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Posts Tagged ‘The Kingdom of God’


War Against the Soul

The War Against the Soul

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul”
1 Peter 2:9

The aged and seasoned Peter beseeches the people of God to abstain from the fleshly lusts of this world which have long embattled the souls of the pilgrims of faith. Throughout the varied history of God’s people, the tendency has been to compromise with their enemies rather than eradicate them. The enemies and vices with whom one generation makes covenants/compromises, rule over them in succeeding generations. The things that one generation allows become the excesses of the next; the purity and the life of Christ ebbs away with each passing generation.

We are called to abstain from these things for they war against our very soul. These lusts and desires wither and shrink the vision of our Beloved. They taint the thought life, the inner sanctum of our being, and blind the soul from the light and glory of God Himself. It is an all-out assault on the minds and souls of God’s people. There is but one answer: the Lordship of Christ within the life of every believer. Victory! His Lordship coupled with our obedience insulates us in His Holy Presence. Joseph fled temptation and in the end became the Zaphnath–paaneah of the known world. If Christ’s Spirit does not rule within, our outward life will not stand in this day. His Kingdom starts within the thoughts, desires and intentions of every heart.

The Kingdom of God is not a message; it is a life. It is not a teaching, a word or a concept; it is the rule of God within the heart of man. It is a state of being; a heart fully submissive to the intonations of His Holy Spirit. His will is our will. His thoughts are our thoughts and He is seen and heard within the lives of His own.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

It takes power and an authority beyond the scope of human nature to bring this kingdom into the heart and soul of man. Just as in the days of Israel, our enemies are stronger and more powerful than we are. The secret of victory is in our humility of learning the ways of His warfare. His Spirit teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight.

“He teacheth my hands to war;
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms”
1 Samuel 22:35

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

The war of the soul takes place in the unseen realm of our thoughts, far away from the sight of all but God. It is here that the battle rages. It is here that the unseen foes are defeated by the power of His Spirit working within our lives.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

The authority of His Kingdom is known first and foremost in the secret places of the heart.

“For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it”
Matthew 8:9

True authority in God’s Kingdom will be revealed through those who are under His authority. Many may claim authority because of knowledge, associations, and strength of personality; but God sees into the secret places and sets His love upon those who love Him.

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men
by Jesus Christ according to my gospel”
Romans 2:16

It is a day to avail ourselves of His grace to find the strength to fight the fight of faith and having done all to stand victorious in this evil day! To Him be the Glory and the Power and the Praise!

“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

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

Seeing God

“Pursue… holiness,
without which no one will see the Lord””
Hebrews 12:14

Holiness is never an end in itself; rather it is the seeing of God. Knowing God is the chief purpose of all life. Holiness is simply the condition of heart whereby the individual is able to see Him. Nature determines relationship, not teaching.

The things of God are never a resting place in themselves, for those who desire the Pearl of Great Price. Justification is a precious truth yet not the goal of a true heart. It is but the doorway into the knowing of Him as He is. Functioning in the gifts of the Spirit is not an end but simply an embellishment of the graces and mercies of our God. Salvation by grace is the gateway not the end of the pure in heart. Heaven is never the goal of the true child of God; HE is. Christ Himself, the Pearl, is the end and purpose of all creation. There is no relationship with the Father apart from being hid in Christ. It is in Christ alone the heart is at peace and filled with the wonder and Glory of God. There is no other call or purpose.

The pursuit of personal holiness is the means and the lens by which the individual believer may behold, touch and know Him. If the lens is dirty, clouded over with the filth, the stain and the impurities of this world our seeing of Him is partial, obscured and even tainted by our own condition. Purity of heart is the result of holy living.

“Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God”
Matthew 5:8

It is the horror of religion that makes holiness the end rather than the means. Self-righteousness is the bane and folly of the short sighted; the selfish desire of a wicked heart. The Pharisee in Jesus’ day was the corruption of the selfish pursuit of ungodly men. Pharisee in the original language means “called out ones”. They may at one time have been people whose sole purpose was right and true but with the passage of time (as is often the case) their eyes grew dim and the pursuit for the knowing of God became a selfish pretext to flaunt themselves.

The pure in heart pursue holiness in order to behold Him. It is in seeing the Pearl of Great Price that the pure in heart sell all that they have to acquire this one thing. True holiness is simply forsaking all other things in order to know this One Thing.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
Philippians 3:8

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

Stirred in Spirit

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens,
his spirit was stirred in him,
when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry”
Acts 17:16

The religious know not of this stirring. The ways and temper of religion remains superficial and shallow. Religion is a state of holding His words without being held of His Spirit. Wherever God is, in whomever He dwells, the fire burns with the intensity of all who God is. Salvation is revealed in His hold on us not our hold on Him. The spirit of Paul was stirred because God ruled in Paul’s heart; the stirring was the evidence of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Within the heart of His own the stirrings of God are not the result of a religious fervor to accomplish man-centered purposes; rather they are rooted and grounded in God’s heart and compassion. They who know not God, know not of His stirrings and His intensity;  because appearance and reputation are the governing factors of conduct. It is only by abiding in Him where our hearts are stirred with His stirrings.

To hold to His words without His Life beating and ruling within produces an artificial temperament with an appearance of being godly (like God) but void of the power, the life and the wonder of Christ.

“And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, “The zeal of thine house hath consumed me” John 2:13-17

The religious are not bothered by the tepid condition of the things of God. They are not concerned with the shallowness of the business of religion nor the inherent lack of the heartbeat of God in their “works”. It is as we abide in the life of all that He IS where we see and feel His stirrings within our own heart.

The passion and fire of God is reprehensible to the religious and the sedated followers of the reputable and pragmatic doctrines of men. To those who are held in Him His fire is the very lamp of His leading and expression.

The Fire of God will only be found in hearts where an altar burns with fresh and daily offerings of ourselves unto Him.

“It is an empty altar which receives no fire”
Frank Bartleman

Fresh fire falls upon those who bring fresh offerings unto Him. Love is the fire, the light and the heat of God’s Life in His Own.

Passion and purity,
Love and Fire,
Reveal the heart
Filled with His desire.

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

“The seed dies into a new life,
and so does man”

George MacDonald

All true life is that which arises from death. The receiving of the eternal is known by the forsaking of the temporal. All creation is but the textbook for the true follower of Christ (Romans 1:20). In our yielding to the will of Him who is eternal life we find the withering of the passions and desires for the shadows and illusions of this world. Clarity comes to the pure in heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God”

Brian Troxel

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His Appearing

“When the LORD shall build up Zion,
he shall appear in His glory”
Psalm 102:16

God is a covenant keeping God. The reins of His dealings in His people are neither arbitrary nor random. He is a God of purpose and intent. It is always striking to me to hear people say that the Lord could return at any moment as if there were no real purpose in His timing. He is coming back for something specific and precious to Him.

“…to present her to himself as a radiant church,
without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless”
Ephesians 5:27

The church which God is going to present to Himself is to be radiant, pure, and holy. The stains of selfishness, strife, division, and worldliness will be removed. She will be ONE in truth, love, and holiness. Her garments will not be wrinkled nor soiled. The members of this glorious body will have a fervent love one for another and there will be no schisms within those who have the faith of the Bride. Those who are not bothered by the division and the worldliness of the church today know little of either His return or His heart. Those not burdened to the point of speaking, praying, and admonishing His people to repent from their ways know not God! His return is predicated upon the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus.

The Prayer of Jesus

God is not going to allow the prayer of His Son to go unanswered! The prayer of Jesus (John 17) will not fall to the ground unfulfilled. We are here to serve His purposes and desires; to walk contrary to these things is disobedience.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready
Revelation 19:7

Those who walk in the faith (the call) of the Bride cannot hold to evil thoughts about their brothers and sisters; they cannot gossip, speak evil, or withdraw themselves from others. Those who would be ready for Him must know of the burning and purifying required to walk in the white robes of His righteousness and grace. We are required to speak truth and present the Holiness of God to all. The declaration of His Holiness does not arise out of a perceived self-righteousness; it is simply because He who is Holy has called His people to be holy. People who see little are not troubled by the horror of the present day Church of God. They are so involved with their own “church” that they are blinded to the reality of God’s house.

How can it be that we can have our “own” church and our “own” spiritual agendas? Even in our “preaching of Christ” we secretly desire to bring men and women to our building, our organization and our ways. The hidden agenda to enlarge “our” church body reveals the carnality of self-seeking. The result of this worldly way of living is that we are divided against ourselves; an indictment of a people who have wandered far from the truth and power of HIS love in our midst.

Jesus prayed:

That they all may be one;
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

Many religious people do not take the substance of this prayer seriously nor is it thought of in terms of actual fulfillment. The prayer of Jesus is given little consideration as to how we live and conduct ourselves within the household of faith. This Oneness for which Jesus prayed can only be known by “us being ONE IN HIM”. If I am in Jesus, I love His people; if I do not love His people, I do not know God.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Living outside a true knowing of God will leave an individual separated from the influence of the prayer of Jesus. Men take the knowledge of God’s Word and purposes as an intellectual formula but do not know the heartbeat or the power of His love within their hearts. They journey through life unaffected by the condition of His House. In stark contrast, the Bride makes herself ready for she feels the anticipation of being one with Him. Her aspirations are not born by some religious concept; she desires purity because she wants to present herself to Him. This spiritual betrothal is a real and living thing that beats within her heart; a hope that purifies.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3

Everyone that has this hope knows of this purifying! It is a day of separation of the wheat from the chaff, the wheat from the tares, and the Ishmaels from the Isaacs. The Day of the Lord is upon us and the life which we now live reveals the truth of our condition. Those who hold His heart and His faith are asking God to search out their hearts, repenting of the works of the flesh and the severing of relationships. There is a fire to speak the truth and to hold one another accountable in our walk with Him. There is a circumspect walk and a rising up of His Word within the hearts of those who know and feel that the day of His appearing is nigh; not waiting in faithless inactivity but cooperating with the burning of His Spirit within their hearts. They seek out others in whom the fire is burning “to provoke one another unto Love and Good works”.

The Father waits for the prayer of the Son to be realized within those whom He has called.

“Behold, the husbandman waiteth
for the precious fruit of the earth…”
James 5:7

It is He who is waiting for the full and rich harvest from the precious seed which was sown into the earth! The Day of the Lord is the Day of the Harvest. He is waiting for the fullness of Christ within His own. We cannot know God and have little or no concern for the welfare of the Body of Christ. Daniel saw the state of Israel and spent his time weeping and praying over their condition. Paul, Peter, Jude and others wrote and spent their lives beseeching His people to preserve the unity of the Spirit and hold fast to the love of God.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you… to walk worthy
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace
There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all,
and through all, and in you all”
Ephesians 4:1-6

How do we walk worthily?
By endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit!

This is not about the organizations of men but about the One Body of Christ. To walk worthy of His heavenly call we must seek the welfare of His house! Without a burden for his house we are without His Heart.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

A heart devoid of love reveals the indisputable fact that it is not a disciple of Christ. Love is the very signature of God in His own. Apathy is deception; it holds to His word but is bereft of the power and wonder of His Love for Him and one another.

Religion is comfortable with loving one another in word but the love of God calls us to a higher standard.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

When the Church of God is pure, holy, and unified in the fervency and power of His Love, He will suddenly appear with unspeakable glory.

“It came even to pass,
as the trumpeters and singers were as one,
to make one sound to be heard
in praising and thanking the Lord…
that then the house was filled with a cloud,
even the house of the Lord
So that the priests could not stand
to minister by reason of the cloud:
for the glory of the Lord
had filled the house of God
2 Chronicles 5:13-14

———————————–

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come”
Revelation 22:17

Those who are of the Bride speak the same word as the Spirit.

His Return

Note that there are many aspects of His return and his appearing will be according to a person’s relationship with Christ. To the wicked and evil of this world He will come as the Righteous Judge with retribution upon those who have not obeyed the Gospel. To the slothful servant who hid His talent in the ground He will judge and render a just recompense (Matthew 25:24-28). Those who kept their lamps burning by the oil of His Spirit He receives into the marriage feast (Matthew 25:10). To the foolish virgins the marriage feast is closed (Matthew 25:10). To those who knew His will but did not prepare themselves His coming will be accompanied by many stripes (Luke 12:47). His coming to each of us will be in accordance to the life we have lived not the doctrines we hold.

“Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:26

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

With an acknowledgement to Brendan Jaster and Linda for help with editing
Please also visit: Brendan Jaster's Blog

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother
1 John 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 11

Continued

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

Those priests of God who are walking in the way of truth begin to be “awakened” to hear His heart within their own. In the mystery of relationship with Him there is a divine enablement to “speak a word in season” to those who are faint and weary. Through the medium of knowing and experiencing Him in our own walk we touch His ways and His heart to the end we may be wise in the ministration of His grace to others. Whether it be encouragement, hope, a kind word or even a word of admonishment it is all with the earnest desire to see our brothers and sisters rise up and finish the race set before us.

The ear of the “learned” is to come to a place of being tuned in to His voice and heart. It is not something which can be learned through books, counselling strategies, Christian seminars and other means of education. The true understanding of such things can only be found in a life “yoked” with Christ in God. He (Jesus) is the sum of all wisdom, love and true knowledge and it is in Him we learn to live and move and become the very extension of all that He is. This heart is really only available to the true disciple who has discovered the wonder and joy of following Him and the necessity of carrying his own cross. This way is fraught with the discovery of one’s self. It is a way of repentance, transformation, and glory. In the Old Testament the priesthood was mainly obtained by birth but in this New Covenant we are made priests by the ministration of His Life within us through obedience and relationship.

“And hath MADE us kings and priests
unto God and his Father;
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever”
Revelation 1:6

It is His purpose to make us kings and priests unto Him who alone is the “Great High Priest” of better things to come.

“But Christ being come
an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
not made with hands…”
Hebrews 9:11

It is in our learning of Him and His ways that we discover, grow and develop the “tongue of the learned” because our “ears have been awakened morning by morning” to His living word.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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