Sermon Collections

Men Who Met God

Twelve Life-Changing Encounters

by A.W. Tozer, 1986
Men Who Met God

This book was based on a series of messages delivered in 1960. The audio versions, while of very poor sound quality, are available online and are much preferable to the marginal rendition of the messages presented in this book. The concepts were lifted out of the contexts of the messages they were in, jumbled, shuffled, cropped and clipped, re-worded, reduced, and rearranged into something that barely resembles the original.

For example, here is a transcript of a portion of the first message:

So God was saying to Abraham, Now listen, Abraham. I’m trying to get a message through to you. I’m trying to tell you something, Abraham, and you listen to Me, and here it is: Abraham, you were made in My image and you were designed for one purpose and that is to be a retainer at my court, and that is to be a worshiper at my throne, that is to glorify Me and live in My Presence and rest not day and night to eternity crying ‘Holy, holy, holy Lord God almighty!’ and be happy beyond the power of all mortals to understand. That, Abraham, is what I created you for, don’t forget it! You thought I created you for something else, but you’re wrong. This is what I created you for — to worship Me.

And you know, my friend, that’s what you’re created for. You’re first to be a worshipper. That’s what God made you for. God put a harp in your soul and He’s the only One that can get any music out of it. God put that harp there — that image of Himself there — that you might take it to Him and that He might use it and that He might play on that instrument and bring forth fine music to fill all the heavens above.

So this is what Abraham had to learn — to glorify God. Abraham, only God matters, God was saying ...and I say it to you now. Only God matters at last and if you get everything settled with God and you get God within the compass of your spiritual experience, He’ll untangle everything else. All problems are spiritual problems at bottom. All problems are spiritual and if you get God, everything else will iron itself out for you finally.

This section of the message was rendered in the book in this manner:

God was saying to Abraham, You may have some other idea about the design and purpose for your life, but you are wrong! You were created in My image to worship Me and to glorify Me. If you do not honor this purpose, your life will degenerate into shallow, selfish, humanistic pursuits.

Abraham, commit your whole life and future into My hands. Let Me as your Creator and God fulfill in you My perfect design. It is My great desire that you become a faithful and delighted worshiper at My throne. — page 23

As you can see, the words Tozer originally spoke with such power and intensity have been reduced to a few lackluster phrases which partially express the meaning, but also add concepts which belong to the editor, not Tozer. And this is the case with the entire book (and, unfortunately, every book compiled by Gerald B. Smith). Tozer spoke to the spirit of a person with words that carry deep meaning in their imagery as well as lexically. Taking the technical meaning of the messages only was a grave mistake as it missed Tozer’s heart, which is the essence that made his messages valuable spiritually. For it is because Tozer’s heart was so closely entwined with God’s heart that his messages were so powerful. His call to seek God was expressed in words that carried the listener into such closeness with the Spirit of God that the very thing he urged was accomplished even as he spoke. But the book can make no such claim. It may give the reader a dim shadow of the overall message, but ultimately it is cold and nearly sterile of any trace of the majesty it purports to represent.

  1. We Preach Christ ...and we never apologize for true Christian experience — We have a right to a conscious awareness of a meeting with God. (The basic message of this chapter was mentioned in message 1, but the majority of the chapter is additional material drawn from outside this series.)
  2. I Will Pay Any Price Abraham was on his face, God was on the throne — [Message 1] We were made to worship God.
  3. God Is All I Need Abraham’s faith was from the heart and rock-solid — [Message 1] There should be an altar deep within our hearts. (The title of this chapter is misleading, Tozer did not use this phrase nor do I think he subscribed to that error.)
  4. Let the Fresh Waters Flow Isaac reopened the old wells—an object lesson for us — God has provided the water (Christian blessings) but man must dig the wells, as Isaac did. (This chapter does not appear to belong here. The original message from which this chapter was taken is not contained in the Men Who Met God series. In fact, Tozer made it clear that he didn’t think much of Isaac, at least not in connection with the topic of having an encounter with God. While the message of this chapter is a good one, it is not about the conscious awareness of a meeting with God.)
  5. God Is Really Here Jacob finds the face of God turned manward — [Message 2] God saw something worthwhile in the man that most people had written off as hopeless.
  6. I Will Not Let Thee Go Wounded Jacob is renewed by his hunger for God — There is some question as to the source material for chapters 6 and 8 as well. Some of Tozer’s comments lead one to think that there may have been additional messages for which we no longer have the audio. On the other hand, the tone of these chapters does not match the rest of the messages in the series making them seem out of place even though there are some side comments about direct encounters with God.
  7. Why This Burning Bush? To be God’s man, Moses had to experience God personally — [Messages 3 and 4] This chapter actually follows the outline of the audio message rather closely, although the power and humour of Tozer’s original message have been removed.
  8. The Treasures of Egypt Moses made God his choice, and so should we — God attempted to demonstrate to the Israelites the kind of God that He is.
  9. I Stand Before God Elijah knew the way down is also the way up — [Message 5] This chapter follows the basic outline of the audio message.
  10. I Have Seen Another World Isaiah lifts his eyes to gaze on the King of Kings — The invisible world of the spirit and the place of the man of God in it. There is never any contradiction between spirit and reality, only between spirit and matter. The real spiritual world coexists with our world. The physical world and the spiritual world are accessible to one another. (This message seems to fit the theme pretty well, although it unfortunately is missing from the audio set.)
  11. The Heavens Were Opened In the worst of times, Ezekiel has a vision of God — [message 7] This chapter follows the basic outline of the audio message.
  12. When Will Revival Come? Revival will come when we know God in living experience — We have something in us that demands to see God. He appears to that in us which is most like Himself. (Contains additional material taken from outside the audio series.)
Sermon audio (delivered between 3/20/1960 and 5/1/1960)
Also by A.W. Tozer:
Renewed Day by Day
The Quotable Tozer I
The Price of Neglect
Success and the Christian
We Travel an Appointed Way
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