Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

The Virgin Birth of Christ

The virgin birth of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian Faith.  It is clearly prophesied in Isaiah 7:14  and it is clearly described as  fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-25   and  Luke 1:26-38. If Jesus was not virgin born, we have no Saviour.

 

To deny the Virgin Birth of Christ, or the truth of His miracles, or the power of His blood sacrifice on the cross as the complete and only atonement for our sins, or to deny  His Bodily Resurrection, or the fact that Jesus is the sinless, holy Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity;  is to deny the Doctrine of Christ. 

 

To deny the Doctrine of Christ is to be without God and condemned to Hell.  II John 9-11  This same warning in this little Epistle next to Revelation, also warns us to reject as a Bible teacher anyone who denies the doctrine of Christ.  Don’t give them your support or your encouragement.  Those who do are partakers of their evil deeds.  If you find yourself to be in a church where the doctrine of Christ is ignored or denied, I urge you to get out now and find a church that proclaims it without compromise.   It is impossible for you to receive Christ as your Saviour from sin and at the same time deny who He is.  To deny the doctrine of who He is, is to deny Christ and be lost in your sins and headed for Hell.

 

A Church that denies the doctrine of Christ is part of  Mystery Babylon, the church of Anti-christ that will be left behind after the Rapture of the True Church,  to face the judgment of God in the Great Tribulation.  Read Revelation 17 for a full description of this church and read Revelation 18:1-4 for God’s warning for you to separate yourself from this false system NOW!  To learn more about Mystery Babylon, you can find that topic in my series on PROPHECY.

 

Why is the doctrine of the Virgin Birth so important?

 

Genealogy of Mary

Consider the genealogy of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Joseph, His step-father.   Luke 3 gives us the genealogy of Mary.    Heli in Luke 3:23 is the father-in-law of Joseph. This genealogy  traces  Jesus, the son of Mary,  all the way back through Nathan, the son of David  and back to Adam and to God who made Adam.   This shows us that Jesus was a man in the same sense that you and I are men and women.  He was totally human, though totally sinless.

 

Genealogy of Joseph

In Matthew 1 we have the genealogy of Joseph, the step-father of Jesus.  This genealogy goes back through Solomon, another son of David,   and  continues back to Abraham showing that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Abraham found in Genesis 12.

 

The curse of Coniah

However, in Joseph’s genealogy we go back to a king of Judah whose name was Jehoiachin. He was also known as  Jechoniah or Coniah. He only reigned three months and then was taken into Babylonian captivity.  What’s so interesting about Jechoniah or Coniah is that God cursed him and his descendents. That curse is recorded in Jeremiah 22:24-30. That means that no one from Coniah’s descendents could ever sit on  the throne of David as  King and Messiah.   Joseph, the husband of Mary was from Coniah’s line.  So that ruled out Joseph or any son of Joseph from ever being king.

 

Sin nature passed from father to child

If Jesus has been the biological son of Joseph, He could not have been the promised King.  Furthermore, since the sin nature is passed on from father to child  and not from mother to child,  any son of Joseph or any other human father would have inherited a sinful nature. 

 

Therefore, for two reasons Jesus had to be born of a virgin mother.

1. So that He would not inherit a sinful nature from his father.

2. So He would not be barred from the curse of Coniah which was upon Joseph and his sons.

 

Virgin Birth God’s amazing solution

By being virgin born, Jesus was truly man and truly God. As God in human flesh, He was totally sinless and His death and resurrection made possible the one,  final sacrifice for sin for all the sins of the world. Read about that wonderful sacrifice in Hebrews 10.  There it tells how God prepared a sinless, human body, the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.   Those who have received Christ as their sacrifice for sin are saved.  Those who reject Him are still lost in their sins.  I urge you to trust  Jesus this moment as your sacrifice for sin and discover God’s wonderful salvation from sin. John 1:12

 

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Salvation | Comments Off on The Virgin Birth of Christ

Jesus’ Authority to Cleanse the Temple

In the last week before Jesus was crucified, He went into Jerusalem and turned the religious establishment upside-down by going into the temple and driving out the corrupt money-changers who were in cahoots with the corrupt priests.

 

WHAT RIGHT DID JESUS HAVE TO UPSET THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT?

 

In response to these events of Luke 19,  the priests came to Jesus and asked by what authority He acted and spoke and what right did He have to upset their religious establishment?

 

As children, as parents and as citizens we all understand the concept of authority.  Authority denotes power, permission, responsibility, and control. We all exercise and/or submit to human authority.

 

However, Jesus, who is God in human flesh, stands apart from all others when it comes to authority.  Though Luke 2:51 tells us that as a child, Jesus was submissive to His mother and step-father and was respectful to His elders;  as a grown man from the time He commenced His earthly ministry at the age of 30, He exercised authority as no other human.

 

Though submitted to His Heavenly Father, the authority He exercised throughout His ministry, was unlike anyone else. Whatever He did, wherever He went, His power and authority was  absolute and unlimited by any man. No one told Him what to do or where to go or what to say. His authority was absolutely unique.  In Matthew 7:28-29 we read that Jesus spoke as one having authority; in contrast to the teaching of the scribes, which must have been a boring experience to sit through. 

 

In Luke 4:36 we have a sampling of the two Greek words that speak of Jesus power and authority.  Dunamis is the Greek word that speaks of power, a word from which we get the word dynamite.   Exousia is the Greek word for authority.  Jesus had absolute power and absolute authority to do whatever He desired in Bible times and He has that same power and authority today and throughout all eternity.

 

He has authority to save anyone who comes to Him in saving faith. John 1:12

 

He has authority to forgive sins, authority belonging only to God. Matthew 9:1-8

 

He has authority over demon powers.  Matthew 10:1

 

He has authority to lay down His life in death and authority to take it again, which He did when He raised people from the dead and when He Himself arose from the dead. John 10:18

 

He has the keys to death and Hell. Revelations 1:18.  Keys speak of authority.

 

We American like to speak about our rights.  We once had a flag picturing a coiled rattle snake with the words, “Don’t tread on me!”  I love that independent American spirit and have some of it myself.  However, under God, none of us has any rights, but to die and go to hell for our sins.  All we are and all we have is only by the grace of God.

 

The Jewish leaders in that final week before Jesus was crucified recognized and were confounded by Jesus, the personification of absolute power and authority.  As God in human flesh, He never had to ask for permission from anyone for what He did or said. 

 

When you, as a teen, say “I don’t have to listen to my parents or teachers.  I can do whatever I please”, then you are acting as though you were your own god.  By rebelling at authority, you are rebelling against God.

 

Now getting back to the events of Luke 19, when Jesus cleansed the Temple and drove out the money-changers with a whip, He got no permission from human authority.  He was acting by His own power and authority as God.

 

He called the temple, “My House”.  He totally ignored the entire religious system of His day, with it’s corrupt priesthood. He was totally indifferent to their Councils, and opinions.  Can you see why the chief priests and elders were furious with Him and wanted to kill Him?

 

Understand that Jesus was not received, accredited or approved by the world.  John 1:11-12 and 15:18-21 teach this.  It was also prophesied 700 years earlier by Isaiah in Isaiah 53.

 

With this background, we now approach Luke 20:1-2 as the chief priests, Annas and Caiaphas, and the scribes approached Jesus and asked by what authority He did these things. They were the accepted authorities of Judaism, and they were furious with this intruder upsetting their establishment.  They were hell-bent on silencing Him forever.

 

JESUS’ ANSWER TO HIS ENEMIES

 

When they asked Jesus by what authority He spoke and acted, Jesus answered them by whose authority did John the Baptist preach and baptize?  Was it authority give to Him by God or by men? Luke 20:3-4

 

They well knew the answer to Jesus’ question.  They had been there three years earlier when John baptized Jesus and they heard the voice from Heaven as God the Father spoke to His Son, Jesus,  ” Thou art My Son in whom I am well pleased!”  Mark 1:1-11  Matthew 3:16-17

 

They had heard John the Baptist announce Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:19-36

 

Those wicked priests, scribes and Pharisees knew exactly who Jesus was and why He had come to earth; but in their rebellion, they hated and opposed Him throughout His three year ministry among them.  They refused to receive Him as their Messiah and Saviour from sin.  In their rebellion they asked Him this question about the source of His authority.

 

They reasoned among themselves concerning Jesus’ question and answered Him nothing.  So Luke 20:8 informs us that He was not going to answer their question.  They already knew the answer and they refused it. Furthermore, Proverbs 26:4 instructs us to not answer a fool according to his folly.

 

JESUS WAS APPROVED BY HIS HEAVENLY FATHER

 

Though Jesus was not approved by the religious leaders of Jerusalem, as we’ve been noting ever since Luke 10.  John 7:40-53 and John 1:11-12 also confirm this rejection.    Acts 2:22 teaches us that God approved of His Son, as evidenced by His signs and wonders.

 

THE APOSTLES WERE ALSO APPROVED OF GOD

 

The Book of Acts is a record of the beginnings of the early church.  The Apostles, Peter and John preached Jesus, and the enemies of Christ immediately tried to silence them by questioning their authority to preach, as recorded in Acts 4:1-7.

 

Peter answers his critics in verse 8-12.  The enemies of the Gospel responded by threatening them in verse 13-18  to stop preaching or suffer the consequences. Peter responded to the threatening by declaring to them “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye: for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

 

In Acts 5 we see God confirming the authority and message of the Apostles, by killing two lying Christians right on the spot.  Take time to read this very interesting and sobering story.  It resulted in a reverential fear of God throughout the church, as we read in Acts 5:11.  Verse 12 of that chapter tells of how the Apostles moved forward with signs and wonders from Heaven confirming their authority.   The Apostles, as well as Gospel preachers today, have God’s authorization and responsibility  to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world,  Read that Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

 

Paul, the special called Apostle to the Gentiles declares his call and  authorization from God in  Galatians 1:1-18. 

 

Paul’s message of the grace of God infuriated the Judaizers and they repeatedly tried to silence and even kill him,  just as Jesus infuriated the scribes and Pharisees, leading to His crucifixion.

 

WHAT IS BIBLICAL ORDINATION TODAY?

 

Just as Jesus was confirmed by His Heavenly Father at His baptism and  just as the Apostles were ordained and instructed by Christ to carry His message to the world; so God calls and ordains men today to preach the Gospel,

 

Ordination today is the recognition and affirmation of an examining council of pastors and elders that the candidate has been called  of God  and approved Biblically and is personally qualified to be a pastor or missionary.

 

That approval is not based merely on an education or college degree; but because the candidate evidences a clear grasp of the Gospel message and has an overall understanding of the Bible. It is also based on the evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit in his life and ministry.  They have a God-given ability to understand and clearly declare the message of the Bible, as declared in II Timothy 3:16-17.

 

It is then that the candidate is set apart for the ministry in a public service by the laying on of hands by the examining pastors. See I Timothy 4:14.

 

A true preacher does not seek the approval of the world, Paul reminds us in Galatians 1:10.  Rather he is approved of God as He faithfully continues to study and expound the Scriptures, as we read in II Timothy 2:15.

 

Not only does he preach the Scriptures, but by God’s grace he lives the Scriptures so that he cannot be condemned as being hypocritical or insincere.   I Timothy 4:7 tells us that he has a good reputation in the world.

Philippians 2:14-16 teaches that we are to live without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

 

As the world grows darker as they turn from the light of the Gospel and the preaching of God’s Word, may God raise up a new generation of preachers who, like the Apostles of the first generation, will turn this upside down world right side up with the truth of His Word.  Is God speaking to  you about this?

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Triumphal Entry | Comments Off on Jesus’ Authority to Cleanse the Temple