“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” (1 Tim. 3:16).
This is the greatest of all the mysteries mentioned in the Bible! Not only did God become a member of the human race, but He did so by being born of a virgin who had known no man (Isa. 7:14)! This unique nature of Christ, being both God and man, has been the source of great awe as well as argument. It has been either the bedrock of our Christian faith or the battleground for the skeptics and scoffers who speculate, “Is Jesus Christ God, or is He simply an unusually gifted human being, or is He both?” This question, more so today than for many years, is being driven to the forefront because of the multitude of “false” or counterfeit christs who are being paraded on the world’s stage – even as the Bible predicted concerning the last days (Mt. 24:5,11,24; 1Jn. 2:18-22). The proliferation of these christ pretenders has befuddled many. People, being confused and seeking the truth of the matter, ask, “Will the real Jesus Christ please stand up?” In response, Christ clearly distances Himself from the bogus christs. He said, “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers”because they didn’t come through “the door”(Jn. 10:1-10). His credentials are authentic and set in concrete because they are established by the fulfilled prophesies of His birth.
- The birth of Christ was confirmed by a star: The Wise Men called it “His Star” (Mt. 2:2). The star has long been a symbol of regal power and imperial greatness (Rev. 22:16). This was, no doubt, a partof the meaning of Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers. 24:17. Dr. John Gill, in his Expositor’s Commentary, says that his prophecy should be translated thus: “When a star steers its course unto Jacob: then a Scepter Bearer shall rise up unto Israel.” The Wise Men understood the Star they saw was “His Star” because of Balaam’s prophecy, and probably because of Abraham’s other sons (Gen. 25:6) who were sent to the East where they were instructed by the ministry of Daniel, the Chief Astrologer (Wise Man) of Babylon. Isaiah 60:1-5 must also be considered when studying the prophecies of “His Star. ”
- Bethlehem was the manger bed for Christ’s birth: The place of His birth would have passed unnoticed had it not been for the prophecy of Micah 5:2 which actually named this little town of Bethlehem hundreds of years before His birth.
- The exact time of the Savior’s birth was declared: The “real” Jesus Christ came and entered the “sheepfold” exactly as prophesied – 69 prophetic weeks or 483 years after King Artaxerxes made his decree to restore and build Jerusalem (Dan. 9.25: Neh. 2:1: Hag. 2:7-9: Mal. 3:1 cf. Lk. 2:1-2; 3:1).
- Jeremiah the Prophet predicted King Herod’s massacre of the male infants: (Mt. 2:16; Jer. 31:15).
- Joseph and Mary fled with the Christ child to Egypt: Again, prophecy is fulfilled (Mt. 2:16; Hos. 11:1).
- Christ is named exactly as prophesied: (Mt. 1:21, 23,25; Isa. 7:14).
- The real Christ would not come into the world unannounced: (Mal. 3:1; Isa. 40:1-3 cf. Jn. 1:6; Mk. 1:3; Mt. 3:3).
All other supposed saviors were counterfeit! They could not save! Jesus Christ can save all of lost humanity by virtue of His uniqueness. Jesus Christ was not only the “Seed of the Woman” (human) but also “God.” The Child was born in Bethlehem, but the Son was from everlasting. Jesus Christ the Son is not only co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Jn. 5:22-26; 14:9; 16:15) but also co-eternal (Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1; 17:5; Heb. 7:3). Jesus Christ is God! At the moment of the Virgin Birth, the eternal Son of God became a member of the human race (Jn. 1:1,14; Phil. 2:14-15; Lk. 2:11). The Apostle Paul called this the “Great Mystery of Godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16 cf. Lk. 1:35) that occurred at exactly the right moment of human history (Gal. 4:4).
What we have seen in this study is not only a battle between God and Satan but between Satan and man. It is a battle for Souls (2 Cor. 4:3-4). Satan is a deceiver (1 Thess. 2:9-11) and attempts to get man to believe a lie for the truth. The Bible is truth (Jn. 17:17). The only way man can keep from being an eternal casualty in this battle is to believe the truth of God’s Word concerning the true identity of Christ and His finished work on the Cross (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is my earnest prayer that all who come into contact with this study will “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” and be saved! He really is the Christ (Jn. 1:29)!