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Saturday, August 9, 2014

God: Past, Present and Future

The Judeo-Christian Bible portrays God as a past, present and future entity - kinda messes up the whole Dualist thing doesn't it? The fact that this concept permeates these writings also presents some problems for those folks who see Scripture as a disjointed mess. Nevertheless, this view of the Divine is consistent with the thesis of a God who cannot be contained.

Looking back into the past, Moses (or someone else) wrote that God was there when the heavens and the earth were created. (Genesis 1:1) Throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew Divinity is referred to as the "God of your ancestors" (NLT). A psalmist wrote: "Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past." (Psalm 93:2) In one of his prophetic visions, Daniel referred to God as the "Ancient One," or as the King James Version renders it "Ancient of Days." (Daniel 7:9, 13, 22)

In similar fashion, Scripture is literally full of incidents where God is said to be present in the moment. We are told that God was walking about the Garden of Eden "when the cool evening breezes were blowing." (Genesis 3:8) In a personal audience with Moses, the Hebrew God revealed to him that he was the "I AM." (Exodus 3:14) Scripture also records that God made a personal appearance at Mount Sinai and at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem. (Exodus 19:18-20 and I Kings 8:10-11)

Likewise, from Genesis to Revelation, God is portrayed as an entity of the future. The Hebrew God assured Abraham that "He" would personally bless his descendants. (Genesis 15 and 22) Throughout Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the minor prophets, the Hebrew God talks about a time in the future when "He" will establish a Heavenly Kingdom on this earth. John tells us that this same God is going to make everything new one day. (Revelation 21:5)

Not enough proof that Scripture portrays God as past, present and future? Consider the Psalm that is attributed to Moses: "Lord, through all generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God." (Psalm 90:1-2) Solomon wrote that God "has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Isaiah quoted God as saying, "From eternity to eternity I am God." (Isaiah 43:13) Toward the end of the book that bears his name, Isaiah also referred to God as the "one who lives in eternity." (Isaiah 57:15) Finally, in John's vision of heaven, the creatures who surrounded God's throne referred to the Almighty as "the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come." (Revelation 4:8)

In short, the Judeo-Christian Bible clearly portrays a Divinity that transcends time - an entity that cannot be contained by that which constrains us. Hence, the God of the Bible is a God of past, present and future.

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