By: Richard D. Eutsler, Sr.
Matthew 3:11 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 was a prophet sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is something that all fundamental Christians are aware of. But let us go a little further into WHAT KIND of prophet John was.
God had given a promise to Abraham. This promise was called the covenant of promise. When it became clear that Abraham’ s seed was not going to keep that promise, they were put in bondage in Egypt. God, knowing this beforehand revealed it to Abraham.
While the children of Abraham were still in bondage, God raised up Moses, a prophet, to lead the children of Israel (Abraham) out. God, through many signs and wonders worked through Moses in order to accomplish three things.
1. To show the children of Israel that He, God, was truly God! This had to be done because they had become so polluted by the Egyptians that they were totally useless to God. They had to learn to believe in and trust the God of Abraham all over again.
2. To show the Egyptians that they were worshiping their gods in vain and that their gods were false gods! That there was only one true God. THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB!
3. To prepare the children of Israel for the Plan of Salvation that He would bring to the world.
The children of Israel, after having lived in Egypt for four hundred years, had fallen into Egypt’s form of Baal worship. They had fallen to the point where they knew of God, but they no longer KNEW God or WHO HE WAS! The God of Abraham had become a legend or superstition to them and they looked at Him even less than the gods of Egypt! After all, they could SEE Egypt’s gods and the gods of Egypt catered to the flesh and the desires of the flesh! God had to wake them up and show them that He was the ONLY TRUE GOD!
The Egyptians, on the other hand, had no reason in their minds to trust the God of Israel! After all, could a truly powerful god who cared for his people allow such a state of affairs to come upon his people? You can almost hear them say, “Are we not powerful? Are we not rich? And look at those Jews! They are our slaves! Surely their god is DEAD! Or if they didn’t think he was dead, maybe he just didn’t care.
If you read the account of how Israel came to become the slaves of the Egyptians and how they were while they lived in Egypt, is there any reason that they would not believe this? Because of Israel’s rebellion and unbelief, God had given them up to bondage. He would show them and all future generations just what lays ahead for a people who will not follow Him!
As for Egypt, God would show them that their gods were nothing and that they could not deliver them from the hand of the ONE WHO CREATED THE EARTH AND ALL THAT IS IN IT! Also that God would not, COULD NOT break a promise that He has made to one who trusts in Him! And because Abraham trusted God, God accounted it unto him as righteousness? It was for faithful Abraham and Isaac that God delivered Israel out of bondage!
God’s next step was to show His people why they needed to be saved! They had come to believe that they were all right and that just because they were the descendants of Abraham they were already on God’s “good” side!
God began, through Moses, to prepare His people to come out of Egypt. He did it in such a way as to show both the Israelites and the Egyptians that no false god or gods could stand against the God of Abraham! He performed miracle after miracle with each one greater than the one before. And then, finally time came to show the most important miracle of them all!
God said that He, Himself, would go through all of Egypt and would KILL the firstborn of EVERY man and EVERY beast! That God would avenge Himself on them that trusted in false gods. BUT, IF they could, every man, take for himself a perfect lamb, one without spot or blemish, and kill it in the manner in which God would instruct them, and then take the blood of that lamb and POUR it on the doorposts and lintels of their house, then God would PASS OVER that house and would do it no harm. FOR THE BLOOD WOULD BE A TESTIMONY UNTO THEM THAT THEY BELIEVE GOD! BUT WHOSOEVER DID NOT BELIEVE THE WORD OF THE LORD GOD, IF THEY BE FIRSTBORN, WOULD DIE!
THE PASSOVER LAMB WAS TO BE THE TYPE AND SHADOW OF THE LAMB THAT GOD WOULD PROVIDE FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD! THAT WHOSOEVER WOULD BELIEVE AND TRUST ON HIM, WOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE!
This was a truly righteous act for God to perform. He gave all men a chance to be saved from the death and horror that was to come that fateful night. Many people did not believe the word that was spoken to them by Moses. And what is worse yet, God through His Holy Spirit showed this to me, MANY BELIEVED WHAT HE SAID, BUT THEIR PRIDE WOULD NOT LET THEM ADMIT THAT THEY WERE WRONG AND FORBADE THEM TO OBEY THE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH! S0 THEY DIED, AND THEIR CHILDREN DIED, AND THEIR CATTLE DIED, AND THEIR SHEEP DIED AND ALL THAT WAS FIRSTBORN DIED! BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM WAS THE ONLY TRUE GOD, THEY WOULD NOT BOW DOWN TO HIM AND OBEY HIM BECAUSE OF THEIR PRIDE THAT THEY THEMSELVES PLACED IN THEIR HEARTS AND TRUSTED IN!
So God, through His servant Moses, led the people out of Egypt and led them to His Holy Mountain, there to be given the Law of God for His People. God made a new covenant with Moses and the children of Abraham. This Covenant of Law was not to supersede the Covenant that God had made with Abraham! This Covenant was made with Moses and the children of Israel to show them how God expected them to live and to be a separated people unto Him!
God would show His people through natural means His complete plan of salvation for His people. Look at the following:
ONE: God took them through the Red Sea. This was to show them how they would die to Egypt (The World) and live to Him.
TWO: God gave them the law written on stone tablets. This was to show them the condition of their hearts and that one day He would give them new hearts and put His law in that NEW heart.
THREE: God fed them Manna (bread) from Heaven. This was to show them that they had to feed on the “WORD OF GOD”, Jesus.
FOUR: God gave them a rock to follow them in the desert. This was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. (It was Jesus.)
FIVE: God gave them water to drink from the rock. This was not a ‘trickle’ of water. It was a FLOOD! It had to be to supply all the water needed for over six hundred thousand men plus women and children and all of their livestock! This represented the Holy Spirit that ONLY COMES THROUGH JESUS!
SIX: God gave them a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. This cloud of fire and smoke spread out over them and extended for miles around. This was to show how God’s Grace spreads out over His people who belong to Jesus Christ and follow HIM!
SEVEN: God, through Joshua, led His people into Canaan Land through the River Jordan. This passing through the River Jordan was to show a new baptism that would bring them to victory in conquering the land that God had given them.
All of these things God did in the natural to show what Jesus would do in the Spirit. And they are complete!
John the Baptist was the LAST Prophet under the Covenant of Moses! Just as Moses came out of the house of Israel and sojourned in the desert to bring God’s people out of Egypt and prepare them for the promise that God had given them, so did John. For he came out of Israel and sojourned in the desert. Even as Moses returned to the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt through the baptism of the Red Sea, so did John return from the desert to lead the people out of their sins (world) to prepare them for the Kingdom of God.
But it was not Moses that led the people through the River Jordan. It was not Moses that gave them the “Baptism” of the Jordan River. It was Joshua! And it is not John who baptized in the Holy Spirit. IT WAS AND IS JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD!
This is what John meant when he said:
11 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:
Jesus brought with Him a NEW COVENANT! This covenant was not just to the children of Israel! This covenant was to ANYONE WHO WOULD BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF JESUS AND ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR PASSOVER LAMB! This covenant was the covenant in the Blood of Jesus Christ!
John says of Jesus in his Gospel:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Jesus is the Word of God!
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Jesus IS the Word of God and He IS the Passover Lamb. He said that man cannot live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD! (Matthew 4:4)
He is that “Bread” that came down from heaven! He Is the Manna that the TRUE BELIEVERS EAT! He is the Rock that follows in the desert! It is through Jesus that the TRUE BELIEVERS DRINK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Just as Joshua led the people through the River Jordan, it is Jesus that Baptizes in the Holy Spirit!
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them,
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The purpose of the True Church of Jesus Christ is to TELL GOD’S PEOPLE TO COME OUT OF EGYPT! COME OUT OF THE WORLD AND ALL OF THE FALSE GODS THAT YOU ARE TRUSTING IN. LET JESUS BRING YOU INTO THE PROMISED LAND THAT YOU CAN ONLY HAVE THROUGH HIM AND “HIS” BAPTISM!
The purpose of the True Church of Jesus Christ is to TELL GOD’S PEOPLE TO COME OUT OF THE DESERT! JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS SENT TO SHOW YOU JESUS! HE CAN’T GIVE YOU GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT! COME OUT OF THE DESERT AND HER WAYS! COME INTO THAT GLORIOUS LAND THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR HIS SAINTS! COME INTO THAT LAND THAT IS FULL OF HIS SPIRIT AND POWER WHERE VICTORY IS HIS! AND VICTORY IS YOURS!
The purpose of the True Church of Jesus Christ is NOT TO ALIGN ITSELF WITH ANY “CHURCH” OR “GROUP” JUST BECAUSE THEY “SAY” THEY ARE OF GOD!
The purpose of the True Ministers of the Church of Jesus Christ IS TO SEEK OUT THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE CALLED OF GOD! THOSE PEOPLE WHO JESUS ORDAINED! THE ELECT OF GOD! TO SERVE HIM AS A HOLY AND SEPARATE PEOPLE! TO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND TO BRING ALL MEN TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM! To train God’s people through the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to walk in the Power of Jesus and to receive all the blessings of God’s Promised Land!
This is what the True Church and Ministry of Jesus Christ is all about! To lift up the Name of Jesus so all men can come to Him!
Scripture References: Matthew 3:11, John 1:1, Revelation 19:13, Matthew 4:4, Acts 2:1-4