We trust you are well and kept by the Grace of God. This week we resume our Sunday School lessons with the story of John the Baptist. Please let your child/children take out their Bible and read the scripture aloud and follow the story.
With Christian love and respect.
Scriptures to read: and memorize:
ISAIAH 40:3 – The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
MALACHI 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Matthew 3:1-3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
JOHN1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
JOHN 1:23-30 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
John 1:29 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.
MATTHEW 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
The story of John: (the Baptist)
The Prophet Isaiah prophesized (Isaiah 40:3) that someone… a prophet would come to prepare God’s people for the arrival of the Messiah.
John was born six months before Jesus was born.
The Angel Gabriel came to Zacharias who was a priest in the temple (church) at Jerusalem. The Angel told him that his wife, Elisabeth would have a son, who will do a special work and turn many to believe on God… and his name would be called John. Zacharias did not believe the angel. Why? Because both he and his wife were old. Because of this unbelief, The Angel told Zacharias that he would be dumb until his baby was born. When Zacharias came out from the altar of incense, the worshippers knew that he had seen a vision of an Angel and that he couldn’t speak. When John was born, his father named him John as the Angel Gabriel had said. And the old priest could speak again.
Jesus was born six months later. He was born in Bethlehem, grew up and was called a Nazarene
So when John was a young child (perhaps he was only 9 years old) (his old parents could have died by then), he went into the wilderness (the desert), where no people lived; only wild animals and creepy desert creatures. There he stayed until the time for him to appear and fulfil his mission on earth. John could have become a priest as his old father was. But this young man loved the wilderness…. the outdoors or woods from youth. His clothes were made of camel’s skin/ hair and he ate locusts (grasshoppers) and honey. This was very unusual for a young man; for any man. Yet, he stayed in the desert until he was grown and started telling people of The Messiah. John told the people who came to hear him , that God loved them so much that He is about to send His Son as the Messiah to save them from their sins. The Jews knew the Messiah would be their very God Himself.
John then came stomping out of the wilderness to proclaim that “The Kingdom of God is at hand”. That means that the Kingdom of God is coming soon. It is near.
So the crowds wanted to be part of the kingdom of God and to have God as their king. They thought that This Messiah would also deliver them out of the bondage of the cruel Romans of their day.
Some also thought that John was the Messiah, but John knew the part he had to play and that he needed a Messiah, a Saviour Himself, as much as everyone else. So he said someone who is more powerful than I am, is here. I am not even good enough to even take off his shoes. As John was one day baptising people in the river Jordan, Jesus came to him to be baptised. John said I would have been blessed to be baptised by you. John knew he was unworthy to be baptising Jesus. But Jesus said Suffer (Allow) it to be so for it is good for us to do right. Then Jesus was baptised by John. After Jesus was baptized, John saw the Spirit of God coming upon Jesus as a dove and a voice from Heaven saying. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased... (MATTHEW 3:17)
John’s Mission or work was to
- Make an important announcement. Of this very special Person… The Promised Messiah.
- That a new kingdom … The Kingdom of God was to come very soon. (It is near)
- And to call the people to Repentance.
- So they would be able to make ready or to prepare for the Kingdom of God.
- He then pointed out who the King of the Kingdom of God was… who the Messiah was.
- He said Behold there is One standing amongst you; He is greater or mightier than me, whose shoes I am not worthy to takeoff. . John said he himself is not worthy. But This One is The worthy One.
- While John was preaching and baptising people in the river Jordan to accept this new Kingdom, he, John pointed to Jesus and said. There is The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, The Messiah.
- John knew that he was to introduce The Messiah…. or to point out who the Messiah is.
- He said I am the Voice of one crying in the wilderness.
- He pointed to the Person, Jesus.
All Judea came to be baptized by John.
What is meant by a kingdom?
A kingdom is a land and its people that have a king as its sovereign (supreme ruler).
A kingdom has a king. All the people with the land belong to him and he rules over them. They have to obey the king. The king and his army would fight other nations and overthrow them. That other nation will then become a part of their conquered land and kingdom. (So the conquered nations become part of that kingdom under one king)
Now at that time all Judea was ruled by the Roman Empire. The Israelites belonged to the Roman Kingdom. They were ruled by the Romans.
In Judea many Israelites longed to see the prophesized One, the Messiah coming to deliver them. They thought that he would come as a mighty soldier or great man to fight the Romans and save them from the cruel Roman Empire. Some even may have thought that He would come directly from heaven and overthrow the Romans and set them free. They thought that is how the Messiah would come.
They didn’t even know that He had already come. And someone had to point out to them, who the Messiah was.
So when John came out of the wilderness to proclaim that the kingdom of God was here, the people thought that the Messiah was about to step down from heaven, or come as a mighty soldier with His Army and conquer the Romans. But He came “How?” As a Babe in a manger!
Jesus grew up as the son of a carpenter and went around doing good. His lived a Life for others. He was our example, The Perfect Example.
The Kingdom of God: (THE kingdom belonging to God)
All earthly kingdoms are corrupt. The Roman Kingdom was corrupt or crooked, wicked and cruel. The Kingdom of God is and will not be wicked and sinful. Even the priests were corrupt and wicked and cruel. John called them snakes in the grass.
Many generations before, it was prophesized that the kingdom of God would be established on the earth, wherein God would rule supreme. This king would come in Person to establish His Kingdom.
Therefore John came forward to preach to all Judea to repent, (turn from their wicked ways) and turn to God. When That Messiah comes He will be the Messiah and save them from their sins.
John pointed to The Person, Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.
Many who heard and accepted John’s teachings became his disciples.
Later, many of John’s disciples became to be the disciples of Jesus, The Messiah. They followed Jesus.
BAPTISM: What is Baptism?
Baptism is what we do when we decide to tell everyone that we want to follow God.
It is an outward show/ expression of an inward work of Grace. You have made a decision to follow after the things of God… Therefore you make a public showing of it.
You want to show to all people that you have come to the knowledge of the Truth and you believe and want to follow God’s way… The Truth.
And a change has taken place in your life.
(We will look more closely at Christian Baptism… later on)
Repentance: What is repentance?
It is a right about turn. It is turning from sin or unbelief, and turning to God. Not going back to it.
Forsaking sin, forsaking the sins or wicked things you have done. Not continuing in it.
It is feeling really sorry for your sins and to even hate sin.
So you do a right about turn and go in the opposite direction.
You repent and believe in the Good news (of God’s saving Grace) and now want to obey God.
Now start walking with God.
Your desires and thinking are changed. You accept the New way and become obedient.
When John was proclaiming Jesus as Messiah, his ministry was the same as the ministry of the Prophet Elijah who spoke the Truth of God’s Word and was not afraid to speak against evil done in that day… even rebuking the religious leaders serving as leaders of the people.
So we see that the Seven Spirits actually refer to the One Spirit of God working out the will and Word of God in different generations. I would like to illustrate that from the Word. WMB
The Spirit of God was mightily upon Elijah.
Then that same Spirit came upon Elisha in a twofold effect.
Then centuries later, the same Spirit which we call the Spirit of Elijah in order to describe its ministry, came back upon John the Baptist.
One day that same Spirit identified by the same manner of ministry will come upon a man for the end of the Gentile church age. SARDISEAN.CHURCH.AGE – CPT.7 CHURCH.AGE.BOOK
Prophet, Priest, King.
(There is an easy way to remember, what they are 🙂
What is a Prophet? What is a Priest? What is a King? And how are they used by God?
A Prophet……. speaks for God……. To the People. Pic of a prophet/illustration
A Priest……. speaks to God……. for the people. Pic of a Priest
A King……. is over the people. Pic of a King
Some facts about prophets:
Prophets were only for and of the Jewish nation. Other nations had soothsayers, magicians, witches, wise men, magi, astrologers and priests of the Chaldeans.
A True Prophet ………………………………..and what he is and what he does.
- A prophet speaks for God to the people.
- The Word of the Lord comes to the prophet… He then speaks to the people.
- The Secrets of God comes to the prophet. God only tells His hidden secrets to His Prophet.
- A prophet can (a) prophesy (Tell the future); what is prophecy, it is about the future.
(b) See visions (see happenings that has happened before) and also
(c) interpret dreams…. (Tell what the dream means). (see the dream)
- A Prophet preaches a (1) WARNING… and Then the prophet preaches of
(2) Judgement and punishment if the warning is ignored or not obeyed.
- A Prophet must be respected. He is a gift from God to an age.
QUIZ ON PROPHETS:
- One day as John was baptising at the river Jordan, he saw fire come down from heaven changing in the form of a dove. On Whom did the dove rest? ( Matt 3:16)
- Who said I must decrease, He must increase (meaning his ministry must decrease and Another ‘s, “Whose shoes I am not worthy to unlace”.. must increase)?( Matthew 3:11)
- Who was the prophet that said “The Lord your God shall raise up a prophet like unto me , Him shall ye hear in all things ”?( Acts 3:22)
- Who was the first New Testament Prophet prophesied by The Prophet Malachi? ( Mal 3)
- This prophet’s ministry was finished and replaced by another prophet in the days of the kings. (11kings 2:9-10)
- Tue or false…. God only uses one Major Prophet at a time.
- Malachi 4:5-6 refers to a prophet coming in the last day…. Just before the coming of the Lord. Write down the prophecy….. complete the text:
MALACHI 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………curse..
- Which prophet ( / which Prophetic Book) said “God does nothing but He first reveals his secrets to His servants the prophets” Amos 3: 7 Learn Scripture
- How many prophetic Books are there in the Old Testament?
Answer: Minor Prophets=……………… Major Prophets……………………….
- This prophet was instrumental in healing a leprous general. 11 kings 5:1-14
- Who was called the weeping prophet? God also said I have ordained you a prophet from birth. Jeremiah 1:5
- Which prophet rose to great power in the land of his exile? He interpreted a forgotten dream. Hungry lions lost their appetite when he was thrown to them.
- This prophet after a great victory ran away from a woman. He brought down fire from heaven and one time was fed by birds. 1 Kings 19
- Fill in the blank spaces…. A prophet has “Thus ……… …….. Lord”….. That is what God has to say on any subject…. I Sam 9:9
- The W…………..of the Lord comes to a Prophet … to him alone. Ezek 12:21…
- What does the scripture say about saying anything against a prophet? T……………. not mine anointed and do my prophets no ………………., ii Chronic.16:22… Ps 105:15
- Fill in the words: You will receive a ………………………… in life if your receive a prophet. (Matt 10:41)
- The scriptures warn us against false prophets.
False prophets are likened to ………………… ………………… who come to us in sheep’s clothing. (MATTHEW 7:15-16)
Next Week: The Beginning of the Gentile Kingdoms of the world.
ANSWERS TO QUIZ ON PROPHETS:
John, The Baptist
John, The Baptist
True…… God only uses 1 Major Prophet at a time
Behold I will send you Elijah The Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, And the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The Book of Amos
Prophetic Books of the old testament: Major Prophetic books: 5 (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. minor Prophetic Books: 12 HOSEA……….to ………….Malachi
A prophet has “thus Saith the Lord”.