Archive for the ‘Repentance’ Category

The dead and lost son

June 26, 2014

The beautiful story of a dead and lost son, commonly known as the prodigal son, is an allegory of a selfish, wasteful life that through the process of being stripped to nothing and hitting rock bottom, finds redemption.

After he hit rock bottom, the first ray of hope we find is “But when he came to himself,”. Here we see that he began to see his need. Without “need” there is no turning back.

Then he purposes what he is going to do.
“I will arise and go to my father,”
He then purposes what he is going to say.
“I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son…”

After he purposes, he then follows through with his purpose.
“And he arose and came to his father.” He then confessed his sin and his unworthiness.

Then the father was quick and right there ready to forgive and give him his best, the “Best robe”, and “A ring on his hand”, and “Sandals on his feet”.
Then….. the father has a feast prepared along with a big party.

Then, lest we forget, the father makes a very important statement about his son. “he was dead”. “he was lost”.
Certainly the father was not talking about the sons physical death because he never died. But, he was talking about a spiritual death. This shows how sinning against the Father brings spiritual death that makes one lost from the Father.

In the end of the story, the father says to the other son that was jealous and angry about what his brother was receiving,
“It was right that we should make merry and be glad (threw a big party)
Why? “for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”
What a God!
(see Lk.15:11-32)

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A little light on Job’s repentance

April 6, 2012

Again today I was led of the Spirit to look into His word regarding “light”. As I grabbed my “Strong’s” and began to look at some “light” scriptures, I soon descended upon the book of Job. I scanned down the list of light scriptures in the book of Job, and my eyes fell upon Job 38:19. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place.”


Then, I saw the next one which was, “By what way is light diffused (divided), or the east wind scattered over the earth?” (vs.24). Then I began to read the on through the chapter and into the 42nd chapter. Once backing up and noticing the chapter headings such as chapter 38, “The Lord reveals His Omnipotence to Job”. Chapter 40, “Job’s response to God”. Here we see a small glimpse into the coming of Job’s soon repentance. He answers in ways like this, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? “but I will proceed no further”. Sounds like he might be coming to his senses.

After all of God’s declaring his omnipotence to Job, finally in last chapter, chapter 42, Job realizes and comes to his senses. In verse 2, he acknowledges that God does everything and that no purpose can be withheld from Him. Then in verse 3, Job refers back to when God asks the question in the “whirlwind” in chapter 38, verse 2, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”

Then the real repentance starts. In 42:3, after asking the above question, he finally acknowledges “I have uttered things of which I understood not”. Then in verse 4, Job again reminds God of when He ask the question before, “I will question you and you shall answer Me”. Basically, Job was reminding God of this previous question, and saying, “now I am finally ready to answer you”.

In verse 5 of chapter 42, Job basically says that he has heard lots of God stuff for a very long time now. He is saying that he has “heard” before, “but now I see!”. Now, Job finally understands. He finally gets it!

And now what is the result of his understanding? Verse 6 is probably the most powerful verse in all of Job. It comes finally at the appropriated God appointed time. “Therefore I abhor (despise) myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Something new was revealed to me this morning in these remaining verses. After God had set straight Job’s friends (verses 7-9), verse 10 has what I found today some very good revelation regarding repentance. “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when……..he prayed for his friends”. My mind immediately went back to Acts 26:20 where Paul was speaking to King Agrippa about his “heavenly vision”. In verse 20 he says, “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” Where did we first hear this? Right! The “forerunner”, John the Baptist. “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matt.3:8)

Do we not see this with Job? After he prayed for his friends, then God restored his losses. Was not praying for his friends a fruit brought forth worthy of repentance?

Hum. Praying for your friends? Most of the time in Job’s trials, they were his enemies, were they not?

Also, not only does this “praying for your friends”, sound a little like “loving your enemies”, but also, “loving your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t it?

Fruits worthy of repentance! Without the fruit thereof, can there be repentance? Is there repentance without it? Sounds like the “tree is known by its fruit” doesn’t it?

Hope you have been blessed as I have :-)~

The extreme battle of warfare for the soul

March 26, 2012

Many times I have seen and dealt with people that have been brought face to face with “turning”. It’s like they are brought to the “door” once again. This door is the door of Repentance. It has repentance written all over it. It must be opened by God for sure, for one to enter in and receive remission of sins. But, one must with God’s divine help, put their hand on the knob. This door does not open on it’s own accord. One must be willing to turn when God, by His Spirit moves upon their heart.

Stubbornness and rebellion, which are Satan’s main tools, prevent one from grabbing the knob and turning.

It’s a war out there, for sure. All of us should be in this battle for souls in one form or another. If we are not in enteraction with lost people on a regular basis, then our only other warfare would be intersession warfare for souls of men.

When in the battlefield, we know the reality of this war first hand. If not in battle, of course we would not understand it’s extreme nature. Those of us who are, we see and partake first hand with the struggle between good and evil, stubbornness and rebellion, God and Satan, all for the souls of mankind. It is the most extreme warfare on the planet, let alone in the heavenly realm. It’s real to say the least.

If you deal with it (and you should in some fashion) on regular basis, then you know what I am talking about. No wonder we need the ARMOR of GOD on at all times! It’s WAR out there. And, it ain’t going away anytime soon. It’s intensity is increasing with each passing day.

Are you enlisted in this war? Have you said to God, “Here am I, send me?” Are you interested in defending God’s kingdom in the spiritual realm?

“God doesn’t answer my prayers”

November 26, 2011

Or, “I’ve tried God, it didn’t work for me”.

In ministry, I have heard many people make these kind of remarks. Basically, whenever they were in need, or had a crisis in their life, they cried out to God for his help. When they became desperate they needed or wanted God. This is common when we as human’s need something, or someone.

It is certainly not wrong to cry out to God in times of need. This is how most people come to have a relationship with Him. Most come when their backs are against the wall, so to speak. He does allow difficulties, and He also does cause them in some cases. Of course, when you mention “cause” that is very touchy ground. If I were to say that He caused some kind of tragedy, or unfortunate circumstance, most, if not all would run away from God, not towards Him. We of course, can’t know for sure whither He allowed it or cause it. In any case however, God is over all, and he is in control of all. Nothing happens in one’s life without Him not knowing, and not knowing why and how.

Everybody would jump on board if God was a “Santa Clause” God. If all he did was treat us like spoiled children and give, give and give without no obedience, no acting right, what kind of people would we be? I guarantee we would be as a people, way worse off than we are now. If there were no restraints with God? What happens with children when they are spoiled and given everything they want? What happens when they become adults? The answer is easily available, take a look around.

So, it’s hard to confront the reason why “God doesn’t answer our prayers”. Why? Because you have to deal with the most honest, difficult and hard realization there is. What is that? SIN. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to bring it up. It’s offensive. It gets more personal than anything else you have to deal with in life. It’s the “hardest of hard”.

Now, there are two classes of people. Those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, and have allowed Him to be Lord of their lives. Then, there are those who have not yet believed and received.

In this post, I am not going to take the time to address “God not answering my prayers” to those who have yet to receive Christ. If you are one of these, this of course must be your first step. He is a God who does answer our prayers. But, the prayer He is waiting to hear from you, is that of crying out to Him in repentance (wanting to turn and give up sin) and asking for forgiveness for the offences that you have done against Him. It’s hard, but it must be done.

For those who have received Christ at one time, but are not currently living for Him and allowing Him to be above all in their lives, this is for you.

The Prophet Isaiah very clearly and pointedly puts forward the key for God answering our prayers. We would all agree, that one would have to first be able to “hear” our prayer before one could answer, right? So, the question would go out, why doesn’t God hear my prayer?

In the passage of Isaiah 59:1-3, it very clearly speaks of being separated from God. While the passage can also be used to teach us that sin separates us from God, when we are outside of a relationship with God, it also speaks to those who may have at one time had that relationship and walked with him. However, because of sin, they have become strayed from Him, and the wall of separation is being built, brick (sin) by brick. Where they might have had a one time relationship with Him, there is now no “hearing” from God for their prayers.

One must ask, “why is this the case!”. “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers!” These questions could very well be the best ones to ask. They could lead to finding the answer as to why doesn’t He hear me.

Isaiah speaks:

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities (perversity) have separated you from your God; and your SINS have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.”

It’s a hard passage, but true. It gives the answer as to why God will not “hear”. Again, he has to hear first to be able to answer.

So, if you want your prayers to be answered (and of course, answered according to the one who knows best what our needs are) or more importantly, heard, so He can began to move, repair, make new etc. his will for you, turn in prayer towards Him. Cry out to Him for help. Really desire to turn from sin. Realize that you are bound up in it, and that you cannot turn from it on your own. You want deliverance!

For He has said, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the sinner forsake his way, and the unrighteous person his thoughts; let them return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa.55:6-7)

There you have it. Come to the God of Mercy and Pardon. He is waiting to Forgive.

More to the “thief on the cross”

October 22, 2011

Luke’s account of the common story of “the thief on the cross” sheds some light on what actually took place before the crucifixion.

This was new revelation for me of what one of the criminals did to secure a “place in Paradise”. I had never seen this before, but it surely fits with what is necessary for salvation. This was not an “earning of salvation”, but a necessary act that proceeds entering into salvation.

One of my Facebook brother’s had posted the following post. When I read it, my mind tried to recall the story. Somehow, I knew that there was something more. So, I went to Luke automatically and found his account of what had happened.

Here is the post :

“The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise.” – D. L. Moody.

But what did the thief do on his own accord before Christ said, “….today you will be with Me in Paradise?”

We pick up the story in Luke 23:39.

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Here we see some striking things that took place before his death. First, he rebukes the other criminal. So, whose side is he on now? Satan’s or God’s? Then he goes on and says, “Don’t you fear God?” Do you think that this guy, by saying this, might of had the fear of God in him now? He continues and says, “hey, you are under condemnation also”. “You are guilty!”

Then, if this wasn’t enough, he uses his voice again and says, “we deserve this! We have what is rightly coming to us! This is just!” “But this man has done nothing wrong”. Here he confesses that Christ has done nothing wrong. Do you think that he might be saying that he believes in Him?

Now, this tops it all off. Here he confesses on Christ. This may not be the standard way of someone “praying the sinners prayer” or even one realizing that they have broken one of the “Ten Commandments” and thus they are not “a good person”, but salvation is gained.

He says to Jesus, “Lord“. What do you think of that? Is this confessing Jesus as Lord? He then says, “remember me when you get to heaven”. Does this sound like one who is repentant in heart?

This whole story has “Repentance” all over it. Yes, he did wait till the last moment, but he did confess and showed the fruits of repentance. By his own will he chose to “stand up” in front of the other’s, not only the other criminal, but all who were there. He spoke out for Christ! He openly confessed! Christ honored that and received him to Himself.

So, can we honestly say that the commonly called “thief” did nothing before his conversion? He just kept quite and said nothing? He was just a thief that was saved at the last-minute because of God’s love for him?

I must confess, that I had never seen this before. All I heard was all the story’s about the “thief on the cross” that had to do with “last-minute” salvation or the humility of the man, which certainly was the case. Can we have repentance without it?

So, the thief may have not been able to “lift his hands or feet towards salvation” but he did “open his mouth“. Food for thought, I hope.

Looking back to Noah’s time

October 10, 2011

My mind has been running a lot on Noah and what it might have been like in his day. I think that the story of “Noah’s Ark” gets discounted because of it’s “children’s story” reputation. To some, it probably has a “fairy tale” likeness. While it is most certainly a good story for children to read, or have their parents read it to them, we adults need to revisit the story from time to time and try to capture the importance and reality of the story.

For the most part, my mind has been thinking a lot about the people of Noah’s day. When we read the account in the book of Genesis, we get very little of any real details. We know that the people were very wicked and that is why God chose to wipe the then known world out. But, the mind wants to imagine what it must have been like around Noah when he was building the boat. It is speculated that it took him maybe a hundred or so years to build the boat. In any case, there was a lot of people around watching this enormous boat being built.

In 2 Peter 2:5 it says that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness”. Everyone would agree that by him building the boat alone that would be a message in and of itself. But it has to be broader than that. The word “preacher” here means ” a herald, i.e. of divine truth (especially of the gospel) – preacher”. It comes from a Greek word that also means “to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel) :- preach (-er), proclaim, publish”.

So, we could look at this in many different ways. Of course, we don’t have the exact account of what happened in the years that it took him to build that boat, but we do know that he was a preacher. What kind of preacher? We don’t know. But, let’s take in the fact that here he was building a boat out in the middle of no where and people must have always been talking with him, asking questions etc. In his reply, of course he would have to of said on more than one occasion, “The Lord God told me to build this”. Then of course they would say, “But why?”

All these questions that they must have had to of asked him, gave him an answer to “preach” from time to time. Maybe he would be standing on top of one platform of the boat and there was maybe 50 people around on a given day. He would lay down his hammer and began to preach that they must turn from their ungodly ways and turn to God. Of course he would tell them things like “time is short!” “the flood is coming!”. Then, he would have many opportunities to explain to them what a “flood” was.

We don’t have any account of it raining before this great flood. So, how can you explain “rain” to someone who has never seen it? How could they comprehend rain, let alone how it would “pile up” so to speak.

How about explaining to them that the flood waters would also be coming from the “fountains of the great deep?” (Gen.7:11)

So, maybe he got so tired of explaining the same thing to people, over and over again, that he would hold weekly sessions for those who would want to come and listen. However, the word does say that they were “busy” with life as usual. So, if that be the case, maybe it was like today. The street corner preacher preaches to hundreds of people passing by. Only a very few stop to listen. They are going, and busy with life. However, just like in Noah’s time, they passed by and here some words. Maybe, just the right words that would judge them in the end?

I could go on and on here, but I want to close with the thoughts of what must it have been like when it came down to the very end. When the waters first started? Their thoughts? “Maybe he was right” “We now see these rains that he described to us” “Wow! This water doesn’t seem to be going away!” “Maybe this guy was right after all”.

How about when the rains started and Noah went about his work of gathering up all the animals? “Hey! You aren’t really going to take all these animals away from us, are you?” Were there people who pleaded with him while he was busy doing God’s will? I would think so.

How about, once they got inside the boat, and God “shut them in?” (Gen.7:16) Where were the people then? How were they “held back?” Did the giants of those days play a part here?

Let the mind go here for a moment. The door closes. Oh the sound of that one enormous door shutting! Once shut, it could not open until the time appointed. What about the people outside? Your heart must care about them Noah, right? But, they had been warned for how many years? They saw Noah building that boat for how many years? How many times did they pass by? How many times did they hear the Gospel?

By this time the water is about three feet up the side of the boat. Men, women and children are all gathered around the sides of the boat. The door is closed. Men are trying to figure out how they can get inside. They are all desperate now. Time is of the essence. Down on the far end of the boat, they are hitting the sides with what appears like a “ramrod”. It is swinging back and forth, ramming the side of the boat. The harder it is rammed, the faster it comes back. Can you imagine the sound inside the boat? What about all the animals? Were they just sitting there quietly? This boat must have had some divine design built into it. Did God know that it was also going to have to be unable to be “broken into?”.

Wait! Look over way to the left. They have brought what looks like a “ladder”, and they are climbing to the top to see if they can get in that way. Stand back and look! I see some men running around on the top looking for a door or window and yelling, “let us in! let us in!” “We believe you now Noah!” “let us in! let us in!” “Please!, Please!”

By this time, the waters are getting deep. There are dead bodies all around. Of course, no body knows how to swim. There are still some that are holding on to the boat in hopes of salvation. They remember that Noah had warned them over and over that it was going to be “raining” for 40 days. This was just the beginning.

As the hours pass by and the water increases, now just about everyone is gone into eternity. What Noah had preached, had come true. The next days would see all perish outside the boat. The smell of death was beyond comprehension. Lost into eternity forever. Separated from salvation.

Jesus said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Lk.17:26-27)

Just like in Noah’s time, God gives time to repent, but it doesn’t last forever. When the end comes, the end comes and its over.

“Born of water” (Part 5)

February 28, 2011

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mk.1:1)

“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” (Mk.1:2, quoting the Prophet Malachi in 3:1)

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.” (Mk.1:3, quoting the Prophet Isaiah in 40:3)

The Prophets prophesied that John the Baptist would prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. They also prophesied that he would be crying (preaching) a message. The message would have to do with “preparing” oneself before one comes to the Lord to receive remission of sins. This message also had to do with “making his paths straight”.

In part 3, we looked at some key words that helped us understand this message. We found out that the key word “prepare” means “to turn”. The word “turn” means “to turn back, turn away” etc. And what brought all this to light was finding out that it is the same meaning as the word “repent”.

This here unlocks the door which leads into understanding what must take place first, before one is “born of water”. Bare in mind, that we also found out that the word “born” here means, “to regenerate”. Regeneration means “rebirth”.

Besides “preparing”, John the Baptist was to “cry”, “make His paths straight”. We found out that the word “straight” here has to do with “make right”. It’s the same as the word, “righteous”.

So, let’s get to the heart of the matter. When John appeared on the seen before Christ, what was his message? Lets go to all four of the Gospels and take a look.

Matthew’s account reads like this:  “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (3:1-2)

Mark’s account is: “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. (1:4)  It is also very interesting to note that Mark starts out with, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. Then he refers to the Prophets as to the coming of John. I believe the word “beginning” here, fits into everything that we have studied thus far.

Luke says, “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. (3:3)

The Apostle John’s account has to do with him being questioned by the Jewish priests and Levites. They ask him, “Who are you?”. John told them that he was not the Christ, and went on and said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord”. (1:23)

This “baptism of repentance” for the remission of sins, had to do with preparing oneself first, before confessing one’s sins as they were being immersed in water. The first message was to “repent”. Why? Because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. If we understand this in the order that Jesus taught in John chapter 3, it would mean that first you would have to repent before “understanding” and also “entering” the kingdom. Repentance would be first necessary before being “born again”, which is being born of “water and spirit”.

John the Baptist was sent to lay the foundation of being born again, and it would have to do with repenting. So we certainly understand just like he said, “I am not the Christ”, but we must not put him in a box, wrap him with mothballs and stick him in the attic, so to speak. Everything that John the Baptist was about was necessary. Was he only sent to point the way to Christ? Was he sent only to say that there was one coming that was greater than himself? If these were the only reasons for his arrival, why than was all this “baptizing” necessary? What about the prophets and what they prophesied? What about his message? Was it only John the Baptist that preached “repentance?”

Jesus, our supreme example, in his first time out preaching, said what? “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt.4:17). How about Mark’s account? “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15). Can you see what is the “forerunner” to the Gospel is?

I won’t take a lot of time here, but the Apostles also preached “repentance”. When Jesus sent out the “twelve”, after he gave them instructions, they “went out and preached that people should repent.” Then they casted out demons and healed people. (Mk.6:12-13). Peter, in the book of Acts was preaching repentance first off, (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 8:22). The Apostle Paul said that God “commands all men to repent” (Acts 17:30). When he was testifying to King Agrippa, he said that basically, he declared to everyone that they should repent. (Acts 26:19-20).

Not only were the Apostles commanded to preach repentance, but we are also commanded. And where might that be found? Your right, it’s found in Luke 24:47. The Aramaic translation says, “and that repentance for the remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations,”. Repentance is the door before the receiving of the forgiveness of sins. And just like Jesus and the Apostles did, it should be preached as the prelude to being born again and entering the kingdom of God. John the Baptist was no mistake. What he brought us was to be taught and used throughout all generations. It was God’s plan then and now. It has never changed. Without it, there is no true salvation. It’s the only way back. It’s the door.

Just a quick reminder on what “repent” and “repentance” means. There are a lot of misconceptions out there. The word “repent” in Hebrew means, ” to be sorry, or rue” . This word “rue” means, “to feel penitence, remorse, or regret for, to feel sorrow. In the Greek, the word repent means, “to think differently, or afterwards, ie reconsider. Morley, it means, “feel compunction. This word means, “to prick hard, sting, anxiety arising from the awareness of guilt, or awareness of conscience”.

So, when the Gospel is going out in the Spirit, the Spirit will convict of sin. Then, it is up to the individual to own up to the fact of their sins, then to be sorry for the offences that they have committed against God their creator. Also, to be sorry, feel remorse for them, then desire to turn from them. After this process, God knowing the heart of the individual, grants the ability to repent, which is “repentance”. It is the process, or the working out of one having repented.

So, when Jesus was talking to Nicodemus in John 3, and he said that one must be “born of water”, he was referring back to the forerunner, John the Baptist. He taught and preached on a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Things should not change today. Only after repentance is one ready to be baptized in water. This is why it is vital that “fruits of repentance” be brought forth first.

After the initial repentance of sins, one is to be water baptized. This is the outward act of cleansing that symbolizes the inward act of regeneration. Remember in part 2, where we talked about the “water?” The washing of regeneration is finalized with a demonstration of a baptism of water. This completes the “born of water” process.

“Born of water” (Part 4)

February 13, 2011

We want to again look into the Prophet Isaiah’s prophesy concerning the coming of John the Baptist. He said, “The voice of him crying in the wilderness; “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa.40:3)

In our last post (part 3), we discovered that the word “prepare” means to “turn”. The same meaning as “repent”, and very close to the “re” in regenerate. The word “way” means “a mode” or “means” (figuratively). By implication it means “a process” or “a road” or “highway”. The word “straight” in Hebrew, has to do with “make right”.

Now, knowing already what we know about John the Baptist in the New Testament, we can safely say that it was foretold by the Prophets that he would come “preaching” a message of “turning” (repenting) as a mode or means that would proceed the coming of our Lord. By preaching a message of repentance first, this would then lead to “make right”, which means the same as “righteous”.

Going back to the New Testament, and looking at the scriptures that have to do with John the Baptist, we find some more good reasons as to why he was sent. Again, the word “prepare” plays a big part. Remembering that the word in its Greek meaning, means “make ready”. In Matt.3:3 regarding Isaiah’s prophesy, the word “prepare” has to do with “internal fitness”. Or we could safely say that it has to do with getting ready or make ready internally. Mark’s version in 1:3 is the same. As is Luke’s 1:76 and 3:4.

Now, if we jump over to Jesus, referring to John the Baptist, in Matt.11:10, the word “prepare” is referring to “external equipment”. Jesus was quoting Malachi and Isaiah. Mark also quotes Malachi and Isaiah (Mk.1:2). In Luke 7:27, Jesus again quotes the Prophets.

We conclude that John’s message was one of both “Internal” and “External” preparedness before the coming of our Lord. Turning has to do with both. Internal turning has to do with the heart. When the Spirit of God moves you, it convicts you (pricks you) of your sins. Externally, has to do with “bringing fruits fit for repentance”. If one has truly “turned” (repented), there will be fruits coming from within that bears witness that he or she has repented.

John the Baptist hits this on the head when the multitudes came to be baptised by him. Basically he told them that first they had to have “fruits or evidence of their repentant hearts”. This was to happen before he would baptize them. They said to him, “What shall we do then?”. Then John gives them some examples. Basically, if you have two coats in your closet, give one to someone who needs a coat. If you have food at home, good, give some to one who has none. (Lk.3:7-11). Then he says to the “tax collectors”, be honest with your clients. The soldiers were to not intimidate or falsely accuse people. And they were to be content with their wages. (vs.12-14). These were some examples of fruits that they were to do.

Basically, when the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, you will know what you personally need to do. He will tell you by moving or placing upon your heart what the next move is. It could be as simple as going to someone and confessing that you are sorry for what you did to them. Maybe it might be restitution. Maybe one stole something a few month’s ago, or a few years ago, and the Spirit is saying that they need to go and make it right.

Now, here is the awesome thing about repentance. First, it is an act of “free-will” on the sinner’s part, once convicted, to desire to change, or make right. Then the “I want to” comes into play. This is “repenting”. However, once the desire is there, then God gives the grace to repent. This is “repentance”. The God-given grace to unable one to carry out the process of repenting. We human’s don’t have what it takes to really repent. The best we can do is to exercise our “will power”, but that falls way short of  true repentance which is divine, and is a gift of God. In part #5 we will get to the “heart of the matter” regarding being “Born of water”.

“Born of water” (Part 3)

February 9, 2011

What was the reason why God chose to send John the Baptist before the coming of The Christ? Couldn’t He had sent Christ without him? Did John the Baptist have any real significance? Did it all have to do with “water baptism?”. Was John the “water baptizer”, and Christ the “Holy Spirit baptizer”. Is it that simple and that settles it, or does it?

In order to understand the real significance of the coming of John the Baptist, we must dive into the Prophets, Isaiah and Malachi. Also, it will do us good to pay attention to “the angel of the Lord”. After all, they are the ones that prophesied the coming of John, right? Do you think that they might have had some good insight as to why he was sent? In fact, they have spent some time in heaven with the Father, haven’t they? Or would you rather take Doctor so and so, or Professor so and so? Mere men.

Isaiah prophesied some 712 yrs. before the birth of The Christ. “The voice if him crying in the wilderness; “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa.40:3)

Malachi prophesied some 397 yrs. before Christ. “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.” (Mal.3:1)

It is obvious in these two prophesies, that John had a “message” to declare. A “voice crying in the wilderness”. And, “I send my messenger”. So, do you think that maybe his message would be important? Couldn’t God have sent Christ without one “crying a message” before Him?

The word “crieth” (crying) in Isaiah means to “call out to”, “preach”, “make proclamation”. It is the same meaning as the word “preach”. So, John was sent to preach a message, and his message had to do with “prepare the way of the Lord”. It is vital that we understand what this “prepare” is. John, commonly known as the “forerunner”, was sent to preach a message of “preparation” before the Lord comes. We will see that this preparation is and was, the whole meaning as to why John the Baptist was sent.

Let’s look at the word “Prepare”. In its Hebrew meaning, it has to do with “to turn”. This sounds familiar. Where have we heard this word before?

If we jump ahead to the New Testament and look into the coming of John the Baptist as recorded in the book of Luke, we see some striking similarities into the understanding of these two words, “prepare” (or prepared) and also, “turn“.

John’s father, Zacharias, was visited by an “angel of the Lord”. He told him about this “preparing”. The angel prophesied that “he will “turn” many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” The angel also said that, “He will also go before Him (Christ) in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16-17).

See, you got to love those angels. Sounds like they might have had an inside “tip” that gave them the information to be order to prophesy.

When the angel said, “he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children”, he was referring to Malachi’s prophesy regarding sending Elijah before the coming of the “Great day of the Lord”. (Mal.4:5-6). This is the “spirit of Elijah” that the angel said that John would come in. In a sence, you could say that John the Baptist was coming in the spirit of “turning”. This will make more sence as we proceed.

Now, here is some awesome insight into these two words “turn” and “prepare” (or prepared).

The word “turn” in its Hebrew meaning, means “to turn back, to turn away, cause to return, make to return”. It is the same meaning as the word “Repent“. This is why I love to use the word “turn”.

The angel also said that he would “turn” many…. In this passage the word turn, means “convert, return, to revert, come, go again”. Wow! In our previous part 2, we saw that the “re” in regenerate, means “anew, once more, again”. Looks pretty close doesn’t it?

So, I like the idea of taking what the prophets had to say. And, I also really like what the angel of the Lord had to say. Many take exclusively, the teachings of this doctor of theology, or the other. They study all their teachings on the subject at hand. They pull down all their commentaries off the shelf, and try to arrive at one they agree with, or one that fits their own theology. Again, I say, let’s get back to the Holy Spirit and the Word.

In part 4, we will look more into John’s message, and as to why he came.  Stay tuned

In the process of Repentance…..

January 13, 2011

Our free-will (the ability to choose) plays into it.

Repentance (the act of turning away from sin) is the door one must go through to receive salvation. It also is the door that one must go through to receive the power of God. It is also the door one must go through to receive the blessings of God. I could go on and on with many things that we get only through the door of repentance.

As far as free-will goes, I liken it to the door knob on the door of repentance. By using my free-will, I reach out and grab hold of the door knob. Herein, lies my desire to turn from sin. I come to the point where I have had enough of sin, so I reach out for help. I choose help. I want help. I want to turn from sin.

Now that I have my hand on the door knob, it can’t be turned or unlocked, unless God grants me the grace of repentance to follow through with turning the knob and opening the door. It’s the power of God that grants the ability to turn. It’s a gift of God. Shear “will-power” will not produce true repentance.

These thoughts were downloaded to me today after I did some repenting myself. Then I was able to share in the Spirit. I was able to receive from the Spirit. Why? Because unless everything in our lives that needs to be given up (as shown to us personally, by the Holy Spirit) if not repented of (forsaken), then the ability to be in the Spirit is not there. This is the main reason why the power of God (the Holy Spirit) is not moving individually and collectively in our midst on a regular basis.

It’s like conduit with water running through it. If there is blockage (sin) in it, than there is NO flow until the blockage is removed. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit. If we want it to flow, then there can be no blockage (un-confessed, un-forsaken sin). P.S. Don’t worry about the sins that you’re not aware of. Be concerned about the ones that you do know, or that He (the Holy Spirit) shows you. Don’t worry, if He wants you to know about them, you will.