Immanuel: Born of the Virgin

Immanuel is Jesus Christ; Immanuel is the many-membered Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is God with us; the many-membered Body of Christ is God with us. Jesus Christ is born of a virgin; the many-membered Body of Christ is born of a virgin.

Isaiah 7:10-16 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!
13 Then he said, Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.
16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.

This is a prophecy of Isaiah concerning the virgin birth of Jesus who is also named Immanuel (verse 14; Matthew 1:23). This prophecy is spoken to Ahaz king of Judah. As the king of Judah he represents the house of David (verse 13). We are only interested in this prophecy as it relates to the Lord Jesus Christ and the many-membered Body of Christ, so we will not get into the historical setting of it.

The name Immanuel in verse 14 indicates the divine nature of Jesus, for He is God with us. The eating of curds and honey in verse 15 points to His human nature. Milk and honey was the normal nourishment for babes. Hence, Jesus would grow up and develop like other children. So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of His manifestation to Israel. Luke 1:80. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52.

Notice in verse 13 that Isaiah speaking his prophecy to Ahaz says, “Hear now, O house of David!” It is significant that Isaiah did not say, “Hear this, Ahaz!” This was to indicate that the Son born of the virgin named Immanuel would be of the lineage of David. It is as such that Matthew begins his Gospel account. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David… (Matthew 1:1).

Now take note of verse 11. Ahaz is told to ask a sign of the Lord and to “ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” This also points to the Lord Jesus Christ, and Paul refers to it in his Epistle to the Ephesians. Now this, He ascended – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. Ephesians 4:9-10. Then in the first chapter he tells what these “all things” are that He fills. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23.

This is the ministry in which the Lord is involved in this day. He is filling His people with Himself. This is what Paul speaks of in II Thessalonians 1:10. When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. Now, we need to make a couple of comments because people tend to think in absolutes and that what is true for one is true for all. Paul did not say that the Lord would come to be glorified in all Christians. He said, “In His saints,” and “in all them that believe.” Let’s look at “saints” first. The Greek word translated “saint” is the same word that is translated “holy” in “Holy Spirit.” All Christians are not saints; they are not all holy. They are all forgiven but not all holy. A lot of changing has to take place after you become a Christian to be a saint. Now what about “all them that believe”? You could say that all Christians believe, if you’re talking about believing that Jesus Christ is the Savior. However, that is not what Paul is talking about here. He is talking about all them that believe for the Lord to come forth within them and to be glorified in them. I dare say that the majority of the Christian churches do not even teach that. They don’t even believe in that. Many of them don’t believe for change from their human nature until they leave this world and go to heaven – wherever that is. Let me ask you; how much of Jesus’ life has come forth in you? You could say, “By faith I have Jesus in my heart.” That is not the same thing. Let me ask it this way. How much of your self life have you emptied out? The emptying out of self precedes the coming in of the divine life of the Lord. Too many Christians are still eating curds and honey. Every one who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe. Solid food belongs to those who are of full age. Hebrews 5:13-14.

Become a believer! Become a believer in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ coming forth in you! Believe for Him to be glorified in you! When He is revealed in you, you shall be like Him – have the same nature. And everyone who has this hope purifies himself. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed (in us), we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. I John 3:2-3. How does a Christian purify himself? It is not done by repenting and being forgiven. All Christians are forgiven, but being forgiven doesn’t purify you. There has to be the emptying out of self. Human nature is corrupt! It is just as corrupt in a Christian as it is in anyone else. The human nature of self has to be emptied out. It is what we call the work of the cross. Paul puts it so plainly in his Epistle to the Corinthians that anyone should understand it. We are hard pressed on every side…always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. II Corinthians 4:8,10-11.

Now let’s get back to our text. Verse 14 says that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” We find in Matthew chapter one that the virgin is Mary. She was found with child of the Holy Spirit; she had not known a man. Joseph, who wanted to marry Mary, did not understand what was happening. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and explained that it was of the Lord; Mary was giving birth to the One Isaiah had prophesied about. An Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us. Matthew 1:20-23. Notice that the Son was given two names – Jesus and Immanuel. Some will be forgiven of their sins and know Jesus as their Savior. Some will go beyond that experience and believe for the Lord to be glorified in them. They will know Immanuel. They also will become “God with us” – again the Word will become flesh (John 1:14).

Christ becomes a many-membered Christ. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. I Corinthians 12:12. Immanuel, God with us, will become a many-membered Immanuel, too. He will be glorified in all them that believe (II Thessalonians 1:10). Listen to how God responds to Jesus in John 12:28. Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. God glorified Himself in Christ Jesus and will glorify Himself again in a many-membered Christ, creating a many-membered Immanuel.

Now, just as Immanuel was born of a virgin, the many-membered Immanuel has to be born of a virgin. Mary had not known a man; she conceived of the Holy Spirit. There was no input of man in the birth of Christ, and there cannot be any input of man in the birth of the many-membered Immanuel. It has to be totally of God. The church in which Immanuel is born has to be a virgin church – all of the man nature must be removed. It must be sanctified and cleansed from all the stains of human nature. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27. Again, I emphasize: this didn’t happen when you were forgiven. Being forgiven for your sins doesn’t make you without blemish. You must remember that your sin is not merely what you have done; it is what you are. Your flesh nature is sin! Jesus marries a virgin church. When the Scripture says that your sin separates you from your God it is not talking about something you did; it is speaking of what you are. Also, the responsibility of becoming the virgin wife of the Lord is upon us. The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. Revelation 19:7. This is the ministry of Paul. I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:25-28. And again in Galatians 4:19. My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. He is not talking about becoming a Christian; he is talking about the Lord being glorified in them, that they may be part of the virgin church.

We find a picture of the virgin church that gives birth to the many-membered Immanuel, the many-membered son of God, in Revelation chapter 12.

Revelation 12:1-2,5 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne.

Many commentators and theologians have interpreted this as speaking of Mary giving birth to Jesus Christ. This is a prophetic word-picture. It is not prophetic of the past; it is prophetic of what God is doing now. This is not a literal catching up of this male child to a place in the sky. This is a spiritual work. The world is not aware of it happening because it is happening in the spirit. God is not an individual with a literal throne up in the sky somewhere. It is a spiritual truth presented in human terms. The whole Bible is like that. The things of God are coming through a human presentation, and if you do not have the capacity to see the world of God hidden in earthly language you will miss what God is saying. That is what Jesus taught. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13:9. The truths of God’s world come through an earthly language, but they are not seen or understood by the natural man. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2:14. That which a man can perceive or understand with his natural mind is temporary. We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:18.

So who is this man child? It is the many-membered Christ; it is the many-membered Immanuel. A virgin church has given birth to a many-membered man child that will rule and reign with the Lord. Actually, it will be the Lord ruling and reigning in them and through them.

Immanuel is Jesus Christ; Immanuel is the many-membered Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is God with us; the many-membered Body of Christ is God with us. Jesus Christ is born of a virgin; the many-membered Body of Christ is born of a virgin.

Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose