For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
"For to us a child is born" - This refers to the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word birth signifies "humanity." The promised Messiah had to be true humanity in order to bear the sins of the world. Therefore, the word "birth" refers to the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 1:16; ".....Mary, of whom was BORN Jesus, who is called the Christ (the Greek word for Jewish Messiah)."
Matthew 1:18; "This is how the BIRTH of Jesus came about."
Matthew 2:1; "After Jesus was BORN in Bethlehem in Judea."
Matthew 2:2; "Where is the one who has been BORN king of the Jews?"
Matthew 2:4; "....where the Christ was to be BORN."
Luke 1:14; ".....many shall rejoice at his BIRTH." They are still doing that today. Every Christmas the world seems to go through a sort of metamorphosis. Through the music and the story of the Jewish Messiah, everyone seems to enjoy and appreciate this time of year, whether they are believers or unbelievers. We even use the phrase, "I have the Christmas spirit." So when the Bible tells us that "many shall rejoice at His birth," it's not just talking about the land of Israel in 4-6 BC. It is referring to all generations of mankind.
Luke 1:35; "...the holy one to be BORN will be called the Son of God."
Luke 2:11; "Today in the city of David a Savior has been BORN to you."
John 3:16; "For God so loved the world that He gave His uniquely BORN Son."
John 18:37; "Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was BORN."
Therefore, the words "born" or "birth" refers to the humanity of Jesus Christ.
God, not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), had promised a sign to identify this perfect righteous One when He appeared on the stage of human history. That sign is recorded in Isaiah 7:14; "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign (a miracle, a supernatural occurrence), a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning, God with us)."
The Hebrew word for "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14 is ALMAH. This Hebrew word is used for a virgin and a young woman. Skeptics of the Bible always refer to this word in an attempt to prove that there was no virgin birth, but that the concept of the virgin birth was invented by the Christian religion. But God never leaves His people in the dark about important issues. He always gives them the answers when they need them. In Matthew 1:22-23 it says, "Now all of this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, (Matthew now quotes Isaiah 7:14). "Behold, a VIRGIN shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
The Greek word for virgin is PARTHENOS, and means "a virgin, and nothing but a virgin." The Greek word for young woman is NEOS in the femenine gender. So even though the Hebrew can be interpreted to be a "young woman," God clarified this issue to the skeptics when He had the New Testment written in Greek. A language that is far superior than the Hebrew when it comes to clarifying issues. We should also note that when the Jewish scholars translated the Old Testament Hebrew into Greek about 200 years before the birth of Jesus (the Greek Old Testament is known as the Septuagint) they used the Greek word PARTHENOS to translate the Hebrew word ALMAH. This tells us that the ancient Jewish scholars knew and understood that the Messiah would be virgin born.
Therefore, since this individual experienced birth, and since He came from the womb of a woman, it could truly be said that "a child was born." However, since no man was involved in the conception process, the sin nature was not passed down to Jesus at His birth. This was a very unique conception. It was the result of an obedient Jewish maiden by the name of Miriam (her proper name), and the Holy Spirit, who, in the words of doctor Luke, "Would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her." (Luke 1:35). The result of the holy conception was a holy and perfect child. Here was perfect humanity in every sense of the word. But Jesus was much more than just perfect humanity.
"To us a son is given" - This phrase refers to undiminished deity. The first phrase in this verse "a child is born" tells us that Jesus experienced physical birth, just as any normal human being. And the second phrase "a son is given" tells us that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He existed before His physical birth. He was the preexistent Son of God. Concerning this latter statement, the prophet Micah said in Micah 5:2; "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the clans of Judah, yet out of you shall he (Jesus) come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel, WHOSE GOINGS FORTH HAVE BEEN FROM OF OLD, FROM EVERLASTING." Jesus Himself, in response to questions by the Jewish leadership, declared in John 8:58; "....Before Abraham was, I am." This also acknowledges His preexistence.
Jesus was not only perfect humanity as the virgin born Son of Adam's race, but He was also undiminished deity as the eternal Son of God given to redeem man from the fall. Theologians call this perfect merger of God and man the "Hypostatic Union." Jesus is one hundred percent undiminished deity and one hundred percent perfect humanity. Isaiah the prophet wrote of this unique union with these words in Isaiah 7:14; "...the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son (humanity), and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning God with us) (deity)." The baby Jesus was also the One who spoke the universe into existence; the baby Jesus was the One who fashioned man from the dust of the ground; the baby Jesus was the One who breathed into man the breath of life, and the baby Jesus not only spoke the universe into existence, but even while He was in the manger in Bethlehem, He was sustaining everything that He created.
"For unto us a child is born (true humanity), to us a son is given (true deity)." These two phrases deal with His first advent. Beginning with the next phrase and going through verse seven deals with His second advent and the Millennial Kingdom.
"And the government shall be upon his shoulders" - This refers to inherent royalty. "The Government shall be upon his shoulders" is a quaint way of saying "HE IS GOING TO RULE." Jesus Christ will rule when the world government rests upon His shoulders during His 1000 year reign. Again I want to remind you that within the framework of this one verse of Scripture the first and second comings of the Lord Jesus Christ are clearly outlined. "A child is born, and a son is given" occurred at His first coming more than nineteen hundred years ago. "And the government shall be upon his shoulders" awaits His second coming to the rebuilt Temple when He takes over the throne of David at Jerusalem.
"And his name shall be called" - This tells us of a unique identity. Biblical names were given to underscore a major characteristic or achievement of the individual who bore the name. The Son of God came to be a Savior, that was to be the major achievement at His first coming. So the angelic messenger commanded Joseph "to call his name Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). At the Lord's second coming His major achievement will be to reign and bring human history to its divinely intended ending. A series of names are given to the Son of God to reveal attributes which He possesses and the character of His reign after His second coming. These names set Him apart from and infinitely higher than all other beings. Since He alone possesses these qualities to a perfect degree, none other can properly appropriate these names.
It is generally thought that five names are given in Isaiah 9:6 to describe the Lord's character and reign. These five names are: "Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." But actually there are only four names, not five. The word "Wonderful" is not a name. It is simply modifying the word "Counselor." So it should read "Wonderful Counselor."
"And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor" - This refers to His faultless discernability. This should not suggest the imagery of a clergyman, or a lawyer, or a psychologist, or another professional in an office conferring counsel on someone. Rather, it is speaking of one of the Lord's characteristics while governing during the Kingdom Age. Isaiah amplifies this concept in Isaiah 11:2-3; "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of COUNSEL and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.......and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears." Men judge empirically, they see, they hear, and they evaluate and make decisions, and many times they are wrong. But because of the omniscient spirit resting upon Jesus, He will intuitively know right from wrong in everyone. He will not judge by what He sees or hears, but He will judge by what He knows about each individual. He will be "The Wonderful Counselor." And as a result of this, "....righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his waist" (Isaiah 11:5).
"And his name shall be called The Mighty God" - This refers to absolute authority. One of the problems with the Old Testament Theocracy (God ruling through chosen men) was that they had limited strength. A man might ascend to the throne of Israel. He might be well-intentioned, but he did not possess absolute power. He was not omnipotent. His good intentions were not enough. They did not give him sufficient power to carry out all he had planned. Rebellion within the nation and opposition from without often frustrated the best intentions of a good king.
But when the government rests upon the shoulder's of Jesus, ".....with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and shall reprove the lowly of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked" (Isaiah 11:4). He alone possesses absolute authority and power because He is what the Hebrew says, EL GIBBOR, "The Mighty God."
"And his name shall be called The Everlasting Father" - This refers to endless longevity.
On occasion a good king would come to the throne of Israel. Men like David, Solomon, or Josiah. For a time they brought a degree of freedom, prosperity, stability, blessings and peace. But invariably, the inevitable occurred. They died. They were succeeded by another king. Many times he was not a good king, and his policies did not follow that of his predecessor. So the government was subject to ebb and flow, as leaders came and went.
But when the government rests upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, "Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever...." (Isaiah 9:7). Jesus Christ is "The Everlasting Father." Or better, "The Father of Eternity." He will not die, and there will be no ebb and flow in His government, only continuity of perfect rule.
"And his name shall be called The Prince of Peace" - This refers to enduring tranquility. Peace comes in two dimensions. There is a vertical peace between God and man, and there is a horizontal peace between man and man. Peace between men is impossible until there is peace with God. In other words, horizontal peace between members of the human race is impossible without peace with God. And the peace with God is impossible without the acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior. And because the majority of the people of the earth reject the salvation provided by Jesus Christ, mankind is doomed to the conflict of racial hatred, intolerance, inflexibility, crime, violence, and war. Mankind can never have true peace apart from God and His plan. And because mankind will not make peace with God, that means that there can be no peace between men on the earth. War and violence will continue all the way to the second advent of Jesus Christ.
I should add at this point that the world will achieve a false or pseudo peace just before the return of Jesus Christ. This false or pseudo peace will reach its culmination under the dictator of Rome known as the antichrist. Paul refers to this in I Thessalonians 5:3; "For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them...." Everything you see transpiring in the world today to bring about world peace, will bring about the greatest war the world has ever seen. The war of Armageddon.
Jesus alone can and will bring peace to this unruly planet. And when He does, "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling will feed together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child will put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain (a name for the government of God) because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6-9).
Because Jesus is "The Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father," He is also what the Hebrew calls, SAR SHALOM, "The Prince of Peace." Men talk about peace constantly, but never achieve it and never will. But Jesus Christ, at His second coming, will make it a reality.
During this Christmas season, look back to the virgin born child, and thank God that He became humanity; then look at the cross, and thank God for the Son He gave who provided our "So great salvation." All of that was involved in the first advent of Jesus Christ. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given." But don't stop there like so many do this time of year. We should also look ahead toward His second coming. Look ahead to what Jesus Christ is still going to accomplish when "the government will be on His shoulders."
During this Christmas season, may the reality of His return give you as much peace as the celebration of His birth.
God Sent Us A Savior
If our greatest need had been information
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness
So God sent us a Savior.
Author Unknown "MERRY CHRISTMAS"
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Copyright by Robert H. Kreger. All rights reserved. Anyone is allowed to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.