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Wednesday, November 21 2012
Ahead Of The Prophet
The Messiah was a Prophet of the coming Kingdom of God (see The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God), "That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people."
"7:16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people." (Luke 7:16 KJV)
The Messiah came, and is returning, for a Grand Purpose. The kingdoms of this world, political and religious, are going to end when the Messiah returns ("2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" Daniel 2:44; see also The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image) - a return that was authorized by the Messiah's successful coming the first time (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?). John the Baptist was a prophet of the "first fruits" of the Messiah (see The Harvest Prophecies).
"3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [see Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand]. 3:3 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.
John was feared and hated because he encouraged the people, and the leaders, to repent and come out of the doomed kingdoms of this world - a world created by, and perpetuated by, the deceptions of Satan (see Who Lights Your Walk?).
"3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees [see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?] come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 3:9 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 [see also What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?]. 3:10 And now also the ax 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 [see also What Is The Day Of The LORD?].
The Messiah was baptized by John as a formal act of the completion of John's ministry and the beginning of the Messiah's Ministry (see The Ministries Of The Two Greatest Prophets; also Jesus And John: Similarities And Differences).
"3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee [see also The Cities Of Lake Galilee] to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
"O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
Herod (see Herod Antipas) oversaw the executions of both John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. Ironically, John's mission of preparing the way for the Messiah, by preaching repentance ahead of Him, ended when he was beheaded by Herod. John rebuked him for his adultery and "for all the evils which Herod had done" - to which Herod committed an even greater evil, "yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison."
"3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Luke 3:7 KJV)
The daughter of Herodias (known in some accounts as Salome) was a young "exotic dancer" who "pleased Herod" so much that the enamored fool promised her "Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee." At the instigation of her adulterous mother Herodias, she asked for the head of John the Baptist. Whether or not they later repented of their actions, their killing of John at that time was a horrendous act of evil.
"6:14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.
John was not "a reed shaken with the wind." From all that is recorded about him, he was not moved by fear or favoritism, but driven to preach the Word of God in the hope that everyone would love the Truth, but at the same time losing no sleep over the choices that people later made for themselves.
"7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 7:25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 7:26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 7:27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
The transfiguration event, which was a vision of the future Kingdom of God on Earth (see the Fact Finder question below), included an explanation of John the Baptist's role as the prophet to the Prophet (see The Ministries Of The Two Greatest Prophets). While most focus on Moses and Elijah in the vision, it was John the Baptist's service to the Messiah that made the Messiah's first coming a success, for "Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist."
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother [see also What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?], and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Fact Finder: When will the Messiah's mission as a "prophet" of the Kingdom of God be accomplished?
This Day In History, November 21
164 BC: Judas Maccabaeus, the son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, restored the Temple in Jerusalem after the original "abomination of desolation" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea). The event is celebrated each year by Jews with the festival of Hanukkah (see Christ's Hanukkah and The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).
235: Anterus began his reign as pope (see The Struggle For The Papacy).
1620: Leaders of the Mayflower expedition wrote the Mayflower Compact which was designed to bolster unity among the English settlers of "New England."
1783: In Paris, France, Jean de Rozier and the Marquis d' Arlandes made the first uncabled balloon flight, covering nearly 6 miles in 23 minutes.
1818: Czar Alexander I of Russia called for a Jewish state in "Palestine" (the word "Palestine" originated as an alternate English pronunciation of Philistine; see also Gaza In History And Prophecy).
1880: Emmanuel Daude d'Alzon of France died at age 70. The Church of Rome cleric, who founded the order of the "Augustinians of the Assumption," was active in preparing the Church of Rome's anti-Biblical doctrine of papal infallibility - that has proven itself false, by numerous papal blunders (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1904: Motorized buses replaced horse-drawn cars in Paris.
1907: The Cunard liner Mauretania set a new speed record for steamship travel: 624 nautical miles in a one-day run.
1916: During the First World War (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Britannic, the larger sister ship of the Titanic, sank in the Kea Channel off Greece. It was on its fourth trip from Southampton to the island of Lesbos to pick up casualties. 18 people died, 1,106 survived. Still under construction when the Titanic sank in 1912, the Britannic had its design changed to correct defects in what was supposed to have been the unsinkable Titanic.
1918: The German High Seas Fleet surrendered at the Firth of Fourth in Scotland, one of the key conditions of the First World War armistice signed on November 11.
1929: A tidal wave caused by an underwater earthquake in the Atlantic Ocean off southeastern Newfoundland killed 29 people who were drowned when their homes were swept into the ocean.
1949: The United Nations granted Libya its independence (see also Libya In History And Prophecy).
1953: The British Museum published a scientific report proving that the "Pitdown Man," discovered in 1912 by Charles Dawson (not to be confused with Charles Darwin), proved to be a hoax (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1977: The first operational flight of the supersonic Concorde took place from London to New York.
1991: The UN Security Council chose Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations.