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Peace on Earth – At Last! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2023 5:00 am

Peace on Earth – At Last! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 29, 2023 5:00 am

Pastor Skip shares why Jesus’ divinity is essential for there to be peace on earth.

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Jesus Christ was the only person who existed before he was born.

He's the only person who existed before he was born. No wonder Paul wrote to Timothy and said, Great is the mystery of godliness that God was manifested in the flesh. What it means is Jesus never became God.

Jesus was God before he was born and remained God after he was human. The truth that Jesus was God incarnate is core to our Christian faith. And today on Connect with Skip Heintzic, Pastor Skip shares why Jesus divinity is essential for there to be peace on earth. God desires for us to know him intimately through the study of his word. That's why we share these messages to help you and many others connect to God through his word and grow in your walk through an intentional relationship with him.

And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world so they can grow and connect with God as you have. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you.

Okay, now we're in Isaiah 9 as we begin today's lesson with Skip. So outside of the United Nations building in New York City is this very, very famous statue. I'm not going to try to pronounce the guy's name. He's a Russian artist.

Forget it. Anyway, it's a strong man with a hammer beating a sword into a plow. And that depicts Isaiah chapter two, which we're going to be looking at in a moment. And across the street from the United Nations building are the very words that that statue is coming from.

It's from Isaiah. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Their stated goal was to end war and to bring in world peace. It's a wonderful goal to have, but let's be frank, they failed miserably. Since the United Nations was founded, there has not been a single year of peace anywhere on earth. Now I want to give them a break a little bit because it could be a stated goal, but nobody has been able to pull it off.

No one. Not the United Nations, not any king, not any kingdom. In any era of history, anytime human beings decide we're going to bring peace on earth, it's just an impossible task. But it will happen.

It will happen. It will happen one day and Isaiah the prophet happens to be one of those prophets who predicts the coming day of peace. This message is called peace on earth at last.

And it will happen when and only when the prince of peace returns and takes over what he created. I want you to try to imagine for a moment a world without any war. Try to imagine a world in perfect peace, a pristine utopia. Imagine a world that does not need homeland security. Imagine a world that doesn't have any missile testing because there are no missiles to test. Imagine a world where all the politicians are saints. Now that always gets a laugh, that one, and that's because you are really having to stretch your imagination. Imagine a world in which everything is always fair.

There's no need of an army, there's no need of a navy, there's no need of an air force. Now imagine a world that is so healthy that if somebody dies at age 100, they are said to die as an infant. Imagine a world where the curse is removed, the animal kingdom is tamed, the environment is pristine.

Imagine a world where toddlers can play in a snake pit and not be harmed, and where the snakes are unharmed by the toddlers as well. Imagine a world that is abundant with food but also packed full of people. Now we can only imagine that, it's only in our imagination, but one day we will not have to imagine it because it's going to come. And it is called the kingdom, or the kingdom age, or the millennial kingdom, or the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, whatever title, it is the kingdom age. Isaiah the prophet is the author of this book, and we're looking at Isaiah chapter 9. Isaiah chapter 9 is one of the most famous passages in all of the scripture.

Unfortunately, people usually only pull it out around Christmas time because it mentions the child being born, and so it finds its way into Christmas cards, and it's preached on at Christmas. When Isaiah wrote this, he wrote it about a hundred years before the Babylonian captivity, about 600 years before the birth of Christ. Isaiah in this passage and several others, by the way, in this book. This book is full of kingdom prophecy. Isaiah is looking past his own lifetime, past Bethlehem, though there are overtones of it in verse 6.

He looks past the first coming of the Messiah, past the cross, past the resurrection, into the future, when the Messiah reigns as monarch on the earth. Today, if you mention a king or a kingdom to Americans, that doesn't sit very well. I mean, we're a nation founded in rebellion to the king. We're not going to have a king reign over us. We left the king of England's reign over us. But when we talk about—there's some very, very patriotic person back there who's all anti-England, I think—but the idea of a kingdom is a monarchy. The monarchy we're talking about is a compassionate, benevolent, all-knowing, all-loving God ruling over His creation.

What I want to give you is creation. What I want to give you out of Isaiah 9, verse 6 and 7 are three reasons why the dominion we're talking about is going to be successful and bring in lasting peace. It all revolves around the ruler.

It's the right person at the right time. We're going to look at a remarkable king and his royal character and then his righteous kingdom. Look at verse 6 and 7. Let's read it all together.

And I've always loved, in particular, this last little sentence. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. We would translate that, God's going to get her done.

He's going to make sure that happens. Now let's go back to verse 6 and notice this king that is predicted. Three things are immediately said of him. His humanity is mentioned, unto us a child is born. His deity is alluded to, unto us a son is given, and his sovereignty is stated. The government will be upon his shoulders.

Let's take each one. Unto us a child is born. That's Christmas. That's the Nativity. That's when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

That's what we celebrate every Christmas time. But you will notice that Isaiah goes on to further identify this child who is born by calling him the mighty God. So the child who is going to be born, according to Isaiah, is also the mighty God, which begs a question immediately, and that is, how does God get born? I mean, if he's God, how is that even possible? How can God fit into a womb? How do you get God in a placenta filled with amniotic fluid? And there's only one answer to that, a virgin birth. It's the only way God could possibly be born. By the way, Isaiah, also in his prophecy, predicts that, not here but elsewhere, in chapter 7, a virgin birth.

The only way to make this happen is if this child is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a human girl, so that biologically he is related to Mary, but not biologically related to Joseph. But he was then fully human. He was born, thus he was human. And so that means he experienced what you and I experience.

He knows what it's like to be tired as a human. He knew what it was like to get hungry as a human, and he knew what it was like to suffer and ultimately die as a human. But something else is said of this remarkable king, not only his humanity, but it says, unto us a son is given.

Did you notice the wording there? It does not say unto us a child is born, unto us a son is born, but unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. There is a suggestion just in the text of pre-existence.

In fact, I'll state it this way, I'll say it this way, pre-existent deity. In other words, before he was born as a child, he already existed as God, as the second person of the Trinity. But when the child was born, that's when the son was also given. That's John 3 16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.

Now try to get your head around this one. Jesus Christ was the only person who existed before he was born. He is the only person who existed before he was born. No wonder Paul wrote to Timothy and said, great is the mystery of godliness that God was manifested in the flesh. What it means is Jesus never became God. Jesus was God before he was born and remained God after he was human. Again, we can thank Isaiah for putting it all together in chapter 7 and he will be called Emmanuel, which means God with us.

So unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, that's his humanity, that's his deity. Notice a further description is his sovereignty. For it says, and the government will be upon his shoulder.

Now it's in the future tense, will be upon his shoulder. He's looking with the prophetic lens into the future beyond Christmas, beyond the cross, into the kingdom. When the government is into the kingdom, when the government of the world will rest upon his shoulder. By the way, the word government, this is a Hebrew text we're dealing with in the Old Testament, not Greek. The Hebrew word for government here is the word misra and it literally means the rule of a monarch.

I really like this for this reason. When Jesus comes, he's the monarch. He rules as one. He's not voted in for four years. We don't really like the Messiah. We want a new one, tough. This is a monarchy and you can't impeach him, can't do that.

He's in for good. It's the rule of a monarch. But what's this idea that the government will be on his shoulder? In ancient times, governance was considered a burden to be born on the shoulder of a monarch. They understood the responsibility. If you're going to rule, you have to bear the weight of responsibility for the decisions you make and they considered it a burden. It's a burden that the king wears or the governor wears.

Now, we live in a day and age when the government wants to put the burden on us, but they saw the burden on them in those days. It was symbolically represented by the robe that the king wore. They would wear the robe on the shoulders to signify the burden of government resting upon the shoulders of the monarch. Of course, we know that Jesus took off his royal robes in heaven, so to speak, came down to the earth as a child born, as the son given to walk among his people. I've always loved the story about the king who twice a year decided to take off his kingly robes and dress up like a peasant.

I should say dress down like a peasant. He disguised himself, walked around people in the city and the countryside. This drove his guards and officials nuts. This is a security issue, sir.

You can't do that. He did it anyway, twice a year. His rationale was pretty clear. He said, I cannot rule my people unless I know how they live. God, in the form of Jesus Christ, became the child born, the son given.

One day, the government will be upon his shoulders, but because he lived among us, he knows how we live. So, essentially, already we have a virgin born son of God coming into the world that he had made, one day ruling the world with a literal earthly geopolitical kingdom that will encompass all the kingdoms and the governments of the world. And if you think I'm just sort of making this up or adding what isn't really there, you should read a little more of your Old Testament because even Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king who ruled the world during his day and age in Babylon, remember the night he had a dream and he called all the wise men in Babylon and said, look, I had a dream last night and I want you to tell me what it means. And basically they said, good, you tell us what you dreamed, we'll make something up. We'll make some interpretation, but tell us what you dreamed.

He goes, no, that's too easy. You tell me what I dreamed and then you tell me what it means. And he said, what it means.

If you don't do that, you're all dead. So that didn't bode very well because none of them could do that. Daniel stepped in and said, I can do it and I can't do it because I'm great, but I can do it because there's a God in heaven who knows everything. And he has revealed it to me. So, King, here's what you saw in your dream. You saw a huge statue made out of gold and silver, then bronze, then iron, then iron and clay. And that represents successive world dominating kingdoms.

You're number one. You're the head of gold. You control everything on earth. But after you, another king will arise, Medo-Persian Empire. After that, another kingdom will arise, the Grecian Empire. After that, another kingdom will arise, the Roman Empire. All of it happened.

And then there's going to be in the latter days, a confederation of kings, 10 nations. And in your dream, oh King, you saw a stone cut out, not with human hands, coming from heaven, careening to the earth. It hit the statue, busted it up, destroyed all those kingdoms. And that rock grew into a mountain that covered the earth. And the king said, yeah, that's like exactly what I saw.

Dude, what does it mean? Daniel said, in the days of those kings, God will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed. It's a kingdom on earth, like Nebuchadnezzar, like Medo-Persia, et cetera. He will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom shall stand forever. Here is the reminder forever. Here is the remarkable king, child born, son given.

The government will be upon his shoulder. Now let's keep going in verse six and go to the second reason why this dominion will be successful and bring in lasting peace, and that is his royal character. You will notice that in verse six, Isaiah gives four names to this king. Some would count five if they keep a comma there.

I'll talk about that. But when Isaiah gives these names, it doesn't mean the child will actually be called by those names. It's not like anybody said, hey, wonderful counselor over here, or hey, mighty God. But these are descriptive characteristics of his reign.

So look at the first one. His name will be called wonderful, then it says comma in my Bible, counselor. So some say his name is wonderful, then another name is counselor.

And then other versions, other versions, more modern versions take the comma out. So wonderful becomes the adjective for counselor. So his name will be called wonderful counselor. You know what?

It doesn't matter. It's all true. He's just plain wonderful, and he's a counselor, but he's also a wonderful counselor. And really, that's probably the best way to see it, take the comma out, because literally in Hebrew, it's put this way, he will be a wonder of a counselor. He will be a wonder of a counselor.

In other words, his wisdom as a counselor transcends all human wisdom. Now, let's be frank here, anybody can give you counsel. It's not always wonderful. It might be well-meaning, but it might be ungodly counsel. By the way, everybody has an opinion of how you should live.

Everybody does. Everybody thinks you should have a certain value system, which is their value system. Everybody has an opinion how you should live. But Jesus' counsel is wonderful. He is the wonderful counselor. There's an old Danish proverb that says, he who builds according to every man's advice will have a crooked house.

So if you try to just kind of bow to everybody's opinion, your life will just kind of look wonky. But when Jesus was on earth and he came to his hometown of Nazareth, the people marveled, they were all amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. It's like, wow, that was good. He's a wonderful counselor. Now, imagine if Jesus opened a counseling office down by your house.

So there's his name out there, Jesus. Counseling hours are given. You go in there to get counsel.

You walk in and he already knows everything about you. Yeah, Jesus, I've had a rough week. My boss, and he goes, you don't even have to keep going. I'm going to go to the office. I'm going to have to keep going. I saw what your boss did to you. And I heard what you said back to your boss.

Right? So he knows everything. And he would always give the right advice. In John chapter 7, Jesus was in the temple and he spoke and the official said, no man ever spoke like this man. His counsel was and will be always wonderful. And when he rules and reigns, you'll see why this is important because the law will go forth from where he is presiding in Jerusalem. And it will be a wonderful counsel.

By the way, I need to say that perhaps one of the reasons that there has never been peace on earth heretofore is because politicians usually don't seek God. They don't. Oh, they get counsel. They get advice. They have their own analysts around them. They have their ambassadors around them.

They get on the phone and usually talk to other leaders so they're getting counsel from one another. But rarely do you find a leader of a nation who is really intent on finding out what God has to say. Like, hey, bring the guy in with the Bible and let's pray about this. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Give Peace a Chance. Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, we want to share about a special resource that will help you answer the tough questions about the life, ministry and divinity of Christ. Attention moms, dads and anyone who's looking to help children understand the message of the Bible. This month, we're offering the book Soaring Through the Bible for Kids.

God's Word can be a challenge to read and understand, even for adults. And this kid-friendly version of Pastor Skip Heitzig's popular book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, gives young children and tweens a panoramic overview of all 66 books of the Bible, helping them see the context and significance of each. Soaring Through the Bible is a travel guide from Genesis through Revelation for Kids. Each chapter provides a flight plan for exploring a portion of the Bible, along with a brief synopsis that shows what the chapters are about and language kids can understand. Creatively designed with kids in mind, Soaring Through the Bible also features fun illustrations and fascinating facts to keep young minds and hearts engaged and interested. Soaring Through the Bible for Kids will prepare a child for takeoff on a lifelong journey of learning and loving God's Word. We will send you a copy of this unique book along with a booklet for you by Skip titled Why Truth Matters. Simply make a donation to support and expand this radio program with a gift of $50 or more.

Call 1-800-922-1888 or order online at connectwithskip.com. Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, Peace on Earth at Last. Just think of it in practical terms. The further that humanity gets away from the conflicts of the past, especially the tribulation period, every day is just going to seem better and more peaceful and purer and deeper than before. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-29 07:23:20 / 2023-11-29 07:32:01 / 9

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