If I had my life to live over, and I knew when I was sixteen what I know today, I would do things very differently. When I was that age, in 1976, a young couple came to my high school religious education class and told us all about the end-times: the mark of the beast, the beheadings of anyone who refuses that mark, earthquakes and disasters coming on the earth, Yahshua’s return… To this day I have never forgotten that lesson. But I put it to the back of my mind until 1991.
By then I was 31 with a daughter. With no guarantee my husband, three grown-up children, or even I will be included in YHWH’s raptured Elect, and despite the fact I adore all of them, this is what I would do: I never would have had children, nor got married. I love them too much to ever want to see them suffer. If I was sixteen again, knowing those dreadful things were coming upon the earth, unless I knew it was otherwise YHWH’s perfect will for me, I would have steadfastly determined not even to have a boyfriend. I would not have had a permanent job, put down permanent roots anywhere, nor collected many possessions. In fact, the longest time I ever worked in one place was during my three-year nursing training, and the longest period I ever lived in one house as an adult was five years. I like travelling too much. And for the last 21 years it has been spent in serving YHWH.
Instead of what I have done, I would have bought a camper van or coaster bus, travelled around preaching the Gospel, and warned people to flee from the wrath to come (LUKE 3:7) like a modern-day John the Baptist. To be as committed to proclaiming Yahshua and His next coming as was Paul the apostle and John the Baptist is exciting, and my highest goal. To have the courage to say to all those boyfriends, rather than becoming entangled in relationships with them, “No, I have to warn people…”
After Yahshua, John is my favourite Bible character. Especially so because he came in the spirit of Eliyahu (Elijah). And we see another John is coming: Behold, I will send you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of YHWH (MAL. 4:5). It may be you, it may be me. If a man, he may be dressed in a suit as was Michael, my ‘archangel’ friend (see Third Trial: Sell All You Have and Follow Me); or in a hippy shirt made of camel hair. Would you receive John if he was down at your local watering hole baptizing people?
Yahshua states in MATTHEW 11:11 that John was the greatest man ever born, yet not as great as the least New Testament saint. All the Old Testament prophets and Law prophesied about Yahshua Messiah, but only John knew Him personally and pointed to Him physically. Up until John, everyone had to sacrifice animals in order to be saved. John couldn’t even go straight to Heaven when he died. He first had to go to Paradise in Hell until Yahshua’s death, whereby Heaven was finally opened. Yet since that Divine death, every cleansed New Testament saint has been able to go straight to Heaven.
John the Baptist was great not only because he went before our Saviour to prepare the way by preaching repentance. He also showed us the way to be great in the Kingdom. His short life is AMAZING! He knew Yahshua from the womb! The manner of John’s call, conception, birth, and naming was all SPECTACULAR. As a thirty year old man he suddenly appears in the desert wearing the most unfashionable, probably uncomfortable, clothing and eating food only Africans eat in a locust plague because the locusts have eaten everything else. John ate it out of choice, not because he would starve if he didn’t. He was about as far removed from the priests, scribes, and Pharisees, the supposed teachers of the Law, as a wild goat from a movie star. Yet he was loved by the people after a 400 year prophetic drought. They flocked to see him in the wilderness, for he gave them hope when hope under the Romans and Pharisaic traditions was dead.
John inflamed the people’s desire for the Law and YHWH’s mercy. He showed them where to go to assuage their insatiable hunger for truth, power, knowledge, and love. To the Word of YHWH Himself. In the flesh. John was just John, great but without a parade of greatness. A prophet who did not even prophesy much. Fearlessly proclaiming the truth about sin so he wound up in Herod’s prison and lost his life there. Though Herod failed to repent and become a Kingdom member, John fulfilled his purpose on Earth. Have you? Do you even KNOW what your purpose is?
Unlike my hero John, with a family and others to be concerned about and pray for, I have no regrets. Regret is a demon whose only purpose in a Christian’s life is to be cast out.