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Drain the Swamp


With the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, Mr. Trump has been leading out with many notable phrases that have really caught on with the American people.  One catch phrase that has gotten my attention has been the phrase “drain the swamp.”  As I see it, “drain the swamp” is the attempt to get the corruption that has settled in our government out of power and influence.  To “kick out” the hypocrites and the ones who have held power too long with wrong motives and have set a tone of corruption that has become the norm in our country.  The message of draining the swamp has really caught hold with all of us who are tired of those in high positions abusing their power at our expense.  This is not the first time the swamp has been drained.

In Matthew 3, John the Baptist came out of the wilderness saying “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”  and began by quoting the prophet Isaiah.  He was saying it was time for a reckoning and that reckoning prompted people from Jerusalem to go out to him and let him baptize them as they confessed their sins.  So John is baptizing people in the Jordan river and this was a baptism of repentance and life change.  He looks up and sees the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism and declares a great statement to these chiefs of all hypocrites.  These men who had manipulated the Law of God to uplift them and their agenda to positions of power and prestige. RELIGION!!  Here is his comment to them when they came for baptism in verse 7-10  7 But when he saw many of the <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23200BH" data-link="(BH)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Pharisees and <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23200BI" data-link="(BI)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23200BJ" data-link="(BJ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23200BK" data-link="(BK)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the wrath to come? 8 <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23201BL" data-link="(BL)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Therefore bear fruit <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23201BM" data-link="(BM)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23202BN" data-link="(BN)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23203BO" data-link="(BO)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23203BP" data-link="(BP)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  These men were positioning themselves and their religious selves to be covered by their  attendance at the baptism.  John called them out and proceeded to tell them that life change would only come through true repentance.  John was draining the swamp and here is what came out from it.  He doesn’t leave them hanging though.  John tells them where this life change will come from in verses 11-12 11 “As for me, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23204BQ" data-link="(BQ)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23204BR" data-link="(BR)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23205BS" data-link="(BS)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23205BT" data-link="(BT)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23205BU" data-link="(BU)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>chaff with <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#crp-passage-0-23205BV" data-link="(BV)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>unquenchable fire.”  John’s draining the swamp resembles the draining that needs to take place in many of our religious institutions that have long ago compromised the message of the Messiah by putting Jesus in a building and taking away the individual message that each of us must share wherever we go.  This message takes Jesus out of the church building and puts Him exactly where He wants to be, on the street!!  

If we only worship Jesus in a church building then we are living in the swamp.  What forms a swamp?  Swamps are usually found near another body of water that is flowing.  Swamps form when the water doesn’t drain out of a certain area and because of a hammock of tree cover continue to exist and actually have a flourishing plant and animal population.  Those plants begin to depend solely on the swamp water itself and cannot escape because a condition has been formed that makes them totally dependent on the swamp itself.  The largest swamp in the world is in the Amazon River floodplain.  The Amazon floodplain is the source of many dangerous animals and fish, notably the piranha.

If we as Christians are ever going to fulfill The Great Commission we are going to have to drain the swamps of religion and force those who have become comfortable in the church building to get out and take the gospel wherever they go.  I can’t help but think that John the Baptist would say, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand and you have got to get out of your buildings into the streets and proclaim the coming of the Lord.  And develop and disciple those new converts to keep them from forming their own swamps of comfort.  The vibrant message of Christ cannot be contained in buildings or in white washed tombs of church building Christians.  Time to drain the swamp and proclaim the day of the Lord.  We still have freedom in our country and it is time to move on from the birth of the Messiah to the message of the Messiah, just like John the Baptist did.

DRAIN THE SWAMP!!  Maybe there are some swamp areas in your personal life.  If so, drain them by repenting and falling in love with the Messiah once again.  Feel the freshness of the Holy Spirit in your life once again and see what God will do through you. Drain the Swamp!!!

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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