John the Baptist was sent before Jesus to announce His coming and begin the process of repentance and baptism. When the religious leaders heard of him they went to check him out. They thought John might be the Christ they were waiting for, but he didn’t look like a king or even a prophet. When John saw them he called them a bunch of snakes. (paraphrased). Salvation was introduced by repentance toward GOD and membership to the Church was done by baptism. That was the beginning of setting up the church which Jesus would confirm in His ministry. One thing we should notice here is that the leaders and wealthy had a hard time believing Jesus but many of the poor gladly believed and were baptized, and so it is today. The wealthy do not need GOD, the highly educated already know everything, and the leaders want GOD to act according their thinking. Of course that is not everyone, but many witnesses find that to be true in most cases.
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