|Live Services||Conquering the Storm; The Law is Spiritual|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Was Christ a Physical Descendant of Solomon?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Conquering the Storm; The Law is Spiritual
On, September 7, 2019, Robb Harris will present the sermonette, titled,” Conquering the Storm,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Law is Spiritual.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
by Rene Messier (Canada)
Peer pressure can cause someone to act or do things beyond the usual norms of acceptable behavior in order to just be accepted by others or to conform to their desires and wishes. People want to be accepted and don’t want to appear weird or radically different from those with whom they associate—either at work, in the community or at the church they attend, because they want to fit in.
The problem of caving in to peer pressure can lead to compromise and an erosion of one’s character. Exodus 32:1-4 provides a good example as to what happened when Aaron wanted to please the children of Israel. Exodus 32:1-4 says:
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And Aaron said to them, ‘Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”
Aaron was the high priest and should have known better. What he and the people did was a complete affront to God who brought them out of Egypt by signs and wonders—not by some idol in the form of a golden calf. It appears Aaron did not resist the people’s desires nor offer a counter argument to show that what they were proposing was a sin and against the God who brought them out of Egypt by a powerful hand.
There were consequences for this sinful behavior. Exodus 32:28 reads: “… about three thousand men of the people fell that day.”
Furthermore, God was so angry that He would have destroyed them all and started over again with just Moses, but Moses talked Him out of it. Exodus 32:11-14 says: “Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: ‘LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.”’ So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”
Aaron did not have the courage or fortitude to stand up to the people’s desires to make a golden calf. Instead, he caved in. He was overcome by peer pressure and thus compromised in what was clearly contrary to the second commandment in regards to not worshipping idols.
As we move forward and draw ever closer to the return of Christ and as this world gets more and more evil under the influence of Satan, we must not give in to peer pressure or to compromise with what we have been taught from the Bible. The Truth is: We will never fit into this world of sin and corruption because in reality, we are “misfits,” wanting to obey God rather than compromise to please others and this world. There are always negative consequences for peer pressure which leads to compromise; yet on the other side of the coin, there is a great reward for those who faithfully endure to the end.
by Norbert Link
We begin with reporting on two eastern German states elections and the shocking success of the far-right populist AfD party; discuss Austria’s upcoming election by the end of September and Sebastian Kurz’s future; and address Italy’s fragile 66th government since World War II; and new developments in the Brexit debacle which could “make or break” Boris Johnson.
We speak on dramatic consequences for Europe, stemming from the ongoing war in Syria; address the 80th anniversary events in Poland, memorializing the beginning of World War II; [please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “How Did the Second World War REALLY Start–Any Lessons Learned?”] and point out dangerous and at the same time prophetically relevant developments in the Middle East, involving Israel and Iran.
We specifically focus on Israel’s desire to help Ethiopia; allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount; and build the Third Temple, as prophesied in the Bible.
We conclude with a startling comment by Pope Francis regarding the American Catholic Church; the scientific confirmation that there is no gay gene; and hurricane Dorian, the second strongest Atlantic storm in history.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Far-Right Surge in East Germany
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 2:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) just about managed to come out on top in regional elections in Saxony and Brandenburg respectively. But both parties, who form the governing coalition at national level, still took an electoral hit. The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) came second in both states, a massive gain on results four years ago, but with a similar share of the vote as in the last national election in 2017.
“… political observers thought the result, while certainly not great for Angela Merkel’s grand coalition, was still good enough to ensure that her administration was not about to collapse immediately. The key was the SPD’s very mixed results. While the Social Democrats slumped to just 7.7%, or fifth place, in Saxony, they still won the election in Brandenburg, all but assuring they could continue to govern there…
“The results were a ‘shock … but not the earthquake that everyone feared,’ as Italy’s Corriere della sera put it. La Repubblica expressed deeper worries, ‘The nightmare that the far-right AfD would be the strongest party in two federal states in the former GDR and rattle the Merkel government was averted …But the extreme right is on a worrying advance… Fear, nationalism and xenophobia were the main instruments used in the election campaign.’…
“France’s regional Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace wrote, ‘… The right is getting closer, they’re nibbling away, one election at a time, pushing and shaking the foundations of social democracy.’ The Alsace paper added that as eastern Germany is in ‘economic despair,’ the AfD can ‘surf on the wave of latent and historical racism, which was caused by the massive influx of migrants in 2015.’ French daily Le Monde called the AfD’s rise a ‘strong breakthrough,’ saying that the party has ‘never scored as high,’ while the Dutch De Telegraaf said the results were ‘a double slap in the face for the unstable German coalition.’ Volkskrant, another Dutch daily, said that while the right-wing populists were not the largest party in either state, the AfD can now ‘call itself the “People’s Party” in the [former] East.’… Denmark’s Politiken said that while Merkel’s CDU and the SPD suffered a blow in the east, they managed to ‘bypass the great catastrophe.’”
No Coalition with AfD?
Axios wrote on September 2:
“The results are being viewed as a victory for AfD, but all parties have sworn not to work with the far right in a coalition government. That could be a difficult promise to keep, however, with vote share dispersed across a number of smaller parties…
“The state elections are being viewed as a crucial test for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), the hand-picked successor to Merkel. A series of missteps have Germans — including some in AKK’s own party — questioning her leadership. Her CDU has become especially vulnerable with AfD chipping away at its popularity in recent elections.”
What Could It Mean for Germany?
The Week wrote on September 2:
“Germany’s politics, like most other European countries, is now in turmoil…
“What does this mean for Germany and the rest of Europe?
“Firstly, it will be increasingly difficult to form stable government coalitions… Previously, it was usual for one of the big parties — CDU or SPD — to form a coalition with one of the smaller parties such as the FDP or Greens. However, the decline of CDU and SPD makes it difficult to gain a majority… This means that coalitions need to be formed of more than two or even three parties, and between parties that normally would never have paired up… this development in the most stable country in Europe will send tremors through the entire continent.
“Secondly, if the AfD continues to rise, it is only a question of time until they become part of a government… in countries such as Poland, Hungary or Italy, the far-right parties are already dominant forces. In France, Marine Le Pen was close to becoming president! However, Germany has for eight decades maintained a strong barrier against right-wing politics. It’s a worrying ‘normalization’ when right-wing positions are en vogue again…”
This is how Hitler came to power too.
Austria’s Uncertain Future
AFP wrote on August 29:
“Former chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) could once again partner with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ)… The ÖVP-FPÖ partnership came crashing down in spectacular fashion in May when hidden camera footage from 2017 showed then FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache appearing to offer public contracts to a fake Russian backer in exchange for campaign help… Strache resigned as vice chancellor and from all his other posts, the coalition fell apart, Kurz was thrown out in a no-confidence vote – the first-ever such successful vote in modern Austrian history – and fresh elections were set for September 29th.
“Despite the unprecedented chaos, both the ÖVP and the FPÖ – founded after World War Two by former Nazis – have sustained their popularity… The ÖVP remains the strongest party on 36 percent, while the FPÖ stands at 20 percent, six percentage points lower than in October 2017 but neck-and-neck with the Social Democrats…
“Strache has continued to defend himself from various corruption allegations on his Facebook page. The page counts almost 800,000 followers – far more than his party colleagues and most other Austrian politicians… Norbert Hofer, who replaced Strache as FPÖ leader, has openly said he wants another coalition with Kurz…
“Kurz, whose party’s popularity now is four percentage points higher than in October 2017 but who cannot form a majority government alone, has so far avoided saying which partner he prefers. He ended a coalition with the Social Democrats – who are scoring their lowest-ever poll numbers – when he took over the ÖVP leadership in 2017, triggering that year’s elections.
“A possible coalition with the Greens has been floated, which would be a first on the national level but similar to those which already govern some Austrian states. The Greens stand at 12 percent in the Unique Research survey, far higher than in 2017, when they failed to make the four percent threshold to enter parliament in a shock result.”
We should definitely watch Sebastian Kurz, who has been nicknamed “holy Sebastian” because of his strong Catholic belief.
Italy’s New Government
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 4:
“Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte unveiled his new cabinet on Wednesday, uniting two rival political parties in an unlikely coalition between the anti-establishment [M5S] and the center-left Democratic Party [PD]… Luciana Lamorgese, a former Milan security chief and top civil servant with no political affiliation will serve as the new interior minister, replacing far-right League leader Matteo Salvini.
“However, even after being sworn in, the new government will still need to be approved by votes of confidence in Italy’s two houses of parliament later this week to ensure it has a majority… [These confidence votes will start on Monday.]
“Salvini, who now sits on the opposition sidelines, labelled the new administration ‘a government produced by Paris and Berlin, born out of fear to give up power, without dignity or ideals, with the wrong people in the wrong places.’ The head of the League party also tweeted that the new government ‘can’t escape from the judgment of Italians for long,’ predicting that ‘in the end we will win.’
“Salvini continues to lead in opinion polls. Political scientist Giovanni Orsina from Rome’s Luiss University says that ‘most Italians see the new government as a kind of anti-Salvini coalition… Orsina expects Salvini will hold on to his high polling numbers for some time longer. ‘Salvini won for certain reasons, and these reasons haven’t changed,’ he said…”
It will have to be seen as to how long Italy’s 66th government since World War II will last…
The Week wrote on September 4:
“U.K. lawmakers voted 327-299 on Wednesday to push a bill that would block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to withdraw from the European Union on Oct. 31 if no agreement is reached. Wednesday’s vote was the second stage in a two-step process; Johnson was defeated on Tuesday night, as well, when the House Of Commons voted by a count of 328-301 to hold a debate on the proposed law. Following the Tuesday vote, Johnson expelled 21 Conservative lawmakers who voted against him, fracturing an already tenuous party.
The EUObserver wrote on September 5:
“The upper chamber of the UK parliament – the House of Lords – has agreed to pass the rebel bill from MPs blocking any no-deal Brexit by Boris Johnson’s government. In the early hours of Thursday, members were told the bill would return to the House of Commons on Friday, where it is expected to pass…”
Deutsche Welle added on September 5:
“That would give the House of Commons enough time to debate any amendments made by the upper house and send the legislation — if it passes again — to Queen Elizabeth II, who could put the law into effect by as soon as Monday. The bill would force Johnson to delay Britain’s EU exit until January 31, unless Parliament approves a new deal or votes to support a no-deal Brexit by October 19 — which are both unlikely scenarios.
“The UK could still crash out of the EU without a transition agreement — the only question would be when that would take place. The current bill only delays the issue, kicking the can down the road until January. Any extension would also need the unanimous approval of the leaders of the remaining 27 EU member-states — and the British government would have to provide a valid reason for doing so. Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said on Wednesday there isn’t enough widespread support among EU leaders to grant a third extension…
“Despite Johnson’s failed bid to call a snap election, Britain could soon be headed to the polls. Once again, it’s a question of timing. Johnson wanted to hold the election on October 15… Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he supports early elections, but only once the no-deal Brexit blocking bill has been passed. The Labour leader also reportedly said that he wouldn’t want to hold the election before the current Brexit deadline on October 31…”
Axios wrote on September 5:
“It was a week of absolute mayhem in the world of Brexit and U.K. politics… No one — not even Britain’s best and brightest — knows exactly what’s coming next.”
Boris Johnson might face his biggest defeat or his biggest victory.
Consequences from the War in Syria
The EUObserver wrote on September 2:
“Russian and Syrian forces killed 1,151 civilians between February and August this year in the Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama provinces counted together… They also caused 92,119 people to flee their homes in one week in August in southern Idlib and northern Hama… Russia and Syria have dropped tens of tonnes of explosives on people’s heads and aid camps are overflowing with women and children in need… The suffering is unbearable and this is where people are being forced to go – to break the Turkish border and cross into Europe…
“If we pass a tipping point and there is a mass exodus, it might look like 2015 all over again, when one million refugees fled to Europe. That caused a political shock, prompting the rise of far-right parties, which helped Russia in its strategic goal to break up the EU… And that is why Idlib is at the centre of a crucial moment in post-World War II European history.”
This would surely cause right-wing anti-Immigration parties in Europe to rise.
The 80th Anniversary of World War II
The Huffington Post wrote on September 2:”
“German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday asked Poland to forgive his country for its role in World War II. ‘In no other square in Europe do I find it more difficult to speak, and to address you in my native language of German,’ Steinmeier said at a ceremony in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw… ‘I ask for forgiveness for Germany’s historical guilt, and I recognize our enduring responsibility.’
“Steinmeier joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders for events marking the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which began when the Nazis attacked Poland. Nearly 6 million Poles were among the 50 million people who died in World War II, the deadliest conflict in human history…
“Polish President Andrzej Duda said it was difficult to even imagine now that ‘cataclysm of history … which brought the most disastrous consequences in the history of mankind.’ Duda scolded Europe for not standing up to Adolf Hitler sooner, saying, ‘Perhaps the Second World War would not have broken out in the first place if the states in the west had put up a decisive resistance against … the imperial ambitions of Hitler.’
“[He] also criticized Western leaders who have been soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin after Moscow’s aggression in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. ‘We are still faced, even in Europe, with the return of imperialist tendencies. … Closing one’s eyes is not a recipe for peace,’ he said. ‘It is a simple way … to give permission for further attacks.’ Putin was not invited to the events.”
Coming… War Between Israel and Iran?
BBC News wrote on September 2:
“The most recent clash between Israel and the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon may or may not be over, but the signs still point to a potentially catastrophic conflict ahead… What is going on here is an undeclared war not just between Israel and Hezbollah, but between Israel and Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran.
“Outside actors seem unable to alter Tehran’s direction of travel. The US is clearly in no position to do so. And assurances from Moscow that it will persuade the Syrians to contain the advance of Iran and its proxies, have proved illusory…
“It is like one of those old-fashioned movies in which a bomb is discovered with a long-burning fuse, which the hero gets to snuff out with moments to spare. The fuse for this impending conflagration is longer; but nobody knows quite how long. The fuse has been snuffed out now on multiple occasions. But each time when it is re-lit, it gets ever shorter.”
Further turmoil in the Middle East IS prophesied.
USA or Europe to Intervene?
The Times of Israel wrote on September 1:
“Lebanon’s prime minister on Sunday urged the United States and France to intervene after the Hezbollah terror group fired anti-tank missiles at Israeli territory, prompting retaliatory fire by the Israel Defense Forces.”
Previously, Breaking Israel News reported on August 30 that “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that Israel can rely on diplomatic, legal and military assistance in the event of a war with Iran.”
While the USA might very well assist Israel militarily, it is not be expected that the USA will intervene on Lebanon’s behalf against Israel. On the other hand, Europe will do so in due time. The consequences will be disastrous.
Israel to Help Ethiopia
The Times of Israel wrote on September 1:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday calls for strengthened security cooperation with Ethiopia… ‘We believe that we can offer some experience, some shared experience that we have garnered because of our unfortunate need to defend ourselves,’ Netanyahu [said]…
“He hail[ed] the prime minister of the Horn of Africa country as ‘one of the most important and influential leaders in Africa.’”
As we have stated for a long time, Ethiopia will play a significant role in the future in the light of biblical references. Please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
Third Temple Advocate Part of Netanyahu’s New Government?
Breaking Israel News wrote on August 29:
“It has been confirmed that Zehut (Identity) party leader Moshe Feiglin will order his party, Zehut, to step down in the current election to join Netanyahu’s Likud party who will make him a ‘high ranking official’ in the PM’s next government.
“Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut was the only party head in the current elections who openly calls for building the third Temple and has placed it on his party’s platform…”
This is interesting as we know from the Bible that a third Temple will be built prior to Christ’s Return. Note the next article.
More Political Support for the Third Temple
Breaking Israel News wrote on September 5:
“Head of the Otzmah Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, Itamar Ben-Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party has come out in support of building the third Temple in an exclusive interview with Breaking Israel News on Thursday.
“On the same day that Ben-Gvir expressed support for building the third Temple, polls showed him passing the minimum threshold of four seats and entering the upcoming Knesset following elections on September 17.
“The Otzmah Yehudit party is considered to be the most right wing party in the current elections…Ben-Gvir is also in favor of asserting sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and Gaza. He also calls for assisted emigration for Arabs from Israel and encouraging them to leave… The party and its members are proud disciples of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane H”yd, a right-wing activist who was known for his plan to expel Arabs from Israel. Kahane was assassinated by a member of Al Qaeda in New York in 1990 making it the first Al Qaeda terror attack on American soil.”
Jews to Pray Soon on the Temple Mount?
Breaking Israel News reported on August 30:
“In the course of an interview last week in Ukraine, Ze’ev Kam, a reporter for Kan News, asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the ‘elementary rights of the Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, their holiest site.’ Netanyahu’s answer… was, ‘Don’t worry, it will happen, and before the arrival of the Messiah.’
“On the website for Temple Mount advocacy, Har-Habait, they noted that Netanyahu had already made this promise. Yehuda Etzion, founder of the Chai V’Kayam temple mount advocacy group, sent a letter to then-Likud candidate Netanyahu asking about his views on Jewish rights at the site. ‘The right of the Jewish people to their holy place, the Temple Mount, is unquestionable,’ Netanyahu wrote…”
This, all by itself, would ignite serious repercussions against Israel.
Pope: It’s an Honor to Be Attacked by America
Ynet News wrote on September 4:
“Pope Francis has acknowledged his growing opposition within the conservative right-wing of the U.S. Catholic Church and says it is ‘an honor if the Americans attack me.’
“Francis made off-hand comments about critics of his papacy as he received a copy of a new book titled ‘How America Wants to Change the Pope.’ Author Nicholas Seneze, who covers the Vatican for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix presented it to Francis aboard the papal plane while en route to southern Africa on Wednesday.”
Developments like these could explain why the coming political and religious leaders of a United Europe will not be opposed to a military attack on the USA.
There is NO Gay Gene
PJ Media wrote on August 29:
“A new study… released Thursday proved that there [is] no ‘gay gene’ and that genetic factors are insignificant in determining sexual orientation… This means that non-genetic factors, including environment, upbringing, personality, and nurture ‘are far more significant in influencing a person’s choice of sexual partner…’ according to the researchers.
“… This new study ‘analyzed survey responses and performed analyses known as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on data from more than 470,000 people who had given DNA samples and lifestyle information… the size and comprehensive nature of this new study ought to crush the ‘born that way’ myth…”
According to the Bible, homosexuals are not and could not be born that way, as God demands repentance and change, which can occur due to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hurricane Dorian–Second Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever
The Sun wrote on September 2:
“Hurricane Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in history as the 225mph killer edges towards Florida. The category 5 monster made landfall in the Bahamas with devastating force on Sunday… Dorian’s maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 225mph – tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall. That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were even named.
“The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980 – which had sustained 190mph winds but didn’t make landfall at that strength.”
Reuters added that “Winds gusting up to 200 mph (320 km/h) destroyed or damaged more than 13,000 homes” in the Bahamas.
The Guardian wrote on September 4:
“The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas could cost ‘hundreds of millions, if not billions’ of dollars to repair, according to the deputy prime minister, as aerial images showed whole neighbourhoods destroyed. With the death toll climbing to seven and scores more still missing, helicopters operated by the US Coast Guard among others were delivering emergency supplies to residents on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, the two worst hit locations in the Caribbean nation’s north.
“‘It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,’ said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group, after flying over the Abaco Islands. ‘It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.’”
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
Was Christ a Physical Descendant of Solomon?
Surprising as this may sound, the answer is no.
We find the genealogies of Jesus listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. But Matthew 1 and Luke 3 describe different lines. Matthew 1 describes Christ’s legal genealogy through Joseph. Luke sets forth Mary’s physical line.
Matthew 1:16 tells us that Matthew’s record covers Christ’s lineage through His stepfather Joseph. It says “Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.”
A correct rendering of Luke 3:23 shows that Luke is setting forth Christ’s blood descent. However, the translation of the New King James Bible is misleading. It gives the impression that Joseph was the father of Heli, and that therefore, Luke is also setting forth Christ’s physical descent of Joseph. This is incorrect, as Joseph was not the SON of Heli, but of Jacob, as Matthew 1:16 points out.
Luke sets forth Christ’s physical genealogy through His mother Mary, NOT through His stepfather Joseph. Accurately translated, Luke 3:23 should read:
“Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age (being, as was supposed the son of Joseph), which was of Heli.” The parenthesis should start with the words “being, as was supposed,” and it should close after “the son of Joseph.” The word “son” in “son of Heli” is not found in the original Greek. Jesus, who was supposed to be the son of Joseph, was, through Mary, a grandson of Heli. Heli was the father of Mary.
Luke 3:23 tells us that Christ was considered to be the son of Joseph, since the people did not accept the truth that Jesus had been supernaturally conceived by Mary through God the Father’s Holy Spirit (compare, Luke 4:22; John 6:41-42).
But while Joseph—Christ’s stepfather—descended from Solomon (Matthew 1:6), Mary did not. She was a descendant of David’s son, Nathan (v. 31).
Who, then, was Nathan?
The Bengel’s Gnomen commentary writes:
“This Nathan, the son of David, is a man very memorable. [Note] Zechariah 12:12 [where in the future repentance of the Jews,‘the families of the house of David,’ and those of the ‘house of Nathan mourn apart’]…”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds:
“Nathan’s sons that are mentioned are Azariah, Zabud, and Ahishar, 1 Kings 4:5 which last is thought to be the same with Mattatha: that Nathan was the son of David, as the order of things here directs, which was the son of David, is clear from 2 Samuel 5:14.”
2 Samuel 5:14 reads: “Now these are the names of those who were born to [David] in Jerusalem: Shanmmua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon.”
1 Chronicles 3:5 adds: “And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea [i.e., Shanmmua], Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon—four by Bathusba [i.e. Bathsheba] the daughter of Ammiel.”
Some claim that Nathan was Solomon’s older brother, as he is listed before Solomon in the two passages quoted above, while others say that he was Solomon’s younger brother, and that Solomon was the oldest of David’s and Bathsheba’s [surviving]sons.
The Bible tells us in 2 Samuel 12:15-23 that David and Bathsheba’s first son died, due to David’s sin, and 2 Samuel 12:24 continues: “Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon.”
From this it follows that Solomon was indeed born before Nathan, and that Solomon was Nathan’s older brother. Some claim that the oldest is always listed first, and that therefore Nathan must have been older than Solomon, but the Bible nowhere states that this has to be always the case. If it were different, then David and Bathsheba, after their first son died, would have had three sons before Solomon. The biblical record does not support this.
It has been suggested that by giving Solomon the last place of the four sons of Bathsheba, it was a signal that nobody should disdain them because of David’s transgression with Bathsheba. Also, in the case of Nathan, his importance is clearly emphasized by the fact that he, and not Solomon, would be a physical ancestor of Jesus, through Mary. But as the surviving firstborn son of David and Bathsheba, Solomon would be appointed king. The sons of David who were born earlier revealed themselves as not being qualified (1 Chronicles 3:1-4). For instance, Amnon raped his halfsister; Absalom murdered Amnon and organized a revolt against David; and Adonijah also rebelled against David for the succession.
We should understand that the Bible nowhere states that Jesus had to descend physically from the royal line that runs through Solomon. In fact, that royal line became unfaithful, disobedient and apostate. Rather, God chose Nathan to become the forefather of Jesus, after the flesh, and it is interesting that we know very little about Nathan. On the other hand, Joseph, as Jesus’ stepfather, was a descendant of Solomon, as we saw. This, too, has important implications for the role of the Messiah.
We state the following in our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America”:
“God promised that the kingly rule would not depart from Judah (Genesis 49:10), and that a descendant of the house of David… would always rule over at least one tribe of Israel (2 Samuel 7:13; 2 Chronicles 13:5)… God had promised King David: ‘… your house (dynasty) and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever’ (2 Samuel 7:16). This promise was unconditional: ‘…I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom… If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you’ (2 Samuel 7:12, 14–15). God spoke to King David about his son Solomon in 1 Chronicles 22:10: ‘He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
“This promise to King Solomon was conditional: ‘Only may the LORD give you [Solomon] wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel…’ (1 Chronicles 22:12–13).
“King Solomon, however, broke his Coronation Oath. God later said to King Solomon: ‘Because you have done this [gone after other gods], and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant’ (1 Kings 11:11).
“Although Solomon’s son remained king over the house of Judah, Solomon’s servant Jeroboam became king over the house of Israel. Also, we find that Mary, mother of Jesus, did not descend from Solomon, but from David’s son Nathan (compare Luke 3:31, explaining that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a descendant of ‘Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse…’).
“Even in the very last generation, at the time of Christ’s return, there would still be a king sitting on the throne of David. God says, through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne…’ (Jeremiah 13:13…).”
When Jesus returns, He will occupy the throne of David. He will do so, as He was a physical descendant of David and his son Nathan, through His mother Mary, and as He was a legal descendant of David through his son Solomon, through His step-father Joseph.
We might also note God’s great mercy in that both genealogies include men and women who had sinned, at times greatly, but they repented and obtained forgiveness. Their sins were blotted out and not to be held against them anymore. This would include David, Solomon, other men, and several women who are specifically named or being referred to.
The women specifically mentioned by name in the legal genealogy of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 1, are the harlot Rahab; Mary, the wife of Joseph (verse 16), who was a righteous woman; Tamar, the daughter in law of Judah (verse 3), who played the harlot with him since he had broken his promise to give her one of his sons in marriage (compare Genesis 38:1-30); and righteous Ruth, a non-Israelite from the tribe of Moab (verse 5). One more woman is mentioned, without naming her directly, in verse 6, where we read: ‘David the king begot Solomon by her [who had been the wife] of Uriah.’ This refers to Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, whom David had killed, after Bathsheba became pregnant as a result of David’s adulterous affair with her.
So we see that Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba are listed in the legal genealogy of Jesus, the stepson and foster child of Joseph. They are listed because they deserved to be listed–not because of their weaknesses and sins, but because of their subsequent repentance and faith. For instance, Rahab clearly was a harlot and she was known as such, but she acted upon faith, repented and changed her lifestyle, and she is today memorialized in God’s Word as one of the ancestors of Jesus’ stepfather Joseph. In addition, she was an ancestor of Mary, the mother of Jesus–which means that Jesus Christ was a direct physical descendant of Rahab! (Compare Luke 3:32 with Matthew 1:5, showing that Boaz, an ancestor of King David, was the son of Salmon and Rahab).
In addition, Matthew lists Jeconiah or Coniah in Christ’s legal genealogy, and Luke lists Coniah’s son and grandson in Christ’s physical genealogy, even though they clearly would have known about Coniah’s curse in the book of Jeremiah (compare Jeremiah 22:30; 36:30). It is obvious that they did not feel that God’s curse disqualified Jesus from inheriting and sitting on the throne of David. Writing under godly inspiration, they must have known that somehow, God’s curse which was pronounced against Coniah did not prevent Christ’s Messiahship. God did in fact reverse the curse, apparently due to Coniah’s repentance, and/or that He did not apply Coniah’s sin and the resulting curse to Coniah’s grandson Zerubbabel, due to Zerubbabel’s repentance and his plea for his grandfather Coniah (For further discussion, note our Q&A on Coniah’s curse).
In conclusion, Jesus was a descendant of David [compare Romans 1:3] and He is the rightful heir of David’s throne both in the physical and the legal sense. Legally, He “descended” from Solomon, and physically, from Nathan, and He will return very soon to occupy David’s throne which will then be established in Jerusalem, when His rule over all of mankind begins.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“How Did the Second World War REALLY Start–Any Lessons Learned?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The Second World War was supposed to end all wars. It did not. We have heard that it started when Germany invaded Poland. But this is by no means the entire story. Pertinent facts are being conveniently overlooked. This program reveals what really happened, and warns about the prophesied truth as to what we can expect to occur in the near future.
“Unsere ungerechte Welt — unsere Religionen,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Title in English: “Our Unrighteous World–Our Religions.”
“Kapitulation,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted.
“What’s the Difference?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The measure of man since his creation by God had been based on those who serve God and those who don’t.
“Growth,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
God does not call people out of the world to become true Christians because they have done something themselves to become worthy. But rather, He calls people to become Christians because of their potential. Spiritual growth is an ongoing endeavor that never ends in the life of a Christian.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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