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John the Baptist was a High Priest following
in the footsteps of Elijah .
The incarnation of John the baptizer.
"And when I knew that ye had not understood that I had discoursed with you concerning
the soul of Elias which is bound into John the Baptizer, I answered you in the discourse in
openness face to face: 'If ye like to accept John the Baptizer: he is Elias, of whom I have
said that he will come.'"
Joshua, the High Priest, sprinkled him with water, making
the sign of the cross on his forehead so that he would be among the saved,
as in the previous visitation. They named him Joshua,
the salvation of God, which is Jesus.
John says afterwards of having seen the Holy Spirit as a dove
descending on the Saviour. "He that sent me," he says, "to baptize
with water, He said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shall see the Holy Spirit
descending and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy
Spirit and with fire."
Even as it is written in the prophets:
The voice of one crying: in the wilderness prepare ye the
way of the Lord, make straight a high way in the desert for our God.
For the glory of God shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it
together. Saith the Lord: Behold, I send my messenger,
which shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye
seek shall suddenly come to His temple.
John appeared baptizing and preaching a baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins, saying:
Ye shall not enter the water to be cleansed unless
ye turn from your wickedness, obeying the law, as He commanded
you through Moses to do by His holy spirit; for all who
transgress His word are unclean.
John was the nasi, which is prince of the congregation, the Master
of the Nazarenes, the successor of the nasi Zacharias, but, being
humble, called himself Enosh, which is man; and he was great
in the sight of the Lord drinking neither wine nor strong drink
for he was also nazir, which is consecrated to God. He went before
God to make ready a righteous people ready for the day of the Lord.
And multitudes from Judaea and from Jerusalem went out to him and
were baptized in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
And John announced:
"After me one who is mightier than me will come, and I am not fit to stoop
and untie the latchet of his sandals. I have baptized you with water but
he will baptize you with the holy spirit for it is written:
Who may abide the day of His coming?
For he is like a refiner's fire. And I will come near to you in judgement.
When the day cometh it burneth as a furnace, and all the proud and all
that work wickedness shall be stubble, and the day that cometh
shall burn them up; but ye that fear my name
shall gambol as calves of the stall and ye shall tread down the wicked, for
they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet".
Being interpreted, the angel Michael cometh to judge the
Now it came to pass in those days that a man of repute,
a Nazarene, being thirty years old,
was baptized by John in the Jordan, and Zadokite priests came from Damascus
by the Dead Sea. One was the Angel of the Lord and one
was the Satan and John was Joshua,
the High Priest. And the Angel spake:
Be silent, all ye flesh, before the Lord, for he is raised
up out of his holy habitation.
Luke 3:15 says, "and the people were in expectation , and all men
mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not.
Was John's baptism of Jesus was an invention of Mark,
to please a Gentile audience?
The Bible says John only became aware of Jesus only after the
disciples of John told him about a new wise teacher. Not So!
They were cousins!
One of the earliest statements we have... is a statement
by Jesus, that John is the greatest person ever born on earth,
but the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. The
difference we see between John the Baptist and Jesus is that,
John is an apocalyptic eschatologist. An eschatologist is
somebody who sees that the problem of the world is so radical
that it's going to take some kind of divine radical solution to
solve it. We know both from the pages of the gospels and also
from Josephus..., that John was an apocalyptic preacher.
That is, someone who was proclaiming a message of judgment and
issuing a call for repentance to his contemporaries,
in the light of what he predicted to be the imminent intervention
into human history by God to judge the good and
the evil. Jesus seems to have responded to that call...; the
gospels then go on to say that Jesus was the one predicted by
27-34?: John the Baptist: "15th year of Tiberius"
[Lk3:1-2], a Nazirite?[Lk1:15], arrested & killed by Herod
Antipas [Lk3:19-20]. When others toojoined the crowds about him,
because they were aroused to the highest degree by his sermons,
Herod became alarmed. Eloquence that had so great an effect
on mankind might lead to some form of sedition, for it looked as
if they would be guided by John in everything that they did.
Herod decided therefore that it would be much better to strike
first and be rid of him before his work led to an uprising, than
to wait for an upheaval, get involved in a difficult situation
and see his mistake. [JA18.5.2, Loeb Classical Library]
John the Baptist preached against the outside Jerusalem
establishment as being totally corrupt and the baptism of Jesus
was an acceptance of the Essene/Qumranian rite of
purification. Only people who excepted the teachings of the
Community where allowed inside it. But Purification was an
excepted practice all over Jerusalem, everyone did it. Even the
Romans. You could not even sleep in a bed that had become impure
without taking it to the purification pools.
Impurity was caused by touching the dead,
touching the blood of a woman 'in cycle'.
A very strong point is this: The
rite of baptism was first practised in caves—as were other
religious rites. As these caves were often difficult of
access and their mouths, doors or gates narrow and
difficult to enter, they fully exemplify Christ's declaration.
Straight is the gate and
narrow is the way that leadeth unto life. (Mt 7:14).
What was the "Straight and Narrow Gate"?
Then the baptism and the 'Final
Degrees' are thought to have been conducted
again in the Great Pyramid at Gaza. ( 83:226 ) -
Baptism of Jesus, Oct. 5th, 29 A.D. and
[36,l6l] - Baptism of Jesus, Oct.14th, 29A.D. from
the pages of Hunkler
JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE ESSENES
A group of priests emerged out of a conflict over a
disagreement concerning various points of Jewish Law.
They became separate with those who remained in control
in the Jerusalem Temple. A document was written during
the early stages of the Dead Sea sect's development when
these Sons of Zadok or Sadducean priests still hoped
to return to participation in Temple worship.
Soon after, early in 27 A.D.
"In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of
Judea and saying "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.""
(Mt3:1,2)Mt6:9-10 "Our Father in heaven ... your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
It was John who did the proclamation.
"And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching
a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole
Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to
him. (John was attracting much bigger crowds than Jesus ever did]
` Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the
Jordan river." (Mk 1:4-5)
"... John the Baptist came neither eating bread or
drinking wine" (Lk 7:33a) and "wore clothing made of camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and
wild honey" (Mk 1:6)
Living in the Judean desert as a hermit, he would have been
considered as an (ascetic) Essene by his contemporaries.
Certainly, the few things we know about John are very "essenish":
full immersion in cold water, life style and prophecy.
from Josephus' Wars, II, VIII, about Essenes
" ... in white veils, they then bath their bodies in cold water.
And after this purification is over ..."
"These men are despisers of riches and so very communicative as
raises our admiration."
"They are also among them who undertake to foretell things to
come, by reading the holy books, and using several sort of
purifications, and being perpetually conversant in the
discourses of the prophets and it is but seldom that they miss
in their predictions."
In Ant., XV, X, 5:" ... many of these Essens have, by
their excellent virtue, been thought worthy of this knowledge
of Divine revelations."
Josephus in Ant., XVIII, V, 2, wrote:
" ... John, that was called the Baptist, ..., who was a good man,
and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as righteousness
towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to
baptism: for that the washing would be acceptable to him, ..."
Note: Josephus never called John an Essene, even if he described
him like one.
Josephus' Wars, II, VIII, about the Essenes. Here are
other excerpts (notice the similarities with the preceding quote):
" These Essenes rejects pleasures as an evil, but esteem
continence, and the conquest over our passions, to be virtue."
" ... he will exercise piety towards God; and then, that he will
observe justice towards all men: and that he will do no harm to
any one, either of his own accord, or by the command of other;"
"And as for their piety towards God, it is very extraordinary;"
Philo of Alexandria also wrote about Essenes:
"Then too, Syrian Palestine is not unproductive in moral
excellence. There the major portion of the Jewish people are
distributed. It is said that among them there are more than
4000 persons with the name of Essenes. In my judgment---
(though) it is not exact in the Greek dialect---they are so
named from their holiness. For, indeed, they have become
servants of God, not by sacrificing animals, but by praying to
render their thoughts fit for the holy. Now in the first place,
they dwell in villages, keeping away from the cities because of
lawlessness practiced by city-dwellers.
They know that the
pestilence bred from this company, as from polluted air, would
render their souls incurable. There are some who till the soil,
while others pursue crafts which work for peace. And so they
benefit themselves and their neighbors. They do not treasure
silver and gold or acquire great sections of land because of a
desire for the proceeds. Instead, they provide the necessities
for the basic requirements of life. For they are unique among
all the race of men, having become penniless and landless by
choice rather than lack of good luck. But they count themselves
very wealthy, judging ready satisfaction and contentment with
little abundance, as it is."
('Every Good Man is Free' 12.75-77)
However some of these Essenes were living in cities,
(as related by Josephus in Wars, II, VIII, 4), others in
isolated communities, according to the same Philo:
"But our lawgiver trained an innumerable body of his pupils to
partake in those things, who are called Essenes, being, as I
imagine, honoured of this appellation because of their exceeding
holiness. And they dwell in many cities of Judea, and in many
villages, and in great and populous communities ...
[then Philo described rural Essenes:] And they all dwell in the
same place, making clubs, and societies, and combinations, and
unions with one another, and doing everything during their
whole lives with reference to the general advantage ... some
are cunning in what relates to swarms of bees [as John the
Baptist had to!] ... And not only are their tables in common
but also their dress; for in the winter they are thick cloak
found [Judea had cold winter then], and in the summer light
cheap mantles .... they repudiate marriage ... for no one of
the Essenes ever marry a wife ..." ('Hypothetica')
Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23C.E?-79C.E.):
"On the west side of the Dead Sea, but out of range of the
noxious exhalations of the coast, is [notice the present tense]
the solitary tribe of the Essenes, which is remarkable beyond
all the other tribes in the whole word, as it has no women and
has renounced all sexual desire, has no money, and has only
palm-trees for company.
Day by day the throng of refugees is recruited to an equal
number by numerous accessions of persons tired of life and
driven thither [to that place] by the waves of fortune to adopt
their manners ... Lying below the Essenes was formely the town
of Engedi [it is likely Pliny was referring to the situation
after 70C.E., when Engedi was destroyed]
` ... next comes Masada."
The Dead Sea Deception - by
Michael Bagent and Richard Leigh, Corgi Books.
Note: what follows are extracts from "Encyclopeadia of the
"The only surviving Gnostic religion, now with not more
than 20,000 adherents, living in southern Iraq and south-western
Iran. They are often called the Christians of Saint John, as he
is held as a very sacred person, but not indispensable, in
their theology. Their name is Aramaic for 'knowledge', i.e.
a translation from the Greek 'gnosis'.
TEACHING and PRACTICE
John the Baptist is central in their teaching, as a
representative for their faith. Jesus is also central, but he
plays a totally different role than in religions like
Christianity and Islam, and is a false prophet, almost depicted
[this appraisal of Jesus probably dates from the early years
when communities of latter followers of John the Baptist were
competing against the early (Jesus based) Christianity]
` ... Baptism is central to the cult of Mandeans, and the
Mandean sanctuary, Mandi is a very simple, and small, house
with slanting roof. In front of this a pool, connected to a
nearby river, is placed. This one, called 'Jordan', is used for
baptism. The whole area is surrounded by a high fence or a wall.
Baptisms are performed on Sundays, and every believer pass
through this several times every year. Mandean baptism can be
compared to the Christian communion, and the Muslim prayer,
The ethics of Mandeans are not all too different from Jewish
ethics, and the same rules applied to all. Monogamy, dietary
laws, ritual slaughtering, alms-giving are central acts. Death
is the day of deliverance, the soul leaves the body, and starts
on a dangerous journey to the realms of light. It is only
Mandeans and non-sinners who manages to pass the whole journey —
everyone else ends in hell. This hell is not everlasting, at
end of the world, a judgement is made on who will be wiped out
for ever, and who will rise to the realms of light.
from ORIGINS and HISTORY
... The Mandean religion could be pre-Christian, or it could
date to 1st or 2nd century AD. It could actually be John the
Baptist who founded the sect, or they could be a continuation
of the Jewish sect that John the Baptist belonged to (guessed
to be the Esseneans). Elements of the languages indicate that
the community is of Jewish origin. One of the texts of the
Mandeans tell about a flight of a group called 'Nasoreans',
from areas that probably were in today's Jordan, to the
Mesopotamian region, in the times of the Jewish wars following
the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70 AD. The Mandeans
appears first to have gained a strong position in Babylon, ..."
Complete text on Encyclopaedia of the Orient:
Cousin of Jesus Christ. Son of Zachary, a priest of the
order of Abia whose job in the temple was to burn incense; and
of Elizabeth, a descendent of Aaron. As Zachary was ministering
in the Temple, an angel brought him news that Elizabeth would
bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his
birth. Zachary doubted and was struck dumb until John's birth.
Prophet. Began his ministry around age 27, wearing a
leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and
wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people
of Jerusalem. He converted many, and prepared the way for the
coming of Jesus. Baptized Christ, after which he stepped away
and told his disciples to follow Jesus.
Imprisoned by King Herod. Died a victim of the vengeance
of a jealous woman. Beheaded, and his head brought to her on a
platter. Saint Jerome says Herodias kept the head for a long
time after, occassionally stabbing the tongue with his dagger.
beheaded A.D.30 at Machaerus; buried at Sebaste, Samaria
Name Meaning God is gracious
Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill
him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to
be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he
heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to
listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on
his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military
officers and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias's own
daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod
and his guests.
The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish
and I will grant it to you."
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made
her request, "I want you to give me at once on a platter the
head of John the Baptist." The king was deeply distressed, but
because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break
his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with
orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in
the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to
the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his
disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid
it in a tomb. Mark 6:19-29
His birth, which took place six months before that of
Jesus, was foretold by an angel. (An angel is a prophet) 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. After this no more is recorded of him for
thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80.
John was a Nazarite from
his birth, Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12. He spent his early years
in the mountainous tract of Judea lying between Jerusalem and
the Dead Sea Matt. 3:1-12.
At length he came forth into public life, and great
multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum
of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced
the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and
warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges
Luke 3:8. "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and
discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent
sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined
charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned
against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His
doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of
Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place
where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized
thousands unto repentance (see AEnon).
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth
Matt. 3:5, and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized
of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil
all righteousness" 3:15. John's special office ceased with the
baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to
his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear
testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to
his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public
ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought
to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had
reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his
brother Philip Luke 3:19. He was shut up in the castle of
Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of
Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded
at the instigation of Herodias and Salomé. His disciples,
having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told
Jesus all that had occurred Matt. 14:3-12. John's death occurred
apparently just before the third Passover of Jesus' ministry.
Jesus himself testified regarding John that he was a
"burning and a shining light" John 5:35. The Eastern Orthodox
believe that John was the last of the Old Testament prophets,
thus serving as a bridge figure between that period of
revelation and Jesus. They also have a tradition that, following
his death, John descended into Hell and there once more
preached that Jesus the Messiah was coming.
Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Quebec and
Masons. His feast day is June 24.
The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event.
We have no such commemoration for any other fathers; but it is
significant that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus.
This day cannot be passed by.
John appears as the boundary between the two testaments,
the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord
himself bears witness, when he speaks of "the law and the
prophets up until John the Baptist." Thus he represents times
past and is the herald of the new era to come. As a
representative of the past, he is born of aged parents; as a
herald of the new era, he is declared to be a prophet while
still in his mother's womb. For when yet unborn, he leapt in
his mother's womb at the arrival of blessed Mary. In that womb
he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was
born; it was revealed that he was to be Christ's precursor,
before they ever saw one another. These are divine happenings,
going beyond the limits of our human frailty.
When John was preaching the Lord's coming he was asked,
"Who are you?" And he replied: "I am the voice of one crying in
the wilderness." The voice is John, but the Lord "in the
beginning was the Word." John was a voice that lasted only for
a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.
Check out the sources that back up our theory.
THE VOICE JOHN THE BAPTISTS IS:
"He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet."
As He who is peculiarly the Son of God, being no other than the
Logos, yet makes use of Logos (reason)--for He was the Logos
in the beginning, and was with God, the Logos of God--so John,
the servant of that Logos, being, if we take the Scripture to
mean what it says, no other than a voice, yet uses his voice to
point to the Logos. He, then, understanding in this way the
prophecy about himself spoken by Isaiah the prophet, says he is
a voice, not crying in the wilderness, but "of one crying in
the wilderness," of Him, namely, who stood and cried, "If any
man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." He it was. too,
who said, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths
straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and
hill shall be brought low; and all the crooked shall be made
And Herod, too, said, "John whom I beheaded, he is
risen from the dead;" so that he appears not to have known what
was said about Christ, as reported in the Gospel, "Is not this
the son of the carpenter ('crafstman'), is not His mother called
Mary, and His brothers James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? (Jude)
And His sisters, are they not all with us?"
John; "He was a hairy man, and girt with a leather girdle about
his loins." John's outward appearance, on the contrary, was
well known, and was not like that of Jesus; and yet there were
those who surmised that John had risen from the dead, and taken
the name of Jesus.
Paul says in his Epistle to the Romans, "Now, to him who is
able to establish you according to my Gospel,
according to the
revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through
times eternal, but is now made manifest by the prophetic
Scriptures and the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ." For if
the mystery concealed of old is made manifest to the Apostles
through the prophetic writings, and if the prophets, being wise
men, understood what proceeded from their own mouths, then the
prophets knew what was made manifest to the Apostles.
many it was not revealed, as Paul says, "In other generations
it was not made known to the sons of men as it hath now been
revealed unto His holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs and
members of the same body." ...Absolutely not true!
" Here an objection may be raised by those who do not
share the view we have propounded; and it becomes of importance
to define what is meant by the word "revealed." It is capable
of two meanings: firstly, that the thing in question is
understood, but secondly, if a prophecy is spoken of, that it is
accomplished. Now, the fact that the Gentiles were not to be
fellow-heirs and members of the same body, and partakers of the
promise, was known to the prophets to this extent, that they
knew the Gentiles were not to fellow-heirs and members of the same
body, and partakers of the promise in Christ.
When this should
be, and why, and what Gentiles were spoken of, and how, though
strangers from the covenants, and aliens to the promises, they
were yet not to be members of one body and sharers of the blessings;
all this was known to the prophets, being revealed to them.
But the things prophesied belong to the future,
and are not revealed to those who know them, but do not witness
their fulfilment, as they are to those who have the event
before their eyes.
Suppose one of the Apostles to have understood the
"unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter,"
but not to witness the glorious bodily appearing of Jesus to the
faithful. which is promised, although He desired to see it and
suppose another had not only not marked and seen what that
Apostle marked and saw, but had a much feebler grasp of the
divine hope, and yet is present at the second coming of our
Saviour, which the Apostle, as in the
parallel above, had desired
, but had not seen. We shall not err from the truth if we say
that both of these have seen what the Apostle, or indeed the
Apostles, desired to see, and yet that they are not on that
account to be deemed wiser or more blessed than the Apostles.
In the same way, also, the Apostles are not to be deemed wiser
than the fathers, or than Moses and the prophets, than those
in fact who, for their virtue, were found worthy of epiphanies
and of divine manifestations and of revelations of mysteries.
It may be said that John's earlier testimony to Christ is
to be found in the words. "He who cometh after me exists before
me, for He was before me," and that the words, "For of His
fulness we all received, and grace for grace," are in the
mouth of John the disciple. Now, we must show this exposition
to be a forced one, and one which does violence to the context;
it is rather a strong proceeding to suppose the speech of the
Baptist to be so suddenly and, as it were, inopportunely
interrupted by that of the disciple, and it is quite apparent
to any one who can judge, in whatever small degree, of a
context, that the speech goes on continuously after the words,
"This is He of whom
I spoke, He that cometh after me exists
before me, for He was before me." The Baptist brings a proof
that Jesus existed before him because He was before him, since
He is the first-born of all creation; he says, "For of His
fulness all we received." Anotherwords, Paul lied about
seeing Jesus, does not understand the 'mysteries' nor does he believe
If it is Jesus who says, "I am the truth," then how does
the truth come through Jesus Christ, since no one comes into
existence through himself? We must recognize that this very
truth, the essential truth, which is prototypal, so to speak,
of that truth which exists in souls endowed with reason, that
truth from which, as it were, images are impressed on those
who care for truth, was not made through Jesus Christ, nor
indeed through any one, but by God;--just as the Word was not
made through any one which was in the beginning with the
Father;--and as wisdom which God created the beginning of His
ways was not made through any one, so the truth also was not
made through any one. This includes Paul. see..
HOW THE PROPHETS AND HOLY MEN OF THE OLD TESTAMENT KNEW THE THINGS OF CHRIST
7. OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN, AND OF HIS IDENTITY
WITH ELIJAH. OF THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSCORPORATION.
"And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? and he said,
I am not." No one can fail to remember in this connection what
Jesus says of John, "If ye will receive it, this is Elijah
which is to come." How, then, does John come to say to those who
ask him, "Art thou Elijah?"--"I am not." And how can it be true
at the same time that John is Elijah who is to come, according
to the words of Malachi, "And behold I send unto you Elijah the
Tishbite, before the great and notable day of the Lord come,
who shall restore the heart of the father to the SOD, and the
heart of a man to his neighbour, lest I come, and utterly smite
the earth." The words of the angel of the Lord, too, who
appeared to Zacharias, as he stood at the right hand of the
altar of incense, are somewhat to the same effect as the
prophecy of Malachi: "And thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee
a son, and thou shalt call his name John." And a little further
on: "And he shall go before His face 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
for the Lord a people prepared for Him."
As for the first point,
one might say that John did not know that he was Elijah. This
will be the explanation of those who find in our passage a
support for their doctrine of transcorporation, as if the soul
clothed itself in a fresh body and did not quite remember its
former lives. These thinkers will also point out that some of
the Jews assented to this doctrine when they spoke about the
Saviour as if He was one of the old prophets, and had risen not
from the tomb but from His birth. His mother Mary was well
known, and Joseph the carpenter was supposed to be His father,
add it could readily be supposed that He was one of the old
prophets risen from the dead. Well, not quite.
A churchman, who repudiates the doctrine of
transcorporation as a false one, and does not admit that the
soul of John ever was Elijah, may appeal to the above-quoted
words of the angel, and point out that it is not the soul of
Elijah that is spoken of at John's birth, but the spirit and
power of Elijah. "He shall go before him," it is said, "in the
spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to
the children." Now it can be shown from thousands of texts that
the spirit is a different thing from the soul, and that what is
called the power is a different thing from both the soul and the
spirit. On these points I cannot now enlarge; this work must
not be unduly expanded. To establish the fact that power is
different from spirit. it will be enough to cite the text, "The
Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest
shall overshadow thee." As for the spirits of the prophets,
these are given to them by God, and are spoken of as being in a
manner their property (slaves), as "The spirits of the prophets
are subject to the prophets." and "The spirit of Elijah rested
upon Elisha." John.
...and the Jews of Jerusalem yet sent priests and levites
to ask, "Art thou Elijah?" then it is clear that in saying this
they assumed the doctrine of transcorporation to be true, and
that it was a current doctrine of their country, and not foreign
to their secret teaching.
You might have been here before...This is the basis for
the belief in eternal life..Reincarnation..
The only possible advantage that the reincarnationist may claim
over those who are unresolved or opposed is that he has a
reasonable and consistent theory to account for the prenatal and
postmortem life of the soul as well as an explanation for the
apparent absurdities in the dispensation of divine justice. Ever
hear of a 'Near Death Experience'? How about 'Ghosts?'.
To further emphasize this point, The Kabbalah specifically
teaches that reincarnation is real and souls return again and again,
as scripture points out, John the Baptist was the
reincarnation of Elijah.
As for the John the Baptist-Elijah episode, there can be
little question as to its purpose. By identifying the Baptist
as Elijah, Jesus is identifying himself as the Messiah.
Throughout the gospel narrative there are explicit references
to the signs that will precede the Messiah.
"Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." (Malachi 4:5)
This is one of the many messianic promises of the Old
Testament. One of the signs that the true Messiah has come,
according to this passage from Malachi, is that he be
preceded by a forerunner, by Elijah.
Although the Bible also contains other
reincarnational passages, these Elijah-John passages
constitute clear proof of reincarnation:
1. The Old Testament prophesied that Elijah himself
(not someone "like" him or someone "similar" to him, but Elijah
himself) would return before the advent of the Messiah.
2. Jesus declared that John the Baptist was Elijah who had
returned, stating bluntly, "Elijah has come". from..
..from a sermon by Saint Augustine on the birth of John
So they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, the one who
was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he
is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.' John answered and
said, 'No one can receive anything except what has been given
him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that
I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one
who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands
and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice.
So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase;
I must decrease' John 3:26-30
There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment
and chains as a witness to Jesus, whose forerunner he
was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not
that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent
about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ
not say: "I am the truth"? Therefore, because John shed his
blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.
Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore
witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ,
and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.
Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted
the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the
long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace,
yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in
the darkness of prison, through he came bearing witness to the
Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining
lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.
To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was
not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather is was easily
borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his
reward. Since death was ever at hand, such men considered it
a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal
life by acknowledging Christ's name.
"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us."
Support for reincarnation
Now the true soldiers of Christ must always be prepared to
do battle for the truth, and must never, so far as lies with
them, allow false convictions to creep in.
We must not, therefore, neglect this matter.
It may be
said that John's earlier testimony to Christ is to be found
in the words. "He who
cometh after me exists before me, for He was before me,"
and that the words, "For of His fulness we all received,
and grace for grace," are in the mouth of John the disciple.
Now, we must show this exposition to be a forced one, and
one which does violence to the context; it is rather a strong
proceeding to suppose the speech of the Baptist to be so
suddenly and, as it were, inopportunely interrupted by that of
the disciple, and it is quite apparent to any one who can judge,
in whatever small degree, of a context, that the speech goes on
continuously after the words, "This is He of whom I spoke, He
that cometh after me exists before me, for He was before me."
The Baptist brings a proof that Jesus existed before him because
He was before him, since He is the first-born of all creation;
he says, "For of His fulness all we received." from..
Origen : Commentary on the Gospel of John
The priests and levites sent from Jerusalem, having there heard
in the first place that he is not the expected Messiah, put a
question about the second great personage whom they expected,
namely, Elijah, whether John were he, and he says he is not Elijah,
and by his "I am not" makes a second confession of the truth.
And, as many prophets had appeared in Israel, and one in particular
was looked for according to the prophecy of Moses, who said,
"A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you of
your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear; and it shall come
to pass that every soul that shall not hear that prophet
shall be destroyed from among the people,"
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? and he said,
I am not." No one can fail to remember in this connection
what Jesus says of John,
"If ye will receive it, this is Elijah which is to come."
How, then, does John come to say to those who ask him,
"Art thou Elijah?"--"I am not."
" The words of the angel of the Lord, too, who appeared to Zacharias,
as he stood at the right hand of the altar of incense,
are somewhat to the same effect as
the prophecy of Malachi: "And thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee
a son, and thou shalt call his name John." And a little further
on:"And he shall go before
His face 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 for the Lord a
people prepared for Him."
As for the first point, one might say that John
did not know that he was Elijah. Very few people today realise
this, yet there are those who are 'trangressed back' and do know
who they were in a former life.
Edgar Cayce's readings state, that in the ages before Christ'
s return, those souls who were in the Atlantian experience with
the 'Law of One', will return. These Children of God will prepare
the way for the return of the Christ. They are called the
'Children or Brotherhood of Light'.
We also recommend our page on
The Light of your soul
for more proof of life after death.
This evidence may shock many beliefs that Jesus was not
the only messiah. In fact there were always two,
The Kingly and the Priestly. First case and point,
Moses and Aaron, and on another page, Ezekiel, and David
and Samuel. In Egypt and Sumeria it began with the King and the
High Priest.. It also was Jesus and John and then Jesus and
James, the Lord's True Brother. And there was another.
It wasn't Peter, Paul or Thomas. The High priest did
have controlling authority.
The High Priest,in particular, was termed the 'Anointed
( Mashiah ) of God' . With the establishment of the monarchy,
the same term was applied to the king: he was the Anointed
of the 'Lord' because he was installed in the
high office by receiving the sacrament of anointment.
- Raphael Patai, The Messiah Texts
The word 'Messiah' comes from the Hebrew verb to 'anoint',
which itself is derived from the Egyptian word messeh, the
'holy crocodile'. It was with the fat of the messeh that the
Pharaoh's sister-brides anointed their husbands on marriage. The
Egyptian custom sprang from kingly practice in old Mesopotamia.
- Sir Laurence Gardner, "The Hidden History of Jesus and
the Holy Grail ( from a lecture given at the Ranch, Yelm,
Washington, 30 April 1997 )
Remarkably and characteristically, the term Mashiah - of which
Messiah' is the Anglicized form - had preceded the Messianic
concept by many centuries. Originally, in Biblical usage, it
simply meant 'anointed', and referred to Aaron ( who was the
High Priest )and his sons, who were anointed with oil and
thereby consecrated to the service of God.
- Raphael Petal, The Messiah Texts
Several ancient religious orders had the legend of a dove or
pigeon descending at baptism—a counterpart to the evangelical
story of the Spirit of God descending in bodily shape like a
dove on to the head of Jesus Christ while being baptized by
John in Jordan (Luke 3:22).
Note that the spirit of God descended in
bodily shape like a dove.
The tradition prevalent among Hindus, Mexicans, Greeks, Romans,
Persians and Babylonians was that all souls or spirits could
take the form of a dove. For Polycarp, Semiramis, Caesar and
others at death, their souls were seen to leave the body in
bodily shape like a dove and ascend to heaven.
The Divine Love or Eros was supposed by the orientals to
descend as a dove to bless the person being baptised.
These traditions will have been the source
of the dove's descent at Christ's baptism—that
is God in the shape of a dove, for that is the meaning of the
text. Furthermore a dove stood for and represented,
among oriental people, the third person of the Trinity, as it
does in the gospel story of Christ—he being the second
member of the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
It was like a regenerator, or regenerating spirit,
and persons being baptised were said to be 'born again'
into the spirit or the spirit into them.
However we will find this is also a 'cannonized' label.
There is a much deeper meaning to this term that
is not understood by today's religions. As we mentioned
earlier, 'born again' is a term used by the ancient
Egyptian Priesthood when an 'initiate' was 'raised',
but there is much more to it.
Again it becomes a 'borrowed idea' not used correctly.
God would decide whether the man appointed or elected Nasi would
become the messiah. An element of ancient Middle Eastern
coronation ceremonies is the descent of a bird, normally a hawk,
but changed here into a spirit like a dove by Mark because he wanted
to symbolize that Jesus signaled a renewal of the world (Genesis 8:11).
Baptism by fire was a form or mode of application which seems
to have been introduced from the belief that it was
productive of a higher degree of purification. There were
several ways of using fire in the baptismal rite.
In some cases the candidate for immortality ran through blazing streams of
fire, a custom which was called the baptism of fire.
It prevailed in India, Chaldea and Syria, and
throughout eastern Asia. It was a form of sun worship,
as the sun was believed to be made of fire.
God speaking to Moses says, "Make robes ,sashes,
and turbans and put them upon Aaron your brother, and upon his
sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and
consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. - Exodus
And Paul teaches the necessity of
being purified by fire (1 Cor 3:15). So this
is both a heathen and a Christian idea.
The Community Rule refers to a renewal at the appointed
end, confirming that the world was not destroyed but was
renewed as it was after the flood. An interesting speculation is
that the Essenes who had given up sacrifices in favour of prayer
might on special occasions have retained as a symbolic
sacrifice, the release of doves acknowledging the righteousness
of Noah and the purification of the world in peace. Leviticus
12:6,8 prescribes the sacrifice of turtle-doves for purification
of an unclean woman. As we shall see later the land of Israel was
personified as an unclean woman and the doves might have been
symbolic of the purging of the land of the pollution by the stranger.
The dove mentioned in the gospels might have been so released.
Supposedly only Jesus saw the heavens open and the spirit
descend; no one else did. The Gospel of Mark says that no one
but the man he considered to be a God saw this miracle. Again
a 'Cannonized' version which contridicts
the presence of John. Was he a witness or not?.
More clues to 'secret teachings'
..about Mount Carmel. Even by its very name, it is clear
that Mount Carmel has long been considered both a
natural paradise and a sacred mountain: for the literal Hebrew
meaning of "Carmel" is "garden paradise"
and the spiritual meaning of the word is defined in the
Metaphysical Bible Dictionary as,
"A place in consciousness where we realize the fullness of our
possibilities under the divine law. it is the garden
of God; Yahowshua called it 'paradise'. freedom from sense.
Mount Carmel stands for the center of spirituality,
which is located in man's body consciousness in the top of the
In fact, Mount Carmel was considered so holy that there were
strict taboos against spilling any blood there, not
only of people but also animals, and it was even forbidden to
harm a tree or deistub any of the natural life.
These rules applied not only to the Essenes but also to anyone
who climbed the holy mountain. Vulgar
people were not permitted access to Mount Carmel.
Because the Essenes of Mount Carmel did not build permanent
structures on the holy mountain that no - or
very little physical trace of their presence remains for
archaeologists to study.
In The Life of Pythagoras written in
the 2nd century by Jamblichus, we learn that the
great sage Pythagoras, as a young seeker, visited the
Essene sanctuary atop Mount Carmel.
"In Phoenicia he [Pythagoras] conversed with the prophets
who were descendants of Moses. After gaining all he could from
the Phoenician mysteries, he found that they had originated from
the sacred rites of Egypt. This led him to Egypt. Following the
advice of his teacher Thales, he left through the agency of some
Egyptian sailors, and landed on the coast under Mount Carmel."
Pythagoras then climbed Mount Carmel where he evidently
received powerful teachings from the Essene Nazarenes;
for when he returned to the ship, the sailors, who had
hatched a secret plan to sell young Pythagoras into slavery,
were mesmerized by his spiritual luminosity and
unable to harm him. Whatever teachings ,
">Pythagoras had studied
and practiced during his stay with the Essenes atop Carmel, they
had obviously served to transform him!
He climbed the mountain as an advanced seeker, he decended
the mountain A MASTER.The
sailors, reports Jamblichus, believed Pythagoras had
become "supernatural" We know that Pythagoras went on to become
a chief exponent of vegetarianism, reincarnation,
fasting and sacred geometry - all Essene teachings - and
that he and his followers wore only white linen garments, in
the fashion of the Essenes of Mount Carmel.
Then you have to ask, Who is the The Real Jesus? If we
dare to look truthfully through the accumulated centuries
of obfuscation and mystery, what will we uncover about
Jesus the man? What did he really say and do? And, more
importantly, is there anything we can learn from the
historical Jesus that will give us a new perspective on our
Source (Originally Printed in "The Builder", June 1916 )
AN OLD LATIN DOCUMENT of our Order,
said to be deposited with a Lodge at Namur, and purporting to be a proclamation of the Masons
of Europe, assembled at Cologne in 1535, declares that Masons are called "Brethren dedicated
to St. John," first among the martyr stars of the morning. It tells us, further, that prior to 1440,
the Fraternity was called the Joannite Brethren, but that about that time it began to be known
by the name of Freemasons. No doubt it is largely fiction, but it may serve as a text for an inquiry
as to the relation of the two Saints John, and especially of St. John the Baptist, to our Order.
There is no proof that either of these holy men were ever patrons of our
Fraternity, but it is a fact that Masonry has patronized them for ages. The reason
for this may be obscure so far as history is concerned, but it is obvious enough if
we have a care for spiritual suggestion and the fitness of things.
One was a prophet bearing witness to the Light, the other an evangelist of Love;
and since the object of Masonry is the attainment of Light, and its first principle
is Brotherly Love, it is not to be wondered at that these two great figures became
its patron Saints, one the leader of those who are seeking the Light, the other the
teacher of those who have found it. For the same reason they are honored on the
festal days of the old, beautiful Light-religion of humanity - St. John the Baptist
amid the splendor of summer, St. John the Divine at the winter solstice when the
mighty orb of Light is most remote from us.
St. John the Baptist was a prophet, "a son of the Voice of God," in the old
Hebrew phrase; "yea, and more than a prophet," said the Teacher whose advent he
foretold. "There hath not arisen among them that are born of women a greater than
John the Baptist." No man ever won higher eulogy; no one ever more richly deserved it.
What is prophecy? It is two things - forth-telling and fore-telling. The prophets
have been for the most part forth-tellers, the great burden of their messages being
the exposition and application of moral truths. Yet ever and again they have
seen the clouds clear from the sky of the future, and have caught glimpses of a light
upon the far away hills of Time. They have seen, as men see in dreams, places,
cities, august figures, vast upheavals impending, and felt the incommunicable thrill
of advancing destinies. It is therefore that they speak in words cryptic and vague,
foreshadowing in dim and awful form the fashion of things to be.
Such was St. John the Baptist; a rebuker of kings, a scorner of sham, a
denouncer of iniquity, whose speech was swift, startling, eruptive, turgid, tearing
away every thin veil of pretense and bringing men face to face with eternal realities.
Austere, aloof, uncompromising, he saw clearly, felt deeply, spoke plainly; and if
he lacked those great fertilizing ideas out of which new religions grow, he had a
vast capacity for moral indignation. Mere formalism evoked his withering satire.
Profession without performance provoked his blistering scorn. Hypocrisy he flayed
with whips of fire. Terrible in speech, he was yet tender of heart, and when the
storm of his eloquence has passed by the qualities that stand out in his life are
his exalter purity of soul, his passion for righteousness, his courage, his sincerity,
his self-effacing humility, his grand magnanimity, his rugged nobility of character
and his heroism in death.
Truly, Masonry makes profession of high ideals when it invokes John the Baptist
as its patron Saint! Were he to appear at one of our festivals on his day, what would be
his message to the men of to-day who dedicate their Lodges in his honor? Would his old
indignation flash out upon us, rebuking us for our snug contentment, our smug
self-satisfaction, our worship of the past, and our ritualism without reality ? Would
he not say to us today, as he did to the men of old, that we must repent in our hearts
and show by our deeds the sincerity of our professions and the sanctity of our vows
made at the altar of righteousness ? These are things to think about on St. John Day,
and if we are worthy to meet in his name they will make us pause and ponder, the
while we search our hearts.
Has Masonry, so eager to honor a great Prophet, no prophetic element in it today?
Has it no vision no dream, no forward-looking program, no creative purpose for the times
to be ? Has its altar light faded into the poor flicker of a painted fire? Or will it become an
inspired teacher of righteousness as the sovereign reality of the universe, the solitary hope
of humanity, and the secure foundation of personal and social life! Will it put a new
dignity into its degrees, a new fire into its philosophy, and tell the young men who
throng its temple gates that they must prove their faith by their deeds, and keep their
vows in the home, in the marts of trade, in the state, and thus foretell the coming of a
nobler social order, a more just state, and a more humane civilization! Size does not
signify. Numbers do not count. But righteous manhood is everything! ("The Builder";
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