Nothing did more to accelerate the Protestant Reformation than the invention of the printing press. The 15th century Guttenberg press provided a much more efficient circulation of Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible and his many other writings. Mass distribution of spiritual truth was birthed.
The written word continues to be a compelling tool to convey the message of God’s Kingdom. This is especially true with the incredible forms of media now at our disposal. With it there is an equally important need for spiritual discernment to recognize His voice in the great flood of information being distributed.
I am often humbled and challenged by men such as A. W. Tozer who, because of extreme hardship in his youth, did not enjoy the privilege of a formal education. Even so, this Holy Spirit taught man of God discovered the clarity of God’s voice in the quietness of his soul. He developed a powerful standard for conveying principles of truth with simple but attractive language.
With only the Holy Spirit as his Teacher, Tozer became a keen theologian and master wordsmith. He did so by literally reading God’s Word and other classical works while on his knees. He became a trustworthy steward of God’s message. His works stood out as beacons of light in the midst of a dark generation and continue to do so today.
Despite his humble beginning, Tozer was recognized in 1950 with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wheaton College and eventually pastored Southside Alliance Church in Chicago, IL for 31 years. Copies of his written material number in the millions and continue to circulate throughout the Church, imparting insight and illumination into the higher life in God. Because of the permanence of the written word, fruit continues to be generated to his spiritual account long after his death.
The Early Model
The early church was likewise established on apostolic preaching AND apostolic writing. The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians stated, that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit — Ephesians 3:3-5
A revelation was entrusted to him that he conveyed to the Church in written form. It was through the constant referral to this message that the Church began to understand the mysteries of Christ and God’s plan for mankind.
We now have the complete canon of Scripture known as the Holy Bible. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. Even so, our understanding of it remains limited in comparison to the great wells of Truth it conveys. Men and women of God continue to be moved by the Holy Spirit to capture the Kingdom message for their generation and divulge it to the Church at-large.
Daniel Webster once said, “If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.”
Each generation is granted progressive expressions of God’s revealed word and hidden manna pertinent to the spiritual needs of the time. Therefore, each generation must be saturated with its own preachers and writers who, like A. W. Tozer, discover God and His Truth on their knees and communicate that message to the needy of their day.
The Anointing That Teaches
In my own personal experience I can recall countless occasions when just the right book would come into my possession to answer spiritual questions I posed before God. Oftentimes, I would read a passage of scripture and begin the quest for understanding. Invariably, the Holy Spirit would direct someone to broach me with a book written by Maria Woodworth-Etter or Kenneth Hagin or some other leader who walked intimately with God and understood the principles I desired to comprehend.
According to the epistle of 1 John 2:27,
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
The Holy Spirit is our Teacher but He uses the agency of man to convey His message. He allows us the privilege of cooperating with Him in the advancement of His Kingdom through both the spoken and written word. When our words come from an atmosphere of the anointing, they are saturated with spiritual life and very powerful. That is the admonition of scripture.
We feel that a portion of our ministry mandate is to help individuals cultivate their ability to communicate their revelation through the spoken and written word. Furthermore, psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, poetry and other forms of creative arts are also emerging to impart truth and awaken a generation. It is our hope and prayer to devote considerable attention to the subject of literature and communications over the next season.
For that reason, the Lord willing, I would like to address the craft of writing and discerning true spiritual communication over the next few newsletters. We have only just begun the journey of understanding God’s Kingdom and relaying that message to His people. To do this adequately will be a lifelong quest. Nevertheless, with the Lord’s help, we will share how we began in this important area and the love the Holy Spirit has given us for the articulation of His Truth.
Because of the damage done by hurricane Ivan, Wanda and I were forced to place our personal effects in storage while repairs were being performed. Ivan the Terrible came ashore on September 16, 2004 and we were finally able to return on July 4, 2005.
Over the years I have accumulated a rather extensive library of Christian books, tapes, DVDs, periodicals and other written material. This occasion has given us an opportunity to go through many of the old materials that we have not reviewed in many years.
Interestingly, I found the first article that I ever wrote that was circulated in a public forum. It resulted from a rather liberal commentary that was published in our local newspaper. I wrote a “response to the editor” from a Christian and conservative viewpoint. As a result, the newspaper contacted me and asked if I would write a full length article on the subject as a contributing columnist. I had not planned on that but the Lord used it to birth in me a desire to articulate His heart in written form.
Despite the fact that I had no journalistic training, I agreed to write the column. It was published in The Meridian Star on August 19, 1989. Of course, at the time, I had no perception that I would eventually write several books, booklets and articles that would be published. I am thankful to the many people who have helped us in this responsibility.
I thought it might be interesting to re-circulate the article as it appeared in the newspaper, because of the prophetic truth that was communicated and also as an encouragement to those desiring to write spiritual truth. According to the Scripture, we should not despise the day of small beginnings.
Naturally, there are many improvements that I would like to make on this article. I have since learned many of the fundamentals involving the craft of writing since this article was first published and am determined to pursue greater excellence still. Nevertheless, I continue to believe the essence of the message that was conveyed. It was a small beginning but one that I pray will continue to develop to advance God’s cause in the earth.
I believe there are many people throughout the Church like A. W. Tozer. They have no real training but love God with all of their hearts and desire to share His truth. For them, the quest for truth and the pursuit of God are one and the same. Our admonition is to simply lay our gifts and talents on the alter of faith and allow Him to use us in ways that transcend our own abilities.
Real Battle Lies with Forces of Hell
The Meridian Star— August 19, 1989
By Paul Keith Davis, Contributing Columnist
Before December 7, 1941, the American government did not fully appreciate the very real threat that Japan presented to us. On that date in a 110 minutes surprise attack, the Japanese fleet destroyed eight battleships and three light cruisers, destroyed or damaged 188 planes and killed 2400 men.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor provides a perfect illustration of the damage and destruction that can occur when we do not recognize our adversaries and take the necessary steps to do battle. This same principle applies for both our individual lives and our society. We must identify our adversary and the instruments used.
We find that drugs continue to be a consummate warrior robbing the youth of America of the vigor and energy and creativity that have made America the greatest country in the world. In his book, Megatrends, John Naisbitt states that “we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” It seems that our society has been overrun with facts about the drug problem in America. However, it does not seen as though we are being armed with the knowledge with which we can do battle to defeat this deadly enemy.
We find it extremely difficult to understand the forces that would bring the youth of America to drugs, robbing America of a portion of its potential.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a success mainly because we as a country were not prepared to do battle. This same principle applies to the battle that is being waged within ourselves and in our society. We must recognize that we are in a battle, and with whom we battle.
On a recent national news program, our Senator Trent Lott, stated that the “people of Mississippi are very clear in their statement and beliefs concerning the burning of the flag of the United States of America. They don’t like it; they don’t like it one bit.” Our country was founded on Christian principals supported by a constitution reflecting those very principals of Christian belief and human rights. As a symbol of the foundation, the flag of the United States was constructed.
I submit that the driving force behind the United States of America, the one that makes our country the greatest country known to man, is the very foundation and principle upon which our country was first founded— Christian doctrines and human rights. I find it a dangerous concept for us to waiver from these foundations and destroy the symbol created to illustrate to all the world that those principles separate us from a country like Russia.
It is my belief that the smallest revelation of God’s wisdom is a more value than the greatest deliberations ever made in the councils of man, and such enlightenment becomes for us wisdom of the first magnitude.
The Bible states that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers; one who comes to us with incredible cunning to steal, kill and destroy. Our enemy’s purpose is to rob us of the quality of our life, the happiness of our family, and the unity of our home. His purpose is to destroy the very country whose foundation is the Church. Our enemy has no consciousness or conviction other than to see the happiness of people destroyed. Our battle is with the forces of hell, whose sole purpose from the beginning of time has remained unchanged.
His instruments for the purpose are drugs, suicide, and destruction of principles, political aggression, abortion and many others.