Archive for the ‘John the Baptist’ Tag

Modern Christianity is Careful Not to Oppose Sin   8 comments

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The quote by A.W. Tozer above was taken from the Singapore Christian blog.  This is my comment below:

I Corinthians 9: 20-22: “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

I believe too many Christians take the above scripture and re-translate it like this: “I must be conformed to the world so that I can save the world.” Too many worldly Christians on this planet. The Lord has called us to be a holy people–separate from the world system.

The Holy Ghost Fire really separates the wheat from the chaff.

II Corinthians 6: 17-18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

James 4: 4: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

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Something to meditate on:

Why did John the Baptist camp out on the other side of the Jordan River?

[John 1: 28:  “These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.]

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John the Baptist lived a very short life; very little is written about him in the New Testament.  Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man ever born of woman.  Maybe we could say that John the Baptist was a greater prophet than Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and all the rest of the Old Testament prophets.  The Book of Isaiah has 66 chapters; the Book of Jeremiah has 52 chapters; much more is written about Samuel and Elijah than John the Baptist.

Why is the life of John the Baptist still a powerful witness unto this day?

Probably because the crucified life has more power than the words that come out of our mouth.

The Spirit of a Prophet
Wearing a Rough Garment
Outside the Camp
Locusts and Wild Honey
Josephus on John the Baptist
John the Baptist and the Fire of God
The Spirit and Power of John and Elijah

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“Tell me what time you spend alone with God . . .
and I’ll tell you how spiritual you are.”

–Leonard Ravenhill

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Josephus on John the Baptist   6 comments

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“The Beheading of John the Baptist” by Massimo Stanzione, 1634

Psalm 105: 15:  “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

This is from Wikipedia:

An account of John the Baptist is found in all extant manuscripts of the Jewish Antiquities (book 18, chapter 5, 2) by Flavius Josephus (37–100):[26]

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus*, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.”[27]

Refusing to Hear
Who was Flavius Josephus?
The Archko Volume—Historical Evidence of Jesus Christ
Pilate’s Report on the Arrest, Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus
The Spirit of a Prophet
Wearing a Rough Garment

“Preachers make pulpits famous; prophets make prisons famous.”

–Leonard Ravenhill

*The Fortress of Machaerus
Machaerus–Bible Architecture
Reject God’s Prophets At Your Own Peril
Of John the Baptist, and the Baptism of Our Lord (Book of the Bee)

A Brief Recognition of New England’s Errand into the Wilderness   Leave a comment

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A Brief Recognition of New England’s Errand into the Wilderness

Boston, 1670

By Samuel Danforth

Excerpts from Danforth’s sermon:

Matth. 11. 7, 8, 9.
—What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with
the wind?

But what went ye out for to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing, are in Kings houses.

But what went ye out for to see ? A Prophet ? yea, I say unto you, and more then a Prophet.

“These words are our Saviour’s Proem to his illustrious En comium of John the Baptist. John began his Ministry, not in Jerusalem, nor in any famous City of Judea, but in the Wilderness, i.e. in a woody, retired and solitary place, thereby withdrawing himself from the envy and preposterous zeal of such as were addicted to their old Traditions, and also taking the people aside from the noise and tumult of their secular occasions and businesses, which might have obstructed their ready and cheerful attendance unto his Doctrine.”

“The general Question is, What went ye out into the Wilderness to see? He saith not, Whom went ye out to hear, but what went ye out to see? Θεάσασθω. The phrase agrees to Shows and Stageplayes; plainly arguing that many of those, who seemed well-affected to John, and flock’d after him, were Theatrical Hearers, Spectators rather than Auditors; they went not to hear, but to see; they went to gaze upon a new and strange Spectacle.”

“Then the general Question is repeated, But what went ye out for to see? and a second particular Enquiry made, Was it to see a man clothed in soft raiment? This Interrogation hath also the force of a negation, q.d. Surely ye went not into the Wilderness to see a man clothed in silken and costly Apparel. The reason of this is added, Behold., they that wear soft clothing, are in Kings houses. Delicate and costly Apparel is to be expected in Princes Courts, and not in wilde Woods and Forrests. Under the negation of John’s affectation of Courtly delicacy, our Saviour sets forth another of John’s excellencies, viz. his singular gravity and sobriety, who wore rough garments, and lived on course and mean fare, Mat. 3. 4. which austere kinde of life was accommodated to the place and work of his Ministry. John Preached in the Wilderness, which was no fit place for silken and soft raiment. His work was to prepare a people for the Lord, by calling them off from worldly pomp and vanities, unto repentance and mourning for sin. His peculiar habit and diet was such as became a penitentiary Preacher.”

“Thirdly, the generall Question is reiterated, But what went ye out for to see? and a third particular Enquiry made, Was it to see a Prophet? This Interrogation is to be understood affirmatively, q.d. no doubt but it was to see a Prophet. Had not John been a rare and excellent Minister of God, you would never have gone out of your Cities into the desert to have seen him. Thus our Saviour sets forth another of John’s admirable excellencies, viz. his Prophetical Office and Function. John was not an ordinary Interpreter of the Law, much less a Teacher of Jewish Traditions, but a Prophet, one who by the extraordinary Inspiration of the holy Ghost, made known the Mysteries of Salvation, Luke 1. 76, 77.”

“All the Prophets foretold Christ’s Coming, his Sufferings and Glory, but the Baptist was his Harbinger and Forerunner, that bare the Sword before him, Proclaimed his Presence, and made room for him in the hearts of the people. All the Prophets saw Christ afar off, but the Baptist saw him present, baptized him, and applied the Types to him personally. Behold the Lamb of God. He saw and bare record that this is the Son of God, Joh. 1. 29, 34. But he that is least in the Kingdome of Heaven, is greater then John. The least Prophet in the Kingdome of Heaven, i.e. the least Minister of the Gospel since Christ’s Ascension, is greater then John; not in respect of the measure of his personal gifts, nor in respect of the manner of his Calling, but in respect of the Object of his Ministry, Christ on the Throne, having finished the work of our Redemption, and in respect of the degree of the revelation of Christ, which is far more clear and full. John shewed Christ in the flesh, and pointed to him with his finger, but the Ministers of the Gospel declare that he hath done and suffered all things necessary to our Salvation, and is risen again and set down at the right hand of God.”

Wearing a Rough Garment
Locusts and Wild Honey
A Prophet’s Eyes
New England’s Avalanche of Apostasy

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What should we learn from the life of John the Baptist?   5 comments

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This is from the blog altruistico:

Although his name implies that he baptized people (which he  did), John’s life on earth was more than just baptizing. John’s adult life was  characterized by blind devotion and utter surrender to Jesus Christ and His  kingdom. John’s voice was a “lone voice in the wilderness” (John 1:23) as he proclaimed the coming of the Messiah to  a people who desperately needed a Savior. He was the precursor for the modern  day evangelist as he unashamedly shared the good news of Jesus Christ. He was a  man filled with faith and a role model to those of us who wish to share our  faith with others.

Most everyone, believer and non-believer alike, has  heard of John the Baptist. He is arguably one of the most significant and  well-known figures in the Bible. While John was known as “the Baptist,” he was  in fact the first prophet called by God since Malachi some 400 years before his  own birth. John’s own coming was foretold over 700 years previously by another  prophet. In Isaiah  40:3-5 it states: “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way  for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every  valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground  shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be  revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has  spoken.’” This passage illustrates God’s master plan in action as God selected  John to be His special ambassador to proclaim His own coming.

Little is  actually known of John, although we do know that John was a Levite, one of the  special tribe set aside by God to take care of all of the work associated with  the temple (Numbers  1:50-53). John was the son of Zechariah, a temple priest of the lineage of  Abijah, while John’s mother Elizabeth was from the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:5). John was also related to Jesus as their  mothers were cousins (Luke 1:36).  John lived a rugged life in the mountainous area of Judea, between the city of  Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. It is written that he wore clothes made out of  camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. His diet was a simple  one—locusts and wild honey (Matthew  3:4). John lived a simple life as he focused on the kingdom work set before  him.

John’s ministry grew in popularity, as recounted in Matthew 3:5-6: “People  went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” We also  see that he spoke very boldly to the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees  and the Sadducees, calling them a “brood of vipers” and warning them not to rely  on their Jewish lineage for salvation, but to repent and “bear fruit in keeping  with repentance” (Matthew  3:7-10). People of that day simply did not address leaders, religious or  otherwise, in this manner for fear of punishment. But John’s faith made him  fearless in the face of opposition.

While his ministry was gaining  strength, John’s message was gaining popularity. In fact, it became so popular  that many people may have thought that he was the Messiah. This assuredly was  not his intent as he had a clear vision for what he was called to do. John 3:28 tells us, “You yourselves can testify that I  said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’” This verse speaks of John  cautioning his disciples that what they had seen and heard from him is just the  beginning of the miracle that was to come in the form of Jesus Christ. John was  merely a messenger sent by God to proclaim the truth. His message was simple and  direct: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2). He knew that once Jesus appeared on the  scene, John’s work would be all but finished. He willingly gave up the spotlight  to Jesus saying, “He must become greater; I must become less (John 3:30). Perhaps there is no greater example of  humility than the one demonstrated by both Jesus and John in Matthew 3:13-15. Jesus  came from Galilee to be baptized by John in the river Jordan.

John  rightly recognized that the sinless Son of God needed no baptism of repentance  and that he was certainly not worthy to baptize his own Savior. But Jesus  answered his concern by requesting baptism “to fulfill all righteousness”  meaning that He was identifying Himself with sinners for whom He would  ultimately sacrifice Himself, thereby securing all righteousness for them (2  Corinthians 5:21). In humility, John obeyed and consented to baptize Jesus.

John’s ministry, as well as his life, came to an abrupt end at the hand  of King Herod. In an act of unspeakable and violent vengeance, Herodias, Herod’s  wife and the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip, plotted with her daughter to  have John killed. So incensed was Herodias at John for claiming her marriage to  Herod to be unlawful that she prompted her daughter to ask for the head of John  on a platter as a reward for her pleasing Herod with her dancing. John had  previously been arrested by Herod in attempt to silence him, and it was a simple  thing to send the executioner to the prison and behead John, which is exactly  what happened (Mark  6:17-28). This was a sad and ignoble end to the life of the man about whom  Jesus said: “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than  John” (Luke 7:28).

There are several lessons we can learn from the life of John the  Baptist. First, whole-heartedly believing in Jesus Christ is possible. John the  Baptist could have believed in and worshipped any number of gods available to  him before Jesus arrived on the scene. But at some point in his life John knew  that the Messiah was coming. He believed this with his whole heart and spent his  days “preparing the way” for the Lord’s coming (Matthew  11:10). But the road was not an easy one to prepare. Daily he faced doubters  of various influence and popularity who did not share his enthusiasm for the  coming Messiah. Under hard questioning from the Pharisees, John shared his  belief: “‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do  not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not  worthy to untie’” (John  1:26-27). John believed in the Christ and his great faith prepared him for  hardships, but it kept him steadfast on his course until the time when he could  say as he saw Jesus approach, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of  the world!” (John 1:29). As  believers, we can all have this steadfast faith.

Second, anyone can be  a strong and serious witness for Jesus Christ. John’s life is an example to us  of the seriousness with which we are to approach the Christian life and our call  to ministry, whatever that may be. We pattern our lives after John’s by first  examining ourselves to be sure we are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).  Second, like John, we are to know and believe that “to live is Christ and to die  is gain” (Philippians  1:21), so we can be fearless in the face of persecution and death. John  lived his life to introduce others to Jesus Christ, and knew the importance of  repenting of one’s sins in order to live a holy and righteous life. And as a  follower of Jesus Christ, he also was unafraid of calling out people such as  Herod and the Pharisees for their sinful behavior.

Third, John shows us  how to stand firm in our faith no matter what the circumstances. Paul reminded  Timothy that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be  persecuted” (2 Timothy  3:12). But for many of us who live in freedom, persecution takes on a very  mild form. As he lived in an occupied country, John had to be aware that  anything contrary to utter devotion to the king or emperor was asking for  trouble. Yet his message was unchanging, bold and strong. It was John’s belief,  his message, and his continual rebuke of King Herod that landed him in prison.  While it is hard to know for sure what John was feeling as he sat in prison, we  can be sure that he might have had some doubts about the Lord who tested his  faith. In fact, John gets a message out to Jesus asking, “Are you the one who  was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew  11:3). As Christians we all will have our faith put to the test, and we will  either falter in our faith or, like John, cling to Christ and stand firm in our  faith to the end.

altruistico
A Prophet’s Eyes
Locusts and Wild Honey

Posted April 17, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus   Leave a comment

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The Barbarian Way
Unleash the Untamed Faith Within
By Erwin Raphael McManus

Pages 5-7: “Strangely enough, though, some who come to Jesus Christ seem to immediately and fully embrace this barbarian way. They live their lives with every step moving forward and with every fiber of their being fighting for the heart of their King. Jesus Christ has become the all-consuming passion of their lives. They are not about religion or position. They have little patience for institutions or bureaucracies. Their lack of respect for tradition or ritual makes them seem uncivilized to those who love religion. When asked if they are Christians, their answer might surprisingly be no, they are passionate followers of Jesus Christ. They see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no different from any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity, they’re not about religion; they’re about advancing the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago.

“This is the simplicity of the barbarian way. If you are a follower of Christ, then you are called to fight for the heart of your King. It is a life fueled by passion–a passion for God and a passion for people. The psalmist tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37: 4). When Christianity becomes just another religion, it focuses on what God requires. Just to keep people in line, we build our own Christian civilization and then demand that everyone who believes in Jesus become a good citizen.

“It’s hard to imagine that Jesus would endure the agony of the Cross just to keep us in line. Jesus began a revolution to secure our freedom. The new covenant that He established puts its trust not in the law, but in the transforming power of God’s Spirit living within us. The revolution of the human heart would fuel the life and vitality of this movement. We would delight in God, and He would give us the desires of our hearts. With our hearts burning for God, we would move forward with the freedom to pursue the passions burning within us.”

Page 13: “The barbarian way is about love, intimacy, passion, and sacrifice. Barbarians love to live and live to love. For them God is life, and their mission is to reconnect humanity to Him. Their passion is that each of us might live in intimate communion with Him who died for us. The barbarian way is a path of both spirit and truth. The soul of the barbarian is made alive by the presence of Jesus.

“As John the Baptist reminded us, the evidence that Jesus is the Christ is that He baptizes us in both Spirit and fire. Barbarians are guided by the wind of God and ignited by the fire of God. The way of the barbarian can be found only by listening to the voice of the Spirit. The barbarian way can be known only by those who have the heart of God. The steps of the barbarian are guided by the footprints of Jesus. Barbarians see the invisible and hear the inaudible because their souls are alive to God.”

Page 15: “A barbarian invasion is taking place even right now. They are coming from the four corners of the earth and they are numbered among the unlikely. From the moment Jesus walked among us the invasion began. And just as with those who crossed paths with Him here on earth, those who are most religious will be most offended and indignant. Barbarians are not welcome among the civilized and are feared among the domesticated. The way of Jesus is far too savage for their sensibilities. The sacrifice of God’s Son, the way of the Cross, the call to die to ourselves, all lack the dignity of a refined faith.”

Pages 21-22: “Several things about John [the Baptist] stand out right away. He was an unusual dresser with strange eating habits. Just in case you’re uncertain, wearing clothes made of camel’s hair was not the height of fashion, even during the time of Jesus. We are told he ate locusts and wild honey. I suppose the wild honey was to help get the locusts down.

“He was clearly not a fan of the established religious leaders. His nickname for the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were the pinnacle of the religious elite, was ‘brood of vipers.’ Nope, that was not a term of endearment. And I think it’s important to note that his fire-and-brimstone message was entirely directed toward the religious, not the irreligious. He was a barbarian in the midst of civilization. And frankly the civilization made him sick. He had no patience for domesticated religionists who were drowning in their own self-righteousness.

“Oh, by the way, he had no formal education, no degrees. His occupation was prophet, and his mailing address was the wilderness. To say the very least, he was not the person whom anyone was expecting to prepare the way for the Messiah. John was the voice that proclaimed the coming of the Christ, and through his encounters with Jesus, we can rediscover the barbarian call.”

Pages 32-33: “So what is this good news? The refined and civilized version goes something like this: Jesus died and rose from the dead so that you can live a life of endless comfort, security, and indulgence. But really this is a bit too developed. Usually it’s more like this: if you’ll simply confess that you’re a sinner and believe in Jesus, you’ll be saved from the torment of eternal hellfire, then go to heaven when you die. Either case results in our domestication. One holds out for life to begin in eternity, and the other makes a mockery out of life.

“The call of Jesus is far more barbaric than either of these. It is a call to live in this world as citizens of an entirely different kingdom. In its primitive state the good news could never be separated from the invitation of Jesus to ‘come, follow Me.’ He never lied about the danger or cost associated with becoming His follower. He told them up front, ‘I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves’ (Matthew 10: 16).”

Page 53: “If you don’t like the idea of being an innovator, that’s fine. Just do whatever Jesus calls you to do the moment it is clear to you. Do not procrastinate; do not hesitate; do not deviate from whatever course of action He calls you to. But I want to warn you, the closer you walk with Christ, the greater the faith required. The more you trust Him, the more you’ll risk on His behalf. The more you love Him, the more you will love others. If you genuinely embrace His sacrifice, you will joyfully embrace a sacrificial life. Your expectations of Jesus will change as your intimacy with Him deepens. When you begin to follow passionately after Jesus, you will inadvertently find yourself innovating. After all, Jesus is transforming lives, writing history, creating the future, and unleashing the kingdom of God. If you plan to keep step with Jesus the Pioneer, you better expect some changes.”

Page 58: “Although John was confused about Jesus, Jesus was not confused about John. Jesus knew that everyone else was confused about John. John lacked religious pedigree, yet he clearly spoke with spiritual power. At the same time he didn’t look anything like a priest or a teacher of the law. To put it bluntly, John was just plain weird. Not what you would expect when you were looking for a spiritual leader. John’s faith was raw and untamed. There was nothing civilized about him.

“And Jesus seemed to be either mocking or rebuking them for expecting to find someone different. If you were looking for a reed swayed by the wind (someone easily molded by the expectations of the civilized) or a man dressed in fine clothes (someone who lives to impress the political or religious elite), you were looking in the wrong place. But if you went out to see a prophet, John was your man. And he was more than a prophet. He was the one whom God chose to prepare the way for the coming of His Son. Of all the men born of women–and that pretty much covers everybody but Adam–John was the greatest. Jesus, by the way, was born of God. The assumption was that for such a job, God would choose someone with polish and refinement.”

Page 59: “Jesus lived in a time when Judaism had been domesticated, institutionalized, and civilized; it was only a hollow shell of what God intended. John didn’t fit into the organized religion of his time because God didn’t fit either. Jesus Himself, the Messiah of Israel, remained an outsider even to his death.”

Pages 60-61: “Jesus was making clear that being a disciple was never intended to be the equivalent of being molded into a stereotype. Jesus and John were considered barbarians, even though they expressed themselves in different ways. But at the core they were the same. They lived and moved in the mystical. That is, they had a unique and transcendent connection to the Creator of the universe. Guided by the voice of God, they cared little how others perceived that. What was invisible to others was clear to them. Their lives could not be explained apart from God.

“While He walked among us, Jesus tried to explain this to us. He told us–as if we should understand without difficulty–that He spoke only what He heard the Father saying and did only what He saw the Father doing. He called His disciples to make this their pattern for living.”

Page 64: “Yet if we learn anything about God through John, it is that God has no problem with spiritual eccentrics. The point, of course, is not that God makes us mentally or emotionally imbalanced, but that He makes us passionately and spiritually unbalanced. God steers us in the direction of His kingdom, His purpose, His passions. His desire is not to conform us, but to transform us. Not to make us compliant, but to make us creative. His intent is never to domesticate us, but to liberate us.”

Pages 78-79: “The civilized build shelters and invite God to stay with them; barbarians move with God wherever He chooses to go. The civilized Christian has a routine; the barbarian disciple has a mission. The civilized believer knows the letter of the law; the barbarian disciple lives the spirit of the law. The religiously civilized love tradition; the barbarian spirit loves challenges. The civilized are satisfied with ritual; barbarians live and thrive in the mystical. For the civilized disciple, religion provides stability and certainty; for the barbarian, a life in God is one of risk and mystery.”

Page 82: “If you are a follower of Christ and you have allowed yourself to be domesticated, you have lost the power of who you are and who God intends for you to be. You were not created to be normal. God’s desire for you is not compliance and conformity. You have been baptized by Spirit and fire. Asleep within you is a barbarian, a savage to all who love the prim and proper. You must go to the primal place and enter the presence of the Most High God, for there you will be changed by His presence. Let Him unleash the untamed faith within you.

“At pentecost God unleashed His Spirit upon all who would declare Jesus their hope. In that moment a new tribe was born–a Spirit tribe. To all who would believe in His Son, the Lord God declares, ‘I will be their God, and they will be My people.’ This tribe would bear the evidence of His Spirit. They would be God-taught, God-moved, and God-inspired.”

Page 93: “From the moment we become citizens of the kingdom of God, we become aliens and strangers in a world that chooses to live absent of God. From the first step taken to follow Jesus, we are out of step with the rest of the world. Once your life is in sync with the story of God, you become out of sync with any story that attempts to ignore or eliminate God. You are a stranger to them, an alien among them, a nomadic wanderer who, while refusing to be rooted in this life, seems to somehow enjoy this life most.”

Pages 108-109: “There is a barbarian revolt taking place, and its command center is the kingdom of God. Everywhere the kingdom of God advances, there is a violent engagement against a dark kingdom. To be born of God is to be made a citizen in the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of God is at war. Do not confuse this kingdom with Paradise. Salvation is not reentry into a Paradise Lost; it is enlistment in the mission of God.

“Jesus is telling us in no uncertain terms that there is a battle raging. This is perhaps the most important reason why we must choose the barbarian way and resist any temptation to become civilized. Domesticated Christians are far too willing to abdicate for the soul of the world. Civility focuses our energy on all the wrong places. We spend our lives emphasizing our personal development and spiritual well-being. We build churches that become nothing more than hiding places for the faithful while pretending that our actions are for the good of the world. Or we choose political and secular vehicles to try to advance our cultural values, strangely attempting to make unbelieving people act like civilized believers.

“In contrast Jesus calls us to a different way. He tells us this is a battle of kingdoms. He insists that if we are His followers, we must not live in a world defined only by the material. We cannot limit our sights to what is flesh and blood. We should know better than that. To see from a kingdom perspective is to know that there is a conflict of invisible kingdoms and that people’s lives are forever changed by what happens in the unseen. We are called to be warriors of light in dark places. We are mystical warriors who use weapons not of this world.”

Page 116: “The suffering of Christ glorifies God because it elevates love. Compelled by love, God would go where He knew suffering was certain. Love always moves to sacrifice, which is exactly where He calls us to go. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that to follow Christ is to abandon the luxury of safety and security. If we are to be like Him, we must always risk for love. We are invited to follow Him with reckless abandon. The call of God is more than a leap of faith; it is a life of faith. Even when it seems beyond our abilities, we should not be surprised when God tells us to jump.”

Page 121-122: “Just yesterday a husband and wife told me that they raised their first son to be a gentleman, and now as a man he does not walk with Christ. They went on to say, ‘We have a second son, and we’re going to raise him as a barbarian.’ They understood firsthand the painful difference between a civilized Christian and the barbarian way of Jesus.

“How many stories do we need of children who grow up in church being forced to act like Christians rather than being won to the heart of God? Both are an effort to shape the character of our children. The first is an external force; the latter an internal force. The civilized Christian does what is right out of fear; the barbarian does what is right out of love. The Christian civilization is held together by rules and rituals; the barbarian revolt is fueled by the passion of God and guided by the mission of God. If our children are going to walk away from Christ, we need to raise them in such a way that they understand that to walk away from Jesus is to walk away from a life of faith, risk, and adventure and to choose a life that is boring, mundane, and ordinary.”

Pages 126-127: “When we are born again, we are dropped not into a maternity ward, but into a war zone. Our birthplace is less mother’s womb and more battlefield earth. Maybe the first word we hear should not be ‘welcome,’ but ‘jump.’ There is no trial run, no practice life.

“When you enter the kingdom of God, there is no safe zone or waiting room. There really isn’t even a boot camp. It’s on-the-job, on-the-field training. You get to take your first steps of new life in the middle of the battlefield. The Scriptures are quite clear about this. You are in the middle of a war. Yet the war is not against flesh and blood; the war is not against people.”

Page 128: “It is true that the enemy will essentially leave you alone if you are domesticated. He will not waste his energy destroying a civilized religion. If anything, he uses his energy to promote such activity. Religion can be one of the surest places to keep us from God. When our faith becomes refined, it is no longer dangerous to the dark kingdom.

“Barbarians, on the other hand, are not to be trusted. They respect no borders that are established by powers or principalities. They have but one King, one Lord, and one mission. They are insolent enough to crash the gates of hell. For the sake of others, they are willing to risk their own lives and thrust themselves into the midst of peril.”

Page 133: “I’m not saying that we should all go around naked, but I am saying that we need to find the courage and freedom to be ourselves. We need to let ourselves become the unique individuals that God created us to be. We need to stop trying to be what everyone else wants us to be and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Civilized people measure one another by their robes and signet rings. The barbarians measure only heart and actions. Barbarians live as if they are naked before God and naked before men. They have nothing to hide; they do not waste their energy pretending to be someone they’re not. It was Nathaniel, whom Jesus saw while he was alone under a fig tree, that He described as a man without guile. God sees straight through to the heart and looks for those in whom there is nothing false. The barbarian hides nothing from God, and his tribe battles naked and unashamed.”

Pages 140-141: “Jesus leads us into the heart of the dark kingdom, into the soul of what is most evil. He takes us where mankind has chosen to live. He calls us to where the darkness has made those who wander there desperate for light. He leads us as warriors of light to risk our lives for the deliverance of others. Again, our own weapons are love, hope, and faith, and they are our only defense. Yet we above all know that they and only they liberate us and fulfill the deepest longings of our souls.

“If you choose to live your life in this way, if you make the insane decision to live your life for the sake or others, if you choose to follow the One whose barbarian path led Him to the brutality of the Cross, and if you embrace His invitation to take up your own cross and follow Him, then it has begun. If you dare allow God to unlock your primal spirit, He will unleash the raw and untamed faith within. Then you will know you have chosen the barbarian way out of civilization.”

Mosaic
Some Great Quotes

Wearing a Rough Garment   16 comments

john - baptist

John the Baptist

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
20 November 2010

Last night I had a disturbing dream. I was wearing a rough garment—it was brown; it looked like it was a robe made out of burlap. I wore a belt around my waist. I looked like John the Baptist or else I felt like John the Baptist. Everywhere I went people became very angry at me. I would say something and then people would violently reject me. Sometimes I would walk to where people were gathering and I wouldn’t say anything—just my walking into their air space angered them.

Then there was this one guy: he was short and mean-looking. He had a whip. The whip had a wooden handle and several strips of cord attached to the top of it; on the end of each strip of cord was a nail: it looked like the cat-of-nine-tails. This guy hated my guts. Two or three times during the dream he would come after me and whip me. The dream was long; most of the details are gone from me now.

The odd thing about this dream was that when it was over, it was played over again—like a movie reel. The exact same dream was repeated twice. This reminds me of that Scripture: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.” So whatever this dream means, it is established. Or maybe it means that it will happen soon.

Genesis 41: 32: “And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.”

In my life, because of my Christian faith, I have been rejected by family, friends and church people, so this dream makes sense.

[The short, mean-looking guy in the dream looked EXACTLY like a so-called Christian that I met in Absarokee, Montana:  Jack Burwell.  He thinks he is saved because he studies the Bible.  Jack Burwell rejects Christ.]

A Prophet’s Eyes
Obedience: The Bondage Breaker
Locusts and Wild Honey
What should we learn from the life of John the Baptist?
Scribes and Prophets
John the Baptist
Blow The Trumpet In Zion
The Spirit of a Prophet
Wake Up!
The Gates of Hell

Outside the Camp   7 comments

outside-the-camp

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
15 March 2005

Hebrews 13: 11-13: “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

If a man is truly led by the Holy Ghost—a life of obedience to the Holy Ghost—then his life will be lived outside the camp—outside the box—bearing His reproach. Too many Christians put God in a box—which is idolatry. I like to tell people that I am like John the Baptist—I am living on the other side of the Jordan River. John the Baptist’s living on the other side of the Jordan River was a powerful testimony against the Phariseeism that had infected the temple in Jerusalem. Phariseeism has also infected many Christian churches; I am sure that this has been a problem since the first century.

Phariseeism is a way to control people through the traditions of men. It rejects the leadings and spontaneity of the Holy Ghost. Phariseeism is a man-made religion that has a form, but no power and no life. Jesus said that He came to bring life and life in abundance. A lot of the time, the abundant life is lived outside the camp.

This is part of the reason that the Lord has had me hitchhike. Even if I did not have the ability to speak, my life would be a powerful sermon that glorifies God. Simply put: I am living for God and not for man; I am doing the will of my Father and not the will of myself. My Father works and I work. My food is to do the will of my Father who sent me. My Father’s will is for me to live outside the confines and constraints of the box—the traditions of men and any other satanic construct.

If we follow Christ, we die daily. Our plans are in submission to His plans. Take up your cross and follow Me. Many times I have thought that all this hitchhiking is foolishness—it is definitely foolishness to the world. But the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of the world. There was a book written about Francis of Assisi called God’s Fool. It is very good. Francis lived the life of a beggar, but his life was a powerful sermon that still influences Christians today. I believe it was Francis who once said, “Preach the Gospel and sometimes use words.” I would rather walk the walk than talk the talk.

Walk the walk outside the camp.

What should we learn from the life of John the Baptist?
Submission

_____

Shiloh
By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

Ethos
February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”