I know I planned to share about the three miracles and I will.
I am impressed to make an appeal to Jewish brothers and sisters around the world. The time has come for the veil to be lifted from their eyes. Not that they become anything else but who G-d (as they would write it) has ordained them to be. They will each know by the Spirit of God. There is no other way.
This morning in Word time I read from Isaiah 40 and verse 3 caught my attention.
Isaiah 40:3 (NASB)
3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
We know this voice was John the Baptist by his own declaration in answering the religious leaders who came out of Jerusalem to question this man who people were flocking to. John 1:23 NASB
Matthew 3:3 (KJV)
“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.”
I have seen this place on the Jordan. It is stark, uninhabitable (in my opinion) desert. It is many miles from Jerusalem and only the very determined or inspired would go there.
John was the son of a high priest, Zacharias of the division of Abijah and his wife Elizabeth. Zacharias was a Kohen (sp?) a special group of Rabi’s ordained to be high priest. (see Luke 1: 1-25 )
John was recognized by the people as being from God. They were not sure who he was until he proclaimed himself as the person from Isaiah’s prophecy. His father Zacharias had also prophesied as recorded below
Luke 1:76-80 (NASB)
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
John’s father was visited by an angel, while performing his priestly duty and was told about his son, and was made mute until John was born and named “John” as the angel had instructed. Luke 1:8 This testifies to the credibility of Zacharas’ prophecy over John.
At the Jordan scene, Jesus arrives and John (the cousin of Jesus) recognizes Him, declaring,
John 1:29-34 (NASB)
29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
30 “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’
31 “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’
34 “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
As Jesus’ cousin, at times John saw Jesus growing up. Both were miracle babies. Elizabeth was beyond child bearing years. At some point the two mothers shared what they knew to be true with their sons. It was “My son the prophet instead of my son the doctor or lawyer.” No wonder John headed for the desert spending some time with the Esseenes (sp?) a gathering of Jews at Qumran (sp?) who by separating themselves from Jerusalem were very determined to live pure lives before G-d. This is also where we find the Dead Sea Scrolls, which I saw in Israel on a recent trip.
Here is my point. The Jewish people recognize John. Why not then recognize the One John recognized, the One about whom G-d gave a qualifying sign to John. “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” Even John needed proof and God knew that.
So John is lying? Jesus even says to John, Matthew 3:14-17 (NASB)
14 “ But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.
16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,
17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
The fulfilling of righteousness was the fulfillment of all prophecy. Isaiah’s 40:3, and Malachi 3:1-3 This was John’s life plan moment. His whole life led to this prophecy fulfilling moment. Soon after John was imprisoned and later killed.
Malachi 3:1-3 (NASB)
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.
2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
3 “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.
The first messenger is John. The messenger of the covenant is Jesus. The covenant is the Abrahamic covenant. The refining is the true refining that the Holy Spirit brings to a man’s heart by the Word of G-d. We see through His eyes crucifying our former carnality so we can be kings and priests unto G-d.
The righteousness we embrace, the grace that brings righteousness (Romans 5:21) as kings and priests, will qualify us for eternity and to rule and reign with Him. Ruling in a kingdom of enduring love, our royalty in Him will be obvious. This is why he whose “love” endures to the end shall be saved. Our love must endure all things just as Christ’s love did on the cross. Eternity hangs in the balance for each of us, the Jew first and then the Greek. Un-forgiveness, anger, hatred, such things WILL NOT be smuggled into heaven.
Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as your self. Do this so you will be able to love yourself the way G-d loves you. It is about you. The entire creation and salvation effort is about you and I reaching eternity intact, our hearts empowered by Him.
If you recognize John,…why not Jesus our (yours and my) Messiah.
In Christ, in the Messiah, we become children of the Most High, Jews if you will, grafted into the tree of Israel. You are not the tree unless you have maintained sacrifices to cover yourselves under the law. What if there was One sacrifice that re-enstates your relationship with God and One life that teaches you how to maintain that relationship from that day forward, forever.
You are not forsaking your heritage or your faith if you practice it. Through the Messiah you are finally reaching that perfection that no longer requires a blood sacrifice. It does require a spiritual sacrifice as we daily crucify our will and emotions against others.
Embracing goodness, Goodness embraces you back.
Its the power of love!”
The coming times will demand our understanding. Preparing now is paramount.
You are loved, He waits,
We initiate the return of Christ! (The E-book)
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