NOTE: As 2015 begins with yet more turmoil and tragedy, a
reminder from Tozer of how essential are the servants of God
who carry the ‘word of the Lord’ in such an hour-
We NEED PROPHETS!
by A.W. Tozer
A prophet is one who knows his times and what God is trying to
say to the people of his times.
Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy
merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom
is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits.
It is not ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the
power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to
appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and
to tell us what is actually going on.
Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti
to discover which way the parade is headed, why it started in the
first place and, particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of honor?
What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars
can interpret the past; it takes prophets to interpret the present.
Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays,
but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own
day. One hundred years from now historians will know what was
taking place religiously in this year of our Lord; but that will be too
late for us. We should know right now.
If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation it must be by other means
than any now being used. If the church in the second half of this
century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half,
there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-
synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man
who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions,
nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the
Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried
and found wanting.
Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be
of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and
has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray
God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction
to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will
contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn
the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such
a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit
angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to
the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one and the
salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with
We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the church,
and it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift
-A.W. Tozer – from ‘Of God and Men’.