Friday, May 31, 2019


Years have passed since Tozer, my father, and others, spoke a clear message of warning to the church.
Their word was for their time.
Their generation has passed and the time of warning has passed.

Now, as in the times when the Old Testament prophets spoke, there are no  second chances.

Now we have church whose main aim is to keep the people happy at all costs...
nobody wants to give the bad news ... nobody wants to awaken.
God's judgements are as sure as His promises, and not a whit less.

For the follower of God some things are sure:
God is an unchanging God,
and His love and care for His own is unchanging.

"Surely," says Isaiah.
"Surely He hath borne our griefs." (Is. 53.4)

In a a world grown weary, stumbling in darkness, 
a world where "all things are valid" but none provide solutions,
the Word of God endures unchangeable.
Heaven and earth may pass away but this "surely" can never pass.

The saints of bygone ages were spoken of as being conscious of heaven opening at their right hand and hell opening at their feet.
That is to say that they were always conscious, in all their days, of living in the presence of eternal certainties.
There is no greater consciousness than this - an awareness of Reality!

How great is the danger of the loss of this consciousness.
     Our lives and our prayers depend upon us being awake!

Why does the apostle cry to us to awake? (Eph. 5.14)
It is because he sees we are asleep - 
     lulled into unawareness by our surroundings ... 
          an unawareness which is a foretaste of death.

Heaven will be the great awakening ... no more night ... no more sleep.
But Light is also the portion of God's provision here ... clarity and vision in place of shadows.

Each one of us must find God for himself.
     God speaks to each person in an individual way -
          a way he will understand.

All our learning and all our endeavors fall short in the knowledge of God.
     The secret is in the focus of our attention and nothing more. 
          The aim is not "learning" all about Him,
               but "being" like Him.
Beyond knowledge, Transformation is God's gift to His own.

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
     are changed into the same image from glory to glory, 
          even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2Cor 3.18)

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Looking ... at Tragedy

I'm looking ...
Looking for God.
Looking for meaning.
Looking for something that makes sense.
Looking for a way forward in the midst of a world of confusion.

What do I see?
I see a church which is lost.
I see leaders who are lost.

I see preachers who cling to and emphasize past doctrines and interpretations,
without manna to meet the needs of a world around.
I see "prophets" who speak of a future, and declare it at the doors,
if not already upon us, 
incapable of seeing a world descending headlong into darkness.

One part of the church is on a mission to preserve "orthodoxy",
while another part of the church is on a mission to escape reality.

Neither of these two opposing groups seem to hear the cry of the Spirit,
nor sensing the burden of the times.

The "traditionalists" are with their heads in the sands, 
engaged in defense against any "new thing."

The new "prophets" are seeking only a new thing,
untethered to the age-abiding realities of the Bible's guidance and warnings.

Both traditionalists and "prophets" have their followers hanging, with open mouths and happy faces, upon their every word.

One group does not contemplate the fact that their orthodoxy is not bringing any change to the world around.
The other group does not see in spite of prophecies declared imminent and at the point of fulfillment for years,  
     we we still await, and live in a worsening world, 
          and a more fallen society by the day.

Knowing prophecies without knowing the times can only bring confusion and disillusionment.

Without the leading of the Spirit of God we are led either by our minds or by our emotions - and this is the reason for the state of the church of God today.

Is there revelation for today?
Is there a message of God for today?
Why then are we so caught up in man-generated schemes,
and trying to build a church with other words and another spirit?

Is the weariness, the scorn, the indignation and hurt of it all just something that I feel?
Or is the hurt of this wrong something felt by God?

Where is the Living Word in our midst?
How can we keep getting it all so wrong? 
Is it really so easy to miss the way, or have we been led astray by our own hearts desires?

Somehow in the midst of the multitude there must be a people whose hearts are calling them away from men's parades,
     men's dogmatism,
          men's pride.
There must be those whose hearts are calling them to reality,
     to a place where they are free to follow God alone, 
          and to hear His voice speaking in the midst of the confusion.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Flesh and Spirit

My father used to tell about a member of a church which he pastored 
     coming once and again with a prayer, 
          "Lord teach us what is flesh and what is spirit, 
               Lord teach us how to bind and how to loose."

The first, and principle battle for the believer,
     is the battle to break loose from the realm of flesh we inherit, 
          and to find the realm of the  Spirit of God. 

Jesus spoke of the impossibility of a rich man entering into the kingdom of God,
and later explained to the disciples that only God could do it. (Mk. 10.25-27)
This applies to earthly riches, but we could say also that the man who thinks he possesses spiritual riches finds it impossible to lay them down - unless there is a real, intense working of God within him. 

Our "callings" and "gifts" so easily become things which "belong" to us, 
and we are so loathe to lay them down for the promise of that which we do not yet possess.

I believe it was Gregory Mantle who said words to the effect that there must be great renunciations before there can be great attainments in Christ.

God's world is infinite and "there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed." (Jos. 13.1)

True Light, true power, true authority and grace, 
     lie on the far side of total surrender.
God will do His work in our lives, and through our lives,
     when He alone fills all our vision, 
          and when He alone directs our steps.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Encounter ...

"Let there be light." (Gen. 1.4)
These are the first words spoken by God in the Bible.

The darkness existed in the vast emptiness, 
     and the Light was as yet unknown.
Here, from the very nature of God, 
     a greater force than darkness was released,
          and darkness was banished.

As in nature, so in the realm of the spirit,
     darkness exists but light must be created.
All the Bible echoes with the theme - an eternal battle between two immensely
powerful forces.
All through the Bible men echo the cry, 
in a search for the clarity of Life.

"Where is the way where Light dwelleth?" (Job 38.19)
Light is when who I am, meets who He, God, is. 
           It is a meeting between infinite Provision and infinite Need,
                between the measurelessness of Eternity and the poverty of Time.
Beyond the demonstration of God's power in this working,
this encounter with Infinite Love and Infinite Grace impacts and transforms.

Here is a seeing of all that in which we have dimly believed without seeing - 
a place where all imaginings are swallowed up and lost in the Greater Reality of God Himself.
The Light which we have dimly seen among the shadows is there made brighter than the noon-day sun.

The sands of time decline, and it is our lot to live in a darkening world.
The call of God is to a people who will respond and unceasingly seek until they find in Him,
     beyond all weakness,
          and beyond all excuses,
               and beyond all the enemy's opposition
                    the all-encompassing,
                         all transforming revelation,
                              of the True Light, in His coming to them.



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What would be Left If?

What would be left if...?
We have all heard the question, "What would be left if the Holy Spirit were taken away from our churches?"
 ... and we are all familiar with the answer, "not very much would change because, in reality, there is only a very minimal activity of the Holy Spirit in our churches."
Maybe we could more easily find our true state if we were to examine each phase of the church’s activity from another aspect... by turning the question around and asking ourselves:
"Where would we be if all of man's activity were removed from our churches?" 
What would be left if this were to take place? 
Who is behind each determination that is taken... is it God or is it man?
So much of our outreach appears to spring more from human sympathy, 
than from a quickening of the Holy Spirit in the heart.
So much of our work from a loyalty to a decision of policy, 
than from the will of God.
So much in our meetings, our ministries, our missions and our desire for revival, gives the impression of being born of a desire to set the earth of mankind right - rather than a desire to see things set in harmony with the will of heaven.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem there was a moment when the vision and proclamation of the prophet was fulfilled, and the darkness lifted from hearts of the Jews. 
In that unique moment of revelation their cry was, "peace in Heaven."
Pascal said something to the effect that all of earth's pain is first felt in heaven. 
If this is true then our burden should be to "set heaven right."
Going back to our question: I believe we would do well to ask ourselves, "What would be left if... ... ?" 
And apply this question to each aim, each project, each meeting.
What would be left of our music and praise if we took away all the psychological components of beat, syncopation, flourishes, "the sound attack" -- the whole idea of bodies trying to push souls along... and souls trying to push the spirit along?
What would be left of our preaching if only the message from God were left? If there were not built on technical or theological explanations? 
-- And if we left out all of the illustrations and stories geared to the emotions. 
Again, have we put the cart before the horse here too? 
Is it man or the Holy Spirit who leads the way in our endeavors to transmit the truth?
What about the place of the pastor himself? 
Sometime ago someone told me, they were sick of the adulation given to leaders. 
What if ministers were judged only on the merits of the presence of God in their lives - would there be anything left? 
If pastors were to lose the consciousness of "being really something," capable and sufficient - would there be anything left?
We could look at many things in our churches, but let's leave this by asking ourselves... Could it be that we are like the church at Laodicea not knowing that we are "wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked?"
I believe that many who have spoken of the glorious work of God in these coming days have perceived a measure of truth. 
However, while we have heard of the need of emptiness, death, and poverty of spirit there seems to have been almost no idea of the extent to which God needs to totally annihilate...the false within our lives and within the church. 
There is perhaps a belief that out of this church God will cause to spring forth a new and glorious body. 
Brethren, I believe there are many, many, many things which will have to be burned until not even the ashes are left.
         God will raise up for Himself 
(and it will be after our churches, institutions, society and nation, and our own nature passes through His fire,) 
a church birthed and raised up by Himself alone: 
A church that does not have to bow the knee.
To any man,
To any organization, or
To any of the policies designed to help it along in unity 
and fellowship with those who follow "another gospel".
After the destruction and death there is a third day of resurrection when God "will raise us up and we shall live in His sight" (Hosea 2:2). 
A new life,
in a new church,
for a new day.

Friday, May 10, 2019

We Are Gone!


When things move beyond a certain point they cannot come back -
like the car driven over the cliff, there is no return.

We never like to recognize that things have escaped our control.
     We never like to face the passing of things we once held unchangeable.
          And yet, beyond our ability, or willingness to accept, things move on.
               The past never returns, and the broken remains broken,
                    unless God in mercy intervenes.

Man's world, man's government is "time sensitive," 
     and the steps taken cannot be retraced - 
          society's sins and mistakes are graven in stone.

Governments have forsaken consensus and accommodation.
     The rants and screams of the extremists prevail
          "Truce" has become synonymous with "betrayal."

The old harmonies necessary for government are ... Gone!
     And where the government is gone the nation is gone.

The voices which spoke warning, - Lester Sumrall, David Wilkerson, 
     and my father, among others - are silent, 
          and the prophets have gone to their reward.

Their voices were largely ignored by a church loathe to hear,
     but the truth they spoke is real,  
          and the word which was  ignored then, 
               falls in judgement upon us now.

Isaiah 60.2 is today - Darkness covers the nations today.

We see that there is no fixing some of the problem nations.
     But, do we see that there is no fixing any of our nations.
          The prophesied darkness is upon us ... tomorrow is here - now.

     We always like to look to the positive (we call it "faith".)
          And there are voices proclaiming "now is the day of revival."
               But the sun rises after the long hours of unmixed darkness.
                    There is no sunrise while the day is light

The Jewish day started at the falling of the night'
     but we want the full light of day without the night -
          without having to pass through a place unlit by answers.
We hear, "now is the day of revival," 
     but we don't hear about the night which must precede the daylight. 

It is too late to save society as a whole,
     but as individuals there is hope - if we are still able to hear, 
          and find within us the intensity we need to seek God.

Mediocrity and compromise is what has brought us to this place.
Intensity and single mindedness toward God is the only thing that can get any of us out.

Paul in his shipwreck received a promise:
"God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." (Acts 27.24)

How many we will be able to save from our shipwreck depends upon us. 

God help us to see with "spirit eyes," 
     and meet Him for the saving of those who travel with us.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Broken Church in a Broken World, and a Way Out

The world around us is broken - it has rebelled against God,
and God has taken away sight and the capacity to govern. 
All that is left is the fruit of man's sowing - the chaos of God's absence.

The church is broken because: "they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." (Jer. 2.13)

"Living waters" - newborn waters, flowing fresh.
     How different from the waters gathered by man,
          which from the moment of their gathering cease in their newness.

How wonderful when the soul receives, fresh from the hand of God,
a word, a promise, a directive.
How wonderful a church where, as one person told me, "we went to every meeting knowing that God would move during that meeting."

This should be the continual portion of the child of God - fresh water, fresh bread, for every new day that unfolds.
A living contact with a Living God.

God is grieved with those who limit Him and take away from His omnipotence, - believing the things in the Bible "are not for today."
From there it is easy to move on to believe that in daily life
God's intimate revelation to His own was also something only for times gone by.

God is grieved, and longs for His people to know that:
     Those who seek Him will surely find Him.
          Those who listen will surely hear Him.
               Those who lift their eyes will behold things of a new and heavenly realm.

Like Israel we seem to have learned to dwell in a wilderness when there is a land of promise just  beyond us.
The words which Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman come to mind -
"if thou knewest the gift of God." (Jn. 4.10)
There is the weight of eternity behind the words- 
     if, if, if only,
          "thou knewest."

Job  came to know- "I have heard ... but now mine eye seeth." (Job 42.5)
And an immeasurable distance separates the hearing from the seeing -
     forty and one chapters tell of Job seeking through the pain, 
          and the perplexity of his suffering, until his answer came.

For all God's children, the longing is the way, the tears are the steps, 
which lead us to a far better place than all that earth can spread before us. 

          Revelation of Life awaits us - and "God will make it plain."

Friday, May 3, 2019

Beyond Thee?

"Beyond thee" - they were the words of Jonathan to his young helper when he overshot him with his arrow. (1 Sam 20.37)
Today I am not thinking of the story of Jonathan and David,
but the phrase brings home a picture of spiritual life.

How many times one faces, or sees others face, 
     things "beyond" ones experience,
          ones knowledge,
               ones faith.

"Beyond thee," - The times when I cannot reach it no matter how hard I try.
     The times when my grasp comes up short,
          and when frustration is all that is left me.

"Beyond thee" - 
when my prayer meets my unbelief and dies in frustration.
"Beyond thee" - 
when God desires to take a meeting to a place beyond the leaders experience, 
and it is so hard to believe and not interrupt with words or a song.

There is a terrible finality in the words "beyond thee."
There is nothing, nothing at all, 
     that can cause it to be anything other than an absolute lack,
          an empty place which cannot be filled.

Maybe we are so used to a "teaching" which tries to convince us that all is taken care of, and all we have to do is relax and enjoy.
The sincere heart must feel that something is missing - something beyond.
     A realization that the millennium is not here already,
          and earth has not ceased to exert its power in, and around, our lives.

As I contact people, 
     I hear so much confusion,
          so little clarity,
               so little true vision and faith.

But beyond us there is a "large place" (Ps. 18.19) which God desires to lead all His children into.

There is a drawing from above which, would lift us up into realms which earth can know nothing about.
There is a "reaching forth" (Phil. 3.13) which God seeks in our lives, 
and on this basis alone we can move forward in Him, and go beyond.