Murder Within the Holy & Sacred: Assaulting the Heart & Hands of the Living God

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses eighteen through fifty of this New Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the beloved physician transitioning in a truly wonderful and powerful way concerning the narrative of John the Baptist. We dare not, cannot and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for they call and draw our attention to the narrative and account of the divine messenger of the Messiah who was ordained and appointed during the days of the prophetic voices of Isaiah and Malachi to prepare the way for His message and ministry. It is truly astonishing and awesome to think about and consider the words and language found in this portion of Scripture, for they all and draw our attention to the tremendous and wonderful reality concerning John the Baptist, and the powerful call and assignment which was placed upon his life. I have to admit that I am absolutely and incredibly captivated with and by the words and language surrounding John the Baptist as it is written and recorded within the gospel narratives, for they bring us face to face with the powerful words and language surrounding John the Baptist and that which he had been ordained and appointed to do in the midst of earth during the days leading up to the arrival, emergence and manifestation of the Messiah. Oh I absolutely love the tremendous and awesome reality surrounding the ministry and assignment of John the Baptist and how the LORD had ordained and appointed his purpose and his destiny even before the angel Gabriel showed up and proclaimed his birth. Pause for a moment and consider how the purpose, the ministry and the assignment of John the Baptist was ordained and appointed centuries before the angel Gabriel showed up with the proclamation which was delivered unto Zacharias there beside the altar in the Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

            THE THREE-FOLD ORDINATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT! THE THREE-FOLD APPOINTMENT OF THE MINISTRY! I sit here today thinking about and considering the absolutely awesome and powerful truth that is found in this portion and passage of Scripture, and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the wonderful truth surrounding the fact that when you look at and examine the narrative and account of John the Baptist you will find that there were three distinct and appointed times when the living and eternal God had ordained and appointed his purpose, his ministry and assignment within the earth. If you think about and consider the words and language which the apostle Paul wrote in his epistle written unto the Ephesian saints, as well as the words which he wrote in the epistle written unto the Roman saints you will find this incredibly powerful and awesome language surrounding our appointment, our ordination and our choosing by the living and eternal God. The words and language we find here in these particular portions of Scripture bring us face to face with the incredibly powerful truth surrounding the living and eternal God choosing us before the foundation of the world. Oh dear reader, would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the awesome truth surrounding your being chosen in Christ by God before the foundation of the world? Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the incredible and awesome truth surrounding the fact that before the foundations of the world were even laid you were ordained, you were chosen, you were appointed, and you were hand-selected by the living and eternal God for His divine purposes within the earth? Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that we have a great need to pay close and careful attention to this particular truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly powerful truth of how the living and eternal God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world—and not only how He chose us, but how He chose us to be holy, to be perfect, and to be His ambassadors within and upon the earth. Oh it is with this in mind I now invite you to think about and consider the awesome and powerful language that is found within the first chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Ephesian saints, as well as the words which are found within the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle unto the Roman saints:

            “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trust in Christ. In whom ye also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).

            “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. FOr to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is the life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your motal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye though the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as man as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adtoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and join-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with graonings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Romans 8:1-30).

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the tremendous worth, importance and value that is found within these verses, for these verses draw and call our attention to the awesome and powerful reality that we have indeed and have in fact been called, ordained, ordained and appointed by the living God. What’s more, is that we have been called, ordained and appointed by the one true and living God since before the foundations of the world, and have been chosen in Him in Christ as saints and as beloved. The more I think about and consider these words the more I am brought face to face with the awesome truth that we as the saints and beloved of God have indeed and have in fact been called, ordained and appointed by the living God, and have been ordained and appointed by Him since before the foundation and creation of the world. This is something we must needs recognize and understand, for it calls and draws our attention to the narrative of John the Baptist, for I am convinced that John the Baptist was ordained and appointed by the one true and living God in three different realms and at three different times. It wasn’t enough simply for the angel Gabriel to appear unto Zacharias beside the altar of incense there in the Temple of the Lord and proclaim unto him that his wife Elisabeth would conceive in her old age, and that she would bring forth a son. It would be very easy to think about and consider the truth surrounding John the Baptist and how he was chosen solely when the angel Gabriel appeared unto his father in the Temple at the very least nine months before he was brought forth into the world. The truth of the matter, however, is that the mission and assignment of John the Baptist wasn’t merely ordained and appointed by the angel Gabriel, but the divine mission and assignment was ordained and appointed by the prophets Isaiah and Malachi. The more you read and consider the words which are found in the four gospel narratives written concerning the life of Jesus the Christ the more you will be brought face to face with the awesome truth that the living and eternal God ordained and appointed the ministry of John the Baptist on three separate occasions. The living and eternal God ordained and appointed John the Baptist initially before the foundations of the world were laid, and would then bring forth the prophetic word that would be spoken concerning that ordination and assignment which was in place from the foundation of the world.

            I am absolutely convinced that we have a great need to read and consider the words found in the first chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Ephesian saints, as well as the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Roman saints, for the words presented to us in these passages draw and call our attention to the words concerning our own choosing and our own calling which was found in Christ Jesus by the eternal and living God before the foundation of the world. It is absolutely wonderful to think about and consider that even before we made the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and even before we made the decision to serve the one true and living God we were indeed and were in fact chosen by the living God from before the foundation of the world. I love the words and language that is found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for the words which we find here bring us face to face with the truth surrounding John the Baptist and how he was ordained and appointed by the living and eternal God from before the foundation of the world, how there were two prophetic words spoken and released centuries before his birth and arrival in the earth, and how there was a third declaration concerning him which would be proclaimed by the angel Gabriel. Pause and think about the fact that there was the prophetic words of Isaiah and Malachi, there was the angelic declaration of Gabriel, and each of these words and declarations were a direct fulfillment of the word which the living and eternal God which was spoken before the foundation of the world. We dare not and must not think that the ministry and assignment of John the Baptist was not ordained and appointed simply when the prophetic word was released in the earth by the prophets Isaiah and Malachi. We dare not think that the narrative and account of John the Baptist simply and solely began when the angel Gabriel appeared unto Zacharias there in the Temple of the Lord, for the narrative and account concerning John the Baptist began in the heart and mind of God before a prophetic word was released, and even before an angelic declaration was made.

            Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—I find it absolutely necessary, and I feel compelled to emphatically and wonderfully declare and proclaim unto you that whatever you might be doing for the living and eternal God right now in this life, whatever you have done for the living God, and whatever you feel called to do for the living God began within His heart and His mind from before the foundation of the world. Perhaps one of the most powerful and encouraging truths that is found within this portion and passage of Scripture is when we think about and understand that before we were conceived within our mother’s womb, and before we were every brought forth into the midst of the earth we were first found within the heart of the living and eternal God. BEFORE THE MOTHER’S WOMB, IN THE FATHER’S HEART! BEFORE THE MOTHER’S WOMB, IN THE FATHER’S MIND! Oh I absolutely love the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the choosing and ordaining of the living and eternal God concerning our lives, for before we were ever conceived within our mother’s womb we were first conceived within the heart and mind of the living and eternal God. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading these passages how although we were conceived within the womb of our mother, and although we were carried for nine months within that womb, we were first conceived within the heart and mind of the living God. What’s more, is that your mother’s womb was but an expression of the heart and mind of the Father, for the womb of your mother was a place in which the living and eternal God could form and fashion you that at the appointed time you might be brought for into the world and into the midst of the earth. Oh pause for a moment and think about how awesome and powerful this truth truly is, for it forces us to come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding our choosing in the sight and presence of the living God. We must needs realize, recognize and understand that our mother’s womb was the place in which the living and eternal God would and could form and fashion the thoughts and intentions of His heart for a specific period of time before He could bring us forth into the midst of the earth. Oh consider if you will the words which are found in the first and twenty-ninth chapters of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, the words which are found in the eighth and one-hundred and thirty-ninth chapters of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah:

            “O Lord our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of our enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth” (Psalm 8:1-9).

            “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquatined with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go forth from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalm 139:1-18).

            “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:6-13).

            “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unt me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:5-10).

            “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive” (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

            The words which we find within these portions and passages of Scripture help to emphatically declare and proclaim the awesome and powerful truth surrounding our calling and our choosing in the sight and presence of the living God since before the foundation of the world. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we call and draw our attention to just how vital this truth is, for the womb of our mother was but an extension of the heart and mind of the father. In all reality, this is perhaps what makes the transgression, the abomination and the horror of abortion so incredibly tragic, toxic and dangerous, for what it is actually doing is presenting and carrying out an assault against the heart and mind of the living God. If the womb is indeed an extension and expression of the heart and mind of the Father then killing that which is conceived and growing within it is an abomination, an assault and attack against the divine heart and mind of the living God. What’s more, is that the psalmist David speaks of the Lord forming and fashioning him within his mother’s womb—a reality that deeply expresses the awesome and incredible truth concerning the fact that the living and eternal God knew him even before he was conceived within his mother’s womb. Not only this, but even before he was conceived within the womb of his mother the LORD knew, ordained and appointed him. This is what the living and eternal God declared unto Jeremiah the prophet Jeremiah, for the living and eternal God emphatically declared unto Jeremiah that before he was formed within the womb of his mother the LORD knew him and ordained him to be a prophet unto the nation. KNOWN AND ORDAINED! Oh how truly awesome and powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that even before we were conceived within our mother’s womb, and even before we were brought forth from the womb of our mother we were known and ordained by the living God. Before we were conceived within the womb and brought forth from the midst of our mother’s womb we were ordained and appointed by the living God.

            Taking this reality a step further we must recognize and understand just how heinous and horrific abortion is, for if abortion as an assault, an attack and an affront on the heart and mind of the living God, then abortion is also an assault and attack on the hands and the work of the living God. ABORTION: AN ASSAULT AND ATTACK ON THE HEART AND HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD! OH there is not a doubt in my mind that abortion is not only an assault and attack on the heart (and mind) of the living God, for the womb of a woman is but an extension and expression of that which was in the heart of the living God, but abortion is also a direct assault and attack on the hands of God. What’s more, is that regardless of what stage in the pregnancy abortion takes place it is still a tremendous assault and affront against the hands of the living God based on the words which David proclaimed that he was knit together in the womb of his mother. Even the living and eternal God would speak unto Jeremiah and declare unto him that he was knit together in his mother’s womb—and not just knit together, but formed in the womb of his mother. Oh we must needs realize, recognize and understand that there is a great and powerful truth surrounding abortion, and that abortion is a direct assault against the hands of God and essentially placing our hands on that which the Lord had His hands on. Stop and think about the fact that abortion is literally taking and removing the hands of the living God off of that which He was forming and creating within the womb of a woman and literally exercising our own will, our own authority, our own agenda, and our own plans against it. Think about and consider the fact that abortion is literally the taking of our hands and placing upon that which the hands of the LORD was previously on as we remove His hands from that which He created that we might kill and destroy it.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering just how incredibly horrific and tragic abortion truly is, for abortion is a full-scale assault, affront and attack on the hands and heart of the living God. Abortion is a full fledged assault and attack on that which was present within the heart of the living God. Stop and think about the fact that the living God had it within His heart your very existence, and how your mother allowed the heart of God to be manifested in the midst of the earth. Look around you at all the life that is present before you in the earth and you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that all life which is present upon the earth right now not only came forth because of the divine will of the Father, but also because mothers and fathers were willing to allow that life to come forth and be brought into the world. When we look at all those living souls and beings present in the midst of the earth we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the tremendous and powerful truth surrounding the fact that all life that is present upon this earth during this generation, as well as all life which has been in existence within and upon the earth in generations and times past has been present in the midst of the earth because of a choice and decision a mother and/or a father made to allow that life to be brought forth into the world. With this being said it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that abortion is indeed and is in fact an assault and affront on the heart and hand of the living God. Not only this, but abortion is not only an assault and attack against the heart and hands of the living God by the doctors who performed the surgery, but it is also an assault and attack against the heart and hands of the living God by the mother and/or father who made the decision to go through with the abortion. When we think about and consider abortion we must needs recognize and understand that any and every act of abortion is granted permission to take place by the mother and/or the father, and is carried out by a doctor or physician who will do what they need to do to destroy and kill that life which is present within the womb.

            When you consider the horrendous and heinous act of abortion you must needs think about and consider the truth that it is indeed an assault and affront on the heart of the living God and that which was conceived within His heart—and not only that which was conceived within he heart of the living God, but what was conceived within His heart from the foundation of the world. Abortion is indeed and is in fact a direct assault, affront and attack on the heart and mind of the living God, for the womb of a woman is a direct expression of that which was found within the heart of the Father. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that before we had an earthly mother we had a heavenly Father. Before we had an earthly mother we had a heavenly Father who knew the thoughts He had toward us—thoughts which were greater than the number of the grain of sand upon the shore the sea. Oh how truly awesome, powerful and incredible it is to think about and consider the wonderful truth surrounding this, for the womb of a woman is intrinsically linked to the heart and mind of the Father, for that which was permitted to grow within the womb of a woman first originated within the heart and mind of the Father. Before you and I were a seed within the womb of our mother we were a thought within the heart of the living and eternal God. Not only this, but the womb is also an extension and expression of the hands of the living God, for it is the living and eternal God that forms and fashions us within the womb of our mother. Oh pause for a moment and think about and consider how truly awesome and powerful this is, for it calls and directs our attention to the fact that the womb of the mother is a truly wonderful expression of the heart and hands of the living God, and therefore must needs be treated as such.

            Perhaps one of the greatest questions many doctors will need to answer—even if perhaps they are not forced to answer it within this present generation and during this time—is how they could stretch forth their hands against the heart and mind of the living God. There are going to be countless numbers of doctors since Roe v. Wade that will stand before a just, holy and righteous God in the day of judgment for the tremendous blood that was upon their hands because they sought to lay hold of that which was an expression of the hands of God. Oh there is a tremendous and inherent danger and risk when we stretch forth our hands against that which was formed and fashioned by the very hands of the living God, for when we do indeed and do in fact do that we are in fact staining our own hands with blood. Oh dear reader we must needs recognize and understand the truly awesome and powerful truth surrounding this reality, for it forces us to acknowledge whether or not we are truly aware of the womb of the woman as an extension and expression of the heart and hands of the Father. Do we as the people of God truly realize, recognize and understand that the womb of a woman is in and of itself intrinsically connected to the heart and hands of the Father, and is therefore sacred and holy in the sight and presence of the living God? Do we as the people of God truly acknowledge and understand that the womb of the mother is sacred and holy in the sight and presence of the living God, and as a direct result of being sacred and holy in the sight of the presence of the living God is off limits to us. Oh with this in mind I can’t help but think about how many men and women have essentially been like Uzzah who stretched forth his hand to steady the Ark of the Covenant, and because he stretched forth his hand upon that which was sacred and holy was struck dead by the living God. Oh if Uzzah was struck dead and was struck down by the living God for attempting to stretch forth his hand upon that which was sacred and holy with good intentions and good motives—how much more will men and women who stretch forth their hands upon that which is sacred and holy, and do so with malicious and destructive purposes? Oh I can’t help but think about the fact that there are a lot of men and women—doctors and physicians, mothers and fathers, even the government itself—who not only have blood upon their hands, but will indeed and will in fact be held accountable for stretching forth their hands upon that which is sacred and that which is holy in the sight and presence of the living God.

            Oh I firmly believe and am convinced that we have a great need within our hearts and minds to acknowledge and understand the fact that the womb of the woman is an extension and expression of the heart and hands of the Father, and as a direct result of this must be treated and considered as sacred and holy. MURDER WITHIN THE HOLY! MURDER WITHIN THE SACRED! MURDER AROUND THE HEART OF GOD! MURDER AROUND THE MIND OF GOD! We as the people of God must needs realize, recognize and understand that with the womb being an extension and expression of the heart and mind of the Father it is and must therefore be considered as sacred and holy. We dare not and must not stretch forth our hands upon that which is sacred and that which is holy, and yet the truth of the matter is that for almost forty years we have been stretching forth our hands as a nation against that which is sacred and holy. Not only this, but we have directed assaults and attacks against the heart and hands of the living God as it is expressed within the womb of the mother. The heart and hands of the living God is directly linked and directly connected to the womb of the woman, and we play an incredibly dangerous game in the presence of God when we not only think we can exercise our authority and agenda over and upon it, but actually do indeed exercise such manners against it. What’s more, is this reality is directly linked and connected to marriage and gender, for over the past several decades we have seen assaults and attacks against marriage being between man and a woman, assaults and attacks against marriage being a covenant in the sight of the living God, as well as gender itself. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this tremendous reality, for over the past several decades we have indeed and have in fact seen a tremendous assault and attack against the sanctity of gender, the sanctity of marriage being between a man and a woman, the sanctity of marriage being a covenant in the sight of the living God, as well as assaults and attacks on life itself which begins the moment of conception within the womb of the mother.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words and language which is found within this portion and passage of Scripture, for the words which are found in this passage of Scripture are a powerful picture and presentation of the sacredness and holiness of that hidden and concealed place which is directly linked and connected to the heart and mind of the living God. I have previously written the womb of Mary was indeed in and of itself a place in which the life of the Messiah might grow until the appointed time for it being manifested in the earth. What’s more, is I am also convinced that Nazareth itself was a womb for the Messiah to grow until the appointed time for Him to be brought forth and manifested in the midst of the earth as the Word which became flesh. Oh that we would recognize and understand how incredibly powerful and significant this truly is, for we have a great need within our hearts and our minds to acknowledge the truth that there have been millions of assaults and attacks against the heart and hands of the living God, and this nation—perhaps more than any other nation on the face of the earth—has given itself over to these assaults and attacks. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that for nearly forty years we have committed millions—if not billions—of assaults and attacks against the heart and hands of the living God as we have targeted and gone after that which is sacred and holy in His sight. Oh this must needs be recognized and acknowledged, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth that when we speak about John the Baptist we must needs understand that his assignment was ordained and appointed by the living God before the foundation of the world before it was ever prophesied and proclaimed by the prophets Isaiah and Malachi. There would first come the thoughts which were found in the heart and mind of the living God, and those thoughts would then be manifested through the prophetic declaration that was spoken by these ancient Hebrew prophets. Not only this, but we also find and discover that there would be the angelic declaration of Gabriel that would further confirm the heart and mind of the Father. Oh what a great thought it is to think about and consider the fact that there would be the thought(s) within the heart and mind of the Father, which would be followed by the prophetic declaration and proclamation of what was in the heart and mind of the living God, and would ultimately be followed by the angelic declaration concerning John the Baptist.

            It is with all of this in mind it is now necessary to turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the beloved physician Luke, for within this particular portion of Scripture—not only does Luke present us with the struggle of faith John the Baptist had while he was in prison, but also Jesus’ response to the doubt and frustration of John the Baptist, as well as the words which Jesus spoke unto the crowds and multitudes in direct response to John the Baptist. I find it absolutely incredible when reading the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for the words which are found here bring us face to face with the absolutely incredible truth surrounding John the Baptist and how Jesus not only sent his disciples back to him with a witness and message, but also how Jesus would praise and honor John the Baptist in the sight and presence of all those whom He would speak. Perhaps one of the greatest truths and narratives surrounding John the Baptist is that although he was the messenger and forerunner for the Messiah in the midst of the earth he would still find himself in prison—and not only in prison, but imprisoned because he dared to speak out against the corruption, the iniquity, and the wickedness that was found in the government within the region of Galilee. Scripture makes it very clear that John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod because he dared speak out against the adultery and the wickedness that was found within him because he dared have his brother Philip’s wife. Oh we must needs pay close and careful attention to what is found here, for it calls and draws our attention to the context surrounding John the Baptist in prison—and not only John the Baptist in prison, but also the doubt and struggle John the Baptist had while he was in prison. Consider if you will the words and language surrounding the imprisonment of John the Baptist, as well as the struggle and conflict of faith he had while sitting in that prison cell, and ultimately the message Jesus would send his disciples back with. Not only this, but I invite you to consider the words which are found in this portion and text of Scripture concerning Jesus’ words after the disciples of John the Baptist departed and would return unto him before Herod would ultimately have him beheaded:

            “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. 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 3:15-20).

            “And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Other said, That it is Elias. 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 he swawre unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’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 6:14-30).

            “And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Luke 7:18-23).

            “And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:24-30).

            It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words which are found within this portion of Scripture, for there are several realities and truths which are found presented within them. Within these portions of Scripture we find the tremendous animosity, grudge, bitterness, quarrel and offense Herodias had for and toward John the Baptist because he dared speak out against the adultery and wickedness which was committed by both herself and Herod. There is within these portions and passages of Scripture an incredibly powerful picture of the evils which Herod did and committed—namely, the greatest of them all being imprisoning John the Baptist in prison. What’s more, is that we not only find Herod imprisoning John the Baptist, but we also find Herod beheading him based on an oath he had made unto the daughter of Herodias after she had pleased him at a feast and banquet he had thrown for all of those officials within his government and within Galilee. These passages and portions of Scripture bring us face to face with John’s time being in prison and the tremendous conflict of faith John the Baptist had while in prison as He would send two of his disciples unto Jesus to inquire whether or not He was the Messiah, the Christ and the one to come, or if they should look for another. It is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge when reading these words, for these portions of text bring us to the place where we acknowledge the tremendous truth surrounding John the Baptist and how although those born among women there was not born one greater than he was, he was imprisoned, he was beheaded, and it would be in prison he would have a conflict of faith within his own heart and soul. What I find incredibly powerful within this portion of Scripture is Jesus’ words which were spoken concerning John the Baptist, for the words Jesus spoke unto the crowds concerning John the Baptist was how among those which were born of women there was not a greater prophet than John the Baptist, however, he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

            The words which Jesus spoke concerning John the Baptist are absolutely and incredibly astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it calls and forces us into the place where we acknowledge and understand the true language which was spoken concerning John the Baptist. It would be after Jesus sent away the disciples of John the Baptist He would speak unto those who were present and would declare how that one who was least in the kingdom of God would be and was greater than he. After having just acknowledged and declared that among those which were born of women there was not a greater than John the Baptist Jesus would now emphatically and unreservedly declare that he which is least in the kingdom of God was greater than John the Baptist. This language would directly correlate and coincide with the truth that Jesus would also declare that those who wished to be first would be last, and those who were last would be first. Jesus would also dare say that those who sought to gain their lives would lose them, and those who lost their lives would gain them. OH it is truly something worth thinking about and considering the words which are found in this portion and passage of Scripture, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that Jesus would use John the Baptist as a pattern and a model of the kingdom of heaven, and how Jesus was introducing something entirely and altogether different within the earth. Prior to the manifestation of Jesus there would be the single and lone voice of John the Baptist in the midst of the earth, and while Jesus walked upon the face of the earth there would be twelve disciples whom He would ordain and appoint as apostles unto and for Him in the midst of the earth. Oh if there is one thing we must needs realize and understand it’s when we think and speak about the kingdom of heaven we must acknowledge the fact that despite how great and how mighty and powerful John the Baptist truly was—those who are least in the kingdom of God is greater than he was. Pause for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible and astonishing this truly is when you take the time to think about it, for it forces us to acknowledge the fact that when speaking of the kingdom of heaven there is something which must be understood concerning greatness. Oh it’s with this in mind I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following words which are found in the eighteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew concerning the words which Jesus spoke unto the disciples:

            “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:1-9).

            The words which are found within this portion and passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the tremendous truth that among those born among women there was not a prophet greater than John the Baptist, however, even with that being said we must needs recognize and understand that Jesus would go on to declare that those who were least in the kingdom of heaven were greater than John the Baptist. If there is one thing I can’t help but find when reading the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture it’s that immediately after Jesus would issue these words the beloved physician Luke would write how all the people that heard him, and the publicans justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. What we find directly after that is Luke going on to write and record how the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about and considering the words found in this portion of Scripture, for Jesus would declare how those who were least in the kingdom of heaven were greater than John the Baptist. What’s more, is Luke would further write and explain that all the people which heard Jesus, and the publicans justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. Oh we must needs think about and consider the words found in this portion of Scripture, for the words found here bring us face to face with the difference between the people and the publicans, and the Pharisees and lawyers. Jesus would emphatically declare that the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than John the Baptist, and then we are immediately and directly confronted with the awesome and powerful truth concerning those who justified God by receiving and being baptized with the baptism of John the Baptist, while there were those who would reject the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized of him. We know for a fact that the scribes and the Pharisees rejected the counsel of God by refusing to be baptized of John, for when Jesus asked them whether or not the baptism of John came from God or from men they chose to abstain and refrain from speaking and answering his question.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this portion of Scripture, for within it—not only are we confronted with the reality of being least in the kingdom of heaven, but we are also confronted with the tremendous truth whether or not we are rejecting the counsel of God within our hearts and lives. The Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized of John, while the publicans and people justified God being baptized by him. Oh we must needs realize, recognize and understand within our hearts and lives whether or not we are those who are willing to receive and accept the counsel of God within our hearts and lives, or whether we are those who are willing to reject that counsel by at the very same time rejecting that which has been ordained and appointed by the living God. There is a great need within our hearts and lives to acknowledge and come face to face with whether or not we are willing to be least in the kingdom of heaven—and not only being least in the kingdom of heaven, but also allowing ourselves to be baptized with the baptism of John, as well as the baptism of Jesus. We must needs understand and recognize that there are within Scripture two distinct baptisms which we must needs invite and commit ourselves to—the baptism of John the Baptist which was a baptism in water unto repentance for the remission of sins, and there was the baptism of Jesus which was a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire. Oh there is first a baptism of water and of a flood which we must pass through that we might begin entering into the kingdom of heaven, and there is a secondary baptism of fire which we must also pass through that we might be those who are truly willing to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to be those who pass through the water and pass through the fire that we might gain access and entrance into the kingdom of heaven and that we might indeed be those who walk in purity, righteousness, and holiness in the sight and presence of the living and eternal God. There is a great need within our hearts and minds to determine and purpose whether we are those who are going to receive and accept that which the living and eternal God has ordained and appointed for us in this life, or whether we are going to be those who will despise and reject it to pursue our own agendas and our own purposes for our lives. Oh that we would be a people who commit ourselves before and unto the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in this life that we might truly be disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. Oh that we would be men and women who would deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus the Christ that we might be His disciples and followers in this life, and thus an example and a witness to those whom we encounter on a daily and regular basis.

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