Isaiah 9 and Christmas Post-millennial Advent


In our first week of Advent I took some time to speak about the culture wars, particularly how those culture wars have manifested themselves against Christmas. I looked at how Christmas has been subtly undermined and challenged us to not be swept away by the Cultures re-definition of Christmas.

The Next two weeks I tried to set out how the birth of Christ was consistent with the expectation of earlier portions of prophecy in the OT. First, we looked at Herod’s slaughter of the Innocent and the escape of the Holy family and their return as well as the significance of Christ being a “Nazarene.” We noted the ways that that event in the NT served as a recapitualtion of the Narrative of OT Israel in the life of Jesus. Last  week we considered the prophecy of the Virgin Birth in the OT and how that fit with the Birth of Christ.

This week in our 4th Advent Sermon we want to look at the Scriptures that speak of the great glory of the King and the implied inevitable victory of that Great King over all his opponents. What we are suggesting is that with the coming of Christ God’s triumph has arrived and His victory is inevitable.

This inevitability and certainty of victory has been a truism of Christianity that has been stolen from us by one of the great Christian Heresies — Marxism. Marx wrote, “the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

When once believe their cause will inevitably be victorious they live and move in terms of the inevitability and certainty of that victory.  Christians need to regain this sense of inevitable and certain victory that was characteristic of their Faith for generations.

And that inevitability and certainty of Victory is caught up in the celebration of Christmas.

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has a light shined.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the trampling warrior in battle tumult,
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a son is give;
and the government will be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
(Isaiah 9:2-7, emphasis mine)

Here we have a promised change coming for the burdened people of God. The passage describes them as living under the oppression of Darkness to now living under the dawning of great light. All this as metaphor for going from being downtrodden to being released.

Then we have briefly described a people who are transitioning from oppression to liberty. The yoke of the enemy has been cast off and the rod of the oppressor has been broken by a deliverer. In place of the enemies yoke and rod comes the kind of joy and gladness associated with harvest and military victory.

In all this God has done something to make the tools of the enemy’s warfare be abolished. There is the introduction of a child who will rule as King.

When we consider again the mention of “Light” in the beginning of this passage

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light”

we are reminded that ‘Light,’ throughout the book of Isaiah as well as all of Scripture is a metaphor  for God’s blessings, presence and revelation (Is. 9:2, 30:26, 42:6, 16, 60:1-3), unto His people. So, again, what is being promised here in reversing travail and oppression is the very presence of God.

We must not miss the idea of this Light because when the utter fulfillment of this promise comes to pass and when this child arrives what we read of is Light,

And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were sore afraid.”

And John’s Gospel can speak this way of the Lord Christ … And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

And our Lord Christ will even speak of Himself as being the “Light of the world.”

We capture something of this idea of the promised coming Light when we sing during this season our songs,

O Little down of Bethlehem

Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light,
The hopes and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee tonight.

O Come All Ye Faithful

True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
Lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings

Christ is that male child spoken of and is the Light that God promised in Isaiah. The Lord Christ is the one who was promissory of the great reversal in the fortunes for His people.  The Lord Christ is the one who occasions the great reversal in the circumstances of God’s people.

This whole passage in Isaiah is indicative of the great anticipation that we as Christians continue to have — especially in this Advent season.  We do believe that the Light has dawned upon us with the coming of Christ but we also believe that we go from Light unto Light. This is to say that while we confess that God’s presence has come in Christ we anticipate the presence of God to magnify itself in the affairs of men over the course of time. We take seriously the phrase in this passage which teaches that

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

And so we anticipate that He who is now on David’s throne and who is now ruling will continue to extend His dominion progressively over the whole of a earth which He already rules now in Principle.

Men who are opposed to Christ and His Kingdom will be conquered and will find themselves to be glad subjects of this great King who upholds His Kingdom with justice and righteousness.

This is captured in a verse of “Angels from the Realm of Glory,”

“Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.”

This all begins with the Birth of this promised child spoken of in Isaiah 2.

R.J. Rushdoony, in his book Institutes of Biblical Law: Volume 1 tells us,

“The joyful news of the birth of Christ is the restoration of man to his original calling with the assurance of victory. This has long been celebrated in Christmas carols… The cultural mandate [i.e. fulfilling the Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:26-28) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)] and postmillennialism is either explicit or implicit in Christmas carols.”

During this Christmas season we are reminded from this Isaiah passage that with the birth of the Lord Christ comes the promise of His eventual total Victory, in time and space, over all that and all who oppose Him. This is the essence of meaning of that 10 dollar word “Postmillennialism.”

With that Birth of Christ we expect that, in the words of Ken Genty,

“the proclaiming of the Spirit-blessed gospel of Jesus Christ will win the vast majority of human beings to salvation in the present age. We expect Increasing gospel success (which) will gradually produce a time in history prior to Christ’s return in which faith, righteousness, peace, and prosperity will prevail in the affairs of people and of nations. After an extensive era of such conditions the Lord will return visibly, bodily, and in great glory, ending history with the general resurrection and the great judgment of all humankind.

And that expectation, contained here in Isaiah 9 we sing of every year in our songs.

“Joy to the World”:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come,
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow,
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove,
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.

Note the language. The Birth of Christ is “Joy to the World,” …. the whole Earth is to “receive her King.” The effect of the arrival of the Lord Christ is the ending of thorns and the curse. He “makes the NATIONS prove.”

The birth of the Lord Christ is not some provincial affair that can be kept secret. The Lands of Allah will surrender to Christ. The inroads of Marxism and Humanism that has captured nations will totter and fall down to be replaced by the already present Lordship of Jesus Christ. Men who now curse the thought of Christ and who are now in the chains of their own spite and the shackles of their own sin will be conquered and set free to gladly serve Christ. This is what Isaiah speaks of and this is what our Western Christmas Carols echo. Consider,

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With Peace On Earth, Good Will To Man.

The Christian religion is a faith of ultimate and total victory, where the very gates of hell cannot prevail against Christ and His chosen people (Matt. 16:18).

The triumph of Christ and of the Christian faith should be celebrated annually during the Advent season. In the Incarnation — from Birth to Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension — the Lord Christ has gained the victory that is now being worked out in space and time. He is even now, as He was upon His Birth,

“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

And He is even now increasing a government and a peace that shall know no end. This Mighty God champions over men by His Gospel which announces that those who are prisoners to their sin and who are in hostility to the great King can sue for pardon and be forgiven and so released.

Well could Charles Wesley write emphasizing this reconciliation that Christ brings to those who walked in darkness and who even loved that darkness they walk in,

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies

So when we celebrate Advent and Christmas we celebrate not only the coming of a child lowly born. We celebrate the fact that this Child is “God with us– Emmanuel,” and we celebrate the sure and certain victory His life, death, and resurrection guarantees. Christmas is about the present and future triumph of God in space and time History against all those who would mute the voice of justice and righteousness and would think that they can forever successfully make war against the King of heaven. Christmas is about the Prince of Peace bringing in that Peace that He has already brought in.

We moderns speak so foolishly about Peace

Imagine all the people living life in peace — John Lenon

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a peace train.
Oh, peace train take this country.
Come take me home again.  — Cat Stevens

But the only way peace can come between man and man is when man’s warfare against God is ended and in the Birth of Christ the provision for the end of that warfare has arrived.  We sing of this every Christmas,

“O Holy Night”

A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn,
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel’s voices,
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.

“A new and glorious morn breaks”, because Christ’s blood has been spilled, the just for the unjust  that those who were once afar off from God could come near and know the end of their hostility and the meaning of genuine peace. This peace of God, is found only in the Christ of the Bible and His finished work.

A weary world can rejoice because in the death of the Lord Christ their rebellion against God has been punished and they now can sue for peace. All those hostilities that find themselves manifested in long simmering hatreds, jealousies, and individual twisted-ness can be brought to the Cross and laid down and men can find peace with God and so peace with man.

And none of this would be true save for the birth of He who remains Mighty God and Prince of Peace.

Because of God’s work in sending Christ, Christianity anticipates that definitive conquest of God and His people in the affairs of men precisely because in the incarnation and Redemptive work of Christ God already has conquered over His enemies. We Christians are confident of God’s Victory,and so are Heralds of this Gospel triumph that God has gained in Christ. We command all men everywhere to repent and remind men that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Our Christians Fathers so believed in the inevitability of this victory that is set forth in Isaiah 9 and throughout Scripture that they wove that Triumph into our Christmas songs.

Hark, The Herald Angel’s sing

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;

O come, All ye faithful,

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant

Those who are in Christ are the happy humble warriors. Happy because they know the one promised has come and so they know that their victory is certain, no matter the opposition.

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



Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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