Kingdom of God Series – Part Four

Kingdom of God Series

Part Four

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

The simplicity of this walk is what makes it so profound. In our submission to Him the scriptures concerning Him become true in us. There is a natural fulfilling of them as His life unfolds within. To pray, exhort, admonish and encourage another life is an outflow of His love. Concern for His Father’s house is a result of the Law of His Life. If there is no concern for the lives of others, for our brothers’ and sisters’ walks, we are outside the grip of His Life within. Paul wrote of Timothy:

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”
Philippians 2:20-21

Wherever and whenever Christ is reigning within, we will be freed from the seeking of our own things and will be servants to the things which are His! Living for self is eclipsed by a concern for the things which are Christ’s. We become stewards of God; we are no longer living for self by the power of self. Our life is now centered upon the care and the concern of His Church.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
1 Corinthians 4:1-2

The call to stewardship requires faithfulness to Him whereby our growth and development brings us to the place of ministry.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me,
for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry”
1 Timothy 1:12

This ministration has nothing to do with Bible schools, denominational accreditation or seeking the approval of men. It is a ministry that arises from the call of God unto a life of obedience and faithfulness to Him.

“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man,
but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father,
who raised him from the dead;)
Galatians 1:1

To be continued

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom of God Series – Part Three

The Kingdom of God Series

Part Three

Friendship With Christ

“Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
John 15:14

Obedience is love in action.

Obedience is the path to power. When obedience is growing within a heart there will be a corresponding increase of the dynamic life of Christ within; it reveals our submission to Him. His Lordship within the life of an individual is expressed through the medium of obedience. In the religious world a “spiritual” life and appearing “pious” can mask the true condition of a heart. Prayer, “false humility” (Colossians 2:23), and a thorough knowledge of the scriptures may all be but superficial expressions of a proud and unsubmissive heart.

“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations… “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh…”
Colossians 2:20-23

The Kingdom of God is known by the power He has over the unruly desires of our hearts. It is not a life of “appearances”; it is a life of freedom from the First Adam by our submission to the Living Christ. His Kingdom reigning within liberates us from the horror of outward appearance (hypocrisy) and brings us into the simplicity of His nature. Romans, Chapter 7 is an accurate description of a life of “trying” to be spiritual without the power and unction of Christ within.

“And I have no clear knowledge of what I am doing, for that which I have a mind to do, I do not, but what I have hate for, that I do. But, if I do that which I have no mind to do, I am in agreement with the law that the law is good. So it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me.”
Romans 7:15-17

The Kingdom of God is known by a life of freedom to His Will, His Thoughts and His Nature. This Kingdom cannot be held within the flimsy grasp of teachings and concepts. Though these things may be scripturally accurate and may hold a “form” of the life that God is after, it still requires the life and power of Christ to walk and live them. He is the Word. He is the Word made flesh Who came and dwelt among us. Yet, even with Him in their midst the disciples exhibited very little change over the course of three and a half years. Why? A Christ with us (Emanuel) will not save us from within!

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
John 16:7

The Emanuel had to go away for the power of our salvation is not in a Christ without but the living Christ within! The Lamb of God came to earth as Emanuel in order to pay the price for our salvation, but it is in His going away and coming back to His Own as the Christ within that He is now becoming our salvation. It is as He lives and reigns within our hearts that we can live in the “liberty wherein Christ has made us free”. Paul declares the wonder of this marvelous truth:

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach…”
Colossians 1:27

It is the Christ within who is our hope and surety of Glory. An outward conformity, achieved through the power of self, is religion at its worst; it is the womb of hypocrisy and scandal. The Kingdom of God is not in Word, it is in power; power to live and move within the spectrum of His life. Obedience is simply the fruit of Him living in us.

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

Kingdom of God Series – Part Two

The Kingdom of God

Part Two

What the Kingdom of God Is Not

Contrary to much of what we hear, the Kingdom of God is not in word.

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

May God help us to see that the Kingdom of God does not lie in teachings, doctrines and messages; it has very little to do with such. It is a Kingdom of Power, Substance and Reality. There is nothing ethereal, unsubstantive, or virtual about its existence. Those who consider it to be an intellectual message or concept are deceived and do not understand the truth of it. The Kingdom of God is known by the power it wields over its subjects. It is revealed within the lives of those who are growing and developing in the life and wonder of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Obedience is the dominant expression of a heart in pursuit of its reality. The Kingdom of God speaks of the Lordship and Reign of Christ; wherever He reigns is where His Kingdom is coming to be.

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

How can we speak of the Kingdom of God without this fundamental truth? Obedience is the underlying principle of His Kingdom. In our day of an antinomian gospel we speak of a “kingdom” in which we simply confess He is Lord and then live our lives as we see fit and expect to have access to His Kingdom promises! It is a staggering and bewildering concept.

“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

It is not enough to know His commandments; the entering into this magnificent City is based solely on the doing of His commandments. His Word is clear and unmistakable. Let these words ring within the sanctum of our own hearts; meditate and hold all our actions to this one great rule of the Kingdom:

“Blessed are they that DO His commandments…”

“To be continued…”

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

Introduction

Seeing the Kingdom

“Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly,
I say to you, if one is not generated from above,
he is not able to see the kingdom of God”
John 3:3

The divine enablement to see the Kingdom of God is a consequence of regeneration in the human heart by the Holy Spirit. The depth of the work of God determines the “seeing” and perspective one has of the Kingdom of God. The Jews in their day expected the coming Messiah to lead them to victory over their Roman bondage. Their expectations were wrong as were their hearts. Within Christendom there are vast differences of what the Kingdom of God implies and what its implications are in personal lives. For most it is a concept that has relatively little influence upon their daily lives; it is some vague heavenly location where all who name the Name of Jesus go when they die. To others it may be an actual political kingdom to be set up on earth in some future dispensation. The teachings and concepts of the Kingdom of God vary according to the discordant voices echoing through the landscape of the Church.

Jesus in His earthly ministration of truth spoke more about the Kingdom of God than He did of any other topic. The Parables centered mainly upon this one pervading subject yet how little it is apprehended in our day.

The initial introduction into the Kingdom of God requires a transformative work of God within the human heart. It takes Grace; without a change in the nature of an individual’s life it is impossible to even be aware of its existence. This paradigm alone should shake us at the core of our hearts concerning its nature and its jurisdiction within our lives. Transformation is necessary to perceive it.

“God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation;
neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’
for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”
Luke 17:20

To be continued…

Brian Troxel

Poem of the Day – Brendan Jaster

Poem of the Day

From Babylon to Zion bright,
Let children tread above the mire.
For gods in which man takes delight
Shall drag him to eternal fire.

The rulers fought for kingdom-come
Without a thought of Christ within.
How much indeed will be the sum
Of judgement if we likewise sin.

There is no rest, no throne on earth,
That grasping, we shall have repose.
But God in Christ has made a birth
In which His kingdom is disclosed.

– Brendan Jaster
Words from the Crucible

Quote for Today – William Penn

Quote for Today

William Penn

“Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants”
William Penn

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable”
Isaiah 3:4-5

Quote for Today – George Warnock

Quote for Today

George Warnock

Change Comes…

“…When the Church of Jesus Christ begins to come to the realization of the greatness of her bondage…

When she realizes she has been so blinded in her understanding, that she did not even know she was a willing tool of the world-system…

When she realizes that she has been grinding out corn for the Philistines, all the while thinking she was working for God…

When her Nazarite vow of separation unto the Lord is renewed, and her hair of Glory is restored…

When she realizes suddenly that she is the laughing-stock of the world and not her friend…

When she realizes she has been led about by the whims of the world, and not by the hand of God…

And when finally she is prepared to lay down her life, if so be she might know the power of the risen Christ working within her…

God is preparing an army, beloved, who will go forth in the Day of the Lord to put an end to the reign of Evil, and to deliver the people of God from the Oppressor”
George Warnock – From the Book “Who Are You”

Quote of the Day – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Quote of the Day

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thought for Today – Seeing God

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

Thought for Today – Stirred in Spirit

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