The Incarnation of Jesus and the Body of Christ (part 2) 1:14

Mary was His mother.  Here are a few of many scriptures that tell us this.  Matthew 1:18  “Now the birth of Jesus 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.”  Matthew 1:16   And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ.”  Matthew 2:11  “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him:  and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”  Acts 1:14  “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Jesus was conceived by Mary and made of her flesh.  Luke 1:31  “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”  Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”

Conception is defined by the Free Dictionary as: (1) Formation of a viable zygote by the union of the male sperm and the female ovum; fertilization.  (2) The entity formed by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; an embryo or zygote.”  We can simply take the scriptures at face value when they tell us that Mary conceived in her womb and that the Son of God was made OF her.

Jesus was the seed of Abraham and David according to the flesh.  In Genesis 22:18 God told Abraham, “And in they seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”  This blessing is eternal life for all who believe in Jesus, who was the seed of Abraham.

Matthew 1:1  “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  Galatians 3:16  “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to they seed, which is Christ.”  Hebrews 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”  Romans 1:3  “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was  made of the seed of David according to the flesh.”  Acts 2:29-30  “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.  v.30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God haad sworm with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.”  Here again we can take the scriptures for what they say.  Jesus was a relative of Abraham and David ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, or in other words, a blood relative.  He could not have been a blood relative had he not received His humanity from His mother.

In Hebrews it is made even cleared that Jesus was human in the physical sense.  Hebrew 2:14-18, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of the 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; v.15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. v.16 For verily, he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  v.17  Wherefore in all things it behooved him to  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. v.18  For in that he himself hath suffered  being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.”

This scripture brings out a very profound and deep truth that we need to catch.  Jesus PARTOOK of (shared) our human flesh and blood.  Why?  So that He could destroy the devil, and deliver us from bondage!  We can live in victory now in OUR flesh because He set the example for us!  This is made possible through the fact that He also possessed a human body, one that received true, human DNA from a true human mother.  IN fact we are His brethren.  He did not take upon Himself the nature of angels, but He took on Himself the seed of Abraham, that is, Abraham’s flesh and blood, the same kind of human blood that you and I possess.  Had He not possessed real human flesh, He could not have been the perfect sacrifice.  We could not now say that he was made like us “IN ALL THINGS,” and that he truly understands what it is like to be us!  Hebrews 2:11, “For both he that sanctifieth (Jesus) and they who are sanctified (us) are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.”  Note that Jesus and us ARE ALL OF ONE, and this does not embarrass Him.  He considers us  brothers!

We need to look at the historical groundwork which was laid for the present belief.  In the years 1554-1556, Menno Simons wrote extensively about the incarnation.  As we move through his writings on the topic we can easily see that he based his views on faulty science.  He did not have an understanding of how human conception worked. In the book The Complete Writings of Menno Simons at least 160 pages are given to explaining his understanding of the incarnation from page 783-943.   On page 784 in the publisher’s introduction we read, “As has been noted elsewhere, the Swiss Brethren never shared the view of Menno and the Dutch Mennonites on the Incarnation, and the Dutch Mennonites themselves did not long retain it.

Menno very sincerely believed the scriptures taught that a mother did not contribute anything to her child.  He taught very forcefully that human reproduction uses the same principle as sowing a kernel of grain in a field.  The womb is the same as the soil in that it receives the seed and nourishes, feeds and protects it until birth.  He maintained that all the properties of the new child are contained in the father’s seed.  He bases his whole theory of the incarnation on this principle.  He also allows this understanding to color his belief of the church or mother of the believer.

We know today that his view is not correct and we give him the benefit of the doubt.  If he had understood the process of conception correctly he no doubt would have formulated a different view.  However we cannot excuse the fact that he very seriously missuses and misapplies scripture due to his faulty reasoning. In fact he used the scripture upon which to base his theory, and in so doing created a false teaching.  The reader is urged to peruse Menno’s writings for his own learning, especially his Reply to Martin Micron on pages 834-913 in the volume The Complete Writings of Menno Simons.  Here you will sense the spirit of Menno on the topic of the Incarnation.  The publisher’s introduction on pages 836 and 837 has the following comment:  “The whole discussion is tedious and tiresome.  While no one can blame Menno for the primitive science iin his day, yet one cannot but wish that he would have had more good sense than to waddle through the mire as he does in this monotonous and repetitious discussion.  As a matter of plain fact, Menno was simply wrong scientifically in his central argument that human generation and inheritance rest with the father only. His aim to uphold a high view of the person of our Lord was, of course, laudable.  But his arguments are wearisome, and his style is less than courteous; there is no excuse for the sharp polemics of the sixteenth-century authors.  Section X is perhaps the only edifying section in the entire Reply.  The average reader may turn to that, and omit the rest of the book, for it is unprofitable.”  (end of quote)

This faulty reasoning created th basis for the early Mennonite statements of faith and the belief used today by the Holdeman people.  On page 40 of Bible Doctrine and Practice we read “Menno Simons write, concerning the Body of Jesus, ‘We say and teach according to the plain testimony of John, That the word was made flesh, not of Mary, but in Mary.”  (The Complete Writings of Menno Simons pp 910)  In other words, He did not take his flesh from Mary.  The distinction of Christ’s body being formed in Mary, rather than being of her, points out the truth that while man is subject to inherent sin, Christ was not.  Since Jesus was one of the Godhead, He could not sin.  “He cannot deny Himself.”  2 Timothy 2:13 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.”   Hebrews 13:8  In the Thirty Three Articles of Faith we read, “His flesh or body body  became flesh, not of Mary or of any created substance, but only of the Word of life which had come down from heaven”  (Art.14, pp 47)  (End of quote)

These statements stand in stark contrast to the scriptures that state that Jesus was in fact created “OF MARY.”  Galatians 4:4  “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, Matthew 1:16  “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Luke 1:26-42  “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from god unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, v. 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  v. 28 

(to be continued)

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4 Responses to The Incarnation of Jesus and the Body of Christ (part 2) 1:14

  1. been there says:

    WE have to get this in the hands of those who misunderstand and are being taught in error. Thank you to Guest blogger for time and inspiration invested.

  2. Set Free says:

    To skip all the fluff and longwinded explanation such as used by John Holdeman and those who think and understand in his manner we can go straight to the bible and in two short verses show the same thing; (1 John 4:2,3 NKJV) By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, (3) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

    In pondering the manner of John Holdeman’s writing I liken it unto kindergarteners using fat pencils. They don’t use them because it’s easier to use a fat pencil with a small hand but because they are unskillful in handling a pencil so it keeps them from breaking the lead and rendering the pencil useless.

  3. Not So Certain says:

    If you want to get into the minds of those who believe in John Holdeman it might be advantageous to write like him so they will feel they are on familiar territory.

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