“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so, the Son also gives life to whom He wishes” (John 5:21 NASB).
by Bill Dutka
“The Everlasting Father” is a title ascribed to our Lord Jesus. It is but
one title among many that define our Lord’s inheritance for laying down his life as the “man Christ Jesus.” Who would dispute the appropriateness of such a title? This title, though not effective now, will be operational at our Lord’s second advent when he begins the work of restoring the world of mankind (The Atonement Between God and Man, pages 141‑142). The Prophet Isaiah in 53:8‑10 (New Living Translation) reminds us “that [Christ] died without descendants … yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.” Thus, he will procure the ultimate reward for his faithfulness. He gave his earthly life as an offering for Adam’s willful sin, and hence, reclaimed the entire world of mankind as “many descendants.”
Everlasting Father to the World
The title “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9:6 (New Revised Standard Version), shows the wonderful, yet tender, relationship that Jesus will have with the world of mankind. This relationship will bring restoration to life everlasting. However, only those who choose to heed the rules of the Mediatorial phase of the Kingdom will inherit life everlasting.
The age to come will be unlike this present evil age in that Satan will be fully restrained “that he might not deceive the nations any more, until the thousand years, should be ended” (Revelation 20:3 New American Standard Bible). In this kingdom, we are told, “a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 35:8‑10 NASB).
Adam, the first man and father of the human family, brought the race to their knees through disobedience. Adam disobeyed God’s rule and ate of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden. Of this tree “God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die’” (Genesis 3:3). Eating of the tree incurred the penalty of death not only upon Adam, but the entire world of mankind, his descendants. This willful act of disobedience on Adam’s part plunged the human family into death and brought about the dying process.
The Apostle Paul states, “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One, Jesus, the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19 NASB). Our Lord’s faithfulness in laying down his life, as the man Jesus, purchased the right to become the world’s restorer, life giver, and thus, its Everlasting Father. The Apostle John affirms that none can gain life except through Jesus. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 NASB). We also have the words of King Solomon in Proverbs8:36 (Rotherham Emphasized Bible): “But, he that missed me, wronged his own soul, all who hate me, love death.”
Everlasting Father to the Church?
The question arises, since the church members were part of the world, “children, by nature, of wrath, even as the rest” (Ephesians 2:3 Darby), is Jesus considered their Everlasting Father? No, it was the Heavenly Father who drew us! Our Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10 NLT). Jesus explained that “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44 KJV). The Heavenly Father himself called us! Our dear Lord Jesus is our elder brother.
Jesus confirmed this in Luke 8:19‑21 (Bible in Basic English): “And his mother and his brothers came to him, and they were not able to get near him because of the great number of people. And someone said to him, ‘your mother and your brothers are outside desiring to see you.’ But he said to them in answer, ‘my mother and my brothers are those who have knowledge of the word of God and do it.’” We are part of Jesus’ intimate, adopted family. We are his brothers and sisters. We are his brethren.
Although Jesus is the “firstborn among many brethren,” (Romans 8:29 NASB) he awaits the completion of the Church, his Bride, before beginning the work of resuscitating and restoring the world of mankind. John the Revelator tells us in Revelation 22:17 (NASB), “It is the Spirit and the bride that say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Who is that Spirit? It is Jesus, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10 NASB). The completion of the Church will be a gift to the world. At that time, Jesus will take his title of “Everlasting Father,” and begin the work of restoring to life … whosoever will come!
Everlasting Father to the Ancient Worthies?
When Jesus begins the Mediatorial phase of the kingdom, the Ancient Worthies, the princes in the earth, will be raised first to help restore
order on the earth. King David declares in Psalms 45:16 (Young’s Literal Translation), “Instead of thy fathers are thy sons, Thou dost appoint them for princes in all the earth.” Thus, when our lord takes up the title, Everlasting Father, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob … and all the heroes and heroines of faith will no longer be the fathers but will be children of the Everlasting Father — Jesus! (The Atonement Between God and Man, pages 142‑143).
Why are the Ancient Worthies restored at the beginning of the Mediatorial phase of the kingdom? The prophet Isaiah describes their work as judges and counselors of the next age. “Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city” (Isaiah 1:26). Where will this righteous city be established? The Prophet Isaiah gives the answer. “And many peoples will come and say, ‘come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in his paths’ for the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3 NASB).
What examples they have been of great faith! Have not the lessons of their lives, their faithfulness, been a support to us, the church! Has not Daniel’s unwavering spurned us on to similar faithfulness! These great ones, under trying circumstances, have been tested and approved.
But, even with their great faithfulness, they must wait until the church has been completed before they can be raised to life. Hebrews 11:37‑40 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) says: “They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains; hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.” Yes, the Ancient Worthies must wait until the great antitypical Moses, the Christ, head and body, has been completed. There can be no “life giving” until the church is complete.
Peter affirmed this thought to the council, saying “Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people’” (Acts 3:22,23 NLT). God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Thus, Christ will be Everlasting Father to the Ancient Worthies as well.
The redemptive work accomplished by Jesus affords the risen Lord the authority or lordship of earth, once lost by Adam. Jesus purchased the race with his precious blood. We see Christ’s title to the office of ‘Life giver’ and Father to the entire race of Adam. Only those who accept the terms of the new covenant will receive the blessings of everlasting life. From this standpoint, we can see “how our Lord Jesus could be the Root and the Offspring of David, and both David’s Son and David’s Father, David’s Lord” (The Atonement Between God and Man, pages 144‑145). The meaning of the Psalmist’s words is now clear. “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou shalt make princes in all the earth” (Psalms 45:16 NASB).