688. VII. BY THE BAPTISM OF JOHN A WAY WAS PREPARED, THAT JEHOVAH THE LORD MIGHT DESCEND INTO THE WORLD AND ACCOMPLISH REDEMPTION.
It is written in Malachi:
Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye long for. Who will abide the day of His coming, and who will stand when He shall appear? (Mal. 3:1, 2).
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Mal. 4:5, 6).
And Zacharias the father, prophesying of his son John, says:
Thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways (Luke 1:76).
And the Lord Himself says of this same John:
This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send My angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee (Luke 7:27).
From all this it is clear that this John was the prophet sent to make ready the way of Jehovah God, who should descend into the world and accomplish redemption; and that he made ready that way by baptism, and by announcing the coming of the Lord; and that without such preparation all on earth would have been smitten with a curse and would have perished.