1997-09-27 - Eternity
The Comprehensive Series, Part 10
Many people have a glimpse of eternity in more or less a proper perspective, yet lack the proper Biblical reference points to deepen their conception of the subject of Eternity. Though this may appear a little theologically deep, I have done my best to write this so it may prove useful for gleaning more from your Bible on this topic. I hope it is a blessing to you.
The universe either had a beginning or it is eternal. We also know that the two classifications of existence are categorized under mind and matter - and that mind antedates matter. The great mind whom we call the Almighty either existed throughout eternity past, or had a beginning. The thinking person truly cannot believe that there was a time in the past when there was no mind. Many scriptures attest to this. Here are a few of them.
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
We can see from this Psalm that Moses was not only observing the obvious that dwelt in the Lord in the human realm, but also observed intelligent beings who existed before the Creation of the world (Observe Job 1 and 2 also). When we look to the future we can not help but draw to the conclusion that there will come a period when time will cease and all matter that is part of the present universe will pass out of existence.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. When I look at the world, I conclude that the present is but a passing phase of existence. Time and events continue to go onward. We know more about the present than the future or the past, yet we believe that there is a plan and a reason for all things. When we think of time there is a reason and a plan for all things. When we think of time as a duration or a period, we consider it projected infinitely into the past - without any beginning. The measurement of time or the duration, we know, had a beginning when God called light into being.
Many think of time beginning with this event because we record from this event the days that have passed to the present day and think of it as time. In the Scriptures when time or ages are mentioned we must determine from the context what is meant. In Genesis 21:33 we read Abraham calling upon the name of Jehovah "The Everlasting God." The Almighty had no beginning and neither will He pass out of existence. The word used in the ancient Hebrew, which modified the idea about God, signifies eternity in both directions. Also a full sweep of eternity -- past, present and future -- appears in the doxology of Jude.
Jude 24-25 Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling, and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish in exceeding joy, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and now, and for evermore. Amen.
A more literal rendering of the phrase "before all time" is "before every age". Again thinking about this, one draws a conclusion that eternity prior to the creation of the world breaks up into ages, and after this world passes out of existence, eternity -- the future -- is also divided up into ages. This staggers my finite mind as I think about the concept. There are things I believe which at least for this disciple are beyond my scope to understand fully. I just can accept the little I do know, and await the further understanding that one day will be made clear. A pretty clear picture to me of eternity future, or ages of the ages, is found in the Book of Revelation. This present universe will pass away, that much I know.
Revelation 20:11 - And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
After ages upon ages of eternity past, God created the heavenly beings.
Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who stretched the line upon it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
We see again in this passage that this is speaking of the creation of the universe. These Morning stars who are the Sons of God were in creation prior to the creation of the universe and could at least partially comprehend the significance of this great event that the Almighty did. These sons of God must have been created prior to God calling the universe into existence. In Job 1 and 2 the Sons of God are mentioned as coming into the presence of God along with Satan.
Job 1:6 Now it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them.
There are many other Scriptures that deal with host of angelic beings that were created before the universe. These beings called angels are mentioned 273 times in the Bible. They are a large part of the great government of God throughout the universe. Next time we look at these amazing beings and how they fit into the marvelous, sovereign government of the Almighty God that is described in this passage of Scripture. May the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob bless you.
Psalm 103: 19-22 Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, That are mighty in strength, that fulfil his word, Hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts, Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless Jehovah, all ye his works, In all places of his dominion: Bless Jehovah, O my soul.
In His Service,