Emanna for 09/29/2017

A Beginning Outside of Religion and Culture

Bible Verses

Luke 1:80 And the little childgrew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his presentation to Israel. Matthew 3:1 Now in those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. Words of Ministry

For him
to grow and become strong in spirit means that he was with God and for God. For him to live in the wilderness was to be away from man's culture and religion so that God might have a free and clear way to use him as the forerunner of the Savior.

As one who was born a priest, John, like Samuel, should have spent much time in the temple. However, John lived in the wilderness, not in the temple. The wilderness is a place without culture, tradition, or religion. By living in the wilderness, John cut himself off from everything of his background. He was a Jew, but he did not live as a Jew. He was a priest, but he did not live as a priest. On the contrary, the Lord's forerunner lived as an uncultured person. We know from Matthew 3:3 that the forerunner of the Man-Savior began his ministry in the wilderness. This implies that God intended His New Testament economy to begin in an absolutely new way. Therefore, John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (Matt. 3:1).

As the initiation of God's New Testament economy, this preaching was not done in the holy temple within the holy city, where the religious and cultured ones worshipped God according to their scriptural ordinances. Rather, it began in the wilderness, in an uncultured way, not keeping any regulations of the old way. This indicates that the old way of the worship of God according to the Old Testament was repudiated, and a new way was about to be brought in.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry, from Witness Lee, Life-study of Luke, pp. 44-45. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.