Posts Tagged ‘Victory in Jesus’

The Blood Speaks of the Remission of Sins

The Remission of Sins
God’s Part

Part Two

What is the Remission of Sins?

The Greek Word αφεσις ,translated “remission” in most places in the New Testament, was primarily a medical term* (Vincents Word Studies) which is still used today of a disease going into remission. Luke the beloved physician uses this term more than any other writer in the New Testament. It comes from the Greek Verb ἀφίημι which primarily means to “send away from self” or “release”. Remission of sins is a transaction between two parties.

Remission of Sins
God’s Part

“And almost all things
are cleansed by blood according to the Law;
and apart from shedding of blood
no remission occurs
Hebrews 9:22 (LITV)

Remission of sins begins with the Blood of the Lamb of God. There would be no possibility of the remission of sins apart from the blood. No amount of human effort, sacrifice or good works will ever affect the glory of this wonder apart from the blood of Jesus. The blood is the very fulcrum of God’s covenant; the sacrifices of the Old Testament are fully eclipsed by the power, the life and the total fulfilment of His Blood shed on our behalf. Yet in spite of this powerful truth we hear so little of the blood in our day. We hear of Christian “resources” being made available with strategies for depression and self-improvement; we see people more concerned with their physical health than they are of living and walking in the Spirit of God. There are seminars for “inner healing” and all kinds of workshops and conferences but to what end? The Power of God is in the blood. The power of God is released by a life of communion with Him; where we eat of His flesh and drink of His living blood (John 6:53) and in the personal carrying of our cross as we follow Him. The pouring out of His Life and His Blood on Calvary was and is God’s only offer to mankind.

The remission of sins begins with the blood and in the shedding of the blood the penalty for the sins of the whole world were paid in full.  There is no further offering for sin. When Jesus declared “it is finished” the offering was complete and God’s Holy Righteousness was fully satisfied. The “remission of sins” cannot occur until the penalty for sin has been paid.  Once paid God can righteously send away our sins forever from His remembrance. It is from this basis that the transaction of God, i.e., the remission of sins is proclaimed.

Remission of Sins
As Revealed in the Sin Offering
The Azazel
(The Goat of Departure)

“And he is to take the two goats and put them before the Lord at the door of the Tent of meeting. And Aaron will make selection from the two goats by the decision of the Lord, one goat for the Lord and one for Azazel. And the goat which is marked out for the Lord, let Aaron give for a sin-offering. But the goat for Azazel is to be placed living before the Lord, for the taking away of sin, that it may be sent away for Azazel into the waste land… Then let him put to death the goat of the sin-offering for the people, and take its blood inside the veil and do with it as he did with the blood of the ox, shaking drops of it on and before the cover of the ark…And Aaron, placing his two hands on the head of the living goat, will make a public statement over him of all the evil doings of the children of Israel and all their wrongdoing, in all their sins; and he will put them on the head of the goat and send him away, in the care of a man who will be waiting there, into the waste land. And the goat will take all their sins into a land cut off from men, and he will send the goat away into the waste land”
Leviticus 16:7-10, 15, 21-22

Contained within these scriptures is the Law of the Sin-Offering. We see the two goats set before the Lord. The one goat chosen by God to be sacrificed for the all the sins of Israel. This of course is the perfect picture of Him who would come in the fullness of time; the perfect One, chosen by God, to be the perfect ransom for all of our sins and iniquities. Not just for the small nation of Israel but for the sins of the whole world!

“And he is the propitiation for our sins:
and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world”
1 John 2:2

It is in the sacrifice of the first goat and the sprinkling of that blood we are justified by faith in the living God.

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him”
Romans 5:9

It is here we experience the power and the life of being justified by faith and are brought to a new place of standing before His presence with great joy. The salvation of God in Christ does not stop here for in the second goat (the Azazel; the goat of departure) God reveals the truth in picture form of His portion of the remission of sins.

“And Aaron, placing his two hands on the head of the living goat, will make a public statement over him of all the evil doings of the children of Israel and all their wrongdoing, in all their sins; and he will put them on the head of the goat and send him away, in the care of a man who will be waiting there, into the waste land”
Leviticus 16:21

In this illustration Aaron places his hands upon the goat of departure (Azazel) and confesses all the sins of Israel thereby transferring upon the goat the sins of Israel and sending it far away into a remote waste land typifying the total removal of their sins and their guilt!

This is the perfect picture of what the remission of sins means to those who are in Christ Jesus. As mentioned earlier “remission” in the Greek means “to send away from one’s self” and because the price has been paid for those sins God is now able to send them away forever; we no longer carry the stain and sorrow for them! When we see this “remission of sins” from God’s perspective we see the power of God moving on our behalf to give us newness of life, freedom from past failures and the ability to walk uprightly. It is in the two-fold work of God in Christ, the fulfillment of the sin offering, that we are able to defeat and overcome the accuser.

“O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood”

Brian Troxel

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Preaching Righteousness

“I have preached righteousness
in the great congregation:
lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord”
Psalm 40:9

One cannot preach Christ without preaching righteousness. He is our righteousness and our living hope. Today faith is relegated to a statement of what a person believes rather than how a person lives. We have reduced faith either to signs and wonders on the one hand or a teaching that declares we are the righteousness of God as a doctrinal concept on the other. We have forgotten that faith is a living power within the life of a true believer by which righteousness is made a reality in those who walk in the Spirit. Paul in the eighth chapter of Romans declares this righteousness which is to be fulfilled in us requiring a walk and an abiding in the Spirit!

“That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”
Romans 8:4

The purpose of faith being given, the reason for which God initiated the New Testament, is for the sole effect that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in the life of His people (Hebrews 8:7). The ministration of the Law failed as a result of the weakness of the flesh not because of its commands*. Paul prefaces the declaration of the fulfillment of this righteousness of the law with…

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death”
Romans 8:2

Romans 7 speaks of a man who is living in the law of sin and death; wanting to live right but feeling the impotency of the human condition to actually do right. Paul in Romans 8 reveals the way out of such a life of contradiction and failure! He introduces us to the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. It is by living in this law, this divine enablement, that we are freed from the law of repeated sin and death. It is the law of His life living, ruling and freeing us from the “body of this death” as set forth in Romans 7. This righteousness is to be ours as we learn to live and abide in the very Spirit of God. He has made a way, a living way, for you and I to enjoy freedom from the cycle of wanting to do right and failing. His Name is Jesus! But a Jesus that is living and ruling in our hearts. The reason we can preach righteousness is because of this very thing: He is able and He who loves us, sent His only Son into the earth to bring forth a people who live and walk in His righteousness.

How can we not preach righteousness? How can we settle for a life of constant defeat, living with a desire to do right without the power to do right? This is not the Gospel that God has presented unto us. This is “another Gospel”, the product of men who would ignore the dying to self and the battle of faith to see the victory of Christ wrought within the heart of every believer. This is the religion of our day where men no longer expect, believe, nor pursue a life where the “righteousness of the law” is actually fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit of God.

The preaching of righteousness is simply the testimony of the work of Christ and the purpose for which He was sent. The depth of our enjoyment of His freedom is proportional to our walk and abiding in His Spirit. Paul goes on in Romans 8 to declare…

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”
Romans 8:13

The life of dependency in the Spirit is to be the truth of every child of God. This is the life we have been called to. It is a life of seeming impossibility when viewed from our own resources but one of endless possibilities when viewed through the eyes of faith and the power of God.

Every believer should be a preacher of righteousness because it is a life that is available to all who believe.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

Paul says in Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal…” The Law is not a carnal commandment; it is a spiritual law which requires a spirit-led life to fulfill it. The carnal mind is enmity with God, and as such cannot please God for it is not able to subject itself to Him. They that live in the flesh are not willing or able to please God.

“For they that are after the flesh
do mind the things of the flesh;
but they that are after the Spirit
the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God”
Romans 8:5-8

Herein lies the cornerstone of the New Testament. Only those who live and walk in the Spirit can please God. The scriptures are clear: life in the Spirit of God is the only desire God has for His people! To begin in the Spirit and then to turn to the flesh is the horror of religion. It is the fallacy of religion to present a legal code of ethics to bring this about and it is also the fallacy of religion to absolve men of responsibility for their sin thereby circumventing the call to righteousness. Faith is the conduit through which the power of God is made available to walk and live within the Glory of His Kingdom.

“Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before
the presence of his glory with exceeding joy

Jude 1:24

Brian Troxel

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The Great Press of God

“And David said in his heart,
I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul:
there is nothing better for me than that I should
speedily escape into the land of the Philistines”
1Samuel 27:1

These are insights into the heart of David in the midst of a long and protracted circumstance. Saul’s relentless pursuit of David continued year after year in spite of the fact that David spared his life on several occasions. David finally came to the conclusion that Saul was not going to change. The situation seemed hopeless and David, now at the point of weariness, succumbed to a logical solution. For centuries the Philistines had been one of the chief enemies of God’s purposes; we see them even in the days of Isaac contending for his wells and God’s promises. The very meaning of “Philistine” “is to wear down, to roll or wallow in self (pity)”. Have we not all at one time or another been victims and sojourners in “the land of the Philistines”? We face situations with our health, financial issues, sins that plague us, temptations, struggles with relationships and many other circumstances whereby we are under assault often for years without any remedy in sight. Consciously or subconsciously we give in to a life of defeat and despair of ever knowing victory in a particular situation.

When Saul heard that David had moved into the land of the Philistines he no longer pursued him. So it is with the enemy of our souls. A defeated and hopeless Christian is no longer a threat to Satan’s dominion for we are dwelling in the place of his rule.

“And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath:
and he sought no more again for him”
1Samuel 27:4

It is bad enough to move into the land of the Philistines but David went even further and asked the King of the Philistines to appoint a place for him to dwell!

“And David said unto Achish,
If I have now found grace in thine eyes,
let them give me a place in some town in the country,
that I may dwell there”
1Samuel 27:5

To which the King of the Philistines was more than pleased to give unto David Ziklag.

“Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day”
1Samuel 27:6

Ziklag comes from a Hebrew root verb meaning to “press (mentally) someone or something to reveal what is inside” (*see note). Ziklag is a spiritual land we must visit in our walk with God. It is a place wherein we find ourselves when the press is on, the situation is dire and we, in that moment, revert to our own devices and seek out a refuge from the storm apart from God. It is a necessary work of God to reveal to us our hidden reliance on other things rather than Him alone. It is here that David is pressed even further.

While David and his men were gathered to join in battle with the Philistines to fight Israel, the Amalekites attacked Ziklag and took all of the wives and children of David and his men captive and burned the city with fire.

“And it came to pass,
when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day,
that the Amalekites had invaded the south,
and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein:
they slew not any, either great or small,
but carried them away, and went on their way”
1Samuel 30:1-2

David’s men had faithfully followed him into this place but this last compounding of the trial had brought them (and David) to a place of inconsolable grief.

“Then David and the people that were with him
lifted up their voice and wept,
until they had no more power to weep”
1Samuel 30:4

It is hard to even comprehend the depth of grief they were all feeling. In the midst of this great sorrow we read even David’s men began to speak of stoning him!

“And David was greatly distressed;
for the people spake of stoning him,
because the soul of all the people was grieved,
every man for his sons and for his daughters…”
1Samuel 30:6

The great pressing of God had come to David. The energies and strategies of all his natural ability had been thrown into the press of the Almighty God. The despair, discouragement and enormity of circumstance had been brought to bear upon this one who was called of God to rule and reign in Israel. What would become of him?

“…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”
1Samuel 30:6

“And David recovered all that the Amalekites
had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them,
neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters,
neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them:
David recovered all”
1Samuel 30:18-19

The end of man brings us to the beginning of God and His resources. Though the press seems more than one can bear, God knows our frame and His ways are higher than ours. Men who are called of God to walk in the high places must know of these pressings and ways of the Most High God. In the Old Testament men were born priests; in the New Covenant we are “…made kings and priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). God’s end in our lives is to be made like unto Him to such an extent that “…as he is, so are we in this world”.

Well could David declare…

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place
Psalm 66:8-12

It is also interesting to note that Ziklag was originally a city of Philistine rule. As a result of David being brought low, and then rising up in the strength of his God, Ziklag became a possession of Israel! That which was meant by the enemy to destroy David became part of the inheritance of Israel. God’s intention is to bring us to the place of victory in Christ Jesus.

“…wherefore Ziklag pertaineth
unto the kings of Judah unto this day”
1Samuel 27:6

It is God’s plan and desire that all the things which are meant to crush us become a place of victory and praise unto our God. It is in these places that the overcomers in God arise and stand in the strength and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength”
Isaiah 40:29

*NOTE: Ziklag: Scholars have identified two separate roots of the form צוקiti
1: The verb צוק (suq I) denotes pressing someone (mentally) in order to bring out what’s kept inside. Thus enemies press the cities they besiege to surrender (Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 19:9). The Timnite pressed Samson for the answer to his riddle (Judges 14:17), and Delilah for the secret of his strength (16:16).
2: The verb צוק (suq II) also denotes the bringing forth of something contained internally, which is done either by applying pressure or by smelting. From rock copper is smelted (Job 28:2), but rocks poured/squeeze out streams of oil (Job 29:6). Likewise, Isaiah observes that in their distress (from צרר, sarar) the people of Israel visited YHWH and poured/squeezed out a whisper (Isaiah 26:16).

Brian Troxel

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“My little children,
these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not”
1JOHN 2:1

John’s writing here could be viewed as a stark contrast to what we call the gospel today. He presents here the reason why he wrote this magnificent epistle; the same reason we are to minister grace and truth to one another. All of our interactions with God’s people are to impart life and faith that we may grow up INTO HIM in all righteousness and truth. It is not by our own power that these victories are obtained. These things are only known by living in His Spirit.

“Not by might, nor by power,
but by my spirit,
saith the LORD of hosts”
Zechariah 4:6

Do you have mountains standing in your way which mock you and prevent you from this life of freedom? Seek the Lord, follow Him, commune and spend time in His presence. He died for us to walk in Him and be free. He paid the penalty for the shame and the defeat of our weaknesses. He ever lives to intercede on YOUR behalf that this life might be so. Faith is the undefeatable ministration of HIM to YOU. It will not fail, it will not allow for compromise and defeat. With every failure it rises up again for it is an eternal substance (Hebrews 11:1) with its author’s heartbeat. Men can be defeated, strong men will fail, but the man of Faith cannot succumb to any circumstance; they who are held in its power are kept by the very power of God unto a full and complete salvation (1Peter 1:5). It is time to throw off the sad and powerless teaching of today that tells you anything different. It is time to “Hearken unto the Lord” who speaks of much better things. It is time to let the faith of God arise in your heart as HE did in Zerubbabel’s day…

“Who art thou, O great mountain?
before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:
and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof
with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it”
Zechariah 4:7

It is time to speak to the mountains that would hinder you from becoming strong in your God. It is time to realize that the obedience of the SON is of GREATER POWER than the disobedience of Adam! It is time to stop listening to the voices of defeat and compromise and begin to walk in the power of the SON! This ministration is not based upon man’s strength or power but it is within reach of us all because GOD has founded it upon faith that it may be sure!

“Therefore it is of faith,
that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise
MIGHT BE SURE to all the seed…”
Romans 4:16

We have an Advocate. We are not left to our own resources. HIS Word declares that “greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world”. These words are true and it is unto those who believe, who rise up after defeats, who refuse to settle for anything other than victory, who will know of the POWER of HIS SALVATION. Let the weak say I am strong, the weary be filled with the JOY of His salvation, and let us rise up together in the goodness and mercy of our God. Jesus came to heal the lame, the halt and the crippled of this world and HE is still doing that today!

It is because of this that John writes these words of power…

“My little children,
these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not”
1JOHN 2:1


Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

Brian Troxel

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(Part Four of a Five Part Series)

To those who slumber in this day.


“Hearken unto me, my people;
and give ear unto me, O my nation:
for a law shall proceed from me,
and I will make my judgment to rest
for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near;
my salvation is gone forth,

and mine arms shall judge the people;
the isles shall wait upon me,
and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look upon the earth beneath:
for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke,
and the earth shall wax old like a garment,
and they that dwell therein
shall die in like manner:

but my salvation shall be forever,
and my righteousness shall not be abolished”
ISAIAH 51:4-6

The literal translation of Isaiah 51:4 is “…For a law from Me shall go out…” (in other words this is the law of His own being; it proceeds out from Him to His own). The people being addressed here are satisfied with a declared righteousness. Overcoming, victory over sin and growth in righteousness are not elements of their everyday life. They have settled into a religious experience which is uneventful and static. The Lord is here proclaiming to them that there is A LAW going forth from HIM; a law of life that saves us from the law of “sin and death”. This LAW is the basis of the New Covenant and it speaks of something far greater than a legal righteousness. It has come to free us to live and dwell within the life and power of the SON! As the scriptures declare…”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).

We are struck with the power of these two laws; the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39) and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. These are two distinct LAWS that govern the ministration of the two covenants which God made with HIS people. Both are clearly mentioned in the Old and New Testaments for us to see and be instructed. In the Old Testament we first see the giving of the LAW (torah) at Mount Sinai, and later we see the promises of God pointing to a LAW (torah) that would go forth from Mount Zion. Paul clearly refers to these in the letter to the Galatians as does the writer of Hebrews…


“…which things are symbolic.
For these are the two covenants:

the one from Mount Sinai
which gives birth to bondage,
which is Hagar

for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia,
and corresponds to Jerusalem
which now is,

and is in bondage with her children—
but the Jerusalem above is free,
which is the mother of us all”

GALATIANS 4:24 – 26

(Romans 8:2)

“But you have come to Mount Zion
and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem”

These LAWS govern the scope and the relationship of these Covenants. They set out the WAY of approach to the Almighty God and the context in which HIS blessings are to be received unto the purpose of God restoring fallen man unto righteousness.

“For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God”.
(Hebrews 7:19)

The Law that goes out from Mount Zion is a Law of Life and Divine Enablement. It is a Law that is the governing principle of the New Covenant. It is the LAW that separates between the living and the dead; a law that can only function, govern and be active within the lives of those who have the Life and Power of the SON by faith. This law cannot be known apart from the SON for it is the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”!

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending his own Son

in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,

who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”

ROMANS 8:2 – 4

The LAW OF the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus HAS been given; given so that we may walk in the righteousness of God in this world because we walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

This “HEARKEN” is written to people who cling to their “rights” to live as they please and to hold on to the sins of the flesh; after all (so it is reasoned) they are now under grace. This HEARKEN is spoken to people who must be reminded that “His salvation has gone forth” (freedom from sin) and “that His arms shall judge the people”! These are  people who believe that they are no longer responsible for the consequences of their choices or their actions. This is the “Religion” of our day and the reason the World has seen so little light. It is the reason that the church has so many defeated Christians.

This “HEARKEN” is written to a people who need to be exhorted to “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath”. They are being reminded that they are “seated with Christ in heavenly places” and that they are to “seek the things above” not the things of the earth. They are reminded here that “the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner”. It is a sobering word given in a sobering time.

In Romans 7, Paul describes the Christian Life lived without the POWER of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus,

“For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice;
but what I hate, that I do.
If, then, I do what I will not to do,
I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me
(that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
for to will is present with me,
but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do,
I do not do; but the evil I will not to do,
that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me,
the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God
according to the inward man.
But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
ROMANS 7:14 – 25

(Romans 8 is God’s answer to Romans 7!)

This LAW that governs the life and reality of the New Covenant is available to the people of God by Faith. Not a faith that is in word but a faith that produces the deeds, the life and the reality. Paul, caught up in the apprehension of the fullness of this LIFE, spent his life in the pursuit, apprehension and the power of THIS law of life in Christ Jesus.

Let us take note of His admonition to us to live and walk in the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus. This is the LAW that is going forth from Mount Zion the heavenly Jerusalem (where the King of kings reigns). Let us give heed to live by the wonder of the LAW of HIS LIFE.

“For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace…
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”
ROMANS 8:6,13

Brian Troxel

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“And Peter went out, and wept bitterly”
LUKE 22:62

The greatest and most essential disappointment we will encounter in our journey with God will be with ourselves. No one who has any true aspirations of walking with our God in the pursuit of truth can escape this vital experience. It will be one which we will encounter many times in the processing of our hearts to become what HE has called unto. It is in this discovery of ourselves that we come to know our NEED for HIS mercy, longsuffering and salvation. These are the times that we come face to face with our own spiritual poverty and HIS incredible provision. This stark contrast of all that HE is with the horror of our incurable condition brings us to a knowing of Him. We must come to realize that God cannot heal the natural man; HE must crucify it. The human condition had come to such a terminal state that God, by the necessity of LOVE, had to send HIS only SON to be crucified on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. The road to self-discovery is the means by which we are made “…kings and priests” unto our God. For in the learning of our need we are able to pray, encourage, reprove and admonish one another with the same love and concern that HE has also ministered unto us. In the New Testament priests are not born (as was the case in the Old Testament) they are made (Revelation 1:6) by the outworking of the Spirit of Truth in our own lives. The real purpose of truth is to make us true as HE who is TRUE. We cannot hold to outward forms and hypocritical appearances and think that we are growing in HIM. The Spirit of Truth has come to reveal, to purify and to cleanse us from our own unrighteousness and self-will in order to bring forth an expression of HIS character and heart in our lives. This journey into truth always begins with the living WORD…

“For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And no creature is hidden from his sight,
but all are naked and exposed
to the eyes of him to whom we must give account”
HEBREWS 4:12-13

The ministration of that living word will begin to cut away at the deception of our own hearts. It causes us to see the difference between the ways of men and the way of the Spirit of God. It will expose our thoughts and intentions so that we may grow into a purity of heart whereby all of our actions are born from a true desire to please Him and not man. Without this essential work we will remain undeveloped; lost within the ignorance of self and a religion of dead works and faithless deeds. To those who truly desire HIM there can be no shortcut or escaping this disappointment with one’s self. For this place of our undoing is also the place of becoming a man or woman of faith and life. The man who declared “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” is the same one who also declared “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing”. We cannot know the one truth without the full knowledge of the other. While much of the religious world is content with excusing our condition, and ignoring the undeniable condition of the church today, there are those who cry out unto the Lord to search us and know us that we may find in HIM the power to change by the glory of HIS grace.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting”
PSALM 139:23-24

Such is the cry of those who desire the truth and reality of God. Disappointment with self is the necessary consequence of a desire to know HIM. Disillusionment is the doorway to HOPE and FAITH. All those who walk the Emmaus Road will find the Great High Priest of our confession walking with them, speaking words of truth and even reproof, but that road will always culminate in communion with the SON! Let us find great encouragement in HIM who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us faultless before HIS throne of Grace. HE is our REDEEMER and HE cannot fail those who put their trust in HIM.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;
because the LORD hath anointed
me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified”
ISAIAH 61:1-3

Brian Troxel

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“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

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