I remember the Christmases of my childhood. We celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ – the birth of God in the form of a baby who would take away the sin of the world. A part of this never made sense to me, because only a part of this statement is true.
Yes, there was a child who was born supernaturally, who was the son of Mary and Joseph, who would one day become the Lamb of GOD and take away the sin of the world. He would be our High priest, the sacrifice for sin. But GOD was not born in the form of a baby.
Then who exactly was born in Bethlehem, you may ask?
We need to understand that GOD is SPIRIT (John 4:24). GOD is not flesh. He cannot be flesh. Therefore, the statement that GOD was born in the form of a baby is not true. Also, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of GOD (1 Cor 15:50). The person who was born in Bethlehem was born of flesh. This is not what our GOD is. HE is neither flesh nor blood. HE is SPIRIT.
This, however, still does not answer the question of who was born in Bethlehem.
The person who was born in Bethlehem was a natural ‘Adam’, one without sin. Even though he was supernaturally created by GOD, he was still a natural ‘Adam’, the son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus was born of a natural mother; GOD created a sinless, natural seed which HE put in the womb of Mary. Jesus was born as a baby just like you and me. The only difference was that Jesus was sinless just like the first Adam. He did not carry the corrupt seed of the fallen Adam. Jesus, the baby, was not the Son of GOD. He was the Son of Mary and Joseph (although Joseph was not the biological father).
But the Bible calls Jesus Christ “the Son of GOD”?
Yes, this is true. But one should rather ask the question: when did Jesus Christ become the Son of GOD if it did not happen at his birth in Bethlehem?
For Jesus to become the Son of GOD he had to be born of GOD, born of the SPIRIT, born from Heaven. This birth did not happen in Bethlehem, but at the Jordan River as Scripture teaches us. Jesus, the natural man, was baptised in the Jordan River where he was born of GOD (born from above/Heaven) and became Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD. Jesus, the natural man, was the son of Mary and Joseph while Jesus Christ, the Spirit man, was the Son of GOD. It was at the Jordan River where he received the SPIRIT of GOD.
Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV)
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
This was the first time GOD called Jesus Christ HIS Son, as this is where he became the Son of GOD. Before that, he was the Son of Mary and Joseph. He received the SPIRIT of GOD for the first time at the Jordan River, which means that he did not have the SPIRIT of GOD before.
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all– that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
This is a beautiful scripture that confirms what was said above. Jesus received the SPIRIT at Galilee where he was baptised in the Jordan River. He did not receive the SPIRIT in Bethlehem. (Please read the article “What is Christ” for a clearer understanding). But in short, the word ‘Christ’ means anointed. Anointed with what? Anointed with the SPIRIT of GOD, as this scripture states.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Jesus was not born Lord and Christ; he was made both Lord and Christ. When? The moment he was born from above at the Jordan River and he received GOD’s SPIRIT was the moment when he was born of GOD and was made Lord and Christ. He was no longer the child of Mary and Joseph, but the Son of GOD.
What about Isaiah 9, you may ask. Before we get to that, let us look at how Paul explains the principle of the natural man and the Spiritual man in 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15:44-49
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body [the baby Jesus who was born of Mary], and there is a spiritual body [Jesus Christ born of GOD]. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust [the baby Jesus who was born of Mary]; the second Man is the Lord from heaven [Jesus Christ born of GOD]. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
Jesus was a natural man, made (born) of dust. The one who was born from Heaven is the Lord. As stated above, Jesus Christ was made Lord by GOD when he became a second man, a Spiritual man, born from Heaven. The fleshly man Jesus was not Lord. Jesus Christ who was born from Heaven was the Lord, the Son of GOD. Paul continues by saying that we will bear the same image as Jesus Christ did because when we are born again, we are also born of GOD (born from Heaven) and anointed with the SPIRIT of GOD (2 Cor 1:21-22).
Now let us look at Isaiah 9 in comparison with the previous scripture.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Unto us a Child is born [Jesus in Bethlehem, the natural man] – The first man was of the earth, made of dust… (1 Cor 15:47);
Unto us a Son is given [Jesus Christ at the Jordan River in Galilee, the Spiritual man) – the second Man is the Lord from heaven (1 Cor 15:47).
Then Isaiah continues by saying his Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Please understand that it does not say he will be called, but his Name will be called two completely different concepts. A name is used for everything that that name covers, including the thoughts or feelings that are aroused in one’s mind by mentioning, hearing or remembering that name. When you hear the name Hitler, for example, certain thoughts or feelings come to mind. This is because a name represents more than just referring to someone.
Jesus Christ came in the Name of the FATHER.
I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
Jesus will not be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”, but his Name will be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” When he was baptised and born of GOD, he received the Name of GOD, just as each one of us who are born again receives the Name of GOD (Eph 3:14-15). And that Name, the FATHER’s Name, we represent, will be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
- Wonderful – extraordinary
- Counselor – to advise
- Mighty God – Godlike one, like his Father.
- Everlasting Father – head or founder
- Prince of Peace – leader of completeness.