Tue. Jan 19th, 2021

I WAS JUST THINKING
T.F. TENNEY

Sometimes it’s dangerous to just think. David got to thinking about the wrong thing one night and got in trouble with a woman named Bathsheba. The ten spies got to thinking about giants and consequently assimilated a grasshopper complex. One fella, when told he was acting as if he had lost his mind, said, “Well, that doesn’t take long when you don’t have much to lose.” On and on I could go about the virtues and pitfalls of thinking. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is sit down and do some good, hard, antiseptic thinking. That brings me to the subject at hand.

I don’t believe I’ve ever done an article about some personal prophecy that some individual gave. To me, nothing supersedes the word of God. There is a valid, authentic gift of prophecy that should operate in the New Testament church, This gift will always enhance and uphold the Word and never detract from or undermine or supersede it.

Many years ago a prophecy was given during the Azusa Street revival. George Canty, in his book, “The Hallmarks of Pentecost” referred to this prophecy. It was allegedly given in a meeting during the Azusa Street revival in 1906. Here were its main points:

In the last days, just before the return of Christ, several things will become evident. They were – and are, according to the prophecy:

In Pentecostal circles, there will be an overemphasis on power rather than righteousness.

There will be an emphasis on praise to a God to whom they no longer
pray.

There will be an emphasis on gifts rather than the Lordship of Jesus.

I’m not judging the prophecy, since I wasn’t there to personally hear
it. But, there are some things in it that make sense. Let’s talk
about it.

All of us believe in Pentecostal power. God loves order, but He hates
form.

Churches can become so formal and stuck in their traditions until they
totally ignore old-time Pentecostal power. I believe in it! There
should be power in our preaching, power in our singing, and power in
our worship! However, there is a difference in power and noise. Just
because someone can make a lot of noise doesn’t mean they have a lot of
power with God. If noise is indicative of power, I’ve often said,
every jet in Uncle Sam’s Air Force is on fire for Jesus. We must not
forget righteousness in our pursuit of power. Just because a man
appears to have certain power with God, his life must match it or he is
nothing but sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. Sure, there are
charlatans today. There are counterfeits. Have you ever seen a
counterfeit seven dollar bill? Most assuredly not. You know why?
There are no real seven dollar bill? You only counterfeit the real.
The devil will send some counterfeiters among us because there is a
real valid power of God. We must have it! But, you never have power
at the expense of purity. They are twins. You can and must have them
both. While we are emphasizing power, let’s not forget righteousness.

Praise is a beautiful thing. However, the only thing necessary to
praise God is to be able to breathe. “Let everything that hath breath
praise the Lord. ” Worship, however, is another matter. You cannot
worship someone with whom you are not intimate, someone you do not know
and love. Are we spending more time in the exuberance of what we call
praise than we do in waiting before the Lord in lingering prayer? It
is they that wait upon the Lord that renew their strength. Praise and
prayer must go together. One must not override the other. Remember,
you can praise God without knowing Him but you cannot pray to Him in
relationship prayer without coming to know Him. I told a preacher some
time back, “You can have the function of prayer without the
relationship of prayer.” You can have function without mission. When
we go to God it should not be just to get our prayer time in or to pray
an hourbut to build a relationship with God. Don’t forget the prayer
closet! It is the path to real power.

Let’s talk about gifts. We most assuredly believe in them. We need
them. They must be evident in a true apostolic church. I didn’t let
the latter rain destroy my faith in the gifts and I’m not going to let
charlatan charismatics or pseudopentecostals do it either. There are
real, valid gifts of the Spirit. They are sovereignly in the hands of
God. “The wind bloweth where it listeth.” However, these gifts must
never be exalted above the Lordship of Jesus Christ. One of the
greatest tests of the true validity of the operation of a gift is this:
Is the ultimate objective the exaltation of the Lordship of Jesus?
Does it bring people closer to Him? Does it edify the body of Christ?

There you have it. You weren’t there either, so just muse on the
prophecy. Could it be that in the last days there will come an
overemphasis on power above righteousness? Is there a possibility that
we would begin to emphasize praise to a God to whom we no longer pray?
What about the gifts? Is there ever a time when they would be exalted
above the Lordship of Jesus? If this is true, then it is time to take
inventory.

There you go … I was just thinking again.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE LOUISIANA CHALLENGER, AND WAS
WRITTEN BY T.F. TENNEY. THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE
USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY

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