Matthew Chapter 3

Christogenea is reader supported. If you find value in our work, please help to keep it going! See our Contact Page for more information or DONATE HERE!

  • Christogenea Internet Radio
CHR20110429-Matt-3.mp3 — Downloaded 5462 times

Downloads from old Christogenea website: 6,641

Christogenea, Matthew Chapter 3 Program Notes, 2011-04-29

One cannot understand much of what is going on in the New Testament without first understanding both the Old Testament and the history of Judaea between the testaments. Something that a full understanding of Matthew chapter 3 requires is an understanding of the book of the prophet Malachi – one of the prophets of the inter-testamental period. To have an understanding of what had transpired in Judaea during the period between the testaments, and what was prophesied by the Word of God concerning the events which were to take place both then and during the ministry of Christ, only then can one properly interpret many of the important events of the gospel. We shall also see here, from Malachi and from the Law, exactly why John was baptizing in the first place, and what was the significance of that baptism.

First, in the 6th century BC the Edomites had made league with the Babylonians and then assisted them in the destruction of Jerusalem. Speaking of this very thing is Psalm 137:7, which exclaims: “Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.” Likewise, from the Septuagint, from 1 Esdras 4:45 we read: “Thou also hast vowed to build up the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was made desolate by the Chaldees.”

After the deportations of the last of Judah by the Babylonians, it is evident that those same Edomites moved into the land. A century or so later, Persian inscriptions place much of the province of Idumaea in the land of Israel. Ezekiel chapters 35 and 36 discuss the Edomite takeover of lands formerly belonging to Israel and Judah. The prophet says at 35:7-12: “7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. 8 And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. 9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there: 11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. 12 And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.” Today most of the world's people perceive the goings-on in Palestine as the struggle of Israel for their ancient land. But the jews are not Israel, they are Edom, who as Malachi says is returning to build the waste places, and Yahweh will not be tricked.

Josephus, Antiquities Book 13: “257 Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would submit to circumcision, and make use of the laws of the Jews; 258 and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the right of circumcision, {a} and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time, therefore, this befell them, that they were hereafter considered to be Jews.”

1 Maccabees 2:46 states: “And what children soever they found within the coast of Israel uncircumcised, those they circumcised valiantly.” From the first days of the Maccabees, they were circumcising children by Geography, and not by ethnicity, and it can be shown in history and in Scripture that many other peoples lived within the “coasts of Israel”.

Malachi prophesied of John the Baptist, the central figure of Matthew chapter 3, and he also prophesied of a coming corrupt priesthood. Therefore tonight we will begin with the four chapters of his prophecy. John is dealing with the priests, and Malachi's prophecy is aimed primarily at the priesthood in Judaea.

KJV Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel. 6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

KJV Malachi 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. 4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. 10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. 13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

KJV Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. 6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. [Returning to God is not returning to Jerusalem, to a brick-and-mortar temple, but rather to His laws and His ways.] But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? 15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. 16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. [The last part of Malachi is an end-time prophecy which in part parallels Obadiah.]

KJV Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings [the ancient symbol of the phoenix, the winged sun disk]; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. 4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Matthew III 1 Now in those days Iohannes the Baptist arrives proclaiming in the desert of Judaea, 2 saying “Repent! For the kingdom of the heavens has neared!” 3 For this is that spoken through Isaiah the prophet saying: “A voice crying in the wilderness: ‘prepare the way of the Prince, make straight His paths!’” 4 And Iohannes himself had his garment from hairs of camel and a leather belt around his loins, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judaea and all the region around the Jordan went out to him, 6 and they were immersed in the river Jordan by him, acknowledging their errors.

In the Old Testament, washing of the body is seen of the priests before they enter into the temple to do service and to make sacrifice. From Leviticus 8:4-6: “4 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 5 And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. 6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.” And from Numbers 8:21-22: “And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the LORD; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.” All of Numbers chapter 8 describes the cleansing of the Levites. Aside from these passages concerning the priests, or certain occasions where people are instructed in what to do upon exposure to diseases or corpses, or certain other circumstances, there is no other ritual cleansing of the body required, Remember the words of Yahweh in Malachi chapter 3, “and he shall purify the sons of Levi”:John the Baptist was also a Levite, so he could fulfill the priestly role of cleansing which Moses the Levite had done first, long before him. It is apparent, that Yahshua coming to be the final ritual sacrifice for the children of Israel, the prophecy and baptism of John – for the sons of Levi – was also symbolic of the Old Testament law. That is why John was sent to baptize the sons of Levi – so that Christ could be properly sacrificed! Now Israel has been cleansed of all their sins by Christ Himself, as foretold by the prophets, and they have no need of any further cleansing.

However Baptism was also a pagan ritual. I would assert that in the Christian era, the pagan idea has been brought into Christianity. In Christianity, the priests were cleansed before the sacrifice, not the people, and John the Baptist fulfilled that. We have taken the power to cleanse our sins which belongs to the sacrifice – which is what Yahshua is – and we have wrongly transferred it to the priests themselves, who merely conducted the ritual! We are cleansed through Yahshua's sacrifice, and not through the rituals of the priests! There are many ancient documents revealing baptism to be a pagan ritual. Here I will show that baptism was employed by our pagan ancestors in four of our own ancient cultures, Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Germanic.  

From Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton University Press, J. Pritchard, editor, 1969:

Page 437, from an Akkadian inscription entitled “I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom”, which dates before 700 B.C., there is an exclamation that reads: “In the Gate of the Purifying Waters I was sprinkled with purifying waters”, which certainly describes a ritual. The exclamation is accompanied by others describing sacrifices and libations and incense-offerings in supplication to gods.

Page 495, from an Egyptian papyrus believed to date to the 12th dynasty, the time of Abraham, from a list of good and bad activities: “plunging into the river – good: it means cleansing from all evils”.

From The Poetic Edda translated by Lee M. Hollander, University of Texas Press:

From p. 121, from the Rígsþula, or The Lay of Ríg, stanza 7:

“Gave Edda birth to a boy child then,

(in clouts she swathed) the swarthy - skinned one.

Thrall they called him, and cast on him water

(dark was his hair and dull his eyes).”

From The Sayings of Hár, or Hávamál, at stanza 158 we seem to have the baptism rite connected to the idea of eternal life. From The Poetic Edda, p. 39:

“That thirteenth I know if a thane’s son I shall

wet with holy water:

never will he fall, though the fray be hot,

nor sink down, wounded by the sword.”

From the ancient play Eumenides, by the fifth-century B.C. Greek poet Aeschylus, his character Orestes says at lines 448-452: “It is the law that he who is defiled by shedding blood shall be debarred all speech until the blood of a suckling victim shall have besprinkled him by the ministrations of one empowered to purify from murder. Long since, at other houses, have I been thus purified both by victims and flowing streams.” (Loeb Library edition of Aeschylus).

Here we see that the Greeks believed that one may be cleansed of sin either by baptism (“flowing streams”) or by the blood of sacrifice, for which we shall compare Heb. 9:13-14: “ 13 For if sprinkling those who are defiled with the blood of goats and bulls and ashes of a heifer sanctifies for purity of the flesh, 14 by how much more shall the blood of the Christ, who through the eternal Spirit has offered Himself blameless to Yahweh, purify our consciences - apart from dead rituals - for which to serve Yahweh who lives? ”

At Luke 12:50 Christ exclaims “Now I have an immersion to be immersed in, and how am I constrained until when it should be completed!” He could not have been talking about the baptism of John, which had already transpired long before. Rather, He was talking about the baptism of His death. At Mark 10:38-40 we see this discourse between Christ and the apostles: “38 So Yahshua said to them: 'You do not know what you ask! Are you able to drink the cup which I shall drink or to be baptized in the baptism which I am baptized?' 39 Then they said to Him 'We are able!' So Yahshua said to them: 'The cup which I drink you shall drink and the baptism which I am baptized in you shall be baptized, 40 but to sit at My right or left land is not Mine to give, but for those whom it has been prepared.'” Paul clarifies this, at Romans 6:3 where he asks “Or are you ignorant that as long as we are baptized in Christ Yahshua, into His death we are baptized?” At Ephesians 4:5 Paul states that we have “One Lord, one faith, [and] one baptism”. That baptism is in the death of Christ: in His Word and what He did for the children of Israel. Only the children of Israel are baptized – cleansed – in His death. It is the Gospel that cleanses, and therefore do not let any man pretend to baptize you in water. It took even the apostles some time to understand this. The Book of Acts describes a transition from the Old Covenant rituals to the New Covenant faith. Therefore Luke records this statement of Christ at the beginning: of the book of Acts: “Iohannes baptized in water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit ”

7 But seeing many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees coming to the immersion he said to them: “Race of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Indeed you should make fruit worthy of repentance 9 and do not think to say among yourselves: ‘We have Abraham for a father’. For I say to you that Yahweh is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 But already the axe is laid to the root of the trees: surely any tree not producing good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire!

Yahweh could indeed raise up children to Abraham from stones – but that would not make them heirs, the seed of Jacob. Likewise, the Edomites among the Pharisees and Sadducees claimed to be the seed of Abraham and they were, through Esau, but Esau lost his inheritance for good. Hebrews 12: “16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” The Pharisees and Sadducees came to the baptism, but they did not necessarily come to be baptized. Here John challenged the Pharisees and the Sadducees to do good, just as Yahweh challenged Cain to do good at Genesis 4:7: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”, although He knew that Cain could not ever do well.

The “axe is laid to the root of the trees”: Salvation is race-based. The only race with the favor of Yahweh are the children of Israel. For the children of Edom and all of the other non-Israelite bastards, their fate has already been decided: and of each of them it is the entire tree which shall be cut down. This is not merely a pruning of the branches, but an elimination of the trees! If your family tree is not found written into the Book of Life from the founding of Society – if you are not one of the creation of Adam – then you have no part in the Kingdom of heaven.

11 Indeed I immerse you in water for repentance, but He coming after me is more powerful than me, of whom I am not worthy to carry the sandals. He shall immerse you in the Holy Spirit, and in fire! 12 Of whom the winnowing fan is in His hand, and He shall purge His threshing-floor and He shall gather His grain into His storehouse, but the chaff He shall burn with unquenchable fire!”

John says that he immerses in water, but that is not the mission of the Christ. This is also expressed in Acts chapter 1, verse 4 where it says “Iohannes immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Holy Spirit ”. This last statement is parallel to the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares found in Matthew chapter 13. The phrase “the winnowing fan is in His hand” means that judgement belongs to Christ, however that was not the purpose of His first advent.

13 Then Yahshua arrives from Galilaia by the Jordan to Iohannes for which to be immersed by him. 14 But Iohannes prevented Him, saying: “I have need to be immersed by You, and You should come to me?” 15 Then responding Yahshua said to him: “Allow it for now, for thusly it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 

The sacrifice was washed clean beforehand, as well as the priest. See Leviticus chapter 1:

KJV Leviticus 1:1-13 1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. 3 If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. 4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 6 And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: 8 And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. 10 And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar. 12 And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13 But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

16 And being immersed Yahshua went up immediately from the water, and behold! The heavens opened, and He saw the Spirit of Yahweh descending as a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold! A voice from out of the heavens saying: “He is My beloved Son, in whom I am satisfied!” 

The declaration refers to Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”, and also to Isaiah 42:1: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Nations.” Yet Yahweh and Yahshua are still one and the same. The voice was for the benefit of the people, not for Yahshua. Yahweh is omnipresent. Yahshua is the fulness of the Divinity in body.

CHR20110429-Matt-3.odt — Downloaded 867 times
Chr20110429-01.jpeg — Never downloaded
Chr20110429-02.jpeg — Never downloaded
Chr20110429-03.jpeg — Never downloaded
Chr20110429-04.jpeg — Never downloaded
Chr20110429-05.jpeg — Never downloaded