December 23, 2013
The Purpose of the Incarnation
The past two newsletters dealt with the preexistence of Christ, His deity, and His incarnation. This chapter will thoroughly cover the reason that the eternal God had a birth date into our world.
An eternal plan
Why did God come through the channel of a virgin’s womb? Why was it necessary for God, in spirit form, to take upon himself a body? Philippians 2:5-8 explicitly explains this great theological truth. 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: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The phrase, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross is the focal point of this discussion. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit held a meeting in eternity past and planned the entire program of redemption. All three were, at that time, in spirit form. God the Father was and still is a spirit (see John 4:24). The Holy Spirit was and still is a spirit (see John 16:13). Christ was a spirit because He was (past tense) in the form of God, which we have already proven to be a spirit form (see Philippians 2:6).
However, at this meeting of the Trinity in ages past, it was agreed that one of the three would eventually become a human with a covering of flesh, and Christ was the elected member to fulfill salvation’s plan. This can all be proven from the Holy Scriptures. First Peter 1:20: Who [Christ] verily…was manifest in these last times for you. Messiah means “sent one.” If He is the sent One, He did not originate at Bethlehem’s manger. Instead, Galatians 4:4,5 pictures the facts as they occurred. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.
Does this simplistic doctrinal truth penetrate your reasoning processes? Hear it again. God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. There it is-Christ’s deity and humanity. His eternity and birth. God sent the Son who was in His presence, meaning that Christ existed as God before coming to earth. However, He was made of a woman when He was sent. This is, of course, the virgin birth which took place in the manger centuries ago when God became man.
When the Trinity outlined the plan, all the events of future history were foreknown. Remember, God knows everything. The plan progressed according to the omniscience of the Godhead. Since God knows everything about everything and all things about all things, the following points were known thousands, yes, millions of years before they occurred:
1. Man’s disobedience and fall.
God placed man in the garden of Eden with certain restrictions. Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surety die. The slithering serpent came along and said in Genesis 3:4, Ye shall not surely die. Instead of listening to Jehovah God, Adam and Eve listened to the devil.
Say, all of us are so much like them. We certainly are chips off the old block. Genesis 3:6 states, And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. This wicked, disobedient act against the Lord God Almighty brought judgment upon the entire human race. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
Not only did God foreknow the fall of man, but:
2. The Trinity foreordained the temporary sacrifice.
I imagine the conversation in the heavenlies went as follows: “Because man will yield to temptation and fall, there will need to be a sacrifice offered. Since sinful flesh is responsible and since the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the decree is established in the counsels of eternity that the shedding of blood, which typifies DEATH to the flesh, will be the eternal sacrifice offered. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Animal blood will be temporarily offered until one of us goes to present the permanent sacrifice.” Let’s investigate the facts and see if God’s program was instituted.
After Adam and Eve sinned they knew that they were naked (see Genesis 3:7). The pangs of a guilt-ridden conscience over sin were being experienced. They wanted to cover their bodies and did so by making fig leaf aprons. However, fig leaves that would shrivel up and die in a few days could not satisfactorily handle the situation. Also, dry fig leaves were bloodless and could not make an atonement for the soul. So God, in the cool of the day, visited this couple and covered them adequately-physically and spiritually. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). The skins of animals adequately covered them physically and spiritually. Why? In providing the skins, the blood of the animals was shed.
We see the same story unfolded in Genesis 4 concerning Cain and Abel. Their parents, Adam and Eve, had taught them this soul-saving story about the animal skins. Now when the boys were of age and wanted to bring a sacrifice to God, Cain presented an offering of fruit and Abel, of animals. Genesis 4:3-5: And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.
If you should think that I am stretching the point by stating dogmatically that Cain’s offering was rejected because it was devoid of blood, I invite you to confirm this truth in your heart by studying Hebrews 11:4 which emphatically presents the teaching just considered. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent [more acceptable] sacrifice than Cain.
Notice they brought their offerings as a sacrifice. God had decreed that blood alone could make an atonement for the soul. Abel, by faith, brought an animal. Notice why he did it. It was by faith. Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing. If he brought it by faith and faith comes by hearing, it is only a logical conclusion to say that he heard the story from the lips of his parents, accepted it, and practiced the shedding of blood because he believed God. Cain, the first liberal or modernist, said, “It’s all bunk. I will offer my fruit which contains no blood, and God will have to be satisfied.” But God said, “Cain, I reject your bloodless sacrifice.”
Many have rejected the only method of salvation God has given the world-the shedding or sacrifice of blood for the remission of sins. Self-righteous efforts, good works, prayers, creeds, and religious observances are but offerings of fruit. The Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, and the observance of the Ten Commandments are but the waving of fig leaves in the face of Almighty God. Many of these things are good to practice because one is a Christian, but any method of trying to enter into eternal life that avoids or bypasses the blood will only result in eternal separation from the God who made the decree. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Now, let’s go one step farther.
3. The Trinity foreordained the permanent eternal sacrifice.
Again we hear the three members of the Godhead speaking in eternity past: “Animal blood will be only a temporary solution because it cannot take away sin, only cover it. Man’s blood is tainted through Adam’s sin. Therefore only one option or course of action is possible. One of the three of us will have to go to earth and take flesh as a covering. This will be necessary because flesh contains the blood of the body. The One who is chosen to go will have to shed that blood to take away the sins of the human race which animal blood only covered.
“The One who goes and takes upon himself that body must have a special birth, because all humans born through natural generation or through the regular channels of birth inherit the old wicked sinful nature of Adam. Therefore, the One chosen will have to have a special birth in the womb of a virgin. The very body will be created and placed in that womb. By this special act of creation-detouring the normal means of reproduction through intercourse-the Saviour will be born into the world. When His blood, holy and pure, is shed, it will take away sin.”
The eternal truth
Does this conversation of the Trinity in ages past seem farfetched to you? Are you wondering if this entire plan presented is really in the Bible? Listen to Revelation 13:8, [Christ was] the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. When? In God’s mind it was planned at the time of the foundation of the world. That’s right, even before Adam and Eve were created. Christ’s shedding of His blood did not take Him by surprise nearly 2,000 years ago. Rather, it was part of the plan He had helped initiate before the world was formed. That’s why Acts 2:23 states, Him [Christ] being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. In other words, the wicked only did to Christ what the foreknowledge of God had planned.
Did it happen? Yes. God came into the world in human flesh to take a body that contained blood. It was special blood that did not have the taint of Adam’s sin integrated into it by Christ’s having a human father. Instead, the Father and the Holy Spirit placed this created miracle into the womb of the virgin without an act of intercourse or human insemination so that pure blood might course through the Redeemer’s veins. Then He shed that blood at Calvary to take away sin that had only been covered by animal sacrifices.
The proof of these truths is in the following scripture. Hebrews 10:4: For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Notice, animal blood could not take away sins. The Old Testament word atonement means “to cover”-only “to cover.” The priest offering the animal blood would say, “I know that this blood only covers the sinner’s sin until your sacrificial Lamb comes, dear God.”
Who was God’s Lamb? Hebrews 10:5: Wherefore [because animal blood could not take away sin] when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. That body was prepared in the womb by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35: 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.
When John the Baptist saw Christ upon the earth, he said in John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Praise God, this was the Lamb sent from heaven who could take away that which was only temporarily covered through the blood of animals. On the cross, Christ cried out, “It is finished.” He was not speaking about His life, but about the plan that had been foreordained before the foundation of the world. Am I certain of this? Yes. [We have been] redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20).
Imagine, this precious blood shed for your sins was planned for you before the world was formed. Seven hundred times the blood is mentioned as the only-THE ONLY-way of salvation. Believe it and receive the Christ who shed that pure blood for your transgressions.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Is There Room in Your Heart for Him?
What a special time of the year! Thanksgiving and Christmas are more precious to me than any other holidays, and they so beautifully go hand in hand.
More and more, Dr. Van Impe and I realize the importance of being grateful for the true essence of Christmas – that God became flesh. He came as a baby, humbling himself to a manger, and, one day, to Calvary’s tree for you and me. Oh, what love!
I wonder if we can really understand the emotion in heaven and the joy here on earth as Mary and Joseph made their way to Bethlehem just prior to the birth of Christ.
Can you see them as they wearily make their way through the narrow streets of Bethlehem? Mary, tired from the long journey, sits on the little donkey as Joseph leads it along.
Their journey is almost over, and none too soon. They stop in front of one of the inns in Bethlehem. With a tender word, Joseph comforts his wife and then strides quickly toward the inn door.
Have you ever wondered what Mary was thinking as Joseph knocked at the innkeeper’s door? Perhaps she was remembering what her cousin Elizabeth had said to her some time before. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance [fulfillment] of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:42-45).
Mary knew how blessed she was, for out of all the women in the world, God had chosen her to give the world this baby; He was the Son of God, produced by the Holy Spirit, waiting to be born in Bethlehem (see Luke 1:35 and Hebrews 10:5).
Mary knew about the promise that foretold: But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2).
Mary’s mind didn’t dare leap ahead to contemplate the rest of those words. It was enough for her to know that she was, at this very moment, in Bethlehem (ancestral home of King David, Joseph’s forefather) and that her time to give birth was at hand.
Mary looked at Joseph, footsore and fatigued from walking alongside the donkey all the way so that she could ride. She knew how blessed she was to have this good and just man as her husband. He had handled the situation so well. He had shown her nothing but love and concern. More than once he had told her, “I know, beloved wife, that this child has been conceived in a special way. The angel laid all my fears to rest.”
Joseph had learned of Mary’s pregnancy after she returned from visiting Elizabeth. For six months, they had marveled at the conversations they each had with the angel. It must have been awesome for them, realizing that the Holy Ghost had visited Mary and that the child she carried was a divine original.
“Oh, Joseph,” I can hear Mary saying, “He is to be called ‘the Son of God’.”
“Yes, Mary,” Joseph responded, “and His name is to be called JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins.”
Did they recall the words of Isaiah? Did they repeat those names? Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel … 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, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6).
Perhaps Mary remembered those conversations as her husband knocked at the innkeeper’s door. She was so tired. The journey had been long and hard. But now, at last, they had arrived in Bethlehem.
For us, today, a journey to Bethlehem is still not easy. In the hustle and bustle of the season, there are many things to deter us. We’ve all heard that we should keep Christ in Christmas, but let’s be sure that we keep ourselves in Christmas, as well! If we are not careful, we can become so busy with Yuletide activities that we are exhausted before we get to Bethlehem – and miss the real Christmas altogether.
Knock … knock … knock!
Joseph knocks at the innkeeper’s door. A Baby is about to be born – the most important Baby ever to be born on this earth. “Let us in … let Him in … out of the cold and darkness of the night .” But the Bible tells us there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).
No room! Those are heart-rending words. Would we have said that? Yet, isn’t it being said every day? We are all innkeepers, with room for many things, but do we have room for Him? In our lives – shabby stables that they are – He may be cradled, but we must give Him room.
Joseph, the rugged carpenter of Nazareth, a just man whose faith transcended his misgivings, enfolded Mary’s helplessness in his strong arms as he lifted her off the back of the little donkey. Someone had tapped him on his sagging shoulders and said, “There is a place, if your wife won’t mind. I know I can fix it and make it clean. It will be quiet there … and warm.”
Joseph had ministered to Mary’s needs in that weary pilgrimage to Bethlehem; but his husbandly duties had not yet ended. Mary in a stable? The Son of God born in a barn? How his mind must have reeled. Remember, he was very human.
Husband, would you like for your wife to give birth to her firstborn in a stable? What lowly circumstances! The Lord of all heaven and earth was about to make His human presence known in the world – but in a barn? This was not the birthplace Joseph had imagined for JESUS.
Barns smell, not just of clean hay, but of animals. Barns are not always sanitary. Oh, the lovely Nativity scenes we see at Christmas do not begin to portray what Joseph and Mary must have experienced in those pre-birth moments, as they contemplated their plight.
Humanly speaking, one wishes we could push back the pages of time and make it different – but it happened just as God ordained it before the beginning of time. And so it was, that … she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:6,7).
As we recall this short synopsis of the most beautiful story ever given from God, may your heart be reminded of the importance of remembering, not just the gifts that are to come, the families we are to see, and the loved ones we shall enjoy, but remembering the true message of Christmas – God’s love for us. And may we not get so distracted by the many activities of the holiday season that we never even reach Bethlehem.
Dr. Van Impe and I are grateful for the opportunity to share the saving message of God’s love for the world in these closing days of time. Thank you for your prayers and support.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Mr. Jack and Ms. Rexella,
I wanted to encourage you in the message you bring to the world. I love your show and enjoy watching both of you. You have such a heart for Jesus, it is refreshing to see. Im praying for you and your safety always, as I know it is a dangerous course you are on.
Thank you for what you do. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe.
Thank you for being here. You guys are such a blessing to this world and MANY have been awakened to what is actually going on, not fooled by the main stream medias relentless godless propaganda assault.
May God continue to keep watch over the faithful and may His continued blessings be with you and yours as we head towards that great and horrible day, very soon the trumpet will sound.
“Be ye therefore also ready! For in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh!”
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are set to ride – and the USA slumbers in ignorance of the catastrophe about to descend upon her! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe want to awaken this nation to the perils that lie ahead, and the soon return of the Savior! Discover the answers to critical questions:
- How soon will apocalyptic judgments begin?
- What does the Bible say about the prediction of the world’s end in 2012?
- How do current events fit with prophecies of Christ’s coming?
- What is the Mark of the Beast and who will control it?
- And much more!
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils I Timothy 4:1
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Timothy 3:13
Will everyone be in Heaven? Are there many paths to follow to get there? Can anyone get to Heaven without the Lord Jesus Christ? In this world of Political Correctness the answers are shocking. The very foundations of Christianity are under attack.
Drs. Jack & Rexella Van Impe meet these attacks head on in this fascinating new video Christianity Seduced. They stand for Biblical Correctness – “ let God be true, but every man a liar ” (Romans 3:4). In this amazing study you will discover that the New Age teaching is nothing new but has been around since Satan first spoke in the Garden of Eden.