GOD IS RAISING UP JOHN THE BAPTISTS
As I was praying and meditating recently the Lord brought some interesting things before me. God never does something without speaking to his Prophets first.
John the Baptist was a prophet that came on the scene before Jesus’ ministry started. When asked who he was, his reply in Luke 1:23 was: ”… I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord as said the prophet Isaiah.” This was a quote from Isaiah 40:3.
What was his message? Repentance. Under the old covenant each year during the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jews would ritually bathe to “cleanse themselves” of sin. This was not an unknown practice during that time. It wasn’t something new. His message of repentance brought them to this place of ritually bathing or being baptized. It was a tradition.
Yet John’s message contained some strong new language. His message said that there was one coming that he wasn’t worthy to tie his shoelaces, and that He would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He also said that they were to bring forth therefore fruits suitable for repentance.
What did that mean? It meant that it wasn’t just words spoken, it was a lifestyle change which produced works that showed there was true repentance. Without that repentance he would not baptize them. His baptism of repentance would fulfill the Old Testament ritual, bringing in the New Testament. Everything John did was under the Old Testament period of time because Jesus had not yet been crucified, dead, buried and risen again. The resurrection and the placing of the blood on the altar in heaven brought in the New Testament. Yet, what John preached was absolutely necessary for preparing the way for Jesus to fulfill this.
We are in a season of time where we see scriptures fulfilled, and prophecy coming to pass very quickly. We are at the “end” of one season, and the “beginning” of a new season. The message of repentance is absolutely necessary in order to usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
True repentance will have fruits that show repentance. It will be more than mere words or a tradition. It will be a change of heart, mind and will, a sorrowing over sin like never before, and a time where righteousness and holiness are the standard to live by.
There are voices crying out as I write this that call for repentance. Without true repentance we delay the return of the Lord. Many religious people will be called a generation of vipers and will be warned from the wrath to come, just like John the Baptist warned the religious people of his day. Those with the spirit of John the Baptist will call sin as it is – sin. They will not care if it costs them their head to proclaim this truth because they know that it is necessary to preach it. They will rise up in that same spirit and declare that one is coming greater than them and that they must prepare themselves for this coming. Those with this spirit are needed in this hour to see God’s plan unfold. Just like there was a John the Baptist in the womb of John’s mother Elizabeth, many others are pregnant with this same spirit and about to deliver.
Are you one of them? Are you willing to pay the price to proclaim the truths that are fruits suitable for repentance, and not just a change of clothing or lifestyle, but a heart change?
I praise God for those with this call. Let it come forth and be the voice needed in this hour. May they shout it from the housetops. May they cry it aloud in the wilderness. May they preach it wherever they go. May it bring the repentance needed to usher in the return of Christ!