Summer 2003 Newsletter: Prepare to Meet Thy God
Author: Wendy Goubej
Publish date:
 
 

What was John the Baptist's Message?

In preparing the way for Christ's first advent, [John the Baptist] was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord's second coming (DA, 101).


If our work is similar to that of John the Baptist's, we ought to also consider how his message is similar to ours. What kind of message did John the Baptist proclaim? Ellen White gives us a few insights into this question. God's messengers are not "to flatter the sinner," to deliver "no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security," to lay "heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer," pierce "the soul with arrows of conviction," and to "lift up the penitent" (DA 104).

John the Baptist did all this. He sought to arouse the people out of self-satisfied sleep. He desired to waken them "to their danger from the wounds of sin."

He preached about sin, showing the dangers of continuing in sin, and offered salvation through cleansing. He challenged the people to live a life worthy of their calling, by producing fruits that would be acceptable to God.

In the spirit and with the power of Elijah, John denounced the corruptions of the Jews, and raised his voice in reproving their prevailing sins. His discourses were plain, pointed, and convincing (SDA Bible Commentary volume 5, 1089, emphasis added).


One may notice that John's message was not a smooth saying that would please the hearers. It was startling in nature, and to the point.

Many of those who profess to believe the truth would say, if they expressed their real sentiments, 'What need is there of speaking so plainly? They might as well ask, 'Why need John the Baptist have said to the Pharisees, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matt 3:7) Why need he have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful for him to live with his brother's wife? He lost his life by speaking so plainly. Why could he not have moved along without incurring the anger of Herodias?' So men have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness. Sin is allowed to go unrebuked. When will be heard once more in the church the voice of faithful rebuke, 'Thou art the man'? (2 Sam 12:7) If these words were not so rare, we should see more of the power of God. The Lord's messengers should not complain of their efforts being fruitless until they repent of their love of approbation, their desire to please men, which leads them to suppress the truth, and to cry, 'Peace!' when God has not spoken peace (GW, 149-150).


In an age of compromise where peace, harmony, and unity have become the watchwords of our world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the same tenor in our message as John the Baptist had. At Amazing Discoveries™, our desire is to preach the straightforward message as admonished by the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible. We have occasionally received opposition because the message presented is not a peaceful message. Yet it is truth-filled, and truth divides as well as unites. It unites those who seek it, but it divides those with sin and compromise hidden in their hearts.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).


Our message calls people to return back to worshipping God His way. Our message is an exposure of "wickedness in high places." Every worldly base is removed and nothing is left to stand on except Jesus Christ. Despite this, Amazing Discoveries™ has not always received a favourable welcome among leadership and compromising individuals. 


 

It is important to note the one major difference between John's message and our message. John's message was directed to God's people. It is for this reason, perhaps, that his message was so pointed, because these people should have known better, but despite all they had received, they were barren.

The last message of warning will be directed to the world at large, by a Church that is purified, awakened out of its slumber, consecrated, and revived to do this last great work. The message to us now is the Laodicean message of warning:

I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:15-19 NKJV).


Soon the Three Angels' Messages will be sounding for the last time across this old planet. We can, by God's grace, be overcomers and experience the privilege of being a small part of this most sacred and solemn calling. Whom will He choose for this noble work?

The Lord will call young men (and women) from the humble walks of life into His service, just as He did when living in person on this earth. He passed by the learned rabbis, to choose as His first disciples humble, unlearned fishermen. He has workers whom He will call forth from poverty and obscurity. Engaged in the common duties of life, and clothed with coarse raiment, they are looked upon by men as of little worth. But they will become precious jewels, to shine brightly for the Lord. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (RH, 1903-05-05).


In this fearful time, just before Christ is to come the second time, God's faithful preachers will have to bear a still more pointed testimony than was born by John the Baptist. A responsible, important work is before them; and those who speak smooth things, God will not acknowledge as His shepherds. A fearful woe is upon them (1T, 321, emphasis added).

How applicable John's message is to today's time. God can still save. He can quicken lifeless stones of the desert (people) to do His will and receive the fulfilment of His promise. Let us not put our trust in names, creeds, or membership, thinking they will save us. It is by our fruits that we are to be known, and if no fruit is produced, we will be cut down!

Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction...Profession [is] worthless. If [our] life and character [is] not in harmony with God's law, [we are] not His people...The followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen (DA, 107).

For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).


Let us submit to the power of the Holy Spirit so that God can purge us of our dross and consume all sin (See Isaiah 1:18-26).

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:20-22).


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