Saturday, May 26, 2012

The WORTHY ONE: The Once and ALWAYS KING!

THE ONE WORTHY OF RULE and THOSE HE IS SANCTIFYING TO JOIN HIM -

JUST LOOK at the current situation the world over, in each nation, in every government over the course of the last century; examine the history books (that is, those that have not been tampered with by Revisionist fingers) and witness how rulers of nations and representatives in governments have conducted themselves throughout time.

Even if one examines the history of kings that ruled over Israel (and Judah when the two regions separated into two different houses) the performance of most of these kings is quite weak and bleak to say the least.

It's been said before that if a man cannot govern his own heart, then how can he rightly govern his family, or a city, or a nation? Or in the biblical example, if one cannot rule well his own family, how then can he take care of the church (1 Tim. 3:5)?

When the deplorably illicit conduct of former President Clinton came under the spot light, the question was asked if this man was worthy of the office of the Presidency. Many held the opinion that "whatever he does in his personal life is his own affair (every pun intended by yours truly); this by no means, they said, affects his professional career and his ability to function in office as the President."

I couldn't disagree more! Whether personal or professional, its the very same person that operates in both. If there is a lack of morality, integrity, trustworthiness and good character in one area, it will inevitably 'spill over' into all other areas (a little leaven, leavens the whole lump, as it were!). Later it was revealed to varying degrees on just how much 'spilled over' into this man's so-called professional career.

Yet Clinton is not alone. Look at our current administration - or the one immediately preceding it. Look at the leaders of the nations of the world and one can readily recognize a lack of good character and upstanding integrity in any of the world's leadership, most especially among the 'Goblins'; that oligarchal band of nefarious globalists that want to remake the world according to their own (and even more relevantly, Satan's!) desires.

If the world is starving for economic security and stability, its well nigh starved to death (even if they don't recognize it) for worthy governance and rightful rule.

Nietzsche spoke about "the will to power" which essentially means that those who should rule, will have the propensity and the endowments inherent within to pursue and obtain power by any means possible, regardless of any moral right or representation. The "ends justifies the means" philosophy. These are the sort that will intimidate, manipulate, connive, cheat, lie, steal and do whatever is necessary in order to seize power and control and keep it, and thereby push those less ambitious beneath themselves (in their minds: where they belong!)

It's been said that the only difference between crooks and politicians is that politicians are elected to office! Obviously this comparison of politicians to crooks isn't universally applicable to all of them. There may yet be some idealistic, moral folks who are interested in politics and running for office within the various tiers of government, but I fear that these ranks are diminishing all too rapidly!

Where can this weary world look for proper leadership, for those whose character and life rightly reflect the propriety of ruling over mankind? How is such leadership - if it even exists - developed and established?

We as Christians understand that there is still a brilliant hope, the ONLY Hope - the Blessed Hope (!) for mankind; that even if all of the oceans of humanity is discounted as unworthy - there is still one shining example of One who is absolutely and entirely worthy:

Revelation 5: 5 - 10

5 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth
.

Here is a scroll in the hand of the Almighty - and it's stated that its written within and without. Typically, scrolls in that day were written only on one side. The process whereby papyri was manufactured would involve smoothing one side so as to make it suitable for writing. However legal documents were often so detailed, it required the use of both sides of the papyri, and so for these special scrolls (of such things as title deeds) required this process.

This is what the LORD God held in His hand: the title deed of the whole world! And the question rang out, "Who is worthy to open this book?" No one was worthy - none at all. If such a demand was asked today, it would be with the same result. No one is worthy to open this title deed of the world, or even (if there are such things) title deeds of the many different nations over which our present rulers preside.

It's no wonder that John wept, because without any to open that title deed, expressing ownership, then by default the world would remain under the tyranny of Satan the great Oppressor, whose own children (those who are not born again in Christ Jesus) follow his example of tyranny and oppression, and the human race would be utterly without hope,bent on self-destruction!

Yet from the ranks of those that dwelled in heaven, One made His way to that Throne, to the sublimely delightful joy and blessing of all the onlookers. No hesitation or doubt was observed in the confident stride of this Man, the Servant of the LORD (Is. 42: 1-3; Matt. 12:18), whose wounds were evidence aplenty (Zech. 13:6) of His holy service to God the Father and to the vast assembly of the human race (Is. 53: 10); this Man Who came not to receive service, but to serve the unfortunate and damned souls that He intended to redeem (Matt. 20:27-29): not with the blood of goats and bulls, but with His own blood (Heb. 9: 12; 10: 3-5; 13:12), freely spilled by His magnificently holy heart of pure grace and love!

On that glorious Day, came forth Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the King! He Who is the I AM, the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the Shepherd and Bishop of saved souls, the Head of the Church, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! The KING of Kings and LORD of Lords and lay hold of that title deed, and this brought all of heaven - saints, angels and living creatures alike - to their knees in worship! Hear again their words of adoration:

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" And elsewhere, more of the same:

Revelation 5:11-13

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever
.

Here is glory and majesty in all of its holy brilliance whose least and lowest emblems would shame the greatest claims of royalty of any king that ever lived. This High and Exalted KING of Heaven will ever receive such adoration and worship throughout eternity; the songs of the saints reverberating across the halls of heaven, without end!

Yet this KING was not granted the right and privilege out-of-Hand, as was Adam - who was created to rule the Earth but lost the stewardship to Satan (Gen. 1:28; 3: 6-7; Matt. 4: 8-10). He would have to gain this right by going the long way; to be born of the virgin Mary, to grow up in the midst of fallen, sinful humanity (Is. 53:1-3) , to reach and teach disciples who were so very slow to learn and found bickering among their ambitious selves to obtain the highest degree of rulership (Luke 22:24); to know grief, bitterness, shame, ridicule, abuse and rejection from religious leaders, His own people and pagan soldiers alike.
Finally to suffer the ultimate shame, deplorable abasement and absolute agony upon the Cross - where He suffered the full, undiluted wrath and judgment of His Holy Father who vented and depleted His entire store of retributive reckoning upon Him (Is. 53: 5-7; Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21), rather than on the world that He "so loved . . . that whoever would believe in [JESUS] might not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)!

A spiritual Truth that cannot be abrogated or disannulled is that any who exalts himself will be abased (eventually) by God - a prime example is Lucifer (See Is. 14: 12-17; Ez. 28: 12-19); those that humble themselves are those that will be exalted by God - and there are none that have humbled themselves to the degree of the LORD Jesus!

Philippians 2:7-9

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name
:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
.

Yet before He came to this point, He had to endure life here, and learn obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:7-9). And through this time, He was "made perfect" that is 'complete' in His human character as the Son of Man, displaying all the evidences that proved His worthiness for rule. Let us examine some of the verses that elaborate on this.

We already looked at Rev. 5:11-13 where the saints explode in exuberant worship of Him Who was [willingly] slain for their sins. This willingness to sacrifice for others at the cost of oneself is a worthy attribute for ruler-ship. Too many leaders today are willing to sacrifice others for their own benefit! Not so with the LORD Jesus!

Isaiah 11: 1 - 5

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins
.

Just look at the treasure trove of spiritual endowment placed upon the LORD Jesus and witness to the truth that here we have the ultimate ruler whose virtues are literally unparalleled by any other! There is none so wise as He! None with greater knowledge and understanding! None that exhibits the pure and absolute trust in and faithfulness to God the Father, as He! Who is as Righteous and Just as the LORD Jesus? Who possesses the depths of His compassion and tender mercies upon the broken hearted, the enslaved and the meek as the LORD Jesus Christ, our Beloved?

Who can deny this Man's worthy right to rule over humanity? (See also Isaiah 61: 1-3)

Matthew 11: 28-31

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
.

We know that Jesus is God (John 10:30) , and that God is love (1 John 4:8), thus the description of love ("charity") in 1 Corinthians is a perfect portrait of the LORD Jesus, God the Son:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away
.

The fruit of the Spirit is a competent and complete roster of the character found in the LORD Jesus, this Once and ALWAYS KING:

Galatians 5: 22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law
.

In their many times of argument and strife, when the disciples quarreled among themselves as to who should be the greatest, the LORD Jesus explained His kingdom principles to them in no uncertain terms: Hear now the testimony of the Gospel writers!

Matt. 20: 20 - 28

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
.

Mark 9: 33-37

33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me
.


Luke 22: 24-27

24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth
.


John 13: 13-17

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them
.

The ambition for greatness was never something that the LORD Jesus rebuked; He only reproved His followers by the methods they chose - by means of self-exaltation and argument as to why they themselves were 'more worthy' than their colleagues.

Any that would be great, must follow our KING's example of servanthood. I believe the one ambition allowed for the saint is that declaration made by John the Baptist:

John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease
.

As we allow the LORD to sanctify us by His Word and His Spirit (John 17:17; Rom. 15:16; Heb. 10:10, 14) as we are conformed to Christ (Rom. 8:29-30), and transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:1-3) so that we think (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2: 4-6) behave, and conduct ourselves (Phil. 3:11-13; 1 Peter 5:10) in the Spirit of JESUS CHRIST, being conformed to His death (Phil. 3:10b), and raised to continually new resurrection life (Phil. 3:10a; Rom. 6:4), as we die to self (Rom. 8: 12-14; Col. 3:5) and are made alive in Him (1 Cor. 15:21-23) and display His spiritual fruit, His character, His holiness - we are then powerful servants, able ministers, and well suited to sit besides our KING as His bride and rule heaven and earth with Him, our BELOVED!

All that is required is that we overcome by faith in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:4) - that is, overcome the 'old man' of sin (Eph. 4:21-22) and the world and Satan that still plagues us (1 John 4:4), to put on the 'new man' in Christ (Eph. 4:23-25), that He increase in us, and we ourselves decrease, so that Jesus is manifest (Gal. 2:20) in our lives as we exemplify servanthood to God and to others. Such overcomers will find themselves as ever blessed by the Once and ALWAYS KING!

Phil. 2: 9-11

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Rev. 3:21-22

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 2:25-27

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father
.

May the LORD truly bless us in causing us to be conformed to the image of His dear SON and thereby have His glorious character and nature manifested in us, future co-regents of the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords!

Romans 8:29
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
.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The PROTOCOLS of the GREATEST PROPHET: The Ministry of John the Baptist

Of all the prophets of the Old Testament history, which would you elect as the greatest?
There are those whose ministry was incredibly dramatic with awesome miracles like Moses, Elijah and Elisha; others whose writings were lofty in their language and with unequaled eloquence like Isaiah and Zechariah. There were also those of great passion and fervor such as Jeremiah, Amos and Nehemiah (though he wasn’t a prophet).

Yet, as we all know, the one to receive the title of the greatest prophet according to our LORD Jesus was John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:10-11
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Yet John the Baptist performed no miracles (John 10:41), not even one; nor did he ever set pen to parchment and write a single word as Inspired by God. So what made John the greatest of all the prophets? Have you ever wondered that?

For one thing, he was the one prophet honored to immediately precede the coming Messiah; the other prophets declared His advent, and described with incredible detail the many aspects of His birth, parentage, lineage, life, ministry, death and resurrection (totaling over 300 prophecies altogether!), but John introduced the Messiah personally to Israel!

Another reason why I believe John was designated as ‘greatest prophet’ was because of the effect he had on God’s people. How many others were able to touch the hearts of the nation and bring about such a change in the lives of people? The angel Gabriel, messenger of the Living God proclaimed to Zacharias that his son would . . .

Luke 1:15-17
15 . . . be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Everywhere in the Scriptures that speaks of John shows a powerful, uncompromising, righteous prophet who declared the Word of the LORD faithfully and refused to shrink back or be intimidated by the religious elite leadership of the Sanhedrin. When they sent representatives to go find out about this ‘prophet’ and later on came to see him themselves, John had some rather harsh (but true!) things to say to them, as we shall soon see.

Matthew 3: 1- 12
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Note that – it states that all Judea and the entire region around Jordan went out to see this prophet. Most of these people would have to make this journey on foot! This was not a casual outing!
But there hadn’t been a prophet in Israel for about four hundred years! People were hungry for the Word of the LORD and committed to making such a journey in the hopes that this ‘John the Baptist’ truly was a prophet of God.

Now let’s see what sort of reception the religious leaders get! I can picture it in my mind: John is baptizing people, weeping and mourning over their sins, and wanting to get right with God and others, and seeking the LORD Who was to come. Then the Baptist looks up and sees these religious hypocrites, smug and self assured in their self-righteousness approaching, perhaps coming into view over a high hill. A blaze ignites in the Baptists fiery eyes as he fixes them with a stern, piercing gaze. He wades forward in the Jordan river and thrusts out a finger, pointing to them and thunders:

7 . . . O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

His words were not lost on those religious leaders; by calling them vipers, they knew that the Baptist meant that they were the spawn of Satan himself, that he considered them ignorant of the fate that would fall upon them in the wrath and judgment of God, that they had need of repentance just as much as the ‘common sinners’ that they looked down their religious noses at.

He rebuked them for their boasting and self-deluded good standing before God based solely on the fact that they were the physical offspring of Abraham, and as such thought of the Gentiles as mere ‘wood for the fires of hell’.

I’ve heard it taught that “these stones” that John referred to were not happenstance rocks that were found all about the river, but the very 12 stones that Joshua instructed the children of Israel to place in that river when they crossed it into Canaan land, as a testimony of God’s faithfulness in leading His people to the place He promised them.
Those stones would be a rebuke to the religious leaders, as they were instituted in the Jordan for the purpose of reminding the children of Israel of God’s blessing and fidelity to His people, though these Pharisees and Sadducees were not truly blessing God, much less displaying any genuine fidelity towards Him.

For all of his powerful preaching, John was yet a very humble man (as were all the prophets) who spoke plainly of his own unworthiness in regards to the Messiah, considering himself beneath that of a menial servant that would be assigned to remove the dusty, dirty shoes of his master once he came home. When the people began to attend more and more to the teachings of Jesus, rather than his own, John’s own disciples mentioned this to him, and he only replied that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3: 25-31).
May these words be spoken by us all, may they resound in our hearts and be obeyed as we die to ourselves and allow God’s life greater reign in us!

He was also one who didn’t want to be noticed or brought into the limelight. How could I say that, you might ask, when all Israel went out to see him, and he preached to untold multitudes regularly?

John 1:22-24
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.


This was in fulfillment of the prophecy made by Isaiah (40:3-8) where it was also declared that “every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” – or in other words, those that would exalt themselves would be abased, those that would humble themselves would be exalted; those wandering from the LORD or “being of two opinions” as Elijah said, wavering in their faith, would be made straight with a steady, true walk before the LORD.

This same thing was declared by Simeon in the Temple at the dedication of Jesus by Mary His mother and step-father Joseph (note vs. 34 in the following passage):

Luke 2: 25 – 34
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

In verse 32 Simeon stated that Jesus would be “a light to lighten the Gentiles” and indeed, the LORD Jesus is the Light of the world; whereas John the Baptist is portrayed as the Voice in the wilderness – the thing about voices is, you can’t see them! They are not seen as the Light can be seen. The contrast between these two is significant and is mentioned in the Gospel of John:

John 1: 4 – 9, 23
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.


What else was it that made John the Baptist the greatest prophet in the estimation of the LORD of Glory, Jesus Christ?
That his message paralleled His own. In fact their messages were so alike, that after John the Baptist was killed, many believed Jesus was John re-born (Luke 9:18-19; Add to this, the possibility that they may well have resembled each other (after all, they were cousins), and many people only saw them from afar, these preachers being thronged by multitudes)!
What was their message?

Matthew 3:1-3
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

And then the message of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 4:16-17
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

You can see the obvious parallel: they both preached repentance. They both directed people to the truth that they were sinners and in need of the grace of God.

Both John the Baptist and the LORD Jesus were bold in their proclamations that unless repentance was realized in the hearts of people, they would be judged for their sin, condemned and relinquished to the flames of perdition, that is, hell.

This is not a popular message in today’s church as we very well know – the idea of repentance might make church-goers uncomfortable, as would the mention of sin and judgment and hell fire. It might just chase them away, and we want to be ‘seeker-friendly’ don’t we?
I believe the church has it all backwards and Satan is just thrilled by it all!

Rather than the church seeking out potential church-goers, we ought to be ‘laying down the Law’ of God which is pure and holy and in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, convicting (one of His holy offices according to John 16:8; and of the Law as well – 1 Tim. 1:9) sinners who will then seek God for mercy and grace in Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:23-25
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


The very notion of repentance brings with it the action of total surrender of heart and life to God, a broken contrite heart that mourns over sins committed against the Holy God – a veritable treason and crime against the Holy Throne of the KING of the Universe!

Isaiah 1: 4-6, 15-18
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Matthew 5:4, 6 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.


Today’s church is all about “positive messages” and speak on the fulfillment and happiness of man, and how God is our servant and we retain the role as ‘masters of our own destiny’ with seldom a thought or consideration that we ought to pray for God’s will in our lives, but assume that our will is sanctioned, even blessed by God! Among many churches, to even pray “Thy will [God] be done” is an expression of . . . unbelief?!? Unbelievable!!

Here is a brief excerpt from Paris Reidhead’s sermon 10 Shekels and a Shirt; listen to his valuable words and see if what he speaks on doesn’t describe most churches today in all their humanistic teachings centered around the needs of humanity rather than the glory of God: The GLORY of GOD – 4 mins. 24 secs


The only life that will know the glory of God, and realize the fulfillment of God’s will in daily living; the only life that will know the full blessedness of fellowship with the LORD Jesus Christ and be used gloriously as His instrument for the Gospel and the Kingdom of God is a life that has ended at the cross with no desire to turn away from this Inspired Instrument of the Death of Iniquity in the human heart!! No Social Gospel can touch this! No Green Gospel of Environmentalism can approach this! No Humanistic Gospel could survive in the glorious Light of this True Gospel – and the church has been well nigh stripped of this Gospel and the power thereof! Yet Paul the Apostle declared boldly:

Romans 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Just as John the Baptist was used of God to lead people to the Messiah before His actual revelation to Israel, so too the true church of Jesus Christ needs to be busy about this business and lead people to the LORD, preaching REPENTANCE and the GOSPEL and the DECLARATION OF HIS COMING AGAIN.

This past Sunday my pastor quoted someone but he wasn’t sure who is was; nevertheless this anonymous voice and his words have echoed in my heart since I heard them (this is something of a paraphrase):

“It is the ultimate example of selfishness that a person who is going to heaven, is content to go there alone.”

May we, the body of Christ, the church founded upon none other than the ROCK, the LORD JESUS CHRIST follow the Protocols of the greatest Prophet, John the Baptist and preach repentance from sin and admonish the lost to turn to God through the only Mediator, Jesus Christ; and may we herald uncompromisingly the Gospel of Salvation until HIS SOON RETURN which we must also declare in these last days!

1 Timothy 2:4-6
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.