689. The way was prepared by the baptism of John, because by means of that baptism, as shown above, men were introduced into the future church of the Lord, and in heaven were inserted among those who were there looking for and longing for the Messiah; and they were thus guarded by angels, that devils from hell might not break forth and destroy them. Wherefore it is written in.
Who shall abide the day of His coming? and lest Jehovah come and smite the earth with a curse (Mal. 3:2; 4:6).
So also in Isaiah:
Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel and of indignation, and of wrath of anger; I will move heaven and the land shall be shaken out of its place, in the day of the wrath of His anger (Isa. 13:6, 9, 13, 22; 22:5, 12).
Again, in Jeremiah:
That day is called a day of wasting, of vengeance, and of destruction (Jer. 4:9; 7:32; 46:10, 21; 47:4; 40:8, 26).
A day of wrath, of cloud and of thick darkness (Ezek. 13:5; 30:2, 3, 9; 34:11, 12; 38:14, 16, 18, 19).
Also in Amos:
(5:13, 18, 20; 8:3, 9, 13).
And in Joel:
The day of Jehovah is great and very terrible, and who can abide it? (2:1, 2, 11; 3:2, 4).
And in Zephaniah:
In that day there shall be the noise of a cry, that the great day of Jehovah is near, that that is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, that in the day of Jehovah's wrath the whole land shall be devoured, and that He will make a consummation with all them that dwell in the land (Zeph. 1:7-18). (Besides other passages.)
From all this it is clear that unless a way had been made ready for Jehovah when He was descending into the world, by means of baptism, the effect of which in heaven was to close up the hells and guard the Jews against total destruction [they would all have perished]. Jehovah also says to Moses:
In one moment if I come up into the midst of thee I will consume the people (Ex. 33:5).
That it is so is very clear from the words of John to the multitudes going out to him to be baptised:
Ye offspring of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7).
That John when he was baptizing taught Christ and His coming is evident from (Luke 3:16; John 1:25, 26, 31-33; 3:26). All this makes clear how John prepared the way.