In the Place of the Altar(s) the Lord Provides, In the Place of the Throne the Lord Rules

Today’s selected reading is found in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ written by the apostle Matthew. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first and opening chapter of this New Testament gospel and book. THIS IS THE BOOK! THIS IS THE BOOK OF THE GENERATION OF JESUS CHRIST! THIS IS HOW IT ALL BEGINS! THIS IS WHERE IT ALL STARTS! THIS IS THE STATEMENT THAT BEGINS INTRODUCING US TO JESUS WHO IS NOT ONLY THE CHRIST, BUT ALSO THE MESSIAH! IT ALL STARTS HERE! IT BEGINS WITH JESUS! When you come to the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find the beginning of the book of the generation of Jesus Christ—the beginning of the narrative found within Scripture concerning Jesus the Christ. After working their way through the first thirty-nine books of the canon of Scripture the reader would undoubtedly come face to face with the tremendous reality that there was someone whom the Law and the prophets spoke of—someone who was coming at an appointed time ordained by the true and living God. You cannot read the Old Testament of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that the Law and the prophets both spoke about the coming of this Messiah who would be manifested within and upon the earth as a direct result of the appointment of the one true and living God. There were several ancient Hebrew prophets who caught glimpses of the coming of the Messiah within the prophetic ministry the Lord had given and entrusted unto them—none more so than the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah. It might very well be said that as you read the prophetic book of Isaiah you will encounter and come face to face with what is perhaps the prophetic gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ found on the pages of the Old Testament. It would be in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful reality that this ancient Hebrew prophet received perhaps the greatest revelation(s) concerning the coming Messiah whom the New Testament reveals as Jesus the Christ. All the ancient Hebrew prophets saw this One who would be coming unto and upon the earth, and they all received a mighty and powerful revelation concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, it would be in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find and read how the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy—thus indicating the direct link and correlation between prophecy and the actual testimony of Jesus.

            It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to this mighty and powerful statement that is found in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, for it brings us face to face with the final book of the New Testament—yea, the final book of the canon of Scripture itself—is a revelation concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. What makes this truly interesting and intriguing is when you think about and consider how the first four books of the New Testament are indeed a revelation in and of themselves concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, while the prophetic book of the Revelation is indeed considered to be the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We must needs recognize and understand this, for the New Testament not only begins with the gospel and narrative concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also concludes with the revelation of Jesus the Christ which He gave unto His servant John while on the isle of Patmos. This is something that is truly incredible when you take the time to think about it, for you cannot read the New Testament without and apart from beginning with Jesus and ending with Jesus. Upon coming to the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find the first recorded book written concerning the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only the first ever book written and recorded concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, but also the first ever mention of the name of JESUS. Within the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we are brought face to face with a mighty and powerful vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from one who walked with, followed and fellowshipped with Him for three and a half years.

            I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found in the opening passage of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew and I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful reality that this book was specifically placed at the beginning of the New Testament—that portion of Scripture which not only presents us with the gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, but also the account of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ which would remain upon the earth after His departure and return unto the Father who was in heaven. The more I think about and the more I consider the words which are found in the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew the more I am brought face to face with the words at the very beginning of this chapter, for the words which are found here are perhaps some of the most powerful words found within the New Testament concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Up until this point the idea of the Messiah was nothing but an idea, a concept, a vision and a revelation that was presented within the writings of the prophets who prophesied during their generation. By the time we come to the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we not only find the days of the Old Covenant having been brought to a close, but we also find a four hundred year period of silence having been brought to an end by, with and through the proclamation concerning the Messiah who was to come. What I find to be truly remarkable and astonishing when you think about and consider this is when you think about the life and ministry of the apostle John, for the very nature of this ministry was to not only prepare people for the coming of the Messiah, but also to proclaim unto them this Messiah who was to come. As we shall see later on within this gospel narrative—and not only within this gospel narrative, but also within the other three gospel narratives—John the Baptist mightily and powerfully proclaimed unto the religious leaders of that generation, unto the Roman centurions, unto the publicans, unto the sinners, and unto all those who would come unto him to hear and listen to the words proclaimed by him concerning the Lord Jesus the Christ. After four-hundred years of silence we find that silence being broken first and foremost by the angel Gabriel who not only appeared unto Zacharias by the altar in the Temple of the Lord, but who would also reveal himself unto Mary, as well as unto Joseph who was espoused to be married to Mary.

            I am absolutely and completely gripped and captivated with and by the awesome and wonderful truth that after four hundred years of silence, and after several generations of waiting and watching—a total of forty-two generations—the Messiah would finally emerge and appear within and upon the earth. As we read the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find at the very beginning—and quite honestly at the very heart of the entire gospel itself—the powerful declaration that this book was the book of the generation of Jesus Christ. Oh we dare not and must not quickly move past the words which are found within the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew, for the apostle Matthew presented his audience and his readers with a powerful declaration and description concerning the generations which existed upon the earth from the time of Abraham. In order to present the powerful picture and revelation concerning the Lord Jesus Christ the apostle Matthew would begin with Abraham and would trace the generations of Jesus all the way down through the years beginning with and from Abraham. This book of the generation of Jesus Christ not only presented us with the powerful picture that Jesus was the Son of David, but also that Jesus was indeed the Son of Abraham. I am absolutely and completely convinced that in order to truly understand and recognize the words which are presented before and unto us within this passage of Scripture it is necessary that we turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews. It is what we find in the second chapter of this New Testament epistle we are brought face to face with the awesome truth and reality concerning Jesus coming unto the earth—not only as the seed of Abraham, but also as the Son of Abraham which the apostle Matthew proclaimed and spoke about. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the fifth verse of this second chapter:

            “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou vastest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same: that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. FOR VERILY HE TOOK NOT ON HIM THE NATURE OF ANGELS; BUT HE TOOK ON HIM THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).

            Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, for towards the end of this passage we find the author of this epistle writing how when Jesus came unto the earth He did not take unto and upon Himself the nature of angels, but rather He took on him the seed of Abraham. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close attention to and understand this, for when you read the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will not only find in the opening verse the declaration of “the book of the generation of Jesus Christ,” but you will also find this Jesus Christ as being the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. This declaration concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely incredible and wonderful when you take the time to think about it, for we cannot understand the narrative concerning Jesus without and apart from understanding that He is both the Son of David who sat upon the throne as king in Jerusalem over the house of Israel, as well as the Son of Abraham who was the patriarch and father of the Hebrew and Jewish people. The author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews emphatically and boldly proclaimed and declared concerning the Lord Jesus Christ that He took upon Himself the nature of man, as well as the seed of Abraham, thus indicating that He was the ultimate fulfillment of the word and promise which was spoken unto Abraham concerning his seed. When the LORD called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans and spoke unto him He declared unto him that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed, and it is absolutely necessary that we understand this, for this not only touches upon the realm of the faith which was found within Abraham, but also through the promise that would come through his loins.

            As you read the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find the apostle beginning to tell the story, beginning to tell the narrative, and beginning to tell the account of the Lord Jesus Christ with and from Abraham. The apostle Matthew who was of the same lineage and seed of Abraham in that he was of Jewish descent would have understood the history of the Jewish people and how they can trace their lineage, their heritage and their generations back unto Abraham. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that when and as the apostle Matthew was writing the words which are found in this passage of Scripture he was presenting his readers and his audience with the incredibly powerful truth that not only was he himself a direct descendant of Abraham through Isaac, through Jacob, and through the twelve tribes of Israel, but when Jesus the Christ came unto the earth He Himself chose to come as a Son of Abraham and of the seed of Abraham. Think about how incredibly powerful that both the disciple and the Master were united in their having come directly from the seed and lineage of Abraham. We know within the gospel narratives and accounts of the Lord Jesus Christ that Jesus was conceived within the womb of Mary by, through and according to the Holy Ghost who overshadowed her, however, we must needs recognize and understand that when Jesus came unto man in the form of human and physical flesh, He came according to the seed of Abraham, thus associating Himself with the people of Israel. Jesus would have come having taken unto and upon Him the nature of angels, or even the nature of those nations, peoples, tribes, kindreds, and tongues round about Judaea, Galilee, Samaria and Jerusalem, and yet when He came unto the earth He chose to take unto Himself the seed of Abraham. Oh we must needs recognize and pay close and careful attention to this, for what we find within this opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew is a powerful  declaration that Jesus was not only the Son of Abraham, but also as the Son of Abraham was the ultimate and perfect fulfillment of that which was spoken unto this patriarch of faith. We know from the writings of the apostle Paul that Isaac represented the promise of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit as directly set against and contrasted with that which comes of the flesh, but we must needs understand and recognize that the ultimate fulfillment of the promise that was to come from Abraham was the Lord Jesus Christ.

            I have to admit that I absolutely love the words which are found in the opening verses of the first chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, for within these verses we not only find Jesus as having come through the generations that begin with Abraham, but also that Jesus came as a direct descendant of David who was king of the nation of Israel—and not only David who was king over Israel, but also the kings who would sit upon his throne within the city of Jerusalem. The lineage and generations of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed begin with Abraham, and it would weave throughout the generations like in a mighty, rushing river flowing through men such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, Zerubbabel, and the like. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for what we find within this passage of Scripture not only paints the incredibly powerful picture that Jesus the Christ descended according to promise, but also that He descended according to royalty, authority and government within and upon the earth. It is not by accident, nor is it by  coincidence that the apostle Matthew presents us with the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ according to David the king of Israel, as well as with the kings which sat upon the throne of David within Jerusalem. By referring to Jesus as “the Son of David,” as well as “the Son of Abraham” the apostle Matthew was not only directly linking and connecting Jesus to that concept of promise, but also to that concept of royalty, government, authority, and those kings which would sit upon the throne of David on the earth.

            As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ begins with that one who was called out of the land of the Chaldeans, would continue through those who would be brought out of slavery, and would continue through those who would enter into, conquer and inhabit the land of Canaan which would be known as the nation of Israel. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the generations of the Lord Jesus Christ would not only be traced through slavery, bondage and oppression, but they would also be traced through captivity and exile. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it, for the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, and the Son of Abraham would be a total of forty-two generations beginning with Abraham who was himself called out of Ur of the Chaldeans and into the land of Canaan which would become the nation of Israel. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ would begin with Abraham, and would continue throughout the years all the way through and unto the days and time of Jesse who was perceived as being the father of Jesus the Christ within and upon the earth. It is in the seventeenth verse of this opening chapter we find and read how all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and how all the generations from David until the carrying away into Babylon were fourteen generations, and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ was fourteen generations. In order to understand the narrative concerning the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs understand and recognize that it begins with Abraham and continues through the generations until it would eventually come to David who would be divinely chosen and ordained as the king of the house and nation of Israel. It would be David who would not only lead the house and nation of Israel in battles against their enemies and adversaries, but it would also be David who would conquer and subdue the nations round about Israel and would expand the kingdom and territory of the nation of Israel. It would be David who would be a man of warfare, a man of conflict and a man of battle, as David would lead the armies of Israel in battle against their enemies and adversaries. It would be David who would engage in conflict, warfare and battle against the enemies of Israel, and it would be because of this the Lord would send the prophet Nathan to declare unto David that he would not be permitted to build the Temple unto the Lord because he was a man of bloodshed.

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how absolutely incredible and powerful the words found within this passage of Scripture are, for the first seventeen verses of the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew reveal the path and the generations which would ultimately lead to and bring history and men unto the manifestation and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. That which would begin with Abraham after being called forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans would ultimately lead to and bring men and women to the place of the manifestation and emergence of the Messiah who would come unto and upon the earth. The words found in this passage of Scripture are indeed captivating and intriguing when you think about it, for it presents us with the powerful picture that what the Lord did and what the Lord began when He called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans was indeed leading up to that ultimately fulfillment when He would bring forth the Messiah who would come as a descendant, lineage and seed of Abraham. The apostle Matthew would trace the lineage, the history and the generation of Jesus Christ to Abraham and Isaac thus directly and intrinsically linking and connecting Him to both the patriarch of faith and the king, while the beloved physician Luke would trace the lineage and history of Jesus unto Adam whom he referred to as the Son of God. That which the apostle Matthew was seeking to do was directly link Jesus the Christ unto Abraham—and not only Abraham, but also unto David who was king over the nation of the house of Israel.

            The more I think about and consider this, the more I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the ultimate fulfillment of the prophetic word the LORD spoke unto David through the prophet concerning the house which He would build for him in the midst of the earth would indeed be through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must needs recognize and understand this, for the word which was spoken unto David during and within his generation would ultimately be presented elsewhere in the writings and declarations of the ancient Hebrew prophets—specifically, within the writings and declarations of the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah. In order for us to understand the words which are found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we must needs understand and consider the fact that the LORD deliberately and intentionally spoke unto David through the prophet concerning the throne he sat upon—and not only concerning that throne, but how he would establish that throne throughout the years, and would cause the descendants of David to sit upon the throne. Although David would and could not build a house unto the LORD in the midst of the earth because he was a man of bloodshed, the LORD would indeed build unto David an enduring and everlasting house which would be passed down throughout the generations. What would begin would Abraham would continue down through the generations until it would eventually culminate with the person of Jesus Christ, and what would begin with David would continue down through the generations until it ultimately would find its resting place and fulfillment within the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge within our hearts and our minds, for in order to understand Abraham you must needs understand Jesus, and in order to understand Jesus you must needs understand Abraham. What’s more, is that if you want to understand Jesus you must needs understand David, and if you want to understand David you must needs understand Jesus. It is absolutely impossible to read the book of the generation of Jesus and not understand it being directly and intrinsically linked and connected to both Abraham and David—and not only this, but also how the work which the LORD would do in the earth within and through these two men would ultimately find their fulfillment in the person of Jesus the Christ.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found within the first seventeen verses of this chapter and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the tremendous truth that what the LORD did and what the LORD began with and through Abraham would ultimately point to and find its fulfillment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through Abraham where the concepts of faith, promise, justification, righteousness, and even the encounter and experience upon the mountain of Moriah would find their ultimate fulfillment within the person of Jesus the Christ. Everything we find and read within the narrative and account of Abraham directly points to the awesome and powerful manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ within and upon the earth, and we dare not and cannot afford to miss and lose sight of just how absolutely wonderful and powerful this truly is. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to the concept of covenant, the concept of circumcision, the concept of justification, the concept of righteousness, and the concept of faith and promise found within the narrative and account of Abraham, for these realities would find their ultimate fulfillment in the person of the LORD Jesus Christ, for Jesus would not only be our righteousness, but also through Jesus we are justified by faith in the work which He completed and performed upon the cross. There is perhaps no greater explanation of this truth than what the apostle Paul wrote and declared within the epistle written unto the saints which were found at Rome. It is in the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the hand of the apostle Paul that we find this wonderful and powerful declaration of Jesus the Christ being the perfect and ultimate fulfillment of that which was found within the life of Abraham—and not only that which was found within the life of Abraham, but also that which began with the life of Abraham. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

            “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a  rigthteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being not justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto man. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:1-20).

            There is not a doubt in my mind that what the LORD was working within and through Abraham within his generation would ultimately find its fulfillment and culmination in the person of the Lord Jesus the Christ. It is not by accident, nor is it by coincidence the apostle Matthew referenced Jesus Christ as being the son of Abraham, for by speaking of and declaring Him to be the Son of Abraham he was emphatically pointing out and declaring that what the LORD wrought within and through the life of Abraham would ultimately find its perfect fulfillment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The work which the LORD wrought in the earth through Abraham—a work that would continue through the generations through Isaac, through Jacob, and through the various generations that would come thereafter—would ultimately lead and bring men to the person of Jesus Christ. In essence, that which we find and read within the narrative and account of Abraham is a gospel in and of itself concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that we would recognize and understand this, for if you read the account of Abraham as it is found within the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find traces and elements of the gospel found and scattered throughout it—and not only will you find traces and elements of the gospel, but you will also find signs which point to the ultimate fulfillment of that which was begun within the life of Abraham through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The work which the LORD began and wrought by, with and through Abraham would eventually reach and find its resting place in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as Jesus the Christ would fulfill everything that had begun with Abraham. It is with this in mind I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Philippi. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the epistle written unto the Philippians:

            “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11).

            Please pay close attention to those words “that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” for while the apostle Paul was speaking about a present work within the hearts and lives of the Philippian saints, we must needs recognize and understand that the good work which the Lord began with and through Abraham would not only be performed until the day of Jesus Christ, but would also be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. If and as you read and study the words found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you must needs understand that the work and narrative which began with Abraham in the Old Testament book of Genesis would ultimately point to the person of Jesus Christ, and that which the living and eternal God would work within, through and by Him. We must needs understand and acknowledge this tremendous truth, for it is this truth that brings us face to face with the fact that as “the Son of Abraham” Jesus fulfilled perfectly that which was spoken unto this patriarch of faith, and that which was wrought within the life of this great man of faith. The entire narrative and account of Abraham would contain a powerful declaration of the gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with perhaps the single greatest declaration concerning the gospel being found in his testing by the Lord when he was instructed to take his only son Isaac and sacrifice him in the place the Lord would show him. Within this narrative we find Abraham journeying unto the region of Moriah and unto a specific mountain within the region of Moriah where he would lay the wood of the sacrifice upon the shoulders and back of his son Isaac before finally reaching the place of sacrifice where Abraham would build the altar, arrange the wood his son carried, bind his son Isaac and place him on the altar before raising the knife to slay his son in the sight and presence of the Lord in heaven. Oh we must needs pay close and careful attention to this, for there is a common theme and thread which Abraham, David and Jesus all share with each other—namely, the region of Moriah, and specifically the mountain of Moriah that would be found within that region. If and as you read the words which are found within Scripture you will find that the journey to Moriah which began with Abraham would continue with David who would himself build an altar and sacrifice unto the LORD in the midst of a deadly plague that was sweeping throughout the land. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament books of Genesis, as well as Second Samuel and First Chronicles:

            “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 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. And Abraham roseup early in the morning, and saddle his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where it the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched for his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen” (Genesis 22:1-14).

            “Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David build there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put his sword again into the sheath thereof. At that time when David saw the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 21:18-30).

            “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebsuite. And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 3:1-2).

            We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in these passages of Scripture, for the words which we find within these passages of Scripture present us with the intrinsic link and connection that exists between Abraham, David and Jesus, for all three of these men would be brought on a journey unto Moriah. What’s more, is that not only were these men brought on a journey unto Moriah, but they were brought to that place in order that sacrifice and offering might be made. The LORD would lead Abraham unto the region of Moriah and unto a certain mountain in Moriah where Abraham would worship and sacrifice before and unto the LORD. It would be in that place the LORD would provide a ram for and unto Abraham instead and in the place of Isaac his son as a sacrifice upon the altar. What’s more, is that in the narrative and account of David we find him being brought on a journey unto the mountain of Moriah where he would build an altar and would present a sacrifice before and unto the LORD to stop and stay the plague that was wreaking havoc upon the people within the land of Israel and in the city of Jerusalem. Not only this, but in the narrative of Solomon the son of David you find him building the Temple of the LORD and that place where the altar of the LORD would be present in the very same place Abraham built an altar before and unto the LORD, and in the very same place where David his father had built an altar before and unto the LORD. The altar that would begin with Abraham within his generation would eventually lead to a second altar being built during the day and generation of David when he himself would build an altar before and unto the LORD. That altar which David built in the place of Moriah would eventually and ultimately lead to a third altar being built in that place—and not only a third altar being built in that place, but also the very Temple of the Lord. In total there were a total of four altars that were built upon that place in the midst of the region which was known as Moriah and upon Moriah, for there would be Abraham’s altar, there would be David’s altar, there would be Solomon’s altar which would be the altar of the Temple, and there would be the altar that would be present within the court of the Temple during the days of Jesus. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredibly powerful and important this truly is, for this mountain, the altar, and sacrifice would directly link and connect Abraham, David, and the Temple which Solomon would build to Jesus the Christ.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in these passages of Scripture in light of that which is found in the opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that the altar was built by different men upon mount Moriah, as Abraham would build the first altar, David would build the second altar, Solomon would build the third altar, and Ezra would build the fourth altar after the return of the captivity and exile of the people of Judah and Israel to the land of their ancestors and forefathers. We must needs recognize and understand this, for the altar of Abraham, the altar of David, and the altar which Solomon built would all point to the ultimate sacrifice which would be offered and presented upon the earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The altars which were built on mount Moriah—as well as the Jewish Temples which were built in that place—would directly be linked and connected to the ultimate sacrifice which would be found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, this reality would be expressed in part unto Joseph when he discovered that Mary was pregnant and with child though they had not yet known each other. Scripture reveals how Joseph sought to put away Mary privately so as not to publicly shame her, but how the angel Gabriel appeared to him in a dream by the night concerning the child which grew within the womb of Mary. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found within the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew:

            “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as hi mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 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. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew here not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25).

            We must recognize the awesome and incredible significance of what is written and recorded in this passage of Scripture, for the words which we find in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the truth concerning Jesus the Christ, and how Jesus the Christ would indeed save men from their sons. We know and understand from and through Scripture that the means and method whereby Jesus would save people from their sins was through His sacrifice which would be made at Golgotha and in “the place of the skull.” It is necessary for us to pay close attention to these words, for the thread and fabric that links and is wove throughout the narrative of Abraham, David, Solomon and David is not only the place of sacrifice, but also the place of dominion, government and authority, I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew, and I am brought face to face with the fact that through Abraham, through David and through Solomon we find the intrinsic link being Moriah, the altar and sacrifice, while through those sons which would proceed forth from David would share the throne which would be present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. We have great need of paying close attention to that which is found in these verses, for Jesus as being the Son of David and the Son of Abraham not only directly links Him to the place of sacrifice, but also to the place of dominion, government and authority. If we are truly going to understand the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must needs recognize and understand Him as not only being the fulfillment of the government, the dominion and the authority that rested within and upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem, but also as being the fulfillment of sacrifice which was found in the narrative of Abraham, David and Solomon. Essentially within these opening verses we find the place of the throne as well as the place of the altar linking Abraham, David and Jesus together, as in Jerusalem we not only find the place of the glory of the living God, but we also find the place of the government of the living God. It would be in the midst of the city of Jerusalem that we find the place of the government of the LORD as evidenced in the throne of David, and it would be in the midst of the city of Jerusalem that we find the place of the glory of God as evidenced in the Temple which was built in the region of Moriah where Abraham offered a sacrifice before the LORD, where David offered a sacrifice before the LORD, and where Solomon would offer sacrifices before the LORD. Oh how truly wonderful and powerful it is to think about and consider just how incredible this truly is when you take the time to focus and direct your attention on Jesus as being the Son of David and the Son of Abraham.

            IN THE PLACE OF THE ALTAR THE LORD PROVIDES! IN THE PLACE OF THE THRONE THE LORD RULES! Within the first and opening chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we encounter the tremendous and powerful truth that Jesus as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham directly links him to Moriah, to the place of the altar, and to the place of sacrifice. Not only this, but within this narrative and reality we are brought face to face with the fact that Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice that would deliver men and women—not from a physical plague such as that one which would be present during David’s generation, but from the plague of sin which carries with it the penalty of death, judgment and the wrath of God. Even with this being said, and as I am writing these words I am brought face to face with the fact that we are currently and have been in the midst of a plague which has come upon the whole world and has wreaked havoc within and among the nations of the earth. For nine months now there has been a worldwide plague that has claimed the lives of countless thousands of lives, and has infected and impacted countless millions of individuals. There is not a doubt that this nation and the world as a whole is being directly gripped and impacted by a plague that is moving within, throughout and upon the face of the earth. Just as David built and altar and offered a sacrifice upon the altar in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite to stay and stop the plague that had claimed the lives of countless thousands of men and women within the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, so also I am convinced that what is greatly needed within this generation and within these days is not only the rebuilt altar and rebuilt altars, but also sacrifices being offered and made before and unto the LORD. In fact, it is this reality that surrounds the promise the LORD made unto Solomon after Solomon dedicated the Temple unto and the LORD and for His glory. If you read the book of Second Chronicles you will find that Solomon entreated the LORD to look kindly and favorably upon those who would offer sacrifices upon the altar or would pray toward the Temple. It would be the LORD who would respond unto Solomon by dream during the night concerning the Temple—and not only concerning the Temple, but also concerning the altar which was present in the midst of it. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the book of Second Chronicles:

            “Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:11-14).

            IF I SEND PESTILENCE AMONG MY PEOPLE! IF MY PEOPLE, WHICH ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND PRAY, AND SEEK MY FACE, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS; THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN, AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND! Oh we must needs recognize and understand that it was the altar which David built and the sacrifice which David made before and unto the LORD that would stop the plague that would devastate the land and people of Israel, and when speaking unto Solomon the LORD declared that if He sent a pestilence among the people—if His people which were called by His name, would humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then would He hear from heaven, and would forgive their sin, and would heal their land. Oh we must needs pay close and careful attention to this truth, for just as the altar which David built, and the sacrifice which he offered before and unto the LORD would stop and stay the plague that would decimate and destroy within the land of Israel, so also would the Temple and altar which were built in that place be directly linked to the stopping and staying of pestilences which would come upon the nation and upon the people. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we pay close attention to this, for we are living within and during days of a national and international plague and pestilence in the midst of the earth, and I am absolutely and completely convinced that what is greatly needed in the midst of this plague and pestilence is not only rebuilt altars, but sacrifices being offered before and unto the LORD. What’s more, is there is a great and tremendous need for men and women to humble themselves, to pray, to seek the face of the living God, and to turn from their wicked ways. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredibly necessary and imperative these words truly are, for they bring us to the place where we understand that what is greatly needed in this generation is personal and corporate altars which are built before and unto the LORD as men and women offer unto the LORD the sacrifices of prayer, seeking His face, and turning from their wicked ways.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find myself encountering the awesome truth and reality that what is so desperately needed within this generation and within these days—days which are filled and consumed with and by a worldwide plague and pestilence—is not only rebuilt altars and sacrifices of prayer, humility, repentance and seeking the face of God, but also the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham, David and Solomon would all offer sacrifices upon the mountain of Moriah before and unto the LORD, and all their sacrifices would ultimately point men and women to the ultimate sacrifice that would be offered in that place—namely, the sacrifice of the LORD Jesus Christ. The promise the LORD gave to Solomon was that if His people which were called by His name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then would He hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land. As certainly and surely as this promise was linked and connected to the Temple which Solomon had built, and to the altar which stood in the outer court, so this promise has its ultimate fulfillment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ultimate fulfillment of the promise which was made unto Solomon that night by and through a dream would be found in the person of Jesus the Christ, for not only was He Himself the ultimate sacrifice and atonement for sins, but He invited us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow after Him. Oh we must needs recognize and understand the great need for the LORD to hear from heaven, to forgive sin and to heal the land. What we must also come to terms with when reading these words is that in order for the LORD to hear from heaven there must be something for Him to hear. That which the LORD would hear from heaven would be the sound of men and women humbling themselves, the sound of men and women praying, the sound of men and women seeking the face of God, and the sound of repentance as men and women would turn from their wicked ways. That which produces the forgiveness of sins, and that which produces the healing of the land is the LORD hearing from heaven, and yet there must needs be something for the LORD to hear from heaven—namely, the sound of prayer, the sound of seeking the face of the LORD, and the sound of men and women turning from their wicked ways.

Oh as we are in the midst of this global and worldwide pandemic and plague we must needs recognize, understand and acknowledge the tremendous need for rebuilt altars and sacrifices being offered once more before and in the sight and presence of the living God as men and women humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways. There is truly only one hope that is found within this generation and in the midst of that which we are facing, and that is rebuilt altars and sacrifices, and the person and presence of the ultimate sacrifice which was offered in the region of Moriah, and perhaps not even very far from the place where Abraham placed Isaac upon the altar, and from the place where David built his altar and sacrificed before the Lord, and the place where the Temple of the LORD was built and where Solomon offered sacrifices. Oh that we would recognize and understand the truly great need we have for the person and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that He is the fulfillment of the healing of our land as well as the forgiveness of our sins. It would be the altar which David built and the sacrifice he offered upon the altar that would stop the plague and pestilence during that generation, and the promise given unto Solomon was the forgiveness of sin and the healing of the land as a direct result of pestilence, and famine and drought would be directly linked to the place of the altar where sacrifices and offerings would be made. Let us this day be brought face to face with just how absolutely critical and necessary the rebuilding of altars and offering of sacrifices before and unto the LORD truly are, and that men and women would realize and recognize the ultimate sacrifice which was found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The true and ultimate answer in the midst of this global pandemic is not found in a vaccine, nor in anything that can be produced from and by the wisdom and knowledge of men, but rather by and through the person of Jesus the Christ, for it is by His stripes we are healed. Oh let us this day realize and recognize and understand that Jesus the Christ is indeed the answer we are desperately looking for, and that we would not allow ourselves to be caught up in the wisdom, the knowledge and the inventions of men, but rather the person and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the blood which He shed two thousand years ago upon the cross of Calvary.

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