Friday Morning Manna May 10, 2019
Nathaniel Fajardo email:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Humanity of Christ; What was It?II. PROMISES AND REWARDS OF STUDYING THIS SUBJECT
“We must come to the study of this subject with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ, is a fruitful field and will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.”- Ibid, Vol. 7, p. 905 (emphasis supplied).
“The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study.”- Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 244.
“When we want a deep problem to study, let us fix our minds on the most marvelous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven—the incarnation of the Son of God.” 7 BC 904.
Three Inexhaustible Subjects Regarding Christ the Creator: His incarnation, His atoning sacrifice as the Lamb of God, and His mediatorial work as our High Priest.
“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 the incarnation of Christ,  His atoning sacrifice, and  His mediatorial work 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 the mystery of godliness’ [1 Tim. 3:16].”- Signs of the Times, Apr. 18, 1906; My Life Today, p. 360 (emphasis supplied).
III. EIGHT GUIDELINES
What was Christ’s human nature? Was it Adamic, meaning the yet-sinless, unfallen (prelapsarian)? Or was it the sinful, fallen (postlapsarian), four-thousand-year quality after the fall–since He was born four thousand years after Adam sinned in Eden? In what sense did Christ become the “second Adam”?
Lest I be mistaken for being irreverent and even blasphemous, the truth is I asked this very question the very outset of my search years ago: Will the real Jesus, God incarnate please stand up? It is, perhaps also the silent plea of those who, in frustration are still confused and/or are at odds with one another over what human nature Jesus incarnated into.
It was for me, until back in 2003– when I began to zero into eight general guidelines I believe should help steer the direction of the mind whenever a study of this sacred topic is entered into. You may have yours too, but these were the ones brought to my attention, culled during the course of my studies, especially during these past few years.
These guidelines helped me settle down and focus more now on what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal in the law and testimony (Isa. 8: 20) regarding the humanity of Christ where before, my conscious effort, was to find as much proof as I could gather against the other side of the debate of the side I had adopted earlier. That’s what happens when any study is entered into with preconceived ideas, whether right or wrong. In a way the mind is closed to seeing increasing light on the subject and consequently, effort to continue searching ceases. Formality, coldness, and rigidity set in.
These eight guidelines, some slightly overlapping, accompanied with short explanations, are as follows (all emphasis supplied):
No. 1: There is a divinely set limit to unraveling the mystery of the incarnation.
“The mystery of the incarnation has ever been and ever will remain a mystery to mortal minds.”
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Tim. 3:16.
“In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery that the human mind cannot comprehend.”- Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896.
“Angels of God looked with amazement on Christ, who took upon Himself the form of a man and humbly united His divinity with humanity in order that He might minister to fallen man. It is a marvel among heavenly angels. God has told us that He did do it, and we are told to accept the Word of God just as it reads. And though we may try to reason in regard to our Creator, how long He had existence, where evil first entered into the world, and all these things, we may reason about them until we fall down faint and exhausted with the research, when there is yet an infinity beyond. We cannot grasp it, so what man is there that dares to take the Bible and say this part is inspired and that part is not inspired? I would have both my arms taken off at my shoulders before I would ever make the statement or act my judgment upon the Word of God as to what is inspired and what is not inspired.”- E. G. White Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 919.
There are two great mysteries in the Bible: the mystery of godliness (1 Tim. 3:16) and the mystery of iniquity or “lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:7). God did not call them such in order to merely tantalize and keep us in perpetual suspense, much less confuse us. They are defined as such for a divine purpose and for our own good. Therefore, God wants us to study these mysteries. However, in the course of its study both will gradually cease to be complete mysteries but only to the (1) extent of its divinely-set limits (Deut. 29:29), and (2) only to those who search for truth as for hidden treasure (Matt. 13: 44), and (3) only if Christ is magnified and glorified (John 12:32)—not Satan and his mystery of iniquity.
What is the mystery of godliness? – “But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions ‘human’ and ‘divine’ were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality.” – E. G. White Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1129.
What is the mystery of iniquity? – “The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. ‘That day shall not come,’ he says, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ 2 Thess. 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the ‘man of sin,’ can we look for the advent of our Lord. The ‘man of sin,’ which is also styled ‘the mystery of iniquity,’ ‘the son of perdition,’ and ‘that wicked,’ represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798.”- The Great Controversy, p. 356.
Thus, this particular “mystery of iniquity” should have begun to be “demystified” at the end of the Dark Ages of 1260 years. That portion of the prophecies of Daniel that were sealed in his time were unsealed “at the time of the end,” 1798 A.D., with the capture of Pope Pius XI by Gen. Berthier of Napoleon’s French Republic army. The unsealing of these prophecies began thereafter under the proclamation of the three angels’ messages, particularly in years 1840-1844 in America and Europe and onwards to this time. All diligent students of the Word now know that the “mystery of iniquity” is the Papacy. God now holds them responsible and accountable to spread this unpopular truth to as many as they can while religious liberty still holds. Soon the remnant church will have to proclaim the truth “in sackcloth,” meaning, under severe restrictions imposed by the law of the land that will reach its height in persecution. This is not a possibility but certainty clearly taught in Revelation 13.
No. 2: The human nature of Christ means everything to our salvation.
“The humanity of Christ is everything to us for it is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God.”
No such “golden chain” description is ever endowed to any person, including Adam in his unfallen state or even to angel Gabriel. It is only the human nature of Christ that binds our sinful, fallen human nature to Christ in the absolute sinlessness of His human nature, and through Him, to God the Father. It follows therefore that anyone earnestly desiring to receive the seal of the living God in their foreheads, which is synonymous with being “clothed with His perfect righteousness” and putting on of “the wedding garment” of righteousness will put forth great effort to study what the Word reveals of the humanity of Christ. By constantly beholding one becomes changed, from image to image from glory to glory. Only then will we be able to daily “overcome even as He overcame” (Rev. 3: 21)—till we have become full overcomers before we die in Christ, or, if God so sees it fit, to be translated to heaven with seeing death as did Enoch, Elijah, and the 144,000.
No. 3: Christ gave humanity an existence out of Himself
“By His obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for men. This was not done by going out of Himself to another, but by taking on humanity upon Himself. Thus Christ gave humanity an existence out of Himself.”
No other human being or any creature, not even Adam in his unfallen state is capable of giving himself an existence out of himself nor any of the angels, including Gabriel. No other human being is capable of working out our redemption–even if he perfectly obeyed all the commandments of God by God’s empowering grace, including Adam or Enoch or Job or Elijah or Daniel or Paul—as holy and sanctified these men were towards the end of their lives; only God in the human flesh, Emmanuel, could accomplish that.
No. 4: The humanity of Christ not altogether like ours
“The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such as one as ourselves; for it cannot be.” – E. G. White Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1129. (see Deut. 29: 29)
“But while he (Joseph) 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.” Matt. 1:20, K.J.V.
What other human being was “conceived of the Holy Spirit” by Him “overshadowing” a mortal woman so that the offspring she gave birth to nine months later [following the natural law; see on Gal. 4: 4, 5] was called “that holy thing?” None but Christ alone! The word “overshadow” is the untranslated Greek epikiazo which means “to cast a shade upon, i.e., by analogy, to envelope in a haze of brilliancy; figuratively, to invest with preternatural influence.”
Christ’s humanity cannot be altogether (“wholly, thoroughly”- Webster) like our fallen humanity though He was born four thousand years after the fall. Neither can it be exclusively Adamic or exclusively post-Adamic—both of which are still human natures. The humanity ofChrist could not be “wholly,” “thoroughly” the same as the humanity of any man for although Christ is also called the Son of man, the Man Christ Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed one, the Promised seed of the woman. Gen. 3: 15. Even Eve thought that her firstborn, Cain, was that “seed.” How mistaken she was! No one else in the flesh can ever own up to these two blended natures with the exclusive authority and power that comes from each, when combined, except Christ alone.
No. 5: The mysteries/secrets of God revealed through His seers/messenger/prophets
God’s Word says: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. “Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: ‘Come, let us go to the seer,’ for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.” 1 Sam. 9: 9. Then, to “the law and testimony” (Isa. 8:20) and to “the seer” and messenger-prophet who clears the bar of one who truly bears “the testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10) we should go in order to understand that which is revealed of the mystery of the incarnation and the humanity of Christ. And this is exactly what we have been doing. (Continued next week)