Editor's Introduction: The following article is the preface of Mr. Payne's book "In the Spirit of Elijah." This book will soon be reviewed here at Magic City and in due course that review will be published. In the meantime Mr. Payne has taken advantage of our Magic City no-pay no-charge self-promotion offer by providing our readers with a number of excerpts from the book and in the coming weeks we will be publishing these. From what I saw in the copy I came across in Australia recently, it should prove to be quite an interesting and eye opening story.
This has been quite an introduction to writing. For many years, friends had suggested, and I had felt, that I had to write a book. I had wanted to write to correct some of the very common errors believed as truth, especially about the day of Jesus's baptism. This then became a book about John the Baptist. As I sat down one day, and prayed and the words came for a chapter: a book about John, and therefore one about He Whom John foreshadowed. And so this has come about. John has been a very intense person to me. I have found a strong affinity with him and his message. From this book I have found that there are other books I am to write; so this is the first of several.
I had been wondering for years how the Lord would use me, especially when the message I felt to bring was like John's. There were no real openings. Then as this book took shape, I realised that this is just as valid a way to communicate the message as any: if not more so.
You might say: "Why another book about this man (or this Man)?" "Why another?" indeed. For as surely as John went before Jesus, so others are going before Him again to prepare the way. What better message than the one that John brought then and now. I realised how little current Christians, let alone the world, are worthy to untie John's sandals, and that he preached with an intensity and anointing few have or ever had. Take heed to Luke's statements here.
The Lord Jesus's return is ever more near; and just as when John preached, so it is imperative that the Way is prepared before Him again. Repentance will again be the Herald's cry, and their Voices will again be heard in the Wilderness; but will this current world hear? We will see. For God, Who is ever ready to be merciful, is also never afraid to use His Rod on His people, when they refuse to listen and to judge to destruction the vessels of His Wrath.
I pray that the Word you hear here will be that of God, and not of me. I expect some people will be offended, in places, or confused; and if you are, please consider carefully why you are. Look to Jesus's explanation of this. You will undoubtedly notice words capitalised that shouldn't be and other structures not to your liking. They are there to cause you to seek WHY they are so; some I am even not sure why.
I know that the first few times I sat down to write, my hair would stand on end or I would get goose-bumps. I felt I was NOT writing a story but history!? It was scary. I remember praying about what John's prison cell loooked like and being given a picture that was not what I thought it should be; so I drew it. Then later I discovered that that was precisely what the cells were at Herod's palace of Machaerus – pits with a heavy wooden grid over them.
Then there were times I had a block for months or years, in some cases, until I would find a book or article that supplied a certain fact that was needed for the book. An example is when I discovered that there had been a good Pharisee school in Nazareth, as well as a Roman garrison. Certainly, I would encourage those who read to study carefully the family relationships that the Gospels disclose to us. That is very interesting and enlightening. Also the works of Josephus.
So I commit this book to God from Whom it came and I call upon Jesus to send His Holy Spirit upon each reader. May He make real what is before your eyes and open your ears to His Word. Remember, your pre-existing mindsets will determine your initial understanding: but as I have learned, when He wants to He will overturn your's for His. Any errors are undoubtedly of my own, and any insights are through His Guidance and Enlightenment. Enjoy as others have done; but as I stated above, if anything offends you please consider carefully why and pray about it. Why because it brings enlightenment.
Yours in Christ, Trevor Payne
Trevor Payne, an Australian, is a longtime and dedicated believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who has spent his life in the study of the Scriptures, prayer, fasting and charitable works. He is an avid reader of all things spiritual and feels deeply that far too many Christians are caught up in the 'form of religion' instead of being 'transformed into the image of Christ.'
"In the Spirit of Elijah"
by Trevor Payne
Paperback: 134 pages
Publisher: Xulon Press
Published March 29, 2013
Prices: Kindle $9.30