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Posts Tagged ‘Repentance’


THERE IS HOPE!

“And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel,
one of the sons of Elam,
answered and said unto Ezra,
We have trespassed against our God,
and have taken strange wives
of the people of the land:
yet now there is hope in Israel
concerning this thing.”
EZRA 10:2

Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened to Israel throughout their history are written for our admonition and learning. Human nature does not change but the good news is neither does our God! We read here that Israel was subjected to the judgments of God and taken captive in a strange land. The temple and the Holy things of the temple had been taken and as time went on they began to CONFORM and become integrated WITH the people among whom they lived. God in His mercy began to stir the hearts of some with strong prophetic words and powerful unction to a rebuilding and restoration of the people to His Glory. Whenever God begins to move in the face of His peoples’ failure the call to repentance is ALWAYS coupled with the power of HOPE. Hope is more than just a faint intellectual concept; hope is a power that enables men and women to respond to the call of God. In spite of tremendous failure hope gives the assurance of God’s forgiveness as a response to those whose hearts have responded to the call of God. It is inconsequential how deep and how complete the apostasy, how indoctrinated the people of God have become by a dead religion, how infiltrated by the world the church has become; the message of the hour is THERE IS HOPE. The “strange wives”* spoken of here speak spiritually of God’s people embracing worldly ways, of deep affections with the world and the things of the world around them, and covenants of compromise personally and corporately. In response to the prophetic word of God we see the sons of Elam responding BECAUSE there was a hope ministered into their hearts! These men RESPONDED…

Now therefore
let us make a covenant with our God
to put away all the wives,
and such as are born of them,
according to the counsel of my lord,
and of those that tremble
at the commandment of our God;
and let it be done…”
EZRA 10:3

True repentance is fueled by a living hope in the God of mercy and truth. Shechaniah responds “yet NOW THERE IS HOPE”! There is hope in spite of what we see. There is hope that pulsates within the darkness and confines of a religious system that functions like any other worldly corporation. There is hope even as in Jesus’ day of the money changers being expelled from the very temple of God. There is hope against the religious pride of men who have taken the ministrations of God and made them positions of a hierarchy. There is hope for the people of God for whom words like “victory” and “overcoming” have been replaced by a gospel that tells them this is as good as it gets. There is hope for the church that has been divided by the strivings of men to propagate their own “church” and “ministry” over that of another. There is hope that the LOVE of God can invade our carnal hearts to such an overwhelming extent that even the world will have to declare this love is beyond all human origin.

Let us embrace the power of this HOPE calling us to respond to HIM regardless of the failures and hopelessness of our situations. Let those who have been defeated, backslidden, and faithless hear the call of HOPE arising in their hearts and join themselves to others who by faith are arising in this hour; for such is the response of Shechaniah…

Arise;
for this matter belongeth unto thee:
we also will be with thee:
be of good courage, and do it.
Then arose Ezra,
and made the chief priests,
the Levites, and all Israel,
to swear that they should do
according to this word”
EZRA 10:4-5

Ω

Hope is the anchor
That holds us in our plight
Hope is the womb
That births fresh life
Hope is the beacon
That shines in the darkest night!

*NOTE: Articles on this to follow

Brian Troxel

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PROPHETIC PURPOSE

PART ONE

“And he repaired the altar of the LORD
that was broken down”
(1KINGS 18:30)

God’s purpose in raising up prophets is to restore the power and wonder of true worship. Worship is central to the purpose of God in every generation. How little we realize the power that is transmitted through true worship to the people of God. It is the fundamental desire of God to find such worshippers of Him…

“But the hour cometh, and now is,
when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship
him in spirit and in truth”
JOHN 4:23-24

Through apathy and apostasy the altar of God becomes broken down as men neglect their spiritual responsibilities. The imposition of worldly ways, entertainment, programs, professional and orchestrated performances crowd out the true worship of God. The fire goes out and the glory of God fades from the hearts and minds of men. The true worship that comes from broken and contrite hearts is replaced with human confidence in talents and professionalism leaving a powerless and worldly church in its wake. It is at such a time as this that we see God raising up expressions of ministry that are gripped by the tepid and impotent condition of HIS Church. They confront the exaltation of men and their ways, the religion of convenience and the sheer horror of men claiming ownership over the things of God; they declare “my people, my church, and my ministry” while the true altar of God is broken down and neglected. It is a day of confrontation as the fire of God burns within the hearts of those who are concerned for HIS Glory and His Ways. The prophets of Baal are always more numerous and conspicuous. They love the attention and the adulation of the people of God. In due time God answers by fire and the trite and worldly ways of men are left to the JUDGEMENTS of God and once again the fickle hearts of men are drawn back to the TRUE ALTAR.

There is but ONE ALTAR and it is only there that men conduct business with God. It is there that men offer themselves unto God and His purposes. It is there that men begin to see and understand the depth of the Sacrifice of the Son on their behalf and touch the awesome HOLINESS of God in spirit and in truth. In the light of such things men and women are transformed, hearts are ignited and God’s Glory is seen. From this arises a new generation of living sacrifices that have cast away the pursuits of self realization and self love to become flaming torches filled with a passion to see HIS NAME Glorified! This day is about to dawn and the PURE and HOLY Bride will arise out of the ashes of men’s ways, men’s religious systems and teachings. The day is upon us!

The Prophetic Purpose is to restore to HIS CHURCH the true Worship of God, to see the people of God once again declare “THE LORD HE IS GOD” and to restore THE CHURCH to the place where God has preeminence in our midst.

The call of God goes forth in this hour to empower those who will hear and arise with the very fire of God burning in their hearts.

“…therefore gird up thy loins, and arise,
and speak unto them all that I command thee:
be not dismayed at their faces,
lest I confound thee before them.
  For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,
and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land,
against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof,
against the priests thereof,
and against the people of the land”
JEREMIAH 1:17

Brian Troxel

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HOLY WORDS
HOLY LIVES

“Now when they heard this,
they were cut to the heart…”
ACTS 2:37

True and anointed Words of the Holy Spirit convict and bring men to places of decision and repentance. They are Words that are living, powerful, penetrating and convicting. They are words of truth that reveal all that is untruthful; words that bring men and women to places of CHANGE. Faith without works is dead and so is repentance without change. John the Baptist declared in his day…

“Therefore bear fruit in keeping*
(Grk congruous or of equal weight)
with repentance”
MATTHEW 3:8

The depth of our repentance is revealed by the depth of change wrought within our lives. Where there is little change there is little power in the words spoken. How accustomed we have become to powerless sermons and teachings that bring information without change. Every Sunday, all across our land, sermons are given and songs are sung in our many gatherings yet we see so little in terms of CHANGE in the lives of those that hear. If there is no conviction there is no repentance and if there is no repentance there is no change.

The disciples of Christ were of the common sort. They were fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots and such. They faltered, misinterpreted him, misunderstood him, and had very little inkling of the call that was upon them. However, after three and one half years of being with HIM, walking with HIM and waiting and seeking the promise of the comforter, on the day of Pentecost they became flaming ministrations of the HOLY SPIRIT! Let us consider the contrast of what we see in our land today.

Where are those words of life that bring conviction and change? Where are the hearts of those who would dare seek to represent HIS TRUTH in this hour? Where are the sermons that cut men to the very core of who they are? Where are those who cannot continue with a religion that has no power or reality?

We are more concerned with sympathy than conviction. We surround ourselves with those who make us feel good about ourselves. We associate with those who will not and cannot challenge us beyond the depth of our present walk. The unsaved and unbelieving are comfortable in our midst and can sit in our meetings without the slightest concern over their condition. Why and how can this be?

We speak of witnessing rather than being witnesses. We speak of truth as something that can be held in our intellect rather than being a power that produces change within ourselves and in the lives of those around us. We cannot compromise with sin in our own lives and expect to have a word that will convict others. If that Word of Life does not produce change within us, how can we give to others what we have not experienced ourselves? It is a day to consider our ways; a day to objectively consider what we have wrought in this life. Have we impacted the lives of others in terms of righteousness and truth and pointed them unto HIM who can transform into vessels of righteousness and glory?

Holy words proceed from Holy Lives

Ω

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD”
LAMENTATIONS 3:40

Brian Troxel

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ARISE & RETURN

“I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar,
and where thou vowedst a vow unto me:
now arise, get thee out from this land,
and return unto the land of thy kindred!”
GENESIS 31:13

In our journey with God there are times that we need His mercy to intervene and bring us back to that place of remembrance, back to the place of our vows of abandonment to Him and Him alone. Life takes its toll upon us. We get caught up in the things of this world, we take our eyes off Him and we discover ourselves living and thinking as the world. We find ourselves lost in the temporal issues of life and our perspective becomes skewed. We lose sight of the glorious “prize” of the high call of God in Christ Jesus. It is in these moments that HE brings us back to the place of our vow where we first made a transaction with Him that we might once again become focused on the things that matter. We remember His mighty deliverance and the great kindness HE showed unto us when we least expected it or deserved it. He brings us back to the place where our love for Him was fresh and our eyes were single. He causes us to know that those words spoken in love and sincerity were important to Him and that He has now come to remind us of His favor and His faithfulness to “keep that which we have committed to Him…” How good our God is. How wonderful and merciful are His ways.

“…now ARISE,
get thee out from this land,
and RETURN…”
GENESIS 31:13

We hear the command of God to ARISE for the place where we are is below the place that He has called us to. It takes an ARISING out of the stupor and the complacency in which we find ourselves; out of the wanderings and circular paths of the world to once again walk in the “narrow” ways of the Kingdom, through the “straight gate” that leads us unto LIFE, LIBERTY and the JOY of the LORD! It takes an ARISING out of the mindset that has caused our eyes to slowly fall from being focused upon Him to the things that be of this world. It takes an ARISING to break the habits and the chains of a faithless walk to once again see and live in the atmosphere of a living powerful FAITH; a FAITH that brings purpose and intensity of quest back into the heart of HIS own that we may run with great strength and determination. A FAITH that presses us on to a new intensity of knowing and pleasing Him more than we do now. A FAITH that sees afresh the real and eternal issues of Life that stands before us.

“In returning and rest shall ye be saved…”
ISAIAH 30:15

It is in our returning that we find a renewed sense of His Presence and His Blessing in our lives. Returning requires obedience and response to His Living Word. The response is the means by which we ARISE out of our present circumstance. Faith always requires obedience and action. It is the Word producing within us the ACTION required for its own fulfillment. It is by us staying current with our God that we remain under the shadow of His Wings. For HIS WAY is never static, it is never stale and it will never leave us “barren nor unfruitful” in the things of our God!

“They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine:
the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon”
HOSEA 14:7

May we ever stay current with our God! May HE ever be to us our “present help” in times of trouble. May He ever keep us in the “present truth” of His purposes concerning this Day!

Brian Troxel

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APOSTASY
And
THE SPIRIT OF GRACE

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away (ἀποστασια) first,
and that man of sin be revealed”
II THESSALONIANS 2:2

Apostasy. What does it mean and what does it look like? The Greek word used here for “a falling away” is ἀποστασια, a female derivative of the Greek Word ἀποστασιον that is translated “DIVORCE” in the New Testament (see Strong’s Concordance #646 and #647). Divorce is the result of a relationship where, over a period of time, the love has died. So it is with the word APOSTASY: it is the result of a love for God that has grown cold over time. The decay is so subtle and deceptive that the heart can scarcely discern it. The reason love grows cold in this day of obscurity is that “iniquity abounds” (lawlessness) within the house hold of faith; the wages of SIN are no longer to be feared, morals are loose and boundaries become less and less sure. The preaching from the pulpit is intended to create a “seeker friendly” atmosphere. The LIVING WORD of God is no longer offensive to the proud, the arrogant, and the haughty. We are told that God is LOVE therefore HE could not possibly be angry with SIN and the suffering it causes. We are presented with a meek and gentle Jesus that we cannot seem to reconcile with the ONE who cleansed the Temple, or with the New Testament judgement that fell on Ananias and Sapphira. We tend to pass over literally hundreds of warnings given to us in the New and Old Testament from a God who HATES SIN and JUDGES INIQUITY. As a result Grace has become cheap and meaningless in the ministration of the Gospel. It is God’s estimation of SIN that gives GRACE value and import. Amazing Grace is really only known by those who have truly known within their hearts the touch and the taste of the FEAR of the LORD! (A grace that saved me from a hell- bent life style is the only reason I am here. There was and is nothing good within me yet while I was in that hellish state, so lost and so ignorant, HE CAME. That is GRACE!) We do God a tremendous disservice when we appeal to men with human reason and carnal salesmanship rather than ministering in the power and the unction of the Holy Ghost! Men like John the Baptist would be disallowed in our church services as we would consider him uncouth and reckless. Men like Jeremiah and Isaiah would be far too fanatical for our polished presentation of the Gospel. Elijah would be too far out there for the comfortable environment we have produced.

It is for this very reason that we have fallen under the spell of APOSTASY AND LOOSE LIVING! Men and women see nothing strange about sitting in a pew or a living room couch for years with little or no expression of WHO GOD IS IN THEIR LIFE! Unaware of an eternal calling to be living ministrations of power and light! Unaware that they are called FOR A PURPOSE; not to give 10% of their earnings into an offering plate but to give 100% of their lives unto the King of Kings! How can we not look at what we call “church” and wonder at the incredible contradiction between what we see today and what we see in the New Testament? Where are those who can no longer be anaesthetized by the doctrinal statements, church programs and deep sounding teachings that have rendered the people of God harmless and impotent in a world racing towards judgement? Where are the cries that are birthed out of an inconsolable grief over the lack of HIS PRESENCE AND HIS POWER IN OUR MIDST? Where are those who are grieved by the insensitivity of how we treat one another, how we act in business, in our work and in our homes in terms of walking in such a way that men would ask “what is the hope” that lies within us? Our preaching first and foremost is to be with our lives and how we conduct ourselves, by how we treat our wives or how we treat our husbands? Where are those who would sound the alarm over a divorce rate that is OVER SIXTY PERCENT? Where are the preachers in the pulpit that rise up to the challenge of divorce and remarriage within the CHURCH? Where are those who will preach the Gospel even if it means that a large percentage of the pews will be empty the next week? Where are those who preach the truth because they desire to be found faithful unto HIM rather than to be considered a successful pastor due to the size of the congregation rather than the quality of the lives to whom they minister?

We are in the DAY of APOSTASY and men know it not for the most insidious result of sin and iniquity is that it numbs the hearts of those it holds. That is why leprosy is the figure of sin in the Old Testament. People with this disease lose their body parts one at a time because they no longer have the ability to feel pain.

We are in the DAY of the falling away, when the hearts of men grow cold and indifferent, where religion replaces relationship, where traditions of men usurp obedience, and the Sunday meeting goes on whether God shows up or not. Do we not read the “love of MANY shall grow cold”, that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it” and again “MANY shall say in that day LORD, LORD… And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”? Do we not read these things and tremble? Can we not give ear to the voice of God in this hour? Let us see and feel the weight of all that is transpiring around us and began to cry out to God to move afresh in HIS CHURCH.

The DAY of the Lord is at hand for the APOSTASY is growing like a cancer and men see it not just as in the days of Noah when the “flood came and took them all away”! Read carefully and you will see that it was not Noah who was taken away. It was those “who knew not”; those that lived in carelessness and were too caught up in the world to notice that the DAY of Judgement was upon them. Jesus said the Day of His return would be as it was in the days of Noah…

The Day of the Lord is at hand for we also read that Jesus said that the Day of the Lord would be as it was in the days of LOT when promiscuity and sexual perversion filled the land. Do we not see this same thing and how it has flooded the Church in our day? Where are those who will cry out unto God for HIM to pour out the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATION” that will bring the people of God to mourning, confession and repentance?

“And I will pour upon the house of David,
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
In that day shall there be a great mourning…”
ZACHARIAH 12:10 – 14

This mourning is the RESULT of the spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS being poured out on the people of God! Grace to return us to a people of a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a life that once again trembles and honours God’s Word! In the pouring out of such grace upon us and the resulting response from our hearts we read of God’s response…

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness”
ZACHARIAH 13:1

Even so Lord pour out upon us the “spirit of GRACE and SUPPLICATIONS” that we may be turned from our carnality and carelessness. Turn us again unto the right way, the way of repentance and restoration. May we as the prodigal son return broken and contrite from the folly of our worldly ways, where we have secularized your people, we have called ourselves by other names, we have met in the name of an organization, a teacher and a movement rather than simply coming together unto THEE. We have separated ourselves from the “lesser” brethren. We have elevated ourselves against those who are blood washed in the same blood that has purchased us, and in so doing we have separated ourselves from you. Bring us again to the common faith; to the discerning of the Body of Christ. Cause us to hate the sin in our hearts more than the inconsistencies in our brothers and sisters. Work in us to will and to DO of your good pleasure. Unite those who are yours that we may once again meet in the power of your Name and the Glory of your Presence.

EVEN SO LORD COME!

Brian Troxel

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THE CONTRAST

“And the word of God increased;
and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly;
and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”
ACTS 6:7

This is a verse filled with things that relate only to the Kingdom of God. Three things are worthy of note here.

1. The Word of God increased (spread out, in influence and effect)
2. The Number of Disciples Multiplied Greatly
3. A Great company were Obedient to THE FAITH

This is in stark CONTRAST to what we see in our land today. The Word of God was spreading among the people like wild fire. The number of Disciples (not children of God, not attendees, not pew sitters but true DISCIPLES) multiplied GREATLY! Disciples in those days were ones who heard the call to “pick up their cross and follow” HIM. The command of Jesus was and is to go and MAKE DISCIPLES, not converts. The message is called the Gospel of the KINGDOM and it can only be ministered in the FAITH of those who have been disciplined, broken and energized by the Life of the SON. We also read here of an OBEDIENCE to the FAITH which is not an adherence to someone’s teaching, ‘statement of faith”, or doctrine of belief. This is THE FAITH that first and foremost must be obeyed within the lives of those who hold it. Any faith that does not require obedience, cross bearing and a laying down of our rights, is powerless, futile and impotent. It is because of this that we see so little of the Word of God spreading throughout our communities, our homes, and our country. FAITH without works IS DEAD.

A FAITH that costs nothing is worth nothing!

Where is that Word that is effecting change, bringing deliverance and radically transforming the lives of those who are gripped with the wonder of HIS LIFE? Let us not settle for the status quo with little change, no repentance, carnal strife and division, speaking and doing of evil to one another, and a lack of care and concern over the spiritual condition of our brothers and sisters. We should be grieved over the CONTRAST between what is today and what was in that day when the HOLY SPIRIT was present moving, birthing, and holding all things together in the bonds of HIS peace and brotherly love. It is time to turn from the ways and methods of men that have a semblance of order but are utterly devoid of the manifestations of HIS LIFE and GLORY. The church often acts much like Gideon threshing a little bit of wheat hoping that no one comes along and takes his little harvest. We see churches in the land doing everything in THEIR POWER to keep the membership steady, to hold on to the few that remain. Rather we should be breaking forth in the power and glory of HIS MIGHT, that the rulers of this world will take note that we not only HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS, but that WE ARE HIS BODY. This is not some idealistic concept; it is what JESUS PRAYED FOR. Who cannot believe that what HE prayed for MUST come to pass? Faith is the power that puts motion and fire within our hearts to see this become the reality in the earth.

THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS (to the same degree) IT IS IN HEAVEN!

“The true follower of Christ will not ask,
“If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?”
Rather he will say,
“This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!”
A. W. Tozer

Brian Troxel

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