A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD!” Isaiah 40:3.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:

Many years before the Word became flesh and dwelt among you, I foretold through My prophet Isaiah, that I would send a messenger, a precursor, before the promised Messiah to prepare the way for Him, to prepare the hearts of My people.

A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5.

And I gave more insight into this mystery to My prophet Malachi:

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6.

The Jewish people still set out the last cup of wine at the Passover Seder for Elijah to come and herald in the Messiah. The problem with that is He has already come. I will now show you how and when he came.

It was at the time that the Roman Empire ruled in the land of Israel and Herod was governing in Jerusalem that this Word came to fulfillment. Luke 1:5. At that time there was a priest named Zechariah. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were both descendants of Aaron and they kept the law obediently and blamelessly. He and his wife, however, were childless for Elizabeth was barren.  They had prayed for a child but now were old and had given up hope. But I had heard their prayer and it would be fulfilled at the proper time. I had great plans for them.  It was at this time I surprised them. I am the God of surprises, of new things and new beginnings, Isaiah 42:9, so do not be sure you know Me too well. Jeremiah 4:22.

It was Zechariah’s turn, by lot, to burn incense in the temple. While the assembly worshipped outside, Zechariah entered the holy place. I sent My Angel, Gabriel, the same Angel I sent six months later to Mary and had previously sent to Daniel many years before, to speak to Zechariah.  When Gabriel came, Zechariah was frightened. But I assured him that he was not to fear. My message to him was that his and his wife’s prayers for a child had been heard by Me. When you know that I hear you in regard to whatever you ask, then you know that what you have asked Me for is yours.

My angel Gabriel then delivered a wonderful message to Zechariah—one that is still echoing down to this day. He told him that his wife Elizabeth was to bear him a son, whom he was to name “John.” And that son would be a joy and delight, and many would rejoice because of his birth.

Gabriel continued on with more information about this son John. He told Zechariah that John would be great in My sight, that he would never take wine or other fermented drink, and that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. And John had a mission. Gabriel foretold to Zechariah that John would bring back many of the people of Israel to Me and he would go on before My Son in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Did you notice the last sentences were exactly what I foretold through My prophet Malachi four hundred years earlier about My sending Elijah? Malachi 3:1-2 and Malachi 3:23-24. I speak the end from the beginning. My Words I will not alter and I watch over My Word to perform it.

However, you will note there is a difference in what I spoke to Zechariah and the message of Malachi. I stopped before the ending with Zechariah. Only the first part was to be fulfilled at that time.

“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6.

And to Zechariah, I said, “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17.

My heart was turned to reconcile with you and bring you back to Me as My children and to turn hearts of the disobedient to hearts of righteousness. A time of favor. A time of jubilee, the age of grace is open to all. The day will come when for all hearts who have not turned back to Me as their Father that the great tribulation will strike the land. But in Jesus, My heart is towards you. I sent Him so all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. He did not come to condemn you but to save you. He came to redeem you from the curse of the law of sin and death and give you the blessing of Abraham and the promise of the Spirit by faith. From the start, I have desired to bless you beyond all you can ask or imagine. John tried to call you to repentance (repent, return, restore) but not all would listen. My call is for all, but My eye is on you.

Now, Zechariah, who was well versed in the law and the prophets, should have recognized these words. It should have caused him to reflect profoundly, as the Virgin Mary did. Zechariah, however, walked more by sight than by faith. All he fixed his mind on was that he and his wife were advanced in years and she was past child bearing age. He did not put his faith in My Word as Abraham did in a similar situation. So, I had to protect Zechariah from destroying the manifestation of the promise he had just heard by silencing his mouth so he could not speak until the day the things Gabriel had foretold him came to pass.

You see, you are in My image and I speak those things that do not exist as though they do and then they come to pass. I did not want Zechariah to hinder My Word.

Do you remember what happened when I rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them through the desert to edge of the Promised Land and they sent in the twelve men to spy the Land?  I had given them the Land and told them I would send My angel ahead of them to clear out the occupying nations, Exodus 23:23, but when the spies returned and reported there were strong warriors and fortified cities in the Land, your ancestors all cried out in fear and concluded that I had misled them and that they could not take the Land. Numbers 13:31. I called this an evil report and it kept that generation out in the desert another forty years when I had already given them the Promised Land. Because of their unbelief they could not enter. Instead they prophesied their destruction and preferred death in the desert. After hearing these cries, remember, I told them, “Just as you have spoken in My hearing, so shall I surely do to you.” Numbers 14:28. And so it came to pass, that generation, who had seen My mighty works for them in Egypt, at the Red Sea and in the desert, did not enter the Promised Land and enjoy its bounty. And they had no one else to blame but themselves and their lack of faith.  Do not be like them and live and die outside My Kingdom.

Well, Zechariah came out from the temple, unable to speak, and he and his wife, Elizabeth, went home.  My Word proved true and Elizabeth became pregnant. How happy she was!  “The Lord is acting on my behalf,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” Luke 1:25.

Six months after this took place was when my angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah. When Gabriel announced this to her, he then told her that Elizabeth had conceived a child in her old age and was in her sixth month. Nothing is too hard for Me, Jeremiah 32:17, nothing is impossible for Me, Luke 1:36-37. I just need to find someone who will believe My Word and together we can accomplish great things.

The reason I revealed this to Mary was that the child Elizabeth had conceived was to be the messenger I had promised to send to prepare the way before the Lord; the Lord who would take on your humanity as the promised Seed of the woman and would crush the serpent’s head. Mary of course was the promised woman and the precious Seed was My Word, My Son, God made man.

I have given man dominion over the earth and I cannot violate My Word, so the only way I can operate with any authority on earth is through a man born of woman. Psalm 8:5-6, Psalm 115:16, Genesis 1:28. This is the only way I could redeem you from the curse of the law.  Since the children have flesh and blood, My Son shared in your humanity so that by His death He might break the power of Him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason He had to be made like you, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to Me, and that He might make atonement for your sins. Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help all who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18.

Well, Mary, after hearing about Elizabeth from Gabriel went to stay with Elizabeth to help her out for the next three months. When Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s house the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy at the presence of the Messiah in Mary. My Holy Spirit enlightened Elizabeth as to the child that Mary was carrying though nothing was visible yet. Oh, how Mary and Elizabeth praised and worshipped! They knew Scripture and they were so grateful to be involved in fulfilling the long-awaited prophecies.

At the conclusion of nine months, Elizabeth’s child was born. When the relatives gathered for the circumcision of the baby on the eighth day, Elizabeth said he was to be named “John.” The relatives found this strange because none of the family had that name.  So they took a writing tablet to Zechariah asking him to name the baby, but he wrote “His name is John.” Luke 1:63. Zechariah now fully believed.  It was at that moment that I opened his mouth and allowed him to speak again for I knew now he had faith. I was not disappointed. He picked up on My thoughts by My Spirit and spoke out a beautiful prophecy following the lead of My Holy Spirit.  He spoke of My Covenant and proclaimed as follows:

Praised be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David as he said through his holy prophets of long ago, salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:68-79.

Please pay attention to what Zechariah prophesied over his son.  He said his son was to be a prophet of Mine and go before the Lord to prepare the way for Him.  He said I had come to save My people, to redeem them as I had promised by solemn oath to Abraham and raised up the horn of salvation in David’s house.  He understood the time had come for My Word to be fulfilled.

John grew and matured.  He lived a life of seclusion in the desert. Luke 1:80. But when the time came for him to turn the hearts of the people to the redeemer he heard My call in the desert. Luke 3:2.  At that time it was the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas —when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.

As soon as My Word came to John son of Zechariah in the desert, he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3. He would say “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. Yes, John was the one of whom My prophet Isaiah had spoken, he was the “voice of one calling in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord.’ ” Isiah 40:3-5. All mankind would soon see My plan of salvation unfold.

Crowds came out to hear John and confess their sins as he baptized them in the Jordan River.  You see, people really are hungry to have a relationship with Me.  They just do not understand how easy it truly is—most of you make it much too complicated. If only you would just listen to Me and take My Words to heart your life would be blessed.  My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

John was very straightforward with people. The people were filled with expectation, and were all asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah.  He told the priests and Levites who came out from Jerusalem to question him that he was not the Messiah, but he quoted the prophet Isaiah saying the he was “the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”  He told everyone:

I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  His  winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Luke 3:16-17.

And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

John announced the presence of the Messiah. Later My Son’s disciples, beginning to realize after seeing His works that He was the promised Messiah, asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished.  In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13.

You see, just as I had foretold, the messenger had come and the hearts of the people were turning toward repentance. My people knew the prophecies of old and were looking for the Messiah, the Anointed One. The Messiah they sought was already in the world, born about six months after John, and soon they would meet Him. And I had given John the sign that would assure him that he was in the presence of the Messiah. The sign of the dove.

I love you. Things may appear to be out of order or like they have taken too long and are gone forever, but that is not the case. All are alive to Me. All things are still here with Me. Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph had all witnessed the impossible become not only possible but foretold years before. And they are all here with Me now, and when you come you shall meet them as well. We are all looking forward to the homecoming. You are known already. You are part of the family. You are in Covenant with Me forever. Sealed in Jesus. Rejoice!

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14.