SONGS FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
- THE MISSED MESSAGE OF THE
CHARISMATIC RENEWAL - PART TWO
From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous (Isaiah 24:16)
In the first part of this study we discovered that in the 1960s/70s the Lord was calling people back to faith in the King James Bible, his Word in English which is, of course, the universal end time language.
The means God used for this purpose were undoubtedly the Scripture in Song Bible verses set to music. Hearing these songs convinced millions around the world that God was real, the Bible they had grown up with was truth and that Christ was not only the Lord of the Old Testament but the Lord and Saviour of the New.
The second message from God that was missed in the Charismatic Move was that Scripture in Song clearly taught that God’s infallible words taken straight from the King James Bible were sufficient in themselves to bring people to real experience of God when they were taken literally and believed.
Fact is none of the supposed miracles, the ‘falling under the power’, tricky altar calls, laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, pseudo prophecies and other dubious spiritual occurrences which followed were necessary to bring people to Christ. Indeed, seen in retrospect such phenomena were mere the later added ‘froth and bubble’ derived from a dubious American Pentecostalist intrusion. They actually saved no-one.
In the start of the Charismatic Movement, however, the very words of God quoted straight from the Bible and set to heart-moving music were enough on their own to bring people to an awareness that God was true. They were a witness within the heart that Christ was real and thus led them to salvation. The songs created awareness, indeed an awakening because they were truly scriptural too.
In the Bible such awareness is called quickening. It is the means God brought in to save men after He set Israel aside at the end of the Acts period. You see, in setting Israel aside and instead ‘sending salvation to the Gentiles’ (Acts 28:28) God ended the whole Pentecostal administration of repentance and water baptism, signs and wonders, public miracle healings, speaking in tongues, baptism with the Holy Ghost.
All such spiritual demonstrations ceased just as the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:8-11) prophesied they would. They were, he said, ‘childish things’ at best experienced only ‘in part’. Seen then ‘through a glass darkly’, they were done away with when that which was ‘perfect’ came.
It’s important to see that that which is ‘perfect’ only came in after Israel’s setting aside and the end of the Pentecostal programme of salvation. Indeed, the ‘perfect’ is introduced by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians in the form of the quickening. Thus, in Eph. 2: 1 and 5 we are told:
You hath He (the Father) quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins … and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
And in verses 5 and 8 the Apostle Paul defines this quickening process as being saved by grace and goes in verse 10 to explain that as a result ‘ we are His (i.e. the Father’s) workmanship’. And, of course, the Father’s workmanship is perfect. How could it not be? Which is why in Col. 1:28 Paul the Apostle of grace says that his ministry in preaching to every man was to ‘present every man perfect in Christ Jesus…’
Thus from 64AD until now the only means by which Father God will save men is by quickening them with his very own Spirit. That is to say, that for nearly the last 2,000 years, and still now, it is only by the Father powerfully bringing his own Spirit and life to bear in every person’s heart that anyone can be saved.
The proof verses for this are found in Eph.1:1 and 4-5:
And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved).
Notice that the ‘Holy Ghost’, the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus, which had been so active in the Pentecostal Acts period, is not mentioned in these verses at all. Why? Because the witness of miracles done by the Holy Ghost had ceased with the setting aside of Israel.
Thus when salvation was sent to Gentiles in all the world (Col. 1:5-6) it was another Spirit, the Spirit of the Father’s grace, by which people were quickened and saved. In scripture this Spirit of the Father is called the ‘one Spirit’ (Eph. 2:18) or ‘his Spirit’ (Eph. 3:16), teaching clearly that it is by the Spirit of the Father that people are now saved.
Why is this Spirit called the ‘one Spirit’, you ask? It is because when Christ died for our sin not only his body but his spirit and soul died too. According to Eph. 1:19-21 God the Father, who is a Spirit and ‘the Father of spirits’, used ‘the exceeding greatness of his power’ to raise Christ from the dead.
To explain further, just before his death on the cross the Lord Jesus Christ commended his spirit into the hands of the Father. Then He died and ‘gave up the ghost’, scripture says. Meaning that his spirit died just as in each one of us the spirit dies at our death because of sin. Remember Jesus was made sin for us though He knew no sin. And being made sin meant that He had to die because of sin just as we do. But that is not the end of the story for either the Lord or for us.
Indeed death, the state of being dead from trespasses and sins, is only the start of the story of being saved by grace. This is why Eph. 2:5 is at pains to explain that is when ‘we were dead in trespasses and sins’ (as Christ Himself was as a result of his death for sin at Calvary) that God ‘quickened us together with Christ’. And this, the verse says, is how we are saved by grace.
Now, we already know from Eph. 1:19-20 that it was the Father who quickened Christ. You see, when the Father made Christ alive again He did so by imparting his own spirit and life to the One who died for our sin.
The stunning new truth now revealed to and through the Apostle Paul in Eph. 2:5 is that at the same time the Father also quickened all who were dead in trespasses along with Christ. And folks, since we have all sinned, that means that everybody on the face earth from Paul’s day until now and ongoing has been quickened (that is made alive unto God) by the Father, whether they know it or not.
So then the ‘one Spirit’ is the conjoined Spirit of the Father and the Son. Their spirits were made one when Father God raised his Son from the dead. Or, if you will, the new Spirit which Christ received when He was quickened was that of the Father. What a loving Father to pour out his own Spirit, his own life, in a tremendous exertion to bring his Son back from the dead.
And what a loving Father He is to have quickened the whole human race with Christ when He raised Him from the dead and by quickening us joined our spirit to the ‘one Spirit’ of the Father and the Son. And here’s the most exciting truth today for those who will believe it. Not only has God quickened everybody, He Also wants everybody to know it in a spiritually tangible way that can be really felt in their hearts. That is why in Eph. 1:17-19 the Apostle Paul prays that:
The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (i.e. the Father) … that ye may know … the exceeding greatness of his power , which He wrought when He raised from the dead and set Him at his own right hand in heavenly places …
It is by being quickened by this Spirit of the Father we are brought to know that God is true and thus saved. And it is by receiving the Spirit of revelation in the knowledge of the Father that we are assured of salvation and lifted up with Christ into the highest heavens (Eph. 2:6).
And folks, it is just this same Spirit of the Father that was the power behind the worldwide impact of the Charismatic Movement in its early days. To put it plainly, neither the Holy Ghost nor the supposed person of the ‘Holy Spirit’ play any role at all in the saving of people in the grace and mystery dispensation. But the quickening by the Spirit of the Father most definitely does. In fact it is really how we are saved by grace to this day.
What’s more, as you will have guessed by now, it was the Spirit of the Father, or the one Spirit, that was the inspiration behind the early Scripture in Song melodies featuring, as you would expect, the words of the Father Himself. Just how and why this is true and what further message it had for believers, will be addressed in the next part of this study.
To be continued.