The Coming of the Blessed Redeemer
By Bishop Jacob Afolabi
The Incarnation; “And 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)
From the earliest ages, mankind has recorded the hope that someday a Savior would come who would destroy the devil and reconcile Man to God. But what is meant by “the seed” – both the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent?” The term “seed” points to a biological entity. But this is not possible, because the serpent is a spiritual being and the woman, by nature, carries no seed within her being. Only the man was created physically to do this.
The two “seeds” therefore must refer to “spiritual off-springs. Those who by their moral and devotional character are in the image of one or the other.
Satan’s seed consists of those who set themselves willfully as enemies of the seed of the woman. (John 8:44). The seed of the woman are those who are brought into relationship with God through FAITH. (Romans 4:3). These are the children of God. This conflict between the children of God and the children of the wicked one, was revealed in Cain and Abel.
Victory eventually belonged to the Seed of the Woman.
The “Word” became “Flesh” (John 1:14) In the process of ordinary birth, a new personality begins. But in the Incarnation, Jesus did not begin to be when he was born as a baby in Bethlehem. He has always existed from eternity with the Father in heaven. (John 17:5). Jesus took upon Himself the full nature of Man, and yet retain the full nature of God. He therefore became our IMMANUEL, (God with Us). In the Old testament we have man made in the image of God, and in the New Testament we have God come in the image of man.
The miracle of the “Virgin” birth was not in the actual birth, but in the conception of the earthly body. (Matt.1:20). The conception was not only supernatural, but unique also, for God had already performed supernatural births in the case of Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and others.
The incarnation is a perpetual (permanent) act. When Christ received a body at Bethlehem it was an eternal arrangement. He will continue to show Himself in this body (in its resurrected state, of course) throughout the ages. (Hebrews 10:5).
In the one person, Jesus Christ, there are two natures, a human nature and a Divine nature, each in its completeness and integrity, and these two natures are organically and indissolubly united, yet so that no third nature is formed, as was in the case of Adam (when God took of the Dust of the earth and formed Man, then breathed into the lifeless body for Adam to become a Living Soul. (Genesis 2:7). When Adam failed, God promised Redemption and He kept His promise by the Incarnation of the Redeemer.
However, In this study, let us examine the Biblical truths concerning the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as God, and His appearances to men, as Angel of the Lord, which is usually referred to as His Theophany.
Then we shall study His personal appearance as Man, in what is referred to as His Incarnation. We shall Endeavour to apply simple words to narrate, or explain, all these miraculous appearances.
THEOPHANY: The pre-existent appearance of Jesus Christ. The ministry of Jesus Christ was not just in the time of the New Testament. He also had an Old Testament ministry in which He appeared in various circumstances to many O.T. people. Whenever references were made to the “Angel of the Lord” that was believed to be Jesus Christ.
Patriarch Jacob prays on his death-bed saying, “The angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless these lads Note the special use here of the word “redeemed,” that is not an angelic ministry but the ministry of Jesus Christ. (Gen.48:16).
A couple had just learned from the Angel of the Lord the promise about the birth of a child.. In gratitude Manoah (the father), requests the name of the angel, that he might call the baby after him. Note the response, “And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why asketh thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?”(Judges 13:18).
The word “secret” is from the same Hebrew word found in Isaiah 9:6, which is translated “wonderful,” which refers only to Jesus Christ. He also appeared to Hagar. Abraham’s Egyptian wife. This is really the first Biblical reference to “the Angel of the Lord.” (in Gen. 16:7-14).
Let us also see in Gen. 18:1; 22:11-13….In these two texts, Abraham was seen pleading for the “salvation” of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the last-minute “salvation” of Isaac by the Angel of the Lord.
He also appeared to Joshua on the eve of the battle against Jericho and introduces Himself as the captain of the Lord’s hosts. (Joshua 5:13-15). He appeared to the three young Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, and was called the “son of God,” which is another of His titles. (Daniel 3:24,25).
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. he is the recipient of many community awards, including the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award, for his many years of community work. He is the founder of the Ottawa Pastors’ forum and has contributed inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.