THE TESTS OF ALL THINGS SPIRITUAL
A.W TOZER was a spiritual giant during a time in our country when many were either more concerned about signs, wonders, and healing, or in being politically correct. Many have described him as a modern day prophet and I tend to agree. In fact, I believe it to be true, for his words speak to us today with even greater clarity than they did when he first penned them.
Tozer has been one of those that the Lord has used to teach me a great deal. I have heard many give him acclaim, yet they mostly ignore what he actually taught. They acknowledge him with their lips, but as far as heading the words he wrote, their lives show they never took them to heart. The following TESTS may cause some to become angry. Others may just discount the words completely. As with so many truly spiritual teachings, most have no clue what is being said and those few who do, many of them refuse to allow the Lord to change their lives to comply with what HE is saying through His messenger.
I ran across the following TESTS several years ago and placed them in my journal. I recently came across them once more and KNEW they were for NOW, especially in the Light of so many teachings out there claiming so many things. Tozer had a message that was in his books. (mostly this comes from “The Pursuit of God”) I heard this message back when I copied it in my journal and now it has become even more necessary than when I read it.
Somehow, this message is what the Church needs to hear. I do not know how many will listen to it, but somehow, I think only those who are a part of the remnant will REALLY see it. It consists of the following, but is not limited to these statements:
1. True repentance is giving up sin. To be forgiven, you must give up your sins!
2. When we are saved, we are changed into different people. We are not just sinners that are forgiven!
3. To live for Christ, we first must die with Christ!
4. To accept Christ means to forsake the world.
5. The purpose of Christ's redeeming work was to make it possible for bad people to become good, deeply, radically, and finally good!
6. Just because we hold New Testaments beliefs, does not mean we are New Testament believers. Satan is a better theologian than any Christian, yet he is still a devil!
7. Salvation is not possible without repentance. To be forgiven, sin must be forsaken!
8. To believe that we who are translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son of His love, yet still dwell in the darkness of sin, is a reflection on the Blood of Christ and the wisdom of God!
9. Where the WORKS OF LOVE are absent, we can only conclude that faith is absent also. Faith in faith has displaced (or replaced) faith in God in too many places! (where have you heard this before?)
10. Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. God will be All in All, or He will be nothing. God will not be used!
11. According to some, Christ no longer refuses to be a judge or divider between two money hungry brothers. He can now be persuaded to assist the brother who has accepted Him to get the better of the one who has not accepted Him. Show us the scriptures for this one! (This is an obvious untruth!)
12. If we love God as we should, we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him, which He might help us to obtain.
Tozer also wrote of a seven-fold test we may apply to any experience or teaching that comes our way. It was very insightful so I shall copy it here:
1. Any doctrine, any experience that serves to magnify The Father is likely to be inspired by Him. Conversely, anything that veils His glory or makes Him appear less wonderful is sure to be of the flesh or the devil!
2. Anything that makes Jesus Christ less than God has declared Him to be is delusion pure and simple and must be rejected no matter how delightful or how satisfying it may for the time seem to be!
3. How does it affect my attitude toward the Bible? A growing acquaintance with the Holy Spirit will always mean an increasing love for the Bible.
4. If this experience has served to humble me and make me little and vile in my own eyes it is of God; but if it has given me a feeling of self-satisfaction it is false and should be dismissed as emanating from self or the devil. Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation. If I am tempted to be complacent and to feel superior because I have had a remarkable vision of an advanced spiritual experience, I should go at once to my knees and repent of the whole thing.
5. Any religious experience that fails to deepen our love for our fellow Christians may safely be written off as spurious. If we love God we will love His children. All true Christian experience will deepen our love for other Christians!
6. It may be stated unequivocally that any spirit that permits compromise with the world (in any form) is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil. The world consists of the following (not limited to this) It is the world of carnal enjoyments, of godless pleasures, of the pursuit of earthly riches and reputation and sinful happiness. Anything that promotes these things or uses the same ways to promote even godly pursuits is from the devil!
7. The operations of grace within the heart of a believing man will turn that heart away from sin and toward holiness. Anything that weakens his hatred of sin may be identified immediately as false to the Scriptures, to the Savior and to his own soul. Whatever makes holiness more attractive and sin more intolerable may be accepted as genuine.
I shall add # 8. Anything that does not promote an active interest in the Holy Spirit, a wanting to be led, controlled and used by Him, is from the devil. Anything that demands we die to ourselves, die to our ways, die to us, and promotes the Holy Spirit as the ever-present Teacher in our lives, acting just like Jesus would act if He were here, is from the Lord!
All these things show us what we can be involved with and those we cannot. The following show us the shallowness of our current Church services!
Any objection to the carryings on of our present golden-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, "But we are winning them!" And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To despising of the world's treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ? Of course the answer to all these questions is no!
We are paying a frightful price for our religious boredom. And that at the moment of the world's mortal peril! (from Tozer’s The Pursuit of God)
Do you see these things? Do you not understand? It is this very mentality that is destroying the Church from within. This attitude causes the Church to develop programs that entertain, that draw people in, that let them have fun, that cause churches to grow huge, that bring in money, that does things just like the world does, that cause no commitment, that does not do all the things that are questioned in the above two paragraphs?
My dear brothers and sisters, these tests will in NO WAY keep us from all deception. The ONLY way to be kept from deception is to lay down OUR ways, our thinking, our reliance on ourselves, our agendas, our wants, our desires, our possessions, our families, our friends, our thoughts, our preconceived notions and ideas, our doctrines, and our VERY LIVES so that the ONLY thing that can then be seen and heard from us is JESUS CHRIST. If that is NOT our goal, then we fail the above tests ourselves.
God bless you all!
A bondslave in Christ Jesus, Dirk