the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ (Mark 1:3)
In the Gospels that “voice” was referred to John the Baptist, the man of God, prophet and messenger who prepared the nation of Israel to receive Jesus.
Apparently God does keep people informed about what He is going to do, in particular before judgement.
Before the Flood of Noah, God did forewarn the people of coming judgement.
Before the nation of Israel fell into enemy’s hand, God did send His prophets to warn them.
John the Baptist appeared at that time when an entire nation of people who had received the commandments of God through Moses, needed to be warned least they missed out on the salvation plan of God.
John the Baptist had a distinctive and clear mandate from God to call the entire nation of Israel back to the ways and commandment of God. The obvious reason was that the whole nation was going the opposite direction; their designated spiritual leaderships were too distracted with something else.
It is interesting to note that one important message both John the Baptist and Jesus preached about, and that same message which clearly sets them apart from the teaching and doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducee – the kingdom of God.
Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”.
The last prophetic message of the Old Testament, recorded and preserved, was that of Malachi. And since Malachi till the appearing of John the Baptist, the nation of Israel had gone through situations – political, social and economic – which had directly impacted their relationship with God and eventually lost their sense of direction with God.
Antiochus Epiphanes did things which earned him the notorious nick “Antichrist of the Old Testament”. And by the times of John the Baptist, there were already a list of religious orders tampering with the will and commandments of God in the pretext of re-interpretation, re-definition, and inherited authority.
When men try to play God, it is time for God to react.
John the Baptist appeared at that time and circumstances when people were tempering with the will and commandments of God to the extent people were losing hope and going the way of self-justification. Sin, un-righteousness, un-holiness, lawlessness was so rampant, that if God did not react none would be saved.
Was it really that serious? Indeed –
But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:28-31)
When Jesus was betrayed, tortured and lead to be crucified, whatever was said in those moments were things which matters to His heart, and these are important messages for those who love Him and love God.
It is true that a dying man do not talk nonsense.
What was spoken by Jesus revealed to us the extent of the sins of the people in the land. People have gone way over-board against God, against the will and commandments of God to suffer sever judgement and condemnation as according to what was mentioned by Jesus –
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
The times and environment of John the Baptist and Jesus was of rampant and willful sinning against God. But before the judgement, God sent John the Baptist and he preached repentance so that those who believed and acted in repentance should escape the judgement of God.
We are now living in a similar difficult situation of rampant tampering of the will and commandments of God, to the extent –
Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)
We are living in a time and situation when men and women “willfully play God” and redefine the will and commandments of God as according to human desire which contradict the original plan and vision God have for us.
Men and women who willfully redefine God’s will and commandment are also redefining God’s judgment.
The original will and commandments of God have its end objective that we should continue in our fellowship and relationship with God, and continue into eternity with God.
The original will and commandments of God also contain provision for us to escape the wrath and judgement of God if we pay attention to what Jesus said, preached and taught.
Jesus Himself warned us against spiritual leaderships who are against God –
He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? (Luke 6:39)
In these last days, as the Christian communities across the world are faced with rampant tampering of the will and commandments of God, once again God will send forth His “voices”, His messengers to warn us of the coming judgement.
Question is how do we know it’s the right voices?
21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:23-24)
Faithful servants will have every intention and desire to do the master’s will faithfully.
Faithful servants are those who keep the commandments of God as Jesus did.
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