Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the eleventh chapter of this New Testament book. When I come to the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of John I am absolutely gripped and captivated with the words which are found in the passage—particularly and especially with what is presented to us in the ninth and tenth chapters. If you begin reading the verses which open the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew you will find the offenses beginning to arise during the days of Jesus’ public ministry. You cannot read the words found in the opening sets of verses of the ninth chapter and not encounter and come face to face with two different groups of people—both of who found themselves being angered, offended, upset and resentful toward and of Jesus. As you begin reading the opening verses of the ninth chapter you will find that upon Jesus returning unto His own city there were those who brought unto Him a man who was sick with the palsy lying on a bed. Upon seeing the faith of those who had brought and delivered this man unto Jesus He would proceed to call this man “Son,” would encourage him to be of good cheer, and would then emphatically declare unto him that his sins were forgiven him. It would be this particular statement made by Jesus that would cause those who were present on this particular occasion—namely, the scribes—to murmur and grumble among themselves. The narrative goes on to reveal how the scribes became offended of Jesus within themselves because he dared declare unto this man that his sins were forgiven unto him. The scribes murmured and complained among themselves because only the living God could forgive sins, and here was this Jesus of Nazareth proclaiming and declaring that his sins were forgiven unto him. As a direct result of their offense with him they would immediately begin murmuring among themselves concerning Jesus’ words, for they undoubtedly felt as though Jesus was placing Himself on equal footing and equal ground with the living God.
The more I read the words which are found in the opening verses of the ninth chapter the more I can’t help but see within them a powerful picture emerging of offenses which would surround the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot read the words found within this chapter and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that although Jesus would preach concerning the kingdom of heaven, and although Jesus would teach in their synagogues, and although Jesus would heal all manner of sickness and disease within and among those who came unto Him, He would eventually begin offending those who would hear Him speak and witness His actions and lifestyle. If you truly take the time to read the narratives which were written concerning the Lord Jesus Christ you will find that there were three different fronts and arenas where He would ultimately offend the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests, the elders of the people, the Sadducees, and the teachers of the Law. Upon reading the four gospel narratives you will find Jesus offending the religious leaders and system of His day because of the words which He spoke—words that would not only speak of Him as being the Son of God, but words which would also place Himself on equal footing and ground with the living God. When reading the gospel narratives you will find the Lord Jesus Christ beginning to offend the religious system of His day and generation because of the works which He would perform, for Jesus would heal on the sabbath without seeming to acknowledge the traditions which the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests, the elders of Israel, and the like had set up among the people. There were multiple times when Jesus would heal on the sabbath, and where His healing on the sabbath would both anger and offend the Jews and the religious system of that day. What’s more, is that you will also find Jesus’ lifestyle offending the religious system of His day, for the Pharisees disdained, deplored and derided Jesus because He chose to eat and fellowship with publicans and sinners.
As you read the words which are found in the opening portion of the ninth chapter you will find two of these realms and two of these arenas being in full swing and motion, for within these verses we will first and foremost find Jesus offending the scribes because He dared declare unto the man sick with the palsy that his sins were forgiven unto him. Secondly, we find Jesus offending the Pharisees when they saw, witnessed and beheld Him—not only entering into the house of a publican whom He had called to walk with and follow Him, but also eating and drinking with many publicans and sinners. Oh I absolutely love how the apostle Matthew used the word “many” when describing the number of publicans and sinners who came into the house and sat down to meat with Jesus and His disciples. Matthew who was himself a publican would have undoubtedly been very familiar and acquainted with many of these publicans—perhaps even the sinners who had come under his roof to sit down to meat with Jesus and His disciples. I can’t help but wonder if when the apostle Matthew was writing these words he recalled the names of many of these publicans and sinners—those who had sat down to meat with Jesus and His disciples together with him in his house. For us we only know these individuals as being “publicans” and “sinners,” and yet for the apostle Matthew they all had names, and perhaps even had wives, children and families. Here within this passage of Scripture we find the apostle Matthew writing how there were many publicans and sinners who had come under the roof of his house that they might eat and drink with Jesus and His disciples. It would be as a direct result of these publicans and sinners—and not only these publicans and sinners, but also Jesus’ eating and drinking with them—that would draw the ire, the angst, the offense, and the murmuring of the Pharisees. When the Pharisees saw that Jesus sat down to meat with publicans and sinners they immediately raised a complain with His disciples. Oh they wouldn’t dare bring up their complaint with Jesus Himself, so they did the only other logical thing to do—namely, to take up that complaint with Jesus’ disciples.
I read the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, and within these opening verses we find the beginning of Jesus’ offending the religious leaders and system of His day and generation. It would be precisely because of forgiveness of sins and fellowship with sinners that Jesus would anger, upset and offend the religious system of His day and generation, and it would be what would take place on these particular days that would set a strong and powerful precedent found within each of the four gospels—namely, Jesus’ offending the religious system which was in power during that day. In all reality—although the land of Judaea, the land of Galilee, the city of Jerusalem, Samaria, and the regions of the world at that time were under Roman authority, government and dominion, the land of Judaea and the city of Jerusalem would have their own governing bodies which would be present among them. There would be the religious system which would be made up of the scribes, the teachers of the Law, the chief priests, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, however, there was a strong and intrinsic link and connection between the religious system and the political establishment which was present during those days. Initially the religious system during Jesus’ day would handle their offenses among themselves, however, there would come a point in time when they would actually call on both Herod and Pilate to intervene in their affairs. When they had had enough of Jesus, and when they thought, believed and felt that He needed to be killed and destroyed they would enlist the assistance of Herod and Pilate—Pilate who of course represented Rome itself—to carry out the result of their offense with Jesus the Christ. At the risk of getting ahead of myself it is absolutely necessary that we understand that the offenses which were present within the hearts and minds of the religious system and leaders of that day would eventually and ultimately lead them to the place where they would conspire together against Jesus that they might kill and destroy Him.
I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found within these passages of Scripture and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that eventually and ultimately the time would come within the public life and ministry of Jesus when offenses would come and when He would offend certain of those who were present during those days. Eventually there would come a time within the public life and ministry of Jesus when His words, when His works, and when His lifestyle would anger, upset and offend the religious system and establishment during those days. Moreover, when you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that Jesus’ words and actions would even anger and offend the Jews as the Jews themselves would seek to persecute and vehemently oppose the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John aptly points out and demonstrates that Jesus’ words and His works would draw the ire, the angst, and the offense of the Jews, and they too would join in with those who would seek to destroy and kill Jesus. Even those within Jesus’ own hometown would become offended with Him when in the synagogue of Nazareth He would not only read the words which were recorded in the prophetic book of Isaiah, and not only would declare that during their day the words of Isaiah would be fulfilled, but He would also issue some sobering indictments which were spoken unto them. What’s more, is that when you come to the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that there were even those of His disciples and those who walked with Him who would turn back and would walk no more with Him because of the words which He spoke. Within the four gospel narratives we find disciples who turned back an no more walked with Jesus, we find the Jews being offended with Jesus and persecuting Him, we find the religious system being offended with Him, and as a direct result of their offense would seek to kill and destroy Him.
It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand the tremendous importance and significance of what is found within the opening verses of the ninth chapter, for eventually and ultimately there would come a point and place within the public ministry of Jesus when He would begin offending and upsetting those who would hear Him speak, and those who would witness the works He would perform. Eventually Jesus would begin drawing the ire and angst of the religious system and establishment during those days, and they would murmur, grumble and complain among themselves. Their offense, their grumbling, their complaint, and their resentment toward Jesus would eventually reach the place where they could not longer tolerate Jesus’ words and works. As a direct result of their being no longer able to tolerate Jesus among them anymore they would seek to kill and destroy Him. I fully realize that this is getting ahead of myself according to the events which are presented in the four gospel narratives, however, it warrants being mentioned and considered when seeking to understand the words which are found in the ninth chapter. What makes this all the more intriguing and interesting is when you think about and consider how the opening verses of the eleventh chapter find John the Baptist being cast into Prison by Herod because He dared speak against his adultery, his immorality, his affair, and his iniquity and transgression. John the Baptist dared to speak out against the hypocrisy of one in government during those days—and not only one in government, but perhaps the most powerful Jewish ruler during those days—and as a direct result of his speaking out against one in government he would be cast into prison. Pause for a moment and think about just how incredible and tremendous that truly is—the fact that John the Baptist would preach repentance, John the Baptist would preach the kingdom of heaven, and John the Baptist would even baptize men and women in the waters of the Jordan River, and yet when he dared speak out against the hypocrisy and transgression of one in government he would be cast into prison.
I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that John the Baptist was cast into prison by Herod, for he was not cast into prison because of his preaching, nor was he cast into prison because of his baptizing. Stop and think about that for a moment, for when you read the four gospel narratives you will not find it mentioned a single time that John the Baptist was imprisoned because of the words which He spoke and the words which He preached. Even when He dared call the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers” we don’t read of any offense, any retaliation, any anger, any malice, any hatred and resentment toward John the Baptist. We know that there were those during those days who viewed John the Baptist as a prophet, and this might very well have been the single greatest reason why no one dared raise themselves up against him. There were undoubtedly many who feared and reverenced John the Baptist, and as a direct result of this they would essentially keep to themselves concerning his life and ministry. With this being said, you will not find anywhere in the gospels John the Baptist being imprisoned for baptizing men and women in the waters of the Jordan River. Scripture does not reveal how many John the Baptist truly did indeed baptize in the waters of the Jordan, however, we might very well say that he baptized a number of Jews which were present during those days. This is important for us to think about and consider, for when we read the gospel narratives in their entirety we will not find John the Baptist persecuted, afflicted, opposed, ridiculed, or anything else by those which were present during those days. Nowhere in any of the four gospel narratives do we find the religious system of those days being angered and offended with and by John the Baptist—regardless of the words which he preached, nor even his baptizing men and women in the waters of the Jordan. Nowhere in any of the four gospels can you, and nowhere will you find any type of persecution, affliction and opposition of John the Baptist because of the words which he spoke, or even because of his baptizing men and women in the Jordan River.
Perhaps one of the most incredible truths surrounding John the Baptist and his imprisonment is that he wasn’t imprisoned because of his preaching, nor was he imprisoned because he baptized men and women. John the Baptist wasn’t imprisoned when he called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers and asked them who had warned them to flee from the wrath and judgment to come. John the Baptist wasn’t imprisoned because he instructed the publicans and sinners, nor even the Roman centurions who came unto him concerning righteousness and how they ought to live. John the Baptist wasn’t even imprisoned by Herod himself because of his preaching and baptizing. Nowhere in any of the four gospels do you find, nor will you find Herod taking offense to the words which John the Baptist preached concerning the kingdom of heaven. If and when you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find John the Baptist being imprisoned simply and solely because he dared speak against Herod and his immoral lifestyle of having his brother Philip’s wife. John the Baptist didn’t draw the disdain or disgust of Herod because of his preaching, nor even because of his baptizing men and women in the Jordan River, and yet the minute he rebuked Herod for his immorality and adultery he drew the offense and the swift and immediate action of Herod. Scripture is entirely unclear how Herod had John the Baptist, and we are left only to speculate. Did Herod send soldiers of some sort to take John the Baptist while he was preaching concerning the kingdom of heaven? Did Herod send soldiers of some sort to arrest John when he was baptizing in the waters of the Jordan River? Is it possible John the Baptist could have been pulled and removed from the waters where he was baptizing that he might be imprisoned at the request and command of Herod?
Stop for a moment and think about just how absolutely incredible this thought truly is, for it is truly something worth thinking about and considering how John the Baptist could have been seized and imprisoned by Herod. We know that in order for Jesus to be arrested He had to be betrayed by one of His own—and even that in a place that was known well by Jesus and His disciples. It was only as a direct result of one of Jesus’ own disciples conspiring together with the religious and political system of that day to betray Jesus that armed guards and soldiers entered into the garden where they seized and arrested Jesus to put Him on trial. We know how the events unfolded and took place within the public life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet we must needs ask ourselves how John the Baptist was ultimately arrested and imprisoned. I am trying to picture John the Baptist in his leathern girdle in the waters of the Jordan River baptizing men and women as soldiers and guards of some sort entered into the waters that they might seize, lay hold of and remove him from the waters. I am trying to picture John the Baptist preaching concerning the kingdom of heaven and preaching repentance unto those in Judaea, those in Galilee, those in Samaria, and those in Jerusalem who would come unto him to hear and listen to him preach. We don’t know exactly how John the Baptist was arrested, and yet I have to admit that I would dare say that he was seized in some way shape or form—and not only seized, but perhaps also seized while preaching or baptizing. Oh it is absolutely imperative that we recognize and understand this, for despite and regardless of the fact that this is pure conjecture and speculation we must needs recognize that John the Baptist was indeed and was in fact seized during those days by those whom Herod sent, and would ultimately be imprisoned. Once Herod had John the Baptist imprisoned Scripture gives no clear indication what Herod would do to John—whether or not Herod would simply keep him in prison for a certain period of time before releasing him, or if Herod would keep John in prison for the rest of his life.
When we consider the imprisonment of John the Baptist we must needs realize that although Herod imprisoned John because he dared preach and speak out against the immorality and adultery he was engaged in—Herod seemed to show no indication that he desired to put John to death, for he regarded him as a prophet. Even when Herodias’ daughter danced before Herod and so pleased him that he granted her up to half his kingdom we find him seeking to deliver John the Baptist from the request to have his head cut off. What we must needs realize and recognize concerning John the Baptist and his imprisonment is that he was imprisoned for speaking out against the sin, the corruption, the immorality, the adultery, the iniquity and the transgression within what was known as the government of that day—and not only what was known as the government of that day, but also of the king which reigned in the land of Judaea. John the Baptist dared speak out against this gross immorality and adultery, and dared speak out about in the life of the king, and it would ultimately result in his undoubtedly being seized and imprisoned. John the Baptist would call men to repentance, and would baptize men unto repentance for the remission of sins, and yet Herod would never seek to imprison John. Once that preaching and once that ministry reached Herod, however, he would have John imprisoned where he would ultimately remain and abide until his death. Oh please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of just how important this truly is, for it provides us with an absolutely incredible context and framework for what we are witnessing and beholding within our generation and the days in which we are living. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we have a great need to pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for the words which are found in this passage of Scripture draw and call our attention to a tremendous picture of what is taking place within our nation and country right now. John the Baptist dared speak out against the immorality, the iniquity and the sin that was present within the government of his day—and not even within the government itself, but against one of the leaders and rulers within that government.
WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE HYPOCRISY IN THE GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE IMMORALITY WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE INIQUITY WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE STAND UP FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND AS A RESULT OF STANDING UP FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS YOU FIND YOURSELF DRAWING THE MALICE, HATRED, ANIMOSITY AND OFFENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE HYPOCRISY WITHIN A LEADER OF OUR GOVERNMENT? WOULD YOU DARE RAISE YOU VOICE AND SPEAK OUT AGAINST ADULTERY? WOULD YOU DARE BE A VOICE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND IN SO DOING FIND YOURSELF SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE KING? WOULD YOU DARE CONFRONT THE KING AND THEIR ADULTERY? WOULD YOU DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE HYPOCRISY IN POLITICAL LEADERS?
The more I think about the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew the more I can’t help but be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that John the Baptist was a man specifically called and chosen by God from before his conception within the womb and birth into the world. John the Baptist’s birth was foretold by the angel Gabriel unto his father Zecharias when he was in the Temple of the Lord fulfilling his ministration according to his course. What’s more, is that the life and ministry of John the Baptist was foretold by both the prophet Isaiah, as well as the prophet Malachi. Both of these prophets spoke of and foretold this coming messenger who would not only come in the spirit and power of Elijah, but would also be the forerunner of the Messiah. I have often written that John the Baptist’s imprisonment—at least from the perspective of God—was not something that was indeed negative. There is not a doubt in my mind that John the Baptist’s imprisonment was a sign from the living God that he had finished his course and that he had fulfilled the divine assignment for which he was sent. He fulfilled his task and his mission in preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah, and he turned the hearts of men and women toward God through his preaching of repentance, as well as his baptism in water. Eventually there would come the point within his public ministry when he would begin realizing that Jesus’s fame and popularity would increase more than that which he had, and in response to this he emphatically declared that he must decrease that the Messiah and Christ increase within and upon the earth. John the Baptist realized and recognized that he wasn’t the Messiah, and when he was imprisoned—again, from the divine perspective of the living God—it was a sign that he had fulfilled, finished, accomplished and completed that which he had been sent to do. He had prepared men during those days through the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and he had preached the gospel concerning the kingdom of heaven, and as a direct result of the ministry given unto him the hearts of men began to be made pliable in the sight of the living God that they might be open and receptive when the Messiah and Christ actually appeared and manifested in the midst of the earth.
I think about and consider the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that he preached boldly and emphatically concerning the kingdom of heaven, called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers, spoke unto Roman centurions, publicans and sinners, and all those who would come unto him concerning that which the Lord requires of them, and that which they ought to do in this life. John the Baptist baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, and he made ready and prepared men and women for the coming of the Messiah and Christ through that outward demonstration and manifestation of their faith, as well as repentance for their sins. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely incredible and tremendous this is, for when you read the narrative surrounding the imprisonment of John you will find that he was not imprisoned for baptizing men and women in the waters of the Jordan, nor even in any of the other rivers and streams within the land of Judah. John the Baptist wasn’t imprisoned because he called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers, asked them who warned them to flee the wrath which was to come, and even commanded them to bring forth fruits unto repentance. What’s more, is that John the Baptist would even emphatically declare unto these individuals that they ought not to make the boast and declaration that they had Abraham as their father, for the living God was of the stones upon the ground raise up children unto Abraham in the midst of the earth. John the Baptist wasn’t arrested and imprisoned for preaching concerning a new kingdom that was at hand—namely, the kingdom of heaven and of the living God. Scripture makes absolutely no declaration concerning the preaching of John the Baptist and how it angered, offended, and upset the religious system that was present in the midst of the earth. We don’t find anywhere in Scripture that the preaching of John the Baptist offended Rome and that Caesar would order the immediate arrest and apprehension of John that he might either be tried and imprisoned, or simply imprisoned. It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to this, for within the narrative surrounding the life and ministry of the apostle John—not only do we find him being imprisoned because he dared speak out against the sin, the hypocrisy, the iniquity, the immorality and essentially the scandal that surrounded the throne within the land of Judah. Consider if you will the words which are found concerning John the Baptist in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, as well as the words which are found in each of the three synoptic gospels—namely, the gospel according to Matthew, the gospel according to Mark, and the gospel according to Luke:
“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, and 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 axed 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” (Matthew 3:1-12).
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. FOR HEROD HAD LAID HOLD ON JOHN, AND BOUND HIM, AND PUT HIM IN PRISON FOR HERODIAS’ SAKE, HIS BROTHER PHILIP’S WIFE. FOR JOHN SAID UNTO HIM, IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR THEE TO HAVE HER. AND WHEN HE WOULD HAVE PUT HIM TO DEATH, HE FEARED THE MULTITUDED, BECAUSE THEY COUNTED HIM AS A ROPHET. But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to giver her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. And the king was very sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. AND HE SENT, AND BEHEADED JOHN IN THE PRISON. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus” (Matthew 14:1-12).
“And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad) and he said, That John the Bpatist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Leias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. FOR JOHN HAD SAID UNTO HEROD, IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR THEE TO HAVE THY BROTHER’S WIFE. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; and when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she sent forth and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by ina charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oaht’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb” (Mark 6:14-29).
“But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison” (Luke 3:19-20).
“Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; and of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him” (Luke 9:7-9).
It’s absolutely necessary that we read the words which are found within these gospels, for there are essentially three distinct and three different elements which are at play here. The first element we see when we read these chapters is that of Herod apprehending, arresting and seizing John the Baptist—and not only seizing and arresting John the Baptist, but also imprisoning him. The second element to this particular event is the quarrel, the offense and the bitterness of Herodias whom Herod had married. The apostle Matthew doesn’t write or make mention of this quarrel and offense, however, John Mark is sure to write in his gospel narrative how it was Herodias who had a quarrel and offense with John the Baptist, and it was ultimately Herodias who pressured Herod to lay hold of, bind, and imprison John the Baptist. It’s actually quite astonishing and interesting when reading the words which are found within John Mark’s account of the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist, for it would be John Mark—a Gentile who traveled and journeyed with the apostle Paul and Barnabas—who would write how Herod would lay hold of John the Baptist for Herodias’s sake, for John would speak unto Herod and reprove him for taking her unto himself as a wife. John Mark also goes on to write and record how Herodias would have a quarrel and offense with and toward John the Baptist, and would have even had him killed, however, Herod was unwilling to kill John for he feared him, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him. Moreover, Herod also—when he had heard him, and heard that he did many things—heard him gladly. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this, for although Herod was ultimately the authority and the one who would have John the Baptist arrested and imprisoned, it would ultimately be the quarrel and offense of Herodias that would get John arrested and imprisoned. Scripture seems to indicate that it was the woman behind the throne, and it was the woman behind the king who actually had the quarrel and the offense with John the Baptist, and it was this woman who undoubtedly pressured Herod to imprison John the Baptist. Not only this, but John Mark indicates that Herodias would have killed John the Baptist, however, Herod would not comply with that request—not only because he feared the people who believed John to be a prophet, but also because he feared John the Baptist that he was a just and holy man. The third element behind the imprisonment of John the Baptist was indeed and in fact the ultimate beheading of John when Herod sent an executioner into the prison to not only behead John, but also bring his head back in a charger unto the daughter of Herodias, and ultimately unto Herodias herself.
OH it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to the narrative of John the Baptist being imprisoned, for Scripture indicates and lends to the reality and truth that it was Herodias’ quarrel that would ultimately lead to the arrest and imprisonment of John the Baptist. Although the apostle Matthew does not reveal the reason for John’s imprisonment in the eleventh chapter of this gospel narrative—we find in the fourteenth chapter the ultimate reason for this arrest, which was that John the Baptist reproved and rebuked Herod on account of Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, for he declared that it was not lawful for him to have her. The apostle Matthew doesn’t mention the quarrel and offense of Herodias and how it was Herodias who was ultimately behind the arrest and imprisonment of John the Baptist, however, John Mark would ultimately write concerning this additional piece of information. I firmly believe it is necessary for us to recognize and understand this, for John the Baptist was arrested and imprisoned—not only because he dared speak out against the adultery and immorality of Herod and Herodias, but also because of the quarrel and offense which Herodias had with, toward and against John the Baptist. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for when John the Baptist reproved Herod on account of Herodias his brother Philip’s wife declaring unto him that it was not lawful for him to have her as his wife, it would be Herodias who would ultimately be behind the arrest and imprisonment of John. Although Herod was indeed king within the land of Judah, and although Herod was the one who sat upon the throne, and although Herod was the one with the authority and power to order John the Baptist arrested, it would be on account of the quarrel and offense of Herodias that this act would actually be carried out. Pause for a moment and think about this for a moment, for although Herod was the king who reigned over the land of Judaea during those days, it would be that woman behind and next to him that would ultimately pull the strings that would lead to the arrest and imprisonment of John the Baptist. Scripture does not explicitly declare that Herod would have chosen not to imprison John the Baptist, however, we have to conclude that Herod would have at least had doubts about doing so since he not only feared John the Baptist that he was a just and holy man, but also the people who perceived him as a prophet.
Even as I am sitting here right now writing these words I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly captivated with and by the fact that John the Baptist was imprisoned because he dared speak against the immorality, the corruption, the adultery, the iniquity and the immorality that surrounded the throne and the government. When John the Baptist spoke out against the corruption, the iniquity, the sin and the transgression in the government it would be Herodias—essentially the woman behind the king—who would have the quarrel and offense with John the Baptist. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for a similar reality is also found in the narrative of the Old Testament prophet Elijah. If you turn and direct your attention to the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings you will find that after Elijah had ordered the slaughter and execution of the prophets of Baal atop Carmel, and after fire had come down from heaven and after rain would once more come upon the earth, Jezebel the queen of Israel would release a threat unto Elijah that she would make his life as one of those prophets of Baal whom he slew. You cannot read the narrative of the prophet Elijah and not see and encounter just how influential Jezebel truly was, and how in the northern kingdom of Israel, it was really Jezebel who was pulling the string and calling the shots. During the days of John the Baptist it was Herodias who was married to Herod king of Judaea who pulled the strings and called the shots, and in the days of the prophet Elijah it was Jezebel who called the shots and pulled the strings. Oh it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to this, for although there was a man on the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel, it would be the woman behind the throne—the queen of the northern kingdom of Israel—that would ultimately be the one who would truly be in charge and in authority. Oh it was true that Ahab was that one who held the authority, the power, the crown and the throne, however, it was truly and ultimately Jezebel who held the authority and the power. During the days of John the Baptist it was indeed Herod who held the throne, who held the crown, and who held the authority and power, however, it was Herodias—the woman behind the throne who ultimately called the shots, wielded the power, and ultimately held the authority. It was Jezebel who issued the murderous threat against and the bounty upon the prophet Elijah’s head, and it was Herodias who pressured Herod to not only arrest John the Baptist, but also have him imprisoned. Herodias would have had John the Baptist killed much sooner, however, she would be prevented to do so by Herod, for he feared both the people and John the Baptist.
Now, here is where this narrative takes on an entirely different level—particularly and especially when you consider the events which have taken place within our nation, and the administration and government we are about to witness and behold begin in six days. If you have been paying attention to the results of this past November’s election you will not only see that President-elect Joe Biden chose California senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate, but you will also find that—according to everything we have heard, and everything that has been reported unto us—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next President and vice President. Never in the history of the nation of America has there been a man who held the office of President of the United States, and a woman who has held the office of vice President of the United States. This is the first time in the history of this nation that we have had a male President and a female vice President, and there is something truly unique and astonishing surrounding this new administration that is about to be manifested in the midst of this nation. For the next four years we are going to have an administration that is going to have at the helm of it Joe Biden, but is also going to have as the second in command Kamala Harris. It almost seems incredibly eerie and ominous to think that the first time in history we have had in this nation a male President and a female vice President. Although Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are of course not married to each other, I can’t help but get the strong sense within my spirit that although Joe Biden is ultimately going to be the next President of the United States—I feel as though it is going to be Kamala Harris who is going to be the woman behind “the king” and the woman behind “the throne.”
We know that John the Baptist was the herald and messenger which would arise in the land of Judaea in the days leading up to the first coming and manifestation of the Messiah, and we know that during those days leading up to the Messiah, Herod was the king, and Herodias was the woman behind him and at his side. I have long believed that the generation that is considered “the last days generation” is going to be a generation that is going to rise up in the spirit and power of Elijah, and is going to be a generation that is going to prepare the way and make ready a people—not for the first coming of the Messiah, but ultimately for the second coming of the Messiah. With this being said, I find it absolutely astonishing to think about and consider the fact that during the days and generation in which we are living we not only have a male President, but we also have a female vice President, but we also have this duo and combo for the first time in history. I do not believe it is any coincidence that it has happened this way, and I do not believe it is any coincidence that Joe Biden deliberately and intentionally chose Kamala Harris as his running mate during his candidacy to run for the office of President of the United States. I am absolutely and completely convinced that what we have witnessed and what we have beheld in recent weeks and months is and has been divinely orchestrated by the living God. Please note that in no way, shape or form do I believe that Biden and Harris being in the White House has been orchestrated by the living God to bring about righteousness in the land, but rather the exact opposite. If we truly believe that we are living in the Last Days, and if we truly believe that we are nearer now than we have ever been to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and even the days of the tribulation then we must needs realize and recognize that there is going to be an end times witness that is going to be present in the earth. It would be during the days of Elijah—immediately after he had called the nation of Israel into a place of choosing whom they would serve, and immediately after the Lord sent fire down from heaven, and immediately after the LORD would once more release rain upon the earth—Jezebel who was the queen of the land would issue a murderous threat to Elijah. It would be Jezebel the queen—not Ahab the king—who would actually issue the murderous threat that would ultimately result in Elijah not only fleeing for his life, but also asking the LORD to take his life. The LORD would bring Elijah unto Horeb in the wilderness, and it would be there the LORD would not only commission him to anoint a new king of Israel and a new king of Syria, but also a prophet who would rise up in his stead—namely, Elisha. Moreover, the LORD would also declare unto Elijah that He had reserved seven thousand in Israel whose knees had not bowed to Baal and whose lips had not kissed him.
When we think about and consider the narrative of John the Baptist we find that this was a messenger sent, called, chosen and raised up by the living God to go before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah. Not only this, but John the Baptist would essentially fulfill a similar ministry as did Elijah during his days, for John the Baptist would essentially call men and women into a valley of decision where they would choose whom they would serve. This was in all reality the underlying principle behind his preaching of repentance and the baptism in water, for it would be demonstrations and manifestations of the hearts of men and women turning once more before and unto the LORD. We have great need to pay close attention to this, for when we think about the narrative of John the Baptist—nowhere in this narrative do we find John the Baptist angering and offending the Pharisees and the Sadducees, nor do we find John the Baptist angering and offending Rome or any of the Roman centurions. Nowhere in the gospel narratives do we find John angering or offending Pilate, nor even Caesar who was ruling and reigning in the city of Rome. The entire and sole reason we find John the Baptist arrested and imprisoned—and only arrested and imprisoned, but also the initial intention to have him killed before ultimately having it come to pass at “a convenient time.” If there is one thing we must needs realize and understand concerning the arrest and imprisonment of John the Baptist is that he was arrested and imprisoned solely because he offended Herodias who was the woman behind the throne, and the woman behind the king. It might have been Herod who ultimately had John arrested and imprisoned, but Herod had John arrested and imprisoned because of the quarrel and offense of Herodias. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that Herodias put pressure on Herod to arrest and imprison John, and would have initially succeeded in also having John the Baptist killed. Herodias’ desire and intention of having John the Baptist imprisoned was not only because of her quarrel and offense with him, but also an attempt to silence his voice from speaking any further against them. Notice that she didn’t have a quarrel against John because of preaching against the sin of the people, nor against the sin of the Roman centurions, nor the sin of the Pharisees and Sadducees. When, however, that preaching against sin touched him and came a little too close for comfort it would be Herodias who would ultimately call for the arrest and imprisonment of John the Baptist.
The reason I am writing all of this is because while it might be true that Biden is the one who holds the office of President of the United States, I firmly believe that it is going to be Harris—the woman behind the President—who is ultimately going to call all the shots. I would dare say that when reading these words that any of those who oppose Harris, and/or any of those who offend, anger and upset her will ultimately find themselves staring down the barrel of a loaded gun that is aimed to their destruction. Just as Jezebel was the woman behind Ahab, and just as Herodias was the woman behind Herod—that woman who was undoubtedly moved by and with the spirit of Jezebel—so also is Harris going to be the woman behind the President. What’s more, is I am absolutely and completely convinced that Harris is going to be, and has in fact already moved and operated in the spirit of Jezebel. I firmly believe there are going to be men and women in these last days who are not only going to minister and move in the spirit and power of Elijah, but who will also preach and stand against corruption, against immorality, against iniquity, against wickedness, against sin, against transgression, and the like. Furthermore, I am absolutely and completely convinced that just as Jezebel had her prophets of Baal within the land, so also will Harris have her “prophets” which are present within these Last Days and within this nation. If there are any who would dare stand up against any of these “prophets”—these who have been appointed by Harris and/or Biden, there will almost immediately be crosshairs and a bullseye that will be painted upon them. There is not a doubt in my mind that what this nation is about to witness and experience is the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, and that the spirit of Jezebel will indeed and will in fact be in the White House—perhaps even like never before. I am absolutely and completely convinced that what we are witnessing within this nation is going to perfectly align with and fulfill the pattern that took place in the Scripture—not only during the days of Elijah, but also during the days of John the Baptist. Jezebel sought to kill and destroy Elijah because he had slaughtered her prophets and called the nation back to repentance, and Herodias sought to kill John the Baptist because he had preached against the sin, the iniquity, the immorality and the corruption that surrounded the throne in the land of Judaea. Oh it is absolutely important that we recognize the direct attempt to silence and censor both the prophet Elijah, as well as John the Baptist, and that the imprisonment of John the Baptist wasn’t to keep him from preaching against the sins of the nation, but rather from preaching against the sins of Herodias and Herod.
What we are witnessing and what we have witnessed in recent days is not only a powerful demonstration of censorship and an assault and attack against the freedom of speech, but we are also witnessing the spirit of Jezebel rising up against any who would dare speak against its agenda within this nation. WE must needs realize and recognize that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, and that what we are witnessing and beholding in this nation has absolutely nothing to do with flesh and blood, nor does it have anything to do with who sits behind the Resolute Desk and who sits in the Oval Office. What we are witnessing within these days is a tremendous demonstration of spiritual wickedness in high places, rulers of darkness, principalities, and the like who are rising up within this nation—perhaps like never before—that they might impose their agenda within this nation. What’s more, is that I am absolutely and completely convinced that at the very helm of this is indeed the spirit of antichrist, which is the greatest force that is at work within the earth as the stage is being set for the emergence and arrival of the physical person who is and will be known as the Antichrist. I firmly believe that what we are witnessing within this nation is a tremendous and powerful picture—not merely of censorship and the assault against freedom of speech, but also a powerful context and pretext that will eventually see itself played out in the arena and realm of religion. Right now the target of the fury of the Democratic party and the spirit of Jezebel is support for President Trump, those who voted for him, and many within the Republican party and many who are considered to be conservatives within this nation. Right now we are witnessing and beholding all of this play out on the political stage and in the political arena, and yet the truth of the matter is that I would dare say there is coming a time within this nation when it will no longer be played out on the stage of politics, but rather on the stage of religion. Even more than this we must needs realize that the spirit of Jezebel which is will be in the White House can and will extend its reach and its influence into both chambers of Congress, and even into the big tech companies and the big media companies. Both the media and social media will be used as internal weapons within this nation—perhaps even more so than what we have known as “domestic terrorists.” I am absolutely and completely convinced that two of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of the spirit of Jezebel within this nation during these days are mainstream media and social media.
Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within this nation is that whoever controls or at the very least influences mainstream media and social media has two very powerful weapons at their disposal. If you have your influence and tentacles within the big technology companies, and if you have your tentacles in the social media and mainstream media outlets then you essentially have unlimited power. During these days it is not enough simply to hold and wield political power, for there is also the great and tremendous need to wield and hold power and sway over the media and social media. Not only have we become a nation so dependent on electricity, but we have become a nation that has become entirely and altogether dependent on social media and the media. With this being said, I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a great need to possess within our hearts and our spirits discernment that we might discern what is the truth and what is indeed falsehood, lies and deceit. Scripture speaks about a great deception in the last days, and just think about how great and how powerful deception can in fact be if the tools of media and social media are being used. Think about how great the deception can and will be in the last days if these tools are used to help propagate deception as it can not only find its way onto television screens, but laptop screens, computer screens, tablet screens, cell phone screens, and even smart watches. There are very few places social media and media can’t go right now—and this isn’t even including all the notifications that can be sent and produced within your various e-mail accounts. Big technology, social media, and media are going to be three of the biggest tools in the hand of the spirit of Jezebel within this nation, and we are already witnessing this within our nation during these days and times.
I am absolutely and completely convinced that just as Jezebel sought to silence and destroy Elijah, and just as Herodias sought to silence and destroy John the Baptist, so also can and will the spirit of Jezebel seek to destroy the prophetic witness and voice of the Church and true body of Christ within these last days. It’s incredibly interesting to read this narrative surrounding the imprisonment of John the Baptist, for perhaps the single greatest declaration and word of instruction Jesus could give and send unto John the Baptist was concerning and regarding offense. We know that Herodias was offended with John the Baptist because he preached against the sin and the corruption within her life and within what was essentially “the government of that day,” and now what we find is Jesus instructing John the Baptist not to be offended in and by Him. Despite the fact that John the Baptist was imprisoned because of the offense of Herodias—even after fulfilling that mission and purpose for which he had been sent—Jesus instructed him not to be offended in Him, and not to be offended because of Him. This is incredibly necessary because while Herodias was indeed offended with John and had a quarrel against him, John the Baptist was encouraged to not be offended in Jesus, and more so to not be offended by Jesus. WE have great need of recognizing and understanding this, for in the days and times in which we are preparing to enter we must needs acknowledge and understand that there will indeed and there will in fact be the temptation to be offended with Jesus, and there will be the temptation to be offended by Jesus. This is particularly and especially true when we think about the great strides and efforts that will be made to silence the body of Christ within this nation during the coming days. Forgive me my brother and my sister for presenting such a question, however—if you all of a sudden experienced persecution for your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and for professing yourself to be a disciple and follower of Him, would you find yourself struggling to not be offended with and by Christ? John the Baptist was imprisoned after faithfully performing the ministry for which he had been called and chosen, and even after we read of these words we find Jesus commending and applauding John the Baptist, however, there in prison we find John the Baptist sending some of his disciples unto Jesus to ask if He was indeed the Christ, or if they should look for another. Upon hearing these words Jesus declared unto His disciples that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Essentially that which Jesus speaks unto the disciples of John—this in addition to actually showing and performing works in their presence and before their eyes—is a powerful testimony of the works He wrought in the earth. It’s almost as if Jesus sought to use these works as a powerful demonstration and declaration concerning His ministry as both the Christ and the Messiah.
I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found within this narrative and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that one of the greatest needs we as the people of God have during the times in which we are living is the need to not be offended and to not be offended by Christ. In the previous chapter we found Jesus emphatically declare that anyone who refuses to confess Him before men, and those who would deny Jesus before men would themselves be denied by Christ before the Father. Jesus would go on to declare that any who loved father or mother more than Him was not worthy of Him, and that those who did not deny themselves and take up their cross were not worthy of Him. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this, for not only in the parable of the sower do we find men and women growing offended because of persecution and affliction for the sake of the Word, but also in Jesus’ words in the Olivet discourse do we find Jesus speaking of those who will grow and become offended because of persecution, tribulation, trials, and testing. Oh dear reader I am absolutely and completely convinced that we are heading into dark and dangerous times, and that there are going to be radical attempts to silence the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, and yet in the midst of it all we have great need to not grow offended, and to not become offended with Christ, and to not be offended by Christ. There is a great need within our hearts and our minds to firmly resolve that we can never and will never grow and become offended with Christ, and that we will be those men and women who not only take up our cross and follow Him, but also those who confess and profess the name of Christ in the midst of the earth. Even though the media, and even though social media, and even though technology companies might attempt to silence us and silence our voices we have a great need to stand firm with full patience and endurance and not grow and become offended with Christ. Even if persecution of the disciples and followers of Christ during these days might in fact mean prosecution we must needs realize and recognize that we have great need for patient endurance, as well as being those who cannot and will not grow and become offended with Christ.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible and astonishing to read the words which are found in the narrative surrounding John the Baptist and his imprisonment, for he was one sent by God who powerfully preached righteousness and repentance unto the nation, and was one who powerfully baptized men and women unto repentance for the remission of sins, and yet it wasn’t for either of these things he was imprisoned. John the Baptist’s was a voice that Herodias sought to silence because of her offense and quarrel with him. In all reality, that which we witness and behold with John the Baptist was essentially an ancient form and ancient type of censorship—one where those in authority and those in government sought to raise themselves up against the voices of the prophets of God to silence their message. This was something which was regularly found within the life of the ancient Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, for if you read the prophetic book which bears his name you will find that Jeremiah faithfully proclaimed the prophetic word of the Lord for more than twenty years, and prophesied during the reign of Josiah king of Judah, as well as during the reigns of his sons. What’s more, is Jeremiah would even prophesy during and at the time of the Babylonian captivity, and would watch as the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, as the Temple of God would be destroyed, and as the people of God would go into captivity. There were those during the times of Jeremiah—princes, priests, people and even kings who sought to silence his voice and his words. Even the king who sat upon the throne would take the words of Jeremiah which were written in a scroll and would cut off a portion of the scroll and burn it in the fire until there was nothing left. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs recognize and understand this, for even during biblical times there were accounts and narratives of censorship as kings, princes, rulers and priests sought to silence the voice of the prophets. Oh as we enter into the coming days which are before us we must needs realize and recognize that they are dark and dangerous days that can and will be characterized by powerful attempts to silence the voice of the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We as the people of God must needs arm ourselves and make ourselves ready for that which lies ahead, and we must needs be a people of discernment, as well as a people of patient endurance who cannot and will not grow offended—despite and regardless of that which takes place before and all around us. I am firmly and completely convinced that we are about to enter into days when the spirit of Jezebel can and will rise up within this nation—and not only rise up within this nation, but also rise up within this nation from the White House itself—and will seek to use the powerful tools and weapons of media and social media to silence the people of God. Right now its about Parler, and it’s about Republican political leaders and figures who would dare oppose and stand against the election and the powerful agenda of the Democratic party, and yet I am absolutely and completely convinced that we are going to enter into days when what we have witnessed and what we are beholding will not longer take place in the realm of politics, but will indeed and will in fact take place in the realm of religion. I firmly believe that the church—the true body of Christ and His disciples and followers—need to make themselves ready, and make themselves ready emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and the like. There is a great need for the people of God to be able to withstand the coming days which are before and ahead of us, and we must needs ready and prepare ourselves that those within our government, and those within the media, and those within social media can and will seek to silence the prophetic voice and witness of Christ in the earth. There will be social media accounts being shut down and suspended. There will be church buildings that can and will be closed and shut down never to open again. There can and there will be arrests and imprisonments. There will be disciples and followers of Christ who will be considered to be and branded as insurrectionists and conspirators within this nation. Oh we must needs make ourselves ready and prepared for such manifestations and such realities, for they are indeed on the horizon, and in the not too distant future. There are only six days left before a new administration is sworn into office, and despite the hope and optimism many within this nation has surrounding it we must realize and recognize that even the government of the Antichrist can and will seem peaceful, hopeful, encouraging, and as though it will finally accomplish what needs to be done in the earth before the façade and smoke and mirrors will be stripped away after just three and a half years.
I conclude this writing with the declaration—and even more so after just receiving a text message from a dear friend and sister in the faith—that what we are about to witness within this nation is a Herod/Herodias administration, as well as an Ahab/Jezebel administration. While it is indeed true that Biden might hold the office of President, I am absolutely and completely convinced that Harris is going to be behind the scenes, by his side, and there in the White House moving and operating in the spirit and power of Jezebel. I firmly believe that just as Jezebel sought to silence and destroy Elijah, and just as Herodias sought to silence and destroy John the Baptist, so also will Harris seek to destroy the prophetic witness of Elijah that will be manifested within these Last Days. I repeat one more time that this is the first time in the history of this nation when there has been a male President and a female vice President, and what we are witnessing is a powerful pattern that is found even in the Scripture—both within the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. Oh dear reader—please understand and recognize that dark and dangerous times lie ahead for us within this nation, and there will be attempts made to silence and destroy the powerful witness of the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely incredible this truth truly is, for we must needs be prepared and ready for that which can and will take place within this nation in the coming days, weeks, months, and years before us. These next four years are going to be absolutely and incredibly difficult and challenging, and are going to reveal just how far we as a nation have truly gone away from the living God. The disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ need to firmly resolve that their voices can and will be heard and that they will not be silenced, and they will neither deny, nor cease confessing the name of Christ within the earth. We need to firmly resolve that we are going to be those who cannot and will not deny Christ, nor deny His name in this life, and that we can and will be those who deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ until we pass from this life to the next through death, or we experience the rapture of the Church and body of Christ.