The Complete Gospel Verse
In this article I would like to examine a verse that I consider the most complete Gospel verse in the Bible. Strangely enough this verse is found in the Old Testament. The verse I have in mind is Isaiah 9:6. Interestingly Isaiah 9:6 mentions seven attributes of Christ, whether this is by coincidence or design you may decide for yourself, but the number seven indicates completeness or perfection and I don’t believe there are too many coincidences in the word of God. Here is what the verse says:
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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6)
The seven attributes mentioned are as follows:
1.Unto us a child is born
2.Unto us a son is given
3.The government shall be upon his shoulder
4.His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor
7.Prince of Peace
In his article we will look at these seven characteristics of Christ more closely and see what understanding we can gain from each of them. Every one of these attributes speak of some great element in the life and ministry of Christ and the truth is, if one of these things was missing then the ministry of Christ would have been incomplete, he would have been inadequate to accomplish our salvation.
A Child Is Born
The first point mentioned is, “unto us a child is born.” What are the implications of this? What are the elements involved in the birth of Jesus which make this attribute so important? Jesus could have been given to us in several different ways; God could have created him from the dust of the ground as he did with Adam, he could have re-created him as the second Adam in the same way that he created the first Adam. But because Jesus is our Savior, God could not have sent him in that way. He had to become fully and truly a member of our race, of our flesh and our bones and our genetics. In order to be our Savior he had to be a member of the fallen race of Adam. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:4,5,
But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal 4:4-5)
This Son of God, the promised child that was to be born had to be a descendent of the race of Adam. He could not just to be a warrior from a different world, a champion from a different place, no, he had to be one of us. The race that came under Satan’s power and dominion was the human race, this was the race that the devil had conquered when he defeated Adam. Nobody from outside of humanity could fight the battle on our behalf: it was a human being who had given Satan dominion over us and only another human being could destroy that dominion on our behalf. We were legally the property of Satan, he had defeated Adam and consequently, everybody who was born into the human race was legally under this dominion of the devil. Jesus referred to Satan as “the prince of this world,” meaning that he was the ruler of this planet. So for somebody to come to save humanity, it had to be somebody from the human race, it had to be somebody who was limited by the conditions under which Adam had placed us all. In spite of these limitations, our redeemer had to find a way to defeat Satan. It was humanity that had been defeated and brought under Satan’s dominion. It had to be a human being who won the battle where humanity had failed.
So in that first statement, “unto us a child is born,” there is wrapped up the great truth that Jesus Christ is truly our brother. My brother is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, at the place of almighty power, my flesh and blood brother! As it says in the book of Hebrews,
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (Heb 2:14)
He knows what we feel, he can empathize. In Jesus, God gave us somebody who went through our experiences, who was born with our weaknesses, who experienced our struggles. All of these are embraced in that statement that, “unto us a child is born.” It was for us, for our sakes.
A son is given
At one time I had the idea that God lent us his son for 33 years. During that time he was a man, he suffered as a man for a while and then it was over. It was hard for him and he suffered a lot but he knew that it was only for a time. When I began to understand what really happened then my heart was broken because I saw that God had made the greatest possible sacrifice. If you would like to have a better understanding as to what really happened when Jesus became a man, I would recommend watching the video on our Youtube channel entitled, “Thrice Begotten.”
When Jesus came to earth as a foetus to be born as a human baby, in a sense that person who had existed with God for all eternity – God’s begotten son, was gone forever! It was he, and yet in a sense it was not him. It was him because it was the same spirit inside the human body. But it was the spirit without the memories, without the intelligence, without a personality. The awareness of that former life was gone, God gave up his son with all that the fellowship had meant to him from the years of eternity. Yes, when Jesus became a man he became the son of God again in a new sense, but this was a new son, the old identity was gone forever! God got a new son but he lost the old one.
The best way I can explain what happened to Jesus is to use the concept of reincarnation. Reincarnation happened only once in history and it was when Jesus was born again as a human being. Satan is extremely cunning and he has popularized the idea of reincarnation and applied it in heathen religions to men and in fact all living things. But no living thing is ever reincarnated, it happened only to the son of God. In the concept of reincarnation somebody dies and then he is born again in another form. When he is born again he has no recollection of the former life. In fact in most of these human concepts of reincarnation the person might even be born again in a different life form such as an insect or a lower form of animal life. However the same inner spirit which was the identity of this person is transferred to the new life form so it’s the same person but in a completely different identity where he starts life over entirely. As I said this has happened only one time in history and that was in the case of the incarnation of the son of God. It never happened before and it will never happen again.
Of course when Jesus became a human being God taught him through dreams and visions and the study of the Scriptures, and he gradually came to an understanding of who he was. He developed a special relationship with God, but it was not on the basis of remembering a former life, it was on the basis of the interaction which he had with God in this new identity. The wonderful thing is that this new son of God was to be forever a part of the human race. This was not a borrowed identity, it was the new reality of who the son of God was and so through him, the human race is forever bound up with divinity. Through Jesus Christ our human family has become a part of the family of God. Jesus is truly in the fullest possible sense the son of God and the son of man, so in him the divine race and that the human race have become one! What an amazing reality! Now we can begin to understand the meaning of this verse:
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. (John 3:16)
Government on his shoulder
Since the beginning of the world we have never seen a government of which we can be truly proud, one which has been completely just and fair, only concerned about the interest of the citizens. God refers to the future government of Jesus Christ as the kingdom of David. I suppose one of the reasons for this is the fact that in the history of Israel the kingdom of David came closest to what God really wanted. King David did try to be just and fair and had the interest of the people at heart, but there were times when he messed up badly and his own weaknesses left a bad mark upon history.
But this statement tells us that in this child, God is giving us a permanent solution to this problem of bad government. Humanity is finally getting a government that we could safely vote for. This government will not be left up to other people, there will be no corrupt sub-administrators, but he is the one who will produce equity and justice.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:14)
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 for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa 9:7)
His name shall be called
What does a name signify in the Bible? The fact is, Jesus was never called by these names, nobody ever called him, “Wonderful Counselor.” He was called “Master,” he was called, “Savior,” Thomas referred to him as “my Lord and my God,” but there is nowhere that he was ever referred to as “Everlasting Father.” When he was born, the angels sang, “peace on earth, good will towards men,” but he was never called by the name, “Prince of Peace.” This reinforces the fact that these “names” are not referring to the titles that Jesus was given, or to the way people referred to him. The Bible says, “his name shall be called,” but it does not give a name in the way we normally understand a name. It does not identify the sound that we make when we refer to the person, instead it focuses on some attributes and characteristics of the person. In the Bible a name was often chosen to emphasize characteristics of a person and in fact, this is probably how all names originated; they were simply descriptions of characteristics of a person expressed in a single word. Because of this we often seek to understand the meaning of biblical names because they can sometimes give us deep insight into the attributes of the person referred to.
So when the Bible says, “his name shall be called,” God is not saying, this is the title by which you must refer to this child, no, he is saying, “these are the characteristics that you will find in this person, this child that is to be born, the person that I am giving to the human race, these are the characteristics which you will find in him.” So we are not to look for these names associated with Jesus, but rather, these qualities and attributes associated with him.
The first of these attributes is that he is the, “wonderful counselor.” Who is a counselor and what is his work? Whatever he is, Jesus does this work wonderfully, therefore he is the “wonderful” counselor. It is amazing that this king, this brother who has been given to us is identified as somebody who gives advice, somebody who teaches us because this is what a counselor does. A counselor is somebody who takes you under his wing and gives you guidance, a wise person who gives you direction in how you are to live. In Isaiah 30:21 we find another passage which refers to the work of Christ in the new covenant and it says,
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isa 30:21)
This passage refers to close and intimate guidance of an extraordinary nature; it tells us that no matter where we are, no matter under what circumstances, we will have personal guidance, a personal counselor, a voice directing us as to how to go, which direction to take.
There has never been anybody who was able to counsel, guide and direct us in such an intimate manner, not even our parents who were constantly around us when we were children. When my children were small I always held their hands whenever we were walking in town or in an area where there was traffic or any kind of potential danger. I was always trying to guide and protect them, but even so, it was impossible for me to be with them every moment of the day. It would take a really WONDERFUL Counselor to be able to be able to guide and direct you every single moment of your life. But God is telling us that one of the characteristics of this son that is to be given, this child that is to be born, is that he will be a wonderful counselor! He is not to be like the guidance counselors, marriage counselors or any of the various advisors that we are able to visit from time to time on our human plane, he is to be the wonderful counselor. Not only is he able to give perfect advice, but he is to be with us constantly, a never absent guide to direct us in the way that we should take every single moment of every single day!
How is this possible? How can this child be with us literally, continually every moment of the day? How can he be such a wonderful counselor? This is possible because this child is to come to us as the holy spirit. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ he was to return to heaven, be glorified with his father’s spirit and come back to be with each one of us personally as the Comforter, a new manifestation of the holy spirit which contained his presence in a very real way. John described this experience clearly in the following verse:
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1John 2:27)
We see here the truth that Jesus, present in his spiritual form, teaches us all things and we do not need to depend on human beings to be our guides. Yes, God has put teachers in the church, but even though he uses these teachers as a means of opening up our minds to spiritual truth, all that they teach is subject to the approval of the one who is dwelling within us, who is a part of our very existence. He is the final word, the one who approves or disapproves whatever we might hear. We listen to human teachers, but ultimately, we know whether or not they are telling us the truth because we have this wonderful counselor with us telling us, “this is the way, walk in it,” or else warning us, “this is error, have nothing to do with it.” This is the same truth expressed by the gospel prophet Isaiah:
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Isa 54:13)
Jesus is the “wonderful counselor,” it is he who through his spirit, is able to guide us into all truth and to direct us in the way that we should walk, in a way that nobody else ever could. This is a key aspect of this wonderful system of government that God is giving us through this son. This is another Scripture that cements the truth that in the Comforter, God is not giving us another, third God-being, but rather that it is Jesus himself who comes to us as our personal guide and teacher.
His name is also the “mighty God.” Of course the Trinitarian reads this phrase and he finds here support for his belief that Jesus Christ is God himself, the almighty God. But let us remember that the NAME does not necessarily signify the title by which a person is referred to, but that rather it expresses the characteristics of the person. Was Jesus God? From one perspective the answer is “no,” and from another perspective the answer is “yes.” It really depends on what a person means when he asks the question. If the question is, “is Jesus God the almighty, the supreme being in the universe, the originator and source of all things?” then the answer is no, absolutely not. The Bible is full of the teaching that the supreme being in the universe is God the Father, that he is the source and originator of all life and existence. The ONE GOD of the universe is not Jesus Christ, it is God the Father. Jesus is the SON of this God he is not God in this sense.
But if the question is, “is Jesus God in his nature?” Then the answer is absolutely “yes!” Jesus is the begotten Son of God, he originated directly from the very divine life of God the Father so his nature is the same divine, God-nature as God the Father. A son and his father always possess the same nature, one is not inferior in nature to the other. Jesus belongs to the supreme category of beings in the universe, that it, the God category.
We might say that there are three categories of intelligent beings. First there is the divine level on which only God and Jesus exist, then there is the level of angels and thirdly, there is the level of humanity. Jesus belongs in the first level, the God level, the God category. He is God’s begotten Son, superior to men and angels so in this sense, he is God – “the mighty God.” He is mighty and he is God by nature, he is a divine being, this is the characteristic of this son who is given to us, he is one of the God-family, somebody who is from the highest category of being in the universe and by giving him to the human race, God has joined the human race to the divine race for all eternity!
When Jesus was about to leave this earth, he declared to his disciples, “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matt 28:18).” God has put all things under his feet and he is indeed the “mighty God,” he has been given all might and power. What we should remember however, is that this “name” of Jesus, these characteristics described in this verse are in the context of the son that has been given to the human race. These descriptions are not focused on Christ before he became a man, they are expressions of the characteristics of the one who has been given to us. So this description as the “mighty God,” and the “everlasting father,” have to do with his experience and status as a human being – as the son of man. These are expressions of the height to which a human being has been exalted.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)
Why was it that this child who would redeem us had to be a divine being, one who was God by nature? Why was it that only the begotten son of God could save mankind? When he, the son of man was put under the dominion of Satan, when he was put in the place where Adam had taken the human race, when he was left alone on the cross, abandoned by God with no one to sustain him, he would have failed if he was not divine by nature. The only being who could be put in a place where he was completely abandoned by God and yet still do what was selfless, what was inherently good, was one who was good in himself, who did not depend on God for his goodness. This applies ONLY to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the one who is God by nature.
When God left Jesus alone on the cross, when he took his spirit from him, if it had been anybody else in the universe, including the strongest angel, he would have turned to the way of self-preservation because nobody is good without God! “There is none good but one, that is God (Mark 10:18).” It is interesting that the one thing which enabled Jesus to save humanity is the one thing that made him more than human, that is, his divine nature.
Here we come upon another title that is badly misunderstood by Trinitarians. They don’t really know what to do with this phrase, but they just conclude that it must mean that Jesus is the same as God the Father! This is not only completely irrational, but it also contradicts the very theory of the Trinity. According to the teaching of the Trinity, God the Father is a different person than Jesus Christ. One is the Father and the other is the Son, even though they are a part of the same one God. However, even in the Trinity, Jesus is NOT God the Father, so this interpretation of this title, “everlasting father” does not make sense, even in the Trinitarian concept.
In the family of God, Jesus is not God the Father, but in his relationship to the family of those who are redeemed, Jesus is our divine father! Jesus is the source of a new life, he is the father of a new race of humans, the new creation. A father is a man who has passed on his life to his children and this is what Jesus has done for all who are born again. It is his life that we have received and thus, we are the second human race, the new humanity with Jesus Christ as our Father. As Adam was the father of the old, fallen humanity, so Jesus is the “everlasting father” of the new, victorious humanity which has conquered sin, the devil and the world. In our first birth from the old Adam, we received his life, it was passed on to us through the means of physical procreation, through sexual union. But in this second birth, the new birth the life of the second Adam is passed on to us through the means of faith.
Prince of Peace
Finally, Jesus is the prince of peace. A king, in the Bible, is often referred to as a “prince.”The word “prince,” in this sense refers to him being the ruler, but it also implies that he is the source of peace. The world has suffered six thousand years of torment and injustice and evil dictatorial rule, but finally somebody is coming who will bring what this planet has yearned and hungered for. We will see everlasting peace and he is the king, the prince who will bring this peace.
So these are the seven elements which we find in Isaiah 9:6. Normally, when we are looking for a verse which expresses the gospel most completely, we would probably go to a verse like John 3:16, but if we are looking for a verse which covers all the different elements of the gospel and all the things which are involved in our salvation, I would recommend that we go to Isaiah 9:6. God has outlined us in this one verse all the elements which make Jesus our perfect Savior.
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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6)
(Source: Restoration Ministry)