The season of Advent is the Christian’s time to commemorate the arrival of Christ the King. The promise of the Messiah was declared over and over by the prophets of old. This promise was always connected to His reign, rule, and kingdom. Isaiah the prophet announces, “For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful (miraculous) Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (Father forever), Prince of Peace. There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of (it’s) peace, [He shall rule] on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from that time forward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7 AMP).
Notice that government and rulership is the promise of the Christ child. He is declared to rule on the throne of David and over his kingdom. The word government means dominion or rule and is expressed with the words scepter, sword, or key. Isaiah demonstrates this for us when he declares, “And I will place upon his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” (Isa 22:22). Christ instructs John in Revelation to say to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, “The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens” (Rev 3:7). Christ is the one who now rules with full authority and none can restrict His purpose. He sits in the heavens and does as he wills.
Gentile kings or wise men came looking for the Christ child that was to rule. We often think there were three wise men because the Bible tell us they brought three gifts, but it could have been several wise men. The Eastern Orthodox Church has believed that it could have been as many as twelve. However many, these gentile “kings” or wise men came first to worship Jesus. It was not Jewish wise men but rather wise men of the “nations.” These astronomers and astrologers must have read from the prophet Micah and came looking for His star. The scriptures declare that kings will come from a far. God was demonstrating that Jesus was the anointed Messiah not for the Jews only but for all the nations of the world. When Herod demanded the wise men tell him how they knew, they quoted out of Micah which Matthew 2:6 records “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” The prophet Micah tells us this ruler’s “goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2). How can one be born in Bethlehem and yet be from “eternity?” That is the fulfillment of what the prophets foretold. Christ eternally existed as God the Son. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” John goes on the say, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
The purpose of God was to bring forth His government and reign through His Son called the “last Adam,” as he originally intended before the fall. This invisible God created visible man in a time space world to reveal His glory. God’s plan was for Adam and Eve to multiply and fill the earth and His glory would fill the earth through His creation.
Think about it. Before time, God must have had a thought, “there could be another. A creation in which He could dwell and be in them as ONE. He would call it His body, His bride, His people, and His possession. Another in which he could share his glory.” So He created the universe, the stars, and all the planets and set mankind of His own image in the center of his creation to walk with Him and talk with Him and reveal Himself.
Satan, who had already fallen from heaven and had taken a third of the angels of with him showed up in God’s creation in the Garden to interfere and stop the glory of God from being brought forth in such a great way. Through temptation Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit in the Garden in disobedience to God. Some argue about what the fruit was, but in fact, it does not matter. It was the disobedience itself. The act of independence from God. An act out from under His rule, His reign, His government. The very means by which He reveals His glory. Man acted in rebellion as if he was equal to God and His glory. The world came under a curse. Death entered the human race and the land and all creation came under the same curse. Man entered into shame, guilt, and attempted to hide in fear. You can look around today and see this same picture. It is all of us all apart from Christ. When we live in our sin we live in shame, guilt, and attempt to hide in fear.
When man sinned God declared a judgment upon the serpent, woman, man and creation. He spoke first to the serpent, “You are cursed above all the livestock, and above every beast of the field; you will go on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel” (Gen 3:14-15).
It could be said the first Christmas prophecy was given in Genesis 3:15. God declared prophetically that the seed or offspring of the woman would fatally bruise or crush the head of the of the serpent, however, the serpent would only bruise his heel. This spoke of Christ who was to come. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was the crushing blow to the head of the serpent. Christ did it through God’s authority. We can say it is His government. God is a legal God. He could have sneezed on Satan and annihilated him forever, but God operates legally, judiciously, and through justice. He wins so that no one has an excuse nor can anyone charge hims falsely. He does it through a long progressive work. He is not in a hurry. He operates outside of time and is not moved by our deadlines or disasters. He is at work throughout history with the gospel.
Can you imagine what Satan must have been thinking? Satan did not know when the “seed” was coming. I believe that is why he went after Cain and Able because he knew they were of the seed of the woman. Down through history with all of God’s creation Satan has gone after the seed. The promise from the prophets was that there would come forth a child. And the child would be given a kingdom. God’s plan of redemption is a genius plan. No one could have ever come up with His idea of incarnation, the gospel, the kingdom, and the victory he has brought about and is in the process of bringing to fruition.
God is after the nations of the world. They belong to him. When God called forth Abram and found faith in him it was counted to him for righteousness and he was to bring forth the seed. Abram became the father of nations, thus the name Abraham. God told him, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:18). Paul instructs us that the seed was none other than the Christ. “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ” (Gal 3:16). When someone believes the gospel and accepts Christ they become part of the fulfillment of the promise for Christ to receive the nations as His inheritance. Every tribe, tongue, and people are called through the gospel.
Speaking of Christ’s day of his birth, life, death, and resurrection the Psalmist declares, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritances. Think about it. What is the desired prayer request on the heart of the Father for His Son to pray? To ask for the nations. Don’t think for a moment that Jesus forgot to ask. The nations are His inheritance.
Isaiah tells us concerning Christ, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope” (Isa 42:1-4). Notice, the continents wait for his law and they will hope in Him. Isaiah shows us the big picture. He prophesies, “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it” (Isa 2:2). Can you see this picture? The Church in the kingdom of God exalted above all other kingdoms and people from every tribe, tongue, and nation flowing into it. This is the power of the gospel and the work of Christ.
Paul the apostle tells us that Christ has come to fulfill what Isaiah had proclaimed, “There shall come the root of Jesse and He who arises to rule over the nations, in Him shall the nations hope” (Rom 15:12). He must reign until every enemy is placed under his feet and the last enemy to be defeated is death (I Cor 15:25-26). Until the resurrection of the dead Christ reigns in the heavens though the gospel and the church, His body. That is why Jesus gave the great commission, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19).
Wherever His government is received His peace is the result. Wither it be in a marriage, relationship, business, or church life, without God’s government there is no peace. When we come under His rule or His kingdom and His peace.