Hello, and welcome to this message from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. Skip's teachings are shared globally, and we're encouraged when we hear how lives are being transformed. If this message inspires you to keep pursuing Jesus, we would love to know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving.
As we bring this series, Jesus, Hope Foretold-- to a close, we learned that not only did the prophets predict Jesus' birth, life, and death, they also looked far ahead into the future and predicted his eternal reign. In this message, His Kingdom Foretold, Skip looks at the prophet's forecast of the future reign of Christ as king. Now let's turn our Bibles to Isaiah chapter 9 as Skip begins.
Hey, would you turn in your Bibles, please, to Isaiah chapter 9. Isaiah chapter 9. We're going to look at two verses in particular in Isaiah chapter 9. In New York City at the United Nations building, there's a wall just outside with an inscription on it that is an inscription from Isaiah chapter 2, which says, "and they will beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn to make war anymore."
So when you go into the United Nations building, that is inscribed in stone just outside that building. That's their hope. Now can you imagine a world with no war? Can you imagine a world that is filled with peace? Can you imagine a utopia where there's no homeland security? Where there's no color chart of hierarchy, of threat levels?
Can you imagine a world where everything is fair? And where politicians are all saints? You have to really stretch your imagination here. A world that is rule by one perfect mind, and every decision is always the right decision.
Try to imagine a world where the health is such that if a person dies at age 100, he is said to have died as a child. Imagine a world where children can play in snake pits and find the snakes friendly, and where the snakes can find the children friendly. Imagine a world where the food is overabundant and plentiful even though the whole earth is filled with people.
Well actually, you don't have to imagine that, for that is exactly what the Bible predicts is coming under the title, The Kingdom. The kingdom or the kingdom age, the Bible describes it as. Sometimes it is called the kingdom age. Sometimes it is referred to as the millennial reign of Christ.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 19, it is called the regeneration. In Acts 3, the times of refreshing. Also, in Acts 3, the restoration of all things. It is the kingdom that the Jews thought of when they thought of the coming of the Messiah into their world.
They were hoping that their king would come. Their deliverer would come to set up the kingdom that the prophets had anticipated and predicted in such graphic detail that I just outlined to you. And it is that kingdom that Jesus will come to establish at his second coming when he comes to the earth, something that is also written about by the prophets.
Over the last several weeks in this series, we looked at Hope Foretold-- his birth foretold with Isaiah chapter 7, his life foretold, his death foretold in Isaiah 53. We looked in on Christmas Eve as hope for all and the culmination of all that hope.
But there is an element that we left out, and it would be incomplete if we didn't at least mention the culmination of all the hope of every age, and that is the kingdom age. His kingdom is foretold. And in Isaiah chapter 9, we go back there once again, and we see something in the text that goes beyond Bethlehem, beyond the cross way into the future glory, the reign of Christ.
Isaiah 9:6-7, "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 to establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
In the newspaper world, whenever a big headline breaks, they put it in enormous print at the top of the page. If a president is assassinated, like JFK when he was killed, or when President Reagan-- there was an attempted assassination on his life-- when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, when bin Laden was killed, when we made it to the moon-- the largest print available in typesetting is placed at the top of the newspaper.
And it has a very interesting title. It's called second coming type in the newspaper world. Isn't that interesting? Second coming type-- it is reserved for the biggest news events in the world. Second coming type. Well, we're talking about the biggest event ever to hit the history of the world-- the coming of Jesus Christ.
As I mentioned, his kingdom is the culmination of all the hopes of all the saints of all the ages. Even Jesus taught us to pray, "our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." That prayer is not answered yet. That prayer will be answered on that day.
But that is a theme that runs throughout all of the Scripture. It is a literal kingdom of Christ upon this earth which will transcend this earth and take us all the way into eternity into heaven. If you go back in the Old Testament, you remember the King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him. And he brought everybody in to interpret the dream, and nobody could do it.
So Daniel comes in, and he comes up, he's got the scoop. And he says, you are seeing in your dream, oh King, this huge image set before you in the plain of gold and silver, and bronze and iron, and iron and clay. And then you saw this great stone cut without hands that smashed that statue at the bottom. And it grew into a mountain that filled the whole earth.
Then Daniel gave the interpretation. He said, at that time, God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And it will stand forever. Where would that kingdom be? Just as the King saw it-- on the earth in place of those other kingdoms that once stood there.
And then the angel told Mary-- when the angel visited Mary and told that a child would be born-- we usually skip over this when it comes to reading this at the Christmas season, but listen to it carefully. You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son. And you will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest.
And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there will be no end. So all throughout the scripture-- and we just touched on a couple-- there's this message of the King is coming, and a kingdom is coming.
Now we in the United States, we sort of are unfamiliar with the idea of a kingdom and a king. In fact, our nation was established rebelling against a kingdom and the King of England. We wanted autonomy from that. And most of the world today does not have monarchies anymore. There are some that do, but largely, those monarchies are symbolic.
The idea of a kingdom, then, implies absolute, total dominion and authority, sovereign control. And I just want to make a quick distinction. Though, yes, there is the idea of the kingdom fulfilled now, in the present tense, in a spiritual way, Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this world.
He said the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God is among you or in your midst. The kingdom of God is at hand. So there is a present, spiritual fulfillment of that. There will come a day when his kingdom is of this world, just at that time it wasn't. One day it will be, and one day there would be a total, complete fulfillment of his kingdom upon the earth.
So in these two verses, Isaiah 9:6-7, I want you to look with me at three aspects of this coming kingdom. First of all, a remarkable king. A remarkable King. In verse 6, just the first part of verse 6 tells us about this king. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder."
In one half of one verse, we are told about his humanity, we're told about his deity, and we're told about its sovereignty. So let's unpack that. For unto us a child is born. That is his humanity. That is Bethlehem. That is Christmas. That is the nativity. That's what we celebrate, God coming into the world as a baby.
I've always found it interesting that the Evangelical Church has been very, very good at defending-- as we should-- the deity of Christ, that Jesus Christ is indeed God. And the Bible is filled with that language. But where we evangelicals follow a little bit short, and we get a little bit uncomfortable, is defending the absolute humanity of Jesus.
He was fully God, but he was also fully man. We must never forget that the first heresy in the early church was not an attack on the deity of Christ. It was an attack on the humanity of Christ. It was called gnosticism. It was the denial that Jesus had a real human body.
We must never forget that the Bible says, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. We're really great at that part. But keep going. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. So we're dealing with God in a womb. God with the placenta. God with and umbilical cord, as an embryo and a fetus, and then born.
As he grew up, on occasions he grew sleepy. Remember when he got into the boat with his disciples? They we're going from one side to the other, and he fell asleep. On another occasion, he became absolutely fatigued. At the well at Samaria, he sat down because he was weary from the journey, the Bible says.
On another occasion, he was hungry after he fasted 40 days and 40 nights. He was in the wilderness. The devil came and tempted him. It says in the old King James, he was "anhungered." I always liked that translation. He was anhungered. He was very, very hungry.
At the tomb of Lazarus in John 11, Jesus wept. And then, finally, Jesus died. And in dying, he felt what all people who die, feel, especially those who die excruciating deaths. So unto us a child is born. That's his humanity.
Next phrase, unto us a son is given. Now that's his diety. Notice the construction is different. The wording isn't "now he's born." Now he's given. He is given. This suggests preexistent deity. In other words, he already existed as God as the second person in the trinity. And then he was given to the world as savior.
A son is given. John 3:16, "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." Same idea. Have you ever thought of this before? Jesus is the only person who ever existed before he was born. It's an odd thought, isn't it? It's weird to get your head around that.
That's why Paul said, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh. But what you need to know is that Jesus never became God. He always was God. He was God pre-Bethlehem. He was God in heaven. He was God in the womb.
He was God when he was born. He was God when he was a toddler, when he was in puberty, in adolescence, as a teenager. All through his life, Jesus always was God, God and man.
It's beautifully put in the old Christmas carol, "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," written by Charles Wesley and set to music by none other than Mendelssohn himself. "Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail incarnate deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel. Hark, the herald, angels sing. Glory to the newborn King."
And so it was Isaiah in chapter 7 speaking of the virgin birth, "and you will call his name Emmanuel," Matthew said, translated, "God with us." So unto us a child is born-- humanity. Unto us a son is given-- deity. Deity coming in humanity.
I remember one time when I was overseas on the mission field, and I was in a place of-- I would call it suffering. I didn't have American food, and I didn't have air conditioning, and I didn't have ice in my soda. I mean, for an American, that was suffering. And I was there for protracted period of time, and it just wasn't what I was used to.
And if you've been on a mission field and you have been there for a while, you know what it's like to be pared down to just the essentials of life. But I remember sitting there thinking what it must have been like for Jesus to leave heaven. Not New Mexico, not California, not Texas-- heaven.
Surrounded by the anthems of the angels as the preincarnate second person of the Trinity, to be hailed by all the worship experience of that environment. To then to come to this earth, and what that was like-- the ultimate cross-cultural experience. But that was Jesus. He was what theologians call "theanthropos, god-man, theanthropic." That is, he was undiminished deity, unprotected humanity.
And then finally, in that one phrase of verse 6, "and the government will be upon his shoulder." Now that speaks of his sovereignty. So in one half of one verse, we have his humanity, his deity, his sovereignty.
Now when it says this, the government will be upon his shoulders, Isaiah is peering into the future way beyond Bethlehem, way beyond the cross, into the future kingdom. The government will be on his shoulder. The Hebrew word [HEBREW] means the rule of a monarch. And in ancient times, it was always considered-- government was considered a burden.
I know it's considered a burden today, but it was considered a burden to be born on the shoulders of the King. And so they would represent that by placing a robe on the shoulders or on the back of the King, representing that the government is way down upon the shoulder. That's his burden of responsibility to bear.
So one day, the God who created the earth and came to live in the earth will come back and rule the earth. That's why he's the only one fit to do the job. Because he made it, he came to live in it as man, and then he will rule the world as monarch.
There's an old story about a monarch who took off his robe of royalty-- his kingly robe-- twice a year to go out and hang out with the people of his kingdom. He would dress as a peasant. He would walk amongst his people.
All of the courtiers and advisers never like that because of security reasons. They told him not to do it. But he said, I cannot rule my people unless I know how they live.
So think of Jesus walking the earth as God incognito with the robe, the garb of a peasant in human skin from a manger. A poor humble birth, but the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Humanity, deity, sovereignty. That's a remarkable King.
The second aspect after the remarkable King is his royal character. Same verse, it goes on to say, "and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Now I believe Isaiah-- taking off from what he just said, the government will be upon his shoulders-- is still reaching out and looking into the future rule and reign of Messiah during the kingdom age.
Now these titles, these names that we have before us-- it doesn't mean that this child will actually bear those names. We don't have a record of anybody walking up and saying, hey, Wonderful. Or hey, Counselor, or hey, Mighty God, or Prince of Peace. Really, these are are titles of his character as King. This is the royal character of the King himself.
And so he will be called Wonderful. Notice in your Bible, it probably says, "wonderful comma counselor." It's better to take the comma out. There was no punctuation in the original Hebrew. That was put there later on. Some person thought that's one of the titles.
It seems to better fit as an adjective of the title counselor. He's a wonderful counselor. He's an awesome, amazing counselor. He's wonder counselor. That's the idea of wonderful counselor.
Now anybody can counsel, but it's not always wonderful when they do it. You can go to an analyst or an astrologer or a psychic, and you can get all sorts of advice. In fact, you can go to anybody and get advice. That's the cheapest, easiest thing to get.
Everybody has an idea of how you ought to live. It's not always good. It's not always good, godly counsel. It's not wonderful counsel. There's an old Danish proverb that says, he who builds according to every man's advice will have a crooked house.
Jesus is different. He's a wonderful counselor. That's why crowds wanted to hear him. They came from beyond the Jordan. Even Nicodemus wanted a private meeting with him in Jerusalem. In the Bible we're told in Nazareth they were all amazed by the gracious words which came from his lips.
And then in John chapter 7, the temple guards were sent to arrest him. They came back empty handed. And when their bosses said, well where is he? You know what they said? They shook their heads and said, never a man spoke like this. Never a man spoke like-- it was wonderful what he had to say.
I imagine what it would be like if Jesus was alive today and set up a counseling office. Can you imagine having a counselor that knew absolutely everything before you walked in the office? Hey, Jesus, I'm going through a marriage problem.
Oh, I know. And I know what you said to your wife this morning. And I know what you thought about her last night when you went to bed. I mean, he's so wonderful because he knows the intricacies of everything he would talk about. Wonderful Counselor.
Notice the next, mighty God. Mighty God-- the child that will be born is also that the son that is given, is also the Mighty God. Now this makes his role as counselor even more profound because it shows he has the power to change you. Only God can change you.
If he's the wonderful Counselor-- but he's also the mighty God-- then he will enable you, empower you to change with the council that he gives you. A counselor on earth cannot do that. Only Jesus can.
A counselor can never empower you to do what is right. But Jesus can. He's the mighty God because he changes from the inside out. He doesn't offer just a reformation or reorganization, but transformation.
Now some will remember the name Nikita Khrushchev. Backed in the '60s, he was in charge of the Soviet Union. He was the Soviet leader, and he said something very interesting about communism that he espoused. He said, the chief failure with communism is its inability to create a new man.
The chief failure with communism is its inability to create a new man. It had this ideology, but it found the real problem was with the humanity, not the ideology. There was a probably ideology, too. It was flawed humanity. But they couldn't create a new man.
Now the mantra of communism was always a new coat for every man. But the mantra of the gospel is always a new man in every coat. See, Jesus changes the person, makes a new man because he is the mighty God.
He will also be called, notice next, everlasting Father. Literally, that's father of eternity. That means originator or source. That's Jesus Christ as the creator.
I don't know if you've spent much time in Hebrews, but in the very first chapter-- a couple chapters-- there's this conversation back and forth recorded between the father in heaven and the son in heaven. The Father and the Son are talking together. And it says in Hebrews 1-- as God the Father speaks to the son, listen to what the father says to Jesus.
"You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. And the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain. They will all grow old like a garment. Like a cloak, you will fold them up. But you are the same, and your years will not fail."
I see it as this. In the kingdom age, the Messiah will be as a father to his people. One who provides tender care like that of a father, caring compassionately.
And then finally, he will be called the Prince of Peace. Of all the things that will characterize the kingdom, the kingdom age, the millennial kingdom, the regeneration, whatever you want to call it. The main thing is it will be a time of incredible peace. He will be called the Prince of Peace.
And the first time Jesus came into Jerusalem, he was on top of the Mount of Olives and he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. A donkey was an animal of peace. It's what kings would ride when offering terms of peace.
When Jesus comes back the second time, he will also come to Jerusalem. He will also, the Bible says, come to the Mount of Olives. But this time he won't be riding a donkey. He'll be riding a horse. And it'll be a horse, it says, he makes war. Right?
Revelation 19 tells us, he judges and makes war. Why is he doing that? Because he's coming in the middle of a conflict, a world wide war, a conflict. And that's when he comes to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And when he comes and puts an end to that Armageddon, nation will not lift up sword anymore. They will not learn to make war.
Now let's go back to something. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was an anthem of angels outside with a song singing to shepherds who were on the outskirts of town. And they said something. It's sung in every church at Christmas. It is quoted. And again, it is not analyzed, unfortunately, by even many believers.
It says, "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." I mean, even unbelievers know that verse. Why hasn't anyone ever stopped to really think that through, and go, peace, peace, where on earth is that? It's been 2000 years. It's a proclamation of peace on earth.
It seems to me that peace has eluded us. It seems to me that war has gotten worse, and violence has only exaggerated and exacerbated. There's no peace on earth. Was the angel mocking people on earth with that song? What does that mean, peace on earth?
An article in the New York Times said, of the past 3,400 years-- so think about that, recorded history 3,400 years back-- humans have been at peace for 268 years out of 3,400 years. That means 8% of recorded history has ever been a time of peace.
So what does that mean, peace on earth, goodwill toward men? Because it hasn't happened yet. A better, more accurate, literal translation-- in fact, the NASB translates that verse the best saying, peace among people on whom God's favor rests. Peace among people on whom God's favor rests, or peace among men in whom he is well pleased.
See, that peace comes to people who have learned to say, glory to God in the highest. There is a peace that resides in the heart because the King has come and rests upon the throne of the individual life. So in that sense, they kingdom has come. But it's only in anticipation of a fullness of that kingdom in the future. That's why we're still told to pray, thy kingdom come.
Remember Dennis the Menace cartoons in the newspapers? So one time after Christmas-- I think it was like the day after Christmas in the newspaper-- it was a Dennis the Menace cartoon. And Dennis the Menace asked his father simple question. Hey, dad, why can't Christmas ever go into overtime? It's a great question. Why can't Christmas ever going into overtime like games do?
Well, it can, and it will. He is coming again. And when he comes again, he will end wars. He will set up a kingdom. It will last 1,000 years on the earth. It will be transmitted and transcend the earth into the new Jerusalem, new heavens, new earth, into that eternal state.
But it comes now to surrendered hearts. Now look at verse 7. We've seen the remarkable king. We've looked at his royal character. Finally, his righteous kingdom. And we'll just touch on this.
Of the increase of his government and his peace, there will be no end. That tells me this kingdom is an eternal kingdom. Don't you love that? It's not a four-year term and we have to vote again for a new messiah, or eight-year term at best.
It is eternal kingdom. It will keep on going and it will keep on expanding. If I get this verse right, and I read it literally, it will be getting better and better, more peaceful and pure. I know you're wondering, how can anything perfect ever improve? How can anything perfect get any better? I think that's just one of the mysteries of Messiah's kingdom.
And I think that the further we get removed from all the conflicts that have been on this earth, from the Armageddon that will come upon this earth-- but by that time, we'll be passed-- the further we get on into the kingdom age, that peace will seem purer and fuller and deeper and better and richer. Keep in mind, Jesus will return to the earth. He will bind Satan and put him in Hades for 1,000 years while he reigns upon the earth.
And then, we're told also in that verse, "upon the throne of David and over his kingdom." So it tells me this kingdom is not just an eternal kingdom. It tells me it's an historical kingdom. That it's a kingdom that was once promised historically to King David.
Remember, that's what the angel told Mary. He will take the throne of his father David, and he will rule in that kingdom forever and ever. And so this will be an historical kingdom. God told David in 2 Samuel chapter 7, your house and your kingdom will endure forever.
I'll tell you why this is important, because unless you see this, you won't understand the genealogical records in Matthew and Luke. The reason the genealogies want you to know that Jesus traces his heritage back to King David is for the reason that there's an historical kingdom that is yet to be fulfilled.
And then finally, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forth forward even forever, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. That tells me it will be an equitable kingdom. To order it and establish it with the judgment and with justice. His government will be perfect. It will be no debating.
There won't be Democrats against Republicans. And I know we get tired of the political season. Can I just give you a little reality check? We have two main parties in this country.
You know how many there are in Israel? You know how many political parties-- anybody want to guess? 34 political parties all taking part in the general election-- it really is pandemonium at voting time in Israel. 34 political parties for such a small nation, it is chaotic. And that's why I love it, and I smile big because our Lord is their Messiah.
And one day there will not be 34 political parties in Israel. There won't even be any party. There will just be one monarch, one perfect King, one perfect ruler, our Messiah. And at that time, all the politicians will be resurrected saints ruling with Jesus Christ. That's good news.
So there were three friends who were arguing about whose profession was the oldest profession. And one of them was a surgeon, and his friend was an engineer, and the other guy was a politician. And they were all believers. And they were arguing about whose work, whose profession, was the oldest.
And so the surgeon says, well, If you go all the way back to the first book of the Bible, I think it's safe for you guys to see that my profession as surgeon really is the first one. Because we're told the God carved the rib out of Adam and made a woman. That's the work of a surgeon, gentlemen. So my profession is the oldest according to the Bible.
And the engineer said, ah, not so fast friend. Because if you go back a little bit before that, also in Genesis, we're told that God made the earth and created it out of chaos. That's the job of an engineer. And the politician, with a big smile said, ah, but who created the chaos?
Aren't you glad that one day all that chaos of the elections that take place every few years in this country and all over this world will be done? And there will be coming the kingdom, the culmination of all redemptive hope. His shoulders are broad enough for the kingdom that is eternal. Which means they're broad enough for your kingdom, for your life, for your problems and ailments and concerns.
I discovered that there's a village in Romania a few years ago that voted in a dead person as their mayor. Isn't that odd? The guy is dead, and he was dead when he was voted in. They knowingly voted in a dead man as mayor. They didn't want his opponent.
And so Neculai Ivascu, who had been the mayor for 20 years but died, got voted in by 23 votes. And they asked a person, why on earth would you vote for a dead person. He said, I know he died, but I want no other. That's all he said. I know he died, but I want no other.
And I look at Jesus Christ. I know he died, but I want no other. Because the one who created the world, then lived in the world that he created, then died for the world that he created, is the only one fit to rule. And I want to no other.
Father, thank you that we will have no other, that your kingdom is eternal, historical, equitable. And Lord, we will participate. Resurrected saints participating, ruling, and reigning with you in the kingdom, serving you. Thank you, Lord.
Thank you, Lord, for your kingdom now in our hearts. Thank you for the kingdom among us. But all that does is whet our appetite to pray even more fervently, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Jesus Christ is our hope. He's given us freedom from sin and death, and he's promised us eternal life with him. How has your life been changed by the hope of Jesus? We would love to know. Email us at email@example.com.
And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.