The Sign and The Christ

By Lloyd Ellefson

Greetings in the name of the Lord! How precious to know that the Lord is that Spirit! (2 Cor. 3:17) Nothing can be a substitute for the Lord - not even the Bible, nor the church and its doctrines; neither can the mediation of an organization or pastor be a replacement or substitution for the Lord. We now have a new way of living, because the spirit of the law is in Christ Jesus.

Many people wonder how Jesus could be born of a virgin. I would like to explain the way it testifies to me, and the way I understand birth of the Man Jesus. But before we can discuss that, we have to understand that birth is a progression of life. It does not give us life that begins and ends in us. The life we receive when we are conceived, comes to us through our ancestors, and dates all the way back to Adam and Eve. It does not make us entities in ourselves.

From the testimony of the scriptures it is quite apparent that humanity does not understand God. We are conscious of a separation from God. Many people speak of the virgin birth of Jesus, but there is no such thing as a virgin birth. The Bible says, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son..." (Matt. 1:23; Is. 7:14) Many recognize that His flesh was not born of God, and of course, it doesn't say that it was. It says, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." So actually the flesh was an act of creation, because the Word was created.

The birthing of our wrong consciousness is very interesting. Where does man come in on this? Genesis 3 gives us an account of what happened. Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We know that the fruit they ate wasn't an apple or an apricot. Eating of this tree brought forth a consciousness of good and evil in them. And that consciousness is thought to apply to God as well. So humanity thinks that God has a dual nature - that He is both good and evil. If He has a dual nature, His kingdom cannot stand. But He does not have a dual nature! God is only good! So a lot of delusion exists about God - even among Christians.

Disobedience to God is really the whole basis for man's sin! What they ate is unimportant; so is also the fact that it was the devil who tempted Eve. Sin entered the world through one man's DISOBEDIENCE. So God addressed the man first and questioned him. Adam put the blame on God and on his wife Eve. He said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." Next, Eve blamed the srpent. She said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The serpent didn't have anyone to pass the buck to - it didn't have anyone to blame. Then God gave His judgment on what happened there.

"And the Lord God said to the serpent, `Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life...'" There are various references to dust in the Bible. We know that Adam was formed out of dust. When Jesus sent out the twelve, and later the seventy, He told them to shake off the dust from their feet as a testimony against them. And Paul shook the dust off his feet when he was rejected by a city. The rejection he received was due to the fact that the people had been eating and partaking of the devil's food. Shaking the dust of their feet, typified this.

And God said, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." The curse is on the serpent, not the woman, but there is enmity between the serpent and the woman and her seed. But God did say to the devil, "He shall bruise you on the head." Since God said "HE", this does not refer to the woman, but to her seed. The devil could do no more than bruise Christ on the heel. To bruise Him on the heel means he has to be behind Christ; it is not something that goes before Christ, but after the walk. When Peter told Jesus He should not have to suffer, Jesus said, "Get thee behind Me, Satan." Jesus is the truth, the seed of God, the Son of God manifested to us as the Lord Jesus Christ! Satan could never lead Him, he could only go behind! In other words, if there is no truth, there is no error, because error has to feed on truth.

Jesus was born of a woman. (Gal. 4:4) Man did not have a part in His birth. In Genesis it doesn't say that it would be the man's seed who was going to bruise him - it was the woman's seed! Before a woman's ovum can reproduce, it has to be impregnated by the sperm; after it is fertilized it is called a seed. This seed would bring forth the fulfillment of this promise in which satan's head would be bruised, and satan in turn would bruise His heel. We know that this was manifested in the walk of Christ when He was on this earth. But to us, it looked as if the opposite was taking place. It looked as though satan had bruised His head, and Jesus had only bruised satan's heel.

WOMAN is a receptive agency of the seed. Now if we look at it spiritually,satan had a seed here. Now that is his word, his persuasion, and that is going to be the enmity between the seed, the Word and the persuasion that is in Christ, that came from God. Now the idea of the virgin comes into place. The word VIRGIN is often mentioned by the prophets of the Old Testament. They speak of the virgin of Zion, the virgin of Israel, the virgin of Jerusalem; they also speak of the virgin of Babylon, of Egypt, etc. What is meant by a VIRGIN? A virgin is someone who has not had sexual relations with the opposite sex. Therefore her ova have never been fertilized and become SEED. She has not borne a child.

A promise that can only be fulfilled by the seed of the Son of God, the Christ, the Word of God, in the spiritual sense - not the natural sense - has been given us. This has been typified by various women in the Old Testament who could not bear children. Sara, Abraham's wife, Rachel, Jacob's wife, and Hannah, the wife of Elkana, all could not bear a son until God's promise was fulfilled in them. Symbolically, in the sense that they had never been conceived a child, they were virgins. The Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel" was fulfilled in the New Testament when Jesus was born of a virgin.

The interesting thing about this prophecy is, that once a virgin has conceived and borne a child, she is no longer a virgin. Her virginity is gone. But in Isaiah it says that a virgin both conceived and bore a son. A virgin cannot bear a son in the natural. That is why it says that the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. In Luke 2:12 the angels told the shepherds, "And this will be a sign for you..." And in v. 34 Simeon said, "...and for a sign to be opposed." Jesus in His natural, human body was the sign. It was a sign created or made by God, but He was not born of God. The eternal Son of God is the only-begotten of God. In that sense, the human body of Jesus could never be born of God. But it was made of God for it says, "A body have I prepared for you".

When God made Adam, He first made the body and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. This destroys the teaching that man's consciousness can produce a physical body, which then is antagonistic to God in the spirit. Adam was made an earthy man, an earthy testimony. And this is exactly what Jesus partook of. Even though He came with His spiritual testimony, He identified with humanity's thinking and realization of God, even to the lowest parts of the earth, that is, who we are in the consciousness of our physical body. It was in this identification that He cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"

In John 10:17 Jesus said, "I lay down My life that I may take it up again." The Greek word PHSUCHE has here been mistranslated to read LIFE instead of SOUL. It should read "I lay down My SOUL". This is not an isolated error. Jesus did not control His life for He said, "I live because of the Father." (John 6:57) And we are to live because of Christ! God has given life to His Son, to have it in Himself, but He doesn't control it. It was His soul that He laid down and took up; His soul is His consciousness of being! None of us has any control over life; we don't even know what physical life is. We don't know the mysteries of why we move, why our body functions automatically, why we can reason and receive more than the animals yet be totally incapable of conceiving the things of God! Unless we receive the Spirit we cannot do that. So we struggle along and bring everything down into the flesh. We certainly would never have believed that God could bring forth Jesus. So the Lord gave us the sign that a virgin would conceive and and a virgin would bear a son!

God gave signs in the Old Testament. In Matthew 1:11-16 the genealogy of Joseph, Mary's husband, is recorded. "And to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon." Jeconiah or Jehoiakin was a very evil king and he was the father of those named. "And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel, Zerubbabel...And to Jacob (v.16) was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." He was the husband of Mary who bore Jesus.

Now let's look at the history of Jehoiakim in 2 Chron. 36:8 it says, "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, (the king of Israel) and the abominations which he did,and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.And Jehoiachin his son became king in his place.Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord." Now let's see what Jeremiah has to say in Jeremiah 22:28,"Is this man Coniah (that is the same as Jeconiah)a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out and cast into a lane that they had not known? O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord! (Jeremiah's prophecy) Thus says the Lord,`Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days, for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.'" Now the fulfillment of all prophecy is in Christ, and Joseph was in this lineage. And I believe that the seed was declared childless as far as anybody to sit on David's throne. And even though Joseph was in that lineage, and so was Jehoiakim and his sons, nobody was going to sit on the throne of David. And the fulfillment of that was of course that Joseph could not be the father of Jesus.

Now there is another thing that you could take any way you want to. In Matt.1:18 23 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows.When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit." Now either you could believe this testimony of Matthew or not, but it says "before they came together" she was found to be with child of the Holy Ghost."And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man,and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." Now we have a sign being born here, which is the physical body of Jesus.k We know that to all men who saw Jesus in His physical body, He was merely a sign, because His body was a veil to the humanity that looked at Him in Israel; they could not see beyond the veil that He was the Son of God, that He was the only-begotten Son of God. His true nature then, and even His sign were brought forth by the Word seed of God, because the Word of God is the seed, and Christ is the seed - the one seed promised to Abraham, and that is generated in us, quickening in us a new consciousness by the work of the Holy Spirit. v.21 And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins. Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled," (And here is what was fulfilled) "saying,"Behold, the virgin shall be with child (now that is pretty good) "and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,which translated means, 'God with us.' " Now when Christ is come, in the sense of the Christ,the anointing that came on Jesus,and when He released the Holy Spirit, saying it is expedient to go away, I am going to send you the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the world cannot receive, you receive Him, then God is IN us, then Christ is in us, and God and Christ will come and make their abode, or dwelling with us. John wrote that. "And Joseph arose from his sleep,abd did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus." Now it is very to discount the testimony of the scripture. However I believe the scripture is an incredible testimony, and you will find that once the enlightenment of the Spirit comes,and it resurrects the dead letter of the word,then these things will come to your understanding in a new way. And it is not difficult at all to believe that it was a virgin that conceived. It had nothing to do with Joseph. Now this same thing happens to us. Do you remember the occasion of Mary. Something came to Mary and said,"You are chosen of God, you are favored of God.And something is going to happen - you are going to have a child. Well, she said,how can this be? "And coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.And the angel said t oher, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.(Luke 1:28,30) "And Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin(know no man). This is the same thing that happens to us . First of all the word of the promise came to Mary. She was promised that it would happen. Then that same message came that said, (v.35) The Holy Spirit will come upon you,and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.The Holy Spirit will cause that thing to be birthed. That is pretty interesting. Now you and I when we receive a word of promise, the Holy Spirit comes and brings the birth of the Son in us. God is different because He has one begotten Son, and everybody that is born of the same seed and the same ??? of the Spirit, fulfilling the seed and bringing the seed into generation we have the Christ born in us, we have the Son of God born in us. It is all the same Son; He is a corporate Son, He is a corporate Christ. There is actually only one Son of God as there is only one servant. You see, in Adam all die, and all that are in Adam and under the law,they are all servants, they are part of the same servanthood, they are part of the same flesh, they are part of the same death. And so it is for those of us who come into consciousness in Christ, and begin to understand these things through the Spirit. Now we become conscious that we are all in Christ, we are all sons in the Son, we are all one in the Spirit. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Let us take a look what the gospel of Luke says pertaining some of the things I touched on. Luke 1:26 Elizabeth too had a miraculous bringing forth, something that the flesh really couldn't do, something virgin in her. John the Baptist who became the fulfillment of Isaiah 40, prophesying the coming of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth." Now in olden days, many times angels took on forms. Today people are looking for forms too. They are often only looking for things in the natural, not only Jesus' birth, but angels with wings, and Jesus coming back inthe flesh, rebuilding tabernacles, and having an earthly kingdom. But God doesn't have that for us now because we have been enlightened to see beyond the veil what the flesh sees.So this angel came to a virgin espoused to a man named Joseph of the house of David,and the virgin's name was Mary, still a virgin.The angel came to her and said,"Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. "But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her,"Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus."This word of the messenger was actually the seed of the Son of God. And He was coming in a sign, which was a physical body. "He (v.32)will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;" Now they are saying that this one born Jesus, His father was David. Now we know David wasn't His original father, but both Mary and Joseph were of the tribe of Judah, so they fulfilled that of being of the same tribe, but this was all in the flesh."v.33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" How can it happen? Well people are saying it didn't happen - that she really knew Joseph.Listen to this one. The first one was a promise. "You will conceive in your womb, and bear a son." Here is the fulfillment (v.35) And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Moost High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring slall be called the Son of God." This was a set- apart Son, this was a holy Son, this was something that man could not do. We know that the Son of God was not born at this time;we know that the Christ was not born at this time, because Christ was in the prophets. And when you read Colossians, you will see that He was in the creation. And we will see that it talks about the Son being forever. So actually what we have all through this thing was only a manifestation. Man had nothing to do with it. He said,"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God." If you don't want to believe the testimony of these men, and you want to say that Jesus was born like any other man, He had to be a sinner - actually He couldn't be a sinner, because He couldn't be a holy thing, and that which is born of God does not sin. Even John in 1 John wrote that "That which is born of God does not sin." "Is Christ the minister of sin? God borbid ,"Paul said, in Galatians.So we cannot mix these kinds of things. And somebody says, "Jesus became sin." Yes, but we have to realize that He never committed an act of sin. He identified with sin in His human nature. The very fact of the sign of His body was in a sense a delusion, but only to man, not on God's side.Why do I say this? Because when you look at the body, what you see is only the body, and it veiled the nature of the Son and the true relationship to God, and the true activity of the Holy Spirit. And so we see that humanity could not see beyond that, so it had to be a sign. Everything Jesus did was a sign. We have to get our head together because nobody received the word of Jesus Christ when He walked on the earth and talked out of His human body. There was no man who was really able to understand exactly what was going on in Him, not even His 12 whom He had chosen. They all deserted Him.So we have to realize that all of these things that happen to us are born of a virgin; our natural mind did not conceive any of them. When you start getting into your natural mind, you are going to rationalize all these things, and it doesn't make any difference and this and that, and that's O.K. but that is not where I am going. Now we have the occasion in Luke 3:22 in Jesus' identification with Adam in our human nature. He was born under the law, He followed the law, He lived under the law for 30 years. "And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily frm like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased." Now at this time the man Jesus actually received the Christ. The Holy Spirit, Christ, the anointing, the Word Messiah, the word Christos(in the Greek) are exactly the same root word, they have the same meaning.In its verb form it is anointing, in its noun form it is an anointed one.And God has anointed us. The anointing you have received will teach you all things. This happened to Jesus. Why? Because He was identifying with our human nature. With His missing the mark our human nature was, but now what was going on inside of Him."Thou are My beloved Son." Do you mean Jesus didn't know this? He hadn't heard this? In His identification with humanity He had to hear this. We have to hear it.The Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirit that we are the sons of God. Yes. God has sent the Spirit of His KSon into our hearts" Gal.4 You see we are no longer servants, we are sons. You must hear a word, ther is a word that makes us sons, there is a word that makes us righteous. You can't get anymore righteous, once you have heard the word that God has made you righteous, there is nothing you can do abouot it. You ARE righteous, the word creates in you a knowledge of the Spirit and a realization of righteousness. So it ends our struggle to be righteous. We enter into a rest, and we let God work it out, washing the water of regeneration in us. The washing of the water of the Word taking all the doubts and things. God said,"Thou art My beloved Son." I believe this was Jesus' adoption. He came out of the law obviously, lived for 30 years under the law,and He was anointed here now in a priest in a new order, after the order of Melchizedek. He received the Holy Spirit which is the ministration of an endless life. It has a new law, a new priesthood,a new message and a new covenant. "Jesus Himself was about 30 years of age.(v.23) Now according to the Old Testament you had to be 30 years of age as a Levite before you could become a priest.Not all Levites made it, but those who did went through an anointing of oil, and through a commitment, but they had to be 30 years of age.So Jesus was fulfilling this kind of thing.He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Don't think for a minute that He didn't fulfill the law, and don't think that He didn't fulfill the prophets.Well what is everybody talking about what He is coming for? Well, I'll tell you - it is coming in Christ, through Christ, in our identification with Christ. It is not coming outside of Christ, or outside the Spirit. This world is already programmed - it is going to hell, it is in hell, it is going to get worse, there is corruption there. Corruption does not put on incorruption. Our call is to get out of the world and into the kingdom. And as Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." So if you think you are going to get Him to rule this world you are mistaken. v.23 "And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty year of age, bheing supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli." There is a little problem here because this is a genealogy, and it was starting here to get back to Adam, where in the other one it started with Adam and got to Christ, the one in Matthew. Now Eli was actually the father of Mary, but you see the genealogy was not kept by the female, so that is why his name is here and that is why it says that.But it says "as was supposed".k Who supposed it? Obviously the carnal mind and the Adamic man. Now we will turn to the book of John. Actually it doesn't start with the birth, the bringing forth of Jesus. It starts with the proclamation of the coming of the Christ with John the Baptist. John 1:45 is used a lot to prove that Joseph was the father. "Philip found Nathanael, and said to him,`We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'" Now who is Philip? In v.44 it says that Philip was of Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter, and he was just called , and he went and got his friend Nathanael,and told him that they had found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the Prophets wrote.And he called Him the son of Joseph. Now that is not gospel. This is a man named Philip, an unregenerate person, just called to follow Jesus, as an unregenerate disciple, and all he knew that Jesus had been living with Joseph and Mary like the other children. He didn't realize He was any different. He just said Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph, which was a common way of talking in that nation of Israel they always used the male thing, son of Abraham,son of Joseph,etc.They usually didn't mention the wife. You cannot take that as if this man Philip was saying something by the Spirit at all. He was only saying something in the nature of his own realization that Jesus lived with Joseph. He didn't know anything about the virgin birth or about the Holy Spirit. This is not a text, and the people are using it. It doesn't work that way.In John 8 Jesus is having a discourse there with some of the people hanging onto their tradition, that they weren't in any bondage to any man,that Abraham was their father. In 8:40 -44 Jesus said,"But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God;this Abraham did not do.You are doing the deeds of your father.They saidto Him,`We were not born of fornication;we have one Father, eeven God.'" Fornication is something that happens before you are married. Adultery happens after you are married. Jesus said,"You are doing the deeds of your father." Why did they say that they were not born of fornication? Apparently they had heard the rumor that Mary had gotten a baby and she wasn't really married to Joseph.That is why Joseph planned to put her away. And now they came up and said Jesus was born of fornication.Well Jesus had something to say. You see they had been arguing that Abraham was their father and they weren't under bondage, and now they got really spiritual and they said, "We have one Father, even God." In John8:42 Jesus said,"If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word" Now this was common there. Nobody was understanding Jesus. He was an alien in the world because He was from the kingdom of God, He said (v44) "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and father of lies." Jesus was talking about something that they didn't know about themselves and He was talking about something that they didn't know about Him, because they are both spiritual. He said,"You are fo your father the devil." They didn't believe this. They had no idea that God was their Father. They were calling Jesus Beelzebub and everything. And that is what they thought He was. And they thought He had no business coming in there without being an anointed priest, as if they had any.And beginning to talk with authority that God was His Father. They didn't like this. It is very difficult for people today as well. They would rather be a servant, and rather use a mediator like Mary, and even a Mediator like a physical Jesus up in the sky some place, or the saints, or the pastor in the church, or a doctor. All these things are put between God and man as a mediator, but the Mediator of God is Jesus Christ, and there is no other. And He is in us, and you can't se Him and you can't understand what the people that have received this mediation are saying unless you have the same spirit. And that is the testimony of this whole thing. In 2 Cor.11:2,3 we read,"For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." The testimony that Paul had was saying ,"I am presenting you to Christ as a chaste virgin. You have something in you that has never taken seed from anybody else; that can never take seed from the flesh, the carnal mind, or darkness, or sin,evil, death. This whole realm is a realm of its own, as is the kingdom of God, so the words which are the seeds come into a place in us that is a virgin. It is a promise, and actually what is birthed is Christ who is the Son of God, who is the consciousness ofGod in us in the Holy Spirit. Now you can divide all these up. You can make them carnal; you can hav e the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Jesus, as identities outside yourself, and they are all one in us. If you read the scriptures, all of them will testify to the fact that in God we live and move and have our being, that the hope of glory is Christ in you, that Christ is our life, that we have received the Holy Spirit, and that God is not imputing sin to us, and that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.Well what I say is not going to convince anybody unless they hear it in the spirit. If you do not understand spiritual things you are just going to make some kind of a reasonable assumption and decision, and that it won't carry any real weight when it comes to eternal things. So I am going to remember something. That enlightenment comes by God's Holy Spirit. It is not by the Bible, not your pastor, nor your organization, nor anything. If you make a human decision, either one way or the other that He was born of a virgin, or that He wasn't, or that His body was made be the Word of God, and not by Joseph. It doesn't make any difference. If your own natural reason decides yes or no it doesn't make any difference, but it does make a big difference if you can hear from the Spirit, and the testimony of the Word corroborates it, you won't have any problem with what happened to you,knowing that just as Jesus was born of a virgin, so are you and I and everyone who is born of the Spirit. So may God bless you with understanding. Amen.

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