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Abstract

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Appendixes


     

 

PART  II

 

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN

 

 

The seed of the man
and the seed of the woman
are antithetical.

The seed of the man became the carrier of death;
the seed of the woman the viaduct of life.

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Part II: The Seed of the Woman:

Chapter 14

Setting The Stage For The Incarnation

When the fullness of time had 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.

(Galatians 4:4,5)

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us
and we beheld his glory.
(John 1:14)

 

     We are now about to examine from the point of view of genetics, embryology, and developmental physiology, certain key events which finally prepared the way for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ as the second Adam. It is desirable, therefore, in the interests of continuity to review briefly the nature of the problem and thus to clarify what are the requirements for a Redeemer who must personally represent sinners who are dead or dying in two different ways.
     Man is dying as to his body, having lost the potential immortality with which he was originally endowed in Adam: and man is already dead as to his spirit, being cut off from fellowship with God and thereby severed from the fountain of all spiritual life. He thus stands before his God as a miserable sinner burdened with a defective and

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slowly disintegrating body, while his spirit is so corrupted that he cannot do the things he knows he should and constantly finds himself doing those things he knows he should not.
     Even when his spirit aspires to better things he finds his best efforts thwarted by the weakness of the flesh. Man is in every respect a ruined creation. He is in need of both re-creation and redemption: he needs re-creation as to his spirit (John 3:7) and redemption as to his body (Romans 8:23). Two things must therefore be accomplished for him if he is to recover his manhood as God intended it to be.
     In the story of Eden, after Adam had disobeyed and destroyed his original constitution both physically and spiritually, we are told that God cried out, "Adam, where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9). I do not think that God was searching for fallen man (whose whereabouts He surely knew) but for unfallen Adam who had simply disappeared. It was Adam as created, physically immortal and spiritually alive, who had vanished.
     In order to recover his true manhood, he must recover his physical immortality and he must recover his spiritual purity. He needs redemption and salvation; he needs a Redeemer and a Saviour. These two distinct needs cannot be over-emphasized, for if his need was only spiritual, the nature of the Lord's sacrifice could have been radically different as we shall see.
     This Redeemer and Saviour must himself be truly "human" with respect to both his body and his spirit. Only then can He be an acceptable substitute for such a creature as man is, in jeopardy of two kinds of death. To undo the damage introduced by the first Adam to himself and all his descendants, the second Adam must somehow reconstitute in Himself the perfection of the first Adam before he fell, thus to become Head of a new and truly human race.
     The Redeemer must enjoy a physical immortality which He can then voluntarily sacrifice on behalf of others for the redemption of their bodies (Romans 8:23). And the Saviour must achieve a flawless perfection of character wholly without spot or blemish, which will permit Him to stand as a substitute for sinners whose character is totally unacceptable in the sight of God. Substitutionary sacrifice is at the root of this whole redemptive process. He who need never die must voluntarily embrace death (John 10:18), and He whose character has never in any way been corrupted by sin must be "made sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Only so can the tragedy of Eden be undone. A new history must begin with a new Head of a new race.
     Man is not, like the angels, a spiritual being only. Angels are purely spirit by divine appointment: man is embodied spirit by divine appointment. This body, indwelt by a God-given spirit, constitutes him a living soul (Genesis 2: 7). Because angels do not have bodies they

     pg 3 of 7      

are never termed "souls."
     Man is a different order of being. While he shares something of the nature of the angels (having moral freedom and accountability, for example), yet he is an embodied creature (sharing something of the animal creation). He is thus entirely unique as a body/spirit entity whose soul has transcendent value in both this world and the next, belonging to both.
     In the world to come, the resurrection of the body is therefore as essential to his wholeness as the continuance of his spirit is. Scripture is quite clear on this point. Some kind of ethereal, shadowy, ghostly existence throughout eternity is not in view for man, and accordingly there is not merely to be a new heavens but a new earth also (Revelation 21:1). For his survival beyond death as man, he needs the recovery of embodiment: and although it will be a fundamentally reconstituted body it will remain as truly a human body as his spirit will remain a recognizably human spirit. The quality and nature of his human existence will thus be re-established in the presence of God throughout eternity, and therefore man will have potential that the angels can never have.
     So the Saviour must be made flesh in order to become a substitute for the whole man. He must be incarnate, embodied, identified with the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:16) and therefore with the seed of Adam. Yet, on the principle of equivalence (an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth), He must be sufficient not merely for the redemption of one man but of many. How can He be truly man and yet be more than man that He may substitute for many men?
     We have very specific clues as to how his body was to be "prepared" (Hebrews 10:5) for Him as He assumed the role of Redeemer: and Scripture tells us much on the subject of his worthiness to be the Saviour of many. It is revealed that before embodiment He was Himself God the Creator, the Jehovah of the Old Testament. It is written (John l:1-3,10,14 and l Timothy 3:16):

     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. . .  
     He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. . . .  
     And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. . . .
     Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh. . . .

     So He did not become an angel, a spiritual being; but a man, a

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physical being. And He did this with the express purpose of "tasting death" (Hebrews 2:9), of experiencing physical as well as spiritual death. Angels can experience spiritual death, for spiritual death is separation from God; and the angels which fell were excluded from his presence and therefore suffered this kind of dying. In a purely spiritual way Jesus Christ as man might have suffered a like exclusion from God on man's behalf, and thus partially redeemed man in so far as he too is spiritually dead. But man is not only a spirit being: such a substitution could never suffice to redeem the whole man, the person, the individual body/spirit entity that he knows himself to be. Such a salvation could conceivably have been achieved by the Saviour in those hours of darkness on the cross when He endured our due separation from God. But a half salvation is no salvation at all. It is only our failure to perceive what an essential component of our humanness the body is, that makes such a "bloodless sacrifice" appealing.
     No! The Lord Jesus had two kinds of death to die in order to redeem us wholly. In the present study we are laying particular emphasis on what his physical death involved, though by no means overlooking its spiritual nature. And the first step in preparation for this physical death was actually taken in Eden when Eve was not created as Adam was but was formed out of him in a separate operation. It may not seem that the two events could be so vitally connected but they are. The formation of Eve bears directly on the redemption of man.
     We therefore have to examine as fully as our present knowledge permits us to do so what was involved in such a process of "explantation," and in what way this gave special protection to the woman's seed and how this seed was thereafter preserved from generation to generation until it pleased God in due time to by-pass the male seed and by virgin conception initiate the preparation of that special body into which his Son was to enter (Hebrews 10:5) when the time was fully come (Galatians 4:4).
     Let us first set forth the biblical record of Eve's formation as recorded in Genesis and then examine its implications in the light of what we know about the dimorphic constitution of man and of woman as we now observe them. Here, then, are the words from Scripture:

Genesis 2:21-23
     And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept . . . and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man.
    And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.

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1 Corinthians 11:8 and 12
     [Literally] For the man is not out of woman, but woman out of man. . . .  For even as the woman (is) out of man, so also the man (is) through the woman.

1 Timothy 2:13
     For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

     We turn therefore to a subject which some readers may find hard going. As far as possible I have attempted to smooth out the difficult places. A few technicalities cannot be avoided. For the expert, most of the scientific background of the following chapters will be found spelled out with careful documentation at the end of each chapter. The ordinary reader can safely ignore it.
     The subject is indeed an involved one, and much of the data is new and has not yet percolated down in appropriate form for the general public. Nevertheless I am persuaded that this study will be well within the competence of any intelligent reader, especially one whose Christian convictions have predisposed his mind to receive what is said because Scripture is so wonderfully illuminated by it all.

     I cannot do better than preface this section with one paragraph from a book review by Gordon Bermant of the University of Washington which appeared in the journal Science under the heading, "Human Sexual Development": (165)

     It is the fate of all serious interdisciplinary efforts to get hung on the horns of the communication dilemma: you either explain too much and bore some people or you move too fast and snow them. The more disciplines covered the more likely you are to accomplish both unfortunate ends at the same time with different groups of readers.

     So we shall proceed with awareness of the dangers. We hope at least to provide some fresh insights into the actual moment of incarnation by laying emphasis upon the physiology of our redemption. My position throughout this volume is that God, in his creative wisdom, set the stage for man's redemption the redemption of his body as well as his spirit first by creating an Adam who was potentially immortal encompassing within himself both male and female seeds; and then by separating Eve out of him and entrusting to her one of the two seeds, fashioning for her a body specifically designed to preserve that seed through each successive generation uncorrupted because untouched by the fatal poison.
     There is nothing arbitrary here, nothing purely miraculous as though God worked only by miracle, nor purely natural as though there was no need for divine intervention
.

165. Bermant, Gordon, "Human Sexual Development", Science, vol.180, 1973, p.588.

     pg.6 of 7     

     For God in his infinite wisdom had so designed the processes of conception and birth that He could use them without doing violence to his own created order as a means of entering into our world of space and time as the God-Man in the likeness of ourselves and for our redemption.


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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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