Delight

Psalm 37.4The noun delight has its origin in the 13th century.  It is defined as “a high degree of gratification”.  The French origin of the word points up the fact that it is a fairly intimate word.  Psalm 37.4 reads, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I would guess that many of us have a very difficult time relating to this verse.  We live in a world that knows neither love nor hatred by the physical evidence in front of them (see Ecclesiastes 9.1-2).  Asaph pined away about witnessing the prosperity of the wicked during his life (Psalm 73).

But as the song writer penned, “If I could see beyond tomorrow as God does see…”  Our problem truly rests in the fact that we find a high degree of gratification in all the wrong things.  Our desires are tethered to all the wrong things.  If desire is tethered to time and the sensate experiences of life, we simply have the wrong desires.  It’s hard to convince myself and others that this is positively true.

Psalm 37.4 tells us to delight ourselves in the LORD.  This is a responsibility that we must meet, or we will become unsatisfied with life.  Psalm 81.10 has the clear directive of our LORD:  “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  Nobody else is able to fill us but our Creator.  Feed on His faithfulness (Psalm 37.3b).

Think of Heaven.  The souls who have gone before us are indeed happy and care-free.  If eternal life is something we enjoy now (and it is), then we ought to bring a little delight from Heaven into our world today.  Don’t live below the position and privilege that you have in Christ as God’s dear child.  Heaven is to you an everlasting possession.  Find a high degree of gratification in the LORD.  Once you do, you will have the desires of your heart …all of them.

Gaining Christ

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Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.  Self-righteousness is repugnant to God, but the righteousness which is from God by faith is an unsurpassed excellence.  We count all things loss for this excellence.  We count all things as rubbish in comparison with gaining Christ.  Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.

What is mean by knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection in Philippians 3.10?  This power is certainly found in the fact that the death of Christ is an incomplete story.  Jesus offered up His life’s blood for us.  He then appeared in the presence of God for us as the resurrected Christ (Hebrews 9.24).  If He is not risen, His work is not finished.  But He is and it is (John 19.30).  He was delivered up to death with a view toward our offense;  He was raised from the dead with a view toward making us right before the Father (Romans 4.25).  “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8.34).

The power of His resurrection gave entrance for the Spirit to indwell and empower the believer.  Jesus said that it was to our advantage that He went away. If He had not, the Helper would not have come to us.  But He departed, and He sent the Helper to us (John 16.7).  We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Promised One (Acts 2.38-39).  “Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14.9).

The power of His resurrection will exalt us to glory.  “By man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15.21).  Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14.2-3).  “The forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever” (Hebrews 6.20).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection is experiential and relational knowledge.  The resurrection of Christ establishes the foundation of faith.  It is one thing to read about faith, it’s another to experience it.  Do you have a faith that overcomes the lusts of the flesh?  Do you have a faith that draws you close to God?  Do you have a faith that moves you to delight in those things in which God delights?  If you do, you are experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection quickens hope.  Hope comes to those who continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  You ride out the storms of doubt, trial, and adversity.  You keep dependent in times of prosperity.  You trust in the LORD.  You know your sinfulness, but you also know the power of His blood.  You know your weakness, but you also know the sufficiency of His grace.  You are confident of this very thing:  that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phiippians 1.6).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection transforms temporal life into eternal life.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15.13).  This hope-filled, eternal quality of life paves the way for temporal suffering within the sphere of joy and peace.  Only the hopeful are able to enter into the sufferings of Christ.  The power of His resurrection carries us through the fellowship of His sufferings.

 

The Abundance of Everything

We certainly love God for who He is, but we also love God for what He gives.  It’s never advisable to think only in terms of the abstract in theology.  It may sound pious to say that we simply love God for who He is and not what He gives, but such piety will not stand in the face of Scripture.  We arPsalm 103.3e grateful daily for all of God’s benefits.  We serve Him with joy and gladness for the abundance of everything (Deuteronomy 28.47).

Who He Is

God is merciful, gracious, and steadfast.  The extension of God’s mercy teaches us that we deserve nothing but His wrath.  The extension of His grace indicates that He watches over us and delights in giving us good gifts we will never deserve.  His steadfastness helps us to realize that He will always be present and never neglect us.  The mercy, grace, and steadfastness of the LORD are realities which spur active service.

What He Gives

The response and worship of God’s children ought to be personal, committed, and continual.  David writes, “Bless the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103.1).  We owe a debt that we cannot possibly pay.  Even if we are struggling to make ends meet, we are better off.  The richest of men who know nothing of God’s gifts live is spiritual squalor.  This drives commitment to obey the LORD’s primary command:  Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  He forgives, heals redeems, crowns, and satisfies.  Therefore we continually bless and praise Him.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103.1-5

We are reluctant to bless the LORD because it doesn’t feel genuine.  The reason this is true is that we fail to remind ourselves of His character and all His daily benefits.  There is no greater joy for the Christian to be genuinely and continually committed to his God.  Be thankful for who He is and what He gives.

Heart Obedience

“For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14.7-9). 

self-centeredOne common thread ties together Christians who differ over the way they conduct themselves before God.  While both the weak and the strong believe they are accepted by God, both have a desire to please God.  We ought to bear with one another in areas of Christian liberty.  The temptation is for the weak to judge the strong with a critical spirit and the strong to despise the weak for their rigid lifestyle.

The Word of God is unwavering about purity, sin, and the holiness of God.  It is equally unwavering about our approach to God as our Father.  A heart for God precedes obedience.  We know Him, believe in Him, and consider ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6.11).  We no longer listen to the seductive nature of sin so that obey it in its lusts.  Instead we present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 16.13).  We were slaves of sin, yet we obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which we were delivered (Romans 6.17).

Obedience from the heart includes two very important elements:

  1. We put to death self.  The world is about self.  Self-gratification, self-esteem, self-centeredness, self-indulgence, and self-happiness.  Self fuels idolatry in a world energized by the devil.  It is hoped that a Christian is able to see this as idolatry and die to self.  We do not need encouragement to love ourselves.  It is assumed that we do in Scripture.  Therefore the second great command admonishes to love others as we already love ourselves.
  2. We are alive in Christ.  We live and die to the Lord.  What is His will?  What esteems Him?  What gratifies Him?  We are His.  He created and redeemed us.  Therefore we seek to honor Him.  We love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  We strain to please Christ instead of self.

Whatever we do, we do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10.31).  Our earnest expectation and hope is that we shall be ashamed in nothing that we think or do, but with all boldness, as always, Christ will be magnified in the body, whether by life or by death (Philippians 1.20).  None of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord (Romans 14.7-8).

Obedience from the heart also has a very important foundation:



God created us; therefore, we must obey Him.  He redeemed us; therefore, we are His.  Christ died and rose and lived again.  His death for our sin and His resurrection for our justification (cp. Romans 4.25) are foundational.

We are not saved in our sins but saved from them.  Our sin debt is not simply cleared away, but we have power to overcome sin in our daily lives.  Christ “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5.15).   Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2.14).

Jesus “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2.24).  For our sakes Christ sanctified Himself, that we also might be sanctified by the truth (John 17.19).  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2.9-11).

Our obedience from the heart stems from the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Love and our identity as His children brings us to the place of unreserved, heart-obedience.  Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in us.  We have Him from God.  We are not our own …there is no self.  We are bought at a price; therefore we shall glorify God in our body and spirit because they are His unique possession.  He possesses us (1 Corinthians 6.19-20).  The love of Christ compels our obedience (2 Corinthians 5.14).

When you think about it, there are very few believers who understand the Christian experience.  If living for self became the benchmark for Christianity, then we would have no shortage of these types of Christians.  But whole-hearted, unreserved obedience is the benchmark.  We find few on this narrow path.  “All seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2.21).  But all should seek the things which are of Christ Jesus first and foremost.  Judge yourself today by whether or not you are seeking the things which are of Christ Jesus.  Christianity demands that we come all the way to Christ not half-way or part of the way.  Anything less is hypocrisy.  May God give us the full measure of His Spirit and renew us in our inner man!

“Present your bodes a living sacrifice, holy, acceptably to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12.1).  Rise up from the ashes of self and live for Christ.  He intercedes for us.  He prepares a place for us.  What are we doing for Him?  Whatever it is that we do for Him is only reasonable.  We respond to His great sacrifice with heart-felt obedience.  Nothing is too great to give Him.  Nothing is to much to sacrifice for Him.  It is only reasonable.  Let all of us “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15.58).

All Things for the New Year

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“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8.32)?

Assuredly, we want to begin 2016 with confidence and to live it victoriously.  Confidence for the year ahead is based upon God’s goodness extended to us in a singular event.  Specifically, it is rooted in the fact that God did not spare Jesus Christ, His own Son.  Instead, He delivered Him up for us all. 

God delivered His Son up for us even before we became children of God:   while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Our situation was desperate.  Our hearts were desperately wicked.  We could not earn the grace of God.  We did not deserve the grace of God.  And yet God did not spare His own Son. 

What does the Bible mean when it states that God did not spare His own son?  It means that God did not prevent His wrath from being poured out fully upon His Son.  The wrath of God for the sin of mankind was poured out in full measure upon Jesus Christ in order fully satisfy the Father.  Jesus was not spared. 

This was done for us all.  Which means it was done for every person that has ever lived or ever will live, but it was done especially for those who believe (1 Timothy 4.10).  And those who believe are in view as you read Romans 8.

Jesus became a man so that the Son of God could die for the sin of all mankind as the Second Adam.  God loved us so much that He delivered Jesus up for us all.  He didn’t spare Him. 

Jesus was delivered up because of our offenses (cp. w/ Romans 4.25a).  God is not willing that any person should perish but that every person should come to repentance ….that every person should have a change of mind when it comes to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (2 Peter 3.9).  God desires that once we trust in Christ, we continue to to trust in Him.  This leads to a change of direction in our lives.  We turn from self and run toward Christ.

Jesus did not come to primarily teach us an ethical system or how to be morally good and right.  He was delivered up by the Father as the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2.2). 

Jesus was delivered up for us all.  But not all people benefit by this great Gift.  Yet the Gift of Jesus’ redemption is sufficient for us all.  To deny this is to say that God’s gift is insufficient.  But, of course, nothing God gives is insufficient.  If a person will not receive the gift of God through faith, they will not be able to say that God did not extend His love and mercy toward them.  The LORD God asks, “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die ….and not that he should turn from his ways and live” (Ezekiel 18.23)?  The answer to this rhetorical question is that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  God desires repentance and faith from all. 

Any person who desires acceptance with God through the person and work of Jesus Christ may have it.  That person may be assured that Jesus Christ was delivered up for them.  This is the teaching of the Word of God.  If you are reading this, you too, can receive the gift of God.  You too can trust alone in the death of Jesus Christ for all your sin …you can trust in the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day for your justification (Romans 4.25).  Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2.8-9).  My hope is that you are not only aware of these facts, but that you are depending upon them. 

But it is the latter portion of this verse that is captivating for the coming year:

“How shall He [God the Father] not with Him [Jesus Christ the Son] also freely give us all things?”

We can get very confused by statements such as these.  God loves His children too much to give them everything they want; however, God gives them everything they need, and I do mean everything.  If we need a lot of money, God will give it to us.  If we need a father, God will give him to us.  If we need a brother, a sister, or a mother, God will raise one up.  There is not anything that we need that God will not give.

But notice the adverb freely.  God will freely give us all things.  I don’t need to send Him a seed-gift through some other mediator.  I don’t have to practice extortion or go into debt to freely get all I need from God.  Actually, God is more willing to give than I am to ask.  Sometimes God gives even when I fail to ask.  What a humbling experience that is!  God freely gives to us all things.  Therefore we ought to make 2016 a year when we ask for all things. 

The greatest gift God ever gave me was the gift of His only Son.  It only makes sense that He will give me the gifts that are smaller and lesser in value than the salvation of my eternal soul.  God will not forget you, leave you, or forsake you this year.  Believe it.  It would be absurd for you to not believe it.  God will not act contrary to His giving nature.  He is God. 

I leave you with three thoughts for the year ahead:

  1. Since there is not greater gift than God’s Son, then “thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9.15)! 
  2. Since no one is worthy of such a gift, then let’s all open our mouths wide knowing God will fill them (Psalm 81.10). 
  3. Since God will freely give us all things “with Him” (that is, with Christ), then let us approach God’s throne with Christ as our Advocate.  Paul writes, “All things are yours …all are yours.  And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3.21-23).   

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

The Wonder of Christ at Christmas – Part 2

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9.6-7).

The prophecy which unfolds in Isaiah 8.22-9.7 has both a near and far fulfillment.  Yesterday, we looked at this context and compared it with the New Testament (Part 1).  God has revealed Himself in a progressive manner.  Since it is Christmas Day, let’s examine the wonder of Christ in Christmas by unwrapping the gift of His person.

Jesus is a Child Born

John 1.14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Galatians 4.4-5 state, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

1 Timothy 3.16 states, “Great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh.”

All of this New Testament revelation illuminates that which people in Isaiah’s day could not understand.  Unto us a child is born.  He is a child born of a virgin woman under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law.  The Child born would also become the Son God gave to the world.

Jesus is a Son Given

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3.16).  Jesus is the Son given (grace).  He is the gift of God who Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3.16a).  Jesus is the Son given.

2 Corinthians 5.21 tells us that the Father made the Son who knew no sin to be sin for us.  He stood in our place and absorbed the wrath of God that we deserve.  He drained the dregs of judgment in the cup of God’s fierce indignation.  Not for Himself but for you and for me.  He died and was buried in a tomb.  The third day He arose!

The Father raised up the Son, Jesus our Lord, from the dead.  Jesus was the Son given because of our offenses and the Son raised because of our justification (Romans 4.25).

Jesus is a King Forever

1. He is the Wonderful Counselor – The Bible exhorts us as believers to be knit together in love, and attain to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2.6).  Jesus is wisdom personified.  He is the Word become flesh!  His ways and judgements are beyond our comprehension.  We look to Him for wisdom and guidance!  He is the King Forever and the Wonderful Counselor!

2. He is the Mighty God – He is not only God with us; He is God over us.  If Jesus is not God, then He could not be the Son given.  If Jesus is not God, then He could not reign as King.  He shares in all the attributes of the Father.  He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present.  The Mighty God is the Lord of glory crucified.  It is His blood that is the purchase-price of our redemption:  matchless blood and flawless blood.  He is King Forever and the Mighty God!

3. He is the Everlasting Father – This text is not saying that Jesus the Son is actually God the Father.  We believe in the triune nature of God:  Father, Son, and Spirit, three persons and yet one God.  So how is Jesus the everlasting Father.  He has begotten us as children by His word and Spirit.  Jesus is the second Adam.  He is the giver and source of everlasting life.  Through His blood, He has opened the new and better way to God.  We are adopted into the family of God through supernatural rebirth.  Jesus made this possible.  He is the Everlasting Father in this sense.  He is the King Forever and he Everlasting Father!

4. He is the Prince of Peace – While Jesus will reign upon David’s throne and bring peace to the entire world for 1,000 years, we as believers experience the benefit of peace today.  He redeemed us and reconciled us to the Father.  We are no longer enemies but children.  Not only that, we have peace garrisoning our hearts to this day.  Nobody is able to take this peace away from us.  He is the King Forever and the Prince of Peace!

Father, all we can do is meditate upon these verses and simply get lost in wonder and in praise for Jesus, the Child born, the Son given, and the King forever.  The more we think about this passage, the more devoted to Christ we become.

We are filled with wonder.  He is the Child born:  God in the flesh.  You have revealed that the angels themselves are lost in wonder and desire to consider this great truth.  Great is this mystery of godliness!  Thanks be to You for Your indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9.15)!

We are lost in praise.  Our gratitude is heightened when we consider the incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  That He would be a Child born in order to become a Son given as a sacrifice compels gratitude within us.  You put it there in our souls though the power of your Spirit.  What can we give in return?  We can never repay You for the Child born and the Son given, but we can give You our lives anew this Christmas morning.

Let us be filled with devotion and commitment.  Let Your will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.  We submit ourselves to the King today and every day.  We accept the gift of His reign over us.

You have bid us come.  We have labored and we have been heavily burdened by our sin.  We receive the rest only You give.  We take Your yoke upon us.  We will learn from You for you are gentle and lowly in heart.  You will give us what we seek this Christmas:  Rest for our souls.  Lord Jesus, Your yoke is indeed easy; Your burden light.  We bless You in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

The Wonder of Christ at Christmas – Part 1

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9.6-7).

Isaiah 8 ends with the words, “Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness” (Isaiah 8.22).  Nevertheless the gloom or judgment would not oppress forever.  The Lord lightly esteemed or treated with contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.  But later He would bring blessing upon them.  Verse 1 says that afterward He more heavily oppressed her, but the phrase would be better translated, “He will make it glorious” (heavy weight of glory not oppression as in the NASB) by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan or on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.  The area occupied by the half tribe of Manasseh will benefit from this specific blessing.  Galilee of the nations or Gentiles will also be blessed.  The phrase Galilee of the Gentiles only occurs here and in Matthew 4.15, which cites this passage.  Galilee is from a word that can mean “circle”.  It seems best to take it to mean the Gentile nations that encircled Israel.

Isaiah 9.2 says that “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (better will see; sometimes the perfect tense communicates future events as already having taken place in order to communicate certainty).”  The OT sense of this prophecy portrays God’s people walking in the darkness of sin and rebellion.  The great light would be God’s judgment shining upon them at the hands of the Assyrian army.  But the NT sense of the fulfillment of this prophecy is the great light of the Lord Jesus coming and releasing His people from their captivity of sin and darkness.  He would absorb the judgment of God for us.  We know this because of Matthew 4.15-16.  Jesus is the light that has shined:  “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”

Jesus grew up in Nazareth within the confines of Zebulun in Isaiah’s prophecy.  There was darkness in Nazareth and a great need for spiritual light.  The Lord Jesus is the light that shined in the land of the shadow of death.  Luke tells us how He introduces the light of His fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:

Luke 4.16 states, “[Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.”

Isaiah 9.3 states, “You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy.”  Of course, this refers to the Lord Jesus as well.  They rejoice as in the joy of harvest and dividing the spoil of battle.  There are two ways to look at this:  1) The Lord Jesus multiplied the nation and increased its joy by bringing in the Gentiles under grace; 2) He will multiply the nation and increase its joy when He sits upon the royal throne of David during the Millennium.  I have no problem accepting both interpretations because both are true.

Verses 4-5 clearly refer to the day of Midian, a time when Gideon delivered Israel from the Midianite invasion in Judges 6-8.  I believe that it is abundantly clear that this prophecy has not been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus as of yet.  I think it is a reference to the cleansing of the land after the close of the Great Tribulation period.  The Lord Jesus prepares for His rule in verse 5.  John the apostle writes of this specific time in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19.11-21):

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

This Child born is the Son of the virgin mentioned in Isaiah 7.14 (although there is a near fulfillment of this prophecy in Isaiah’s time).  The first two phrases tell us that a Child is born (birth of Christ) and a Son is given (crucifixion of Christ).  Everything following in Isaiah’s prophecy points to Christ’s coming Millennial Kingdom.  Then, the government will be upon His shoulder.  He will be the King reigning.

There are four descriptive phrases of the King (wonderful should modify Counselor in my opinion):  1) Wonderful Counselor; 2) Mighty God; 3) Everlasting Father; 4) Prince of Peace.  First, He has wisdom to govern the people of the world perfectly.  Second, He has the power to carry out His rule with an iron scepter.  Third, He is the everlasting Father in the sense that He is the Father of all those who are redeemed.  Adam is the father of all living beings.  Christ is the last Adam and became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15.45).  Finally, He is the Prince of Peace.  The 1,000 year reign of Christ will be marked by the absence of war and violence.  It will fulfill the Davidic Covenant and satisfy the promises of God.  It will be a time of great blessing.

Of the increase of Christ’s government and peace there will be no end.  The government of Christ does not increase through war but through peace.  His justice and judgment are characteristic of His reign during the Millennium.  His reign and rule is forever after that initial 1,000 year period to fulfill the Scriptures.  This will be a fulfillment of the promise God made to David in 2 Samuel 7.12-17:

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

So our text is all about the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is a Child born, a Son given, and the King forever.