a. w. tozer - the knowledge of the holy (eltropical)

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RELIGIONTUE KNOWLEDGE Of TUE UOLY"A popular bookontheattributes of God, andone that is readable!"-ETERNITY"Recovers lost aspectsof the biblical faithforcontemporary Christianity. " - BOOK NEWSLETTERKnowledge of the Holyis a classic of Christiantest imony anddevotionby a leadingspokesman for evangelical Christianity. Dr.A. W. Tozer discussestheattributes of Godinwords that go straighttothe heartinthissuperb aidto strengthening anddeepeningthespi rit ual life. Each chapter beginswith aprayer, reverently andlucidly discusses adivine aspect-from God'sinfinitytoGod'slove-andrelatesthe attribute toroday'sworld . Informative as wellas inspirational, TheKnowledge 0/ the HolyrestoresthetoweringChristianconceptof Godtothecenter of thepopular religiousmind.ISBN 0-06-068412-790000HARPER& ROW, PUBUSHERS9 7800606841291178 $8.95THEKNOWLEDGEOF THEHOLYTHEKNOWLEDGEOFTHEHOLYTheAttributes of God:Their Meaningin the ChristianLifebyA. W. TOZERtfj1817Harper & Row, Publishers, SanFranciscoNewYork, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia, St. LouisLondon, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, TorontoTHE KNOWLEDGEOFTHEHOLY. Copyright 1961 by AidenWilsonTozer.All rights reserved.' PrintedintheUnitedStates of America. Nopart of thisbook may be used orreproducedinany manner whatsoever without writtenpermission except in the case of brief quotationsembodiedin critical articlesand reviews. For information address Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 10 East53rd Street, New York, NY10022.Libraryof Congress Cataloging inPublicationDataTozer, A. W. (Aiden Wilson), 1897-1963.The knowledge of theholy.Bibliography: p.I. God-Attributes. I.Title.[BTl30.T65 1978] 231'.4 75-12279ISBN 0-06-068412-789 20 19 18CONTENTSPREFACE1 Why We Must Think RightlyAbout God2 God Incomprehensible3 A Divine Attribute:Something True About God4 The Holy Trinity5 The Self-existence of God6 The Self-sufficiency of God7 The Eternity of God8 God's Infinitude9 The Immutability of God10 The Divine Omniscience11 The Wisdomof God12 The Omnipotence of God13 The Divine Transcendence14 God's Omnipresence15 The Faithfulness of God16 The Goodness of God17 The Justice of God18 The Mercy of God19 The Grace of God20 The Love of God21 The Holiness. of God22 The Sovereignty of God23 The Open SecretNOTESSOURCESOFBIBLICAL QUOTATIONSv16121725323843495559656974788286909397103108114118120EX LIBRIS ELTROPICALPREFACETrue religionconfronts earthwith heaven andbrings eternity tobearupontime. The messengerof Christ, thoughhespeaks fromGod, must also, as theQuakersusedto say,"speaktothecondi-tion" of his hearers; otherwise he will speakalanguage knownonlyto himself. His message must benot onlytimelessbut time-ly. Hemust speaktohisowngeneration.Themessage of thisbook doesnot grow out of thesetimesbutit is appropriatetothem. It is calledforthby aconditionwhichhasexistedintheChurchfor someyears andissteadilygrowingworse. I refer to theloss of theconcept of majestyfromthepopu-lar religious mind. TheChurchhas surrenderedher onceloftyconcept of Godandhas substitutedfor it one so low, so ignoble,as to beutterlyunworthyof thinking, worshipingmen. Thisshehas done not deliberately, but little by little and without herknowledge; andher very unawareness onlymakes her situation allthe more tragic.The lowviewof God entertained almost universallyamongChristians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhereamongus. A wholenewphilosophyof theChristianlifehas re-sultedfromthisonebasicerror inourreligiousthinking.With our loss of thesense of majestyhas come thefurtherlossof religious aweand consciousness ofthe divine Presence. Wehavelost our spirit of worshipandour abilityto withdraw inward-ly tomeet Godinadoring silence. ModernChristianity is simplynotproducing thekind of Christian who canappreciate or experi-encethelifeinthe Spirit. Thewords, "Bestill, andknowthatIamGod," mean next tonothingto theself-confident, bustlingworshiperinthis middleperiodof thetwentiethcentury.This lossof the concept of majesty has come just when theforces of religionaremakingdramatic gains andthechurches aremore prosperousthan at any time withinthepast several hundredyears.Butthealarming thingis that our gains aremostlyexternalandour losses whollyinternal; and since it is thequality ofourreligionthat is affectedby internal conditions, it maybethat oursupposedgainsarebutlosses spreadoverawiderfield.VIIviiiPREFACEThe onlyway torecoup our spirituallosses is to go backto thecauseofthemand make suchcorrectionsas the truthwarrants.Thedecline of the knowledge of the holy has brought on ourtroubles. Arediscovery. of the majestyof Godwillgo alongwaytowardcuringthem. It is impossibletokeepourmoral practicessoundand our inward attitudes right while our idea of God iserroneousor inadequate. If wewouldbringbackspiritual powerto our lives, we must beginto think of God morenearlyas Heis.Asmyhumble contributiontoabetter understandingof theMajestyintheheavensI offer thisreverent study of theattributesof God. Were Christians todayreadingsuchworksasthose ofAugustineor Anselmabooklikethis would have noreason forbeing. But such illuminated mastersareknownto modern Chris-tiansonly byname. Publishers dutifully reprint their books and indue time theseappear ontheshelves of our studies. But thewholetroubleliesright there: theyremainontheshelves. Thecurrentreligious mood makes the readingof themvirtually impossibleevenforeducatedChristians.Apparently not many Christians will wade through hundreds ofpages of heavyreligiousmatter requiring sustained concentration.Such booksremindtoomanypersonsof the secular classics theywereforcedtoreadwhiletheywereinschool andtheyturnawayfromthemwithafeelingof discouragement.For that reasonaneffort such as thismaybe not without somebeneficial effect. Since thisbook is neither esotericnor technicalandsinceit is writteninthelanguage of worshipwithnopreten-siontoelegant literarystyle, perhaps somepersonsmaybe drawntoreadit. WhileI believethat nothingwill befoundherecon-trarytosoundChristiantheology, Iyet writenot forprofessionaltheologians but for plain personswhose heartsstir them up to seekafterGod Himself.Itis myhopethat thissmall bookmaycontribute somewhat tothepromotionof personal heartreligionamongus; andshould afewpersons byreadingitbeencouragedtobeginthe practiceofreverent meditationon the beingof God, that will more thanrepaythe labor requiredtoproduceit.A.W.T.CHAPTER1WhyWeMust ThinkRightly About Godo Lord GodAlmighty, nottheGodof the philosophersandthe wisebut theGodof theprophetsandapostles; andbetterthanall, theGodandFatherof our Lord Jesus Christ, mayI express Theeunblamed?Theythat know Theenot maycall uponTheeas other thanThouart,and so worship not Thee but a creatureof their own fancy' thereforeenlightenour minds that we mayknow Theeas Thouart, that wemay perfectly love Theeandworthily praise Thee.Inthenameof Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.What comesintoourmindswhenwethinkabout Godis themost important thingaboutus.historyof.will probably showthat nopeoplehase.ver nsenaboveIts religion, andman's spiritual historywillposi-!Ively demonstratethat noreligionhasever beengreaterthanitsIdea of God. Worshipis pure orbaseas theworshiper entertainshighorlowthoughtsof God.For reasonthe gravest question before the Church is alwaysGodHImself, andthemost portentous fact about anymanis notwhatheat agiventimemaysay ordo, but whathe inhisdeepheart conceivesGodtobelike. Wetend byasecret lawofthesoul tomovetowardourmental imageof God. Thisis truenotonlyof theindividual Christian, but of thecompany of Christiansthat composes the Church. Always themostrevealing thing abouttheC:hurchis herideaof God, justas her most significantmes-sageISwhat shesays about Himorleavesunsaid forher silenceis oftenmore eloquent than her speech. Shecanneverescapetheself-disclosureofher witnessconcerningGod.Wereweable toextract fromanymanacompleteanswer tothequestion, "What comes into yourmind when you think aboutGod?"wemight predict withcertainty thespiritualfutureof thatman. Wereweable toknowexactlywhat our most influentialreligiousleaders think of Godtoday, we might be ablewithsomeprecisiontoforetell wheretheChurchwill stand tomorrow.Without doubt, themightiest thought themind can entertain isthethought of God, andtheweightiest word in any language is itswordfor God. Thought and speechare God'sgifts tocreatures~ a d e inHisimage; theseareintimately associatedwithHim andimpossible apart fromHim. It is highly significant that the firstword was theWord:"And theWord was withGod, andtheWordwas God."Wemayspeak becauseGodspoke. InHimwordandideaareindivisible.That our ideaofGod correspondasnearlyaspossibletothetrue being ofGod isof immense importancetous. Comparedwith our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are oflittle consequence. Our real idea of Godmay lie buried under therubbishof conventional religiousnotionsandmayrequire anin-telligent and vigorous search before it isfinally unearthedandexposed for what it is. Only after anordeal of painful self-probingarewelikely todiscoverwhat we actuallybelieveabout God.A right conception of God is basic not only to systematictheol-ogy but to practical Christianliving as well. Itis to worshipwhatthefoundationis tothetemple; where it is inadequateoroutofplumb thewholestructure must sooner or later collapse. I believethere is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applyingChristian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect andignoblethoughtsabout God.It is myopinionthattheChristianconceptionof Godcurrentin thesemiddle years of thetwentieth century is so decadent as tobeutterlybeneath thedignityof theMost HighGodandactuallytoconstitute for professedbelievers somethingamounting toamoral calamity.All the problems of heavenand earth, though they were toconfront us together and at once, would be nothingcomparedwiththeoverwhelming problemof God: That Heis; what Heislike; andwhat weas moral beingsmust do about Him.Themanwhocomes toarightbelief about Godis relievedoften thousandtemporal problems, for he sees at onceth