HEAR YE THE ROD
the voice of God
DEFINITION - The embodiment of a deity or spirit in an earthly form: The union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ.
The purpose for this outline is to clarify the many misunderstandings regarding the incarnation of Christ. Some Christians believe Jesus was born with a sinless nature like Adam before he fell, while others believe He was born with a sinful nature. The idea is, if He had a sinless nature then how could He save mankind from their sin, which would have given Him an edge over us because of His sinless nature.
Other points of discrepancies are, was Christ fully human while He was here on earth, and did He use His Divine power to overcome sin, also was he born with our hereditary tendencies to sin?
A correct understanding on this subject is most important to our salvation; it constitutes one of our fundamental beliefs. (See 2 TG #10 p22 #3)
What Attitude Should We Possess As We Approach This Subject, And How Important Is This Study?
“When we approach the subject of Christ’s divinity clothe with the garb of humanity, we may appropriately heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush. ‘Put off thy shoe from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ 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.” (MS 67, 1898)
“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.” (Manuscript 76, 1903)
What Caution Should Be Taken Regarding The Teaching Of This Subject?
“His birth was a miracle of God; for, said the angel, ‘Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’” (5BC 1128.5)
“These words do not refer to any human being, except to the Son of the infinite God. Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called ‘that holy thing.’ It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity, it is not necessary for us to know. We are to keep our feet on the Rock Christ Jesus, as God revealed in humanity.” (5BC 1128.6)
We will look at some references from the Scripture regarding the incarnation of Christ.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6)
This Scripture is prophesying the birth of the Son of God as human.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made 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.” (John 1:1, 14)
The Word – God, was made flesh – human, and dwelt among us, in other words, God became human. The word flesh as used in this context means human.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” (Phil. 2:5-7)
Christ, being in the form of God, was made in the likeness of men.
“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)
God was manifest in the flesh – in human form.
We will quote one more reference from the scripture that will give us a clearer understanding as to what type of flesh – nature, Christ took, sinful or sinless.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Rom. 8:1-3)
Paul has clearly stated that God the Son came in the likeness of sinful flesh. What does that really mean? We will allow the SOP to give us the answer to all these questions regarding the human nature of Christ.
“In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh.--Christ, the second Adam, came in the likeness of sinful flesh. In man's behalf, He became subject to sorrow, to weariness, to hunger, and to thirst. He was subject to temptation, but He yielded not to sin. No taint of sin was upon Him. He declared,’ I have kept my Father's commandments in My earthly life’ (John 15:10)” (3SM p141)
In the likeness of sinful flesh means, “He became subject to sorrow, to weariness, to hunger, and to thirst. He was subject to temptation, but He yielded not to sin.”
Did Christ Have Our Sinful Tendencies?
“Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.” (5BC
“Sickness of Others Carried Vicariously – Christ alone was able to bear the afflictions of all the human family. ‘In all their afflictions he was afflicted.’ He never bore disease in His own flesh, but He carried the sickness of others. When suffering humanity pressed about Him, He who was in the health of perfect manhood was as one afflicted with them. (3SM 133.2)
Whose Nature Did Christ Take, Adams or Ours?
“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” (DA 49)
“Satan had pointed to Adam's sin as proof that God's law was unjust, and could not be obeyed. In our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam's failure. But when Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.” (DA 117.1)
“In taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed, ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses’ (Matt. 8:17). He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He knew no sin. He was the Lamb ‘without blemish and without spot’ (1 Peter 1:19). Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour's head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope.” (1SM 256.1)
“Two Natures Blended in Christ.--Through being partakers of the divine nature we may stand pure and holy and undefiled. The Godhead was not made human, and the human was not deified by the blending together of the two natures. Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering.--Manuscript 94, 1893.” (3SM 131.1)
Was Christ Capable of Yielding to Temptation?
“I will try to answer this important question: As God He could not be tempted: but as a man He could be tempted, and that strongly, and could yield to the temptations. His human nature must pass through the same test and trial Adam and Eve passed through. His human nature was created; it did not even possess the angelic powers. It was human, identical with our own. He was passing over the ground where Adam fell. He was now where, if He endured the test and trial in behalf of the fallen race, He would redeem Adam's disgraceful failure and fall, in our own humanity.” (3SM 129.3)
“Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.” (DA 117.2)
Why Is The Incarnation of Christ So Important For Our Salvation?
“Christ came to this world to show us what God can do and what we can do in cooperation with God. In human flesh He went into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. He knows what it is to hunger and thirst. He knows the weakness and the infirmities of the flesh. He was tempted in all points like as we are tempted.” (6BC 1074.4)
“It was to redeem us that Jesus lived and suffered and died. He became ‘a Man of Sorrows,’ that we might be made partakers of everlasting joy. God permitted His beloved Son, full of grace and truth, to come from a world of indescribable glory, to a world marred and blighted with sin, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. He permitted Him to leave the bosom of His love, the adoration of the angels, to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and death. ‘The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.’ Isaiah 53:5. Behold Him in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, upon the cross! The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Matthew 27:46. It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God--it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God.” (SC 13.1)
“Christ Our High Priest - All this could be, because Christ laid hold of the nature of man, and partook of the divine attributes, and planted His cross between humanity and divinity, bridging the gulf that separated the sinner from God. (1SM 261.1)
“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” (Heb. 2:16-18). (1SM 261.2)
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). (1SM 261.3)
“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:1-9). (1SM 261.4)
“Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things. He said, ‘For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth’ (John 17: 19). Jesus presents the truth before His children that they may look upon it, and by beholding it, may become changed, being transformed by His grace from transgression to obedience, from impurity to purity, from sin to heart-holiness and righteousness of life.” (1SM. 262)
The Father and His Son demonstrated love beyond imagination to have sacrificed His only Son, and for His Son to sacrifice all the luxury of heaven, and more so His life for the redemption of mankind, by coming to earth to demonstrate that it is possible to live a sinless life in a sinful flesh. Thank you Father Son and Holy Spirit.
With all the evidences provided, we see that Christ was born with our fallen sinful nature, but not with the propensities of sin or with an evil propensity. At the time of the incarnation or His birth, divinity was clothed with humanity. God took upon Himself human nature in its fallen condition but not their sins. Inspiration attest to the fact that “His human nature was created,” therefore He was not born with our hereditary sinfulness. He took “the nature but not the sinfulness of man.” (STT, May 29, 1901)
“He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, that He might know how to succor those that are tempted.” (MM 181.3)
“The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature,’ and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.” (MH 181)
“Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity.” (DA 49)
Food for thought: God Divine was born without a mother, God human was born with out a father. That indeed is the mystery of God.
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A Message From God To All Davidians