If John the Baptist is so important to the churches, then why is he never mentioned in the great CHURCH EPISTLES which set forth church truth (such as Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, etc.). If our church family tree goes back to John the Baptist, then why are the epistles silent about this?
GRANACCI WORKSHOP, Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness, circa 1510, ITALIAN RENAISSANCE (1970.134.2 ), second floor, European Paintings Galleries
This baptism is a work of God. It took place the moment the person believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. At that moment the person was baptized or immersed into Jesus Christ (placed into Jesus Christ) with the result that the person is now "IN CHRIST" (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1; etc.). God has positioned us in His Son. Not only is He in us (the INDWELLING) but we are in Him (the BAPTISM). The Lord Jesus predicted this great relationship in John 14:20--"At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and YE IN ME, and I IN YOU." This is a baptism shared by every born again person, and is the basis of our UNITY in the Son of God. It is not just the Landmark Baptists who have been placed or baptized into Jesus Christ, but it is every blood-bought child of God. Such a relationship is ours, not by virtue of some relationship to a particular sect, but by faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).
Spirit baptism was predicted by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11) and by the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:5). It was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the "one body" was first formed (Acts 11:16) and takes place today the moment a person is saved (1 Corinthians 12:13). All four of these passages are talking about the same baptism, and the Greek construction in all four passages is closely equivalent, as the following literal rendering reveals:
This paper, written at the beginning of the second term of Davis's course Christian Theology for Today, signals King's estrangement from the conservative Baptist theology he learned as a child. As he had done in his earlier outline of William Newton Clarke's An Outline of Christian Theology, King dismisses the conception of an inherent divinity in Jesus and concludes: "The true significance of the divinity of Christ lies in the fact that his achievement is prophetic and promissory for every other true son of man who is willing to submit his will to the will and spirit [of] God." By establishing Jesus as human, King allows for the possibility of progressive improvement in earthly society through individual action. Commenting on the essay, Davis warned: "You need to proofread your papers before turning them in. Note corrections on p. 4." Nevertheless, he marked the work a B+ and praised the paper as "a solution which would appeal to the liberal mind."
In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist predicted that Spirit baptism would take place some time in the future. It had not taken place when John spoke these words. We have already noted that the Greek construction of Matthew 3:11 is parallel to the construction of 1 Corinthians 12:13. John was predicting the same baptism that Paul was talking about. The baptism Paul was talking about involved placing believers into the body of Christ. When did this first take place?
Excepting the visit of Gabriel to Elizabeth and the dream of Zacharias, there was nothing unusual or supernatural connected with the birth of John the Baptist.
The first English Baptist church was founded in 1612 by Thomas Helwys and John Murton, who had come under the influence of the Dutch Puritans in Amsterdam.
1. The terms and are synonymous terms. Graves believed that the term referred collectively to all true Baptist churches. According to Graves, the kingdom announced by John the Baptist and by the Lord Jesus was to be identified with the establishment of Christs church. The kingdom of which John and Jesus spoke was, according to Graves, a kingdom composed of visible Baptist Churches.
The Day of Pentecost and the unique events that took place on that day are described in Acts chapter 2. In this chapter Spirit baptism is not specifically mentioned. It is not until Acts chapter 11 that we are specifically told that Spirit baptism took place on the day of Pentecost: "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning [on the Day of Pentecost]. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 11:15-16). Based on the clear statement of this passage we know that Spirit baptism first took place on the Day of Pentecost. It was then that believers were first placed into the body of Christ. It was then that the church began.
John had just about made up his mind to launch out in his lifework, but he was admonished, not only by Jesus' words but also by his example, to return home, take care of his mother, and await the "coming of the Father's hour." After bidding Jesus and Mary good-bye at the end of this enjoyable visit, John did not again see Jesus until the event of his baptism in the Jordan.
John the Baptist was part of the old order, not the new order. He lived under the dispensation of law, not under the dispensation of grace. To trace the origin of the churches to John the Baptist is to mix law and grace resulting in total dispensational confusion.
Apollos traced his roots back to John the Baptist and he was quickly corrected by Aquila and Priscilla and taught the true doctrine (Acts 18:24-28). In Acts 19:1-7 there were about 12 men who, like Apollos, knew only of John's baptism but who had never been SPIRIT BAPTIZED and placed into the body of Christ. It is interesting that these men were re-baptized. John's baptism was not sufficient for the new dispensation. They had to be baptized in the name of Christ. Thus, instead of a succession from John the Baptist, there needs to be a distinct break. There is a distinct difference between Christian baptism and John's baptism. John's baptism has no place in the present dispensation.
"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" (Matthew 11:11). This passage makes it clear that John the Baptist belonged to a former dispensation. Those in the kingdom of heaven have a position and standing that far exceeds that of John the Baptist. Those belonging to the church have a high, heavenly, holy position in God's exalted Son which John the Baptist never knew.