Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Type of Christ)
【Review】Not only the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels but also the Pauline epistles mention that Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit. However, interestingly, though both the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John introduce the matter through the testimonies of John the Baptist in the very early part of each book of the Gospels, Paul little mentions John the Baptist in his letters.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
John answered their questions by saying, "I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am -- so much greater that I'm not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Then John gave this testimony; I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.
Type of Christ
In the Gospel of John, Jesus told the story to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council
, and said that his task was to play the role of the bronze snake
and to be raised up before the people.
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
According to Mr. Sasagu Arai, author of the Japanese version of The Gospel of Thomas, in the Gnostic interpretation, the lord of God, who prohibited taking and eating fruits from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gnosis Cane) growing in the center of Eden, is a negative existence which denies the possibility of men's salvation by "knowledge", but the serpent, who seduced to take and eat the fruits, is a positive existence which makes men wake up to knowledge, and is often described as the type of Jesus Christ.
Therefore Jesus in the Gospel of John can be described as the Savior of the world with strong Gnostic color.
Paul contributes to returnning to revealed religion
Both Christianity and Judaism are revealed religions founded on the revelations of God and whose believers are not allowed to doubt their scriptures.
However, with East-West cultural exchanges after the eastern expedition of Alexander the Great and translation of The Old Testament into Greek in Alexandria, believers of Judaism, especially a large number of newcomers from different ethnic groups, actively learned philosophies and religions from Greek, Persia, India and others and embarked on a reform of Judaism.
Though Paul constructed his theology in such tide of Gnosticism and he himself seems to have been a kind of or a part of the Gnostic theologians, criticized and even persecuted Gnostics in the primitive church and contributed to Christianity's returning to revealed religion.
Five characteristics of Gnostic relief mythologies
Mr. Takashi Onuki, author of the Japanese version of "The Apocryphon of John" has pointed out the following five features which are identified as common to Gnostic relief mythologies.
<1> Severance hard to break over occurs between propator (Supreme God), which is impossible to capture by human intellect, and this visible and material world.
<2> Spirit or Soul of human, that is, eigentliches Selbst (primary Self) is homogeneous with propator and they are inherently not two but one.
<3> But human has forgotten the nature of itself after its primary Self having dropped into this visible and material world and having captured in it.
<4> The human needs to be released from the captivity by a revelator, a soter (saviour) who will be sent from the World of Light by Propator and must be awaken the primary Self in him.
<5> At the last day of this visible and material world, the spiritual substances scattered in it will return to the domain of Propator.
The Gospel of John seems to include almost all above 5 features and the Pauline epistles too have more or less such features. However, if we look at it from another angle, the Gospel of John may have been a type of Gnostic relief mythologies created thereafter. And the author of the Gospel of John may have referred to the relief mythology concerning to Simon Magus, who is often referred as the founder of Gnosticism, and Paul's theology.
What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【thesis】 "A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【anti-thesis】 But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven."(John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【synthesis】 "If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes. (The Origin of Christianity P.171)
Uroboros, an image depicting a serpent eating its own tail, is one of the typical symbol of Gnosticism. The iconography is depicted in the Greek magical papyrus. It is written "all things are one" in Greek. Source: Japanese version of "The Apocryphon of John" translated by Mr. Takashi Onuki
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven?the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:13-15)
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