"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Those who wish to reject the Bible as the verbally inspired word of God think they establish their case by claiming inconsistencies in the recorded lineages of Jesus, Matthew 1 and Luke 3. A Bible question just received asks about one variation on this theme:
“Concerning the lineage of Christ. An atheist claims to have found an error in scripture. Please help me as I am unable to refute. He made a couple of arguments.
1. Since Jesus was not from the actual line of Joseph, Jesus is disqualified as messiah. Jesus lacked the tribal identification through the male line.”
Matthew 1 and Luke 3 offer different genealogies for Jesus that merge when they arrive at King David (to whom the Messianic promise was made, 2 Sam. 7:12-14; Matt. 1:6; Lk. 3:31).
The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 established his legal lineage and his right to claim the throne of David. It is Joseph’s ancestry that constituted this Jewish requirement. While it is true that Jesus was not literally from the body of Joseph, he was nevertheless the carpenter’s son (Matt. 13:55). Joseph exercised a father’s prerogative to name his son (Matt. 1:25; cf. Lk. 1:62). Mary referred to Joseph as the father of Jesus in Luke 2:48. Joseph raised Jesus as His adopted son (look closely at the wording of Matt. 1:16 to see that although Joseph did not “beget” Jesus, he was “the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ”). Anyone claiming the right to inherit the throne of David would have his lineage scrutinized to see if such a claim would be legitimate. So, as Matthew introduces Jesus Christ as “the Son of David” (a Messianic expression), he gives the lineage that establishes his case (Matt. 1:1).
While Jesus’ legal claim to the throne is established through the genealogy in Matthew 1, his physical lineage is recorded in Luke 3:23-38 (Mary…David…Judah…Jacob…Abraham…Adam). Jesus, the “Son of Man,” was from the tribe of Judah (see Heb. 7:13-14).
It is indeed curious that if Jesus’
claim of Messiah is discredited by a false and faulty lineage, why didn’t
the high priest and the Sanhedrin council offer this “proof” into evidence
against Jesus when they put him on trial (Matt. 26:59-66). The best they
could do was gather false witnesses (liars) against Him. There was no valid
evidence against Jesus. The genealogical records of Jesus establish both
his legal and physical claim as the Messiah. The Bible accurately records
The request for help in answering an atheist’s assault on the Bible (see page 1) continued with a second question:
“One of the ancestors of Jesus listed in Matt. 1:11, ‘Jeconiah, Jeconias’ was banned in Jer. 22:28-30 from having descendants to sit on the throne of David. So even if you grant the stepfather relationship of Joseph, Joseph descends from a line that cannot sit on the throne.”
Jeconiah (also named in Scripture as Coniah and Jehoiachin) was the son of king Jehoiakim and grandson of king Josiah. Coniah was wicked before the Lord, and ruled as king of Judah for only three months (2 Kgs. 24:8-9). He was taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and exiled to Babylon for 37 years (2 Kgs. 24:12-15; 25:27-30). His uncle Zedekiah was made king of Judah in his place (2 Kgs. 24:17).
Due to Coniah’s wickedness, Jeremiah announced God’s judgment against him (Jer. 22:24-30). Although Coniah had offspring (1 Chrn. 3:17-18; Matt. 1:12), the Lord said to
“‘write this man down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall proper, Sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah’” (Jer. 22:30).
No seed of Coniah would (1) sit on the throne of David, and (2) rule in Judah. Coniah is in the legal genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:12). Therefore, Jesus cannot sit on David’s throne while ruling in Judah. This does not discredit the Bible, but it lands a deathblow to the false doctrine of Premillennialism that anticipates Jesus returning to Jerusalem to reign on David’s throne for 1,000 years.
We are confident that Jeremiah’s prophecy about the seed of Coniah will continue to hold true. None of his descendants will ever sit on the throne of David, ruling in Judah. This is not to say that Jesus is not the Messiah or that He is not ruling from the throne of David today. He is.
To think otherwise is to expose a fundamental flaw in one’s concept of the nature of the Messiah’s kingdom. His kingdom is “not of this world” (Jno. 18:36). To expect Jesus to return to earth and sit on the actual throne of David for 1,000 years violates the spiritual nature of His kingdom. Furthermore, it makes Jeremiah a false prophet. The apostle Paul said we shall no longer know Jesus according to flesh (2 Cor. 5:16). He is “no longer in the world” (Jno. 17:11). Jesus will come, but not to earth.
The “throne of David” refers to the established rule of the Messiah over the kingdom of God (2 Sam. 7:13; see 1 Chrn. 22:9-10 where God would “establish the throne of his kingdom”). Gabriel announced His rule to Mary (Lk. 1:32-33).
Jesus is now sitting on His throne – asserting His rule – at the right hand of God in fulfillment of God’s promise (Acts 2:33-36). Christ’s kingdom is established and His rule over it is complete (Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8; Eph. 1:20-23; Psa. 110:1-4). His kingdom is His church (Matt. 16:18-19).
God’s judgment against the house of Coniah holds true. But that did not
kept Jesus off His throne. His throne is in heaven, from whence He rules
over all (Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Hindrances to Spiritual Growth
Scripture Reading: Luke 8:4-15
Spiritual growth is a personal responsibility, Heb. 5:12; Lk. 8:8, 18.
I. HINDRANCES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH:
A. Dullness of Hearing – Lk. 8:10; Matt. 13:15 (Lk.
8:5, 12); Jno. 6:60-66 (Heb. 3:7-8).
1. Eph. 3:14-19 – Spiritual strength is granted by God
when we live by faith.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
The Relation of Grace to Sin, Truth and Forgiveness
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:21-26
I. RELATION OF GRACE & SIN – Rom. 5:20-21; 3:20-26.
A. Grace Accomplishes What Law Cannot – Acts 15:11;
Gal. 3:10-14 (Rom. 3:20-24; 4:15).
II. RELATION OF GRACE & TRUTH.
Jesus is the Fullness of Grace & Truth – Jno. 1:14, 16-17; Acts 20:24.
III. RELATION OF GRACE & FORGIVENESS.
A. Receiving Grace is Conditional –Tit. 2:11-12;
3:4-7; Gal. 5:5-7.
If standing in grace means automatic forgiveness (“continual cleansing”),
'Yes' to Terror
This past week saw the government of the Philippines said ‘yes’ to terrorist demands and agreed to withdraw its 51 troops out of Iraq to obtain the release of a Filipino truck driver the terrorists threatened to behead. In his commentary on this matter, Peter Brookes, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs and now of The Heritage Foundation, provides a framework for why any nation cannot afford to negotiate with terrorists (“Saying ‘Yes’ To Terror,” Peter Brookes, www.heritage.org). His comments also provide some insight into our battle “against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12; cf. 2 Cor. 10:3-5). We face the terror of immorality and religious error from those who foster and promote it. How will we respond to spiritual terrorists (2 Cor. 11:13-15)?
1) Giving in to terrorist demands encourages terrorists to continue their evil tactics. Doing what evil demands does not appease evil. The Scripture says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” and “Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9). Satan wants us to give in to his devices, but we must stand our ground against sin. Appeasing error only makes matters worse.
2) Giving in to terrorist demands weakens one’s ability to withstand other threats. The apostle Paul said of one confrontation against false teachers, “to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5). Evil men threaten the ruin of a man’s reputation and/or the division of a church if their demands are not met. Such factious people must be rejected in order to keep the innocent safe (Tit. 3:9-11).
3) Giving in to terrorist demands undermines credibility and reliability. We must be doers of the word and not those who only hear (Jas. 1:22). We cannot say we contend for the faith but then abandon the fight when the enemy approaches (Jude 3; 1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 6:10-13).
Our enemy wants to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8). Be bold in our God! (Prov. 28:1; 1 Ths. 2:2)
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