A guest post by John Kvigne:
When we look at the stories in the Bible, especially from the Old Testament prophets, we read that these prophets were telling people what was and what was to come in the future. These prophets were considered to be “HERALDS”.
What is a herald? A herald can be defined as a person who announces the King’s decrees. So here is my question for your congregation – are you a heralding congregation? Better yet: Are you, as an individual Christian, a heralding person who is spreading the Kings good news?
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
Isaiah was considered a heralding prophet and this post is about his prophecy about a man that would be a herald for the King of Kings: John the Baptist.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” 3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’
4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” (Matthew 3:1-12)
Who was John the Baptist, and why was his message so important?
John was a herald for the coming Messiah, Jesus, to the Israelites and the rest of the world. He was to bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord; calling them to repentance. He would make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
To “repent” means to change one’s mind and to act on that change. John was heralding the news of the coming of the King of Kings (the Messiah) and telling them that they had better get their lives in order. John was definitely one calling in the desert that people should prepare the way of the Lord.
People from all over the region of the Jordan and all of Judea came to see and hear this wild looking guy, who wore camel’s hair clothes, and ate locusts and wild honey. He called people to repent and turn from everything contrary to the kingdom and to embrace God’s reign over their life.
We, as a church need to be listening to that still small voice within each of us and respond to his leading. This is what will bring revival into our churches, communities and our families. It is God’s Holy Spirit that does the work on people’s hearts – not us.
If we are genuinely submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit, our lives will be changed.
Some things to consider:
- Is the life you are now living different from the life you used to live?
When we stop feeding our spirit man with worldly garbage and start feeding on the Word of God then what is in our heart will come out our mouth. (Luke 6:43-45)
- What kind and what quality of fruit are God and others seeing in your life today?
Are you doing what God has called you to do?
- Do you know who it is you are serving?
I hope we, as the Body of Christ, continue to do what God has called us to do. I hope that we can experience that outpouring of His Holy Spirit as it is found in Joel 2:28-29. I hope that we continue to be heralds for our King – Jesus – the King of Kings.