Monthly Archives: December 2010

♣ Mysterium Tremendium, The Fearful Mystery and Majesty of God

“A church that is not Christ’s church shall have none of His presence, and a soul that is not Christ’s has no fellowship with Him. If He reveal Himself at all, it is unto His own people, His blood-bought people, the people that are His by purchase and by power, and by the surrender of themselves to Him.” – C.H. Spurgeon

“Modern orthodoxy has made a great blunder in the erroneous assumption that spiritual truths can be intellectually perceived. There have been far reaching conditions resulting from this concept – and they are showing in our preaching, in our praying, in our singing, in our activity, and in our thinking…

I believe we are in a critical time in the life and history of the Church. If we continue to go the way we have been going in fundamentalists and evangelical circles, the fundamentalists will all be liberals and most of the liberals will be Unitarian. We desperately need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit – and it cannot come as long as God’s people refuse to acknowledge that we have failed to take advantage of our heritage [in Christ].

We desperately need a divine visitation – for our situation will never be cured by sermons! It will never be cured until the Church of Christ has suddenly been confronted with what one man called the “mysterium tremendium” – the fearful mystery that is God, the fearful majesty that is God. This is what the Holy Ghost does. He brings the wonderful mystery that is God to us, and presents Him to the human spirit.

We will never know more about than the Spirit teaches us. We will never know any more about Jesus than the Spirit teaches us, because there is only the Spirit to do the teaching. O Holy Ghost, how we have grieved Thee! How we have insulted Thee! How we have rejected Thee!

He is our Teacher, and if He does not teach us, we never can know. He is our Illuminator, and if He does not turn on the light, we can never see. He is the Healer of our deaf ears, and if He does not touch our ears, we never can hear. Churches can run for weeks and months and years without knowing anything about this or having the Spirit of the living God fall upon them. Oh, my heart, be still before Him, prostrate, inwardly adore Him!” –  A.W. Tozer

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Biblical preaching and expounding sound doctrine are essential in the Church  – we need that and God has ordained it that way; we ought never to shirk off learning, reading and striving for sound doctrine. But that is one imperative aspect of church life and growth, and at our peril we fail to recognize the other: that without the unction, anointing and power of the Holy Spirit we are well on the road to spiritual bankruptcy. If we’re honest enough we’ll admit that this is the case in our present day.

I have known by personal experience that we have both sides of the spectrum prevalent in our churches in our western culture (by western culture I mean in our so called up-to-date ‘knowledgeable and affluent’ society). We have the charismatics and we have the reformed. In each of these churches there exists a deplorable lack of balance. There is hardly the church where sound doctrine and the presence of the Holy Spirit prevails in our meetings. I deliberately use the term, ‘the presence of the Holy Spirit’ and I am not afraid to use it. Does such a church exist? I’m sure there are but they are seldom.

I have witnessed with my own eyes that such a body of believers have existed, and my heart will not rest until I see another like it. There is no perfect church but, with all my heart, I believe in a balanced church and there is no reason as to why we still cannot have it.

In the 15 years of being aware of this intense yearning, I am not the first but most likely the last on the list to recognize this lack of balance. All I can say is that it is something that cannot be ignored; I’m just a little voice that speaks among the myriads of other like minded believers.

I have known sound expository preaching from many (not all, let me be clear about that – I thank God for the reformed church) reformed circles, every theological ‘t’ is crossed, every ‘i’ dotted and said with such elocution, but at the same time I hardly see the reality of it in their lives. Somehow they just seem spiritually detached from these truths while great intellectual assent is given to them. There is hardly any warmth from the people after a 45 minute exposition of grand truths that ought to radically change our lives; so many seem to be content to have their intellects aroused and that’s as far as it goes, so much so that I have known unbelievers to conduct themselves in a more Christlike manner! The charismatics get slated by many members of the reformed church and yet the attitudes of many charismatics that I have known personally exemplify a Christlike attitude in their ways.

Whom do you think God is more impressed with? It makes you wonder. Who really has the fruit of the Spirit? It doesn’t take long to realize who does.

On the other hand, there is a great intolerance in many charismatic circles to doctrine being taught from the pulpit. Brains are automatically left outside the entrance of the church to embark on a roller coaster ride of excess emotionalism and spiritual highs where no discernment ever takes place. No wonder such freaky things are birthed and endorsed. Such folk believe they’re being entertained, more like a whole demonic host is having the last laugh! And all in the name of the Holy Spirit which makes it such a blasphemous tragedy.

The reformers have their forefathers: Calvin, Luther, Owen – but do they have God?! Do they have the Holy Spirit MOVING in their midst. And the charismatics what spirit(s) is really functioning in their midst, who is really Lord of the meetings?

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones challenged the evangelical reformed church who were against certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit and were inclined to think they had it all: “Got it all have you, got it all?! Then in God’s name where is it?!!” How poignant and how true for today.

The reformed believers over emphasize the realm of academia, while the charismatics endorse anything spiritual that comes in through the door! Is Christ Lord of any such churches? Where the Holy Spirit is not present, we can be sure that Christ is not Lord of either!

 “A church that is not Christ’s church shall have none of His presence, and a soul that is not Christ’s has no fellowship with Him. If He reveal Himself at all, it is unto His own people, His blood-bought people, the people that are His by purchase and by power, and by the surrender of themselves to Him.” – C.H. Spurgeon

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

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