The Everlasting Father

8th study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’ 
adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 21 Sep 2007

“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” (Isaiah 9:6).

Hardly any commentators dispute that Isaiah 9:6 is about the Messiah, Christ who is also the Immanuel of Isaiah 7:14.

Yet, there are some things about this verse that make some commentators uneasy.

You see, in this verse, the prophet Isaiah, under inspiration, gives us 5 names of Christ—(1) Wonderful, (2) Counsellor, (3) The mighty God, (4) The everlasting Father, and (5) The Prince of Peace.

The first two names are straightforward.

Christ is Wonderful in His person and His works. A lifetime of study and meditation will not give us a full comprehension of who He is and what He has done.

Christ is also the Counsellor. He is a King who rules by gentle entreaties by which He gently persuades His subjects to live according to the will of God with gratitude and love.

The third name is a little problematic for some. Christ is called the “Mighty God.” Those who do not believe in the deity of Christ have a problem with that. They try to weasel out of the problem by saying that Christ is ‘Mighty God’, but not ‘Almighty God.’ But as we saw, it is clear that Almighty God is also known as Mighty God in the Scriptures. The deity of Christ is indisputable and this verse simply adds to the plethora of verses that attest to this principal doctrine.

This evening, we are looking at the fourth name, the ‘Everlasting Father.’ Now, this name is a little problematic for some of us who believe in the deity of Christ as well as the doctrine of the trinity.

You see, there is a heresy amongst those who believe in the deity of Christ known as Sabellian Modellism or Patripationism. This heresy essentially teaches that there is only one person in the Godhead. God is not triune. The Father is the Son, the Son is the Father and the Spirit. Sometimes, He reveals Himself as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Spirit. It is kind of like: I am a father, and a son and an uncle at the same time. So according to this heresy, it was the Father who died on the cross, thus Patripationism.

Now, our text appears to lend weight to this heresy, for Christ is called “the Everlasting Father”! And did He not say, “I and my Father are one” (Jn 8:30)

Well, we know from clear passages in the Scriptures such as the account of the baptism of Christ that the Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit; nor is the Son the Father or the Holy Spirit. The three persons in the Godhead are distinct. They have fellowship with one another. And we know that the Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the Father and the Son sends the Holy Spirit.

The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons in the Godhead, though they are same in substance, and equal in power and glory.

But why then is Christ called ‘the Everlasting Father’ and how should we respond to this name of Christ?

1. Why is Christ called 
‘the Everlasting Father’?

Well, in the first place, like the name ‘Mighty God,’ this name ‘Everlasting Father’ brings us immediately to a realisation that Christ is God.

However, this name does not imply that Christ and God the Father is the same person. Why? Because the doctrine of the Trinity was not yet fully revealed in the Old Testament! It is not at all clear that the name ‘Father’ in the Old Testament refers to the first person of the Trinity. In all probability, whenever God is referred to as the Father in the Old Testament, the reference is to the Triune Godhead rather than specifically to the first person of the Trinity.

So we may say that here in Isaiah 9:6, Christ is being equated with the Triune God rather than with the Father.

But why is He called the everlasting Father? We can think of three reasons.

First, He is eternal because He is God. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the Alpha and Omega. John says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1).

Secondly, He is called everlasting Father, because he is the author of everlasting life. Were it not for Christ, we would not have life. Christ, for eternity, covenanted to take our flesh to suffer and die for us in order that we might be reconciled to God and enjoy Him as His sons and daughters for all eternity. As Matthew Henry puts it beautifully—“He was, from eternity, Father of the great work of redemption: his heart was upon it; it was the product of his wisdom as the counsellor, of his love as the everlasting Father.”

So thirdly, He is called everlasting Father, because of His fatherly love for us. We must not be so caught up with the idea that He is our elder brother that we forget His greatness and glory. Christ is indeed our elder brother, but He is like a brother who is old enough to be our father. If you like, He is a brother, who loves us like a father. He sympathizes with us as a brother who was tempted at all points like as we, and at the same time, He is compassionate toward us as a father is towards his own children.

2. What is this to us?

I believe that the Word of God is not to be read merely like a history book or a book of facts. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim 3:16).

As such, all Scripture should evoke a response from us. This is especially so in significant passages such as Isaiah 9:6. In particular, I believe that every name of Christ given in this verse is given for our sanctification.

So, if Christ is the everlasting Father, what should our response be?

First of all, I believe, we must response with love and gratitude. We must love Him and seek to please Him gratefully as we would do to our father in the flesh.

Indeed, we should give Him more love and honour than we give our fathers. Our Lord Himself says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37). And He has every right and reason to say that—for unlike our earthly fathers, Christ our Lord is perfect in His love for us.

He is not a father who has nothing to do with us most of the time; nor is He an unprincipled and inconsistent doting father who spoils his children.

He is with us always. He promises never to leave us nor forsake us. And He guides us consistently by His spirit and His Word so that we are not left wondering how we should conduct ourselves to please Him.

Secondly, if Christ is the everlasting Father, let us find comfort and solace in Him in times of perplexity and grief. I know that being in the Asian culture, most of us would have very little experience of having a father to turn to in times when we feel afraid or perplexed.

But in our heart of hearts, we all desire to have someone to turn to, to share our burden and sorrows and fears, don’t we?

God understands, and this is perhaps the reason why He goes to such an extent to assure us of His fatherly love. The first person of the Trinity reveals Himself to us as the heavenly Father. The second person of the Trinity, God the Son, has also revealed to us the everlasting Father. And the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit works in our heart to enable us to cry unto God as our Abba Father.

What a blessing! Let us beloved brethren, not fail to exercise this great privilege of enjoying and resting in this triple blessing of fatherly love.

Thirdly, if Christ is the everlasting Father, let us rest assured that He will always be there for us. He is not like our earthly father who, however, kind and good to us, cannot be with us always. He has to leave us one day. But Christ never leaves us nor forsakes us.

We find ourselves depending less and less on our earthly father as we grow older; and some of us may even begin to find it very strange to go to him as father. Indeed, even if we do not feel estranged, our father would leave us as he goes the long home.

But Christ never leaves us. He is ever with us. He is with us as we grow in maturity. He is with us through thick and thin. He is with us comforting us even when we pass through the valley of the shadow of death. He never changes in His compassion and love for us for Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).


We must conclude. Christ is the everlasting Father. He shows us the Father, even His Father and our heavenly Father. But He reveals Himself as our everlasting Father too.

May the Lord grant us that we may indeed respond with love and gratitude with respect towards Him!

May we find comfort and solace in Him through all the fears and temptations that assault us each day!

May our reliance upon Him be unshakable, for He is the everlasting Father! Amen.

—JJ Lim