From: Su Min
Subject: Christmas Greetings
CYBERCHURCHIANSMonday 9th December 1996
Epistle to The CyberChurch
GREETINGSMy dearest beloved, As I was planning an elaborate electronic Cyber Christmas Card for you, the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit guides me to this text.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given
And the government will be on his shoulders
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
So I will not try any fancy gimmicks. Just let me share with you my meditations on this prophecy...
CHRISTMAS IS COMINGAdvent is the church season that celebrates the coming of Christ. Christmas (Christ-Mass) is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The shopping centres in Singapore and for the most part of the world have a different agenda: They view Christmas with the eye of Mammon: Their Christmas is glitter, commerce, Santa Clause, merry making, hedonism... they leave Christ out of Christmas.
I was blessed to hear a BBC programme yesterday where the preacher based his lesson on John the Baptist: a voice crying out in the wilderness, preparing the way as a forerunner for Jesus. John the Baptist served in humility to tell of the coming of Jesus. He was Advent as we should know it. He declared that he was unworthy to carry the sandals (Matthew_3:11), unworthy to untie the sandals of Jesus (Luke_3:16,_John_1:27). Humility that we could learn and emulate.
Let us look again at the text from Isaiah_9:6.
A CHILD IS BORN"For unto us a child is born"
The promised Messiah, anointed one, would come as a new born child. Isaiah was given the prophecy that a child would be born. The leader who would reign for ever and ever would come to us as a human child. Blessed Virgin Mary was chosen to be His mother, and indeed, unto us a child was born. Miraculous immaculate conception it was. The Christ-child was as human as you and me. He was to experience the gamut of human experiences: happiness, satisfaction, joy, ecstasy, temptation, loneliness, hunger, rejection, pain, and even death. By His very human experiences Jesus is able to empathise with us and comfort us, as we go though our dark valley experiences. He has walked along those paths before.
Unto us a child is born!
A SON IS GIVEN"to us a son is given"
This child to be born was human and yet Deity at the same time: for He was Son of God.
Right from the beginning He was there: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. In the creation account, God says, “Let us make man in our image"... Why the plurality of our one God? Because of the triune nature of God. God the Son was there at the beginning, God the Son will be there at the end. And God the Son will sit at the right hand of God, there to reign forever and ever and ever. AMEN!
And God the Father chose to give us God the Son, sent to us to redeem us, to reconcile us back to heaven. The wages of sin is death, and we are all guilty.
If we go by the book, we are condemned.
But God in His mercy chose to send a Perfect Lamb to die in our place.
The greatest Christmas present of all:
the gift of eternal life:
the gift of Jesus.
God gave us His son.
To us a son is given!
ON HIS SHOULDERS"And the government will be on his shoulders"
What mighty shoulders.
These are the same shoulders of the Good Shepherd who, upon seeing that one of his hundred sheep is lost, goes out immediately to search for that lost sheep. And when he finds it, he joyfully puts the sheep on his shoulders and brings it home (Luke_15:4-6).
Beloved, you and I were lost. Yet the Good Shepherd goes out immediately to search for that lost sheep. And when he finds us, he joyfully puts us on his shoulders and brings us safely home. How secure it is for us, to be borne on His shoulders, and brought home.
Upon these same shoulders the burden of ruling all the universe for all of eternity will rest. Good government tells us that there will be beneficence, justice, fairness. There will be no more oppressed, no more aliens, no more widows, no more orphans, no more poverty, no more sickness. There will be no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain. God will wipe away every tear from our eyes tears (Revelation_21:4) One can not possibly imagine a better Governor!
No wonder the angels and the archangels and the six-winged seraphs join in an endless hymn of praise singing "Holy, Holy, Holy!"
And the government will be on His shoulders!
WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR"And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor"
In the KJV there is a comma between: "Wonderful, Counsellor", suggesting that there are two names, "Wonderful" and "Counsellor".
In the NIV it is given as "Wonderful Counsellor", the "Wonderful" being an adjective to the noun ""Counsellor".
(However the alternative "Wonderful, Counsellor" is given in the margin notes.)
The Amplified, which gives us and indication of how the text would have been understood by the listener of the day, has it without the intervening comma: "Wonderful Counsellor".
The Hebrew word for "Wonderful" used in the text is Strong's Concordance #6382, pele, "peh-leh", a miracle, a wonderful marvellous thing.
Indeed Jesus Christ is a miracle. Indeed He is Wonderful. Indeed He is Marvellous.
The Hebrew word for "Counsellor" used in the text is Strong's Concordance #3289, yaats, "yaw-ats", to advise, deliberate, resolve, advertise, take advice, consult, counsel, determine, guide, purpose.
It seems to me that Jesus, "Wonderful Counsellor", will counsel us on two planes:
- Here on earth, while we bumble about our daily business, as we stumble, as we fall into a pit, as we slide down a slippery slope, as we backslide, indeed as we pause to reconsider our evil ways, Jesus is there to counsel us.
- But even more wonderful, when we stand before the great white throne, Jesus will be our "Wonderful Counsellor", our Advocate: Amplified has "Advocate" as "One who will intercede for us".
If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. (1 John_2:1)
The Greek word for "advocate" used in the text is Strong's Concordance #3875, parakletos, "par-ak-lay- tos", an intercessor, consoler, advocate, comforter.
With God the Just and The Pure, Holy and Righteous, measuring us up for all our sins, what hope can we have? But Jesus "Wonderful Counsellor" is there for us to plead our cause. He is our Advocate. He will defend us. He has paid the price for our sins. He has liberated us from the grip of hell and eternal death.
He will be called Wonderful Counsellor!
MIGHTY GOD"Mighty God"
This little baby, born in a manger, is at the same time Mighty God. It indeed is an incongruity in human terms. It seems to be such a paradox. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Colossians_1:27).
This tiny infant Jesus who was to be born in to a working class family, to a nation conquered and subjugated by the Romans, He is at the same time Mighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, Maker of all the creatures on earth, above it and below it.
Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to Him (Revelation_7:12)
Mighty God is He!
EVERLASTING FATHER"Everlasting Father"
This tiny infant to be born on the first Christmas Day, Son of God, yet Everlasting Father. Jesus as everlasting Father will sit in heaven to reign forever and ever and ever. Ever lasting. From now till way beyond the end of eternity. From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same. Jesus shall be the same, yesterday, today forever. The Son and The father are One.
Everlasting Father is He!
PRINCE OF PEACE"Prince of Peace"
Jesus came to preach a message of repentance.
Unless we repent we cannot be reconciled to God.
Jesus came to preach a message of reconciliation
Jesus came to bring love. He loved us enough to die for us.
Jesus came to bring forgiveness. If we will confess our sins they are forgiven.
Jesus came to bring peace.
Fallen man is a man of war and strife.
Inner strife and outer strife.
War within and war without. War against self. War against neighbour.
Jesus came to bring peace.
Peace that passes all understanding. Inner peace. Outer peace.
Peace on earth. Good will to man.
"Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit
yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled]
Prince of Peace is He!
PEACE, PEFECT PEACE
The Lord gives strength to his people
The Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalms_29:11)
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isaiah_26:3)
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waves of the sea (Isaiah_48:18)
The peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians_4:7)
Dearly Beloved, the radio chimes "Silent Night" even as I write to you.
"Christ the Saviour is born!"
May you meet Jesus this Advent.
May you experience His peace, perfect peace. AMEN!
Have a Blessed Christmas!
Just say the sinner's prayer
“I have sinned"
"I accept Jesus as Lord"
"I will follow Jesus"
And ALL the angels will join in a resounding AMEN!!!
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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