Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a break-down somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again.

For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists

concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it.

In the kingdom of God things are not too different. God has always had His

specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the

spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi,

and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke,

and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.

A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers could labor quietly

almost unnoticed while the spiritual life of Israel or the church was normal. But let the

people of God go astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist appeared

almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought him to the help of the Lord and of


Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the

curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical,

negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and

these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightenedothers, and alienated not a few, but he knew who had called him and what he was sent to

do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different,

a man apart.

To such men as this the church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is that

she seldom tries to pay him while he lives, but the next generation builds his sepulcher

and writes his biography, as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation

the previous generation to a large extent ignored.

Those who know Leonard Ravenhill will recognize in him the religious specialist,

the man sent from God not to carry on the conventional work of the church, but to beard the priests of Baal on their own mountaintop, to shame the careless priest at the altar, to

face the false prophet and warn the people who are being led astray by him.

Such a man as this is not an easy companion. The professional evangelist who leaves the wrought-up meeting as soon as it is over to hie him to the most expensive restaurant to feast and crack jokes with his retainers will find this man something of an embarrassment, for he cannot turn off the burden of the Holy Ghost as one would turn of a faucet. He insists upon being a Christian all the time, everywhere; and again, that marks him out as different.

Toward Leonard Ravenhill it is impossible to be neutral. His acquaintances are

divided pretty neatly into two classes, those who love and admire him out of all

proportion and those who hate him with perfect hatred. And what is true of the man is sure to be true of his books, of this book. The reader will either close its pages to seek a

place of prayer or he will toss it away in anger, his heart closed to its warnings and  appeals.

Not all books, not even all good books come as a voice from above, but I feel that

this one does. It does because its author does, and the spirit of the author breathe through his book.

A. W. Tozer


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