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What Did John, the Baptist, Teach?


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Luke 3

7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

 

Questions:

  1. According to John, what are fruits meet for repentance - good fruit without which every tree shall be hewn down and cast into the fire?
  2. How well does the answer to #1 align with Benjamin's and Jacob's teachings?
  3. Were John's precepts given by the power of the Holy Ghost?
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I appreciate the clarity of the translation that the Wikipedia article provides.

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And John said to the crowds that went to be baptized by him: "You children of snakes! Who has prompted you to seek refuge from the coming judgment? Let your lives, then, prove your repentance; and do not begin to say among yourselves 'Abraham is our ancestor,' for I tell you that out of these stones God is able to raise descendants for Abraham! Already, indeed, the axe is lying at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that fails to bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

"What are we to do then?" the people asked. "Let anyone who has two coats," answered John, "share with the person who has none; and anyone who has food do the same."

Even tax-gatherers came to be baptized, and said to John: "Teacher, what are we to do?"

"Do not collect more than you have authority to demand," John answered. And when some soldiers on active service asked "And we – what are we to do?" he said: "Never use violence, or exact anything by false accusation; and be content with your pay."

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Perhaps with this it is even more clear what John taught was fruit meet for repentance - the good fruit without which every tree shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.

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On 10/11/2020 at 12:16 PM, Jared Livesey said:

I appreciate the clarity of the translation that the Wikipedia article provides.

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And John said to the crowds that went to be baptized by him: "You children of snakes! Who has prompted you to seek refuge from the coming judgment? Let your lives, then, prove your repentance; and do not begin to say among yourselves 'Abraham is our ancestor,' for I tell you that out of these stones God is able to raise descendants for Abraham! Already, indeed, the axe is lying at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that fails to bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

"What are we to do then?" the people asked. "Let anyone who has two coats," answered John, "share with the person who has none; and anyone who has food do the same."

Even tax-gatherers came to be baptized, and said to John: "Teacher, what are we to do?"

"Do not collect more than you have authority to demand," John answered. And when some soldiers on active service asked "And we – what are we to do?" he said: "Never use violence, or exact anything by false accusation; and be content with your pay."

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Perhaps with this it is even more clear what John taught was fruit meet for repentance - the good fruit without which every tree shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.

I think essentially in this quote that he is teaching the commandments but keeping them simple for the audience available.  His teachings appear to be occupation specific and not at all abstract, with general admonitions to "love one another".

To me it's like that saying "Everything I needed to learn I learned in kindergarten"

https://cpco.on.ca/files/9214/0182/6527/NeedToKnow.pdf

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There is a common thread through the teachings of these Old Testament times prophets - IsaiahJacob, BenjaminAlma1, Alma2, and John, the Baptist - and it may be summarized as follows: the saints (those who repent and are baptized and receive a remission of their sins), to become and remain saints (retain a remission of their sins from day-to-day), are to personally give of their substance to the poor, the needy, and every beggar, and go about doing good with their substance, until they can give no more, and this perpetually.

Moses in the law commanded "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Le 19:18) and "Thou shalt open thy hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." (Deut 15:11)  The holy prophets, on errand from the Lord, in commanding the saints to personally redistribute their substance to the poor, giving until they could give no more, that they may retain a remission of their sins, were making things plain (explicit, specific, and actionable) as opposed to parable, metaphor, abstraction, or sentimental hyperbole.

 

So, if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then is it the case that to obtain and retain a remission of our sins we too must personally give until we can give no more, going about doing good with our substance, and this perpetually?

If not, why not?

 

To check our answer, we may look to the commandments Jesus delivered by his own mouth.

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9 minutes ago, Jared Livesey said:

So, if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then is it the case that to obtain and retain a remission of our sins we too must personally give until we can give no more, going about doing good with our substance, and this perpetually?

Yes of course.   And that is what we call paying tithing and fast offerings and contributing to humanitarian aid

Perhaps you are not aware of these things?

I am grateful that this system filters out the dishonest who prey upon the unfortunate by giving to those who are not genuinely poor, but are scammers

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/humanitarian-service?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/humanitarian-service/help?lang=eng

and many more

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5 hours ago, Jared Livesey said:

Mark,

I believe your response was anticipated by the material in the links.

That is called "agreement with something which has been said".

Often I only read notifications for someone quoting me- I do not have time to read entire threads often.

Frankly I should probably not even be here anymore- it is always highly repetitive.  

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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14 hours ago, Jared Livesey said:

Mark,

I apologize - I was trying to say that I believe your response was fully anticipated and addressed in the links in my post.

No problem!

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