Friday Morning Manna May 24, 2019
Nathaniel Fajardo email: email@example.com
Christ ‘Manifested in the Flesh’ but only ‘in the Fullness of Time’
In his freshly-created, unfallen state, Adam failed the first simplest of tests of faith and loyalty to his Creator by disobeying the command not to partake of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Eden. He yielded to his wife’s temptation to partake of the forbidden fruit, which she had first tasted, deceived by Satan disguised as a serpent. 1 Tim. 2: 14; Gen. 3. Through inordinate love for his wife, Adam knowingly and willfully disobeyed God’s command, transgressed His law. The First Couple immediately became subject to death.
It was at that precise moment in earth time that the plan of redemption embodied in the everlasting gospel, contemplated by the Godhead “before the foundations of the earth were laid,” instantly went into operation. Mercifully extended to the fallen pair and their progeny was another period of trial, mankind’s second and last probation under which the world is still enjoying to this very day, six thousand years (not billions) after the fall–which mankind, like the long-lived antediluvian generation, is fatally ignoring. Yet we are living in the closing hours of earth’s probation as the pertinent prophesied signs of our times declare in trumpet tones.
The one constant and unchanging definition of sin in the Bible is “the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3: 4, K.J.V. Death is the wages of sin. Rom. 6: 23. Life, mysterious life, is the greatest manifestation of God. He alone who is immortal is the “the light of the life of men.” All living creatures, from angels to man to all the lower forms of life do not inherently possess immortality. Adam and Eve enjoyed life only as long as they partook of the fruit of the tree of life in Eden. But God immediately cut off any access to the tree of life after they sinned. They were “banished” from their Eden home” with no possibility of sneaking in as its gates were guarded by “cherubim wielding flaming swords that turned everywhere.” From that moment on Adam and Eve began to die the way all mortals do the moment they are born. This assures us that there is no such thing as an “eternal sinner,” justifying “eternal torture in hell’s fires”— one of the hellish doctrines that came from Rome and adopted by the fallen churches.
Adam and Eve should have died instantly in Eden, as God warned them. But why did they not? Adam lived up to 930 years. Gen. 5: 5. Sin’s wages, death, was held in abeyance, not deactivated, or waived somehow. The plan to restore fallen man to favor with God, while upholding the immutability the law that he had transgressed, which demanded the life of the transgressor, included this awesome gospel provision: the Creator volunteered to the take place of Adam when and where he fell by becoming fallen man’s sinless Substitute, Sacrifice and Surety by first becoming a Man Himself and in that nature, gain the victory where the first Adam fell and then pay the full penalty of the first Adam’s sin, which He did not deserve, by offering His own second-Adamic sinless life that was in His blood to satisfy the demands of His own law, thereby certifying the eternally-enduring and immutability of His law, it being the transcript of His character and foundation of His eternal kingdom, power, and authority.
The first lamb slain and offered by Adam (whose skin God used to replace the fig-leaves they tried to cover their nakedness with), ever kept in their minds by the daily sacrificial offerings thereafter, pointing them forward to the “promised seed” of Eve who would come “in the fulness of time” as the antitypical “Lamb of God” four thousand years after the first sacrificial lamb was offered in Eden’s altar. After having accomplished His mission for 33 and ½ years on earth, typified by the outer court of the earthly sanctuary, He would ascend to the Father in the “holy places” the great original heavenly sanctuary, to minister His sin-atoning and cleansing blood and plead the perfect merits of His life in behalf of all penitent sinners, as their merciful High Priest, Intercessor, all-powerful Mediator and Advocate.
It was necessary then that the divinity of the Creator, whose glory is that of the “glory of the Father who dwelleth in light unapproachable” should first be enshrouded in humanity so that fallen, sinful humanity may not only see but even touch divinity without dying. Speaking for his fellow first disciples, John wrote: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life . . .”1 John 1-3, NKJV.
The Bible says, “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said . . . a body You have prepared for Me Then I said, Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O My God.” Heb. 10: 5, 7; cf. Ps. 40: 6-8. Jesus did not come in that human body that was made for Him until the “fullness of time had come.” Gal. 4: 4. The fullness of time. The fullness of the term. Full term. He began life as all infants recorded in the Bible did—from the moment they are born into our world.
NOTE: Brief comments on the Pro-life vs. Pro-choice controversy. WHEN DOES THE BIBLE BEGIN RECKONING LIFE ON EARTH? “As an egg, or when the chick is hatched”?
In the divine plan of the incarnation, Christ Himself the Life giver and Example to and of all man, was reckoned only born, as prophesied by the prophets, when He emerged from Mary’s womb as “the promised Seed.” He began His thirty-three years of life walking as a Man among men, beginning as the only sinless human Babe in Bethlehem. This is how the Bible simplifies and simply describes and considers the reckoning of Christ the Man’s life on earth—not while in Mary’s womb yet forming as a fetus in its various progressive stages following the law of nature designed by nature’s God, hence “born under the law” (Gal. 4: 4)—but when He finally emerged from Mary’s womb nine months after she was “overshadowed” by the Holy Spirit. Thus, was fulfilled portions of Isaiah’s specific prophecy: ‘Unto us a Child (not a fetus) is born, unto us a Son is given.” Isa. 9: 6. The angels of heaven themselves witnessed and attested to the beginning of Christ’s life on earth together with the humble shepherds of the field and the Persian magi from the east. Both the numberless angelic choir and men, both Jew and Gentile, believer and unbeliever testified to this truth that far exceeded the basic requirement of “In the mouth of two or three witnesses truth is established.” See on Deut. 17: 6; 19: 15; Matt. 18: 16; 2 Cor. 13: 1; 1 Tim. 5: 19; Heb. 10: 28, etc.
Again, the Bible says: “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared (partook, KJV) in the same.” Heb. 2: 14, 17. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned [not justified or excused] sin in the flesh, that the righteousness requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Rom. 8: 3, 4, NKJV. The Father Himself addresses His Son as “God,” saying: “But into the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity.” Heb. 1: 8, 9, KJV.
The incarnated God Creator, who loves righteousness and hates iniquity, condemned–not condoned–sin in His incarnated nature, not in, through or by His superior yet quiescent divinity while on earth. Now, since Christ “was in all things made like unto His brethren,” humbly submitting Himself to all the laws governing nature, in order to truly and fully become the second Adam in order to succeed where the former failed, then what mortal dares reckon the beginning of the life of a person other than what the Word of God says?
Beginning with Cain and Abel, the first children born to Adam and Eve after the fall, every living person begins his life on earth on the moment of the day of birth, hence birthday, not before when a so-called “heartbeat is detected” in its mother’s womb” as the Pro-lifers claim and which interpretation they want made into a law of the land, exceeding even God Himself. The life of that person, as a “living soul” ends on the moment of the day he dies. There are not two living entities of a living individual as has been erroneously claimed for centuries—the person and its “soul” that is alleged to be “immortal.” The soul is the whole living person. The person and the soul are one and the same. When the person dies, he ceases to be a soul. You will never read in the Bible of a “dead soul.” If only every Christian truly studied and obeyed all that the Bible teaches, not just selected portions, we would have avoided all this confusion and contradictions. There is much more behind this current fight over Pro-life and Pro-choice. It has everything to do with the end-time workings of the “man of sin” and the “mystery of iniquity” revealed in 2 Thess. 3-12. Thess. More on this in the next issues.
“No one born into the world, not even the most gifted of God’s children, has ever been accorded such demonstration of joy as greeted the Babe born in Bethlehem. Angels of God sang His praises over the hills and plains of Bethlehem. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14). O that today the human family could recognize this song! The declaration then made, the note then struck, the tune then started, will swell and extend to the end of time, and resound to the ends of the earth. It is glory to God, it is peace on earth, good will to men. When the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings, the song then started in the hills of Bethlehem will be reechoed by the voice of a great multitude, “as the voice of many waters,” saying, “Alleluia: for the Lord Omnipotent reigneth. Rev. 19:6.’”
The awesome mystery of the incarnation gives man the awesome power over temptation, the world, the flesh and the devil. “The redemption of men was not accomplished by the Creator going out of Himself to another, but by taking humanity upon Himself. He gave to humanity an existence out of His divinity. Thus He did not cease to be God Creator when He became a man, even the Son of man “made of a woman, born under the law.” [Gal. 4: 4]. The life He lived on earth was the human nature and the human body that are subject to ‘like temptations as we are” [Heb. 2: 17, 18; 4: 14, 15.] so that in His victory in the same flesh and blood nature we have, we can obtain like victory by His imparted divine nature. This is the amazing grace of God in Christ!
“By His obedience to all the commandments of God [Ps. 40:7, 8; John 15:10], Christ wrought out a redemption for men. This was not done by going out of Himself to another, but by taking humanity upon Himself. Thus, Christ gave to humanity an existence out of Himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that God may love man as He loves His only-begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in Him. (Extracts from 1 SM 249-51)
The Theme of Redemption: Eternity’s Inexhaustible Subject for Man and Angels. The angels who did not join Lucifer’s war against Christ and God’s law in heaven, never experienced what sin is. Neither do they understand, by experience, what grace is. They never fell, thus never needed it. There is only one plan of redemption. Through omniscience and omnipotence, this was exclusively designed “before the earth was formed” for man, for he alone was created “in the image and likeness” of his Creator. Adam was originally created to be the vicegerent of the Creator. Earth was to be his kingdom. But these were aborted by his fall yet will be restored in“the restitution of all these things” “in the fullness of time” when the two Adams finally meet in the resurrection morning. Then, Jesus alone will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
Paul wrote: “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Heb. 2: 16-18, NKJV. No plan of redemption was designed for angels. The angels that fell instantly and unalterably became demons, evil spirits. Their state and ultimate end are decreed thus: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for judgment of the great day.” Jude 5, N.K.J.V. (See also Rev. 12: 4, 7-9; 20: 1-10.)
Man was “created a little lower than the angels.” This means man was created after the angels were, in the order of creation. And so was Christ in His incarnation. See Heb. 2: 5-9; Ps. 8: 4-6. God made angels to be “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1: 14). They are of spirit, not of flesh and blood human nature, which Jesus “partook of the same” in His incarnation. Had He not done so no plan of redemption whatsoever would be possible. Ant this is why:
“The theme of redemption is one that angels desire to look into; it will be the science and song of the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Is it not worthy of our careful thought and study now? The subject is inexhaustible. The study of theincarnation of Christ [how God became Man without ceasing to be God and be tempted as all man are tempted yet without sin], His atoning sacrifice [as the penitent sinner’s Substitute and Surety], and mediatorial work [the penitent sinner’s High Priest, Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator] will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years, he will exclaim, “Great is mystery of godliness.” – My Life Today, p. 360.
(To be continued next week)