|Chapter 23||The Great Gospel of John, Book 1|
4. First I described all the weakness, admonished the sinners to repent, warned all who adopted My teaching against reverting to the old leaven of the Pharisees and, in corroboration of My most gentle teaching, performed miraculous acts needed for these so very materialistic times. I also healed many sick, freed the possessed from the unclean spirits and took on more and more disciples.
(John 3:23) John too was still baptising at Aenon, near to Salim, because water was plentiful in that region, and people were constantly coming for baptism.
(John 3:24) This was before John's imprisonment.
5. As I was travelling through the land of Judaea, I also came to the area where John was baptising in the small desert at Aenon near Salim because there was plenty of water, whereas in the region of Bethabara the Jordan had very little water and the same was muddy, dirty and full of foul-smelling vermin. That is why John had changed his location, preached his severe penitential sermons at Aenon and there baptised the people who had adopted his teaching and done true penance.
6. Among those there were also many who had already adopted My teaching, but had not yet been baptised by John. These asked Me whether it was necessary to be baptised by John beforehand. And I said to them, 'Only one thing is needed and that is to actually comply with My teaching. But whosoever wishes to be cleansed by John beforehand, while he is still doing this work, will only benefit from such a cleansing.' When I had spoken thus, many went to have themselves baptised by John.
(John 3:25) Some of John's disciples had fallen into a dispute with Jews (who had come there) about purification (ie, About My baptism with water compared to John's testimony).
7. A dispute arose about the purification by John and My baptism, for John's disciples could not understand that I, too, baptised with water, since they had heard John's testimony that I would not baptise with water, but with the Holy Spirit. Many Jews, who were already My disciples, maintained that My baptism was a true baptism. For, although I baptised with water like John, My baptism was the only valid one as I did not baptise with natural water alone, but at the same time also with the water of God's Spirit, giving the baptised the obvious power to be called God's children.
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