Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"The Earth Is the Lords" - Part 2.

I have had to resist straying off to address other issues that I've seen in blogdom - (such as the question - what MAKES a spiritual hero? Adrian Warnock doesn't think any of us apart from Joshua Harris makes the grade from our generation). And of course John MacArthur's right hand man is back to his favourite practice of terrorising charismatics (rather than bothering to deal with his points I've been studying his strategy of logic and he's quite a master).

No rather, I am determined to stick closely to my vision of making Ern Baxter's material available especially after getting in touch with Hugh from Swansea, who was extremely kind to write again about the need for this revelatory material to be available. By the way, this quite historic photo is of Ern Baxter and William Branham together. This relationship is often used by Ern's critics to try and undermine his character. However Ern's comments and insights on Branham are extremely important and worthy of a hearing (as Meredith Kline insisted). I will be writing on that whole subject and event in history at some point.

So over to Ern Baxter ...

The Foundation of Victory.

But the foundation of this historic victory is not to be found in something in the future; rather it is rooted in something in the past, that is, Christ's Person and work, what He accomplished in His first coming. Many Christians know more about the second coming than the first, but without the first coming, there would be no second. The second is the consummation of the first. We are to preach the first and refer to the second, not preach the second and refer to the first.

If we are caught in a "second coming syndrome", we need to change our ways. Nowhere does the Bible say the preaching of the second coming is the power of God unto salvation. It says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Roman 1:16). And that gospel is the historical fact that;

"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-4).

This is the gospel, Paul says, "By which also ye are saved" (1 Cor 15:2). We should let the first coming, that is, when God became incarnate, grip our hearts. That in itself is a mind-boggling revelation - that the God who made the universe and who upholds all things by the word of His power, that very God nestled in the virgin womb of a little peasant girl, was born a human being and became one of us. The second coming pales in majesty beside the incarnation. The incarnation is the magnificent invasion of God into history through Jesus Christ!

The Person of Jesus Christ.

For 33 years this human yet divine being walked across the stage of history. With His impeccable life, His majestic poise and bearing, the wisdom of His words, the delightful balance of His personality, His submission and obedience to the Father, He came striding into history superior to every other human being. He came not by evolution but as the incarnation of God in the flesh. The Apostle John says; "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

In Jesus Christ, God Almighty condescended to appear in human form and present Himself before men as the divine ideal for ultimate manhood. During all His earthly years Jesus was subjected to the scrutiny of His Father. Three times from heaven the Father did for Jesus what He had done for no other man in all history - He opened heaven and said; "This is My Son and I like what I see". The Father found no flaw in His Son.

John, Jesus' cousin standing in the muddy waters of the Jordan, pointed to Him and said; "Look everyone. There goes the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Now this is the thing to remember: If Jesus Christ - the Logos, the Son, the second Person of the Trinity - had become incarnate and had moved among men in perfection only to go back to heaven and leave us with the picture of what man could aspire to be, but never become, then man would have lived out his days in despair. But He didn't come just to show us what God is like, He came as the Nicene Creed so majestically states, "for us men and for our salvation".

When Jesus was transfigured and stood with Moses and Elijah, Peter was overwhelmed by what he saw. He had seen Jesus do many miracles but he'd never seen Jesus like this. To Peter, this was it! He wanted to remain on the mountain and build monuments to Jesus, Moses and Elijah. If Jesus had listened to Peter, He would have been kept there forever. We could have come and worshipped Him, then died and gone to hell. We could have come and taken away souvenirs from the mountain and then died and gone to hell. But Jesus left that mountain of majesty for a mountain of humiliation, where He was nailed to a cross.

Then having died for our sins, He took with Him a great host of sons and daughters into the Presence of the Father and said; "Here I am Father and the children Thou hast given Me" (Hebrews 2:13).

The Work of Christ.

The Christ of the transfiguration is majestic but only the Christ of Calvary is redemptive. What did He do for us? Look at the list:

1. He tasted death for every man. Christ died for our sins.
2. He defeated Satan. The prince of this world is judged and he remains judged.
3. He judged the world. This world system, trying to function apart from God, is a cursed city. It's a doomed metropolis waiting for its end. But emerging out of it is another city that is eternal in nature.
4. He became Lord of all; the Church, the Communist nations, the Capitalist nations, the Third World nations. He is Lord of the nations and has comissioned us as His representatives to go and to bring under His rule the nations over which He bcame Lord as a result of His first coming, not His second.
5. He created a new race, a new species. We are not just reformed human beings, not just some patched up species. We are a brand-new race. For when Jesus Christ stepped out of Joseph's tomb on that first Easter morning, He did so as the firstborn from among the dead, the beginning of a whole new kind of being, consisting of that which is both human and divine.
6. He established a victorious reign. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:25; "For He must reign UNTIL He hath put all His enemies under His feet".

I am saying that the first coming is the important coming, the meaningful coming. The first coming is the coming that we must preach. What do we know about the second coming apart from the fact that He's coming again?

Next: All Authority On Earth.

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