John the Baptist

Ahanu said:
Hey, Dream, if you have the time, read the response to the second question in the link below, and then tell me what you think. After all, Jesus did see John as more than a prophet, and, if you continue to read what the student says in that link, he says that it is John that brings a new covenant. That one makes sense to me.

Essays on John the Baptizer
Absolutely John the Baptist was preaching the arrival of the new covenant. It is important to realize that the quote: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness..." is actually supposed to be a reference to an entire section in Isaiah, not just the soundbyte mentioned in the gospel. In those days if there had been chapter & verse numbers then the gospel authors could have given a verse range. There was not, so the method of reference was to give just enough of the passage for readers to find it in an Isaiah scroll. So we know that when Matthew records that John says he is the Voice calling in the wilderness, that he is referring not just to Isaiah 40:3 but to Isaiah 40:1-5 and possibly more of Isaiah as well as the section around Malachi 3:1. These sections talk about straightening the path and flattening the rough places. That means removing the obstacles to spiritual progress. I think one implication is that John opposed the temple's priests who had became a high place in the spiritual path. They were a bump in the road. This sounds very similar to the Qumran folks and their disagreement with Simon the Usurper.

The way these Essenes wrote, it is like they knew John the Baptist personally. Their star and scepter language affects not just Numbers 24:17 but has implications about the scepter and the lawgiver from Genesis 49:10. You and I as well as this student are missing in-depth understanding of the associated texts. We can only go part-way.

Moses and Aaron were a lawgiver and a staff bearer, because Moses who could not speak well received the Law and Aaron whom the people rejected was chosen by God as priest through the budding of his staff. I don't know why in the story Aaron's staff budded instead of Judah's, or how to read Genesis 49. I do know that king David (2nd King if Israel) of the tribe of Judah somehow took on some priestly duties (scepter) as well as the crown (law), and God partly accepted him in both roles! Show me in the Law where a non-Levite is supposed to do that. Show me how or why this is? The Qumran sect was working with this imagery when they talked about the star & scepter in their 10th column.
John 1:21 (New International Version)
21They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."

We see in John 1:18-23 a very curious exchange.
John’s denial that he is the Elijah is a serious departure from
what we know to be true. Why would John say such a thing? If
he doesn’t know he is the Elijah. . .is it possible that Zachariah
lost the vision of what he had received? Or could it be that John
himself was having doubt?
What is of no doubt. . .this has created a serious problem for
Jesus ministry.
It was vitally important for John to make sure that everyone in
Israel knew that he was the Elijah. For the Jews, the appearance
of Elijah was the singular touchstone that declared that the
messiah would be soon be near. No Elijah means No Messiah.
...We see in John 1:18-23 a very curious exchange.
John’s denial that he is the Elijah is a serious departure from
what we know to be true. Why would John say such a thing? If
he doesn’t know he is the Elijah. . .is it possible that Zachariah
lost the vision of what he had received? Or could it be that John
himself was having doubt?...
True, John says he isn't Elijah. Jesus says that John both is and isn't. This is a mystery, just like the trinity. Both are part of Christianity.

Matthew 11:12-14 said:
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
Jesus says John is 'If you are willing to accept it' the Elijah. Accept what, exactly? The whole shebang, Christianity and the gospel, of course. The violent pursuit of the kingdom ended with John the Baptist. Until John, it was to come through violence, but after John there was to be no violent pursuit of the renewal of the Kingdom of God. When the angel, Gabriel, prophecied about baby JohnB he said "and he will go before him 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."(Luke 1:17)

This was a new kind of baptism. Anybody who reads the Tanach can tell you that a promise is a promise, and it is counterintuitive for the L-RD to say one thing and then say he didn't mean it literally. It is a mystery how John the Baptist could have been Elijah, but as Jesus explained he both wasn't and he was Elijah. There would be another Elijah later. This was a matter of acceptance, not of logic. (That's Sola Scriptura perspective and gives us some idea as to why Christians including Protestants still a traditional connection.)
Matthew 17:10-12 said:
And the disciples asked him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?" He replied, "Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know
Because of this it behooves every Christian to seek to bring the kingdom of God to earth not through violence, but by working to turn hearts and to prepare a people for the L-RD. This is why in Revelation, Jesus comes with a sword in his mouth, not in his hands. The weapons of Christian warfare are not physical.(2Cor10:4) In other words, physical weapons are not Christian and cannot be wielded in service to Jesus.

Christianity is to resist any person claiming to be the King of Israel before all the kingdoms of this world are already in humble service to God. It is to strive through non-physical means to prepare for God's rule instead of man's. There are two Elijahs, and the first has already come. The second 'True' Elijah comes later, but not until there is a population prepared for that to happen. Finally when Jesus returns, all of the kingdoms of this world will be under his feet but he will gives up control of the world, his crown, and the title of 'King' back to God to whom it rightfully belongs.(I Cor 15:24)