Is it possible that we don’t understand Luke 3:16 well, and nobody is coming in the form that we imagine? Is this "fire" that John preaches the border between life & death? Is it him who said that new prophets are false? Was he the anointed one?

Luke 3:16

16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

 

The passage in Luke is where John the Baptist speaks of the coming of the Messiah, which refers to the Holy Ghost and fire refers to the promise that God made of the Holy Spirit which is later discussed by Jesus himself.

 

Jeremiah 31:31–33 -God promises the work of the Holy Spirit

31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

John 14:15-17 - Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

John 14:25-27 - Jesus speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

John 16:6-8 - Jesus says the Holy Spirit takes His place

6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

 

The fire aspect of John comment refers to the judgment that Jesus brings, this is about the depth of truth and the trying of that truth and work associated with it.

 

Hebrews 4:12 - The depth of truth that Christ sees

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 - The fire of Christ judgment John spoke of

13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

 

The fire John taught was about the judgment of Christ, but to a larger degree, the judgment Jesus gives about whether you are His or not. This act on Jesus part ultimately ends in the judgment of Hell, if you don't belong to Him. It is the goats and the sheep in detail.

 

Matthew 25:31-45 - Jesus separates the goats from the sheep

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

 

Matthew 7:21-23 - Jesus speaks at the great white throne judgment

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

 

With respect to the physical or otherwise form of the Holy Spirit, He is a Spirit, not a human, nor is there any biblical support to suggest He is in any other form than that of a Spirit. If anyone holds the position that the Holy Spirit exist or is to come in any form other than the one depicted in scripture, it would be a personal extrapolation.

As to the question was John the anointed one? John himself answered the question specifically and directly when asked.

 

Luke 3:15-17

15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

 

The boarder between life and death aspect

 

 

When we think of what John taught with respect to Christians, we have more than ample teaching in the New Testament to establish the doctrine of a literal, eternal hell. (Matthew 3:7, Matthew 3:12, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 18:9-12, Matthew 13:38-42, Matthew 13:49-50, Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-47, Luke 12:5, Luke 16: 19–31, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 7, Revelation 14:11, Revelation 20:13-15, and Revelation 21:8).

 

This New Testament teaching is quite consistent with the Old Testament. First, the OT contains many references to God’s wrath. He is often said to be angry at wickedness (Deuteronomy 32:22, Psalm 2:12, and Psalm 18:7). Psalm 7:11 is one of many verses that indicate this indignation or anger is directed toward those who perpetrate this wickedness (“the wicked”).

 

The OT prophets repeatedly speak of a time when the Holy One would have His “day” — a day of justice in which He would express His anger toward sin and visit judgment on sinners. They referred to this as “The Day of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5).

 

The Psalmist also refers to this day as one of wrath and judgment:

Psalm 110:5

5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

Daniel describes the duration of this “day” of wrath as eternal:

 

Daniel 12:2

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

 

One word of clarification regarding this topic is that the New Testament often translates the word sheol as “hell.” That these passages are references to the hell taught elsewhere in the OT and fully revealed in the NT is debatable, since the ordinary use of sheol is “death” or “place of the dead.”

 

Nevertheless, it is perhaps noteworthy that many of these passages that speak of sheoldo so in terms that bespeak judgment, such as Isaiah 14:15 “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

 

These passages are ambiguous at best, as being slain and sent to the place of the dead is often a form of judgment in itself within the OT.

Not only is the doctrine of hell fully revealed in the NT, it is entirely in harmony with the revelation in the OT, which teaches that God will have His day in which He eternally expresses His wrath, visiting judgment upon the wicked. The Old Testament teaches the doctrine of a literal and eternal hell, opposing rather than helping those who reject this teaching.

 

A quote from J.C Ryle states..

Men are beginning to tell us “that God is too merciful to punish souls for ever…that all mankind, however wicked and ungodly…will sooner or later be saved.

 

We are to embrace what is called “kinder theology and treat hell as a pagan fable… This question lies at the very foundation of the whole Gospel. The moral attributes of God, His justice, His holiness, His purity, are all involved in it. The Scripture has spoken plainly and fully on the subject of hell…

 

If words mean anything, there is such a place as hell. If texts are to be interpreted fairly, there are those who will be cast into it… The same Bible which teaches that God in mercy and compassion sent Christ to die for sinners, does also teach that God hates sin, and must from His very nature punish all who cleave to sin or refuse the salvation He has provided. — J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

 

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