The Living

The Living

“For we which live
are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake…”
2 Corinthians 4:10

There are scriptures that are particularly impregnated with power and the sharpness of the “sword of the Spirit”. They are cutting, filled with the wonder of God’s thoughts concerning the life we live and the choices we make. The early church had a different set of values than we do now. Paul’s definition of those who are alive in Christ is drastically different than the general message we hear today in the church in our land.

“For we who are living” – those who are alive in Christ are “always” delivered unto death. His Will is being worked out in their lives through the choices made and the obedience expressed. Paul concludes this scripture with the promise of LIFE to those who walk in true discipleship:

“…that the life of Jesus
may also be revealed in our dying flesh”
2 Corinthians 4:10 (LSV)

In other words, those who are the “living” demonstrate by their walk a corresponding revelation of the LIFE of JESUS! Much of what we define today as being “alive” in Jesus would fall short in God’s estimation.

God’s Word to the Church at Sardis:

“These things says He who is having the Seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I have known your works, and that you have the name that you live, and you are dead…”
Revelation 3:1

The early church considered those who were “alive” to be those whose faith was pressing them into a life of identification, causing them to know the truth and cost of discipleship. The Cross of Christ can never be carried doctrinally. We will never touch the pulse of His Life in our daily lives by glibly quoting scriptures. By its very nature, His Life in us must render an effect upon the lives of others.

“..that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our mortal flesh”
2 Corinthians 4:11 (KJV)

Our life is not to be evaluated by our confession; it is to be measured by the impact of Him on others through our frail and fragile earthen vessel. If He does not have His Way IN us, He will not have the means to impact the world THROUGH us.

Are we alive? Is the life of Jesus touching our families, our workplace, our brothers, and sisters in Christ? Do others see and feel Him radiating from our unpretentious life?

Paul prayed earnestly for Philemon:

“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual* by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Philemon 1:7 (* cause an effect)

Let this stir our hearts; “…that the communication of THY faith may become effectual”. In other words, may our faith influence others. A faith that is in word only, though true, will not impact the lives of those around us. An ineffectual life is a disobedient life. Faith, to be faith, must communicate JESUS. To whatever measure He is residing, to whatever degree His death is being worked in us through obedience, is the depth to which the power of His Life will be known. It is impossible to know the power of the Cross except through the medium of OBEDIENCE.

The Call in Christ to Discipleship

“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:10 (KJV)

See: Mediatative Moment

___________

Smooth words, elaborate teachings, overt signs, and wonders,
will never replace the power of a crucified life.

Brian Troxel

Rewards of Faith

Rewards of Faith

“Behold, thy salvation cometh;
behold, His reward is with Him…”
Isaiah 62:11

To the wise and faithful the promise of His coming is one of joy and expectation. Those laboring ones, faithfully sowing, praying, weeping, and burdened with a heavenly care and concern for others, can look expectantly unto Him who is their reward and salvation.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his Lord has set over His household, to give to them the food in season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord shall find so doing when He comes. Truly I say to you, He will set him over all His substance”
Matthew 24:45-47

The faithful and wise servants pour out themselves on the behalf of others that the Lord may receive the Glory due His Name. Blessed are those whom He finds “so doing”. The pure in heart have an intensity of spirit to proclaim His Name to all and to exhort all to obedience and submission. There is a fire that burns within for the truth, substance, and reality of His Call. Those with faithless works and dead confessions, with hearts unmoved and unchanged, talk all too freely about God but lack the burning love of God Himself. God has a word for such: Ichabod*! The Glory which once burned within is now a dead and lifeless thing; it has lost its first and foremost love and is content with the words of Him rather than the Life of Him.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”!
Revelation 3:1

Works are the criteria that God uses to assess the faith of His people in each and every Church in the Book of Revelation**! Works are the expression of a living vibrant faith, free from dead prayers, empty words, ingrown cliques, and stagnant lives. Faith which costs nothing is worth nothing. Those who make a difference in the lives of others, who feel within their hearts the ONE Spirit of God and the ONE-NESS to which we have been called; speak out against the lethargy of our day.

Let us lift our voices and cry out to those whose hearts have grown cold and withered, and are lost within the futility of mere religion. Do we not hear the words of Christ unto us? This is the Day of sowing and of harvest, it is not a Day to slumber nor a time for faithless inactivity! It is a Day to “Lift up our eyes” to see with the eyes of faith the opportunities before us.

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together”
John 4:35-36

<§>

So many Christians in these times are debating with one another about masks, vaccinations, and government restrictions. Let us keep our eyes in the right place. Jesus’ words to us are, “I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, for the fields are white unto harvest”. How far have we fallen from the simplicity of the Call of Christ? The unfruitful discussions of procedures and politics, and the scepter of fear which has fallen upon the Church, are appalling and are an exposure of our true condition.

Let us consider our ways that we may bring the message of Christ to a world consumed with the same fear which seeks to rob us of the power of His faith and love in us. Let HIS CHURCH ARISE from fear and begin to believe afresh that all these things are for the furtherance of the Gospel.

How sovereign is our God! The truth of His Sovereign power in you is revealed by your faith in Him and the works it produces. Let His Faith be the measure by which you walk.

“He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.”
Proverbs 10:5

See: Present Truth Part Six

<NOTES>

*Ichabod – “And she named the child Ichabod, saying, the glory is departed from Israel…” 1 Samuel 4:21

** “I know thy works” see Revelation 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15.

Brian Troxel

The Life of Jesus – Part One

The Life of Jesus – Part One

“…for I DO always those things that please him”
John 8:29

Jesus came with one purpose and that was to fully live His Life in the Will of His Father. He fulfilled the scriptures, but the scriptures He fulfilled were the result of His doing the Will of the Father. His heart was pure and His Life simple. The complexity, compromise, evil and self-promoting ways of the religious of His day had no effect upon His walk. He stood like a beacon in the darkness of the utter depravity of the world around Him. His eyes were clear. His step remained strong and in the midst of the rage of the religious and political voices of the day, He stood true to the Father.

It is a natural tendency of men to take hold of God’s Word and twist its rich and full meaning into something carnal and self-serving. It has always been the history of men with God. That which is to be pure and holy quickly turns to something sensual (of the senses), perverted and earthly. It moves from pleasing God to pleasing men. It descends from denying self to serving self. In the bitter end the decree of Christ Himself falls with the weight of eternal judgment:

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”
Matthew 16:25

Jesus did not come to save Himself; He came to save others. He did not come to have men speak well of Him, He came to speak and DO truth. He overcame the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:11) to use His authority for self-serving purposes (changing the stones to bread). He overcame the temptation of using His power to impress the world around Him (throwing Himself off the Temple). He overcame the offering of Satan for domination. All three of these are temptations into which many of His people fall. Whenever His heart begins to take hold of a life there will be a growing attachment to the Will of God alone. The Cross of Christ can only be known through the agency of doing His Will. Without the workings of the Cross there can be no true life of pleasing the Father. The Life of Jesus was fully revealed in His doings. It is the religious who content themselves with believing. It is disciples who grow into “doing those things which please” the Father.

“…for I DO always those things that please him”

A life of pleasing the Father is found in the substance of DOING. It is not a mental exercise of believing; the true life of a disciple can only be expressed in the actual demonstration of faith.

“Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2
(Read the the whole context)

True faith is “seen” by Jesus in the works it produces.

In the Book of Revelation Jesus declared to each Church the pentetrating truth of His beholding our walk and our works …

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

The shining forth of the Life of Jesus in His earthly walk was one of “Doing” and that same wonder of His Life within us is to be revealed in like manner.

The Life of Jesus Series
(To be Continued)

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – CR Oliver

Quote for Today

Image 2018-05-23 at 11.39 PM

“Where are the churches where the river flows today? Where are the pastors who preach from the over flowing waters? Where are the prophets who have abandoned their plans and swim in the river? Congregations are not dying for the food of the word, as much as they suffer dehydration for the lack of the water of life!!!!”
CR Oliver

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead…”
– Revelations 3:1

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

Where there is no water there is no life.

 

Thought for Today – Charles H. Spurgeon

Thought for Today

Charles Spurgeon

“Love for God is obedience; love for God is holiness. To love God and to love man is to be conformed to the image of Christ, and this is salvation.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

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

Doing is the revelation of Being. Religion concerns itself with words and doctrines, while God is concerned with the deeds of our daily life.

God’s Word to the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation…

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

Brian Troxel

Wrestling

Wrestling

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood*,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

Wrestling is the reality of a life in Christ. The life of a healthy Christian is one of standing and contending for the faith. We must continually and intentionally withstand the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and the subtlety of compromise and collusion. Warfare is the natural response of those who are alive in Christ. Many who call themselves by His name have no sense of the nature and intensity of this warfare. Paul is speaking from his own experience. To be alive unto Christ is to be an antagonism to the world, principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. To claim to be alive and yet not engaged in this battle makes us dead to the reality of a life in the spirit.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”
Revelation 3:1

This is the Word of the Lord to His Church located in Sardis. How few realize the enormity of this Word. This is a church where His name is used freely and there is much activity with people who are eager to build up “their” church organization or fellowship. Wherever the motive is to be popular and relevant in the eyes of the world the preaching of righteousness is forsaken. This is the environment of a dead and impotent church; it has a reputation of being alive and “current” but it has ceased to contend for the faith. The “knowledge of the holy” is so lacking that people see no reason to wrestle with the unholy alliances of flesh, spiritual powers, spiritual wickedness and the resulting compromise. They have become insensitive to the contagion of the world and are unaware of what the “normal Christian Life” is. It is a situation that brings the very judgements of God! Consider the judgement pronounced on the Church at Sardis (unless they repented) and the greatness of His promise to those who overcome the apostasy and lethargy of their condition (Revelation 3:3-5).

A modern day “gospel” which declares that God loves His church and would never bring judgement upon His people is the LIE of the Devil himself. “You shall not die” were his words to Eve to deceive her into disobedience and judgment. Those who are ignorant of the warfare are unaware of the reality of walking in the Spirit. Deception is anything that keeps us from walking in the truth.

“The reason why men do not look to the Church today
is that she has destroyed her own influence
by compromise”
G. Campbell Morgan

Ω

“No one serving as a soldier
entangles himself in the affairs of this life,
that he might please the One having enlisted him”
2 Timothy 2:4

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

 

I Know Your Works

I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching, they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works that correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith, many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. James enjoins us…

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

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. The sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel