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Matthew 3 Leviticus
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was
spoken of by the prophet Esaias [Isaiah], saying,
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
And the same John had his
raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle
about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Scripture links John the Baptist to the Holy Spirit since before he was born, for
he was "filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." Jesus testified of his
special position, saying "Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet
than John the Baptist" and "this is he, of whom it is
written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before
thee." Also, John baptized the Lord Jesus and witnessed
of "the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove."
It is for these reasons, and many more, that John bore the
sign of Gimel, wearing
"a raiment of camel's hair."
The link between the Wheel and the chapter sequence of Matthew is particularly striking and rich
here in Chapter 3. Every event described in this chapter resonates strongly with many, if not
most, themes found on Spoke 3. The associations are so dense that it best to simply
scan the entire chapter verse-by-verse.
The alphabetic sequence is the most obvious correlation to the Wheel. Just as
Beyt first occurs in Matthew 2 in the form Bethlehem, so Gimel first
occurs here in Matthew 3 in the form camel.
The clothing, in particular the animal skin
(leathern girdle), hearkens back to Genesis 3 when
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, discovered they were naked and God made
them "coats of skins."
The locusts that John ate are specifically declared kosher in the dietary laws
detailed in Leviticus, Book 3, which also gives the prohibitions against exposing
one's nakedness. Continuing with
Matthew 3, we read (vss. 5-7):
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region
round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them,
O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
The appearance of the viper is a type of the Serpent that figures do prominently
in Genesis 3 with the Fall of Adam and
Eve and the entrance of sin into
the world. Continuing (vss. 8-10)
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think 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. And now also the axe is
laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Bringing forth fruits echoes Day 3, when God said "Let the earth
bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit
after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." This theme is
amplified by the specific reference to trees that bear good or bad fruit.
In the believer's walk with God, this fruit is called "The Fruit of the Spirit."
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh
after me is mightier
than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his
wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
These verses describe three kinds of baptism: 1) with Water, 2) with the Holy
Spirit, and 3) with Fire. For those who do not receive the fire of God's Spirit, there
is the warning of the "unquenchable fire" of God's wrath. Continuing (vss. 13-17):
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us
to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went
up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw
the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from
heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Little need be said of the obvious connection between these verses and Spoke 3,
which was designed to reveal the nature and character of the Holy Spirit.
Here now is a Table gathering the results of this brief overview:
||Literal Meaning of the Third Letter Gimel|
||A major theme of Spoke 3, introduced in Genesis 3. |
||Created on Day 3. The Levitical dietary laws which specifically
allow locusts as food in Book 3.|
||Water, Fire, and the Holy Spirit.|
||Hearkens back to Gensis 3 and the Serpent|
|Bring forth Fruits
||John warned that we bring forth fruits meet for repentance. This links back to
Day 3 and the creation of trees bearing fruit.|
|Fire and Water
||John warned that we would receive either the fire of the Spirit or be thrown in to the "unquenchable fire" of God's wrath.|
||Holy Spirit came upon Jesus when He was Baptized.|