1. The beginning of the earth-revelation of the Good News...the manifestation of the Gospel in the now...seen in this dimension in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2. Living out His earth-life exactly as it was written by the prophet Isaiah: "Watch this! I send My messenger before Your face, who will make Your path ready for You...
3. A voice of one crying in the wilderness...shouting out the message in the desert, which is 'Prepare the way of the Lord! Make His entry-way smooth and straight and level!'"
4. And, as Isaiah had prophesied, John, the Forerunner, did appear in the wilderness-like desert, preaching the need for a paradigm shift, which he symbolized by publicly performing the rite of water baptism.
5. And his unusual ministry so caught the attention and imagination of a spiritually-starved people, that the masses thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they voluntarily confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a new reality.
6. Everything about John, including his appearance and diet, was unusual. He wore clothing woven entirely of camel's hair, and had a large, leather belt strapped around his waist. He was vegetarian, and basically only ate the carob-like pods that came from the tops of the locust tree, and wild honey.
7. As he preached, he said, "I am delivering an important message to you, but there is One about to come on the scene Who is stronger and more powerful and has more authority than I...in fact, I am not even worthy or fit to stoop down and unloose the straps of His sandals.
8. I can and have baptized you with water for the changing of your life by the changing of your mind...altering your perception is what you can do...the part that you can play to enter the Kingdom...but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit...a work that He will do for and in you that you cannot do for yourselves! The baptism in water is a great start...it is the genesis of the Kingdom...but the baptism of the Spirit is about a finished work...it brings the ultimate revelation of the Kingdom!"
9. During the time that John was saying these things, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10. And at the moment He came up out of the water, He perceived that the sky was split open, and God's Spirit...the Holy Spirit, in a visible incarnation of that of a dove...came down on Him, and remained there until it (He) was absorbed into Him.
11. And when that happened, an other-worldly voice began to speak loudly, saying, "You are my Son...My Beloved...chosen and marked by my love, in Whom I take pleasure and with Whom I am completely and absolutely delighted!”