It is true that the Old Testament contains references to God using the term “Father.” It is also true that, most generally, the One who dealt DIRECTLY with Israel was the same Personage who was the Son, Jesus Christ–not the One known today as “the Father.”
However, in Isaiah 9:6, we find a notable prophecy about Jesus Christ that includes several of His “names” or “designations”:
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
On the other hand, there are several other instances in which the Old Testament uses the name or designation, “Father.” In those additional instances, the reference is NOT to Christ. Please note the following comments from our free booklet, “God Is A Family“:
“Did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David, Daniel, and the other prophets understand that God, or ‘Elohim,’ is more than one person? The Bible reveals that they did know. “Acts 3:13 states that the ‘God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus.’ Abraham, Isaac and Jacob understood that their God was the Father, who would later glorify Jesus Christ, the Son. They also understood… that the God being who directly dealt with and appeared to them, was Jesus Christ—not the Father…
“In addition, we find a few Scriptures in the Old Testament that refer to Christ—the second being in the God Family—as the Son (compare Psalm 2:1–2, 7, 11–12; Proverbs 30:4).
“Generally, however, this terminology is not used in the Old Testament, as God was not clearly revealed as Father and Son in ancient times.
“Christ, as the Son of God, had to come to reveal the Father. The Jews were under the misimpression that they were worshipping ‘the Father.’ They did not understand that the God being functioning as the Messenger or Spokesperson of the Father and the God Family, who had been dealing directly with the ancients, was actually Jesus Christ. (Compare Christ’s words in John 8:54, ‘It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.’)
“Still, there are Old Testament passages that speak about God as ‘the Father.’ References to ‘the Father’ in the Old Testament can be found in Isaiah 63:16; Malachi 1:6; 2:10; 2 Samuel 7:13–14; 1 Chronicles 22:10; and Deuteronomy 32:6. In those passages, Christ—the ‘Word’ or Spokesman for the Father—communicated to the people the words of the Father.”
We might also add the reference in Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.”
Also, God specifically instructs Moses what he should say to the leader of Egypt regarding the captive Israelites: “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn”‘” (Exodus 4:22).
Throughout His dealings with Israel, God has been a Father to them, fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Compare Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 46:3-4; Jeremiah 3:19).
Israel as a nation did not seem to understand that it was actually the Son, Jesus Christ, who dealt with them directly–erroneously thinking that it was the Father who was in direct communication with Moses and other leaders. They did not realize that it was the Son, the Word of God, who communicated the words of the Father to their leaders and to them.
You might find our booklet, titled “Jesus Christ, A Great Mystery,” helpful for a careful study in this regard. In addition, we have written extensively in numerous Q&A’s concerning Jesus Christ, and these are available by searching on our web site, www.eternalgod.org.
Please consider what John stated: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). It is further explained that Jesus Christ revealed the heavenly Father–the God that Israel of old did not directly deal with. Here is the testimony of Jesus Himself: “‘Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father'” (John 6:46; compare Matthew 11:27).
In the New Testament, when the Father is spoken of, it is the One called God the Father, God our Father, our Father, the Father, etc. Unmistakably, the New Testament reveals more information about both the Son and the Father! Yet, Jesus challenged the Pharisees concerning their lack of true understanding about the Messiah–the Deliverer and Savior that they awaited.
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,” saying: “The LORD said to my Lord,” ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool'”? If David then calls Him “Lord,” how is He his Son?’ And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore” (Matthew 22:41-46).
This exchange serves to highlight the terrible misunderstanding that both the Jews of that time had, and the strange Trinitarian description of the Family of God that has so deceived modern followers of “Christianity”–so called!
With this background, let us review the above-quoted passage in Isaiah 9:6. To cite from our booklet, “God Is A Family“:
“Since God [the Father] created everything through Christ, it is also said in Isaiah 9:6 that Christ will be called in the future—after His Second Coming—the ‘Everlasting Father.’ This statement proves, too, that Christ existed for all eternity. He is referred to here as the ‘everlasting Father’ or ‘the everlasting Source’ of everything—the ‘beginning of the creation of God.’ However, when the Bible speaks of the ‘Father,’ it normally refers strictly and exclusively to the highest God being in the God Family.”
Understand that the Son is without beginning of days (Hebrews 7:3); He has eternal life (Compare Colossians 1:15-18; John 1:1-3, 10; Revelation 1:11, 18); His roles relative to mankind have involved many different aspects, and that includes coming as Savior of the world as well as being God and “Father” or “Source” to Israel and all mankind–a role both of the past as revealed in the Old Testament and the future when He will establish God’s government on this earth and restore the nation of Israel, bringing peace to all peoples!
The role of “father” is even applied by Paul to himself: “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15).
This metaphorical usage of “father” reveals an effective key of understanding when we consider what is mentioned in the Bible–especially regarding the role of the Son, Jesus Christ, in following God the Father’s directive to choose Abraham and then making the nation of Israel from his descendants.
The fatherhood of God the Father is not just an implicit comparison! He is indeed revealed as the Father of Jesus Christ (compare Matthew 3:17; 17:5). God the Father is also revealed as OUR FATHER: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14; compare Revelation 21:7).
Jesus, who as the Son was also a “Father” or better “Source” in the creation of mankind–especially for the people of Israel–acknowledged the ultimate authority of God the Father: “…’My Father is GREATER than I'” (John 14:28). Paul makes this supporting statement:
“For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28).
Just as Jesus is subject to the Father, so must we be. Here is an admonition for us to consider from Hebrews 12:9:
“Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?”
Lead Writers: Dave Harris and Norbert Link