What the Bible Teaches



Chapter 30

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030.000.000       Torrey: p21


030.010.000       Torrey: p21, T:I
Topic 10:   God eternal

030.010.010       Torrey: p21, T:I, P:1
POINT 10:   God is eternal. His existence had no beginning and will have no ending. He always was, always is and always will be. (Compare Exodus 3:14) He is the I Am -- Jehovah.

      Genesis 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

      Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his under- standing no one can fathom.

      Habakkuk 1:12 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

      Psalms 90:2, 4 [2] Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ... [4] For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

      Psalms 102:24-27 [24] So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. [25] In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. [26] They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. [27] But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

      Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says -- he who lives forever, ...

      Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

030.010.012       Torrey: no
POINT 12:   When the Bible talks about 'In the beginning' it refers to the beginning of the things God created, i.e., Heaven and Earth, not the beginning of God, since God had no beginning.

      Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

      John 1:1-2 [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning.

      Psalms 102:25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

      Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

030.020.000       Torrey: p21, T:II
Topic 20:   God immutable.

030.020.010       Torrey: p22, T:II, P:2
POINT 10:   God is unchangeable. His counsel, nature, motivations, agenda, purpose and character are always the same.

      Malachi 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

      James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

      1 Samuel 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind. (See the same at Numbers 23:19.)

      Hebrews 6:17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.


   OBJECTION: Jonah 3:10, Revised Standard Version And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said he would do unto them; and did it not.

   This says that God repented.

   The New International Version says When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

   ANSWER: Obviously, the New International Version provides a clearer meaning of the passage. God remained the same in character, infinitely hating sin, and in His purpose to punish sin with judgment. But because Nineveh changed its attitude toward sin, God had to change His attitude toward Nineveh. If God remains the same, if His attitude toward sin and righteousness are unchanging, then He must change His dealings with men as men turn from sin to repentance. His character is always the same, but His dealings with men change, as they change from a position that is hateful to His unchangeable hatred of sin, to one that is pleasing to(his unchangeable love of righteousness.

   God always rewards righteousness and repentance and punishes sin and inequity. If God had punished the Ninevites after they repented, He would have changed His character.

   OBJECTION: Genesis 6:6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

   ANSWER: (1) Man's wickedness was so great and hateful that His very creation was an object of great grief to God. This does not necessarily imply that God wished, all things considered, that he had not created man, but only just as is said, that He grieved that He had. Many things that we do are a grief to us, and yet, everything considered, we do not wish that we had not done them.

   (2) By God's repenting that He had man is meant (as the context, verse 7, clearly shows) that He turned from His creative dealings with man to His destroying dealings (verse 7). This was necessitated by man's sin. The unchangeably holy God must destroy man who has become so sunken in sin.

030.030.000       Torrey: p22, T:III
Topic 30:   God self-existent

030.030.010       Torrey: p22, T:III, P:3
POINT 10:   God has life in Himself. He is self-existent. God not only exists from eternity, but also exists from Himself.

   'Self-existent' means no one created Him. This is the opposite of 'cause and effect'.

      John 5:26, f. h. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.

030.030.012       Torrey: no
POINT 12:   Because of His eternal nature, God didn't need to be created.


   QUESTION: "Who created God?"

   ANSWER: This question presupposes that God's nature is fundamentally similar to something in the universe. It assumes that God is governed by the same laws of physics that govern our universe.

   These are erroneous assumptions.

   God is infinite. He is not located only in a particular place at a particular time. He cannot be divided into distinct parts or sections. He does not have 'component parts' such as 'spirit' eyes, skin, and teeth, a left side, or a right side.

   God is a spirit. A spirit is non-corporeal; hence, God does not have a physical body.

   God is eternal. Because He is eternal, He did not need to be created. In fact, because He is eternal, God could not have been created, since it is not possible to create something that already exists.

   God existed before Heaven, Earth, and the universe existed. Therefore, He could not be subject to the laws of the universe (which require that nothing can occur without something causing it to occur) because those laws did not exist until He created them.

   QUESTION: Suppose you are wrong. For the sake of argument, let's assume God did have to be created.

   ANSWER: Ultimately, this line of reasoning is self-defeating. If God had to be created and was created, then what created the thing that created God? What created the thing that created the thing that created God, and so on?

   Ultimately, the mere fact that we exist proves that at some point either (a) something must have spontaneously come into existence with no cause, or (b) something always existed, and it created the universe.

   In theory, it is possible that something simply came into existence totally spontaneously, with no cause. But it is equally possible in theory that whatever created the universe always existed. In practice, there is one huge difference: nothing has ever presented itself and said "I just popped into existence spontaneously, and then I created the universe." On the other hand, God does say "I have always existed and I created the universe."

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