Exodus To The Wilderness: The Spirit-Filled Life
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!
“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.
“This is the one about whom it is written, ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’” [Matthew 11:7-10]
As Christianity in America goes, so goes the country.
But instead of changing anything at the source, the majority of Christians in America will remain glued to pews, and blame anything and anyone other than their dead institutions and compromised behavior.
That’s why the only way to do anything and get anything done is by leaving the institutional, traditional, the-same-way-we’ve-always-done-it-formats and silly belief systems that teach contrary, lifeless gospels in direct opposition to what the Lord taught.
Ted Williams was a baseball player, an all-time great. He stated early in his career that his goal in life was to have people say, “There’s goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” That might sound arrogant, but it wasn’t. It was simply a high goal. And by the end of his career half a century ago and even until today, he is without doubt one of the top three hitters of all time, and arguably the greatest. He set a seemingly impossible goal and actually achieved it.
The Lord gave us an example of who He called the greatest man who ever lived. This man is pretty much the opposite of what a traditional Christian would see as great: He never went to church. He never wore a clergy outfit. He never manned a pulpit. He never went to seminary. He never had any earthly honors.
Instead, he stayed out in the wilderness far from society. He wore animal skins. He stayed alive eating “locusts and wild honey.” He preached and prayed all the live long day. If one would visit, one would have to go far out of his way and be extremely inconvenienced.
But the man had crowds all around him. He was flooded with humanity night and day. People went out there and camped out, staying with him and around him for days on end.
It was simply because in the words of John the Immerser, they were hearing something powerful, strong, direct, clear, and devoid of religious garbage. He preached a pure message with ONE purpose in mind—he was there to obey God and please only Him.
The majority of Christian ministers do the opposite. There is a long list of people they must honor and please and the Lord Jesus is nowhere near the top.
John probably set no high goals, but he was without doubt 100% determined to obey God, regardless of all the hate and obstacles thrown his way. Again, the Lord Jesus, God in flesh, called him the greatest up to that time:
“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” [Matthew 11:11a]
Something tells me that professional churchmen have a different opinion, simply because most are the direct opposite of John.
Imagine the scene. All those people, fed up with the usual synagogue garbage that had no answer whatsoever for the yearning of their hearts and souls, going out to hear John. He gave them something they could get nowhere else. They had been doing everything they were told for years, year after year, and it did not satisfy. What did satisfy?
John told them the truth! HE CONTINUALLY PREACHED TO EACH AND EVERY ONE THAT THEY WERE IN NEED OF REPENTANCE. Repentance and the release that followed was what they lacked. They knew they were sinners, though constant church-goers. They knew they prescribed to all they were taught, but none of it touched their hearts. They wanted someone to tell them the truth, that they were messed up, incomplete, fearful, and weak, and what to do about it. They were not happy with the status quo!
Why did they care so much? BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE GREAT! They wanted to please God! And they knew they could not please God according to the traditional manner they were taught.
This is much of the reason why a giant exodus from traditional Christianity has taken place over the last few decades. The end result is that traditional Christianity is by and large left with the remainder, those who do NOT have a passion to please God, but to cower at the feet of men. That’s why traditional Christianity in America is a watered-down mess filled with people-pleasers. No one wants to offend. At best, everyone wants to be the nice guy. The end result has become disastrous.
Why was John the greatest? Why was he greater than Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and all the prior prophets? What was so special about John?
For starters, there is nothing in the Biblical record that says John suffered from the same foibles as those other men, great as they were. Noah got drunk. Abraham was chicken and lied about his wife. Moses killed a man. Trumping Moses, David killed a man and stole his wife! These men were no less great for the accomplishments they achieved, but they did not measure up to the standard set by John.
AND JOHN DID IT WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT. The anointing of God rested upon him as it did on many others prior to him, but the indwelling of God’s Spirit would not take place until Pentecost. The Lord Jesus stated this clearly:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]
Unreal Christianity, however, does not care to receive. For the most part, there is no place for the actual life-changing infilling of the Spirit of the Lord among traditional, institutional Christians for the same reason that all the traditionalists during the Lord’s time really wanted nothing to do with John.
That’s why God put him out in the wilderness. He didn’t want him or his message watered down and compromised. Like Abraham and Moses and other desert dwellers, John the Immerser was out in the wilderness alone with God receiving and preaching a very powerful and clear message. He was sent as a forerunner TO PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD.
The idiot Pharisees were there, conversely, to fight against and obstruct the way of the Lord.
They took lifeless religious vows—John took a lifelong Nazirite vow.
They appeared on the cover of Clergyman’s Quarterly—John looked like a Caveman.
And those Pharisees and Sadducees bore a striking resemblance to modern day religious Christianity peopled with those who oppose and obstruct the Lord, and are much more intent on protecting their religious turf than obeying God.
Their goal is not to be the greatest. Their goal is not to be like John. And their goal is CERTAINLY not to be like the Lord. Their goal, at best, is to be the greatest Tee Ball players who ever lived.
But for those who are passionate for God, there is more to the story—THERE IS A WAY ANYONE CAN BE GREATER THAN JOHN:
“Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” [John 11:11b]
Please don’t skim over this. The Lord is stating that His people must not only be more righteous than the Pharisees, they must be greater than John the Immerser! Each and every one!
Since this generally blows the minds of religious Christians, they immediately blow it off as an impossibility, or apply some other such nonsense to the idea. In other words, most preachers have it as their goal to not be the greatest, but to make sure they make a living, and if they can, to make a great living. And regardless of what the Lord thinks or that their methods don’t work in any effective spiritual sense as taught by the Lord, religious Christians are stubbornly intent on maintaining their traditional, institutional, dead formats and applications.
“And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” [Matthew 15:3]
“And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” [Matthew 15:6]
“Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” [Mark 7:8]
“You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
“…Thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:13]
THIS is why John attracted crowds out in the wilderness, despite the fact that he had none of the creature comforts religious people must have. There was no shelter unless people brought their own. There was no giant air-conditioned auditorium with padded seats. There was little or no food. There was water, though, good for drinking and staying alive but mostly great for immersing. There was nothing out there that a religious Christian would find tasteful or desirable.
Yet, for those who wanted GOD, it was the jackpot! It was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! And it truly was somewhere over the rainbow, “where skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” John’s disciples discovered this, and it began the mass exodus away from dead religion in the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and toward the new life ushered in by the Lord.
This is exactly what is happening at this writing in America. Again, it began in America several decades ago, but it is now beginning to come forth. As long as American Christians were comfortable and happy with the status quo it could never happen, and for those in such a state it won’t happen. But for those who want the BEST and to be the GREATEST and to pay any price, it is becoming a reality.
I don’t know how Ted Williams ultimately fared with God. But I know he was the main influence in starting “The Jimmy Fund,” a well-known charity that has since raised about $800 million. He was very often helping child patients, paying their bills, and visiting as anonymously as possible, wanting no publicity. I also know he pretty much achieved his goal of becoming the greatest hitter who ever lived. He did this despite the fact that he lost almost five full seasons while serving in the military during WWII and Korea, and parts of others due to injuries. Had he had those years he would surely have achieved his goal statistically, which already rank among the best.
John the Immerser achieved greatness, and was in fact the greatest. He did exactly as he was called to do in preparing for and announcing the arrival of the long hoped-for Messiah. There was not the slightest bit of compromise in the man, and the evidence of his success, extremely difficult to attain, is obvious. Imagine preparing an entire nation for the Great Light after it had fallen into such darkness…
The Lord Jesus, though, was the absolute greatest of all, no contest, hands down. HE WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED. No one else comes remotely close. But guess what? Because He said we could be filled with His very Spirit—
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
“I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU AS ORPHANS; I WILL COME TO YOU.” [John 14:12-18] 
The infilling of the Holy Spirit—the Helper—the Spirit of Truth—the Spirit of the Lord Jesus—is the difference maker. It is what allows an otherwise dead, traditional, institutional Christian to become great like the Lord is great. It is what allows a spiritual Ted Williams to become the greatest in the world at whatever the Lord has called that person to do. It is how Peter the fisherman went from being a fearful wimpy man at the Lord’s trial to the great preacher at Pentecost and great apostle for decades after.
For most, the Spirit-filled life is far over the rainbow and it may take a tornado to get there. It is OUT IN THE WILDERNESS. It is in a different place altogether.
A powerful call of REPENTANCE has gone forth, and such an anointing is always the forerunner of such powerful events and new life. Millions have repented, have rejected dead tradition, have journeyed to uncharted territory, and discovered this place where dreams come true—the Miracle Realm—the Kingdom of God on earth, where the Lord Jesus is King and the only King of hearts.
As a result—
WE ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A NATIONAL GREAT AWAKENING.
To the Wilderness!
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on March 17, 2014, in Current Events and tagged America, Holy Spirit of Jesus, John the Immerser, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity The Nature of the Church, Religious Tradition, Ted Williams, The Great Awakening, Unreal Christianity, Wilderness. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.