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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Decay’

SERVING JESUS

“If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”
John 12:26

The central theme to which Jesus kept directing His disciples was relationship to Him. The great deception of religion is that men and women serve an organization, a doctrine, a teacher or even worse themselves. Here Jesus points to the essential cornerstone of true service unto Him: “let him follow me”. It is in following Him that we become separated unto Him. The “cross” of the individual believer is simply defined by a life of following Him. While many are willing to do strenuous religious observances, fasting, long prayer meetings, conferences and seemingly good works the issue remains one of following Him. The cross of Christ was in doing the will of the Father. In this place of true servitude the Son glorified the Father. It is in our being “yoked” with Him that our lives will in truth glorify the Son. Knowledge of the scriptures must give way to relationship with the Son. Knowledge alone of the Son will never make a person free nor bring about the true experiential knowing of Him within the human heart.

Throughout the scriptures we see that many stopped following Him because of the cost of the Way. The Scribes and Pharisees had no problem with long prayers, religious observances and the rites and rituals of the religious system but they failed to follow Him. In following Him they would have come to the crossroad of serving self or serving God. It is here that the truth of one’s heart is revealed. In this day of the great Apostasy the hearts of many are growing cold and unresponsive to Him and His Word. The forms of truth are retained but the active daily following of Him is replaced by the love of this world, by the busyness of religious programs, and in living a life of self-interest; this culminates in a life that no longer follows Him. Freedom from self with all of its wretched ways and miserable ends can only be found in the following of Him. To truly follow Him requires a forsaking of self. Religion is the “opiate of the masses”; it offers the appearance of a thing without the substance of the thing. It offers the sayings of Jesus without the required obedience to His words. It calls Him Lord but affords its adherents the means to escape actual obedience to Him by the soothing of the conscience with the very words of scripture. Early in Jesus’ life Satan came with great power and temptation by quoting the scriptures so that Jesus might seek to “save” His life supernaturally for all to see (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus refuted such temptation as He was not here to fulfill His will. His purpose was to fulfill the will of the Father.

There can be no true serving of Jesus without a life of actively following Him. It is evident that we are in the time of the great falling away. It is a very subtle and deadly affair of the heart when men and women cling to the words of Jesus without the following of Him. The subtlety of such a life is called deception and it is the way of spiritual decay and death. We remain static while He moves on in the will and the glory of the Father. We hear many say that God does not answer prayer. The wonder of His presence is lacking and in most places not even expected. We have become accustomed to the forms of religion without His presence and power. It is not because He has forsaken us; it is that we have ceased as a people to “follow Him”. He declares to the Church at Ephesus:

“But I have against you
that you left your first love…”
Revelation 2:4

The verse preceding this one states “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience…” The works continued but the love faded. The forsaking of their “first love” (pre-eminent love) was so critical to their place in God that His judgement upon such a people was the removal of His presence from their midst. The reason for the cooling of the heart of His people is the result of iniquity abounding.

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

The Greek word translated iniquity here does not fully imply gross sin. It speaks of lawlessness in that instead of obeying the commandments of Jesus we subtly set them aside declaring that we are now under grace. It is through the horror of this deceptive teaching that we are seeing the fervent love of many growing cold and indifferent. It is we who have forsaken the good and right way. The church has embraced teachers who bring in damnable heresies that turn His people from following Him to the serving of self and other things. We call Him Lord yet we set aside His commandments to obey the traditions and teachings of men. WE HAVE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NON-EFFECT! It is our own doing and God’s remedy is repentance and the return to our primary love.

“”This people honors Me with the lips,
but their heart is far away from Me; and in vain they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Isa. 29:13 8)
For forsaking the commandment of God,
you hold the tradition of men”
Mark 7:7-8

God has a simple answer for this generation and this time. It is the simplicity of obeying His commandments and following Him.

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The teaching of a grace that absolves His people from obedience to the commands of Jesus is a lie and deception of the devil himself! If we do not repent we will stand in the judgement of God as they who once knew the truth and turned away. This is the picture presented to us in the Parable of the Sower where the soil which grew weeds of the cares of self and this life and choked out the precious seed. This truth is presented throughout the New Testament to those who started out well yet grew cold and indifferent to Him in the end.

“For if by a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, they have escaped the defilements of the world,
and again being entangled they have been overcome by these,
then their last things have become worse than the first.
For it was better for them not to have fully known
the way of righteousness, than fully knowing to turn from
the holy commandment delivered to them”
2 Peter 2:20-21 (LITV)

Let us find Grace in this day to finish the race which is set before us. Let us not grow weary in our following of Him for we shall surely reap if we faint not.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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PROPHETIC PURPOSE

PART ONE

“And he repaired the altar of the LORD
that was broken down”
(1KINGS 18:30)

God’s purpose in raising up prophets is to restore the power and wonder of true worship. Worship is central to the purpose of God in every generation. How little we realize the power that is transmitted through true worship to the people of God. It is the fundamental desire of God to find such worshippers of Him…

“But the hour cometh, and now is,
when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship
him in spirit and in truth”
JOHN 4:23-24

Through apathy and apostasy the altar of God becomes broken down as men neglect their spiritual responsibilities. The imposition of worldly ways, entertainment, programs, professional and orchestrated performances crowd out the true worship of God. The fire goes out and the glory of God fades from the hearts and minds of men. The true worship that comes from broken and contrite hearts is replaced with human confidence in talents and professionalism leaving a powerless and worldly church in its wake. It is at such a time as this that we see God raising up expressions of ministry that are gripped by the tepid and impotent condition of HIS Church. They confront the exaltation of men and their ways, the religion of convenience and the sheer horror of men claiming ownership over the things of God; they declare “my people, my church, and my ministry” while the true altar of God is broken down and neglected. It is a day of confrontation as the fire of God burns within the hearts of those who are concerned for HIS Glory and His Ways. The prophets of Baal are always more numerous and conspicuous. They love the attention and the adulation of the people of God. In due time God answers by fire and the trite and worldly ways of men are left to the JUDGEMENTS of God and once again the fickle hearts of men are drawn back to the TRUE ALTAR.

There is but ONE ALTAR and it is only there that men conduct business with God. It is there that men offer themselves unto God and His purposes. It is there that men begin to see and understand the depth of the Sacrifice of the Son on their behalf and touch the awesome HOLINESS of God in spirit and in truth. In the light of such things men and women are transformed, hearts are ignited and God’s Glory is seen. From this arises a new generation of living sacrifices that have cast away the pursuits of self realization and self love to become flaming torches filled with a passion to see HIS NAME Glorified! This day is about to dawn and the PURE and HOLY Bride will arise out of the ashes of men’s ways, men’s religious systems and teachings. The day is upon us!

The Prophetic Purpose is to restore to HIS CHURCH the true Worship of God, to see the people of God once again declare “THE LORD HE IS GOD” and to restore THE CHURCH to the place where God has preeminence in our midst.

The call of God goes forth in this hour to empower those who will hear and arise with the very fire of God burning in their hearts.

“…therefore gird up thy loins, and arise,
and speak unto them all that I command thee:
be not dismayed at their faces,
lest I confound thee before them.
  For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,
and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land,
against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof,
against the priests thereof,
and against the people of the land”
JEREMIAH 1:17

Brian Troxel

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DILIGENCE

“giving ALL DILIGENCE, add* to your faith…”
II PETER 1:5

The key to spiritual growth and vitality is found in the heartfelt DILIGENCE of every believer. We live in a day when salvation is presented as an event rather than a life. In this scripture we see that it is a life of growing, a journey of development; in Corinthians Paul compares it to a race that must be run. Diligence is the passionate result of a LIFE that LOVES JESUS. It is the fruit of a heart that longs to know HIM more and to reap the great reward of a deeper growing relationship with HIM.

We are exhorted here in II Peter to add to our faith virtue, and to our virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness LOVE. Peter then goes on to say….

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted,
even to blindness, and has forgotten
that he was cleansed from his old sins”
II PETER 1:9

Without the divine diligence working in our heart the ability to add these critical elements to our faith is missing and we become short sighted and blind in our Christian walk. There is no substitute for DILIGENCE. It is the heart beat of all who love HIM. In the Greek the word that is translated “ADD” is an *Imperative verb which by definition makes this word a command not a suggestion. It is the same verb form that is used when the Gospel is preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Mark 1:15 where Jesus speaks “Repent ye and believe…”

“And we desire that EVERY ONE of you do show the same diligence
to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful,
but followers of them who through
faith and patience inherit the promises”
HEBREWS 6:11-12

The desire of every true minister of God is to instil and exhort every believer to maintain diligence to the very end of their life. Where there is a failure to admonish all to follow and seek HIM with diligence there will be a corresponding slothfulness in the people of God. They will be short sighted with no purpose in their walk with Him. They will have no vision to pursue and there will be no powerful ministration of the life of Christ within them. Short sighted Christians are passive and have no burden for the condition of the church or sense of their own responsibility to be faithful to the talents and the pounds that have been graciously deposited in their lives by the mercy of God. The day of the Judgement Seat of Christ awaits every believer and we will have to give an account for what we have been given. Woe unto the shepherds who have not presented a Gospel that urges the people of God to a life of diligence and faithfulness.

“Wherefore the rather, brethren,
give DILIGENCE to make your calling and election sure:
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
II PETER 1:10

* “The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding” Blue Letter Bible Greek Parsing Notes

Brian Troxel

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PROVISIONS

“Prepare your provisions,
for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan
to go in to take possession of the land
that the Lord your God is giving you to possess”
JOSHUA 1:11

Though the manna was still falling every day Israel was now preparing for war; the trials of the wilderness were giving way to the reality of battle. The manna was God’s provision but it was now time for God’s people to be weaned off the manna and begin to prepare their own provisions. They would soon have to live off the Land they were to enter. The manna was for a season only and it ceased WHEN they had eaten of fruit of the land!

“And the manna ceased on the morrow
after they had eaten of the old corn of the land;
neither had the children of Israel manna anymore;
but they did eat of the fruit
of the land of Canaan that year”
JOSHUA 5:12

Sadly some of God’s people are still waiting to be fed when they should be preparing their own provisions so that they may be ready for warfare and be able to feed others. They sit passively in a pew, while someone else feeds and waters them, rather than reading God’s word and finding their own provisions to make them strong and vital in the army of the Lord.

Transition is normal and necessary for a healthy and active life in God. Too many of us settle into a life that has become stagnant and stunted in growth and development. To enter in into new places in God will require a change in our provisions. New resources will be required to enter into the things that we are called to.

We read in John of Jesus coming to Jacob’s well and the scriptures testify that Jesus was “wearied with the journey” and sent the disciples into the city to buy food. While Jesus sat at the well a woman came for water and Jesus began to minister unto her. When the disciples returned with food Jesus said he was no longer hungry; in the doing of His Father’s Will He Himself was fed.

“In the mean while his disciples prayed him,
saying, Master, eat.
But he said unto them,
I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Therefore said the disciples one to another,
Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus saith unto them,
My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work”
JOHN 4:30-33

The disciples had not yet learned of this provision but they would learn of it in the days ahead. In the Tabernacle there were three distinct offerings or provisions of bread as they traveled in the wilderness. In the Outer Court (which was their present experience) was the gathering of the manna that was wonderfully provided by God. In the Holy Place the priests had access to the table of showbread (Heb. Bread of the Presence or more literally Bread of the Face to be discussed in a later writing). In the Holy of Holies there was the “hidden Manna” that was found within the Ark of the Covenant, overshadowed by the very Shekinah Glory of God. In Revelation the “hidden Manna” is given to those who have overcome. This “hidden manna” is the bread of those who have engaged in the life of battle and victory. It is a provision for those who have “overcome” the enemies of their own hearts and the compromise and issues of the condition of the church of their day.

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna
REVELATION 2:17

Each of these distinct phases of provision from our heavenly Father is to be an experiential reality in our lives. To remain content with being fed and watered by others is to miss out on the vitality and wonder of our own relationship with God. It is vital that we go on into the deeper things of God for there are always new provisions. May God stir us afresh to GROW into the “strong meat” that HE desires to give us (Hebrews 5:14). Let us leave the “milk of the Word” as it can no longer sustain us in the normal progression of a healthy life in God. A child must be weaned from breast milk in order to grow and so must we! Growth is the EVIDENCE of LIFE.

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,
ye have need that one teach you again
which be the first principles of the oracles of God;
and are become such as have need of milk,
and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe”
HEBREWS 5:12-13

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on…”
HEBREWS 6:1

Brian Troxel

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