The Honors of His Name: A Christmas Meditation

Isaiah 9:1-7

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson gives a Christmas message on the meaning given through the names of the Messiah in Isaiah's prophecy.

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[Message] The Scripture reading this morning is a variation from our custom. It is proof of the fact that we are not totally inflexible in Believers Chapel. [Laughter] Now, last year we have been trying through the years not to make special reference to special days in the ministry of the word, but continue along in the systematic exposition of the word, at least as systematic as we can be. But we were a little chagrinned that last Christmas the Sunday message happened to be a message on Judas, and it just so happened that if we had continued in Genesis the message for today would have been the message that has to do with the curse upon Cain, and so we thought that it was probably a word from the Lord to us that we should vary from our inflexibility, and this morning deal with some of the themes that we associate with Christmas. And so I am asking you if you will to turn to Isaiah chapter 9 and listen as I read verses 1 through 7, a passage that has to do with the prophesies concerning the coming of our Lord. In the 1st verse of Isaiah chapter 9 we read,

“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Thou shall multiply the nation, thou shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Incidentally these names of our Lord may be taken in different ways. Some have suggested, for example, that there are really six names, some five and some four. As you can see from the translation that I have just read, the translators have suggested that there are only four names, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Now due to the fact that the last two are probably Eternal Father and Prince of Peace, the first which might be easily divided into two names, “Wonderful,” and “Counselor,” have been taken as one. And then verse 7 concludes the section. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore the zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”

May the Lord bless this reading of his word.

[Prayer removed from audio]

[Message] The subject for our Christmas meditation is, “The Honors of His Name.” In Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, it’s true. Often there is not much in a name. Now I’ve learned that over the past months from some personal experience. I must confess I hardly ever went into a grocery store until my wife became sick. But now I’ve come to see life as it really is and [Laughter] I walk through the aisles in the grocery store, and I notice cleansers that say “Cheer,” “Joy,” as far as I can tell there’s not much cheer or joy in those cleansers. “Cold Power,” “Grease Relief,” “Miracle White,” “White Magic,” and really they’re just names because as everyone knows there isn’t any joy in “Joy” or cheer in “Cheer,” or any miraculous power in any of these cleansers, it’s mainly the elbow that we apply when we use them.

But in the Bible a name is a very significant thing. You probably have noticed in your reading of the Bible that the name refers to a person. The name of the Lord is the person of the Lord. The name is often the person revealed, and sometimes the name is the person actively present. In our life, names do not mean a whole lot. My name, incidentally, means mighty warrior, and I’m sure that you know immediately that that name doesn’t mean a thing. Well when we come to the passage that we are coming to today in Isaiah chapter 9, we have more names of our Lord Jesus crowded together than almost anywhere else in the Bible, and together they tell you us much of the Christmas story. Most of us know that one of the familiar terms by which our Lord is known is the term Immanuel. We sing some of our Christmas hymns with stanzas that have Immanuel in it. “Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail, the incarnate deity, pleased as Man with to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel!” In the last stanza or so of “Oh Holy Child of Bethlehem, we have, I think, in the chorus, “Oh come to us, Abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel.”

The section that we’re looking at in the Book of Isaiah has been called the Book of Immanuel. It’s a brief section that begins in the 7th chapter and concludes with the 12th chapter, but the story of it is the story of that name that is given in the 14th verse of the 7th chapter, Immanuel, and the fact that that is the theme of this section is evidenced by the fact that at the conclusion of the entire section in chapter 12 and verse 6, we have the thought again of Immanuel, or God with us, for the prophet writes, looking forward to the days of the kingdom, “Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel,” God with us.

The story of this section is the story of King Ahaz and the King of Assyria, the King of Syria, and the King of Israel. Ahaz was one that we might call King No Faith because in the midst of his reign which was not a very good reign, he was the object of an alliance between Syria and Israel. Ahaz was King of Judah, and so when news came to him that Israel and Syria were plotting an invasion against him, he immediately began to be troubled by that fact, and took it upon his heart to make an alliance in some way with Assyria. The trouble with Ahaz was that he carried something deep down in his heart that meant more to him than the power of God, and it was trust in Assyria. The Lord warned him. He warned him that he should not panic that he should trust in him and gave him promises concerning the coming of Immanuel who would be the ultimate means by which Israel would be delivered.

Well we know the story, I hope, and that is that Ahaz did not listen to the word of God and the result was that the Lord had to give Ahaz further information and Israel further information about the trials that lay ahead for them. So in the reading of the Book of Isaiah in chapter 7 after the promise has been given to Ahaz, and it is evident that he is to refuse it then the remainder of this section, in chapter 7 and also in chapter 8 is an account of the fact that the Assyrians are going to come and Israel is going to have to go into captivity, but as in so many of the promises of the Old Testament God will not cast away his people for darkness will turn to light in, “The coming of a child.” What an interesting thing, “The coming of a child.”

Now, let’s turn to Isaiah chapter 9 and we notice first of all that the prophet in the first 5 verses speaks of this restoration of the light to the land after the darkness of the trials that are going to precede it. Isaiah in chapter 8, incidentally, passes from sarcasm to pity, and then to hope in chapter 9 and verse 1, and triumph in verses 2 though 5. The mutilated nation is going to become a multiplied nation.

If you have an Authorized Version and you read verse 1 of chapter 9 you will notice that it says something different from that which I read in the Scripture reading, but let me assure you that the passage as I read it in the Scripture reading from the New American Standard Bible is more accurate. It reads, “But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,” and so Isaiah points forward to a future that is glorious for Israel even though they must pass through times of trial because of the failure to trust the word of God. He says in verse 2, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” It’s a rather beautiful picture and I don’t know whether we can properly illustrate it but it seems as if the prophet is speaking of people in the midst of the storms and trials of life and he likens this to a physical storm in which there is lightning and thunder and amidst the flashing of the lightning and the crashing of the thunder and the rain, he looks off into the distance, and there, there is a break in the clouds and in the midst of the storm about him he sees the light shining down through that clouds which are open for just a moment and the light is the light about which he is going to speak.

Now he describes the future by expanding his range of vision, and he says in verse 3, “Thou shall multiply the nation, thou shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” This light, evidently, is going to mean prosperous times for them. He explains further, he says, “Thou shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian,” a reference to Gideon and the great victory that took place as a result of the power of God through Gideon and that little band of three hundred men who overcame the one hundred and thirty-five thousand Midianites. And he speaks in verse 5, “For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.” And so there is going to be a time of trial. There is going to be however a future enlargement of Israel. It will come out of tribulation and the result will be a kingdom of peace and the enemy is going to be routed as the enemy was routed through Gideon in the day of the battle of Midian. And one wants to ask at this point, “Well who is this individual who is going to lead Israel to such great victory that he may be likened to Gideon who supernaturally overcame the Midianites?”

Now in the New Testament we are told that this particular passage has to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. We won’t look at the passage, but in the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the evangelist there says that when the Lord Jesus began his preaching it was the fulfillment of this particular passage in which we read, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” As we examine the passage in Matthew in the context, of course, we learn it’s not a complete fulfillment but it is the beginning of the fulfillment that will lead on to the coming of the kingdom.

Now, one would ask for an explanation of this, and that’s what we get in verse 6 and 7, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.” The Assyrian Lion, the Satanic Coalition, is to be overthrown by a child. Now isn’t that a striking thing, because you see it is Isaiah who, in the preceding chapters, in one place in particular, has spoken about the fact that children are going to be given to Judah as a judgment upon them for their rulers. In chapter 3 and verse 4 we read, “And I will make mere lads their princes, and capricious children will rule over them.”

In other words, because of the disbelief of the nation, God is going to give them rulers that are children and the children as rulers are the destruction of nations. One of the saddest things that has happened down through the centuries is for a child to come to a throne. And here in this very book in which we have the announcement of this great child, we have warning about children as rulers for judgment, but this child is entirely different. “A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.”

Now I want you to notice here that these words are very significant. When he says, “A child will be born to us,” he is referring to the humanity of this individual who is going to win the victory. He calls him a child. He says that he will be “born.” Have you ever noticed that in the New Testament how the Lord Jesus Christ only once ever says that he was born? He usually speaks in words like this, “I have been sent,” “I have come.” Only once does he ever say that he was born. And he said he was “born” to Pontius Pilate. But then having said that he was born he quickly, not corrected himself, but added something so that Pilate would realize that he was not saying that he was just like other men, for he went on to say, “While I have been born for this cause have I come into the world.” The Lord Jesus in all of his utterances with that one exception speaks of himself as coming, or having been sent, suggesting of course the fact that he is the pre-existent Son of God, but the humanity of our Lord needs stress as well, and so we do read, “A child will be born to us,” but immediately afterwards he adds, “A son will be given to us,” so the child stresses the human side of our Lord’s being. The Son who is given stresses the divine side.

Now, of course I could never hope to speak of the greatness of the Son of God and fully expound to you what is meant when we read, “A son will be given to us.” One of the commentators has said, “As soon could a gnat drink up the ocean as that we could explain the mystery of the person of our Lord.” We know that he was the possessor of a true human nature, apart from sin, and we know at the same time that he possessed the full deity of the members of the godhead, but at the same time he is one divine person who possesses the two natures. The Lord Jesus Christ is different from all others. It’s a startling thing when you realize it, that he is the Holy Son of God and he never tells us how he attained unto his holiness. Men who are saints tend to tell us how they managed to become saintly because of their sin. They expatiate upon their sin. They expatiate upon their failures, upon the experiences that they had by which they came to a recognition of what it meant to truly belong to the Lord and attain to their holiness. Augustine wrote his Confessions. Other saints have written literature. Our Lord Jesus who called upon other men to repent never tells us that he ever repented of anything. If he were just a man he could not be the kind of man that we know him to be.

And on the other hand, he speaks of himself in positive ways that makes him different from every other person. All other men are lost sheep. He’s not a lost sheep. He’s the shepherd who came to give his life for the sheep. All other men are sick and dying. He’s not sick, and he’s not dying. He’s the great physician who came to give life to those who are sick. All other men are men who have lives that they have forfeited by virtue of their sin. His life is not forfeited. His life is given as a sacrifice in order that he may ransom all of those forfeited lives. Other men are sinners. He’s not a sinner. He never speaks of himself as a sinner. No one ever in other places speaks of him as a sinner. But he’s the Savior who came to give his life for the sinners. So the child is to be the governor. Isn’t that an amazing thing that, “The child will be born to us, the son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders.”

Now our Presidents like to tell us that to be President is to have the loneliest office in the world, and they talk about all of the burdens of their decisions. I read an article a few years ago about Prince Charles and how he’s soon to come to be King of England and the burdens of the office, but here is a child who is fully able to bare all of the burdens of the government of this whole universe. “The government shall rest upon His shoulders.” He’s like the High Priests in Israel who carried the names of the tribes of the children of Israel on their shoulders, and in token of the fact that they represented Israel before the Lord, and so the Lord Jesus is the one who shall have upon his shoulders the government of this universe, and he has all of the power necessary to do the job perfectly. He doesn’t tell us of the burdens of it. He doesn’t tell us that it’s the loneliest office in the world or anything like that because we know from the description that is given of him that he is fully able to carry own world government.

Now we come to the names that are given to him. And they are really a marvelous expansion of the name Immanuel which is given back in the 14th verse of the 7th chapter. Remember a sign finally was given by God to the House of David, and the prophet wrote, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” This is the child, and this is the Son referred to there. And there are four marvelous terms, names, which are given in expansion of what it means to be “God with us,” and the first is “Wonderful Counselor.” I’ve meditated a great deal on these words. I wish it were possible for me to plum the depths of the meaning of them. I could never do it. I know from my own experience that to attempt to understand what it means when he is called “Wonderful Counselor” is far beyond me. So do not think that for one moment is some kind of complete exposition of these verses and these names, it’s not. But I would like to suggest to you first of all that he is called “Wonderful” because that is exactly what he is, “Wonderful.”

Now if we were to think about “Wonderful,” and we were to think of the whole of our Lord’s life, past, present, and future, it would not be stressing it too much to say that he has been wonderful in the past, for think of his eternal existence. What a magnificent thing it is to have eternal existence. Some of us who’ve been in the Lord’s work when we see an old saint of God who has faithfully ministered the word of God and been fruitful, we like to get over near him and ask him a few questions in order to find out things that might help us in the ministry of the word of God, or some saintly Christian whose had an unusual Christian experience, we want to talk with them and find out what’s the secret of the faithfulness that God has given to them in their lives. And it’s of course a great thing, but after all an old man is only a person who has been here for just a few years, when you think of years. An old man standing under the tree is not as old as the tree. The tree may have been here for several generations, but the tree is not as significant as the ground in which it has been planted, for the ground has been here not only through a few generations but for centuries, and the rock underneath the ground might well have been the rock that was created by God. And the angels, what great beings they are, but angels are created beings. If we were to just move back and back and back and finally come face to face with eternity, we have a description of him who is wonderful in his eternal existence.

He was wonderful in his incarnation, the eternal one hanging upon the breasts of a maiden in Bethlehem of Judea. It’s beyond our comprehension to think of. He was wonderful in his death, of course, because it is his death by which we are redeemed and wonderful in his resurrection. He is wonderful in the present for the trials of life are the trials that he is well able to take care of. The trials that are characteristic of a young person with hopes and ambitions and desires to find that which God would have you to do in your life, and then those in middle age who are carrying on their work or ministry, and for those who are growing older, the Lord Jesus is wonderful in the present, and all of the trials of life may be committed to him, wonderful in the future too, because in the future he shall take us to be with him. I am sure that as we look into the future and think about the things that men have said what a day the coming of the Lord Jesus is going to be. Voltaire who wished to stamp out every remembrance of the Lord Jesus, what shall he say when the Lord Jesus comes again? Bultmann who sought to demythologize the great events of the New Testament including our Lord’s death and resurrection and second coming, what will he say when the Lord Jesus does come again?

Now he is a “Wonderful Counselor,” we read. And he’s called “Counselor” because of several interesting things that may be said about him. He’s a “Wonderful Counselor” because he sits in the Cabinet Counsel of the triune God. He understands all of the things that have gone on in that wonderful eternal counsel down through the centuries. When they gathered together to discuss the matter of the creation of all things, the Lord Jesus was there. When they discussed the providential dealing of God with the history of man, he was there. When they discussed the questions of the grace of God and how it is possible for a God to be just and the justifier of sinful men, he was there. He, with the Father and the Spirit, worked out the whole plan by which this righteous one should come and take upon himself the sins of sinners and justify sinners while at the same time upholding the holy law of God. He made it possible, and it was by his own counsel that I today preach to you that God is just in the sacrifice of Christ and the justifier of those that believe in him. And of course, he also was there when questions concerning the election of individuals came up. He was there when the decision was made to chose some before the foundation of the world. He was there when plans were made for the Apostle Paul to write that, “We have been blessed in him with all spiritual blessings according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” The Lord Jesus was there. The child was there.

In other words, he knows all about the Doctrine of Election. That troubles a lot of people. How can I know that I am elect? Do you know I can tell you how you can know you’re elect? I know you think that I didn’t have that information, but I do have that information. Now, of course, I’m not able to read the Book of Life, the Lamb’s Book of Life. I don’t know. I’ve never had a look at it. But I know how you can tell whether you are elect or not, but I want you to know that you can never know that you’re elect before you have come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to know that you’re elect, it’s really very simple, so far as the Scriptures are concerned. It involves a recognition of the fact that you’re a sinner. It involves a recognition of the fact that the Lord Jesus has died for sinners, and that you see that through that death you may have life and it involves your fleeing to him for justification. And if you have come to the knowledge of these things and you have fled to the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and you have received him as your own personal Savior, as a gift from God, then you know that you belong to the elect. It would be nice, of course, if we had an announcement ahead of time, and then we’d preach only to them, but unfortunately we do not have that.

Roland Hill used to say that when people who were very strong in their belief that certain people were elected and were not and insisted that one should preach only to the elect. He used to say that he would be happy to preach only to the elect if God would just make a chalk mark on the backs of each one of them, but in the light of the fact that he has never done that, he’ll go on preaching the gospel to everyone. And that, of course, is what we want to do and that is what we will continue to do. So the Lord Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor” because he knows all of these great truths, being a member of the Cabinet Counsel of the triune God.

He is also the angel of the great Counsel. Incidentally, that’s the way that the Septuagint or the Greek version renders this. He reveals God’s will to us that is he is the one who communicates the will of God to us through the Holy Spirit. And he is the one who through the Holy Spirit has come to indwell us and consequently he gives us daily counsel concerning the affairs of life. Isn’t it great to know that the person that has come to indwell us through the Holy Spirit is one who has all information? We don’t really need any Cabinet. We don’t need any Burt Lance or anyone else to give us some information that others might not have. We have all of the information that we need in the presence of the counselor with us. By counselor the world was ruined, and that counselor was the serpent, but by the Lord Jesus Christ the saints have been redeemed and through the Spirit he has come to indwell them and to counsel them.

Well you could speak forever about “Wonderful Counselor,” but we have next “Mighty God.” Now, what does that mean, “Mighty God?” Unitarians charge us, incidentally, with being simple minded in believing that the Lord Jesus is God. It’s really much more serious than that. There are people who come occasionally and say, “Why are you so emphatic in the doctrines that you believe like the Doctrine of the Deity of Christ? We would be very nice to you, and be willing to accept you, but you’re not willing to accept us.” So, these individuals who do not accept the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ say to us, “Why is it that as orthodox individuals you speak so sharply about failure to believe in the Deity of Christ? We would welcome you among us, but you don’t want us among yourselves. Why is that? Why is it that true orthodox people are so anxious to affirm the deity of Christ and so disturbed when those who parade as Christians do not affirm the deity of Christ?” Do you know why?

Well because of this simple fact, that if our Lord Jesus Christ is not truly the “Mighty God,” it’s not a matter of indifference for those who say to us, “He is not God,” are not simply denying some truth that we hold dear to ourselves. They are accusing us of the grossest of sins. They are accusing us of the sin of idolatry for true Christians acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is the “Mighty God” and we worship him as the “Mighty God,” the second person of the Trinity. But is he’s not the “Mighty God,” then we worship a man, and in worshipping a man, we are idolatrous. We have another God before the Lord, our God. It’s a serious thing you see to say to a true orthodox Christian, “We don’t really think that Jesus Christ is God, a good man, a great man, a good teacher,” but listen if he is not what he says that he is, he, of course, is a liar and a charlatan, but we are guilty of the sin of idolatry. That’s why we are so upset. That’s why we are so disturbed. The honor of our Lord is at stake and the spiritual status of the saints of God is at stake. The Bible says, “He’s the Mighty God,” and he proved it when, at the Cross of Calvary, he gathered in himself all of the sins of his people, took them upon himself, and bore the penalty to the full and ultimately cried out, “It is finished.” This infant, this child, this son cried out, “It is finished,” and bore to the limit of the divine judgment the sins of his people. He proved he was the “Mighty God” in his death and in his resurrection.

He’s also called the “Everlasting Father.” That literally is the Father of eternity. Think of it, the infant in the manger is the infinite one. The Father of eternity, what does that mean? Well, we say that a person is the father of something when he was the founder of it. Why this individual is not simply an eternal being, he’s the parent of eternity. All time proceeds from him, and he’s the author of it. And, of course, being the “Everlasting Father,” the parent of eternity means that he is the life giver himself. “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” Incidentally, in the 8th chapter in the 18th verse it is stated, “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts,” and that passage is applied in the New Testament to our Lord Jesus Christ in the 2nd chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. And so he is looked at as a person who has children. He’s the one who is the “Everlasting Father,” the Father of eternity.

Now when the Lord Jesus is called, “Father” there is no confusion within the Trinity for the term Father here is not used in the same sense that it is used of when we speak of the Father in the Trinity. Here when he says, “Everlasting Father,” he means “Everlasting Father,” to us. He is like a father to us. We are the children, and consequently, we belong to him and he cares for us just like a father cares for children. But in the Trinity he is the Son. And he is “Everlasting Father.” What does that mean? That means he never loses his children. We’re always his children as I just cited, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish.” In other words, once we’ve come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus we have this life forever. It’s not, “I give unto them six months life,” it’s not, “I give unto them life until they sin,” but “I give unto them eternal life and they shall by no means ever perish,” “Everlasting Father.”

“Prince of Peace,” well we know about “Prince of Peace” because later on in this particular section of Isaiah in the 11th chapter the coming of the kingdom shall be described in more detail. The reference is to the fact that there will be no peace apart from this individual who is the “Prince of Peace,” and who brings peace in his Second Advent.

The character of the government is described in the remainder of verse 7. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness.” He will have a righteous reign. It will be perpetual, but it will be progressive and it will merge ultimately in the eternal state. Will this really be carried out? Look at that last line of verse 7. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” The jealousy of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this. God is so interested in seeing this carried out that he will devote himself to the fulfillment of this particular plan.

What’s in a name then? Well, lot’s is in a name if it’s a biblical name. If it’s a name behind which the Lord God stands there is enough in the name of our Lord Jesus Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace to break the charms that the earth and world have upon us, to lose our wings, our spiritual wings, and cause us to desire to fly upwards to enjoy the eternal joy that we shall have in the presence of the Lord. “My gracious master and my God,” we sometimes sing, “Assist me to proclaim, To spread thru all the earth abroad The honors of Thy name.” What a magnificent name he has. How different from “Cheer,” “Joy,” “White Magic,” “Cold Power,” and all of those silly things that we attach to a name down here on the earth. But let me close by just reminding you of this.

He is “Wonderful Counselor,” and being “Wonderful Counselor” he has some counsel for each one of us today. For those who are tried, his counsel is, “Cast thy burdens upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” What great counsel.

For the young, there are many young in this audience, “Seekest Thou great things for thyself? seek them not.” The things that are great are the things that have to do with our great God, seek them.

For the back sliders, well in the Book of Revelation in the 3rd chapter in the 18th verse in one of the letters that our Lord Jesus wrote to one of the churches he said, “I advise you (you back sliders) to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see,” advise for backsliders.

And for the sinners, the Lord Jesus has the great advise of, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart” The Son, the child, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” Immanuel, God with us.

May God enable you to respond at this Christmas season and truly come to know him in his great names. Let’s stand for the benediction.

[Prayer] Father we do ask that this Christmas season may be a season in which our Lord Jesus Christ may have the preeminence in our lives. May, in all that we say and do, in all of the happiness of this season, may his name be preeminent. And we do ask, Lord, that if there are some here who do not know him and the magnificence of his names that this may become for them the greatest of all Christmas seasons as they come to him for everlasting life…