"Where Are We Going?" Series by Dr Ern Baxter.
I want to talk about “the Land” this morning and there is just one other thing that I wanted to say. I want you to turn please to Leviticus 23. This has to do with this very conference. This is something that is very exciting to me and I will tell you why. I think I will tell you why first. I have been a conference speaker for years and never thought there was anything improper in being called by a group of interested people in a city or a church or whatever. Various organisations that there is no need to mention would hold a conference and I would go as one of the speakers but during the last two or three years I and my brothers that I am related to have had a discomfort about conferences. We just felt that there was something about them that wasn’t exactly right. Then the Lord began to show us why we were feeling this uneasiness. As we began to see the truth of shepherds and authority and that every sheep should have a shepherd and that every man should be under authority that every believer should be responsible to someone who has the rule over them as a shepherd and as an elder. We noticed that in these conferences there were thousands of people who were there totally unrelated and coming out from various denominational churches and we were preaching our sermons and planting our truths and to put it very bluntly we realised that what we were doing was tampering with other ministers sheep.
It really got so intense that just before I came over here I served notice on a very large conference council that out of the conviction of my conscience I wouldn’t be able to come back. They said why and I said that I can no longer feel right in my conscience in speaking to a gathering of people many of whom are there not with the permission of their leaders and I don’t feel that I have a right to tamper with other people’s children. Then they said well what do you think is right – do you think all conferences are wrong? I said no. What do you feel would be right? I said I will just show you what the Lord has been showing me. That is that part of the preparation in the wilderness for the people of God when they came into the Land is here in Leviticus 23. Let’s just look at it for a moment. I want you to drop down to verse 10 first of all. If you have Bibles please turn to this because I think it’s very important that you should see it. Verse 10 of Leviticus 23 – remember this is spoken yet in the wilderness.
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land’”. Now that’s all I want to say. That is when this is to take place. Now what is it? Let’s go back then to verse 1. I just wanted you to find out when ‘it’ was. “The Lord spoke again to Moses saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them – the Lord has appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, My appointed times are these; for six days work may be done but on the seventh there is a Sabbath of complete rest – a holy convocation. You shall not do any work – it is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling. These are the appointed times of the Lord – holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them”.
Then He goes on to speak about the times (that’s all you need to read now) – three times a year when the whole nation when it came into the land would come up to Jerusalem which was the appointed place, the city of God and they would come up in their tribes with their leaders and princes and shepherds. They would come up to holy convocation where Moses and the leaders of the nation would address them and they would mingle with one another and fellowship but where at nights they would go back to their tribal allotments so that every one of them was up there under proper tribal order. I said to this conference that this is the way it is. I know that it sounds idealistic but I said that I believe that as surely as God is restoring shepherds and authority and people will know their shepherds and know to whom they are submitted in their allotments, in their groups, in their flocks that we will have holy convocations and this will be the valid basis of a conference. Where no longer will a man speak promiscuously to people who are out from under authority, who don’t know authority, who are rebellious against authority but where people will be spoken to who are under authority so that what is spoken will be judged by peer ministries – “when one prophesies the other will judge” – when one teaches, the other teachers will evaluate – so that there will be order in God’s people. I said that may be idealistic but I believe that is what is coming as we come into the land and we will have conferences where there will not just be apostles and prophets addressing them but where the shepherds and the elders will come with their flocks to these holy convocations and will camp around, just like they did around the Tabernacle as I showed you last night. At night you will go back to your flocks under your shepherds and when you come in to places like this I don’t think they will hold it – I think we will have to hold it in great open fields like they have in America. I spoke to 32, 000 in one convocation. But you will come together in great masses and can you imagine what the world will do when they see the tribes coming from all over? Led by their princes and their leaders and their shepherds and all camping in their flock allotments and all coming to holy convocation? Can you imagine what that will be?
So when I arrived here and Bryn Jones started to tell me that he hadn’t noticed it but as he looked over the conference that there are shepherds and ministers here who have brought your flock and you are camped around here and while it isn’t ideal there are many of you here with your shepherds here in flocks and this might well be the beginning of what God is going to be doing across the world in bringing his people together in order. Hallelujah. I don’t know if that means anything to you but brother that means an awful lot to me. I feel released in my spirit and I feel that we are going to see this thing grow and increase and the world will see what it is for God’s people to move in order in a world of disorder. The world is going to learn authority from us. The world is going to learn submission. The world is going to learn love. The world is going to learn loyalty. You know the world doesn’t know anything about loyalty anymore? But the world will learn that there are people who are loyal to one another. The world is going to see heaven reproduced in us. In these holy convocations the world will look and say, “That’s heaven on earth – can we get in on it?”. Let me just simply say that you can go through the Acts of the Apostles and you won’t find any altar calls. In the early church, the Gospel was so attractive that people came and wanted to get in. You didn’t have to beg them to come in – they wanted to get in. Men and brethren what shall we do? Peter said just a minute till I get the key and I will open the door. They were beating the door down.
Alright now we are going to talk about the Land. At last. (*laughter*).
The Land Located and Described.
This is a very important introduction to all that we are going to be saying about the Land. First we have to look at a principle of interpretation. The principle is very simple once you grasp it and St Augustine put it as well as anybody by saying, “The New is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed”. Maybe Paul did it better. He said, “That which is natural is first then that which is spiritual”. You will find that in 1st Corinthians 11:14. Now this is inherent in the very nature of the material universe. If you want to turn to Romans 1:20 I would like you to get this because everything I say from now on will rest on your understanding of this principle of interpretation. Romans 1:20;
“For the invisible things of Him – that is His invisible nature or His invisible attributes or characteristics speaking of God – from the creation of the world – or ever since the world was made – are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made”.
Let me give you a couple of other translations. “Have been made intelligible and clearly visible by His works”. Another translation says; “Have been made perceptible and clearly understandable through the things He has made”. “Even His eternal power and Godhead – or His eternal power and deity or His eternal power and divine character – “so that men are without excuse – there is no possible excuse for their conduct or as J B Phillips put it so colourfully; “Thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse”.
Now what is Paul saying here? Just as we said last night that in the building of the Tabernacle God projected and materialised what He was like in His native element He put it in a building. He put it in furniture – He put it in a physical, literal, materialised thing that people could understand and by understanding that they could understand what God was like, what you had to do to reach God, what you had to do to stay in relationship to God, how you related to God and what they saw was what God was like. Now in bringing understanding to men God had to first do it naturally. I don’t know if I have already mentioned about dedicating churches. I discovered the first time that I was asked to dedicate a church that in the New Testament there were no church buildings. But in the Old Testament there were holy buildings. That which is natural or physical was first. The Old Testament is God’s picture book. The New Testament is full of precept and principle – the Old Testament gives you the picture. That which is natural is first and then it is fulfilled spiritually so that the stones in Solomon’s temple now become living stones in the temple of God for inhabitation of God through the Spirit.
I want you now to go to Genesis with me to see the Land as it was promised in the natural. Genesis chapter 15:18;
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram saying, ‘To your seed I have given this land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates – the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites”.
You know I always thought that would make a good chorus but there isn’t much edification in it. (*laughter*). Now the point to be made here – watch this carefully because if you get this then you will understand what the Land is – the Land here is geographically described. It is not only geographically described but it is described in terms of its occupants. This is the Land into which the nation of Israel was to go. God brought them out of Egypt, took them through the wilderness and into this geographically described land. Now remember the principle – that which is natural is first, then that which is spiritual. Now if the Red Sea has a spiritual meaning in baptism, if the manna has a spiritual meaning in Christ the True Bread from Heaven, if the Tabernacle has a fulfilment in the Church, if the High Priest has a fulfilment in Jesus, if the Lamb whose blood was shed under the Old Covenant has a fulfilment in Jesus the Lamb of God and I could go on and on – then does not the Land has a spiritual fulfilment under the New Order? Yes it has.
What is the Land? As the Land was literally located and described for the natural Israel so the Land must have a spiritual counterpart for the New Covenant people. It is that domain, the boundaries, the rules and the functions of which, are described by Christ and the Apostles and Prophets. The Land is (according to Romans 4:13) what? Let’s look at Romans 4:13. Here is the Apostle Paul giving the spiritual fulfilment of the natural promise. Jesus had already done it. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit Palestine”. (*laughter*). Is that what He said? “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. Don’t be scared! Look at (v13) now; “For the promise that He should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or his seed through law but through the righteousness of faith”. What is the Land? The world. Don’t be so tentative! (*laughter*). You’re frightened. It’s frightening! Do you know why it’s frightening? It is because many of us in this room including me for years never dreamed for a moment that we would have any part in taking over the world. If we could make it to heaven …! (*laughter*). I just wanna go to heaven and be with Jesus when I die! (*laughter*). So the thing you are really looking forward to is death or the coming of the Lord. Now the Land is the world and the natural Israel (as Bryn has already told us) from whom the Kingdom was taken and given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof is described for us in 1st Peter chapter 2:9. We are the people of the Kingdom of God – you and I – where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free – where the middle wall of partition has been broken down. Where God has made of twain one new man.
I want you to look at this because it is exciting. “But ye are a chosen generation”. Let’s stop right there because the American Standard correctly renders, “You are an elect race”. Now a race equates with genealogy which equates with genes and races have special genes and those genes are in their blood so that what you are genetically determines your race. Now he says, I have created a new race and this new race also has genes but they are not in the blood. They are spiritual genes. When you are born into this race, you are born by the Spirit of God and your genetics are spiritual genetics and while your natural genes may produce you a black man or a red man or a yellow man or a white man – if you belong to this race your spiritual genes will produce you a God man whether you are black or yellow and that is why the Great Multitude come from every tongue, tribe and nation because they have got spiritual genes. That doesn’t excite you? (*laughter*). I’ve got goose bumps from my big toe up to here! (*laughter*).
All over the world today people of every colour and tribe and nation who have been born into the Kingdom of God are the new people of God – the new race. There is a race of people that are transcontinental, transnational. The immigration authorities can’t stop the spread of this race! We all carry our passports! (*laughter*). This race is destined to rise up and inherit the earth. This can only come about by a tremendous acceleration of reproduction which means that there must be thousands more people than now that are born again. This means we must have the greatest revival these last days and the fullness of the Gentiles will come in! Do you know what that means? That means that there will be a Gentilic revival of such dimensions that there will be more Gentiles saved in the closing generation of this age than have ever been saved in all Christian history. It will do something on a natural level to ethnic Israel – it will make them mad. (*laughter*). The Bible says it will provoke them. And right about the time that they are so provoked that they just don’t know what to do the “miracle of the mystery” that Paul talks about in Romans 11 will take place and the judgement that has rested on ethnic Israel for two thousand years coincident with their provocation will be lifted and they will see the Deliverer coming out of Zion. Now what is Zion? Zion is the People of God and the Deliverer they will see is Christ in the Gospel. All Israel will be saved and there will be a tremendous national revival among the Jews and they will come in almost in total! Paul said it will be like life from the dead. Can you imagine when the bulk of the human population in the earth is going to far outnumber the unbelievers?!
I am sorry about what this is doing to your theology. (*laughter*). But let me assure you I went through it too. Someone said, “But doesn’t it say that men will get worse”? No it doesn’t say that. It says the wicked are going to get worse. As the wicked get wickeder, the righteous get “righteous-er”. (*laughter*). As the wicked get fewer, the righteous get “more-ther”. (*laughter*). Bryn quoted it in John and we miss it in the Authorised Version. I sometimes wonder whether someone didn’t have a hand in the Authorised Version to hide some things. He said the “light shines in the darkness and it is going to keep shining and shining and shining and the darkness cannot arrest it or stop it and the path of the just groweth brighter and brighter”. What’s happening to the darkness? It’s getting smaller and smaller! Let’s say “Glory!”. (*Glory!*).
If the world is the Land and Israel is now the new nation of Jew and Gentile which towards the end of the age (and let me say to you quite frankly) everything that I observe happening in the earth in terms of the Bible even the coming into existence of Israel as a nation is extremely significant. This is hard for us to take. I’m a Canadian and I was raised in Canadian schools where we were taught that the sun never sets on the British Empire. “Britannia rules the waves” and now Britannia has a hard time with the English Channel. (*laughter*). I said that over in America where I was sharing a conference with Michael Harper and he came to me after and said, “Dear brother we do have a few more ships than are just in the English Channel”. (*laughter*). There is still some British pride left! All I want to say is this; is it not significant that in my lifetime there has been such a resurgence of nationalism that the earth is now literally peopled by many nations. What is this all about? It makes it much more manageable to make disciples of all nations! Someone says, “But it says that when you see the fig tree …”. Ah but you should read all four gospels. Luke says when you see the fig tree and all the other trees. So the fact that Israel has become a nation is in preparation for it’s national conversion as is the emergence of the other nations. God is setting them up to know them down! Someone said, Baxter you are dreaming! It’s God’s dream! Do you think God is going to let this age wind up with His Son a loser? He will vindicate His Son! He will cover the earth with His glory as the waters cover the sea! We say when Jesus comes every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Go back and take another look at that Scripture. It doesn’t say anything about the Second Coming! Put that Scripture in context in Isaiah! “Look unto Me all ye ends of the earth and be saved for every knee shall bow and every tongue confess!”. And there was silence in heaven for half an hour. (*laughter*).
We have got off the hook of responsibility by having a nice futurist eschatology so that every challenging verse that says “Now is the time God wants to do it”, we put it “up there”. (*laughter*). Ooh there’s another hard one. We’ll let the Jews take care of that in the Great Tribulation. Ooh that ones for the Millennium! (*laughter*). I feel your pain. But brother let me tell you I have never known genuine excitement until I got my Bible back and I began to realise that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and if it is “the” power then there is no “the-er” power! Jesus said “All authority is given unto Me in heaven and earth” and if He has got it all then He can’t get any more! If you’ve got it “all” you can’t have “all-er” power! (*laughter*). How much authority has Christ got today? (*All!*). Where? In Heaven and on earth! He is the King of all those who are king-ing! That is the literal meaning of that passage! He is the Lord of all those who are lord-ing! He’s the King of the whole earth. He is the King immortal, eternal, the only wise King! Jesus Christ sits in the position of absolute authority and He must reign until He has made all His enemies His footstool and the heavens must retain Him until the restoration of the times of all the things the prophets spoke about one of which is that everyone shall see eye to eye in Zion! (*applause*).
Someone said, “You mean we’re all going to see eye to eye?”. That’s what he said! “That’s impossible!”. That’s what you say. Now if I have to make a choice I am going with him! How many of you would have believed that ten or twelve years ago that what is happening here could happen? John Poole said something in the conference we shared together at Oberland University that I felt was prophetic – I really did. He said ten years ago we could not have imagined what is happening today. Ten years from now we will not be able to look back and say we saw this at the present time and I believe it. I was talking to Bryn this morning – there are things happening that I don’t dare think about. My head won’t handle it! I can’t even share it with you – it would blow you right out of the water. Some of the things that are going on in the Kingdom of God this morning that are absolutely mind-blowing. God is up to something! You say well why didn’t God do something before? It wasn’t time! Are you going to restore the Kingdom to Israel now Lord? Jesus said it is none of your business! It is not for you to know the times and the seasons which are hidden in the Father. And when He chooses to do it, He will do it. And He “do-ed” it. (*laughter*). About ten years ago all kinds of things began to happen. He did things that I would never have done. He has got me into more trouble … (*laughter*).
I just wouldn’t believe the things I am doing these days. I am working with and relating to and loving and entering into relationship with men that ten years ago we wouldn’t have spoken to each other. And now we can’t wait to get together! We don’t see eye to eye but we sure feel heart to heart. That is the order. Ephesians 4 says let us keep the unity of the Spirit until we come to the unity of the faith. Get your hearts together and then we will work on your heads. We might say Lord that isn’t just the way it is. If he doesn’t believe like I do then I won’t fellowship with him. Well you’re dispensible. (*laughter*). Like I said last night you either get in line with what God is doing or … bye bye! See you later. Let’s go back to verse 9 of 1st Peter 2. “But you are an elect race, a holy nation, a people claimed for God’s own”. We are God’s people! Do you notice how many times when God is laying down a promise He lays it down in terms of His creative power? The God who made the heavens and the earth is my Father! Here me precious people – the success of these mind boggling things that I am talking to you about does not rest with our committee conclusions. It is in the purpose of God! This is a time thing! This is a season. This is a thing that God is doing! God is on the move! He is moving so fast I can hardly keep up with it! We are God’s people! Now if God wants to use you to blast open a nation – do you think He can do it? You – I mean you! Don’t pass it to the other fellow, I mean you! If God picks up any of you and says, “I want you to go and dynamite a nation open”, do you think He can do it? That is all I am asking you to believe! I am not asking you to try and help God to figure it out.
I remember when Ruth and I were being ministered to with the laying on of hands and it was very powerful. I won’t share that with you. But I remember that as they ministered to Ruth, her tearful response was beautiful. I shall never forget it. All she said was, “Lord we want to be available”. God is not asking you to work out the logistics of this. He is not asking you to form a committee to work out how you shall do it. All He is saying is, “Are you available?”. Are you available tonight? Let’s go on. (v10); “Which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God”. We were nobody! Now we are everybody not just somebody. We are everybody that is anybody! (*laughter*). You say “Well okay but boy that world out there is rough”. That brings us to point number 2.
The Land is Divinely Prepared For Us.
Let’s go to Exodus 23:20:
“Behold I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared”.
Our evangelical theology which most of us have subscribed to which has been prominent among saved people for over a hundred years emerged in it’s battle with German liberal and higher criticism. But our evangelical theology has been all redemptive; “I am saved and I am going to heaven”. We have lost the great theological fact that our fathers were so aware of that made some of the great moves of the past possible – that is the Doctrine of Providence. What is providence? The Doctrine of Providence is that God isn’t just God of Christians. But Psalm 24:1 says; “The earth is the Lords and the fullness therefore, the world and all that dwell therein”. Who owns the communist? God. Who owns the conservatives? God. The Kingdom of God is supra-political. I don’t want anyone equating Christianity with political left or political right. We are political top! The Bible says our politics are in heaven – our citizenship is in heaven. We are without boundaries! This new race doesn’t carry an earthly passport. Don’t think I’m crackers when I say this but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we don’t start to have something of the Philip transportation company restored. (*laughter*). If they insist on continuing to put up air fares it may come quicker than we thought. Don’t dare rule that out! I believe that we will see anything God wants to do to get His job done.
Who has read anything about Sadhu Sundar Singh? He was the great Indian Christian and God always gives us previews. The Sadhu went up into Tibet and they threw him into the well which was capital punishment and screwed the top on and took the key back to the head Lama who put it on his ring. The Sadhu landed in a pile of mouldering bones that were at different stages of decay and hurt his arm. He was down there in that stinking thing to die and heard a scraping. Off came the top of the well and a rope was let down. He put it around his waist and was pulled up. Got up and took the rope off and turned to thank his rescuer and there was no one there. He came to a swollen stream and wondered how he would get across. Suddenly someone appeared and said, “Get on my back”. They went across and he turned to thank them and they were gone. What was it? Angels. (*laughter*). Don’t you believe in angels? The place is full of them this morning. There is at least one for everyone here! Probably there are more than that because I think some of you need more! The way I get around I think I’ve got about 5! (*laughter*). Look dear people once you posit God all things are possible. Gabriel said to Mary, “You are going to have a child”. She said, “Oh that isn’t reasonable Mr Angel. I am a devout Jewish girl and a virgin and I know all about the Levitical code and I haven’t known a man. I declare it and you know it to be true. How can these things be?”. Mary was a precious little peasant girl and loved God devoutly but no one had had a baby before without a man! Everyone knows that! How can these things be? He told her how. She said, “Be it unto me then according to the Word”. God wrought a miracle and that little peasant girl became the bearer of the Messiah which had been the dream of every Jewish mother generated by God in her womb.
You say to me, “Baxter these things you are talking about – how can these things be? Seeing that we don’t have a committee big enough! And what do we do for money?”. (*laughter*). Eat manna. (*laughter*). Follow the cloud. Get water out of the rock. What do you think He put them through that training for? You and I will take over the world and we won’t do it with guns. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. We must get together first of all and when we get together one good prayer meeting will clean up a whole legislature. (*laughter*). Hallelujah! (v21) of Exodus 23;
“Be on your guard before Him and obey His voice. Do not be rebellious to Him for He will not pardon your transgressions since My Name is in him”. That was quite an angel. That is the One who followed them who was Christ. “But if …”. Oh dear. There we go again. “But if you will truly obey His voice and do all that I say then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries for My angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Caananites and the Hivites and the Jebusites and I will completely destroy them”.
Oh You are going in there ahead of us? I see so we come in all we have to do is blow and down they will go!? Oh hallelujah! I like that! Who do you think is messing things up out there now? Who has got men knocking their heads together? Who’s reduced the world to a drooling, dribbling idiot that doesn’t know where to turn? Who’s doing that? God is out there working on the Hivvites, the Hittites and all the other Parasites. (*laughter*). (v24);
“You shall not worship their gods”. Don’t get messed up with them now. We have had enough trouble with that – trying to run the kingdom with their methods. “You shall not worship their gods nor serve them nor do according to their deeds but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars into pieces”. Remember that which is natural then that which is spiritual. This doesn’t mean you get an axe and go out and start to chop material things down. This means you start to move in on the powers of darkness. (v25); “But you shall serve the Lord your God and He shall bless your bread and your water and I will remove sickness from your midst”. When? When you get into the Land. Remember what I said the other night? We will have one of the biggest healing services you ever saw. Man there will be a mass healing when we get it together. (v26); “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in …”. What? Whose Land? Our Land! Who owns the world? God and me! (*laughter*). Do you see the subtle get out in that question? We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ! It’s Gods. But it’s Gods and ours! “The meek shall inherit the earth”. Whose world is it? Ours! “My Father is rich in lands – He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands – of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold – His coffers are full, He has riches untold! I’m a child of the King – with Jesus my Saviour, I’m a child of the King!”. (v27); “I will send My terror ahead of you and throw into confusion …”. What’s going on out there right now? Confusion. What’s the confusion waiting for? The orderly people of God coming in in their tribes to take over the Land. You better get it together! Are you ready to take over England? Don’t look at me like that – this wasn’t my idea! (*laughter*).
“I will send My terror ahead of you and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come and I will make all your enemies turn their backs on you”. Hallelujah! Notice; “And I will send hornets ahead of you that they may drive out the Hivvites, the Caananites and the Hittites before you”. Now drop down to verse 31; “And I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates”. That which is natural is first. “For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands”. That’s God’s side. “And you will drive them out before you”. That’s your side.
Do you believe that God is getting the world ready for us to take it over? Don’t go getting spiritual about it and say, “God You do it”. He will say, “What do you mean I do it? I’ve done My part – you go and do yours!”. That’s what our brother was talking about this morning. It’s exciting! All Paul had in his day was a donkey. We’ve got jet planes, tapes, even the British Airways working for us. (*laughter*). Of course we own the British Airways. (*laughter and applause*). See I own a great deal – I just haven’t got time to take care of it. So I let the Rockefellers and the Morgenthau’s take care of it – I’m really busy right now with other things. (*laughter*). (v32). “You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods”. Remember don’t compromise. They will want you to ease up! Cut their heads off! I’m not talking about people – no compromise with sin! No compromise with religion! No compromise with melting down first principles and making them acceptable! No compromise! Samuel said to Saul, “I told you to clean out the Amalakites!”. “Well” he said, “I saved the best of them”. There is no best Amalakite. “I saved the king!”. The king of the Amalakites? He’s as bad as the poorest peasant! Where is he? Bring him to me! And the Bible said that Agag came to Samuel mincing delicately. He said, “Surely you are not going to do anything now. The bitterness of death is over – the war is over”. Samuel said “You think the war is over? The war isn’t over till you are dead. Gimme a sword!”. There lay Agag. Someone might say, “Oh that’s so cruel”. That which is natural is first. Someone said, “Oh now there are some nice things in the old order that we could preserve”. (v33); “They shall not live in our land”. It’s our land! “Lest they make you sin against Me”.
The Land is the place of God’s Personal Presence.
Exodus 33; “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people you have brought out of the land”. Remember they had just had that scene where Aaron had caused Israel to sin and the Lord is angry about it. So He told Moses to go ahead and take the people up. He said (v2); “I will give it to you and I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Caananites and the Amorites and the Hittites and the Parasites and the Jebusites to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I am not going with you”. I will send an angel but I am not going because you are an obstinate people. If I go and you keep being obstinate, one day I will get so uptight with you I will destroy the bunch of you so I will send an angel up. Now God is talking anthropomorphically. He is talking as a man. When the people heard this sad word they went into mourning and none of them put on his ornaments for the Lord said to Moses, say to the sons of Israel you are an obstinate people. Incidentally that is us.
Drop down to verse 12. “Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘See You say to me, ‘Bring up this people’ but You Yourself has not let me know whom thou wilt send”. You say they are my people – they are Your people! God said, “They are not My people – they’re your people”. Moses said, “God they’re Your people!”. God said, “No they are yours”. Moses said, “Oh they give me a headache!”. God said, “Come up into the mountain and I will give you a couple of tablets”. (*laughter and applause*). I just couldn’t resist that – forgive me. Let’s go here – I’ve got about four more minutes. (v13). “If I have found favour in Thy sight let me know Thy ways that I may know Thee so that I may find favour in Thy sight. Consider too this nation is Thy people”. Moses said, “God You and I are on good terms”. If you go back to verse 11 it says that He spoke to Moses face to face just as a man speaks to a friend. He said, “God You know me and I know you pretty good. We are really on a pretty good footing with one another. Couldn’t You give me an outline of your plans for the next thirty days? Tell me what You are going to do?”. We would all like to know that wouldn’t we? Lord what are You going to do tomorrow? What did God say? He said, “No Moses I will not give you a detailed account of what I am going to do but I will tell you what I will do. My Presence will go with you”. Someone said, “If I knew what He was going to do then I wouldn’t really have to bother to stick around. I would just know. This way I have stick close to Him to find out what He is doing!”. That’s what it is all about. If you want to know what God is doing then you have to stay close. You want to know? You stay where He is. What are you going to do today Lord? Just stick around and you’ll find out. That means I’ve got to stay close to the Lord all the time! Yep all the time. (*laughter*).
(v15); “Then he said, If Thy Presence does not go with us do not lead us up from here”. Here is a tremendous verse; “For how then can it be known that I have found favour in Thy sight, I and Thy people? Is it not by Thy going with us, I and Thy people may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”.
The thing that makes us different to everybody else is Your Presence. Precious people the thing that has happened to us in the last ten years, the thing that I see here meeting after meeting that runs the gambit of my emotions from tears to shouting – this Presence of God! Sometimes this morning I heard for a few seconds the high praises of God when there was an intensity in your worship that I literally felt. I don’t know any of you heard about the last meeting in the Shepherds Conference in Kansas City. Did any of you hear about that or hear the tape? Almost five thousand shepherds in Kansas City and I was to speak that night. A prophetic word came, “Take off your shoes for the ground on which you stand is holy”. I never saw a sight like it in my life to see five thousand men with their shoes off lying prostrate all over that great auditorium. And the Presence of God came in and those men began to worship God and it mounted and mounted and mounted until it became a roar! Like the sound of many waters! Then they stood and again it came and my young Timothy who lives with Ruth and me – he is a healthy young man and there is no superstition about him, he loves God – but he said that he stood there with his hands up and he said; “Ern something brushed by me”. I said that I believed that. I was standing on the platform and I didn’t dare turn around because I knew an angel was standing behind me. The place was full of angels! The place was full of the high praises of God! I travelled all over America and a Baptist minister in Florida came to me and he said, “I have worn out the tape of that meeting and your sermon. I have literally worn it out!”. All over America I find denominational ministers who have got a tape of that meeting. When I got up to speak I declare to you I was off the ground! For forty five minutes my pulpit was up there – my feet never touched the platform! It was something like I had never had before and I realised that night that the thing that would enable us to do the things that we are talking about now is not our clever theological insights or our human abilities or human gifts – it is the Presence – it is the Presence of God that will make us different and will empower us and enable us to go in and blow on the giants and down they go!
My Presence! When we go into the Land beloved, He will have already gone in ahead of us. The confusion in the world this morning is divine confusion. What do you think God is doing while confusing the world? He is putting His Kingdom together. Hallelujah. How many here last night got some things together? That is happening all over the world! God is putting the world in confusion while putting His Kingdom in order and one of these days there will be a sound of a blast of the silver trumpet and that will be the signal to rise up and go over this Jordan. Look out Hittites, Hivvites and all you other Parasites – here we come! What will do it? His Presence!
“Thy Presence shall fall like rain. Thy Presence shall fall like rain. Feel my heart Lord. Fall again. For Thy Presence shall fall like rain”.
Father we have laughed, shouted, waved our arms, danced, play our instruments, worship on the harp and organ, we pound our tambourines and scream, yet down beneath all of that is the deep subterranean conviction that we are the People of the generation that is going in. This morning we sense Thy Presence saying, ‘It won’t be long now’. God help us to know the urgency of the hour and find our place in the Army of God to get ready to march. Amen.
 The tape Dr Ern Baxter mentioned is; “Thy Kingdom Come” from the Kansas City Shepherds Conference 1975. It is available in CD, tape and book format.
 Ern sings this.