Achilles, according to
Greek mythology—a hero in the Trojan war between the Greeks and Troy which
went on for ten years, had a weak point in his body where he could be
There’s another war that’s been going on in the universe for
thousands of years. Unless we guard it well, we have a weak point where
the enemy of the human race can attack us.
The people of Troy were intrigued by the horse the Greeks left
outside the city gates. Against warnings of the elders in Troy, they
proposed, “Let’s bring this horse inside the city gates and see what
it’s all about.” After the horse was inside, Greek soldiers came out
of it, opened the gates, and took the city by deception.
“The very elect” stand in a similar danger. The end-time
portrayal by Christ in Matthew 24 brings into focus a serious part of
the final deception. Jesus told the disciples to “take heed that no
one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the
Christ,’ and will deceive many” (verses 4,5). The enemy will even
appear as an angel of light. Will we know the difference between the
true Christ and the false one? This war that’s been going on for so
long involves the entire universe, and the Trojan horse of deceit that
was brought into the garden of Eden was only the beginning of a final
We must accept the awesome proclamation made by the three angels of
Revelation 14:6-11, plus that of the fourth angel in Revelation 18:2,
“Babylon the great is fallen.” Throughout Biblical history Babylon
was never able to help Israel. In the days of the apostles when the
church became the new “Israel,” she was required again to be devoted
exclusively to the Lord, but there was a constant danger of infiltration
from Babylon. The Lord’s apostle John was concerned about the root of
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits,
whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into
the world. By this you know the spirit of God: Every spirit that
confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every
spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is
not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).
The denial of this truth developed early in the Christian era, and is
still with us. Going back in ancient history, we get a picture of what
heathen philosophy thinks of God. The philosophers of Babylon focused
the pagan understanding of God. The king wanted a description of his
dream and what it meant. The “wise men” said, “It is a
difficult thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can
tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with
flesh” (Daniel 2:11).
That same paganism puts a wall between the true Christ and humanity.
This disclosure in Daniel brings it into focus. The true Christ of
the Bible has indeed come to dwell with human flesh. The false one
avoids it. “Foreasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh
and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through
death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the
devil” (Hebrews 2:14, KJV).
“He also,” “Himself,” “likewise,”—four
words, three times emphasized. Why did He do this? To “deliver them
who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him
the seed of Abraham” (verses 15, 16, KJV). In the Greek, this word
for seed is spermatos. The apostle could not be any more
“Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto
His brethren that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in
things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the
people.” That’s us. “For in that He Himself hath suffered
being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” (verses
17, 18, KJV; the word "succor" means to help, to relieve).
In Matthew 1 we see a picture of the royal lineage of Christ. In Luke
3 we see a picture of His human lineage, how He became a part of the
human family. Some theologians read into a statement in Romans 8 a
foreign interpretation: “For what the law could not do in that it
was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the
flesh.” They say that this “likeness” really means
unlikeness. If you look like your father or your mother, you cannot
escape the likeness. The word cannot mean that you are unlike
your parents. The text here is very specific—“likeness of
sinful flesh,” “of sin,” “condemned sin in the
flesh.” All this, “that the righteous requirement of the law
might be fulfilled in us.” We may be prepared to “not walk
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Then the
righteousness of the law can be “fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:3,
When Satan invaded the Garden of Eden and deceived Eve into eating
the forbidden fruit, Adam recognized who he was. “This must be the
foe against whom we have been warned.” By the divine sentence, she
must die, Adam understood. Eve had been deceived. His companion had
transgressed the command. There was a terrible struggle in Adam’s
mind. Let Eve perish? His wife? The last creation from the hand of God,
the woman? But what to do? He resolved to share her fate. If she must
die, he would die with her. He took the fruit and quickly ate.
There is a significant parable in this story. Adam took the fruit
with his eyes wide open. Why? Because of his love for his bride. He took
sin upon himself. The second Adam took sin upon Himself—for the
love of His bride. With His eyes wide open to the consequences. In
the annals of the human race there has been only one death—the death of
Jesus Christ. Everyone else from Adam on down until the Lord comes will
have simply “fallen asleep.”
The Lord is waiting for a people to understand what the incarnation
means. The deliverance that comes to God’s people in the end is not an
arbitrary act of God. It comes because the truth of the gospel has borne
fruit. The farmer reaps when his harvest is ready. The Lord reaps when
His harvest is ready, when the church has come to spiritual maturity.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).
How many temptations does it take to make one sin? Ten, a hundred, a
thousand? A million temptations can never produce one sin, yet Jesus was
tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. God calls us to that
same high standard, unattainable except by faith.
John 3:16 may be the text that is least understood in God’s word in
relation to this. “God so loved that He gave.” When you
give something, is it still yours? The text says specifically,
explicitly, God gave. And when God gave Christ, He eternally
became the poorer for it. Jesus will never fill the same place He had
before He came. That’s what He means when He says, God gave. Do
you think He became flesh forever? Or was it just for 33 years, and then
He went back to glory? If the Father gave Christ, it’s for
keeps, beloved, forever.
Was He “exempt” from anything if God gave Him? He could not
have been. If He lived only a sympathetic, vicarious life with a wall of
partition between us, with Christ being always in a little glass museum
case, then God did not really give Him. If He did not take real
human nature with all its liabilities, God did not give.
If the text is true when it says “only begotten,” then
nothing was held back. I wonder if your parents can appreciate that?
Forever the question was answered, “Can there be self-denial with
God?” Christ was God and He assumed humanity and became obedient
unto the second death, that He might undergo infinite sacrifice. The
Father and the Son were together.
In the human context we get a little picture in the experience of
Abraham, when he was ready and willing to offer up his only son. But
when the truth of John 3:16 sinks into our thinking, believers in Christ
will rejoice as they dwell upon the nature of our Elder Brother. In the
incarnation we have the key to the entire plan of salvation. There is no
way we can stop talking about it. It will be the marvel of the redeemed
for eternity, that God came down and dwelt in human flesh. You will
remember Jesus said that He didn’t know when He was coming back. The
angels don’t know. Why could He make such a statement? He became a
member of the human family forever and forever.
The prince of this world came to Christ after His long fast, when He
was hungry, and suggested to him to command the stones to become bread
But the plan of salvation devised for the salvation of man provided that
Christ should know hunger and poverty, and every phase of man’s
painful experience. He withstood temptation through the power
that man may command by faith. He laid hold on the throne of God, and
there’s not a man, or woman, or youth who may not have access to the
same help through the faith of Jesus. Man may become a partaker of the
Christ came to be both our Substitute and our Example, to make known
to us that we might be partakers of the divine nature. And how is this?
By “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
lust” (2 Peter 1:4). For this day and for every day henceforth, lay
hold of this promise. People may have a power to resist evil, a power
that neither earth nor death nor hell can master, a power that may place
them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity
may be combined in them, by faith. Christ joined His divinity to our
humanity, that we in our humanity might be joined to His divinity.
“Foreasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through
death that He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is,
the devil. … Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like
unto His brethren that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest
in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the
people” (Hebrews 2:14, 17, KJV). This is the one God gave to us. He is
May the Lord give us discernment to know the true Christ, so that
when the false Christ appears we will know he is false. Unless we are
sure of this truth, our Achilles’ heel will expose us to a final and
hopeless deception. Millions of professed Christians will not be
prepared to endure that trial.