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Chapter 8 - The Arrival of the King
The arrival of Jesus, who was both God and man, on earth was announced by angels. Wise men from the east (probably using the prediction of the time of his birth written by the prophet Daniel over 400 years earlier) came to see him. Yet when he was brought to the temple eight days later, only two old people were interested.
God had a last prophet called John the Baptist call the people of the nation to repent and receive a water baptism in preparation for the ministry of Jesus.
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. - Matthew 3:1-2
It was John’s purpose to prepare the people for the arrival of Jesus.
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: - Matthew 3:11
Since so much confusion has arisen in Christianity concerning baptism, it can be helpful to clarify that the word baptism is a transliteration of the word baptizo in Greek that was used to refer to an immersion (usually in water) such as when a ship sank or dishes were washed. It would have been much less confusing if the bible translators has used the word ‘immerse’. The reason they chose to transliterate rather than translate the word was because at the time the bible was translated, the practice of sprinkling babies with water had already been long established and they did not want cause people to become upset that what they had been doing might not be correct.
Two main problem areas of confusion for Christianity would be thinking that instructions for Israel would apply to them and that traditions carry the same weight as God’s word. To achieve clarity, one has to be willing to reconsider assumptions and traditions.
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