“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)
Sometimes Isaiah 9:6 is used in an attempt to prove the trinity. Yet, Isaiah 9:6 only mentions one individual, the Son of God. Because the Son of God is called “the everlasting Father” some trinitarians claim that this supports the trinity doctrine. However, if we are to believe that the Son of God is also the Father in the trinity, then how does this support the trinity? If Jesus is the Father, then who is the Son, and if He is both Father and Son, then how can there be a trinity, for the trinity claims three persons?
The title, “everlasting father,” is not given to Christ because He is His own Father, but rather because He is the Father of the children whom His Father has given him. Isaiah 8:18 mentions this, when Jesus said, through Isaiah:
“Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion” (Isaiah 8:18)
We know that this verse refers to Christ because it is applied to Him in Hebrews 2:13.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man … for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 9:11-13)
Christ is the Father of the redeemed, “the author and finisher of” their faith (Hebrews 12:2).
I am the son of my earthly father. Yet, at the same time, I am the father of my son. If someone were to come to me and call me a father, I would not assume they are thinking that I am my own father. I would know they are referring to me as a father of my son. Surely, we can expect no less of God. When He inspired Isaiah to refer to Christ as a “father,” He was not trying to indicate that Christ was the Father of Himself. Furthermore, the term Holy Spirit is not used at all in Isaiah 9:6, thus making it impossible for this verse to prove that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all one being. The Bible clearly makes a distinction between the Father and His Son, portraying them as two separate beings. (Daniel 7:9, 13; Revelation 5:1, 7; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Zechariah 6:12, 13; Proverbs 30:4, etc.).
Jesus said, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s love is so deep and so broad that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. He did not send Himself, He did not send a friend, He sent His only begotten Son. When we see this love it breaks our hearts and changes our lives. Any deviation from the Bible on the sonship of Christ is a deviation from our ability to love God with all our hearts. We must be very careful not to deny the Son of God, for in doing that we deny the Father also. “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 John 2:22, 23). Jude warned of men who are “denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). Do not let an unusual use of the term “Father” allow you to deny that Jesus is the Son of God.
What About the Word “everlasting”?
Another word in this text that is used by some to deny the sonship of Christ is “everlasting.” Yet none need go to the extreme of denying the sonship of Christ because of this word. Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Hebrew Lexicon says one of the meanings of the Hebrew word דע (ad) that was translated “everlasting” is “for ever (of future time).” We find this word used in this way several times in the Bible.
Solomon wrote, “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever [דע]” (Proverbs 29:14). He also wrote, “The lip of truth shall be established for ever [דע]: but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Proverbs 12:19).
David wrote, “Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever [דע] and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass” (Psalms 148:3-6). It is clear that the word everlasting does not mean “without beginning,” but rather, “without end.”
The Bible says, “He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting [דע] mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting” (Habakkuk 3:6). The mountains had a beginning, yet they are called “everlasting mountains.” Everlasting means “for ever (of future time).” God has promised us “everlasting life.” This does not mean that we had no beginning, but that we will have no end. Jesus Christ is called “everlasting” even though His Father “hath given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). The life He received from His Father is everlasting life. He laid this life down for us at the cross (John 10:11), but now, Jesus is “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). Christ is called “everlasting,” which is appropriate, since He will last forever, and He is called “Father” because He is father to the children His Father gave to Him. Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
What About the Term “Mighty God”?
Notice also that Isaiah 9:6 says that “His name shall be called… The mighty God”. Some may use this phrase to mean that Christ is the supreme God. This would be a good argument if the verse had referred to Christ as the Almighty God; however, it uses the term mighty God. We read of mighty men, but never of almighty men. It certainly is appropriate to refer to the Son as mighty, for He is powerful. In fact, Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). It is also appropriate to refer to Him as God, for the Almighty God Himself refers to His Son as God in Hebrews 1:8, 9. Therefore the terms everlasting Father and the mighty God can rightly apply to the Son of God, without the slightest hint that God is a trinity.