Tag Archives: John the Baptist



William Andrew Dillard

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:1-2.
Reading further in Matt. 4:17, it is written, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So, Jesus and John delivered the same initial message to the Jewish nation, and it was not a new plan of salvation of the spirit, but something new, and at hand: the kingdom of heaven.
Dr. Fred G. Stevenson, instructor of Old Testament Hebrew for many years in Missionary Baptist Seminary, stated often that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God as it is variously called are one and the same, and what constitutes it is the righteous ways of God being carried out by righteous men.
Truly, the concept of such a kingdom was in play as early as Eden, but took on the necessary processes applicable to sinful men after the fall to bring them to a state of spiritual maturity. Those processes are the Bible story, the full fruition of which, men still struggling with sinful flesh, is realized in this age of grace through the New Testament church. The complete fullness of it will be realized in the millennium and subsequent heaven ages.
The Lord’s church, a mystery hidden in ages past, is the heavenly designed climax of four thousand years of experience designed to bring men to the position of mature sons by virtue of spiritual growth aided by the anointing of the Holy Spirit which came to permanently reside in the church on Pentecost, Acts 2. The church is the bride of Christ, the branches of the vine, and kingdom representative and executive in the present age.
Make no mistake about it. The kingdom of heaven did not exist prior to the ministry of Christ Jesus even though it was in preparation. Both Jesus and John declared it was at hand. Some may object because Jesus said to the rejecting Jewish nation that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to another bringing forth the fruits thereof. That simply means what was intended for Israel would not be received by them, but by another.
Thus was the kingdom of heaven entrusted to a prepared people to receive it. This was the mission of John the Baptist, and the message of both John and Jesus. What a treasure beyond words God’s obedient people have today, but individual decisions are still necessary to be positioned in it.
Opening the mind to ultimate truth is God’s Work: exposing the mind to the Word is ours! How sad it will be for some to go out into eternity having had copies of the Bible in their possession, but not knowing what it was all about. Hear then the message of two heaven sent preachers. Learn its meaning!

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MARCH 25 – Fear changes People

MARCH 25 – Fear changes People

Est 8:17  And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them. 

What a time to be alive and living in Persia and Media. A time when the people of God were hated with a vengeance. A time where the God of the Jews was hated with great a passion. Esther would not reveal that she was a Jew to the King. He ended up marrying a Jew girl and it was by the great providence of God.

Persecution of God’s people is not new. It has been happening for a long time. The evilness that man has hates the authority of God. The King had John the Baptist head lifted by the influence of a pagan girl and a hateful mother and wife. John was ushered into paradise to wait three years for our Savior to descend and lift him into heaven and the presence of God. For John the Baptist this was not defeat, this was victory. His work was done.

Paul persecuted the church by throwing them in jail and killing them. He stood and held the coats of the ones that stoned Stephen to death and was on his way to kill more when the Lord struck him with a conviction that called for repentance. He was so faithful after being transformed that he became a missionary and suffered many things for Christ. I am reminded that he was stoned and left for dead. He revived and continued the work he was called to do. Suffering for Christ is a privilege that some never get to enjoy. Because they do not have the joy of suffering, they seldom find the sublime joy of showing one that is lost how to be saved. They seldom point the way to the cross.

A Jewish maid in the hands of God faced all these things and was at the place to help her people, the Jews to defend themselves and show the people that assailed the Jews, the fear of God. Notice what is said – “And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

God can put you in the place to be a great influence. You might experience some trials and tribulations but is worth it. You are needed, “for such a time as this.”

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The Church 1

My intent is trace the Lord’s Church from the time of John the Baptist till I get done or get tired or get distracted from this purpose.

John the Baptist came to prepare a people for the Lord Jesus Christ. He won many disciples to Christ and baptized them on the authority he received from heaven. Mark 1:1-4 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin.

Now we find in Matthew 4:18-22 – And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

I am not going to quibble over the church beginning here or on some Mountain. I am firm that the Church had its beginning before the day of Pentecost. More to come.

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2. The Founder Of The Church

Christ as founder of His church is proved by the following facts:

  1. As the Shepherd Christ gathered unto himself a flock, which is said to be the church. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock…to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

  2. Christ declared He had a church, Matthew 16:18 “…upon this rock I will build my church.” While on earth He called His company of followers “MY CHURCH.” However, the clause “will build” does not point to His founding the church, but to strengthening it, or building it up in numbers, power and usefulness. In this sense He is still building His church, and will continue doing so until He shall come again.

  3. Christ testified that He had a kingdom while on earth, hence He was the founder of it, John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world,” that is, not of this world’s system to wage carnal warfare, levy taxes for support of a political government, etc. The point is: Christ established a kingdom in person while on earth. The churches are the executives of His kingdom. When the first church was founded, Christ’s kingdom came into existence on earth.

  4. In founding the church, Christ became its headstone, Matthew 21:42: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

  5. The material prepared by John the Baptist (Luke 1:16, 17, 77) was used by Christ in founding His church, as David prepared the material for the construction of the temple which was built by Solomon (I Chron. 22:5).

    Incidentally, since Christ used the ones whom John baptized in founding His church, this identifies His church with the baptism and teaching of John. If you were to go to a Mormon, for instance, and be baptized of him, would you not be known as a Mormon? Then, since the first disciples of Christ identified themselves with John the Baptist and were baptized by him, why were they not Baptists also? And being organized into a church by Christ, why was it not a Baptist church? The name “Baptist” came from God (Matt. 3:1). If John could wear it with honor, why cannot we? And as John was a missionary sent by God (John 1:6) and was divinely called Baptist, why was he not a missionary Baptist? That’s what we are?


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Man by Nature

Man by nature likes neither grace nor truth. He is satisfied neither with perfect justice nor perfect goodness.if John the Baptist comes in righteousness, he is hated, and men say he is too harsh, and not human, but hath a devil. If Christ comes in love, He is taunted with being a friend of sinners. So when the righteous requirements of God’s law are preached, many people are apt to turn and say, ‘Oh yes, but that is too strict; you must allow a little margin for our imperfection.’ God says, ‘Make no provision for the flesh.’ Alas! it will take far too much; but allow it nothing. When a sanctified walk, separated from the world and all its belongings is insisted on, a certain class are sure to call this legal preaching. And on the other hand, when the grace of God is preached, man’s wisdom makes it out to be toleration of evil and lawless licence.

Dr. Dr. W.P. Mackay, M.A


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Heaven Authorized Baptism


Mark 11:27-33


“The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?,” Mark 11:30.


John’s baptism was commanded and authorized by God Almighty Himself (John 1:33). Some have minimized John’s baptism, saying it was not Christian baptism because he was not a member of the New Testament church. If God sent John to baptize, how dare anyone question its authenticity? It was good enough for Jesus and good enough for all the apostles and a requirement for apostleship.


John’s baptism was a total washing, symbolic of repentance of sin to be ready to go into the kingdom of God, which many thought was to be set up immediately. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:1, 2).


Baptism pictures the gospel. One dies to sin in the crucifixion of Christ; God counts it as though we were on the cross. Then, the saved person is to be buried with him, pictured in total immersion. Romans 6 teaches that when God saw Christ resurrected from the dead, He reckoned Jesus’ resurrection was our coming forth from the grave. Baptism shows the death, burial and resurrection of the believer with Jesus. Thus, scriptural baptism of a saved person, authorized by a true New Testament church, is one’s public identification with Christ and His people, an identifying mark announcing that this person is saved and not ashamed of Jesus. When one submits to baptism, he is making a life statement saying, he is saved and serious about following Christ and fellowshipping with His people.


Just saying


Baptism is a great equalizer. Since they all had the same baptism, they should be of the same unity in the Holy Spirit.


Robert Brock




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Today there is a lot of misconceptions about the Church. Because of this we will begin before the beginning of the Church. There is a prophecy that was fulfilled that one would come and prepare the way for another.

Isaiah 40:3-4

“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. 4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made ow: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:”

An explanation of this verse will help us to see what this prophecy means in the New Testament. Prepare ye the way. This is a picture of a king that will be travelling among the countryside in his domain. There would be those that would herald the coming of the king and preparation would be made for his travel. My dad used the terminology – this road is crooked as a dogs hind leg. Roads would be straightened as much as possible, valleys filled in or bridges built, mountains reduced in size where the road went and pot holes filled. The purpose was to make the travel a little easier for the king. As the king travelled a herald would precede the king announcing, “the king is coming, the king is coming.”

We need to see the application of this principle in fulfilled scripture. Matthew 3:1-3 gives this picture to us – “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.

Matthew makes the statement that John the Baptist is the fulfilment of this prophecy. We then have in John 1:23 John the Baptist statement about himself. “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”  Here we see that John the Baptist is the herald for the Saviour that was to come. John the Baptist had a very specific message. Matthew 3:2 – “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Notice the response to this message in Matthew 3:5 – “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Now what was John the Baptist doing? Preparing the way for Jesus.

How is this preparing the way for the Lord?  John chapter 1 explains a lot that was prophesied. Verse 15 records John the Baptist witness of the Word that was made flesh – “…This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. Verse 29, John utters those immortal words “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John stands with two of his disciples saw Jesus and made the claim – Behold the Lamb of God! These two disciples them followed Jesus. As we read further we find Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael to follow him. Matthew 4:18-22. This is the passage where Jesus walks the seashore of Galilee and calls his disciples to follow him. Verse 19 contains the words that every child knows – Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Their response contained in the next verse – “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Let us now examine the purpose of John the Baptist as he came to prepare the way for the saviour. 1. He preached repentance in the wilderness. 2 When a person repented, John the Baptist baptised them. 3. He preached and extolled the superiority of Christ. Now Jesus has come and preparation has been made for his coming. There are saved and baptised believers that are ready to be put into the church. Jesus walked the seashores of Galilee and called out his church that had already been prepared.

God made great provision for his Son to come and give his life for the lost and also to give his life for his church.

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onenewsnow has a story out of Dallas about home churches also called organic church or simple church.

The lack of knowledge of the primary character is this news article is simply astounding. This man left a church where he was a missions committee chairman. This man reached a position in a church that would indicate that he should have some knowledge of God’s word, yet it is evident that he missed Paul’s passage to Timothy – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. II Timothy 2:15,16.”

The first comment I want to make is that from the time of Christ there have been house churches. Almost every missionary has started in some ones home. Often this home was the missionary pastor’s home. Take a look at Philemon verse 2 – “And to our beloved Appia and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the Church in thy house. Home churches were known from the time of Christ until this very day. May I offer a phrase given to us by the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes – There is nothing new under the sun. House churches were mentioned several times by Paul. Now if these people were real sincere about getting to the most simplistic style recorded by God’s word, they would be a traveling church like the one Jesus called from the seashore of Galilee.

They brag about not having a pastor. How pompous can this be to deny the very office given to the Church in a shepherd capacity. God calls pastor for a reason.
Note that Paul instructed Timothy to not neglect the Gift of God. “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. II Timothy 1:6.” Paul left Timothy at different churches to help them. Acts 14:23 says that Barnabas and Paul ordained elders in every church. Elders comes from the Greek word presbuteros and Thayer says – among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or Churches). The New Testament uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably according to Thayer. Paul and Barnabas were ordained and sent with authority to begin Churches.

If I understand this article correctly, they have no right to observe the Lord’s Supper but yet they go through the motions by pinching off pieces of sour dough bread and drink wine and give the kids grape juice. They have no authority to baptise and I saw no mention of baptism. This indicates to me that they feel baptism is unimportant. It is amazing that Christ walked about 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority, John the Baptist.

Take a close look at this quote – “In general, house churches consist of 12 to 15 people who share what’s going on in their live, often turning to Scriptures for guidance. They rely on the Holy Spirit or spontaneity to lead the direction of their weekly gatherings. Now we find that the Scripture is not their sole guide but a guide often. This is perplexing in it’s implication of the importance they place on Scripture. Is this a situation where we apply Scripture when it is convenient and thereby only use that part that we are in agreement with? What about the Holy Spirit they speak of? For the individual, the Holy Spirit convicts and draws and seals those that are saved. For the Church the Holy Spirit impowers to do the work that Christ has given it to do.

Now let us look at the Church that Jesus built upon Himself. To begin with it was a traveling Church that met on the side of a hill and received what we call the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapter 5,6, and 7. Every one of His Church members had been saved and baptized by John the Baptist (Acts 1:21.) We see Jesus and His Church as a traveling Church, a Church that met in upper rooms and homes. They were organized and had a pastor (shepherd) Jesus Christ. They even had a Church treasurer (Judas Iscariot). Matthew 28:19-20 gave this Church 3 things to do. Proclaim the Gospel. Baptise those that were saved. Teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you.

In the 8th chapter of Acts great persecution came upon the Church and it was scattered. Follow Philip into Samaria and see the great work he did in preaching the gospel. Many were saved and baptised. Acts 8:14-17 tells us of Peter and John coming to examine the work that Philip had done and approved it and organized a Church there in Samaria by laying hands on the people and they “…received the Holy Ghost.” What a great example of mission work and Church organisation. O yes, the Church at Jerusalem gained about 3,000 souls in one day.

One more thing if I may. This house church was not about worshipping God. The statement, “… share what’s going on in their lives…”. Worship is all about God and not about us. God has called us to worship. This day everything is back wards. The terminology – I Think, I feel, indicates to me that it is about the people and not God. These people have come together and done something that they believe is religious and now they are satisfied with themselves. They can go home happy. No baptisms because no authority to baptise. The supper they observe does not honour Jesus because of wrong elements and they are not commanded to observe the Lord’s Supper. No doubt those that are saved will go to heaven but standing before the Bema seat and not have any rewards will not be good.

Understand, I have been part of house churches and they have been given authority and they baptised and scripturally observed the Lord’s Supper and grew and bought property and built church building because they needed a place to meet and a house was too small.

Zeal without knowledge is not good. A selfish inward turning of attention to do what pleases us is just as bad as misdirected zeal.Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

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