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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Excerpts from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 10

[Knapp continues his discussion of "Impressions from Below."] Satan, too, is shrewd to get, when possible, good people to carry his messages. He always does this when he can, as it helps to hide his purpose. Universalism is the most baneful kind of infidelity, because its messages are carried by men who profess to be ministers of Jesus. License of liquor could not live for a year were it not that the devil has secured for its defenders professedly good men. When men who are really good are deceived by Satan, and really think his messages are from above, the deception is deeper, and danger still more dire.

The Prayers of Mistaken People. The influence of mind over mind is marvelous. If a person of strong will determines a certain thing in regard to another, and persistently insists upon it, there is reason to believe that the other person will feel the influence thereof though thousands of miles away. Where a number of persons thus unite the influence felt will be still stronger, and it will be felt whether the people are in the right or wrong.

"The one accord" which is essential for a church to prevail in prayer embraces this principle. It is a power for good when in God's order, but when through ignorance or wrong motives it is not of the Spirit, it works perplexity and harm.

I know of an instance of a lady who has been tormented for over two years from this source. A good man, minister of the Gospel, became possessed of the idea that she should marry him. He said
that God had revealed it to him. The woman was fully saved, and felt just as sure that God had revealed the contrary to her. He commenced praying that God would show her her error, and while her convictions kept deepening that he was mistaken, yet often a disagreeable feeling would come to her as a result of his persistent, misguided prayer.

A person with weaker convictions of duty might have been lead to yield to such an influence, but being enabled to see through it all as a design of Satan, she simply suffered the perplexity, and remained firm.

Satan delights to get good folks to waste their prayers over what is not the mind of the Spirit, as it diverts from God-given work.

These impressions seek to pull one out of the path of duty, and as they come through the medium of at least professedly good people they are sometimes very perplexing.

The Flesh. Its appetites often clamor for unlawful indulgence, and cry so loud as to drown all other voices.

Self. The unrenewed and unsanctified I within always wants its own way, and will persistently plead for it. When messages from below harmonize with it, it is quick to carry them

From Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.


Weekend Fisher said...

Apart from your blog, I've never heard of Knapp. You've excerpted some insightful things there.

Thank you for posting.

Martin LaBar said...

He wasn't a widely influential theologian, but his thought about "Impressions," as he called them, was pretty thorough, and was influential in the holiness movement.

Thank you!

Weekend Fisher said...

Say, Martin, do you have any interest in doing a limited series of exchanges between our blogs, where we interact with each others' posts? If that's not your thing, no worries and no explanation needed. But if it holds any interest for you, let me know if you'd like to pick one of the controversies of the church where you expect that you and I take different sides (not necessarily limited to the old controversies list that I'm mulling over here - I was picturing something fairly informal where we tried to figure out what each other actually thought, and why, and see if we could see each others' reasons. My goal is building understanding and fellowship in the church, across the unfortunate divides that we have.

Let me know if that's something you'd be interested in trying.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF