Prepare Yea the way
August 16, 2004 - Archaeologists claimed that they have found a cave in Israel where they believe John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples. About 250,000 pottery shards from the cave, the apparent remnants of small water jugs used in baptismal ritual. There were wall carvings, including one showing a man with a staff and wearing animal skin, told the story of John the Baptist. The cave just outside Jerusalem was carved in the Iron Age, somewhere between 800 and 500 B.C., by the Israelites who apparently used it as an immersion pool.
John was an enigmatic and different from the rest whose lifestyle and preaching brought great attention and following. He was no ordinary guy. Spending his time in the wilderness (Mat 3:1) , in caves, and in the desert, he ate simply (locust and wild honey), did not drink liquor, and dress in camel's hair. He was so forthright in condeming the Pharisees and the Saducees as hypocrites like snakes consuming the people that the religious leaders called him a demon. (Mat 11:18). Thousands must have been attracted to his ministry and took effort to come to the desert even religious leaders which were rebuked by him.
Why did John the Baptist needed to come and prepare the way of the Lord (Mat 11:10) ? John was God's last messenger to annouce the coming of Jesus Christ. His preaching in the years before Jesus' ministry begin provide the foundation and the following that propel Jesus' ministry. After Jesus was baptised and His following grew, John's disciples subsequently became Jesus'. The discples had already been implanted by the message of repentance in order to enter the kingdom of God.
John was a powerful and vocal preacher with wide following. In an account that parallels the New Testament closely, Josephus stated that Herod Antipas arrested John and subsequently executed him at Machaerus because "he feared that John's so extensive influence over the people might lead to an uprising.
John's message was centered upon repentance for Jesus the Messiah was coming to initiate access to the Kingdom of Heaven.
and rebuking the religious leaders and authorities which subsequently got him beheaded by Herod. He was a rebel, setting a precedence for Jesus to come against the Pharisees. Jesus effectively took the baton over from John and was much saddened of the news of his death.
In Mat 11:18, it is translated as a "man clothed in soft garments" but in Greek it is a reference to man who is soft, weak, or effeminate. A more proper translation would be "What then did you go out to see? A man clothed effeminately? Look, those weakness wearers are in the houses of kings and not in the desert."Amazingly, in 1Corinthians 6:9, malakos is rendered to give the text a homophobic spin, while in another, Matthew 11:8, malakos and tà malakà are effectively removed from the text, to avoid a homosexual connotation. This shows that the translators are homoporbic and selective in their interpretation. Jesus was really asking "Who is John?".
Jesus proclaimed that John was not only a prophet but much more. He was a messenger of God come to deliver the final annoucement of Jesus' coming to earth. He was a great man but even the least in the kingdom of God soon to be ushered in will be greater. This kingdom came when Jesus rose again from the dead. Jesus was emphasising in in Christ, in His Kingdom, you are elevated to the highest place, a child of God, and all is equal.
John did not reject anyone who came before him, the sinner, the tax collectors, the rich, the poor. He rejected only the religious authorities - the Pharisees and the Saducees. Two thousand years later, this world is still a spiritual desert. The road to truth is not straight but filled with obstacles rejecting people on the basis of the sexuality. Instead, the lie from hell is perpetuated that all religions lead to God. Will there be a new movement to preach the word just as it is - about repentance available to all inclusive of gays and not by our works and religiousity?
There is a strong calling in the spirit. "Prepare yea the way for the Lord, for He is coming soon". Outside the States, there a only a few Gay churches. Their numbers could be counted by hand and toes in Asia where 3 billion reside. Whilst there are hundreds of thousands of Churches in Asia, there are less than 10 Gay Churches in Asia. There is a desert out there and a great need as ever before to make the road straight for Gays to bring them into the kingdom of God. There is wilderness and dryness. But the spirit of God is quickening and soon there will be a thundering sound of a thousand army from dead bones of wrecked lives of Gays (made so by the Church) who will usher in the greatest move of God. The world will not see it. For it will be in the wilderness, in caves hidden, in the closeted gay churches where the revival of God will come.
Are we willing to be the modern day John the Baptist, to minister to Gays in a sub-society that is real yet hidden, where people live in caves of closests for their own protection. John Baptised more than 250,000 because he knew that the least in the Kingdom of God will be a greater honour than he for they will be a child of God. God is seeking those who are humble and faithful to His message. It will be a closeted ministry. There will be no reward and exaltation in public but your reward will be from heaven.
Thus saith the Lord, "I will do a new thing, deep in the wilderness where it is very dry and men cry out to God, where they are rejected and outcast. I will bring foth new springs in the wilderness, where my people can go. There they will have peace and can worship me freely. The nations will be touched and shaken for I the Lord will let the weak minister to the strong that God may be glorified. For eye have not seen and ears have not heard the depth and width of my grace and mercy to those whom many have cast afar off and lived in wilderness not by choice but by necessity".