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Posts Tagged ‘Knowledge of the Holy’

Wrestling

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood*,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

Wrestling is the reality of a life in Christ. The life of a healthy Christian is one of standing and contending for the faith. We must continually and intentionally withstand the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and the subtlety of compromise and collusion. Warfare is the natural response of those who are alive in Christ. Many who call themselves by His name have no sense of the nature and intensity of this warfare. Paul is speaking from his own experience. To be alive unto Christ is to be an antagonism to the world, principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. To claim to be alive and yet not engaged in this battle makes us dead to the reality of a life in the spirit.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”
Revelation 3:1

This is the Word of the Lord to His Church located in Sardis. How few realize the enormity of this Word. This is a church where His name is used freely and there is much activity with people who are eager to build up “their” church organization or fellowship. Wherever the motive is to be popular and relevant in the eyes of the world the preaching of righteousness is forsaken. This is the environment of a dead and impotent church; it has a reputation of being alive and “current” but it has ceased to contend for the faith. The “knowledge of the holy” is so lacking that people see no reason to wrestle with the unholy alliances of flesh, spiritual powers, spiritual wickedness and the resulting compromise. They have become insensitive to the contagion of the world and are unaware of what the “normal Christian Life” is. It is a situation that brings the very judgements of God! Consider the judgement pronounced on the Church at Sardis (unless they repented) and the greatness of His promise to those who overcome the apostasy and lethargy of their condition (Revelation 3:3-5).

A modern day “gospel” which declares that God loves His church and would never bring judgement upon His people is the LIE of the Devil himself. “You shall not die” were his words to Eve to deceive her into disobedience and judgment. Those who are ignorant of the warfare are unaware of the reality of walking in the Spirit. Deception is anything that keeps us from walking in the truth.

“The reason why men do not look to the Church today
is that she has destroyed her own influence
by compromise”
G. Campbell Morgan

Ω

“No one serving as a soldier
entangles himself in the affairs of this life,
that he might please the One having enlisted him”
2 Timothy 2:4

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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The Invitation

PART ONE

“Whom shall I send?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

God uses men. In His hidden wisdom He delights in His strength being made perfect through our weakness. Isaiah, having been broken by the seeing of God’s glory, his lips purified by the coals of the heavenly altar, was now able to hear the Word of the Lord.

“Whom shall I send…”

An unbroken and impure heart will never hear this word. It is the pure heart which sees God; one free from agendas and self-seeking motives. God sends those who serve Him (Romans 1:1). This invitation came to Isaiah in the midst of seeing his wretched condition and the true condition of all men. The invitation came to Isaiah expressly. For the Word of God to be filled with power and authority it must be to the individual; it must be specific and personal. The vessel to whom it comes must know it to be a transaction of life for life. The Call is costly and absolute; to the one who receives it there is no “plan B”. What was Isaiah’s reward in this world? He was sawn asunder (cut in half). What was John the Baptist’s reward? He was beheaded. What was Paul’s reward? He was beheaded; Peter’s reward, crucified.

God’s question goes forth again:

“Whom shall I send…”

Only those who have seen His glory are able to answer such a call. While many love to discuss end-time teachings and deliberate over visions and prophecies (as good as those may be) there is a Word going forth which only a few can hear; “whom shall I send”? God is not looking for contributions. He is looking for sacrificial hearts. The invitation is “whom shall I send”? There is no clarification as to what the call will look like. It may be to the multitudes or it may be to a prison cell where no one sees. It may be to a life of loneliness, seemingly set aside from all the religious activity of the day, or it may be to confront the earthly powers of the world (religious and political). The call is not to a position; it is to God Himself to send and use us as He sees fit.

The second question is… “who will go for us…” (see Part Two)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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KNOWN OF GOD

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

At first glance it seems superfluous to speak of God knowing a man as a result of that man loving God. We reason that God knows all things so why consider this verse to hold some lofty thought of Him who does know all things. The knowledge spoken of here is of an intimate and personal nature. It speaks of relationship and interaction. It is a very high, very deep knowledge borne out of friendship and the flow of the life of the Son. It is the very Spirit of Christ enveloping and binding the redeemed man to the bosom of the Father through the efficacy and power of the blood. Out of this growing union of such depth and wonder comes the reality of being known of God Himself. This knowledge is not available by the intellect; the religious man will never tread upon such holy and sacred ground. It is something that can only be apprehended through the medium of LOVE; a love that transcends knowledge, a love that is born of God, given by God and received by the man who is being transformed by the seeing of Him. We read of this at the end of the Love Chapter of 1Corinthians 13:12 “…but then shall I know even as also I am known”. The knowing of Him is in direct proportion to Him knowing us. It springs from being so overwhelmed with this LOVE of God that we give Him the reigns of our hearts to discipline, chasten and to freely work within our hearts the desire to do His Will. This knowledge of which God speaks here is the fruit of relationship with Him. There will be many who do great works for God, even those which seem of a spiritual nature, who will not know of this intimacy.

“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”
Matthew 7:22-23

Though God knows all things and is a discerner of the thoughts, intentions and actions of men, it is those who LOVE Him who shall be known of Him. Love is not only the end and fruit of God’s work within a man; it is the very cause of a man knowing and being known of God. John goes on to say concerning this great mystery and the assurance that can be ours…

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1John 2:3

“But whoso keepeth his word,
in him verily is the love of God perfected:
hereby know we that we are in him”
1John 2:5

“And he that keepeth his commandments
dwelleth in him, and he in him.
And hereby we know that he abideth in us,
by the Spirit which he hath given us”
1John 3:24

In the scriptures Faith and Love are synonymous with obedience and the keeping of His commandments. The one who loves God keeps His commandments because of the great desire to please Him.

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

Brian Troxel

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GOD IS LOVE

PART TWO
GOD’S HOLY LOVE

“GOD is Love”
1 JOHN 4:8, 16

The scriptural statement “God is Love” conveys to us the verity of one powerful conclusion…LOVE is the very nature and essence of all that HE IS. The enormity of what this means is staggering and glorious. Were we to actually reconsider our understanding of the scriptures, and the import of such a wonder, the ramifications of it would revolutionize the very operandi of the Body of Christ. For if that glorious God who IS LOVE is seen only through the lens of a pure heart (Matthew 5:8), and by the apprehension of HIS HOLINESS (Hebrews 12:10, 14), then we must reconsider the pale notions of what religious men pass off as “love”.

Paul in writing to the Church at Ephesus prays in Chapter 3…

“…that He may give you, according to the riches of His glory,
by His power to become mighty in the inward man through His Spirit,
that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts,
having been rooted and founded in love,
that you may be given strength to grasp*, with all the saints,
what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ,
that you may be filled to all the fullness of God”
EPHESIANS 3:16-19
(Green’s Literal Translation)

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prays that they may be given strength to grasp (lay hold of, appropriate and make one’s own) the surpassing knowledge and the love of Christ. The love presented today requires nothing; it is casually discussed and preached. The LOVE that Paul speaks of requires a ministration of the strength of God to enable us to see and pursue its depth and power. Such is the contrast of our day. The presentation of a love based upon human strength and concepts (in HIS name) results in a lukewarm and ineffectual presentation of the Gospel. A love that removes accountability, that leaves men in apathy or hopelessness, is NOT the fruit of God’s love. A Gospel that says you are loved of God, without imparting the corresponding power and the resources to walk in victory, is a total misrepresentation of the very purpose of God in Christ. This LOVE that initiated God to send His only begotten Son to fully deal with SIN in the earth has come to abide in our hearts by faith to make this so. To put this all into perspective Paul ends the prayer mentioned above with …

“Now to Him being able to do
exceedingly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power working in us”
EPHESIANS 3:20
(Green’s Literal Translation)

Do we believe this? HIS ABILITY to do in our lives is in proportion to the power that is at work in us. We read in 1 Corinthians 13 that “LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS”! True love does not stagger at the promises of God. True love pursues those promises. True love pursues holiness. It pursues with the intent to lay hold of (Philippians, Chapter 3). We talk about love as if it were comfortable with unbelief, stagnancy, compromise with sin and a “tolerance” with the status quo of the day! The LOVE of God in the Son PRODUCED the zeal that caused the Son to go into the temple that day and cleanse it from the horror of the deeds of men in God’s name. The same LOVE that came to the aid of the woman caught in the very act of adultery (and silenced the same men who were content with the money changers) also spoke to the woman “go and sin no more”. Somehow in our well-meaning “love” this aspect is always left out of the story. A love that is able to forgive sin must by its very nature impart the power to free us from that sin. To leave a soul in the misery of the wages of sin is not love. To be free from a thing is freedom; that is why His name is Jesus.

“…and thou shall call HIS NAME JESUS
for HE shall save HIS people
FROM their sins”
MATTHEW 1:21

Love is the very fuel and fire of faith (Galatians 5:6). Faith expresses the fire of the love that fuels it. A tepid religious love is the antithesis of God’s love. The strange fire that was offered by the “priesthood” in Exodus was judged by the same God as Ananias and Sapphira in the Book of Acts.

His power motivated by HIS LOVE is the reason we can be more than conquerors through Christ.

“Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling,
and to set you before His glory without blemish, with unspeakable joy;
to the only wise God, our Savior,
be glory and majesty and might and authority,
even now and forever. Amen.”
JUDE 1:24-25
(Green’s Literal Translation)

*NOTE: G2638. καταλαμβάνω katalambanō; fut. katalēpsomai, from kata (G2596), an intens., and lambanō (G2983), to take. To apprehend, attain, obtain, find. (I) To lay hold of, seize, with eagerness, suddenness (John 8:3, 4). Of an evil spirit which seizes, takes possession of a person (Mark 9:18). Figuratively of darkness or evil, to come suddenly upon someone (John 12:35; 1 Thess. 5:4; Sept.: Gen. 19:19; 31:23; 1 Kings 18:44). (II) In allusion to the public games, to obtain the prize with the idea of eager and strenuous exertion, to grasp, seize upon (Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12, 13, “for which very end I also have been taken hold of by Christ” [a.t.], v. 12).
“The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament”

Brian Troxel

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GOD IS LOVE

OVERVIEW

DIMENSIONS OF HIS LOVE

“THE BREADTH AND LENGTH AND DEPTH AND HEIGHTH”

“GOD is Love” 1 JOHN 4:8, 16

Having felt impressed to write a single article on God’s love it is now apparent that this will be a series of short writings in an attempt to present a brief outline of this majestic subject. The enormity of such an undertaking, and the sense of total ineptness on my part, is coupled with a prayer that HE who chooses the weak things to confound the mighty, the base things to confound the wise, may be pleased to do so here.

I remember probably 30 years ago pondering the responsibilities that God has given to men and the great need we have to draw from HIM the resources to be found faithful in all of the different aspects of our lives. The man of God must be a good husband learning by Christ’s example to love his wife AS Christ loves the church. The man of God must be a good father who discovers through his experience with the Heavenly Father to raise his children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. Failure in these prevents us from having the experience and understanding to be expressions of wisdom in the Church. The man of God must be a good employee/employer as we recognize our accountability unto Him. The man of God must also be a witness and an example to the world without where we walk in wisdom and righteousness. As I contemplated these things the scripture in Ephesians 3:18 came alive and I was struck with the fact that there are four dimensions of knowing Him and His Love that we are to discover and experience.

“May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge”
Ephesians 3:18

HEIGHT

The first dimension is the height of this LOVE. It is here that we must see that every aspect of God’s dealings with us is to enable us to discover that HE IS HOLY. Failure to understand this will dim and corrupt our ability to know His other dimensions; knowing HIS breadth, length and depth. Scripture is clear that “without holiness, no man shall see the Lord”. It is the responsibility of all those who minister to the people of God to set forth a clear presentation of the Living Christ. In so doing the hope would be that each life would see THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE and forsake everything in pursuit of the acquisition of it. Without the aspect of Holiness men will not see HIM as HE is.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
And the knowledge of the holy is understanding”
Proverbs 9:10

There is a much today in terms of instruction, and scriptural facts concerning the Christ, but it is not the “knowledge of the holy” which is the true understanding of God. Men who know not of “the HOLY” know not God as they ought for God IS HOLY.

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,
whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place,

with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…”
ISAIAH 57:15

In our religious world today there are many forms of contriteness and humility but unless these qualities are the RESULT of seeing Him they will always fall short of being the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Watchman Nee remarked in the book “Release of the Spirit” that there are many types of brokenness but the only brokenness of any value is that which brings the release of the Spirit of God into the lives of others. So it is with every facet of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The absolute truth that God is Holy and that God is Love is the revelation of WHO and WHAT HE is in HIMSELF. These are not attributes. They are HIS intrinsic self (HIS NATURE) and as such all that HE does flows from the great substance of HIS BEING. We can no more remove the wonder of HIS Holiness from HIS Love than we can take the element of hydrogen from water and still expect to have water. The church of today has in fact removed that element from HIS expression and because of this it is left with a love that is soulish, tepid, shallow and devoid of the power and the pulse of the Holy Spirit. This will taint the expressions of love that are poured forth from the life of the individual believer. The most blatant result seen today is the lack of LOVE between the members of the Body of Christ. Those who have the fear of the Lord know that they are not free to pick and choose which brother they will interact with for the LOVE of GOD is without partiality. They have a holy sense of the connectedness of the Body of Christ and are able to extend that LOVE of GOD to other believers because they ARE His body. They know the flow of that LOVE for it is based upon HIS Nature not upon a brother’s worthiness or capacity. This is where the breadth and length of the expressions of God’s love is determined by the height of a man’s understanding. If there is no comprehension of the height the love becomes earthly and human in its expression. Without the height men become very comfortable with the status quo of the day, exhortation and reproof are seen as expressions that contradict this “love”, and we become apathetic and comfortable with our current condition.

In the letter to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation we see a God who pronounced judgment upon the Church at Ephesus for leaving their “pre-eminent love”. In the Church at Pergamos we see false teachings were being embraced because God’s Holiness was not presented in their lives. We could expound on the other issues found in each of these locations but the cure for all of them is a people who live in the fear of God. Men who fear God have no interest in the approval of men.

BREADTH

Concerning the breadth of God’s love we must come to see that HIS love in us will love not only every brother who is truly a part of the Body of Christ but also those who are contrary and opposed to all that God is. A love that truly loves its enemies prays for them even to the point of blessing them. The absolute breadth of such a love is truly beyond understanding. This love is beyond the manufacture of men, beyond human ability or desire, and it almost seems to contradict our very understanding of Justice and Truth. The breadth of such a love is revealed in the first martyr as we see Stephen being stoned and asking God to forgive them! It is one thing for us to forgive men for their deeds but it is another thing altogether to ask God to forgive them eternally! It is no wonder Paul prays for us to be “strengthened to lay hold” of such a love.

LENGTH

In our consideration of the length of this love we must grasp the enduring love of God who has gone to great lengths of patience and long-suffering with us in our walk with Him. This same love will produce in us a love that will continue to love in the face of indifference and rejection. This is the love that will enable us to suffer long with a brother who refuses to grow, develop, or overcome the obstacles of life. It is a love that, because of God’s Holiness, will not compromise with a brother’s walk but will ever seek to raise them up to the CALL of God to holiness and righteousness. In this dimension there is a suffering born of the knowledge of God’s provisions and HIS own priestly concern over the life of every one of HIS. This is a love that will go to every length within its sphere to see HIS people rise and walk with their Holy God!

DEPTH

When I began to contemplate the mystery of this fourfold knowing of HIM and HIS LOVE I was impacted by the realization that in earthly things my concepts were only three dimensional. Having enjoyed drafting and drawing buildings and such when I was younger it occurred to me that one of those words used in Ephesians 3:18 was beyond my capacity to know. In studying the Greek words used for all of these dimensions I came across the word that is translated depth. This Greek word is a mariner’s term used to describe the ocean and its depths. As sailors they understood they were merely moving upon its surface but that below that surface there was a whole other realm of life about which they knew nothing. Praise the LORD! It is the same Greek word that Jesus used when He invited the disciples …

“Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets…”
Luke 5:4

Can we not hear HIM inviting us to leave the shallow waters of men’s concepts, traditions and teachings and launch ourselves into the depths of HIS BEING where light, glory and LIFE abound? Do we not instinctively sense depths within HIM that surpass knowledge and words, books and sermons, where the Apostle Paul himself declares that he saw and heard things which cannot be uttered? These are things which men cannot articulate for they are beyond the speech of men, beyond the reach of the human mind and are only shown to those who have made holiness of life and purity of heart their pursuit.

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things,
yea, the deep things of God”
1CORINTHIANS 2:9

My prayer is that together we will explore the unfathomable dimensions of His Love, for to love Him is to know Him and to know Him is to love Him.

Brian Troxel

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