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Heart of a Priest

Holy Zeal
Part 9

“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
has turned My wrath away from the sons of Israel
while he was zealous for My sake among them
Numbers 25:15

True priests of the Lord are zealous for God’s glory. They have a burning passion within for His ways, His Holiness and His Glory. They do not sit idly by while men in their insolence disregard His glory and bring dishonor to Him in His house. Those without zeal will not react to the situations before them. They may cringe a bit, they may be saddened or even give themselves to prayer, but the true priests of God act out of a heart that is “zealous for His sake” among the lukewarm people of God.

This rising up of Phinehas happened in the midst of a great judgement from God. Israel’s backsliding had brought the worldly ways of men to the very people of God!

“And Israel lived in Shittim.
And the people began to fornicate
with the daughters of Moab”
Numbers 25:1 (LITV)

While Moses and the true priests of the Lord were weeping before the Tabernacle a brazen act of adultery was happening right in their midst. Zimri* (Song of the Lord) brought into his tent a Midianite woman Cozbi* (false, deceptive, a lie); the pollution of the Song of the Lord by the joining of it to the deceptive things of the world. It is against this backdrop that Phinehas rose up from the place of weeping and took a spear and slew both the Israelite and the Midianite in His zeal for the Lord. God’s response to this act:

“Wherefore say, Behold,
I give unto him (Phineas) my covenant of peace:
And he shall have it, and his seed after him,
even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood;
because he was zealous for his God,
and made an atonement for the children of Israel”
Numbers 25:12-13

Do we not see the Song of the Lord in our day mingled with the flesh and horror of the world? Do we not see apathy in the midst of a carnal church which has been polluted with the ways and the wisdom of this ungodly world? Are there not those who will rise up in such an hour for His Glory to be restored to His Church? Where are the prophets, where are those who sigh and cry over the abominations committed in the very Name of God? The church is filled with those who break fellowship with one another, who allow His own to speak evil and perverse things and none lay it to heart. It is a day of blasphemy and disgrace for the things we allow in our midst. The true priests of the Lord will not be silent in this day. It is a day to rise up, to speak and to do concerning the mixture and pollution we see all around us. We see men who take unto themselves the money of the widows and the sincere to build up empires unto themselves and none lay it to heart! It is a day to respond to the horror of men’s ways; a day to become involved in the purifying of His house. Men and women allow God’s people to withdraw from others; they do not take seriously the ministration of the blood which binds us together with the cords of His love. No one wants to get involved. Every man attends to his own interests alone and in so doing becomes a participant in the tearing down of His house. This is happening because within the lives of many there is no zeal for God; they are content with the status quo. They hide themselves in the religious garment of prayer and do nothing. Prayers which do not lead to obedience and zeal for the Lord are the prayers of religious and vain hearts. True prayer brings us to the threshold of His Glory and in that awesome presence men rise up with the fortitude and love of God beating in their hearts to stand for Him in this day. Men who see and feel nothing do nothing.

This new priesthood is one which contends for God’s purposes in the earth. They stand like beacons in the midst of the apathy and spiritual harlotry of today. They are grieved over the functioning of the carnal church which operates on the same premise as any worldly corporation. They cannot help but speak out to all who would hear “repent and turn from this wickedness”. God will give us a new heart to serve Him in the fervency of His Love for one another.

The call of God is going forth in this hour to those who have a zeal for His Glory in the earth; who become involved in the new wineskin into which God will pour the New Wine. He will give a new heart to serve in the fervency of His Love to one another. Those who respond with the fervor of His Spirit have the heart of a priest unto Him.

“Blessed and holy is the one
having part in the first resurrection.
The second death has no authority over these,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with Him…”
Revelation 20:6

*NOTE: Hebrew Meaning of Zimri and Cozbi
Zimri:
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads “Song Of The Lord” BTN defines Zimri – “my praise” or “my music” in Hebrew.

Cozbi: כזב
The root-verb כזב (kazab) means to lie (Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 57:11), or to disappoint or fail (Habakkuk 2:3, Isaiah 58:11). Figuratively, this verb is used to describe a brook or stream that has dried up: Job 6:15, Jeremiah 15:18, also see Isaiah 58:11 (and the opposite of a lying river is a river whose water is sure — Isaiah 33:16;
Its derivations are:

The masculine noun כזב (kazab), meaning a lie, falsehood or deception (Judges 16:10, Amos 2:4, Isaiah 28:15).
The adjective אכזב (‘akzab), meaning deceptive or disappointing (Jeremiah 15:18 and Micah 1:14 only).
The Bible considers lies the ultimate opposite of whatever God is, stands for and wishes to bring about. Since God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 14:6), Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44), and an idol a teacher of lies (Habakkuk 2:18).
Abiram Publications

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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His Word

Part One

The Word of Fire

“Is not my word like as a fire?
saith the Lord;
and like a hammer that breaketh
the rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29

God’s Word is not only an expression of Himself it is also an extension of Himself. He is His Word and His Word is Himself (John 1:1). We read in both the Old and New Testaments that our God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29). They who bear His Living Word within their hearts know in a corresponding measure to their walk the truth of this. For His Word is the very expression of His Nature, His Thoughts and His Ways. Words without fire are words without unction. Men cannot touch His Presence and remain unaffected, apathetic and unconcerned about His inheritance in the earth. His presence is fire and glory. His zeal for His House (Psalm 119:139, John 2:17) in the earth is a consuming fire within the hearts of those who have His Word.

His Word is a fire which consumes, purifies and impels those who bear it to speak with intensity to all who would hear. This fire cannot be quenched, compromised or contaminated by the tepid atmosphere of religious men who would desire something less than God Himself. This Word is antagonistic to the comfortable, to those who would seek a complacent and more popular approach to God; yet to those who desire to walk and live within the fiery presence of a Holy God it is the necessity of life itself.

It is the work of God to bring His people to such expressions…

“But his word was in mine heart
as a burning fire
shut up in my bones”
Jeremiah 20:9

Men without fire have not yet touched His Presence. It is ever the work of the Holy Spirit to bring men to such places (Exodus 3:2) where the Fire of God burns like the Holy Lamp did in the days of the Tabernacle/Temple of God in the Old Testament. The Word of God declares “ye are the temple of the living God” and as such there ought to be the fire of His Presence burning within our hearts.

The Priesthood of Eli

Eli was a priest who through neglect became blind in His service to God and as a result the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle! This lamp of fire had been preserved and watched over by the priests of God for over 450 years! His sons had become immoral and loose in their walk before God. This was a day of no accountability. Men did as they pleased and the ministry was silent concerning God’s Righteousness. The outward observance of God’s law continued but the fire went out and men did not lay these things to heart.

There is also in our day a ministry in the earth which has neither fire nor unction; a ministry which has resulted in the fire of God going out in His house. There is a religious environment in which men hold the Word in the form of teachings and doctrines rather than in their hearts by the living fire of His presence. These are they who hold His Word in unrighteousness, who seek to fill their churches and fellowships with kind and comfortable words but have no actual concern for the condition of His people or their walk in righteousness. The Word speaks of the fruit of such a ministry:

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

The reason the fire goes out is because of iniquity and sin. The Love of God beating within a man’s heart will cause him to forsake sin. A Gospel which does not have the very fire of God within it is not God’s Living Word. In contrast to this unholy ministry we read of another.

The Stranger and the Words of Fire

Two disciples walking down the road to Emmaus in deep despair and perplexity were joined by a “stranger”* who spoke sternly to them concerning their plight and their lack of faith. Their eyes where blinded to the One who spoke with them as they journeyed. Would our hearts receive such words from a stranger?

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have spoken…”
Luke 24:25

After realizing the stranger was in fact the risen Lord who had spoken to them these hard words the disciples remarked to one another:

“And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Empty words proceed from hearts lacking fire. The words of the religious are different than the Words of Jesus and they who serve at His Altar will speak His Words and seek His Glory and not their own.

“And it came to pass,
when Jesus had ended these sayings,
the people were astonished at his doctrine:
For he taught them as one having authority,
and not as the scribes”
Matthew 7:28-29

Burning Words flow from burning hearts!

Even so Lord draw us to the fire of your presence and cause that fire to burn, purify and consume all that is unholy and carnal in us. Make us to be “ministers of flaming fire”. Men who will not abide in such words now will perish in the fire of His return.

“If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned”
John 15:6

* Men reveal by their response the true condition of their hearts. Here a stranger came and spoke hard words, yet these two downtrodden disciples resisted not the admonition for they were men who desired truth and loved it. Men who refuse the fire and the hammer of God’s Word are not abiding in His Spirit. They have not the love of truth burning within their heart. They appear religious and will seek to build and do religious things but in their inner heart truth is not desired nor pursued. It is the day of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and in the revealing of Him men’s works will be made manifest even as by fire.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is”
1 Corinthians 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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AGELESS FAITH

PART TWO

“And even when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not leave me
until I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.”
PSALM 71:18

To those that know Him life has but one overriding purpose… to declare His power and glory. Age and infirmities do not preclude this one thing. We live to speak and declare Him. We live to honor Him with all that is within us. For He has redeemed us, He has girded us with strength in the times of trouble, He has lifted our soul from the ways of this world and He has given us the very LIFE of His Son. How can we not declare Him to all who would hear?

Faith does not grow old nor is it dependent upon the natural strength of man. Its vitality and power, like a fine wine, develops with age and, by testing and trial grows more precious with the passing of time.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,
if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor,
and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
1 PETER 1:6-7

Genuine faith ever lives to glorify God. It is never static or cold. It is the very breath and life of those who love God. Faith is the fuel that enables men to walk godly in this present world. Faith is the fire that keeps a man’s heart aflame in the midst of a lukewarm church. It is the gift of the Almighty that enables us to remain strong and vibrant in God.

“But you, beloved,
building yourselves up by your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit…”
JUDE 1:20

Men of Faith are always concerned about the next generation. They are passionate to share the fervor and the authenticity of His power to those who follow after; to declare HIS ARM to the succeeding generation. They cannot rest until the Glory of the Lord truly fills the whole earth with righteousness.

Even so Lord, do not leave us until we have finished our purpose to this generation.

“O God, do not leave me
UNTIL I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come”

Brian Troxel

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CHOICES

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve”
JOSHUA 24:15

Choices. The life of a Christian is a life of choices. Choices reveal the act and the exercising of a person’s will. It is here that faith is exercised and made strong within the life of every believer. We choose who we will serve. Serving the Lord has very little to do with going to church on Sunday. Serving the Lord is the daily doing of His will. In this day of apathy I hear men declaring that they can do nothing unless they get a word from the Lord. They are helpless, saying they cannot do anything unless they have a word, failing to realize that the Living One resides within our hearts to do His Father’s will! The Word of God is full of the expression of His Will.

“…rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS”
PHILIPPIANS 4:4

“Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church”
EPHESIANS 5:25

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine”
TITUS 2:1

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

“…speak evil of no man”
TITUS 3:2

“These things speak,
and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.
Let no man despise thee”
TITUS 2:15

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

This is just a small collection of scriptures requiring our daily attention and investment of our will into serving Him. The scriptures declare that we should be daily hearing His voice and doing His Will. Men who do not do, never grow. It is in the doing that we become strong. We are exhorted in 1Timothy to “exercise thyself rather unto godliness”.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world. We are to speak and demonstrate His Life, His Word and His Way into the world around us. It is in the doing of these things that we discover the need for His grace and power to grow into the things of Him. It is in the crucible of doing His Will daily that we come face to face with our weaknesses and stubbornness. The power of HIS Life in us makes us to LIVE beyond our own will and resources. These are the glorious choices of our will that bring the reality of the Son into our daily life.  According to the scriptures HE has and is making known to us His Will and it is our privilege to walk in it.

“Having made known* unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”
EPHESIANS 1:9

*NOTE: The phrase “having made known” is a Greek Aorist Active Participle best rendered “making known” unto us the mystery of His will… This is ever an ongoing revelation as we grow and mature in the things of our Father. Only a small baby is free from responsibility. The greater the Life in Him the greater the responsibility and the greater is the blessing. God is not looking for those who are like the horse who must be led by the bit and bridle (#1), He is looking for those whose will is compliant to HIS WILL. A ten year old child will know in a measure how to function in the home according to his development and maturity. A twenty-year old should have a far deeper understanding of what that should mean. So it is with the knowing of His Will. To be twenty years old in the Lord and to declare that there is nothing we can do is a tragic statement and a reflection of the apathy of the present day (#2).

1. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle…” Psalm 32:8-9

2. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God” Hebrews 5:12

“The most important thought I ever had
was that of my individual responsibility to God”
Daniel Webster (1782–1852)

Brian Troxel

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THE HEART
THE ISSUE OF LIFE

“My son, forget not my law;
but let thine heart keep my commandments
PROVERBS 3:1

In the life of the authentic believer every action and word spoken is a direct revelation of the heart. While there are many Christian adherents to a teaching, a code of ethics, a dress code or outward compliance to a perceived religious concept, we read here that God is only interested in an obedience that is heart felt. It is the internal motivation that determines whether or not a thing has merit before Him. True life consists in knowing His Word and following it with our heart. Many good religious works may be done with the desire to be seen of others, to ease our conscience, or to reap some other benefit. Obedience from the heart is true worship. God sees more than just our actions; he sees the motives and intentions of our heart.

“For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed”
1 SAMUEL 2:3

We measure deeds by our own criteria but God sees and values things from His own perspective and heart.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury,
and beheld HOW the people cast money into the treasury:
and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow,
and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
That this poor widow hath cast more in,
than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance;
but she of her want did cast in all that she had,
even all her living”
MARK 12:41-44

Jesus drew the attention of his disciples to this incident so they would “see” the unfolding of everyday occurrences from His perspective. We live in a day of great religious works, buildings and programs but unless we can see things from His heart we will miss Him in the true opportunities that are presented to us in our daily lives. It is a process in our own heart that frees us from outward and seemingly good works into a walk of faith that is authentic and springs from a deep love of our Saviour.

“Now it came to pass, as they went,
that he entered into a certain village:
and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary,
which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving,
and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?
bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her”
LUKE 10:38-42

Many are absorbed in the doing of numerous RELIGIOUS things FOR God while His real purpose is for us to be doing HIS WILL IN God.

“Truly, truly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”
JOHN 5:19

The heart is the centre from which the core issues of our life are determined. What a man loves, what he treasures, and where his allegiance lies are kept in the secret places of the heart. How necessary it is that we invite Him to purify our hearts in order that we may obey His commandments uprightly and be freed from the outward works of religion.

“This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
MATTHEW 15:8-9

May our love for Him be the motivation from which we keep his commandments and honor His Name. This is true worship.

 

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

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SHOW & TELL

“…show forth his salvation from day to day”
PSALM 96:2

The Hebrew word used here for show means to declare, preach, bear tidings and to show forth a message. The truth of God’s salvation, His purpose and His Presence in our hearts should be one of showing forth what He has done in our lives and a telling of that to the world around us. To whatever measure we have tasted and seen of His goodness there should be a demonstration of it in our lives. Who we are should validate what we declare. The evidence of the one should give weight to the things we say. Our daily responses with family and friends, our business dealings, our interactions with co-workers and even with the guy who cuts you off in traffic should be something that shows his salvation!

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason
of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”
1 PETER 3:15

The loss of impact in this world brought about by religious words from lives that are out of sync with His message is tragic. The purpose of His dealings in our lives is to make the one the verity of the other. We need to be declaring Him in the world around us, we need to be bolder in our testimony of Him to this world, but let us also have a greater awareness of the accountability of our actions and words. We are exhorted in the book of James…

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

We need to be reminded that we are accountable to the judge of all men for the words we speak and the actions we take. The message we bear is HIM. Let us seek that continual work of His transformation in our lives that we may show as well as tell.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world
1 JOHN 4:17

Brian Troxel

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