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 of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.Isaiah 9:6-7 ASV
It is the Child already foretold as Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14 ASV
The five names given here are understood in various ways. Perhaps it is not very important just how we construe these names, whether four, or five or, as including certain compounds such as “Wonderful Counselor.”
When the angel refused to give God’s name to Manoah, he said, “Wherefore askest thou after my name, seeing it is wonderful”? (Judges 13:18).
From this it is clear that the Angel of Jehovah described his name as “wonderful,” but that was not his name.
It may be, therefore, that these are descriptions of Immanuel’s name and not actually the name itself.
The royal titles of Rameses II took up six lines on a monument; and any number of the recent kings of England have had as many as a half dozen names or more.
The expression, His name shall be called,’ is probably idiomatic for, This will be his character and nature.
However, these names are of such interest that we shall devote some study to each of them.
This name has sometimes been given as “Wonder,” and sometimes combined as an adjective as in “Wonderful Counselor.”
We prefer the view that there are five of these names and that the first one is “Wonderful.”
Christ is indeed Wonderful in whatever dimension one views him.
He is wonderful in his pre-existence, in his Virgin birth, in his role as executive in Creation and in the “upholding” of our universe.
He is wonderful in the great Christophanies of the Old Testament and his appearance as “The Angel of Jehovah!”
He is wonderful in the establishment of his kingdom, the Church, and in his providential protection and blessing of his Holy Bride throughout history.
He is wonderful in what he will yet accomplish when he appears the Second Time, apart from sin, and shall judge the living and the dead, and assign to every man who ever lived his eternal destiny.
When God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” the most logical view places Christ in that Council as a member of the Godhead.
What a Counselor!
Even the Father in heaven would discuss with the Son the creation of mankind!
He is the only Counselor who ever had “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68); his counsel alone is truthfully described as “The Light of the World.”
His counsel only will judge men at the last day (John 12:48). The counsel of the Son of God is eternal. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” but CHRIST’S WORD ABIDETH FOREVER.
His counsel is the one and only authentic Handbook and Guide to the Christian religion. No other authority exists, except through the devices of sinful men.
When at the Last Day all the nations of earth have been summonsed to appear before the Great Assize, the word of this Counselor will be enforced as the final and ultimate determiner of the fate of every man ever born.
Many Christians have trouble with the application of words like these to Christ, and yet they are surely appropriate.
In the New Testament, the following texts refer to Jesus Christ Our Lord as “God.”
John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; God only begotten (from the margin of the ASV), who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Without any reasonable doubt this is the correct rendition in this verse.
John 20:28: “Thomas (the apostle) answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
Acts 20:28: “Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops to feed the church of God which he purchased with his own blood.”
Romans 9:5: “Of whom (the Israelites) is Christ as concerning the flesh, WHO IS OVER ALL, GOD, BLESSED FOREVER. AMEN!.”
Great is the mystery of godliness:
- He (God) who was manifested in the flesh.
- Justified in the Spirit.
- Seen of angels.
- Preached among the Gentiles.
- Believed on in the world.
- Received up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
The use of the pronoun for the first word is very misleading, because it obscures the identity of just who was “manifested in the flesh.”
The antecedent of “who” in this passage is God and cannot be anyone else. The KJV is correct here.
Titus 2:13 – “Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The margin (American Standard Version) here gives the alternate reading, “Our Great God and Saviour,” which is doubtless correct, as honored in the NIV. Also, see Titus 2:10.
Philippians 2:5,6 – “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped.”
Hebrews 1:8 – “Of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; and the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of thy kingdom.”
James 1:1 – “James a Servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
James had heard the Master say that no man can serve two masters; and could he have meant here that he was indeed serving “two masters”?
Did he not rather mean that Christ and God were one?
2 Peter 1:1 – “A like precious faith with us with the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Here we took out the italics word “the,” the italics indicating that it is not in the Greek, leaving the correct reading here as, “OUR GOD AND SAVIOUR.”
1 John 5:20 – “And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding that we know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
In the Bible, especially the New Testament, it is frequently said that God, the Holy Spirit, or the Son of God did certain things that in other passages may be attributed to a different member of the Godhead; and while it is true that the New Testament nowhere says that Christ begot us through the gospel, it is stated that God did so (James 1:18; 1 Peter 2:3)
Since the “gospel” delivered to mankind is the word of Christ delivered through him and his apostles, it is no violation of the scriptures to say that Christ indeed is the “father” of all who believe in him through his word.
It may be that “Everlasting Father” includes something of this meaning. Father signifies the paternal benevolence of the Perfect Ruler over the people whom he loves.
In the same sense, Abraham is called “The Father of the Faithful,”
Jesus Christ is entitled to be called the “Everlasting Father.”
PRINCE OF PEACE
Jesus Christ is the only true Prince of Peace the world ever knew, and the only one that shall ever be.
When the angels announced his birth over the hills of Judaea, their first word was, “Glory to God in the highest. And on Earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased (Luke 2:14).”
Implicit in this verse, is the declaration that the promise of peace is not given to all men on earth, but only to those with whom God is pleased.
Alas, the rebellious majority of mankind shall continue to travel in the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).
The prophecy of Revelation also reveals in the visions that attended the opening of the seals that wars and desolations shall continue to the end of time. “Wars and rumors of wars … but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6).
Furthermore, the peace which the Lord gives is a glorious inner tranquillity that has no relation whatever to any turbulence on earth, whether general or personal.
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.Romans 14:8 ASV