The Ministry of John The Baptist1 2
John Warns the Religious Leaders
You offspring of vipers, who told you to flee from the wrath to come, John said. Produce a manner of life that shows you really want to change, and don’t think that just because you are descendants of Abraham that God will save you.
I tell you plainly that God is able to make children of Abraham from the stones that are around you. Right now the ax lies at the root of the trees; every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
People in the crowd around John asked, What must we do?
John told them:
Those of you that have two coats, give one to the person who has none. He that has an abundance of food, share it with those who have no food.
Don’t steal money, but only collect the taxes that are due.
To the soldiers, John said:
Don’t extort money by means of violence, and do not accuse anyone falsely or blackmail anyone. Be content with your wages.
John the Baptist’s ministry created a great expectation. Many began to wonder if John might be the Christ.
John became aware of what they were thinking. He told them that while he was baptizing with water to show repentance and demonstrate that a mightier man would succeed him – a man whose shoes he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
The one who is coming after me will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. The winnowing shovel is in his hand and he will completely clean the threshing floor. He will gather his grain into his vault, but the chaff he will burn up with a fire that will not go out.
With many other exhortations, John preached good tidings to the people.