has only one purpose; to cause men and women to be so captivated with the beauty of Jesus that they experience their own deep convictions and desire for the Life of the Son to be manifested in their lives. We will see an incredible bursting forth of power when people are no longer seeking their own things but are more concerned with the life of the Son in those around them. Only LIFE can produce life; only LOVE can bring forth a true and natural flow of care for the life of another.

The Church of Jesus Christ needs more shepherd expressions that are the result of a deep passionate love for Jesus. Not necessarily those who are professional, schooled and trained in the psychology of this world but those have been brought into the Fear of the Lord which is the beginning of ALL TRUE WISDOM. Powerless counselors, worldly strategies and mood altering drugs will NEVER prevail against the deep symptoms of the human heart. We must come to know that only the POWER of JESUS displacing the darkness, the fear, the guilt, the shame and the perversion of the broken heart will provide lasting change. HE is the answer and those that love HIM reveal HIM. We are all still works in progress but let us know that the answer for this world is to be found in a people who LOVE HIM. Those who truly love Jesus cannot help but empower those around them to a greater desire to rise up from where they are and to be caught up in the great pursuit of HIS Lordship and HIS LIFE!

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”

John 3:3

How easily satisfied we are with seeing the things of God; to “SEE” the things of the Kingdom is wonderful but many are content to stay in this place. Within the HEART of the Son, however, there is a CRY for the people of God to ENTER the Kingdom.  Men by nature are content with “seeing” while the Spirit of God has come to bring us to “being”.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

John 3:5

The Kingdom of God first and foremost must start within the heart of every believer.  The very word “Kingdom” denotes authority and rule.  It is a place or citizenship into which we must be born; a Kingdom where Faith is the essential imprint of each citizen (not an intellectual understanding).  There is an impartation of the wonder and glory of faith given graciously to all who in truth and sincerity call upon the name of the Lord.  Faith is a substance (Hebrews 11:1); not some religious concept or feeling.  By it we are enabled to manifest HIS character, glory and power in this dark and dying world.  Faith is never static or barren.  We read in Hebrews eleven the expressions of men and women who “BY FAITH…” revealed their God in their day!

The entrance into this Kingdom is quite different from the mere seeing of it.  It requires obedience and submission for that is what a Kingdom is.  The issues of our own life must become the Throne Room of God.   Lust is conquered by LOVE, bitterness displaced by grace and forgiveness, selfishness destroyed by selflessness and “our life” becomes hid with Christ in God!  It requires discipleship, not by force but by a freewill love offering unto our Redeemer, Shepherd and King.  The word “EXCEPT” signifies that certain conditions must be met.

“Except a man be born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…”

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

The entrance into the Kingdom is also characterized by obedience

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”

The way into the Kingdom runs between two great evils both of which are the result of self will and stubbornness.  On the one hand we have a “faith” that produces no expression, no works and no real impact on the world around us.  It is a “faith without works”.  It is barren and impotent because is a faith that is in word only since it lacks obedience and submission to HIS Will.  The other great error is the expression of works that are borne out of self will and rebellion.  Men may prophesy, cast out demons, preach wonderfully in His Name and do “good works” but at the heart of it all there is a working of iniquity (lawlessness and self-will).  The end is to build up their ministry, their church or organization.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”

Matt. 7:22 – 23

The Kingdom of God is relationship.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me

John 10:27

Concerning the religious leaders of that Day Jesus said….

“Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape”

John 5:37

The WAY into the Kingdom is one of being a “hearer and a doer”; to hear without doing brings us into deception and misery (James 1:22).  To do without hearing brings us into the snare of pride and self righteousness.  We have been called to ENTER into HIS REST where we cease from our own works and come into the LIFE of DOING HIS in our everyday life.

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that SOME MUST ENTER therein,
and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of  *unbelief …”

Hebrews 4:6

* (Greek: obstinacy & disobedience)

Read Full Post »

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Matthew 13:44

As we see from the many parables in the Gospels concerning the Kingdom of God, it is not a place that we go to when we die, nor is it a “deep” teaching to be known on an intellectual plane, it is a treasure beyond compare.  When a person actually discovers it’s true worth it produces a LIFE that sells itself out for the acquisition of it.  Men who have a teaching are content to talk about it, learn more about it and simply wait for it, but “when” a man finds its true meaning, there is a rising up and a “selling” of all that we have in order to purchase it. Consider….

  • “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I was apprehended…”
  • “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”
  • “Know ye not that they which RUN in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So Run   that YE MAY OBTAIN”

The truth of the Kingdom is powerful.  It grips the hearts of those who see its worth and produces a quest for reality and truth that cannot leave the beholder with a passive interest in its acquisition and a faithless waiting for it to come.   It must be pursued, purchased and acquired at any cost.  Obedience is the means by which “we sell our all”. True discipleship is characterized by “if” for it is the freewill offering of the New Covenant.


“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it…
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he shall reward every man according to his works

Matthew 16:24 – 27

Ω

The costs associated with the “buying” of this great treasure are very real because the faith that produces it is very real.  This is the day to arise and see the value of this great treasure!  Let us no longer be satisfied with the teachings of the Kingdom, waiting for the Kingdom, but let us, by the wonder of Faith and Trust, enter the Kingdom through the LIFE and POWER of the Son at work in our lives.

“Everyone wants the kingdom of God, but few want it first. Everyone wants high achievement, but few want to pay the price. Everyone wants God, but few want to put him first.”

Charles L. Venable

Read Full Post »