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PROPHETIC

PROPHETIC
-by A.W. Tozer

If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation,

it must be by other means
than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this
century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half,
there must appear a new type of leader. The proper, ruler-of-the-
synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man
who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions,
nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the
Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried
and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be
of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and
has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray
God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction
to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will
contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn
the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom.
Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little
bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men
to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the
salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with
mortal breath.

This is only to say that we need to have the gifts of the Spirit
restored again to the Church. And it is my belief that the one gift
we need most now is the gift of prophecy. Not “fortune-telling” but Prophetic insight.
It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the
power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to
appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and
to tell us what is actually going on….

Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti
to discover which way the parade is headed, why it started in the
first place and, particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of
honor?…

What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars
can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present.
Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays,
but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own day….

“Lord, I pray for that gift of prophetic insight. Move me beyond the
knowledge You’ve enabled me to gain through education, reading,
and study. I pray that I might lead as one ‘who has seen visions of
God and has heard a voice from the throne.’ Amen.”

-A.W. Tozer

13 replies on “PROPHETIC”

Yes, West Virginia is beautiful – and the bridge you are referring to, the New River Gorge Bridge, is a beautiful place. I was just there this past weekend – and with the fall colors – breathtaking. I live about two hours from there – just outside of Elkins. I’ll have to check out your photo section.

I have never been to Indiana – though we may have traveled through a tiny bit of the state during our move from Idaho to West Virginia – but I think it was by mistake. 🙂

And I will heed to this advice, “Serve God, honor your husband, and keep yourself from sin. Our Father is ready to help and to forgive us.”

Thanks for this fellowship.

Steve,
Once again, thank you – and these words that you stated above, “The Lord has to continually break His children because our flesh tends toward evil as soon as we lift our heads and see daylight. It is in this brokenness that we find the “rest” and the sufficiency of our great God. “…how true this is – and though the brokenness is painful, it is also provides me with a peace – a peace that can only be of God. I feel closer to God in the midst of my brokenness, at least most of the time, and in a strange sense I find the brokenness a comfort. I know that may sound backwards, but nonetheless it is how I seem to be.

I appreciate you taking the time to encourage me – to direct me to seek Him first – I am blessed.

Your sister in Christ (in West Virginia, though a Tennessee native :),
sherry

Sherry,

You are very welcome. West Virginia is a beautiful state. My wife and I have traveled through there a few times during the Fall to take pictures. In the photo section I have a picture of your massive arch bridge, the largest arch bridge in the world if my memory is correct. We spent several hours there, both at the top, and walking the river below. Underneath the crust of corruption, that is like a scab that covers the world, is a beautiful creation groaning for rebirth.

You are a good person Sherry. Serve God, honor your husband, and keep yourself from sin. Our Father is ready to help and to forgive us.

Your friend In Christ,

Steve B.

Steve,

As I re-read what I last wrote to you, I cannot help but feel such shame for having such complaints depart from these lips – I have no reason to complain. I simply need to get over myself – take my eyes off of me and set them on Him.

Forgive me oh God! Renew a steadfast sprit in me!

Shalom

Sherry,

My heart goes out to you. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. What you are experiencing is very common and to be expected as the mutual experience of all who serve the Lord. Don’t look at it as a fault in your walk with the Lord, but as the normal way of the Holy spirit to bring all of God’s children to a state of brokenness and discipline. The things you describe are not only to be expected, but embraced. Too few Christians understand this and never advance in their walk and continually lead defeated lives. The Lord’s way are strange indeed to the flesh, but as He has told us, it is only through our brokenness and death that we become whole and alive, yet we allow ourselves to believe that it is not for our good, but is meant for harm only, that is why we are called “overcommers.” All of Scripture is alive with this very message; it is humbleness and contriteness and brokenness that the Lord is after. The Lord has to continually break His children because our flesh tends toward evil as soon as we lift our heads and see daylight. It is in this brokenness that we find the “rest” and the sufficiency of our great God. Jesus, Himself, was our best example, who humbled Himself and accepted suffering and died a cruel death, and admonishes each of us to “follow.” The Bible says that we are to likewise admonish each other, and more so, as we see the “day” approaching. We are to do this daily, because we have such short memories, and because sin is very deceiving, and the pleasures of the flesh are so alluring. All of the great Godly characters submitted to the trying hand of the One who love us best, and knows our deepest needs, and how to deliver us to safety.

Sooner or later every serving saint will find out that his or her greatest hindrance, to the peace and rest of God, is not others, but herself or himself, not other people.

The spirit is alive within us, but it has a hindrance, us! The spirit needs to be released and only by breaking the outer-man is that possible.

If we are to ever go on with the Lord it is absolutely necessary that we understand the message of all the Prophets and Apostles, and that is that we must kill the flesh, it is a hindrance to the Lord. In this jar of clay is housed a precious perfume, and God must break the shell of clay to release the odor, the odor that God says pleases Him, it is the odor of brokenness.

Our faith and trust must be of the extreme kind, that really believes all the promises of God. Only with this kind of faith will we find what the prodigal was looking for, rest, from his own way of doing things, and peace in our heart that Father is faithful.

Be strong, our redemption is very close,

Steve B.

Steve,

Thanks so much for your reply, and I have to say that it provided me with great encouragement! I am in a weak moment at the time – my faith is not where it should be, for I am allowing the thoughts of others about me effect me too much – which for me only proves my lack of faith, thus causing this grief in me. I hate having this doubt, for I feel it grieves the Holy Spirit.

My husband’s thoughts of me really cause me such grief – for I want him to admire me and look to me as this wonderful woman – – I know this is a weakness in me that needs to go! My husband is a proud atheist, who looks at Christanity as just a belief in something bigger to make one feel better. Not only do his thoughts of me grieve me so, but naturally I hate how he rejects the Creator! Now I do not want to paint a false picture, my husband shows respect toward me and it not walking around criticizing me for what I believe – he makes mean remarks occasionally and naturally we are not likeminded in most things, but it is not a situation that is “abusive” at all – – just grievous to the heart for me – that’s all. And not just on a “me” level, I grieve for his soul – while at the same time am jealous for God’s rightful place in my husband’s mind that I at times feel anger inside for his rejection of Him. Does that make sense?

Why do I have to care what others think of me and where God has led me? I also have this one particular person, though they say they admire my strength and focus, they in return send me articles about “church” and fellowship – definitely indicating that they think I am being misled. A part of me wants to just cut the relationship/friendship off all together, and then another part of me wants to just grin and move on and continue to share what God has taught me about church – though there are at times my motive is not pure, for I see that I am losing sight of bringing glory to Him and just wanting to prove I am right – ugly I know, but it is the truth about me.

I have no doubt that God is trying to rid something in me through this – and I always know that it comes down to more of Him and less of me, and I also want that – I just want to do what is pleasing in His eyes!

This desire to be pleasing to Him can at times paralyze me – and I know that may not make sense, but that is the only way I can describe it, for I feel that I cause myself such anxiety over it that it is counterproductive. At this moment I cannot help but cry – for I hate this way in me!

Again, thanks for your words. I am so appreciative of you and PK – I have received such encouragement and strength through your desire to be in His truth.
Sherry

P.S. Oh, one more thing, I also have benefited from your replies at The School of Christ site! I have found many wonderful articles there.

Sherry,

One other thing. In regards to those who are influencing you, it may be necessary to break away from them if they are a cause of your stumbling. Ridding ourselves of any and all leaven is a critical part of cleaning up our lives, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Some things in our live are easy to control, so start there, and the Lord will lead you on further. Use the little that He has given, and He will give more. You must trust Him that His way are best. We are a separated and peculiar people. We mustn’t touch the unclean thing, and that means doing a lot of house cleaning first.

Honor God with your life and He will reward you. We have gotten just a slight smell in this life of the great banquet and wedding feast that awaits us.

Blessings,

Steve B.

Thanks Steve, and I will take a look at Watchman Nee’s, The Normal Christian Life. I agree that there are very few books that are really worth the time to read. A few years ago when God called me out of the CMA church, well the institutional church, He too led me to throw away all the books that didn’t glorify Him – I only have a few left – and haven’t purchased any new ones – though I have downloaded some to read and have read some good ones, but as you said, most are not worth it.

Ok, totally off this subject – and PK if you are reading this I would like your thoughts as well – but the word ‘church’ in the bible has been suggested by some that it does not exist in the New Testament – what is your take on this?

Since I have left the church I get all kinds of scripture thrown at me to justify the organized church – and though I feel confident in where God has me and for leading me out of that system, I am often “unprepared” to answer – well, except to say, I cannot apologize for where God has led me and I have no intentions on looking back – but with all the scripture using the word “church”, along with having words such as pastor, deacon, etc. – one would come away with an “organized” theory. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
sherry

Sherry,

Eph 1:15-23
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Some times it is hard to find the words we need to reply to those who question our resolve to follow hard after Christ. I have discovered one thing that has instructed me more than anything else, and that is that simple answers are usually the best (I don’t always adhere to this rule). It is probably the things that you already know in your heart that will be the best answer to most questions. When the blind man was questioned about the receiving of his sight by the Pharisees he said he didn’t know about all that stuff, but what he did know was that he was blind and now he could sees.

As we all know (meaning all professing Christians), and is beyond argument, the Church i.e., the elect, is the Body of Christ, and likewise Ekklesia is the united fellowship, the family, of that elect. That is a simple statement of which many volumes have been written, but little understood. God has so arranged life that it is one of our best teachers. We have been put into functioning bodies called families. The father is the head, with the wife as the supporting helper, together raising children. Eph 4:14-16 say it like this: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Unfortunately, what we see in the Organized Church is a very dysfunctional family with the father being a dictatorial figure answerable to no one, who allows only himself to speak, or his lieutenants, towing the party line. This is not a family like we would describe a wholesome Christian family. Where do we find that pictured in Scripture as Father’s ideal?

If we merely look at the surface of things we would have to agree with the Institution that what we see with our eyes on every corner up and down Main Street is “the Church,” and this could easily develop the theory you mentioned. These same individuals will use various examples as their proof that what they have built is indeed the Church, like: a changed life, good feelings toward others, broken habits, saved marriages, or mission work. Please keep in mind as you assess things that the human brain and adrenal glands are very powerful. Only Jesus and His ways and teaching can be used to measure the value or correctness of what they say. People are seemingly blessed when they experience this mental change of state. This can not be discounted, they really experience these things, but this is not the measure of a Christian life. These same things are routinely experienced by many religions, self-help groups, psychology patients, or practitioners of positive thinking. The resulting experiences of group dynamics, the overflow of excitement, and the secretion of dopamine and endorphin neurochemicals, resulting in the feelings of euphoria, positive thinking, or a changed life, is not the measure of whether or not one is a Christian or a member of the Ekklesia, the Body of Christ. Only Jesus, His Ways, and His Teachings can define the Church or any member thereof.

The easiest way to identify the Church, and know that you have found it, is that it will be like a real functional, healthy family, in every respect, knowing and following Jesus.

Well, I guess that is enough for now, I hope I have helped. The subject is very dear to my heart. There are so many of the Lord’s Body who are “prodigals,” searching in the world for something that can only be had at Home. It makes me sad. I long for a big family, but we are very small and weak. The Lord is our strength. We must continually reach out to those lost in the deep dark woods of the world.

Your Cousin in Indiana,

Steve B.

Yes, T. Austin Sparks is also one of my favorites – I have a few Schaeffer books (I just have to read and re-read to really grasp what he is saying – he’s much more intellectual than I) – Watchman Nee, I am familiar with his name but have not read anything from him. And of course I know God’s word is best to immerse oneself in, but I am also comfortable in the fact that he sends us other great men to learn from.

And I agree that we need bold men of God to contend for the faith – I pray that He never take His Holy Spirit from me and give me such faith… a steadfast spirit – eyes to see how He sees – to be bold for His glory.

I leave you with a great Tozer comment:
“The total life, the whole man and the whole woman, has got to worship God. Faith and love and obedience and loyalty and conduct and life—all of these are to worship God. If there is anything in you that doesn’t worship God, then there isn’t anything in you that does worship God very well. If you departmentalize your life and let certain parts of you worship God but other parts of you do not worship God, you are not worshipping God as you should. It is a great delusion that we easily fall into the idea that in church or in the presence of death or in the midst of sublimity that we are spiritual.” (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #6, Toronto, 1962)

Shalom

Sherry,

Watchman Nee’s, The Normal Christian Life, is a classic and needs to be read by all Christians. Basically it is a commentary on the first eight chapters of Romans, but his depth of insight far surpasses nearly all the others. It is one of the books that will you will read and re-read over the years. The book can be downloaded for free at several places on the web, I have added one here if you want to give it a look.

I love to read, and usually have a book with me wherever I go, but I have found that most of what I have read in the past has done me little good besides just an entertainment factor. But, on the other hand good books by Godly men or women should be read and studied and practiced. The books I’m talking about are rare and would fill only a small book shelf, but they are out there scattered in amongst all the others.

Have a blessed day, I must go to work now,

Steve

Steve,

AMEN!!

I love to read Tozer, he truly was/is prophetic in his teachings, in fact I am re-reading The Pursuit of God at the moment…I never tire of reading this book.

Thanks for sharing this devotion.

I love Tozer also. I think he along with people like T. Austin Sparks, Watchman Nee, and Francis Schaeffer are dinosaurs. I don’t see anyone like them today who had such discernment of present events and a prophetic view of the near future; it is almost scary to comprehend their vision.

We desperately need those who will boldly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. That particular faith is very rare.

Blessings,

Keep your eyes on the Man from Heaven,

Steve

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