“Witness to the Light”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God,

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not. 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 

He came unto his own and his own received him not

But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name;

Which were born not of blood, nor the will of man, but of God. 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake (spoke), He that cometh after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I):for he was before me.

And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias?  And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give answer to them that sent us, What sayest thou of thyself? 

He said, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, as said the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).

And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 

John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not: 

He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I) whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. 

This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 

And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth  with the Holy Ghost. 

And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again, the next day John after stood, and two of his disciples; 

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” John 1:1-37

Safe to say, John rocked their world!!They had never seen anyone, anything quite like John.

He was the complete opposite to everything the religious crew of the day could comprehend.

John had been sent here on his mission, equipped with everything he needed to do the job, already inside of him.

We will take a closer look at the prophecy and birth of John in our next post, so that we can see the requirements that are so often conveniently over-looked today.

He did not look like them, as being described wearing camel’s hair and a leather belt, while they had their priestly robes.

He certainly did not feast as they, with the best, most prestigious seat at the tables of the wealthy, No, his meals were of locust and wild honey.

And he certainly did not preach like them, he did not white-wash over actions and attitudes that kept the money flowing while producing hearts black as coal, even if it meant taking on Herod and letting him know that he was in sin, this leading to his arrest.

Can you imagine? He was doing something no one had ever done, or had ever heard of doing!

He was proclaiming the King of the universe, and he was proclaiming him to “common” people, he was not condemning those who came to him, he was not putting himself on a religious pedestal as the Pharisees.

He constantly humbled himself, letting all know that he was not even worthy to touch even the sandal of the one he exalted.

He warned them that the road must be prepared for the arrival of the true King and that all the exalted places must be lowered, and all the rough places made smooth, and warned that even though he preached, and he baptized them with water, that the King would also himself, baptize those who believed, and that his baptism would be unlike anything they had ever known or understand.

This baptism would be of fire and the Holy Ghost, and that as the king came into the world, his great light would manifest to all.

All that was or would ever be created, created by him and for him, and he came to redeem us all.

Isaiah 60:1-3: “ARISE, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Let’s go back to one of our earlier verses.

John 1:11: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

As they of the day rejected him, we, the Gentiles, all other peoples of the earth then had access to his salvation.

Never let anyone try to harden you against the Jews, the are his chosen people, we are just adopted in, but in the end we will all be one in his kingdom.

Here is the expatiation.

Romans 11:1-28: “I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid (certainly not). For I am also an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot (Know) ye not what the scripture saith of Elisas (Elijah)? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

LORD, TEHY HAVE KILLED THE PROPHETS, AND DIGGED (torn) DOWN THINE ALTARS; AND I AM LEFT ALONE, AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE.

But what saith the answer of God unto him? I HAVE RESERVED TO MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN , WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO THE IMAGE OF BAAL.

Even then so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (elect of God) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (hardened)

(According as it is written, GOD HATH GIVEN THEM THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER {stupor} EYES THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE, AND EARS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HEAR;) UNTO THIS DAY.

And David saith, LET TEHIR TABLE BE MADE A SNARE, AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLINGBLOCK, AND A RECOMPENSE UPON THEM. LET THEIR EYES BE DARKEND THAT THEYMAY NOT SEE, AND BOW DOWN THEIR BACK ALWAY.

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid (Certainly not); but rather through their fall (trespass) salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Now if the fall (trespass) of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing (failure) of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (my ministry).

If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead.

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump also is holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert (were) graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and the fatness of the olive tree;

Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee (remember you do not support the root, it supports you)

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 

Well: because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear:

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed, lest he also not spare thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 

For if thou wert (were) cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

For I would not, (do not want) brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits (opinion); that blindness (hardening) in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

AND SO ALL OF ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written: THERE SHALL COME UP OUT OF SION THE DELIVERER, AND SHALL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB;

FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT UNTO THEM, WHEN I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.

As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching (concerning) the election (elect’s), they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.”

We can understand by Paul’s comparison that in the end we will all be one, all the families of God, and we should be grateful that we were adopted into the Lord’s first family.

And this is why it is so important to remember what God said i the Old Testament, he will curse anyone who curses Israel and he will bless those who bless them. We are to pray for their peace and help them in anyway that we can.

That light has shone, As this world grows ever darker, our Lord wonderous light will shine even brighter!

John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

*Also, I am not shouting! Some scripture is capitalized as it is the Bible to denote it being recited from another passage.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2022/Rev. N. Brown Johnson

BEFORE

“Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM HE ; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall let (reverse) it?”  Isaiah 43:13

One of my favorite statement by the Lord. 

This is one of those double-edged sword statements because to be on the wrong side of that statement is a horrible fearful fate… but ahh, we are not talking about that in this post.

We are talking about how beautiful and truly overwhelming it truly is when we think about being on the right side of that statement.

BEFORE

BEFORE everything.

BEFORE anything.

BEFORE all that was created.

BEFORE the angels, the demons, or any other beings.

BEFORE the great void of darkness and the waters of earth were divided.

BEFORE day and night were called forth.

BEFORE the heavens were divided from the earth.

BEFORE the grass, trees, and every known and unknown vegetation this day. BEFORE the birds, animals, fish and man.

BEFORE it all the God of creation forever stands.

BEFORE the very creation of DAY, in HIS OWN WORDS, WAS I AM HE. 

And there is no power in heaven, in earth, under earth, no invention man kind can fathom or enough forces of hell that can stop, prevent, or deliver out of his hand.

And as he also said, he will do as he wishes and WHO could ever stop him or reverse, change, or destroy ANY work he has ordained or brought forth?!!!

INCLUDING his work of creating US! Completely, intentionally, ON PURPOSE with rhyme and reason, creating each one of us simply because he IS God and he WANTED us to exist! 

Complete with our Spirit, soul, heart, mind, and personality and all the unique traits that make us truly one of a kind!

Even when we are a little quirky, different, or such as myself, kinda flaky 🙂 no one will ever understand us like God, we have that uniqueness because our Father wanted us to be unique. 

God IS the master Creator… actually having created creation… ponder that…he created the very conception and act of creation itself, which is why all of us have a talent or special God-given skill, being created in HIS image, we also have that NEED to be creative.

Think about it the next time that you are in your “zone, whether it is art, music, wood-working, beauty, cooking, the activity that brings you immense joy in expressing your creativity, REMEMBER that the joy and satisfaction that you feel during that “labor of love” can not even be compared to the joy and love the absolute Creator of the universe took in creating YOU!

Revelation 4:11 b: “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

Am I the only person that finds that terribly exciting? 

Well, if you are not excited, I hope that by the end of this post you will be!

If everyone person on this earth could get past the lies of this world, the ridiculous demands of society that command us to be cookie cutter cutouts of the latest fashion trend or the brain washed servants to sin that think and say exactly as those who pervert the truth of creation and the Gospel so wish us to.

Oh what a refreshment that would be!

You know we can not control what others think of us or say about us, but when we fail to accept how and why we are created just as we are actually INSULTING God!

Now, I think people really need to be careful with the Bible and  be certain they read before and after scriptures and study the ENTIRE teaching because failure to do so often leads to teachings that are completely out of context, SO bearing that, the scriptures are pertaining to repentance and restoration, but the verses I want to highlight is the danger  of “questioning” that we as humans often do, when we “question” our this, that, or the other thing we do not like about ourselves when held to the current “standard” and we can understand through these verses his ABSOLUTE power, authority, and love for us, IF we accept that and submit into his will, forgetting our own.

Isaiah 45:1-18: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (held), to subdue nation before him; and I will loose the loins (armour) of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates (double doors); and the gates shall not be shut;

 I WILL GO BEFORE THEE, and make the crooked places straight : I will break into pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder (half) the bars of iron:

 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, THE LORD, WHICH CALLETH THEE BY THY NAME am God of Israel For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect (chosen). 

I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though  thou hast not known me.  I, am the Lord, and there is none else, there is  no god beside me: I girded (clothed and armoured), though thou hast not known me: 

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (till sunset), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the lord do ALL these things. 

Drop down, (rain down) ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open , and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I THE LORD HAVE CREATED IT.

Woe unto him that striveth (argues) WITH his Maker!  Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.

Shall the clay SAY to him that fashioned (molded) it, WHAT makes thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? for something you actually made to say to you that you no longer have any power over that creation)

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, WHAT begettest thou? or to the woman (mother) WHAT hast thou brought forth (given birth to)?

Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his MAKER, Ask of me thing concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  

I have MADE the earth, and CREATED man upon it: I, even MY HANDS, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward (not money nor gain), saith the Lord of hosts.

Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God (meaning no god OTHER than the ONE true God, Jehovah).

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded (disgraced), all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 

But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

For thus saith the Lord that CREATED the heavens; God himself that FORMED the earth and MADE it; he hath established it, he hath CREATED it NOT IN VAIN, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” 

I love that God is clearly pointing out the fact that even THOUGH they have not known him, he still very much knows them!

And isn’t that just like us sometimes, especially those who refuse to acknowledge God as they are in truth the work that declares the craftsman no longer has hands to alter the work he has created.

There is such beauty and such peace, and blessed assurance beyond human comprehension in the realization and acceptance of our place in his master plan. And that place is simply this, accepting ourselves as his creation, accepting his will, and resting in that he ALWAYS goes before because before “the day”, before the foundations of the earth were even created, THERE WAS AND THERE IS AND THERE WILL FOREVER BE, I AM.

Rest in this, have hope in this, know who you are in this:

Deuteronomy 31:8: ” Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE; HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.” 

As the redeemed of the Lord, we sometimes need reminded of WHO goes BEFORE us every single day of our lives. 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018