Do You Believe Now?

Do You Believe Now?

“Do you believe now?”
John 16:31

Do you believe now?

Oh, the penetrating questions of Jesus. “Do you believe now?” Our Lord is ever bringing us to the truth. There is something about the heart of man that evades the “present” tense of God; it is far easier to put truth off to a future age or dispensation. There can be a soothing and narcotic effect in occupying ourselves with future concepts and ideas. It is an escape, a diversion from present reality. Jesus is the “I AM” and it is the purpose of truth to make us true in the present. The reality is we only have enough breath for the moment and our present condition is our condition. It is here and now that Jesus brings us to the fundamental truth of our state.

“Do you believe now?”. Do you love Him now, His Body (His people)? Are His purposes your purposes for now? Years ago, I sat with a dying friend who had spoken often of his “destiny”; that one of these days God was going to speak a living word and he would be quickened to step into it. But it never happened. If truth is always kept in the future, we run out of the precious commodity of time.

Past, Future, and Present Truth

Martha and Mary were loved deeply by our Lord. Lazarus was dying and they sent for Jesus in desperation and trust. Upon hearing their urgent request Jesus tarried two more days. He knew all that was transpiring and plainly told the disciples that Lazarus was “now” dead. When Jesus arrived, He was met with the faith of the past.

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

A very powerful statement. Jesus in His pre-resurrection state, as a man incarnate, was restricted to the “present truth” of His physical existence. Yet even in this situation, He tarried in the wisdom of God. He is ever-pressing us to “believe now” and to conduct ourselves accordingly.

As the narrative unfolds Jesus meets these statements with the living truth: “Your brother will rise again”. Immediately comes the heartfelt response, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection in the last day”. In this interaction with two souls that Jesus loved greatly, we see that He is pressing them into the “now”, into the situation at hand. He has a deep desire to bring us in all things to the present truth, the reality of the now. May we who have ears to hear recognize the pressing of His Spirit to free us from our past and our unsubstantiated future concepts. It is an intense and difficult thing to allow Him to penetrate our religious notions with the present reality. But it is necessary and vital to bring us to the acknowledgment of our true condition. Those who hold to future things, while denying the present reality of themselves, circumvent the development needed to become all that He has purposed.

Paul declared in Philippians that he had not yet fully apprehended the call of God. He did not rest in some future thing but cried out with great urgency of spirit, “I press toward the mark”. There was no room for concepts and beliefs to deter him from the apprehension of Christ. His life was abandoned to Christ. He did not isolate himself from the ministry of God to the Body of Christ; he did not segregate himself from interaction with others. He was in fact a vessel poured out because of the love of Christ in his heart. It is the synthetic who hide from others, who deceive themselves to be ones set apart (as the Scribes and the Pharisees* of old). His Love propels His Own to identify with the lost, the hurting, and the bound. It is in the touching of others that we discover the truth of ourselves. The truth of our nakedness is revealed in our touching the nakedness of others. It is in our discovery of our needs on their behalf that we find His provision! How good and how right are His ways with us!

Religion as a mere belief relieves people from having to face the current fitness and verity of themselves. The true in heart desire to know and to face the truth of the moment. Multiple times the disciples asked Jesus why their prayers did not meet the situation at hand. Deep within they desired truth, the truth, of their powerlessness. They did not mask their condition with a future hope. Jesus responded to them with the thing they needed to hear: “because of your unbelief”. These moments are necessary for our growth and development in Him. If we brush past these moments, we are none the better and we continue our way without facing the facts. The true in heart receive the truth as it is and the door opens for greater faith, a living faith that releases His wonder in the situation. The discovery of our poverty is the door into His riches!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 5:3

The disciple of Christ must discover in present situations their present condition. Therein lies the challenge and the adventure into the discovery of Him within our own experience. The seeker of truth does not seek to comfort themselves in past or future things for the Christ they pursue IS COME to lead them, and more importantly, bring them to the Truth in all character and wisdom. Jesus in His wisdom presented to Martha and Mary the crowning revelation of the mystery of Himself.

I AM the resurrection…”
John 11:25

He is not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be”; He is always the I AM.

“And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?”
Mark 9:28

A few years ago, in my private time with Him, the words came to me, “To grow in truth one must be true with oneself”. Our journey into truth must begin and remain open to receive its piercings and exposure of our condition.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Psalm 15:1

To which the answer of God is:

“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart
Psalm 15:2

When the truth is reduced to a confession, its wonder fades, its sword no longer pierces the heart. The result is faith without works, teachings instead of substance, and a limited vision of His power and glory.

“ Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth UNTO unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently
1 Peter 1:22

The true in heart measure their obedience and walk with God by the fervency of love for His people (not only the ones in their immediate circle). This love reveals itself in deeds produced by a faith made alive through love (Galatians 5:6).

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

Can we hear Him calling us to the depths of Himself? Can we hear Him drawing us out of the ethereal, the forms of truth, and the comfort of mere confessions, into the vast wonder of His substance? Truth is the womb of repentance. Repentance brings us out of the shadows of obscurity into the penetrating gaze of Him alone before whom we must all give an account. Let not another day pass without a true turning unto Him who can cause us to become true witnesses of His Testimony within!

In the seeing of Him, we are afforded a seeing of ourselves (Isaiah 6:1-5). This great work of His Spirit will unveil all that Grace means. It causes us to glory afresh in His redemption of “our mortal bodies” by that SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the Dead. His resurrection will become more than a scriptural fact; it will be the living truth of Him at work within us. Love can only flourish between those who have seen themselves in the light of Him through the lamp of obedience. It is only through obedience that our “souls are purified UNTO the pure and fervent love of our brothers”. Love is the signature of God in a life. Love is being the face of Jesus to one another, where all our actions are governed by a pure desire to see His people WALK in the present truth of Christ.

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear about my children walking in truth. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers…”
3 John 1:4-5

God is not interested in truth coming from our lips only. The words which proceed from our lips are to be verified by our walk and our deeds.

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

___________________

* Note: Pharisees (Original meaning) “separated ones”; “called out ones”.

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Six

The Present Truth – Part Six

“lift up your eyes”

“Say NOT ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

The context of this scripture illustrates God’s call to the “present” truth of His life within us. Jesus, being weary and hungry, had sent the disciples into the city of Sychar for food and sat at the well waiting them to return. As He was waiting a woman came to the well to draw water. Within a few short sentences He had exposed the secrets of her heart, revealed Himself and shared the desire of His heavenly Father for true worshipers. The disciples returned with food and He responds, “I have meat you know not of”! The profound truth is, in the present doing of His will, we are fed, strengthened and empowered in the “today” of His Life. The hidden manna is reserved for those who see and participate with Him in the opportunities afforded us Today.

Let us take his admonishment, “say not” to heart. “Say not” sometime later God is going to bring in a harvest; “say not” sometime in the future God is going to use me; “say not” God will someday move through my life. It is the deception of our own procrastination which is unable to respond to present day opportunities! God’s answer to the impotency of such faith? “Lift up your eyes” for the fields are already white unto the harvest! Those who see in the Spirit know of the works, the opportunities and movings of God as present truth. Too many of God’s people walk in the impotency of an apathetic faith, not seeing the opportunities of NOW. Delegating everything to sometime in the future results in fruitless and barren living. It is in the NOW that we develop a greater faith for tomorrow’s works of faith.

Jesus confronted the faith of Martha regarding Lazarus her brother; a faith stuck in the past:

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord,
if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died”
John 11:21

Her response to Jesus’ declaration “Thy brother shall rise again” also revealed a procrastination of faith to some future day: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”. A true statement but one that missed the message that Christ wanted her to hear.

“I AM the resurrection, and the life…”
John 11:25

Too many of us live as if our faith is in a God whose name is “I will be” rather than His glorious name of “I AM”; the present God, the present truth and the present answer to the needs of fallen humanity around us. Of course, there are always more glorious things to come in God; such is the truth of His eternal plans. Yet, if I walk in His Spirit, I will see the glorious truth that there are fields, present tense, “white unto harvest”. The blindness of a “someday faith” deprives us of present truth thus robbing God of His present glory. It results in stagnation and spiritual death; ever waiting for some future thing while ignoring the bread and wonder of the present. The “hidden manna” falls every day to those whose eyes are open to see His fields of opportunity.

It is as we walk in faith today that we are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s faith.

“Sanctify yourselves (today):
for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”
Joshua 3:5

The sanctifying work of today is the precursor to the beholding of His works tomorrow. Sanctifying ourselves today means we are set apart for His works, His will and the doing of the “present truth”. David, before he met Goliath, had a spiritual history with his God. The faith which emboldened him to confront Goliath had been developed in the past victories of faith; overcoming the lion and the bear.

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:
and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them…”
1 Samuel 17:36

Those who walk in the “I AM” of today will be prepared of Him for the greater conflicts which await us. Present Truth is God’s provision for tomorrow.

“Today if ye will hear His Voice,
harden not your hearts”
Hebrews 4:7

To those who whose walk in the present truth of our God the fields are “already” white unto harvest; there are (now) lives to be rescued, hearts to be encouraged, and lives to be transformed by the present wonder of our God.

“SAY NOT YE, there are yet four months, and THEN cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest”
John 4:35

Brian Troxel

A Word from the Lord – The Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance

“I have declared the former things from the beginning;
and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them;
I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
Isaiah 48:3

God’s Word is True. The things He has declared will come to pass. In the parable of the ten virgins the cry went forth and they all responded; some with little oil and some with much. The quantity of oil they possessed was a revelation of their knowledge of the bridegroom. The five foolish did not  consider the great testing and sifting of hearts in this time. As the night wore on their lamps grew dim and they were found wanting. The declaration of “Behold the Bridegroom comes” was followed by a long night of waiting and seeming delay. Suddenly He appeared to the joy of the five wise and the sorrow of the five foolish. His Word was True but the hearts of some were not.

It is in the tarrying of His promise
that the hearts of all are tested.

The things we have heard and the Word which has gone forth will shortly come to pass. While many a lamp has grown dim with the waiting, while many have settled for the religion of the day, while many have settled for a compromised life, there are those who stand expectantly with their “lamps trimmed” and their hearts fixed on Him.

The thing He has declared will happen, it will happen suddenly and the lives of all will be exposed. It is His coming which will expose the wise and the foolish; the suddenness of it will reveal the verity of every life. It is in the flood that the foundation of every man’s house is revealed (Matthew 7:23-27).

“…the Lord, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to his temple”
Malachi 3:1

His return is very near though the days pass and little seems to change, God is trying His own. His tarrying is the test of the steadfastness of every heart. His eyes are ever upon His own and there is no wasted time in His purposes. Walking true in the dreary hours of life is crucial to the inward work of His Spirit. It is in this time that the Book of Remembrance is written and in the chronicles of heaven each life is recorded unto the Day of Judgment.

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a Book of Remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought (esteemed) upon his name.”
Malachi 3:16

What were God’s people saying in the day when God spoke of the Book of Remembrance?

“Ye have said, it is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?”
Malachi 3:14

Yet in the midst of this lethargy and apostasy there were those who stood in the dark day and exhorted and encouraged one another to hold fast unto their God. They spoke often and sought out fellowship in the sheer determination to stay the course. The fires of their hearts mingled in the burning desire to stay true to Him.

Who were these who stood true? “They that feared the Lord!” God’s response to such hearts?

“And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him”
Malachi 3:17

Those who live and hold the “fear of the Lord” within their hearts are passionate in their speaking one to another and they seek out the fire of fellowship with others of like burning hearts. They understand the subtlety of the hour and the deceptive nature of their own hearts. This is the hour of testing, sifting and the determination of whether a life is serving God or self.

God’s Exhortation to Us

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:23-26

We live in a time when no one wants exhortation; no one wants to be provoked unto Love AND good works. It is a Day of lethargy and faithless inactivity and none lay it to heart. The Day is upon us and the fellowship and the exhortation God has called us to will not be found sitting on a pew or in some isolated group. It will not be found by those who are complacent in what they know rather than having the true fear of the Lord within their hearts.

The Storm is Coming
Suddenly
Even now it is ready
to Break Forth

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and HAVING DONE ALL,
to stand.”
Ephesians 6:13

Doing is the Key to Standing

Let us exhort, reprove and encourage one another in the fear of the Lord!

Brian Troxel

The Present Truth – Part Three

The Present Truth

Part Three

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”
Jude 1:3

The I AM

“I AM the door of the sheep…”
John 10:7
“I AM the door…”
John 10:9
“I AM come that they might have life…
abundantly”
John 10:10
“I AM the good shepherd…”
John 10:11
“I AM the good shepherd…”
John 10:14

The Life of Christ as expressed and communicated to the disciples was present tense. I AM is not future tense. It is the present truth of His being, the ever existing One, ever dwelling and working and subsisting in the now of our life. Just as breathing is essential to our natural life so is His Presence to our spiritual life. The error and misconception of religion is that it offers a historical Jesus (we are saved by what He did) and a future Jesus (we will see Him in heaven). Of course these things are true but without the infusion of “present truth” we are bereft of the power and the dynamic of the “now” life. In I AM, Jesus presented Himself as the current One and the ever present One. Eternal Life is now; free from the earthly concepts of time, distance and human limitations. It is a life which can only be known by the union of relationship in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Him have this life and those who are outside of Him have not eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

Jesus is always seeking to bring His disciples to the power of living in the moment:

“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
Matthew 6:25

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Matthew 6:26

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
Matthew 6:34

This trusting, child-like, faith rescues us from the worries and anxieties of the cares of this life. It is not irresponsible nor neglectful; it is a life of peace that takes no thought for tomorrow. It sows seeds today knowing that tomorrow’s provisions are assured in the doing of today. It is a life held in the peace of God by knowing He is the I AM of our tomorrows. It is because of this true understanding that obedience becomes paramount in our daily life. The religious do not concern themselves with “present truth” for their lives are lived in teachings and doctrines; heaven is assured because of what Jesus did historically and their present tense life has no bearing on future events. These ones are careless, ignorant of the “doing of truth” present tense; their time on earth passes in a fog of illusion and deception. It is in the now that eternal destinies are determined.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Galatians 2:20

Paul’s life of identification with Christ was revealed in the now life he lived. The I AM of Jesus became the I AM of Paul. “I am” crucified was the declaration of Paul’s life in Christ. Not ”I will be” but present tense “I am”. The eternal “I AM” truth must become ours. It is in our obedience to the “present truth” in the “now” of life where the peace and power of this life is experienced.

Abraham’s Present Truth

“And he said, Take NOW thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…And Abraham rose up early in the morning…and went unto the place of which God had told him
Genesis 22:2-3

“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham…”
John 8:39

– Continued in Part Four –

Part One
Part Two

Part Four
Part five

Brian Troxel