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The Preparing Message of John
Written on February 7th, 2005 - 6:51PM
Last Updated: February 10th, 2005 - 8:30PM

He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Luke 3:7)

Even the truly wicked will sometimes make a show of repentance in the hopes of missing the righteous judgment of God. They know that their works are evil and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and know that Yahweh has promised to spare those who return to Him.

However, these same wicked people do not fully realize that God knows the hearts of all men. He also can see the actions of humankind. When a person says they have repented from their sin, what follows should be proof. Yet many expected that saying with the mouth was all that was needed.

John's Preparation

John the Baptizer, the prophet of Yahweh and preparer of the way of the Lord Jesus, didn't allow them to think this behavior would be accepted by God.

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones! (Luke 3:8)

It was not enough to count upon one's physical heritage to claim the blessings of the Covenant. These Jews could not depend on Abraham as their ancestor to bring them a right standing with Yahweh. God could raise up new children out of inanimate stones if He chose. Yet He desired His people to be willing participants in the Covenant. He desired them to do what was right to prove they truly loved Him. And He was not giving them much longer to decide what they would do.

Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire." (Luke 3:9)

It is often the case with some types of people that this kind of information is what is necessary to awaken them to reality. They realized they could not rely upon their ancestry to make themselves pure before their God. They understood that the time was coming when Yahweh would judge the whole world in righteousness, according to its works. And fortunately, this people did not reject outright what John had been saying; they wanted to know where to go from where they had been.

The multitudes asked him, "What then must we do?" (Luke 3:10)

John's answer was the heart of Jesus' Gospel that was to come.

He answered them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise." (Luke 3:11)

This act began with the act of loving oneself; namely that a person had provided for their own well being by having clothing. It continued with the act of loving the person's neighbor, by being willing to and actually working to give from one's excess to meet another person's need. Both with clothing and food, John's advice was to have what you needed first, and from the extra to give to others. He did not say if you have one coat, give it to the one who has none. For then the first person would be the one with none and the one to whom he gave would be obligated to give it back! Rather, those who had two, one for their own self and thus one for another, were to give that extra. And the one with food, "let him do likewise."

Here is the beginning of repentance from dead works; it is bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance. It is not working for the sake of working, but out of a true desire to love one's self and others. It is seeing needs and meeting them as one is able. It is living from love.

The Lord's Gospel

Christ's way was prepared by the ministry of John, as prophesied by Isaiah.

1In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" 3For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."{Isaiah 40:3} (Matthew 3:1-3)

Notice that Jesus' Gospel was an affirmation of what John had already taught the people.

From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good Message." (Mark 1:15)

The second part of the Word of Christ was to "believe in the Gospel." This is the second part of Word of Christ, according to the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 6:1): that of faith, of trust. The Lord wished His listeners to first repent, and then to trust in the Gospel.

Last Accessed: June 22nd, 2022 - 11:49PM
Times Read: 2042
The Good Message

As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.

But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.

This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, Christ Jesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.

You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.

God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.

That Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.

His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.

The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.

So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.

Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!

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