Institute for Creation (Credulous) Research (Retards), PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voi
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
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No. 246 "Vital Articles on Science/Creation" December, 1993
WHEN GOD BECAME MAN
by Henry M. Morris *
Copyright (c) 1993 by I.C.R.
All Rights Reserved
* Dr. Henry M. Morris is President of ICR.
"In the beginning was the Word, . . . and the Word was God. . . .
All things were made by Him; . . . And the Word was made flesh"
We can never understand the doctrine of the incarnation, whereby God
the Creator became man the creature, for it is beyond the limits of
finite comprehension. But we can believe it, and rejoice in it!
In fact, we must believe it, "for every spirit that confesseth not
that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God" (I John 4:3). "If
ye believe not that I am He," said the Lord Jesus, "ye shall die in your
sins" (John 8:24).
We not only must believe, but we can believe, for He has proved
Himself to be God incarnate by "many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3),
especially by His bodily resurrection after dying for our sins. Thereby
has God "given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from
the dead"(Acts 17:31). Only the Creator of life could defeat death.
Buddha is dead and Mohammed is dead, and so are Confucius and Plato and
all the great men who ever lived, but the "Word made flesh" who was "put
to death in the flesh" (I Peter 3:18) has been raised from the dead and
is "alive for evermore" (Revelation 1:18). "Wherefore He is also able to
save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25).
How Could the Creator Become Man?
Since "by Him [that is by Christ, the Word of God] were all things
created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth" (Colossians 1:16),
He must have created the very body in which He would dwell when He "was
made flesh" This body, however, could not be a body produced by the
normal process of human reproduction, for it must be a body unmarred
either by inherent sin spiritually or by inherited genetic defects
physically or mentally.
It would necessarily have to be a perfect body, a body like that of
the first man He had created long ago in the beautiful garden of Eden.
He would, in fact, come to be called "the last Adam" (I Corinthians
15:45), since there would never be another man created as that "first
Adam" had been.
There would be one important difference, however. The first Adam was
created and made as a full-grown man, but the second must be "in all
things . . . made like unto His brethren" (Hebrews 2:17). From
conception to death, He must be "in all points . . . like as we are, yet
without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). In particular, His blood must be "precious
blood . . . as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter
1:19), for that blood must be "offered . . . without spot to God"
Thus the body of the second Adam must be formed directly by God and
placed in a virgin's womb. This had been the very first promise made
after the first Adam brought sin and death into the world. Speaking of
"the woman, and . . . her seed," God said that He "shall bruise thy
head, and thou shalt bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15). This prophecy was
addressed to Satan, whose lie had elicited Eve's sin. This wonderful
body would not grow from a man's seed, as in every other human birth,
nor would it grow from a woman's egg, for in either case a sin-carrying
and mutation-carrying embryo would necessarily result. It must instead
be a seed specially formed by the Creator Himself, then planted in the
virgin's womb, where it forthwith would become His "tabernacle" for
thirty-three years as He lived on His planet Earth among those He had
come to save.
"Lo, I come," He would later promise through David (Psalm 40:7).
Through Isaiah He said: "(The) virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son,"
and that babe would also be "the mighty God, the everlasting Father"
(Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Still later, another great prophet could anticipate
that "The LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall
compass a man" (Jeremiah 31:22).
Note that the "new thing" in the chosen woman must be "created."
When the time came the angel assured young Mary that "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" (Luke 1:35).
Then, "when He cometh into the world, He saith, . . . a body hast
thou prepared me" (Hebrews 10:5). Most significantly, He used the same
word "prepared" (Greek, katartizo), which the writer of Hebrews also
then would use when he testified that "the worlds were framed by the
Word of God" (Hebrews 11:3), recognizing that the same living Word who
had framed the worlds had also framed His own human body! And in that
tiny cell in Mary's womb resided all the information not only for His
own growth into manhood, but also for the creation, preservation, and
redemption of the whole creation. It was His by right of creation and
soon would be doubly His by right of redemption.
When Did the Creator Become Man?
It has become customary in much of the world to observe the Creator's
incarnation on December 25, which is assumed to be the date of the birth
of Jesus. However, various other dates have been observed by different
groups or promoted by various writers$dates in January or March or
October, for example. The early church apparently never observed
Christmas at all, and the date of December 25 only began to be
identified as Jesus' birthday in about the fourth century. In fact, many
believe that Christmas celebrations are essentially a continuation of
the old Roman Saturnalia or other pagan practices centering around the
winter solstice, during the year's longest nights.
The fact is that no one really knows the date of His birth, so no
one should be dogmatic on this subject. Nevertheless, there is one
particularly intriguing possibility: On the night Christ was born,
shepherds were in the field watching their sheep (Luke 2:8). Although it
is barely possible that this could be in late December, it seems far
more likely that it would be sometime in the early fall.
If so, the birth of Jesus also would have been in the fall, and it is
significant that there was an ancient Christian feast called Michaelmas,
observed on September 29 by many early Christians, especially in England
and western Europe. The name later also was appropriated to identify a
period during the fall when certain courts were in session.
In any case, the name "Michaelmas" meant "Michael sent," just as
"Christmas" means "Christ sent." It is very probable that Michael was
the "angel of the Lord" (Luke 2:9) who was sent from heaven to announce
the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. The feast of Michaelmas thus may
well have originated to commemorate this coming of Michael and the
angels to welcome Jesus at His human birth.
This date would be just several days before the great Feast of
Tabernacles, which the pre-exilic Israelites observed each fall in
gratitude for the annual harvest, with each family dwelling for a time
in a tent, or "tabernacle." When John wrote that "the Word was made
flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14), he did not use the usual Greek
word for "dwell." Instead, he said, literally, that the Word (that is,
the Creator) "tabernacled" among us for a time. It was as though He had
come into the world at just the appropriate time for the joyful Feast of
Tabernacles, as Michael and the angels sang of "good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10).
As glorious as the birth of Christ may have seemed, however, this was
not His incarnation. He had already been "made in the likeness of men"
(Philippians 2:7) nine months earlier, when He created a body for
Himself and took up His residence in Mary's womb. That was the time
when "the Word was made flesh!"
And so it may be beautifully significant that the real "Christmas"
(i.e., "Christ sent"), when the Christ was sent from His throne in
heaven to enter a "tabernacle" of flesh, would have been nine months
earlier than "Michaelmas," when Michael and the angels were sent to
announce His birth. But that brings us back to December 25 again! The
actual number of days between the two dates is 278, which is the ideal
period of human gestation.
Whether or not these inferences are correct (and remember no one
really knows when Christ was born), they at least yield a greater
appreciation of His miraculous conception. How appropriate it would be
for Him to enter the world right at the season of darkest and longest
night, for He would come as "the light of the world" (John 8:12) to
bring "life and immortality to light through the gospel" (II Timothy
1:10). Then, at "Christmas" time, we can remember with deep thanksgiving
(not with Saturnalian revelry and pagan greed) the amazing Christmas
gift of God Himself, when "God sent His only begotten Son into the
world, that we might live through Him" (I John 4:9).
Why Did the Creator Become Man?
No question that begins with "Why?" can be answered scientifically.
Such questions can be answered only theologically, and that means they
can only be truly answered from the written Word of God.
And this greatest of all questions has the most wonderful of all
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17).
"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" (Galatians 4:4,5).
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (I Timothy 1:15).
But that is not all, of course. His first coming, followed by His
sacrificial death, bodily resurrection, and glorious ascension, is a
prophetic promise of His second coming.
At His first coming, He "tabernacled" among us for a little while; at
His second coming, there will be "a great voice out of heaven saying,
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be
their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there
be any more pain: For the former things are passed away" (Revelation
21:3,4). "And there shall be no night there; . . . for the Lord God
giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation
How infinitely sad it is that so many today reject or ignore such a
gracious, loving, holy, powerful Creator/Redeemer. Not only do they miss
all the true meaning and blessing of Christmas now, but, unless they
respond to Him in repentance and faith, they will be everlastingly
separated from Him in the glorious eternal ages to come.
This "Impact" was converted to ASCII, for BBS use,
from the original formatted desktop article.
Comments regarding typographical errors
in the above material are appreciated.
Don Barber, ICR Systems Administrator
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