During the hymn service my mind was taken to expressions found in the 9th chapter of Isaiah. I would like to read starting at verse six and read through the seventh verse: “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 Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 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 forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
We would like to begin in our treating upon this subject with the last expression in the seventh verse. The last part of that seventh verse, he said, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” The reason why we met this statement first and talk on this verse is to let you know those things which this text includes are not left to the chance and volition of men as to whether they be done or not done. To let you know that these things which we read in your hearing was to be performed by the zeal of God. To have a zeal is to be mighty in exercise, mighty in working, mighty in enduring. God does not sit on the stool of do nothing and wait and see what man will do. But this which we have under consideration, the prophet made the emphatic statement that the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. It didn’t say that the zeal of the Lord of Host will perform part of it and leave some of it for us to perform. But this which is under consideration, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. Now let’s take under consideration what it is that the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform. This that we shall take under consideration will be certain; it will be sure; it will be perfect; it will not be lacking in any sense of the word. Why? Because it is based on the exercise not of the beneficiaries but upon the exercise of the giver — of the Lord of Hosts.
Beginning with the first part of the sixth verse of the ninth chapter of Isaiah, “For unto us a child is born.” Notice the last statement that I read, ‘The zeal of the Lord of Host will perform this.” That speaks as to the future, but in the first it says “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” That’s speaking in present tense. Even though this scripture of Isaiah was written hundreds of years before Jesus Christ made His appearance in the earth I firmly believe Isaiah experienced the real truth of the matter when he wrote: “Unto us a child is born.”
Somebody might say those that came before the birth of Christ would be dealt with differently than those who came after the birth of Christ. I do not think so because God is the same God yesterday, today and forevermore. When we speak of God we can not speak of Him as in the past tense or the future tense when we speak of God rightly. But we speak of Him presently because the Scriptures say that the Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness, but is long suffering to usward not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. And just before this expression is made He said this, “Be not Ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” You know it seems to me that the apostle as he wrote this epistle he emphatically states you may be ignorant of many things and remain in that ignorance, but there is one necessary thing, one thing that you shall not be ignorant of, one thing that should be impressed upon your mind is that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. What does that mean? That means this, that as it was two thousand years ago as far as man is concerned, that God is. That was present and is present in His mind now as though it was happening at this time, coming to pass at this time, the things that came to pass two thousand years ago. The things that are occurring now is just as present in His mind and the things that shall occur one thousand years hence, should time go on that long, is just as present in His mind as though it’s occurring right now. You know that the mind of the Lord is so great that it can comprehend all things at the same time and all time at once and therefore there is no time reckoned with God, but He is one eternal NOW. So when we speak of God properly, we speak of God as being is.
Jesus made a statement that the English perfectionist would say, reasonably and logically, was stated wrong. When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was I am” the English critics would say that it was a wrong statement. If it had said, “Before Abraham was i was,” then that would be in accordance with good English. But the idea “Before Abraham was I am.” that would be contrary with the right usage of the English language say some teachers. But to those who are not ignorant of this one thing — that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day — it doesn’t sound out of place to them. Why? Because “Before Abraham was I am.” In other words even in the time of Isaiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem in the country of Judaea, Isaiah could experimentally say, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,” the present tense.
This question was asked at Antioch church last Sunday afternoon. Do we have any scriptural proof that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th? I said no, as far as I know there is no scriptural proof of that. Commentators have agreed, judging all things that surely it was along about the month of October as far as the season is concerned that Jesus was born. It was in the city of Bethlehem in the country of Judaea almost two thousand years ago. But I said I would like to answer that question and tell you that it doesn’t make any difference when He was born here upon this earth. It doesn’t make any difference what day or what month He was born on this earth. But I will tell you what does make a difference. It is when Jesus is born in you the hope of glory. That’s the difference and that’s exactly when you celebrated the birth of Christ. It was when Jesus was born in you the hope of glory.
There is a great deal to this statement, “Unto us a child is born.” I had some thoughts upon it a few days ago that couldn’t be bought. There is a difference in “Unto us a child is born“and “Unto us a son is given.” If you read a scripture and you don’t find Jesus in the scripture you haven’t found the core of the text. If you read a scripture and you don’t find you own experience there then you haven’t tasted the text. Here’s what was sought for at the time when Jesus was born. What would be the sign? What was the sign that was given to them. Would they find a giant? Was that the sign? No, this was the sign: “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” This was the sign. “Unto us a child is born.”
Those who have been born of the Spirit of Almighty God have been made sensible to their many sins and brought to serve the law. What a terrible thing this law demanded and the law gave nothing but it demanded everything. You did your very best to serve this law. But the law entered that the offense might abound and when this law came into your hearts and minds it showed you the very best of your righteousness was as filthy rags in God’s sight. You found yourself feeling to be nothing, less than nothing, vanity, that sin was mixed with all you did and when you would do good evil was present with you. You felt so low down that should a king have come to you or should one in great authority or one mighty have come to you it would have so sunk you that you wouldn’t have had any use for it. It would have been too shocking to you. But this is the sign, you shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. When you were in this condition you said, “Lord save or I perish.” You were certain that you were doomed to hell in your own feelings. Did you want to come before a king then? No, you would say I’m unworthy. You said, I am unfit. Oh no, not that!
Let us take the words of Jesus. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” What do we first learn about Jesus? What think ye of Christ in your first experience? What did Jesus say? Did He say to those who were heavy laden and to those who were labouring, come unto Me? Did He say to them that I am the mighty God? No, He didn’t say that. Why? You weren’t ready for that. What did He say to you? He said just like He said to those that were heavy laden and labouring. You are heavy laden with your sins and you are labouring very diligently to try to get yourself out from under that terrible weight of sin that has you pressed down so much. Oh how terrible it is. But Jesus said learn of Me. What did He say? He said, “For I am meek, and lowly In heart.” He didn’t say He was high in heart. He didn’t say, I am King and nobody had better cross Me. He didn’t say that, did He? No, He said I am meek and lowly.
I have thought about families who are given children; when a child is born the mother says this is mine. She can lift it up. It is little, she can lift it up and caress it. She says this is mine. When Jesus appears to you He doesn’t appear as the mighty giant at first but the sign is that you shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. Learn of me, I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest in your souls. Here you are down; here you are without hope for the future; here you are facing the fiery judgment and indignation of a righteous God. You know if He should do you justice you would be cut off and that without remedy. Then all at once you come into possession of something meek and lowly; something you can caress and handle. Yes, one wrote about what he had tasted, what he had handled, the Bread of Life, to handle Jesus as a babe is handled. What did you want to do with that child? Did you want to destroy Him? Oh, no, how precious is that One that is born in you the hope of glory. He came as a babe. You know if it had been God’s will for Him to come as grown He would have. But it wasn’t His will that He come as grown, but He came as a little babe. The Scriptures say that He grew in stature and that He grew in wisdom and He grew in favour with God and man. That’s what the Scriptures say. Haven’t you felt in your heart and in you experience the growing of the Lord Jesus? Yes, when He first came to you He said I am meek and lowly. You know Jesus said of my own self I can do nothing. He said the Father works and hitherto I work. So He comes to you as meek and lowly and says I can do nothing of myself. What did He say when one said I will follow thee? He said the foxes hove holes, the birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has not where to lay His head. You know there was no room in the inn for Joseph and Mary, no room in the inn for Jesus to be born. But He was born and laid in a manger. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Not a very enticing garment was it? No, but it was the clothes that they habitually rubbed the animals down with that the Lord Jesus was wrapped in. It wasn’t a beautiful garment. But that should be the Son when He came to you in your experience. When you first tasted of Him you found Him as a babe and oh how you caressed Him. You said He’s mine. He’s mine. You celebrated His birth. He was born in you as a child. He came to you as meek and lowly. You think you are low. You think you have been forsaken, but He came to you as the Psalmist David expressed, “My God. My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ And as Jesus Christ expressed on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He came meek and lowly. Jesus said that He became poor that we might become rich. Yes, He was born in you as poor.
“Unto us a Son is given.” That’s a different statement. The Son is given and we thank God for the gift of His Son. We didn’t say that we merited His birth, no. But we thank God for the gift of the Son. “Unto us a Son is given.” Aren’t you glad it didn’t say offered. Because in the offering you rejected Him many times in your experience. Yes, in your experience you rejected Him. But I want to tell you when the proper time comes the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. He will make you ready. He will make your heart ready to receive Him. To receive Him first as a babe, to receive Him first as a child that you can caress and that you can love.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder.” Jehovah created the heavens and the earth. He created and formed all mankind. He created everything and put man as head of that creation to have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and beast of the forest and to have dominion over the things that God created. God gave man dominion over them. He even gave man the power to name the things. He is the creator of Adam and the earth and all things that is. You know that our God, Jehovah, the Father, knows how and does delegate power. In the Scriptures it says to be ye subject to the higher powers for all powers that be are ordained of God. That’s a delegation of power, isn’t it? He said be ye subject to the higher powers for there is no power but of God for the powers that be are ordained of God. So God delegates power and what did He delegate to his Son? He delegated the government of Israel to the Son. In delegating the government, I want to tell you the government shall be upon His shoulder. Sometimes elders in the church gets to fussing about who shall be the greatest and who will be the boss. Sometimes deacons and elders have it as to who will have control over this, that and the other. But it is all of the flesh. Why? Because God has decreed and God has ordained that the government of His church shall be upon the shoulder of Jesus Christ the blessed Son of God. So He is the governor. There is no pastor that can take that honor unto himself that he is the governor of the church. There are no deacons that can take that honor unto themselves that they are the governor of the church. There are no clubs of pastors and deacons together that can take that honor to themselves, that they are governors of the church an that the church must look upon them and respect them as such because any time that happens it just proves that it is not the church that is spoken of here. Because the government shall be upon His shoulder and in the New Testament it says that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and it speaks of the church as being His body. So the government shall be upon His shoulder.
I was talking to the pastor of the First Baptist Church in the community several years ago. He came to my home; he had recently moved to this community. He had heard that I was serving as pastor of some Primitive Baptist Churches in the community. He wanted to have a long talk with me. I invited him in and we sat down and began to talk. I have never been blessed in all my life with scriptures coming into my mind just as though I could see them in the Bible and I would quote them to him to every question that he asked. I’d quote the scriptural answer. He became astonished. He became so astonished that he began to talk to me as though he were a little boy and I was his father. He said,” Brother Lambert, I have such a terrible burden. The church here has twelve hundred members and oh what a great responsibility that’s upon me, twelve hundred members resting upon my shoulder.” I said, “I can sympathize with you. I used to feel the same way. I know what a burden it is, but that was too much of a burden for me and the Lord lifted it from me.” I said that He gave me to understand that He assumed that burden. His face lit up and he said, “I never thought of it in that way, maybe you are right.” I said, “I think I can tell you that I know that I am right.”
“The government shall be upon His shoulder.” He has the burden; He has the responsibility. Some of us quarrel and some of us complain about how He runs things but I want to tell you that it is the flesh and pride complaining every time. Sometimes its little folks that gets big recognition and people with a lot of pride say now that’s just out of this world. How foolish it is that we come complaining about it. I have seen people illiterate, as far as natural education is concerned, that the Lord has raised up and gave them the call to the ministry and qualified them. They were illiterate as far as worldly education was concerned, but when they went behind the sacred desk and the Lord blessed them to preach, they would make the wise and the noble hand their heads down in shame because they could preach so much better than they and so much more effectively. The pride of the flesh will come up and come against such things.
God’s tool chest, do you know what God’s tool chest contains? God’s tool chest contains His instruments. His instruments are those He’s chosen and Paul tells us that not many wise were chosen, not many nobel were chosen, not many mighty were chosen, but God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. He chose the weak things to bring to naught the things that are mighty. He chose base things. What are base things? Base things are lowly things. He chose base things, yea even things that are not to bring to naught things that are. Sometimes we have to take off our high pinnacle and have to be squashed down. I want to tell you we can’t pat ourselves on the shoulder and say we humbled ourselves either be-cause a man that is taken down by circumstances over which he has no control must say that the zeal of the Lord has performed this, I didn’t get down humbly. The government shall be upon His shoulder. I want to impress upon you that the governor of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ and He gives in this book the proper procedure for the church to follow.
He said and His name shall be called, first, Wonderful. Was there any thing more wonderful to you than the first child born to you? Here you are without hope in the world and here is one you can caress and love, who says I am meek and lowly. He became poor that we might become rich. How much would you take for a child born to you, a son that is given? Would a million dollars buy it? Would you sell a baby of yours for a million dollars? Would you? Money won’t buy it.
Wonderful! We are at the last scheduled meeting at this place of this year, of this decade. What is the wonderful and the great spectacular of the decade? Most would agree that it was man’s ascension to the moon and walking upon it. That is the wonder of wonders as far as the earthly wisdom, earthly technology, earthly science, earthly astrology is concerned. But you know what I consider to be the wonder of wonders. I read about the moon in Revelation. I read about the woman in Revelation. I read this woman was clothed with the sun and this woman had the moon under her feet. You know it takes a terrible power to draw you from the gravitation of the earth. It takes a terrible power because the earth draws. So it is with the lust of your flesh. It has such a drawing power that it takes a mightier power than you can ever manufacture to get yourself out from the bondage of the lust of the flesh. The gravity of that lust is so great. I tell you what kind of thrust engine it will take — the Holy Spirit — to ever lift you up from the gravitation of the lust of the flesh.
You know that man’s first soar into space is the moon. The first spiritual soar after you have been taken from the gravitation of the flesh, the first spiritual lighting place is the law. While you are under the magnetic drawing power and gravity of the flesh you are the servant of the lust of the flesh. After the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and mind and you are regenerated and born again it is a thrust engine that is fueled by the love of Almighty God that draws you up to the first stage in your space. That stage is the moon which is representative of the law and then you become as a servant of the law.
If you recall on the first trip as the astronauts went around the moon they let down a man to walk on the moon. The last time before the lift off from the moon to the earth they read the true story of creation. As they read in Genesis the purpose of the moon they read it in such a way that I knew that they knew that the moon itself was a dead mass of substance that wasn’t worth anything other than what God has ordained it to be worth, to rule the seasons and to be a light by night. So it is in the night time when we cannot see the Son of righteousness that the moon is the only light, the law, that we have. That is when duty religion comes in. That is all we have when the Son is eclipsed from us and it has become the night time where the moon is the only thing that gives any light and that’s the duty. That still is a stimulus and that’s fine. But I want to ask you as far as the gravitation of the law is concerned what is the next flight? It is to be brought over the law and to be brought out from under its domination. You know the moon is over us. But I tell you we are servants of the flesh until we are drawn by the Holy Spirit into the gravity of the moon or the gravity of the law; then we are servants of the law. The scripture says the law is the schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ and Christ is the end of the law to everyone that believeth.
The next step is when Jesus brings us up out from under the dominion of the law. Then we are as that woman as the church, that’s clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. The law has no more dominion over us but we have been freed from the bondage of the law. We have become free indeed when we are no more servant of the law but servant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His name shall be called Wonderful. It’s wonderful that He would take the responsibility of the law and fulfill it to a jot and and tittle in our behalf.
He is Counsellor. How is He a counsellor? He’s a counsellor in the counselling: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, in saying love your enemies, pray for your enemies, do good to them that despitefully use you. If you have been favored with Him being born in you the hope of glory, as a child grown up, He has become you Counsellor and your advisor. You say Lord Jesus I want you to direct my way. Not only that but He is you Counsellor in pleading your case before God. He comes before the great throne of God and says to the Father, “Father I have taken this person’s sins upon my own self. Father. I have taken the responsibility of the law and paid all that is required. I have done that for him.” Therefore justice is satisfied because the law of God will not require anything less than the fulfillment of the law in every sense of the word and that all sins must be punished to its extremity. But Jesus Christ took that punishment. He’s our Counsellor that pleads our case. He is at the right hand of the throne of God making intercessions for the saints of God according to the will of God. He’s our Counsellor. Not only that but He is Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God.
He doesn’t come to you first as The Mighty God. He comes to you as a child. He doesn’t come to you first as The Mighty God but He comes to you as a babe. He doesn’t come to you as from a palace and arrayed in fine linen but He comes to you as wrapped in swaddling clothes first, then as Counsellor. He grows in your heart and mind and you grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and then you can count Him as The Mighty God.
The Mighty God what does it mean? Whatsoever His desire is, that He doeth. He worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. He runs your life. He controls your actions. He watches over you. He providentially cares for you. You may forget Him but He does not forget you. He’s The Mighty God. He speaks and it is done. He commands and it stands fast. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.
Not only is He The Mighty God but The everlasting Father. Oh, as children we pray to Him as Father. We say, “Father, give us this day our daily bread.” In that relationship we look to Jesus as the Father of our faith. We look to Jesus as the Father of our salvation. We look to Jesus as the Father to whom we can go to and depend upon for giving us the things best for us. What a great relationship it is that He is Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
You know scripture says God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Any church anywhere that you find real peace Jesus is the author of it. Any church anywhere you find confusion Jesus is not the author of it. Somebody said that the devil is. You know we have a habit of wanting to put off on some strange unseen something that which really belongs to us. When I want to see the devil I look in the mirror. I don’t charge God with my sins neither do I charge the devil with them. “For I know that in me (that is in my flesh.) there dwelleth no good thing.” How they make me to cry and how they make me to weep. How afterward when I meditate upon these things I beg God to forgive me. I beg God for His mercy.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” You talk about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ decreasing. Do you believe it will decrease? If this scripture is true it will not. We get fearful just like the old prophet did. He said, “Lord they have killed thy prophets. and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” What did the Lord tell him? He said, “I have resewed to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Sometimes we get to thinking that the church of Christ is decreasing; that it is not increasing. According to this I have to say the church of Christ is on the increase. Why? Because it says here, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” So it shall increase. As the world is becoming more populated every day the number of children of God is becoming more numerous every day. Don’t you believe that? I certainly do in the face of this scripture, “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.” God orders it and He establishes it.
“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Are you worrying about it? In our pride we worry about it. It is prideful humility. It’s hypocritical religion, that’s what it is, but we are guilty of it. If we could only realize that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, that all things, in some mysterious way in which we are not now able to understand, work together for good to them who love God, to them that are called according to His purpose. May God bless the truth and pardon error is our prayer for Christ sake.
Elder E.J. Lambert
Message given December 20, 1969
at Bethel Church (Arkansas)
Signs of the Times
Volume 159, No. 5