Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last Trump Of The Rapture Explained - By Beginning and End - https://beginningandend.com/the-last-trump-of-the-rapture-explained/
The "last trump" is not what most Christians may think.
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." - 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
One of the greatest mysteries and debates about the Rapture is the reference to "the last trump." In the passage above, the Apostle Paul reveals that the translation of the church from mortal human flesh to glorified, immortal bodies will occur at "the last trump." This is one of the greatest prophetic events described in Scripture - the Rapture of the church. But just what is the "last trump"? Is it the 7th trump of Revelation 9? Is it the trumpet of Rosh Hashanah? This article will explain that it is neither of those events and show from Scripture what the last trump actually is.
Why The Last Trump Is Not The 7th Trumpet Of Revelation 10
The kingdoms returns to Jesus Christ once Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled. One of the common interpretations of the last trump is that it is the 7th trumpet that is sounded in Revelation 9:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." - Revelation 11:15-19.
There are several reasons that this event is often viewed as the last trump. For one, the Book of Revelation clearly states that there are seven angels designated to sound seven trumpets - each one unleashing a judgment on Earth from God. Thus it makes sense on its face that the seventh and final trumpet would be "the last trump."
Additionally, in Revelation 11 we read that after the sounding of the seventh trumpet there is an announcement that "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Thus it appears that this would be the time of the Rapture as all the Earth has been turned over to Christ.
However there are several flaws with this interpretation. For one, the book of 1 Corinthians was written in ca. 53-54 AD when Paul was in Ephesus. The Book of Revelation was written in approximately 96 AD. If Paul was indeed referring to the seventh trumpet of Revelation, it would be over 40 years before any reader would have any idea as to what he was talking about. Additionally, there is no basis in Scripture for Paul knowing about the Revelation John received decades later. Paul was killed in ca 70 AD - well before the writing of Revelation. This would be the only instance in Scripture when one divinely inspired writer references a prophecy of a vision of another writer that had not even taken place yet.
The 7th trumpet of Revelation 11 seems like the time of the Rapture. But where is the Raptured church in that passage?
Additionally, the reason that the kingdoms of the world are turned over to The Lord Jesus Christ at the seventh trumpet are not because of the Rapture of the church. Assuming for a moment that the church was raptured at the seventh trumpet - how would that event automatically mean Jesus Christ now reigns over every nation on Earth? There is no logical connection. Letting Scripture interpret Scripture, we can look to Revelation 10 for the answer:
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." - Revelation 10:7.
The mystery of God was that salvation would come to the Gentiles and then the Jewish remnant in the end times. This group of believing Jewish people will be supernaturally protected during the Day of The Lord (also known as the Great Tribulation). It is their coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as the prophesied Messiah of The Old Testament that will fulfill all of the remaining Old Testament prophecies. This is how Jesus Christ wins rightful dominion world back to Himself from Satan.
The fulfillment of prophecy was a critical part of Jesus' mission in His first incarnation on Earth:
"And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;" - Matthew 4:13-15
"When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." - Matthew 8:16-17.
"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." - Matthew 13:34-35.
All the messianic prophecies had to be fulfilled before the death of Jesus Christ. In fact there was even one prophecy remaining on the cross:
"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." - John 19:28-30.
The drinking of vinegar fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 69:21. It was not until this final prophetic fulfillment that The Lord uttered "it is finished" and died. The same fulfillment of prophecy is required at The Lord's Second Coming. And there are many, many prophecies yet to be fulfilled, that predict Israel returning to God and believing upon The Lord Jesus Christ. We go into detail about the end times reconciliation of Israel in our article: All Israel Shall Be Saved! The End Times Salvation Of Israel.
When the believing remnant calls upon Jesus in the end times - realizing that He truly is The Son of God and Messiah - the mystery of God's plan of salvation will be complete. This is when Christ wins over the kingdoms of the world. Even though at that time the Antichrist and his minions will still be physically controlling earth, from a divine legal standpoint, the deed to the planet will be returned to Christ Jesus.
The final reason the seventh trumpet is not the last trump is that we do not see the raptured Church anywhere in Revelation chapter 11. If that was the Rapture, where is the church? Why is there no mention of it? It does not make logical sense.
The Last Trump is Not The Trump of Rosh Hashanah
This argument is simpler. There is no 'Rosh Hashanah' ("head of the year") in the Bible. This may come as a surprise to many because it is frequently referred to as a "Biblical feast day." Yom Teruah, the Biblical feast Rosh Hashanah is based on is described in Leviticus 23:
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord." - Leviticus 23:23-25.
Numbers 29 describes the burnt offering, meat offering and drink offering that was to be made to The Lord on this day. No purpose is given in Scripture for this feast.
It was through rabbinical tradition that this feast day was turned into "New Years" on the Jewish calendar. The New Year in the Bible was the first day of the month of Nisan (the same month of the Passover feast). Thus all the traditions regarding the month of Tishri being the New Year and its many rituals were added traditions and found nowhere in the Bible. [B&E: Even some of our ministry's articles reflecting this had to be revised. And we apologize for our doctrinal error.]
When Jesus Christ fulfilled the feasts in His first Coming to Earth they happened on the exact day in rapid succession. Jesus was crucified on Passover. He was buried during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and resurrected on the Feast of First fruits. The outpouring of The Holy Spirit occurred on the Feast of Pentecost. Thus it stands to reason that the 3 remaining fall feasts will be fulfilled at His Second Coming directly by The Lord Jesus Christ on their precise days rather than at the beginning of the Great Tribulation 7 years before His return.
The Last Trump Revealed - The Silver Trumpets of Numbers 10
The trumpet of alarm in Numbers 10 is the "last trump." It was these trumpets - not the shofar - that God commanded to be played at every feast (Numbers 10:10).
The Last Trump is a reference to the silver trumpets God instructed Moses to craft in Numbers 10:
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
...And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies." - Numbers 10:1-3; 9.
Note that the trumpets served two purposes: the gathering of the nation and an alarm. But the alarm was no normal trumpet blast. It was a call for God to supernaturally intervene and fight Israel's enemies for them. An example of this occurred in 2 Chronicles when the wicked idolater King Jeroboam went to war against faithful Abijah, the faithful King of Judah. Abijah warned Jeroboam that by attacking the southern kingdom of Judah he was risking a battle against God Himself:
"And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper." - 2 Chronicles 13:12.
God did in fact supernaturally intervene in this battle:
"And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the Lord, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand." - 2 Chronicles 13:14-16.
In the end times the Trumpet of alarm will be sounded once again and God will fight for Israel.
This is the "last trump" Paul refers to. Note that the word "last" in Greek is eschatos where we get the word "eschatology" (the study of the end times) from. Thus the last trump is an end times trumpet, rather than the final trumpet in a sequence.
This alarm trumpet is mentioned in direct connection with The Day of The Lord - the Biblical term for the final years before the Second Coming of Christ. As explained in our article: The Day of The Lord - The Event The Starts The End Of The World one of God's main purposes at this future event is the protection and reconciliation of Israel to Himself. The believing remnant of Israel will come to a spiritual awakening that will lead them to sound the alarm:
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;" - Joel 2:1-3.
A second reference is found in the same chapter of Joel:
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things." - Joel 2:15-20.
The context of this entire chapter is the end times. And God promises to: 1) gather the Israelites and 2) fight for them - the Biblical purposes of the Day of The Lord. Note all the end times references as the chapter closes:
"And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions...And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." - Joel 2:27-31.
Zephaniah 1 makes the same connection between the end times Day Of The Lord and the trumpet of alarm of Numbers 10:
"Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers." - Zephaniah 1:7-8; 14-16.
The Last Trump - God Turns His Face Back To Israel
"And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet... The Lord of hosts shall defend them" - Zechariah 9:14-15.
When Israel sounds the trump of alarm in the end times it will truly be the "last trump" for the church - as we will be raptured to Heaven to be with The Lord. But it will simultaneously be the time God turns His attention back to Israel and initiates its national reconciliation to Him. This all happens at the start of The Day of The Lord which occurs at the 6th seal of Revelation chapter 6. Israel will find itself under attack by the Gog-Magog coalition, sound the alarm trumpet of Numbers 10 and God will supernaturally intervene to defend the nation. And through seven years of end times judgments a remnant of believing Jewish people will be supernaturally protected from the Antichrist waiting for their Messiah to return to Earth.
Palestinians: No Difference Between Hamas and Fatah - by Khaled Abu Toameh -
Has Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas changed his position toward his rivals in Hamas? This is the question that some Palestinians have been asking in the wake of Abbas's opposition to a US-sponsored draft resolution that asks the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets at Israel and instigating violence.
Abbas's hatred of Hamas is far from secret. For years - and until today - Abbas has used every available platform to launch scathing attacks on Hamas.
He accused Hamas of foiling Arab efforts to end the dispute with his ruling Fatah faction.
He accused Hamas of masterminding a series of explosions targeting the homes of some of his senior Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip.
He accused Hamas of staging a coup in 2007 against his Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza Strip and seeking to establish a separate Palestinian there.
He accused Hamas of standing behind the botched assassination attempt on his prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, in the Gaza Strip earlier this year. He even made a metaphoric remark that, "shoes will be pouring on the heads of Hamas leaders."
In his last speech at the UN General Assembly, Abbas repeated his charges against Hamas and threatened to impose new punitive measures against the Gaza Strip unless Hamas allows his government to assume full control over the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
In the past few days, however, the rhetoric of Abbas and his senior officials in Ramallah toward Hamas has made a 180 degree turn. What is behind this sudden change? Has Abbas discovered that he was mistaken about Hamas all these years and that its leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud Zahar and Yeyha Sinwar are actually his good buddies?
The US-sponsored UN draft resolution condemning Hamas seems to have brought Hamas and Fatah closer to each other. Just last week, it seemed that Egyptian efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah rivalry had once again belly-flopped.
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah are strongly opposed to all the policies of the US administration. They have already rejected US President Donald Trump's yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, widely known as the "deal of the century." They have rejected Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. They have rejected and condemned Trump's transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They have rejected and condemned Trump's decision to cut financial aid to the PA and UNRWA.
Now, in line with their refusal to accept anything that emerges from the Trump administration, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have also found themselves in the awkward position of needing to reject and denounce the US initiative to condemn Hamas for firing rockets at Israel.
It is supposedly fine for Abbas and his officials to condemn Hamas on a daily basis. It is supposedly not fine, however, for the US administration to condemn Hamas for its terrorist attacks against Israel. This is the logic of the Palestinian Authority, which has also been imposing financial and economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip in the past year. The sanctions include, among other things, the suspension of salaries to thousands of civil servants, cutting financial aid to needy families in the Gaza Strip, and refusing to pay for fuel and electricity supplied by Israel to the residents living under Hamas.
Abbas and Hamas have been working separately to thwart the US draft resolution at the UN General Assembly. Abbas has instructed his envoy to the UN to make an effort to foil the anti-Hamas resolution, while Hamas leaders have been urging Arab and Muslim leaders and governments to help thwart the US initiative.
"Despite all our differences with Hamas, we are categorically opposed to the American and Israeli attempt to label Hamas a terrorist group," explained Osama Qawassmeh, a senior Fatah official. We will fight to thwart the US resolution."
Another senior Fatah official, Abbas Zaki, was even more adamant in his defense of Hamas. "Hamas belongs to us and we belong to Hamas," he said. "If Hamas, which is practicing resistance, is considered a terrorist organization, this would mean that all Palestinians are practicing terrorism. Hamas, like all Palestinian factions, is a national liberation movement."
Abbas and Fatah are defending Hamas not out of love for Hamas, but because they despise the Trump administration to the extent that they are willing to go to bat for their arch-rivals in Hamas. Judging from the statements of some of Abbas's top officials, it is nevertheless clear that they fear that a condemnation of Hamas would pave the way for similar moves against other Palestinian factions, including the Palestinian president's own Fatah.
As Palestinian political analyst Emad Omar put it, "The proposed US resolution is harmful to the Palestinians' right of resistance. As president of the Palestinians, Abbas is forced to defend Hamas and any other Palestinian faction."
Hamas, for its part, has expressed gratitude to Abbas and Fatah for their strong opposition to the US-sponsored draft resolution.
Does all this mean that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to patch up their differences and open a new page in their relations? The answer, of course, is no. This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. Abbas wants to score points on the Palestinian street by showing that he is capable of challenging the US administration at the UN. For now, Abbas is prepared to swallow the bitter pill of defending Hamas. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Qumrusalem: The Hidden Dead Sea/Jerusalem Connection - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"Indeed, my God does nothing Without having revealed His purpose To His servants the Neviim." Amos 3:7 (The Israel Bible™)
Jim Barfield's 12-year search for the Temple utensils revealed an unexpected discovery to an Oklahoma Noahide: a powerful spiritual connection between the mountaintop Temple in Jerusalem and at Qumran, located near to the deepest spot on the planet. Just as Jerusalem was a city for priests to serve in the Temple, Barfield argues that Qumran was a center for prophecy.
Barfield, a retired criminal investigator for the Oklahoma Fire Department and a Noahide, believes he has deciphered an ancient riddle revealing the hiding places of the gold and silver implements of the Temple. Barfield has spent the last 12 years studying ancient maps in his quest to unravel the Copper Scroll.
Discovered in 1952 as part of the trove of ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll describes 64 locations where gold and silver from the Second Temple were hidden away before the Temple was destroyed. Barfield believes the Copper Scroll points to spots inside a compound that stood in Qumran in Temple times. Some archaeologists surmised the site was a community of Essenes, an austere sect of Judaism ,flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE.
In the course of his research, Barfield spent countless hours staring at maps of Qumran. At one point, his research turned him toward the Temple.
"I was already done with the Copper Scrolls," Barfield told Breaking Israel News. "I was just collecting more data, getting the background picture so I could figure out what Qumran was all about and why it might be the place they chose to hide the Temple artifacts."
Believing the prophet Jeremiah played a key role in hiding the treasures, Barfield printed out a map of Jerusalem as it appeared in the times of the prophet. Something about the map piqued his curiosity but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. As a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, Barfield was intimately familiar with maps. Gazing at the map of Jerusalem, he suddenly saw something entirely unexpected.
"Why did they put Qumran upside down?" he thought. He flipped the map of Jerusalem around and indeed, just as his pilot's instincts had told him, it was identical with the map of Qumran. In a strange confluence Barfield refers to as "Qumrusalem."
There have been several artifacts discovered connecting Qumran to the Temple in Jerusalem. Vendyl Jones, a Texas preacher turned Biblical archaeologist who was a mentor for Barfield, . spent 30 years searching Qumran. Jones discovered a small vial of Persimmon Oil used to anoint kings and high priests and a large quantity of what he figured was Temple incense.
Qumran clearly served Temple-related purposes. Like modern Israel, Qumran produced salt from the waters of the Dead Sea in a large cistern. In addition to its domestic use, salt was a necessary component of the Temple service.
Another function of the city was to serve as a location for scribes and many utensils used for writing holy texts have been found at Qumran. One of the central rooms is described in the Copper Scroll as "The room of the Scribe of Yachad."
Just as Jerusalem has a Jaffa Gate, the identical location on the inverted map of Qumran has a gate and the Copper Scroll describes a "Jaffa Gate."
The room in Qumran that corresponds to the Temple Mount on the map of Jerusalem is referred to as "the room of Tzadok." "Tzadok" is a Hebrew name which means "righteous man." The room has a pool referred to inexplicably as "the pool of the High Priest." The Temple also contained a mikveh (ritual bath) for use by the priests.
The Copper Scroll also refers to a "Column of Boaz" that stood outside of that room. According to the Bible, Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood on the porch of Solomon's Temple. Barfield has verified that in precisely that location in Qumran, there lie the remains of a stone column.
"Why they only had one column I don't know, but the remains of that one column are still there," Barfield said.
The connection between the two cities has not been investigated by archaeologists but Barfield has many ideas about the purpose behind this undeniable similarity.
"Jeremiah was connected to Qumran and trusted its inhabitants because, like him, they were prophets who came to immerse themselves in the lifestyle and rituals that would heighten their abilities," he theorized. "The priests in Jerusalem connected Israel to God in one way and the prophets connected the people to God in a different way. The prophets, separate and isolated in the wilderness could set the priests straight when they went astray."
Barfield has a personal theory that has yet to be substantiated that Qumran and Jerusalem were connected by the powerful scapegoat ritual that was the centerpiece for the Yom Kippur Temple service.
"I think that the goat was walked out to the cliffs in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea and was thrown off, landing near Qumran," Barfield theorized. On one of his visits to the site, Barfield discovered a square stone which had a conical depression carved into its surface. He referred to the part of the ritual in which a skein of wool dyed red was wrapped around the goat's horns. An identical skein was hung from the handles of the Temple. If, after the goat was thrown from the cliff, the wool in both locations turned white, then the nation could rest assured their repentance had found favor in God's eyes. Barfield believes an additional skein of scarlet wool was either hung from a staff inserted into the rock so the wool could be more readily seen from up above.
Barfield has dedicated years to his study of the Copper Scroll but his motives are simple.
"I want to return the Temple artifacts to the Jewish People," he said. "It's time."
Jesus, the Eternal King - Nathele Graham -
"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." Hebrews 2:16.
When the Christmas season comes around we usually take time to think of Jesus' birth. This shouldn't be a once a year ritual, but we should be joyous over His birth always. People have decided to set aside a day in December to remember that God became flesh and entered His creation, so when the tree goes up and gifts are exchanged we say it's to celebrate our Lord's birth. Too often, though, we get so caught up in the angels and shepherds and all the miracles of that blessed event that we might miss some important facts. Jesus' birth was a fulfillment of prophecy. Not one prophecy, but many. The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus through His step-father, Joseph, which is important in light of prophecy. "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew 1:1. Although Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, God chose him to be the earthly father to provide for and protect Jesus and Mary in those early years. Aside from being an obedient Jewish man who willingly shouldered the task which God laid before him, he also had to be a descendant of the royal line of King David (the son of David). The genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew shows clearly that Joseph was from the royal line of King David through King Solomon.
Matthew's genealogy begins with Abraham and follows the line through Isaac to Jacob to Judah and directly through the generations to King David and Solomon. The kings listed in Joseph's genealogy establish that Joseph was of the royal line and legally an heir to the throne of David. Scripture reveals that in spite of failures, King David loved the Lord and wanted to build a Temple for Him. God was pleased, but because David was a man of war God wouldn't allow him to build it. The Temple would be built by David's son, King Solomon, whose name means peace. Although David couldn't build the Temple, God did make a promise to him. "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." 2 Samuel 7:16. The royal line continued from Solomon to his son Rehoboam. Then the kingdom was divided, but the royal line from David continued until the Southern Kingdom was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. It looked as if the eternal throne of David wouldn't come to pass.
When God makes a promise it will always be fulfilled. The prophet Isaiah was given many prophecies about Jesus, including one that said the Messiah would sit eternally upon the throne of David. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6-7. The Child that was born and the Son that was given is Jesus Christ. This promise was repeated to Mary. When the angel visited her and told her that she would give birth to a son he also gave her a promise. "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33. Mary was a descendant of King David, but not through the royal line, but Joseph was. God has a plan and His promise to David will be fulfilled when Jesus returns and establishes the eternal kingdom. This is possible because Joseph was a descendant through the royal line
God had also made a promise to Abraham, who is known by the Jewish people as Father Abraham. It's through him that the Jewish nation had its beginning. In his old age, Abraham was visited by the Lord and given a specific promise that he would be the father of nations. As time passed and it didn't seem that his wife, Sarai, would be the mother of children, they decided to "help" God. They decided that Sarai's servant should lie with Abraham. A son was conceived, but he was not the son that God had promised. When Ishmael was born his birth caused trouble in Abraham's camp. Ishmael's descendants continue to trouble the world today. God hadn't meant for Hagar to bear a son, but Abraham's wife, Sarai was to be the mother of the promised son. "And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." Genesis 17:15-16. It's always a good idea to believe what God says even if we don't understand how He will accomplish His promises. God always means what He says.
Eventually Sarah did become pregnant just as God promised. Isaac, the promised son, was born. God used Abraham and Isaac to demonstrate His own love for people. God had promised Abraham a son, but then directed him to sacrifice that son of the promise. "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell the of." Genesis 22:2. Although he couldn't understand how it would turn out, Abraham was obedient and Isaac was willing. At the last moment God stopped the offering and provided a ram as an offering instead. God doesn't accept human blood as a sacrifice, but this was a "picture" of Jesus, God's only Son, shedding His blood for our salvation. "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." Genesis 22:17-18. . The entire world is blessed because of Abraham and the Jewish nation.
Matthew clearly shows Joseph's Abrahamic lineage and his royal right to the throne of David. Joseph probably didn't spend a lot of time thinking about his heritage, and when he and Mary became engaged he just set about making himself ready to be a husband and provide for his wife. Then the unthinkable happened. Mary was pregnant. He hadn't had marital relations with her so that meant she had been with someone else. He could have had her stoned, but Joseph didn't want that to happen. "Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." Matthew 1:19. This verse says "her husband", but at that time the meaning was different than today. Joseph and Mary were engaged but hadn't come together as man and wife. Joseph gave some serious thought about how to handle the situation. "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21. Joseph didn't hesitate. He knew the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin would give birth to the Messiah, and when he understood that he was chosen for the very important purpose of being the step-father of the Messiah, he did what was right. "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus." Matthew 1:24-25. Joseph was the "legal" father of Jesus. Because of that fact, Jesus is the "legal" heir to the throne of David. Prophecy was fulfilled.
When an adoption takes place, the child becomes the legal heir of the parent. Through Joseph, Jesus was the legal heir to David's throne. What about us? Are we heirs? Absolutely. Our faith gives us rights. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:11-13. The word "power" comes from the Greek word "exousia", which means "right". Most modern translations of Scripture say "right" instead of "power". If you receive Him, you have the right to become a son of God. When Jesus walked this earth He was fully human and fully God. He willingly laid down His life for our salvation as pictured when Isaac was a willing part of the sacrifice Abraham was told to make. Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Our faith in Him makes us His adopted children and we have an inheritance. "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Revelation 1:5-6.
Are you prepared to be a king and priest? If you've accepted His sacrifice for your salvation, now is the time to begin learning to take your place in the eternal Kingdom of God. We have Scripture to teach us, the Holy Spirit to guide us, and the Eternal King as our example. Follow Him.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The holiday season and theft of joy - Bill Wilson -
The holiday season-and I write that not to demean Christmas, but to include Hanukkah-is a time of the year for family, friends, faith and joy. Irrespective of the arguments about whether Christ was born or conceived this time of year or that Christmas is a holiday stacked with pagan symbolism, it is a time of the year when most of the world celebrates the birth of Christ. It is a time when families are brought together. It is a time of office gatherings, church celebrations, school plays, and dinners around the table in households worldwide. It is also a time that can bring a great deal of financial strain and pressure on families to entertain and to buy gifts. During these times, be extra cautious that your joy is not stolen.
Jesus Christ said in John 10:10, "The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." During the holiday season there is a meeting of these two truths-destruction and abundant life. They are opposed to one another. What better time of year for the devil to try to call someone's faith into question, but the very time of the year that people are celebrating their faith? We see it start every year right after Thanksgiving, another holiday that honors the blessings of the Lord. Think about how people behave on Black Friday. There are mobs, fights, even shootings because people are trying to get the first great deal for their Christmas presents.
Already, there have been headlines about angry and jilted lovers picking up a gun and going after the target of their fury. We see stories on the news where there are shootings at malls. People get into arguments over who has first dibs on a parking space. And there are those who look to prey on the innocents by taking what they have bought for their loved ones. The point is that in this day and age, where Hollywood, the news media, and politicians are spewing hate and violence while accusing others of what they themselves are doing, the public is like a pressure-cooker. We never know when it is going to boil over or the top will pop. Whatever the danger or the irritation, it's sure to raise its head during times of joy.
Remember that Christ came that you would have life and have it more abundantly. The spiritual battleground rages to spoil that abundance, steal it, and destroy it. Don't let it. Be wise on how you walk during this season, circumspect in your decisions. Remember to treat others as you would like to be treated. Be careful, but not fearful. Let the little things that irritate within the family slide a bit. While everyone is in the mood to celebrate, there is a lot of additional pressures. Empathy, compassion, love and honor go a long way to keep things on a positive note. If someone takes your parking place or cuts in line, who cares?-you are going to be there for a while anyway. Show the Christ in you that the devil in others will flee.
Daily Devotion: Not Fate but Faith - By Greg Laurie -
Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. -Psalm 119:91
There are no accidents in the life of the Christian-only providence. We don't believe in fate; we believe in faith. We believe that God is in control.
Notice the first three words of Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (NKJV, emphasis added).
What do we know? We know all things work together for good. Notice this verse says all things. It doesn't say, "We know the good things work together for good." It says all things. David, speaking of God in Psalm 119:91, wrote, "Everything serves your plans" (NLT).
This doesn't necessarily mean that all things are good things. This is where we perhaps misunderstand. When someone is suffering, when someone is in pain, maybe Romans 8:28 isn't the first verse we share. That will come in time, but there might be another verse we should choose instead. What happened to that hurting person is a really bad thing, and we should be saying, "I'm sorry this happened to you. I care, and I'm here for you."
There are bad things that happen that simply will remain bad. And they never will be anything but bad. God doesn't say He will make every bad thing good. Rather, He says all things work together for good. That means ultimately in God's master plan, good things will result.
Things happen in life that don't make sense, and we wonder, "Why is this happening? What have I done to deserve such a fate?"
I don't know that I have the answer, but I do know that God is in control. I know that God is powerful. And I know that God is sovereign, which means He's in control of all things.
FROM THE HEART
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