The Certainty Of Christ’s Forerunner
Book of Luke 1:1-25; 57-80
A forerunner is a messenger who was sent forth to proclaim the approach of another.
It can also be said that a forerunner is also a sign of something that is to come.
As we begin in the Book of Luke, which is what we say, one of the “Gospels”, we can understand that this book was written by Luke who also wrote the Book of Acts.
The authorship of Luke was never questioned by the early church and we should not question it now.
It seems that Luke was also a Gentle who was raised in Troas which is now called Old Constantinople.
It is probable that Luke found the Lord Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul, when Paul was on his second missionary trip where he joined Paul on his trip to Philippi.
We know that Luke was also a physician, which would lead us to believe that he was highly educated.
This should also assure us that God provided this man Luke, for Paul’s health.
It is probable that Luke was the last one to remain with Paul before Paul became a martyr for the Lord and his head was removed.
It is probable that both the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts were written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD because this thing is never mentioned.
Luke was not an eyewitness to the life of Jesus Christ but Luke sets forth an eyewitness account of Jesus, the Son of Man, the Savior to the world.
Luke assures each of us that he obtained his information of Jesus from those who were eyewitnesses and Luke was an eyewitness to all those things he wrote of the Apostle Paul!
Luke writes to someone called Theophilus.
The name Theophilus means “lover of God”.
It is believed that this man was probably a Roman, probably a person of rank, to whom Luke dedicated both of his books to, but we can be sure the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts were written to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ!
It can be said that the Book of Luke is the “Gospel to the Gentiles”.
Just like the rest of the Bible, the “Gospel” of Luke is a record of historical events!
Christianity is based on historical facts and not the false theories and false ideas of man as are all other religions.
All man-made religion are based on the notions of some man and not on historical facts.
The Book of Luke is a written proclamation of the truth of Jesus Christ!
*****Luk 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luk 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
We see that word “many” for many had written about the life and the work of Christ but they were not as complete nor as orderly as Luke wished to record.
We will see that Luke includes many more things than the other two Synoptic Gospels which are the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, for the Gospel of John had not been written at this time.
Because that we have four written records of the life of Christ, it is in itself strong evidence that all these events are true!
We need all 4 “Gospels” to get the full picture of these events.
Luke says these things “are most surely believed”!
In fact the Greek words that were translated into English actually mean they were fulfilled, that they were actually performed and they had run their full course.
The events in the life of Christ before His ascension, actually took place, they had their purpose, they were accomplished and they were fulfilled.
We have the written records of the truth of Jesus Christ!
The things that were accomplished and believed were the things of the Old Testament which were fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament.
Therefore the whole Bible is a record of these things and the whole Bible can be believed as the truth!
So Luke begins:
*****Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
The time of Herod the Great can be proved, so when Luke mentions “the days of Herod” it establishes a time line for these events.
Herod was the son of Antipater, who Julius Caesar gave control of Judaea in 47 BC.
Herod was awarded the title King of Judaea by Mark Antony in 40 BC.
Herod by blood line was also a descendant of Esau.
During the time of David, the priests that served the Temple were divided into 24 courses and each priests served at the Temple twice each year for one week at a time.
The priest of the course of Abia were the eighth of the 24 courses.
Zacharias, which means “remembered of Jehovah”, was a descendant in the line of Aaron and the father of John the Baptist.
Elisabeth was also from the line of Aaron, the first of the High Priest, and the older brother of Moses.
Elisabeth, which means “one whose oath is to God”, was the mother of John the Baptist and was also a related cousin of Mary the virgin mother of Jesus.
Elisabeth was the daughter of a priest.
She was a pure women and a virgin at her marriage as God gave Aaron the laws of the priesthood.
Lev 21:14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
So we see that both the parents of John the Baptist were of the bloodline of Aaron which was a coveted distinction in Israel.
******Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
They were both righteous in the eyes of God.
They were both joined together and committed to each other.
They were both walking in the commandments of the Lord and seeking to please Him in all that they did.
Remember there 613 commandments especially to the priests.
They were blameless but this does not mean they were perfect.
They were living in such a way that no one could charge them with open sin.
These are basically the same qualities God requires of us all!
*****Luk 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
We see even though they were righteous and walking in the ways of the Lord, they still had human problems.
Christians will never be isolated from the human problems in this world until the Lord returns!
AND, We should clearly understand that all believing Jews knew of the prophesies of the Messiah.
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
To be childless in the believing Hebrew society, was a terrible calamity in that day.
Children were considered as a blessing from God and they are a great heritage to all families.
If the wife of a believing Jew could not bear him children, she was thought to be cut off from God and certainly could not bear the Messiah.
It was every female Jew’s wish to bear the Messiah.
A believing Jew was expected to divorce his wife and remarry to some one who could bear him children.
All these things weighed heavy on Zacharias and Elisabeth, but they clung on to their marriage.
They were now elderly and all the problems that come with growing old were also upon them.
BUT, They were not aware of the plan of God.
*****Luk 1:8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,
Luk 1:9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
Next we see that these were parents who worshipped the Lord.
Zacharias was faithful to his priesthood and he had been all his days.
Zacharias was faithful in his duties even though God had not given him a son.
You know, if the Lord never does anything but save us, we have already gotten more than we deserve!
Zacharias would have seen the birth of a son as the greatest blessing that he could have received!
Zacharias’ job of burning the incense was considered to be the highest of the priestly duties and not many ever got this opportunity.
We should remember that incense was burned upon the altar by a priest before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice.
The burning of incense reminded all those who could smell it, that the sacrifices were being made for their sins.
The aroma of the incense was just like prayer, it enveloped the sacrifice and carried the sacrifice before the throne of God!
Jas 5:11 Behold, “we count them happy which endure”. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
And we know that Elisabeth was a faithful wife all those years she was married to Zacharias.
While the people prayed outside the Temple during the burning of the incense, God sent His messenger to Zacharias.
*****Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
As Zacharias was performing his duty of burning the incense, he was praying to the Lord and the multitude, still outside in the courtyard, were also praying.
All those outside were to be as much involved in this worship service, as was Zacharias.
Remember the incense was burned before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice.
You see our prayers are to be well seasoned with love and devotion, lest we offer strange incense that will bring the wrath of God!
We see in the Book of Revelation that “incense” symbolizes the prayers of the Saints:
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Those prayers were to be directed to God through our Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
We can see that if our church is as much involved in the worship and the prayers as our pastor we can certainly move the hand of God, especially when it involves any part of His plans and His will.
After all what had God said:
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
John the Baptist was to be that messenger!
We can see that Zacharias and Elisabeth needed a son and had been praying for a child for many years. God had said that He would send a messenger to prepare the way for the Lord, so God met the need of this family in a very special way.
Notice this was not a dream nor was it a vision, Zacharias was in the presence of an actual angel sent from God.
Certainly Zacharias was troubled.
According to the Scriptures we are always in the presence of God’s angels, but they just are not visible to us.
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
And for those who want to know the language of angels we see that this angel spoke in a language that Zacharias clearly understood!
*****Luk 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
It is probable that Zacharias was still praying for a child even in his old age.
We know that there is nothing to hard for God!
It is probable that Zacharias was also praying for the Messiah, no doubt he was praying for the redemption of Israel because Israel was in the hands of the Roman government at that time.
We do know that both prayers were answered and this angel said that the prayer of Zacharias had been heard!
Elisabeth would indeed bear a son and his name would be John.
The name John actually means “Jehovah’s gift”.
John would be a great man in the sight of the Lord.
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
John would make his parents proud because of the life he would live.
John would cause many others to rejoice with his message.
John would live a disciplined and controlled life.
Notice again, that those that serve the Lord should abstain from all alcoholic beverages!
John would abstain from any appearance of doing evil all the days of his life.
John would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the very first, a vessel chosen by the Lord for a special service in a very special way!
God asks no more than this from us all:
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We can see the truth of God that He will bless those that are faithful to Him!
John would be a prophet or a preacher who would turn many back to the Lord Jehovah.
John would be the forerunner of the promised Messiah!
John the Baptist was to be that messenger.
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
John the Baptist was the first great “Gospel” preacher.
We should also remember, it had been more than 400 years since God had inspired the words of Malachi.
*****Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, 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.
John the Baptist was not the Elijah that was to return to this earth for that has not even happened yet, up to our day and is still in the future.
John did come with the same Spirit and the same power of Elijah!
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things”.
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
We will next see Elijah as described in the Book of Revelation:
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Elijah will be one of those two witnesses with the other being Enoch.
These two did not see their own death.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Now we see where Zacharias made a simple mistake.
*****Luk 1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
Luk 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
Luk 1:20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
When we pray we must believe that God has the power to answer our prayers!
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
When we do not believe that God can do the impossible we are hindering our own prayers.
Zacharias just could not believe the message this angel had.
Zacharias prayed in faith but but Zacharias thought that God would never answer his prayer.
It is possible that God answered this prayer more for us, that He did for Zacharias!
We need to see and understand the truth of the Scriptures!
There is absolutely nothing to hard for God!
Zacharias said to Gabriel, it just too late for us now, for such a thing to happen and Zacharias asked for a sign.
The name Gabriel means “the mighty one of God” or “God is my strength” .
Gabriel said, he stood in the presence of God ready to do whatever He commanded.
Gabriel said, it was he who was appointed to bring good news to men.
Gabriel had shared good news to Daniel.
Gabriel had shared good news with Zacharias.
Gabriel had shared good news with Mary.
Gabriel would share good news with Joseph.
Zacharias had failed to believe the words of Gabriel which came directly from the mouth of God, so his sign was he had to be disciplined.
Zacharias had let his tongue speak and not his heart, so God stopped his tongue from speaking.
We must understand that we have the true Word of God, we have the truth.
The sin of unbelief, is the greatest sin of all, and the only sin that cannot be forgiven.
God will certainly discipline us all if we speak words of distrust and unbelief!
The day is soon coming when God will stop all disbelief, and every knee will bow to Him!
While these things were going on inside the Temple, the people outside the Temple who had been praying became restless and concerned.
*****Luk 1:21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
Luk 1:22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
Luk 1:23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
When Zacharias came out of the Temple he was suppose to tell all the people how the sacrifices had been made and their sins were forgiven and how they were blessed of the Lord.
BUT, Zacharias could not speak.
All Zacharias could do was make motions with his hands.
The people who had taken the time to come to the Temple then realized that Zacharias had been in the presence of God, because there was no other answer. They thought Zacharias had seen a vision.
Coming to church is a wonderful thing and also a commandment of God.
Those times that it seems that God is right there in the house with His people are certainly special times!
Even though Zacharias could not speak, he stayed on to fulfill his duties.
It was certainly not time to get mad and quit on God!
*****Luk 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
Luk 1:25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Elisabeth hid herself for five months and the best answer for this seems, that she wanted to spend some time alone with God and her husband.
She and Zacharias had many things to prepare if they were going to raise a son at their age.
We must remember Abraham and Sarah went through this same thing.
Elisabeth was not hiding her pregnancy, because she proudly went out in public in her sixth month when it would certainly be noticeable.
She was excited that God had taken away her reproach among men!
God had promised Abraham a multitude of descendants, as the stars in the sky and a woman who was barren was looked down on, especially by the Jewish men.
Skip too Verse 57
*****Luk 1:57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
Luk 1:58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
The birth of any child is a precious event to most every family but the birth of John the Baptist was a significant event for all the world.
The birth of John the Baptist showed the awesome power of God!
Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were far beyond childbearing years yet she was with child.
Zacharias had been visited by Gabriel, God’s messenger, and every word he had said was proved to be the truth.
We see that it is God who is able to control all the things of nature.
We will also see that God is able to fulfill the promises of the Bible, just as He has written them down for us!
God will never break a promise!
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The birth of John the Baptist also showed the mercy of God.
God was merciful to Elisabeth, just a simple woman who had been faithful all her days.
God was merciful to the entire world because He would use John in His plan of salvation.
John the Baptist was instrumental in pointing us all to the Messiah, the Christ child, Jesus.
John the Baptist would fulfill his God-given purpose, just as we are all to fulfill the purpose that God has given to us.
We are all born with a purpose!
And his name would be John.
*****Luk 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
Luk 1:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
Luk 1:61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
Luk 1:62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
Luk 1:63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
Luk 1:64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
By God’s commandment, all Jewish males were circumcised on the eighth day after their birth.
Circumcision meant that the child was offered up and dedicated to God.
It should not surprise us that a baby dedication is more for the parents than it is for the child!
The eighth day was also the official day for naming the child.
It was a common practice to name a son after his father or at least someone in the family and Zacharias was a popular name because it meant “remembered by Jehovah”.
Elisabeth would not allow this to take place and insisted that he be named John which means “gift of God”.
To Elisabeth, this child was certainly a precious gift from God.
The naming of a child was reserved for the father so these relatives took this matter to Zacharias.
Zacharias shocked them all by writing the name John and they all marveled at what Zacharias had written.
Our lesson is, that the name John proved what Gabriel had said to Zacharias and immediately the tongue of Zacharias was loosed and he could speak again.
Why are these details so important?
We must be able to trust that the Word of God is the truth and the Lord Jesus Christ said He was the truth but also much much more than the truth.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Luke, keeping to his truth recorded these things from eyewitness accounts!
When the tongue of Zacharias was loosed, it was also a sign to all those who questioned Zacharias.
*****Luk 1:65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
Luk 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
The family and friends of Elisabeth and Zacharias saw an actual miracle that day as Zacharias began to speak.
It had been nine months since Zacharias had seen God’s messenger, Gabriel, and he had much to say.
Those family members were not frightened but they did have a reverent fear of God for what they had witnessed.
They wondered at what was about to happen because they were witnessing the hand of God in this family that they had known for so many years.
Today, God is still doing miracles but most of them go unnoticed!
These events became the talk of the town and then the talk of all Judaea.
A child that had the touch of God from his birth was born into the world!
These people kept these things in their heart for they were not about to forget this day.
What is the truth of God?
Psa 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost!
*****Luk 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
Luk 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Luk 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
Luk 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
Luk 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luk 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
Luk 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Luk 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Zacharias became the third person in the Book of Luke to be filled with the Holy Ghost and all three were his family. Elisabeth, The baby John, while still in the mother’s womb and himself.
It was time to give God the praise!
This group of Scriptures is known as “The Benedictus”!
When the tongue of Zacharias was loosed it proved that his sin had been forgiven because he had obeyed God.
In “typology” this joy and praise is a picture of what happens to each Christian.
We believe and obey God and we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. God immediately forgives us of our sins and then immediately fills us with the Holy Ghost!
Verse 68: We see Zacharias as a Christian who is looking back to the cross.
“For the Lord God has visited and redeemed His people”!
Zacharias became a prophet. Zacharias began to praise the Lord who had not yet been born.
It was God Himself who came to this earth in the person of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah!
In the Old Testament, God is involved in the affairs of the world.
In the New Testament, God gets personal, one on one, with every believer!
God paid a tremendous price for each believer to be saved!
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
It is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was the mighty Savior from the house of David!
It is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is the “horn of salvation”!
The “horn” symbolizes strength, power and might.
AND, Only the Messiah is able to save His people!
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
David was raised up by God to deliver and rule the people of Israel.
Christ, the Messiah was raised up to deliver and to rule over God’s people!
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
It is the Messiah, Christ Jesus, who will fulfill the entire covenant to Abraham!
It is the Messiah, Christ Jesus, who will fulfill all His promises to Israel!
It is Jesus Christ, the Messiah who will fulfill all His promises to the Church!
Verse 76 confirms the purpose of John the Baptist.
We can just imagine as Zacharias looked down at his son knowing that he would be called a prophet of the Highest.
There had been no prophet in Israel for over 400 years and John would be the first since Malachi.
Christ was called the “Highest”, the “Most High God”!
Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
John the Baptist was to be the prophet of the Most High God!
John was to proclaim salvation, “by the remission of sins”.
Salvation is conditional, our sins must be forgiven!
They cannot be forgiven until we ask the Lord for forgiveness!
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
John the Baptist was to proclaim the rise of the Lamb of God.
John the Baptist was to proclaim Jesus as the “Dayspring” from on High, “the Dawn of the Morning”.
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
John the Baptist was to proclaim that Jesus was sent to give light, to guide our path, and not only the Jews but also to the Gentiles, and to all those who sit in darkness.
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while in the womb of his mother and he began to grow in the Lord.
*****Luk 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
Here we see the only Scripture that tells us of the childhood of John the Baptist.
John may have grown as a normal child but there are certain things that we must observe.
1) John advanced far beyond a normal child spiritually.
John was committed even as a child to follow and obey the Word of God.
2) John was raised in a different environment than most all other children.
John was raised in the desert.
John was raised away from all the things of the world.
3) John stayed away from world until God called him into His service.
John led a life of obedience.
If we are going to be the servants of God, we need to avoid the things of the world and obey the Word of God!
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Those that doubt the ministry of John the Baptist are denying the truth of the Scriptures!