Friday, June 08, 2007

“Ultimate Triumph – Inaugurated in the Gospels and Acts” - by Dr Ern Baxter

Part 2 – Ultimate Triumph Series.

For these three evening sessions we are dealing with ‘Ultimate Triumph’ and I thought what an ambitious geezer I was. (*laughter*). There’s something kind of comic/heroic about me doing this because I attempt to cover the whole Bible in three nights. I want to talk about Ultimate Triumph – as I did last night, “Prophesied in the Old Testament”. That means on one night I took care of the Old Testament. There’s almost something indecent about that. (*laughter*). Yet what I wanted you to get was a kind of broad overview. There’s no attempt to deal with it in depth. Now tonight I want to deal with ‘Ultimate Triumph – inaugurated in the Gospels and in Acts’. Then tomorrow night will be definitive because I am going to undertake to deal somewhat with the very significant and much controverted and difficult passage in 1 Corinthians 15:26-28. We will deal with that tomorrow night but tonight we are dealing with “Inauguration”.

Now for some of you who are readers of eschatological literature you will have heard about various kinds of eschatology. Some talk about ‘realised eschatology’ but I prefer to talk about inaugurated eschatology. Now the Old Testament prophesied something that was coming. It was a triumphant kingdom under the reign and rule of a Person that was forecast in the prophets. He was forecast as David’s Son, He was forecast as a coming King or Messiah – which is the same as Christ. Christ means “Anointed King”. He was also known as the Son of Man which was His favourite title for Himself. So after the prophets got through prophesying and Israel apostasied, we have what is called the Inter-Testimental period. That is the period from the time of Malachi until the time that John breaks the silence and that was a period of 400 years. For 400 years there was no inspired prophetic utterance. During that 400 year inter-testimental period we have some very interesting historical events that take place which is not part of the Bible record. You read about the Maccabees and the wars for Jewish independence. A lot of heroic things were going on there. To read it can be very exciting but what it really represents is a nation that has lost its God. For 400 years it is trying to hang on to its own energy and it is doing most of it in the power of its own energy. Of course we know the state of the nation when Jesus came because they proceeded to crucify Him so that really is the most eloquent testimony to the nature of the nation when Christ arrived.

But when Christ arrived He was a disappointment. I shouldn’t say that – that is not totally accurate. When Jesus Christ arrived He was totally disappointing as a claimant to being Messiah or for that matter any of the viewpoints which the Old Testament projected that the coming One would be. We will talk about that in a moment. John the Baptist was the most unlikely person to thrill the hearts of Israel. I mean if some celestial prince had come sweeping down the avenues of the stars riding a white horse with flowing robes and had swept into the temple in Jerusalem and had said, “Here I am to fulfil the Old Testament prophecies”, they probably would have brought that especially with a shining sword by His side. They would have brought that but who was this oddball coming out of the desert? Who was this strange looking fellow? You looked at him closely and his clothes were handmade! He had made them himself – you could tell that. If you look at him closely there was a locust leg on a piece of honey at the corner of his mouth. (*laughter*). He was unpolished and unattractive. He had no class at all. You talked to him and he would grunt. He is an aesthetic – he is uncooperative. He is nothing to excite hope but a strange thing is happening. As he makes his way to the Jordan, the muddy Jordan – there has been no TV announcements. No newspaper ads. But for some strange reason hundreds and perhaps thousands of people have come streaming out of the towns and cities of Judah. It is a divine happening! This man John the Baptist was in his dimension as chosen of God as the Son Jesus was in His dimension. But he was the very opposite of Jesus. Jesus Christ came eating and drinking. John the Baptist didn’t eat and drink very much. He was an aesthetic where as Jesus enjoyed socialising. They were totally different but John was the opening voice of the inaugurated triumph.

Now I have deliberately tried to paint this as it looks because you and I (as I’ve already said to you) look back on the Bible days and we have a halo around them. We attribute things to them and can’t understand why people back then didn’t know the things we know today. But we don’t realise how completely human and completely dependent on a faith response everything that God was doing. God never appeals to your senses to get you to believe in Him. He clothes His servants with power but He doesn’t necessarily make His servants attractive to you. So along comes John the Baptist and John the Baptist, Jesus said, was the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. The greatest! He was the greatest for many reasons. Greatest because he broke the silence. Greatest because he introduced the new age – we always think the Law and the Prophets were until the Cross. No. Law and Prophets were until John. John is the borderline. When you speak of a “borderline” it is from John through to the Resurrection. It’s all border line but John is the beginning of the kingdom age. Law and Prophets were until John and since then the Bible says that the kingdom of heaven has been preached. John inaugurated the kingdom. A likely fellow to inaugurate ultimate triumph! This is why you never ought to look down upon an anointed person because of how they may appeal to you humanly. You may be entertaining angels unawares. John the Baptist came and he came with a message; “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near”. That was John’s message. He called Israelites and he came primarily to the Jews. No Gentiles came to his meetings. He came to Israel. The Bible said that he was to introduce Messiah to Israel. So he came and he told Israel that they needed to repent as a “claiming covenant people”. They needed to repent because the event that the Old Testament prophesied was near and was coming and hundreds of them piled down to the shores of the Jordan and were baptised of him in the river and they became the expectant remnant for this thing that was coming.

So John is the opening one – he inaugurates the ultimate triumph that was prophesied in the Old Testament. “The kingdom of heaven is near” – then came Jesus. John introduced Jesus. John knew who Jesus was by what happened to Jesus because God talked to John. I don’t know how He talked to John. I don’t know anything about the mechanics of it but God talked to John and prepared him in the wilderness. John said, “He who sent me to baptise told me that I would recognise that He was Messiah when I would see the Dove”. The proof that He was Messiah would be the Dove. He baptised Jesus and as Jesus came up out of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove descended upon Him and a voice said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. So Jesus takes up the message. John has inaugurated it but Jesus added something to it. Jesus said (Matthew 4:17); “For the kingdom of heaven is near”. Now that sounds like John. But if you go to the Mark account - (and incidentally Mark is the original Gospel. If you want to start reading the Gospels, you read Mark first. Then Matthew and then Luke. That is a little technical thing) – you will read; “The time has come”. Let’s say it altogether. The time has come. Now that is Jesus’ new dimension. That’s something He adds to John. John said, “It is near”. Jesus said, “Its come”. Now what time has come? The time the Old Testament has prophesied. This is the fullness of time and in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son made unto the law. When? In the fullness of time. Now what does that mean? All the prior times were not full! All the prior times were incomplete. All the prior times were prophetic and anticipatory. But they didn’t realise it in that time. Noah was not the person. Abraham was not the person. David was not the person. Isaiah was not the person. The prophets were not the person. The person wasn’t there but the person was prophesied! He’s coming! He’s coming! He’s coming! Ultimate triumph is coming! We traced it last night from Genesis 3:15 – it is coming! Jesus said, “It is come!”. All the accumulated centuries of the Old Testament were before the times got full. But when the fullness of time – the completeness – the apex – the zenith – the thing to which you are moving ultimately had come! Now I feel badly for people who are still waiting for Him to come! A lot of people think He won’t come until the Second Coming – they’re missing out on all the fun because He’s already here! They aren’t enjoying it because they’re looking for something that isn’t coming – the way they think it is! The fullness of time – you need to understand if you’re going to understand ultimate triumph and enter into it, you must understand that now is the time for ultimate triumph. We’ll need to wait till tomorrow night to put the climax on that.

The third thing I want to say is that dealing with ultimate triumph, we have to deal with the subject of kingdom. That is a whole subject in itself. But Kingdom is the Government of God. Kingdom has to do with Jehovah setting His King on His holy hill of Zion (Psalm 2). So when Jesus Christ came, He came as the king, as the anointed king, as the Messiah – which means anointed king. Why was it then that He never used Messiah to designate Himself? That was a puzzle! So when Peter said, “Thou art the Christ” – but Christ is the same as Messiah – Jesus said, “That’s right but don’t tell anybody”. Now why didn’t Jesus want anyone told? It bothered a lot of people. Jesus would heal people and tell them not to go blabbing it around. Because Israel was looking for a Messiah if His miraculous deeds attracted them and they thought He was Messiah then He had a problem. What was the problem? Jesus avoided the use of “Messiah” or “Anointed King” as a self-description because confusion existed of the concepts of Messiah. One of the things you need to do as preachers and teachers in transmitting truth is not to be afraid to use synonyms for words that are misunderstood. “Kingdom” is a good word. It’s a word that I use and preach about but when I think about it and teach on it, I use a synonym for it – “the Government of God”. That clears up a lot of things. What has God wanted ever since the Fall? He has wanted the restoration of divine government in the earth. Who is the ultimate governor? It is Jesus Christ. When did He set Him on His holy hill of Zion? He did it when He raised Him from the dead.

Now when He chose to be known as the Son of Man, He said to Peter, “Who do men say I am?”. That’s a whole history in it too but it’s what that One was called who came up before the Ancient of Days in the Book of Daniel. He was One like unto a “Son of Man”. You could say He was like a Son of Mankind. It was Jesus way of identifying Himself with the human race. He liked that – He used it more – that was His favourite title. Now in a few cases He allowed Himself in controversial situations especially with the Jews to be referred to as the Son of God but that was a troubling one and He didn’t want to jump the gun. So He didn’t use that. He stuck with Son of Man. Also He was very much aware that He was the Suffering Servant. I am trying to put a lot of things together here. There is a significant inter-eschatological interaction between these three titles. Messiah – Son of Man – Suffering Servant. Jesus chose the most innocuous of these for His own designation – the Son of Man. You couldn’t quarrel with that. The Son of Mankind – whatever they read into it, it wasn’t a common thing. If He had said ‘I am the Messiah’ they’d have been in real trouble right away. Why would there have been trouble? Let’s tackle that question right off. Because the views that were current at the time were such that they were expecting that when Messiah came He would be the Son of David. Now “Son of David” meant that He would be like David His father and David His father was a man of war. When David took over the kingship over a period of nine years, he reversed Israel’s situation and made up for Saul’s failure and joined the nation, took over the heights of Jabez and established Jerusalem on the heights of Jabez. David was a military man. You remember how mad Saul got when the daughters of Zion sang, “Saul has killed his thoughts but David his tens of thousands”? Saul said, “That usurping little whippersnapper – he is taking my fame!”. But it was true. When the time came to build the temple, God said, “David you can’t build the temple – you are a bloody man. You are a man of war – you beat up too many people. I will let your son Solomon who will be a peaceful man – he will build the temple”.

So it was the doctrinal predisposition of the Jews that kept Jesus from announcing Himself as Messiah. He would be Messiah – David’s greater Son – there was no question. Jesus wasn’t trying to avoid it. He was trying to handle it. There’s a big difference. You can learn things here. It’s not always right to blurt out everything. That’s why James says, “If any man has wisdom …”. What’s wisdom? Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. You say – “Boy these people really need to know what I know”. Yes but they don’t need to know it all at once and some of them don’t need to know it now. You’d best get wisdom from God as to how to dispense your knowledge. You can choke new converts with your advanced maturity. Jesus was wisdom personified. He knew that if He announced Himself as Messiah, He would have a struggle on His hands because the whole apostate nation with it’s carnal greed, aberrational desire to be the top political nation in the world would latch onto Him and say, “Lead us in battle!”. You want Him to lead in battle but not that kind of battle. Therefore Jesus withstood any application of Messiah-ship because of popular misunderstanding of that office. He chose to be the last Adam or the Son of Man and the Suffering Servant as a balance against militant Messianism. Now you know why they didn’t rally to Him? Even His disciples were concerned about Him. They said, “Master get with it Man! Get with it!”. We know that underneath that robe of meekness you’ve got a military coat of mail – we know that!”. Every time He did a miracle, they would say, “Maybe now He’s going to do it!”. When He had fed the 5, 000 they were positive. The crowd was positive! He took that little fistful of bread and He blessed it and fed 15, 000 people – 5, 000 men with women and children. What a King He would make! How He would solve our economic problems! Bring Him a few sardines and some breakfast rolls every morning and He would feed the nation – we could all go on a leisure trip! What a King!

So they said, “Let’s make Him king!”. The disciples said, “You hear it? People want to make Him King! Let’s persuade Him! Master this is Your chance. We know You’ve been waiting for this. We know You’ve been fooling us right along being meek and mild but we know You’re really the Messiah. We know that this is Your chance. 15, 000 people! What a start You’ve got! You will win at the polls in a rollover! Come on!”. Jesus said, “You still don’t understand”. John records this beautiful picture. Here is this crowd and if you know anything about an Oriental crowd, you will know that they can get all het up about something and then they are unmanageable. You can have a riot on your hands in a minute! I know, I walked at the front of a crowd of several thousand in New Delhi in India – a religious march – and I realised that one word and that crowd could be ignited and I would be trampled to death. There is a little miracle tucked in there that we don’t understand because Jesus said to His disciples, “Go down and get into the boat”. They seemed to remonstrate with Him and He said, “I told you to go down to the boat”. Then He said, “You people – go home”. That is a miracle! To be able to say to 15, 000 people who might be incited by the thought that you might become their king and they are shouting “King, King, Jesus for King!” and then for Him to simply say, “Go home” and they did – there is your miracle. If they wanted any proof of His Kingship that should have been enough! They turned around and went home.

Now the Bible seems to indicate that He pushed His disciples down saying, “Now come on fellows - come on – down”. “But Master, You are missing it! This is the best chance – You’ll never get another!”. “Down I tell you. You get into the boat and you go to the other side”. This is a beautiful sign miracle from John. All John’s miracles are signs. So what did Jesus do? He went up into the mountain to pray. The disciples got into the sea and began toiling across to the other side. Jesus up in the mountain praying and the disciples in the boat toiling. Now this is a whole picture of this age. They were trying to make Him King prematurely. He said, “You don’t understand. My kingship will not come into ultimate reality until this entire age has finished and we will finish up with a triumphant tremendous thing but it’s not going to be the way you think it”. He said, “You are going to go out across the ocean of the ages and I am going to go up to make intercession for you and I will watch you down there – toiling in the rowing and I will help you and I will be up there interceding for you and in the 4th watch of the night I will come down to you walking on the water and I will get into the boat and suddenly you will be at the other side!”. Ooh – that’s given me goose bumps! (*laughter*). Now when you read the truth within the signs, this is one of the most beautiful pictures of this entire age. If they had made Jesus a militaristic king then you and I would probably be out in the jungle. We are here tonight because Jesus Christ withstood their clamour to be a militaristic king because He would be David’s king but not until a certain point. Whatever Messianic conquest would be they would be balanced by the other two – the Suffering Servant and the Son of Man being balanced by the Anointed King. The Jews didn’t want the balance. They didn’t want a suffering servant. They didn’t want a Son of Man. They wanted a king!

What then was the foundation of ultimate triumph? We will look at Jesus Christ quickly as the last Adam. What happened to the first Adam? The first Adam and Eve failed. They failed at what point? They failed at the point where the serpent - which is the embodiment of that old serpent the devil – spoke to Eve and seduced her and spoke to Adam and got him to sin with his eyes wide open. Where did they lose their kingship? Adam was king! Adam was God’s vice-regent in the earth. God put Adam over the earth. We read this morning (Genesis 1:26-28) that Adam lost his kingship at a certain point. He lost his kingship when man’s major adversary the devil seduced his wife, challenged him, broke their faith and caused their fall. It was after that Jehovah said, “Now we have got to go through this long period with the seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head and I will start all over again and I will bring another Adam”. So Paul in the fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians says that Jesus Christ is the last Adam.

So there’s a first Adam and there’s a last Adam. The first Adam failed and the last Adam didn’t fail but where did He prove He didn’t fail? The very spot where the first Adam failed. For after He had come out of the waters of baptism, the Bible says that He was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He was tempted the way the first Adam was tempted and humanly speaking the whole future hung on whether the last Adam would do what the first Adam did. So the last Adam had to win His battle, not on a gladiatorial field of battle – He had to win His fight not out there tilting with someone in swordplay. He has to win it on the high moral ground of confronting the nefarious Satan who tempts Him to try and get Him to disobey His Father the way that he got the first Adam to disobey his Father. For you must know that the first Adam was called a son of God. It is high drama!

So we must look quickly at the foundation of ultimate triumph. Here it is. (Luke 4:1-4). I am going to give you an outline very quickly if you want to jot it down. It consists of “R”s.

1. Resources.
The Bible says that in chapter 4:1, “He was full of the Holy Spirit”. What was Jesus’ resource? The Holy Spirit. What’s your resource? The Holy Spirit.

2. Responded.
He responded to the Holy Spirit – that is also in verse 1.

3. Renunciation.
For forty days He didn’t eat anything. What does that mean? It means that He did not depend on human resources. What do we do a lot of in our Christian warfare? Depend on human resources. We study more than we pray. We depend more on our brains than we do on the Holy Spirit. We depend more on our scheming and planning than we do on the Holy Ghost. But Jesus wanted the whole universe to know that He was not going to defeat Satan with His own resources. So He renounced the source of human strength and He didn’t eat for forty days and forty nights. He sure didn’t beat up the devil because His muscles were bulging and He didn’t beat the devil because He had an excess of physical energy. He beat the devil because He was full of the Holy Ghost and He was loyal to His Father. So the next thing is;

4. Repudiation.
(v3-14). Satan came to Him and said, “If Thou be …”. 3 times. “If Thou be the Son of God – you are hungry – you haven’t eaten for forty days! My goodness You must be hungry. How would you like a nice T-bone? You must be hungry!”. Jesus said, “I am hungry but what’s that got to do with you?”. “Well if you are the Son of God then you have got power to turn these stones into bread”. “Granted, I have”. “Well go ahead and turn them”. So what’s wrong with that? If you are hungry and you’ve got the power capacity to earn a living and you have got the capacity to do something about it is there anything wrong with that? Yes – if that something is a something that God has told you not to do. That is the fine tuning of a walk in the Spirit because there will be things that you won’t be able to do that others will be able to do – but it may be forbidden for you right now. That was forbidden bread! He said, “Satan, you don’t understand. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. I don’t live by bread alone Satan. You must understand that. I live by communion with My Father and I am not going to break that communion by disobeying Him to turn a stone into bread to satisfy your disgusting desire to get Me into trouble”. Now I want you to notice something. Jesus used the very same sword that you’ve got. He reached into His hilt and drew out His sword of the Spirit – the Word of God and said, “It is written!”.

“Alright” said Satan, “You hurt me but I am going to give you another one. If you are the Son of God why don’t you jump off the pinnacle of the temple because I will quote you a Bible verse – He will give His angels charge over You. Why don’t you prove it?”. Jesus said, “Satan you are really asking for it aren’t you? It is written thou shalt not make a proof of the Lord thy God – thou shalt not tempt Him”. Twice. Three times He did it and the Bible says that Satan went away to lick his wounds for a time. That was the foundation of ultimate triumph. I don’t know what you’ve heard. Have you any idea what you’ve heard? I hope you have located the fact that ultimate triumph isn’t located in armies, torpedoes, H-bombs – that is not where that kind of triumph comes from. It comes from what Frank is teaching you – a harvest theology. It comes from, “Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit saith the Lord”. That’s where ultimate triumph comes from! Now what was the ongoing triumph of Jesus after He had that first confrontation with Satan? (Matthew 12:28).

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God then the kingdom of God has come unto you”.

From the time He dealt with Satan in the temptations in the wilderness – from that time on, He cast out all of Satan’s demons. He said “Out!”. The Bible said He cast them out with a word. He didn’t hold long conversations with them and gesture and gesticulate or raise His voice. All He said was “Out!”. What had He done? He had taken over! He had succeeded where the first Adam had failed and now He was exercising His kingship! But that didn’t satisfy the Jews. They said, “Who is this guru? Going around and casting out demons and healing the sick? He’s not doing anything for us nationally – He’s not restoring us to national prominence – He isn’t beating up Rome for us. He is healing the sick! What kind of Messiah is He?”. He is God’s Messiah! That’s what kind He is. And today there are thousand of evangelical Christians who still want a bomb dropping Messiah and they don’t realise it’s not by might nor by power but by My Spirit saith the Lord. Secular profane historians have gone on record by saying that John Wesley changed the history of England for 100 years because of his spiritual revival – a thing that no army could do. Revival is the answer! Now when Peter is giving us a summation of Jesus’ ministry he summed it up like this. In Acts 10:38, he said that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, Who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. That is a synopsis of Jesus whole ministry. I want that to sink in.

There are an awful lot of Christians waiting for a Messiah to come along. They want victory in carnal terms and it isn’t coming that way.

It’s going to come with mighty times of refreshing from the Presence of God. It’s going to come with spiritual renewal and revival. It’s going to come when God gets into the heart of men and touches them at the fountain head of their lives and then they will change the world!

What has war ever done to change the world? War may have changed some human situations but it hasn’t changed human hearts. They rid European countries of communism and now they are killing each other in the Indonesian situation. All tribal animosities are coming up. Why? Because even a change of a political situation isn’t the answer. I hate to use the old cliché but Jesus Christ is the answer! That sounds so simplistic. Someone says put it in geometric or scientific terms – make it sound big! No – it all comes out Jesus! All right. Now what Jesus’ Name as Messiah? As Messiah He was Son of David. That is what Israel was looking for – Him as the Son of David. Anybody seen the Son of David? Where is He? Well last time we saw Him, He was having a street meeting just outside the temple. The Son of David was having a street meeting?? Come on! Anyone seen the Son of David? What were they looking for? They were looking for a militaristic political figure who could give them a dynamic fleshly leadership who could lead them in triumph over the nations and march on Rome and take over the government and put a good Jew in there as President of the world. That Man is the Son of David? Oh you are kidding! You don’t understand what the Son of David is to do then. The Son of David isn’t going to inaugurate a carnal kingdom. He is not going to inaugurate a kingdom of tanks, warships and bomb dropping airplanes. That isn’t what He is going to do! He is going to bring in a moral, spiritual government where the hearts of men will be changed until the lamb has laid down with the lion without getting eaten!

That’s what He’s doing. So now He is going to fulfil His role as the Son of David – where? Let’s turn to Acts 2. Can I say something to you without being offensive? No I can’t because I am offensive. I always offend people! (*laughter*). But you know for the last 100 years we have had the Pentecostal Movement in the world of various kinds and sorts. Now we have got the Charismatic thing and I am saying to you positively that there has been a powerful Presence in the world in this past century. This has been the most unique century charismatically since the days of the apostles. It has been a century of blood and blessing. It has been the bloodiest century but it has been the most blessed century. Now what was the meaning of Pentecost? I think I said this to this congregation when I was here before. There are four men that we relate to in the Old Testament – we relate to them typologically. Let me give this to you because it’s very important. These four men are all referred to in the New Testament as being very significant – Adam, Abraham, Moses and David.

We relate to Adam racially. When Paul wanted to talk about race in the 5th chapter of Romans he said that Adam was a type of Christ. In fact Adam was the only one in the New Testament called a type. Adam was the fountainhead of a race. Jesus Christ the last Adam is the fountainhead of a new race. We as His sons are the members of that new race. So we relate to Adam racially.

When Paul deals with Abraham in Romans 4, he deals with Abraham as the one who represents individual justification and redemption. “Our father Abraham hath found”. So we relate to Abraham redemptively.

Well Moses is important to us because we relate to him relationally. In the 10th chapter of 1st Corinthians Paul said;
“I would not have you be ignorant brethren how that all our fathers were baptised unto Moses into the cloud and in the sea and did all eat the same spiritual bread and did all drink the same spiritual drink but with many of them God was not well pleased for they perished in the wilderness. These things are written as examples or types for us upon whom the end of the ages have come”.

He said that if you want to understand the nature of the church, go back and look at Israel and realise that while the church is different nevertheless the moral, spiritual principles are the same and don’t do the things they did that got them into final trouble.

What about David? Who was David? David was a king. Let’s say “King”. King is government. King is royalty. King is leadership. He was a king! We relate to David regally. Listen to me carefully. When you go to Luke 2 and read all the beautiful Christmas stories with the shepherds and so on, you will notice that everybody who was involved was of the seed of David. They were all of the seed of David. What are we talking about? Regality! Royalty! Kingship! Now on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:29);

Men and brethren, Peter said, ‘Let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath unto him that of the fruit of his loins He would raise up His anointed king to sit on His throne. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ”.

Now let’s go back twenty or thirty minutes to when I started. Why didn’t Jesus want to use the word “Messiah”? Because “Messiah” meant “Anointed King” – “Messiah” meant “the Son of David”. Some used it, “Jesus Christ Thou Son of David have mercy on me” said the blind man. But it wasn’t generally used. Jesus didn’t respond to it. Why? He didn’t want to be answerable to them for the kind of Messiah that they wanted. He knew where His Son of David role would start. His Son of David role started generically at His birth but it didn’t start functionally until He came out of the sepulchre – triumphant over sin and hell. Now He is the Son of David! Peter’s punch line! They are all listening to him and they are Jews;

Men and brethren – we are not drunk as you think this being but the ninth hour of the day but this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel … shed forth this which you now see and hear”.

They were all ears! Then he addresses them directly, “Let all the house of Israel know – this Jesus Christ who you crucified, God hath made Him by the resurrection both Lord and Messiah”. They said, “Oh that wasn’t the way we planned it”. (*laughter*). “That wasn’t what we expected. You mean that Man Jesus Christ was all the time the Son of David? Oh boy we know see why He was so cagey about it. If He had said He was the Son of David we would have insisted on Him fulfilling the role according to us but now He is going to fulfil it according to the Word of God!”. It was at that point that they cried out; “Men and brethren what shall we do?”. We blew it! We didn’t understand it! He was here all the time and we made fun of Him! We talked about Him as that strange guru with the funny disciples! And that was the Son of David? Oh my God – we crucified the Messiah! Men and brethren – is there any hope for us? Peter said, “I’ve got good news for you. Repent and be baptised and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!”. (*laughter*). Now how many understood what I said? Where does ultimate triumph lie? In great swelling numbers of biceps? In great arsenals of armaments? In great nuclear holdings? Let me tell you – there is enough dynamite in this room to blow America into the Kingdom of God. But Christians continue to lean on various kinds of crutches and gimmicks. You can get magazines and books on “How To’s”. Give away a hot rod – that will do it! We need to go back and study the history of revivals.

A group of businessmen got together at 5am in New York and got on their knees and called on God and out of that prayer meeting came great revival. Every revival you can investigate that has been documented for us can be traced to somebody who knew that it wasn’t by might nor by power but it was by getting hold of God and releasing the dynamic of the Spirit into the Word and revival broke from there. Jesus Christ is now the Son of David and He is sitting now on David’s throne! That is what it says! “David being a prophet … He would raise up His Son to sit on his throne”. God said, “David I promise you something – the day is coming when your Son will sit on your throne”. Now I don’t know what David understood. I know most of them would have understood God to mean that He would raise up Solomon or someone who would sit on David’s earthly throne and would be a greater king than David. Well in some ways Solomon was a greater king that David but he wasn’t David’s greater Son! If you believe the Bible and you believe Peter was anointed when he said this – he said that God spoke to him and that David somehow prophetically understood that God would raise up Messiah to sit on His throne and He, seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ. When did David’s throne become occupied? When Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. He occupied David’s throne for that was the throne of God’s regent king and God said, “Sit there now My Son, Thou Son of David and sit there and I will through You and the Gospel make all Your enemies Your footstool! Sit there and reign! Govern! Get Your troops in order!”.

So Ephesians 4 said that when He ascended on high He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as shepherds and teachers. The Greek there is clumsy but this is the way it runs; “He Himself and no other”. The Father said, “Son run Your Kingdom – order it now”. The Son said, “Thank You Father – right apostles here, prophets here and so on”. The government of God is not democratic – it is theocratic. It doesn’t come from the bottom up – it comes from the top down! Democracy is not a good word. You can leave now if you want. (*laughter*). No – democracy is the rule of the people. I am not saying that the people don’t have a place but I am saying that true government comes from up – down. When you understand that Jesus Christ is King now at the right hand of God and He is governing – then let me give you my last Scripture. (Revelation 1:5). “And from Jesus Christ” – this is Knox’s translation – “the faithful witness firstborn of the risen dead” – here’s what I want you to get – “who rules over all earthly kings”. Rules! Present tense! Someone said, “I didn’t think He was going to rule until He came back! Well you have to revise your view. Who is ruling now? Jesus. Over what? The earth. Someone said, “I thought He was going to do that from Jerusalem”. Why would He want to come down to dingy old Jerusalem? That’s a hot bed over there! There are no sacred places anymore. That all stopped with Jesus Christ. There are no holy sanctified places. People say, “I’ve got to be baptised in the Jordan”. Why? What’s so holy about the Jordan? All sacred places stopped with Christ! That’s what He told the woman at the well. He said, “You Samaritans worship here and we Jews worship there but the hour is coming and has now come when anywhere and everywhere whosoever worships the Father in Spirit and in truth is fine with us – there won’t be temples and there won’t be buildings and there won’t be sacred places for whenever two or three are gathered together in My Name – there I am”.

We still haven’t brought that! Let me ask you two questions and then I will stop. 1. Would His reign be more real if He lived somewhere on earth? 2. Is not His heavenly throne more auspicious and commanding? I feel much more secure with Him ruling from heaven than if He was over in Jerusalem. The Arabs might get Him! (*laughter*).

Get it into your spirit the fact that right now the fullness of times is with us – Christ is reigning on His throne and you are His emissaries and the baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t to create goose bumps – it is to make you are regal person so that you can reign with Christ and you can take authority over principalities and powers and you can bring every wandering thought into captivity and you can command the minds of men and you can change the viewpoints of men for ideas have consequences and that the greatest idea in the world is that Jesus Christ is Lord!

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