Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 73
INCARNATE CHRIST: GOD BECOMES MAN – 1
Genesis 3:15 and Galatians 4:4
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in the studio this afternoon. We trust that the Lord will bless you richly. Again, we want to welcome our television audience in to study with us. I always like to make it plain for new listeners that we’re just an informal Bible class, and we don’t have a church service. We don’t have music. We just simply teach the Book. And again I have to thank all of you out there, as well as all of you in the studio, for all your letters and prayers.
This last month was a big month. Most of you across the country know we’ve had some health problems. But along with that, it was my 80th birthday and our 54th wedding anniversary, so we’ve been covered up with cards and letters in all three categories.
We just thank you from the depths of our heart. We do. We read every one of them. Takes a good portion of the day sometimes, but that’s the way we operate. We don’t slough anybody’s card or letters aside as unimportant. And the same way with so many of you, you complain that you can only give $5.00 or $10.00 dollars, well, sometimes I just write a quick note back – never forget that with God small things become mighty. Don’t ever apologize for not being able to give more.
Okay, now I only have one or two announcements. Again, we like to keep our people aware of the one and only book we’ve ever put out. It’s the Question and Answer Book of 88 questions for a small cost of $11. And if you are not in our computer and getting our quarterly newsletter, just call the office and give us your name and address. You will not receive junk mail. You will not receive appeals for money. It’s simply a quarterly update on our stations and our seminars, and the girls in the office usually put in a note. Laura usually puts in a note. That’s all our newsletter really is. It is just to keep you up-to-date with what we’re doing.
Okay, I think that’s all the announcements. We’re going to look at something a little different today. At the last taping you’ll remember, the last four programs were on the Theophanies in the Old Testament – how God the Son stepped out of the Triune Godhead and appeared temporarily in various times and places up through the Old Testament and then went back into the invisible Godhead.
Now we know that beginning with Christ’s earthly ministry, of course, He became the incarnate. I had Sharon put it on the board—incarnate. Again, it’s not a word you’ll find in your Bible. It’s a word that has been coined by the theologians down through church history. It simply means God became man. We refer to Christ, then, as the God-Man.
You know, that’s one problem that so many people have. They can’t understand how He can be God and Man. But He was, because He was God. And I always make the point that He never let the two supersede each other. In other words, when He spoke from humanity, or if He got in a tight place like at the temptations and He was hungry, He never let His Deity override His humanity. Always remember that. When He spoke from humanity, He was totally human. He prayed. He suffered. And we’ll be seeing all that. But on the other hand, when He acted as God, He was totally God. And He knew everything from beginning to the end and all in between as God. And we’ll be looking at that throughout the afternoon. We’re going to look at the incarnate Christ.
But before we look at Him in the New Testament, we’re going to start back in Genesis chapter 3 and see how that this old Book is not just a bunch of myths and stories like a lot of people are trying to tell us, now, but it is the inspired, supernatural Word of God. And I never get tired of emphasizing that. So, if you’ll go back with me to Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve have just eaten of the forbidden tree. Sin has entered. Death came by sin Romans tells us, and along with that the curse fell. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden. But at the very same moment that all that took place, God did something tremendous. He promised a “scarlet thread of redemption” all the way from Genesis 3 to the last book of our Bible.
So, if you’ll go with me a minute to Genesis chapter 3, we’re going to see the first prophetic statement concerning the incarnate Son of God. How He had to become flesh in order to bring about mankind’s salvation. All right, Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, and God is speaking to the serpent.
“And I will put enmity (In other words, a constant line of demarcation between these two forces that are going to be at enmity from here until the end of time.) between thee and the woman,…” Now I’m fairly well convinced, although I don’t put it in concrete, that this is already a reference to the Nation of Israel. Otherwise, I can’t see why there would be a line of enmity just between the female of the species. But I think the woman here is a definite forecast of the demarcation between Satan and Israel, and how there will be a constant, constant battle between the two.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;…” Now, you say, well, now that doesn’t fit Israel. Yes, it does. Because after all Mary, even though this is the woman that it may have been referring to, Mary was a citizen of the Nation of Israel. She was a Jewess. So, I think it fits all the way through that here’s the promise that God would put enmity between Satan and the woman.
“…between thy seed…” And I think that’s just a reference to all his demonic powers. Now we need to jump all the way up to Ephesians for a moment, because this question comes in every once in a while. What is the seed of Satan back in Genesis 3:15?
Turn with me to Ephesians chapter 6. This is a series of verses I’m sure just about all of you know. I think these best answer the question and is probably the best biblical answer to Genesis 3:15. What is the seed of the serpent?
“For we (Now remember, Paul always writes to the believer. He never writes to the unsaved world. Writing to us believers he said,…) wrestle not against flesh and blood, (not just the ordinary physical opposition) but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Now, all of those are references to whose underlings? Satan’s. They’re Satan’s powers.
This is our main opposition, and especially as we see today, even in our seminaries and in the tops of our denominations. That’s where Satan is working overtime. Always remember, if Satan can bring one rotten professor into a seminary, and that guy influences a lot of these young men preparing for the ministry, and they go out across the country filling pulpits, and they pass on the rot that they got from that one professor, what’s the end result? Satan’s the winner. This is what we’re up against.
I may, if I’ve got time, refer to something on that order later today. But here is what I think was already referenced back in Genesis, where there was going to be a running controversy between the seed of Satan and all of his demonic hosts and the seed of the woman, because that is what is really referenced.
Come back to Genesis a minute. But since you’re in Ephesians, keep your hand in it. I’m going to go back to Romans in about ten seconds. But come back to Genesis chapter 3, again. This is immediately after the fall. Adam and Even have just been expelled, and we have an immediate response to the spiritual side of it all, where God will put–
“…enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed (or Satan’s seed) and her seed; (or the seed of the woman.) it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, (Which, of course, was a reference to Christ defeating the Satanic powers at Calvary.) and thou shalt bruise his (the redeemer’s) heel.” This, of course, was the suffering that He had to endure at the cross.
All right, now in view of the fact that this took place right after the fall, I have to take you back up to Romans for a minute. I just couldn’t get away from it as I was preparing for this. I wasn’t going to, and then I’d come back, yeah, got to. So on the way up this morning, I think the Lord just laid on me—we’ve got to use Romans chapter 8. The point I want to make is that as soon as the curse fell, God set in motion the plan of redemption. Immediately! There was no afterthought to it. It was immediately transacted. All right, Romans chapter 8 and I love these verses. I could teach them every day. We’ll just start at verse 18.
“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.” Now when people write or call and say, what’s our Heaven going to be like? Can I answer them? There’s just not much in this whole Book concerning the eternal Heaven of the Heavens.
There’s a lot of information concerning the 1,000 year reign. In fact, this is how people can twist the Scriptures. While I was sick, somebody sent me some books, quite a few in fact. I got most of them read as fast as they came in. But one was, What is Heaven Like? What do you suppose he used for all of his Scriptures describing Heaven? The 1,000 year earthly kingdom, every one of them. That’s all he could use, because this is as close as we can get to what our eternal abode is going to be. All we know is that it’s going to be glorious. That’s all. We don’t know: are we going to be living in homes? Are we going to be having fig trees to sit under? See, those are all kingdom promises, but we do know it will be glorious. Well, I just have to do that when I see these things.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in (or to) us. (Now, here it comes.) 19. For the earnest expectation of the creation (Now, I know the King James has got creature, but I feel creation is a better word, because that’s what it’s going to involve, the whole creation.) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons (or the children) of God.”
All right, we’ve got to go back up to verse 14 to explain that verse, don’t we? Go back up to verse 14. We’ve got plenty of time.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons (or the children) of God.” In other words, believers. You and I as believers in the Gospel have received this position as children of God (although it’s called sons here in the King James.) All right, but now he says in verse 16.
“The Spirit (Capitalized, it’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself) beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the (What?) children of God.” Now, we don’t become God’s like a lot of New Agers teach, but we become children of God. All right, verse 17:
“And if we’re children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; (What’s a joint-heir? Like a husband and wife, isn’t it? Aren’t husbands and wives joint-heirs? Sure. That’s going to be our relationship in glory. We’re going to be joint-heirs with Christ.) if so be that we suffer with him, (And that’s why he’s speaking of it in verse 18.) that we may be also glorified together.”
All right, now take that concept of the believers as children of God, and when the kingdom opens up, it’s going to be the putting under the spotlight this relationship between Christ and His bought ones, the saved by virtue of the Gospel. All right, so verse 19 again.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation (or being put into the spotlight) of the children of God.” And when will that happen? Well, at the onset at least of the Kingdom, when Christ will return and set up His Kingdom and the curse will be lifted. Satan is locked up, and everything reverts back as it was in the Garden of Eden. All creation is looking forward to that place. Now that’s hard for us to comprehend, but that’s what the Book says. All of creation is waiting for the day when the curse will be lifted, because it’s the curse that’s brought in all of man’s and the ecology’s misery.
You know that wild animals didn’t kill each other before the curse. They all lived in harmony. This is all precipitated by Adam’s fall. But it’s going to be reverting back to the beginning. And that’s what all of creation has been looking for. Oh, I could sit here for another half hour and share some of the things that have upset me the last week or two of what’s going on in the world, even with regard to the animal kingdom. How cruel human beings can be to God’s creatures! It just disturbs me to no end. But anyhow, I haven’t got time to go into that. But this is the case; all of creation is waiting for this glorious day when the curse will be lifted. Now the next verse:
“For the creation (God’s creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly,…” What does that say? What’s the vanity? The curse. The upsetting of everything that was so perfect. It became corrupt because of the curse. All right, so the whole creation was subjected to the curse, not willingly. They didn’t do anything to bring it about. When Adam fell, God dropped the curse, and everything in creation came under it. Not because they deserved it, but because of Adam.
All right, now here’s the verse, the part of the verse, that I want you to see—when the creation was subjected to the curse.
“…but by reason of him who hath subjected the same (all of creation. What are the last two words?) in hope.” So, what’s the hope? That one day it’s going to end—this suffering, this corruption, this wickedness, and all that’s been taking place for 6,000 years is going to end. It’s going to be brought into a glorious, pre-fall existence once again. All right, read it again.
“For the creation was made subject to the curse, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. (That one day that curse will be lifted.) 21. Because the creation itself shall also be (Now watch the language.) delivered from the bondage of corruption…” Well, what’s the bondage of corruption? The curse! My, in my seminars a lot of times it’s the younger people that will come up and say, “Les, if God is such a God of love, why does He allow war? Why does He allow famine and disease?”
Well, that’s all God does, is allow it. He didn’t precipitate it. What precipitates all of our problems? The curse. It’s the curse that brings in war. It’s the curse that brings in sickness and famine and disease. God doesn’t, but, yes, He does permit it. But it’s the curse that has plagued the whole creation, not just mankind, but everything in it for the last 6,000 years. All right, our time is going fast. Now verse 22, Paul writes:
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, (The other parts of creation, see, that’s why I know he’s talking beyond the human race.) but ourselves also, (and especially those of us) who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, (we who are believers) even we ourselves,…” As we are living and operating day by day under the curse even as believers, we get sick. We have accidents. We have pain. We have sorrows. We have death in the family. It’s all because of the curse.
“…but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, (or that big transaction, that is to say) to wit, the redemption of our body.” And that, of course, ushers us into the eternal abode.
All right, let’s get back to the subject at hand—the incarnate Christ as He has now been foretold back here in Genesis. As soon as the curse fell, God set in motion a plan of redemption. This plan of redemption would require a God who could experience humanity. Only a human could go the way of the cross. That’s why we have to have the incarnate. We have to have God becoming flesh.
All right, let’s stay in the Old Testament for a little bit, yet. Go from Genesis up to Isaiah chapter 7, a verse that I’m sure is quite familiar. Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14. This is still prophecy. Up until now God the Son has never appeared in any other way but a theophany. He appeared to Abraham, Jacob, and Moses in a temporary physical form, and then He relinquished it and went back up into the invisible Godhead. But now we have the Old Testament prophets also looking forward to the time when this invisible person of the Godhead would become flesh. He would become the God-Man.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;…” Now, I’m always reminding my listeners. Who were always looking for signs? The Jews. Israel. Well, who is Isaiah writing to? Jews. Israel. He’s aware of the fact that they were a people who looked for signs.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Now remember, this is 700 years before the fact. What does that tell you? This Book is supernatural! This Book is a divinely inspired Word of God! They can scoff at it all they want. And I’ll ridicule them all I want. They should know better. Here we have a prophecy clear back 700 years before Christ that a little Jewish, virgin girl would conceive and bring forth the God-Man. Immanuel. And what does Immanuel mean in a translated form? God with us.
Those Jews should have known that. This reminds me, I think I’ve got time. Jump all the way up; I wasn’t going to do this. Go all the way up to Matthew. This is where we started our last several seminars. I did it again last Saturday in Albuquerque, because everybody is interested in current events. Why this? And why that? Why all the violence? All the killing and the murder? And everything? Well, this is the way I approach it—Matthew 16 verse 1. This is during the Lord’s earthly ministry. And of course the Pharisees and the Sadducees were His greatest opponents, and here again in verse 1.
“The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting (or testing. Trying to get Him to somehow paint Himself into a corner where they could say, okay, now we’ve got you. They were always at it.) desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.” See, there it is again. Show us a sign from heaven that you are who you say you are. Now look at the Lord’s answer.
“He answered and he said unto them, When it’s evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.” They were pretty good at forecasting twelve hours. The weathermen can usually do that today, can’t they? Twelve hours—if you look out the window and see a big black cloud in the west, you know it is coming. But beyond that, they still don’t do a very good job of it. But anyway, they were forecasting the weather. And then He says:
“And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern (or you can read) the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”What’s He talking about? They should have known that everything was in the timetable of the Old Testament prophets for the appearance of their Messiah.
They should have known the prophecy in Isaiah had been fulfilled. They heard the rumors of Mary and Joseph. Here this young girl is pregnant and the father says he’s not the father. Don’t you think those people were just as normal as we are today? They should have been able to figure out from the Old Testament prophecies; this is the fulfilled prophetic promise of a Messiah.
Another sign of the times that they should have been able to read was the political system. My, what did Daniel foretell 600 years before? That there would be four great Gentile empires coming down through history. The Babylonians. The Medes and the Persians. The Greek and the Roman. Well, did the Jews of Jesus’ day have any doubt that it was the Roman Empire that they were under? Why, heaven’s no.
Those Roman soldiers were everywhere. What should they have been able to do? Hey, we are in the political system that’s going to bring the Messiah. They should have been able to do that. They should have also said, now wait a minute, that young girl wasn’t pregnant by accident. It was foretold. But did they? They were no different than people do today.
Listen, the signs of the times are all around us. Number one is Israel in the land and in the news everyday. That’s the sign of the times. Can people read it? They haven’t got a clue. They haven’t got a clue, and it’s so sad that the Scripture is so explicit and people cannot understand.