God: His Nature, His Eternality

The importance of God’s eternality is closely linked to His nature. Understanding how God could exist forever with no beginning is irrelevant to our comprehension of what this attribute means to God’s identity. The only barrier to understanding that God has always existed is a fundamental acceptance of this as fact. It matters not that we can comprehend how this is true, only that it is.

It is impossible for transient beings who live for less than 120 years, to comprehend a transcendent Being who lives forever. Even if God were to try and explain how He has existed forever we would likely not understand Him. At the same time, we seem to understand that death is unnatural for us and that somehow we should live forever.

The reason that we cannot understand how God has no beginning or end is because we have never seen anything on earth that is comparable to eternity. All that we know are things and people come into existence and the go away after a time. What is seldom considered is that people do not cease to exist when their body dies. According to the Bible, God knew us before we were born, and He will know us forever once we leave earth. We think that human life is limited when in fact we also live forever. God said that He made is in His image and likeness. It may be that God took a little piece of Himself and created each one of us. If this is true then we also, are eternal.

Like many people today, when I was a small boy I used to lie awake at night and think about how God could have no beginning. I thought about this so much that it made my head hurt. When I was about 57 I suffered a moderate heart attack. During the time of recovery that took place afterwards, I finally realized that the reason I had struggled with the idea that God has no beginning was because I needed an explanation. There are many things in my life that I don’t know how they work, only that they do. I accept that they work without understanding how and go on about my life with no problem.

Do you know why earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees and that without this precise tilt life would not be possible on earth? Most people don’t know things like this and they really don’t think about things like this. Understanding how God could have no beginning is not necessary to living your life. It is enough that He said it is true. The actual reality of how this is true is for a later time. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that this Eternal God wants for you to know Him and He sent His Only Son to Earth so that you would know for certain that God does exist and He loves you.

Out Of Eternity

If you make the journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, about a mile north of the city where king David was born, you will find a memorial from Jacob to his beloved wife, Rachel. While on their way to Bethlehem, Rachel went into labor, gave birth to Benjamin, and died. Nearly two thousand years later, Mary and Joseph made this same journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, because of a census that required Joseph to return to the place of his ancestors birth. In this tiny, insignificant town, called Bethlehem, “house of bread,” a baby was born, who is described by the Bible, as the Messiah.

Before His arrival, the prophet Micah also wrote that this baby did not have his beginning at Bethlehem, He came out of eternity.

Many people state that God does not exist. They say that they cannot believe in a Creator because there is no proof for His existence. History records that two thousand years ago, God did provide us with empirical proof for His existence; He came to earth as a man and became one of us.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He was separated from His parents while on a journey to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. While on the return journey back to Nazareth, they discover that Jesus was not in the returning group. Jesus had gone into the temple at Jerusalem and began to ask questions of the elders of Israel. When Joseph and Mary returned to Jerusalem they found Jesus and asked Him Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?

Jesus calls God “My Father,” He is claiming that He was the Son of God, equal to God.

When Jesus was thirty years old, He told the Pharisee that before Abraham existed, He existed. Then Jesus called Himself by the ancient name for God: “I AM.” He told these men that He and His Father were One. In response, the Pharisees picked up stones to kill Jesus. When He asked these men why they were stoning Him, they replied: “because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

In this chapter, we examine the prophecy of Micah; written seven hundred years before Jesus is born. The prophet describes the coming Messiah as existing in eternity, before He arrives at Bethlehem.

Micah 5:2c “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus, the Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Colossians 1:16-17 For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

The prophet Micah predicts that the purpose of the Messiah’s arrival is not to introduce the world to a great teacher, or a religious leader; He is coming to show us the eternal God who created all things.

In John 8:58 (above), Jesus told the Pharisees that before Abraham was born, He had existed as “I AM.” This phrase is formed from two Greek words: ego eimi, The word ego is used for emphasis, as an emphatic statement that He is in antithesis to all other men. The word eimi, a statement of existence in eternity, the present, and forever—having no beginning or first cause.

Jesus calls Himself by the eternal name for God, I AM—the same name that God identified Himself by, when He spoke to Moses, in the Book of Exodus.

Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

I Am—the Self-existent One, the Eternal, the One who always has been and always will be. This is the shortened version of the equivalent word Jehovah (Yahweh), the Eternal.

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Yahweh).

Jesus was born as a baby on the earth; but before He entered time as an infant, He existed eternally as God. As a toddler, Jesus learned how to walk; yet in eternity, He walked the streets of Heaven as the Eternal God. Jesus learned His first words at about two years of age; but before the universe came into existence, Jesus simply spoke and all the elements that would expand into the universe, came into being.

Who Created God?

The atheists asks the question, “Who created God?”, assuming that His existence necessitated a cause. This is a fundamental error that atheists make in their inability to perceive God. They imagine that God must be created. Those who do believe in God, do not believe in a God who came into existence at some point in time. In this manner, Christians also do not believe in the kind of God that the atheists do not believe in.

The fallacy of insisting that God must have a creator Himself, runs an illogical circle of never-ending god’s who were each made by a god before them.

In order for one who is truly God to exist, He must be singular and uncreated.

Let us consider this premise: The term “God,” is defined as a Being who is perfect in every regard. Any being who is not perfect would not be God, with a big “G,” he would simply be one god amongst many imperfect god’s, little “g.”

The exclusive example of God existing as more than one, is found in the Bible. The Biblical God is a compound unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; meaning that three person’s are all described as one God. The name of God; אֱלֹהִים ’ lôhîym; (Elohim) is plural.

This is the only way that three Beings who are perfect could be understood. Only if these three were in complete unity of mind, will, and purpose could they function as one God. It would be impossible for several Beings to exist as separate God’s; their lack of unity would define them as less than perfect, therefore, not God

A part of perfection is unity. Unity is defined as “the state of being united or joined as a whole.” In mathematics, unity is defined by the number one, therefore three persons who are perfect, must exist in perfect unity as one. For this reason, the true God must be singular.

Since there can only be one God (big G), this first premise requires that He must be perfect in every regard, incapable of error. If God were able to commit error, He would not be perfect, and therefore he could not be God.

Since God is perfect, He must also be eternal. For no created being, who came into existence at some point in time, by the work of one who existed before him, could be perfect, since he has relied upon one before him for his existence. The fact that a god could be created, removes the certainty that he is perfect—lacking the ability to exist before, and apart from, all other things.

In this regard, any created being could not be God (big G).

When atheists ask the question: “who created God?”, they are implying that the kind of God they are thinking of is a created God. In this regard, this kind of being is a logical impossibility.

The fact that a created god requires one before him for his existence, would define his creator as greater than the one he has made. If we continue to follow all of these created god’s back to their source, we never arrive at one who is the original and the source of all others.

If, however, God can be defined as singular, with no beginning; having no creator, and being eternal—this God would be perfect and would fulfill the true definition of God.

This is precisely the definition of the God who is revealed in the pages of the Bible.

“You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. —Isaiah 43:10

Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.  —Isaiah 44:8

Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. —Psalms 90:2

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. Psalms 33:6

The God of the Bible is eternal, has no beginning, and was not formed by any god before Him. He simply exists, and always has. This God is perfect, knows all things, is unlimited and does not require a cause for His existence.


NEXT:

His Nature