In an attempt to come to a fuller understanding of what the Forerunner Ministry truly is, we need to take a look at John’s origin. An origin is the point at which something begins or rises or from which it derives.
Realizing John’s origin is significant because in it, we will see God actively involved in bringing about His full purpose and intention. From the outset, God is governing the origin of John to the detail so that a monumental transition will take place.
The season had come into the earth for a crucial change. The old order, in which the people of God were to approach Him, was due to transition into a new order. John would serve as the trigger that would actuate this critical transition.
Luke, chapter 1, gives a detailed account of John’s origin. I suggest you read through the chapter. I will simply go through the highlights and mark God’s involvement in order to insure that His purpose of transition from an old order into the new is realized.
First of all, Luke tells Theophilus, the purpose for writing this account. Luke’s purpose in writing is stated in verse 4, “..that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed.”
Granted, this relates to the entire Gospel of Luke and not just the story of John’s origin. But, it definitely includes John’s beginning and it is important to receive John’s story in the proper context of “full truth” and security against error”. It is essential to ascertain John’s full purpose and function, which, obviously, extends from the nature of his beginning. This is a vital step in order to enter into the true understanding of Forerunner Ministry.
Regarding John’s origin, Luke 1 tells us that there was a certain priest named Zachariah. His wife’s name was Elizabeth and she was a direct descendant of Aaron.
This priestly couple were righteous in God’s sight and fulfilling their responsibilities before God, however, Zachariah and Elizabeth were older and they had no children because Elizabeth was barren. Their prayer had been that they would be granted a son who would carry on the tradition and line of priesthood in the family name.
One day, while Zachariah was performing his priestly duties in the temple of burning incense before the Lord, Gabriel the archangel appears to him. Gabriel brings a message to him. Anytime you see an archangel appear with a message, you know, it is an important message!
Gabriel tells Zachariah some good news. It breaks down as follows:
- Zachariah’s/Elizabeth’s petition had been heard
- Elizabeth would bear a son
- They MUST call the son’s name as John. “Jehovah is a gracious giver.”
- They will have great joy and rejoice over his birth
- He will be great and distinguished in the Lord’s sight
- He will not drink strong drink but he will be filled/controlled by the Holy Spirit
- He will cause many sons of Israel to turn back to God
- He will go in the power of Elijah – turning the hearts of the fathers to the children
- He will make a people ready to receive the Lord
Wow! What a word.
Zachariah could not believe it. He questioned Gabriel. “How can I be sure about this? I am an old man and my wife is well advanced in years.”
Gabriel responds, “I stand in the very presence of God and I have been sent to bring you this good news. My words are of the type which will be fulfilled in the appointed and proper time. ”
Zachariah wanted a sign in order to believe what he had heard. He was about to be given one.
Gabriel continues, “Now behold, you will be and will continue to be silent and not able to speak till the day when these things take place, because you have not believed what I told you.”
Recap thus far: A priestly family desired a son to carry on the order / tradition of priesthood. They were incapable of producing a son in their own strength. Now, according to God’s purpose, he sends Gabriel to tell them that He was going to do what they could not do. He was going to quicken them in order to conceive a son.
In their union, functioning in the current order and through their own flesh, they were incapable of extending their family line of priesthood which had connections directly back to Aaron. But, now, God is getting involved in their union in order to produce by His Spirit, a son that would function according to His purpose.
Zachariah’s name means. “Jehovah remembers.” Elizabeth’s name means, “Oath of God.” Their union meant, “Jehovah remembers His oath.”
This refers back to the promise / method God used with Abraham. Abraham and Sarah were in the same predicament. They were incapable of producing through the strength of their flesh the promise God had given them. The entire purpose of the Old Covenant was to reveal to man that man is incapable in the flesh to fulfill what God desires.
It was time to trigger a change. God was bringing a shift in the earth!
This son which would miraculously be produced through them MUST BE called John. No negotiation allowed.
Due to only knowing and trusting in the capability of the flesh, Zachariah couldn’t believe God’s purposes to be performed. Therefore, he was rendered mute; incapable of speaking until the purpose of God were fulfilled. The idea here is that the old order has no authority to name/define/hinder the transition into or establishment of the New order.
Elizabeth becomes pregnant.
What happens next is a beautiful thing. Gabriel appears to the virgin Mary. He also has a message for her. Except, this time, there is a monumental difference.
The Holy Spirit will actually overshadow Mary and she will conceive a son. The son she will birth is the Son of God.
At the conclusion of his message to Mary, Gabriel informs her of her cousin’s situation, “Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren.”
The connection / link between the two is unmistakable. The one definitely has to do with the other. This is later verified when Mary and Elizabeth get together and the baby in Elizabeth’s belly leaped for joy.
Conclusion of the matter:
Elizabeth eventually gives birth to a baby boy. There is great joy and celebration for Zachariah and Elizabeth from their relatives and neighbors. They were celebrating that the family name would be advanced along the lines of the traditions of priesthood.
On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and everyone was intending to call the son’s name, Zachariah, after his father,. This was the tradition for the first born son in a Jewish family. Elizabeth put a stop to it. “His name shall be called John!”
The crowd could not believe their ears because none of their relatives were name John. So, they questioned Zachariah about the matter. Still unable to speak, Zachariah took a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.”
Everyone assembled was amazed! Hang on. It gets better.
Zachariah’s tongue is now loosed. He began speaking. He blessed, praised and thanked God!
Zachariah eventually begins to prophesy regarding his son, whose name was John! You should read through it. It is amazing to see what God intends/can do when men remove themselves from TRYING to perform what only He can do through them.
The little boy, John, grew and became strong in spirit. His days were not spent in the temple learning the methods of the existing priesthood. He was taken into the wilderness to learn another function; the principles of a new order.
Through the story of John’s origin, we see God declaring the end of an old order and preparing to declare the entrance of a new order. John’s beginning marks a significant transition in the purposes of God in the earth and eternity.