February 15 - The Forerunner and the King
The first part of the original mandate of Genesis 1:28 is to multiply and to fill the earth. The second part is about subduing the earth and making it under the rule of God. Because of sin in the world, the devil has been pushing his agenda and wrecking havoc all over. After Adam and Eve abdicated the rule over the world because of sin, the devil took over and has turned the world into a living hell.
John the Baptist, the forerunner, came to prepare the way for the King Jesus. What he actually did was to subdue the works of darkness and prepare the hearts of man to turn to the rule of God the King. The greatest preparation for the Kingdom is to deal with the sin problem through genuine repentance and the fruits of repentance. Repentance is like making a U turn, not only that one should feel sorry about what one has done but to begin going in the opposite direction. It is not enough just to feel sorry for a wrong committed, one also must make reparations for wrongs done and begin to walk in righteousness. This, in essence, was the ministry of John the Baptist. He confronted the world of sin and demanded fruits of repentance. The baptism of water was a symbol of repentance, preparing the hearts to receive Jesus as King of their lives.
Jesus also came to take away the works of the devil (I John 3:8), He subdued darkness in healing the sick and casting out demons from the afflicted in order that the people might receive the Kingdom of God, to become Kingdom citizens. The first message He preached was very simple: the appointed time has come (Galatians 4:4), the Kingdom of God is at hand in the person of Jesus. Those who heard Him could come under God’s rule and Kingship by repenting and believing in Jesus. His personal invitation to the early disciples was a call to follow Him, to give up their own lives and become a part of the Kingdom.
It was indeed a new teaching, not about knowledge but about power and authority. Jesus did not teach like the other rabbis and scribes. He demonstrated His teaching through His power and authority over the works of the devil. He commanded and the evil spirits had to leave. It was not some new fads He taught but Kingdom power and authority. When one realizes his or her own sins, the Kingdom of God is near and can be appropriated.
Do you have the keys to the Kingdom? The rule of God will increase if you go before Him and repent of your sins daily. Repentance is not only feeling sorry for wrongs done, it is about letting God take control and live a radically different life than before. True repentance brings in God’s rule in your life. Are you suffering from a case of “powerless Christianity”?
Ps 25:16-22 Exo 39:1-40:38 Mark 1:1-28 Prov 9:11-12