Pastors, are you teaching what you learned from teachers in a classroom or are you teaching what you have experienced and learned while abiding in the vine (Jesus Christ) taught by the Holy Spirit?
Do you study to preach or do you spend time in the Scripture to draw closer to our Heavenly Father?
Where do you spend the most of your free time, with social media, internet, TV or in the quiet place learning from the Holy Spirit?
What do you really "delight" in, as demonstrated by your time and actions?
Tozer Devotional Thu, December 07, 2017
O For an Elijah!
In the Old Testament it is recorded that after years of bad leadership had brought Judah to her knees, a new king, Hezekiah, came to the throne. Immediately he called the priests and Levites together and said to them,
“Listen to me, Levites, consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.” The priests went into the sanctuary of the LORD to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the LORD. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley (2 Chronicles 29:5, 16).
It took a week to get rid of the junk, but when they had obeyed God there followed immediately a sunburst of revival; and the good effects lasted nearly thirty years.
I do not wish to draw too close a parallel between conditions under Ahaz and conditions in the churches today, but every enlightened soul can see how we languish for fearless leaders and bold reformers who will dare to pass holy judgment upon the unscriptural goings on that are being substituted for New Testament Christianity in the majority of our churches.
Somewhere there may be a freckle-faced stripling as yet unknown who will hear the call of God and go forth in dauntless love to become a conscience to the churches. Too many prophets of Jehovah these days are hiding in their caves, but somewhere there may be an Elijah. The bloodless softlings will say at first that he is uncharitable and harsh, but when he gets the prophets of Baal on the run they will tag along behind him, trying to look as if they had been on his side all the time.
Well, he can’t come a day too soon.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
A major prophetic function is the evaluation of the present by looking into the past and peering into the future. O for prophets today who can see where the church is and give direction from God as to where to go; who can discern trends and see their outcome!
Lord, will You raise up prophets in Your Church — those leaders enlightened by Your Spirit — to diagnose our present state and lead us into what You desire us to be and in what direction You want us to go.
The Jewish Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, but Jesus said that we, our physical bodies are to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God is to be within us. Luke 11:14-23; John 17:20-22
Many times in the Old Testament the Temple was forsaken by God’s presence, because of sin, the filth of the idols that were brought into the Temple. God cannot dwell where there is disobedience. During these times the nation of Israel suffered, as God told them they would, if they did not obey His Commands.
The only way that God would come back into the Temple was when they repented, cleaned out all the filthiness of the world, that they had allowed to come into the Temple!
Then God would bless them because of their repentance; their purification of the Temple. When it was cleaned up, He would come back into the Temple and dwell with them and bless them.
Today, “if” you have repented of your sins and invited Christ to come into your heart you will have experienced how wonderful it is to be clean and free from the world’s filth and control.
But, what has really gone on in you life, your mind, since that time of repentance? Have you kept the temple clean and under the Holy Spirit’s control or have you allowed your eyes, your mind, to dwell on the filth and pleasures of this world?
Do you daily allow your mind to dwell on the vain, worthless activities of the world, conforming to this world and its Godless ways? Than you have experience, what it feels like, to be the dog that returns to its vomit!
You will have experienced God’s punishment, His discipline. Did you recognize His discipline, or did you just seek man’s wisdom and help, as you continued to return to, and live in, the old ways? Hospitals and doctors today often patch up or hide, with drugs, the consequences of sin (doing what we know is wrong, or not doing what we know is right).
Have you done what Hezekiah did, cleaned out of your temple, the ways of and conformity to the world? Have you consecrated you mind, your eyes, ears and thoughts to God’s purity?
If not, why not do it now? Allow the “Light of God’s Word, directed by the Holy Spirit, to clean out your temple. Wherever the 'Light' (the understanding, submission, humility, surrender) of the Holy Spirit revels the works of the world, clean it out. Get rid of all the darkness (the confusion, blinded eyes, deaf ears, hardened heart)!
As Tozer’s devotional pointed out, the major problem is in the church that teaches false doctrines, telling people that they can not be free from sin.
They have a form of Godliness, like in the Old Testament, but do not teach that the temple must be clean, they deny the real power and purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice. They are blind, leading the multitudes into deeper blindness.
Oh, for an Elijah!!!! Oh, for deliverance from hypocrites that are very good at play acting, imitating the real, while denying the power and purity of the Holy Spirit. If Satan can appear as an angel of ‘Light’, I’m sure that His children can and will look like Him. Satan says, "Surely you will not die!" "Did God really say and mean that?"
Who is really living in your temple, directing your life?
You can know by examining the fruit that your life is producing (what you meditate on, what you talk about, what you do and say when you are squeezed or crushed), not the works you do as a professionally trained actor in a church movie.
The doctrines that are believed and taught in your church or the C&MA churches today, has the heart and mind of God changed from the Old Testament Scripture? Will He now live in a Temple that is knowingly dirty, full of vain and worthless attractions and idols?
Is it true that mankind is delivered (saved) or even made innocent (justified) by what one believes? What does the Bible really say? What does Jesus say? Is it more important to hear and believe or to hear and do? Matthew 7:24
Would not the belief, which says "we are 'saved' by 'faith' alone", make the proclamations of both John the Baptist and Jesus, who said we must actively repent, to be false? John the Baptist would not baptize the Pharisees until they proved their repentance by their actions, what they lived.
Paul says, "He(God) will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness." Romans 2:6-8
Inspirational Readings by A.B. Simpson
Days of Heaven on Earth
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
So familiar are the vine and the branches, it is not necessary to explain that the branches and the vine are one. The vine does not say, "I am the central trunk and you are the little branches." Rather it acknowledges, "I am the whole thing, and you are the whole thing."
Jesus counts us partakers of His nature. Without me ye can do nothing. The husband and the wife and many other illustrations contribute to our understanding of this marvelous teaching. It has no parallel, no precedent in any other teaching: that Christ is the life of His people, and we are absolutely linked with and dependent upon Him. All other systems teach how much man is and may become. Christianity shows how a man must lose all he is if he would come into full unity with Christ in His life.
Lord, help me this day to abide in Thee.
Oh! what a wonderful place
Jesus has given to me!
Saved (Strong's Greek Dictionary says that saved means delivered, protected) by His glorious grace, (Strong's Greek Dictionary says that... Real Grace is... especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.)
I may be even as He.
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing —John 15:5
A quote from A. W. Tozer devotional December 13,
"A truly spiritual man will be so united to Christ that he will have no desires apart from Him. If we Christians lived in the Spirit as perfectly as we should and could, our common interests would touch not only ourselves but the honor of God and the welfare of mankind as well."