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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Slumber’

Knowing the Day of the Lord

“…for by strength shall no man prevail”
1 Samuel 2:9

Within the context of God’s purposes in the earth we are struck with the wonder of His wisdom and omnipotence. In the seven days of creation the specific work accomplished in each one of them was what defined and concluded each day. In other words the day was not defined by the passage of time; it was defined by the work completed. So too are His purposes in our day. The sun and moon were not even seen until the fourth day at which time they were set in the heavens for “them (to) be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. Time exists in heavenly places as well as earthly realms but the measurement is entirely different. The measurement of time in the earth was set in motion by the creation of the sun and moon. In eternal realms time is still a reality but it is measured by the accomplishment of His purposes.

“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Daniel 8:13

Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Zachariah 1:12

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Revelation 6:10

These are small glimpses in the scriptures as to how time is viewed in heavenly places. Time in the Spirit is measured by the accomplishment of God’s purposes not by man’s diminutive concepts here on earth. Men and women who walk in the Spirit are cognizant of God’s Day. In every generation those who walked with God understood God’s will for their Day. To them it was the Day of the Lord and their lives were to be spent in the accomplishing of His purposes. Yet so many religious people live without the comprehension of God having a purpose and an agenda for their day. The generation that God led out of Egypt failed to enter into the land of promise. God’s purpose was not just to lead them out of Egypt but to bring them into the land of promise. So in our Day, the last Day (the Day of wrath and judgement and the consolation of the righteous), we have set before us the final evening and morning in this chapter of God’s work. There will still be eons and ages for the purposes of God to continue in His Kingdom; but for us it is here and now that we must be about our Father’s will. It is today that we must hear His voice and not harden our hearts.

“Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David,
Today, after so long a time; as it is said,
Today if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts
Hebrews 4:7

Here God speaks, after a seemingly long period of silence, of His “now” work. Herein lays the danger of His people failing to respond; with the passing of earthly time men become complacent and apathetic. Slumber of heart becomes the dominating effect in their lives and they become desensitized to His will. Those who are alive unto His purposes remain alert for they are aware of the Day of the Lord in their generation. It is the understanding of what His Day means that keeps them attentive to His Will. They are not distracted by the routine and tedium of the natural world.

If one generation fails another one must arise; the Day of the Lord will not pass until the purpose of His Day is accomplished. God reveals to the next generation His ongoing purposes which require a new faith, and a new “way” for His people to walk. The truths of the former will not work in the new. The ability to be faithful in the wilderness under the leadership of Moses gave way to new truths and provisions in Joshua’s Day. The provision of the manna ceased and a new provision (which required new responsibilities) was revealed. Men and women who had gathered manna in the past must now find His new provision by taking the land from the enemies of God. It was a day for them to “beat their plows into swords” (Joel 3:10).

“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

There is a Day to “beat the swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3) and there is a Day to “beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears” (Joel 3:10). These words of God are for their specific Day and it is the responsibility of God’s people to be “people of the Day”. This precludes the teachings of men and the ways of former days. Though good and true for those who were faithful in previous generations they will not accomplish His work in our day.

This is the Day of “beating our plowshares into swords”! It is a Day of war, a Day of “contending for the Faith” of God; not a war of carnal weapons or a time of seeking political influence. It is a Day to arm ourselves with the weapons of God: love, faith, longsuffering and kindness with sincerity of heart to see God’s end; a people fully clothed in the character and the life of the risen SON. Love of such intensity that we are able to stand in the midst of a coming hate that is beyond description or reason. People unified in Him who have cast aside the horror of sectarian division and carnal ways. People who can no longer abide in the partial will of God but live only see His will done on earth to the same fullness as it is in Heaven!

Earthly time will come to an end in the accomplished work of God. The seventh Day will unfold with new things in God, new horizons of wonder and unspeakable glory. Those who spend their lives to see His purposes fulfilled in This Day will partake of the rewards of That Day.

“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the day(s)* of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets” Revelation 10:5-7

Those who linger and sleep in this hour will not be able to withstand the storm which is about to break. This is the Day for the perseverance of the Saints. This Day, as all days in God, begins in darkness and ends in light (see Genesis 1:5,8,13,19, 23, 31). This Day is even now unfolding in great darkness and in the midnight hour men will wonder in great perplexity where God is in the midst of the horror that must be revealed. Those of the Day will stand for they know His morning is coming. In the seventh Day there is no evening; it is an eternal Day of His presence and glory to those who stood true to their DAY.

“Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” Isaiah 13:6-11

The arrogance of the proud (worldly and religious) will cease and the Lord alone will be exalted in this Day. It is time to humble ourselves and find Him as our hiding place that we may face the storm hid with Christ in God.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

* Note: This word in the Greek refers to a singular day and in almost all instances is translated such except when a number is associated with it i.e. six days or the context indicates a plural value…

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Drowsiness

“…drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”
Proverbs 23:21

Drowsiness is simply the final interval prior to the fullness of slumber. It is a place of great danger for the Christian. It is very easy to become so alive to this world, its needs, desires and demands that it robs from us from our real need: to stay vitally aware of our life before God. We are exhorted in the scriptures to be vigilant to keep our garments white in this day of great apathy.

“Blessed is he that watcheth,
and keepeth his garments”
Revelation 15:16

In this day of drowsiness and slumber it is essential that we find ourselves in a living fellowship with others who seek out and desire to stir up in one another the fires and ministrations of the Holy Spirit. So few in this day want the ministrations of exhortation and admonition; men do not desire such. They want to hear only good things. Those who have received the “love of the Truth” want the truth. They recognize their own need for the searchlight of God to penetrate the blindness of their hearts. His Word is living and is sharper than any two edged sword. The fact is not all men desire or want accountability. When they are struggling with sin they would rather go to someone who is defeated than to one who has overcome. They want sympathy not victory. This type of “fellowship” will always lead to drowsiness and spiritual death. God has spoken to us of His provision…

“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
Hebrews 10:24-25

This is God’s answer to meet the drowsiness of this hour; exhortation and strong encouragement “unto love and good works”. We see so little in terms of exhortation, true love and the doing of good works which honor and glorify our God!

It is obvious the spirit of slumber has taken hold of the people of God in our day. They have become comfortable and sleepy due to the lack of exhortation and the strong admonition of the Word of God. The Word to us from Hebrews chapter ten is a command (so renders the parsing of the original Greek) not a suggestion. We read these things as if they did not apply to us. We read with a faithless sigh of apathy rather than as a promise from God and His way to keep our hearts on fire and awake, ready for His appearing. The fellowship of the Spirit is always full of these things and those who desire “truth in the inward parts” seek out this grace with others.

To yield to the drowsiness of this hour will end in our spiritual garments becoming rags rather than robes of righteousness. God speaking to His Own in the Book of Revelation says…

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works
perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch,
I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis
which have not defiled their garments;
and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels”
Revelation 3:2-5

Let us turn from the slothful ways of this hour and seek out those who would “walk in white” in the reality of His Spirit. Men reveal their hearts by what they do, not by what they say. It is time for us to seek and search out those who hear the call of God to “strengthen the things that remain”.

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come…”
Proverbs 6:10

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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SPIRITUAL SLUMBER

PART ONE

FALSE TEACHING

“Laziness makes one fall into a deep sleep…”
PROVERBS 19:15 (LITV)

Spiritual slumber is the result of spiritual laziness. False teaching, empty faithless works and spiritual pride are all factors that lend themselves to the horror of such a condition. The life of the true believer is characterized by the fear of the Lord. This healthy fear of the Lord produces a diligence that is the safeguard from this slumber that leads to death and deception. Paul in writing to the Corinthians said,

“I therefore so run,
not as uncertainly; so fight I,
not as one that beateth the air:

But I keep under my body,
and bring it into subjection:

lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others,

I myself should be a castaway”
1 CORINTHIANS 9:26-27

Paul clearly sets forth here the effect that the fear of the Lord produces in a man whose faith is active, living and real. This is a live truth that stands in stark contrast to the antinomian gospel that is prevalent in much of the church today. The antinomian gospel declares that because of grace I can live my life without consequence. This teaching presents the salvation of God as an event rather than a life which is contrary to the entire context of the scriptures set forth in the New Testament. The fruit of a thing is the revelation of the ACTUAL inherent life in it. Jesus did not say you will know them by their confession and their words. Judas, in the very act of betrayal, greeted Jesus with a kiss yet it was his works that revealed him as the son of perdition.

“A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree
bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
MATTHEW 7:18-20

The life of the true disciple of Christ is revealed by the intense desire to please and honour HIM in the everyday concourse of life. Contrary to the “evangelical gospel” of our day the PRIMARY purpose of the Gospel and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is to make us “witnesses unto HIM” not unto men.

“And he (Jesus) said unto them,
It is not for you to know
the times or the seasons,

which the Father hath put in his own power.
BUT YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME
in Jerusalem,

and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
ACTS 1:7-8

The true teaching of the New Testament is to produce people whose lives are lived as a WITNESS unto HIM! The power of the HOLY SPIRIT is given to empower us to live pure and godly lives in all sincerity and authenticity unto HIM. Much of the church of today aims to please the world rather than God. We see compromise and “seeker friendly” strategies to “market” Jesus rather than to live in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT that brought conviction to the world. The false teaching of this hour portrays a gospel that seeks to befriend the world rather than convict it. It has produced a gospel that has reduced it to a “message” rather than a LIFE of power. The result of such a gospel is a church that is slumbering and lost. A “church” where the people have no other vision or purpose than to try and increase their numbers rather than “making disciples of Christ”; a gospel message that is more intent on filling the pews than glorifying the risen Christ. Rather than being humbled and broken over the divisions of denominations and the following of men they are proud and contented with a gospel that presents a divided church. This is not in keeping with the prayer of Jesus “that they may be ONE AS Thou art with Me and I am with Thee… THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW”.

Men and women who know that their lives are to be lived unto HIM are free from the opinions of men. They know intrinsically within their own hearts that they must give an account unto HIM for the life they live.

“Wherefore we labour,
that, whether present or absent,
WE MAY BE ACCEPTED OF HIM.
For we must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ;

that every one may receive
the things done in his body,

according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad.

KNOWING THEREFORE
THE TERROR OF THE LORD,

we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:9-11

We clearly read here that Paul and the Church of his day “labored…to be accepted of HIM”! How does this fit into the complacent gospel of today? Paul WAS not speaking of working for his salvation. He was speaking of living a life unto God that was acceptable and well pleasing. Without this foundational truth the gospel becomes a man-centered worldly teaching rather than a Gospel pulsating with the Life of the Son who only lived to please His Father.

The fruit of such a gospel has produced a laziness that has engulfed much of the church today in a slumber that will bring great judgement.

God’s Word to those who have preached such a Gospel…

“His watchmen are blind:
they are all ignorant,
they are all dumb dogs,
they cannot bark (to warn others);
sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs
which can never have enough,
and they are shepherds
that cannot understand:
they all look to their own way,
every one for his gain,
from his quarter.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine,
and we will fill ourselves
with strong drink;
and to morrow shall be as this day,
and much more abundant”
ISAIAH 56:10-12

The “strong wine” of such a gospel produces slumber, worldliness, apathy, compromise and lack of conviction; the sins of the world are the sins of the church. It is upon such that the ends of the earth are about to fall and they know it not.

“None so deaf as those who will not hear”
Matthew Henry (1662–1714)

Brian Troxel

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