The Almighty‑The Eternal
Extracts from a B.F.U. publication
It is in four parts. Part one considers the beginning of time. "I only am GOD. I existed before Time itself." (Isa.43:12‑13. Ferrar Fenton). The eternity of God is beyond human comprehension. We are finite creatures; our minds can only conceive objects existing within space and events taking place within a span of time marked by a beginning and an ending. We can accept the idea of endless life by visualising the continuance of the present into future time without interruption or change for ever; it is not possible to project our minds back into past time and comprehend the idea of a no‑beginning. Somewhere back in the distant recesses, our finite thoughts tell us, there must have been a start. But although this is certainly true so far as created things visible and invisible are concerned, God tells us it is not true as respects himself. God has always existed, truly eternal. With him there is no beginning. Until God began to create,…
But because God is the Source of all life and the Author of all creation, in whatever sphere of being that life and that creation is manifested, we can be assured that a time there must have been when the celestial world, with whatever forms of life it holds, came into existence by the creative decree of God, just so surely as did our own material order of things. There are a few allusions in Scripture to that fact. Of the Son it is said that "by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible..." (Col.1:16). That the creation of what is to us the invisible world, the angelic, antedated (predated) the formation of the earth at least is indicated in Job 38:7 where the sons of God, i.e., the angels, are depicted as "shouting for joy" when God brought this planet into being. But our earth is a comparative newcomer on the scene; the starry heavens existed, substantially as we see them now, long before the Earth was formed.
A stupendous event took place. God created the first atom! Now an atom is a very tiny thing. Most people know nowadays that all earthly materials and substances are composed of atoms, clinging together tightly to make up the mass of the material. Such atoms are almost inconceivably minute.
Where human intellect fails, the Holy Spirit fills the gap. Speaking under the Spirit’s guidance, the prophet Isaiah was able to describe what the wisest of men cannot describe. "Lift up your eyes on high" he says in Isa.40:26 "and behold who hath created these (the stars); that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth." Here is a marvellous picture; God the Creator.
Why did God do all this? For what reason has the Most High brought into existence this vast creation, so evidently intended to be the abode of continuous life—for the marvellous adaptability of our own planet to the myriads of different forms of life it supports shows unmistakably the Divine intention to multiply life in all its manifestations. The Revelator gives the answer. "Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure (purpose, intention) they are and were created". (Rev.4:11).
How can men with their limited powers of perception come to know the God who inhabits eternity; how attain that communion and fellowship with him which He himself has said is his desire and intention? If no man can look upon his face and live (Exodus 33:20), if He dwells in the light which no man can approach unto, if He is One whom no man hath seen nor can see, how may we ever come to know him? The answer is in five simple words in John’s Gospel. "The Word was made flesh".
Jesus did not become the only begotten Son by reason of his humanity. He was the Son of God, supreme over all Divine creation, from the very beginning. Monogenes is a word indicating the principal son or heir, hence the association with the idea of firstborn or only son, and it is the idea of primacy which has to be borne in mind. Isaac is called the only begotten son (monogenes) of Abraham in Heb.11:17 although he was not the only or even the eldest son of the patriarch—but was the heir.
No instructed Christian nowadays believes that God exists in the form of a venerable aged king seated upon a great throne set somewhere in the midst of the stellar heavens, with the Lord Christ eternally passive upon a somewhat lesser throne beside him. It may be a closer approach to the reality to picture him as a radiantly glorious being "dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto," (1 Tim.6:16) but even so we cannot with our human minds hope to formulate a picture which comes anywhere near the truth. The nature of the Divine Creator remains for us an impenetrable mystery. And to some extent the Person of Christ must share that mystery. We should no longer think of him in the form of the Man who was crucified, rather as the "Lord...that Spirit". (2 Cor.3:17; 1 Pet.3:18)
That the earthly life and death of the Lord Christ was…a necessary prelude to the overcoming and eliminating of sin from both the earthly and the heavenly worlds is also a fundamental of Scripture teaching. "...having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself...whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Col.1:20). It might well be, therefore, that the greater glory and the higher exaltation devolving upon our Lord at his return to the heavenly courts was the glory and exaltation of sin challenged on its own ground, the power of sin overcome and conquered, the fate of evil definitely sealed.
This then is our God; wise beyond all understanding, loving beyond all comprehension. In his power, infinite; in his justice, terrible toward all sin but infinitely patient toward the sinner. In the far distances of past ages He commenced to fill his creation with life; the work has as yet hardly commenced. One day in the future that comprehension will be complete, and the purpose of God will take a great step forward as life begins to fill every recess of this vast universe.
This booklet is available free on request