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Repentance & John The Baptist


The Consider Podcast


Ecclesiastes 2:12
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly.


The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly, and madness.

Repentance & John The Baptist

 Because they lead my people astray, saying, “peace” when there is no peace. And because when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash. Therefore, tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents and I will send hailstones hurtling down and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you Where is the whitewash you covered it with? Ezekiel 13:10:16.

Timothy:

Welcome to the Considered Podcast, and we’re gonna continue to talk on and press on with the first word out of Jesus’ mouth when he began the ministry in God’s timing. And that word is repent.

 

Welcome to the Consider Podcast, where we turn our minds to consider wisdom, madness, and folly. Join the host Timothy and Jacob on a quest to have God enlighten the mind according to verse 25 of Ecclesiastes chapter seven. So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate, and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things, and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly, Ecclesiastes 7: 25. The Consider Podcast, examining today’s events and tomorrow’s realities at www.consider.info.

Timothy:

We always start with a pop quiz for Jacobs. So no use breaking tradition. So Jacob, here’s your pop quiz for this particular one. And fortunately, this is not a yes or no. You’re probably actually gonna have to think on this one. Are you ready?

Jacob:

Okay. I’m ready

Timothy:

Because I know you got a cold. You got a cold and everything, so let’s see, I have two good advantages, I guess. All right. What are the two main reasons people go to hell? The vast world, all through time. Even if you just run the numbers just in scripture of those who are saved. Even as you look around you, when we say most, it’s a lot of people. It’s like an understatement. What are the two primary reasons that all these people are going to hell for?

Jacob:

Well, the first one I’m gonna throw out is that they have hard hearts. So people either have hard hearts or now I’m grasping for number two. But if you could say they didn’t repent, but that is a hard heart because you refuse to repent. So if you’re not gonna repent, you have a hard heart. And I don’t… The second reason they would go to hell. Well, I don’t know. They despised the truth. I don’t know what.

Timothy:

I like your answer cause it’s kind of typical. I mean, we’re having fun with each other, but we always throw… I remember kind of the joke in the church was, we pose questions, people would go, well, uh, God, sin, Holy Spirit, they’re rebellious and like, yeah, okay, whatever. That covers everything. But it’s not specific. The number one reason most people all through time go to hell is they will not admit they’re guilty. You look at society, you’re going shopping and you’re talking with somebody and you point something out and you’re trying to work out an exchange or whatever, and people just won’t admit they’re guilty. We see it, especially noted within the legal system, prosecutors never admit they’re guilty, judges never admit they’re guilty. The police, of course, are never guilty of anything. And that’s just one segment. But the reason we bring up the legal side is because it’s kind of the top tier of what presses down from the rest of society. It kind of converges on that point. But the number one reason people just go to hell, and this doesn’t matter whether you’re a bureaucrat or a mother or a father, or just the most lowly thing you can think of in terms of occupation or whatever is it’s very, very simple. Number one is they will not admit they are guilty.

Jacob:

What’s number two?

Timothy:

Number two is they just want what they want.

Jacob:

Oh, see, yeah. And because some people will go, you know, let’s say you confront them with some sins and let’s just, you know, oh, well, maybe their besetting sin is like, they love money, but they just won’t give it up. And they’ll say, oh, I love money. Like, that’s what I want. That’s what I’m after, and I’m gonna go get it. And so I guess, are you saying that everything comes down to one or the other? Either they won’t refuse they’re guilty, or they’ll admit they’re guilty, meaning, oh, I love money and that’s what I’m going after. And then so they refuse.

Timothy:

Correct. Push comes to shove. I couldn’t think of any others, feel free to come back later and go, Hey, I thought of a third one, but those are the two. We don’t have time. We could go to Genesis and that’s the bottom line. Adam and Eve wouldn’t admit they were guilty and then they just wanted what they wanted. They’re as God, they want to feed their lust. The reason why you don’t even find number two within the legal system is because they don’t have to, they have the power to shut you down. They have the power to control the argument. The arrogance just gets unleashed and so there’s no dialogue. But as you go down through society, there might be some people that you’re dialoguing with, you get into a discussion and they kind of see your point. Yeah, it’s wrong or it’s whatever. But you know, the more you talk and the more you reason with them, and the more you point out how it is sinful what they’re doing, they’re never gonna get there because what’s underlying that, cause very few people actually go, well, I just want what I want. I mean I have bumped into those people, I actually have respect for them. As I’ve discussed with many, many, many people, the ones I respect are, yeah, it’s wrong, it’s sinful, but that’s what I want. There’s no pretense to the whole game. Much rather have that kind of thing. The most infuriating of course, are those in the legal system because they don’t even dialogue cause they don’t have to. They’re just snakes that won’t be charmed so everybody just gets whacked out and all the humble get crushed in the land.

Jacob:

The legal system people, there are so many laws on the books that deep down somewhere, there’s some law that, well, I wouldn’t say it even like logically justifies them, but I feel like, you know what I mean, they always point and say, well, since I supposedly have this power that’s given to me by the law, I’m innocent. I can’t be touched. I didn’t do anything wrong. Even if they blatantly violated a different law, like they’re always within the law.

Timothy:

And I’m guilty here cuz I opened up this can of worms by bringing in the legal stuff. It’s a little, yes, you’re correct. That’s why I had you play the whitewash at the beginning cause it’s all whitewash. And whether in the world or you see it in the church, I mean, I could hammer on the church that in fact, that’s what we’re looking at, they’re just whitewashing everybody’s sin. It’s easy, it looks good. It reflects the light back. You could say, yeah, I’m just totally fine, covers over blemishes. But that whole whitewash thing is just gonna crumble. So you’re correct but we’re gonna have to avoid that rabbit hole cause… I hope and the Lord, believe me, it is burning in my heart. I long to get there. I’ve got so much information there. All right. So we love our clamor of worship. You don’t hear within the church or from the church or even those who claim to be Christians an attitude that walks around, “You need to repent”. Part of the reason is, of course, they’re not repenting. They haven’t experienced the deep conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit convicting of sin. So they don’t feel the urgency for other people. I know, for instance, well, I went to the dentist here like a year ago, right? And somebody in their office wound up having cancer, the lymph nodes.

 

So I’m sitting in the chair and they’re examining me. They go, Hey, your lymph nodes are a little vague, you need to have those looked at because why they had discovered somebody in their office has cancer. So they’re very sensitive to that and they’re alert to it. As far as my lymph nodes, don’t anybody worry, I don’t have any cancer. The lymph nodes. But anyway, like anybody’s worried. So when you are sensitive to sin when you’ve been convicted when you’ve got the rich life in Jesus Christ when you understand the dangers that people really are headed to hell. I’ve seen you go through this as we begin to dialogue and fellowship, I watch the Holy Spirit come to you and make these things alive. It gets beyond our discussion. There’s been a whole decade of laying that foundation, but the joy is watching God now make these things alive. And I’m sure you’ll testify that if you took what you’ve been discipled in what you’ve heard in preaching and all the sermons and the multitude of hours, cause you did the recording and all those things, it does not even come close. It does not compare. There’s no, what am I trying to say, type of touching or unity there when the Holy Spirit starts making these things live. Am I right or wrong?

Jacob:

You’re a hundred percent correct. So I have a cold, just the regular human cold, but at some point, I almost wonder cause I’ve just been struggling and wrestling with things and it’s almost like there is a real physical, like a manifestation of the Lord coming to you and showing you things. And I was almost like, is this in reverse? Like, I don’t know. You know what I mean? And unfortunately, it was probably that I had to get a cold just so I would be weakened just so the Lord could talk to me. But you just feel squeezed. You physically feel squeezed and it’s way beyond just words or it’s really hard to kind of describe. But that’s the only way. It’s almost like there is like a physical manifestation of, I don’t know when he’s just like kind of working on you.

Timothy:

Being crucified with Christ. Those aren’t words now, that’s just what’s happening. Now drop the words probably, you didn’t probably get a cold.

Jacob:

No, It is. It is.

Timothy:

I know I did the same thing. It’s like, no, no, there’s no probably about it. And so absolutely. Yes. When he speaks, you hide, when Elijah’s on the mountainside and God comes by in the thunderclouds and earthquakes. Yeah, he doesn’t, eh, okay, fine. This is a nice event. But the Lord wasn’t in it. When he comes with a whisper. Oh, he’s hiding, he’s going into the rock of Jesus Christ. He’s covering his face cause the Lord was in that. That’s what happens. That’s why when you preach the gospel to somebody and it’s an intellectual discussion, it just kind of wraps on that level and they come back and go, yeah, you know, I really see your point and I really agree and I need to work on that. Let’s just say we get some semi-positive. Inside, you know, I’m just shaking, no. It’s you reasoning it out, you’re trying to co-opt the words of Jesus Christ cause Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit are standing there with a hammer in their hands and nails to crucify you, and you can feel that hurts. That goes deep. It divides bone from marrow. People don’t want that. Or like, all of a sudden, oh, well, it used to be when people would discipline their kids, okay, they’re not allowed to do so anymore. So Dad’s coming with the proper instrument to discipline somebody. Well, you know what’s happening, right? So you start bargaining the situation. Oh, I didn’t, you know, whatever excuse he’s got, you know, you’re trying to calm everything down.

In the same way, people see Jesus Christ coming to them, or he’s being presented to them and he’s got the hammer, the whip, all of the things are in place. It’s all going to come in on you, and you’re gonna feel it, and you know, it’s coming. So it’s like, oh yeah, yeah. You know, I really agree I need to give up lust. You’re right, I’m a liar. You’re right, I’m a pathetic lying prosecutor that has sent many innocent person to prison, or I’ve taken those who are guilty and I force them to testify against themselves in such a way for crimes they didn’t do. The point is, you see Jesus Christ coming to you, but you refuse to repent because you’re trying to outmaneuver him. We used to call that putting pillows beneath the cross kind of thing. All right, so let’s go to Luke chapter seven, verse 30. It says, but the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for them. You see that a lot talked about in the church. God has a purpose for you, right, Jacob?

Jacob:

Oh yeah. It’s all about purpose. It’s all about purpose and plan.

Timothy:

So you’re bribing people in… The purpose, of course, is repentance. The purpose is brokenness. The purpose is getting rid of pride. The purpose is getting rid of disobedience. The purpose is sharing in God’s holiness, which is not an easy thing to get to. But the purpose for them is he’s got a plan, he’s got a purpose. You know, you’ll find your meaning. All of that stuff. Where you find your purpose, where you find God’s plan is you have to go see John the Baptist first. And that’s the first beginnings of conviction. And I encourage everybody to go back and look at John the Baptist and see how he responds to the crowds. I think we’ve covered it a little bit. But that’s where your purpose is found. But the Pharisees and experts in the law, in other words, all the Bible studies and the books, you can find all these experts that have big ministry, forget it. Have you ever, ever, ever heard these guys say, you know, go back and discover John the Baptist?

Jacob:

No.

Timothy:

Any of the books. Any of the books go, yeah, you know, this is a nice little commentary. How to find God, how to read scripture, how to understand scripture, how to be blessed with scripture. Really. And not one single time on any reference with any fire at all, have I ever discovered currently where the experts in scripture, the Pharisees and those who do the law, say go to John the Baptist cause he’s gonna start the process. Okay. I know it’s kind of a redundant question. But we’re talking John the Baptist, not convenient, you gotta go out to the desert, not comfortable what he’s gonna tell you. It’s gonna lead to deep conviction. But John is going to tell you flat out, Hey, what I’m convicting you of and what I am hammering, so to speak, or preaching you to you, won’t even compare to the baptism of fire that Jesus Christ will bring. Most people don’t want to hear this. The Pharisees don’t want to hear it. The experts in the law don’t want to hear it. Most people are still back in Rome, living their daily life, cooking their bread, going to church, whatever it is they do, then the few that do go out to the desert, they’re not greeted with, “Well, it’s really good to see you here and I’m sure glad you’re here”. And our numbers have increased since last week. He says, what are you doing out here? Why are you here? Who warned you? What’s your purpose? It begins with, why are you in church? I’ll never regret the opportunity, I’m sure, but I’d love to come into some megachurch and start with John the Baptist. And I’d pose, why are you here? What are you doing sitting in these pews today? Did you really hear the Holy Ghost? Are you really prepared to be crucified with Christ? Do you want to hear things you don’t want to hear without whining and being a big baby and running off to persecute those who actually bring you the truth? I’m posing questions obviously that I know the answer to. But it says they had rejected God’s purpose for themselves. Why? What’s the cause? I’ll pause, take a breath. Jacob, what is the cause?

Jacob:

Because they had not been baptized by John.

Timothy:

So this is a baptism, this is not a sprinkling of conviction or “well, you know, I can kind of take John, he’s a little fiery, but over here they also preach the message of the cross and that’s pretty nice”. No, no, we’re talking about an immersion into an experience with John the Baptist. A shattering of our lives, we don’t have time again to go into it, but a leveling of our self-pity, the taking down of our mountains, and so on. Go see John the Baptist. You’re talking about an all too serious contemplation of what John is saying, let alone what Jesus has said. It’s no wonder those who are baptized by John the Baptist were ready for Jesus Christ cause Jesus Christ came to bring, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the church. I understand that, but Jesus Christ came to bring a baptism of fire upon the disciples of Jesus. That’s why Paul Wright, well, let me stop. Jacob, let’s go down to, okay, so he rebukes the Pharisees and the experts in the law, right? And we’re gonna do a hop and a skip as we head over to First Thessalonians. Read verse 36 of Luke 7.

Jacob:

Now, one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

Timothy:

You have in verse 30, Jesus just massively rebukes the Pharisees and the experts. It’s an all-or-nothing thing. But he still sits down at dinner with the Pharisees. So I don’t want anybody getting all puffed up and self-righteous in this kind of thing, cause if that’s the case, you haven’t experienced John the Baptist, you’ve got something else going on. I’d sit down with him, well, let’s just skip a few names for the moment. But I’d sit down with the Pharisees if I was invited and Jesus is relaxing there. We won’t go any further with that at the moment. But I wanted us to emphasize how God moves among all circles to preach a message of repentance. And it comes out with John the Baptist, and it comes out with Jesus reclining at the table. That’s why persecution grows in magnitude. If I was at John the Baptist running around in camel hair and eating grasshoppers and all those kinds of things, okay, yeah, you know, it’s an out-of-norm character, right? You can see why some people would persecute you and not like that. But Jesus also goes and sits downs with the Pharisees, with dinner, and he is at their picnics and he goes to their weddings, and that whole message of what Jesus is declaring is the one word repent. So by the time he’s through with his ministry, it has come to a peak point where he is going to be crucified by experts of the law, Pharisees, and those who did not repent, even though miracles happen.

 

So you can see how the persecution builds. So all of a sudden everybody’s going, oh, well, everybody says it’s a cult. Everybody says he’s wicked. Everybody says he’s evil. So it must be true. Now, it’s actually a sign you’re actually preaching the gospel and could possibly be, actually be living a Godly life. Because wherever you go, no matter who you’re talking to, no matter what actions God is working, the underlying thing that’s coming out and the first thing that’s just like right there is the word repent. How many people like that? You can get arrested in England for praying without saying a word and from an abortion clinic. So you really think the world’s like in tune with, yeah, you have freedom of speech to talk about repentance. Goodness, in the state of Washington, if your grandmother that owns a flower shop, guess what, they bring in the full weight of the law to make sure your life is thoroughly destroyed. And again, I hope to bury that whole thing and reveal that for the corruption is later on. But we’ll see what God works. Anything on that Jacob?

Jacob:

No.

Timothy:

Then let’s move on to First Thessalonians chapter one, verse five. And go ahead and read that.

Jacob:

Because our gospel came to you, not simply with words.

Timothy:

Hang on, I’m gonna interrupt you. What’s it say? Our gospel. There are lots of gospels out there, but we’re talking about the gospel that Paul preached, the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what does it look like when the true gospel goes out? Go ahead.

Jacob:

Because our gospel came to you not simply with words.

Timothy:

Hang on, I’m gonna interrupt you again. Not simply with words, not tracks, not all kinds of nonsense. I’ll stop interrupting you here in just a minute. But not simply words, it’s just not talk. Now, do you understand why people, it’s not me they reject, it’s the Holy Spirit working. But hopefully, people can begin to see that if it was just words, it’s just one argument against another group. It’s just the conservative Christians against the liberal Christians or whatever. But we’re talking not simply with words, go ahead.

Jacob:

But also with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Timothy:

All right. Look at all the elements in this one sentence. It didn’t come simply with words. Oh yeah, I mean that’s quite an understatement. But one with power, really, the person speaking to me about their Christianity comes with power. Then on top of power, with the Holy Spirit, also, the Holy Spirit is in it. And not just power and the Holy Spirit, but also what, Jacob?

Jacob:

Deep conviction.

Timothy:

Deep conviction. You see why you gotta go to John the Baptist first. If you can’t take John the Baptist, you’re not gonna take the full gospel because John the Baptist is all superficial. It’s all outward. It’s a repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It’s outward things that we under our own power can do. We can go share our tunic with somebody or we can give to the poor. We can go do those things if we choose to do so. But we’re talking about a conviction from God that comes with power by the power of a Holy Spirit, not just any spirit. These churches that talk about, oh, the spirit of the Lord. I always look for, well, where’s the holiness? Where is the holiness and deep conviction on top of that? And it comes along with actually living the gospel. Paul will say, you know how we lived among you for your sake. He’s not living a righteous life to look good. He’s not saying, you know how I lived among you, I was holy and I was righteous and I was obedient and God was really with me and I was really blessed. Usually, you get all the flattering choir behind, oh, our pastor’s this, and he did this, and he’s so great. He’s so fantastic. So I’m gonna pause there and ask a question for you, Jacob. When have you ever heard, even from the people that fellowship, and we have a love with one another, and you’ve been with the church for a long time until it was totally disbanded by the state of Washington. When was the last time you saw them praising me like they praise the average church pastor?

Jacob:

Well, you never got praise?

Timothy:

Correct. You know, how we lived among you, for your sake. There’s no puff-up about this. There’s no fair say, kind of like, look at my life. For one thing, to praise me would’ve been to encourage me in what? The offense of the cross. And nobody wants to actually encourage that behavior, right? Very few. Am I making sense here?

Jacob:

Yeah, you’re making sense.

Timothy:

Okay. Verse six of First Thessalonians one says “You became imitators of us and of the Lord”. So the Lord’s message comes with deep power, deep conviction. You became imitators of us. Oh, guess what? They’re following a man. How evil and wicked is that? Paul must be a cult leader. You became imitators of us and of the Lord. And you know that Paul, he is so wicked. Who does he mention first, Jacob?

Jacob:

The Lord.

Timothy:

No, he says you became imitators of…

Jacob:

Oh, us.

Timothy:

Us and of the Lord. So someone with a bitterroot, a bad attitude, a persecuting [Inaudible] attitude, they would come and go… See, see, Paul’s talking about himself above the Lord. He puts himself before the Lord. You get the idea, right?

Jacob:

I do… Oh, nothing other than, I feel like nowadays when I see content online and you know, pastors and this and that or whatever, I feel like that’s not as big of a no-no. And the reason though, of course, is the more the church gets watered down, the more you have these pastors that don’t even preach a John the Baptist message. Then people go, oh, you know, he’s such a great man, we should be like him. I’m throwing that out there only because I feel like that’s, you don’t even ever hear that about anybody, about the whole “don’t follow a man”. And that’s because the leadership is so worldly, everyone then says, oh great, we’ll be like him. And then it’s almost like twisted cause then they’d be like, oh, I’m just doing what my pastor does. But it’s… I don’t know. You know what I mean?

Timothy:

No, no. Well, yeah, you’re actually bringing up a good point. I’m a cult leader because I tell people to imitate me as I follow Christ because it’s a message they don’t want to hear. They don’t wanna be crucified. So then there’s something clearly wrong. Whereas people follow, quote unquote, a man all the time. Everybody does, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, even if it’s just themselves, which I don’t believe exists, they go into the mirror and they can say, I don’t wanna follow a man. Well, guess who you’re following right there. You’re following yourself. And as far as I know, you’re a man. So, no, you bring up a very good point. The reason why that’s not a problem is because they preach a message that their flesh and their sin can embrace and hold onto. And we see this right here in this passage, verse six, in spite of severe suffering, you welcome the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. The message of the cross is simply this. And when I preach it is, you’re not gonna get your joy from the church, you’re not gonna get the joy from fellowshipping with me. You’re not gonna get any joy from actually following me. That’s not where it comes from. And that’s where most pastors and churches and fundraisers and all that kind of thing, people get their joy from belonging to a church or belonging to those that are Whitewash. So that’s not a problem.

 

But to associate, and I’m just using me for an example because that’s a good example at the moment. Anyway, I’d rather be using a different example, but to say, okay, I want to fellowship with you. Well, there’s a potential for a lot of suffering. There’s certainly the suffering from purified from sin that we’re talking about here, but it’s not like I’m Mr. Popular and that nobody wants to shut me up. It’s very clear that that attempt has been going on on multiple levels. So it would take a lot, and let’s use Paul here for an example. We talked about this yesterday, I think. Nobody joined Paul. There were very few people that actually served with him. He had plenty of brothers and sisters he fellowshipped with. But he will say, I have no one else like him who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. When you look at scripture, only one church, only one church shared in giving money to Paul in his ministry. That takes some serious contemplation. All the churches are standing in heaven and only one church out of all the churches Paul started, actually shared with him. He writes that in scripture, by the way, and I’m not gonna take people to it right now. You can read it on your own.

 

That’s an amazing statement, not only of his love for everybody that he held no bitterness against them, but he explains to sit down with Paul and go, you know, Paul, I want to go with you on missionary trips and I want to hang with you. I hunger and thirst righteous. That would be a big step. Big step. All right. You welcome the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. As I’ve watched you go through your convictions and really, it’s got kind of crucifying. You’re kind of not in the moment of that kind of conviction. He also holds you up with some joy at the same time. And it’s not a joy that comes with me putting my arm around you and going, oh, Jacob, it’ll be okay and I know you’ve got a lot of questions. And you know, I understand God’s very complicated, and a lot of this stuff we can’t figure out. And it looks like a contradiction, but it’ll be okay. Just trust Jesus and go on. Am I correct?

Jacob:

Correct.

Timothy:

All right. Verse seven. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. You became a model. There’s nothing wrong with following a man who’s following Christ. There’s nothing wrong with following a church that sets the model example of what all believers should be. People need to see what Christianity is. They need to see people surviving the crucifixion with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. They need to see the deep conviction. The best thing we could do to bring our children to the Lord is for them to see us going through the sufferings, but not grumbling, not complaining, not whining, having a joy from the Holy Spirit, hungering and thirsting for righteousness with gaining more and more self-discipline and more and more conviction and more and more holiness in God and the painful process that God brings that through and yet at the same time brings joy. I’m gonna overstate this, but you could skip all the little morning quiet times. And if they just saw Dad and Mom living this message that’s far superior to all the, well, certainly the vegetable too type cartoons. If they saw this, they’d have a much bigger chance.

First Thessalonians 1:8 says the Lord’s message, are we getting a pattern here? Our message, the Lord’s message. Like I said, people with just as a side, Oh, he’s so self-righteous. He thinks he’s got the Lord’s message. Well, what do you want me to preach? A message you think I’ve got or the Lord’s message? Mm, yeah. We’ll get into why I was called a cult leader and why the church was called a cult somewhere down the future, I hope in the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out, it’s not hidden somewhere. The message of the cross isn’t quietly put over here. And so the slander just increases more and more. The more a church would live this and the more that it actually came out in a particular society or whatever, the more persecution. And it’s just because the Lord’s message is ringing out. Nobody can escape it. Imagine, like I said, I’ve talked about one of the prosecutors in King County, Dad started a church downtown Seattle, right? And Seattle’s gone through its complete destruction of that whole city, both legally and physically. It’s just morally, legally, it’s totally bottom dwelling pit. And yet somehow that church escaped all the persecution. Not possible. (Seattle King County Prosecutor Mark Larson, University Presbyterian Church, 4540 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105)

In fact, on the one hand, what a lack of love. You’ve got all this destruction going on and you’re not saying or doing anything that’s of any importance. You’re just scattering. You have a prosecutor that goes there who attacks the holiness of God, who attacks the holiness of God. And you can’t deal with him. You can’t disfellowship with him. You can’t see what justice is. So the Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonian and Achaia, your faith in God has become known everywhere. Everywhere. Can you imagine the message of the cross hating your own life, falling to the ground and dying, undergoing discipline and order to get the holiness of God? If there was actually a real group of people, I mean a church at that point living it, it would ring out. And guess what? You know what? They might be accused of being a cult. They may actually be running out of town. The Lord’s message rang out. We know about it, therefore we do not need to say anything about it. Most people have to tell me they’re Christian, right? <laugh>, most people have to put on the, I’d love to have a church with no sign out the front. It just has whatever scripture, but it doesn’t say Christian Church. It would just ring out and they’d go, oh yeah, there are those people. You have to go back to John the Baptist. You have to go back to the full gospel message. And I know this sounds like a commercial, but it’s not meant to be. If you want to get started, if you want to sit alone with the Lord and meditate, if you want to go out to the desert and really seek the Lord, you can begin with the book even the demons believe. Don’t even think of it as a book, it’s just a paper written down on what the full gospel message is. Jacob, let’s go ahead and play that testimonial video.

 JF who lives in Brazil said of the book Even the Demons Believe. I would like to tell you that I’m doing chapter seven right now. It’s the second time I have read the book, Even the Demons Believe. And I think it’s an impacting book, literally impacting. Let us say, the first time you read it, you get shocked, outraged, and maybe sort of mad at the author. However, a second reading makes you go deep into your own spiritual life and church experiences. I presume it has gotten people exactly where Pastor Williams wanted them to be, cornered and faced off by their own attitude toward the Almighty. If you are interested in the full and complete gospel message before becoming a disciple of Jesus, then the book, Even the Demon’s Believe might prove helpful. As the angel told the Apostle Peter in Acts 5:20, go stand in the temple courts, he said, and tell the people the full message of this new life. The book, Even the Demons Believe will also guide those claiming the name Christian, to test themselves. As the apostle Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 13:5. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Unless of course, you fail the test. The Consider Podcast. Today’s events, tomorrow’s realities, www.considerinfo.

Timothy:

Jacob, go ahead and read Luke chapter three, verse three.

Jacob:

He went into all the country and around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Timothy:

We’re back to this, a baptism repentance. Are we getting the idea that Jesus begins to say, repent the kingdom of God is here? He sends John the Baptist ahead of time saying it’s a baptism repentance. Again, I’m emphasizing the baptism. It’s an immersion in repentance, not giving up the one thing you don’t like. For instance, come to Jesus Christ and you give up smoking or I don’t know, you’re addicted to porn or whatever it might be. I see a lot of people come to Jesus cause there are certain aspects of their life they don’t like. But we’re talking about a repentance here that is an immersion of everything, what you think, how you act, how you live, just deep down, solid life-changing. Nothing is untouched by a baptism of repentance. When I came to Jesus Christ and started the baptism or repentance of John, in fact, it took a good solid year before I ever got baptized in Jesus. Didn’t know I was doing this at the time, but you’re cleaning up, you’re looking, you’re digging, you’re sweeping clean. Here’s one way probably to think about it. Suppose to the average believer, you come to them and you go, Jesus is going to come to have dinner at your house, he’s gonna come visit. Would they start cleaning up their house? Oh yeah, unless they’re so self-righteous, they think they’re okay. You start cleaning up and you go, well, be on your best behavior kids. And you really start going down the line ’cause we got the son of God coming here to have dinner with us. That was even true when the churches that I preached in where, they didn’t really like me just kind of showing up because there was always this underlying, well, you know, I gotta clean the house or do whatever it is they gotta hide in the corners. But it is a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It has to do with doing and acting for the forgiveness of sins. And we’re gonna see that here in a moment cuz people tend to think the gospel of Jesus Christ is somehow totally different than what John is preaching. And that’s just simply not true. It always has to do with repentance and always has to do with action and an obedience. Verse four says, as is written in the book of the words of Isaiah, the prophet, oh, guess what he’s quoting there. What’s he quoting there, Jacob?

Jacob:

Old Testament. Old law

Timothy:

Oh my <laugh>. I’m laughing cause I’m just picturing a lot of the churchgoers rebuking John the Baptist. Don’t you know, the Old Testament was [Inaudible]. A voice of one calling in the desert, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. There’s a lot in that sentence. First of all, it’s the voice of someone preaching, calling in, A, the desert. It is inconvenient. It would be inconvenient to really sit down and talk about the message of the cross. Most people don’t want to give up the time and they’ve got a few little questions they would like answered. Or what about this scripture over here, or this contradiction over here? We’re talking about out in the desert, iPads aren’t gonna work, cell phones aren’t gonna work. You know, you can’t get internet out there. It’s not all the comfortable food that you’re after. We’re talking about the desert. We’re not talking about the coffee shop in front of the church. We’re not talking about the potluck dinner. What are we talking about? Sand and desert and scorpions and I’m sure the water would…

Jacob:

Heat.

Timothy:

Heat. Thank you. Yeah, that’s a big one. Heat. And then that’s where you’re at. And everybody around you is out there kind of together listening to this guy. So what does he say? Prepare the way for the Lord. Gotta contemplate. One simple message too, just kind of over and over again. Prepare the way for the Lord. That’s how slow we all are. <laugh>, myself included, coming to God. You know, prepare the way, prepare the way. Okay, what are you saying? And then you come back with, well, are you saying this over here? And you go, no, prepare the way. Oh, well you mean this over here. No, prepare the way. Or I do these, I pray over here. No, no, prepare the way .our sinful nature will try and escape out of this any other way, any other church, any other message, any other person. But scripture says, make straight paths for him. Give him multiple ways to get to you. It doesn’t say path, it does not say make a straight path for him. It says, make straight paths for him. Every avenue of your life must allow Jesus Christ to get to you as quickly and easily as possible. It doesn’t matter, there’s one path for your occupation. There’s one path for your money. There’s one path for your home. I could go down the list. I don’t know all those paths I gave up a long time ago, but they all led to Jesus Christ. How many people I know, they might say, okay, yeah, yeah, you know, I want to deal with this. This needs to be overcome. And so they’ll kind of prepare a path, but not all paths coming in and from a person’s life will allow Jesus Christ to get to you. Look at verse five. Every valley, you know, the dark corners of your life, the little depressions, the little cheats, the half-lies, the white lies, the little bit of greed over here, the self-pity, the depression. Oh, life is meaningless. Things are really going bad. You don’t know all the troubles I’ve been, or I’ll say to people, you know, John 12:25, Jesus says, you gotta hate your own life. Oh, I hate my own life. No, no, no, no, no.

 

I’m not talking about your valley of self-pity and depression, talking about something much deeper than that. Every valley shall be filled in, one way or another, it’s coming. You can either do it now before John the Baptist preaching, or you can wait until judgment day when it’s too late. Every valley, every darkness, every small, little nook and cranny, every aspect, every careless word in your life, every valley will be filled in. Look, it’s every mountain, every pride that you boast about, every accomplishment that you do, all the goals you have, the successes that you do, from trophies to little stars, to flattery, to talking on the, you know, people patting you on the back to all the great things that you’ve done in your life and how you’ve preserved society if you’re a prosecutor. You know, it’s kind of ironic. They’re always boasting about how prosecutors are there to make us safe, right? A safer society, right? Are we more safe or less safe right now?

Jacob:

So unsafe.

Timothy:

So unsafe. Somebody’s messed up somewhere and it’s not me. So every mountain, all that boasting and bragging it just, man, I go from weeping for them to being nauseated, to like, Lord, just get me outta here. Because <laugh> the evidence is they’re destroying everybody in society. And yet they boast about it. Their mountain is a mountain of dunghill, like the [Inaudible 43:16]. Not just mountains, but every little hill made low. Okay, so I gave up all my big boasting mountains that I thought I had in Jesus or before I came to Jesus. Well, what about all my little hills I’ve got? Oh, well, I’m still good at that. Or, this is how God made me. Or while I’m blessed over here… One of the aspects of seeing this is when you start presenting the message of the cross to people, they don’t deal with the conviction that’s right in front of them. They usually go to, well, I’m still good over here and I’m still blessed over here and God is still with me there. Say, you divert, you’ve got this little hill that you’re holding onto that’s exalted above just the  smooth path that would allow the humility, the brokenness, and the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit to get to you. He goes on to say, this is just John the Baptist. The crooked roads shall become straight. Look, if you don’t straighten out your life now, he’s gonna do it. But this is just John the Baptist. We’re just taking the little crooked part of the road of your life, how you walk, where you go. You know, you can go, well, this is the path I always walk on. This is just my life. This is who I am. Well, that crooked road, cause I can assure you it’s crooked, shall become straight. And what’s to say? The rough way is smooth. You know, as far as even baptized the rough way, not just rough, that’s just a crude man. I was a, nah, don’t go off on this, you know, violent and extreme of all these things. I’m talking about a deep conviction that comes with Jesus Christ. Crude and rough and tough and macho. You know, where we were kind of taught to be that way. Of course, now I think the men are taught to be more like women, but that’s just another crooked, twisted path of thinking that’s going on. This baptism of John is what you have to go to first.

And everything we’re looking at today, by the way, is just theoretical. Unless you allow God to do it. It’s just talk. It’s just talk. Luke’s three, six, I love this passage. And all mankind will see God’s salvation. Paul says, you know how we lived among you, they could see it. The first church had such a love that they had all things in common. The first church had such purity that Ananias and Safara dropped dead in the church. There was authority for purity. You could see it. These churches that you’ll hear it in the news, you know, or this big, what am I trying to say here? Destruction into sin, right? Really. And nobody can see that coming. Because why? You’re not seeing any of the salvation of the Lord. The purity, the holiness, the righteousness, the crooked paths, the valleys. All those things are just not happening. And everybody’s happy praising God. So does it take an Einstein or some great prophecy to go, you know, this is gonna turn South <laugh>. It doesn’t. All mankind will see God’s salvation. The world saw God’s salvation, namely Jesus Christ. And what did they do to that salvation Jacob?

Jacob:

They crucified it.

Timothy:

They crucified it. The only way that persecution actually becomes real in Jesus Christ if it’s because of righteousness’ sake, people see how you live. I’ve had, among all the multitude of slanders, one of them will say, well, you know, all these bad things over here and these people disagree. There’s something wrong somewhere. And they’re just still looking. They don’t like what they see. And so they think behind the scenes, they’re, oh, there’s gotta be something because the conviction is rolling there. We’re going a little bit long here. What do you think, Jacob? Should I pause here and we pick up later?

Jacob:

Yeah. I think we should pause.

Timothy:

All right, let’s roll it. We’re outta here.

 

This has been the Considered podcast at www.consider.info. Where yesterday’s folly is today’s madness. In the beginning, the unrepentant sinner’s words are folly. At the end, they are wicked madness. Ecclesiastes 10:13, Judgment begins with the house of God. Therefore, let everyone who loves the Lord with an undying love pick up their cross and walk the talk. As Peter, the Apostle wrote. Therefore, prepare your minds for action. Be self-controlled, First Peter 1:13:14. The Considered Podcast, examining today’s events and tomorrow’s realities. www.consider.info.

 

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Timothy

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