Wanted ~ Prophets Of God
By Henk Kamsteeg (Auckland, New Zealand)
Although our merciful God will forgive our sins, our often lukewarm hearts must be an abomination in His sight. He told the church of the Laodecians: "Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:14-22 ).
God has nothing more to give to this world. He gave His only begotten Son for sinners. He gave the Bible for all men. He gave the Holy Spirit to convict the world, and equip the Church. But what good is a cheque book, if the cheques be unsigned?
Lack of heat and lack of love God hates. Leonard Ravenhill in his book Why Revival Tarries wrote: "Oh, we bankrupt, blind, boasting believers! We are naked and don't know it. We are rich (never had more equipment), but we are poor (never had we less enduement)! We have need of nothing (and yet we lack almost everything the Apostolic Church had)."
We need the fire! Where is the power of the Holy Spirit that slays sinners and fills our altars? "Our God is a consuming fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24 ). God and fire are inseparable; so are men and fire. Every single one of us is now treading a path of fire - hell-fire for the unbeliever, judgment-fire for the believer.
Today we have plenty of people everywhere prophesying, but we are very short of prophetic preachers of God's Word! No man can monopolize the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit can monopolize men. Such are the prophets.
John the Baptist probably had not one qualification for the priesthood, but he had every quality to become a prophet. Before his coming there had been four hundred years of darkness without one ray of prophetic light - four hundred years of deterioration in spiritual things. God's favoured nation was lost in ceremony, sacrifice and circumcision.
But what an army of priests could not do in four hundred years, one man "sent by God," John the Baptist, God-fashioned, God-filled, and God-fired, did in six months! God can fill in a moment what may take years to empty!
Had Saul met only a preacher and heard only a sermon on the Damascus road, he might never been heard of again. But he met Christ! (Sermons and preachers can be avoided, but Christ can never be avoided). The fire-eating religious zealot Saul met the fire-baptizing Lord; and as a result Saul was changed, civilization took a turn for the better. Though his revival party let him down - "everyone deserted me" (2 Timothy 4:16 ), he dropped into the "everlasting arms" and went on. He escaped assassination; but with his daily bread he had daily death, for he said, "I die every day" (1 Corinthians 15:31 ).
Ravenhill said that Paul held city-wide revivals while he patched tents to pay expenses! Aren't we a chicken-hearted group by the side of Paul? Sometimes he almost starved, yet, when the table was full, he fasted. He belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ - body, soul and spirit. "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus" (Galatians 6:17 ).
How we need God-guided men to lead a mis-guided people: passionate Pauls to stir timid Timothy's; men of flame to outshine and outburn men of name! We need knights of prayer to lead nights of prayer. We need true prophets to warn for false prophets.
In comparison with the New Testament Church we are so sub-apostolic, sub-standard. Sound doctrine has put many believers sound asleep, for the letter is not enough. It must be kindled! It is the letter plus the Spirit which "gives life." A sound sermon in faultless English and flawless interpretation can be as tasteless as a mouthful of sand.
Samuel Chadwick said, "The Church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles." To have a revival we need a fire-baptized Church. A blazing bush drew Moses; a blazing Church will attract the world, so that from its midst they will hear the voice of the Living God.