Jacob will remain Jacob until He is Broken   Leave a comment

. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel . 1865. Alexander Louis Leloir 319 Leloir - Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

“Jacob Wrestling with the Angel” by Alexander Louis Leloir, 1865.

 

“Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.”

–Brian Troxel

 

The above quote by Brian Troxel is from the blog A Word in Season.  Bread cannot feed the multitude until it is broken.  Our lives will never bring forth much fruit unless our lives are broken of self will.  We need to take up our cross daily, die to self and let the Lord have His way with us.  The Lord’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  Not my will, but thine be done.

Matthew 16: 24:  “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Broken Bread and Poured-Out Wine
The Man Christ Jesus
Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel

Posted August 23, 2019 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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The Danger of Inward Hypocrisy   1 comment

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This is from the blog Return, Revive, Repair, Restore

While reading “The Workman of God“, by Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest), in the chapter entitled “The Worker Among the Two-Faced“, I came across a passage which I believe needs to be prayerfully considered, by all who serve Jesus Christ, in Gospel ministry. In the passage, King David and Nathan the prophet are being used to reveal the often easy to hide hypocrisy, which can grow in the heart of those who truly love the Lord.

“Let us go back to the incident recorded in II Samuel 12. For subtlety, for amazing insight and sublime courage, Nathan is unequaled…

…Would to God there were more preachers and Christian workers after the stamp of Nathan. David did not even begin to realize, after a year of the grossest and most dastardly hypocrisy, that Nathan was brandishing the sword straight into his own conscience, and only when David had made his answer and Nathan heaved out strong denunciations of God and thrust the sword straight home with, “Thou art the man,” did David say, “I have sinned against the LORD.” There was no bungling about Nathan’s work.

If you want to know how it was possible for a mighty man of God like David to have sinned the most wicked sin possible–I do not refer to adultery or to murder, but to something infinitely worse, a deep, subtle, inward hypocrisy, tremendous and profound; David lived with it for a year and administered justice while all the time he was a “whited sepulcher”–you must first allow God to examine deep down into the possibilities of your own nature.”

This passage caused me great pause.

How often do we in the pursuit of our calling, begin to compromise, concerning the time we set apart for seeking the face of God? Usually this pursuit is justified by how much work we have to do, as ministers. Yet even as we justify the compromise, almost apologetically with an “I know I need to spend more time with the Lord” statement, we really have little intention of changing course or stepping off the merry-go-round. Why?

David’s calling as king, laid upon him responsibility and a persona–it provided him with ego stroking that little by little replaced his desire for God and his desire to follow hard after Him.

Let’s be honest, as ministers we must be careful of the same pitfall. We are called to the ministry of the word and prayer, but if that is erroneously founded upon study and intellectual recall, we minister from an emptying well. It is often true in our ministry context, that if we don’t get it done no one else will; but to live by that is to walk in pride. We need to re-frame our efforts for the kingdom of God with “Lord Jesus is this what you want me to do?” Then wait for His reply and obey His leading.

David’s pride was stoked by unbridled passion, not tempered or led by the Holy Spirit, for a long time before his fall. This lead to little compromises in carnality, which began to wither his resolve. Those little carnal compromises appear in our lives, when we are not finding the continual fullness of the Holy Spirit, because we are ministering out of experience, rather than the present leading and power of God. As a result of our living and ministering on “auto pilot”, we lose spiritual stamina, strength and resolve.

When this occurs we think we are dealing with our troubles, like the spiritually mature, who soldier on. The truth is, we are not dealing with them at all; except with carnal and worldly activities and distractions (ministry might be one as well).

As David fit this pattern, we can very easily as well. Have you ever read of the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:1-8? Once more let’s visit Chamber’s work.

“Mark how Nathan came to David. “And the LORD sent Nathan to David.” Be sure, before you face a hypocrite, a two-faced soul, that God has sent you… to use all the subtlety you have from your own heart. Any worker who has stood before God’s all-searching eyes for five minutes is not staggered at David’s fall. Any heart-sin recorded is possible for any human heart, and why I say that the worker among the two-faced (one given to secret hypocrisy) will find the hardest work is that he has to get his wisdom and subtlety not only from God on High, but from a strange, mighty probing of His own nature.

In addition, Chamber’s writes…

Worker for God, before you go among the infirm, the sick, the subtle, the hypocrite, let God deal with you. A child cannot wield the sword of the Spirit; it must be wielded by one fed on strong meat, one who has been deeply dealt with and examined by God’s Spirit, in whom the last springs and possibilities of iniquity and wrong in his own nature have been disclosed to him, that he might understand the marvel of God’s grace.

Considering Chamber’s last comments. How often do we minister on Christ’s behalf with sanctified motive and sincere love of the brethren–thinking as we minister along the line of “God is moving for sure”, only to see a limited and disappointing result?

It is true this can be attributed to callousness, immaturity or spiritual insensitivity, in the persons being ministered to, but it is also possible the fault may lie with us. Would we not serve Him more effectively, by seeking the Lord to search our own hearts?

The New Testament reveals that the servants of Christ, who were fully set apart for God, refused to pick up worldliness and denied themselves as a rule, were not only happy in Christ in the most dire places, but powerfully effective in turning the world upside down.

Come to think of it, around the world, where the ministers of Christ do the same, they minister in miraculous power, persevere in difficulty and are making disciples in the direst places. Perhaps it is time for the servants of the Lord in America to confess, we like David are not only prone to harboring hypocrisy, through justifying compromise, but may be in the midst of it right now.

Dear friends, I point no finger at you, but confess, I have, at times fallen prey to this carnal pattern. If you have not, pray for me, that I would follow the pathway of Nathan, rather than David. May God bless you as consider this writing.

Symeon the New Theologian: “guarding the heart”   Leave a comment

symeon-the-new-theologian

This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“Our holy fathers hearkened to the Lord’s words, ‘Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, unchastity, thefts, perjuries, blasphemies; these are the things that defile a man’ (Mt. 15:19-20); and they also hearkened to Him when He enjoins us to cleanse the inside of the cup so that the outside may also be clean (cf. Mt. 23:26). Hence they abandoned all other forms of spiritual labor and concentrated wholly on this one task of guarding the heart, convinced that through this practice they would also possess every other virtue, whereas without it no virtue could be firmly established. Some of the fathers have called this practice stillness of the heart, others attentiveness, others the guarding of the heart, others watchfulness and rebuttal, and others again the investigation of the thoughts and the guarding of the intellect. But all of them alike worked the earth of their own heart, and in this way they were fed on the divine manna (cf. Ex. 16:15).”

–St. Symeon the New Theologian

The Kingdom of God – Chapter Seven   Leave a comment

KJV_John_1-12

This is from the blog A Word in Season:

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MATTHEW 16:19

The Parable of the Sower

Jesus in His presentation to us of the Kingdom of God begins with this fundamental truth…

“The sower sows the Word…”
Mark 4:14 (LITV)

The thing sowed is not a word, a thought or an idea; it is The Word Himself (John 1:1). It is sown in seed form, it is sown un-germinated as an embryo filled with the potential, the power and the divine possibilities of us becoming full grown, matured manifestations of all that Christ is; not by any virtue of ourselves but by the power of the vine pulsating and pouring forth His Life into the branches via a living relationship!

“But as many as received him,
to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name…”
John 1:12

The Greek Word translated power means “the freedom, the right, the privilege, the potential and ability”

He is ever the Only Begotten Son, He is ever the Christ (The Anointed One) and it is simply in our abiding in Him that we are made partakers (“joint-heirs) of His glory. The Life is in the seed or better yet the Life is the seed. The Kingdom of God is in this WORD and outside of this Word there is no ability to see, understand or enter into the Kingdom of God. It is in our receiving this Word which grants to us the potential, the right and the privilege to become sons in God. This parable speaks of a seed which denotes growth, development and a living process, not a one-time event. How short-sighted are those who present the receiving of the Word as a completed transaction. The central truth of this parable is that the fruitfulness of the seed is determined BY the soil, not the seed. The same potential which fell in seed form upon the hard ground, the thorn infested soil and the good soil was the same! It was the soil which determined the outcome! May God grant to us the deep and powerful truth of this “key” presented to us. God’s sovereignty is presented in the universal sowing of the Seed and it is our response to the Word which determines its growth and development! The Kingdom of God is not a teaching it is a relationship which denotes interaction, a mutual communing and sharing with one another in order for fruit to be produced.

“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived, and bare…”
Genesis 4:1

The conception and the bearing of fruit is the outcome of a deep and intimate relationship. It is by the power of relationship with Christ Himself whereby the power to know of this life of bearing fruit. Knowledge by itself will leave a life impotent and barren in the things of God. In the parable of the Vine in John 15 the fruit is the result of the branch abiding in the vine.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing”
John 15:5

The power of the life of the Christian is not one of the seed only, it is not of the soil only it is the seed being received INTO the soil whereby the wonder of Christ is realized individually. The greater the submission of the soil to the Life of the seed is what determines the fruitfulness of the Life of Christ. Without the seed there is no life and without the soil there is no medium for the seed to grow. Fruit is simply the revelation of the seed growing IN the soil.

It is here where we begin to discover the “key” presented to us in our ability to understand all the other parables is given in a convincing and graphic setting forth of God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The seed represents the power, the might and the life of ALL that God is after yet it is found in our response to His sovereign grace which determines the end result.

In Romans chapters nine through eleven we are presented (as in nowhere else in scripture) the majestic portrayal of the sovereignty of God. Yet Paul continues his thought of the complete presentation of this truth in Romans chapter 12:1!

“I beseech you therefore (because God is Sovereign), brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
Romans 12:1

Paul is pleading in the power and the love of the Holy Spirit… Because God is so sovereign I beseech you therefore brethren by the great mercies of God that you may respond to this sovereign God by the presenting of yourselves to Him! Why? That you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind… God is inviting us into relationship with and in Himself. The depth of a relationship is contingent upon the depth of the interaction between the individuals of that relationship. There is a continual giving and receiving in order for a relationship to continue to grow and develop; this is the fundamental law of relationship. Relationship is the mystery of life. It is here within the context of relationship that God has sovereignly determined to reveal Himself and empower us to grow into His Likeness.

“This is eternal life: to know you,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
whom you sent”
John 17:3

When Jesus defined eternal life He defined it by a personal relationship not by some acknowledgement of a teaching or a dogma. How sad would be a marriage if its only merit was the event of their wedding day! Even as marriage is a life long experience between two people even more so is our relationship with God and Christ.

 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly”
Ephesians 5:31-32

Brian Troxel

Ephesians: Sit. Walk. Stand.   Leave a comment

sit-walk-stand

This is from the blog To Live Is Christ:

More than half a century ago Watchman Nee wrote a little book about Ephesians called Sit, Walk, Stand: the Process of Christian Maturity. In the book Nee points out Paul’s use of these three verbs to demonstrate how we are meant to grow in Christ.

SIT

First we must SIT or trust our position in Christ. The position that Paul spends all of chapter one and most of chapter two proclaiming to us as the spiritual blessings of Christ.

Ephesians 2:6. and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

“Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit, but that is a reversal of the true order. Our natural reason says, If we do not walk, how can we ever reach the goal? What can we attain without effort? How can we ever get anywhere if we do not move? But Christianity is a strange business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity begins not with the big DO, but with the big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has ‘blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ’ (1:3) and we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us; not to set out to try and attain it for ourselves.” – Watchman Nee.

WALK

Then only after we have learned to sit in God’s grace can we WALK – move out in good works towards others. Walking in love and light.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 5:1-2. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Ephesians 5:8. Now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light.

Ephesians 5:15. Therefore be careful how you walk.

“What is the secret strength of the Christian life? Whence has it its power? Let me give you the answer in a sentence: The Christian’s secret is his rest in Christ. His power derives from his God-given position. All who sit can walk, for in the thought of God the one follows the other spontaneously. We sit forever with Christ that we may walk continuously before men” – Watchman Nee

STAND

Finally, after sitting in our position in Christ’s grace and walking in love and light we can truly STAND against our enemy. Not charge. Not attack. Not run into battle. STAND. Standing firm in Christ’s victory.

Ephesians 6:11, 13. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

“When you fight to get the victory, then you have lost the battle at the very outset. Suppose Satan sets out to assault you in your home or in your business. Difficulties mount up, misunderstandings arise, a situation that you can neither deal with nor escape threatens to overwhelm you. You pray, you fast, you struggle and resist for days, but nothing happens. Why? You are trying to fight into victory, and in doing so are relinquishing to the enemy the very ground that is yours.” -Watchman Nee

“To live is Christ” is to SIT then WALK then STAND. Like the order of grace-faith-works, this order is the same. First we trust. Then we move. Then, when attacked, we stand still in full victory knowing that we are more than conquerors already even before we have done a single thing.

Prophetic Photographs: Patton and Trump   10 comments

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George S. Patton at the Virginia Military Institute, 1907.

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General George S. Patton, Jr.

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Donald Trump at the New York Military Academy, 1964.

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President Donald Trump

If you look at the two photos of George Patton and the photos of President Trump, there is a resemblance.  Even if Trump doesn’t look exactly like Patton, I believe these photos are prophetic.  Patton was a great warrior in World War II; Trump is a great warrior in a worldwide spiritual/political/intellectual war:  Judaeo-Christianity versus Satanic Globalism (Deep State) (World War III?).  Patton was a great battleaxe; Trump is a great battleaxe:

Jeremiah 51: 20-24:  “Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;  And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;   With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;   I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.   And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.”

Trump standing in front of the British Union Jack is also prophetic.  The Christianity exported from England (Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Quaker, Puritan, Independent) was a great influence on the original Thirteen Colonies and on the later development of the United States.

George S. Patton
A Dream about Donald Trump
John Milton:  Writer and Revolutionary
Biblical precedent relating to Britain’s constitutional crisis
The Babylonish Church
President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson

Growth in the Storm   1 comment

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This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“And when they were come into the ship,
the wind ceased.”
Matthew 14:32

For the disciple of Christ there is purpose in the storms of life. God’s design for His Own is never random and without intent. Nothing is haphazard or arbitrary. The storm in which the disciples found themselves was intended to enlarge their comprehension of the majesty of Christ.  It was also an opportunity to experience this wonder in their own lives. The main beneficiary of this “lesson” was Peter. Peter had a desire to identify with the living Christ; his heart was not content in seeing Jesus walk upon the water! There was an inherent need within him to walk as Christ walked; to step into the storming seas of life because faith propelled him. True Faith can never find contentment in seeing Jesus only. It will inevitably compel the one in whom it resides to invest in the experiential life of identification with Christ.

The wind will cease, and the storm will become calm once the vital lesson is learned! How glorious is the inspired Word of God: “and when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased”! Let the “they” impact our hearts and stir our souls to greater faith and larger living. When Jesus and Peter step back into the boat, Peter is not the same man he was moments before. His understanding has been transformed by stepping out of his current knowledge of Christ into a larger revelation of the power of Christ.

The storms of life are designed of Him to not simply be endured, but to be the very instruments of our enlargement and growth. While many cling to the “safety” of the boat there are those who see Christ upon the waters and have the passion to walk as He walks, to overcome as He overcomes; to know within that a greater life is available. May the Lord work within us that faith that sees beyond the confines of our experience and propels us to walk outside the scope of human possibility.

“If it be thou, bid me to come”
Matthew 14:28

Jesus has one response to such faith:

“Come…”
Matthew 14:29

Brian Troxel