1Now1in thosedays2John the Baptistacame, bpreaching in the 3wilderness of Judea, saying,
"4Repent, for 5the kingdom of heavencis at hand."
For this is the 6one referred to dby Isaiah the prophet when he said, "7THE VOICE OF ONE eCRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, '8MAKEREADY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHSSTRAIGHT!' "
4NowJohnhimselfhadf9a garment of camel'shair and a leatherbeltaround his waist; and his food was 10locusts and wildhoney.
5ThenJerusalem11was going out to him, and allJudea and all12the districtaround the Jordan;
and they were being 13baptized by him in the JordanRiver, as they confessed their sins.
But when he sawmany of the 14Pharisees and 15Sadduceescoming for baptism, he said to them, "You 16brood of vipers, whowarned you to flee from 17the wrath to come?
"18Thereforebearfruit19in keeping with repentance;
and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, '20We haveAbraham for our father '; for I say to you that from thesestonesGod is able to raise up children to Abraham.
"The 21axe is alreadylaid at the root of the trees; therefore22everytree that does not beargoodfruit is cutdown and thrown into the fire.
"As for me, 23I baptize you gwith water for repentance, but He who is comingafter me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; 24He will baptize you hwith the HolySpirit and fire.
"His 25winnowingfork is in His hand, and He will thoroughlyclear His threshingfloor; and He will 26gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the 27chaff with 28unquenchablefire."