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 REVIVAL: It REQUIRES OBEDIENCE by A W Tozer


"But why do you call Me "Lord, Lord," and not do the things which
I say?" - Luke 6:46.

It is my conviction that much, very much, prayer for and talk about
revival these days is wasted energy. Ignoring the confusion of
figures, I might say that it is hunger that appears to have no
object; it is dreamy wishing that is too weak to produce moral
action. It is fanaticism on a high level for,according to John
Wesley, "a fanatic is one who seeks desired ends while ignoring
the constituted means to reach those ends."...

The correction of this error is extemely difficult for it entails more
than a mere adjustment of our doctrinal beliefs; it strikes at the
whole Adam-life and requires self-abnegation, humility and cross
carrying. In short it requires obedience. And that we will do
anything to escape.

It is almost unbelievable how far we will go to avoid obeying God.
We call Jesus "Lord" and beg Him to rejuvenate our souls, but
we are careful to do not the things He says. When faced with a
sin, a confession or a moral alteration in our life, we find it much
easier to pray half a night than to obey God.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2011/9/28 9:57Profile
ArtB
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re: REVIVAL: It REQUIRES OBEDIENCE by A W Tozer

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

I am a sinner.

I've always had a problem with the word 'obedience', and even more so when used by my fellow Christians. If we were truly an obedient people, then Jesus died needlessly. For we would have kept the Mosaic Laws through our obedience to God.

God is not a cheerleader cheering for us to obey, obey, obey, and hoping some of us will do so that they may be saved.

Rather, God is a miracle worker who transforms our very nature to do the good through the redemptive work of His only begotten Son Jesus, that we will naturally do the good He created us to do, despite our current weaknesses and failures. Unlike us, God does not fail, and He will not fail us.

But some may object, now that we are Christians, we have the ability to be obedient, all we have to do is be willing to be obedient. I reject this absurdity. The only human I am aware of that was truly obedient to God for His entire Life is His only begotten Son, Jesus. All others - including all Christians, sin, and we do so regularly. I'm not saying we practice sin, though some do in their backsliding, nevertheless we all sin continuously.

Scripture confirms this truth:

1 Jn 1:5-10
A This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NO SIN, WE ARE DECEIVING OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. NASU

In my understanding of Scripture, sins are acts of disobedience. As Christians, we do not practice sin, nevertheless, we will sin continuously during our lifetime. But we will also be in fellowship with God daily, (read versus 1 John 1:1-4) and as we confess our known sins to God regularly, God is faithful to forgive our sins, and He will also be the ONE who cleanses us from all our sins. God is daily performing this work in us as we fellowship daily with Him and with each other. Know that God will accomplish all that He sets out to do. If God is for you, who is against you.

Thus we are saved by the Faith of Jesus Christ and His Laws of the New Covenant that transforms our very nature into a Godly loving people who will naturally do the good we were created by God to do. By these new Laws of the New Covenant we have in God through Jesus finished work on the cross, we are transformed into His likeness. That we may do the good that He created us to do. And all this is truly a gift from God to each of us, that none may boast. By the Laws of Jesus Christ of the New Covenant, God keeps us.

A.W. Tozer Speaks of God's Mercy and many other topics in his book 'The knowledge of the Holy.'

J.I. Packer covers this in his Lengthy book, 'Knowing God'. But I recommend the NT. Ultimately, I stand by the actual revelations of the New Testament, which are also predicted by the OT.







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Arthur Biele

 2011/9/28 17:26Profile
a-servant
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Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


 Re:

"It is almost unbelievable how far we will go to avoid obeying God. We call Jesus "Lord" and beg Him to rejuvenate our souls, but we are careful to do not the things He says."

True. But we can do even better than that, we can prove by doctrine that it is more spiritual to disobey Him than to do the things He says.

Or so we thought. Just on time He warned us of being a victim of our drive for superior absurdity that results from a dry intellectualisation:

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18:17

Can a child trust Jesus that whatever He says it's the truth and nothing but the truth? Oh, absolutely. Our faith knows no second thoughts or limitations of time or space.

It is sadly true that: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matt 24:12

but let's not be discouraged, let's mourn but also remember:

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22




 2011/9/29 1:13Profile
ArtB
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Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re:

Nice post A-Servant!


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Arthur Biele

 2011/9/29 12:08Profile
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1481


 Re: Examples in recent history

As I was reading the responses to this post of A W Tozer, I was reminded of the testimony of Brother Boris Sorokovsky in "A Call to the American Churches" (which is available in the forums here) and another sermon entitled "What is Prophesy?" He tells how through waiting on the Lord in prayer and fasting, and promptly obeying the revelation given, God created a revival through the obedience of His saints in pre-Communist Russia. This also involved the simple, childlike obedience to the Word through the observance of communion, baptism, simple dress, head covering of the women, the men lifting up holy hands unto the Lord and the holy kiss. I know that I find it difficult to do some of these things, even ones that do not involve others such as lifting up my hands and eyes to the Lord while in prayer. Others do it in worship but not in prayer. When I look at things like this, it becomes evident that to observe them, requires an utterness toward God and sincere love for the Brethren in Christ.

Here is the link to the second sermon, "What is Prophesy?" by B. Sorokovsky: http://www.vejvoda.com/WhatIsProphecy.html

 2011/9/29 13:50Profile









 Re:


Of late, I'm feeling a heaviness with the question of 'why' it is so difficult for people to Love Jesus. It's really heavy.

A hypothetical story ...

A man decides to not work and care for his family but to steal.
He's caught in the act but a bystander grabs the item out of his hand to take the blame and then also takes the bullet that was intended for the thief, for the guilty person and in his dying breath he tells the thief, "Please just get a job and take care of your family."

What would this thief do after that, with the memory of what this man did for him and his last words?
Could the thief ever not love this man and feel unspeakable gratitude to him for the rest of his life and probably start looking for an honest job for his family's sake.

I don't see what Jesus did for us to be any different and cannot understand not loving Him or His Words to us, from Deut 6:5 onto the end of the book of the Revelation.
He's only asked for love and further yet - He said that if we at the least make that effort to fulfill His final words to us, that He would also be 'in' us to fulfill them. We take one step, He takes two or two-thousand. He said, that if we are willing to do the will of the Father, then we'll know and understand His teachings and He'd send His Own Spirit to stay with us until He comes to take us Home to Paradise. What more do we want of Him? Why can't we love Him at least as much as that thief would love the man that took the bullet for him? Why can't we understand just the words of the New Testament and the cost that was paid for us to be able to have it in our hands? What more do we want out of Him in order to just love Him? What more?
I ask this in sorrow, not anger.
All who are struggling have more prayers going up for them with tears by many than they'll know of, this side of eternity - but that question remains - Why can't we realize that He is so worthy of our love and so much of our sincere gratitude. That this life is so very short, that Nothing on this earth is worth going after but Him, in light of a whole eternity in a painless, gloriously joyful Paradise with Him. That forever is forever and it's all just a question of do we love Him in return or not? It's that simple of a question.

Praying!

 2011/9/29 14:32
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2769
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: REVIVAL: It REQUIRES OBEDIENCE by A W Tozer

Here's some more from Tozer on obedience...

The truth is that faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures. As well try to pry apart the two sides of a half-dollar as to separate obedience from faith. The two sides, while they remain together and are taken as one, represent good sound currency and constitute legal tender everywhere in the United States. Separate them and they are valueless. Insistence upon honoring but one side of the faith-obedience coin has wrought frightful harm in religious circles. Faith has been made everything and obedience nothing. The result among religious persons is moral weakness, spiritual blindness and a slow but constant drift away from New Testament Christianity.

Our Lord made it very plain that spiritual truth cannot be understood until the heart has made a full committal to it. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own? (John 7:17). The willing and the doing (or at least the willingness to do) come before the knowing. Truth is a strict master and demands obedience before it will unveil its riches to the seeking soul.

For those who want chapter and verse here are a few, and there are plenty more: Matthew 7:21; John 14:21; First John 2:4, 3:24, 5:2; First Peter 1:2; James 2:14-26; Romans 1:5; and Acts 5:32.

To sum it up, saving faith is impossible without willing obedience. To try to have one without the other is to be not a Christian, but a student of Christianity merely.


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Ron Halverson

 2011/9/29 19:50Profile









 Re:

Hi Greg,

Just curious why you seem to post articles but never stay around to be part of the "give and take" of conversation? Please don't take this as an attack, it is more of an observation and a question. I think the fellowshipping back and forth about a subject is what sharpens each of us, unless you don't think you have anything to offer, but I would argue that you do have something to offer. Everyone that knows Christ has something to offer. I would like to encourage you to converse with the posters on this site.

Just-in

 2011/9/29 22:12
ArtB
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re:

InTheLight on 2011/9/29 16:50:08

"The truth is that faith and obedience are two sides of the same coin and are always found together in the Scriptures. As well try to pry apart the two sides of a half-dollar as to separate obedience from faith. The two sides, while they remain together and are taken as one, represent good sound currency and constitute legal tender everywhere in the United States. Separate them and they are valueless."

Great, nice sentiment, IntheLight.

I have a question or two for you. How long has it been since you have you completely stopped sinning?

And here is my second question:

Is each sin you commit an act of disobedience?

I sin too. It is not my goal to sin, I wish I were 100% obedient to God by not sinning, but I am so imperfect that I sin regularly. I confess my sins that I know about (sometimes I do not even realize that I hurt someone through sin, but ignorance is no excuse). I confess my sins to God regularly and He always forgive me, and I seek to make amends with whomever I sinned against, including God, as best as I can.

In my understanding, sins by definition are acts of disobedience in God's eyes. My faith is not that I will myself perfect. My faith is that I believe God, accepted Jesus as my savior, and that through His death on the cross, and by His blood, He has already paid the price of my sins. And I believe what the Apostle whom Jesus loved, wrote:

1 Jn 1:8-10
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. NASU

"For those who want chapter and verse here are a few, and there are plenty more: Matthew 7:21; John 14:21; First John 2:4, 3:24, 5:2; First Peter 1:2; James 2:14-26; Romans 1:5; and Acts 5:32."

Let's look at these verses you posted.


Matthew 7:21

21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. NASU

And I have done the will of Father who is in Heaven. I accepted the blood sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, bearing the penalty my sins, and His blood washes all my sins, one sacrifice of the perfect Paschal Lamb, that takes away all my sins, past, present. and future. This is my faith, I believed God for this very precious gift that I receive through the finished work of Jesus, His Son. I listened to Jesus and I believe Him.

1 Jn 2:3-11
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, " I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. 9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. NASU

And I do keep the New Covenant commandments of Jesus.

I. The Royal Law of Love.

II. The Law of Liberty.

III. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

And through these Laws, God keeps me.

And these cover your other verses in 1 John

1 Pe 1:1-2

"To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure." NASU

I certainly am cooperating with the Holy Spirit WHOM transforms my very nature that I will be pleasing before God in accord with the 3rd Law of the New Covenant, and it is the blood of Jesus that takes away all my sins, which I have received by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:5 "Obedience of Faith" I have described that above, i accepted what God has done for me through His Son, and the Indwelling Holy Spirit, and I seek to implement the changes God is making in me.

I think very well of Tozer, I certainly believe he is a true Christian, and I consider myself to be obedient to God per the New Covenant of Jesus Christ as described above, but I am not obedient to The Mosaic Covenant which God has annihilated because it was useless in that it could never perfect or save anyone, but condemns all who put themselves under it. Christ has set me free from the Law of sin and death, I will not wear that yoke of slavery ever again.


_________________
Arthur Biele

 2011/9/30 0:34Profile









 Re:

No one asked you to go back to the Mosaic Covenant since you've been posting here Art, yet you keep posting on any thread regarding obedience {a word used frequently in our N.T. along with the word 'obey'} your warnings after warnings against all of the Mosaic laws - all 613 - which No One has mentioned on any thread yet, that you've been on.

I see from your first post that you are somewhat turned off by that word obedience, and I'm sorry for you that you are - but whenever you get over your fear of that word and realize that we are sticking to N.T. Scripture - your fears may begin to lift and a good word study on that word 'obey' in our New Testaments may actually begin to bless you.


Tozer's right on the money in both quotes posted to this thread - Scripturally and within the framework of the New Covenant.

 2011/9/30 2:11





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