Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Summer 1989
The Beauty of the Wilderness
Bruce Caisse
Teacher, Pinecrest

"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar ... Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness" Luke 3:1-2.

Annas and Caiaphas should have received, in the temple, the word of the Lord. However, the Lord by-passed them and spoke, in the wilderness, to John. The Lord, unable to find a channel that could hear His voice, used the wilderness to prepare a voice through whom He could announce the first appearing of the Messiah.

Why did the Lord choose the wilderness? We often think of the wilderness as a place where people go through a time of difficulty. It is usually thought of as being a place where the "presence" of the Lord cannot be felt, or where the "rain" of the Holy Spirit does not fall. It is considered to be a place of dryness and barrenness, both naturally and spiritually.

Yet, from time to time the Lord brings us into a wilderness experience. The wilderness should not be thought of as a barren place. It becomes a wonderful place when we begin to understand all that the Lord can accomplish within us during this time. What is the wilderness? It can be defined in one word: "Separation." Here, the Lord is able to deal with us concerning all of the ambitions and drives that are within us. In the barrenness of the wilderness, He is able to take initiative within our lives and separate us unto Himself.

When we view the wilderness as a place of separation unto the Lord, we will see that it has great value and purpose. Consider the children of Israel as they were led out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. There were different levels of separation in this journey. The most obvious one is the Red Sea. God opened the way through the Sea. As they reached the other side, the waters closed upon the Egyptians. There were no more bricks to be made. Now, they were to abide under the cloud of glory by day and the pillar of fire by night.

However, they began to murmur. This was to have been a time of preparation, being made ready to possess the land that was before them. The pulls of Egypt had been left behind and they were closed in with the Lord Himself. This is the purpose of the wilderness. However, Israel failed to understand this.

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Ach or for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt" Hosea 2:14-15.

The Lord is portraying Himself as a husband whose wife has been unfaithful. She has been distracted by the pull of things that steal her affections from Jehovah. Yet, the Lord seeks to restore her and separate her to Himself. "And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD" Hosea 2:13. This is expressive of the experience that many of us go through, even after we knew the Lord. We are pulled in other directions. The Lord's cure for this is expressed in verse fourteen, "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her."

The word "comfortably" means "heart." The Lord is saying, "I will speak my heart to her." He removed the distractions by taking her away from Egypt, which speaks of the pulls of the world. The purpose of the Lord in the wilderness is to separate us from "things" and cause us to know Him and His voice personally and intimately. The preparation of John the Baptist in the wilderness is a type of what the Lord is seeking to do within us during this present time of transition.

The Song of Solomon speaks prophetically of the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of His beloved bride, the Church. The question is asked, "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" SS 8:5. This "leaning" speaks of a dependence and trust that had been developed during a wilderness experience.

Again, we see the purpose of the wilderness. It provides an atmosphere in which we have no choice except to get close to Him. Here, He is able to begin sharing His heart with us. If we are leaning upon Him, we can get no closer. John the beloved leaned and laid his head on the breast of Jesus. Here, he heard His heartbeat. Jesus could whisper to John because of this intimacy that had developed.

Why is it that the word of the Lord came to John, and not to Annas and Caiaphas? It was because John the Baptist gave himself to a period of separation. He heard the voice of the Lord alluring him into the wilderness and responded to this time of separation. He left all that he might be alone with God. John began to hear the heartbeat of God as the Lord began to speak His heart to him. "I will allure her and speak my heart unto her."

We do not know how long this took, or all that was required of John. But, he was willing to give himself to the Lord. Why did not the priesthood hear from the Lord? A verse in Jeremiah gives us some understanding of this. "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

The spiritual leaders of that day were drinking from broken cisterns. Somewhere, they forsook the Lord and broke communion with Him. The rain had fallen at one time upon the house of Israel and they were still drinking from that cistern which only spoke of a former day. They were not ready to hear a "present word" concerning the coming appearing of the Lamb of God.

We cannot rest in a past visitation, or word from the Lord. There must be that continual listening for a present word from the Lord. There must be a present receiving from the Fountain of Living Waters. Only then will we be qualified to minister the word of the Lord.

When the Lord begins to rain His blessing upon us, we hold up our cup until it is filled. If we remain satisfied with this, then five years later we will still be saying, "I received this cup of water from the Lord, would you like a drink?" Five year old water does not taste at all good. However, if we cultivate a link with the Fountain of Living Water, we will have water that will be fresh each day.

John was allured into the wilderness, where God spoke His heart to him. What was the result of this processing that took place in the wilderness? "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias" John 1:19-23.

John could have said that he came in "The spirit of Elijah." Jesus said of him that he was Elijah that should come. However, in hearing the heart cry of the Lord, John found that his identity had been consumed. He lost himself in the burden of the Lord. Psalm 69 tells us, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." While John was alone in the wilderness, the spark that quickened his heart concerning the burden of God's heart grew and grew until it consumed him and he became the "voice of one."

John said, "I heard Him alluring me into the wilderness and I went. The Lord birthed within my heart the cry of His heart and it consumed everything that was within me. I have become the expression of the voice that you have not heard for hundreds of years. He was still crying and I went out and listened."

The Lord desires to bring each one of us to the place where we will be able to hear this cry. We can be content with, or so busy with the program within the temple that we do not hear His alluring call into the wilderness. Annas and Caiaphas knew the written word of God, but did not hear the voice of the Lord. John the Baptist probably did not know the written word as well as they, but he allowed the Lord to separate him unto Himself so he would be able to hear the very heart beat of God.

The Lord is calling out a people who are willing to be separated unto Him. The wilderness is not a physical place; rather it is an attitude of heart. "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken" Isaiah 53:8. There is a challenge here. Are you willing to be one who is "cut off" from the land of the living, and separated unto Him in the wilderness that you might become one to declare His generation?

The Lord is looking for a company of "John the Baptists." He is not looking for ability, rather He is looking for availability. Each one of us can be a part of this corporate body that is being prepared to express the Word of the ord in our day.