The Two Aspects of Hearing God

The Two Aspects of Hearing

How Do We Hear?

In our day the Christian landscape is rife with erroneous teachings and heresies. Most of these are obvious to any child of God with even a limited concept of the foundational truths of Christ. However, Jesus addressed two aspects of hearing with His disciples; each were critical in the measuring of His truth to them. These are clearly set forth for us: take heed WHAT we hear and take heed HOW we hear. The first warning concerns the “hearing” of those who follow Him.

“Take heed WHAT you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear
Mark 4:24

Here Jesus is addressing the content of WHAT people hear. There is a divine measuring of truth proportional to what we are willing to hear. If we allocate God’s truth to be for another time and not for us today, we will be unable to hear anything further. The “measure” that we allow will determine what is measured to us. We must “take heed” to these critical warnings. Only then will the Body of Christ be a light and a wonder to the world around us!

God has always been concerned with HOW His people hear His Word. Many may read its content. Many may discuss its implications and even teach its meaning, but few hear with the ears of faith.

It is HOW one hears that determines how one walks.

Hearing is the foundation of an individual’s life in God. This intrinsic and essential faculty determines the whole concourse of our life. Where there is no hearing by the ear of faith there can be no growth in our relationship with Him. The crisis of every heart is reduced in God to this ONE THING. It is here that the eternal destinies of all people are concluded.

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

There is a deception which is of a far higher order than merely taking heed to WHAT we hear; it is in the realm of “HOW” we hear. Throughout the New Testament we are struck with the clear distinction God makes between those who hear and those who do not.

The Parable of the Builders

“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock…”
Matthew 7:24

Jesus continued in this Parable to contrast the one who heard correctly from the foolish one who also heard correctly WHAT Jesus was saying but failed in HOW he heard.

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand”
Matthew 7:26

The strength of the House which each man built was not determined by WHAT they heard but in what they DID with what they heard. In other words: in HOW they heard! One man heard the Words of Jesus as the Word of the Lord who is to be obeyed; the other heard the Words of Jesus as a Teacher and viewed God’s Word as something to know rather than something to be obeyed! The “fruit” of these two contrasting lives is clearly set forth in the power of Christ’s Word to His disciples.

Jesus, in a few verses preceding this Parable, set forth what He was clearly meaning.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 7:21

The eternal question to each of us is, “HOW are we hearing?” Do we hear Jesus as LORD, or do we hear Him as our Teacher? One to be obeyed, or one who came to merely enlighten us with divine teachings? The manner of our walk reveals the evidence of HOW we hear!

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath,
to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

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

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Charles Hodge

Quote for Today

“It is a fact that unless children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they, and the society which they constitute or control, will go to destruction. Consequently, when a state resolves that religious instruction shall be banished from the schools and other literary institutions, it virtually resolves on self-destruction”
– Charles Hodge (1871)

A Strong Exhortation – The Day of Reckoning

A Strong Exhortation 

Faith and Works

“His lord said unto him,
Well done, good and faithful servant;
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23
(From the Parable of the Talents)

When the time came for the master to reckon with his servants, he did not say “well believed”; He spoke the words “well done”. True servants of God are not idle, nor slack concerning the gracious bestowal of talents. They invest their lives into God’s investment in them. They are faithful in the things entrusted to them. In this passage the one who was slack concerning God’s investment was reproved and cast into outer darkness. The talents were given to HIS SERVANTS and as such the Lord expected a work and a labour into that which was given. These were His people upon whom such privileges were bestowed. They were not given on the basis of individual merit, but according to each one’s ability. Men and women who declare they are not able to walk in such things declare God to be unjust in His estimation of their ability.

“His lord answered and said unto him,
thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

Whose Lord? The servant’s Lord. Let us make no mistake as to the meaning of this Parable. It is a false and foolish gospel that has robbed God of His rightful place as Lord in our lives. Let us turn from this deceit and embrace the responsibility and the great reward that awaits those who are found faithful to our Lord and Saviour.

In this Parable Jesus declares:

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh,
and reckoneth with them”
Matthew 25:19

Rest assured His coming is nigh unto us. Can we not hear with the ears of faith?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing
Luke 12:43

Again, the word does not say blessed is that servant that he shall find “so believing”! His Day is upon us and we are to be faithful in so doing and admonishing others to the same.

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. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Do we not hear the exhortation to stir one another unto “love and good WORKS”? Can we not feel the day approaching? It is a slothful people who do not exhort one another unto “love and good works”. Read the context of the above scripture; it is willful sin not to be doing this as we assemble together.

The lethargy and false comfort preached in our day blinds His Own to their responsibility to the talents given.

The Day of the Lord is a day of reckoning for His people.

(Please read 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

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“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the Lord’s work,
because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding

The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Understanding

…is the foundation of his household

A Simple Study of God’s Amazing Spirit of Understanding


Please listen to each of the sevenfold ministrations of the One Holy Spirit as revealed in Isaiah 11:2-3 in our PODCASTS (Audio Messages) Section.

PODCAST – The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Wisdom

The Spirit of Wisdom

“…and there were seven lamps of fire
burning before the throne,

which are the seven Spirits of God”
Revelation 4:5

…is BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION


Please listen to each of the sevenfold ministrations of the One Holy Spirit as revealed in Isaiah 11:2-3 in our PODCASTS (Audio Messages) Section.

Thought for Today – The Midwives

Thought for Today

The Midwives

“But the midwives feared God,
and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them,
but saved the men children alive.”
Exodus 1: 17

God moving upon the hearts of the Egyptian Midwives many years prior to the deliverance of His people reveals His prevenient grace. God is always aware, always at work preparing for fresh moves and wonders of His Spirit. God’s hand was at work in Israel’s bondage to Egypt many years before raising up men to lead His people out. God always uses men to bring about His Salvation. The Moseses of God are the fruit of faith working in the lives of others. A later generation made up of the Joshuas and Calebs are a testimony of the continued defiance of those Midwives in their obedience to YHWH. God’s work is always mysterious and hidden from the eyes of men but then discovered by succeeding generations for their encouragement and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

So too in our Day there is a generation being raised up in the shadows. In the peculiar places of His own choosing they are even now working through the dearth of life within the religious systems of men and discovering the life and wonder of the Risen Christ.

God has been and will continue to be a shelter to every generation. Not only is He a refuge in which they may hide, but this chosen generation will rise to the Call to be a bright and piercing light in this day of darkness. Many years before God has already begun such a work and is even now preparing them! In the failure of one generation to fulfill the promise it becomes sure to the next as God moves on with His purposes. The generation which came out of Egypt failed to enter into the promised land and became the ashes from which the new generation arose (Hebrews 3:7-19). Even in this there was Joshua and Caleb whose faith remained alive, vibrant and ready to enter into the Call of God. May we be one of those!

May there be a recognition and a confidence that God’s answer is being prepared through a “chosen generation” *. He has a prepared people for a prepared Day.

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord:
His going forth is prepared as the morning”
Hosea 6:3

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* “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
– 1 Peter 2:9

Brian Troxel

Discernment – False Prophets – Balaam

Discernment – False Prophets – Balaam

Balaam the Prophet

This example is one which will require something beyond the discernment mentioned before. This is one of the highest forms of deception and one which will stretch the very limits of our walk in God. The church has been inundated with this high and unholy expression throughout her history.

It is with a certain amount of trembling that I share this for it must bring us to a place of total dependency upon our God. There is an element here by which our standing true is based in a most profound way upon the sheer mercy of God.

Balaam’s heart was totally perverse yet the prophesies which proceeded from him were in fact the infallible word of God. They are written in the scriptures verbatim for God overruled the false prophet with His own words. We are warned in the New Testament in the Book of Jude to understand the error and perversity of these expressions.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear…
Jude 1:11-12

Jude’s heart for the people of God is to warn that these false expressions are “with us in our gatherings… feeding themselves without fear” in our very midst. Let us take heed to arm ourselves with the living Spirit of Christ to walk circumspectly in this day.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even NOW are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time”
1 John 2:18

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Discernment – Solomon and the Two Mothers

Spiritual Discernment

Solomon and the Two Mothers

Two women come to Solomon each seeking to portray themselves as the true mother of a child presented in Solomon’s court (1 Kings 3:16-28). Each claimed with great emotion that they were in fact the mother of this child. A perplexing situation indeed and one which presented a great test for the king! Those who would rule and walk in authority in God’s house must be schooled in the wisdom and council of God Himself. The spirit of discernment must work and rule within the heart of His own.

Solomon’s answer?

“Bring me a sword”!
1 Kings 3:24

Hallelujah! How can we not love the living word of God! It is a divider of that which is flesh and that which is of God’s Spirit. It is living, active and it is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearts of men.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do”
Hebrew 4:12-13

His living word is the sword of the Lord which pierces and divides asunder the very hidden workings of deceitful expressions and false pretenses, of seducing spirits and the presumptive expressions of false ministers in the community of faith.

These are but a few examples presented to us in the scriptures where the true and the false both seek to present themselves as true expressions. How we must grow into the place of abiding in Him for discernment and wisdom!

The purpose of all true ministry is to bring God’s people to the place of knowing and discerning the things before them. Without discernment God’s people have a very limited ability to pray, speak or react to the situations of life.

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Ezekiel 44:23

Discernment is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit it is also a faculty which must be developed within the heart of every believer. The “strong meat” of the word of God is withheld from those in which the faculty of discernment is not developed.

“For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

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“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man”
1 Corinthians 2:14-15

Brian Troxel

The New Wine Skin – Part Two

The New Wine Skin

Part Two

“But when ye sin so against the brethren,
and wound their weak conscience,
ye sin against Christ
1 Corinthians 8:12

The New Wine Skin is to precede the pouring out of the New Wine. It will be one of a new living fabric in which only the Love OF God will rule. Secularism, the pride and conceit of denominations, the elitism of small and isolated groups, will have no part in the New except there be a change in our hearts. The wonder of the heart of Jesus is the only attitude which will enable His Own to come together in the unity and the power of His Spirit. The knowledge of God will bring the “fear of God” and the Awe of His Lordship; where our treatment of others will be considered our treatment of Him. Truth will be the foundation and pervading love will be the mortar which holds us in the firm grip of His authority in our midst. Every action and motive will be weighed in the balances. The horror of pretense, like Ananias and Sapphira, will be judged quickly in the fire of His wrath.

“Talk no more so exceeding proudly;
let not arrogancy come out of your mouth:
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.”
1 Samuel 2:3

Actions with the motivation to garner the praises of men rather than the approval of God will not be allowed in the New Wine Skin of God. Ministry will concern themselves only with His Glory and the integrity of the functioning of the Body of Christ. There is no room for the pride and vanity of man. All things are to be pure and holy with each member desiring the fullness of Christ in each member; encouraging the advancement of others rather than themselves. For the Kingdom of God is about purity of motive rather than the hierarchy of a religious order.

“He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward”
Matthew 10:41

How simple and wonderful is the Kingdom of God! What is a prophet’s reward? To do the Will of God. What is the reward of one who receives a prophet? A prophet’s reward. The reward is based on the doing of God’s Will not the expression of the vessel! If only we could comprehend the nature and the beauty of the New Wine Skin we would be freed from envy, jealously and striving for the approval of others.

Jesus takes it even further:

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
Matthew 10:42

Can we not see the nature and the heart of His Kingdom? Only the New Wine Skin will receive the New Wine. The Old Wine Skin, by its very nature of being rigid and unbending, cannot hold the precious New Wine. The New Wine Skin is in reality a heart condition whereby truth and authenticity are the deciding factors.

“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles;
else the new wine will burst the bottles,
and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
But new wine must be put into new bottles;
and both are preserved”
Luke 5:37-38

It is pointless to speak of the New Wine without a change of heart to become a part of the New Wine Skin. God will not pour His New Wine into an old order. Men and women may try to patch up the old in an attempt to keep their doctrines and positions intact but it will be to no avail.

“No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.”
Luke 5:36

The New will not agree with the Old. Let those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying! It is a day of change and that change must be in the heart of all who would taste of this “Heavenly Wine”. The pride of men will be brought low and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day! Sadly, many who have tasted the approval of the esteem of others are comfortable with things as they are and will linger in the old rather than step into the New.

“But new wine must be put into new bottles;
and both are preserved.
No man also having drunk old wine
straightway desireth new: for he saith,
The old is better.”
Luke 5:38-39

There must be a forsaking of the Old; the desire for the New becomes the impetus to leave the old. It takes faith to launch oneself into the care of the Great Shepherd. The forsaking of the old will only happen in those who so love Him that they can fully trust Him to order their steps aright. This journey into Him will bring testings and the humbling of self, but also the flaming desire to SEE Him exalted in the midst of His Church. This is the crisis and the reward of His Own.

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Joel 3:14,18

The Valley of decision (Hebrew is threshing) precedes the New Wine. It is in the valley that the sifting takes place. As it was for Gideon’s army so it is in this Day. It was a test of which the 22,000 were unaware. So also for us. It is in our daily lives that the siftings of God take place. In the “today” of our lives we reveal our heart and nature; in our treatment of our brothers and sisters and in the integrity of our walk. It is the forsaking of the Old Wine Skin which will prepare us for the New.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Ω

“While it is said,
Today if ye will hear his voice,
harden not your hearts…”
Hebrews 3:15

Brian Troxel