Volume Three, Issue Eight
Just a quick update. Check out our What's New! page at DITC. A lot is going on these days and there are many new articles there. You can find the What's New! page at:
The feature article, though a short one, is an excerpt from the book Man, the Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer. The article is called "How To Try The Spirits". Tozer was dealing with the beginnings of the Latter Rain movement in his day, referred to in this article as "Latter Day Light". This article proves that the basis for discernment has not changed over time for Christians. It also proves that the same old heresies continue to come back again and again. The problem in our day is that the Latter Rain heresy is not being rejected by a large part of Christianity because so many Christians have, frankly, lost their will and ability to discern truth from error. Now is not the time to get lax in discernment, for the time is coming, indeed is already here, when false teachers and false prophets abound on TV, in conferences, in crusades, in every part of the world. True believers need to raise the standard as never before:
Is. 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
How To Try The Spirits
by A.W. Tozer
(An excerpt from his book Man, the Dwelling Place of God)
Another revealing test of the soundness of religious experience is, How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures?
Did this new experience, this new view of truth, spring out of the Word of God itself or was it the result of some stimulus that lay outside the Bible? Tenderhearted Christians often become victims of strong psychological pressure applied intentionally or innocently by someone’s personal testimony, or by a colorful story told by a fervent preacher who may speak with prophetic finality but who has not checked his story with the facts nor tested the soundness of his conclusions by the Word of God.
Whatever originates outside the Scriptures should for that very reason be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God.
However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in the Scriptures. “To the word and to the testimony” must always be the last and final proof.
Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with a lot of caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Over the last half-century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among the truth that were to be revealed in the last days. To be sure, say the advocates of this latter-day-light theory, Augustine did not know, Luther did not, John Knox, Wesley, Finney and Spurgeon did not understand this; but greater light has now shined upon God’s people and we of these last days have the advantage of fuller revelation. We should not question the new doctrine or draw back from this advanced experience. The Lord is getting His Bride ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We should all yield to this new movement of the Spirit. So they tell us.
The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite. Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning. Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with them is to rise and leave his presence. You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.