|Volume 22 Number 1 January 2020||
Aaron J. Cozort
The life of David, the King of Israel, was often filled with difficulty—the affairs of state, the continual wars and unrest, and threats against his kingdom. To further complicate the matter, David had a weakness for women and would, in turn, father many children. Still, they would not receive adequate attention from their father because of the previously mentioned difficulties. As a result, there was not always a good relationship between David and his sons. Surrounding David were many power-hungry advisors and political leaders who influenced his sons in the wrong direction (Jonadab, 2 Samuel 13:4; Ahithophel, 2 Samuel 15:12).
Amid all these struggles, what can often happen in the life of a family is that one child begins to do wrong, and no one corrects him. According to 1 Kings 1:5-6, this is precisely what happened with Adonijah, the brother of Absalom. “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, ‘I will be king‘; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, ‘Why have you done so?’ He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom).”
Solomon, a son of David who observed his brothers’ attempts to overthrow David, would write this wisdom to his son: “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18). There is importance in expeditiously handling wrongdoing. The correction postponed can become an encouragement to further bad behavior instead of being a deterrent. There comes a time when it is too late to hope for turning a child from wickedness because he or she has plotted a course into iniquity and its untimely end. Adonijah ultimately reached the end of his life at the order of his brother, Solomon, when seeking to usurp the throne once more. “Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, ‘May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life! Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!‘ So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and he died” (1 Kings 2:23-25).
Parents and Grandparents, correct your children and grandchildren before it is too late—while there is still hope—before sin overthrows the good in their lives and brings its ultimate conclusion—death (Romans 6:23).
Ernest S. Underwood
The purpose of the Gospel of John was to give proof that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. Jesus Himself stated, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). The author of this Gospel narrative began it by proclaiming the deity of Jesus. He wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). Then in verse 14 of this same chapter he stated, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” As a fitting close to his Gospel account, John emphatically stated, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews, by inspiration, claimed:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)
The apostle Paul verified the fact that Jesus is God. In Romans 1:1-3 he wrote, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Thus, the very fact that He was raised from the dead, a fact witnessed by more than five hundred competent persons, proves to any honest person who takes the time to examine the evidence that Jesus was and is indeed the Christ of God—the Son of God.
Three of the requirements for obtaining forgiveness of past sins and becoming a child of God are directly related to Jesus’ deity. First, one must learn of Him and have faith in Him and His word. Second, after repenting of one’s sins, he must confess Jesus as Lord, the Son of God. Third, one must be baptized into Him, into His one body—the church. Read the words of the apostle Paul. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27) and “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Having done these things, one is “in Christ,” and according to 2 Corinthians 5:17, he is a new creature. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” This “new creation” comes about as a result of Jesus shedding His blood for the atonement of sin. Under the Old Testament scheme, sins were not in fact forgiven, simply because animal blood could not actually atone for sins. The writer of Hebrews stated at least three things concerning this. “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22), “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4) and “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption…And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:12, 15).
As has already been noted above, the writer of Hebrews stated that God today (in the Christian Dispensation) speaks through His Son. This forever eliminates God speaking through a pope, Mahomet, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White or the multiple false teachers today who claim that God speaks miraculously to or through them as they spread their false doctrines of whatever stripe or color. All of these have planted plants that God did not plant. Jesus plainly stated the Father’s attitude toward any and all of these false prophets and the religions that they planted. He said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Then His disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying? But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:8-14). In 1 Timothy 2:5, the apostle Paul wrote, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” All of the others are Johnny-come-lately folk and are destined to that realm where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The question now arises, Dear Reader, do you believe in God’s Anointed One, the Christ? To be confessed by Him on that great day of the coming judgment, you must confess Him before men in this life. He said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). To confess Him is tantamount to acknowledging that He is Lord and King, and that He must be obeyed in all things. He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16.) Do you love Him? Have you obeyed Him?