by A.W. Tozer
an excerpt from his book Man, the Dwelling Place of
Another revealing test of the soundess of religious experience is, How
does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures?
Did this new expereince, 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
soundess 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 thim is to rise and leave his presence.
You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.