Isaiah prophesied that the virgin would give birth to son (Isaiah 7:14). The fullest aspect of Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ.
The fact that Christ was born of a virgin is clear in the New Testament. Both Matthew and Luke use the Greek term parthenos, which indisputably means virgin (Matt. 1:23; Lk. 1:27, 34). Mary asked the angel Gabriel a question, ï¿½How will this be, since I am a virgin?ï¿½ ï¿½ ï¿½The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of Godï¿½ (Lk 1:18). The apostle Matthew clearly shows that the birth of Jesus was to fulfil the prophecy which Isaiah gave:
All of this happened to fulfil the Lord's message through his prophet:
"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us. Matt. 1:23, NLT).
The birth of Jesus through a virgin was foretold by the prophet over 700 years before he was born. This shows the sovereignty of God over the world. He is completely in control and knows the end from the beginning.
Isaiah was given the full description of Emmanuel, Christ, the person who was to be born in chapter 9 of his book. As the Bible has clearly recorded that the prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus, I want us to find out how this description fits in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. How does the ministry of Jesus fulfil the description given on Emmanuel in Isaiah? Jesus Christ is the God who is with you. Who is this Jesus who is with you? The knowledge of him will help you cherish and nurse him in your life.
In Isaiah 9:1-7, he clearly describes Emmanuel.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will soon be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light-a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow (9:1-2, NLT). Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil ï¿½ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isa. 9:3-7, KJV).
How wonderfully does this description fulfil the ministry of Jesus?
He is a Child Born, but a Son Given
The God-man. The God who is with you is a child born but a son given (Isa. 9:6). This is a mystery. The ï¿½child is bornï¿½ implies the child is a human being. This is the human aspect of person of the Christ. He is a child who is born of a virgin, human being. However, the sonship is given. This means the sonship is not through human birth, but given by God. This is the divine aspect of the person of Christ. He is not just a male born, but a male child who has been given sonship from God. Why son and not a daughter? The reason is that in the Jewish culture it is the son who inherits the father, the one who is given the wealth and authority of the father. God wants us to know that the Christ has been given the wealth and authority of the Father.
The whole concept is a mystery: the divine person that is raised in the human body to become the throne of God. Thus, God is living in the human body. How rightly this fits into the person of our Lord Jesus: God incarnate. That is God who has come to dwell in the human personality.
The Christ is a unique son. A son who would bring light to all people, especially he would be a light to Galilee, the land of the Gentiles. This is significant for us. Isaiah says that the son, even the Christ would dwell in Galilee, then he mentions the land of Zebulon and Naphtali (Isa. 9:1-3). These were the two principal tribes in Galilee whose land was greatly affected when the Assyrians captured Israel; he assures them that the Christ would dwell among them as a source of light to the Gentiles. This means, Christ would make the place his centre of ministry. He would also enlarge the community of God people by bringing the Gentiles to God; this would increase the joy of the Gentiles.
Wonderfully this was exactly fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Nazareth in the land of Zebulon and Naphtali was where Jesus headquarters was (Matt. 2:22-23, 21:11; Lk. 4:16-23). He was called Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Acts. 3:6; 4:10). Jesus loves those who have been despised, marginalised or rejected. He does not only receive them but he gives them the right to become the sons of God.
Godï¿½s plan is unstoppable. How deep is his wisdom and knowledge; they are unsearchable (Rom. 8:33-34). The disobedience of Israel and Judah, which led to the capturing of the land by the Assyrians and occupation of Gentiles on the Holy Lands, has been used by God. The Christ would use the place which is occupied by both Jews and Gentiles as his headquarters.
The sonship is still given to people who come to Jesus. Since it is given and not biological or genetic, it is for both male and female. ï¿½But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Jn 1:12 -13). Receiving him changes your identity; you become the son of God; a heavenly citizen, a citizen of no mean city. Yet, for the divine one to live in the human body is risky, since the human body is weak and feeble. This calls for constant relation with the father. Christ did that on earth. For the sons of God to manifest the life and power of God, we need to have permanent relation with him. "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned (Jn 15:5-6).
Have you been captured as Zebulun or Naphtali by the enemy? In other words, has the devil taken control of any area of your life? Are you walking in darkness? A great light is here, that is Christ. Or, are you marginalised or rejected? Jesus Christ is here to make you the son of God. He is the Son of God and he has the right to make you the son of God. He has shown you the way to walk to him. If you do so, he will not only forgive you but also make you his headquarter. He continues to speak to both Christian and non-Christians, ï¿½Here am I! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with meï¿½ (Rev. 3:20). Open the door for him to enter. Walk to him and have your joy.
God with you means you are the son of God.
The Government of the Universe is Upon the Shoulders of your God
The government of the whole universe would be upon the shoulders of the God who is with you (Isa. 9:6-7). The child is expected to be a king, a ruler on the throne of David (Isa. 9:7), and yet a priest. ï¿½The government,ï¿½ what government? The administration of the whole world is placed on his shoulders. During the Old Testament period, the High Priest carried the names of the people of Israel on his shoulders, as a sign of protection, security and responsibility. The child to be born would carry the government on his shoulders; the phrase ï¿½on his shouldersï¿½ connotes the idea of priesthood. What a responsible person that child would be; a person who is both a ruler of the world and a priest.
In spite of the sins of Kind Ahaz, Christ would come from the family of David and rule as a king forever. How he would rule has been set up in Isaiah 11:1-5. He would never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. He would defend the poor and the exploited. He would be clothed with fairness and truth. Righteousness would be his belt, since the Spirit of God would be upon him.
Unlike the Old Testament king, who had to share his power with the priest, Christ would be a king who would not share his power with anybody. The government would be on his shoulder: a king-priest. He is a king and a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:. Ps. 110:4, Heb. 7:11). Melchizedek was a king and a priest whose ancestry was not known. He was a man of power whom Abraham paid his tithes to? Jesus declares, ï¿½All power in heaven and on earth is given unto me (Matt. 28:18; cf 11:27, Jn 5:22-23). Indeed the New Testament confirms that all powers and dominion have been given to Christ. He is far above all (Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:16-17; Php. 2:9-11).
The God who is with you is the one who has the authority of a king and a priest. What canï¿½t he do? He is the one you have accepted into your life as Jesus. The power of the whole world has been vested to him. What should you be afraid of? The only thing he requires of you is your complete surrender. This will give him the chance to reign in you as a king and mediate for you as a priest. Giving him this opportunity will give you rest and increase your joy.
God with you means all powers of Christ have been given to you to witness about Christ.
He is the Wonderful Counsellor
The God who is with you is a Wonderful Counsellor (Isa. 9:6). He is wonderful because he is both God and Man; a child born and a son given. He would show his nature by his deeds and signs. As a Counsellor, he would display the divine wisdom in setting people free. Adulteresses who would be arrested would be set free and counselled to leave their life of sin (Jn 8:11). Religious and political fanatics who would like to trap him would be counselled to ï¿½Give to Caesar what is Caesarï¿½s and to God what is Godï¿½sï¿½ (Matt. 22:21).
This Wonderful Counsellor is with you now. What are your needs? Why not go to him in prayer. He is so wonderful that there is nothing hidden from him. Nathanael thought that he had hidden his negative comment about Christ when he was at Nazareth from him. But Christ made him aware that he even saw him when he was alone at the fig tree (Jn. 1:46-49). He knows you more than you know yourself. Come to him just as you are, even with all the shameful things you have done in secret. He is ready to counsel youï¿½the God with you is the Wonderful Counsellor.
God with you means the Wonderful Counsellor is with you to lead and direct.
He is the Mighty God
The God with you is the Mighty God. The title ï¿½Mighty Godï¿½ says everything. The child is Immanu, El, God incarnate, or God with us. The term Mighty here denotes the idea of a great hero or God hero. A hero is somebody who accomplishes a feat. On earth, he would have Godï¿½s true might or great power with him that nothing could stand before him.
Was this not manifested in Jesus? Everywhere he went he was doing good. He healed the sick (Matt. 4:23); he cleansed the lepers (Lk. 5:12-15); fed the hungry (Matt 14:13-21); sought and saved the lost (Matt 18:11).
The kingdom of Satan was devastated before him (Lk. 10:17-20). Demon-possessed people trembled in his presence and he cast them out. He set people free from the dominion of Satan.
In death, he proved his lordship. Why? On the cross, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities; he made public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession. For death could not hold him captive; he resurrected from death and is alive forever. He has now given this might to his disciples, including you who have believed in him. He has made you the son of God and made available to you all spiritual blessings in the heavenly realm (Col. 2:15; Col. 1:17; Jn. 1:12; Eph. 1:3).
If you have Christ, the mighty power of God dwells in you. There is nothing impossible for him. Nothing is too hard that he canï¿½t do. Your problems may be great, but he is greater, take it to him, he will do it. Emmanuelï¿½God is with you.
The God who is with you is the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6). The child is still considered the Father of eternity. He has always been there. This expresses the fatherly care of the Christ. This is not in conflict with the Father in Godhead. After all when Philip wanted Jesus to show him the father, he said, ï¿½ï¿½ Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father ï¿½ I am in the Father and the Father is in me?ï¿½(Jn 14:9-10). Everlasting here also implies he is always available for you at anywhere and at any time. Jesus indeed has the divine attributes of God. He rules over the whole world. Giving him your hearts gives him the opportunity to set his everlasting throne in your hearts. He is a caring Father (Matt 6:25-26; Lk 23:34; Rom 8:14-17).
The God who is with you is the Everlasting Father. Everlasting means he is always there. This God cares about you and provides for your needs. You do not need to think that God does not see your problems. He knows about them. When he does not provide an immediate solution to your request, he is still working on them. As a Father who will work all things for your good. Trust him, he will never disappoint you.
God with you means the Everlasting Father is always there to take care of you.
He is the Prince of Peace
The God who is with you is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). This meant that the Christ would be a peaceful king (Isa. 9:7). War, distress, and oppression were the factors in which the Lord directed the prophetï¿½s attention to the Christ (Isa. 7, 8, 9). Restoring peace to the world was therefore a major concern here. The Messiah would not be someone who would use war and violence to establish his kingdom. Rather, he would be a prince who would establish peace, seek it and pursue it. His kingdom would increase; he would elevate the Davidic kingdom to be an everlasting one.
At the time Christ was born, the Roman empire had been able to force some sort of peace on the world. This is often referred to as Pax Romana. Yet there was no peace. The end of warfare could not bring an everlasting peace. There must also be the removal of the cause of warfare, which is sin. When the cause of war is taken away then there can be peace. For sin to be dealt with, there must be peace between God and humankind. It is sin which has kept human being from God. Adam ran away from God when he sin, and since that time human beings have become the enemies of God. The result of this is war, violence and fighting among humanity. The Prince of Peace must bring peace between God and humanity. Therefore, the angel announced at the birth of Christ, ï¿½Glory to God on the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rest (Lk. 2:14, NIV). Being the embodiment of peace, he is the one who has obtained peace for people. He did it through the cross (Rom. 5:10). ï¿½Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christï¿½ (Rom. 5:1, NIV).
What is separating you from God? Why donï¿½t you have faith in him? Why canï¿½t you trust him? Why are you running away from? Are you running away because of your sins? It was sin that was driving Ahaz away from God. But in the midst of this, God is still Emmanuelï¿½God is with you. He wants you to come back to him just as you are. He is ready to sprinkle the blood on Christ, the Peace of Peace, on you.
You may think that you donï¿½t know what I have done. Or, you may say you do not know the extent of my problem. Yes, it is true; no human being can solve your problem for you. The point is that it is the zeal of the Lord which will accomplish this. Even Isaiah realised that the prophetic oracle uttered through him was so difficult that it could not be accomplished through the ordinary way. It was only the hand of the Lord that could accomplish it. He said, ï¿½ï¿½The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform thisï¿½ (Isa. 9:7, KJV). The New Living Translation reads, ï¿½ï¿½ The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!ï¿½ This conveys the idea that Godï¿½s unfailing love for his people will cause him to do this for them.
Oh, yes, the problem is big and shameful. It is difficult and chronic. You have tried all methods and plans. The greatest prophets, evangelists or apostles have not been able to solve it. This may be the case. However, you should never give up. Let the zeal of the Lord continue to consume you. Continue to trust him. Donï¿½t be ideal. Do all what you need to do. Godï¿½s unfailing love will never abandon you. Yes, it is the Mighty God who can solve it for you, as you continue to trust him and do your part. Emmanuelï¿½God is with you. By receiving him into your life he will restore your identity.
Message Preached By
CHAIRMAN, THE CHURCH OF PENTECOST
@ Dr Wyatt Memorial Temple, Accra New Town.
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