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EDITIONS:

1. CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY DEFINED
2. CORPORATE PRAYER
3. AUTHORITY OF THE WORD
4. INTERPRETING THE WORD
5. UNDERSTANDING THE WORD
6. END TIME FERVOR
7. LOVING NOT OUR SOULS TO DEATH
8. KEEPING ALIVE THE ORIGINAL SPIRIT
9. RECOGNIZING REVIVAL
10. HINDRANCES AND CATALYSTS TO REVIVAL
11. TESTING THE SPIRITS
12. INTERCESSION
13. INTERCESSORY PRAYER WARFARE
14. THE CROSS-LIFE
15. WORSHIP
16. WORSHIP II
17. THE INCARNATION
18. DIVINE PROTECTION
19. DIVINE GUIDANCE
20. WILL OF GOD
21. THE FEAR OF GOD
22. WHAT IS TRUTH?
23. JESUS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH
24. LIVING A LIFE OF TRUTH
25 SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT
26. THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW
27. THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD


CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY
THE E-ZINE

First published by Christian Publications, Inc.,
3825 Hartzdale Drive,
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011

Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.
K. Neill Foster, Publisher
Paul L. King, Editor
A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963,
Editorial Voice

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE:
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Scripture labeled KJV is from the King James Version.

Welcome to Classic Christianity

First published by Christian Publications, Inc., 3825 Hartzdale Drive,Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011 Republished by www.kneillfoster.com in 2005. K. Neill Foster, Publisher. Paul L. King, Editor. A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963, Editorial Voice.


WELCOME TO:
#7 CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY/THE E-ZINE


1) THE PUBLISHER ON "THE LIONS ARE BACK"
2) THE EDITOR ON "LOVING NOT OUR SOULS TO DEATH"
3) A.W. TOZER ON "THE MARTYR'S PLACE"
4) POLYCARP ON "BRING ON THE FIRE"
5) TERTULLIAN ON "THE SEED OF THE CHURCH"
6) COMMODIUS ON "BLOODLESS MARTYRDOMS"
7) RECOMMENDED READING: TOZER ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
8) MINUCIUS FELIX ON "THE CHRISTIAN WRESTLING WITH PAIN"
9) LETTER TO DIOGNETUS ON "UNCONQUERABLE MARTYRS"
10) AUGUSTINE ON "WHAT MAKES A MARTYR"
11) BISHOP HUGH LATIMER ON "AN UNEXTINQUISHABLE FIRE"
12) JOHN FOXE ON "THE INVINCIBILITY OF THE CHURCH IN SUFFERING"
13) CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS CATALOG
14) A.B. SIMPSON ON "THE SPIRIT OF SELF-SACRIFICE"
15) AMY CARMICHAEL ON "LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES"
16) DIETRICH BONHOEFFER ON "THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP"
17) NATE SAINT ON "DYING FOR CHRIST"
18) QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
19) INVITATION TO SUBSCRIBE


1) THE PUBLISHER ON "THE LIONS ARE BACK"

"The Lions Are Back" screams the side bar on a web page. The message implied is that just as Christians of the first centuries were fed to the lions, so today, persecution of Christians is on the rise. Those who study these things tell us that persecution and martyrdom have always been with us. But more blood is being spilled more often now.

When Origen, a Church Father, was a teenager, his mother had to hide his clothes to keep him from throwing himself to martyrdom, and, in fact, the
church at one point had to impose rules upon its members who were all too willing to go for the martyr's crown.

Persecutions are what Christ promised. Indeed, those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Evangelical Christians have all too often been involved the slayings at Columbine and elsewhere. We know there is more to come. The hate speech laws in the making could easily turn on those of us who preach that Jesus Christ is the one and only way.

Quang Nguyen is a Vietnamese pastor who has lived through Communist persecution. He knows what it is like and what it does. His father was
beheaded before his own eyes when he was a boy. "Persecution is coming here to America too," he said, "But it will purify the church."

That it will do.


2) THE EDITOR ON "LOVING NOT OUR SOULS TO DEATH"

The recent executions of Cassie Bernell and Rachel Scott in the Columbine High School massacre, along with the shootings at a church in the Dallas area and at a school prayer group in Paducah, Kentucky, have etched into our minds a fresh awareness of martyrdom. No longer is a martyr someone who is killed for the faith in some remote foreign land like Russia, Uganda or China.

But should we really be surprised? The Scripture declares that all who live godly in Christ will be persecuted (II Timothy 3:12). At a recent missions conference, Rev. Tom White, Director of Voice of the Martyrs, alluded to some of the church fathers, expressing their perception that while being a martyr does include the possibility of death, the original meaning was someone who sacrificed of themselves or suffered through their witness of Christ.

When talking about victory over Satan, people often refer to Revelation 12:10, "They overcame the accuser by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives [Greek, "souls"] unto death." The first two phrases are often quoted, but the last is sometimes left out. Satan is defeated, not only by the blood of Christ and our witness, but also by loving not our souls to death. This means denial of self to the point of being willing to die. When we die to ourselves, as several of these classic leaders imply, we become true martyrs for the faith.


3) A.W. TOZER (1897-1963) ON "THE MARTYR'S PLACE"

My mind goes out to the great roll call of the faithful, holy men and women slain in every century for their testimony of love for Jesus Christ. . . . Surely we do not think often enough of this great company of overcomers who have told their tormentors on this earth: "Do what you want with us. We will love and honor our Savior, Jesus Christ--to the death if necessary!"(1)

Consider . . . the Christian martyrs of the past centuries. You should be familiar with their lives, if you are not. Their testimonies will always stand. They forfeited physical life in the calm and joyful belief that God is faithful and that He will make all things right in the consummation that is yet ahead.(2)

Give up your friendships, your possessions, your comforts, your ambitions, your reputation, your health and even your life, and you'll find that God will give it all back to you, "pressed down, shaken together and running over" (Luke 6:38).

This kind of teaching is very hard to comprehend, because it's not the

kind we hear now. We hear something else altogether. Breezy, self-confident Christians tell us how wonderful it is to accept Christ and then have a good time all the rest of your life; the Lord won't demand anything of you. Yes, He will, my friend! The Lord will demand everything of you. And when you give it all up to Him, He may bless it and hand it back, but on the other hand He may not. . . .

That's the roster of the spiritually great. What made them like they were? They all found the secret. "O God, be exalted above all. Your kingdom come and my kingdom go." And be sure of one thing, before His kingdom can come, yours has to go. I don't know if that's good eschatology or not. But I know it's good Christian experience, that before the kingdom of Christ can come within me, my kingdom has to go out of me. I have to get off that throne and hand it back to the one to whom it has belonged all these centuries--Jesus Christ our Lord.(3)

(1) A.W. Tozer, JESUS IS VICTOR (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1989), 99-100.

(2) Ibid., 147.

(3) A.W. Tozer, SUCCESS AND THE CHRISTIAN (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1994), 145-146.


4) POLYCARP (d. 156) ON "BRING ON THE FIRE"

The proconsul pressed [Polycarp] further, and said to him, "Swear and I will release you! Curse Christ!" And Polycarp answered, "Eighty-six years have I served Him, and He has never done me any harm. How could I blaspheme my King and Savior? . . . You threaten me with a fire that burns but for an hour and goes out after a short time, for you do not know the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment for the godless. Why do you wait? Bring out whatever you will."

"The Martyrdom of Polycarp," written on February 22, 156, THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, ed. Eberhard Arnold (Rifton, NY: Plough Publishing Co., 1970, 1972), 68-69.

Editor's Note: According to church tradition, Polycarp was burned at the stake, but when his body was not consumed by the fire, he was stabbed to death.


5) TERTULLIAN (145-220) ON "THE SEED OF THE CHURCH"

We conquer in dying; we go forth victorious at the very time we are subdued. . . . The more often we are mown down, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.

Tertullian, "Apology," Chapter 50, ANTE-NICENE FATHERS (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979), 3:55.


6) COMMODIUS (A.D. 240) ON "BLOODLESS MARTYRDOMS"

Many are the martyrdoms which are made without shedding of blood. Not to desire other men's goods; to wish to have the benefit of martyrdom; to bridle the tongue, thou oughtest to make thyself humble; not willingly to use force, nor to return force used against thee, thou wilt be a patient mind, understand that thou art a martyr.

Commodius, "O Faithful, Beware of Evil," "The Instructions of Commodius," Chapter 48 ANTE-NICENE FATHERS, 4:212.


7) RECOMMENDED READING

Order from Christian Publications by calling 1-800-233-4443 (in North America) or fax 1-717-761-7273 or web: www.christianpublications.com.


8) MINUCIUS FELIX (c. 210) ON "THE CHRISTIAN WRESTLING WITH PAIN"

What a beautiful sight it is for God when a Christian wrestles with pain; when he takes up the fight against threats, capital punishment, and torture; when smiling he mocks at the clatter of the tools of death and the horror of the executioner; when he defends and upholds his liberty in the face of kings and princes, obeying God alone to whom he belongs; when triumphantly and victoriously he challenges the very one who has passed sentence on him! For he is victor who has reached the goal of his aspirations.

Minucius Felix, "Octavius 37:1-5, THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, 122.


9) LETTER TO DIOGNETUS (3RD CENTURY) ON "UNCONQUERABLE MARTYRS"

How they are thrown to the wild beasts to make them deny the Lord! How unconquerable they are! Do you not see that the more of them are executed, the more do the others grow in numbers? That is clearly not the work of men. That is the power of God. That is proof of His presence.

"Letter to Diognetus" 7, THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, 123.


10) AUGUSTINE (A.D. 406) ON "WHAT MAKES A MARTYR"

Men are made martyrs not by the amount of their suffering, but by the cause in which they suffer.

"Letters of St. Augustine," Letter 89:2; NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS
(Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979), 1:1:374.


11) BISHOP HUGH LATIMER (D. 1555) ON "AN UNEXTINQUISHABLE FIRE"

Just before he was burned at the stake along with Bishop Nicholas Ridley, Latimer spoke these words:

Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

John Foxe, FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1981), 309.


12) JOHN FOXE (1516-1587) ON "THE INVINCIBILITY OF THE CHURCH IN SUFFERING"

Commenting on the history of myriads of martyrs, Foxe wrote:

The church should be mightily impugned, not only by the world, but also by the uttermost strength and powers of hell. . . . What force of kings, princes, monarchs, governors, and rulers of this world, with their subjects, publicly and privately, with all their strength and cunning, have bent themselves against this Church. . . . How the Church has yet endured and held its own!

John Foxe, FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS (Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1981), 1-2.


13) CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS CATALOG

Order from Christian Publications by calling 1-800-233-4443 (in North America) or fax 1-717-761-7273 or web: www.christianpublications.com.


14) A.B. SIMPSON (1843-1919) ON "THE SPIRIT OF SELF-SACRIFICE"

The third weapon [of our warfare against Satan--Revelation 12:11] is the spirit of self-sacrifice. This is but another name for love. It is the fire of heroism, the ardor that consumes the life of self and makes the heart a living sacrifice for the cause to which it is devoted. . . . It is . . . the man who stakes all upon his venture and flings himself headlong into the depths of danger and the jaws of destruction. And in the battle of the Lord, nothing can conquer like heroic self-sacrifice, Christ-like love--the love that if it were the call today, could die for Christ. . . . It is the holy man, the holy woman, the holy heart poured out. . . . This is the secret. . . . Back of the story of achievement and success there is an altar fire where a heart has been consumed.

A.B. Simpson, THE CHRIST IN THE BIBLE COMMENTARY (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1994), 6:452.


15) AMY CARMICHAEL (1867-1951) ON "LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES"

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16, KJV). How often I think of that "ought." No sugary sentiment there. Just the stern, glorious trumpet call, OUGHT. But can words tell the joy buried deep within? Mine cannot. It laughs at words.(1)

If I refuse to be a corn of wheat that falls into the ground and dies ("is separated from all in which it lived before"), then I know nothing of Calvary love.(2)

(1) Amy Carmichael, quoted by Elizabeth Elliot, A CHANCE TO DIE: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF AMY CARMICHAEL (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1987), 13.
(2) Amy Carmichael, IF (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1980).


16) DIETRICH BONHOEFFER (1906-1945) ON "THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP"

I shall have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.(1)

The cross is laid on every Christian. . . . When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther's, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time--death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. Jesus' summons to the rich young man was calling him to die, because only the man who is dead to his own will can follow Christ. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and his call are necessarily our death as well as our life.(2)

(1) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP (New York, NY: MacMillan Co., 1959, 1970), 16.
(2) Ibid., 99.

Editor's note: Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis in 1945.


17) NATE SAINT (1923-1956) ON "DYING FOR CHRIST"

I would rather die now than to live a life of oblivious ease in so sick a world.(1)

The way I see it, we ought to be willing to die. In the military we were taught that to obtain our objectives we had to be willing to be expendable. Missionaries must face that same expendability.(2)

(1) WORLD SHAPERS: A TREASURY OF QUOTES FROM GREAT MISSIONARIES, compiled by Vinita Hampton and Carol Plueddemann (Wheaton, IL: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1991), 16.

(2) Ibid., 19.

Editor's note: Nate Saint was killed in 1956 by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. His killers later became Christians.


18) QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Why do you use the New International Version rather than the King James Version of the Bible?

A: Our belief is in the inerrancy of Scriptures as originally given--and we recognize the KJV as as very useful but not always the best choice, as NIV is not always the best choice. You will be interested to know we are changing all of our Tozer publications back to the KJV because many customers will not accept NIV. I am not personally much of an NIV fan though I read it. But the Scriptures came in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. Since I know and speak some Spanish and French I know what is involved in crossing a linguistic barrier. Hope this is helpful. -- K. Neill Foster, Publisher


19) INVITATION TO SUBSCRIBE

Invite your friends to join the Classic Clan for free! To subscribe or unsubscribe go the cpi web page: www.ChristianPublications.com *If you have been inadvertently subscribed, forgive us, please. Spammers we are not.

Welcome to a spiritual adventure!


VOL. II, ISSUE 2, April 1, 2000. Published every other month 4/1; 6/1;8/1; 10/1; 12/1; 2/1. Archives on www.kneillfoster.com.

Copyright © 2002, Christian Publications, Inc.
Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.