I.C.2 The Spirit Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

PART I  –  The Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart C  –  The Fulcrum

Article 2 – The Spirit-Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

By Daniel Irving

a.   Topeka’s Message Delivered Through its First Recipient

b.   Azusa’s Resurgence in the Wake Durham’s Preaching “The Finished Work of Christ”

c.   The Dichotomy Created by the Loss of the Centrality of the Cross

d.   Union with Christ as the Purpose of the Spirit’s Agency

e.   The Loss of the Centrality of the Cross as the Underlying Malady of the Church

f.    The Cross as the Agency of Our Conformity

g.   Charismatic Phenomenon as Indicative of Election’s Processes at Work

IMG_2159

Article 2

The Spirit-Baptized Directed into the Fulcrum of God’s Power

a.   Topeka’s Message Delivered Through its First Recipient

As related in the first article under this subpart, the central candlestick of the lamp-stand represents the feast of Pentecost, and the agency of God derived from the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Thus the central candlestick represents the agency of the Holy Spirit in uniting Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, with His body, the Church.  Thus Pentecost represents the power of God’s Spirit to fulfill His purposes in raising up His temple through the process of ministering unto the body of Christ, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We analogized the central candlestick of the lamp-stand to a  fulcrum upon which the power for a work is achieved.  Pentecost stands in the place of power for God’s redemptive work, and has as its source, the Cross of Jesus Christ, allowing God to raise the dead with His own resurrection power.  And therefore at each conjunction between Messiah Head and Messiah Body there is a forming of that only true altar of God.   Calvary stands as the exclusive means through which men may draw nigh unto God. Sacred Ht 01

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.      John 12:32

The lamp-stand model demonstrates the cross of Jesus Christ as the focus for the church.  There is even indication that God signified this directly at the time He poured out His Spirit in Topeka on the first day of the twentieth-century and again at the 1911 Azusa Street resurgence.  The outpouring of the Spirit that occurred in Topeka, Kansas, beginning on January 1, 1901 marked the worldwide renewal of PentecostOzman-AgnesThe first recipient of this outpouring was Agnes Ozman.  After experiencing the sign of tongues as evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Ms. Ozman could not speak English for some days, during which she drew what appeared to be random scribblings under the influences of the baptism.  A section of her writing appears to emphasize the central candlestick of the lamp-stand.  Special attention to the central candlestick would therefore seem warranted in light of what seems to have been a Divine sign given to the first recipient receiving tongues under the restored doctrine of Initial Evidence.  As the first person to receive the Pentecostal baptism in the new century and the first to receive the Pentecostal baptism under clear and definitive Pentecostal teaching, Ms. Ozman seems to have both drawn and to have boxed-in the fulcrum of the Lamp-stand. Ozman Writing 1901 Indeed, it would appear that at the very initial moment of God restoring Pentecost to the world, He also gave a sign expressing the objective of His pouring out His Spirit into the world; that sign is the Cross of Jesus Christ. 

Is this not even the message of the Gospel?  If God should pour out His Spirit upon men, should it not have purpose in directing their hearts and minds to the cross of Jesus Christ?  Should the pouring forth of God’s Spirit not have as its purpose a calling of men upward through justification, sanctification, and glorification through the means of the Cross and the transacting agency of the Holy Ghost?

b.    Azusa’s Resurgence in the Wake Durham’s Preaching “The Finished Work of Christ”

Part III of this treatise will look closely at the doctrinal issue that hung heavily over Azusa Street during the years that revival occurred there.  The central doctrinal controversy of that period was whether Pentecost constituted a “Third Blessing,” as an adaptation to the Wesleyan Second Work of sanctification, or whether Pentecost shared theological position with initial regeneration as that principle coincident with our initial coming to Christ and experiencing the forgiveness of our sins.[1] Given the centrality of the cross, we begin to perceive why Durham’s 1911 preaching at Azusa Street favoring the latter view was empowered.  While Wesleyan Second Work teaching, when rightly-applied, had tremendous power during the periods of revival in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the doctrine was misapplied in respect to Pentecost by the Wesleyans upon whom the Pentecostal experience came.

Coming articles will relate how Durham returned, a few years following his baptism, to an Azusa Mission in a much degraded condition.  The Azusa Mission, having proclaimed a misapplied aberration of Wesley’s Second Work doctrine, had fallen into disorder and confusion.  Durham had the word which was needed to rally the Spirit-baptized back to their strength; the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Rather than its focus remaining upon the attainment of holiness, through the efforts of men, the focus became Jesus Christ and the love and the power of God show forth in His Cross.  The period of Durham’s preaching of the Finished Work of Christ became known as the Second Azusa given its dramatic effects in restoring the power of God at Azusa Street.

As will also be related in Part III, the Finished Work constituted the evangelical message of the Church, rather than a comprehensive theology of redemption.  Because the Finished Work doctrine would eventually be put forward as the latter, the doctrine actually, over time, began to run counter to a right grasp of the Gospel.  Nevertheless, the message countered a misapplied Wesleyan perspective on sanctification that was proving injurious to the Church. The wonderful effect of the Finished Work message of Durham was to focus the eyes of the Spirit-baptized upon the Cross.  Durham’s message was a tonic for those too long struggling by means of personal effort to overcome sin.   Durham 01

Durham’s view perceived redemption as already accomplished at conversion, but requiring repeated trips back to the cross for forgiveness, cleansing, and strength to abide.  Thus Durham’s view of sanctification better facilitated the hope of repentance and the grace of God.  Azusa was returned to their strength, the fulcrum of the Lamp-stand, and returned to that signal drawing all men to their Creator:

Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.        Isaiah 11:10

In pouring out His Spirit anew in the earth, God directed the Church to attend upon the fulcrum of the lamp-stand;  the cross of Jesus Christ, her Lord. 

c.    The Dichotomy Created by the Loss of the Centrality of the Cross

Since the early days of the Pentecostal renewal there has arisen a crises of doctrine and experience which has worked great harm in the Church, and which has served to repel those on the outside from seeking spiritual things.  This crisis of doctrine and experience became especially pronounced within some segments of the Charismatic movement, and to a much greater extent in the so-called Third Wave movement of more recent years.  Over the past several decades, there has also developed a perception that dramatic and miraculous phenomenon tends to accompany the most heterodox of ministries and to follow the most theologically-erring of assemblies.  Modernly, there is a perceived dichotomy between Truth and Spiritual Signs.

Ern Baxter was the close associate of William Branham, and would become one of the foremost leaders arising from the Latter Rain and Charismatic movements.  Shortly before his passing, he expressed a sense of frustration over this perceived dichotomy between truth and the miraculous.  Baxter stated in a videotaped interview:Baxter & Branham

. . . as for the evangelical realm criticizing the Charismatics –  I’m gonna take up for the Charismatics!  But then, having done that, I want to say to the Charismatics; ‘where is the Word-dimension?’  And one of my deep concerns that I’ve aired almost all my life is that it is the Word-dimension that seems to get short-changed in the Charismatics.  It’s the Spirit-dimension that gets short-changed in the evangelical-realm.  And my lifelong dream has been to see these two come together. I think if the Word and the Spirit could come together in some kind of permanent union we’d blow the world into the Kingdom of God! [2]

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvvxC4F96ks

When we hear Baxter use the term; “Word”, we naturally think of doctrinal truth, and this is certainly how most evangelicals would interpret the term.  But if that is what Baxter intended, his proposition falls short.  For consider; Is it really the bringing together of correct doctrine with supernatural phenomenon that constitutes the restoration of the Church? Doctrinal truth, while a necessary facilitator, is not the immediate agency which effectuates an eternal end.  Doctrinal truth as “knowledge” will itself “pass away.”[3]   But there is something we often confuse for doctrinal truth that will not pass away; the presence of the witness and Person of the Word of God.

The Psalmist does not prophesy, “Forever O Lord, they Scriptures are settled in heaven,” rather the Psalmist prophesies:

For ever O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.             Ps. 119:89

When the prophets speak of the eternal Word of God, they are not speaking of the written word, e.g.:

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.                                                                                    Is. 40:8

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.                                                                                    Matt 24:35

Doctrinal truth is what we speak, and Scripture itself can be asserted absent the backing of the presence and power of God.  The substance of the Divine life is what God speaks.  Rather than doctrinal truth, it is the Word of God that must effectuate eternal things.

d.  Union with Christ as the Purpose of the Spirit’s Agency

That eternal end is UNION.  Union with God through Christ is not effectuated in the coming together of an expressed orthodoxy with supernatural manifestations.  Rather, the marriage of God with humanity is effectuated by the coming together of that Person Whose being and nature is Truth itself, and those objects of God’s mercy in whom His Word abides and who were foreordained for union with God.  Lamps & Virgins 04Doctrinal truth is the mere implement of the Spirit’s work.  But He Himself is the true agency.  And what is the objective of the Divine agency? Conformity.  The body of Christ must be conformed into the image of her Head

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.                                   Rom.  8:29  

  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:                        Eph. 4:15 

The Holy Spirit is the agency of Union because He is the Spirit within which the body maintains conjunction with to the Head, Who is Christ.  Absent His agency, there is no holding to the Head, and false spirits fill the void, themselves aided by false teachers and by false prophets within the Church.  In which case, the work of sanctification through abiding in Christ ceases as:

. . .  not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God.                                                                                     Col. 2:19 

Thus it is through abiding in the Spirit of Truth that we grow in sanctification.  And what is that vital Truth associated with the Person and the testimony of Jesus Christ?  His Cross.  While many would accept the Cross in terms of its propitiating work of justification, they will not accept the Cross as a principle having application in their own lives.  They will not follow the way of Christ which leads to the laying down of this life.  Therefore, they forsake the true sanctuary of God which is the abiding within the Spirit of Truth.  Against this error we are warned by John:

This is he that came by water & blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by the water & blood.   And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.                                                                                      I John 5:6

The Cross is our means of conformity to Christ.  This is the true SPIRIT.  This is what it means to abide in the Holy Ghost.  With this understanding, we might also understand the common misperception expressed above by Mr. Baxter, who speaks as an influential member of the Charismatic movement and a primary figure of the Latter Rain Revival.

e. The Loss of the Centrality of the Cross as the Underlying Malady of the Church

So long as our focus is upon the material and the external as occupying any significant role in God’s work and kingdom, our heart will misperceive and miss God.   This is why outward signs and supernatural demonstrations ultimately constitute distractions which hamper true spirituality.  So long as well-intended and earnest men problem-solve the Church’s infirmity through emphasis upon finding the right formula or combination of external doctrine and external signs, they labor in futility, as Christ clearly told us His kingdom is not to be found by observation:Christ Teaching 02

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees  when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation;  Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”           Luke 17:20-21  (KJV)

Earthly kingdoms are built by earthly power.  Outward and material interests are safeguarded through external means.  But the heavenly kingdom is built by heavenly agency and the kingdom that is within us is preserved for us by God.  The true evidences of the kingdom of God are those internal works of regeneration, deliverance, sanctification, and sacrifices as such the Holy Spirit will bear witness of.  But these are not brought about by the mouthing of true doctrine or the Scriptures.  Neither do the demonstration of miraculous gifts or supernatural signs necessarily contemplate the true presence and power of God’s kingdom.  For either may be operate while Sin reigns within the heart.  John writes:

. . . For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil.                      I John 3:8

If the kingdom of God is the destruction of the works of the Devil, then this must be the sign of the coming and power of His kingdom, ie. those internal work destroying Satan’s dominion within the man, allowing for a continual progress toward a full and complete redemption, as Paul states it:

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.  I Cor. 1:30

The kingdom of God is the conformity of the man to the Person and purposes of God through finding like-nature with Himself; the transformational work of the Cross through the agency of the Holy Spirit.

f.  The Cross as the Agency of Our Conformity

How did Christ conform Himself for union with His bride, the Church? He conformed Himself via the Cross.  And His Father completed the work through the principle of resurrection.  This principle as it relates to the body of Christ can be more precisely termed; regeneration as the expression of resurrection so as to contemplate all three of its redemptive parts.  Therefore Christ, through His incarnation and death has already undergone conformation into His perfection within the Father.  Through this means, He fulfilled the work of His Father by the perfecting of Himself as God’s manifested image, thus fulfilling God’s purpose in the creation of man: Adam & Eve Sin

  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Gen. 1:27

Within Himself, Christ perfected the image of God for the purpose of an acceptable sacrifice.  This is why Jesus said, on the eve of His suffering and death:

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.                                                                                      John 17:19 

The Cross made a way for sin to be forgiven, purged, and then judged as a thing separate and distinct from the man.  All this through the means of the Cross!   Christ’s coming into the world, His perfecting of God’s image in Himself and then suffering crucifixion was the work of God to do the same in men. Christ performed His work on the Cross for the transformation of mankind to God’s image!  Passover MediumThrough the power of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed insofar as we conform through obedience to the revealed will of God.  This is the meaning of Pentecost of which the baptism of the Holy Ghost is only the beginning![4]

Recall that the oracle in the garden was not limited to the man (as an allusion to Christ.)  God made them both “male and female” in His image.  The woman stands in type for humanity. Although these types require more study than is useful for our purposes here, the principle arises in the dereliction of Adam to fulfill his role as the man when he blamed the woman for his sin before God.  Not standing in the image of God, Adam (as the natural man) could neither stand in the purpose of his creation.  Thus humanity figures spiritually as the woman whose hope of fulfilling her purpose is dependent upon that man, fulfilled through Jesus Christ, Who did succeed in the purpose of His humanity to give glory to God through His overcoming of Sin and Death, and taking ascendancy above even angelic principality in so doing.  Humanity may now likewise fulfill the purpose of its creation through Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross.

Therefore conversely, how is the Church to conform herself unto Christ?  Through the mirror image of this process, which is to; 1) receive God’s mercy by faith through the spiritual witness of the substitutionary-atonement afforded by the Cross (ie. the “Witness of the Spirit”), Bright Cloud 12) to wash herself in the cleansing flow of God’s provision for sin through the spiritual witness of the Son of God made bread for sinners (the “Witness of the Word” unto the “Witness of Water”),[5] and 3) to fulfill obedience to the call of God as to her own earthly body which belongs to Christ as a part of His purchased possession, ie. through conformity to His Cross (ie. the “Witness of Blood”).   And he that follows the call of God through this process will drink of the true Spirit of God.  He that does not, will drink from another source.

g.  Charismatic Phenomenon as Indicative of Election’s Processes at Work

In light of these things, the apparent Charismatic disconnect between truth and signs may be a superficial observation, as where we see evidence of great spiritual activity we do have scriptural basis for a conclusion that an irresistible principle of divine election may be in operation even where there seems a dearth of doctrine.   IMG_0002Power constitutes some indication of the operation of the principle of election.  For instance, Paul intimates to the Thessalonians that their election was apparent in the power that came with his preaching to them.

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, & in the Holy Ghost& in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.       I Thess. 1:4-5

Likewise, we know from the words of Christ to Paul that there were many within the city of Corinth that had been elected unto salvation.[6]  Therefore his gospel to them came with particular signs and wonders on the bare preaching of the cross:

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, & Him crucified.  & I was with you in weakness, & in fear, & in much trembling.  & my speech & my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,  but in demonstration of the Spirit & of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.              I Cor. 2:2-5

God did not seem so concerned with orthodoxy as much as with the preaching of “Jesus Christ, & Him crucified”.  This is because; “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”  Therefore  where we see evidence of great spiritual activity this suggests an irresistible principle of divine election may be in operation.  When this occurs, it is the Cross that must be central if this correlation is to bear out.


[1] But this is not to say the two principles are the same.  They are not.  In fact, one principle aspect of Pentecostal doctrine is the distinction between Initial Regeneration and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

[2] Ern Baxter speaking in a videotaped interview shortly before his death.

[3] I Corinthians 13:8  “. . . whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

[4] Note that Pentecost is not synonymous with the baptism of t he Holy Ghost as is evident in the Lamps-stand model which defines the baptism as a point on the first tier of the central shaft representing Pentecost.  Pentecost rather incorporates the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

[5] Ie. the Word as the Person of God, not the letter.

[6] Acts 18:10  “. . for I have much people in this city.”

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About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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