We naturally begin to learn of God from the very first words of the Bible.
“In the beginning God created…”
But what did Creation include?
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Colossians 1:16.
Visible things are things like stars, trees, and living bodies. Invisible things are things like scientific and linguistic rules, space and time, and independent, intelligent consciousnesses.
In the Bible, the Lord likens himself to elements of His creation in order to teach us of Himself.
- God is a Star (Revelation 22:16)
- God is a Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4)
- God is a Lion (Amos 3:8)
- God is a Father (Isaiah 9:6)
- God is a Word (John 1:1)
- God is a Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45)
By studying creation, we can learn of the God who made it.
As this piece is an introductory presentation on God, we will here consider God as He is represented by “the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14).
When we believe the first words of the Bible, we realize that the beginning itself was the first thing ever created. This is because we see that 1) God made the heavens and the earth in “the beginning” and 2) God was not dependent on “the beginning” for creation as evolutionists would have you believe. “The beginning” - רֵאשִׁית – was just the original element “of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14). Time was and is dependent on the everlastingness of God, not God on the everlastingness of time. The very first present moment of time could only have been the very first creation.
- The present moment was the first creation. It cannot make sense that God made something in time before He made the first present moment, the first point of time. Thus, the present moment was literally the earliest creative production. Jesus is represented by the very beginning of that which was not God (Revelation 3:14, Revelation 22:13), the very first present moment.
- The present moment will contain all time. Every moment in time is once a present moment. The present marches throughout time covering or experiencing it all. All members of the Godhead are in Jesus (Job 33:4, John 10:38, Ephesians 1:10).
- The present is in the past and in the future. Any specific present moment other than the current one is either in the past or in the future. Jesus is in the Spirit and in the Father (Luke 4:14, John 14:11).
- The present moment comes from the future, and is born of the past. Moments of the future arrive from thence. Situations of the past came before the present situation; they first developed and then produced the situation that now is. Jesus came from the Father, and was born of the Spirit (John 16:28, Luke 1:35).
- You can think of the present as the son of time. As a son comes from both a father and a mother, so the present comes from both the future and the past. Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 14:33, Luke 1:32).
- The present comes more quickly than anything. I am existing now, in the present. Before anything else occurs, the next “now” comes. Jesus comes quickly (Revelation 22:20).
- The past results from the present. I write a letter in the present, but this produces that which I have written in what is now the past. Out of Jesus proceeds the Spirit (Revelation 19:15, Ephesians 6:17, Job 33:4, John 20:22).
- You understand the significance of the present only as the past reveals it; the present moment reveals the future. Our memories make usable sense of what we experience in the present moment. I look out the window and see a tree now. If I had never seen a tree before, I would not know what I was looking at. The present moment shows us what the future held. As I type this line now, I discover that my future a little while ago involved me typing this line now. We know Jesus to be God only as the Spirit reveals this to us; Jesus reveals the Father (John 16:13-15, 1 Corinthians 12:3, 1Timothy 6:15-16).
- The present moment moves to the immediate future, and where it is, there we are with it. Time marches on. The present moment in time marches forward towards the future, and in life we must be with it. Jesus ascended to the Father, and where He is, there may we be also (John 16:16; 14:1-3).
- We can enter the future only via the present moment. Only by staying in the present moment does anything enter what had before been the future. We can come to the Father only by Christ (John 14:6).
- No one becomes actively focused in the present moment unless a thought of the future motivates him or her. I was lying in bed not really focusing on anything until I realized that I had to be at work soon. The thought of future work motivated me to exert focused activity towards getting to the office. We cannot come to Christ unless the Father draws us (John 6:44).
- Ceasing to rely on the present moment for the future always results in overall carelessness; however if, throughout the past, hope of the future was based only on the present, general diligence to do good was likely exhibited. If I do not believe, at least to some extent, that my present choices determine my destiny, then I will likely be careless of my choices and actions. If, on the other hand, I live conscious of the fact that what I do in the present moment has a bearing on future results, I will likely be careful to do well. Ceasing to truly rely on Jesus for eternal life with the Father always results in careless sinfulness; however if, through the Spirit, we hope because of Jesus, we live righteous by faith (Titus 3:8, Psalms 4:5, Galatians 5:5).
- All sins are committed against present realities. If I do wrong, I do wrong to present realities. All sins are committed against Jesus (Psalms 51:4, 1 Corinthians 8:12).
- All good work is done in the present moment. All truly good works are done to Jesus (Matthew 25:40, Colossians 3:23).
- The present inherits all which is past, and is given all the future holds; it is the component of time responsible for creative change. The heritage of the present moment is the entirety of the past by definition, and anything the future holds will be possessed by a present moment; all creative change occurs in the present moment. Jesus is heir of all under the Spirit’s power, and He is given all things by the Father; Jesus is the member of the Godhead responsible for creative change (Hebrews 1:2, Matthew 28:18, John 13:3, John 1:3, Hebrews 1:8-12).
- All human life is lived in the present. Though I can conceive of (with my spirit) other points in time other than the present, I cannot be alive (life = body + spirit) in them. All life is in Jesus (John 1:4, 1 Corinthians 15:22).
- When a man or woman is completely separated from the present, he or she is not alive. Human beings who are not present realities – who are cut off from the present moment completely – are not alive. They are either elements only of the past and future, being deceased, or they are nothing more than an element of the future, having not yet been conceived. When one has been completely separated from Jesus, he is dead (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 6:23).
- When speaking in present tense, it is proper to say “I am,” not “I was” or “I will be.” Jesus is the I AM (Exodus 3:14, John 8:58).
- The past gives all remembrance of things, the future shows forth the true nature of things, but the present moment meets out all consequences. There could be no memories if there was no past. When I work, I seek to do my work well, knowing 1) that the future will reveal the quality of my work, and 2) that present moments in the future will execute the consequences of my work. The Spirit convicts of sin, the Father is the investigative Judge, and Jesus is the executive Judge (John 14:26; 16:6-7, Daniel 7:9-10, John 5:27, Jude 1:14-15).
- Don’t be afraid of the present, it has been appointed as one of your eternal keepers. As long as we live, we will be kept by the present moment. Jesus says, “Fear not.” He is our everlasting Shepherd (Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 23:1, John 10:11).
- Only in eternal death can you be truly separated from the present. Only eternal death can truly separate us from Jesus (Matthew 25:46, Malachi 4:3, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).
- Only in eternal life can you really get to know the extent of the present. Only in eternal life can we really get to know Jesus (John 17:3).
- The present is the center of time; it is between the past and the future. Jesus is “the great center from which radiates all glory” (HM, November 1, 1893 par. 24).
- The present was, and is, and will ever be declaring the power of the Almighty. Jesus is, and was, and is to come, the Almighty– Present Truth in person (Revelation 1:8, John 14:6).