John the Baptist was the greatest of Prophets (Matt. 11:9-11) and the privileged messenger who was sent to prepare the way of the Messiah according to the Word of God. There are four main texts used to verify this:
- "For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!'' (Matt. 3:3)
- "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way; 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'" (Mark 1:1-3)
- 'This is the one about whom it is written, 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You,' (Matt. 11:10).
- "He [John the Baptist] said, 'I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.' as Isaiah the prophet said,'" (John 1:23).
Clearly, John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus as all four quotes above demonstrate. We must also note that in the four citations the Old Testament is quoted from two sources: Isaiah and Malachi.
- Isaiah 40:3, "A voice is calling, 'Clear the way for the Lord [YHWH] 1 in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God."
- Mal. 3:1, "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord [adonai], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord [YHWH] of hosts."
Notice that according to the quotes above, John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jehovah. Isaiah 40:3 says that John is to clear the way for YHWH (Jehovah). In Mal. 3:1, it is God who says that "he will clear the way before Me." Yet we see that the fulfillment of these verses is found in the arrival of Jesus.
Clearly, the Bible prophecies that John the Baptist will prepare the way of YHWH (Jehovah), yet it is Jesus who arrives on the scene. How can this be? The simple answer is that Jesus is divine, that is, He is the fullness of deity in bodily form (Col. 2:9). Also, John 1:1, 14 tells us "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . 14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." The fulfillment of John the Baptist as the messenger and Jesus as YHWH make these Scriptures clear for us to understand.
Do not be deceived by the Jehovah's Witness organization that would have you deny the true nature of Christ. Only God can save us, and only God can fulfill the prophecy given in Isaiah 40:3 and Mal. 3:1.
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- 1. YHWH is the tetragrammaton, the four Hebrew letters used to designate the name of God. It has been transliterated into Jehovah and Jahweh. I use "Jehovah" in this article.