You would be surprised at how many people there are in the world who do not believe that the Messiah has come, or they believe a Messiah will come someday, or they don’t believe in God at all.
The other day, I heard a statistic from Josh McDowell, a noted preacher and statistician, who declared that 91% of all Christian college students believe that there are errors in God’s Word. Ninety one percent…Christians!
I must admit, before I began to dig into God’s Word, I also believed there were errors or things in the Bible that seemed to contradict other areas of the Bible. I was wrong! As God’s Holy Spirit begins to reveal the truth of God’s Word to those who truly wish to seek out God’s wisdom, we discover that God’s Word is truth, and there are NO errors or contradictions in it.
It seems like forever that Israel waited for a Messiah. One of the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah, declared that a messenger would one day come to announce the coming of the Messiah. God told Isaiah to say, “A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the LORD - make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” – Isaiah 40:3.
Later, another Jewish writer, John Mark, would declare in Mark 1:2-4 - “It is written in the Book of Isaiah - the prophet, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way -a voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Here, we discover that the prophecy of Isaiah that someone would come to announce the Messiah’s coming to the earth happened…it was fulfilled.
All of Israel waited for this event. They came in droves to repent of their sins and be baptized in the River Jordan by this one called John the Baptist. Mark 1:5 – “The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” So, it wasn’t as though John the Baptist was a Gentile – or someone whom the Jews did not come to for forgiveness of their sins. He was well-respected in Israel.
And what did this highly regarded prophet and baptizer say? Matthew 3:1-3 –“Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 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."
John the Baptist said this of himself when asked who was he by the Pharisees: John 1:23 –“I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” So, there should be no doubt that John the Baptizer was the same one that Isaiah predicted would come one day to announce the coming of the Messiah.
Matthew, another prophet and writer of the New Testament, and a Jew, wrote that John the Baptizer was preaching this message to the Jews, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For a kingdom to be at hand there would have to be a king. The King of kings and Lord of lords was announced to be “at hand” by John the Baptizer. He said the following to the Pharisees (Jewish leaders), as they came to be baptized as well: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
John the Baptizer, the well-respected prophet of the Jews….the one who preached repentance…and those who truly repented for their sins, would be baptized in water, told the Jews that someone is going to come…He is at hand right now, and, instead of baptizing you with water for your repentance of your sins, He would baptize (immerse) with His Holy Spirit.
This would be a declaration that the God-sent Messiah would be able to forgive sins and immerse those who repent with His Holy Spirit, rather than by water baptism (immersion), and that water baptism would continue to be a symbol of declaring ones repentance.
Later, Jesus would tell people to “REPENT…and be baptized”…meaning repentance will still always come before baptism. Baptism would be immersion of the Holy Spirit into us upon salvation…followed by the symbolism of confessing before others that we have asked this Messiah to forgive us of our sins.
If you read John 1:29-33, you will find, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
John declared that the Messiah is now in front of him (at hand) and it is He, and He alone, who will be able to take away the sins of mankind.
“This is He of whom I said, after me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was BEFORE me.”
Strange that John the Baptizer would say, “Here is a man who was preferred before me.” Because John was the cousin of Jesus, and John was born six months BEFORE Jesus. John, a prophet of God, told us that Jesus was BEFORE he was. This is an indication that Jesus always was, and of course, this is true.
Verse 31 –“And I knew him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
John the Baptist declares that Jesus IS the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit…..just as predicted.
So, did Jesus come as Messiah? Yes. Otherwise, the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, lied…then John the Baptist lied, and all those who saw the miracles of Jesus and who walked and talked with him before…and after His resurrection all lied. If they all lied, then the Bible is indeed a book of mythology, and should be regarded as such by all who choose to not believe.
Will Jesus become the King of kings? Yes…when Jesus returns (in the air) to rapture His saints (those who, by faith, believe that He is the Messiah, Lord and Savior of mankind), He will return to heaven for about 3.5 to 3.8 years...with those saints.
Then, He shall return to the earth and set foot on Mount Zion, and He will reign…on the earth…with His saints…for one thousand years...as King of all kings.
Satan will be bound in the depths of hell for those thousand years, and will then be loosed for a short time. At that point, Satan and all of his followers (evil spirits and those who remain alive on the earth who wish to do battle with Jesus and His kingdom), will be judged (after the battle of Armageddon), at what is called the Great White Throne of Judgment. God is the judge at that event.
After they are condemned, the Bible tells us that God will cast Satan, death and hell into the Lake of Fire – forever. All who failed to believe that Messiah came, and who never trusted Him as their Lord and Savior, will be with Satan and his followers….cast into the Lake of Fire…separated from God forever…in a place of eternal torment and fire.
Should YOU choose Jesus as your Lord and your Messiah NOW? Now is the appointed time to change your life…to REPENT…and to want to begin to know Jesus intimately…as Savior, Lord and friend.
We have a "Prayer of Salvation" located at www.JohnTyler.com/Salvation.htm
John Tyler, Author of nine books.
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