Matthew 3

First let’s introduce John; John is the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth the cousin of Mary the mother of JESUS. John was older than JESUS by six months. John was baptized in the Holy Spirit inside of his mother’s womb when his cousin Mary came to care for his mother, Elizabeth. After Elizabeth heard the voice of her cousin Mary; John jumped inside of his mother. Mary at the time was pregnant also with JESUS. John’s ministry was to baptize and lead sinners to repentance. What is repentance and why must we repent? Repentance is a deep heartfelt desire knowing that we are living wrong and that what we do, think and say is against what is completely right. We are guilty of every kind of disobedience and to repent is to acknowledge this openly before The LORD GOD because our hearts and conscience are over loaded with regret and we desire a true change. What is a Pharisee? Pharisees in the O.T. were a group of Jewish men who took a pledge to uphold the traditions of Israel (the law). What is a Sadducee? In the O.T. these group of men rejected the oral traditions of the Jewish faith and accepted the original teachings of Moses as authoritative. They did not believe in resurrections, angels or spirits. They regularly opposed JESUS and all HE taught. Both groups were void of justice, mercy and love. In the N.T. the Pharisees who accepted JESUS and HIS teachings as well as walked in justice, mercy and love were; the Apostle Paul, Nicodemus, Gamaliel and Joseph of Arimathea. As the N.T. unfolded after the crucifixion of CHRIST JESUS until this present time we still have Pharisees both of Jewish and non-Jewish beliefs as well as Sadducees who continue to come against the knowledge of The LORD JESUS and CHRISTians. The reason John called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers is because he saw them as a group of venomous snakes hissing and lying in wait to attack. Have you ever seen a group of venomous snakes in a pit or an aquarium? This is not a compliment this was O.T. profanity. During the time that John was baptizing of course we know that JESUS had not been crucified so baptism then was a rite that believers were showing that they are willing to turn their backs on their sinful life and return to The LORD GOD. Today baptisms are rites of the believer were we are showing that we too are willing and we are coming back to The LORD GOD through The LORD CHRIST JESUS because of HIS atoning death. When JESUS was baptized by John it was not for repentance or to return to The LORD GOD; HIS baptism was to fulfill All righteousness and to provide us an example. John described JESUS as having a “winnowing fan”; how many times have you read this passage and often wondered what a winnowing fan is? Well today for those of you who did not know today you are going to understand what this is. Winnow is used to free or separate. This is exactly what CHRIST JESUS does in our lives; HE has freed us from sin and as we come into the knowledge of certain burdens that we are still dealing with in our lives we accept HIS freedom from such things as anger, hurt, depression, rejection, addictions and so many other things that oppress our lives. CHRIST JESUS has separated HIS children from the children of wrath (the devil). Here is another exciting word “threshing”. Thresh means to beat and to separate; this is exactly what CHRIST JESUS did when HE literally went down into the bowels of hell for all of us and set all the believing captives free by beating satan upside his head and separating who belongs to HIM and leaving those that belonged to him. Today CHRIST JESUS winnowing fan is still in operation separating HIS children from the children of wrath because the enemy understands a good beating when he feels one. The chaff is that which has been refused; The LORD GOD did not refuse those it’s our will that refuses or accepts. When we refuse to the end and hope is lost at death the promise is you will burn in the lake of fire that will never end which was created for satan and his demons only. The Spirit of the living GOD is not a dove; what happened here is that the LORD’s Spirit took on the shape of a dove so that HE could be seen. Then the great announcement from a FATHER proclaimed that JESUS is HIS SON and not only is HE HIS SON; HE is HIS beloved; which means that HE loves HIM unselfishly, without judgment, HE is a gift, HE is here for us, we will benefit from HIM. Did anyone notice in this chapter that The FATHER, The SON and The Holy Spirit were all being seen and heard for the first time on earth in the presence of people?

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