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Fourfold Title of Christ: A Christmas Message
Fourfold Title of Jesus Christ
Isaiah 9:6, 7: ‘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, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
So Isaiah predicted the birth of the Messiah (the Christ) 700 years before He was born as a little child in the little village of Bethlehem. We have the account of Christ’s birth in Luke chapter 2. The visit of the wise men from the East to Bethlehem happened a year or two later, perhaps; for in Matthew 2:11 we find that the Child is no longer in the cattle-shed but in a house.
Isaiah not only talks about the birth of Jesus in this verse, but he declares: ‘Unto us a Son is given.’ We are reminded of John’s words: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...’ Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore God’s heir to the Throne and the Kingdom. One day God’s kingdom will be established upon the earth, and the government of the world will rest upon the shoulders of our Lord Jesus Christ. Psalm 2:8 speaks of Christ being given the nations for His inheritance, and the ends of the earth for His possession. Psalm 2 speaks of Christ’s rule upon the earth.
In this message, however, we are meditating upon the fourfold Name given to Christ. In some translations it is shown as five names – ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Counsellor’ being separated; but in the NASB we have the phrase ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ as one title. Therefore we read: His Name shall be called:
i. Wonderful Counsellor
ii. Mighty God
iii. Everlasting Father
iv. Prince of Peace
The Name speaks of both character and power. The Lord Jesus Christ is ‘Jesus’, meaning Saviour, and ‘Christ’, meaning Messiah (Anointed of God). Here, in Isaiah 9, are four titles. What do they signify?
The title ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ points to the wisdom of God. God’s ways are past finding out; His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, even as the heavens are higher than the earth, Isa 55:9. On the other hand, man’s wisdom is but foolishness to God. God’s wisdom and counsel is given through His Word. His Word is a living Word and speaks to us in our quiet time. Psalm 119:105 says, ‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ Unfortunately, we neglect God’s word and God’s counsel, and get into many troubles. But the Lord is faithful, and He brings us back to Himself; and thus, through many trials, we develop an ear to hear His voice.
The title ‘Mighty God’ points to the power of God. We have an Almighty God, who is called the Mighty God of Jacob, Gen 49:24; Isa 49:26. The title, ‘God of Jacob’ is especially comforting, because there was no merit in Jacob, and yet God chose him. Similarly, God has chosen us who have no merit to be His children. We are weak and foolish, but He is infinitely strong and wise. The Apostle Paul declares that Christ is the power and the wisdom of God, 1 Cor 1:24. God says to us, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in your weakness.’ God’s grace is His mighty power working on our behalf. There is nothing impossible for God. God says, ‘I will shatter the gates of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron.’ Isa 45:2. All power belongs to God, Psalm 62:8. Therefore we should not be afraid of anything, but maintain a strong faith in God and in His unfailing Word. Never fear Satan, for he is a defeated foe. Our Lord destroyed all his evil works on Calvary. There is awesome power in the Blood of the Lamb. We should continually claim the power of the Blood for ourselves and our family, and also plead the power of the Blood against the enemy. More than anything, Satan fears the Blood of the Lamb.
The title ‘Everlasting Father’ speaks of the relationship every born-again child of God has with His heavenly Father. Jesus came to reveal that relationship to us. When we are washed by the Blood of Jesus and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we become the children of God. God is forever our Father in heaven; that relationship can never be broken. While, because of failure, sin and neglect, we might lose fellowship or communion with God, yet our relationship with God continues till the very end (i.e. forever). Remember, the prodigal son remained the son of his father even when he was in the far-off country dwelling with the pigs. When we are born again, we become inwardly conscious of the fact that God is our Father, Rom 8:16. How comforting this thought is; nay, it is more than a concept, it is reality.
The last title ‘Prince of Peace’ is very rich in meaning. Not only do we have peace with God when we are justified by faith (Rom 5:1), but we carry the peace of God in our hearts when we learn to live a life of fellowship with God, especially in thanksgiving and prayer (Phil 4: 6,7). God’s peace is very real. Jesus said, ‘My peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid.’ John 14:27. His peace grows and multiplies as we walk in obedience to His commandments. This is a wonderful blessing, because we can taste it immediately. It is experienced in our hearts and minds. It comes as a rest from our burdens (Matt 11:28) and continues as a rest for our souls (Matt 11:29). The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. His peace is perfect (Isa 26:3), abundant (Ps 37:11), increasing like a river as it goes down to the sea (Isa 66:12), regnant in the obedient heart (Col 3:15), victorious (Rom 16:20), and (most important of all) will one day be established over the whole earth (Luke 2:14).
Do you enjoy this peace in your heart? Have you made God your heavenly Father? Have you experienced the grace of God in your life? God assures you that He will counsel you and guide you with His eye upon you (Psalm 32:8). This is our faithful God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Won’t you receive Him even now into your heart both as Saviour and Lord? Then He will become to you a Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
May the Lord Jesus be praised! Amen.