Thursday, February 09, 2006
The King, the Kingdom and the Holy Spirit!
Many, many thanks to Ministries Without Borders for a most amazing parcel that arrived today from All Nations Church, Cardiff! I've agreed with James in previous entries that the series Ern Baxter gave on the "The King, the Kingdom and the Holy Spirit" was a particularly unique one - and today they sent me it in book format! I've been trying to get hold of it second hand on Amazon for ages - but not surprisingly it is always not available. So very excited and very pleased!
Once again, Baxter's former administrator, Ritch Carlton writes the foreword and noted:
"The message in this book is, by his own words, the most significant one he feels he has ever presented. He taught this series many times ... Ern believed that the Word could not be without the Spirit, and that the Spirit without the Word would lead to error. He refused to separate them ... Here he calls us to follow him in his life journey by refusing to choose between the Word and the Spirit. Keep them together. Insist on both ... This is the essence Ern's life message, captured here for the next generation".
Ern opened the book with a broadside on the "Neglected Holy Spirit" - this will be the focus of todays post. By the way, I discussed Ern's views on the "Neglect of the Holy Spirit" a few years ago with a former hero of mine, and he suggested that the situation had changed in the light of the Charismatic Movement to, "Misunderstood Holy Spirit" - just a thought.
"The Holy Spirit has suffered from neglect, depersonalization, neutralization, misdefinition and a whole host of other unhappy things. I believe that these happened precisely because of His importance; the Holy Spirit is that Person of the Holy Trinity who comes directly in touch with us in life and experience. Satan is not at all adverse to our having intellectually orthodox views of the Holy Spirit, but he is clearly against our becoming involved with Him in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the One who brings the life, power, energy, illumination, inspiration and enablement of the Triune God to each of us, individually and corporately.
Recognising this, Satan said; "I don't mind them holding right views about the Holy Spirit, but if He ever gets loose among them, He will tear up my kingdom". For this reason I believe that the Holy Spirit has been Satan's prime target for the past 2, 000 years. His plan has been simple; "Keep him out of activity. Get men arguing over the nature of the Father and the Son, over the nature of the Trinity, and over the nature of election. Keep them arguing over a thousand aspects of philosophy and theology but keep them seperated from the Holy Spirit. If He ever gets loose among them, then I'm in trouble.
To a certain degree, Satan has succeeded in his objective; much of the Church has remained ignorant of the role and function of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity ... It's not enough just to receive (the Holy Spirit), be baptized by Him and enjoy His gifts and blessings. He has come for more reasons than that. He came to bless you, change you and regenerate you. He came to fill you. He came to gift you and heal you. He came to illuminate you. Indeed He did all that, but He didn't come just for your sake; He came from the Father, for the Father's sake.
The Kingdom, the government of God is the rule of God. It is the place where He is proceeding to fill all things to Himself. As we respond to the working of the Spirit, to the purposes of God on the earth, we also become agents in the realisation of God's government. God rules in Spirit, and as the Kingdom comes it brings all things into subjection under Christ our King".