Thought for Today – The Midwives

Thought for Today

The Midwives

“But the midwives feared God,
and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them,
but saved the men children alive.”
Exodus 1: 17

God moving upon the hearts of the Egyptian Midwives many years prior to the deliverance of His people reveals His prevenient grace. God is always aware, always at work preparing for fresh moves and wonders of His Spirit. God’s hand was at work in Israel’s bondage to Egypt many years before raising up men to lead His people out. God always uses men to bring about His Salvation. The Moseses of God are the fruit of faith working in the lives of others. A later generation made up of the Joshuas and Calebs are a testimony of the continued defiance of those Midwives in their obedience to YHWH. God’s work is always mysterious and hidden from the eyes of men but then discovered by succeeding generations for their encouragement and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

So too in our Day there is a generation being raised up in the shadows. In the peculiar places of His own choosing they are even now working through the dearth of life within the religious systems of men and discovering the life and wonder of the Risen Christ.

God has been and will continue to be a shelter to every generation. Not only is He a refuge in which they may hide, but this chosen generation will rise to the Call to be a bright and piercing light in this day of darkness. Many years before God has already begun such a work and is even now preparing them! In the failure of one generation to fulfill the promise it becomes sure to the next as God moves on with His purposes. The generation which came out of Egypt failed to enter into the promised land and became the ashes from which the new generation arose (Hebrews 3:7-19). Even in this there was Joshua and Caleb whose faith remained alive, vibrant and ready to enter into the Call of God. May we be one of those!

May there be a recognition and a confidence that God’s answer is being prepared through a “chosen generation” *. He has a prepared people for a prepared Day.

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord:
His going forth is prepared as the morning”
Hosea 6:3

Ω

* “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
– 1 Peter 2:9

Brian Troxel

Love Contrasted – Faith

Love and Faith Contrasted

“And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2

All the wonders and expressions of faith in God’s House, needful and precious as they are, if held and operated apart from the Love of God are empty. We have all seen great expressions of the gifts of God, be they healings, prophecies or ministrations of knowledge, fall through pride, greed, vanity and other sins. We ourselves may have been used of God to touch another life yet felt the transient value of the moment. God never intended that we find fulfillment in the “works of faith” as vital and necessary as they are. True fulfillment is found in our abiding in the power of His Love. The expressions of faith are given to bring God’s people to His End; they are not the end in themselves. Love is the enduring quality of God Himself. It is the eternal aspect of His Life; whether there be “prophecies, tongues, or knowledge” they shall cease (1 Corinthians 13:8) but it is the love of God which will abide forever. May we never confuse an expression of God as the approval of God within an individual’s life. The end of such thinking is filled with deception and ruin.

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail*; whether there be tongues, they shall cease*; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away*.”
1 Corinthians 13:8 (*Please see note below)

Jesus sent 70 of His disciples out with power to heal and cast out demons and they returned with great joy at the deeds accomplished. To which Jesus replied:

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven”
Luke 10:19-20

The content of one’s life is far more important than the expression of it. Moses, Jannes and Jambres all brought forth the same spiritual manifestation yet Jannes and Jambres were of a perverse and evil heart (Exodus 7:10-11). The expression itself is not the validation of a life before God. Rather it is the character, the motivation and the truth (authenticity) of God. Love is the only thing that bears weight in the scales of heaven.

John the Baptist performed no miracles. He was not finely dressed nor eloquent in speech yet Jesus declared of him “For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.” Our entrance into the Kingdom of God is not based on the spiritual manifestations in our lives; it is based on what we become within the character and dominion of His love.

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

Peter instructs us to add to our faith “virtue… to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance endurance, to endurance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness LOVE.” He goes on to say… “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.” What solidifies our entrance into His Kingdom? The ongoing development of our faith into the fruit of the Spirit culminating in His Love.

Love is the fulfillment of God. It is the divine signature of God upon a life. It is the full purpose of God’s Glory in man.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love.”

We would be negligent and foolish to diminish the expressions of faith and the precious gifts of the Spirit of God. They are given to bring the Body of Christ to the maturity, the unity and the divine enablement to arise in purity and holiness. It is a sad testimony that many of God’s people do not see the need for every individual to receive the giftings of the Holy Spirit. Paul in his letter to the Church of God at Corinth implored them to:

“But covet earnestly the best gifts:
and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way…”
1 Corinthians 12:31

We are to covet and desire the gifts of the Spirit but also to walk in the more excellent way… the Way of Love. Love is more than an attribute. It is the Way of God and the Path of God in which we are to walk that we may please and honor Him in our lives.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy,
and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity, I am nothing”

*Notes on 1 Corinthians 13:8

“but whether there be prophecies they shall fail” The Greek word translated “fail” here means to fade away or become of little use. For in the shining forth of the fullness of Christ there will be no need to “prophecy in part” (partially) 1 Corinthians 13:9-10. Prophecy is necessary and Paul sets forth the gift of Prophecy as a gift to greatly desire, yet we are to judge it and hold it in its proper place within the purposes of God.
“whether there be tongues, they shall cease” The Greek word translated “cease” here means to “stop or make an end”. When? When the fullness of Christ comes. These various gifts of the Spirit will remain in the earth until the perfect comes. Paul himself declared that he “spoke in tongues more than they all”. Surely if he knew and valued the necessity of this gift who are we to arrogantly decide that we are beyond such things. It is important to also note that not all who “received” the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues but that God has given these gifts “severally” to all. The Gifts of the Spirit are not optional; they are given because Christ has risen! (Ephesians 4:8)
“whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” The Greek word translated “shall vanish away” is the same Greek word translated “fail” concerning prophecy. Why will knowledge cease? Because we shall SEE HIM as He is. There will be no need to teach others about Him for in the seeing of Him knowledge will be eclipsed by the reality of all that He is. Paul in his prayer for the Church at Ephesus prayed that they would “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19) Love surpasses knowledge! Love will bring the heart to a knowing of God which is beyond teaching, knowledge and words; Love will bring us into the “Fullness of God” Himself. Why be content with anything else? The purpose of the New Covenant is to bring this to pass! The great prophecy concerning the New Covenant that God would bring is:

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord…”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

Woe to any minister who shares with any motivation other than to see the people of God grow to surpass their own ministry. The True ministrations of God bring His people to the equality of brotherhood. It is religion that holds people to an inferior walk or place in God. Children must grow up and “leave their father and mother” to become mature men and women in God. Only when we truly love and respect our brothers and sisters, and see them as God does, will there be true unity in the Body of Christ.

Brian Troxel

Glimpses of Him – The Sealed Book –

Glimpses of Christ
in The Book of Revelation

PART SEVEN

Revelation Chapter 5

The Sealed Book

“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

Even in the midst of all the glory and wonder the apostle John was seeing there was one thing that clouded his heart: the sealed book. Consider the awesome splendor of all he was beholding in terms of God’s glory; the angelic hosts, the seven lamp stands, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. Yet he is found weeping because of the sealed book.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

John knew instinctively that the fate of the entire scope of creation hung in the balance of this sealed book. All creation was in fact groaning and travailing for this Book of Life to be opened by the loosing of the seals placed upon it due to the disobedience and rebellion of man. It had been closed by the righteous verdict of God Himself and the only way for this book to be unsealed was by another man who had overcome the scourge, the horror and the defiling of all creation. The seals could not be broken by any other creature than a man; for the curse had come by man and in turn been pronounced upon man (being the head and authority of all creation itself). The failure of the First Adam could only be undone by the Second Adam. That Second Adam had to overcome (in total submission to the Father) the disobedience of the First Adam.

“For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus”
1 Timothy 2:5

All the promises of God hinged upon the one transaction of a flawless Man through perfect obedience and submission having won the right to open the Book and loose the seals thereof. Even Abraham saw this day of the Revelation of Christ Jesus our Lord!

Abraham’s Faith

The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city. The faith of Abraham was concerned with the heavenly things, and as he walked with God the promises of an earthly land faded into the pursuit of the heavenly city.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God
Hebrews 11:8-10

The earthly land of promise seemed a strange land to him as he became increasingly aware and enthralled with the heavenly City of God (The New Jerusalem). He was a sojourner in the land of promise because of a greater thing to come. In the offering up of Isaac he saw, by faith, the revelation of THE LAMB of God who would come to lift the curse and stain from the human race thus making the City of God the habitation of “just men made perfect”! Jesus declared:

“…Abraham rejoiced to see my day:
and he saw it, and was glad”
John 8:56

All the laws, rituals and commandments of the Old Covenant were to bring men to this One Thing; the Lamb of God and His Salvation. There is salvation in no other. No one in heaven or on earth could loose the seals of this Holy and Sealed Book except the One whose name is Jesus!

This bears repeating. While John stood before the very Throne of God he wept because deep down within the recesses of his being he knew that his fate and the fate of all creation rested in the sealed book (Romans 8:24-30). As John was standing in this place he heard a strong angel cry out:

“Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?”
Revelation 5:2

The man who could open this sealed book had to be worthy. John’s weeping in this heavenly place was based on the fact that no man was found worthy.

“And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:4

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Elijah and all the other ones mentioned in Hebrews Chapter Eleven could not open this Book.

“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
received not the promise”
Hebrews 11:39

The promise, though seen through the eyes of faith in all of these faithful ones, could not be received until the Book of Life is opened by the One in whom all the promises of God abide.

“For ALL the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us”
2 Corinthians 1:20

Men and women cannot look to anything greater than the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the blessed Lamb of God and the Great High Priest who is after the order of Melchizedek! This Melchizedek, to whom even Abraham paid tithes, was greater than Abraham. By types and shadows of things to come it revealed that all the Levitical priesthood paid homage to a greater who was to come; an eternal Priest in whom all the covenants would be fulfilled by virtue of Him prevailing in perfect obedience!

“Now behold how great this one was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils; and indeed those of the sons of Levi receiving the priesthood have a command to tithe the people according to Law, (that is, from their brothers, though coming forth out of Abraham’s loins), but he not counting his genealogy from them has tithed Abraham, and has blessed the one having the promises. But without contradiction, the lesser is blessed by the better. And here dying men indeed receive tithes, but there it having been witnessed that he lives; and as a word to say, through Abraham Levi also, the one receiving tithes, has been tithed. For he was yet in his father’s loins when Melchizedek met him. Truly, then, if perfection was through the Levitical priestly office (for the people had been given Law under it), why yet need for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not to be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priestly office having been changed, of necessity a change of law also occurs. For the One of whom these things are said has partaken of another tribe, from which no one has given devotion at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord has risen out of Judah, as to which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is still more abundantly clear that if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has not become so according to a law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an indissoluble life. For it is testified, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Psa. 110:4 18 For a voiding of the preceding command comes about because of its weakness and unprofitableness. For the Law perfected nothing, but a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God”
Hebrews 7:4-19

As John was weeping over the fate of the sealed Book he hears the most blessed words:

Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof”
Revelation 5:5

It is by virtue of His prevailing that this Book is opened, the seals are being loosed and soon all creation will be released from their groaning in futility and bondage (Romans 8:20-23).

In the following pages of the Book of Revelation there is an unfolding of all that Christ is and the rendering of judgments in the earth. In the removing of each seal there is a corresponding manifestation of God’s righteousness revealed in judgments and great upheavals in the earth. Who can withstand these things? Who can hinder the ongoing loosening of the seals and the revelation of His Justice! We will see the final triumph of God over sin and death and the full revelation of the Risen and Reigning Christ! Unto Him Be Glory now and forever more!

“And he came and took the book
out of the right hand of him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:7

What a thrilling and glorious moment! The Son, by virtue of utter perfection and submission to the will of the Father, takes this sealed Book and begins to lift the seals one by one. (In His submission He became the Captain of our salvation, Hebrews 2:10) How can we not praise and honor Him with our very hearts and lives!

The Book of Revelation is not about events. The events are merely the ramifications of the One who has won the right to open the sealed book! In the opening of the sealed book creation is released, sin and death are destroyed and those who overcome as He overcame will rule and reign with Him for eternity!

“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

Salvation is a free gift of the grace of God but ruling and reigning with Him is given to those who by virtue of His Life in them overcome in the same manner as He!

Revelation chapter 5 is the fulcrum for what follows in the rest of the Book of Revelation. In chapter 6 John begins to describe the loosening of the seals and the repercussions of each upon the earth.

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder,
one of the four beasts saying,
Come and see…”
Revelation 6:1

Hallelujah! This is the DAY of the LORD! May all who walk and are present tense alive in Him, consider and walk worthy of the hour in which we live. He who has triumphed over all is at work in the heavens to the end “that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD!” and “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (see Romans 8:21).

To God be ALL the Glory!

Conclusion of Part Seven of coming book.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info