John 1:19: And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
Again we are talking about John the Baptist.
John 1:20: And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
What does Christ mean? I am glad I had time to edit this because when I first began to answer this I found the answer growing and growing until I realized that I need to cut that out and post a separate study on the topic. I will finish that up and post it soon (God willing). So for sake of brevity let’s just pull up the word Christ.
G5547 Χριστός Christos khris-tos’
From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: – Christ.
Anointed or “the Christ” meaning The Anointed One.” Or simply Messiah.
John 1:21: And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
Are you Elias or better known to us Elijah? No. But why were they asking him that? We know they were looking for the Messiah, but Elijah?
Malachi 4:5: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Malachi 4:6: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
These are the last verses given to us in the Old Testament and I will tell you a little secret. We are still looking for the day of the Lord. John the Baptist wasn’t Elijah, he couldn’t have been any plainer. So we know that we are still looking for that prophet.
John 1:22: Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
People never change. Anyone starts to do a work for God and instantly the Pharisees want your creds.
John 1:23: He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Now how did John answer? Did he make stuff up? Did he tell them he had a dream? No he quoted scripture and don’t let a false prophet today let you over look that fact. A prophet of God uses God’s word and if what he says doesn’t jive with His word then tell him to shove off.
And what scripture did he quote?
Isaiah 40:3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:4: Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isaiah 40:5: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
I want you to sit down and read that whole chapter and try to absorb it. Some critics will tell you that this chapter of Isaiah to the end of the book was written by a different author. Why? Because they don’t have the love of our Father from which all wisdom comes. Think on this. Isaiah has 66 chapters. The bible has 66 books. Chapter 40 tells us of John the Baptist. The book of Matthew is the 40th book in the bible. So naturally chapter 40 on forward would sound different.
John 1:24: And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
We started this post with verse 18 where it said who was sent so why are we getting told again? Because God does not want you to over look the fact who sent these guys. It wasn’t those who seek after God. It was the Pharisees. We are going to nail down just who these Pharisees are when we get to the eighth chapter.
John 1:25: And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
John 1:26: John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
John 1:27: He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
John does a pretty good job of explaining why doesn’t he?
John 1:28: These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Bethabara means: House of the ford and Jordan: descender. Note: John isn’t just splashing water here. He is in a river and getting submerged.
John 1:29: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Remember John didn’t have to guess.
John 1:30: This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
John 1:31: And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Now why would John say he knew him not? Remember from the other Gospels we know that John and Jesus were cousins. They knew each other. John lept in the belly when Christ was conceived. But let’s not forget. Mark 6:4: But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
John didn’t know who Christ was until the Holy Spirit came down and God claimed him.
John 1:32: And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Remember when we learned that the dove is symbol of the Holy Spirit?
John 1:33: And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
John 1:34: And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Listen up, John was told what to do, by someone. Was that an Angel we don’t know, but that same entity told him what the sign will be. How was John to know he wasn’t being deceived by a lying spirit? We know from, Acts (which was quoted from the book of Joel) that we will dream dreams and see visions.
Acts 2:17: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
So how will we know if we were just having a dream because we saw a TV show our subconscience mind wanted to spend the night toiling over? For one, it will not contradict God’s word. Second take a look at Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 18:21: And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deuteronomy 18:22: When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.