Under the Shadow

Under the Shadow

 

“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”
Psalm 66:10-12

For the true child of God there is no darkness through which He does not intend to bring us to greater light. There is no trial so great that the Great Shepherd does not watch over the soul of His Own. There is no sorrow and no separation so great that it cannot be compensated with Himself. Let us face this coming year with an understanding that His sovereign Wisdom is at work for our eternal benefit.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion”
Psalm 84:5-7

It is needful that we prepare our hearts for the things which lie ahead. Things are changing quickly as God is allowing a time of suffering and counting the cost. A cost-less gospel is about to become a precious Gospel. Religious liberties as we have known them will give way to intimidation, prison and even death. Yet in the midst of all this a new-found liberty will be born in those who have followed Him with a full heart; it is called the liberty of the Spirit. It is the same liberty that Paul had in prison, the same liberty the disciples had in the Macedonian prison to sing and worship God, the same liberty of Peter and other disciples who rejoiced in being found worthy to suffer for His Name. A new day is dawning upon the North American Church; which for the most part it is still fighting for a way of life that has failed to produce an overcoming church. God in His wisdom will bring a purging of the filth and the infiltration of the world from His House. Just as Jesus with great vehemence drove the money changers out of the Temple in His Day, He will once again purge the haughtiness from His House of whom we are. The divisions, the strife, the competition and the contagion of pride gives testimony that the liberty we have enjoyed thus far has not furthered His Glory in our midst.

Let us receive from Him this chastening that in the purging of all worldly contaminants He may reveal to the world a broken, pure and holy people. May we turn to Him in the secret places of our hearts with repentance and sorrow knowing that from such God will not turn away.

God’s Word to the Church OF the Laodiceans…

“As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent
Revelation 3:19

This is the Word of the Lord to His Church. It has grown lukewarm, its pursuits are worldly, it is rich in the things of the world, and there is no end of teachings, sermons and programs. It is not the content which is lacking; it is the spirit in which it hears the things of God. Works without faith and Faith without works are the hallmarks of a lukewarm and lethargic people. Let us prepare ourselves for His coming; a coming which is contrary to many of the teachings of our Day!

“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap…”
Malachi 3:2

He is coming to cleanse and purify His Church, to purify His people that He may receive unto Himself a worthy Bride – pure and spotless free from the corruption of the world and fully alive unto Him.

Peter declared emphatically:

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17

Before God judges the world, He must first cleanse and purify His house. It is to this end that HE IS COMING TO NORTH AMERICA!

He cares much more about the issues of our hearts than He does about our lifestyle and “freedom”. A Bondman in the Lord is freer than the richest man in the world. The true servant of the Lord is Free regardless of his circumstances and manner of living. There is only ONE place to hide in the storm which is about to break – His Name is Jesus!

“He that dwelleth
in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
Psalm 91:1

While many quote this scripture, we must comprehend what it is saying. The place of safety is where the “shadow of the Almighty” falls. It falls upon those who abide in the “secret place” of Christ Himself.

John declares how we can know that we are abiding in that “secret place”:

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

Do we keep His commandments? Do we walk unstained from this world? Do we love our brothers and sisters deeply and freely? Do we seek forgiveness from others, and in turn forgive others freely? Are we in truth “living epistles, known and read by all men”? Do we live our faith and is our life consistent with the words we speak?

The Spirit of God tells us emphatically that the evidence that He abides in us is the Divine enablement to Do His Commandments!

Let these words penetrate our hearts: “Hereby we know that HE abides in us”!! How? We honor, keep and do His Will! We deceive ourselves if we walk in disobedience to His Word yet comfort ourselves with His Word.

This is a time to reconsider our “location” in Him. Do not let tomorrow pass without considering the verity of your life in Him and His Life in YOU. Those who have the Son living and dwelling within declare the truth of it by their walk.

I share these things because of my own need for fellowship which challenges, confirms and stirs my heart to love and follow Him more deeply. We are here corporately to “present every man perfect in Christ”.

“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus
Colossians 1:28

Let us in godly fear turn again to Him who alone can be our hiding place in the storm which is about to break!

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

His Second Coming
Characterized to this Generation

“And it shall be in that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men being settled on their lees; who say in their heart, Jehovah will not do good, nor will He do evil. And their goods shall become a prize, and their houses a waste. They shall also build houses, but not live there. And they shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine. The great day of Jehovah is near; it is near and rushing greatly, the sound of the day of Jehovah. The mighty man shall cry out bitterly there. That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and pressure, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the ram’s horn and alarm against the fortified cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress to men, and they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against Jehovah. And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh like dung. Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Jehovah. But all the earth shall be consumed by the fire of His jealousy. For He shall make a complete, yea, a speedy end of all those living in the land”

Zephaniah 1:12-18

God is searching the hearts of who lay claim to His Name in this hour. He who spared eight people in the days of Noah is no respecter of persons. He is Holy and He is coming back for* something not just to something. He is coming back for a Bride who has made herself ready because of the expectation and hope in her heart. Her love is genuine and intense; she honors His word because she honors Him. At the end of the Book of Revelation she is saying the same thing as the Holy Spirit for she has become One with Him.

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

Throughout the scriptures we are exhorted to search our own hearts, to take account of our lives unto Him and to evaluate the state of our hearts in relationship to our keeping His Word.

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

“Examine yourselves,
to see whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

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

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*Noteτηρέω (tēreō) “Figuratively, to obey, observe, keep, fulfill a duty, precept, law, custom, or custom meaning to perform watchfully, vigilantly, with the acc. (Mat 19:17; Joh 14:15, Joh 14:21; Joh 15:10; 1Ti 6:14; 1Jn 2:3-4; 1Jn 3:22, 1Jn 3:24; 1Jn 5:2-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 14:12)…”
Dr. Spiros Zodhiates

*Note: God’s return is predicated upon His purposes in the Church and He is coming back FOR a Bride who has made herself ready, He is returning for the “precious fruit” of the earth and has long patience for its harvest. For a glimpse of this magnificent truth please read His Appearing

Brian Troxel

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know

“Be Still and Know…”
Psalm 46:10

There is a stillness required for the true knowledge of God to descend as the dew upon the soul. This knowledge of Him transcends words and religious definitions. It is simply the supremacy of His presence communicating to us the truth of His Holiness and His Power; a touching of the Divine. It is an active stillness as the voices and the clamoring of the demands of the world and the burdens of our own afflictions are silenced and we are overwhelmed by His greatness. The wonder of His Presence quiets the soul and we feel the mastery of His peace.

The call to the Stillness of God is a call to surrender, to new places of the offering of ourselves unto Him. It is from this Stillness that we get the impetus to be active in the work and purposes of the Lord. The faith imparted through our communion with Him, creates a new fervency to declare His glory to the world around us. Faith is the womb of His Works; living faith inspired by the hearing of Him within the confines of our own hearts.

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God
Romans 10:17

There can be no valid doing without true hearing. Where there is no doing it is because there is no hearing. It is in our coming to Him where we hear the Glory of God calling us and sending us to do the works of Him in the earth.

Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Exodus 3:10

The sending forth of an individual into the purposes of God will always be to the one who has first answered the call to come to Him. Many may busy themselves with outward things, many may claim to hear Him, but the verity of a life sent forth is revealed in those who are ever engaged in the heart and the spirit of He who fully pleased and satisfied His (our) heavenly Father.

“I must work the works of Him that sent me…”
John 9:4

Faith instilled in the quiet of relationship will never be idle in its impact upon the lives of others.

“Draw ME and WE will run after Thee”
Song of songs 1:4

Why?

“the king hath brought me into his chambers”
Song of songs 1:4

Σ

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will,
let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:17

Brian Troxel

His Appearing

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 worthyEndeavoring 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

Brian Troxel