A.W. TOZER said that we are not diplomats but prophets, our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.
We are heralds. Burning voices. In the line of John the Baptizer…
I can almost imagine John himself saying, I maybe a single voice but I know I will be the first messenger among many. They are coming after me. Oh, it has been four hundred years since a prophet has spoken! We have waited for centuries. But now it has happened. God has spoken again. The Passover Lamb has appeared in the world. He will eradicate the trespass and wipe our offense from the face of the earth. Praise to the Lord on High!
Your voice. Your voice is your most powerful tool. It’s a weapon. In your life you must use up your voice – until it’s completely gone. People must know the truth. That salvation has come!
If you could see John the Baptizer, he would warn you:
The enemy would like nothing else than to silence and snuff you out. Oh trust me, they will kill the messenger but it won’t matter soon. Do your worst.
As for me, I’ll keep crying out in the wilderness. With every breath I breathe… HALLELUJAH! Light will piece the darkness. PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD!
No longer capable of coexisting with the religious mediocrity, John fled to the Judean desert to escape the corruption infecting every strata of his time.
John would say “I desired nothing but the life sustaining breath of the Holy Spirit. Like the Levite prophets of yore, I ate honey and did not cut my hair to fulfill my nazirite vow. As the hours turned into days and the days into weeks, I began to hear Him and see him in my visions. I stayed in the wilderness for years.”
Let my people go. Defy the status quo. Prepare yourself. Flee from the coming wrath! I have foreseen it. There is a powerful one who now has the winnowing fork in hand. From the very foundation of the Temple He will gather those holy on the threshing floor. But the wicked and their seeds will be burned like chaff in the fire. So join your voice to ours. Light up the darkness!
John’s father Zechariah was silenced by the archangel for not believing the prophecy of John’s birth. He was silenced to ensure John’s voice would go forth.”
I can imagine Zechariah saying “As long as you have breath, your voice must never stop! For you will bring back many Israelites from the brink. This is why the angel commanded me to name you and why you are called John. For you are a gift to Israel and you will show our nation the generosity of God. You, my child, are a prophet of God the Most High in the line of Elijah. So never relent. Never be silent.”
John would tell you that there is now a great spiritual awakening unlike anything the world has ever seen…. He would recount how the heavens shook. New stars appeared and spiritual seekers from every nation have invaded his land. It was then that The Spirit gave him a new reality. “John, there is a new Kingdom coming,” he said. “It will change the world.”
So John came out of hiding and began crying out in the wilderness. “REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR!” And from Jerusalem, Judea and the region of the Jordan, people came out to rededicate their lives.
John stood against the flow of the river as He had his whole life. He baptized our new disciples in the living waters of the Jordan. Just as his forefathers had crossed into the promised land through the Jordan so also these children came up out of the river as though a day old.
God will light your words on fire. Like John your words will draw even the religious aristocracy and political elite. Who warned them? They were blind but their eyes have been opened. Still others only saw the appearance of a spectacle!
It was soon after baptizing his cousin Jesus that John’s ministry grew further into Israel. He did not waiver in proclaiming the truth and this became particularly inconvenient to the religious and political establishment. Having admonished them he rebuked those leaders who continued to live under the veneer of righteousness.
In his own words, Johun would say, that “Eventually, the establishment came for me. They came in the night; long after the crowds had gone home. They were the typical hired swords, some of the same soldiers I had seen on the banks of the Jordan. Even as they bound me, they remorsefully read the order signed by Herod Antipas. And I was lead away to the dungeon at the Castle Macherus.”
My friends, he would say, I have vacillated during the long days of my trials. There were unanswered questions but these were asked in but a moment of weakness. It can become easy to let the dark seeds of doubt creep in but you should know even from my prison that my joy is now complete. We baptized many Hebrews together. The road of repentance has been laid with many souls. They will draw many others to the Messiah when he reveals his fullness before the end of days.
But my lot is different. We all have a role to play before the great day of unity. Soon the sword will come for me. I believe the sun has set for the final time on my ministry. But the sun will never set on His. His ministry absorbs all ministries, including mine. You must now go to his side. I am but a friend of the groom but it is his wedding. I am from this earth but he is from above. Do not reject him. I too had my own expectations of the Messiah’s timing and rule. It was my expectations that caused doubt. He must increase and I will decrease. My expectations were more of a prison than the bars and chains that hold me now. I desire that you not be bound by your expectations. Walk unbound!
I see now that His plan and destiny are more than just for our band of disciples. This is bigger than you or me. My prophecy is fulfilled. My mission accomplished. This is more than your tribe. Whatever you think of Him, know this. He must be greater. Any expectation you have of him is a limitation, and He will not, indeed cannot be limited by our expectations. He is limitless.
Join your voice to mine.