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The Promise of a Son

By Mary Craig

Can you think of another person whose birth, life, death, and resurrection were foretold in such explicit detail centuries beforehand? Only God could provide us with a biography of someone’s life in such a manner, and only God could ensure that every detail would be just as foretold. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved (borne along) by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1.21).

God promised to send His Son into the world, into the cosmos, and He did. Interestingly, that "old serpent," the devil is the first to learn of a Deliverer who would come to destroy his works. That snake gets the initial prophetic promise of redemption, the "protoevangelium." "And the Lord God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3.15)

God warned Adam prophetically that if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. Adam did. Then God gave a promise of life prophetically, a life that would come in the Person of Jesus Christ.

With that initial promise to Satan, Satan sought to destroy the prophesied Seed. Despite attempts such as those leading to the Flood, and attempts to destroy the line of David, God preserved the messianic line to the Messiah.

Abraham is promised, "Unto your seed will I give this land." (Genesis 12.7) David was promised, "I will set up your seed after you, which shall proceed out of your bowels." (2 Samuel 7.12) The Jewish nation was spared destruction from Haman’s intended massacre as record in Esther. Attempts to annihilate the House of Judah, to move people to curse God and die or be cursed by God and die, failed.

The wording "her seed" in Genesis 3.15 clearly pointed to a virgin birth to come. This One would come from "her seed," untainted by sin, a child of the Holy Ghost. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7.14) "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." (Isaiah 9.6) "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel." (Matthew 1.23) Consider some of the prophecies of the virgin birth:

      1. "The Lord has called Me from the womb." (Isaiah 49.1)
      2. "The Lord…formed Me from the womb to be His Servant." (Isaiah 49.5)
      3. "The Lord has created a new thing in the earth. A woman shall compass a Man." (Jeremiah 31.22)
      4. "You are the one that took Me out of the womb." (Psalm 22.9)
      5. "…until the time that she who travails has brought forth" (Micah 5.3)

Jesus Christ was conceived apart from natural generation. As Mary said, "I know not a man." The word virgin, almah in Hebrew and parthenos in Greek, has a two-fold meaning. Almah denotes any young unmarried woman, regardless of her sexual conduct. Parthenos represents a young unmarried woman who has preserved the purity of her body. Mary was a virgin in that sense. It is interesting to note that in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures, almah in Isaiah 7.14 is translated parthenos in

Greek. That word will quickly take you to the Greek Parthenon, the temple of Athena. Athena was long known as the virgin goddess of wisdom. So, the 70 scholars translating the Hebrew into Greek more than 200 years before Jesus’ birth were making it clear to the Jewish people living outside the Holy Land exactly what Isaiah 7.14 was saying.

Jesus Christ was not as we are. Of ourselves we must say with the Psalmist, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51.5) Jesus was born "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." (Hebrews 7.26) He was conceived of the Holy Spirit without original sin. "That holy thing which shall be born…shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1.35) If it were not so, Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself would not have been acceptable. His dying would have meant no more than the death of any "good" man. If we are to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" to be saved (Acts 16.31), we must embrace the virgin birth, for only in embracing that does Jesus qualify as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The virgin birth is not a myth. It is a miracle.

"When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman." (Galatians 4.4) The prophetic clock had been ticking. Consider, if you will, just some of the prophecies related to "the time."

      1. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah…until Shiloh come." (Genesis 49.10)
      2. "I shall see him, but not now." (Numbers 24.17)
      3. "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks…After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself." (Daniel 9.25, 26)
      4. "The Lord…shall suddenly come to His temple." (Malachi 3.1)
      5. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2.11)

Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea, but Mary lived somewhere else when she was impregnated. Three great tax collections during the reign of Caesar Augustus are documented history. In 1923, Sir William Ramsey discovered a Roman temple inscription at Ankara, Turkey, stating the fact. The second tax collection was ordered four years before the date we celebrate as the birth of Christ; the third, several years after His birth. Many believe that Jesus was actually born in 4. B. C. Whatever the exact time, we know that the birth accords with historically documented events. Some have speculated that by the time official tax collectors had worked their way eastward, town by town, and after time-consuming delays caused by Jewish protesters, the exact time had come for Mary to give birth to her Child (Luke 2.1-3) God rules in the affairs of human history, moving people and ordering events as He wills sovereignly.

The Messiah had to come 483 years after a specific date given in Daniel’s time, a prophecy given some 500 years before Jesus came to the Temple. Step by step, Jesus fulfilled scripture. He predicted the destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24.1-3) and fulfilled the prophesy that He would be cut off, or killed, before the destruction of the Temple.

When Jesus came, the "time" was right. A vast system of roads was in place. The Greek language dominated the "world." Under the Romans, people enjoyed the Pax Romana, relative peace. Civil laws protected certain religious freedoms. Things were in place. The times enabled the spread of the gospel and the growth of Christianity.

Like wise, the Temple had to be standing for Christ to appear there. That Temple was destroyed in 70 A. D., when Titus ransacked Jerusalem. In Haggai 2.7 we read" "The desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of Hosts." More on the temple:

      1. "And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." (Zechariah 11.13)
      2. "We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord." (Psalm 118.26) (See Matthew 21.12-16; Luke 2.46, 47 for fulfillment.)

What about the place of Jesus’ birth? What did the Scriptures foretell?

      1. "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when…[he] afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined." (Isaiah 9.1, 2)
      2. "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." (Isaiah 11.1) [The Hebrew neh-tzer for Branch means "the separated One," or "the Nazarene."]
      3. "I…called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11.1)
      4. "But thou Bethlehem…out of thee shall He come forth." (Micah 5.2)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He was taken into Egypt by Joseph and Mary in the escape from Herod’s ploy to destroy Him. (Matthew 2.14, 15) When Herod died, Joseph and Mary with Jesus returned to Nazareth in Palestine. His ministry took place in and around Galilee.

Jesus’ birth was a manifestation. He manifested God in human flesh (1 Timothy 3.16). He manifested inherent, pre-existent glory (John 2.11), the righteousness of God (Romans 3.21), His Word (Titus 1.3), life (1 John 1.2), God’s purpose to take away sin (1 John 3.5), total triumph over Satan (1 John 3.8), the sacrificial love of God (1 John 4.9).

Many men have been born with a message for mankind. Many have claimed to be the Messiah, the Savior, the way to God. Many have given their lives for others in acts of altruism. Many have died excruciating deaths by crucifixion and other means. Others were raised from death, and not by Jesus Christ. So what made the birth, the life, the death, the resurrection, the love of Jesus Christ different? Jesus Christ is the Creator, the One who existed prior to His incarnation, God come in the flesh. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, sinless, holy, not only as to His lack of "original" sin, but also in regards to having no "practical" sin. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, the child of the Holy Ghost. No one else qualifies as the Lamb of God capable of taking away the sin of the world.

Who Jesus is has taken on unprecedented importance in the battle between the people of God and the seed of Satan, between good and evil. Receiving the revelation of truth about Jesus Christ will mean the difference between perishing or surviving in these last days. Those that perish, 2 Thessalonians 2.10 says, do so because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.

In the letter to the city engaged in spiritual warfare against formidable principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in high places, the apostle Paul prayed for the people of God in Ephesus that they might be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fullness of God. This is my prayer for you, the friends of Mary Craig Ministries. I pray that you will desire to know truly and personally the Person of Jesus Christ. The faith, the trust, the courage, the joy you will receive has the power and potential to change you and the destiny of your family, your city, your nation. I pray that Jesus Christ will arise in your soul like sunrise, the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings, that your relationship with Him will be forever changed for His glory and for your good as you seek Christ.

Celebrate the coming of Christ into the world. The Father fulfilled His promise. Jesus fulfilled His. The Holy Spirit is fulfilling what He has been sent to do. Rejoice, respond, revive.

© 2000 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.


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