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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   11 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
England and America, A dream

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

How Prophetic Wars Shake Up Territorial Spirits   Leave a comment

download

How Prophetic Wars Shake Up Territorial Spirits

The World is the Battleground
The Lord is a Man of War
A Dream about General George S. Patton

Posted July 12, 2019 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Children or Sons?   2 comments

Hebrews 5:13.

This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“Beloved, now are we the sons (Greek: children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1JOHN 3:2 – 3

This powerful, liberating truth of God speaks to all those who by FAITH have been born anew into the family of God; “…we are God’s children NOW”! This is not determined by the feelings or circumstances of life; this is the certainty of God. We are now children of His, whereby we cry “Abba, Father”. To much of Christendom this is as far and as deep as things get. The beginning has become the end; we have manufactured a doctrinal thesis to keep this as the status quo. We read here in First John that there is to be a living hope that beats within our hearts of growing into a full, undimmed expression of HIM in our lives; so that when HE appears we SHALL BE LIKE HIM! This is manifested in the maturation of a growing purity within the hearts of those who know of this living hope.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”

While a living hope infuses the passion and pursuit of purity, a doctrinal hope has no power to convey this quest for life. It is simply a belief that lays no claim to our personal lives; a religious concept that robs the WORD of its power and authority (Mark 7:13). There is little or no cost associated with such a “belief” and the adherents of such go through life with very little change. They are children of God, loved of Him, yet bereft of the experience and privilege of growing and developing into the sons of God. In the New Testament the Greek words used to differentiate between these two (children and sons) are distinct*. As a child develops, added responsibilities are given and with these responsibilities the added privileges of life. We do not give a three year old the car keys. God measures out to His own the pounds and the talents according to their “ability” but  we see the withholding of truth to those who are unexercised in the development of true spiritual discernment.

“For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:13 – 14

And again:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able”
1CORINTHIANS 3:1

Strong meat belongs to those who have grown from a child toward that full-aged development by the exercising of their senses to discern “good and evil”. Discernment is developed by growing into a pure heart so that we can see clearly and objectively (1Corinthians 2:15). “Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:18). It is only by us becoming pure in heart that we shall see God and have the ability to discern between good and evil.

“And everyone that has THIS hope in him
purifies himself as he is pure”

The revelation of our hope is verified in a growing purity. That hope is the bridge between what we are now and what we will be when HE appears. All we need to do is to look at the parables of Jesus. They all speak of faith as a living, growing, dynamic filled with HIS very life. The parable of the sower clearly states that the fruitfulness of a life is completely dependent upon the soil of the heart into which the precious seed falls. The seed that fell on the stony ground is the same seed that fell into the soil that brought forth the hundred fold harvest. The only difference is the soil, not the seed.

We need to take responsibility for our growth and development in God. A living hope, burning within the hearts of those who are in full pursuit of purity, is the means of growth from an infant unto maturity.

The heart is the lens through which we see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God”
(Matthew 5:8)

*NOTE
Huios (son) at times refers to a legal heir and thus, by implication, an adult. It seems to underscore the character or maturity of the individual. Teknon (child or children) is a more general designation for offspring and contemplates the individual as one who is parented, one who has been born to another. For example, Jesus is never designated as teknon or teknon Theou (gen. of Theos (G2316), God), Son of God, but always ho huios, the Son, the Son of God or the Son of Man

Also:

“The difference between believers as “children of God” and as “sons of God” is brought out in Rom. 8:14-21. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are “children of God,” and, as such, they are His heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. This stresses the fact of their spiritual birth (vv. 16, 17). On the other hand, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God,” i.e., “these and no other.” Their conduct gives evidence of the dignity of their relationship and their likeness to His character.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments Words, by W.E. Vine)

Brian Troxel