Gospel of John [Joh 16:12-15]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 25. Act 19:1-6; Mar 1; Mat 3; Luk 3.
length: 81:54 - taught on Sep, 7 2014
F. Heading the message of John the Baptist and receiving his baptism did not save anyone. John was sent to prepare Israel for the coming Messiah and the true gospel through Him, ACT 19:1-6.
The problem of ACT 19:1-6 yields to a careful study of the context and an accurate translation of the text.
For a full understanding of this, first we must quickly look at what John's baptism was for and what he preached.
John is mentioned in each of the four gospels.
John was the last of the OT prophets and the greatest of them. This is the only time in history when God's nation is called to accept her Messiah for the ushering in of His earthly kingdom.
MAR 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
MAR 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
"Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way;
MAR 1:4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance [change of mind or purpose] for [because of] the forgiveness [putting away] of sins.
John never taught that the ritual of baptism ever cleansed anyone from sin. His baptism then was a symbol of a heart that repented from sinful ways that caused hard-heartedness and so prepared them for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There arose John, the baptizer, in the uninhabited region, making a public proclamation of a baptism which had to do with a change of mind relative to the previous life an individual lived, because sins are put away. [expanded]
John is simply getting them ready for the gospel that is to come from our Lord.
God finalized this at the Cross when He put sin away by incarnating Himself in humanity in the Person of His Son, stepping down from His judgment throne, assuming the guilt of man's sin, and paying the penalty, thus, satisfying His justice, and making possible an offer of mercy on the basis of justice satisfied.
His baptism fulfilled two purposes: it prepared the nation for Christ and it presented Christ to the nation, JOH 1:31.
"And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water."
MAR 1:5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him [imperfect - a constant stream of people from the surrounding areas], and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
MAR 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair [not skin but woven camel hair] and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.
MAR 1:7 And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One [definite article is used - the One] is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
The untying of sandals was the work of a slave who washed the feet of his master. John notes that he was not even worthy to do that.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
MAR 1:8 "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
John's baptism was ceremonial. Our Lord's baptism is supernatural.
MAR 1:9 And it came about in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
MAR 1:10 And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon [eis - can be "into"] Him;
MAR 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee [You] I am well-pleased."
The order of the Greek words are, "as for you, you are my Son, the beloved One, in You I am well-pleased."
MAR 1:12 And immediately the Spirit impelled Him [intense preoccupation of mind] to go out into the wilderness.
MAR 1:13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
The region abounded with boars, jackals, wolves, foxes, leopards, and hyenas.
The first Adam fell into sin in an environment that was perfect and harmonious. The Last Adam maintained His sinlessness in an environment that was hostile.
MAR 1:14 And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
MAR 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled [not chronological time but the completion of an epoch], and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
With that background we now turn to the other accounts of John's ministry.
MAT 3:1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
MAT 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
The change of mind that is required is leaving the legalistic perversion of the Law as well as immorality that had come to Israel the last few hundred years so that they would be ready for the gospel of grace given by Christ.
The Law was given to show man that he could not be made righteous on his own and that a sacrifice was needed for this. The perversion of the Law over the last 300 years or so had reached its fullness in this time where the religious Jews believed that man was made righteous by the Law.
MAT 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!'"
MAT 3:4 Now John himself had a garment of camel's hair, and a leather belt about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
MAT 3:5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea, and all the district around the Jordan;
MAT 3:6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
MAT 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
John would not baptize the Pharisees and Sadducees because they thought they were fully righteous and not in need of repentance.
MAT 3:8 "Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;
MAT 3:9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves,' We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
MAT 3:10 "And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
MAT 3:11 "As for me, 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; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
LUK 3:3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
The Lord came from the real world into the dream world in order to set us free from the dream, i.e. to wake us up. That is our resurrection.
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you."
To do this He had to fight the opposition who desires to keep us asleep in their dream world. It is a dream indeed to be like the Most High. There was no one qualified to help Him in this fight. He had to fight them alone, face to face with them. Not even His Father or His Holy Spirit could help Him in the final and conclusive battle which was His cross.
ISA 63:5 [Second Coming]
"And I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold [He is the only qualified to judge just as He was the only One qualified to be judged];
So My own arm brought salvation to Me;
And My wrath upheld Me.
The war continues. I have heard of Christians who have lost their purpose in life because they have striven in the faith, have come to know much of the morality or virtue of Christianity but have never heard that they are in a war. There is purpose in a war. There is always an objective and in this war there is the ultimate objective. There are tactics given from the commander for the achievement of that objective and our tactics are supernatural, through the Spirit of God.
I say this at this time because no matter what we face in life, no matter what we experience, these elements before you are always a reminder that our Commander has already won the war. He has been judged and He will judge. He has given us complete and total victory and has left us with purpose and objective in our battles.
The victory finished does not remove the struggle but it should give us all joy in the struggle. [Spurgeon]
1 Cor 11:23-26
or I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.