Everlasting Father

For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

We have already looked at the Hebrew word for “everlasting”, which is ‘olam’ {עלם – H05769}. ‘Olam’ properly refers to something that is concealed, or at a vanishing point. The implied meaning is time out of mind, whether in the past or future; therefore, it is translated by a wide variety of words, such as always, forever, perpetual, and eternal:

Exo 15:[18] Yahweh shall reign forever {olam} and ever {olam}.”

Psa 90:[2] Before the mountains were born, before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting {olam} to everlasting {olam}, you are God.

Psa 136:[1] Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever {olam}.

Isa 60:[19] The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but Yahweh will be to you an everlasting {olam} light, and your God your glory.

Jer 10:[10] But Yahweh is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting {olam} King: at his wrath the earth trembles, and the nations are not able to withstand his indignation.

In the Septuagint, the word olam is translated by the Greek word aion (αἰών – G0166), among others. The New Testament frequently uses aion and related words (such as αἰώνιος, meaning ‘perpetual’) to describe eternal and everlasting things:

Joh 10:[28] I give eternal {aionios} life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

2Co 4:[18] while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal {aionios}.

From these verses, and many more like them, we can see that God existed from eternity past, and will exist to eternity future. Moreover, God didn’t simply exist from eternity past, but was planning all that would ever happen. In particular, this planning by God was done for the purpose of glorifying himself in the salvation of his people:

In eternity past, God the Father covenanted with God the Son, Jesus Christ, to glorify Himself by saving a particular, elect people, and those only, from the guilt and defilement of sin, by the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. [Psa 89:19-37; Isa 49:5-6; Isa 53:11-12; Luk 22:29; Joh 6:37-40; Joh 10:29; Joh 17:2,9; Gal 3:16-18; 2Ti 1:9]

Christian Confession of Faith, II.D.1.a

This work of God is often called ‘predestination’:

Rom 8:[29] because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

Eph 1:[11] in whom we also have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of the One working all things according to the counsel of His own will,

2Ti 1:[9] He having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal {aionios} times,

But here in Isaiah 9:6, we are also told that not only is God ‘everlasting’, but that he is a ‘father’. This is so because of the doctrine of adoption. To adopt means “to take by choice into a relationship; especially: to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one’s own child.” When a child is adopted, he is legally moved from one family into another. He becomes a part of the new family, and entitled to their care, their provision, and their inheritance, just as if he had been naturally born into that family.

When God adopts a person, that person is legally moved from the family of Satan into the family of God. He or she becomes fully entitled to God’s care, provision, and inheritance:

At the same time a sinner is regenerated, he is adopted into God’s family and set apart from the world. He is counted to be as holy and acceptable before God as Jesus Christ Himself, is made to be at peace with God, and enters into fellowship with God based on the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. [Job 29:14; Psa 85:8; Isa 26:3; Isa 32:17; Isa 61:10; Joh 1:12; Joh 17:21-23; Rom 3:22; Rom 4:6-8; Rom 5:1-2,19; Rom 8:14-17,33-39; 1Co 1:30; 1Co 6:11; 2Co 5:21; Gal 3:26; 4:5-7; Eph 1:4-5; Eph 2:14-19; Eph 3:11-12; Eph 5:25-27; Col 1:20-22; 2Th 2:13; Tit 3:7; Heb 2:10-11; 1Jo 1:3; 3:1; Rev 21:7]

Christian Confession of Faith, V.C.2

Here are some of the verses referred to by the Confession:

Joh 1:[12] But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name:

Rom 8:[14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. [15] For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” [16] The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; [17] and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.

Gal 3:[26] For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 4:[5] that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. [6] And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” [7] So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Eph 1:[4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love; [5] having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,

Eph 2:[19] So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

Tit 3:[7] that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Heb 2:[10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [11] For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

1Jo 3:[1] See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him.

Rev 21:[7] He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.

This is one of the greatest of all the benefits and blessings enjoyed by those who believe the Gospel: they are adopted by God as his children, his household, and his heirs. They are all brothers and sisters in the faith, and fellow citizens of his kingdom. The everlasting God becomes their everlasting Father, and the full inheritance of his house is theirs by legal right. Hallelujah!

See Also:

Justification & Imputation

II. Theology Proper – The Doctrine of God

Jehovah Will Provide (Yahweh-Jireh)