Six thousand years ago, God spoke in prophecy about a coming Messiah, telling the woman Eve and the serpent that their descendants would change the destiny of mankind. He said And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. Genesis 3:16. Approximately four thousand years afterwards, this promised seed of the woman came, lived with us for close to thirty years and revealed the Father to us. He went to a cruel roman cross and brought salvation and deliverance. He also promised to return. The question on many people's lips has been, When? Unfortunately, since then, false prophets have come and gone, and some foolish things have been said and done... all supposedly in the name of Christ. Nevertheless, Jesus did say that he would come back and so he will. I believe that we are the generation that will be alive when he does return, and I make that bold statement on the basis of God's word. Things are happening now in accordance with that word in ways that are unprecedented. For example, Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 that the Gospel would be preached in all the nations before the end would come. This is happening in our day. Television, the internet and other forms of electronic media reach into some of the most remote parts of the world the early church never knew existed. We are now able to criss-cross the globe carrying the message of Christ almost anywhere and our own ministry will by faith soon possess a jet aircraft capable of flying non stop from Australia to the United States.
The Gospel is now reaching into all nations just as Jesus said would happen.
We're close... perhaps a lot closer than you think.
The Bible is full of types and antitypes, shadows and substance. God often uses illustrations that we readily understand to convey spiritual truth.
Jesus often spoke in parables, using ordinary everyday objects and events to achieve his objectives.
When someone asked him questions about the Kingdom of God or other matters, he used things like seeds, or water as the vehicle to convey the truth. There are close to fifty such references in the Gospels alone and He often started with words like The Kingdom of Heaven is like... then continued with examples.
Most of the parables were hidden from folk who were not in intimate relationship with Him, but He explained them in detail to His disciples. See Matthew 13:13-18 where He made it very clear that unless one has such a relationship, the whole thing is a mystery to the hearer and what He said does not make sense.
If you look carefully, you will see that the key to understanding His parables is the parable of the seed.
I urge you to read Mark 4:1-34 carefully. He was referring to the scriptures!
To avoid error we need to understand one thing by asking a simple question, To whom or about whom is God talking? God relates to three distinctly different groups of people, Jews, Gentiles and the Church. See 1 Corinthians 10:32. Never mix them up. It will ensure that you get your end time doctrines correct.
We can make mistakes by forming opinions on a matter, thinking that God is talking to one group of people, but He is in reality referring to another.
Some of the end time doctrines are intertwined in this manner and we can get it wrong by mixing them up.
One error is that the Church has Replaced Israel.
That replacement thinking is dangerous. God has a covenant with Israel that is still valid. It has never been revoked and it is completely different to His covenant with the Church.
The third group of people are those who have no covenant as such whatsoever!
One such parable is that of the Ten Virgins. It is found in Matthew 25:1-6 right in the midst of His discourse about End Time events, saying- When the end comes, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids. They took their oil lamps and went to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish bridesmaids took their lamps, but they didn't take any extra oil. The wise bridesmaids, however, took along extra oil for their lamps. Since the groom was late, all the bridesmaids became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight someone shouted, 'The groom is here! Come to meet him!'.
Jesus plainly described what things would be like when the end comes. It is no mystery and despite certain statements, we will know the approximate season of His return! More of this elsewhere.
Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 25:31-32;
Please use your imagination for a moment and picture a man and a woman who meet and fall in love.
In our society, the young man buys a beautiful engagement ring and proposes to her, saying, Will you marry me?
The young woman accepts and they are engaged. They start planning for their wedding, discussing things like bridesmaids, the best man, where they will get married and their honeymoon. There is the wedding cake, the wedding reception, flowers, her wedding dress, the photographer and many other things to consider. Then there is the question of their home, children, careers and more to think about.
On the wedding day, the beautiful bride arrives with her dad and they walk down the aisle together. At the end of the aisle is the groom, nervously fidgeting and waiting for her and then they are married.
They know the date, the time and the venue.
The invited guests know the date, the time and the venue. We send invitations with a please RSVP by a certain date to facilitate catering.
In the bible account, all ten had been proposed to and all ten had said, Yes. The wedding arrangements were made and according to the custom of the day, the bride prices paid, the dowry set and all arrangements were made.
The date and time were usually established and in some places, the groom started making preparations in his father's home for his bride. When those preparations were completed, he would come in a procession accompanied with his best friends and others who were celebrating with him, with music and merriment, arrive at the bride's house and ask her father for his bride. They would then return together to his father's house and they were the married.
Jesus said that he was going to make a place ready for us in his Father's Home. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3.
The Lord shared some profound truths in this parable.
I once though He was referring to those who heard the Gospel and rejected it and those who received it.
One day He asked me a simple question, "In which group would you like to be?" I immediately answered, "One of the wise virgins of course" and He replied, "Wouldn't you rather be the watchman?"
What he shared was amazing and caused me to reappraise my whole approach to this matter.
All Ten Brides knew the bridegroom was coming
All ten Brides had lamps and had oil for their lamps. Oil speaks about the anointing and can represent the Holy Spirit. In other words, they had received their anointing and the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives
All ten Brides were running low in oil. Five had completely run out of oil and five were so low in resources that they had none to spare for anyone else
All Ten Brides fell asleep
All ten did not know that the groom had arrived Sadly, this represents the state of the church of our day. Many individuals, churches and denominations that once had oil in their lamps have run out and are merely going through the motions. Some are so dangerously low they stand on very thin ice with the Lord. We have entered into the season when God is separating sheep from sheep; when the Bride is being prepared for her Heavenly Bridegroom and when God is about to visit us in unprecedented manner. Suddenly "In the middle of the night someone yelled out, 'He's here! The bridegroom's here! Go out and greet him!' Matthew 25:6.
All ten brides awoke and they were unprepared. Fortunately, in the parable, five of the virgins managed to go into the wedding reception, but the other five were locked out. When they tried to get in, this was the grooms answerBut he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' Matthew 25:12.
This is a serious story and very relevant to us today. Who was the one who sounded the alarm? Who was the person who was awake and waiting for the groom? Who was that unnamed watchman?
John the Baptist came as one of those watchers, looking for the coming bridegroom... the Messiah.
Are you awake? Do you have oil in your lamp? If another calls out today, "He is here", will you be ready?
Before we come to the core message, that is on the topic titled Prepare the way of the Lord, there are several introductory points to present as follows below
The word of God often reminds us that God is a supernatural God. Everything about him speaks of the supernatural, yet religion denies this. Religion puts God into a box, tells you that you must conform to a man-made series of rules and regulations, pomp, ceremony, tradition and ritual. They have their place of course, but when they become the end in itself as many religious activities, in parts of the Christian church, they deny the power of God.
Paul told us You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. 2 Timothy 3:1-4.
This is symptomatic of our times of course but he added, “They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people" 2 Tim. 3:5.
He said that the preaching of the cross to some people would be foolishness.
He described it as a stumbling block to the Jew and foolishness to the Greek and stated that man’s wisdom and everything associated with it is foolishness to God, but it is by the foolishness of preaching that we should be saved (not the preaching of foolishness).
In his discourse, he spoke often about the power of God.
Please read the first two chapters of the first book of Corinthians and associated passages of scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 4:20, he said the Kingdom of God is not in word (only) but in Power.
Why is it then that many arms of the church deny this?
Why try to tear out certain pages of the bible saying that all this is a myth or a fable or no longer applies? No! Everything about God says that he is a God who is constant and that he is a God who performs miracles and he often says that he will give us signs, wonders and miracles.
Signs, wonders and miracles are an inherent part of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
They verified Jesus's ministry. According to His own words in Mark 16:14-20 and elsewhere, they must accompany us, because He goes with us and confirms His Word with the things the produce Kingdom of God results. Without them,it is trying to do God's work without the tools and the materials!
Never be afraid of them. Do not think that by asking God for such things that the devil will get in and send you something different.
Jesus spoke about this. In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, he said that if you ask God for bread, he would not give you a stone. If you ask for a fish he would not give you a snake and then said that if you ask God for the Holy Spirit (and everything associated with him), you would get that… nothing else.
He was talking about the supernatural and if you want what is coming, you must return to the supernatural of God.
You will never find a counterfeit three-dollar note and the reason is very simple. There is no genuine three-dollar note. The devil can only try to counterfeit the real and in our day, there are many lying signs and wonders.
Those led by the Spirit of God need not fear that of course but please do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, because of excess, error or falsehood. You may say, "Oh but Robert, you are one of those faith preachers. You are one of those signs seekers." Yes, I am and I make no apologies. Religion kills, but I want the realities of God in my life and ministry and that is what God wants. He said that he would give signs. The best-known one is this, Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel Isaiah 7:14.
If you deny the miraculous of God, you have denied he very foundations of our Faith, because this promise about Jesus was fulfilled and there are many more.
John the Baptist was one who had supernatural preparation for a supernatural ministry and we shall read about him and the basis for his ministry in this story.
John’s birth and his whole life was a miracle. His parents were Godly people. The bible says that they were righteous and blameless before God. His dad was a priest, but he was an old man. So was mum. In our vernacular, we would describe them as being past it. They were simply too old to have children and in those days that was a shame and a disgrace. Imagine the gossip. There must be sin in their lives. God is punishing them. They don’t have any faith. I am sure that does not happen in your church of course, but isn't this true to life?
Zecharias was chosen by lot to perform a very important task, which was to burn the incense in the temple. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity because they never had a second chance. Luke’s account says that an angel came to him standing at the right hand of the altar of incense (See Luke 1).
He told the man that he was to have a son and that he was to call the boy, Ioannes (the Greek word for John). His name means, God is a gracious giver and that is typical of our God. He gives us good gifts and he is lavish with them.
He had a supernatural encounter with God. Elizabeth conceived in her old age. It was a miraculous conception and a miraculous birth.
Six months after she became pregnant, the Angel visited a young virgin called Mary and she conceived. It also was a supernatural visitation.
Everything about these two men, Jesus and John and their ministries speaks of things that are definitely out of the normal. Their births were miracle births. Their ministries were miracle ministries (although John never performed any miracles himself).
With the ministry of John, there was a supernatural preparation. John never lived a normal life. By rights, he should have inherited his father’s estate. He was of the right lineage and should have become a priest, even high priest perhaps, but went into the wilderness. Somewhere in his life, he turned down his family line and went into solitude. Why? What happened in those thirty years? The bible does not clearly show us, but I can safely say that he was being prepared for his extremely important ministry. He was learning and listening, watching and waiting for something to trigger his emergence into the public arena. He came out of relative obscurity and into the public gaze with a ministry that paved the way for Jesus to come. His ministry was very short, but what a powerful ministry it was. His ministry was like the flare of a match head perhaps, but a small match can start a massive forest fire.
Suddenly, Jesus emerges out of his obscure background. Why? Why then? What prompted John to start preaching? What prompted Jesus to go and see this strange man?
I suggest that they were being trained and prepared in the School of the Spirit and that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired them, led them or even drove them.The Holy Spirit drove Jesus in the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil.
There are many Christians, who like John are out there in their respective wilderness areas, where they have an opportunity for training and equipping. They might emerge as if out of nowhere for a short, but very powerful or effective ministry, but what a ministry.
The patterns are established and the precedents set.
The present day John the Baptist Ministries will of necessity and in fulfillment of biblical precedent be miraculous.
I am not suggesting that this is the only mark of authenticity of course. The scriptures themselves will attest their authenticity and one very important characteristic to look for in the genuine article is the attention focus.
The question to ask is, Who gets the glory? If the ministry points to Jesus… if the glory is given to God, then I think you will have your answer.
The question of Jesus' return therefore is not If but When and the appointed time or season is upon us.
The bible speaks about the fullness of time and tells us that there are appointed times and seasons in God, but why did he come at the time he did?
When those Old Testament prophets saw all this in the spirit and wrote what they saw for our instruction and guidance today, the Messiah could have come right there and then, but he did not. He could have been born one hundred years before the day we call Christmas, or he could have come fifty years afterwards, but why did he come when he did?
Messiah came when someone had made the appropriate preparations for his arrival. That was approximately 2000 years ago, so it is approximately seven thousand year years since it all began, which, according to Bible Chronology, equates to "Seven Days". Now God rested on the Seventh Day. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed (spoke good of) the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done. Genesis 2:2-3.
If we are entering into, if not already in the seventh day, then there must be a period of rest coming.
In Hebrews 4, we are told to Enter into that rest, but we are already in it through Jesus.
That is another matter, but it is important to understand that we are entering into a brand new era or a new dispensation.
I am firmly convinced that we are the generation that will be alive when Jesus returns, which is the central theme of this message.
Jesus promised to return 2000 years ago and I must ask the question, "Is Jesus delaying his promised return and if so... why?"
There are many possible answers of course, but I want you to consider this-
Is it possible that he is waiting for someone to prepare for his coming, or, in other words to get things ready for him?
Is it possible that he is waiting for a modern day John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord?
This page will address some of these issues.
Perhaps it will answer some of your own questions and it is my heart's desire that you will be enriched in your experience and come to know this wonderful saviour, not only as Lord, which he truly is, but as a friend and companion... as a dear brother and as your magnificent bridegroom.
Please stop for a moment as we ask the Holy Spirit for help: [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come. And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself] Ephesians 1:17-23.
The disciples asked Jesus what it would be like when he returned. Matthew 24:3 records it this way- While He was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and said, Tell us, when will this take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end (the completion, the consummation) of the age?
When we read the Gospel accounts, Jesus gave us many signs or indicators, either directly or by means of many of his parables. Many people are aware of some of the things Jesus told us about, such as wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes, famines and the like, but one of the best signs I feel, is the church herself.
Jesus stated quite categorically that he was going to build His Church and we know from scripture that this church is going to be beautiful, complete and wanting nothing and a church that is a very powerful entity. Scriptures like Ephesians 5:27 speak much about the Bride of Christ, describing her as a beautiful bride, without spot, wrinkle or blemish of any sort.
We have not all yet come to the unity of the faith, let alone become that beautiful radiant unashamed and powerful bride of which he spoke.
Whenever I speak of the Church, I do not refer to individuals, church groups or organizations, or even denominations, but I refer to the CHURCH that Jesus is building. What most people call the church... isn't and what that is, is very far from the design of the Master Builder.
Without getting too involved and too hard, the Church Jesus spoke of is nothing like what we have shown the world to date. This might sound harsh, but the Church is still the best sign we can look at and there is of course the nation of Israel, which is another story.
Jesus said that the Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached in all the world for a witness. I believe that every nation will receive the Gospel message and when that happens, the stage is set for his return. The word Nation in this context is the Greek word, Ethnos, from which we derive the terms ethnic, or ethnic groups.
What he said therefore is that ethnic groups would rise up against ethnic groups and this is possibly the most amazing thing to behold in our day. September 11, changed the world forever and it was a rising up of ethnic groups against ethnic groups. With such events taking place before our very eyes, we must surely be in the midst of the most profound fulfillment of prophecy ever and it relates to his returning.
Remember that he said that the generation that saw the beginning of these things happen would be the one that would be around when he came back.
I was born in 1942, during World War 2 and in my own lifetime, there have been more wars than in all other eras put together. Since I was born, there have been massive changes in all areas of life, also more than in any other generation. Man has walked the moon. Man has flown. Man has motor cars, electricity and television.
None of the prophets saw those things, but they saw our day.
Another great sign that points the way is the Gospel Message itself. Never before in human history has the word of God been spread so rapidly and so effectively on a global scale. Television and satellites have enabled us to go into the four corners of the world that were hitherto untouched. As more and more of these remote areas become able to receive television, more and more evangelists reach out to them and it will not be long before every nation on the face of this planet hears the message of Jesus in some way.
Most of the world population was able to witness some of mankind's biggest single recorded disasters almost live as the tsunami devastated Phuket, Anda Aceh, Sri Lanka, Male and other regions and the Tsunami that hit Japan that caused so much devastation.
We experienced a series of Blood Moon Tetrads, the first of which occurred on April 15, 2014. It will be followed with others on October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015. Some people suggested that they are signs of something about to happen. Are they? I doubt that, as they are natural events that have occurred since the dawn of creation and are still continuing. See the page 4 Blood Moons for more information.
We certainly are living in unprecedented times however that, to many believers, are the last of the last days and Jesus' command in Mark 16:15, Jesus gave us the great commission takes on greater significance. And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. The Greek word for World is Kosmos, meaning world of course, but with such other meanings as, an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government and adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, the heavenly hosts. It means the circle of the earth, the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race, the whole mass of men alienated from God and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ.
I seriously doubt if we have yet fulfilled this Great Commission, to go into all the kosmos and preach the Gospel to every living being, but we are the most evangelized, most televised; most meetings oriented, most churched and best equipped (as far as bibles, bible aids, Christian music) generation ever, but are we ready?
Are we prepared?
Can it be that the only thing hindering the return of Jesus is the church, or should I say the people in the church?
If so, then we must all prepare the way of the Lord.
Comfort, oh comfort My people, Says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, And declare to her That her term of service is over, That her iniquity is expiated; For she has received at the hand of the Lord Double for all her sins. A voice rings out: “Clear in the desert A road for the Lord! Level in the wilderness A highway for our God! Let every valley be raised, Every hill and mount made low. Let the rugged ground become level And the ridges become a plain. The Presence of the Lord shall appear, And all flesh, as one, shall behold— For the Lord Himself has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5
This is the very core of the message of John the Baptist. It is the essence of our Christian experience, for this is where we begin. The bible speaks very clearly that we should... repent. John preached it. Jesus preached it. Peter preached it, saying- So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; And that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you-even Jesus, Whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past [from the most ancient time in the memory of man] Acts 3:19.
True repentance means that you have changed your whole lifestyle and way of living.
Perhaps it was a habit of habit pattern that that once held you in sway or even controlled you.
Perhaps it was some form of addiction, which includes substance abuse, ever-eating disorders, compulsive behaviors etc. It may include things that motivated or controlled you, things that left you short of something in any other way. Think of things like losing your temper at the drop of a hat, cursing or basically anything that were in essence displeasing to God and then you suddenly repent of them and that change comes into your life and you just know that you know that things are different somehow.
If your life has really changed for the better, that is a fruit of repentance. It is not Religion, but a true Godly repentance that leads to a conversion experience, or to salvation. When God comes into your life, something must happen. There must be a change of some sort, otherwise the experience is lifeless and Jesus came to give us life, which is God's type of life.
It is like a grub that goes into a metamorphosis stage and turns into a beautiful butterfly. It is still the same being, but now this being has radically changed. Paul described it this way- Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
It is not feeling sorry for being caught out, or having an emotional religious experience but a life changing, liberating experience that turns your life completely around and you can testify, "Once I was going to hell, but now I am going to Heaven and I am a brand new creation in Jesus".
You see, God does not want any one of is to miss out on his blessings and favor. He does not want us to suffer in any way or go to Hell, but have a change of heart attitude and make Jesus Lord and live a full and complete life here, before our ultimate destination... Heaven, but we hold the key. God has provided the way and it is up to you and to me to either accept it or reject it and the choice is ours.
None of us can make it because we belong to a certain denomination, our father or grandfather or whoever was such and such, we live a good life, hurt nobody or even go to church, because it is a personal and intimate relationship that is one-on-one through the ONLY door... Jesus!
Acts 4:12 says- And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. ?
The message is one of repentance, yes, but it is also one of comfort in the literal sense of the word because he has accomplished all that is necessary for us to win the victory. The warfare has been completed. Jesus fought and won the battle for us. Our sins are pardoned and dealt with and we do not need to do anything other than believe it, accept it, enter into it and start living the way before God intended... blessed and free!
When we speak of the Double, this does not always refer to something in a numerical sense, such as twice as much. The Hebrew word used is Kephel, which was derived from the word Kaphel and it speaks of something to double or to fold over.
This folding over is a real blessing as it talks in a wonderful way about what Jesus has done for us.
It seems that when someone was in debt, the creditors could come to their home and write the debt onto a piece of parchment or animal skin such as a goat skin, listing everything in fine detail and nail this debt to the doorpost of their home.
This meant that everyone who wanted to look, could see the amount owed and there could be much guilt, shame, scorn and accusation attached.
If someone saw that and felt moved to pay the debt, this kind benefactor would repay the debt and write the words Paid In Full on this parchment or animal skin and fold it up and nail it closed. It was called, The Double.
In itself, this was significant because the Bible tells us very clearly that we are not to get into debt to anyone as the borrower becomes the servant to the lender. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7.
The wonderful significance to us is that we were once debtors. We were subservient to a cruel and heartless taskmaster whose delight was to bring us into slavery, rob, steal and kill. Jesus called him a thief in John 10:10.
The word of God clearly tells us that we were born in sin as the sons and daughters of the first Adam.
We were helpless and hopeless and destined for hell unless some kind benefactor came by and saw our plight and rescued us.
This kind benefactor is Jesus who paid the price. He went to the cross, our sins were nailed to the cross with him and he was able to take all of those records against our account and write, Debt paid in full before nailing it double. And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross]. Colossians 2:13-15.
When you come to Jesus and are born again from on high, everything that could be held against you as incriminating evidence in the courts of Heaven is completely eradicated... gone completely as if they never existed. The accuser doesn't have a case against you. You have already been pronounced Not Guilty by the Righteous Judge.
See Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 43:25, Isaiah 44:22, Micah 7:18, 1 John 1:9.
My friend, you owe no one anything (except love) because of what Jesus has done for you. If this isn't good news, I don't know what is and if you have not yet crowned him Lord of your life, please do so.
Jesus chided the religious bigots of His day saying that they fussed over matters that did not produce life and liberty and knew so much fact about scripture that they were capable of determining if there should be a comma or a full stop in certain places. He said that they were avid bible scholars, but did not have any revelation, because the very scriptures they knew backwards all testified about Him. See John 5:31-40.
Religious tradition has rendered the power of the word of God ineffective. See Matthew 15:6, Mark 7:13.
Such religious traditional teaching has removed the power of Isaiah's prophecy by saying the the voice of John was crying in the wilderness... Whilst he may have been in a geographical wilderness, this is not what is really meant. Young's Literal Translation describes it this way:A voice is crying—in a wilderness—Prepare ye the way of Jehovah.
The ministry of John the Baptist depicted as someone crying in the wilderness was in effect that of someone making a very clear and demanding proclamation for the hearers to prepare the way of Jehovah... in a wilderness environment. It is a completely different story. Isaiah's speech in the Hebrew used a word called Qara, which in itself a very important message that is still relevant today.
This describes an authoritative voice that is very demanding, or commanding attention.
The meanings of this word include- accosting a person met, call, cried, read, proclaim, invited and bidden. It means preach, utter a loud sound, to call and commission, appoint and endow and to be chosen.
What does this mean to us? Jesus spoke this way during His earthly ministry.
Fifteen times when he told religious people, But I say unto you (Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44; Matthew 11:22, 24; Matthew 12:6, 36; Matthew 17:12; Matthew 26:29; Mark 9:13; Luke 6:27 and Luke 10:12).
They had never heard anyone speak with such conviction and authority before (Mark 1:22, 2:12, 4:41; 10:24; Luke 4:22). And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. Luke 4:36.
Their comments stated very clearly that He had authority and power that produced results. People with real needs want answers and results and the world has seen enough of oratory and religious eloquence, because there is no revelation and life changing power with it.
If that was what is necessary to get the job done, then why hasn't it yet been done? Paul said, As for myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified. And I was in (passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you. And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them].
1 Corinthians 2:1-4.
So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5.
In 1 Corinthians 4:20, he said For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (the Greek word is Dunamis, from which we get the word Dynamite).
The messages of modern day John the Baptist preachers will be those that contain the same power, effectiveness and authority Jesus had.
When we speak about a wilderness, we usually think of a literal wilderness or a desert. The text uses a word called Midbar, describing a literal wilderness, but there is another meaning, which is very interesting. When studying scripture it is a good idea to look past the immediate verse and get the overall picture. It is like a jigsaw puzzle. You can look at an individual piece and see only that small part, or you can look at the overall picture and see it differently.
There is a meaning of this word Wilderness that relates to the mouth which is of course, the organ of speech.
This comes from an associated word Dabar which refers to our speech. Such words as speak, say, talk, tell, commune, pronounce, and utter are used in general terms, but there are other words that are more powerful. They include declare, command, threaten and promise. If you go back to the section, The Voice Crying, you will see how this is all intertwined and fits together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
The wilderness spoken of here relates to our own lives and experiences. They speak about whether you are in a dry barren place or in a rich place of blessing and abundance.
The ability to live in either place often rests with our conversation. Proverbs 18:21 says Death and life are in the power of the tongue; Those who love it will eat its fruit.
Little wonder that Jesus said that what is in our hearts will eventually come out through our speech (Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45).
In essence this means that what you say... will produce what you are, have or will become.
Most people I know who are in a dry barren wilderness are usually bitter and resentful, harbour grudges, are unforgiving and display little faith. They usually talk negatively, always see the dangers and problems and always warn you to be careful and the like.
Someone may of course be in a wilderness experience because of sin or disobedience and we know all about that, but there is yet another aspect to consider-
We may find ourselves in a wilderness by God's design!
We see this situation many times in Scripture, but I want to draw your attention to Jesus' example.
The Greek word used is Eremos which translates as wilderness, desert or desolate, uninhabited and solitary.
It sometimes speaks about people who are lonely, deserted by others, deprived of the aid and protection of others (especially of friends, acquaintances or kindred) and describes the person as being bereft. It also describes a flock that has been deserted by the shepherd and a woman who is neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself.
Several things happened when John baptised Jesus-
The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus
The Father spoke and declared his pleasure in his Son Jesus
The Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness.
Mark 1:12 says Immediately the [Holy] Spirit [from within] drove Him out into the wilderness (desert)
This is the setting where Jesus was confronted by the devil. Let us get something straight here. According to James 1:13 God did not test or tempt, because he never tempts us. The devil does not have the power many people mistakenly say he has, because he was defeated at Calvary! He did not really know who Jesus was... that is why he tested him. The Devil knew Messiah was coming but did not yet know who he was and to make sure he got him he slaughtered many innocent babies.
Think this through prayerfully and as you search scriptures for yourself you might be amazed at the discovery.
John and Jesus were led and guided by the Holy Spirit all their lives for a very short ministry, but what a powerful ministry each one had. It is quite possible that God is preparing you for something and you are being trained and refined before being released into your ministry.
Every one of us has a ministry of some sort. It might not be in the public light, or behind a pulpit, but it is a very important ministry indeed. It is the Ministry of reconciliation and you have a quality and an experience like no one else possesses.
You and you alone can reach certain people. All you really have to do is share the love of God with that person. All you have to do is share your experience and tell them about what Jesus did for you. You could be a modern day Baptist who is perhaps unknown... different from the norm… considered a radical... feel like a square peg in a round hole. Your present situation could thus be in accordance with God's will for you at this time, so please seek wisdom about it. Please make sure that you are not fighting God by wanting to get out of that desert place.
The Baptist was in a desert place. He spent close to 30 years in relative obscurity before he suddenly came out of the desert to proclaim the message of the coming Messiah and he broke the mould when it came to protocol and conformity to religious tradition when he did emerge.
What was he doing all that time?
What did Jesus do for his thirty years prior his three-and-a-bit-year ministry?
I think that they were in the school of the Spirit. They were in training; They were getting ready; They were getting prepared. Most of the prophets of old went to this school. John went to it. Jesus went to it.
It is the School of the Spirit where you could be placed— by God— out of sight and out of mind and think you are in a desert place. Well, rejoice, because you are about to emerge out of the wilderness and into one of the most wonderful ministries possible... helping prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.
There is a wonderful love story in Genesis 24 that speaks about Isaac and Rebekah.
Abraham had sent his servant to find a bride for his son, with very specific requirements. This faithful and unnamed servant had complete freedom and liberty to do as he wished and he had free access to Abraham’s wealth, ruling over all that Abraham had (see Genesis 24:2).
Abraham made a covenant with this man and sent him on a mission, as his representative.
What he said was what Abraham said.
What he did was what Abraham did and these attributes remind me of the manner in which Jesus represented the Father and of how the Holy Spirit now represents Jesus.
It of course reminds me that we have been granted power of attorney as Christ’s ambassadors.
This man was a man with a mission. He was completely faithful to his master and his greatest desire was to serve him faithfully, honestly and efficiently. He had one objective, which was to please Abraham. This was his life. This was what his role and purpose was in life and it is the same way that we should carry ourselves before God and it is what we could describe as a way of life.
When this faithful servant found Rebekah, he responded accordingly And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren. Genesis 24:26-27.
This is the same word that is used by Isaiah, Prepare ye the way of the Lord and it is most important.
The Way speaks about our standards of living, or our way of life. This Hebrew word, Derek speaks about habit patterns.
It speaks figuratively of the journey or course of life you are taking and describes your moral character.
It also denotes such things as road and distance and journey which is very apt, because we have embarked on a journey on the roadof life. There is of course much more than this. Jesus called himself Hodos or The Way (John 14:6) which speaks about the same things.
Everything we are and do should point, as John the Baptist did, towards Jesus.
When you get to know him, then our journey is wonderful and exciting. It might not be easy of course as life is real and can hurt at times, but Jesus overcame the world for us, so our journey will ultimately be successful.
Massive change processes are taking place in these days. Something is happening.
There is a changing of the guard in the Church and it is like a change in season... the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, all established in nature by God's design.
In the Vegetable Kingdom, some plants lie dormant in winter and blossom in beautiful fragrant splendor in spring. Flowers make a beautiful display of color and then the fruit comes.
Everything has a seedtime and a harvest time... a season of some sort in which certain things happen that will not happen in another season… also by God’s design.
There are prescribed gestation periods. In humans it is approximately nine months, whereas in other animals it differs. Plants also have a season in which the seed starts to grow when planted, but fruit does not come until a certain stage of development of the plant.
Sometimes you might be in a difficult situation and you might feel that you are in a dry barren place, or a wilderness, when there is no apparent growth or benefits and there are no blossoms or fragrance in your life and no fruit on your tree. Someone else could be right in the middle of their summer season and blessed whilst you are in that winter season. Be patient. Things will cycle. There will be a seasonal change. One day you will be the one with fruit on your tree and it will be your turn to help him when that change comes. All this is by God's design.
We are living in an age that the Old Testament prophets spoke about but never experienced. Hebrews 11:13 thirteen says that they all saw them as if from a distance and lived in faith, embracing every promise of God, but did not enter into them. We are the generation of people they saw! These Patriarchs were looking for something. Whatever it was they were looking for, they were persuaded of them... they embraced them... they knew that they were strangers and pilgrims seeking a better and a Heavenly country. That's the stuff we often take for granted and we live in it.
The message Prepare the way of the Lord is one which tells the listener that changes are here right now... not that changes are coming, but are already here. Modern day Baptists have a clear and melodious proclamation to make. Check them out; listen to them; receive them. In the year of Jubilee, which some folk call Overflow, it was the year when things changed radically and all seed sown (both good seed and bad seed) started to be be harvested. Slaves were emancipated. Properties restored and debts were cancelled.
Galatians 6:7-10 tells us plainly that what we sow will be reaped and the reapers are here! It is because this is the season when God will do great and wonderful things. Signs and wonders, natural disasters, an outpouring of His blessing and favor, an evangelistic explosion and more are not on our doorsteps... they are here now! Something is Happening!
This is why we must prepare ourselves and check things in line with the precedents that exist in scripture the way the Church at Berea checked things out. In Acts 17:11 we see that the Christians in Berea had their acts together.
They heard Paul preaching and received it, but they also checked him out for themselves by getting into the word of God themselves. They did their own research to see if what he said was right or not.
This is part of what you and I must do. Please do not accept what someone tells you and preaches from a pulpit, no matter who that person is. Ask the teacher of all truth... the Holy Spirit to do his job and teach you and do your own study.
The bible is full of Scriptures that tell us that in the last days there would be all sorts of teachings come forth, truth and fallacy, sound doctrine and pure flaky stuff. Thankfully the Spirit of God is giving the Church increasing revelation, but please be like the Bereans and like the children of Issachar and learn what season of God we have entered into. Please check everything out, no matter who says it, even check out what I am saying. If Jesus came right now... whilst you are reading this... would you be ready for him? Would you know the day of his appearing?
1 Chronicles 12:32 says, And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Why are they singled out for special attention? They had understanding. They knew the times and seasons.They knew what to do. In Deuteronomy 27:12, Issachar is one of those who invoked blessings over the nation as they crossed over Jordan to enter their promises land. The inheritance given to Issachar is a mountain region in Northern Israel, called Gerizim, which means Cutting off (I recommend that you look into the significance of the cutting off... of the flesh).
Issachar was Jacob’s 9th son. His name means There is recompense, or He shall bring a reward.
These people learned and exercised wisdom and understanding. They sought God for understanding and asked him what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
In other words, they learned to listen to the Holy Spirit.
There is a Hebrew word called Yada that describes this and it means to know, perceive, understand, consider, to learn, distinguish, discriminate, recognize, to have knowledge, to be wise, to find out, discern and more.
What is coming to the church is new. God is doing a new thing, so we have not been there before and it is like sailing in uncharted waters. That is why we are to find out what God is doing, turn our faces towards it and embrace it, anticipate it and plan for it to come. When you and I not only learn what God is up to, but get involved with him... get on side with him, his blessings will be there. You too will discover that there is recompense. You too will discover that he shall bring a reward.
When Jesus spoke, his words produced action. His words were life... they were spirit and truth and this is the standard we should emulate.
Preaching the Gospel is not to be religious sermonizing, but a declaration of the very life force of Jesus that is packed with the dynamite of the Spirit of God in us. When we speak, our words must be like the hammer that breaks the rock... like a fire that consumes... like water to a thirsty man and food to a starving soul. Our speech should be seasoned with salt and be spoken as an oracle of God, with the appropriate results.
This is how the prophet and what John the Baptist spoke. It was like a loud melodious and unmistakable trumpet call, summoning God's people together. It is a call to assembly (see the page The call to assembly) , a call for readiness and a summons to the court of God. It is to call, bid, summon and invite sinners to repentance.
In essence, this is the very core of the message... preparation!
When we are hungry and are going to have a meal, we prepare the food. If we invite someone to stay in our home, we prepare for their stay by getting the bedroom ready, laying out the guest towels and the like. When a head of state visits the country of another, certain preparations are made beforehand to facilitate that meeting. When the US President visited Australia, many preparations were made for that visit. Security was important and military aircraft constantly patrolled the sky. The Secret Service and Police forces were very active in preserving the safety of this man and other key figures. Meals were provided. The media was present and the cavalcade of motor cars was arranged in military precision.
I was in Atlanta Georgia when four US residents attended the funeral of Mrs Martin Luther King. Four Presidents together at the same time and at the same place was something else. The security arrangements were stringent and big preparations were made for this event.
I guess that in some ways we could liken these things to the preparations we would (or should) make for a visit should the King of Kings came to our homes, but do we?
The clock is ticking away for his return visit and I again ask the question, How prepared are we?
This could be the picture painted by the prophet of God when he said, Prepare, but there is another side to this coin that I wish you to see.
If for example, I wanted to send a gift to someone in a distant place, I would wrap the gift in a nice piece of wrapping paper, tie it with a pretty ribbon and fix a bow onto it. The item would be placed in a packaging container and wrapped up securely, or tied up with a piece of twine for protection. That piece of string would have to be untwined, or straightened out, ensuring that it does not get knotted or tangled unnecessarily.
Similarly, when I am watering my garden with my garden hose, it is stored in a coiled up fashion or wound onto one of those spools. Before I can use it, I must unwind the hose and make sure that it is straightened enough for use without any kinks in it.
That is what the prophet really spoke about.
What does it mean?
Did you know that you can be saved and still not have your act together?
The Hebrew word is Panah, which speaks about straightening out your life... getting the knots and the kinks out and unraveling your life so it is fit for use. In this seasonal change, there is a turning process involved, for that word means to turn toward, approach, look at, make clear and clear away.
God is telling us to sort out our lives, turn and face a new day, observe the direction he is going, embrace it, follow along and walk how he walks. In everyday language it says to get our collective acts together.
The prophet said, Prepare ye! It is personal. How prepared are you?
Isaiah spoke several times about roads and highways and making things straight.
Again, there are different meanings to for this word Straight. When I read this Scripture for the first time, my mind pictured a winding and bending road that needed the bends and curves to be straightened out, but that is not what it means.
There is a Hebrew word called Aqob. Its meaning is blunt and straight to the point.
It describes activities that are sly, sneaky, deceitful, insidious and slippery.
It tells us to exercise integrity and honesty in our affairs.
In other words, be straight in all of your dealings, especially in business, family, home and work.
Do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Proverbs 11:1 and 20:23 tell us that the Lord hates cheating and loathes dishonesty. God is telling us amongst other things to get our own house in order.
If judgement starts with the house of the Lord, then we are to be the ones to set the example. We believers are the house of the Lord... the temples of the Holy Spirit.
Another meaning is Yashar, which speaks of being in right standing with God.
The meanings of the Hebrew text include please, pleasing, being agreeable with. More importantly it relates to being right or correct literally and figuratively, or straight, upright, level, just lawful, smooth and even to look straight.
What we have to do is not just do it right but be seen to be doing it right. All this is part of preparing the way of the Lord.
So far, we have attempted to maintain the verse order of the text, but we will jump ahead slightly here to look at something else that will relate to the picture of the road through the desert.
We will look now at the words Make straight in the desert... a Highway for our God.
Now what is a highway? What is its purpose and how does it work? I am not talking about a small country lane but a freeway... a smooth, straight and wide expressway that can carry lots of traffic. A highway is designed for movement, for that is its design and purpose.
The church is also designed for movement. She is not a movement per-se, because movements in that context die, but the church is a living body of believers destined for great things.
The church is designed for movement under the impetus of the Holy Spirit and not by denominational institutionalized religion.
Highways are designed for rapid, safe and efficient transit of travellers, with clearly defined directions and specific traffic rules and regulations.
We Australians drive in the left hand side of the road and the driver's seat and steering wheel is on the right hand side of our cars. Can you imagine driving on a freeway in peak our traffic in Los Angeles, or New York City in the same way I do in Australia? There would be chaos!
What God is doing is getting us ready in like manner so that we can all arrive at the same destination, safe and sound, comfortable, relaxed, and enjoying the view as we ride along and arrive at the same time, but... there is a condition.
That condition is simple. It is simply doing it God's way. If you think that is good, then listen to this. There is another purpose for this highway.
So far we have looked at this from our perspective, but look at it from God's viewpoint.
This highway is designed to facilitate His coming to us.
Raising valleys and smoothing mountains (which we will look at shortly) is a hyperbolic expression of preparing for a visit of a royal dignitary by smoothing out the roads and highways. Today we use the term of rolling out the red carpet. Let us roll out the red carpet for the coming of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is speeding towards us. He is coming. He is coming. He is coming for his bride.
Isaiah 40:4 says, Every valley will be raised. Every mountain and hill will be lowered. Steep places will be made level. Rough places will be made smooth.
As we look at this portion of God's Word, think of a construction site, or better yet, think of a freeway that is being constructed. The blueprints or plans clearly show the design concepts and the desires of the owners of the project.
They had an idea! They imagined the completed project, planned it, and budgeted for it (which meant counting the cost and paying a dear price for it). They consulted with the experts in their trades, sharing their ideas with the architects who designed the project and with the surveyors who mapped out the project in accordance with the owner's wishes according to those defined parameters.
Heavy earthmoving equipment started clearing away the path, with laser levelers and other tools, clearing away the obstacles and making the roadway as straight and level as possible.
As the project continued and the highway started to take shape, the construction crept slowly and surely towards the distant objective. Drainage was provided and the finer details were added. Electricity was connected and lighting installed. Signposting was added and landscaping beautified the project.
The day arrived when the project was completed when an opening ceremony took place and the designers’ objectives were finally realized and traffic flowed smoothly as expected, or, according to plan.
God has a plan for us. Jeremiah penned that this way- For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.
His vision before the universe was created was for a love relationship with you today and the blueprint is Jesus. Calvary was planned when God took a lump of clay, squeezed it into a ball in his hand, flung it out into space, hung it on an orbit and called it earth.
Revelation 13:8 describes Jesus as the Lamb slain before the foundations of the earth were laid.
Calvary however was not the finish of the building project.
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10.
If we are truly the temples of the Living God (which we are), then I think that there is some construction work to be done, don't you? This is because God has a vision of us, not as we once were or are but as the finished product, made in the very image and likeness of God. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. Ephesians
That is why every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain.
This process is designed to bring us all to the same level... to the same standard and, as we explained earlier, at the same time. We are not to be a group of individuals in a church, each doing our own things, but a body that has been prepared for him that functions in unity (unity, by the way is vastly different to unison).
The Bride of Christ will be a beautiful and complete Bride. The Church that Jesus is building will not be a disjointed, fragmented, misaligned, maladjusted group of people, but a glorious, radiant, magnificent and powerful church.
This construction activity also involves a process of smoothing and polishing. Imagine the fine detail that goes into the wallpapering and painting... the laying of carpets and the hanging fine art on the walls of a new home.
We must prepare ourselves for this status.
The construction work involves a lowering of the high places and a raising up of the low places.
It deals with false impressions of pride. Did you realize that false modesty is in fact a form of pride?
The process is designed to deal with-
The word found in this portion of scripture that is of particular interest is exalted. In the Hebrew, this word is Nasa meaning bare, lift up, carry, take, armourbearer, forgive, accept, support, sustain, forgive, aid, to be swept away, rise up, desire, long for and to exalt.
It means that we are to be Lifted up with Jesus.
If, when you read this portion of scripture and pictured rugged and rocky cliffs and mountain crags and thought about rough splintery wood, then that is partially true, but look at this way.
The original language speaks of something that is bound up or impeded.
It is true that satan had us bound in sin.
It is true that we were slaves to sin, but Jesus came and destroyed the works of the devil and emancipated us.
He has set us FREE! The Anointed one... the burden removing one, the yoke destroying one came and did everything possible for us. He gave us something no one else could and something nothing else could... Shalom... His Peace because he overcame the world (for us). I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33. There is nothing missing, nothing lacking and nothing broken. See John 14:27.
He came to make the way plain for us.
That little word is Baqa and it is a wonderful word. Listen to this... one of its meanings is To Cleave.
Other meanings of this word are to break open, break through, rend and split open.
Our Lord broke everything open to us and for us, he came to rend the obstacles, he came to break through for us and to us and he will soon come to cleave unto us.
The prophet spoke of making a highway for our God.
An earlier section described the building project, but there is something more to be added, as if in summary and as I looked more into it, something very interesting (as if everything else is not interesting enough) was revealed.
In the Hebrew, the word means just what it says... highway. It talks about causeway, path, way, courses, terraces, a raised way and a public road, but stems from a root meaning Calal, which translates as, cast up, raise up, lift up, exalt, extol and made plain.
It is to esteem highly and prize something.
As I meditated on this, the Spirit of the Lord said to me, You are highly esteemed. You are a prized possession of the living God. You are a diadem or signet on his hand. We are precious in the eyes of the Lord... so precious that he wants to come to us just as much as we want to go to him.
What better way of describing this than to talk about a super freeway, when traffic flows smoothly and quickly, without impediment, with all the travelers going the same way at the same time, arriving at the same destination at the end of the journey?
This fits in with the statement in Isaiah40:5 that summarizes it very well.
The glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!
Conclusion and prayer
The information that I have shared with you has been blunt and to the point.
My desire has been to present the Gospel in such a way as to challenge the reader enough to do something positive.
The desire is to see people blessed and inspired.
I ask you a pointed question, If Jesus returned whilst you are reading this… would you be ready?
If you honestly cannot answer a resounding, Yes, then please do something about it today. Do it right now if you can.
Ask God to do what is needed in your life… to show you what to do and how to do it.
Ask him to forgive you, which is another way of saying, repent. Change those things that need to be changed in your life.
You may ask me how to do that.
Well, start off by making deliberate choice processes. Stop doing those things you are doing, get in God's face if you must and get a hold on his word... and apply it. If there are things that you are not doing and you know it... start doing them. Whatever it is that is necessary... please do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do.
Pray, Heavenly Father, I ask you now in the name of Jesus to wash me in his blood. Forgive me for not obeying you. Forgive me for not believing you. Forgive me for not living the way you want me to live. Help me Holy Spirit to live right before God in the way that pleases him. Help me to be ready. I choose to prepare the way of the Lord in my own life now and thank you that you hear this prayer and will answer it.
Dear friend, if you prayed like that and still need some more answers, or want to tell someone, but know no one... please write to us or send us an email. we will be delighted to hear from you.