The declaration of John the Baptist regarding the preaching of repentance from sins was prophesied by Isaiah, the prophet before John was born to serve as forerunner for Jesus who was to come to save mankind from the penalty of sin through blood covenant and redemption. Jeremiah did prophesy in Jeremiah 31:31-34 that there is coming a time when God will sign a new Covenant with the House of Judah and with the House of Israel. It will not be like the covenant I signed with their forefathers when I took them from Egypt, but it will be a covenant that I will write my word in their hearts and neither will a man tell his neighbors know the Lord because they all will know me from the least to the last. This scripture was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross to save men from sins through the shedding of his blood. Hebrews 2:14 states that since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil (NIV).
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. Isaiah states, “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (Isaiah 40:3 [NIV]). Mal. 3:1 and Matt. 3:3 confirm Isaiah’s prophecy about the John the Baptist being the forerunner for Jesus. John came preaching in the wilderness with the voice prophesied by Isaiah through the Spirit of Prophecy (John 1:23). The Spirit of God who prophesied through Isaiah the prophet was in John crying in the wilderness. In the fullness of time Jesus was born as prophesied by Isaiah the Prophet (Isaiah 7:14) and confirmed by Matthew (Matt. 1:21-25). Isaiah prophesied about the concession of a child by a virgin whose name would be called Immanuel. The Angel Gabriel confirmed this prophecy in Matt. 1:21-25. A Virgin will give birth to a son who will save his people from their sin. The Spirit of prophecy also mentioned the mode of baptism of John to that of the mode of baptism which Jesus would perform. John the Baptist testified about this. Matthew confirmed it in his address. John baptizes with water for repentance, but when Jesus comes, he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11). When the day of Pentecost was fully come as recorded in Acts 2:1-4, this was fulfilled. In short summary of the list of scriptures bearing on this topic, see the below table:
|NT talks about baptism||OT/NT talks about preparing the way||NT talks about Jesus name/virgin birth||OT talks about Jesus name/virgin birth|
|Mark 1:1-8||Isaiah 7:14-16||Matt. 1:21-25||Isaiah 7:14-16|
|Acts 2:1-4||Mal. 3:1|
|Matt. 3:11||Matt. 3:3|
God knows the present, past, and future as outlined in the above scriptures. Before Jesus was born as human, the mode of his baptism, his forerunner, and his virgin birth were prophesied. God knows everything and he has control over everything that is conformable to his characters and nature. This statement indicates that God is not in control of all things, but he allows them to happen. For example, God is not in control of the murdering of innocent people in war situation; however, he allows them to take place base on the free will he has given to mankind in general to choose between wrong and right. Everything that happens under the sun, God’s sovereignty is in controlled which we can not comprehend as human beings.
The attributes of God the Father is seen in these scriptures. God is omniscience, merciful, truthful; he plans things before time begins. The humanity and divinity of Jesus are proven as well in these scriptures. His predestination and foreknowledge are clearly expressed in these Biblical prophecies.
Being a pastor, believer, teacher of the Bible, or lay leader in the church is not a coincidence, but it was planned and engineered by God before we existed. It clearly explains to us that we can’t escape the call of God. Biblical episodes happen because they were planned to happen as deem necessary by God. What we go through in life were set in motion to teach us a lesson in order to encourage and redirect us to God the Father. Things don’t happen arbitrarily because there is a root cause of everything which happens under the sun.
Project Topic: Sermon on the Mountainside (Matt. 5)