Many thanks to my friend from Dunstable - Andrew Norman - for this outstanding transcript. It is Session 3 from Ern Baxter's memorable series; "Where Are We Going?" at the Dales Bible Week 1976. I still am persuaded that if the pastor/teachers had heard and put into practice this teaching then the future of the United Kingdom could have been changed. Unfortunately it seems a lot didn't and many of our churches remained stuck in the wilderness - where we remain still.
That is why this teaching is so utterly key to be heard again. Because who knows when our "Kadesh Crisis" may be coming again and our chance to enter the Promised Land and knock over giants?!
"Repetition is an integral part of pedagogy, which means if you’re going to teach something you say it over and over and over again, until we get it. Most of what we are saying this week revolves around three prepositions, ‘out’, ‘through’, and ‘into’. And God has used the Old Testament covenant nation of Israel as a type, as an ensample, as a warning and an admonition for us upon who the ends of the ages have come. They are a great school for us from which we learn. And what God intended for them, he intends for us, as we will find out but on a larger, vaster scale. The tragedy is that they failed.
The glory of what is happening is that we will not fail. This is the significance of the word ‘my’ in Jesus’ declaration concerning the building of his church. He said, ‘I will build my church’. And we’ve made much of church, but that didn’t mean a great deal to the men he was talking to, they understood the meaning of church, it just meant congregation. The Greek word ‘ecclesia’ is the word that is translated ‘congregation’ in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament scriptures, the Greek translation. And when he said to his disciples, ‘I will build my ecclesia’ he was simply saying, ‘I will build my congregation’. So ‘congregation’ wasn’t the exciting word to them. The exciting word to them was ‘my’ and that stood in contrast to somebody else’s. And the only other congregation there had ever been was Moses’ congregation. Jesus said, ‘I’m going to build my congregation.’ Moses built his and it didn’t make it. I’m going to build mine and it’s going to kick the gates of hell in! He said, ‘That’s the difference.’ Amen, just so we know where we’re going.
Now, this morning we dealt with coming out of Egypt, and pointed out that there is a specific, designated way in which people arrive at the ‘crisis beginning, and if you’re taking notes, I know that this board doesn’t do anything for many of you a long way off, but I try to explain it as I go along and it helps me a bit. We’ve got Egypt and the wilderness and the land, and we’ve got ‘out’ under Egypt, ‘through’ the wilderness, and ‘into’ the land. Egypt is the ‘crisis beginning’. Now coming out of Egypt involves the blood of the Passover, baptism unto Moses, and I didn’t enlarge on that this morning, we just hit the fact of baptism fairly firmly. But I’d like you to notice what baptism infers among other things. While I’m not making a sales pitch, I see that my little book is out there:
'The Beginnings of Christian Life'. Don’t pass it by. I mean that, there are things in there on baptism that need to be said. Baptism is probably one of the most neglected, and yet one of the most involved in the New Testament, subjects that there is. If you understand baptism you’ll find it all through the New Testament. When the apostle Paul wants to refer to the beginning of the Christian life, he says, ‘Know ye not that so many of us as raised our hands in an evangelistic meeting... Know ye not that so many of us went forward to the altar call…’ No, he says, ‘know ye not that so many of us were baptised into Christ…’ You see, a New Testament body doesn’t have an altar. There I’ve done it! In a New Testament body, a building is not important. In fact you don’t read about buildings in church history until about the third or fourth century. I recall the first time, I was so excited, I was invited to dedicate a church building. Oh, I thought, this is tremendous, just a young minister, going to dedicate a church building, and I thought, I’ll find out how Jesus did it! [laughter] So I went to the Bible to see how Jesus did it, and Jesus didn’t dedicate them he tore them down! So I didn’t get any help from him! But I was sure that Paul, my hero, he surely had dedicated some!
And I didn’t find that he dedicated any either. I found that he went in and got a bunch of people out of the synagogue, and then went up the street and rented a hall. So I wasn’t getting any… I knew that there were sermons to dedicate church buildings, because I’d attended them, and I knew there were… then I remembered that in my library I had a book entitled ‘Sermons for Special Occasions’. And in desperation I went to this book and sure enough, there was a section on dedicating churches. So I turned to this section, and there were all kinds of outlines, and I said, ‘Hallelujah, I’ve arrived!’ But the thing I noticed was that all of these sermons were from the Old Testament. The dedication of the Tabernacle, the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, the dedication of the Zerubbabel’s Temple, all from the Old Testament, nothing from the New, and I said there’s something here. Then I discovered that the material buildings of the Old Testament were fulfilled in the spiritual building of the New Testament, and that the New Testament building is composed of living stones, redeemed human beings, who are built together to become an habitation of God through the Spirit. And the only use that we have for a building is to keep the rain and the snow off the house. We are the house. We are the people of God. This is the building. We are the building. Alright?
Now, I don’t remember how I got into that, and I’m wondering how to get out of it! [laughter] Well, I’ll just go back and talk about what I wanted to talk about, and that is baptism. They were baptised unto Moses, now among other things… oh yeah, back to the altar, I knew it would come! These are the signs of ageing! In the New Testament redeemed community, the only piece of furniture, literal, physical, feel-able furniture that is authorised by the New Testament is the table. There is no altar in the New Testament here on earth, our altar is in Heaven. The blood covered body of the Lord Jesus Christ is our altar before the Father. We don’t have an altar. I’m sorry about that, I know that this runs right smash bang into some of the most sacrosanct, nostalgic traditional things that many of us have held. The altar has been the sacred place, but when you come to the New Testament you don’t find an altar. An altar in the Old Testament was for offering, for sacrifice, but Jesus Christ was offered once for all, and we have an altar, the Bible says, which they who served the Tabernacle had no right to attend.
If men are still attending earthly altars and offering up earthly sacrifices, they have no right to our altar, because our altar is the permanent altar of the body of Christ before the Father, with the fresh, ever efficacious blood of his sacrifice upon it, and when I come to the Father, I come to the Father through Jesus Christ, my heavenly altar, and the only piece of furniture I have down here is the table, with simply set upon it a loaf, and a cup. And I meet at a table, and that table can be in the middle of a field, there’s nothing in the New Testament about pews, nothing in the New Testament about a pulpit, nothing in the New Testament about a platform. All of the things that we have made so important are not there, and the thing that is important is the thing that we haven’t majored on and that’s people. God is not concerned with places, he’s concerned with people in places. And we are the people of God. That’s why I have no problem with this, this is great, hallelujah! When I listened to you worship tonight, I was just so thrilled, because that is where it’s all at, that’s the content of it, that’s the whole of it. Glory to God, I’d rather be in an old barn with a bunch of people worshipping God than be in a cathedral with a bunch of mummies that are dead! [laughter] I don’t wish to be offensive, but I don’t wish to be inoffensive either! I’m getting just a little fed up, on people sacrificing Jesus Christ and his truth, for musty, nostalgic, death-dealing traditionalism. It’s high time we kicked up our heels and took our hinds’ feet and went for the mountains, hallelujah!
Now, one of the things about baptism is that they were baptised unto Moses. What does that mean? That means that they were baptised coming under the authority of Moses, as God’s sovereignly delegated ruler over his people in the earth. Ever man who followed Moses through the Red Sea said in essence, by that act, ‘Moses, I will hear you as I hear God!’ That’s why Moses stands both in contrast and comparison with Christ. And he said, ‘A prophet like unto me shall the Lord thy God raise up and him shall ye hear. And whosoever heareth him not shall be cut off from among the people.’ Who is the prophet like unto him? Our Lord Jesus Christ! Moses had his church! Moses was the typical saviour of the redeemed community of the Old Testament. It was he who took them through the Red Sea, and they followed him through the sea of death, and he brought them out on the other side of resurrection, and the water closed in behind and covered up their enemies, and they stood on resurrection ground! Miriam was about ninety-eight years old at the time, she grabbed a tambourine, God oiled her old bones and she led the sisters in a resurrection dance on the banks of resurrection.
‘Now,’ you say, ‘why are you going over this again?’
Because, the beginning of a matter is very important. And I am more and more convinced as I travel and as I counsel, although I counsel less and less, and I’ll probably deal with that before the week is out, I am finding that Christians are having problems because they had bad beginnings. The beginning, the foundation of a building determines the nature and the permanence of the superstructure. If you haven’t got a right beginning, you’re not going to have a right ongoing. And I really feel that this is important, and that’s why I wrote the two books that I did. I did it under divine direction as I saw so many people, who when you asked them what constituted being a Christian, they had no idea.
And the Lord instructed me to write a very simple study manual on the beginnings of Christian life, and then one on the beginnings of church life, and a third one that is in formation now, the beginnings of ministry life. These are three areas that are important to the whole ongoing of what God is doing, and yet they’re being neglected. But we are coming, beloved, to the crunch. The charismatic honeymoon is over. And now people who have been charismatically blessed for five, six, eight, ten years are beginning to say, ‘What’s this all about? What is intended by this? Where are we going? Surely this is not the end of the matter?’ Of course it’s not, it’s the beginning of the matter! Repentance, trust in the blood, water baptism, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, all of this is simply the introduction into the training! Many people treat it as having arrived. You haven’t arrived, you’ve just started! The journey’s only begun. On the day of Pentecost, when Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptised and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’, he didn’t say ‘and having done this you shall have arrived at maturity’! He said this is initiation! This is getting into it! And so it’s very important that we understand ‘crisis beginning’.
Now when they crossed the Red Sea, they came out into the wilderness. And out in the wilderness, they entered into the training process to get them ready for going into their permanent vocation which is the land. Now let me just anticipate one point, and that is that as I said last night, when I began to study the land… In fact it’s interesting, I remember taking a course in hermeneutics in a Bible college in America years’ ago, and I was expected to follow a text, and the hermeneutical principle in this textbook was that the land was heaven. And I recall that when I wrote my paper on it, I said, ‘I know that the textbook says the land is heaven, but I am having some problems with this.’ I said, ‘I find in the land that there are giants,’ and I said, ‘and I have hope that when I get to Heaven that I wouldn’t have to fuss with giants.’ And I got my paper back, and the professor wrote on the bottom, ‘Please stay with the text.’ And I’ve found that is rather the nature of crystallised religion, ‘stay with the text’. ‘Don’t rock the boat.’ ‘Don’t shake the tree.’ ‘Don’t upset the status-quo.’ Everything is comfortable, just like a graveyard. [laughter] I hadn’t thought of that until tonight, you know, that class that I had. But when I eventually came to study the land, I found that the land was the place of permanent vocation, and it is not the coming of the Lord, it is not heaven, it is something in the now situation, and that we’ve got to first have a crisis beginning, where we get out of Egypt.
Then we’ve got to be trained to go in to our permanent vocation, and at the end of this conference, I want you to know what our permanent vocation is. One parenthesis that’s very important, and it is this: that the history of Christian revivals has been that the people who come into the revival move on to some form of maturity, but in moving onto maturity themselves, they forget that there is an ongoing process where babies are to be born and trained. So that while I’m talking to you as though we are now a people in this convention, who are all travelling together towards the land, in actuality this is going on all the time. And one of the dangers of those of us who think we are mature is that we become a bit snobbish about having babies born, and this is why churches die. We get everything all nice and mature, and we have our cosy little meetings for deep truth teaching. And if a baby is born, we don’t want him to upset things, because babies don’t understand mature protocol. Babies have a kind of an innocent vulgarity. You know they just don’t pay attention to the niceties of the social atmosphere. They attend to the exigencies of life right in the middle of a polite conversation. [laughter] I tried to put that as nicely as I could! Now I have actually seen churches of very fine Christians who resented new converts! You can’t do that! No matter how mature, I tell you, wake up! And realise that one of the joys of being a Christian and going on to maturity is to see other people coming into it. And the older you get, every age has its compensations, and you reach the grandfather stage, you become a grandparent, and that has its compensations.
When you’re a parent, you have to look after your own kids. But when you’re a grandparent, you can play with the kids of your kids and when they fuss you give them back! [laughter] You see I’m a grandparent now, don’t tell them back in Lauderdale because they tried to lay that on Derek Prince and me, to say, ‘You’re the grandfather figures.’ We said ‘We’re not grandfathers, we can beat the bunch of you!’ But, you know time-wise we are, and one of the privileges of a grandfather is that we go round saying to elders, ‘How are the children doing?’ And so they hand us the children, and we play with the children, and when the children get a little bad we say, ‘Here, take care of your kids!’ I go to visit my daughters, I’ve eight grandchildren, and my daughter has a kind of a sense that when the children have climbed all over me, and anointed me in various places, she’ll take a look at me and she’ll say, ‘Daddy’s ready to go back to the motel for a rest’, and Daddy is! And Daddy kisses the dear little things goodbye, and goes back to the motel. You see every age has its compensations. Now what am I saying? Don’t ever get so old and mature that you don’t get excited at the birth of a baby. Just thank God you don’t have to look after it! [laughter]
I think this needs to be said because we’re always going to have children born into the family of God, so that this is an ongoing process. They’ll come in and they’ll upset your meeting. They’ll talk in tongues when they shouldn’t. They’ll have to be taught how to behave. And they’ll burp when they shouldn’t. Is that what you call it over here, burp? You know when you’re mature you do it politely. [laughter] But the baby doesn’t know enough about it, so it BURPS! Everybody gets a little embarrassed and says, ‘Well, he’s just a baby’. But I tell you, if he’s twenty-one and he does it, you’ve got trouble. You see, Paul’s problem with the Corinthians was they were as babes. He didn’t say they were babes, he said they were ‘as babes’. And the two parallel books in the New Testament are Corinthians and Hebrews and there are parallel passages, and in both of them he chides the people for having been converted so long and acting like children. The whole world loves a baby, they’re not really embarrassed when a baby does all of those things that babies do. He’s a baby. But if at twenty-one he’s still sitting on your knee and you’re feeding him, that’s a bit disgusting. So babies are supposed to grow up, but while they’re babies, enjoy them! I enjoy young people. I think young people are tremendous, and I find that to be among Christian young people just infuses me with life. And I identify with them and I’m thrilled about them, because they’re the ones that are really going to go into the land in actuality. For when we come to the land the Bible says, ‘there remaineth a rest for the people of God.’ There is a generation that is going to go in. And I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the generation. And there’s Calebs and Joshuas that go in with the new generation. So when you kids are going in, then look around for an old Caleb! [laughter]
Now the purpose is to get through the wilderness. You don’t want to stay in school forever. Get it over with, and so the name given by the Jews to all places which were not cultivated was wilderness. It’s an uncultivated place, not a place where you stay. God took them deliberately into the wilderness, cut them off from Egypt, no supply lines, no jet planes bringing in food, completely cut off. Three million people totally dependent on God. No conduits to Egypt. Out in the middle of a howling wilderness. Three million! Brother, you talk about authority. You talk about discipline. You’re talking about people, people have wondered why the laws of God were so stringent on the community of Israel, why a son who came against his father had to be stoned. Somebody said, ‘That’s cruel!’ You don’t understand! Three million people out in the middle of a wilderness, if you didn’t strike that rebellion at its root it would spread throughout! And that’s why they had hygienic laws, they had social laws, they had moral laws, they had dietetic laws, they had no Frigidaires. The law of God for Israel was very practical, it was to tell a people three million strong how to live in the midst of a howling wilderness, and how to get along! That’s why when anybody came in and started a divide, or sinned against the community, God dealt with them because it was important that the community should not be disrupted, for its very existence depended on its unity and its relationship and it staying together, and everybody knowing their place and staying in their place!
Now when you come into the wilderness it’s full of the miraculous. When you come into the land the miraculous diminishes. You say, ‘Well, I don’t understand that. I would think that the miraculous would increase as you grew older as a Christian.’
Well, you don’t need the miraculous! I don’t need a miracle tonight. I believe God, I don’t have to have a miracle to prove God. I don’t have to have a prodigy of power to prove God’s going to look after me. When they came into the land they had matured to the point where they understood that God was the God of the whole earth, and he sent the rain in its season, and he dealt with them through natural means, because they had matured now to understand that they didn’t need to have special visitations of God, like a little child has to have, special little pats on the head to say, ‘I love you, dear.’ Now some of you have missed that, but we’ll pick it up again because it’s important, for I find Christians all over the world that say, ‘It’s not like it was’. Of course it’s not like it was! When I was a boy, my Dad paid the rent, paid my school tuition, bought my bike, gave me my allowance. That was terrific! It was just a series of happy miracles! And then I got married and became a father and somebody else got the miracles. Now when they came into the wilderness, one of the first things that happened to them was they had supernatural healing. Let’s have a look at some of these things now, Exodus chapter 15.
Now this is maybe going to upset you a bit. But that’s my ministry. As you probably have already discovered! And so let us look at verse 23. ‘Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went out into the wilderness of Shur, and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water, and when they came to Marah they could not drink the water of Marah for they were bitter. And therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses saying, “what shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There he made for them a statute and regulation, and there he tested them.’
Now, I’m going to stop right there, and I’m going to say to you that when you hear sermons on healing, or you talk to one another about healing, you will say to one another, or the preacher will preach a fervent eloquent sermon on, ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ And the whole idea is left that God just heals you when you get sick. When you get sick God heals you, that’s it. You’re sick, God heals you. ‘I am the Lord that healeth you.’ Now we do this with so many texts, we take them out of their context and they become a pretext. Now when you leave this text in its context, it doesn’t say that at all Notice what it says. ‘And he said,’ verse 26, ‘if’. ‘And he said,’ verse 26, ‘if’. ‘And he said if’! How many know he said ‘if’? Alright? ‘If you will believe that healing is in the atonement, and come forward I will pray for you! And you will get healed because you believe that healing is in the atonement.’ Is that what he said? No, he said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.’ ‘If.’ ‘I am your healer if. I am your healer if.’ ‘If!’
Now thousands of people have been preached at about Jesus as the healer, and it’s a kind of a straightforward offer without any provisos, without any demands or requirements. ‘The Lord will heal you brother.’
And some of you may know that I travelled for many years with the late William Branham. And in the beginning of those meetings, when we were packing the largest auditoriums across the world, I believe there’s a lady here from South Africa who can remember the service we had in Durban at the racetrack, where the press reported 200,000 people attended. In those days we would have as many as five to ten thousand people come through a healing line each night. And I’d see people coming through the healing line that I knew as Christians, good devout people who loved God – I had no reason to believe otherwise. And Brother Brahman would lay hands on them and nothing would happen. Some fellow would come through, obviously didn’t know God, in fact you’d hear people saying they were coming for a treatment, and this fellow would come through the line, Brother Brahman would lay hands on him, he’d throw his crutches in the air and go screaming down the aisle, and I said to … ‘Whoa, whoa, there’s something wrong here! This nice sweet saint doesn’t get anything, and that old sinner gets the whole thing! There is something wrong! Why is that Christian not healed?’
The Lord said, ‘You’d better go find out.’ So I went to the word of God and I found at least ten reasons why Christians are not healed. Now when you come to Christ in the crisis beginning, one of the things that should accompany this is a strong healing emphasis. That is, men come in to Christ, they get a blanket deal. God will save you, forgive you, heal you, start you off on the right foot, but now you’re in the family of God and you come under the rules and regulations of the household. And no longer is it a matter of, ‘Come to Jesus Christ and give him your life, and he will cleanse you and heal you and the whole thing.’ Now, your healing is dependent as was the covenant nation of Israel, after they had come out of Egypt, their healing was dependent upon their relating to the authority of Moses! I’m going to give you one illustration. In the great communion passage, in fact I think I dealt with this in London last year, in the great communion passage, Paul says, ‘For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep.’ ‘For this cause’ - what cause? Somebody says, ‘Well if you’re sick, it’s the devil!’ Well in this case it wasn’t the devil. In this case, it was the fact that there were people in the Corinthian church who were disobeying the statutes of Christ’s law, or Christ’s commandments. And they were dividing the body of Christ. And for this cause, many of them were physically weak, and they were sick, and some were prematurely dying. Because when you get too bad for earth God takes you home to heaven. And just put that in the back burner and let it slowly simmer.
In the Corinthian church was the gifts of healings and the gifts of miracles and the elders with oil. But the elders could anoint that man with oil and he wouldn’t get healed. The gift of healing could come by and he wouldn’t get healed. The gifts of miracles could come through and they wouldn’t get helped. There was only one way that that man could get healed in the Corinthian church, and that was by correcting the thing that was causing the sickness. And the thing that was causing the sickness was that he was divisive in the body of the church. And no amount of laying on of hands, anointing with oil, gifts of healings were going to heal him! He had to straighten out his relationship.
Now it is my firm conviction that one of the great things that is up ahead for us is a massive visitation of God’s healing upon our bodies. Once we get the body together, there will be such a flow of divine life through the related members of the body, that sickness will just automatically go because we’ve got it together. Our divisions are making not only God sick, they’re making us sick. How many understand what I’ve said now? Alright.
Now that’s just one reason, I could give you nine more in the Bible, where sickness has got nothing to do with your believing.
For instance, when I was travelling with Brother Brahman I’d have great large Bible studies in the afternoon, five, eight, ten thousand. And I’d say to them quite often, ‘How many here believe in divine healing?’ And every hand would go up. ‘How many here need divine healing?’ Every hand would go up. I’d say somewhere between your believing and your getting there’s a short circuit. Now they thought if they could get to Brother Brahman they’d get healed. But when I began to see these things, I went to Brother Brahman and I said, ‘Look, I’m seeing these things, is it alright if I minister them?’ He said, ‘Brother Ern, I am so tired, I can only minister to so many.’ He said, ‘We send thousands home every night, and we never touch them.’ He said, ‘If you’ve got something that can reach them where they are, go ahead!’ So I started to minister these things. And I said, for instance, ‘Healing for some of you tonight is not at the hands of Brother Brahman with his gift. Nor is it at the hands of your elders with their oil. Healing for you is as close as the nearest phone.’ And people would go out and they’d long distance back home, to their farmer neighbour. To patch up a difference, and come back to announce that God had healed them.
Many of us tonight are sick physically. We’ve been prayed for by everybody that’s come along, we’ve been prophesied over, there have been barrels of oil poured over our heads, hands laid on us. We’ve been shaken and jerked and jumped and pushed and pulled, and prodded and preached at, and we’re still sick! Because you see, we rise or fall together. And the whole body is sick. Because it’s separated from its members. There are parts of the body missing. And so there are parts of the body not functioning, and the body is sick. Now that’s just one emphasis. Now what God had to teach Israel out in the wilderness was, ‘Look, you’ve got no doctors here, they’re all back in Egypt. I’m going to be your doctor, but I will only heal you if you will walk in my statutes.’ Now do you honestly believe, dear child of God, that you or I have a right to come to God because we hold a correct doctrine on healing presumably, and say, ‘God, I want you to know that I took a correspondence course on divine healing, and I believe in divine healing, and I wish to be healed please, because I hold correct views.’ The Lord says, ‘How are you behaving?’
‘Well what’s that got to do with it, I believe!’ Well, if you believe you will obey, for faith and obedience are synonymous! To say you believe and don’t obey, means you don’t believe. All you’re doing is believing in your belief! Many people believe in their beliefs, sing to their songs, pray to their prayers.
God is saying, ‘I have entered into a covenant of healing with you. Have you read the covenant? Have you read the fine print? Have you read the bottom line? Or did you sign it without reading it?’ You can’t tear up the body of Christ brother, without having it reflected in your physical condition. You cannot grumble against God without getting a literal belly-ache, the Bible says. There are ten things at least that I know of in the covenantal relationship of God with his people which preclude healing from a Christian, no matter how accurately he may hold the doctrines of healing. And actually he doesn’t hold them accurately, if he doesn’t understand that wrapped up with being healed as a Christian, is obedience to the covenant. So when you’re in training for going into the land, one of the things you must learn out here is that God will deal with you through your body. Did you ever notice how we quote that Thessalonian passage? ‘Body soul and spirit’. How does the Bible quote it? How? See a great many of you don’t know! How many of you when you talk about it say ‘Body soul and spirit’? Now be honest! Come on be honest, get it up, get it up! Alright. In the Bible it’s, ‘spirit, soul and body’! Why? Because that’s the order of importance to God. Spirit, soul, body. What’s the order of importance to me? Body, soul, (whatever it is). Now you go to the average clinical psychiatrist, he’s got a body and a psyche. But when you come into the word of God you’ve got a body, and a psyche, and a spirit! And the most important to God is the spirit! But I’m all concerned with my body. I want my body to be well, I want my body to look good, I feed my body, I want to bath my body. I want to fix my body up, I want to quaff my body! This is where we’ve got in trouble with modern permissive love. My body falls in love with your body. We’re so body conscious that everything is the body. Clothes for the body, meats for the belly, the belly for meats, everything is for the body. God says I know how to get at him. [laughter] Amen?
So the minute something happens to our body we say, ‘Pastor, will you pray for me?’
Pastor says, ‘How you getting along?’
Pastor says, ‘How you getting along?’
‘Just pray for me!’
‘Er, how are things going?’
‘Well I just want you to pray for me! My body hurts!’
Body conscious. And the Lord is really poking you in the body to get at your spirit. And all you want, dear old Dr Bosworth, he was such a gentle soul, he wasn’t like me! He was so gentle, and he would say kind of apologetically, he’d say, ‘You know dear people, I sometimes think that many of you just want your bodies to be healed so that you can serve the devil better.’
And I think that’s the truth. The Lord says, ‘That child of mine down there, he’s carnal.’ And so he does a little work on the body, and you say, ‘Lord I want my body healed.’
‘Oh,’ he said, ‘do you?’ Could we talk about some other things!’
‘Well, Lord, it was really just my body I wanted attended to. Maybe later on we could get around to … I have a number of important things to do Lord, would you mind healing my body?’
‘Well, Lord, it was really just my body I wanted attended to. Maybe later on we could get around to … I have a number of important things to do Lord, would you mind healing my body?’
Are you hearing me? Are you alive? Say, ‘Hallelujah!’ Good, I was beginning to think you’d all gone up in a private rapture. Alright. [laughter] Now I’m sure that some of you here tonight heard something for the first time! And you’ve wondered why you weren’t getting healed. Because you believe healing is in the atonement and you believe that if you’re anointed, or whatever, you should be healed. And you never before understood that God gets at your soul and your spirit through your body, because that’s the thing that you’re most conscious of. So he speaks to you through your body. So one of the first things that Israel had to learn out in the wilderness, was that if they were to keep their bodies well, and if God was going to supernaturally heal them, they had to walk in obedience! That was the first piece of training! And many of them got miraculously healed, because they obeyed the Lord. Now, while I’m busy in this business of debunking things, lets have a whack at another one!
Somebody says, ‘It was marvellous, because when they came out of Egypt there was not a feeble one among them!’ That’s right, there was not a feeble one among them because all the feeble ones got killed off. [laughter] The Bible says that as they came out into the wilderness, some of them straggled. It doesn’t mean there were necessarily weak or sick, it means they were stragglers. And they straggled behind, and the Amalakites came up on their flank, and shot them off. And the reason that there were no feeble ones in the congregation was all the feeble ones got shot! By Amalakites. And the simple lesson in that, is that if you don’t want to get an Amalakite’s arrow in your back, stay with the pack! [laughter] Oh I am mischievous tonight! But how many casualties are there among these independent, straggling, lazy people, who don’t want to go through the risk of being vulnerable to the congregation, and so they decide to walk along in holy pride as they straggle along, just keeping in sight of the congregation. And then suddenly pooooosh! ‘Anybody seen brother Joe lately?’ [laughter] Brother, you want to stay healthy, you stay with the body! Alright. Let’s go on to something else.
Anybody here got some catching up to do? Maybe when you go back home you’ll want to join yourself. It’s awful lonely out there, and you’re terribly vulnerable. If there is one thing in this renewal, in this revival that’s going on, that I thank God for, it’s relationships. When I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to come over with Bob, the first thing was a sinking feeling in my stomach, until I remembered, Bryn. And the other brothers over here. When I phoned Bryn to tell him Bob couldn’t come, I said, ‘Bryn, I’m sorry about it, but I feel comfortable, because I’ll be with you.’ I think if there had been no related body of men here, I wouldn’t have come either! I refuse to be alone. It’s not good for a man to be alone. That not only has to do with marriage, brother, that has to do with ministry. That’s why Jesus sent them out two by two. Because the Bible says, ‘Two are better than one. Because if one falls down the other one will lift him up, and if one gets cold the other one will keep him war.’ Snuggle up saints! Hallelujah! God doesn’t want you to be out in the cold, and the only way you can keep warm is get up close! Alright.
Now another miracle that they had out in the wilderness, remember all of these miracles were in the wilderness, was the miracle of the manna. Back in Egypt they got their allocation of leeks and onions, but now they’re out in the wilderness and there are no leeks and onions! And you can’t grow anything in the wilderness. And here’s three million people, and not a grocery store in sight.
And they said, ‘We’re hungry!’
Moses said, ‘They’re hungry!’
God says, ‘I’ll take care of it!’
Moses said, ‘God’ll take care of it!’
The people said, ‘Good!’
Moses said, ‘Good! How are you going to do it?’ [laughter]
‘Well,’ he said, ‘tomorrow morning, tell the people when they get up to go out and I will have delivered their groceries. And they’ll just collect them after the dew has gone up, and it’ll be all nice and moist.’ Because there’s nothing worse than dry manna. [laughter] So they were all excited, they didn’t know what to expect, but then the next morning they all went out of their tents and there it lay, like hoar frost, all over the wilderness, and they looked at it, and they said, ‘What is it? What is it? It’s good. Tastes like honey. But what is it?’ And that’s where the manna got its name, because that’s the meaning of manna, ‘what is it?’ [laughter] So every morning they went out and collected their ‘what is it’. [laughter] One sister said to another, ‘How are you going to fix the “what is it” today? [laughter] Have you any new recipes for “what is it”?’ [laughter] Which leaves the question yet unanswered, what was it? [laughter]
The Bible says it was angels’ food, so all night long the angelic bake ovens…[laughter] And in the morning by special delivery, hosts of angels came down the avenues of the stars and deposited Israel’s groceries all over the sand. Isn’t that beautiful? I never cease to marvel at the miracle of three million people in the middle of a wilderness, dependent on God for everything, under a lesser covenant than ours. You know something, this is just me talking, I believe that before this age ends, when economic, political and religious Babylon has collapsed, that we will enter into a dimension in God, where we will probably also go out and collect our manna. Now maybe not literally, but God will supernaturally provide. I am not dependent on the world’s economic situation to be looked after. If God sent a raven to the prophet, I’m sure he’ll take care of me, so let Babylon fall! Ker-plonk! [laughter]
Something really thrilled me when I was at Capel, and I notice you’re doing it here, and it’s beautiful in my eyes, when I went back to America that hasn’t entered into this dimension yet. Down at Capel they got up and very simply, ‘We need so many thousand pounds.’ There was no pulling, it was just stated, and at the end of the conference they had all expenses paid, they paid my fare, they gave me an honorarium, they took care of all the help, and they had money left over, and I said to Gerald Coates, I said to him, ‘Brother, what do you do about the inflation? What do you do about it?’ And oh, I thought his answer was classic, because it was what I had been preaching, and now I was seeing it. He said, ‘We ignore it.’ [laughter] That’s beautiful. That is beautiful. We haven’t yet reached the point where we ignore it. I haven’t heard any Christians in this country lamenting what is happening economically. Now you, some of you may do, but I’m simply saying I’ve not heard it.
And I think you are already entering into a dimension of end time reality that has hit other parts of the world but hasn’t certainly hit America. Because if you and I are dependent on Egypt in any way for our survival, we’re sunk. Because when I came through the Red Sea, I said I trust in a covenant God, who will send down free trainloads of manna every morning to feed three million people. ‘Ah,’ somebody says, ‘surely Baxter you’re sufficiently knowledgeable to know that that’s just a myth? Why, it wasn’t that way at all. Don’t you understand that science has researched the whole matter, and that on the desert there is a plant, and it has a fruit, and what they did, they went out every morning and they just collected the fruit off of those little branches.’ But that puts a greater strain on my credulity than the miracle. [laughter] That means that that little old plant has got to grow a new crop of fruit every night. [laughter] And what is more, it would be a miracle in the whole world of growth, because every weekend it would have to grow a double crop! [laughter] I think I’ll just stick with the miracle, [laughter] eh?
You know it’s like this whole evolution thing, that you and I are here by a fortuitous concurrence of atoms. You know what that means? We just happened. And so in Darwin’s Origin of Species, some 2,800 times he says, ‘Let us assume… that in the beginning there was matter and force.’ Three cheers. [laughter] That’s exactly what we believe. But we believe that the force was God, and we believe that the matter was what God by creative genius brought to pass. And we are not left in the barren wastes of speculative evolutionary philosophy, which says that some little piece of protoplasm that came from somewhere, floated on some primeval waters sometimes and the sun shone upon it, and it just happened to evolve – thank God it evolved with such symmetry and order. It would have been terrible had it evolved with a nose in the middle of the back and an ear sticking out of the top of your head. [laughter] I think I’ll stick with the miracle. I find the miracles much easier to believe than the brilliant apologetics that embarrassed, unregenerate men make for the Bible. The Bible doesn’t need any help. Man stands on the rim of the universe, and he cries, ‘What’s out there?’ And there’s no answer, because his radar, his receiving set is broken. But a Christian stands and says, ‘Who’s there?’ And the answer comes back loud and clear. ‘In the beginning God…’ The Christian says, ‘Hallelujah!’ And the sinner said, ‘Did you hear something?’ [laughter]
Well, they were not only hungry, they were thirsty. God teaches us. They were thirsty.
They said, ‘We’re thirsty.’
Moses says, ‘God, they’re thirsty.’
God says, ‘Well, give them water.’
Moses said, ‘God, we’re in a desert – how?’
He said, ‘Out of a rock.’
‘Out of a what?’ [laughter]
You know, we need to hear this people, in our technological age where we press a button, or pull a little goo-gaa, where everything is ... We need to hear, because already, already we are starting to cancel out our brilliance with its results. Already we are in ecological trouble. Already this globe is enveloped in a thin envelope of smut and muck and pollution that has come out of our brilliant technological discoveries, and it is threatening to keep from us the life sustaining rays of the Sun. And you and I need to hear that when we can no longer use a lot of our technological things, and we start to journey back to God and primitive beauty, we’re going to have to learn to know that God can provide, apart from all this brilliant unrestrained genius of unregenerate men. Water out of rock? So Moses smote a rock and out came water. And the people drank. Water out of a rock?
You say, ‘How is God going to do it?’ I don’t know how he’s going to do it, I just know he’s going to do it. All he asks you and me to do is walk in covenant. You say, ‘How will he heal me?’ I don’t know, but I’ll tell you something, people, I’ve watched a little blue baby, and you know that it takes all the genius of medical science, with long hours of surgery to even try to correct the heart condition that produces a blue baby. I’ve watched a little blue baby, kept my eyes open as prayer was made in Jesus’ name, and in seconds some strange, mysterious hand has reached down, and done instantaneous surgery on that little heart, changed the whole bloodstream, and instead of that ghastly purple, there’s a healthy, rosy hue. How did he do it? I don’t know. He did it. He did it. I don’t ever want, I don’t care how mature I get, I don’t ever want to get away from the miracle of my God, who is able to do anything, but who will not do it promiscuously, but who will do it in relation to my growth and maturation. God will not do things for you just to satisfy your curiosity. He will do things for you as you walk in covenant relationship with him.
One more thing. When they came out into the wilderness, God gave them a cloud, a special cloud. By day it was a pillar of smoke, and by night it was a pillar of fire. They had their own mobile electrical system. And when they were to move they followed the cloud. And when the cloud would begin to shimmer and shake, a cry would go out, and they’d all start to break camp. And the mothers would get the kids ready, and the pots and pans all wrapped up, and Dad would take down the tents and the Levites would start to take the Tabernacle apart, and then they’d cover all the sacred vessels, and they’d all get ready to march, and then the cloud would start out.
Now can you imagine three million people going across the wild, howling desert following a cloud? And you can see all the nomadic tribes out in the desert looking over the sand dunes. [laughter] And the word got around that there is a group of people going round the wilderness who have their own private cloud. [laughter] What was God teaching them? He was teaching them the obedience of divine guidance, and he said to Moses, ‘If the cloud settles for a week, you stay for a week. If it settles for a month, you stay for a month. If it settles for a year, you stay for a year. But when that cloud moves, you move. Can’t you imagine some people in the revival – the cloud revival – ‘Hallelujah, we’re in the cloud revival! We’ve made three moves already. Glory to God! But I think this is the last one.’
Somebody said, ‘Have you heard, the cloud is moving?’
‘No, not again. [laughter] Well I think I’ve gone as far as I’m going to go. I’m going to stay here.’
Now they were in the cloud revival. They’re not in it now. Are you hearing me? Because I’m trying to say something to you, and I’m trying to keep it fairly light tonight, because you it’s been a long day. But still I’m saying some very serious things to you, that God reserves the right to disturb your religious comfort at his will. And many came into the charismatic thing, and they said, ‘Are you in the charismatic revival?’
‘Oh hallelujah, I’m in it.’
And then the cloud moved, and somebody said, ‘What’s happening?’ Somebody said, ‘Well, the cloud’s moving.’ [laughter]
Somebody said, ‘I liked it when the cloud was here.’ [laughter] ‘But if anybody thinks I’m going to go to the cloud there.’
'Well, you can stay here without a cloud. I’m going there with a cloud. I don’t know where the cloud’s going to take me. Wherever the cloud goes, that’s where I’m going.’
Somebody said, ‘Where are you going today?’
‘I’m going with the cloud.’
‘Where’s the cloud going?’
‘I’ve no idea.’ [laughter]
Somebody says, ‘What in the world have I got into?’ The cloud revival. You know that the cloud is not going to stop until it brings you right up to the border of the land. And when the cloud gets you into the land, you’ll need no more cloud, because in the land each man will sit under his own vine and fig tree. Let me just finish tonight by saying this. I keep saying I don’t want to be unkind, and I don’t, I really don’t, but I realise I have to be disturbing. My Jewish friend Art Katz says regularly, he says every time God calls me, he calls me to inconvenience. There is an inconvenience in moving with God, because you never know what he’s going to do next, or where he’s going to take you, and the constant danger you face is saying, ‘I’ve gone as far as I’m going to go.’ And listen, dear people.
The people that are most vigorously opposed to the newest move of the cloud, are the people who moved with the cloud last. And you may be that people tomorrow.
Because I want you to know the cloud has not stopped moving, and I don’t know if you’ve caught the inference of what I’m saying, but I am saying that we as a people are still in the wilderness. We’re on our way to the land, and by the end of this series, when I tell you what the land really is, you’ll know that we’re still in the wilderness. But right now we’re following the cloud. And as long as the cloud didn’t inconvenience us overmuch, we were all for the cloud, but when the cloud started to take us on out into the wilderness, further and further, we didn’t know where it was taking us, then we said, ‘We want security. That last oasis, where the cloud left us, we like that. And so the Christian centuries are filled with oases where people have said, ‘I’ll stay here, thank you, you can go on with the cloud.’ And it won’t be long until there will be charismatic oases where people decided to stay. The congregation is moving on. I don’t know what you call where you are tonight, but it’s not permanent. There is new light to break from God’s word. There is new territory to take. We’re on our way to the land, we’re on our way to ‘permanent vocation’, we’re on our way to kingship, we’re on our way to authority, we’re on our way to a place where God is going to manifest his glory in a mature people, that will make the world wonder at the grace and glory of God manifest through mortal men. How can mortal men be mature, how can they do that? It’s because they followed the cloud into the land.
We’ll try to get through the wilderness tomorrow night, but we’re in training tonight. Is God testing some of you in the matter of relationships? Is he testing you through your body perhaps? Is God testing you in the matter of economic provision? Are you concerned tonight about what’s going on in the world? Do you think it’s rough in Great Britain? Let me tell you that the world economy is in such serious condition, that world economists, who have studied the science of world economy, are no longer able to give advice on world economy. A friend of mine in Kansas City who is the president of a large stock brokerage firm told me one day, as we were driving down the city, he said, ‘Ern, we have two groups of people that we turn to for professional advice in this business. One is a group of men who advise us on the trends in the market, and advise us what stocks are good to buy, and which stocks are good to sell, and so on.’ Then he said, ‘We have a scientific group that advise us on the nature of world economy, based on economic laws.’ He said, ‘Two years’ ago,’ – that would be about four years’ ago now – he said, ‘Two years’ ago, they advised us that they could no longer give us readings on the world economy, because something had come into the world economy that they could not scientifically define.’
Now I sat besides this hard-headed businessman, and I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, and he was driving straight ahead, and I said to him, ‘Are you saying to me what I think you’re saying to me?’ He said, ‘Yes, I believe you know what I’m saying.’ Then I said, ‘Let me articulate it. You are saying to me that there is a supernatural something, that has come into the world economy, that has so disrupted it, that all the scientific economic laws are no longer valid, and they cannot define what is happening.’ And he said, ‘That’s right.’ I went to Duke University to speak at a seminar there, and I mentioned this, and a young man came up to me after I had mentioned it, and he said, ‘I am a Business Major in Harvard University.’ He said, ‘I just want to confirm what you’ve said, our professors have categorically stated to us that something has come into the world economy that they can no longer scientifically grapple with.’
I’m not an economist. I don’t understand all of that stuff, but there was one thing that quickly came to my mind. ‘Alas, alas, for Babylon the great is fallen.’ I believe there’s a supernatural hand in world economy. I believe there’s a supernatural hand in world politics. I believe there’s a supernatural hand in the religion of the world, because those are the three definitions of Babylon in the book of Revelation, and God’s going to bring them all down. He’s going to bring down economic Babylon, he’s going to bring down political Babylon, he’s going to bring down religious Babylon, and he’s going to raise up the church of the holy city, and there is going to come into focus the people of God,
That are going to offer the world an alternative to what they’ve got, a counter culture, an alternate society, where we’ve got it together, according to the laws of the kingdom of God, and the kingdoms of this world are going to become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ.