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Posts Tagged ‘One Church’

His Appearing

“When the LORD shall build up Zion,
he shall appear in His glory”
Psalm 102:16

God is a covenant keeping God. The reins of His dealings in His people are neither arbitrary nor random. He is a God of purpose and intent. It is always striking to me to hear people say that the Lord could return at any moment as if there were no real purpose in His timing. He is coming back for something specific and precious to Him.

“…to present her to himself as a radiant church,
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless”
Ephesians 5:27

The church which God is going to present to Himself is to be radiant, pure, and holy. The stains of selfishness, strife, division, and worldliness will be removed. She will be ONE in truth, love, and holiness. Her garments will not be wrinkled nor soiled. The members of this glorious body will have a fervent love one for another and there will be no schisms within those who have the faith of the Bride. Those who are not bothered by the division and the worldliness of the church today know little of either His return or His heart. Those not burdened to the point of speaking, praying, and admonishing His people to repent from their ways know not God! His return is predicated upon the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus.

The Prayer of Jesus

God is not going to allow the prayer of His Son to go unanswered! The prayer of Jesus (John 17) will not fall to the ground unfulfilled. We are here to serve His purposes and desires; to walk contrary to these things is disobedience.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready
Revelation 19:7

Those who walk in the faith (the call) of the Bride cannot hold to evil thoughts about their brothers and sisters; they cannot gossip, speak evil, or withdraw themselves from others. Those who would be ready for Him must know of the burning and purifying required to walk in the white robes of His righteousness and grace. We are required to speak truth and present the Holiness of God to all. The declaration of His Holiness does not arise out of a perceived self-righteousness; it is simply because He who is Holy has called His people to be holy. People who see little are not troubled by the horror of the present day Church of God. They are so involved with their own “church” that they are blinded to the reality of God’s house.

How can it be that we can have our “own” church and our “own” spiritual agendas? Even in our “preaching of Christ” we secretly desire to bring men and women to our building, our organization and our ways. The hidden agenda to enlarge “our” church body reveals the carnality of self-seeking. The result of this worldly way of living is that we are divided against ourselves; an indictment of a people who have wandered far from the truth and power of HIS love in our midst.

Jesus prayed:

That they all may be one;
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

Many religious people do not take the substance of this prayer seriously nor is it thought of in terms of actual fulfillment. The prayer of Jesus is given little consideration as to how we live and conduct ourselves within the household of faith. This Oneness for which Jesus prayed can only be known by “us being ONE IN HIM”. If I am in Jesus, I love His people; if I do not love His people, I do not know God.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Living outside a true knowing of God will leave an individual separated from the influence of the prayer of Jesus. Men take the knowledge of God’s Word and purposes as an intellectual formula but do not know the heartbeat or the power of His love within their hearts. They journey through life unaffected by the condition of His House. In stark contrast, the Bride makes herself ready for she feels the anticipation of being one with Him. Her aspirations are not born by some religious concept; she desires purity because she wants to present herself to Him. This spiritual betrothal is a real and living thing that beats within her heart; a hope that purifies.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3

Everyone that has this hope knows of this purifying! It is a day of separation of the wheat from the chaff, the wheat from the tares, and the Ishmaels from the Isaacs. The Day of the Lord is upon us and the life which we now live reveals the truth of our condition. Those who hold His heart and His faith are asking God to search out their hearts, repenting of the works of the flesh and the severing of relationships. There is a fire to speak the truth and to hold one another accountable in our walk with Him. There is a circumspect walk and a rising up of His Word within the hearts of those who know and feel that the day of His appearing is nigh; not waiting in faithless inactivity but cooperating with the burning of His Spirit within their hearts. They seek out others in whom the fire is burning “to provoke one another unto Love and Good works”.

The Father waits for the prayer of the Son to be realized within those whom He has called.

“Behold, the husbandman waiteth
for the precious fruit of the earth…”
James 5:7

It is He who is waiting for the full and rich harvest from the precious seed which was sown into the earth! The Day of the Lord is the Day of the Harvest. He is waiting for the fullness of Christ within His own. We cannot know God and have little or no concern for the welfare of the Body of Christ. Daniel saw the state of Israel and spent his time weeping and praying over their condition. Paul, Peter, Jude and others wrote and spent their lives beseeching His people to preserve the unity of the Spirit and hold fast to the love of God.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you… to walk worthy
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace
There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all,
and through all, and in you all”
Ephesians 4:1-6

How do we walk worthily?
By endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit!

This is not about the organizations of men but about the One Body of Christ. To walk worthy of His heavenly call we must seek the welfare of His house! Without a burden for his house we are without His Heart.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

A heart devoid of love reveals the indisputable fact that it is not a disciple of Christ. Love is the very signature of God in His own. Apathy is deception; it holds to His word but is bereft of the power and wonder of His Love for Him and one another.

Religion is comfortable with loving one another in word but the love of God calls us to a higher standard.

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

When the Church of God is pure, holy, and unified in the fervency and power of His Love, He will suddenly appear with unspeakable glory.

“It came even to pass,
as the trumpeters and singers were as one,
to make one sound to be heard
in praising and thanking the Lord…
that then the house was filled with a cloud,
even the house of the Lord
So that the priests could not stand
to minister by reason of the cloud:
for the glory of the Lord
had filled the house of God
2 Chronicles 5:13-14

———————————–

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come”
Revelation 22:17

Those who are of the Bride speak the same word as the Spirit.

His Return

Note that there are many aspects of His return and his appearing will be according to a person’s relationship with Christ. To the wicked and evil of this world He will come as the Righteous Judge with retribution upon those who have not obeyed the Gospel. To the slothful servant who hid His talent in the ground He will judge and render a just recompense (Matthew 25:24-28). Those who kept their lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit He receives into the marriage feast (Matthew 25:10). To the foolish virgins the marriage feast is closed (Matthew 25:10). To those who knew His will but did not prepare themselves His coming will be accompanied by many stripes (Luke 12:47). His coming to each of us will be in accordance to the life we have lived not the doctrines we hold.

“Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:26

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

With an acknowledgement to Brendan Jaster and Linda for help with editing
Please also visit: Brendan Jaster's Blog

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Prophetic Purpose

Prophets

“See, I have this day set thee
over the nations and over the kingdoms,
to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy,
and to throw down, to build, and to plant
Jeremiah 1:10

The people of God become weary with the words of His prophets. They perceive the negativity and the sharp words as antagonistic. The desire for only encouraging and comfortable words is human nature. The thinking is that the world, the trials, the heartache and troubles of this life are more than enough for us to bear. This would be fine if God had no other purpose in His house than to bless us and comfort us in our situations. But God has a purpose and He sent His Son to bring about the thing He has purposed. God is intent upon His end and He sends His word to bring it to pass. God is a wise builder He is not going to patch up an old thing (see the parable of the wine skin). He must make everything new. It is the New Wine-skin which receives the new wine. He is not going to pour out Himself (the New Wine) into the Old. While men cling to their sins, former ways and institutions God withholds Himself; and He, as a loving Father suffers while He withholds. Joseph had to keep himself hidden from his brothers until there was a change of heart. At one point he had to leave the room as the desire to embrace them had to be restrained because of the hardness of their hearts.

The words of true prophets are not harsh for the sake of being harsh; they speak words necessary for God to finish His work. God cannot build until He tears down. He cannot plant until He roots up the evil and self-seeking ways of men. He cannot and will not sully His ways with the methods of men; the overlooking of sin to populate their churches and accomplish their agendas. He must tear down the lofty pursuits of those who seek the preeminence in His house.

God’s end is to prosper, bless and reveal Himself to His own. He never wavers in His faithfulness to us. It is we who need to change. It is we who need to give heed to His word and His purposes in this day. God is Holy and as such He requires us to be holy, pure and set apart as purchased possessions. It is the joy of the Lord we pursue not our own. His joy becomes our strength to do the things which please Him.

“Therefore, have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me” Hosea 6:5

The hard words and God’s judgements were as “light” going forth. righteousness is the result of light. It is a light which proceeds from God to give light unto His people concerning their ways and their condition. He desires mercy, not religious sacrifices. He desires that His people know Him rather than all the programs, religious prayer meetings and traditions of men. His people become content with tepid offerings of lukewarm hearts. They become satisfied with elaborate events and magnificent buildings even though Jesus said there would not be left one stone upon another when He is finished! The true building of God is made up of living stones built together as a holy habitation wherein He alone has the preeminence; One Lord, One faith and One body. It is to this end His prophets speak, weep and anguish over the blindness and stubbornness of the day.

“We are not diplomats but prophets,
and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum”
A.W. Tozer

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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ONE BREAD ONE BODY

“For WE,
though many,
ARE one bread and one body;
FOR we all partake of that one bread”
I CORINTHIANS 10:17

Love is mentioned 156 times in the New Testament while the word WE is mentioned 630 times; the majority of these are concerning the body of Christ. The WE is the expression of the Love. The commonality of the communal heart was a ONENESS in the peoples’ lives revealing the ONE BODY and the ONE CHURCH. The thing that made the unity was the partaking of that ONE bread which was broken for them. The closer one is in relationship to the HEAD the more one is cognizant of the one body. This explains the fragmentation and sectarianism that has robbed the body of its power and reality.

Love is the fruit of relationship with the head. Love surpasses knowledge, rejoices with the truth, stands for truth and knows that the only hope for anyone to be truly free, truly righteous and truly like the Son is by the ministration of truth. Where truth is neglected love will be a dismal expression of all that God is for “God IS Love”. I cannot know what love is except in the true knowing of God. Truth is my only hope for knowing what LOVE really is.

Love is the selfless and pure expression of the God who so loved the world that HE gave His only Son. That same Love that gave is the same God who in total holiness and impartiality is the judge of all men. All the heavens and they that dwell there are awestruck with the Holiness, the Righteousness and the Omnipotence of His Majesty. The most holy Angels who have never known sin or rebellion shield themselves from His glorious penetrating light; such a contrast with the apathy and religion of today. Where there is no unity in the midst of God’s people there will be little or no glory.

In every case of unity in both the Old and New Testaments there was God’s glory to such an extent that men were bowed and the heavens were opened. The unity PRECEDES the moving of God. On the day of Pentecost they were in ONE ACCORD prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We read in the Old Testament that when the singers and dancers were of ONE Voice the Glory of God fell. Jesus said…

“And he spake also a parable unto them;
“No one tears a piece from a new garment
and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new,
and the piece from the new will not match the old.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.
If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled,
and the skins will be destroyed
LUKE 5:35-38

The New Wine will not be poured out into old wine skins. They are old, inflexible, and weak. They have become rigid and have a form of righteousness that cannot be changed. God is not in the renovating business; HE TRANSFORMS anyone who dares walk in truth and in the light. His Love does not compromise with sin and religion. He cleansed the temple in His Day and He has not changed! Men were satisfied with their paltry offerings and even the disciples (prior to Pentecost) were found marvelling at the temple buildings in their day. Jesus says that there will not be left one stone of that old order. For the new was ready to break forth upon the grounds of the pure sacrifice of the LAMB OF GOD. Now it is a temple not made with hands; a living temple made up of living stones mortared together by the simplicity of the LOVE of God. Men no longer build their own edifices but are themselves built together INTO this glorious temple.

“In whom ye also are builded together
for an habitation of God through the Spirit”
EPHESIANS 2:22

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men,
but chosen by God and precious, you also,
as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
I PETER 2:5

The ONE BREAD is to bring forth the ONE BODY in truth and reality. Not a oneness based on the effort of men or the compromise of the truth! This ONENESS is the REVELATION OF THE TRUTH not the ignoring of it. TRUE LOVE IS THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT which IS CALLED THE “SPIRIT OF TRUTH”. When men love programs, teachings, the esteem of men and self promotion more than they love truth they reap the fruit of their own ways. This in itself is the great judgement of God. When men are content with such things nothing changes. Agnosticism is in full expression and men declare that God moves at times and not at others as if it were some mysterious thing. Truth is seen as being relative; there is no concern for wrong teachings and soulish ways. We are not to say anything, do anything, that might offend others. God has a name for such a generation… ICHABOD!

“And she named the child Ichabod,
saying, The glory is departed from Israel”
I SAMUEL 4:21

It is time to read the scriptures for what they say and to see through the “status quo” of today. It is a day to return to the simplicity of truth and the power of His Spirit that can only be found where the New Wine skin is made up of those that love one another fervently out of a pure heart. We can no longer meet in the ways of the world. The true church is not an earthly organization but a spiritual organism living in the breath of the Holy Spirit, where men no longer walk in titles and positions but live and walk in the pure expression of His love. It is a place where our meeting together is no longer orchestrated by the programs of men but has become the place where the Spirit of Liberty is free to EXPRESS THE LIVING CHRIST. A place where His Glory comes in such power that the ways of Ananias and Sapphira are judged and God is glorified. A place where HIS Glory so permeates our gatherings unto Him that no earthly agenda can survive and men speak as the oracles of God.

We need to stop reading the scriptures as if they were for another day; to stop viewing the Holy Word as if it were a historical document.

Daniel in captivity UNDERSTOOD by the reading of the scriptures that they would be in exile for 70 years and began to pray and repent; GOD ANSWERED! It is as men read the scriptures and hear HIS voice that repentance and change comes. He did not simply say “Well, God is going to do it”… HE knew God enough to know that HE MUST RESPOND to God’s Word personally to experience the LIFE OF IT. FAITH IS SIMPLY THE ABILITY TO RESPOND TO GOD.

The scriptures are read everyday across our land but the famine of the word is not in the reading of it but in the HEARING of it. For FAITH comes by hearing not reading. So Jesus warns us to take heed “HOW WE HEAR” and “WHAT WE HEAR”.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD,
that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of HEARING the words of the LORD”
AMOS 8:11

That day is upon us, but the promise of God to His Church is …

“He who has an ear, let him HEAR what the Spirit says”

The unity of the true Body of Christ is only known by the simplicity of WALKING IN THE LIGHT…

“But if we WALK in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
I JOHN 1:7

Ω

“The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity.
The World will go limping until
Christ’s prayer that all may be one is answered.
We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks.
A unified Church is the only offering we dare present
to the coming Christ,
for in it alone will He find room to dwell”
Charles H. Brent

Brian Troxel

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IS OUR LOVE DIFFERENT?

“And if ye salute your brethren only,
what do ye more than others?
do not even the publicans so?”
MATTHEW 5:47

The Greek word for “salute” would best be translated here to embrace or literally as Thayer’s Greek Thesaurus translates this word, “to draw to one’s self”. It is translated “embraced” in Hebrews 11:13. In the verse preceding this one Jesus states that if we love {agapao Grk.} only those that love us, how do we differ from the publicans? May the weight of these things impact us as we look around and see this love displayed to varying degrees throughout the church today. Does this not vividly describe the condition of the sectarian ways to which we have fallen? We see churches and various groups holding on to the close confines of those that “fellowship” with them and the common definition of the church or body today has mistakenly come to mean the ones that we meet with.

To add weight and importance to the above verse Jesus follows with…

“Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”
MATTHEW 5:48

In other words our Father in Heaven is nothing like this. His Love knows no bounds; He does not show impartiality nor is He a respecter of persons. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust and His Son died for the sins of the world. We speak of “our” church, “our” pastor and “our” ministry as if we owned something or that because of our goodness these things have become ours. In Corinthians Paul states…

“For who makes you differ from another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
1CORINTHIANS 4:7

If we seek only to meet with those of like mind we remove from us the wonder of His mosaic and the richness of the variations of His Wisdom. When we exclude or diminish another for differing from us we reveal the love of this world. We wonder why the world has not seen the Glory of our God in our midst while we live divided and walk in a love that loves only those that love us.

Peter, one of the Chief Apostles, started to segregate himself from the “gentiles” in his midst and was strongly rebuked by Paul and rightly so. The carnal man seeks to distinguish himself from others thus elevating one’s self. The need for recognition and distinction is at the core of that fallen nature. Jesus HAS broken down the middle partition between Jew and Gentile, between “Baptists” and “Pentecostals” and whatever other walls may be added through the “names” of teachings and doctrines. The gathering of the people is to be unto Him and Him alone.

Sadly the Proverb speaks to our day with such clarity…

“Only by pride cometh contention”
PROVERBS 13:10

Ω

“Division has done more to hide Christ from the view of men
than all the infidelity that has ever been spoken”
G. MacDonald

Brian Troxel

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HE IS ABLE

PART TWO

ONE BODY IN CHRIST

“For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of that one body, being many,
are one body: so also is Christ.”
I Corinthians 12:12

Truth by its very nature is simple, but the implications of its simplicity are profound and costly. Truth demands change in order for us to enjoy and walk in the power it brings. Truth is the root from which all the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Without truth all things are a counterfeit and a sham. In the presentation of the Gospel of John we see in the introduction the simple statement, “In the beginning was the Word…” This Word is not a truth written in ink on paper. This is the LIVING SON who alone IS TRUTH. It is therefore vital that in the forming of HIS life in the individual believer there be a ministration of TRUTH to make us TRUE in the core of our lives. Truth only has one purpose, one end; to make the recipient TRUE in character and expression. Truth is not knowledge, it is not opinions, and it is not a supposition. Truth is power, truth is substance and it is nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus did not say I give you a truth. He said I AM THE TRUTH! Truth is the WORD becoming flesh. To the extent that we reveal HIM in our daily lives is the revelation of the TRUTH that is in us. In the actual development of TRUTH in our hearts, we must begin to see that there is ONE BODY because “so also is Christ”! (Many members, ONE BODY.)

We look today over the landscape of what men call “Christianity” and wonder how such a thing could ever be. IF HOWEVER, we look into the POWER and LOVE of God through the eyes of faith, we must say, “How can these things NOT BE?” In 1 Corinthians 1:13 Paul asks the most profound question…

“IS CHRIST DIVIDED?”

I Corinthians 1:13

 

IS HE? The issue is not what we see, but what we know to be truth. FAITH is the doing of that which is the TRUTH in Christ. It is not concerned with what is, for FAITH can only reveal that which is REAL in the Spirit. By faith Peter walked on water; at that moment of time he walked in truth by faith. He saw JESUS walking on the water and his FAITH translated what he saw in JESUS into what he walked on earth. That is the true nature of FAITH. Faith is not statements, teachings or ideas. Faith is substance, revealed by our walk. If I believe there is ONE BODY even as there is ONE CHRIST then my life will reveal it. IF the question Paul presents here “Is Christ divided?” is answered by a resounding NO within our hearts then it is of NECESSITY THAT OUR LIVES REVEAL THIS TRUTH! Our speech, our behaviour and our prayer life must certainly be indicative of our individual abiding in HIM. To have and walk in the LOVE OF CHRIST can only mean that we love what HE loves. This ONE BODY can only be the product of TRUTH. For the corporate expression of the RISEN CHRIST will require HIS LIFE to arise within the life of each individual believer. The difficulty of this is measured only by the condition of our hearts. Peter asked Jesus about John, and Jesus replied “What is that to thee? Follow thou me”. Man always tries to quickly excuse our response by looking at someone else, but the truth lays within our own hearts not someone else’s. This reality can only be known as truth is truth in the individual. For this WILL SURELY COME to pass, but only through the medium of faith will it be so with us. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but the efficacy of the blood can only be appropriated by faith within the heart of each individual.

HE IS ABLE!
HE IS COME FOR THIS PURPOSE!

Ω

“I have never yet known the Spirit of God
to work where the Lord’s people were divided”
D.L. MOODY

Brian Troxel

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