As I’m doing my morning’s devotion, what I am learning in particular is about the character of John the Baptist and how to relate this to what is going, not supposed, but going to happen in our time prior to Christ’s return. This particular text stood out:
“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he (John the Baptist) shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal 3:3 (KJV)
What is so poignant regarding this text and later when studying the life of John, we find him being questioned by the priests and Levites. It was never regarded John, himself, was also of the tribe of Levi and never received the respect due to a fellow-priest. This man who never prophesied yet is called, by Christ, the greatest of prophets, was so much higher than his birth-peers, they could not see their questioning him was in fact an indictment against themselves! No wonder he could stand in front of them and say, with conviction:
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance…” Matt 3:7-8 (KJV)
Such will be during our time.
I like this quotation taken from Matthew Henry’s commentary:
“Secular learning, honour, and power, seldom dispose men’s minds to the reception of divine light.”
I can go either one of two ways with this point:
- Those who know truth, present truth, will be a problem for those who are in ministry as a vocation who refuses to acknowledge, learn and preach present truth, and
- Those who are trained in ministry in nominal (Sunday worshiping) churches will be further pressed into qualifying and reproved for their not having believed truth.
However, to do so brings about a great examination within one’s self. A sister-friend pointed out in her post, which I noticed this morning, a prayer, rather, more like a plea, to God, asking that her failures does not diminish the value of the Gospel. Ohhh, I can surely stand in her place and make the same plea. I think few can really appreciate what this means.
I was especially affected when meeting my brother after so many years and learning he would be speaking at his church and in great consternation admitted how worthless, filthy he was and not sufficient for such a task.
I, too, am in this same situation. Day after day, I am confronted by those who are called “ministers” from other faiths who question me and consider my words harsh. I am also placed in a position to question ministers even in our own faith, walking in the same faith asking them why they are doing what they do, or saying what they said. And when I examine my own life, I see the insufficient, worthless, foolish, evil, filthy individual I am and wonder how could I even bring my lips to impart words which have difficulty entering into my own ears!
I don’t know what John personally experienced living in the wilderness, alone, before God, but if I am, you are, we are, to be prepared to stand before these men, and women, and share with them present truth which has to be said with strength and conviction in order to be effective in bringing about reformation, like the song said, He will have to “look beyond my faults and see my need.”
November 25, 2015