OPEN HEAVENS Devotional – Wednesday March 2nd 2016
TOPIC: A WITNESS OR A BETRAYER?
Memorize: Now he that betrayed gave them a sign, Saying, whomsoever I shall kiss,
Read: John 1:20-34,
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Bible in one year: John 6:60-8:30, Job 31:5-15
A witness is someone who bears record that Jesus is the Son of God for heavenly objectives to be realised, while a betrayer is also someone who bears the same record but for destructive reasons; so that the objectives of the Devil can be realised. I have a strong conviction within me that when Judas Iscariot was carrying out this destructive goal, he did not know that it would end so badly. He felt he knew Christ through and through. He was a very smart guy who believed that Jesus as usual would find a way of escape from the Roman soldiers, but unfortunately, the story did not end the way he envisaged. Are you a betrayer or a witness?
There are many people that started out as witnesses but ended up as betrayers. They were portraying signs which they did not see as too bad. They thought it was not dangerous. They believed that they knew how to help themselves, till they met their fall. May this not be your portion in Jesus’ name.
The kiss of Judas was a customary form of affectionate greeting among the Jews, and this was the same gesture that Judas used in identifying Jesus to the band of officers and Pharisees. The act of betrayal came from someone who was a companion of Jesus in His ministry. A betrayer could be one of your equals who is not happy with what God is doing in your life. Your betrayer may be your guide or your acquaintance, like we saw in the story of the false prophet and the younger prophet. Those who are most likely to betray you might not be far from those you take counsel from, and walk to the house of God with. This is why you must never allow anything to stand between you and God, because He is the only one who can deliver you from their wickedness and mischief. If you don’t know how to call upon God who alone can save you from the hands of betrayers, then you are in trouble.
Amidst the opposition of the unbelieving and disobedient Jews, John the Baptist decided to be a witness. John was not in the palace, his ministry was in the wilderness, yet people were going there to hear the Word of God because he was a true witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though John was not the Elijah they wanted to see, they saw him witnessing about the person of Jesus with the zeal and the power of a prophet. As a witness he was a lone voice in the wilderness. The happenings of his day did not alter his message, and lives were being changed and transformed. He preached repentance and he alerted the minds of the people to the presence of God. Such messages are scarce on the Pulpits of 21st century Pastors and Evangelists. No wonder some are beginning to doubt what they once believed, which is eventually leading them to becoming betrayers rather than witnesses.