Good Morning!
Wednesday, we began Immanuel: A  5 Lesson Advent Bible Study.  If you’re joining in for the first time today and would like to begin from the first lesson, you will find it here.

Lesson #2
Please pause and pray before you begin.
Read Isaiah 9:2-7
Royal titles are commonly given throughout history to rulers upon their succession to the throne.  Referred to as regnal or throne names, these titles were given to signify the person’s change of status and the attributes associated with their new role.

This passage from Isaiah is written using language which indicates its composition was intended for royalty.  The names ascribed to the child, “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father , Prince of Peace”  were royal throne names and indicated the hope the people had in their new king.  In the original Hebrew text, relics of 2 letters at the beginning of verse 7 possibly hints at a fifth name.  The suggested translation of this name is Eternal Judge.  Christian scholars have translated the original Hebrew text into these individual royal titles while Jewish scholars view the words as one long name”Pelejo’ezelgibborabi’adsarshalom”.  *  Either way, to the people of Isaiah’s day and to any who long for a coming Savior, this child personifies Hope.  Hope out of the darkness, hope out of the difficult circumstances, hope out of injustice, hope out of a sinful world —

He was, is and will be Hope for His people.

In the Old Testament, the LORD used name changes often to indicate a change in a person’s position.  He changed Abram,‘exalted father’ to Abraham, the ‘father of many nations’, Sarai to Sarah as she, too, became the mother of nations and Jacob was changed to Israel because he had ‘struggled with God.’  {see Genesis 17:5,15; 32:28}

When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, a change in our status occurs.  We become children of God, “in Christ..a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” {2 Corinthians 5:17}

We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that {we} may declare the praises of him who called {us} out of darkness into his wonderful light…{we} are the people of God.”1 Peter 2:9,10

Do you know the meaning of your name?  Does the meaning describe the person you are?  Have you ever considered your royal name —Child of God?  Do you bring honor and respect to that royal title?

Reread Isaiah 9:6
In English, when we see the word, ‘wonderful’, we understand it as an adjective.  Wonderful becomes a description, not a subject.  In early translations of the Bible, a comma exists between wonderful and counsellor which significantly alters the meaning of the words.   Doesn’t it?  With that tiny grammatical detail, the name divides into two and perhaps changes from an adjective to something else entirely.

The Hebrew word choice used here is “pele” and is translated wonder, marvel.  The word carries the idea of things that are extraordinary.  In fact, sometimes, the word is translated as miracle.  What I found of particular interest is that unlike English, the Hebrew language views this word as a noun.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, wonder is “a cause of astonishment or admiration, marvel, miracle, the quality of exciting amazed admiration and rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience.”

How would you like that type of name?  What if we became so identified with Christ that we began to see ourselves as He saw us?  He might even call you, “Wow”.

Wonder is His name.  Marvel is His name.  Miracle is His name.

Read John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-18
No one is like Him.  He is unique in all the world.  Born of a virgin girl, who was overshadowed by the power of the Most High, chosen and favored to mother

the Word {that} became flesh and made his dwelling among us…who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   John 1:14

During the exodus following God’s deliverance of His people from their Egyptian captors, Moses ascended Mount Sinai and entered into the very presence of God much like Isaiah.  Moses remained on the mountain for 40 days and nights and received instructions from God, Himself.  In addition to being given the 2 tablets that contained the ten commandments, Moses also was told to have the people

make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”  Exodus 25:8

The sanctuary that the people made was a transportable temple that was called the Tabernacle.  Whenever the people stopped to camp, the Tabernacle, also known as the Tent of Meeting, was set up and God’s presence would descend upon the structure and God dwelt with them.  Immanuel — With us is God.

When Jesus, fully God and fully Man, became flesh and made His dwelling among us as the passage in John states, He pitched a tent and encamped among the people.  He was God with us.  In Colossians 1:19, the Apostle Paul says

“God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.”

The Greek for dwell in this verse means “to house permanently”.
Immanuel, ‘With us {is} God’, permanently housed Himself, all of who He is, was and is to come into human flesh and communed among us.

The very Wonder of wonders.

Read Luke 24:1-8
The Cornerstone the builders rejected, the stone that causes men to stumble, the one who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him…But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.”  {Isaiah 53:2,5}

Jesus, the Wonder-Christ, broke the very chains that held him in the darkness.  Death could not hold the Light that must shine.  He arose!  That one sacrifice, “has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” {see Hebrews 10:14}

John says

in him was life, and life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…the true light that gives light to every man {come} into the world.”  John 1:4,5,9

Wonder provided the mystery of

Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27b

The Resurrection and the Life dwelling inside each of us.  Mind-boggling.  What does this truth mean to you personally?

The Counselor
Being fully God and fully man, Jesus, the Counselor, reveals the mind of God in His words and actions.  He has the ability to wisely administer the government which is placed on His shoulders.  The Immanuel will rule in perfect righteousness with true justice.   As Counselor, He advises from the vantage point of having God’s perspective.  He intimately sees into the heart.

This wise Counselor doesn’t look at the pretty on the outside.  He is not swayed by the shiny, the expensive, the glittery, the important, the connected.  He perceives deep into the heart and sees not only what is present but what is possibility.

In the gospel of John, Jesus states that we see the Father because He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. {see John 14:11}  He has the very mind of God.  He is Immanuel.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3

Are you the person people come to for advice? Or, are you the one always seeking advice from others?  Have you ever wished you could see yourself, others or events in your life from God’s viewpoint?  If you could, do you think you would judge the person or situation rightly even with that advantageous perspective?

Read John14:15-17; 23-26; 15:26; 16:7-15
Immanuel bestows upon us the Counselor that will guide us into all truth. In these passages, “Christ designates the Holy Spirit as “Paraclete”.  He refers to Him as “allos”  which means “another of equal quality”. “Therefore, the Holy Spirit is designated by Jesus Christ as equal with Himself, God.  This new Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, was to witness concerning Him and to glorify Him.  …He acts as Christ’s substitute on earth.” **

The Greek noun,“parakletos” means “called to one’s side”.  This title is probably better translated the Comforter or Consoler rather than the more modern translation of Counselor.  The Hebrews appointed the name, Menahem, which corresponds to the name ‘Comforter’ to the Messiah.***

I rather see all three titles as a fuller description of the work of the Spirit.
When we’re struggling with an issue and crying out to God and searching His word for an answer, the Comforter comes to our side consoling and guiding us to that scripture that breathes an answer straight from the counsel of the Counselor, Himself into our heart and brings the wash of God’s grace pouring upon us. {see Romans 8:26,27}

Because you are sons{daughters}, God sent the Sprirt of his Son into our hearts, the Sprirt who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Galatians 4:6

Have you felt the Counselor’s presence in your life?

Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
Other times, we are led in our decision processes by the Counselor’s presence that directs us into right paths to take.  We are taught spiritual things by Immanuel, Himself.  We have the ability to understand, to believe, to know, to judge rightly, to see, to discern any and every situation with the eyes of truth because we have the mind of Christ.

How will that knowledge change you?  Will you walk and respond differently?

You have been given the Son, the Wonder, the Counselor.

What will you give in return, Child of God?



* The Daily Bible Study Series Isaiah Volume 1 John F.A. Sawyer
** The Complete Word Study New Testament   Zodhiates
*** Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary  W.E.Vine

December 16, 2013


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