The Third Day

The Third Day

“On the third day,
they threw the ship’s tackle overboard
with their own hands”
Acts 27:19

There comes in everyone’s life moments where all hope appears lost. The valiant efforts to extricate ourselves from the situation have failed. The storms batter and assail our soul relentlessly. The dark grey clouds and angry wind hide God’s Face from us and we seem to be at the total mercy of the storm. The context to the above verse is:

“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days
and the great storm continued to batter us,
we abandoned all hope of being saved.”
Acts 27:20

It is here where we see the most seasoned of sailors cast all the tools of their own making overboard in resignation to the sea. When no other hope is left they are simply left clinging to the fragile ship itself. The relentless storm brought ALL who were on the ship to despair. The “we abandoned all hope of being saved” included saint and sinner. The storm came to all. We see in the world around us hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorists, fires, and a multitude of other disasters; God’s people are not spared these circumstances.

It is here that God appears. In these dire moments the word of God comes with assurance of hope and a way of escape.

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer”
Acts 27:22

Why could Paul say this?

“For there stood by me this night the angel of God,
whose I am, and whom I serve…”
Acts 27:23

God’s coming was to the man who had made God his God. God’s coming was to him who had long before committed the very keeping of his life to God. God’s own are never left to the fate of circumstances and it is in these moments that His Own are revealed. It is in our now that the transactions of our life in God are made. It is before the storm that we are to become His. In the desire and diligent pursuit of God in our daily walk the covenant of grace is realized.

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,
which shall come upon all the world,
to try them that dwell upon the earth”
Revelation 3:10

The Storm is coming to all
saint and sinner alike.

1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psalm 91:1-11

The keeping grace of God is unto those “who dwell in the secret place of the Most High”. God does not spare His Own from the storm; He keeps them IN it. Paul was kept through the storm for God had purposed that he testify before Caesar.

“For there stood by me this night the angel of God,
whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul;
thou must be brought before Cæsar…”
Acts 27:23-24

Later on Paul would be martyred in Rome. The same God who kept Paul in the storm also gave him grace to finish his course with the joy and certainty of all that awaited him.

The secret of Life is to discover grace in our present circumstances to bring us to the place where we can say in truth “I am His” and “whom I serve”. This is the confession of Paul prior to the great storm:

“But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus…”
Acts 20:24

Brian Troxel

The Consecrated Life and the Sanctified Ear – Part 4

Excerpt from coming Book

The Sanctified Ear and the Circumstances of Life

Part 4
“Elijah and the Fire…”

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave
1 Kings 19:11-13

“And after the earthquake a fire…” Elijah, in obedience to God’s word, stood upon the Mount of God and as God passed by he was subjected to various repercussions of God’s movings. Yet this man of God did not respond to any of them “for God was not in them”. We even see fire as a final test for Elijah. In the Spiritual world there are many kinds of fires, none without significance. The Word declares that our God is a consuming fire; this may be the most difficult of all the tests to pass but they that know their God are able to discern the flames of different fires. In the scriptures we read of Nadab and Abihu who offered “strange fire” unto the Lord and died as a consequence.

“And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord,
when they offered strange fire before the Lord”
Numbers 3:4

This was the offering of a priesthood which knew not the fire of God. They supposed that one fire was as good as the next. It is the same today. Men and women make offerings and engage in strange and unsanctified workings of the flesh and spirit unto God not knowing or considering the horror of such things. As in Elijah’s day, those who know their God will not respond to sensationalism. Many with no discernment in the religious world delight in the offerings of Cain (the work of their hands). Men and women seek to stir up the flesh in ardent activities and programs in an effort to show their fervor for God; but God is not in them. There is so much blindness and callousness in the “Christian” world that there is not even awareness that God will not accept Cain’s offering, or the “strange fire” of the “ministry” of Nadab and Abihu. God withholds His presence and His blessing. In this unbridled atmosphere men become more and more brazen in their attempts to draw people to “their” church or ministry. What many call the “liberty” of the spirit is really the chaos of the flesh and in the seeming silence of God (as in Israel of old) we see the catastrophic introduction of churches which are operated not by the Spirit but by the ways of the corporate world and the introduction of false worldly religions creeping into the very fabric of the Christian landscape. Yet those who will not partake of such things are considered to be legalistic and narrow-minded.

After Elijah stood firm in the midst of the wind, the shaking, and the fire, God spoke to Elijah in “a still small voice”. (In the Hebrew it is better translated “the voice of stillness”). It is to this voice that Elijah responds wrapped in the mantle of His calling. These are those today who know their God and His voice within their hearts. They have been steadfast through the tests of God and have proven themselves faithful unto Him in a day of apostasy and spiritual harlotry. These are people of the sanctified ear. They do not respond to the activities of men. Neither are they are moved by the repercussions and shakings of God’s moving’s in the political, financial and religious worlds. They stand true in the midst of spiritual fads and the empty spiritual winds of overt signs and wonders; and the fires of men’s self-seeking agendas. The sanctified ear brings men and women to the threshold of God’s New Day wherein His Holiness is revealed and the folly of men judged in the fires of God’s anger.

We will soon see the day in which the five foolish virgins and the five wise virgins will be revealed and the tremendous ramifications of both.

“The days are at hand,
and the effect of every vision…”
Ezekiel 12:23

One’s vision of God and their perception of Him are revealed in the effect it has upon their life. The man with the one talent “perceived” God as hard and austere and therefore hid his talent in the ground. His perception was that God was only interested in his gift not realizing that God expected him to invest his gift into the lives around him and bring an increase to God’s Glory. It is to such that God declares “Thou wicked and slothful servant”. The captain of the armies of Syria who came to Elijah with the “perception” that Elijah would call upon his God and strike the place where he stood and heal him became angry when told to go wash in the river Jordan. Those who “perceive” that God does not care about the condition of His House, who think He is unconcerned with the ways of men, the kingdom building agendas of this day, the unholy living, the loose morals and carelessness with which His people conduct themselves, will be shocked in the Day that is at hand. The effect of such a vision will render them unable to stand in the day of persecution and judgement. The fires of their lamps will grow dim in the waning hours of His return. Woe to those who preach and teach a Gospel of unaccountability for the effect of such things will be devastating and eternal.

It is in such an hour as this that a prophetic people arise and call out unto Him who rules and reigns in the heavens. Not only do they call out to God in the heavens they also speak with authority unto those who love and join themselves to the vanity of religion…

“O ye sons of men,
how long will ye turn my glory into shame?
how long will ye love vanity…”
Psalm 4:2

The sanctified ear is the result of a sanctified heart. Those who walk circumspectly in this time will be kept by the power of God in the day which is about to break.

“And the Lord said unto him,
Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem,
and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and that cry for all the abominations
that be done in the midst thereof”
Ezekiel 9:4

While the masses join themselves to the chaos and “religion” of this hour there will be those who know their God and keep themselves “set apart” as virgins betrothed unto God even as they are accused of being legalistic and “out of touch” with the “new ways” of the Spirit. Though Jonathan knew the Kingdom of God belonged to David he could not find it in his heart to separate himself from Saul and perished with him in the judgement of God. God’s word to those who stand faithful in this hour is…

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 3:10

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him”
Malachi 3:16-17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info