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HENRY T. MAHAN TAPE MINISTRY

 

The Mystery of Christ

Isaiah 9:6 tv071b

 

 

A television broadcast sermon delivered

Sunday, august 6th, 1979

By

Henry T. Mahan

 

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Transcribed, edited and published

November 3rd, 2017

 

Henry T. Mahan Tape Library

Zebulon Baptist Church

6088 Zebulon Highway

Pikeville, KY 41501

PH: 606-631-9053

 

 

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Isaiah 9:6

“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.”

 

 

Listen to this text from Isaiah 9:6:  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given:  and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.”

 

I’m going to speak to you today on the subject:  “THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST.” 

 

“We preach Christ and Him crucified.  I determine to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Who is Christ, what did He do, why did He do it?  Let us look into this subject:  “THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST.”

 

We hear people using that name, some as a by-word, some as a curse word, some as a play word, and some as a preached word, but who is Jesus Christ?

 

Now I understand as much as anybody who is listening to me the difficulty of this task which I have chosen, speaking publicly on the mystery of the person Jesus Christ.  Oh, the mysteries of Christ; how complex and mysterious is this person Jesus Christ.

 

In the same breath the prophet Isaiah called Him “a child.”  He called Him, “The Counselor.”  In the same breath that the prophet called Him, “The Son” he called Him, “The mighty God.” 

 

Now this is what a lot of people get all confused and messed up.  The infant is the infinite.  That’s right!  He says, “The Son,” and then called Him, “The everlasting Father.” 

 

He says here in this Scripture:  “He’s a man of sorrows” and yet “He’s the mighty God.” The Scripture says here that, “He is despised, rejected, and hated,” but He is “Wonderful.”  Now do you understand that?  The Scripture says here in this chapter, Isaiah 9:  “His garments are rolled in blood” and yet He’s “The Prince of Peace.”

 

That’s the mystery of Christ, the complex and serious subject Jesus Christ.  Now this ought to remind us of the necessity of studying, by searching, of inquiring, of trying to rightly understand the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

There’s no way possible that we can arrive at a full understanding of the mysteries of Christ in this life.  “We know in part and we prophecy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

 

But I want to understand something of the person of Christ.  I want to enter into the mysteries of Jesus Christ.  Job wrote this, “Canst thou by searching find out God?”  I know this; this understanding of Christ does not come by reasoning.  It does not come by research; it comes by revelation.  I know that much.

 

I know we must be Holy Spirit taught, God taught, because understanding the person of Christ, the natural man does not understand the person of Christ.  The preaching of Christ crucified is foolishness; its sure nonsense to the natural man.

 

He does not understand it.  He cannot enter into it.  His natural eye can’t see nor his ears hear nor does his heart understand the mysteries of Christ.  That’s what Job is saying; “Can you by searching find out God?  Can you find out the almighty to perfection?  Why it’s higher than the heavens.  What can you know?  It’s deeper than hell. What can you know?  The measure thereof is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.  What can you know?” 

 

That ought to cause us deep concern.  That ought to drive us to our knees and drive us to the Bible, drive us to the Word of God, and drive us to the dependence of the Holy Spirit because we cannot by reason and we cannot by research; we can only by revelation understand anything about the mysteries of Christ, this person Jesus Christ.

 

The apostle Paul was an educated man, in fact, he was so well taught that one of the rulers (he appeared before Felix and Agrippa and many other rulers).  And one of them said to him, “You’ve just studied so much Paul that you’ve gone crazy.”  That’s what he said.

 

Paul was a student before he met Christ.  He didn’t understand Christ.  He didn’t know Christ.  He didn’t believe on Christ.  He didn’t embrace Christ.  He didn’t know Him. 

 

But when God revealed Christ; (now watch this) he said:  “God who separated me from my mother’s womb was pleased to reveal His Son in me.  God revealed His Son in me.  I didn’t learn it in school; I learned it from God.”

 

Our Lord one day asked the disciples; He said, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  What are they saying out there?”  And one of the disciples said, “Well, some say that you’re John the Baptist and some say you’re Elijah and others say you are one of the prophets.”

 

But He said, “Whom do you say that I am?” And Peter looked at Him and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And He said, “Blessed are you Simon Barjona; flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you but my Father which is in heaven.”

 

And this thing of Christ, the person of Christ, the glory of Christ, and the mysteries of Christ; we are not going to learn it by research and reasoning; you are going to learn it by revelation.  God must teach you who Christ is.

 

There’s no seeing Christ except by His own light.  Now this is where so many folks miss it; they want to see Christ in the light of today’s lifestyle or today’s educational processes, or today’s mathematics and science, and today’s religious approach.  But there’s no understanding Christ except in His own light.

 

Now here’s what I’m saying; I’m saying, “Christ is the door” but He’s the one who opens it and shuts it.  I’m saying Christ is the lesson but He’s the teacher.  I’m saying Christ Jesus is the riddle but He’s the answer.

 

I’m saying that Christ Jesus is the destination but He’s also the way there.  I’m saying that Christ Jesus is that which is to be seen and the light by which you see it.  He is not one of the prophets He is the prophet.  He is not a messenger of God; He is the mighty God.  “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” 

 

That’s what led Paul to write.  “Oh you say; this is getting complicated.”  My dear friend; you might as well try to put the ocean in a thimble as to try to put the infinite God in one of these minds or brains of ours.

 

“The heavens can’t contain God. The heaven of heavens is His throne and the earth is His footstool.  He considereth the nations as a drop in the bucket and the inhabitants thereof as grasshoppers.”

 

Paul wrote; “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God.  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out.” 

 

The simplicity of Christ is the mystery of Christ.  That’s right!  You say, the Bible talks about “the simplicity of Christ;” that’s the mystery.  Man complicates everything.  The simplicity of Christ is the mystery of Christ.

 

John wrote in 1 John 5:20:  “The Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true.”  May the Spirit of Christ give you that understanding, of the mystery of Christ. 

 

It’s no easy thing; it’s no “shake my hand and I’ll meet you in the Promised Land” proposition, to know the living God.  Why do you think the apostle Paul cried:  “O that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection? I count not myself to have apprehended.  (I’m not already perfect.  I have not arrived).  I forget those things which are behind and I press for the mark of the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus my Lord, that if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.”  You better get serious about this matter; you’re entertaining sinners on their road to hell.  

 

The mystery of Christ; let’s look at some of these things:

 

First of all:  Here in the text; look at it Isaiah 9:6:  “Unto us a child is born.  Unto us a Son is given.”

 

Now, the average person thinks the Holy Spirit is just repeating Himself.  He not; He is not wasting words.  And the student of the Scriptures and the student of Christ knows what He’s saying, “Unto us a child is born.  Unto us a Son is given.” 

 

As Jesus Christ is a child, He was born.  As He is the Son of man He was born.  He was born of Mary. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in her womb.   And He was born after nine months just like any other child is born. 

 

As a child, as a man, He was born and as the Son of David He was born.  As the Son of man He was born.  “As bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,” He was born.  As our representative, “He was born of woman, made under the law.  Unto us a child is born.”

 

But now wait a minute!  “Unto us a Son is given.”  That’s different.  As the Son of God, He wasn’t born; He was given.  He is the well-beloved, only begotten Son of the living God.  As a man, He was born as the Son of God who was sent. 

 

He was given.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  Christ wasn’t born.  Christ Jesus lived before the stars.  In fact, they were named by Him.  And when He left glory and came down here and robed Himself in human flesh as Jesus of Nazareth; that’s the eternal, always existent, immutable, infinite God in human flesh.

 

“Call His name Jesus (or Immanuel God with us).  A child is born; that’s right, but a Son is given, not born, but sent and given.  That’s what the angel said.  That’s the best news you can hear.  The angel said, “Behold, we bring you glad tidings (good news) of great joy.  Unto you is born a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.”

 

This person Jesus is born but He is Christ the Lord.  That’s what John the Baptist says, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”

 

When Simeon took that child Jesus in his arms he lifted his eyes to heaven and he said:  “Father; I’ve seen thy salvation.”  When the Father spoke at the baptism of Christ; (Christ came down to the river Jordan and was baptized of John). “And the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove.”  And the Father spake and said, “This is my Son.  A Son is given.”

 

“This is not the son of Joseph; this is my Son.  This is not the son of Mary; this is my Son in whom I’m well pleased.  This is my Son, my Son before the world was ever made, my only begotten, my well-beloved, my eternal Son.”  That’s what the Father said, “This is my Son.”

 

God manifest in human flesh; I can have no peace till God in human flesh I see.  And because He came down here I have a representative, a man to restore what a man lost. “In Adam I die; in Christ I’m made alive.”

 

“By the disobedience of one (Adam) I was made a sinner; by the obedience of one, (Christ); I was made righteous.”  I have a representative.  And because God became a man I have a ransom; a price is paid.

 

He said, “Deliver his soul from going down into the pit; I found a ransom,” there is only one ransom, and that’s Christ.

 

And because Christ came to this earth in human flesh I have a righteousness.  “He was made sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  And because God came in human flesh I have a resurrection hope.

 

“Beloved; what manner of love God hath bestowed upon us that we should be called sons of God.  It doth not yet appear what we shall be but when He shall appear we shall be like Him.  And he that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

What is this hope?  Christ is coming back.  He’s our resurrection hope.  Because He died and He was buried and because He rose again and because He lives I have the hope of living also after I die because He said:  “Because I live you shall live.”  That’s the promise because I live you shall live, not because you did this, that, and the other.  Not because you deserved it, but because “I live, ye shall live.”  A child is born but a Son hath been given.”

 

Now watch this, it says next; “His name shall be called Wonderful.”  I had a friend say to me one time, “Ever since I saw this verse I never call anything on this earth wonderful.”

 

Thousands of things are called by names they don’t deserve.  The only one who deserves the title “Wonderful” is Christ who is, “Wonderful.”  He’s called, “Wonderful” because He is “Wonderful.” 

 

He’s Wonderful in His eternal glory.  Before the morning stars sang together, before the sons of God shouted for joy, before the mountains ever rolled out of the deep, before God ever separated the earth by the waters, before God ever made man and put him on this earth; Christ lived in eternal glory.

 

“In the beginning is the Word and Word was with God and the Word was God.  And all things were made by Him.  Without Him was not anything made that was made.”  And it was made by Him and for Him.

 

All right; He’s Wonderful in His love.  It’s everlasting love.  He said, “I have drawn you, with an everlasting love.”  It’s unchangeable love.  He said, “I’ll never leave you.  I’ll never forsake you.”

 

“Having loved His own He loved them to the end.”  He draws us with an everlasting love, with an immutable love, and with an infinite love, even the death of the cross.”  That’s how much He loved us.

 

He’s Wonderful in His love.  He’s Wonderful in His life.  “He knew no sin.”  It doesn’t say “He did no sin,” though He didn’t; but He actually knew no sin.  He did no sin but He didn’t even know sin.  He didn’t even think sin!

 

There’s no sin charged to the perfect Lamb of God.  “When reviled He reviled not again.”  When hated, He loved.  He was Wonderful in His life. 

 

Even Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him.”  If he could have found just one flaw; he would have exaggerated it.  But he said, “I can’t find one fault in this man.”   Even Christ said to the people; “Which of you convinceth me of sin?”  He knew no sin!

 

He’s Wonderful in His death.  You know; I thought about this; it says Christ in Philippians 2, “Christ who thought it not robbery to be equal with God made Himself of no reputation. He took upon Himself the form of a servant, became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  You knowing that God should die is an amazing miracle.  It’s beyond human comprehension that God should die in human flesh.

 

Well, if God should die on a cross, on a hated cruel cross, on a criminal’s cross that God should die on a cross is unbelievable.  But that God should die on a cross for sinners, for His enemies; that makes it even more wonderful.

 

He’s Wonderful in His life, in His love, in His death, and He’s Wonderful in His resurrection:

 

“Born among cattle, in poverty sore

Living in meekness by Galilee’s shore

Dying in shame while the wicked ones swore

Jesus, Wonderful Lord.”

 

He’s Wonderful in His resurrection.  You know, I was reading the other Sunday that Scripture where the women came to the tomb on that Sunday morning, the first day of the week.  And the stone was rolled away.

 

And they met an angel standing right there before the tomb.  And He asked this question:  “Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He’s not here, He’s risen.  Why do you seek the living among the dead?

 

Why do you seek Christ among the relics, among the idols, among the dead ceremonies, among the dead rituals?  You take the Holy Land, Jerusalem, and all those relics, and all those shrines, and all those altars, and all those sights; you’re like the women who came on that Sunday morning looking to minister to a dead Lord.

 

He’s not dead; He lives.  He’s not there; He’s in glory. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He’s not here; He is risen. He’s not only risen but, “He sat down at the right hand of God expecting till His enemies become His footstool.”

 

Do you know the Old Testament priests, the sons of Levi and all those fellows, Aaron; they never sat down.  Well, they offered the morning sacrifice, the evening sacrifice, the Day of Atonement, and all of these different sacrifices, but they never sat down.

 

There wasn’t a chair anywhere in that tabernacle or courtyard because those men never finished their work.  Their sacrifices couldn’t put away sin. 

 

“But this man after He had offered one sacrifice for sin, one sacrifice, (His own innocent blood), He sat down having finished His work” and is waiting until everything He died to accomplish shall be fulfilled.  And then He’s coming back to claim His own. 

 

He’s Wonderful in His resurrection but watch this: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor.”  Here’s you a good question:  In Isaiah 40: 13; listen to this: “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord or being His counsellor hath taught Him; with whom took He counsel?”

 

That’s a good question isn’t it?  With whom did the Lord God take counsel, not angry men?”  I’ll tell you who, Christ the Son.  Buy you a Bible.  Genesis chapter 1:26; He said, “Let us make man, let us.”  That’s the Father and the Son.

 

It says in Genesis 11:7 when they started building that tower to heaven, you know, the first idolaters; God said, “Let us go down and confound their language.”  The Counselor was with Him. 

 

In Zachariah 6:13, “Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

 

And in John 14:16 the Lord Jesus said to His disciples:  “I will pray the Father and He’ll send you another comforter.”  I can’t explain the Trinity.  I read about it all the way through the Bible.  “Let us make man, Let us go down and confound their language.” 

 

And at the baptism of the Son the Father spoke and said “This is my Son.”  The Holy Spirit manifested Himself in the form of a dove.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ stood here this day and said:  “I’ll pray the Father and He’ll send you the Holy Spirit, the comforter.”  I just know that God is God.  Christ is our Redeemer.  The Holy Spirit is our teacher.

 

God almighty chose us and Christ Jesus redeemed us and the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us.  He’s the Counselor.

 

And then in the next place His name is the “mighty God.”  I wish I could make this plain to you.  If I could you would fall on your face before Jesus of Nazareth like Saul did, Saul of Tarsus, and cry, “Lord; what will you have me do?”

 

Or like Thomas; they called him the “doubter.”  But there’s no doubt about this; he said, “My Lord and my God.”  And John on the Isle of exile, you know, when he was exiled.   John in the Book of Revelation; he fell on his face and he said, “I fell at His feet like a dead man.”  He’s God.

 

When Paul was saying goodbye to the elders of the church in Acts 20; he said:  “Now you feed the church of God.  You feed the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  Whose blood?  God’s church; God purchased it with God’s own blood.

 

In Hebrews chapter 1:8; He said:  “Which of the angels said He at any time thou art my Son?  This day have I begotten thee.  To the Son He saith:  Thy throne O God is forever.” 

 

This is what raised the anger of those Jews then, the religious leaders.  Christ said:  “I and my Father are one.”  And they began to pick up these stones.  They were going to stone Him for blasphemy.

 

And He said:  “Well I’ve done many good works among you.  For which of these do you stone me?”  And they said:  “We’re not stoning you because you did a good work.  We are stoning you because you are a man and you claim to be God.”

 

They knew what He was saying.  Do you know what I’m saying?  I’m saying just what you think I am; “Jesus of Nazareth is God almighty in human flesh, the mighty God, the everlasting Father.”

 

Listen; let me tell you something; when God called Moses in Exodus, the first part of Exodus, to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt; well Moses was tending sheep.  He was 80 years old and God spoke to him.

 

First of all he saw this bush that was burning but wasn’t consumed.  And he walked up closer to it and the voice said: “Moses; take off your shoes, you are on holy ground.”  And Moses took off his shoes and God talked to him there.

 

God told him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.  Moses said, “Well now if I go down there and tell Pharaoh to let the people go; whom shall I say hath sent me?”  And God spake and said,   “You tell them I AM sent you.”  And that’s the name of God “I AM.”

 

Now, when Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying and the soldiers came after Him, He said:  “Whom seek ye?”  And they said:  (you read this in John 18:1-6) we seek Jesus of Nazareth.”  And He said, “I AM.”  Now that (He) is in italics; that means it’s not in the original, “I AM.” 

 

And those soldiers fell backwards.  The glory of that voice, the deity of that voice, the authority of that voice, the power of that voice, the same voice that John heard on Patmos, the same voice that Moses heard from the burning bush, the same voice that Adam heard; “Adam, where art thou.”  The same voice that Cain heard, “Where is your brother?  I AM.”

 

“He is the everlasting Father and He’s the Prince of Peace.”  He’s the author of Peace between the sinner and God.  He’s the author of peace between Jew and Gentile.  He’s the author of peace in the troubled heart and He’s the author of eternal peace.

 

“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!”