During the Christmas season, Bible believing Christians think about “The Advent,” the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into the world as a man through the virgin birth. Traditionally, our attention is drawn to the two New Testament advent stories in Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 1:18–2:12. We think of the humble birth of our Savior by the virgin Mary, His being laid in a manger because there was no room for him in an inn, announcements of His advent by angels, and visits by shepherds and “wise men” (magi) from the east.
In 2016, I posted an article on “The Third Advent Story,” found in the gospel of John. The first two advent stories focus on the humanity of Jesus as He is humbly born into the world as a baby boy. The third advent in John 1:1-14 focuses on the deity of Christ, the eternal Word of God, Who took on flesh and came into the world He created, so those who believe in Him and receive Him can be saved from sin and become the children of God.
This article will examine two Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah that foretold the birth of God into the world as a man through a virgin birth.
Isaiah’s First Advent Prophecy
The first advent prophecy of Isaiah is found in Isaiah 7:14, “. . . Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. This is one of Isaiah’s best-known prophecies because it is referenced in Matthew 1:22-23, after an angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child “conceived in her” is from (by means of) the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18-21).
“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matt. 1:22-23)
It should be noted that this virgin born son would be named “Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14), which means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). So Isaiah’s first advent prophecy foretold that this miraculous child would be God taking on human flesh to be with us in the world.
Isaiah’s Second Advent Prophecy
Isaiah’s second advent prophecy occurs two chapters after his first, in Isaiah 9:6-7. “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, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Although this prophecy does not retell the miraculous virgin birth, it clearly reveals the deity of the “Son” who would be given to us by His birth into the world. Let us examine the identity of the child Isaiah proclaimed would be born to us.
These verses show that this promised child would be the King of Israel; “the government shall be upon His shoulder.” He would be of the lineage of David and sit on his throne. His government would grow in power, be established with justice forever, and bring peace.
Isaiah 9:6 identifies this male child, God’s Son, as the embodiment of the Trinity. Many centuries later, the apostle Paul declared of Jesus, “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
The Holy Spirit
His name shall be called ‘Wonderful Counselor’ – Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and John the Baptist revealed that Jesus would baptize people with the Spirit.
In John 14:16-18, Jesus told His disciples that God the Father would send them another comforter (paraclete – one who comes alongside as an intercessor and helper) who would abide with them forever. Jesus revealed this comforter/helper as “the Spirit of truth.” Jesus said they already knew the Spirit because He was dwelling with them (i.e.: in the person of Jesus Christ) and later would be in them (vs 17). Jesus then added that He Himself would come to them (vs 18). In this way He identified Himself with the Holy Spirit whom He was going to send to indwell them.
- John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
- John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
- John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
The Mighty God
This phrase clearly teaches that the promised child would be God. The Son who was to be given would mighty (gibbor – strong, powerful, manly, a mighty fighter and champion) God (el – the generic term used for deity throughout the Bible).
The Everlasting Father
Perhaps the most astonishing name given to this child who would be born into creation is that of “The Everlasting Father.” This phrase plainly names the “Son” who was to be given as the eternal “Father.”
Jesus often said He came to do the Father’s will and instructed us to pray to the Heavenly Father, yet He also identified Himself as the Father on multiple occasions.
- John 10:30 I and My Father are one.
- John 14:7 “If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”
- John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
- John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
- John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.
- John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.”
- John 14:20 “At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.”
- John 16:15a “All things that the Father hath are Mine: . . .”
- John 17:21 “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
The Prince of Peace
A prince is the son of a king yet is still a ruler. Jesus is the promised Son of God born into the world, who came to make peace available to all people. The peace Jesus gives is not necessarily what people want but is what we all need.
Most people would like to see violence end and have trouble free lives, but that is not why the Son was given. Jesus said:
- Matt 10:34-37 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
- Luke 12:51 “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:”
- John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
In fact, Jesus warned that His faithful followers would be hated and persecuted in this world:
- Mat 24:9-10 “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
- Luke 21:16-17 “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”
- John 15:18-19 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
The peace Jesus gives is not necessarily what people want but is what we all need.
Jesus was not born into the world to bring peace on earth by an immediate end of violence and trouble. The Son was given to bring peace with God. We are all sinners from birth, and because of our sin we all deserve to die and spend eternity in Hell. But that is not what our loving Creator wants for us.
- 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord . . . is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
- John 3:14b-16 “ . . . even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God wants everyone to be saved. He became a man, in the person of Jesus Christ, to make that possible. For unto us Jesus Christ was born; unto us the Son of God was given. God Himself, became a man (Jesus Christ), lived a sinless life, and paid the penalty of sin (death) as our substitute to provide salvation from sin to all who trust in Him.
- Rom 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
- John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
So this Christmas, remember that the babe in the manger we celebrate was far more than just another child. He was the Son of God. Jesus is not only the 2nd person of the Trinity; in Him the fullness of the Godhead (including the Everlasting Father and the Holy Spirit) dwelled bodily.
The Son of God emptied Himself and was born as a human child, so He could pay for our sin by dying on the cross (Phil 2:5-8). He did this so as many as receive Him can become children of God through faith in His name, Jesus Christ (John 1:12).
If you have not already done so, now would be a great time to accept the gift of salvation, which gives peace with God, through faith in the Son of God, Who gave Himself for us.
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