I AM

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)

We all live in a realm captivated by the second hand of a clock. Every movement that we make, every change of a season, every event that has past or that we look forward to is measured in time. We look forward to celebrations and back upon them in the measurement of time. I can’t think of anything, though there certainly must be something that does not have a demarcation in time. We live in a physical world that was created from the infinite mind of God the Creator. We move through this world in the space-time dimensions of length, width, height, and depth of time.

Our Creator is holy, He is a part from us, and He dwells in a different dimension than we, He lives in the spirit realm. The spiritual realm is beyond the perceptions of our physical senses and is not limited by the restrictions of a physical world. I have often wondered how quickly I could travel through distance unchained or tethered by physical obstacles. It is hard for us to know or understand that we serve a God that is not limited by physical law, He has no need to depend upon physical senses for His perceptions. These dimensions that govern the world in which we live. “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15)

God is a Spirit that lives beyond the confines of time, He is not alive in eternity but lives through eternity, He is present before the beginning and is present throughout all eternity. Meaning that He is all-knowing of all His creation in eternity, which allows Him to be just in truth. This is why man, His creation, can only worship Him in the spirit of truth. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) What then is God’s relationship to time? “In the beginning God.” (Genesis 1:1) In the Beginning God, there was nothing but God, therefore God created time as we know it and is above time, as He is holy and apart from His creation.

In a Psalm of Moses he uses a simple but profound use of an analogy to describe the timelessness of God the Creator. “For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4) Moses contrasts the eternal God to the temporal man. Man is here on earth but for a wisp of time, as James the half-brother of Jesus wrote, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) Though man lives in the thought that his life will pass in the morrow, the morrows are quickly passing to the life beyond and we spend precious few moments in preparation for it.

God is omnipresent throughout time and beyond when the measure of time is no more. God transcends through all of eternity. There is no measure of time for God as He exist in the eternal day, the forever that we are all bound for. The Apostle Peter tries to give us a measure of the vastness of God’s existence. “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) Man only knows the measurement of time and all of his actions are governed in the measurement of time. Man celebrates birthdays, holidays, and seasons. We study the events of history in time and plan for the future in time. All of our thinking is related to the time that we are living in. All of our perspective is in relation to the time we are in and hope to have. God’s perspective is different than men as He is above time and able to be present in all time. The time that is far beyond our comprehension. As the Psalmist pleads his time in the vastness of God’s. “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, Your years are throughout all generations. “Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. “Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. “But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.” (Psalm 102:12, 24-27) God is outside of the sphere of time, For God there is no beginning and no end to time.  God is aware of all eternity past and future. God does not live in the realm of earthly time and it has no consequence to God. A second of time on earth is no different to God than an eon and a trillion years of time on earth are as a second to our eternal God.

The trouble is for us is that we try with our finite minds to place an infinite God into our own schedule. We cannot expect God to operate in the confines of time here in the world that we live in. We live in a perspective of the world and do not appreciate the eternal perspective that God lives in. We cannot know the outcome of our desires as only God knows the variables to the plans we have. Therefore anything that we ask for or desire is in ignorance of His eternal purposes. We are restricted by our own thoughts and seldom surrender to the thoughts of God. We cannot possibly think like Him yet we try to tell Him how we want our life to be. Praise Him for His mercy and grace. He is the Most High and lofty One. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Jesus, who is God, came as a man to give us insight into the Kingdom of God by the way that He lived, the Parables that He spoke, and the love that He shared for His creation. He is the only one that man has known that lives in the Kingdom of God and only Jesus can give us insight to the abundant life that awaits us. “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.”  (Isaiah 57:15)

The way that Jesus lived in His thirty-three years on earth was in a perspective that is far removed than that of a man. Before God sent His Son God never lived as a man. God was removed from the condition of man and was not restricted to time and language as man. “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.”  (Psalm 90:10). Now we have a Savior that understands the emotion of suffering and sorrow, the trials and tribulations, and the temptations of the evil one in the frame of the short time that we have to endure this journey to eternity.

Because we are creatures with finite minds we can only grasp at the concept of God’s timeless existence. We cannot possibly know the vastness of His being. We can only describe Him in the language that we can express. We see Him as God, a God without beginning or end, eternal, infinite and everlasting. “Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Psalm 90:2) We know Him to be the source of all power, the eternal provider, and God of love and justness. “Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.” (Psalm 93:2).

What is time to us? Time is duration and the clocks that we measure time with shows us the benchmark of passing time. When we see change we know that it is measured in the passing of time. When time passes neither the time nor the change can be recaptured, as actions in time or words spoken can be retracted. According to physics time is a property which results from the existence of matter which is the beginning of time when God created the universe.  Before God created God existed. Without matter there is no change and therefore that was no time. But there was God and time has no relation to Him. Eternity is a word used to express something that has no beginning and no end that is related to the concept of time. If time did not exist before God created then God is above time and He is beyond eternity.

And this brings us to the meaning of the word eternity. Eternity is a term used to express the concept of something that has no end and no beginning. God has no beginning or end. He is outside the realm of time. Eternity is not something that can be absolutely related to God. God is even beyond eternity. Before the creation God issued a call to the crown of His creation, mankind. Those of us who answer His call will in His day stand before Him righteous. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love.” (Ephesians 1:4)

We take this truth of God the Creator by the testimony of His Word, the testimony of His Profits, the revelation of His creation, and faith in His Christ our Savior the Son of God, Jesus.  “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

How can we know that we know? By the faith that He gives us that we may see the truth of the Kingdom of God that we journey towards each day that we are in the time of this world. There is no faith in believing that which is seen for we walk in faith believing in that which is unseen in the providence of God. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

It is not blind faith without true substance but faith in the assurance of our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. When people see you walking in this faith and marvel to asks who sustains you, answer “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, January 4, 2017

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