by Shawn Brasseaux
When people think of Christmastime, they casually think of the Baby Jesus in the manger. Others think of Santa Claus bringing presents to the good people and leaving lumps of coal for the wicked. These unscriptural impressions of Christmas are the result of 2,000 years of phony religious tradition and paganism. The majority of people (and even most professing Christians) have not been taught correctly regarding Christmastime. It is my earnest desire to help you better understand that first Christmas. Now, we look at the Bible, God’s preserved, inerrant, infallible Word, and I am sure that afterward, you will never look at Christmas the same again….
Using the Old Testament and Luke 1:5, we can determine that Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ in Bethlehem in early autumn. That is to say, Christ’s birthday was somewhere between September 22 and October 3. This was the time in which He was laid in the manger, so where in the world do we get December 25? Think about it… what is the gestation period of a human; how long does a human baby usually stay in the mother’s womb? Nine months, which is exactly the time between late December and late September. What I want you to see is that late December (Christmastime) is the time during which Jesus Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb! Christmastime is not Christ’s birthday; December 22nd through December 25th is the approximate time of the conception of Christ in the womb of Mary (Luke 1:35).
Because the devil takes pleasure in mocking and counterfeiting everything righteous and holy that God promotes, he influenced the pagans to celebrate their superstitious sun god holiday in late December (the origin of the Yule log burning, Christmas trees, et cetera). This “paganization” of Christmas is simply Satan’s method of ridiculing and degrading the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ! Remember, do not let the devil sidetrack you with all that pagan, religious nonsense—stay focused on the Biblical things, because only God’s Word counts for eternity.
Also, we need to make a clarification, lest anyone misunderstand the conception of Christ. When we speak of the “conception” of Christ, this does not mean that our Lord Jesus Christ came into existence in Mary’s womb. In the case of Christ, His “conception” was actually His incarnation, when God the Son’s invisible Spirit took on a literal, physical, visible human body. Please be sure you do not confuse the issue like so many people have.
Look at Micah 5:2 KJV, which prophesied the birthplace of the Messiah some 700 years before it happened: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Notice, this coming ruler in Israel is “from everlasting.” There is only One who has no origin and no beginning—God Himself! God the Son always existed in the form of a Spirit, along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 4:24; John 1:1-4, 14). In fact, Jesus Christ was the Creator God manifest in human form (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh.”
Consider Isaiah 7:14 KJV, also written 700 years before the birth of Christ: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Now, see the prophecy fulfilled in Matthew 1:21-25. The birth of Christ was the only virgin birth of a human… ever! The Spirit of God the Son went into Mary’s womb via the Holy Spirit, and Mary produced the human body in which God the Son incarnate would dwell. Never are we to refer to Mary as “the Mother of God”—God always existed, Mary was simply the vessel God used to generate a human body in which God the Son’s Spirit would dwell (Mary was a descendent of King David, giving Christ the genetic link necessary to inherit the throne of David; Luke 3:31).
Now, in Galatians 4:4,5 KJV, the Apostle Paul describes God’s incarnation (becoming flesh), and how it applies to us in the Dispensation of Grace: “But 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, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
The conception of the Baby Jesus was certainly no accident of nature—it was determined by God all those eons ago, long before the creation of our universe. According to Galatians 4:4, God planned His Son’s coming to the nanosecond! God designed our universe with one specific reason in mind. He would create creatures in His image, mankind, place them on one planet in a vast universe of billions of galaxies and trillions of stars, and He would come down and dwell with the human race on earth (that is “Immanuel,” “God with us”)!
God also knew that sin would come into creation and disrupt His perfect plan, but that would not deter Him from accomplishing His original purpose. God laid out and executed an extremely complex plan. The Lord Jesus Christ would be a man (for it was by one man, Adam, sin came into the world, and through one man, Jesus Christ, eternal life; Romans 5:12). Jesus Christ would be a Jew (in order to redeem Israel; Luke 1:68) and a descendant of King David (in order to be Israel’s King; Luke 1:32).
God also took into account the Jews rejecting and killing Him, but His death would simply bring about the redemption of the nation Israel, then the whole world could receive the redemption through Christ’s shed blood! What I want you to see is that God the Son was originally sent to the nation Israel, something even many professing Christians overlook (Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8).
But, what makes the incarnation and conception of Jesus Christ so important to us, 2000 years later? Had God the Son never become a man, most of the Bible’s prophecy would have never been fulfilled. Israel would have no Messiah-King. Unless God, a Spirit, became flesh, He would have never had any blood to shed because spirits do not have blood.
We as Gentile members of the Body of Christ would have no Saviour. We would have no hope. We would still be dead in our trespasses and sins. We would have never been reconciled with God. Had Christ never became a man, He could never die (a spirit cannot die), then that means He could never be buried, and He could never resurrect! We as believers in Christ would be “of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19). Everything in the Bible collapses without the incarnation of Christ in Mary’s womb!
Jeremiah 23:5,6 KJV perfectly prophesied the coming of God the Son, Israel’s Messiah-King:
“5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
When God the Son became a man, the Old Testament promises long awaiting fulfillment were finally being accomplished. Israel’s Messiah, the Son of God, had become the Son of David, a Jew. Despite the intense satanic opposition, the Old Testament covenants were starting to be fulfilled! The everlasting kingdom of heaven would usher in eternal righteousness, peace, and joy (Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33)—but something would happen that would postpone that kingdom for at least two millennia….
When Jesus Christ offered Israel their kingdom, they blatantly rejected Him in unbelief, and with the help of the Roman government, crucified Him. The good news is that even though Israel killed their Messiah, God raised Him from the dead, and He could still bring in that kingdom (Acts 2:22-36). With Israel persistently opposing God, and only a small remnant of Jewish believers willing to listen to God, God set the nation Israel aside. The Lord created “the thirteenth apostle,” Paul, and this one man would be God’s apostle to the non-Jewish, Gentile world (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).
The Bible promises that after the rapture and the seven-year Tribulation, Israel’s exiled King will return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Israel will be restored and redeemed, finally accepting Jesus Christ as their King when He returns at His Second Coming. “When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son”…the first time. When the fulness of time is come, God will send forth His Son, AGAIN, and this time, He will be bringing the kingdom that will be set up and last forever on earth!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from arC Ministries!
Remember, the conception of the Lord Jesus Christ is the reason for the season!