Prepare the Way of the Lord

Art is by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992
To order art prints visit her “Revelation Illustrated”

Many Christians consider themselves more righteous and loving than the rebellious children of Israel from the old testament, however twenty-first century Christians are guilty of the same lovelessness and disobedience. The church today ignores the words of the prophets with the same hard heartedness as the children of Israel did in the centuries before Christ. As I hear talk of a revival coming soon, and I do believe we are on the cusp of a great move of YAHWEH, let it be known that it starts with hearts turning back to YAHWEH. The heart of many who confess to belong to Christ have their affections split between heaven and earth, the kingdoms of men and the kingdom of GOD. What I mean is that they are still identified with the systems of this world. Your identity is based on what you are in union with, or what you share your sameness with at your core. The glory of the Bride of Christ is in her pureness. Pure, in the sense of the scriptures, refers to being free from the corruption of the world, unspotted.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV)

As indicated in the scriptures above, we are cleansed by the washing of the word. As we adjust our lives in obedience to the Word of GOD, we are cleansed from the corruption that is in this world. GOD sends His word down from heaven through the prophets like rain from heaven coming to cleanse us. When we don’t repent at the hearing of the word of GOD, we remain soiled with the filth of the world. Christ has given us white raiment and plenty of pure water, but it is up to us to keep our garments clean.

Hear the words of the Prophets and repent.

Jeremiah 7:5-7 (KJV)

5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

In Deuteronomy 19:1-10 Moses shows that innocent blood refers to those who have committed no offence worthy of death, not just guiltless babies. Prejudice police shed innocent blood, the mis-guided military sheds innocent blood, the prejudice court systems shed innocent blood, and the profit driven health care system sheds innocent blood, but I do not see many Christians taking a hard stance against these evils or advocating for those victimized by them. Why?… Due to biased hearts with worldly affections. Jeremiah 7:5 calls for those who will love GOD to totally amend their ways. There are some things still left undone by many Christians today.

Jeremiah 22:2-4 (KJV)

2 And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:

3 Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

Zechariah 7:9-12

9 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.

If this has not been a problem with mankind throughout history then there would be no need for the Lord to send rain by the prophets to cleanse us from it. Hear the trumpeting of the Lord! Wake up and repent! Many Christians throughout history and today, especially in America, are complicit with the oppression and marginalization of large portions of society. The poor are a product of inequality and injustice. If you truthfully believe that all men are created equal, then there must be an outside reason why few thrive, but many languish. It is due to systems of violence and oppression put in place by the few of which many are complicit with.

How many mothers fear for their children as did the mother of Moses, who abandoned him as a baby to chance, because she feared she could not protect his life? Moses’s mother hid him as long as she could from Pharaoh’s deadly policies until she felt it was better to give him up. Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. She subsidized his care by paying his mother to feed him and apparently provided protection for them (Exodus 2:1-9). Many people today want to prosecute those who give up their babies instead of judging those who oppress the families and perpetuate despair. These same people also want to cut funding to mothers in despair instead of providing protection and support to them, so that their children can live. It reminds me of the perversion of the religious people who were about to stone the woman caught in the act of adultery. If they were following the law, why didn’t they bring the man also? Leviticus 20:10 says both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. GOD defied this injustice with His grace and mercy and told her to go free and sin no more (John 8:3-11).

YAHWEH cares as much today as He ever did about the treatment of strangers, the poor, the fatherless, and the widow, so where is the reflection of this concern in those who confess to be born again of His love? Where is the outrage regarding the treatment of strangers, the immigrants seeking better living conditions? Where is the outrage over the criminal justice system which violently targets people of color, and fill privately owned prisons and detention centers for profit?  Where is the outrage for the treatment of the poor, those who continue to be impacted by the effects of centuries of inequality and marginalization? I don’t see these concerns reflected in the social consciousness and political actions of many confessing Christians. The reason is that many people merely lean on the cross instead of carrying it the way Christ commanded. The cross is where we are called to crucify our worldly affections and the cares of the old man. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote the world was crucified to him, and he to the world .

The move of GOD is birthed by proclamation of the true gospel of Christ which includes the requirement of bearing the cross. Those who preach it must first be practitioners of it. The church cannot be a light unto the world if the light in them is darkness. The only way to be filled with light is to have a single focus on obeying and pleasing YAHWEH, the GOD of our salvation. Embrace the grace and mercy in these words of warning by examining your heart and repenting to make way for the coming of the Lord.

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