My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials

James 1:2

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View November 2011 Issue >>
 

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. Of the increase of His Government and peace, there shall be no end...” Isaiah 9:6-7

A miraculous birth
The Bible is a supernatural Book. Over 2000 specific prophecies have already been fulfilled in history. Jesus Christ fulfilled 333 of those prophecies during His ministry on earth. One of those prophecies was of the miraculous birth of Christ in Isaiah 7:14. Sacred Scripture records the supernatural birth of Christ: The Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary and the power of the Highest overshadowed her (Luke 1:35).
The Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him that which was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit.  “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His Name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’.” Matt 1:21-23

A miraculous life
A miraculous Book predicted the miraculous birth of the most miraculous Person in all of history. Jesus healed the sick, made the crippled walk, the deaf  hear, the dumb speak and the blind see. He raised the dead. There never was anyone who taught as Jesus did, who lived a perfect life, and who died such a death, taking our sins upon Himself. Yet His life did not end with His death on the Cross. Three days later He rose from the dead. The tomb of Christ is empty, Jesus lives today. 
Jesus Christ was not born a prince, or an heir to the throne. He is the only One who has ever been born a King. The Wise men from the East, asked: “Where is the One who has been born King? We have come to worship Him.” Matt 2:2

The menace of the manger
King Herod felt that his lavish lifestyle and comfortable political position was threatened by the new born babe. Gripped by selfishness and a lust for power, Herod sought to murder the Messiah by massacring all babies still in the manger, in Bethlehem.
Herod sensed Christ’s power: “For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given. And the Government will be upon His shoulder...” This was very threatening. Herod declared war on the womb, he saw menace in the manger.

The message of the Manger
We no longer worship a babe in a cradle (though many secular people like to view Jesus this way - especially at Christmas time). He is the Son of God who died on the Cross. The day will come when He will return to this earth wearing the Crown of the Sovereign Lord of the universe.
We will all stand before His throne and give an account of our lives. Unless we have turned to God in faith and repented of our sins, we will face eternal condemnation.
When the Bible speaks of “the Government”, it is always talking about God’s Sovereign Rule. We are unbiblical when we attribute sovereign powers to civil authorities. As Jesus declared to the Roman governor Pilate; “You would have no authority over Me unless it had been given you from above.” John 19:11. This is the Message of the Manger: Jesus Christ is Lord! He is Lord over all aspects of life: King of kings and Lord of Lords!

Magnificent Messiah
Scripture says that Jesus will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
•  Wonderful Counsellor: He is all-knowing. He embodies absolute wisdom. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He hears our prayers and guides His people
• Mighty God: He is all-powerful. He is God Himself. Jesus Christ is the Incarnation of God. He is fully God and fully man
• Everlasting Father: He is Eternal. As a Father He is compassionate; He cares; He provides and He protects
• Prince of Peace: There is no peace without the Prince of Peace. Only in Christ will we as individuals, families, or nations, find true and lasting peace with justice.

Victory belongs to the Lord
“Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
The ultimate victory and triumph of Christ’s Kingdom is inevitable.

Crib, Cross and Crown
“In the time of those kings, the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” Dan 2:44
This is the message of Christmas – not only of the Crib, but of the Cross. Not only the Cross, but also the Crown. As Isaiah 11:9 declares: “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” “Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” Phil 2:10-11.
Do you rejoice that a Child has been born?
Do you recognise that He is Immanuel – God with us?
Do you submit to His Government?
Do you obey Him as Lord of your life?
Is He your Wonderful Counsellor?
 Is He your Mighty God?
 Is He your Everlasting Father?
 Is He the Prince of Peace in your life?
If so, rejoice! His Government will never end. His Kingdom will endure forever. Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end.

Note from JOY!
Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we would encourage all Christians to use this time of year to invite unsaved friends and family to Christmas services and the various Christmas outreach events that take place.
Many people are more 'open' to the Gospel at Christmas and Easter time, and this is a wonderful opportunity for believers to remind others of the "Reason for the Season". 

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Fax: +27 (0)21 852 5781
E-mail: info@joymag.co.za
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