MESSENGER of The LORD of Hosts - The Voice of Him Crying in the Wilderness!
"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 hast spoken it." Isaiah 40:3-5 (vox clamantis in deserto)
"The voice said, Cry. ...." Isaiah 40:6
"The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the Spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our GOD shall stand for ever." Isaiah 40:6-8
Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before ME: and The LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even The MESSENGER of The Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, HE shall come, saith The LORD of Hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when HE appeareth? for HE is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And HE shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and HE shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto The LORD an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto The LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not ME, saith The LORD of Hosts.
For I AM The LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth GOD and him that serveth HIM not.
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith The LORD of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch,
But unto you that fear My name shall The Sun of Righteousness arise with healing His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall;
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith The LORD of Hosts.
Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah The Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of The LORD: And HE shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
THE END OF THE PROPHETS
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.
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.
And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey, Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that GOD is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but HE that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE shall baptize you with The HOLY GHOST, and with fire: Whose fan is in His Hand, and HE will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but HE will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Then cometh JESUS from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad HIM, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?
And JESUS answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh Us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered HIM.
And JESUS, when HE was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto HIM, and HE saw The Spirit of GOD descending like a dove, and lighting upon HIM: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved SON, in whom I am well pleased.
From that time JESUS began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
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 sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Now after that John was put in prison, JESUS came into Galilee, preaching The Gospel of The Kingdom of GOD, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and The Kingdom of GOD is at hand: Repent ye, and believe The Gospel.
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.
Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how The LORD had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John.
And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised GOD. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the Hand of The LORD was with him.
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.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 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.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That GOD is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise, Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do?
And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the CHRIST, or not;
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: HE shall baptize you with The HOLY GHOST and with Fire: whose fan is in His Hand, and HE will throughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff HE will burn with fire unquenchable.
And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
"...lift up thy voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your GOD!" Isaiah 40:9
And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the CHRIST.
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the LORD, as said the Prophet Esaias.
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; HE it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
[The Prophet] Jeremiah, by Michelangelo
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your GOD, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their GOD, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire: which I commanded them not, neither came it into My heart.
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith The LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
MESSENGER of the LORD of Hosts - theme
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