Incarnation of Jesus and the Body of Christ (part 5)

This series is written by a guest blogger.  When I am finished posting it as a series I will post a link to a pdf that you can download and distribute with the author’s permission.

So you may ask, “What does all this have to do with the Incarnation?”  Much every way!  Remember that the incarnation is a “bodily manifestation of a supernatural being.”  The incarnation was not finished with the earthly body of Jesus, but is made manifest in His brethren, all those who possess the mark of the Spirit of God!  2 Corinthinans 4:6-7  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us!  We personally share i the incarnation of Christ in our flesh!  2 Corinthians 4:10-11  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”

My friends!  A true understanding of the incarnation will open the scriptures to us in a wonderful way!  There are numerous references to the mysteries of the gospel, kingdom, God, Christ, godliness, and faith.  A proper understanding of the incarnation will help to unlock these mysteries for us.  The New Testament writers declare these mysteries to us with the intent that these mysteries will be solved, and that we will understand!

Here are some scriptures that reference the mysteries:

Mark 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.

Romans 11:25  For I would not brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery.

1 Timothy 3:16  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.

Colossians 1:26-27  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Romans 16:25-26  Now to him that is of power to stablish yo according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according t the revelation of the mystery , which was kept secret since the world began, But is now made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according t the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.

1 Corinthians 2:7-11  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which now of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heat of man, the things which god hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?  even so the things of god knoweth no man, but the spirit of God.

Friends, what wonderful and beautiful truths are revealed to us by God, through Jesus by His Spirit!  As it says in Colossians 1:27,  we can know the glory of this mystery, CHRIST IN US, the hope of glory!

This makes clear the scripture in 1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard it should come; and even now it is already in the world.

It is clear that we must reject any system that does not put Christ clearly at the head.  The agenda of a misplaced view of the incarnation is power, because it detracts from the individual connection with Christ and gives it to a corporate body instead.  You need to keep Christ at arm’s length from humanity in order to maintain control.  This was the error of the Jewish leaders in Christ’s day.  God’s dwelling place is no longer a corporate body or nation but in the INDIVIDUAL heart.  We do not access Christ through the church or an earthly priest because Christ is now our personal high priest forever.  This is more easily understood when we contemplate our personal desire to change things in the lives of our children or fellow believers. We have a tendency to want them to conform to the church and to do it right now.  The pressure is from “us” and is legal in nature as opposed to spiritual.  We don’t experience this pressure from God.

If you elevate Christ by giving him a divine body only, instead of melding the divine with the human, you have nullified the work of Christ in showing us mortals that we indeed can overcome sin if we are indwelt by His Spirit.  He set the example.  He had a human body that was indwelt from birth by the Spirit of His Father, and we have a human body  that is indwelt by the same Spirit after our new birth.  This phenomenon began on the day of Pentecost.  The Old Testament required the corporate body with all its rituals, and an individual had to access God through the very human priesthood.  If you place the light (candlestick) over the corporate body instead of the individual, you create a double headed creature.  You now have to find Christ twice, once in yourself, and once in the church, to experience the assumed blessing of completeness.  You now have to align two dwelling places for God.  In essence you are combining the Old Testament with the New.

This does not negate finding Christ in fellowship, rather it enhances and brings more glory to the corporate experience!  Keeping the sacraments and blending our lives becomes a natural out-pouring of the inner light.  We cannot help but speak and act on those thins we have seen and heard.

In 1st and 2nd John we read that he who says that Christ is not come in the flesh is antichrist.  It seems organized religion in general (organized by man) has at least some element of antichrist. Organized religion wishes to assume the role of Christ for the individual believer by saying it needs to prove whether or not an individual is saved.  The scriptures teach us in Romans 8:16 THE SPIRIT ITSELF beareth witness  with OUR spirit that we are the children of God.  The tongue of fire sits on the individual, not on the corporate body.  We do not need to be proved by men to see if we are God’s children.  This proving is given by the Spirit itself and is manifested by the Spirit to teach each other in the kingdom of God by the LIGHT possessed by the individual!  The light in a church is only as bright as that light which the individual members possess.  Galatians 1:10  For do I now persuade men or God?  or do I seek to please men?  For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1 John 2:20-28  But he have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the  Son, the same hath not the Father:  (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.  Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.  These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.  And now, little children, abide in him:  that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Romans 8:1-18  There is therefore now no condemnation them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk after 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, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh  but after the Spirit.  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  for ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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3 Responses to Incarnation of Jesus and the Body of Christ (part 5)

  1. Amos Bender says:

    Thanks for sharing your light and concern on the subject. I thought you might be interested in reading the concise one or two page version of an 80 page article I wrote on the subject probably 15 years ago. The subject for some reason brought me many tears. It is below and can also be read at http://teachmegod.com/homed4.htm

    What will it take to wake up the sleeping Holdemans. This week the problems committee is coming to our area (Homeworth Ohio) to try to do something. Yet issues like this they close their mind to. Religious people are very good at having their own agenda and straining at gnats and swallowing camels and may God deliver me from them.

    Jesus Christ, Human and Divine
    What Do You Believe About Him?
    Condensed from long article aT.

    Likely all Christians believe Jesus came forth from the womb and body of Mary. Likely all Christians also believe that Jesus in coming into the world and being born of Mary partook of flesh and blood. Yet surprisingly many Christians still believe that Christ’s flesh and blood did not derive from, or have any inheritance from humanity and Mary. They claim it would have been impossible for Jesus to have been a sinless Saviour had He taken upon Himself our very flesh and blood (situation), although He (being a Spiritual Being and Son of God from heaven) could very much have been sinless because of overcoming and conquering our very flesh and situation, rather than been sinless because of not encountering it. If Jesus inherited nothing from Mary, and Mary acted merely as a dwelling (incubator) for Jesus while He developed, how could she truly have personally conceived as the Scriptures teach she did (Isa 7:14, Luke 1:31, 2:21 Matt 1:20)? Mere nourishment or incubation is not a real conception, nor would such have made Jesus a real son of man. Very very many Scriptures speak of Christ as being the Son of Man and three Scriptures particularly speak of Christ being the seed of humanity according to the flesh (Acts 2:29-30, Rom 1:3, Rom 9:5). Strange indeed, and why would Jesus have been born of a woman at all, and appeared like a descendent of humanity, and repeatedly called Himself the son of man, if He inherited absolutely nothing from humanity? God had a vivid reason for not sending Jesus straight from heaven in a heavenly body. God in sending Jesus forth from the body and womb of Mary was not acting a hoax! bP-1
    The belief that Jesus received nothing from Mary but mere nourishment was strongly advocated by Menno Simons, whose belief is spread abroad among many of his followers in our day. It is sad the Menno Simons quite foolishly advocated that all children only receive nourishment from their mother (while developing in the womb) and that no child inherits any physical element from it’s mother, even though children’s facial appearance obviously often resemble their mother’s (Menno Simons, Herald Press, Page 767-769). Note the John F. Funk translation of Menno’s writings does not include this teaching of Menno’s, because the translator thought it not edifying to include it (Funks translation, last half of book page 99). Menno strongly emphasized two points which were, firstly that Jesus could not have been sinless and qualified to redeem us had He inherited and encountered our very flesh and situation, and secondly that the “Word” of God Himself became and turned into Christ’s flesh rather than Christ’s flesh deriving from Mary. Did Menno not consider that it really honors Christ more, to count Him sinless because of fully overcoming, conquering, and having a remedy for our very flesh and situation, rather than to count Him sinless simply because of never encountering it? One should be aware that the church fathers who immediately followed the time of the Apostles such as Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, opposite of Menno, very strongly advocated Jesus did receive His flesh and humanity from Mary. bP-2
    Jesus in John chapter six extensively spoke both of His flesh being bread from heaven and of Christians needing to eat His heaven sent flesh to be saved. It is strange and without basis that many Christians firmly believe Jesus was not speaking of his literal flesh with respect to eating it, but yet firmly believe he was speaking of his literal flesh with respect to it being from heaven. As Jesus knew His teaching about His flesh and blood was difficult to understand, He latter clarified Himself to His disciples saying “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). It was the Word and quickening Spirit of Christ that dwelt within and gave life to Christ’s flesh and blood, which came from heaven, and which needed to be eaten and drank to attain eternal life. Note if Christ’s flesh would have consisted of the Eternal Word, Himself having turned into flesh, Christ’s flesh would have been very important, rather than being something of which Jesus said it profiteth nothing. Note numerous Scriptures speak of Christ’s flesh as a weak or negative element. bP-3
    Christians should remember that God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and that a Spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), and remember that Jesus before coming to earth was a Spiritual Being like His Father. Us humans who tend to look too much at the things that are seen (physical), and not enough at the things that are not seen (Spiritual), should consider that the whole Jesus as born from Mary consisted firstly of the greater and powerful part from heaven (Spiritual and invisible), and secondly the lessor part (flesh and blood and visible) which He took upon Himself. bP-4
    The fleshly aspect which Jesus acquired in His earth life was not a positive element, but was a weakness which our powerful Jesus (invisible Spiritual Son from heaven) overcame and provided a remedy for. The Bible speaks about Jesus’ flesh as something weak and subject to death reading, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, …being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Pet 3:18), “In the body of his flesh through death…” (Col 1:22). “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God…” (2 Cor 13:4). bP-5
    If our great Spiritual and invisible Jesus from heaven could not have grafted upon Himself our very flesh and situation, because of not being able to be sinless by overcoming it, and because of having no remedy for it, how could He be able to redeem us from our very flesh and situation?! Heb 2:14 rather teaches that Jesus took upon Himself our very flesh and blood (situation) to thereby encounter it in Himself, solve the problem, and develop a remedy for it for us, reading, “Forasmuch 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;” bP-6
    Numerous Scriptures pertain to the great kindness and humility of Christ in that He was willing to take upon Himself our lowly situation, in the process of redeeming us (Phil 2:5-9, 2 Cor 8:9). Hebrews chapters 1-5 speak much about Jesus coming in the flesh. As a result of Jesus coming in the flesh, Christ and the Christian share many common experiences. A very significant portion of the New Testament, pertains to how Christians suffer and die together with Christ, are tempted together, overcome together, are quickened together, and resurrected together. If Jesus did not take on Himself our very flesh and situation, how could we in truth share so many common experiences, and how could Jesus truly be the firstfruit of the resurrection as numerous Scriptures speak of (Acts 26:23, Col 1:18, Rev 1:5, 1 Cor 15:21-23)? 1 Corinthians 15:21-23 particularly speaks of Christ being the first to resurrect from the very death that came upon all through Adam, and how could He truly have been first to resurrect from it if He never encountered it? Christ’s resurrection from our very flesh and blood is God’s wondrous proof to humanity that we can do the same. How sad it is that many have lived and died and have never understood the proof! Apostle John said that every spirit that denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” but is the spirit of the antichrist (1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7). Denying Christ’s human aspect distorts a very significant portion of the New Testament, and distorts very basic principles of the Christian religion. Note the fact that Apostle John speaking of those who deny Christ’s human aspect, said we should not bid them God speed or freely receive then into our houses, further reveals this subject is of vivid importance (2 John 1:7-11). How can it be that greatly respected Menno Simmons, so greatly misinterpreted this vital subject and even very strongly condemned those who believed that Christ had a physical inheritance from Mary and humanity? bP-7
    Apostle Paul after speaking extensively of the divinity and humanity of Christ (as in Hebrews chapters 1-2&4-5) then says “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God…” (Heb 5:12). How many Christians in our day still do not understand these first principles of the oracles of God? bP-8
    Who is the Christ you believe in? Do you believe in a Christ that didn’t inherit anything from Mary, and didn’t encounter your very flesh and situation, because He couldn’t overcome it and been sinless had He encountered it, although He very much made it look like He encountered it? Or do you believe in a Christ that really encountered your flesh and situation and by His divine power overcame and resurrected from your situation, and paved the way for you to do the same? Or will you casually believe in whatever Christ your peers or church will believe in? Please reread the first two paragraphs. Farewell. bP-9

    121601 4/3/2003 1585

    Special excerpts from long article aT
    Concerns Christ’s Experience in the Flesh

    V In further considering Christ’s experience in the flesh the following parable should yet be considered; In the jungles of Africa a barbarous tribe of savages developed a dreadful disease of their skin, which resulted in grievous boils and caused it victims tremendous suffering and pain and eventually death. You and your son knew that you, by grafting a significant section of their black and diseased skin on your own body, could here in America with modern medication develop a vaccine for their skin disease, afterwhich you could then deliver those victims from their disease. You then in love for these helpless people sent your son to Africa, and there had a significant portion of their diseased and black skin grafted upon himself. Your son then, through tremendous suffering, pain and difficulty, in due time provided a healing for this barbarous tribe. You then in telling these savages about what your son did for them said, “Wherefore he took not on him the skin of an American but took on him the skin of an African, and was made in the likeness and fashion of the African”, and together with many other clear statements concerning your son’s painful experience, further said, “Forasmuch then as the Africans are partakers of skin and boils, he also himself likewise took part of the same, and in all points suffered and was inflicted like the African” Now years later, although you had informed these savages that nothing is impossible for you, these savages have concluded that it would have been impossible for your son to have grafted on himself their black and diseased skin, and yet been fit or qualified to develop a remedy for them. They now say, that even though your son clearly had black skin grafted on himself and had come to Africa to do it, that yet such skin was not their very own skin but rather it was a skin like to their skin. They now, even use your comment to them, about your son being made like to an African, to prove that your son’s engrafted skin, was a skin like to their skin, rather than being their very own skin. Do you think these savages are giving you and your son proper love, respect, honor, and appreciation for what you did? One might say how foolish, absurd, and ridiculous could those savages get! Yet is not the same largely being done, by us or those who deny that Christ took upon Himself our very flesh and situation? aT-34:78
    V To redeem mankind that sinned from death, God seen fit that the very same flesh and humanity which sinned in Adam and mankind, must be born upon the person of Christ, and live without ever sinning, and then although being sinless as such, yet die for the sin’s that were done by others of the same flesh and humanity. Possibly in God’s sight, the creating of another flesh (humanity) like to man’s flesh (humanity), and then having that duplicated or substituted flesh (humanity) die in a sinless state for us, could not have truly vented or appeased His Holy wrath which was kindled against our very flesh (humanity) which sinned. The sacrificial death of Christ, through being the Son of God and through being without sin was thereby qualified to pay and remove our sin debt. It appears the sacrificial death of Christ through being man’s very flesh (humanity), thereby also could fully vent or satisfy God’s judgments and wrath which was kindled upon that very flesh (humanity) and remove such wrath from us! Truly Christ was made a curse for us, as Paul teaches saying, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal 3:3). Isaiah speaking of the sacrifice of Christ satisfying God’s law and judgments said “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied…” (Isaiah 53:11). Truly God’s law has placed a dreadful curse upon mankind, which curse affected both man’s flesh and spirit, and Christ took that very curse upon Himself and opened a way for us to be totally delivered from it! Oh that men would not under estimate the humiliation that Christ was willing to experience to save us. Oh may it become real to us, what Christ suffered in rescuing us from that death and punishment we deserve, for our sin’s which we have done in our flesh. aT-34:80

    One should consider that the Scriptures in speaking to us of our Saviour, repeatedly speak of Him, being made like to us and experiencing that which we do, to thereby, draw us to Him, motivate us to love Him, and cause us to believe that we can resurrect from our lowly situation, such as He the firstfruit of the resurrection did! Oh how God calls man to believe that he can be saved, and can resurrect to a new body free of all mortal ailments, using His Son’s clear example of such resurrection as proof, and oh how important is to truly and fully believe that Jesus came in the flesh! Jesus in the resurrected form of our flesh, is now at the right hand of the Father making intercession for man. As Jesus and you are all of one, He is not ashamed to call you His brother (Heb 2:11)! Jesus invites you to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9)! Will you dwell with Him in those heavenly realms throughout eternity? You can! Christ death paid your sin debt, and has erased you penalty of death and eternal damnation! His example teaches you that can experience what He did! Oh how great a salvation! aT-34:79

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  2. Amos Bender says:

    I should say may God deliver me from being a religious person with his own agenda. May His agenda be ours even if it might surprise many.

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