John the Baptist
Remember the words of Yahweh in Malachi chapter 3, “and he shall purify the sons of Levi”: John the Baptist was also a Levite, so he could fulfill the priestly role of cleansing which Moses the Levite had done first, long before him. It is apparent, that Yahshua coming to be the final ritual sacrifice for the children of Israel, the prophecy and baptism of John – for the sons of Levi – was also symbolic of the Old Testament law. That is why John was sent to baptize the sons of Levi – so that Christ could be properly sacrificed. Now Israel has been cleansed of all their sins by Christ Himself, as foretold by the prophets, and they have no need of any further cleansing.
Confrontation with Pharisees
Matthew 3:7 "But seeing many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees coming to the immersion he said to them: “Race of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Indeed you should make fruit worthy of repentance 9 and do not think to say among yourselves: ‘We have Abraham for a father’. For I say to you that Yahweh is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 But already the axe is laid to the root of the trees: surely any tree not producing good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire!"
Yahweh could indeed raise up children to Abraham from stones – but that would not make them heirs, the seed of Jacob. Likewise, the Edomites among the Pharisees and Sadducees claimed to be the seed of Abraham and they were, through Esau, but Esau lost his inheritance for good.
Hebrews 12: “16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to the baptism, but they did not necessarily come to be baptized. Here John challenged the Pharisees and the Sadducees to do good, just as Yahweh challenged Cain to do good at Genesis 4:7: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”, although He knew that Cain could not ever do well.
The “axe is laid to the root of the trees”: Salvation is race-based. The only race with the favor of Yahweh are the children of Israel. For the children of Edom and all of the other non-Israelite bastards, their fate has already been decided: and of each of them it is the entire tree which shall be cut down. This is not merely a pruning of the branches, but an elimination of the trees! If your family tree is not found written into the Book of Life from the founding of Society – if you are not one of the creation of Adam – then you have no part in the Kingdom of heaven.
The arrest of John the Baptist happened quite early in the ministry of Christ, and is mentioned at Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14, Luke 3:20 and the Gospel of John at 3:24.
Interactions with Christ
Matthew 9:14 Then the students of Iohannes came forth to Him saying: “For what reason do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your students do not fast?”
John's students questioned Christ concerning fasting, and it was at this time that Christ made an early divine reference to Himself as the bridegroom.Christ tells the disciples of John that His mission is true in these signs, at Matthew 11:5, that: “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”