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Sunday, February 05, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 34

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion continues:

CHAPTER VII
IMPRESSIONS FROM ABOVE -- CONDITIONS OF BEING LED BY THEM

In order to be at one's best for detecting impressions from below, and being led by those from above, the following conditions must be met:

Conversion. The unregenerated heart is a camera prepared for impressions from below, and it receives them as greedily as the parched earth drinks in a shower. It has no affinity for those from above, but resolutely repels them. All of its telegraph wires are manipulated by the enemy, and it is with great difficulty that its King can reach it with a message. Of such it is truly said: "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and be converted, and I should heal them." Conversion opens the spiritual eyes and ears, and enables to discern the spirits whether they be of God.

Purity. Inbred sin in the heart of the believer is a great hindrance to being divinely led. It is like dust in the eye which pains and blinds it; like wax in the ear which deadens the hearing.

"After you are sanctified," says Dr. Watson, "the devil comes up to you and hunts all around and says: 'Where is my instrument gone? I could run my fingers over the carnal mind and play a tune in this man's soul.' He finds no wire in your soul to pull on now. He used to pull on your judgment and reason and carnal nature, but that is all gone and he finds nothing but Christ.

"When the devil finds out he has no territory in you. he gets mad, flings off his coat, and begins to blaspheme. He will say: 'You have professed holiness, and you know you haven't it.' You never know how plainly the devil can talk to you until you are sanctified. Before he could run into the back door of your heart and pull the wires; but after you are sanctified the devil has got to fight you on the outside. He will come to your face and tell you you are not sanctified, and you know it! He will threaten you with falling; he will talk to you intellectually, and pronounce words in your mind.

"Before we are sanctified the method of the devil is to work in Christian people through their carnal mind without letting them know it is the devil. He will come to Christian men, to Christian women, Christian ministers, good people who are endeavoring to serve God, and are on the way to heaven; he will work his plans and purposes upon them by using their carnal mind, and so work that they think it is their wisdom. The devil will come to an unsanctified Christian who is converted, and will put a certain idea into his mind or heart, and he will say: 'Now, isn't that wise, isn't that prudent,
isn't that cautious?' Thus he will work on their prudential motives, on their reason, and on their carnal fears. He will work on their man-fearing spirit; he will work on their worldly policy and their worldly wisdom, making a playground upon their carnal mind.

"Now, mark you, he has no possession of God's children, but he will annoy them and disturb them and hinder them. They are doing ten thousand things in which they do not dream they are doing the devil's work. The devil goes to Christian people and gets them to have a church theatrical. He wouldn't dare have them start a regular theater with all the accessories, but he goes and works on their worldly policy and their worldly mind, so that when they have got these things up, church members do not know they are doing the devil's work. They say: "We are doing this to raise money for our church. It is laudable.' They think they are right. They simply are doing the devil's work by the devil's suggestions, only the devil is hiding himself, and laughing at them all the while."

If, then, we would be at our best to detect the impressions which are continually coming to us, we, having our hearts "purified by faith," must be cleansed from inbred sin.

George Muller says: "Only maintain an upright heart. But if you live in sin, if you willfully and habitually do things which you know to be contrary to the will of God, then you can not expect to be heard by Him. 'If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me."'


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

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