A Brood of Vipers?

by John Greene

midnight hour

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeks such, the ones worshiping Him. Elohim is Spirit, and the ones worshiping Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24, HRB

serpent apple“Brood of vipers!…” How would you like to be greeted in such a way by anyone? Chances are you wouldn’t. Yet, John the Baptist, didn’t hesitate to speak his mind, most likely because of the rampant hypocrisy that he witnessed daily. He wanted to be certain that anyone that he baptized was getting baptized for the right reasons. (James 2:19) If only Christian denominations today had the same concern! John the Baptist did his job, whether the audience took it to heart or not. (Matthew 28:18-20) The personal motivation of each individual is important. Who is this important to? Them! That is because salvation is personal. Salvation isn’t your focus, but part of your obedience to your Heavenly Father and His Word because of your personal love! (1 Corinthians 13:1) The Bible is clear, each person is judged based on their relationship, their right-standing within the track of YHWH, not based on someone else. (Romans 3:23-24; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 2:8-10; “Woes of the Hypocrites“; “Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“; “Foundation of Salvation“)

“Then he said to the crowds going out to be baptized by him, ‘Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?’” – Luke 3:7, HRB

manifestation of unrighteousnessDid John always greet people that way? Perhaps, but most likely, with the size of crowd that day, he felt that he had to question their sincerity of heart based on what was revealed to him. He asked them what they thought they were fleeing from. So he reminded them:

“Then bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as father. For I say to you that YAHWEH is able to raise up children to Abraham out of these stones.” – Luke 3:8, HRB

Even today, disciples of the Messiah must bear fruits worthy of repentance, instead of operating solely out of pride and attitudes of the world as their source. The world, nor its philosophy, saves anyone. In contrast, the Jews of the day were proud that Abraham was their ‘father,’ and used this as a personal talking point of justification continually. (“Are You Running Away from Messiah?“; “Disciple: Are You Bearing Fruit?“; “Disciples of Messiah and Spiritual Fruit“; “A Branch of the Vine through Trust“)

“And also the axe is already laid to the root of the trees; therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is being cut down and being thrown into the fire.” – Luke 3:9, HRB

repentanceThey needed to bear good fruit, have a mindset of repentance from the past, and a heart of obedience to YHWH. (Matthew 25:34, John 5:29, Romans 2:6-13, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Rev. 20:12) Otherwise, they would be cut down, permanently separated, and thrown into the Lake of Fire. They, like the rest of mankind, would ultimately share in the final judgment, one way or the other. He was warning them, as members of the world, who were considering dedicating themselves to the Will of YHWH, to be of the right motivation, instead of being deceived by wicked hearts. (“The Struggle for Purity of Heart“; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“; “The Magi of this Age“)

Being of the mindset of the world and uncertain about what John had in mind, they became deeply concerned about what they should do. (Matthew 6:33)

“And the crowd asked him, saying, ‘What then shall we do?’ And answering, he said to them, ‘The one that has two tunics, let him give to him that has not. And the one that has food, let him do the same.'” – Luke 3:10-11, HRB (Matthew 19:21; Acts 20:35; James 2:15-16)

brotherly-loveBe generous of spirit, not conniving and stingy. Share and look out for the well-being of others, not simply for your own well-being. When you have abundance of any kind, you need to be willing to openly share that abundance. In the mind of John, two tunics was abundance. Yahshua [Jesus] the Master sets a similar standard. This sets a real standard for those that strive after and hold onto material abundance in the modern world, while giving their tithe or a percentage of their income, as the world says is just. Setting requirements isn’t generosity, but legalism and selfishness. Yet, Christianity and her people are steeped in it. (Matthew 6:22-23; “Disciple: Love Instead of Conformity“; “Love Promotes Healthy Giving“; “Condemnation, Dogs & Hogs“; “Welcoming Trust With Sincere Hospitality“)

tax collector

“And tax collectors also came to be baptized. And they said to him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Continue to do no more than that commanded to you.’” – Luke 3:12-13, HRB

In those days, tax collectors made their living, often by plying unreasonable demands on the population. Many became wealthy from this lifestyle of oppression and usury. John’s advice was one of necessity. They needed to make a living without collecting more than they reasonably should, being observant to the plight of others.

“And also ones serving as soldiers asked him, saying, ‘And we, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Do no violence to anyone nor accuse falsely, and be satisfied with your wages.'” – Luke 3:14, HRB

roman soldierIn those days, soldiers were able to operate in much the same way as the tax collector. Instead, John commended them to be peaceable, without extorting from others, even though this was common practice.

“But the people were expecting, and all reasoning in their hearts about John, lest perhaps he is the Messiah, John answered all, saying, ‘I indeed baptize you with water; but He stronger than I comes, of whom I am not fit to loosen the thong of His sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.’” – Luke 3:15-16, HRB

John did not point to himself as significant, no matter how outspoken and eloquent he could have been. He did, even as disciples today must do. Disciples must point to Yahshua [Jesus] the Master and the Word of Elohim alone, following Messiahs example. (John 6:68; Colossians 3:3) He is the only qualification a disciple needs. (“Credentials of a Disciple of Messiah“; “Understanding Sin“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)

“’He who holds a winnowing fan in His hand and has cleansed His threshing floor, He will gather the wheat into His granaries, but the chaff He will burn in the fire that can not be put out.’ And then indeed exhorting many different things, he preached the good news to the people.” – Luke 3:17-18, HRB

winnow the grainJohn didn’t hesitate to tell his audience about the Judgment of Messiah, warning them not to be the chaff of the threshing floor, which would be burned up. Each individual disciple is held to the same standard today, admonishing all to listen to a message of prophecy: repentance and judgment, whether this message is popular or not. Those with the right heart condition will listen and respond positively. Those that respond positively will bear fruit, just as John, Yahshua [Jesus] and the prophets mandated. (Psalm 51:10; Philippians 2:3-4; Proverbs 31:20; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“)

We don’t know what fruit that you are bearing in your life, but we sincerely trust that you desire to bear fruit that is in line with what Yahshua [Jesus] taught about, as you closely follow His example. A good heart bears much fruit. When you take Bible truth, gleaned directly from the Bible into your mind, you begin to impact your heart. If you don’t follow the example of Messiah as you listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit], we don’t need to tell you what will happen. The Bible has that pretty much covered IF you are listening. Pray about it. (“Holy Spirit 101“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “The Plight of the Strong Man“; “Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“)

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“For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, RNKJV
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your glory. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. Amen.
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
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