Down through the generations, there's been many teachings on John the Baptist. This is a compilation of what I've gleaned in my years of studying about him. It only scratches the surface of this man's dynamic character, and strength of spirit. In what I've learned of him so far, I can see why Jesus spoke of him in such high regard.
John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15, Numbers 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Mat 3:1-12).
He was the "forerunner of our Lord." He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1Chron 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Mat. 3:3; Is 40:3; Malachi 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80.
He came to be a witness:
Joh 1:6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
No one of the old prophets is so frequently referred to in the New Testament. The priests and Levites said to the Baptist (John 1:25), "Why baptizest thou, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias?" Paul (Romans 11:2) refers to an incident in his history to illustrate his argument that God had not cast away his people. (James 5:17) finds in him an illustration of the power of prayer. (See also Luke 4:25; 9:54) He was a type of John the Baptist in the sternness and power of his reproofs (Luke 9:8). He was the Elijah that "must first come" (Matt 11:11,14). Even outwardly the Baptist corresponded so closely to the earlier prophet that he might be styled a second Elijah. In him we see "the same connection with a wild and wilderness country; the same long retirement in the desert; the same sudden, startling entrance on his work (1Kings 17:1; Luke 3:2); even the same dress, a hairy garment, and a leathern girdle about the loins (2Kings 1:8; Matt 3:4)." His entire being was a witness against the hypocrisy and corruption of the Pharisees and Sadducees of his day.
John's baptism was the voice of God to Israel, and the believing remnant responded (Matt 3:5). It was an act of righteousness on the part of Him who had become, as to the flesh, an Israelite, to take His place with this believing remnant.
His greatest mission was to usher in the One, whom he said he was not worthy to loose his shoe latchets.
John is a problematic figure in the Bible for many modern preachers today. He has been described as unloving, uncompromising, and rigid. These verses give an example:
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Mat 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Mat 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
Mat 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 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:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
You can imagine the hackles going up the back of the necks of the Pharisees and rulers of the Jews when they heard messages like this that could singe their hair.
If John were here today, I doubt he'd find a church that would allow him in, he'd have to do what John Wesley and George Whitfield did; preach in the open air, in the fields and street corners.
John the Baptizer
Joh 1:26-27 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
Jesus was now to receive His anointing with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16) to enter His threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. In the Levitical order Ex 29:4-7, the high priest was first washed, then anointed. While Christ's priestly work did not begin till He "offered Himself without spot to God" Heb 9:14 and His full manifestation as the King- Priest after the order of Melchizedek awaits the kingdom (See Scofield "Genesis 14:18") yet He was then anointed, once and for all.
It's to be pointed out that John did no miracle or any sign during his ministry:
Joh 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
Joh 10:42 And many believed on him there. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” And many believed in Him there.
John also gave no foretelling prophecies of any future event or person. His calling as a prophet was one of proclamation, rebuke and exhortation. He was called and privileged to baptize Jesus, and usher in his ministry.
Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Mar 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
After baptizing Jesus, he proclaimed him as the One to come, Jesus-the Son of God:
Joh 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Joh 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Joh 3:32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Joh 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
And many believed in Him there: Despite the influence of the Pharisees who were blind (as shown in John 9) and were bad shepherds (as shown in John 10), many people still came to Jesus. God’s work goes on, despite the opposition of man. David Guzik comm.
John the Troubler
However, John made enemies because of his burning exhortations:
Lu 3:18-20 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Herod had John beheaded in prison; as he promised Herodias' daughter before she danced for him. He greatly regretted it, but gave her what she wanted, because he feared the people.
Mr 6:21-29 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Their plots and schemes succeeded in getting rid of this wearisome troublemaker; with his rantings and reproof's.
John rebuking Herod
Dancing for the Devil
It is interesting to note that when John sent messengers to question Jesus if he indeed was the "One who was to come"; Jesus answered him this way:
Lu 7:19-23 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Some interesting things to point out concerning John's imprisonment are:
1. John did not ask Jesus to help get him out of prison, and Jesus did not attempt to get him released.
There are appointed times that God allows events to take place, for His eternal purposes, that can seem hard to understand, and may look like God can't or won't intervene. There were times in Jesus' ministry when people tried, but failed to kill him. The time for him to die had not yet arrived, and God restrained them, and kept his life. This proves that God has power over wicked men to control them, and to make them accomplish his own purposes.
Joh 8:20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
2. Jesus never attempted to go and see him, he continued on in his own ministry.
John was now beginning to live out his own words: He must increase, but I must decrease. Joh 3:30
3. Jesus did not upbraid or rebuke John for his question.
Jesus had this to say of John:
Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
In the book of Luke, it tells of the people and those who John baptized believing Jesus' report of John, but the Pharisees and lawyers rejected him, and God's counsel against themselves:
Luk 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Luk 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
Luk 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Luk 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
Luk 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
Luk 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Luk 7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
Luk 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
"And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John: Those who had repented in preparation for the Messiah by receiving John’s baptism found it easy to receive what Jesus said. But those who would not repent rejected the counsel of God for themselves.
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not weep: Jesus points out the hypocrisy of these hardened hearts who criticized both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself. “If the message is unwelcome, nothing that the messenger can say or do will be right.” (Maclaren)
These truths are just as relevant, and proven today, as in John's day-perhaps even more so.
Some closing questions and thoughts to ponder:
1. What was John's main focus, and why?
2. What do you think the church culture would think of him today?
3. What does his life tell us of our own witness for Christ.?
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Luke 10:18
Over the last several years one thing has been a great burden to me, that I'm seeing so much of in preachers/teachers of the scriptures-using the word of God deceitfully. It grieves my heart, and is a heavy weight on my soul-because there is so much of it today, and it goes all the way to the top, to those making billions/to those of every category in-between. It is not going to get any better, but I'm beginning to get a glimpse of the seriousness of it, and what God thinks of it-because in these past few years, He's put it at a very important place in my soul, and prayer. I'll give just one example with these scriptures:
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
See also: 2Jn_1:11; Rom_16:17-18; 1Co_5:11, 1Co_16:22; Gal_1:8-9; 2Ti_3:5-6; Tit_3:10
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. See also John 15:6, John 7:16-17, 1Jn 2:22-24
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine: If someone comes to us, denying the true doctrine of Jesus, and promoting a false doctrine of Jesus, John says we should give no hospitality, no aid, to the ones who promote their own false version of Jesus. To do so is to share in his evil deeds. (comm. excerpt)
Now, the question we have to ask ourselves as ministers/leaders/preachers is; does God mean just what He says in these verses? and if so, will we heed these warnings, and purge ourselves of everything that we see that is profane, blasphemous/and anyone who is preaching/teaching false doctrine, no matter who they are, and no matter how they may present themselves...the answer must be yes.
Yes, we have to take into account that all believers are at different levels of faith, and understanding of the word of God. But, that's not what God has had me centering my attention on. It's those WHO DO KNOW HOW TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD, AND USE IT PROPERLY--BUT CORRUPT IT WITH SUBTLE CHANGES AND OMITIONS ON PURPOSE, IN ORDER TO CREATE A DOCTRINE, OR MAKE A DECLARATION, TO PROMOTE THEMSELVES AND THEIR SO-CALLED KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE, TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD, AND DECEIVE THEM INTO FOLLOWING THEM. This is what I'm seeing so much of today-that truly sickens me in my stomach, and my soul.
These people can use the bible along with other texts written by people to make it say anything they want. But, if the scriptures are rightly divided, with only TRUTH as the motivation-the Holy Spirit will open the eyes, and the spirit of the person, to receive the wisdom that ONLY COMES FROM GOD.
The Lord has had me wrestle with this a great deal over the last year especially-because the rise of false doctrines, and teachings especially on TV, the internet, and Youtube channels, is off the charts now, and Satan is delighted to have a multitude of idolatrous, lustful, and attention seeking wanna-be's, who strive for numbers of people to follow them, and applaud them-and very few have any idea how to test the spirits or go to their bible's to "see if these things be so"-as a Berean should.
As I'm writing this, the Lord has put Galations 1:8-9 in front of me-and His Spirit is making it clear-this is my answer to the dilemma in my soul over this:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
God is testing me again-to see if I'll stick with His word, or be swayed by the temptation to "go with the flow". These battles never end, until we leave this world of sin, and finally are home, and at rest with Jesus.
God has shown me this matter will be a big subject of prayer in my service to Him, as the end-time events unfold.
For several years, I've been watching and listening to a couple of people on Youtube that have a teaching channel together-and their content concerns me a great deal. Their teachings are a mixture of scripture with a lot of ancient texts added, to present doctrines they've come up with, that do not hold to sound scripture.
For example-are there 5 Satan's? Is Lucifer a Nephilim, and not Satan, as scripture describes him in Isaiah, and Jesus describes Him? These are just a few examples of the troubling doctrines I've heard by these people, but they have a large and growing following-who do not study the scriptures themselves enough to realize the distortions being fed to them. And, these two examples below, are also only an example of the flood of false teachers on the internet, and across the world today-these are the end times, and we are in the age of deceit, and very perilous times. Only those who study seriously, and stay in prayer will be able to discern the truth from error.
In regards to the false doctrines I see in the videos below, I'll give some reasons why I cannot receive these teachings:
1. Jesus Christ, who is the greatest teacher come from God to this world, never referred to five Satan's- he only spoke of one, and only confronted one in the wilderness, and defeated him with the spoken Word of God.
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mar 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
See also Luke 4:1-13
In Isaiah, Satan is also referred to as Lucifer
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Jesus referenced seeing Satan falling as lightening from heaven:
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. Various interpretations of this statement are given, but it is probable that Christ refers to the original fall of Satan (Isa_14:12; Jude 6). Comm. reference
See also: Isa_13:10, Isa_34:4; Eze_28:13-17; 2Pe_2:4; Rev_12:7-10
If there are five Satan's, Jesus would have taught his disciples this, and spoke of it clearly, and we would hear of it from His own mouth. Jesus makes NO reference to any more than one Satan, even when he speaks of Him, referring to him in the beginning of creation, and Adam and Eve in the garden.
2. None of the disciples ever referred to any more than one Satan, and that our adversary is the Devil-and his fallen angels. That there are many principalities and powers and rulers of darkness, and there are many levels of them. I'll let you do the research and prove this out.
3. The Apostle John saw Satan thrown down, and defeated by Michael thrown down to the earth in Revelation chapter 12, not five of them.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
I do not hold any animosity toward anyone, and have nothing personal against any of these people, but, I can't listen to this, and not speak up, and give what I believe Jesus Christ, and His word teaches. I believe I will be held accountable if I remain silent on this, and am not willing to take the chance that God would look at me and say "why didn't you speak up about this"?
Lastly, I highly recommend using a King James Bible, it is the most reputable version of scripture. Most of the others have had verses omitted, or revised, which changes the meaning of the text.
The videos below are put here as examples of what greatly concerns me, you can listen, study, and pray about them, and come to your own conclusions. I know now, that I've sounded a warning, and have delivered my soul on this issue.
I'll leave this with these scriptures, they are warnings for our benefit:
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Comment: I have also watched a teaching from these men, that there are seven Satan's, so, it's difficult to follow the changes that they come up with, as they mix scripture-with many ancient texts that I would not refer to for absolute truth.
Midnight Ride - The Five Satans - Investigating the Hierarchy of the Angelic Realm
LUCIFER a NEPHILIM not SATAN (Fiery Flying Serpent) | Jon Pounders | David Carrico | Midnight Ride
May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and
Jesus Christ is Lord
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
Easy Access to Important Teachings
The Weapons of Our Warfare
Satan's Directed Energy Weapons
UNCOVERING THE CULTS
Works of the Flesh
John - The Voice in the Wilderness
The Lord's Prayer-Thy Kingdom Come
Finishing the Course
JESUS THE SON
Bringing Down The Walls