Living in the wilderness, dressing in camel’s hair, feasting on locusts and wild honey, he was labeled as possessed by some, and maybe so, but the power that possessed him was the power that would turn even the most wicked hearts back to their Maker. John was called unto a purpose and a passion that drove him to seclusion from society and the world around him in complete abandon and consecration to the voice that consumed any tendency to resist. This time of wilderness preparation would eventually give way to his “for such a time as this” moment in which the Spirit would signal him of the day of his public ministry.
John did not come to make a comfortable life for himself, a name for himself, to be accepted or validated by men. But he lived solely to prepare the way for another.... for another kingdom that was to come... his wild and mysterious manner and lifestyle was no doubt criticized and publicly misunderstood by the dark and crooked generation of his time, but when the man opened his mouth...the voice of one crying in the wilderness…at his plea, at his message, something happened in the spirit realm and his anointed wail broke through and violently rattled the cage of life as they knew it.
The angel came to John’s father, Zacharias, concerning his miracle child in Luke 1:16-17.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
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.
His message was one of repentance. And his baptism was one of repentance. His cry was a plea to repentance...
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John told of another coming. Another who was mightier than he. One whose sandal strap, he wasn’t worthy to unloose. The One soon to come would usher in the Kingdom of Heaven and HIS baptism would be of the Holy Ghost and Fire.
John was sent by God to cry. And His cry would be appointed and anointed of God. So much so that many people would turn their hearts to God. As a result, they would make way, make room for Him. Through repentance, they would change their minds. Despite the crooked world around them, those that followed John’s message of repentance would adhere to making themselves ready, for the Kingdom of Heaven that was soon to come through the very body and teachings of the King Himself, Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Messiah. The path in which their lives were headed was crooked, perverse, untoward, unruly, and wicked. One that demanded judgment if they failed to yield to the cry... if they failed to make a STRAIGHT path for the Lord.
Fast forward to the book of Acts, after Jesus’ earthly ministry had ended and He had been crucified and rejected of His own.
And right when it seemed, for the people, that all hope was lost, as they had crucified their only hope, then we see John’s prophecy unfold, and the Holy Ghost is poured out on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Lying within Peter’s message, is the echo. The echo of the voice of one crying.
They were pricked in their heart as their darkened hearts were exposed. Driven to a godly sorrow that would prepare the way, turn their hearts, and invite the Holy Ghost, the very spirit of the hope they thought was lost. The spirit that would transform their minds to identify not with the world, but with a Kingdom not of this world. The Spirit that brought them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The spirit that would make them HIS own, HIS body, HIS bride.
Peter ended his message that day with these words recorded in Acts 2:40,
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Fast forward again to our present hour in time. Such unrest, confusion, deception as the spirit of the Anti-Christ is already at work. 2 Timothy 3 describes perilous times. A perverse, crooked, and untoward generation.
I can hear Peter’s exhortation, “Save Yourselves!”
My prayer is that His bride, His church, would hear the voice of one crying.... and BECOME the voice of one crying.
God, break our hearts for the things that break Yours. Help us to awaken to the urgency of this final hour before Your coming and give Your heart a voice that it may cry. For we are Your hands, Your feet, Your voice. Turn our hearts back to You, Jesus.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.