Original Chapter 4 – regarding the birth of Christ

THE LAST ADAM – THE GOD-MAN

Hebrews 2:14-18

14. For-as-much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil;

15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.

17. 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.

18. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.

The Son of God was made flesh. He inherited His mortal body from His human mother, the Virgin Mary. Jesus not only took on a human body, He also became part of humanity (“like His brethren”). He joined the human race, because “He took on Him” a human nature. This nature was not the “nature of angels,” but rather a pure human nature like the one with which Adam was originally created. Jesus did not inherit a corrupt human nature from a corrupt father, because He did not have a corrupted father. He was virgin born. The Holy Spirit was His actual father.

Isaiah 7:14

14. Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

There are two Hebrew words that are put together to produce the name Immanuel. The definitions of the words are “God-with us.”  This reveals a description and exclusive identity of Jesus Christ. He is a combination of 100% soul of God with 100% nature of man. He identified with us, and then walked among us to help us.

1 Corinthians 15:45

45. And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the Last Adam was made a quickening Spirit.

In the Bible, the “Last Adam” is referring to Jesus. One reason is because Adam and Jesus are the only men to begin this life with a perfect spotless human nature. This is why it was so important for Jesus to be virgin born. He was and is truly unique. He is the Messiah, the God-man. He had a human nature, giving Him the identity of man; and He is the Soul (personality) of God who had no beginning. Jesus the God-man also had a natural body, which is referred to as the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15).

 681 Corinthians 15:22

22. For as in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Another reason Christ is seen as the last Adam is because from Him will come a new race of descendants, not physically born, but born again of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:46-54

46. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

47. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven.

48. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

49. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.

These verses refer to all those who are born again into the family of Jesus Christ. Let’s set aside our traditions for a moment and examine the life and times of Jesus Christ according to the Bible.

Luke 1:26-35

26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28. And the angel came in unto her, and said, hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30. And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

32. 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:

33. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.

34. Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

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.

God fathered the human being conceived that day. Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, the Son of God. The rest of God’s children would be adopted. Jesus’ soul was and is God and had no beginning, but His human nature and new identity began that day the Virgin Mary said yes to God. She knew it would not be easy. Who would believe her? Would her future husband even believe her?

Matthew 1:18-25

18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20. But while he 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.

21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.

22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Joseph and Mary got married, but Mary remained a virgin until after Jesus was born to avoid any chance of contamination from a fallen human father.

Luke 2:1, 4-5

1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the City of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David:

5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Jesus fulfilled every prophecy regarding His first coming, even the city of His birth. From Nazareth, Mary and Joseph went south about 70 miles. They went up in elevation. No matter which direction you come from, you would have to go “up” to Jerusalem. Bethlehem is five miles south of Jerusalem. The little town of Bethlehem was crowded when they arrived, probably because of the census. The only shelter they could find was some sort of stable or shed.

Luke 2:7-11

7. And 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.

8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

“Glory” is often associated with light or a spotlight. The light “shone round about them,” so the shepherds could not miss it, even though many did. The night sky lit up the area around the shepherds, and then came the celebrated birth announcement.

Luke 2:13-15

13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14. Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.

15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Notice that the night sky was lit up with “multitude of the heavenly host.” The shepherds would see them lighting up the night, and then they vanished away into the heavens.

Luke 2:20-22

20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

People of Jesus’ time were well acquainted with the Law of Moses (the first five books of the Bible). It was a guide for Jesus’ parents. On the eighth day, Jesus was circumcised in Bethlehem in accordance with the law, and the family remained in Bethlehem a little over a month.

Leviticus 12:1-4

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, if a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

3. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

4. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

Leviticus 12:6-8

6. And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

7. Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

8. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

When Jesus was about 40 days old, Mary and Joseph went north to Jerusalem to fulfill their duty according to the law. They went to the temple in Jerusalem to offer their sacrifice.

 Luke 2:24

24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

They stayed in the area just long enough to fulfill the law and make an offering of two birds.

Luke 2:39

39. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned unto Galilee to their own city Nazareth.

By the time Jesus was three months old, He was home in Nazareth in the house Joseph had built before marrying Mary.  Joseph was a carpenter. It was Jewish tradition that, between the proposal and the wedding, the man would build a special place for his wife. I’m sure Joseph was excited about building their home and anticipating the day when Mary would join him there. After the bridal chamber (called the “huppah”) was finished, the father of the groom would set the wedding date. I believe there is an exciting spiritual picture behind this tradition.  If you search “Jewish Bridegroom” or “Jewish Wedding Traditions in Bible Times,” you will find many interesting details that parallel our salvation. The key elements are that Jesus came to earth to initiate a way for us to join His family (the engagement covenant). Now He is in Heaven preparing our eternal home there. At the Father’s command, Jesus will return to bring His bride (the redeemed) home for the wedding.

Let’s look again at the Nativity, Jesus’ birth. Where were the wise men? Well, they were at home, and that night they were looking at the sky. A bright light suddenly appeared on the horizon in the direction of Jerusalem. It probably looked like a shooting star except that it wasn’t moving. I think it is obvious this star was the same angel, joined by the heavenly host, that the shepherds saw light up the sky. While the wise men talked about what this could mean, the light abruptly shot off into heaven. They were amazed and curious. They needed to know what it meant. They sought to solve the mystery and discovered the answer in the prophesies of the Bible.

Isaiah 11:1

1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots:

Jesse was the father of King David and a descendent of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. These verses refer to the bloodline of Mary, as well as that of Jesus the Messiah.

Numbers 24:17

17. I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

The wise men decided to go see this special King and prepared gifts and provisions for their journey to Jerusalem. After they finally arrived in Jerusalem, they met with the evil King Herod. Herod was having serious health problems, both mental and physical. He was considered a madman by many and was jealous and insecure about retaining his throne. Not long before the wise men arrived, Herod had gone as far as killing members of his own family to protect his position and power. News of a new King no doubt alarmed Herod.

 Matthew 2:7

7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

After diligently seeking all the information he could find from the wise men and the Holy Scriptures, Herod discovered that the child had been born in the village of Bethlehem two years earlier.

Micah 5:2

2. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, 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.

Hoping the new King was still in Bethlehem, Herod sent the wise men to find Him.

Matthew 2:8-12

8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also.

9. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

The wise men headed south to Bethlehem Ephrata; but after they left Jerusalem, they saw that familiar star. This was no ordinary star. They not only recognized it as the same star (the one shepherds saw in the night sky), but also noticed that the star was moving around to the north. It led the wise men all the way to Nazareth and pointed out the very house where Jesus was living. After presenting their gifts and spending time talking to Jesus, who was in his terrific two’s (because He never had the terrible two’s), the wise men returned home rejoicing because they experienced the presence and directional leading of God.

Matthew 2:16-18

16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

17. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

18. In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

After discovering that the wise men did not follow his instructions, Herod went on a furious warpath. The wise men had told him that the angelic birth star had first appeared two years earlier, so Herod ordered the killing of all the children age two and under. He killed not only those children five miles to the south in Bethlehem, but also the children all around the area, including Rama, five miles north of Jerusalem. God kept Jesus out of Herod’s reach. God also provided provisions for the next trip Jesus’ family would take, through the generous gifts of the seekers of God, “the wise men.”

Matthew 2:13-15

13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15. And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, out of Egypt have I called my Son.

How could Herod find Jesus all the way up in Nazareth? The answer is simple–the recent census. Herod would start killing all two-year old children in the family line of David. He would also inquire about where the wise men and their entourage had traveled. Therefore, after the wise men departed, Joseph did not hesitate to follow God’s instruction. He quickly left with Mary and Jesus at night so no one would even know which direction they headed.

Matthew 2:19-20

19. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20. Saying, arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

There seems to be some confusion about the year Herod the Great died. Historians state that he died after an eclipse of the moon, but before the Passover. From Jerusalem, you could witness an eclipse in years 1 and 4 BC. The popular, but most unlikely year of Herod’s death is 4 BC. In the1966 Journal of the Theological Studies, W. E. Filmer shows the historical reasons why many mistakenly assume Herod died in 4 BC. He also provides substantial historical evidence to show Herod’s death would have been shortly after the lunar eclipse seen on January 9 in 1 BC. The confusion comes from some common mistakes, as well as Satan surrounding the truth with anti-facts and decoys. This is common for the deceiver and is to be expected. For example, let’s look for a few minutes at how the deceiver promotes the theory of evolution as a fact of history. I’m familiar with the historical anti-facts presented by evolutionists. If you believe them, you have more faith than I have. There are more than just missing links. There are crafted deceptions commonly known to be hoaxes, and yet are still taught as facts in many schools. In addition to the missing links and frauds, the theory is totally illogical, because it is not based on adaptation or variation within a species. It claims that complex functional systems, both matter and spirit, came from chaos and a random sequence of coincidences over a long period of time. The theory of evolution is similar to believing that a large junkyard in the middle of nowhere suddenly blew up, and the dust and junk miraculously became a fueled-up Learjet taxiing down a runway, destined for a small tropical island. Then, suddenly out of the dust appeared in the cockpit a live highly skilled pilot with his loving wife beside him, as well as their pets. If you look into it, and think about it, you could not believe such foolishness unless you were blinded by deception or refuse to open your eyes to the truth. Deception separates us from reality. It blinds us to the truth. Satan continually promotes his lies and decoys that stand against God’s word from Genesis through the New Testament. Satan cannot deny or hide the historical evidence of Jesus’ birth, miraculous life, or death on the cross, although he would like to. Therefore, he surrounds these truths with his confusing decoys and hopes that at least one of three things will happen.

First: Satan would like us to spend our lives chasing his decoys (either deceptions or distractions), overlooking the reality of the matter and becoming eternally lost.

Second: If that does not work, Satan tries to cause divisions by getting us to “major on the minors” like the Pharisees. This can lead to promoting distortions and can stir up anger, pride, and unbalanced priorities.

Third: Most of all, Satan wants us to doubt the accuracy of God’s word the Bible by claiming that scientists or historians can disprove the Bible, thereby weakening our faith and trust in God’s word.

In defense of the accuracy of the Bible, I would like to offer my view on the years of Jesus’ birth and death, a view that fits both secular history and the Bible. Even if you discount the Bible as being God’s word, the New Testament was originally recorded by men who were alive during Jesus’ time and personally talked with Him. Many of them willingly laid down their lives as martyrs rather than deny the truth as they knew it. What we have to do is decide if we will seek out and live by the truth (3 John 1:4). You will find that valuable truth is usually surrounded (and thus outnumbered) by Satan’s clutter and distortions (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Therefore, we should test the information before making it an important part of our life. Are we going to trust God to preserve His word? Are we going to accept the Bible as our foundational rock of truth upon which to build? If we take God at His word even when we don’t yet really understand it, God will start revealing Himself to us; and the truth will become evident. From the secular point of view, there is evidence that the Passover (14th day of Nisan) occurred on Thursday in the year 30 AD. There are some who calculate this 14th day to be on Wednesday, and others claim it was Friday. Because days were added to the various calendars every decade to keep pace with the spring and fall equinoxes and other factors, such as there are several different months for New Years, it is difficult to be precise with the exact day of the week the Jewish priests were using for Passover 2,000 years ago. It is not hard to get an approximate date for events in ancient history; but to be precise, we should also consider how the date fits the patterns of known historical events. There are Jewish scholars, historians, scientists, and others who verify that the 14th day of Nisan in the year 30 was on a Thursday. There is an article posted online that is worth reading, called “The Crucifixion Date,” written by M. Orden for Truth Magazine. Although I believe that their final conclusion is based on a false assumption (which will be addressed in Chapter 8), I believe the following excerpt to be true regarding the day of Passover in year 30:

A reconstructed dating table, which appeared in Christianity Today (March 29, 1974), the results of a computer analysis, corresponds identically with the findings of Humphreys and Waddington. These tables show that the only year between 27 and 34 AD that the 14 Nisan fell on Thursday was in the year 30.

There is a popular belief that Jesus was born between BC and AD (there is no year 0) and was crucified in 33 AD. If that were true, Jesus would have been born after Herod died. On the other hand, Jesus’ crucifixion in year 30 AD fits nicely with both the secular and Biblical truths, and is in harmony with some generational patterns shared later. If the crucifixion was in 30 AD and Jesus was 33 years old, then depending on how you reckon one’s age (whether you are in your first year or have already had your first birthday) and depending on which month Jesus was born, His birth would be no later than year 3 BC and no earlier than year 5 BC. As a result, there is plenty of time for Jesus to be more than two years old in Egypt when Herod died in year 1. I cannot say for sure. However, imagine if Jesus’ birth were in September of 5 BC. He would then be just over 3 years and 3 months old when Herod died, if Herod died in January of 1 BC as the historical evidence suggests. In August of 26 AD, Jesus would be almost 30 years old when He went to John the Baptist. People would be crowding around and enjoying the warm August weather when Jesus came out of the crowd to be baptized.

Luke 3:21-23

21. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the Heaven was opened,

22. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from Heaven, which said, thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

23. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

From His baptism, Jesus went to the wilderness and spent the rest of August and September fasting before going into full-time ministry. Jesus began his powerful public ministry at age 30. People flocked to Him, calling him “Master,” “Rabbi,” and “Teacher.” Jesus chose his closest disciples and spent the next three-and-a-half years teaching them. He would turn 33 in September of 29 AD; and in the following Passover six months later, He would die for them in 30 AD. This is one scenario that fits both the secular and Biblical facts, but we can’t verify its truth at this time. Another scenario that nicely fits Jesus’ life and actions is the timing and significance of the Jewish holidays. These special days commemorate amazing actions of God. I’m not an expert on history or the Jewish holidays. I still have much to learn, but I am familiar with the generally accepted facts. I believe that the Jewish holidays have powerful symbolic connotations. For instance, it is possible that Jesus, the “Light of the World,” was conceived during the “Festival of Lights,” Hanukah, which is near Christmas. Christ is truly the most precious gift, and we should celebrate the conception of Christ. If conceived during Hanukkah, then Jesus, the “Prince of Peace,” could have been born during Yom Kippur, which celebrates peace on earth and reconciliation with God. This was the time to prepare a small shelter called a “sukkah” for the coming Feast of Tabernacles, a joyful celebration.  We know that Jesus died as the sacrificial spotless lamb during the week of Passover. Even the hour Jesus died was significant in the Jewish sacrificial system. Jesus arose at the beginning of the “Feast of First Fruits,” followed later that Sunday by other resurrections, probably around the time of the Wave Offering (Matthew 27:52-53.) Then 50 days later, He sent the Holy Spirit during the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). Maybe Jesus will come back during the Feast of Trumpets on the 48-hour day of Rosh Hashanah (referred to as “the day that no one knows”). I cannot prove this, but it becomes more fascinating if you understand the reason for the season and ceremony. What we can say for certain is that Jesus’ family returned home to Nazareth after Herod’s death and that Jesus grew up in Nazareth as the son of a carpenter.

Luke 2:40

40. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.

Jesus was full of “wisdom” (knowing how to apply truth properly) and “grace” (having power to act and think properly).

Luke 2:47,52

47. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Jesus did no miracles until He received the Holy Spirit at about age 30.  Before His baptism, Jesus’ identity (His nature) was human. Everything He did was perfect, but in a natural way. His authority was His humanity, and Jesus was perfect and spotless in His submission to who He was. His personality (soul) was God eternal, but His identity, authority, and species were human. At conception He took unto himself a human nature and became a man born that day in Bethlehem.

Hebrews 2:7

7. Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst Him with glory and honour, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands:

Jesus humbled Himself to become a human baby, God’s only begotten son, the unique union of Divinity and humanity.

Colossians 1:15

15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

In the Old Testament, the title of “first-born” signified the following:

First: You were specially dedicated unto God.

Second: You were the high priest of the family after the father.

Third: You received a double portion of the inheritance.

Hebrews 2:9

9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

68 Colossians 1:18

18. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

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