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Some say that because John the Baptist is quoting Isaiah 40:3-5 "prepare the way for the LORD" in Mark 1:2-3 and
in the NT it is Jesus who comes to the earth, John is saying Jesus is the LORD/YHWH/God.
This same prophecy is also quoted in Mathew 3:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23.
Mathew 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "the voice of one crying
in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
Mark 1:2-3 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will
prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,
Malachi 3:1 is also part of the fulfillment quoted in Mark 1:2.
Luke 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, The voice of one crying in the
wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the
Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said.
Rather than analyze each passage individually, because it is the same story, a full and detailed look at this idea is seen
here at Mark 1:2-3 where it shows that Jesus is not the LORD/God. I specifically chose Mark 1 because vs2 has the
quote from Malachi included which the others do not.
Before analyzing Mark 1:2-3 I am going to provide some evidence that has to be taken into account when interpreting
our passage.
Whether you agree or disagree, in part or in whole, big or small, please email me any feedback to help improve this
study. I would also appreciate any help with its logic, grammar, typos, editing etc.
Index:
Background:
Part 1
Prophecies that the LORD God Would Come.
Scriptures:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Exodus 23:20
Isaiah 40:3-5
Malachi 3:1-3
Mark 1:2-4 NT Fulfillment

Part 1 Prophecies that the LORD God Would Come


Because of the depth and amount of important and relevant background information that needs to be understood
before interpreting our passage in Mark 1:2-4 I have quoted here the final conclusion of a forty page analysis from
01F God and His Glory Coming to Live among us. It is my suggestion that you visit this analysis and read it in its
entirety or at least study out the introduction and index followed by the list of summaries and final conclusion at the
end.
Here is the conclusion to that study:
As shown throughout this analysis there are numerous prophecies and fulfillments that say God did come in
some way, all of which happened in the Old Testament. God said he was coming, and did come. He said he

was coming, and sent representatives, people or angels. He said he was coming in his glory, or that his glory
was coming, and it did come in several different ways and sometimes through representatives. God or His glory
came to people or to the OT temple, it or He came to the temple after it was rebuilt in the times of Zechariah
and Malachi. There are several more passages that say God, or His glory, had come than there were prophecies
of Him or His glory coming. It is interesting to note that the two passages that say God would not give his glory
to others, cannot mean exactly that because of the many times He does give His glory to others. There are
numerous passages where God gives His glory to Jesus, and numerous passages where God gives His glory to
people.
As per Part 5F Three extremely significant things have now happened and been identified here.
1/ Jesus death signified the end of the OT temple
2/ Jesus is the cornerstone, the first physical body to be God's spiritual temple.
3/ Each individual disciple, and all disciples together, is/are God's spiritual temple the Church.
In the OT God came in his glory to the physical temple, in the NT God comes in his Holy Spirit to our
fleshly temple. God now lives in us and with us.
All four of the OT "Jesus is God" proof texts (Isaiah 40:3-5, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 48:11, and Zechariah 2:10,)
were shown to have been fulfilled in the OT when the temple was rebuilt around 520BC approx. This study
has therefore eliminated any possibility that because God said He and/or His glory was coming, Jesus must
be God. It also eliminated the possibility that because God gave His glory to Jesus, Jesus must be God.
All the supporting evidence can be seen here O1F God and his Glory Coming To Live Among Us linked here
Summary:
In the Old Testament God said he or is glory was coming and he either came in some way or had representatives
come on his behalf in those times. In the New Testament the physical temple was to become a human temple where
God's glory and Holy Spirit would live.

Part 2 Exodus 23:20


Some people are of the opinion that verse 20 is quoted in the NT.
Exodus 23:20-21 Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place
that I have prepared.
21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your
transgression, for my name is in him.
22 But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an
adversary to your adversaries.
23 When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and
the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out,
Vs20 Behold I send an "angel" is written in the Darby, ASV, AV, DR, ESV, HCSB, KJV, LEB, NET, NASB, NCV,
NIRV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, RSV, TNIV,
Exodus 23:20 Lo, I am sending a messenger before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee in unto
the place which I have prepared
Vs 20 I'm going to send a "messenger" is written in the GW and YLT
Summary:
Although in Exodus 23:20 in the GW and YLT translations this passage is 'similar" to Isaiah 40:3, and likely others,
the majority say an "angel" is being sent. This is because of the context of vs 21-23.
Because an "angel" is being sent seems to eliminate the possibility that it is directly connected to the NT passages in
question.

Part 3 OT Isaiah 40:3-5


This is the OT passage that John the Baptist quotes in the NT. What did the people of the time believe this to be
saying? Does the combination of vs3 and vs5 mean the LORD God was actually coming himself?
Isaiah 40:1-5 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she
has received from the LORDs hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice (Isaiah) cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD (God); make straight in the desert a
highway for our God
4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become
level, and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD (God) shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the
LORD has spoken."
6 A voice (??) says, Cry! And I (Isaiah) said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like
the flower of the field.
Vs1-2 God is speaking through Isaiah to the people. The seventy years of captivity was almost over, Israel's sin had
been paid for and now it was a time for God's blessing to begin.
Vs2 To receive double for all her sins doesn't mean to be punished beyond what she deserves but in keeping with
what she deserves. The point is that she has now received full or sufficient punishment for all her sins.
Vs3 A voice, likely Isaiah, calls out to the people to prepare the way for the LORD/YHWH, God. The people were in
a spiritual wilderness and were being called to return and be ready for the LORD God. It seems the voice cries
through to the end of vs5.
Vs4 This smoothing of the ground is a metaphor of some type, perhaps the nation would be smoothed by God.
Vs5 The mouth of God said, "God's glory will be revealed and seen by the people."
This was likely God speaking through Isaiah.
Vs6 There are two voices, the second one is likely Isaiah because he says "what shall I cry."
It is not clear who the first voice is in vs6 talking to Isaiah. It doesn't seem to affect the outcome.
The prophecy in this passage, specifically vs5, is fulfilled in the days of Isaiah as shown in
Isaiah 60:1-2 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon
you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
vs1 the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. This means that God's glory was seen "upon" people at this time.
The key word here is "has." The glory "has" risen upon them, it was there at that time 2700 years ago.
vs2 the glory will be seen in those people in the immediate times, is clarified in vs3- onwards.
Isaiah began his ministry in 740BC approx and died 676BC approx, therefore this prophecy and fulfillment happened
during that time. There is no doubt that the fulfillment happened within this timeframe. There was a second, later,
fulfillment when Zechariah and Malachi were involved in the rebuilding of the temple between 536-480BC and God
and His glory were seen during those later times.
It seems that it was always understood to mean that the LORD God would be with them in plan and purpose, in that
way he would be there spiritually in their temple. There is no indication that the people of the times of the prophecies
of the fulfillments expected the LORD God to be coming in a physical body.
Summary:
Isaiah 40:3-4 Make straight a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:5 the glory of the LORD will be revealed and all flesh will see it.
People will see the glory of the LORD
Isaiah 60:1 The glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
God's glory had arrived and was there

Isaiah 60:2 The glory of the LORD will rise upon you and be seen.
God's glory would be seen on the people of the time
The OT prophecies usually made sense to the people of the time, and this passage is no exception. The prophecy of
the LORD God coming in his glory in chapter 40 is fulfilled in chapter 60. The prophecy from Isaiah 40:3-5 is later to
be quoted by John the Baptist a further seven hundred years later and fulfilled again in those times.
Isaiah 40:3-5 had a near fulfillment in Isaiah 60 and a far fulfillment when the temple was rebuilt in 520BC as told in
the books of Ezra, Zechariah and Malachi. The glory of the LORD God was seen at, or through, or via, the physical
temple. Isaiah 40:3 was to have another "far fulfillment" in the later NT gospels.

Part 3 OT Malachi 3:1-3


Part of this passage is quoted in the NT.
Malachi 3:1-3 Behold, I (the LORD God) send my messenger (John the Baptist,) and he will prepare the
way before me (the LORD God.) And the Lord (Jesus) whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple;
and the messenger (Jesus) of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of
hosts (the LORD God.)
2 But who can endure the day of his (Jesus) coming, and who can stand when he (Jesus) appears? For he
(Jesus) is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap.
3 He (Jesus) will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he (Jesus) will purify the sons of Levi and refine
them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. (the LORD God)
Vs1 I will send my "messenger," is a prophecy of John the Baptist.
Jesus says in
Mathew 11:10 This is he of whom it is written. Behold I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.
Here in Mathew 11:10, Jesus says the "messenger" is John the Baptist
Here in Mathew 11:10, "your way before you" is in reference to either the LORD God from the first
sentence from Malachi 1, or Jesus who is the Lord from the second sentence in Malachi 1. It is difficult to
decide because they are both Lord and they were both coming in certain ways.
Vs1....prepare the way before me, is God.
In Malachi the two words "before me" from Hebrew paneh/H6440 and ani/H589 are translated
"before me" ASV, ESV, HCSB, KJV, LEB, NET, NASB, NCV, NIV, and most others.
"before my face." DR, Wycliffe,
When quoted in Mark 1:2 the quote says before your face or "ahead of you" depending on translation.
Vs1 The "Lord" they seek is Jesus and the "temple" is the physical body he had for 30+ years while on the earth.
Lord, H113 Adown means lord, master or owner and is applied to God and people in the OT.
The Lord is not the previous me (God).
Vs1 The "messenger of the covenant" is Jesus.
Jesus came and taught us about the New Covenant and therefore is the messenger Mat 20:28, 1 Cor 11:25, Hebrews
7:22. People are also messengers (Philippians 2:25.) We now teach the New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6) just as
Jesus taught it to us. We, along with John the Baptist and Jesus are all messengers of God.
Vs1 God is neither the "Lord" or either of the "messengers" referenced here.
One could argue that God said "before me" in Malachi and yet it says "before you" in Mark. The clarification for this
is the rest of Malachi 3:1 where God talks about another being the one coming, "he is coming."
vs1 Prepare the way before God, he is sending his messenger the Lord Jesus.

vs2-3 Refer to Jesus refining people who bring offerings to Jehovah God.
God is not referring to Himself in these verses. God talks of another when he says "his coming," "he appears," "he is
like," "he will sit," "he will purify," "he will refine."
At this point in time we don't know:
1/ That the physical temple would become a human temple
2/ That the messenger, the Lord Jesus, would become the first human temple followed by the church.
3/ That the glory of God would be given to Jesus and to the disciples.
4/ That the LORD God would come in his Holy Spirit and fill and live in Jesus and the disciples.
All these factors can sometimes make it difficult to assess exactly what was meant in Isaiah 40 and 60.
Summary:
Malachi 3:1-3
John the Baptist is the messenger.
God is "I," "my," and me in vs1 and always the LORD (H3068 YHWH)
Jesus is the Lord. (H113 adown) in vs1, not LORD.
Jesus is the messenger of the covenant.

Part 4 NT Fulfillment Mark 1:1-7:


This fulfillment is in each of the other gospels in some way.
ESV Mark 1:1-7 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger (John the Baptist) before your face, who
will prepare your way (the LORD God,)
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness (John the Baptist): Prepare the way of the Lord (the LORD God,)
make his paths straight,
4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of
sins.
5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the
river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 Now John was clothed with camels hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild
honey.
7 And he preached, saying, After me (John the Baptist) comes he (Jesus) who is mightier than I, the strap of
whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
John's role was to announce the coming of the Messiah.
Vs2 The words Isaiah the prophet is a translation variance because the quotation is actually from Malachi 3:1.
In the AV, KJV, NKJV, YLT it says as it is written in the prophets not Isaiah the prophet. "As it is written in the
prophets," would make a lot more sense in order to refer to Malachi in vs2 as well as Isaiah in vs3.
Vs2 Malachi 3:1 The LORD/YHWH says he will send a messenger: As per the explanation in Malachi 3:1 both John
and Jesus are referred to as a messenger, so who does Mark 1:2 refer to?
By the way vs4 is written it would seem that John the Baptist is the messenger, Mark quotes in the wilderness and
then says John appeared in the wilderness. Additionally Matthew 11:10-11 and Luke 7:27 has Jesus saying that
John the Baptist is the messenger who prepares the way.
Alternatively Jesus says in John 14:24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear
are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me, so Jesus is a messenger. Also the second part of Malachi 3:1
says the messenger of the covenant which is certainly Jesus.
The decision and interpretation that the messenger in Mark 1:2 is John the Baptist, is because of Jesus' quote in
Mathew 11:10 and Luke 7:27.
Vs2 As mentioned in the assessment of Malachi 3, before me is sometimes translated before my face.

Vs2 Why has Malachi "my face" changed to Mark "your face" and does it make a difference? Does this mean it now
applies to another, possibly Jesus?
Because Mark is quoting the OT, it would always be my belief that he wanted to quote it correctly and therefore have
it apply to the LORD God as per the Malachi explanation, not Jesus. (This does not have to be true because there
were times when God was prophesied as coming and sent another.) Secondly because the comparable passages in
Mathew, Luke and John don't quote Malachi they could not have considered it of significant importance to include it.
If all four gospel writers had wanted to signify a change in meaning there would have been more support for that
idea. For these reasons it still applies to the LORD God, not Jesus. I understand that on the face of it, it may seem
more like "your way" would apply to Jesus, however it does not make a difference to the final interpretation that
follow.
Vs2 Interestingly the word "messenger" is from the Greek word G32/angelos. G32/angelos is in the NT 176 times
and is translated to "angel" or "angels" on every occasion except Mat 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:24. Luke 7:27, Luke
9:52, 2 Cor 12:7, James 2:25 - messenger/s and John 20:18 - announced. If it were translated "angel" it would then
support the idea that this verse is also quoting Exodus 23:20. This would add to the problem where Mark says it is
Isaiah he is quoting, and now he would be quoting Exodus.
Vs3 Now quoting Isaiah 40:3
Vs3a Who is the voice crying in the wilderness, Jesus or John? It is John!
It could apply to Jesus baptism by John in vs9-10 followed by being driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit
and tempted there by Satan for forty days. However it is Jesus' statements in Mathew 11:7-11 that confirm the "voice
in the wilderness" is John the Baptist. Also John the Baptist says "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness"
in John 1:21.
Vs3a There is no direct Greek translation term for the Hebrew word "YHWH" from Isaiah 40:3 therefore the NT uses
the Greek term "Kurios" meaning Lord. The "Lord" in this passage is the LORD/God from Isaiah 40:3.
Vs3b Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God, who is sending his two messengers identified in Malachi 3. The first
messenger John in vs3. The second "messenger of the covenant" who God made Lord, Jesus, comes in vs7.
Vs3b Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God because God's glory is coming to fill Jesus and the people of the NT
church.
Vs3b Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God because God's Holy Spirit is coming to fill the new physical temple,
which is firstly Jesus then the people of the NT Church.
Vs3c There are some that think the Jesus is the Lord/LORD mentioned here, however due to the background that has
been summarized earlier and is in detail in the study O1F God and His glory coming to live among us linked here,
this is not the case.
Vs3d Interestingly, if the verse numbers are removed as per the original Greek text it would say
"the way of the LORD, make straight his paths, John appeared baptizing."
Now clearly there is a far stronger argument that could be made saying LORD applied to John the Baptist, would you
agree? However we know that not to be the case, nor is it the case for Jesus.
Vs3e If you are still not persuaded despite all the evidence, and you still believe this applies to Jesus and because the
original quote was for God then Jesus must also be God, what is that based on? Is it based on your belief that if an
original prophecy applied to God then the fulfillment can apply to God only?
This is not true as identified in the study O1F God and His glory coming to live among us, where several prophecies
said the LORD God was coming and yet it was angels or people who came.
Vs3e If you argue that the original quote in Malachi 3 read "prepare the way before me" and the fulfillment in Mark 3
read "who will prepare your way" the same counter argument applies as just stated.

Vs3e Therefore even if "prepare the way for the Lord" does apply to Jesus, which is doesn't, it still does not make him
God.
Vs4-6 This is all referring to John the Baptist who was creating a favorable environment and making things
more acceptable for Jesus.
Vs7 The first mention of Jesus, who John references here as "mightier than I'. In vs8-10 Jesus, the Lord (H113
adown) and second messenger from Malachi, arrives to be baptized by John.
Summary:
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God who was sending his two messengers, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His new physical spiritual temple, Jesus was coming
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His new physical spiritual temple, people of the Church were coming
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His glory was coming to live in Jesus.
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His glory was coming to live in the people of the Church.
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His Holy Spirit was coming to live in Jesus.
Prepare the way for the LORD/Lord/God as His Holy Spirit was coming to live in the people of the Church.
Just as in the earlier fulfillments in Isaiah 60 and later at 520BC in Zechariah and others, the LORD said he was
coming but it was his "glory" that was revealed. The same was about to happen in the NT when God's glory and Holy
Spirit would be revealed through Jesus and subsequently the disciples who were the new temples.
If, despite all the evidence to the contrary, you are still of the belief that "prepare the way of the Lord" directly applies
to Jesus it still doesn't mean Jesus is God because several OT prophecies of God or His glory coming were fulfilled
by both angels and people.
Summaries and Final Conclusion:
Part 1 In the Old Testament God said he or is glory was coming and he either came in some way or had
representatives come on his behalf in those times. In the New Testament the physical temple was
to become a human temple where God's glory and Holy Spirit would live.
Part 2 Although in Exodus 23:20 in the GW and YLT translations this passage is 'similar" to Isaiah 40:3, and
likely others, the majority say an "angel" is being sent. This is because of the context of vs 21-23.
Because an "angel" is being sent seems to eliminate the possibility that it is directly connected to the NT
passages in question.
Part 3 Malachi 3:1-3
John the Baptist is the messenger.
God is "I," "my," and me in vs1 and always the LORD (H3068 YHWH)
Jesus is the Lord. (H113 adown) in vs1, not LORD.
Jesus is the messenger of the covenant.
Part 4 Just as in the earlier fulfillments in Isaiah 60 and later at 520BC in Zechariah and others, the LORD said
he was coming but it was his "glory" that was revealed. The same was about to happen in the NT when
God's glory and Holy Spirit would be revealed through Jesus and subsequently the disciples who were the
new temples.
Conclusion:
Although at first glance the idea that Jesus is the LORD/YHWH/God seems to be supported in Mark 1:1-7, it is not
the case, it is a mistaken conclusion. As shown in this analysis the predictions of Isaiah 40:3-5 and Malachi 3:1-3
combined with Mark 1:1-7 do not say God is coming, or that Jesus is the LORD or that Jesus is God.
Nothing in Mark 1:1-7 says that Jesus is God.