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lwpray
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 Prophets’ formation



Prophets’ formation


A call to modern-day Prophets

In frequent lectures to young preachers Dr. Tozer sought for those who would join his “Fellowship Of the Burning Heart,” who would pay the price and, like himself, take a mystical approach to the ministry. He issued a distinct call for modern-day prophets.
Tozer recognized there are in the church today many good men of spotless life—splendid, Spirit-filled teachers. “I’m profoundly grateful for these men and have benefited from their ministry,” he would say. “But I believe the times call for a few men who will be specially anointed and endued with gifts peculiarly suited to the needs of this hour. These men will know the mind of God for their day and will speak with calm assurance. They will be in one sense prophets to their generation.”

“It will cost you everything to follow the Lord,” Tozer told these young men, “and it will cost you more to be God’s man for the hour. Anybody can go around and teach the Bible. Many do it and do it do well. Many pastors do well in building up a congregation by Bible teaching, and we need Bible teaching and Bible teachers. But there is a tremendous need for prophets in each generation. These are the spiritual originals, the God-intoxicated few, who, in every age, have spoken God’s clear message into the duller ears of the multitudes.”
Tozer emphasized the importance of teaching people how to worship God. “Lead them,” he advised, away from the frivolous to a meaningful, dignified worship service. Teach them to sing some of the old hymns of the church—hymns that glorify God, hymns with some meaning to them.”

Once at a Bible conference he testified to a spiritual experience he had as a young preacher. “A preacher friend joined me for a walk out in the woods for private Bible reading and prayer. He stopped at a log and, if I know him, probably fell asleep. I went on a little farther, as Jesus did, and knelt down and began to read my Bible. I was reading about the camp of Israel in the wilderness and how God laid it out in a beautiful diamond pattern. All at once I saw God as I never saw Him before. In that wooded sanctuary I fell on my face and worshipped. Since that experience, I have lost all interest in cheap religious thrills. The vacuous religious choruses we sing hold no attraction for me. I came face-to-face with the sovereign God, and since that time only God has mattered in my life.”

In his early ministry Tozer recognized that the anointing oil of the prophet was upon him. It humbled him, but more than that it drove him to his knees. Often during the early years in Chicago he would take a morning streetcar out to Lake Michigan, only his Bible with him, and spend the day in solitude with God.
Tozer could speak prophetically because he had encountered God. He earned his reputation as a twentieth century prophet and functioned, as someone observed, as the “conscience of evangelicalism” not only in his own generation but for the generations that have succeeded him.

From
IN PURSUIT OF GOD
The Life of A. W. Tozer
James L. Snyder


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



TRUE PROPHETS
By LEONARD RAVENHILL

The prophet in his day is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men.
Years back, Dr. Gregory Mantle was right when he said, ”No man can be fully accepted until he is totally rejected.” The prophet of the Lord is aware of both these experiences. They are his ”brand name.”

The group, challenged by the prophet because they are smug and comfortably insulated from a perishing world in their warm but untested theology, is not likely to vote him ”Man of the year” when he refers to them as habituates of the synagogue of Satan!

The prophet comes to set up that which is upset. His work is to call into line those who are out of line! He is unpopular because he opposes the popular in morality and spirituality. In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry to God for a prophet! The function of the prophet, as Austin-Sparks once said, ”has almost always been that of recovery.”

The prophet is God’s detective seeking for a lost treasure. The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity. Compromise is not known to him. He has no price tags.

He is totally ”otherworldly.”
He is unquestionably controversial and unpardonably hostile.
He marches to another drummer!
He breathes the rarefied air of inspiration.
He is a ”seer” who comes to lead the blind.
He lives in the heights of God and comes into the valley with a ”thus saith the Lord.”
He shares some of the foreknowledge of God and so is aware of impending judgment.

He lives in ”splendid isolation.”
He is forthright and outright, but he claims no birthright.
His message is ”repent, be reconciled to God or else...!”
His prophecies are parried.
His truth brings torment, but his voice is never void.
He is the villain of today and the hero of tomorrow.
He is excommunicated while alive and exalted when dead!
He is dishonored with epithets when breathing and honored with epitaphs when dead.

He is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but few ”make the grade” in his class.
He is friendless while living and famous when dead.
He is against the establishment in ministry; then he is established as a saint by posterity.
He eats daily the bread of affliction while he ministers, but he feeds the Bread of Life to those who listen.
He walks before men for days but has walked before God for years.
He is a scourge to the nation before he is scourged by the nation.
He announces, pronounces, and denounces!
He has a heart like a volcano and his words are as fire.

He talks to men about God.
He carries the lamp of truth amongst heretics while he is lampooned by men.
He faces God before he faces men, but he is self-effacing.
He hides with God in the secret place, but he has nothing to hide in the marketplace.
He is naturally sensitive but supernaturally spiritual.
He has passion, purpose and pugnacity.
He is ordained of God but disdained by men.

Our national need at this hour is not that the dollar recover its strength, or that we save face over the Watergate affair, or that we find the answer to the ecology problem. We need a God-sent prophet!
I am bombarded with talk or letters about the coming shortages in our national life: bread, fuel, energy. I read between the lines from people not practiced in scaring folk. They feel that the ”seven years of plenty” are over for us. The ”seven years of famine” are ahead. But the greatest famine of all in this nation at this given moment is a FAMINE OF THE HEARING OF THE WORDS OF GOD (Amos 8:11).

Millions have been spent on evangelism in the last twenty-five years. Hundreds of gospel messages streak through the air over the nation every day. Crusades have been held; healing meetings have made a vital contribution. ”Come-outers” have ”come out” and settled, too, without a nation-shaking revival. Organizers we have. Skilled preachers abound. Multi-million dollar Christian organizations straddle the nation. BUT where, oh where, is the prophet? Where are the incandescent men fresh from the holy place? Where is the Moses to plead in fasting before the holiness of the Lord for our moldy morality, our political perfidy, and sour and sick spirituality?

GOD’S MEN ARE IN HIDING UNTIL THE DAY OF THEIR SHOWING FORTH. They will come. The prophet is violated during his ministry, but he is vindicated by history.
There is a terrible vacuum in evangelical Christianity today. The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man with a terrible earnestness. The man totally otherworldly. The man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable.

Let him be as plain as John the Baptist.
Let him for a season be a voice crying in the wilderness of modern theology and stagnant ”churchianity.”
Let him be as selfless as Paul the apostle.
Let him, too, say and live, ”This ONE thing I do.”
Let him reject ecclesiastical favors.
Let him be self-abasing, nonself-seeking, nonself-projecting, nonself- righteous, nonself-glorying, nonself-promoting.

Let him say nothing that will draw men to himself but only that which will move men to God.
Let him come daily from the throne room of a holy God, the place where he has received the order of the day.
Let him, under God, unstop the ears of the millions who are deaf through the clatter of shekels milked from this hour of material mesmerism.
Let him cry with a voice this century has not heard because he has seen a vision no man in this century has seen. God send us this Moses to lead us from the wilderness of crass materialism, where the rattlesnakes of lust bite us and where enlightened men, totally blind spiritually, lead us to an ever-nearing Armageddon.

God have mercy! Send us PROPHETS!


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



What Makes A Prophet?
Gleanings from T. Austin Sparks

"Prophetic ministry is not something you can take up… it’s something you are."

"No academy can make you a prophet. Samuel instituted the Schools of the Prophets. They were for two purposes. One, the dissemination of religious knowledge, and the other, the writing up of the chronicles of religious history. In Samuel’s day there was no open vision; the people had lost the word of God. They had to be taught the Word of God again, and the Chronicles of the ways of God had to be written up and put on record for future generations, and the Schools of the Prophets were instituted in the main for that purpose."

"But there is a great deal of difference between those academic prophets and the living anointed prophets."

"The point is this: The identity of the vessel with its ministry is the very heart of Divine thought. A man is called to represent the thoughts of God…to represent them in what he is, not in something that he takes up as a form or line of ministry, not in something that he does. The vessel itself is the ministry and you cannot divide between the two."





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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/28 8:01Profile
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 Re: Prophets’ formation



There is something about the seductive power of the approval and acceptance of man that works in us as a leaven for disaster. There is something that men covet to be approved by their fellows, to receive their appreciation and to be honored by them.
To be indifferent to that honor and approval and to speak the necessary word however much you will bring painful rejection can only be borne by someone who has no life unto himself. It is all the same to him as to whether he is accepted or rejected, misunderstood or approved, all of that is to say, that the issue between the true prophet and the false is the issue of the cross. Flattery is an antichrist mode of winning and influencing men. It is so beguiling, for who does not love to be flattered or to be acknowledged and recognized?

Art Katz


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



What Kind of Revival Do We Need?
by Andrew Murray

How is the church to be lifted up to the abundant life in Christ, which will fit her for the work that God is putting before Her? Nothing will help but a revival, nothing less than a tremendous spiritual revival. Great tides of spiritual energy must be put into motion if this work is to be accomplished. Now there may be great differences in what we understand by revival. Many will think of the work of evangelists like Moody and Torrey. We need a different and mightier revival than those were. In them the chief object was the conversion of sinners, and incidentally, the quickening of believers. But the revival that we need calls for a deeper and more entire upheaval of the Church. The great defect of those revivals was that the converts were received into a Church that was not living on the high level of consecration and holiness, and speedily sank down to the average standard of ordinary religious life. Even the believers who had been roused by it, also gradually returned to their former life of clouded fellowship and lack of power to testify for Christ.

The revival we need is a revival of holiness, in which the consecration of the whole being is to the service of Christ, and that for the whole life shall be counted possible. And for this there will be needed a new style of preaching in which the promises of God to dwell in His people, and to sanctify them for Himself, will take a place which they do not now have. When our Lord Jesus gave the promise of the Holy Spirit, He spoke of the New Covenant blessing that would be experienced - God dwelling in His people. “If a man love Me, he will keep my words; and My Father will love him.”
So Paul also writes: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. . . that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” With the Reformation, the great truth of justification by faith was restored to its place. But the other great truth of sanctification has never yet taken its place in the preaching and practice of the Church which God’s Word claims for it. It is for this that we need a revival, that the Holy Spirit may so take possession of us that the Father and the Son can live in us, and that the fellowship with Them, and devotion to Their will and service shall be our chief joy. This will be in very deed a holiness revival.

The Moravian community (at Herrnhut) owed its birth to a holiness revival. There were gathered together a number of Bohemian refugees, and along with them a number of Christian of different sects. It was not long before disputes arose, and Herrnhut became a scene of contention and divisions. Zinzendorf felt this so deeply that he went down to live among them. In the power of God’s Spirit he succeeded in restoring order and in binding them together in the power and devotion of Jesus Christ and of love to each other. More than once they had remarkable manifestations of the presence of the Spirit, and their whole life became one of worship and praise.
After they had for a couple of years been having their nightly fellowship meetings, they were lead to the consecration of the whole body to the service of Christ’s kingdom. It was in this holiness revival that the Moravian missionary idea was born. When John Wesley visited them he wrote: “God has given me the desire of my heart. I am with a church whose conversation is in heaven, in whom is the mind that was in Christ, and who so walk as He walked. Here I continually met what I sought for - living proofs of the power of faith, persons saved from inward as well as outward sin, by the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. I was extremely comforted and strengthened by the conversation of this lovely people.”

A holiness revival! What was the great evangelistic revival in England through Whitefield and Wesley but this? They had together at Oxford been members of the “Holy Club”. With their whole heart they had sought deliverance from the guilt of sin, but also from the power of sin. When their eyes were opened to see how faith can claim the whole Christ in all fullness, they found the key to the preaching which was so mightily effectual for the salvation of men. What John Wesley did for the Methodism, General Booth, and his disciple, did for the Salvation Army. Looking at the material on which he had to work, it was amazing how, with his teaching of the clean heart and full salvation, he was able to inspire tens of thousands with a true devotion to Christ and the lost. There may be great differences of doctrine, but no one can be blind to the seal God has set upon the intense desire to preach a full salvation and an entire consecration.

A revival of holiness is what we need. Such preaching of the claim that Christ Has on us, shall lead us to live entirely for Him and His kingdom; such an attachment of love to Him as shall make His fellowship our highest joy; such faith in His freeing us from the dominion of sin as shall enable us to obey His commandments; such yielding to the Holy Spirit as to be led by Him in all our daily walk - these will be some of the elements of the revival of true holiness for which the Church must learn to seek as for the pearl of great price.

And how is it to be found? It will cost much prayer. It will cost more than that - much sacrifice of self and of the world. It will need a surrender to Christ Jesus to follow Him as closely as God is able to lead us. We must learn to look upon a life like Christ’s, having the very same mind that was in Him, as the supreme object of daily life. It is only when a prayer such as Robert Murray McCheyne’s becomes ours, “Lord make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be,” and begins to be offered by an increasing number of ministers and believers, that the promise of the New Covenant will become a matter of experience.


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



Do You Need the Sensational To Keep You “Satisfied”?
A. W. Tozer

I WONDER WHY THE PEOPLE OF GOD in our churches are so reluctant to leave the things which are the first principles of the doctrine of Christ?
Why do you suppose so few are interested in the scriptural admonition: “Let us go on unto perfection”?
Anybody that needs to have to be chucked under the chin all the time to keep him “up” is in bad shape spiritually. He needs something else.
Anybody that needs to have the gospel preached to him all the time and have it repeated all the time—something is wrong with him!

Some of you have heard the gospel many times, you say you have believed, that you have turned from idols to serve the living God, and to wait for His Son from heaven—and yet you don’t behave as though you are a settled and contented Christian.
You are not satisfied until you have tried out the latest gospel peddler, or the sensationally popular evangelistic services down the street.
If a gospel troupe comes along, you’re satisfied for a while, because they have cowbells and a musical handsaw and a lot of other gadgets.
Actually, you can catch them at the Eighth Street theater any night by just writing in for tickets. I can’t think of a single one of their names, but I know they are down there with their cowbells and banjos and their hillbilly songs, and if that’s what you want, go down there and get it.

But I say that if the gospel proclamation has to bring that in in order to get a crowd, boycott it. Let him preach to empty seats.
In our day, we seem to overlook the divine principle of what ought to happen in the life of a truly born-again man.
What do we do? We get them in to church, and then after we get them in, we try to work on them.
We even have two works of grace, because the first one was so apologetically meaningless and worthless that we try to have two.
Now, I am not speaking against the two. I am recalling that which used to be done the first time a man met God. Nowadays, we are having to invent a second, or third, or fourth, or fifth experience down the hill, or up the hill, to get what we used to get the first time we met God.

I believe in the anointing of the Holy Ghost after regeneration, but I also believe that we ought not to preach down the new birth in order to find a place for the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
The old Methodist believers were better Christians when they were just newly converted than many of the so-called deeper life people that I run into now, because a miracle had taken place.
They wouldn’t accept a pale, ineffective and apologetic believing. They insisted on a miracle taking place in the human breast. Jesus Christ was their hope, and they knew full well the guarantee—God had raised Him from the dead!

From the TOZER PULPIT
Selections from his pulpit ministry


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



A Prophet weeps before he uses the whip.
A theologian more than often despises tears, and becomes a terror to a hungry heart.
L. W.


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 Re:

Quote:

We even have two works of grace, because the first one was so apologetically meaningless and worthless that we try to have two.



What a brilliant saying by Tozer.


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



Men, Our Most Critical Need
A.W. Tozer

The most critical need of the Church at this moment is men—the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival, that we need a new baptism of the Holy Spirit—and God knows we must have both—but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Spirit.
We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances. Their only compulsion will come from within—or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious acts out of mere custom, nor allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.

Much that the church—even the evangelical church—is doing today, it is doing because it is afraid not to do it. Ministerial associations take up projects for no higher reasons than that they are scared into it. Whatever their ear-to-the-ground, fear-inspired reconnoitering leads them to believe—or fear—the world expects them to do, they will be doing come next Monday morning with all kinds of trumped-up zeal and show of godliness. The pressure of public opinion calls these prophets, not the voice of Jehovah.

The true church has never sounded out public expectations before launching its crusades. Its leaders heard from God and went ahead wholly independent of popular support or the lack of it. They knew their Lord’s will and did it, and their people followed them—sometimes to triumph, but more often to insults and public persecution—and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world.

Another characteristic of the true prophet has been love. The free man who has learned to hear God’s voice and dared to obey it has felt the moral burden that broke the hearts of the Old Testament prophets, crushed the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wrung streams of tears from the eyes of the apostles.

The free man has never been a religious tyrant, nor has he sought to lord it over God’s heritage. It is fear and lack of self-assurance that has led men to try to bring others under their feet. They have had some interest to protect, some position to secure, so they have demanded subjection from their followers as a guarantee of their own safety. But the free man—never. He has nothing to protect, no ambition to pursue and no enemy to fear. For that reason he is completely careless of his standing among men. If they follow him—well and good. If not, he loses nothing that he holds dear. But whether he is accepted or rejected, he will go on loving his people with sincere devotion, and only death can silence his tender intercession for them.

Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive, it must have men again—the right kind of men. It must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and it must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made. God will hear the cries of His people as He heard the cries of Israel in Egypt, and He will send deliverance by sending deliverers. It is His way.

And when the deliverers come—reformers, revivalists, prophets—they will be men of God and men of courage. They will have God on their side because they are careful to stay on God’s side. They will be co-workers with Christ and instruments in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Such men will be baptized with the Spirit indeed and through their labors He will baptize others and send the long-delayed revival.


From:
This World, Playground or battleground


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 Re: Prophets’ formation



Prophets’ formation



Could This Be Our Most Critical Need?
A.W. Tozer

When viewing the religious scene today, we are tempted to fix on one or another weakness and say, “This is what is wrong with the church. If this were corrected, we could recapture the glory of the early church and have pentecostal times back with us again.”
This tendency to oversimplification is itself a weakness and should be guarded against always, especially when dealing with anything as complex as religion as it occurs in modern times. It takes a very young man to reduce all our present woes to a single disease and cure the whole thing with one simple remedy. Older and wiser heads will be more cautious, having learned that the prescribed nostrum seldom works for the reason that the diagnosis has not been correct. Nothing is that simple. Few spiritual diseases occur alone. Almost all are complicated by the presence of others and are so vitally interrelated as they spread over the whole religious body that it would take the wisdom of a Solomon to find a single cure.

For this reason, I am hesitant to point to any one defect in present-day Christianity and make all our troubles to stem from it alone. That so-called Bible religion in our times is suffering rapid decline is so evident as to need no proof, but just what has brought about this decline is not so easy to discover. I can only say that I have observed one significant lack among evangelical Christians which might turn out to be the real cause of most of our spiritual troubles. Of course, if that were true, then the supplying of that lack would be our most critical need.

The great deficiency to which I refer is the lack of spiritual discernment, especially among our leaders. How there can be so much Bible knowledge and so little insight, so little moral penetration, is one of the enigmas of the religious world today. I think it is altogether accurate to say that there has never before been a time in the history of the church when so many people were engaged in Bible study as are so engaged today. If the knowledge of Bible doctrine were any guarantee of godliness, this would without doubt be known in history as the age of sanctity. Instead, it may well be known as the age of the church’s Babylonish captivity, or the age of worldliness, when the professed Bride of Christ allowed herself to be successfully courted by the fallen sons of men in unbelievable numbers. The body of evangelical believers, under evil influences, has during the last twenty five years gone over to the world in complete and abject surrender, avoiding only a few of the grosser sins such as drunkenness and sexual promiscuity.

That this disgraceful betrayal has taken place in broad daylight with full consent of our Bible teachers and evangelists is one of the most terrible affairs in the spiritual history of the world. Yet I for one cannot believe that the great surrender was negotiated by men of evil heart who set out deliberately to destroy the faith of our fathers. Many good and clean-living people have collaborated with the quislings who betrayed us. Why? The answer can only be, from lack of spiritual vision. Something like a mist has settled over the church as “the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations” (Isaiah 25:7). Such a veil once descended upon Israel: “For their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:14-15). That was Israel’s tragic hour. God raised up the church and temporarily disfranchised His ancient people. He could not trust His work to blind men.

Surely we need a baptism of clear seeing if we are to escape the fate of Israel (and of every other religious body in history that forsook God). If not the greatest need, then surely one of the greatest is for the appearance of Christian leaders with prophetic vision. We desperately need seers who can see through the mist. Unless they come soon, it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come, we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy. But the cross is always the harbinger of the resurrection.

Mere evangelism is not our present need. Evangelism does no more than extend religion, of whatever kind it may be. It gains acceptance for religion among larger numbers of people without giving much thought to the quality of that religion. The tragedy is that present-day evangelism accepts the degenerate form of Christianity now current as the very religion of the apostles and busies itself with making converts to it with no questions asked. And all the time we are moving farther and farther from the New Testament pattern.

We must have a new reformation. There must come a violent break with that irresponsible, amusement-mad, paganized pseudo-religion which passes today for the faith of Christ and which is being spread all over the world by unspiritual men employing unscriptural methods to achieve their ends.
When the Roman church apostatized, God brought about the Reformation. When the Reformation declined, God raised up the Moravians and the Wesleys. When these movements began to die, God raised up fundamentalism and the “deeper life” groups.
Now that these have almost without exception sold out to the world—what next?

From:
We travel an appointed way


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/10/12 9:23Profile





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