Phil Cox

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The Increase of His Government

29th December 2007

Every Christmas, churches tend to read a number of Bible passages that talk about the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I'm sure we believe most them, but there's one well-known "Christmas" reading which I'm not sure many of us do believe, really. It's this one:

Isaiah 9v6-7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on Davidís throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

If, like me, you're a fairly middle-of-the-road evangelical Christian, then you're absolutely convinced about the first line. Jesus was born for us, He came to Earth as a child, and now He reigns on high, Lord of Lords and King of Kings - see Revelation 17v14 and 19v16 (excuse me while I say HALLELUJAH! as I write this). The government is certainly on His shoulders.

And, for every Christian, it's easy to see that Jesus Christ is, indeed, our Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace (although calling Jesus "Father" may cause us to think a little deeper about our understanding of the Trinity).

But the next line...

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

I get the impression that, on the whole, most of the church has given up even thinking this might be true. But it's as much a part of scripture as the rest. It's as much a part of scripture as Matthew and Luke. Can you - will you - dare to believe it?

The church in my country is on the defensive at the moment. Christianity seems to be the only religion that people feel free to insult (perhaps because we don't threaten to murder those who do so). We're often held up to ridicule in our own society. But Christianity is the fastest-growing religion in the world! And, according to Isaiah 9v7, it always will be! God has decreed it! Listen:

Daniel 2:44
And in the days of these kings [the time of Roman empire, when Jesus was born] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Habakkuk 2v13-14
Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the peopleís labour is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Psalm 102v15
The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.

Even in my country, the tide will turn again; God will visit us again in blessing. We are to pray for His revival power, and to expect it!

Earlier, I mentioned Revelation 17v14. It says:

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings ó and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

In fact, when you consider the authority and power of God, it is inconceivable that He will not reign victorious in human history. God is achieving this victory gradually, as Jesus said He would. But He's doing it, and He will continue to do it.

Why can we be confident of the ever-increasing influence of the gospel throughout the world? Let's go back to Isaiah 9:

Isaiah 9v7
... He will reign on Davidís throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

God's continuing victory on Earth will continue to happen because He is the King and His zeal will accomplish this! Rest assured, dear Christian: Our Lord, the Eternal God, has infinite power and absolute authority. And He will make it happen!

May I me ask you to read Psalm 2 again, and let the truth of it go deep into your heart as you seek to serve the King of Kings through 2008 and - fellow Christian soldier - rejoice that you're on the winning side!

Psalm 2
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
"Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters."
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
"I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will rule them with an iron sceptre; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Jesus Christ - the King of Kings - will continue to rule Heaven and Earth, and His government and His peace will continue to increase. No-one and nothing can stop Him!