Sunday, May 25, 2008

Holiness or happiness? A.W. Tozer

“Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higher than an invitation to tranquillity must be recognized as mere humanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appear Christian…

“Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name.

“He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster.

“He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords.

“He calls them to self-abnegation and death; we call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac.

“He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers…

“We can afford to suffer now; we’ll have a long eternity to enjoy ourselves. And our enjoyment will be valid and pure, for it will come in the right way at the right time.”

– A.W. Tozer (born April 21, 1897, Died May 12, 1963)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Deceiving....and Being Deceived

(2 Timothy 3:13) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The following is a word the Lord gave me last year about the Angel of Light. Satan has been masquerading as an Angel of Light which is the Anti-Christ Spirit and he has been given power to deceive many even the very elect if possible. (Matthew 24:24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

(2 Corinthians 11:14) And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light.

The word “light” is the Greek work “phos” to shine or to make manifest. From this root word also comes the word “photizo” as in 1 Corinthians 4:5 “ to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest”

1) to give light, to shine
2) to enlighten, light up, illumine
3) to bring to light, render evident
a) to cause something to exist and thus come to light and become clear to all
4) to enlighten, spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge
a) to instruct, to inform, teach
b) to give understanding to
So we see from 2 Cor. 11:14 Satan comes as an angel of light, giving “understanding” of spiritual things.

Paul had to deal with the false “angel of light” in his day, but said it would become much worse in the last days. Even as Jesus himself warned: (Matthew 24:24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

(1 Timothy 4:1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

(2 Timothy 3:1) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

We know that in these last days God will be shedding light and revealing truth that had previously been hidden. We know God revealed them to Paul. (Romans 16:25) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
(Ephesians 3:3-5) how that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

Revelation means to bring to light that which was hidden, disclosure of truth, instruction concerning things before unknown.

(Daniel 12:4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

As Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1 these are perilous days we are in. As God is revealing truth to his body, Satan will try to deceive “even the elect”. Satan has had 2000 years to perfect masquerading as an angel of light. There has been a great falling away from the truth of the Gospel as first preached by the apostles. God is now returning his elect by revealing the truth to his people, for he is looking for that church without spot or wrinkle. It will not be easy to deceive those who seek God for truth; Satan will have to cloak the deception in the midst of much truth. And those who are not willing to lay down ALL things to the Lord for only truth will be deceived in one fashion or another.

(Colossians 2:8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

The word for today is BEWARE. Beware of the traditions or “religions” of men. Beware of the rudiments or “things” and the "ways” of the world. If we hold to these things, even if we see that our traditional way of doing things and our way of thinking are contrary to scripture, then even our “service” to God can be an “idol of our heart”. And we will not see the truth and will be deceived. God will give us over to the false “angel of light” and will believe the lie unto our own destruction.

(Ezekiel 14:4) Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel that taketh his idols into his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I Jehovah will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols;

In these last days there will be wonderful revelations from the Lord returning us to the pure word of God and holiness. Satan will not be above using this “light” to cloak his deception in, in order to fool the elect of God. We MUST “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

If any teacher, preacher, apostle or prophet seems to be offended if you search the scriptures out to see if what they are saying is true, beware of them. The Bereans were praised for searching out the scriptures to see if it was true. (Acts 17:11)

In these last days, beware of the one that will come as an angel of “light”, of “revelation” and of “truth”. Judge these things. (1 Corinthians 2:15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, and he himself is judged of no man.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. I John 4:4-5

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
1 Timothy 4:1

The apostle John said the Spirit of God in the believer is greater than the spirit of Satan in the world. Yet Paul said a time would come when believers would “depart from the faith” as a result of listening to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils. This is what’s happening right now; it’s happening all around us. If “he that is in you” is greater than “he that is in the world”, then why are so many Christians being deceived and overtaken by seducing spirits in these days?

One reason is because they have been taught numerous doctrinal errors by religious leaders who have themselves been seduced and overcome. Seducing spirits always go for the leadership first because they know that if they can deceive the leadership, they have just gotten the victory over about 75 - 80% of the “sheeple” because that’s about how many will blindly accept the lies they are being taught.

Satan and his demons are spirits. That means they move on people’s hearts and minds much the same way that God moves on them. Did you ever witness to anyone and you knew the words coming out of your mouth were not your own words, but were the words of the Holy Spirit? Well, those who are deceived by seducing spirits do exactly the same thing. They speak words that are not their own.

Did you ever talk to somebody and you knew the anointing of God was on those words, and you could see they had a real affect on the person you were talking to? Well, the same thing can happen with seducing spirits. They have an anointing; they have real, supernatural power; and when someone is under their influence (whether they are a Christian or not, it makes no difference) they are doing the same thing for Satan through the power of those spirits that we do for God when we speak under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Right now, many Christian teachers and preachers—and many regular folks just like you and me—are moving and speaking under an anointing that is not God’s anointing. When preachers or teachers who have been deceived by seducing spirits stand behind a pulpit or get behind a mic, they are not really the ones doing the talking. Rather, deceiving spirits are speaking through them; and when they speak, supernatural powers are being unleashed over the audience through their words.

Contrary to what most of us assume or have been taught, doctrinal error is not harmless because many of these errors come from the minds of supernatural creatures. They didn’t come from the mind of man or from the mind of the flesh; and because they came from supernatural creatures, they contain supernatural power.

Why did Paul call these spirits “seducing” spirits? Because they have the power to seduce the mind. They come to us and try to wrongly divide the Scripture in our minds; or they try to impart false ideas or revelations to the mind. Once a person accepts the ideas or revelations of a seducing spirit, two things happen: (1) Their minds become enslaved to the power that gave them the idea or revelation; and (2) they become vessels through which these spirits can freely operate. They go forth and spread the teachings and ideas of these spirits among the people of God; and the same spirits that seduced them are present with them when they teach, in order to seduce the minds of those who are listening.

What we believe doctrinally is very important. Those who think doctrine isn’t important, and who remain confident that God will lead them to glory regardless of what they believe, are not moving in faith: they are living in unreality. The way God leads us to glory is by giving us His Holy Spirit—which is the Spirit of Truth—to expose and deliver us from those things (including false doctrines and concepts) which keep us from attaining that glory. This operation is the faithfulness of God.

Click here for complete article - By Dan Mace - Zion's Trumpet

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Saint Must Walk Alone

Most of the world's great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.

In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man's creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.

Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.

Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man "whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart"? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.

Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.

The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children," cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.

Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross. His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.

He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw. There are some things too sacred for any eye but God's to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.

Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, "Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,' and `Lo, I am with you alway.' How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?"

Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. "They all forsook Him, and fled."

The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul - and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord's house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, "He has seen a vision."

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd - that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life's summum bonum.

Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. "God will not suffer you to lose anything by it," he told them. "You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you." This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

by A W Tozer

Monday, May 05, 2008

Exposing Our Nakedness

When we began our walk with the Lord we were given the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice for our past sins. Jesus, as the Passover lamb, shed his blood and that blood cleaned us from all the sins we were guilty of. We were given a robe of righteousness to “cover” our nakedness.

(Genesis 3:7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

When Adam & Eve sinned they suddenly knew they were naked. They thought by covering up the outside with the fig leaves they could hide the sin that was inside. That was the nakedness they were feeling.

This is what Job was talking about in Job 31:33 “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:” It didn’t work for Adam and it doesn’t work for us. We can’t make ourselves pure and holy enough for the Lord in our own strength, God sees right through that. It took Jesus’ sacrifice to cover that sin.

(Luke 3:16) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

After Passover came Pentecost. The Holy Ghost fulfilled Pentecost with the baptism of fire. This purifying fire is the power to purge the sin away. It is a cleansing process. While we are obedient to the Holy Ghost he begins to remove each sin that is within us. He will quicken in our spirits what he is dealing with, he will give us directions to follow and he will ALWAYS give us the strength to obey those directions. So there is never any excuse to not follow his lead. It is painful….being burned with fire is painful, but that is no excuse. We CAN walk in the Holiness that HE commands each day...…day by day.

While this process is going on, the robe of righteousness (imputed righteousness) protects us. Without it separation from God would come from the sins the Holy Ghost has not dealt with yet. We have to understand, while God is love, he is also HOLY and NO FLESH can stand in his presence, we need this robe to cover us.

There is coming a time when that the robe of imputed righteousness will be removed and what remains inside will be exposed. We must be obedient to the Holy Spirit as he cleanses us so that the nakedness of Adam will not be revealed to our shame.

This is what is spoken of in Revelation 3:17-18:

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see

The Laodiceans thought they were rich and in need of nothing, they were glorying in their own success by their own hands. But they were in need of the fire of the Holy Ghost to purify them as pure gold. This sounds an awful lot like what the prophet Jeremiah spoke of..

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;

Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
(Jeremiah 9:23-26)

Let us heed the counsel of the Lord and let the Holy Spirit cleanse and circumcise our hearts before it is too late and we are exposed!