WHY JESUS HAD TO HAVE A VIRGIN BIRTH
OUR DESTINIES THROUGH THE FIRST AND SECOND ADAM
The fate of the whole of humanity can be examined through 4 key verses as to where we currently stand regarding our own final destination. From these verses it is possible to understand why Adam’s sin was automatically transferred to all subsequent generations, and why Jesus had to have a virgin birth to redeem us.
At conception we are all stained with the sinful nature of man, even before we have a brain to make decisions or have done anything good or bad:
1. ‘And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’. (Genesis 2:7)
2. ‘Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned:’ (Romans 5:12)
3. ‘So, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’. (Isaiah 7:14)
4. ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul’. (Leviticus 17:11)
MALES ARE SPIRITUALLY DIFFERENT FROM FEMALES
Examining the first verse we find a peculiarity. There is a mysterious spiritual property that makes men different from women. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word God used for 'life', in speaking to Adam, is plural (lives) when addressed to a male, but singular when addressed to a female. [Chay, Strong's number H2416]. This explains a lot. God breathed into Adam the life of every single person to be born into the future. This was to be passed on through the sperm. [Sex and sexuality is a normal concept to God who created it. It is part of God's word]. Women are a recipient of that God-given spiritual life that can only come from the man. That is why lineages in the Bible are almost exclusively male because only males can pass on that indestructible spiritual life - the soul and spirit are eternal, God given. Our identity, our soul, our self-conscientiousness and our spirit are all eternal. We shall always know, even in heaven or hell, that I am me. In scripture males are pre-eminent.
'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive'. (1 Corinthians 15:22). Note that it does not say 'in Eve we all die', even though it was Eve who transgressed. (1 Titus 2:14). It is because of the sin of the male that we all die! And it is through the righteousness of a male that we shall all live.
Amongst the Israelites, circumcision was only to be performed on males for the same reason. Female circumcision, as practised by some in Africa and some muslims (not required by the Quran), is an abomination to God! Semen meant for conception was holy to the Lord because it contained lives of future generations, both physical and spiritual. The promise of possessing the land and the seal of the covenant was given to Abraham in his flesh and to every new-born male on his 8th day (the number of new beginning). The foreskin of the penis was removed, by holy men given to the task, which is practised up to the present day by the Jews. It marked an Israelite unmistakably.
'And the uncircumcised male child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant'. (Genesis 17:14). When men treated semen and conception lightly God moved against them in anger. 'And Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother. And Onan knew that the seed would not be his. And it happened when he went in to his brother's wife, that he spilled on the ground, not giving seed to his brother. And what he did was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. Therefore He killed him also'. (Genesis 10:16 and 38:8-10). The Lord had previously killed his brother Er, because Er was evil in God's sight - possibly for the same reason. Onan was to carry Er's name on for posterity.
The additional exhortation in Deuteronomy 10: 16 and 30:6 ought to be sobering for creationists who do not consider the whole of the word of God. 'Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiff-necked'; 'And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live'. (Deuteronomy 30:6). Stephen, the evangelist, did not hold back on those about to kill him, 'O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so you do'. (Acts 7:51).
Perhaps we can now understand why God was so harsh towards women trying to protect their husbands. If a woman stood by, watching a man fighting with another man, she would naturally want to help her husband or friend by incapacitating the other. Under the Law, if she was to reach out and damage the opponent's private parts, you would have thought the village would praise her. Even an aggressor’s testicles were to be respected for he carries within him the spiritual life of future generations, not just their own immediate DNA. Her hand was to be cut off without mercy. (Deuteronomy 25:12).
In the Old Testament (Tanakh, Jewish Bible), women could not pass that spiritual life on to their offspring as they could only pass on that which is biological and derived from their flesh - their complementary DNA, their nutrients, their mitochondria. Women provide the protection and sustenance, and biological support needed by a baby. This gives them that maternal instinct, but it was to Adam that the Spirit of 'lives' was given - to the male. This is mirrored in the spiritual relationship between Christ and the church.
The body of Christ, the church, or Israel, is always referred to in the feminine (She, mother, bride, virgin, adulteress, harlot, etc.). In both the New and Old Testament God is always her husband. He is always the one who remains faithful in all the scriptures. Only the Holy Spirit can give spiritual life, she cannot. The church, herself, cannot give eternal life or forgive sin, but can as a proxy through Christ as the Holy Spirit leads. We are only instruments in the hands of the Lord. Her innate capacity is to provide instruction, fellowship, encouragement, nutrition and spiritual comfort to brothers and sisters within the congregation.
This is why women have always thought that they were unfairly treated on so many issues in the past. Men have ruled the roost in the Bible, but Jesus showed how to give women proper respect and love, despite the pre-eminence of men being true. 'But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.' (1 Corinthians 11:3). 'Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her'. (Ephesians 5:25).
Nevertheless, the apostle Paul made the point that it was the woman who was deceived and not the man. Adam's flaw was that he disobeyed. There is a godly order in the family and in the church, but it has nothing to do with a man ruling over his wife. We are not talking about chauvinism. It is a delicate balance in relationships, where trying to live according to a formula, is destined to become law-based.
It is a spiritual mystery that defies logic, that no matter how zealous and educated a woman may be in God, there is an inherent weakness in women that spiritual men have to guard over (to cover, because of the angels) (1 Corinthians 11:1-15). It has nothing to do with long hair or wearing hats, which Paul used only as pictures to illustrate the point. God wants righteous men as a covering over women. We just have to trust that God knows more about the secrets of the demonic realm than we do. Note that Satan targeted the woman, not the man. Satan also knew that the 'Achilles heel' of a man is the woman - think about Samson and Delilah. Satan would have closely observed the relationship between Adam and Eve before he made his strategic move against Eve. Samson had no worries battling the Philistine armies. He was undone by the softness of Delilah. (Presumably you know the story about Achilles - his entire body was invincible to injury except his heel).
Since we have been given the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, women have generally increased in grace, as evidenced by a believing woman who is married to a non-believer. 'And the woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is pleased to dwell with her, do not let her leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbelieving one separates, let him be separated. A brother or a sister is not in bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace. For what do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? Or what do you know, O man, whether you shall save your wife?' (1 Corinthians 7:13-16). The scriptures report that the ministry of Jesus was possible because of provisions supplied by His many female followers.
The spiritual and physical function of males was to pass on that special property, the indestructible spirit in a person, which makes the person an eternal being. It is indestructible because God breathed it into Adam, the 'lives' of all. It is this property of eternal existence that males can pass on. That spirit is not the person of the Holy Spirit, it is the spirit of man. Having the spirit of man doesn’t make people spiritual towards God because the individual can always reject or accept God.
Women are equally as essential as males because they provide the ‘tent’ in which that spirit of man can express itself and live. When the body fails, the spirit and soul of the person feel justifiably trapped inside a useless tent that no longer responds to all their wishes. Many people in hospital or on the surgeon's table have testified to that.
Women play the essential role in passing on biological life. They nurture the body. The biological body that women bring forth, whether male or female, has only temporal existence. It decays at death. Biologically, this is verified because mitochondria, the energy sources of our bodies, can only be maternally inherited through the egg cell in the ovary. Men cannot pass on their mitochondria to the next generation. That’s a major difference between sperm and egg, and men and women.
Although, according to the apostle's words, certain distinctions between men and women remain, now that we can be born again by the Holy Spirit, the game has changed somewhat. As the apostle Paul said, 'For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many as were baptized into Christ, you put on Christ. There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is no male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' (Galatians 3:26-29). As a woman, are you happy to be called a son of God, remembering that sonship has nothing to do with gender? A son is someone of either gender who obeys the Father's will.
WHY MARY HAD TO BE A VIRGIN
When Adam sinned, all subsequent generations were condemned in sin because the spirit in Adam, given by God for all of mankind was now corrupted. This brings an interesting thought. If Adam had refused to eat of the fruit, he and subsequent generations would have been free of sin.
A woman, on her own, cannot pass on a corrupted spirit. This is because God never breathed the lives of all into females. Passing on the spirit of mankind is the privilege of the male.
Therefore, a virgin, herself a product of sin, cannot pass that on if she should have an offspring without the participation of a male. Though she herself has a corrupted spirit she cannot pass that on. God demonstrates that in the way He created female anatomy - her blood and that of the foetus does not mix. (See illustration below). The life of the flesh is in the blood and, likewise, the sin of the flesh is in the blood. (Leviticus 17:11-14). This is why the apostles forbid new converts to eat blood. (Acts 15:20-29).
I believe that blood transfusions fall into the same category as when King David and his men were desperately hungry. They illegally ate of the consecrated bread in the tabernacle which was forbidden, but Jesus said that the law can be contravened when it's a matter of life and death or to serve God. Therefore good works, such as priests serving in the Temple or saving your animal from drowning on the Sabbath day, were approved by Jesus. Blood transfusions, in cases of medical emergency, would have similarly been approved by Jesus.
A virgin can only pass on that which is biological. Had Joseph been the Father of Jesus then the life of Jesus would have been corrupted and the Holy Spirit coming down could not have reversed it. There would have been no redeemer for Jesus. Jesus would have been born in sin. That is why there is so much emphasis on the virgin birth of Jesus. Certainly, Mary had to be a worthy person in the eyes of the Father. No doubt, there were many essential requirements that Mary passed with flying colours especially because she readily believed the angel Gabriel. The High Priest Zechariah, John the Baptist's father, did not have the same degree of faith - that's why Gabriel struck him dumb for nine months!
To summarise, Jesus, the incorruptible seed of God had to be born directly by the Spirit of God so that He would have an innocent spirit of man to start life with. It was also crucial that He was born with weakness to be like His brethren. Mary was incapable of passing sin to her offspring. The only way she could have passed sin on is if she had received the sperm of a natural man. Jesus had to be perfect! Neither did Mary’s blood mix with that of Jesus.
The spirit in the Son of man was therefore innocent right from the start. This made Him different from every other person in the world. The living Spirit, that God had given to Jesus, also carried with it an innocent spirit (just like the lives that God breathed into Adam) He could pass on, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, to whoever He would choose to give life. Therefore, the Son of man had the power to forgive sin which shook the Pharisees to the core. From a biological point of view, there was the capacity for corruption in His body – that’s why they were able to mock Him saying, ‘Physician heal yourself’. He was God in human flesh in every way and, obviously, had some kind of visible blemish on his body.
Why did Jesus say ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves’? (John 6:53). Firstly, He declared Himself to be the bread from heaven – we are partaking of heavenly bread that sustains us, the Word of God. Secondly, His life was in the blood, as our verse says, the life of the flesh is in the blood – not the blood itself, but in the blood.
In communion we are doing much more than remembering His Passover sacrifice. By faith, we are actually continuing to partake of His spiritual and resurrection life. Our own resurrection bodies will somehow mirror that. There is a spiritual transaction, which explains why we can condemn ourselves at communion if we eat and drink unworthily. (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).
Jesus was the incorruptible seed of God. Just like the Father breathed the lives of all into Adam so the identities and names of all the potential sons of God were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. They are written in what God calls the Book of Life (Revelation 11:8). Jesus and His works are embedded in the Book of Life, which is why our names are written in the Book of Life. (See the article on The Book of Life – but you will first have to read progressively the other articles on the age of the Earth to make proper sense of it).
A search in any concordance and in the various translations of the ancient Greek Scriptures has suggested to some that names can be added to, or omitted from, or blotted out from, the Book of Life. This is why Calvinists hold such unbending views on pre-destination. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear though that God’s desire is that all be saved. ‘The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’. (2 Peter 3:9). Reading the article on The Book of Life may therefore clarify this to the reader. Nevertheless, God knows the sad fact that there will be hordes who refuse to accept the free gift of salvation. (Matthew 7:13).
WE, WHO BELIEVE, ARE EVERY WAY IN HIM
Jesus emptied Himself of all His former glory (see the article on ‘The Trinity') to make room for us who have surrendered to the Father in the name of Jesus. At the end of time, the Father will not recognize anything that is outside of Christ. Those of us who are in Him are safe. ‘According as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love’. (Ephesians 1:4). ‘And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed (by faith) and heirs according to the promise’. (Galatians 3:29).
Let us not presume anything however, because the apostle also said, ‘that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, so that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Among these you shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life, so that I may rejoice with you in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain nor laboured in vain’. (Philippians 2:10-16).
What the apostle means by ‘do all things’ has to be carefully weighed up and balanced in relation to the rest of Scripture, even as Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, for there are dangers lurking even in the church. The Lord expects us to discern for ourselves, which is why He has given us gifts of the Holy Spirit.
‘International Evangelist Bill Subritzky from New Zealand shares the following. There is a progression downward when leadership fails to practice the principles of submission. I have often felt that one of the reasons why leaders fall so dramatically is their failure to follow Ephesians 5:21. "Submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord"….I really believe there is a principle of submission involved here. I know that in my own experience I have always listened to people when they have come to me with various comments, good or bad. In every sense I "submit to them". Often I have found that through the very youngest Christian, God has spoken to me a word of correction. If I had taken the view that I was an elder and, therefore, ruled over people in the strictest sense I would have approached them accordingly. However, by believing Ephesians 5:21 absolutely implicitly, I have found that God has been able to speak to me through a very large variety of people.’ https://www.caic.org.au/biblebase/abuse/shep12ab.htm
THE GRAIN THAT MULTIPLIES ITSELF
Christ is the Seed that went into the ground to bring forth much fruit. Multiplication of the seed occurs in three major increments over the course of church history, each increment increasing in numbers. At Passover it was the resurrected Christ Himself, at Pentecost 3000 were saved on the same day, at Tabernacles, at the end of the age, it will be an innumerable company of people.
Speaking about His forthcoming death on the cross, Jesus said, ‘ Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it abides alone, but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.’ (John 12:24). When a grain of domesticated wheat is buried in the ground and ‘dies' (figuratively), the ear that develops from it bears many seeds identical to the single seed sown (Ephesians 4:11). If the wheat had not been domesticated by special selection over centuries an ear of wheat would contain seeds of slightly varying genetic identities. The field would not contain uniform plants and individuals would ripen at different times. Imagine trying to design a harvester to cope with that.
At His resurrection Christ was the sheaf of first fruits (from the dead), a day included in the Feast of Passover by the Jews. It corresponds to the resurrection of Jesus on the third day (17th day of Nissan). In scripture, a sheaf refers in type to a person or persons. On the Day of Pentecost, in Jerusalem, more than three thousand souls were born again in Christ, a spiritual illustration that the number 50 of Pentecost is to do with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
King David praised the Lord, ‘for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My frame was not hidden from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance and in Thy book they were all written - even the days that were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them’. (Psalms 139:14-16, Jewish Publication Society Bible). As sons of God we can be assured of our salvation knowing that His foremost plan for our life is ‘to reveal His Son in me’. (Genesis 1:26; Galatians 1:6; Ephesians 4:13).
‘And so it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul," the last Adam was a life-giving Spirit. But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual. The first man was out of earth, earthy; the second Man was the Lord from Heaven. Such the earthy man, such also the earthy ones. And such the heavenly Man, such also the heavenly ones. And according as we bore the image of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.’ (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
THE FOLLOWING EXCELLENT ARTICLES AND BOOKS ARE RECOMMENDED:
The Wave Sheaf Offering: A Ceremony Foreshadowing Salvation:
First Fruits (Bikkurim)
Harvest - Sukkot 'The Restoration of All Things'
Feast of Tabernacles
The Feasts of Israel, Kevin J Conner, 1980, Acacia Press PTY LTD, Blackburn, Victoria, Australia