[1]
Who's Who in this Apostate Age By IAN R. K. PAISLEY

THE FUNDAMENTALIST

The following definition of a Fundamentalist was adopted by the First World Congress of Fundamentalists, meeting at Edinburgh, Scotland, from June 15th-22nd, 1976.

A FUNDAMENTALIST IS A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER IN THE LORD JESUS WHO

1. Maintains an immovable allegiance to the inerrant, infallible, and verbally inspired Bible;
2. Believes that whatever the Bible says, is so;
3. Judges all things by the Bible and is judged only by the Bible;
4. Affirms the foundational truths of the Historic Christian Faith:

The doctrine of the Trinity
The incarnation, virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven and Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ
The new birth through regeneration of the Holy Spirit
The resurrection of the saints to life eternal
The resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death
The fellowship of the saints., who are the body of Christ;

5. Practices fidelity to that Faith and endeavours to preach it to every creature;

Continued P. 4

[2]
Spurgeon's Prophecy - "That they all might he one"

These words of the Saviour have been perverted to the doing of a world of mischief. Ecclesiastics have fallen asleep which, indeed, is their ordinary condition; and while asleep they have dreamed a dream, - a dream founded upon the letter of the Saviour's words, of which they discern not the spiritual sense. They have proved in their own case, as has been proved in thousands of others, that the letter killeth, and only the spirit giveth life. Falling asleep I say, these ecclesiastics have dreamed of a great confederation, presided over by a number of ministers, these again governed by superior officers, and these again by others, and these topped at lost by a supreme visible head who must be either a person or a council: this great confederacy containing within itself kingdoms and nations, and becoming so powerful as to work upon states, to influence politics, to guide councils, and even to gather together and to move armies. True, the shadow of the Saviour's teaching, "My kingdom is not of this world," must have caused an occasional nightmare in the midst of their dream, but they dreamed on; and what is worse, they turned the dream into a reality, and the time was when the professed followers of Christ were all one, when looking north, south, east, west, from the centre at the Vatican, one united body covered all Europe. And what was the result? Did the world believe that God had sent Christ? The world believed the very opposite. The world was persuaded that God had nothing to do with that great crushing, tyrannous, superstitious, ignorant thing which called itself Christianity; and thinking men become infidels, and it was the hardest thing possible to find a genuine intelligent believer north, south, east or west. All professors were one, but the world believed not; the fact being that this was not the unity which Jesus had so much as thought of - it was never His intention to set up a great united body to be called a Church which should domineer and lord everywhere over the souls of men, and comprehend within its ranks, kings, princes and statesmen who might be worldly, ungodly, hateful, sensual, devilish. It was never Christ's design to set up a conscience crushing engine of uniformity; and so the great man-devised machine when it was brought to perfection, and set to work with the greatest possible vigour, instead of working out that the world should believe that the Father had sent Christ, wrought out just this, that the world did not believe anything at all, but become infidel, licentious, and rotten at the core, and the system had to be abated as a common nuisance, and something better brought into the world to restore morality. Yet people that dream still: even good people do so. The Puritans, after they had been hunted and holed to prison in this country, fled to New England, and no sooner had they seated themselves upon the shore than they began to say, "We must all be one there must be no schism;" and the big whip was brought out for the Quaker's back, and the manacles for the Baptist's bleeding wrists, because these men, somehow or other, would not be one after this kind of fashion, but would think for themselves and obey God rather than man. Nowadays Dr. Pusey dreams that the Anglican and the Russian Church may be united, and then perhaps the Romish may chime in; and so once more all may be one. A mere dream! A mere chimera of a kindly but whimsied brain! If it should ever come to be a rea1ity it would prove to be a upas tree, at the roots of which every honest man must at once lay his axe. [3]

Hollow Unity By C. H. Spurgeon - 1887

There are now two parties in the religious world. The party everywhere apparent has a faith fashioned for the present century - perhaps we ought rather to say, for the present month. The 16th century Gospel it derides, and that, indeed, of every period, except the present most enlightened era. It will have no creed, because it can have none; it is continually on the move; it is not what it was yesterday, and it will not be tomorrow what it is today. Its shout is for "Liberty," its delight is invention, its element is change. On the other hand, there still survive, amid the blaze of 19th century light, a few whom these superior persons call "Fossils," that is to say, there are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who consider that the true Gospel is no new gospel, but is the same yesterday, today and forever. These do not believe in "Advanced views," but judge that the view of truth which saved a soul in the second century will save a soul now, and that a form of teaching which was unknown till the last few years is of very dubious value, and is, in all probability, "Another gospel" which is not another.

It is extremely difficult for these two parties to abide in union. The old fable of the collier who went home to dwell with the fuller is nothing to it. - How can his friend deal with him since he changes with the moon? If, after long balancing of words, the two parties could construct a basis of agreement, it would, in the nature of things, last only for a season, since the position of the advancing party would put the whole settlement out of order in a few weeks. One could hardly invent a sliding scale in theology, as Sir Robert Peel did in corn duties.

Nor is it merely doctrinal belief - there is an essential difference in spirit between the old believer and the man of new and advancing views. This is painfully perceived by the Christian man before very long. Even if he be fortunate enough to escape the sneers of the cultured, and the jests of the philosophical, he will find his deepest convictions questioned, and his brightest beliefs misrepresented by those who dub themselves "Thoughtful men." When a text from the Word has been particularly precious to his heart, he will hear its authenticity impugned, the translation disputed, or its Gospel reference denied. He will not travel far on a dark continent of modern thought before he will find the efficacy of prayer debated, the operation of Divine Providence questioned, and the special love of God denied. He will find himself a stranger in a strange land when he begins to speak of his experience, and of the ways of God to man. In all probability, if he be faithful to the old faith, he will be alien to his mother's children, and find that his soul is among lions. To what end therefore, are these straining after a hollow unity, when the spirit of fellowship is altogether gone? At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God, is not alone our liberty, but our duty. [4]

Who's Who in this Apostate Age

6. Exposes and separates from all ecclesiastical denial of that Faith, compromise with error, and apostasy from the Truth; and
7. Earnestly contends for the Faith once delivered.

Therefore, Fundamentalism is militant orthodoxy set on fire with soul-winning zeal. While Fundamentalists may differ on certain interpretations of Scripture, we join in unity of heart and common purpose for the defence of the Faith and the preaching of the Gospel, without compromise or division.

Unless a man holds and defends the Faith of Scripture and is concerned for the salvation of the lost, he is not a true Fundamentalist.

OUR ENEMIES THEMSELVES BEING WITNESSES

Kirsop Lake an eminent New Testament scholar and a professor at the University of Chicago, wrote in his book, "The Religion of Yesterday and Tomorrow" (Boston; Houghton, 1926) at page 61 :-

"It is a mistake often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology, to suppose that fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind; it is the partial and uneducated survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians. How many were there, for instance, in Christian churches in the 18th century who doubted the infallible inspiraton of all Scripture? A few, perhaps, but very few. No, the fundamentalist may be wrong; I think that he is. But it is we who have departed from the tradition, not he, and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a fundamentalist on the basis of authority. The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the Church is on the fundamentalist side."

A MODERNIST

A modernist is one who rejects the Historic Christian Faith for which the Fundamentalist contends.

He repudiates the Verbal inspiration of the Bible rejecting it as the Word of God, the Only Infallible Rule of Faith and Practice.

He totally and blasphemously scorns the miraculous in the Word of God Written, the Scriptures, and the supernatural in the Word of God Incarnate, the Saviour, especially rejecting Christ's Virgin Birth and Vicarious Blood.

His gospel, which is in reality "another gospel," trumpets forth the twin errors of the Universal Fatherhood of God and the Common Brotherhood of Mon. The Modernist lays special emphasis on what he is pleased to call the social gospel best described as trying to get the prodigal a better job in the far country than getting him home to the Father's house.

The Modernist has gone through the Bible and says there is no infallibility there, through the Christ and says there is no God there, through the Cross and says there is no atonement there, [5] through the Gospel and says there is no salvation there, through hell and says there is no fire there, through heaven and says there is no gold there. He leaves the world without a prayer answering God to believe in, a wonderful Saviour to rest in, a Blessed Holy Spirit to trust in and an infallible Bible to read in!

He is an ecclesiastical "will-'o-the-wisp" leading men in darkness into the quagmire of damnation.

THE EVANGELICAL

Originally this term, which comes from the Greek word for gospel, euaggel on, meant, according to the gospel.

It used to be synonymous theologically with fundamentalist. In Europe, it was the most common term adapted by those who took the fundamentalist posit on against the encroachments and deceptions of modernism.

However with the deepening of the apostasy in the passing of the 20th century the terms are no longer synonymous The majority of evangelicals today repudiate both fundamentalism and fundamentalists.

The name "evangelical" has become an umbrella covering a multitude of religious bodies and a multitude of religious people. Even the Church of Rome and the very Pope himself lays claim to the title. Those evangelicals who still hold to the fundamentals and yet reject the term fundamentalist are not militant in their defence of the Faith nor strong in the denunciation of apostasy. They do not practise ecclesiastical separation nor are they aggressive in their evangelism.

The name therefore no longer identifies a specific religious position and has lost the reproach which was once attached to it.

This has lead certain evangelicals to seek a clarification of the word in order to establish such an identity. Hence the use of the terms Old School Evangelical and New Evangelical.

. . . e.g. - Principal John Macleod of the Free Church College, Edinburgh, in his classic "Scottish Theology," called himself an Old School Evangelical (theologically identical with fundamentalist) while the American leader Dr. Harold Ockenga coined the term Neo (new) Evangelical and become the father of the New Evangelicals.

THE ORTHODOX AND THE HETERODOX

Both these terms do not occur in the Bible. They are derived from Greek words, "orthos" = right and "doza" = opinion or doctrine; and "heteros" = other and "dozo" = opinion or doctrine.

Amongst Protestants the term "orthodox" has been historically used to identify those who hold to the doctrines of the great historic Creeds of the Church in other words the fundamentals and the term "heterodox" to identify those who have departed from the path of orthodoxy.

e.g. - In Northern Ireland during the Trinitarian/Unitarian controversy of the 19th century amongst Presbyterians, the champion of the Trinitarian cause Dr. Henry Cooke published a paper which he called "The Orthodox Presbyterian." Similarly in the USA a section of the seceding Presbyterians under the leadership of Dr. Gresham Machem, founded "The Orthodox Presbyterian Church." [6]

Amongst Catholics the name is used in a denominational way. The Eastern or Greek Church adopting , the term Orthodox in its various branches. Its self-applied title is "The Holy Orthodox Apostolic Church" while the Western or Latin (Roman Catholic) Church calls itself "The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."

THE NEO (NEW) ORTHODOX

The Neo Orthodox reacts to modernism and embraces what has been called the "Crisis Theology of Barth and Brunner."


The Neo Orthodox does not return to the old orthodoxy of accepting the Bible as the Infallible Word of God historically and doctrinally true but emphasises a subjective authority of the Bible which to the Neo Orthodox only becomes the Word of God as and when it speaks to him.

The Neo Orthodox uses fundamentalist terminology for beliefs entirely different from the accepted definition of such beliefs in the evangelical and historical sense. For example the Neo Orthodox will talk about all men being lost. He does not mean however that all men are lost in sin. He exclaims, "All men are lost in God!" The Neo Orthodox accepts the so called higher critical conclusions of modernism with respect to the inerrancy of the Bible.

THE NEW EVANGELICAL

The name was coined by Dr. Harold Ockenga. He records it himself in his Foreword to Harold Lindselis book, "The Battle for the Bible."

"Neo-evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals. The name caught on and spokesmen such as Drs. Harold Lindsell, Carl F. H. Henry, Edward Cornell, and Gleason Archer supported this viewpoint. We had no intention of launching a movement, but found that the emphasis attracted widespread support and exercised great influence. Neo-evangelicalism differed from modernism in its acceptance of the supernatural and its emphasis on the fundamental doctrines of Scripture. It differed from neo-orthodoxy in its emphasis upon the written Word as inerrant, over against the Word of God which was above and different from the Scripture, but was manifested in Scripture. It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life.

"Neo-evangelicals emphasized the restatement of Christian theology in accordance with the need of the times, the re-engagement in the theological debate, the recapture of denominational leadership, and the re-examination of theological problems such as the antiquity of man, the universality of the Flood, God's method of creation, and others."

Since the birth of the new evangelicals their downgrade has become apparent. The new evangelical is given to dialogue. To Him truth is debatable. (To the [7] fundamentalist it is not debatable it is rather, divinely revealed and final).

The new evangelical is ecumenically minded. He will receive all who profess to be Christiains as Christians. He is not strong on the inerrancy of Holy Scripture and may even reject it altogether. He is not sure about the direct creation but will adopt views which he calls either "theistic evolution," "threshold evolution" or "progressive creation."

One thing he is against and that is the plain scriptural doctrine of ecclesiastical separation. Spurgeon in his day had to fight with the forefathers of the new evangelicals.

In the December issue of his "Sword and Trowel" in the year 1887, he states:

"The barefaced manner in which certain persons assert that to separate from men who hold vital errors is contrary to the mind of Christ, would be amusing if it were not saddening. They write as if such a Book as the New Testament were not in existence: they evidently decide what the mind of Christ ought to be, without reference to such poor creatures as the apostles. As for us, we think more of Paul and John than of the whole body of modern thinkers. What saith the Scriptures? "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.' (II John 10, 11). "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.' (Galatians 1 :8, 9). The spirit of Scripture is one, and therefore we may be sure that decision for truth, and separation from the erring, are in full consistency with the charity of I Corinthians 13, to which we are so continually pointed. It is true charity to those who err to refuse to aid and abet them in their errors. 'Charity' sounds very prettily in the mouths of those who wish to screen themselves, but if they had exercised it in the past, they might not have driven us out from among the people, to whom we naturally belong."

The New Evangelical was begotten in disobedience, brought forth in compromise, nurtured on Intellectual pride, grew up on appeasement of evil and is destined for the judgment of Almighty God. He stands indicted and condemned by the Word of God which he so blatantly rejects.

In his recent book, "The Battle for the Bible" Dr. Lindsell exposes the many new evangelicals who now openly reject the Inerrancy of Holy Scripture. ("The Battle for the Bible" by Harold Lindsell published by Zondervan).

THE APOSTATE

The word "apostasy" is derived from a Greek word "apostasis" = "a falling away." The apostate is one who has professed the faith once for all delivered to the saints and has openly departed, fallen away, from it. He is described in I Timothy 4:1-3. The Apostate cannot be saved. There is no salvation for him only judgment. He is not to be prayed for. God's curse is upon him. Examples of Apostates and their end shine as warning beacons all through the Bible. Cain, Esau, Korah, Dothan and Abiram, Boalam and of course Judas Iscariot were apostates.

The following Scriptures are important [8] in this connection. I Tim. 4:1-6; II Tim. 3:1-9; Hebrews 10:26-29; Jude vs. 4-7 and 11 ; I Tim. 6:3-5.

THE HERETIC

This name is derived from the Greek word "hairesis" = "a choice." The heretic therefore is one who has pursued his own choice or course of action as against a plainly revealed truth of God. He has not like the apostate repudiated the Historic Christian Faith but has embraced erroneous views on certain matters.

He is not to be treated as an apostate but is to be prayed for and admonished. However if he receives not admonishment, after the second attempt to recover him from his error he is to be rejected. "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonish reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth being condemned himself." Titus 3: 10 and 11.

NB - Heresy can originate through ignorance see Acts 19: 1-6; or through direct Satanic deception, II Tim. 2:25 and 26.

THE PSEUDO-FUNDAMENTALIST

Recently a new group has emerged taking a stand somewhere between the Fundamentalists and the New Evangelicals. Dr. Bob Jones, Chancellor of Bob Jones University and Chairman of the World Congress of Fundamentalists has defined this new breed in sheep's clothing thus:-

"At the end of the 15th century there was a painter in Florence by the name of Pier Francesco Fiorentino. A large number of works were attributed to him until modern art scholarship and research discovered that many of these paintings were not by Fiorentino at all, but rather by somebody who pointed in his style. Since the name of this artist is not known, these works are attributed to the 'Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino' whose work is like Fiorentino's but not the genuine article. I suggest that art historians have handled this problem of attribution very well indeed, and I think we might learn something from them when it comes to labelling those who, claiming the name of Fundamentalists, are not the genuine article.

A genuine Fundamentalist is a man who does four things:

"First, he believes the Bible - accepts it without question as the divinely, verbally inspired, authoritative, and inerrant Word of God.

"Second, he defends the Word of God without equivocation, hesitation, or apology. He does battle for the Faith.

"In the third place, a Fundamentalist declares the whole counsel of God. He does not say with Billy Graham, 'God has called me only to preach the gospel.' He recognizes the fact that the some Book that says, 'preach the gospel,' says 'Preach the word . . . reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.'

"Fourth, a Fundamentalist obeys the Scriptures, seeking in every point to confirm not only by his way of life but also by his own alliances, affiliations, and connections, his belief in the inerrancy of the Word of God.

"Let us now look at the Pseudo-fundamentalist.

First he claims to be a Fundamentalist, seeks to associate - though not exclusively - with Fundamentalist and to use them in his self-promotion.

"II. In the second place the Pseudo-fundamentalist is so dominated by his desire for bigness that he has [9] persuaded himself, possibly without realising it, that the end justifies the means and that bigness must be achieved, he arbitrarily decides how many people must be baptised annually and tells young preachers they are failures if they do not meet the figure. If he is a TV preacher, he stresses the number of television stations on which he appears rather than the content of his preaching and the quality of his ministry which he presents on the programmes. If he is the founder of an institution, he boosts that it will have 50,000 students in a few years, and all that sort of thing. As a result, he is involved in questionable promotions of one type or another and strives by carnal means to achieve what a true Fundamentalist is willing to leave by faith in the hands of the Lord. He does not hesitate to use cheap, worldly music if he thinks it will attract a crowd. He brings to his platform or before the television cameras, men whom he thinks will attract listeners and bring the people in even if such men are not themselves true to the Word of God and an example unto the believers.

"III. The Pseudo-fundamentalist, possibly because of his desire to see something big and seemingly successful, cannot distinguish between apostasy and revival. Such a man appeared recently at the annual meeting of a fundamental Baptist fellowship. A large part of his address was given to proclaiming that America is experiencing a revival. He offered as proof of this the fact that, according to a Gallup poll, some 35 per cent of Americans claim to be born again. One thing is dead sure: it is a figure impossible to arrive at and does not mean anything at all. Thousands of people today who use the expression 'born again' know nothing about the biblical meaning of the term and have never experienced the transformed life that follows the new birth. All Roman Catholics believe or are taught to believe that they are born again through baptism. Episcopalians who accept the Nicene Creed believe practically the same thing - so do many Lutherans and members of the other groups who emphasise the sacraments and believe that baptism produces regeneration.

"The Bible emphasises the fact that the way to salvation is narrow and the gate is strait, and 'few there be that find it.' There has never been a notion that was in fact, a truly Christian not on or even one in which a majority of its people had had an experience of salvation and the regenerating grace of God. One thing is certain - we will not find that God revives an apostate nation. The denominations of our country are all apostate. When God found apostasy among His People, God sent judgment; and as God dealt in the Old Testament, so He will deal with the apostate nations of the 20th century.

"IV. To the Pseudo-fundamentalists as long as a man talks about preaching the gospel and winning souls, he is a great fellow whatever else he may neglect and regardless of how for he may depart from scriptural standards in other matters. At this point the Pseudo-fundamentalist becomes very much like Billy Graham who claims that his effort to win souls justifies his association with infidels, unbelievers, cultists, and all kinds of 'unclean birds' that God commands the Christian to avoid and from whom he is to separate himself.

"V. The Pseudo-fundamentalist, in his unwillingness to be bound by biblical [10] limitations and requirements sets up his will as the standard - not the Word of God.

"A prominent Pseudo-fundamentalist recently declared himself on this point. He said, 'If I get invited to some liberal, modernistic thing I usually go and have my greatest meetings.' He further declared, 'I have always preached wherever I wanted to. I have always invited whomever I wanted to the pulpit to preach, and if I ever decided to bring the pope of Rome in, I would do it.' No Fundamentalist would make these statements because a Fundamentalist is a man who is governed, not by what he wants or what he decides he will do, but by what God commands him to do. This same Pseudo-fundamentalist naturally defends New Evangelicals when true Fundamentalists object to seeing them brought to a supposedly fundamental platform. He is loud in proclaiming himself "a lover of good men," but he fails to define what constitutes a good man. The truth is, he defends men whose positions are contrary to Scripture and who are deceiving men and leading them astray.

"VI. Finally, the Pseudo-fundamentalist is bitterly critical of the true Fundamentalist who takes a stand for the Word of God, and who will not compromise the Word of God, and who will not justify any man's disobeying the Bible, even under the pretext of serving the Lord and accomplishing a good purpose. A very prominent Pseudo-fundamental evangelist, speaking at a convention, had a great deal to say about what he called a 'hate movement' among Fundamentalists. The question is who hates whom? He railed against fundamental brethren at great length, declaring in trumpet tones, 'I will not go into any city anymore with a hate programme. I want all America to know where I plan to stand; in the future. I can no longer work under the present conditions.' He went so far as to charge that no Fundamentalist was consistent in the matter of separation, stating that he had written evidence to prove it and threatening, in effect, to blackmail anybody who questioned his remarks by publishing something against them.

. . . "If the word 'Pseudo' means 'not genuine, a phoney, a substitute,' then surely nothing can apply more accurately than the name 'Pseudo-fundamentalist' to this new group of men who are now so noisy and active on the religious scene. These men in their philosophy, approach, and critical attitude toward faithful fundamental brethren are standing today exactly where Billy Graham stood 25 years ago and are heading In the same direction. The only difference is that Billy long ago repudiated the term 'Fundamentalist.' These men are perverting it."

Dr. Jones' complete appraisal of "The Pseudo-Fundamentalists" appeared in "Faith for the Family" and is available from Bob Jones University, Greenville, S. Carolina, USA. [11]


EXPOSITORY SERMONS ON THE FOUR GOSPELS
The Significant Silences of the Gospels By IAN R. K. PAISLEY

We have been considering the four Gospels, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We have considered the History and Mystery of the Gospels. We have considered the Fascination of the Gospels. This morning we are going to look at a very exhaustive subject the significant silences of the Gospels.

We discovered, that while many things about Christ are left out of the various Gospels, for example all the Gospels do not record the temptation of Christ, all the Gospels do not record the transfiguration of Christ, all the Gospels do not record every miracle that the Lord worked, (there are miracles recorded in Matthew that you will not find for example in the Gospel of John) but we discovered there was one great theme common to all the Gospels, and that theme was the betrayal, and the trial, and the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

I have been reading the Gospels again and I have discovered that there is another theme which is common to all the Gospels that I never noticed before. This is the wonderful thing about studying the Bible. The more you study it the more you discover your own ignorance.

The more you study it the more you discover the wonderful wisdom of God. I have discovered that all the Gospels record the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder why? I will tell you why. The Baptism of Christ is the great picture of His death.

How did the Lord commence His ministry? He commenced His ministry by being baptised in Jordan. The River Jordan in Scripture is a type of death. Who was it that baptised the Lord Jesus and put Him under the Jordan wave? It was the last of the prophets, John the Baptist. What did the prophets of old say? They said that Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first to rise from the dead. So when John took into his hands the Blessed Body of the Son of God in Jordan's River, and he put Him under Jordan's wave and brought Him up again, it was a perfect and wonderful type of the death and the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. What happened? Immediately the Lord came out with the Jordan waters dripping from His Precious, Sinless, Holy Body, the Spirit of God descended upon Him.

When the Lord Jesus Christ died, and was buried and rose again and ascended into Heaven, what happened to the church which is His body? The Spirit of God came upon it on the day of Pentecost. A perfect and beautiful type of the death of the Lord Jesus. [12]

MATTHEW'S ACCOUNT

Could we just check the Scripture, Matthew chapter three and verse 13. There you have Matthew's account of the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptised of him." That is where the Lord Jesus Christ come from, to be crucified. He travelled from Galilee to Judea. How do I know? Read chapter 12 and 13 of John's Gospel and you will discover that the disciples said, "The Jews of late have sought to stone Thee but goest Thou hther again." Where? To Judea. So He cometh from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him.

Look at verse 16 of Matthew chapter three, "And he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him."

Could I digress? I am greatly tempted when I am preaching to digress, and I must not digress too much. But the first mention of the dove in the Bible is in Noah's ark. That ark is a type of the precious Son of God. What happened to the ark? It was plunged under the waters. There were waters below it and waters above, but those within it were perfectly safe. And you remember the dove returned with an olive branch of peace. The return of the dove! That is a wonderful subject. I have a little booklet available on that subject. I would like you to get it and read it; it will instruct you in the deep things of the Lord.

MARK'S ACCOUNT

Mark chapter one and verse 10; there Mark's account of the Lord's baptism is recorded: "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descended upon Him." Read verse nine, "And it come to pass in those days, that Jesus come from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan." Notice you get a little more information here. It is interesting., when you are reading the Gospels, that one narrator gives you some facts, the other adds to thie facts. Matthew says He came from Galilee. Mark tells you the city He come from. He come from the place of His upbringing, Nazareth. He was there from the years of 12 to 30, the silent years. The eyes of man were not trained upon Him as they were in the last years of His ministry, but the eye of God was upon Him. From 12 to 30 God saw Him and He was able to say, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." He found no fault or flaw in those silent years. The Lord Jesus Christ lived my life for me, kept all the commandments for me and weaved out in His obedience a robe of perfect righteousness, the fulfilling of the law of God for me. "Jesus come from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway (that is, of course, one of the characteristic words of Mark) coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him."

After the death and burial and resurrection of Christ, thank God the heavens were opened again to receive the Lord Jesus Christ up into Glory.

LUKE'S ACCOUNT

Turn to Luke's Gospel chapter three and verse 21, "Now when all the people were baptized, it come to pass, that [13] Jesus also being baptized and praying, the heaven was opened." Now you get something else about His baptism. He was the last one that day to be baptized. All the people were baptized first. Then the Lord came at the end. I wonder why? Death is common to all mankind, but, thank God, there was something special about His Death. His Death abolished death. His baptism that day was the great finale of all baptisms. Thank God His Death is the great finale of all deaths, for in death He slew him that had the power of death. Look at verse 22, "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased." Note the preposition "in Thee." So the eye of God looked through Him.

When the eye of God looks into us there is an old nature in every one of us and it is not pleasing to Him. But there was no old nature in Christ, He is the Blessed, Sinless, Spotless Lamb of God, Hallelujah! He as a Wonderful Saviour.

JOHN'S ACCOUNT

Then, of course, I turn to John's Gospel. John's Gospel is a little different, but the Lord's baptism is mentioned there very clearly. John chapter one and verse 32, "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the some said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptized with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

This Gospel talks about the Son of God, because this Gospel is the Gospel which emphasizes His Deity.

THE SIGNIFICANT SILENCE

At the door, last Lord's Day, as the folks were leaving (And I appreciate remarks that are made at the door of the Church. The preacher needs encouragement, and it is nice when a person says, "I got blessing, I got food, I got encouragements one person said to me, "I think you missed something this morning." And I said, "What did I miss?" He said, "Surely the ascension of Christ is mentioned in all the Gospels?" And I said, "Is that right? You should read it for yourself." No, the Ascension of Christ is not mentioned in all the Gospels, and, of course, there is a reason for that!

Let us read the last word of each of the Gospels. First Matthew chapter 28 and verse 20.

Could I say to that person who mentioned about the Ascension of Christ, do not be ashamed if you did not know, because if I had been asked, off the cuff, was the Ascension of Christ mentioned in all the Gospels, I would have said "Most certainly" and I would have been wrong as well!

MATTHEW'S SILENCE

No you will notice in chapter 28 of Matthew's Gospel there is no mention of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew does not mention that He ascended up into Heaven. Why? There is a reason for everything in the Bible. That is the great thing about the Bible. There is a reason for everything. I wonder why Matthew does not mention [14] the Ascension? Matthew is the Gospel of the King. The King never leaves His dominion. He is not only King of Heaven but, thank God, He is King of earth, He is King of nations. He is not only the King of the Jews, but He is the Prince of the kings of the earth.

So, as far as His Kingship is concerned it does not matter where He is or where He occupies His Throne, whether it be at God's right hand or a throne set up here upon earth. Of course some day He will reign over this old earth in that glorious thousand year period when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign. He shall reign on the earth, and the saints are going to reign with Him. There will be no Mass in Westminster in those days. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. We will not only have His millennial reign but, thank God, we will have His eternal reign when this old world will be no more and when the kingdoms of this earth shall vanish away, and when the City of God shall descend out of Heaven and there will be new heavens and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness for evermore. What a glorious day that is going to be. Jesus Christ is KING, and He has not left the Kingship of this world. I am glad He has got all the present reigning people of this earth well under control. He sets up one and costs down another, He is working it all out.

You might think it is not working out very well for you. There may be some things not pleasing to some people.

I remember W. P. Nicholson holding up his hand one day in the old disused factory in Ahoghill and saying "I'm glad I am not God for I would deal with a few people." I was only a boy and I wondered what the preacher meant. I know what he meant now. He meant that he would like to see God's hand made bare in vengeance on those that hate the Word.

There is a day coming when that will come. Christ will destroy Antichrist with the brightness of His coming. On that day we will be able to write on the wall, "No Pope here." It will be the end of popery, Hallelujah! I am glad of that. That is a great thought.

Let me tell you, Jesus Christ has not left this old world. He is here in the Person of the Holy Ghost. All power is His, Hallelujah! Notice those words "All power in heaven and earth is given unto me." Notice "earth."

MARK IS NOT SILENT

Mark chapter 16 and verse 19, and you will get the ascension of Christ, "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into Heaven" (there is a beautiful addition here;) "and sat on the right hand of God."

Mark is not the Gospel of the Sovereign. Mark is the Gospel of the Servant. When a servant finishes his work, however, the servant sits down.

The Service of Christ upon this earth is over. Nothing more is to be down here. One day on the Cross He cried, "It is finished." The offerings of the Mosaic ritual are all done. Christ the great Servant having finished the work, the task, the servitude, has sat down. The work is done and is done for evermore. That is why you must have the Ascension in Mark's Gospel.

LUKE IS NOT SILENT

Let us turn to Luke's Gospel chapter 24 and verse 51, "And it come to pass, [15] while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven."

Notice the difference. The Servant is received up into Heaven. Luke's Gospel is the Gospel of the Saviour, the Man Christ Jesus the Saviour of the world, and He is carried up into Heaven. As the Servant He is received, for His work is done, as the Saviour He is carried up into Heaven. The Ascension must be mentioned in Luke's Gospel, and it must be mentioned because He is the Saviour in Luke's Gospel.

Why can the Lord Jesus Christ save? Did you ever ask yourself that question? Here is the answer "He is able to save to the uttermost, all that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for us." If He was not in Heaven He could not save us. He has to be there. Praise God He is there today, and we are saved today because He has been received at the Father's Throne, Hallelujah! What a Saviour! You must have the Ascension in Luke's Gospel.

JOHN IS SILENT

Let us turn to John's Gospel. John's Gospel is the Gospel of the Godhead of the Lord Jesus. Will tell you something. The miracles of Christ are all called signs in this Gospel. John 20:30. There is a reason because they are called signs. They are signs of His Godhead.

Could I just tell you the first sign. What was the first sign? It was at a wedding feast, and what did He do? He turned the water into wine. That was a type of the Blood. You will never get to the Wedding Feast, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, if you do not know communion in the Saviour's Blood.

What is the second sign in John's Gospel? Read it for yourself. You read it and find the second miracle in John's Gospel. It is a most important one.

Let us look at the last verse of John's Gospel. No mention of the Ascension. Why? Because He is God. He is Omnipotent. He is everywhere present. As God He is here, He is there; He is yonder, at the very some time. I do not understand it, but, bless God, I believe it with all my heart that He is the Omnipresent One. The Omnipresent One does not ascend to Heaven for He is already there. So it just closes with this word, John 21:25, "There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Let me give you a parting thought. You will find that the silences of the Gospels are related to the theme of each Gospel. Matthew's Gospel was written setting forth Christ as the King, and had a Jewish relationship. So Matthew's Gospel is full of these words, "that it might be fulfilled," because the Jews had the Old Testament.

You start reading in Matthew's Gospel and underline every time you read the words, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet" and you will be amazed. Matthew's Gospel emphasises the fulfilment of Scripture.

I want you to go to the Cross this week and have a look at the superscription which was put above the Cross, and see the difference between what Matthew says, and what Mark says and what Luke says, and ask why there is this difference. We shall be looking at that most illuminating and intriguing subject.