(My notes from “A Sure Foundation”, by Andrew Wommack)
How did Jesus deal with how John the Baptist started to doubt all that he was?
Most likely the ministry of John the Baptist lasted only 6 months, and he was probably in prison for two years. He was in prison because he had offended King Herod, because John had openly proclaimed that it was immoral for the king to be married to his own sister in law; his brother’s wife. While in prison, John’s disciples reported that Jesus’ disciples were out there performing miracles.
Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Luke 7:18-19
John the Baptist was actually doubting that Jesus was the Christ!
John the Baptist wasn’t “normal”. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit even while in His mothers womb. He was controlled by the Holy Spirit all his life. He didn’t got to school, no girlfriend, no sibling; He went in the dessert and stayed there until the day of his appearing to the nation of Israel. It is believed that he lived with those who wrote the dead sea scrolls. A strict religious order. He was raised by these in the dessert. He was there for 30 years. His life was focused on one thing. His parents had told him that it was prophesied that he was to prepare the way for the Messiah. He knew what his purpose was.
At the age of 30 he appeared. Within 6 months, all the people in the area had heard the message that Jesus is the Christ. When Jesus stood in front of him, he recognized Jesus as the Christ and saw the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus and heard an audible voice; This is my Son the beloved, Hear Him!
He was so convinced that Jesus was the Messiah that he said; He must increase, and I must decrease.
4 different times he publicly told the public that Jesus is the Christ.
Then here in prison, he asks if Jesus is the Christ!?
If Jesus was not the Christ, John the Baptist had taken the anointing that was on his life and led multitudes of nations after the wrong person!
This was not just doubting who Jesus was, but also who he himself was.
John was in a crisis when he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Christ.
How did Jesus respond to this?
Jesus knew what John was going though.
When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ”And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” – Luke 7: 20-23
Jesus didn’t answer them directly, He waited an hour…
Andrew Wommack shares that he has doubted God’s calling on his life, too. But if he had asked someone about this, and this person had ignored him for an hour and then given him such a weird answer…? Why didn’t Jesus compliment John?
Look what happened after the disciples left:
“When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “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 clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” – Luke 7: 24-28
The words Jesus said in v 26 – 28, put John above Moses, Elijah etc. The greatest man on the earth. (And this man was experiencing doubt! )
If Jesus had spoken these words to John, he would have been really excited!
Jesus sent John back to the Word
The Holy Spirit reminded me that this is what Jesus had spoken to John the Baptist! John knew the whole scroll of Isaiah. Jesus sent John back to the Word! To the Words about what would happen when the Messiah had come! Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 35!
Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. – Isaiah 35:3-6
Jesus had quoted Isaiah 61. Jesus came to bring the new covenant.
People were expecting to see the Messiah come and make atonement for our sins and for Him to set up His physical kingdom. Expecting freedom from the Roman rule.
John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the Christ. But Jesus hadn’t manifested physically His Kingdom yet. He only went around healing the sick etc. So John started to doubt whether Jesus is the real Messiah.
What Jesus did is that instead of ignoring John the Baptist, He gave John His very best: His Word! He fulfilled the Word in front of the disciples. He even raised a person from the dead!
What if they came to John and said that Jesus had said: You are the greatest person born!
Emotions from this will eventually wear off.
Truth is more powerful than emotions.
John had been rooted in the Word; He quoted from Gods Word. When he started doubting, Jesus brought him back to the Word!
Andrew Wommack asked the Lord, How come I don’t have visions and dreams etc? The Lord said: My highest dealing with you is through the Word. Highest realm of faith. The Lord was letting me walk in His best!
The stronger you get in the Lord, the more He wants you to walk in faith.
Because He respected John so much, He didn’t just want to stroke him but referred him back to the Word of God.
Hearing God speak to you though His Word will change your life.
If visions and dreams confirm God’s Word, I will listen.
But it the vision and dream is contrary to Gods Word, even if it comes from an angel, I will not listen!
People ask: Do you have a Word for me?, while they are holding their Bible under their arm… !?
If you are struggling with doubt, what you need is to get back into the Word of God.
It takes time for an apple tree to produce apples.
It needs to stay there, stay rooted and it will automatically produce.
“The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” – Matthew 8: 8-10
The fact that he didn’t need Jesus to come into his house, wave his hand or healing etc. He only needed Jesus’ Word! He understood the power and the authority in the Word of God.
The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20: 25 – 29
There is a greater blessing on those who have the Word as their evidence.
God’s best for you is to refer you back to the Word of God.
“Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1: 15-18
Peter wanted people to have a record of what had happened. He is referring to Matthew 17. “I know what I am telling you is true!”
I saw, I heard! To validate that the message I am preaching is true.
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1: 19 – 20
We have a more sure Word of prophesy. What is more sure than seeing the Shikinah glory of God!
Heed this Word as light that shines in a dark place!
We have something better; the Word of God.
The most precious gift after salvation: A physical book with the Word of God, which the Holy Spirit interprets to us and makes it come alive to us.
How much time do you spend in the Word of God?
The early church didn’t have the Bible. They had scrolls. But didn’t have a copy of this personally. But they were meditating on what Jesus had said etc, and this is being in the Word.
The way I study the Word is not so much digging; I look up stuff, but spend most time just thinking about it. This is being in the Word.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor 10: 4-5
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26. 3
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” – Romans 8: 6
(To be carnally minded is to not have your mind on God.)