[18]  Gabriel was John the Baptist

The presiding priest over the baptism ceremony of Jesus was John the baptist. 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, in order to be baptized by him (Matthew 3).

Now a sinful human cannot preside over an angelic possession by Michael - see I16, into a non adamic human (by the dirty water principle - which says that one cannot clean a dish with dirty water, i.e. a priest cannot impart to another a cleanliness that he himself does not have). So we are going to reveal a sacred secret of the greatest magnitude here. 

25 The baptism by John, from what source was it? From heaven or from men? But they began to reason among themselves, saying: If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why, then, did you not believe him?' (Matthew 21 NWT)

We know that John the baptist was a supernatural conception not from a virgin, but from an old and barren/infertile woman. 

7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well along in years (Luke 1).

Zechariah did sleep with his barren wife in order for the conception to occur (just as Abraham did with Sarah) because we read:

23 When, now, the days of his public service were fulfilled, he went off to his home.
24 But after these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant; and she kept herself secluded for five months (Luke 1).

So Elizabeth only became pregnant after her husband came home having fulfilled his period of service at the temple.

36 And, look! Elizabeth your relative has also herself conceived a son, in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her, the so-called barren woman (Luke 1).

31 And, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus (Luke 1).

21 Now when eight days came to the full for circumcising him, his name was also called Jesus, the name called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb (Luke 2).

13 However, the angel said to him: Have no fear, Zechariah, because your supplication has been favourably heard, and your wife Elizabeth will become mother to a son to you, and you are to call his name John (Luke 1).

Compare these four scriptures. Both Jesus and John were named by Gabriel before they were conceived in the womb! God can only choose a name for a son if the son is his son. God is not a thief. 

John was not Zechariah’s son otherwise, in God's justice, Zechariah would have named him. Would the God who killed 70,000 people in Jerusalem with a plague because David registered them (see U40) and counted them as if they were his own, and they failed to pay the half shekel registration tax, name a son, registering him as his own, when he was the offspring of someone else? Evidently he would not do that - for he is not a hypocrite. The sons of Israel were owned by God as slaves, by virtue of the Law covenant. They were not his offspring however. The point is that the father names the son even if the father is a slave of his master. So John was non adamic and was a human son of God.

God did not steal him from Zechariah and Elizabeth because although John was conceived in the normal way, Elizabeth herself was incapable of such conception. God did the biology, so it was his son. He then genetically enhanced the embryo so that it became non adamic as he did in the case of the embryo that became Jesus - see Intro17. This is also precisely how Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah - see I22.

Now only a non adamic person (over 30, and so having an associated angel, since 30 years old is when the non adamics are born again according to the pattern of Adam and of Jesus - see U42) can preside over an angelic possession of another non adamic human by the angel Michael, because a priest cannot confer to another a cleanliness that he himself does not possess. So John must have been non adamic. However Jesus, who was also non adamic, was possessed by the angel Michael. So was John possessed by an angel too?

Well, when Jesus came to John to be baptised, John did not know him...

32 John also bore witness, saying: I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him. 
33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining, this is the one that baptizes in holy spirit' (John 1).

Had John not been possessed by someone, he certainly would have recognised his cousin! So John was possessed by an angel who had never seen the fleshly Jesus. So obviously all angels cannot see everything going on down here. But which angel possessed him? We know it wasn't Michael and the only other angel explicitly named in the bible (apart from Satan) is Gabriel. Also he was specifically named as the angel through whom John was named. 

16 Also, he will go ahead in sight of/before him (i.e. God) in spirit and power of Elijah (Greek Interlinear), to turn back the hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient ones to the practical wisdom of righteous ones, to get ready for Jehovah a prepared people.
17 And Zechariah said to the angel: How am I to be sure of this? For I am aged and my wife is well along in years.
18 In reply the angel said to him: I am Gabriel, the one having been standing alongside in sight of/before the God (Kingdom Interlinear), and I was sent forth to speak with you and declare the good news of these things to you (Luke 1:16-19).

Gabriel stands in sight of/before God and John will go ahead in sight of/before God. It is a very high form of priest who goes or stands in sight of/before God, in the sense that Gabriel meant it when he described his heavenly position to Zechariah. 'Standing near before God' means God's priest. The two phrases are synonymous. Gabriel is angelic Levi, a priest to the angels. But there is another meaning. Because the original prophet Elijah was non adamic himself. We know this because he resurrected the widow of Zarephath's son during the Alienation Times which was a priesthood malediction on the sons of Adam - see U128. So he was possessed by someone. So in fact the spirit of Elijah, the spirit that possessed Elijah, also possessed John the baptist. That is how John went ahead before God in the spirit of Elijah. Jesus tells us outspokenly that the angel who possessed Elijah also possessed John when he says...

13 For all, the Prophets and the Law, prophesied until John;
14 and if you want to accept it, He himself is 'Elijah who is destined to come.' (Matthew 11 NWT)

What Jesus is asking us to accept is that the two were the same. They plainly were not the same human. So they were possessed by the same angel, Gabriel. For more on this see U506

15 And as for the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who took care of the obligation of my sanctuary when the sons of Israel wandered away from me, they themselves will come near to me to minister to me, and they must stand before me to present to me fat and the blood, is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah (Ezekiel 44).

Look! Gabriel is telling us that he is going to act as a priest before God. So he is a priest related to John the baptist, and we know that John was angelically possessed when he acted as a priest presiding over the entrance of Michael into Jesus. So Gabriel would be a good candidate for that Job. Also since we do know the name of the angel who possessed Jesus, we should also know the name of the angel who possessed John, and there is only one other angelic name explicitly quoted in the scriptures. Furthermore the name 'Gabriel' in Hebrew means 'able bodied man of God' a name which requires the angel Gabriel to become an able bodied man, at some point. Furthermore he is to be an able bodied man not of Adam, but of God, so he is to possess a non adamic man at some point or points. This begs the question: Who presided over the entrance of Gabriel into John then? The answer to this is Melchizedek - see I21.

So now we have some understanding of John1:14,15...

14 So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth.
15 John bore witness about him, yes, he actually cried out--this was the one who said [it]--saying: The one coming behind me has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me (John 1).

29 The next day he beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is the one about whom I said, Behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me (John 1).

There must be a sense in which Jesus existed before John. But we all know that John was conceived and born 6 months before Jesus. So they both have to have been possessed. And the angel who possessed Jesus existed before the angel who possessed John. In other words. Michael was older than Gabriel. So the human vehicle of Michael, Jesus, that came 6 months behind the human vehicle of Gabriel, John, then advanced in front of Gabriel in priestly status, because it was possessed by an angel, Michael, who existed before Gabriel.

The two John the Baptists

18 Now John's disciples reported to him about all these things.
19 So John summoned a certain two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to say: Are you the Coming One or are we to expect a different one?
20 When they came up to him the men said: John the Baptist dispatched us to you to say: Are you the Coming One or are we to expect another? (Luke 7).

Obviously Gabriel was not possessing John at the time that he sent his disciples to ask if Jesus was the one. Because Gabriel when he was in John baptised Jesus, and bore witness saying after Jesus came out of his 40 day wilderness test:

29 The next day he beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is the one about whom I said, Behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me [they both volunteered to come and save us at the same time, but Michael got the greater assignment due to his seniority over Gabriel - see Intro19 and Intro28].
31 Even I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing in water was that he might be made manifest to Israel.
32 John also bore witness, saying: I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him.
33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me, Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining, this is the one that baptizes in holy spirit (John 1).

So the John who did not know Michael in Luke 7, was plain old John, the John not possessed by Gabriel. Just as the John possessed by Gabriel did not know Jesus when he came to be baptised. Are you with us? You see there would have been no need for God to tell John the baptist who the original Jesus was, since they had grown up together. But John without Gabriel inside him would not know that Jesus was the Christ, because Gabriel, not the original John actually baptised Jesus.

This is why John the baptist, said to the Pharisees that he was not Elijah, whereas Jesus said that he was Elijah. Both statements were true. 

21 And they asked him: What, then? Are you Elijah? And he said: I am not. Are you The Prophet? And he answered: No!
22 Therefore they said to him: Who are you? that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? (This is an inspired Reader Question from the holy spirit: Answer - Gabriel, which one finds out by listening to what he says about himself).
23 He said: I am a voice of someone crying out in the wilderness: Make the way of Jehovah straight, just as Isaiah the prophet said. 
24 Now those sent forth were from the Pharisees. 
25 So they questioned him and said to him: Why, then, do you baptize if you yourself are not the Christ or Elijah or The Prophet? (John 1). 

Good question (another Reader Question) The answer is - It was to put Jesus and other faithful Jews into the first Elijah covenant - to put him and them into the first true Christian church  - See I28.

13 For all, the Prophets and the Law, prophesied until John, 
14 and if you want to accept it, He himself is Elijah who is destined to come (Matthew 11).

The above words of Jesus show that John was Elijah and that a further Elijah was destined to come again after John had died. 

As regards the comings and goings of Gabriel into and out of John, it worked like this...The original John, was transferred into his associated angelic body, so as to allow Gabriel possession of his human body. But then, later, he took his human body back from Gabriel, when Gabriel returned into his angelic body. The two conducted two body swaps. It was the original John the Baptist, who had his head chopped off by Herod for complaining about his having the wife of his brother, not Gabriel!

Since John was non adamic, his death was a sacrifice (it was not caused by his DNA). It was a validation sacrifice for a fleshly covenant, actually the ICC - see U15 and see I28.

All human validation sacrifices are non adamic. A son of Adam is hardly an unblemished first born lamb!

Greater than John but lesser in the heavens?

28 I tell you, Among those born of women there is none greater than John; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of God is greater than he is (Luke 7).

11 Truly I say to you people, Among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater [one] than John the Baptist; but a person that is a lesser [one] in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is (Matthew 11).

Gabriel is that person, lesser than Michael but greater than John, and not born of women.