(Part 7 – continued from same day)
The John the Baptist Call
Prepare the Way of the Lord
After the 3-day fast the Lord called us to at the beginning of March 2011, He poured out greater clarity regarding our specific calling and revealed to us where we are on His prophetic timeline.
A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God! Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. (Isaiah 40:3-5 AMP)
He said that just as He sent John the Baptist before the arrival of Jesus the first time, once again, He is sending His “John the Baptist” messengers into the world to call the church and the nations to repentance (turning away from sin and turning wholeheartedly to follow Him) and baptism, to prepare for the second coming of Jesus.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to [the piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction. Malachi 4:5-6 AMP
Though this Scripture refers to “before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” it saw its first fulfillment in John the Baptist. (Who knows how many times it has seen a fulfillment on a smaller scale since the Lord always faithfully sends His messengers to call people to repentance to avert destruction).
And he will turn back and cause to return many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, And he will [himself] go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient and incredulous and unpersuadable to the wisdom of the upright [which is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God]—in order to make ready for the Lord a people [perfectly] prepared [in spirit, adjusted and disposed and placed in the right moral state]. Luke 1:16-17 AMP
The original context of the passage in Malachi, as well as in Matthew 17 leaves room for a double fulfillment of this prophecy.
And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13 NKJV
The Greek word translated “will restore” is apokathistēmi in the future active indicative form ~ meaning this is still a future tense fact (of restoration to the former state). Therefore, though the prophecy saw its first fulfillment through John the Baptist before the first coming of Christ, it will see a second fulfillment before the second coming of Christ. The second fulfillment of this prophecy also includes both of these anointings working together in His messengers (the spirit of Elijah working within the “John the Baptist” calling) to prepare the way of the Lord. Together, this produces the call to repentance from sin and turning to wholeheartedly live for and follow the Lord, AND miracles, signs, and wonders that confirm the message of grace and Truth (demonstrated in Romans 15:18-19 and throughout the New Testament).
As with the word about the nation, again, we have no idea exactly how long we have been given, but there has been a sense of urgency on this message since He first gave it to us. He confirmed this for us at least 7 times in the first couple of weeks after He spoke it to us and has continued to confirm it since.
to be continued…