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Posts Tagged ‘The Royal Priesthood’

“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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Heart of a Priest

Part 8

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

The depth of any individual’s ministry as a priest in God’s house will always be in proportion to the degree to which they are free from the contagion of self. God’s blessings fall freely and often upon those who are able to set self aside and minister His grace into the lives around them. We read here in Job the conclusion of a heated exchange of words with three of his brother’s in the midst of a very distressing situation. The bitter words spoken in haste and rancor escalated the trial of Job to an agonizing level. Job’s release from this situation was finally obtained when he prayed for his friends. True priests work through the bitter exchanges in life, the hatred, variance and strife within the household of God for they have His end in sight; a body filled with His Glory each member functioning in a measure of the very life of Jesus to one another. It is here that the mettle and heart of His people are revealed. It is in these contentious moments we have the opportunity to approve ourselves unto God.

“For there must also be heresies among you,
so that the approved ones
may become revealed among you”
1 Corinthians 11:19 (LITV)

Those who are of the Truth will always be revealed by their conduct, character and humility. The ability to shorten our trial lies in our ability to respond with His character and grace. The words, the rejection and the outright hostility from others become the very catalyst to bring forth healing waters from our hearts. His mercy is released from those who abide in His life. The fruit of the Spirit is the outflow of any life that walks in His Spirit. In the Song of Songs the Bride describes her beloved…

“His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
a raised bed of aromatic herbs.
His lips are like lilies dropping flowing myrrh”
Song of Songs 5:13 (LITV)

The process of becoming a priest in His house is directly related to the development of His Character and Life within our own hearts. Jesus, when men beat and mocked Him, turned the other cheek. He did not reply to His accusers for He came as the precious Lamb of God! When men smote Him the fragrance of spices flowed effortlessly from Him in whom there is no guile. His words poured forth like the sweet smelling myrrh and He held His composure in the midst of all that evil man could bring upon Him! (Who is like unto Thee, Oh Lord of Hosts!) As He is so are we to be in this world. When men and women walk contrary to this, yet boast of their walk with Him, they reveal the darkness and blindness of their way. While many will reject His own, speak evil and despitefully use them, those who are His reveal His Life by praying, reaching out to the offending ones and truly desiring and seeking reconciliation. Those who are His reveal it by the life they live and gracious manner in which they respond to the circumstances of life.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:17 (LITV)

This is the heart of a priest which beats and ever seeks to live in this world to glorify Him regardless of the cost to self.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 7

Grace and Truth

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

The New Testament truth concerning the priesthood is in stark contrast to that of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament one was part of the priesthood by virtue of birth (with certain qualifications being met); in the New Covenant, we are made kings and priests as our hearts cooperate with the dealings of God in our lives. It is no longer a position but a call whereby the individual becomes a priest by growing in the virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ. As His Nature is imparted into our lives there is growth and a transformative work. No longer are we left powerless; His Life residing in our hearts brings change regardless of our age. It is here that we are afforded much grace. Much more than mere statements or religious doctrines, Truth is a life; nothing less than the Life of Jesus being held by faith within the core of our hearts. Living truth is in itself the expression of grace. We must submit to the working of His Way into our lives. No priest can be true if there is a diminishing of God’s Holy Word, His Call or His hatred of sin. True priests are unwavering in the ministration of truth.

Truth will never violate grace and grace will never violate truth. Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery was moved with great compassion toward her. He spoke to the “religious elite” of His day concerning their own issues and then turned to the woman who was before Him and spoke the gracious words “neither do I condemn you”. Such unmerited grace! The Gospel today is full of this powerful truth, however, the complete words of Jesus are often left out of the sermons for He goes on to say “Go and sin no more”! This is Living Truth where grace and holiness meet.

“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other”
Psalm 85:10

“For the law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
John 1:17

These expressions are only known in those who have tasted of His judgements and His grace to such an extent that the two are one in word and in deed.

“And hath made* us kings and priests
unto God and his Father”
Revelation 1:6

The unity of these ministrations is evidence that one has walked with God. The imprint of His holiness breaks our hearts. The Word of reconciliation to our brothers and sisters and those who do not yet know Him can only be borne by those in whom beats the heart of a priest.

Many years ago, while teaching a class on electricity and attempting to explain the basics of electrons and molecular concepts, I got thinking about salt. Salt is composed of two elements: sodium and chloride. We are called to be salt in this world, to minister him in every phase of our lives. Salt, like truth, is composed of two elements each of which are poisonous; but combined in God’s wisdom salt becomes indispensable to us. It heals, it preserves and it generally makes things more palatable. Religious ideas of grace or holiness are also deadly. Grace without holiness or holiness without grace will destroy the very fabric of a man’s soul. However, combined in the life of the Son they are the means of my salvation and of those around me.

Men and women who bear this living truth know full well the horrors of who they are apart from Him but in the piercing revelation of His light they cannot help but preach righteousness. Isaiah beheld God (Isaiah 6) and was instantly aware of his own condition (as well as all other men) yet he was a flaming expression of God’s truth and holiness. Those who have seen God cannot preach any other Gospel. They cannot make room for compromise within their own hearts or in the lives of those around them. He who is Holy has called us to be holy.

The garments of the High Priest in the Old Testament were white linen with the colors of Blue, Purple and Red woven in. Each of these colors speak of the wondrous virtues of our Great High Priest which become ours as we walk with Him. The Blue speaks of His Holiness and the Red speaks of Grace and Mercy (Redemption). The royal colour Purple is the result of the blue and the red mingled together (mercy and truth combined into one expression)  to reveal the attributes of Our King.

These things cannot be learned by books or teachings. They become ours through the medium of obedience to our Great High Priest. It must be by the Spirit and through the Spirit until we so live in Him that they are expressed through us IN the Holy Spirit. This is the making of the heart of a true priest of God.

*Note: See Heart of a Priest Part 5 Greek Meaning

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 6

“For Jehovah’s portion is His people”
Deuteronomy 32:9 (LITV)

The true priests of the Lord know deep within the very core of their hearts that God’s people are His portion in the earth. They carry the burden of knowing that the condition of God’s people, their manner of life, their love for Jesus and one another is paramount to all other things. They cannot be content with the prevalent “business as usual” attitude. True priests are concerned with the fervor, the passion and the temper of God’s Church. True priests are concerned with the purity of heart by which the service and the offerings are brought unto the altar of the Lord. It is one thing to go through the motions of a Sunday meeting where the rote of a “service” is conducted; it is another thing all together when the praise and worship unto God proceeds from hearts filled with the wonder of His Love. Men and women who are content with tepid offerings unto God and the religious garb of a priesthood that delights in the pews being full rather than hearts being full, are hirelings. They are satiated with outward things but the fire within has long gone out.

Those who burn with the fire of God’s love know that nothing less than sacrifice offered with the Holy Fire of God is able to bring forth the sweet aroma unto our God. The Epistles of the New Testament burn with words of fire that flowed from hearts that were aflame for God’s glory, not their own. They were concerned about His inheritance; not their church, fellowship or ministry.

True priests minister truth. They are not interested in being popular or accepted. Their estimation of life is to glorify God and to see that the altar receives the sacrifices and offerings unto God which are offered in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). Worship flows from hearts that know it is on the basis of God’s grace, His shed blood and His mercy that they are able to stand before Him. Those who know they have been forgiven much love much. Little do God’s people realize that as in the Old Testament so also in the New we are to bring forth sacrifices as a holy priesthood!

“…you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
1 Peter 2:5

We are to be a nation of priests. That ministry is not for a select few; every member is called into their own vital ministration in God’s economy. A human body does not have non-vital members (unless it is unhealthy), if it is healthy every member participates with their own function within the context of the whole.

“But you are “an elect race,” “a royal priesthood,”
“a holy nation,” “a people for possession,”
so that “you may openly speak of the virtues”
of the One who has called you
out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2:9 (LITV)

Lord, we pray over Your inheritance in our land. Move afresh upon our hearts to see the true call to which you have called us. Let us see our portion in the rising up of your Church to the glory, the beauty and the expression of all that you are. Remove the blindness, the shortsightedness and the apathy from our hearts. Cause us to see how we have been backslidden in our singleness of heart to serve you. Move with great power to turn us from our religious ways, from the ways of the world, from our kingdom building and the seeking of pre-eminence. Cause us to be broken over Your inheritance in our land and bring repentance from seeking the things of this world and the building up of our own houses while your house lays waste (Haggai 1:4-7).

It is a day for us to consider our ways and turn back to the good and right way wherein righteousness and glory dwells. Turn us Oh Lord and we shall be turned.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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AGELESS FAITH

PART TWO

“And even when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not leave me
until I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.”
PSALM 71:18

To those that know Him life has but one overriding purpose… to declare His power and glory. Age and infirmities do not preclude this one thing. We live to speak and declare Him. We live to honor Him with all that is within us. For He has redeemed us, He has girded us with strength in the times of trouble, He has lifted our soul from the ways of this world and He has given us the very LIFE of His Son. How can we not declare Him to all who would hear?

Faith does not grow old nor is it dependent upon the natural strength of man. Its vitality and power, like a fine wine, develops with age and, by testing and trial grows more precious with the passing of time.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,
if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor,
and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”
1 PETER 1:6-7

Genuine faith ever lives to glorify God. It is never static or cold. It is the very breath and life of those who love God. Faith is the fuel that enables men to walk godly in this present world. Faith is the fire that keeps a man’s heart aflame in the midst of a lukewarm church. It is the gift of the Almighty that enables us to remain strong and vibrant in God.

“But you, beloved,
building yourselves up by your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit…”
JUDE 1:20

Men of Faith are always concerned about the next generation. They are passionate to share the fervor and the authenticity of His power to those who follow after; to declare HIS ARM to the succeeding generation. They cannot rest until the Glory of the Lord truly fills the whole earth with righteousness.

Even so Lord, do not leave us until we have finished our purpose to this generation.

“O God, do not leave me
UNTIL I declare Your arm to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come”

Brian Troxel

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GRACE

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
HEBREWS 12:28 (NKJV)

The ability to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, is by the power of His Grace given to us. Grace is given in order that we may serve our God and glorify Him in our daily lives. Grace received is revealed in the fruit of our lives. It produces a desire to serve Him, to lay aside my own will and submit to His. Without grace we are left to our own resources, our own thoughts and our own ways. Grace is to be in us a power to live beyond our own abilities. Failure to receive of this Grace causes us to wither and become ineffective in the world around us.

The scriptures declare that Noah “found” grace in the sight of the Lord and because of that he OBEYED God and built an ark to the saving of him and his family. Grace is the great enabler that produces within us a life that testifies of Him and desires to please Him. Grace received will never leave us barren nor unfruitful; it will always honor and glorify the giver!

“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
may be glorified in you, and ye in him,
according to the grace of our
God and the Lord Jesus Christ”
2 THESSALONIANS 1:12

The measure of Grace in which we walk today is good and precious. It is to be guarded and appreciated. It is given from our Lord Jesus Christ with the intent that we would grow in the apprehension of it and its influence in our lives.

“But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever.
Amen”
2 PETER 3:18

Ω

“Grace is an energy; not a mere sentiment;
not a mere thought of the Almighty; not even a word of the Almighty.
It is as real an energy as the energy of electricity.
It is a divine energy; it is the energy of the divine affection
rolling in plenteousness toward the shores of human need.”
Benjamin Jowett (1817–1893)

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

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