The Head and Shoulders Man is Part 1 of The King And His Army, the prophetically important series of messages preached by Ern Baxter at the Lakes Bible Week (UK) in 1975 and recently transcribed by Dan Bowen.
Part 1 came from Apostles Theological Seminary
From the typical significance of David’s long and difficult journey from Ziklag to Hebron and David’s final anointing as King of all the tribes of Israel, the conquest of Jebus by the armies of Israel that followed, and the establishment of Zion as David’s great city, Brother Baxter paints a powerful prophetic picture of the coming apostolic restoration and reformation of Christ’s Church. In these wonderful Biblical messages Ern carefully and thoughtfully lays out for the Church today what it is going to take to give birth to a true apostolic reformation, and move God’s people from the "head and shoulder" government of King Saul to the "heart" government of David!
I bring greetings to you from a great host of people in America who not only know that I am here, but under whose covering and authority I am here. I am a man under authority, and a number of my brothers in America have sent me with their blessing and covering, and send their greetings to you. They praise God for what is happening in this country and what is happening across the world. It’s about these things that I propose in the will of God to speak to you. As things now stand, God willing, I will be speaking to you for five evenings and I am going to bring you a series, which I have entitled, “The King and His Army”. I am going to ask you to be patient with me tonight because I am not going to be able to tell you everything tonight. That will be my temptation. My temptation will be to give you the last chapter and the first chapter, but I am going to resist as much as I can. So there will be things that I want to say to you that shouldn’t be said until tomorrow night, and there will be other things that shouldn’t be said until the next night. I will be thinking, “Well that man over there won’t be here that night, so I want to say that to him,” but I am talking to myself and thinking – “Now don’t you do that.” (*laughter*). So I will try not to do that.
It has become repetitive I know for speakers to get up and make reference to what is happening in the earth, but I think we almost have to repeat that if we are speaking what we feel is a word of the Lord for the hour. We have to put in the context of what is happening. It is what is happening that is causing many of us to say what we are saying. We are saying what we are saying because the Spirit of the Lord is saying, “This is pertinent to what I am saying. So say it.” Therefore I am going to have to say it. (*laughter*). You may be interested in the fact that I am a quarter Irish so that’s why things come out like that. (*laughter*). As my colleague Arthur Wallis said, “God is sovereign”. I am sorry that isn’t an original line – it was said long ago by prophets and apostles that He is Lord over all. There is a delightful intriguing phrase in the New Testament – “The times and the seasons.” Our Lord said these are kept secret in the heart of the Father. They break in upon us, as He will. God is without precedent. There is none before Him, Isaiah said. God was never born. God doesn’t pray to another god because there is no other god prior to Him. There is nothing in Him that should be out of Him. There is nothing out of Him that should be in Him. He never remembers anything because He never forgets it. He never has to learn anything because there is nothing He does not know. He is never surprised by anything because He knew what was going to happen from the beginning. In fact when He looked at it from the beginning He went to the end and looked at it from that point also. (*laughter*) His eternal ‘nowness’ baffles our time concept. He is not growing older because He doesn’t live in days. He doesn’t count His time in time because He made time. He doesn’t put Himself in space because He made space. He stands outside of time and space as its Creator. He is involved in time and space as its Redeemer. So when He chooses to break in on a time-space world He does it in accord with urges that are found in His inscrutable and infinite goodness. He does it right on time when we need it and when He thinks it’s best for us.
So a few years ago He came breaking in on our time-space world without our being consulted. In fact had we been consulted, I am sure we would have all agreed for the sake of denominational unity it was not the time. (*laughter*) Had he had a mind to ask us, I think knowing what we might have said, He decided not to. (*laughter*). But He did break in on us and it has been called the “Charismatic Renewal.” Something that I am personally shying away from because I do not like any divisive term and I think that “charismatic” can be and has become almost as divisive as any of the other terms that we lament. However, I am thrilled about what that stands for – a new dimension and a renewal and restoration, a reviving of the Holy Spirit’s Presence all over the earth. This cannot be traced to any one person. This cannot be traced to any locality. If you were to write to the headquarters of the current spiritual renewal, you would be hard put to know where to address your letter – unless you addressed it to Heaven, but then of course, you can do that in the form of prayer. (*laughter*). People are upset about the Charismatic Renewal but God is the troublemaker. No one else can be blamed. God is the one who got us in this mess. (*laughter*). But God always makes a mess of things before He brings order.
He did that from the beginning, and He always does it. It’s a kind of strange principle He operates on. “In the beginning,” the Bible says, “God made the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void and darkness covered the face of the deep.” It was a dark mess. Then the Bible says that the Spirit of God brooded over the waters. Now how long the Spirit brooded I have no idea. That depends on your interpretation of Genesis 1 and probably your interpretation of geology. I don’t know how long He brooded. Now why didn’t He do something? He was waiting for a Word and the minute the Word was spoken ("Let there be") – the Holy Spirit leaped into activity and brought cosmos out of chaos and order out of disorder. The Spirit and the Word go together. Now I don’t wish to be offensive, but it seems to me for the last ten years (however long you date this movement) the Spirit of God has been brooding over a mess. Now a Word is coming of “structure.” A Word is coming to say, “I have not given you My Holy Spirit to give you tickles up and down your spine, make you play tambourines, learn new choruses and dance in the aisles.” (*laughter*). These are all part of the whole thing but the great deep meaning of this visitation of the Holy Spirit has blood on it. That sobers us. You see the Day of Pentecost was also a disorderly business. But God has done it this way – He shakes you all up. He gets you all shaken up, and you say, “What in the world is going on?” He says, “When you really get inquisitive enough, I will tell you.” (*laughter*). On the Day of Pentecost there had not been that much noise in the temple in years and God was shaking things, and when He got through shaking, they said, “Men and brethren what shall we do?”
Then the Word came forth. When the Word came forth it structured what God was doing in the Spirit. I would be very disappointed if out of this so-called Charismatic Renewal nothing came of responsible divine structure. I believe that we are living in probably one of the most significant days since the days of the apostles. I think that quantitatively and qualitatively we are seeing a visitation in the earth that is unparalleled. I know that those who take a negative attitude to what is happening don’t like that kind of language. But I think the language fits the event because this visitation has not just been a visitation of people being converted – it has been the whole Peter package. They have been getting the whole thing – “Repent – be baptised – be filled with the Spirit and have spiritual gifts.” It has been a total dimensional thing, and I think it has been unparalleled since the days of the apostles.
Now, as I talk to you about the “King and His Army” (and we are going to get to some Scripture in a few minutes; I’m feeling my way into this trying to establish some basics), I want you to be agreed with me tonight that the dimensions of what is happening are significant. If you don’t agree with that then you will not be able to rise with me each night to the level of importance that I am placing on the times. If you think that this is just some little local touch of God – some little geographically limited revival, then I think you are not thinking with the largeness that God is requiring in this hour. All over the earth the Spirit is moving! There is no part of the world where this visitation is not to be found. I have not been all over the world, but I’ve been over a good part of it in recent years, and meetings just like this are taking place all over the world. This movement has broken into everyone of our denominational sectarian boxes. There is no box that has not been shaken. Every one of our denominations has felt the impact of it. They have all felt that it is of sufficient importance and threat that they must make an official statement on it. Sometimes the statement is very negative or anti, sometimes it’s rather neutral, and sometimes it’s delicately pro – but they all feel they must say something about it. It demands attention! It’s too big! It won’t go away! When it first came, they thought, “Well, it is like the measles. Give it ten days and they will loose the rash.” But it’s here, and to some it’s a chronic ailment. But it is perennial joy to us.
Now, I don’t like to start a series of messages on a negative note, but it is almost necessary and it’s Scriptural. The first word of the Gospel is “Repent” which is a negative world. Repent means to change your mind and it goes along with conversion, which means to turn around. Faith is the positive thing. Tonight I am going to be talking about the negative – I am going to be talking about the repentance factor. Ever since God has had a people in the earth, and I am speaking corporately now, that takes us to the sons of Jacob. Up until that point, God had dealt with men individually. Adam. Noah. Abraham. Isaac and then He came to Jacob, and Jacob had 12 sons. A whole new dimension came into the Word of God and that was the corporate dimension.
In the New Testament whenever the apostles were referring to individual faith, they refer to Abraham. Whenever they are referring to corporate faith, they refer to the children of Israel. Whenever they talk about what “you” singular have – they relate you to Abraham. Whenever they talk about what “we” corporately have – they relate us to Israel. But ever since God has had a corporate people, He has had problems. He has had problems getting His people to agree with His desire. Now do I have to labour that or will you accept it? Nothing has changed! It is still the same. God’s problem tonight is not the economic situation or the political situation or world government or the United Nations. God’s problem tonight is the so-called People of God. That’s God’s problem. If God could get that problem sorted, all the other problems would fall into place. This is something like the domino theory. If He can get “us” to respond, then all the other dominoes will go down. “We” are the flies in the ointment – the knots in the shoelaces. God has always had problems with His people. He has a covenant purpose for His people and His people have an in-built perversity that comes up with a counter-offer.
Let me tell you something about covenant. The word “Covenant” as it is used in the Bible in relation to God and to people is not a peer covenant. It is not a covenant between equals. The Greek word for a covenant between equals is “suntheke.” The word that is used in the Bible for covenant is “diatheke.” You will notice the prefixes are different. “Suntheke” means an arrangement between two people that are equals. “Diatheke” means the imposition of the will of a superior on an inferior. It is given. It may be rejected – it may be received, but it cannot be altered. Now God has entered into covenant. I was teaching a series on covenant in Chicago a few years ago, and after I had been at it a few weeks, my wife and I were driving home one day, and she said, “You know it seems to me that the whole Bible is covenant!” I said, “It is! It is the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.” It is what God has said. If you can get this simply into your hearts – God has spoken, and what God has spoken, is God breaking in on a time-space world to deliver a covenant word. But it is not something that He asked your advice about! It is God telling you and me the best way for us to respond to Him and to relate to one another. Because of the built in perversity we have – we disagree with God and come up with counter proposals. God has been fighting with us on these counter proposals for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Right now we are in one of those crucial periods where by this ministry of the Holy Spirit He is shaking us and saying, “I want you to look at the covenant – I want you to look at the clauses and I want you to read the fine print!” Now some of us have lived with counter proposals for so long that we have equated it with the real thing, and even when we are required to look at the real thing, we don’t like what we see because it upsets our counter proposal. This is why the Pharisees and the Sadducees were upset with Christ. Christ came along and said, “They say, but I say. Their counter proposal is so and so, but the original covenant was this!” Now the people that were responsible for the counter proposal didn’t like God meddling with it. So they said the only way to get this thing settled was to kill Him. That is ridiculous. I might as well serve notice on you now that you are not going to kill God. (*laughter*). If you are going to get into mortal combat with God, you are going to be the casualty. The hour has come for us not to fight for our counter proposals, but to submit to His covenant word.
Now the Old Testament has been lost to many people for many years. They have had half a Bible because they have been told that the Old Testament is second-class. It is not second-class at all – the entire Scripture is given by inspiration of God. That may seem to be unnecessary to say to you, but I think it is necessary. Augustine said, “The New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.” The New is an extension of the Old, and if you didn’t have the Old there would be an awful lot of the New that wouldn’t make sense. There would be whole passages of it that would make no sense. The Book of Hebrews wouldn’t make too much sense. Great parts of Romans and great hunks of the Gospels would have no meaning because they are the fulfilment of the Old. Time and again you hear, “And the Word of the Lord was fulfilled.” What Word of the Lord? That Old Covenant Word of the Lord was fulfilled. Paul writing to the charismatic Corinthians warned them. He said, “Now I would not have you to be ignorant brethren.” When Paul says this, he is saying, “Now fasten your seat belts.” Paul was a kind of gentleman. He was an iron fist in a velvet glove, and what he was really saying was a nice way of saying, “Stop being stupid.” But of course he was too much of a gentleman to say it that way – but that’s really what he was saying. The Corinthians had the idea that because they came behind in no gift, were filled with the Holy Spirit and had the gift of miracles, tongues, interpretation, prophecy (Paul said they came behind in no gift) and were blessed with all utterance, that they could somehow do as they pleased. And they did do as they pleased! They picked their preachers – “I’m of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas.” They picked their social habits. The rich flaunted their richness in front of the poor. Some of their social habits were very bad. It was commonly reported that among them there was fornication. They took one another to law before pagan judges. They had lots of problems. The Spirit of the Lord was brooding over a mess.
Paul felt he had to remind them that because they had all of these blessings was no guarantee that they were right. Did you hear me? We say, “Well I must be right – I prophesy.” That is no proof that you are right. “Well I must be right – I speak with tongues.” That is no proof that you are right. “I must be right – I heal the sick.” That is no proof that you are right. What is the proof that you are right? If our lives are related obediently to the Word of God – “For man shall not live by bread alone, but by every spiritual gift.” No? Man shall live by every Word from the mouth of the Lord. Now, Paul said I would not have you be ignorant brethren, how our fathers came out of Egypt and were baptized into Moses in the sea and in the cloud and did eat the supernatural bread and drink the supernatural water, but with the majority of them God was not well pleased for they died in the wilderness.” What are you saying? We can have everything here tonight, plus if you will, all the charismatic gifts; you can have a Paul, an Apollos, and a Cephas. You can have all of the rich utterance that the Corinthians had, and yet have the charge levelled at you that you are not going on to maturity so you will die in the wilderness. Now you will notice that God didn’t take Israel back to Egypt or drown the Israelites in the Nile. Egypt is a type of the world out of which they had been redeemed. They were brought through the wilderness and in the Jewish lexicon the wilderness is the place that is uncultivated, or spiritually – it is a place of immaturity. It was a place of preparation for Israel to go into maturity and possess the nations, and when they would not go in, He didn’t take them back to Egypt, but sent them back into immaturity, where they went in circles for 40 years and died there.
There is no such thing as static Christianity. You cannot stop where you are. The options tonight are two: you either go on or you go back. There are not three: go on, go back or stand still. There is no such thing as static Christianity. If we are not going on then we are going back.
There are four representative men in the Bible that I want to make reference to. Adam, Abraham, David, and our Lord Jesus. To Adam we relate racially. To Abraham we relate redemptively. To David we relate royally, and our Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all three men. Adam was a type of Christ, as Christ entered the whole human race. Abraham, through his seed, speaks of the redemption of those who are saved through Christ the seed. As for David, someone said once how they find things in the Bible that have been there all the time. For years I didn’t find David. I found Adam, and I found Abraham, but David – well, he was the shepherd boy who killed the giant. That was about the extent of my placing him in the whole picture. Now, I am seeing that in this present moving of the Holy Spirit, David is the prominent figure. Adam is not; neither is Abraham. We are in the period of the Davidic emphasis. Why? David speaks of reigning. Abraham speaks of redemption. But redeemed to do what? Here is the crunch in our theology. What have we been redeemed to do? Someone said, “Well, we have been redeemed to go to church.” Or, “We have been redeemed to stop this or stop that.” Has it ever dawned on you that we have been redeemed for a higher calling to fulfill the Davidic type? That Jesus was not only of the seed of Abraham, but he was of the seed of David to reign, and we are also not only of the seed of Abraham, but through Jesus Christ we are of the seed of David. And as the seed of David, we reign in life by one Christ Jesus! This is an emphasis that has been lost to the Church for years. For years all many of us have heard was that we are saved to go to heaven. One of the easy ways out for most Christians was that there was a bus coming, that would get us out of the whole nasty business, and as a result we got up hopefully every morning and said, “Maybe the bus will come today.”
This will date me. But I remember as a very small boy in 1927, I went to a service with my parents where a famous evangelist was speaking on the Second Coming of Christ. He made this statement. He said, “We may see the end of 1927, but as sure as I’m standing in this pulpit, we will never see the end of 1928.” Well that set some wheels going in my head. When I got home, I tested my mother’s faith in the preacher. I said, “Mom, if what he said is right, and the Lord could well come before the end of 1928, then I can see no sense whatsoever in my continuing to go to school.” (*laughter*). Personally, I think that was a piece of ironclad logic, but my mother didn’t buy it, and I went to school. This is 1975. In 1975, while we all believe in the Second Coming of Christ, the Holy Spirit is bringing a new dimension upon us, and we are feeling a new wave of glory in our souls. The Holy Spirit is saying to us, “You have missed something, and you replaced it with something that was never meant to be replaced by that. I don’t intend to solve the world’s problems by the return of My Son, but I intend to solve the world’s problems by incarnating My Royal Self into the corporate Body of My Son, and cause the kingdoms of this world to feel the impact of the Corporate Christ as He blazes forth in the authority of King David! For David the Prince shall sit on Messiah’s throne in the hour of my best victory, and it is through the Church that I will demonstrate and vindicate the purpose I had in Jesus Christ.” The Church is not going out like a scared rabbit or a dog with its tail between its legs. The Church is going out in a blaze of glory, as God vindicates His Son and declares the resurrection the ultimate victory of humanity over Satan and self and sin and the Adamic society.
I am saying then, that what is happening in this hour has an eschatological dimension – don’t let that throw you. Brother Arthur Wallis spoke of it as the “end times,” but “Eschatological” is a good word that comes from a Greek word that speaks of “the things of the times of the end.” There is an end-time emphasis here. There is a dimension, and as we go along in these nights, from my point of view, I hope to send you back to wherever you come from with a new sense of meaning. I want you to go from this conference adjusting your crown, pulling your purple toga a little tighter around you, squaring your shoulders and standing ten feet tall – to go home to change your community and plant the flag of Jesus Christ on top of City Hall!
The book of Hebrews starts out with a majestic phrase – it is almost like the book of Genesis. In the phrase is encapsulated for us the divine procedure for God ruling the earth. It runs like this, “God.” That’s a good place to start. “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners in time past spoke unto our fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.” Now notice there are two there, prophets (plural) and Son (singular). Now God has always been the cosmic King. You read through the Old Testament and find that God is King. God sits as King at the flood. God is King! The Psalmists continually celebrate His Kinghood. Yet when we come to Psalm 110, the cosmic King, God says, “I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” God, the King of the Cosmos, says, “I will have a King of the earth.” I don’t know if this is just a sideline, but when the astronauts got to the moon, I had a personal revival. (*laughter*). I shouted and jumped and talked in tongues and prophesied and shouted to the stars and waved my arms. They couldn’t find a teeny-weeny microcosm of anything that even wiggled. I will tell you why I was so blessed. This old world of ours has been maligned by the scientists – shunted off to the peripheries of the universe and considered to be a pimple on the galaxy. But let me tell you – we are not, nothing. We are everything! It’s all here. This is where it’s at. As one great man said, “This is the theater of the universe.” This little orb that you and I are living on, in all the multiplied galaxies of our universe, looks like an insignificant nothing. But there is a bit of information that will bless you. Did you know that there are 1, 500 kinds of edible beans? (*laughter*). I knew that would bless you. Now this will bless you even more – we only eat 30 of them. (*laughter*). When I thought that on the moon there was absolutely nothing! Out there! Since I’ve come to England and walked in Arthur Wallis’s garden down in Devon, and other beautiful gardens, as well as visiting with my relatives in Shrewsbury, and they gave me the Latin names for these plants – it blows my mind! I moved to Florida recently, and now I am in tropical country. Do you know that this little earth is absolutely teeming with life? Full of life! Why? This is where it’s at. There is life here. Now because this is the theatre of the universe, this is the place where God chose to unfold the drama of His love in creating men, and let me say that the Fall was no surprise to God. Don’t get me involved talking about the mystery of it, because I haven’t got all the answers, but Christ was a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. When Adam and Eve fell, God wasn’t surprised; this is all a part of the divine pattern. God knows what He is doing, and He has chosen the earth and has chosen to tell us how to do His will, and we don’t need a lot of horizontal scientists to tell us how a vertical God is running His earth.
If we can get just a few simple souls that will read the contract and the fine print, we will get somewhere. God said, “I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” Now up until Christ came, God moved through the prophets. Abraham was a prophet, as was Moses. Moses said, “A prophet like unto me shall the Lord thy God raise up, him shall ye hear, and whosoever hears him shall not be cut off from among the people.” It was Moses who prophesied that the day would come when there would be kingship in Israel. There was no problem with Israel having a king. God intended them to have a king. God intended them to have a king that the king may provide for them a picture of His authority through King Jesus. But within the professed redeemed community we always have this human thing vying with the divine thing, and what I want to talk to you about during these nights is that God is bringing into historical reality His divine authority through delegated kingship in the earth . You may not be getting some of the things I am saying, but if you will stick with me these nights, I think you will see it unfold. God right now is in the midst of a titanic struggle. It’s not Marxism versus Capitalism. It is not the East versus the West, or the East and West versus the Emerging Third Community of nations. That’s not where it’s at. That’s the ghosts fighting in the graveyard. Where it’s at tonight is in the professed redeemed community. And I use professed with some degree of diffidence, but I think I have to. It’s in the area where men are aware of God, where men have concepts of God. It’s in this area of God’s people where God is having His problems, because until He can get the kind of unanimity among His people, He is not going to be able to deal with the wider purpose in the earth. Our Lord established that in the 17th chapter of John where He said, “Father, I pray that they may be one, as You and I are one, that they may be one in us, that the world may know.” Now there is no use with you and I fussing about the world out there, as long as our house is in disarray. This is why God is shaking us and our boxes.
God hates walls! God breaks down walls. God can’t stand walls. Remember what He said about Joseph? “Joseph is a fruitful bough and he runs over walls.” Joseph comes to a wall and says, “I think I’ve hit a wall.” (*laughter*). Joseph says, “That’s a wall, I’m going right over it.” (*laughter*). God is like Joseph. He says, “I think I’ve hit a wall.” You say, “Yes Lord, we put that up for You.” (*laughter*). “We did that to protect You Lord. We want you to know that is a nice creedal wall. We have worked it all out with the Greek, the Hebrew and the Aramaic and the Latin. We have put a lot of money into it Lord, and it’s been very costly, and we know you appreciate it.” He says, “It’s a wall!” And up He goes, and away He goes. Someone said, “But Lord! You can’t do that! You’ve run over our wall.” The Lord runs over that and comes to another one, and He is finding all these walls. The Bible said, “He broke down the middle wall,” and we have been busy building up the middle wall, and He’s been busy breaking them down. He is a wall-breaker-downer and we are wall-builder-uppers and guess who’s going to win? (*laughter and applause*). I don’t go by solar time by the way. (*laughter*). Ever since I got eternal life. (*laughter*).
All right, let’s start to get out teeth into the type now. I think we have broken some ground here. How are we fixed for Bibles? If you’ve brought half a Bible, I bet you brought the wrong half. (*laughter*). Let’s go to 1st Samuel chapter 8. A lot of this will be old hat to you; you know it historically, but please be patient because I will make some applications that I believe the Holy Spirit is making in this hour. You will forgive me if some of the subjective application seems so apt. You see there is something about the Bible that is timeless. God wrote it from the vantage point of knowing everything that was going to happen. That’s why He dealt with evolution in the 2nd chapter of Genesis, long before Darwin was born. All right, 1st Samuel chapter 8: “And it came about when Samuel, who was a prophet.” Remember, that Samuel was a prophet. Keep that in your mind. There really is some humour in God. God has a sense of humour, and you will see it come out. If some of you don’t see it come out and smile, then I don’t know what’s going to happen to some of you. If you continue looking like that, you are liable to die like that. (*laughter*).
“And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. Now the name of his first-born was Joel and the name of his second Abijah. They were judging in Beersheba. His sons however did not walk in his ways but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.”
Now, I will lay blame where I believe blame needs to be laid. The Bible says, “Like Priest, Like People.” I will not let you off the hook people. But neither will I stand and wave a burning accusing forefinger under your nose and say that it is all your fault. Much of our problem today can be traced directly to the disobedient and irresponsible ministry of leaders. I bear my share of the blame. Samuel was getting old and later we will find out that Samuel stood up and charged the people, asking if any could say he had stolen their ox or ass or treated them unjustly, and not a voice could be raised against him. But his sons had started to decline and the ministry was bad. I am one of a group of brothers in the United States who feel a very deep responsibility for leadership. We have been instrumental in calling Shepherds Conferences, and we are calling one for next month in Kansas City . We had one last year in the great Presbyterian conference at Montreat, North Carolina .
Incidentally Billy Graham came and very graciously opened for us on our first night. What we are saying is that if the leaders don’t get it together, then we can’t expect the people to get it together. The people, I feel, had a valid point when they came to Samuel about his sons in verse 4:
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and they said to him, ‘Behold you have grown old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations’”
Now I want to be fair. I have scored the irresponsibility and the disobedience of the ministry. But because ministers are irresponsible does not give people the right to dabble democratically in divine affairs. Someone says, “The minister has gone wrong. We must form a committee.” Who told you to form a committee? The only committee you have a right to appeal to is the committee of the Holy Trinity – for the ministry is not in democratic hands! The book of Revelation says the ministry is in the right hand of Him! I will give you a sneaky secret. Don’t tell your minister. (*laughter*). It’s a bit sneaky and I feel a bit guilty about it, but not very. (*laughter*). When you see your shepherd or minister, and you feel he’s not behaving properly, don’t talk about him or you will be in bad trouble, even if he’s wrong. Talk to him. Go to him. If he doesn’t respond to you, remember that he is over you, but there is a Chief Shepherd over him. Now here’s the sneaky part. You go and talk to him, and he doesn’t respond – he gives you that, “Who do you think you are?” Back off, but don’t go away and shoot off your face, or you will be in trouble. I am warning you! Bypass him, and talk to his Boss. Have a word with the Lord Jesus. The pastor will then come into his study Monday morning, and the Lord will be waiting for him. He will say, “Reverend Jones! I would like to have a word with you about Brother So-and-so.” “Lord! How did you hear about Brother So-and-so?” “That’s alright I just heard.” (*laughter*). You might say, “How, do you know that?” Well, I was a pastor of a church for 25 years, and the Lord and I had many Monday morning conferences. Someone had sneaked to the Boss! (*laughter*).
Remember that if the ministry goes wrong, then people do not have the right to democratic action. That is not your right. Your right is to come to God to deal with the ministry. This is where the people blundered. Instead of coming to Samuel the prophet and saying, “Samuel, you are God’s representative. God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners in time past spoke unto our fathers by the prophets – you are the prophet speaking to us. Now, what will we do about your sons?” They didn’t do that. They came and said, “Samuel you’re an old man.” That was kind of nasty in the first place. (*laughter*). I am reaching the point where I am a bit sensitive about this. I think they could have done it a bit nicer. (*laughter*). They could have said, “Samuel you are an old man, and your sons aren’t behaving. We beseech you – seek God for a solution.” But they didn’t, and they took democratic action. They said, “You appoint a king for us like the rest of the nations.” Now look at verse 6:
“But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord and the Lord said, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them.’”
Now in rejecting Samuel they had rejected God. Let me stop here to say this (and here I am yielding to temptation in case you are not here one night), God is restoring spiritual authority across the earth, as against democratic ecclesiastically appointed authority.
God is restoring spiritual authority. Men are rising up across the earth with a dimension of delegated authority imparted to them by the Sovereign Christ of apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic and shepherding power and anointing that is unmistakable, for God is bringing in His Kingdom, which is not a kingdom run by democratic appointments, but run by King Jesus who is Lord of all .
Verse 8: “Like all the deeds, which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt, even to this day, and they have forsaken me and served other gods, so they are doing to you also. Now then listen to their voice. However, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who shall reign over them.”
Now, I am not going to read all of this, but I want to give you the main points. You must learn some things folks. I sat here tonight marvelling at the youth content in this conference . This is marvellous. Nothing thrills like this. I have got nothing against you old folks. (*laughter*). We have got to stick together or we will get voted right out of existence. But it is my firm personal conviction that it is this generation of young people that are going to go into the land. And if you see an old Caleb jogging alongside just say, “Hi Ern,” because that’s me . (*laughter*). Many people today are terribly upset with the church. They say, “The church doesn’t do this, and the church does that, and the church this, and the church wants money.” All right, that is the way people wanted it. God said;
“Give them their kind of king, Samuel but tell them (v11) he will take, (v12) and he will appoint, (v13) he will also take, (v14) and he will take, (v15) he will also take, (v16) he will also take, (v17) he will take.”
This guy is going to be a taker!
I don’t want that fellow running me! I can get a far better deal from God – God is a giver! Hallelujah. Right there is something that you need to learn. Thousands and thousands of people have got so fed up with horizontal democratic Christianity because all it ever did was take. I have been 43 years in the ministry, and if you were to ask me what was the one cavilling criticism of the public against the Church it is this: “they are always raising money; they are always holding bazaars; they are always broke, and they are always taking!” Take – take – take! Hallelujah, we have got a new regime and it is give – give – give! He is giving good gifts unto men! Our King doesn’t need to take – He gives! You want that other kind? You stay with the taker – I am all for the giver!
Look at verse 18: “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king.” Whose king? Your king. Beware you king-makers. Your king will fleece you. Isn’t the Bible marvellous? You read a text, and you say that you have seen that happen so often. “Because of your king who you have chosen for yourself, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” Tuck that away – put it on the back burner. Let it simmer. We will use it about Wednesday night. (*laughter*). Remember, the Lord will not answer you in that day. You see there is joy in this whole thing. Balance – we will address this when we come to the army, but people say I don’t like this laughter and so on. What’s wrong with it? When God redeemed me, He redeemed me; He redeemed my “laugher.” Fortunately, He also redeemed my “crier,” and my “hand-clapper,” and my “jumper-up-and-downer.” But He also redeemed my moral consciousness. There is nothing wrong with me laughing, if I am a man who is sober in my thinking. I can still be sober and the happiest man in the world. Jesus was the most sober, sound thinker that ever lived, and the Bible says, “that God anointed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows.” It is the balance. If you are silly and superficial and frivolous – that is out. If you are sober and dour and pessimistic – that’s out. But if you can get them together in delightful combination then you will fly with both wings.
I want you to see ourselves mirrored here because what is being said of corporate Israel in that day, could and can be said of us today, and may be said to our eternal distress. Ladies and gentlemen, if there was ever an hour in Church history when we are in crisis, it is now. And you had better be ready to know which way to turn when the time comes to turn. Because turning-time is coming ! Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel – God’s delegated authority. Do you notice something? They said, “Samuel! Give us a king.” What did they go to Samuel for? Why didn’t they go right to God? Who’s still running things? Samuel. Samuel said, “Lord they want a king.” The Lord said, “Samuel, tell them they can have a king.” “God says you can have a king. But He told me to tell you that he would take and take and take.” “We still want him.” They still want him. Who’s still running things on the earth’s side? God isn’t talking to any of those guys – He is still talking to Samuel! And the amazing thing all the way through is that God all the time talks to Samuel. They think they got a king and the whole thing, but they are still coming through Samuel. There is a humour in this. Someone says, “We’re running everything!” Oh really? Not really. (*laughter*).
“The people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel and said, ‘No but there shall be a king over us that we may be like all the nations and that our king may judge us and go before us and fight our battles.’ Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.’ So Samuel said to the men of Israel, ‘go every man to his city.’” Chapter 9; “Now there was a man, a Benjamin whose name was Kish, son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah.”
I don’t know why they didn’t call them Bill and Jim back then, but there you are. (*laughter*). I think they gave them names to embarrass preachers.
Verse 2: “And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome man than he among the sons of Israel. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.”
Now the Bible is very careful to repeat this description of Saul who was the people’s choice. Remember that he was the people’s choice. And the significant qualification of the people’s choice is that he was head and shoulders above all Israel. He was handsome – he was a handsome hunk of flesh! This is another one that you have got to tuck away because the contrast comes later. But God said, “Give them the king they want.” Remember that verse in the Psalms – “God gave them the desires of their heart, but sent leanness into their soul.” Did you know that God may answer your prayer? Think about that – He just may answer. I thank God tonight for all the prayers that God has not answered. What is prayer? The soul’s sincere desire uttered or unexpressed. God has graciously not answered many of my prayers. He has answered some I wished He hadn’t. Sometimes for our discipline, He will answer a prayer. “God give me a Rolls Royce,” and you get it, and when you get it, you wished that you didn’t get it, because something else comes along. When you pray be sure you have really screened that prayer because it may be answered.
Now Saul was a Head and Shoulders man – that’s what the people wanted. A king like the nations. Someone they could point to and say “My dad can beat up on your dad.” I remember when I was a little boy in Canada and my dad was six foot one, and I would go to school and say, “My dad can beat your dad.” This is exactly what they wanted. They wanted a human, fleshly king, like the other kings, so they could boast in the flesh. They didn’t want to trust in God who they couldn’t see, and have to tell the other nations that “our king is up there.” Somewhere. “What does your king wear?” “Well, He wraps Himself in a cloud and rides on a thunderbolt.” “Oh, yeah!” (*laughter*). All down through the Christian centuries the thing that the Church has given into again and again is sensuous sense things that they can see and display, including our education. We want the world to know that we are not dumb. I am Reverend W. J. E. Baxter BA. MA. BTH. BSC. PHD. (*laughter*) Have you ever noticed in our evangelical magazines that they are very careful to put down at the foot that so-and-so graduated from so-and-so and did postgraduate in such a place. What’s this all about? Can you see John the Baptist coming out of a cave in the wilderness wiping down his degree? (*laughter*) Someone said, “There you go you fundamentalist, evangelical, charismatic, obscurantist – you’re against education!” No, I am not against education. I have lived in university cities all my life. But I have noticed one thing – if a man was going into the realm of academics, if he had a PhD. and walked into any assembly, if he had sense at all, he wouldn’t wear a doctorate gown because he knew it wouldn’t do a thing in the realm of the Spirit. When he walked in, he sat beside Joe the garbage collector, and he sang praises to God.
I am not against academics. If you are going into academics, you be the best academic student you can be. Whatever field. But don’t think that qualifies you to come into the realm of the Spirit, because when you come in, you don’t get that by education – you can’t buy it with money. It is the gift of the Spirit, and when you come together, the Bible says, “How is it then brethren, when you come together, every one of you hath a Psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation – let all things be done, let all things be done unto edifying.” It’s the only way I can quote 1 Corinthians 14:25. (*laughter and applause*) Do you know why we are having such a time today in this whole revival? I won’t say much, but I go back to America Friday, and I go back because I have to meet with a group of leaders in one of the most significant confrontations. It is very significant. The whole Christian community has reached a point of confrontation where what God is doing has now threatened the whole Head and Shoulders ecclesiastical structure. I sense it in my spirit, as I am saying it to you. On the 9th – that’s Saturday – if you would please be in prayer – because we will be in a very significant conference in America. The Church has wanted its Head and Shoulders man. A head in the Bible stands for human wisdom, and shoulders stand for human strength. Isn’t it interesting how blind we are? When we go back to our beginnings and to our Lord, God of very God – Man of very man, it was said of Him, “How can this Man speak the way He does, not knowing letters?” He didn’t even carry a decent ordination certificate. And He chose as His twelve companions – who would become the foundation stones for the Church of all time – men who were illiterate Galilean bumpkins, who when they spoke gave away their illiteracy by their language, of whom it was said, “These be ignorant and unlearned men.” All of this done that the earthen vessels should not be glorified, but the treasure should be the thing that is seen.
Now remember, what we are talking about here are not the Hittites, the Hivvites, the Jebbusites, the Ammorites or all the other parasites. (*laughter*) These were the Israelites. Saul was not king of the Hivvites; he was king of the Israelites. Now please keep that in mind. We are not talking about world, but the community that claims Jehovah as their God, and Saul was a Head and Shoulders king because “the people of God wanted it” that way. They wanted a man with brains, and a man with brawn, who could fight their battles for them, a Head and Shoulders man. God is not a Head and Shoulders man. God has never run His Kingdom with Head and Shoulders men and He never will. I know I am supposed to stop, but if I could have three or four minutes I just want to make one or two final points. There is something about God and His people that at times will look like He is vacillating and compromising and making concessions, but it is not really that. It is God giving you a chance to see how stupid you are. You know what He did with Saul? Verse 15, He was still dealing with Samuel.
“Now a day before Saul’s coming the Lord revealed this to Samuel saying, ‘about this time tomorrow I will send you a man.’”
This is the one who is going to rule. He said, “Samuel – give them their king, and I will give him every chance.” Look what He did – let’s move over to verse 1 of chapter 10:
“Then Samuel took the flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head, kissed him and said, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?’”
Now look – this is not God’s choice! God is anointing the people’s choice to give them a chance. They will not be able to say, “OK, God we picked that fellow, but you withheld everything – no wonder he couldn’t make it!” God said, “OK– it is your choice and I will give him every chance to make it.” Now look, drop down to verse 6:
“Samuel said, ‘Then the Spirit of the Lord shall come upon you mightily and you shall prophesy with him and be changed into another man.’” (v8) “And you shall go down before me to Gilgal, and behold I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you.”
Put that away on the back burner too because we will come to that.
Verse 9: “Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel.”
Look what God did for Saul.
“God changed his heart and all those signs came about that had been prophesied.”
God gave him signs.
Verse 10: “When they came to the hill there behold a group of prophets met him and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily and he prophesied.”
Saul was a Charismatic! He was a Head and Shoulders charismatic! Did you hear me? He was a Head and Shoulders charismatic! I am not being derogatory about the Charismatics. I am trying to say to you ladies and gentlemen – please don’t miss the purpose of this visitation. Saul had a new heart. Saul had signs. Saul prophesied. Saul was a mighty man of valour. Saul was the King of Israel – not the Hittites or the Hivvites. Saul had all the charismatic equipment, but he was a Head and Shoulders man.
Verse 17: “Thereafter Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah, and he said to the sons of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord the God of Israel, I brought Israel up from Egypt and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’
Now notice this – in the midst of all He had done for Saul,
‘But you today rejected your God who delivered you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you said,’ ‘No, but set a king over us.’ ‘Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.’”
They eventually found Saul hiding in the baggage. Look at verse 23:
“So they ran and found him, and when he stood among the people he was taller than all the people from his shoulders upward.”
Isn’t it interesting how the Holy Spirit wants to underscore that? Now verse 24:
“And Samuel said to all the people, ‘do you see him who the Lord has chosen?’”
You say, “Oh now come on Baxter, you are getting us all confused. You said the people chose him, now you are saying the Lord chose him!” I didn’t say the Lord chose him – the Bible said, “The Lord chose him!” The Bible also said, “The people chose him!” Someone might say, “The Lord sent the 12 spies into the land.” No, the Lord didn’t send the 12 spies into the land – Moses did. But the Bible says, “The Lord sent them.” The Lord sent them when the people sent them. This is God coming down to the level of man’s choice and saying, “All right if that’s the way you want it – I will go with you. But remember, I warned you. I didn’t tell you to send spies into the land. Right from the beginning, I told you that it was a good land flowing with milk and honey and I told you to go in and possess it. I didn’t tell you to go in and look it over! If you are going to go in, then ok – send the spies.” He permitted them – He didn’t direct them. He chose Saul permissively not directively. We will see that as we go on.
“Samuel said, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? Surely there is none like him among all the people.’”
Saul is a people man, a Head and Shoulders people man.
Initially posted on Sat, January 23, 2010 by George Kouri