The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
Mental activity, emotional life and the will is exactly that which the New Testament calls the natural man, who as a ‘soulish’ man is incapable of accepting what comes from the Spirit of God. Nearly all so-called revivals have happened on this basis. They were mighty movements for the shaking of emotions: mighty persuasions and argumentations were used to influence the understanding and will. What was the result? The natural man has been maneuvered into Christianity and been made a Christian. We cannot, however, recognize the thoughts of God in this and it has nothing to do with being born again. It may be that ‘rebirths’ have occurred in the revivals mentioned above. But there is a difference between, let us say, a psychological rebirth and a rebirth in the Spirit. The one might temporarily carry all the characteristic features of a real rebirth. And yet all of that does not necessarily have anything to do with the Spirit, and in innumerable cases it has had nothing to do with the Spirit. It is a work of man... Christianity has become a system of human interpretation of the thoughts of God. Spiritual death hovers over it. It is no living testimony for God. God has given us a burden in our hearts concerning His thoughts. We do not speak to criticize. We speak because we have to....
People that stand without reserve for the rights of God will always be considered as enemies by those who reject the thoughts of God.... Wherever a religious system has come to reign, it will always be held against them that it is they who bring the people of God into confusion. This is what makes the ministry so difficult. This is what makes the ministry so costly. Israel was so deceived that it thought it was doing right in its idolatry. This is the highest level of deception, not seeing that everything one does, also that which is sincerely intended, actually serves the devil. The prophet’s disagreement is not in the first place with Israel. His battle is with the whole spiritual system into which Israel is entangled. ‘Religious’ people would not even rebel against the ministry of the prophet, if the enemy did not instigate them. So they become instruments of the devil. But the prophet is ready to encounter this. He is misunderstood, he is slandered and seen as an enemy; he is marked as the one who troubles Israel. But he has a vision. He does not serve himself. He knows that his standpoint leaves no room for personal ambition. But he has seen God. He is connected to God. And in the special standing which he has with God, the difference between the godly and the human has been revealed to him. With this vision he has become prepared to carry the cost that the service of God demands.
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