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John warns Pharisees: “Repent!”

John the Baptist by J H Hartley

A group of Pharisees and Sadducees who traveled from Jerusalem to be baptized by John listen in stunned silence as he admonishes them to repent

BETHANY, AD 26

The itinerant preacher known as John the Baptist greeted a group of Pharisees and Sadducees today with an unusual message, containing withering admonitions before consenting to baptize them. John cautioned that the group must “bring forth fruit worthy of repentance” and that those who do not will be “cut down and cast in the fire.” Some people believe John is a prophet, and foreshadows the imminent coming of the long awaited Messiah.

Until now, the ritual of baptism with water has been reserved for gentile proselytes. However, John declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and he insists that baptism is necessary for “remission of sins.” He requires that all who wish to be “redeemed” submit to it.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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