The Evidence Of Faith’s Substance Evidence #5 for Christmas: Isaiah 9:6 - The 4 Divine Names of Jesus Christ
December 29, 2012
Isaiah 9:6 “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.”
Most of us don’t know that Christmas is really a 12-day celebration that is laid open to us in Isaiah 9:6. It officially begins on December 25th, with the celebration of Isaiah 9:6a (the birth of the Christ Child) and ends on January 6th, with the celebration of Isaiah 9:6b (called the “Day of Epiphany”, or the Incarnation, when the Son is given). Isaiah the prophet, in 730BC (over 2,700 years ago) expected a God-given, supernatural Redeemer on the strength of God’s promises in Isaiah 7:14 (predicts His birth) and Isaiah 9:6 (describes His Divine character).
Let’s examine His character as defined in the four names of Isaiah 9:6.
Name #1 = “Wonderful Counselor” (“Pele Yoetz”) = In our bibles, “wonderful” is an adjective. But in the original Hebrew ‘pele’ is a noun, so Isaiah’s first name for Jesus Christ is “Wonder Counselor”. The bible first uses the word ‘pele’ in Judges 13:17-18, where Manoah asks the Angel of the Lord to tell him His name, so they may honor Him. He replies, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is ‘pele’ (a wonder/ a mystery)?” In verse 22, Manoah proclaims this Angel to be God Himself.
The point being made is that God ascribes to Himself the name of mystery and wonder, in the same way He ascribes holiness as one of His essential names. So this miraculous virgin-born Child, with the name ‘Pele Yoetz’, is God Himself.
Name #2 = “Mighty God” (“El Gibbor”) = Christ’s name is “mighty God”. But then, over 100 years later in Jeremiah 32:17-18, Christ is described as both ‘El Gibbor’ and the ARM (Hebrew word ‘zroah’) of the Lord: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched ARM.
There is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them – the great, the MIGHTY GOD (‘El Gibbor’), whose name is the Lord of hosts.”
Why is this such a big deal? Jeremiah is crediting Jesus Christ as Mighty God in two direct ways: 1) the ARM of the Lord comes from Isaiah chapter 53 (the Suffering Servant who will die for our sins – see October 13th article), and 2) the ARM who is the Creator of the universe (see John 1:3, Hebrews 1:1-2). Once again, this second name of ‘El Gibbor’ for the virgin-born Child points to His Deity.
Name #3 = “Everlasting Father” (“Abhi ad”) = Christ is called the “paternal Father of eternity”. Our ‘Mighty God’ acts with paternal compassion towards His children. Matthew 9:36 describes Jesus the same way, as He was “moved with compassion” over the multitudes who were “weary and scattered, like sheep, having no shepherd”.
This same Jesus is described as “Everlasting” in Micah 5:2 (Micah wrote at the same time as Isaiah) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old, from EVERLASTING.”
And remember in John 14:8-9, when Philip asks Jesus to show him the Father? What does Jesus tell Him? “Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me HAS SEEN THE FATHER…’”.
Jesus is plainly telling us that everything you want to know about God the Father you can discover by looking to Me, the Child born to a virgin in Bethlehem.
Name #4 = “Prince of Peace” (“Sar Shalom”) = this means the “General over Prosperity, Safety and Peace”. “Shalom” means much more than just the absence of war and strife. Isaiah is telling us the virgin-born Child is our General that oversees the quiet confidence in our hearts, by the historical evidence of the Cross, where Christ accomplished everything required to restore peace between us and our holy God. Let’s make this connection by tying together Old and New Testament verses: Isaiah 53:5 says “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for OUR PEACE (‘shalom’) was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
In Colossians 1:19-20, it’s Jesus given the credit for bringing the ‘shalom’ between God and man by the Cross: “It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made PEACE through the BLOOD OF HIS CROSS..”
So how does a person get this ‘shalom’, this quiet confidence in their hearts of an everlasting relationship with the Wonder Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father? Romans 5:1 says it best - trust Jesus with your life: “Having been justified by FAITH, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.