by Matt Slick
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6).
Oneness Pentecostal believers deny the Trinity and teach that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all one person. They sometimes quote Isaiah 9:6 in their attempt to prove their position. However, Isaiah 9:6 cannot be used to disprove the Trinity nor bolster their Oneness doctrine.
When Isaiah 9:6 says that Jesus' name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, etc., it is not saying that Jesus is the eternal Father, but that he has the characteristics of God. In other words, Jesus has all the attributes of God--including eternality.
In the ancient Jewish culture, names had meanings. We can better understand this by noting American Indian names such as "Running Wolf" or "Fighting Bear." The same with Jewish names. They had meanings. Isaac, for example, means "laughter." Noah means "rest" or "peace." So, when Isaiah is speaking of the name of the coming Messiah and says his name will be Mighty God, Eternal Father, etc., it is telling us about the characteristics of the Messiah to come in a prophetic manner.
If Jesus' name is "Eternal Father," then why don't we call Jesus "Eternal Father"? For that matter, why don't we call his name "Wonderful Counselor" or "Mighty God" or "Prince of Peace"? The text speaks of a name, yet has four things revealed in the name. Again, this shows us that it is the characteristics of the then-coming Messiah. The fact that the Messiah would be divine is verified in Heb. 1:3 when it says, "And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [God] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power . . . " This also explains why Jesus said, " . . . He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9). It was because Jesus so precisely represented God the Father as His prophesied name reveals.
Furthermore, the Oneness Pentecostal people assert that God's name is really "Jesus." If that is true and if Jesus is the Eternal Father as they claim, then why don't they call Jesus "The Eternal Father" as His name? Does it also mean the mode that God is in right now is that of the Father since His name is "Eternal Father" implying He is always the Father? If that is taken literally, then God is the Eternal Father; and the true person of the Godhead is the Father--not the Son as the Oneness people assert.
The Oneness Pentecostal theology is incorrect and improperly describes the true and living God.