Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
God is a spirit and this means He is invisible to man’s eye; He cannot be known by empirical knowledge, a meritorious system of perception which is based upon ability to observe.
They came to ask Him (vs 19) who art thou? But they don’t actually care who He really is. They have been sent on a mission by the Sanhedrin to discredit Him with the hope that they will be able to try Him and at the least stop his ministry.
Those speak best for Christ that say the least about themselves. Our good news message and our divine good works speak louder than our lip service to ourselves.
They asked him; 1)Are you the Christ? 2)Are you Elijah whom the Jews had been waiting for to come back as a herald of the Second Advent? 3)Are you that prophet?
“That prophet” is very easily explained in DEU 18:15,18 where Moses kept talking about a prophet who would come, who was TLJC.
The religious weren’t expecting the response of a grace oriented man who would never make an issue out of himself, but would only make an issue out of TLJC.
“Get this man to get his eyes on himself and then we’ll trip him up.”
“And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come.”
John and Elijah are not the same person but John and Elijah are identified with one another.
Elijah parted the Jordan river so that he and Elisha could pass through. John baptized in the Jordan river to teach positional truth. The believer in TLJC will pass through from death to life.
Elijah will be a herald of the Second Coming when he comes back to earth during the Tribulation as one of the two witnesses. John is the herald or witness of our Lord’s ministry in the first Advent.
He could have said, “I am John the son of Zacharias the priest.” This is true; he was, and he should be the high priest. He should be in Jerusalem – Luke 1:7-13 tell us of his lineage. He is really the true high priest of Israel.
He was aware of these things within the framework of the grace of God. But does he think of himself as being great? No, he knows that he is a man sent from God because of who and what God is, not because of who and what he is.
Not self-denial, not eating locust and honey, not asceticism, or false humility, but he knows he is great for one reason, he is a man sent from God!
Mayest Thou increase my greatness,
And turn to comfort me.
When he uses the word voice he makes an issue out of the message rather than the personality.
Ministries are only a voice by which God chooses to communicate His word, God looks for prepared voices.
Wilderness in the Bible represents a place of separation. The wilderness is a perfect set up for a place of separation from religion. There is no religion in the wilderness!
In the desert there is no temple there and no real activity so John is free to preach and teach.
The message must be given in a place of separation where there is no legalism. When you get enough doctrine you will leave the religious place.
John was a voice crying, he wanted all to take notice, he wanted to get their attention with his message about the coming Christ, PRO 8:1.
Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
John proves when a person has a message or a heart filled with doctrine, God will bring the people to him without gimmicks, tricks, programs, P.R. work, etc., just God.
This means that he came to rectify the mistakes of people concerning the ways of God. The scribes and pharisees had corrupted the Law into a system of religion.
Men are so proud and forceful of their own sinfulness, if God is going to help, He must make men realize their own hopelessness and helplessness.
All glory of man – the things that men are most delighted with is like the flower, which only looks good for a season. Man’s glory soon fades away! We need the life of God and he that has the Son has life.
In the brazen basin was water and whenever the priest performed any kind of function before he went into the tabernacle he washed his hands and feet at the brazen laver.
This ritual belonged to the priesthood and so here is John taking the brazen laver to the people and teaching them true repentance.
John the Baptist baptized people at the same place Joshua put in the stones when the Jews crossed the Jordan on their way to the Promised Land.
We were identified with Christ in His death and so Joshua put the 12 rocks into the stream and when the water went back it covered the stones = Death or retroactive positional truth.
The 12 rocks that were taken out of the water were put on the shore in Gilgal, the place of life = current positional truth.
The baptism of John was simply saying down with human good and up with divine good.