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

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

Brian Troxel

A Word from the Lord – The Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance

“I have declared the former things from the beginning;
and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them;
I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
Isaiah 48:3

God’s Word is True. The things He has declared will come to pass. In the parable of the ten virgins the cry went forth and they all responded; some with little oil and some with much. The quantity of oil they possessed was a revelation of their knowledge of the bridegroom. The five foolish did not  consider the great testing and sifting of hearts in this time. As the night wore on their lamps grew dim and they were found wanting. The declaration of “Behold the Bridegroom comes” was followed by a long night of waiting and seeming delay. Suddenly He appeared to the joy of the five wise and the sorrow of the five foolish. His Word was True but the hearts of some were not.

It is in the tarrying of His promise
that the hearts of all are tested.

The things we have heard and the Word which has gone forth will shortly come to pass. While many a lamp has grown dim with the waiting, while many have settled for the religion of the day, while many have settled for a compromised life, there are those who stand expectantly with their “lamps trimmed” and their hearts fixed on Him.

The thing He has declared will happen, it will happen suddenly and the lives of all will be exposed. It is His coming which will expose the wise and the foolish; the suddenness of it will reveal the verity of every life. It is in the flood that the foundation of every man’s house is revealed (Matthew 7:23-27).

“…the Lord, whom ye seek,
shall suddenly come to his temple”
Malachi 3:1

His return is very near though the days pass and little seems to change, God is trying His own. His tarrying is the test of the steadfastness of every heart. His eyes are ever upon His own and there is no wasted time in His purposes. Walking true in the dreary hours of life is crucial to the inward work of His Spirit. It is in this time that the Book of Remembrance is written and in the chronicles of heaven each life is recorded unto the Day of Judgment.

“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 (esteemed) upon his name.”
Malachi 3:16

What were God’s people saying in the day when God spoke of the Book of Remembrance?

“Ye have said, it is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?”
Malachi 3:14

Yet in the midst of this lethargy and apostasy there were those who stood in the dark day and exhorted and encouraged one another to hold fast unto their God. They spoke often and sought out fellowship in the sheer determination to stay the course. The fires of their hearts mingled in the burning desire to stay true to Him.

Who were these who stood true? “They that feared the Lord!” God’s response to such hearts?

“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 3:17

Those who live and hold the “fear of the Lord” within their hearts are passionate in their speaking one to another and they seek out the fire of fellowship with others of like burning hearts. They understand the subtlety of the hour and the deceptive nature of their own hearts. This is the hour of testing, sifting and the determination of whether a life is serving God or self.

God’s Exhortation to Us

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); 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 10:23-26

We live in a time when no one wants exhortation; no one wants to be provoked unto Love AND good works. It is a Day of lethargy and faithless inactivity and none lay it to heart. The Day is upon us and the fellowship and the exhortation God has called us to will not be found sitting on a pew or in some isolated group. It will not be found by those who are complacent in what they know rather than having the true fear of the Lord within their hearts.

The Storm is Coming
Suddenly
Even now it is ready
to Break Forth

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and HAVING DONE ALL,
to stand.”
Ephesians 6:13

Doing is the Key to Standing

Let us exhort, reprove and encourage one another in the fear of the Lord!

Brian Troxel

Discernment – The Pythonic spirit

Discernment

The Pythonic spirit in the Book of Acts

“And it happened, as we went into a place of prayer,
a certain girl slave having a Pythonic spirit met us,
whose divining brought much gain to her lords”
Acts 16:16 (LITV, BLB)

What was this Pythonic (original Greek word used here) spirit declaring?

“…These men are the servants of the most high God,
which shew unto us the way of salvation”
Acts 16:17

To those who have had at least some experience with true spiritual warfare this is not surprising. The fact that these things are found in the scriptures prove that His people should have some knowledge of the deceptive nature of our enemy. In many places today such “prophesying” would be readily received to their shame and their own spiritual deception. It is imperative that we test the spirit that birth these expressions and not judge simply by the mere words of the utterance. It is here where many of God’s people are ill equipped in the discernment of things they allow in their midst. Spiritual ignorance is the product of a shallow and untutored walk with God. It is an indication of a heart which has not been open to the voice and the leading of His Spirit.

The Pythonic spirit is one of change, camouflage, deceit and is difficult to discern. The scripture describes its manner of working:

“There be three things which are too wonderful for me,
yea, four which I know not…
the way of a serpent upon a rock…”
Proverbs 30:18-19

Paul in addressing the Church at Corinth spoke hard words in order for them to stay true to the Gospel of God. Here Paul upbraids them for their willingness to receive false expressions over the true because they did not really want to embrace the truth of their condition.

“But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which is due to Christ. For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure these
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (read the previous verse as well for context)

He is saying if one comes and presents another gospel or another spirit you might well endure such a one. Yet they had more trouble with Paul because he spoke the truth to them instead of nice smooth words. He actually cared for them with a godly love and jealously. It is because of these things the Church of God requires the Apostolic and Prophetic ministrations of God.

“Take heed to yourselves,
that your heart be not deceived,
and ye turn aside”
Deuteronomy 11:16

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Prayer for Today

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
Work in us,
That we may work out,
The grace you pour in.

Grant us faith for the impossible,
That we may believe for the impossible.
Give us eyes to see the Invisible,
That we may become like Him.

Grant us power to become nothing,
That Christ may become all.
Grant to us the fear of the Lord,
That we may not stray.

Cause us to know your Love,
That we may Love others.
Cause us to know Righteousness,
That we may preach Righteousness.

Cause us to see You
That we may be freed from ourselves.

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Brian Troxel

The Instruction of Wisdom

The Fear of the Lord
The Instruction of Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is THE instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.”
Exodus 26:20

Let the power and substance of this verse sink deeply into the very core of our being. “The fear of the Lord is THE instruction…” His fear in our lives is what teaches us the true wisdom of His ways. It is in knowing “the fear of the Lord” where access is given to the “hidden wisdom” of His ways. Without the fear of the Lord there is a limitation in understanding the wonders of His Covenant or the mysteries of His righteousness.

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant”
Psalm 25:14

The fear of the Lord is His way of instructing us and keeping us free from the snares of man’s methods, ways and teachings. It is His way of preserving us from the “wisdom of this world” and the folly of the religious ways of men.

It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to walk circumspectly and to consider our words, our thoughts and the motives of our hearts. Without this hidden operation of touching His Holiness there is a dimming of the wisdom, understanding and spiritual discernment of our God. The religious ethos of any generation in which the fear of the Lord is lacking will be revealed in the lawlessness of “every man doing that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

“But what things they do not know; they speak evil of these. And what things they understand naturally, like the animals without reason, they are corrupted by these. Woe to them, because they went the way of Cain, and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the speaking against of Korah! These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you, feeding themselves without fear, waterless clouds being carried about by winds, fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames, wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever”
Jude 1:10-13

This is not the description of those without, it is a warning to those within!

“They feed themselves without fear”

Wherever grace is promoted at the expense of righteousness hypocrisy and worldliness will flourish.

Can we not hear the crying out of wisdom unto all who would be instructed in the way of the Lord? His way is the way of life and it is in our knowing the “fear of the Lord” wherein we are instructed to abide within the walls of His salvation.

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of the Lord”
Psalm 34:11

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – J.C. Ryle

Quote for Today

JC Ryle

“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, “Show it to Me.” Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, “What are you doing?”
― J.C. Ryle

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers;
but as the servants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart”
Ephesians 6:6

Quote for Today – CT Studd

Quote for Today

studd2-300x300

“Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill.
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what s done for Christ will last”
C.T. Studd

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