A Word in Season – William Booth

Quote for Today

“The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Anyone who has tended a fireplace fire knows that it needs to be stirred up occasionally”
– William Booth

Quote for Today – William Booth

Quote for Today

William Booth

“I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell”
– William Booth

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”
– 2 Timothy 4:2-4

 

Quote for Today – William Booth

Quote for Today

William Booth

“Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again–until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.”
– William Booth

Preaching Righteousness

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
www.aword.info

Then and Now

Then and Now

“Then, indeed, the churches
throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace,
having been built up and having gone on in the fear of the Lord.
And they were increased in the comfort of the Holy Spirit”
ACTS 9:31 (LITV)

The prospering and growth of the early Church was characterized by peace, being built up (edified) and a going on in the fear of the Lord; because of that they were increased in the comfort (<παράκλησις> a calling near) of the Holy Spirit. The stark difference between then and now of the Body of Christ is revealed in the contrast between the ways of men and the WAY of the Holy Spirit.

• 1. There was peace. The striving of men to build their own kingdom, ministry and influence was not prevalent. The environment of the Early Church was the unity of Spirit being revealed in oneness of heart and Spirit. The ministration of life through each individual was always for the building up of the Ekklesia, not one’s self.
• 2. The building up of the Body was the purpose of each member. In the atmosphere of the functioning of the individual members there was a ministration of the heart of the Son to see each member grow in God.
• 3. The reason that the above characteristics were true and real is because they “were going on in the fear of the Lord”. The true fear of the Lord creates an indelible and powerful ministration of a Holy Accountability unto the King of kings! It destroys apathy, disobedience, faithless inactivity and self seeking. It causes men to OBEY Him from the very depths of their being. It judges the false and pretentious works of men’s religion (Ananias and Sapphira). These judgments are those that make known the righteousness of God and reveal the truth of His Holiness.
• 4. The fruit of such an environment was an increase and multiplication of the Church through the calling near of the Holy Spirit drawing men and women to a greater relationship with their God.

The enormity of the contrast between then and now should convict us of the need for heartfelt repentance, a changing of our ways, and a fresh seeking of our God. (Ephesians 4:14)

The “Fear of the Lord” was the atmosphere of the Early Church. It was the air they breathed and the governing power of every man’s life. This begs the question…how long can we continue in the apathy and religion of our day? How can we continue in this contradiction of the knowledge that our God is a consuming fire while listening to endless sermons that never mention our sin or need for accountability to a Holy God? Where are the cries of “SEND THE FIRE, SEND THE FIRE”?

SEND THE FIRE
Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
-William Booth –

Brian Troxel