Thursday, April 20, 2017

39 - The Forerunner Meets the Messiah

And it happened in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and praying, and the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. And a voice came from Heaven, which said, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You. Luke 3:21-22  

The Baptism of Jesus


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After John had been baptising and preaching for a while Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him. Mat. 3:13.

In true humility, John said, I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?  Matthew 3:14.


And answering Jesus said to him, Allow it now, (even if it doesn't seem right to you, please do it anyway) for it is becoming (fitting, proper) to us to fulfill all righteousness.  Then he allowed Him. Mat 3:15.


Many times it has been asked, "since Jesus was sinless, why did He need to be baptised?" 


Here are a few quotes which I think answer the question very well.  The purpose was for Jesus to completely identify Himself with sinful man. This is exactly what He did in His birth, His upbringing, and His death. So here ... is Jesus, standing again in the place of sinful man. Guzik.
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At this point we can readily see the appropriateness of His baptism, and also an element in common between it and that of the people. They had come professing to be willing to do the will of God by turning from sin to righteousness. He had no need to turn from sin to do the will of God: but He had to turn from the quiet and peaceful home life at Nazareth, that He might take up the burden laid upon Him as Messiah. EBC


The descent of the spirit of God


And it happened in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and praying, and the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. Luke 3:21-22.  Luke is the only one of the three synoptic gospels that mentions that Christ was praying at His baptism.  


And lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He (John) saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. Mat 3:16.   

There are a few technical facts to notice here:

1. In modern Bibles, the words "Holy Spirit" are capitalized.  After all, if "Holy Spirit" is the proper name of the third person of the trinity they should be capitalized.  This is done by the translators of the newer translations to push the false idea that God is a trinity.  


2. In The Geneva Bible (1587) the word "holy" is not capitalized.  In the Greek text, it also is not capitalized, but the word "Spirit" is.  Interestingly, Mark does not use the word "holy" at all, he simply says "the spirit". 

3.  The Greek word for spirit is "pneuma" and its definition is, a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit. Strong 4151.  It is hard to imagine how Christian theologians can take a definition like this and change it into defining a person; the third person of the Trinity!

He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. Mat 3:16.  This statement may well be the key to defining the ministry of Christ. 

If we were to put the proper emphasis on this statement, in Mat. 3:16, it would answer a lot of questions concerning the ministry of Christ.  For example: How could Christ walk on water? How could Christ raise the dead? How could Christ cast out demons?  How could Christ ........?  The answer to that kind of question is answered in Matthew 3:16.

Jesus, Yehoshua the Messiah, has used God's spirit, God's unique active force. Romans 8:9 even calls this active force both "God's spirit" and "Christ's spirit", because CHRIST has been given FULL AUTHORITY to use God's spirit, just like he has been given full authority over everything that is God's (Matthew 28:18; John 17:10; John 16:15). For example, Luke 5:17 says that 'GOD'S POWER' (Greek 1411 dynamis) was available for Jesus to do healing. In other scriptures this 'God's power' that Jesus used is called "GOD'S SPIRIT" and "GOD'S FINGER", so this 'God's power' that Jesus used is holy spirit (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20). Questions and answers from the Bible" by Krista Mariia

A voice from heaven

And a voice came from Heaven, which said, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You. Luke 3:21-22.

A voice from heaven is not an unknown theme in the Bible.

At Christ's transfiguration, a cloud came and overshadowed them. And they feared as they entered into the cloud.  And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, hear Him. Luke 9:34-33
  
Paul, on his way to Damascus, heard a voice from heaven; as he drew near to Damascus, even suddenly a light from the heaven shone around him.  And he fell to the earth and heard a voice. Act 9:3-4  


Saint John, when was told to write The Revelation, said, I came to be in the Spirit in the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Rev. 1:10

Even though at Christ's transfiguration and in Paul's experience, the trumpet is not mentioned, it is still reasonable to believe that a trumpet may have been used as it was in John's case.    

This difference is significant because, if in the first of these three cases, Jehovah descended in a UFO, He used a cloud to hide His mode of transport.  This tactic was also used at the ascension of Christ.  And saying these things, as they watched, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. Act 1:9  

In John's case, it was different.  John's view of the spaceship was unimpeded; he clearly saw the trumpet.  He also heard it talking, not making musical notes.

Knowing that trumpets do not speak with a voice, this phrase, a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, forces a question.  Was John hearing a loudspeaker, something that physically resembles a trumpet, as a bullhorn does?  The trumpet did not play notes, it talked, it was saying.  

It is not too far-fetched to believe that Jehovah would use an electronic, physical device to speak to his servant.  After all, He uses physical, mechanically printed pages (the Bible) to speak to his servants.  He has also used loudspeakers in radios and TV's to call sinners to repentance.  There is only a technical difference between a radio and the trumpet that John heard.  From my blog: The Amazing Amalgamated Apocalypse Amplified
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**  They say, "Take it with a grain of salt" but this picture needs a whole barrel of salt.
 *** "Bible Videos" from the Latter Day Saints file.