The Great Call – Part Three

The Great Call

Part Three

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

The Great Call of God to each of His Own is to remain in the power of HIS Love. It is a life-long call. It is a call that causes us to forsake anything that weakens His influence and power over our hearts. We, of our own volition, order our steps, make decisions, and choose our friends to facilitate His Kingdom within our lives. Everything is subservient to this one thing. The Book of Jude is a short, but fiery admonition to the growing pollution of a pervading influence of the world within the Church. There was an increasing tolerance of sin resulting in apathy and lethargy. The love of many was becoming cold*. We read his passionate exhortation to contend for THE FAITH; to fight the ethos of moral decay by which His people flagrantly used the concept of the grace of God to continue in sin, rather than understanding grace as the power of God to deliver them from their sin.

“I had necessity to write to you, exhorting [you] to fight for the faith once delivered to the holy ones…”
Jude 1:3

WHY?

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Jude 1:4

What is the great sin? It is a gospel which “perverts the grace of our God” to tolerate sin, sympathize with sin, thereby denying Him of His lordship in our lives. This perversion brings the grace of God into the realm of the senses. Where human sympathy subverts God’s Word, it twists and perverts His purpose into a demonic understanding as first evident in the Garden of Eden. The serpent beguiled Eve with this reasoning: “you shall not die”. In other words, do not fear God. Surely, He will not judge you for this act. We see this same “human” sympathy at work in Peter when he wanted to prevent Jesus from fulfilling Calvary’s call. Jesus rebuked him:

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”!
Matthew 16:22-23

One thing is certain. There can be no true fellowship with those who esteem sin lightly. To walk in the Light of Christ is to hate sin and love righteousness. They who walk in this light know the power of true fellowship (1 John 1:6-7). Jude continues:

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.”
Jude 1:5

The people in Jude’s day knew this truth. The Apostolic ministrations made known the vital truth that we must “continue” in His Love. We must fight the fight of faith to remain under the power of His Grace that we are not “shipwrecked” as Paul spoke of those who started out well but failed to “continue” in the faith.

“Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck
1 Timothy 1:19

And again in Jude:

“Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.”
Jude 1:11-13

People who live without a healthy “fear of the Lord” are those who have fallen to this perverted grace. The fear of the Lord is simply an attitude of heart that knows its utter need and dependence to abide in Him to live godly in this world. There is an understanding that allowing sinful thoughts to invade our hearts will lessen the influence of His Spirit and leave us vulnerable and captive to sin’s destructive ways.

“continue ye in MY love”

Our only hope of remaining true in this hour is to abide in Christ. If I lightly esteem His salvation, I will walk in this deadly world without His keeping power. Inevitably I will succumb to a worldly life while still confessing His Name. I will walk “sensually”, meaning subject to the senses and reasoning of this world, sympathizing with sin, feeling little or no remorse for my sinful inclinations. The deadliest aspect of sin is that it numbs us to its own devastating power. Only in Christ do we value exhortation, rebuke, and admonition. The natural man avoids these things, for the natural man cannot receive spiritual ministrations (1 Corinthians 2:14). The “fruit” of the perverted gospel of grace is people who only want to hear “smooth things” (Isaiah 30:10), pleasant things, with no desire for the two-edged sword of the living word of God (Hebrews 4:12).

Jude ends his fiery ministration with a plea to all who would hear:

“Keep yourselves in the love of God”
Jude 1:20-21

Keep yourselves under the influence of His grace. Keep yourselves in the fervency of His love. Fellowship with those who have not succumbed to the ethos of a gospel that alleviates His people from their responsibility to walk with God and abide in Him. Keep yourselves from living without fruit or purpose. The comfort of this human-centered gospel message is designed to assuage the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

“Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof: from such turn away
2 Timothy 3:5

In the Book of Revelation Jesus says to His Church at Ephesus:

“But I have this against you,
that you have abandoned the love you had at first”
Revelation 2:4

What was God’s remedy?

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
repent, and do the works you did at first…”
Revelation 2:5

In God’s eyes, to live outside of this “pre-eminent love” (Greek), is a fallen state which requires repentance and a returning to what they did when they first started. The KJV uses the phrase “first love” in verse 4 and in verse 5 it uses the phrase “first works”. It takes the “first love” in order to DO the “first works”. It is impossible to hold the love of God in our hearts and be without the works of God. Utterly impossible. The branch which abides in the Vine “bears much fruit”.

May the magnificent words of Jesus resound within our hearts:

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

See: The Great Call
See: The Great Call – Part Two
See: The Great Call – Part Four

* Note: Jesus spoke concerning the “beginning of sorrows” that during this time there would be people with cold hearts because iniquity would be rampant. He is not speaking of the world for they have not been given the love of which Jesus spoke.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

For iniquity to abound requires a gospel in which iniquity, sin, and loose living are tolerated.

Brian Troxel

The Holy Fire Of God

The Holy Fire Of God

 

“Ye shall kindle no fire
throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day”
Exodus 35:3

Nadab and Abihu kindled their own fire; they knew not the difference between the Holy Fire of God and the religious fire of men. The fire of God falls upon those who are aware of their dependence upon His presence. The flame of God is His to give, and ours to maintain (Jude 1:20-21). In the days of Eli the priest, when Israel had fallen into great apostasy, we read in the scriptures the following description of the times:

“…the word of the Lord was precious in those days;
there was no open vision”
1 Samuel 3:1

The Hebrew word translated “open” literally means breaking forth; there was no vision bursting forth in Israel. The Word of the Lord was rare. The Priesthood were doing their religious routine, they were reading the prescribed scriptures as per the Law, but it was NOT the Word of the Lord. Where the living Word of God is scarce, there will be no vision bursting forth upon the people of God. The people of God were not being gripped with God’s purpose for their day. It was because of this apathy wherein the Lamp of God goes out! We see that the Word of the Lord to the Ephesian Church was that if they did not repent of their apathy God would remove His Lamp from their midst (Revelation 2:5).

“And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord”
1 Samuel 3:2-3

The mundane and unremarkable lives of His own, and the tepid hearts of many ministers, culminated in the Lamp of God going out in His house! It was The Lamp that burned with the Holy Fire of God having been kept for over 450 years by the Priests of the Lord; yet in Eli’s day it went out! It was a fire which could not be rekindled. It could not be manufactured by the will and energies of religion. As with Elijah, this fire only falls when God bears witness to any who are living and walking rightly before Him.

The Fire of God fell when the Tabernacle had been completed to God’s specifications. It fell when the singers and dancers were of ONE voice in Solomon’s day. It fell when Elijah had completed his obedience to the Word of the Lord in His day. It fell upon the people of God as they met in “one accord” in the Book of Acts. Throughout the history of the Church His fire has fallen when she could no longer tolerate the feeble fires of man’s making and the carnal aspirations of men seeking their own glory. In such times there was a cry from the people unto God to visit them afresh with His eternal fire.

During Eli’s time, when the lamp of God went out in His House, God simply deposited that fire within a man (for God’s fire will never leave the earth); a man who would declare to the House of Israel their waywardness and compromise, and would speak to the priesthood of that Day of their end and of a new beginning. The very night the Fire of God went out in the Tabernacle was the same night that God began to raise up a prophet to speak His Words and to usher in the dynamic change to God’s backslidden priesthood. Later he ushered in the Kingdom of David and pronounced an end to Saul’s reign.

Change is coming. His Fire is already beginning to fall upon those who can feel in their hearts the Day of change which is even now upon us. The change is of such magnitude that the only way to rightly describe it is: Resurrection Life. A life which will end the apathetic offerings of a blind and self-anointed priesthood. A fresh move that will see the Fire of God breathed into the life of every one of His own. A priesthood who will truly rejoice in the people of God overtaking them in their walk and relationship with the Lord. A priesthood who will consider it their own failure that it be not so. A priesthood who will rejoice as John the Baptist rejoiced to have his disciples forsake him to walk with Jesus. May our hearts be such and may the Glory of God arise that His Name will once again be declared from purified vessels who live only to bring honour to His name, and His name only!

“Let God Arise!”

Whenever God’s people touched the unity of His Spirit His Fire fell and the world knew that God was alive in the earth.

May the Lamp of the Lord burn with unquenchable intensity and may it purify our hearts unto the Love of Him and His people.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

A people who obey not the truth
are incapable of the true love of Christ
for HIS Body

Σ

“It is an empty altar which receives no fire”
Frank Bartleman

Brian Troxel