An Old Testament Christmas Card
“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 Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Turn in your Bible to this passage, Isaiah 9:6, and let’s take a closer look at this verse quoted so often at Christmastime. It’s like an Old Testament Christmas card.
The prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, paints a word portrait of the Child of Bethlehem—a rich oil painting of the One who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords—yet began His passage through the limits of time and space, His visit to Earth, in an obscure Jewish town, a child born in lowly circumstances to parents who would not stand out in a crowd. His birth should have caused no stir—nothing remarkable.
Yet the heavens broke wide open that night with angelic choirs. A mysterious star no scientist has ever been able to pinpoint or explain led kings to find Him. This was the cradle that rocked the world! Who was this child? Our verse tells us.
Let’s look in depth at this beautiful passage of praise.
1. This verse prophesies that the Child has a name—or more than one. Write out those four names here:
2. What “problem” do you see for some religious groups in calling this Person “the Mighty God”?
False cults don’t like this. They stumble right here. Every false cult is wrong on the person of Jesus. They do not ascribe to Jesus that He is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. Liberal theologians don’t like that. They don’t believe in the deity of Christ as we believe in the deity of Christ.
3. What problem is there in the name “Everlasting Father”?
4. Is Jesus Christ literally the Father? (answer carefully). _____________
No, Jesus is not the Father. The Father is not the same Person as the Son. And neither the Father nor the Son is the same Person as the Holy Spirit. What we DO have in the Son is God in human flesh. What we have in the Godhead is “God in three Persons, Blessed Trinity.”
A CLOSER LOOK: DO WE HAVE 3 GODS?
Sometimes people accuse Christians of being polytheists. We worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They say we worship three Gods. We worship one God who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship one God. There is but one God. And the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament are the one and same God.
So what could this passage mean by saying “His name shall be called…the Everlasting Father”?
Let’s “Dig Deeper” into this!
Jesus Has the Attributes of the Everlasting Father
Jesus Christ in the New Testament has the names and the attributes that are attributed to “Jehovah” of the Old Testament.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NAME “JEHOVAH”
Jehovah is the name God’s people, the Jews, used for Him in the Old Testament. Over 7,000 times He is called “Jehovah” or “Jehovah God.” If you have a King James Version of the Bible, the name Jehovah is translated in your Bible LORD. But it is a name for God that speaks of God in His covenant relationship with His people. That is, as God deals intimately, personally, caringly, savingly and redemptively with His people.
The Jews held His name is such reverence they would never even speak it audibly. When the Scriptures were read, when they came to this name, they would bow their head and close their eyes and meditate. The congregation would do the same thing. Such was the reverence they had for the name Jehovah. When they were copying the Scriptures, when the Jewish scribe came to the name Jehovah, he would lay aside his old pen and get a brand new pen just to write the name Jehovah. So important was this name!
The Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament are the same. Jesus said, “I and My Father are one…” You cannot separate the Jehovah from the Old Testament and the Jesus from the New Testament.
Jesus is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. If you have any other Jesus, you don’t have the Jesus of the Bible. You have a false Jesus who cannot save. Dear friend, it makes a lot of difference who Jesus is. This is basic Christianity.
Understand that this baby born in Bethlehem is called “the Mighty God.” If He had not been, He could not be the Prince of Peace, and the government could not rest upon His shoulder.
We’re going to connect the dots between Old and New Testament in Scripture that will prove it.
5. Old Testament passage: Turn to Isaiah 40:3.
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD…”
a. What did we say earlier that LORD in the Old Testament means? ____________
So this is really translated: “…Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
6. New Testament passage that fulfills it: Turn to Matthew 3:1-3
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet ________________…”
a. Who is talking here in Matt. 3:1-3? ___________ the ________________.
He is about to present someone that he says Isaiah was talking about.
b. Who was Isaiah talking about?
“…prepare ye the way of Jehovah_(“the L_______)…”
c. John says, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness saying, Prepare ye
the way of the LORD; make His paths straight.” And who was John talking
7. Look in verse 11. John says:
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but _____ that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: _____ shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and _____ will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; and ____ will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh [who?] ____________….”
Jesus of the New Testament is that Jehovah of the Old Testament of whom Isaiah prophesied. Do you see it? There’s more.
8. Old Testament passage: Turn to Isaiah 44:6
“Thus saith the LORD [that is, “Thus saith Jehovah”] the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the LORD of hosts: I am the ________, and I am the ______; and beside Me there is _____ God.”
In other words, “other than Me, there is none.”
This God is the first and He is the last. There is no other God. You can’t have two Gods.
9. New Testament passage: Keep in mind that here in Isaiah 44:6 Jehovah calls Himself “the first and the last.” Now turn to Revelation1:17. The Apostle John has just had a vision of Jesus. Clearly, it was Jesus. John says,
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the ______ and the ______…”
In Isaiah 44:6 Jehovah is the first and the last.
In Revelation1:17 Jesus is the first and the last.
10. Turn to Psalm 24:10: ______________ is the LORD of glory.
Turn to 1st Corinthians 2:8: __________ is the LORD of glory.
We could continue this for some time. But in the interests of time we’ll list more examples, and you can look these up in your own deeper study:
a. In Isaiah 43:11, Jehovah is the only Savior.
In Titus 2:13, Jesus is the great God and our Savior.
b. In Psalm 23:1, the LORD Jehovah is the shepherd.
In John 10:11, Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
c. In Exodus 20:10-11, Jehovah is the LORD of the Sabbath.
In Matthew 12: 8, Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath.
This little baby was Jehovah God. He is the mighty God. He is the Everlasting Father.
His Attributes Are the Attributes of God
Turn to John 1:1. Eternality belongs to Jesus. There never was a time when Jesus wasn’t. He is the eternal Son who rested on the bosom of the Father without a mother and rested on the bosom of a mother without an earthly father. When He was born, at His birth He was as old as His father and older than His mother. There never was a time when Jesus was not.
“In the ________________ was the Word, and the Word was _______ God, and the Word _______ God. And this same word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1)
11. Here’s something else very interesting! Turn to John 8 for a moment.
Jesus was having a controversy with the Pharisees, rulers of the Jews in that day, who would not accept the Lord Jesus Christ. In an argument, they made a slur that He had been born out of wedlock—that He was not virgin born at all. They made that insinuation by saying, “We know who our father is,” pointing to Abraham, implying that He did not know who His Father was.
Look how the Lord Jesus answered them! (See John 8:56):
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see ______ ______: and he saw it, and was glad.”
How long had Abraham been dead? For centuries! Yet Jesus said:
“Your father Abraham saw My day and was glad.”
They couldn’t understand that. See v. 57:
“Then said the Jews unto Him, Art thou not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?”
We are approaching one of the most powerful verses in all the Bible, v. 58. If you have not marked it in your Bible, do so now. Put a star and an asterisk by it. Underscore it because it is so very important.
(v. 58) Jesus saith unto them, “Verily, I say unto you,
Before Abraham was, ____ _____.”
Notice He didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I was.”
He didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I have been.”
He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
You say, “Well, what’s so important about that?”
“I AM” is one of the most important names for Almighty God in the Old Testament.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NAME “I AM”
When God told Moses “I want you to lead My people out of bondage” into the Promised Land, Moses sensed trouble ahead for several reasons. The Egyptians were notorious idolaters. They had 2,200 different gods, and they’d given names to all of them. For them, the name of a god was very important. Moses says, “If I go to Egypt, who shall I say sent me?” Remember Jehovah God said, “You tell them ‘I AM’ sent you.” That was a name God chose for Himself, “I AM.”
Not “I will be,” not “I have been,” just “I AM. There never was a time when I was not. There never will be a time when I will not be.”
He is the great I AM. It was one of the most reverential and awe-inspiring names God’s people had for Him.
The Jews were proud that they were “the people of the great I AM.” When they scoffed at Jesus, “You’ve seen Abraham?” and Jesus answered them, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” He was using this same title for Himself.
11. See the next part. “Then they took up __________ to __________ Him…”
Quite a reaction! Why? Because they understood what He was saying.
In your own words, what was Jesus saying to them?
The cults may not understand. Liberal theologians may not understand. But the Pharisees understood! Jesus said, “I AM.”
Jesus has the attributes of God. He has the great eternality of God. There never was a time when Jesus was not. Before Abraham was, He is the great I AM.
God is holy, and Jesus is holy. Do you know what Jesus said to this same bunch? Still in John 8, look at v. 46. Again speaking with the religious rulers, Jesus asks,
12. “Which of you ___________________ me of sin?” That is, “Is there anybody here who can point out a sin in My life?”
Most of us wouldn’t even ask our friends that question, much less our enemies! Yet Jesus puts it right out there—because He could. Jesus wasn’t arrogant or bragging. There is only One who is completely holy, One who is sinless, and that is God.
One of the great proofs of Jesus’ deity is His sinless life. He never committed one sin. And nowhere in the Bible do you ever find Jesus praying for forgiveness. He didn’t have to.
This child of Bethlehem is the mighty God, the Everlasting Father. We know so by His attributes.
Jesus Received Adoration Only God Receives
We know also because He received adoration and worship from the angels and from people. Only God is to be worshiped, yet Jesus allowed Himself to be worshipped. If Jesus were not God and allowed Himself to be worshipped, He was inexcusably guilty of aiding and abetting the chiefest of all sins, idolatry.
Jesus Had Abilities Only the Mighty God Could Have
We know He is God from His abilities.
13. Turn to Hebrews 7:24-25. Jesus can do what no man could ever do!
24 But this man, because he ________________ _______, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to ________ them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever _____________ to make intercession for them.
The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves.” He is able to save.
Jesus is not merely one to show the way. He is the way. He takes us by the hand and brings us home, and He will never, ever let us go.
His priesthood is unchangeable, not affected by time, though eons might pass, nor any other factor. And He lives forever. No man qualifies—only God has these abilities.
Multiple times the New Testament mentions that the Lord Jesus Christ is “able.” In your own quiet time/study time, you could do a Bible study on when the New Testament says Jesus is “able.” See Philippians 3:31, Ephesians 3:20 and 2 Timothy 1:12.
There is much more in Isaiah 9:6, but for this study we must stop here.
It is said of great works of art, paintings done by the old masters, that each time you look, you see something new—something you missed before. How much more so, then, this rich portrait by Isaiah of the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Who is this person named Jesus?
To the artist, He’s altogether lovely.
To the architect, He’s the chief cornerstone.
To the baker, He’s the living bread.
To the banker, He’s the hidden treasure.
To the biologist, He is the life.
To the builder, He’s the sure foundation.
To the doctor, He is the Great Physician.
To the educator, He is the great teacher.
To the farmer, Jesus is the Lord of the harvest.
To the florist, he’s the Rose of Sharon.
To the geologist, He’s the rock of ages.
To the jeweler, He is the pearl of great price.
To the jurist, He is the righteous judge.
To the lawyer, He is my advocate.
To the philosopher, He is the wisdom of God.
To the preacher, He is the Word of God.
To the publisher, He is good tidings of great joy.
To the sculptor, He is the living stone.
To the statesman, He is the desire of all nations.
To the theologian, He is the author and the finisher of our faith.
To the traveler, He is a new and living way.
To the sinner, He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.
And to all believers, He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
His name shall be called wonderful.
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