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John the Baptizer


Occurrences:  107      Yeshua (98)  Wisdom (9)

First Reference:  Yeshua 1:5


And there arose against the king and against the temple in Jerusalem John the Baptizer, an Essene of great renown from the city of Khirbet Qumran, and he spoke hotly against the sins of Herod, and against the rulers of the temple did he lay forth strong accusations.



See:  Essene, Herod the Great, Khirbet Qumran, Teacher of Righteousness, Zacharias


Summary: (28 BCE—34 CE) Born to Zacharias and Elizabeth, John became a well-known religious figure at a young age, publicly denouncing Herod the Great and the corruption of religious leaders in Israel. He called Israel to repentance and declared the coming of the Anointed One. According to scripture, John was the “father” of the Essene religious movement (W:29:9, 18), and established a community of believers and students in a place known as Khirbet Qumran (see Damascus), located on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. John established the practice of baptism among the Jews, and became known as the Teacher of Righteousness (W:29:9-13).


John and Yeshua were cousins, and according to Azrael’s Commentary, would see each other occasionally throughout Yeshua’s early years (AZC —Yeshua and Mary). When Mary and Yeshua were married, John gifted Yeshua a fully completed copy of Jewish scriptures, which gift came to be considered a priceless treasure in the house of Joseph and Miriam. When Yeshua was nineteen (13 CE), a stranger from Qumran came to him with a message: “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, get you up and go quickly unto John, for he shall teach you the things which you must know.” Receiving blessings from the family, Yeshua and Mary left Nazareth for Qumran. Mary traveled with Yeshua as far as Bethany where she stayed with her family — as no women were allowed to enter the Essene community. Once in Qumran, Yeshua submitted himself to the intense disciplines of the Essenes and studied under John for eleven years (AZC — Yeshua and Mary).


In the years leading up to the baptism of Yeshua, John’s fame continued to spread throughout all of Israel. Even after John’s father, Zacharias, was murdered at the bequest of Herod the Great, John continued his public criticism of Herod, then Herod Antipas and the Sadducees. John also publicly foretold the coming of the Anointed One. Fearing for their positions of power, Caiaphas and the temple elders conspired to have John killed, hiring Judas of Kerioth — a Zealot and member of the Sicarii — to spy on John and become one of his disciples (Y:1:50-53).


According to scripture, John had a dream which prompted him to sit in silence by the river Jordan for three days (Y:2:46-50). At noon, on the fourth day, Yeshua arrived at Bethabara from Galilee, and John ran to greet him. Kneeling before Yeshua, John referred to him as ‘My Lord’, which caused all of John’s followers to marvel (Y:3:5-11). After John baptized Yeshua (Y:3:13-15), he revealed to his disciples that Yeshua was the Anointed One. Many of John’s disciples followed Yeshua from that day forth, but others were resentful and went their own way (Y:3:39-41; Y:13:1-9).


Having established Yeshua upon his ministry, John traveled to Jericho, knowing that Herod would have him arrested. The king was initially persuaded by a minister to refrain from killing John, fearing the Essene was indeed a prophet of God. So John was sent to be imprisoned at the fortress of Machaerus. Hearing that John had not been killed, a delegation of scribes and Pharisees came to Herod from Jerusalem and convinced the king to have John killed (c. 34 CE) (Y:5:28-48). John’s body was retrieved by disciples and taken to Elephantine, Egypt, to be buried in a temple which John had built there (Y:5:49; AZC — John the Baptizer; lesson notes: April / May 2008).



Azrael’s Commentary — John the Baptizer

Born in 28 BCE, to Zacharias, a simple priest, John was taught from his youth to love the scriptures. At the age of twelve John had committed his life totally to God, a thing which pleased his father greatly. From the age of twelve, John never cut his hair, and he ate the simplest foods and wore the simplest clothes.


At the age of eighteen, John began preaching in the market places of Jerusalem and throughout the countryside. He publicly denounced the sins of Herod the Great. He condemned the religious leaders of his day for allowing Herod to finance the building of the temple in Jerusalem, proclaiming publicly that Herod was no better than a pig content to wallow in his own dung.


From the beginning, John’s preaching caused an immense sensation. Fearless and resolute, John would thunder his message of redemption. John accused Israel of abandoning God through the love of money and status. He accused religious leaders of pretending to love God while secretly they sought power and prestige. John denounced the rabbis and Pharisees who argued endlessly among themselves over the meaning and intent of scriptures. He upbraided the Sadducees for hypocrisy, and placing the letter of the law above the spirit of the law.


John stated bluntly that all of Israel must repent, that they had to wash themselves and make themselves clean again. This gave birth to the practice of baptism among the Jews of Yeshua’s day. John declared that to be a truly chosen people, Israel must remove the boundaries which separated the rich from the poor. He demanded that all things within a community should be held in common trust. In short, John’s message to Israel involved the elements of repentance, baptism, devotion to God and communitarianism. Another interesting facet of John’s preaching was his insistence that the messiah was coming, and that God had sent him to prepare the way for the Anointed One. Hence, the urgency of John’s message of repentance and baptism had a powerful effect on the multitudes which came to listen to him.


It should prove of interest to the reader that John’s teachings did not please Herod the Great. For John claimed that God had rejected Herod, rejected Jerusalem, rejected the temple, rejected the religious leaders of the day, rejected even Israel itself because of pride and hypocrisy.


King Herod sent a message to John: “Stop your criticism of me, or I will kill your father, Zacharias.” To this threat was added another from the rulers of the temple which accused John of being a false prophet and that if he didn’t stop his criticisms of them, they would likewise kill his father; for John’s father worked in the temple, and the Sadducees had easy access to him. But John couldn’t stop. His devotion to God and his love for Israel would not permit it. And so, Zacharias was murdered at the temple as he was officiating at the altar.

John created a religious sect which came to be known as the Essenes. The word is Adamic and refers to those who desire to heal. John the Baptizer was known among the Essenes as: The Teacher of Righteousness. What might surprise some is the fact that John built a temple in Egypt, in a small city called Elephentine (sic). John died in 34 CE.


Azrael’s Commentary — Herod Antipas

[...] Herod Antipas was a cruel man often given to debauchery. He was forever trying to upstage or embarrass his brother Philip. Antipas seduced the wife of Philip (her name was Herodias), causing her to abandon her husband and move into the court of Antipas. This behavior was publicly opposed and rebuked by John the Baptizer. In a fit of rage, Herod Antipas ordered John’s arrest and eventually gave the order that cost John his life. [...]



John as the reincarnated spirit of Elijah

During the transfiguration event on Mount Tabor, the disciples witnessed the appearance of two figures, identified (by scripture) as Moses and Elijah. The latter was recognized by disciples as John the Baptizer, who had previously been killed at the fortress of Machaerus. When a disciple asked concerning the return of Elijah — as foretold of in scripture — Yeshua confirmed that John the Baptizer was indeed the fulfillment of the prophecy (Y:19:1-15).



Disciples of John who became followers of Yeshua            (see: Yeshua 3:22)

Simon Bar Jonas (Cephas)

Andrew Bar Jonas

John Bar Zebedee

James Bar Zebedee

Philip of Bethsaida

James Ben Alpheus

Levi Ben Alpheus

Shemiah  (AZC — Shemiah)

Simon Zelotes (AZC — Simon Zelotes)



The Return of the Teacher of Righteousness

The Song of God proclaims that Archie D. Wood, Sr. (aka: Azrael Ondi-Ahman) represents the reincarnated spirit of John the Baptizer, the return of the Teacher of Righteousness, and the restoration of gnosis (W:29:9-19, 27, 35).






And there arose against the king and against the temple in Jerusalem John the Baptizer, an Essene of great renown from the city of Khirbet Qumran, and he spoke hotly against the sins of Herod, and against the rulers of the temple did he lay forth strong accusations.

In those days did John the Baptizer preach aloud in the wilderness round about Bethabara, beyond Jordan. And he cried aloud unto all who would listen, saying: “Repent! Repent: for the kingdom of Heaven is near at hand. Turn you, turn you, even every one from the wickedness of his ways, for the kingdom of God draws nigh.”

And many spoke of him this saying: “Is this not he of whom Isaiah prophesied: The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Yeshua 1:5-7


And there were of John’s disciples who followed after Yeshua, Andrew Bar Jonas, the brother of Simon; John Bar Zebedee, the brother of James; Philip of Bethsaida, the son of Jabesh the fisherman; and James Ben Alpheus, the brother of Levi.

Yeshua 3:22


9. Thus throughout each succeeding dispensation did God continue in faith to give even more of the gnosis, here a little there a little; yet did the minions of the Demiurge strive by every means to hide the things of God in darkness, being hopeful to drown in obscurity the light of greater things.

10. Yet regardless of all these things, still did God continue faithful to reveal, and in the time appointed there came into the world of men the Teacher of Righteousness, being known among men as John the Baptizer, being in himself alone, the very father of the Essenes and the Gnosis.

11. For in the days of his youth did John turn himself to great and ponderous study regarding the things of God, tracing back with utmost care even all the truths of God which were dispersed throughout the ages; and when he was concluded, John did bind even all the scattered shards of twinkling flame, to make as one a brightly glowing light which, like a star which fell from Heaven, drew forth the very Anointed One of God, even Yeshua.

12. And when he had come to stand before John, to put forth his petition, even John did set Yeshua above all the other Essenes which were gathered in Khirbet Qumran, to appoint him a serving priest within the community of believers.

13. And there in the desert of Judea, did John teach to Yeshua the gnosis which came from God, beginning from the days of Adam and Eve when first they strode upon the world of man, even till the days of John; and to Yeshua alone did John reveal the gnosis which leads to transformation, even while in the mortal flesh.

14. Which gnosis even Yeshua did reveal to those apostles which he did gather secretly around him after the day of his resurrection, both of men and women. And over the gnosis did he place his brothers Thomas and James, and Mary the Beloved also, being herself proclaimed and anointed to be the first Sophia of many mothers.

Wisdom 29:9-14

John Bar Zebedee