"There are too many ministers that seem satisfied to teach the same fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely
unaware that there is no manifest presence in their ministry, nor anything unusual in their personal lives. There is a continual
absence of fire. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breast a longing which their teaching simply
does not satisfy"~ A.W. Tozer, from the Pursuit of God. "The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed."~ Milton
This is the present situation here, as well as in many other churches. The word being taught in services many be
true, but it is not alive, rather, it is the dead letter, spoken without annointing , as if it were formatted into a program.
In a sense, secularized Christainity and nothing but a speech. Since there is no fire, no life, and no Spirit
backing the Word in a continual presence, there is no overwealming conviction. Eyes are not enlightened, ears remain
deaf to the truth, and lives unchanged. It is like observing Ebner Falls from atop the trail from a distance. You can
see it and hear it may even notice its a beautiful thing, but you do not experience it! Yet go down to the falls itself and
sit at the pool below the upper falls. ----You can feel the power, the earth lightly trembles with energy,
and a mist covers you. This is experience, whereas the other is only distant observation. One event touches you deeply, the
other does little but look nice, a pretty thing in the distance that can never touch the inner soul. No wonder
most people grope in darkenss. There's no living power being manifest by the preachers. It becomes a dull montonous
drone Sunday after Sunday, without fire, lifeless, and dead as the church of Sardis who had a name it lived, but was dead.
(Revelation 3:1) And all too often man in his programs wants to make repentance a complicated issue, masking it under disguising
words like "Recovery"~ nothing but a catch word borrowed from modern psychobabel!
Its sad when the church starts molding its teaching from secular self help programs~ ones that do nothing to aid
the soul or spirit! What ever happened to the word being ALIVE and POWERFUL, sharper than a two edged sword, peircing
even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the bones and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts
and intents of heart?~ (Hebrews 4:12)
Instead, the living Word has been bound and caged by teachings and traditions of men! It becomes of
little effect, and lives remain untouched. Dead religion is the result, and the final doom of the sinner is the consequence,
for few can be truly born again in such an atmosphere. "He that has my word, let him speak my word faithfully--Is not
my word like as a fire? Saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in peices?" ~ (Jeremiah 23:28-29)
"In great sections of the church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and been replaced by that strange and foreign
thing called "The Program." This work has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service
which now passes for worship amoung us."~ A.W. Tozer, the Pursuit of God.
Programs literally kill the life of spirit in an individual church where they are adapted.
"Quench not the spirit. Despise not prophesyings."~ (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)~ "And grieve not the Holy
spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." ~ (Ephesians 4:30)~ "God is a spirit, and they that worship
him must worship in spirit and in Truth"~ (John 4:24) When the disciples of Jesus were filled with The Holy Ghost in
Acts 2:2-3, it says there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind, and there appeared cloven Tongues of fire that
sat upon each of them. Peter preached and prayed that God, "Grant unto they servants that with all boldness they may speak
thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal, and that signs and wonders be done by the name of the holy child Jesus."
~ (Acts 4:29-30)
How opposite is this to much of our modern day dead Christainity, the dying drone of the Sunday sermon that oft
lulls people to sleep rather than to imart life to them? Messages are compiled by study of text and the joining together
of verses, given to the people in the format of a speach or a catchy 3- point sermon limited to a time slot. Anointed
preaching is fueled by the live fire of the Holy Spirit, inspired by a spark, an idea, then unfolding in a message of power,
with little chance for the mind to interject its own limits and opinions. And with this "Live Fire" there often may
come spontaneous miracles, signs, prophesies, healings, manifest for the benefit of all in they church.
You simply will not get this from a sermon rigidly constructed from head knowledge and delivered in a controlled
speach format. The teaching may be true doctrine, but it is the dead letter instead of the living word spoken of in
Hebrews 4:12. Paul said, "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in the demonstration
of the spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."~ (1 Corinthians
Let us pray for that live fire to be kindled, and for all ministers to open up to the living spirit of God,
so they may become fire themselves, for the scripture says the Lord, "maketh his Angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming
fire."~ (Psalm 104:4 and Hebrews 1:7)