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Saturday, July 26, 2014

God's voice: Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp

IMPRESSIONS -- HOW TO TEST THEM (quoted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Public domain)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." -- 1 Thes. 5: 21.

"To the law and the testimony if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no truth in them." -- Isaiah 8:20.

God has made such ample provision for the guidance of His children that they may be just as sure that they are led by Him as that they are saved.

In order to do this it is needful to apply to every doubtful impression certain detecting tests. To do this sometimes requires keen spiritual sight, yet is a privilege which the least of God's children may enjoy. "His sheep hear His voice" and "follow Him," and we would not be commanded to "try the Spirits whether they are of God," if there was no danger from them, or if we were powerless to distinguish them. All impressions which are from above bear the four following distinguishing features. They are:

1. Scriptural. In harmony with God's will as revealed in His Word.

2. Right. In harmony with God's will as revealed in man's moral nature.

3. Providential. In harmony with God's will as revealed in His providential dealings.

4. Reasonable. In harmony with God's will as revealed to a spiritually enlightened judgment.

Martin Wells Knapp was one of the founders of my own church, The Wesleyan Church. He wrote hymns (that link leads to a list of them, and a brief biography), helped to found a Bible school, which still exists today, and wrote books. He died in 1901.

One of Knapp's books is Impressions. The quotation above gives perhaps the most important part of the book, but there's much more. For one thing, Knapp believed strongly that some impressions don't come from above. The book may be found, in .PDF format, here. It is also available, for less than a dollar, from Amazon. In doing an on-line search for Knapp, I discovered that James Dobson referred to his ideas within the past 20 years.

Thanks for reading!

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