Come with me on a wonderful journey of discovery to explore how God delivered us the saving grace of atonement for sin. A gift priceless beyond measure, our Heavenly Father made it possible through the human birth and later self-sacrifice of His Own Son. And along the way, we will clear up any doubts that have continued to emerge about the established genealogy of Jesus.
Atonement for sin is the special grace that restores our relationship with our Heavenly Father by literally ‘washing away’ denial of God. It begins a faith-inspired journey back to God, and it must be undertaken by anyone wishing to end our separation from Him.
This journey is made possible by His Son, Jesus. There is no other way to God!
Man’s original nature became debased by sin. It fell through the deliberate act of disobedience committed by the first man, and both he and his woman were expelled from God’s Garden of Paradise. Nevertheless, God immediately designed a plan of redemption. However, within the expression of His Own divinity, He willed that its implementation be delayed.
Consider then that He planned for our redemption to be a ‘work in progress.’
We understand that God is omnipotent. Within the incarnation of His Holy Triune nature, God knew both the beginning and the end because He is both:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).
We do not know how many centuries constitute the breadth of His Plan. We ‘do’ know that the exercise of both His will and timing always fulfils His purpose perfectly.
In the post-Flood world, God delivered His people from enslavement. They had spent around 450 years under Egyptian rule. Though they originally came to Egypt under the suzerainty of Joseph, following his death, Pharaohs later began to enslave them until they existed in terrible bondage. However, in spite of their privation, they were no longer a few; they were a multitude.
God had heard their cries for deliverance. And Moses, though raised to be a prince of Egypt, was directed by God to lead them out of bondage. And when the Exodus began, God led them each step of the way.
“And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain” (Exodus 3:12 KJV).
God also knew that they had absorbed too much of the culture of the Nile, so He began to mature them spiritually, teaching them how He was to be worshiped. Though God revealed Himself to them in many ways, many of them resented that they had to endure such an arduous trek to ‘the promised land.’
And the Hebrew component of the Exodus were stiff-necked and disobedient from the start. Many yearned to return to Egypt and re-accept the chains of bondage.
And not all who left Egypt were Hebrews or followed their tradition of worship.
Exodus 12:37-38 tells us that “the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A MIXED MULTITUDE WENT UP WITH THEM ALSO, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock.” The mixed multitude may well have comprised formerly armed mercenaries, Canaanites, and other non-Egyptians who had resided alongside them in the province of Goshen but whom the later Pharaohs also enslaved to work on the building of their great cities and monuments. The prime reason for their enslavement was the fear of the Egyptian aristocracy that those living in Goshen might revolt and overwhelm Egypt: the Hebrews had become almost a nation within them.
As the trek began, God was forced to chasten them many times over. They were recalcitrant and disobedient; some were idol worshipers, and in all, they were ill-disciplined and downright rebellious. The Hebrews, especially, had to learn many hard lessons as God taught them, through Moses, how He was to be worshiped.
Though the Hebrews had little or no concept of personal sin, they had learned, as God chastened them, that the sum of sin committed by the Twelve Tribes had to be ‘washed away’ by a religious act of ceremonial sacrifice.
God had given Moses very explicit instructions as to how this would occur. This was not to be understood as a ceremony that would commence a new and personal relationship with God. That did not become possible until much later, when, in human form, He sent Jesus, His own Son, as their Messiah/Savior. Rather, it was a deeply religious ceremony whereby the mass of these formerly enslaved people who had no corporately developed spiritual voice might be forgiven their existing sins. And it would be constituted through the sacrificial slaughter of animals free of all disease and bodily defect. The act of cleansing would take place through the ritual of spilling blood.
With Aaron, brother of Moses, appointed by God as their High Priest, a holy tabernacle was created by skilled craftsmen. Under a priesthood chosen from the Tribe of Levi, a ceremonial cleansing of a temporary nature would take place for specific situations. God instructed Moses to designate special feasts and commemorative days. The most important of these was Yom Kippur, ‘the day of atonement for sin,’ which was held once each year.
i.e., The ceremonial means of worship was designated by God to wash away their sin/s and purify them in His eyes, such as when they had constructed a golden calf to worship in the manner of the idolatrous practices of their former Egyptian overlords.
There is little doubt that over the 400-odd years of their Egyptian sojourn, many Hebrews had embraced the gods of the Nile. And so, God had to initially teach them of His holiness, the nature of sin, and the penalties for disobedience of His will. Read The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On as they turned against Moses (Numbers 16)
God instructed Moses and Aaron that He would be worshiped through the ritualized slaying of animals upon a consecrated altar. The priests would then sprinkle and leave blood upon the altar, and all the instruments used that the whole area was ‘purified.’ Even the people in the immediate vicinity of the altar were apparently sprinkled with blood that they be cleansed and sin removed (Hebrews 9:22) And much later, when the 12 Tribes had subdued The Promised Land, the same ceremony would be conducted by the High Priest in both the first and second temples that once stood in Jerusalem.
God had also instructed Moses that Yom Kippur was to be the national day of atonement and the most holy of days on the Hebrew religious calendar. And it would be celebrated at a national assembly of all 12 Tribes once each year. However, over many years, the surfeit of sin increased within the nation, and the people turned away to worship idols again. Few Hebrews were found to be righteous in God’s eyes. Israel had become a nation of sin, no better than the heathen nations that God had subdued on their behalf.
Eventually, though Yom Kippur was regularly held, it became meaningless to God. Clearly, the hearts of the people had turned away to sin. God took no pleasure in their animal sacrifices. Finally, He rejected them because their significance as a means of expiating (the rite of purification of sin) had ceased. Nevertheless, in the time of Jesus, Yom Kippur was still held in the ceremonial way in spite of the fact that Jesus’ own blood sacrifice made all others obsolete.
The pretense of the nation as to their religious ‘piousness’ was downright insulting and blasphemed God’s Holy Name then and remains so today. This also applies when impious Christians practice ritual, though their souls are not humbled before God and forgiveness has not been sought through Jesus.
Psalm 34:14 “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
At this point, we should make comparison with much that pertains to present-day worship. Many are the ‘pious’ who frequent the great churches. Resplendent in their personal finery, they present their tithes, pay effusive compliments to the presiding clergy, give and receive the kiss of peace, and then, without qualm, return immediately to lifestyles that are abhorrent to God and fill Him with anger.
Has much changed? Certainly, there is little challenge from the clergy as to the spiritual condition of their congregants and certainly zero challenge as to the unholiness of the nation they allegedly serve on behalf of God.
God accepted that neither the ‘Israelites’ now occupying the ‘promised land’ nor the surrounding Gentile nations would loyally humble themselves to worship Him as He desired. And within His omnipotence, God the Father had long planned the means through which He would repair this breach of trust. God knew that it stemmed from our sin nature, which inevitably leads to denial of His divinity.
And so it was that, at this point, God moved to provide the remnant nation with their prophesied Messiah. He gave them Jesus, who is the Second Person of the Triune nature that is God, whom He sent to be born in the flesh of humanity. Jesus was gestated from God’s own omnipotent divinity, and thus was the chosen human woman impregnated.
The Christ of God Came to Earth:
Jesus is the Christ of God who was sent first to the Jews. All that subsequently befell Jesus was planned by God, including His later arrest, mock trial, and crucifixion by the Roman authorities. When Jesus defeated death as He rose from the grave, He delivered unto mankind the gift of redemption through the atoning grace purchased by his own blood. This became the gospel that His discipled Apostles delivered to both Jew and Gentile. The evangelism of Paul was to play an integral part in the conversion of the Gentiles in many nations.
God sent us Jesus to atone for our denial and forgive us our sins, even though Satan, with his diminished authority, had been given temporary overlordship over this fallen world. Satan continuously attacks man from within mankind’s fallen sin nature, and his desire remains the destruction of all mankind. He maintains a vitriolic hatred for man. We are seen as the ‘species’ that he believes (within the conceit of his own nature) replaced him in the position of prestige that he previously occupied before the throne of the Almighty.
Does God, therefore, have no control over man’s worldly nemesis?
God has complete control!
Even in his wildest imaginings, Satan has no power to withstand the omnipotence of God, who ordains both the ebb and flow of all created matter and being. And we see the will of God displayed as he cursed the serpent forever, in whose flesh Satan had tempted Eve.
Genesis 3:14-15 NIV “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Following the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden, sin had increased dramatically in proportion to the growth of the human population. The pre-Flood world was a world of vile corruption. Even hybrid humans had emerged through sexual concourse with the banished angels whom God had placed to watch over man. Instead, man was taught every evil, the art of war, witchcraft, and other foul teachings. Unnatural fornication appears to have been common (The Book of Enoch).
The Lineal Descent:
And so God had set aside Noah, a man whom He found righteous. Noah was the grandson of the second Enoch, son of Adam’s third son, Seth. And God loved Enoch so much because of his righteousness that He did not let him see death (Genesis 9:24). Enoch did not die in the Flood–he was alive when God translated him to Heaven.
And Noah’s family lineage had remained pure and had not mingled sexually with the fallen angels.
Following their survival from the great Flood in which all things not taken into the Ark had perished, Noah became the springboard from which would descend the preserved seed of lineage favored by God.
The chosen seed of human preservation led directly from Noah to Abraham. Then, through Abraham to his son Isaac and, in extension, through to Jesse, his son King David, and his son King Solomon. And God ordained that this descent of lineal purity would endure until it ended with the young virgin Mary, whom God had chosen to bear Jesus.
The Claims of Some Within the Modern Jewish Rabbinate and Sanhedrin:
2,000 years after His crucifixion, religious Jews are still attempting to disprove the Christian claim that Jesus is their long-awaited Messiah. They specifically attack The Book of Matthew the Apostle, claiming that Jesus could not possibly descend from King David through his son King Solomon and thereon, down to Mary because Matthew 1:16 is lineally incorrect, as it ends with Joseph, Mary’s husband, and he is not descended from King Solomon.
These ‘religious’ critics are correct to some extent, but for all the wrong reasons. The genealogy set out by the Apostle Luke in verse 3:23 clarifies it with this verse in the NKJV:
“Now Jesus began his ministry at about thirty years of age, being (AS WAS SUPPOSED) the son of Joseph.”
As we know, Joseph the Carpenter was the husband of Mary, and he was the adopted father of Jesus. Therefore, there is no lineal descent to Mary through this Joseph. The lineage of Mary’s husband (Joseph) descends from King David through to David’s son, King Solomon, and then THROUGH SOLOMON’S BROTHER NATHAN and down through successive generations to Joseph the Carpenter, Mary’s husband. (Thank you, Luke.)
The two Apostles have clearly given both sides of the holy family’s lineal descent. Mary through David and Solomon and Joseph the Carpenter (adopted father of Jesus), through David, Solomon’s brother Nathan, and so down that separate line of descent.
Coincidentally, Mary’s lineage, in Matthew 1:16, which ends with the reference to Joseph, the husband of Mary, is more likely referring to Mary’s father, whose name was (so my research indicates) also called Joseph.
Is there an error, then, in the translation of ancient scripts into our modern Bibles? Having established that Mary’s husband, Joseph’s lineage, as shown by Luke, correctly sits under the lineal descent from Nathan, Solomon’s brother, there is no discrepancy.
Clearly, Mary’s husband Joseph’s lineal descent is in no way germane to the lineage of Mary herself. Her lineal descent flows directly through King Solomon, not his brother Nathan, as was her husband Joseph’s lineage.
- We have 14 generations instead of 13 from the captivity in Babylon until Christ, as we should according to Matthew 1:17. (See the link provided further down in this article.)
- There is a good reason why Matthew’s genealogy and Luke’s genealogy don’t match: because they present the bloodlines of two different people.
- Matthew’s genealogy is, without a doubt, Jesus’ biological mother Mary’s line, and Luke’s genealogy is His adoptive father Joseph’s.
- The virgin birth and conception through the Holy Spirit is true and Biblically recorded. Mary conceived Jesus through being overshadowed by The Holy Spirit, and Joseph adopted and raised Jesus as his son, even though he was not His biological father.
- Last but not least, Christianity will always stand on its biblical merit, and the New Testament is alive and well.
Note: There has always been and will continue to be a great host of satanically inspired deniers of Jesus. Particularly the biblical assertion that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.
In spite of Jewish criticism, the Apostle Luke has perfectly clarified the lineal descent of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Luke puts any doubt of it to rest. Jesus is the Messiah of both Jew and Gentile and fits exactly to the prophesied foretelling of his ministry and death given us in Isaiah 53.
The lineage of Jesus was integral to the long-planned steps taken by God to provide mankind with the discernable process of restoration.
Anyone wanting to study the scriptural genealogy of Jesus further might like to have a look at the URL I have attached.
How important do you consider genealogy to be?
In faith, Christians understand and humbly accept that this was the expression of God’s will, that He sent us the pure, sacrificial lamb of redemption in the human form of His own Son, Who is Jesus, the CHRIST King of God. ‘One sinless man to die for the sin of all mankind.’
In the sacrifice of this one sinless man, the necessity to seek salvation through the sacrifice of animals became at once (and remains) completely unnecessary. Any attempt to recommence animal sacrifice is a vain attempt to hasten the coming of the Messiah that the Jews continue to claim ‘has not come’ IS, PATENTLY, an act of blasphemy.
In the sacrificial self-offertory of this one sinless man, the eternal death of the flesh was vanquished forever. In His defeat of death, Jesus at once defeated Satan.
The words of the Apostles’ Creed are significant proof.
Jesus is the first human man ever to rise from Sheol to Heaven as His soul was translated from flesh to His eternal body. We can substantiate this claim with these facts:
- Enoch was alive when translated by God and did not see death.
- Lazarus was raised from the death of his flesh unto life but did not rise in translation.
- Jesus died in the flesh and rose from the grave translated, and so is the first man to rise from death.
As His flesh died, Jesus cried, “It is finished!” And all who seek forgiveness of sin by calling upon His name in repentance will rise to follow Jesus to eternal life.
Jesus is the Christ of God, and His human death as a sinless offering has forever justified us before God as our denial ceased.
– This Jesus, who forgives the reoccurrence of sin as yet, we remain within the imperfection of our sin nature
– This Jesus, through whom our Father Creator hears our prayerful cries of repentance
– This Jesus, eternal font of God’s everlasting mercy and love.
Thoughts On the Process of Sanctification Performed by God’s Holy Spirit:
Sanctification: by definition, means ‘to set something apart for a holy purpose.’
“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).
God will, over time, ensure that we are holy because of His own holiness. And He is determined that to consummate our holiness, we should work toward its achievement within our existing sin nature.
What a conundrum!
We humans cannot make ourselves holy due to our sin nature. Only God is able to perfect us. At all times, then, let us try to emulate his standard of perfection: loving the Lord our God with all our minds and souls and our neighbor as ourselves.
Thanks be to God that He sends us His Holy Spirit, who works to bring us to the state of perfect holiness His triune person desires. And what joy will be ours as we rise as did Jesus; our flesh translated and the ‘old man’ of our sin nature dead forever.
Are There Levels of Sanctified Holiness?
Some churches and biblical scholars argue in favor of what is known as ‘progressive sanctification.’ In their view, distinct stages of increased holiness exist. I opt for the view that our sanctification is complete upon our ascension to Heaven because the Holy Spirit will have completed His work in each of us.
Here’s a great quote: (realchristianity.com)
The Lord Jesus doesn’t have any perfect or sinless followers. He doesn’t expect to have any, and He has never had any. What He does expect and insist on is our faithfulness. He demands that we do not desert Him or cease to follow Him. There is no question of Him ever deserting us. That is a certainty. We can be assured of that.
Many false doctrines have arisen and continue to rise through the conceited imaginings of heretical teachers. Since the time of Paul, heretics have attempted to impose strict doctrines that bind true worship of the gospel of Jesus within the chains of dogma rather than teaching its freedom and simplicity.
The Sequence of Events Yet to Come Is Discussed in Commentary III RESTORATION:
Through faith and the humility of prayer, which guides my research and my ability to understand, I prayerfully present this, the established genealogy of our Lord, as well as some thoughts on Sanctification.