A Call To The Remnant

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We need Prophets!!

Posted by appolus on January 8, 2015

We NEED PROPHETS!
by A.W. Tozer

A prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to
say to the people of his times.

Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy
merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom
is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits.
It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the
power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to
appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and
to tell us what is actually going on.

Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti
to discover which way the parade is headed, why it started in the
first place and, particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of honor?

What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars
can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present.
Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays,
but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own
day. One hundred years from now historians will know what was
taking place religiously in this year of our Lord; but that will be too
late for us. We should know right now.

If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation it must be by other means
than any now being used. If the church in the second half of this
century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half,
there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-
synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man
who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions,
nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the
Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried
and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be
of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and
has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray
God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction
to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will
contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn
the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such
a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit
angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to
the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one and the
salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with
mortal breath.

We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the church,
and it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift
of prophecy.

-A.W. Tozer – from ‘Of God and Men’.

16 Responses to “We need Prophets!!”

  1. Steve said

    Hi, Frank: Critically incisive words from a great saint. Thanks for posting ! I also posted them on my blog, and hope all who HEAR them will pray with us for prophets !

    In Jesus, Steve

    • appolus said

      Yes Steve, let us pray for fearless men to rise up amongst us. “A prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to
      say to the people of his times” This sentence makes Tozer’s piece timeless. It would not matter if this was written 75 years ago or 1000 years ago. God needs prophets in this day who can see. In the last 40 or 50 years, Christendom has been inundated by those who have claimed to be prophets and also those who relentlessly reject the notion of a prophet. So many times the temptation has been to throw out the baby with the bathwater, this is a ploy of the enemy. I myself will not allow the fact that so many false prophets have rose up in the last few decades, to disavow the fact that there still is and there is a need for the prophet in our midst. Yet rest assured, he will no give himself titles, he will merely speak as he is led………………….bro Frank

  2. Brenda said

    Reblogged this on White Raiment.

  3. Brenda said

    I believe that the Lord DOES have His prophets in the earth today, but you will rarely find one in the organized church. They have been rejected by the status quo and are out preaching in the wilderness like John the Baptist. I’ve reblogged, Frank. Thank you for this!

    • appolus said

      I totally agree with that Brenda, certainly outside the camp, somewhere in the wilderness………………….bro Frank

  4. Steve said

    Some further thoughts about prophecy:

    Paul specifically ranks prophets as second among the gifted-people God appoints in the Church (I Corinthians 12:8). He goes on to urge us to “…earnestly desire the greater gifts…” (ibid, v. 31), which logically must include prophecy, the gift which specifically distinguishes prophets.

    Paul continues that “…greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues…” (unless the speaker in tongues also interprets: I Corinthians 14:5). What makes prophesying “greater” is that “…one who prophesies edifies the church…”, and not just himself (ibid, v. 4) (which I do NOT take, however, to denigrate the need we each have to be edified, built-up, in faith: which Paul seems to consider the primary purpose of speaking in tongues).

    We are told to “…earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (ibid, v. 1): and again to “…desire earnestly to prophesy…” (v. 39). I thereby understand that the Spirit may speak through whomever He chooses: but that we can petition He so use us.

    Perhaps we can likewise petition that He choose to make us, not just people He enables to prophesy, but PROPHETS ? If so, the key would probably be our “earnest desire” to edify (“build up”) the Church: any other motivation for being a prophet would be at variance with God’s purpose.

    That said: Tozer well highlights the fact that a prophet, by nature, will always be an “outsider.” But I’m not sure that means a prophet will always NECESSARILY be “outside the camp.” Paul talks about prophecy’s ability to convict and convince (“…that God is certainly among you…” : ibid, vv. 23-5) two kinds of people: “unbelievers” and “the uninstructed” (Greek, “idiotes”) My perception is that many in our day who honestly believe, and honestly want to follow Jesus, are however basically “uninstructed” regards Spiritual gifts, and unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) with Spirit-directed worship of the kind Paul speaks of in I Corinthians 14:26.

    At present, God has me attending a “good church:” one I take to be “inside the camp” of the honest, believing American evangelical Church. When I’m aware God gives me a word of prophecy, the church’ worship-structure isn’t such that I can there offer it as something I understand God to be saying; and I know most members are “uninstructed” in understanding, receiving, or evaluating a word of prophecy.

    I have no doubt that baldly announcing in the midst of Sunday worship “Thus sayeth the Lord…” would invite intense anger, fear, rejection. There are nonetheless ways and places to give that word “inside the camp:” the exact rhetorical formulation of prophesy seems less the point than its effects. In Bible study, prayer-group, Sunday School, or even just personal conversation, God’s prophetic word can be spoken in other forms…and the receptive heart (even those not fully instructed in the ways of Spiritual gifts) can hear it and be edified, fulfilling God’s purpose.

    The way God has made for prophecy is that every honest believer and every “good church” KNOWS its own need to be edified, exhorted and consoled: which is specifically the work of prophecy (I Corinthians 14:3). If speaking of or practicing prophecy in absolute terms frightens the uninstructed (as it does), all the more reason they MUST be instructed (where the gifted-person the teacher comes in). But until then, those honest enough to acknowledge their need, can hear and receive what God’s saying.

    In that regard, perhaps…with due circumspection…prophets, though quintessentially “outsiders,” can yet operate “inside the camp,” where they are most greatly needed ?

    In Jesus, Steve

    • appolus said

      Hi Steve, I believe those are excellent points that you made and I would like to clarify what I personally mean, or perhaps what I dont mean, when I use the phrase ” outside the camp.” To me that phrase does not mean that you have to not be attending a ” church.” I have no doubt at all that there are wonderful gatherings of faithful saints everywhere, certainly the minority, but certainly they do exist, but would definately be outside of the mainstream of what we would know as the evangelical church. I do believe that ” outsiders,” so to speak can operate , when called to by God, ” inside the camp.” What I would say is this. No Scriptures should bow to the traditions of men. If, traditionally, there is no room for a prophet, lets say, to give a word, or for a tongue to be given with interpretation or a psalm to be sung at the prompting of the Lord or a word of knowledge to come forth and so on, then that church is in rebellion to the word of God. It doesnt mater if that is the way they have been doing it for hundreds of years or that God has winked at it so to speak. If God tells us how the Body should be edified and we choose to ignore that or believe that it has ceased to be, then we should not be surprised that the Body begins to grow sick and weak. I believe that God is in the process of stripping away all the adornments, the traditions of man as the end of ages approaches and the birth pangs begin to unfold. What will be left is an obedient, refined , sold out persecuted Church……………………….bro Frank

      • Steve said

        “If, traditionally, there is no room for a prophet, lets say, to give a word, or for a tongue to be given with interpretation or a psalm to be sung at the prompting of the Lord or a word of knowledge to come forth and so on, then that church is in rebellion to the word of God…”

        I think that is absolutely true: and absolutely the current situation of most “good,” “Bible-believing” American evangelical churches.

        I may be wrong: but it seems there are yet many honest receptive hearts in that camp, who are “rebels” only through ignorance. It seems a strong argument to pray the Lord of the Harvest for Spirit-gifted teachers, as well as prophets: and I’m sure we’d be in full agreement there too.

        Meanwhile, how do we walk…and prophesy…and edify…in that situation ? I’ll confess, I only know to “play it by ear” spiritually: extra-deliberate listening, at which I often fail.

        “If God tells us how the Body should be edified and we choose to ignore that…we should not be surprised that the Body begins to grow sick and weak.”

        This also seems absolutely true, and also the American Church’ current situation. The dire consequences probably go beyond the Church’ declining health and power.

        The greater danger is that a church comfortable in rebellion (even if more through ignorance than intentional choice) becomes comfortable with the enemy, the father of rebels. In the “good” congregations I’m familiar with, warfare (even if, as I think, unseen by most) is particularly between the Spirit of Christ, and the violent and rebellious spirit of the political faction many are devoted to. Warfare is encouraging: there would be none if God were through with us.

        But even that would not be the worst. The ultimate horror of a church in rebellion to God is not that it sicken and die: but that its corpse continues animated by the enemy’s spirit. We’ve all seen such zombie-churches.

        God send us prophets ! God send us teachers ! God, continue to war jealously for the Spirit you desire to dwell in us !

        In Jesus, Steve

        • appolus said

          Hi Steve, for me, the problem begins with leadership. With responsibility comes accountability. I think there is historical precedent that we can learn from. An institution can be around for 1200 years, like the Catholic Church, and there was no way to fix that. It took a complete parting of the ways, for that institution was so wicked in its rebellion against God that it could not be reformed. Now there are denominations that have been around for centuries that, in my own opinion, cannot be reformed. And in the non-denominational church, many are just microcosms of their larger denominational cousins. I think it really all comes back to the Word of God and Truth that never changes. What does the Word of God say? This must be our question and final authority in all things. In these last days we are going to have to be lovers of truth more than anything if we are going to stand. Jesus reminds us in the Scriptures “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
          (Mat 10:37)

          If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luk 14:26)

          I would simply apply those verses to our churches and denominations. If we love or respect or favor them more than Jesus and His words then we cannot be His disciples. It is Scripture that guides us and the Holy Spirit that leads us and guides us into all truth. If we know a truth then we must stand upon it. I think it to be simple………………..bro Frank

          • Steve said

            God’s word (scripture) / God’s Word (Jesus) / TRUTH is absolutely the central point. But I doubt members or leaders in the institutional church are by their identity necessarily enemies of Truth, any more than they are thereby the universal Body of Christ.

            I can only go from personal experience, but I’m certain I’m not the only witness God has directed to stay among them, for the time being. (Indeed, I think His answer to our self-deceiving and self-pitying “I alone am left” is likely to be [paraphrased] “get on with what I’ve sent you to do.” I Kings 19). And I doubt I’m the only one set among them who finds many God-hungry hearts in the denominational churches: for whose sake, I presume, God leaves a witnessing remnant.

            As you point out, the line God has drawn (Truth/Jesus) is always and unalterably THERE: for Pilate, for Jerusalem’s residents on Pentecost, for Sixteenth Century Catholics, for America’s “founding fathers,” for us today. It’s not at all that denominational people among us have consciously chosen to cross over that line, or that they are unaware of it: probably most are (in calling themselves “Christian,” if nothing else). But many are “unlearned” (if the word also implies, yes, negligence) in looking to the course that dividing-line takes through our unexamined thoughts, attitudes and assumptions.

            There are indisputably times God says “go,” and absolutely times He says “stay.” It’s a question I’ve been debating with myself recently (in a different context). I blogged about the spiritual issues involved at http://cross-purposes.blogspot.com/, and won’t rehearse those again here, except to say it all seems to comes down to God’s sovereign timing.

            It probably also comes down to His individual dealings with us. I have no doubt He may at the same instant tell one person, “go,” and another one, “stay.” The only operative take-away is that obedience is doing WHATEVER timely word He gives us. And none CAN obey except their heart deliberately listens to hear Him. I have no doubt your heart is one listening, and obeying.

            I have no doubt there are such hearts in the midst of the wayward institutional church. I fiercely hope God will soon say to them that their worship must change to acknowledge Him in Spirit and in Truth, or call them back from following political deceivers who lead them astray from following Jesus. When He does, I have no doubt some, who love Him above all else, will heed and obey.

            I can’t agree that our spiritual warfare is with the institutional church…yet. Rather, that it’s WITHIN the institutional church: which encourages me that God’s not through with them yet. But whether we resolve or continue in this disagreement, no matter: you are a select brother, dearly beloved in, and by, our Father. Blessings in His joy !

            In Jesus, Steve

          • appolus said

            HI Steve, I actually do not see a point of disagreement. You have said nothing that I disagree with. I acknowledge that there are saints in every town and village and city in the land and that there are saints within the denominational system and within the non denominational system. My point of contention is with the system itself and with the keepers of the system. Any system that stands, by the mechanics of that very system, in opposition to God’s word and revelation, is in error. If God has given us gifts whereby the whole gathering can be edified, and men put into place mechanisms whereby that is stifled, they stand in opposition to God and His word either deliberately or by ignorance. One of the functions of the prophet is to speak the truth to power so that power is without excuse and their actions become deliberate. If we follow the Word of God and are obedient to His still small voice then we cannot go wrong in anything, including staying or going……………..bro Frank

  5. Steve said

    Likewise, nothing in your comments I’d disagree with (and apologies for misconstruing them, as I seem to have). This one particularly hit the mark:

    “One of the functions of the prophet is to speak the truth to power so that power is without excuse and their actions become deliberate.”

    Amen !!

    In Jesus, Steve

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