The John the Baptist Mandate and Anointing
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1 v 11 – 17
Jesus said of John the Baptist…”Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” Matt11v 11
Matthew tells us that….
“ As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in kings’ palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.…”
To give such a title to this teaching as The John the Baptist Mandate and the John the Baptist Anointing ….is not to suggest that we can in every way be as anointed as John nor that our contribution or assignment can in any way match his awesome mandate but in terms of our focus and singularity of purpose I do believe God is wanting to raise up a generation in these end days who will experience the same focus that he experienced and understand the same single mindedness of heart as he did. He want to raise a generation of those people who will commit themselves to the cause of seeing the Church of this day passionately preparing themselves for the coming of the Bridegroom King.
Just as God is raising an Elijah and Joshua generation who are uncompromising in their pursuit of righteousness and spiritual significance in both personal and corporate church life, so He is raising a corporate John the Baptist who will cry out “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight His paths”. They will live and act in the Spirit of Elijah challenging false religiosity and self righteousness, idolatry and corruption wherever it is found amongst the people of God and call all to repentance and the pursuit of holiness and intimacy. There is an intimacy with Jesus that only His Bride can know. They will be those who live constantly in that relationship.
This John the Baptist generation will not only call others to “make the paths straight” themselves and prepare the way by their increased awareness of the urgency of the hour, the imminence of His coming, and their need to “ make themselves ready” but will by this process become themselves the recipients of the anointing, the John the Baptist anointing, that will empower and equip and prepare themselves also. For they are not just the prophetic voice to call others but are themselves the forerunners of that Bridal company.
To understand this more clearly and it’s significance for us today we need to consider the nature of Johns calling, preparation and mandate.
1) John was specially chosen
“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1 v 11 – 15
Just like John was specially chosen, God is calling out a generation specially called to serve Him in these end times. They too will be a ‘ delight and many will rejoice because of them’. They will be called great in the sight of God not because of their own effectiveness or success but because of the nature of the mandate they will carry. They are called to prepare the way of the Lords coming again.
2) John was specially prepared
11 He (John) is never to take wine or other fermented drink.” Luke 1 v 15
It is suggested that Johns parents who was very old when he was conceived had died by the time John began his short ministry in the Judaea foothills and beside the River Jordan, around the age of 29. It was the case that sometimes orphaned boys were adopted by the religious order of desert monks called the Essenes who spent their days in the wilderness of Judea studying the prophets concerning the scriptures about the coming of the Messiah. They practised baptism and led an austere life of self denial and study. Some scholars think that maybe John the Baptist was brought up by these Essenes and became one of their fiery preachers until he, called of the Holy Spirit, appeared in the desert calling people to repentance in preparation for the arrival of the long awaited Messiah.
Whether this is true or not we are not sure but certainly he seems to have taken a Nazarite vow and of abstinence from drinking alcohol and of cutting his hair. He eat locusts and wild honey and lived alone immediately prior to his public ministry and he often fasted.
“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Matt 9 v 14
We can not help but marvel at the quality of Johns dedication and commitment and the depth to which he prepared himself in order to fulfil his mandate.
Are we equally committed? Do we take our calling as seriously as he did?
Anyone wishing to be one of the End time generation who will like John “ prepare the way of the Lord” must themselves prepare themselves and as Joshua said ….“sanctify yourself today for tomorrow” …. we will enter the land.
Certainly the outstanding qualification fir being counted amongst that Bridal Company with be that each one will have …” made themselves ready”.
3) John was specially anointed
11 …….and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.” Luke 1 v 14
The work of preparing the Bride for the coming of the Bridegroom King will have to be done…” not by might, not by strength but by My Spirit says the Lord”
Zeph 4 v 6
This privilege is of such magnitude and of such spiritual significance that only the Holy Spirit Himself can achieve it. This is of incredible Eternal importance and only the eternal God Himself can fulfil it…. But He chooses to do it through and with us….amazing?
Preparing the way for the coming again of Jesus will be accomplished in several ways. Firstly it will be when the Church knows that she is a Bride and she becomes increasingly expectant of His Coming to the point that She cries … Comes!
Secondly the Bride has to make herself ready before He will come and that means in 1) number and 2) in Character. Jesus wants His Bride to be of the right number or size and of “no spot or blemish”. The Bride will also be ready when she is made up of the “full number of the gentiles” and “My people Israel”. We need to continue to evangelise aggressively amongst our gentile brethren and prayer earnestly for our Jewish brothers and sister to turn to Christ. This will be part of the Great Harvest which will complete the number and then ….He will come.
It was said of John that….“He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous” Luke 1 v 16 and 17
Like John the Baptist whose ministry was destined to bring a revival to Israel in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, this generation will receive a similar anointing…for there is an anointing that only the Bride can receive. She is destined to bring in the Great Harvest as she grows in number and maturity in readiness for Him. That anointing reserved only for the Bride will equip and enable her to complete all the assignments decreed for Her and fulfil all necessary prophecies before He comes.
This is the mandate of the John the Baptist Generation.
4) John was specially mandated and was singularly focused
“…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1 v 17
I am always amazed at the singularity of Johns focus. He knew his calling and was dedicated to that cause. He never wavered from his mandate. The only time he altered course at all was when his sense of righteousness and justice would not allow him to keep quiet and he vehemently protested about the adulterous relationship of Herod Antipas with his divorced brothers wife. But this was not until he had completed his mission and prepared the way for Jesus coming so thoroughly that scripture said ……
“The whole Judaean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Mark 1 v 5
This end time generation must maintain an equally focused vision if ever they are to fulfil their own calling and in that process to make themselves ready.
Let’s resolve to be that generation and so hasten His coming. Come Lord Jesus Come!