The Messiah - Part 14

The Forerunner of the Messiah

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. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 40:3-5

When its time for a king to appear usually someone precedes him to announce his coming. A person comes to prepare the people for the coming of a great person. In the United States when the president is supposed to visit a certain city, a way is prepared. Security is tight and plans are made for his or her safety. They take great pains for insure that everything goes smoothly and the purpose for the visit is carried out without a hitch.

God planned for a forerunner to precede the coming of the Messiah. This was fulfilled the first time by John the Baptist.

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:2-6 (KJV)

John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of the voice of one crying in the wilderness. God gave His word to John when he dwelt in the wilderness. His sole purpose in life was to be a forerunner to the Messiah. He didn't drink strong drink, wear soft clothing or indulge in any luxuries. His life was totally given to God for a purpose.

John's main message was preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. The message was repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Repent means to turn around change, live different and be sorry for any sins you ever committed. It is a repentance that changes the life, not a ritual repentance where you get back up and start sinning again and continually come to offer repentance. If we do sin again we can come and repent again but we don't repent with a heart that knowingly desires to go back and do the same things. That is not genuine repentance. Genuine repentance hates sin and does not want to return to a life of sin. Genuine repentance brings change.

If we find ourselves without the power to overcome sin, we need to give ourselves totally to Jesus Christ and allow His Holy Spirit to come into our lives and change us completely. How do we get that? We ask God for His Holy Spirit to come and abide within us.

Coming of John the Baptist

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 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.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he
looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Luke 1:5-25 (KJV)

An angel appears to Zacharias just as he appeared to Mary the mother of Jesus. His wife Elizabeth was to have a special child by a miracle. Elizabeth was past the age that she could bear children and could not even conceive before coming to that age when she could not bear children any longer. So Elizabeth had a double miracle when she conceived a child however, nothing is too hard for our God.

This is why Zacharias doubted and was struck speechless by the angel and could not speak because of unbelief. It was something impossible except with God. Unbelief is a severe sin. It is unbelief that keeps us from being saved from sin and many other gifts from God.

Elizabeth was so happy. In those days it was considered a reproach or a curse if a woman could not conceive children. This was mercy from God to take away her reproach.

This child was special and was to be a forerunner to the Messiah. John was to be filled with the Holy Ghost, to turn people to the Lord, to go in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just and to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord.

The angel also visited Mary and told her that she was to conceive by an even greater miracle. Mary was a virgin and her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit and not by man. The angel also informed Mary that Elizabeth, her cousin was expecting a child.

Mary went to visit Elizabeth and the babe in the womb of Elizabeth leaped for joy when Mary arrived. By the Holy Spirit Elizabeth knew that Mary was carrying the Lord within her womb and begin to rejoice and prophesy.

And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Luke 1:42-44

Notice that Elizabeth called the baby in Mary's womb, Lord. The Messiah and the forerunner, John was both present in the same room before their birth.

After the birth of John, Zachariah was filled with the Holy Ghost and began to prophecy:

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. Luke 1:67-80

Zacharias could not speak until his son, John was born and then he said a mouthful by the Holy Spirit.

Zacharias gave God praise for visiting His people. He praised God for raising up a horn of salvation from the house of David which was promised by the prophets since the world began. The promise was that they should be saved from enemies and from all who hate them.

This is the part of the prophecy that is still to come to pass at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The other part of the prophecy was that they were to serve God in holiness and righteousness. This will happen but cannot happen until they, Israel repents of sin and receives the true Messiah into their lives.

Receiving Christ is being "born again" and changed. It brings a change, a new beginning and the old sins and old things pass away. Israel as a nation has not done this and that is why they are still surrounded by enemies. They are still waiting for a Messiah to come and deliver them not realizing that the Messiah has already come to die for their sins and the sins of all others outside of Israel who believe. When we who are outside of Israel believe and receive Jesus Christ, we become adopted Israel.

The second part of the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah will come to pass at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Then all the prophecies will be fulfilled. The first coming was to take care of the supreme sacrifice for sins and the second will be to overcome all enemies, swallow up death in victory and usher in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Zacharias prophesied that John would go before the Messiah to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by remission of sins, to give light to them that are in darkness and to guide their feet into the way of peace.

First Zacharias tells of deliverance from enemies and then he foretells of deliverance from sin and the ushering in of peace.

The sacrifice and penalty for our sins has already been given and we don't have to wait for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to receive His Spirit into our lives. We can have the that now by coming to the Lord Jesus Christ, renouncing sin and accepting Him as Lord. Then at His Second Coming we will go to be with Him and reign with Him forever.

Even so come Lord Jesus.





Son of Abraham

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5

The Anointed One
part 1
part 2
part 3

The Messiah's Birth
part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5

The Forerunner
part 1
part 2
part 3

The Son of God
part 1

part 2

His Ministry
part 1
part 2
part 3

part 4

Prophet & Priest
part 1
part 2

Suffering Messiah
part 1

part 2
part 3
part 4

Death & Resurrection
part 1
part 2

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