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Summary: A sermon on God and time (Adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's book, God Most High, pages 87-92)

HoHum:

Age to age He stands; And time is in His hands; Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End

WBTU:

Exegesis of Isaiah 43:9- 13

Vs. 9

This is probably alluding to the prophecy about Cyrus again considering vs. 14. Because of uncertainty of that time the pagan nations will seek comfort from their own gods.

God is calling them into assembly to present His case before them.

Vs. 10

The people of Israel are the witnesses and so will be the Messiah.

God knows that there are no other gods. Must be cautions however. “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:19, 20, NIV.

Vs. 11

The true God is the self-existing, eternal, and Unchanging Being.

God is going to deliver the Israelites through Cyrus is alluded to here in the word “Savior”.

Vs. 12

God has not merely “revealed” truth about himself to them, nor has he merely “saved” them, nor has he merely “proclaimed” the meaning of what he has done. He has done all 3 together and simultaneously so that his revelation is a complete one.

It is the Living God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word.

Foreign god- “The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.” Deuteronomy 32:12.

Vs. 13

before the day was (before the creation, and, consequently, from eternity) I am he."

God is a being from eternity and He was in this world before there were either idols or idolaters (truth is more ancient than error); and God will go into eternity, and will be worshipped and glorified when idols are famished and abolished and idolatry shall be no more. Truth will keep its ground, and survive all opposition and competition.

God not only foretold what no one else could foresee, but has done what none else could do.

On God Isaiah bases all his hope and confidence. A vision of the Everlasting God dominates Isaiah’s thoughts. The Everlasting God, the First and the Last, the Living One, whom we meet in Isaiah 40-48, is the one on whom all our hopes must rest.

Want to dwell upon time some more to understand something about the open theists position. In part open theism is a reaction against one of the dominate theories of God and time that has been largely accepted as truth that might not be truth. They have a point, even if it is an overreaction. What is this theory?

Complete timelessness or simultaneity- With God there is no succession of moments in any sense. The whole of God’s being, including everything that He experiences, exists in a beginningless, endless, eternally unchanging NOW, in one eternally enduring simultaneous moment. From God’s perspective, there is no past or future. In other words, there is no sequence of thoughts in God’s mind; He is eternally thinking the same, all inclusive thought.

According to this theory, this simultaneity also applies to God’s actions. Though His actions occur sequentially within creation, from God’s perspective they are not sequential but simultaneous. Everything that God does- creation, incarnation, atonement, judgment day- is performed at exactly the same time as one all inclusive, complex act in the one eternal NOW.

This also means that none of God’s activities are never not occurring. God never begins to do anything or never ceases to do whatever He does. His one timeless act is forever the same, since for a timeless God there exists nothing except the single, eternal, changeless, frozen present. What is the problem with this?

If this is true then God is never not creating, never not incarnate, and never not suffering the penalty for sin. (I have used this many times to explain how Jesus Christ is still paying the penalty for our sins. Because He is timeless, He is eternally suffering the penalty). This is problematic because then the doctrine of creation out of nothing becomes meaningless. God is never not creating. This thought of a timeless God for whom everything happens simultaneously in one all inclusive, eternal, unchanging moment is incoherent and even bizarre

Thesis: What is a more logical and Biblical understanding of God and time that does not force us to forsake God’s foreknowledge?

For instances:

Without Beginning or end

When we think of eternity we think of unending time. Timeline that extends without limits in both directions, past and future. God has existed from eternity past and will continue to exist into the eternal future. God is the Great I Am.

God has existed from of old (Psalm 55:19), from eternity (NASB, Isaiah 43:13). He is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 41:13).

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