The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 17 : JESUS CHRIST and JOHN THE BAPTIST

[17-4] (Luke 1:17-23, 67-80) Look at the Ministry of John the Baptist!

(Luke 1:17-23)
“He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.’ And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.’ And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.”
 
(Luke 1:67-80)
“Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: ‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”
 
 
What Work Did John the Baptist Do?
 
The Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 17 records that John the Baptist was the person who came in the spirit and power of Elijah and did the work of bringing the people back to God before the presence of the Lord. John the Baptist was different from other people from birth. We ordinary people just get married and have children intentionally or unintentionally as time passes by. But John the Baptist was the person whose birth was already prophesized and prepared in the Old Testament. It says that John the Baptist will be coming to us in the spirit and power of Elijah.
The Gospel of Luke chapter 1 records in detail about the birth of John the Baptist. It is written, “Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: ‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life’” (Luke 1:67-75).
The Word recorded here was the prophecy of Zachariah. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied about Jesus who was to come as the Savior and John the Baptist, a relative of Jesus in the flesh, who was to come as the representative of humanity. It means that John the Baptist came to this world and helped Jesus to saved us from the hands of our enemy, the hands of the Devil, through the witness of his ministry and made us live with holiness and righteousness forever without fear. The Lord took all our sins upon Him through the baptism and made us serve God by making us truly holy. The Lord clothed us with the righteousness of God and made us serve God eternally without sin. Jesus came to this world and received the baptism from John the Baptist and died on the Cross and resurrected from death, and gave the grace of salvation that makes anyone who truly believes in this Truth sinless. The Gospel of Luke chapter 1 writes about the work of John the Baptist who played an important role in such grace and salvation of the Lord.
We must understand the meaning in the Word recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verses 76-79. It says, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Who shall do such work? It’s John the Baptist. It is saying that John the Baptist will be called the prophet of the Highest before the presence of God and that he will go before the presence of the Lord and make the people understand the salvation attained through the remission of sins. It tells us that John the Baptist would show the way of salvation that would bring about the remission of sin to God’s people. Therefore, it is saying, “With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.” The light of the Truth that enables us to serve God will descend in our hearts through the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist which transferred all the sins of the world to Him. He illuminates God’s light of salvation to all the people who live in this dark world and leads them to that light. Through what and by whom are people led to the light of life? People are led by the ministry and witness of John the Baptist. Then who does John the Baptist witness? He witnesses the work of Jesus Christ. Verse 76 says, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest.” This means that John the Baptist will be acknowledged as the truly great prophet by all the people. The Scriptures feature the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist as a prophecy and we are able to see that prophecy actually being fulfilled.
Jesus is God Himself. But He is the Savior full of love who came to save us from the sins of the world clothed with human flesh of His creation even though He is God. And John the Baptist was the person who did the ministry like Elijah who is recorded in the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament. They were the prepared servants before the presence of God. They were the righteous servants of God the Father who were prophesized in the Scriptures. I am not saying “servant” in a negative sense, but I mean that Jesus did the righteous work in God’s eyes as the Son of God the Father.
There had been many other prophets such as Moses and Isaiah, but were they all prophesized to come in the Scriptures just like John the Baptist was prophesied to come? No, they were not. Such people were born in flesh through their parents like ordinary people, but God manifested Himself to them and took hold of them and used them according to the Lord’s need in their times. But John the Baptist that appears in the New Testament, who gave baptism to Jesus, is God’s prophet that was prophesized in the Old Testament.
And we can see through God’s Word recorded in the Scriptures that John the Baptist is like Elijah in the Old Testament. Let’s look at the Word from the book of Malachi in the Old Testament. It says,
“‘For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’
Says the LORD of hosts,
‘That will leave them neither root nor branch.
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet 
On the day that I do this,’
Says the LORD of hosts.
‘Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,
Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel,
With the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse’” (Malachi 4:1-6).
God said that He would send Prophet Elijah to humankind before the terrible judgment of God comes to the whole world during the end time.
 
 
John the Baptist Is Elijah That God Promised to Send
 
The Bible says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet” (Malachi 4:5), and Elijah that is spoken of here is John the Baptist who witnesses about Jesus. Let’s look at the Word spoken by Jesus in Matthew 11:14. It says, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” We could see in this verse that Jesus Himself witnessed about John the Baptist also. Jesus witnessed personally that Elijah, the one that God promised to send in the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament, was John the Baptist who actually came in the New Testament age. In other words, John the Baptist who was Elijah to come makes us all return to God in the New Testament, according to the Word that said he would come and make the Father’s heart turn to the children and the children’s heart to the Father.
The Gospel of Matthew 11:14 says, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” Who is this Elijah? Jehovah God said in the book of Malachi that He would send the Prophet Elijah before the end of the world comes and that anyone who obeys his word shall receive salvation and those who reject his word shall be destroyed. The Scriptures said that He sent John the Baptist who is this Prophet Elijah to come for all sinners because there will eventually be a terribly fearful day at the end of the world and there will be judgment.
But many people did not know that the Prophet Elijah of the Old Testament was already here in the person of John the Baptist. That’s why the scribes and the Pharisees and the people of Israel asked Jesus, “The Scriptures say that Elijah would come before Jesus. Then who is Elijah?” The Israeli people really waited for Elijah that the Lord God promised to send. Therefore, the Lord said, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14). Who then is this Elijah? It is John the Baptist who baptized Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verse 10 says, “For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’” This Word was cited from Malachi 3:1 in the Old Testament. It is the Word of prophecy that was already mentioned in the Old Testament. Jesus cited the Word that was already prophesized in the Old Testament and said that it was the Word about John the Baptist.
 
 
John the Baptist Is the Representative of the Humanity
 
The Lord witnessed, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). Like this, the Scriptures record that the person we call John the Baptist is the representative of the entire humanity. John the Baptist is Elijah whom the Old Testament said would come and this John the Baptist is the representative of the entire humanity.
Someone may ask me, “Where in the Scriptures is the expression ‘John the Baptist is the representative of the humanity?’” Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). That’s why we say that John is the representative of humanity. By baptizing Jesus Christ, the representative of all humanity transferred the sins of the entire humanity over to Jesus Christ and fulfilled the righteousness of God.
The Scriptures continue to say, “But he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” This Word is saying that the authority that the righteous will enjoy in Heaven is so great that even the representative of humanity is nothing in Heaven.
John the Baptist was already prophesied from long ago. Let me reiterate this. The prophecy in Malachi 3:1 states, “Behold, I send my messenger.” This messenger referred to John the Baptist who was to come in the future. As we can see in the Word of God that says, “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me” (Malachi 3:1), God had already promised that He would send Elijah the servant of God to illuminate His path before Jesus Christ comes and He was talking about the role of John the Baptist transferring all the sins of the world over to Jesus by baptizing Him. God is the One who had already spoken through the prophet in the Book of Malachi that He would send Jesus the Savior and John the Baptist who would transfer all the sins of the humanity over to Jesus.
Who is the person that God said He would send? It is the spiritual Elijah, John the Baptist who had the spirit of Elijah. That’s why it is written in the Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verses 76-77, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins.” He said “to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins” to speak of the ministry and the witness of John the Baptist. “You, child” spoken here points to John the Baptist who is the representative of all humanity in the whole universe. It is saying that John the Baptist is the spiritual High Priest that represents the entire humanity. This means this child will make known to us, the Lord’s people, the salvation through the remission of sin.
Not only all the sins of the Israelites but also all the sins of the world were blotted out when John the Baptist transferred them to Jesus Christ by baptizing Him who came to this world to atone for them. And he witnessed to this fact. He said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36) John the Baptist made the people who desired to believe in the righteousness of God believe in God by making them understand that Jesus already took all the sins of humanity at once through the baptism that he gave. This tells us how the Lord eventually made us receive salvation from all the sins by clarifying how we should understand and believe in Jesus as we desire to believe in Jesus as the Savior. We who believe in Jesus as the Savior received the remission of sins by believing in the baptism and the blood of Jesus because John the Baptist transferred all our sins to Jesus at once by performing baptism on Jesus’ head.
Such faith is the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit the Scriptures speak of. It is said that John the Baptist would come “to give knowledge of salvation to His people.” We humans were able to learn the true path of salvation, Jesus Christ, through the witness of John the Baptist, through the work of John transferring all the sins of humanity over to Jesus, and through him fulfilling the role of the High Priest in this world. We have come to believe in Jesus as our Savior through his ministry. We were able to believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God who has carried all the sins of the world upon Him. John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus took the sins of the entire humanity upon Him through the baptism received by John the Baptist. All this happened exactly according to the Old Testament that God promised. God promised to send John the Baptist to this world and Malachi chapter 4 records,
“And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their father.”
Anyone can have his sins transferred over to Jesus Christ at once if he were to just understand and believe the role of John the Baptist. The only thing that one has to do is to just understand and believe the amazing sacrifice and the completion of the salvation of Jesus Christ that manifested through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then he can meet the Truth that gives the remission from all the sins. God promised to send John the Baptist who is the spiritual Elijah to accomplish all the salvation.
John the Baptist was born to the family of Zachariah, one of the descendants of Aaron the High Priest, 6 months before Jesus came to this world. Elizabeth, the wife of Zachariah, was already very old and she was at the age that was impossible for her to conceive a child. So, how do you think her husband Zachariah felt? He was just so flabbergasted and speechless and he could not believe in the Word of the Lord. He did not look faithful in God’s eyes. It says that’s why Zachariah became mute and he was able to speak only after the prophecy of God was completely fulfilled later. God told him to be mute until this work was fulfilled and he therefore became mute temporarily.
And 6 months later, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and gave her the Word that would become the hope for all humanity. It was the Word that she would conceive Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was born to the family of Aaron and Jesus was born to the family of David in flesh.
God wanted to fulfill all the promises that were spoken in the Old Testament. Therefore, the angel came to Zachariah, the descendant of Aaron, when he was in charge of priesthood according to the order. It says, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”
And the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a virgin from the royal family of David, and said, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35). And the angel continued to say, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:36-38).
Then Mary confessed, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” This is saying that the Word was realized exactly when Mary accepted God’s Word. Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary through faith exactly according to the Word the angel Gabriel said and the Word of prophecy in the Old Testament. As such, we must know that Jesus and John the Baptist were already being prepared according to the providence of God to save all humanity from sin even before they were born.
John the Baptist taught that he personally transferred the sins of the world to Jesus for all of us who would believe in Jesus as the Savior in the future. The gospel of Matthew 3:15 says, “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him,” and it means that Jesus received the baptism through John the Baptist. Jesus receiving the baptism from John the Baptist was to fulfill the righteous work of God that would blot out all our sins. We are the people that received the remission of sin from God, and it was John the Baptist who did the work of transferring the sins of the world completely over to Jesus Christ.
Who transferred over the sins of sinners to Jesus? John the Baptist transferred the sins over to Jesus. Jesus who was to fulfill all the righteousness fulfilled it all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. John the Baptist did the work of transferring over the sins of the entire humanity at once by baptizing Jesus. John the Baptist transferred over all our sins to Jesus through baptism. Jesus received the sins of humanity at once through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. This is the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that gives us the remission of sins.
Jesus has blotted out all the sins of humankind. Then how did He fulfill this work? Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God that went to the Cross taking all the sins of humanity upon Himself at once through the baptism He received from John the Baptist as the little Lamb of God and resurrected from death. Therefore, those who believe in the righteousness of Jesus now confess such faith to God. Such people say that they have been saved from all the sins of the world by believing in their heart the Truth of the remission of sins that John the Baptist and Jesus fulfilled. The rising sun manifested upon us from above through this work and we have come to dwell in the light, that is, in the righteousness of God. We have received salvation from sin by believing in and understanding God’s love that has remitted the sins of the world through the baptism that John the Baptist gave to Jesus. Therefore, you and I who believe in this fact have become the people who do not have sin no matter what.
 
  
Do Not Underestimate John the Baptist and His Ministry
 
Even among the people who claim to believe in Jesus as the Savior, there aren’t many who have a good understanding of John the Baptist and his ministry. People just know John the Baptist as someone who is not so important. But the Gospel of Luke says that John the Baptist shall be called the great prophet. John the Baptist is a much greater person than Moses or Abraham. The Lord Himself said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11), and He also said, “If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14).
One of John the Baptist’s ministries before the presence of God was making the Israelites turn from serving the idols of the Gentiles and return to God. For this, he performed the baptism of repentance to people. And he personally performed the baptism that transferred the sins of the world to Jesus. Therefore, we must understand this fact. John the Baptist came to perform the baptism that fulfilled the righteousness of God while he was baptizing people in the Jordan River.
Let’s look at Word from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 3. It says, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:13-17).
This is the scene of John the Baptist giving baptism to Jesus Christ. But before this happened, John the Baptist was crying out in the wilderness for the people to repent. He cried out to all the people, “Repent! You, children of serpent!” Their social status in the world was not very important to him. He was a person that cried out for repentance regardless of their social status in the world because he was the servant of God. That’s why he was able to cry out, “Repent! You, children of serpent! You shall fall to the fire of hell unless you turn and repent.”
People heard John the Baptist crying out and rebuking them for their sins, and realized the sins in their hearts and began to turn their hearts and return to God. And they returned to God and repented, saying, “God I have sinned such and such sins.” They regretted serving the Gentile gods, and asked for forgiveness from God and received the baptism from John the Baptist. John the Baptist cried out, “You must receive the cleansing of sin and return to God,” and performed the baptism of repentance to them. He performed the baptism of repentance that made people return to God.
And who came to him by the Jordan River at that time? Jesus the little Lamb of God came to him. Jesus Christ the true God personally came to John the Baptist as the Lamb of God who was to take all the sins of the world upon Him. Jesus ultimately wanted to receive the baptism from John the Baptist.
The Scriptures say, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him” (Matthew 3:13), but John tried to prevent Him. It says, “John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me’” (Matthew 3:14). Then Jesus commanded him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he gave baptism to Jesus (Matthew 3:15). And Jesus finally received the baptism from John the Baptist.
Jesus told John the Baptist to baptize Him and then He received the baptism. And what does this mean? It was transferring over all our sins. John was transferring over the sins of humanity and Jesus was taking over the sin. It was the work of fulfilling the righteousness of God.
Now, how did Jesus fulfill the work of blotting out all our sins at once? John the Baptist baptized Jesus and Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist to take over all the sins of the world at once. John the Baptist and Jesus wanted to cleanse the sins of the world by transferring them over to Jesus. It is the work of taking over the sins of the entire humanity at once by John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and Jesus receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. The Lord commanded John to permit it to be so in order to fulfill this work.
Jesus said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). It says that Jesus came to John the Baptist and wanted to receive the baptism. “Thus it is fitting for us” means that it was appropriate to fulfill all the upright righteousness of God by Jesus receiving baptism from John. Jesus said that He who came as the sacrificial Lamb would fulfill the righteousness of God perfectly by taking the sins of the entire humanity at once by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, the representative of all humanity. Therefore all of us must know this fact.
If we want to receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus as the Savior, we must first understand and believe in the fact that John the Baptist transferred all our sins to Jesus and that Jesus took over all our sins on His body once and for all. It is written, “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus has taken over all the sins of humanity through John the Baptist. Jesus was saying that the work of taking over all our sins at once through this work was so appropriate. John the Baptist baptized Jesus to transfer the sins of the world over to Him and Jesus took over all our sins. Therefore, we who believe in this Truth receive the remission of sin through faith. The meaning of “for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15) is fulfilled. All the righteousness of God for the humanity spoken here is the work of Jesus blotting our all our sins at once by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and shedding His blood. Jesus receiving the baptism is the work of fulfilling the righteousness of God.
You and I originally could not help but go to hell for the wages of our sin. We originally could not help but be destroyed for our sins. But Jesus and John the Baptist worked together to give the baptism and receive the baptism to do the work of fulfilling the righteousness of God. Jesus took all our sins upon Him at once through the baptism. He said, “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” “For thus it is fitting for us” means that all the sinners were able to receive salvation from sin by faith through such method as John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and Jesus receiving the baptism. The passage “for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” means that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist was necessary for our salvation. Jesus receiving the baptism from John the Baptist tells us that it cannot be done without this method. Jesus was saying that He and John the Baptist should do the work of remitting the sins of all the people, by Jesus receiving the sins by being baptized, and John the Baptist should perform the baptism of transferring over the sins of the world over to Him. The Lord was saying that He would take over all the sins of humanity through John the Baptist and become the sacrificial offering for the sins.
The Lamb of God and John the Baptist performed the work of transferring and taking over our sins to fulfill the righteousness of God. This is the meaning of the Word “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus came to this world and received the baptism from John the Baptist to become the Lamb that took over all our sins. Jesus fulfilled all the righteousness of God that blotted out all the sins of humanity at once by coming to this world as the eternal sacrifice of redemption and receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. It was just like the sin was transferred over to the sacrificial offering when they laid their hands on the offering in the Old Testament, as the High Priest transferred over all the sins of one year of the Israelites to the sacrificial lamb through the method of laying on of hands. The Lord blotted out all our sins at once through 33 years of His life. He blotted out all the sins of all the people of the world who believe in the righteousness of God. Do you believe this?
The Scriptures say, “But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the Heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from Heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:15-17). Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. This is solely for the cleansing of our sin. Jesus receiving the baptism from John is the cleansing of the sins of humanity.
 
 
The Bible Says That John the Baptist Shall Be Called the Prophet of the Highest
 
Today’s Scripture passage says, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest” (Luke 1:76). And after John the Baptist transferred the sins of humanity to Jesus through baptism, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
John the Baptist was the greatest prophet in the world. And he was the representative of humanity. He was the greatest among those born of women. He was the person who fulfilled the responsibility of the High Priest who transferred over the sins of all Israelites to Jesus. John the Baptist did this work for us and for the righteousness of God. And Jesus did the work of receiving the baptism from John and taking over the sins of the world to save you and me from the sins of the world.
It says that Jesus received the baptism from John. That Jesus received the baptism from John means that He took over all our sins at once. It is saying that the Lord has already blotted out all our sins. The Word is saying that the Lord cleansed our sins, and that He blotted out all our sins in that manner. Do you and I have sin if we believe in this fact? No, we don’t. That Jesus received the baptism from John means that He took over all our sins at once. And that Jesus died on the Cross with the sins of the world says that Jesus received the baptism from John and received the penalty for sin as the sacrificial offering for all of humanity in order to save you and me from the sins of the world.
The Lord received the baptism and resurrected from death and came to us again. The resurrection of Jesus means that He has perfectly saved you and me from the sins and that He has brought back to life those who were once dead. That Jesus received the baptism signifies that Jesus took all our sins upon Him. It means that all our sins have been transferred over to Jesus through the baptism of John the Baptist.
When Jesus came up from the water after receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God the Father personally witnessed that Jesus, who received the baptism from John, was His Son. So He said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
You now understand why Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, don’t you? To blot out all our sins, John the Baptist performed the baptism upon Jesus and transferred over the sins of the world to Jesus and Jesus received the baptism to receive all the sins of humanity. Why did John the Baptist baptize Jesus? Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist to make us sinless when we could not help but die and fall to the inferno of hell because of our own sins. Jesus the Lamb of God received the baptism from John the Baptist. God the Father witnessed, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God was saying that Jesus, who took over all the sins of humanity by receiving the baptism, now was His Son, the Son of God the Father.
God is God the Holy Father, Jesus the Son of the Father, and the Holy Spirit. These three Persons are all the same God to us. Each of these three Persons have different responsibilities, but they are all one Person and one God.
Jesus was conceived to the body of Mary through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus is the Son of God. The Person who sent the Son is God the Father. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same one Holy God to us. Each Person of God of Trinity has a different responsibility, but they are all one God to us. As the son born to a human is also a human, the Son of God the Father is basically God as well. God is the Holy Spirit. We must not think of God through the flesh because He is the Spirit. He gave birth to Jesus through the Word as He created the whole universe through the Word. Jesus who received the baptism from John the Baptist is the Son of God the Father, and Jesus is God to us. It means that He is our Savior. Jesus became our Savior in this manner.
Luke 1:78-79 states,
“Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
John the Baptist came to us and witnessed that all the righteousness was fulfilled by baptizing Jesus. John the Baptist witnesses about Jesus who received the baptism in the form of the laying on of hands. The Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 29 says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He is saying that Jesus is our Savior. He fulfilled the prophecy, “With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,” by witnessing that Jesus would be the One who would take all our sins and that He is the Savior who takes all our sins in our place and suffers the sacrifice.
As such, people have become the children of God by faith through the witness of John. As the descendants of Adam, we actually should have suffered destruction. We were pitiful people who could not help but die sitting in the shadow death. You and I, and all of humanity, were human beings that used to live in darkness in shame and wither away to death because of the sins in our hearts. But God had pity on such sinners and led them to the light of the Truth by sending John the Baptist to this world to perform the baptism to Jesus, which transferred all the sins of humanity to Jesus. By taking all the sins of all humanity upon Him in that manner, Jesus made us believers dwell in the light by being saved from all our sins. Jesus took all the sins of the whole humanity through the baptism and became our Savior because of the work of John the Baptist. The dayspring from on high illuminates upon us because John the Baptist performed the work of remission of sin by transferring all our sins over to Jesus. It means that we have come to dwell in the righteousness of God by believing the righteousness of God. We have come to receive salvation from sin by believing in the righteousness of God.
It is impossible to know that Jesus took all our sins upon Him at once without knowing the role and Jesus’ baptism performed by John the Baptist. We cannot say anything about Jesus who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit if we do not know the role of John the Baptist even though we say that we believe in all the Word of the 66 Books of the Bible. We must know and believe this fact that God sent these two righteous servants to this world and we have received the remission of sins because the work of blotting out all our sins was completed through these two persons. We must understand this fact clearly and believe in it because John the Baptist transferred all our sins over to Jesus and Jesus did the work of washing all those sins clean by receiving the baptism.
We must truly have a joyful heart like the hymn that we sing when Christmas comes around, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King.” The Lord made you and me sinless by preparing John the Baptist and eventually receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. He took over all the sins of humanity in that manner and He received the penalty for the sins in our place by being nailed to the Cross, resurrected on the third day after His death, and sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father even now. That’s why we give sincere thanks and glory to the Lord who came to this world about 2000 years ago and saved us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the sins of the world.
I really want you to receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The remission of our sins lies in the Word of God, not in our emotion. Your heart becoming hot by itself can never be the evidence of your salvation. It is written in the Bible that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. How and where does the Spirit of God work? He works over the waters. He works when we believe in the Word. God never works in a person who does not preach God’s Word as it is and does not believe in the Word as it is. Such a person does not have the Holy Spirit in him no matter how logically he claims that he has received salvation.
Among Christians in this world, I see many who do not have the Holy Spirit even though they say they have received the remission of sins in their own ways. When I look at people, I can distinguish the people who have the Holy Spirit from the people who do not have the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how logically they talk about their faith, I know everything about them when I talk to them and listen to them once. The people who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts can say everything with the Scriptures, but the people who do not have the Holy Spirit cannot say anything when you take away the notebook. Why? It’s because they do not have the Holy Spirit inside their heart. We can say the truth only when we have God inside us. You will receive salvation if you just believe in the Word in our hearts. Then, the Holy Spirit puts a seal on your heart. “Correct! Your faith is correct. You are right. You are righteous.” He works like that.
Beloved saints, you must understand clearly the role of John the Baptist. You must understand the reason why John the Baptist was born 6 months prior to Jesus; why John the Baptist baptized Jesus; why John the Baptist said Jesus was the Lamb of God who carried the sins of the world; why Jesus said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”; and why Jesus received the baptism. And you must believe all these reasons sincerely.
The Holy Spirit approves in your heart and says, “Correct! Your faith is correct” when you believe according to the Word regardless of your emotion. Anyone can receive the remission of sins if he just believes in this gospel Word of Truth purely, regardless of whether he is a Korean or a foreigner. It doesn’t matter whether he has a lot of knowledge about God or not. The Holy Spirit dwells in his heart if he just preaches the Word exactly as it is and believes in the Word exactly as it is. I have seen such things many times.
It is said that the Holy Spirit descended from above when Peter was preaching the Word and this is actually true because this Word is the Word of the Truth. How you believe is important. Do you believe in the role of John the Baptist? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus resolved the problem of sin at once by taking over all our sins by receiving the baptism? Do you believe that God made us without sin by John the Baptist transferring all our sins over to Jesus? The remission of our sins was accomplished through the role of John the Baptist and Jesus. We just believe and know this.
Trying to receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus who saved us from sin while omitting the role of John the Baptist is believing only half of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our faith must not be like that. We must have the faith of believing the perfect gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Since you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, do you have sin? You do not have sin. Are you without sin because you have done something good? You become without sin through the work John the Baptist and Jesus did and by believing in this. Do we not sin every day? How insufficient are we? Do you know that we, ourselves, are so weak?
The Lord saved us when we could not help but have sin and when we could not help but go to hell because of the sins. How grateful is that? This is the salvation. I really give thanks to God once again. We can come together here and offer up the worship service, listen to the Word, serve the gospel, serve the Lord, and follow the Lord before the presence of God because the Lord saved us, because He gave the remission of all our sins by taking over all our sins through John the Baptist. There isn’t any reason to follow and believe in the Lord if it were not for this salvation. We do not attain great power in this world by believing and following the Lord without believing in His baptism. And our faith would be nothing if we still had sin in us.
The economy and the natural environment of this world will fall devastatingly. But God’s Church will preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit firmly even if this world collapses. I believe there will be many more people who will be saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I give thanks to God.
Today’s Scripture passage says, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sin.” God sent His servant John the Baptist and baptized Jesus and taught us the Truth of the salvation out of His mercy. The Lord received the baptism from John the Baptist and hung on the Cross and gave us the remission of sins through His precious blood.
We give thanks to God and believe in Him because we believe in this fact.