Restoration is the theme for the year
I. Spirit of Restoration
Malachi 4:5, 6 Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hears of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.
Spirit of restoration will come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
A. Great for those who love Jesus
B. Dreadful for those who don’t
II. History behind John
John moved in this spirit of Elijah and we want to look at his life and message to see if we can learn any clues about how we can move in the spirit of restoration.
A. Herod the Great killer of babies in Bethlehem
B. Died and wasn’t going to let anyone be as strong as he was so he divided his kingdom up into three kindgoms
2. Herod Antipas
3. Herod Archelaus
a) killed 3,000 people and canceled Passover
b) Rome took over this area
c) appointed High Priest for money
d) Annas and Caiaphas were Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection or life after death
This is the community that John was growing up in
III. Into the wilderness
What was John’s response to this corrupt society?
Mark 1:2-4 voice shouting in the wilderness
Wilderness does not necessarily mean the desert. It can mean an insignificant place.
He cut himself off from every influence and temptation in Jerusalem to hear what God had for him.
IV. Examples of the wilderness
This is a real pattern for God when he is going to raise up a people to bring about a significant change in society.
Enter wilderness for a number of different reasons.
A. Children of Israel in wilderness 40 years because of their rebellion against God. When they came out, they were a people who were going to take on incredible armies and take possession of the promises of God
B. Elijah after his failure went into the wilderness. He came out anointed two kings and a new prophet to become the first dynamic duo
C. Jesus went into the wilderness by the leading of the Holy Spirit and came out full of the Holy Spirit ready to minister.
Wilderness is a place of being stripped of everything so we can hear and be useful to what God has for us.
Jeremiah 31:2 Those who survive the coming destruction will find blessings even in the barren land for I will give rest to the people of Israel
Hosea 2:14 I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there
Moses called to worship in the wilderness to worship the Lord
John knew the pattern and knew these verses so he lie his life in the wilderness
V. Entering our wilderness
Want to always get out of dry and arid places, now I am challenging us to enter one
Fasting and prayer. Stripping away distractions because we are in desperate need of a fresh word and anointing to be able to take on the forces that lie in front of us.
A. Conquer enemies in front of us. (John is going to take on Herod and his adulterous affair)
B. Anoint Jesus after the wilderness
C. Full of Spirit. People poured into the wilderness to hear John’s message.
Luke 3:1-3 Then John went out in the spirit of Elijah