It's That Joyous Time Of Year!
Experience practical, encouraging life application to last a lifetime! Join us as we unpack Isaiah 9:6 discovering the benefits of Jesus as the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor and Hero of all creation.
Discover future casting prophetic passages written years before the event we call Christmas Day predicting the coming of Christ. Invite Family and Friends for a message series filled with Peace and Joy!
Future Casting the Coming Messiah.
Every Christmas season a challenge is set before me to approach the Christmas story,the birth of Jesus in inspiring ways.
Jesus birth is recorded within the synoptic Gospels first in Matthew then in the book of Luke.
What is interesting each story affirms the birth of Christ yet the details are far from the same. Some scholars feel these are contradictions. Others say the content can be harmonized.
Historians gravitate to the earliest account of writing in antiquity closest to the event to potentially be the most accurate. Matthew would win if that were the only criteria.
Both are interesting accounts that shed light upon the Christmas story.
We will not be unpacking those observations. I would encourage you to read them both closely and do your own study.
Where I would like to begin will be in the Old Testament, within the book of Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6.
The Scripture reads as follows:
Is. 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
George Frederick Handel within the movements of the Messiah wrote an entire song based on this passage of Scripture.
Our theme for this message series that will take us to Christmas is looking closer at the titles of the Messiah. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God and Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
These are Old Testament descriptors given many years before the birth of the one to receive them.
Let’s take a look at future casting prophecies found in the Old Testament.
The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
Mic. 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
Michael was an 18 century BC prophet. He lived at the same time as Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah.
The Messiah will be born of a virgin.
Is. 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.
The Messiah will be a prophet like Moses.
Deut.18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.
The Messiah will be tempted by Satan.
Psa. 91:10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.
Psa. 91:11 ¶ For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
Psa. 91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
The Psalms are a collection of the hymns of ancient Israel.Scholars divide them into five groups:
1. Hymns in praise of God’s glory
2. Community lamentations
3. Royal hymns for special occasions
4. Individual prayers
5. Individual praise and thanksgiving
It is difficult to date the individual psalms. King David is credited with writing many of them, and the collection of these hymns continued after the days of Israel’s exile. It is believed the collection was finalized before the second century B.C.
The Messiah will enter Jerusalem triumphantly.
Zech. 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah the prophet came from a priestly family. He was a visionary, who with the prophet Haggai worked on the rebuilding of the Temple.The New Testament Gospels quote Zechariah more than any other prophet.
Part one of the book of Zechariah was written in 520 B.C.Zechariah spoke about the judgment and salvation of God and about the coming Messiah who would be a priest, governor, humble king and afflicted shepherd.
The Messiah will be rejected by his own people.
Is. 53:1 ¶ Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Is. 53:2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
Is. 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
The Messiah will be betrayed by one of his followers.
Psa. 41:9 Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.
Psa. 55:12 ¶ For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him.
Psa. 55:13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend.
The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
Zech. 11:12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.
Zech. 11:13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
In chapter 11 of the book of Zechariah, the prophet refers to 30 shekels of silver as a“goodly price.” This amount also refers to the amount paid for the life of a slave. Zechariah’s prophecy speaks about the amount paid for the Lord and Hislife.
The Messiah we tried and condemned.
Is. 53:8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation,who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living, For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?
The Messiah will be silent before his accusers.
Psa.35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know.
Is. 53:7 ¶ He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
The Messiah will be smitten and spat upon.
Mic. 5:1 ¶ “Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek.
Is. 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
The Messiah to die by crucifixion with piercings.
Zech.12:10 ¶ “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son,
The Messiah will suffer with sinners.
Is.53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death,And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,And interceded for the transgressors.
The Messiah will die as a sin offering.
Is. 53:10 ¶ But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief;If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
Is. 53:11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.
The Messiah will be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
Is. 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
The Messiah will be raised from the dead.
Psa.16:10 For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
The Messiah will sit at God’s right hand.
Psa.110:1 ¶ The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”
This evidence shows that the Bible is truly the first hyper-linked text ever written. The Bible has a unique way of cross referencing itself.
63,779 Cross references. The birth of Christ is just one topic.
This is a picture of humanities first hyperlinked book.
Who are we dealing with? Prince, Counselor, Hero? That’s just scratching the surface. Continue with us each week as we discover the babe in a manger.
Peace Brings Rest, Clarity and Health
Again the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) makes a great bold statement and says in Him there is Shalom.
Is. 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
You can only have Shalom in God if you have Shalom with God!
Peace is compromised when we know God wants us to do something yet we don’t do it. (Ex 3 things we could stop doing that would make life better)
Fear paralysis can keep you from moving forward.
Shalom is like a lighthouse to your will. It will guide you through the worst storms.
False peace is when you run from the storm. You get temporary relief yet you have prolonged the inevitable.
Eph. 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Scripture says Jesus has removed the barrier for He is our Shalom. Follow the mind/thinking of Christ.
If this is true, when things go wrong relationally, God will not be the One to blame anymore.
If you are not at peace with a person, it is due to a dividing wall between you.
Identify that wall. Remove the wall, according to scripture and peace is then possible.
The holidays reveal the walls between people.
Make peace with God and step into the stream of His Shalom. May His promises manifest in you!
Num. 6:24 “‘“The LORD bless you and keep you;
Num. 6:25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
Num. 6:26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
Let’stalk about Shalom of mind. Peace in our minds!
Today's world is world fueled on fear and anxiety.
The news, politics, terrorism, economy is based on fear. When and where will we be the next catastrophe? Fear is big business. Ex don’t market bigger mouse traps, market bigger mice.
Insurance,one of the largest industries on the planet is based on fear of what has not even happened yet.
Is. 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,because he trusts in you.
Is. 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
This word peace is “Perfect Shalom.” in Hebrew.
If your mind is steadfast, doing your part, trusting in God you will have Shalom of mind.
What you focus on expands like a magnifying glass.
Focus on the trouble, it expands. Focus on God, he expands!
This is the key to Shalom in any circumstance.
God is on His thrown no matter what happens on earth. Through connection, prayer and action we have the resources to transcend any challenge.
We choose Shalom.
Gal. 5:22 ¶ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Shalom), patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness,
Gal. 5:23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Fruit can be harvested when proper conditions are met.
Shalom of mind is a barometer of Spiritual maturity.
Shalom anchored in faith, NOT FEELINGS, will stand firm.Feelings come and go.
Rom. 15:13 ¶ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 5:1 ¶ Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Rom. 5:2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
These are strong protestant scriptures here. Justified by faith and access to God through Jesus Christ.
We don’t work to be accepted. We are accepted by God there for we do good will.More peace on earth and more goodwill toward men will make a difference.
John 16:33 ¶ “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by pray rand petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phil. 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Once again, Shalom is robbed when we focus on the wrong things.
Phil. 4:8 ¶ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Phil. 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
There comes a point where we have to accept reality of how things are to get to areal point of change.
If we consistently say “every things blessed brother” yet we are dying inside, we will not attain the Shalom of God.
Accepting reality doesn’t mean that we have to live in that reality.
Accepting reality is the starting line for authentic change in your reality.
Preparing for the future brings the Shalom of God.
The quote, “Living by faith” can sometimes be a religious buzz phrase.
Living by faith does not mean you disregard all future consequences hoping magically things will work out.
Praying the bomb doesn’t explode!
God did not intend for us to live this way.
Sowing is a posture for the future. We do now, to have something more later.
Shalom is a fruit of the Spirit that needs to be sown and Grown.
Preparing for the future sometimes includes prioritizing your responsibilities. Ex. Circle
Doing and worrying for everyone else or rescuing people all the time thwarts the Shalom of God.
Don’t play God for others. Don’t neglect YOU.
Place your oxygen mask before you help others.
Prepare for your future.
Adding margins in your life will aid Shalom.
Give yourself extra time, money, underwear.
Prayer and connection with God will bring Shalom.
1Tim. 2:1 ¶ I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers,intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone —
1Tim. 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1Tim. 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
1Tim. 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Pray for everyone. Leaders, Pastors!
It helps us all to live peacefully. We will live in Shalom.
2Cor. 13:11 ¶ Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Choose the quality of your day.
Choose the quality of your week.
Choose the ways of the Prince Of Peace!
Seek Wisdom From The Highest Source
Good counsel in anyone’s life can save that person years of heartache. Good counsel can save your life.
The wisdom provided by that counselor could easily regard the counselor as a hero.
When it comes to Jesus Christ offering wisdom, he is world renowned even if people do not subscribe to His divinity.
The apostle Paul encourages that this mind of Christ needs to be within each one of us and is a mind directly connected to the Wonderful Counselor spoken of in Scripture.
Good counselors provide more than knowledge. Wisdom is applied knowledge.
Knowledge alone would be the act of pointing out your problem or issue rather than giving wisdom that would offer a step-by-step approach to solving the problem and learning in the process.
God is marketed today as one who simply solves your problems for you. It is biblically more consistent that God comes alongside as a good counselor offering wisdom for each of us to walk through the problem-solving process.
If God just solves our problems, we won’t learn how not to get into the problem in the first place.
We usually seek a counselor when there’s a problem and we need an answer. Counselors are most effective when we reach out to them.
If someone is all knowing in knowledge and science they are omniscient. We use the word omniscience.
This hero and counselor has an attribute called omniscience.He is all-knowing.
If we choose to take time and tap in to this wonderful counselor with meditation and prayer, we can have access to omniscient wisdom.
Wisdom is also a spiritual gift according to Scripture.
1Cor.12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Scripture says that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus Christ, therefore in us and through us God can work.
Wisdom is the offering of the wonderful counselor. Scripture supports it.
Proverbs 3:19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding he established the heavens.
Jeremiah 10:12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
Romans 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Job 12:13“With Him are wisdom and might;
To Him belong counsel and understanding.
Ephesians 1:8 Which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight.
Ephesians 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Wisdom is when words and actions line up.
If God is a part of the creative process, we can trust his words of wisdom simply on the basis of the first cause creation. I believe that God is more than that.
If God is not wise, as we navigate within this creation there will be no foundation to be sure of anything. Chaos becomes the outcome.
Jesus is born in darkness, depicted as a bright star as one who guides and directs us through the chaos of life.
Wisdom is the most valued treasure. God is the author of that treasure.
Within the Christmas story we see Wise men come and offer gifts to the Prince of peace, wonderful counselor, mighty God.
These gifts were highly valuable earthly treasures yet not as valuable as the treasure of wisdom from the wonderful counselor.
God in his wisdom has the skill to achieve perfect ends by means that are perfect and worthy of God.
Wisdom can see the end from the beginning. Wisdom can see everything and proper relation and in full focus.
God does not make mistakes. Einstein said that God is not play with dice.
Wisdom was divinely incarnate in a voice of a man named Jesus Christ who communicated very clearly.
Wisdom that comes from God is archetypal. It is high and holy as you discover it. God wants us to have is infinite wisdom as we journey together.
The Westminster catechism says it the best with this question. What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Everything that God does is for the highest good of the people.
It is imperative that church model this position. It is unfortunate if people within the church do not choose the highest good.
We need to do what is meaningful, not what is convenient.
Every church should be running to the highest good of the people.
Our goal as a church is that we do the highest good for the people, for the highest number of people, for the longest time.
This is the example of the wonderful counselor. As God has done good for us, we then can do good for others. We are blessed to be a blessing.
As God is our hero, we can be types of heroes for others.
We also need to realize that this wonderful counselor is acting in front of the camera as well as behind-the-scenes.
God does his best work behind the scenes and in the dark
In Genesis, the darkness was over the deep, God spoke these words let there be light and there was light.
Even in the darkness God's creative wisdom and power was working.
We find that God also accomplishes much without us knowing about it. The only way to see this is in hindsight.
How many details behind the scenes was God orchestrating to bring the highest good, for the most people, for the longest time.
Jesus entrance into the world did not happen with great human fanfare. Only those who are looking new of his arrival. The Angels announcing Jesus birth did not visit the highest of the dominance hierarchy. The Angels made an announcement to lowly shepherds in the field.
Jesus was formed in the darkness of the virgins womb.
All of these grand designs are acts of infinite wisdom.
The logos word was hidden in Christ for 30 years.
As Jesus gave up his last breath on the cross there was darkness across the land.
Jesus body was wrapped repaired to be laid in the dark tomb.
In the early morning hours before the sun rose they came to see the graves of Jesus and he had already risen.
Some of the greatest works of God have been performed in silence and in the darkness.
The Christmas story is a great tradition around the world.
Contemporary Christian circles look at the word tradition as a useless way forward in the deeper things of God.
Today more than ever I challenge that thought, because I used to think that to be true.
The Greek word for tradition is paradosis.
Para= alongside or handing off
Tradition literally means alongside of or handing off a gift.
The value of tradition is that it offers orientation to our position in the world as human beings.
Those who have lived before us have experienced things that have been selflessly handed to the future generations. I will never look at the word tradition the same way again nor will I question the value.
Let us celebrate this Christmas keeping the Prince of peace, wonderful counselor and mighty hero God in the center of our hearts and minds walking in his omnipotent power, infinite wisdom and transformational peace.